apps http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/11591/all en-US 7 Things You Need to Know About Prescription Drug Coupons http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-prescription-drug-coupons <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-prescription-drug-coupons" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/pills_money_medicine_520882000.jpg" alt="Learning what you need to know about prescription drug coupons" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you have health insurance to help cover the cost of prescription drugs, that's great. But the average insured American still spends nearly $200 a year on prescription copays.</p> <p>Prescription drug coupons can help defray that hefty expense. You present them at the register of your pharmacy just like any other coupon. They reduce your copay, but do not affect the price your insurer pays for the drug. Drugmakers offer these coupons as a form of marketing, and while they can help patients, before using them you should know a few things about how these programs work.</p> <h2>1. Sometimes Brand Name Is Cheaper Than Generic</h2> <p>If your copay for generic medication is $10, but a coupon brings your copay for a similar brand name drug down to $4, you'll save money by going with the brand name. This is the major attraction of drug coupons for patients.</p> <h2>2. Don't Get Steered Into Suboptimal Treatment</h2> <p>It's hard to see how saving money could be bad for your health. But health care decisions should be made between patient and doctor, without intrusion from marketing. Why? Consider this: Doctors often have the choice of multiple drugs to treat any given ailment. Maybe Drug A, a tried and true generic, is the best choice for you, but you ask your doctor for Drug B because you have a coupon that would cover most of your copay. The doctor accommodates you, so you save money &mdash; but your treatment has suffered. This is not a hypothetical situation; a Consumer Reports analysis found more than one generic that works as well as or <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/03/don-t-get-hooked-on-prescription-drug-coupons/index.htm">better than a name brand</a>.</p> <h2>3. Coupons Could Cost You More in the Long Run</h2> <p>Like a cable TV teaser rate, the coupon program won't last forever. Once you've established treatment for a chronic condition with the brand name drug, and the coupon ends, you may spend years paying the higher post-coupon price.</p> <h2>4. You May Not Be Eligible to Use the Coupon</h2> <p>Some discount programs exclude members of Medicare, Medicaid, and uninsured people. Always read the fine print.</p> <h2>5. The Coupon Might Not Be Your Cheapest Option</h2> <p>Make sure to do the math before opting for a brand name with a coupon over a generic &mdash; the generic still might be cheaper.</p> <h2>6. Coupons May Spike Your Insurance Premiums</h2> <p>When you use a coupon, you pay less &mdash; but your insurance company may pay up to 85% more than it would have if you had chosen a less expensive drug. Who cares? Most of us don't have much sympathy for insurance companies. But when your insurer pays more for drugs, it may pass that to you in the form of higher premiums.</p> <p>&quot;An individual patient who receives a coupon might not realize that, although that particular prescription may cost less that month, overall what it does is to <a href="http://khn.org/news/drug-coupons/">raise costs for everyone</a>, including themselves,&quot; Susan Pisano told Kaiser Health News on behalf of trade group America's Health Insurance Plans.</p> <h2>7. Always Get Coupons From a Reputable Source</h2> <p>Don't just click any link online and start entering personal information about what medications you take. A good place to ask about discount programs is your doctor's office. Online, you can enter the drug name and other details at <a href="https://www.pparx.org">Partnership for Prescription Assistance</a>, and it will connect you to programs you qualify for.</p> <p>Another convenient and safe way to find discounts is by downloading an app such as <a href="https://www.goodrx.com/">GoodRX</a> or <a href="http://werx.org/">WeRx</a> onto your phone. These apps not only find printable coupons, they will also suss out good prices near you on both prescription and over-the-counter medicines, and let you know about pharmacy rewards programs and other opportunities to save.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-prescription-drug-coupons">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-9"> <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-ways-you-can-save-money-on-prescription-medications">7 Ways You Can Save Money On Prescription Medications</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-ways-to-get-your-toiletries-for-cheap-or-even-free">6 Ways to Get your Toiletries for Cheap or Even Free!</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/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</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/is-the-wii-fit-a-cheap-workout">Is the Wii Fit a cheap workout?</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/7-generic-wellness-buys-better-than-the-expensive-originals">7 Generic Wellness Buys Better Than the Expensive Originals</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Health and Beauty Shopping apps brand name drug coupons drugstores generic medicines pharmacies prescriptions Wed, 04 Jan 2017 11:00:06 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1865344 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Easy Ways to Pay With Your Smartphone http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-to-pay-with-your-smartphone <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-easy-ways-to-pay-with-your-smartphone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/paying_with_smartphone_537499455.jpg" alt="Learning easy ways to pay with a smartphone" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Mobile wallets carry the promise of simplifying your life, by enabling you to, for example, quickly pay for groceries without digging out a credit card from your wallet. Or, they can help you swiftly locate the right loyalty card without fumbling through a stack of cards in the checkout line, or immediately reimburse a coworker who picked up your lunch.</p> <p>But how do mobile wallets work?</p> <h2>Payment Apps</h2> <p>A payment app stores your credit card info so you can use your phone instead of a physical card to pay at a checkout counter. Simply bring up your app, then place your phone toward the contactless payment system scanner.</p> <p>In addition, you may be able to use the app for online purchases &mdash; without entering card or shipping information &mdash; if specific payment methods are available at checkout.</p> <h3>1. Apple Pay</h3> <p><a href="http://www.apple.com/apple-pay/">Apple Pay</a> is available on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and more recent versions of the iPhone. There are&nbsp;<a href="http://www.apple.com/apple-pay/where-to-use/">millions of stores</a> that accept Apple Pay, including national chains such as Staples, Trader Joe's, and Walgreens.</p> <p>In addition, you may be able to use Apple Pay to complete online purchases made within the Safari browser and certain apps. Online stores that accept this method of payment display the Apple Pay logo at checkout. Apple Pay is available in the United States and several other countries.</p> <p>For security purposes, transactions require authentication with a pass code or Touch ID. Card numbers aren't stored on your device or Apple servers and they're not shared with merchants.</p> <p>Anonymous transaction information is collected but not tied to an individual and doesn't include what you buy.</p> <h3>2. Android Pay</h3> <p>Available for Android devices,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.android.com/pay/">Android Pay</a> is accepted at millions of U.S. stores and restaurants including the likes of Babies &quot;R&quot; Us, Jamba Juice, and Fuddruckers. At certain merchants, loyalty points and special offers are applied automatically, saving you from pulling out rewards cards.</p> <p>The app may help you make online purchases when you use Chrome as your browser or initiate certain in-app transactions. When available at checkout, Android Pay conveys your payment and shipping data, allowing you to skip the process of entering this information manually.</p> <p>For security purposes, you'll need to unlock your phone to pay via Android Pay. The app uses a virtual account number to complete transactions, and doesn't send your actual card number with payment. If your phone is lost or stolen, you can use the&nbsp;<a href="https://support.google.com/androidpay/answer/6289376?hl=en&amp;ref_topic=6289350">Android Device Manager</a> to lock your device, change the password, and erase personal information.</p> <h3>3. PayPal</h3> <p>Additional payment apps include&nbsp;<a href="https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/pay-in-stores">the PayPal</a> mobile app, which is accepted at a limited number of stores (in my area, AutoZone, Dollar General, and Macy's). Some restaurants accept payment via PayPal. Find them within the app, where you can also view menus and place orders through its link to yelp Eat 24. It's available on iOS, Windows, and Android devices.</p> <p>Certain retailers also have their own payment apps. For example, load money into your Starbucks app and use it to pay for your purchases. You can even order online and pick up without standing in line.</p> <h2>Money Transfer Apps</h2> <p>Money transfer apps allow you to send money to friends or family members, or collect money from them. Some may also allow you to pay businesses.</p> <h3>4. Google Wallet</h3> <p>Available on Android and iOS devices,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.google.com/wallet/">Google Wallet</a> allows you to send, request, and receive payments from individuals, as long as they live in the United States and have an email address or phone number. Transfers are made using your debit card registered with the app. There are no fees for this service.</p> <p>Money received can be moved to your bank account, where you'll get access within minutes of its receipt.</p> <p>Access to the app is restricted through the use of a Payments PIN. In addition, you can remove access to your account at myaccount.google.com if you lose your phone or it's stolen.</p> <p>Your financial data is stored on secured servers and encrypted with industry-standard SSL technology. Activity is monitored for fraud and Google covers 100% of verified unauthorized transactions.</p> <p>Google may collect information about your location and your use of its products. Learn more by reviewing its&nbsp;<a href="https://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/privacy/">privacy policy</a>.</p> <h3>5. Venmo</h3> <p><a href="https://venmo.com/" target="_blank">Venmo</a>, the free money-transfer app from PayPal, allows users to quickly and securely send or request money from one another at the touch of a button. The app, which is available for both Android and iOS, requires you to sign up for an account through your email or Facebook. Once set up, you simply link and verify your bank account, credit, or debit card, and you're off and running. Money in your Venmo account can be transfered to your bank in as little as one day. Just be aware that a 3% processing fee applies to credit and some debit cards.</p> <p>Venmo also adds a social element to money transfers, letting users include little notes and emojis to their friends and families. It's a fun way to keep track of what a transfer was for.&nbsp;</p> <h3>6. Square Cash</h3> <p><a href="https://cash.me/" target="_blank">Square Cash</a>&nbsp;operates in a similar method, and is also available for Android and iOS devices. At sign up, Square Cash asks for either an email or phone number, and gives users the option to decide between a free personal account (for friends and family), or a business account, which charges a 2.75% processing fee for payments received. Once you're setup to send or receive payments, you'll create a unique $Cashtag &mdash; the username you'll share with friends or family. Like Venmo, Square Cash also allows you to link a credit card, but applies 3% processing fees for money sent. However, they waive this fee for payments made to a Square Cash business account.</p> <h2>Loyalty Card Storage Apps</h2> <p>By storing digital renderings of your loyalty cards, these apps may lighten a formerly bulky wallet. In addition, you may be able to travel through the checkout line faster by providing prompt access to your loyalty card information &mdash; instead of rifling through a pile of cards to locate the right one.</p> <h3>7. Stocard</h3> <p>Available as an Android or iPhone app,&nbsp;<a href="http://stocardapp.com/">Stocard</a> allows you to store and access digital versions of loyalty cards.</p> <p>The app is free of charge and ad-free, except for the offers associated with various loyalty program brands. For example, you can view weekly sales promotions at Staples by tapping the &quot;Offers&quot; tab in the app's interface.</p> <p>Scanning technology and methods at stores can affect the usefulness of the Stocard app. You may be able to scan cards yourself. But you might have to hand your phone to a cashier for scanning or enter account numbers manually.</p> <p>Loyalty cards with a payment or proof of identity function can't be uploaded. The company says <a href="http://stocardapp.com/privacy">aggregated usage statistics</a> may be collected and reported but information about individual purchases is not, except for legal obligations.</p> <h3>8. Passes in Apple Wallet</h3> <p>The&nbsp;<a href="https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204003">Passes section</a> of Apple Wallet allows you to keep digital versions of boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, and rewards cards. Only passes can be scanned.</p> <p>Only certain rewards cards are eligible for inclusion in Wallet. For example, you can add a Staples rewards card via its app but not an Ikea loyalty card. Adding a digital loyalty card requires you to add the app associated with the brand first and then place the item inside the Passes section.</p> <h3>9. Key Ring/CardStar</h3> <p>Other loyalty card apps include&nbsp;<a href="https://keyringapp.com/">Key Ring</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cardstar.com/">CardStar</a>, which store cards digitally and alert you to special offers. Both are available in iPhone and Android versions.</p> <p>Some mobile wallet apps serve more than one purpose. For example, Apple Wallet contains both payment and loyalty card apps. PayPal has a feature that allows you to pay at brick-and-mortar stores but also has peer-to-peer money transfer capabilities.</p> <p>You might consider installing apps for which you'll have an ongoing use. For example, I love the Apple Pay app because it gets me through checkout lines fast; my young adult son likes Dwolla because he and his friends can easily split bills from group outings. Both unburden us from carrying and searching for cards, cash, and coins in our regular wallets.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-to-pay-with-your-smartphone">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/the-cell-phone-app-thats-saving-me-a-smal-fortune">The Cell Phone App That&#039;s Saving Me A Small Fortune</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/what-you-need-to-start-flipping-items-for-cash-online">What You Need to Start Flipping Items for Cash Online</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/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</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/5-fitness-gadgets-actually-worth-the-money">5 Fitness Gadgets Actually Worth the 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/7-apps-that-make-budgeting-fun-no-really">7 Apps That Make Budgeting Fun — No Really!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology Android apple pay apps dwolla google wallet loyalty cards mobile wallets money transfers paypal Tue, 13 Dec 2016 11:00:10 +0000 Julie Rains 1849995 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Apps That Monitor Your Credit for You http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-monitor-your-credit-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-apps-that-monitor-your-credit-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-512432890.jpg" alt="use these free apps to monitor your credit" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The <a href="http://www.fico.com/en/blogs/risk-compliance/us-credit-quality-continues-climb-will-level/">average FICO credit score</a> of U.S. consumers is 695, according to the latest data from the FICO company. If you think this number is encouraging, you'll also be glad to hear that 54.7% of Americans are able to score at least a 700!</p> <p>This data proves that it's very possible to improve your credit score. There's no excuse these days for not monitoring your credit. Credit score monitoring? There are apps for that! Let's review some of the best free and easy to use apps available for giving your credit score a boost.</p> <h2>1. Credit Karma</h2> <p>Claiming that you can sign up for a new account within two minutes, <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-10817209-1462225929000">Credit Karma</a>'s app offers free credit score tracking. Your score and list of reports are updated weekly. Credit Karma offers a credit report card, which breaks down every factor contributing to your credit score health, such as open credit utilization rate and average age of open credit lines, and helps you understand how your actions affect your credit score.</p> <p>Keep in mind that Credit Karma shows you a <a href="https://www.creditkarma.com/credit-scores">Vantage 3.0 credit score</a>, which isn't the same as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fico-vs-fakes-are-you-getting-the-wrong-credit-score">FICO credit score</a>. The app allows you to track your credit score from TransUnion and Equifax (two of three main credit reporting bureaus, the third one is Experian). To learn more details about Credit Karma, take a look at <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-free-credit-score-monitoring-with-credit-karma">our review</a>.</p> <h2>2. Mint: Money Manager, Budget and Personal Finance</h2> <p>Besides being a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-free-debt-management-tools">free debt management tool</a>, Mint offers a free credit monitoring app that provides an easy-to-understand summary of how you can improve your credit score. The credit score provided under any of these apps is the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax.</p> <p>By connecting your bank accounts, credit cards, and investments accounts to your Mint account, you'll have a comprehensive picture of all of your finances, too.</p> <h2>3. Credit Sesame</h2> <p><a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-12336153-1455123184000">Credit Sesame</a>'s app offers you a peek into your Experian National Equivalency Score (ENES). While the FICO credit score ranges from 300 to 850, the ENES ranges from 360 to 840.</p> <p>By using this alternate credit scoring model, Credit Sesame is able to perform a &quot;soft&quot; pull on your credit history and show you how much you owe, what your current interest rates are, and what your credit score is.</p> <p>Additionally, Credit Sesame offers you some refinancing options in partnership with Lending Club to pay off higher-interest debt. To help you understand whether or not this would be a good fit for you, Wise Bread took a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lower-interest-rates-with-credit-sesame-and-lending-club">closer look at Credit Sesame' services</a> and the steps of the loan process application process through Lending Club.</p> <h2>4. Credit.com</h2> <p>Credit.com is another option to access your Experian National Equivalency Score and Vantage 3.0 credit score at no cost. You'll receive a grade, ranging from A+ to F, for each one of the five factors affecting your credit score: payment history, debt usage, credit age, account mix, and number of inquiries.</p> <p>Through its visual aids and specific action items, this app allow you to spot credit blunders and understand how to fix them.</p> <h2>5. Experian</h2> <p>Since so many of these apps use the credit rating model from <a href="http://www.experian.com/consumer-products/credit-monitoring.html">Experian</a>, you may be wondering if you can just go straight to the source. Yes, you can! Through the app you'll monitor changes to your Experian credit profile and have the option to sign up for push notifications directly on your device whenever a change takes place. Your free Experian credit report is updated every 30 days.</p> <h2>6. TransUnion</h2> <p>The credit reporting bureau allows you to <a href="https://www.transunion.com/credit-monitoring">check your TransUnion credit report</a> from your smartphone. Similar to the FICO credit score, the <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-12771108-1480442728000">TransUnion</a> credit score ranges from 300 to 850. Still, remember that the FICO and TransUnion credit score aren't the same.</p> <h2>7. CreditWise</h2> <p>CreditWise offers free credit monitoring services from Capital One. You don't need to be a Capital One customer to sign up for a new account. If you're an existing user of the Capital One CreditTracker service, you can use your existing username and password that you use at the CapitalOne.com site. Every week, this app will provide your TransUnion credit score. A differentiating factor of CreditWise is its credit simulator, which allows you to simulate ways to improve your TransUnion credit score.</p> <h2>The Bottom Line: Know Your Score!</h2> <p>FICO maintains a total of 28 different FICO scores, which are widely used by issuers of home, auto, and credit card loans. Remember that each one of these apps offers a free snapshot of a credit score based on a separate model and that snapshot is only for educational purposes. If you want to get the actual FICO credit score, you'll have to pay <a href="http://www.myfico.com/products/credit-score-monitoring-products/">at least $19.95 per month</a>.</p> <p>While the advice provided by any of these services can be valuable to improve your credit score, your potential lender may be working with a very different score than the one gleaned from an app. If you're working toward meeting the requirements for a mortgage or auto loan, ask your lender what credit score she's using. That way, you'll choose the app that can provide a more accurate estimate.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-monitor-your-credit-for-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-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/once-bitten-twice-shy-what-is-credit-security-worth-to-you">Once Bitten Twice Shy: What is Credit Security Worth to 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/what-the-new-credit-card-formula-means-for-your-wallet">What the New Credit Card Formula Means for Your Wallet</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/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</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-money-moves-you-can-make-while-stuck-in-an-endless-tsa-line">6 Money Moves You Can Make While Stuck in an Endless TSA Line</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/get-free-credit-score-monitoring-with-credit-karma">Get Your Free Credit Score from Credit Karma</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Technology apps credit karma credit monitoring credit score Equifax Experian fico mint smartphones TransUnion Tue, 06 Dec 2016 12:00:17 +0000 Damian Davila 1848172 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Millennials Have Changed Money (So Far) http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_chalkboard_money_500538951.jpg" alt="Learning how millennials have changed money so far" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every generation of Americans have changed the face of this nation in its own way.</p> <p>In the 1990s, our country was very different from it was in the '70s, which, itself, was a far cry from the 1950s. Today, Millennials are overhauling our political, social, and financial landscape so much that it's barely recognizable from just 10 years ago, and that's not necessarily a bad thing (depending on where you stand on certain issues.)</p> <p>As far as money is concerned at least, the &quot;Me Generation&quot; is making it easier to earn money and more efficient to spend it, while reinventing entire aspects of personal finance, like investing. They're living up to the old idiom of putting their money where their mouth is &mdash; and here's how.</p> <h2>1. Cash Back Is Growing While Coupons Fall Behind</h2> <p>I used to be a major coupon clipper, once saving more than $80 on my grocery bill on double-coupon day at my local supermarket. My couponing prowess (and interest) has consistently waned over the years. Instead, substituting my savings with cash back deals through my bank and grocery apps, like <a href="https://ibotta.com/register?friend=jcsgjbv">Ibotta</a>, <a href="https://www.checkout51.com/">Checkout 51</a>, and <a href="https://savingstar.com/">SavingStar</a>, has skyrocketed.</p> <p>I'm not alone. Millennials are hopping aboard the rebate train in droves.</p> <p>If you're not familiar with the concept of the cash back service, it's basically the opposite of the upfront savings that coupons provide. Instead, these rebate providers pay out the consumer on the back-end, after the shopping trip is complete.</p> <p>SavingStar, for instance, offers deals from popular grocery brands like Cheerios, Yoplait, Dove, and more. For some chains, it'll link deals directly to shoppers' loyalty cards. For other stores, shoppers can submit a picture of their receipt through the app or website. In either case, shoppers earn cash back into their SavingStar accounts, which can be paid out to a bank or PayPal account, or as gift cards from Starbucks, iTunes, and AMC Theatres.</p> <p>Of course, cash-back-adopting Millennials would maximize their savings by using both coupons <em>and</em> the rebate services, but, ya know &mdash; kids these days.</p> <h2>2. Investing Is Being Completely Reinvented</h2> <p>As an investor myself, I've avoided putting money in stocks (I just don't trust that market), preferring to invest in real estate or other entrepreneurs' business ideas. Michael Banks, founder of investing and personal finance blog Fortunate Investor, says I'm in good company. Millennials are turning the investment industry on its head by rethinking long-held strategies, perhaps out of necessity.</p> <p>&quot;As the generation with the largest student debt and toughest-looking future, traditional investing is out of the picture,&quot; Banks says. &quot;Instead, more Millennials are relying on micro-investing &mdash; investing small amounts of money frequently &mdash; to accomplish their savings goals.&quot;</p> <p>Micro-investing allows would-be investors with little starting capital to bypass the roadblocks that usually keep them out of the game &mdash; minimum investment levels, trading costs, market research, and really just not having a ton of money.</p> <p>&quot;Investing has always had a high buy-in value, which you would think eliminates the generation that is doing everything they can to save whatever they have &mdash; but a handful of apps are changing that, and opening the doors for Millennials to try their hands at creating their own investment portfolios,&quot; adds Banks.</p> <h2>3. Hardly Anyone Under Age 35 Walks Into a Bank Anymore</h2> <p>Your grandma probably still goes to the brick-and-mortar bank. Heck, maybe even your dad likes to roll in from time to time for a withdrawal and a lollipop, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a Millennial in a bank, unless it's to grab cash from an ATM for after-work drinks (or working there). Rather, they prefer the easy-breezy mobile banking that accommodates their fast-paced lifestyle.</p> <p>According to a recent study, 75% of Millennials are at least somewhat <a href="https://www.marketingcloud.com/what-millennials-expect-from-their-banks/">reliant on a mobile banking app</a> to interact with their bank for tasks such as depositing or sending checks, checking their balance, and paying bills.</p> <p>&quot;This seems like somewhat of a no-brainer, but the power of convenience and control often goes overlooked,&quot; writes creative media agency Brokaw. &quot;Within mobile interactions, there are multiple avenues in which banks can increase their influence and exposure, including text messages and push notifications. Take FirstMerit Bank's text banking and alerts, for example: It allows their customers to request activity alerts for different aspects of their account right from their phone.&quot;</p> <p>Legit, though &mdash; mobile depositing is one of the best inventions of the 21st century. I will stand by that until my retinas are replaced with laser scanners that do all my banking for me. Which is totally gonna happen, ya know.</p> <h2>4. The Monetization of Ideas</h2> <p>Think you need to push product to turn a profit? Old school. Millennials' intellectual property is their bread and butter &mdash; and they're fiercely protective of it.</p> <p>&quot;The increasing monetization of ideas is one trend Millennials are driving, which doesn't look to be slowing down anytime soon.&quot; explains Monica Mizzi, editor of LegalTemplates.net, a website that equips people with the tools to be their own legal advocates. &quot;The boom in startup culture can be largely attributed to the throng of Millennials who are taking the plunge to make their 'one in a million' idea come to life.&quot;</p> <p>Successive studies highlight that a growing number of Millennials are bucking the trend of traditional employment to try their hand at entrepreneurship. With this has come an increasing interest in using nondisclosure agreements to protect their business ideas.</p> <p>&quot;While using an NDA to protect business ideas is not a novel concept, growing market competition has led Millennials to become more proactive in legally protecting their ideas &mdash; even before they have come to fruition,&quot; Mizzi continues. &quot;It's not uncommon to hear reports of big companies pinching ideas or being 'inspired' by their competitors' ideas, so Millennials wanting to become entrepreneurs are more conscious of ensuring their ideas are never compromised.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Instant Financial Transactions Are Becoming More Common</h2> <p>When do Millennials want their money? Now!</p> <p>Domestic instant transaction service has become commonplace for this demographic &mdash; I get paid instantly via Venmo when I deposit money from my Lyft earnings (like a boss!) &mdash; and its expansion to international exchanges is inevitable. The problem is, sending money internationally is a bit trickier with more complex compliance and regulations needs. But at least one service right now, <a href="https://www.remitly.com/us/en/">Remitly</a>, has built compliance and regulation rules into their app making it possible to meet Millennials' need for speed and convenience.</p> <h2>6. Digital Currency Has Real Value</h2> <p>Digital, or cryptocurrency as it's formally known, went mainstream with the runaway success of Bitcoin &mdash; a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions and to control the creation of additional units of the currency (as explained by Wikipedia). In layman's terms, it's cyber money that you can spend wherever cyber money is accepted, which is a real thing in this day and age.</p> <p>But Bitcoin isn't the be-all or end-all of digital currency. Imitators have popped up, relevant in their own rights. Using a digital currency called Steem, for example, users of brand-new social network<a href="http://www.steemit.com"> Steemit</a> (which looks a lot like Reddit) get paid for posting and curating content. And it's become wildly popular. After launching this past May, Steemit (which has a 26-year-old CEO) already has nearly 120,000 registered users and posts nearly 1,000,000 unique visitors per month. They've also paid out more than <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/can-this-social-media-site-make-you-rich-w449566">$4,000,000 in rewards</a> to users to date.</p> <p>While digital currency is still in its infancy despite these successes, you can expect to see more and more of it infiltrating sectors of industry. Will it ever replace cash or credit? Probably not. But it's certainly an interesting concept as a new form of legitimate currency as we've move forward with Millennials at the helm.</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/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far">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-8"> <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/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th">It&#039;s the 21st Century — Why Is Your Money Stuck in the 20th?</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-ways-meditation-can-make-you-a-money-master">6 Ways Meditation Can Make You a Money Master</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/the-5-millennial-money-apps-everyone-should-use">The 5 Millennial Money Apps Everyone Should Use</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/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know About 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 apps cash back coupons digital currency entrepreneurship investing millennials online banking Fri, 02 Dec 2016 11:00:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1844380 at http://www.wisebread.com Earn More Interest by Reducing Savings Friction http://www.wisebread.com/earn-more-interest-by-reducing-savings-friction <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/earn-more-interest-by-reducing-savings-friction" 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_phone_513937132.jpg" alt="Woman earning more interest by reducing savings friction" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Friction is the small resistance that stands between you and a transaction. Think of the way your favorite e-tailers remember your credit card information, saving you the hassle of having to get up, find your wallet, and type in your information. Those e-tailers are reducing the friction of your purchase, making it that much more likely for you to buy.</p> <h2>Transaction Costs</h2> <p>We've talked before about how friction is another term for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-more-and-spend-less-by-increasing-your-mental-transaction-costs">mental transaction costs</a>. These are the nonfinancial costs associated with making a purchase or transferring money to a savings account. There are several types of transaction costs that increase friction, but the two that are most likely to affect your ability to save money and control your spending are time costs, and search and information costs.</p> <h3>Time Costs</h3> <p>Any time you have abandoned a purchase in the store because the checkout line was too long and you were unwilling to wait for the slow-as-molasses staff to help you, then you have felt the impact of <em>time costs</em>. Time costs can keep you from saving money because you are unwilling to put in the time to manually transfer the funds.</p> <h3>Search and Information Costs</h3> <p><em>Search and information costs</em>are the work you do to figure out the best course of action for your money. If you have to think about what kind of savings product to use or how much money to transfer to savings, then you are less likely to actually save the money.</p> <p>Friction can help or hurt your bottom line, depending on what type of transaction is affected by it. In general, you want to reduce the friction you feel when you save money, and increase the friction you feel when you spend it. Read on to find ways to use friction to your advantage to increase your savings and reduce your spending.</p> <h2>1. Automate Your Savings</h2> <p>The ultimate way to reduce friction when you save money is to make it automatic. Setting up an automatic transfer from your paycheck into your savings account means that you don't have to think about putting the money aside, find the time to set up the transfer, or agonize about the amount to save. It's a seamless transfer of your money to savings.</p> <h2>2. Move Your Savings Account to Another Bank</h2> <p>For some savers, putting money aside is no problem. The issue is that it's far too easy to access that money. Increase the friction involved in accessing the money in your savings account by opening an account with another bank &mdash; preferably one with no branches near you. Generally, it will take a couple of days for a fund transfer between banks, whereas a transfer within a bank is instantaneous. The time cost of waiting for your savings to transfer from the inconveniently located bank to your checking account will be enough friction to keep you from raiding your savings.</p> <h2>3. Have Your Paycheck Deposited Into Your Savings Account</h2> <p>Many prolific savers put their pay directly into their savings account and then transfer the amount they need for monthly bills into checking. This harnesses both the reduction in savings friction, and the increase in spending friction. Since the money is already deposited into your savings account, there is no friction on that portion of the transaction. Placing the friction on the transfer-to-checking side of the equation allows you to keep more money in savings and lessen the chances that you will spend your money mindlessly.</p> <h2>4. Use an Automatic Savings App to Round Up Your Purchases</h2> <p>Starting with Bank of America's Keep the Change program, which launched back in 2005, technology has been working hard to remove the friction from your savings habit by making it automatic. There are now a slew of different automatic savings apps that do everything from rounding up your purchases and placing the excess into savings (Bank of America's <a href="https://www.bankofamerica.com/deposits/manage/keep-the-change.go">Keep the Change</a> and <a href="https://www.acorns.com/">Acorns</a>), to analyzing your cash flow to determine an amount that's safe to transfer to savings (<a href="https://digit.co/">Digit</a>), to letting you know the amount of money that is still safe to spend in your account (<a href="https://www.getpennies.com/">Pennies</a> and <a href="https://www.levelmoney.com/">Level</a>).</p> <h2>5. Bill Yourself for Savings</h2> <p>If you already have a solid bill-paying routine in place, add one more obligation to your list: yourself. Making &quot;savings&quot; a bill can actually reduce your savings friction because you will complete the action while you are already paying all your other bills. Set up a bill reminder to transfer money to savings on the same day you pay your other regular bills. It will be surprisingly easy to pay yourself if you treat it like a bill.</p> <h2>6. Continue Making Payments on Your Paid Off Loans</h2> <p>Once you have finally sent your lender the last payment for your car loan, your student loan, or your credit card balance, it may be tempting to just enjoy the extra money each month. But a savvier plan would be to continue paying that amount to yourself. As you come to the end of your loan, set up an automatic transfer of the payment amount into your savings account on the same day of the month you paid your loan. That will reduce the friction of saving the amount, because you will not even notice a difference in your monthly spending.</p> <h2>Harnessing Friction for the Win</h2> <p>It is truly amazing how unmotivated we all can be in the face of transaction friction. Increasing your savings and reducing your spending is just a matter of strategically tweaking the friction you will feel when you save or spend money.</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/earn-more-interest-by-reducing-savings-friction">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/my-2016-budget-challenge-what-to-do-with-a-totaled-car">My 2016 Budget Challenge: What to Do With a Totaled Car</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/7-surprising-ways-summer-will-cost-you">7 Surprising Ways Summer Will Cost You</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/these-5-money-saving-hacks-are-a-huge-waste-of-time">These 5 Money-Saving Hacks Are a Huge Waste of Time</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-things-you-need-to-know-about-prescription-drug-coupons">7 Things You Need to Know About Prescription Drug Coupons</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/15-ways-to-save-money-when-getting-your-drink-on">15 Ways to Save Money When Getting Your Drink On</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living apps automating savings friction loans saving money search and information costs time costs Mon, 28 Nov 2016 11:00:09 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1839211 at http://www.wisebread.com The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy_bank_christmas_50816262.jpg" alt="Following a simple holiday budget anyone can follow" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Promised yourself that you'd finally make a solid budgeting plan this holiday season &mdash; and stick to it? We've got your covered with these simple steps anyone can follow to stay in the black when the red and green take over.</p> <h2>1. Set Aside Only the Amount You Can Afford</h2> <p>So many people start the New Year in debt solely because of overspending during the holidays. You don't want that burden on your back. Rather, when planning your budget, allot only an amount you can actually afford, preferably in cash already saved, to the gifts you'd like to buy.</p> <p>&quot;Do not go into debt with holiday spending,&quot; warns consumer expert Kevin Gallegos. &quot;Making that commitment means changing your mindset. It may be telling yourself that giving people what they think they deserve is a mistake. You'll also want to avoid the trap of feeling you must give a gift equal to what someone gave you last year, or creating a perfect ski slope of presents under the tree. Chances are that your family and friends really don't want you to suffer financially in order to give them bigger gifts.&quot;</p> <p>It also stands to reason that they may not have returned the gesture in kind, either. So there's that.</p> <h2>2. Set Limits for Total Holiday Spending</h2> <p>Before you ever leave the house &mdash; or turn on the computer to shop online &mdash; you should establish how much you plan to spend this season and perhaps even on each person on your list. Having a specific number in mind will not only provide a guide as to what your limit is, but it will also help you choose the perfect gift for everyone based on how much money you've assigned to them.</p> <p>Alexis Nido-Russo is the owner of Chicago-based online jewelry store Local Eclectic, and she offers a very specific way on how to break down your holiday budget.</p> <p>&quot;Determine what your total budget for the holidays is, then map out who you have to buy for and assign percentages to each person or category,&quot; she says.</p> <p>For example, if there are six people on your list and your total budget is $1,000, perhaps your percentage breakdown looks something like this:</p> <ul> <li>Husband: 20% or $200</li> <li>Daughter: 30% or $300</li> <li>Mother: 15% or $150</li> <li>Sister: 15% or $150</li> <li>Mother-in-law: 10% or $100</li> <li>Best Friend: 10% or $100</li> </ul> <p>Of course, your specific budget and who appears on the list will vary. You also can shift numbers around if you find the right gift at a lower cost, or you can send that money back to your savings account where it'll better serve you. Also remember to factor in ancillary holiday expenses too, which can absolutely decimate your budget if you're not careful; things like holiday cards and postage, teacher gifts, travel costs, and food and drinks for entertaining.</p> <h2>3. Gather Your Coupons and Discounts</h2> <p>Go through your favorite circulars, emails, and apps to scrounge up all the deals and savings you can &mdash; then start to map out a plan of attack. For example, I'm on the email lists of many of my favorite retailers who send me a seemingly never-ending stream of promotional messages throughout the year, but especially around holiday time. (I recommend <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-email-trick-will-save-you-big-on-shopping">creating a dummy email account</a> for this to preserve your sanity, by the way.) Because I'm privy to insider information, I try to schedule my shopping around their biggest sales and pair them with additional saving that I may have from mailers, previous shopping trips, or in my text messages &mdash; all of which are excellent ways to receive additional discounts.</p> <h2>4. Make Cuts to Your Gift-Giving List</h2> <p>In a perfect world, we'd buy presents for everyone we know during the holidays &mdash; but that's just not feasible. So instead of trying to sneak everyone in because you feel obligated to purchase something, stick to those closest to you.</p> <p>&quot;If your shopping list includes more than five people outside of your immediate family, cut down on the number of people on your gift list,&quot; suggests Rachel Namoff, managing partner of Denver-based asset management firm Arapaho Asset Management. &quot;Then, make a homemade gift, like cookies, to give to all the people you snipped from your original gift list. Ensure you spread the holiday cheer without looking like a Scrooge while enjoying a fun activity with the family.&quot;</p> <p>If you still feel like you may be blindsided by a rogue gift for which you have a return gift, there are a few things you can do:</p> <ul> <li>Update your status on social media that details your holiday shopping plan and who's on the list. Remember, there's no shame in being on a budget, especially if money is already tight.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Contact people directly and let them know that you won't be able to exchange this year if gift giving to one another was established in the past.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Keep your unwanted gifts in storage to have at the ready so you can provide something in return if you feel so obligated.</li> </ul> <h2>5. Enlist the Help of Budgeting Apps</h2> <p>If you're not particularly financial or budget savvy, you can find help online. In fact, there are plenty of mobile apps that'll keep your holiday budget just a few taps of the finger away so you can access it while in real time while you're shopping. Gallegos recommends apps from Mint or Quicken to simplify the process, but there are plenty of others available &mdash; and we've <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sites-and-apps-to-help-you-track-your-spending-and-stick-to-your-budget">detailed them in abundance here on Wise Bread</a> &mdash; that will track your spending down to the cent.</p> <h2>6. Thoughtful Homemade Gifts Are Cherished and Inexpensive</h2> <p>Namoff suggested baking cookies for those you're trimming from your main list this year, but there's no reason you can't extend this homemade concept to the more important people in your life. I'm admittedly materialistic &mdash; I love my stuff &mdash; but I'm not devoid of sentiment, thus I prefer thoughtful, handmade items over anything store-bought because I know what kind of time and effort goes into a gift like that. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-now-you-can-make-these-23-delicious-holiday-gifts?ref=seealso">You Can Make These 23 Delicious Holiday Gifts</a>)</p> <p>Another argument for going this route is that most people in your life rarely need anything that they don't already buy themselves. Personally, if I want something, I save for it and buy it; I don't wait to pawn it off on someone else at Christmas. Certainly I have provided a list of items to my family in the past, but those are merely suggestions and nothing that I need. What I need to know is that you care, and the best way to do that is to sit down and think about how to put a smile on my face at holiday time, and you'll get that reaction from me if you spent more time than money on my gift.</p> <h2>7. Stop Waiting Until the Last Minute to Do Your Shopping</h2> <p>They say the early bird gets the worm, and that's completely true at holiday time. While there are plenty of arguments on why Black Friday isn't necessarily the day you'll get the best deals &mdash; there are amazing offers all times of year and even between Thanksgiving and Christmas &mdash; but you will absolutely do yourself a disservice by waiting until Christmas Eve to buy presents.</p> <p>For starters, by then the pickins will be slim, and you're probably going to disappoint your loved ones with your laziness. Secondly, if you're an online shopper, you will often spend an incredible amount of money on shipping charges the last couple days before the big day, and even then you're not guaranteed that it'll arrive on time in some cases. Save yourself the headache, heartbreak, and surcharges by scheduling your shopping at least a couple weeks before the holiday.</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/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">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-9"> <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/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts">Here&#039;s How to Monetize Your Unwanted Gifts</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-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">Save on Christmas Shopping With This Clever Gift Card Strategy</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/avoid-these-5-common-holiday-budget-pitfalls">Avoid These 5 Common Holiday Budget Pitfalls</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/13-holiday-season-costs-everyone-always-forgets-about">13 Holiday-Season Costs Everyone Always Forgets About</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-easy-ways-to-use-technology-to-save-on-christmas-shopping">6 Easy Ways to Use Technology to Save on Christmas Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping apps Christmas coupons discounts gifts Holidays homemade gifts presents saving shopping lists Mon, 21 Nov 2016 11:31:03 +0000 Mikey Rox 1815065 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Money Moves You Can Make While Stuck in an Endless TSA Line http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-you-can-make-while-stuck-in-an-endless-tsa-line <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-money-moves-you-can-make-while-stuck-in-an-endless-tsa-line" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_tsa_line_20741660.jpg" alt="Man making money moves in endless TSA line" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>At the airport closest to me, the TSA lines are legendary, especially during the holiday season. Last year, they were telling people to give themselves <em>an extra hour</em> before their flight, just to make sure they got through security on time. That's an extra hour on top of the usual hour or two recommended!</p> <p>I don't know about you, but I dread long lines. I spend the entire time thinking about what else I could be doing. Over the years, though, I've come up with ways to use my &quot;line time&quot; well. Here are a few things you can do to improve your financial life while waiting for TSA to get on the ball.</p> <h2>1. Start Using Mint</h2> <p><a href="http://mint.com">Mint</a> is a great way to track your finances. You sign up for an account, connect all of your bank, investment, and debt accounts, and it quietly tracks your overall financial situation. It allows you to look at spending, debt, and net worth automatically and with ease.</p> <p>This is a great thing to do if you're not really tracking your finances right now, or if you don't have a handle on your overall financial situation. Starting with the big picture is almost always a good idea, so that you know what is good and what is bad, right from the start.</p> <h2>2. Sign Up for Digit</h2> <p><a href="http://digit.co">Digit</a> is an online service that saves money for you. You connect the app to a bank account, and they track your spending. Based on what they find, they schedule automatic withdrawals to another account. They don't say much about their analysis algorithm, but people (myself included) claim that they don't notice or need the money that Digit removes from their accounts.</p> <p>If you're already saving, you probably don't need this tool. But if you forget to pay yourself first, this can be a great way to save without really thinking about it. And it's fun to watch your savings build up over time!</p> <h2>3. Check Your Credit</h2> <p>If you haven't looked at your free credit report in the last 12 months, you should. <a href="http://annualcreditreport.com">AnnualCreditReport.com</a> is the place to start. From there, you can enter identification information and view a report from each of the three credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Check for incorrect information or credit cards/lines of credit that may have been opened fraudulently.</p> <p>Do make sure that you have a secure Internet connection before you start sharing sensitive personal information. If you aren't sure, add this to your To Do list and work on something else while you're in line.</p> <h2>4. Set a Financial Goal</h2> <p>What would you like your money to do for you? Do you want to travel? Maybe you need to buy a new car. Think about your wants and needs, and choose one or two financial goals for the next few months. Having a goal will help you focus, and it will make you more likely to do things like curb spending or follow through on a savings plan.</p> <p>Don't set too many goals, though. Picking one or two things to save for &mdash; maybe one practical thing and one that's fun &mdash; will give you plenty of motivation without the stress of feeling like your money has to go in too many different directions.</p> <h2>5. Choose a Charity</h2> <p>If you're like me, giving often falls by the wayside. It's not that I don't want to do it, but that I want to be responsible with it. If you want to make sure that any charity that gets your money is actually using it for their stated purposes, do your research while you stand in line.</p> <p>Start by going to your intended charity's website. Most of them will offer some sort of fiscal documentation. If you want to give to a smaller charity, you may need to give them a call and ask for it, instead.</p> <p>If you don't even know where to start giving, start with a simple Google search. Pick an issue that is important to you, and look for charities that target it. You can even limit your search to charities in your local area, if you're interested in volunteering or getting more involved.</p> <h2>6. Check Your Bills</h2> <p>Not sure how long you'll be in line? Pull up your latest credit card bills and glance through them. Make sure that you recognize all the charges and that, to the best of your knowledge, they are for the right amount. Many people find mistakes on their credit card bills, and you can always contact the company to have them fixed. That usually means more money in your pocket.</p> <p>If you don't recognize a charge but you aren't sure, flag it for later, when you can go through your receipts and figure out if it's correct. If you find something very concerning, call your credit company from the line. The sooner you can get in touch with them, the sooner you'll have your money back where it belongs.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-money-moves-you-can-make-while-stuck-in-an-endless-tsa-line&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%20Money%20Moves%20You%20Can%20Make%20While%20Stuck%20in%20an%20Endless%20TSA%20Line.jpg&amp;description=6%20Money%20Moves%20You%20Can%20Make%20While%20Stuck%20in%20an%20Endless%20TSA%20Line" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Money%20Moves%20You%20Can%20Make%20While%20Stuck%20in%20an%20Endless%20TSA%20Line.jpg" alt="6 Money Moves You Can Make While Stuck in an Endless TSA Line" 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/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-you-can-make-while-stuck-in-an-endless-tsa-line">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/5-smart-travel-hacks-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Smart Travel Hacks Only Frequent Flyers Know</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/7-apps-that-monitor-your-credit-for-you">7 Apps That Monitor Your Credit for You</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/10-money-moments-that-are-awkward-for-everyone">10 Money Moments That Are Awkward for Everyone</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/13-financial-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season">13 Financial Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday Season</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-ways-you-disrespect-your-money">10 Ways You Disrespect Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Travel airports apps bills budgeting charity credit report digit free time mint money moves security tsa waiting in line Thu, 10 Nov 2016 10:30:29 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1830272 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Best Tools for Finding an Apartment on the Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/10-best-tools-for-finding-an-apartment-on-the-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-best-tools-for-finding-an-apartment-on-the-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_laptop_boxes_11897386.jpg" alt="Woman using best tools for finding an apartment on the cheap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Depending on where you live, finding a new apartment can be tough &hellip; or downright overwhelming. Seinfeld once joked that in New York, the obituaries section should be coupled with the property section in a newspaper, because that's pretty much the only way to find a decent place.</p> <p>But wherever you live, you are going to need help, especially if it's a completely unknown area. What is the neighborhood like? How are the schools? Is the crime rate high? Is the rent too high? The following tools will help you get your foot in the door.</p> <h2>1. Craigslist</h2> <p>Do not underestimate the power of Craigslist. Started in 1996 by Craig Newmark, it was originally servicing only the San Francisco Bay Area. Now, it's global, and the &quot;Housing&quot; section still remains free for people to post and respond to listings. There are many subsections, including real estate for sale, vacation rentals, and even office/commercial storage. However, you will want to look into the following categories:</p> <ul> <li>Apt/housing</li> <li>Housing swap</li> <li>Rooms/shared</li> <li>Sublets/Temporary</li> </ul> <p>Once you get into any of those sections, you can narrow down your search with a great list of tools. From basic parameters like price, bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage, to more niche requirements like &quot;X miles from zip,&quot; wheelchair access, and animals, you can quickly find just the place you're looking for. It is by far the most convenient free tool out there.</p> <h2>2. Apartment Finder</h2> <p>Long before the Internet was the go-to place for, well, everything, &quot;<a href="http://www.apartmentfinder.com/">Apartment Finder</a>&quot; magazine was the essential tool for finding your next abode. Started in 1981, it has won numerous industry awards and is now available in several formats, including the traditional magazine, the website, and the app. It also part of a network that includes Apartments.com, ApartmentHomeLiving, Move, and Doorsteps.</p> <p>As it is a service focused on renting apartments, there are more slick tools here to help. You'll be able to explore the spaces using a 360-degree camera, and you'll get virtual walk-throughs, floor plans, a veritable smorgasbord of photos, and a lot of detailed information. The only downside is that you will not usually find properties from people just looking to rent out their homes. It costs money to advertise on this site, and that means it's populated by large apartment complexes. But if that's what you're looking for, and you need the extra security and benefits of a managed property with a pool and a gymnasium, this is just what you need.</p> <h2>3. Zillow</h2> <p>When <a href="http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_rent/">Zillow</a> first came onto the scene, it was primarily used as a tool to estimate your home's value (and real estate agents <em>hated </em>it because the information was always very hit or miss). Now, Zillow has become an excellent free resource for the apartment hunter. Not only does it have all the tools you'd expect to narrow down your search, but it offers advice on renting and house hunting, as well as important neighborhood information (essential if you know nothing about an area you're moving into), including school ratings. Again, it costs to list a rental property on this kind of site, so don't expect to find little hidden gems being offered by someone who has a second home.</p> <h2>4. Rentometer</h2> <p>Although it won't help you find the specific place you want to live in, it will help you research what you should (and should not) be paying for rent at any of the apartments you're checking out. If you find the home of your dreams, but aren't sure if the price is sky high, <a href="https://www.rentometer.com/">Rentometer</a> will give you a temperature check of the area. You'll see the average and median prices, and also which percentile the apartment you're looking at falls in. At the very least, you want &quot;reasonable&quot; rent. Low is great. If you're in the red zone, negotiate or move on.</p> <h2>5. The Library</h2> <p>So your local library is not an app or a website, obviously, but it is filled with resources that can help anyone find their perfect apartment. It's a shame that more people don't take full advantage of the library; after all, we all pay for libraries with our taxes. Libraries have computers to access the many online tools listed in this article. They also have copies of a plethora of local and national newspapers, which contain classified ads for apartments and homes. If you find yourself in need of a place that contains many tools under one roof, the library is hard to beat.</p> <h2>6. HotPads</h2> <p>If you're looking for a tool that combines the great functionality of sites like Apartment Finder and Zillow, but also has the variety of smaller rentals offered by Craigslist, the <a href="https://hotpads.com">HotPads</a> is definitely for you. It has listings for most major cities in the U.S., and gives you a great set of criteria to help you get a list of excellent matches. Features like the &quot;walk score&quot; and neighborhood information, coupled with &quot;hot listings&quot; that show you which apartments are getting the most attention make HotPads one of the best tools for anyone looking to rent in a well-populated location.</p> <h2>7. Rent.com</h2> <p>Just like HotPads, <a href="http://www.rent.com/">Rent.com</a> gives you great choice. You can find landlords who are renting out just one or two properties, or giant apartment complexes with hundreds of units in one place. You can sort by best match, price, rating, or alphabetically, and when you narrow it down to a few properties, you can check the availability and book a tour. Definitely sort by ratings, because some of apartments have quite a few skeletons in the closet.</p> <h2>8. PadMapper</h2> <p>If you want to imagine what an apartment hunting app crossed with a mapping tool would look like, check out <a href="https://www.padmapper.com">PadMapper</a>. From the get go, you are greeted with a map of the area you want to look at, which is immediately populated by all the available rentals. It's somewhat overwhelming at first, but by using the tools provided, you can quickly take pins off the map until you get it down to some manageable choices. Save your favorites, check out floor plans and photos, and indicate your interest in the property. One downside &mdash; it appears to only list apartments in large complexes.</p> <h2>9. Lovely</h2> <p>Great name. Great site. <a href="https://livelovely.com">Lovely</a> is known as being exceptionally easy to use, simple, and direct. And it really is a soup-to-nuts kind of setup. With Lovely, you cannot only find your ideal apartment from a vast array on the market, but also submit an application through the site. Plus, you can even pay your rent through the site itself! Of course, anything that sounds too good to be true often has a downside. With Lovely, it's scope. Right now, you're limited to the Midwest and the coasts, but as word spreads, so will the range of the site.</p> <h2>10. Zumper</h2> <p>What does the name mean? Who knows. But the site (and app) look great, are easy to use, and have a wealth of information. The first question you'll be asked is where you want to move. Type in the area, and you'll get an overview of the town or city, including any annual festivities or notable attractions. You can search on a map, or by the usual parameters (bedrooms, price, amenities, and so on). One excellent feature of <a href="https://www.zumper.com">Zumper</a> is the way it seamlessly integrates with Experian, allowing you to safely and securely submit your credit report along with your application. Highly recommended.</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-best-tools-for-finding-an-apartment-on-the-cheap">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-8"> <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/6-ways-to-apartment-hunt-on-craigslist-without-getting-scammed">6 Ways to Apartment Hunt on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed</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/9-common-apartment-hunting-mistakes-to-avoid">9 Common Apartment Hunting Mistakes 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/dont-forget-to-budget-for-these-unexpected-moving-expenses">Don&#039;t Forget to Budget for These Unexpected Moving Expenses</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-questions-to-ask-before-signing-a-lease">10 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Lease</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/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing Technology apartment finder apartments apps craigslist moving renting websites Zillow Fri, 21 Oct 2016 09:30:30 +0000 Paul Michael 1816944 at http://www.wisebread.com Take Control With These Easy 5-Minute Money Fixes http://www.wisebread.com/take-control-with-these-easy-5-minute-money-fixes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/take-control-with-these-easy-5-minute-money-fixes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_list_happy_61309776.jpg" alt="Woman making easy 5-minute money fixes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting your finances in order sounds like an uphill battle &mdash; one that'll take a lot of time. It's true, your financial situation typically won't turn around overnight, but there are things you can do everyday &mdash; in five minutes or so &mdash; that will put you on the right path. Take a look.</p> <h2>1. Plan Out Your Meals for the Week</h2> <p>One major time and money saver for me is planning out meals for the week. I usually sit down on Sunday afternoons and decide what I'd like to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that week. It doesn't take long since I have a fairly limited palette. When I'm done, I visit the supermarket to purchase the groceries I'll need for the meals. This helps me stay healthy, for sure, but it also virtually eliminates the urge to eat out, thereby saving me a significant amount of money on gas, restaurant food, tips, and taxes.</p> <h2>2. Get Your Morning Coffee Fix at Home</h2> <p>I'm sure you've heard from various budgeting experts that you should make your coffee at home instead of hitting up a Starbucks every morning. Many people lament that it's just not the same as the coffee prepared by a barista. Granted &mdash; but you can jazz up your java in your own kitchen, nonetheless.</p> <p>&quot;Investing in a cappuccino machine may cost a bit up front, but the savings add up quickly in terms of money and time spent waiting in line or in the drive-thru,&quot; suggests financial adviser Tammy Johnston.</p> <h2>3. Keep a Running Grocery List</h2> <p>Going to the supermarket without a list is certain disaster &mdash; especially if you're hungry. Cut down on impulse buys by keeping a running list (I keep mine in the Notes section of my phone) so you can add to it whenever you recognize you need something. You'll be amazed at how much you'll save on each shopping trip if you have direction as you navigate those colorful aisles of everything delicious.</p> <h2>4. Practice Meditation to Reduce Stress</h2> <p>&quot;Stressing about money hurts your ability to make good decisions, which can lead to more money issues,&quot; says Ellen Rogin, a CPA and personal financial adviser. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meditation-can-make-you-a-money-master?ref=seealso">6 Ways Meditation Can Make You a Money Master</a>)</p> <p>She's correct.</p> <p>Research shows that meditation can help you in <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-05-28/to-make-killing-on-wall-street-start-meditating">volatile financial situations</a>, like when your investments are at risk.</p> <p>&quot;Think about it: When you're freaked out about money, what kinds of decisions do you make? Good ones?&quot; she asks. &quot;No. Stress is why people sell low and buy high. Meditating just a few minutes a day can help you think more clearly and help you make better decisions.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Download a Financial App</h2> <p>If you find it difficult to keep your monthly budget from going off the rails, let alone minding your overall financial picture, you may find at least a little help from technology, like a financial app.</p> <p>&quot;People who downloaded financial apps checked their accounts an average of 12 times per month and saw their spending decrease by 15% after four months of using the app, with grocery spending and discretionary purchases seeing the biggest reductions,&quot; says money-saving expert Kendal Perez.</p> <p>As a general life rule, I check into my bank accounts when I wake up every morning &mdash; I'd like to know right away if I was robbed blind in the middle of the night &mdash; and it's a habit I suggest you adopt.</p> <p>In terms of the financial apps, I personally recommend Mint and Level Money as good places to start. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money?ref=seealso">These 5 Apps Will Help You Finally Organize Your Money</a>)</p> <h2>6. Review Your Finances Once a Week</h2> <p>Why should you review your finances once a week? Because spending can get out of hand quickly, throwing your entire budget into chaos. I've seen it happen too many times: People neglect their finances altogether because they've let them get so messed up that they don't want to deal with it anymore. It's one of the worst practices there is, but you can avoid it by giving just a few minutes' time to your finances each week.</p> <p>&quot;Balance your checkbook, review your credit card and bank statements, and pay your bills,&quot; Johnston advises. &quot;When it becomes a scheduled, weekly habit, it literally only takes a few minutes. You'll know where you stand so you catch any mistakes or red flags immediately, and you save on late fees because everything is looked after promptly.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Actively Look for Savings</h2> <p>If I'm buying anything, I'm looking for a deal. Aaaanything. I look for deals before I go out to eat, plan an activity, purchase clothing, fill up my tank, buy groceries &mdash; you get the picture. You also should be doing this without question, especially if you're finding it difficult to add to your savings consistently.</p> <p>&quot;Take a few minutes to look for savings on a purchase, whether it's tonight's takeout or an oil change for your car,&quot; Perez urges. &quot;Oftentimes you can find coupons or discounts on company websites or company social media pages, or you can download an app like <a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/">Coupon Sherpa</a>. For example, you can currently save <a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/jiffy-lube/">$5 on an oil change</a> from Jiffy Lube or <a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/smashburger">buy one, get one free entrees</a> from Smashburger.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Increase Your Savings in Small Increments</h2> <p>Many people fail at saving because they're thinking too big. You convince yourself that you'd like to put XXX amount of dollars in the bank, and you don't put in a single penny until you've reached that milestone. The problem with this mentality is that you can very well get derailed along the way, prolonging your goal deposit, ultimately cheating yourself out of savings in smaller, more realistic increments.</p> <p>Rogin provides a few tips on how more focused savings can turn into something substantial.</p> <p>&quot;Set up an automatic savings system, so you have money come directly from your paycheck to your bank each paycheck,&quot; she suggests. &quot;And if you work at a company with a retirement plan, make sure you have money coming out of your paychecks going into this plan. An added bonus &mdash; you automatically spend less than you earn and that is one of the most important thing you can do to fix your finances.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Look Up a New Financial Word Every Day</h2> <p>I absolutely love this tip from Johnston, mostly because in all my years of writing on personal finance topics, this is the first time I'm hearing it. Ready?</p> <p>&quot;Get a financial dictionary and learn a new word every day,&quot; she says. &quot;Knowledge is power and when you understand the language of money you make much better decisions.&quot;</p> <p>Did your head just explode a little bit? Because mine did. We can all learn more about how to better serve ourselves financially if we have a better grasp of what &quot;finance&quot; actually means, and a good place to start is with vocabulary. Genius.</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/take-control-with-these-easy-5-minute-money-fixes">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/6-money-moves-you-can-make-while-stuck-in-an-endless-tsa-line">6 Money Moves You Can Make While Stuck in an Endless TSA Line</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/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick</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/the-9-people-in-your-life-who-are-keeping-you-poor">The 9 People in Your Life Who Are Keeping You Poor</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-apple-watch-apps-thatll-save-you-money">8 Apple Watch Apps That&#039;ll Save 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/7-ways-auto-payments-can-screw-you">7 Ways Auto-Payments Can Screw You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance apps banking budgeting daily habits financial fix five minutes grocery lists lifestyle meal planning Mon, 10 Oct 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1808268 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Highly Effective Ways to Save Without Clipping a Coupon http://www.wisebread.com/6-highly-effective-ways-to-save-without-clipping-a-coupon <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-highly-effective-ways-to-save-without-clipping-a-coupon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_using_phone_52920552.jpg" alt="Woman saving money without clipping coupons" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Let's face it, clipping coupons can be a very time consuming activity &mdash; and it's definitely not for everyone. In terms of savings, the time spent finding, cutting, and organizing coupons is not always worth it. It's with this in mind that I've come up with some easy ways to save significant money that don't require a coupon. So put down the scissors, walk away from the Sunday paper, and save money with these insider tips instead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-online-retailers-who-let-you-stack-coupons?ref=seealso">9 Retailers That Let You Stack Coupons</a>)</p> <h2>1. Shop on the Right Day of the Week</h2> <p>Were you aware that many popular retailers have specific days of the week where they do all of their internal store markdowns? Shop right afterward, and you'll have first dibs on new clearance items, no coupon required. For example, save money on clearance clothing when they actually have your size or color of choice in-stock. Here are a few markdown days to keep in mind so you can shop and save accordingly:</p> <ul> <li>Kohl's: I had an employee tell me to shop on the second and fourth Saturday of every month. She said those are the two days when you'll find the freshest markdowns.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Macy's: I was told by an anonymous employee that they start their markdowns on Sundays and wrap things up by Tuesday morning. Shop on Tuesday afternoon and get first dibs on new markdowns.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Old Navy: The day to shop at Old Navy is Wednesday. Try it and you'll often find the clearance section stocked with new clothing as well as clearance stuff that has been marked down even further.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Ross Dress for Less: If you're a big Ross shopper like myself, you'll want to check out their inventory starting on a Monday. I was told by an employee, who heads up her store's clearance department, that Monday is the only day they do their markdowns.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>JCPenney: If you can shop at JCPenney on the first and third Friday of every month, you'll find a plethora of new clearance deals to pick from.</li> </ul> <h2>2. Always Use a Cash Back Site</h2> <p>If you're shopping online and not doing it through a reputable&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">cash back website</a>, you're clearly leaving money on the table. In recent years, cash back sites have had the reputation of being more hassle than they're worth. After all, who has time to jump through a bunch of hoops to save a measly 50 cents? Those days are officially gone. Popular sites like Ebates, TopCashback, and BeFrugal have made it incredibly easy to shop online and get significant money back on your purchases by utilizing mobile apps and browser add-ons or extensions.</p> <p>Also, the amount of money you get back has risen as well. A perfect example is TopCashback.com as they give back all of the commissions they receive from retailers to their users. So instead of splitting the 8% with their users, they're giving it all to them &mdash; and instead are making their money via advertising and charging retailers for premium placement on their website. Because of this generous business model, the cash back rates are definitely high enough to make it worth your while.</p> <h2>3. Subscribe and Save Programs</h2> <p>Subscribe and save programs are an oft forgotten way to save money on household items that you'll need on a recurring basis. No coupon clipping required. Think things like diapers, laundry detergent, dog food, paper products, and trash bags, to name a few. The two leading players are Amazon and Target and the savings their programs provide is substantial. Their pricing often beats that of warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam's Club. Perhaps the best feature is they both come with free delivery, which means no more roller carts full of dog food and toilet paper to try and squeeze into the minivan.</p> <h2>4. Wal-Mart Savings Catcher App</h2> <p>If the idea of clipping coupons for your next trip to Wal-Mart gives you the cold sweats, their <a href="http://savingscatcher.walmart.com/" target="_blank">Savings&nbsp;Catcher App</a> is definitely for you. All the app requires you to do is scan your Wal-Mart store receipt after each visit. No scissors required. Wal-Mart will then scour the prices and ads from local competitors and credit your account if they find a lower price on something you purchased. Think of it like an easy way to guarantee you get the lowest price in town on everything you buy.</p> <p>I've been using the app for close to a year and my balance is currently at $42.92. That's a pretty good return on probably 15 minutes of my time. Then when you want to cash out, you can either get a Wal-Mart gift card or redeem via Bluebird by American Express.</p> <h2>5. The Ibotta App</h2> <p>The popular <a href="http://ibotta.com/r/jcsgjbv" target="_blank">Ibotta's</a> tagline, &quot;Better Than Coupons,&quot; pretty much sums it up. Instead of clipping coupons, you redeem rebates on hundreds of grocery store items, most of which you'll be buying anyway, and get money back.</p> <p>What makes the app stand out from the competition are the rebates available for generic items bought at <em>any</em> store. Buy a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk from the local corner store, and you can redeem a rebate on each. Then team up with friends and family to start earning cool $5 teamwork bonuses every month and your account balance will really grow. Once your account reaches $20, you can cash out via PayPal, Venmo, or a slew of gift cards from popular retailers.</p> <h2>6. Take Advantage of Loyalty Programs</h2> <p>While loyalty programs often get a bad reputation as nothing more than a way for retailers to push advertising on you, they actually serve as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-store-loyalty-programs-that-are-worth-it">great way to save</a> if you do it right. The key is to only join the programs that'll give you rewards on purchases you'd be making anyway. Here are a few awesome free programs that jump to mind.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.cvs.com/extracare/landing.jsp">CVS ExtraCare</a>: You earn a flat 2% back in ExtraBucks from almost all your purchases. (Excludes alcohol, lottery, gift cards, postage stamps, fishing licenses, and the like.) In addition, once you fill 10 prescriptions you get $5 back in ExtraBucks.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://www.walgreens.com/balancerewards/balance-rewards.jsp">Walgreens Balance Rewards</a>: Earn 10 points for every dollar spent. Then once you reach 5,000, points you get a free $5 reward.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.homedepot.com/c/pro_xtra">HomeDepot Pro Xtra</a>: Home Depot's loyalty program is a no-brainer if you buy in large quantities. After joining, you start with $20 of your first $200+ purchase. Then you get access to additional savings after that, like 10% off your $2,000+ paint order.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.safeway.com/ShopStores/RewardPoints.page">Safeway RewardPoints</a>: Along with specific in-store reward deals, Safeway's program allows you to save significant money on your gasoline bill every year. When you spend up to $100 at Safeway, you get a $.10/gallon discount on Safeway gas. Spend $200, and they double it to $. 20 cents less per gallon.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-store-credit-card-target-redcard">Target REDcard</a>: The Target card works a little different from most as it connects to your checking account and works as a debit card. The strong benefits of 5% off every order, free shipping from Target.com, and 30 extra return days makes it a great option for loyal Target shoppers.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-highly-effective-ways-to-save-without-clipping-a-coupon">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/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</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-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</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/5-times-coupons-trick-you-into-spending-more-money">5 Times Coupons Trick You Into Spending More Money</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/5-things-millennials-can-learn-about-saving-money-from-gen-x">5 Things Millennials Can Learn About Saving Money From Gen-X</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-more-apps-that-pay-you-to-shop">6 More Apps That Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping apps cash back coupons insider secrets loyalty programs markdowns sales saving money stores Wed, 14 Sep 2016 10:30:11 +0000 Kyle James 1791538 at http://www.wisebread.com Health Risks and 5 Other Secrets Barcodes Can Tell You http://www.wisebread.com/health-risks-and-5-other-secrets-barcodes-can-tell-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/health-risks-and-5-other-secrets-barcodes-can-tell-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_23544435_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="scanning a barcode for information" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The humble barcode has been a <a href="http://www.barcode.ro/tutorials/barcodes/history.html">regular part of grocery store shopping since 1974</a>, with the first ever product being scanned on June 26th of that year. Since then, they have become almost invisible, with some <a href="http://www.demilked.com/cool-and-creative-bar-code-designs/">package designs finding ingenious ways</a> to hide or dress up their somewhat garish appearance.</p> <p>However, with smartphones and apps now becoming a part of our everyday lives, the importance of barcodes is changing. Now, instead of being something the store uses to track inventory, the code can be a great way to find out much more about the product itself. From secrets about the product's manufacturer, to allergy information and user reviews, here are six amazing things that barcodes can tell you.</p> <h2>1. What People Actually Think of the Product</h2> <p>Before you make a big purchasing decision, perhaps on a vacation, car, or TV, you research the reviews and see what people really think. When it comes to grocery items, however, most people don't have the time or energy to sit in front of a computer trawling the web for the latest consumer opinions on detergents or frozen foods. But now, if you have any doubts at all, you can scan the barcode of the product and find out what people really think of it.</p> <p>For example, apps like <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/openlabel/id585072021?mt=8">OpenLabel</a> and <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/purchx-reviews-product-barcode/id519874080?mt=8">Purchx</a> let you scan the label and read through reviews of the products you'll find in the typical grocery store aisles. A particularly interesting feature of OpenLabel is the ability to create an &quot;honest&quot; label for other people to read, highlighting things that you think other consumers should know. And Purchx has been called the &quot;Yelp for products,&quot; with a database of over 3 million products reviewed by consumers just like you. With a barcode and a scanning app, you can literally tap into a vast collective user base of no-holds-barred opinions.</p> <h2>2. Instant Price Comparisons Across Multiple Stores</h2> <p>One of the many issues facing customers these days is buyer's remorse, particularly upon finding out that another store has the exact same product for much less than you just paid. You can always try going back to the store for a price match, or returning the item and buying the lower-priced product later. But, that's all a lot of hassle.</p> <p>Instead, using the power of your smartphone and the net, you can scan barcodes and instantly see what the price is for this item at hundreds of different stores. Apps like <a href="http://shopsavvy.com/">ShopSavvy</a> and <a href="https://www.buyvia.com/">BuyVia</a> give you access to a huge database of products, and after scanning the barcode in-store, you can see exactly what the product is going for, including shipping fees where applicable. You can also use this information to get an instant price-match in the store (ToysRUs is very good for this), and can set price alerts if you want to know when the item goes on sale, or dips below a price you specify.</p> <h2>3. Real (and Harmful) Ingredients in a Product</h2> <p>Want to know what's really hiding behind those complicated chemical names printed on the ingredient label? Well, there are myriad apps available to help you decode them, letting you know in plain English just what is hiding behind the label. <a href="http://www.goodguide.com/">GoodGuide</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://cspinet.org/eating-healthy/chemical-cuisine">Chemical Cuisine</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thinkdirtyapp.com/">ThinkDirty</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ewg.org/apps/">HealthyLiving</a>,&nbsp;and <a href="http://www.foodfacts.com/">Food Facts</a> give you the ingredients in ways that are easy to understand. Chemical Cuisine has a ratings system, ranging from &quot;safe&quot; to &quot;avoid,&quot; and it can be eye-opening. For example, adipic acid is on the safe list, whereas benzoic acid should be avoided by certain people. Beverages, condiments, frozen meals, and soups are covered. Some of these apps will also suggest healthier, or better, alternatives to the product you're scanning.</p> <h2>4. Potential Allergy Issues</h2> <p>Nuts. Dairy. Gluten. Egg. If you or someone in your family has an allergy to a certain type of food, it can make shopping for food as arduous as finding a needle in a haystack. Every label has to be read, just in case (although more and more manufacturers are now plainly displaying potential allergy issues on the label).</p> <p>If you want to make this process a whole lot quicker and easier, use an app that scans for allergy issues. Apps like <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ipiit-food-ambassador-grocery/id536930786?mt=8">Ipiit</a> and <a href="http://www.contentchecked.com/">Content Checked</a> are customizable based on your specific allergy requirements. For instance, you may be fine with gluten, but need to steer clear of nuts and dairy. Select those issues, scan the barcode, and the app will let you know if a product is good to go, or if you should avoid it. Of course, nothing is foolproof, as <a href="http://snacksafely.com/2014/12/barcode-scanning-apps-what-they-dont-know-can-hurt-you/">SnackSafely.com reported back in 2014</a>. By now, the apps will have collected far more information and should have a much more thorough database of foods and allergens, but as always, you use these apps at your own risk.</p> <h2>5. Sustainability and Environmental Impact</h2> <p>These days, most of us try and do our bit for the environment. We want to choose products that are environmentally friendly, and made from sustainable resources. But without committing to hours and hours of research, it's not easy to be an Earth-conscious consumer. Technology once again comes to the rescue, with apps like <a href="http://www.goodguide.com/">GoodGuide</a> and <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/social-impact/id517457987?mt=8">Social Impact</a>. GoodGuide can uncover a wealth of information with just a quick scan of the product's barcode, delivering comprehensive information on just how green the product it is, and how healthy and safe it is, too. Products are ranked out of 10, and also use a handy color-coded system to show you what you're buying. Green is go, red is stop, and yellow is &quot;well, let your conscience be your guide&hellip; but don't say we didn't warn you.&quot;</p> <h2>6. If the Product Is Made Under Ethical Conditions</h2> <p>It's awful to even think about, but child labor, forced employment, and slavery exist even today. You just have to look at a pair of shoes with an $8.99 price tag to know that someone, somewhere, is suffering to achieve that insanely low price. But it's not always easy to tell, especially if the price of the product seems to justify decent working conditions, and the brand name feels trustworthy. Well, now you don't have to guess. There are several apps and browser plugins that will let you drill down into the manufacturing details of the product in question, giving you ratings for the ethical conditions under which the product was made. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/Free2Work/">Free2Work</a> and <a href="http://ethicalbarcode.com/">Ethical Barcode</a> can show you if the product is tested on animals, or if it was flagged for being made using child labor.</p> <p><em>Have you discovered a barcode-scanning app that uncovers more information about the product you're buying? Let us know. </em><em><br /> </em></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/health-risks-and-5-other-secrets-barcodes-can-tell-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/could-you-save-money-by-subscribing-to-an-addictive-game">Could you save money by subscribing to an addictive game?</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/7-surprising-ways-summer-will-cost-you">7 Surprising Ways Summer Will Cost You</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/flashback-friday-143-fun-and-frugal-ways-to-spend-your-weekend">Flashback Friday: 143 Fun and Frugal Ways to Spend Your Weekend</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/23-frugal-living-resolutions-anyone-can-master">23 Frugal Living Resolutions Anyone Can Master</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/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-prescription-drug-coupons">7 Things You Need to Know About Prescription Drug Coupons</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Lifestyle apps barcode scanner barcodes health and fitness health apps healthy living qr codes Fri, 02 Sep 2016 10:30:15 +0000 Paul Michael 1784334 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Dumb Places You’re Leaving Your Money http://www.wisebread.com/6-dumb-places-you-re-leaving-your-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-dumb-places-you-re-leaving-your-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_9121051_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="stop keeping your money in these dumb places" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you hate compound interest? Don't you know that compound interest is magic? Don't you want to be rich? Are you afraid to retire with zero savings? You should maybe relocate your cash, ASAP. Because, oh, the places you store your money are so completely dumb. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-your-cash-rewards-can-make-you-rich?ref=seealso">3 Ways Your Cash Rewards Can Make You Rich</a>)</p> <p>Here are some really stupid places to keep your money.</p> <h2>1. Fancy Coffee Apps</h2> <p>If you feel like the crux of every other personal finance article is, &quot;You are going to retire as a hobo if you don't stop drinking fancy coffee,&quot; you would be right. The perils of fancy coffee wouldn't be such a hot topic (and by hot I mean beaten like a dead horse) for financial writers if North Americans didn't treat their Starbucks card like the more caffeinated version of a checking account. As of the first quarter of 2016, Starbucks customers had a total of <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/starbucks-has-more-customer-money-on-cards-than-many-banks-have-in-deposits-2016-06-09">$1.2 billion loaded onto Starbucks gift cards</a> or its mobile app. For comparison, $1.2 billion dollars is more money than many large financial institutions like Charles Schwab, Discover, and Mercantile Bank have in deposits. That unused money you have stored on your Starbucks card is not earning any interest.</p> <p>As a side note, Starbucks' mobile wallet is pretending to be your bank so hard that the company is releasing a prepaid Visa card later this year. Of course its main perk will be that you can earn Starbucks stars for every dollar spent on the card.</p> <h2>2. Unused Gift Cards and Credit Card Rewards</h2> <p>Perhaps the people who use the prepaid Starbucks Visa will actually use their coffee credits. But that's doubtful. The gift card industry thrives on consumer confusion and apathy. Every year, people lose thousands of dollars in merchandise and service perks by not using them. Between 2005 and 2011, $41 billion worth of gift card value was lost to expiration dates and misplaced cards. This type of quiet financial bleed is called &quot;breakage&quot; in financial parlance. Instead of you getting &quot;free&quot; perks, gift card and rewards companies get to earn interest on the money you loaned them for free.</p> <h2>3. PayPal</h2> <p>Don't get me wrong. Just like I love fancy coffee, I also love PayPal. Fintech companies like PayPal and Square make my life as an online seller much more profitable and convenient. I used to treat my PayPal account as a slush fund for luxury purchases. I would sell stuff on eBay and the money I earned from my online storefront would sit, sometimes for months, in my PayPal account until I found something on eBay that I wanted to buy.</p> <p>As a frugal training tool, it helped me live on a tight budget without feeling deprived. My bank account was for paying bills and my PayPal account was for fun. But then I realized the obvious: I was not earning any interest on my sometimes sizable PayPal stash. As an easy alternative, I now transfer all my PayPal earnings into a free savings account. I make a smidgen of interest and my funds are immediately available for spending.</p> <p>For expats and professional travelers who cannot open a bank account in foreign lands and depend on PayPal as a workaround for the direct deposit of their paycheck, please note that money in <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/as-banking-evolves-fintech-emerges-from-the-branch-1464806411">PayPal is not insured by the FDIC.</a></p> <h2>4. Under Your Mattress</h2> <p>A survey by the American Express Spending and Savings Tracker found that 43% of Americans keep their savings in cash. If that weren't bad enough, 53% of those cash-is-king savers hide their cash in their homes. Hiding your life savings in your house is terrible for two big reasons:</p> <ul> <li><strong>You aren't earning interest.</strong> Even if you keep your earnings in your crummy savings account with a .06% interest rate, that's .06% more money than you'd make from storing your money in a shoe box at the bottom of your laundry hamper.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Your money isn't safe at home.</strong> Criminals know to check the laundry hamper for valuables because they read all the same blogs that you do. You might have a super secret spot in your house that will never be found by any cat burglar, but it is guaranteed to be found by your teenager who will embezzle from her own college fund in order to buy ridiculous teenage stuff. Even if you can avoid being robbed by strangers and family, you can still lose it all to a flood, a fire, a tornado, or those pesky <a href="http://animals.mom.me/type-bug-eats-paper-11210.html">silverfish</a> (which thrive on paper).</li> </ul> <h2>5. Jewelry</h2> <p>I can think of only two instances where jewelry is a great investment.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Example 1:</strong> <a href="http://www.biography.com/people/hedy-lamarr-9542252">You are Hedy Lamarr</a>. You are a Jewish actress married to the owner of an Austrian munitions manufacturer. Your abusive husband decides to sell arms to the Nazis. After rescuing your mother from Hitler, you use your jewelry to finance your escape to America. In America, instead of investing your Hollywood movie star money back into gems, you invent frequency-hopping, a jam-proof radio guidance system for torpedoes that is the underlying technology for GPS and Wi-Fi. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Example 2:</strong> <a href="http://www.fatf-gafi.org/documents/news/ml-tf-through-trade-in-diamonds.html">You are a terrorist</a>. Diamonds are an easy and portable way to launder money so you don't have to tote suitcases of cash or bricks of heroin through airports on the way to buy weapons.</li> </ul> <p>While generations of women have been told to hoard jewelry as a safety net during hard times, Hedy Lamarr is an outlier. (Also, Hedy didn't buy the jewelry she traded for her mother and their freedom. Her abusive husband bought it for her.) Jewelry can hold tremendous sentimental value, but it's a poor financial investment.</p> <h2>6. Gold</h2> <p>A relative, who apparently doesn't understand the magic of compound interest or macroeconomics, recently lectured me about how America needs to return to the gold standard. He loves gold so much that he's also hoarding these cute, fun-sized ingots for when the (stuff) hits the fan. Even if I don't tell you all the conspiracy theories and urban legends he attaches to his gold buggery, his insistence that I put my money in gold should tell you many things about him, including:</p> <ul> <li>He is conflating the gold standard, which is a fixed value for the dollar, with buying gold as a safe-haven, disaster currency. Despite what you have heard on talk radio, these are two separate things.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>He has not talked to a Greek person, any Greek person, about what happens to your economy when you can't revalue your currency. The euro is Greece's modern-day gold standard. (If you paid attention during high school history, you might recall countries that were first to ditch the gold standard during the Great Depression were also the countries that recovered first economically.)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>He hasn't looked at inflation rates over the last 40 years. If he had, he would know that <a href="http://inflationdata.com/Inflation/Inflation_Rate/Gold_Inflation.asp#Chart">gold is not a hedge for inflation</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>He doesn't understand that gold lacks utility, which means that its value is determined by the currency in which it is priced, not by supply and demand. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>To quote Warren Buffett: &quot;If you put your money into gold or other non-income-producing assets that are dependent on someone else's values in the future, you're in speculation. You're not into investing.&quot; <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>He is not a fan of science fiction. If you have read anything about the post-apocalyptic world, you know that skills, not gold, are the ultimate portable currency. Also, how are you going to run from the zombies if you're weighed down by all that bullion?</li> </ul> <p><em>Where is the stupidest place you've ever kept your money? Please share your shame with your fellow readers in the comments section. That way, we can all be smarter in the future.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-dumb-places-you-re-leaving-your-money">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/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</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/ow-do-you-deal-with-family-members-who-are-bad-at-managing-money">How Do You Deal With Family Members Who Are Bad At Managing 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/8-times-cash-is-not-king">8 Times Cash Is Not King</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/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</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/in-times-like-these-separate-the-want-from-the-need">In times like these, separate the want from the need.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Shopping apps cash stash keep your money money money management money safe money stash smartphone apps Fri, 26 Aug 2016 09:00:09 +0000 Max Wong 1779794 at http://www.wisebread.com Turn Old Clothes Into Money With These 4 Tools and Apps http://www.wisebread.com/turn-old-clothes-into-money-with-these-4-tools-and-apps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/turn-old-clothes-into-money-with-these-4-tools-and-apps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_43524688_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="use these apps to get money for old clothes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A great way to make extra side cash is to clean out your closet and sell clothes you no longer wear. Not only will you make a few bucks, but you will also benefit from decluttering.</p> <p>Getting top dollar for your used clothing can be tricky, especially if you try to sell your clothes at a yard sale or through a Facebook selling group. Instead, try these top sites and apps to make more on your old threads.</p> <h2>1. eBay</h2> <p>Let's start with the most obvious: eBay. It can be a hit or miss for selling clothing. I have listed several higher-end brand name items, such as a rare pair of True Religion jeans, but felt like they did not sell as well as they could have. However, other brands have sold better than I expected. I listed an Old Navy peacoat last winter with the assumption that anything is better than selling it for $2 at a garage sale. The coat sold for almost $40, which was more than I originally paid.</p> <p>So check the recent selling prices for clothing like yours. You can do this by dropping your item into the search box, clicking &quot;advanced,&quot; and then check sold listing and hit &quot;search&quot; again. This will allow you to see every similar item that sold in the past 30 days and give you a better idea of how much you can make on your item.</p> <h2>2. Poshmark</h2> <p>Business Insider shared a story of one <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/how-a-mom-earned-500000-on-poshmark-2015-11">mom who made $50,000</a> from selling clothes on <a href="https://poshmark.com/what_is_poshmark">Poshmark</a> last year. With PoshMark, you get to set your prices, and listing is as easy as listing on eBay. However, unlike eBay, shoppers prefer better quality photo listings. However, don't let your photo skills keep you from trying the app out.</p> <h2>3. Tradesy</h2> <p><a href="https://www.tradesy.com/">Tradesy</a> is another easy-to-use site that allows you to set your price points for clothes. The site also makes shipping items simple, since the company sends you free shipping boxes and prepaid labels.</p> <p>Tradesy charges a 9% commission and a 2.9% fee if you transfer your earnings to PayPal. And if a buyer decides to return an item, Tradesy will accept the return and allow you to keep your earnings.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-and-declutter-by-selling-these-5-unlikely-treasures?ref=seealso">Make Money and Declutter by Selling These 5 Unlikely Treasures</a></p> <h2>4. ThredUp</h2> <p>Don't feel like listing each of your clothing items for sale? No problem. <a href="https://www.thredup.com/">ThredUp</a> allows you to cash in on your clothing with as little effort as possible. All you have to do is sign up for an account and request a free bag from the site. Once your bag arrives, fill it with acceptable items and then seal it. Attached to the bag is a prepaid shipping label, so you can drop it off at the post office or request an at-home pick up.</p> <p>ThredUp is extremely convenient and fast to use, but with that convenience comes a couple minor drawbacks. For example, your items will probably not get you as much as you hoped for. You can request your unaccepted items back, but this will cost $9.99 and it must be selected before you order your bag. It also takes a few weeks for the ThredUp team to process the bags they've received, so you won't get a payout immediately. Still, it's better than having the clothes collect dust in your closet, right?</p> <p><em>Where do you sell your used clothes when you are done with them? Share with us</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/turn-old-clothes-into-money-with-these-4-tools-and-apps">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/what-you-need-to-start-flipping-items-for-cash-online">What You Need to Start Flipping Items for Cash Online</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-easiest-items-to-flip-for-cash">10 Easiest Items to &quot;Flip&quot; for Cash</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/8-ways-to-save-on-smartphone-costs-while-traveling">8 Ways to Save on Smartphone Costs While Traveling</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-apps-for-the-tech-challenged-traveler">7 Apps for the Tech-Challenged Traveler</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/prizes-and-freebies-from-coupsmart-for-the-iphone">Prizes and Freebies from CoupSmart for the iPhone</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Technology apps clean out closet closet clutter clothes declutter sell your clothes sell your stuff technology tools Mon, 22 Aug 2016 10:30:14 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1775889 at http://www.wisebread.com The 7 Best Free Tools to Improve Your Work Performance http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_67204101_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="improving his work performance with these free tools" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With tight deadlines and heavy workloads, there are never enough hours in a day to get everything done. If you find yourself constantly pressed for time, your work performance can get impacted. Constant stress at work can cause mistakes and delays. But there are free tools that can help improve productivity, stay organized, and catch errors, and improve your output at work.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-sluggish-workday-go-a-lot-faster?ref=seealso">How to Make Your Sluggish Workday Go (a Lot) Faster</a></p> <h2>1. Reduce Typos With Grammarly</h2> <p><a href="http://grammarly.com/">Grammarly</a> is a free grammar checker, more powerful than the standard spell check tools in Word or Outlook. While you can use it to proofread your projects, you can also install the extension so that it will scan your blogs, social media posts, and emails for typos and errors and correct them &mdash; before you send them to your boss (or the public). Unlike other tools, Grammarly uses context clues to identify issues with misused words, such as if you typed &quot;manger&quot; instead of &quot;manager.&quot; It will also highlight grammatical errors, explaining the issues and how to fix them. If you have always struggled with past participles and direct objects, Grammarly is an easy way to get in-the-moment guidance. While there is a premium version that is more detailed, the free option is robust enough to help improve your daily communications.</p> <h2>2. Manage Your To-Do List With Wunderlist</h2> <p>Between work and your home life, juggling errands, tasks and shopping lists can be overwhelming. To-do list apps can help make things simpler. <a href="http://www.wunderlist.com">Wunderlist</a> is a powerful platform that lets you create and share lists, prioritize tasks, and set up reminders for deadlines or recurring projects. It is available on your phone or desktop, so it can be accessed any time, anywhere.</p> <h2>3. Take Notes on the Go With Evernote</h2> <p>If you're the type of person who depends on a notepad and a pen to take notes and stay organized, you know how frustrating it is if you have a great idea and don't have paper in front of you or if you forgot your notes at your desk. <a href="http://www.evernote.com">Evernote</a> is a solution that lets you take notes anywhere. Type reminders to yourself, take a picture of something that inspires you, or save a snapshot of whiteboard drawings to refer to later. The free plan offers 60 MB of storage and can help you manage various projects and long-term plans.</p> <h2>4. Produce Professional Graphics With Canva</h2> <p>Whether you're a social media manager or simply need to make professional looking graphics as part of your job, design software can be prohibitively expensive &mdash; the basic cloud-based version of InDesign alone can cost over $230 &mdash; and cumbersome for new users. <a href="http://www.canva.com">Canva</a> makes it easy to create polished images, even if you have no graphic design training. There are free templates, images, and elements that are fully customizable. Premium content, such as stock photos, can be added for just an additional $1. You can also upload your own images to use to create custom artwork.</p> <h2>5. Simplify Timesheets With Timely</h2> <p>If you need to track billable hours, you know how difficult it can be to manage and reconcile your timesheets. Unlike other tracking platforms, <a href="https://timelyapp.com/">Timely</a> allows you to track hours as you work but also provides a calendar so you can plan ahead. That way, you can compare time you actually spend on a project versus how much time you thought it would take, helping you budget your time more accurately.</p> <h2>6. Manage Emails With Boomerang</h2> <p><a href="http://www.boomeranggmail.com/">Boomerang</a> can completely change how you handle email and increase your productivity. It allows you to hide emails for a certain amount of time and schedule emails ahead of time. If you're one of those people who just can't ignore an email in your inbox, the hide feature can be useful in helping you focus on your tasks at hand. You can set reminders so that when you do need to address the email, it will flag it for you. By scheduling emails, you can write out notes as you think about them, but plan to send them the next morning or when a coworker is back from vacation, keeping it from getting lost in an overcrowded inbox (or you can make your boss think you work long into the night by scheduling emails at 2:00 a.m.). Boomerang also allows you to set up a follow-up feature, so if you have not received a response, it will notify you and ask if you'd like to send a reminder.</p> <h2>7. Automate Tasks With If This Then That</h2> <p><a href="https://ifttt.com/">If This Then That</a> (IFTTT) is a free service that allows to create &quot;recipes,&quot; or actions in response to specific triggers. For instance, you can set it up so that if someone tags you on Twitter, a private message to that user is automatically generated. Or, if you get a new follower on Facebook, ITTT can establish a recipe which saves a photo of that user for your archives. It can help you manage social media platforms around the clock &mdash; and a whole lot more.</p> <p><em>Do you use any free tools to help with work performance? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance">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-essential-tools-for-getting-work-done-anywhere">7 Essential Tools for Getting Work Done -- Anywhere!</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/how-to-use-the-holiday-quiet-time-to-boost-your-career">How to Use the Holiday Quiet Time to Boost Your Career</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-reasons-your-coworkers-think-youre-a-slacker">6 Reasons Your Coworkers Think You&#039;re a Slacker</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/how-to-make-your-sluggish-workday-go-a-lot-faster">How to Make Your Sluggish Workday Go (a Lot) Faster</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-healthy-habits-to-take-to-work">10 Healthy Habits to Take to Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Career Building Productivity apps free free tools jobs productivity tools work work performance Fri, 19 Aug 2016 10:30:15 +0000 Kat Tretina 1775077 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Apps That Make Budgeting Fun — No Really! http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-make-budgeting-fun-no-really <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-apps-that-make-budgeting-fun-no-really" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_87637919_LARGE.jpg" alt="making budgeting fun with these apps" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Budgeting is not just essential for those who are trying to squeeze two pennies out of one. Tracking expenses and setting spending and savings goals is beneficial for anyone &mdash; no matter the amount of your paycheck.</p> <p>However, tracking every expenditure on paper or through a spreadsheet can be tedious and even cause us to forgo the healthy habit of budgeting a month in. These apps will take the pain and boredom from budgeting, and you might even have fun in the process. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-simple-thing-you-can-do-to-start-budgeting-today?ref=seealso">One Simple Thing You Can Do to Start Budgeting Today</a>)</p> <h2>1. Pennies</h2> <p>One of the best things about using Pennies for iOS is that it allows a lot of flexibility. Many people do not work with a set salary and do not know their paycheck amount each pay period. Pennies allows users to create budgets that can be set for weekly, monthly, one-off, or payday budgets.</p> <p>Another benefit of this simple-to-use app is that you are presented with daily targets of what to spend and how your next day spending will be affected. Knowing a $5 latte will make your budget tight tomorrow might help you forgo unnecessary splurges.</p> <p>($1.99<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/app/apple-store/id916741290?mt=8"> iOS</a>)</p> <h2>2. Prosper Daily</h2> <p>How about a little competition? Prosper Daily is a free app that allows users to compete with their previous month's budget to see if they can do better in the current month. The app also connects to financial accounts and tracks spending effortlessly. There is no need to document every expenditure.</p> <p>Another benefit of Prosper Daily is that the app can protect users from suspicious account activity or duplicate charges. Since it is free, it is a smart idea to download this app just to use it for the account safeguarding feature alone.</p> <p>Note: Prosper Daily used to be known as &quot;BillGuard.&quot;</p> <p>(Free<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/billguard-money-tracking-credit/id602710567?mt=8"> iOS</a>,<a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.billguard.android&amp;hl=en"> Android</a>)</p> <h2>3. CoinKeeper</h2> <p>The envelope system of budgeting is clever, but it can be such a hassle to use. Who wants to carry around different envelopes of cash everywhere with them? CoinKeeper allows users the same benefits of budget envelopes, but all at their fingertips. This is a great financial tool for tactile learners, since users can move coins and designate an amount to each area of their budget.</p> <p>(Classic version $5.99<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/coinkeeper-classic-personal/id471262606?mt=8"> iOS</a>, Free version<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/coinkeeper-personal-finance/id849747345?mt=8"> iOS</a>,<a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.disrapp.coinkeeper.material&amp;hl=en"> Android</a>)</p> <h2>4. Digit</h2> <p>Waiting until the end of the month to deposit leftover money into a savings account is unwise. Usually, there is no money left by the end of the month. Instead, use an app like Digit to sock away a little bit of money throughout the month.</p> <p>The app cleverly connects to a user's checking accounts and looks for opportunities to transfer $5&ndash;$50 every two to three days to that user's savings account. However, you will not have to worry about overdraft fees, since the app never takes more than you can afford. The app also comes with a no-overdraft guarantee, which means the company will cover the fee up to two times per member.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master?ref=seealso">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</a></p> <p>(Free<a href="https://digit.co/"> iOS</a>)</p> <h2>5. Toshl</h2> <p>Monsters on a budgeting app? Yes, Toshl uses fun creatures and bright colors on its app interface. Toshl is a favorite app among many because it integrates with phone, tablet, and desktop devices. Toshl is easy to use and offers bill reminders, monthly budget summaries, as well as an easy way to export tracking to Excel.</p> <p>(Free<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/app/toshl-finance/id921590251?mt=8"> iOS</a>,<a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.thirdframestudios.android.expensoor"> Android</a>)</p> <h2>6. BUDGT</h2> <p>Don't let variable income keep you from keeping track of how much you make and how much you spend. BUDGT works well with variable income and allows you to easily input expenses and track how much money is left. The best part is that the app is simple and easy to use. It might take a few days to get into the habit of inputting your expenses, but once you get used to it, it can be a healthy habit to transform your spending.</p> <p>($1.99<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/budgt/id580812126?mt=8"> iOS</a>)</p> <h2>7. Mvelopes</h2> <p>Similar to CoinKeeper, Mvelopes is a digital version of envelope-based budgeting. The free version can be downloaded on iOS and Android phones, but to get the full, deluxe version, there will be a one-time $95 cost. It will take a little bit of learning time to get into the method of zero-based budgeting. The idea behind this way of budgeting is that every dollar has a designation. This prevents money from being spent thoughtlessly.</p> <p>If you look at your bank account at the end of the month and see an extra $50, you might mistake it as &quot;free&quot; money and spend it foolishly. With an envelope system, that $50 would have been categorized into savings or even designated towards books or clothing. It is important to give your money a job, or it will be useless to you.</p> <p>The best budgeting app is the one that is used. If you are serious about making budgeting a regular habit, then you need to find the right tool to work for you. Everyone is different, so if the first app you try doesn't fit your needs or tastes, don't worry. Just try something else.</p> <p>(Free <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mvelopes-budget-app-envelope/id417933753?mt=8">iOS</a>,<a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.finicity.mvelopes&amp;hl=en"> Android</a>)</p> <p><em>What is your favorite budget app to use? Share with us!</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/7-apps-that-make-budgeting-fun-no-really">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/the-5-best-apps-for-busy-working-parents">The 5 Best Apps for Busy Working Parents</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/8-ways-your-smartphone-saves-you-money">8 Ways Your Smartphone Saves 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/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money">These 5 Apps Will Help You Finally Organize Your Money</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-5-millennial-money-apps-everyone-should-use">The 5 Millennial Money Apps Everyone Should Use</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/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Technology apps managing money money management phone phone apps saving money smartphone Wed, 10 Aug 2016 09:00:10 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1769235 at http://www.wisebread.com