budget http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1413/all en-US 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-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/4-parenting-mistakes-to-avoid-when-teaching-kids-about-money">4 Parenting Mistakes to Avoid When Teaching Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-youre-still-stuck-in-a-financial-hole">8 Reasons You&#039;re Still Stuck in a Financial Hole</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life">39 Mindless Ways You&#039;re Wasting Money in Every Part of Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-nice-thing-can-ruin-your-whole-budget">How One Nice Thing Can Ruin Your Whole Budget</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/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-ways-to-save-on-audio-books">8 Smart Ways to Save on Audio Books</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-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-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/reduce-your-credit-limits-to-manage-your-spending">Reduce Your Credit Limits to Manage Your Spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-important-credit-card-lessons-your-parents-didnt-teach-you">6 Important Credit Card Lessons Your Parents Didn&#039;t Teach You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/worried-about-debt-tips-on-managing-your-loans">Worried About Debt? Tips On Managing Your Loans</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/5-strategies-to-wipe-out-your-credit-card-balance">5 Strategies To Wipe Out Your Credit Card Balance</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-200-giveaway-what-does-corporate-social-responsibility-mean-to-you">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Does Corporate Social Responsibility Mean to You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-trash-or-cash-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: Trash or Cash? (Chance to Win $20!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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 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-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-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-62-creative-uses-for-your-favorite-condiments">Flashback Friday: 62 Creative Uses for Your Favorite Condiments</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-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 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-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-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-76-new-years-resolutions-thatll-make-2017-your-year">Flashback Friday: 76 New Year&#039;s Resolutions That&#039;ll Make 2017 Your Year</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-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-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-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-63-best-cooking-hacks-for-busy-people">Flashback Friday: 63 Best Cooking 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 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-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/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-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/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-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/5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free">5 Simple Ways to Live Rent-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/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</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 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-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/11-things-that-should-never-cost-more-than-99">11 Things That Should Never Cost More Than $99</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life">39 Mindless Ways You&#039;re Wasting Money in Every Part of Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-great-things-to-do-with-50">50 Great Things to Do With $50</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 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-10"> <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/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-the-holidays">Best Credit Cards for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-5-cash-back-on-holiday-purchases">How to Get 5% Cash Back on Holiday Purchases</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/december-deals-that-are-better-than-black-friday">December Deals That Are Better Than 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/why-people-go-crazy-on-black-friday">Why People Go Crazy on Black Friday</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-11"> <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-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-2 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-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-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/ponder-it-to-budget-or-not-to-budget">Ponder it: to budget or not to budget</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 8 Steps to Budget Mastery in 20 Minutes a Month http://www.wisebread.com/8-steps-to-budget-mastery-in-20-minutes-a-month <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-steps-to-budget-mastery-in-20-minutes-a-month" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_holding_calculator_000011141410.jpg" alt="Woman learning steps to master her budget in 20 minutes a month" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The word &quot;budget&quot; strikes fear and panic in many. No one likes to think about them, let alone talk about them. The truth of the matter is that most budgets fail, and they fail badly, because most <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-sneaky-ways-you-cheat-on-your-budget">budgets lie</a>. Yes, that's right &mdash; they lie. A budget can represent whatever numbers you put in it. If you forget to add a bunch of expenses in each month, then it makes sense that you would be over budget month after month after month</p> <p>In order to break this silly cycle of money mayhem, here is an easy eight-step system you can use to master your budget in only 20 minutes a month. Open up a spreadsheet and let's get started!</p> <h2>1. Create a Second Column</h2> <p>Not to be redundant, but we've got to first start with the budget. Why most budgets fail is because they only have one column, the budgeted column. We've already gone over why this doesn't work. Instead, upgrade your budget to a two-column layout for success. Your first column is the &quot;What I Think I Will Spend&quot; column, and the second column is the &quot;What I Actually Spent&quot; column. Basically, you create two mirror columns to accurately display what is going on in your budget for a given month.</p> <h2>2. Fill in &quot;What I Think&quot;</h2> <p>The &quot;What I Think&quot; column should be the easiest column to complete and shouldn't take you more than a couple of minutes at most. This column represents all of your budgeted items. It's an approximation of what you think you will spend during the month. Most of the numbers should be easy to access from your normal monthly expenses. Don't labor over this column too much, but make sure that you attempt to accurately itemize each income and expense item.</p> <h2>3. End of Month</h2> <p>The end of the month is where things start to get a bit more analytical (but don't let that scare you). At the end of each month, print off your most recent bank or credit card statements in which you've incurred your expenses for the month. This is the easiest step in the eight-step process, but it's critical to analyzing what went on during the month.</p> <h2>4. Add It Up</h2> <p>Once you're armed and ready with your statements (and receipts, for cash spending), get out a handy calculator and some highlighters. Color-code your statements for budget expense items like groceries, eating out, gas, clothing, utilities, phone, and so on. Then go through the list and highlight each item in each category. This makes it easy to add it all up when you are finished. There's nothing yet to analyze in this step, you are simply categorizing for step six. This will take you the longest out of all the steps, so allow 10 minutes to conquer your statements. Once you do this process for a month or two, it should be very easy to go through your statements in five minutes or less. Practice makes perfect.</p> <h2>5. &quot;What I Spent&quot;</h2> <p>Now it's time to fill in the second column, &quot;What I Spent.&quot; Simply take the numbers from your statements and input them into the budget template. If you notice that you've left off a category on your budget, add it and put it in bold so it can jog your memory next month. Each month has its own twists and turns, so it's common that you might leave out a category by accident.</p> <h2>6. Compare the Columns</h2> <p>You've done the heavy lifting now, and are almost through your 20 minutes this month. Take a look at your budget and compare the two columns. Are there any areas that surprise you? Did you come in under or over budget, and why? What about those missing categories, are they essential to include going forward? You see the power is in comparing these two columns. It gives you a chance to evaluate your budget from estimation in the beginning of the month, to an absolute at the end of the month.</p> <h2>7. The Envelope Trick</h2> <p>If you have a category that is always your Achilles' heel, and month after month you are overspending, then it might be time to kick it old school. For instance, let's say eating out is always an area you overspend in. If you've budgeted $200 for the month in your first column, then at the beginning of the month you can withdrawal that $200 in cash, and stick it in an envelope. For the entire month, every time you eat out, you must dip into this envelope. Once the money is gone, your eating-out budget is gone. While this might seem harsh, it's an old school way to force you to stay within budget. At the end of the day though, none of these steps will work unless you put effort in and are committed to mastering your budget.</p> <h2>8. Reward Yourself</h2> <p>We all love a good reward, and you should pat yourself on the back if you've completed these steps for the month. No matter the outcome, you've taken small moves that will lead to big changes in your cash flow. Pick a dollar amount that you are comfortable with at the beginning of the month, and set a goal for yourself. Maybe you want to treat yourself to an extra cupcake at the end of the month, or go to that concert that you are dying to see. Whatever it is, give yourself a pat on the back, but not for too long &mdash; next month is coming quickly and it will be time to restart the 20-minute system.</p> <p><em>What's your budgeting system?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shannah-game">Shannah Game</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-steps-to-budget-mastery-in-20-minutes-a-month">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-12"> <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/too-broke-to-be-frugal">Too broke to be frugal?</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/if-youre-doing-these-5-things-your-saving-efforts-are-for-nothing">If You&#039;re Doing These 5 Things, Your Saving Efforts Are for Nothing</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/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste 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/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-things-to-do-with-your-settlement-money">8 Smart Things to Do With Your Settlement Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance budget financial planning monthly budgets spending Wed, 21 Oct 2015 13:16:44 +0000 Shannah Game 1593640 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Money Adjustments You Should Make Mid-Year http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-adjustments-you-should-make-mid-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-money-adjustments-you-should-make-mid-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_saving_money_000024969502.jpg" alt="Woman making smart mid-year money moves" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We're already more than halfway through another year &mdash; and already in the latter half of the decade (can you believe it!?) &mdash; which means fall and winter are right around the corner. As those seasons approach, you'll find yourself back to the grind, taking the kids to school and practices, buying school supplies, preparing for the holidays, and inevitably <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/38-ways-to-save-money-without-trying-much">shelling out bill after bill</a> while you're doing it. To help you best prepare for what's coming, let's take a look at your mid-year finances and find positive ways to improve before 2016.</p> <h2>1. Review Your Budget and Adjust as Necessary</h2> <p>There's no better place to start than at the beginning &mdash; and that's with your budget. Take a look at the budget you created at the beginning of the year (assuming you have one, of course; if you don't, create one today) and see where you're at financially. Are you bringing in the same amount of money as you were at the beginning of the year? More? Less? Have any of your expenses increased or decreased since that time? Are there expenses you can eliminate? Are there expenses that no longer exist? Ask yourself all these questions as you review your budget and adjust it accordingly so that it stays up-to-date and an accurate reflection of your financial situation.</p> <h2>2. Check Your Savings Plan to Keep it on Track</h2> <p>One of my regular New Year's resolutions is to set a reasonable and achievable savings goal to meet by December 31. I based the number I'd like to have in the bank by year's end on my income and budget, and I choose a goal that's challenging but not out of reach. (Setting the bar too high almost always ends in failure, so keep it manageable, even if it's meager.)</p> <p>If your savings plan isn't on course, figure out why and change direction. That doesn't necessarily mean that you have to make up for six months' worth of non-contribution to your savings account, but rather re-tooling the goal more realistically the second half of the year. Something is better than nothing, and hopefully you'll start off on the right foot next year after six months of habitual contribution.</p> <h2>3. Reevaluate Your Expenses and Make Cuts</h2> <p>This goes hand-in-hand with reviewing your budget, but sometimes we try to kid ourselves into thinking that small expenses &mdash; like smartphone apps, subscriptions, On Demand rentals, and more &mdash; are insignificant. They are if they are rare (like three to four times a year), but if you're spending money on these items on a regular basis, you need to check yourself.</p> <p>Also take a look at monthly charges, like gym and other memberships, and decide if they're <em>really</em> worth it. If you're not using these memberships regularly, cancel them &mdash; and if they're not cancellable (because you signed a contract, for instance), use them. You're paying for it, so you need to get your money's worth.</p> <h2>4. Start Holiday Shopping Early to Save More</h2> <p>We can go back and forth all day on when is the best time to shop for holiday gifts, but I will always maintain that it's midsummer. Like right now.</p> <p>First, some stores still have fall and winter accessories hanging on the racks (mostly in the clearance section), so you're already getting a great deal there. But then come the holiday sales, including Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day, which only add to the savings. In fact, from my experience, even non-holiday weeks during the summer have produced amazing sales. I just received a marketing email from J. Crew Factory, for instance, touting up to 75% off the entire store, plus an additional 50% off clearance. I also just bought a ton of fun, colorful calf-length socks from Abercrombie &amp; Fitch, which were abundant and <em>deeply</em> discounted (from around $16 a pair to $2.50 a pair) in the store's clearance bins.</p> <p>That's not to say that there won't be great deals later in the year &mdash; there will be &mdash; but just a heads-up to keep your eyes open for gift items that are on super sale this time of year so you can save your time and money later on when you need it most.</p> <h2>5. Bank Your Savings</h2> <p>Ah, now here comes the fun part of all that money you're saving.</p> <p>Calculating your retail savings from all those early gifts you're buying and putting 50% of the difference in your savings account is a great way to build up your slush fund without overthinking it. The general premise of this savings tactic is to keep track of your savings from each shopping trip, whether it be from in-store discounts, savings apps, your own coupons &mdash; whatever &mdash; and putting half of that number in your savings account. You're still walking away a bandit, but now you have savings to show for it, too. You can tell me how amazing that feels later.</p> <h2>6. Renegotiate Your Financial Contracts Where Possible</h2> <p>All of us have financial contracts in our lives, and now is the time to renegotiate them to perhaps score a better rate, especially on technology.</p> <p>&quot;Many consumers forget that they can renegotiate their phone, Internet, and cable service contracts mid-year to secure a better monthly rate or receive free upgrades,&quot; says Clair Jones, tech expert at <a href="http://www.localinternetservice.com/">LocalInternetService.com</a>. &quot;During this time of year providers often experience a seasonal lull in sales, and many run specials to attract new customers and retain existing accounts. All you have to do is call and ask if there are any new promotions that could help you lower your bill.&quot;</p> <p>Pick up the phone.</p> <h2>7. Order Your Free Annual Credit Report</h2> <p>Every consumer is entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus &mdash; Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. You should take advantage of these free reports (which you can get any time of year, and stagger them throughout the year, by the way) to stay on top of your credit rating and to review and follow up on any errors that you may find. It's important to note that these reports don't include your <em>credit score</em> &mdash; just your consumer activity.</p> <p>&quot;Your credit report is one of the most important steps in managing your money and finances,&quot; says Katie Ross, education and development manager for American Consumer Credit Counseling. &quot;You should check your credit report at least three times per year from each of the three credit reporting agencies and you can do this through <a href="http://www.annualcreditreport.com">AnnualCreditReport.com</a>. Your credit report is all part of building wealth and positive financial intentions along the way. Without a healthy credit report this too can impact your financial goals.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Start Preparing Your Taxes for Next Year</h2> <p>I know, I know &mdash; it seems like you just put your taxes in the mail. True, it wasn't that long ago, which is why it's probably fresh in your memory. This year, stay ahead of the curve by planning your taxes ahead of time. Keep your receipts organized, start an Excel sheet to track your expenses, and mind all those tax-deductible items that will save you big bucks on April 15.</p> <p>Sarah Nieschalk, enrolled agent for Tax Defense Network, a tax resolution company, offers a few quick tax tips that can save you money and headache in 2016:</p> <ul> <li>Give to a charity. Gifts to charities are tax deductible and you get the satisfaction of helping your fellow man. Don't donate just during the holidays. You can donate time, goods, and funds, and all are deductible.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Keep records of state, local, and personal property taxes. Believe it or not, paying those annoying taxes and fees are deductible at the end of every year. You might be leaving money on the table by not itemizing your deductions.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Take advantage of tax credits. Child care, adoption, education, energy-efficient home improvements, and more. Did you know that simply buying a hybrid vehicle could be a tax credit? You needed a new car anyways &mdash; why not get a credit for being awesome?</li> </ul> <h2>9. Revisit Your Auto Payments and Adjust Your Priorities</h2> <p>I love technology, but for some reason I never latched on to auto payments. Just something about it I don't like. Maybe it's the psychological factor of someone &mdash; or something, rather &mdash; taking my money opposed to me giving it to them. I'll let you know when I'm ready to pay, thankyouverymuch. Nonetheless, mid-year is an ideal time to revisit your auto-pay bills to make sure everything is on the up-and-up and to make any adjustment necessary.</p> <p>&quot;July is a great time to recheck those automatic payments that we have coming out of our checks and adjust savings and investment to match new priorities,&quot; says Jeremy Hallett, CEO of online life insurance agent Quotacy. Specifically, it's perhaps during the first half of the year something major changed in life &mdash; maybe a marriage, a new job, new house, or the addition of children. All of these are opportunities to update financial goals and plans, while also making sure you have adequate protections in place to care for loved ones.&quot;</p> <h2>10. Review Insurance Policies to Accommodate Changes</h2> <p>While you're revisiting your auto-pay bills, Hallett also suggests reviewing your insurance policies. His beat is life insurance, but it's not a bad idea to make sure your other policies don't require any updates either.</p> <p>&quot;As major life events happen, it's imperative that individuals review their life insurance to ensure that their families are adequately protected,&quot; Hallett says. &quot;As a general rule of thumb, we recommend that life insurance cover 10x income plus any major debts, like a mortgage or upcoming kid's college. And it doesn't cost much. For less than $300 a year, a 35-year-old can get a $500,000, 20-year term policy.&quot;</p> <h2>11. Scour the House for Ways to Cut the Clutter and Make Fast Cash</h2> <p>Call me a weirdo, but one of my favorite activities is going through the house and finding things to sell. I loathe any kind of clutter, but I love to make money, so it totally makes sense. If you want to fluff up your savings account or just add a few more bucks to your budget, sift through your junk and unwanted items and decide what you can part with. These days there are dozens of ways to easily sell items, like on eBay, Amazon, and Facebook. There are even specific services online that will pay you for your technology, clothing, and more. It honestly couldn't be easier to turn trash into treasure these days.</p> <h2>12. Examine Why You Haven't Reached Any Financial Goals</h2> <p>And finally, take this mid-year opportunity to assess why, perhaps, you didn't reach some of the financial goals you set at the beginning of the year. What got in the way? Why did they fall by the wayside? How can you prevent this from happening again? And how can you get back on track? These are all important questions to ask yourself if you had good financial intentions six months ago but now find yourself stalled.</p> <p>&quot;Without some examination of the first six months and possible change in behavior and goals for the second six months, there is a strong chance the rest of year will be unsuccessful too,&quot; says Mike Brady, president of Generosity Wealth Management. &quot;I'm a big believer in having goals that are attainable, and the personal satisfaction that comes from it. Since half the year is over, pick one thing to accomplish in the next six months that you can absolutely achieve. Perhaps it's paying off a credit card, or six months of continuous savings. Instead of trying to do five or six things at once and being unsuccessful at all of them, just pick one or two things and fully commit to completing them, and then start 2016 with two or three other things. Build gently so they become real habits, instead of over ambitious New Year's resolutions that don't stick.&quot;</p> <p><em>Do you have other mid-year money moves we should make right now? 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/12-money-adjustments-you-should-make-mid-year">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-13"> <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/where-to-turn-for-help-when-you-dont-have-an-emergency-fund">Where to Turn for Help When You Don&#039;t Have an Emergency Fund</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/getting-by-on-a-lot-less-money-3-ways-its-easier-than-you-think">Getting by on a lot less money: 3 ways it&#039;s easier than you think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-you-will-always-be-thankful-for">7 Money Moves You Will Always Be Thankful For</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/optimize-your-ira-and-401k">Optimize Your IRA and 401(k)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-state-sales-tax-holiday-is-coming">The State Sales Tax Holiday is coming...</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance budget credit reports mid-year review savings shopping taxes Mon, 20 Jul 2015 13:00:12 +0000 Mikey Rox 1490982 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Romantic Wedding Locations That Won't Cost a Fortune http://www.wisebread.com/5-romantic-wedding-locations-that-wont-cost-a-fortune <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-romantic-wedding-locations-that-wont-cost-a-fortune" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wedding_day_000030391424.jpg" alt="Couple getting married in romantic wedding location" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The venue: It's usually the first and biggest hurdle in wedding planning, and it's very common to experience <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-great-wedding-if-you-havent-saved-enough?ref=seealso">mega sticker shock</a> at quotes from the first few beautiful venues you contact. Check out these five romantic wedding locations that won't cost a fortune.</p> <h2>1. County and State Parks</h2> <p>I'm not talking about the same neighborhood park where you had your fifth birthday. Many counties have a few gorgeous parks (and visitor centers) that are well manicured and intended for events. If you're in California, you're in luck &mdash; there are tons of them. The larger ones even include furniture, or have a recommended rental service. If you're looking for a more rustic experience, you'll be surprised how affordable an entire campground can be. For a smaller, more intimate wedding, a state park will provide a secluded nature backdrop.</p> <p>Look up your local county's Parks and Recreation website to search for venues and parks you had no idea were available to rent.</p> <h3>Examples</h3> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.lamountains.com/planning_river.html">LA River Center and Gardens</a> (Los Angeles, CA)</li> <li><a href="http://www.laparks.org/dos/camps/seely.htm">Camp Seely</a> (Crestline, CA)</li> <li><a href="http://nysparks.com/parks/135/details.aspx">Robert H. Treman State Park</a> (Ithaca, NY)</li> <li><a href="http://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/Ridgway/Pages/default.aspx">Ridgway State Park Pavilion</a> (Ridgway, CO)</li> </ul> <h2>2. Women's Clubs</h2> <p>Women's clubs, or Thursday clubs, were founded across the U.S. in the early 20th century for the enhancement of women's lives, including suffrage and enrolling young women in universities. While many of these clubs still operate with those goals, they also rent their beautiful, historical spaces for weddings on the weekends. These venues tend to come with a kitchen, a large ballroom, a stage, and many times, free parking. I had my wedding in one, and people still rave about the venue.</p> <h3>Examples</h3> <ul> <li><a href="http://lacanadathursdayclub.com/">La Canada Thursday Club</a> (Los Angeles, CA)</li> <li><a href="http://www.freelandhall.org/">Freeland Hall</a> (Freeland, WA)</li> <li><a href="http://themansion.info/about.php">The Mansion</a> (Austin, TX)</li> </ul> <h2>3. Local Restaurants</h2> <p>What is a traditional wedding other than a ceremony with a pop-up restaurant? Consider all the major expenses of a wedding &mdash; the venue, catering, servers, rentals, decor, etc. &mdash; which can all add up to thousands on their own. A great restaurant has all those rolled into one space, which results in a better value and less time spent vetting a dozen different catering and rental vendors. Look for the more mid-range (or $$ on Yelp) restaurants in your area as opposed to the fanciest spots in town.</p> <h3>Examples</h3> <ul> <li><a href="http://riversrestaurant.com/">Rivers</a> (Chicago, IL)</li> <li><a href="http://fortworth.timestencellars.com/">Times Ten Cellars</a> (Fort Worth, TX)</li> <li><a href="http://scottadito.com/">Scottadito Osteria Toscana</a> (NYC)</li> </ul> <h2>4. Community and Cultural Centers</h2> <p>Cultural centers are similar to women's clubs in that they are usually big, attractive, and have lots of built-in amenities like kitchens, stages, and parking. They also tend to be non-profit organizations, which means no &quot;wedding-mill&quot; markups. If you are a member of that culture's community, even better, because they might cut you a deal.</p> <p>If your area lacks a cultural center, local community centers are also great. These include armories, senior centers, and city-run gymnasiums. These tend to be more bare bones in terms of looks, but with lots of decoration can be fun places to host a micro-budget wedding.</p> <h3>Examples</h3> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/ukrainian-culture-center-los-angeles">Ukrainian Culture Center</a> (Los Angeles, CA)</li> <li><a href="http://www.samac.org/">Swedish American Museum</a> (Chicago, IL)</li> <li><a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/23rd-street-armory-philadelphia">23rd Street Armory</a> (Philadelphia, PA)</li> <li><a href="http://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/parks/Weddings/svalley_wedding.html">Spring Valley Community Center</a> (Spring Valley, CA)</li> </ul> <h2>5. Loved One's Home (or Vacation Rental)</h2> <p>The home wedding is definitely back in style. For this generation of young couples, a house can have everything they need: It's cheap, it's intimate, and it's got built-in spaces for cooking, decorating, and with a big enough yard, dancing. You also don't need to comply to someone else's alcohol policies or &quot;shut-down&quot; times.</p> <p>Don't know someone with a big enough home for your wedding? Airbnb and VRBO are great places to find event-friendly vacation rentals. Another perk: you and key family members visiting for the wedding can stay in the vacation home, saving on hotel costs. Or, instead: after guests leave the wedding, you and your new spouse could enjoy the rental for few extra days as a mini-moon!</p> <h3>Examples</h3> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1574916?s=PEwz">This Retreat House</a> (Columbus, OH)</li> <li><a href="https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/707749?s=bkLV">This Desert Villa</a> (Joshua Tree, CA)</li> <li><a href="https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/6390935?s=_jDw">This Luxury Estate</a> (Richmond, VA)</li> <li><a href="https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5372935?s=Wn1o">This 10-Acre Ranch Home</a> (McKinney, TX)</li> </ul> <p><em>Where did you get hitched?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-romantic-wedding-locations-that-wont-cost-a-fortune">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-14"> <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/3-things-that-always-always-go-over-budget">3 Things That Always, Always Go Over-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/20-freebies-for-college-students">20+ Freebies for College Students</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/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</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-things-americans-spend-too-much-on">5 Things Americans Spend Too Much On</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/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">Regifting: A Simple How-To Guide</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living bridal budget reception venues weddings Fri, 10 Jul 2015 11:00:13 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1478433 at http://www.wisebread.com