websites http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12449/all en-US 10 Best Tools for Finding an Apartment on the Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/10-best-tools-for-finding-an-apartment-on-the-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-best-tools-for-finding-an-apartment-on-the-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_laptop_boxes_11897386.jpg" alt="Woman using best tools for finding an apartment on the cheap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Depending on where you live, finding a new apartment can be tough &hellip; or downright overwhelming. Seinfeld once joked that in New York, the obituaries section should be coupled with the property section in a newspaper, because that's pretty much the only way to find a decent place.</p> <p>But wherever you live, you are going to need help, especially if it's a completely unknown area. What is the neighborhood like? How are the schools? Is the crime rate high? Is the rent too high? The following tools will help you get your foot in the door.</p> <h2>1. Craigslist</h2> <p>Do not underestimate the power of Craigslist. Started in 1996 by Craig Newmark, it was originally servicing only the San Francisco Bay Area. Now, it's global, and the &quot;Housing&quot; section still remains free for people to post and respond to listings. There are many subsections, including real estate for sale, vacation rentals, and even office/commercial storage. However, you will want to look into the following categories:</p> <ul> <li>Apt/housing</li> <li>Housing swap</li> <li>Rooms/shared</li> <li>Sublets/Temporary</li> </ul> <p>Once you get into any of those sections, you can narrow down your search with a great list of tools. From basic parameters like price, bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage, to more niche requirements like &quot;X miles from zip,&quot; wheelchair access, and animals, you can quickly find just the place you're looking for. It is by far the most convenient free tool out there.</p> <h2>2. Apartment Finder</h2> <p>Long before the Internet was the go-to place for, well, everything, &quot;<a href="http://www.apartmentfinder.com/">Apartment Finder</a>&quot; magazine was the essential tool for finding your next abode. Started in 1981, it has won numerous industry awards and is now available in several formats, including the traditional magazine, the website, and the app. It also part of a network that includes Apartments.com, ApartmentHomeLiving, Move, and Doorsteps.</p> <p>As it is a service focused on renting apartments, there are more slick tools here to help. You'll be able to explore the spaces using a 360-degree camera, and you'll get virtual walk-throughs, floor plans, a veritable smorgasbord of photos, and a lot of detailed information. The only downside is that you will not usually find properties from people just looking to rent out their homes. It costs money to advertise on this site, and that means it's populated by large apartment complexes. But if that's what you're looking for, and you need the extra security and benefits of a managed property with a pool and a gymnasium, this is just what you need.</p> <h2>3. Zillow</h2> <p>When <a href="http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_rent/">Zillow</a> first came onto the scene, it was primarily used as a tool to estimate your home's value (and real estate agents <em>hated </em>it because the information was always very hit or miss). Now, Zillow has become an excellent free resource for the apartment hunter. Not only does it have all the tools you'd expect to narrow down your search, but it offers advice on renting and house hunting, as well as important neighborhood information (essential if you know nothing about an area you're moving into), including school ratings. Again, it costs to list a rental property on this kind of site, so don't expect to find little hidden gems being offered by someone who has a second home.</p> <h2>4. Rentometer</h2> <p>Although it won't help you find the specific place you want to live in, it will help you research what you should (and should not) be paying for rent at any of the apartments you're checking out. If you find the home of your dreams, but aren't sure if the price is sky high, <a href="https://www.rentometer.com/">Rentometer</a> will give you a temperature check of the area. You'll see the average and median prices, and also which percentile the apartment you're looking at falls in. At the very least, you want &quot;reasonable&quot; rent. Low is great. If you're in the red zone, negotiate or move on.</p> <h2>5. The Library</h2> <p>So your local library is not an app or a website, obviously, but it is filled with resources that can help anyone find their perfect apartment. It's a shame that more people don't take full advantage of the library; after all, we all pay for libraries with our taxes. Libraries have computers to access the many online tools listed in this article. They also have copies of a plethora of local and national newspapers, which contain classified ads for apartments and homes. If you find yourself in need of a place that contains many tools under one roof, the library is hard to beat.</p> <h2>6. HotPads</h2> <p>If you're looking for a tool that combines the great functionality of sites like Apartment Finder and Zillow, but also has the variety of smaller rentals offered by Craigslist, the <a href="https://hotpads.com">HotPads</a> is definitely for you. It has listings for most major cities in the U.S., and gives you a great set of criteria to help you get a list of excellent matches. Features like the &quot;walk score&quot; and neighborhood information, coupled with &quot;hot listings&quot; that show you which apartments are getting the most attention make HotPads one of the best tools for anyone looking to rent in a well-populated location.</p> <h2>7. Rent.com</h2> <p>Just like HotPads, <a href="http://www.rent.com/">Rent.com</a> gives you great choice. You can find landlords who are renting out just one or two properties, or giant apartment complexes with hundreds of units in one place. You can sort by best match, price, rating, or alphabetically, and when you narrow it down to a few properties, you can check the availability and book a tour. Definitely sort by ratings, because some of apartments have quite a few skeletons in the closet.</p> <h2>8. PadMapper</h2> <p>If you want to imagine what an apartment hunting app crossed with a mapping tool would look like, check out <a href="https://www.padmapper.com">PadMapper</a>. From the get go, you are greeted with a map of the area you want to look at, which is immediately populated by all the available rentals. It's somewhat overwhelming at first, but by using the tools provided, you can quickly take pins off the map until you get it down to some manageable choices. Save your favorites, check out floor plans and photos, and indicate your interest in the property. One downside &mdash; it appears to only list apartments in large complexes.</p> <h2>9. Lovely</h2> <p>Great name. Great site. <a href="https://livelovely.com">Lovely</a> is known as being exceptionally easy to use, simple, and direct. And it really is a soup-to-nuts kind of setup. With Lovely, you cannot only find your ideal apartment from a vast array on the market, but also submit an application through the site. Plus, you can even pay your rent through the site itself! Of course, anything that sounds too good to be true often has a downside. With Lovely, it's scope. Right now, you're limited to the Midwest and the coasts, but as word spreads, so will the range of the site.</p> <h2>10. Zumper</h2> <p>What does the name mean? Who knows. But the site (and app) look great, are easy to use, and have a wealth of information. The first question you'll be asked is where you want to move. Type in the area, and you'll get an overview of the town or city, including any annual festivities or notable attractions. You can search on a map, or by the usual parameters (bedrooms, price, amenities, and so on). One excellent feature of <a href="https://www.zumper.com">Zumper</a> is the way it seamlessly integrates with Experian, allowing you to safely and securely submit your credit report along with your application. Highly recommended.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-best-tools-for-finding-an-apartment-on-the-cheap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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-to-apartment-hunt-on-craigslist-without-getting-scammed">6 Ways to Apartment Hunt on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-forget-to-budget-for-these-unexpected-moving-expenses">Don&#039;t Forget to Budget for These Unexpected Moving Expenses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-common-apartment-hunting-mistakes-to-avoid">9 Common Apartment Hunting Mistakes to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rent-your-home-or-buy-heres-how-to-decide">Rent Your Home or Buy? Here&#039;s How to Decide</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/heres-how-much-life-in-the-big-city-will-cost-you">Here&#039;s How Much Life in the Big City Will Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing Technology apartment finder apartments apps craigslist moving renting websites Zillow Fri, 21 Oct 2016 09:30:30 +0000 Paul Michael 1816944 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Best Sites to Help Your Kids Learn About Money http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-sites-to-help-your-kids-learn-about-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-best-sites-to-help-your-kids-learn-about-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_daughter_breakfast_64728213.jpg" alt="Finding best sites to help your kids learn about money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Teaching your children about money is an important, yet often overlooked area of education. Most kids will not want to sit through a lecture about credit card usage and budgeting practices, but they might be more willing to listen to interactive videos and games. These sites make learning about money and money management fun and enjoyable.</p> <h2>1. Biz Kids</h2> <p><a href="http://bizkids.com/">Biz Kids</a> offers short and interesting videos aimed toward middle schoolers. These videos cover a wide range of topics from young entrepreneurs to starting a business to different money personalities. For teachers and home-schoolers, there are coordinating lessons that go with the videos. The site also has three different games &mdash; Break the Bank, Bring Home the Bacon, and Dollar a Glass &mdash; which allow kids to try their hands at running a virtual lemonade stand.</p> <h2>2. Rich Kid, Smart Kid</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.richkidsmartkid.com/">Rich Kid, Smart Kid</a> site was created by The Rich Dad Company, the brand behind the popular book, <a href="http://amzn.to/2chdAMF">Rich Dad, Poor Dad</a>. The site comes with four interactive games: Jesse's Ice Cream Stand, Reno's Debt Dilemma, Ima's Pay Yourself 1st, and Jesse's Big Change. The site has fun graphics and is kid-friendly to use. For parents and teachers, there are teaching resources for every age level.</p> <h2>3. Lemonade Tycoon</h2> <p>While not technically a site, <a href="http://www.shockwave.com/gamelanding/lemonade.jsp">Lemonade Tycoon</a> is an addicting game that shows kids the way to build a business from the bare minimum to franchise status. This game can help show children that in order to grow a business, you need to strike a balance between profits and investments. Kids will also learn that there is a fine balance between product cost, product quality, and product success. For example, adding more water to the lemonade will bring down costs, but it can also drive away customers. On the other hand, using a lot of sugar in the lemonade will cost more and gain more sales, but the profit margin is smaller.</p> <h2>4. H.I.P. Pocket Change</h2> <p><a href="https://www.usmint.gov/kids/">H.I.P. Pocket Change</a> focuses less on money management and more on the history of coins worldwide. The site has several games and cartoons that teach how a coin is made and other important dates in coin history. There are also a lot of great resources for kids interested in coin collecting.</p> <h2>5. Sense &amp; Dollars</h2> <p>The <a href="http://senseanddollars.thinkport.org/">Sense &amp; Dollars</a> site has several interactive calculators. The site calls them games, but they are simply calculators that require little input. The Saving Money section of the site is most helpful, especially the Show Me the Money calculator, which shows how much an investment will grow in different saving accounts. The Charge game is also useful since it can show your child how much something costs when you charge it and then make minimum payments. On the other hand, The Makin' the Bacon calculator is extremely outdated and does not factor in taxes or SSI taken out of each paycheck.</p> <h2>6. It's My Life</h2> <p><a href="http://pbskids.org/itsmylife/money/">It's My Life</a> from PBS Kids offers advice, shows, and games for all areas of life. The money section is small, but there is a game called Mad Money. There is also a lot of helpful advice for older kids that want to get started in babysitting.</p> <h2>7. Credit Card Simulator Game</h2> <p>This <a href="https://www.channelone.com/feature/credit-card-simulator-game/">Credit Card Simulator</a> game from Channel One allows kids to get a virtual platform card and virtually shop in the game's mall. The game will then teach about the downside of interest and debt.</p> <h2>8. Three Jars</h2> <p><a href="http://www.threejars.com/">Three Jars</a> is a great site for kids and parents alike, since it can help streamline allowance time. With this site, kids keep track of how much money is owed to them through either chores, odd jobs, or both. The money then gets split into three jars entitled Spend, Save, and Share. The goal of the site is to make managing allowances easier, while minimizing nagging and entitlement in your home. For example, when a child asks for something at the store, you can buy it for them if the money is in their spend jar. If the item costs $20, and they only have $5 in their spend jar, then the responsibility is on them. They either need to do more chores or spend less money.</p> <p>While your kids might not want to trade in their video games for these interactive money games and websites, they are a great starting point to talk about money in your home.</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/8-best-sites-to-help-your-kids-learn-about-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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-fun-money-apps-for-kids">10 Fun Money Apps for Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids">4 Bad Money Habits You&#039;re Teaching Your Kids</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-top-money-lessons-to-learn-from-ruth-soukups-unstuffed">4 Top Money Lessons to Learn From Ruth Soukup&#039;s &quot;Unstuffed&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-good-money-examples-every-parent-should-set">3 Good Money Examples Every Parent Should Set</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-money-moves-to-make-as-soon-as-the-kids-move-out">7 Money Moves to Make as Soon as the Kids Move Out</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family Technology allowances games interactive kids learning tools money lessons teaching websites Mon, 19 Sep 2016 10:00:07 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1794072 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Online Retailers Who Let You Stack Coupons http://www.wisebread.com/9-online-retailers-who-let-you-stack-coupons <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-online-retailers-who-let-you-stack-coupons" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_computer_shopping_71387301.jpg" alt="Couple using online retailers who let them stack coupons" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The idea of walking into a store and stacking coupons of different varieties is not a new concept to most savvy shoppers. Perhaps it's a manufacturer's coupon, stacked with a store-branded coupon, to essentially double your savings. But what about stacking coupon codes when shopping online? I'm here to tell you that it absolutely can be done and it's an amazing way to score a fantastic online deal. Here are the nine &quot;stacking&quot; websites worth knowing about.</p> <h2>1-3. Banana Republic, Gap, and Old Navy</h2> <p>While all three of these stores generally don't allow coupon stacking in-store, their websites happily let you stack up to five coupon codes on a single purchase. Your best option for success is to stack a percentage-off coupon with a dollar-off coupon, although two percentage-off coupons will sometimes work. To maximize your savings, add the percentage-off coupon to your online order first, followed by the dollar-off coupon. Sign up for their newsletters and keep an eye on<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-best-deals-coupons-sites"> coupon websites</a> in order to find multiple coupon codes worth stacking.</p> <h2>4. CVS Drugstore</h2> <p>CVS has a legendary in-store coupon stacking policy that lets you stack a manufacturer coupon, store coupon, and CVS Extra Care Bucks for maximum savings. While shopping online via their website doesn't provide the same amazing stacking ability, it's still worth mentioning. They'll let you stack two coupons per online order, one for a site-wide percentage off, and one coupon good for a specific item you're purchasing.</p> <h2>5. DSW</h2> <p>DSW, also known as Designer Shoe Warehouse, is known for their liberal coupon policy which lets you stack three different coupon codes on your online order. It should also be noted that a coupon code is only good once per account, so once you redeem it, it's gone. Be sure to sign up for the <a href="https://www.dsw.com/dsw_shoes/user/loginAccount.jsp?cm_re=010509%2520Flats-_-Sub3-_-DSW%2520Rewards">DSW Rewards program</a>, as they'll send you monthly coupons that you can stack for things like free shipping or up to 20% off your order.</p> <h2>6. Kohl's</h2> <p>Kohl's just might be the king of coupons when it comes to the ability to stack them. As a matter of fact, you can stack up to four coupons per online purchase. Your best strategy is to start by adding a site-wide percentage off coupon to your virtual shopping cart; you can typically find 15% or 20% off coupons by doing a quick Google search for &quot;Kohl's coupons.&quot; Next, if available, add a couple department specific coupon codes to your purchase. Lastly, for good measure, add a free shipping coupon code to the mix so you get your purchase delivered to your doorstep for no extra charge.</p> <h2>7. NewEgg</h2> <p>Stacking coupon codes at NewEgg works a little different than the other stores mentioned. They allow you to stack more than one coupon per order, but you can only use a single coupon on each item in your purchase. Because they rarely release site-wide coupons, this is not a big issue. But they do release many coupons for specific items, especially for computers and accessories like external hard drives, flash drives, and SSD drives. So if you're not brand or model specific, and simply have a few &quot;must-have&quot; specs in mind, you can very likely buy three items and apply a coupon code to each. Check out their <a href="http://promotions.newegg.com/NEemail/latest/index-landing.aspx">promo codes page</a> for a updated list of current coupons. It's also worth your time to sign up for coupons via email while you're there.</p> <h2>8. Target</h2> <p>According to the <a href="http://help.target.com/help/subcategoryarticle?childcat=How+to+use+promo+codes&amp;parentcat=Promotions+%26+Coupons">Target website</a>, you can apply multiple promo codes to your online purchase. While they aren't specific as to the number of codes you can stack, all you need to do is enter each one and click apply until they say &quot;no mas.&quot; Also, according to their website, it should also be noted that &quot;some offers require that only one promo code be applied.&quot; When this happens, you'll automatically get credit for the coupon that nets you the greatest savings. Always start your search for stackable Target promo codes directly on <a href="http://help.target.com/help/subcategoryarticle?childcat=Current+promotions&amp;parentcat=Promotions+%26+Coupons">their &quot;Current Promotions&quot; page</a>.</p> <h2>9. Victoria's Secret</h2> <p>Victoria's Secret will accept three offer codes on a single online purchase. When checking out from their website, look for the offer codes section and enter up to three. You'll find these codes through their catalog, website, emails, and in promotional mailings. If all of these options fail to score you a code, simply type &quot;Victoria's Secret coupons&quot; into Google and you're bound to find something you can use to save.</p> <p>Not only will Victoria's Secret accept multiple coupon codes on your online purchase, but they'll even <a href="https://customerservice.victoriassecret.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/309/~/i-forgot-my-offer-code-when-i-placed-my-order,-what-do-i-do%3F">retroactively add a code</a> if you forget to add it during checkout, or maybe found one after you finalized your order. You can call them directly at (800) 568-4288 to get your coupon code added to your online purchase. The sooner you can call them after finalizing your purchase, the better, as it gives them ample to time to adjust your order total before shipping your purchase.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been able to successfully stack coupons to save some extra money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-online-retailers-who-let-you-stack-coupons">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stores-with-the-best-price-matching">10 Stores With the Best Price Matching</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-genius-ways-to-save-on-cyber-monday">6 Genius Ways to Save on Cyber Monday</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-big-list-of-money-saving-coupon-codes-for-halloween-2016">The Big List of Money-Saving Coupon Codes for Halloween 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">Save on Christmas Shopping With This Clever Gift Card Strategy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping coupon codes deals discounts online shopping retail stacking websites Mon, 11 Jul 2016 10:00:14 +0000 Kyle James 1748329 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Free Debt Management Tools http://www.wisebread.com/6-free-debt-management-tools <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-free-debt-management-tools" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_using_smartphone_000040508552.jpg" alt="Woman using free debt management tools" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The average American looks at his or her phone <a href="http://time.com/4147614/smartphone-usage-us-2015/">46 times every day</a>.</p> <p>That number is even higher among U.S. Millennials: individuals in the 18&ndash;24 age bracket and the 25&ndash;34 age bracket check their mobile devices 74 and 50 times per day, respectively. With all this time spent on their smartphones, Americans can leverage their devices to improve their personal finances at no extra cost. Additionally, there are some key tools that allow you to corroborate the data that you gather from those apps.</p> <p>Here are six free smartphone apps or tools to track debt management.</p> <h2>1. ReadyForZero</h2> <p>Since 2011, ReadyForZero has helped individuals to track their debts and pay down those debts. Available for <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/readyforzero-pay-off-debt/id524834938?mt=8&amp;uo=4">Apple</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.readyforzero">Android</a> devices, this app enables you to link all of your debts, including student loans, credit cards, and mortgages, to create a personalized payoff plan and track your progress. Once you have connected all of your accounts, you'll be able to keep tabs on how much you have paid off and how much you still have remaining.</p> <p>The nicest feature about ReadyForZero is the immediate gratification of tracking your daily and monthly progress, including the interest that you save over time. ReadyForZero partners with TransUnion to provide you with free access to your&nbsp;<a href="http://thescore.vantagescore.com/article/98">VantageScore&reg; 3.0</a> credit score.</p> <h2>2. Mint: Money Manager, Budget, and Personal Finance</h2> <p>On top of helping you track your debts, the Mint app enables you to gather all of your financial information into one place. Besides your debt accounts, you can connect your bank and investment accounts to get a full snapshot of your financial standing at all times.</p> <p>The main draw of Mint is its budget feature, which allows you to create monthly budgets and track how much you have left for each category, such as gas, groceries, and education. If you provide your social security number, the app allows you to track your credit score with Equifax. The app is available for <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Intuit-Mint-com-Personal-Finance/dp/B004T2P7MQ">Amazon</a>, <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mint-personal-finance/id300238550?mt=8">Apple</a> (designed for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch), and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mint&amp;hl=en">Android</a> devices.</p> <h2>3. Prosper Daily</h2> <p>Formerly known as BillGuard, the Prosper Daily app is an alternative to Mint. Besides tracking your spending and credit, Prosper Daily focuses on protecting your credit cards against fraud and unfair charges. For example, the app can use location-based technology to alert you when your credit or debit card is used at a store or AMT when you're not there. If you provide your social security number, the app allows you to track your credit score with TransUnion. Prosper Daily is available for <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/app/id602710567?mt=8">Apple</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.billguard.android&amp;hl=en">Android</a> devices.</p> <h2>4. AnnualCreditReport.com</h2> <p>No matter what app you use to track your debt and credit score, you should corroborate that data against your official credit report once a year. Through <a href="http://www.annualcreditreport.com/">AnnualCreditReport.com</a>, you can request your free credit report every 12 months from each credit reporting company (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax). This report allows you to verify that you only have accounts and loans that you recognize on file.</p> <p>Since your credit report may affect your mortgage rates, credit card approvals, credit scores, and apartment requests, you should be on the lookout for potential inconsistencies, such as accounts that you didn't open, addresses of employers that you didn't work for, or information that should no longer be on your credit report, such as an over 10-year old bankruptcy.</p> <p>If you find an error, you can dispute it by reporting it to the credit reporting bureaus online, by mail, or by phone.</p> <p>Keep copies of your initial dispute letter and supporting documents, and communications with the credit reporting bureaus.</p> <h2>5. Compound Interest Calculator</h2> <p>When you're trying to pay down debt faster, you want to maximize how much interest you're gaining so that you can make additional payments towards your debts whenever possible. This <a href="http://www.thecalculatorsite.com/finance/calculators/compoundinterestcalculator.php">compound interest calculator</a> allows you to work out the compound interest on your savings and investments, including a breakdown of monthly interest gains and the option to list regular monthly deposits or withdrawals.</p> <h2>6. Check Deposit App From Your Bank</h2> <p>Many Americans opt to have their bi-weekly or monthly salary checks directly deposited to their checking or saving accounts. However, every now and then you may receive an additional paper check, such as a dividend payout from an investment account, a lucky windfall from your aunty for your birthday, or a check from a class action.</p> <p>In those instances, you could skip the trip to the bank by using the mobile deposit app from your bank to deposit checks in your account. For example, my credit union allows me to make deposits directly into my checking, saving, or money market accounts using a &quot;check snap&quot; mobile deposit account. Such an app is useful to save time making deposits and helps boost monthly payments to your financial obligations. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-good-reasons-to-choose-a-credit-union-instead-of-a-bank?ref=seealso">9 Good Reasons to Choose a Credit Union Instead of a Bank</a>)</p> <p>Make sure to check applicable rules, such as signing the back of your check and writing a disclaimer that check is for mobile deposit only, technical requirements, and processing times.</p> <p><em>What are other free apps or software to track debt management?</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/6-free-debt-management-tools">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-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-make-budgeting-fun-no-really">7 Apps That Make Budgeting Fun — No Really!</a></span> </div> </li> <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-best-tools-for-finding-an-apartment-on-the-cheap">10 Best Tools for Finding an Apartment on the Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-apps-for-busy-working-parents">The 5 Best Apps for Busy Working Parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Technology apps calculators debt tracking mobile deposit money management smartphones websites Tue, 26 Apr 2016 10:00:13 +0000 Damian Davila 1696223 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Online Tools to Manage Your Money in Under 10 Minutes a Week http://www.wisebread.com/5-online-tools-to-manage-your-money-in-under-10-minutes-a-week <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-online-tools-to-manage-your-money-in-under-10-minutes-a-week" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_working_computer_000075714973.jpg" alt="Woman managing her money in under 10 minutes a week" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Innovative personal finance tools are revolutionizing the way we manage and keep track of our money. Not only can they help teach us how to make smarter decisions, but they put us in charge of our money, making the arduous tasks of budgeting, saving, debt management, and investing a thing of the past. Best of all, most of us can manage our money in under 10 minutes a week using these tools.</p> <h2>1. Mint</h2> <p><img width="605" height="270" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Screen%20Shot%202016-01-26%20at%209.32.27%20PM.png" /></p> <p><a href="https://www.mint.com/">Mint</a> was one of the first online financial management tools, laying the foundation for some of the other players we see today. The free tool offers a terrific snapshot of your overall finances. From a single dashboard, account holders can link their bank, loan, and brokerage accounts and monitor balances and track purchases in real time. With its financial planning tools, you can establish a monthly budget and monitor your spending patterns. It will alert you as you near your budget threshold, to make you cognizant of overspending.</p> <p>Mint lets you benchmark financial goals, gives an overview of open accounts and lines of credit, and now there's <a href="https://credit.mint.com/">Mint Credit Monitoring</a> to help you manage your credit score. It constantly tallies your outstanding debts versus assets to display your real net worth, which is something most people tend to forget about. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cool-mint-tools-for-manaing-your-money?ref=seealso">8 Cool Mint Tools for Managing Your Money</a>)</p> <h2>2. Investments and Retirement Planning Tools</h2> <p>By now, you've probably heard of robo-advisor sites such as <a rel="nofollow" href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.978749&amp;fot=1073&amp;foc=1&amp;foc2=941565" target="_blank">FutureAdvisor</a>, <a href="http://wealthfront.evyy.net/c/27771/172939/3104?ref=qchavaia-1646115">WealthFront</a>, and <a href="https://www.learnvest.com/">LearnVest</a>. They're computerized wealth management systems that cater to everyday investors for a fraction of the cost of human advisors. The companies generally target Millennials, a market segment still on the pathway to wealth with fewer assets than required at large private wealth management companies. But investors of any age or net worth can benefit from their free or low-cost portfolio management options, and the hands-off approach means you can keep track of your investments in just minutes.</p> <h2>3. Personal Capital</h2> <p><img width="605" height="282" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Screen%20Shot%202016-01-26%20at%209.31.27%20PM.png" /></p> <p>Founded in 2009, by former Intuit CEO Bill Harris, <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.216060&amp;fot=9999&amp;foc=1&amp;foc2=582907">Personal Capital</a> lays claim to being the first digital wealth management platform. Like most robo-investing platforms, Personal Capital takes assessment of your financial situation and goals starting with a free consultation scheduled with a licensed advisor who recommends a customized investment plan. Those investors with at least $25,000 under management receive ongoing access to a team of financial advisors.</p> <h2>4. Betterment</h2> <p><img width="605" height="285" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Screen%20Shot%202016-01-26%20at%209.31.15%20PM.png" /></p> <p>In 2010, <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.1538720&amp;fot=1073&amp;foc=1">Betterment</a> entered the game as another major robo-advisor option. Betterment's financial framework offers similar tools to help you reach your financial goals, plan for retirement, invest, and track your savings and investing goals. Once your account is funded ($100 minimum deposit and a fraction of a percent fee based on your balance), investment moves are made on your behalf. The platform keeps track of your progress and makes recommendations along the way. Their current investment management fees range from .35% for a portfolio of $0&ndash;$10,000, .25% for $10,000&ndash;$100,000, and .15% for portfolios of $100,000 or more.&nbsp;</p> <h2>5. QuickBooks Online</h2> <p><img width="605" height="368" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Screen%20Shot%202016-01-26%20at%209.31.01%20PM.png" /></p> <p>QuickBooks has taken its accounting software solutions online. With all of the same features and more as the computer installed version, <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-10700722-1443052367000?sid=qchavaia-1646115" target="_top">QuickBooks Online</a> is an affordable solution for business owners and the self-employed. With QuickBooks Online you can manage your money on the go and access your account from multiple devices.</p> <p>Some of the features include the ability to grant access to multiple users, including creating an account for your accountant or CPA. It automatically tracks expenses, generates on-click reports, writes checks that you can print from anywhere, creates invoices, and most of all, it automatically downloads and aggregates data from bank and credit card accounts. It then categorizes that information and reconciles, which you should do once a month and have to do at tax time. For me, this has always been an excruciating week-long process &mdash; but that's a thing of the past now, thanks to QuickBooks Online.</p> <p><em>What online tools do you use to make money management easier?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-online-tools-to-manage-your-money-in-under-10-minutes-a-week">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-simple-financial-upgrades-you-can-make-during-breakfast">6 Simple Financial Upgrades You Can Make During Breakfast</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-financial-moves-you-can-make-during-your-commute">10 Financial Moves You Can Make During Your Commute</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/book-review-cash-rich-retirement">Book review: Cash-Rich Retirement</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/financial-tricks-to-master-for-a-happier-life">Financial Tricks to Master for a Happier Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-economic-crisis-challenges-our-financial-beliefs">How The Economic Crisis Challenges Our Financial Beliefs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Organization investing money management retirement planning robo-advisors websites Fri, 29 Jan 2016 14:00:08 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1646115 at http://www.wisebread.com The 6 Best Financial News Sites for Investors in a Hurry http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-financial-news-sites-for-investors-in-a-hurry <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-6-best-financial-news-sites-for-investors-in-a-hurry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_using_tablet_000058336726.jpg" alt="Man using best financial news sites as an investor in a hurry" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Good investment decisions start with industry knowledge, information, and research. And as an investor, you probably already understand that news moves markets. But being the busy person you are, you're probably already inundated with tasks, making sifting through the plethora of information feel like a job in itself.</p> <p>Not sure where to get your investing news and information in a pinch? For our most time-conscious investors, here are the six best investments sites. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-the-investing-style-thats-right-for-you">Find the Investing Style That's Right for You</a>)</p> <h2>1. Yahoo! Finance</h2> <p><a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/">Yahoo! Finance</a> aggregates the latest financial news stories and market data onto a single platform, including the latest in international news and markets. Users can create a watchlist to follow their favorite stocks, and when they login, they can view all market updates and news for stocks they follow. I particularly like how this site also pulls the latest news stories pertaining to stocks that may have a positive or negative correlation to those you follow.</p> <h2>2. CNBC</h2> <p>The CNBC TV network delivers real-time financial market data and updates, all day. That same news, information, and more is also available at your fingertips online over at <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/">CNBC.com</a>. I recommend that busy investors find time to tune-in to CNBC's programming and watch shows like Fast Money, Jim Cramer's Mad Money, Power Lunch, and others. These shows offer some of the most up-to-date coverage available and will help improve your analysis of markets. But if time's short, you can get video clips, articles, and other updates from those same shows' experts on the website.</p> <h2>3. Bloomberg</h2> <p>Bloomberg L.P. is where seasoned investors turn for some of the most trusted financial information. <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/markets">Bloomberg Markets</a> keeps you informed by broadcasting news and analysis all day. For investors on the go, try any of <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/mobile/">Bloomberg's mobile apps</a>, like Bloomberg TV, Bloomberg Business, Bloomberg Businessweek, and more. For professional investors whose employers are footing the bill, Bloomberg also offers <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/professional/">Bloomberg Professional</a>, a subscription service featuring Bloomberg Terminal.</p> <h2>4. TheStreet</h2> <p>Created by CNBC's Mad Money host Jim Cramer (and Marty Peretz), <a href="http://www.thestreet.com/">TheStreet</a> is a leading financial news site. But the real attraction to the site is founder Jim Cramer and his expert investment knowledge, from the Cramer Stock Picks Newsletter and blog to his investment portfolio and insights. I've watched him since 2007 and have been successful with many stock picks adapted from his show (your performance may vary, of course). The site's <a href="https://secure2.thestreet.com/cap/login/aa_mbp_ft_video-wc_button_autoplay-on.jsp?CREATIVECODE=cr-0012&amp;PPOID_1=400041&amp;flowid=11fde9d41a2&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thestreet.com%2Fk%2Faap%2F_tscnav%2Findex.html">Action Alert PLUS</a> is a subscription service that grants subscribers access to research provided by TheStreet's team of analysts for $349.95 per year.</p> <h2>5. Zacks</h2> <p>Founded in 1977, Zacks Investment Research is another leading financial news and research site committed to helping investors reach their investment goals. Some of the site features include <a href="http://www.zacks.com/stocks/zacks-rank">Zacks Ranks</a>, a list of the company's top stock picks, <a href="http://www.zacks.com/education/stock-education">Zacks Education</a>, a series of readings and video, and <a href="http://www.zacks.com/portfolios/my-stock-portfolio/create-new-portfolio.php">Portfolio Tracker</a>, a service that lets you add holdings to your portfolio and receive free broker recommendations, company updates, email alerts, and more. And one of the main features of the site is its extensive Earning Per Share (EPS) data and analysis.</p> <h2>6. The Motley Fool</h2> <p>Like all of our best investment sites, <a href="http://www.fool.com/">The Motley Fool</a> offers news, insights, and analysis. The site also offers virtual advisor services for an annual premiums of $149 to $2,000. Another feature of the site is its forum of individual investors sharing insights and tips through its various discussion boards.</p> <p>The Wall Street Journal Digital Network (WSJDN) is also worth mentioning. The network includes the <a href="http://www.wsj.com/">WSJ</a>, of course, <a href="http://www.barrons.com/">Barron's</a> (which has been around as a leading financial news service since 1921), and <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/">MarketWatch</a>, which offers several subscription-based financial newsletters such as <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/premium-newsletters/hulbert-financial-digest">Hulbert Financial Digest</a>, <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/premium-newsletters/marketwatch-options-trader">Options Trader</a>, <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/newsimages/support/marketing/retirementweekly/20070703/drjuly07p3h.html">Retirement Weekly</a>, and <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/premium-newsletters/etf-trader">ETF Trader</a>.</p> <p>Note: The sites suggested in this article were recommended in consideration of equity investors. Where you turn for market news and information should depend on your investment strategies.</p> <p><em>Where do you go for investing news and resources?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-financial-news-sites-for-investors-in-a-hurry">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-websites-to-help-you-retire-early">5 Best Websites to Help You Retire Early</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-essentials-for-building-a-profitable-portfolio">5 Essentials for Building a Profitable Portfolio</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-before-you-start-investing">8 Money Moves to Make Before You Start Investing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-to-make-as-soon-as-you-conquer-debt">7 Money Moves to Make as Soon as You Conquer Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easiest-way-to-invest-in-the-worlds-biggest-companies">The Easiest Way to Invest in the World&#039;s Biggest Companies</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment advice blogs finance sites newsletters stock market websites Thu, 21 Jan 2016 18:01:02 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1642420 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Best Websites to Help You Retire Early http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-websites-to-help-you-retire-early <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-best-websites-to-help-you-retire-early" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_busy_at_work_000029166448.jpg" alt="Woman using best websites for retiring early" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've likely heard dire warnings that many Americans may never be able to retire at their current level of meager savings. But you can beat these odds and even retire early if you structure your life and finances properly. And the sound (though sometimes quirky) suggestions of online <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-retirement-rules-you-should-be-breaking">early retirement</a> sensations like Mr. Money Mustache can help you get there.</p> <p>If you're interested in achieving financial freedom and independent wealth at an early age, check out his website and these four other early retirement blog favorites.</p> <h2>1. Mr. Money Mustache</h2> <p>An aggressive saver and index-fund investor, Pete, aka <a href="http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/">Mr. Money Mustache</a>, and his wife retired in 2005 while in their <em>30s</em>. Frustrated with questions about his money-saving techniques, he decided to share his knowledge through his website.</p> <p>Mr. Money Mustache dissects the rationale and habits of early retirees, fights against hyper-consumption, and advances the early retirement lifestyle. He doesn't mind being viewed as different or even controversial as evidenced by articles such as &quot;What Does Your Work Truck Say About You?,&quot; &quot;Chasing Electrical Demons to Cut Your Power Bill by 80%,&quot; and &quot;Great News: You're Allowed to Have Only One Kid!&quot;</p> <p>As a (tongue-in-cheek) cult leader, he has assembled a significant number of members who bond to his fanaticism for achieving &quot;Financial Freedom Through Badassity.&quot; Learn from fellow &quot;mustachians&quot; by posing questions and exploring collective wisdom in his forum, one of the most valuable sections of this website.</p> <h2>2. FinancialMentor</h2> <p>Former hedge fund investment manager turned financial coach Todd R. Tresidder offers a wealth of resources for aspiring early retirees at <a href="http://financialmentor.com/">FinancialMentor</a>. Todd lived simply and invested smartly in his youth while working in the financial services industry, achieving millionaire status and retiring at age 35.</p> <p>Today, Todd enjoys financial freedom while mentoring others along a path of accumulating wealth, developing multiple streams of income, and experiencing the personal transformation that happens as a result of financial independence. His website contains free resources, which include retirement calculators, articles like &quot;12 Tips to Build Wealth for Early Retirement,&quot; and podcasts with financial and retirement experts, such as <a href="http://financialmentor.com/podcast/automatic-income/10653">Wade Pfau</a>, PhD, CFA, and Professor of Retirement Income with the American College of Financial Services.</p> <p>You can also discover paid resources through the site, such as Todd's 60 Minute Financial Solutions book series that includes <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0093CPJ9S/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0093CPJ9S&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=DKZ5EHDTZ3MG2YLL">How Much Do I Need to Retire?</a></p> <p>Todd breaks down and simplifies complex financial topics, and, when appropriate, disavows conventional wisdom. Further, he provides you with actionable steps to achieve financial freedom focused largely on securities investing.</p> <h2>3. The Military Guide</h2> <p>Retired veteran and the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1570233195/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1570233195&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=H2GDKWHKW2AHVODI">The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement</a>, Doug Nordman offers finance-related insights for the unique needs of the military community at&nbsp;<a href="http://the-military-guide.com/">The Military Guide</a> website. Doug opted for early retirement after 20 years of active service, passing up the opportunity for a bridge career involving transition to the civilian workforce.</p> <p>In his blog, Doug confesses that he made lots of mistakes in his personal financial life. Nevertheless, diligent and consistent savings, along with a military pension, allowed him to retire early. Today, he spends time surfing in Hawaii, traveling, writing, and promoting his book (royalties benefit military charities).</p> <p>His engaging and self-deprecating style allows you to learn from his experiences, as evidenced in &quot;How to Get Kicked Out of Tricare&quot; (military health care program). You can also gain knowledge to make informed decisions by considering pros and cons of various retirement-related paths through articles such as &quot;Stay for 30 or Retire at 27?&quot; which references years of service, not years of living.</p> <h2>4. Afford Anything</h2> <p>In the midst of a successful but unfulfilling career in journalism, Paula Pant decided to pursue personal and professional interests on her own terms. She became financially independent at age 30 by parlaying profits from a writing and marketing firm into $1 million worth of real estate investments, which generate passive income that sustains her lifestyle.</p> <p>At the&nbsp;<a href="http://affordanything.com/">Afford Anything</a> website, Paula writes about her business ventures and life adventures. She encourages readers to develop sources of passive income based on their strengths and interests. However, she focuses on her experiences in real estate. You can read about entering the vacation rental business as an AirBnB host, plus find guidance on buying and managing rental properties through articles such as determining if a house is a good investment.</p> <p>At her website, affording anything (though not everything) is emphasized, not necessarily early retirement. However, those who are interested in retiring before 65 should find both inspiration and instruction to become financially free as early as possible.</p> <h2>5. Go Curry Cracker</h2> <p>Supersavers and married couple Winnie and Jeremy explore the world while educating readers on the financial and location independent lifestyle through their blog, <a href="http://www.gocurrycracker.com/">Go Curry Cracker</a>. They saved more than 70% of their income for 10 years while working in traditional jobs. During this time, they built an investment portfolio that generates income for their expenses.</p> <p>At the website, you'll find tips on optimizing your tax situation (including techniques for harvesting capital gains in order to increase the cost basis of your holdings, positioning you for lower taxes in the future) and limiting your fixed expenses through techniques such as car-free living. Mainly, though, you'll get inspiration for aggressively and wisely managing your financial situation so you can enjoy your days in early retirement.</p> <p>Retiring early may be within your reach. Visit these websites to learn how to live and spend intentionally, invest wisely, avoid wealth-robbing pitfalls, and enjoy life before and during retirement.</p> <p><em>Which other early retirement online resources do you read and recommend?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-websites-to-help-you-retire-early">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-6-best-financial-news-sites-for-investors-in-a-hurry">The 6 Best Financial News Sites for Investors in a Hurry</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/i-am-doing-well-financially-now-what">I Am Doing Well Financially. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-retirement-terms-every-new-investor-needs-to-know">15 Retirement Terms Every New Investor Needs to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change">10 Money Moves to Make Before the Leaves Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pieces-of-financial-wisdom-from-warren-buffett">The 5 Best Pieces of Financial Wisdom From Warren Buffett</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement advice blogs finance retiring early savings websites Fri, 26 Jun 2015 11:00:10 +0000 Julie Rains 1463020 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Easy Ways to Make Extra Money Blogging http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-make-extra-money-blogging <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-easy-ways-to-make-extra-money-blogging" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_online_shopping_000042128972_0.jpg" alt="Woman making money as a blogger" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I've been blogging on my current site &mdash; <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/">Never Homemaker</a> &mdash; for the last six years. I started out writing just for fun. In fact, I didn't understand that bloggers could actually make money by simply sharing their lives online. Somewhere along the way, I discovered that I could monetize my blog and earn a little extra money while working from home. Here are some of the essential insights I've learned along the way, and how they can also help you make some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-do-bloggers-make-money-what-every-non-blogger-should-know">extra cash through blogging</a>.</p> <h2>1. Image Ads</h2> <p>I started making money all those years ago through <a href="http://www.google.com/adsense/start/">Google AdSense</a> ads. My blog is hosted on Blogger, and the ads fit into my template like a glove. When my site gets lots of traffic, my revenue is higher (you get paid a varying amount per click), and the inverse is also true. In more recent years, I've had mixed experiences with these ads. I've definitely made less money despite similar traffic rates, which is why I've ultimately diversified.</p> <p>Alternatively, you can seek out advertisers on your own. For example, craft bloggers might get shops from Etsy to sign on for ads at monthly rates. Local blogs might attract area businesses for support, and so on. You'll need a spot on your sidebar to display the ads to drive traffic to their sites and get the artwork from your advertisers in the form of a JPEG. I've seen bloggers set up contracts for this type of advertising on one month, quarterly, or yearly commitments. Some also offer different sizes at different prices.</p> <h2>2. Ad Networks</h2> <p>When I noticed my AdSense ads weren't performing optimally anymore, I shopped around for a publishing network. I chose <a href="http://www.blogher.com">BlogHer</a>, which is now known as SheKnows, because I liked the community of women writers and several of my friends had shared good experiences. Like many networks, I had to apply, be accepted, and sign a contract. In the years since, I've been pleased with my decision.</p> <p>Networks require bloggers to place a banner or sidebar ad in prime real estate on their sites. In return, bloggers get opportunities to write sponsored posts and do paid reviews for campaigns the team coordinates on their behalf. Another popular ad network I've heard great things about is <a href="http://www.federatedmedia.net">Federated Media</a>. Truth is, there are many out there &mdash; so be sure to read all the fine print before signing.</p> <h2>3. Product Reviews</h2> <p>Bloggers who don't want to join special ad networks can also seek out sponsorships on their own. This process might require some hunting time or &mdash; occasionally &mdash; companies might contact you directly about certain campaigns they'd like to run. Payment can vary wildly from free products/services to several thousand dollars depending on the arrangement.</p> <p>Whenever I do a review outside of my network, I make sure to have a contract with all the details and conditions written out clearly. Don't be shy about setting your price. In the beginning, you might want to just do plain reviews of products in exchange for the free product. As your site gains more traffic and popularity, you can start setting rates and negotiating. Above all, it's important to give true thoughts and opinions in any reviews &mdash; no matter the pay. Otherwise, you might lose the trust of your readers.</p> <h2>4. Affiliate Links</h2> <p>There are lots of different stores and marketplaces with affiliate programs across the web. One of the most popular with bloggers is <a href="https://affiliate-program.amazon.com">Amazon Associates</a>. Of course, there are many <a href="http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/amazon-affiliate-alternative/">alternatives to Amazon</a> if you'd rather stick with something more specific, too. The way it works is anytime you link to a product using your referral code, you'll earn a percentage back if your readers purchase that item (and sometimes other items in that order).</p> <p>Adding affiliate links to your blog is easy, but take care not to oversaturate your content with products. Instead, consider occasional shopping posts where you recommend some of your favorite items or review things you own and enjoy. That way, your content is helpful to your readers and not just a big referral link dump.</p> <h2>5. Text Link Ads</h2> <p>I've never personally used text link ads, but I have received emails with offers. Usually these arrangements involve linking a few words on a certain post to a designated site. Payments can range from $25 to several hundred in the offers I've received. There are also sites like <a href="http://www.linkworth.com/#publisher">LinkWorth</a> where you can sign up to get opportunities for your site.</p> <p>Be careful with this type of advertising because the sites linked often have little to do with your blog's actual content and, therefore, can seem inauthentic. Regardless, bloggers can make a good sum of money through this type of advertising.</p> <p>My best advice to any blogger looking to monetize is to write first and make money second. If you are new to blogging, take care in creating unique, thoughtful content that will engage and entertain your readers. The rest can come later once you've built the relationships.</p> <p><em>Bloggers: How do you earn money? There are certainly other ways that I haven't tried (or maybe even heard about). Please leave your thoughts 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/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-make-extra-money-blogging">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/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them</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/can-you-really-make-money-by-starting-a-blog">Can You Really Make Money by Starting a Blog?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-extra-money-using-social-media">6 Ways to Make Extra Money Using Social Media</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/day-job-or-freelance-which-is-right-for-you">Day Job or Freelance: Which Is Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-do-bloggers-make-money-what-every-non-blogger-should-know">How Do Bloggers Make Money? What Every Non-blogger Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income ads affiliates blogging revenue websites working writing Thu, 18 Jun 2015 11:00:14 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1454569 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Websites to Visit Before Spending Your Money http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-websites-to-visit-before-spending-your-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-websites-to-visit-before-spending-your-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-laptop-home-487853863-small_0.jpg" alt="woman laptop home" title="woman laptop home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on websites to visit before spending your money, frugal ways to relax, and the path to purpose.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://caviarandquarters.com/10-ways-to-save-money-when-youre-clearly-going-to-spend-money/">7 Websites to Visit Before Spending Your Money</a> &mdash; Before you spend your money, check out Bargain Babe and Coupons.com. [Caviar &amp; Quarters]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Ways-Relieve-Stress-31075809">Gimme a Break: 101 Frugal Ways to Relax</a> &mdash; Relax frugally by getting a good night's sleep or plan your next trip. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.jdroth.com/path-purpose/">The Path to Purpose</a> &mdash; Did you know that sometimes it's easier to find purpose in life by limiting your options? [More Than Money]</p> <p><a href="http://freefrombroke.com/how-to-start-an-emergency-fund/">How to Start an Emergency Fund</a> &mdash; When starting an emergency fund, make savings automatic and re-evaluate your needs. [Free From Broke]</p> <p><a href="http://www.myshinynickels.com/2014/03/25/so-you-want-to-retire-early-its-all-about-the-numbers/">So You Want to Retire Early? It's All About the Numbers</a> &mdash; Living smart by downsizing your home and learning DIY tricks can help you retire early. [mySHINYnickels]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.lisavstheloans.com/2014/08/maintaining-friendships-on-a-budget/">Maintaining Friendships on a Budget</a> &mdash; Going on walks or runs are just a couple ways to maintain your friendships on a budget. [Lisa vs. The Loans]</p> <p><a href="http://www.noobtraveler.com/tips-on-making-traveling-to-a-new-city-smoother/">Tips on Making Traveling to a New City Smoother</a> &mdash; Using Yelp and Google Maps can make traveling to a new city go more smoothly. [Noob Traveler]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/5-ways-to-instantly-make-a-house-feel-like-a-home">5 Ways to Instantly Make a House Feel Like a Home</a> &mdash; To make a house feel like a home, embrace your knick-knacks. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneyreverse.net/2014/04/financial-literacy-protecting-your.html">Financial Literacy: Protecting Your Personal Information #Finlit</a> &mdash; Asking questions before you disclose your personal information can help you protect yourself from identity theft. [Money reVerse]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.wiredadvisor.com/10-costly-mistakes-advisors-make-on-twitter/">10 Costly Mistakes Advisors Make on Twitter</a> &mdash; If you are a financial advisor, don't make the mistake of retweeting too often or following everyone back on Twitter. [Wired Advisor]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-websites-to-visit-before-spending-your-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/why-buy-one-get-one-free-is-usually-a-bad-deal">Why &quot;Buy One Get One Free&quot; Is Usually A Bad Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-shouldnt-stress-too-much-about-spending-money">Why You Shouldn&#039;t Stress Too Much About Spending Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-pricey-things-you-shouldnt-buy-and-what-to-get-instead">14 Pricey Things You Shouldn&#039;t Buy (And What to Get Instead)</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-times-cash-is-not-king">8 Times Cash Is Not King</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping best money tips money shopping spending websites Tue, 02 Sep 2014 19:00:04 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1195775 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Websites That Will Save You Tons of Money http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-websites-that-will-save-you-tons-of-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-websites-that-will-save-you-tons-of-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businesswoman-piggy-bank-80403574-small.jpg" alt="businesswoman piggy bank" title="businesswoman piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on websites that will save you money, fixing your finances, and tips to rule your tech.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Best-Websites-Save-You-Money-35457232">40+ Incredible Websites That Will Save You Tons of Money</a> &mdash; Threadflip and NeighborGoods can help you save money. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://sustainablelifeblog.com/fix-finances/">Fix Your Finances</a> &mdash; When trying to fix your finances, focus on the big things first and take advantage of freebies from mother nature. [Sustainable Life Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://timemanagementninja.com/2014/08/5-tips-to-rule-your-tech-instead-of-the-other-way-around/">5 Tips to Rule Your Tech, Instead of the Other Way Around</a> &mdash; To rule your technology, remember that it's there for your convenience. [Time Management Ninja]</p> <p><a href="http://www.personalincome.org/10-best-countries-invest-real-estate/">The 10 Best Countries to Invest in Real Estate in 2014</a> &mdash; Did you know Panama and Singapore are among the best countries to invest in real estate in 2014? [Personal Income]</p> <p><a href="http://pocketofmoney.weebly.com/blog/saving-and-being-money-savvy-while-visiting">Saving and Being Money Savvy While Visiting</a> &mdash; Being flexible and planning ahead can help you save when you are traveling. [Pocket of Money]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.workingtolive.com/reason-okay-special/">The Reason It's Ok to Not Be Special</a> &mdash; Did you know that research has found propped up self-esteem can be counterproductive? [Working to Live Differently]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dividendninja.com/four-key-dividend-metrics-you-need-to-know/">Four Key Dividend Metrics You Need to Know</a> &mdash; Make sure you understand dividend payout ratios and profit margins [Dividend Ninja]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/17-real-world-questions-to-ask-a-prospective-nanny">17 Real World Questions to Ask a Prospective Nanny</a> &mdash; When interviewing prospective nannies, be sure to ask them how they discipline young children. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://lifehacker.com/where-can-i-buy-better-tea-1619090729">Where Can I Buy Better Tea?</a> &mdash; Learning the type of tea you like can help you buy better tea. [Lifehacker]</p> <p><a href="http://katehorrell.com/897/ten-ways-great-landlord/">Ten Ways to Be a Great Landlord</a> &mdash; If you are a landlord, be a great one by asking your tenant's opinions and fixing broken stuff. [Kate Horrell]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-websites-that-will-save-you-tons-of-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-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/five-calls-you-can-make-now-to-save-hundreds-to-thousands-of-dollars">Five calls you can make now to save hundreds to thousands of dollars</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/in-times-like-these-separate-the-want-from-the-need">In times like these, separate the want from the need.</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-good-writing-skills-saves-and-earns-money">How good writing skills save and earn money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-or-just-plain-wrong">Frugal... or just plain wrong?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-football-teaches-us-about-money">9 Things Football Teaches Us About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living best money tips money saving websites Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:00:04 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1190509 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Free Tools To Increase Your Website Conversions http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/4-free-tools-to-increase-your-website-conversions <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/4-free-tools-to-increase-your-website-conversions" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/4-free-tools-to-increase-your-website-conversi...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/4-free-tools-to-increase-your-website-conversions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000005620587Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Small business owners work hard these days to drive traffic to their websites. Whether via search engine optimization, traditional offline advertising methods or buying pay per click advertising on networks like Google AdWords and Bing AdCenter, the traffic you're getting to your website is costing you time and effort. But are you converting as many visitors <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/technology/article/how-sales-has-changed-in-the-information-age-1" target="_blank">into buyers or leads</a> as you could be?</p> <p>Increasing your website conversions may seem like a daunting task, but there are many tools available to help you do just that. Today I'd like to introduce you to four of them that you can use for free to help you increase sales and leads from the traffic you already have coming into your website.</p> <p><strong>Google Analytics</strong></p> <p>No matter how big or small your website is, analytics will give you intel you can't do without when looking to improve your conversions. It used to be that detailed analytics were expensive and out of reach for many small business owners. But <a href="http://www.google.com/analytics/" target="_blank">Google Analytics</a> changed that years ago when they released their analytics tracking for a price any small business owner could afford&mdash;free.</p> <p>Utilizing their <a href="http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&amp;answer=55580" target="_blank">&quot;goals&quot; and &quot;funnels&quot; features</a> will give you an in-depth look at which pages of your website are creating conversions and drawing visitors further into the site&mdash;and which pages aren't. You can even create goals for specific links within a page to see which calls to action are converting and which need improvement.</p> <p>Google even offers tons of <a href="http://www.youtube.com/googleanalytics" target="_blank">free training videos</a> to help you use their service. If you're completely new to using Google Analytics, start with the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/profile?v=_qfG2d9etvk&amp;user=googleanalytics&amp;hl=en" target="_blank">&quot;Beginning Analytics: Interpreting and Acting on Your Data&quot;</a> video.</p> <p><strong>Clickdensity</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.clickdensity.com/SignUp.aspx" target="_blank">Clickdensity</a> helps you track how site visitors are interacting with your website. Which links on your site are getting clicked the most? Which links are being ignored? Are your users clicking on items that they expect to be linked but aren't? Through the use of Heat Maps, Click Maps and Hover Stats, Clickdensity can help give you insight into all of the above and more.</p> <p>For example, let's say you're featuring two products on your homepage. Through the use of the click tracking, you might identify that the second item is being clicked on more, even though it is below the first item and not as visible. Moving that more popular item above the less popular item could result in more clicks for that item&mdash;and more sales. Replacing the less popular item with another item entirely might also give your conversions a boost.</p> <p>The service requires you to add a few lines of code to whatever page on your website you wish to track and then shows you the results via an online dashboard. It has several paid pricing plans but does allow you to test one page on your site, up to 5,000 clicks, for free, under their <a href="http://www.clickdensity.com/SignUp.aspx" target="_blank">trial plan</a>.</p> <p><strong>Google Website Optimizer</strong></p> <p>Now that you have an idea of which pages are converting and which links people are clicking, it's time to start testing changes in hopes of getting better results. But how do you know for sure which changes have a positive effect and which produce a negative result? That's where A/B testing comes in. A/B testing allows you to serve up different versions of your page to your inbound visitors to see which one converts the best. For example, you may create two different versions of a page, each with one difference. One utilizes a red &quot;Request More Information&quot; button, while the other utilizes an orange one.</p> <p>By A/B testing (also called split testing) the page, you can make an educated decision on which color causes more requests with &quot;all other things being equal&quot; in regards to time of day, day of the week, etc. <a href="https://accounts.google.com/ServiceLogin?service=websiteoptimizer&amp;continue=http://www.google.com/analytics/siteopt/%3Fhl%3Den&amp;hl=en" target="_blank">Google Website Optimizer</a> allows you to do detailed A/B testing on your site for free.</p> <p>As with the Google Analytics tool, Google Website Optimizer offers <a href="http://www.google.com/websiteoptimizer/tutorials.html" target="_blank">video tutorials</a> to help you get the most out of their split testing tool, including entire seminars&mdash;for free&mdash;such as <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNaKaPt71kQ" target="_blank">&quot;What Should I Test&quot;</a> to give you tons of ideas about things you can split test on your own website.</p> <p><strong>Userfly</strong></p> <p>There is perhaps no better way to test what is working on your website and what isn't than by watching people as they actually use it. Watching the movements of real users can give you insight that more &quot;mechanical&quot; tools may not. Do many users take a long time to fill out a specific section of your form? Maybe the verbiage is confusing them. Is there a specific point in your shopping cart where people are abandoning? User testing can let you pinpoint the exact point where visitors bail and help you identify what needs to be changed to fix the problem.</p> <p><a href="http://userfly.com/">Userfly</a> allows you to be a virtual &quot;fly on the wall&quot; as real visitors you don't know use your website. The service performs a screen-cast of what your users are doing while they're on the page&mdash;tracking where they move their mouse, where they click, what they type (except for passwords), and more. Their free plan allows you to record up to ten user sessions per month and stores the results of those sessions for 30 days. You can try out their <a href="http://userfly.com/demo" target="_blank">free demo here</a>.</p> <p><strong>Taking it one step further</strong></p> <p>In addition to utilizing the free tools above, I'd recommend that anyone interested in increasing their website conversions read what many consider to be &quot;the&quot; book on website usability&mdash;<a href="http://www.sensible.com/dmmt.html">Don't Make Me Think</a> by Steve Krug. It's simple and common sense approach can help you avoid big mistakes and home in on how to make simple improvements that can lead to big increases in conversions.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rae-hoffman-dolan">Rae Hoffman-Dolan</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/4-free-tools-to-increase-your-website-conversions">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/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</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-awesome-sites-to-shop-for-affordable-cool-jewelry">10 Awesome Sites to Shop for Affordable, Cool Jewelry</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-best-tools-for-finding-an-apartment-on-the-cheap">10 Best Tools for Finding an Apartment on the Cheap</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/8-best-sites-to-help-your-kids-learn-about-money">8 Best Sites to Help Your Kids Learn About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center e-commerce google analytics online retail online sales small business user experience website conversions websites Sat, 26 Nov 2011 23:30:48 +0000 Rae Hoffman-Dolan 792185 at http://www.wisebread.com Fly With a Little Help From Your Friends: Social Travel Planning http://www.wisebread.com/fly-with-a-little-help-from-your-friends-social-travel-planning <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/fly-with-a-little-help-from-your-friends-social-travel-planning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_on_trip.jpg" alt="Couple on a trip together" title="Couple on a trip together" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A few years ago, my wife and I went to San Francisco for a week for a conference. We didn't know much about the city, and neither one of us had much time to research the area before we went.</p> <p>At the last minute, we remembered her cousin had lived in San Francisco for a few years, so we shot him an email asking for recommendations. Luckily, he responded with a list of about 20 must-do things while we were visiting the city, doing most of our planning for us. We went down the list and had an amazing time in San Francisco.</p> <p>Planning ahead for travel goes a long way towards making a vacation successful. It seems kind of strange that you have to work in order to have fun, but it definitely makes a difference. Planning ahead can:</p> <ul> <li>Save time &mdash; you don't end up waiting an hour or two for something</li> <li>Save money &mdash; you can buy ahead of time at a discount</li> <li>Grant access &mdash; planning can be the difference between whether you get tickets or not</li> </ul> <p>Not to mention that you've paid to travel there (airline tickets or gas) and taken time off work. So it makes sense to&nbsp;maximize your investment in your vacation by planning ahead. (See also: <a href="http://getcurrency.com/dining-travel/how-to-start-planning-for-holiday-travel">How to Start Planning for Holiday Travel</a>, via Currency)</p> <p>The trouble is, many of us don&rsquo;t make the time to hit the <a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/best-travel-websites/">travel sites</a> and plan out the trip, or we don&rsquo;t have access to good information about where we&rsquo;re going. But nowadays, you can rely on a virtual network to help give you travel advice and do your trip planning. Below are a few websites that make it easier for you to plan for vacation.</p> <h2>Gogobot</h2> <p><a href="http://www.Gogobot.com">Gogobot</a> is a social travel website that lets you ask questions about the best places to visit and stay during your trip. You can use Gogobot to pose a question to your Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and Gogobot network. Then they can answer with recommendations on everything from hotels to restaurants to tourist attractions.</p> <p>For example, a recent question on the site was &ldquo;What&rsquo;s the best vegetarian restaurant in San Francisco?&rdquo; If you don&rsquo;t have any specific questions to ask, you can also visit the &ldquo;Things To Do&rdquo; section for a city and see pictures of places other people have visited and their reviews. If we were headed to San Francisco for the first time again, we wouldn&rsquo;t have to rely on friends or family in the city for advice; now we could just checkout the city page on Gogobot.</p> <h2>Gtrot</h2> <p><a href="http://www.gtrot.com/">Gtrot</a> is similar in some ways to Gogobot, but it is different enough that you should check it out as well. It also uses your social network to help you plan your trip. The website suggests the best things where you&rsquo;re going based on your likes, friends check-ins, and events happening during your trip.</p> <p>Something else that Gtrot will do is to discover any deals in the places you&rsquo;re going for the time you&rsquo;ll be there. For example, if there&rsquo;s a Groupon for a restaurant that your friends like, Gtrot will let you know it&rsquo;s available and that you might want to check it out.</p> <h2>MyTab</h2> <p>After planning your trip with Gogobot and Gtrot, you could use the site <a href="http://mytab.co/">MyTab</a> to raise money to pay for your vacation. If you have a trip planned but don&rsquo;t have the funds to cover it, MyTab lets you ask your social network for contributions to your travels.</p> <p>For example, if your birthday was coming up and you had a place you really wanted to visit, you could suggest that people give money to your travel fund as birthday gifts. Any friends or family who wanted to contribute would use PayPal through MyTab to send you some money you could use towards an airplane ticket or hotel room. MyTab isn&rsquo;t just limited to individual users; it has also become popular as a way for raising money for group trips.</p> <p><em>I&rsquo;m sure there are other sites that can help you tap into the experiences of others to plan your trip. Which ones did I miss?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffly-with-a-little-help-from-your-friends-social-travel-planning&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FFly%20With%20a%20Little%20Help%20From%20Your%20Friends-%20Social%20Travel%20Planning%20(1).jpg&amp;description=Fly%20With%20a%20Little%20Help%20From%20Your%20Friends%3A%20Social%20Travel%20Planning" 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/Fly%20With%20a%20Little%20Help%20From%20Your%20Friends-%20Social%20Travel%20Planning%20%281%29.jpg" alt="Fly With a Little Help From Your Friends: Social Travel Planning" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ben-edwards">Ben Edwards</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fly-with-a-little-help-from-your-friends-social-travel-planning">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/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</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-frugal-destinations-for-a-dreamy-winter-getaway">8 Frugal Destinations for a Dreamy Winter Getaway</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</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/are-all-inclusive-vacations-and-cruises-worth-the-money">Are All-Inclusive Vacations and Cruises Worth the Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel social networks trip planning websites Tue, 04 Oct 2011 10:00:54 +0000 Ben Edwards 724416 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Sites Every Car Owner Needs to Bookmark Now http://www.wisebread.com/6-sites-every-car-owner-needs-to-bookmark-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-sites-every-car-owner-needs-to-bookmark-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/driving_a_car.jpg" alt="Woman driving a car" title="Woman driving a car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="149" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Owning a car is very convenient. From buying groceries to making weekend trips to IKEA, when you own a car, it&rsquo;s a lot easier to get it all done.</p> <p>One thing that does suck is when your car breaks down. Unless you&rsquo;re a car nut, how do you know if you&rsquo;re being scammed? Does a busted Johnson Rod really cost $1,400 to repair? Who knows. That&rsquo;s why so many car owners are at the mercy of unscrupulous mechanics around the country.</p> <p>But if you use these six sites, you&rsquo;ll be able to find someone you can trust and save some money in repairing and maintaining your car. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/disguise-your-stuff-to-prevent-car-break-ins">Disguise Your Stuff to Prevent Car Break-ins</a>)</p> <h2>Facebook</h2> <p>The first thing car owners need is a shop they can trust. You can&rsquo;t stay on top of maintenance and repairs if you don&rsquo;t have a mechanic to take the car to.</p> <p>What better place to start than <a href="http://www.facebook.com">Facebook</a>? Ask your friends and family who they trust and where they&rsquo;ve had good experiences.</p> <p>If a couple people mention the same place, then that&rsquo;s a great place to try.</p> <h2>Yelp</h2> <p>Facebook is a great starting point, but unless you have a million friends (sad trombone noise), the odds are you won&rsquo;t get a ton of feedback on a whole bunch of shops. What <a href="http://www.yelp.com">Yelp</a> does is bring some scale into the equation.</p> <p>Look up each place that&rsquo;s near you or was recommended on Facebook, and see what the rest of the world thinks of it. It&rsquo;s a lot easier to decide between a few places when one has an average of two stars and some horror stories versus another with solid reviews.</p> <h2>Angie&rsquo;s List</h2> <p>I&rsquo;ve never used <a href="http://www.angieslist.com/">Angie&rsquo;s List</a> because they charge a membership fee, but I&rsquo;ve heard good things about them. They&rsquo;re kind of like Yelp in that they compile user reviews on different contractor services (including mechanics).</p> <p>If you want to be really thorough or if you&rsquo;re already a member, definitely check out all the shops you&rsquo;re considering on this site.</p> <h2>Repairpal</h2> <p><a href="http://www.repairpal.com">Repairpal</a> will take your make, model, zip code, and specific type of repair and spit out a range of what it might cost to get the repair done. They also break it down by parts and labor.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s like getting a second opinion in two minutes, and it&rsquo;s awesome.</p> <p>Granted, these are estimates. But they do take your location into account, so they shouldn&rsquo;t be too far off. The way they compile their data is <a href="http://repairpal.com/methodology">pretty thorough</a>, so this is a really good resource.</p> <p>If a shop&rsquo;s estimate is way off, ask them why and mention you&rsquo;ve gotten a second opinion...they may have a valid answer. And they may not...</p> <p>Another cool feature is that you can create an account and save all the information on your car. You can keep track of when your next oil change is due, any work done to the car, etc. Staying on top of your regular maintenance is HUGE if you want to save money by preventing bigger problems from developing.</p> <p>You can also try <a href="http://www.automd.com/">AutoMD</a> and <a href="http://www.driverside.com/">DriverSide</a> to get additional estimates on a repair.</p> <h2>Carmaker&rsquo;s Website</h2> <p>For one reason only &mdash; they&rsquo;ll usually have the car&rsquo;s manual available online. I know people <a target="_blank" href="http://www.thewriterscoin.com/read-the-manual-stupid/">don&rsquo;t like reading manuals</a>, but I recently discovered something pretty interesting when it comes to cars &mdash; everything you need to know is in the manual.</p> <p>I was trying to figure out if some of the repairs the dealership had quoted me were B.S. or not, and everything I read pointed to one source &mdash; the manual.</p> <ul> <li>How often should I change the oil?</li> <li>Do I really need to change the air filter?</li> <li>What maintenance should I do at 90,000 miles?</li> </ul> <p>All this stuff is in the manual. Forget about what the &ldquo;experts&rdquo; say &mdash; don&rsquo;t you think the people that actually built the thing would know better?</p> <h2>iTunes/Android Market</h2> <p>Apps are cool. We love apps. So what better way to stay on top of your repairs and checkups?</p> <p>No one likes spending the time and money to get a car checked out when nothing obvious is wrong, but regular maintenance can keep your car running longer and better. So why not get all your car&rsquo;s information loaded up into an <a href="http://www.apple.com/itunes/">iPhone</a> or <a href="https://market.android.com/">Android</a> app? That way the app can tell you when to get the tires rotated, the oil changed, and all that good stuff.</p> <p>For the iPhone, I like <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/car-minder-plus-car-maintenance/id310809791?mt=8" target="_blank">Car Minder Plus</a>, and for Android <a href="https://market.android.com/details?id=com.zonewalker.acar&amp;feature=search_result" target="_blank">aCar</a> is a good free one &mdash; although I use <a href="https://market.android.com/details?id=com.cooloy.OilChangeSchedulePro&amp;feature=search_result" target="_blank">Car Maintenance Reminder Pro</a> ($1.99).</p> <p>These six sites should help you find a place you can trust and stay on top of your regular maintenance. That alone should save you a fair amount of money and stress. For more ways to save, check out these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-slick-tools-to-save-money-on-car-repairs">six tools to save money on car repairs</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carlos-portocarrero">Carlos Portocarrero</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-sites-every-car-owner-needs-to-bookmark-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/11-smart-ways-to-boost-your-gas-mileage">11 Smart Ways to Boost Your Gas Mileage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-car-battery-warmers">The 5 Best Car Battery Warmers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-jump-starter-kits">The 5 Best Jump Starter Kits</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-easy-diy-car-repairs-to-save-big">8 Easy DIY Car Repairs to Save Big</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/8-common-car-repair-mistakes-that-can-cost-you">8 Common Car Repair Mistakes That Can Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation car repair maintenance mechanics websites Thu, 16 Jun 2011 10:24:12 +0000 Carlos Portocarrero 582091 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Awesome Websites to Help You Get a Job http://www.wisebread.com/25-awesome-websites-to-help-you-get-a-job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-awesome-websites-to-help-you-get-a-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/job_search_computers_0.jpg" alt="People on library computers" title="People on library computers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="169" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Searching for a job can be frustrating and overwhelming, but the resources below can help you ace your job search. Collectively, these 25 websites provide thousands of job postings, great networking opportunities, advice for resumes and interviews, and much more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a>)</p> <h2>Local and National Job Listings</h2> <p>Whether you're looking to cast your net wide or you're searching for a niche position, these major job-search websites can help you out. Plus, most of them allow you to set up a profile and add your resume, meaning that potential employers can search for <em>you</em>.</p> <p><strong>1. <a href="http://indeed.com"><strong>Indeed</strong></a></strong> &mdash; A comprehensive job-listings aggregator and search engine, Indeed grabs listings from all over the internet and puts them in one place. You can search by job title and location, as well as upload your resume.</p> <p><strong>2. </strong><a href="http://www.monster.com/"><strong>Monster</strong></a> &mdash; One of the most popular job websites, Monster allows you to search by job title, skills or keywords, and location. You can also upload your resume for employers to peruse, get career advice, and sign up to receive emails from Monster with potential new job matches.</p> <p><strong>3. </strong><a href="http://www.careerbuilder.com/"><strong>CareerBuilder</strong></a> &mdash; Another major site, CareerBuilder aggregates jobs from &quot;more than 9,000 Web sites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL.&quot; Job searchers can also post resumes, receive job recommendations, and peruse advice.</p> <p><strong>4. </strong><a href="http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites"><strong>Craigslist</strong></a> &mdash; Good ol' Craigslist is still one of the best resources out there for local jobs. The site includes sections for both full-time work and freelance gigs. Craigslist can also be a good resource for finding paid volunteer positions, like medical studies.</p> <p><strong>5. </strong><a href="http://www.simplyhired.com"><strong>Simply&nbsp;Hired</strong></a> &mdash; This site promises a simple-but-effective job search, plus information on salaries and job trends in your area.</p> <p><strong>6. </strong><a href="http://www.linkup.com/"><strong>LinkUp</strong></a> &mdash; Where many of the above search tools only feature positions that employers have posted to those outside sites, LinkUp aggregates &quot;often unadvertised&quot; jobs posted on company websites.</p> <p><strong>7. </strong><a href="http://www.idealist.org/"><strong>Idealist</strong></a> &mdash; If you're trying to be the change you want to see in the world, Idealist is the job search engine for you. It only features job postings at non-profit organizations.</p> <p><strong>8. </strong><a href="http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/"><strong>USAJOBS</strong></a> &mdash; The U.S. Government's official site for Federal job listings nationwide.</p> <p><strong>9. </strong><a href="http://www.higheredjobs.com/"><strong>HigherEdJobs</strong></a> &mdash; This site allows you to search faculty, staff, and executive positions at a variety of colleges and universities.</p> <p><strong>10. </strong><a href="http://www.thegreenjobbank.com/"><strong>The Green Job Bank</strong></a> &mdash; Find eco-friendly jobs.</p> <h2>Freelance Job Marketplaces</h2> <p>These resources are great for both full-time freelancers and those looking to make some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-why-everyone-needs-side-income">side income</a>.</p> <p><strong>11. <a href="https://www.upwork.com/"><strong>Upwork</strong></a></strong> &mdash; A large marketplace of freelancers and freelance employers, Upwork lists gigs in areas including programming, design, writing, virtual assistants, internet research, and more. Upwork's success as a marketplace is due to its escrow service, provider rating system, and global reach.</p> <p><strong>12. </strong><a href="http://crossloop.com"><strong>CrossLoop</strong></a> &mdash; CrossLoop is a remote desktop application <em>and</em> marketplace for finding PC help and/or getting paid to fix a PC problem. If you're a PC whiz, you can make money at the marketplace, where you can set your own rates and determine your own specific services. Helpers are rated by clients at the end of a job, so if you continually provide excellent help, your sales will snowball as the community comes to trust you.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>13. </strong><a href="http://freelanceswitch.com"><strong>FreelanceSwitch</strong></a> &mdash; The best blog around for freelancers. The FreelanceSwitch site also has a job board for freelancers and a lively forum. Gigs tend to be on web work like design, development, and writing.</p> <p><strong>14. </strong><a href="http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com"><strong>Freelance Writing Jobs</strong></a> &mdash; This site makes daily posts with both local and location-independent writing, editing, and proofreading gigs. The links are curated by real people, which means no scam posts here.</p> <p><strong>15. </strong><a href="http://online-writing-jobs.com/"><strong>Online Writing&nbsp;Jobs</strong></a> &mdash; An aggregator of Craigslist and other sites,&nbsp;Online Writing Jobs collects blogging, copywriting, and other related gigs in daily posts.</p> <p><strong>16. <a href="http://jobs.problogger.net"><strong>ProBlogger Job Board</strong></a></strong> &mdash; A great job board for professional blogging gigs run by uber-problogger Darren Rowse. If you want to find a blogging job, this is one of the best places to stop.</p> <p><strong>17. </strong><a href="http://weblogs.about.com"><strong>About.com Weblogs</strong></a> &mdash; Susan Gunelius, About.com Guide to Weblogs, regularly posts new blogging jobs to her forum.</p> <h2>Work-at-Home Resources</h2> <p>Working at home can be rewarding, alienating, joyful, and frustrating all at the same time. Use these resources to learn more about the work-at-home lifestyle and interact with other WAH folks.</p> <p><strong>18. <a href="http://sparkplugging.com"><strong>Sparkplugging</strong></a></strong> &mdash; This site provides resources for its community of entrepreneurs, freelancers, consultants, authors, work-at-home moms and dads, and other independent workers. Founder Wendy Piersall's passion for helping work-at-home folks and solo business owners really shines through on the site.</p> <p><strong>19. <a href="http://workathomesuccess.com"><strong>Work at Home Success</strong></a></strong> &mdash; A comprehensive site for people looking to work at home. WAHS has get-started guides, information on where to find work-at-home job listings, and a community of other work-at-home folks sharing tips and tricks. WAHS gives you the tools and know-how to earn a side income from home or to start your new work-at-home career.</p> <p><strong>20. </strong><a href="http://www.wahm.com/"><strong>WAHM</strong></a> &mdash; Standing for Work-at-Home Moms, WAHM has job listings, articles, and even recipes.</p> <h2>Networking Sites</h2> <p>Several great job opportunities come through personal connections and recommendations. Leverage yours with these networking sites.</p> <p><strong>21. </strong><a href="http://www.linkedin.com"><strong>LinkedIn</strong></a> &mdash; A social networking site created specifically for professional networking, LinkedIn allows you to use both personal and professional connections in your job search, receive recommendations from colleagues, and much more.</p> <p><strong>22. </strong><a href="http://www.facebook.com"><strong>Facebook</strong></a> &mdash; Yeah, it's the place where you post pictures of your summer vacation and share kitten videos with your friends. But it's also increasingly a place where employers can check up on you, and you can make valuable employment connections. Only put things on Facebook that you're comfortable with an employer seeing, or else create different privacy settings for friends and the general public.</p> <h2>Resumes, Interviews, Potential Careers, and More Information</h2> <p>It doesn't do you much good to find the perfect job if your resume and interview skills aren't ready to impress. Make yourself look great with these resources, plus research what career paths might be right for you.</p> <p><strong>23. </strong><a href="http://jobsearch.about.com/"><strong>About.com Job Searching</strong></a> &mdash; About.com's job search site features everything from sample resumes to job-search advice to scores of potential interview questions.</p> <p><strong>24. </strong><a href="http://www.careeronestop.org/"><strong>CareerOneStop</strong></a> &mdash; Run by the U.S.&nbsp;Department of Labor, CareerOneStop includes information about all aspects of looking for and having a job, including education and training, applying for jobs, and to how to file for unemployment.</p> <p><strong>25. </strong><a href="http://www.bls.gov/oco/"><strong>Occupational Outlook Handbook</strong></a> &mdash; From the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this annual publication provides information on training needed, expected salaries, and more for &quot;hundreds of different types of jobs.&quot;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-awesome-websites-to-help-you-get-a-job">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/great-ways-to-improve-your-resume-today">Great Ways to Improve Your Resume Today</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-things-you-must-do-after-the-interview-to-land-the-job">6 Things You Must Do After the Interview to Land the Job</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-outdated-job-search-techniques-to-avoid">10 Outdated Job-Search Techniques to Avoid</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/fired-heres-how-to-keep-it-from-hurting-your-career">Fired? Here&#039;s How to Keep It From Hurting Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-places-to-find-freelance-writing-jobs">6 Places to Find Freelance Writing Jobs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting changing jobs freelance jobs resumes unemployment websites Mon, 16 May 2011 10:24:13 +0000 Meg Favreau 533586 at http://www.wisebread.com Get Free Media Software for Your Windows PC http://www.wisebread.com/get-free-media-software-for-your-windows-pc <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-free-media-software-for-your-windows-pc" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5021980078_e558347f02_z.jpg" alt="man with laptop" title="man with laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the advantages of Apple computers is that they come with pre-installed software like Apple's iLife. iLife includes programs for managing digital photos, editing home movies, producing music, and making websites. The great news is that Windows users no longer have to be left out of the fun. There are free software programs available on the Internet in each of these categories. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/excel-the-most-underrated-software-you-already-own" title="Excel: The Most Underrated Software You Already Own">Excel: The Most Underrated Software You Already Own</a>)</p> <h3>Managing Digital Photos: Google's Picasa</h3> <p><a href="http://picasa.google.com/">Google's Picasa</a> includes many features similar to Apple's iPhoto. It locates photos on your computer and neatly organizes them by date. You can easily improve your photos with editing tools like red-eye elimination, cropping, straightening, or adjusting brightness. Once edits are complete, you're ready to share an album. Picasa makes it easy by syncing with Picasa Web Albums, Blogger accounts, or Facebook (with <a href="http://apps.facebook.com/picasauploader">a free plugin</a>). If you prefer video, you can turn your pictures into a movie slideshow, add background music, and automatically upload them to YouTube.</p> <h3>Editing Home Movies: Windows Live Movie Maker</h3> <p><a href="http://explore.live.com/windows-live-movie-maker?os=other">Windows Live Movie Maker</a> is easier than ever to record digital videos thanks to camcorders, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/digital-camera-buying-guide" title="How to Buy a Digital Camera">cameras</a>, and cell phones. It helps you take those clips and turn them into impressive movies with titles, credits, background music, and animated transitions. It works similarly to Apple's iMovie. Windows Live Movie Maker displays your videos in a timeline format so you can easily view the frames that you want to edit. A preview screen immediately shows what the edited video looks like. Add the finishing touches by experimenting with dozens of preloaded transitions and visual effects. Then, quickly and easily publish your movie to the web with direct links to Facebook and YouTube.</p> <h3>Producing Your Own Music: Audacity</h3> <p><a href="http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/">Audacity</a> is not &ldquo;pretty&rdquo; software, but when you get past its rough appearance, you'll find it to be a simple tool for making high-quality recordings. Aspiring musicians will love it for fine-tuning tracks and combining multiple recordings into home-produced songs. For the more casual user, you'll find it useful for cutting your favorite song down to a 30-second ringtone or putting together a voice-over for a home movie. You start by recording from a microphone or importing an existing track. Audacity will give you a visual representation so you can edit it by selecting the portion of the audio you want to work with. You can delete sections you don't want, add in sound effects, or decrease static from your microphone. Expect to spend a little more time learning how to use it than you would with Apple's Garage Band, but with the money you'll save it should be well worth it.</p> <h3>Making a Website: Weebly</h3> <p><a href="http://www.weebly.com/">Weebly</a> is unlike the other iLife alternatives in that it's an online service. This means that you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/website-101-how-to-build-a-site-and-get-it-online" title="Website 101: How to Build a Site and Get It Online">build your website</a> by visiting and developing on weebly.com. There are many free alternatives for creating websites, but what separates Weebly is that each step is incredibly user-friendly, whether you are designing, building, or publishing. You start by selecting one of their website designs. Then, drag and drop the features you want from their toolbar onto your website. You can choose text areas, pictures, YouTube videos, maps, or many other items you're used to seeing on the Internet. When you're finished, just click &ldquo;publish&rdquo; and choose to either publish for free at &ldquo;yoursite.weebly.com&rdquo; or upgrade to something more traditional like &ldquo;www.yoursite.com.&rdquo; Weebly is even more cost-effective than Apple's iWeb, which requires you to have Apple's $99/year MobileMe service to take advantage of publishing.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a guest post by Mike Lammers. Mike is a &quot;tech guy&quot; striving to make technology easier to use. He's the founder of <a href="http://ohrizon.com/" target="_blank"><span>Ohrizon.com</span></a>, a website with the motto that &quot;every overpriced software has an affordable alternative.&quot; Read more by Mike:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.ohrizon.com/fixing-photos-with-gimp/">Fixing Photos With GIMP</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.ohrizon.com/openoffice-vs-microsoft-office/">OpenOffice vs. Microsoft Office</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.ohrizon.com/too-many-passwords/">Too Many Passwords?</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mike-lammers">Mike Lammers</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-free-media-software-for-your-windows-pc">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-best-tools-for-finding-an-apartment-on-the-cheap">10 Best Tools for Finding an Apartment on the Cheap</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-siri-can-be-your-personal-finance-assistant">9 Ways Siri Can Be Your Personal Finance Assistant</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-free-debt-management-tools">6 Free Debt Management Tools</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/make-your-computer-last-almost-forever-with-some-simple-tricks">Make Your Computer Last (Almost) Forever With Some Simple Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology apple computer software computers photos programs websites Mon, 08 Nov 2010 13:00:11 +0000 Mike Lammers 280494 at http://www.wisebread.com