saving money http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/165/all en-US 4 Ways Millennials Are Changing Marriage http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-millennials-are-changing-marriage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-millennials-are-changing-marriage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-478191992.jpg" alt="here&#039;s how millennials are changing marriage" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>According to the Gallup, 59% of Millennials have <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/191462/gallup-analysis-millennials-marriage-family.aspx">never been married</a>. Raise your hand if you're a 20- or 30-something and your parents are hounding you to settle down and give them grandchildren. Oy, that's a lot of hands. Make sure they understand the four ways Millennials are changing marriage.</p> <h2>Marrying Later</h2> <p>It should be no surprise that the <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/163802/marriage-importance-dropped.aspx">youngest generation is marrying later</a>, as this has been a steady trend over the past few generations. However, the number of people born between 1980 and 2000 who are married is even lower than expected. </p> <p>Why wait? Wages are stagnant. More young people are saddled with college debt. More young people are taking longer to earn enough money just to leave their parents' home. More young people are dating longer, and waiting for the right one. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-pitfalls-when-moving-in-together">Couples are living together</a> longer while putting off a wedding. When you don't have a lot of money, support, or time, the idea of spending a ton of time and money planning a wedding doesn't sound so romantic and fun.</p> <h2>Marrying Interracially and LGBT</h2> <p>It's crucial that we see where Millennials are pushing the ball forward, and one of those areas is in continuing the fight against <em>assortative </em>mating, which likely <a href="https://www.brookings.edu/blog/social-mobility-memos/2014/02/10/opposites-dont-attract-assortative-mating-and-social-mobility/">deepens economic inequality</a>. One of the best ways to track this is with interracial dating and marriage.</p> <p>Pew Research Center in 2013 learned that <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/06/12/interracial-marriage-who-is-marrying-out/">6.3% of all newlyweds</a> married a person who was outside of their race. While America has a long history of structural racism that Millennials also take part in, it is worth pointing out the big gains this generation has made in making marriage about love and not rules based on prejudice. </p> <p>It's also worth pointing out that 71% of American Millennials now <a href="http://www.pewforum.org/2016/05/12/changing-attitudes-on-gay-marriage/">support same sex marriage</a>, in contrast to only 55% of the general population overall. Marriage is getting more open and inclusive of all types of Americans, and you can thank Millennials for helping that happen faster.</p> <h2>Marrying With Prenuptial Agreements</h2> <p>This may not be relevant to your average couple living within the median income bracket, but it's an interesting one. According to some lawyers, more Millennials are cool with locking in a contract before the big day. Apparently, just over half of <a href="http://time.com/money/4549526/prenups-millennials-marriage/">lawyers in a poll</a> cited that they saw an uptick in prenuptial agreements in young couples, and only 2% of lawyers cited a decrease in prenups.</p> <p>Why could that be? One theory is that Millennials are entering marriages older and are more willing to have the tough pre-nup conversations. Another is that they are more protective of whatever wealth they have managed to hold onto, and are worried to repeat the mistakes of their parents. Whatever the reason and however you feel about prenups, it's sign that Millennials are more responsible than the media makes them out to be.</p> <h2>Not Marrying at All</h2> <p>Gasp! Clutch your pearls, but marriage is just not going to happen for a lot of people. According to the Olin College of Engineering, the number of both men and women projected to stay unmarried <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161017124248.htm">continues to increase</a>. Professor Downey found that if men were born in the '90s, 30% of them will be unmarried by age 43. For women born in the 1990s, 36% of them are expect to be unmarried by age 43. That's in comparison to 17% of both men and women who were born in the 1970s going unmarried by the same age.</p> <p>Why? Marriage is very personal, and everyone's reasons could very well be different. That said, it's likely that the reasons many Millennials cite for delaying marriage would be the very same reasons some never do it at all. We've learned through myriad surveys, polls, and studies that most Millennials claim to have inherited a less economically stable world than their parents. Since marriage itself is in many ways an economic arrangement, how can we blame them?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-millennials-are-changing-marriage">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-when-youre-rich-dream-buys-that-arent-that-great">5 &quot;When You&#039;re Rich&quot; Dream Buys That Aren&#039;t That Great</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/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-great-wedding-if-you-havent-saved-enough">How to Have a Great Wedding if You Haven&#039;t Saved Enough</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-keep-peer-pressure-from-destroying-your-finances">How to Keep Peer Pressure From Destroying 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/money-saving-tricks-i-learned-planning-an-elopement">Money-Saving Tricks I Learned Planning an Elopement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Lifestyle Dating Economy getting married marriage millennials saving money Spending Money wedding wedding dress wedding fund weddings Wed, 30 Nov 2016 12:30:10 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1844261 at http://www.wisebread.com Earn More Interest by Reducing Savings Friction http://www.wisebread.com/earn-more-interest-by-reducing-savings-friction <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/earn-more-interest-by-reducing-savings-friction" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_phone_513937132.jpg" alt="Woman earning more interest by reducing savings friction" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Friction is the small resistance that stands between you and a transaction. Think of the way your favorite e-tailers remember your credit card information, saving you the hassle of having to get up, find your wallet, and type in your information. Those e-tailers are reducing the friction of your purchase, making it that much more likely for you to buy.</p> <h2>Transaction Costs</h2> <p>We've talked before about how friction is another term for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-more-and-spend-less-by-increasing-your-mental-transaction-costs">mental transaction costs</a>. These are the nonfinancial costs associated with making a purchase or transferring money to a savings account. There are several types of transaction costs that increase friction, but the two that are most likely to affect your ability to save money and control your spending are time costs, and search and information costs.</p> <h3>Time Costs</h3> <p>Any time you have abandoned a purchase in the store because the checkout line was too long and you were unwilling to wait for the slow-as-molasses staff to help you, then you have felt the impact of <em>time costs</em>. Time costs can keep you from saving money because you are unwilling to put in the time to manually transfer the funds.</p> <h3>Search and Information Costs</h3> <p><em>Search and information costs</em>are the work you do to figure out the best course of action for your money. If you have to think about what kind of savings product to use or how much money to transfer to savings, then you are less likely to actually save the money.</p> <p>Friction can help or hurt your bottom line, depending on what type of transaction is affected by it. In general, you want to reduce the friction you feel when you save money, and increase the friction you feel when you spend it. Read on to find ways to use friction to your advantage to increase your savings and reduce your spending.</p> <h2>1. Automate Your Savings</h2> <p>The ultimate way to reduce friction when you save money is to make it automatic. Setting up an automatic transfer from your paycheck into your savings account means that you don't have to think about putting the money aside, find the time to set up the transfer, or agonize about the amount to save. It's a seamless transfer of your money to savings.</p> <h2>2. Move Your Savings Account to Another Bank</h2> <p>For some savers, putting money aside is no problem. The issue is that it's far too easy to access that money. Increase the friction involved in accessing the money in your savings account by opening an account with another bank &mdash; preferably one with no branches near you. Generally, it will take a couple of days for a fund transfer between banks, whereas a transfer within a bank is instantaneous. The time cost of waiting for your savings to transfer from the inconveniently located bank to your checking account will be enough friction to keep you from raiding your savings.</p> <h2>3. Have Your Paycheck Deposited Into Your Savings Account</h2> <p>Many prolific savers put their pay directly into their savings account and then transfer the amount they need for monthly bills into checking. This harnesses both the reduction in savings friction, and the increase in spending friction. Since the money is already deposited into your savings account, there is no friction on that portion of the transaction. Placing the friction on the transfer-to-checking side of the equation allows you to keep more money in savings and lessen the chances that you will spend your money mindlessly.</p> <h2>4. Use an Automatic Savings App to Round Up Your Purchases</h2> <p>Starting with Bank of America's Keep the Change program, which launched back in 2005, technology has been working hard to remove the friction from your savings habit by making it automatic. There are now a slew of different automatic savings apps that do everything from rounding up your purchases and placing the excess into savings (Bank of America's <a href="https://www.bankofamerica.com/deposits/manage/keep-the-change.go">Keep the Change</a> and <a href="https://www.acorns.com/">Acorns</a>), to analyzing your cash flow to determine an amount that's safe to transfer to savings (<a href="https://digit.co/">Digit</a>), to letting you know the amount of money that is still safe to spend in your account (<a href="https://www.getpennies.com/">Pennies</a> and <a href="https://www.levelmoney.com/">Level</a>).</p> <h2>5. Bill Yourself for Savings</h2> <p>If you already have a solid bill-paying routine in place, add one more obligation to your list: yourself. Making &quot;savings&quot; a bill can actually reduce your savings friction because you will complete the action while you are already paying all your other bills. Set up a bill reminder to transfer money to savings on the same day you pay your other regular bills. It will be surprisingly easy to pay yourself if you treat it like a bill.</p> <h2>6. Continue Making Payments on Your Paid Off Loans</h2> <p>Once you have finally sent your lender the last payment for your car loan, your student loan, or your credit card balance, it may be tempting to just enjoy the extra money each month. But a savvier plan would be to continue paying that amount to yourself. As you come to the end of your loan, set up an automatic transfer of the payment amount into your savings account on the same day of the month you paid your loan. That will reduce the friction of saving the amount, because you will not even notice a difference in your monthly spending.</p> <h2>Harnessing Friction for the Win</h2> <p>It is truly amazing how unmotivated we all can be in the face of transaction friction. Increasing your savings and reducing your spending is just a matter of strategically tweaking the friction you will feel when you save or spend money.</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/earn-more-interest-by-reducing-savings-friction">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/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</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/save-money-in-5-seconds-or-less-with-these-27-easy-tricks">Save Money in 5 Seconds or Less With These 29 Easy 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/9-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-autumn">9 Frugal Skills You Must Have to Survive Autumn</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-surprising-ways-summer-will-cost-you">7 Surprising Ways Summer Will Cost You</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> Frugal Living apps automating savings friction loans saving money search and information costs time costs Mon, 28 Nov 2016 11:00:09 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1839211 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Invest When You're In Debt http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-invest-when-youre-in-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-invest-when-youre-in-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/plant_tree_stump_462868653_0.jpg" alt="Learning ways to invest when you&#039;re in debt" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You know you need to begin investing to save for the future, but you still have some debt to pay off. It is possible to take care of both at the same time?</p> <p>The short answer is that yes, you can pay down debt and invest at the same time. In many ways, this is a personal choice. If you despise debt and sleep better at night knowing that you're paying it off as quickly as possible, that's fine. But if you can tolerate paying off debt at a slower rate and investing some money, you may end up ahead of the game financially over the long-term.</p> <p>Here are some things to consider when deciding how much to invest and how much debt to pay off.</p> <h2>1. Minimum Payments First, Then Invest</h2> <p>While it's certainly possible to pay down debt and invest at the same time, it's never a good idea to invest if you can't make your minimum payments first. If you don't make minimum payments, you'll be on the hook for higher interest, late fees, and penalties. Not to mention that your credit score will take a big hit. Consider investing your money only if you know you can set money aside and still make at least the minimum payments on debt.</p> <h2>2. Tackle the High Interest Debt</h2> <p>If your debt is tied up in credit cards and other things that come with high interest rates, you may want to hold off on investing until that's under control. Credit cards have interest rates in the double digits, and you're unlikely to generate an investment return that outpaces that. Once that high-interest debt is down to zero, then investing becomes much more possible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso">Fastest Way to Pay Off 10K in Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>3. Use Your 401K Plan</h2> <p>If you work for an employer that offers a 401K plan or something similar, it's worth taking part even if you have some debt. That's because most employers will match contributions up to a certain amount. So it's like getting free money. Any contributions you make to a 401K are deducted from your taxable income, so there are great tax advantages for taking part. Invest what you can while still paying down your debt. Then, when your debt is paid off, increase your contributions.</p> <h2>4. Look at Low-Cost Mutual Funds and ETFs</h2> <p>If most of your debt is tied up in low-interest things like student loans or mortgages, it's okay to set aside some money to invest in things that will generate a good return. In fact, there are many financial planners that argue against paying off low-interest loans early if market returns are higher than interest rates. Over time, stocks have averaged returns of about 7%, which is much higher than interest rates these days. To get this type of return, consider looking at mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that have low fees and are designed to track the performance of the overall stock market.</p> <h2>5. Find Investments That Trade Without a Commission</h2> <p>If you're trying to invest and pay down debt at the same time, there's a good chance you may only be able to invest a little at a time. That's okay, but it's important to be aware of the fees and commissions you pay every time you buy and sell. If you're only buying a few shares of a stock but paying $8 in a commission, for example, that fee is cutting into a sizable percentage of your investment. Fortunately, many discount brokerages allow you to trade certain types of investments without paying a commission. Fidelity offers fee-free investing on all iShares ETFs, ETrade offers many commission-free ETFs from WisdomTree and Global X, and TD Ameritrade offers more than 100 ETFs with no transaction fees.</p> <h2>6. Automate as Much as Possible</h2> <p>Finding the balance between investing and paying off debt requires some discipline. If you have some debt but are considering investing, determine in advance what your ideal balance is. Then, set up automatic monthly transfers of money into an investment account, and automate your bills as well. If you get extra money or a raise, consider tweaking the balance accordingly. When you automate, it takes the guesswork out, allows you to stay consistent, and makes it easier to do other financial planning.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-invest-when-youre-in-debt">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/7-money-moves-to-make-as-soon-as-you-conquer-debt">7 Money Moves to Make as Soon as You Conquer Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-prevent-a-debt-spiral">5 Ways to Prevent a Debt Spiral</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/beware-of-these-common-debt-consolidation-traps">Beware of These Common Debt Consolidation Traps</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-signs-an-etf-isnt-right-for-you">8 Signs an ETF Isn&#039;t Right for You</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/7-investment-accounts-all-30-somethings-should-have">7 Investment Accounts All 30-Somethings Should Have</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management Investment 401k ETFs fees interest rates market returns mutual funds saving money Wed, 23 Nov 2016 11:30:07 +0000 Tim Lemke 1838645 at http://www.wisebread.com Save on Christmas Shopping With This Clever Gift Card Strategy http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_christmas_gift_46067724.jpg" alt="Woman saving on Christmas shopping with gift cards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Last year, the average American <a href="http://americanresearchgroup.com/holiday/">spent $882 on holiday gifts</a> &mdash; and that amount does not include money spent on décor, meals, or clothes. Many people rack up credit card debt, and with high interest rates, that can make payments on their Christmas purchases for months after the holiday.</p> <p>However, it doesn&rsquo;t have to be that way. You can still celebrate Christmas with gifts and decorations without going into debt. Using discounted gift cards is an ingenious way to stretch your budget further and minimize debt.</p> <h2>Why So Many Gift Cards Are Available at a Discount</h2> <p>There&rsquo;s a reason stores love selling gift cards. Each year, you likely receive gift certificates or cards for your birthday or other holidays. And while it&rsquo;s the thought that counts, you probably tucked one or two away in a drawer and forgot about them. The average person has <a href="https://www.giftcardgranny.com/statistics/">$300 in gift cards</a> going unused, and over $41 billion in cards went unredeemed from 2011 to 2015.</p> <p>Most of the time, cards are stagnant because the gift recipient does not shop at the selected store, or items at the location are too expensive to be covered by the balance of the card. Rather than let the card just sit in a drawer gathering dust, many people opt to get money back in their pockets by selling them.</p> <p>Cheap cards are available through online sites that are 3% to 30% less than their value. From Sephora to Target, you can get a gift card at a significant discount, allowing you to buy more with your money.</p> <h2>Using a Discounted Gift Card</h2> <p>Purchasing a gift card at a reduced price is like giving yourself a huge coupon. For example, you can get a $250<a href="https://www.giftcardgranny.com/buy-gift-cards/h-and-m/">H&amp;M gift card</a> for just $169.62, saving you $80.38. That means you can buy $250 worth of merchandise at a 32% discount. With that savings, you can buy more items within your budget &mdash; or save it.</p> <p>Alternatively, you can gift loves ones a discounted gift card and let them go shopping themselves. Buying a gift card at a reduced price allows you to give a more generous holiday present without breaking the bank.</p> <h2>Where to Buy Cards</h2> <p>There are many sites that sell a wide range of discounted cards. These are three of the most popular.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.giftcardgranny.com/">Gift Card Granny</a> offers discounted cards from hundreds of retailers, from large big box stores to niche chains. Discounts change each day, and you can find cards marked 50% under their actual value.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.cardpool.com/">Cardpoo</a>l sells cards up to 35% under value. They offer gift cards to stores like Lowe&rsquo;s, Best Buy, Target, and more.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://giftcardzen.com/buy">Gift card Zen</a> is part of coupon site RetailMeNot. You can find cards for hundreds of retailers, including AMC Theatres, American Girl, and Macy&rsquo;s.</li> </ul> <p>Purchasing gift cards and using them for your Christmas shopping is an easy way to get more from your money. You can get a significant discount on your purchases, letting you celebrate the holiday without going broke.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">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/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow</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/13-financial-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season">13 Financial Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-common-holiday-budget-pitfalls">Avoid These 5 Common Holiday Budget Pitfalls</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-big-list-of-money-saving-coupon-codes-for-halloween-2016">The Big List of Money-Saving Coupon Codes for Halloween 2016</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/13-holiday-season-costs-everyone-always-forgets-about">13 Holiday-Season Costs Everyone Always Forgets About</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Christmas discounts gift cards gifts Holidays online shopping saving money Wed, 23 Nov 2016 11:00:08 +0000 Kat Tretina 1812050 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: 5 Ways to Actually Enjoy Saving Money http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-5-ways-to-actually-enjoy-saving-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-5-ways-to-actually-enjoy-saving-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_money_happy_83518363.jpg" alt="Woman enjoying saving money" 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 ways to actually enjoy saving money, smart ways to save on holiday gifts, and little-known secrets to achieve big dreams.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="https://moneystrands.com/2016/11/14/5-ways-enjoy-saving-money/">Saving Money: 5 Ways to Actually Enjoy Doing It</a> &mdash; Turn money management into a game. Challenge yourself to spend a little less money than you spent the day before. [Money Strands]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyqanda.com/how-to-save-money-on-christmas-gifts/">5 Smart Ways to Save on Gifts This Christmas</a> &mdash; Take advantage of store card perks, memberships, vouchers, discounts, and reward points that you have racked up over the past year. [Money Q&amp;A]</p> <p><a href="http://www.leadingedgeadvocate.com/got-big-dreams-how-to-achieve-goals/">Got Big Dreams? Here Are 6 Little Known Secrets to Achieve Them</a> &mdash; It takes time to achieve big dreams. Know where you are now and what it'll take to get where you want to be, then track your progress as you work toward your dream. [Leading Edge Advocate]</p> <p><a href="http://moneypantry.com/lower-water-bills/">25 Ways to Conserve Water &amp; Save Money on Your Water Bill</a> &mdash; Washing fruits and water under running water is wasteful. Instead, fill a pan or bowl with water and clean your produce there. [Money Pantry]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2016/1114/Now-is-the-time-to-start-buying-Christmas-decorations">Now is the time to start buying Christmas decorations</a> &mdash; There are great deals right now on artificial trees, Christmas lights, and holiday décor. [The Monitor]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2016/11/10/how-much-is-your-busy-lifestyle-costing-you/">How Much Is Your Busy Lifestyle Costing You?</a> &mdash; When you're always on the run, you might neglect necessary maintenance of your home, car, and even your body. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/blog/lazy-can-best-thing/">How Being Lazy Can Be The Best Thing For You</a> &mdash; When you need a spark of creativity, let your mind wander. A meditative state allows your brain to form new connections, find solutions, and develop new ideas. [Change Your Thoughts]</p> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/article/saving/T023-C032-S014-wisely-use-internet-for-your-financial-planning.html">How to Wisely Use the Internet to Serve Your Financial Planning Needs</a> &mdash; The Internet is a good place to do a little research before you meet with a financial professional. Odds are, you'll come across contradictory advice; write down your questions so you know what you want cleared up. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stackthechips.com/5-ways-get-done-working-less/">5 Ways To Get More Done By Working Less</a> &mdash; Be careful and deliberate about the projects you take on. You actually get more done when you focus on a few things rather than trying to do everything. [Stack The Chips]</p> <p><a href="http://www.currentoncurrency.com/how-much-you-need-to-save-to-quit-job/">How Much Do You Need To Save Up To Quit Your Job?</a> &mdash; Conventional wisdom says you should save at least 6 months' worth of living expenses before you quit your job. [Current on Currency]</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-5-ways-to-actually-enjoy-saving-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-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/7-apps-that-make-budgeting-fun-no-really">7 Apps That Make Budgeting Fun — No Really!</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-when-youre-rich-dream-buys-that-arent-that-great">5 &quot;When You&#039;re Rich&quot; Dream Buys That Aren&#039;t That Great</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-little-known-ways-to-save-at-disneyland">15 Little Known Ways to Save at Disneyland</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/this-simple-journal-may-be-the-fix-for-your-finances">This Simple Journal May be the Fix for 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/9-things-you-can-do-right-now-for-a-frugal-holiday-season">9 Things You Can Do Right Now for a Frugal Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting best money tips saving money Wed, 16 Nov 2016 10:00:14 +0000 Amy Lu 1833765 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Easy-to-Fix Reasons Your Savings Account Isn't Growing http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-to-fix-reasons-your-savings-account-isnt-growing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-easy-to-fix-reasons-your-savings-account-isnt-growing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_piggy_bank_100350013.jpg" alt="Woman learning reasons your savings account isn&#039;t growing" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your savings account seems to be broken.</p> <p>You set it up some time ago, full of hope and high expectations, and you have been moving money into it whenever you can &mdash; but it just isn't growing the way you would expect.</p> <p>The lack of growth in your savings account may be disheartening, but it's probably due to a problem that you can fix easily. Here are the top four reasons your money doesn't grow in a savings account, and what you can do to start seeing higher balances:</p> <h2>1. The Problem: You Make Regular Withdrawals From Your Savings Account</h2> <p>The quickest way to undo all your savings work is to raid the account. Whether that happens because you are regularly transferring funds from savings to checking, or because you're withdrawing cash from your savings account at the ATM, or because you let your savings account act as your overdraft protection, the result is always the same &mdash; your savings account balance stays low.</p> <h3>The Easy Fix: Reduce Access to Your Account</h3> <p>The fix for this problem is to reduce your access to your savings account. Having too-easy access to savings accounts can kill your ability to effectively save money. Instead, consider moving your savings account to a different bank than your checking, and establish a link between the two. With your savings account out of sight, the money will be out of mind. And that's the best way to let it grow without your interference.</p> <h2>2. The Problem: Transfers to Your Savings Account Are Infrequent and Small</h2> <p>You transfer money to your account when you can, but that tends to only happen every couple of months when you finally get ahead of your bills. And even when you are able to make deposits in your savings account, the amounts are never very high. It almost feels like it's not worth transferring the money.</p> <h3>The Easy Fix: Automate Your Savings</h3> <p>Regular Wise Bread readers are well aware of the importance of automating your savings. Doing so allows you to pay yourself first and take away the temptation of extra dollars in your checking account. Set an automatic transfer up once, and you will reap the benefits of savings account growth for good. Remember that there are a couple of ways to make sure your automation helps you build your savings as much as possible:</p> <ul> <li>Automatically transfer a set amount to savings on your payday. If you don't see it in your checking account, you won't spend it.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Have your paycheck deposited directly into your savings account, and transfer the amount you need for your monthly budget into checking. While this gives you less of a buffer in your checking account, it offers the psychological boost of seeing the numbers in your savings account go up quickly, which can help curb mindless and impulse spending.</li> </ul> <h2>3. The Problem: You Are Saving Money, But Not for Anything in Particular</h2> <p>Without a specific goal in mind, it can be difficult to get psyched about the money in your savings account. Yes, it's great that you have several hundred (or several thousand) dollars sitting in a savings account, but it can feel like having an auxiliary checking account if you don't have a specific purpose in mind for the money. And not having a goal for you money makes it much easier to raid the account if you find yourself lusting after Coachella tickets.</p> <h3>The Easy Fix: Create Targeted Savings Accounts</h3> <p>We are much more likely to feel excited about saving money if we have a specific goal in mind. This is partially due to something known as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mental-accounting-why-you-blow-your-tax-refund-but-not-your-raise">mental accounting</a>, which is our tendency to value money differently depending on how it is physically and mentally labeled. You might feel no compunction about &quot;borrowing&quot; $400 from your general savings account for a Coachella ticket, but taking that money from your new car fund would hurt.</p> <p>Many online and traditional banks will allow you to create several targeted accounts, each with its own nickname. Taking the time to put a name to each one of your savings goals can help you save more and spend less.</p> <h2>4. The Problem: Your Interest Rate Is Too Low</h2> <p>Maybe you are doing everything right with your savings account. You have regular, automatic deposits, and you keep your hands off the account. But it's still not growing &mdash; because the interest rate is at rock bottom. According to Bankrate, the average APY for savings accounts is a measly 0.08%, which means inflation is eating into your money if you leave it in your savings account for any amount of time.</p> <h3>The Easy Fix: Transfer Your Money Into a Money Market Account</h3> <p>If you are just getting started with savings, it's probably a good idea to continue to set money aside into your savings account. But if you've grown your savings account over time and get sick of seeing teeny tiny interest payments, then you might want to consider transferring your savings into a money market account.</p> <p>These accounts are a type of savings product that double as a checking account, with an interest rate that is much more generous compared to that of traditional savings accounts. For instance, according to Bankrate, the best money market accounts offer APY rates of up to 1.11%.</p> <p>Money market accounts generally require a larger minimum deposit &mdash; you can expect to need at least $1,000 to open your account. In addition, you may face fees on your money market account if you allow your balance to dip below a certain level. For most money market accounts, you may write checks on the account, although you are generally limited to no more than six checks (or other withdrawals) per month.</p> <p>For savers who have been diligently putting money aside into a traditional savings account, rolling that money into a money market account can be a great way to put your savings to work for you by increasing your interest.</p> <h2>The Bottom Line</h2> <p>Your savings account deserves to grow and flourish. Most of the problems keeping your balance down are well within your control, as long as you take the time to address them. Don't let an easy-to-fix problem keep you from meeting your savings goals.</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/4-easy-to-fix-reasons-your-savings-account-isnt-growing">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/6-ways-to-invest-when-youre-in-debt">6 Ways to Invest When You&#039;re In Debt</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/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</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/has-cash-become-more-trouble-than-its-worth">Has Cash Become More Trouble Than It&#039;s Worth?</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/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick</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-ways-to-prevent-a-debt-spiral">5 Ways to Prevent a Debt Spiral</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance automatic transfers checking account growing interest rates money market accounts saving money savings account Wed, 16 Nov 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1833768 at http://www.wisebread.com How Your Child Can Earn College Credits in High School (For Cheap) http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-child-can-earn-college-credits-in-high-school-for-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-your-child-can-earn-college-credits-in-high-school-for-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/student_happy_books_82665501.jpg" alt="Student earning college credits in high school for cheap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>College credits are expensive. Even a class at a community college can add a few hundred dollars to your overall tuition bill. For most undergrad degrees, the first two years are devoted to general education basics that don't necessarily impact an individual's future career. For example, to get my degree in English, I still needed to take Biology and Calculus classes.</p> <p>There are a few methods that will allow high school students to earn college credits before they actually enter the college scene. Doing so can help them shave off a semester or even a whole year, which translates into a lot of money saved, depending on your college's cost per unit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs?ref=seealso">9 Freshman Shopping Tips to Cut College Costs</a>)</p> <h2>Take CLEP Exams</h2> <p>The College Level Examination Program allows students to earn three credits or more on passed CLEP tests. There are 33 tests that can be taken and there are currently 2,900 colleges and universities that will accept credit for passing CLEP.</p> <p>According to CollegeBoard, &quot;More than 60% of CLEP test takers said that they relied on their <a href="https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-in/testing/learn-about-the-clep-program">high school course work</a> to learn the material needed for their CLEP exam(s).&quot;</p> <p>The average college course costs $900, and the cost of CLEP is $80. If your child is able to pass five CLEPs, then it will cost you $400, but potentially save you $4,100 in tuition.</p> <p>Every university has their own set of rules, so make sure you know how many credits from CLEP tests they will accept beforehand. It is also wise to know how many CLEPs are applicable toward your major. For example, the college might accept 10 CLEPs, but a specific major might only need eight of those. You don't want to waste time or money taking CLEPs that cannot be applied to your degree.</p> <h2>Take AP Tests</h2> <p>Many schools offer AP courses, which are more demanding that typical high school courses. Not only do AP courses look impressive on college applications, but they can count as college credit if students pass the exam.</p> <p>AP courses and fee exams differ for each school. The standard fee for each exam is $93. A reduced fee is available for low-income families. Some schools might charge additional fees for proctoring and administering the course and exam.</p> <p>Even if your child's school does not offer a certain AP course, your child can still take the exam. You will need to find an authorized testing center, and know that the test might be harder for individuals that did not take the specialized course for the entire year.</p> <h2>Enroll in International Baccalaureate Courses</h2> <p>Depending on the high school, students can take singular IB courses or choose to pursue an IB diploma. An IB diploma is challenging, but it can shave a whole year off a student's college experience. Unfortunately, IB is a smaller program than AP, and is not as widely offered. However, if your child's school does offer IB courses, it is possible that they can transfer for more units than an AP course, depending on the college and course.</p> <p>Check with your child's school to see the exact cost of the IB program. As an example, Davis School District in Bountiful, Utah charges $864 for an IB diploma, which comes with six exams, on top of a $168 registration fee. However, they say their average IB students complete high school with 44 college credits, which comes out to the affordable price of $23.45 per unit. That is a huge difference from the usual $200&ndash;500 per unit cost that community and state colleges charge.</p> <h2>Take College Classes While in High School</h2> <p>Depending on your child's high school and community college regulations, your child can enroll in limited college courses while still in high school. Some college courses require prerequisites and you might need to gain signed authorization from your child's high school principal before they can dual enroll.</p> <p>This option can cost more than AP classes or IB courses, but it can also be more flexible. Community college courses can be demanding, but for a student that is dedicated, it is more than likely they will pass the class. It can be disheartening to take a rigorous AP course only to have your credit riding on passing one exam.</p> <p>Also with community colleges, your child will have access to online class options, help from professors, and summer class options.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-child-can-earn-college-credits-in-high-school-for-cheap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/8-money-saving-hacks-every-college-student-should-try">8 Money-Saving Hacks Every College Student Should Try</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</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-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</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-tax-tricks-to-try-if-youre-stuck-with-student-loans">8 Tax Tricks to Try if You&#039;re Stuck With Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-your-college-is-a-scam">6 Signs Your College Is a Scam</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training ap classes clep college credits ib courses saving money school semesters tuition Tue, 15 Nov 2016 10:00:14 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1827229 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Questions Couples Must Ask Before Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_sailboat_89092071.jpg" alt="Couple asking questions before retirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What kind of retirement do you imagine? Do you picture taking a long cruise, traveling to international destinations, and racking up the frequent-flier miles? What if your partner is dreaming about a retirement of lazy days spent reading books, watching movies, and visiting the grandkids?</p> <p>Those retirements are two very different kinds. And if you and your partner can't agree on a version of your after-work years that satisfies both of you, your retirement might be a stormy one.</p> <p>Fortunately, you can boost the odds that you and your partner will enjoy your retirement years by asking five key questions before you leave the working world.</p> <h2>1. What Kind of Retirement Do You Want?</h2> <p>This is the most basic of questions, but it might be the most important. Couples need to hammer out exactly what kind of life they want to lead after their working years are over.</p> <p>When you're working, much of your life is planned out for you. You know when you have to be on the job, for instance. If you're raising kids, your weeks are often filled with band practices, soccer games, and gymnastics meets. You and your partner might not even spend much time together during an average week.</p> <p>But when you retire? That all changes. Those hours in the office are now hours spent at home. You and your partner need to determine what you want to fill those hours with. You might want to travel and take on new hobbies. Your partner might prefer quiet days with favorite books.</p> <p>The type of retirement you want also impacts how much money you'll need to save. You'll need more money if you plan to travel the globe and less if you picture quiet nights in your existing home.</p> <p>If you discuss this before retirement, you might be able to work out compromises. Maybe you agree to take two trips a year. Maybe you agree that you'll investigate a new hobby while your partner plows through <em>War and Peace</em>. But you won't be able to agree on anything if you don't first talk about what your ideal retirements look like.</p> <h2>2. Where Do You Want to Live?</h2> <p>Do you want to stay in your current home? Or perhaps you'd like to sell your home and move into an apartment in the middle of downtown? These are both good choices. But you and your partner need to discuss them before you retire. You don't want to be dreaming of a downtown apartment if your partner is making plans for a new sunroom in your current home.</p> <p>And what about your grandkids? Do you want to move closer to them? Or do you want to stay put? This, again, is another conversation that you must have before retirement.</p> <h2>3. When Do You Want to Retire?</h2> <p>You might plan on working late into your 70s. Your partner might be counting down the days to 67. Make sure you and your partner discuss when you both plan on retiring.</p> <p>Your partner might expect that you'll both retire at the same time. Don't make it a surprise that you want to retire earlier or later. The timing of your retirement plays an important role in how much you have to save each year to meet your retirement goals. So talk about this choice early and often.</p> <p>And if you change your mind? Don't keep it a secret from your partner.</p> <h2>4. How Much Money Do You Need?</h2> <p>This might be the most perplexing question of all to couples. It's also the one that couples need to talk about early in their relationship. Couples need to agree on how much money they'll need each year to live a comfortable retirement. If they don't? The odds are high that money issues will be a constant source of tension.</p> <p>How much money couples need in retirement varies depending on the lifestyles that they want. Couples who want to travel during their retirement will need more money. Those who want to spend their time visiting their grandkids will need less.</p> <p>Those couples who plan on living in a pricey seniors' center or an urban apartment building will probably need more money than those who plan to live for as long as possible in a home that they have already paid off.</p> <p>There are plenty of formulas for determining how much money couples should save during retirement. Your best bet, though, might be to meet with a financial adviser who can help you and your partner work through your retirement goals and determine the best way to save for them.</p> <h2>5. Who Will Do What Chores?</h2> <p>You might have been happy with being the home's main cook if your partner worked longer hours. But what about when you are both retired? Will you still want to handle the bulk of the cooking chores then? Maybe not.</p> <p>It pays to talk with your partner about who will handle the bills, cook the meals, clean the house, and mow the lawn once retirement arrives. The old ways of splitting these chores might no longer make sense after you both settle into retirement.</p> <p>Again, not talking about this issue could cause tension. You might not be thrilled to serve your partner dinner if that partner spent all day watching TV or reading a book. So don't be shy about the chores conversation. It might be time to work out a new household schedule.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-world-cities-you-can-afford">5 Incredible World Cities You Can Afford</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-10-worst-states-for-retirees">The 10 Worst States for Retirees</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-american-cities-where-you-can-retire-on-just-social-security">5 American Cities Where You Can Retire On Just Social Security</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/4-ways-couples-are-shortchanging-their-retirement-savings">4 Ways Couples Are Shortchanging Their Retirement Savings</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/heres-how-much-life-in-the-big-city-will-cost-you">Here&#039;s How Much Life in the Big City Will Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement chores couples family grandchildren lifestyle marriage moving relocating retirement planning saving money traveling Thu, 10 Nov 2016 09:00:09 +0000 Dan Rafter 1830271 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Money Lessons We Can Learn From "Gilmore Girls" http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-gilmore-girls <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-gilmore-girls" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women_friends_tv_69491221.jpg" alt="Learning money lessons from Gilmore Girls" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In case you have had your head in the sand, been stranded on a desert island, or just been sitting on your couch with your fingers in your ears chanting, &quot;La, la, la,&quot; let me be the one to tell you: The Gilmore Girls are coming back!</p> <p>We've learned a lot from them over the years. Feisty Lorelai and sweet Rory have taught us about love, family, friendship, food, and more. And, on November 25th, I hope to continue my education.</p> <p>Not only do I hope to hear more witty banter and find out (finally???) whether Team Jess really and truly won Rory's heart, but I bet I'll also learn a bit about money. Here's what I've learned so far.</p> <h2>1. Money Isn't Everything</h2> <p>Look at Richard and Emily, or Paris Gellar, or even Logan. They all have quite a bit of money, but it hasn't brought them much in the way of happiness. Instead, it has brought them stress, a constant need to keep up with the other wealthy folks around them, a whole lot of pressure, and anxiety. In fact, if they are what it means to be wealthy, I don't want any part of it!</p> <p>On the flip side, Lorelei and Rory don't have that much money. Sure, by the time the show starts, they clearly are better off than they used to be, but they still aren't wealthy. Yet they are happy, have a solid relationship, and know what they want out of life. When it comes to happiness, being financially stable is important, but being wealthy is not.</p> <h2>2. Sometimes the Little Splurges Are Worth It</h2> <p>We've all heard about how much we could save if we didn't get that coffee every morning, didn't eat out so much, didn't buy so many drinks, etc. But, sometimes, those little splurges are worth it. Think about the number of times the girls bonded over coffee and a meal at Luke's, or even the relationship that developed between Luke and Lorelai.</p> <p>While there are other ways to facilitate relationships, getting a coffee together is socially acceptable and nonthreatening in our culture. So you may not want to drink as much coffee as the Gilmore Girls, but a cuppa here and there, especially when it comes with good conversation, can easily be worth the cost.</p> <h2>3. It's Okay to Ask for Help</h2> <p>Lorelai asks her parents for financial help several times (starting in the very first episode) and it's hard for her every time. She has worked hard to get to where she is, and she doesn't want to lose her financial independence and put herself in a place where she owes someone. Yet, in order to make it possible for Rory to attend Chilton, she humbles herself and asks Richard and Emily for help.</p> <p>And it turns out to be a good thing.</p> <p>While asking for financial help can be at least as tricky in the real world as it is for Lorelai and Rory, sometimes that is what you need to do. If there is something you need and can't afford, or something that would be really, really good for you or a family member, and asking for aid in a mature, intentional way could be one of the best things you ever do.</p> <h2>4. Dream and Plan for Financial Success</h2> <p>Owning their own inn is a dream for Lorelai and Sookie, and it's not one that could ever come true without intentional planning. First, they dream, then they save, then they look for the perfect place, find the right realtor, and so on. By combining their dream with a plan, they eventually achieve their goals.</p> <p>Most dreams cost money, which means that achieving them requires some sort of plan. Without this, the dream will never become feasible and will only ever be a dream. Planning and putting your money behind a dream means that your money is working for you, and gives you motivation to be frugal and make wise choices.</p> <h2>5. You Can Have Fun Without Spending a Lot</h2> <p>Sure, Rory and Lorelai spend quite a bit on coffee and takeout, but they aren't extravagant when it comes to entertainment. Other than a concert here or there, they spend most of their evenings at home, eating a ton of food and watching all sorts of movies. Through this ritual, they've gotten to know each other and have built a strong mother-daughter bond.</p> <h2>6. That Side Hustle Can Add Up</h2> <p>Lorelai works full time and goes to school, but she also takes jobs on the side. She and Sookie cater parties so posh that even Emily wants them to throw one of hers. Without this extra income, I'm pretty sure Lorelai would never have been able to buy the Dragonfly, even on a very generous manager's salary.</p> <p>If you're good at something, start developing your side hustle today. It can be small at first, but who knows what it will grow into. Maybe it will generate some income so you can follow your dreams, too.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-gilmore-girls">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/6-money-lessons-we-could-all-learn-from-dwayne-the-rock-johnson">6 Money Lessons We Could All Learn From Dwayne &quot;The Rock&quot; Johnson</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/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</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/4-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-jk-rowling">4 Money Lessons We Can Learn From J.K. Rowling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">12 Personal Finance Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-of-the-coolest-sayings-about-saving">10 of the Coolest Sayings About Saving</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Entertainment advice dreams gilmore girls money lessons saving money side jobs success TV shows Wed, 09 Nov 2016 09:00:06 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1829534 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Reasons You Should Start Your Holiday Shopping Now http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-you-should-start-your-holiday-shopping-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-reasons-you-should-start-your-holiday-shopping-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_45623996_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="you should start your holiday shopping now" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's hard to believe that the holidays are fast approaching. But ask anyone if they have started <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-ways-to-save-money-but-still-get-what-you-want-during-holiday-shopping">shopping for the holidays</a> yet, and you'll most likely get a quizzical look in return. &quot;Holidays? I haven't even shopped for Thanksgiving yet!&quot; However, there are many reasons to start shopping for the big event right now, rather than waiting for another month. And by starting now, you will save money &mdash; in some cases a <em>lot </em>of money &mdash; and have a less stressful festive season.</p> <h2>1. Better Deals May Take a Long Time to Ship</h2> <p>Right now, time is on your side, and you should take full advantage of it. With eBay, and hundreds of other sites offering great gifts from all around the world, it can be expensive to ship things quickly. And in some cases, that may not even be an option. You could have to wait 6-8 weeks for that special delivery, and if you start shopping in early December, you just won't have enough time to get it before the big day. What's more, some items offered abroad are significantly cheaper than the same items being sold from U.S. merchants. Start your shopping online now, and you could save a lot of money getting cool and authentic goods from every corner of the globe.</p> <h2>2. It's Not Crazy Shopping Season Yet</h2> <p>You know what the malls are like when December rolls around. And in the last few weeks, it's all out war in some stores. Finding a parking spot can take half an hour, and even then, it's a long walk to the entrance. Lines to the registers are stretching to the back of the store, everyone is in a bad mood, and chaos reigns. Skip it. Do it now, while the vast majority of people are still thinking about the Thanksgiving menu. You may be waiting to start because you believe the best deals will come on Black Friday &mdash; the ultimate battle for a better deal &mdash; but that's not necessarily true. Many doorbuster deals go in minutes, and are in limited supply. The rest of the low prices offered are usually very close to the prices being charged online anyway. In some cases, those items were cheaper on other sale days throughout the year. Don't believe the Black Friday hype. Smart, frugal shoppers armed with discount codes and coupons will always find good deals.</p> <h2>3. The Price Hikes Haven't Happened Yet</h2> <p>They're known as &quot;seasonal markups.&quot; You could call it taking advantage of the holidays, or even price gouging, but it is what it is, and we all know it. However, those seasonal markups are not going to happen for a few more weeks at least, so get in there before the &quot;late shopping tax&quot; is added onto everything from toys and clothing, to perfume and jewelry.</p> <h2>4. You Could Miss Out on the Things You Really Want</h2> <p>As we get closer to the holidays, supplies of popular items start getting depleted. This, in particular, applies to the hot toy of the moment. Every year, a certain toy becomes a must-have, and if you wait too long, you risk disappointing the kid who's been waiting for it all year. But it's not just toys. You will find that popular clothing sizes sell out fast, and all you can get hold of is an XS or a XXXL. Certain colors or styles will go more quickly than others. And all of this can be avoided by getting to the stores now while everything is plentiful.</p> <h2>5. You Have Enough Time to Make Something</h2> <p>They say the best gifts are the ones made just for you, and that really does ring true. Knowing that someone has spent their own time and creativity making you something feels great. If you posses a certain set of skills, whether it's crocheting, cooking, woodworking, painting, or sculpture, you have the time to put those skills to good use. You can make some awesome gifts that will really make the recipient feel special, and you'll save a lot of money in the process. Leaving this kind of gift until the last minute only adds extra stress to your life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-now-you-can-make-these-23-delicious-holiday-gifts?ref=seealso">Start Now: You Can Make These 23 DIY Gifts</a>)</p> <h2>6. You Can Get Gifts to Loved Ones on Time</h2> <p>The postal system comes under heavy strain in the weeks before a major holiday. We all see it firsthand when we pop to the post office and see a line stretching to Canada. If you want to make sure your packages arrive on time, without having to pay expensive priority fees, or use couriers, then start your shopping right now. You can use some of the free shipping options on sites like Amazon and eBay and still get gifts to people in plenty of time. Otherwise you'll be risking delayed packages while paying a lot for the service.</p> <h2>7. Bad Weather Can Upset Your Plans</h2> <p>In many parts of the country, the holiday season comes with heavy snow and horrible weather. That can have a huge impact on the shopping season. Bad snow can leave the roads in chaos, and you may not even be able to leave the house. Even if you do get out there, you could be spending hours in traffic, risk getting into serious accidents, and will be dealing with people who are stressed beyond belief. Get out there now, before mother nature decides to dump a nasty surprise on you&hellip; right on the day you planned to get all your shopping done.</p> <h2>8. You Can Spread Out the Financial Burden</h2> <p>We all know that the holiday season is the most expensive time of the year for most families. Aside from all the gifts, there is the food, the drinks, the parties, and the travel. It can really eat into your weekly budget. But when you leave everything until the last minute, that can put your bank accounts under more strain than usual. Instead, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-use-your-credit-card-for-holiday-purchases">spread out those expenses</a> into more manageable chunks, and start early. Get a few gifts now, a few next week, and so on. Stock up on non-perishables over the next few months. By doing it in smaller bursts, you won't feel so financially crippled.</p> <h2>9. You Can Set Price Alerts for Online Shopping</h2> <p>If you leave shopping until the last minute, or the last few weeks of the holiday season, you will have to accept the price on offer, or risk not getting that item at all. Start shopping online right now, and set up price alerts for the things on your lists. You can receive an email alert that tells you when something you really want has dropped below a price you feel is a deal. If it doesn't happen by the time the holidays are closing in, well, you bite the bullet. But this way, you have a much better chance of getting great deals on the things you really want.</p> <h2>10. It's Better for Your Health (and Sanity)</h2> <p>Most of us experience stress around the holiday season, and with good reason. There's an awful lot to coordinate, and we're spending money like it's going out of style. We all want to make sure everyone is happy, the gifts are bought and wrapped, and the food is prepped. One way to alleviate some of that stress is to give yourself plenty of breathing room. By starting your shopping now, you're giving yourself that most precious gift: time. You have the time to sit down, plan ahead, and get things organized. You have time to get things shipped. You have time to take things back to the stores, if they aren't what you were expecting. You have time to wrap gifts at your own pace, instead if doing that marathon session the night before. It all adds up to a much easier festive season, meaning less stress and strain on your body and your mind.</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/10-reasons-you-should-start-your-holiday-shopping-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/9-things-you-can-do-right-now-for-a-frugal-holiday-season">9 Things You Can Do Right Now for a Frugal Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> <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/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">Save on Christmas Shopping With This Clever Gift Card Strategy</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/9-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-autumn">9 Frugal Skills You Must Have to Survive Autumn</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-classic-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-falling-for">10 Classic Impulse Buys We Need to Stop Falling For</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-30-brilliant-ways-to-survive-black-friday-madness">Flashback Friday: 30 Brilliant Ways to Survive Black Friday Madness</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Christmas holiday season holiday shopping procrastination saving money shopping hacks Spending Money Mon, 07 Nov 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 1827217 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Financial Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday Season http://www.wisebread.com/13-financial-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-financial-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_wrapped_gift_77878153.jpg" alt="Woman giving financial gifts to herself this holiday season" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The holiday shopping season is around the corner. And while the average holiday shopper will dole out more than $800 for gifts, about half will also spend an average of $132 on non-gift items for themselves. Hey &mdash; there's nothing wrong with treating yourself, especially when discounts are steep and shopping centers are extra cheery.</p> <p>But, you might want to consider putting that buck thirty toward something more substantial, such as your fiscal health. Read on for our guide to the top financial gifts you should consider giving yourself this holiday season. We promise, there will be no buyers remorse involved.</p> <h2>1. Boost Your Retirement Fund Contribution</h2> <p>The best time to start investing is now. Case in point: If you start maxing out your IRA contributions at age 25, you will have saved $1.6 million by the time you're 70. But if you were to start at 35, you'd save about half that sum. So whatever the form of your retirement savings, be it IRA, 401K, or 403(b), consider boosting your contribution this holiday season. Even a 1% increase can go a long way to making your golden years more comfortable.</p> <h2>2. Pay Down Your Debt</h2> <p>When it comes to personal debt, even $100 can make a sizable dent. Without a doubt, every little bit counts. Use a <a href="https://www.calcxml.com/calculators/how-long-will-it-take-to-pay-off-my-credit-card">minimum payment calculator</a> to determine just how long it will take your to pay down your credit card debt &mdash; and precisely how much mileage that $100 can get you.</p> <h2>3. Reassess Your Investments</h2> <p>How are your investments faring? Are you on track to meet your earnings expectations? Or do you have too much riskily tied up in a single company's stock? Gift yourself an hour spent reassessing your investments. Rid yourself of risk you can't shoulder and sour gambles.</p> <h2>4. Invest in Professional Advice</h2> <p>In the Internet age, getting good investment advice is easy and affordable. <a href="https://www.wealthfront.com">Wealthfront</a>, which boasts a stable of world-class financial experts that excels in making small money grow, offers free accounts totaling $10,000 or less. And you can open an account with <a href="https://www.betterment.com/">Betterment</a> even if you have no money.</p> <h2>5. Deposit an Extra $100 Into Your Savings Account</h2> <p>It's simple enough: Rather than buy yourself a couple of new sweaters, take that holiday cash and stow it away as savings. And if you think $100 won't make much difference, think again: If you were to sack away an extra $100 quarterly for the next 10 years, you've have an extra $4,000 in your savings account. That's more than the average down payment for a new car.</p> <h2>6. Boost Your Emergency Fund</h2> <p>It's smart to have funds stowed away for the kinds of emergencies life sometimes throws at us. Natural disaster. Illness. Job loss. If you've got an emergency fund, consider funneling some more funds into it. And if you don't, consider setting one up, even if you inaugurate it with a modest $100 investment. It's far better to be prepared than dumbstruck by a bad set of circumstances.</p> <h2>7. Draft a Financial Plan</h2> <p>A third of Americans have taken no steps <a href="https://www.northwesternmutual.com/about-us/studies/planning-and-progress-2015-study">toward financial planning</a>. If you don't have a plan, invest a day to join yourself among the ranks of the minority of Americans who do. It can be as simple as stating your financial priorities and then mapping out what you need to do to achieve them. Yes, it's drudge work. But you stand to benefit greatly by slogging through.</p> <h2>8. Purchase a Book on Finance</h2> <p>Whether it's the stock market or saving for retirement or paying down debt, most of us have a weak spot in our financial literacy. Why not help yourself close that gap by purchasing a book on your weakest link? For inspiration, check out our list of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-classic-personal-finance-books-you-must-read">classic personal finance books</a>.</p> <h2>9. Write a Will</h2> <p>The hardest part about will-writing is getting yourself to actually sit down and write it. No one wants to rationalize their own death by taking time out of their life to plan for it. Nonetheless, it's an important tool that can help to ensure that your property and wishes are carried out according to your liking when you're no longer around to dictate. If your finances are uncomplicated, consider creating an online will, which is perhaps the quickest and easiest way to complete the process.</p> <h2>10. Review Your Credit Score</h2> <p>It costs nothing to check your credit score, but the price of ignoring it can be huge. Your credit score determines critical stuff such as your insurance premium rate and your ability to get a loan. If you're unfamiliar with your credit score, it's probably a good idea to take a pause and get acquainted with it &mdash; and then commit to reviewing it annually. (Be on the lookout for any errors, which could be preventing you from getting lower rates).</p> <h2>11. Donate to Charity</h2> <p>It pays to help others in need. Not only can making a charitable donation give you the feel-good fuzzies, it can also <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/eight-tips-for-deducting-charitable-contributions">lower your tax bill</a>. Just remember to keep good records.</p> <h2>12. Cash in on Your Credit Card Rewards</h2> <p>Airline miles, hotel rewards, and cash are just a few of the amazing incentives available to those who swipe responsibly. But if you don't use 'em, you lose 'em, so take a moment to assess what rewards you've got, when they expire, and whether now's a good time to cash in. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you?ref=internal">Cash Back vs Travel Rewards: Pick the Right Credit Card for You</a>)</p> <h2>13. Review Your Account Statements</h2> <p>Remember all those account statements you've been filing away? Now's the time to actually read and analyze the charges. A bogus charge is a tried and true sign of identity theft, so it'll serve you well to review all your statements thoroughly. Painstaking though it may be, giving your financial records a good read affords you the opportunity to correct any improper service fees that may have been mistakenly docked from your account. If you find a faulty charge, you can get reimbursed from your bank or credit card company. If you don't, then you can rest assured that all is in order. Think of it as a game with no chance to lose.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-financial-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season">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/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">Save on Christmas Shopping With This Clever Gift Card Strategy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/many-happy-returns-5-tips-for-getting-what-you-really-want-this-holiday">Many Happy Returns: 5 Tips for Getting What You Really Want This Holiday</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/unique-ways-to-save-money-in-december">Unique Ways to Save Money in December</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/13-money-goals-you-can-still-reach-by-2017">13 Money Goals You Can Still Reach by 2017</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-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance bills charity Christmas emergency funds estate planning gifts Holidays investments paying debt saving money Mon, 07 Nov 2016 09:00:08 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1827215 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 44 Sneaky Shopping Traps to Avoid http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-44-sneaky-shopping-traps-to-avoid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-44-sneaky-shopping-traps-to-avoid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_bags_46090530.jpg" alt="Woman finding sneaky shopping traps to avoid" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even experienced shoppers can fall victim to overspending on everyday items. You might feel like you've cracked the code on how big retailers can lure shoppers into unnecessary money sucks, but they are always coming up with new ways to get you to part with your cash. Want to beat them at their own game? Here are 44 sneaky shopping traps to avoid.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock_69330627_MEDIUM.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-weekend-money-traps-and-how-to-avoid-them?ref=fbf">8 Common Weekend Money Traps (And How to Avoid Them)</a> &mdash; Oh, it's the weekend, so let's splurge! It's a very difficult mindset to break. You're fully relaxed, far away from your rigid workday routine, and you feel like you've earned a pricey reward. And you are certainly worthy of a reward, but it doesn't have to empty your wallet.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-classic-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-falling-for?ref=fbf">10 Classic Impulse Buys We Need to Stop Falling For</a> &mdash; When your cart nears the register, put up those mental walls. Do not let the convenient placement of the candy, soda, and batteries cause you to spend money you didn't plan to spend. May the force be with you.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/man_warehouse_store_18578927.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" />&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-sneaky-ways-wholesale-clubs-get-you-to-you-spend-more?ref=fbf">8 Sneaky Ways Wholesale Clubs Get You to You Spend More</a> &mdash; Oof, wholesale clubs are tricky. You definitely save money by buying items you need in bulk, but you should really examine how much of that bulk you use up. If anything you buy from here goes bad before you use or eat it, you're wasting precious moneys.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal?ref=fbf">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a> &mdash; Sometimes avoiding shopping traps is as simple as entering the store with an established strategy. Come in with any of these plans, and you'll leave with your budget intact.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/laptop-87660518.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-dumb-ways-you-are-wasting-money-online?ref=fbf">4 Dumb Ways You Are Wasting Money Online</a> &mdash; You're already at a disadvantage, because you're shopping from your home or some other convenient spot. Online retailers capitalize on your comfort by designing their websites a certain way to trick you into spending more without realizing it. The biggest culprit? The free shipping trap. There's always a minimum total you need to hit, and even if it costs you $20 extra dollars to get the $5 shipping fee waived, it seems worth it somehow.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-sneaky-ways-youre-being-upsold?ref=fbf">8 Sneaky Ways You're Being Upsold</a> &mdash; The upswell is a slippery monster. It happens in the middle of the sale, right when you've mentally justified a purchase, when the salesperson gets you to spend just a little bit more. Whether it's at the car dealership, the electronics store, or a restaurant, stay strong and only agree to the things you truly want and need.</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-44-sneaky-shopping-traps-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-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-30-brilliant-ways-to-survive-black-friday-madness">Flashback Friday: 30 Brilliant Ways to Survive Black Friday Madness</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-47-best-back-to-school-shopping-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: 47 Best Back-to-School Shopping Hacks Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-49-smartest-amazon-hacks-that-will-save-you-big">Flashback Friday: 49 Smartest Amazon Hacks That Will Save You Big</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-85-best-ways-to-save-on-halloween-this-year">Flashback Friday: 85 Best Ways to Save on Halloween This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-autumn">9 Frugal Skills You Must Have to Survive Autumn</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping budgeting fbf flashback friday frugal living saving money shopping shopping hacks shopping traps upswell wasting money Fri, 04 Nov 2016 10:00:12 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1826535 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Classic Impulse Buys We Need to Stop Falling For http://www.wisebread.com/10-classic-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-falling-for <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-classic-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-falling-for" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_holding_cake_37433622.jpg" alt="Woman resisting impulse buys we need to stop falling for" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>An impulse buy is just how it sounds. It's a purchase that we haven't really thought through, and instead follow the direction of our &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-lizard-brain-derail-your-finances">lizard brains</a>.&quot; We don't ponder the pros and cons of the purchase, or even think about what it is we're actually buying. We simply grab it, pay for it, and enjoy it. But these little impulse buys can really add up to some serious money every month. And just by alerting yourself to the biggest offenders, you may actually think twice next time you're about to grab one, and save yourself a nice chunk of change every month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-stop-impulse-buying?ref=seealso">9 Simple Ways to Stop Impulse Buying</a>)</p> <h2>1. Magazines</h2> <p>You're standing in line at the checkout, you've loaded up the conveyor belt, and now you're playing the waiting game. That's when you notice some of the outrageous or tempting headlines on the magazines in the rack, and pick one up. Before you know it, you're sucked in, you've plopped the magazine on the conveyor, and you've just spent $5 on something you were not planning to buy. That, in itself, is bad enough. But magazines fresh off the rack are way more expensive than a magazine subscription. These days, you can pick up a subscription to most of the big magazine titles for between $5-$10 per year! Not only that, but almost everything you read in the magazine is available online, through your phone, tablet, or computer. It's a complete waste of money.</p> <h2>2. Candy</h2> <p>Oh, those pesky supermarket designers are devious. They know just how to get you dipping into your purse or wallet, and candy is a classic example. Even if you're not tempted by chocolate or sugary snacks, kids are. And the &quot;nag factor&quot; is enough to make most parents, grandparents, aunties, and uncles, cave in. You will also see special offers on candy in the checkout line, such as BOGO free, or BOGO half off. You may also see &quot;Buy 2, Get 1 Free.&quot; These offers are designed to push you from a maybe to a &quot;well heck, I don't want to miss out on that kind of a deal!&quot; And before you know it, you've added a bunch of extra calories, and expenses, onto your grocery haul.</p> <h2>3. Cold Drinks</h2> <p>Have you noticed that mini-refrigerators have been popping up at checkouts with increasing regularity? From stores like Walmart and Target, to Goodwill, Ross, and Best Buy, as you wait in line, you will be staring into ice-cold beverage heaven. For some reason, many of us are preprogrammed to just naturally grab a drink after we've been shopping, but those drinks are more expensive as singles than as part of a pack &mdash; a pack you can find just a few aisles away. Plus, you need to ask yourself, &quot;Are you really that thirsty?&quot; Many stores have drinking fountains, so grab some free water before dropping $2-$4 on a drink you probably don't need.</p> <h2>4. Lip Balm</h2> <p>Raise your hand: How many of you have more than three or four lip balms at home (and yes, I'm putting my hand up, too). It may be more common in places with a drier climate, like Colorado or Arizona, but for some reason, the lure of the fresh, hermetically sealed lip balm is as tempting as candy and soda. And at the same time, we seem to forget how many we already have at home in the junk drawer or nightstand.</p> <h2>5. Batteries</h2> <p>&quot;Batteries Not Included&quot; is a phrase that has been burned into the memory of anyone that has ever given a present to an eager child. They open it up, press the buttons, and nothing happens. That's when you realize it takes eight size &quot;C&quot; batteries and all the stores are closed. Due to that conditioning, batteries are strategically placed near checkouts in grocery stores, warehouse stores, and electronics outlets. &quot;Don't forget your batteries&quot; ticks away in your head, and you grab a pack of each variety&hellip;. just in case. They join their unopened brothers and sisters on the shelf in the garage. One day, hopefully before they run out of juice, they'll get used.</p> <h2>6. Gum or Mints</h2> <p>Another classic impulse purchase is the tin of mints or packs of gum. They're placed at eye-level, right as you're plunking down your purchases for the cashier. No one likes a whiff of bad breath, so a tin of extra strong mints and a pack of spearmint gum will do the trick. They're only a few bucks, after all. You can put them in the glove compartment, and hope you'll have a reason to use the 60 sticks of gum that are already in there.</p> <h2>7. Coffee</h2> <p>What is the deal with coffee these days? It's like you can't walk 10 feet without bumping into a store selling the latest organic, dark roasted, pumpkin-spice-flavored cup of joe. Let's be honest though. Somewhere along the line, we were all convinced that paying $6-$7 for coffee was reasonable, even though we can all make perfectly good coffee at home for a tenth of the price. The smell of coffee, and the incredible flavors that go into it, is often hard to resist. There are Starbucks stores inside grocery stores, just near the exit, and one whiff is enough to get most people diving into their pockets for a quick pick-me-up.</p> <h2>8. Fast Food</h2> <p>Just like coffee stores, fast food brands have been setting up shop in grocery stores and retail outlets around the country. For instance, you can find both Subway and McDonald's inside Walmart, and they do an incredible amount of business. Some people say that you should never do your shopping on an empty stomach, and grabbing a quick burger before hitting the aisles seems like a good idea. Or, as you leave the store, the scent of grilled beef and fresh bread breaks down your willpower in seconds. Before you know it, you're munching on a burger in the car, despite having a week's supply of food in the trunk.</p> <h2>9. Energy Shots</h2> <p>These pesky critters have been popping up around the checkouts for the last few years. It used to be just one brand (Five Hour Energy), but now there are dozens of different brands on the scene. Gas stations and supermarkets are not exactly fun places to be, and if you're in one for long enough, or you're having one of those days, a little shot of energy seems like a great idea. &quot;I'm tired&hellip;oh, energy in a bottle. I'll take one!&quot; These shots can cost $2-$3 each, and the effects they have vary from person-to-person. You may get an insane energy buzz, or barely a twitch. Either way, it's an expensive little impulse.</p> <h2>10. Protein Bars</h2> <p>Protein. Protein. Gotta have your protein. These protein-packed bars are big business, and can be found in various places, including the vitamins and supplements aisles. That is a bit bizarre, because although they do contain a big chunk of protein, they also contain a list of ingredients that would give a healthy eater nightmares: <a href="http://www.prevention.com/food/bad-energy-bar-ingredients">high-fructose corn syrup, inulin</a>, agave syrup, sugar alcohols, and fractionated palm kernel oil are just a few horrors lurking in them. But due to our increasingly hectic lifestyles, these have become a quick &quot;grab-and-go&quot; meal replacement. No time for lunch? A protein bar will do. Actually, it won't. It's an expensive mistake, and it can lead to sugar crashes and diarrhea.</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/10-classic-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-falling-for">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-44-sneaky-shopping-traps-to-avoid">Flashback Friday: 44 Sneaky Shopping Traps to Avoid</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-30-brilliant-ways-to-survive-black-friday-madness">Flashback Friday: 30 Brilliant Ways to Survive Black Friday Madness</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/9-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-autumn">9 Frugal Skills You Must Have to Survive Autumn</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/cheat-sheet-retail-markup-on-common-items">Cheat Sheet: Retail Markup on Common Items</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-you-should-start-your-holiday-shopping-now">10 Reasons You Should Start Your Holiday Shopping Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping candy gum impulse buys junk food saving money shopping shopping hacks shopping tips willpower Thu, 03 Nov 2016 09:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 1825862 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Frugal Skills You Must Have to Survive Autumn http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-autumn <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-autumn" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_100667959_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="you need these frugal skills to survive autumn" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The national retail federation predicted that U.S. consumers would <a href="https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/halloween-spending-reach-84-billion-highest-survey-history">spend $8.4 billion on Halloween</a> this year, with consumers spending an average of $82.93 on the holiday. (How much did you spend?) And that's just one single day of a long fall season that also includes: Thanksgiving, yard maintenance, home weatherproofing, and plenty of other opportunities to spend.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are ways to cut back on your spending <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-autumn-is-good-for-your-mind-and-body">this fall season</a>. Here are nine ways to stretch those dollars as the days get shorter and the winter holidays creep closer.</p> <h2>1. Get Out That Rake</h2> <p>You can buy leaf blowers for as little as $50 or as much as $300 or more if you want a super deluxe model. That doesn't even count the gas that you'll go through with a gas-powered blower. A rake will cost you about $15. Don't forget, either, that raking leaves is a lot quieter &mdash; your neighbors will appreciate that. It also helps you burn a few calories.</p> <h2>2. Cancel Your Gym Membership</h2> <p>Fall is a great time to cancel that gym membership. We're not advocating that you skip exercising, though. Instead, we're recommending that you get your exercise by biking, hiking, running or, yes, raking leaves. Fall weather is cool but generally not freezing. So cancel that gym membership until winter rolls around. You can renew once the icicles show up.</p> <h2>3. Weatherproof Your Home</h2> <p>Sure, you'll spend a bit of money upfront for weather-stripping to weatherproof your home's windows and doors. You might also have to shell out some money to spray extra installation in your attic and seal up any leaks in your walls. But spending this money now will save you during the coldest months of the upcoming winter season. Weatherproofing your home now will result in lower energy bills in December and January. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-seal-leaks-and-reduce-your-winter-heating-bill?ref=seealso">9 Ways to Reduce Your Heating Bill</a>)</p> <h2>4. Buy the Right Food and Cook at Home</h2> <p>You know that eating out is a huge drain on your wallet. You can save money by cooking at home. Autumn is actually a good season for this. You can whip up hearty soups, stews, and casseroles and stretch the leftovers over several days. Just make sure to buy plenty of those foods that are in season and most affordable this time of year: root vegetables, squash, and plenty of apples.</p> <h2>5. Resist the Call of the Pumpkin</h2> <p>It's important to exercise some self-control when it comes to the staple of the fall months: the pumpkin. You might have noticed that retailers aren't shy about shoving pumpkin-spiced products down your throat this time of year. It's okay to indulge a bit, of course, but be careful. It's easy to blow plenty of money on pumpkin-flavored coffees, pastries, and candies. Some of these seasonal treats might even come with higher price tags than their non-gourd cousins.</p> <h2>6. Call the Cable Company &mdash; And All Your Other Service Providers</h2> <p>This tip is viable all year, but you know you're going to be watching more TV once the weather chills. Why not pay less for it? Call your cable provider today and request a lower monthly payment. There's no guarantee that your provider will drop your monthly bill, but many will, especially if they think that you'll switch to a competitor. You can try this with everyone from your cable provider to your auto insurance company. Take a day to call your providers. You might be surprised at how many are willing to lower their monthly premium.</p> <h2>7. Start Holiday Shopping Early</h2> <p>Getting a head start on your holiday season doesn't seem like a great way to spend money, but by shopping early, you'll have more time to carefully plan out what you want to buy for your friends, family members, and co-workers. If you plan, the odds are better that you'll actually spend less. You might even have time to find clothes, toys, and electronics that are priced less because the winter holidays are still far enough away. Just make sure that you hit the stores with an actual list in hand. This will help protect you from those impulse buys that can shatter your budget.</p> <h2>8. Start an Emergency Fund</h2> <p>Financial experts recommend that you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-jars-and-8-other-clever-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund">have an emergency savings fund</a> with enough money to cover at least six months of your daily living expenses. Such a fund can protect you from an unexpected financial emergency &mdash; everything from losing your job to finding a burst water heater in your basement. Fall is a good time to start this fund. The expensive summer vacation season is over and the winter holidays are still far enough away. It's a bit easier to set aside $100 to $500 a month during the fall to build that emergency fund.</p> <h2>9. Get a Start on Your New Year's Resolution</h2> <p>Who says you have to wait until January 1 to start your New Year's resolution? If your resolution this year will involve saving money and spending less, get started today. Vow to spend only what you can afford during the holiday season, no matter how much pressure you feel to overspend.</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/9-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-autumn">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-30-brilliant-ways-to-survive-black-friday-madness">Flashback Friday: 30 Brilliant Ways to Survive Black Friday Madness</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-ways-to-use-google-alerts-to-save-money">6 Ways to Use Google Alerts to Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-44-sneaky-shopping-traps-to-avoid">Flashback Friday: 44 Sneaky Shopping Traps to Avoid</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-49-smartest-amazon-hacks-that-will-save-you-big">Flashback Friday: 49 Smartest Amazon Hacks That Will Save You Big</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-84-reasons-to-be-done-with-summer-and-get-excited-for-fall">Flashback Friday: 84 Reasons to Be Done With Summer and Get Excited for Fall</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping autumn fall frugal living frugal skills holiday shopping saving money shopping Wed, 02 Nov 2016 10:30:11 +0000 Dan Rafter 1825230 at http://www.wisebread.com Save Money in 5 Seconds or Less With These 29 Easy Tricks http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-in-5-seconds-or-less-with-these-27-easy-tricks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-money-in-5-seconds-or-less-with-these-27-easy-tricks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_credit_card_83996553.jpg" alt="Woman saving money in 5 seconds or less" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Saving money often takes a lot of effort and time, but I have found some tricks you can use to save money in just five seconds or less. Some these are quick tools to help you avoid unnecessary purchases, and others are quick ways to save money on things you do decide to go ahead and buy. Finally, there are some really quick things you can do at home to save money that only take a few seconds.</p> <h2>5 Second Tricks Before You Buy</h2> <p>Saving starts before you even pull out your pocketbook.</p> <h3>1. Do Your Own Assessment</h3> <p>Before you buy something, think about how much you would pay before you look at the price tag. Only consider buying if the price is <a href="http://www.yesandyes.org/2013/03/moneyhappysimple-tip-1.html">less than the number you came up</a> with before you saw the price tag.</p> <h3>2. Consider Your Cash</h3> <p>Do you have enough cash in your purse or wallet to purchase the item? If not, leave it on the shelf.</p> <h3>3. Is It Inconvenient?</h3> <p>Imagine exactly where you would put the item after you buy it. Do you have room? Would you have to rearrange things to make a place for it? After this quick exercise you may decide not to buy the item, saving yourself not only money, but the hassle as well.</p> <h3>4. Sum Up the Parts</h3> <p>Visualize all of the materials that went into making the item. Is it worth consuming that much of the world's dwindling resources?</p> <h3>5. Walk Away</h3> <p>If you really want or need the item, you'll come back later.</p> <h3>6. Use the Buddy System</h3> <p>Text a friend (or your spouse) for a second opinion &mdash; &quot;Do you think I should buy this?&quot; For best results, pick a frugal buddy!</p> <h3>7. Do a Price Check</h3> <p>Pull out your smartphone, and do a quick online search. You might find a better price and save money.</p> <h3>8. Is It Worth the Work?</h3> <p>Make a quick estimate of how many hours you would need to work to pay for the item. Is it worth it? For example, if you take home $20 per hour, you would need to work three hours to pay for a $60 shirt. Considering how much time an item will cost you is a quick way to put a potential purchase into perspective.</p> <h3>9. Estimate Cost Per Use</h3> <p>Take the price of the item and divide by the number of times you will use it. Does the potential purchase seem like a good value considering how much it costs for each use?</p> <h3>10. Downgrade</h3> <p>Find a lower priced version of the item you are about to buy. For example, pick the generic or less fancy version that costs less.</p> <h3>11. Find the Clearance Rack</h3> <p>Pick up an item on sale or from the clearance area instead of your usual brand.</p> <h3>12. Edit</h3> <p>Take something out of your cart at checkout that you don't really need. It is easy to get into &quot;buying mode&quot; at the store and put extra things in the cart.</p> <h2>5 Second Tricks to Save on Purchases</h2> <p>Save at the point of attack with some smart buying strategies.</p> <h3>13. Carry Your Coupons</h3> <p>I keep a small file of them in my car. Coupons won't do any good if you leave them at home.</p> <h3>14. Use a Rewards Credit Card</h3> <p>If you've decided that this is a worthy purchase, and you have the cash to pay for it, use a rewards credit card to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal">get cash back </a>or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal">earn travel discounts</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you?ref=seealso">How to Pick the Best Rewards Credit Card for You</a>)</p> <h3>15. Use a Store Rewards Program</h3> <p>On top of rewards credit cards, sign up for your favorite store's loyalty program. When I buy 10 gallons of milk, I get the 11th gallon free. When I buy 10 pizzas, I get the 11th one free. At the grocery store, I use a fuel saver rewards program &mdash; last week I got gas for less than $1 per gallon!</p> <h3>16. Order Water</h3> <p>Skip the expensive beverage loaded with corn syrup or chemicals</p> <h3>17. Skip the Extended Warranty</h3> <p>Decline extended warranty when you check out. In most cases, extended warranty is a better deal for the store then it is for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-warranties-that-arent-worth-it?ref=seealso">4 Warranties That Aren't Worth It</a>)</p> <h3>18. Decline Dealer Add-Ons</h3> <p>If you're buying a car, beware of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-new-car-costs-the-dealer-is-hiding-from-you">sneaky hidden costs</a> dealers may be trying to pack on.</p> <h3>19. Avoid Unneeded Size Upgrades</h3> <p>Why not get a large instead of a medium for only 50 cents more? Because paying 50 cents extra for something you don't need is a waste of 50 cents.</p> <h2>5 Second Tricks at Home</h2> <p>Saving money starts before you leave home.</p> <h3>20. Hang Up</h3> <p>Politely end telemarketing calls or excuse yourself from sales pitches within the first five seconds. This will save you time and likely money as well.</p> <h3>21. Fill Up</h3> <p>Fill your water bottle at home and take it with you.</p> <h3>22. Lights Out</h3> <p>Turn off lights when you leave a room to save money on your electric bill.</p> <h3>23. Go On a Canceling Spree</h3> <p>Cancel an unused subscription to a streaming video service or game account. This can often be done with a couple of computer mouse clicks (or smartphone screen taps).</p> <h3>24. Change Your Furnace Filter</h3> <p>It'll increase the efficiency of your heating and cooling system and you'll save money on your utility bill. Plus your system will last longer with regular maintenance.</p> <h3>25. Check the Air Pressure in Your Tires</h3> <p>Low air pressure costs you money in the form of reduced gas mileage and wears out tires faster.</p> <h3>26. Do a Balance Transfer</h3> <p>If you have a high interest credit card debt, use a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal">balance transfer offer</a> to pay less interest and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=internal">get out of debt faster</a>.</p> <h3>27. Invest in Index Funds</h3> <p>Direct your investment contributions into an index fund with low expenses (around 0.1%) instead of a managed fund with a 1% or higher expense rate. This can be done in a couple clicks on your investment company's website.</p> <h3>28. Switch to LED</h3> <p>Put an LED bulb in a frequently used light fixture. Here's <a href="http://creebulb.com/calculator">how much you can save</a>.</p> <h3>29. Tweak the Temp</h3> <p>Turn your thermostat up a couple degrees in summer and down a couple degrees in winter.</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/save-money-in-5-seconds-or-less-with-these-27-easy-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-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/6-ways-to-use-google-alerts-to-save-money">6 Ways to Use Google Alerts to Save 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/save-100s-next-month-with-these-10-grocery-shopping-tips">Save $100s Next Month With These 10 Grocery Shopping Tips</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-frugal-hacks-for-single-living">10 Frugal Hacks for Single Living</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-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-autumn">9 Frugal Skills You Must Have to Survive Autumn</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-shopping-list-strategy-from-5-meal-plan-will-save-you-big">This Simple Shopping List Strategy From $5 Meal Plan Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping coupons expenses Food hacks home price checks saving money tricks Tue, 01 Nov 2016 09:00:10 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1824621 at http://www.wisebread.com