money habits http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12153/all en-US Are You Spending Too Much on "Normal" Expenses? http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-spending-too-much-on-normal-expenses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-spending-too-much-on-normal-expenses" 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_credit_card_69198035.jpg" alt="Woman learning if her expenses are normal" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I look at my expenses, I am shocked at how much I spend to make it through a month. I often ask myself, &quot;Is this much spending normal? Do other people spend this much on expenses such as food, housing, clothes, and cellphones?&quot; I decided to find out.</p> <p>The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), part of the U. S. Department of Labor, surveys the population to collect detailed data on how much people spend on consumer expenses. They do this by collecting about 7,000 consumer spending surveys per month and by gathering 14,000 detailed spending diaries per year. This is exactly the kind of data I need to figure out whether my expenses are normal or not.</p> <p>Of course &quot;normal&quot; expenses vary a lot based on your income level and the size of your household. The Consumer Expenditure Survey from BLS provides data for 10 different income bands called &quot;<a href="http://www.bls.gov/cex/2014/combined/decile.pdf">deciles</a>.&quot; It is interesting to look at this data to see how households with really high income spend their money as well.</p> <p>I sorted through this data to find some of the most relevant expenses so you can compare your spending with others at a similar household income level. The income levels presented in the tables are from the 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 9th deciles to provide a range of income levels before taxes.</p> <p>Comparing your spending to &quot;normal&quot; levels for households of similar income and family size can be a great way to spot areas for improvement in your budget. If I found out that I was spending twice as much as normal on food, cutting back on food expenses would likely be an easy way to bring my spending down. If the average household can find ways to spend less on food, than I should be able to as well! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</a>)</p> <h2>House Payment: $623 Per Month</h2> <p>The average housing payment is $623 per month for households that own a home considering households of all income levels and family sizes. I combined data from a few categories to calculate the bill for principal, interest, property tax, and home insurance that many of us are used to paying each month. There was no data available for home insurance expense, so I used a figure of 0.5% of the property value per year to calculate typical insurance cost.</p> <p>Of course, housing costs are much more expensive in some locations than others, but here are the average monthly expenses broken down by income level and home market value:</p> <p>&nbsp;<img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Screen%20Shot%202016-08-05%20at%201.02.38%20AM.png" width="605" height="278" alt="" /></p> <p>How does your housing cost compare to &quot;normal&quot; based on your household income and your home's market value?</p> <h3>What to Do If Your Housing Expenses Are Not Normal</h3> <p>A drastic move to reduce housing costs would be to consider downsizing. If you are paying for more house than you need, you could move to a smaller house and save a significant amount of money. I once downsized to a house that cost half as much as my previous home and saved a ton of money. Another drastic solution is to move to a less expensive area. This would involve major lifestyle changes including finding a new job and placing kids in a different school.</p> <h2>Vehicle Purchase: $275 Per Month</h2> <p>There is a huge difference between making $800 per month payments on a new SUV, and owning an old car and having no car payment expenses at all. The average household spends $275 per month toward vehicle purchases, with households at higher income levels spending much more.</p> <p>Is your spending on vehicles normal? Here is what average households pay for vehicle purchase expenses on a monthly basis:</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Screen%20Shot%202016-08-05%20at%201.04.24%20AM.png" width="605" height="163" alt="" /></p> <h3>What to Do If Your Vehicle Expenses Are Not Normal</h3> <p>Consider trading in your expensive vehicle and getting a less expensive model. I did this and saved hundreds of dollars every month. A car that runs and is paid off beats a car that runs and is not paid off!</p> <h2>Food: $796 Per Month</h2> <p>With all of the great options for dining out and lots of high-end grocery products for sale at your local market, it is easy to spend too much on food. Do you spend more on restaurant meals than normal? Is your grocery bill higher than normal?</p> <p>The survey data breaks food spending down into two categories: Food At Home (Groceries), and Food Away From Home. The average total food bill for groceries plus restaurant dining is $796 per month.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Screen%20Shot%202016-08-05%20at%201.05.28%20AM.png" width="605" height="252" alt="" /></p> <p>It was surprising to me that the average household spends more on food than on their house payment!</p> <h3>What to Do If Your Food Expenses Are Not Normal</h3> <p>The quickest way to cut your food bill is to reduce spending at restaurants and make meals at home instead. Admittedly this is more work, but the savings add up quickly. Next, cut back on expensive prepared foods purchased at the grocery store. Just because you buy it at a grocery store doesn't make it a good deal.</p> <h2>Cellphone Bill: $80 Per Month</h2> <p>Just today I heard a couple of friends comparing their cellphone bills, and both were lower than mine! Is your cellphone bill above average? After looking at the data, I have to admit that my cellphone bill is above average. My family has four smartphones, all with data plans.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Screen%20Shot%202016-08-05%20at%201.06.50%20AM.png" width="605" height="129" alt="" /></p> <h3>What to Do If Your Cell Phone Bill Is Not Normal</h3> <p>You may be locked into a contract, but look for a better cellphone deal as soon as your contract is up. Depending on how much you rely on your cellphone, you may be able to find a discount carrier that meets your needs for about half the cost of a premium service.</p> <h2>Clothes: $149 Per Month</h2> <p>The clearance rack has been good to me &mdash; I just scored a $4 shirt that I can wear to work several times a month (or even more if my wife doesn't notice). Some of the clothes I wear are 20 years old. I feel like my spending on clothes is exemplary, but is it? Here is what normal spending on clothes per month looks like:</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Screen%20Shot%202016-08-05%20at%201.08.05%20AM.png" width="605" height="128" alt="" /></p> <h3>What to Do If Your Spending on Clothes Is Not Normal</h3> <p>This spending problem is pretty easy to fix &mdash; stop buying clothes! Recycle clothing catalogs without opening them and stay out of clothing stores. Set a date a few months or even further in the future as the next time you will consider buying clothes if you think you need something.</p> <h2>Entertainment: $227 Per Month</h2> <p>Some people spend a lot of money going to movies, sporting events, and concerts. Is your entertainment spending out of control?</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Screen%20Shot%202016-08-05%20at%201.09.27%20AM.png" width="605" height="146" alt="" /></p> <h3>What to Do If Your Entertainment Spending Is Not Normal</h3> <p>Start by setting a &quot;normal&quot; entertainment budget. Decide on a reasonable, limited amount that you want to spend on entertainment. You will still be able to buy tickets and go to some events, at least until your budget has been spent. Try to limit the really expensive events to only a few per year. You can also save money by skipping the food and souvenirs and just focusing on the event itself.</p> <h2>Alcohol: $39 Per Month</h2> <p>Spending on alcohol varies a lot from one household to the next. Some households are teetotalers that don't drink at all, while other households may spend $100 on booze during one weekend of going out. Is your spending on alcohol normal?</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Screen%20Shot%202016-08-05%20at%201.10.39%20AM.png" width="605" height="128" alt="" /></p> <h3>What to Do If Your Spending on Alcohol Is Not Normal</h3> <p>This is another spending problem that is easy to fix &mdash; drink less! Set a reasonable budget for alcohol, perhaps the average consumer spending amount, and stick to it. Put this much money in an envelope to buy alcohol for the month and stop drinking when the booze money is gone.</p> <p><em>Are your expenses normal? Which expenses do you have that are above average?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-spending-too-much-on-normal-expenses">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</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-dumb-ways-youre-going-to-waste-money-this-summer">9 Dumb Ways You&#039;re Going to Waste Money This Summer</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-ways-to-prevent-the-winter-blues-from-busting-your-budget">5 Ways to Prevent the Winter Blues from Busting Your Budget</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/these-5-expenses-will-probably-cost-you-a-lot-less-in-retirement">These 5 Expenses Will Probably Cost You a Lot Less in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-save-on-a-shoestring">25 Ways to Save on a Shoestring</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living averages bureau of labor and statistics comparisons expenses income levels money habits spending statistics Fri, 05 Aug 2016 10:00:12 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1766784 at http://www.wisebread.com Does Your Money Management Reflect Who You Truly Are? http://www.wisebread.com/does-your-money-management-reflect-who-truly-you-are <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/does-your-money-management-reflect-who-truly-you-are" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_76449071_LARGE (1).jpg" alt="does your money management reflect who you are?" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you ever thought about what is driving your spending decisions?</p> <p>While some of us might choose frugality out of necessity, for many people who choose to live beneath their means, the decision is not about money at all. Perhaps you're pretty wealthy, but choose to drive an old car. Or maybe you would rather learn to do your own plumbing than call someone out to fix that dripping pipe.</p> <p>While there are many different reasons for people to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-dead-simple-reasons-why-people-are-frugal">adopt a frugal lifestyle</a>, for some people, the decision is all about their core purpose. And when that's the case, living by your own brand of frugality isn't a chore; it's just who you are.</p> <p>Do these driving factors resonate with you?</p> <h2>Faith</h2> <p>A sense of social justice can drive attitudes about finance and consumerism. Frugality is not a optional quirk people who have a strong sense of faith can take or leave &mdash; it's a core purpose that keeps them grounded.</p> <p>Actively working to help others and encourage a more equal distribution of resources results in a frugal lifestyle. Maybe by living beneath your means, you have more disposable income to donate to causes you care about, or maybe by working less you have more time to support others through your actions. Either way, learning to live well on less becomes second nature.</p> <h2>Environmental Concerns</h2> <p>Sustainability (or the lack thereof) is a driving factor to many people who choose a frugal lifestyle. Making decisions with some thought about the world we might leave our children with means that many of the worst excesses of consumerism are dropped.</p> <p>Shopping for clothes at a thrift store, for example, means consuming fewer resources, sending less to landfills, and reducing pollution. The same logic means avoiding new gadgets, flying less frequently, and trying to eat local and seasonal produce. The simpler life that results is not only better for the environment, it is also less costly.</p> <h2>Rejection of Consumerism</h2> <p>In everyday life, we are bombarded with ways to spend our hard earned cash. Advertising is everywhere &mdash; and for some of us, ignoring it and rejecting consumerism as a whole can be thoroughly liberating.</p> <p>Many people who reject consumerism in this wholehearted way were actually massive spenders themselves in the past. Because this can lead to debt and financial stress, it is not unusual for a moment to come along and leave the spendthrift reformed. The revelation hits that this lifestyle is not sustainable, and excessive spending in the present is sacrificing future happiness. And a new core purpose of frugality emerges.</p> <h2>Inspiring Self-Reliance</h2> <p>Being frugal requires a good degree of self-reliance and creativity &mdash; whether it's coming up with great homemade gifts, or learning to fix your own furnace. There's a certain sense of satisfaction from learning these skills, and being able to manage whatever life throws at you.</p> <p>If you're raising a family, being frugal takes on a whole new dimension. Not only are you teaching your kids to live within their means, and place value on the right things, you're also likely teaching them great life skills, too. If part of your core purpose is to inspire this self-reliance for your kids, then being frugal is not about saving money so much as learning &mdash; and sharing &mdash; skills.</p> <p>When you're driven by a core purpose, living well on a budget ceases to be a punishment and becomes a part of who you are. If you're struggling to stick to your financial goals, then try to figure out how saving cash aligns with your core purpose. Identifying this can make it a whole lot easier to keep moving towards a frugal lifestyle.</p> <p><em>What drives your attitudes towards spending? Let us know in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/claire-millard">Claire Millard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-your-money-management-reflect-who-truly-you-are">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/has-cash-become-more-trouble-than-its-worth">Has Cash Become More Trouble Than It&#039;s Worth?</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/the-audacity-to-waste-money-for-better-finances">The Audacity to Waste Money for Better Finances</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/i-am-doing-well-financially-now-what">I Am Doing Well Financially. Now What?</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/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle money habits money management personality personality traits religion shopping shopping habits Fri, 08 Jul 2016 09:00:07 +0000 Claire Millard 1747537 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Money Lessons to Take From the Great Depression http://www.wisebread.com/9-money-lessons-to-take-from-the-great-depression <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-money-lessons-to-take-from-the-great-depression" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000044780084.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Lasting from 1929 until 1939, the Great Depression was the deepest and longest-lasting economic downturn of the 20th Century. Unemployment went as high as 25% in the U.S., over 5,000 banks failed, and hundreds of thousands of Americans became homeless. Extreme situations call for extreme measures, and that's when everyone looked at ways to cut back, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-simple-thing-you-can-do-to-start-budgeting-today">save money</a>, and survive. Here are nine tips from that era that are still just as relevant today, and can save your household a lot of money.</p> <h2>1. Waste Not, Want Not</h2> <p>The definition of that proverb is, &quot;if you use a commodity or resource carefully and without extravagance, you will never be in need.&quot; In other words, don't waste anything and you'll always have enough. That was something people from the Depression lived and breathed daily, and yet in today's throwaway society, we are often guilty of ignoring it. How often do we all throw away leftovers, or even dump the chicken carcass once the meal is over? Get into the habit of using every part of everything that you can. A great stock can be made from chicken bones. If you use a juicer, put the pulp left behind into muffins and breads. And when your t-shirts are ready for the trash, cut them up and use them as rags.</p> <h2>2. Pad Your Ground Beef Meals</h2> <p>The cost of one pound of ground beef is currently hovering around $4, with grades like 93/7 (which means 93% lean, 7% fat) running $5-$6 per pound. However, the cost of a pound of lentils is significantly less, with most grocery stores having one-pound bags for under $2.</p> <p>During the Depression, it was common practice to pad out ground beef meals with filler, like lentils or oatmeal, and if done correctly, the taste difference is subtle. If you're making meatballs, add more breadcrumbs. Interestingly enough, the humble British Yorkshire Pudding was used as a substitute for meat during the wars, when rationing made meat very hard to come by (and costly when available).</p> <h2>3. Stop Replacing, Start Fixing</h2> <p>It would have been unthinkable in the 1930s to replace a broken or malfunctioning item without first trying to fix it. But these days, with the price of so many items being very affordable, it's easy to just throw the broken thing away and buy a new one. Well, stop. You happen to have the greatest possible resource at your disposal: the Internet. Whatever is broken, from a toaster to a laptop, there are hundreds of online tutorials available in both written and video form. Some of them go step-by-step with photos, through every single part of the process.</p> <p>If your lawn mower refuses to start after the winter, don't just throw it away and buy a new one. A simple tune-up kit costs $20 and could get it back on its feet. An ice maker in the fridge can be replaced by you, with parts available online for a lot less than a plumber would charge. Get into the habit of fixing things first. Then, if you can't do it, hire someone who can (if it's cheaper than replacing it). Only buy a replacement if all other options fail.</p> <h2>4. Grow Your Own Food</h2> <p>Sure, the grocery store is nice and convenient, but you can easily grow a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables yourself at a fraction of the cost. There is even a &quot;grow your own food&quot; movement, with thousands of people converting some, or all, of their backyards into fruit and vegetable gardens. Self-sustainability is not only cheaper, but important, should anything ever happen to the foods you take for granted.</p> <p>Start simple with potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and blueberries. When you get confident, and have a great crop, expand to beets, lettuce, cucumbers, cabbages, rhubarb, and strawberries. Of course, where you live in the world will dictate the kind of success you have, and what you can grow well, but there are also products that can help. A greenhouse can help you weatherproof your crops, and you can also grow inside with the help of indoor cultivators. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-fresh-veggies-you-can-grow-from-kitchen-scraps?ref=seealso">7 Fresh Veggies You Can Grow From Kitchen Scraps</a>)</p> <h2>5. Don't Buy Anything You Can Make Yourself</h2> <p>There are plenty of items you can make at home, using raw materials and a little skill. For instance, several cheeses (including cottage cheese and fresh mozzarella) are very quick and easy to make at home, and cost far less than they do in the store. They're also fun to make. Yogurt is also very simple and easy to make. Then there are breads, cakes, pastas, and even beers and wines you can make yourself. Back in the Depression, it often wasn't an option to go to the store and buy whatever you needed. It's all too easy to pop to the store, but you will save a lot of money doing it all yourself.</p> <h2>6. Layer Your Clothing</h2> <p>It's not always an option with small children in the house, but if you do have the opportunity to do it, layering is far cheaper than heating the whole house. Wear several layers in cold weather, and set the thermostat between 50-60&ordm;F during the hours you sleep. Put extra blankets on the beds, too. If you're watching a movie with someone, huddle up together in a blanket together. Do whatever you can to warm your own body without paying to warm every room in the home. You can also invest in a small heater that you can take from room to room. Use a hot water bottle, or an electric blanket. It may seem very frugal, but when money is tight, it can vastly reduce the heating bill.</p> <h2>7. Buy Used, or Even Get Things Free</h2> <p>There are so many avenues open to you to save money on used items. From clothing and furniture, to electronics and accessories, you can get excellent used goods from thrift stores, Craigslist, local classified ads, eBay, Amazon (look for the &quot;used&quot; option), and even friends and neighbors. It's often great to host a get-together and bring clothing that you can swap, either for yourselves or the kids. And don't be ashamed to seek free items. Dumpster diving, also known as <a href="http://freegan.info/">freeganism</a>, can bag you an incredible amount of perfectly good food, clothing, and furniture without spending a cent.</p> <h2>8. Buy Essentials in Bulk</h2> <p>It is much cheaper in the long run to buy the things you use week in, week out, in bulk. Stores like Sam's Club and Costco make it very easy for you to load up on soap, flour, toilet paper, canned goods, coffee, diapers, cleaning supplies, and pet food. This dramatically reduces the &quot;unit cost&quot; of the items, saving you money over time.</p> <p>However, there are a few warnings that come with bulk buying. First, when you initially bring home some of these things, it's very easy to dig right into them. You must have willpower and proper rationing to make it work. And second, don't be tempted to buy bulk items that are not going to be used often. Remember Kramer in <em>Seinfeld</em>, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugazcvzOM0Q">buying industrial-sized cans of beefarino</a>? Not a good idea.</p> <h2>9. Learn to Go Without</h2> <p>What do you want, and what do you need? The two are very different. With the availability of credit cards and loans, it's easy enough to get the things we want and pay for them later (at additional cost). But before bringing out the plastic, or diving into savings, consider the want vs. need argument. Do you really need that new watch or pair of shoes? Do you need all the channels on cable TV? Do you need a new car? Do you need 14 different flavors of soda in the pantry? What can you do without, and still live a life you consider happy and comfortable?</p> <p><em>What other Depression-era hacks can we still use today? Share with us in the comments!</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/9-money-lessons-to-take-from-the-great-depression">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-dumb-ways-youre-going-to-waste-money-this-summer">9 Dumb Ways You&#039;re Going to Waste Money This Summer</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-tips-from-playbook-for-tough-times-thatll-help-you-live-your-best-life">5 Tips From &quot;Playbook For Tough Times&quot; That&#039;ll Help You Live Your Best Life</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/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting budgeting frugal living Great Depression money habits money saving tips saving money Wed, 25 May 2016 10:30:05 +0000 Paul Michael 1716914 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Make Retail Therapy Good for You http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-retail-therapy-good-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-make-retail-therapy-good-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_000023781556_Large.jpg" alt="making retail therapy healthy" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After a long and frustrating day, nothing feels better than heading to your favorite store. When you emerge an hour later with heavily laden bags and a lighter wallet, you have forgotten all about the argument with your coworker, and you head home feeling much more cheerful.</p> <p>The only problem with this scenario is the lighter wallet.</p> <p>But what if you could have your retail therapy and balance your budget at the same time? As it turns out, researchers have discovered that shopping really does give you a needed pick-me-up, and used in moderation, retail therapy offers several psychological rewards.</p> <p>Here is what you need to know about the psychological soundness of retail therapy &mdash; and some suggestions for how to make your therapeutic shopping profitable.</p> <h2>Why We Like to Shop When We're Down</h2> <p>In general, people get down or irritable because they feel out of control. When you are in a sour mood, it is often related to a sense of anxiety that you do not have control over your circumstances or environment.</p> <p>And that is why retail therapy is so effective. You get a chance to have complete control over where you go, what you look for, and what you purchase. Add in the fact that most retail therapy also involves treating yourself in some way, and it's no wonder that shopping is such a common method for improving a bad mood.</p> <p>In addition, according to Kit Yarrow of Psychology Today, &quot;shopping can be a <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-why-behind-the-buy/201305/why-retail-therapy-works">rich source of mental preparation</a>. As people shop, they're naturally visualizing how they'll use the products they're considering, and in doing so, they're also visualizing their new life.&quot; Part of what makes retail therapy feel so good is getting a chance to imagine how great things will be with your new wardrobe/gadget/library of books.</p> <p>If you're not a regular user of retail therapy, just keeping some money set aside for your occasional pick-me-ups should be sufficient. But if you often indulge in therapeutic shopping, then you might want to revise your shopping strategy to make sure your mood lifter doesn't get you into financial trouble.</p> <h2>Using Retail Therapy Strategically</h2> <p>Here are five different strategies for making sure your shopping habit actually helps your bottom line.</p> <h3>1. Shop for Gifts</h3> <p>While retail therapy traditionally means buying some sort of treat for yourself, it can also feel great to buy gifts for loved ones. The next time you go shopping to relieve stress after a bad day, decide to buy a present for someone on your Christmas list, no matter what time of year it is. Since you would spend the money on a gift anyway, your shopping trip will save you money in the future while still giving you the mood-boosting sense of the control you crave. Also, you can have fun visualizing how much the recipients will enjoy the gifts you are picking out.</p> <p>If you make a habit of using retail therapy to shop ahead for holiday gifts, you will save money and stress at Christmas since you won't be shopping at the height of retail season.</p> <h3>2. Keep a List of Items You Need or Want</h3> <p>Living in the digital age means that it is possible to buy something for yourself as soon as you think of it. However, we don't necessarily need that level of convenience, and you receive no psychological benefits from it.</p> <p>Instead, make a list of items that you need or want that you could get anytime. For example, there are currently two t-shirts and a DVD that I would like to own, but I am waiting to purchase any of them until a day when I need a serious cheer-up. (I liken this to keeping an emergency bar of chocolate hidden in my desk drawer. I'll wait to enjoy it until it's going to give me the biggest mood-boosting bang for my buck.)</p> <p>By limiting your retail therapy to items that you have already decided to purchase, you keep the hit on your wallet to a minimum.</p> <h3>3. Use Gift Cards</h3> <p>Retail therapy is most dangerous when you engage in it mindlessly. But it is possible to get the same psychological benefit while being a thoughtful consumer.</p> <p>For instance, purchasing a discounted gift card from a store that is your go-to retail therapy destination is a good way to feel better without spending <em>too </em>much. Get this gift card ahead of time and keep it in your wallet. On a day when you need to indulge in retail therapy, you can lock the rest of your wallet in your glove box and shop your bad mood away without hurting your budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stop-your-mindless-spending?ref=seealso">5 Ways to Stop Your Mindless Spending</a>)</p> <h3>4. Become a Mystery Shopper</h3> <p>If retail therapy is a regular habit, consider making it a part-time job by becoming a mystery shopper. Generally, mystery shoppers can receive between <a href="http://www.learnvest.com/2013/02/confessions-of-a-mystery-shopper-how-i-made-14k/">$5 and $20 per shopping trip</a>, as well as reimbursement for their purchases, although there is often a limit to the purchase amount. While mystery shopping will not necessarily be as flexible as a normal session of retail therapy, once you have been hired by a company, you can select jobs when and where you want, saving your mystery shopping for the weeks you need to feel better.</p> <p>It is important to make sure you go through a reputable mystery shopping company. You will never be asked to pay to become a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-truths-from-a-mystery-shopper-you-must-read-before-you-get-started">mystery shopper for a legitimate company</a>. It's also a good idea to check that the mystery shopping organization that hires you is a member of the MSPA, the official organization that regulates mystery shopping.</p> <h3>5. Indulge in Window Shopping</h3> <p>A recent study asked subjects to watch a depressing video clip, and then randomly assigned the subjects to one of <a href="http://www.dailyfinance.com/on/retail-therapy-shopping-psychological-benefitsworks/">two simulated shopping scenarios</a>. The participants whose simulated shopping experience gave them more of an opportunity to choose the products they liked were found to be happier after the experience.</p> <p>What's important about this study is the fact that the &quot;shoppers&quot; weren't actually buying anything, but they still experienced an improved mood. The authors of the study determined that it is the act of choosing between products that helps alleviate sadness, even if those choices are hypothetical.</p> <p>This means that you will feel just as cheered up by trying on clothes without buying them than you would from purchasing a new wardrobe &mdash; all without spending a penny.</p> <h2>Making Retail Therapy Truly Therapeutic</h2> <p>It's very easy to feel guilty about the things that make us feel good, whether that's the hidden chocolate bar in the desk drawer, or indulging in retail therapy after a bad day. But there is no reason to deny ourselves the psychological benefits of these alternative &quot;therapies,&quot; as long as we can find a way to do so strategically.</p> <p><em>Do you frequently partake in retail therapy? How do you keep it under control? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-retail-therapy-good-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-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stop-your-mindless-spending">5 Ways to Stop Your Mindless Spending</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-real-reason-we-still-spend-to-impress">The Real Reason We Still Spend to Impress</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/25-purchases-youll-never-regret">25 Purchases You&#039;ll Never Regret</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/25-bite-sized-money-resolutions-to-make-2015-your-biggest-year-yet">25 Bite-Sized Money Resolutions to Make 2015 Your Biggest Year Yet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping bad habits buyer's remorse healthy habits mindless spending money habits retail therapy Fri, 22 Apr 2016 10:00:04 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1695165 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Moves to Make in Your First Month of Debt Repayment http://www.wisebread.com/6-moves-to-make-in-your-first-month-of-debt-repayment <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-moves-to-make-in-your-first-month-of-debt-repayment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_career_confidence_000051439618.jpg" alt="Woman making moves in the first money of debt repayment" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So, it's time, is it? Time to get serious about paying off your debt?</p> <p>Congratulations!</p> <p>If you've made the decision to begin repaying your debt instead of generating more, that is huge! Repaying debt can feel so daunting that people avoid it, making minimum payments until their dying day. But facing your problems is always better than running away from them, and, in deciding to do that, you have taken a giant step forward.</p> <p>Still, it's easy to feel overwhelmed when you're just starting to repay debt. If you're not sure where to start, here are some thoughts for you.</p> <h2>1. Stop Overspending</h2> <p>It might seem obvious, but this is the very first step to take when you want to begin digging yourself out of a financial hole. Stop making more debt!</p> <p>Start by analyzing where you're spending. Is all of your spending necessary? Are there areas &mdash; like eating out, buying clothes, or going to happy hour &mdash; where you're spending a lot more than you thought you were? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-saving-more-with-this-one-simple-tool?ref=seealso">Start Saving With This One Simple Tool</a>)</p> <p>Looking at this takes some courage, as it can be hard to actually see just how much money you're putting towards things that don't matter. However, the only way out is through, at least in this case, and once you know where you're spending too much, it's easier to make better choices.</p> <p>All of this assumes that you are not overspending simply because you don't have enough money. If that is the case, then your first step is to figure out how to make more or lower your expenses. There are always options, but they will differ depending on your situation. The point is, you won't know where to start cutting until you know where you stand with spending.</p> <h2>2. Add It Up</h2> <p>When you have a spending plan in place, add up all of your debt. List each debt source, including total amount owed, monthly minimum payment, and interest rate.</p> <p>This step tends to stop people in their tracks. However, it's essential to know the total amount of damage before you can take steps toward eliminating it. And, sometimes, seeing exactly how much you owe, all in one place, is just what you need to feel motivated to make significant changes in your life.</p> <h2>3. Prioritize Your Debt</h2> <p>There are a lot of different ways to decide which debt to focus on first. Obviously, you need to make at least minimum payments on all of your accounts. But after that, you need to decide which debt will receive higher payments until it's paid off. Then, you can move on to a different account.</p> <p>Some people swear by Dave Ramsey's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snowballs-or-avalanches-which-debt-reduction-strategy-is-best-for-you">debt snowball method</a>. Others say that you should focus on the debt with the highest interest rate first, and still others think you should choose the one that causes you the most stress for your primary repayment efforts. Honestly, and especially when you're just getting started, the most important thing is that you choose a method that appeals to you and that motivates you to keep moving forward with your debt repayment.</p> <h2>4. Set Repayment Goals</h2> <p>Look realistically at your finances, at how you're planning to change your spending patterns, and decide when you think you can pay off your first debt. Set that date as a goal. Circle it in all of your calendars. Set an alarm for it on your phone. Do whatever you have to do to get that date in your head.</p> <p>Having a goal will help you feel motivated, and it will also give you some sense of progress as you move forward. For instance, if you decide it will probably take you six months to pay off your first debt, you'll know after three months that you're about halfway there. That can be satisfying in and of itself.</p> <p>Set these goals knowing that you can always change them. If your financial situation changes, you can always change your goal, too, moving it forward or backward as circumstances dictate.</p> <h2>5. Generate More Income</h2> <p>If you want to pay off your debt as quickly as possible, think about ways to generate more income. This will not only make your repayment move faster, but it will make it so the process isn't just about cutting back all the time, which can feel demotivating after a while.</p> <p>For some people, making more money is as easy as working overtime. Others have to be more creative. Think about taking on freelance projects, turning a hobby into an entrepreneurial enterprise, or selling things that you find around your house on eBay or Craigslist. Depending on your skill set and how much time you have, the possibilities are truly endless. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-outside-your-day-job?ref=seealso">15 Ways to Make Money Outside Your Day Job</a>)</p> <h2>6. Reward Yourself</h2> <p>It's important that you realize just how significant of a choice you've made to reduce debt. You can mark a time as important by celebrating it. Just do this in a way that doesn't mean spending a lot of money. Buy the special coffee, learn a new recipe, or treat yourself to an extra dessert. Sure, these things cost a little bit, but they aren't a shopping spree at the mall.</p> <p>Make sure you build rewards into your whole system. You can buy yourself a coffee every time you pay X amount off, or reward yourself with something small every month that you follow through with your budget. It's important to stay motivated and to reprogram your brain to actually enjoy this repayment process.</p> <p>Plan a big reward for the day when your debt is all paid off. Maybe that's the day you can start saving for your dream vacation, or maybe you can talk a friend into taking you out for the evening. Plan a big party at your house, spend a weekend in the mountains, or do whatever it is that feels right. Knowing this is coming will help keep up your motivation through the hard days.</p> <p><em>What is your experience of debt repayment? How did you start on that journey?</em></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-moves-to-make-in-your-first-month-of-debt-repayment">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/should-you-use-peer-to-peer-lending-to-pay-down-credit-card-debt">Should You Use Peer-to-Peer Lending to Pay Down Credit Card Debt?</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/do-this-if-you-have-too-much-credit-card-debt">Do This If You Have Too Much Credit Card Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unique-ways-millennials-are-dealing-with-student-loan-debt">7 Unique Ways Millennials Are Dealing With Student Loan Debt</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-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt">5 Sobering Facts About Student Loan Debt</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-scary-facts-about-credit-card-debt">6 Scary Facts About Credit Card Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management goals money habits overspending repayment reward yourself Mon, 04 Apr 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1682375 at http://www.wisebread.com Americans Spend Less Than Other Countries on These 9 Items http://www.wisebread.com/americans-spend-less-than-other-countries-on-these-9-items <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/americans-spend-less-than-other-countries-on-these-9-items" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_eating_out_000078199745.jpg" alt="Americans spending less than other countries on these items" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The U.S. has the largest consumer market with a GDP nearly one-third the size of the entire world's consumer market. And we <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/americans-spend-more-than-other-countries-on-these-10-things">spend more on certain items</a> than most other countries. For instance, we pay much more than other nations for housing, medical costs, and education. But, it may surprise you to learn that because we are such a large consumer market, we actually spend less than other nations on these nine things.</p> <h2>1. Clothing</h2> <p>In a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) comparative study of four developed nations including the United States, it was discovered that Americans spend 2% less than Canadians and 1.5% less than the UK on clothing. And of the four nations the U.S. ranked lowest for <a href="http://www.bls.gov/opub/focus/volume2_number16/cex_2_16.htm">total clothing expenditures</a> &mdash; at 4%.</p> <h2>2. Food</h2> <p>The same study also revealed that Americans spend less on food &mdash; just 14.6% &mdash; while Japanese citizens spend 21.8% of their total income on food. Canada scored second (15.3%), and the UK ranked third at 19.9%.</p> <h2>3. Electronics</h2> <p>The U.S. has the largest market for consumer electronics. And like the rules of supply and demand tell us, manufacturers are eager to supply to large markets such as ours, which helps control prices. Therefore, Americans who love their electronics and gadgets actually spend less on electronics than other nations.</p> <h2>4. Public Transportation</h2> <p>Again, according to the BLS report, we spend the least to get around (1.1%). Meanwhile, the UK spends 2.5%, Japan spends 2.3%, and Canada spends 2.0%.</p> <h2>5. Appliances</h2> <p>Many of the top appliance manufacturers like General Electric (GE) and Whirlpool are based in the U.S., which creates another situation where Americans get to reap the price rewards of purchasing domestic products for less.</p> <h2>6. Automobiles</h2> <p>Americans love their cars, and we spend 6.1% of our expenditures on automobiles. That&rsquo;s more than the UK and Japan, but that's the percentage of our household income. In terms of car prices per unit, we spend less than other countries.</p> <h2>7. Culture, Entertainment, and Recreation</h2> <p>Statistics about the types of culture, entertainment, and recreation are unknown, so it's unclear what specific things were included in total expenditures. But, apparently the U.S. spends significantly less on this category (6.5%) than other countries. The UK spends 15.1%, Japan 11.2%, and Canada 8.6%.</p> <h2>8. Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco Products</h2> <p>Surprisingly, Americans spend less than the UK and Canada on alcohol and tobacco products &mdash; 1.9%. This is perhaps because many of the liquor and tobacco producers and distributors are located right here in the U.S. or in nearby Latin America.</p> <h2>9. Firearms</h2> <p>Americans love firearms probably as much as they love automobiles. Guns in America are readily available and cheap. However, they cost in more ways than people realize. An insightful Mother Jones article points to how gun violence <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/true-cost-of-gun-violence-in-america">costs American taxpayers millions</a> of dollars every day.</p> <p><em>Do your expenditures match the averages listed here?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/americans-spend-less-than-other-countries-on-these-9-items">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/americans-spend-more-than-other-countries-on-these-10-things">Americans Spend More Than Other Countries On These 10 Things</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-americans-spend-too-much-on">5 Things Americans Spend Too Much On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-everyday-things-you-shouldnt-be-paying-for">16 Everyday Things You Shouldn&#039;t Be Paying For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unbearably-stupid-packaging">Dumbest packaging ever?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping americans countries money habits spending habits united states Wed, 16 Mar 2016 11:30:05 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1670513 at http://www.wisebread.com The Surprising Way Birth Order Decides Your Money Habits http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-way-birth-order-decides-your-money-habits <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-surprising-way-birth-order-decides-your-money-habits" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000087462289_Large.jpg" alt="wondering how her birth order determines spending habits" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The order in which you were born can say a lot about you. There have been many studies done that suggest your <a href="http://familyservices.us.com/pdf/A%20Review%20of%20200%20Birth-Order%20Studies-Lifestyle%20Characteristics.pdf">birth order is directly connected</a> with your personality, achievements, and even who you marry. Your birth order might even give some significant insight in how you save and spend money.</p> <h2>Oldest Child</h2> <p>Being the eldest of the family usually means you are <a href="http://www.uclouvain.be/cps/ucl/doc/psyreli/documents/2003.BirthOrder.pdf?spnCategory=525&amp;spnDomain=17&amp;spnContent=23&amp;spnContent=28&amp;spnID=41021">more responsible and driven</a>. Firstborns tend to be more organized and punctual, too. You have probably been in charge of your younger siblings on multiple occasions. And there were also many times when your parents depended on you.</p> <p>All of these personality traits translate to healthy financial habits. Firstborns are more likely to pay bills on time, spend responsibly, and calculate financial risks thoroughly. Their driven behavior might be why many firstborns also make more money or have prestigious careers, such as a profession in the medical or law field.</p> <p>Firstborns can also come with flaws. Their perfectionist nature can drive them too far. Firstborns are more likely to suffer burnout and mid-life crises. Your finances will suffer if you reach burnout and give up on your career or savings goals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-smarter-than-your-sibling-your-birth-order-might-provide-the-answer?ref=seealso">Are You Smarter Than Your Sibling?</a>)</p> <h2>Middle Child</h2> <p>Middle children tend to be the <a href="http://familyservices.us.com/pdf/A%20Review%20of%20200%20Birth-Order%20Studies-Lifestyle%20Characteristics.pdf">family's peacemaker</a>. They are good at solving problems and coming up with inventive solutions to conflict and issues. Middle children can fall into the trap of not wanting to look upstaged by their older sibling. Middle children are more likely to hide their true financial situation, so that parents and siblings will think the middle child is responsible and successful.</p> <p>Middle children will benefit the most financially by being honest with themselves and others about money. You will only put your budget in trouble if you pretend that you can afford everything your older sibling can. While the pressure to compete might have you embellishing how much is in your savings account, don't let your pride cause you to overspend or forgo asking for help when you are in financial hot water.</p> <p>As an inventive problem solver, middle children can tend to deal with financial problems in a creative, but unhelpful way. Shuffling debt around to new <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">0% APR credit cards</a> might seem smart, but it does not address the root issue &mdash; debt.</p> <h2>Youngest Child</h2> <p>As the baby of the family, you are used to being in the spotlight. Family members are more likely to dote on the youngest and provide extra leniency as far as responsibility goes. The youngest tend to be more social and fun-loving, too.</p> <p>All of these traits can lead to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-habits-that-kill-your-buying-power">poor money habits</a>. The youngest child might rely on their parents for financial support much longer than their other siblings and have a hard time developing financial responsibility. They can tend to blame bad financial consequences on others instead of owning up to mistakes. For example, a late bill is not their fault since the company forgot to send the bill or they were working too many hours to have time to pay it.</p> <p>The youngest children can tend spend their money carelessly, especially in social and fun settings. They might complain about not having enough money to fix their car or pay rent, but they always seem to have money for a dinner out with friends or a Starbucks latte.</p> <p>Don't let your youngest-child status ruin your finances though. You can still enjoy fun, social nights out, but learn to budget for it and find creative and more affordable solutions. A potluck with friends can be just as fun &mdash; and much less expensive &mdash; than going out for a dinner and a movie.</p> <h2>Only Child</h2> <p>Only children share many of the great financial habits of firstborns. They tend to have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-your-credit-score-mean-good-bad-or-excellent">great credit scores</a> and be driven to make more money. Since only children have spent most of their lives around adults, they also tend to be more mature. However, only children can also feel more inclined to impress others and take risks. They might overspend and live above their means to impress others and to fit in.</p> <p>Only children might also take riskier financial moves, such as putting their money in a new startup or risky investment. Their higher level of risk can either work for them, or against them. Some risks will pay off in big ways, while others will drain their bank accounts.</p> <p>It is important to remember that birth order is a theory and not a law. While your birth order <em>might </em>mean you have natural inclinations to certain personality quirks and spending habits, it should by no means be what defines you. Don't write off your bad money habits just because you are the youngest child. Instead, learn what your natural inclinations are and work against them to create healthy money habits.</p> <p><em>Did we nail your money habits right on the head or were we completely wrong? Share your how your birth order affects your money management. </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/the-surprising-way-birth-order-decides-your-money-habits">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-s-your-budget-personality">What’s Your Budget Personality?</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-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-sloth-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Sloth Is 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/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money">5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting Family birth order budgeting money habits money personality only child spending habits Wed, 16 Mar 2016 10:00:06 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1673866 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-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_000076935935_Large.jpg" alt="doing yoga and learning about money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether or not yoga is your thing, you're probably familiar with it. The practice of yoga has become popular enough that most people know how yoga is done and how to do the basic poses.</p> <p>What you may not know is that you can learn a lot about life in general while holding a pose like downward dog or happy baby. When you practice, you study not only the yogic postures, but also things like balance, flexibility, and mindfulness. And you can apply all of these concepts outside of the studio, too.</p> <p>Here's how I've come to apply things I've learned from yoga to my personal financial life. I hope these ideas help you think about your money a little differently, maybe with a little more Zen! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-zen-concepts-thatll-improve-your-finances?ref=seealso">4 Zen Concepts That'll Improve Your Finances</a>)</p> <h2>1. Balance Is Central</h2> <p>My favorite yoga teacher will tell us to center ourselves not just over the left foot, but over the toes, or the heel. Slowly, I've come to realize that how I balance myself changes the posture subtly, often bringing in more of a stretch or making it more challenging.</p> <p>Just as how you balance is key in the yoga studio, it's helpful when you're thinking about money, too. Most of us want more money, but what if we were to focus somewhere else? For instance, is there enough to pay the bills? Are we spending more thoughtfully than we did last year? And what would making more money actually add to our lives?</p> <p>These questions, and more, can help us think in a more balanced way about our money. This, in turn, will free us to change spending or saving habits that might be harming us.</p> <h2>2. Proper Preparation Is Key</h2> <p>A good yoga teacher will prepare you for what is coming, both in the current class and in the future. There's a reason that harder poses often come near the end of a yoga class &mdash; it's because you wouldn't be ready for them before that. You have to open your hips, your hamstrings, your shoulders, and whatever else is needed for that final, challenging pose of the flow. If you don't prepare, you'll hurt yourself and hamper your ability to progress in the long term.</p> <p>Money works the same way. What are your long-term financial goals? And your short-term goals? These aren't just going to happen. They require planning and preparation ahead of time. Just like in yoga, you need to do specific things now so you can reach your goals later. Want to travel around the world? Start saving. Need a specific kind of of mortgage, come spring? Look at starting the application now. Proper planning will help ensure your long-term financial health, just like a proper flow will help ensure that you stay healthy enough to continue practicing yoga.</p> <h2>3. Flexibility Is Crucial</h2> <p>Most people who practice regularly see an increase in their flexibility. And people like me &mdash; who just thought they weren't flexible at all &mdash; begin to see how this rise in flexibility influences their entire lives.</p> <p>Similarly, the more flexible you can be with your money, the better prepared you'll be financially. Financial flexibility has to do with your ability to change how you spend based on your current circumstances. If you empty your emergency fund because your car breaks down, can you flex for a few months until the fund is replenished? And if you realize you need more than you'd anticipated for a down payment, can you find the funds and flex on a few things until you've made up the difference?</p> <p>Financial flexibility pertains to small things, like how much coffee you buy and how often you dine out. But it also pertains to bigger things, like when you decide to buy a house, how you structure your investments, and more. Just as flexibility and strength are tied in yoga, they often come together financially, too. And you want your money to be as strong as it can be.</p> <h2>4. Self-Care Is Always Worth It</h2> <p>People start yoga for all different sorts of reasons, but they often continue because of self-care. Doing yoga feels good. It makes your body feel better, even alleviating long-term aches and pains. And it's often meditative, offering quiet and space that most of us don't have in our daily lives. So, in learning yoga, we often stumble onto self-care, too.</p> <p>Learning self-care through yoga often helps people take better care of themselves financially. This can mean spending money on things &mdash; even little things &mdash; that make you feel good. A sweet smelling candle, a good book, or a cup of coffee can all be acts of self-care. It can also mean using more discretion about how you spend your money, so that you aren't always worrying about debt, overdraft fees, and how to pay the bills. Once people get started on a path to self-care, it often spills into their entire lives.</p> <h2>5. Mindfulness Will Help You Reach Your Goals</h2> <p>Mindfulness means staying aware in the present, and is often stressed in the yoga studio. Living in the now, paying attention to how your body is moving, what you need to do, and how to stay in a pose, can all help you learn to remain present &mdash; even when so many things pressure you to think about them, instead.</p> <p>More than anything else, mindfulness is a path to self-mastery. It teaches us to choose where we focus, rather than letting the mind run willy nilly wherever it wants. And when we learn to focus in yoga, we learn a skill that can help us financially, too.</p> <p>Being mindful &mdash; and therefore a master of ourselves &mdash; can help us stick to a budget. It can help us save up for something we really want. It can help us get through a frugal season without taking on debt. And it can even help us buy Christmas presents, because it will help us focus on the recipient and what they want, rather on everything we might like to buy for them. In the end, being mindful will help us save more, invest better, and be happier with what we have.</p> <p>When we are open, willing learners, yoga can improve not only our physical health, but our financial health as well.</p> <p><em>How does your yoga practice tie to your financial life? What yoga lesson can you start applying to your personal finances today?</em></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/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-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-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/8-morning-mantras-that-ll-help-keep-your-finances-on-track">8 Morning Mantras That’ll Help Keep Your Finances on Track</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-34-ways-fitness-can-improve-your-finances">Flashback Friday: 34 Ways Fitness Can Improve Your Finances</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-best-exercise-mats">The 5 Best Exercise Mats</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/15-easy-to-keep-new-years-resolutions-that-really-pay-off">15 Easy to Keep New Year&#039;s Resolutions That Really Pay Off</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/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Life Hacks Health and Beauty budgeting fitness life lessons money habits yoga zen Tue, 19 Jan 2016 10:00:02 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1638732 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Sloth Is Keeping You Poor http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-sloth-is-keeping-you-poor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-sloth-is-keeping-you-poor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/lazy_man_work_000010275265.jpg" alt="Man learning ways sloth is keeping him poor" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sloth &mdash; probably the weirdest of the seven deadly sins. How did it make it onto a short list alongside <em>wrath </em>and <em>greed</em>? What's so bad about being a master in relaxation?</p> <p>English speakers tend to translate sloth as <em>laziness</em>, but sloth is kind of the super group of bad behaviors, encompassing not just laziness, but also apathy, dejection, and indifference. And, although Western Culture tends to reference sloth within the context of Catholicism's seven deadly sins, most cultures and religious traditions around the world think that sloth is really, really bad because it impoverishes people in so many ways. Here's how this sin is keeping you poor. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-recipes-for-lazy-people">25 Healthy Recipes for Lazy People</a>)</p> <h2>1. It Destroys Professional Relationships</h2> <p>The main reason why sloth is globally loathed is that it often involves the exploitation of others. The slothful will turn in the bare minimum required at any job, forcing coworkers to pick up the slack. This willingness to squander other people's time, always results in hard feelings. No one likes to feel used. So if your professional growth is stunted by a sloth-like reputation, you can kiss any future raises goodbye.</p> <h2>2. It Degrades Potential</h2> <p>Work is worship. The journey is the destination. The reason why these maxims exist is because it is the hard process of many activities that results in enlightenment, not the end goal. For example, while regular yoga practice can result in a firmer butt, yoga was designed as a preparation for meditation.</p> <p>The demon of sloth is Belphegor. One of the seven princes of Hell, Belphegor tempts humans to the dark side by offering them time-saving gadgets. What a master of seduction, am I right? Because who doesn't want to find an invention that replaces real work? Alas, innovation and great achievement rarely come from taking the easy route.</p> <p>By yielding to sloth, a person is giving up personal and professional growth in exchange for mediocrity. And nobody becomes successful or wealthy by settling for mediocrity.</p> <h2>3. It Makes Work/Life Balance Impossible</h2> <p>Sloth sounds like the most un-American of vices. Say what you will about us, but we're nothing if not industrious. However, we all have that friend who constantly complains about his job. He could quit or switch to a less stressful gig, but his pride gets in the way. He humble-brags about never taking a vacation, and then calls into the office while on holiday, under the assumption that the world will fall apart without him. Sloths will often spend a lot of time just spinning their wheels, rather than creating anything of lasting value.</p> <h2>4. It Erodes Common Sense</h2> <p>I hate camping. Inevitably, I get stuck sharing a tent with the person who wakes up in the middle of the night and needs to pee. But, instead of putting on her shoes and going outside where she might have to be cold for a few minutes, she instead stays inside the tent and keeps me awake by tossing and turning for hours in discomfort. While common sense would dictate that a few moments of cold would be worth several hours of sleep, Belphegor is the devil that you know. And sloth is ultimately about pain avoidance, to the dumbest degree.</p> <p>On a more serious note, the inability to make tough, but necessary decisions can do serious damage to a person's future, when the devil that you know is a terrible job.</p> <h2>5. It Puts Pleasure Out of Reach</h2> <p>Dante describes sloth as a slow love that cannot uplift. Cloistered monks nicknamed sloth the &quot;Noonday Devil.&quot; The Latin translation for sloth comes closer to the word <em>acedia</em>, which Thomas Aquinas described as &quot;the sorrow of the world.&quot; Acedia is that low-grade feeling of ennui, that sense that life is just passing by. Sloth makes it hard to think big or dream of a better life. Which will make it impossible to chase those dreams and achieve personal and professional success.</p> <h2>6. It Harms Your Health</h2> <p>As it turns out, a sorrow for the world can also damage a person's physical and mental health. That &quot;Meh&quot; feeling is actually low-grade anxiety, which can raise levels of cortisol, the body's stress hormone. Elevated cortisol levels are not only associated with mood disorders and depression, but also put people at a <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037">greater risk for heart disease and diabetes</a>. And nothing destroys your finances like rapidly accumulating medical bills.</p> <p><em>Are you stuck in sloth-mode? Share in the comments section!</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-ways-sloth-is-keeping-you-poor">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/flashback-friday-42-ways-the-7-deadly-sins-are-keeping-you-poor">Flashback Friday: 42 Ways the 7 Deadly Sins Are Keeping You Poor</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-lust-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Lust Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-greed-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Greed Is 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/6-ways-gluttony-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Gluttony Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Lifestyle budgeting lazy money habits poor seven deadly sins sins Wed, 23 Dec 2015 12:00:03 +0000 Max Wong 1625889 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Habits That Lead to Wealth http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-habits-that-lead-to-wealth-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-habits-that-lead-to-wealth-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_catching_cash_000067122247.jpg" alt="Man using everyday habits that lead to wealth" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on habits that lead to wealth and prosperity, smart ways to multitask, and ways to slash your cell phone bill.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneyspruce.com/4-habits-that-lead-to-wealth-and-prosperity/">4 Habits that Lead to Wealth and Prosperity</a> &mdash; Stay positive! If you do, you'll see the open doors and new opportunities when they come your way. [Money Spruce]</p> <p><a href="http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2015/07/03/10-smart-ways-to-multitask/">10 Smart Ways to Multitask</a> &mdash; Some activities are better suited for multitasking than others. Working on a craft project while you watch TV is easy; doing laundry while you cook dinner can be disastrous. [Living Well Spending Less]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Reduce-My-Cell-Phone-Bill-24228468">8 Ways to Slash Your Expensive Cell Phone Bill</a> &mdash; Avoid getting hit with a huge bill when you travel by checking what the roaming charges are for your carrier before you leave home. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/The-Bite/2015/0806/Wendy-s-McDonald-s-and-other-chains-struggle-to-balance-quality-and-value">Wendy's, McDonald's, and other chains struggle to balance quality and value</a> &mdash; The quality of food at fast food chains isn't high enough to draw diners from fast-casual eateries, but prices are no longer cheap enough to attract low-income customers, either. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://thinksimplenow.com/relationships/communicate-better/">5 Tips to Communicate Better</a> &mdash; A conversation isn't just words. We each bring in our past experiences, feelings, thoughts and perceptions. So take stock of your baggage and try to keep it separate from your current experience. [Think Simple Now]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.dontpayfull.com/blog/8-ways-to-reuse-your-old-cds-and-floppy-disks">8 Ways To Reuse Your Old CDs And Floppy Disks</a> &mdash; Turn your CDs and floppy disks into light fixtures, jewelry, planters, and more! [Don't Pay Full]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneyunder30.com/how-finance-car-smart">Auto Financing For Smart People: Tips For Saving On Your Car Loan</a> &mdash; If your credit is only average, the dealership may not give you the best rates. Get loan quotes before you go to the dealership so you know what your options are. [Money Under 30]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2015/07/6-commonly-outsourced-tasks-work.html">6 Most Commonly Outsourced Tasks and Why They Work</a> &mdash; The most commonly outsourced tasks tend to be time-consuming or annoying, have low requirements for perfection, and don't need to consider personal preferences. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifehack.org/289482/the-6-best-organizations-for-volunteer-travelling">The 6 Best Organizations For Volunteer Travelling</a> &mdash; If you want to do some good while you travel, check out organizations like Global Vision International and Love Volunteers. [Lifehack]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/23-fun-summer-bucket-list-activities-for-families">23 Fun Summer Bucket List Activities for Families</a> &mdash; Take this opportunity to make summertime favorites like s'mores and ice pops. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-habits-that-lead-to-wealth-0">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/your-job-as-a-personal-finance-literature-reader">Your Job as a Personal Finance Literature Reader</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/does-your-money-management-reflect-who-truly-you-are">Does Your Money Management Reflect Who You Truly Are?</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-surprising-way-birth-order-decides-your-money-habits">The Surprising Way Birth Order Decides Your Money Habits</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/what-did-your-parents-really-teach-you-about-money-it-might-surprise-you">What Did Your Parents REALLY Teach You About Money? (It Might Surprise You)</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/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money">5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance best money tips money habits Wed, 12 Aug 2015 19:00:30 +0000 Amy Lu 1521395 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Money Habits That Will Make You Rich http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-money-habits-that-will-make-you-rich <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-money-habits-that-will-make-you-rich" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/rich_man_money_000042196558.jpg" alt="Man with money habits that will made him rich" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on money habits that will make you rich, how to remove sweat stains from white shirts, and things you&rsquo;re doing that could cause a car accident.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneycrush.com/four-money-habits-that-will-make-you-rich/">Four Money Habits that Will Make You Rich</a> &mdash; &quot;Don't put all your eggs in one basket&quot; applies to finances, too! Make sure to diversify your investments, income, and skills. [Money Crush]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Remove-Sweat-Stains-31003483">How to Remove Sweat Stains From White Shirts</a> &mdash; Use this eco-friendly cleaning solution made of vinegar, baking soda, salt, and hydrogen peroxide to make sweat stains disappear. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/7-things-youre-doing-that-could-cause-a-car-accident">7 Things You're Doing That Could Cause a Car Accident</a> &mdash; Eating in the car is stressful and distracting, and you probably won't enjoy your food as much, either. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.goodfinancialcents.com/financially-stable">27 Signs You Are Financially Stable</a> &mdash; One sign of financial stability is that you don&rsquo;t worry about losing your job. [Good Financial Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/podcasts-make-more-money">15 Fantastic Podcasts That Will Help You Make More Money</a> &mdash; Learn how to increase your salary and land your dream job by listening to The Career Catalyst. [The Penny Hoarder]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://moneyaware.co.uk/2015/05/7-new-uses-for-old-things/">7 New Uses for Old Things</a> &mdash; One of the many ways to reuse a milk carton? Fill it with water, freeze it, and you have a cooler ready to keep food chilled the next time you need it. [StepChange MoneyAware]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditdonkey.com/coupons-bad.html">23 Reasons Why Coupons Are Bad for Shoppers</a> &mdash; You're more likely to give in to impulse buys if there's a deal or if you have a coupon for it. [Credit Donkey]</p> <p><a href="http://www.beatingbroke.com/educate-your-child-about-money/">5 Fun Ways to Educate Your Child about Money This Summer</a> &mdash; Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace, Jr. kit includes audio CDs, a workbook, and activities for kids. [Beating Broke]</p> <p><a href="https://getoutofdebt.org/89170/11-states-where-employers-cant-check-your-credit">11 States Where Employers Can&rsquo;t Check Your Credit</a> &mdash; You don't have to worry about an potential employer checking your credit report if you work in one of these states. [Get Out of Debt Guy]</p> <p><a href="http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/2015/05/6-reasons-having-one-savings-account-can-be-bad/">6 Reasons Having One Savings Account Can Be Bad</a> &mdash; It's easier to forget how much you have saved for each goal if you pool all your savings into one account. [Budgets Are Sexy]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-money-habits-that-will-make-you-rich">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/does-your-money-management-reflect-who-truly-you-are">Does Your Money Management Reflect Who You Truly Are?</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/your-job-as-a-personal-finance-literature-reader">Your Job as a Personal Finance Literature Reader</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-surprising-way-birth-order-decides-your-money-habits">The Surprising Way Birth Order Decides Your Money Habits</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/best-of-personal-finance-41-financial-calculators-for-major-life-decisions">Best Money Tip: 41 Financial Calculators for Major Life Decisions</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/what-did-your-parents-really-teach-you-about-money-it-might-surprise-you">What Did Your Parents REALLY Teach You About Money? (It Might Surprise You)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance best money tips money habits Thu, 14 May 2015 19:00:08 +0000 Amy Lu 1423204 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 More Things People Who Make a Lot of Money Do http://www.wisebread.com/12-more-things-people-who-make-a-lot-of-money-do <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-more-things-people-who-make-a-lot-of-money-do" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000022279999_Double.jpg" alt="rich woman" title="rich woman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The rich have been studied extensively &mdash; how they spend their money, how they spend their time. The findings have been published in books like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Millionaire-Next-Door-Thomas-Stanley/dp/0671015206">The Millionaire Next Door</a> by Thomas Stanley, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1934938939/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1934938939&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=IAYRMBFMFHNZ5NEI">Rich Habits</a> by Tom Corley. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/people-who-make-a-lot-of-money-do-these-11-things-do-you?ref=seealso">People Who Make a Lot of Money Do These 11 Things &mdash; Do You?</a>)</p> <p>And now, by Wise Bread! So read on, because you want to make a lot of money, and people who make a lot of money do these 12 things.</p> <h2>1. Skip TV (Especially Reality TV)</h2> <p>Corley found that 67% of wealthy people watch one hour or less of TV every day versus 23% of poor, who watch more. Further, only 6% of the wealthy watch reality TV.</p> <h2>2. Meditate</h2> <p>A Huffington Post article highlighted 10 wealthy people (including Oprah, Larry Brilliant, and Bill Ford) who all <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/05/business-meditation-executives-meditate_n_3528731.htm">meditate daily</a> to help them focus.</p> <h2>3. Exercise Regularly</h2> <p>Many studies tout the benefits of exercise to improve not only physical health, but also mental health. This is probably why 76% of the wealthy Corley studied exercise aerobically four days a week.</p> <h2>4. Invest Their Money</h2> <p>The Millionaire Next Door found that millionaires, on average, invest nearly 20% of their household income each year; with the majority investing at least 15%. And 79% of millionaires have at least one account with a brokerage company.</p> <h2>5. Keep Their Mouths Shut</h2> <p>People who make a lot of money don't gossip or say whatever pops into their head at that moment. Corley found that only 6% of wealthy say what's on their mind.</p> <h2>6. Wake up Early</h2> <p>Are you best friends with your snooze button? If you want to act like a rich person, better start waking up early. Laura Vanderkam, author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1591846692/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1591846692&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=QHGELF3VKMEVS325">What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast</a> wrote in an article for Success.com that of 20 premier executives, 18 regularly woke up before 6 a.m.</p> <h2>7. Eat Healthy</h2> <p>People who make a lot of money don't just eat &quot;well&quot; in terms of high end restaurants, they also eat healthy food. Rich people, on average, eat less than 300 junk food calories per day, according to Corley.</p> <h2>8. Read (for Work or Pleasure)</h2> <p>Whether it's for work or pleasure, people who make a lot of money read, read, read.</p> <p>Rich Habits highlights that 88% of wealthy read for 30 minutes or more each day for education/career and most of them (86%) state that they love to read.</p> <h2>9. Have a Nightly Ritual</h2> <p>Having a nightly ritual helps people who make a lot of money collect their thoughts, wind down, and prepare for the next day.&nbsp;</p> <h2>10. Start Their Own Businesses</h2> <p>The Millionaire Next Door found that most millionaires are entrepreneurs who start their own businesses. It doesn't have to be a start-up technology company. Even owners of waste-removal services do quite well financially.</p> <h2>11. Keep a Running List of Tasks</h2> <p>If you make a lot of money, you need to keep track of what you have to do. In fact, Corley found that 81% of the wealthy maintain a to-do list and actually manage to accomplish about 70% of their tasks each day.</p> <h2>12. Network</h2> <p>You don't make money in isolation, it takes getting out there and meeting other people. And 79% of wealthy network five hours or more each month according to Rich Habits.</p> <p>If people who make a lot of money do these things, do they do them because they make a lot of money? Or do they make a lot of money because they do them? It's a bit of a chicken and egg problem. But, many of the above require diligence, self-control, persistence, and hard work. So, chances are, if you have or develop these traits and do the same things people who make a lot of money do, you too will earn more.</p> <p><em>How many of these habits do you follow?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-more-things-people-who-make-a-lot-of-money-do">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-7"> <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-nervous-tics-you-need-to-stop-right-now">6 Nervous Tics You Need to Stop Right Now</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/20-habits-you-must-start-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Start Right Now and Be a Better Person</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/25-bite-sized-money-resolutions-to-make-2015-your-biggest-year-yet">25 Bite-Sized Money Resolutions to Make 2015 Your Biggest Year Yet</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/20-habits-you-must-kick-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Kick Right Now and Be a Better Person</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/9-dumb-little-things-you-need-to-stop-saying-today">9 Dumb Little Things You Need to Stop Saying Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development habits high earners money habits Fri, 02 Jan 2015 12:00:08 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 1274865 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Bite-Sized Money Resolutions to Make 2015 Your Biggest Year Yet http://www.wisebread.com/25-bite-sized-money-resolutions-to-make-2015-your-biggest-year-yet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-bite-sized-money-resolutions-to-make-2015-your-biggest-year-yet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dollar-bills-2015-Dollarphotoclub_67129525.jpg" alt="dollar bills 2015" title="dollar bills 2015" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's <em>that</em> time of year &mdash; when everyone's telling you that your New Year's resolutions can help you lose 50 pounds by beach season, revolutionize your career, and save enough to buy a Mercedes with cash by December. But despite our best intentions, almost none of us is going to become a brand-new person the moment 2015 dawns.</p> <p>However, we will have a little fresh start momentum on our side, so why not pick a handful of bite-sized financial resolutions from this party mix? If you pull them off by the end of January, you can always come back for seconds.</p> <h2>1. Don't Pay Any Late Fees</h2> <p>If you are prone to paying bills late, set up auto payments on all accounts, for at least the minimum payment due.</p> <h2>2. Read Your Credit Card Bill Every Month</h2> <p>You may be surprised at how many things you find &mdash; recurring billing for services you no longer use, missed refunds, overcharges, or, if you're unlucky, outright credit card fraud. At the very least, it's an opportunity to think about your spending for the past month and adjust your plans for future spending.</p> <h2>3. Start an Emergency Fund</h2> <p>If you don't have an emergency fund, now is the time to start one. Set up a new savings account and auto transfer a regular amount from every paycheck. Even if it's only $10 a month, you'll be on your way to more peace of mind and a lower chance of running up credit card debt when emergencies happen.</p> <h2>4. Participate in Your Company's Retirement Plan</h2> <p>Especially if your company offers matching dollars, this is a one-time chore that will pay off for the rest of your life.</p> <h2>5. Negotiate With a Credit Card Company</h2> <p>When you see an annual fee hit your bill, or if you slip up and incur a late fee (or even if you just want a lower interest rate), pick up the phone and call your credit card customer service line. If you've held the card for a few years, and ask nicely, you may be surprised how easy it is to get your way.</p> <h2>6. Find a Credit Card With Better Perks</h2> <p>If you use credit responsibly, you might as well be getting something in exchange for all the fees you're earning for the company. Use a credit card comparison engine to find the best <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=inarticle">cash-back</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=inarticle">miles</a>, or other benefit offers for you.</p> <h2>7. Cut Back on One Spending Category</h2> <p>When you read that credit card bill, take notice of any categories where your spending is large, and ask yourself if you could cut back on it. Restaurant lunches are low-hanging fruit for many people.</p> <h2>8. Start Using Coupons</h2> <p>You don't have to go all extreme couponing to benefit. You can start by browsing the coupon <a href="http://www.hotcouponworld.com/forums/coupon.php">database at Hot Coupon World</a> to find coupons for the items you regularly buy.</p> <h2>9. Sign Up for a Budgeting Website</h2> <p>My financial planner recommended <a href="https://www.mint.com/">Mint.com</a>, which pulls in info from your bank accounts and credit cards, so you only need look at the dashboard to see where your money went.</p> <h2>10. Find One Service Provider With Better Rates</h2> <p>Maybe you can switch cable or Internet providers, or try a different lawn care service, or start bringing your cat to a vet that doesn't have a fancy waiting room. Whatever it is, if it's a service you use more than once a year, the savings will add up once you switch.</p> <h2>11. Check Your Bank Account for Fees</h2> <p>You might notice a big one like an overdraft fee, but you might also miss smaller fees that banks sneak in. Some accounts start tacking on monthly fees if your balance falls below a certain threshold or if you have too many transactions per month. Take five minutes to review the last several months' statements online to make sure you're not getting nickel and dimed &mdash; and if you are, call your bank to see if there's a way to avoid future fees.</p> <h2>12. Stop Using Out-Of-Network ATMs</h2> <p>It may only be $2 or $3 here and there, but when you think about it, paying $2 to access $50 is forfeiting 4% of your money! Try to plan ahead for your cash needs, but if you find yourself without cash and far from your own bank, hit up a grocery store or drugstore and make a small purchase with your debit card, and then ask for cash back.</p> <h2>13. Stop Doing One Thing That's Not Worth the Time</h2> <p>Whether it's painting your own house or an extra evening job at a low pay rate, do a little cost/benefit analysis and figure out how much time you've been spending on that activity. Then ask yourself how much you enjoy or hate it. You may realize that you could be doing something else with that time that would save or earn more &mdash; or that it's better to set aside that time for a more rewarding non-financial activity.</p> <h2>14. Schedule Budget Meetings With Your Partner for the Rest of the Year</h2> <p>Pick up that stiff new 2015 calendar, and before it gets crowded with other appointments, ink in monthly, bimonthly, or semi-annual &quot;money dates,&quot; where you sit down without distractions to review your bank account balance, bills, financial goals, and spending habits. Having a time set aside to discuss money issues can prevent a lot of fights. If it sounds too boring, schedule a real date right after the money appointment so you have something to look forward to once you get your ducks in a row.</p> <h2>15. Audit Your Electricity Use</h2> <p>For less than $20, you can pick up an <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00009MDBU/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00009MDBU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RU3V2OHCL3ZQPJTG">electricity monitor</a> to find out which of your appliances or devices is a power hog. Based on that info, you can change your habits or replace outdated appliances for extra savings.</p> <h2>16. Try Buying One Thing Second-Hand</h2> <p>If you have never considered Craigslist, garage sales, eBay, or thrift stores, give it a whirl this year. Great first second-hand purchases include: a Halloween costume, a pair of ice skates, a bread machine, or a bicycle. Why? All of these tend to be used once or infrequently before their owners don't want them any more.</p> <h2>17. Try a Price Comparison Engine</h2> <p>Next time you need to make a substantial purchase, research prices first on <a href="http://www.pricegrabber.com/">PriceGrabber</a>, <a href="http://www.pricewatch.com/">Pricewatch</a> or another resource before buying.</p> <h2>18. Sign Up for a Rebate Site</h2> <p><a href="http://www.ebates.com/">Ebates</a> or <a href="http://www.mrrebates.com/">Mr. Rebates</a> will not only get you cash back on online purchases, but they often provide coupon codes as well.</p> <h2>19. Cooperate With Friends Instead of Paying for Something</h2> <p>Whether it's trading child or pet care instead of paying a sitter, exchanging airport drop-offs to save cab fare, or borrowing and lending items that only get used occasionally, you can save a lot with a little help from your friends. You may have to offer first to get the ball rolling, but make it clear when you babysit or drive that you wouldn't mind getting the same favor in return.</p> <h2>20. Always Check the Daily Deal Sites Before You Go Out</h2> <p>Going to a museum, restaurant, or to the roller derby? Just a quick search of <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-10788528">Groupon</a> and <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-11429060">LivingSocial</a> might save you 50% of the cost.</p> <h2>21. Drive Less</h2> <p>Even with lower gas prices, you still have to pay for parking, tolls, and wear and tear on your vehicle every time you opt to drive somewhere. With ride-sharing services, public transit, and bike sharing programs, it pays to ask whether there is a cheaper way to get to your destination &mdash; and it will probably be friendlier to the planet as well.</p> <h2>22. Consider a Low-Cost Cell Phone Plan</h2> <p>If you want a high-end phone, a two-year contract at a high monthly rate is probably in the cards. But if you can live with a midrange smartphone &mdash; which by the way will use many of the same apps and texts and calls people just like an iPhone &mdash; consider paying cash up front and signing up for a low-cost provider such as Virgin Mobile, T-Mobile, or Boost.</p> <h2>23. Set Up Quarterly Tax Payments</h2> <p>If you owed last year, your future self will thank you if you set that up right now.</p> <h2>24. Give Mindfully</h2> <p>Don't just throw your charity money into the pot of whoever happens to be in front of the grocery store. Use <a href="http://www.guidestar.org/">GuideStar</a> or <a href="http://www.charitynavigator.org/">Charity Navigator</a> to evaluate potential charities.</p> <h2>25. Make an Appointment With a Financial Advisor</h2> <p>No matter how old you are, a check-up with an advisor can help you make decisions that could have a big impact on your entire life. Fee-only planners charge by the hour and do not receive commissions for any investments they recommend.</p> <p><em>Have you succeeded in implementing any small financial resolutions? Tell us about it in comments!</em></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/25-bite-sized-money-resolutions-to-make-2015-your-biggest-year-yet">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-7"> <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/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-retail-therapy-good-for-you">5 Ways to Make Retail Therapy Good 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/never-use-cash-for-these-11-things">Never Use Cash for These 11 Things</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/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily">Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily</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/successful-new-years-resolutions-have-this-one-thing-in-common-does-yours">Successful New Year&#039;s Resolutions Have This One Thing in Common — Does Yours?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Credit Cards Personal Development Shopping money habits new years resolutions small changes Tue, 30 Dec 2014 12:00:11 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1274765 at http://www.wisebread.com Important Habits of Very Frugal People http://www.wisebread.com/important-habits-of-very-frugal-people <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/important-habits-of-very-frugal-people" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_tablet_000078796949.jpg" alt="Woman learning habits of highly frugal people" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Frugal people who pay off their debt and achieve financial independence don't succeed by accident. They establish habits that allow them to consistently reach their goals over the long haul.</p> <p>During the past few years as a personal finance blogger and author, I have noticed that the most successful frugal people tend to follow a common set of habits. These are the best habits for&nbsp;achieving financial independence.</p> <h2>1. Be Proactive</h2> <p>Frugal people are proactive about their money, taking action to monitor and control spending and maximize income. They find ways to spend less and reduce expenses &mdash; even if it requires effort and creative thinking. They direct most of the money they save from reduced expenses into savings and investments for long term goals.</p> <p>Although the first thing that comes to mind with frugality is saving money, many frugal people maximize income through side hustles or by generating passive income in addition to controlling their spending. An extra dollar saved or an extra dollar earned both contribute favorably to the bottom line.</p> <p>Frugal people know how much money they have coming in and how much is going out, often with great precision. This is accomplished by creating and following a budget and proactively monitoring spending. They focus on what they can control within their budget to achieve financial success.</p> <h2>2. Begin With the End in Mind</h2> <p>Why do frugal people work so hard to control spending and keep track of their money? Are they simply not interested in buying things? On the contrary, most frugal people are striving to reach financial independence so that they can travel or launch a second career or to have plenty of money to buy the things that matter to them. Frugal people are willing to worry about money now so they don't need to worry about it later.</p> <p>Surprisingly, many frugal people care more about their time than their money. Saving money buys financial independence, which buys time to do whatever you want. Frugal people want freedom to use their time as they wish and not be locked into working at a job until they reach old age.</p> <p>Frugal people begin with the end in mind. The end they want to achieve is financial independence. With that end in mind, they make a plan to reach the goal and follow it every day. The sacrifices along the way are worth reaching the goal.</p> <h2>3. Put First Things First</h2> <p>What is the first thing you pay every month? Do you pay your mortgage first? Perhaps you pay your utility bill or car payment first. Frugal people pay something else first &mdash; themselves.</p> <p>Paying yourself first means that you invest in your retirement fund or other savings accounts first, then you pay other bills using the money that is left. Most people pay their bills first, and then save or invest if there is any money left.</p> <p>Frugal people realize that having money to invest is the most important priority, and they take care of that priority first. If there is not enough money left to pay the bills, then frugal people find ways to make their bills smaller so they can fully fund their investment goals.</p> <h2>4. Think Win-Win</h2> <p>Stephen Covey talked about win-win situations in terms of structuring deals where both parties involved get something beneficial. His point was that someone doesn't have to lose in order to make a great deal &mdash; in fact, the best deals happen in win-win situations.</p> <p>Looking at this habit in the context of frugal success, just because you spend less money doesn't mean you have to benefit less or receive less value. In fact, frugal people find ways to spend less money and achieve greater benefit at the same time.</p> <p>Frugal people find plenty of win-win situations for their money. For example, why do many of them prepare most of their meals at home instead of dining out? Of course, making food at home is cheaper than paying the bill at a restaurant, but eating at home is healthier as well. The benefit of making your own food goes beyond just saving money.</p> <p>Buying a smaller house is less expensive than a larger house and it costs less for maintenance, insurance, heating/cooling, and lighting. In addition to the lower initial price and reduced ongoing costs, a smaller house also takes less time to clean and maintain, freeing up time for other activities.</p> <p>Most win-win scenarios involve not just price, but value. Frugal people consider the overall value that a purchase would provide throughout its life, including hidden expenses and potential benefits. Frugal people are willing to spend money to get a good value, and they shop around and use coupons to get the best deal they can on the right item.</p> <h2>5. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood</h2> <p>Most frugal people don't start out being frugal. They start out as &quot;normal&quot; spenders and rack up credit card bills and student loans like most people. Over time, they come to understand that spending and debt are not the path to contentment. They realize that sometimes less really is more, at least when it comes to debt and spending.</p> <p>Frugal people reach an understanding of how much stuff they need to be happy, which is often far less stuff than most people think they need to be happy. Frugal people make spending decisions in terms of needs and wants, while most people think primarily in terms of having more and better stuff than their friends and neighbors.</p> <p>As far as being understood, most frugal people don't seem to care much what &quot;normal&quot; people think of them. Frugal people understand that spending money to keep up with the Joneses, or anyone else, doesn't make much sense and is certainly not the path to long term contentment.</p> <h2>6. Synergize</h2> <p>Synergy is the concept that sometimes, one plus one adds up to more than just two. How is this possible?</p> <p>If you decide that you can live without cable TV, you can save about $100 per month. Not only do you save $100 this month and every month thereafter, but you have significantly reduced the amount of money you need to retire by forgoing a recurring expense during your retirement years. You could retire years earlier due to the synergy of eliminating a recurring expense.</p> <p>Another example of synergy is reducing clutter. If you minimize the amount of clutter you collect over time, you will require less space to store your stuff. You will be able to live in a smaller, less expensive house. With less clutter, you will be better able to find and use the items that you do have. Savings of time and money will accumulate over the years greatly exceeding the small amount of effort it takes to nip clutter in the bud. This is another example where a seemingly insignificant action can allow you to achieve your goals years earlier due to synergy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor?ref=seealso">8 Ways Clutter Keeps You Poor</a>)</p> <h2>7. Sharpen Your Saw</h2> <p>As you are reading this, you are sharpening your saw! If you have ever tried to cut something with a dull saw, you know that it takes a lot of work and a long time to get the job done. Keeping your saw sharp is time well spent.</p> <p>Sharpening your saw means to continue learning and finding new inspiration to get the most from your money. Frugal people tend to seek out ideas on saving money from blogs, podcasts, books, and by talking with other frugal friends. Reading about the financial success and failures of others can provide inspiration to keep your goals firmly in mind and on track.</p> <p><em>Which of these seven habits do you think is the most important?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/important-habits-of-very-frugal-people">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-people-who-are-good-with-money-never-say">5 Things People Who Are Good With Money Never Say</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-smart-ways-to-make-yourself-hate-spending-money">10 Smart Ways to Make Yourself Hate Spending 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/16-ways-to-kick-start-frugality">16 Ways to Kick-Start Frugality</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-many-of-these-frugal-virtues-have-you-mastered">How Many of These &quot;Frugal Virtues&quot; Have You Mastered?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-people-dont-retire-early-and-how-you-can">4 Reasons People Don&#039;t Retire Early — and How You Can</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Commentary being proactive frugal people good habits money habits saving spending wisely win-win Sat, 06 Dec 2014 22:29:37 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1666846 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things People Who Are Good With Money Never Say http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-people-who-are-good-with-money-never-say <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-people-who-are-good-with-money-never-say" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-paying-bills-90094229-small.jpg" alt="woman paying bills" title="woman paying bills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Head to the self-help section of any bookstore and you'll find a whole row of books about how your mindset is what is preventing you from getting what you want in life. It's a really appealing concept. Imagine if the only thing standing between you and love, wealth, and happiness were the way you looked at the world. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-people-with-good-credit-never-do?ref=seealso">8 Things People With Good Credit Never Do &mdash; Do You?</a>)</p> <p>Wait &mdash; it kind of is, at least where money's concerned. While I don't think a change in mindset is any guarantee you'll make millions (no matter what those self-help books say), it can help you make more of what you've got. That may not be as dramatic, but it can have a pretty powerful impact on your bottom line.</p> <p>How do you talk about money? Here are five things that people who are really good at managing their money never say &mdash; and why you shouldn't say them either.</p> <h2>1. &quot;I Don't Have Enough Money to Save&quot;</h2> <p>Yes, the less money you make, the harder it is to save some. But unless you're falling short in terms of paying for a modest place to live and enough food to eat, you can probably scrape together at least a few dollars per month. In fact, the average American apparently has more than<a href="http://www.experian.com/assets/simmons-research/white-papers/2011-discretionary-spend-report.pdf"> $12,000 in discretionary income each year</a>. Whether you're on the low end or the high end of that range, it suggests that many of us have money to save; we just choose not to. Plus, saving is a habit. If you make one now, it'll pay off more and more over time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/37-savings-changes-you-can-make-today?ref=seealso">37 Savings Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <h2>2. &quot;Investing Is Too Complicated&quot;</h2> <p>Investing isn't rocket science. It's just easier to believe that it is. That way, you don't have to actually, like, <em>do</em> it.</p> <p>You know that thing that you learned that seemed really complicated and difficult at first, and now it seems so easy that you can't believe you were ever so intimidated by it? Yeah. Investing's like that. People who are good with money &mdash; or at least good at making it grow &mdash; tend to go in and try to learn all they can. Then they practice and learn and make mistakes and, ultimately, become investors. The truth is that investing isn't hard; it's just hard work.</p> <h2>3. &quot;I Can Either Enjoy the Present or Save for the Future&quot;</h2> <p>Nice try, but actually, people who are good with their money balance both. Should you save money for emergencies, retirement and future desires? Absolutely. Should you do it to the exclusion of every little indulgence? Absolutely not. And you shouldn't just avoid this route because it's austere, and sad and more than little ascetic. You should avoid total self denial because for most people, it just isn't a sustainable long-term strategy. So save your money for the future. Just be sure to enjoy a little bit now too, OK?</p> <h2>4. &quot;If Only I Had X, I Would Be Happy&quot;</h2> <p>Money can buy so many things that it often becomes a proxy for happiness. If I had X dollars, I could do Y and I would happy. And maybe you would be. For a while. The problem is that once you get Y, it probably won't be long before you're looking for Z.</p> <p>Now, I won't go as far as to say that money can't buy happiness. It's definitely a big piece of the puzzle. But people who are really good with their money know that it's just one piece. If only we could buy something that would solve all of our problems, right? It's a great fantasy. But people who are good with their money know that it's just that.</p> <h2>5. &quot;I Can't Afford It&quot;</h2> <p>The term &quot;afford&quot; is entirely subjective. What I mean by that is that even the very richest people &mdash; the top of the top in terms of income &mdash; have limits. Sure, those limits may include a mega mansion, or a private zoo, or a whole island, but there's still a limit somewhere. All wealth is finite. So, whether you have a lot of money or just a little, your financial life is about making choices.</p> <p>Rather than feeling sorry about what you think you can't afford, think about it from the perspective of what you <em>want</em> to afford. If you want to travel around the world, you can afford to do that &mdash; but you just might have to give up your house and your car and your cushy salary to do it. If you want to retire early, you can make that happen &mdash; but it'll probably mean working more hours and taking fewer vacations along the way. Rather than looking at life in terms of what is unattainable, people who are really good with money look at what they want, figure out how much it'll cost, and do what it takes to make it happen.</p> <p><em>Do you know people who are good with money? What are some of the things you never hear them say? Share them in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-people-who-are-good-with-money-never-say">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-personal-finance-tips-for-introverts">8 Personal Finance Tips for Introverts</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-selling-office-supplies">8 Money Lessons I Learned Selling Office Supplies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</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/comparing-savings-rates-us-vs-japan">Comparing Savings Rates: U.S. vs Japan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance investing money habits money lessons saving Thu, 09 Oct 2014 13:00:03 +0000 Tara Struyk 1229269 at http://www.wisebread.com