saving money http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/165/all en-US 5 Surprising Budget Habits of Wealthy Financial Gurus http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-budget-habits-of-wealthy-financial-gurus <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-surprising-budget-habits-of-wealthy-financial-gurus" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-482951141.jpg" alt="Learning budget habits of wealthy financial gurus" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;He who will not economize will have to agonize,&quot; warned Chinese philosopher Confucius as early as the 5th Century B.C. His advice has survived the test of time and has become the mantra of many individuals in their quest for financial success.</p> <p>However, you would think that once somebody &quot;makes it,&quot; it's time to sit back and &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-the-treat-yourself-mindset?ref=internal" target="_blank">treat yourself</a>.&quot; Not so fast! Let's review five wealthy financial gurus who continue to save money in the most surprising ways.</p> <h2>1. Warren Buffett eats McDonald's every day for breakfast</h2> <p>With an estimated net worth of over $78 billion, Warren Buffett can definitely afford to sip mimosas for breakfast without sweating the bill. Still, the Oracle of Omaha revealed in a recent 2017 documentary that he sticks to a daily breakfast budget of <a href="http://time.com/money/4656662/heres-what-warren-buffett-eats-for-breakfast-every-day/" target="_blank">no more than $3.17</a> at Mickey D's.</p> <p>Buffett usually picks up his breakfast from the drive-thru of a nearby McDonald's on his way to the office. &quot;When I'm not feeling quite so prosperous, I might go with the $2.61, which is two sausage patties, and then I put them together and pour myself a Coke,&quot; Buffett deadpans. Coke for breakfast, you ask? Buffett's investment company holds <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/berkshire-hathaway-portfolio/" target="_blank">over 9 percent</a> of shares from the drink company.</p> <h2>2. T. Boone Pickens owns a pair of shoes from 1957</h2> <p>Through his success in the oil and gas sector, T. Boone Pickens amassed a fortune over the years and ventured into the financing and investment sectors. In 2012, <a href="https://www.forbes.com/profile/t-boone-pickens/" target="_blank">Pickens ranked #913</a> on Forbes' list of billionaires. Nowadays, he doesn't rank in that list at all because he has given more than $1 billion away through his philanthropic efforts.</p> <p>Despite his financial success, the author of <a href="http://amzn.to/2mYvcn7" target="_blank">The First Billion Is the Hardest</a> uses what he buys until it falls apart, which can be several decades later. &quot;If I want something, I look at it, decide what it is, but it will usually be the best product. I've got a pair of loafers that I still wear that I got in 1957,&quot; he disclosed <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2011/06/q-a-with-t-boone-pickens-057296" target="_blank">during an interview</a> in 2011.</p> <p>And it's not just shoes, Pickens limits the size of the pieces on his closet in general. &quot;People are always surprised that I don't have a closet full of suits,&quot; Pickens told Kiplinger. &quot;I buy three suits every five or so years and only own 10 total. That's all I need.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Mitt Romney hunts for cheap flights</h2> <p>While you may know Mitt Romney mostly for being a former presidential candidate, he is also the co-founder of the private equity firm Bain Capital. Through his work as a management consultant and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-investments-that-arent-stocks-or-bonds?ref=internal" target="_blank">private equity</a> investor, he has a high net worth &mdash; estimated at <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/edwindurgy/2012/05/16/what-mitt-romney-is-really-worth/#783284812927" target="_blank">$230 million</a> by Forbes when he ran for office back in 2012.</p> <p>Not a stranger to the finer things in life, you would expect Romney to stick only with premium buys. While he has purchased six-figure Warmblood horses, he also loves finding bargains. According to The New York Times, he is obsessed with scoring cheap flights on JetBlue. A longtime adviser to Romney supported that claim by stating that, when asked to change a flight, Romney hesitated and responded, &quot;Well, it's a cheap flight. It's a middle seat, but I got a great JetBlue rate.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Jack Bogle eats PB&amp;J sandwiches for lunch</h2> <p>One of the few <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-investors-with-better-returns-than-warren-buffett" target="_blank">investors with better returns than Warren Buffett</a> is John &quot;Jack&quot; Bogle, founder and retired CEO of the Vanguard Group. If the Vanguard name sounds familiar, it's most likely because you own one of its low-cost <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-steps-to-getting-started-in-the-stock-market-with-index-funds?ref=internal" target="_blank">index funds</a> in your retirement or investment account. And you wouldn't be alone: Just the Vanguard 500 Index Investor Shares fund [Nasdaq: <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/VFINX?p=VFINX" target="_blank">VFINX</a>] has $292.36 billion in assets as of February 2017!</p> <p>As the pioneer of low-cost passively managed index funds, Bogle believes that the key to making it big in investments is to aggressively minimize fees. And he sticks by this belief in life as well. Many publications have recounted that his go-to lunch food is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He began bringing a PB&amp;J sandwich and an apple when he first started Vanguard because he refused to pay the prices charged in his own cafeteria. And when he does have to order there, he sticks with a simple grilled cheese sandwich.</p> <h2>5. David Cheriton cuts his own hair</h2> <p>A common daydream of individual investors is to uncover the next Microsoft, Facebook, or Apple, become the first one to invest in that moneymaker, and be set for life. Stanford professor David Cheriton happens to be one of those investors that hit the jackpot when in 1998, he wrote a check for $100,000 to Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Today, that investment makes up the bulk of his estimated $4.2 billion net worth.</p> <p>As of 2012, the &quot;Billionaire Professor&quot; had invested over $50 million across 17 startups and companies, and continues to invest. To this day, he continues to plunk down checks in several other companies, such as AISense and ThreatSTOP.</p> <p>With such an investing pedigree, you would think that he wouldn't mind splurging a bit on a nice haircut once a month. For over three decades, Cheriton prefers to cut his hair himself. &quot;It's not that I can't fathom a haircut,&quot; said Cheriton. &quot;It's just easy to do myself, and it takes less time,&quot; he confessed to Forbes. Since the professor is adept at making good calls, probably nobody would argue with him on this one.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-budget-habits-of-wealthy-financial-gurus">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-invest-like-warren-buffett">7 Reasons You Shouldn&#039;t Invest Like Warren Buffett</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/knowing-when-to-walk-away-financial-planning-for-an-unknown-ending">Knowing When to Walk Away: Financial Planning for an Unknown Ending</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-disappearance-of-real-america-my-guest-post-at-zen-habits">The disappearance of real America - my guest post at Zen Habits</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-carried-interest-may-affect-our-taxes">How &quot;Carried Interest&quot; May Affect Our Taxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-ways-being-too-nice-is-hurting-your-wallet">18 Ways Being Too Nice Is Hurting Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Lifestyle budget buys cheap finance gurus inspiration live within your means saving money vanguard Warren Buffett wealthy Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:00:10 +0000 Damian Davila 1911600 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Reasons Stealth Wealth Is the Best Wealth http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-stealth-wealth-is-the-best-wealth <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-reasons-stealth-wealth-is-the-best-wealth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-518885222.jpg" alt="Woman learning stealth wealth is the best wealth" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some people who have a lot of money like to show it off. They buy large houses, expensive cars, and all the toys you can imagine. But others keep their affluence on the down low. They don't look any different from anyone else, but they have some serious cash stashed away.</p> <p>These folks have what is known as <a href="http://www.theretirementmanifesto.com/stealth-wealth/" target="_blank">stealth wealth</a>. They are worth way more than they appear to be, and they often manage to retire early or follow their dreams in some other way that surprises the people around them &mdash; people who never realized they had that kind of money.</p> <p>Sure, showing off your money is fun. But stealth wealth has its advantages, too.</p> <h2>1. It's real</h2> <p>The biggest advantage of stealth wealth is that it's real. So many people who live extravagant lifestyles are actually broke, living paycheck to paycheck, without savings for retirement or anything else. They are spending all their money maintaining their lifestyle without accumulating much of anything for later. Sure, their things are nice, but that's all they have.</p> <p>Others are in debt. They don't actually have the wealth to maintain their lifestyle, so they are burdened by loans and all of the stress that comes with spending a lot more money than you make. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-when-youre-rich-dream-buys-that-arent-that-great?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 &quot;When You're Rich&quot; Dream Buys That Aren't That Great</a>)</p> <h2>2. It lets you fly under the radar</h2> <p>Sometimes it's nice to fly under the radar. If you don't look wealthy, people won't ask you for loans. They won't ask you to support their wild new business scheme. They won't bug you for investment tips. And sometimes, that's what you want.</p> <p>Most people with stealth wealth have hobbies and interests that go beyond their money, and they just aren't that interested in talking about finance. Sure, they've invested well and made wise choices, but there's not that much more to say about it. So keeping their affluence hidden means fewer question-and-answer sessions about money.</p> <p>Flying under the radar also means you don't have to keep up with the Joneses. If people don't realize you're wealthy, they won't expect you to buy a bigger house, drive a nicer car, or shop at expensive stores. The pressure is off, so you are free to make whatever financial decisions are best for you.</p> <h2>3. It allows you to aim beyond accumulating stuff</h2> <p>Stealth wealth offers a way to live life focused on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-you-should-splurge-on-experiences-not-things?ref=internal" target="_blank">experiences, rather than material goods</a>, a strategy that's been proven to make people happier. If you want to give a lot to charity, you can do that. If you want to take a couple of seriously luxurious vacations every year, you can do that, too. Or, you can just focus on micro-experiences, like dinners out with friends, more often.</p> <p>That's the freedom that comes from not being tied to expensive payments on a home, a car, or a designer wardrobe. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-habits-of-financially-happy-people?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Habits of Financially Happy People</a>)</p> <h2>4. It's empowering</h2> <p>Sometimes, people with showy wealth begin to believe that their happiness is tied to ever greater consumption. They feel like they have to have lots of nice things, and the money to get more, or they will be miserable. It's a spiral of discontent. The more they buy, the more they feel they need to buy. They become slaves to their ostentatious lifestyle.</p> <p>Folks with stealth wealth don't usually fall into this trap. Instead, they are using their money to achieve a goal. Whether that's early retirement or traveling the world, they aren't distracted by the pursuit of shiny objects. Instead, they know what will make them happy and have chosen to order their lives to attain that. Money is a tool toward happiness, not happiness itself.</p> <h2>5. It offers freedom from work</h2> <p>Many folks with stealth wealth are working toward early retirement. They know that they will be happier not being tied to a desk or an office in a day job. They are accumulating wealth so they can enjoy freedom from the working world.</p> <p>Chasing ostentatious things, on the other hand, can tie you to a job you don't really want. In order to maintain payments on a mansion and a luxury car, you may have to keep working to pay those bills. While that's a perfectly acceptable way to live, it doesn't offer the same freedom that stealth wealth can give.</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/5-reasons-stealth-wealth-is-the-best-wealth">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/how-to-keep-peer-pressure-from-destroying-your-finances">How to Keep Peer Pressure From Destroying Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-life-is-wonderful-when-youre-debt-free">6 Ways Life is Wonderful When You&#039;re Debt-Free</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/18-ways-being-too-nice-is-hurting-your-wallet">18 Ways Being Too Nice Is Hurting Your Wallet</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-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring">Flashback Friday: 48 Ways to Master the Art of Decluttering in Time for Spring</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-self-destructive-habits-that-keep-you-in-debt">8 Self-Destructive Habits That Keep You in Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Lifestyle early retirement financial freedom keeping up with the joneses living with your means saving money stealth wealth Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:30:40 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1911599 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways Anyone Can Go Solar and Save on Energy http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-anyone-can-go-solar-and-save-on-energy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-anyone-can-go-solar-and-save-on-energy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-129944919.jpg" alt="Woman saving on energy and going solar" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The more electricity you use, the more you pay for it. And in a world that is becoming increasingly dependent upon tech devices, something's gotta give. Luckily, there's a way to save money on those bills and help the environment, all at the same time. You just need to capture those intense rays of sunshine and use them for free energy. There are many ways you can harvest energy from the sun. Some methods are free and have been in use for thousands of years. Others require an investment in technology, but in some cases you can even make money by capturing free energy from the sun and selling it!</p> <h2>1. Solar panels</h2> <p>A few years ago, it would have been unusual to spot a house with solar panels on the roof, but now solar panels seem to be popping up in neighborhoods all over. If you have a south-facing roof (or west-facing) and get lots of sunny days in your area, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cut-your-electric-bill-with-solar-panels?ref=internal" target="_blank">installing solar panels</a> to generate electricity can be a smart investment. The cost of solar panels has dropped in recent years, and with major players such as Tesla starting to produce solar panels, further price drops and improvements in capability may lie ahead. If your solar panels generate more electricity than you use, in many states you can sell this extra energy to the utility company and make money through net metering programs.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Thousands of dollars up front, depending on square footage installed.</p> <p><strong>Potential savings:</strong> About a thousand dollars per year, depending on your location.</p> <p><strong>DIY?</strong> No, solar panels typically require professional installation.</p> <h2>2. Passive solar heating</h2> <p>This method of harvesting energy from the sun is not new and does not require any special technology. My house has a solarium with south-facing windows to allow sunlight to flood in during winter months. The solarium walls capture the warmth and radiate it back into the house, providing free heating. Any south-facing windows you have in your house will work to provide heating benefits in winter. Open curtains on your south-facing windows on winter days to let light and heat in. Close curtains at night during winter and when the sun is shining in during the summer.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Free if you have south-facing windows.</p> <p><strong>Potential savings:</strong> Hundreds of dollars per year.</p> <p><strong>DIY?</strong> No, look for south-facing windows when choosing or building a house.</p> <h2>3. Solar water heater</h2> <p>Heating water requires a lot of energy, so why not capture some of that free energy from the sun instead of running up your electric or gas bill? A solar water heater circulates water through an insulated collector using a water tank that is painted black to maximize heat collection. This hot water can be used directly or can be fed into a traditional water heater to save energy.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> A few hundred dollars, depending on whether or not you can install yourself.</p> <p><strong>Potential savings:</strong> Hundreds of dollars per year.</p> <p><strong>DIY?</strong> A solar water heater can be built from plans and scavenged materials, but you may need a plumber to install.</p> <h2>4. Clothesline</h2> <p>With a clothesline in your yard, you can use free energy from the sun to dry clothes and avoid running your clothes' dryer on hot summer days. You can save the energy it takes to run your dryer, plus you'll save on cooling costs as well. Without having to use a fan or air conditioner just to cool down a part of your apartment or home that's hot from a running dryer, those summer energy bills will go way down. And if you don't have the available yard space outside to hang a clothesline, you can also install one indoors near a window.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Under $100</p> <p><strong>Potential savings:</strong> About a hundred dollars per year.</p> <p><strong>DIY?</strong> Yes, installing a clothesline is a simple do-it-yourself project.</p> <h2>5. Solar food dehydrator</h2> <p>Instead of buying and powering yet another kitchen appliance, you can use free energy from the sun to dehydrate fruits, vegetables, and even meat for storage. Solar food dehydrators use a heat collection box to collect solar energy and a dehydrator box where food is placed to be dried.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Under $100</p> <p><strong>Potential savings: </strong>A few dollars per year.</p> <p><strong>DIY?</strong> Yes, this can easily be built from plans.</p> <h2>6. Solar oven</h2> <p>You can build your own solar oven and enjoy some off-the-grid cooking. Can a solar oven really get hot enough to cook food, though? A solar oven typically reaches temperatures of 250-350 F. You can safely prepare food, including meat, by cooking at a lower temperature for a longer time. A big advantage of a solar oven is that you can cook in places without any utility hookups and without burning any fuel.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Under $100</p> <p><strong>Potential savings: </strong>A few dollars per year.</p> <p><strong>DIY?</strong> Yes, this can easily be built from plans.</p> <h2>7. Grow plants</h2> <p>What does growing plants have to do with solar energy? Plants capture energy from the sun directly and use this energy to produce edible leaves, fruits, and vegetables. Harvesting food from plants is an effective and inexpensive way to take advantage of free solar energy.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Less than $100.</p> <p><strong>Potential savings:</strong> Hundreds of dollars per year, depends of size of garden.</p> <p><strong>DIY?</strong> You bet!</p> <h2>8. Wind turbine</h2> <p>Heating of the earth's atmosphere from the sun provides the energy that causes wind to blow. If you have a site that gets a lot of wind, you can capture some of this indirect solar energy by using a wind turbine to generate electricity. As with solar panels, in many places you can take advantage of net metering and get paid for excess electricity that you generate and put on the power grid for others to use.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Thousands of dollars up front, depending on size.</p> <p><strong>Potential savings:</strong> Hundreds of dollars per year.</p> <p><strong>DIY?</strong> Smaller units could be assembled and installed by a homeowner; larger units require professional installation.</p> <h2>9. Solar furnace</h2> <p>With a solar furnace, you can warm up air for free using energy from the sun and direct the warm air to a space you want to heat. A solar furnace can be operated independently from your main furnace to provide supplemental heating during daytime hours.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Hundreds of dollars up front.</p> <p><strong>Potential savings:</strong> Hundreds of dollars per year.</p> <p><strong>DIY?</strong> Yes, this can be built from plans.</p> <h2>10. Solar charger</h2> <p>Solar chargers, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-solar-power-banks?ref=internal" target="_blank">solar power banks</a> directly use energy from the sun to power electronic devices. Many are small and easy to travel with, so you won't need to stress if you're somewhere outdoors and you can't plug in your phone charger. Use those intense rays to give your phone or other device the juice it needs before the sun goes down. You can also make this a regular charging option if you leave your charger out during the day, and use it at night to charge your devices while you sleep.</p> <p><strong>Cost: </strong>Less than $100</p> <p><strong>Potential savings: </strong>It varies, depending on how much you currently use your devices at home.</p> <p><strong>DIY?</strong> Yes, but the DIY won&rsquo;t save much compared to buying one.</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/10-ways-anyone-can-go-solar-and-save-on-energy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-youre-wasting-electricity-without-realizing-it">8 Ways You&#039;re Wasting Electricity Without Realizing It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-simple-gardening-skills-anybody-can-master">13 Simple Gardening Skills Anybody 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/12-green-living-habits-thatll-save-you-every-month">12 Green Living Habits That&#039;ll Save You Every Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-edible-garden-plants-anyone-can-grow">10 Edible Garden Plants Anyone Can Grow</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/cut-your-electric-bill-with-solar-panels">Cut Your Electric Bill With Solar Panels</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home electricity energy costs environmental costs gardening go green saving money solar heating solar panels Tue, 21 Mar 2017 10:31:12 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1911513 at http://www.wisebread.com Make These 5 Money Moves Before Applying for a Mortgage http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-5-money-moves-before-applying-for-a-mortgage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-these-5-money-moves-before-applying-for-a-mortgage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-506317138 (1).jpg" alt="Making money moves before applying for a mortgage" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Each year, millions of people apply for a mortgage and purchase a home. This, however, shouldn't convince you that getting a home loan is a piece of cake. In reality, a mortgage is one of the hardest loans to qualify for. But if you make these money moves before meeting with a lender, you can swing the odds in your favor.</p> <h2>1. Pay off debt</h2> <p>Getting approved for a mortgage doesn't require zero debt, but the more you currently owe, the harder it can be to qualify for a desired amount.</p> <p>To avoid any roadblocks along the way, come up with a clearsighted plan to pay off as much of your debt as possible, especially <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card debt</a>. A high <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit utilization ratio</a> &mdash; which is your credit card balance compared to your credit limit &mdash; can lower your credit score and make it difficult to qualify for a mortgage or trigger a higher mortgage interest rate.</p> <p>As a personal goal, keep credit card balances below 30 percent of your credit limit. To attain this, stop using cards and pay more than your minimums every month. Also, ask creditors to lower your interest rate. If you can pay less interest, you'll reduce the principal faster.</p> <p>Take it a step further and make higher monthly payments on other types of debts as well, such as a car loan, student loan, etc. This is to your advantage because the less expenses you have, the easier it'll be to adjust to a mortgage payment.</p> <h2>2. Determine what you're comfortable spending</h2> <p>Your mortgage lender decides an affordable amount based on your income and existing debt. Still, it helps to have an idea of what <em>you </em>are comfortable spending on a house before meeting with a bank. Typically, banks allow borrowers to spend between 28 percent and 31 percent of their gross monthly income on a mortgage payment.</p> <p>Do the math and calculate 31 percent of your gross monthly income, and then review your budget to see if you can realistically afford this amount on a monthly basis. After determining a comfortable monthly payment, use a mortgage calculator to estimate the maximum you can borrow based on the desired payment range.</p> <h2>3. Devise a savings plan</h2> <p>Qualifying for a mortgage entails money &mdash; lots of it. Not just money for the monthly payment, but also <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-ways-to-start-saving-for-a-down-payment-on-a-home?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash for a down payment</a> (between 3.5 percent and 20 percent of the home's value), plus there's the cost of closing. These fees can run up to 5 percent of the purchase price.</p> <p>Even if you can afford a house payment at a certain price point, you'll only qualify for a particular amount if you have enough in reserves for mortgage-related fees. Let's say you want to purchase a $300,000 house. Your income may show an ability to afford the monthly payment. But if you only have $7,500 in savings for a down payment, instead of the required $10,500 (assuming you get an FHA home loan), you can't purchase the home. You then have two options &mdash; purchase a cheaper home, or postpone buying until you save additional cash.</p> <p>Once you have an idea of how much you'll spend on a property, devise a plan to save for your down payment and closing costs. Based on your amount of disposable income each month and your desired time frame for purchasing a property, decide how much to save. Keep this money in a designated high-yield savings account.</p> <h2>4. Pay your bills on time</h2> <p>There are no hard rules regarding how many late payments a lender allows within 12 or 24 months before applying for a home loan. If there are late payments on your recent credit history, it's up to your lender to calculate the risk level and determine whether you're creditworthy. To do this, some lenders request an explanation to assess whether lateness was due to irresponsibility or circumstances beyond a borrower's control. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-never-make-a-late-credit-card-payment?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Simple Ways to Never Make a Late Credit Card Payment</a>)</p> <p>Either way, late payments in your recent history can result in a higher interest rate, which means you'll pay more for your home loan in the long run. Therefore, aim to pay all your bills on time. If you often forget due dates, set up recurring or automatic monthly payments.</p> <h2>5. Shop around for lenders</h2> <p>According to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, 47 percent of homebuyers don't compare mortgage lenders when applying for a home loan. What's even more surprising, 77 percent apply to only one lender at all. It might seem convenient to get this step out of the way ASAP, but it just doesn't make smart financial sense.</p> <p>When you're ready to apply for a home loan, you need to do research and shop around. Don't just settle for the first mortgage lender who approves you. You might be eager to get the process underway, but be patient. The first person to give you the green light might not be offering the lowest interest rates (or charging the lowest fees), which could mean the difference between thousands of dollars. Maybe they're just not the right fit for you, or they don't take the time to really earn your business. You won't know unless you compare, and that step can save you a lot of stress (and money) down the line. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-mortgage-secrets-only-your-broker-knows?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Mortgage Secrets Only Your Broker Knows</a>)</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/make-these-5-money-moves-before-applying-for-a-mortgage">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/4-reasons-why-youre-too-old-or-too-young-for-a-mortgage-loan">4 Reasons Why You&#039;re Too Old — Or Too Young — For a Mortgage Loan</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-surprising-things-lenders-check-besides-your-credit-score">4 Surprising Things Lenders Check Besides Your Credit Score</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/everything-a-first-time-home-buyer-needs-to-buy-a-house">Everything a First-Time Home Buyer Needs to Buy a House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-you-shouldnt-buy-a-house-yet">5 Reasons You Shouldn&#039;t Buy a House (Yet)</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/is-it-safe-to-re-finance-your-home-close-to-retirement">Is it Safe to Re-Finance Your Home Close to Retirement?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing buying a home credit history credit score debt repayment down payments home loans mortgages saving money tax deductions Mon, 20 Mar 2017 10:30:21 +0000 Mikey Rox 1908934 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 48 Ways to Master the Art of Decluttering in Time for Spring http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_clutter_clothes_520127146.jpg" alt="Woman mastering the art of decluttering in time for spring" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With spring about to be sprung, it's time to tidy up your life. A major aspect of that is clearing out the clutter. Because once clutter accumulates, you lose track of things, your stress increases, and it really just gets in your way. Who needs that? Here's how to maximize your full decluttering potential when it comes time to spring clean.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/three_coffee_mugs_75581393_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-and-declutter-by-selling-these-5-unlikely-treasures?ref=seealso">Make Money and Declutter by Selling These 5 Unlikely Treasures</a> &mdash; There are certain items in your house right now that can bring in some extra cash. If you're not using it, why not make a little money instead, right? Clear the junk and fill your bank account.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter?ref=seealso">My 16 Favorite Ways to Get Rid of Clutter</a> &mdash; A fantastic way to get ready to declutter is to hear another person's success story on the process. And nobody maximizes their space and earning potential quite like Max Wong. She can practically turn dust into diamonds and sell them to a major jeweler. She'll steer you right.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman-clothes-rack-Dollarphotoclub_75282538.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter?ref=seealso">8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter</a> &mdash; Your clutter is there for a reason. The items occupying all your free space might have sentimental value, or you might have a bit of FOMO at the thought of throwing something away. These self-reflective questions will help you understand why you need to declutter in the first place, and how to avoid it altogether in the future.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-old-clothes-into-money-with-these-4-tools-and-apps?ref=seealso">Turn Old Clothes Into Money With These 4 Tools and Apps</a> &mdash; If I had a dollar every time I went into my closet and noticed a dress or shirt I never wear anymore, I'd be rich. Well, now I can put my money where my mouth is (and so can you!) by selling those unwanted pieces through these helpful apps and tools.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock-493440144.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free?ref=seealso">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a> &mdash; This method for decluttering is particularly brilliant, because it has you start out small. These tips also help you change the way you think about tangible things as soon as they come into your possession, and decide immediately whether or not you really need them.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-words-you-need-to-declutter-your-life?ref=seealso">The Only 5 Words You Need to Declutter Your Life</a> &mdash; Enter into Spring Cleaning season with this five-word mantra and you'll glide into summer as free as a bird. It's as easy as Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot. Yup, rot. Now get to work!</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-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spring-clean-your-whole-life-one-step-at-a-time">How to Spring Clean Your Whole Life — One Step at a Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-122-no-fuss-dinner-ideas-thatll-save-you-money">Flashback Friday: 122 No-Fuss Dinner Ideas That&#039;ll Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Lifestyle clean declutter decluttering fbf flashback friday saving money sell your stuff spring cleaning Fri, 17 Mar 2017 10:30:24 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1910936 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Signs You Aren't Prepared for an Emergency http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-arent-prepared-for-an-emergency <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-signs-you-arent-prepared-for-an-emergency" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-487795974.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone eventually faces an emergency, whether it's related to finances, health, the weather, or something else entirely. The more prepared we are, however, the easier it is to roll with the punches when life throws them our way. Are you ready? Here are eight signs you aren't prepared for an emergency. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-decide-if-its-a-fund-worthy-emergency?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Decide if It's a &quot;Fund-Worthy&quot; Emergency</a>)</p> <h2>1. You Haven't Saved a Single Cent</h2> <p>While emergencies come in various forms, many of us will face a financial crisis at some point &mdash; and it may be hard to keep your head above water when it strikes.</p> <p>Financial experts constantly preach the importance of an emergency fund. Yet some people don't take steps to ensure they have enough in reserves for unexpected surprises. If you have little to no money reserved for a financial emergency, you likely won't come out of it on top.</p> <p>Say you lose your job and primary source of income. Even if you're eligible for unemployment compensation, what you receive on a monthly basis may be significantly less than your regular salary. Your finances can also take a hit if a medical emergency triggers high monthly payments to a hospital or doctor's office. If you can't afford your health insurance deductible, which can run thousands of dollars, this can result in delaying needed medical treatment.</p> <p>Similarly, lack of a savings account causes problems when you deal with a car repair or a home repair. Some people rely on a credit card when they don't have money in the bank. This puts them in debt and makes it even harder to save over a long period of time.</p> <h2>2. You Don't Have an Emergency Kit</h2> <p>If you've never lived through a natural disaster (count your blessings), you may not worry much about one impacting your life. But anything is possible, and it's important to have emergency supplies on hand just in case. For instance, if you were to lose power after a major storm and couldn't stay at a relative or friend's house, it'll be difficult to prepare food, and the food in your refrigerator would begin to spoil as the temperature inside the fridge rises. Sometimes we don't realize how much we need electricity for meal preparation until we don't have it.</p> <p>Be prepared and always maintain a supply of nonperishable food and one gallon of water per person per day &mdash; for at least three days. Personally, I have about nine gallons of water stored in my basement for this purpose. Also consider purchasing a go bag &mdash; available at most outdoor or sporting goods stores &mdash; which is prepacked with essentials in the event of an emergency. Mine has food rations, survival and self-defense tools, first-aid materials, and more. You can add items to the bag as needed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-emergency-kits?ref=seealaso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Emergency Kits</a>)</p> <h2>3. You Don't Have a Backup Generator</h2> <p>Power outages caused by wind and ice storms and other natural disasters can last for hours, or even days. When you don't have power, any appliance that requires electricity becomes useless, including your stove, fridge, deep freezer, and HVAC unit.</p> <p>To prepare for long-term outages, consider a permanent or portable emergency generator. These machines can restore power to your home in a jiff. Permanent generators sit outside the home and run on propane or natural gas, just like your outdoor grill. A portable generator &mdash; which is a cheaper alternative (and probably all you need if you're not in a frequent disaster zone) &mdash; can operate on gas or diesel fuel. You can store it in the garage, but you should never run the generator inside the home. Using a generator indoors can cause buildup of carbon monoxide, and that can kill you.</p> <h2>4. You Don't Know the Location of Important Documents</h2> <p>In the event of an emergency, you'll also need to grab important documents before you head out the door, and unfortunately, if you're unorganized and have your documents stored in different locations, it'll be difficult to quickly locate them in an emergency. Get organized and keep important paperwork clearly labeled in a fireproof locked cabinet, preferably inside a sealed plastic bag; both measures protect the paper from fire and water. Important documents include Social Security cards, passports, your homeowner's or renter's insurance policies, medical insurance cards, and the like.</p> <h2>5. You Don't Have Extra Insurances</h2> <p>If you have health insurance, auto insurance, homeowner's insurance, and life insurance, you probably think you've covered your bases. But these aren't the only insurances to think about. Life can go horribly wrong in a matter of seconds, so prepare for the &quot;what ifs&quot; with additional insurance and protect your assets.</p> <p>If you haven't already, compare costs for a short-term disability policy which pays a percentage of your salary if you become temporarily disabled and can't work. There are also legal insurance plans that provide affordable legal representation in the event that someone takes legal action against you. Even if you do not live in a flood zone, a flood insurance plan is worth consideration. This is because a standard homeowner's insurance policy does not cover flood damage. Also, most insurance policies have a hurricane deductible, which is higher than the policy's standard deductible for theft, fire, and other perils.</p> <p>If you have a hurricane deductible and your home is damaged by a hurricane, this deductible is a percentage of your home's assessed value, which can be as much as 5%. If a hurricane causes a tree to fall on your house, or if hurricane-force winds break your windows and rain water floods your property, you have to pay the hurricane deductible before your insurance company pays for any damage. On the other hand, if you purchase flood insurance, the policy covers flood and/or rain damage caused by the hurricane.</p> <h2>6. You Don't Keep a Stock of Batteries or Candles</h2> <p>Nowadays, cellphones do more than make and receive phone calls. You can use your phone's Internet to check the weather or news, and some smartphones even have a built-in flashlight. With so much technology in the palm of your hands, it's easy to downplay the importance of an old-fashioned flashlight, batteries, and candles during an emergency.</p> <p>However, no matter what type of phone you have, the battery will eventually die. And if you lose power and don't have a backup generator, you can't power your electronic devices. To make sure you're never stuck in the dark and cut off from the outside world, keep a supply of batteries and candles on hand.</p> <h2>7. You Don't Have Extra Gasoline for Your Car</h2> <p>When a natural disaster causes widespread power outages, gas stations without backup electricity will not have working pumps, which can trigger a local gas shortage. If you don't have fuel in your car, you can't drive or evacuate the area, if necessary. That, in itself, should be a top priority when you're expecting a major weather event. You must be able to evacuate if needed. Also, lack of gasoline means you can't power a portable generator.</p> <p>Ideally, you should fill up your car before disaster strikes. But of course, impending danger doesn't always come with a heads up. To prepare yourself, consider stockpiling several gallons of gasoline in an approved airtight container. Many containers can hold between five and 25 gallons. Store your gasoline supply in a cool location outside of your home, such as a shed or garage.</p> <h2>8. You Don't Have an Outdoor Grill</h2> <p>Regardless of whether you prefer cooking on the grill or stove, a charcoal or gas grill comes in handy during an emergency. If you can't use your stove due to lack of electricity, outdoor grilling lets you enjoy a hot meal until your utility company restores power. Grill veggies, hot dogs, hamburgers, and any other meat you have on ice in a cooler (because otherwise it's probably going to spoil if the power is out for too long). Plan ahead and make sure you have enough charcoal, lighter fluid, or gas to get you through at least a week without power.</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/8-signs-you-arent-prepared-for-an-emergency">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-big-winter-expenses-that-could-freeze-your-budget">5 Big Winter Expenses That Could Freeze Your Budget</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-ways-the-50-rule-can-save-you-money">4 Ways the 50% Rule Can Save You 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/10-ways-anyone-can-go-solar-and-save-on-energy">10 Ways Anyone Can Go Solar and Save on Energy</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-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring">Flashback Friday: 48 Ways to Master the Art of Decluttering in Time for Spring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-ways-being-too-nice-is-hurting-your-wallet">18 Ways Being Too Nice Is Hurting Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Home disaster emergency fund emergency kit emergency preparedness insurance natural disaster saving money Thu, 16 Mar 2017 10:00:22 +0000 Mikey Rox 1909970 at http://www.wisebread.com This Simple Negotiating Trick Puts Money in Your Pocket http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-negotiating-trick-puts-money-in-your-pocket <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-simple-negotiating-trick-puts-money-in-your-pocket" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-513381684.jpg" alt="Man using negotiating trick to keep money in his pocket" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you hear the word &quot;anchoring,&quot; what comes to mind? No doubt something that involves a ship dropping anchor, or perhaps fixing something to a wall or floor. But it's also a known technique used in sales and negotiations that helps people get what they want.</p> <p>The basic premise is not unlike that ship dropping its anchor, only instead of keeping the vessel in one place, it keeps your mind there. Whether it's a price, a salary, a sale, or a goal, this technique anchors your mind at a certain level. Then, all decision-making is based on that first piece of information you were given.</p> <p>Let's take a look at how it can be used to help you get what you want, save money, and even achieve a lot more around the house.</p> <h2>Negotiate a Bigger Raise or Starting Salary</h2> <p>Many people foolishly wait for the other person to make the first move when it comes to salary negotiations. The thinking here is that you don't want to show any of your cards too soon. Well, that's the complete opposite of what you should actually do. Using the anchoring technique, you can choose a salary that sets the starting point for the negotiations.</p> <p>If you're an employer, throw out a figure that is way too low. If you're an employee, raise the bar higher than you'd expect to hit. If you ask for a $180,000 salary, and the actual salary on offer is $120,000, you may actually get a little more than what they originally intended to pay. It's much harder to come down to $120k from $180k than it is from $130k. Similarly, giving an employee an offer of $70,000 for a job you'd be willing to pay $120,000 is just as effective.</p> <h2>Sell a Product or Service for More Money</h2> <p>You don't have to be in a big business to use this effectively. It can work online, at a market stall, or even a garage sale. Here, you will use anchoring as a comparison tool.</p> <p>For instance, let's say you're selling vinyl records, which are very popular these days. Set a few vinyls on the table and mark them way above the price you actually want. Then, further back, put a larger selection of vinyls set at a price slightly above what you would like, but much lower than the other, more expensive records. When the patron comes to peruse the stock, they'll initially get sticker shock. But then, they see a vast drop off. That initial price of $20 per vinyl just dropped to $8. These $8 vinyls seem like a bargain. However, if they had all been marked at $8, or some cheaper ones had been placed first, that initial anchor price would have set the standard. Try it out. You'll be amazed at the results.</p> <h2>Get More Done at Home or at Work</h2> <p>If you're having trouble getting all of your tasks done, either at home or at the office, you can use anchoring as a way to be more productive. In this case, it can be overwhelming to have 20 different things to do when you get home. You are anchored to a task list so large that you simply don't do any of them.</p> <p>Instead of 20, anchor yourself at a more manageable number. How about five? Divide those 20 tasks into five groups of four, and attack them that way. For example, instead of organizing the fridge, doing the dishes, cleaning the stove, and wiping the counters, your task instead becomes &quot;clean the kitchen.&quot; By grouping your activities, and creating a smaller list of tasks, you are anchoring yourself at a much more achievable goal. At the office, it's the same thing. Don't give yourself a massive list of tasks. Instead, divide and conquer.</p> <h2>Get a Better Price on a Car or a House</h2> <p>Car dealerships use anchoring all the time to get you to pay more for a vehicle. The sticker says $18,000, but in reality, they're willing to go as low as $13,000; they just never tell you that. It's time to turn the tables on them.</p> <p>When you go into the dealership, never tell them what you are prepared to pay for the car. Instead, set your price way lower. If you're ready to spend $20,000, tell them the most you can pay is $15,000. It's your hard stop. No more. The salesperson will now be anchored at that lower price, and will do whatever he or she can to get you to go past it by a few thousand dollars. This is good news for you, because in reality, you're going to spend a few thousand less than you actually wanted to pay. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-things-car-salesmen-dont-want-you-to-know?ref=seealso" target="_blank">17 Things Car Salesmen Don't Want You to Know</a>)</p> <p>The same goes for buying a house. Your initial offer should be low. Not low enough to price yourself out of a bidding war, but low enough to set the expectations of the seller. And as an aside, if you're selling the home, go high. When you list the home at $300,000 and sell it for $280,000, the buyer thinks they saved $20,000. However, you may well have wanted $270,000 for the house. You just made an extra $10,000 and the buyer is happy with the deal.</p> <h2>Use Your Knowledge of Anchoring to Beat the Sales Staff</h2> <p>Whether you're buying a car, a bag of apples, a new set of wireless headphones, or a few books, anchoring will often come into play. Trained sales staff know how to use anchoring to get what they want. But, if you're prepared, you can become &quot;anchorproof&quot; and pay less. Here are a few techniques at your disposal.</p> <p>First, you can simply ignore their anchor, especially if it's ridiculously high or low. Now, you don't want to say &quot;No way,&quot; as this halts the process. Instead, use language like &quot;I see, that's not quite what I had in mind, let's look at this at a different way and find something we can both be comfortable with.&quot;</p> <p>If you don't want to do that, try an anchor that negates theirs. For example, at a car dealership, when the salesperson gives you the old &quot;We can take $3,000 off this car,&quot; you can reply &quot;Wow, that still puts it $3,000 above my maximum price.&quot;</p> <p>You can also deflect an anchor by offering one from a different company. At that same dealership, you can say &quot;That's a great discount, but it's still $2,000 more than the same vehicle on offer at ABC Dealership.&quot; Of course, to do this you have to have done your research. Make sure you know exactly what the prices are at competitors, and be ready to back it up.</p> <p>So, armed with all of this, you should now be ready to use anchoring to make and earn more money, and save money every time you have to negotiate a price. Go get 'em.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-negotiating-trick-puts-money-in-your-pocket">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/ask-these-8-questions-to-get-a-better-price">Ask These 8 Questions to Get a Better Price</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/a-simple-plan-for-saving-up-a-2000-fun-fund">A Simple Plan for Saving Up a $2000 Fun Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-retailers-where-you-can-negotiate-a-lower-price">11 Retailers Where You Can Negotiate a Lower Price</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-use-the-holiday-quiet-time-to-boost-your-career">How to Use the Holiday Quiet Time to Boost Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-convince-a-store-clerk-to-give-you-a-deal">6 Ways to Convince a Store Clerk to Give You a Deal</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Career Building deals goals negotiating productivity raises salaries sales saving money selling strategy Wed, 15 Mar 2017 10:30:19 +0000 Paul Michael 1907105 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Millennial Money Habits Every Retiree Should Learn http://www.wisebread.com/6-millennial-money-habits-every-retiree-should-learn <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-millennial-money-habits-every-retiree-should-learn" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-589447046.jpg" alt="Learning millennial money habits retirees should strive for" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to money matters, Millennials don't always get a good rap. These young adults are likely to view themselves in good financial health so long as they make the bills at the end of the month, let alone stow a little extra away for retirement. But don't mistake them as financial illiterates. In fact, there are some common ways Millennials handle their money that could benefit the older generations. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways Millennials Have Changed Money So Far</a>)</p> <h2>1. Get Creative</h2> <p>As retirees age, their expenditures fall &mdash; but their <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2498185" target="_blank">income drops even faster</a>. Perhaps retirees, who are unlikely to jump back into the traditional workforce due to a suddenly trickling cash flow, can benefit from some Millennial-style money tactics. Indeed, Millennials know how to get creative when it comes to their earnings. The old rules simply didn't apply to this generation of '80s and '90s babies that entered adulthood during the uncertainty of the financial recession. So, they made their own rules. They found their own innovative ways to survive. And now, as they continue to develop a distinctly entrepreneurial spirit, many Millennials are beginning to thrive.</p> <p>More than any other generation, Millennials have embraced the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-ways-the-sharing-economy-helps-you-save-on-vacation?ref=internal" target="_blank">sharing economy</a>, in which a lawn mower, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-more-money-as-an-uber-driver?ref=internal" target="_blank">their car</a>, or a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space?ref=internal" target="_blank">spare bedroom</a> can become a valuable source of revenue. The average Airbnb host earns more than $20,000 a year renting out a full, two-bedroom apartment or house in a major city, and this is exactly the kind of peripheral revenue stream that Millennials have become accustomed to seeking out for themselves.</p> <p>When it comes to ride-sharing, 21% of Millennials have used user-powered programs like Lyft and Uber to save money while on vacation. Among other age groups, those numbers are much lower &mdash; 7% for Gen-Xers and 4% for Baby Boomers. For older retirees, the percentage is presumably even lower. Yet <a href="https://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-5/spending-patterns-of-older-americans.htm" target="_blank">transportation is a significant expense</a> for most retirees, and it's one that could potentially be lowered through the use of ride-sharing &mdash; not only during a vacation, but on a daily basis. Older households spend about $8,000 a year on transportation, ranging from a high of $9,321 for the 55 to 64 age group, to a low of $5,091 for the 75-and-older group, according to federal data.</p> <h2>2. Don't Buy Stuff, Spend on Experiences Instead</h2> <p>Millennials highly value experiences &mdash; concerts, yoga festivals, French lessons, surf lessons, palm readings, trips to Italy &mdash; and they are increasingly willing to fork over more and more money to get them. All told, 78% of Millennials would choose to spend money on a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-you-should-splurge-on-experiences-not-things?ref=internal" target="_blank">desirable experience</a> or event over buying something desirable, and 55% of Millennials say they're spending more on events and live experiences than ever before, according to a 2015 study by Eventbrite. What's more, nearly eight in 10 Millennials say some of their best memories are from an event or live experience they attended or participated in, while 69% say attending live events and experiences make them more connected to other people, the community, and the world.</p> <p>As it turns out, there's scientific evidence to support the idea that people of all ages who spend money on experiences rather than things have a greater shot at attaining happiness. More than stuff, experiential pursuits promote greater happiness, psychologists have found. Perhaps painting lessons, bowling clubs, and a little international travel might also hold the key to a happy retirement.</p> <h2>3. Save Like You Mean It</h2> <p>A recent survey by T. Rowe Price found that 67% of Millennials will save by any means necessary. One reason might be this: It's reassuring to have a stash of cash available for emergencies, and this fact very well may be a major motivator for young adults who came of age during the recession, when jobs were scarce and layoffs were commonplace.</p> <p>Older generations could benefit from that same mentality. Saving by any means necessary, as if the financial future was completely uncertain, will help build up a money cushion should the worst actually happen.</p> <h2>4. Embrace Technology</h2> <p>Millennials are famously tech-savvy, and they're using their familiarity with mobile apps to track their investments, as well as their spending and saving habits, in real time. Tools like <a href="https://www.mint.com/" target="_blank">Mint</a> and <a href="https://digit.co/" target="_blank">Digit</a> make financial planning quick and easy, while <a href="https://www.acorns.com/">Acorns</a> helps Millennials automatically invest their spare change into a diversified and customizable portfolio. There are money-saving apps specific for grocery shopping, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps?ref=internal" target="_blank">couponing</a>, freelancing, and so much more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-make-budgeting-fun-no-really?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Apps That Make Budgeting Fun &mdash; No Really!</a>)</p> <p>While retirees generally lag in technological proficiency, there's been great improvement in recent years. All told, <a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/06/26/americans-internet-access-2000-2015/" target="_blank">58% of people 65 and older</a> go online, according to the Pew Research Center, which marks an impressive increase from 14% in 2000. The app and website <a href="https://lifereimagined.aarp.org/" target="_blank">Life Reimagined</a> by AARP is one example of a highly-rated financial and social planning tool for retirees of all ages.</p> <h2>5. Volunteer in Exchange for Free Tickets</h2> <p>Americans 55 and older spend <a href="https://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-5/spending-patterns-of-older-americans.htm" target="_blank">5.3% of their budget</a> on entertainment, which is slightly more than the entertainment spending of all Americans, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Perhaps older Americans could benefit from this tip straight out of the Millennial playbook: A little volunteer work can go a long way to get you access to concerts, festivals, and sporting events. Many theaters, stadiums, and festival grounds offer volunteers free tickets to events in exchange for some time spent charitably directing parking or ushering the aisles.</p> <h2>6. Talk It Out</h2> <p>Millennials are markedly open when it comes to discussing their financial woes, worries, and successes. Not only are they quick to seek expert advice, but they are also undeterred from engaging in frank financial talks with friends, spouses, parents, co-workers, and others. Retirees who come from a generation that largely believed that it's rude to talk about money in public could learn from the younger generation's fiscal transparency. Experts say that open conversations about finances can help save relationships, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-conversations-every-couple-should-have?ref=internal" target="_blank">especially intimate ones</a>. They can also lead to people to better address their financial concerns, which can help prevent financial crises from building up later on down the road.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-millennial-money-habits-every-retiree-should-learn">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-millennials-can-learn-about-saving-money-from-gen-x">5 Things Millennials Can Learn About Saving Money From Gen-X</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/tiny-nestegg-retire-abroad">Tiny Nestegg? Retire abroad!</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/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th">It&#039;s the 21st Century — Why Is Your Money Stuck in the 20th?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-no-budgeting-required">How to Manage Your Money — No Budgeting Required</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unique-ways-millennials-are-dealing-with-student-loan-debt">7 Unique Ways Millennials Are Dealing With Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Retirement apps baby boomers gen x generations millennials money habits retirees saving money sharing economy volunteering Tue, 14 Mar 2017 11:00:11 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1906388 at http://www.wisebread.com 18 Ways Being Too Nice Is Hurting Your Wallet http://www.wisebread.com/18-ways-being-too-nice-is-hurting-your-wallet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/18-ways-being-too-nice-is-hurting-your-wallet" 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_182381879.jpg" alt="Woman being too nice and hurting her wallet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's nice to be nice, but sometimes it comes with a price. If you have trouble saying no to everyone, from commission-earning salespeople to bosses to your own family and friends, you're probably overspending and underearning. Here are several ways your niceness is biting you in the wallet.</p> <h2>1. You Can't Turn Down the Upsell</h2> <p>You don't actually want to add the drink and fries, but you hate saying no. Afraid the Girl Scout will think you're stingy when you decline to add one more box to make it an even $20? Practice in front of the mirror: &quot;No, thank you.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-sneaky-ways-youre-being-upsold?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Sneaky Ways You're Being Upsold</a>)</p> <h2>2. You Accept Every Project</h2> <p>Are you the person at work who ends up churning out routine tasks while others pitch their promotion-getting projects? Is it truly &quot;niceness&quot; that makes you acquiesce, or fear of stretching yourself? Next time, tell the boss or your client you are too busy, and save your time for work that benefits you more.</p> <h2>3. You Go to Every Party You're Invited To</h2> <p>Sadly, many invitations nowadays are thinly veiled shakedowns. Your ex-husband's third cousin invited you to her baby shower? Your coworker invited you to celebrate her birthday at a pricey cocktail bar and you know she's expecting her friends to pick up the check? It's okay to skip events that aren't dear to your heart, especially if they are outside your budget or clearly designed to take advantage of you.</p> <h2>4. You Pick Up the Check Too Much</h2> <p>My husband, a certified super-nice guy, would pick up the check at every single meal out with friends if I let him. It's okay to say, &quot;Let's split this.&quot; It's even okay to gently remind friends that you picked up the check last time.</p> <h2>5. You Don't Insist on Getting Paid Back</h2> <p>If you are someone who hates to remind friends or your grown children that they borrowed money from you, then don't lend to begin with. And if you are susceptible to hard luck stories explaining why debts can't be paid on time, <em>definitely </em>don't a lender be. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-16-cardinal-rules-of-loaning-money-to-friends-and-family?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 16 Cardinal Rules of Lending to Friends</a>)</p> <h2>6. You Worry Too Much About Inconveniencing Other People</h2> <p>You didn't point out to the cashier that your coupon didn't scan because you dread making the people behind you wait. You didn't tell the server that she charged you for a drink that never arrived because your dining partners wanted to get going and you didn't want to cause the restaurant staff a hassle.</p> <p>It's nice to be considerate, but if these little things are piling up, it might be time to remind yourself that everyone has the right to a complete and accurate transaction before ceding their turn in line.</p> <h2>7. You Give to Every Cause That Crosses Your Path</h2> <p>Giving to charity is a wonderful thing. But make sure you give what you can afford, and that the organizations you fund are the ones that truly matter to you. Don't give to organizations you've never heard of simply because you feel bad that the canvasser is out in the cold ringing doorbells. Remember, this is most likely their job, which they're getting paid for.</p> <h2>8. You Can't Say No to Your Kids</h2> <p>This is probably the most financially ruinous problem on this list, because it snowballs as your kids age. The parents who can't buy a present for a friend's birthday without leaving the store with a toy for their own kid, too? Those are the parents who are going to be stuck paying for their college student's spring break trip and their twenty-something's car payment. Say no early and often. It's good for them, and for your wallet.</p> <h2>9. You Give Away Too Much of Your Time for Free</h2> <p>Volunteer work is great for your community and it can be a great experience for you, as well. It can also be a bottomless pit. If you find yourself cutting back work hours or shelving business ideas because your kids' school or the local animal shelter depends on you so heavily, ask yourself if this is really worth your limited free time.</p> <h2>10. You Don't Confront Companies That Owe You</h2> <p>It might feel unpleasant to call your credit card to complain that a local business double-charged you, but it's a necessary part of being an adult. Let too many little things slide, and you may end up with big financial problems.</p> <p>I once had an airline fail to book my family's flights, forcing us to rent a vehicle and drive to our destination at the last minute. After the trip, I sent a polite but firm complaint email to the airline, cc'ing the top customer service executive. Friends were amazed when the airline agreed to reimburse me for the road trip expenses in addition to refunding our tickets. I was pleased, but not surprised, because if you are persistent and refuse to let important things go, you should eventually get a fair resolution. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-times-you-should-demand-a-refund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Times You Should Demand a Refund</a>)</p> <h2>11. You Say Yes to Every Potential House Guest</h2> <p>I love having guests, but if they are to eat meals with my family, and expect me to show them around town, including dining out with them, it is inevitable that the visit will cost me money. If a guest is a total mooch on their first visit, they're not getting invited back.</p> <h2>12. You Always Agree to Be a Bridesmaid</h2> <p>Of all the friend invitations, this is probably the costliest. You'll have to buy a dress, possibly travel to the wedding, and host or share the cost of the shower and bachelorette party. Group professional makeup and hair appointments are increasingly the norm as well.</p> <p>This doesn't mean that money should be the only factor when you decide whether to accept a bridesmaid query. The main factor should be, are you really close friends? Is this invite heartfelt, or were you just asked to even up the number of men and women in the wedding party?</p> <h2>13. Your Arms Are Always Open to Another Pet</h2> <p>One dog is wonderful. Two can be fun. But if you can't go to the shelter without coming home with another pooch, and feeding your menagerie is getting expensive, I have a tip for you: <em>Don't go to the shelter. </em>If you make yourself go broke by taking in too many, all of you will suffer.</p> <h2>14. You Let Yourself Get Overcharged</h2> <p>You hate negotiating with tradespeople and car sales floor staff? Guess what? So does everyone. But in certain transactions, if you don't negotiate, you may get stiffed. You can minimize price gouging and confrontation if you research well in advance, get multiple quotes, and if needed, conduct negotiations by email or phone.</p> <h2>15. You Stay Loyal Even When You Can't Afford Your Service Provider</h2> <p>So the same person has been cutting your hair for 15 years, but now she has a chair in a famous salon and has tripled her price? It's okay to ask for a loyalty discount, even if you feel like old friends. And if she declines and you have to find a new hairdresser, remember that her decision led to the change as much as yours did. It was a business relationship all along, remember, not a friendship.</p> <h2>16. You Buy Stuff You Never Wanted to Help Friends With Businesses</h2> <p>You go to every nail wrap, makeup, and tote bag party your entrepreneurial friend throws, and buy merchandise that ends up piled in your basement. Well, there are more effective ways to help out a struggling friend.</p> <h2>17. You're a Pushover With Employees or Tenants</h2> <p>When my husband and I rented out our home, our first tenants asked us to repair an ancient fan system, even though we had a brand-new central air system. We said yes without hesitating, wanting to be nice landlords, but the repair put us into the red for many months. As we became more experienced landlords, we learned to distinguish between urgent repair calls (broken refrigerator) and &quot;nice to have&quot; requests that we could decline.</p> <p>With employees, whether it's a cleaning person or middle manager at your business, if you say yes to every request for extra time off or raises, or turn a blind eye to boxes of office supplies disappearing every day, you're going to be in over your head before you know it.</p> <h2>18. You Always Go Along With Friends' Plans Even If it Means Wasting Money</h2> <p>I have lots of friends who are not nearly as frugal as I am. If they are making the plans, we'll be parking our cars in the expensive garage, buying the brand of vodka that's not on sale, and basically spending twice as much for everything than I would have spent on my own. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-peer-pressure-from-destroying-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Keep Peer Pressure From Destroying Your Finances</a>)</p> <p>The nice me wants to stay quiet and just let it be. But the frugal me is not afraid to push that namby pamby wimp aside and say, &quot;Hey. May I suggest parking on the street two blocks away instead of in that garage?&quot; My friends will tell you that I'm a pain about stuff like this, but they still hang out with me, so I must be just nice enough. Or maybe they like how much money I save them.</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/18-ways-being-too-nice-is-hurting-your-wallet">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-millennials-are-changing-marriage">4 Ways Millennials Are Changing Marriage</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/these-5-money-saving-hacks-are-a-huge-waste-of-time">These 5 Money-Saving Hacks Are a Huge Waste of Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-23-mental-tricks-thatll-help-you-save-money">Flashback Friday: 23 Mental Tricks That&#039;ll Help You Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Lifestyle budgeting mistakes hurting your wallet pushover saving money Spending Money too nice Tue, 14 Mar 2017 10:00:16 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1908924 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Having Your Groceries Delivered Can Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-having-your-groceries-delivered-can-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-having-your-groceries-delivered-can-save-you-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-624744886.jpg" alt="save money with grocery delivery" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I started getting my groceries delivered several months ago, after I realized Amazon Prime Now offered free grocery delivery in my area. I've never looked back.</p> <p>With two young children, going to the grocery store is a hassle and takes away from time that we could be on playdates or at the park. But aside from the convenience, I've found that grocery delivery has been helping me drastically cut down on my grocery bill. I've been able to trim a couple hundred dollars from my monthly budget simply by ordering groceries online.</p> <p>While Amazon Prime Now offers free same-day grocery delivery with a $99/year Prime subscription (fresh groceries may or may not be available in your area), there are many other affordable grocery services now available. AmazonFresh offers grocery delivery for an affordable monthly fee ($14.99 per month), and many grocers like Safeway and Whole Foods offer grocery delivery for a small fee per order, or a yearly membership. Safeway's delivery service costs are $9.95 on orders $150 or more, and $12.95 for orders under $150. Whole Foods' service is free for the first order, then $5.99 for one-hour delivery, $3.99 for two-hour delivery, or you can pay an annual membership fee of $99 and get any order over $35 for free.</p> <p>Often grocery delivery services have coupons offering free delivery for newcomers, which can make it easy to try them out and find which service is most convenient and economical for you. Here's how this modern convenience can improve your budget.</p> <h2>1. Eliminate Impulse Shopping</h2> <p>Cutting down on impulse shopping is hands down the number one reason I've been saving money on grocery shopping. When I'm shopping from the comfort of my own home, it's so much easier for me to avoid the impulse buys of snacks, chocolates, and other unnecessary treats that I frequently indulge in if I see them at the store. This benefit is multiplied even more when I can avoid stepping into Target or another one of my favorite stores (somehow I'll go there for milk and leave with a cart full of toys, shampoo, clothes, and cookies).</p> <p>I often shop for just a few staples &mdash; eggs, bananas, bread, milk, and lettuce &mdash; and avoid filling up my cart with impulse purchases. Amazon Fresh does require a minimum total of $40 on deliveries to avoid a $9.99 delivery fee &mdash; it's free over $40 &mdash; but they will sometimes offer free delivery credits on top of Prime orders if you choose free, no-rush shipping. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-fresh-food-delivery-services-that-can-save-you-big?ref=seealso" target="_blank">21 Fresh Food Delivery Services That Can Save You Big</a>)</p> <h2>2. Reduce Waste</h2> <p>I like to order groceries on my phone while rummaging through and taking inventory of the contents of my fridge. That way, I only order items when I've run out and I cut down on duplicates of things I have. This reduces wasted food in the long run because I only buy what I need. It's much easier to do this when I'm able to look through my fridge instead of trying to remember what I need while at the store.</p> <p>Another strategy I have is to add things to my online cart as I run low on them, which makes it easy to check out when I need them. No more running to the store to buy one thing that you forgot on your last shopping trip!</p> <h2>3. Enjoy Comparable Prices</h2> <p>I've found that, most of the time, online grocery prices are comparable to what you would pay in a regular supermarket. Sure, you will occasionally get an oddly high price, but once you know what the prices should be, you might be pleasantly surprised at how similar the prices are for delivered groceries. And when there's an extra good deal (like jars of pasta sauce for $1) you can order <em>a lot</em> without having to lug all those heavy bags home yourself.</p> <h2>4. Waste Less Time</h2> <p>It takes me far longer to prowl through the aisles of a grocery store looking for a specific item than to simply type it into the search bar on my grocery delivery app. Adding things to my cart as I run low on them also saves time. Now I no longer have to block off an hour or two of time to go grocery shopping (including driving time), and I can take the kids to the park instead (where I don't get tempted to spend money!). Or I could write an article in that time, and get paid!</p> <p>Amazon Fresh's delivery service doesn't even require you to be home to accept the delivery. The items you order are packaged accordingly &mdash; frozen and perishable items together in coolers with ice packs &mdash; and arrive at your doorstep. You can choose to be home for the delivery or not, but if you know you won't be home, you can select that option while placing your order, and you can expect the delivery to be left on your doorstep during the scheduled delivery time of your choosing. You also don't have to tip the driver.</p> <h2>5. Meal-Plan More Efficiently</h2> <p>I often find that my best-laid meal plans get derailed when I arrive at the grocery store and see something else that tickles my fancy instead. If you're really into meal-planning, having your groceries delivered can help you meet those meal-planning goals. When you're setting up your menu for the week, add the groceries to your online shopping cart as you go. The bonus of shopping this way is that you can order everything you need for the week at once, making the most of the delivery fee.</p> <h2>6. Stay Under Budget</h2> <p>It's easy to check how much my total purchase is going to cost by glancing at my online cart. If I have a weekly grocery budget, this makes it far easier for me to tweak my purchases and stay under budget. If, for instance, I'm a bit over, I might buy apples instead of more expensive grapes, a head of lettuce instead of a bagged salad, or chicken thighs instead of steak. If you've ever gone to check out at the grocery store and realize that you've underestimated your purchase by $40, this is one way to avoid that.</p> <p>Grocery delivery is convenient, and it can definitely save you money, but it's not magic. You still have to be vigilant about checking prices just like you would at a physical supermarket. It might take a while to figure out which delivery service works best for you. And I still do have to run to the brick-and-mortar store once in awhile, just far less often than I did before.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-having-your-groceries-delivered-can-save-you-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-checkout-line-tricks-to-finish-shopping-faster">5 Checkout Line Tricks to Finish Shopping Faster</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-only-15-foods-that-are-worth-buying-organic">The Only 15 Foods That Are Worth Buying Organic</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-122-no-fuss-dinner-ideas-thatll-save-you-money">Flashback Friday: 122 No-Fuss Dinner Ideas That&#039;ll 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/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-produce-workers-guide-to-choosing-fruits-and-vegetables">The Produce Worker&#039;s Guide to Choosing Fruits and Vegetables</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping clipping coupons food shopping grocery delivery grocery shopping grocery tips grocery tricks saving money Mon, 13 Mar 2017 10:00:11 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1906484 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 122 No-Fuss Dinner Ideas That'll Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-122-no-fuss-dinner-ideas-thatll-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-122-no-fuss-dinner-ideas-thatll-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_cooking_dinner_524862737.jpg" alt="Couple making no-fuss dinner that save them money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your workday is coming to an end and your stomach is starting to grumble. You aren't motivated to cook a meal from scratch, and you also don't want to spend your hard-earned money on takeout. What to do? The solution is a delicious one-pot or one-pan meal that is both filling and budget-friendly. Here are a bunch of ideas you (and your tummy) will love.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_cooking_000029847332_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-one-pot-meals-that-will-transform-dinner?ref=fbf">10 One Pot Meals That Will Transform Dinner</a> &mdash; There are few things as satisfying as throwing all of your dinner ingredients into the same pot and letting it cook. These one-pot meals are super convenient to make and absolutely delicious. You'll never need to make an excuse to order takeout again.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-delicious-and-easy-one-pot-meals?ref=fbf">25 Delicious and Easy One-Pot Meals</a> &mdash; One-pot meals don't always consist of pasta or stew. This flavorful list of meals includes stuffed peppers, breakfast options, and even sushi!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock-518145080.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money?ref=fbf">12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money</a> &mdash; If you have an electric pressure cooker, dust it off and put it to work, because instant pot meals are the future of dinner. This dinner method helps you salvage soon-to-be expired ingredients, delectably resurrect leftovers, and cook healthy meals without the effort and hefty price tag.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-and-money-with-these-15-delicious-sheet-pan-meals?ref=fbf">Save Time and Money With These 15 Delicious Sheet Pan Meals</a> &mdash; Ever cooked a full meal on just one sheet pan? If not, now's the time to give it a try. Pizza, salmon, chicken parm, and stir fry can all be made in a single sheet pan, and there are so many more options!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/food-2020009-small.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-slow-cooker-recipes-for-busy-or-lazy-vegetarians?ref=fbf">35 Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy (or Lazy) Vegetarians</a> &mdash; We're all busy, and sometimes we just want to be lazy, because we've earned it! But both situations make dinner preparation extremely difficult when you could easily order food to be delivered. These vegetarian slow cooker recipes are perfect for a busy lifestyle, and for those lazy weekend days.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-cheap-and-easy-crock-pot-recipes?ref=fbf">25 Great, Cheap, and Easy Crock Pot Recipes</a> &mdash; What's better than an easy, delicious dinner? A <em>cheap</em>, easy, and delicious dinner! It's hard to stay on budget with food, especially when you're trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but these crock pot recipes fit the bill, and you will love every single one of them.</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-122-no-fuss-dinner-ideas-thatll-save-you-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/flashback-friday-128-creative-ways-to-upcycle-your-trash">Flashback Friday: 128 Creative Ways to Upcycle Your Trash</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-23-mental-tricks-thatll-help-you-save-money">Flashback Friday: 23 Mental Tricks That&#039;ll Help You Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-63-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-leftovers">Flashback Friday: 63 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Leftovers</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-44-sneaky-shopping-traps-to-avoid">Flashback Friday: 44 Sneaky Shopping Traps to Avoid</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-foods-that-are-actually-cheaper-at-whole-foods">6 Foods That Are Actually Cheaper At Whole Foods</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping dinner ideas dinner recipes fbf flashback friday groceries saving money Spending Money Fri, 10 Mar 2017 10:30:39 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1906390 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Smart Ways to Save on Smartphones http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-ways-to-save-on-smartphones <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-smart-ways-to-save-on-smartphones" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-538872884.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Phones and phone service plans are an almost inescapable part of modern society. Every few years, we must choose a new cell phone and a new service plan to invest in. It's a modern necessity that can take up a huge chunk of our monthly expenses.</p> <p>Don't worry, there are several strategies that can help save you money on this necessity. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-smart-way-to-pay-for-cell-phone-service?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Smart Way to Pay for Cell Phone Service</a>)</p> <h2>1. Repair the Phone You've Got</h2> <p>Do you have a glitchy or damaged phone? Tired of dealing with it? Don't sign up for a new phone just yet. Nearly every town has one or two smartphone repair shops that might be able to fix your phone.</p> <p>The diagnostic tests to determine if the problem can be fixed are typically free. The actual repairs can run anywhere from $50 to $150 depending on the device, the problem, and the store. That's still expensive, but it might be worth it if it prevents the need to purchase another $300 to $700 phone.</p> <h2>2. Sell Back Old Devices</h2> <p>If you determine it's time for a new cell phone, don't just throw the device in the trash. Many businesses have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sites-that-will-pay-for-your-old-iphone?ref=internal" target="_blank">cell phone trade-in programs</a>.</p> <p>What exactly are trade-in programs? You sell the devices that are <em>not</em> currently being financed by a carrier or business to the store for cash. That's cash you can use to purchase your next phone. How much money you will receive is based on the following factors:</p> <ul> <li>The phone type;</li> <li>The phone's ability to power on;</li> <li>If the phone has cracks on the screen.</li> </ul> <p>The following stores have trade-in programs: Gazelle, Amazon, uSell, Best Buy, Walmart, EcoATM, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile.</p> <p>You might also want to check out Trade-Up programs from various cell phone carriers and stores. Trade-Up programs allow you to trade in your old phone and put the money directly toward your next phone purchase.</p> <h2>3. Don't Purchase Phones Directly From Cellphone Carriers</h2> <p>Amazon, eBay, Best Buy, and even Costco (pretty much any store other than the traditional phone carriers) can offer cheaper smartphone options. You should shop around to see if you can find new, used, or refurbished phones for a cheaper price.</p> <p>If you find a phone, you should check that the phone will be compatible with the cellular provider you use. (Some smartphones are locked to only work with certain providers.)</p> <h2>4. Purchase an Unlocked Smartphone</h2> <p>Why purchase an unlocked phone? Unlocked phones have the following benefits:</p> <ul> <li>They're available at a variety of stores;</li> <li>They aren't tied to one particular phone provider;</li> <li>They can be slightly cheaper;</li> <li>They allow the use of your phone on international trips;</li> <li>You're able to leave a provider and take your phone with you.</li> </ul> <p>If you decide to purchase an unlocked new, refurbished, or used smartphone, you need to keep in mind that you will most likely need to either purchase or receive a SIM card from a store or the cellular provider you opt to use.</p> <p>Cell phone companies have different plans for unlocked phones. These plans typically have monthly payments like more traditional phone plans. Or, you can opt to just purchase pre-paid SIM cards from stores like Amazon and Best Buy.</p> <h2>5. Choose the Best Plan for You</h2> <p>Don't just sign onto the first provider you stumble across. You should check out a wide variety of plans before signing up. Consider your usage habits. Don't automatically sign up for the cheapest plan not knowing how much data you use each month. You'll be in for budget-breaking overage charges. But don't just sign up for the unlimited plan, either, just to have a safety net from possible overage charges. The only thing worse than paying for using too much data, is paying for data you'll never use.</p> <p>Plan comparison sites can help you get a general sense of how much various phone providers cost. Two sites that can help you determine which provider offers the best plans are <a href="http://www.myrateplan.com/" target="_blank">MyRatePlan.com</a> and <a href="https://www.whistleout.com/" target="_blank">WhistleOut.com</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/samantha-stauf">Samantha Stauf</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-ways-to-save-on-smartphones">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-make-budgeting-fun-no-really">7 Apps That Make Budgeting Fun — No Really!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-smartphone-saves-you-money">8 Ways Your Smartphone Saves 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/is-unlimited-data-still-a-thing">Is Unlimited Data Still a Thing?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Technology cell plan Cell service money phone phone bill saving money smartphone unlimited data Wed, 08 Mar 2017 10:30:37 +0000 Samantha Stauf 1905167 at http://www.wisebread.com Is an All-Cash Diet Right for You? http://www.wisebread.com/is-an-all-cash-diet-right-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-an-all-cash-diet-right-for-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-170955646.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>An all-cash diet is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: You pay cash for all of your daily expenses. The idea is that it makes you more conscious of your spending than if you use debit or credit cards. But an all-cash diet isn't necessarily right for everyone. Let's go over how this budgeting strategy might work for you.</p> <h2>How Does It Work?</h2> <p>Once you've <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps?ref=internal" target="_blank">created a budget</a>, you need to determine how much income you have left every month after you've paid your fixed expenses, such as rent, utilities, debt payments, and insurance. This is the amount of money you can use for things like groceries, gas, and other day-to-day expenses during the month. You can then withdraw this amount in cash to spend on these expenses over the next four weeks. It's important that you allocate your cash properly so that you don't end up spending it all in one category at one time.</p> <p>To make it easy, consider splitting up your monthly allotment into four envelopes, one for each week. You may not spend all of the money in the envelope each week. For example, maybe you didn't drive much that week, and didn't need to stop for gas. In that case, more surplus means more for your savings.</p> <p>If you are worried about leaving that much cash in your home, then just make a trip to your ATM on the same day every week to withdraw the money for your weekly spending. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-envelope-system?ref=seealso" target="_blank">A Comprehensive Guide to the Envelope System</a>)</p> <h2>The Benefits</h2> <p>The ultimate goal of this lifestyle change is to have cash left over at the end of the month, which you can use to pay off debt or devote to savings and investments. There is a range of short- and long-term benefits associated with the strategy, too.</p> <h3>1. Helps You Cut Spending</h3> <p>Multiple studies have shown that people spend more when they use a credit card than when they <a href="http://web.mit.edu/simester/Public/Papers/Alwaysleavehome.pdf" target="_blank">pay with cash</a>. That's because when you use cash, you have a better feeling for just how much you're spending than when you use so-called invisible money (debit or credit cards).</p> <p>By physically handing over cash for your purchases, you see the money leave your possession. Hence, you're much more likely to consider on the spot if the purchase is really worth it. Alternatively, when you use a card, you don't really feel the effect of a purchase until later, when you receive your credit card bill or see the transaction online. That can make it easier to overspend with plastic.</p> <p>If you regularly go over your monthly budget and can't seem to figure out why, then switching to an all-cash diet can quickly help you pinpoint exactly where your money's going. Using cash can encourage you to only buy what you really need and avoid impulse purchases. This is especially helpful if you tend to go on shopping sprees and overspend when you're stressed, upset, or anxious.</p> <h3>2. Reduces Some Fraud and Charging Errors</h3> <p>Using cash also reduces the chance of accidental overcharging, or worse, fraud by retail and restaurant staff. Stores and restaurants do occasionally unintentionally double charge your card, and wait staff have been known to steal credit card data. It is usually not until we get home or are balancing our checkbooks later that we realize the error or fraud, and by then it can be difficult to correct. Alternatively, using cash ensures that you're never in that situation.</p> <h3>3. Streamlines Store Returns</h3> <p>When you're making a return with a card, you usually need to have the exact card that you paid with. On the other hand, if you paid with cash, you can quickly get the refund in cash.</p> <h3>4. Reduces Overdraft Fees</h3> <p>If you're prone to accidentally overspending on your debit card and then having to deal with overdraft fees, an all-cash diet may help you. You <em>can </em>still overdraw your account by taking too much money out at the ATM, but you're less likely to do that by mistake, especially if you only take out a certain amount every week. Over time, you can save quite a bit on what would have otherwise been wasted on overdraft fees.</p> <h2>When to Use Credit Cards</h2> <p>Even if you decide to stick to an all-cash diet indefinitely, there are some times to make exceptions and use credit cards. This is a particularly true if you're trying to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">improve your credit score, </a>since using credit cards responsibly is an easy way to build credit. But you don't have to charge a lot to get the credit score benefit (in fact, it's better if you keep your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit utilization</a> low), so you could still use cash for out-of-pocket expenses and charge one or two monthly expenses, such as your Internet and electricity bills, to your credit card. Just make sure you pay those charges off in full and on time every month.</p> <p>In fact, even if your credit score is good, you may want to keep at least one credit card open and active to help maintain your score, especially if you don't have a mortgage or other loans you're paying. It's also good to have a credit card on hand for online purchases (credit cards are safer than debit for web shopping), car rentals, and for emergencies. To keep the account open you'll need to continue using it occasionally. Again, a good way to do this is by charging a monthly expense to your credit card and paying it off in full.</p> <p>If you're racking up <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles?ref=internal" target="_blank">frequent flyer miles</a>, or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash back</a> on a particular credit card, then you may still want to use that card for certain purchases. For example, if you earn extra points for travel expenses, then you may want to continue using your card for these types of purchases. You can also use a rewards credit card for large purchases. Not only is it safer than carrying around large amounts of cash, you'll also earn a big bunch of points for that expensive purchase.</p> <p>Some credit cards also offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=internal" target="_blank">additional benefits</a>, such as free travel insurance and rental car insurance. If you need these services, then it's better to use a credit card that offers them for free than to pay extra for them with cash.</p> <h2>Give It a Try</h2> <p>You don't have to devote your life to the all-cash diet right away. Consider just trying it for two to three months to see how much you can save.</p> <p>If you find that you're running out of cash midweek or are still regularly reaching for your credit cards, you may want to re-evaluate your spending habits altogether. Even if you find that the all-cash diet is not right for you, it can help you get a better handle on how much you're spending and how to improve your budget.</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/is-an-all-cash-diet-right-for-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-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/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-everyday-money-tasks-youve-been-doing-wrong">12 Everyday Money Tasks You&#039;ve Been Doing Wrong</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-come-up-with-1000-in-the-next-30-days">How to Come Up With $1,000 in the Next 30 Days</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 cash diet credit score Envelope system expenses overdraft fees overspending paying in cash saving money Mon, 06 Mar 2017 10:00:11 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1902771 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 128 Creative Ways to Upcycle Your Trash http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-128-creative-ways-to-upcycle-your-trash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-128-creative-ways-to-upcycle-your-trash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/little_girl_box_528717000.jpg" alt="Little girl upcycling her trash" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before you head over to the trash can, take a moment to consider if that empty can or citrus peel in your hand can be put to good use. Believe it or not, you might be able to save tons of cash by upcycling your garbage and turning it into something useful. Here are 128 creative ways to make your trash work for you.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/paint_sample_cards_7253325.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-beautiful-things-you-can-make-with-paint-sample-cards?ref=fbf">25 Beautiful Things You Can Make With Paint Sample Cards</a> &mdash; Once you've chosen the right color paint for your office, you no longer need the paint sample cards you were using, right? Wrong! Those colorful swatches can actually turn into beautiful home decor.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-reuse-clothes-that-no-longer-fit?ref=fbf">7 Ways to Reuse Clothes That No Longer Fit</a> &mdash; Rather than tossing or donating those clothes you know you won't wear, see if you can use them in other ways. You could make that pile of t-shirts into a stellar quilt! Or turn an old sweater into a pair of cozy mittens.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock-596059078.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-surprising-uses-for-empty-beer-and-soda-cans?ref=fbf">9 Surprising Uses for Empty Beer and Soda Cans</a> &mdash; Upon first glance, an empty soda or beer can might only seem like a piece of trash, but look again and you will see a container with a endless potential. Turn it into a mini planter, a Wi-Fi booster, jewelry supplies, and more!</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-clever-ways-to-reuse-your-plastic-shopping-bags?ref=fbf">18 Clever Ways to Reuse Your Plastic Shopping Bags</a> &mdash; Beyond a backup poop bag for your pup, an empty plastic bag can easily be turned into something amazing. An emergency rain hat is just one option of many.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_orange_face_509346224.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/egg-pan-sugar-softener-and-50-other-uses-for-citrus-peels?ref=fbf">Egg Pan, Sugar Softener, and 50 Other Uses for Citrus Peels</a> &mdash; Hold your peels! That citrus skin has more value than you could possibly imagine. Turn it into essential oil, a household cleaner, or a bird feeder. Oh, and there are 49 other brilliant uses here for you.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-ways-to-use-old-newspaper?ref=fbf">17 Ways to Use Old Newspaper</a> &mdash; Since many people don't even read newspapers anymore, when you have some lying around, what are you supposed to do with them? Before you toss them out, consider upcycling them into book covers, gift wrap, disposable tablecloths, or something else you need!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-128-creative-ways-to-upcycle-your-trash">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-122-no-fuss-dinner-ideas-thatll-save-you-money">Flashback Friday: 122 No-Fuss Dinner Ideas That&#039;ll 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/9-surprising-uses-for-empty-beer-and-soda-cans">9 Surprising Uses for Empty Beer and Soda Cans</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-things-you-already-own-that-can-be-turned-into-a-tote-bag">10 Things You Already Own That Can Be Turned Into a Tote Bag</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/18-clever-ways-to-reuse-your-plastic-shopping-bags">18 Clever Ways to Reuse Your Plastic Shopping Bags</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/37-brilliant-ways-to-reuse-an-empty-milk-jug">37 Brilliant Ways to Reuse an Empty Milk Jug</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Food and Drink compost DIY fbf flashback friday recycle reuse saving money Spending Money trash upcycle Fri, 03 Mar 2017 10:30:32 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1901986 at http://www.wisebread.com Stop Making These 7 Basic Budget Mistakes http://www.wisebread.com/stop-making-these-7-basic-budget-mistakes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/stop-making-these-7-basic-budget-mistakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-488007222.jpg" alt="Little girl making basic budget mistakes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Budgets are the foundation of frugal living and personal financial success. Clear and realistic budgets help us better understand our financial picture, rein in irresponsible spending, and develop stronger saving habits. If you're having a tough time sticking to your budget, maybe it's not your willpower that's broken &mdash; maybe it's your budget. Here are seven important budget mistakes you may be making.</p> <h2>1. Not Establishing a Goal</h2> <p>Your budget should be fueled by a crystal clear purpose. Before you make (or remake) your budget, decide exactly what you want to accomplish. Is the goal to get out of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card debt</a>? To save more aggressively <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-signs-you-arent-saving-enough-for-retirement?ref=internal" target="_blank">for retirement</a>? To <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-pay-your-mortgage-off-early?ref=internal" target="_blank">pay off the house</a> five years sooner? Or to simply develop a greater awareness of where your money goes? Having a goal will help you stay on-track and on-budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tricks-to-beating-budget-burnout?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Tricks to Beating Budget Burnout</a>)</p> <h2>2. Skipping Your Retirement Savings</h2> <p>Saving for the future? If it's not part of your budget, it's probably not happening. Make sure that your monthly budget includes a healthy contribution to a money market account, IRA, or 401K plan. It's one the few expenses that will actually pay you back in the long-term.</p> <h2>3. Relying on Inconsistent or Uncertain Income</h2> <p>Funding your budget with tax refunds, year-end bonuses, and other income you're yet to (and may not) receive, is a bad idea. With one little hiccup, your entire financial plan can be thrown into chaos. Instead, focus on regular and reliable sources of income. When you receive extra cash, funnel it into your savings or retirement account. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/saving-for-retirement-and-other-long-term-goals-on-a-variable-income?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Saving for Retirement and Other Long Term Goals on a Variable Income</a>)</p> <h2>4. Not Expecting the Unexpected</h2> <p>Emergencies happen. Cars break down, pipes burst, and appliances bite the dust. If your budget doesn't include a savings plan or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-step-by-step-guide-to-creating-your-emergency-fund?ref=internal" target="_blank">emergency fund</a>, it doesn't reflect the realities of life. Avoid blowing your budget or relying on high-interest credit cards when the inevitable happens &mdash; make sure your budget has a line item for what-if's and oh-no's.</p> <p>Most importantly, avoid the temptation to consider this part of your budget negotiable. Often, budgeters will simply pull from the savings column to inflate discretionary spending. As you can imagine, this approach is a slippery slope that can quickly wipe out the best intentions.</p> <h2>5. Ignoring the Small Stuff</h2> <p>Budgets are for major &mdash; and minor &mdash; expenses. If you ignore the $4 coffees, the $12 movie tickets, and the lunches out twice a week, your budget will quickly become more abstract than exact. Monitor and account for each expenditure to get a clear idea of what you're spending and where adjustments need to be made.</p> <h2>6. Making Things Too Complex</h2> <p>When it comes to household budgets, simpler is better. For most budgeters, a basic Excel spreadsheet will do the trick and allow for easy updates. The old-school <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-envelope-system?ref=internal" target="_blank">envelope system</a> is an even simpler and more direct way to way to track and tally monthly expenditures. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-budgeting-for-people-who-hate-math?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Easy Budgeting for People Who Hate Math</a>)</p> <h2>7. Designing a Budget That Won't Budge</h2> <p>While budgets are designed to impose limits on spending, they should still offer <em>some </em>degree of flexibility. Certain expenses fluctuate around the holidays, during major life events like weddings and graduations, and even in response to changing weather. If your budget doesn't allow for a little bit of responsible wiggle room, it won't be useful and you'll soon abandon it. Remember, your budget is your creation. It should respond to the needs of your life and be able to bend without breaking.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-making-these-7-basic-budget-mistakes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/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/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Pay It Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-of-the-coolest-sayings-about-saving">10 of the Coolest Sayings About Saving</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/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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting advice emergency funds expenses income Mistakes saving money savings goals Fri, 03 Mar 2017 10:00:09 +0000 Kentin Waits 1900128 at http://www.wisebread.com