Organization http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1605/all en-US Stop Losing Your Stuff With These 6 Simple Tricks http://www.wisebread.com/stop-losing-your-stuff-with-these-6-simple-tricks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/stop-losing-your-stuff-with-these-6-simple-tricks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-504244368.jpg" alt="stop losing stuff with these tricks" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>People who constantly lose stuff live in a cycle of frustration, lost time, and wasted money. Time that could be otherwise productive is dedicated to frantically <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-easy-memory-hacks?ref=internal" target="_blank">seeking misplaced items</a>. Money that could be saved or invested is instead used to replace missing items. It's frustrating and often embarrassing.</p> <p>However, not all is lost. Absentmindedness is not an inescapable curse. You can decrease the frequency of losing things and increase the chances of finding them. Alleviate item loss with some simple tricks.</p> <h2>1. Increase Organization</h2> <p>The simplest, cheapest way to decrease the chances of losing items is to get more organized. Don't simply throw your keys, wallet, cards, or phones onto the nearest flat surface. Try to nail down an area to store each item. Always place the items there when you return home every day.</p> <h2>2. Don't Silence Your Cell Phone</h2> <p>Vibrate or silence should not be the default setting on your phone. Yes, you might need to silence your phone occasionally, but you should change the device to a setting that makes noise as often as you can. If you lose it, you can have a family member or friend call the phone.</p> <p>If you live alone and you own a smartphone, you should download Skype or FaceTime. Both are free communication apps you can use to call the smartphone from your computer or tablet. Just make sure you set the communication app to notify you when it receives a call.</p> <h2>3. &quot;Freeze It&quot; Credit Card</h2> <p>Losing a credit card can be a huge hassle. You need to cancel the card and then wait about a week for a replacement card or pay a small fee for rush shipping.</p> <p>It's a pain &mdash; especially if you're 75% sure you misplaced it somewhere around the house. You might find it if you spend a few hours looking, but every second you spend searching, someone might be gleefully embarking on a shopping spree. The end result is canceling cards that might not be lost.</p> <p>If you switch to a credit card that has the ability to temporarily freeze, you could decrease the chance of fraud and prevent the need to prematurely cancel cards. That can be a huge boon for people who lose track of their cards constantly.</p> <p>Right now the only company that offers that feature is Discover, but I anticipate in the next few years, more credit card and debit cards will begin to offer it as well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-to-ask-before-accepting-a-credit-card-offer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Credit Card Offer</a>)</p> <h2>4. iPod or Smartphone Wallet Case</h2> <p>If you can't (or won't) carry a wallet or purse around, you should look into purchasing an iPod or smartphone card storage device. The storage devices are either covers or attachments that stick to your phone.</p> <p>This is a great option for people who can't always carry a wallet or purse, especially if they have a history of losing track of their credit or debit cards. The fact that the devices only cost around $5&ndash;$25 dollars makes it a fairly cheap solution.</p> <h2>5. Add Device Trackers</h2> <p>There are a variety of key, wallet, or phone finder devices. The devices typically offer the following functions:</p> <ul> <li>An audio alarm to help individuals locate the item;</li> <li>GPS tracker to find objects that are potentially out of audio range;</li> <li>The ability to ring the phone, even if it's on silent;</li> <li>Alerts when you are separated from an item;</li> </ul> <p>The devices hook onto keyrings, slip into wallet pockets, or are adhesively attached to an object. It's definitely an investment, but it could prevent the loss of an expensive item.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-bluetooth-trackers?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">Best Trackers for Easily Lost Items</a></p> <h2>6. Wear Clothing With Secure Pockets</h2> <p>Most women's pants either have ridiculously small pockets or no pockets at all. That can make carrying important objects from place to place difficult. And if you prefer not to carry a purse, it could mean that you need to either squash all of your objects into teeny, tiny pockets, or carry them. That can increase the chances of objects falling out of your pockets or placing objects down and forgetting to pick them up. (I've done both multiple times.)</p> <p>Consider adding clothing into your wardrobe that includes larger and secure pockets (ones that zip, for example). This could be a jacket, cargo pants, or utility shirts with hidden pockets. And then there's always the fanny back.&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/samantha-stauf">Samantha Stauf</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-losing-your-stuff-with-these-6-simple-tricks">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/7-ways-a-mindfulness-journal-can-fix-your-life">7 Ways a Mindfulness Journal Can Fix Your Life</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-51-ways-to-organize-your-whole-life-in-2017">Flashback Friday: 51 Ways to Organize Your Whole Life in 2017</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/maintaining-memories-how-to-save-old-photographs">Maintaining Memories: How to Save Old Photographs</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-smart-ways-to-organize-old-photos">12 Smart Ways to Organize Old Photos</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> Life Hacks Organization improve memory losing stuff lost and found memories memory tricks Wed, 18 Jan 2017 11:00:09 +0000 Samantha Stauf 1876057 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Smart Ways to Maximize Desk Space http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-ways-to-maximize-desk-space <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-smart-ways-to-maximize-desk-space" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shared_desk_space_491380930.jpg" alt="Team learning how to maximize desk space" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A few years ago, I had a large office with a big desk at work and my home office was a 500 square foot unfinished basement with six tables set up to make a very large desk area. Fast forward to today, and my workspace has been reduced to a small cubicle at work and no desk space at home. Yet I am more productive than ever. How did I increase my productivity after losing almost all of my desk space?</p> <p>For one thing, I wasn't getting much value from my copious amount of desk space. I used my work surfaces mostly to store stacks of papers and research materials I was saving and various office equipment and supplies. It was sometimes handy to have most of my stuff out where I could see it, but the chaos of this arrangement outweighed any real productivity benefits. With all of the stuff piled around on my desk space, I effectively had a small desk anyway!</p> <p>Having precious little desk space has forced me to stay highly organized. Instead of setting things aside to sort or file later, I take control of potential clutter before it takes control of my desk. When I am ready to work on something, I can quickly find the needed items and get only these things out to work on. It is easier to focus on the task at hand without so much unfinished business staring me in the face from all corners of my desk.</p> <p>Here are some smart ways to maximize your minimal desk space.</p> <h2>1. Go Full Digital</h2> <p>One of the big improvements I made to help me stay productive with little desk space is moving from analog to digital. In the old days, I had literally hundreds of pounds of paper documents in file cabinets and piled on my desk. I also had lots of notebooks with handwritten notes. The problem with analog stuff is that it takes a lot of effort to keep files organized and find the right material when you need it. I realized that my paper records were basically useless since I couldn't find anything and it wasn't worth the huge effort to organize the old papers.</p> <p>Now I keep all of my documents, research articles, and photos in digital form on my computer. I use paper documents only occasionally when I want to take notes while I am working on something. Then I scan in or type up my notes and then recycle the papers. I can search my digital files by keyword and date, and the digital files take up no room at all. If you store your data on the cloud, you can have access to all of your digital files from anywhere &mdash; home, work, or on the road.</p> <h2>2. Get Rid of Stuff</h2> <p>Are you really going to look at that stack of old magazines or papers again? Do you think you will ever use your zip drive again? At some point, it's time to just get rid of stuff you don't need and get your desk space back.</p> <h2>3. Add a Clean Desk Policy</h2> <p>I clear my desk at the end of every single day. When I had a large chaotic desk, this would have been unimaginable. In those days, I liked the idea of having papers, articles, and notes stacked around on my desk. I thought it gave the impression that I was busy and working on important things.</p> <p>Then one day, I had a meeting with a very successful colleague in his office. His desk was totally clear except for a couple of framed photos and the paper that we were meeting to discuss. He didn't feel the need to leave stacks of papers and things around to impress people. I could tell that he impressed people by focusing and getting things done. His highly organized desk impressed me, and I decided to make a change.</p> <p>Now I only get things out as I need them and put everything away at the end of the day. I keep my papers and other materials organized so I can easily find what I need when it is time to get materials out again to work on them. A small desk space seems a lot bigger when you keep it cleared.</p> <h2>4. Look Out Below</h2> <p>Even though my desk space is not very large, there is an equal amount of floor space under the desk. Most people underutilize this valuable storage space. It's actually a handy place to keep things close, yet out of the way. Use the forgotten under-the-desk space to get things off your desk so you can use all of your desk space productively as a work surface.</p> <h2>5. Send Stuff to Storage</h2> <p>During my recent office move, I sent a lot of equipment and materials out of my office to be stored somewhere else. I made a spreadsheet of all of the items that I moved out and noted where I stored them. Take a few minutes to label what's inside your storage boxes and label items with your name to make them easier to get back if you need them again. Store stuff that you rarely use away from your office to give yourself more desk space and boost your productivity.</p> <h2>6. Shrink Down</h2> <p>Use smaller equipment such as a laptop or tablet that you can easily move or put away to maximize availability of your desk space as a work surface. Get rid of equipment you don't need, such as a personal printer if there is an alternative you can use on the network.</p> <h2>7. Incorporate an Ergonomic Arrangement</h2> <p>Arrange the items on your desk based on how much time you spend using them. For most people, the highest priority should be to arrange your chair and computer in the best possible location at your desk since this is where most of your time is spent. Next, find a convenient space for the phone and reserve some clear desk space to read papers and take notes while you are working. I set up a desk light over the space where I read papers, which makes reading easier and makes my office seem larger.</p> <h2>8. Create Some Cord Control</h2> <p>Don't let out-of-control cables, power cords, and power supply bricks eat up your valuable desk space. Route cables behind equipment and under the desk to keep them off your desk space, and use cable ties to keep cables where you want them. You might even benefit by getting rid of some cords altogether &mdash; get an inexpensive cordless keyboard and mouse to get rid of a couple cords and gain some flexibility in how you can work at your desk.</p> <h2>9. File It Down</h2> <p>If you need to keep paper documents, thin them down to keep only the ones you really need. Then organize these important papers so you can easily find them later. Divide up your papers into piles by category, write the category names on file folders, and put them into a file cabinet instead of on your desk. Those papers that are cluttering up your desk should easily fit into only a few inches of file cabinet space in hanging files.</p> <h2>10. Reuse, Recycle</h2> <p>Use recycled items for handy organizers and storage:</p> <ul> <li>Plastic food containers can store office supplies and miscellaneous hardware.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Shoeboxes make great storage containers for larger office supplies and project materials. If you don't like using cardboard shoe boxes, you can get inexpensive clear plastic boxes so you can see what is inside.</li> </ul> <p>Group related materials together in storage containers to make kits that you can store in a drawer or under your desk and get out when you are working on a certain type of project on your desk surface.</p> <h2>11. Set up a Remote Desktop</h2> <p>Set yourself up to take your computer and files with you and work productively away from your desk &mdash; at a coffee shop or in a conference room, for example. There are advantages to not being tied down to working at your desk. By being mobile, you can give yourself a bigger desk whenever you have a task that requires a lot of desk space, or if you just want to work at a big desk.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-ways-to-maximize-desk-space">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/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/how-radical-implosion-can-help-you-get-ahead-at-work-and-everywhere-else">How &quot;Radical Implosion&quot; Can Help You Get Ahead at Work — and Everywhere Else</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-ways-to-ease-into-a-day-job-after-freelancing">5 Ways to Ease Into a Day Job After Freelancing</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-ways-to-deal-when-you-work-with-someone-you-hate">8 Ways to Deal When You Work With Someone You Hate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Organization career cleaning hacks desk desk space life hacks Office Space organization work habits Tue, 10 Jan 2017 10:30:39 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1871079 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 51 Ways to Organize Your Whole Life in 2017 http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-51-ways-to-organize-your-whole-life-in-2017 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-51-ways-to-organize-your-whole-life-in-2017" 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_closet_585786834.jpg" alt="Woman organizing her whole life in 2017" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are tons of resolutions you could focus on in the new year. You can get healthier, get in better shape, and focus on your career goals. But none of those goals are truly attainable if your living space is cluttered with stuff you don't want or need. The first step to accomplishing any goal is getting organized. So why not start there? Here are 51 ways to organize your life in 2017.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock_68476985_MEDIUM.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-smart-ways-to-organize-old-photos?ref=fbf" target="_blank">12 Smart Ways to Organize Old Photos</a> &mdash; We all have stacks of old photos somewhere. And until you sit down and decide what to do with them, that increasingly dusty stack will remain on your to-do list. Do it now! These tips are super helpful.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-organize-a-messy-closet?ref=fbf" target="_blank">14 Ways to Organize a Messy Closet</a> &mdash; I have deep respect for anyone who constantly maintains a clean closet, because&hellip; how? But that feeling of pulling out the stuff you no longer wear is such a wonderful form of freedom. Do not underestimate it.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/organized-woman-home-490848943-small.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/organized-people-have-these-5-things-in-their-homes-do-you?ref=fbf" target="_blank">Organized People Have These 5 Things in Their Homes &mdash; Do You?</a> &mdash; In order to become successful at organization, you might as well learn from the pros, right? And these five items can be found in every pro-organizer's home. Are they in yours?</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-ways-to-keep-your-family-organized?ref=fbf" target="_blank">8 Easy Ways to Keep Your Family Organized</a> &mdash; You can't accomplish any of your goals &mdash; organization-related or otherwise &mdash; if your entire day is packed with familial responsibilities. Get everyone else's schedules down on paper and then you'll have a much easier time organizing yours.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_writing_paperwork_000077386871.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-organize-your-paperwork-in-just-10-minutes-a-week?ref=fbf" target="_blank">How to Organize Your Paperwork in Just 10 Minutes a Week</a> &mdash; Even in the digital age, paperwork can easily pile up. And nobody wants to tackle that stack after a month of putting it off. If you do this each week, for only 10 minutes, your desk will always look clutter-free.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-a-mindfulness-journal-can-fix-your-life?ref=fbf" target="_blank">7 Ways a Mindfulness Journal Can Fix Your Life</a> &mdash; For some people, getting organized starts with the right mindset. When you start using a mindfulness journal, you become so much more aware of your moods, thoughts, and priorities. Then you have more room to live a happier life. Give it a go!</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-51-ways-to-organize-your-whole-life-in-2017">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-76-new-years-resolutions-thatll-make-2017-your-year">Flashback Friday: 76 New Year&#039;s Resolutions That&#039;ll Make 2017 Your Year</a></span> </div> </li> <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-87-frugal-ways-to-make-winter-less-miserable">Flashback Friday: 87 Frugal Ways to Make Winter Less Miserable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-45-life-lessons-youd-give-to-your-younger-self">Flashback Friday: 45 Life Lessons You&#039;d Give to Your Younger Self</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-80-holiday-treats-that-wont-bust-your-budget">Flashback Friday: 80 Holiday Treats That Won&#039;t Bust Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Life Hacks Organization fbf flashback friday frugal living frugal living goals goals money New Year's new year's resolutions organization Fri, 06 Jan 2017 10:30:31 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1869315 at http://www.wisebread.com You're Missing Out on These 5 Easy Fixes for FOMO http://www.wisebread.com/youre-missing-out-on-these-5-easy-fixes-for-fomo <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/youre-missing-out-on-these-5-easy-fixes-for-fomo" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-584791208.jpg" alt="beat fomo for good" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before I wised up and turned off the notifications, the Facebook app on my phone used to ping every time someone liked or responded to one of my posts. I generally charge my smartphone on the other side of my office while I work, but the sudden and unexpected <em>ping</em> of a Facebook notification would prompt me to get up, walk across the room, and discover that my mother had liked a photo of my kids that I had posted. This was not exactly a model of efficiency in terms of getting work done.</p> <p>Trying to ignore those pings was even worse, though. After hearing one go off, I would sit at my desk, trying to focus on my work but agonizing over what I might be missing on Facebook. Yes, it might be a family member liking a picture of my kids. But&hellip; what if it were Stephen King commenting on my pithy (and oh-so-timely) post about <em>The Shining</em> and offering me a chance to collaborate on a novel together? How could I work while fearing that I might be missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime?</p> <p>My experience is hardly unique. In fact, according to a study by JWT, out of 900 Millennials in China surveyed, 72% of them said they <a href="https://www.jwtintelligence.com/2012/05/data-point-our-unhappy-addiction-to-social-media/" target="_blank">experience some form of FOMO</a>. We're suffering from the nagging social anxiety that we might miss out on something more awesome that what we are already doing &mdash; and social media just fans the flames of our FOMO.</p> <p>The problem is that our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-letting-fomo-ruin-your-finances">fear of missing out</a> keeps us from being present in our own lives. We bring phones to the dinner table rather than talk to our significant others, we waste time at work rather than commit to our careers, and we abandon last month's hobbies and projects in favor of new fads that will in turn be abandoned next month.</p> <p>Ultimately, living with a heightened sense of FOMO is a good way to make yourself crazy, lonely, broke, and overwhelmed.</p> <p>Thankfully, there are steps you can take to cure your FOMO without cutting yourself off from the world. Here are five ways to overcome FOMO for good.</p> <h2>1. Set Hard Limits on Your Social Media Use</h2> <p>The problem with social media is that it's always available, which means you can indulge your FOMO by checking in 24/7. So it's up to you to set hard limits on your social media use. Specifically, download a blocker that keeps you from checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other site that you check over and over again due to FOMO. Blockers like <a href="https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/stayfocusd/laankejkbhbdhmipfmgcngdelahlfoji?hl=en" target="_blank">StayFocused</a> give you a specific number of minutes per day that you may surf the verboten sites, at which point you will not be able to access those sites again until the next day.</p> <p>This kind of hard limit will not only help you to better focus when you are trying to work or study, but the shortened amount of time you can visit the sites puts a major wrench in any sense of envy you might feel while browsing your friends' postings. If you know you have 15 minutes of Facebook time all day, you're much less likely to spend 10 of them sighing over the pictures of your cousin's roommate's trip to New York City.</p> <h2>2. Include the Boring in Your Mental Images of Other People</h2> <p>We have a tendency to forget that other people's lives are just as full of boring, frustrating, and tedious details as our own. When we look at the beautiful images of the sun rising over Tuscany posted by a friend of a friend, we envy the Italian vacation, and forget about the long slog she had saving up for the trip, the hour she spent in line at the post office getting her passport updated, and the terrible air sickness she suffered on the plane trip there.</p> <p>The best way to deal with the disconnect between the boring parts of our lives and the exciting parts of other people's lives is to remember that everyone has boring moments. No matter how exciting a person's life is, they will have to spend a portion of it washing the dishes, filing taxes, and waiting in lines. Just as nervous public speakers are told to imagine their audience in their underwear, FOMO sufferers should imagine that the objects of their envy are stuck in line somewhere. It will remind you that no wondrous moment ever came about without a lot of boring moments beforehand.</p> <h2>3. Cultivate Mindfulness</h2> <p>Mindfulness is the practice of being present in our lives and providing ourselves with non-judgmental awareness of our experiences as we experience them. Cultivating mindfulness is a sure antidote to FOMO, because once you are fully aware of what and how you feel, you have a better sense of what makes you feel good, and you are much less tempted to chase after opportunities that don't promise happiness.</p> <p>Meditation is a common way to practice mindfulness, but you can choose any number of methods for being more present in your life. In particular, paying closer attention to your body during meals is an excellent way to learn mindfulness and practice healthy eating habits at the same time. Listen to your body's hunger and fullness cues, take the time to truly taste and savor your food, and take in all of the sensory input of your meal. Starting your mindfulness practice with food can help you learn to be more present in every part of your life.</p> <h2>4. Make <em>No</em> Your Default Answer</h2> <p>Self-help gurus may often tout the importance of saying <em>yes</em> to life, but there's a limit to the amount of things any one person can do. If you suffer from consistent FOMO and waffle on decisions, then it's a good idea to start getting in the habit of making <em>no</em> your default. This way, if you say no to an opportunity but keep thinking about it, you'll know that it's one you truly don't want to miss out on. Making no your default answer allows you to get in touch with what you really want to do, rather than continuing to chase every opportunity you see.</p> <h2>5. Take Time to Be Grateful</h2> <p>At its heart, FOMO is the sense that there is something better out there than what you already have. But what you already have is pretty darn wonderful, if you take the time to appreciate it.</p> <p>According to Robert A. Emmons, professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, regularly expressing gratitude for the things in your life can help you feel more optimistic and happier. The increase happiness you feel at recognizing the bounty in your life will make you less susceptible to FOMO, since you know no vacation, gadget, party, or relationship can greatly improve on a life that's already full. Emmons recommends keeping a gratitude journal, in which you regularly record the things for which you are grateful. This could not only help improve your mood, but such journals have also been shown to improve your physical and social well-being, as well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-a-mindfulness-journal-can-fix-your-life?ref=seealso">7 Ways Mindfulness Journal Can Fix Your Life</a>)</p> <h2>The End of FOMO</h2> <p>There will always be something out there that you are missing out on. But creating a satisfying life free from FOMO is possible. You just need to be willing to live mindfully and actively enjoy what you already have.</p> <p>It also doesn't hurt to turn off those Facebook notifications.</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/youre-missing-out-on-these-5-easy-fixes-for-fomo">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-51-ways-to-organize-your-whole-life-in-2017">Flashback Friday: 51 Ways to Organize Your Whole Life in 2017</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/are-you-letting-fomo-ruin-your-finances">Are You Letting FOMO Ruin Your Finances?</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/these-5-money-saving-hacks-are-a-huge-waste-of-time">These 5 Money-Saving Hacks Are a Huge Waste of Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Organization budgeting fear of missing out FOMO frugal living organization Spending Money Tue, 20 Dec 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1858108 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Gifts That Won't Become Clutter http://www.wisebread.com/9-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-498764046.jpg" alt="these minimalist gifts won&#039;t become clutter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you come from a family of minimalists? Do you live under the stairs like Harry Potter? Do you simply want less stuff in your home? Your friends and family may feel the same way. Here's a handy list of gifts that won't gather dust.</p> <h2>1. Anything on the Wish List</h2> <p>People spend a lot of time and thought assembling their gift lists. Respect that. A study by researchers at Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas at Austin found that when buying wedding gifts, the people closest to the bride and groom are the most likely to <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/05/10/why-your-close-friends-always-buy-you-such-crummy-gifts/?utm_term=.40b205cef386" target="_blank">buy gifts off the registry</a> in order to express their close relationship with the recipients. The same study also shows that gift recipients are <em>less </em>happy with unique gifts than if they had just received something from their registry. Why would you ever want to make anyone less happy?</p> <p>If you're one of these people trying to cut down on the clutter, lead by example and set up a gift registry for yourself. By sharing your wish list, you not only limit what comes into your house, but it makes it easy to casually ask what everyone in your life really wants.</p> <p>Years ago, when I was setting up my first apartment, I registered myself for wedding gifts at Williams-Sonoma. Back in the days before the Internet, no one used gift registries for single people. They just didn't exist. I had to use the wedding registry form at the store to create my apartment wish list. When I told my friends and family, most of them were mortified. A gift registry for a single girl? How unseemly! However, it was the first year that I got everything that I wanted for the holidays and my birthday. Moral of the story: Ignore the negsters and stick to your guns about your registry.</p> <h2>2. Cash Money</h2> <p>Don't ask me how I know this, but gift cards are easy to lose in a messy house. I've lost conservatively a bazillion dollars in gift card and store credit value in my life. I have yet to lose one single paper currency gift.</p> <h2>3. A Night (or Day) Out</h2> <p>I can count on one hand the number of people I know who aren't completely overworked. While most people can't afford to give even themselves a needed vacation, a great night out can be just the break that people need to recharge.</p> <p>I love to take my friends out to lunch for their birthdays. Because many of my friends have super busy schedules, it's a great excuse to spend quality time with people I care about.</p> <p>I have friends who share their season tickets as their go-to gift. My friend Ellen buys two season tickets to the Hollywood Bowl each year. She then sends out the concert schedule to all of her friends so they can choose which show they want to see as her guest. My friend Ryan does the same thing with his season tickets to the Dodgers. My friend Andrew takes his friends and family to the Huntington Gardens for tours, museum events, and an occasional high tea. Sharing season tickets involves a lot of scheduling, but it's a gift that you get to enjoy with the recipients. As a bonus, this gift also benefits the organizations that you care about.</p> <p>A memorable day out doesn't have to be costly. Attend a free concert or set up a hiking date.</p> <h2>4. Digital Subscriptions</h2> <p>Digital subscriptions to magazines and entertainment companies like Audible, Steam, and Netflix are great gifts for people who live in small spaces. In addition to taking up no physical space, digital subscriptions can provide hours of entertainment throughout the year.</p> <p>Looking beyond entertainment subscriptions, there are a variety of other services that run on a subscription model. Offer to pay for a year's subscription to reference sites like imdbPro or for digital tools like Adobe Photoshop.</p> <p>I just received a 23andMe DNA testing kit in the mail. It was sent anonymously, with the message &quot;Happy Birthday&quot; noted on the invoice. I texted my adopted sister; she is a big fan of the service. &quot;Did you send me a DNA test?&quot; &quot;Hmmmmm, was it me or another mystery sister?&quot; she texted back. We both agree that we're probably distant cousins on our Neanderthal side.</p> <p>If you can't afford the cost of a gift subscription, there is an excellent, cost-free option: Curate a list of free podcasts. My best friend spends a lot of time in the car for work. She is a rabid fan of podcasts for education and entertainment. This year she asked me if I would listen along with her to <a href="http://ohwitchplease.ca/" target="_blank">Witch, Please</a>, a fortnightly podcast about the Harry Potter universe that is hosted by two potty-mouthed college professors. We spent an entire month listening to the podcasts and then debating important topics like whether the wizards, as described in the books, wear pants under their robes, and if puberty and Voldemort are equally evil forces.</p> <h2>5. Give the Gift of Education</h2> <p>My parents believe that the two lasting gifts you can give your children are love and a good education. I think this is true. Education, like love, might not make you richer, but it will make your life more interesting.</p> <p>The gift can be as large as a college scholarship or as small as a single knitting class at your local craft store. Two of my friends have asked me to teach them how to make homemade sauerkraut as their Christmas present this year.</p> <p>If you take a class with someone you love, it can be a present for you, too. When my best friend and I were 13, we obsessively read every Agatha Christie mystery. We were less into the whodunit than we were the Downton Abbey-esque universe of Hercule Poirot and his friends. The transcontinental train rides, the Mah Jongg games, the constant tea drinking all seemed so glamorous. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of our friendship, we took a Mah Jongg class together, a game we still enjoy playing years later.</p> <p>Don't forget about online classes. Lynda.com has 4000 different courses in business, technology, and creative skills. Audible carries Pimsleur language courses at a discount.</p> <h2>6. Donate to a Charity in Their Name</h2> <p>Donating to charity is a nice way to make friends feel remembered at the holidays and also spread the holiday cheer to people who need help. If you need help choosing a worthy cause, <a href="https://www.charitywatch.org/top-rated-charities" target="_blank">Charity Watch</a> keeps a list of top-rated charities that spans a huge number of categories.</p> <h2>7. Make New Holiday Traditions<strong> </strong></h2> <p>In 2001, to address the Christmas elephant in the room &mdash; an elephant that we can't actually see because it's hidden under a pile of half-completed craft projects and books we intend to read very soon &mdash; my hoarder family took a radical step: We stopped giving Christmas gifts to each other. Even the kids. This is the nuclear option. But for families who can make the psychological jump, a No Gifts Christmas can totally change the way you feel about the holiday&hellip;for the better.</p> <p>For 15 straight years my family's No Gifts Christmas tradition has made the holiday season merrier for my relatives and me. There are countless ways to experience the spirit of the season that don't involve clutter. We have less stress and a lot more fun than when we had to shop for each other. Oh, and money. Did I mention <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor" target="_blank">we have a lot more money</a>? And empty floor space. Empty floor space in my house is priceless.</p> <h2>8. The Gift of Time</h2> <p>No one loves chores. That's why they are called chores instead of hobbies. Give the gift of time by helping your friends complete their own to-do lists.</p> <p>This year for my birthday my friend Señor Amor helped me hang curtains in my dining room. It was an all day ordeal. I can't imagine how long it would have taken me to do the job by myself. Every time I look at those drapes, I have a nice reminder of our friendship.</p> <p>My friend Crickett and I recently discussed our mutual hatred for filing. For our holiday gift to one another, we're going to help each other organize the piles of paperwork taking up precious real estate on our desks. If we have to suffer, at least we don't have to do it alone.</p> <h2>9. Just Ask</h2> <p>Even minimalists have wish lists. If you don't mind ruining the surprise, just ask.</p> <p>Don't get me wrong; surprises are great. But who prefers to be surprised by a gift she doesn't want over something she's been pining to own? You cannot deny there is a certain satisfaction to getting exactly what you want. If your soul requires that every gift contain the element of surprise, then stake out your friends' Amazon wish list, Pinterest page, or Etsy favorites. Or, just be a good listener.</p> <p>My friend Todd, a professional organizer who works with hoarders, is a master at choosing clutter-free gifts. He gives me two gigantic, 36-count packages of toilet paper from Costco every year for my birthday. Back when we were in college, I had mentioned to him that never having to buy toilet paper would be weirdly luxurious.</p> <p>Now, I don't remember saying this, but I do hate spending money on boring things like cleaning supplies. And, even if I never said it, can I tell you? Never buying your own toilet paper is luxurious.</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/9-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter">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/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts">How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Gifts and Make Money 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/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-miles-and-points-for-holiday-gifts">9 Ways to Use Miles and Points for Holiday Gifts</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-wrap-gifts-with-leftovers">How to wrap gifts with leftovers.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Organization Shopping charities classes clutter gifts Holidays presents subscriptions thoughtful gifts unique gifts wish lists Mon, 19 Dec 2016 11:30:07 +0000 Max Wong 1856079 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Reasons Time Is Worth More Than Money http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-time-is-worth-more-than-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-reasons-time-is-worth-more-than-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-518554978.jpg" alt="time is worth more than money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Time. Most of us never seem to have enough, and we're spending a good chunk of it earning money. It stands to reason that time is money, and the more time we have, the more money we can make. But are we looking at this the wrong way? Is time the real treasure here, and are we wasting it to stockpile something far less valuable?&nbsp;</p> <h2>1. You Can't Make More Time</h2> <p>You can always find a way to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-glassdoor-to-earn-more-money?ref=internal">make more money</a>. Although it's not something we want to do, we have the option to sell possessions, work an extra shift, pick up some freelance work, or maybe even win a few bucks on a scratch ticket. But there are no chances for you to create more time. You can't add an extra hour to the day. You can't give yourself 20 extra years on this planet by investing in the &quot;time market.&quot; Time is finite for us, as individuals. We may have 85 years to live and thrive, or we may only get 30. This is worth remembering when you are spending more time making money than you are with friends and family. Those times are precious, and fleeting. Money? There's always more of that.</p> <h2>2. You Can Do More With a Day Off Than With a Day's Pay</h2> <p>Everyone earns different amounts, but a day's pay to a rich person or a poor person is still the same, relative to his or her situation. Whether it can buy you a new Xbox or a new Ferrari, the point is that a day's pay is finite. You will be given a set amount of money that can buy a limited number of items.</p> <p>But with a day off work, the world is your oyster. Well, maybe not traveling to Tahiti or scaling Mount Everest, but you really can explore all sorts of adventures that you could not do while at work. Maybe you take that time to paint that picture you've always wanted to, or begin writing a new book. You can meditate, and find some of that inner peace you've been looking for. At the end of the day, a &quot;thing&quot; that costs money will never compete with an experience that broadens the mind, or simply makes you happy.</p> <h2>3. Time Creates More Memories Than Money</h2> <p>Think back to the best moments in your life so far. How many of them are based on money, and how many are based on time spent with friends and family? Very rarely do we sit back and think, <em>Oh man, the day I got that new pair of shoes was awesome!</em> Our most treasured memories come from time spent with the people we love, and in places we adore. Yes, it certainly does take a little money to travel. Luxurious vacations are definitely something we need money for, but we also treasure those times we walked hand-in-hand with a loved one in the park, or sang karaoke with friends at a local bar. Time gives us those memories we can look back on and laugh, or cry. And while money may help, it's never the main focus.</p> <h2>4. You Need Time to Spend Money</h2> <p>You may have all the money in the world, but you only have a certain amount of time in which to spend it. Billionaires around the globe have enough money to last 100 lifetimes, and yet they only have a set number of years on this planet. Even then, the last 10-20 years are not exactly the best. Money can buy you a lot, but it cannot buy you more time, which is why time is the most valuable resource we all have. Whether you're rolling in dough, or scraping together a living, time is the great equalizer. And most rich people would gladly give up a huge chunk of money for the chance to spend a few more good years with family and friends.</p> <h2>5. People Close to Death Wish for More Time, Not Money</h2> <p>How often have you heard the story of people saying, &quot;It went by so fast&quot; or &quot;If only I'd had more time&quot; as they were living out their final days? It's something said by so many people, so often, and with good reason. But very few people say, &quot;I wish I'd had more money&quot; or &quot;If only I'd been a millionaire&quot; as they consider the lives they lived. We may have regrets, but so few are based around money and possessions. Money may provide us with some luxuries, but time gives us so much more. Ask someone with a few months to live if they'd like $10 million or 10 more years on the planet, and you know the answer you'd get back.</p> <h2>6. Time Brings More Happiness Than Money</h2> <p>A study published earlier this year asked participants what brings them greater happiness &mdash;&nbsp;<a href="http://spsp.org/press_release/valuing-your-time-more-than-money-linked-to-happiness?utm_source=SAGE_social&amp;hootPostID=2cd8155f181030091e54784421fc199d" target="_blank">free time, or money</a>. Over half of the people involved in the study &mdash; some 4,600 participants &mdash; said that free time brought them more happiness, and prioritized it as such. Free time came before earning money.</p> <p>The questions were not as blatantly worked as, &quot;Do you prefer free time over money?&quot; though. Some were asked if they would prefer an expensive apartment with a long commute over a cheaper apartment with a shorter commute. Or, if they'd want a job with long hours and a high salary, or fewer hours and less salary. It seems that more people are interested in making the most of their free time, and would rather sacrifice the fringe benefits and luxuries in favor of quality time. It is worth noting, however, that the younger people surveyed were not as swayed by time as older respondents. Clearly, when you have much more time ahead of you, you value it less than money.</p> <h2>7. Time Is Priceless, Money Is Not</h2> <p>Money is money. The value of it fluctuates from day to day, and differs across currencies and investments. But time&hellip; you cannot put a price on that. For instance, what kind of price tag would you attach to spending one hour with someone you love? How about spending the day with a friend or family member you haven't seen in 15 years? What price would you put on an experience that broadens the mind, or brings you inner peace? While it is easy to say it would cost several thousand dollars to book a vacation, what is the cost of spending a few hours on a beach thinking of nothing but the sand between your toes? No worries. No stresses. Just that moment. What's more, time is free.</p> <h2>8. Time, Not Money, Is a Great Healer</h2> <p>It takes time to gain perspective. It cannot be bought. It takes time to realize your strengths and weaknesses. It takes time to figure out who you really are, and who you want to become.</p> <p>When you put time against money, it's no contest. Money helps you live your life over that time, but it's time itself that gives you the greatest benefit.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-time-is-worth-more-than-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/that-age-old-conundrum-time-vs-money">That Age-Old Conundrum: Time vs. Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/time-is-money-budget-them-both-out">Time Is Money: Budget Them Both Out</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-organizing-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Easy Organizing Changes You Can Make Today</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-51-ways-to-organize-your-whole-life-in-2017">Flashback Friday: 51 Ways to Organize Your Whole Life in 2017</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Organization free time money money moves time time hacks time is money time management Wed, 14 Dec 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 1853789 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways a Mindfulness Journal Can Fix Your Life http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-a-mindfulness-journal-can-fix-your-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-a-mindfulness-journal-can-fix-your-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-472391844.jpg" alt="use a mindfulness journal to organize your life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A mindfulness journal can completely transform every area of your life &mdash; from your home life to your work life, and even your gym life. It is designed to help you focus on the present moment so that you can improve your life (and your way of thinking) both in the present and in the future.</p> <h2>How to Journal</h2> <p>There are several ways that you can keep a mindfulness journal. You can keep a daily log of your thoughts and feelings based on each event or you can begin creating lists that you can add to over time, such as the happiest moments of your life, the people that make you happiest, what motivates you, and what you love most about yourself. This can also help you take action towards making your dreams a reality.</p> <p>The best way to be successful with your journal is to stay consistent. Try writing in the journal every day, no matter how busy you are. It'll be tough at first, so make sure to stick with it for at least a few months to see how it changes your life for the better. While you can purchase a <a href="http://amzn.to/2h2ExVt">mindfulness journal</a>, you can also just track your thoughts on any blank journal or planner.</p> <p>Ready? Here's how your journal can help.</p> <h2>1. It Gives You Time to Reflect</h2> <p>A mindfulness journal allows you to focus on different moments throughout your life, so you can be more mindful of the experience. Your journal can be used to record events, thoughts, emotions, and different observations you have throughout your day. By being more aware of which actions lead to which emotions, you can learn to better focus your attention and energy on positive feelings and events. It can help you stay calm and positive throughout the day, regardless of what the day may throw at you. It can also help you learn to live in the moment and find joy in every situation.</p> <p>With nothing more than a journal, you can relieve stress, feel happier, and gain perspective on your life and feelings. The simple act of writing can also help strengthen creativity. It is an affordable tool used for reflection and growth, with a myriad of other benefits.</p> <h2>2. It Helps You Set Goals</h2> <p>Whether it's to reduce stress, reflect on past experiences, or gain more self-awareness, getting your thoughts out on paper can help you to achieve your goals and live with less stress. If your goal is to motivate yourself, hit a fitness milestone, or save time and frustration in your daily life, make sure to set achievable goals that you can make progress towards.</p> <h2>3. You Can Track Your Annoyances</h2> <p>Along with tracking your life's blessings and daily triumphs, it's important to also track what needs to be changed. We often have small annoyances that we tend to ignore, such as a dim bedroom light or ineffective windshield wipers. By ignoring these seemingly small problems, you are inviting a large issue into your life later with unnecessary stress. With a mindfulness journal, you can track the small annoyances and fix them through a to-do list.</p> <p>By tracking your annoyances and what needs to be changed, you can focus your attention on fixing those areas of your life when you have time. You can work on these annoyances yourself, or you can talk through them with a therapist.</p> <p>By recording in your journal, you can better visualize what has been bothering you. For instance, if you realize that you are consistently journaling that it takes you a long time to get ready in the morning or to find certain items around the house, then it may be time to clean up those areas of your home so that you can get out the door faster.</p> <h2>4. It Allows You to Conceptualize Your Frustrations</h2> <p>In many cases, a person will feel stress and frustration, but they aren't sure exactly why. With a mindfulness journal, you can conceptualize all of your thoughts and emotions, so you can better understand what it is that's truly bothering you and can begin repairing the problem.</p> <h2>5. It Pushes You to Take Action</h2> <p>Once you begin to realize a trend in your journal entries, you'll want to make a list of the problems you've noticed and what actions you're going to take to correct them. Fixing items around your home, workspace, and vehicle can help change your day-to-day life and can save you time and frustration. In most cases, people tend to wonder why they waited so long to make the repairs in the first place.</p> <p>Procrastination is likely what made these small daily frustrations a larger problem over time. That's why it's so important to keep track of what needs to be changed and what steps you're taking towards achieving these goals in a timely manner.</p> <h2>6. It Might Lead to Other Kinds of Mindfulness &mdash; Like Meditation</h2> <p>Once you have documented all of your thoughts and feelings, taking a moment to meditate and breathe deeply can further increase the relaxation benefits. It can help you turn your attention inward so that you can take a moment for yourself before moving on to the next activity. Studies have shown that mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques (such as journaling) can help the body to heal faster, improve sleep, and help reduce <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-keep-anxiety-from-ruining-your-budget">depression and anxiety</a>.</p> <h2>7. It Offers Long-Term Benefits</h2> <p>Most people don't really realize exactly what's been bothering them until they write it out on paper. This is what makes a mindfulness journal so effective. By writing in a journal and reviewing your entries later, you can determine what it is that's bothering you so that you can take steps to rectify the problem, with no more uncertainty (or procrastination).</p> <p>A mindfulness journal can help you focus on the things in life that make you happy so you live with an attitude of gratitude. Rather than focusing on a crowded train, you can instead focus on the song you're listening to and how it makes you feel, your posture while you sit and wait for your next stop, and what you're looking forward to in your day. Over time, this will become natural so you can turn negative moments into positive experiences no matter what the day may bring.</p> <p>Journaling can also help you release negative thoughts. It can help you think more before you act and react. It can even help you make better decisions under pressure. You may also be able to navigate your day in a calmer fashion, which can result in less stress, increased motivation, and greater self-awareness.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-a-mindfulness-journal-can-fix-your-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-51-ways-to-organize-your-whole-life-in-2017">Flashback Friday: 51 Ways to Organize Your Whole Life in 2017</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/stop-losing-your-stuff-with-these-6-simple-tricks">Stop Losing Your Stuff With These 6 Simple Tricks</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/12-smart-ways-to-organize-old-photos">12 Smart Ways to Organize Old Photos</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/youre-missing-out-on-these-5-easy-fixes-for-fomo">You&#039;re Missing Out on These 5 Easy Fixes for FOMO</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> Life Hacks Organization fix your life journal mindfulness mindfulness journal organize your life Wed, 07 Dec 2016 12:30:11 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1848948 at http://www.wisebread.com My 16 Favorite Ways to Get Rid of Clutter http://www.wisebread.com/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter" 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_clutter_39948832.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to get rid of clutter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ugh. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor">I hate clutter</a>. It actually hurts my brain. However, even if I were Mari Kondo fancy, and could afford to throw away everything in my house that I don't love, my inner-tree-hugger would feel guilty about putting perfectly usable items into the landfill. So, what's an environmentally responsible person to do with their clutter?</p> <p>Here are my top 16 clutter-busters that keep my house from looking like a warehouse:</p> <h2>1. Stop Bringing New Clutter Into Your House</h2> <p>If you have a cluttered house, chances are you already <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-simple-thing-you-can-do-today-to-start-living-frugally">have everything you need</a> to survive. If you are like me and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-dumpster-diving-to-garage-sales-turning-trash-into-cash">love to trash pick</a> like it's a competitive sport, this means sidelining your treasure-hunting hobby until you have a grip on what you own.</p> <p>But, don't despair my freegan brethren. You can still get the thrill of the hunt; you just have to do it inside your house.</p> <h2>2. Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, or Do Without</h2> <p>I like to turn this Depression Era proverb into a game. How long can I go without buying groceries? How long will it take for me to eat through my pantry? If you have a hard time staying on the no new clutter wagon, challenge a like-minded friend to a competition to keep yourself accountable. Can you go one year without bringing stuff into your home?</p> <p>By the way, stepping away from the consumer treadmill even for 90 days (or 30, or even 10!) is a great way to save money.</p> <h2>3. Sell Your Stuff Online</h2> <p>Duh. This seems obvious. Typically I make a few thousand dollars every year by selling my old things on eBay, Etsy, and Craigslist.</p> <p>There are different price thresholds for different selling platforms. I can generally get more money by selling vintage items and clothes on Etsy and eBay than I can by selling them on Craigslist. For things like home electronics, buyers in my area will pay more on Craigslist than they will at a garage sale for the exact same item. To maximize your cash do a little research on who is paying a premium for your things.</p> <p>Depending on what you own, you might be able to flip your old things for cash by using specialty sites that focus on one type of merchandise such as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-kids-stuff-at-a-consignment-sale">baby clothes</a>, <a href="https://www.discogs.com/sell/list">vinyl records</a>, and <a href="https://www.1stdibs.com/furniture/">vintage home furnishings</a>.</p> <h2>4. Consign Your Stuff at a Brick and Mortar Store</h2> <p>I personally prefer to sell difficult to ship items like furniture and glassware to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-goodwill-the-different-types-of-thrift-stores">local second hand store</a> for either store credit or cash. Although stores usually take a 30% to 60% cut of the sale price, sometimes it's better to cash out so you can get those things out of your house before you break them and they become unsellable.</p> <p>There are some second hand stores that will buy goods outright for cash, and some stores that will only give you store credit. If you consign your items at a store, make sure that you are clear about pricing. Some stores will discount your goods to nothing after a set period of time. And some stores will not return items that don't sell to you. If you have a bottom price threshold, this needs to be negotiated in advance and on paper.</p> <p>In addition to bulky vintage items, I also sell back my used books, records, and contemporary clothes to second hand stores for cash.</p> <h2>5. Throw a Garage Sale</h2> <p>I paid for two entire years of my life by trash picking furniture and then selling it back to my neighbors at monthly garage sales. Last year my husband and I paid for our Christmas vacation with money that we'd earned selling stuff at garage sales. And our garage sale inventory wasn't even that amazing. Like, I can't even remember half the things we got rid of! They were that inconsequential to my life.</p> <p>I approach every garage sale as an opportunity to get other people to pay to remove clutter from my house, so most things are priced at one dollar. By taking this grateful-to-my-customer stance, I am always happy with my garage sale earnings, regardless of how paltry.</p> <h2>6. Gift</h2> <p>Shopping for presents is time consuming and expensive. A few years ago I decided to start gifting clothes and things in my house to admiring friends and family members. As in, &quot;Oh, you like that? Here, just take it with you. Happy early birthday.&quot; This on the spot gifting is always a welcome surprise and I don't have to fuss with wrapping.</p> <h2>7. Recycle</h2> <p>I know many people who live in homes that resemble recycling centers because they care about the environment. While it is a good thing to keep resources like glass and paper out of the landfill, you are not actually doing the world any good by turning your house into a mini dump. Companies as diverse as <a href="https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/brigades">Terracycle</a> and <a href="https://www.madewell.com/madewell_feature/DENIMDONATION_sm.jsp">Madewell</a> have recycling programs for hard to recycle items like denim, instrument strings, and Solo Cups.</p> <h2>8. Upcycle</h2> <p>Why pay for new craft supplies when you have clutter? Instead of bringing new, virgin goods into your home, find <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects?ref=seealso">new uses for your old things</a>. You don't even have to have any creative talent to upcycle. For example, upcycle your old cotton underwear into cleaning rags.</p> <p>My husband and I own two Moroccan poufs. Rather than pay for new stuffing, we filled our poufs with old linens and drop cloths that are too torn or stained to sell or donate.</p> <h2>9. Share</h2> <p>I share a china pattern with my brother-in-law. I only have space in my small kitchen for eight place settings. My brother-in-law has 12 place settings. Whenever we have larger dinner parties, we loan each other dishes. What can you share with your friends and neighbors? I share garden tools with my friend Laura. I share kitchen gadgets with my neighbor Alexandra. I share a set of luggage with my sister. I only have to store those things in my house half the time. More importantly, I don't have to buy every single thing.</p> <h2>10. Check It Out</h2> <p>If you don't have handy friends and neighbors, look for a tool library in your area. I don't own bike repair tools because I live within walking distance of a bike repair cooperative.</p> <p>I am a lifelong library patron. In addition to checking out books, music, and videos, I use my library as an air-conditioned oasis in the summer when my house becomes unbearably hot, and as my personal newsstand. Once a month a have a magazine date with myself and spend an afternoon flipping through glossy pages to my heart's content. I give myself a little reading vacation, and cut the clutter and the cost of owning a personal subscription all in one fell swoop.</p> <h2>11. Catch and Release</h2> <p>I am a minimalist traveler. The only time I buy books is when I'm going on a trip. I buy the cheapest copy of the books I want to read so I have no problem leaving them behind in cafes and airports when I am done with them. Not only do I get cheap, analog entertainment, this book packing method always ensures that I have a little room in my luggage for vacation purchases.</p> <h2>12. Rent</h2> <p>Due to near constant <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-everything-breaks">car trouble this year</a>, I have been experimenting, unintentionally, with living as a one-car household in Los Angeles. I suspect by the end of the year that the math will prove that it is cheaper for us to rent a second car when we need one rather than own three cars outright.</p> <p>I don't love renting because I know that ownership is generally a better deal. But, do I really need to buy a jackhammer to break up my cracked driveway? No, I do not.</p> <p>When deciding when to rent and when to own, be honest: How often will you use this item? Will your daughter wear her Quinceañera dress a second time? Consider the extra cost of renting to be money that you saved on storage fees.</p> <h2>13. Swap</h2> <p>Even our shyest friends love our book exchange party that we host every New Year's Day. The concept is simple: Everyone brings the books they enjoyed reading but are now taking up shelf space, and throws them on the communal pile. Our guests take as many books as they want home, for free. The books that are left behind are donated to the Los Angeles Public Book Drive.</p> <p>Swap parties are fun because it's weirdly satisfying to see people fall in love with your old things. But why stop at books? What about a winter coat swap at your kid's school? How about a kitchen tool or recipe swap party with your neighbors? I offset the cost of my groceries by attending a monthly neighborhood backyard produce swap.</p> <h2>14. Donate Like a True Do-Gooder (Without Getting Audited)</h2> <p>If you want to get stuff out of your house in a hurry, feel like you are helping the less fortunate, and get a tax write off, donate your extra stuff to charity.</p> <p>Charities like The Salvation Army and Goodwill do not set a valuation on your donation. That responsibility is left up to you. But donor beware! Huge tax deductions for donated goods are a red flag to auditors. Use a <a href="https://satruck.org/Home/DonationValueGuide">donation value guide</a> to assess the true market value of your used items. Also, it's a good practice to photograph your donated goods so you have evidence of your good works should you get audited.</p> <p>Ahem, let me get on my soapbox for one moment.</p> <p>Charities spend a huge amount of their budgets on trash collection because so many people use their local shop as a dumping ground for all their old crap. Would you buy a pair of pants with a brown stain across the front? No, you would not. Don't be that guy who trades trash for a tax write-off. That's cheating on taxes and on charity.</p> <p>When it comes to charity donations I am very careful to only donate items that are in selling condition. As in, an item is in such good condition that I would spend money to buy it.</p> <p>(Steps off soapbox.)</p> <p>That said, just like I am always on the hunt for new places to recycle weird stuff, I am always on the lookout for groups that repair expensive, broken goods for charity. For example, I donate my old glasses to the <a href="http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/how-we-serve/health/sight/eyeglass-recycling.php">Lions Club</a>.</p> <p>The screen of my laptop computer died in January. Although I could sell it on Craigslist for parts, I'm donating it to CRASH Space, my local hackerspace, because I know the makers there will recycle the entire machine responsibly. As a side benefit, I can claim this donation as a tax write-off since CRASH Space is a nonprofit.</p> <h2>15. Curb It</h2> <p>My nightly walk takes me past a wide set of concrete steps that used to lead to an apartment building but now lead to a vacant lot. I few years ago I started leaving items that were in usable condition, but not nice enough to donate or sell for money, on the steps to nowhere. I leave pretty much everything &mdash; stinky shampoo, old clothes, recently expired canned goods, vintage electronics, magazines, pens that I don't like &mdash; on the steps, neatly merchandised for easy shopping. The things that aren't gone by the next night, I know they are truly garbage. I throw the leftovers away without guilt. Usually, the stuff is gone before morning.</p> <p>This personal donation spot has been a fun experiment. I have met some of my late night shoppers and I was happy to hear how they are enjoying my old things. Also, some of my neighbors have started copying me. About once a week I see that someone else has made a donation to the steps.</p> <h2>16. Go Digital</h2> <p>Yes, I am old. I came of age in a world without cloud storage and I have nostalgia for books made from dead trees. So is it any surprise that the bulk of my clutter is paper-based? Between the library and our digital subscriptions to everything from IMDB to Netflix, we're managing our shelf space, but our file cabinet is exploding.</p> <p>Although I have successfully resisted this chore for more than a decade, I am finally getting around to digitizing the hard copies of all my old contracts, patterns, notes, etc. for clutter free, online storage.</p> <p>Does anyone have any tips on digitizing documents and ditching paper clutter? (Oh, please). I could use all the help I can get!</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/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter">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/make-money-and-declutter-by-selling-these-5-unlikely-treasures">Make Money and Declutter by Selling These 5 Unlikely Treasures</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/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to 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/11-easy-ways-to-earn-more-on-ebay">11 Easy Ways to Earn More on eBay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-frugal-living-resolutions-anyone-can-master">23 Frugal Living Resolutions Anyone Can 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/what-you-need-to-start-flipping-items-for-cash-online">What You Need to Start Flipping Items for Cash Online</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Organization charity cleaning clutter craigslist downsizing eBay garage sales mari kondo renting selling waste Tue, 01 Nov 2016 09:30:31 +0000 Max Wong 1824618 at http://www.wisebread.com Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick http://www.wisebread.com/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/boy_piggy_bank_33365082.jpg" alt="Boy reaching money goals faster with naming trick" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I used to feel crushed by my to-do list. I could never complete all the tasks on the list according to my (unrealistic) schedule, so I always felt like a loser. Even when I did complete all the tasks on my daily list, I never felt the sense of accomplishment that I hoped for.</p> <h2>What Would Han Solo Do?</h2> <p>While researching a better way to manage my list, I stumbled across the concept of <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Create-an-Effective-Action-Plan">action plans</a>. According to project managers who specialize in getting things done, to-do lists aren't particularly useful for a variety of reasons. Action plans lead to success. Learning to action plan was going to revolutionize my schedule!</p> <p>But then I got sidetracked, so I never got around to actually formulating an action plan. But it didn't matter. Just renaming my daily list of chores &quot;Plan of Action&quot; instead of &quot;To Do&quot; made me feel so much better about myself. I became more productive because I'd freed my brain from worry and made more space for creative thinking. Who writes to-do lists? Chumps, obviously. Who writes action plans? The architects of D-Day. The United Nations. Han Solo.</p> <p>Did Han Solo consult his to-do list before he shot first? No. He did not.</p> <h2>Is My Home Equity Line of Credit Half Full or Half Empty?</h2> <p>Currently, my husband and I are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-why-i-need-to-find-31k-this-year">paying down a $15,000 loan</a> that we had to take out to replace the outgoing sewer line of our house. Plumbing is pretty much the least sexy way to spend money on home repair.</p> <p>Other than our home mortgages, this loan is, by far, our largest debt. And, I hate debt. Debt makes me feel unsafe and without choices. The lack of control attached to this debt specifically ticks me off. It's not like we had a choice in the matter. We didn't accrue this debt by doing something fun like taking a vacation we couldn't afford. We have this loan because our sewer line broke and we had to fix it.</p> <p>Since a simple name change made my to-do list feel more manageable, I wondered if renaming the sewer loan would make me feel less angry about paying down this debt.</p> <h2>First World Pooping</h2> <p>&quot;Oh, you're the one with the funny account names,&quot; says the bank teller as she completes my deposit. The HELOC that I had to take out to pay for the sewer line is now named &quot;First World Pooping.&quot;</p> <p>In my hours of grumpy rumination about how much I hate the sewer line loan, I had come to two realizations:</p> <ul> <li>About 60% of the world's population doesn't have indoor plumbing or even adequate sanitation. I have $15,000 in debt because my husband and I made the choice to repair our sewer line, instead of letting raw sewage drain into the dirt under our house. Six out of 10 people on the planet <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/02/22/_60_percent_of_the_world_population_still_without_toilets.html">can't choose to have a working toilet</a>.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Although $15,000 is a huge chunk of change for me, 80% of the world's population&nbsp;<a href="http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats">lives on less than $10 per day</a>, so just my ability to get an emergency loan for $15,000 puts me in the uppermost strata of wealth on the planet.</li> </ul> <p>In other words, my $15,000 sewer repair is a First World Problem. I may not like the cost of my choice, but I have enough financial control over my life that I can enjoy the privilege of flushing the toilet with drinking water.</p> <p>Paying down the sewer loan each month still gives me no pleasure, but I no longer resent this debt like I used to. By renaming the loan &quot;First World Pooping&quot; I get a monthly reminder to practice gratitude for my comfortable, First World life.</p> <h2>Motivated Savings</h2> <p>In addition to renaming my loans, I have renamed all my bank accounts to help me meet my financial goals. I am more inspired to put money into my &quot;OMG Retire Early!&quot; account than I ever was when it was just named &quot;Retirement.&quot; Socking away cash in my &quot;Escape Plan&quot; is somehow more fun than topping off my &quot;Emergency Fund.&quot; Who has emergency funds? People who are worried about future plumbing problems. Who has an &quot;Escape Plan?&quot; Han Solo.</p> <p>My account formerly known as &quot;Savings&quot; has been repeatedly renamed with the location of my next vacation. Every time I open up my bank records I get a positive push to save more money.</p> <h2>Obsessive Compulsive Labeling</h2> <p>I know this will come as a complete shock to anyone who reads this, but I have OCD. When I mentioned to my OCD support group that relabeling chores had a positive effect on my productivity, worldview, and bank account, I discovered that this brain hack is actually a fairly common <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-practice/201301/cognitive-restructuring">Cognitive Behavioral Therapy</a> exercise that is used to treat a variety of common psychological problems. I don't know if renaming every chore will cure my OCD, but it has made reaching financial goals a little easier.</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/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">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/youve-been-saving-money-all-wrong-heres-why">You&#039;ve Been Saving Money All Wrong. Here&#039;s Why</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-personal-finance-resolutions-anyone-can-master">8 Personal Finance Resolutions Anyone Can Master</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-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-golden-rules-of-personal-finance-everyone-should-know">10 Golden Rules of Personal Finance Everyone 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/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 Life Hacks Organization bank accounts banking budgeting debt fun inspiration loans motivation renaming saving money Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Max Wong 1821541 at http://www.wisebread.com This Simple Journal May be the Fix for Your Finances http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-journal-may-be-the-fix-for-your-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-simple-journal-may-be-the-fix-for-your-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_happy_notebook_88108789.jpg" alt="Woman using journal to fix her finances" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you'd like an organized system to help you track the past, plan the present, and look to the future, a bullet journal is just what you need. If you already live your life according to a to-do list, then this journal will help you organize the millions of to-do lists that you have for every part of your life.</p> <p>A bullet journal, originally created by Brooklyn-based digital product designer Ryder Carroll, is a to-do list that can help you manage your finances, track your expenses, and budget more effectively. You can even use it to help you save more. Your spending book can assist with financial planning by helping you set goals and track them on a daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly basis.</p> <h2>How to Use It</h2> <p>A bullet journal can be used for whatever you need. It can help you keep better track of your work projects, organize your daily life, or improve your finances. The purpose of this journal is to jot down quick bullet point notes, rather than writing out full sentences. This is referred to as &quot;rapid logging&quot; and can help save you time.</p> <h2>How to Make One</h2> <p>You can find a number of bullet journal budget layouts online. The most important thing is to have a quality journal that is the right size, so you can take it with you anywhere you need. Most journal enthusiasts recommend getting a journal with dotted lines, as this makes it easier to adapt to different layouts. Some bullet journal enthusiasts also recommend finding a journal that already has a blank index and numbered pages to save you more time.</p> <p>To get things started, there are some standard sections that are traditionally included in most bullet journals:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Index:</strong> Each page in your journal should have a page number, which you can reference in your index. This will help you quickly find whatever you need.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Daily Log:</strong> Keep track of everything you need to get done for the day. Tasks, events, and notes should be tracked for each day. For important bullets, mark them with a star to the left, so your eye will automatically go to this important task. Once you complete a task, add an X to the left, so you can see that it's been completed. When you're planning for the following month, simply move over any tasks that did not get completed (with an X) from the prior month.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Monthly Log:</strong> This will be split into each day of the month and can be used as a traditional monthly calendar.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Monthly Task List:</strong> Write down everything you need to get done over the month, such as paying bills.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Future Log:</strong> This can help you keep track of future events and goals, and can put your year at a glance. It's ideal for long-term goals, such as paying off a particular bill or increasing your monthly contribution to your retirement accounts.</li> </ul> <p>To make your journal more effective, you'll need to master a few simple symbols so that you can easily categorize your tasks. The most commonly used symbols include:</p> <ul> <li>A <strong>bullet</strong> is a to-do.</li> <li>An <strong>X</strong> marks a task completed.</li> <li>An <strong>O</strong> marks a big event.</li> <li>A <strong>&mdash;</strong> marks a note or quick thought.</li> <li>A <strong>&lt;</strong> marks a scheduled event.</li> <li>A<strong> &gt;</strong> means you procrastinated and need to move that task to the following day, week, or month.</li> </ul> <p>If you don't like these symbols, you can use whatever you prefer. If you tend to get confused or can't remember what the symbols mean in the beginning, simply keep a key in the front or back of your journal.</p> <h2>How the Journal Relates to Your Finances</h2> <p>With a bullet journal, your past, present, and future can meld into one. This will allow you to look back and see what has worked and what hasn't. In order for this to work, you need to track your successes along the way. Think of it as your financial diary. Be honest about what you purchased, whether those purchases were worth it, how you saved extra money every month, and how much closer you're getting toward your financial goals.</p> <h2>Track a Single Goal</h2> <p>If you have trouble with one particular task, and you feel gratification from crossing things off your to-do list, then consider focusing on one goal that you can track in your journal. Simply set one line for each month (with numbers for each day of the month) and cross off each day that you are able to achieve this goal. Some of the best things to track include taking lunch to work every day (saving you a hefty sum every month) and not spending money on an expensive habit (like drinking, eating out, or buying cigarettes).</p> <h2>Determine What You're Saving For</h2> <p>First, you want to figure out what you're saving for and when you'd like to reach that goal. Separate one page into four sections, for this year and the next three years. Mark what you'd like to save for in each year. You can also keep a page of things that you want, so you can keep your eye on the prize, rather than just buying everything you want on the spot.</p> <p>Find <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BAkY4AlRy8T/">fun ways to save</a> for certain future events, such as a vacation, new car, or wedding. For a <a href="http://www.hellodeborah.co.uk/app/uploads/2016/07/bullet-journal-savings-goals-1024x722.jpg">basic savings plan</a>, mark what you're saving for with a rectangle that includes small boxes for every $100 that you need to save. Once you save $100 toward that goal, you can fill in the box, so you can see how much closer you're getting to your goal.</p> <h2>Track Your Bills and Expenses</h2> <p>You can <a href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/113364115598769829/">track expenses</a>, plan out how you'll achieve your financial goals, check off that you met your budget every week, and <a href="https://bulleteverything.com/bills-finance-tracker/">track your bills</a> paid and due. You can even flag your expenses with <a href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/302726406184978726/">different symbols or colors</a>, based on the category or necessity, so you can get a better idea of what you're spending the most on and what you can cut out. Try to set up at least two pages to track your expenses and income.</p> <p>To track your bills due, note all of the bills you pay regularly. Separate these expenses into how often they need to be paid down the side of the journal page. At the top, split each month into three sections: Amount, Due Date, and Paid (which you will mark with an X once the bill or expense has been paid). This will ensure that you never miss a payment again.</p> <p>For your expenses list, separate one page into categories, so you can mark what you've spent toward each category, such as gas and groceries. Separate your monthly expenses spread into three columns: Date, Description, and Cost. You can also add another column for how you paid (by cash, check, or card), if you're trying to use cash or a particular card more often. You can even color code the expenses, based on whether you wanted them or needed them. This can serve as your checkbook registrar, so you can keep track of what's been spent and where. It'll give you a better estimate of what you're spending on each category, so you can make future projections.</p> <h2>Keep a Financial Spread</h2> <p>Keep track of what your financial goals are and how often you should be saving for them. This will ensure that you save enough without having to save more than you're able to afford.</p> <p>These are the basics of starting and using a bullet journal. Your journal is what you make of it, so <a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/nicolenguyen/genius-ways-you-can-customize-your-bullet-journal?utm_term=.dadNDYGmK#.hcgV6Y3B0">customize it</a> in any way you choose. Just try to keep it fun and organized, so it can help you achieve the ultimate financial freedom. If you want to delve more deeply into this powerful to-do list, there is <a href="http://bulletjournal.com/get-started/">endless information online</a> and you can even find inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-journal-may-be-the-fix-for-your-finances">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-a-spending-ban-can-help-and-hurt-you">Here&#039;s How a Spending Ban Can Help (and Hurt) You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</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/how-to-manage-your-money-no-budgeting-required">How to Manage Your Money — No Budgeting Required</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-build-your-best-travel-budget">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Organization bullet journal expenses finances goals keeping track saving money to do lists Wed, 26 Oct 2016 10:30:09 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1820846 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's Why Multitasking and Money Don't Mix http://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-multitasking-and-money-dont-mix <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-why-multitasking-and-money-dont-mix" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_stressed_work_86169855.jpg" alt="Woman learning why multitasking and money don&#039;t mix" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Think you're good at multitasking? You're not.</p> <p>Plenty of research has shown that multitasking simply doesn't work. Our brains can't focus on more than one thing at a time. We might tell ourselves that this isn't true, that we can concentrate on several tasks at once. The truth, though, is that we're fooling ourselves.</p> <p>Multitasking is especially dangerous when it comes to managing our money. You might think that you can juggle several financial tasks at once, everything from building an emergency fund to paying off your credit card debt to saving for the down payment on your first home.</p> <p>But just as your brain can't juggle multiple tasks at once, neither can most people's finances.</p> <p>Here are three reasons why you should never multitask when it comes to managing your money.</p> <h2>It Doesn't Work</h2> <p>In 2014, Psychology Today ran a fascinating feature story about multitasking. The story pointed out that the human brain can't take on simultaneous tasks. We might think we can hold a conversation on our smartphones, surf the Web on our laptop, and text another friend on our tablet at the same time. But we can't, at least not effectively.</p> <p>According to the Psychology Today story, when we multitask, our brain just switches from task to task more quickly, employing a sort of stop/start process. This makes us sloppy, meaning that we make more mistakes. It can also sap our mental energy over time.</p> <p>So what happens when we try to multitask with our finances? We try to pay off debt at the same time we try to build an emergency fund? We get sloppy and we make mistakes. We forget to pay our credit card bill and incur a late fee, or we go months without making a payment into our emergency fund.</p> <p>The better approach? Ditch the multitasking and take on one financial job at a time.</p> <h2>We Don't Get Anything Done</h2> <p>You might think multitasking means you are being more efficient. Actually, it's the opposite. When we take on several tasks at once &mdash; say writing a report at work, answering email messages from colleagues, and trying to schedule dentist appointments for our kids &mdash; we tend to get none of these jobs done in a timely manner.</p> <p>The better approach is to again move away from multitasking and attack these jobs one at a time until we finish each of them.</p> <p>When it comes to managing finances, completing one task at a time again pays dividends. Most financial experts recommend that you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=internal">pay off high interest rate credit card debt</a> first by sending extra money at these bills until you eliminate them. It's hard to do this if you're diverting some funds to building an emergency fund at the same time.&nbsp;</p> <p>Money experts recommend creating a plan that starts with eliminating credit card debt, then moves on to building an emergency fund with at least six months' worth of living expenses in it. Once you complete these two tasks, you can then start saving for retirement or for a down payment on a new home.</p> <h2>We Get Depressed</h2> <p>Multitasking is exhausting. If you're constantly juggling three or four tasks at once, it's difficult to focus on any one thing. It's also difficult to take a breather to enjoy life. The constant stress that goes along with multitasking can make you depressed.</p> <p>The same holds true when we multitask money matters. If you are constantly alternating between paying down your credit card debt, saving for retirement, and investing in the stock market, you'll feel like you're not doing a good job at any of these tasks. As your credit card debt continues to grow and your retirement savings don't, it'll be easy to fall into a funk.</p> <p>But if you take on one of these financial tasks at a time? You'll feel a sense of accomplishment when you are able to check off your goals one by one.</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/heres-why-multitasking-and-money-dont-mix">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/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money">These 5 Apps Will Help You Finally Organize Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-self-storage-units-are-more-sad-museums-than-savvy-solutions">5 Ways Self Storage Units Are More Sad Museums Than Savvy Solutions</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-make-your-sluggish-workday-go-a-lot-faster">How to Make Your Sluggish Workday Go (a Lot) 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/6-simple-financial-upgrades-you-can-make-during-breakfast">6 Simple Financial Upgrades You Can Make During Breakfast</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-online-tools-to-manage-your-money-in-under-10-minutes-a-week">5 Online Tools to Manage Your Money in Under 10 Minutes a Week</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization attention span depressed distractions Mistakes money management multitasking psychology Mon, 17 Oct 2016 09:30:21 +0000 Dan Rafter 1813253 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Smart Ways to Organize Old Photos http://www.wisebread.com/12-smart-ways-to-organize-old-photos <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-smart-ways-to-organize-old-photos" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_68476985_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="the best way to organize old family photos" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Is your photo collection a disaster? Well, so was mine until I figured out a workflow that helped me to organize over 50,000 digital photo files and 6,000 printed photographs. Here's how I <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-lose-the-clutter-and-keep-the-memories">cleared my photography clutter</a>.</p> <h2>Digital</h2> <p>Wade through your endless digital photos and keep only the ones that really matter.</p> <h3>1. Stay Current</h3> <p>I realized that unless I stopped taking new photos (this would not happen), I would continue to play catch up&hellip; forever. Instead of trying to organize all 50,000 digital images at once, I focused on the most recent 5,000 pictures and resolved to stay on top of my photo curating chores from that point forward.</p> <p>At the end of every day, I go through the photo stream on my phone, and like my favorite shots so they are automatically saved in my &quot;Favorites&quot; album.</p> <p>Photographs I take of items to sell on Etsy, eBay, and Craigslist stay on my phone in their own separate &quot;For Sale&quot; album until the item sells (and then I delete the associated images). Because I run my online storefronts exclusively from my phone, I never need to download these images to my desktop computer.</p> <p>Lastly, since I am a visual thinker, I take a ton of photos to help me remember everything from my Italian homework to where I parked the car at the airport. I now add those photos to my Evernote app as I go for reference, and delete these images as I complete each related task.</p> <h3>2. Decide on a Primary Storage for Digital Archives.</h3> <p>I have 50,000 digital images because I am paranoid about losing photographs. As a result of this anxiety, I had copies of the same image on my phone, on my computer's hard drive, on external hard drives, and on Flickr. What's worse than organizing 50,000 images? Organizing multiple copies of the same 50,000 images over and over. Don't be me. Choose one spot as your complete archive. You can divide your archives later.</p> <h3>3. Housekeeping</h3> <p>At least once a month, I download my favorite photographs from my camera and phone to my computer for further editing.</p> <h3>4. Ditch the Worst Photographs</h3> <p>While I can spend hours toggling between good images in an effort to select the best of the lot, the bad photos stick out like a sore thumb. Even if I only trashed 1% of the images taking up space on my hard drive, those were still 500 photographs I didn't have to organize later.</p> <h3>5. Create Folders or Albums</h3> <p>Sort by subject or event, not chronologically. Even though Flickr automatically archives my photographs in chronological order, this is my least favorite method of sorting images because I hate scrolling through thousands of photographs to find the one shot that I am looking for. For example, because I am working on building up Flickr as my professional portfolio of travel and architecture shots, my initial sort will be to organize my photos into albums by city. When I have more time, I will go through each city album, and sort the images into smaller albums like Architecture, Art, Food, etc&hellip;and add hash tags #brutalism, #michelangelo, #gelato, etc&hellip;to make these archives easily searchable by photo editors looking for images for magazine and book projects.</p> <h3>6. Back Everything Up</h3> <p>Technology hates you! I store copies of my favorite shots on an external hard drive in the event that my computer croaks. And, because I like to worry, in the event that my house burns down, I also keep a second copy of my photo archive on Flickr.</p> <h2>Prints and Negatives</h2> <p>I come from a long line of photographers. Unlike many people who may only have one cherished photograph of their elderly relatives, I have thousands of family pictures that go back four generations. Just about every family event was documented on film, usually by more than one relative.</p> <p>Unfortunately, while my family is great at taking pictures, they are horrible archivists. I don't recognize half the people in the photographs that have been passed down to me! Also, even when I know who is in the shot, the context of photographs is often as important as the picture itself. Why is everyone dressed as donkeys in this photograph? Who is the mysterious blonde lady cuddling up to Uncle Ed?</p> <p>Now I know why I kept putting off organizing my prints. All the sideline research is super daunting. I don't want to be the relative who accidentally dumped the only evidence of an important event in family history. Even with that emotional pressure, I still found organizing physical photographs way easier than organizing my digital files. Here's the process:</p> <h3>7. Gather Loose Photos</h3> <p>Take all the photos and random albums and put them in one location.</p> <h3>8. Ditch the Bad Photographs</h3> <p>Photographs that have faded to nothing or are out of focus should go into the trash. Unlabeled landscape shots from vacations that aren't suitable for framing also get tossed. Group photos where no one looks cute? Garbage.</p> <h3>9. Divide and Conquer</h3> <p>I divided my photographs into six major collections: vintage family photographs, childhood, college, post-college, travel, and mystery; and sorted the photographs into labeled, acid-free, archival photo storage boxes. I kept the categories extremely broad because I knew that this project would be time consuming. Worst case scenario, if I stop organizing at this point, at least know which box to start looking in to find a specific picture.</p> <h3>10. Sort Each Collection</h3> <p>Sort them into smaller, searchable categories. For example, I sorted my travel box by vacation, and my childhood pictures by year.</p> <h3>11. Research the Mystery Photos</h3> <p>Mystery photographs are family photos of strangers and unfamiliar locations. My favorite method of researching mystery photos is to bring them to large family events and have my relatives help me identify people, places, and things. (I can say from personal experience that doing this at family wakes is oddly comforting and enjoyable.) I have also solved photo mysteries by scanning and emailing the images out to my older relatives who sometimes respond with the best stories.</p> <h3>12. Preserve and Label for Future Generations</h3> <p>For the love of all that is good and beautiful, don't write on the back of photos you want to keep forever! Even archival inks and glues can damage the prints. Instead, label archival presentation photo sleeves, which keep photographs clean and fingerprint-free. Alternately, go old school and write the story of each photograph, as a caption, directly onto the paper album pages. Personally I am scanning all my vintage photographs into my computer and uploading them to Flickr to a shared family album. My relatives can make their own copies of their favorite images and help me write captions. Since I am paranoid, this Flickr album also doubles as backup storage for physical photographs.</p> <h2>Notes About Negatives</h2> <p>Don't throw these away! Although I will never again be able to afford to print using a traditional darkroom, I can use my home scanner to create beautiful digital prints from my negatives.</p> <h2>Beware of Bugs and Other Things</h2> <p>I have seen photo archives destroyed by heat, moisture, mold, rodents, and bugs. (Who knew that carpet beetles love to eat color slides?) Stash photos in a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight.</p> <p>Sunlight will fade photographs. Although it's counterintuitive, hang photographs on the wall that gets the least amount of direct light.</p> <p>Handle photographs by the edges, as the oil on your skin will degrade photographs and negatives.</p> <p>Use archival glue or tape to attach photographs to frames and photo albums. Fasteners such as rubber bands, glue sticks, tape, and paper clips can permanently damage any photo they touch.</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/12-smart-ways-to-organize-old-photos">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-a-mindfulness-journal-can-fix-your-life">7 Ways a Mindfulness Journal Can Fix Your Life</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-51-ways-to-organize-your-whole-life-in-2017">Flashback Friday: 51 Ways to Organize Your Whole Life in 2017</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/stop-losing-your-stuff-with-these-6-simple-tricks">Stop Losing Your Stuff With These 6 Simple Tricks</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/youre-missing-out-on-these-5-easy-fixes-for-fomo">You&#039;re Missing Out on These 5 Easy Fixes for FOMO</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> Life Hacks Organization old photos photographs photos storage hacks storage tips technology Wed, 21 Sep 2016 09:30:23 +0000 Max Wong 1796577 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Simple Financial Upgrades You Can Make During Breakfast http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-financial-upgrades-you-can-make-during-breakfast <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-simple-financial-upgrades-you-can-make-during-breakfast" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_coffee_tablet_55252582.jpg" alt="Woman making simple financial upgrades during breakfast" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the biggest misconceptions about money management is the idea that it needs to be time-consuming. But many of the financial moves that help you keep a healthy budget take less time than the average coffee break.</p> <p>Over the next six days, take care of one of the following <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-budgeting-for-people-who-hate-math" target="_blank">money management chores</a> while you&rsquo;re enjoying your morning latte. While you&rsquo;re eating breakfast each day, you can improve your financial well-being without spending more than 10 minutes at a time:</p> <h2>1. Set Up an Automatic Transfer to Savings</h2> <p>Everyone knows that they should have an emergency fund, but finding money to set aside at the end of every month is so tough. This is why so many personal finance experts recommend creating an automatic transfer from checking to savings on payday. If you save your money before you have a chance to spend it, then it will actually be there for you in an emergency.</p> <p>While you are eating your morning Wheaties, log onto your bank&rsquo;s website and set up your automatic recurring transfer online. Even if all you can afford to spare is $20 per paycheck, those recurring transfers will add up. In a few months, you can log back on to increase your savings.</p> <h2>2. Kill Your Zombie Charges</h2> <p>Zombie charges are the fancifully-named recurring subscription charges that you no longer want. There is absolutely no reason to keep sending money to Spotify or your gym if you never use those services.</p> <p>Identifying your zombie charges can be easier than eliminating them (just like real zombies!), but you can take time over breakfast to review your credit card and bank account to find recurring charges for services you no longer use. In some cases, canceling the service is quick and easy, and can be done before you clear the breakfast dishes. For anything that requires more than a visit to a website to cancel, set yourself a Google calendar alert to take care of the cancellation sometime in the next few days.</p> <h2>3. Check Your Credit Report</h2> <p>You are legally allowed free access to a credit report from each of the major credit reporting agencies &mdash; TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax &mdash; once a year. Log onto annualcreditreport.com to access your credit information. Getting your report will take just a few moments &mdash; you just need to fill out one form to request up to three credit reports (one from each agency), pick which agency&rsquo;s report you want to check out, and verify your identity to receive your credit report.</p> <p>You can print out your reports while polishing off your toast, but you might need to take a little time to go over the reports in detail to make sure there are no errors.</p> <h2>4. Set Up Reminders for Upcoming Bills</h2> <p>Whether you are still paying bills the old-fashioned way with paper checks or you pay all your bills online, due dates can have a way of sneaking up on you. While you&rsquo;re waiting for the coffee to brew, take a few moments to look up the due dates of bills over the next several months and set up Google calendar alerts to remind you when they are coming.</p> <p>Even if you have completely automated your bill-paying, it can be a great idea to set up bill reminders so you take the time to look over your monthly bills and make sure you have enough money in your account to cover them all.</p> <h2>5. Adjust Your Withholding</h2> <p>The average American receives a tax refund of over $3,000 every year, which amounts to an interest-free loan to Uncle Sam. You can do more with that money if you adjust your withholding so that you keep more of your money in each paycheck.</p> <p>To do this, first use the <a href="https://apps.irs.gov/app/withholdingcalculator/">IRS withholding calculator</a> to determine how many withholding allowances you may take. Remember that the withholding allowances you claim do not determine your tax bill, only how much you pay in taxes per paycheck, so your answers on the calculator can be approximate.</p> <p>Once you have figured out your allowances, request and fill out a W-4 form from your employer&rsquo;s HR department.</p> <p>Granted, this particular money move cannot be completed over breakfast at home, but you can certainly enjoy a conference room bagel in the time it takes you to recalculate your withholding and email HR to request a new W-4 form.</p> <h2>6. Change Your Financial Passwords</h2> <p>It seems as if a major corporation is hacked once every couple of months, which means customer information is vulnerable. You can protect yourself by changing up your passwords on your bank and other financial websites every six months.</p> <p>An easy way to do this without making yourself crazy is to start with a sentence that means something to you:</p> <p>I am waiting for the reincarnation of Elvis.</p> <p>Then substitute letters, numbers, and symbols for each of the words:</p> <p>I@w4troE</p> <p>With that as your base password, you could tailor it to each site so that you can still remember your passwords but each site&rsquo;s password is slightly different. For instance, you might add letters and numbers that represent the site to the end of your base password. For Capital One 360, your password would become:</p> <p>I@w4troECO360</p> <p>Just jot down the original sentence somewhere you can find it. It will remind you of your password, and mean nothing to anyone else.</p> <h2>Breakfast, With a Side of Money Management</h2> <p>Taking care of your money does not have to take you all day. These six money moves can be accomplished over breakfast and will start your day off right.</p> <p><em>What do you do while waiting for the coffee to brew?</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/6-simple-financial-upgrades-you-can-make-during-breakfast">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/7-money-moves-you-will-always-be-thankful-for">7 Money Moves You Will Always Be Thankful For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-organize-your-paperwork-in-just-10-minutes-a-week">How to Organize Your Paperwork in Just 10 Minutes a Week</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-you-can-make-while-stuck-in-an-endless-tsa-line">6 Money Moves You Can Make While Stuck in an Endless TSA Line</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/organizing-your-financial-paperwork">Organizing Your Financial Paperwork</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-online-tools-to-manage-your-money-in-under-10-minutes-a-week">5 Online Tools to Manage Your Money in Under 10 Minutes a Week</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Organization automatic payments bills breakfast money management money moves passwords recurring charges taxes w-4 withholdings Wed, 07 Sep 2016 09:00:09 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1785402 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Avoid These Organizing Mistakes http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-avoid-these-organizing-mistakes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-avoid-these-organizing-mistakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shoes_closet_100515303.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to avoid organizing mistakes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on organizing mistakes you should avoid, money-saving decorating hacks, and a trick to saving money on wants.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.theorderexpert.com/organizing-mistakes/">Organizing Mistakes That You Should Avoid</a> &mdash; Don't assume that you'll always have storage space for something, somewhere. Instead of trying to cram something new into a space, make an exchange and get rid of an older item you don't need. [The Order Expert]</p> <p><a href="http://frugalbeautiful.com/blog/tips-decorating-budget/">Decorating on a Budget: Decorating Hacks To Save You Money</a> &mdash; When you're checking out seasonal sales, look for items that you can use year-round. [Frugal Beautiful]</p> <p><a href="http://www.northerncheapskate.com/a-trick-for-saving-money-on-wants/">A Trick For Saving Money On Wants</a> &mdash; When you want to buy something, put it on a wish list. Leave it there for about a week, then when you revisit the list, decide if you want to prioritize the purchase. [Northern Cheapskate]</p> <p><a href="http://bargainbriana.com/make-mornings-easier-family/">How to Make Mornings Easier for Your Family</a> &mdash; Remind yourself to stay calm no matter how flustered you feel. Breathing fire at your family won't get them to move any faster. [Bargain Briana]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Clean-Your-Clothes-Dryer-34432465">Here's How to Clean Your Clothes Dryer in Minutes</a> &mdash; Follow these steps to keep your dryer clean and running in top shape! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.shebudgets.com/home-organizing/five-important-items-dangerous-keep-wrong-place/71065">Five Important Items it&rsquo;s Dangerous to Keep in the Wrong Place</a> &mdash; Some junk mail may already contain personal information. Do yourself a favor and run them through a shredder before tossing them out. [SheBudgets]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cleverdude.com/content/4-things-you-need-to-do-when-creating-a-post-on-craigslist/">4 Things You Need To Do When Creating A Post On Craigslist</a> &mdash; Let potential buyers know exactly what you're selling by creating a descriptive title for your post. [Clever Dude]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mydollarplan.com/4-steps-to-turn-around-a-financial-failure/">4 Steps to Turn Around a Financial Failure</a> &mdash; The first step is to admit that you failed. This can be really hard to do, but it's necessary if you want to overcome the failure. [My Dollar Plan]</p> <p><a href="http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/pay-less-counseling/">How To Pay Less When You Need Counseling</a> &mdash; The cost of professional counseling may be daunting, but there are ways to get the help you need &mdash; affordably. [Bible Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-make-the-perfect-diy-school-lunch-for-kids">How to Make the Perfect DIY School Lunch for Kids</a> &mdash; Designate bins for different categories of lunch box approved items. When the bins are ready, let your kids choose what they want. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-avoid-these-organizing-mistakes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/10-easiest-items-to-flip-for-cash">10 Easiest Items to &quot;Flip&quot; for Cash</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/best-ways-to-count-and-cash-in-your-change">Best Ways to Count (and Cash in) Your Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-a-mindfulness-journal-can-fix-your-life">7 Ways a Mindfulness Journal Can Fix Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-organizing-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Easy Organizing Changes You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization best money tips organizing mistakes Fri, 02 Sep 2016 09:30:27 +0000 Amy Lu 1784335 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things You Should Never Pack for Vacation http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-pack-for-vacation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-you-should-never-pack-for-vacation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_new_shoes_45790784.jpg" alt="Finding things you should never pack on vacation" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Going on a vacation is supposed to be fun, so you never want to get weighed down by what you're packing. Here's a useful list of items you will never need once you get wherever you're going. These things will become a waste of space in your luggage, not to mention a waste of the time you'll spend packing and unpacking them.</p> <h2>1. Multiple Pairs of Shoes</h2> <p>I get it, shoes are awesome. But if you're being completely honest with yourself, whether you're going on a weeklong trip or you'll be backpacking around the world, you don't need that many pairs of shoes. It may be hard, but it's not impossible to pare down your shoes.</p> <p>Shoes take up space and they weigh a fair amount. You will never regret bringing one pair of functional, semi-fashionable sneakers. These will come in handy at literally any destination, since traveling usually entails some amount of walking. So be kind to your feet and bring appropriate footwear.</p> <p>Depending on your destination, you should also bring <em>one </em>pair of versatile sandals. This means something that you can wear out at night or to the beach during the day. These should not give you blisters within five minutes of putting them on your feet.</p> <h2>2. Excessive Toiletries</h2> <p>You might have a complicated and involved skin care routine that includes face wash, toner, moisturizer, eye cream, and more. You might be loathe to go without your favorite bath soap and shampoo during your trip. But you'll survive. Not only do these items take up space, they have the potential to leak and get flagged by security. Use what the hotel or a local store offers. It'll be fine, really.</p> <h2>3. Too Many Electronics</h2> <p>We all love our gadgets and electronics. Surely, you're going to bring your phone and maybe your computer along. But traveling is also a time to disconnect, and you don't want to get bogged down into organizing and packing all of those extra charging cords &mdash; only to end up not using any of them because you were too busy having a good time.</p> <p>Electronics take up space, they weigh a lot, and they're an extra thing to worry about getting stolen since they're usually among the higher-value items you'll have with you. Limit it and reduce them whenever it's possible.</p> <h2>4. Towels</h2> <p>That's right. They seem like an item you can't live without, but you really don't need to pack towels. If you are on a backpacking trip, you can bring a microfiber backpacking towel along or just dry off with a cotton T-shirt.</p> <p>Towels that are packed away in your bag for any amount of time are going to get stinky and funky really fast. You'll be happier you left them at home.</p> <h2>5. Easy and Cheap Things You Can Buy</h2> <p>Nobody should be packing anything that you'll want to buy once you've reached your destination (preferably with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">no foreign transaction fee credit card</a>). Consider the place you're going and identify things you're interested in buying, whether they're practical items that cost less or just souvenirs.</p> <p>Don't bring anything that falls into this category. You can always make your purchases on the road with space to spare in your bag.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-things-you-should-never-pack-for-vacation&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20Things%20You%20Should%20Never%20Pack%20for%20Vacation.jpg&amp;description=5%20Things%20You%20Should%20Never%20Pack%20for%20Vacation" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Things%20You%20Should%20Never%20Pack%20for%20Vacation.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-pack-for-vacation">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/9-affordable-travel-items-that-you-shouldnt-leave-home-without">9 Affordable Travel Items That You Shouldn&#039;t Leave Home Without</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-saving-travel-gadgets">5 Money Saving Travel Gadgets</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-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</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-avoid-theft-while-traveling">How to Avoid Theft While Traveling</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-smart-travel-hacks-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Smart Travel Hacks Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization Travel airports electronics leave behind luggage packing shoes suitcases toiletries towels vacation Fri, 02 Sep 2016 09:00:09 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1780047 at http://www.wisebread.com