Spending Money http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/13068/all en-US 8 Items You Should Never Buy Online http://www.wisebread.com/8-items-you-should-never-buy-online <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-items-you-should-never-buy-online" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/problems_buying_online_with_credit_card.jpg" alt="Problems buying online with credit card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Online shopping makes life easier. There's no doubt about that. But what about when it doesn't? Depending on the retailer, returns can be a huge hassle, and some make it difficult for you to prove that an item was received in poor condition or wasn't what you ordered.</p> <p>With most purchases, the reward outweighs the risk. However, when online shopping, just because you can buy an item without leaving your home, doesn't mean you should. Here are a few things that aren't worth buying online.</p> <h2>1. Cars</h2> <p>There's no way to tell if a car, or any vehicle, actually works unless you drive it. Since you can't test drive a vehicle online, purchasing that way is risky. Also, most used car-buying advice tells you to have a mechanic look at the car before you buy it. There's no way you can do that without having access to the car in-person.</p> <p>Besides, what's more fun than a test drive? How else will you know that you enjoy driving the car, that it is comfortable, and has the features you want? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-you-can-score-a-great-deal-on-a-new-car?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Times You Can Score a Great Deal on a New Car</a>)</p> <h2>2. Pets</h2> <p>With all of the places out there that treat animals terribly &mdash; think puppy mills and unlicensed breeders &mdash; buying online is a huge gamble. After all, if you don't see where the animals were raised and get a clue as to how they were cared for, your sweet ball of fluff could arrive with a terrible and costly disease.</p> <p>Plus, meeting a pet in-person helps you determine if their personality is a good fit for you and your family. The only way to find out about that is to see the animal before you buy or adopt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-pets-for-frugal-animal-lovers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 8 Best Pets for Frugal Animal Lovers</a>)</p> <h2>3. Real estate</h2> <p>Buying any sort of property should be done in-person, even if you have to travel to see it. Unless you view the property, you'll have no real idea of its condition. If you've seen any real estate photographs lately, you know that they can make a home or a piece of property look drastically better than it actually is.</p> <p>Looking at property in-person also gives you a much better idea of its size, shape, and suitability for your life than you'll get if you just look at it online.</p> <h2>4. Prescription medication</h2> <p>There are many reputable pharmacies that sell prescriptions at discounted rates, but there are also many that aren&rsquo;t. While these may make some effort to get you the right drug at the right time, you won't really know what you're getting. And you won't know if the place is inspected and regulated, either.</p> <p>The only exception to this would be purchasing from an online pharmacy that you have access to through your doctor or insurance company. These are much more likely to be reputable, because they have to prove themselves to get that sort of professional affiliation.</p> <h2>5. Name brand knockoffs</h2> <p>It's tempting to buy designer knockoffs online, but the truth is that it's not worth it. Many of the sites that sell these items are not secure, or are located in countries where online security, overall, is lax. You can never know what might happen to your credit card information once it's out there.</p> <h2>6. Large appliances</h2> <p>There are great deals on large appliances online, but what happens if it doesn't work out? They can be impossible to repackage, and then you have to arrange (and sometimes pay for!) the item to be picked up again. Besides, who can tell if the color is actually going to match and be perfect for your home unless you see the item in-person first. Save yourself a massive potential headache and buy these in the store. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-to-ask-before-buying-refurbished-appliances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Questions to Ask Before Buying Refurbished Appliances</a>)</p> <h2>7. Furniture</h2> <p>This is similar to the discussion of large appliances, above. While it's possible to get a great deal on an item when you purchase online, the potential return process makes the whole thing less desirable.</p> <p>In addition, you need to make sure that your furniture is comfortable and that you like the materials. Unless you can sit on that couch or open and close the drawers on the dresser, you won't know that until the item is delivered.</p> <h2>8. Mattresses</h2> <p>There are some mattress companies that only sell online. While some people swear by these products, it seems dubious to me. After all, we spend about ⅓ of our lives asleep! You need to know that you'll be comfortable, and the best way to do that is to try out a mattress in a store, and then to check that it comes with a warranty. Most companies will take your mattress back for a certain number of days, so you can try it out first. If you do purchase a mattress online, confirm that it comes with a reasonable trial period.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-items-you-should-never-buy-online">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-prevent-a-drunken-online-shopping-spree">How to Prevent a Drunken Online Shopping Spree</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-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase">The One Question You Should Ask Before Every Major Purchase</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-its-better-to-buy-at-the-last-minute">6 Things It&#039;s Better to Buy at the Last Minute</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-common-shopping-myths-debunked">6 Common Shopping Myths, Debunked</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping internet scam never buy online online shopping shopping tips Shopping Tricks Spending Money Mon, 19 Jun 2017 09:00:09 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1966172 at http://www.wisebread.com How Long Does It Take to Break Even With Solar Panels? http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-break-even-with-solar-panels <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-long-does-it-take-to-break-even-with-solar-panels" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/aerial_view_of_house_with_solar_panels.jpg" alt="Aerial view of house with solar panels" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Solar power has advanced leaps and bounds over the past couple decades, and those grid panels that harness the power of the sun and turn it into energy are everywhere. It's not uncommon to find at least one house in your neighborhood that has panels covering every square inch of its roof.</p> <p>You may have also been approached by a solar company rep about outfitting your home with panels. (These guys and gals are almost as ubiquitous as the product they're selling.) And maybe you don't understand the mechanics of solar home power &mdash; or its benefit to your wallet &mdash; which may make you hesitant to explore the option.</p> <p>Well, you're not alone. Those of us who haven't adopted solar energy yet still have a lot of questions &mdash; namely, what's this going to cost? And when will I break even?</p> <h2>The cost of solar panels</h2> <p>First, let's get down to the nitty-gritty of just how much solar panels will set you back. It's not cheap to save the planet, even though the sun has been free of charge for billions of years.</p> <p>The easiest way to calculate the average cost of solar panels, according to New England-based solar marketing company EnergySage, is to look at its price in dollars per watt, and those numbers are fairly consistent across the country.</p> <p>This year, &quot;most homeowners are <a href="http://news.energysage.com/how-much-does-the-average-solar-panel-installation-cost-in-the-u-s/" target="_blank">paying between $2.87 and $3.85 per watt</a> to install solar, and the average gross cost of solar panels before tax credits is $16,800,&quot; says EnergySage's data. Figure in tax credits and the price comes down to $10,000 to $13,500, based on the average 5kW (5,000 watts) system that's typically installed in the United States. EnergySage also says these numbers are about 9 percent lower than last year, but recommends comparing prices quoted to other homeowners in your area.</p> <p>Now that we know how much the system will set us back, the next reasonable question is how long will it take to break even. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-anyone-can-go-solar-and-save-on-energy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Ways Anyone Can Go Solar and Save on Energy</a>)</p> <h2>When you'll break even</h2> <p>Sarah Hancock is a digital marketing strategist who manages the solar coverage at BestCompany.com, an online review site that ranks companies in different industries. She says the amount of time it takes to break even depends on three main factors.</p> <h3>1. Current utility price</h3> <p>The higher the current electricity price is in your area, the more money you will save by going solar, which results in a faster break even time, Hancock says.</p> <p>&quot;For example, an individual who lives in California, where the price of electricity currently sits at about 17 cents per kilowatt-hour, will break even quicker than an individual who lives in Washington, where the electricity price is only 9 cents per kilowatt-hour, because the Californian will be saving more on his electricity bill each month,&quot; Hancock says.</p> <h3>2. Available incentives</h3> <p>These vary from state to state. There are a number of different incentives to take into consideration, including tax credits, rebates, performance payments, and tax exemptions. The more incentives available to you, the quicker your break-even time will be.</p> <p>&quot;One of those incentives is the 30 percent federal tax credit,&quot; says Andy Schell, marketing manager at Paradise Energy Solutions. &quot;This credit allows solar owners to recoup 30 percent of the project's cost. If you aren't able to recoup all 30 percent in year one, the remaining amount can be carried forward for 20 years until the full credit is expended. In addition, USDA grants and accelerated depreciation schedules are available for qualifying businesses and farms.&quot;</p> <p>This is a good resource to find <a href="https://bestcompany.com/solar/state/" target="_blank">solar-energy incentives available</a> in your state.</p> <h3>3. Method of payment</h3> <p>According to Hancock, you can purchase the panels outright, or get them on loan, lease, or PPA (power purchase agreement &mdash; which is a financial agreement that allows a developer to arrange the design, permits, financing, and installation of a solar energy system, and lasts anywhere from 10 to 25 years).</p> <p>However, there are fewer studies supporting the increased home value when you upgrade your home through a PPA or a lease. The reason is simple: With an upfront purchase or loan, the new buyer will not have to pay for any of the electricity produced by the panels because you would have already paid for it. With a PPA, the new buyer will still pay for electricity, simply at a lower rate than what other neighbors will pay to the utility company. Those agreements are easily transferable and can also be bought out by either seller or buyer if necessary.</p> <p>The payment method that will result in the quickest break-even time varies from state to state depending on the two other factors mentioned above &mdash; utility price and available incentives. If you live in a state with high electricity prices and several incentives, you will probably break even quicker with a loan because your energy savings will be higher than your loan payment. However, if you live in a state with low electricity prices and few incentives, you'll most likely break even faster with an outright purchase.</p> <p>&quot;To provide a general range,&quot; Hancock says, &quot;most individuals who go solar will break even in 15 to 25 years.&quot;</p> <h2>Leasing versus buying a solar system outright</h2> <p>&quot;We guide homeowners with what we've seen is the question that is most likely to help them decide what route to take: How much is your tax liability?&quot; says Julio Daniel Hernandez, a representative of renewable energy company EnLight.Energy.</p> <p>If your tax liability is big enough right now to able to take full advantage of the Federal and possible state tax incentives, he says, then you should take advantage of the available loans and tax credits. If you don't have the tax liability, then a PPA/Lease makes more sense. You'll get access to all of the energy your solar system can provide at a cheaper rate than your utility company (usually around 20% savings) and will not ever have to pay a dime out of pocket.</p> <p>As far as break-even calculations cost go, Hernandez's estimate is much more liberal than Hancock's.</p> <p>&quot;Break-even with a PPA/lease is zero because you don't pay anything; you just start saving right away similar to a third party electric company in a deregulated market,&quot; he says. &quot;If you buy a system, depending on the incentives available to you, break-even point should be around eight years or less.&quot;</p> <h2>How incentives and pricing have evolved</h2> <p>As an early adopter of solar power a decade ago, you would have made out like a bandit with incentives, but that's not the case now that so many people are switching over to the energy solution. But as with all technology, the longer it's been around, the cheaper it becomes on the front end.</p> <p>&quot;Unfortunately, there are fewer incentives available now than there were 10 years ago due to the increased popularity of solar power,&quot; explains Hancock. &quot;However, the good news is that the price of solar panels has dropped by more than 60 percent over the past 10 years. So, while fewer federal and state solar incentives are up for grabs, solar power is still more affordable than ever for consumers.&quot;</p> <h2>Is it a good investment?</h2> <p>In most states, solar power is a solid investment that will result in a significant return over the next 20 to 30 years.</p> <p>&quot;For example, an individual in California who purchases a solar system outright can probably expect to see a return between $30,000 and $40,000 over the next 25 years, while an individual in Washington could expect a return of about $10,000 for the same scenario,&quot; Hancock says.</p> <p>Although the dollar-for-dollar return isn't as high for the Washingtonian as it is for the Californian, both individuals are still saving money with solar power.</p> <p>Says Hernandez, &quot;Your home value is estimated to go up $15,000-plus by upgrading to solar energy. Some of this depends on the size of the system, but studies are showing that the bulk of the increase comes from simply putting panels on and then there's only a slight additional shift upward based on how big the system is.&quot;</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/how-long-does-it-take-to-break-even-with-solar-panels">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-ways-anyone-can-go-solar-and-save-on-energy">10 Ways Anyone Can Go Solar and Save on Energy</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/cut-your-electric-bill-with-solar-panels">Cut Your Electric Bill With Solar Panels</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/landscaping-for-energy-conservation">Landscaping for Energy Conservation</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/12-green-living-habits-thatll-save-you-every-month">12 Green Living Habits That&#039;ll Save You 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/where-to-take-your-batteries-cfl-bulbs-and-other-hard-to-recycle-stuff">Where to Take Your Batteries, CFL Bulbs, and Other Hard-to-Recycle Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home energy bills energy costs green lifestyle living green saving money solar energy solar panels Spending Money Thu, 15 Jun 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1965204 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Terrible Money Moves to Avoid on the First Date http://www.wisebread.com/6-terrible-money-moves-to-avoid-on-the-first-date <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-terrible-money-moves-to-avoid-on-the-first-date" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_rejecting_a_geek_boy_in_a_blind_date.jpg" alt="Woman rejecting a geek boy in a blind date" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Dating is tough, and first dates can be particularly awkward if you don't know anything about the other person. What you say and do can determine whether there's a second date, so it's important to present your best self. You shouldn't expect perfection, so don't stress too much about stumbling over your words or moments of silence. Chances are, these won't make or break the night. But you might shoot yourself in the foot if you make a few terrible money moves.</p> <p>Want to improve the odds of seeing this person again? Here are six money moves to avoid on the first date. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-a-first-date-without-looking-cheap?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Save on a First Date Without Looking Cheap</a>)</p> <h2>1. Announcing that you're splitting the check</h2> <p>If I've said it once, I've said it a million times: There's nothing wrong with going Dutch on a first date &mdash; just don't be a jerk about it. If you initiated the date, pick up the tab. Conversely, if the other person initiated the date, you can expect that they'll pick up the tab, but don't assume that's the case. Offer to pay half, and make your decision on whether you want to have a second date based on their willingness to accept your offer, or if they cover all of it.</p> <p>If the date was a mutual decision, make a good impression by offering to pay. If your date insists on paying half, there's nothing wrong with that, and nobody should get their feelings hurt about it. But don't force the issue or make your date feel uncomfortable. In fact, don't mention splitting the bill at all until they offer. It's just bad form. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-should-pay-for-the-first-date?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Who Should Pay for the First Date?</a>)</p> <h2>2. Taking advantage of your date's generosity</h2> <p>If your date picks up the tab for the night, go easy on his or her pocket. There might be wiggle room in the budget for dinner, drinks, and maybe dessert, but this doesn't give you the green light to order the most expensive item on the menu or suggest costly activities that leave your date broke. Not to say you should only order a cheap salad and water, but be reasonable.</p> <h2>3. Overspending to impress your date</h2> <p>In an effort to impress your date, it's easy to go a little overboard to create a memorable night. You should have fun, but not at the expense of your bank account. Check your finances and determine how much you're able to spend for the night, and then recommend a restaurant or activities within your budget.</p> <p>You don't have to break the bank to impress the other person. If that&rsquo;s what it takes to guarantee a second date, this isn't the person for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-should-you-actually-be-spending-on-a-date?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Much Should You Actually Be Spending on a Date?</a>)</p> <h2>4. Asking personal financial questions</h2> <p>If you have a firm grip on your personal finances, you will likely seek a partner with a similar financial mindset. It's important to have financial discussions with a significant other to avoid surprises down the road. But the first date isn't the time or the place to get into all that nitty-gritty. If anything, your date might consider personal financial questions intrusive, which sets a negative tone for the night.</p> <p>Likewise, if you pry or inquire about your date's income, this person might assume you have an ulterior motive. And if you ask about their debt or credit score, they might feel you're getting too close to soon, which can scare them away.</p> <p>Give it some time. Wait until you have mutual feelings for each other. Only then should you sit down and have an honest discussion about your financial lives so you can make the best decisions for yourselves moving forward.</p> <h2>5. Bragging about your salary</h2> <p>Not only should you avoid asking your date personal questions about their financial life, avoid sharing too much information about your financial life too soon. Maybe you're proud of your job, your accomplishments, and your strong financial background. Or maybe you feel dropping salary information will amaze the other person and keep them around. But bragging can be a turn off.</p> <p>If you spend the majority of the night patting yourself on the back and revealing how much you earn and/or spend, your date could conclude that your ego is too big and run for the hills, or only stick around because of what you bring financially to the table.</p> <p>It is common and acceptable to ask about occupations on a first date, but don't get into detail about salaries.</p> <h2>6. Airing your dirty laundry</h2> <p>Bringing up negative aspects of your financial life on a first date can be just as disastrous as bragging. Remember, the idea is to make a great impression, not come off as a liability. If you mention your poor credit history, excessive credit card debt, or poor financial outlook, yet your date has a tight handle on their finances, this person could make assumptions before getting to know you and presume you're irresponsible.</p> <p>You shouldn't hide these issues, but you should get to know each other before airing your dirty laundry.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-terrible-money-moves-to-avoid-on-the-first-date">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/4-ways-millennials-are-changing-marriage">4 Ways Millennials Are Changing Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-it-pays-to-stay-single">6 Ways It Pays to Stay Single</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-lust-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Lust Is Keeping You Poor</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/18-ways-being-too-nice-is-hurting-your-wallet">18 Ways Being Too Nice Is Hurting Your Wallet</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 Lifestyle Dating etiquette first date money conversations money moves relationships Spending Money Tue, 13 Jun 2017 09:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1964080 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Resist the Expensive "Once in a Lifetime" Mentality http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-resist-the-expensive-once-in-a-lifetime-mentality <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-resist-the-expensive-once-in-a-lifetime-mentality" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_woman_having_fun_shopping.jpg" alt="Happy woman having fun shopping" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I spent part of my junior year of college abroad. While I was there, I got a lot of emails from home asking me if I'd done this or that yet, and many of them ended with the reminder, &quot;You'll only get to do this once!&quot;</p> <p>While I did do some things that were out of the ordinary, I tried to keep myself in check. I knew I had a limited budget and that there'd be hell to pay if it ran out before I got home.</p> <p>As it turns out, this &quot;once in a lifetime&quot; mentality gets a lot of people in trouble. They spend too much, take on debt, end up with stuff they don't even want or need, and more. When we think that something only happens once in a lifetime (or, at least, very rarely), we feel like that alone justifies spending more money than we usually would.</p> <p>As my time in Europe shows, though, it's possible to curb this impulse and still have a memorable, meaningful time. Here's how.</p> <h2>1. You do you</h2> <p>Sure, you may only get to do something once in a lifetime, but that doesn't mean you have to say &quot;yes&quot; to every option. If you're planning a wedding and flowers are important to you, go all out. But if they aren't important to you, there are a million cheaper ways to decorate, and some of them may even reflect your personality better.</p> <p>Know yourself, and choose how to spend your money based on what you know and like. Put your money into things that will create the memories you want to have, and leave the rest behind. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-mental-biases-that-are-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Mental Biases That Are Keeping You Poor</a>)</p> <h2>2. Know your bottom line</h2> <p>Decide, preferably before you're in the middle of your once-in-a-lifetime event, exactly how much you are willing to spend. If you're going on a cruise, decide before you leave exactly how much you're willing to spend on excursions and souvenirs. Make sure you do your research before you decide how much you can spend in certain categories. This will help you keep your spending in check, because you'll know what is possible and what is way too far out of your budget.</p> <h2>3. Track your spending</h2> <p>I know, you're supposed to be having fun. But the truth is that you will have a better time knowing you're staying within your budget than you will if you're carrying around a nagging worry about money all the time.</p> <p>You can keep detailed records if you want to, but working with round numbers is OK, too. The idea is that looking at your receipts at the end of the day and adding them up will help you know where you stand with your budget. Sometimes, coming face-to-face with a big expenditure early in your trip or your event will help you to spend less later.</p> <h2>4. Remember why you're here</h2> <p>Keep in mind why you are participating in your once in a lifetime event, and why it's worth spending money on at all. If you're planning a wedding, remember how much you love your future spouse. If you're traveling, remember why travel is important to you and why you chose this trip in particular. Keeping your <em>why </em>in the forefront of your mind will help you make better choices with your money. You will be more likely to choose to spend on things that are important to you, and forget the rest. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-nice-thing-can-ruin-your-whole-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How One Nice Thing Can Ruin Your Whole Budget</a>)</p> <h2>5. Put it in the budget</h2> <p>If you like spending a lot of money on once in a lifetime events and you don't want to stop, put that in your budget and set aside some money each month for it. That way, when something special does come along, you can follow the impulse to splurge without putting yourself deep in debt later.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-resist-the-expensive-once-in-a-lifetime-mentality">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-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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase">The One Question You Should Ask Before Every Major Purchase</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-problems-you-can-solve-with-20">8 Problems You Can Solve With $20</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping mental biases once in a lifetime saving money Shopping Tricks Spending Money treat yourself Tue, 13 Jun 2017 08:30:18 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1964079 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Prevent a Drunken Online Shopping Spree http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-prevent-a-drunken-online-shopping-spree <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-prevent-a-drunken-online-shopping-spree" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/guy_at_home.jpg" alt="Guy at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It used to be that drinking and shopping took some effort on your part, since you had to get yourself to a brick-and-mortar store in order to actually make purchases. It wasn't really a situation many of us would find ourselves in. But online shopping has made it possible to shop while buzzed.</p> <p>Browsing Amazon or eBay after a night of drinking may not seem like a terrible habit to indulge in. You're safe at home, after all, and you can crash in bed after your wine and shopping binge &mdash; and there's always that hilarious moment several days later when your purchase finally arrives and you get to open the mystery box. But drunken shopping sprees aren't cheap. According to a Finder.com survey, the <a href="https://www.finder.com/how-much-do-americans-spend-after-having-a-few-drinks" target="_blank">average amount of money that drunk shoppers spend</a> in a single evening of tipsy debauchery is $206.</p> <p>While having a funny souvenir of a memorable night may be a justifiable use of your money the first time it happens, making a habit of drunk shopping can throw a major wrench in your financial plans. Here are six ways you can keep your wallet safe from your worst shopping impulses when you are tempted to drink and shop.</p> <h2>1. Carry cash</h2> <p>While most drunken shopping sprees are now happening online, in-person tipsy shopping is still a problem. This tends to be more of an issue when your drinking venue is close to a shopping destination &mdash; like when you are on vacation and can drift from the bar to the cute boutiques without having to set foot in a vehicle. There are also plenty of opportunities for you to spend your money in person after a few drinks have loosened your purse strings, including &quot;Sip and Shop&quot; events set up specifically to encourage that behavior.</p> <p>The easiest way to thwart yourself from making unnecessary purchases is by carrying cash for the evening. That helps you to reduce the potential damage you can do to your finances by limiting the amount of money you can spend in one evening. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-an-all-cash-diet-right-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is an All-Cash Diet Right for You?</a>)</p> <h2>2. Post sticky notes everywhere</h2> <p>Believe it or not, sticky notes can be a form of time travel. Your past self can use the sticky note to remind your future drunk self why you don't want to waste your money on more iTunes purchases or cute shoes. If you know you're likely to shop under the influence, write out notes to yourself about why drunk shopping is a bad idea. Go ahead and list the reasons why you are going to regret your purchase in the morning.</p> <p>While a single sticky note can get this across, putting additional notes so that your computer screen is covered with them will really force your future self to remember that your past self is serious about this issue.</p> <h2>3. Turn off one-click ordering</h2> <p>One-click ordering means you can go from being unaware an item exists, to coveting it, to buying it, all within seconds. Add some beer to that equation, and it's even more likely that you'll be scratching your head over a delivery in a few days while lamenting your lighter wallet.</p> <p>Removing your credit card information from your favorite retail sites can help to curb your drunken shopping habits, since you will have to get up to get your wallet and enter in your credit card information in order to complete your sale. The work necessary to enter in your information will either sober you up enough to make you question your need for cardboard cutouts of the Golden Girls, or will be more typing than you can handle in your inebriated state.</p> <p>This is also a good reason to remove your account information on any shopping sites, so that you are forced to type in your mailing address every time you shop. That can be enough of a barrier to keep you from recklessly drinking and buying. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life?ref=seealso" target="_blank">39 Mindless Ways You're Wasting Money in Every Part of Your Life</a>)</p> <h2>4. Block retail sites when you know you will be drinking</h2> <p>There are many apps and browser extensions out there to help force you to be productive when you are feeling the siren's song of your Twitter or Facebook feed. But these tools can also help you to manage your drunk purchasing behavior. Simply set your app or browser extension to block you out of shopping sites anytime you are likely to be drinking &mdash; such as on Friday evenings or after your weekly happy hour with friends.</p> <h2>5. Remove shopping apps from your phone</h2> <p>It's entirely possible to spend your rent money without leaving your house or even booting up your laptop, which means you will need to cut off this additional source of temptation: shopping apps on your phone. Not only do these apps make it far too easy to shop after you've had a few, they don't do you any favors while you are sober, either. These apps allow you to spend money without feeling any pain of payment, which makes them especially dangerous when you are drunk.</p> <p>Remove those apps from your phone, and consider replacing them with apps that will also be fun to surf without spurring you to spend money. For instance, the Pinterest app can give you the feeling of virtual window shopping.</p> <h2>6. Be prepared to make returns</h2> <p>While opening up the mystery box you receive after a night of drunk shopping can be exciting, it's a much better policy to simply return your purchases without opening them. Go ahead and send it back rather than clutter up your home with a purchase that only seemed like a good idea when you were at the bottom of a glass of wine.</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/how-to-prevent-a-drunken-online-shopping-spree">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/how-to-shop-for-food-once-a-month-and-save-big">How to Shop for Food Once a Month and Save Big</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-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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase">The One Question You Should Ask Before Every Major Purchase</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-checkout-line-tricks-to-finish-shopping-faster">5 Checkout Line Tricks to Finish Shopping Faster</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping drinking drinking habits drunk shopping online shopping shopping spree Shopping Tricks shopping while drunk Spending Money Mon, 12 Jun 2017 09:00:10 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1963764 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Problems You Can Solve With $20 http://www.wisebread.com/8-problems-you-can-solve-with-20 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-problems-you-can-solve-with-20" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/jar_overflowing_with_american_money.jpg" alt="Jar overflowing with American money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>They say a dollar doesn't buy you all that much these days. But how about $20? Other than grabbing a bite to eat, what else can you do with it that solves a problem? Fill up your tank with gas (most of the way)? Buy some new underwear? Sure, but you can actually solve a lot more problems that are costing you time and money with just 20 bucks. Here are eight you probably haven&rsquo;t thought of.</p> <h2>1. Get rid of garden pests using ladybugs</h2> <p>There are a lot of unusual items for sale on Amazon these days. But did you know for around $15, including shipping, you can have over <a href="http://amzn.to/2rEvuBQ" target="_blank">1500 live ladybugs</a> delivered to your home? And not only that, you'll also get some nectar to feed them. Ladybugs are a great friend to the gardener, and when released at sundown, they will eat aphids, mealybugs, scale, leaf hoppers, and other pests.</p> <h2>2. Look smart anywhere you go with a travel steamer</h2> <p>If you travel frequently, you know the disheveled state in which your clothes often arrive. No matter how carefully you pack, even if you roll your shirts, you're going to have items that look wrinkly. If you're staying at a hotel, you can break out the iron and ironing board, but that's a long and arduous task for a suitcase full of laundry. Instead, spend $15 on a <a href="http://amzn.to/2rm4BCZ" target="_blank">mini travel steamer</a>. It fits nicely in any suitcase, is lightweight, and takes the wrinkles out of clothes in a third of the time that an iron can do the job.</p> <h2>3. Cut energy bills using foam weatherstrips</h2> <p>Drafts. They have this nasty habit of finding you wherever you happen to be in the house. You get comfortable on the sofa, and then you feel one. More than just being annoying or uncomfortable, drafts also cost you a lot of money. Proper sealing and insulating can save you hundreds per year on energy bills. So, do yourself a favor and pick up some <a href="http://amzn.to/2rVwiPW" target="_blank">weatherstripping</a>. Amazon sells 60-foot packs of the stuff for under $4. You could buy enough to seal every window and door draft in the house, and still have a little left over. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shrink-your-utility-bill-by-plugging-these-surprising-home-energy-leaks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Shrink Your Utility Bill by Plugging These Surprising Home Energy Leaks</a>)</p> <h2>4. Stop wasting money on batteries and buy a charger</h2> <p>Perhaps one of the most irritating drains on the family budget is the number of batteries we buy and throw away throughout the year. Batteries aren't cheap, and they never seem to last as long as we think they will. But that's a problem you can remedy with rechargeable batteries and a battery charger. They range in price depending on how many batteries you need to charge at once, and the brand you choose. For under $20, you can pick up a <a href="http://amzn.to/2rEeZpp" target="_blank">charger with four AA batteries</a> included. Each battery can be recharged up to 1,500 times. Yes, that will add a little more onto your home energy bill, but it's a fraction of the price of a pack of batteries. You won't even notice it.</p> <h2>5. Get organized with a label maker</h2> <p>Junk drawers. Metal tins. Jars. Shelves. You name it, every house has a bunch of stuff that is disorganized in some way. And while we have every intention of sorting it out, we never seem to find the time. Well, a good <a href="http://amzn.to/2rVx3sg" target="_blank">label maker</a> can really help, and they're under $20. Use one to label those boxes and cans that you're always rifling through. Add labels to drawers in the kitchen and garage. Add expiration dates to food you bag up and put in the freezer, or store in the fridge. Once you have a label maker, you find so many useful ways to utilize it.</p> <h2>6. Drink safe water anywhere with a LifeStraw</h2> <p>Whether you're a hard-core survivalist, enjoy camping and off-roading, or are planning a backpacking excursion, you will always need access to clean, safe drinking water. In the past, you have had to rely on kits that allow you to safely turn found water into drinking water. The <a href="http://amzn.to/2qh9SeU" target="_blank">LifeStraw</a> is different. You can literally drink straight from the nearest puddle, stream, or lake, with no fear of contamination. This is essential for any traveler, camper, or first aid kit.</p> <h2>7. Find smelly pet stains with a urine detector</h2> <p>If you have pets, or live in a home that used to have them, there is probably some urine that has seeped into floors and walls. It may also be on the furniture. Chances are, these are small stains, not easily seen by the naked eye, but they cause odors. Now, you can find them and eliminate them by using a <a href="http://amzn.to/2r2grRv" target="_blank">urine detector</a>. This gadget uses ultraviolet light to illuminate the dry urine, so you don't have to get on your hands and knees to find it. In fact, it's really hard to see if it's years old. These detectors are under $20, cheap enough that you may be able to also pick up a bottle of stain remover without going over your $20 budget.</p> <h2>8. Eat in the car with a steering wheel tray</h2> <p>Most of us have, at some point, had to eat a meal in the car. Sometimes it's a necessity, like when we have to stop off for a quick bite on a long journey. Other times, we're getting out of the office for a break, or just want a little alone time to eat and listen to a few tunes.</p> <p>Regardless, it can be a messy affair. How many times have you spilled food down your shirt, or tried to rest a plastic takeout plate on your knee with limited success? Well, the <a href="http://amzn.to/2qkUs53" target="_blank">steering wheel tray</a> solves that problem. It attaches to your wheel (you can't be driving while you're eating, of course) and gives you a great temporary table, complete with a drink holder. It can also be used to hold a laptop, tablet, or phone. And it's well under your $20 limit.</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/8-problems-you-can-solve-with-20">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/the-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase">The One Question You Should Ask Before Every Major Purchase</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-its-better-to-buy-at-the-last-minute">6 Things It&#039;s Better to Buy at the Last Minute</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/how-to-prevent-a-drunken-online-shopping-spree">How to Prevent a Drunken Online Shopping Spree</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping $20 money problems saving money Shopping Tricks solutions solve problems Spending Money Mon, 29 May 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Paul Michael 1954619 at http://www.wisebread.com The One Question You Should Ask Before Every Major Purchase http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_woman_looking_at_car.jpg" alt="Young woman looking at car" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Recently, my husband had to buy a new bathrobe. The old one, which had completely worn out after a decade of wear, was the exact same ridiculous pastel coffee mug robe that Brad Pitt sported ironically in the movie <em>Fight Club</em>. The coffee mug robe cost $188, and had been a gift from me because my husband simply could not bring himself to spend nearly $200 on something he was going to wear around the house on lazy mornings.</p> <p>He loved that intentionally ridiculous robe, but despite my urging him to replace it with the same one from the same boutique, he again balked at spending that kind of money on a bathrobe. No matter how often I pointed out that he'd be spending a little less than $19 a year on daily joy (assuming the replacement robe also lasted 10 years), I could not change his mind.This situation got me wondering, though. How do you decide whether it's worth it to spend $200 on a ridiculous bathrobe, $500 for a phone upgrade, or an additional $5,000 to get the trim package you really want on your new car?</p> <p>Here's the thought process you should go through to figure out if a major purchase is worth it.</p> <h2>The big question: Is this an investment or an indulgence?</h2> <p>The basic definition of an investment is something that will appreciate in value over time. Buying a house is a common example of an investment purchase. In addition, upgrading your flight to business class so that you can more easily get work done on the plane may be an investment (if you can truly commit to working in flight) since the cost of the upgrade will be more than covered by the money you make while working.</p> <p>But what about investments that appreciate in something other than monetary value? For instance, you might spend money on biweekly massages, which do not appreciate in financial value, but they do keep you pain- and stress-free, which might be worth far more to you than the cost of the massages. That is an investment in your physical and mental well-being, even if you never see a specific financial return.</p> <p>On the other hand, an indulgence is something that simply makes you feel good in the moment. You don't expect an indulgence &mdash; like buying your favorite gourmet coffee, driving a sporty car, or purchasing the latest trendy clothes &mdash; to appreciate in financial value. There is nothing wrong with spending money on indulgences, and in fact, they can be an important part of your budget. The problem is when you justify your indulgences by claiming they are investments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-nice-thing-can-ruin-your-whole-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How One Nice Thing Can Ruin Your Whole Budget</a>)</p> <h2>How to tell the difference</h2> <p>The fundamental disagreement that my husband and I have over the bathrobe comes down whether or not spending nearly $200 on it would be an investment or an indulgence. I believe that it's an investment in his daily happiness. He believes it's an indulgence, and therefore not worth the money.</p> <p>There are a couple of things to consider to help you figure out if your major purchase falls into one category or the other:</p> <h3>Length of use</h3> <p>In general, the longer you can get good use out of a product or service, the more likely it is that you are looking at an investment. That means that clothing fads are more likely to be indulgences, whereas well-made classic pieces like a suit or little black dress are more likely to be investments.</p> <h3>Is there a possible substitute?</h3> <p>If there is no other way you'd get the same feeling from another purchase, then it's likely that you're looking at an investment. For instance, you may feel more professional, put-together, and relaxed when you get a weekly manicure. Painting your own nails does not feel the same, and in fact, you feel less professional with your DIY manicure. That means your weekly manicure date is likely an investment in your positive outlook, rather than an indulgence.</p> <h2>Just because it's an investment doesn't mean you should buy it</h2> <p>Even though the big ticket item you want to buy will be an investment in your well-being, that doesn't necessarily mean you should buy it. Major expenditures can derail your finances, even if your purchase will appreciate in value in some way. Before you make your investment purchase, ask yourself if you can afford to make the purchase. If you can't, commit to saving up for it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-mental-biases-that-are-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Mental Biases That Are Keeping You Poor</a>)</p> <h2>Know what you value</h2> <p>Ultimately, determining whether or not you should make a major purchase is all about knowing the things you value most. Spending money on things that will appreciate in value &mdash; whether financial or emotional &mdash; can be a good investment. Spending money on things that will offer more fleeting value is generally an indulgence.</p> <p>Knowing which is which can help you decide when to spend, when to save, and when to just go ahead and buy the silly robe.</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/the-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase">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-things-its-better-to-buy-at-the-last-minute">6 Things It&#039;s Better to Buy at the Last Minute</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-items-you-should-never-buy-online">8 Items You Should Never Buy Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-resist-the-expensive-once-in-a-lifetime-mentality">How to Resist the Expensive &quot;Once in a Lifetime&quot; Mentality</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-nice-thing-can-ruin-your-whole-budget">How One Nice Thing Can Ruin Your Whole Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-problems-you-can-solve-with-20">8 Problems You Can Solve With $20</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping major purchase mental bias mental tricks question saving money shopping tips Shopping Tricks Spending Money Fri, 26 May 2017 08:00:11 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1953939 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Things That Should Never Cost More Than $99 http://www.wisebread.com/11-things-that-should-never-cost-more-than-99 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-things-that-should-never-cost-more-than-99" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_trying_on_shoes.jpg" alt="Girl trying on shoes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Life is expensive, y'all. Food, rent, home energy, gas &mdash; the basic necessities for modern living &mdash; cost a fortune these days. This is precisely why we need to avoid overpaying elsewhere in our budget. Save yourself some dough by rethinking some of these could-be pricey purchases that should never come in at more than $99.</p> <h2>1. Men's haircut</h2> <p>I don't have the beautiful ginger locks I once had &mdash; it's gettin' pretty sparse up there, friends &mdash; but even when I did have a generous coif to maintain, I never spent more than $20 on a haircut. I spend even less now &mdash; from $8 to $15 at Great Clips (they often have $9.99 specials in my area, and I receive $2 off regularly priced haircuts when I show my local gym membership). Unless you're getting a serious 'do done, you shouldn't pay more than $35. That's the highest I've ever forked over &mdash; in Manhattan &mdash; which included shampoo, cut, rinse, and hot towel service. Even then, I could have done without three of those things.</p> <h2>2. Jeans</h2> <p>If you read my posts frequently, you know I like to shop. Clothing is one of my few budget vices, and I'm generally not apologetic about the amount of money I spend to look good. I do draw the line at expensive jeans, however.</p> <p>In the past, I've spent more than $100 on a single pair of jeans &mdash; with purposefully designed holes in them, no less. But you know what happens to them? Eventually I get tired of them or they fade or I lose/gain too much weight to wear them, and they get sent to charity. And when I started putting that sitch in perspective, I decided I'd much rather send $20 jeans to charity than $150 jeans. Now I almost strictly buy denim at the J.Crew Factory Store (they retail for around $65) that I can score between 40 percent and 60 percent off, and many times I have an additional discount on top of that. I've also started selling my unwanted jeans on Swap.com to recoup some of that cost. I recommend the latter strategy if you have stylish, in-good-shape denim lying around. You may be surprised at how much you'll get for your old clothes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-make-800-on-month-on-ebay-selling-used-clothes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How I Make $800 on Month on eBay Selling Used Clothes</a>)</p> <h2>3. Halloween costume</h2> <p>Some of my friends are super into Halloween, spending hundreds of dollars on their elaborate costumes each year. I don't get it. A couple Benjis on a goofy get-up that you'll wear one time for, like, four hours? Get outta here. Raid your closet and the local thrift and craft stores to DIY your costume if you enjoy the holiday, but there's no reason to spend more than $99 to be an internet meme or a superhero.</p> <h2>4. A dress you'll only wear once</h2> <p>If you plan to be buried in that dress, spring for it. But if you know you'll only wear it once, what's the point of dipping into your savings to buy it? Instead, ask your friends if they have a dress you can borrow for whatever the occasion may be. It'll be new to you, and no one else has to know you borrowed it. Otherwise, try secondhand stores, online consignment shops, and re-accessorizing what you already have to find a dress you won't feel guilty about wearing when you're already short on rent. Or, if you are looking to splurge on a dress, make sure it's versatile enough to wear multiple times. You can never go wrong with an LBD, after all.</p> <h2>5. Multiple trips to Starbucks in one month</h2> <p>Listen, if you have a $99-plus monthly coffee habit, you have a <em>problem</em>. Coffee is so much cheaper when you make it at home. Brew a pot before work and take it to go. Then take that extra cash you save by making coffee at home and put it toward a vacation fund or retirement. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking-expensive-coffee?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Rich You'd Be if You Stopped Drinking Expensive Coffee</a>)</p> <h2>6. Gym membership</h2> <p>Even when I lived in Manhattan, I didn't pay more than $99 a month for a gym membership, and mine gave me access to all the locations on the island, including the steam rooms, saunas, showers, and towel service. It wasn't a luxury gym, <em>per se</em>, but it did have some luxuries. Plus, there are so many ways to get fit for free that a triple-digit monthly charge hardly seems worth it.</p> <p>If I ever pay more than $99, I want somebody to work out for me while I watch. Weight loss through osmosis. I like that idea.</p> <h2>7. Textbook</h2> <p>College courses like to stick it to you by constantly updating the editions of the required textbooks so you have to buy the latest, most expensive version. Sometimes you can't avoid it, but most of the time you can find used versions of the books you need in the campus bookstore or online. Bonus if they have notes from the previous owner in them. Added value!</p> <h2>8. Massage</h2> <p>There are very few professions out there that command nearly $100 per hour for services. Massage therapy is one of them, but usually you're not getting what you deserve for the money, i.e. the therapist has hands like a Tonka truck. Skip the high-end spas and try out your more affordable, local options instead. You can also score really great spa deals on daily deal sites that often cut the prices in half.</p> <h2>9. Sneakers</h2> <p>In New York City, I regularly see people standing in line for expensive limited-edition kicks, and I'm sure you've heard the story about NBA newbie Lonzo Ball, who recently <a href="http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-lonzo-ball-shoes-20170511-story.html" target="_blank">released his own $495 shoes</a>. I get it. Guys love their sneaks and they'll pay out the wazoo for them. But until they make shoes that render me able to fly, I'm perfectly happy staying in the $75 to $95 range for shoes that I plan to get dirty and sweat all over.</p> <h2>10. Warehouse club memberships</h2> <p>We've written about the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-wasting-or-saving-money-with-a-warehouse-club-membership" target="_blank">pros and cons of warehouse memberships</a>, and they make sense if you're feeding a large family, but if you're only feeding one or two mouths, you're probably paying more for the membership than you'll save over its annual lifetime. Combine that with the amount of food you'll waste when you buy in bulk without the need to buy in bulk, and you're really doing your wallet a disservice. Clip your coupons and shop small at your local supermarket where there's no fee to enter.</p> <h2>11. Fresh flowers</h2> <p>If you think about it, flowers are the only living, non-consumable item that we buy at extraordinary prices just to watch die and throw in the trash five days later. Would you buy a fish for $100 if the pet store told you you're gonna have to lay it to rest by the end of the week? Absolutely not. Set a reasonable maximum amount for your fresh bouquets, never exceeding $99. Or skip the buds altogether and spring for alternative gifts that bring joy, like ice cream. Wouldn't you be happier with a pint of Ben &amp; Jerry's than a bouquet of wilted roses? So would everyone else.</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/11-things-that-should-never-cost-more-than-99">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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-budget-overhaul-tricks-for-the-recently-unemployed">5 Budget Overhaul Tricks for the Recently Unemployed</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-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase">The One Question You Should Ask Before Every Major Purchase</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping $99 budget tips expensive buys frugal tips shopping tips Spending Money Thu, 25 May 2017 08:30:13 +0000 Mikey Rox 1953937 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Reasons You're Still Stuck in a Financial Hole http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-youre-still-stuck-in-a-financial-hole <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-reasons-youre-still-stuck-in-a-financial-hole" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/frustrated_intern_working_on_line_at_office.jpg" alt="Frustrated intern working on line at office" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Being broke sucks. There are a million reasons why you might end up in a financial hole, and it always feels awful. The good news is you can often pull yourself out of these bad situations, especially if you make wise decisions with your money.</p> <p>On the other hand, there are also some really poor money decisions that can set you back even further. Avoid these bad calls when you're broke, and you'll stop digging yourself even deeper into debt.</p> <h2>1. Thinking nothing has to change</h2> <p>The minute you realize you're broke, your mindset has to change. How did you get here? What led to being broke? Think long and hard about these things, and understand that something has to give. Telling yourself you can continue your everyday spending habits as if nothing is wrong is only going to dig yourself deeper into a financial hole. And ignoring the problem altogether certainly won't help, either; it'll just make things much, much worse. As unpleasant as it might be to face reality and change the way you spend, it will be much more unpleasant to stay broke. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-biggest-ways-procrastination-hurts-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Biggest Ways Procrastination Hurts Your Finances</a>)</p> <h2>2. Emptying the emergency fund</h2> <p>Realizing you're broke can lead to feelings of panic &mdash; being broke is an emergency, right?! Hold on. The last thing you should be doing is raiding your emergency fund to pay everyday expenses, or to continue funding the frivolous spending that landed you here. The truth is, when you're broke, you need a sound emergency fund more than ever. What happens if you lose your job, or your hot water heater dies? Without that money put away, you'll have nothing to help you get by. So, leave your emergency fund right where it is and make other changes in your budget.</p> <h2>4. Taking out a loan</h2> <p>You don't need the financial burden of new debt when you're already broke. Assuming you get approved for a loan, there's no guarantee that you'll even be able to pay it back. That puts your credit score at risk of a critical hit, and can ruin your chances of getting approved for financing in the future.</p> <p>In the same vein, never fall for a payday loan, either. Predatory lenders often target people in times of financial trouble, and are experts at marketing an attractive offer that sounds like the answer to your money troubles. In reality, the obscene interest charges and terms and conditions will leave you way worse off. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-from-predatory-lending?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Protect Yourself From Predatory Lending</a>)</p> <h2>5. Getting buried in overdraft fees</h2> <p>When there's less money in your checking account than you're used to, take extra caution to avoid overdrawing. Overdraft fees can quickly multiply, shooting up to hundreds of dollars and putting you in an even worse financial situation. Your bank may be willing to waive some of the fees if you ask, but it's not a guarantee and certainly not a regular courtesy. If you're not sure how much money you have in your account, check it daily. With technology, there is no excuse. You can either log on to your bank's website every morning, or download your bank's app. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-avoid-overdraft-charges?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Ways to Avoid Overdraft Charges</a>)</p> <h2>6. Lying about your financial state</h2> <p>Don't lie to yourself and don't lie to other people. It's hard to admit when you're in a bad money spot. But the truth is that you <em>are</em> broke, and lying will only cause more problems. Take a deep breath and be honest. Politely turn down your friends' invites to go shopping or out to dinner, and explain that you simply don't have the cash right now. They won't hold it against you. You will respect yourself more for being straightforward, and you might even pave the way for someone else to feel comfortable admitting their hardships, too.</p> <h2>7. Gambling</h2> <p>It's easy to think that one big win could solve all of your financial difficulties. But the fact of the matter is that hitting the jackpot in a casino or by playing the lotto is unlikely &mdash; very unlikely. More often than not, people lose tons of money gambling, sometimes in the blink of an eye. This certainly won't make your money troubles any easier. Think of it this way: gambling is for people who can afford to lose money. You can't, so stay away.</p> <h2>8. Refusing to give up luxuries</h2> <p>Maybe you have a maid service clean your house once per week, or you like to have your car professionally detailed. Maybe you love grabbing takeout for lunch, or eating at that great Italian place for dinner every Friday night. Maybe you love your premium cable package, and all your fun monthly subscription boxes.</p> <p>Guess what? All of these luxuries cost money you don't have, and you can go without. Clean your home and car yourself. Clip coupons and use cash back apps at the grocery store, and meal prep all your food at home. Get rid of monthly subscriptions and memberships you aren't using, and think long and hard about cable &mdash; do you really need it?</p> <p>None of these have to be permanent changes. By giving yourself a financial buffer for even a few months, you'll get back on your feet much faster.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-youre-still-stuck-in-a-financial-hole">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/is-an-all-cash-diet-right-for-you">Is an All-Cash Diet Right for You?</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-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-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/4-parenting-mistakes-to-avoid-when-teaching-kids-about-money">4 Parenting Mistakes to Avoid When Teaching Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-budget-overhaul-tricks-for-the-recently-unemployed">5 Budget Overhaul Tricks for the Recently Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting being broke daily expenses habits loans overdraft fees procrastination saving money Spending Money Thu, 25 May 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1953936 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Parenting Mistakes to Avoid When Teaching Kids About Money http://www.wisebread.com/4-parenting-mistakes-to-avoid-when-teaching-kids-about-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-parenting-mistakes-to-avoid-when-teaching-kids-about-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/little_girl_looking_at_piggybank.jpg" alt="Little girl looking at piggy bank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>No matter how well you manage your money, you want your kids to grow up making all the right financial decisions. But if they see you overspending, they might adopt your poor money habits without you realizing it.</p> <p>Some parenting fails teach children about money &mdash; in a bad way. Rather than your kids learning from your mistakes, they might be destined to make the same ones you're making right now. Here are some parenting fails to avoid when teaching your kids about money.</p> <h2>Making impulse buys</h2> <p>Every parent has probably had their child ask for a candy bar or other treat while waiting in the checkout line. Telling them no can be difficult, but it beats raising a child who thinks they're entitled to everything they see.</p> <p>Occasional impulse purchases are fine. Getting an ice cream cone after a tough week at school, or going to see a movie after getting a high test grade can be worthwhile motivators for kids to do better in school. But if you spend too much on an impulse buy &mdash; such as the latest tech gadget &mdash; it can show a lack of restraint in how you shop.</p> <p>Even small impulse buys, if made often, can show your child that it's OK to buy something without giving it much thought. Small purchases add up, and a better lesson would be to put that money aside in a vacation fund for the whole family to enjoy.</p> <h2>Not letting them work for their money</h2> <p>Giving a kid an allowance is a great idea, as long as they work for it. Handing over cash each week without them doing anything to earn it can make you seem like a free ATM. Money doesn't just appear in your pocket magically. You work for it, and so should they.</p> <p>Be it earning money with chores or a part-time job, kids can learn the value of a dollar and find out firsthand how many hours of work it takes to afford that pricey pair of sneakers they want.</p> <h2>Not giving them their own bank account</h2> <p>If your kids don't have a savings account or college savings account by age five, you're doing them a disservice. Heck, if you don't have a savings account or retirement account, you're doing <em>yourself </em>a disservice, while also teaching them the poor habit of not saving for the future.</p> <p>As children become teenagers, parents can teach them about managing money by helping them get an ATM or debit card, a checking account, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-to-add-your-teen-as-an-authorized-user-on-your-credit-card" target="_blank">possibly a credit card</a> with a low limit.</p> <p>Birthday money and a percentage of their allowance can be put into their savings accounts. Regular trips to the bank to make those deposits also show them how banks work and why they should save. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget</a>)</p> <h2>Having terrible money habits yourself</h2> <p>You don't have to detail every expense in your budget with your children, but they should have a general sense of what you're budgeting for and why. Sharing this info will teach them how to set their own money goals, and how to manage monthly bills before they're responsible for paying them.</p> <p>If you pay your bills late and constantly complain about how you can't afford the gas bill each month, you're setting a poor example of how to budget for basic expenses. Your kids are watching you, so you should be leading by example.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-parenting-mistakes-to-avoid-when-teaching-kids-about-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited 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/when-self-care-actually-harms-your-budget">When Self-Care Actually Harms Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-rules-thatll-save-you-big-in-babys-first-year">5 Money Rules That&#039;ll Save You Big in Baby&#039;s First 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/these-5-money-saving-hacks-are-a-huge-waste-of-time">These 5 Money-Saving Hacks Are a Huge Waste of Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-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-apps-for-busy-working-parents">The 5 Best Apps for Busy Working Parents</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Family budgeting budgeting tips parenting parenting fails parenting tips saving money Spending Money Wed, 24 May 2017 09:00:10 +0000 Aaron Crowe 1953075 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Reasons Being a Millionaire Is Overrated http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-being-a-millionaire-is-overrated <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-reasons-being-a-millionaire-is-overrated" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-515230158.jpg" alt="Woman learning why being a millionaire is overrated" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>All told, 10.4 million households in the U.S. have $1 million or more in investable assets, according to a 2017 study by investor research firm Spectrem Group. Sounds pretty nice, doesn't it?</p> <p>You may want to reconsider those feelings of envy. Does the money really make life any more enjoyable? As Bill Gates once said, &quot;A hamburger is still a hamburger, millions in your pocket or not.&quot; Read on for our roundup of reasons why you should feel perfectly content to live on Main Street.</p> <h2>1. Happiness can be bought &mdash; but most rich people aren't doing it right</h2> <p>Do you have enough money to eat, pay for health care, and make the rent? If so, you're off to a good start. Research shows that as long as <a href="https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/danielgilbert/files/if-money-doesnt-make-you-happy.nov-12-20101.pdf" target="_blank">your basic needs are met</a>, you've got as much of a shot at living a joyful life as anybody else.</p> <p>In fact, the relationship between money and happiness is surprisingly weak. A positive experience, such as working hard to attain a goal or falling in love, will make you happier than a new Porsche. Over time, the Porsche will rust, dent, and age. The car simply won't be as thrilling to drive as it was when you first bought it. But the memory of a first love or receiving a reward for your hard work won't as quickly deteriorate.</p> <p>Indeed, money can be used to have more of the positive experiences that make us happy. But research shows that people who are well-to-do don't often spend their money this way.</p> <h2>2. Small delights bring more joy than big, expensive ones</h2> <p>A series of small, frequent treats &mdash; a pedicure, a day at the beach, a box of chocolate-covered strawberries &mdash; is more fulfilling than a big, blowout, annual gift to yourself. In this way, even millionaires are limited by their funds. If a millionaire wants their fortune to last, they can't spend it all at once. And if the goal is happiness, money should be spent in a way that brings constant delight, even if those delights come in smaller packages.</p> <p>Remember: Eating an entire, 12-slice cake in one sitting is not 12 times more pleasurable than eating one slice at a time. Similarly, most <a href="http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/richard.thaler/research/pdf/Gambling%20with%20the%20House%20Money%20and%20Trying%20to%20Break%20Even%20The%20Effects%20of%20Prior%20Outcomes%20in%20Risky%20Choice.pdf" target="_blank">people who play the lottery</a> would prefer to win a $50 ticket and then another $75 ticket at a later date, rather than win a one-time lump sum of $125. So, even if you can afford to treat yourself to one big present, you'd be wiser &mdash; and happier &mdash; to gift yourself a series of small ones instead.</p> <h2>3. Anticipation promotes happiness</h2> <p>If you're rich enough to buy yourself every new gadget the moment it hits the market, you're robbing yourself of anticipation &mdash; that feeling of yearning and desire which delivers a more intense feeling of happiness when we finally attain the thing from which we've been deprived.</p> <p>The pleasure that arises from immediate consumption simply doesn't match the staying power of the happiness we feel when we get something we've been yearning for. Here's an example from researchers who study happiness: People often derive the most joy from talking about and <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/11/travel/what-a-great-trip-and-im-not-even-there-yet.html?_r=0" target="_blank">looking forward to a vacation</a> than the actual experience of the vacation itself.</p> <h2>4. A fancy vacation might sound like bliss, but it can often bring problems</h2> <p>The Notorious B.I.G. said it best: Mo' money, mo' problems. Here's another way to think about it: People buy big ticket items expecting one thing, but often they get something else. Let's take a yacht, for example. Warm sun, deep ocean swims, navigating through foreign seas &mdash; what could be bad about owning a 200-foot yacht?</p> <p>Well, what about the huge, hidden price tags &mdash; such as the cost of storage and maintenance? What about mosquito bites, and stormy seas, and engine glitches, and that fear of sharks you never knew you had until you bought the darn thing?</p> <p>Consider how it might feel to have a yacht on which to sail around the world, but you can't find a willing companion to join you for the tour. Because, you know, some people have to work. But not you! You're rich and you've got a yacht &mdash; and now you have a whole new set of troubles to worry about. Happiness is in the details, but it's easy to get caught up in the illusion.</p> <h2>5. Rich people tend to spend more time working</h2> <p>Our happiness is largely determined by how we spend our time. As a person's income rises, they typically begin to devote more time to working, running errands, and shopping. These activities are known to drive stress and anxiety &mdash; not happiness.</p> <p>More than anything else, it's leisure time that breeds happiness. But, of course, it's a balance. If we're not working enough, we often find ourselves right back in the throes of stress and anxiety. &quot;Am I spending my time in a way that's worthwhile? What's the meaning of all this stuff?&quot; Striking a balance between work and play is important whether you're a millionaire or not.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-being-a-millionaire-is-overrated">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/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <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> <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/3-smart-ways-young-millionaires-manage-their-money">3 Smart Ways Young Millionaires Manage Their Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-when-youre-rich-dream-buys-that-arent-that-great">5 &quot;When You&#039;re Rich&quot; Dream Buys That Aren&#039;t That Great</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-money-does-buy-happiness">9 Ways Money Does Buy Happiness</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle enjoyment experiences happiness material things millionaires overrated rich shopping Spending Money stress wealthy Fri, 12 May 2017 09:00:10 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1943632 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways You Sabotage Your Financial Growth http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-you-sabotage-your-financial-growth <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-you-sabotage-your-financial-growth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-638948636.jpg" alt="Man learning ways he sabotages his financial growth" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm a take-responsibility-for-your-actions kind of guy, which is why I don't have a problem telling you that most of your financial problems are self-inflicted. Yes, we all get the short end of the stick sometimes, and extenuating circumstances compromise our bank accounts now and then. But by and large, if you're constantly lamenting you never have enough money or can't get ahead, well &mdash; you're probably sabotaging your own financial progress in one of these ways.</p> <h2>1. Lifestyle inflation</h2> <p>Mo' money, mo' problems. It's not just a song from Biggie, it's also an accurate reflection on how increased income doesn't necessarily improve your financial situation. If you're not careful, often as your wallet grows, so does how much you spend.</p> <p>&quot;When you receive a raise, it's challenging not to make upgrades to your belongings since you can afford to do so,&quot; says Coupon Sherpa saving expert Kendal Perez. &quot;However, lifestyle inflation sabotages your financial goals in that you won't actually be richer; instead, your toys and debts will be more expensive, and you'll stay at the same level or be even worse off than you were before the increase.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-nice-thing-can-ruin-your-whole-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How One Nice Thing Can Ruin Your Whole Budget</a>)</p> <h2>2. Refusal to sacrifice</h2> <p>As much as you want it all, sometimes that's just not possible &mdash; especially if the effort is making you broke. In that case, you need to step back, figure out what's most important to you, and sacrifice what you can live without. For example, if you're holding on to that fancy, expensive car despite barely making the payments, while other bills are also suffering, it's time to re-evaluate. That vehicle may be fun to drive, but it's probably not so awesome to live in.</p> <h2>3. Avoiding your financial fears</h2> <p>Managing your money can be intimidating. Unfortunately, brushing your money issues to the side won't make them go away. In fact, it will only exacerbate the problem, which will return with a vengeance if you disregard them for too long.</p> <p>&quot;We make excuse after excuse to avoid our fears, including not tackling our finances because numbers can seem scary,&quot; says Natasha Rachel Smith, personal finance expert at TopCashback. &quot;Pluck up the courage to make time for and respect money; it will then respect you back and you'll be in control of it rather than it being in control of you.&quot;</p> <p>It's not just managing your finances on a basic level, though. Your fear of money is probably preventing you from making smart investments that can improve your overall financial outlook.</p> <p>&quot;Fear of investing, or fear of new-tech options like high-yield online bank accounts, reduces the potential for financial growth,&quot; she says. &quot;Knowledge is power, so educating yourself on those financial topics that scare you is the first and most important step toward overcoming that fear.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Relying on future success</h2> <p>I've heard it plenty of times before, and I've even said it myself: &quot;I don't need to worry about my finances right now. I'm young; in a few years I'll have a good job and I can start thinking about things then.&quot; And then, BAM! Suddenly you're in your mid-30s trying to buy a house, catching up on a 401(k), supporting a kid or two, and kicking yourself in your own behind.</p> <p>Millennial finance expert Erin Lowry, author of <em>Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together</em>, wants you to cut that out.</p> <p>&quot;People use youth combined with a delusional idea of future success as an excuse far too often,&quot; she says. &quot;You shouldn't buck healthy financial habits, like saving and investing in a 401(k) today, just because you think you'll be earning $200,000 by 35. There are no guarantees about your future, but you can control today's behaviors and set yourself up for a comfortable life.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Letting inertia keep you loyal</h2> <p>Ask anybody why they stay with their banking institution, and they'll likely tell you that it's a hassle to change. Is that how you'd respond? That mentality can cost you.</p> <p>Money expert Michelle Hutchinson explains.</p> <p>&quot;Financial providers devise a number of incentives to keep you loyal to their services, but sometimes it makes sense financially to make a switch. Despite this, many Americans will stay with the same providers for years due to it being perceived as a hassle or little value to switch,&quot; she says. &quot;Set a calendar reminder every six to 12 months to review your current banking, credit card, insurance, and loan providers to ensure you're getting the best deal.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Not planning for emergencies</h2> <p>One of the biggest mistakes people make is not being financially prepared for an emergency. If you don't have the money set aside to deal with a job loss, blown transmission, or other costly problem, you could be looking at a long road of debt, disappointment, and even depression. Find places in your budget where you can set some money aside each month, and get to it. Don't be caught off guard when your next emergency hits. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-step-by-step-guide-to-creating-your-emergency-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <h2>7. Just wingin' it</h2> <p>Just want to let things happen because you're laid-back and easygoing and everything will work out in the end? Snap out of it, stupid. That's not how the world works. It is, however, how permanent unemployment and homelessness work.</p> <p>&quot;Winging it just doesn't work,&quot; says Wayne Bland, retirement plan adviser at Metro Retirement Plan in Charlotte, N.C. &quot;Every client that I work with that has a good grasp of their financial situation has some type of plan. It may be a basic budget scribbled on a napkin or a full professionally prepared plan. The common denominator is that they all have some document to provide a measure of direction. Knowing what you hope to achieve financially in the near and far will help you decide how to save, spend, and invest.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Spending while emotional</h2> <p>Admittedly, I enjoy a good bit of retail therapy. Until the bill comes and I'm like, guess it's potato chip sandwiches for the rest of the month.</p> <p>&quot;The phrases 'treat yo'self' and 'retail therapy' speak to the instant gratification associated with spending money when you're feeling down,&quot; explains Perez. &quot;However, making purchases when you're having a hard time is neither an emotionally nor financially sound way to manage your problems.&quot; (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> <p>If you tend to spend money when you're stressed, upset, bored, or down, there are ways you can avoid the temptation. Unsubscribe from retail mailing and catalog lists and steer clear of the mall. If you find yourself really wanting an item, make yourself wait 24 hours before buying it. You might be surprised to find the &quot;want&quot; diminishes simply by waiting out the impulse.</p> <p>Finally, consider a hobby or alternative activity you can turn to in times of stress. Even something as simple as going for a walk can greatly improve your mood.</p> <h2>9. Not seeking help</h2> <p>It's not easy to talk about money woes &mdash; I understand that just as well as you do &mdash; but sometimes it's important to ask for help. If you have a family member or friend who's an expert in finance, maybe they can help you. If you don't want to let them in on your situation, consider consulting a professional that will help you improve and strengthen your problem areas with actionable advice. Help is out there; if you're in financial trouble, seek it. Don't wait until it's too late.</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/9-ways-you-sabotage-your-financial-growth">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-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/the-high-cost-of-the-treat-yourself-mindset">The High Cost of the &quot;Treat Yourself&quot; Mindset</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-youre-still-stuck-in-a-financial-hole">8 Reasons You&#039;re Still Stuck in a Financial Hole</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/weird-money-facts-5-true-cases-of-unbelievable-inflation">Weird Money Facts: 5 True Cases of Unbelievable Inflation</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-problems-you-can-solve-with-20">8 Problems You Can Solve With $20</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance financial growth inflation money problems retail therapy sabotage sacrifice Spending Money treat yourself Fri, 12 May 2017 08:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1943630 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Things It's Better to Buy at the Last Minute http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-its-better-to-buy-at-the-last-minute <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-things-its-better-to-buy-at-the-last-minute" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-543665766.jpg" alt="Woman learning things it&#039;s better to buy at the last minute" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you an anxious planner when it comes to deals? Me too! But sometimes, acting <em>strategically spontaneous</em> can be rewarding. The early bird doesn't always get the worm. Here are six things it's better to buy at the absolute last minute.</p> <h2>1. Hotel rooms</h2> <p>Sometimes planning a vacation is the best part of the process. But if you want to get a deal, it may pay to be a little late to pull the trigger. With apps like Hotels Tonight, or discount-minded broker sites like Booking.com, it's easier than ever to book a last-minute stay. This is especially true at the nicer three-stars-and-above hotels, which are more expensive. They tend to have lots of vacancy on Sundays and weeknights, so if you can handle the uncertainty of waiting until the last minute, you could score really posh lodgings. </p> <p>The downside is that you may end up with your second or third choice of hotel if your favorite option sells out before you can snag a deal, but it's still likely that you'll end up with more value for your buck when you scoop up unbooked inventory at the eleventh hour.</p> <h2>2. Show tickets</h2> <p>From sporting events to plays, there are ways to sneak in under the wire and get a last-minute deal. An empty seat is lost money, so venues would rather sell a last-minute ticket at a discount than lose that revenue altogether. Take advantage by buying your sports tickets one to three days before the game using sites like SeatGeek. For music and theater shows, wait until the day of. The best deals await you at the box office &mdash; visit once they open to inquire about discount remainder tickets.</p> <h2>3. Farmers market fare</h2> <p>After a long morning of selling fruit, veggies, cheese, and other perishables, farmers market stalls are eager to sell everything. That means when 2 p.m. rolls around, deals can be made. This is especially true for produce, meat, and dairy &mdash; items that will likely be a hassle to repack and transport, or may perish en route &mdash; so they'll want to unload them fast. Swoop in to make your offer, and they will likely accept. You'll finally be able to afford items that are sometimes not worth the extra expense otherwise. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buy-this-not-that-at-the-farmers-market?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Buy This &mdash; Not That &mdash; at the Farmers Market</a>)</p> <h2>4. Cruises</h2> <p>Cruises remain a very popular and cost-effective way to enjoy an all-inclusive vacation. Nevertheless, many ships don't fill up to 100 percent capacity, so it's a great opportunity to get an even better deal on a cruise. Especially good times for deals are right before or after a major peak holiday, and during hurricane season, but sometimes you can even get lucky on a cruise during peak time.</p> <p>You may have to settle for a cruise that ends in a different port than you departed from, or you might need to take more time off for a longer cruise, if that's what's available during your last-minute buying window. Still, you might get lucky!</p> <h2>5. Flights</h2> <p>Despite the unpredictable nature of plane tickets, there are so many flights daily that it is still possible to get lucky with a last-minute fare. If you live near a hub, you can be especially lucky. Use Google Flights regularly to check in on your options. They do a good job of sorting through the best costs and departure times. Southwest has sales all the time, so if the time is right, pounce! Tuesdays are ideal to shop if you're buying flights for the coming weekend. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a>)</p> <h2>6. Holiday gifts</h2> <p>Are you someone who buys all your presents early and gets mad at your partner for waiting until Christmas Eve to shop? Well, maybe they're onto something. Sure, there are lots of deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but at many big box and department stores, the better deals on the stuff you want happen the week of Christmas. Coats, pajamas, boots, appliances, holiday-themed merchandise, undersold video game consoles, and more get deep discounts. At drugstores, you may see stocking stuffers like candy, toys, and bath gift baskets move to the clearance aisle, too.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-its-better-to-buy-at-the-last-minute">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase">The One Question You Should Ask Before Every Major Purchase</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-problems-you-can-solve-with-20">8 Problems You Can Solve With $20</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/9-unusual-stores-where-you-can-find-great-bargains">9 Unusual Stores Where You Can Find Great Bargains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping booking flights last-minute shopping saving money shopping tips Shopping Tricks Spending Money travel tips Fri, 05 May 2017 08:30:07 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1940413 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Budget Overhaul Tricks for the Recently Unemployed http://www.wisebread.com/5-budget-overhaul-tricks-for-the-recently-unemployed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-budget-overhaul-tricks-for-the-recently-unemployed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-626693162.jpg" alt="Man learning budget overhaul tricks for the recently unemployed" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Losing your job is an overwhelming experience. Not only do you have to deal with the emotional and psychological fallout of being let go, but you also have to quickly figure out how to survive financially until you land a new job.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are some budgeting tricks that even the most budget-averse can use to stretch their dollars after a job loss. Here are five tips that can help you make the most of your finances while you are unemployed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-debt-while-unemployed?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Manage Debt While Unemployed</a>)</p> <h2>Cut spending from easiest to hardest</h2> <p>The trick to an effective budget overhaul is to start your cuts with the expenses you care the least about. Freeing up money that is going to budget items you don't care about is much easier than having to restructure your life by moving to a cheaper place or selling your car. So it is always smart to start with the easy cuts, and move up the chain to the ones that are harder to cut.</p> <h3>1. Cancel unused subscriptions</h3> <p>Subscription-based companies are a huge part of our economy right now, and many companies make their money through subscription services their customers no longer use. You are probably aware of your subscriptions to services such as Audible or Stitch Fix if you use them often, but if you're like many consumers, you're still paying for older subscriptions you've forgotten you signed up for.</p> <p>Taking a couple of hours to comb through your statements to find unused subscription charges and cancel them can free up a surprising amount of money without you having to give up anything you need or use. Even if you are unwilling to do the work of canceling these subscriptions yourself, apps like Trim and Truebill will do the work for you for free.</p> <h3>2. Reduce necessary expenses</h3> <p>Once you've taken care of the expenses that you didn't know you had, you can start working on reducing your necessary expenses &mdash; without eliminating them entirely. In particular:</p> <ul> <li>Cut your cellphone bill by reducing your data plan. Not only will you probably be using less data while you are job hunting from home, but you may already be paying for more data than you need. Android and iPhone users can download the free My Data Manager app to track their data usage.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Call your internet or cable company to downgrade your package. Canceling cable is the standard advice for saving money, and for a good reason &mdash; it's an easy place to trim budget fat. However, even if you don't have cable, you can often negotiate a lower price with your internet service provider simply by asking. When you call, know the lowest going rate your provider is offering to new subscribers, as well as the rates of the competition. Mention that you are a loyal customer for however many years, and ask for some price consideration. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-tv-must-haves-once-you-cut-the-cable-cord?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 TV Must-Haves Once You Cut the Cable Cord</a>)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Reduce your energy bills by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shrink-your-utility-bill-by-plugging-these-surprising-home-energy-leaks" target="_blank">plugging energy leaks</a>, lowering (or raising) your thermostat, and using your appliances more efficiently.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Lower your food bill by reducing or eliminating dining out, and by following the rules of frugal grocery shopping: eat beforehand, make a list and stick to it, and shop your pantry before you go to the store.</li> </ul> <h3>3. Call your creditors</h3> <p>If you have a student loan, it's a good idea to call your lender let them know of your job loss. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-student-loan-forbearance-anyway" target="_blank">Federal student loans offer options</a> for hitting the pause button on your payments if you are struggling financially. While there are no such options for private loans, calling your lender and explaining the situation can still potentially get you a reduction in your monthly payment. Creditors would prefer to have you be proactive about a financial hiccup than have to get in touch with you after you miss a payment.</p> <p>You can make a similar call to your credit card issuer if you are unable to afford the minimum payment. Many banks will work with you if you explain the situation and propose some sort of repayment plan. They may even waive fees and reduce your interest rate. You may also want to request that they report your payments as on time to the credit bureaus. They can always say no, but it's worth asking.</p> <p>Just be aware that many of these actions will mean you are spending more for your loan overall, because they will increase your repayment timeline. If this will give you the breathing room you need until you find another job, it will certainly be worth it, but be mindful of the long-term consequences. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tricks-to-consolidating-your-debt-and-saving-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Tricks to Consolidating Your Debt and Saving Money</a>)</p> <h3>4. Negotiate your rent payment</h3> <p>Even though your rent payment may seem like it's a take-it-or-it leave amount, there is often some wiggle room, especially if you are a reliable tenant and have plans to stay where you are for a while. The best way to accomplish this is by asking your landlord for a longer-term lease in exchange for a discount on your rent. That can be a win-win for both of you.</p> <h3>5. Slash your car payment</h3> <p>Having a car payment is a tough Catch-22 when you are unemployed. Unless you live in a place like New York City, you generally need the car to be able to effectively search for a job and show up to interviews. But without a job, the payments can be overwhelming.</p> <p>If you have good credit, your lender may be willing to let you adjust your loan by extending the term to lower the monthly payment. This helps you keep your car and lower your monthly expenses, although it will increase the amount you pay overall for the life of the loan.</p> <p>If eliminating the expense of the car payment will make a big difference to your unemployment budget, then it might be a good idea to sell the car. This option is best if it will enable you to secure other transportation. In some cases, car owners with enough equity in their cars can sell it off and buy an inexpensive used car for cash.</p> <h2>Know what luxuries you need to keep going</h2> <p>After a major financial setback, many people are tempted to cut every expense to the bone in an attempt to stretch their money as far as it'll go. While you certainly do need to cut back and be mindful of how you spend your money, an austerity budget can be a mistake because it can be next-to-impossible to adhere to. The minute you cheat a little bit on your budget, it triggers the <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/changepower/201111/beware-the-what-the-hell-effect-especially-holidays" target="_blank">&quot;what-the-hell&quot; effect</a>, wherein you think that you've already screwed up your budget a little, so why not screw it up a lot?</p> <p>In addition, being unemployed and looking for a job is emotionally taxing. If you cut out every little luxury, then you'll have less emotional bandwidth to keep up the difficult slog of applying for jobs.</p> <p>So it's a good idea to maintain a small line item in your budget for a luxury that will help sustain you through the unemployment. For example, you might maintain your gym membership, so you can keep working out and enjoying the mood-enhancing effects of endorphins. Or you could keep the occasional happy hour with friends, so you can stay connected with your favorite people or former colleagues (who may even provide knowledge that could help you find your next job).</p> <p>The important thing to remember about these types of luxuries is that they do need to be small line items. There is a difference between sustaining yourself and indulging yourself, and you need to keep that difference in mind until you find a new job.</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-budget-overhaul-tricks-for-the-recently-unemployed">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/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-2 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-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/4-parenting-mistakes-to-avoid-when-teaching-kids-about-money">4 Parenting Mistakes to Avoid When Teaching Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-youre-still-stuck-in-a-financial-hole">8 Reasons You&#039;re Still Stuck in a Financial Hole</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Job Hunting budget budget tips budget tricks out of work saving money Spending Money unemployment Wed, 03 May 2017 07:49:36 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1938922 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Kinds of Critics Every Frugal Person Meets http://www.wisebread.com/6-kinds-of-critics-every-frugal-person-meets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-kinds-of-critics-every-frugal-person-meets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-667652764.jpg" alt="Learning about the kinds of critics every frugal person meets" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As someone who enjoys living a frugal lifestyle, you will meet a myriad of people on your quest to save a buck. Some are great. Others, well, not so much. But they can all be identified by their common traits. Here are six types of frugal critics you are guaranteed to come across on your money-saving adventures.</p> <h2>1. The cheapskate</h2> <p>There is a big difference between someone who is frugal, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-youre-not-frugal-youre-cheap" target="_blank">someone who is cheap</a>. Frugal people are generous. They spend money. They just like to get a lot of bang for their buck, and they don't like to pay full price if they can avoid it. Cheapskates, on the other hand, are real scrooges. They don't spend money. They don't like to share. They nickel-and-dime you on everything. And they think you're both the same.</p> <h2>2. The favor hound</h2> <p>You're frugal. You're good at it. And the favor hound knows it. That's why they're always bugging you to help them get deals. Morning, noon, and night, they have no qualms about texting you to find an online coupon for a new pair of sunglasses. They want you there when they're buying a car. They insist on speaking to you before buying, well, anything. At first, it can be flattering. But after a while, it wears you down, until you stop answering their calls and duck behind the cheese display when you see them in the grocery store.</p> <h2>3. The bill splitter</h2> <p>They have money, they like to spend it, and they really don't care what you think. This is all well and good when they're spending their own money, but when you're doing anything together, it becomes a nightmare. Go on vacation with them, and they want the best hotel room, in the fanciest part of town, with all the bells and whistles. Eating out, they'll order the steak and lobster when you order soup and a salad, and yet they want to split the bill right down the middle. They ask you to go halves on a birthday gift for a coworker, and then buy an iWatch that costs $300. You have to set strict limits with a bill splitter, or they'll go crazy with your cash. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-saving-habits-you-should-never-apologize-for?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Money-Saving Habits You Should Never Apologize For</a>)</p> <h2>4. The one-upper</h2> <p>You may be good at saving money, but the one-upper will beat you every time &mdash; and they'll make sure you know about it.</p> <p>&quot;Oh, you got that watch for 70 percent off, huh? Well guess what, I got two of those last week for a buck. In fact, the store paid me to take the watches off their hands.&quot;</p> <p>If you save money, they save more. If you get something for nothing, they get twice as much for even less. For some reason, the one-upper seems to think that you actually care about all of this. But you don't. You're saving money, and you're doing just fine. If they really are saving more (and it often feels like a bunch of exaggerations) then good for them.</p> <h2>5. The shamer</h2> <p>Maybe it's a little envy, or maybe you make this person feel uncomfortable, or even guilty. But whatever the reason, &quot;the Shamer&quot; is quite vocal about your frugal ways, especially around friends and gatherings.</p> <p>&quot;Oh, don't ask this one to get the drinks, they'll probably come from the dumpster out back!&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Word of warning, Scrooge over here won't want to split the check.&quot;</p> <p>This is, of course, not accurate. Frugal people are careful with their money, but not misers. It won't stop the shamer from making you feel like you'd sell your grandma for a buck, though.</p> <h2>6. The tempter</h2> <p>If you're on a diet, there will always be someone egging you on to slip and have a bite of chocolate cake. If you're quitting alcohol for the month, someone will encourage you to have &quot;just one.&quot; The same applies to the frugal shopper. You will have that friend who wants you to splash out, because it makes them feel better about their own purchases.</p> <p>&quot;Come on, let's go out to eat at lunchtime, leave your packed lunch in the fridge.&quot;</p> <p>It can be very easy to accept their offers, but it's a slippery slope. Stay strong, and stick to your frugal guns.</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-kinds-of-critics-every-frugal-person-meets">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me</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/things-you-might-not-know-about-your-local-thrift-store">Things You Might Not Know About Your Local Thrift Store</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-when-youre-rich-dream-buys-that-arent-that-great">5 &quot;When You&#039;re Rich&quot; Dream Buys That Aren&#039;t That Great</a></span> </div> </li> <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/flashback-friday-49-smartest-amazon-hacks-that-will-save-you-big">Flashback Friday: 49 Smartest Amazon Hacks That Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-money-saving-hacks-are-a-huge-waste-of-time">These 5 Money-Saving Hacks Are a Huge Waste of Time</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living cheapskate frugal lifestyle frugal people haters people you'll meet saving money shopping Spending Money Tue, 02 May 2017 08:00:11 +0000 Paul Michael 1938293 at http://www.wisebread.com