organization http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1600/all en-US Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_spring_cleaning_000082590811.jpg" alt="Couple learning best spring cleaning hacks we&#039;ve ever shared" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Let's face it, chores as an adult are kind of awful &mdash; especially since you don't an extra $10 at the end of it, only extreme exhaustion and dirty hands. Since spring cleaning season has arrived, people everywhere are scanning their homes for stuff they can get rid of, and surfaces that could use a good scrubbin'. And tackling any major task can go from miserable to mildly pleasant as long as you have a plan &mdash; and lots of brilliant hacks to cut down on time and effort, of course!</p> <p>Here are the 82 best spring cleaning hacks we've ever shared.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock_000022840623_Large.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-prepare-for-spring-cleaning">7 Ways to Prepare for Spring Cleaning</a> &mdash; The early bird gets the worm, right? It's true. Before you start spring cleaning, get prepared by making lists, playlists, and assembling your dust-destroying tool kit.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tasks-you-shouldnt-skip-during-spring-cleaning">8 Tasks You Shouldn't Skip During Spring Cleaning</a> &mdash; Once you start cleaning, you might be tempted to cut corners in order to get this madness over with ASAP. Just make sure you don't skip these areas of your home, as they often get neglected and are in dire need of some TLC.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-have-a-clean-place-without-cleaning">11 Ways to Have a Clean Place Without Cleaning</a> &mdash; Wait... cleaning without actually cleaning? Yes, please! These little life adjustments can make your house cleaner, which reduces the time you need to spend cleaning. You're welcome.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/3clean-465958469.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-everything-with-just-3-all-natural-cleaners">How to Clean Everything With Just 3 All-Natural Cleaners</a> &mdash; So many cleaning products have harsh, toxic ingredients that might keep your belongings shiny, but are also destroying your skin and the environment. Go au naturel with your cleaners and you're basically saving the world.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-dont-need-to-clean">9 Things You Don't Need to Clean</a> &mdash; If nothing else, this list of things you don't need to clean will cheer you up when you've only completed less than half of the tidy tasks on your to-do list.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cleaning-rules-you-should-be-breaking">6 Cleaning Rules You Should Be Breaking</a> &mdash; Believe it or not, some germs are good germs. Here are the cleaning myths that we've proudly busted. Be a rebel this year, and break these common cleaning rules.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock_000011792733Small.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tips-for-spring-cleaning-on-a-budget">6 Tips for Spring Cleaning on a Budget</a> &mdash; Buying all of those new sponges and anti-bacterial wipes can add up quickly. So here's how to keep your spring cleaning spending under control.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-in-your-house-youre-forgetting-to-clean">9 Things in Your House You're Forgetting to Clean</a> &mdash; Monsters who live under the bed like things clean, too! Don't skip these commonly forgotten areas when isolating dirty parts of the house.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-essential-tricks-for-quick-and-easy-cleaning">25 Essential Tricks for Quick and Easy Cleaning</a> &mdash; We're all extremely busy humans, so taking time out of our schedules to deep-clean the house seems bonkers and completely unreasonable. These tricks will help you get all of your cleaning done with time to spare!</p> <p><em>Do you have any stellar spring cleaning 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-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">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/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</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-wise-breads-88-best-food-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: Wise Bread&#039;s 88 Best Food Hacks Ever</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-super-cool-ways-to-add-hidden-storage-to-your-home">10 Super-Cool Ways to Add Hidden Storage to Your Home</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/declutter-your-home-in-10-minutes">Declutter Your Home in 10 Minutes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Home Organization cleaning declutter fbf flashback friday life hacks organization spring cleaning Fri, 18 Mar 2016 11:00:08 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1675255 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Good Money Management Habits You Already Have http://www.wisebread.com/5-good-money-management-habits-you-already-have <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-good-money-management-habits-you-already-have" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_phone_call_000081177679.jpg" alt="Woman with good money management habits she already has" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're struggling to save or pay down debt, you might think it's because you're no good with money. But the truth is, plenty of the good habits you practice in other areas of your daily life can also help you build an emergency fund, pay down your credit card debt, and stick to a monthly budget. You just need to apply the good habits that you already have to money management.</p> <p>Here is a look at the five good money management habits that you might be surprised to learn you already have.</p> <h2>1. The Household Schedule</h2> <p>You know that you should build an emergency fund of savings, stashing away enough dollars to cover at least six months of daily living expenses. That way, if you lose your job or if your furnace suddenly goes on the fritz, you won't have to turn to your credit cards to survive. But you just can't seem to find enough money at the end of every month to build that emergency fund.</p> <p>Here's the trick, though: If you already manage to schedule all of your household activities &mdash; everything from getting your children to their sporting events on time to mapping out exactly which of your teens needs access to a car at which hour of the day &mdash; you should also be able to create a household budget. You already have a knack for scheduling. Instead of scheduling the activities of your family members, schedule where the money you spend each month is going.</p> <p>Creating a budget might even be easier than juggling your family's activities. Write down how much money comes into your household each month. Then write down fixed expenses such as mortgage and car loan payments. Add monthly payments that fluctuate, such as utilities, groceries, and entertainment. Once you have this charted, you'll know exactly how much money you should have leftover each month. Then you'll know how many dollars you can earmark for building your emergency fund.</p> <h2>2. The Willpower</h2> <p>Creating a budget is a good first step. Sticking to it is key. You might not think you have the willpower to do so, but if you can force yourself to go to the gym or take a run five times a week, why can't you force yourself to only spend the $400 you've allotted to eating out and entertainment in your monthly household budget?</p> <p>The discipline it takes to stick to an exercise program or healthy diet is the same discipline you need to only spend what you plan to each month. If you can do one, you can do the other. You just need to apply the same focus to staying financially healthy as you do to remaining physically healthy.</p> <h2>3. Tracking</h2> <p>Do you track the calories you consume each day, whether with an old-fashioned pen and notebook or with the help of an app on your smartphone? Then you should be able to do the same with your dollars.</p> <p>One secret to creating and sticking to a realistic household budget is to create a spending book. In this book &mdash; which can be as simple as a notebook or as high-tech as an app &mdash; you write down every dollar you spend, at least for a month. This will give you an idea of where you are spending your money, which helps you create a household budget that is realistic. This will provide you with the motivation you need to tweak your spending patterns.</p> <h2>4. Skipping the Doughnuts</h2> <p>Your coworkers love their sweets. Every morning, one of them brings in a box of doughnuts or a tray of chocolate chip cookies. But you're good &ndash; usually. You pass right by those doughnuts and pop open that container of low-fat yogurt.</p> <p>Now, apply that same discipline to your finances. Sure, putting that super-deluxe flat screen TV on your credit card would provide a jolt of immediate gratification. But you'll regret it later when you open your credit card statement. Instead, pass on the easy pleasure and buy that TV only when you've saved enough to pay for it in cash.</p> <h2>5. Dumping the Clutter</h2> <p>You have the neatest house on the block. You spend every weekend toting a trunk full of unused toys, clothes, and tools to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. You hate clutter and love the airy basements, living rooms, and kitchens that you get when you don't have a home filled with too much stuff.</p> <p>Your finances can have clutter, too. It's called credit card debt. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tricks-to-consolidating-your-debt-and-saving-money">Credit card debt</a> is one of the worst forms of debt you can have because it comes with such high interest rates. If you don't pay it off each month, it will steadily grow &mdash; just like all those ignored children's toys that seem to multiply in your home's playroom. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso">Stop Paying Interest on Credit Card Debt With a Balance Transfer</a>)</p> <p>It's time to declutter your finances. Pay a little bit more each month to pay down the principal balances on your credit cards. Consider it to be the financial equivalent of donating those unread books cluttering your bookshelves.</p> <p><em>What good money habits do you already follow?</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/5-good-money-management-habits-you-already-have">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/7-money-lessons-i-learned-from-martial-arts">7 Money Lessons I Learned From Martial Arts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-often-do-you-get-your-paycheck">How often do you get your paycheck?</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-ways-auto-payments-can-screw-you">7 Ways Auto-Payments Can Screw You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">12 Personal Finance Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance budgeting good habits money management organization scheduling willpower Thu, 18 Feb 2016 11:00:04 +0000 Dan Rafter 1656435 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Manage Your Debt in 10 Minutes a Week http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-debt-in-10-minutes-a-week <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-manage-your-debt-in-10-minutes-a-week" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_debt_management_000022976723.jpg" alt="Woman managing her debt in 10 minutes a week" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Juggling multiple debts can feel like playing whack-a-mole. As soon as you pay one bill, another pops up, and you spend each month scrambling to stay afloat.</p> <p>You know that you need to get organized if you ever want to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tricks-to-consolidating-your-debt-and-saving-money">get ahead of your debt</a>, but you are <em>not</em> the kind of person who enjoys organizing your bills.</p> <p>Thankfully, the work necessary to manage your debt &mdash; and get it paid off once and for all &mdash; is not nearly as overwhelming as you might assume. In fact, with just a little initial effort, you can organize and manage your debt in as little as 10 minutes per week. Here's how.</p> <h2>1. List Your Debts</h2> <p>The first step is to track down the specific information about each and every one of your debts. Look up who you owe, the remaining balance, the rate of interest on each debt, and each debt's minimum payment. For instance, your list might look like this:</p> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><strong>Creditor</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>Balance</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>APR</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>Minimum Payment</strong></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Store Credit Card</p> </td> <td> <p>$2,600</p> </td> <td> <p>23.99%</p> </td> <td> <p>$104</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>MasterCard</p> </td> <td> <p>$1,200</p> </td> <td> <p>18.99%</p> </td> <td> <p>$48</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Visa Card</p> </td> <td> <p>$5,750</p> </td> <td> <p>15.99%</p> </td> <td> <p>$232</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Federal Student Loan</p> </td> <td> <p>$25,800</p> </td> <td> <p>6.80%</p> </td> <td> <p>$295</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Private Student Loan</p> </td> <td> <p>$6,700</p> </td> <td> <p>5.50%</p> </td> <td> <p>$73</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p><strong>Total:</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>$42,500</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>$752</strong></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Depending on your tech comfort level, you might choose to use a simple paper-and-pencil list, create your own Excel spreadsheet, or use a pre-made program, such as <a href="http://www.mdmproofing.com/iym/products/debt-tracker.php">DebtTracker</a> from It's Your Money. The important thing about creating your debt management list is that you should use a format that you are likely to stick with.</p> <p>Once you know exactly what you owe, it's time to look for some extra money in your budget to send to your debts. Whether you give up your daily Starbucks habit, or officially quit the gym you haven't actually been to since New Year's, you are sure to find fat you can cut from your budget to send to your debts. (And of course, make sure you are not adding any new debts.)</p> <h2>2. Debt Avalanche vs. Debt Snowball</h2> <p>Once you have your list, decide what order you plan to pay off your loans. There are two schools of thought on this: debt avalanche and debt snowball. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snowballs-or-avalanches-which-debt-reduction-strategy-is-best-for-you?ref=seealso">Snowballs or Avalanches: Which Debt Reduction Strategy Is Best for You?</a>)</p> <h3>The Debt Avalanche</h3> <p>According to this method, you start your debt payoff with whatever has the highest interest rate. You send extra money to that debt until it is paid off, and then begin sending the same amount to the debt with the next highest interest rate.</p> <p>For instance, if our example budgeter had a total of $1,000 to send toward her debts each month, that would give her an additional $248 per month to pay toward her Store credit card, which has the highest APR, making her monthly payment $352. At that rate, she will have her Store card paid off in nine months.</p> <p>From there, she will begin to send $400 per month to her MasterCard (the $48 minimum plus the $352 she had been sending to her Store credit card), paying that off within three months. At that point, she can begin to send $632 to her Visa.</p> <h3>The Debt Snowball</h3> <p>This method recommends you begin with your lowest balance because you can pay it off quickly and feel motivated by your results.</p> <p>In our example budgeter's case, she would begin by sending $296 to her Visa card (her $48 minimum payment plus the additional $248 she can spend on her debts), paying it off in five months. She would then work on her Store card balance, sending $400 per month to it.</p> <p>Generally, you will spend less money over time if you employ the debt avalanche method. However, depending on how you are wired and motivated, the debt snowball may be easier for you to maintain.</p> <h2>3. Automate</h2> <p>Automation is the center of the 10 minutes per week debt management plan. Setting up automatic payments for each of your debts will eliminate the &quot;Oh, crud, I forgot to pay my Visa bill!&quot; realization that is the worst part of being disorganized.</p> <p>The key to having automation work is ensuring that you have enough money in your account to cover your debts on your due dates. There are two ways to do this without keeping track of every penny:</p> <h3>Schedule Payments With Your Paycheck</h3> <p>Many credit cards and lenders are willing to let you change your due date to one of your choosing, or will allow you to make payments anytime. Schedule your payments to come out automatically on the same day you receive a paycheck.</p> <h3>Open a Debt Payment Checking Account</h3> <p>You'll automatically transfer the full amount you need to pay all of your debts each month into this account. For instance, our example budgeter might transfer $500 from each of her bi-weekly paychecks into her debt payment checking account. On her bills' due dates, her payments will be automatically transferred. The benefit of a dedicated account like this is the fact that the money will be out of sight, making it less tempting to spend on anything other than debt payoff.</p> <h2>4. Spend 10 Minutes Per Week on Maintenance</h2> <p>Once you have developed your debt payoff plan and set up your automation, all you have to do is spend 10 minutes each week (or less) maintaining the plan. There are three items on your maintenance list:</p> <h3>Don't Overdraw</h3> <p>Check how much money is in the account you use to pay your debts. With automation, this should be a quick process with no surprises &mdash; but it's always a good idea to check in weekly to make sure you are on track. Otherwise, it's very easy to accidentally overdraw your account.</p> <h3>Revise Your Balances</h3> <p>Do this at least once a month. As you are working to pay off your debts, revising your balances for each debt can help to keep your motivation high.</p> <h3>Adjust Your Payments as Necessary</h3> <p>Change your payment amount with each debt that is paid off. You can also use this time to add any one-time payments you might make from windfalls or other unexpected money.</p> <h2>&quot;When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time.&quot;</h2> <p>As with consuming a pachyderm, the trick to debt payoff is working slowly and steadily. While each small chunk of debt does not seem significant, it all adds up to a monumental accomplishment.</p> <p><em>How are you maintaining your debt repayment program?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-debt-in-10-minutes-a-week">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/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Pay It Off</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/12-reasons-your-debt-isnt-diminishing">12 Reasons Your Debt Isn&#039;t Diminishing</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/the-simple-way-to-decide-which-credit-card-to-pay-off-first">The Simple Way to Decide Which Credit Card to Pay Off First</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-debt-reduction-mistakes-even-smart-people-make">8 Debt Reduction Mistakes Even Smart People Make</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-debt-management-questions-youre-too-embarrassed-to-ask">5 Debt Management Questions You&#039;re Too Embarrassed to Ask</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management avalanche method bill pay checking accounts organization snowball method Thu, 18 Feb 2016 10:30:22 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1658696 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Money Fixes You Can Make When You're Stuck Inside Because of the Weather http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-fixes-you-can-make-when-youre-stuck-inside-because-of-the-weather <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-money-fixes-you-can-make-when-youre-stuck-inside-because-of-the-weather" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_phone_window_000068400755.jpg" alt="Woman making money fixes while stuck inside " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Crazy winter weather have you stuck indoors? Take advantage of your lazy snow days around the house by digging deep into your finances to make a few (and perhaps much-needed) tweaks.</p> <h2>1. Call Your Service Providers About Reducing Rates</h2> <p>Recently I had a couple bills lying on my desk &mdash; one from the IRS and another from my doctor &mdash; that I had been putting off because I wanted to call their respective offices to ask about the charges and, ideally, reduce them. The bills sat there for weeks because I didn't have time to spend 30 minutes or more on the phone during my regular work hours (the IRS call took an hour and 45 minutes!). I made good use of my time inside during the recent blizzard to follow up.</p> <p>The calls saved me about $200. Outside of questionable charges and bills you may want to investigate, now is a good time to check in with your service providers to see what kind of new deals for which you may qualify, too.</p> <p>&quot;Whether it's your cable bill, car insurance, or even trash service, calling these providers regularly to ask about rate reductions is a great way to save money every month,&quot; says Kendal Perez, savings expert at Coupon Sherpa. &quot;Often times the threat of departure is enough to get someone to reduce your rates, but be sure to do your research to find out if there's a lesser-cost alternative out there. If your current provider won't budge and there's a viable alternative, take the snow day to get accounts switched over.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Download Some Money-Saving (and Making) Apps</h2> <p>You've probably heard about how smartphone apps can make and save you money, but maybe you haven't had the time or patience to download the apps and learn what they're all about. Now's your chance, and there are several ways you can boost your bottom line in just a few taps of your fingers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-smartphone-saves-you-money?ref=seealso">8 Ways Your Smartphone Saves You Money</a>)</p> <p>Apps like&nbsp;<a href="https://www.varagesale.com/">VarageSale</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://us.wallapop.com">Wallapop</a> let you sell unwanted items (like Craigslist, but way easier to use), while grocery-specific apps like Ibotta and Checkout 51 help you earn cash back on your purchases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-shopping-apps-thatll-actually-save-you-money-in-2016?ref=seealso">The 8 Shopping Apps That'll Actually Save You Money in 2016</a>)</p> <p>If you're really ambitious (and also looking for a sort of side gig), check out&nbsp;<a href="https://dogvacay.com/">DogVacay</a>, where you can watch people's pets and get paid for it, or Airbnb, if you have extra space in your home that you'd like to rent out to earn more income. All of these apps also have similar alternatives, providing plenty of platforms from which to choose.</p> <h2>3. Review Your Recurring Payments and Make Adjustments</h2> <p>As a personal rule, I don't have any automatic payments set up because I don't like the idea of an institution pilfering money out of my account when I'm not actively monitoring the fees. Errors happen all the time, and all the time they go unnoticed. That's not to say that you should avoid automatic bill-pay altogether &mdash; there's something to be said for its convenience &mdash; but you should, every once in awhile, check in to make sure everything is on the up-and-up.</p> <p>&quot;Automatic bill-pay is a great way to ensure you're never late on a payment, but these set-it-and-forget-it systems can be detrimental to your finances if you don't pay close attention to the charges,&quot; Perez says. &quot;Review recurring payments to determine a) if the charges are what you expect, and b) if it's still something you want to pay for. You may decide a gym membership or streaming membership are no longer worth your dollars.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Organize Your Finances on an Easy-to-Access Spreadsheet</h2> <p>One of the biggest problems that people with financial issues have is that they lack organization &mdash; and chaos begets chaos, as the old adage goes. Nip that problem in the bud once and for all by creating a spreadsheet that comprehensively compiles your finances across the board for easy access and upkeep.</p> <p>Harrine Freeman, financial expert and CEO of H.E. Freeman Enterprises, details a few category options to help you get started.</p> <p>&quot;Create a list of company names, account numbers, passwords/PINs, security questions/answers, account balances, minimum monthly payments, interest rates, how often you receive statements, due dates, customer service phone numbers, hours, customer service email addresses, and any other information you feel you may need,&quot; she suggests.</p> <h2>5. Purge Your Inbox of All Those Solicitation Emails</h2> <p>Cards on the table, I love my marketing emails &mdash; especially around my birthday (three cheers for free pancakes, cheeseburgers, ice cream, and candy!) &mdash; but they can become overwhelming, especially if you don't stay on top of your email regularly. I have friends who have thousands of emails in their inbox &mdash; <em>and I just can't!</em> For that reason, I love that Gmail now has a separate tab that auto-files promo messages, but it's also not a bad idea to go through and weed out what no longer interests you and unsubscribe.</p> <p>&quot;Snow days are a great opportunity to clean up your email, and when it comes to unnecessary spending, retail newsletters should be the first thing to go,&quot; Perez advises. &quot;While you may have received a nice coupon upon sign up, subsequent emails are only tempting you to spend more. The urgency associated with these messages coupled with the tempting images of stuff you desire most are tough to pass up, but can be immediately fixed with the click of a button.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Create the Budget That's Been on Your To-Do List</h2> <p>Don't have a budget established to keep your money on track and in the black from month to month? Tisk. I probably don't have to tell you that this is one of the touchstones of positive personal finance, and it's about time you caught up.</p> <p>Perez agrees.</p> <p>&quot;A snow day is a perfect opportunity to [create a budget],&quot; she says. &quot;Brew some coffee or tea and create a spreadsheet of all your recurring expenses. Record how much you've spent on groceries, gas, dining out, and any other activities over the last several months. This will give you a good idea of where your money goes and how you can economize to meet your financial goals, whether it's building an emergency fund, contributing more to retirement, or saving up for a vacation.&quot;</p> <p>This budget can and should be different and separate from the previous spreadsheet that you created, which serves as a broader and more comprehensive compilation of your whole financial picture. Your budget may fluctuate from one billing period to the next, while your overall financial spreadsheet may just serve as a reference guide.</p> <h2>7. Establish a Budget-Tracking Account</h2> <p>Prefer to manage your finances the new-school way? Skip the desktop-based system and go the cloud route by tracking your finances with an app.</p> <p>&quot;If a spreadsheet doesn't work for you, consider taking the time offered by a snow day to set up a budget-tracking account with a service like Mint,&quot; Perez suggest. &quot;You can list all your accounts including checking, savings, retirement, mortgage, etc., to get a full picture of your finances and budget. You can also set up alerts for when upcoming bills are due and when you're close to spending your limit in a budget category.&quot;</p> <p><em>What are some ways you'd spend your snow day making money fixes at home? Let's discuss in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-fixes-you-can-make-when-youre-stuck-inside-because-of-the-weather">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/build-savings-faster-with-a-multiple-account-strategy">Build Savings Faster With a Multiple Account Strategy</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-day-debt-reduction-plan-dont-ever-stop">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Don&#039;t Ever Stop</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-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Pay It Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-you-arent-making-enough-money">6 Signs You Aren&#039;t Making Enough Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sites-and-apps-to-help-you-track-your-spending-and-stick-to-your-budget">10 Sites and Apps to Help You Track Your Spending and Stick to Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting bad weather bills expenses finances money moves organization snow days Wed, 10 Feb 2016 22:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1653341 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Year-End Financial Moves You Must Make Now http://www.wisebread.com/10-year-end-financial-moves-you-must-make-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-year-end-financial-moves-you-must-make-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_piggy_bank_000037335864.jpg" alt="Man making year-end financial moves before the holidays" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Like Yogi Berra famously said, &quot;It ain't over, 'til it's over!&quot; Although there are just a few weeks left in 2015, there's still time to set yourself up for success in 2016. From minimizing your tax bill to maximizing your retirement account contribution, there are a number of steps you can take now to strengthen your financial position for the coming year. The key is to do all of it before you get crazy busy with carving turkey, wrapping presents, or sipping eggnog.</p> <p>Let's close 2015 strong &mdash; and start 2016 with a bang &mdash; by making these 10 year-end financial moves before the holidays.</p> <h2>1. Adjust Your Tax Withholding</h2> <p>Nearly eight out 10 Americans get tax refunds, averaging close to $2,800. And middle-income individuals making between $25,000 to $50,000 per year have a mean refund of $2,618. That means that people in this income bracket have to get by without an estimated 5.24% to 10.47% of their income for a whole year!</p> <p>Use the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/IRS-Withholding-Calculator">IRS Withholding Calculator</a> to figure out if you have already withheld any taxes for the year. If you have withheld enough for the rest of the year, then adjust your withholding allowance downward using IRS Form W-4. Remember that the IRS pays you no interest on your current refund &mdash; that's money that could've been earning you interest elsewhere.</p> <h2>2. Prepare for a Year-End Bonus</h2> <p>Financial success is 80% preparation and 20% implementation. A year-end bonus or commission check is a great opportunity to pay down high-interest debt or build (or beef up!) an emergency fund. Plan now how you'll use that bonus in order to avoid spending it frivolously. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-things-to-do-with-your-bonus?ref=seealso">6 Smart Things to Do With Your Bonus</a>)</p> <p>Like Warren Buffett suggests, &quot;If you buy things you don't need, soon you'll have to sell things you need.&quot; Have a plan for your year-end bonus.</p> <h2>3. Maximize Your Retirement Contributions</h2> <p>Here are the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/COLA-Increases-for-Dollar-Limitations-on-Benefits-and-Contributions">contribution limits in 2015</a> for some of the most common retirement accounts:</p> <ul> <li>Traditional and Roth IRAs: $5,500 ($6,500 if you're age 50 or older);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>SEP-IRA: lesser of 25% of compensation, or $53,000;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Traditional and safe harbor 401K plans: $18,000 ($24,000 if you're age 50 or older);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li> <p>SIMPLE 401K plans: $12,500 ($15,500 if you're age 50 or older);</p> </li> <li>Solo 401K plans: $53,000 (<a href="https://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/One-Participant-401%28k%29-Plans">not counting catch-up contributions</a> for those age 50 or older).</li> </ul> <p>If you haven't hit those contribution limits, there's still time to adjust your retirement contributions. Your employer may also establish a new retirement account for you by April 15th of the next year.</p> <h2>4. Rebalance Your Investment or Retirement Account</h2> <p>The natural ups and downs of the market may have caused the investment mix of your portfolio to shift a bit (or a lot!). For example, a big drop in the price of your mutual funds can lower your target of 90% in stocks to 80%. Take the time to review your the current mix of your accounts and shift money around to rebalance your portfolio holdings.</p> <p>Before making any moves, watch out for any potential <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-sneaky-investment-fees-to-watch-for">sneaky investment fees</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/watch-out-for-these-5-sneaky-401k-fees">sneaky 401K fees</a>.</p> <h2>5. Make Charitable Contributions</h2> <p>Take these steps to lower your tax bill with charitable contributions:</p> <ul> <li>Make a cash, check, or other monetary gift contribution to your favorite exempt organization (check the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/Charities-&amp;-Non-Profits/Exempt-Organizations-Select-Check">eligibility of the organization</a>).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Clean out your closet, attic, garage, or storage by donating items that qualified organizations need. You can deduct the fair market value of any property you donate, but you need to keep a receipt from the exempt organization for contributions of $250 or more.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Fill out Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions, and attach it to your tax return when your noncash contribution is more than $500.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Complete Section A of Form 8283 for noncash contributions with a fair market value less than $5,000, and Section B for noncash contributions larger than $5,000 (a qualified appraisal of the noncash property is required).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Consult Publication 561 to determine the fair market value of the property that you donate.</li> </ul> <h2>6. Take Your Required Minimum Distribution</h2> <p>If you're over 70&frac12; years of age or have set up a required minimum distribution (RMD) schedule, you have to take your RMD from your 401K or IRA before December 31st. However, if you just turned age 70&frac12; in 2015, you have until April 1st, 2016 to take your RMD.</p> <p>Even when you have an IRA custodian or retirement plan administrator, it's a good idea to double check if you've met the RMD threshold, because <em>you're</em> ultimately responsible for calculating the amount of the RMD. To find out more, consult the <a href="http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Retirement-Plans-FAQs-regarding-Required-Minimum-Distributions">Retirement Plan and IRA Required Minimum Distributions FAQs</a> section of the IRS site.</p> <h2>7. Check for Open Enrollment Season From Your Employer</h2> <p>During the last quarter of the year, your employer announces open enrollment season for benefits. This is your chance to review all of your benefit options and make changes for 2016.</p> <p>For example, given the Supreme Court's decision earlier this year to recognize same-sex marriage across the U.S., some carriers are amending their plans to exclude same-sex domestic partners' children from coverage eligibility (they'll now only cover legally married couples and their children). Another example is that your employer may have additional requirements to verify eligibility of your dependents.</p> <p>Remember that after open enrollment ends, you can't make changes to your 2016 coverage without a qualified change, such as marriage or the birth of your child. Now is the time to act!</p> <h2>8. Update Your Passwords and PINs</h2> <p>There are two main reasons to update your passwords and PINs.</p> <p>First, given that President Obama set an October 2015 deadline for U.S. businesses to comply with implementation of chip technology, financial institutions are rushing to mail out new debit and credit cards. This is a good opportunity to update your card's PIN, especially if you haven't done so in several years, or are planning to travel abroad. Remember that current implementation of chip cards is &quot;dip-and-sign&quot; in the U.S., while it's &quot;dip-and-PIN&quot; everywhere else. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-chip-credit-cards-make-life-easier?ref=seealso">4 Ways Chip Credit Cards Make Life Easier</a>)</p> <p>Second, updating your password is the single most important of the critical steps to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-critical-steps-to-protect-your-data-in-the-cloud">protect your data in the cloud</a> or anywhere else online. Weak passwords are among the top reasons why important data, online subscriptions, or bank funds are stolen by malicious hackers. The best practice is to build at least an eight-digit password that is a combination of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and symbols (e.g. #, $, and %).</p> <h2>9. Use Up Flexible Spending Accounts</h2> <p>Check for any leftover balances in your flexible spending account (FSA), as well as their usage deadlines. With the exception of the $500 carry-over option, most FSA plans require you to use up any funds before December 31st, 2015.</p> <p>If you need an extra pair of eyeglasses, a much-needed hearing test, or a chiropractic session, do it before you run out of time. Once the chance to do so is gone, it's gone! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-spend-your-last-minute-health-care-fsa-funds?ref=seealso">8 Ways to Spend Your Last-Minute Health Care FSA Funds</a>)</p> <h2>10. Book Your Holiday Airline Ticket</h2> <p>With the December holidays coming up and potential travel plans early in 2016 (spring break, anyone?), it's a good idea to purchase your flight in advance.</p> <p>According to data from Expedia, the average ticket price of a domestic flight skyrockets when purchasing it fewer than 25 days away from departure date. The same report recommends booking your international flight between 150 to 225 days before the day of departure (the best time is 171 days).</p> <p>By booking your holiday flight ticket in advance, you'll be able to make the most out of your budget, and open the door to even more fun during your break!</p> <p><em>What are your year-end financial plans to complete before the holiday?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-year-end-financial-moves-you-must-make-now">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/aig-employees-why-you-should-donate-your-bonuses-instead-of-returning-it">AIG employees - Why you should donate your bonuses instead of returning 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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-divorced">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Divorced</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-surprising-ways-the-rich-get-richer">5 Surprising Ways the Rich Get Richer</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-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-graduate">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance bonuses holiday season money moves open enrollment organization taxes year end Wed, 11 Nov 2015 13:15:17 +0000 Damian Davila 1606581 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways Clutter Keeps You Poor http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_surrounded_clutter_000070751617.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways clutter is keeping her poor" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The worst financial mistake I ever made was keeping a cluttered home.</p> <p>Losing money is painful. Bad investments have driven people to suicide. People end friendships and marriages over debt. But what's so insidious about clutter is how relatively pain-free clutter is in comparison to other financial blunders. People who live with clutter may never realize the tremendous amount of money they are wasting. Here's why.</p> <h2>1. Over-Consumption</h2> <p><a href="http://www.uctv.tv/shows/Stuff-A-Cluttered-Life-Middle-Class-Abundance-Ep-1-24699">Americans are hyper-consumers</a>. Americans now own more possessions than any society in human history. In the United States, clutter is so commonplace, that it has been normalized. For example, United States has 3.1% of the global child population, but Americans consume 40% of toys. This means that many Americans, from the cradle, are accidentally taught that more is better by their own parents. Over-consumption generally means overspending. Babies grow out of their clothes before they can wear them out. People swap out their cell phones for the thrill of the new. Over a lifetime, buying unnecessary things carries a tremendous cost.</p> <h2>2. Duplication</h2> <p>Earlier this year, I wasted $300 on painting supplies. Why? Because I needed to repaint the dining room and I couldn't find my box of paintbrushes in my garage (that is packed to the rafters with stuff my husband and I don't use). I am still mad about this purchase. Not only did I have to spend money to buy something I already own, but now I have duplicate brushes that I don't need. Buying unneeded replacements is costly.</p> <h2>3. Like Cash, Only Not</h2> <p>I don't even want to know how much money I've lost in coupons, free tickets, and store credit over the years because I've managed to misplace these money saving offers in the random stacks of paper in my office. Of course, I always find these lost treasures the day after they expire.</p> <h2>4. Time</h2> <p>In addition to wasting $300 on the purchase of duplicate paintbrushes, I also lost an hour of my day digging through the garage, looking for my missing painting supplies. Time is money.</p> <p>Even if I only spend five minutes a day looking for lost items, five minutes a day adds up to more than 30 hours each year of lost time. In 30 hours I could write eight articles for Wise Bread. In 30 hours I could make 210 jars of jam to sell at my local pop-up farm stand. In 30 hours I could knit a scarf for my husband while I watch an entire season of <em>Law &amp; Order: SVU</em> and still have time for many snack breaks.</p> <h2>5. Upkeep</h2> <p>The purchase of material goods is only part of the expense of ownership. Even if you do your own housework, keeping possessions clean and in good working order costs money. I have discovered through stupid amounts of trial and error, that I actually need very few possessions to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans">pass as an adult</a>. In fact, it's way easier to pretend that I have my act together now that my house verges on minimalism. It's easier to fake a clean house when there's no clutter. My default setting is messy but clean. Unfortunately, no one ever believes that the clothes stacked on the bedroom chair are actually freshly laundered. Clutter makes even the most sanitized home look dirty.</p> <h2>6. Moving</h2> <p>You really never know how much stuff you have until you have to move it. My best friend was in the Navy. She and her husband have moved approximately 453,000 times in the last 20 years. Moving does not stress her out. If anything, it inspires her to refine her personal style. With every move she's jettisoned things that don't make her happy or reflect who she is now. Since she only moves the possessions that are both beautiful and functional to her (at this moment in her life), her home always works like a gorgeous machine, and each move requires a smaller truck.</p> <p>Alas, most people do not view moving as a way to curate a better life. According to the American Moving and Storage Association, the <a href="http://www.promover.org/content.asp?pl=1&amp;sl=61&amp;contentid=61">average interstate move costs $5,630</a>, an amount that is based on the average weight of 7,100 pounds. The average intrastate move costs $1,170 based on the same weight. That's a lot of money to move things that aren't beloved or used constantly.</p> <h2>7. Storage</h2> <p>The very first story I ever wrote for Wise Bread was about personal storage and how much <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-self-storage-units-are-more-sad-museums-than-savvy-solutions">I hate it</a>. At the time I wrote the article, my friend Sarah had spent $48,000 on personal storage. Six years later, I would like to report that Sarah is out of debt and now has a robust 401K.</p> <p>Unfortunately, this is not the case. Sarah is currently in the process of moving all of the stuff she has in storage in Los Angeles... to storage in another city. She has spent over $100,000 storing her personal belongings, some of which she hasn't seen in over a decade. Unless she's storing gold bullion in one of those dusty cardboard boxes, there is nothing, in any of her four storage units, that could possibly be worth all that time and money. Had she set everything on fire six years ago, she could have saved $50,000 and instead used that money to pay for an advanced degree to increase her earning power.</p> <h2>8. Profit Loss</h2> <p>My old iPod classic is selling on eBay for about the same price that I paid for it in 2006. Which is amazing. What other nine-year-old piece of technology has held its value so well? I should be thrilled that I when I sell my iPod, I will break even. I pretty much got a decade of use out of it for free! However, had I listed my iPod last year on the day that Apple discontinued the click wheel, I could have netted a cool $300 in profit. But, I held onto my iPod for nostalgic reasons. It's traveled all over the world with me, after all.</p> <p>Let me just say for the record that the extra 12 months of nostalgia was not worth $300.</p> <p>Most material goods do not gain value with age. Clutter makes it that much harder to identify what should be sold immediately to maximize profits or at least a tax write off. If you are holding onto things because you think they might be valuable and not because you love them, the least you can do is look at what similar items have sold for online. More often than not, people are shocked by how much their possessions depreciate in value. If you have to hoard something, make sure it's worth all the money and time it will cost you to buy it, clean it, store it, move it, and get rid of it.</p> <p><em>Why are you holding on to your clutter?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-live-large-in-a-small-space">20 Ways to Live Large in a Small Space</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-things-in-your-garage-you-should-throw-out-today">8 Things in Your Garage You Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cleaning-rules-you-should-be-breaking">6 Cleaning Rules You Should Be Breaking</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/18-clever-ways-to-reuse-your-plastic-shopping-bags">18 Clever Ways to Reuse Your Plastic Shopping Bags</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Home clutter messy home money organization waste of money Thu, 15 Oct 2015 17:00:15 +0000 Max Wong 1592472 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Fridge Tricks That Will Save You Big http://www.wisebread.com/14-fridge-tricks-that-will-save-you-big <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-fridge-tricks-that-will-save-you-big" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000038978966_1.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the most painless ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save money is to stop wasting food. A study by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that <a href="https://www.nrdc.org/food/files/wasted-food-ip.pdf">40% of the food produced</a> in the United States goes uneaten. While there is significant waste in every link of the supply chain between the field and the dinner table, the average American family throws away more than $2,275 in food each year! And $2,275 is a lot to spend on wilted lettuce and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-actually-enjoy-leftover-pizza">leftover pizza</a>.</p> <p>In the kitchen, as with pretty much every other aspect of life, a little asset management goes a long way when it comes to saving money. Here's where to start.</p> <h2>Audit Your Stash</h2> <p>The first step in organizing your refrigerator and freezer is to go through and throw away any spoiled food. Be thorough. Open and examine all condiments. Check the sell-by dates on frozen food. Absolutely everything over a year old should be dumped outright, but use <a href="http://www.stilltasty.com/searchitems/index/27">Still Tasty</a> or <a href="http://www.eatbydate.com/">Eat By Date</a> to check the viability of everything else in your freezer and refrigerator. I know, this sounds like pure drudgery.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-i-eat-this-a-quick-guide-to-expiration-dates-and-food-safety?ref=seealso">Can I Eat This? A Quick Guide to Expiration Dates and Food Safety</a></p> <p>However, once you do this step you'll know where you are wasting the most grocery dollars. Is your crisper drawer really the compost drawer? Are there 12 different jams at different levels of decomposition taking up room in the door? Is your freezer a morgue for on-sale hot dogs? What's your food-wasting Achilles' heel?</p> <p>If you take the time to do this step, you will also have a clearer knowledge of the storage life of your favorite foods. Many people throw away perfectly edible food because they don't know there is a difference between a sell-by date and a use-by date.</p> <p>Once you've purged your refrigerator and freezer of all the spoiled food, look at the food that is on brink of going bad. One of the easiest ways to save money is to shop your refrigerator first, before buying new food at the store. Now is the perfect opportunity to make <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-night-soup-delicious-soup-from-leftovers">Thursday Night Soup</a>. Use a <a href="http://www.myfridgefood.com/">recipe calculator</a> to find recipes that use up the food you already own. Your first step in stopping food waste should be to eat through your fridge and freezer. Menu plan for the next week around your existing food, and tailor shopping trips around purchasing ONLY food that will help you use up your nearly stale food.</p> <p>Speaking of old food, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eat-your-garbage-turn-your-trash-into-delicious-holiday-food">eat your garbage</a>. Stale bread is the key ingredient to croutons, French toast, and bread pudding. Make vegetable stock out of those wilted vegetables or puree them into a green smoothie.</p> <p>Now that you have a clearer view of what foods get wasted in your house (I recommend doing twice yearly <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-cut-down-on-garbage-and-save-money-too">trash audits</a> to further refine your shopping list and schedule), it's time to go to the grocery store. But wait! Before you step foot out of your house you need to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-shopping-list-strategy-from-5-meal-plan-will-save-you-big">menu plan</a> and make a shopping list. Every single article about how to save on food costs includes menu planning and list making, because Americans over-shop for everything, including food.</p> <h2>1. Consider a Smaller Refrigerator</h2> <p>Take a cue from college and consider buying a smaller refrigerator when it is time to replace your current appliance. With an average capacity of 17.5 cubic feet of storage, Americans have the <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/10/the-huge-chill-why-are-american-refrigerators-so-big/280275/">largest refrigerators</a> in the world. American refrigerators have gotten huge over time due to our uniquely American once-a-week food shopping schedule. But here's the truth: the average American family of four cannot eat through 17.5 cubic feed of perishable food every week. Just because there's real estate in the fridge, doesn't mean it should be filled.</p> <p>But it is. In fact more than <a href="http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/19/consumers-buy-more-efficient-refrigerators-but-keep-the-old-ones-humming/">a quarter</a> of American homes have a second refrigerator, and 15% of those refrigerators are over <a href="http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/19/consumers-buy-more-efficient-refrigerators-but-keep-the-old-ones-humming/">20 years old</a>. So, on top of food waste caused by over-buying, Americans are also wasting hundreds of dollars every year storing beer and ice cream in the garage. Ditch the second refrigerator.</p> <h2>2. Think Outside of the Ice Box</h2> <p>For extra refrigeration at parties, chill drinks in an ice-filled bathtub or utility sink. Our local liquor store has an <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000U3CIW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B0000U3CIW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=E6V67ICUAR4XOUYH">instant beverage chiller</a> that cools room temperature bottles and cans 25 times faster than our refrigerator. This quick chilling is offered as a free service to customers. Or use a cooler to keep holiday food overflow cold until you can serve it. If you actually need more freezer space to preserve high-ticket items such as meat and homegrown produce, instead of keeping a second freezer, consider paying a neighbor to use their unused freezer space. My neighbors regularly store backyard fruit that I don't have time to immediately can in their freezers in exchange for jars of jam.</p> <p>I like to think of my tiny refrigerator as a closet for my food. Just like my clothes, I have a one-in, one-out policy for perishables. The small size of my fridge, combined with this minimalist attitude, keeps me from buying too much food.</p> <p>After over buying, poor storage practices account for most food waste in the refrigerator and freezer.</p> <h2>3. I Can See Clearly Now</h2> <p>While it may save money on plasticware, storing food in old cottage cheese or butter tubs is a great way to waste a lot of food. For most people, out of sight equals out of mind, even if the containers are properly labeled. Restaurant kitchens use clear storage containers because they let the cook see, at a glance, the condition and quantity of the food. Borrow this practice at home. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-smart-uses-for-mason-jars">Mason jars</a> are an excellent way to store food in the fridge (and double as microwaveable lunch containers and drinking glasses). Use <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00R9DCV8K/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00R9DCV8K&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=IQODTFKPM2RKL7DC">clear plasticware</a> designed to go in the freezer to store frozen goods. For people who are not plastic-averse, look for square or rectangular food safe containers. Square containers use less storage space than round containers.</p> <h2>4. Store Eggs in an Airtight Container</h2> <p>I use a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00D0RCHC4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00D0RCHC4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=EFX5S4SSK5YXUFPY">32-ounce Tupperware</a> lidded tumbler to store my eggs. In addition to taking up four square inches of shelf space instead of the 48 square inches of an egg carton, the tumbler, which holds a dozen eggs, is stackable. The firm top and sides of the tumbler also protect my eggs from breakage. But most importantly, the tumbler is airtight. Eggs are porous. Eggs stored in an airtight container will stay good for an entire month.</p> <h2>5. Control Air Circulation</h2> <p>In addition to eggs, certain varieties of produce will last longer in an airtight container, including: asparagus, beets, mushrooms, carrots, celery, cucumbers, okra, radishes, summer squash, turnips, zucchini, berries, and all cut vegetables. However, most other vegetables like air circulation.</p> <h2>6. Don't Store Vegetables With Fruit</h2> <p>Many fruits produce ethylene gas, which is a ripening agent that can cause other produce to spoil prematurely. Fruits that produce ethylene include apricots, avocados, bananas, cantaloupes, kiwis, mangoes, nectarines, papayas, peaches, pears, plums, and tomatoes. Ethylene sensitive produce includes apples, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, eggplants, green beans, lettuce, potatoes, summer squash, and watermelons. Keep 'em separated.</p> <h2>7. Wash Produce Before Serving, Not Before Storing</h2> <p>This goes against every OCD fiber of my being, but I extend the life of my fruits and vegetables by storing them &quot;dirty.&quot; Adding moisture to produce speeds up spoilage by giving all the bacteria and microorganisms a nice big drink.</p> <h2>8. Separate the Greens From the Roots</h2> <p>Trim green tops from carrots, turnips, radishes, and beets before storing them in the refrigerator. The greens suck the moisture out of the edible roots, making them limp and chewy. By the way, carrot, turnip, radish, and beet greens are edible and super yummy! Don't throw them away!</p> <h2>9. Arrange the Food According to Your Needs</h2> <p>My Liebherr refrigerator came with unintentionally hilarious instructions about where to put my food&hellip; based entirely on the German palate. For example, Liebherr dedicates a large amount of shelf space to schmaltz storage. While I am sure that nine zillion dollars goes into the research and development of every refrigerator interior, it's just not scientifically possible to design a refrigerator that suits everyone's food culture and eating habits. So, if you are following the manufacturer's instructions and still wasting food because you are losing track of it inside of your refrigerator, you know it's time to rearrange.</p> <p>My refrigerator is very tall and skinny, which means that I cannot see what is on the very top shelf, unless I get out a step stool, which I do approximately never. If I were less lazy, I could post a top shelf inventory list on the front of the refrigerator. But why? I just let the top shelf be the snack domain of my much taller husband. And, very little annoys me more than constantly having to rearrange jars in the refrigerator because I can never remember what's behind the first visible row of food.</p> <p>So, instead of the daily search for jars in the back of the refrigerator, I store all the 32-ounce jars of pickles and mayo, all the tubs of yogurt and cottage cheese, the ketchup bottle, and my tumbler of eggs upright, in the pull-out crisper drawer. At a glance I can grab exactly what I need by reading the lids.</p> <p>Using the crisper drawer for jars and bottles leaves the shelves open to store my produce, (much of which is packed into airtight Tupperware containers and mason jars to maintain freshness).</p> <h2>10. Maintain the Correct Temperature</h2> <p>It's worth buying a cheap <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00875TVYQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00875TVYQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=F2FSBKW5ZYNHHNNE">appliance thermometer</a> to make sure that your refrigerator is maintaining a temperature at or below 40 degrees and your freezer is always below zero. What's obvious to most people is that higher temperatures allow for faster food spoilage. What is not obvious is that inside of every refrigerator there are hot and cool spots. Move the thermometer around the inside of the refrigerator to check for temperature variation. Don't store the lettuce in the coldest part of the refrigerator where it will wilt, and don't store dairy in the hot zone.</p> <h2>11. Don't Stand With the Door Open</h2> <p>Your mother was right about this. Opening the refrigerator door for 30 seconds can raise the interior temperature of the refrigerator by five degrees. Also, certain foods, like dairy, are light sensitive. Years ago I bought a glass-front fridge, thinking I would save on energy costs by being able to find items before opening the door. What I saved on energy costs, I lost on soured milk.</p> <h2>12. Sometimes Labels Are a Good Thing</h2> <p>Use a permanent marker to write the date on take out food containers and partially consumed packaged food. Don't play Russian roulette with that open carton of chicken broth. Everything that goes into the freezer should be labeled. You might remember that you put the spaghetti sauce in the red container and the plain tomato sauce in the blue container, but will you remember this code six months from now? Why force your brain to memorize even more trivia when you can just write &quot;plain tomato&quot; on a piece of masking tape and be done with it?</p> <h2>13. Dry Freeze Individual Servings</h2> <p>Food that has been thawed once should not be refrozen. When buying meat in bulk, freeze each serving in individual containers or bags. If you have the space in the freezer, consider freezing meat, fish, and berries on a cookie sheet first before transferring the food to storage containers. This prep work guards against food waste by allowing you to pull exactly the right amount of food out of your freezer. Aren't you tired of banging the block of frozen berries on the counter every morning to break off the right amount of fruit for your smoothie?</p> <h2>14. Rotate Your Stash</h2> <p>New purchases should always be on top or up front, so you know what needs to be used first. Put the newest purchases on the bottom of the freezer compartment and toward the back of the refrigerator. This is especially important for meat, as it's so expensive to purchase.</p> <p><em>Are you a wizard at refrigerator organization? Share your best tips with your fellow readers in the comments section!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-fridge-tricks-that-will-save-you-big">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/9-dumb-ways-youre-going-to-waste-money-this-summer">9 Dumb Ways You&#039;re Going to Waste Money This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor">8 Ways Clutter Keeps You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/biggest-money-saving-tip-move-far-away-from-the-joneses">Biggest Money Saving Tip: Move Far Away from the Joneses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-things-to-try-before-you-die-updated">10 frugal things to try before you die (updated)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living food money groceries grocery bills organization save money Wed, 14 Oct 2015 15:00:55 +0000 Max Wong 1586528 at http://www.wisebread.com 31 Super Smart Travel Hacks http://www.wisebread.com/31-super-smart-travel-hacks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/31-super-smart-travel-hacks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_daughter_packing_000039949614.jpg" alt="Mom learning super smart travel hacks before next trip" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Since the dawn of exploration, travelers have been finding ways to simplify and streamline their adventures. Today, we call this &quot;travel hacking,&quot; and a few important tricks can save you a lot of time, space, and money. I've traveled the world with my wife since 2008 and we've saved thousands of dollars and a lot of time by using these 31 essential hacks that every traveler should know. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers?ref=seealso">25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travellers</a>)</p> <h2>1. Get Theft-Proof Luggage</h2> <p>There are a ton of brands out there that offer theft-proof luggage. I have a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=numinous%20anti-theft&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Anuminous%20anti-theft&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=ZLT5MAJJVNVP6PCJ">Numinous Theft-Proof Backpack</a> which has anti-slash technology, puncture-proof lockable zippers, and a steel tie-down cable. This bag is like a portable safe, and it gives me peace of mind knowing that my valuables are secure while I'm on the road.</p> <h2>2. Use Packing Cubes</h2> <p>If you don't already have these things, I highly recommend picking some up. Simply put, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=packing%20cubes&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Apacking%20cubes&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=NU6VYS5SBZDAU5R3">packing cubes</a> are small, zippable compression squares that help to keep your backpack and luggage organized and compact. You can separate your tops, bottoms, and underwear into different sized cubes so that next time you're at the airport and you need to take out a t-shirt, you'll know exactly where to look.</p> <h2>3. Roll, Don't Fold</h2> <p>I first heard of this trick on the Oprah show a few years back, but it really works. Rolling your clothes can save a lot of space &mdash; and having them rolled and lined up in packing cubes (instead of folded and stacked on top of each other) allows you to better see your traveling wardrobe.</p> <h2>4. Protect Your Toothbrush With a Clothing Pin</h2> <p>Who knows what kind of nasty bacteria and particulate matter has accumulated on that hotel bathroom sink and counter!? According to a hotel sanitation study conducted by Katie Kirsch and a team from Purdue University and the University of South Carolina, the bathroom sink is one of the &quot;germiest&quot; surfaces in the hotel room. Her team claimed that the same sponges are sometimes used to clean the toilets and the counters. I'm really sorry to be the one to tell you, but this is why the <a href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/26880928998279779/">clothes pin toothbrush holder</a> is so important. Don't ever rest your toothbrush on the counter again!</p> <h2>5. Charge Your Device on the TV</h2> <p>Newer LCD and Plasma screens usually have a USB outlet on the rear console. If you've used up all of the outlets in your hotel, or you forgot to bring that little USB/AC wall adapter, the TV in your hotel room could save the day.</p> <h2>6. Pack the Boil Coil</h2> <p>I love this little thing and I wouldn't travel without it. Basically, it's a small heating coil that you can place in a metal bowl or mug to boil water. It can boil a cup of water in a little over a minute. The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VK0DRY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000VK0DRY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=DPN2FUP7CDPOE3MV">boil coil</a> is perfect for coffee, noodle bowls, hard boiled eggs, and tea! (Maybe even pasta?)</p> <h2>7. Cook in the Coffee Machine</h2> <p>Did you know that the coffee machine in your hotel room can also be used as a mini vegetable steamer or porridge cooker? Simply place your desired grub in the carafe, add some water, and let it cook.</p> <h2>8. Put Your Valuables in an Empty Sunscreen Container</h2> <p>Next time you're at the beach, don't worry about leaving your valuables behind while you go for a swim. Just create this <a href="http://www.safewise.com/blog/hiding-plain-sight-6-sneaky-ways-keep-valuables-safe/">brilliant little hidden container</a> by cutting your sunscreen bottle in half and you can easily hide your iPhone, money, and wallet while you're out enjoying the waves.</p> <h2>9. Stay Fresh With Dryer Sheets</h2> <p>Stinky backpack? Toss in a Bounce sheet. Smelly dorm? Put a sheet on the fan or air conditioner. Nasty foot odor? You guessed it. Fill up your hikers with <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=dryer%20sheets&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=CHHOSX25ACKLE3I6">dryer sheets</a>. These things can freshen even the most unsavory of situations. Never travel without them.</p> <h2>10. Carry a Portable Home Theatre</h2> <p>The newest DLP technology has shrunk down to a size that travelers can actually pack. The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QXS8L6I/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00QXS8L6I&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YWDADU4JMIXHOOCB">RIF6</a> is a Rubix Cube-sized projector that can fit inside of an empty shoe in your backpack. All you need is a device and a white wall and you've got your own personal cinema.</p> <h2>11. Carry a VGA or HDMI Cord Instead</h2> <p>Don't want to buy the portable projector? Just carry a VGA or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=hdmi%20cord&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Ahdmi%20cord&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=SCJN7PXJI4ZRJCG4">HDMI cord</a> so that you can hook your laptop up to the hotel room television.</p> <h2>12. Find Wi-Fi Passwords on Foursquare</h2> <p>This is a great hack to use when you stay at hotels and guest houses that are located in cities with lots of access points. Just search Foursquare comments for businesses around your hotel and you'll likely find that someone posted a Wi-Fi password near you. Help the community by posting passwords as you find them as well.</p> <h2>13. Plug a Drain With a Coin</h2> <p>Sometimes you just want to do a bit of laundry in your hotel room sink, but you didn't pack a plug or the plug you packed doesn't fit. Luckily, coins come in pretty much all sizes, so just dig into your wallet and pick out two that will fit the drain in your sink. Then wrap the first one in plastic, place it in the sink and put the other one on top to hold it down. Now you can fill up the sink and do your laundry!</p> <h2>14. Take a Picture of Your Travel Documents</h2> <p>It's always a good idea to carry your passport and important documents with you, but you also run the risk of losing them or having them stolen. Instead, take photos of them and keep them in your smartphone photo library. If a corrupt border guard asks for your documents, try to flash the screenshot rather than your actual passport. Also make sure to email the documents to yourself so you still have them, even if your smartphone is stolen.</p> <h2>15. Be a Signal Vulture</h2> <p>When you first arrive at a new destination, head into as many restaurants and cafes as you can, buy something small and get the Wi-Fi code. Hit up 10 to 20 places around your hotel and you'll soon have free Wi-Fi within a one mile radius.</p> <h2>16. Use Fishing Line Security</h2> <p>If you're sleeping on an overnight train or bus, you're probably not paying much attention to your bag. If you don't have theft-proof luggage from the first hack on this list, tie fishing line to your important luggage and attach the other end to your wrist. If anyone tries to take it, they won't notice the invisible line, but you'll wake up when your arm jerks. You can then stop them in their tracks.</p> <h2>17. Record YouTube</h2> <p>Sometimes you just want to save that favorite video or music playlist to watch or listen to during a flight or long bus ride, but you know you're not going to have Wi-Fi. Head to <a href="http://en.savefrom.net/">savefrom.net</a> and you can download your favorite vids and songs to watch or listen to later.</p> <h2>18. Hide Jewelry</h2> <p>Hide your beloved wedding ring and your favorite gold necklace in a Tylenol container instead of a Tiffany's box. No thieves are going to look in your first aid kit for a big score.</p> <h2>19. Practice the Secret Offline Google Maps Function</h2> <p>This is a very useful trick for those of us who don't want to spend money on data usage overseas. While you have Wi-Fi, open the Google Maps app on your smart device. Zoom into a map area that you know you'll want to look at later and then type &quot;okay maps&quot; into the search field. The app will then download that portion of the map for you to view later while offline.</p> <h2>20. Use Duct Tape to Fix Anything</h2> <p>This strong, sticky, grey adhesive can do so much for a traveler. Fix your broken shoes, seal up holes in window frames where creepy crawlers can enter, patch tears in your mosquito net, or temporarily cover a wound. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=duct%20tape&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aduct%20tape&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=RBC77I6JHIF6XCF3">Duct tape</a> can do it all!</p> <p>And there's no need to pack a huge bulky roll: instead just ditch the ink portion of a ballpoint pen, roll about 10 feet of tape around the outer casing, and cut off the excess plastic bits on either end of the pen.</p> <h2>21. Call Your Credit Card Company and Bank Before Traveling</h2> <p>The last thing you want is to be in the middle of your vacation and suddenly you're cut off from all of your accounts. If your credit card provider or bank sees random charges from Timbuktu, they'll probably freeze your accounts, forcing you to call in and sometimes order a new card. Don't let this happen to you. Simply call them before departing and let them know where you'll be and for how long.</p> <h2>22. Carry an Empty Water Bottle at the Airport</h2> <p>I hate spending $3 for a bottle of water that can be bought for 50 cents anywhere else in the country. But airport security will take your bottle if it has any water in it. Instead of paying airport prices, carry an empty bottle through security and then fill it up from a fountain or at Starbucks on the other side. Stick it to those airport overcharges!</p> <h2>23. Clear Your Cache or Browse Privately When Booking Flights</h2> <p>This is just one of several <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds">flight booking hacks</a> I've got for you, but it's a goodie. Booking engines and airline websites store cookies in your browser so that they can jack up prices if they see you coming back to shop for the same flights over and over again. Clear your cache or browse &quot;incognito&quot; in Google Chrome (cmd-shift-n) to save yourself hundreds of dollars on airfare. (Ctrl-shift-n for PC Chrome users.)</p> <h2>24. Keep Your Collars Crisp With Your Belt</h2> <p>Roll up your belt and place it inside the collar of your favourite shirt to keep it from wrinkling and bending out of shape while in transit.</p> <h2>25. Seal Shampoo Containers With Shrink Wrap</h2> <p>Have you ever had your shampoo explode while in your luggage? It's a mess and the dyed liquid can potentially stain your cloths. To prevent this catastrophe, simply place some plastic wrap (or a Ziploc bag) over the opening and screw the lid on over top of it. Don't have cellophane wrap? Just tape the lids shut.</p> <h2>26. Ask Siri Your Flight Status</h2> <p>Hold the home button on your Apple smart device and say &quot;Check flight status for (your flight number)&quot; and Siri will list results with up-to-date information about your flight. If you don't have an Apple device, simply Google your flight number and you will see your flight info above the search results.</p> <h2>27. Put All Travel on Rewards Credit Cards</h2> <p>You might as well get some cashback and rewards from all of your travel purchases. Put your hotel rooms, restaurant bills, flights, and insurance on your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal">favorite travel rewards credit card</a> and earn some rewards for all of your purchases. Even better, use a card with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=internal">no foreign transaction fees</a> if you're abroad.</p> <h2>28. Get a Travel Debit Card</h2> <p>Some banks charge upwards of $5 for every transaction from international ATMs. Shop around and find an account that waives these fees so that you're not wasting money every time you withdraw cash overseas. In the U.S., the Charles Schwab debit system doesn't charge foreign ATM fees, while in Canada, the TD Canada Trust Select Service Account offers the same.</p> <h2>29. Ladies, Use the Diva Cup</h2> <p>If you're on a world trip, you're not going to want to carry a year's worth of pads or tampons in your bag, and in some countries it's hard to find tampons at all. Enter: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=diva%20cup&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Adiva%20cup&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=VS7LYZGR3VMDIQDS">The Diva Cup</a>. This little thing will save you a ton of space in your luggage and it is much better for the environment and for your body.</p> <h2>30. Get a Range Extender</h2> <p>Wi-Fi in hotels and hostels seldom reaches the private rooms or dorms, but with this handy <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=range%20extender&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Arange%20extender&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=TNO5V2GNMQOCQFN4">range extender</a>, you can double the strength of the signal just by plugging it into a wall socket. It captures the signal from the router and magnifies it for you to use. It even has its own password so other people can't share the bandwidth with you unless you want them to.</p> <h2>31. Watch Inflight Movies on Budget Airlines</h2> <p>Carry a Ziploc bag big enough to fit your device and then clip the bag into the seat tray table in front of you. Hang the device down and voila! You have yourself an inflight movie, even when the plane lacks video on demand.</p> <p><em>Did you find any new and useful hacks in this post? I must have missed some! What easy tricks have you used to make your travels cheaper, safer, and more comfortable? Please share with us 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/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-super-smart-travel-hacks">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/make-flying-easy-the-ultimate-carry-on-packing-list">Make Flying Easy: The Ultimate Carry-On Packing List</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/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel">12 Expert Tips for Redeeming Miles for Free Travel</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-through-the-airport-faster">How to Get Through the Airport Faster</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/15-packing-secrets-from-a-professional-traveler">15 Packing Secrets From a Professional Traveler</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-save-on-baggage-fees">6 Ways to Save On Baggage Fees</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel hotel rooms luggage organization packing tips security travel hacking wi-fi Mon, 28 Sep 2015 15:00:47 +0000 Nick Wharton 1570273 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Apps Every Dad Needs http://www.wisebread.com/6-apps-every-dad-needs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-apps-every-dad-needs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/father_and_son_online_000019788770.jpg" alt="Father finding apps that dad needs" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're a new dad or a seasoned pro, life certainly gets hectic with work and family in the mix. Here are some useful tools that will help you feel better organized, as well as healthier and more confident. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-worst-mistakes-good-parents-make?ref=seealso">The 4 Worst Mistakes Good Parents Make</a>)</p> <h2>1. Cozi</h2> <p>Chances are, with lots of people living under one roof, life can get crazy. The worst part? You all have different schedules. Take charge with <a href="http://www.cozi.com">Cozi</a>, a social organizer for busy families. You can color code each family member's work, school, and personal schedules on one shared calendar. Write up grocery, chore, and other to-do lists to distribute with ease. You can even share photos and other information with your extended family.</p> <h2>2. Quick Tips for New Dads</h2> <p>Didn't have time to read all those parenting books before your kid was born? No worries. With <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/quick-%C2%AD%E2%80%90tips-%C2%AD%E2%80%90for-%C2%AD%E2%80%90new-%C2%AD%E2%80%90dads/id843364411">Quick Tips for New Dads</a>, you'll get everything you need to know in your phone. Check out quick snippets of useful information on everything from bottle feeding to naptime routines to looking after mom. With over 250 added stress-busting tips, this app is your holy grail for surviving that first year.</p> <h2>3. Mint Bills</h2> <p>You have enough things to worry about besides when your utilities or cable bills are due. And don't mention those dreaded late fees! Some banks have awesome apps you can use to manage your money. If yours isn't one of them, wrangle your due dates and payments with <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mint-bills-money/id285056092?mt=8">Mint Bills</a>. Set up all your bank account, credit card, and bills information once, and the app does the rest of the work.</p> <h2>4. 7-Minute Workout</h2> <p>Being a dad sometimes means skipping workouts to make way for other obligations. Put the power in your back pocket with the <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/7-minute-workout/id650762525?mt=8">7-Minute Workout</a> app by Wahoo Fitness. You can sneak in a sweat session whenever you find spare time or even combine a few for a longer routine. Each session groups 12 high-intensity bodyweight exercises (no equipment or gym required) at 30 seconds each with 10 seconds of rest between moves. A healthy dad is a happy dad, so take care of yourself.</p> <h2>5. College Saving Wiz</h2> <p>It's never too early (or late) to start saving for your child's education. Download <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/college-saving-wiz/id674276203?mt=8">College Saving Wiz</a> for handy cost-estimating calculators, savings goals, and even tips for how to stash away extra cash. This app was designed by emeritus professor of finance Lawrence J. Gitman at San Diego State University. And if you'd like to help your kids develop good money habits, also check out <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/saving-wiz-jr./id674198368?mt=8">Saving Wiz Jr</a>.</p> <h2>6. Evernote</h2> <p>While you're out and about at dance lessons or soccer games, you just might need to do some last-minute research for tomorrow's big meeting. That's where <a href="https://evernote.com">Evernote</a> comes in. You can gather information from anywhere and record your thoughts on essentially anything &mdash; work projects, shopping lists, home improvement projects &mdash; it's up to you. This app syncs across your different devices and lets you put everything into streamlined notebooks with tags and note links for added organization.</p> <p><em>What apps and tools do you use to be a better dad?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-apps-every-dad-needs">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/10-money-lessons-i-learned-from-dad">10 Money Lessons I Learned From Dad</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/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-dumb-little-productivity-killers-you-need-to-stop-doing-today">10 Dumb Little Productivity Killers You Need to Stop Doing Today</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-frugal-living-truths-every-stay-at-home-parent-should-know">5 Frugal Living Truths Every Stay-at-Home-Parent Should Know</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/11-time-saving-hacks-from-the-worlds-busiest-people">11 Time Saving Hacks From the World&#039;s Busiest People</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Productivity apps fathers organization parents working dads Tue, 25 Aug 2015 09:00:59 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1530568 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Hacks to Avoid Burnout at Work http://www.wisebread.com/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_work_stressed_000035696454.jpg" alt="Stressed employee trying to avoid burnout at work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While some people in some countries work to live, in America we live to work &mdash; and we spend 40+ years putting in 40+ hours a week on the job. You can imagine then, over the course of four grueling decades answering to the The Man, we're susceptible to experiencing symptoms of burnout. To avoid this exhausting byproduct of a seemingly never-ending grind, consider these stress-relieving (and sanity-saving) hacks.</p> <h2>1. Plan Your Week in Advance</h2> <p>I understand that not everyone is as organized as I am (it's been a point of contention among coworkers in the past), but I stand by my usual suggestion to plan your work week in advance so you know what to expect over the next five days. In doing so, you'll be able to handle surprises much more gracefully without feeling an onslaught of pressure. Personally, I plan an <em>entire month</em> of projects, which has worked very well for me since I started my own business more than six years ago. With this calendar in place, I can see the full scope of work, cross items off as I finish them, and move projects around to make space for additional items or allot time that I need to relax and recoup.</p> <h2>2. Edit Your To-Do List</h2> <p>To-do lists are helpful, but you can quickly overwhelm yourself if you pack too much in. If you start to get that sinking feeling, revisit the list and decide which items are musts and which can be put on the back burner. Ask yourself, does this need to be done right now or can it wait? Prioritizing your to-dos will help lessen the stress and declutter your mind so you can concentrate fully on the issue at hand.</p> <h2>3. Simplify Your Work Life</h2> <p>All day, everyday, we're inundated with all types of communication and media &mdash; news, ads, e-mails, texts, digital documents &mdash; that can wreak havoc on our ability to concentrate. Simplify your work life a little more by taking steps to streamline or eliminate distractions, like unsubscribing from nonessential e-mails, putting mobile and social media conversations on mute for a period of time, organizing your hard and digital files, and keeping the amount of time-sucking meetings to a minimum.</p> <h2>4. Know When to Say &quot;No&quot;</h2> <p>In an effort to impress the boss with our go-get-'em, team-player attitude, we often say yes to everything that comes our way. Big mistake. Being a &quot;Yes Man&quot; (or Woman) can result in dire consequences, like biting off more than you can chew, which in turn can affect your productivity negatively. In that case, you'll look like you can't handle the workload &mdash; and that won't bode well for advancement opportunities. Thus, learn how to say no. If you're already at capacity, let your superior know. Decent bosses will understand and help you find the balance.</p> <h2>5. Keep a Self-Care Marble Jar</h2> <p>Stay with me here; this is one of the more interesting ways to avoid burnout at work that I've heard. Dr. Emma Mansour is a licensed psychologist who has seen her fair share of clients experiencing symptoms of work burnout, and as such she's had to make self-care a fundamental part of her life. One of the resources in her arsenal is a self-care marble jar. Sounds kooky, but the concept make sense.</p> <p>&quot;I take a small glass jar &mdash; similar to the ones we use to can preserves &mdash; and place marbles in it. Each marble represents a moment or action that was taken to either restore the self/engage in self-care or contribute to the feeling of burnout or being overwhelmed,&quot; Dr. Mansour says. &quot;Some examples of self-care moments at work include eating lunch (a working lunch does not count!), sitting back in an office chair and closing one's eyes and other brief meditation techniques, prioritizing and writing to-do lists, getting up and walking around the block, delegating tasks, etc. Examples of times in which you would take a marble out of the jar are working through lunch, not taking a restroom break, continuing to look at the computer screen despite the fact that your eyes are burning, etc.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;The idea is to keep as many marbles in the jar as possible,&quot; she continues. &quot;When one is taken out, it serves as a reminder that a self-care moment is overdue.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Keep Plants in the Office</h2> <p>Plants not only add a sense of life to an otherwise drab office environment, but studies have shown that the presence of plants help increase energy, happiness, and productivity. If your office is currently devoid of plants, talk to your coworkers about brightening the place up. Cite science to make your case if they tend to be sticks in the mud. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-cheap-plants-for-improving-indoor-air-quality?ref=seealso">The Best Cheap Plants for Improving Indoor Air Quality</a>)</p> <h2>7. Set a Time to Unplug Each Day</h2> <p>As creatures of habit who are more plugged in than ever (I'm waiting for the day they announce mobile implants for humans), it's hard to put down our devices and disconnect. But it's necessary &mdash; if you want to stay out of the looney bin, anyway.</p> <p>Jacel Egan, media relations coordinator for the blog TechnologyAdvice, suggests setting &quot;...a firm time to 'unplug' and unwind &mdash; whether that's 5 p.m., 6 p.m., or 8 p.m &mdash; and stick to it.&quot; By doing this, she says, &quot;you're making a commitment to yourself, your family, and your sanity to quiet the buzz in your head and recharge your batteries.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Schedule After Work Activities</h2> <p>I'm not one to go straight home after work, get in my jammies, and plop in front of the TV. Never have been. Instead, I prefer to stay active until just before bed time, engaging in all manner of activities, from meeting friends to going to the gym to preparing for the next day. I especially like nighttime activities, like a kickball league or bar trivia. These activities help me unwind &mdash; especially necessary if I need to blow off steam or aggression after a particularly rough day &mdash; so I don't succumb to burnout.</p> <p>Egan offers a few tips on how to make the most of your down time, with added motivation. &quot;Incentive yourself by putting happy hour with a friend on the calendar, or plan a date with your significant other on a weeknight,&quot; she says. &quot;Having things to look forward to can increase your productivity &mdash; especially since you're expected to be there at a certain time.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Let Things Slide More Often</h2> <p>Admittedly I need to take my own advice on this one and learn how to let more things take their course without getting worked up. When problems arise, stop and think before you react. Is this something that really merits your attention at this moment, or is it something that will be less important if everyone involved steps back and evaluates the issue responsibly? Let cooler heads prevail, as they say. Or join Team Elsa and #LetItGo entirely. (You didn't stand a chance of getting out of this one without a <em>Frozen</em> reference.)</p> <h2>10. Delegate Responsibilities When You Can</h2> <p>Feeling overwhelmed? Is there too much on your plate? If you're behind, or if you feel like you're in danger of falling behind, delegate the work (if you have that luxury) before a small fire turns into a five-alarm blaze. There's nothing wrong with farming out work if you're in the position to do so, so long as everyone is contributing to the team equally.</p> <h2>11. Change Your Relationship With Time</h2> <p>Those of you who feel like there's never enough time in the day &mdash; don't worry, I'm with you &mdash; might identify with this fresh perspective from Melissa Heisler, author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1940014417/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1940014417&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=DSPAW7HJHRA6TNLO">From Type A to Type Me: How to Stop &quot;Doing&quot; Life and Start Living It</a>.</p> <p>&quot;When I was working my nine-to-five job, I would wake up in the morning and immediately go through my to-do list and what I had planned for the day. The result was feeling behind the 8-ball before I even left bed,&quot; she explains. &quot;One of the ways to release time's hold on you, before you get out of bed, say, 'I have more than enough time today to accomplish everything that I need to do.' Just making that statement changes your outlook on the day. This reframe empowers you to deal with the day differently and avoid burnout.&quot;</p> <h2>12. Use Your Well-Earned PTO or Vacation</h2> <p>I see this all too often from workaholics who complain about how stressed they are and how burnt out they are; they have plenty of accrued time off &mdash; but they rarely take it. It's hard to have sympathy for someone who has the opportunity to enjoy a break but doesn't seize it, and it's nobody's fault but your own in that case. If you have PTO or vacation time, then use it. When you start feeling burnt out, clear your schedule to rest, relax, and remember that the only way you're going to make it through the next two decades of work is to strike a decent work-life balance &mdash; starting today.</p> <h2>13. Talk to Your Employer</h2> <p>Here's someone who can help you avoid burnout: your boss. There's no shame in letting him or her know that you might need a bit of breathing room to stay productive.</p> <p>&quot;Most people are afraid to speak up for fear they will be immediately replaced by someone whose motivation isn't in doubt,&quot; says Harold Mann, owner of an IT consulting firm in San Francisco. &quot;Here's what I recommend: Talk early with your supervisor. Mention you're not burned out, but you're concerned about the risk. Ask for suggestions or guidelines, mention the warning signs or indicators. If you're a great employee, they should work as hard as possible to keep you happy.&quot;</p> <p>Or, if you want to look at it another way: &quot;It's less work than replacing you,&quot; Mann says.</p> <p><em>Do you have other hacks for avoiding burnout at work? 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/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work">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/6-ways-to-stay-motivated-on-the-job">6 Ways to Stay Motivated on the Job</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/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work">Give Yourself a Break: The Productivity Secret That&#039;ll Change the Way You Work</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-dumb-little-productivity-killers-you-need-to-stop-doing-today">10 Dumb Little Productivity Killers You Need to Stop Doing Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-selling-office-supplies">8 Money Lessons I Learned Selling Office Supplies</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/11-time-saving-hacks-from-the-worlds-busiest-people">11 Time Saving Hacks From the World&#039;s Busiest People</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Productivity burnout free time organization stress working Tue, 12 May 2015 09:00:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1415530 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Closet Offices That Will Change How You Work http://www.wisebread.com/9-closet-offices-that-will-change-how-you-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-closet-offices-that-will-change-how-you-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_working_desk_000032465454.jpg" alt="Woman working at her desk in closet office" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Need more space in your place? I think most of us can relate. When it comes to carving out an office, the feat can seem nearly impossible &mdash; especially in a tiny apartment or small home. But where there's a closet, there's a way. Check out these awesome home offices that fit where you least expect them to.</p> <h2>1. Hallway Hero</h2> <p>This mom of four kids (and owner of house with only three bedrooms) transformed the <a href="http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2012/06/reader-space-radiant-closet-redo.html">hallway closet</a> into wonderfully functional square footage of her own. I love the punches of color and striped paint that make the tiny room look very much intentional. The best part? This project cost only $80 to complete with some smart accessories from Ikea.</p> <h2>2. Under-Stair Surprise</h2> <p>Some of you might have that randomly shaped closet under your hallway stairs, in which case this <a href="http://www.thistlewoodfarms.com/under-stair-office-reveal">office reveal</a> might inspire true genius. If your layout permits, consider adding a few file cabinets for storage. You can get wood cut to size for a simple desktop and shelves at your local hardware store. Use basic brackets to hang. Note that most computer desks are between 28-30 inches tall, so plan and measure accordingly.</p> <h2>3. Mighty Mini</h2> <p>Size doesn't dictate how amazing your closet office can be. This <a href="http://loveoffamilyandhome.net/2011/01/my-closet-turned-home-office-reveal.html">micro-mini office</a> (or, as the author writes, &quot;cloffice&quot;) has some major style. And most of it was made by upcycling an old kitchen table for the shelves and desk. Budget tip: Wrangle office supplies using aluminum cans and store magazines in old cereal boxes spiffed up with scrapbook paper.</p> <h2>4. Crafty Spot</h2> <p>This same concept works well for <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/uashannon/3623935300/in/pool-32441725@N00/">craft rooms</a>. Stow all your sewing, knitting, and other creative gear neatly and beautifully in a converted closet. Seating can be as streamlined as a stool that fits under your workspace. Add a whiteboard or corkboard for jotting down notes, pinning inspiration, and hanging important reminders.</p> <h2>5. Storage Maximizer</h2> <p>If you or someone you know has mad carpentry skills, try <a href="http://www.beneathmyheart.net/2013/03/craft-closet-makeover/">opening up your closet</a> and building in additional storage features, like a gigantic pegboard. I can think of a million items I could hang. Replace the closet's light bulb with an actual fixture. The pendent light in this example adds so much legitimacy to the project without costing much.</p> <h2>6. Walk-In Wonder</h2> <p>This 4.5 foot <a href="http://www.viralnova.com/closet-office/">walk-in closet</a> got a major overhaul when its owner placed a small desk and chair inside. Many closets have existing shelving that can be used right away &mdash; no skill involved and zero dollars needed. The rest is in the personal touches. Keep your clutter minimal and try mounting what you can on the wall to keep work areas clear.</p> <h2>7. Tiny Desk Space</h2> <p>Here's another example of a <a href="http://www.hometalk.com/1802016/creating-an-office-in-a-closet">clever office</a> that was built without tools. Check out thrift shops for small tables and desk that would work with your dimensions. Bright paint can make something old look new again. And just giving the walls a fresh coat will make the area look like a room of its own.</p> <h2>8. Room Opener</h2> <p>I recently took the doors off a large closet in our smallest bedroom to make my own closet office, and it made the room feel so much larger. I'm not the only one &mdash; and this teen's <a href="http://no29design.com/2013/04/house-tour-pre-tween-girls-bedroom.html">homework area</a> is living proof. Yet another way to use chalkboard paint in your home.</p> <h2>9. Cozy Nook</h2> <p>Of all my closet office finds, this <a href="http://www.remodelaholic.com/2010/06/from-closet-to-office-nook-guest/">cozy office nook</a> is by far my favorite. From the built-in bench (which could hold storage), to the substantial woodwork, to the hanging art and personal touches, everything about this cloffice says sophisticated. By now, I'm sure you're searching through your home to find where you're going to put your new workspace!</p> <p><em>Have you transformed a closet into a workspace? Tell us about it in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-closet-offices-that-will-change-how-you-work">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-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared</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/10-smart-things-to-do-with-leftover-easter-goodies">10 Smart Things to Do With Leftover Easter Goodies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-can-do-with-a-credit-card-besides-buy-stuff">15 Things You Can Do With a Credit Card Besides Buy Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-remember-that-thing-you-always-forget">How to Remember That Thing You Always Forget</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/8-100k-jobs-you-can-do-online">8 $100k+ Jobs You Can Do Online</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks closets offices organization repurposing work from home Wed, 22 Apr 2015 13:00:09 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1396639 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Cleaning Rules You Should Be Breaking http://www.wisebread.com/6-cleaning-rules-you-should-be-breaking <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-cleaning-rules-you-should-be-breaking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000019250454_Double.jpg" alt="mother daughter cleaning" title="mother daughter cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone cleans differently, but there are many rules that are near-universally followed.</p> <p>Most of these cleaning rules are rules because they work, but some of them aren't quite right, or aren't necessary in order to have a clean home.</p> <p>Here are six cleaning rules you shouldn't feel dirty about breaking.</p> <h2>1. You Need to Get Rid of All the Germs</h2> <p>I grew up in a house where everything that could sparkle did. But it didn't sparkle for the sake of sparkling; it sparkled because people in my house feared germs. I was sick quite a bit as a child, and the more often I got sick, the more furiously the house got cleaned.</p> <p>However, my mom needn't have bothered. In general, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/family/07/04/love.germs.parenting/">germs are good for us</a> (even for kids!). Exposure to bacteria gives our immune systems a chance to get stronger, because they have to learn how to resist and fight off infection.</p> <p>You probably don't want to grow that culture of MRSA in your shower, but you don't have to clean with antibacterial products or clean obsessively because a few germs won't hurt anyone.</p> <h2>2. You Need Expensive Cleaners for Your Oven</h2> <p>I bought a new stove/oven combo about a year ago and everyone we talked to &mdash; sales people, friends, even my mother &mdash; wanted to make sure that we learned which cleaner was the proper one to use in it. It was very important, I was told over and over, to get one that was compatible with my particular make and model.</p> <p>As it turns out, though, you can easily <a href="http://newsner.com/en/2014/10/i-used-to-hate-it-but-now-i-wont-have-to-worry-about-cleaning-the-oven-ever-again-this-is-so-brilliant/">clean any oven</a>&nbsp;with baking soda, vinegar, water, and some time. I assume the expensive cleaners work, too, but they're full of potentially harmful chemicals, they cost a fortune, and (trust me!) the baking soda and vinegar do a great job, too!</p> <h2>3. Your Pillow Is Clean When the Case Is Clean</h2> <p>I remember, after I'd been in college a few months, asking someone how in the world you clean a pillow. They looked at me like I was crazy. After a few more questions, I found out that most people don't clean the pillow itself, they just wash the case. It seemed gross to me, but what did I know?</p> <p>Apparently, I knew quite a bit. Pillows actually need to be&nbsp;<a href="http://www.today.com/home/9-things-your-house-you-have-been-cleaning-wrong-way-2D79486819">cleaned 2-3 times per year</a>&nbsp;because they collect all sorts of skin cells and oils, not to mention sweat. Unless your pillowcase is industrial strength, some of those will get through it and onto your pillow. They won't collect particularly fast, but they will build up if you don't wash them off.</p> <h2>4. You Shouldn't Wash Cast Iron</h2> <p>I started cooking with cast iron several years ago, and I think that every single person I mentioned it to (at least, every single one who knew anything about cast iron), warned me against washing my new pots and pans with water. Since the pans are made of iron, water makes them rust, and most of us don't really want to cook rust into our food.</p> <p>On the other hand, water only causes cast iron to rust when it gets left on the pan. If you can dry your pan thoroughly (usually by putting it on the stove over low heat), water is the best way to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-clean-a-cast-iron-skillet-cleaning-lessons-from-the-kitchn-107747">clean your cast iron pans</a>. You can boil the water first or add baking soda to it if it makes you feel better or the pan is extra dirty.</p> <h2>5. You Should Just Toss an Old Dirty Shower Curtain Liner</h2> <p>When I lived in an apartment for the first time, I shared it with three other young women. One of them walked in on me cleaning the bathroom one day and looked at me funny. Since we were actually pretty good about keeping the house clean, I asked her what the look was about. &quot;You're cleaning the shower curtain liner?&quot; she asked.</p> <p>As it turned out, most people don't do that. When the shower curtain liner gets dirty, they replace it.</p> <p>If you're going to scrub it, it is hard to clean, indeed. It's a good thing, then, that you can usually just <a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning-organizing/cleaning-wrong">throw it in the washing machine</a>. Make sure the water isn't too hot (especially if your liner is plasticky), and include some other things like towels or sheets, to help it keep from sticking to itself.</p> <h2>6. Spray-On Cleaner Is Best for Eyeglasses</h2> <p>I don't wear glasses. I should, but I don't. My husband, however, wears his all the time. When we first got married, he cleaned them with this special spray-on stuff that was specifically designed to work with the coatings on his lenses. It worked, but it seemed to cost way too much for its limited range of uses.</p> <p>Now, he&nbsp;<a href="http://allday.com/post/1261-you-are-cleaning-your-glasses-the-wrong-way">washes his glasses</a>&nbsp;with dish soap and water, and dries them with microfiber cloths. He reports that his glasses are as clean as ever, the expense is a lot lower, and he's not at a loss if he forgets his little bottle of cleaner. His eye doctor warns him against this practice every time he goes in, but it's been years and he hasn't damaged a pair of glasses yet. As long as you don't use soap with ammonia or other additives, you should have similar success.</p> <p><em>What cleaning rules do you follow? Are there any you've found to be incorrect?</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-cleaning-rules-you-should-be-breaking">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/the-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean">The Military&#039;s Four-Step Plan to Keeping Your Place Clean</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/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</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/20-ways-to-live-large-in-a-small-space">20 Ways to Live Large in a Small Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-use-garage-space">6 Smart Ways to Use Garage Space</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-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor">8 Ways Clutter Keeps You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Home cleaning cleanliness clutter organization Tue, 10 Feb 2015 12:00:05 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1286278 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-clothes-rack-Dollarphotoclub_75282538.jpg" alt="woman clothes rack" title="woman clothes rack" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Stop making excuses and clean up the clutter in your home! It'll make you feel better and make your living space look better as well! Ask yourself these questions and get rid of your items based on your answers. And when we say dispose of your clutter, we mean either <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Where-Sell-Used-Goods-28874509">sell it</a>, donate it, recycle it, give it away to friends and family, or throw it away.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/List-Things-Dispose-24575006">One a Day: Throw These 116 Things Away</a></p> <h2>1. Have I used this in the last year?</h2> <p>If your answer is no, it's time to toss.</p> <h2>2. If I were shopping right now, would I buy this?</h2> <p>If the current you wouldn't buy this item now, why would you even keep it?</p> <h2>3. Is the only thing that's keeping me from disposing this item that I don't want to waste money?</h2> <p>Think of it this way: You wasted money when you bought an item you don't use.</p> <h2>4. Am I holding on to this for sentimental value?</h2> <p>Be strict and keep only a few of those sentimental items in a small memorabilia box. Then take a photo of items you are throwing away so you can keep them forever.</p> <h2>5. Do I have a similar item that serves the same purpose?</h2> <p>If yes, then get rid of one of them.</p> <h2>6. Do I have a realistic plan to use this?</h2> <p>Remember, don't lie to yourself about how perfect an item would be for <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/Halloween">Halloween</a>. Make sure you have a concrete plan to use the item, and if you don't use it within the time frame you set for yourself to use it, then toss it.</p> <h2>7. Does it fit me or my living space?</h2> <p>You may love it, but do you have space for the item or does it even suit you now? Think hard on what to keep &mdash; your space is sacred.</p> <h2>8. Am I holding on to the broken item to fix in the future?</h2> <p>Fix it now, or if you don't get around to fixing in the next two weeks, then toss it.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> So much clutter is stuff that seems important, but really isn&#039;t. Give your things this quiz, and if they don&#039;t pass, it&#039;s time to let them go. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img style="height:95px; width:300px" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Live-Frugally-24174070#photo-24174070">66 Tried-and-Tested Tips for a Frugal Life</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/fashion/Simple-Closet-Organizing-Tips-36488783#photo-36488783">11 Easy Organization Hacks for the Lazy Fashion Girl</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/moms/Ways-Simplify-Family-Life-36292022#photo-36292022">8 Ways to Simplify Your Family's Routine in 2015</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter">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/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</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/10-super-cool-ways-to-add-hidden-storage-to-your-home">10 Super-Cool Ways to Add Hidden Storage to Your Home</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/the-only-5-words-you-need-to-declutter-your-life">The Only 5 Words You Need to Declutter 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/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans">A Denim Expert Reveals Why You Only Need 3 Pairs of Jeans</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-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Organization clutter declutter organization storage Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:00:14 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1281603 at http://www.wisebread.com A Denim Expert Reveals Why You Only Need 3 Pairs of Jeans http://www.wisebread.com/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009123155_Large.jpg" alt="jeans mannequins" title="jeans mannequins" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I paid for part of my college education and for the down payment on my house with the money I made buying and selling jeans. In my lifetime, I have bought and sold, conservatively, 11,000 pairs of Levis.</p> <p>When people discover my side business as a denim trader, the first question they always ask is, &quot;How many pairs of jeans do you own?&quot; They are always shocked by my answer.</p> <p>I own three pairs of jeans.</p> <p>A poll by ShopSmart, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, revealed that 25% of American women own&nbsp;<a href="http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/jeaneology-shopsmart-poll-finds-women-own-7-pairs-of-jeans-only-wear-4-98274009.html">10 or more pairs of jeans</a>. The average American woman owns seven pairs of jeans. However, most women only <em>wear</em> four pairs out of their jeans collection on a regular basis. So, even if I weren't an expert on vintage denim, I'd still be considered an outlier, a jeans minimalist.</p> <p>If you are a coal miner, then yes, you possibly need more than three pairs of jeans, depending on your laundry schedule. But for most office workers, three pairs of jeans are all that is really needed to look tidy and well dressed.</p> <p>The three pairs of jeans that I own are: the pair I bought this year, the pair I bought last year, and the pair I bought the year before last year. Here are <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/myromanapartment/16189910321/">my actual jeans</a>. (Not a denim re-enactment!)</p> <p>Let's learn a little more about each pair.</p> <h2>This Year's Jeans</h2> <p>The jeans I bought this year are my dressy jeans. I wear This Year's Jeans to business meetings in creative environments where the dress code is suitably casual. These are also the jeans I wear to dinner or to nighttime events, paired with a nice blouse and dress shoes. These jeans are not play clothes. Just like my suit, these jeans are part of my work wardrobe, so I do everything I can to preserve the pristine quality of these jeans for as long as possible.</p> <p>After a year of office and dinner wear and tear, This Year's Jeans are usually too worn to wear to business meetings, even on Casual Fridays. At this point, This Year's Jeans become Last Year's Jeans.</p> <h2>Last Year's Jeans</h2> <p>Last Year's Jeans are my play clothes. They are the jeans I change into when I come home from work and change out of my dressy jeans. Last Year's Jeans are the pants I wear to school, to brunch with friends, and to run errands.</p> <p>After another year of wearing, Last Year's Jeans become The Year Before Last Year's Jeans.</p> <h2>The Year Before Last Year's Jeans</h2> <p>The Year Before Last Year's Jeans are my grubby jeans. These are the jeans I wear while beekeeping, painting, or cleaning the house. While the fading, tool marks, and repairs on these jeans might make them more charming to fashionistas, I generally don't wear these jeans out of the house. Why? Because even if they are my gardening pants, I need these jeans to hold on for another full year of wear before they are sold to a denim collector on eBay or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-new-things-you-can-make-with-old-denim-jeans">repurposed as a craft supply</a>.</p> <p>By rotating my jeans on this three-year schedule, I ensure that I always have a pair of jeans that are Like New looking for work, but at the same time have a rugged pair of pants that I can hike in. This jeans-buying schedule also means that I can reduce my wardrobe budget, as I only have to purchase one new pair of jeans per year. Additionally, I only have to have enough room in my closet for three pairs of jeans.</p> <h2>How to Buy a Pair of Jeans</h2> <p>Now, the reason that most women own so many pairs of rarely-worn jeans is that it's much harder to find flattering pants than to buy a flattering skirt. Holding out for perfect fitting jeans does not make you shallow. Even the most anti-fashion guy will spend hours looking for that pair of jeans that make him look thinner and taller. Once you find a pair of jeans that fit, stick with that style. No one will notice if you aren't wearing up-to-date jeans or luxury denim if your butt looks amazing. If you notice, all three pairs of my jeans are the exact same size and style. By keeping my jeans' style consistent, I save time and money, because I don't have to go on a denim safari every year. Instead, I can buy my jeans online when they go on sale.</p> <p><em>Are you a wardrobe minimalist or maximalist? How many jeans do you own and how many pairs do you actually wear? What's your best wardrobe hack?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans">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/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-fix-18-common-wardrobe-malfunctions">How to Fix 18 Common Wardrobe Malfunctions</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/clean-jeans-right-without-going-to-the-dry-cleaner">Clean Jeans Right Without Going to the Dry Cleaner</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-tricks-that-make-you-look-skinnier-without-being-skinner">12 Tricks That Make You Look Skinnier (Without Being Skinnier)</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/101-little-things-you-can-fix-right-now">101 Little Things You Can Fix Right Now!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Organization Style denim fashion jeans organization Thu, 22 Jan 2015 12:00:06 +0000 Max Wong 1282527 at http://www.wisebread.com 60+ Things You Can Decorate With Washi Tape http://www.wisebread.com/60-things-you-can-decorate-with-washi-tape <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/60-things-you-can-decorate-with-washi-tape" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/washi-tape-Dollarphotoclub_57474706.jpg" alt="washi tape" title="washi tape" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In 2006, three artists from Tokyo asked to tour Japan's <a href="http://www.masking-tape.jp/en/whats/factory.php">Kamoi Kakoshi</a> masking tape factory. As part of their request, the artists sent the company a miniature portfolio of art that they had created using Kamoi Kakoshi's industrial masking tape.</p> <p>Up until that point, no one at Kamoi Kakoshi had ever considered the artistic application of its product. So when the artists requested colored masking tape, the company, recognizing a golden opportunity, were happy to oblige, and created the original 20 color set of washi tape.</p> <p>Eight years later, colored masking tape now comes in hundreds of colors and patterns and is sold and produced by companies around the globe under the generic term Washi Tape. &quot;Wa&quot; means &quot;Japanese&quot; and &quot;shi&quot; means &quot;paper&quot; in Japanese.</p> <p>In addition to its huge variety of colors, washi tape has several additional benefits. It is made from natural plant fibers like bamboo and wheat, so it is less toxic to the environment to produce than duct tape, and is biodegradable. It's also less sticky than it's tougher counterpart. It's easily removable and doesn't leave a sticky residue, so it's ideal for decorating temporary spaces.</p> <p>Unlike paint, washi tape doesn't require special training or cleanup to use, but it can give professional, paint-like, finished details to otherwise boring objects.</p> <p>Don't believe the hype? Just check out these these 60+ projects you can create with washi tape.</p> <h2>1. Pimp Your Ride</h2> <p>Richard Drew, a 3M employee, created masking tape in 1925. Drew designed masking tape specifically for auto body workers who complained that the heavy adhesive of regular tape destroyed the paint job on freshly painted cars.</p> <p>But why use auto paint, when you can use washi tape to personalize your <a href="http://followpics.me/washi-tape-bike/">bike</a>, your&nbsp;<a href="http://shortsmallsweet.net/2012/05/mt-factory-tour-factory-tour-edition.html/">car</a>, your <a href="http://blog.modes4u.com/japan/mt-masking-tape-workshop-in-japan.html">delivery van</a>, or <a href="http://ciaodesserts.com/2014/11/10/field-trip-mt-washi-tape-expo-in-taipei-2014-2o14mt%E5%8D%9A%E6%B5%B7%E5%A4%96%E9%A6%96%E5%B1%95%E5%9C%A8%E5%8F%B0%E5%8C%97/">city bus</a> instead?</p> <h2>2. Wall Paper Tape Your Dorm Room</h2> <p>Dorm décor has come a long way since I was in college (before the earth cooled). That said, most universities still forbid repainting dorm interiors. For anyone who isn't a fan of high gloss Navajo White, washi tape is a great way to add color to your <a href="http://www.everythingemilyblog.com/2014/01/diy-washi-tape-wall.html">walls</a>, <a href="http://molly-meg.blogspot.com/2013/02/xl-washi-tapes-ultimate-interior.html">ceiling</a>, <a href="http://ilovestickytape.blogspot.com/2009/11/jim-lambie-mental-oyster-floor-tape.html">floor</a>, and <a href="http://www.almostmakesperfect.com/2013/07/29/diy-washi-taped-decorative-doors/">doors</a> on a student budget.</p> <h2>3. Accent Interior Architectural Details</h2> <p>Sometimes a little washi tape goes a long way. Use it to make an <a href="http://makezine.com/craft/how-to-washi-tape-doorway-decor/">archway pop</a>, create an <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-tMLcYMkVBDQ/TjYM6gyljEI/AAAAAAAAE7Y/E5IUWTp_ELs/s1600/10.jpg">accent wall</a>, showcase a <a href="http://www.canyoucomehome.com/2010/12/loving-golden-stripes.html">banister</a>, turn a <a href="http://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20121203_061?pid=2129701">staircase into a sculpture</a>, or <a href="http://lamaisondannag.blogspot.com/2012/02/happy-sunday.html">add molding</a> to a room that has none.</p> <h2>4. Spruce up Your Bathroom Plumbing</h2> <p>Make the storage area under your sink a little more inviting by wrapping <a href="http://honeywerehome.blogspot.com/2013/07/under-sink-organization-with-washi-tape.html">ugly drainpipes</a> in cute washi tape.</p> <h2>5. Rejuvenate Grungy Laminate Kitchen Cabinets</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/T4KvWXNY2WY" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Masking Tape, the washi tape division of Kamoi Kakoshi, is so happy to show you how to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4KvWXNY2WY&amp;index=59&amp;list=UU4xBxT2rXfJbjSXY-M1mOsA">spruce up a tiny apartment kitchen</a> with their product.</p> <h2>6. Washi Tape Your Washing Machine</h2> <p>And <a href="http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/originals/af/e9/55/afe955ee644b8e5d12c658bf31a1a6bd.jpg">dryer</a>. And <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoZZQsBWlyc&amp;list=UU4xBxT2rXfJbjSXY-M1mOsA&amp;index=55">dishwasher</a>. And <a href="http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/a4/29/66/a4296646466d7654cfa1d050ee85ede1.jpg">refrigerator</a>.</p> <h2>7. Upcycle Trashed Furniture</h2> <p>My neighborhood is the neighborhood of lonely <a href="http://lasillaturquesa.blogspot.com/2012/03/hasta-en-la-sopamt.html">old nightstands</a> and end tables. Washi tape hides scratches, coffee rings, and bad paint jobs on <a href="http://thejaquets.typepad.com/my_weblog/2013/03/elsies-upgrade.html">dingy tabletops</a>. For a more permanent surface, apply the tape, and then coat with a clear marine varnish.</p> <h2>8. Hack Your Ikea Furniture</h2> <p>Make your <a href="http://www.poppytalk.com/2012/10/five-minute-diy-washi-tape-sofa-legs.html">generic</a> <a href="http://dosfamily.com/2013/04/ikea-stool-diy-with-washi-and-decoupage/">furniture</a> <a href="http://i0.wp.com/decor8blog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/43.jpg">unique</a> with <a href="http://www.currystrumpet.com/2013/10/before-and-after-nursery.html#more-15075">washi</a> tape.</p> <h2>9. No Furniture? No Problem!</h2> <p>While you search for the <a href="http://decoracion.facilisimo.com/blogs/ideas-practicas/cambia-el-estilo-de-tu-habitacion-con-washi-tape_758294.html">perfect bed</a>, why don't you experiment with <a href="http://modamadison.com/2014/04/10/diy-pinspo-washi-tape-headboard/">different headboard styles</a>?</p> <h2>10. Colorize Your Cubical</h2> <p>You spend eight hours a day here. Why not make your <a href="http://mollasworks.tumblr.com/post/18375897653/wall-decoration-made-with-black-plastic-tape-size?_szp=406047">cubby</a> as cute as possible? Transform the <a href="http://camillestyles.com/uncategorized/transformed-a-dry-erase-board/">dry erase board</a> into a <a href="http://www.modishandmain.com/how-to-use-washi-tape/">large calendar</a>. Fix the <a href="http://www.mydiyhabits.com/2013/07/diy-dorothy-draper-file-cabinet.html">filing cabinet</a>. Even if redecorating the walls and furniture at work is strictly verboten, you can still get your secret decorating thrill on with these custom <a href="http://www.theorganizedclassroomblog.com/index.php/blog/custom-teacher-desk-organizers">drawer organizers</a>.</p> <h2>11. Customize Your Computer</h2> <p>Take a design cue from film editors who color-code their keyboards to help them remember hot key short cuts, and use washi tape to customize your <a href="http://minifanfan.com/2055383/Happy-Keyboard-for-Happy-People">laptop</a>. But why stop at the keyboard when you can transform the <a href="http://suitsandaprons.wordpress.com/2012/11/28/laptop-cover-with-washi-tape/">compter exterior</a> too?</p> <h2>12. Why Limit Yourself to Just One Kind of Keyboard?</h2> <p>How about&nbsp;<a href="http://weheartit.com/entry/55345891">piano keys?</a></p> <h2>13. Channel Milton From Office Space</h2> <p>I collect <a href="http://www.swinglineblog.com/04/riveted-people-love-staplers/">vintage staplers</a>. So, I had a visceral response to the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vd4fj9Efl4s">red stapler</a> running joke in Office Space. Years ago, I practically started a rumble at work when the HR lady at my former design-obsessed office &quot;confiscated&quot; my olive green, 1970's, 711 model Swingline stapler because it didn't conform to the company-mandated &quot;only black desk accessories&quot; rule. Not only was this stapler-napping carried out during my lunch hour, when my office supplies were alone and defenseless on my desk, but the HR lady had the nerve to leave me a pointed memo that described my vintage stapler as &quot;cruddy&quot; and &quot;old.&quot;</p> <p>To make a long story short, my fight with the HR lady went all the way up to the head of the company, who, after listening to my impassioned defense of classic American design, granted my desk supplies an exemption to the &quot;only black&quot; rule.</p> <p>Most people do not have to engineer a &quot;staple-off&quot; to prove the value of their office supplies to their employers. And even people who are allowed to select their own non-black staplers from the office supply catalog have slim pickings. There are cute staplers and there are functional staplers, but it's hard to find staplers that are both cute and tough enough for office work.</p> <p>Cue the <a href="http://www.organizedisland.com/washi-tape-project-desk-stapler/">washi stapler</a>.</p> <p>While you are at it, why not turn all your <a href="http://commona-myhouse.blogspot.com/2014/04/throwback-thursday-simple-craft-washi.html#.VHTqclXF8jY">boring office supplies</a> like your <a href="http://5eae90a62b612f40b38c-1ccd03d6a59c74a856783adfa2491cf2.r42.cf2.rackcdn.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/clipboard.jpg">clip board</a>, your <a href="http://www.mohawkconnects.com/feltandwire/2012/03/12/washi-watch-the-tape-of-things-to-come/">binder clips</a>, and your <a href="http://www.crazysuburbanmom.com/2012/04/stationery-and-office-supplies-better.html">plain binders</a>, into theft-worthy, fight inducing, design doodads during your lunch hour with a few rolls of washi tape, that you slyly added to the office supply order?</p> <p>Not that I've ever done this.</p> <h2>14. Meta Jokes Are the New Irony</h2> <p>Don't forget to give your <a href="http://www.postfabriek.nl/2014/01/18/blogtip-vier-vandaag/">tape dispenser</a> a washi makeover. Or repair your <a href="http://hellomynameismandy.blogspot.com/2013/04/cheaptastic-sunglasses-makeover.html">nerdy glasses</a>&nbsp;with washi tape. (Extra points if you use <a href="https://www.etsy.com/listing/194805688/nerdy-glasses-washi-tape-full-roll-wt595">this tape</a> to fix your specs).</p> <h2>15. Make Manila Less Vanilla</h2> <p>Trust. Your <a href="http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2012/09/washi-tape-file-labels.html">manila files</a> will look so cute. Upcycle used mailing envelopes by using washi tape as a combination wrap-around <a href="http://www.postfabriek.nl/2014/01/18/blogtip-vier-vandaag/">address label</a> and envelope re-sealer.</p> <h2>16. Bridezilla</h2> <p>Just once, I'd like to be able to wear a <a href="http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/masking-tape-dress?image=248180">bridesmaid's dress</a> this awesome.</p> <p>Use washi tape to create swoon-worthy <a href="http://www.theknot.com/weddings/photo/hanging-manila-escort-tags-134042">wedding</a> <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Washi-Tape-Tea-Light-Candles-34839941">props</a>.</p> <h2>17. Give Your Windows a Treatment</h2> <p>Customize dingy <a href="http://decorate4kids.com/girls-room/diy-washi-tape-blinds-perfect-for-a-childs-room/">Venetian blinds</a> or louvered closet doors. Just stick the tape onto each aluminum or wood slat. Coordinate the color with the rest of your décor, or turn your homely blinds into a design feature by creating stripes or plaid patterns with the washi tape.</p> <p>Continue a <a href="http://blog.landofnod.com/honest-to-nod/2012/07/try-this-tape-window-decoration.html">tape mural</a> onto a window.</p> <p>Fake <a href="http://thebeatthatmyheartskipped.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/41bbf239217234d784b6797bb707ebeb.jpg">etched glass</a> for real <a href="http://blog.modes4u.com/products/window-decoration-with-mt-masking-tapes.html">privacy</a>.</p> <p>Keep <a href="http://fancy.com/things/298753755/Geek-Living-Daily-120411-%7C-Geeky-Design-%7C-Geeky-Gift-Ideas">birds</a> from crashing into your windows.</p> <h2>18. Show Off Your Collection (With Your Collection of Washi Tape)</h2> <p>Upcycle <a href="http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/washi-tape-photo-frame">thrift store frames</a>. Create a <a href="http://thisgirlslifeblog.com/2014/03/washi-tape-frame.html">custom matte</a>. <a href="http://diana212m.blogspot.com/2013/01/home-inspiration-washi-tape-picture.html">Frame a photo</a>. <a href="http://www.athomeinlove.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/casualgallerywall.jpg">Hang a picture</a>.</p> <p>Also&hellip;.</p> <p>How cute is this <a href="http://www.suburble.com/2013/05/washi-tape-specimen-art-tutorial.html">butterfly collection</a>?</p> <h2>19. Restyle Your Ceiling Fan</h2> <p>I have a love/hate relationship with ceiling fans. They certainly make life more pleasant, but man, most of them are just fugly. What's with the 80's Holly Hobby Styling? Replace the weird tulip lamps with a <a href="http://www.itallstartedwithpaint.com/washi-tape-drum-shade/">drum shade</a> for a clean, mod look or make your fan the focal point of a room by <a href="http://modpodgerocksblog.com/2013/02/decorate-a-ceiling-fan-with-chevron.html/chevron-ceiling-fan">decorating the blades</a>.</p> <h2>20. Let There Be Lig&hellip; Washi Tape</h2> <p>Washi tape elevates a simple <a href="http://www.101woonideeen.nl/zelfmaken/lamp-op-de-muur.html">light bulb</a> to art. Revamp dated <a href="http://www.craftcritique.com/2011/02/01/cha-scrapbooking-hambly-screen-prints/">floor lamps</a>. Hang <a href="http://mommo-design.blogspot.com/2013/04/washi-tape-wall-decor.html">twinkle lights</a>. Decorate <a href="http://www.acasarella.net/2013/05/washi-tape-paper-lanterns.html">paper lanterns</a>. Add pattern to the interior and the exterior of lampshades.</p> <h2>21. Take Charge of Your Chargers</h2> <p>Do you live or work in a communal space? Is there someone in your life who is always &quot;accidentally borrowing&quot; your chargers? Wrap washi tape around your <a href="http://sewtrashy.com/2013/03/quick-easy-diy-washi-tape-apple-charger/">phone and laptop chargers</a> so you know at a glance which plug belongs to you.</p> <h2>22. Organize Power Cords</h2> <p>Washi tape makes organizing power cords a cinch. <a href="http://thechicsite.com/2014/07/22/cord-labels/">Label messy cords</a>&nbsp;or <a href="http://www.curbly.com/users/lexybward/posts/14930-make-it-washi-tape-power-cords">color coordinate</a>&nbsp;them to match their machines. Upcycle toilet paper tubes into <a href="http://organizeyourstuffnow.com/wordpress/32181">cord wranglers</a> for extension cords and Christmas lights.</p> <h2>23. Switch Up Your Switch Plates</h2> <p>Often the ugliest things in a room are the <a href="http://www.gretasday.com/2013/12/diy-washi-tape-switch-plate-cover-tutorial/comment-page-1/#comment-115375">switch plates</a> for lights. That off-white plastic never looks clean.</p> <h2>24. Match Your Toenails to, Well, Anything Else</h2> <p>Washi tape makes custom <a href="http://www.craftsunleashed.com/jewelry-main/hair-accessories/washi-tape-nails/">nail art</a> easy.</p> <p><em>How do you decorate with washi tape? Feel free to supply links to your projects 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/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/60-things-you-can-decorate-with-washi-tape">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/19-fun-cheap-projects-to-try-this-weekend">19 Fun, Cheap Projects to Try This Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-bathroom-look-awesome-for-under-100">How to Make Your Bathroom Look Awesome for Under $100</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-fantastic-chalkboard-paint-projects">15 Fantastic Chalkboard Paint Projects</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-create-your-dream-backyard-on-a-budget">How to Create Your Dream Backyard on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">How to Make Moonshine</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY cheap design organization washi tape Thu, 15 Jan 2015 10:00:07 +0000 Max Wong 1279997 at http://www.wisebread.com