money habits http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12153/all en-US 6 Ways to Feel Better About Your Financial Situation http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-feel-better-about-your-financial-situation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-feel-better-about-your-financial-situation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beautiful_young_african_woman_smiling_and_thinking.jpg" alt="Beautiful young African woman smiling and thinking" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When your bank account balance is looking dismal and you're digging through your pockets hoping for some forgotten cash, it's reasonable to be pessimistic about your financial situation. Don't despair. Instead, let's look at the piggy bank half-full, because there are plenty of positives in your financial situation that might be hard to see.</p> <h2>1. Count your blessings</h2> <p>While you may be on a tighter budget from time to time, you're not broke &mdash; not as long as you have clothes on your back, a roof over your head, and food in your belly, anyway. And if you still have a job? That's a blessing you can count each time a paycheck arrives.</p> <p>It's not ideal to have no savings, nor an emergency fund, nor a well stocked retirement account. But when you take a step back, you might see that your situation is manageable, and <em>changeable</em>. Start with a tally of what you have in terms of time, money, skills, and social connections. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-escape-the-paycheck-to-paycheck-cycle?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Escape the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle</a>)</p> <h2>2. Come up with a plan</h2> <p>Not having enough money isn't fun, but if you let that problem fester for too long, it will wear you down. Your confidence and motivation will suffer as a result, and you run the significant risk of relegating yourself to being someone who's always struggling financially.</p> <p>Focus on small ways you can change your financial situation immediately, such as selling stuff you no longer need, or looking for a side gig to bring in extra income. You don't even need a &quot;second job&quot; these days to bring in extra cash. You can pet sit in your neighborhood, rent out space in your home, drive for a ride-sharing service, plus dozens more moneymaking opportunities. I take on several of these tasks regularly, in addition to my job as a full-time journalist, because I like to have &quot;enough&quot; for the things I want. I live by the financial motto, 'If I'm not making money, I'm spending it' &ndash; which is why I have to spend more time doing the former than the latter to get ahead in life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-when-money-is-tight?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Ways to Earn Extra Cash When Money Is Tight</a>)</p> <h2>3. Find a support group</h2> <p>Financial conversations can be extremely awkward, but it's important to seek out sources of support from people who understand what you're going through, and can provide advice. There's nothing wrong with setting boundaries when friends ask you to do something you can't afford. Politely say no and then lean on your supportive network. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-stay-on-budget-even-with-your-spendy-friends?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Ways to Stay on Budget &mdash; Even With Your Spendy Friends</a>)</p> <h2>4. Never feel guilty about saving money</h2> <p>Sometimes committing to living within your means, saving for an emergency fund, and reaching for financial independence means saying no to certain purchases and activities. It could mean letting your friends and family know that you won't be buying holiday gifts this year. Achieving your financial goals might require sacrifices here or there, but will be worth it when your purchases no longer come with a cost of credit card interest or future security.</p> <h2>5. Demolish that negative mindset</h2> <p>You know how when people start telling lies, they sometimes convince themselves that the lie they told is true? That's what happens when you're constantly saying you're broke. Eventually you'll begin to believe that, and being &quot;broke&quot; will become a way of life. Head that self-fulfilling prophecy off at the pass by removing that word from your lexicon altogether.</p> <p>Change your narrative about your situation. Believe that you have the ability to rise above &mdash; and tell yourself so.</p> <h2>6. Look ahead, not behind</h2> <p>If you're in your current financial situation due to bad money decisions in the past (been there, done that), it's no use to beat yourself up about it. Recognize what you've done, decide that you're going to learn from it, and then move forward. Make each day another opportunity to improve and make better decisions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-but-no-one-talks-about?ref=seealso" target="_blank">20 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes But No One Talks About</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-ways-to-feel-better-about-your-financial-situation&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Ways%2520to%2520Feel%2520Better%2520About%2520Your%2520Financial%2520Situation.png&amp;description=6%20Ways%20to%20Feel%20Better%20About%20Your%20Financial%20Situation"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Ways%20to%20Feel%20Better%20About%20Your%20Financial%20Situation.png" alt="6 Ways to Feel Better About Your Financial Situation" width="250" height="374" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-feel-better-about-your-financial-situation">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-sloth-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Sloth Is 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/how-to-think-like-a-billionaire-when-you-re-broke">How to Think Like a Billionaire When You’re Broke</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/4-countries-where-you-can-live-on-1000-a-month">4 Countries Where You Can Live on $1,000 a Month</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-smart-money-habits-of-introverts">6 Smart Money Habits of Introverts</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-cutting-your-losses-can-save-you-more-than-money">How Cutting Your Losses Can Save You More Than Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Lifestyle broke figure of speech mental bias money habits no money out of money poor poverty saving money Tue, 03 Oct 2017 09:00:05 +0000 Mikey Rox 2029864 at http://www.wisebread.com 39 Mindless Ways You're Wasting Money in Every Part of Your Life http://www.wisebread.com/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_empty_wallet_653879988.jpg" alt="Woman learning mindless ways she&#039;s wasting money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even though you try to be careful with your money, you are probably wasting a lot of cash without even noticing. If you find yourself wondering where your money goes, see if any of these mindless money wasters are escaping your attention.</p> <h2>1. Superfluous presents</h2> <p>The easiest way to make sure you have a special occasion covered is to buy presents, cards, flowers, cakes, etc. Some special occasions merit this kind of spending, but it's easy to get in the habit of routinely buying small gifts that will quickly be forgotten and eventually get tossed. A quick note is a meaningful way to show you care &mdash; and it's free.</p> <h2>2. High-tech gadgets</h2> <p>Many people automatically get a new cellphone when their contract is up, or buy every new game console that comes out. But do you really need an upgrade? Instead, keep your working tech toy around until it starts to get glitchy.</p> <h2>3. In-app purchases</h2> <p>Those free games and apps are usually trying to sell you something. They make it easy to click and buy a way to beat a hard level of a game or add a new feature to your free app without really thinking about it. Resist!</p> <h2>4. Unused subscriptions</h2> <p>When you were hyped up about getting in shape for the new year, you subscribed to a fitness video channel and watched it a few times. But you are still paying $9.99 per month just in case you decide to get in shape later. Cancel that membership and start saving money.</p> <h2>5. Your morning coffee</h2> <p>Lots of people seem to operate on autopilot during their morning routine. They hit the coffee shop or maybe grab fast food for breakfast. They are blowing money every day before they are awake enough to notice!</p> <h2>6. Recreational shopping</h2> <p>Stores are intentionally designed to trigger buying and extract as much money from shoppers as possible. Walking around a store or mall just for something to do is likely to result in unintended spending.</p> <h2>7. Buying books</h2> <p>You may be in the habit of buying the latest book in a series from your favorite author as soon as you see it at the store. But you can get new book releases at the library for free, or get ebooks instead of paper books, sometimes for lower prices &mdash; plus you won't need to store the book after you read it. Another alternative is to find used books for a fraction of the cost of new books.</p> <h2>8. Buying name-brand everything</h2> <p>People like buying name-brand items and seem to do so without even considering generic alternatives. Sometimes buying name brands makes sense if it offers more features or higher quality, but often the generic version costs a lot less and you won't even notice the difference.</p> <h2>9. Convenience items</h2> <p>Individual serving containers and prepared food items are quick and convenient, but cost much more than larger quantities. With a little planning, you can get the same items and avoid paying extra. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-much-more-youre-paying-for-these-6-convenience-buys?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Much More You're Paying for These 6 Convenience Buys</a>)</p> <h2>10. Making minimum payments</h2> <p>Credit card bills show the minimum payment you are required to make each month based on your total balance. Many people simply pay just this amount, but it can take over a decade to pay off a credit card making minimum payments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Fastest Way to Pay Off 10K Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>11. Getting high interest credit cards</h2> <p>Credit cards often offer a low introductory interest rate and later bump it up significantly when the promotional period has ended. Check the interest rates on your accounts and do a balance transfer or debt consolidation loan to get rid of high interest balances. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">When to Do a Balance Transfer to Pay Off Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>12. Opening high fee investment accounts</h2> <p>The good news is that you are investing money for retirement, but the bad news is that high fees may be erasing a lot of your gains and could delay retirement by years. Take the extra step to check out the expense ratio on your investment options and choose ones with low fees. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-warren-buffett-says-you-should-invest-in-index-funds?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why You Should Invest In Index Funds</a>)</p> <h2>13. Accruing late fees</h2> <p>With free autopay, you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-autopay" target="_blank">pay your bills</a> even if you don't bother to open them and avoid late fees.</p> <h2>14. Getting the extended warranty</h2> <p>When you buy a new gizmo, you will often be offered <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-free-extended-warranties-work-on-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">extended warranty coverage</a>. At that moment, saying yes to protect your new toy can seem like the easy answer, but purchasing an extended warranty is often a bad deal for many items including appliances, electronics, and vehicles. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-buying-the-extended-warranty-makes-sense?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Times Buying the Extended Warranty Makes Sense</a>)</p> <h2>15. Going along with the crowd</h2> <p>It is easy to get pulled into going to an expensive activity such as a concert or sporting event with friends, but make sure the cost is worth it to you before you commit to going. There are plenty of things you can do together that cost little or no money.</p> <h2>16. Keeping cable TV</h2> <p>Once you get signed up for cable TV or satellite TV, the bills just keep on coming every month unless you do something to make it stop. There are several cost-effective alternatives once you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-everyone-can-cut-cable-and-still-watch-what-they-love-even-sportsfans?ref=internal" target="_blank">cut the cable cord</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-tv-must-haves-once-you-cut-the-cable-cord?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 TV Must-Haves Once You Cut the Cable Cord</a>)</p> <h2>17. Hobbies</h2> <p>Some hobbies require continuously buying new materials and equipment. Replace expensive, resource-intensive hobbies with activities that are less focused on trips to the store to buy supplies. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hobbies-you-can-start-for-under-10?ref=seealso" target="_blank">25 Hobbies You Can Start for Under $10</a>)</p> <h2>18. Collections</h2> <p>It can be easy to start a collection, but you end up buying things solely to own them and you need space to keep your collection.</p> <h2>19. Extra driving</h2> <p>One great thing about modern life is that you can travel effortlessly from one place to another by driving a car, rather than in a horse and buggy, but driving around is expensive. Save money at the gas pump by cutting down on unnecessary and inefficient trips.</p> <h2>20. Not changing your thermostat setting</h2> <p>If you use a &quot;set it and forget it&quot; approach to temperature control in your house, you are sending extra money to the utility company each month. Instead of leaving the A/C cranked up all summer long, turn the temperature up at night and when you are not home. Better yet, use a <a href="http://amzn.to/2okYqtt" target="_blank">programmable thermostat</a> to automatically adjust the temperature for your schedule.</p> <h2>21. Driving a big car</h2> <p>Sometimes having a big vehicle is handy, but most of the time when I see pickup trucks and SUVs on the road, they have no cargo and only the driver on board. Think about driving a small car instead of a large vehicle to cut your fuel bill and save on the vehicle purchase price as well. You can rent or borrow a large vehicle for occasions when you need extra capacity, or let someone else do the hauling.</p> <h2>22. Carrying extra stuff in your car</h2> <p>If you have extra junk in your trunk, you are paying to haul it around everywhere you go. Get rid of extra stuff you have accumulated in your car to get better gas mileage and improve your vehicle's ride.</p> <h2>23. Keeping your home lit up like Times Square</h2> <p>It is easy to remember to turn on the lights when you walk into a dark room, but it is much harder to remember to turn the lights off when you leave. Forgetting to turn off unused lights and electronics is running up your electric bill.</p> <h2>24. Dining out</h2> <p>It is easy to go through the fast food drive-thru on the way home or take your family out to a casual dining restaurant when you don't feel like cooking, but this costs a lot more than buying groceries and preparing food at home.</p> <h2>25. Up-sizing your orders</h2> <p>When you are offered an upgrade to a large drink and large fries for a dollar, it can seem like a no-brainer to say yes. You always want a good deal, right? But if you don't need a bigger drink and more fries, up-sizing is a waste of money.</p> <h2>26. Buying bottled water</h2> <p>Buying cold bottles of water is convenient, but you can easily bring water from home for almost free. Freeze your refillable bottles of water so they will be cold when you are ready to drink them.</p> <h2>27. Using vending machines</h2> <p>When you are hungry and there is a giant machine filled with snacks nearby, it can be hard to avoid putting money into it. With a little planning, however, you can buy snack items at the grocery store instead and save a lot of money.</p> <h2>28. Entertainment snacking</h2> <p>Many people are in the habit of eating snacks at the movie theater, at ballgames, after work, or when watching TV at home. Are you really that hungry, or are you just in the habit of eating something when some form of entertainment is in front of you? Because you can still enjoy whatever you're watching with or without the snack.</p> <h2>29. Always ordering a drink</h2> <p>When dining out or at meals at home, there is always an opportunity to get a drink. Most people opt for this choice. But are you actually thirsty? And if you are, what's wrong with drinking free water instead of soda?</p> <h2>30. Blindly following expiration dates</h2> <p>Most expiration dates on food are a suggestion rather than a hard rule. Use common sense rather than throwing out food based only on the &quot;use by&quot; or &quot;best before&quot; dates printed on food packaging. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-i-eat-this-a-quick-guide-to-expiration-dates-and-food-safety?ref=seealso" target="_blank">A Quick Guide to Expiration Dates and Food Safety</a>)</p> <h2>31. Creating premature container waste</h2> <p>Is that empty food container really empty? Use a rubber spatula to get all of the peanut butter out of the jar before recycling it. You can probably get enough for one more PB&amp;J sandwich.</p> <h2>32. Eating too much in one sitting</h2> <p>It's hard to leave only two cookies in the package or to leave a small amount of leftovers in a tupperware container for the next day. Most people will finish off a container of food, even if it is more than they want or need. But that small amount of food may be just right for a snack or to round out the next meal. Save it for later, and save money in the process.</p> <h2>33. Buying new furniture</h2> <p>Instead of automatically going to look at new furniture, check out much cheaper used furniture first at consignment shops and on Craigslist.</p> <h2>34. Buying disposable products</h2> <p>Would you buy something and then immediately throw it away after one use? That's exactly what you are doing when you buy disposable products. I try to minimize wasting money on disposable products by using cloth napkins and reusable rags instead of paper products, for example.</p> <h2>35. Using a storage unit</h2> <p>You have too much stuff to fit in your house, basement, attic, and garage &hellip; but not to worry &mdash; you can rent a storage unit. You're paying for extra room in order to keep things you aren't using. It can be a lot of work to get rid of extra stuff, but you will save money every month by avoiding that storage unit fee. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-why-self-storage-is-a-really-bad-idea?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Reasons Why Self-Storage Is a Really Bad Idea</a>)</p> <h2>36. Paying for DIY services</h2> <p>You might find yourself signed up for home services such as lawn care and pest control that you could take care of yourself, or perhaps no longer need.</p> <h2>37. Carwash</h2> <p>When your car is dirty, driving through a car wash may seem like a good solution, but you can wash your car at home for a fraction of the cost.</p> <h2>38. Taking the kids to toy land</h2> <p>Will your kids really play with a new toy for more than a few minutes? Instead of mindlessly buying another toy, spend time playing with them and the toys they already have.</p> <h2>39. Pampering your pets too much</h2> <p>Last time I moved, I was embarrassed to find a box labeled &quot;Dog Clothes.&quot; In addition to clothes, my dogs have lots of toys and accessories, too. I could have saved a lot of money if I had thought about what my dogs would actually use rather than impulsively buying things that looked fun.</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/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life">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/heres-how-too-many-decisions-costs-you-money">Here&#039;s How Too Many Decisions Costs You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-23-mental-tricks-thatll-help-you-save-money">Flashback Friday: 23 Mental Tricks That&#039;ll Help You Save 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/how-to-resist-the-expensive-once-in-a-lifetime-mentality">How to Resist the Expensive &quot;Once in a Lifetime&quot; Mentality</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-one-nice-thing-can-ruin-your-whole-budget">How One Nice Thing Can Ruin Your Whole Budget</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/people-are-still-spending-too-much-on-their-weddings">People Are Still Spending Too Much on Their Weddings</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping how to save money money habits saving money shopping habits Spending Money wasting money Wed, 19 Apr 2017 09:00:09 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1930448 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Times It's OK to Be "Selfish" With Your Money http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-its-ok-to-be-selfish-with-your-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-times-its-ok-to-be-selfish-with-your-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-616225056.jpg" alt="sometimes it&#039;s okay to be selfish with your money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So many of us (especially women!) have been trained, by our families and our culture, to never, ever be selfish. We don't even want to appear selfish, and will do so many things to make sure we come across as generous and <em>nice</em>.</p> <p>Taken to extremes, there are &quot;unselfish&quot; financial choices that can cause huge problems in your own budget. This is unfortunate, because saying &quot;No&quot; in situations wherein you don't really want to spend hard-earned money isn't selfish. After all, the money is yours. You earned it, and you should choose how you spend it, regardless of other people's desires and expectations.</p> <p>Here are some situations where it isn't selfish at all to keep your money for yourself. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-saving-habits-you-should-never-apologize-for?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Money-Saving Habits You Should Never Apologize For</a>)</p> <h2>1. When a borrower approaches</h2> <p>Many of us know a borrower. Whether it's a friend or family member, there's that one person who, when they reach out to you, you always wonder, <em>How much do you need this time?</em></p> <p>It's so hard to say no to these people. Their needs are often legitimate, even if they're created by the their own inability to stop spending. Even when the need is real, if you have some misgivings or if they still owe you from last time, you can choose to deny their request.</p> <p>It's your money, and it's also your job to make sure it is spent responsibly. If they won't be responsible, or even if you just anticipate needing the money before they can pay it back, keep it. And if the person is a serial borrower, they need to learn to stand on their own two feet. It may as well be now. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-16-cardinal-rules-of-loaning-money-to-friends-and-family?ref=seealso" target="_blank">16 Cardinal Rules of Loaning Money to Friends and Family</a>)</p> <h2>2. When it's MLM madness</h2> <p>Oh, multi-level marketing &hellip; everyone's favorite get-rich-quick scheme. Whether it's kitchen tools or jewelry or leggings or oils or candles or anything else, when a friend buys into the latest MLM fad, it can be so hard to say no.</p> <p>If you attend their latest sales party, you'll almost surely be expected to buy something. And it almost always comes from a mom who wants to quit her job and stay home, or a family member who just needs a little more each month.</p> <p>There's nothing wrong with most MLM products. If you like them and you'll use them and you want them anyway, go ahead and buy. But don't feel like you <em>have to</em> buy them out of guilt. After all, there's only so much you can spend, and then your friend will have to find real clients &mdash; people who actually want the product &mdash; anyway. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-types-of-friends-who-are-costing-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Types of Friends Who Are Costing You Money</a>)</p> <h2>3. When your child screams</h2> <p>Next time your child yells, &quot;You never buy me anything! You're so selfish!&quot; remember that he or she is just trying to get a reaction out of you.</p> <p>Sometimes, we don't even feel that guilt. We know the kid is acting like a kid &hellip; but we still end up buying them something so they will just be quiet and let us finish our shopping.</p> <p>Seriously, no one wants the be the parent dragging the screaming kid around the store. But better to be that and teach your child that they can make as much noise as they want and it won't change anything, than to cave and teach them to scream for what they want.</p> <h2>4. When the neighbors come knocking</h2> <p>So your neighbor kids are cute. Seriously cute. But there's only so much candy/Girl Scout cookies/wrapping paper/odd pastries/Christmas trees that you need. Sure, you want to help them raise money for that class trip, but you'd also like to take a trip of your own someday.</p> <p>When they come to the door, it's perfectly acceptable to decline their fundraising products. If you really want to support them, you can ask them what they'll be selling over the course of the year, and tell them to come by when they have an item you actually want.</p> <p>Beware, too, the fact that kids talk amongst themselves. If one kid finds out you bought something, sometimes that brings a whole herd of them to your door, and then it's extra hard to say no, because you know that they know that you already said yes once.</p> <p>So if you want to support them, or they are selling a product you like, go ahead and buy. But if there's nothing you want or you are strapped for cash, feel free to decline, too. It really is your choice.</p> <h2>5. When GoFundMe asks</h2> <p>You're scrolling through your Facebook feed when you see a picture of an adorable family and one of your friends, who you love and trust, is asking for help for them. So you click through to the fundraising page and find out someone has cancer, or is in the hospital, or died suddenly, and their dear friends are asking anyone for financial help.</p> <p>It's hard to deny the fact that your heart breaks a little. Life is hard, and these stories remind us that our lives could get much, much harder at any moment. That doesn't mean you need to give them money, though.</p> <p>I think that many of us want to fix hard things, and giving a little money in these situations makes us feel better. But unless you know the people personally and truly feel moved to give, from the generosity of your heart and not from guilt, you can skip it. It's OK. You don't have to try to fix the whole world's problems. Plus, if you give away all your money and then face your own medical or financial emergency, you won't even be able to help yourself.</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-times-its-ok-to-be-selfish-with-your-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/10-less-awkward-ways-to-ask-a-friend-for-your-money-back">10 Less Awkward Ways to Ask a Friend for Your Money Back</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-money-moments-that-are-awkward-for-everyone">10 Money Moments That Are Awkward for Everyone</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-feel-better-about-your-financial-situation">6 Ways to Feel Better About Your Financial Situation</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/9-money-lessons-to-take-from-the-great-depression">9 Money Lessons to Take From the Great Depression</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> Life Hacks Budgeting begging money habits money moments money situations mooching selfish selfish with money Mon, 03 Apr 2017 08:00:12 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1919578 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Millennial Money Habits Every Retiree Should Learn http://www.wisebread.com/6-millennial-money-habits-every-retiree-should-learn <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-millennial-money-habits-every-retiree-should-learn" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-589447046.jpg" alt="Learning millennial money habits retirees should strive for" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to money matters, Millennials don't always get a good rap. These young adults are likely to view themselves in good financial health so long as they make the bills at the end of the month, let alone stow a little extra away for retirement. But don't mistake them as financial illiterates. In fact, there are some common ways Millennials handle their money that could benefit the older generations. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways Millennials Have Changed Money So Far</a>)</p> <h2>1. Get Creative</h2> <p>As retirees age, their expenditures fall &mdash; but their <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2498185" target="_blank">income drops even faster</a>. Perhaps retirees, who are unlikely to jump back into the traditional workforce due to a suddenly trickling cash flow, can benefit from some Millennial-style money tactics. Indeed, Millennials know how to get creative when it comes to their earnings. The old rules simply didn't apply to this generation of '80s and '90s babies that entered adulthood during the uncertainty of the financial recession. So, they made their own rules. They found their own innovative ways to survive. And now, as they continue to develop a distinctly entrepreneurial spirit, many Millennials are beginning to thrive.</p> <p>More than any other generation, Millennials have embraced the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-ways-the-sharing-economy-helps-you-save-on-vacation?ref=internal" target="_blank">sharing economy</a>, in which a lawn mower, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-more-money-as-an-uber-driver?ref=internal" target="_blank">their car</a>, or a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space?ref=internal" target="_blank">spare bedroom</a> can become a valuable source of revenue. The average Airbnb host earns more than $20,000 a year renting out a full, two-bedroom apartment or house in a major city, and this is exactly the kind of peripheral revenue stream that Millennials have become accustomed to seeking out for themselves.</p> <p>When it comes to ride-sharing, 21% of Millennials have used user-powered programs like Lyft and Uber to save money while on vacation. Among other age groups, those numbers are much lower &mdash; 7% for Gen-Xers and 4% for Baby Boomers. For older retirees, the percentage is presumably even lower. Yet <a href="https://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-5/spending-patterns-of-older-americans.htm" target="_blank">transportation is a significant expense</a> for most retirees, and it's one that could potentially be lowered through the use of ride-sharing &mdash; not only during a vacation, but on a daily basis. Older households spend about $8,000 a year on transportation, ranging from a high of $9,321 for the 55 to 64 age group, to a low of $5,091 for the 75-and-older group, according to federal data.</p> <h2>2. Don't Buy Stuff, Spend on Experiences Instead</h2> <p>Millennials highly value experiences &mdash; concerts, yoga festivals, French lessons, surf lessons, palm readings, trips to Italy &mdash; and they are increasingly willing to fork over more and more money to get them. All told, 78% of Millennials would choose to spend money on a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-you-should-splurge-on-experiences-not-things?ref=internal" target="_blank">desirable experience</a> or event over buying something desirable, and 55% of Millennials say they're spending more on events and live experiences than ever before, according to a 2015 study by Eventbrite. What's more, nearly eight in 10 Millennials say some of their best memories are from an event or live experience they attended or participated in, while 69% say attending live events and experiences make them more connected to other people, the community, and the world.</p> <p>As it turns out, there's scientific evidence to support the idea that people of all ages who spend money on experiences rather than things have a greater shot at attaining happiness. More than stuff, experiential pursuits promote greater happiness, psychologists have found. Perhaps painting lessons, bowling clubs, and a little international travel might also hold the key to a happy retirement.</p> <h2>3. Save Like You Mean It</h2> <p>A recent survey by T. Rowe Price found that 67% of Millennials will save by any means necessary. One reason might be this: It's reassuring to have a stash of cash available for emergencies, and this fact very well may be a major motivator for young adults who came of age during the recession, when jobs were scarce and layoffs were commonplace.</p> <p>Older generations could benefit from that same mentality. Saving by any means necessary, as if the financial future was completely uncertain, will help build up a money cushion should the worst actually happen.</p> <h2>4. Embrace Technology</h2> <p>Millennials are famously tech-savvy, and they're using their familiarity with mobile apps to track their investments, as well as their spending and saving habits, in real time. Tools like <a href="https://www.mint.com/" target="_blank">Mint</a> and <a href="https://digit.co/" target="_blank">Digit</a> make financial planning quick and easy, while <a href="https://www.acorns.com/">Acorns</a> helps Millennials automatically invest their spare change into a diversified and customizable portfolio. There are money-saving apps specific for grocery shopping, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps?ref=internal" target="_blank">couponing</a>, freelancing, and so much more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-make-budgeting-fun-no-really?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Apps That Make Budgeting Fun &mdash; No Really!</a>)</p> <p>While retirees generally lag in technological proficiency, there's been great improvement in recent years. All told, <a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/06/26/americans-internet-access-2000-2015/" target="_blank">58% of people 65 and older</a> go online, according to the Pew Research Center, which marks an impressive increase from 14% in 2000. The app and website <a href="https://lifereimagined.aarp.org/" target="_blank">Life Reimagined</a> by AARP is one example of a highly-rated financial and social planning tool for retirees of all ages.</p> <h2>5. Volunteer in Exchange for Free Tickets</h2> <p>Americans 55 and older spend <a href="https://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-5/spending-patterns-of-older-americans.htm" target="_blank">5.3% of their budget</a> on entertainment, which is slightly more than the entertainment spending of all Americans, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Perhaps older Americans could benefit from this tip straight out of the Millennial playbook: A little volunteer work can go a long way to get you access to concerts, festivals, and sporting events. Many theaters, stadiums, and festival grounds offer volunteers free tickets to events in exchange for some time spent charitably directing parking or ushering the aisles.</p> <h2>6. Talk It Out</h2> <p>Millennials are markedly open when it comes to discussing their financial woes, worries, and successes. Not only are they quick to seek expert advice, but they are also undeterred from engaging in frank financial talks with friends, spouses, parents, co-workers, and others. Retirees who come from a generation that largely believed that it's rude to talk about money in public could learn from the younger generation's fiscal transparency. Experts say that open conversations about finances can help save relationships, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-conversations-every-couple-should-have?ref=internal" target="_blank">especially intimate ones</a>. They can also lead to people to better address their financial concerns, which can help prevent financial crises from building up later on down the road.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-millennial-money-habits-every-retiree-should-learn">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/how-millennials-with-kids-may-become-the-richest-retirees-yet">How Millennials With Kids May Become the Richest Retirees Yet</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/tiny-nestegg-retire-abroad">Tiny Nestegg? Retire abroad!</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-things-millennials-can-learn-about-saving-money-from-gen-x">5 Things Millennials Can Learn About Saving Money From Gen-X</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-millennials-can-do-right-now-for-an-early-retirement">8 Things Millennials Can Do Right Now for an Early 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/everyones-using-spare-change-apps-are-they-really-worth-it">Everyone&#039;s Using Spare Change Apps — Are They Really Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Retirement apps baby boomers gen x generations millennials money habits retirees saving money sharing economy volunteering Tue, 14 Mar 2017 11:00:11 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1906388 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Costly Credit Card Mistakes You Might Be Making http://www.wisebread.com/5-costly-credit-card-mistakes-you-might-be-making <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-costly-credit-card-mistakes-you-might-be-making" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-623942818.jpg" alt="Man making costly credit card mistakes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While most Americans have one or more credit cards, very few spend much time thinking about them. Instead, we tend to enjoy the simplicity and convenience of our cards, while often failing to use them to our best advantage.</p> <p>Here are five ways you may be using your credit cards wrong, and some tips on how to use them better.</p> <h2>1. Carrying a Balance</h2> <p>If you're carrying a balance on one or more of your credit cards, you're incurring costly interest charges on every purchase you make, starting on the day of each transaction. However, if you can get into the habit of clearing your balance every month, then you will enjoy an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-didn-t-understand-about-credit-card-interest-grace-periods-and-penalty-aprs?ref=internal" target="_blank">interest-free grace period</a>.</p> <p>Credit card issuers calculate interest charges based on your average daily balance, but they will waive all interest charges when you pay your entire statement balance in full every month. As a result, you can make a purchase at the beginning of your 30-day billing period, and then pay for it at the end of a 25-day grace period (the time between when the statement period ends and the payment due date), and get up to 55 days of interest-free financing.</p> <h2>2. Not Carrying a Balance, But Not Earning Rewards Either<strong> </strong></h2> <p>About 30% of U.S. card accounts don't incur interest charges because the cardholders pay their credit card balances in full every month. That's great, but too many of these cardholders aren't earning any rewards. When you pay your full statement balance each month, you can choose a card that offers the most valuable rewards, without worrying about its interest rate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-everyday-purchases?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Everyday Purchases</a>)</p> <p>And since you won't have any credit card debt, you may have a very strong credit score. An excellent credit score <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-for-people-with-excellent-credit?ref=internal" target="_blank">qualifies you for the best cards</a> that offer rewards programs and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-bonus-cash-for-sign-up" target="_blank">high sign-up bonuses</a>.</p> <h2>3. Not Redeeming Your Credit Card Rewards</h2> <p>It's not enough to just earn credit card rewards, you need to redeem them. According to the 2015 J.D. Power credit card satisfaction survey, only 53% of reward card holders had redeemed rewards in the previous six months. There may be good reasons to hold onto rewards &mdash; if you're saving up airline points for a big trip, for example. But airline rewards programs are changing constantly, and the devaluation of frequent flyer miles is always a risk. Even worse, the rewards may expire or you may forget about them before the account is closed.</p> <p>People often don't use rewards because the reward program is too complicated or they've chosen the wrong kind of reward card. While <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel reward cards</a> often sound alluring and a free international trip usually provides the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-cards-have-the-best-travel-redemption-value?ref=internal" target="_blank">highest rewards redemption value</a>, the truth is, if you don't travel more than a couple of times a year or you're not interested in an overseas trip, they're probably not your best option.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">Cash-back cards</a> offer a slightly lower payout but they're simpler, so most people are more likely to use the rewards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Cash Back vs Travel Rewards: Pick the Right Credit Card for You</a>)</p> <h2>4. Having Just One Credit Card<strong> </strong></h2> <p>As long as you can handle credit responsibly, you're better off having more than one credit card. Some cards are better than others for certain purposes. You might have one credit card that offers valuable benefits when you travel, and another card that earns the most rewards for everyday purchases at home, such as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=internal" target="_blank">groceries</a> or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">gas</a>.</p> <p>Having multiple credit cards improves your overall <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit utilization ratio</a>, helping your credit score. It's also important to have a backup in case one of your cards is ever lost, stolen, or hacked.</p> <h2>5. Not Using Your Cardholder Benefits<strong> </strong></h2> <p>When you first received your credit card, it included pages of fine print that you probably threw away. Buried in that pile was something called the guide to benefits that lists all sorts of ways that you can use your card to save money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <p>One of the best known credit card benefits is <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">rental car insurance</a>, which saves you from having to buy the expensive policies pushed by the car rental companies. Lesser known perks include <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-free-extended-warranties-work-on-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">extended warranty</a> coverage, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-credit-cards-protect-your-purchases-from-damage-or-theft?ref=internal" target="_blank">damage and theft protection</a>, and even a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-price-match-through-your-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">price match policy</a>. And when you are traveling, your credit card could come in handy with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-exactly-does-travel-accident-insurance-cover-on-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel accident insurance</a>, trip delay and trip interruption coverage, a lost baggage benefit, and trip cancellation insurance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Travel Perks You Didn't Know Your Credit Card Has</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-costly-credit-card-mistakes-you-might-be-making&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20Costly%20Credit%20Card%20Mistakes%20You%20Might%20Be%20Making_0.jpg&amp;description=5%20Costly%20Credit%20Card%20Mistakes%20You%20Might%20Be%20Making" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Costly%20Credit%20Card%20Mistakes%20You%20Might%20Be%20Making_0.jpg" alt="5 Costly Credit Card Mistakes You Might Be Making" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-costly-credit-card-mistakes-you-might-be-making">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/financial-experts-share-their-biggest-credit-mistakes">Financial Experts Share Their Biggest Credit Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-reliving-past-money-mistakes-hurts-your-financial-future">How Reliving Past Money Mistakes Hurts Your Financial Future</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-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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-credit-card-mistakes-that-could-be-ruining-your-credit">6 Credit Card Mistakes That Could Be Ruining Your Credit</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-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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards bad habits credit mistakes money habits money mistakes Thu, 23 Feb 2017 10:30:26 +0000 Jason Steele 1894199 at http://www.wisebread.com 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-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-minute-finance-track-your-spending">5-Minute Finance: Track Your 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/10-sites-and-apps-to-help-you-track-your-spending-and-stick-to-your-budget">10 Sites and Apps to Help You Track Your Spending and Stick to Your Budget</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/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</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/why-saving-money-is-harder-today">Why Saving Money Is Harder Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-financial-perks-of-being-in-your-20s">The Financial Perks of Being in Your 20s</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-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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-frugal-balance-staying-away-from-financial-extremes">The Frugal Balance: Staying Away from Financial Extremes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-audacity-to-waste-money-for-better-finances">The Audacity to Waste Money for Better Finances</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> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F9-money-lessons-to-take-from-the-great-depression&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%2520Money%2520Lessons%2520to%2520Take%2520From%2520the%2520Great%2520Depression.jpg&amp;description=9%20Money%20Lessons%20to%20Take%20From%20the%20Great%20Depression"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Money%20Lessons%20to%20Take%20From%20the%20Great%20Depression.jpg" alt="9 Money Lessons to Take From the Great Depression" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/6-lessons-on-how-to-be-a-financial-grownup-from-bobbi-rebell">6 Lessons on How to Be a Financial Grownup From Bobbi Rebell</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now">10 Frugal Fall Getaways You Can Start Packing For Now</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-living-on-a-tight-budget-makes-you-happier">How Living on a Tight Budget Makes You Happier</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-when-youre-rich-dream-buys-that-arent-that-great">5 &quot;When You&#039;re Rich&quot; Dream Buys That Aren&#039;t That Great</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-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stop-your-mindless-spending">5 Ways to Stop Your Mindless Spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life">39 Mindless Ways You&#039;re Wasting Money in Every Part of Your Life</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/9-ways-your-lazy-habits-are-costing-you">9 Ways Your Lazy Habits Are Costing You</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-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tough-questions-about-debt-answered">7 Tough Questions About Debt, Answered</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/dont-ignore-these-4-things-before-refinancing-your-student-loans">Don&#039;t Ignore These 4 Things Before Refinancing Your Student Loans</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/6-foolish-ways-to-pay-down-debt">6 Foolish Ways to Pay Down 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/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> </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> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Famericans-spend-less-than-other-countries-on-these-9-items&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FAmericans%2520Spend%2520Less%2520Than%2520Other%2520Countries%2520on%2520These%25209%2520Items.jpg&amp;description=Americans%20Spend%20Less%20Than%20Other%20Countries%20on%20These%209%20Items"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Americans%20Spend%20Less%20Than%20Other%20Countries%20on%20These%209%20Items.jpg" alt="Americans Spend Less Than Other Countries on These 9 Items" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-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/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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-cutting-your-losses-can-save-you-more-than-money">How Cutting Your Losses Can Save You More Than Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-americans-spend-too-much-on">5 Things Americans Spend Too Much On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-luxury-pens">The 5 Best Luxury Pens</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/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste 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/10-money-moments-that-are-awkward-for-everyone">10 Money Moments That Are Awkward for Everyone</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-youre-financially-ready-to-start-a-family">7 Signs You&#039;re Financially Ready to Start a Family</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-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/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/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-yoga-blocks">The 5 Best Yoga Blocks</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-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/6-ways-to-feel-better-about-your-financial-situation">6 Ways to Feel Better About Your Financial Situation</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/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste 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/9-money-lessons-to-take-from-the-great-depression">9 Money Lessons to Take From the Great Depression</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-lust-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Lust 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/6-ways-gluttony-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Gluttony Is Keeping You Poor</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-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money">5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-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/6-millennial-money-habits-every-retiree-should-learn">6 Millennial Money Habits Every Retiree Should Learn</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/your-job-as-a-personal-finance-literature-reader">Your Job as a Personal Finance Literature Reader</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