saving money http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/165/all en-US Flashback Friday: 23 Mental Tricks That'll Help You Save Money http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-23-mental-tricks-thatll-help-you-save-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-23-mental-tricks-thatll-help-you-save-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_serious_thinking_536686446.jpg" alt="Woman learning mental tricks to save money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It turns out that the whole &quot;mind over matter&quot; thing also applies to money. Your ability to save money can be instantly destroyed without the right mental tricks to keep you on track. Everywhere we turn, we are encouraged to spend, so in order to combat those urges, you need to trick your own brain into withstanding that pull. Here's how to do it.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/cash-76661814.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-savings-tricks-you-havent-tried-yet?ref=fbf">5 Savings Tricks You Haven't Tried Yet</a> &mdash; Hiding money from yourself and taping a goal to your credit card are just a couple brilliant ways to trick yourself into spending less money on things you don't need.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-trick-yourself-into-better-credit-card-behavior?ref=fbf">How to Trick Yourself Into Better Credit Card Behavior</a> &mdash; Reckless credit card behavior is responsible for so many people's struggles with saving money. Once you can reasonably manage that, you'll be well on your way to saving more moola.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/kid_money_maker_532666075.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-mental-habits-that-make-the-rich-richer?ref=fbf">5 Mental Habits That Make the Rich Richer</a> &mdash; If a goal of yours is to become filthy rich, you might as well learn from how the rich are currently managing their money. These mental tricks keep them financially cozy, and could lead you there as well.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-mental-biases-that-are-keeping-you-poor?ref=fbf">5 Mental Biases That Are Keeping You Poor</a> &mdash; Before you can fix a problem, you need to recognize that you have a problem to begin with. Once you learn what's holding you back (like these mental biases) you can learn to think differently.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock-525488514.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-thing-that-will-help-you-actually-save-money?ref=fbf">The One Thing That Will Help You Actually Save Money</a> &mdash; It's all about positive encouragement. But it's so much more than leaving yourself notes with smiley faces on them when you skip your morning latte. Using this tool, you'll love yourself and your bank account so much more.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-master-your-debt-think-like-a-maze-runner?ref=fbf">Want to Master Your Debt? Think Like a Maze Runner</a> &mdash; In order to wrangle that debt and get better at saving money, sometimes you need to think like a character in a post-apocalyptic novel. There's always a way out, even when it comes to spending less and saving more.</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-23-mental-tricks-thatll-help-you-save-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-72-brilliant-ways-to-stretch-20">Flashback Friday: 72 Brilliant Ways to Stretch $20</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-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shop-with-purpose-and-save-more-money">How to Shop With Purpose — And Save More Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping fbf flashback friday mental tricks saving money shopping habits Spending Money Fri, 24 Feb 2017 10:30:30 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1898301 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Big Winter Expenses That Could Freeze Your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/5-big-winter-expenses-that-could-freeze-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-big-winter-expenses-that-could-freeze-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-502733146.jpg" alt="Woman freezing near her heater" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You never know what might happen when the snow starts to fall. Everyone should have a three- to six-month emergency fund for unexpected expenses, like when four feet of snow caves your roof in &mdash; God forbid, of course. While you can't control life's curveballs, you can prepare and perhaps <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-these-5-hidden-costs-of-winter?ref=internal" target="_blank">avoid big winter expenses</a>. Here's how.</p> <h2>1. Broken Heating System</h2> <p>Cranking up the heat helps maintain a comfortable temperature in the home, but extreme cold can push a heating system to the max, causing it to quit on you at the worst time.</p> <p>A basic service call to diagnose a problem can cost upward of $100 &mdash; mine was $95 earlier this winter when my system wasn't working &mdash; and this doesn't include the cost to fix any broken components. (Luckily mine didn't require anything out of the ordinary. I got away with just the $95.) If your system is older and needs replacing, however, you'll have to shell out thousands of dollars for a new one.</p> <p>There's no way to predict when a heating system will break, but getting a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-the-most-out-of-a-home-warranty?ref=internal" target="_blank">home warranty</a> can help you deal with this unexpected cost. These plans &mdash; which cost about $400 to $500 a year &mdash; are like an insurance plan for your home's major systems. If your appliances &mdash; water heater, plumbing, electrical, heating, and AC system &mdash; need a repair, give your warranty company a call and they'll send a technician within their network to fix the problem. You just pay a flat $50 to $75 out-of-pocket service fee. If the technician can't fix the heating system, your warranty company pays the replacement cost.</p> <p>There are limitations, so make sure you understand how your plan works. For example, your warranty company may only replace the unit if you can show a record of annual tuneups. As such, it's important to stay on top of things so you don't restrict yourself when it comes time to take advantage of the warranty.</p> <h2>2. High Gas Bills</h2> <p>Maintaining a warm, cozy home in the winter often requires turning up the heat. But while this keeps your home nice and toasty, high gas bills can wreak havoc on your budget. Fortunately, there are ways to stay warm without draining your bank account.</p> <p>Use space heaters in rooms where you spend the majority of your time. These smaller appliances use less energy and you'll save money compared to setting your thermostat at a higher temperature. Another option is a programmable thermostat, which lets you keep your thermostat at a lower temperature during the day when nobody is home. Mine also has a mobile app that allows me to turn the heat on and off and adjust the temperature from my phone; very convenient if I've forgotten to turn off the heat after I leave the house.</p> <p>Additionally, call your gas company to see if you're eligible for a budget plan. If so, the utility company looks at your average gas bill over a six- or 12-month period, and based on what you've paid in the past, the company comes up with a flat monthly payment. This makes it easier to budget. You know what you'll pay from month-to-month and there are no surprises.</p> <h2>3. Get a Winter Auto Tuneup</h2> <p>Cold temperatures can damage your car and result in costly automotive repairs in the winter. Battery problems, starter issues, and leaks are common problems. To minimize winter car troubles, schedule a winter tuneup or inspection before you face any of these issues. Your mechanic may recommend replacing a battery that's more than four years old, replacing worn tires, as well as repairing any maintenance issue that could be made worse by consistently cold weather, resulting in an even bigger repair bill.</p> <h2>4. Burst Pipes</h2> <p>Cold temperatures also can cause frozen pipes, which can burst resulting in an expensive plumbing bill. The good news is that most homeowner insurance policies cover the cost to repair damaged pipes. But even if you're covered, you'll still need to cover the cost of your deductible, which can be $500 to $1000.</p> <p>Obviously, it is better to avoid a burst pipe in the first place. To do this, drip your faucets during extreme cold weather. A slight drip keeps fluid moving through your pipes and helps prevent freezing. Also, insulate pipes in unheated areas and keep the temperature in your home at a reasonable temp to ensure your pipes stay warm. You also may be able to turn some of them off completely, like outdoor lines, which I do for spigots and my outdoor shower.</p> <h2>5. Leaky Roof</h2> <p>Snowy weather is an opportunity to enjoy outdoor winter activities with your family, but heavy precipitation can cause big problems if left on your roof for too long. The weight of heavy snow and ice increases the likelihood of your roof caving in. Plus, melting snow and ice can reveal hidden roof problems and cause a water leak in your home. Your homeowner's insurance policy may cover the cost of a roof caving in, but you're on your own if snow causes a major leak. Have your roof inspected and replace it if necessary. If you can't afford to replace the entire roof, patch worn areas, and <em>carefully</em> shovel snow off your roof to avoid damage.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-big-winter-expenses-that-could-freeze-your-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/heres-how-a-spending-ban-can-help-and-hurt-you">Here&#039;s How a Spending Ban Can Help (and Hurt) You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget">How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting 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/8-ways-to-save-on-dinner-no-meal-planning-required">8 Ways to Save on Dinner — No Meal Planning Required</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Home broken heater burst pipes gas bill heating expenses saving money seasonal bills winter budget winter expenses Thu, 23 Feb 2017 11:00:13 +0000 Mikey Rox 1897584 at http://www.wisebread.com 18 Times in Life When Less Is More http://www.wisebread.com/18-times-in-life-when-less-is-more <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/18-times-in-life-when-less-is-more" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-508377300.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For people immersed in our consumer culture, it may be hard to imagine, but more of something isn't always better. Surprisingly, even making more money may not be better. Studies show that the salary level for <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/nobel-prize-winners-figured-out-the-perfect-salary-for-happiness-2015-10" target="_blank">peak happiness is $75K</a>; people who make more than this are less happy. So having more money &mdash; and more of the stuff that money can buy &mdash; may not necessarily bring the joy you might expect.</p> <p>Which stuff are you better off having less of? Here are 18 times when living with less is the way to go.</p> <h2>1. Smaller House</h2> <p>A smaller home means smaller expenses. The initial purchase price of a smaller house is generally less than a larger one, property taxes are less, and your utility bills will be lower as well. Some people are even thriving in tiny houses with just 400 square feet or less of living space. How much space do you really need? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mcmansion-to-mccottage-why-smaller-houses-are-smarter?ref=seealso" target="_blank">McMansion to McCottage &mdash; Why Smaller Houses are Smarter</a>)</p> <h2>2. Smaller Car</h2> <p>Some people buy a car to haul cargo or transport a lot of passengers. But it seems like most vehicles carry only the driver most of the time. Smaller cars are cheaper to buy, especially compared with a big SUV or pickup truck. Plus, you'll save money on gas every day.</p> <h2>3. Smaller Portions</h2> <p>In the United States alone, <a href="http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/food_waste_the_facts" target="_blank">30%&ndash;40% of our overall food supply</a> ends up getting tossed. Not only is this a huge waste of resources, but it's a huge waste of money, too. Reduce your contribution to these statistics with smaller, smarter food portions. Make a meal plan and grocery list before you do your shopping, and stick to the essentials. While you're at it, limit your portion sizes to save even more money and stick to a healthier diet.</p> <h2>4. Fewer Channels</h2> <p>In 2016, the average cost of a cable TV package reached a staggering <a href="http://fortune.com/2016/09/23/average-cable-tv-bill/" target="_blank">$103.10 per month</a>. You pay for all those TV channels, but do you really get that much viewing pleasure out of it? With fewer TV channels, your bill will be lower every month. Maybe you could cut the cord altogether, and instead find more time to do other things that are more enjoyable than watching TV.</p> <h2>5. Less Random Stuff</h2> <p>Everything you buy has to go somewhere, whether that means a spot on the shelf, or place in the garage or basement. Instead of spending your money accumulating clutter, why not see if you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter?ref=internal" target="_blank">get rid of some stuff</a> instead? Sell it online, have a garage sale, or donate to a good cause.</p> <h2>6. Fewer Books</h2> <p>Books are great, but ebooks are even better since they generally cost less and take up no physical space. You'll spend less money, and reduce clutter, by going digital for your favorite reads.</p> <h2>7. Smaller Yard</h2> <p>Lawn care in America is a <a href="http://theweek.com/articles/483762/blades-glory-americas-love-affair-lawns" target="_blank">$40 billion per year industry</a>. Buying a home with a large yard is a popular goal, but why? Are you really planning on spending that much time in it? Not only will a smaller yard save you time on all the mowing and upkeep, you'll save money on lawn care products, too. Even if you already have a large yard, you can cut back on maintenance by landscaping to reduce the amount of grass you have. This will give you some of the benefits of a smaller yard without moving.</p> <h2>8. Less Exercise Equipment</h2> <p>Let's face it: Most exercise equipment costs a small fortune, gets used a few times (if at all!), and then just takes up space for years. Instead, find a physical activity that you enjoy that doesn't require any clunky, expensive equipment. Maybe you can take up running outside, or check out <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-online-workout-videos-for-free-or-cheap?ref=internal" target="_blank">free workout videos</a> online.</p> <h2>9. Fewer Gadgets<strong> </strong></h2> <p>So many gadgets were rendered obsolete with the rise of the smartphone. If you're still hanging on to items like small digital cameras, GPS devices, alarm clocks, calculators, and MP3 players, then it's time to let go. That little device in your pocket can do it all. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tools-and-gadgets-your-smartphone-can-replace?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Tools and Gadgets Your Smartphone Can Replace</a>)</p> <h2>10. Less Jewelry</h2> <p>Jewelry is a luxury, and the expense can really add up. How often do you actually wear it? You'll also need somewhere safe to keep it, and possibly insurance to protect it from loss or theft.</p> <h2>11. Fewer Vehicles</h2> <p>If you can get rid of an &quot;extra&quot; vehicle in your household, you can save space, maintenance expenses, and insurance costs. Vehicles almost always depreciate in value, so there is no advantage in owning more than you really need. Carpooling and ride-sharing are a great way to get around without driving yourself. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/becoming-a-one-car-family-5-points-to-consider?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Points to Consider When Becoming a One-Car Family</a>)</p> <h2>12. Less Facebook</h2> <p>On your Facebook feed, you can read all about the expensive new stuff your friends are buying, or check out photos from your relative's latest lavish vacation. Social media has brought keeping up with the Joneses to the digital realm, and it can feel inescapable. It's no wonder studies have shown that more time on Facebook leaves people feeling <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2013/08/19/213568763/researchers-facebook-makes-us-sadder-and-less-satisfied" target="_blank">sad and unfulfilled</a>. There's a simple cure for too much Facebook &mdash; less Facebook.</p> <h2>13. Less Driving</h2> <p>No one enjoys a long commute. Not only do you have to pay for all those extra miles you're driving, but people are <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/02/18/171926131/how-to-thrive-short-commutes-more-happy-hours" target="_blank">often less happy</a> when they have those long drives to dread. If moving closer to work to reduce your commute is not practical, try to reduce your driving in other ways. Some employers allow workers to work longer days and take an extra day off, or even work from home a few days per week. If you're going out on errands, combine multiple stops on the same trip.</p> <h2>14. Fewer Clothes</h2> <p>With fewer clothes packed into your dresser and closet, it is much easier to find something to wear. Why not sell or donate what you no longer need? If you're having trouble deciding what clothing to get rid of, start with items that require expensive dry cleaning, clothes you haven't worn in over six months, and items that no longer fit. You might be surprised by how much this alone can get rid of. From there, build an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-essential-pieces-for-your-capsule-wardrobe?ref=internal" target="_blank">affordable capsule wardrobe</a> with timeless pieces that will last you for years.</p> <h2>15. Fewer Cleaning Products</h2> <p>Somehow, I ended up with many bottles of different cleaning products under my kitchen sink and in my closet. I even have a box filled with various floor cleaning chemicals that I am trying to figure out where to store. I think I spend more time sorting, storing, and searching through my excessive supply of cleaning products than I do using them! If you have a surplus of soaps, sprays, and other cleaning supplies, stop buying them! Seek out simple, multiuse cleaners that do the same job. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-household-products-vinegar-can-replace?ref=seealso" target="_blank">30 Household Products Vinegar Can Replace</a>)</p> <h2>16. Fewer Toys</h2> <p>When my kids were younger, we would often pick up cheap plastic toys in fast food meals or as small gifts for them from a shopping trip. These toys would get played with once or twice, never get touched again, and then create clutter to the point where it was hard to find anything in the toy room. Yes, we actually ended up with an entire room filled with toys! My advice: Less is more when it comes to toys.</p> <h2>17. Less Stuff in Your Coffee</h2> <p>Do you take your coffee with cream and sugar? If you're loading your morning cup of joe up with sweeteners, maybe you can try cutting back. It is so much cheaper to just drink black coffee. Plus, black coffee has no added calories or fat. And you can actually taste the coffee!</p> <h2>18. Less Stuff on Your Desk</h2> <p>There are all kinds of office supplies and organizers you can buy and put on your desk. They may give the illusion of productivity, but in reality, they're just getting in your way. I have found that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-ways-to-maximize-desk-space?ref=internal" target="_blank">the less stuff I have on my desk</a>, the more productive I am.</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/18-times-in-life-when-less-is-more">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/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter">My 16 Favorite Ways to Get Rid of Clutter</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/23-frugal-living-resolutions-anyone-can-master">23 Frugal Living Resolutions Anyone Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-three-lessons-about-saving-one-husband-learned-in-a-year">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Three Lessons About Saving One Husband Learned in a Year</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/my-2016-budget-challenge-reduce-debt-or-save-for-an-emergency">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Reduce Debt or Save for an Emergency?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor">8 Ways Clutter Keeps You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living clutter cutting back downsizing less is more minimalism organization saving money Thu, 23 Feb 2017 10:00:19 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1894901 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How a Spending Ban Can Help (and Hurt) You http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-a-spending-ban-can-help-and-hurt-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-a-spending-ban-can-help-and-hurt-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-507263686.jpg" alt="Woman learning how a spending ban can help and hurt her" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're struggling to get your finances in order, a spending ban can be a great way to get back on track. A spending ban is a period anywhere from one week to one year wherein you refrain from all spending, other than for necessities.</p> <p>A spending ban might sound a little extreme, but it is a good way to get back in touch with your financial discipline and find contentment with what you already have. But, spending bans can have some unexpected pitfalls if you're not careful. Here's how to create a successful spending ban and avoid the potential traps you might face.</p> <h2>Know Your Own Spending Ban Rules</h2> <p>Before you start, you need to make sure you define several different aspects of the ban so that you are prepared for the possible complications.</p> <h3>1. Decide How Long the Ban Will Be</h3> <p>There have been several bloggers and journalists who have described their yearlong, no-spending adventures, but the average person should plan on a shorter length of time to start. It would be very easy to burn out on a too-ambitious spending ban, so it makes more sense to start small. Michelle Singletary of The Washington Post recommends a <a href="http://www.michellesingletary.com/21-day-financial-fast.html" target="_blank">21-day financial fast</a>. This is a good length of time, since it is long enough to make a serious difference in your habits and your finances, but it is not so long that you feel overwhelmed.</p> <h3>2. Define &quot;Necessity&quot;<strong> </strong></h3> <p>One of the toughest parts of your spending ban is determining what constitutes as a necessity. You know that you will be refraining from unnecessary spending, and that you will of course be able to purchase needed things like food and medicine. But it can be very easy to decide that since lunch out with your coworkers is a food purchase, it counts as a necessity. So, decide ahead of time what you truly need, and what you can live without during the ban. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-products-you-think-you-need-but-really-don-t?ref=seealso" target="_blank">25 Products You Think You Need But Really Don't</a>)</p> <h3>3. Plan Ahead</h3> <p>Take the time to think about what kinds of things you will face during your spending ban that you would normally spend money on. For instance, if you know that your child is invited to a birthday party during your spending ban, you can figure out ahead of time how you can bring a gift without spending money. You might be able to regift a gently used toy or book, or make a gift. Thinking through these issues ahead of time will make it easier to avoid a purchase of convenience.</p> <h3>4. Know Where the Extra Money Will Go</h3> <p>When you start your spending ban, you should have a goal in mind for the money you are saving through the ban. Rather than just allowing it to sit in your account, where you might spend it after the ban is over, send the money to your savings account, your debt, your retirement account, or your children's college fund. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-stash-your-money-besides-a-savings-account?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Places to Stash Your Savings Besides a Bank Account</a>)</p> <h2>How a Spending Ban Will Help Your Bottom Line</h2> <p>The ultimate goal of a spending ban is to help you determine the difference between your wants and your needs. It can be very easy to get into the habit of regarding anything that makes your life a little easier or more comfortable as a need, but that is not necessarily the case. You are much better able to correctly identify your needs if you are pausing all unnecessary spending.</p> <p>In addition, the spending ban will help you learn to make do with what you have, when you might usually buy your way out of a dilemma or problem. For instance, if you have to go to a special event during the spending ban, then you will have to find something that will work within your closet, rather than buy a new outfit.</p> <p>Finally, spending bans are great for helping you recognize how much you already have in your life. If you regularly buy DVDs for instance, the spending ban can help you revisit the favorite movies you already own, rather than buy new ones that you will only watch a couple of times. Taking the time to enjoy what you already have is both a great way to save money and a path to contentment.</p> <h2>Spending Ban Pitfalls to Avoid</h2> <p>Though a successful spending ban can help you save money, it can backfire on you if you are not careful.</p> <p>In particular, some people find that a spending ban encourages them to overspend, rather than helping them change their habits. Such overspending might take the form of a &quot;last hurrah&quot; spending spree before the start of the ban. Alternatively, you might be tempted to go on a shopping binge after the end of your spending ban to celebrate.</p> <p>In either case, you are defeating the purpose of your spending ban. If you feel tempted to overspend before (or after) you start you spending ban, focus on why you are committing to this ban. Keeping your motivation front and center in your mind can be a powerful tool to help you combat the urge to overspend.</p> <p>The other major pitfall to be aware of is how your spending ban may affect your relationships. If you have friends or family members who are spenders, it can feel awkward to bow out of expensive events or deal with their discomfort at your ban. The best way to handle this is to have alternative activities to suggest when you have to turn down dinner or movie invitations. Being clear and honest with your friends about what you're doing and why can also help to smooth over any discomfort with your spending ban. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-people-in-your-life-who-are-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 9 People in Your Life Keeping You Poor</a>)</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/heres-how-a-spending-ban-can-help-and-hurt-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-no-budgeting-required">How to Manage Your Money — No Budgeting Required</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-improve-your-finances-using-social-media">How to Improve Your Finances Using Social Media</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/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting expenses extra money financial fast necessities needs saving money shopping spending ban wants Fri, 17 Feb 2017 10:31:31 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1892126 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Sign Up for That Store Credit Card? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-sign-up-for-that-store-credit-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-sign-up-for-that-store-credit-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-510513339.jpg" alt="Woman wondering if she should sign up for a store credit card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Shop at enough chain retailers and you'll eventually be offered a chance to apply for a store credit card. Often it comes with a tempting discount on your purchase, and maybe even a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/same-as-cash-store-offers-vs-0-intro-apr-credit-cards-which-is-right-for-you?ref=internal" target="_blank">promotional financing offer</a>. But how good are store credit cards, and should you get one?</p> <h2>Benefits of Store Credit Cards</h2> <p>Store credit cards do have some upside to consider.</p> <h3>Get Discounts<strong> </strong></h3> <p>Retailers usually offer a discount on your day's purchases when you apply for their credit card right at the register. If you are making major purchases, the savings could be significant. In addition, many store credit cards promise to send you coupons and advance sales notices throughout the year.</p> <h3>Earn Rewards</h3> <p>Another benefit that a store card may offer is a rewards program that lets you earn points every time you buy something from the store. Rewards are often in the form of credits toward future purchases. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/store-credit-cards-that-dont-suck?ref=internal" target="_blank">best store cards</a> offer rewards or discounts of up to 5% of the amount spent.</p> <h3>Build Credit</h3> <p>Retail credit cards typically have much lower qualifications for approval than other credit cards. If you have a poor credit score or a limited credit history, you might be able to qualify for a store credit card before you can be approved for other cards. In this way, retail credit cards can help you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-need-credit-and-how-to-build-it-from-scratch?ref=internal" target="_blank">build a credit history</a> from scratch, or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-rebuild-your-credit-in-8-simple-steps?ref=internal" target="_blank">rebuild your credit</a> after financial setbacks. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use Credit Cards to Improve Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2>Disadvantages of Store Credit Cards</h2> <p>Now, the downsides.</p> <h3>High APR</h3> <p>While it's easier to be approved for a store credit card, it will likely have less competitive interest rates than other cards. While the average credit card has a standard APR of about 15%, it's not uncommon to find store cards with rates in the high 20s or even the 30s.</p> <h3>Limited Use</h3> <p>A store credit card may not be part of a larger payment network such as Visa or MasterCard, either. If so, then you will only be able to use your card for purchases at that store and its website, not at other merchants.</p> <h3>Lower Rewards</h3> <p>Retail credit cards may not even offer very strong rewards programs. Some store cards offer rewards valued at just 3% or 4% of your spending, which is not much higher than you could expect from one of the most competitive reward credit cards. Also, a store card's rewards will usually be in the form of store credit, which is never as valuable as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash back rewards</a>.</p> <h3>Opportunity Cost</h3> <p>You always have to consider the opportunity cost of applying for a retail credit card. Since you can't practically apply for <em>every </em>credit card you are offered (and even if you could, too many applications hurt your credit score), you have to consider if a store credit card is a better deal than the best offers available elsewhere.</p> <p>For example, another credit card could offer you a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-bonus-cash-for-sign-up?ref=internal" target="_blank">sign-up bonus</a> worth far more than a one-off discount on your day's purchases. And a store credit card rarely has a rewards program that's as good as the most competitive reward cards. Additionally, there are credit cards available directly from banks that feature <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-0-apr-for-purchases?ref=internal" target="_blank">0% interest on new purchases</a>. That's superior to the promotional financing offers available from most store credit cards.</p> <h3>When It's Okay to Sign Up for a Store Card</h3> <p>If you find that you are consistently buying from one particular store, it may be worthwhile to consider whether rewards and discounts from its store credit card will put a dent in your regular spending there. But don't impulsively agree to signing up at the register for a one-time discount. Smart spenders don't just consider their purchases carefully; they also choose their payment options wisely.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-sign-up-for-that-store-credit-card">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-loads-of-money-using-credit-cards">7 Ways to Save Loads of Money Using Credit Cards</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-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</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-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</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/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</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/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Shopping bad deals credit deals department stores discounts offers saving money Fri, 17 Feb 2017 10:31:23 +0000 Jason Steele 1893290 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-185090450.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Teenagers need guidance to build their first budget. But with sporting events, extracurriculars, and homework to worry about, it can be easy for parents to let budgeting skills fall through the cracks. And if you were never taught how to budget by your own parents, you might not know how to teach your children this skill.</p> <p>Helping your teenage child create a budget does not have to be overwhelming or time consuming. The important thing is to be proactive and consistent as you teach your teen how to handle money in the real world.</p> <h2>Offer a Monthly Allowance<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Providing a monthly allowance will help your child recognize the importance of long-term money planning. If they blow the entire month's worth of allowance in the first weekend, they'll learn an important lesson in delaying gratification. The most important thing you can do is be consistent about paying the allowance each month, and refuse to bail your child out of a problem if they use up their money before the month is over.</p> <p>If your teenager also decides to take a job, consider that a supplement to their allowance, rather than a substitute. Just as you would hate to see your initiative at work penalized by a reduction in pay, your child would hate to see their allowance docked just because they're showing initiative in getting a job.</p> <h2>Require Them to Take Over Some Necessary Spending</h2> <p>Many parents allow their teens to use their allowance and salary as pocket money. While there's nothing wrong with letting your kid have fun money, a big part of budgeting is making sure you have enough money to cover fixed bills. You can help your teenager learn to do this by asking them to take over a necessary bill.</p> <p>For example, you could ask them to cover a portion of the family cell phone plan, or their portion of the automobile insurance. Learning to pay these bills on time will give your teen an important first taste of what it will be like to pay their own way as an adult.</p> <h2>Create Targeted Savings Accounts<strong> </strong></h2> <p>It's likely that your child has some big goals for the future, whether that's going to a private college or buying a car. You can show them that they can achieve these financial goals through targeted savings accounts.</p> <p>Many banks allow you to create several targeted accounts, each with its own nickname. You can help your teen set up a few of these targeted savings accounts and encourage them to transfer some of their allowance or salary into the accounts when they get paid. They'll learn the importance of paying themselves first, and that consistent savings adds up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-savings-faster-with-a-multiple-account-strategy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Build Savings Faster With a Multiple Account Strategy</a>)</p> <h2>Help Them Track Their Spending</h2> <p>Financial tracking is a necessary part of creating a healthy budget. They should know where their money is going each month, and whether those expenses were worthwhile. If they discover they're spending a good portion of their allowance on going to the movies, introduce options to them, like discounted movie passes or skipping the popcorn, soda, and snacks while there. Remind them to spend their money consciously.</p> <h2>Have Regular Budget Meetings</h2> <p>Plan on checking in at least once every two or three months to see how their finances are faring. They should get into the habit of reviewing how they've spent their money and whether those expenditures align with their goals. This will set your teen up to regularly review their budget on their own, and one day have regular budget meetings with their spouse.</p> <h2>Teach Your Children Well</h2> <p>Budgeting is the cornerstone of financial health, but knowing how to budget is hardly intuitive. Spending can easily become automatic and savings be pushed to the back burner. By getting your teen used to reviewing their finances and planning for their future, you're creating a powerful habit that will guide them wisely for the rest of their lives.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-16"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-new-toys-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use New Toys to Teach Kids About 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/7-unexpected-ways-stay-at-home-parents-save-big">7 Unexpected Ways Stay-at-Home Parents Save 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/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Family allowances budget meetings family kids saving money savings accounts teenagers tracking spending Thu, 16 Feb 2017 11:00:09 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1889843 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid's College Savings http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-604338428.jpg" alt="Finding places to stash a kid&#039;s college savings" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're hoping to save the tens of thousands of dollars needed to send your children to college, you'll need to do more than stash money in a savings account. To accumulate enough cash to stave off future student loan debt, you'll probably need to invest, and do so over a long enough time horizon.</p> <p>The good news is that there are several investment vehicles out there that can help you save money while also offering some tax advantages. Some are designed specifically for college savings, while others have different purposes but can be used to help with education costs.</p> <p>When saving for college, consider stashing your money in one (or a combination) of these places.</p> <h2>1. A 529 Plan</h2> <p>Any conversation about college savings should begin with a 529 plan. These are investment plans offered by states that allow you to invest money tax-free, as long as the funds eventually go to college expenses. You can open a 529 plan as soon as a child is born and in many cases, begin contributing as little as $25 a month. In addition to seeing investments grow without fear of paying taxes later, you can also get matching contributions and additional tax benefits from some states. In most cases, there are no restrictions on which college a beneficiary can attend. A child enrolled Maryland's college savings plan, for example, can use funds to attend school in Ohio. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a>)</p> <p>Most 529 plans offer a menu of mutual funds to invest in, though you may find your options limited to target date funds with relatively high fees. And it's important to note that if you don't use the funds for college expenses, you'll pay taxes and a 10% penalty.</p> <h2>2. Coverdell ESA</h2> <p>A Coverdell Education Savings Account is similar to a 529, in that you can invest money and will not see taxes on the gains. The advantage of a Coverdell is that you can invest in just about anything, and the money can be used for any educational expenses, not just college (even tuition for private high schools or grade schools would qualify).</p> <p>There is a $2,000 annual limit on Coverdell accounts, however, so it's unlikely you'll be able to save for the full bulk of college costs. There are also income limits, as those individuals with a gross income of $110,000 (or $220,000 for parents filing jointly) can't open Coverdell accounts.</p> <h2>3. Taxable Brokerage Account</h2> <p>It's smart to look at other options before exploring a regular brokerage account to save for your kids' education. But it is one option that has some advantages over other accounts.</p> <p>The main downside is that there are no tax advantages when you try to save money in a taxable brokerage account. When you withdraw your money, you'll be stuck with capital gains taxes, and no one is offering to deduct contributions from your taxable income. But, regular brokerage accounts do offer the flexibility of investing in just about anything, so you can seek out investments that have better performance and lower fees. Moreover, there are also no restrictions on how you use the gains, so it's no big deal if your child gets a scholarship or does not attend college.</p> <h2>4. Roth IRA</h2> <p>A Roth Individual Retirement Account isn't designed for college savings, but it can be used for that purpose. Under a Roth IRA, any money can be withdrawn tax-free at age 59 &frac12;, so if you happen to have a college-aged child at that time, you can use that money for education with no penalty. Investors are also allowed to withdraw the contributions (but not the gains) without penalty at any time.</p> <p>A Roth IRA will generally offer more investment options than a 529 plan, though for people under 50, there is an annual contribution limit of $5,500. If you do use a Roth IRA for college expenses, it's important to remember that saving for retirement should remain a priority over saving for college. So it's advisable to use this account for education expenses only if you have additional plans for your retirement savings.</p> <h2>5. Municipal Bonds</h2> <p>If you're seeking some tax advantages as well as safety, municipal bonds can be a good option for college savings. You won't earn as much going this route, but you may still be able to accumulate enough for college if you start early and contribute regularly.</p> <p>Municipal bonds are nice because they are tax-free, and don't come with the volatility of stocks. Muni bonds with strong ratings can earn you a tax equivalent return of between 5% and 6%, which is quite solid. If you invest $5,000 annually into these kinds of bonds, you'll have well over $100,000 by the time the kids head off to school.</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/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings">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-19"> <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-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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-your-kid-need-an-ira">Does Your Kid Need an IRA?</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/when-should-you-start-saving-for-your-child-s-education">When Should You Start Saving for Your Child’s Education?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-college-kids-home-for-the-holidays-for-cheap">6 Ways to Get College Kids Home for the Holidays for Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-saving-hacks-every-college-student-should-try">8 Money-Saving Hacks Every College Student Should Try</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Investment 529 plans brokerage accounts college Coverdell ESA kids municipal bonds Roth IRA saving money Wed, 15 Feb 2017 11:00:11 +0000 Tim Lemke 1887743 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Things You Can Do Now to Prep for Your Best Summer Ever http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-you-can-do-now-to-prep-for-your-best-summer-ever <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-things-you-can-do-now-to-prep-for-your-best-summer-ever" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-508921978.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the past week, I have experienced Polar Vortex-level temperatures in the upper Midwest and then back-to-back wind and rainstorms in California. I have not seen the sun in days. All this weather has got me dreaming about what my family will do this summer.</p> <p>But I can't just dream an epic summer into existence. I need to plan and prepare. Here are some things you &mdash; and I &mdash; can do in the gloom of winter to lay the groundwork for the best summer ever.</p> <h2>1. Reserve a Campsite</h2> <p>In some states, like California, state park sites book up devilishly early. In fact, a quick search of a couple of favorite beach campgrounds found them already booked for weekends throughout the summer. So if you haven't already booked any summer camp-outs, go to <a href="http://www.reserveamerica.com/" target="_blank">Reserve America</a> and snag them before it's too late.</p> <h2>2. Arrange a Home Exchange</h2> <p>If you're able to take a sabbatical or work from home, consider swapping your house with someone far away for a change of scenery, even without using vacation time. If you have to report to work every day, try a temporary relocation to a different part of your region. For instance, since my husband has a 40-mile commute to his Silicon Valley job, I'm eyeing swaps with families who live within the same distance from his work, but in other directions, on <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10774433" target="_blank">HomeExchange</a>.</p> <h2>3. Send the Kids to Camp</h2> <p>If you're a parent, time away from your job might not be as relaxing as time away from your kids. I should know, I have three little buggers of my own. Fortunately, there exists a wonderful institution to give you a vacation from parenting: sleep-away camp. Camp catalogs go out soon. Girl Scout, Boy Scout, church, and YMCA camps offer some of the best values. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-on-child-care-this-summer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Save Money on Child Care This Summer</a>)</p> <h2>4. Book a National Park Trip</h2> <p>The big-name parks book up fast. In fact, a random check of <a href="http://www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/" target="_blank">Yellowstone lodges</a> for June showed that rooms are already getting hard to find. If you're planning to stay in &mdash; or even near &mdash; a National Park this summer, get going.</p> <h2>5. Buy Baseball Tickets</h2> <p>It's not as if it will be impossible to get seats in most ballparks after Opening Day, but still, wouldn't it be nice to see a big circle on the calendar around a July day and know you'll be spending it at the ballgame? My family received tickets to a Cubs game as a Christmas gift, and I'm already looking forward to that August event.</p> <h2>6. Figure Out Where You'll Be for the Solar Eclipse</h2> <p>In case you haven't heard, there will be a total solar eclipse August 21, but the full monty will only be <a href="http://www.al.com/news/huntsville/index.ssf/2017/01/nasas_new_map_can_put_you_righ.html" target="_blank">viewable from certain parts of the United States</a>. You'd better believe that campgrounds and other lodging in the path, which will follow an arc from Oregon to South Carolina, are selling out fast. August 21 is a Monday, so if you can do a long weekend and get there, it should be a sight to see as the moon takes a big bite out of the sun and then blots it out entirely, bringing out the stars in the middle of the day. We haven't had a total eclipse cross the whole country like this for about 100 years.</p> <h2>7. Plan Your Garden</h2> <p>Your dirt may be buried under snow, but that doesn't mean you can't sketch out new garden beds (there's even <a href="http://theselfsufficientliving.com/7-vegetable-garden-planner-software-for-better-gardening/" target="_blank">gardening software</a> to help you do that now), ordering seeds, and starting seedlings indoors.</p> <h2>8. Research Major Summer Purchases on Your Wishlist</h2> <p>Is this the year you buy a boat or a camper, or even an inflatable dinghy? Most of the boat and <a href="http://www.rvpark411.com/rv-shows-camping-expos.html" target="_blank">RV shows</a> are in winter and spring. Even if you're just going to dream, walking through a boat show can help pass chilly days with dreams of fishing and snorkeling.</p> <h2>9. Get Medical Procedures Out of the Way</h2> <p>This may not be as fun as booking vacations or boat shopping, but think about it: If you need a knee replacement, do you want to be laid of up for six weeks in summer or now? Might as well get those bunions removed while you're stuck inside anyway.</p> <h2>10. Learn to Scuba Dive</h2> <p>If you live near water, you might love exploring the underside of it this summer. Did you know you can start learning even if it's too cold to jump in right now? First of all, scuba certification involves a classroom portion, which you can <a href="https://apps.padi.com/scuba-diving/elearning/purchasecourse.aspx" target="_blank">take online</a>. Then, there are <a href="http://www.dolphinscuba.com/scuba-diving-classes/overview.html" target="_blank">classes you can take in heated pools</a> to get you ready for dive season.</p> <h2>11. Buy Tickets to a Summer Theater Festival</h2> <p>For me, one of the highlights of summer is watching Shakespeare out in nature, whether it's at Wisconsin's <a href="http://americanplayers.org/" target="_blank">American Players Theatre</a> or the <a href="https://www.bard.org/" target="_blank">Utah Shakespeare Festival</a>. Tickets are already available for some of these festivals, and even if they're not, the schedule is probably posted, so you can decide which shows you'll see. And if you're unable to travel to see these, check for local shows in your area.</p> <h2>12. Book Amtrak Tickets</h2> <p>Even more than flights, Amtrak trains can fill up early, especially those sleeper cars that make the journey more pleasant. Buy it now or you may find yourself sleeping in a seat.</p> <h2>13. Buy Theme Park Season Passes</h2> <p>Early bird discounts can net you some real savings on these. For instance, Six Flags Great America in Chicago is selling season passes for $75-$93 right now; full price runs $189-$250.</p> <h2>14. Work Out</h2> <p>I'm not talking about a &quot;get your beach body&quot; weight-loss program, because all bodies are welcome at the beach. I'm talking about cardio and strength training to build your endurance for those summer hikes and swims you're going to do. You won't regret it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-you-can-do-now-to-prep-for-your-best-summer-ever">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-digital-nomads-can-save-for-retirement">6 Ways Digital Nomads Can Save for Retirement</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-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</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-build-your-best-travel-budget">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-world-cities-you-can-afford">5 Incredible World Cities You Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel book a trip camping family vacation saving money summer shopping summer travel summer trip summer vacation winter Tue, 14 Feb 2017 10:30:39 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1888422 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Save on Dinner — No Meal Planning Required http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-dinner-no-meal-planning-required <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-save-on-dinner-no-meal-planning-required" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-500927193.jpg" alt="Man saving on dinner with no meal planning required" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you find yourself barraged with advice about the money-saving power of meal planning, but lack the ability to stick with it? You're not alone. By the time Wednesday rolls around, you may not be feeling energetic enough to whip up that recipe that is on the menu board. Instead, there is the temptation of takeout. But that's where we blow the food budget, folks. It's really hard to stay on track if you give up on cooking. Instead, try these eight cost-cutting meal ideas and tricks to give yourself an &quot;out&quot; if you need to veer off the meal-planning track.</p> <h2>1. Have Breakfast for Dinner</h2> <p>Rough day? Throw on your sweats and fry some eggs. Kids, just as much as adults, love the comfort factor of <em>brinner</em>. They'll be happy with pancakes and bacon, but if you need a little more adult fare, whip up an omelet to serve with crusty French bread. Pair with a glass of white wine. Enjoy!</p> <h2>2. Get Weekly Meals in a Box</h2> <p><a href="https://www.blueapron.com/" target="_blank">Blue Apron</a>, <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11292017-1439826671000" target="_blank">Hello Fresh</a>, <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-12605037-1465591711000" target="_blank">Home Chef</a> and <a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-11891629-1439420197000" target="_blank">Plated</a> are a few of the new meal-prep services. If making it through the week on your own meal-planning power is proving to be too much, try the treat of having a few meals a week delivered. It will be a healthier option than fast food, cheaper than ordering in from a local restaurant, and there is an element of fun involved in unpacking those boxes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-meal-prep-subscription-boxes-worth-it?ref=seealso">Are Meal Subscription Boxes Worth It?</a>)</p> <h2>3. Join a Meal Planning Service</h2> <p>Some enjoy finding fun meals to try on Pinterest or in magazines, but for others, that isn't a fun pursuit. Solution? Try a meal-planning site. There are free ones, like <a href="http://mealplannerpro.com/recipe-search-engine" target="_blank">mealplannerpro.com</a> or <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/eatingwell_menu_planner" target="_blank">eatingwell.com</a>, as well a low-cost ones ($4.95 a month) like <a href="https://5dollarmealplan.com/join-today-v2/?ap_id=wisebread" target="_blank">5dollarmealplan.com</a>, which will even make your grocery list for you.</p> <h2>4. Check Your Grocer's Freezer</h2> <p>Last night, thanks to Safeway's excellent frozen food section, I whipped up a very passable Chinese dinner for four for just $14.88. That's hard to beat! The days of Salisbury steak and mashed potatoes are long gone, as today's frozen foods are very good and easy to reheat.</p> <h2>5. Cook Once, Eat Twice</h2> <p>Tonight I'm making a pot roast. The leftover meat will go into a stroganoff on Wednesday, and the rest of the meat and potatoes into a hash on Friday. Those second and third meals are much easier to make, too. Try picking up a rotisserie chicken for one night, and use the extra chicken to make chicken tacos, and maybe make chicken soup toward the end of the week.</p> <h2>6. Create Your Own &quot;Fast&quot; Food</h2> <p>Do your kids want hamburgers or pizza? Make some frozen turkey burgers. Pizza is fun for kids to make, and it's really easy now with ready-made crusts (Pillsbury has a whole-wheat artisan crust that is pretty good). Let the kids add their favorite toppings, toss a salad, and save the cost of going out.</p> <h2>7. Stock Your Pantry</h2> <p>Keep some good staples on hand in your pantry and freezer, and dinner will go together quickly. With spaghetti, bacon, peas, cheese, and cream, you can whip up a fast carbonara. Canned beans, veggies, and tomatoes can become an instant vegetarian chili.</p> <h2>8. Invest in Quality Appliances</h2> <p>Maybe it's time to try using a <a href="http://amzn.to/2l7dLMg" target="_blank">slow cooker</a> or a <a href="http://amzn.to/2kbvGnw" target="_blank">pressure cooker</a>. With a slow cooker, you can toss everything in before you go to work, and come home to a piping hot, delicious meal. I only recently purchased a pressure cooker, and now can make chili, spaghetti, or even ribs in less than 30 minutes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-dinner-no-meal-planning-required">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch">5 Easy Ways to Save on Groceries in a Pinch</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-9-easiest-food-budget-wins">The 9 Easiest Food Budget Wins</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money">12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-saving-hacks-for-those-who-hate-cooking">8 Money-Saving Hacks for Those Who Hate Cooking</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/these-15-road-trip-snacks-make-it-all-about-the-journey">These 15 Road Trip Snacks Make It All About the Journey</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Food and Drink affordable meals budget dinners cheap meals dinner ideas dinners family dinner meal planning saving money Thu, 09 Feb 2017 11:00:07 +0000 Marla Walters 1888424 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Digital Nomads Can Save for Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-digital-nomads-can-save-for-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-digital-nomads-can-save-for-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-511054478.jpg" alt="Digital nomads learning how to save for retirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There is a common misconception that traveling is only about spending money. However, there are many people (myself included) who have figured out how to sock away money for retirement while on the road.</p> <p>Travel offers some surprising advantages when it comes to savings, especially because the cost of living in many foreign countries is much lower than in the U.S. If you're able to eliminate a pricey mortgage or car expense at home, you're already well on your way to saving more than you thought possible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-world-cities-you-can-afford?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Incredible World Cities You Can Afford to Live In</a>)</p> <p>You'll need to talk to an accountant about whether you're eligible to contribute to an IRA. If not, you could set up an investment account filled with tax-advantaged investments, or simply stash money in a savings account. Here are ways you can still save for retirement while traveling full-time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year or Less</a>)</p> <h2>Earning an Income Anywhere in the World</h2> <p>The first step is to plan how you can earn an income on the road. There are many ways of doing this, which will depend on your skills, interests, and career goals.</p> <h3>1. Become a Digital Nomad to Earn Money From Anywhere</h3> <p>One option is to move your current business online or find remote jobs that allow you to work from anywhere. If you have experience as a software programmer, a web designer, a graphic artist, or a writer, these jobs can easily be done remotely, giving you the freedom to work from anywhere.</p> <p>Another option is to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-make-money-by-starting-a-blog?ref=internal" target="_blank">start a travel blog</a>. A blog is not a surefire way of getting rich, but if you're traveling the world, you will likely have a lot of material to write about. Creating quality content and establishing a readership may allow you to eventually monetize your blog. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-social-media-stars-who-earn-way-more-than-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These Social Media Stars Make More Money Than You</a>)</p> <h3>2. Get Short-Term Jobs at Overseas Destinations</h3> <p>Not all travel jobs require a computer. For example, you could work as a divemaster, waiter, or another type of seasonal professional that allows you to have greater flexibility. Some people in these professions work for half a year and travel the other half.</p> <p>Seasonal jobs are a good way to work in a new place while you're traveling. Growing up in a ski town, I saw many foreigners who found jobs at the mountain during the winter. In these types of jobs you may work long hours, but for just a few months out of the year. When you finish the season, you are free to travel, or find another seasonal job somewhere new. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-while-you-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Ways to Make Money While You Travel</a>)</p> <h2>Cutting Costs</h2> <p>An important part of saving for retirement on the road is to cut any costs you can. Luckily, some of these are painless.</p> <h3>3. Eliminate Traditional Living Costs</h3> <p>Traveling full-time means that you don't have to pay housing costs back home. I spent nearly a year traveling after I graduated. I'd never signed a lease, so I didn't have to pay for rent as well as accommodation abroad.</p> <p>If you own a car and a home, you can sell them, cutting out mortgage and car payments, as well as insurance and upkeep. Or, you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space?ref=internal" target="_blank">rent out your home</a>, turning a cost into an income stream. Airbnb can be a lucrative way of renting out your home short-term and you can make a fair amount of money doing so. If you'll be away for a long time, consider having a friend, family member, or a hired service manage the rental for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Rent Your Place on Airbnb &mdash; and Succeed</a>)</p> <h3>4. Use the Right Travel Credit Card</h3> <p>You will want to carefully consider which credit card you travel with. Some of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">best travel cards</a> offer sign-up bonuses that alone can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-redeemed-a-12000-family-vacation-with-credit-card-rewards-in-2-months?ref=internal" target="_blank">get you a free flight</a>. For instance, I recently opened a credit card with a nice bonus and was able to easily <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-ways-to-meet-a-rewards-card-minimum-spending-requirement?ref=internal" target="_blank">meet the spending requirement</a> on a trip I took with my family.</p> <p>On top of rewards and perks, the credit card you use overseas should <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=internal" target="_blank">never charge foreign transaction fees</a>. When deciding on which card you want to open, you can also check out what other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel perks</a> the cards offer. For example, some cards come with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">free rental car insurance</a> that can save you a bundle.</p> <h3>5. Find Free or Steeply Discounted Accommodations</h3> <p>How you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online?ref=internal" target="_blank">save on accommodations</a> depends on how you like to travel and where you want to go. Some options include house sitting, couch surfing, or just cashing in your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-sign-up-bonuses-for-hotel-stays?ref=internal" target="_blank">hotel credit card points for free stays</a>.</p> <p>I've used couchsurfing while traveling in the south of Spain. A hostel would have cost me $25&ndash;$30 a night, and a traditional hotel would have been at least $50. Even over a short weekend trip, I was able to save nearly $100 on accommodation, plus connect with some interesting locals that I would have never met otherwise.</p> <p>A lot of backpackers will offer to work in a hostel in exchange for free accommodation. Some websites facilitate this type of exchange. However, in my travels, I've had hotel owners offer me this type of exchange more informally. Talk with whoever is running the hotel or hostel and find out if they are looking for help and what type of arrangement they'd be open to. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-get-free-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Easy Ways to Score Free Travel</a>)</p> <h3>6. Avoid Unnecessary Banking Fees</h3> <p>Your bank may charge fees for withdrawing money abroad, and foreign ATMs may charge fees on top of that. These fees really add up. Say your bank charges you $5 for using an out-of-network foreign ATM, plus a 3% foreign transaction fee, and the ATM owner charges you $5 per transaction. If you make four withdrawals of $100 each per month, you'll spend $52 a month, or $624 a year, just on fees.</p> <p>Cutting down on the number of withdrawals you make can reduce any flat fees you have to pay. But also check your bank's fee structure before you leave. If it's expensive, you may want to switch banks and put these fees into your retirement savings instead. A few U.S. banks will even reimburse you for all ATM fees at the end of the month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-make-sure-you-never-pay-an-atm-fee?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Make Sure You Never Pay an ATM Fee Again</a>)</p> <p>Saving for retirement while you travel full-time doesn't have to be difficult. Make a plan before you leave. Once you're traveling, you can make adjustments when you see which strategies are really helping you to meet your travel and retirement goals.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-ways-digital-nomads-can-save-for-retirement&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%20Ways%20Digital%20Nomads%20Can%20Save%20for%20Retirement.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ways%20Digital%20Nomads%20Can%20Save%20for%20Retirement" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Ways%20Digital%20Nomads%20Can%20Save%20for%20Retirement.jpg" alt="6 Ways Digital Nomads Can Save for Retirement" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-digital-nomads-can-save-for-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-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-save-and-make-money-while-traveling">12 Ways to Save and Make Money While Traveling</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/7-fool-proof-ways-to-stay-within-your-travel-budget">7 Fool-Proof Ways to Stay Within Your Travel Budget</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/14-things-you-can-do-now-to-prep-for-your-best-summer-ever">14 Things You Can Do Now to Prep for Your Best Summer Ever</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-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</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/are-all-inclusive-vacations-and-cruises-worth-the-money">Are All-Inclusive Vacations and Cruises Worth the Money?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel digital nomads full-time travel retirement saving money travel budget traveling in retirement Thu, 09 Feb 2017 10:00:08 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1877974 at http://www.wisebread.com The One Thing That Will Help You Actually Save Money http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-thing-that-will-help-you-actually-save-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-one-thing-that-will-help-you-actually-save-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-525488514.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>At least 66 million American adults <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/21/66-million-americans-have-no-emergency-savings.html" target="_blank">don't have anything saved</a> in an emergency fund. Whether you have one or not, that is a whopper of a number!</p> <p>Saving is hard. There are so many legitimate places to spend our money, and so many things we want on top of that. It can be difficult to figure out how to set anything aside, let alone to leave it there when a new need or want pops up on our horizon.</p> <p>Lucky for us, there is one very simple way to help ourselves save more money.</p> <h2>Positive Encouragement</h2> <p>The Rand Corporation recently published a study examining the role of <a href="https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/working_papers/WR1000/WR1055/RAND_WR1055.pdf" target="_blank">positive encouragement in savings</a>. Study participants were randomly given $50, $100, or $500 just for participating, but they had to put at least a portion of that into savings. They were able to choose the portion, as long as some of the money got saved for the six-month duration of the study.</p> <p>Each saver was assigned one of three different types of savings account: A traditional savings account, earning 30% interest and allowing the participant to withdraw the money at any time; a hard commitment account, also earning 30% interest but disallowing withdrawals; and a soft commitment account, which was the same as the traditional account except that it also included encouraging nudges designed to potentially help participants save.</p> <p>These nudges weren't anything huge. The folks running the study just reminded people why they were saving, helped them see themselves as good savers, and helped them think about how good it would feel to reach their savings goals.</p> <p>In addition to all of this, every participant got an update on their money every month, and they were also asked if they wanted to save more. The results? The folks with the soft commitment accounts were the most successful savers early on, while those with the hard commitment accounts enjoyed the greatest return at the end of the study.</p> <p>That's not the only good news! The people who seemed to benefit most from the encouragement they received were &quot;impatient&quot; people, a group less likely to successfully reach a savings goal.</p> <h2>Encourage Yourself</h2> <p>Since we can't all be part of a study like this, what does it mean for us? Is there a way to apply these ideas so that we can motivate ourselves to start &mdash; and continue &mdash; saving?</p> <h3>1. Find a Goal</h3> <p>Before you can know how it feels to reach a goal, you have to set one. Even if you are saving for something less glamorous, like an emergency fund or a new water heater, set that goal firmly in your mind. It is what you need, and it is the reason you are putting money away.</p> <h3>2. Think About Your Goal</h3> <p>When it comes to financial goals, don't just set it and forget it. Instead, remind yourself of your goal regularly. This can mean writing &quot;Hawaii&quot; on a sticky note and putting it on your bedroom mirror or your computer monitor, or it can mean setting daily reminders on your phone. Do whatever works for you, but make sure your goal comes to mind at least every few days.</p> <h3>3. Feel Good About Your Goal</h3> <p>Positive feelings are important when it comes to feeling encouraged, so don't just analyze your goal, but think about how you will feel when you achieve it, too. If you're saving for a new car, picture yourself driving it to work feeling happy and proud. If you need an emergency fund, imagine yourself feeling safe and secure, even in the face of a medical bill or a massive auto repair.</p> <p>It can help to write these scenarios and feelings down, too. Writing has a way of making things feel more real, of making them tangible. If you struggle to meet your goals, giving yourself a tangible reminder of why you're pursuing your goal can help make it more concrete in your mind.</p> <h3>4. Affirm Yourself</h3> <p>In addition to focusing on your goal, spend some time focusing on yourself, too. Say and write down statements like &quot;I am a good saver,&quot; and &quot;I will reach my financial goals.&quot; You might feel silly, but doing these things will help you come to believe these things about yourself. Saying it once won't make it true, but saying it over and over can help you change what you believe about yourself.</p> <p>Be sure that your statements are all positive. Keep away from statements that include words like &quot;I won't&hellip;&quot; or &quot;I will stop...&quot; These can be harder for our brains to process, and can sometimes backfire. You can turn any statement into a positive one with a couple moments' work, thus avoiding any accidental confusion in your own head.</p> <p>Saving may feel like a gargantuan task for you, but you can get started today. Set aside a little bit of money &mdash; open a new account if you need to! &mdash; and jump in with these positive reminders. You may be able to save more than you think!</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/the-one-thing-that-will-help-you-actually-save-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/5-mental-habits-that-make-the-rich-richer">5 Mental Habits That Make the Rich Richer</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/23-frugal-living-resolutions-anyone-can-master">23 Frugal Living Resolutions Anyone Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-need-to-make-financial-habits-not-goals">Why You Need to Make Financial Habits, Not Goals</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-deals-to-look-for-at-pawn-shops-thrift-shops-and-other-weird-stores">The Deals to Look for at Pawn Shops, Thrift Shops, and Other Weird Stores</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living affirmations encouragement goals positive reinforcement psychology saving money Wed, 08 Feb 2017 10:00:09 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1878070 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Manage Your Money — No Budgeting Required http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-no-budgeting-required <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-manage-your-money-no-budgeting-required" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-599767404.jpg" alt="Woman learning to budget her money without a budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The basics of creating and maintaining a budget are deceptively simple: Determine how much of your money comes and goes each month. Easy peasy, right?</p> <p>Wrong. If you don't have the time, inclination, or skills necessary to keep careful track of your finances, the &quot;simple&quot; tasks that make up budgeting are anything but easy.</p> <p>But money management is a necessary part of financial health, whether or not you commit to creating and following a traditional budget. Thankfully, there are several options available to the budget-averse who need to get a handle on their finances. Here are three ways to manage your money &mdash; no budgeting required.</p> <h2>1. Have Your Paycheck Deposited Into Savings, Not Checking</h2> <p>Instead of having your entire paycheck deposited into your checking account, have it sent to savings. Once a month, transfer the amount you need for expenses and bills into your checking account. You'll automatically spend less than you earn and save money every month without having to draft up an actual budget.</p> <p>If you correctly calculated your monthly expenses, the money should last until the next transfer. If you are running short before the end of the month, you can decide to move more money from your savings account, or go on a financial fast (that is, make no purchases until the next month begins). If you find that you're constantly adding a second transfer near the end of the month to make ends meet, it's time to evaluate your expenses. Find the sweet spot that allows you to cover your expenses without dipping multiple times into your savings.</p> <h2>2. Follow the 50/20/30 Rule<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Senator Elizabeth Warren, along with her daughter Amelia Warren-Tyagi, introduced the 50/20/30 budgeting rule in their book <a href="http://amzn.to/2koYERZ" target="_blank">All Your Worth</a>. This proportional budget recommends that you divide your income into three buckets:</p> <ul> <li>50% should go toward essential expenditures like rent or mortgage, groceries, utilities, child care, and the like.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>20% of your income should go toward savings and/or financial goals, such as retirement savings, a down payment for a house, or your child's 529 college account.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>30% of your income should go toward your &quot;lifestyle&quot; expenses &mdash; i.e., the unnecessary purchases you make because you want them. These expenses include things like travel, entertainment, dining out, luxury items, etc.</li> </ul> <p>You can easily follow the 50/20/30 rule without having to specifically follow a budget. Create targeted accounts for each of your spending categories. When you receive your paycheck, have 20% of your income automatically transferred into a savings account or investment account, and have another 30% automatically transferred into a separate checking account. When you make a nonessential purchase, use the debit card associated with your 30% checking account, so that you can never be in the position where you've accidentally spent your rent money on a weekend to Vegas.</p> <p>Finally, the 50% that remains in your primary checking account should cover your essential spending &mdash; although it's always a good idea to maintain an emergency fund just in case. (The 20% transfer into a savings account can help you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-jars-and-8-other-clever-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund?ref=internal" target="_blank">create an emergency fund</a> in the first few months of adopting this system.)</p> <h2>3. Let an App Do the Work for You</h2> <p>If you know that thinking about money will always be the last item on your to-do list, then you are a good candidate for an automatic savings or budgeting app. These three apps allow you to productively ignore your money.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://digit.co/" target="_blank">Digit</a> is a free program that syncs with your accounts in order to analyze your cash flow. About twice a week, the program will determine an amount of money (between $5 and $50) that is safe to transfer out of your checking account and into an FDIC-insured Digit deposit account. This is a safe way to save money without ever having to think about it.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://www.levelmoney.com/">Level Money</a> syncs with your bank account, calculating how much money will be available in your account after accounting for upcoming bills, recent purchases, and the savings goals you have created in the app. With those calculations, Level then gives you an estimated amount that is safe for you to spend that day, that week, and that month. Like Digit, Level Money is free.</li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.getpennies.com" target="_blank">Pennies</a> is an iPhone app that requires a little more hands-on approach. If you don't mind some more direct involvement in your budgeting, this one is worth a try. Pennies asks you to set a budget amount for various types of spending, such as monthly fun money, weekly food spending, monthly transportation costs, etc. You will enter in the start date, the length of the budget term, and the amount available to spend, and you will need to enter each purchase you make into the app. Pennies then shows you how much money and time is left in each budget. Pennies costs $2.99 in the App Store, and has no other fees.</li> </ul> <h2>Money Management Doesn't Have to Hurt</h2> <p>Just because you've never held onto receipts or willingly opened an Excel spreadsheet does not mean you can't have a good handle on your money. Consistency is the key to good money management, so finding a system that works for you is the most important part of keeping track of your finances.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-no-budgeting-required">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-a-spending-ban-can-help-and-hurt-you">Here&#039;s How a Spending Ban Can Help (and Hurt) You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-apps-for-busy-working-parents">The 5 Best Apps for Busy Working Parents</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-one-personal-finance-skill-you-must-master-before-all-the-others">The One Personal Finance Skill You Must Master Before All the Others</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-sneaky-ways-you-cheat-on-your-budget">6 Sneaky Ways You Cheat on Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting 50/20/30 rule apps expenses income money management not budgeting paycheck saving money tools Mon, 06 Feb 2017 11:00:10 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1885693 at http://www.wisebread.com Why You Need to Make Financial Habits, Not Goals http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-need-to-make-financial-habits-not-goals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-you-need-to-make-financial-habits-not-goals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_paperwork_tablet_516427320.jpg" alt="Woman realizing financial habits are better than financial goals" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With any luck you're still on track with your financial resolutions and making strides toward your financial goals. While your financial goals may look pretty on paper, they won't mean much until you start building the habits necessary to meet those goals. And if you have already given up on your resolutions, don't fret. Focus on financial habits, instead.</p> <p>By adopting good financial habits, you are committing yourself to achieving your long-term goals. Once you've begun a habit, it will eventually become second nature, and before you know it, you'll have made real progress toward your goals.</p> <h2>Track Your Progress</h2> <p>In order to ensure you are on the path to meeting your goals, it's essential to track your progress. This means that you need to create habits that allow you to track your progress. In order to develop a habit, there needs to be some form of reward that happens each time you perform the action. After a while, this repetition will form a new habit. This &quot;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/03/05/147192599/habits-how-they-form-and-how-to-break-them" target="_blank">habit loop</a>&quot; is how automatic behaviors and successful habits are formed.</p> <p>Recognizing the progress that you've made every week or month by adopting a new habit will motivate you to continue the action. For instance, by skipping your morning cup of coffee, you may be able to save up to $150 per month. Consider placing a reminder of this somewhere you'll see it throughout the day.</p> <h2>How to Form Good Habits</h2> <p>The only way to form habits that stick is through repetition. Forming a healthy habit is great, but the only way that it's going to be effective is if you continually repeat the behavior. In many cases, it can be good to have an accountability partner who can help you meet your goals. In fact, the Dominican University of California found that more than 70% of people who provided a friend with weekly updates on their progress were successful in <a href="http://www.dominican.edu/dominicannews/study-highlights-strategies-for-achieving-goals" target="_blank">accomplishing their financial goals</a>.</p> <h2>Develop Habits Early</h2> <p>The earlier you begin developing financial habits, the better chance you'll have of sticking to the habit on a long-term basis.</p> <p>Setting a goal determines your end target, but it doesn't necessarily set steps to achieve that goal. On the other hand, when you start forming habits, they can create long-term change. Goals can seem like large, looming things at the end of a long tunnel, whereas habits are something that you can begin doing today. By focusing on financial habits, you can form sustainable behaviors that help you meet your goals in less time.</p> <h2>Good Habits to Adopt</h2> <p>There are certain habits that can help you achieve a broad goal. For instance, if your goal is to pay off debt, then you can start by paying more than the minimum on your credit cards every month. By adopting this habit, you can more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">quickly pay off your credit cards</a> and move on to other forms of debt.</p> <p>If your goal is to invest more, then you can get into the habit of automatically transferring at least $35 per week into your retirement accounts so that you can become a millionaire by retirement (adjust the numbers for your age and personal retirement goals).</p> <p>In order to start building healthy habits, you will need to first create a budget to determine how much you can save and how much you can spend on the &quot;needs&quot; and the &quot;wants&quot; in life. Checking your budget every week is a great habit to form. This will help you to determine where you're spending your money and what can be cut from your regular spending.</p> <h2>Automate Your Habits</h2> <p>Saving money can make you happier both in the short and long run, so it's one of the best financial habits to have. However, it can be difficult to save, so it's best to sign up for an automatic savings plan, which can deposit a certain amount into your savings account every month. You can also set your credit card and other bill payments to be paid automatically. By automating your finances, you get a step closer to establishing healthy financial habits.</p> <h2>The Best of Both Worlds</h2> <p>In an ideal situation, you will build financial habits that can improve your financial status for life. You will also focus on your goals and set the achievable steps you'll need to take to reach those goals in less time.</p> <p>There are a number of evidence-based strategies that show that maintaining your healthy financial habits can help you reach your goals without even thinking about it. Once you have visualized your goals and outcomes, it's important to identify the obstacles standing in your way so that you can create a plan and begin adopting healthy habits that will benefit you for life.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-need-to-make-financial-habits-not-goals">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-things-to-remember-every-time-you-face-a-financial-failure">5 Things to Remember Every Time You Face a Financial Failure</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/12-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">12 Personal Finance Skills Everyone Should Master</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-reasons-you-really-need-to-pay-yourself-first-seriously">7 Reasons You Really Need to Pay Yourself First (Seriously)</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/living-cheaply-for-the-long-term">Living Cheaply for the Long Term</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living commitment financial goals habits long-term progress saving money Thu, 02 Feb 2017 10:00:16 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1871138 at http://www.wisebread.com A Simple Plan for Saving Up a $2000 Fun Fund http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-plan-for-saving-up-a-2000-fun-fund <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-simple-plan-for-saving-up-a-2000-fun-fund" 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_173834733.jpg" alt="Woman creating simple plan to get extra $2,000 this year" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What are your big plans for this year? Buying a house? Going back to school? Or simply taking that dream vacation? Big purchases require thousands of dollars, but the good news is there are simple steps to ensure you will meet your goal.</p> <p>First, establish a clear plan and set goals that are attainable. How much money do you need to save, and when do you need it? The formula for saving money is simple enough: earn more, spend less. Here are some ways that you can do both of those things to put several thousand dollars extra into your bank account this year!</p> <h2>Ask for a Raise</h2> <p>If you have a good track record at your job and you've never gotten a raise &mdash; or it's been awhile since you did &mdash; this could be a good time to set up a meeting with your boss. Normally, employee evaluations are carried out annually, so if you're coming up on the one-year mark, this is an especially good time to bring up the subject.</p> <p>People often feel uncomfortable <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-say-to-your-boss-to-get-a-promotion-or-raise?ref=internal" target="_blank">asking for a raise</a>, but it's a normal and natural conversation to have. However, it's critical that you come to the table prepared.</p> <p>When you sit down with your boss, be clear about what you're asking for and why. Get specific about how much you want to make. The average annual raise in 2017 is expected to be 3.1% according to a WorldatWork Salary Budget Survey. Stellar performers may earn more.</p> <p>If you think you fall into the latter category, you should have strong evidence of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-you-should-demand-a-raise?ref=internal" target="_blank">why you deserve an above-average raise</a>. Cite examples of successful projects you've managed, or great sales you've driven. You may also want to check out the average salary for your position in your industry. If you're being paid below market rate, add that to your argument.</p> <p>Of course, once you've secured a raise, be sure to save it instead of spending it. Let's say you're earning $3,000 a month and you get a raise of 3%. That translates into an extra $90 a month that you can put into your savings account. Make it easy on yourself by setting up a direct deposit of that amount into your savings account. That way, saving becomes automatic. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a>)</p> <h2>Seek Out Non-Traditional Sources of Income</h2> <p>If you're trying to earn more, it can also be helpful to augment your income beyond what you're earning every month in salary.</p> <p>Luckily, with the sharing or &quot;gig&quot; economy, there are many new ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-outside-your-day-job?ref=internal" target="_blank">earn money outside of your 9-to-5</a>. These earnings can add up fast, and often this &quot;work&quot; is very flexible and can fit in easily with your schedule. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/extra-income-online-5-websites-that-can-seriously-pad-your-pockets?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Websites That Can Seriously Pad Your Pockets</a>)</p> <h3>Offer a Room on Airbnb</h3> <p>If you have a home or apartment with extra space, consider <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed" target="_blank">listing your space on Airbnb</a> or another short-term rental website. Prices vary dramatically depending on where you live and the quality of the space you're renting. For instance, in Los Angeles prices range from $17 a night for a small, basic room to more than $1,000 a night for use of a whole luxury home. The average price of a private room is $73.</p> <p>Let's say you'll rent a spare room at that average rate for 10 days per month. That would equate to monthly earnings of $730. Subtract taxes, cleaning supplies, and any other materials you need to buy to keep up with your guests, and you should still clear around $500 a month.</p> <p>Keep in mind it will take some time for you to accumulate positive reviews, and certain times of year may have slower traffic than others. Also, many cities are regulating short-term rentals, which may impact how much money you can expect to make. Investigate the rules, then see how much you can make.</p> <h3>Become a &quot;Tasker&quot; on TaskRabbit</h3> <p>If TaskRabbit exists in your area, this is another great way to earn extra money toward your savings goal. Once you've been approved as a Tasker you can view the gigs people are offering. They can be anything from running errands, to waiting in line for a restaurant that doesn't take reservations, to making deliveries or helping plan a wedding.</p> <p>You get to set your rates and see tasks that correspond. If you set it lower &mdash; at say, $10 an hour &mdash; you may find more jobs than if you set it at $30 an hour. You choose which tasks fit into your schedule and how many jobs you want to take on in a month.</p> <p>Just by doing three two-hour tasks at $20 an hour, you could earn an extra $120 a month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-make-a-living-in-the-gig-economy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Can You Really Make a Living in the Gig Economy?</a>)</p> <h3>Drive for a Ride-sharing Company</h3> <p>Signing up to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-extra-money-driving-for-uber-or-lyft?ref=internal" target="_blank">drive for Uber, Lyft</a>, or any other ride-sharing company is another way to use the gig economy to earn some extra money. You'll need a four-door car in most cases, and you must be at least 21 years old with a clean driving record and car insurance.</p> <p>Uber is considered to pay better than other companies. An Uber study showed that its drivers in the company's top 20 markets average $19 an hour. Work 15 hours a week and you could gross $1,140. You'll have to pay taxes, vehicle upkeep, and insurance out of that. But you can work as much as you want, whenever you have the time, so it can be a good way to rack up several thousand dollars in just a few months.</p> <h2>Spend Less Money</h2> <p>There are a lot of incidental expenses that are easy enough to ignore in your day-to-day routine, but when you closely examine your monthly spending, it's often surprising just how much money these expenses eat away. Reduce them as much as possible to put more of your money into savings.</p> <h3>Kick the Coffee Shop Habit</h3> <p>This is a typical example, but it's worth mentioning because working Americans spent an average of about $21 a week on coffee in 2013, according to a survey by financial staffing firm Accounting Principals. The cost to make a cup of coffee at home is around 50 cents. If you drink two cups a day, that works out to about $7 a week. Over the course of a year you could save nearly $730 by making a habit of brewing your coffee at home.</p> <h3>Cut the Cord</h3> <p>Look at trimming bigger expenses, too. For instance, if having a landline is not essential for your work and you can use your cellphone, this could be an easy place to save $15&ndash;$30 a month. If you throw cable TV into the mix, you're looking at a savings of anywhere from $20 to $100 or more, depending on the package you have. Those savings can help you get to your goal quicker while minimizing the extra work you may have to take on. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Affordable Alternatives to cable TV That Will Keep You Entertained</a>)</p> <h3>Buy Necessary Household Items in Bulk</h3> <p>Unlike going to Starbucks every day, there are some expenses that simply can't be avoided. Make a list of the things you buy every month that are absolute necessities. Think of things like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, soap, and food staples that you always need to have on hand. These are prime items to buy in bulk, especially if you have a family.</p> <p>You can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-food-items-to-always-buy-in-bulk?ref=internal" target="_blank">save 10&ndash;70% on certain bulk items</a>, but you need to be an astute shopper and judge how much you'll really use to figure out if the items will actually save you money in the long run. It's not a bargain if you end up having to throw out expired products or rotten food.</p> <h2>Track Progress in Writing</h2> <p>One final tip: It's important to write things down when you're serious about saving. Writing down your goal will help you to mentally commit to it.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-journal-may-be-the-fix-for-your-finances?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">This Simple Journal May Be the Fix for Your Finances</a></p> <p>Record both your savings and your expenses, so you can identify areas where you're doing well and areas where you could improve. This will let you check in and re-evaluate every month to make sure you stay on track.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-plan-for-saving-up-a-2000-fun-fund">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-earn-extra-money-with-your-car">7 Ways to Earn Extra Money With Your Car</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-creative-ways-to-make-money-on-super-bowl-sunday">8 Creative Ways to Make Money on Super Bowl Sunday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-more-money-as-an-uber-driver">How to Get a High Rating and Make More Money as an Uber Driver</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/is-uber-saving-or-costing-you-money">Is Uber Saving or Costing You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-extra-money-driving-for-uber-or-lyft">How to Earn Extra Money Driving for Uber or Lyft</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Extra Income AirBnb coffee cord cutting lyft raises ride-sharing saving money sharing economy side jobs TaskRabbit Uber Mon, 30 Jan 2017 10:30:28 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1871127 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Smart Ways to Save Money This Year (Without Clipping a Coupon) http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-save-money-this-year-without-clipping-a-coupon <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-smart-ways-to-save-money-this-year-without-clipping-a-coupon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-534001267.jpg" alt="save money without clipping any coupons" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The days of exclusively saving money by clipping coupons are long gone. While using paper coupons still makes sense in many cases, there now exists a plethora of new ways to save when buying the stuff you need. Here are six new money-saving techniques that you should add to your toolbox this year. Your wallet will surely thank you.</p> <h2>1. Ibotta</h2> <p>The hottest money-saving app in recent years is <a href="https://ibotta.com/register?friend=jcsgjbv" target="_blank">Ibotta</a>, which takes grocery savings to a whole new level &mdash; no coupon clipping required. The app lets you redeem &quot;rebates&quot; in place of coupons on items you'll be buying anyways. It doesn't matter the store, or the price &mdash; you still collect the rebate. It even has rebates on generic items like milk, eggs, and loaves of bread.</p> <p>You simply unlock rebates via the app before your trip to the grocery store, do your shopping like you normally would, then upload a picture of your receipt as evidence of your purchase. Ibotta then credits your account with the rebate within 48 hours. Get at least $20 in your account, which won't take long if you're buying groceries for a family, and collect your earnings via PayPal or a gift card.</p> <h2>2. Become a #Hashtag Pro</h2> <p>Most folks who attempt to use social media to save money are doing it all wrong. If you're not using the famed hashtag correctly, you're probably not finding the best deals. For example, let's say you live in Atlanta and are looking for a screaming deal on a new bicycle on Twitter or Facebook. Be sure to use hashtags like #bike #deals and #atlanta rather than combining words like #BikeDeals or #DealsAtlanta. By breaking up the hashtag into separate words, you'll actually find deals on specific items and spend less time weeding through useless information.</p> <h2>3. Use Hyphens in Craigslist Searches</h2> <p>Craigslist is another fantastic resource to find deals on stuff that others are getting rid of, no coupon clipping required. But if you've ever used their search feature, you know it can be difficult to find exactly what you're looking for without having to sift through a bunch of junk.</p> <p>An easy workaround is to start using the hyphen (-) in your search queries. Specifically, use the hyphen to <em>exclude </em>or block certain words. For example, let's say you're looking for some gently used furniture, but would like to stay away from any IKEA items. Simply search &quot;Furniture -ikea&quot; and they'll automatically exclude all IKEA furniture from your search results. This is a huge time saver and can help you quickly find the best deals on exactly what you're looking for.</p> <h2>4. Ask About Store Markdown Days</h2> <p>Another great way to save at retailers, without using a coupon, is to figure out when your favorite stores do their clearance markdowns. After all, there is nothing more frustrating than showing up at a store like Old Navy and having the clearance section completely picked over. But if you're in the know, most Old Navy locations do their markdowns on Sunday and Monday mornings. So if you shop early in the week, you'll be able to take advantage of clearance deals when they're most likely to have your size and color.</p> <p>The bottom line is to always start a conversation with store employees and politely ask what day of the week they do their markdowns. Try it and you'll be amazed with how open most employees are with the information. Then plan your shopping trips accordingly and shop when there is ample clearance inventory and real opportunities to save money.</p> <h2>5. Look for Quantity Discounts</h2> <p>If you have any DIY projects planned for this year, and know you'll be buying in bulk, start thinking about quantity discounts that many retailers offer. No coupon required to qualify for these discounts. Think about things like lumber, nails, fencing, paint, and screws. Here are a few quantity discounts to be aware of.</p> <ul> <li>Home Depot: They call it <a href="http://www.homedepot.com/c/Pro_VolumePricing" target="_blank">Volume Pricing Discounts</a>. Once you build your project checklist, you'll qualify for a discount when your order exceeds $1,500.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Lowe's: Through the <a href="https://www.lowes.com/cd_Lowes+Commercial+Services+Buy+in+Bulk_577249990_" target="_blank">Lowe's ProServices: Buy in Bulk</a> program, you'll score deals on contractor packs, reduced delivery fees, as well as a flat 5% discount.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Costco: Available to all paying members, <a href="http://www.costco.com/volume-bulk-sales.html" target="_blank">Costco's Volume Sales Department</a> can hook you up with some exclusive quantity discounts.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Sam's Club: Sam's offers what they call <a href="http://www.samsclub.com/sams/pallet-quantity-items/7470122.cp" target="_blank">Pallet Quantity Discounts</a> which will get you deals on stacking chairs, folding tables, office tables, and even sports drinks.</li> </ul> <h2>6. Use Grocery Store Loyalty Cards Religiously</h2> <p>While some grocery store loyalty cards are nothing more than a way to send you worthless advertising, many are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-store-loyalty-programs-that-are-worth-it?ref=internal" target="_blank">absolutely worth your while</a>. This is especially true if the grocery store has a gas station attached to it that gives gas discounts via your loyalty card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Best Gas Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>Also, many grocery stores slash prices on meat, dairy, and bakery items via their loyalty card, making it another smart way to save. Many also allow you to add coupons found online to the card, completely removing the need to cut them out of the newspaper. Bottom line, be sure you're taking full advantage of the loyalty programs your local grocery stores provide. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-save-money-this-year-without-clipping-a-coupon">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You 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/6-highly-effective-ways-to-save-without-clipping-a-coupon">6 Highly Effective Ways to Save Without Clipping a Coupon</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-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-more-apps-that-pay-you-to-shop">6 More Apps That Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales">How to Find the Best Back to School Sales</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping apps coupons deals hashtags ibotta markdowns retail saving money social media store loyalty Fri, 27 Jan 2017 10:30:26 +0000 Kyle James 1881614 at http://www.wisebread.com