education http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/124/all en-US Millennial Millionaires: How the Brokest Generation Can Also Become the Richest http://www.wisebread.com/millennial-millionaires-how-the-brokest-generation-can-also-become-the-richest <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/millennial-millionaires-how-the-brokest-generation-can-also-become-the-richest" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_holding_cash_73068135.jpg" alt="Man part of brokest generation becoming the richest" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Recently, Wells Fargo and GfK surveyed 1,005 employed Millennials. The majority (64%) of Millennials polled said that they don't believe they will ever accumulate $1 million during their lifetimes. Furthermore, many also said they had not started saving for retirement and were feeling overwhelmed with student debt.</p> <p>Getting your finances on track in your 20s and after college is hard, but any Millennial can become a millionaire in their lifetime with the right steps.</p> <h2>Start Saving for Retirement</h2> <p>The number one way to become a millionaire in your lifetime is to invest in your retirement early and often. Don't keep putting it off, because youth means you have the power of compound interest on your side. It will take you less effort to save money now than it will take you when you try to play catch up 10 or more years later.</p> <p>Don't even worry if you aren't at your dream position quite yet. Take advantage of your company's 401K contribution match. If your company doesn't offer a retirement fund or you are self-employed, there are still many options for you.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-retirement-account-is-right-for-you?ref=seealso">Which Retirement Account Is Right for You?</a></p> <p>If you are currently saving 0% toward your retirement, then start with 3 percent. Saving 3 percent of your income is quite painless. Increase this percentage frequently until you are contributing 15% of your income to retirement.</p> <p>While this might seem like a daunting task when you are living paycheck to paycheck, it <em>can</em> be done. Having your retirement investments taken out before payday forces you to adjust to living with a smaller budget, and you also get the bonus of a nice tax break.</p> <h2>Shift Your Way of Thinking</h2> <p>If you spend trying to impress others, you will never have a bank account that actually impresses others. Live below your means and be realistic with what you really need.</p> <p>Remember that the way you live right after college is not a forever thing if you are frugal. When you are unmarried and without children, it is easier to share a living space or live on a bare-bones budget to optimize your savings. Live as frugally as possible now so that you can enjoy living when you are in your next season of life.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-frugal-living-commencement-speech-id-give-to-my-younger-self?ref=seealso">The Frugal Living Commencement Speech I'd Give to My Younger Self</a></p> <h2>Tackle Debt From All Angles</h2> <p>In the survey, 34% of Millennials reported an average of $19,978 of debt. Of those with student loan debt, 75% described their debt load as unmanageable. Don't carry your debt with you, allowing it to drag along like a burdensome weight.</p> <p>Instead, find ways to tackle your debt from many different angles. Here are just a few solutions:</p> <ul> <li>Enroll in programs that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-careers-that-offer-student-loan-forgiveness">forgive student loan debt</a>.</li> <li>Start aside business and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-recent-grad-paid-off-34k-in-sudent-loans-and-launched-a-business-in-just-4-years">funnel earnings to debt</a>.</li> <li>Use a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-ways-to-pay-off-your-student-loans">0% credit card</a> for a part of the debt.</li> <li>Look into<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-s-the-difference-between-student-loan-refinancing-and-consolidation">consolidation and refinancing</a>.</li> <li>Earmark every extra dollar to your debt, including birthday money and tax refunds.</li> </ul> <p>The faster you can pay off your debt, the freer you will feel financially.</p> <h2>Earn Experience &mdash; Not Degrees</h2> <p>Degrees are certainly valuable and necessary in many fields, but in some, the pay difference is not that drastic. Instead, focus on growing your experience and career path each year. Take advantage of company-paid training and develop your skills. Then, start planning for more senior, better-compensated roles by asking people in your dream job how they got there. The road to success may not be paved with gold, but there may be a pot of gold at the end of it for those who plan carefully and work intelligently.</p> <p><em>Do you think you will reach a million dollars in your lifetime?</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/millennial-millionaires-how-the-brokest-generation-can-also-become-the-richest">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/3-smart-ways-young-millionaires-manage-their-money">3 Smart Ways Young Millionaires Manage Their 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/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th">It&#039;s the 21st Century — Why Is Your Money Stuck in the 20th?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-increase-your-net-worth-this-year">10 Ways to Increase Your Net Worth This Year</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-financial-decisions-youll-never-regret">8 Financial Decisions You&#039;ll Never Regret</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/insights-from-the-worlds-9-most-frugal-cultures">Insights From the World&#039;s 9 Most Frugal Cultures</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance debt degrees education jobs millennials millionaires retirement saving money Tue, 06 Sep 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1785280 at http://www.wisebread.com It's the 21st Century — Why Is Your Money Stuck in the 20th? http://www.wisebread.com/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_friends_piggy_bank_74667997.jpg" alt="Woman learning why her money is stuck in the 20th century" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you read financial advice these days, you could be forgiven for checking the date to see if you'd wandered back into the 1990s (or 1970s).</p> <p>What was good advice for the 20th century? Go to the best college you can, get a good job, live frugally, save and invest, buy a house, and max out your retirement savings.</p> <p>But all that generic financial advice of the 20th century isn't necessarily the surest route to success anymore. Millennials figured this out a while ago. That's why so many aren't bothering with college, why so many are living at home with their parents, and why so many are getting by with casual jobs &mdash; or no jobs.</p> <h2>Smart Moves for the 21st Century</h2> <p>So, what's the right financial advice for the 21st century? Well, Millennials' instincts aren't wrong. But these are hard waters to navigate purely on instinct. Here's what I'd do.</p> <h3>It's Not &quot;Don't Go to College&quot;</h3> <p>Rather, it's &quot;Don't <em>go into debt</em> to go to college.&quot;</p> <p>Even that is a bit extreme, because there are career paths &mdash; engineering, technology &mdash; where you can earn enough to pay off student loans. It would probably be even better to say, &quot;Keep your student loans small, relative to your prospects of paying the money back.&quot;</p> <p>In particular, don't pay up to attend a mid-tier college. In the 20th century there was real ROI in going to the best college you could get into. In the 21st century, I think that's only true at the top. If you can't get into (or afford!) one of the absolute top colleges, there's no reason to pay extra to attend a second-tier college. The cost-benefit ratio shifts strongly in your favor if you do a couple of years at community college and then finish your degree at a good state school. Of course if your family is rich or you can get excellent scholarships, there's no reason not to go to a second-tier college &mdash; just not if you have to borrow extra to do it.</p> <p>Even if you can get into a top-tier college, consider whether its cost is justified. Will your degree ensure a job upon graduation, or result in better-compensated roles than you might otherwise have access to? Will it make entry into a graduate program of your choice easier? Will it materially benefit your intended life path in some way?</p> <h3>It's Not &quot;Live at Home With Your Parents&quot;</h3> <p>Rather, it's &quot;Live a lifestyle you can really afford, <em>even if that means</em> living at home with your parents.&quot;</p> <p>Do not go into debt to support your lifestyle! In fact, you'll be way ahead of the game if you can start accumulating <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/on-the-importance-of-having-capital">a little capital</a>. Even just a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/figuring-the-size-of-your-emergency-fund">small emergency fund</a> can make your life enormously better.</p> <p>Other sorts of debt may not be as bad as student loan debt (which can't be discharged even in bankruptcy, and which lenders will give you even if your planned course of study gives you no hope of ever paying it off), but that doesn't mean the other sorts are okay.</p> <h3>It's Not &quot;Work Casual Jobs&quot;</h3> <p>Rather, it's &quot;Find a way to support your low-cost lifestyle, <em>even if all you can get</em> are casual jobs.&quot;</p> <p>There are all kinds of ways to make money. There are good jobs, there are crappy jobs, there are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-outside-your-day-job">side gigs</a> of all sorts. The key is to fund your lifestyle (plus a little extra).</p> <p>In today's economy there are times and places where crappy jobs are all you can get. That's unfortunate.</p> <p>Also unfortunate is that so many people writing about &quot;kids these days&quot; don't see that <em>these two items are paired</em>. Millennials are (very wisely) matching lifestyle choices with income opportunities, while journalists (and even financial advisers) are pretending that these two things are independent of one another.</p> <h3>All the Other Generic Financial Advice</h3> <p>Investing used to be easy.</p> <p>From around 1980 through the end of the 20th century, just about any mix of cash, bonds, and stocks purchased through low-cost index funds would yield several percentage points above inflation, letting anybody be an investing super-genius.</p> <p>Housing prices didn't go up in a straight line through the whole period, but between the tax advantages of homeownership and the leverage of mortgages with a low down payment, as long as you didn't pay too much, anybody could have both a home <em>and </em>a valuable capital asset.</p> <p>Because none of this stuff is true any more, investing is now really hard.</p> <p>The return on cash has for years been so close to zero as to be not worth worrying about. Bonds, stocks, and real estate are all up so much since the crash that they're probably a lousy place to invest new money.</p> <p>None of which is to say that you shouldn't be frugal and accumulate some savings, but doing so will not be the path to wealth this century that it was last century.</p> <p>That means that we need to look someplace besides the 20th century for financial advice. And for that, I have an idea.</p> <h2>Look to Earlier Centuries</h2> <p>The 20th century was genuinely different. For about two generations &mdash; the generation that fought World War II and the Baby Boomers &mdash; we had a unique set of circumstances that made it possible to work for a paycheck and eventually, before you got too old to work, get rich.</p> <p>Until then, for all of human history, there were only two paths to wealth: You could inherit wealth, or you could achieve wealth through some sort of risk-taking endeavor (entrepreneurship, speculation, etc.).</p> <p>Those unique circumstances no longer apply, and because of that, the best place to look for strategies for the future is to look at the strategies that worked before the 20th century. The 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries will provide fertile ground. Things that worked then are going to work <em>better </em>going forward than reflexively copying what worked in the 20th century.</p> <p>Perhaps financial professionals can be forgiven for not having figured this out &mdash; the whole financial industry is a product of the 20th century.</p> <p>I have a book of financial advice from 1883 called <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Worth-Wealth-Collection-Miscellanies-Merchants-ebook/dp/B0071IGXEG">Worth and Wealth</a> by T.L. Haines. It's a fascinating book. Much of it reads exactly like personal finance advice from today (minus any high-tech stuff like automating your bill paying) &mdash; getting an education, finding a job, living frugally, and so on &mdash; except that it has nothing about what we would consider investing. There's nothing about stocks or bonds. Instead, there's <em>investing</em> the way it was done in prior centuries.</p> <h3>Buy Productive Land</h3> <p>Land was the basis of <em>all</em> wealth right up until the 19th century. In the old days it would have been land with crops or pasture, but rental property counts too. Of course, both running a farm and being a landlord are more like a second job than like passive investing. Speaking of which...</p> <h3>Invest in a Business</h3> <p>That is, invest in <em>your own</em> business.</p> <p>The sorts of paper investments &mdash; stocks and bonds &mdash; that did so well in the 20th century are not going to go away, and no doubt a lot of people will make a lot of money in the market. But I don't think we'll see a continuation of the days in which a simple diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds provided a safe, high return.</p> <p>Of course, running a small business is more like a full-time job than like passive investing. And that's my point. The right response now to any the article on investing for &quot;passive income&quot; is to shake your head and say, &quot;That's so last century.&quot;</p> <h3>Organize Like a Family</h3> <p>The idea of an individual person as the fundamental economic unit is an idea of the late 20th century. Before that the fundamental economic unit was the <em>family</em>.</p> <p>There are all kinds of advantages to organizing your economic life around a family with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/strategies-for-households-with-more-than-one-adult">more than one adult</a>. It meshes especially well with the ideas I've already mentioned. Family members may work outside the family to bring in wages or a salary, but if there's family land or a family business, family members who lose their jobs can work them until they find a new job. That way the family still has some income and the family member has productive work to do.</p> <p>One mental model for this might be the big farm families of the 19th century, but I suggest that you think bigger. Model your home economy after the aristocratic families of the 18th century. Everyone can contribute. The most able can be given scope to vastly increase the family's wealth, while the young and the old and those who simply lack that spark can still contribute to (and share in) the family's success.</p> <p>If organizing like a family doesn't work for you, consider organizing like a tribe. It's probably an even better metaphor.</p> <h2>The Way Things Are Going to Be</h2> <p>In all these areas, I think that the Millennials' instincts have been pretty good, except that I think they've bought in on the 20th-century idea that the economic unit is the individual.</p> <p>That's understandable. It's an appealing model, one that gives maximum freedom with minimal responsibility &mdash; you're only responsible for yourself.</p> <p>Because of this, I worry that many of them, even those who are making the right moves on a piecemeal basis, have not figured out that the 21st century is going to look a lot more like the 19th and prior centuries than like the 20th.</p> <p>The choices that they make &mdash; in particular, the choice to live at home with their parents &mdash; show them instinctively moving in the right direction, but until they can correct their mental model, they're missing out on some useful perspective that history can provide.</p> <p>Look into how families organized their home economy before the 20th century. There's a lot of practical wisdom there.</p> <p><em>Where is your money &mdash; in the 20th century or the 21st?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th">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-meditation-can-make-you-a-money-master">6 Ways Meditation Can Make You a Money Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/millennial-millionaires-how-the-brokest-generation-can-also-become-the-richest">Millennial Millionaires: How the Brokest Generation Can Also Become the Richest</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-money-lessons-we-could-all-learn-from-dwayne-the-rock-johnson">6 Money Lessons We Could All Learn From Dwayne &quot;The Rock&quot; Johnson</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle 20th century 21st century advice baby boomers business education family investing millennials property investing Mon, 05 Sep 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Philip Brewer 1785277 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Find the Best Back to School Sales http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_back_to_school_68821847.jpg" alt="Kids finding the best back to school sales" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It seems that just as you settle into your summer routine, the school supply signage and setups hit the stores. Every year the back-to-school supply lists seem to get longer, and that doesn't even include all of the new clothes and shoes you have to buy.</p> <p>Here are eight tips on how to find the best back-to-school sales. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-relaxing-ways-to-enjoy-your-kids-first-day-at-school?ref=seealso">23 Relaxing Ways to Enjoy Your Kid's First Day at School</a>)</p> <h2>1. Let Other Sites Do the Work for You</h2> <p>You are only one person, so it will take you quite a while to track down the best deals from all local stores. Save yourself some time and sanity and rely on the expertise from other websites. Here are just a few to put on your radar.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.passionforsavings.com/download-the-passion-for-savings-iphone-app/">Passion for Savings</a>: This site puts a lot of effort into collecting and laying out all of the back to school deals each week. There is even a free app that will keep you up to date on the sales.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://slickdeals.net/">SlickDeals</a>: Just search &quot;back to school&quot; in the SlickDeals search bar for the best and latest deals.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://app.flipp.com/">Flipp App</a>: The Flipp app has all of your local ads in one place. Flipp will also match up any coupon offers available. If your local Walmart or Target allow price matching of digital ads, the Flipp app will make price matching simple.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.afullcup.com/">AFullCup</a>: This savings forum has many postings on deals, coupon matchups, clearance finds, and more for many popular stores.</li> </ul> <h2>2. Don't Do All of Your Shopping in One Place</h2> <p>Many parents will make the mistake of hitting up one store for a few loss leaders and then finish up their back-to-school shopping at that same store. School sales generally go on four to six weeks before most schools get back in session. This gives you multiple opportunities to shop just the loss leaders of most stores.</p> <h2>3. Max Out on Discounted Items</h2> <p>If one store has pencil boxes for a penny with a buy limit of four, then buy all four. Save supplies for the middle of the school year. Usually five months into the school year, school supplies could use a refresher. Replacing school items in December or January is a lot costlier, since there are no amazing sales.</p> <p>You can also donate extra school supplies to teachers, back-to-school drives, and even international charities. Inexpensive art supplies can be given as Christmas gifts or birthday gifts later in the year.</p> <h2>4. Price Match</h2> <p>Walmart and Target will price match most store competitors. Depending on your local Walmart or Target, you might need the store's physical ad to price match. Both stores will only price match items of the same name brand and the same quantity. For example, Walmart will not price match a deal on Target's Up &amp; Up glue nor will they price match a deal on a two pack of Sharpies if Walmart only carries Sharpies in a three pack. Walmart will also not price match rebates.</p> <p>Price matching at Walmart can help eliminate excessive trips to several stores. If you need a lot of a deal, you can also use Walmart to double or triple your deal. For example, if Staples has Kleenex on sale, and you want to stock up, you can get the maximum deal at Staples, and then price match the deal at Walmart to get even more. Since many cities have more than one Walmart nearby, you can even price match the same deal at a different Walmart.</p> <h2>5. Combine Coupons and Rebates</h2> <p>Check&nbsp;<a href="http://www.coupons.com/">Coupons.com</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://coupons.target.com/">Target's coupons</a> for coupons on school supplies. You might even be able to combine Target's printable coupons with a Cartwheel offer or gift card offer.</p> <p>Don't forget to check out rebate apps such as <a href="https://ibotta.com/r/jcsgjbv">Ibotta</a> and <a href="https://www.checkout51.com/">Checkout 51</a>. When the back-to-school sales start, many bigger brands want to boost sales through rebates. (See also:<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop?ref=seealso">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a>)</p> <h2>6. Back-to-School Sales Are Not Just for Students</h2> <p>Even if you don't have students to shop for, the back-to-school sales are a great time to score deals on household items. Usually printer paper is inexpensive or free after a rebate. Many household cleaners and products are also highly discounted.</p> <h2>7. Don't Forget eBay</h2> <p>While eBay shouldn't be your first stop for pencils and glue, it can be a great way to save on expensive calculators and laptops. A new graphing calculator can cost over $100 in the store, but you can find that same calculator used for $40&ndash;$50 on eBay.</p> <h2>8. Hold Out for Clearance</h2> <p>After the back-to-school buying rush is over, stores are quick to put merchandise on clearance to make room for holiday items. Now is your chance to score character items or higher end items at a greater discount. You might even be able to score your child's wardrobe on clearance, since many stores will want to make room for winter gear.</p> <p>When your child is begging for the Avengers backpack or the Dory lunch box, tell them to wait and hopefully their favorite characters will be discounted a few weeks into September.</p> <p><em>How do you save during the back-to-school sales?</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/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-shopping-apps-thatll-actually-save-you-money-in-2016">The 8 Shopping Apps That&#039;ll Actually Save You Money in 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-more-apps-that-pay-you-to-shop">6 More Apps That Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-everybody-saves-during-back-to-school">8 Ways Everybody Saves During Back-to-School</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-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stores-with-the-best-price-matching">10 Stores With the Best Price Matching</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping apps back-to-school coupons deals education kids price matching retail school supplies seasonal Fri, 22 Jul 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1757095 at http://www.wisebread.com My 2016 Budget Challenge: Affording Education http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-affording-education <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my-2016-budget-challenge-affording-education" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000069492263.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>[Editor's Note: This is the another episode in Max Wong's journey to find an extra $31,000 this year. Read the whole series </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/max-wongs-budget-0"><em>here</em></a><em>.]</em></p> <p>I am on the cusp of transitioning into a new dream career. Actually, two new dream careers. People keep approaching me for work as a documentary filmmaker and as an architectural photographer, so I have decided to take the leap and try to do both full-time for money. This is tremendously exciting and mind-numbingly scary for two reasons:</p> <p>First, I am old. Well, not old-old. I am 46. So, I am certainly young enough to start a second career. However, at 46, I am too old for a long educational track and too poor to get training for a career that leaves me saddled with student loan debt that then leaves me unable to save for retirement.</p> <p>Second, I will just say it: I am a luddite. In order to succeed as a documentary filmmaker and as a professional photographer, I have to learn how to use my motion picture camera and sound system, a film editing program, Lightroom and/or Photoshop, and a new digital camera system. And that's just what I have to learn <em>this year</em>. I basically have to go back to film school, but cram four years of learning into the next nine months.</p> <p>So how am I going to acquire all these new-fangled skills without breaking the bank or, more importantly, breaking my brain? Here's how I am cobbling together some quality learning on the cheap.</p> <h2>Finding a Mentor</h2> <p>If there is such a thing as a professional <em>meet cute </em>story, I have it. Last year, one of my favorite photographers started following me on Instagram and subsequently hired me to work as his sometime assistant.</p> <p>It is incredibly gratifying to have an artist, who I greatly admire, support me creatively, even if it comes in the form of terse texts such as, &quot;If you take that photograph now, I don't want to hear any whining from you about how sucky it is later.&quot; And, &quot;Do better.&quot; Because I know he is rooting for me to figure things out, it is easy to stay motivated and learn the technical side of photography, a process that involves failing repeatedly. To quote Henri Cartier-Bresson: &quot;Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.&quot; With thousands of my worst photographs still untaken, I am glad that I have professional supervision and a safe space to crash and burn.</p> <p>In addition to the self-esteem boost, a good mentor just makes everything easier. For example, after reading through approximately 556,373 camera equipment reviews, I still could not parse out what gear to buy, so my mentor wrote me up a custom shopping list based on what he thought would work best for me creatively, financially, and physically. Not only did this take some of the stress out of buying $2,288.94 worth of photography equipment, but he ended up saving me hundreds of dollars.</p> <p>For example, the Arca Swiss Cube gear head is the industry standard for architectural photography. One of the reasons why my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-why-i-need-to-find-31k-this-year">original gear budget</a> is $10,000 is because the Arca Swiss costs $1,600. My mentor owns several different gear heads. The one he recommended to me is the one he uses the most: a $300 model that was not mentioned in any of the reviews that I read. Because I have seen what he can do with a $300 gear head, I feel confident that I can do professional work with the same model and save $1,300.</p> <p>While mentors are always presented as white-haired, lions of industry (or Morgan Freeman) in films, I should point out that my photography mentor is actually younger than I am. Good teachers can be any age.</p> <h2>Interning</h2> <p>I am extremely pro-interning because it has worked well for me. I was hired as a film executive before I even graduated from film school. I never had to be an assistant or work in the mailroom, which are both standard entry-level film gigs. I graduated from college and the next day I went to work at my fancy production company job. I managed this feat by interning for a full year at the company that hired me. For them, it was just an internal promotion. I was already working 60 hours a week for them, so why not just pay me so I could afford better work clothes?</p> <p>Interning while you are in college has become a huge drag. You either have to find a paying internship, which really don't exist anymore in a lot of fields, or you have to work an internship for college credit, which means you have to pay tuition for a job your school probably didn't even get you. It's tough. However, interning as an adult post-graduation is way easier. Plenty of companies have rules against hiring unpaid students, but very few companies care if a &quot;grown up&quot; volunteers to work for free. Interning is a great way to learn the industry culture, network, and discover the skills you actually need for a specific job.</p> <p>I don't think of internships as just office jobs. In fact, I could probably <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-job-creation">invent an internship</a> in almost any industry that does not require safety certification or security clearance. In addition to interning for my photography mentor, I am currently interning with a master beekeeper. I help him schlep heavy equipment around a farm once a week, and in exchange he helps me level up on my beekeeping skills. I am currently learning queen rearing, so I can breed and raise my own queen bees to sell to other local beekeepers.</p> <p>For the record, I generally don't refer to my beekeeping arrangement as an internship. I am <a href="https://wwoofusa.org/about/">WWOOFing</a>, which sounds endlessly more &quot;authentic,&quot; &quot;artisanal,&quot; and fancy. Kinfolk Magazine should just interview me right now.</p> <h2>Hiring an Intern</h2> <p>I bought my parents their first Apple computer in 1999. When they crashed it the first time, they called me in a panic. Since this was before Apple stores were in every big city, they had no idea who could fix their computer. &quot;Pay the 12-year-old who lives down the street $40 to come over and show you how to fix your computer,&quot; I told them. &quot;Which 12-year-old?&quot; they asked. &quot;Any 12-year-old,&quot; I said.</p> <p>Like my parents, I am a digital immigrant, not a digital native. To this day, I am still more comfortable with analog technology than I am with the digital world. Just ask my editors at Wise Bread who are all half my age. I am clueless.</p> <p>Right this second I'm trying to learn how to use iMovie to edit my documentary. It is going very slowly. It is not as intuitive as I had hoped. Or, maybe I am just extra dumb at this.</p> <p>As luck would have it, my friend Cheryl called me the other day. She's trying to get a summer internship for her daughter who is applying to film schools in the fall. Could I use an intern on my current documentary? &quot;Does your kid know how to use iMovie?&quot; I asked. &quot;Oh, sure. But she mainly uses Premiere to edit at home and she uses Avid at school.&quot;</p> <p>Boom.</p> <p>I now have a 17-year-old summer intern who is going to sit with me and walk me through the editing process.</p> <p>See? Good teachers. Any age.</p> <h2>Visiting the Public Library</h2> <p>My friend Fareed is superhuman when it comes to Photoshop. Where did he pick up his mad skills? The Los Angeles Public Library. Apparently, you can access <a href="http://petapixel.com/2015/07/09/heads-up-you-can-access-lynda-lessons-for-free-at-some-public-libraries/">Lynda Lessons for free</a> at some public libraries. This is how I am going to learn Lightroom and Photoshop.</p> <h2>RTFM (Reading the Fricking Manual)</h2> <p>My new tripod has an instruction manual. I am reading it. My new gear head has an instruction manual. I am reading it. My new tilt-shift lens has an instruction manual. I am reading it. My borrowed camera body has an instruction manual. I am reading it, even though it is 260 pages long and in Spanish because my photography mentor misplaced the English instructions. Not that I am complaining as the photographs are in English and I am learning a lot of good vocabulary words in Spanish for free. So, bonus?</p> <p>I know. Reading the manual to learn how to use a machine seems like, well, obvi. But, apparently I am in the minority. According to a survey, 24% of women who call tech support hotlines in the United Kingdom have <a href="http://www.geek.com/news/study-says-64-of-men-dont-even-read-the-manual-before-calling-tech-support-969371/">never bothered to read the manual</a> before calling for help. And lest anyone believe that this is just a problem for women because we are mechanical simpletons who can't understand technology, that exact same survey found that 64% of men don't read the manual before demanding IT help.</p> <p>Of course, Americans are even stupider, or maybe just more stubborn than British tech consumers: <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2008/06/03/95-percent-of-all-returned-gadgets-still-work-americans-dont-r/">95% of gadgets</a> returned in the United States actually work.</p> <h2>Watching YouTube</h2> <p>Even though I am muscling my way through all the camera gear manuals, I am hating the experience. The diagrams leave a lot to be desired. Also, while paper manuals are very good at explaining how to use the various buttons and levers, text-based manuals are not good at explaining how to use the various buttons and levers to get the desired photographic image. Thank God for YouTube. Now I understand how to use my tilt-shift lens! Concepts that take 13 pages of explanation in the book, can be explained in one five-second close-up shot.</p> <p>While many YouTube instructional videos leave a lot to be desired in terms of production value, the sheer number of subjects covered make YouTube my first stop when I am trying to learn new, random skills. Do I have a Small Hive Beetle infestation in my beehive? Found a video on how to make a no-poison Hive Beetle death trap from an old CD case and vegetable oil. Did I make the disastrous decision to cut my own bangs without watching a YouTube bang-cutting video first? (Yes). Found a video on how to hide my bangs inside retro hair-dos while I grow them back out.</p> <h2>Reading the Comments</h2> <p>Fact: Reading Internet comments can be as pleasant as self-surgery. However, I often learn more from the comments on how-to blog posts than I do from the original article!</p> <p>Are you an autodidact? What tools do you use to learn new skills quickly? Please share in the comments section! I can use all the help I can get.</p> <h2>Progress Report</h2> <p>My husband managed to save $1,500 this month from his regular paycheck. (At this rate, I am going to have to change his nickname for this series from Mr. Spendypants to Mr. Saveypants). He also earned an additional $1,100 for creating all the original artwork for <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gorillagames/desert-island-0">Desert Island</a>, a Kickstarter-funded card game.</p> <p>I am so relieved that the start date for my professional architectural photography job has been pushed back to May. After much discussion and contemplation, we decided that it would be better for me to purchase all the equipment I need for the job, with the exception of the camera body, so I could have a month to practice using all these tools. Also, although this is a big expense, it is cheaper to buy the basic tools needed for this job rather than rent. The total cost of camera equipment purchased this month: $2,288.94</p> <p><strong>Goal:</strong> $31,000.00</p> <p><strong>Amount Raised:</strong> $16,078.00</p> <p><strong>Amount Spent:</strong> $7,592.66</p> <p><strong>Amount Left to Go:</strong> $22,514.66</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/my-2016-budget-challenge-affording-education">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/my-2016-budget-challenge-everything-breaks">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Everything Breaks</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/my-2016-budget-challenge-job-creation">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Job Creation</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/my-2016-budget-challenge-how-to-turn-your-spouse-into-a-money-saver">My 2016 Budget Challenge: How to Turn Your Spouse Into a Money Saver</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/my-2016-budget-challenge-why-i-need-to-find-31k-this-year">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Why I Need to Find $31K This Year</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/my-2016-budget-challenge-where-to-find-cheap-training-for-a-new-career">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Where to Find Cheap Training for a New Career</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Education & Training budget challenge education max wong max wongs budget personal stories saving money Fri, 29 Apr 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Max Wong 1693275 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Spending 3% On You Will Advance Your Career http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-spending-3-on-you-will-advance-your-career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-spending-3-on-you-will-advance-your-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000089208971_Large.jpg" alt="Spending on herself to advance her career" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Never underestimate the value of investing in yourself. Many professionals seem to miss out on the importance of it. People are more likely to treat themselves to a new outfit or a nice dinner out, but when it comes to increasing their knowledge and business skills, somehow there isn't room in the budget.</p> <p>Some of the most successful individuals in the business world believe in the power of investing in yourself. Brian Tracy,&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/1qdHt4l">bestselling author of over 70 books</a>, said, &quot;Here is a rule that will guarantee your success, and possibly make you rich: Invest 3% of your income back into yourself.&quot;</p> <p>Similarly, Warren Buffett, one of the richest and most respected businessmen in the world, said, &quot;Investing in yourself is the best thing you can do. Anything that improves your own talents; nobody can tax it or take it away from you.&quot; (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-pearls-of-career-wisdom-from-brian-tracy?ref=seealso">6 Pearls of Career Wisdom From Brian Tracy</a>)</p> <h2>Does It Actually Work?</h2> <p>The idea of investing in yourself is not just motivational, business fluff. It truly can be the tool that helps you to make more and advance in your career. If you are constantly growing your skills in your field, you are constantly becoming more valuable in your field, and becoming an important asset for your company. Your employer will want to pay their top employees more, and if they don't, another company surely will.</p> <p>Asking for promotions or getting hired in a better paying position is easier to do with more experience and knowledge you gain. A common misconception is that your college degree is all you need to succeed. If you earn your degree and secure a good position, then you cannot just rely on experience alone to move you up the ranks. In fact, you might get passed up by younger professionals who have more up-to-date training.</p> <p>On a personal note, my husband has been pursuing a degree over the past few years and has earned several IT certifications. Similarly, his salary has increased over $20,000 in those three years. I truly believe my husband's increased salary is directly related to investing his time and money to learn as much as he can. Not only has he become more knowledgeable, but he has also become more confident in his craft.</p> <h2>How Much Should You Invest?</h2> <p>There is no set rule of how much you should invest, but Brian Tracy's idea of 3% of your income is a good principle. Of course, you can always invest more. Some companies even offer reimbursement for tuition and certifications, making it easier to invest the 3%.</p> <p>How much is 3% to the average professional? If you earn $55,000, you should aim to invest $1,650 back into yourself each year, or $137.50 each month. That may seem like a daunting number if you are on a tight budget, but if you are able to earn $58,000 the following year, you will have almost doubled your investment.</p> <h2>Knowing What to Invest In</h2> <p>You should invest in building the knowledge and skill set that will get you to your next promotion or pay raise. Don't make the mistake of investing in the next big, profitable thing. For example, when real estate was a hot market before the crash in 2007-2008, it seemed like everyone was a real estate agent on the side. When the real estate market crashed, many professionals were safe because they had their full-time jobs, that was completely unrelated, but they had spent all of their time learning to be real estate agents, rather than growing in their full-time field.</p> <p>If you are not sure what certificates, training, or education you should invest in, think about the position in your company that you would like to have. The next step is to ask coworkers in that position what special training and certificates they have. If possible, ask your boss what is needed to move up to the next position in your company. If those two suggestions do not work, look at job listings for positions you would like to have. What are the qualifications needed and desired?</p> <h2>Ideas for Investing in Yourself</h2> <p>Here are just a few self-investment ideas, and how to grow your knowledge and experience:</p> <ul> <li>College degree;</li> <li>Certifications;</li> <li>Seminars and workshops;</li> <li>Books;</li> <li>One-on-one consulting with top experts in your field;</li> <li>Classes and courses in related business areas, such as social media marketing, communication, productivity, and accounting.</li> </ul> <p>Investing in yourself doesn't just stop with learning new skills, though. Improving your physical and mental health will directly affect your workplace performance. Investing in areas that inspire your creativity, such as learning a new language or taking a graphic design course, could also put you ahead at work. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-a-second-language-can-boost-your-career?ref=seealso">11 Ways a Second Language Can Boost Your Career</a>)</p> <p>If you want to grow in your career, then you have to grow as a person. Make yourself a valuable employee at your company by developing expert skills that set you apart from the rest of your coworkers.</p> <p><em>How do you invest in yourself each year? Have you seen a difference in your income?</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/heres-how-spending-3-on-you-will-advance-your-career">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/how-to-succeed-as-an-online-student">How to Succeed as an Online Student</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-places-to-find-cheap-or-free-education">6 Places to Find Cheap (or Free!) Education</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-create-a-financial-5-year-plan">How to Create a Financial 5 Year Plan</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-survive-the-graveyard-shift-and-make-lots-of-money">How to Survive the Graveyard Shift (and Make Lots of Money)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-jobs-proven-to-make-you-live-longer">5 Jobs Proven to Make You Live Longer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Personal Development education extra income invest make more money professional growth training Thu, 14 Apr 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1689531 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Lessons I Learned About Money After Living in Mexico http://www.wisebread.com/7-lessons-i-learned-about-money-after-living-in-mexico <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-lessons-i-learned-about-money-after-living-in-mexico" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_world_traveler_000051400400.jpg" alt="Woman learning money lessons after living in Mexico" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Commercial trade between the United States and Mexico is very important for both nations.</p> <ul> <li>Just in January 2016, the United States <a href="https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c2010.html">exported $18 billion</a> in goods to Mexico.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>An estimated one million American citizens <a href="http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/35749.htm">live in Mexico</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>In 2013, over 20 million U.S. tourists visited Mexico and over 14 million Mexican tourists visited the U.S., spending about $10.5 billion.</li> </ul> <p>For three years, I had the wonderful opportunity to experience what it is to live in Monterrey, Mexico and learned several important financial lessons that I apply here in the United States. Here are the seven lessons about money that I learned after living in Mexico.</p> <h2>1. Invest in a College Degree</h2> <p>Founding Father Ben Franklin said it best: &quot;An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.&quot;</p> <p>My bachelor&rsquo;s degree allowed me to land a teaching job at Prepa Tec, the high school system of the Tecnologico de Monterrey university system, which included a fully-funded sponsorship to complete a master&rsquo;s degree in Education. I was able to complete a postgraduate degree with zero debt and boost my future earnings potential.</p> <p>Given that the Millennial generation is much more interested in traveling abroad than older generations, I would advise my peers to invest in a college degree to combine a passion for travel with the opportunity to earn money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-best-jobs-for-expats-and-travelers?ref=seealso">The 3 Best Jobs for Expats and Travelers</a>)</p> <p>It's worth mentioning that having at least a bachelor's degree <a href="http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2011/08/05/how-higher-education-affects-lifetime-salary">increases your lifetime earnings</a> by $1 million over those from folks with just a high school diploma, and increases your <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2012/p0516_higher_education.html">chances of better health</a>, too.</p> <h2>2. Keep an Eye on Other Currencies</h2> <p>While living in Mexico, I had to keep a close watch on the U.S. dollar-Mexican peso exchange rate for several reasons. For one, I still had a checking account back in the U.S. and crossed the border several times for shopping and tourism. After a couple months of tracking this number, I learned how to simultaneously buy and sell currencies in order to profit from a difference in the price (also known as &quot;arbitrage&quot;).</p> <p>By keeping an eye on foreign currencies, you may be able to take advantage of many financial opportunities. For example, for the past two years, the U.S. dollar has appreciated against several currencies, including the Brazilian real, the Chilean peso, and the euro, making your foreign vacation plans much more affordable.</p> <h2>3. Review Your Employer's Benefits Package</h2> <p>Working for an educational institution may not sound as sexy as working for a hot startup. However, in my case, it offered me comparable benefits and perks. Established in 1943, the Tecnologico de Monterrey has over 30 campuses in Mexico and 13 campuses abroad. The size of this institution allows it to broker great deals for its employees, including layaway programs, discounts at retailers, and financial services at better rates. I had access to all gyms in the six campuses in Monterrey and was able to purchase a laptop at a discounted price through an automatic payroll deduction program.</p> <p>Don't underestimate the ability of your employer to provide you better benefits and take a second look at what you're currently being offered. For example, your employer may provide you an online portal for discounted goods and services, such as electronics and travel options or individual investment advice offered on a one-on-one basis through your retirement plan. Particularly, take ownership of your retirement planning because nearly half of 401K plan owners don't know what their best investment options are.</p> <h2>4. Check the Fine Print on All Your Contracts</h2> <p>A credit card agreement, cell phone plan, or other type of contract can go further than you think. While living in Monterrey, I met several U.S. expats that would still use the same credit cards, cell phone plans, or insurance plans from across the border for several reasons. Here are some examples:</p> <ul> <li>Certain credit cards charge <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation">no foreign transaction fees</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Other credit cards offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-free-extended-warranty-from-your-credit-card-issuer">free extended warranties</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Most monthly AT&amp;T Go-Phone plans include unlimited text messaging from the U.S. to <a href="https://www.att.com/shopcms/sharedcontent/en/legal/WirelessOffers/PlansServicesFeatures/GoPhone/gophone_internationallongdistancelander/jcr:content/desktoplegal/legalsharedcontent.modal.html">over 100 countries</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Most primary auto insurance policies cover your rental vehicle up to the limits of your policy.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>What's not covered through your primary car insurance, such as deductibles and loss-of-use charges, may be picked up through the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card">secondary coverage of your credit card</a>.</li> </ul> <h2>5. File Your Taxes When Living Abroad</h2> <p>If you were to choose to live in Mexico for three years like I did, your entire family would miss you a lot, particularly your good ol' Uncle Sam. He'd miss you so much that he'd ask you to still check in with him every year. Yes, all U.S. citizens and green card holders are still liable to file their federal tax returns, even when abroad.</p> <p>Your worldwide income is subject to U.S. income tax, regardless of where you reside. The good news is that the IRS grants U.S. citizens and resident aliens living outside of the United States and Puerto Rico an <a href="https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/U.S.-Citizens-and-Resident-Aliens-Abroad---Automatic-2-Month-Extension-of-Time-to-File">automatic two-month extension</a> to file their return (June 18th in 2016). The bad news is that you would still pay interest on any tax not paid by the regular due date of your return (April 18th in 2016). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/filed-an-extension-heres-what-you-need-to-know?ref=seealso">Filed an Extension? Here's What You Need to Know</a>)</p> <p>Because many countries have tax treaties with the U.S., research for applicable treaties, including tax exemptions for certain professions.</p> <h2>6. Make Your Air Miles Go the Extra Mile</h2> <p>Before I moved to Mexico, I had accumulated a lot of reward miles &mdash; but I had been unable to use them, because of various restrictions and confusing terms. So frustrating!</p> <p>In Mexico, the process was a lot simpler, and I soon realized how much further I could travel with my existing air miles within Mexico and to South America. I was able to score a trip from Monterrey, Mexico to Guayaquil, Ecuador (roughly the same distance as a flight from New York to Seattle) for far fewer points for an equivalent trip within the U.S. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had?ref=seealso">12 Travel Perks You Didn't Know Your Credit Card Had</a>)</p> <p>And there's more. You can also redeem frequent flier miles for additional items, including car rentals, hotel stays, magazine subscriptions, and VIP experiences.</p> <h2>7. Seek Additional Sources of Income</h2> <p>Before living in Mexico, I had a very traditional view on work: You only have one full-time job. Through my work at Prepa Tec I quickly discovered that lots more opportunities were available to me:</p> <ul> <li>My native proficiency in Spanish allowed me to translate a couple of course materials at the college level to English;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>My presentation skills enabled me to become an instructor for a graduate level admissions exam; and<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>My computer skills turned out to be great assets to create music sequences for an electro pop band!</li> </ul> <p>While it may be counterintuitive, people with higher levels of education are more likely to <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/01/21/states-people-working-two-jobs/4719485/">have multiple jobs</a> than those without. For those who aren't able to get a raise, or got the average 3% salary bump, or are looking to boost their budget or savings, secondary sources of income are a good idea. With the rise of the gig economy, there are many ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-make-money-online-that-arent-scams">make money online</a> that are absolutely legit, including driving your car for Uber or Lyft or becoming a virtual assistant for Zirtual or Fancy Hands.</p> <p><em>What money lessons did you learn after living abroad?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? 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%2F7-lessons-i-learned-about-money-after-living-in-mexico&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%20Lessons%20I%20Learned%20About%20Money%20After%20Living%20in%20Mexico.jpg&amp;description=7%20Lessons%20I%20Learned%20About%20Money%20After%20Living%20in%20Mexico" 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/u5180/7%20Lessons%20I%20Learned%20About%20Money%20After%20Living%20in%20Mexico.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-lessons-i-learned-about-money-after-living-in-mexico">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retire-for-half-the-cost-in-these-5-countries">Retire for Half the Cost in These 5 Countries</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-places-to-get-free-personal-finance-classes">10 Places to Get Free Personal Finance Classes</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-personal-finance-books-you-should-read">6 Personal Finance Books You Should Read</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-best-sites-to-help-your-kids-learn-about-money">8 Best Sites to Help Your Kids Learn About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/millennial-millionaires-how-the-brokest-generation-can-also-become-the-richest">Millennial Millionaires: How the Brokest Generation Can Also Become the Richest</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Travel air miles education extra income foreign countries living abroad mexico money lessons Thu, 31 Mar 2016 09:30:30 +0000 Damian Davila 1678004 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Places to Find Cheap (or Free!) Education http://www.wisebread.com/6-places-to-find-cheap-or-free-education <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-places-to-find-cheap-or-free-education" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000081164455_Large.jpg" alt="looking for free or cheap education" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You have no skills, and no experience. Nightmares of a life cooking fries at a fast food chain weave in and out of your dreams. But don't give up yet. There is an escape from your fry-littered nightmares. Education can be the golden ticket that jumpstarts a lucrative and fulfilling career as a corporate manager, editor, or web developer.</p> <p>Let's stop for a moment before you rush headlong into a student loan nightmare. While college can equip you with useful skills and certifications, the high cost of education has led to a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt">student loan crisis</a>. For those who choose to enter public service careers, student loan debts can be forgiven. For everyone else, you might want to consider that some high-paying companies&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jan/18/penguin-ditches-the-need-for-job-seekers-to-have-university-degrees">no longer require a college degree</a> as an application requirement.</p> <p>Here are other ways to continue your education without spending much &mdash; or any &mdash; of your hard-earned money.</p> <h2>1. Podcasts</h2> <p>Seek out educational podcasts on topics that could potentially help you find a job down the line. Colleges like Stanford, Oxford, and Yale create recordings of their professor's lectures and post them online for free. You can find a large collection of free podcasts in the iTunes U portion of the iTunes store.</p> <h2>2. Free Educational Videos and Lectures</h2> <p>Not fond of just hearing a voice drone on about this war or that economic concept? Rather than listening to podcasts, you might want to try to locate educational videos. These are excellent for the more visual learners out there.</p> <p>Recently, I started listening to lectures by famous fantasy novelist and Professor&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2FCD81A6FE4280AC">Brandon Sanderson on YouTube</a>. It's a great alternative to taking a formal writing class.</p> <p>Informative webinars like TedTalks can also be found on a variety of educational topics. You might also find webinars with professor guest speakers on the resources pages of university websites. In fact, Pepperdine University has some&nbsp;<a href="http://mbaonline.pepperdine.edu/resources/videos-webinars/">great webinars</a> presented by their professors on business topics like company culture and big data.</p> <h2>3. Training and Learning Websites</h2> <p>Web development, freelance writing, and a variety of careers require the individual to develop specific skills. In order to help individuals acquire those skills, free educational websites have been created.</p> <p>Codecademy offers free interactive HTML and web development courses. With determination, hard work, and access to a computer, you can quickly acquire the skills to land a job in tech.</p> <p>Freelance and writing blogs offer informative guides to help you learn to write high quality articles for various news outlets and websites. They also tend to write guides on how to find freelance gigs, how to approach editors, and how to utilize marketing to find success.</p> <h2>4. Audit or Sit In on College Courses</h2> <p>Want to take a class, but lack the funds? Auditing or sitting in on a course might be a good alternative.</p> <p>With auditing, students are required to attend class, do non-graded work, and the course audit goes into a student's official transcript. Some universities do charge a fee for the ability to audit a class, so make sure to check that before showing up.</p> <p>Sitting in on a class allows a student to attend the class without paying a fee. The student will probably need to attend regularly and complete all non-graded work. You will need to check with the college and professor first about a sit-in possibility.</p> <h2>5. The Global Freshman Academy</h2> <p>Recently, Arizona State University created a series of online courses called&nbsp;<a href="http://asuonline.asu.edu/about-us/newsroom/asu-and-cerego-partner-power-personalized-learning-environments-global-freshman">The Global Freshman Academy</a>. The academy allows individuals to take their freshman courses with only a $45 processing fee. It's essentially a way to audit educational courses. If at the end of the semester, the student passes the course and they wish to earn the credits, the student can choose to pay for the credits. Whether or not you plan to attend college, it's a cost-effective way to gain knowledge and dip your toes into higher education.</p> <h2>6. Tuition Assistance Programs</h2> <p>If you dream of a profession that requires a college degree, your best bet might be to apply for a job that has a tuition assistance program. In order to retain employees for a longer period of time, many businesses offer to pay for a portion of a student's educational fees. If you have to work at a retail or food service job, you might as well make it one that will help you acquire an education.</p> <p><em>Have you scored any cheap or free education? 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/samantha-stauf">Samantha Stauf</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-places-to-find-cheap-or-free-education">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/college/cost-of-college">Calculating the Cost of College</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/heres-how-spending-3-on-you-will-advance-your-career">Here&#039;s How Spending 3% On You Will Advance Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/college/college-resources">40+ College Resources for Parents and Students</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-ways-to-get-student-loan-debt-forgiveness">8 Ways to Get Student Loan Debt Forgiveness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-succeed-as-an-online-student">How to Succeed as an Online Student</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Education & Training cheap classes college education free education training videos Mon, 14 Mar 2016 10:30:11 +0000 Samantha Stauf 1671107 at http://www.wisebread.com 21 Times Spending More Will Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/21-times-spending-more-will-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/21-times-spending-more-will-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_dressed_up_000082458281.jpg" alt="Man spending more money and saving money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even though I usually focus on spending less money in order to save money, sometimes spending <em>more </em>will actually help you save. Here are 21 times when dishing out a few extra bucks can help you be frugal in the long-run.</p> <h2>Spending to Reduce Everyday Expenses</h2> <p>There are lots of inexpensive items you can buy that will quickly pay for themselves and save you more money down the road.</p> <h3>1. Hair Trimmer</h3> <p>Buy a <a href="http://amzn.to/1WXRg9I">hair trimmer kit</a> for about $20 and get free haircuts at home. I haven't paid for a haircut since 2008!</p> <h3>2. Coffee Maker</h3> <p>Buy your own coffee making equipment for under $100 and save hundreds by making your brew at home instead of getting it at the coffee shop. I bought a <a href="http://amzn.to/1WXRGgx">coffee bean grinder</a>, <a href="http://amzn.to/1WXRwFL">coffee maker</a> with cone filter and thermal carafe, and a nice <a href="http://amzn.to/1nAgKhc">thermal travel mug</a>.</p> <h3>3. Lunchbox</h3> <p>Buy a large <a href="http://amzn.to/1WXRWMi">insulated lunch box</a> and pack your lunch every day. I use my giant lunchbox so I can easily pack leftovers or even larger items like full-sized boxes of cereal.</p> <h3>4. HDTV Antenna</h3> <p>Buy an indoor <a href="http://amzn.to/1nAh27N">HDTV antenna</a> and get free TV forever! You won't get as many channels over the air as you do with cable or satellite TV, but free is hard to beat. You can pay a reasonable one-time price for an antenna instead of paying over $100 every month for cable or satellite TV.</p> <h3>5. Garden</h3> <p>Spend some money to plant a garden. Grow your own food, and even sell or trade your extra produce. Even a few productive plants can provide a lot of healthy &mdash; and cheap &mdash; vegetables.</p> <h3>6. Car Wash Kit</h3> <p>Equip yourself to do car washes at home, and avoid paying up to $10 at the drive-through carwash. You'll need soap, sponges, a hose, and sprayer nozzle.</p> <h3>7. eReader</h3> <p>Buy an <a href="http://amzn.to/1So6Tsd">eReader</a> and pay less for your books. The electronic version of books are less expensive than paper, and you don't need bookshelves.</p> <h3>8. Filtered Water</h3> <p>Buy a water filter and a <a href="http://amzn.to/1nAhmDt">reusable bottle</a>, and stop wasting money on packs of plastic water bottles at the store. You can get a <a href="http://amzn.to/1nAhoLs">water pitcher</a> with a built-in filter to keep in your refrigerator, or even get a water filter for your refrigerator water dispenser.</p> <h3>9. Reusable Items</h3> <p>Buy reusable items instead of disposable items. Use rags instead of paper towels, <a href="http://amzn.to/1WXSF05">reusable glass</a> or <a href="http://amzn.to/1WXSIZT">plastic food storage containers</a> instead of baggies, etc. You'll save money with the reusable items, and you'll be putting less waste in the landfill as well.</p> <h3>10. Crock-Pot</h3> <p>Buy a <a href="http://amzn.to/1nAhLWw">Crock-Pot</a> and put dinner on autopilot. Load up the Crock-Pot and turn it on when you leave for work in the morning, and you'll have dinner waiting for you when you come home. If you can avoid going out for dinner a few times, the Crock-Pot will pay for itself.</p> <h2>Spending to Save Money on Energy</h2> <p>If you can spend money once to reduce your energy consumption, this can add up to lots of savings as you use less energy every day.</p> <h3>11. LED Bulbs</h3> <p>Buy energy-efficient lighting to reduce your electric bill. I am upgrading to <a href="http://amzn.to/1WXT6Yl">LED lightbulbs</a> that use much less electricity and last many times longer than incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs. Most of the lights in my house are LED now, and I am saving money every month.</p> <h3>12. Home Insulation</h3> <p>Insulating will help reduce your energy bill. Spend some time and money on caulk, weatherstripping, and fiberglass insulation, and save money on every utility bill for years to come.</p> <h3>13. Energy-Efficient Appliances</h3> <p>Some appliances use a lot of energy, such as your furnace, central A/C, water heater, and refrigerator. Get the most energy-efficient appliances available and save hundreds per year on lower energy bills. Over time, the energy savings will offset the increased initial cost of the energy-efficient appliances.</p> <h3>14. Programmable Thermostat</h3> <p>Upgrade to a <a href="http://amzn.to/1PMP3IC">programmable thermostat</a> to downgrade your utility bills. I recently replaced my old thermostat with a modern programmable unit. A programmable thermostat automatically adjusts the temperature setting based on your schedule, so you can use less energy heating and cooling the house when no one is home.</p> <h2>Spending to Invest in Yourself</h2> <p>Spending money to increase your earnings can result in a lot of additional income.</p> <h3>15. 401K Matching</h3> <p>If your employer offers a 401K program that matches funds, spend some money to get the free contributions that will boost your retirement investment.</p> <h3>16. Business Attire</h3> <p>You will need a suit to wear to job interviews if you want to step up your income with a higher paying career. A good suit can last for many years and support a number of career upgrades.</p> <h3>17. Higher Education</h3> <p>A lot of people are talking about high levels of student loan debt that many college graduates are facing, but a college degree in a high paying field can be worth over a million of dollars in additional income over your career. Even if you borrow money to finish school, investing to get into a high paying career can be a great financial strategy.</p> <h3>18. Learning New Skills</h3> <p>I recently spent about $20 to buy a writer's market book to find new places to sell my articles. If I can sell <em>just on</em>e extra article, this will more than pay for this investment in myself. Spend a little to learn a new skill or way to make money on the side.</p> <h2>Spending on Preventive Maintenance</h2> <p>Pay a little bit now for preventive maintenance, or pay a lot later for expensive repairs.</p> <h3>19. Car Maintenance</h3> <p>Spend money on oil changes and routine maintenance to keep you car going for years and avoid the expense of replacing your entire vehicle prematurely.</p> <h3>20. Dental Visits</h3> <p>Even though you don't want to, go in for dental cleanings. Pay a little now to keep your teeth in good shape and avoid much bigger expenses later.</p> <h3>21. Furnace Filters</h3> <p>Spend $10 or so to change your furnace filter every few months. A clean <a href="http://amzn.to/1So7J8x">furnace filter</a> increases the efficiency of your heating and cooling system and helps reduce wear and tear. Write down the size of furnace filter you need and keep it in your wallet so you know which size to get.</p> <p><em>What do you spend money on that saves you money?</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/21-times-spending-more-will-save-you-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-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/12-everyday-money-tasks-youve-been-doing-wrong">12 Everyday Money Tasks You&#039;ve Been Doing Wrong</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-can-do-right-now-for-a-frugal-holiday-season">9 Things You Can Do Right Now for a Frugal Holiday Season</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/how-to-use-new-toys-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use New Toys to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-3190-with-a-50-hdtv-antenna">How I Saved $3,190 With a $50 HDTV Antenna</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping education everyday expenses maintenance saving money spending Tue, 16 Feb 2016 10:00:05 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1654793 at http://www.wisebread.com Learn Something New With These 9 Cheap Apps http://www.wisebread.com/learn-something-new-with-these-9-cheap-apps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/learn-something-new-with-these-9-cheap-apps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000062778500_Large.jpg" alt="learning something new with a cheap educational app" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With so many new things in the world to learn and so little time in your hectic schedule to spare, the learning part should be easy and accessible. For those who don't have the patience to sit down with a book, and who also are extremely attached to their smartphones, apps are a great way to turn a potential distraction into a powerful and portable medium for learning.</p> <p>Here are nine cheap or free apps to help you learn something new.</p> <h2>1. Couch to 5K</h2> <p>Right now, many Americans are trying to keep their New Year's Resolutions. Among the top resolutions is to &quot;get fit&quot; and one of the most common ways to achieve that is to get off the couch and train for a 5K race.</p> <p>Recommended by Shape Magazine as the best app for new runners, Couch to 5K provides you a training schedule of three 30-minute sessions a week for nine weeks to achieve your goal of running your first 5K race. It costs $2.99 to download and it's available on <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/couch-to-5k-running-app-training/id448474423?mt=8">iTunes</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.active.aps.c25k">Google Play</a>.</p> <p>Ready for the next level? There are also <a href="http://www.activenetwork.com/mobile-apps/5k-to-10k-app">5K to 10K</a> and half-marathon (<a href="http://www.activenetwork.com/mobile-apps/13-1-half-marathon-app">13.One</a>) training apps. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-apps-that-pay-you-to-exercise?ref=seealso">5 Apps That Pay You to Exercise</a>)</p> <h2>2. Dictionary</h2> <p>Want to become a &quot;logophile&quot; or discover what that word even means? Then download the Dictionary.com mobile apps for free (available for <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dictionary.com-dictionary/id308750436?mt=8&amp;at=1l3vsk3&amp;ct=mobileappspage_iphonefree">iPhone</a>, <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dictionary.com-dictionary/id364740856?mt=8">iPad</a>, Apple Watch, <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dictionary&amp;hl=en">Android</a>, Android Wear, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Dictionary-com-Dictionary-and-Thesaurus-Android/dp/B004GMT14Y">Amazon</a> devices). With over 100 million app downloads and 5.5 billion word searches per year, Dictionary.com is the world's leading digital English dictionary.</p> <p>Through its Word of the Day feature, you'll learn a new word every day, including its definition, pronunciation, origin, and example of use. This dictionary app also allows you to keep track of your favorite words so that you can bring them up when the time is right &mdash; and impress the pants off everyone you know with your massive vocabulary.</p> <h2>3. Duolingo</h2> <p>Speaking more than one language may enable you for higher pay in certain jobs and help you <a href="http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/journals/pspi/bilingual-minds.html">fight against Alzheimer's disease</a>. By gamifying the language learning process, Duolingo (available on <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/app/duolingo-learn-spanish-french/id570060128?mt=8">iTunes</a>, <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.duolingo">Google Play</a>, and <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/store/apps/duolingo-learn-languages-for-free/9wzdncrcv5xn">Windows Store</a>) makes your lessons fun and provides immediate gratification. Duolingo grants you points for completing tasks so you can see how you stack up against your friends.</p> <p>Chosen as 2013's App of the Year by Apple and available for free download, Duolingo is a top choice for learning Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Irish, Danish, and English.</p> <h2>4. Fooducate</h2> <p>With an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 from a total of 11,200 ratings, Fooducate is another useful app to keep your resolution for a healthier and fitter 2016. This app, available on <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fooducate/id398436747?mt=8">iTunes</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fooducate.nutritionapp&amp;referrer=utm_source%3Dfdct-redirect%26utm_campaign%3DFdct-Web-footer-button%26utm_medium%3Dna">Google Play</a>, grades food items from A down to D based on the item's nutrition facts panel and ingredient list.</p> <p>By scanning the UPC of many food items, you'll be able to spot information that may be hard to identify, including tricky trans fats, added sugars, and controversial food colorings. The rating isn't arbitrary. In 2012, the <a href="http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/news/2012/02/sg_healthy_app_challenge-winners.html">U.S. Surgeon General's Healthy App Challenge</a> awarded Fooducate first place in the category of nutrition and healthy eating.</p> <h2>5. Khan Academy</h2> <p>Use it or lose it. Spreadsheet software and modern calculators hinder many math skills, including performing long division, factoring a quadratic equation, finding the least common multiple, or solving a system of linear equations. While you may have thought that you would never have to perform these math operations ever again, you would run into them if you were to take a standardized test, such as the GMAT, GRE, or ASVAB.</p> <p>Without ads and subscription fees, the Khan Academy app, available on <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/khan-academy/id469863705?mt=8&amp;uo=4">iTunes</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.khanacademy.android&amp;hl=en">Google Play</a>, allows you to review those key math skills. You can also find plenty of free online classes on science, computer programming, history, art, economics, and other topics.</p> <h2>6. Mint</h2> <p>Available on <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mint-personal-finance/id300238550?mt=8">iTunes</a>, <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mint&amp;hl=en">Google Play</a>, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Intuit-Mint-com-Personal-Finance/dp/B004T2P7MQ">Amazon</a>, the free Mint app helps you track all your financial accounts, cards, and investments in one place so you can improve your financial wellbeing. While you could try to keep track of all of your finances from statements, you could benefit greatly from Mint's visual dashboard. And since 65% of individuals are <a href="http://www.uab.edu/uasomume/fd2/visuals/page1.htm">visual learners</a>, the app's bar charts, pie charts, and colorful alerts allow you to spend smarter and save more.</p> <p>One of the best features of the app is the ability to create a detailed budget so you can keep track of how much money you have left for the month in specific categories, such as dining, clothing, and transportation.</p> <h2>7. Poems By Heart</h2> <p>Another way to keep your mind sharp is to improve your memory. The Poems By Heart app helps you memorize and recite poems from several genres, including the &quot;Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day&quot; sonnet by Shakespeare and &quot;Eldorado&quot; by Edgar Allan Poe.</p> <p>The app is only available for <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/poems-by-heart-from-penguin/id577789325?mt=8">iPhone and iPad</a> and comes with four free poems. You can buy additional poem packages that feature the works of iconic poets like Walt Whitman, W.B. Yeats, and James Weldon Johnson. Apple featured Poems by Heart as one of &quot;Apple's App Store Best of 2013&quot; because it's highly engaging (and addictive!) user design.</p> <h2>8. Photomath</h2> <p>One of the hardest things about solving mathematical problems is to understand all of the steps involved in the process. Even worse, it's hard enough trying to write down a complicated arithmetic operation or lengthy linear equation.</p> <p>The Photomath app allows you to snap a photo of a wide variety of mathematical expressions, including basic arithmetic, fractions, decimal numbers, linear equations and several functions, with the camera of your <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photomath/id919087726">iPhone</a> or <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microblink.photomath">Android device</a> and show you a step-by-step answer. This is a very useful app for math students of all levels and parents of those young students willing to help out.</p> <h2>9. Quizlet</h2> <p>Flashcards are an excellent study tool because they allow for a self-directed personalized study experience that help us gauge our progress. Available on <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/quizlet-flashcards-study-tools/id546473125?mt=8">iTunes</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.quizlet.quizletandroid&amp;hl=en&amp;referrer=utm_source%3Dmobilepage">Google Play</a>, the Quizlet app allows you to build your own set of digital flashcards on any subject that you're trying to master. From learning new words in Spanish to memorizing kitchen recipes to preparing for a driving permit practice test, use Quizlet to unlock the learning power of flashcards in six study modes.</p> <p><em>What are other cheap or free apps to help you learn something? 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/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/learn-something-new-with-these-9-cheap-apps">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-didn-t-learn-in-college-but-you-should-have">10 Things You Didn’t Learn in College (but You Should Have)</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/great-ways-to-invest-in-yourself">Great Ways to Invest in Yourself</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/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th">It&#039;s the 21st Century — Why Is Your Money Stuck in the 20th?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-places-to-find-cheap-or-free-education">6 Places to Find Cheap (or Free!) Education</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/sit-in-on-a-class-at-mit-for-free">Sit in on a Class at MIT for Free!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Lifestyle cheap apps education free apps iPhone learning new skills resolutions Wed, 03 Feb 2016 18:19:00 +0000 Damian Davila 1647754 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Reasons Women Might Retire With More Wealth http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-women-might-retire-with-more-wealth <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-reasons-women-might-retire-with-more-wealth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_money_pink_000007951788.jpg" alt="Learning reasons why women might retire with more wealth" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We hear a lot about how women might be shortchanged in terms of earnings, but there are also plenty of ways women can excel financially. From potentially stronger savings and investment habits, to longer lifespans, women enjoy some serious wealth-building advantages, as well. Here are five reasons women might retire with more wealth.</p> <h2>1. More Women Are Gaining Higher Education</h2> <p>In fact, women are handily defeating men in the college game. Because women are more likely to <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/storyline/wp/2014/12/11/women-are-dominating-men-at-college-blame-sexism/">graduate from college</a> than their male counterparts, they enter the workforce in better shape. Sure, women are more likely to enter lower-paid areas of the education and health sectors, but they are also breaking into business and <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/04/14/study-finds-surprisingly-that-women-are-favored-for-jobs-in-stem/">STEM programs</a> at an increasing rate.</p> <p>While college loan debt can slow down your plans to save, the correlation between college and increased earnings is still present. The trick is to start investing as soon as you begin to see your margin of expendable income widen, ideally before age 30.</p> <h2>2. Women Are Living and Working Longer</h2> <p>That's right: Women typically live longer, and thus have more healthful years during which they may work. That means continuing to work in later years &mdash; when earnings may be higher, and more returns from compound interest on savings enjoyed. It also means a postponed retirement, which allows your investments to grow for longer.</p> <p>Check out this handy guide to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-should-you-have-saved-for-retirement-by-30-40-50">reaching your investing goals</a>.</p> <h2>3. Women Are Better Savers at all Income Levels</h2> <p>The road is full of unexpected hurdles to saving, and expensive emergencies are all but inevitable. The good news for female workers is that women are <a href="https://institutional.vanguard.com/iam/pdf/GENDRESP.pdf?cbdForceDomain=true">better at saving</a> than men in general. If that weren't enough, the same study showed that women are also better at managing their 401K accounts than men.</p> <p>It still takes discipline, however, to work this psychology to your advantage. Make specific goals and stick to them.</p> <h2>4. Forgoing Children Could Mean More Savings</h2> <p>On the fence about starting a family? According to the 2014 census, 48% of women between the ages of 18 and 44 <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/09/childless-more-women-are-not-having-kids-says-census_n_7032258.html">do not have children</a>. Clearly, women are increasingly waiting to have kids, or deferring the option altogether.</p> <p>Consider that this may mean more money for those women down the line. Delaying kids can mean more time to solidify your career and earnings, amass savings, and reduce debt before the financial pressures of kids arrive. If you are a 20- or 30-something still weighing the options, avoiding the fate of the <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/01/30/the-sandwich-generation/">sandwich generation</a> might be a deciding factor in postponing or entirely forgoing children.</p> <h2>5. Women Are Less Likely to Make Risky Trades</h2> <p>In addition to being better savers, more educated, and having more working years in which to save, women are also less likely to gamble their savings in poor investments. Women are generally <a href="http://www.nextavenue.org/do-women-and-men-differ-retirement-savers/">more risk averse</a> than men.</p> <p>That said, there is no reason not to learn how to pick more varied investments and take a slightly higher risk (hopefully for greater rewards) every now and then. Try listening to these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-money-podcasts">great money podcasts</a> to pick up tips and stay up to date with the market.</p> <p>Women enjoy a variety of natural advantages when it comes to earning and managing money. The key is making full use of them to strengthen your financial roadmap.</p> <p><em>Are you taking steps to secure your retirement?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-women-might-retire-with-more-wealth">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/12-things-you-didnt-know-about-retirement">12 Things You Didn&#039;t Know About Retirement</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-signs-you-arent-saving-enough-for-retirement">10 Signs You Aren&#039;t Saving Enough for Retirement</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-reasons-why-a-roth-ira-may-be-better-than-your-401k">4 Reasons Why a Roth IRA May be Better Than Your 401(k)</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/a-simple-guide-to-rolling-over-all-of-your-401ks-and-iras">A Simple Guide to Rolling Over All of Your 401Ks and IRAs</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-penalty-free-ways-to-withdraw-money-from-your-retirement-account">7 Penalty-Free Ways to Withdraw Money From Your Retirement Account</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement education gender IRA savings 401k women Thu, 31 Dec 2015 14:00:03 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1629244 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways Money Does Buy Happiness http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-money-does-buy-happiness <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-money-does-buy-happiness" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_woman_smiling_000057527868.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways money does buy happiness" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whenever someone tells me that money can't buy happiness, I am often tempted to insist they give me all of their money as a way to test this theory. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-money-really-can-buy-happiness?ref=seealso">6 Ways Money Really Can Buy Happiness</a>)</p> <p>Research abounds on the &quot;Can money buy happiness?&quot; question, and there is evidence on both sides. It seems that true happiness can come from deep personal connections and life experiences rather than material goods. But there's also information showing that people on the lowest end of the income scale are vulnerable to depression and other mental health problems.</p> <p>Here's a look at some of the research indicating that money does indeed play a role in making people happier.</p> <h2>1. You're Less Likely to Suffer From Depression</h2> <p>A 2012 report from Gallup revealed that people in poverty are more likely to suffer from health problems, with depression being the most common. About 30.9% of poor people said they have been <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/158417/poverty-comes-depression-illness.aspx">diagnosed with depression</a> at some point, compared to about 15.8% (half as many!) for those not in poverty.</p> <h2>2. Your Kids Brains Will Develop Better</h2> <p>PBS reported in June on the growing body of evidence supporting the idea that growing up in poverty can have a long-term impact on children's cognitive development. In the most extreme cases, children endure &quot;toxic stress&quot; that is shown to actually chemically alter their brains.</p> <h2>3. You Can Afford an Education</h2> <p>A 2012 study by Pew and the University of Virginia found a connection between happiness and obtaining a college degree. A broad education, researchers concluded, can lead to a richer and more fulfilling life, as well as greater earning opportunities.</p> <h2>4. You'll Avoid Student Loans</h2> <p>There's been a lot written about the impact of student loans on young people, and there's evidence that the crushing debt can actually be detrimental to happiness. An article published in the journal Social Science and Medicine concluded that student loan debt was related to &quot;poorer psychological functioning&quot; among young adults.</p> <h2>5. You Can Mentally Savor Life</h2> <p>When you have money, you don't need to focus as much attention on acquiring it in order to meet your basic needs. This frees up your mind to actually savor the experiences of life, according to a 2010 article in Scientific American. The article concluded that &quot;...a person's ability to savor experiences predicts their degree of happiness.&quot;</p> <h2>6. You're &quot;Buffered&quot; From Sadness</h2> <p>A recent paper in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science concluded that there may not be a direct connection between money and happiness, <em>per se</em>. But, the authors said there was strong evidence that money prevented sadness. The study concluded that people with money can more easily &quot;buffer&quot; themselves against stressful events.</p> <h2>7. You'll Be Free to Spend Money on Others</h2> <p>When you barely have enough to support yourself, you're likely not thinking about giving back to others. But being generous with your money is a path to happiness, according to a Harvard study titled &quot;Using Money to Benefit Others Pays Off.&quot; In the study, researchers gave money to students to spend on either themselves or others by the end of the day. &quot;People who had been assigned to spend the money on someone else reported feeling [a] happier mood over the course of the day than those assigned to spend the money on themselves,&quot; the authors wrote.</p> <h2>8. You Can Spend Money on Experiences</h2> <p>There's considerable evidence that buying &quot;stuff&quot; doesn't make anyone any happier. But paying for <em>experiences</em> offers a good bang for your buck when it comes to happiness, according to the book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1400077427/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1400077427&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=THZH4OREGTORUHA6">Stumbling on Happiness</a>. Whether it's swimming with sharks off the coast of South Africa or hang gliding over a volcano in Hawaii, experiences do cost money.</p> <h2>9. You're Less Likely to Be Lonely</h2> <p>A 2011 study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology concluded that people with meaningful social connections are generally happiest. And there is other evidence showing that people with less money are more likely to be lonely. The Guardian reported in 2014 that &quot;Poor social networks should be included as a contributor to and signal of poverty.&quot;</p> <p><em>Does money make you happier?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-money-does-buy-happiness">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/the-things-that-money-just-cant-buy">The things that money just can&#039;t buy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-money-really-can-buy-happiness">6 Ways Money Really Can Buy Happiness</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/can-you-talk-to-your-friends-about-debt">Can you talk to your friends about 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/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sensible-ways-to-raise-cash-for-a-wedding">Sensible Ways to Raise Cash for a Wedding</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle education experiences happiness money poverty student loans Fri, 18 Dec 2015 10:00:08 +0000 Tim Lemke 1621571 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Refinance Your Student Loan? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-refinance-your-student-loan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-refinance-your-student-loan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000060736594.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're struggling to pay back your student loan debt, you're far from alone. Earlier this year, Edvisors reported that members of the class of 2015 graduated from college owing an average of more than $35,000 in student loans. That's the highest this average has been.</p> <p>You can refinance your existing student loans to ones with lower interest rates. This can help you manage this debt. If your interest rate is lower, your monthly payment will be lower, too. You'll also pay less over the life of your loans, thanks to the lower interest rates.</p> <p>But there may be costs, too. If you're refinancing federal student loans into private loans &mdash; those originated by private banks and financial institutions &mdash; you'll lose the protections and programs that government-sponsored student loans provide. And that can end up hurting you in the long run, even if you lower the interest rates and monthly payments on these loans. Federal loans offer loan forgiveness, deferment, and income-based repayment protections. Most private student loans don't come with these protections.</p> <h2>Loan Forgiveness</h2> <p>If you are employed full-time in an eligible public service or non-profit job and you've made at least 120 on-time payments on your federal student loan, the government will forgive the remainder of your student-loan debt.</p> <p>The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says that one-fourth of U.S. workers can qualify either for loan forgiveness programs or income-based repayment plans. Consider whether you'd be eligible for loan forgiveness before refinancing with a private lender. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-get-student-loan-debt-forgiveness?ref=seealso">8 Ways to Get Student Loan Debt Forgiveness</a>)</p> <h2>Deferment</h2> <p>Federal student loans also come with deferment options, which give you more time before you have to start paying them back.</p> <p>You normally have six months after graduation before you have to start paying on your student-loan debt. But under federal programs, you can apply for additional deferments if you are unemployed, facing economic hardships, or are serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.</p> <p>Some private loans do offer ways to pause payments as well, but be sure you understand all the terms before making the switch. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-private-lenders-that-can-really-save-you-money-on-your-student-loans?ref=seealso">3 Private Lenders That Can Really Save Money On Your Student Loans</a>)</p> <h2>Income-Based Repayment</h2> <p>The income-based repayment plan that the government offers for federal student loans can provide immediate relief if you are employed but not earning a high salary. If you are a new borrower on or after July 1 of 2014 who has no balance on a previous federal student loan, your loan payments will be capped at a maximum of 10 percent of what the government calls your discretionary income, the difference between your income and 150 percent of the poverty guideline for your family size and the state in which you live.</p> <p>Those borrowers with especially low incomes might not have to make any student-loan payments at all.</p> <p>If you make these lower payments for 25 years, and you still haven't paid off your student-loan debt, the government will forgive the remainder of what you owe.</p> <p>For more information about these and other assistance programs &ndash; they are too complex to completely sum up in this story &ndash; visit the <a href="https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/understand/plans/income-driven#eligibility">Department of Education</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-student-loan-repayment-plan-saves-you-the-most?ref=seealso">Which Student Loan Repayment Plan Saves You the Most?</a>)</p> <h2>Refinancing</h2> <p>If you are interested in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-s-the-difference-between-student-loan-refinancing-and-consolidation">refinancing your federal student loans</a>, you will have to follow certain steps.</p> <p>As with any loan application, you'll need to prove that you can afford your new monthly payments, even though they'll be lower than your current ones. Usually that means providing lenders with proof of income as well as bank statements.</p> <p>You'll also need a good credit score if you want to qualify for interest rates that are low enough to make refinancing worthwhile. Your credit score will be low if you've missed or been late on payments or if you have run up loads of credit-card debt. You'll struggle to qualify for a refinance if your credit score is under 640 on the FICO scale.</p> <p>Here are some places to consider if you'd like to apply for a refinance.</p> <p><a href="http://sofi.com/wisebread">SoFi</a>: Fixed rates range from 3.50% APR to 7.24% APR and variable rates range from 1.90% APR to 5.20% APR. Loan terms are from five years to 20 years. SoFi offers additional resources and benefits, including unemployment protection and career support.</p> <p><a href="https://commonbond.co/choose-your-loan?referrer=b75172e7076c5472bed5baec5e28309c&amp;referred">CommonBond</a>: Fixed rates range from 3.50% APR to 6.74% APR and variable rates range from 1.95% APR to 4.97% APR. Loan terms start at five years and go up to 20 years. They also allow a temporary pause in payments if you lose your job. In addition to student loans for grads, they also offer refinancing for parents with PLUS loans, and even loans for getting your MBA.</p> <p><a href="https://www.meetearnest.com">Earnest</a>: Fixed rates start at 3.50% APR and variable rates start at 1.90% APR. Earnest allows a lot of flexibility for borrowers, even allowing them to change between fixed and variable rates at no charge. Earnest also looks at additional factors beyond the traditional credit scores and income &mdash; including education, employment history and other details to get a better picture of the borrower.</p> <p><a href="http://lendkey.7eer.net/c/27771/187810/3276">LendKey</a>: Fixed rates start at 3.25% APR and variable rates start at 1.93% APR. LendKey has no origination fees and their loans are funded by community lenders like credit unions and community banks.</p> <p><em>Have you refinanced a student loan?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-refinance-your-student-loan">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/8-ways-to-get-student-loan-debt-forgiveness">8 Ways to Get Student Loan Debt Forgiveness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-paying-off-student-loans-early-can-boost-your-finances">7 Ways Paying Off Student Loans Early Can Boost 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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-college-graduate-paid-off-28000-in-three-years-on-a-30k-salary">How One College Graduate Paid Off $28,000 in Three Years on a $30K Salary</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-loan-options-for-those-with-good-credit">5 Loan Options for Those With Good Credit</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management borrowing debt deferment education loan forgiveness refinance student loans Wed, 09 Dec 2015 14:00:23 +0000 Dan Rafter 1616782 at http://www.wisebread.com What’s the Difference Between Student Loan Refinancing and Consolidation? http://www.wisebread.com/what-s-the-difference-between-student-loan-refinancing-and-consolidation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-s-the-difference-between-student-loan-refinancing-and-consolidation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_student_debt_000020737719.jpg" alt="Man learning about student loan refinancing and consolidation" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Higher education can open the door to better job prospects and a larger salary, but there&rsquo;s nothing cheap about earning a degree. According to the Institute for College Access and Success, in 2013, about seven in 10 graduates from public and nonprofit colleges had student loan debt with the average student <a href="http://ticas.org/posd/map-state-data">owing $28,400</a>.</p> <p>If you didn&rsquo;t attend college with a silver spoon in your mouth and had to apply for financial aid (like many students did, myself included), you might be bogged down with multiple loans. This can be a lot to keep up with, but fortunately there&rsquo;s an easier way to manage student loan debt and perhaps pay it off sooner. In fact, some post-grads have successfully managed their debt with student loan refinancing and consolidation.</p> <p>These terms are sometimes used interchangeably. But while they can serve a similar purpose, consolidation and refinancing are not the same.</p> <h2>What Is Student Loan Consolidation?</h2> <p>Consolidation is the process of combining or merging multiple loans into a single one. A student loan consolidation can combine all your federal loans into one loan at no cost. Some students pay for their entire college education with only one type of federal loan, but others receive funds from multiple federal loans. For example, you might have a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, a Direct PLUS loan, and perhaps another type of federal loan. This can become a headache at best, and it&rsquo;s easier to overlook a bill when you receive so many statements each month.</p> <p>Consolidation simplifies the way you manage your student loans. Combining your federal loans into a single loan means you&rsquo;ll only have one monthly statement, one due date, and one set of loan terms, which usually includes a low, fixed interest rate.</p> <p>Federal student loan consolidation is offered by the U.S. Department of Education and it&rsquo;s only for federal student loans &mdash; not private loans. So if you have a mix of federal educational loans and private educational loans, you cannot consolidate through the Department of Education.</p> <p>This doesn't mean you can&rsquo;t simplify and merge your federal and private loans into one loan. This is still an option, but instead of Federal consolidation, you have to refinance your loans through a private lender, such as a bank or credit union.</p> <h2>What Is Student Loan Refinancing?</h2> <p>Refinancing involves applying for a new loan (sometimes with a lower interest rate), and then using these funds to pay off existing loans. Refinancing is only available through private lenders. This is a smart move if you have multiple private loans with variable interest rates and you want a fixed interest rate, which can protect you from rate hikes in the future and potentially save you money.</p> <p>Since refinancing is through a private lender, you have to complete a loan application and go through the underwriting process, at which point a lender evaluates your credit history and income to determine if you&rsquo;re eligible. If you qualify, refinancing can help you get a lower interest rate, which can save you money over the life of the loan. A lower payment can create more cash flow, and you can use the savings to pay off other debts, move out of your parents&rsquo; house, or build your emergency fund. Refinancing also helps pay off student loan debt faster, especially if you're able to make higher payments. This is because more of your payments will go toward reducing the principal.</p> <p>Refinancing is the only way to combine your federal and private loans into a single loan. But it&rsquo;s important to note that refinancing a federal loan involves giving up some protections offered by government loans.</p> <p>For example, federal loans have provisions to help students manage their debt, such as income-based repayment. And if you experience economic hardship like the loss of a job, federal loans give the option of forbearance or deferment. Both options allow borrowers to stop making payments on a temporary basis. Some private lenders don't offer such perks. So while refinancing can simplify your financial life, make sure you have a strong financial foundation before switching federal loans to a private loan.</p> <p><a href="http://SoFi.com/wisebread">SoFi</a> is a popular lender offering student loan refinancing at competitive rates. They also offer career support and unemployment protection, where your payments can be paused while finding a new job. <a href="http://SoFi.com/wisebread"><strong>Click here to learn more about getting a student refinancing loan from SoFi</strong></a>.</p> <!--<p>Alternately, <a href="http://credible.evyy.net/c/27771/223380/3874?utm_source=WiseBread&amp;utm_medium=web&amp;utm_campaign=refi">Credible</a> is a marketplace platform that allows you to search and compare available loans and interest rates. Receive personalized offers from mulitple lenders. <a href="http://credible.evyy.net/c/27771/223380/3874?utm_source=WiseBread&amp;utm_medium=web&amp;utm_campaign=refi"><strong>Click here to learn more and get offers from available lenders.</strong></a></p>--><!--<p>Alternately, <a href="http://credible.evyy.net/c/27771/223380/3874?utm_source=WiseBread&amp;utm_medium=web&amp;utm_campaign=refi">Credible</a> is a marketplace platform that allows you to search and compare available loans and interest rates. Receive personalized offers from mulitple lenders. <a href="http://credible.evyy.net/c/27771/223380/3874?utm_source=WiseBread&amp;utm_medium=web&amp;utm_campaign=refi"><strong>Click here to learn more and get offers from available lenders.</strong></a></p>--><p><em>Did you refinance or consolidate your student loans? How did it improve your situation? I&rsquo;d love to hear about your experience 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/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-s-the-difference-between-student-loan-refinancing-and-consolidation">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/7-ways-paying-off-student-loans-early-can-boost-your-finances">7 Ways Paying Off Student Loans Early Can Boost Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-get-student-loan-debt-forgiveness">8 Ways to Get Student Loan Debt Forgiveness</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/refinance-these-4-common-debts-before-year-ends">Refinance These 4 Common Debts Before Year Ends</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-to-travel-when-you-have-student-loans">6 Ways to Travel When You Have Student Loans</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/3-private-lenders-that-can-really-save-you-money-on-your-student-loans">3 Private Lenders That Can Really Save You Money on Your Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management college consolidation education refinancing student loans Thu, 12 Nov 2015 00:18:15 +0000 Mikey Rox 1603032 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Life Mistakes You Need to Stop Making by 30 http://www.wisebread.com/5-life-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-by-30 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-life-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-by-30" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000047196720.jpg" alt="Couple learning life mistakes to stop making by 30" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Thinking about the big 30th birthday benchmark? I certainly am! Some habits we get away with in our 20s are not so flattering later in life. Here are the five things you need to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-by-30">stop doing by age 30</a>.</p> <h2>1. Maxing Out Credit Cards</h2> <p>When you got that first credit card fresh out of high school, you thought, whoa, $500 is so much money! A few weeks later, you learned how few dollars that really was, and by then you were maxed out. It's a lesson that we would ideally learn once, pay it down, and move on, but many of us don't. Start learning <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oops-i-maxed-out-my-credit-cards-now-what">how to manage your debt</a> and resolve to keep a balance of no more than 20%&ndash;30% of your credit limit.</p> <h2>2. Avoiding Doctors</h2> <p>When you're 23, you still boast a high metabolism and strong immune system, so you can't possibly get sick, right? This is a lie every young person believes throughout their 20s to get out of paying for health care. Whether you get into a car accident or you need to treat certain communicable diseases, you need a doctor. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act and the limited benefits some employers offer, it's easier than ever to find a low-cost plan that will cover you in case of an emergency. If you're a lucky person who's still under his/her parents' plan, use it before you lose it! Here's how to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/simple-ways-to-get-the-healthcare-you-need-without-overspending">get the care you need</a> without spending too much.</p> <h2>3. Keeping All Funds in One Account</h2> <p>When you first start out as an adult, banking is something you do when you absolutely need to: paying bills, making transfers, informing the bank you lost your debit card at a bar again. Direct deposit dumps your check into the checking account, and so it stays there &mdash; until you drain it dry three days before payday. Start thinking about your other banking options. Tweak that direct deposit to send 10% of your checks to you savings account, and don't touch it. Afraid you will touch it anyway? <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-high-yield-cds">Look into CDs</a> (certificates of deposit) and mutual funds as a way to make a fraction of your earned income grow over time. This can work as your emergency fund or a nest egg for later.</p> <h2>4. Getting Sucked Into Your Phone</h2> <p>This is hard for Millennials. On one hand, we want to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-i-like-my-flip-phone-the-5-smartphone-effects">use our phones</a> a lot because all our stuff is there! On the other hand, it causes a big social rift between us and elder generations &mdash; including the Gen Xers and Boomers, who are still mostly in charge of hiring us for jobs. This means you must have an &quot;offline mode&quot; switch: Know when you're in the clear to play Neko Atsume on your iPhone, and know when it's time to silence the phone and keep it stowed away (not on the table face-up). It's not only to appease our parents; it's also to help us be more human by staying present to others in real time and charming to be around.</p> <h2>5. Putting Off Your Education</h2> <p>Around 40% of college enrollees (both community and university) end up dropping out before earning a degree, and that's only of those who actually apply and enroll to a college &mdash; most people in the U.S. do not have a college degree. Think about that if you are struggling to scrape together enough to live on your own comfortably &mdash; the bottom rung is too crowded. College is still indisputably the key to success, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-college-degrees-with-the-highest-roi">especially for these majors</a>. If you're still putting off that degree to jumpstart your career, now is the time. Make your 30s an age of well-earned prosperity.</p> <p><em>What habits will you finally break when you turn 30?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-life-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-by-30">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-successful-30-somethings-do">9 Things Successful 30-Somethings Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th">It&#039;s the 21st Century — Why Is Your Money Stuck in the 20th?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/millennial-millionaires-how-the-brokest-generation-can-also-become-the-richest">Millennial Millionaires: How the Brokest Generation Can Also Become the Richest</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/dont-go-to-college-to-learn">Don&#039;t Go to College to 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/5-ways-to-avoid-expensive-phone-charges-when-traveling">5 Ways to Avoid Expensive Phone Charges When Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks 30s education finance Health job security millennials smartphones Thu, 13 Aug 2015 11:00:30 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1521832 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways Paying Off Student Loans Early Can Boost Your Finances http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-paying-off-student-loans-early-can-boost-your-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-paying-off-student-loans-early-can-boost-your-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/money_college_graduate_000020191808.jpg" alt="College grad learning how to pay off student loans early" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So you just graduated from college and have a fancy new degree and tens of thousands of dollars in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-student-loan-repayment-plan-saves-you-the-most">student loans</a>. Welcome to the club!</p> <p>Those loans could be an albatross around your neck for years, but there are many reasons to work hard to pay them off early. For starters, the long-run cost-savings could be huge, and it will become easier to save for the future. And your overall financial picture can improve immensely by eliminating that debt as soon as you can. Here's why.</p> <h2>1. You'll Save Big Bucks in Interest</h2> <p>Paying loans off early may require you to pay more now, but the overall amount you will pay will decrease because you'll save on interest payments. If you're paying 4.5% interest on a $10,000 student loan over five years, you're on the hook for as much as $37 in interest per month before you even make a dent in the principal. Over time, interest can add up to thousands of dollars that most people would love to have back in their bank accounts.</p> <h2>2. It's Easier to Begin Investing for the Future</h2> <p>There is an argument to be made that it's okay to invest money even when you have student loans, as long as the return on investment is higher than the interest rate on the loan. There's validity to this, but for many people it's not easy to invest <em>and </em>pay down debt at the same time. So, if you're finding that it's hard to do both, focus on paying down the debt. Freeing yourself from student loans means you can start to save for retirement and other long-term goals. The earlier you start investing, the better, so get rid of those loans now, if you can.</p> <h2>3. It May Become Easier to Get a Mortgage</h2> <p>When lenders examine your finances to see if you're worthy of a loan, they look at the price of the home and your income, but they also examine your overall debt-to-income ratio. This is often referred to as your &quot;back-end ratio.&quot; Generally speaking, if your <a href="http://www.fha.com/fha_requirements_debt">debt-to-income ratio</a> with expenses is higher than 40%, you may find it harder to get a loan. If you can pay off your student loans early, lenders may be more kind, because your ratio will be lower. Moreover, if you are free from student loan debt, you may find it easier to make a larger down payment on the house you choose to buy. In turn, this could result in lower monthly payments and you might also avoid any requirements to buy mortgage insurance.</p> <h2>4. Your Last-Ditch Option Becomes a Better One</h2> <p>If there's one thing that's worse than declaring bankruptcy, it's declaring bankruptcy when you have student loans. That's because while debt from credit cards, auto, or home loans can be discharged in bankruptcy, student loans usually can't. Student loans can continue to haunt you even when you've done your best to wipe your slate clean. If you can find a way to pay off the loans, at least you'll have a better chance of truly starting over financially if disaster later strikes.</p> <h2>5. You Can Take the Long View With Your Career</h2> <p>When I was a senior in college, I accepted an unpaid internship at an organization that eventually led to a full-time job. Fortunately, I had no student loans to contend with &mdash; there's no way I could have accepted work for no pay. If you're debt-free, it might mean that you can afford to enter internship or apprenticeship programs. You can accept entry-level positions that offer the promise of growth within a company. This may seem counterintuitive, but a lack of debt can give you financial freedom to choose the career path you really want. And that can pay off in the long term.</p> <h2>6. You Can Be More Entrepreneurial</h2> <p>Small businesses often get started when founders invest their own personal money. It's hard to do that when you're paying off big loans. A study from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014 concluded that the rate of student debt in America was having an <a href="http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2417676">impact on formation of businesses</a> with one to four employees. Perhaps it's time to unload your student debt and launch that potentially lucrative enterprise.</p> <h2>7. Your Mental Health Will Improve</h2> <p>A study from researchers at the University of South Carolina found that of more than 4,000 people born between 1980 and 1984, those with higher student loans, <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/02/the-mental-and-physical-toll-of-student-loans/385032/">had poorer mental health</a>. And while the researchers did not examine the impact on earnings, there's plenty of research suggesting that feelings of depression and anxiety can <a href="http://www.webmd.com/depression/news/20030617/depression-affects-work-productivity">impact job performance</a>, and in turn, income.</p> <p><em>Are you paying off your student loans early? Tell us how &mdash; and why &mdash; in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-paying-off-student-loans-early-can-boost-your-finances">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/what-s-the-difference-between-student-loan-refinancing-and-consolidation">What’s the Difference Between Student Loan Refinancing and Consolidation?</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/is-it-ever-okay-to-cosign-a-loan">Is It Ever Okay to Cosign a Loan?</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/should-you-refinance-your-student-loan">Should You Refinance Your Student Loan?</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-ways-to-get-student-loan-debt-forgiveness">8 Ways to Get Student Loan Debt Forgiveness</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/refinance-these-4-common-debts-before-year-ends">Refinance These 4 Common Debts Before Year Ends</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management borrowing college education loans student loans Wed, 27 May 2015 17:01:23 +0000 Tim Lemke 1431226 at http://www.wisebread.com