bad habits http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12458/all en-US Best Money Tips: Simple Ways to End Bad Spending Habits http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-simple-ways-to-end-bad-spending-habits <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-simple-ways-to-end-bad-spending-habits" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_empty_wallet_638961162.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to end bad spending habits" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on simple ways to end bad spending habits, green moves that will help you save money, and weird things you can sell on eBay.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.cashthechecks.com/7-simple-ways-demolish-bad-spending-habits/">7 Simple Ways To Demolish Bad Spending Habits</a> &mdash; Large shopping carts make it easier to pick up things you don't need. Shop with a basket to avoid falling for this trap! [Cash The Checks]</p> <p><a href="https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/life/going-green-save-green/">10 Simple, Green Moves That&rsquo;ll Help You Save Money and the Environment</a> &mdash; Go paperless whenever you have the option. Many banks and service providers now allow you to receive statements and other notices via email. [The Penny Hoarder]</p> <p><a href="http://flippingincome.com/weird-things-you-can-sell-on-ebay/">Weird Things You Can Sell on eBay</a> &mdash; Most instruction manuals these days are available online, but older manuals can be hard to find. If you have old camera, printer, or sound system manuals, try selling them in eBay. [Flipping Income]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/Spacebound/2017/0601/Where-are-all-the-space-hotels-Why-smart-people-make-terrible-forecasts">Where are all the space hotels? Why smart people make terrible forecasts.</a> &mdash; The combination of cognitive biases, development challenges, and financing conventions make accurate predictions pretty much impossible. [The Christian Science Monitor]</p> <p><a href="https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Palace-Versailles-Tips-43580380">5 Tips For Having the Palace of Versailles All to Yourself</a> &mdash; Most people don't know that the gardens open an hour before the palace. If you get there right at 8 a.m., you'll be one of the few visitors exploring before the rush. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.experian.com/blogs/news/about/benefits-of-credit-counselor/">Credit Counseling 101: The Benefits of Using a Credit Counselor</a> &mdash; Join Experian's #CreditChat tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET for a discussion on what you can gain from using a credit counselor and how to find a good one. [Experian]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/the-simple-guide-to-healthy-living-on-a-budget-2017/">The Simple Guide to Healthy Living on a Budget (2017)</a> &mdash; Tweak your favorite recipes with healthy substitutions. For example, use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose, honey instead of corn syrup, or olive oil instead of vegetable oil. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneysoldiers.com/takes-sorts-knowing-money-personality-can-help-enjoy-better-fortune/">It Takes All Sorts: Knowing Your Money Personality Can Help You Enjoy Better</a> Fortune &mdash; Knowing your financial personality will help you understand how you make financial decisions &mdash; and how to make the right ones. [Money Soldiers]</p> <p><a href="http://everythingfinanceblog.com/20524/how-to-create-a-budget-you-can-live-with.html">How to Create a Budget You Can Live With</a> &mdash; Create a separate budget for special events like weddings, vacations, or relocation to make sure that you don't overspend your regular monthly budget. [Everything Finance]</p> <p><a href="https://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/4-common-health-problems-caused-low-self-worth/">4 Common Health Problems Caused by Low Self-Worth</a> &mdash; Low self-worth modifies your behavior in ways that are detrimental to your health. [Change Your Thoughts]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-simple-ways-to-end-bad-spending-habits">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-envy-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Envy Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-a-surprising-amount-by-quitting-these-4-bad-habits">Save a Surprising Amount by Quitting These 4 Bad Habits</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/looking-on-the-bright-side-how-to-find-a-silver-lining-in-the-current-financial-crisis">Looking On The Bright Side: How to Find A Silver Lining In The Current Financial Crisis</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-surprising-ways-summer-will-cost-you">7 Surprising Ways Summer Will Cost 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/25-ways-to-have-cheap-summer-fun">25 Ways to Have Cheap Summer Fun</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living bad habits best money tips Tue, 06 Jun 2017 08:00:10 +0000 Amy Lu 1960972 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Unprofessional Habits That Could Kill Your Career http://www.wisebread.com/10-unprofessional-habits-that-could-kill-your-career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-unprofessional-habits-that-could-kill-your-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-516608796.jpg" alt="Woman learning unprofessional habits that are killing her career" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're like most people, you've put a lot of time, energy, and money into your career. And you know that getting ahead in that career takes conscious (sometimes herculean) effort. With all you've invested, don't let a few bad habits drag you down the corporate ladder. Here are 10 unprofessional habits that could kill your career.</p> <h2>1. Ignoring the finer points of email</h2> <p>Sure, it's quick and casual, but electronic communication comes with its own set of rules. Crafting long-winded emails, not responding to messages in a timely fashion, typing in all caps, and forgetting to include fundamentals &mdash; like a personal salutation, or a please and a thank you &mdash; are all email no-no's. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-say-in-a-work-email?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Things You Should Never Say in a Work Email</a>)</p> <h2>2. Using grade school grammar</h2> <p>In speech or in writing, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-grammar-mistakes-that-are-making-you-look-stupid" target="_blank">stupid grammar mistakes</a> can make you look uneducated and hurt your professional prospects. Polish your image by reviewing the fundamentals of good grammar, becoming more aware of how you communicate, and proofreading every word you write.</p> <h2>3. Dressing for a demotion</h2> <p>Though most work environments are casual these days, that doesn't mean anything goes. If you're confusing business casual with clubwear, wearing wrinkled shirts and slacks, and letting your pant cuffs drag on the floor, you're dressing for a demotion. Pay attention to wardrobe fundamentals like condition, fit, cleanliness, seasonality, and suitability. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-a-work-wardrobe-for-any-job-on-a-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Build a Work Wardrobe for Any Job on a Budget</a>)</p> <h2>4. Constant questioning</h2> <p>Asking questions is smart up to a point, but cross that invisible line and you become a drain on management. When given a new assignment or a different set of responsibilities, get all the information you can up front and then show your initiative by figuring out the rest as you go along.</p> <h2>5. Always being late</h2> <p>Arriving chronically late to work or meetings shows a disregard for your professional commitments, your coworkers' time, and your job in general. Protect your professional image by being punctual, or even better, showing up a few minutes early.</p> <h2>6. Taking sides in office politics</h2> <p>Nearly every workplace suffers from a bit of office politics. Choosing sides carries two risks: First, it takes your eye off the most crucial aspects of your job &mdash; performing well, learning all you can, and moving up. Second, you could simply align yourself with the wrong (that is, losing) side and suffer the direct or indirect consequences. Stay employed by diligently avoiding <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-office-politics-goofs-that-can-set-your-career-back-years" target="_blank">office politics goofs</a>.</p> <h2>7. Displaying terrible table manners</h2> <p>Client dinners, lunch meetings, and all-day networking events are part of modern work life and opportunities to showcase your professional refinement. If your eating style is reminiscent of a bear fresh out of hibernation, it might be time to brush up on the basics of good table manners. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-things-people-with-good-table-manners-never-do?ref=seealso" target="_blank">13 Things People With Good Table Manners Never Do</a>)</p> <h2>8. Swearing like a sailor</h2> <p>No offense to professional sailors, but swearing in most work settings is a career-limiting communication habit. Even if it's the norm where you work, using profanity shows that you're not articulate enough to come up with more acceptable language. It may also make you appear quick to anger and unable to work through challenges constructively.</p> <h2>9. Bringin' the drama</h2> <p>How do you make tear-filled stories of sudden breakups, unfair arrests, and credit card problems even worse? You share those stories on the job and get fired. Constantly bringing personal issues into the workplace implies a problem with boundaries and a lack of professional focus. Save the drama for close friends and only discuss it outside of work.</p> <h2>10. Proselytizing</h2> <p><em>Proselytizing</em> is just a fancy word for promoting a particular belief or attempting to convert people from one religion to another. Living your faith is one thing, but pushing it at work is quite another. Belief systems are intensely personal &mdash; the result of life experience, cultural influences, and long family histories. Don't alienate your coworkers or risk your job by making your personal faith a professional matter.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unprofessional-habits-that-could-kill-your-career">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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-questions-you-should-always-ask-in-an-exit-interview">8 Questions You Should Always Ask in an Exit Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">How To Write A Resume: 12 Steps To Your Next 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/7-signs-youre-working-for-an-impossible-boss">7 Signs You&#039;re Working for an Impossible Boss</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off">9 Signs Your Work-Life Balance Is Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-work-perks-you-cant-get-as-a-freelancer">10 Work Perks You Can&#039;t Get as a Freelancer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income bad habits behavior demotions drama email employment politics unprofessional Fri, 14 Apr 2017 09:00:09 +0000 Kentin Waits 1923961 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Signs Your Takeout Habit Has Gone Too Far http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-your-takeout-habit-has-gone-too-far <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-signs-your-takeout-habit-has-gone-too-far" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-502497216.jpg" alt="Woman wondering if her takeout habit has gone too far" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Takeout. Delivery. The very words get my stomach growling. The promise of a tasty dinner with no prep work and no dishes to wash &mdash; not to mention a meal where family members all get to choose their own dishes &mdash; is so tantalizing that I would order out every night if I could afford it. And apps and websites such as DoorDash, GrubHub, UberEats, Seamless, and Foodler make succumbing to temptation even easier.</p> <p>Can you afford all this takeout and delivery, though? Probably not, because even if you're rolling in cash, eating restaurant food every night can take its toll on your health and your cooking skills &mdash; and especially your budget.</p> <p>So, is it time to delete those food delivery apps from your phone? If more than three of these sounds like you, the answer is a double yes with extra cheese. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/all-the-modern-ways-you-can-order-pizza?ref=seealso" target="_blank">All the Modern Ways You Can Order Pizza</a>)</p> <h2>1. Deliveries have turned your home into a traffic hot spot</h2> <p>You keep having to change the batteries in your doorbell. The city put a five-minute loading zone at the curb in front of your house. Single neighbors who can't hit the delivery minimum on their own frequently piggyback on your orders. And the first time they told you they couldn't meet the delivery minimum, you were utterly baffled as to what that struggle must feel like since it's never been a problem for you.</p> <h2>2. Takeout containers are piling up</h2> <p>Your kids are able to make three-bedroom igloos in the backyard out of white Styrofoam containers. Your building has a sign in the hallway forbidding pizza boxes in the trash chute, and it mentions you by name. You have come up with 10,000 uses for spare wooden chopsticks and have dedicated kitchen drawers for condiment packets and plastic cutlery. Instead of a tablecloth, your dining room table is protected by a thick, cushiony layer of receipts. And your kids bring their lunches to school in large white or brown bags with your address scribbled on them in Sharpie.</p> <h2>3. You know the delivery drivers too well</h2> <p>You know to never order sushi on a Tuesday because that driver lets the dipping sauce slosh all over the tempura. When you went two weeks without ordering, the DoorDash driver stopped by to check on you. You're so tight with the drivers that they stop by your house between deliveries to use your bathroom or play a quick game of cribbage.</p> <h2>4. Your addiction has changed your relationship with technology</h2> <p>Your phone is so full of restaurant phone numbers that you have accidentally ordered at least three kinds of cuisine with your butt. When your phone rings, you immediately open your front door. (This is why you always sound disappointed if it's a friend calling.) Your mother spoofed her number to appear as Gary's Gyros on your caller ID, just so you'll take her calls.</p> <h2>5. You find yourself going to great lengths to maintain the thrill that drew you to takeout to begin with</h2> <p>You keep a stash of foreign currency so you can tip natively for each ethnic cuisine. (The drivers hate you for this.) When a new takeout place opens in town, you ferret out their phone number before they open for business so you can place the first order.</p> <h2>6. You have forgotten the food gathering skills you'd need to survive in the wild</h2> <p>You just found out that your oven doesn't work &mdash; and you've been living in your home for 12 years. Last time you were in a grocery store, Nestle Quik was still sold in a metal can.</p> <h2>7. You and your family are way too good at ordering takeout</h2> <p>You just ordered a No. 4, a No. 17, and a double order of No. 23 &mdash; without consulting the menu. Your baby's first words were, &quot;extra spicy.&quot; Ordering online takes less than 10 seconds because your favorite meal is already saved for every area restaurant.</p> <h2>Have you gone too far?</h2> <p>If you recognized yourself in any three of the above &mdash; seek help. At the least seek out some frugal dining advice that's only a click away:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-the-takeout-meal-cycle-and-save?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">How to Stop the Takeout Meal Cycle and Save</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-and-easy-meals-that-make-even-better-leftovers?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">10 Cheap and Easy Meals That Make Even Better Leftovers</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-and-easy-dinners-plus-5-delicious-desserts?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">25 Quick and Easy Dinners (Plus 5 Delicious Desserts!)</a></li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-your-takeout-habit-has-gone-too-far">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/9-ways-you-are-sabotaging-your-weekly-grocery-budget">9 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Weekly Grocery Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-restaurant-menus-are-designed-to-make-you-spend-more">9 Ways Restaurant Menus Are Designed to Make You Spend More</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/stock-these-20-frugal-foods-for-tough-financial-times">Stock These 20 Frugal Foods for Tough Financial Times</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-an-extra-109486-a-year">How to Save an Extra $1,094.86 a Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-grill-pizza-at-home">This Is How You Grill Pizza at Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Food and Drink bad habits food app food delivery healthy eating junk food ordering in pizza Takeout takeout app Thu, 30 Mar 2017 08:00:14 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1917657 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Self-Destructive Habits That Keep You in Debt http://www.wisebread.com/8-self-destructive-habits-that-keep-you-in-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-self-destructive-habits-that-keep-you-in-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-541589586.jpg" alt="Woman learning self-destructive habits that keep her in debt" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>America's consumer economy is built on overspending, and our consumer culture encourages the liberal use of credit to pay for everything from cheeseburgers to cars. Pulling ourselves out of the &quot;debt is just part of life&quot; mentality takes a nearly herculean effort. If you're having a hard time getting there, maybe a few bad habits are holding you back. Here are eight self-destructive behaviors that keep you in debt.</p> <h2>1. Keeping up with the Joneses</h2> <p>Viewing consumption as a competition will keep you overworked, stressed, and broke. Disconnect as much as possible from a lifestyle influenced by constant comparison and one-upmanship. Instead, shift your focus to things less visible &mdash; freedom, financial peace of mind, and victory over debt.</p> <h2>2. Impulse buying</h2> <p>Developing new methods to tempt consumers with impulse buys is a science unto itself. If you don't recognize and steel yourself against the tactics marketers use, your budget will always be vulnerable to last-minute splurges. Explore <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-stop-impulse-buying?ref=internal" target="_blank">ways to stop impulse buying</a> and teach them to your kids.</p> <h2>3. Playing the victim</h2> <p>Maybe your parents didn't set a good financial example. Maybe you're terrible with numbers. Maybe you're reeling from a financially disastrous divorce. Whatever the situation, it's time to move beyond it. Playing the money victim only deflects responsibility and sets people up for a lifetime of financial chaos. Retire your old script. Embrace positive change and develop new financial skills little by little. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-your-finances-back-on-track-after-losing-everything?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Get Your Finances Back on Track After Losing Everything</a>)</p> <h2>4. Practicing &quot;retail therapy&quot;</h2> <p>Coping with boredom and stress by shopping creates a maddening loop. Working harder to pay the credit card bills makes us more stressed &mdash; a condition that only invites more retail therapy and more debt. Jump off the hamster wheel once and for all. Try to de-stress through simple experiences, time with friends and family, mindful exercise, and relaxing hobbies. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-things-you-can-do-today-instead-of-going-shopping?ref=seealso" target="_blank">50 Things You Can Do Today Instead of Going Shopping</a>)</p> <h2>5. Bailing out your adult children</h2> <p>It's difficult to watch kids make the same mistakes we made (or worse, make mistakes so profound, ours pale in comparison). But bailing adult children out of sticky financial situations only achieves two things: First, it spreads the damage and puts parents' financial security at risk. Second, it teaches children that there will always be a last-minute money superhero to save the day. Skip the heroics and practice a little tough love.</p> <h2>6. Treating yourself</h2> <p>Phrases like &quot;I'm going to treat myself&quot; (and its cousin, &quot;I deserve it&quot;) are used to justify a host of financial missteps. Sure, treating ourselves can be a genuinely healthy motivator and we may even &quot;deserve&quot; whatever it is we want to buy. The danger of these justifications lies in their overuse. Remember, it's not a treat if you do it every day. And the thing you deserve most is to live a financially secure life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-the-treat-yourself-mindset?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The High Cost of the &quot;Treat Yourself&quot; Mindset</a>)</p> <h2>7. Being an early adopter</h2> <p>New technology is expensive. Rushing out to buy the latest smartphone, gaming system, or ultrathin TV not only means you're paying top dollar, but it also means you're much more likely to charge it. Take a breather. Wait for competitors to enter the market and drive down prices with comparable products. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tech-life-8-reasons-why-you-shouldn-t-be-an-early-adopter?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Be an Early Adopter</a>)</p> <h2>8. Ignoring personal finance</h2> <p>The fundamentals of personal finance don't go away just because you ignore them. If you're not living by a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps?ref=internal" target="_blank">realistic budget</a>, avoiding consumer debt, spending less than you earn, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-signs-you-arent-saving-enough-for-retirement" target="_blank">investing for retirement</a>, you're likely being controlled by your money instead of controlling it. Without a few basic personal finance skills under your belt, debt doesn't become just a possibility &mdash; it becomes a scary inevitability.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-self-destructive-habits-that-keep-you-in-debt">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/9-ways-you-sabotage-your-financial-growth">9 Ways You Sabotage Your Financial Growth</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/3-ways-good-sleep-makes-you-wealthier">3 Ways Good Sleep Makes You Wealthier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-expenses-to-ditch-after-age-30">5 Expenses to Ditch After Age 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-rise-above-financial-jealousy">How to Rise Above Financial Jealousy</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-millionaire-next-door-riches-de-mystified">The Millionaire Next Door: Riches De-mystified</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle bad habits behaviors impulse spending keeping up with the joneses loaning money retail therapy treat yourself Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:00:17 +0000 Kentin Waits 1911509 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways Your Lazy Habits Are Costing You http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-your-lazy-habits-are-costing-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-your-lazy-habits-are-costing-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-626262674.jpg" alt="Woman learning how her lazy habits are costing her" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone gets lazy sometimes. We all make excuses as to why we can't or won't do certain things. But is your laziness holding you back from achieving financial freedom?</p> <p>If you're struggling to get ahead or want to supercharge your money situation, it's time to shed your slothful ways. Do any of these lazy habits sound like you? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-sloth-is-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways Sloth Is Keeping You Poor</a>)</p> <h2>1. You Pay People to Do Things You Can Do Yourself</h2> <p>You eat out a lot because you don't want to cook. You're paying for a maid service because you can't be bothered to clean your house yourself. Meanwhile you're spending hours a day watching Netflix or playing video games.</p> <p>If you really don't have time because you're spending it all in a productive way, paying someone else in order to maximize your earning potential is fine. Otherwise, buck up and start doing your own chores. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-be-paying-someone-else-to-do-these-7-common-chores?ref=seealso" target="_blank">When Should You Pay Someone Else to Do Chores</a>)</p> <h2>2. You Are Disorganized With Finances</h2> <p>A friend once told me that he lost his homeowners insurance because he was lazy about sorting mail and missed the renewal notice. To get his insurance back, he ended up spending more than he otherwise would have.</p> <p>Being organized with your money takes time and discipline. You need to keep track of where your money is going and where it's held, monitor the performance of your investments, and pay close attention to bills and other obligations.</p> <p>Things like missing bills, late payments, and lost tax forms won't just lead to inconvenience. They can actually <em>cost you money</em>, in the form of fees and perhaps even a ding to your credit score. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">This One Ratio Is the Key to a Good Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2>3. You Won't Go After a Promotion Because You Fear More Work</h2> <p>It's sometimes easy to talk yourself out of moving up to a position of seniority in your company. After all, who wants to deal with additional demands, direct reports, more pressure, and longer hours? But it's also silly to stay in an entry level position simply because you're afraid of taking on more responsibility.</p> <p>It's true that chasing a job just for the money is a bad idea, and not all promotions are worth pursuing. But rarely does an employee receive a big pay raise by staying put. And a promotion can allow you to play a more integral role in an organization's path, rather than just being a cog in a wheel.</p> <p>Moreover, even if you find that a new position is not a good fit for you, you'll be gaining skills and experience that you can use to find the job of your dreams.</p> <h2>4. You Have No Interest in Professional Self-Improvement</h2> <p>Does your employer encourage you to learn new skills? Do they even pay for education and training? If so, then take advantage! In a competitive job market, there's no reason to avoid gaining skills that will make you more essential to your employer. Perhaps you'd benefit from learning to code, or getting training in Microsoft Excel. Maybe <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-a-second-language-can-boost-your-career?ref=internal" target="_blank">learning a second language</a> will give you an edge. Maybe you need to go back to school and finish your degree. Don't be afraid to put in the work. Your next performance review &mdash; and pay raise &mdash; will be the proof that it was worth it.</p> <h2>5. You Ignore Your Personal Appearance</h2> <p>We'd like to believe that appearances don't matter, but tell that to the guy who shows up for a job interview with ketchup on his tie. You don't need to wear a Brooks Brothers suit to work everyday, but a lack of care in how you appear can cost you in things like landing a job, getting a promotion or, securing a meeting with an important client.</p> <p>Taking care of your appearance includes dressing well, but also staying in shape. Workers who exercise regularly earn 9% more on average than other workers, according to a study from Cleveland State University.</p> <h2>6. You Have No Interest in Creating a Side Hustle?</h2> <p>You have plenty of free time, but can't stand the idea of using it to do more work. After all, you already have a full-time job, right? But these days, it's not uncommon to take on side jobs in order to achieve financial freedom. Maybe it's earning a little extra doing freelance graphic design work. Perhaps you could drive for Uber, sell handmade pottery, or start a YouTube channel. Having a side hustle cannot only bring you extra income, but perhaps give you the experience you need to find the full-time job you truly want. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-outside-your-day-job?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Ways to Make Money Outside of Your Day Job</a>)</p> <h2>7. You Take the Deal That's in Front of You Rather Than Shop Around</h2> <p>Finding bargains can be hard work. You may have to travel from store to store. You may have to spend time on the Internet researching prices. You may have to be willing to take time to negotiate. It's easy to buy an item at whatever price you first see, but this approach can cost you money over time. You must embrace the challenge of finding the best deal, even if it takes a little more time and energy.</p> <h2>8. You Don't Invest</h2> <p>Your employer offers a 401K but you haven't even looked at the benefit materials. You've heard of terms like &quot;stock market&quot; and &quot;IRA&quot; but haven't taken the time to learn what they mean. You are content to just place any extra money in a bank account with low interest.</p> <p>It may be okay to ignore investing when you have no money to invest. But once you have some money to put aside, your approach to retirement savings shouldn't be lazy, or it will cost you big time.</p> <p>Investing can be intimidating, but it's important to overcome those fears and at least educate yourself. Unless you're already independently wealthy, investing is one of the few ways to achieve financial freedom. So get on it!</p> <h2>9. You Do Invest, But Don't Pay Close Attention</h2> <p>So you signed up for your 401K and are putting aside a certain amount of money for your retirement. That's great! But when was the last time you checked your balances? Have you rebalanced your portfolio recently? Are you paying more in fees than you need to?</p> <p>Investing doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, someone who invests a good amount into a basic index fund and leaves it alone will probably make out quite well. But that's no excuse to be completely lazy. To get the most out of your investments, you need to do at least some amount of baby-sitting to make sure you're on the right track toward your savings goals.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-your-lazy-habits-are-costing-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life">39 Mindless Ways You&#039;re Wasting Money in Every Part of Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-23-mental-tricks-thatll-help-you-save-money">Flashback Friday: 23 Mental Tricks That&#039;ll Help You Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shop-with-purpose-and-save-more-money">How to Shop With Purpose — And Save More Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-resist-the-expensive-once-in-a-lifetime-mentality">How to Resist the Expensive &quot;Once in a Lifetime&quot; Mentality</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-lessons-on-how-to-be-a-financial-grownup-from-bobbi-rebell">6 Lessons on How to Be a Financial Grownup From Bobbi Rebell</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping bad habits income investing lazy lazy habits saving money shopping habits side hustle sloth Thu, 02 Mar 2017 10:00:12 +0000 Tim Lemke 1901227 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Costly Credit Card Mistakes You Might Be Making http://www.wisebread.com/5-costly-credit-card-mistakes-you-might-be-making <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-costly-credit-card-mistakes-you-might-be-making" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-623942818.jpg" alt="Man making costly credit card mistakes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While most Americans have one or more credit cards, very few spend much time thinking about them. Instead, we tend to enjoy the simplicity and convenience of our cards, while often failing to use them to our best advantage.</p> <p>Here are five ways you may be using your credit cards wrong, and some tips on how to use them better.</p> <h2>1. Carrying a Balance</h2> <p>If you're carrying a balance on one or more of your credit cards, you're incurring costly interest charges on every purchase you make, starting on the day of each transaction. However, if you can get into the habit of clearing your balance every month, then you will enjoy an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-didn-t-understand-about-credit-card-interest-grace-periods-and-penalty-aprs?ref=internal" target="_blank">interest-free grace period</a>.</p> <p>Credit card issuers calculate interest charges based on your average daily balance, but they will waive all interest charges when you pay your entire statement balance in full every month. As a result, you can make a purchase at the beginning of your 30-day billing period, and then pay for it at the end of a 25-day grace period (the time between when the statement period ends and the payment due date), and get up to 55 days of interest-free financing.</p> <h2>2. Not Carrying a Balance, But Not Earning Rewards Either<strong> </strong></h2> <p>About 30% of U.S. card accounts don't incur interest charges because the cardholders pay their credit card balances in full every month. That's great, but too many of these cardholders aren't earning any rewards. When you pay your full statement balance each month, you can choose a card that offers the most valuable rewards, without worrying about its interest rate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-everyday-purchases?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Everyday Purchases</a>)</p> <p>And since you won't have any credit card debt, you may have a very strong credit score. An excellent credit score <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-for-people-with-excellent-credit?ref=internal" target="_blank">qualifies you for the best cards</a> that offer rewards programs and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-bonus-cash-for-sign-up" target="_blank">high sign-up bonuses</a>.</p> <h2>3. Not Redeeming Your Credit Card Rewards</h2> <p>It's not enough to just earn credit card rewards, you need to redeem them. According to the 2015 J.D. Power credit card satisfaction survey, only 53% of reward card holders had redeemed rewards in the previous six months. There may be good reasons to hold onto rewards &mdash; if you're saving up airline points for a big trip, for example. But airline rewards programs are changing constantly, and the devaluation of frequent flyer miles is always a risk. Even worse, the rewards may expire or you may forget about them before the account is closed.</p> <p>People often don't use rewards because the reward program is too complicated or they've chosen the wrong kind of reward card. While <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel reward cards</a> often sound alluring and a free international trip usually provides the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-cards-have-the-best-travel-redemption-value?ref=internal" target="_blank">highest rewards redemption value</a>, the truth is, if you don't travel more than a couple of times a year or you're not interested in an overseas trip, they're probably not your best option.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">Cash-back cards</a> offer a slightly lower payout but they're simpler, so most people are more likely to use the rewards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Cash Back vs Travel Rewards: Pick the Right Credit Card for You</a>)</p> <h2>4. Having Just One Credit Card<strong> </strong></h2> <p>As long as you can handle credit responsibly, you're better off having more than one credit card. Some cards are better than others for certain purposes. You might have one credit card that offers valuable benefits when you travel, and another card that earns the most rewards for everyday purchases at home, such as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=internal" target="_blank">groceries</a> or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">gas</a>.</p> <p>Having multiple credit cards improves your overall <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit utilization ratio</a>, helping your credit score. It's also important to have a backup in case one of your cards is ever lost, stolen, or hacked.</p> <h2>5. Not Using Your Cardholder Benefits<strong> </strong></h2> <p>When you first received your credit card, it included pages of fine print that you probably threw away. Buried in that pile was something called the guide to benefits that lists all sorts of ways that you can use your card to save money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <p>One of the best known credit card benefits is <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">rental car insurance</a>, which saves you from having to buy the expensive policies pushed by the car rental companies. Lesser known perks include <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-free-extended-warranties-work-on-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">extended warranty</a> coverage, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-credit-cards-protect-your-purchases-from-damage-or-theft?ref=internal" target="_blank">damage and theft protection</a>, and even a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-price-match-through-your-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">price match policy</a>. And when you are traveling, your credit card could come in handy with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-exactly-does-travel-accident-insurance-cover-on-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel accident insurance</a>, trip delay and trip interruption coverage, a lost baggage benefit, and trip cancellation insurance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Travel Perks You Didn't Know Your Credit Card Has</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-costly-credit-card-mistakes-you-might-be-making&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20Costly%20Credit%20Card%20Mistakes%20You%20Might%20Be%20Making_0.jpg&amp;description=5%20Costly%20Credit%20Card%20Mistakes%20You%20Might%20Be%20Making" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Costly%20Credit%20Card%20Mistakes%20You%20Might%20Be%20Making_0.jpg" alt="5 Costly Credit Card Mistakes You Might Be Making" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-costly-credit-card-mistakes-you-might-be-making">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-credit-card-mistakes-that-could-be-ruining-your-credit">6 Credit Card Mistakes That Could Be Ruining Your Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-6-mistakes-newbies-make-with-their-first-credit-cards">Avoid These 6 Mistakes Newbies Make With Their First Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-bite-sized-money-resolutions-to-make-2015-your-biggest-year-yet">25 Bite-Sized Money Resolutions to Make 2015 Your Biggest Year Yet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-retail-therapy-good-for-you">5 Ways to Make Retail Therapy Good for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">The Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards bad habits credit mistakes money habits money mistakes Thu, 23 Feb 2017 10:30:26 +0000 Jason Steele 1894199 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Money Goals You Can Still Reach by 2017 http://www.wisebread.com/13-money-goals-you-can-still-reach-by-2017 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-money-goals-you-can-still-reach-by-2017" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/money_2016_78370695.jpg" alt="Finding money goals you can still reach by 2017" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We've passed the halfway point of 2016, and maybe you're down on yourself because you haven't achieved some of your annual financial goals. Life can sometimes derail our money-saving plans &mdash; and that can make you feel like a failure. But the year isn't over yet. So chin up, buttercup! It's never too late to give your money a makeover, like with these 13 money goals that are still attainable by 2017.</p> <h2>1. Increase Your Emergency Fund</h2> <p>Whether you want to increase your fund by $500 or $1,000, there's still time to build your bank account.</p> <p>Ideally, you should have about three to six months' of income in reserves. If you're not in a position to save this much, aim for an emergency fund sufficient to help you get through most unexpected expenses, like a home or car repair. You'll have to make a few sacrifices, such as spending less on entertainment or shopping less, but with five months left in the year, you can hit this goal by saving $100 to $200 a month.</p> <h2>2. Start Planning for Retirement</h2> <p>Your retirement account isn't going to grow itself. The older we get, the more important it is to plan for the future. If you haven't started saving for retirement yet, now's the time to get serious. Talk to your employer about enrolling in the company's 401K plan. If this isn't an option, open an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) through your bank or with the help of a financial adviser.</p> <h2>3. Increase Retirement Contributions</h2> <p>Then again, maybe you're already saving for retirement, but feel now's the time to increase your contribution. Whether you're currently contributing 2% or 5% of your income to a retirement account, set a goal of increasing your contribution by at least 1% before the end of the year.</p> <h2>4. Reduce Expenses</h2> <p>It's easier to attain money goals when you reduce expenses and free up cash. For the next four to five months, eliminate or reduce at least one expense a month. This can include downgrading your cable package or getting rid of cable altogether (it's a common trend these days), using coupons to lower your grocery bill, or riding your bike or carpooling to work a few days a week to save on transportation costs. The savings add up quickly, and before you know it you'll have a bigger bank account.</p> <h2>5. Create a Second Income Stream</h2> <p>Our income isn't always enough to meet our money goals. Rather than complain about your situation, think creatively about ways to increase your income. Working a side hustle a few days a week can generate money to build your savings account, pay off debt, or start saving for retirement.</p> <p>If you're an expert in your field, offer consulting on the side. Or if you have excellent writing skills, look into <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them?ref=internal">freelance writing opportunities</a> and share your knowledge. Don't think your second income stream has to be glamorous, either. If you don't mind odd jobs or getting your hands dirty, you can make extra money around the neighborhood cleaning houses, doing handyman work, or cutting grass.</p> <h2>6. Give Up a Costly Habit</h2> <p>Bad habits are expensive.</p> <p>Before the end of the year, make a concerted effort to eliminate at least one bad habit. This includes things like drinking too much alcohol and smoking, as well as habits that aren't as dangerous to your health but detrimental to your finances. Do you have a routine of stopping for coffee and breakfast every morning on the way to work? If you can eliminate this $5 daily purchase from your budget, you'll save about $25 a week, or $100 a month.</p> <h2>7. Simplify Your Life</h2> <p>Less can be more. If you're tired of clutter or feel the stuff you own takes too much of your time and energy, set a goal to simplify and unload a few possessions. Selling off items can put extra cash in your pocket, plus you can save money on storage fees and free up space in your house, garage, attic, or basement.</p> <h2>8. Give to Charity</h2> <p>It's not too late to make a charitable donation and give back. While you're simplifying and decluttering your life, consider donating a few items to your favorite organization. You'll not only help someone in need, you can write off charitable donations on your tax return and lower your tax bill.</p> <h2>9. Purchase Life Insurance</h2> <p>Life insurance is necessary for everyone, but especially for people with children and other dependents who rely on their income. A policy can cover the cost of a funeral and burial, plus pay off any expenses you leave behind, such as a mortgage and credit cards.</p> <p>There are no hard-and-fast rules regarding the amount of coverage to purchase, but some money experts recommend a policy that's eight to 10 times your income. If you already have a policy, review your coverage to make sure it's adequate for your needs. If you don't have a policy, it's time to get one.</p> <h2>10. Budget Your Money</h2> <p>If you overspend every month and can't get ahead, the problem could be poor budgeting. The truth is, attaining many of your money goals by 2017 will require an airtight budget. You have to know what's coming in and what's going out before you can come up with a plan for your personal finances. Now's the time to put pen to paper and review your income and expenses to determine a reasonable amount to spend in various spending categories, such as food, transportation, entertainment, shopping, etc.</p> <h2>11. Say No to Credit Card Debt</h2> <p>Credit cards are simple and convenient, but they're also a source of pain and suffering if you let balances grow out of control. Before the end of the year, come up with a plan to pay off or pay down at least one credit card. Don't stop until you're debt free. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=seealso">How to Get Rid of Interest on Your Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <p>You can achieve this goal by paying more than your minimums every month. Or negotiate a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">lower interest rate</a> with your creditors so that more of monthly payments go toward reducing the principal. Since the amounts we owe make up 30% of our credit scores, paying off credit cards also <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">increases your credit score</a>.</p> <h2>12. Automate Your Finances</h2> <p>Paying bills on time also contributes to a higher credit score. Forgetting a due date and paying late can result in late fees, and when bills arrive 30 or more days past due, your credit score suffers. To avoid these situations, automate your finances. Set up automatic bill payments between your bank and creditors and you'll never miss another due date.</p> <h2>13. Check Your Credit Report</h2> <p>Everyone should check their credit reports at least once a year and dispute erroneous information. If it's been more than 12 months since you last reviewed your reports, visit&nbsp;<a href="http://annualcreditreport.com">AnnualCreditReport.com</a> today and get a free copy of your reports from each of the three bureaus. Credit report mistakes and fraudulent activity can drive down your FICO score and trigger credit rejections and higher interest rates on loans and credit cards &mdash; and when you're charged higher interest rates, you pay more for credit.</p> <p><em>What are some of your money goals that you'd like to reach by the end of the year? How do you plan to meet those goals? Let's discuss in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-money-goals-you-can-still-reach-by-2017">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-personal-finance-resolutions-anyone-can-master">8 Personal Finance Resolutions Anyone Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moments-that-should-be-on-everyones-bucket-list">8 Money Moments That Should Be On Everyone&#039;s Bucket List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-never-too-late-to-fix-these-5-money-mistakes-from-your-past">It&#039;s Never Too Late to Fix These 5 Money Mistakes From Your Past</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-financial-decisions-youll-never-regret">8 Financial Decisions You&#039;ll Never Regret</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-financial-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season">13 Financial Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance 2016 2017 bad habits clutter credit reports donating emergency funds goals investments nest egg retirement savings simplifying Fri, 12 Aug 2016 09:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1770701 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Soda Alternatives That Won't Bust Your Wallet — Or Your Waistline http://www.wisebread.com/7-soda-alternatives-that-wont-bust-your-wallet-or-your-waistline <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-soda-alternatives-that-wont-bust-your-wallet-or-your-waistline" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/lime_flavored_drink_68546813.jpg" alt="Finding healthy and frugal alternatives to soda" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One thing that is hard to give up is soda &mdash; but for your health, and the health of your wallet, you really should try. Each time you go out to eat, a soda will add about $3 on your bill per person. In 2012, U.S. households spent <a href="http://business.time.com/2012/01/23/how-much-you-spend-each-year-on-coffee-gas-christmas-pets-beer-and-more/">$850 a year on soft drinks</a> alone.</p> <p>As far as health disadvantages, drinking soda regularly can increase belly fat, decrease bone strength, and can increase cavities and gum disease. Soda has been linked to diabetes, obesity, cancer, and high blood pressure. Not only are these health issues scary, but they are also very costly to manage. Don't think that switching to diet will help you out either, since diet soda can be even worse for you with its artificial sweeteners.</p> <p>Kicking your soda habit is the best thing to do for your health and wallet, but that is definitely easier said than done. Here are some frugal ways to satisfy your soda craving without risking your health.</p> <h2>1. Kombucha</h2> <p>If you have never had kombucha, then prepare yourself for a very strong drink. I could not take more than three sips of my first kombucha, but now I actually enjoy certain flavors, like Kevita's Mojita Lime Mint Coconut. Not only can kombucha satisfy your soda craving, but it can also aid in digestion because it is full of healthy bacteria. Kombucha is not the cheapest alternative to soda, unless you make your own. Buy a few when there is a coupon or when there is an <a href="https://ibotta.com/r/jcsgjbv">iBotta</a> offer.</p> <h2>2. Healthier, Homemade Sprite</h2> <p>You can make your own healthier soda by mixing sparkling water, a squeeze of lemon and lime juice, and stevia (or your favorite sweetener) to taste. In my opinion, it tastes very similar to Sprite, but much more refreshing. Obviously if you are drinking soda all day, every day, you will need to allow your taste buds time to adjust.</p> <h2>3. Other Healthy Soda Recipes</h2> <p>If Sprite is not your favorite soda, then here are a few other mixes to try:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Root beer: </strong>Mix sparkling water with a few drops of root beer extract (use organic if you want to avoid chemicals), and sweetener to taste.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Mountain Dew: </strong>Mix two cups of sparkling water with one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, &frac12; teaspoon of grated ginger, and sweetener to taste. If you enjoy this drink, try increasing the amount of apple cider vinegar over time to increase your health benefits. Apple cider vinegar can help prevent diabetes, lower cholesterol, and give you an extra energy boost.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Cherry-vanilla: </strong>Heat two cups of cherry juice with one vanilla bean (split the bean and scrape out the seeds and pod) and one cup of sweetener of your choice (use less for stevia extract).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Strawberry: </strong>Blend one cup of strawberries with &frac14; cup of honey (or sweetener of your choice). Put two tablespoons of this mixture into a cup and pour sparkling water on top. Use frozen strawberries for a colder drink.</li> </ul> <h2>4. Juice and Seltzer</h2> <p>Another easy alternative to soda is mixing one part juice to two parts seltzer water. Use juices that are 100% juice. Pure pomegranate and cherry juice will give your soda an extra health boost.</p> <h2>5. Flavored Sparkling Water to Go</h2> <p>It is not always convenient to make your own soda, especially if you are traveling. Flavored sparkling water will give you the carbonation and sweetness you are craving. My favorite is the coconut flavored La Croix because when it is really cold, it reminds me of a Coke. Check the labels on sparkling water and make sure that the ingredients are only water and flavoring. Avoid any that have sugar or artificial sweeteners in them.</p> <p>If you need a soda alternative that has caffeine, then the Bai waters are tasty and have as much caffeine as tea. Costco regularly has coupons for Bai water.</p> <h2>6. Green Tea</h2> <p>If you drink soda strictly for caffeine reasons, try going with unsweetened green tea. It will be a big switch on your taste buds at first, but the caffeine from green tea is a little gentler on the system compared to soda and coffee. Green tea is also full of antioxidants and can <a href="http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/tea-fact-sheet">reduce your cancer risk</a>. The easiest way to get green tea on the go is to pop a tea bag into a water bottle and let it sit for about 20&ndash;30 minutes.</p> <h2>7. Spruce Up Your Water</h2> <p>Perhaps you are continually reaching for soda to quench your thirst. Many people will avoid water because they find the taste boring. Try adding fresh cut up fruit or vegetables to make your water have more flavor. Some options to try are cucumbers, strawberries, lemon, lime, oranges, grapefruit, and mint. Mint water can help promote your digestion and reduce inflammation.</p> <h2>Tips to Kick the Soda Habit for Good</h2> <p>When you are trying to kick your soda habit, you don't want to just replace it with another bad habit. For example, if you use five cups of soda to get you through the day, then switching to five cups of coffee is not going to do anything for your budget or health.</p> <p>The best thing to do is to try to change your taste buds and decrease your cravings. For example, if you drink three cups of soda a day, try replacing one cup with just plain water, and the other two cups with one of the healthier alternatives.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-being-healthy-saves-you-money-and-why-bad-health-habits-cost-you?ref=seealso">How Being Healthy Saves You Money (And Why Bad Health Habits Cost You)</a></p> <p>If you are used to having a big cup of soda always at your hand, then put ice water in the same type of cup. You will reach for the water out of habit, and it will take a few days to accept the water as a suitable substitute. Prepare yourself for a few days of withdrawal headaches, knowing that these get worse before they get better.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite alternatives to soda?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-soda-alternatives-that-wont-bust-your-wallet-or-your-waistline">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda">How to Make Your Own Soda</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/eat-these-6-foods-to-stay-healthy-while-traveling">Eat These 6 Foods to Stay Healthy While Traveling</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-water-can-save-you-977-a-year">How Water Can Save You $977 a Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/2-juices-that-are-surprisingly-bad-for-you-and-5-to-drink-instead">2 Juices That Are Surprisingly Bad for You (and 5 to Drink Instead)</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/unexpected-delicious-drinks-you-can-make-at-home">Unexpected, Delicious Drinks You Can Make at Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink bad habits drinks healthy alternatives juice recipes seltzer soda tea water Fri, 01 Jul 2016 09:30:30 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1738703 at http://www.wisebread.com The Real Reason We Still Spend to Impress http://www.wisebread.com/the-real-reason-we-still-spend-to-impress <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-real-reason-we-still-spend-to-impress" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_80217451_LARGE.jpg" alt="spending to impress" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Money and relationships have always gone hand in hand. From the practice of paying wedding dowries, to the formal class system, which kept layers of wealth strictly separate. But we're over that now, right?</p> <p>Maybe not.</p> <p>In some ways, society never really moved on. And the amplifying effect of social media and easy communication can actually make us more likely than ever to be tempted to spend to impress. Here's why.</p> <h2>Herd Behavior</h2> <p>As sophisticated as our modern lifestyle might be, we're all still powered by brains that evolved more to keep us out of the way of wild animals than to encourage us to develop prudent retirement plans. The primal part of the brain is hardwired to take over when there is a threat or pressure &mdash; making it responsible for much of the reflex action that drives the sort of &quot;keeping up with the Joneses&quot; conspicuous consumption.</p> <p>While our more rational mind might recognize that we risk spending money we don't have, buying things we don't need to impress people we don't like (to paraphrase Dave Ramsey), the instinct to keep up takes over. Faced with the perceived threat of being left behind by the herd, our instinctive responses make it far more likely we will spend to maintain or improve our place in the pecking order. And before we know it, our brains can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-your-brain-tricks-you-into-spending">trick us into spending</a> on an impulse, no matter what our more rational intentions might be.</p> <h2>Old Habits Die Hard</h2> <p>Conspicuous consumption is a concept over a century old &mdash; appearing in the 1899 economics book, <em>The Theory of the Leisure Class</em>. At the time, it was intended to describe the habits of the emerging upper class, made rich by the industrial revolution. While wealth had been condensed in the hands of very few, this up and coming class felt the need to cement their worth in the eyes of their peers &mdash; and spent to an outrageous degree to do so.</p> <p>A more modern term for this practice is <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-youre-suffering-from-lifestyle-inflation">lifestyle inflation</a>, in which the basic building blocks of our lifestyle start to cost more than we can afford. As we live beyond our means, the costs can snowball quickly, and spending becomes a defining part of our identity.</p> <p>Stuff can define us. While the &quot;greed is good&quot; years might have passed, the brands we identify with, the places we choose to spend our leisure time, and the districts we live in still form the backbone of the persona we present to the world. We tend to be drawn to others who make the same choices, and the whole circle becomes self-fulfilling. Spending to impress never went away, it just got a new name.</p> <h2>Social Media Amplification</h2> <p>Possibly the biggest challenge today is that when it comes to lifestyle, everybody is faking it. Social media promotes unrealistic ideals when it come to the perfect beach body, but it is responsible for projecting a lot of unrealistic lifestyle images, too.</p> <p>It's not malicious. Most of us use social media primarily to share good things and celebrate successes &mdash; keeping life's challenges out of the unrestricted sharing of the Internet. But naturally, you then see a social media feed full of only glamorous vacation pictures, new purchases, and awesome parties. It's easy to think that this is how everyone else lives their life. But when the truth is that nearly half of all Americans would struggle to find the ready cash to cover an <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/05/my-secret-shame/476415/">unexpected bill of only $400</a>, the reality seems a little less glitzy.</p> <h2>How to Break the Cycle</h2> <p>So doing poorly thought-out things on an impulse, to impress the crowd and retain our place in the social pecking order, might have been with us since our cavemen days. Despite our sophisticated outlook and lifestyle, our basic instincts have not evolved beyond this stage &mdash; and won't any time soon. With aspirational images of lifestyles we can't afford popping right into our phones by the minute, it's no wonder that the boundaries of what is realistic are blurred.</p> <p>Even though we can't change our brains, and are unlikely to be able to step away from the social media feed for very long, we can take a look around us. We can actively learn to appreciate the things we already have, rather than looking for the next thing to provide temporary fulfillment. It isn't easy, but practice makes perfect.</p> <p><em>How do you make sure that you're not getting sucked into lifestyle inflation? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/claire-millard">Claire Millard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-real-reason-we-still-spend-to-impress">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-resist-the-expensive-once-in-a-lifetime-mentality">How to Resist the Expensive &quot;Once in a Lifetime&quot; Mentality</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-things-that-should-never-cost-more-than-99">11 Things That Should Never Cost More Than $99</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life">39 Mindless Ways You&#039;re Wasting Money in Every Part of Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-nice-thing-can-ruin-your-whole-budget">How One Nice Thing Can Ruin Your Whole Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping bad habits debt impress impress others keeping up with the joneses shopping habit Spending Money Wed, 29 Jun 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Claire Millard 1740967 at http://www.wisebread.com Save a Surprising Amount by Quitting These 4 Bad Habits http://www.wisebread.com/save-a-surprising-amount-by-quitting-these-4-bad-habits <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-a-surprising-amount-by-quitting-these-4-bad-habits" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000085103623.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have our bad habits, but do you know how much your vices are costing you? Whether you have the budget for it or not, bad habits are extremely costly &mdash; both to your wallet, and your health. Here's how much you could save if you gave up your vices.</p> <h2>Smoking</h2> <p><strong>Yearly cost: $2,321</strong></p> <p>One pack of cigarettes costs between $5 and $13.50, with the <a href="http://www.cancer.org/research/infographicgallery/tobacco-related-healthcare-costs">national average being $6.36</a>. Smoking just one pack a day at $6.36 will cost you $2,321 per year. However, the American Cancer Society determined that the real costs of a pack of cigarettes are closer to $35 per pack, when you consider the health-related costs to you.</p> <p>While this number is already shocking, you will also need to consider the additional costs associated with smoking, such as increased medical expenses and insurance costs. In fact, insurance companies can charge smokers up to 50% more for the same annual coverage as a non-smoker. According to Cigna, smoking may make it difficult for you to qualify for medical insurance at all, with good reason. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, <a href="http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1211128?viewType=Print&amp;viewClass=Print&amp;">quitting smoking before age 40</a> can reduce the risk of death associated with continued smoking by up to 90%.</p> <p>Life insurance policies will also be significantly more expensive for smokers. Non-smokers also receive a range of money-saving benefits, and the costs to smokers can go on and on. If not for your budget, then consider cessation to save your lungs and improve your overall health and wellbeing.</p> <p>Cigarette smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in America, so break the habit as soon as you can. In fact, smoking can <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/quitting-smoking-before-40-erases-damage-to-health-1.1304433">reduce your lifespan</a> by at least 10 years, but if you quit smoking before age 40, you can regain most of that time back. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-smoking?ref=seealso">Here's How Rich You'd Be if You Stopped Smoking</a>)</p> <h2>Drinking</h2> <p><strong>Yearly cost: $1,976</strong></p> <p>The top 10% of drinkers in America drink an average of <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/09/25/think-you-drink-a-lot-this-chart-will-tell-you/">10 drinks per day</a> (or two bottles of wine per night), but let's assume a more modest number like one drink per day, or two bottles of wine per week. The cost of drinks can vary widely, depending on what and where you imbibe. For instance, the average bottle of wine enjoyed at home costs about <a href="http://www.statista.com/statistics/259433/average-price-of-leading-types-of-wine-in-the-us/">$9 per bottle</a>, while one fancy cocktail at the bar can set you back $10&ndash;$12. Let's assume you drink two bottles of wine per week and two drinks at the bar every weekend; you would be spending at least $38 per week or $1,976 per year.</p> <p>This is a very modest estimate, as most moderate drinkers will admit to spending far more than $38 per week on alcohol, but you can see how the costs can really add up. For a more accurate estimate, consider using an <a href="http://rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/tools/Calculators/alcohol-spending-calculator.aspx">alcohol spending calculator</a> to determine what your average spending would be.</p> <p>While these numbers are already shocking, you will also need to consider the additional costs associated with drinking. For instance, consider cab fare, tips for the bartender, hiring a babysitter, and the increased medical costs. Also consider that getting convicted of a DUI or DWI can cost around $10,000 thanks to legal fees, court fines, towing, and treatment. If not for your budget, then consider kicking your drinking habit to save your kidneys and liver, and to improve your overall health.</p> <h2>Gambling</h2> <p><strong>Yearly cost: $400</strong></p> <p>The average American spends about <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2014/03/24/20-ways-we-blow-our-money/6826633/">$400 per year</a> on gambling (Vegas, anyone?). This doesn't factor in online poker, which can be wildly addictive and expensive. If you're spending just $100 per online session, once a week, that's $5,200 spent per year.</p> <p>If you buy lottery tickets, this is an even bigger waste of money as the odds aren't in your favor. In fact, the chances of winning the Powerball jackpot are <a href="http://www.powerball.com/powerball/pb_prizes.asp">one in 292 million</a>. As the saying goes, you're more likely to be struck by lightning. If you're spending just $1 per day on lottery or scratch-off tickets, then you can add an annual cost of $365 to your average gambling debt.</p> <h2>Dining Out</h2> <p><strong>Yearly cost: $432</strong><strong>&ndash;</strong><strong>$4,879</strong></p> <p>Dining out could break your budget faster than many other vices. Restaurants and bars can mark up drinks by as much as 400%, and both fast food and restaurant options are now more costly than ever. While there are ways to save money at the restaurant (such as taking coupons and sharing a meal), you'll save the most by eating at home. If you're a foodie or simply enjoy eating out, just try to cut back to dining out once a week.</p> <p>Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese and according to George Washington University, the <a href="https://gwtoday.gwu.edu/heavy-burden">yearly cost of being overweight</a> is $524 for men and $432 for women, while the yearly cost of being obese is $4,879 for women and $2,646 for men. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity can also lead to a <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/adult/causes.html">number of related health issues</a>, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, liver damage, certain types of cancer, and mental illness. It may also make it difficult to apply for health insurance and life insurance coverage.</p> <h3>Why You Should Stop Now</h3> <p>It's important to kick your bad habit now, because every day lost is more costly than the next. Thanks to our old friend, compound interest, the earlier you begin saving the money that you would have normally spent on bad habits, the more you will accrue in accumulated interest over time.</p> <p>Just imagine everything you could buy &mdash; or how much you could save &mdash; by kicking your costly habit. It may be difficult in the beginning, but studies have shown that, on average, it takes just over two months to kick a bad habit. Then, you can start watching the money pile up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-break-bad-habits?ref=seealso">How to Break Bad Habits</a>)</p> <p><em>Did you kick a costly bad habit? Please share your experience 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/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-a-surprising-amount-by-quitting-these-4-bad-habits">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/save-money-and-eat-better-with-these-6-online-meal-planners">Save Money and Eat Better With These 6 Online Meal Planners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-booze-teaches-us-about-money">What Booze Teaches Us 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/15-ways-to-save-money-when-getting-your-drink-on">15 Ways to Save Money When Getting Your Drink On</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/five-more-tips-for-eating-in-restaurants-and-sticking-to-a-budget">Five More Tips For Eating In Restaurants And Sticking To A Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-finding-food">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Finding Food</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Food and Drink bad habits breaking bad habits gambling quit smoking saving money take out vices Thu, 12 May 2016 09:30:28 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1708050 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Bad Money Habits You're Teaching Your Kids http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/child_hammer_piggy_bank_000070437303.jpg" alt="You are teaching your kids bad money habits" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Money is a taboo subject in our culture, which means it can be tough for parents to know how to talk to their kids about it. But children are little sponges, and the lessons they learn about money may not be the ones you intend to teach them.</p> <p>Here are four bad money habits you might be passing along to Junior and Sis, without even realizing &mdash; and how to start teaching them positive money lessons. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</a>)</p> <h2>The Bad Habit: Entitlement</h2> <p>Every single parent has had this moment. You have made it clear to your kid that they may <em>not</em> have the candy bar or Thomas the Tank Engine figurine or other coveted <em>object du jour</em> &mdash; but the fit they throw in the store is worthy of a gold medal at the temper tantrum Olympics, and it's easier to give in than fight your sobbing child all the way back to the car.</p> <h3>How You Teach It: Caving in to the Tantrum</h3> <p>We all know this is the wrong move, but some days your nerves are stretched to the breaking point and it's just easier to buy the candy bar. However, making a habit of caving to a tantrum can lead to a child who rivals Veruca Salt in feeling entitled to anything and everything money can buy.</p> <h3>The Better Move: Acknowledge Your Child's Wants</h3> <p>The best way to head off an incipient <em>I want it NOW</em> temper tantrum &mdash; and thereby teach the difference between needs and wants &mdash; is to recognize that to your child, this <em>is</em> a big deal.</p> <p>For instance, with my own kids, I will often respond that the candy bar <em>does </em>look delicious, but that it's going stay at the store and not come home with us. Similarly, I encourage my kids to say &quot;bye-bye&quot; to toys or books they want me to buy, giving them the opportunity to make the transition from coveting the item to letting it go. It's not a foolproof method, but it does help them to at least have a framework for letting go of wants that they can't have.</p> <h2>The Bad Habit: A Scarcity Mindset</h2> <p>Knowing how much to tell your kids about big topics is something that all parents grapple with, and money is no different. That's why many parents end up simply falling back on stock answers like &quot;We can't afford it&quot; when their kids ask for something.</p> <h3>How You Teach It: Saying &quot;We Can't Afford That.&quot;</h3> <p>The problem with doing this is twofold. On the one hand, it can make kids feel resentful about how money is spent in the family if they do not understand why you make the financial decisions you do. They might notice that their sibling got new shoes but you couldn't afford the video game they wanted that cost the same amount.</p> <p>In addition, hearing that something is unaffordable can make kids worry about money and start focusing on instant gratification. Kids who hear that their parents can't afford something are learning that money is a scarce commodity, and that it should be used up quickly when it is available.</p> <h3>The Better Move: Invite Your Children to Plan Their Purchases</h3> <p>The big problem with the scarcity mindset is that it leads to zero-sum thinking and takes control out of your child's hands. If your teen wants to go on a ski trip with her friends, saying &quot;We can't afford that&quot; simply shuts down the entire discussion and makes her think that things might be more affordable if it weren't for that bratty little brother of hers.</p> <p>Instead, you could ask your teen &quot;How can you afford this?&quot; and put the control right back in her hands. That will allow her to start thinking of money as something she can earn and control, rather than something that controls her life.</p> <h2>The Bad Habit: Relying on the Bank of Mom and Dad</h2> <p>Your son has spent all of his allowance for the week when he is invited to go to the fair with his friends. Even though you swore you wouldn't give him an advance on next week's allowance again, you hand over some cash so he doesn't miss out on fun with his friends.</p> <h3>How You Teach It: Solving Your Kids' Problems for Them</h3> <p>This is such an easy habit to fall into, but it's a terrible lesson for your child. Watching your kid miss out on something &mdash; even if the problem is their own making &mdash; is tough for parents. You want to give them a fun childhood.</p> <p>But it is so important for children to learn that financial decisions have consequences, and spending all of their allowance money as soon as they have it means there's no money for other opportunities.</p> <h3>The Better Move: Let Your Kids Be Disappointed</h3> <p>It is far better to learn the lessons about financial planning when the stakes are low than when your child is an adult and has to ask you for rent money. Feeling the disappointment of missing out on the fair and understanding that you are not there to bail them out of financial woes is a lesson that will stay with your child &mdash; and keep you from having to maintain the bank of Mom and Dad into their adulthood.</p> <h2>The Bad Habit: Seeing Work as a Chore</h2> <p>Unloading about your terrible day at work is a natural reaction to stress. It's not a big deal to let your spouse and family know that you've had a tough day and that no one is to say the word &quot;spreadsheet&quot; within your hearing for the evening.</p> <h3>How You Teach It: Complaining About Your Job</h3> <p>The problem is when the only way you talk about work is through complaints. This teaches your children that work is a chore that must be gotten through in order to collect a paycheck. And while work can sometimes be that, it can also be a satisfying career, or even a higher calling that energizes you. Even if you do not have that kind of relationship with your job, you do want your kids to know that it's possible.</p> <h3>The Better Move: Express Whatever Gratitude You Can for Your Job</h3> <p>One of my favorite parts of the truly terrible final episode of <em>How I Met Your Mother</em> was the running gag about how much the character Marshall hated his corporate law job, but refused to say anything negative about it. Instead of complaining, he would say that his chair was reasonably comfortable and that he didn't cry at work more than twice that week.</p> <p>Though this is clearly an exaggeration, it is a good method to adopt when your job is stressful. Not only will you remember the good things in your job &mdash; even if it's just the fact that you're grateful to have a paycheck &mdash; but it will also help you remember that your kids are learning about the world from you. You don't want them to think growing up is the worst thing in the world.</p> <h2>Teach Your Children Well</h2> <p>Money habits are often picked up unconsciously, rather than taught. Instead of letting your children unknowingly learn negative financial habits, make sure you are intentional with your money lessons. It will pay off in the long run, even if it does cause more temper tantrums in the short run.</p> <p><em>Are you teaching your kids these &mdash; or other &mdash; bad money habits? What are you doing instead?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Bad%2520Money%2520Habits%2520Youre%2520Teaching%2520Your%2520Kids.jpg&amp;description=4%20Bad%20Money%20Habits%20Youre%20Teaching%20Your%20Kids"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/4%20Bad%20Money%20Habits%20Youre%20Teaching%20Your%20Kids.jpg" alt="4 Bad Money Habits Youre Teaching Your Kids" 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/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-having-kids-makes-you-more-frugal">8 Ways Having Kids Makes You More Frugal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-things-science-says-you-should-do-for-your-family">5 Easy Things Science Says You Should Do for Your Family</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-important-lessons-frugal-parents-teach-their-children">7 Important Lessons Frugal Parents Teach Their Children</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-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Lifestyle allowances bad habits children job stress kids money lessons spoiled Wed, 11 May 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1703949 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Envy Is Keeping You Poor http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-envy-is-keeping-you-poor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-envy-is-keeping-you-poor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_sad_face_000048255588.jpg" alt="Woman learning how envy is keeping her poor" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are seven deadly sins. Envy is perhaps the most soul crushing. Unlike greed, gluttony, sloth, pride, lust, and even wrath, envy can be debilitating. It can take over your every thought, and turn a once happy person into someone obsessed with another's possessions, qualities, or day-to-day life. Not only that, but there are financial implications, too. Here are six ways that the demoralizing sin of envy can keep you poor. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-sloth-is-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways Sloth Is Keeping You Poor</a>)</p> <h2>1. Envy Gives You a Bad Attitude</h2> <p>Think of all the successful people that you know. From friends and colleagues, to famous entrepreneurs and stars, they all have one thing in common &mdash; they have a positive attitude. Sure, they may have their off days, but generally speaking, they're proactive, energized, and ready to get things done. They see the possibilities in life, and can turn the smallest opportunities into big successes.</p> <p>Envy is not a positive emotion. Far from it. Envy can bog you down with crippling negativity. It can turn someone who was once a go-getter into someone who constantly complains and looks on the down side. That person will compare their life to people who have more. &quot;Why can't I have that, I deserve it, it's not fair!&quot; That will never result in a better life, a better job, or a brighter future.</p> <p>By dumping the envy, and ignoring what other people have, you can instead focus on what you really want. Set goals, and stay positive. It will work wonders.</p> <h2>2. Envy Pushes You to &quot;Keep Up With the Joneses&quot;</h2> <p>Maybe the Joneses' are your neighbors. Maybe &quot;they&quot; are actually just one person, perhaps a colleague at work, or a member of the family. Whoever it is, keeping up with their lifestyle can become a journey into debt and misery.</p> <p>For many, trying to have what someone else has, or go one better, puts a serious financial burden on them. They often don't have the financial resources that the other person has, so they will take out loans, max out credit cards, and even take on extra work just to keep up. But, it's never enough. In this situation, happiness does not come from anything being purchased, because it is all done for spite. In many cases, the items bring the envious party absolutely no joy; they are simply trying to one-up the object of their jealousy. Remember, you also have absolutely no idea how happy that person is. It may all be a façade.</p> <p>It's never a good idea to judge your own worth by that of your friend or neighbor.</p> <h2>3. Envy Can Hamper Your Career</h2> <p>&quot;Jane just got another promotion. That's four in three years&hellip; where's mine!?&quot; If you've worked in any kind of corporate environment, or even in a job that regularly promotes its employees, you'll know that kind of statement all too well. It's envy, coupled with rage. It may seem unfair that someone is constantly getting promoted, but there is no way of knowing what is going on behind the scenes. Maybe Jane is working herself to death, and not enjoying the regular pay raises. Or, maybe Jane has made the company a substantial amount of money in that time. Even if those promotions are due to favorability by management, the end result is the same.</p> <p>Envy can grip you, and prevent you from being a good employee. The focus is on what other people have, and what they are doing. The work suffers. In turn, the chances of being promoted yourself get slimmer and slimmer, until you may well be let go. Looking with envy at your coworkers is never going to end well.</p> <p>Set your own goals, and work smart. If you do a good job, and do it with a great attitude, you will be rewarded. And while you wait, you'll be a lot happier than someone who is crippled with envy.</p> <h2>4. Envy Can Lead to Substance Abuse</h2> <p>Sadly, some people deal with the horrible feelings of envy and jealousy by hitting the bottle, or taking other drugs. I've seen it. No doubt you have, too. After a day of feeling like nothing is going their way, the envious person will come home and pour a double scotch. Drinking doesn't clarify the situation, or open anyone up to a self-realization. Instead, it can actually compound those feelings, which in turn can only be dealt with by using more and more.</p> <p>Some people eat to deal with these feelings. Others will find themselves smoking like a chimney, or shopping daily to bring about small, but fleeting, moments of joy. However, the envy never goes away. It may be temporarily dulled, but it comes back with a vengeance. And before you know it, friends and family are gone, there's no income, and the debt has piled up.</p> <h2>5. Envy Makes You Doubt Yourself</h2> <p>&quot;Why don't I have that car? Why aren't I living in a bigger house? Why can't I be in the kind of shape they're in?&quot; When you find yourself living with envy on a daily basis, it can begin to erode your self worth, and make you doubt everything you're doing. Your decisions are now questionable, and you can't trust your own judgment. Now, you don't know how to make the right moves at work. You aren't sure how to negotiate. You stop yourself from making bold choices, because you are unsure of the choices you have made up to this point. After all, if you had made great decisions, you'd have that car, that house, and that amazing figure, right?</p> <p>Well, of course not.</p> <p>Every situation is different. Some people were born with advantages that others will never have. Some people get lucky. Some people are in the right place at the right time. That does not mean the decisions you made were all wrong. Self-doubt is just as destructive as envy. Sure, it's fine to think things through, but don't give in to that negativity.</p> <h2>6. Envy Brings Less Into Your Life</h2> <p>The laws of attraction say that when we think positive, positive things will happen. When we think of success, we attract success. When we think of wealth, we get wealth. Of course, it doesn't happen overnight, but that attitude buried in our subconscious attracts like for like. Similarly, negative emotions like envy send out signals to the world that you don't have what you want, you will never get what he or she has, and life is unfair. And guess what: The subconscious attracts that.</p> <p>By constantly envying what others have, and thinking we don't have enough, we will have less. It sounds like junk science, but many psychologists and doctors swear by the power of positive thinking, and conversely, deride negative thinking. It's like Henry Ford said, &quot;Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right.&quot;</p> <p><em>Has envy harmed your finances? How?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-envy-is-keeping-you-poor">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-rise-above-financial-jealousy">How to Rise Above Financial Jealousy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-pride-is-keeping-you-poor">7 Ways Pride Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-a-surprising-amount-by-quitting-these-4-bad-habits">Save a Surprising Amount by Quitting These 4 Bad Habits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-gluttony-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Gluttony Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-wrath-is-keeping-you-poor">5 Ways Wrath Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living bad habits envy jealousy self doubt self esteem self worth seven deadly sins Tue, 03 May 2016 10:30:04 +0000 Paul Michael 1698662 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Make Retail Therapy Good for You http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-retail-therapy-good-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-make-retail-therapy-good-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000023781556_Large.jpg" alt="making retail therapy healthy" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After a long and frustrating day, nothing feels better than heading to your favorite store. When you emerge an hour later with heavily laden bags and a lighter wallet, you have forgotten all about the argument with your coworker, and you head home feeling much more cheerful.</p> <p>The only problem with this scenario is the lighter wallet.</p> <p>But what if you could have your retail therapy and balance your budget at the same time? As it turns out, researchers have discovered that shopping really does give you a needed pick-me-up, and used in moderation, retail therapy offers several psychological rewards.</p> <p>Here is what you need to know about the psychological soundness of retail therapy &mdash; and some suggestions for how to make your therapeutic shopping profitable.</p> <h2>Why We Like to Shop When We're Down</h2> <p>In general, people get down or irritable because they feel out of control. When you are in a sour mood, it is often related to a sense of anxiety that you do not have control over your circumstances or environment.</p> <p>And that is why retail therapy is so effective. You get a chance to have complete control over where you go, what you look for, and what you purchase. Add in the fact that most retail therapy also involves treating yourself in some way, and it's no wonder that shopping is such a common method for improving a bad mood.</p> <p>In addition, according to Kit Yarrow of Psychology Today, &quot;shopping can be a <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-why-behind-the-buy/201305/why-retail-therapy-works">rich source of mental preparation</a>. As people shop, they're naturally visualizing how they'll use the products they're considering, and in doing so, they're also visualizing their new life.&quot; Part of what makes retail therapy feel so good is getting a chance to imagine how great things will be with your new wardrobe/gadget/library of books.</p> <p>If you're not a regular user of retail therapy, just keeping some money set aside for your occasional pick-me-ups should be sufficient. But if you often indulge in therapeutic shopping, then you might want to revise your shopping strategy to make sure your mood lifter doesn't get you into financial trouble.</p> <h2>Using Retail Therapy Strategically</h2> <p>Here are five different strategies for making sure your shopping habit actually helps your bottom line.</p> <h3>1. Shop for Gifts</h3> <p>While retail therapy traditionally means buying some sort of treat for yourself, it can also feel great to buy gifts for loved ones. The next time you go shopping to relieve stress after a bad day, decide to buy a present for someone on your Christmas list, no matter what time of year it is. Since you would spend the money on a gift anyway, your shopping trip will save you money in the future while still giving you the mood-boosting sense of the control you crave. Also, you can have fun visualizing how much the recipients will enjoy the gifts you are picking out.</p> <p>If you make a habit of using retail therapy to shop ahead for holiday gifts, you will save money and stress at Christmas since you won't be shopping at the height of retail season.</p> <h3>2. Keep a List of Items You Need or Want</h3> <p>Living in the digital age means that it is possible to buy something for yourself as soon as you think of it. However, we don't necessarily need that level of convenience, and you receive no psychological benefits from it.</p> <p>Instead, make a list of items that you need or want that you could get anytime. For example, there are currently two t-shirts and a DVD that I would like to own, but I am waiting to purchase any of them until a day when I need a serious cheer-up. (I liken this to keeping an emergency bar of chocolate hidden in my desk drawer. I'll wait to enjoy it until it's going to give me the biggest mood-boosting bang for my buck.)</p> <p>By limiting your retail therapy to items that you have already decided to purchase, you keep the hit on your wallet to a minimum.</p> <h3>3. Use Gift Cards</h3> <p>Retail therapy is most dangerous when you engage in it mindlessly. But it is possible to get the same psychological benefit while being a thoughtful consumer.</p> <p>For instance, purchasing a discounted gift card from a store that is your go-to retail therapy destination is a good way to feel better without spending <em>too </em>much. Get this gift card ahead of time and keep it in your wallet. On a day when you need to indulge in retail therapy, you can lock the rest of your wallet in your glove box and shop your bad mood away without hurting your budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stop-your-mindless-spending?ref=seealso">5 Ways to Stop Your Mindless Spending</a>)</p> <h3>4. Become a Mystery Shopper</h3> <p>If retail therapy is a regular habit, consider making it a part-time job by becoming a mystery shopper. Generally, mystery shoppers can receive between <a href="http://www.learnvest.com/2013/02/confessions-of-a-mystery-shopper-how-i-made-14k/">$5 and $20 per shopping trip</a>, as well as reimbursement for their purchases, although there is often a limit to the purchase amount. While mystery shopping will not necessarily be as flexible as a normal session of retail therapy, once you have been hired by a company, you can select jobs when and where you want, saving your mystery shopping for the weeks you need to feel better.</p> <p>It is important to make sure you go through a reputable mystery shopping company. You will never be asked to pay to become a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-truths-from-a-mystery-shopper-you-must-read-before-you-get-started">mystery shopper for a legitimate company</a>. It's also a good idea to check that the mystery shopping organization that hires you is a member of the MSPA, the official organization that regulates mystery shopping.</p> <h3>5. Indulge in Window Shopping</h3> <p>A recent study asked subjects to watch a depressing video clip, and then randomly assigned the subjects to one of <a href="http://www.dailyfinance.com/on/retail-therapy-shopping-psychological-benefitsworks/">two simulated shopping scenarios</a>. The participants whose simulated shopping experience gave them more of an opportunity to choose the products they liked were found to be happier after the experience.</p> <p>What's important about this study is the fact that the &quot;shoppers&quot; weren't actually buying anything, but they still experienced an improved mood. The authors of the study determined that it is the act of choosing between products that helps alleviate sadness, even if those choices are hypothetical.</p> <p>This means that you will feel just as cheered up by trying on clothes without buying them than you would from purchasing a new wardrobe &mdash; all without spending a penny.</p> <h2>Making Retail Therapy Truly Therapeutic</h2> <p>It's very easy to feel guilty about the things that make us feel good, whether that's the hidden chocolate bar in the desk drawer, or indulging in retail therapy after a bad day. But there is no reason to deny ourselves the psychological benefits of these alternative &quot;therapies,&quot; as long as we can find a way to do so strategically.</p> <p><em>Do you frequently partake in retail therapy? How do you keep it under control? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-retail-therapy-good-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life">39 Mindless Ways You&#039;re Wasting Money in Every Part of Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-real-reason-we-still-spend-to-impress">The Real Reason We Still Spend to Impress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stop-your-mindless-spending">5 Ways to Stop Your Mindless Spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-purchases-youll-never-regret">25 Purchases You&#039;ll Never Regret</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-bite-sized-money-resolutions-to-make-2015-your-biggest-year-yet">25 Bite-Sized Money Resolutions to Make 2015 Your Biggest Year Yet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping bad habits buyer's remorse healthy habits mindless spending money habits retail therapy Fri, 22 Apr 2016 10:00:04 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1695165 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Stop Your Mindless Spending http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stop-your-mindless-spending <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-stop-your-mindless-spending" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_shoes_000072990333.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to stop her mindless spending" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The other night, as I was searching through new titles on my Kindle, I saw that Charles Duhigg, one of my favorite nonfiction authors, had published a new book that I could buy and download with a single click.</p> <p>Despite the fact that Duhigg's research focuses on breaking bad habits and setting up good ones, I wasted no time in committing a wanton act of one-click buying.</p> <p>This kind of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-more-and-spend-less-by-increasing-your-mental-transaction-costs" target="_blank">spending without thought</a> is remarkably easy these days. Nearly every device we touch gives us an opportunity to spend money, even if we never set foot in a brick-and-mortar store. But it is possible to make spending mindful again, without feeling overwhelmed or deprived.</p> <p>Here are five ways to put an end to mindless spending for good.</p> <h2>1. Use Gift Cards for Online Purchases</h2> <p>My big mistake with my Kindle was allowing my credit card information to be synced for one-click ordering. Putting an additional layer of work between wanting a title and buying it can be enough to keep me from spending mindlessly.</p> <p>That's why I've removed my credit card information from my Amazon account, and I have committed to using gift cards for my purchases. When I find something I want on Amazon (or another e-tailer), I purchase an electronic gift card through a third party site that benefits local charities. The extra effort required to get the gift card is enough of an annoyance that I know for sure whether or not the purchase is worthwhile, and it makes me feel good to know that institutions I care about will benefit when I do decide to buy.</p> <p>More importantly, using gift cards removes the one-click purchase temptations, which have gotten me into trouble on more than one occasion.</p> <h2>2. Record All of Your Purchases</h2> <p>Writing down every single penny that you spend can be an eye-opening experience. Not only is this a good way to find the leaks in your budget, but it can also help disrupt your habit of mindless spending. Since you must take the time to write down the $0.99 for a new song on iTunes here and the $4.78 for a gourmet cupcake there, you will create enough space for yourself to think through each purchase and decide whether it is something you really want.</p> <p>Additionally, many times you might find yourself thinking you really don't want to write down a particular purchase. If seeing the reality of what you have spent in black-and-white does not appeal, then you probably don't really want to spend the money and would be happier keeping it in your wallet.</p> <h2>3. Pay Attention to Context</h2> <p>Every habit you have depends upon a context. The environment is often the context or cue for you to engage in a particular habit.</p> <p>For instance, when my mother was working to quit smoking over 30 years ago, she realized that she lit a cigarette every day in the car upon passing a certain landmark in her morning commute. During the first few weeks after she quit, she took an alternate route to work, making it easier to forgo that particular cigarette of the day.</p> <p>Researchers have found that Mom's strategy works for any kind of habit. When movie-goers were given free popcorn (that happened to be stale) in a movie theater environment, those who habitually ate popcorn at the multiplex <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-science-success/201110/the-2-simple-ways-stop-your-mindless-bad-habits">ate the same amount</a> of the stale stuff as they would have eaten of a fresh batch. But put those habitual popcorn eaters in a conference room to watch a film with a free bag of stale popcorn, and they stopped eating the stuff &mdash; since the context did not activate their habit.</p> <p>If you have a tendency to spend mindlessly in particular situations, such as when you go to happy hour with friends, find a way to change the context. For example, just shaking up which bar or what type of establishment you go to can be enough to stall your mindless spending habit. According to Psychology Today, <em>any</em> alternate activity is less likely to trigger your mindless habit.</p> <h2>4. Give Every Dollar a Home</h2> <p>My husband is paid on a monthly schedule, which means we feel remarkably flush on the first of every month. To keep ourselves from mindlessly getting takeout or wasting money on Pay-Per-View movies, we don't just let his paycheck sit in our checking account. Instead, we automatically transfer money to various savings accounts as soon as his salary hits the bank, leaving just enough to cover our monthly bills (with a cushion).</p> <p>Knowing that every dollar that comes in has a specific purpose does a great deal to curb our mindless spending, since we would have to access savings in order to spend outside of our monthly budget.</p> <h2>5. Keep a Running List of Things You Need</h2> <p>We take convenience for granted these days. Many stores are open 24 hours, and something you order online can be on your doorstep the very next day. But many of the things that you need are not time sensitive &mdash; and waiting to make purchases can help you stop spending on unnecessary impulse items.</p> <p>This is why it's a good idea to keep a list of needed items, rather than running out to the store or logging onto Amazon as soon as you realize what you are lacking. With a specific list in hand at a brick-and-mortar store, you are less likely to &quot;browse&quot; and find something that you think you can't live without.</p> <p>In addition, keeping a list of needed items can help you overcome the &quot;free shipping&quot; trap of online purchases. If you wait to make orders online until you have enough items to qualify for free shipping, you don't end up buying things you don't really want just to get some of that sweet free shipping action.</p> <h2>Breaking Bad Habits</h2> <p>Spending your money without thinking about it is nothing more than a habit, and habits can be broken and changed. You do not have to give up the things you really want as long as you are mindful of what you are spending your money on.</p> <p><em>What are you doing to curb mindless spending?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stop-your-mindless-spending">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-you-have-a-serious-spending-addiction">7 Signs You Have a Serious Spending Addiction</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-retail-therapy-good-for-you">5 Ways to Make Retail Therapy Good for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-a-ton-by-eating-soup-every-day-and-never-get-bored">How to Save a Ton by Eating Soup Every Day (and Never Get Bored!)</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/31-foolproof-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill">31 Foolproof Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill</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-reasons-youre-bad-at-money-and-how-to-fix-it-asap">8 Reasons You&#039;re Bad at Money — And How to Fix It ASAP</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bad habits budgeting mindless spending overspending shopaholic Tue, 12 Apr 2016 10:30:05 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1687115 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Ways Good Sleep Makes You Wealthier http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-good-sleep-makes-you-wealthier <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-ways-good-sleep-makes-you-wealthier" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_tired_work_000075631055.jpg" alt="Man learning ways a good night&#039;s sleep can improve his finances" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After my first child was born, I got a crash course in dealing with extended sleep deprivation. It only took a few months of poor sleep for me to finally comprehend why the Geneva Convention prohibits sleep deprivation as an interrogation tactic.</p> <p>While my sleeplessness may not have reached the level of a war crime, I could definitely feel a difference in how I reacted to everything in my life. Not only did I spend my days operating in slo-mo zombie mode, but I knew that I kept making short-term decisions that would hurt me in the long run.</p> <p>My experience is hardly unique. You have probably also faced a zombie day after a bout with sleep deprivation. But chronic sleeplessness hurts more than just your ability to get through the day &mdash; it's also destructive to your finances.</p> <p>Here are three ways that not getting enough sleep hurts your bottom line. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-boost-your-finances-while-you-sleep">7 Ways to Boost Your Finances While You Sleep</a>)</p> <h2>1. Optimism Bias</h2> <p>You may feel irritable after a bad night's sleep, but your brain doesn't necessarily agree. A Duke University study has found that people who don't get enough sleep are more prone to <a href="http://corporate.dukemedicine.org/news_and_publications/news_office/news/sleep-deprived-people-make-risky-decisions-based-on-too-much-optimism">unwarranted optimism</a>. Specifically, lack of sleep makes your brain primed to chase rewards rather than avoid losses. This is called the &quot;optimism bias.&quot;</p> <p>The study asked participants to engage in a series of economic decision-making tasks, both after a regular night's sleep and after a night of sleep deprivation. After a sleepless night, the participants were more likely to make decisions as if positive consequences were the more likely outcome. They viewed negative consequences as less of a risk.</p> <p>This is part of the reason why you'll find casinos so brightly lit and stimulating. The environment keeps gamblers awake and unaware of their own fatigue, so they keep chasing winnings that they'll never reach.</p> <p>But even non-gamblers can be hurt by an insomnia-induced optimism bias. Everything from choosing investments to deciding whether to change careers to operating heavy machinery can be affected by irrational optimism. Getting any such decision wrong can have a devastating effect on your finances (to say the least).</p> <h2>2. Decision Fatigue</h2> <p>You have probably noticed that it's harder to get anything accomplished at the end of your workday, even if you enjoyed a perfect night's sleep the evening before. What you're experiencing is something known as <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/magazine/do-you-suffer-from-decision-fatigue.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=1">decision fatigue</a>. Our brains only have so much bandwidth for making decisions. And after making small decision after small decision all day long, you're left with less mental energy to make the big choices.</p> <p>Decision fatigue is made worse when you're tired &mdash; &quot;fatigue&quot; is right there in the name, after all. But insomnia-fueled decision fatigue can also reduce your ability to make trade-offs. This decreased ability can leave you vulnerable to bad financial decisions.</p> <p>Figuring out the best option among many is the basis of modern financial decisions, and it is the most taxing form of decision-making. Trying to decide between a cheaper flight and a more convenient one, or which 401K option is best for you, or even whether to cook the chicken you have defrosting at home or run through the drive-thru, are all much harder choices when you are fatigued.</p> <h2>3. Impaired Cognitive Functioning</h2> <p>Have you ever tried to do simple math when you were exhausted? Anything from addition and subtraction to figuring out simple percentages can be remarkably difficult when you have not had enough sleep. That's because sleep deprivation impairs your cognitive functioning. In fact, researchers have found that even a single sleepless night increases concentrations of the molecules <a href="http://www.journalsleep.org/AcceptedPapers/SP-100-13.pdf">NSE and S-100B</a>, chemicals that also increase in brains after experiencing a blow to the head.</p> <p>Yes, one bad night of sleep is like being kicked in the head.</p> <p>The effects are also cumulative, which means you don't just feel stupid after five nights of poor sleep &mdash; you really are more stupid. This kind of cognitive impairment affects everything from planning, to the ability to pay attention, to memory. This is why drowsy driving is so dangerous, since it's a skill that requires all types of cognitive functioning.</p> <p>Even if you don't get behind the wheel when you're tired, your wallet can easily be affected by such cognitive impairment. Not only will you overpay at restaurants when calculating an 18% tip is beyond your mathematical capabilities, but you are likely to blow your grocery budget when you can't easily keep a running tally of your purchases, or overdraw your checking account when you forget about upcoming charges.</p> <p>And it's not just you feeling the financial pinch of sleep-related cognitive impairment. According to a 2011 study published in the journal <em>Sleep</em>, lack of sleep costs the United States <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3157657/">$63.2 billion per year</a>, primarily due to presenteeism &mdash; when the worker's body may be in the office, but his brain is out to lunch.</p> <h2>The Sleep Solution</h2> <p>Luckily, all of these insomnia-related financial consequences can be avoided if you commit to getting a good night's sleep every night. If you're already in a cycle of sleep deprivation, this may sound easier said than done, but there are several things you can do to improve your sleep and combat the money-sapping brain fog.</p> <h3>Before Bed Routine</h3> <p>One of the best ways to prepare yourself for sleep each night is to engage in a bedtime routine. Not only will such a routine put your body in the habit of going to sleep after running through your nightly tasks, but it can also help to combat decision fatigue.</p> <p>For instance, if you make planning daily decisions part of your nightly bedtime routine, then you will not have to decide what to wear, what to eat for breakfast, or when you will run errands during your day. Making these decisions before bed will give you a clean, decision-free slate in the morning, even if your sleep isn't perfectly restful.</p> <h3>Darkened Bedroom</h3> <p>According to research, our <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1188623/">exposure to light</a> helps to regulate both internal temperature and melatonin production, both of which are vital for our sleep and wake cues. Unfortunately, artificial light can easily disrupt our body's cues.</p> <p>If your room is exposed to too much light at night, your body will think it is time to wake up. Additionally, trying to go to sleep after watching TV or checking Facebook on your phone is very difficult because the artificial light inhibits the production of melatonin, which makes you feel sleepy.</p> <p>That means you have a ready-made excuse for turning off your phone at bedtime and keeping your laptop out of your bedroom. Any increase in productivity you may think you are experiencing by answering email in bed is cancelled out by the cognitive impairment you feel from night after night of tossing and turning.</p> <h3>Dedicated Bed</h3> <p>Humans are creatures of habit, and our bodies will habitually do the things that are cued by specific environments. For instance, you probably fasten your seatbelt without thinking about it each day when you get in the car. Your body has learned that seatbelt buckling is what you do in a bucket seat.</p> <p>This means your sleep can improve a great deal if you only <a href="http://www.nateliason.com/cure-insomnia-wake-up-early-sleep/#fall-asleep">use your bed for sleeping</a> (and, ahem, other bedroom-specific activities). Even reading a book in bed confuses the cues, since your body doesn't automatically go into the &quot;time for sleep&quot; mode when you get under the covers.</p> <p>But dedicating your bed to sleep will eventually make falling asleep as habitual as buckling your seat belt. Your brain and body will know to power down for the night once your head hits the pillow.</p> <h2>Defogging Your Sleep-Deprived Brain</h2> <p>Some sleeplessness is outside of your control. If you live in a construction zone, work third shift, or recently had a tiny, anti-sleep dictator join your household, then you might have trouble implementing better sleep habits until your circumstances change.</p> <p>But it's important to remember that getting a good night's sleep consistently doesn't just help you feel better, it helps your finances, too.</p> <p><em>How do you keep sleeplessness from harming your wallet?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-good-sleep-makes-you-wealthier">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/8-self-destructive-habits-that-keep-you-in-debt">8 Self-Destructive Habits That Keep You in Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-expenses-to-ditch-after-age-30">5 Expenses to Ditch After Age 30</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/what-was-your-financial-fork-in-the-road">What Was Your Financial Fork in the Road?</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/not-rich-enough-and-not-poor-enough">Not Rich Enough and Not Poor Enough</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-millionaire-next-door-riches-de-mystified">The Millionaire Next Door: Riches De-mystified</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle bad habits decision making impaired judgment sleep deprivation Thu, 07 Jan 2016 14:00:03 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1632873 at http://www.wisebread.com