financial mistakes http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/16289/all en-US Best Money Tips: Common Retirement Planning Mistakes http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-common-retirement-planning-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-common-retirement-planning-mistakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/VJjOoQNXxDI9qISm1io8Qtb3Hq6-t9bbHsXthSAUqp4/mtime:1415822452/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-reviewing-bills-77744657-small_0.jpg" alt="couple reviewing bills" title="couple reviewing bills" 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 some very cool articles on common retirement planning mistakes, amazing ways to use balloons, and stocking your medicine cabinet for less.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://couplemoney.com/retirement/what-are-the-most-common-mistakes-people-make-when-planning-for-retirement">What Are the Most Common Mistakes People Make When Planning for Retirement?</a> &mdash; Don't wait until you have more money to invest; time is one of your biggest allies when it comes to retirement planning, so start as soon as possible! [Couple Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Uses-Balloons-31135985">23 Amazing Ways to Use Balloons</a> &mdash; You can use balloons make chocolate cups for all sorts of yummy treats! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2014/11/10/cold-and-flu-season-stock-your-medicine-cabinet-for-less/">Cold and Flu Season: Stock Your Medicine Cabinet for Less</a> &mdash; Buying generic medications can save you up to 50% or more. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/how-to-dispute-a-credit-card-charge/">Know Your Rights: How to Dispute a Credit Card Charge</a> &mdash; Contact the merchant first. Most businesses will happily correct a mistake. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://couponpal.com/blog/7-ugly-christmas-sweater-party-ideas-for-the-tackiest-party-ever">7 Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Ideas for the Tackiest Party Ever</a> &mdash; The focus of any Ugly Christmas Sweater Party will obviously be the sweaters. To ensure you have the best (or worst), start with a mildly ugly sweater, then add strategically-placed DIY embellishments. [CouponPal]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://ptmoney.com/financial-worries-for-millenials/">3 Financial Worries That Didn't Exist for Your Parents</a> &mdash; The sophistication of data mining is fairly new. Having access to your search information allows companies to tailor their marketing to what you're looking for, making it harder and harder to resist their tactics. [PT Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneywisdom.com/5-smart-internet-businesses-to-start-under-50/">5 Smart Internet Businesses to Start for Under $50</a> &mdash; Are you crafty or artistic? You can make some extra money by creating custom gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and more! [Free Wisdom]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dontpayfull.com/blog/top-10-painless-ways-to-save-money-without-changing-your-lifestyle">Top 10 Painless Ways to Save Money Without Changing Your Lifestyle!</a> &mdash; Many companies will offer a discount when you sign up for their bundled packages. [Don't Pay Full]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-not-spoil-your-kids-this-christmas">How to Not Spoil Your Kids This Christmas</a> &mdash; Set a limit on the number of gifts each child receives &mdash; or how much you spend on them &mdash; and stick to it! [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/improve-credit-score/">How to Improve Your Credit Score by Focusing on Payment History and Reducing Credit Card Debt</a> &mdash; Your payment history is a big part of most credit scoring models. If you're serious about improving your credit score, then you need to start making your payments on time. [Money Smart Life]</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-common-retirement-planning-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-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/12-surprising-things-women-should-know-about-retirement-planning">12 Surprising Things Women Should Know About Retirement Planning</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-step-by-step-guide-to-rolling-over-your-401k">The Step-by-Step Guide to Rolling Over Your 401(k)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-max-out-your-ira-contributions-by-april-15th">7 Ways to Max Out Your IRA Contributions by April 15th</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-things-people-who-retire-early-do">9 Things People Who Retire Early Do</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-much-should-you-have-saved-for-retirement-by-30-40-50">How Much Should You Have Saved for Retirement by 30? 40? 50?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement best money tips financial mistakes Wed, 12 Nov 2014 20:00:10 +0000 Amy Lu 1253955 at http://www.wisebread.com What Is Your Financial Kryptonite (and How to Conquer It) http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-your-financial-kryptonite-and-how-to-conquer-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-is-your-financial-kryptonite-and-how-to-conquer-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/446OERWS1C68epyKHSq9K5OVV4Vz93s1hDkx6o19Bog/mtime:1403262045/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/paying-bills-476200641-small_0.jpg" alt="paying bills" title="paying bills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="152" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you worry about keeping up with the Joneses? One way or another, we all battle some sort of financial demon we'd be better off without. What's your personal financial weakness &mdash; and how can you conquer it? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-mistakes-to-stop-making-in-2014?ref=seealso">10 Financial Mistakes to Stop Making in 2014</a>)</p> <h2>Sucker for the Sale</h2> <p>Stocking up on sale products that are staples in your family's cupboards is a prudent savings strategy &mdash; why not buy a couple of bottles of mustard at the beginning of barbeque season if the store is offering them at a deep discount? But do you find yourself tempted to buy things &mdash; groceries, clothing, garden supplies, or hair products &mdash; just because they're on sale?</p> <p>To avoid sale-induced buyer's remorse, you may want to ask yourself a few questions before reaching for your wallet:</p> <ul> <li>Would I buy this product if it weren't on sale? <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Will I &mdash; or other family members &mdash; use it, wear it, or eat it?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Will I &mdash; or other family members &mdash; notice or care if I try a new brand because it's cheaper than what we normally buy? One brand of kidney beans may be interchangeable with the next, but what about socks? Do we like what we like, or are we open to change?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Is the sale price significantly lower than the normal price? (This is a particularly good one for groceries; often the sale price is mere pennies lower than the normal price.)</li> </ul> <h2>Never Enough Shoes</h2> <p>Do you have an Emelda Marcos affinity for shoes? Or baseball hats, sunglasses, ties, scarves, eye shadow&hellip;? You get the picture. Some people can't pass up their shopping weakness. It's as if the shoes, hats, sunglasses, and makeup call their name when they pass that section of the store. If you're flush with cash, no issue. If not, buying your favorite temptation can become one.</p> <p>Slow the impulse by thinking through the purchase. Will this pair of shoes complete more than a few outfits? Are they really comfortable, or will I wear them once before they accumulate dust in the closet? Can I afford them?</p> <p>Another strategy is to take inventory before heading to the mall. If you know that you need a new pair of black flats, great! Happy hunting. If you see three pair of black flats already taking up space on your shoe rack, you may want to have a little pre-mall talk with yourself&hellip; something along the lines of &quot;no more black flats &mdash; no matter how cute they are, or how deep the discount!&quot;</p> <p>Shopping is all about choices; make wise ones that you won't regret. There is such a thing as having enough shoes.</p> <h2>Buying in Bulk for the Sake of Buying in Bulk</h2> <p>Do you find yourself drawn to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bulk-buying-basics-what-to-buy-how-to-store-and-money-saving-tips">buying things in bulk</a> because you are convinced it's a better value? It may be &mdash; but only if you use what you buy. Warehouse stores often package popular grocery products like chips, nutrition bars, and sports drinks, for example, in variety packs. But let's face it: If you always wind up with the seven bags of onion-flavored potato chips at the end of the box because nobody in the family is willing to eat them, is it really a bargain? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco?ref=seealso">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a>)</p> <p>Warehouse stores indeed offer great values &mdash; but be an informed consumer to maximize your buying power. Know your per-unit prices to make sure you're getting as good a deal as you think you are.</p> <h2>Falling for &quot;Once-a-Year&quot; Sales</h2> <p>No offense to mattress stores, but they are famous for their &quot;once-a-year&quot; sales events. Yet, somehow, each month, they come up with a clever new name for a new sale. Sure, different manufacturers and models might be featured during each promotion, but don't fall prey to the pressure of having to hurry and buy now &mdash; before these never-seen-before-or-again prices &mdash; disappear.</p> <p>If you ever watch TV, you can't help but notice the super special deals on cars this month. Or next month. Or the month after that.</p> <p>Big-ticket purchases should be carefully researched to avoid expensive mistakes and buyer's remorse. Buy a new mattress, car, or other big-ticket item when you need one &mdash; and after you've had the chance to read reviews, take enough test drives, and comparison shop. Don't place the timing of these purchases in the hands of the advertisers who can lure you into believing that <em>now</em> is your once-a-year opportunity to get a good deal.</p> <h2>Waiting for &quot;Later&quot; to Save</h2> <p>Many people think setting aside money as savings is what you do with &quot;extra&quot; funds. How many of us have &quot;extra&quot; funds at the end of our paychecks? Make a savings plan part of your mandatory monthly expenses, and watch your cushion fund grow over time. Start with a small amount ($25 per paycheck, or whatever figure you feel won't crimp your grocery budget) or a percentage of your paycheck, and gradually increase it incrementally over time.</p> <p>Personal finance expert Jean Chatzy offers a retirement <a href="https://www.jeanchatzky.com/tools/retirement-nestegg-calculator/">nest egg calculator</a> that can help you determine the amount of money you need to set aside for a comfortable retirement dependent on your current age, income and over factors.</p> <h2>Buy Now; Pay Later</h2> <p>Do you find yourself afflicted with the &quot;can't hardly&quot; syndrome? As in, I can't hardly wait until I can afford to buy this new leather jacket, so I'll just charge it and worry about paying for it later? Short-term gratification can result in long-term pain.</p> <p>Purchases made on credit cards aren't &quot;free.&quot; You still have to pay for them at the end of the credit card cycle. Paying the required minimum each month results in huge interest charges, snowballing the balance and increasing your debt load. Bankrate estimates the <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/finance/credit-cards/rate-roundup.aspx">average credit card interest rate</a> to be 15.6% for variable rate credit cards, but many fixed rate card charge much higher rates, many over 22% on unpaid balances. Accumulating debt, hoping for the day that your finances will improve is venturing into dangerous territory.</p> <p>Responsible use of credit cards can be a prudent way to manage cash flow &mdash; and collect rewards (<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">airline miles</a>, hotel points, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">cash back</a>, etc.). But they are not meant to cover purchases you can't afford.</p> <p>Of course on the flip side, there are people who are so afraid of accumulating credit card debt that they use only cash, debit cards, or checks. But the only way to build credit (which everyone needs to qualify for rent, mortgage, car leases, or or other loans) is to use credit.</p> <h2>Fear of Investing</h2> <p>Handing over your money to someone else to manage for you is scary stuff. But knowledge is power. Become an informed investor and let your money work for you. Part of that education process is finding an investment advisor that you trust. Together, you can work as a team to grow your fortune, take risks within your comfort level, and plan for a financially comfortable retirement. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/begin-your-investing-career-right-with-some-mutual-fund-basics?ref=seealso">Begin Your Investing Career Right With Some Mutual Fund Basics</a>)</p> <p><em>What's your personal financial kryptonite? Please tell us how you combat it in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mardee-handler">Mardee Handler</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-your-financial-kryptonite-and-how-to-conquer-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/if-youre-doing-these-5-things-your-saving-efforts-are-for-nothing">If You&#039;re Doing These 5 Things, Your Saving Efforts Are for Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-inspiring-people-who-each-paid-off-over-100000-in-debt">5 Inspiring People Who Each Paid Off Over $100,000 in Debt</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-financial-obstacles-that-are-especially-tough-for-women">5 Financial Obstacles That Are Especially Tough for Women</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-personal-finance-rules-you-should-be-breaking">15 Personal Finance Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance credit financial mistakes investing saving Fri, 20 Jun 2014 11:00:06 +0000 Mardee Handler 1145231 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Decisions That Seem OK Now, but Might Ruin Your Finances Later http://www.wisebread.com/7-decisions-that-seem-ok-now-but-might-ruin-your-finances-later <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-decisions-that-seem-ok-now-but-might-ruin-your-finances-later" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/CUVS-f5FdJW2jHFTh4qV0WDI-Lj3xzDXZIM0fqYmSDY/mtime:1400055238/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/oops-3411862-small.jpg" alt="oops" title="oops" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>No matter how hard they try, some people can't get out of the financial hole they've created. This might be due to financial circumstances beyond their control, such as a job loss or medical debt. But a lot of times, financial worries are the direct result of poor choices.</p> <p>Some decisions can have disastrous financial consequences, but there are ways to avert these setbacks. Before you can make a smart money move, however, you have to recognize bad ones. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/our-worst-financial-mistakes-and-what-you-can-learn-from-them?ref=seealso">Our Worst Financial Mistakes</a>)</p> <h2>1. Cosigning a Loan</h2> <p>Regardless of whether it's your child or your sibling, cosigning a loan can be financial (and credit) suicide.</p> <p>As a cosigner, you're not a silent partner in the deal. From a lender's standpoint, you're just as responsible for the loan. The primary signer may vow to pay the loan on time and promise to protect your credit history, but there are never any guarantees. If this person defaults, you'll have to repay the debt, or else suffer the financial and credit consequences.</p> <h2>2. Marrying Poorly</h2> <p>It's easy to overlook financial warning signs when you're in love and planning a marriage. However, before you walk down the aisle, it's important to determine whether your partner is a financial match.</p> <p>If your partner is irresponsible with money, this could not only set you back financially, it could also strain your marriage. It might take longer to buy a house or start a family; and if the majority of your partner's money goes toward debt, you might cover more than your fair share of household expenses, which can be burdensome and frustrating. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/say-no-7-reasons-why-you-shouldnt-get-married-if-youre-in-debt?ref=seealso">7 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Get Married If You're in Debt</a>)</p> <p>Have a candid financial discussion with your partner. Your finances don't have to be perfect. But if you know what you're dealing with, and if both of you are on the same page, you can work together to improve your finances. This way, there are no surprises after tying the knot.</p> <h2>3. Delaying 401(k) Contributions</h2> <p>Many employees have the option of enrolling in an employer-sponsored retirement plan. If you're given this option, you owe it to yourself to consider the possibility. Regrettably, some people put off retirement planning for as long as they can. But the longer you wait, the less you'll have when you're ready to leave the workforce.</p> <p>For example, a 20-year-old who contributes $5,000 annually to her retirement plan can amass about $2.2 million by age 65. However, if she waits until 40 to start saving and contributes $5,000 annually until retirement, she would only have $430,000 in the account by age 65. This is based on an average 8% return. Don't wait.</p> <h2>4. Living Beyond Your Means</h2> <p>Buying a house is the so-called American dream. But you shouldn't break the bank or overextend yourself to achieve this dream. Too often, homebuyers become overly excited and fall in love with houses that are beyond reach.</p> <p>You might be able to afford a house on paper. But even if a lender says you qualify for a certain amount, you need to evaluate your other monthly expenses. For example, you might pay a lot for health insurance, auto insurance, day care, or have other expenses that don't appear on your credit report.</p> <p>There's nothing wrong with getting the dream, just make sure you can afford the dream. If you end up house poor, there'll be little cash for savings and extras.</p> <h2>4. Using Credit Cards as an Extension of Income</h2> <p>Having a credit card with a $10,000 credit line doesn't mean you have an extra $10,000 to spend this year &mdash; unless you can afford to pay off the card.</p> <p>Credit cards are safer when used for emergencies, or when you're able to pay off charges. Unfortunately, some people think of credit cards as their &quot;I-can-buy-whatever-I-want-card.&quot; They might charge entertainment, clothes, and other basic needs &mdash; without any type of plan to pay off this debt. Credit card balances can accumulate quickly, and once you add in interest, it might take years to pay off balances.</p> <h2>5. Not Building an Emergency Savings Account</h2> <p>You might feel as if you have a lifetime to worry about saving money. However, a financial crisis can happen to anyone, regardless of age. Don't think that you're invincible. If you don't build a cash reserve, you might rely on credit cards whenever you need cash. And if you charge an expensive house or car repair to a high-interest credit card, you may have difficulty paying down the balance.</p> <p>To build your savings, set aside 10% of your check each pay period. For this to happen, make adjustments in other areas. Can you lower your entertainment budget or reduce miscellaneous spending? Or maybe you can save on transportation and groceries. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-ways-to-save-money-around-the-house?ref=seealso">101 Ways to Save Money Around the House</a>)</p> <h2>7. Quitting Your Job Prematurely</h2> <p>You might be eager to quit your job once your home-based business grows. However, quitting your job before you're ready can have serious financial consequences. There are highs and lows when running a business. And if you don't prepare for the lows, you may not have cash in the bank to survive hard times.</p> <p>Only quit your job if you have an adequate cash reserve, perhaps six or eight months. And only leave your job if the amount you're bringing in can cover your bills and provide a surplus. This way, you don't have to close shop if you lose one or two clients.</p> <p><em>Did you make a bad decision that set you back financially? What was it? How did you handle it? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-decisions-that-seem-ok-now-but-might-ruin-your-finances-later">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/what-is-your-financial-kryptonite-and-how-to-conquer-it">What Is Your Financial Kryptonite (and How to Conquer It)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-mistakes-to-stop-making-in-2014">10 Financial Mistakes to Stop Making in 2014</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-small-mistakes-that-can-ruin-your-finances">10 Small Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-decisions-with-unexpected-financial-consequences">5 Decisions With Unexpected Financial Consequences</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-was-your-financial-fork-in-the-road">What Was Your Financial Fork in the Road?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance bad decisions financial decisions financial mistakes oops Wed, 14 May 2014 08:12:28 +0000 Mikey Rox 1139198 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Financial Mistakes to Stop Making in 2014 http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-mistakes-to-stop-making-in-2014 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-financial-mistakes-to-stop-making-in-2014" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/K1f9zW9bYEGSXo0sRFzXFHEL42bJ6l5WrA8jUgqDNS4/mtime:1389352437/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/finances-76754654.jpg" alt="financial documents" title="financial documents" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While 2013 might not have been as much of a financial whirlwind as what we&#39;ve seen in the past, it seems as if our ability to be frugal, manage our own money, and grow our portfolios is as haphazard as ever. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/evolve-your-money-management-beyond-the-budget?ref=seealso">Money Management Beyond the Budget</a>)</p> <p>Even in the wake of an abundance of information and education on the subject of personal finance, people continue to be plagued by heavy debt, low earning potential, and what seems to be a lot of misplaced energy when it comes to financial activity.</p> <p>The good news is that avoiding these mistakes is simple.</p> <p>It doesn&#39;t take a degree in economics to learn how to be frugal and smart about our own wallets and pocketbooks, even in a time when financial uncertainty is front-and-center on a weekly, if not daily, basis.</p> <p>Regardless of our country&#39;s political and economic situation, this is still a place where you can succeed, and avoiding the following errors will set you up to do so in 2014. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-financial-moves-you-must-make-in-2014?ref=seealso">Financial Moves to Make in the New Year</a>)</p> <h2>1. Stop Using Credit to Pay for Non-Essentials</h2> <p>Of course, if you pay your balance every month, you can take advantage of credit card rewards programs. But if you can&#39;t, or if you want to budget carefully and avoid impulse buys, put away the card, and use cash. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-habits-of-highly-responsible-credit-card-users?ref=seealso">12 Habits of Responsible Credit Card Users</a>)</p> <h2>2. Stop Procrastinating on Your Taxes</h2> <p>If you don&#39;t have your ducks in a row for your 2013 taxes, it&#39;s a little late now. However, you can be ready and prepared for when things come around <em>next</em> year to make sure you get what you&#39;re owed in a return.</p> <p>Keep an envelope with receipts of all tax-deductible expenses for 2014; basically anything for your business or anything that comes out of your pocket for work-related expenses or your home, if you have a mortgage.</p> <p>For this year&#39;s tax return, keep a folder of all tax-related documents from employers, banks, etc, so you have everything you need to process your return. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tax-document-checklist-what-to-gather-before-doing-your-taxes?ref=seealso">Tax Document Checklist</a>)</p> <h2>3. Stop Wasting Money on Unnecessary Protection Plans</h2> <p>Extended warranties, protection plans, and extra insurances are usually unnecessary. If you buy a new washer and it breaks after the year-long manufacturer&#39;s warranty runs out, just call a local repairman. He&#39;ll probably fix it for a lot less than what the extended warranty would have cost.</p> <h2>4. Stop Deferring Home Maintenance</h2> <p>Although home prices are <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/us-home-prices-increase-slower-rate-october-21378664">still gaining slowly</a>, the housing market is likely to improve in 2014. That means that any equity you can put into your home will help improve its value, even if it&#39;s just cosmetic. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-renovations-that-almost-pay-for-themselves?ref=seealso">Home Renovations That Pay for Themselves</a>)</p> <h2>5. Stop Waiting to Buy a House</h2> <p>If you&#39;re looking to buy a house but have been putting it off, don&#39;t wait too much longer. After dropping to historic lows, interest rates are inching up again and are likely to continue doing so in 2014, making buying a house more difficult to afford.</p> <h2>6. Stop Forgetting to Pay Yourself First</h2> <p>Don&#39;t wait for your income to increase to put money into savings. If you treat your savings account like that, it&#39;ll never see a dime of contribution. Instead, curb your spending and prioritize at least a modest contribution to your savings account on a regular basis.</p> <h2>7. Stop Avoiding Retirement Savings</h2> <p>A lot of people (especially those in their 20s and early 30s) are content to completely ignore the topic of long-term savings and retirement planning. Keep in mind that the younger you start saving and planning for retirement, the easier it&#39;ll be on your cash flow.</p> <p>If you start in your mid-20s, a weekly contribution to a low-risk mutual fund, 401k or IRA of around $20 is more than enough. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retirement-planning-if-you-re-under-30?ref=seealso">Retirement Planning If You&#39;re Under 30</a>)</p> <h2>8. Stop Spending Too Much on Entertainment</h2> <p>Entertainment is important, and you shouldn&#39;t starve yourself of fun and down time.</p> <p>But if you&#39;ve got a subscription to Netflix <em>and</em> Hulu Plus to go along with the Ancestry.com account you&#39;ve never used and the premium subscription to Spotify, it&#39;s time to cut back.</p> <p>Pick one or two that you actually use and enjoy, then get your cancellation on. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-money-on-entertainment?ref=seealso">How to Save Money on Entertainment</a>)</p> <h2>9. Stop Going Into to Debt for Education</h2> <p><a href="http://katiecouric.com/videos/dirty-jobs-mike-rowe-college/">Mike Rowe</a> will tell you, a traditional college experience is not necessary or right for everyone. If you&#39;re planning to go into an exorbitant amount of debt for continuing your education, you need to weigh the cost against what the degree can eventually get you in terms of a paycheck.</p> <p>That&#39;s not to say that college is bad or always the wrong choice, but choose how you invest in your education carefully. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/learning-without-the-high-cost-of-higher-education?ref=seealso">Learning Without the High Cost of Higher Education</a>)</p> <h2>10. Stop Thinking Paycheck-to-Paycheck</h2> <p>It&#39;s fine to have a short-term budget and a weekly idea of what you make and spend, but too often this leads to a paycheck-to-paycheck kind of mentality, where you have money going out as quickly as it comes in.</p> <p>Take the time to have a forward-thinking approach to your budget and finances that leaves room for both the present, the future and the unforeseen. In other words, don&#39;t neglect good financial planning just because you have &quot;enough to get by.&quot;</p> <h2>Making 2014 a Good Year</h2> <p>If you&#39;re able to avoid the pitfalls, you can make 2014 a good year in terms of your personal finances. Often managing your money is more about avoiding mistakes and being consistent than it is about being a brilliant economist. Make sure you commit to saving, avoid non-essential debt, and think long-term.</p> <p>It&#39;ll almost certainly make a difference if you weren&#39;t doing those things in 2013.</p> <p><em>What personal finance mistakes are you committed to stopping in 2014? Please tell us in comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-mistakes-to-stop-making-in-2014">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/10-small-mistakes-that-can-ruin-your-finances">10 Small Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-personal-finance-books-you-should-read">6 Personal Finance Books You Should Read</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-financial-lessons-everyone-should-learn-by-kindergarten">5 Financial Lessons Everyone Should Learn by Kindergarten</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-personal-finance-lessons-women-learn-in-their-20s">8 Personal Finance Lessons Women Learn in Their 20s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-important-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-their-20s-did-you">The 5 Most Important Financial Lessons People Learn in Their 20s (Did You?)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance financial mistakes money lessons money mistakes Fri, 10 Jan 2014 10:48:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1109741 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Small Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Finances http://www.wisebread.com/10-small-mistakes-that-can-ruin-your-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-small-mistakes-that-can-ruin-your-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/qI5GqdT0AAFDmMuoZEY7f4fKesOeQf6R17bIxHsUaZs/mtime:1387968764/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stress-4973257-small.jpg" alt="money stress" title="money stress" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As far as money goes, you may feel that you&#39;re on the right track. But even if you work hard and strive to make smart financial decisions, it only takes one or two small mistakes to ruin your good thing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/our-worst-financial-mistakes-and-what-you-can-learn-from-them?ref=seealso">Our Worst Financial Mistakes</a>)</p> <h2>1. Underestimating Your Insurance Needs</h2> <p>Whether you&#39;re buying health insurance, renter&#39;s insurance, or auto insurance, it pays to have adequate coverage. Some people choose policies with the least amount of coverage to lower their premiums. This is financially beneficial on a monthly basis, but without sufficient coverage, you could easily deplete your savings replacing belongings or covering the cost of auto repairs or medical expenses.</p> <p>Work with an insurance broker or financial planner to determine your insurance needs and then purchase adequate coverage for yourself and family. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-life-insurance-do-i-need?ref=seealso">How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?</a>)</p> <h2>2. Saving Too Little</h2> <p>A few hundred dollars in your savings account comes in handy when you need an auto repair or cash for another small, unexpected expense. Unfortunately, a small savings account may not provide enough cash to cover major financial setbacks, such as a job loss. And without cash to pay your bills, you could lose your house and car.</p> <p>Building a 12-month cash reserve might be a stretch, but if you can establish a three- to six-month cash reserve, this might carry you until the financial situation improves. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-online-savings-accounts?ref=seealso">Best Online Savings Accounts</a>)</p> <h2>3. Ignoring Your Partner&#39;s Money Behavior</h2> <p>If you&#39;re in a relationship and thinking about tying the knot, do not ignore iffy money behavior. Your partner may shop excessively and leave bills unopened, or maybe you suspect that he or she has bad credit. Just know that these issues could affect your financial future. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-should-ask-in-the-money-talk?ref=seealso">Money Questions That Couples Should Ask</a>)</p> <p>If you get married (or move in with someone) and then discover your partner is bad with money, you could end up covering more than your fair share of household expenses. And depending on whether you share a checking or savings account, your partner could squander money, leaving you with nothing.</p> <h2>4. Staying in a Dead End Job</h2> <p>You may like your boss, your coworkers, and the company. But if you&#39;re stuck in a dead end job, you&#39;ll eventually hit a financial plateau.</p> <p>The decision to stay in your current position may not ruin your finances today. But as the cost-of-living increases &mdash; and your income remains the same &mdash; you could start relying on credit cards or dipping into your savings account to make ends meet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-career-changes-you-can-make-today?ref=seealso">Career Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <h2>5. Carrying a Balance on Your Credit Card</h2> <p>This seemingly small mistake can cost you big. Not only will you pay interest on the credit card month after month, but the more you owe the higher your minimum payments. This creates financial problems if minimum payments are too much for your budget, and you might miss a payment or two.</p> <p>Your credit card company will then charge a late fee, and if you&#39;re more than 60 days late on a credit card payment, the company can increase your interest rate. This lateness could negatively impact your interest rate on future loans and credit cards, resulting in higher financing costs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-strategies-to-wipe-out-your-credit-card-balance?ref=seealso">5 Ways to Wipe out Your Credit Card Balance</a>)</p> <h2>6. Paying the Mortgage Late</h2> <p>If you have a long history of on-time mortgage payments, you may view a single late payment as a small mistake that won&#39;t damage your credit score. However, a 30-day late mortgage payment has a huge impact on scores. And the higher your credit score, the bigger the hit.</p> <p>There are no hard and fast rules regarding how many points you&#39;ll lose, but being 30 or more days late <a href="http://blog.readyforzero.com/one-late-mortgage-payment-hurt-credit-score/">can knock 80 to 100 points off your score</a>.</p> <h2>7. Failing to Maintain a Budget</h2> <p>Maybe you don&#39;t have the patience to sit down and develop a spending plan. Then again, maybe you feel that budgets are pointless &mdash; as long as there&#39;s enough to pay the bills; to each his own. Understand, however, that this small mistake can hurt your finances.</p> <p>Budgets are designed to keep your money on track, and when you don&#39;t have a budget, there&#39;s a greater chance that you&#39;ll overspend each month. And when you overspend, you increase the likelihood of going in the hole. Lack of a budget can also affect your savings plan. Those who don&#39;t budget tend to spend first and save later. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps?ref=seealso">How to Build Your First Budget</a>)</p> <h2>8. Doing Business With a Handshake</h2> <p>Whether you&#39;re lending money to friends or family, or providing a service, skipping a formal contract can be disastrous to your personal finances.</p> <p>Contracts outline the terms of a loan or service agreement, such as compensation. These essentially serve as a protection, ensuring you receive what&#39;s owed.</p> <p>If you&#39;re working with friends and family, you may skip the formality and rely on trust. But without anything in writing, your friend or family member may choose not to pay up. And depending on how much you have on the line, this breach can hit your pocket hard. A contract, however, gives you the option to take legal action. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-it-in-writing-a-quick-guide-to-agreements-and-contracts?ref=seealso">A Quick Guide to Contracts and Agreements</a>)</p> <h2>9. Oversharing on Social Media</h2> <p>You may see nothing wrong with partying and hanging out with friends. But if you&#39;re documenting your every move on social media, you can end up in hot water when applying for jobs.</p> <p>Nowadays, more and more employers are turning to social media to assess whether a job applicant is a right match for a company. It takes more than skills, education, and experience to land a job &mdash; you also need a good reputation. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoiding-social-media-slip-ups-at-work?ref=seealso">How to Avoid Social Media Slip-Ups at Work</a>)</p> <h2>10. Cosigning a Loan for Family or Friends</h2> <p>You undoubtedly worked hard for your high credit score; don&#39;t let anyone guilt you into cosigning a loan. Agreeing to cosign a loan can help someone get the financing they need. And if this person pays the loan as agreed, everything can work out fine. Still, you can&#39;t ignore the possibility of default, at which time you become responsible for any outstanding balance &mdash; and the potential hit to your credit rating.</p> <p><em>Any other small mistakes that balloon into financial disasters? Share them in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-small-mistakes-that-can-ruin-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-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/10-financial-mistakes-to-stop-making-in-2014">10 Financial Mistakes to Stop Making in 2014</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/what-is-your-financial-kryptonite-and-how-to-conquer-it">What Is Your Financial Kryptonite (and How to Conquer It)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-decisions-that-seem-ok-now-but-might-ruin-your-finances-later">7 Decisions That Seem OK Now, but Might Ruin Your Finances Later</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-worst-money-mistakes-married-people-make">The 7 Worst Money Mistakes Married People Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-navigate-3-common-money-arguments-with-your-significant-other">How to Navigate 3 Common Money Arguments With Your Significant Other</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance financial mistakes money mistakes Wed, 25 Dec 2013 10:49:28 +0000 Mikey Rox 1101381 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: What's the Worst Money Mistake You've Ever Made? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-whats-the-worst-money-mistake-youve-ever-made <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-whats-the-worst-money-mistake-youve-ever-made" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/ZwBil7h5p6IkQ_QQJTjq2qoUVu2OPqgH7RurBS7YkV4/mtime:1372156919/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stress-4847397-small.jpg" alt="mistakes" title="mistakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-whats-the-worst-money-mistake-youve-ever-made#comment-656796">NJ</a>, Diane, and Courtney for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Two weeks ago, we asked about the best money move you've ever made. This week, we'd like to jump to the other end of the spectrum.</p> <p><b>What's the worst money mistake you've ever made?</b> What did you do to recover &mdash; or simply plow on &mdash; after the stumble? What lessons did you learn from the experience?</p> <p>Tell us about your worst money mistake and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> <a id="rc-79857d38" class="rafl" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857d38/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><script src="//d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js"></script> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, July 1st at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after July 1st on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us about your worst money mistake and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-whats-the-worst-money-mistake-youve-ever-made">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/ask-the-readers-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores">Ask The Readers: Should Kids Get Paid For Doing Chores?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-did-you-spend-your-first-paycheck">Ask the Readers: How Did You Spend Your First Paycheck?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-i-used-to-but-now-i">Ask the Readers: I used to __, but now I __ to save 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/ask-the-readers-who-are-your-favorite-personal-finance-gurus">Ask The Readers: Who Are Your Favorite Personal Finance Gurus?</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/ask-the-readers-whats-in-your-wallet">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s In Your Wallet?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers financial mistakes Tue, 25 Jun 2013 10:36:31 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 980083 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: 21 Money Mistakes to Avoid http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-21-money-mistakes-to-avoid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-21-money-mistakes-to-avoid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/qkp4hjVk6YI74UGZ358MTEpqNVP_XpLRnQPwHyqC7ww/mtime:1347358376/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/1085298331_bf65f024cb_z.jpg" alt="stop sign" title="stop sign" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></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 some great articles on money mistakes to avoid, apps to help you save at the supermarket, and tasty tailgating recipes.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moolanomy.com/6258/money-problems-and-pitfalls-to-avoid-kmulligan/">21 Money Mistakes and Problems to Avoid</a> &mdash; Try not to rely on your job as the only source of income. Diversify! [Moolanomy]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Best-Grocery-Apps-20133901">7 Apps That Will Save You Money at the Supermarket</a> &mdash; Find where the sales are with the free app Grocery Pal. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://momadvice.com/blog/2012/09/12-great-tailgating-recipes">12 Great Tailgating Recipes</a> &mdash; Stop the show with a Bacon &amp; Ranch Cheese Ball! [Mom Advice]</p> <p><a href="http://onecentatatime.com/25-ways-to-reduce-your-insurance-premium">25 Ways To Reduce Your Insurance Premium</a> &mdash; Reduce auto insurance costs by installing vehicle safety accessories, like fog lights and automated safety belts. [One Cent at a Time]</p> <p><a href="http://www.milliondollarjourney.com/student-debt-8-ways-to-be-debt-free-sooner.htm">Student Debt: 8 Ways to be Debt-Free Sooner</a> &mdash; Pay more than the minimum monthly amount if you can afford to. [Million Dollar Journey]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/kids-and-money/5-fun-and-cheap-ways-to-entertain-kids/">5 Fun and Cheap Ways to Entertain Kids</a> &mdash; Geocaching is a lot like hunting for treasure. Plus, it's free! [Money Ning]</p> <p><a href="http://freefrombroke.com/are-online-college-classes-right-for-you">Are Online College Classes Right for You?</a> &mdash; If you're a parent, you can save on childcare by taking classes online instead of on campus. [Free From Broke]</p> <p><a href="http://financialhighway.com/how-to-avoid-buying-things-you-dont-really-need">How to Avoid Buying Things You Don&rsquo;t Really Need</a> &mdash; If you don't know how you will use the purchase on a regular basis, leave it. [Financial Highway]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/5-fall-baby-shower-themes">5 Fall Baby Shower Themes</a> &mdash; Use apples and cinnamon to flavor your fall baby shower. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://everythingfinanceblog.com/the-advantages-of-a-semi-monthly-mortgage-payments.html">The Advantages of Semi-Monthly Mortgage Payments</a> &mdash; Pay your mortgage twice a month to lessen the amount of interest you will pay over time. [Everything Finance]</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-21-money-mistakes-to-avoid">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/what-is-your-financial-kryptonite-and-how-to-conquer-it">What Is Your Financial Kryptonite (and How to Conquer It)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-mistakes-to-stop-making-in-2014">10 Financial Mistakes to Stop Making in 2014</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-decisions-that-seem-ok-now-but-might-ruin-your-finances-later">7 Decisions That Seem OK Now, but Might Ruin Your Finances Later</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-small-mistakes-that-can-ruin-your-finances">10 Small Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Finances</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/best-of-personal-finance-41-financial-calculators-for-major-life-decisions">Best Money Tip: 41 Financial Calculators for Major Life Decisions</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance best money tips financial mistakes Tue, 11 Sep 2012 09:48:43 +0000 Amy Lu 954413 at http://www.wisebread.com Common Money-Saving Mistakes That Can Cost Big Bucks http://www.wisebread.com/common-money-saving-mistakes-that-can-cost-big-bucks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/common-money-saving-mistakes-that-can-cost-big-bucks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/bUAbsyiunfHQk_G_QQc34IOanqrcBcA3FMCZM7LMB0o/mtime:1346063297/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/7658196436_9cf5155a71_z.jpg" alt="tearing money" title="tearing money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Thrifty shoppers are always looking for <a href="http://dealnews.com/editors-choice?eref=wisebread">ways to save money</a> whenever possible, whether by cutting weekly or monthly spending, or by stretching your dollar through sales and coupons. But take heed, because some common efforts to save actually result in wasting money. Changing the way you shop, switching to a different financial service, and more &mdash; all under the guise of saving &mdash; can often be more detrimental than you might think. Instead, think twice and avoid these common pitfalls. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-do-to-save-money-that-end-up-costing-you-more">10 Things You Do to Save Money That End Up Costing You More</a>)</p> <h2>Switching Banks</h2> <p><strong>Why You Think It Saves Money:</strong> &quot;Why am I paying all these bank account fees? I'm going to switch banks for a free checking account and more ATMs.&quot;</p> <p><strong>How You Can Overspend:</strong> Despite last year's fervor for <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/moneywisewomen/2011/11/04/will-bank-transfer-day-really-change-anything/">Bank Transfer Day</a>, switching banks can be costly. You can easily incur overdraft fees from un-posted or pre-written checks and from transitioning automatic bill payments and direct deposits. New deposit requirements or availability policies can result in low-balance fees while you learn how to maintain &quot;free&quot; checking accounts.</p> <p><strong>Smarter Saving:</strong> Find a bank that offers free checking with no requirements and a ready-made bank &quot;switch kit.&quot; Keep your old checking account open for several months until you are certain all automatic payments and checks have cleared.</p> <h2>Spending for Rewards</h2> <p><strong>Why You Think It Saves Money:</strong> &quot;I get cash back for things I buy anyway, so put it on the credit card.&quot;</p> <p><strong>How You Can Overspend:</strong> According to a <a href="http://www.credit.com/press/statistics/credit-card-statistics.html?">recent Nilson Report</a>, average monthly spending on a non-rewards credit card totaled $465; with rewards, it reached $890. Clearly, it's easy to feel compelled to spend more when you think that you're earning rewards. But be careful, balances carried over can quickly eclipse rewards as you'll have to pay off interest on your principle balance. Personal finance experts warn, also, that mental accounting weakens with credit card spending. You'll likely have a harder time keeping track of what you're charging than if you were paying for everything in cash.</p> <p><strong>Smarter Saving:</strong> Stick to your shopping budget and always pay off credit card balances before their due date. For rotating rewards categories, spend only in those higher-paying categories (for example, 5% on groceries vs. 1% on gas). Search for a reward credit card with no rewards expiration dates and no annual fees.</p> <h2>Sharing Your Max Monthly Payment</h2> <p><strong>Why You Think It Saves Money:</strong> &quot;The salesman will stick to my monthly payment budget if I tell him what it is.&quot;</p> <p><strong>How You Can Overspend:</strong> Rather than offering you the best price for an item (paid for in installments, like a car or loan), salesmen often try to bloat the package cost so that it reaches (or goes slightly over) your max budget. If they know you're willing to spend a certain amount each month, you can bet they won't opt to <i>under</i>sell you.</p> <p><strong>Smarter Saving:</strong> Stay focused on cutting the overall price of your purchase so that you'll end up with a lower monthly payment. Don't let salespeople pack any extras into your plan.</p> <h2>Shopping at Warehouse Clubs</h2> <p><strong>Why You Think It Saves Money:</strong> &quot;Everybody knows that buying bulk results in a lower cost per unit.&quot;</p> <p><strong>How You Can Overspend:</strong> Not every item at a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-wasting-or-saving-money-with-a-warehouse-club-membership">warehouse club</a> like Sam's or BJ's Wholesale is a great deal; many are bundled and packaged specifically for the warehouse clubs. So even though you're buying a cellophane-wrapped crateload of regular-size items that appears to be cheaper overall, you may not be saving much per unit in the end. Instead, you've succumbed to an expensive impulse buy that you might not actually use completely.</p> <p><strong>Smarter Saving:</strong> Know your grocery store's regular and sale prices, as well as the package sizes of items you buy in bulk at warehouse clubs. Then, do the math to compare the unit price to confirm savings. Make a list of only those warehouse items that save you money and stick to it.</p> <h2>Outlet Shopping</h2> <p><strong>Why You Think It Saves Money:</strong> &quot;They sell last season's brand names at a lower price.&quot;</p> <p><strong>How You Can Overspend:</strong> Not everything at the outlets is of the same quality you'd find at a full-price department stores. In fact, manufacturers often produce cheaper goods specifically for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-outlet-malls-worth-your-time">outlet stores</a>. Moreover, there are plenty of outlet stores online, and many of them will frequently offer additional promotions that beat the savings of shopping at the traditional, brick and mortar outlets.</p> <p><strong>Smarter Saving:</strong> Be sure to compare outlet prices with department store prices, and learn the differences between designer or brand name items. When considering an item, look at the fit, stitching, fabrication, and embellishments, as this is where manufacturers tend to cut costs on producing outlet goods. At department stores, you'd do well to shop end-of-season clearance sales and can save a bundle with&nbsp;<a href="http://dealcoupon.com/">stacking store coupons</a>.</p> <h2>Using a Prepaid Debit Card</h2> <p><strong>Why You Think It Saves Money:</strong> &quot;My paycheck gets deposited directly onto the card so I can automatically use it and avoid bank fees!&quot;</p> <p><strong>How You Can Overspend:</strong> The ads makes prepaid debit cards sound easy, but don't fall prey to their marketing without understanding the swipe/usage or reload fees. These can end up costing more than a &quot;free&quot; checking account with a debit card.</p> <p><strong>Smarter Saving:</strong> Read the fine print on these offers and be sure to read through the fee chart. You should consider a free checking account with no requirements instead; it will help you learn to budget your money and track spending better.</p> <p>The trick is not to act impulsively when employing new ways to save money. Think carefully about the actual costs of your purchases and savings attempts, especially if &quot;saving&quot; costs you upfront.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealnews">Dealnews</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/common-money-saving-mistakes-that-can-cost-big-bucks">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/how-to-switch-banks">How to Switch Banks</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/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-our-brains-want-to-buy-new-stuff-even-when-we-dont-need-it">Why Our Brains Want to Buy New Stuff, Even When We Don&#039;t Need It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-things-you-can-do-today-instead-of-going-shopping">50 Things You Can Do Today Instead of Going Shopping</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/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Banking buying in bulk credit card rewards financial mistakes shopping switch banks Mon, 27 Aug 2012 10:24:40 +0000 Dealnews 952371 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things to Never Keep in Your Wallet http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-never-keep-in-your-wallet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-to-never-keep-in-your-wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/kmaug6KSjj8xkYOcHxD5jGZUePi1gXiHVrqBlmrX46k/mtime:1344422510/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3086995831_a538906018_z.jpg" alt="wallet" title="wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I lost my wallet at the mall the other day. I was paying my bill at the Hallmark card store, and at my next stop in Bath and Body Works, I had to borrow $24 and some change from my 10 year old daughter. My wallet was gone, and I had no recollection of what happened in the two minutes it took me to walk from one store into the next. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-do-immediately-after-losing-your-wallet">10 Things You Should Do Immediately After Losing Your Wallet</a>)</p> <p>I am a personal finance writer, creating hundreds of articles a year on the topic, including tips for preventing financial meltdowns. Yet here I was in the mall, poking through trash cans convinced some jerk took the cash and maybe the credit cards, and ditched the evidence. As all the hassles of what it would take to get back my identity flowed through my head, the only thing I really could not push out of my mind was how stupid I was. If anyone should know better about financial protection, it should be me. I was such a failure.</p> <p>I didn&rsquo;t have an updated list of credit card or contact information. My Social Security card was inside the wallet. Every <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-debit-cards-as-safe-as-credit-cards">credit card/debit card</a> I own was in the wallet along with receipts for the purchases I had been making. I haven&rsquo;t felt so inadequate in a long time &mdash; I mean, I warn people for a living, yet what I practice is not what it is I preach.</p> <p>Despite my despair at being so careless, the story has a happy ending. A nice woman <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-increase-the-chance-of-someone-returning-your-lost-wallet">returned my wallet</a> to the nearest department store and reported her find to mall security. Thankfully everything was intact, and I was even able to call my hero of the day to personally say thank you.</p> <p>However, my good karma that day does not negate my reckless financial behavior. So I am here to confess publicly my disregard for my own advice about wallet safety and add some additional tips about what to remove from your wallet to help avoid financial ruin.</p> <h3>Social Security Card and Birth Certificate</h3> <p>You may have needed this information for some specific purpose and just never took them back out of your wallet, purse, or briefcase, even though you see the documents every time you are looking for something else. Take out such personal information immediately, and file it in a safe at home. Someone with access to this information can essentially do anything you can do in your name, such as open a credit card.</p> <h3>Receipts</h3> <p>While store receipts may not have all of the data one would need to use your credit, debit card, or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/identity-theft/prevent-identity-theft">personal identity</a>, they could provide just enough details for an experienced crook to figure out the rest. If you keep receipts for other reasons, clean them out of your wallet and your vehicle on a regular basis. Dispose of them by shredding them into pieces before they hit the garbage can.</p> <h3>Every Credit Card You Own</h3> <p>You never want to be without access to some kind of money in the event your wallet is stolen. Unlike me, you should only carry one credit card with you for emergency purposes and leave the rest at home. Write down the contact information and card number for each card you do carry, and file it in a safe place so you can easily report the card missing if your wallet is taken. If the thief has access to all of your credit and bank cards, you are basically a sitting duck and will have a mountain of hassle in front of you to get things back to normal.</p> <h3>Spare House Keys</h3> <p>If someone has access to your wallet, there is a strong likelihood your personal identification will lead a thief right to your home. A spare house key is an invitation to steal more. A thief can assume you are still at the mall searching for your lost wallet and may be inclined to go see what good stuff they can get from your house. Not only will you have safety concerns, you&rsquo;ll have to act fast to change locks and increase security at your home while at the same time trying to resolve your other lost wallet issues.</p> <h3>Your PIN Codes</h3> <p>Every card provider tells you to select a password that is easy to remember. Still, some people find they have to write down the information and keep it in their wallets next to their bank cards for easy access. This may be helpful to you when you need to use the ATM, but you can say goodbye to your bank account if you give the same details to the con artist that stole your wallet. Store your password as a phone number in your locked mobile phone or work hard at memorizing the PIN for the card you use most.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-never-keep-in-your-wallet">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/ucla-security-breach-affects-800-000-people-not-just-students">UCLA security breach affects 800,000 people (not just students)</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/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</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/dont-fall-for-these-common-obamacare-scams">Don&#039;t Fall for These Common Obamacare Scams</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/get-your-own-identity-what-to-do-when-yours-is-stolen">Get Your Own Identity! What to do when Yours is Stolen</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/obamacare-fraud-alert-con-artists-prey-on-worried-health-insurance-consumers">Obamacare Fraud Alert: Con Artists Prey on Worried Health Insurance Consumers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs financial mistakes fraud identity theft lost credit cards lost wallet Wed, 08 Aug 2012 10:36:41 +0000 Tisha Tolar 947945 at http://www.wisebread.com