budget http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1413/all en-US 8 Money Moves You Can Make When We Turn the Clocks Back for Fall http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-you-can-make-when-we-turn-the-clocks-back-for-fall <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-moves-you-can-make-when-we-turn-the-clocks-back-for-fall" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_business_woman_showing_clock.jpg" alt="Happy business woman showing clock" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's nearly the end of Daylight Saving Time, which means we're close to one of my favorite days of the year: the Sunday in autumn when we get an extra hour in the day. As a perpetually busy person, I have a tendency to consider the gift of an extra hour in my weekend to be better than Christmas.</p> <p>Of course, that extra hour is only as valuable as you make it. It can be very easy to fritter away the time on Facebook or on your latest binge-worthy Netflix series &mdash; and I have certainly been guilty of wasting my extra time in years past. That's why this year, I'm going to dedicate my extra hour of Daylight Saving Time to making some smart money moves.</p> <p>Each of the following eight money moves will take you less than an hour, and taking care of one or more of them will help you improve your bottom line without eating into any of your usual time.</p> <h2>1. Set up an automatic transfer to savings</h2> <p>An emergency fund is the cornerstone of good financial health, but it's also the kind of thing that can easily get pushed to the back burner. If you try to find money at the end of the month to put into savings, you'll often discover there's nothing but pocket lint in your checking account, and another month will go by with no deposits into your emergency fund. This is why so many personal finance experts recommend creating an automatic transfer from checking to savings on payday. If you save your money before you have a chance to spend it, then it will actually be there for you in an emergency.</p> <p>During your extra hour this year, log onto your bank's website and set up your automatic recurring transfer online. Even if you can only afford to transfer $20 each paycheck, your recurring transfers will add up over time. While you're setting up the recurring transfer, set it to automatically increase in three months' time, and again in six months' and nine months' time so that you don't have to think about upping your savings rate again until the end of next year's Daylight Saving Time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-find-emergency-funds-when-you-dont-have-an-emergency-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Where to Find Emergency Funds When You Don't Have an Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <h2>2. Bump up your contribution to retirement</h2> <p>November is when many employers are going through their benefit cycles, so now is a great time to amp up your retirement savings. Increasing your contribution to your 401(k), IRA, or other retirement account is of the sort of thing that you never get around to since you have to get in touch with your HR department or otherwise look up how to do it. But contributing as little as an additional 1 percent of your paycheck to your 401(k) or other retirement savings vehicle will add thousands of dollars to your retirement savings. And if you are not already contributing the amount necessary to meet your employer's matching amount, remember that you are leaving free money on the table. Increase your contribution so you can get your employer's matching contribution. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/401k-or-ira-you-need-both?ref=seealso" target="_blank">401(k) or IRA? You Need Both</a>)</p> <h2>3. Adjust your withholding</h2> <p>In 2017, the average American received a federal tax refund of about $2,800 &mdash; which basically meant most Americans sent nearly $3,000 on a field trip to the IRS and received no interest when the money came back. While it's always exciting to receive a big check from Uncle Sam in April, you can do more with your money if you keep it in each paycheck rather than send it off as an interest-free loan to the government.</p> <p>To reduce your tax refund, start with <a href="https://apps.irs.gov/app/withholdingcalculator/" target="_blank">the IRS withholding calculator</a>. This tool will help you determine how many withholding allowances you may take. Your withholding allowances do not determine your tax bill, only how much you pay in taxes per paycheck, so your answers on the calculator can be approximate. Once you have figured out your allowances, request and fill out a W4 form from your employer's HR department.</p> <p>Spending some of your extra hour doing these calculations will result in fatter paychecks as soon as your HR department files the new paperwork. Not bad for less than hour of truly &quot;free&quot; time.</p> <h2>4. Freeze your credit</h2> <p>The Equifax hack served as an important wake-up call on just how vulnerable our financial information can be. You probably looked into ways to protect yourself when Equifax was dominating the news, but it's understandable if you never got around to actually implementing the necessary work to keep your financial information from ending up in the hands of a scammer.</p> <p>One of ways you can protect yourself after such a data breach is to freeze your credit. You will pay a small fee, and then no one &mdash; including you &mdash; can open new credit in your name. The freeze will last indefinitely, so there is no need to remember to renew. The fees range from $5 to $10 per credit bureau, depending on which state you live in. This means you will pay between $15 and $30 to freeze your credit with all three bureaus &mdash; although Equifax has currently waived fees for initiating a credit freeze. In addition, if you have ever been the victim of identity theft, the fee for freezing your credit report is waived.</p> <p>You will need to call the credit reporting companies to place a freeze on your file. Here are the numbers to call:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Equifax: 800-685-1111 (NY residents: 800-349-9960)</p> </li> <li> <p>Experian: 888-397-3742</p> </li> <li> <p>TransUnion: 888-909-8872</p> </li> </ul> <p>Once your credit is frozen, you will have to temporarily lift the freeze if you want to purchase a new car or home or otherwise open up your credit. For instance, if you are leasing a car, you can ask the dealership which credit reporting company they're going to use to access your report, and simply lift the freeze at that company. It takes no more than three days to lift a freeze for this purpose.</p> <p>Spending time on the phone with a credit reporting agency is no one's idea of fun, but using your extra hour to do this means you don't have to carve out time elsewhere in your schedule. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-your-credit-after-the-equifax-breach?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Protect Your Credit After the Equifax Breach</a>)</p> <h2>5. Check your credit report</h2> <p>In addition to freezing your credit, don't forget to take a gander at what's on your credit report. You are legally allowed free access to credit reports from TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax once a year, and your extra hour is an excellent time to look them up.</p> <p>To do so, just log onto annualcreditreport.com for access your credit information. Getting your report will take just a few moments &mdash; you just need to fill out one form to request up to three credit reports (one from each agency), pick which agency's report you want to look at, and verify your identity to receive your credit report.</p> <p>While printing out your reports will take next to no time, be sure to use the rest of your hour to go over the reports in detail to make sure there are no errors. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-read-a-credit-report?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Read a Credit Report</a>)</p> <h2>6. Set up overdraft alerts</h2> <p>Overdrawing your checking account is one of those easy-to-do mistakes that can cost you big-time. Your bank might offer you &quot;overdraft protection&quot; that allows you to continue to make purchases while you are in the red, but the accompanying overdraft fees can be a serious budget-killer.</p> <p>So while you're enjoying your extra hour, log onto your bank account and sign up for overdraft alerts. With these alerts, you'll get a text or email when your account balance dips below a certain level, keeping you from feeling the sting of overdraft fees.</p> <h2>7. Use up your excess FSA funds at the FSA store</h2> <p>Setting money aside in your flexible spending account is an excellent way to earmark funds for medical and other health costs throughout the year, but FSA money is use-it-or-lose-it, which means that at this point in the year, you might have a hefty amount of money you're in danger of losing.</p> <p>Instead of just giving up money that will be left unused, you can spend some of your remaining FSA dollars at <a href="https://fsastore.com/Default.aspx" target="_blank">fsastore.com</a>, an online marketplace for sunscreen, contact lenses, bandages, and other health-related items that you are allowed to use your FSA money to buy. Of course, you can spend it just as readily at your local pharmacy, too.</p> <h2>8. Update your beneficiaries</h2> <p>Do you know who your beneficiary is for your life insurance and other financial accounts? If you haven't checked the paperwork in a few years, you might find that you have an out-of-date beneficiary listed.</p> <p>For instance, when my sister first started her career, she named me as her life insurance and retirement account beneficiary. Since that time, my sister has gotten married and gave birth to my niece, which means it would be completely inappropriate for me to still be her beneficiary. Because these policies can often last for decades, many people forget to update their beneficiaries even as their lives change.</p> <p>Take your extra hour to look up your life insurance and other financial paperwork to make sure your beneficiaries are up-to-date and you're no longer leaving your life insurance money to that ex you were engaged to 15 years ago.</p> <h2>An extra hour of financial productivity</h2> <p>We all love having an extra hour of the weekend when Daylight Saving Time ends, but you can make that hour even more valuable by using it to make great financial choices. You'll be glad you did.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-money-moves-you-can-make-when-we-turn-the-clocks-back-for-fall&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Money%2520Moves%2520You%2520Can%2520Make%2520When%2520We%2520Turn%2520the%2520Clocks%2520Back%2520for%2520Fall.jpg&amp;description=8%20Money%20Moves%20You%20Can%20Make%20When%20We%20Turn%20the%20Clocks%20Back%20for%20Fall"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Money%20Moves%20You%20Can%20Make%20When%20We%20Turn%20the%20Clocks%20Back%20for%20Fall.jpg" alt="8 Money Moves You Can Make When We Turn the Clocks Back for Fall" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-you-can-make-when-we-turn-the-clocks-back-for-fall">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-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-strategies-for-paying-off-debt-when-living-on-a-variable-income">7 Strategies for Paying Off Debt When Living on a Variable Income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it">Flashback Friday: The 60 Best Ways to Use Food Other Than Eating It</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/start-saving-more-with-this-one-simple-tool">Start Saving More With This One, Simple Tool</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting budget daylight savings extra hour fall back financial planning money moves saving money Mon, 23 Oct 2017 08:00:08 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2037741 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways Self Care Can Actually Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-self-care-can-actually-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-self-care-can-actually-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_happy_meditating_541865750.jpg" alt="Woman practicing self care and saving money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;Self care&quot; has become a buzzword. It has become associated with spa days and luxurious vacations, and critics say that it's more of an exercise in self-indulgence. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-self-care-actually-harms-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">When Self-Care Actually Harms Your Budget</a>)</p> <p>However, true self care doesn't actually have to have anything to do with spending lots of money. In fact, truly caring for yourself, giving yourself what you need, and making your own well-being a priority, will save you money in the long run. Here are a few ways that can work. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/treat-yourself-with-these-7-free-self-care-routines?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Treat Yourself With These 7 Free Self-Care Routines</a>)</p> <h2>1. Exercise</h2> <p>Taking care of your body is important. In fact, it's one of the most important things you can do for your health. And as your body produces endorphins during exercise, it helps your mental health, as well. If you want to run a lower risk of shelling out money at the doctor's office, make daily exercise part of your routine.</p> <p>But wait! Don't gym memberships cost money? Luckily, you don't need a pricey gym membership to get physically fit. Just a quality pair of sneakers, comfy clothes, and an open trail on which to run or walk every day can help protect your ticker. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-at-home-exercises-will-give-you-a-gym-quality-workout-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These At-Home Exercises Will Give You a Gym-Quality Workout for Free</a>)</p> <h2>2. Rest</h2> <p>Another basic tenet of real self care is rest. This means getting enough sleep at night, but it also means taking days off when needed. Just taking a mental health day will give your body and mind a chance to relax and reset, rather than be on all the time. You will also be more productive when you return to work with a fresh mind after a day off. You'll have more energy to tackle additional tasks outside of work, and to work on your side gigs to bring in extra income. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-things-science-says-you-should-do-for-your-body-every-day?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Easy Things Science Says You Should Do for Your Body Every Day</a>)</p> <p>Sleep can save you money, too. You'll make better decisions (financial and otherwise) when you are well-rested. And according to a study by Harvard University, <a href="http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/consequences/sleep-and-disease-risk" target="_blank">sleeping eight hours or more each night</a> lowers your risk of expensive chronic health problems that can push you straight into debt.</p> <h2>3. Healthy eating</h2> <p>What you eat and how you eat it can save you money, too. For many people, part of self care involves eating healthier by planning meals, grocery shopping for fresh ingredients, and then cooking and eating at home.</p> <p>Obviously, you will spend less on your food when you prepare it yourself. You will avoid pricey takeout meals that probably aren't as healthy, you'll improve your cooking skills, and you're taking care of your body, which, again, will help lower your risk of contracting any obesity-caused illnesses.</p> <h2>4. Setting goals</h2> <p>When we aren't caring for ourselves in the most basic sense, it can be harder to focus on our financial goals. Being focused and vigilant in one area of our lives can easily trickle into others. So when we're eating right, getting enough rest, and taking care of our bodies, we become more inclined to keep that positive momentum going. We plan ahead. We want to safeguard our future in every sense, including planning for retirement, paying off debt, and making smarter financial choices.</p> <h2>5. Creating boundaries</h2> <p>Maintaining personal boundaries is a huge part of self care, and it can also save us money. Because boundaries help us define what is and is not part of who we are, solid ones help us prevent poor spending decisions like competitive spending with friends, feeling pressured to lend others money, etc. If we value our financial health, then, boundaries will help us spend when we need to but not so much or so often that it negatively impacts our financial future. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-acts-of-self-care-for-the-sandwich-generation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Simple Acts of Self-Care for the Sandwich Generation</a>)</p> <p>Investing in self care doesn't have to be frivolous or luxurious; it often means changing our daily habits so that we are prioritizing our best interests.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-ways-self-care-can-actually-save-you-money&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Ways%2520Self%2520Care%2520Can%2520Actually%2520Save%2520You%2520Money.jpg&amp;description=5%20Ways%20Self%20Care%20Can%20Actually%20Save%20You%20Money"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Ways%20Self%20Care%20Can%20Actually%20Save%20You%20Money.jpg" alt="5 Ways Self Care Can Actually Save You Money" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-self-care-can-actually-save-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/10-ways-to-relieve-your-money-stress">10 Ways to Relieve Your Money Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-keep-anxiety-from-ruining-your-budget">5 Ways to Keep Anxiety From Ruining 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/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-stay-calm-in-stressful-moments">7 Ways to Stay Calm in Stressful Moments</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-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Lifestyle budget Health mental health saving money self care Spending Money Fri, 01 Sep 2017 08:00:06 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 2013366 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: Where Did You Learn to Budget? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-where-did-you-learn-to-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-where-did-you-learn-to-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mom_daughter_calculator_526424047.jpg" alt="Little girl learning how to budget with mom" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to Lorri, Karen, and Chrissy for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>It used to be that you learned about money management in school, but that hasn't been the case for a long while. The lucky ones had financially literate parents who taught them the basics from a young age, but many of us had to learn budgeting skills on our own, either from books, websites, or just plain experience.</p> <p><strong>Where did you learn to budget?</strong> What was the greatest challenge when you first learned to maintain budget? What advice would you give someone who is new to budgeting?</p> <p>Tell us where you learned to budget and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win:</p> <ul> <li>Follow us on Twitter</li> <li>Follow our Executive Editor Janet Alvarez on Twitter</li> <li>Tweet about our giveaway for an entry.</li> <li>Visit our Facebook page for an entry.</li> </ul> <p>Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards:</p> <p><a class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa316/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="79857dfa316" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_svuqikq1">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, September 4th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after September 4th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook or Twitter.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and U.S. resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us where you learned to budget and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-where-did-you-learn-to-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-whats-the-biggest-item-in-your-budget">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s the Biggest Item in Your 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/ask-the-readers-is-now-the-time-to-shop">Ask the Readers: Is Now the Time to Shop?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-you-can-make-when-we-turn-the-clocks-back-for-fall">8 Money Moves You Can Make When We Turn the Clocks Back for Fall</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/debt-repayment-is-not-an-expense">Debt repayment is not an expense</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-ways-to-resist-a-splurge">6 Ways to Resist a Splurge</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Giveaways Ask the Readers budget Tue, 29 Aug 2017 08:30:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 2009636 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/8-money-moves-you-can-make-when-we-turn-the-clocks-back-for-fall">8 Money Moves You Can Make When We Turn the Clocks Back for Fall</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-living-on-a-tight-budget-makes-you-happier">How Living on a Tight Budget Makes You Happier</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/heres-how-too-many-decisions-costs-you-money">Here&#039;s How Too Many Decisions Costs You 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/23-effortless-ways-to-go-green-and-save-money-too">23 Effortless Ways to Go Green (and Save Money, Too)</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/4-parenting-mistakes-to-avoid-when-teaching-kids-about-money">4 Parenting Mistakes to Avoid When Teaching Kids About Money</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 How to Throw a Kid's Birthday Bash on the Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-throw-a-kids-birthday-bash-on-the-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-throw-a-kids-birthday-bash-on-the-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-511382332.jpg" alt="Learning how to throw a kid&#039;s birthday bash on the cheap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all want to throw an unforgettable party for our kids, but we don&rsquo;t have to break the bank to do so. Fortunately, you can throw a big party on a small budget with the right plan. You won't have to sacrifice much, either. Here's how to save money on your child's special day.</p> <h2>Get the kids involved</h2> <p>Get your child involved in planning the party so they take part in the fun leading up to the special day. Invite one or two of their friends over before the party to help decorate. They can make their own decorations, blow up balloons, and cut out signs. Instead of expensive printed or themed tablecloths, cover tables with butcher paper and leave out crayons so the kids can write messages and draw while they eat.</p> <h2>Comparison shop</h2> <p>Don&rsquo;t just visit your local party supply store. If you have time (and energy), you can find some great deals at dollar stores and online suppliers like <a href="http://www.orientaltrading.com/party-supplies-a1-551135.fltr" target="_blank">Oriental Trading</a> and <a href="https://www.alibaba.com//Festive-Party-Supplies_pid100002992" target="_blank">Alibaba</a>. Shipping can take a few weeks, but you will likely find everything you need, from plates and cups to streamers and balloons, and even fun toys like bubbles, glow sticks, and water balloons for the party.</p> <h2>Get the timing right</h2> <p>According to Danielle Walker, author of <a href="http://amzn.to/2opfwJp" target="_blank"><em>Against All Grain: Celebrations</em></a>, the best time to throw a party is between 2 p.m. &ndash; 5 p.m., when guests are between meals and won't be expecting a full meal. You can just provide kid-friendly finger foods for them to munch on.</p> <h2>Combine parties</h2> <p>If your child's birthday falls close to one of their classmates' birthdays, you may consider joining forces with the other child's parents to throw a larger dual party.</p> <h2>Stick to the basics</h2> <p>It's great to have a party theme and budget in mind. This can keep you on track and provide inspiration during the party planning stages. However, it can be pricey if you try purchasing only themed items.</p> <p>For instance, purchasing <em>Frozen</em>-themed decorations is an expensive way to achieve the <em>Frozen</em> birthday party theme. You can just as easily achieve the theme &mdash; at a much lower cost &mdash; by purchasing affordable light blue items (like streamers, plates, balloons, and tablecloths) and adding several <em>Frozen</em> balloons, cupcake toppers, or centerpieces.</p> <h2>Call in favors</h2> <p>If you have a brother who dabbles in magic or a friend who can make great balloon animals, ask them to perform at the party as their gift to your child.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-throw-a-kids-birthday-bash-on-the-cheap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cheap-ways-to-entertain-your-kids-this-summer">6 Cheap Ways to Entertain Your Kids This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-smart-ways-to-save-on-fathers-day">3 Smart Ways to Save on Father&#039;s Day</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-save-money-on-kids-activities">How to Save Money on Kids&#039; Activities</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Family birthday birthday party budget frugal party how to throw a party kid's birthday saving money shopping Thu, 13 Apr 2017 08:30:07 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1926609 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Use Credit Cards Responsibly During the Holidays http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-responsibly-during-the-holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-use-credit-cards-responsibly-during-the-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-525827989.jpg" alt="use credit cards responsibly during the holidays" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Americans enjoy Christmas so much, that they often get carried away. It's one thing to go all-out decorating a tree or preparing the ultimate Christmas dinner, but some take the holiday spirit too far when they charge so much to their credit cards that they begin the New Year under a mountain of debt. At the same time, credit cards are a very secure and convenient method of payment, and shoppers can earn valuable rewards for their holiday spending.</p> <p>Before you pull out the plastic this year, consider these tips for using your credit cards responsibly during the holidays</p> <h2>1. Set a Budget</h2> <p>If you had unlimited money, then you could simply buy everyone you know anything they want, and not worry about the cost. But the reality is that we all must live within our means, or face crippling debt and costly interest charges. Regardless of how much money you make, it's best to set a budget for your holiday spending and stick with it. Start with an overall figure for how much your household can afford to spend during the holidays, and then split that budget among your different expenses like gifts, decorations, parties, and travel.</p> <h2>2. Watch Your Credit Utilization Ratio</h2> <p>Your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit utilization</a> ratio is the amount of total debt you have divided by the total amount of credit you've been extended. A rule of thumb is that you don't want to use up more than 30% of the credit that you've been extended on any one of your cards, or on all of your credit cards as a whole. The lower that percentage, the better. If you find yourself having to keep an eye on your credit limits, you can pay down your balances before you receive your statements. Also, you can apply for new credit cards or ask for credit limit increases on your existing cards. However, you want to have very low balances when you apply for new credit. As the old saying goes, banks only want to lend money to those who don't need it.</p> <h2>3. Use Your Credit Card Account's Alerts</h2> <p>It's because credit cards are so convenient to use that it's so easy to overspend. However, nearly all credit card issuers now offer ways to configure email and text alerts. You can set alerts to notify you when your payments are due, or when you've reached a certain spending threshold. Many card issuers also allow you to configure an alert that notifies you when one of your authorized users spends a certain amount. And best of all, you can use these alerts for free.</p> <h2>4. Look for Holiday Promotions</h2> <p>The credit card industry is intensely competitive, and each card issuer is trying to give you a reason to use its card over its competitors' cards. One of the ways it does this is to offer special promotions throughout the holiday season. Check if your credit card offers exclusive discounts for spending at certain stores. For example, some issuers have a shopping portal where if you click to a partner site through their portal, you will get a discount (or extra rewards) for your purchases. Others might have a Twitter feed that offers discount codes, or another program that requires you to sign in and sign up for offers. However, be careful not to make unnecessary purchases just to receive a discount.</p> <h2>5. Maximize the Value of Your Rewards</h2> <p>If you are using a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">rewards credit card</a>, then you may have many choices when it comes time to redeem your points, miles, or cash back. If you are paying interest on your holiday debt, then the best thing that you can do with your rewards is to redeem them for statement credits to pay down your debt. But if you are able to avoid interest charges by paying off all of your statement balances each month, then you might be able to redeem your points and miles for travel rewards that are worth more than the cash back offered. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-miles-and-points-for-holiday-gifts?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Ways to Use Your Points and Miles for Holiday Gifts</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-responsibly-during-the-holidays">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/10-money-goals-you-should-set-for-the-holidays">10 Money Goals You Should Set for the Holidays</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-secrets-to-a-debt-free-holiday-season">8 Secrets to a Debt-Free Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-tidy-up-your-finances-before-the-holidays">10 Ways to Tidy Up Your Finances Before the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-save-money-with-credit-cards">10 Tricks to Save Money with Credit Cards</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/worried-about-debt-tips-on-managing-your-loans">Worried About Debt? Tips On Managing Your Loans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards budget Christmas credit debt Holidays shopping Fri, 16 Dec 2016 10:00:07 +0000 Jason Steele 1855411 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: Do You Keep a Budget? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-keep-a-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-do-you-keep-a-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_paperwork_computer_000021881617.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to keep a budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-keep-a-budget#comment-792276">Kat</a>, Kristin, and Davalyn for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>It's widely agreed that one of the best ways to take control of your finances is to set up a budget. Experts recommend that you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-simple-thing-you-can-do-to-start-budgeting-today">start simple for your first budget</a> and get into the nitty-gritty stuff as you become more comfortable with the process, but many people burn out on a budget that doesn't work for them or the task seems too big to even begin. Alternatively, some people have discovered that budgets in general aren't effective for their situation, and they find other ways to keep their finances in order.</p> <p><strong>Do you keep a budget? </strong>What has been the easiest &mdash; and hardest &mdash; part of budgeting? If you don't budget, why not? What other method do you use to manage your money?</p> <p>Tell us whether you keep a budget and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For Extra Entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a id="rcwidget_37jqrv9q" data-template="" data-theme="classic" data-raflid="79857dfa246" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa246/" class="rcptr">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <p>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, May 30th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after May 30th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us whether you keep a budget and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-keep-a-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-whats-the-biggest-item-in-your-budget">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s the Biggest Item in Your 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/ask-the-readers-is-now-the-time-to-shop">Ask the Readers: Is Now the Time to Shop?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-you-can-make-when-we-turn-the-clocks-back-for-fall">8 Money Moves You Can Make When We Turn the Clocks Back for Fall</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/debt-repayment-is-not-an-expense">Debt repayment is not an expense</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-ways-to-resist-a-splurge">6 Ways to Resist a Splurge</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Giveaways Ask the Readers budget Tue, 24 May 2016 10:00:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1713709 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: The 107 Best Breakfast Hacks to Start Your Day Off Right http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_eating_breakfast_000077809533.jpg" alt="Woman using breakfast hacks to start her day off right" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then it should also be your best, most delicious meal of the day. Why not start the day off right, right? But with a hectic schedule ahead of you, it's easy to toss breakfast off the top of your priority list, and just grab something quick, something probably not-so-healthy, and ultimately, something that will tamper with your energy before you've even started work.</p> <p>It doesn't have to be that way, though. You absolutely can have a balanced breakfast without sacrificing much of your limited morning time. Here are the 100+ best breakfast hacks we've ever shared.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/healthy_breakfast_000042961122.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-most-calorie-burning-breakfasts?ref=fbf">The 7 Most Calorie-Burning Breakfasts</a> &mdash; Oh, you wanna torch massive calories throughout the day, eh? Well, you gotta start early in the morning. And these healthy, calorie-burning breakfasts will give you a stellar head-start.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-delicious-breakfast-dishes-for-your-grill?ref=fbf">11 Delicious Breakfast Dishes for Your Grill</a> &mdash; Warmer days, they are a comin', so why not enjoy the morning sun while you grill up some breakfast pizzas and hash browns? Sounds pretty wonderful, doesn't it?</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-and-delicious-granola-recipes?ref=fbf">20 Easy and Delicious Granola Recipes</a> &mdash; Granola is no one-trick pony. There are so many yummy ways to use it! So step up your granola game and mix it in with these amazing toppings.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/man_eating_oatmeal_000038523720.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-nutritious-breakfasts-for-people-with-busy-mornings?ref=fbf">15 Nutritious Breakfasts for People With Busy Mornings</a> &mdash; You're busy. I'm busy. We're all busy! That's still no excuse to consume a pile of garbage first thing in the morning. These delicious day starters will keep your energy up, your belly full, and your tastebuds doing a happy dance.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-superfood-smoothies-for-a-better-morning?ref=fbf">8 Easy Superfood Smoothies for a Better Morning</a> &mdash; Food just tastes so much better when you mix in fruit, natural sweeteners, and liquify it together, doesn't it? Smoothies make fantastic grab and go meals because it takes just a few minutes to dump everything into the blender, blend it up, and then you can take it to go. Win-win!</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-grab-and-go-post-workout-breakfasts?ref=fbf">15 Grab-and-Go Post-Workout Breakfasts</a> &mdash; If you're an a.m. exerciser, you need to stay hydrated and replace those calories you just burned off. If you skip breakfast after a workout, your energy will plummet and your body will be seriously pissed at you. So just whip up any of these breakfasts and head on out the door.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/homemade-cinnamon-roll-459082175-small_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-delicious-slow-cooker-breakfast-ideas-for-lazy-cooks?ref=fbf">12 Delicious Slow Cooker Breakfast Ideas for Lazy Cooks</a> &mdash; Lazy cooks are actually brilliant cooks. They know how to make their meals taste delicious without spending too much time on it. And with a slow cooker, you can toss the ingredients in the night before, and wake up to a wonderful smelling breakfast, just waiting to be eaten.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-delicious-and-frugal-power-bowls-you-want-right-now?ref=fbf">10 Delicious and Frugal Power Bowls You Want Right Now</a> &mdash; Power bowls are so in right now. These healthy bowls can be eaten at any time of day, but just add eggs and you've made it into a breakfast bowl. They're a bit pricey to buy, but make 'em yourself and you've got a gorgeous, healthy meal to Instagram and then eat &mdash; in that order, of course.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-make-ahead-freezable-hot-breakfast-recipes?ref=fbf">9 Make-Ahead, Freezable Hot Breakfast Recipes</a> &mdash; No time at all in the morning to prepare a nice hot meal? No problem! These breakfasts can be prepared ahead of time and frozen until you're ready to chow down.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite breakfast hacks? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-41-coffee-hacks-that-will-instantly-improve-your-morning">Flashback Friday: 41 Coffee Hacks That Will Instantly Improve Your Morning</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it">Flashback Friday: The 60 Best Ways to Use Food Other Than Eating It</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/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store">Flashback Friday: The 81 Best Tips for Saving Big at the Grocery Store</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-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30</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-63-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-leftovers">Flashback Friday: 63 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Leftovers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Life Hacks Food and Drink breakfast breakfast hacks budget easy breakfasts fbf flashback friday Food frugal food Fri, 29 Apr 2016 10:00:05 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1699081 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_exercise_plank_000083103031.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to get fit for free" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting in shape can seem like an uphill battle, especially if it costs big bucks to do so. You shouldn't need to spend all of your hard-earned money to become your healthiest self. There are so many ways to exercise on the cheap, or even for free. You don't need a pricey gym membership and a closet full of designer yoga pants. Really, all you need are some comfy clothes, space to move, and determination to keep pushing even when you get tired.</p> <p>Here are our 95 best fitness hacks for getting in great shape without spending any money.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/family-460428563.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-benefits-of-a-10-minute-walk?ref=fbf">10 Surprising Benefits Of: A 10 Minute Walk</a> &mdash; Don't underestimate the power of a short walk. Choosing to get outside and move &mdash; no matter how fast or slow &mdash; is an excellent way to promote overall health. So get outdoors and start walking!</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-quick-workouts-you-can-do-during-commercial-breaks?ref=FBF">9 Quick Workouts You Can Do During Commercial Breaks</a> &mdash; Not only can you get your sweat on for free, but you can also do it while you watch your favorite shows. It doesn't get much easier than that, right?</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman-exercise-living-room-Dollarphotoclub_63851547.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/36-workouts-you-can-do-in-your-living-room-while-its-cold-out?ref=fbf">36 Workouts You Can Do in Your Living Room While It's Cold Out</a> &mdash; The only time winter isn't coming is when it's already winter, so you should have an indoor workout routine already established by the time the snow starts to fall. These are all fun and effective!</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-home-workout-hacks-for-people-with-no-equipment-and-no-room?ref=fbf">12 Cheap Home Workout Hacks for People With No Equipment and No Room</a> &mdash; It turns out you don't even need much space or exercise equipment to get in shape. Just use the contents of your pantry, furniture, and your own body weight to add resistance to your sweat sesh.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-work-out-when-its-hot-outside?ref=fbf">5 Ways to Work Out When It's Hot Outside</a> &mdash; Sweating when you're already covered in sweat from the heat isn't fun for anyone. But rather than heading outside for your workout, stay indoors and get fit during the warmer months.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/exercise-479677521.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-at-home-exercises-will-give-you-a-gym-quality-workout-for-free?ref=fbf">These At-Home Exercises Will Give You a Gym-Quality Workout for Free</a> &mdash; You don't need to be a gym rat to look like one. Here are several sweat-inducing moves you can make at home, all while spending zero dollars.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-exercises-to-do-at-work-that-dont-make-you-look-silly?ref=fbf">10 Exercises to Do at Work That Don't Make You Look Silly</a> &mdash; Kill two birds with one stone and work out while you're at work. That way, when your work day is over, your workout work is also done.</p> <p><em>How do you get fit for free? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it">Flashback Friday: The 60 Best Ways to Use Food Other Than Eating It</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/flashback-friday-the-119-best-fitness-hacks-for-busy-people">Flashback Friday: The 119 Best Fitness Hacks for Busy People</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-the-99-best-fitness-hacks-of-all-time">Flashback Friday: The 99 Best Fitness Hacks of All 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/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store">Flashback Friday: The 81 Best Tips for Saving Big at the Grocery Store</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting Health and Beauty budget fbf fitness hacks flashback friday free fitness frugal fitness Health saving money Fri, 22 Apr 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1695510 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: The 60 Best Ways to Use Food Other Than Eating It http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_cucumber_eyes_000000765447.jpg" alt="Woman using foods in ways other than eating them" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Eating food might be the best time of anyone's day. And while food is meant to be consumed with thorough chewing wrapped in &quot;ooh&quot;s and &quot;ahh&quot;s, it can also be used for beauty, decor, and home repair. Though you'd probably use a jar of honey as a sweetener over a face mask ingredient any day, it's comforting to know that the contents of your kitchen have the potential to take care of all of your everyday needs.</p> <p>Here are the 60 best food hacks that have nothing to do with eating.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/bowl_of_lemons_000019714803_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-use-your-food-that-dont-involve-eating?ref=fbf">4 Ways to Use Your Food That Don't Involve Eating</a> &mdash; Aside from keeping your skin and hair all kinds of gorgeous, you can use food as home decor, pesticides, and cleaning products! A little DIY magic can make your fridge's contents go a long way.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-home-uses-for-mayonnaise?ref=fbf">10 Unexpected Home Uses for Mayonnaise</a> &mdash; It turns out, mayo is seriously <em>amayozing</em>. Sorry, had to do it. But for real, this beloved condiment kills head lice, fixes cracks in wooden furniture, strengthens fingernails, and beyond. It's all kinds of handy.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/women_wearing_facemasks_000050640308_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-diy-beauty-masks-made-from-food?ref=fbf">9 DIY Beauty Masks Made From Food</a> &mdash; Just open the fridge and you'll find a vast array of beauty products! So instead of wasting extra cash on a face mask, just make your own using edible ingredients from your kitchen.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unexpected-uses-for-peanut-butter?ref=fbf">15 Unexpected Uses for Peanut Butter</a> &mdash; You might be shocked to learn that PB performs better without the J, especially when it's not used for eating. Peanut butter can be used as a leather cleaner, a squeak squasher, and a delicious way to lure pests to their death. Mind = blown.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-do-with-your-coffee-beans?ref=fbf">5 Things to Do With Your Coffee Beans</a> &mdash; Of course, your morning cup of joe is sacred. But if you've got any extra coffee beans lying around, put them to good use with these brilliant tricks!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/honey_000050003532.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-uses-for-honey?ref=fbf">7 Unexpected Uses for Honey</a> &mdash; Did you know honey can heal burns? I didn't either! Honey is a wonder product that can do so much more than simply sweeten your tea.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-and-useful-things-to-do-with-ketchup?ref=fbf">10 Surprising and Useful Things to Do With Ketchup</a> &mdash; Oh, you thought ketchup was just a cheap way to dress up a burger? Think again. This talented condiment can shine copper, fight skunk odor, prevent cancer, and so much more!</p> <p><em>What are your best non-food food hacks? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store">Flashback Friday: The 81 Best Tips for Saving Big at the Grocery 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/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</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-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right">Flashback Friday: The 107 Best Breakfast Hacks to Start Your Day Off Right</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-63-best-cooking-hacks-for-busy-people">Flashback Friday: 63 Best Cooking Hacks for Busy People</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting Food and Drink budget fbf flashback friday food hacks frugal food Health saving money Fri, 15 Apr 2016 10:00:12 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1690723 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30 http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_smiling_coffee_000083191027.jpg" alt="Woman learning best life lessons by age 30" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting older is scary. You're losing your supple, wrinkle-free glow one day at a time, you're edging closer to retirement and you may or may not have a sufficient amount of money saved, and ultimately, you're running out of time to accomplish your goals. But the flip side of that is with age comes wisdom, and by age 30, you should have a ton of it. Mainly because everyone's 20s are a hot mess of transitions, frightening unknowns, and emotional ups and downs. So once your 20s are behind you, you're ready to live your life like a <em>boss</em>.</p> <p>Here are our 76 best bits of wisdom to become your best self by age 30.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/young_woman_money_000062037450.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-personal-finance-milestones-every-20-and-30-year-old-should-hit?ref=fbf">7 Personal Finance Milestones Every 20 and 30 Year Old Should Hit</a> &mdash; Successfully managing your money is a struggle at every age. But if you can come up with the right strategy by 30, and stick to it, then you'll be living a very sweet life.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-by-30?ref=fbf">5 Financial Mistakes You Need to Stop Making by 30</a> &mdash; Just as important as learning what to do, is learning what not to do. You probably made all of these mistakes in the rough and tumble times in your 20s, but it's time to break these reckless habits by your third decade on Earth.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-stop-doing-on-social-media-by-30?ref=fbf">10 Things to Stop Doing on Social Media by 30</a> &mdash; We live in a digital age, in which the way you conduct yourself online is almost as important as the way you conduct yourself in person. So seriously, stop taking drunk, revealing selfies and plastering them all over the web.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_cooking_000057441244.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-life-hacks-you-should-master-by-age-30?ref=fbf">10 Life Hacks You Should Master by Age 30</a> &mdash; From changing a tire to properly wrapping a present, these are the skills you should master by the time you hit the big 3-0. Some are easy, and some are hard, but all will make you a self-sufficient human. And that is priceless.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-life-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-by-30?ref=fbf">5 Life Mistakes You Need to Stop Making by 30</a> &mdash; Adulting is not always easy. In fact, most of the time, it's incredibly difficult. But by 30, it's truly time to grow up and stop making irresponsible life choices.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-foods-everybody-should-be-able-to-cook-by-30?ref=fbf">12 Foods Everybody Should Be Able to Cook by 30</a> &mdash; Even if you're not much of a cook, you should be able to throw together a basic and hearty meal for yourself in a pinch. From pasta to pancakes, these are the foods you should really know how to cook by now.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/30-somethings_financial_goals.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-all-30-somethings-should-have?ref=fbf">10 Money Goals All 30-Somethings Should Have</a> &mdash; Now that your 20s are officially behind you, it's time to get serious about your financial goals. You've always dreamed of retiring on a beach with cocktails always in hand, yes? Well, now is the time to make that dream come true.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-career-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-30?ref=fbf">8 Career Mistakes to Stop Making by 30</a> &mdash; Decade numero tres is usually around the time people get laser-focused on their career goals. So if you're looking to switch industries, start your own business, or get a promotion, make sure you're always being your best self at work, and stop letting these mistakes slow you down.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-successful-30-somethings-do?ref=fbf">9 Things Successful 30-Somethings Do</a> &mdash; Oh you, wanna be a baller? Learn from the best, and adopt these smart habits of successful 30-somethings and you'll be well on your way.</p> <p><em>What are your tips for mastering the game of life by age 30? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <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/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it">Flashback Friday: The 60 Best Ways to Use Food Other Than Eating It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</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/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store">Flashback Friday: The 81 Best Tips for Saving Big at the Grocery Store</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-the-119-best-fitness-hacks-for-busy-people">Flashback Friday: The 119 Best Fitness Hacks for Busy People</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-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right">Flashback Friday: The 107 Best Breakfast Hacks to Start Your Day Off Right</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting Lifestyle budget fbf flashback friday frugal food Health saving money Fri, 08 Apr 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1686913 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Smart and Fun Things You Could Do if You Paid Less Rent http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-and-fun-things-you-could-do-if-you-paid-less-rent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-smart-and-fun-things-you-could-do-if-you-paid-less-rent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000075723379_Large.jpg" alt="Woman enjoying life by paying less rent" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Paying rent is one of life's necessary evils. And you have to toil away to cover the cost of your too-small dwelling that seems to <em>always</em> need the Super to fix <em>something</em>. But let's think happy thoughts. What would you do, in a perfect world, if you paid less rent? Here are eight smart and fun things to do with all that extra cash in your pocket at the end of the month.</p> <h2>1. Take Classes to Learn a New Skill</h2> <p>A few years ago, my husband spent an incredible amount of money on helicopter lessons, because learning how to fly an aircraft has been a pursuit of his since his Navy days. Okay, I get it, people have dreams and all, but I also think that if you're not rich, like we aren't, those lessons should somehow pay for themselves or earn income down the road. But they didn't, and still haven't.</p> <p>Thus, let my disdain be a lesson in and of itself: If you want to use your leftover rent money to take a class, I highly recommend it, but you should have a purpose, an endgame. For instance, if you'd like to take a pottery class, that's all well and good, but are you doing it so you can make everybody ashtrays and vases for Christmas, or are you visualizing the potential of becoming proficient enough to sell the items or market yourself as a potter? The choice certainly is yours, but you'd be doing yourself a solid by trying to <em>monetize </em>your new skill, whatever it may be.</p> <h2>2. Upgrade Your Vehicle to Something You Want</h2> <p>There are upsides and downsides to buying a car brand new or used, which should be considered when deciding on a vehicle. But many times we get so lost in the details that we don't end up with the vehicle we actually <em>want</em>. If you're in this situation &mdash; driving a car or truck that gets you from A to B without much joie de vivre &mdash; maybe it's time to upgrade. It'd be a real possibility if you paid less rent.</p> <h2>3. Enhance Your Work Wardrobe</h2> <p>No matter where you work, somebody is judging you on your professional attire. And whether or not you want to believe it, the way you look plays a part in your income potential. It's not fair, no, because dressing &quot;well&quot; is a relative concept, but it behooves you to be on the trendier, more fitted side of the spectrum. If you're not feeling as confident as you'd like when you walk into the office, use your rent surplus to upgrade and enhance your wardrobe. Just a few key pieces &mdash; a fitted suit and shinier shoes &mdash; can do the trick.</p> <h2>4. Pursue a Healthier Lifestyle</h2> <p>It's true that nobody really needs to pay for exercise. You can do that on your own, without a trainer or even a gym. However, having the ability to work out by your own motivation and <em>wanting</em> to do it are two different things. I'm a self-motivator in all other aspects of my life, but when it comes to exercise, I need help. Which is why I don't feel bad paying for my gym membership or my personal trainer because I'm using these services to their full potential and seeing results (which is necessary for these expenditures to make sense).</p> <p>If you're like me, there's no harm in using what you would have paid in rent to better your health and your body by getting help along the way.</p> <h2>5. Save for That Always-Out-of-Reach Vacation</h2> <p>If you find yourself with the good fortune of paying less rent, you probably won't be able to pack your bags and jet off on your dream vacation right away. With about a half a year of saving &mdash; depending on how much you were able to shave off your rent &mdash; that always out-of-reach vacation will be much easier to grasp.</p> <h2>6. Establish a New Side Gig or Small Business</h2> <p>With the sharing economy in full effect &mdash; thanks to services like Airbnb, DogVacay, and Uber &mdash; you can start earning income with little to no investment. But not all side gigs or small businesses are that easy. If you have an idea in mind that requires start-up capital, use your rent surplus to fund this endeavor.</p> <p>In fact, I would say that this opportunity trumps everything else on this list so far. Adding another source of income can help you get to those other things faster, but establishing a new revenue generator should always be a priority. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-must-know-about-money-before-you-take-a-side-job?ref=seealso">10 Money Moves You Need to Make Before You Take a Side Job</a>)</p> <h2>7. Funnel Cash Into Your Home-Buying Fund</h2> <p>Nobody will ever convince me that <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303948104579534230618539424">renting is better than owning</a> your own home &mdash; not even the <em>Wall Street Journal</em>. Because why pay someone else to live in their house when you can pay yourself to live in your own house? Get out of that rental prison quicker by establishing a down-payment savings account and sending your rental savings there every month. Stick to it, and you'll have enough for a down payment before you know it.</p> <h2>8. Invest in Yourself</h2> <p>Go back to school, pursue a higher paying job, learn a new language &mdash; do something that will make you a better person <em>and</em> a more attractive employee. The best investment you can make is in yourself. Unless, of course, you have a hot tip on stocks; then I'll stand corrected.</p> <p><em>What are some of the smart and fun things you would do if you paid less rent? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-and-fun-things-you-could-do-if-you-paid-less-rent">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free">5 Simple Ways to Live Rent-Free</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/34-ways-to-come-up-with-the-rent-before-the-month-ends">34 Ways to Come Up With the Rent Before the Month Ends</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-resist-a-splurge">6 Ways to Resist a Splurge</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/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Real Estate and Housing budget frugal fun activities rent rent money Spending Money Mon, 25 Jan 2016 16:00:03 +0000 Mikey Rox 1643601 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Resist a Splurge http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-resist-a-splurge <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-resist-a-splurge" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000075600861_Large.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to resist a splurge" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you went into debt buying gifts for the holidays, the time has come to pay that money back. What's more insidious than that, is the fact that most of us get used to spending over the holidays. We buy special gifts, special meals, special tickets, and more. But come January, most of us need to stop these splurges. We can't live that way all the time, or we will run out of money to pay the bills and buy what we need.</p> <p>It's hard, though, to see what we want and not buy it, especially when we've become lax with our self-control in that area. Here are some ideas to help you turn your spending around, and ultimately resist the urge to splurge.</p> <h2>1. Understand Your Feelings</h2> <p>Many of us overspend when something negative is going on in our lives. We want the instant gratification that comes with having something new because something else isn't working. Rather than making the purchase, we can stop and focus on what is making us feel bad, work that out, and then we won't need to buy anything in order to feel better.</p> <p>If you can't make yourself stop and think about your feelings <em>after </em>you've felt the urge to splurge, try sitting down and identifying the types of feelings that make you want to spend. Think over past splurges and see if something else was causing you the stress that buying something alleviated. Put some serious energy into this exercise, and you'll be better prepared to resist temptation the next time it rears its head.</p> <h2>2. Consider the Context</h2> <p>Before you make a spontaneous purchase, force yourself to consider the entire financial context in which you're making the purchase. If you buy this thing that you want, will you be able to pay your bills this month? Will it cause you to go into debt? Will it keep you from reaching your overall financial goals?</p> <p>Often, considering the cumulative effects that a purchase can have will help you stave off the spending spree. When you see the ways that spending now could impact you negatively later, it's a lot easier to walk away without putting your money down.</p> <h2>3. Think About Anything Else</h2> <p>Sometimes, we splurge because we can't stop thinking about something we saw, wanted, and almost bought. After you make yourself walk away initially, think about something else. Go back to work, call a friend, make plans for the weekend &mdash; whatever! Just get your mind off of whatever it was you considered spending your money on.</p> <p>If this is hard for you, make a deal with a friend that you'll help each other. When one of you wants to buy something, you can call or text the other and know that there's someone to help you redirect your thoughts. That way, you won't be alone in your quest to avoid the splurge.</p> <h2>4. Calm Yourself Down</h2> <p>Buying something often makes us feel better because it stimulates us. We get excited. Unfortunately, we don't always make the best decisions when we are following our excitement.</p> <p>If you're in the middle of the store or out with friends, try taking a few deep breaths. If you can escape to a bathroom &mdash; even better. Close your eyes and breathe in for a count of four, hold for a count of four, breathe out for a count of four, and leave your lungs empty for a count of four. Do this several times and you will find your mind clearer. You'll probably make a better decision about what to buy, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money?ref=seealso">5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money</a>)</p> <h2>5. Wait Before You Buy</h2> <p>Make an agreement with yourself, before you buy another thing, that you have to wait a certain amount of time before you spend money impulsively. This might be 24 hours, two days, or even a week. The point is that you give yourself time to consider your purchase, decide how it fits into your budget, and deal with your feelings before any money leaves your wallet.</p> <p>Some people only do this with purchases over a certain amount of money. For instance, you may decide that it is the purchases over $50 that are really hurting you. In that case, you can decide that you have to wait a week before you spend anything over that amount. It helps to have someone to keep you accountable here, so you don't override the decision on a whim.</p> <h2>6. List the Things You Want (Rather Than Buying Them)</h2> <p>When you want to buy something, add it to a list of wants, rather than making the purchase now. Sometimes, this satisfies the urge entirely. And even if it doesn't, it often settles the feeling that you have to buy it now or you will never find/see/encounter it again. If you're buying online, save a picture of the item and a link somewhere. If you're in a store, snap a photo of the item and another of the price and store those.</p> <p>This can sound crazy, but it definitely works. I have a friend who &quot;fake buys&quot; things all the time, and another who keeps a Pinterest board of all the stuff she'd like to get. Capturing an item in this way can satisfy the urge to possess something, without spending all of your money on actually getting it.</p> <p><em>How do you stave off a splurge? Would you recommend your methods to others?</em></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/6-ways-to-resist-a-splurge">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-great-things-to-do-with-50">50 Great Things to Do With $50</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-too-many-decisions-costs-you-money">Here&#039;s How Too Many Decisions Costs You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-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/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> Budgeting Shopping broke budget shopaholic shopping spree Spending Money Splurge Mon, 25 Jan 2016 10:00:03 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1642989 at http://www.wisebread.com Surprising Ways to Save Even More on Black Friday http://www.wisebread.com/surprising-ways-to-save-even-more-on-black-friday <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/surprising-ways-to-save-even-more-on-black-friday" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_holiday_shopping_000052190246.jpg" alt="Woman learning surprising ways to save even more on Black Friday" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you are one of the thousands of shoppers who have accepted and triumphed over the challenge of Black Friday's frenzied crowds, early hours, and long lines, you're likely familiar with the slew of benefits associated with shopping on this day of huge discounts and bargains. However, you might be missing out on even more savings and perks if you aren't using your credit cards when you shop. While shoppers might be hesitant to break out the plastic for holiday shopping, Black Friday is one of the best shopping days of the year to use a credit card. Here's why you should only use your credit card on Black Friday. (See also:<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso">13 Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <h2>Cash Sign-Up Bonuses</h2> <p>While it's common for credit cards to offer cash sign-up bonuses, there aren't many shopping days better than Black Friday for taking advantage of those bonuses. Black Friday shoppers aim to complete a large part, if not all, of their holiday shopping, which means it's easier to meet the spending requirements that come with sign-up bonuses. Plus, the sign-up bonus you receive in return, can be counted as an additional discount on your purchases, further maximizing the discounts you already scored shopping on Black Friday. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-bonus-cash-for-sign-up?ref=seealso">Credit Cards with the Best Cash Bonuses</a>)</p> <h2>Extended Warranty</h2> <p>Many credit cards include an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-free-extended-warranty-from-your-credit-card-issuer?ref=internal">extended warranty feature</a> that we often overlook. In most cases, the card will extend the warranty for at least an additional year. This can become a valuable feature especially when many Black Friday sales and discounts include electronics, gaming systems, and appliances. Usually, if you want to extend the manufacturer's warranty on a purchase, you have to pay extra but using a credit card that comes with extended warranty doesn't cost you anything. Check your card agreement to check if there are any limits to the purchases it covers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-benefits-each-credit-card-bank-offers?ref=seealso">Best Benefits Each Card Issuer Offers</a>)</p> <h2>Price Protection</h2> <p>Some cards include <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-price-match-through-your-credit-card?ref=internal">price protection services</a> for ensuring that you&rsquo;re getting the lowest price possible. Finding the flat screen you waited hours in line for available a week later for an additional $100 off can be maddening. If a product you purchased is available cheaper, you can receive a refund of the price difference.</p> <h2>Theft and Damage Protection</h2> <p>Let's face it, a good deal can stir up any shopper, and things can get hectic on Black Friday. The last thing you want to worry about is stolen or damaged purchases. Many credit cards provide <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-credit-cards-protect-your-purchases-from-damage-or-theft?ref=internal">protection against theft or damage</a> &mdash; and often loss, as well &mdash; and will reimburse you the cost of the purchase.</p> <h2>Return Protection</h2> <p>Because of the very nature of Black Friday, store return policies are often limited. While you might be able to take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime deal on cashmere sweaters, it does you no good if you find out your mother-in-law is allergic to cashmere and you can't return them. Another reason to use your credit card for Black Friday shopping is because many include return protection. If the store won't accept your return, you can turn to your card's return protection feature and get a refund that way.</p> <h2>Valuable Rewards Programs</h2> <p>You can't really mention the benefits of using credit cards without pointing out the valuable rewards that many offer. If you have a cash back card with rotating rewards, the bonus categories often include popular stores for holiday shopping. What's better than getting an amazing deal on Black Friday, and then getting <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-5-cash-back-on-holiday-purchases?ref=internal">5% cash back</a> on top of that? When you map out your Black Friday plan, you can figure out which cards to use to earn the most cash back.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/surprising-ways-to-save-even-more-on-black-friday">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-8"> <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/make-these-6-credit-card-moves-now-to-prepare-for-holiday-shopping">Make These 6 Credit Card Moves Now to Prepare for Holiday Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-prepare-for-your-best-black-friday">11 Ways to Prepare for Your Best Black Friday</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-frugal-skills-you-need-to-survive-black-friday">8 Frugal Skills You Need to Survive Black Friday</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/why-people-go-crazy-on-black-friday">Why People Go Crazy on Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-can-do-right-now-for-a-frugal-holiday-season">9 Things You Can Do Right Now for a Frugal Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Shopping black friday budget holiday shopping saving money Wed, 18 Nov 2015 10:15:52 +0000 Christina Majaski 1613660 at http://www.wisebread.com Start Saving More With This One, Simple Tool http://www.wisebread.com/start-saving-more-with-this-one-simple-tool <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/start-saving-more-with-this-one-simple-tool" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_writing_journal_000039888922.jpg" alt="Woman saving more with one simple budgeting tool" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You know you need to create a monthly budget for your household. But before you can do that, you need to create a spending book, which is a book that tracks how much you spend each week on everything from groceries to gas to bus fare.</p> <p>If you don't know how much you already spend on these items, you'll struggle to craft an accurate budget for your household. And with an inaccurate budget, the odds are high that you'll bust it before the end of every month.</p> <p>Fortunately, creating a spending book is simple. You can do it in less than two hours, and you'll need just a pen and a notebook.</p> <h2>The Problem With Budgets</h2> <p>You might set aside $600 a month for groceries. By the time the month ends, though, you've spent $900 at the supermarket. What happened? You set an unrealistic budget goal.</p> <p>This isn't unusual. In a study released earlier this year, Bankrate reported that 82% of U.S. adults say they keep a budget. But the same survey found that fewer than 40% of respondents had enough savings on hand to cover a $500 or $1,000 emergency bill.</p> <p>A survey by HarrisPoll for SunTrust Banks released earlier this year found that <a href="http://investors.suntrust.com/news/news-details/2015/SunTrust-Many-higher-income-households-living-paycheck-to-paycheck/default.aspx">44% of people who earned more than $75,000</a> a year said that their extra spending on lifestyle purchases &mdash; purchases that were not essential &mdash; prevented them from saving as much money as they wanted to. The survey found, too, that almost one-third of respondents were living paycheck to paycheck, not saving any money each month.</p> <p>These are the kind of financial problems people run into when they break their monthly household budgets.</p> <h2>How a Spending Book Can Help</h2> <p>It's easy to know how much you'll spend on your mortgage, student-loan, or car payment. Those expenses don't change each month. It's easy, too, to guesstimate how much you'll spend each month on your electric and gas bills. They vary each month, but not wildly.</p> <p>How much you spend on groceries, dining out, movies or public transportation, however, can change from week to week. When you break your budget by overspending on these discretionary purchases, you're likely to dip into the money that you've budgeted for savings. And that's how you get to the point where an emergency bill sends your credit card debt soaring.</p> <p>This is why it's important to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-year-end-financial-moves-you-must-make-now">create a spending book</a> to track all of your purchases. Once you do this, you'll have a better ballpark figure on how much to budget for entertainment, restaurant meals and groceries each month. And you'll be less likely to break your budget.</p> <h2>Creating Your Spending Book</h2> <p>The best way to create a spending book is to go tech-free. Buy a small notebook that you can carry with you. When you make a purchase, no matter what it is, write it down. If you don't want to carry your notebook with you, get a receipt for your buys. When you get home, write down what you bought during the day.</p> <p>Make sure to write down, too, when you pay your mortgage, car payment, credit-card payment or utility bills. You want to chart all of your purchases in your spending book every day. It's the only way to get an accurate representation of how much you really spend.</p> <h3>Apps for That</h3> <p>If you'd rather go a bit more high-tech, you can download several apps that help you track your spending. You'll just enter your purchases into your smartphone after you make them. There are plenty of tracking apps out there, but some highly rated ones are <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/trackmyspend/id542589077?mt=8">TrackMySPEND</a>, <a href="https://goodbudget.com/">GoodBudget</a>, <a href="http://www.getpennies.com/">Pennies</a>, and <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pocket-expense-personal-finance/id424575621?mt=8">Pocket Expense</a>.</p> <h3>Sort It and Add It Up</h3> <p>At the end of every week, enter the purchases from your spending book into a spreadsheet devoted to your household spending. A simple spreadsheet will work fine for this. You can also search online for spreadsheets created just for this purpose. You'll need to organize your spending into broad categories. Choose what works for you, but you might consider breaking your purchases down into categories such as household expenses &mdash; which would include money spent on maintenance and repairs, utilities, and your mortgage payment &mdash; entertainment, groceries, clothing, medical expenses, dining out, transportation, and monthly subscriptions.</p> <p>Once you have your information in a spreadsheet, you can total your purchases in each category to see what you've actually spent on going to the movies or on medical visits.</p> <h3>Do It for a Month &mdash; That's It!</h3> <p>You should keep your spending book for at least a month before creating a household budget. That way, you'll have enough spending data to account for the weeks in which you spend less or more on such variable purchases as groceries or dining out. Once you have a month's worth of numbers, you can average out how much you typically spend on these purchases.</p> <p>Armed with this information, you can create a household budget that's <em>actually accurate</em>. You should keep that spending book going, too, even after your budget is set. It's a great way to determine if you're on track to meet your budget goals as the month moves along.</p> <p><em>How do you track your monthly budget? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-saving-more-with-this-one-simple-tool">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-9"> <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-money-moves-you-can-make-when-we-turn-the-clocks-back-for-fall">8 Money Moves You Can Make When We Turn the Clocks Back for Fall</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it">Flashback Friday: The 60 Best Ways to Use Food Other Than Eating It</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-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting budget saving money savings tools spending book Thu, 12 Nov 2015 17:15:23 +0000 Dan Rafter 1610789 at http://www.wisebread.com