impulsive spending http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12673/all en-US Youth and Money: Finding the Frugal Balance http://www.wisebread.com/youth-and-money-finding-the-frugal-balance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/youth-and-money-finding-the-frugal-balance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/603139197_af9798439b_z.jpg" alt="young woman with a bandaid" title="young woman with a bandaid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>At a relatively young age, there are several decisions you must make that will set you on a certain path for the rest of your life. If that&rsquo;s not daunting enough, add money to the equation &mdash; the frugal habits you learn (or don&rsquo;t learn) now can affect the security of your finances well into your retirement years. &ldquo;But I&rsquo;m young, I&rsquo;ll worry about that later,&rdquo; you might try to argue. Unfortunately, refusing a financial education now can produce disastrous results.</p> <p>So if you don&rsquo;t want to be broke at age 65 but you want to enjoy your youth while you still have it, how do you strike a balance between work and play? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-student-discounts">The Big List of Student Discounts</a>)</p> <h2>Stay Ahead of the Pack</h2> <p>Math isn&rsquo;t as useless as many students make it out to be. It may not be a fascinating school subject, but in regards to financial matters, it&rsquo;s one of the most important subjects you&rsquo;ll ever study. Many colleges and universities offer basic personal finance classes, but since they&rsquo;re generally not required for non-economics majors, many people choose to pass on them.</p> <p>To give yourself an edge over your peers, <em>take this class.</em> Read up on the subject if there are no classes in your area. Wise Bread&rsquo;s archives are overflowing with helpful articles on nearly every aspect of personal finance imaginable, so inform yourself as much as you can on the subject. This knowledge, if applied in real life, ought to provide you a secure financial future while a few of your peers live paycheck-to-paycheck for the duration of their working lives.</p> <h2>Focus Less on &ldquo;Stuff&quot;</h2> <p>As a wise fictional character named Tyler Durden once said, &ldquo;The things you own end up owning you.&rdquo;</p> <p>Now, <em>Fight Club</em> may not be the best source of information when it comes to personal finance matters, but there is truth in the above statement. With each passing generation, we seem to become more and more focused on acquiring as much &ldquo;stuff&rdquo; as possible. Why? Because technology is improving, prices are declining (relatively speaking), and our culture is washed in advertisements and a &ldquo;keeping up with the Joneses&rdquo; mentality.</p> <p>In this never-ending pursuit for more things, impulsive spending problems are common. Perhaps the credit card debt crises affecting millions of people around the world could be blamed on this mindset, but regardless of the core reason for our spending problems, one lesson stands out &mdash; exercising restraint when it comes to buying something (even food items) is enormously beneficial to your finances. The younger you learn how to separate the needs from the wants (and make your purchases accordingly), the better off you&rsquo;ll be long-term.</p> <h2>Balance Is Key</h2> <p>Enjoy life now or later? Does it have to be a choice between the two? Sometimes it seems that way &mdash; when you&rsquo;re young and the world is at your fingertips, it&rsquo;s natural to want to live it up as much as possible before nuisances such as rent, bills, and a nine to five job come into the picture. The problem? Lack of money. Then there are your golden years, when you&rsquo;re done with working. You're probably funded by Social Security at this point (and a 401(k) or IRA if you planned well), and the world is, once again, at your fingertips. The problem? Your body and level of energy simply aren&rsquo;t what they used to be.</p> <p>The key to solving both aforementioned problems is to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-time-management-and-work-life-balance">find a balance in your life</a>. Don&rsquo;t waste away your youth by overworking in hopes of an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trading-work-for-never-ending-weekends-how-to-retire-early">early retirement</a>. Of course, you also don&rsquo;t want to get into the habit of spending everything you make, or you&rsquo;re going to have nothing when it comes time to retire.</p> <p>Balance comes from informing yourself about personal finance, knowing when to back off on saving, and knowing when to splurge a little and enjoy your youth while you still have it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-kehoe">Kelly Kehoe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youth-and-money-finding-the-frugal-balance">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/retirement-on-the-installment-plan">Retirement on the installment plan</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-i-wish-i-had-known-when-i-started-living-frugally">What I Wish I Had Known When I Started Living Frugally</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-is-keeping-you-from-a-life-of-financial-independence">What is keeping you from a life of financial independence?</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/book-review-work-less-live-more">Book review: Work Less, Live More</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/a-beginner-s-guide-to-frugal-living">A Beginner’s Guide to Frugal Living</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Retirement balance beginning frugality impulsive spending Tue, 01 May 2012 10:00:18 +0000 Kelly Kehoe 926053 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Bulletproof Ways to Cut Your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/6-bulletproof-ways-to-cut-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-bulletproof-ways-to-cut-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000015206806Small.jpg" alt="Woman cutting coupons" title="Woman cutting coupons" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've spent any amount of time reading literature on the subject of personal finance, you have heard of &quot;living below your means.&quot; Sure, you can always increase your income in theory, but the first thing most people should do to increase their bottom line is look at their expenses. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/living-within-your-means-isnt-nasty">Living Within Your Means Isn't Nasty</a>)</p> <p>Here are six effective ways to cut anyone's expenses. If you aren't doing the tips mentioned here already, I highly suggest giving them a try.</p> <h3>1. Buy Only What You Need</h3> <p>It sounds obvious, but how many of us buy what is truly necessary? We often buy in bulk in an attempt to reduce our costs and end up wasting what we don't use. We buy a house that has unused rooms, a more expensive TV with features we don't care about, or a high-priced cell phone plan because we never want to go over our plan minutes.&nbsp;</p> <h3>2. Wait to Buy</h3> <p>Tricks such as the 30-day rule, where you wait 30 days to let your emotions settle down before you make a purchasing decision, are popular because they work. For those suffering from frequent impulse purchases, give this one a try. Don't worry, sales always come back and even if they don't, saving the money means you will have more to spend next time around.</p> <h3>3. Use Coupons</h3> <p>Clipping coupons or searching for online coupons works, and for more reasons than just getting a discount. Trying to find a coupon takes effort, and it gives you ample time to think about what you actually need to buy, acting as a cooling-off period helping with the problem of impulse buying.</p> <h3>4. Use Cash</h3> <p>When I was a kid, I frequently stopped myself from buying something because I simply had no money. With a credit card in almost everyone's wallet these days, when was the last time you had to refrain yourself because you didn't bring enough money with you? The topic of reward points always comes up whenever we talk about the benefits of using cash, but unless you have extreme discipline, spending less usually far outweighs the benefits of a possible 1% back.</p> <h3>5. Pay Yourself First</h3> <p>When everything is in your checking account, it's easy to feel plush with money and in turn spend just a little more. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pay-yourself-last-is-okay-too">Paying yourself first</a> &mdash; immediately putting some money into savings when you get paid &mdash; can help you spend less than you actually have. It's a wonderful trick, and I urge you to try it and see for yourself.</p> <h3>6. Refresh Your Memories About Your Purchases</h3> <p>Record what you buy and go through all your purchases periodically. Where did the product that you bought go? Was it really useful? Could you have spent less on it? By thinking about each purchase after the emotions of owning the item fades away, it will help train your brain to reduce any unnecessary spending.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/david-ning">David Ning</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-bulletproof-ways-to-cut-your-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-make-yourself-love-saving-money">10 Smart Ways to Make Yourself Love Saving 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/37-savings-changes-you-can-make-today">37 Savings Changes You Can Make Today</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-ways-to-save-in-2010">5 Easy Ways to Save in 2010</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-easy-ways-to-save-50-every-month">9 Easy Ways to Save $50 Every Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-fixes-you-can-make-when-youre-stuck-inside-because-of-the-weather">7 Money Fixes You Can Make When You&#039;re Stuck Inside Because of the Weather</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting cost cutting easy ways to save impulsive spending Tue, 15 Mar 2011 11:00:08 +0000 David Ning 504814 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Signs That Your Credit Card Spending Is Out of Control http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-that-your-credit-card-spending-is-out-of-control <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-signs-that-your-credit-card-spending-is-out-of-control" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/517381782_6249e340f8_z.jpg" alt="3 credit cards" title="3 credit cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How good are you at staying on top of your credit card spending? <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-guide">Credit cards</a> are a convenient financial tool that many of us prefer to use in lieu of cash, but they can become a thorn in your side if you&rsquo;re not careful. To determine how disciplined you are when it comes to spending with plastic, it may be a good idea to do a self-assessment. Here are five signs that your self-control goes out the window when it comes to buying stuff with your credit cards. If any of these signs seem familiar to you, then it&rsquo;s time to sit down and give yourself a good talking-to.</p> <h3>You can't leave the house without your credit cards.</h3> <p>This may be a sign that you are overly dependent on your cards, and that you've grown inured to a certain level of spending. Do you really need a credit card every time you pop into town for a quart of milk? When you carry your card around, it's easier to succumb to spending temptations that can add to your card balance. Try leaving it behind once in a while and see if doing so has a positive effect on your card balance and even your spending habits. You might be surprised by the results. (See also: <a title="6 Reasons Why Cash Is Still King" href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-why-cash-is-still-king">6 Reasons Why Cash Is Still King</a>)</p> <h3>Every single thing you buy has to be bought with your credit card.</h3> <p>Have you fallen for the pitch that you should put all your financial transactions on your credit card? It's a good thing if you have a rewards credit card, and you are able to pay your bill in full every month to reap those rewards. But if you're keeping a credit card balance, then you need to think about the possible consequences of putting everything you buy on there. Maintaining a credit card balance that grows over time means that you will ultimately find it harder and harder to pay down. Many consumers mistakenly assume that their card rewards will neutralize or make up for their spending. This, of course, isn't the case.</p> <h3>Impulse buying has become second nature.</h3> <p>Impulse buying gets us all once in a while. But the habit can sneak up on you more easily if you always have a credit card with a high credit limit in your back pocket. In order to curb <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/impulse-shopping-a-controllable-handicap">impulse shopping</a>, you need to regain some common sense and question everything you buy for a while. One way to control your spending urges is to set up a budget and account for all the spending you do. It's helped me to keep a closer eye on the purchases I make.</p> <h3>You don't stick to a budget.</h3> <p>I just mentioned the benefits of drawing up a budget. A budget allows you to become intimately aware of your limits so you don&rsquo;t exceed them, and many responsible credit card users are able to keep their spending in check because of the simple act of budgeting. But it's not enough to set up a budget; you also have to make the commitment to stick to it! You can develop a budget with the use of simple spreadsheets or a free budgeting tool like <a href="http://www.mint.com">Mint.com</a>. If you are more inclined towards desktop applications, then <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ynab">YNAB is a good option</a>.</p> <h3>The idea of cutting up your credit cards makes you break out in a cold sweat.</h3> <p>Does it make you nervous when you think about leaving the house without your cards? If it does, it&rsquo;s time to think seriously about who is in control &mdash; you or your credit card. You should never feel as if you couldn&rsquo;t do without one in your wallet. Many folks have switched to using cash for all their transactions and have actually found it to be a liberating experience.</p> <p>If you can&rsquo;t spot any of the above signs just yet, congratulations. You are still in full control of both your common sense and your credit cards. But don't get complacent yet; it's important for you to always track your credit card usage and how much you spend. So keep your eye on those cards!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/silicon-valley-blogger">Silicon Valley Blogger</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-that-your-credit-card-spending-is-out-of-control">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/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">Top Seven Reasons Why I Use My Credit Card for Everything</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/best-credit-cards-for-office-supply-purchases">Best Credit Cards for Office Supply Purchases</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-use-up-remaining-balances-on-prepaid-gift-cards">How to Use Up Remaining Balances on Prepaid Gift Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-airline-companion-tickets-and-3-bad-ones">The 5 Best Credit Cards With Airline Companion Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Shopping balanced spending impulsive spending Sun, 31 Oct 2010 17:00:12 +0000 Silicon Valley Blogger 271056 at http://www.wisebread.com