saving money http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/165/all en-US 13 Food Items to Always Buy in Bulk http://www.wisebread.com/13-food-items-to-always-buy-in-bulk <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-food-items-to-always-buy-in-bulk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/9jSCuiL_Ld4u4gPnmUW3Vbjku_ZMcMmucpVIzKm-P74/mtime:1427295722/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_buying_wine_000019154731.jpg" alt="Couple at the store buying wine in bulk" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It can be hard to decide what's worth buying in bulk. Are you getting a better deal? Will you use all of an item before it goes bad? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bulk-buying-basics-what-to-buy-how-to-store-and-money-saving-tips?ref=seealso">Bulk Buying Basics: What to Buy and Money Saving Tips</a>)</p> <p>Be sure to follow some general rules when you go shopping: Only buy things you always use and use often. Don't buy something you don't know if you like; try a single serving first (for example, a soup brand you like, but a new flavor you haven't tried). And, of course, always consult this list. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-didnt-know-you-could-buy-in-bulk?ref=seealso">10 Things You Didn't Know You Could Buy in Bulk</a>)</p> <h2>1. Alcohol</h2> <p>If you're having a party, you can save some real cash by buying booze in bulk. The bigger the package of beer, the better the deal, and the same goes for spirits. Warehouse stores can offer some real savings, and in some states you don't have to be a member to buy alcohol. Even if you're buying wine from a wine shop, most offer discounts of 5%-15% for a case of 12.</p> <h2>2. Beans</h2> <p>Whether you buy your beans canned or dried, they last a long time and don't run a high risk of going bad before you use them all up. Dried beans offer the biggest savings, and can be cheaper when bought in larger quantities or from a bulk bin. When shopping at Costco or Sam's Club, packages of multiple cans of beans offer a per-can discount of around 15%.</p> <h2>3. Pasta</h2> <p>If you're a pasta lover, stop buying your dried pasta just one little package at a time. You can save up to 40% off the supermarket price by buying in bulk, including whole wheat varieties. The <a href="http://shelflifeadvice.com/grains-pasta-and-cereal/grains-and-pasta/pasta">shelf life of dried pasta</a> is up to two years in air-tight packaging, and many families eat it often, making it a bulk-buy must.</p> <h2>4. Oats</h2> <p>If you enjoy making oatmeal or baked goods using oats or oat flour, then you may want to consider buying wholesale. If you have the space and will use 50 pounds of oats, you can save nearly 70%. Even if you're buying out of the bulk bin or in bigger bags, there are still savings to be had. Make sure you store your oats in an airtight container.</p> <h2>5. Spices</h2> <p>The price difference for <a href="http://allnaturalsavings.com/2014/07/22/bulk-food-vs-packaged-food-price-comparisons/">bulk spices</a> and packaged spices at the grocery store can be huge. However, if you buy five pounds of cinnamon and then don't use it, then it's money wasted. Only buy spices in amounts that you know you'll use. This can be a great time to visit the bulk section of the market and measure out how much you want. One spice that's especially great to buy in bigger amounts is peppercorns. The whole variety keeps for longer, and since pepper goes in nearly everything, you'll keep your pepper mill stocked for cheaper.</p> <h2>6. Meat</h2> <p>If your family loves meat and you cook it often, then go ahead and buy ahead. The key to buying meat in bulk is to portion it out, wrap and package it well, and freeze it. If done properly, meat can last up to one year in a freezer. Be sure to compare prices, since sales at supermarkets can sometimes beat out warehouse store prices.</p> <h2>7. Dried Fruit</h2> <p>A great healthy snack, dried fruit can unfortunately be expensive. It's frequently cheaper at warehouse stores, assuming you will use all of those dried cranberries in a reasonable amount of time. If you shop at a grocery store with bulk bins, dried fruit can be a great buy. Make sure that you buy from bins that are busy and therefore get refilled often.</p> <h2>8. Canned Tomatoes</h2> <p>Canned tomatoes are an item used by home cooks and chefs alike, and they're more than handy to have around. They also last, so they're a great bulk buy. Buying a six-pack at a warehouse store can add up to 25% savings, and won't even take up that much room in your pantry.</p> <h2>9. Coffee</h2> <p>If you're a frequent coffee drinker and you don't buy your coffee in bulk, then it's time to make the switch. It makes economic sense as well as ecological sense. Buying in bulk <a href="http://www.bulkisgreen.org/bulk-questions-answers_5067_ct.aspx">saves on packaging</a>, and you'll get your fix all the same. It's best to buy whole beans, which stay fresh for longer and offer more flavor when freshly ground.</p> <h2>10. Rice and Grains</h2> <p>Grains are another great dry good to stock up on and save money. Buying bigger bags tend to offer real savings, as does buying from the bulk bin. Grains last as long as they are stored properly, but keep in mind that rice and <a href="http://wholegrainscouncil.org/recipes/storing-whole-grains">whole grain shelf lives</a> differ. For example, brown rice spoils faster because of higher oil content. Keep grains in a sealed container, away from sunlight and heat.</p> <h2>11. Sugar</h2> <p>For the bakers out there, going for the big bag of sugar should be a no-brainer. At Costco, you can <a href="http://allnaturalsavings.com/2013/10/28/costco-price-list-vs-grocery-store-price-list/">save 25% on sugar</a> by purchasing ten pounds rather than a two-pound bag. When stored in a cool and dry place, white sugar practically lasts forever. No need to beg for a cup from the neighbors!</p> <h2>12. Oils</h2> <p>Cooking oils such as olive oil are consistently cheaper when purchased in larger quantities, and if you cook with them often, go big. When specifically buying olive oil, make sure the glass container is a dark green to keep out sunlight, or buy in a metal container and transfer smaller amounts to your own bottle. Note that <a href="http://www.eatbydate.com/other/condiments/how-long-does-oil-last/">oil will go rancid</a>, so don't buy more than you can use.</p> <h2>13. Maple Syrup</h2> <p>Good maple syrup can be a costly food item, really putting a damper on your pancake breakfast plans. Luckily, the price gets a little more reasonable the bigger the container. You can order it online or visit a big box store &mdash; just compare price per ounce to get the best deal. Stored properly, it'll last for several months and drown dozens of pancakes.</p> <p><em>What are your regular bulk buys. Please share in comments &mdash; you have plenty!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-food-items-to-always-buy-in-bulk">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/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The Best 5 Credit Cards for Groceries</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/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</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/25-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill">25 Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill</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/10-stupid-shopping-mistakes-even-smart-people-make">10 Stupid Shopping Mistakes Even Smart People Make</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping bulk saving money warehouse stores wholesale Wed, 25 Mar 2015 15:00:07 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1353920 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Max Out Your IRA Contributions by April 15th http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-max-out-your-ira-contributions-by-april-15th <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-max-out-your-ira-contributions-by-april-15th" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/8Z4ypX2LKGRzVwHLHHVofUx35UGJSyKPCyjlvWPMP9o/mtime:1427108418/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_piggybank_000013609451.jpg" alt="Woman saving for IRA" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Did you know that if you make a <a href="https://www.fidelity.com/retirement-ira/contribution-limits-deadlines">personal IRA contribution</a> before April 15th of this year, that amount is deductible on your 2014 taxes? If you have the extra cash on hand, this is a great way to boost your retirement account while reducing your current tax burden. Here are seven creative ways to come up with that extra contribution money in the next month.</p> <h2>1. Don't Dine Out</h2> <p>April 15th is about a month away. What if you could make a promise to yourself not to eat out at all in the intervening weeks? Skip the morning coffee pick-up, bring your lunch to work, and find free ways to spend time with friends. Now, take all of that money you would have spent and deposit it into your IRA account, instead. It may sound like a big sacrifice, but it's only a month long and could add up to a big tax break.</p> <h2>2. Lace up Your Walking Shoes</h2> <p>Transportation is another big expense for many people. Consider when you might be able to use your own two feet, take low-cost or free public transportation, or bike to get you from point A to point B. Then, you can bank that transit money right into your IRA account.</p> <h2>3. Delay Spring Wardrobe and Home Purchases</h2> <p>Once the warm weather arrives, we're anxious for a personal and home makeover. If you can delay making any purchases such as these for the next month, you can use that money to contribute to your IRA. Think of it as giving your future self the gift of more freedom by putting that extra money into your retirement account today.</p> <h2>4. Itemize Your Deductions</h2> <p>Many people don't want to be bothered with itemizing their expenses, because it can take some time and requires additional organization and paperwork. However, if your itemized deductions are greater than the standard deduction, you'll save on taxes you owe, or get a bigger refund. Calculate your potential savings and put away that money in your IRA now to enjoy later.</p> <h2>5. Student Loan Interest Deduction</h2> <p>Many working adults today have student loans. If you make less than $80,000 per year as an individual (or less than $160,000 if filing jointly), you can deduct the interest you've paid on student loans. Use the money you'll save on that deduction to increase your contribution to your IRA.</p> <h2>6. Make Your Vacation a &quot;Staycation&quot;</h2> <p>After the rough winter we've had this year, it's tempting to take advantage of the ever-present travel deals being offered. Resist their offers and turn your spring vacation into a staycation. Chances are your hometown comes back to life once it thaws out from winter, and there are plenty of opportunities to re-discover it through events and activities that will help you <em>feel</em> like a tourist in your own backyard.</p> <h2>7. Delay Big Purchases</h2> <p>My laptop is now over five years old, and it's showing its age a bit with decreased speed. I'm tempted by all the features now available on new laptops, but I've decided that I can deal with a bit of decreased speed for the sake of banking some extra money. When it comes to big purchases like electronics, one thing is certain: In six months there will be a brighter, shinier model that's likely no more expensive than today's top-of-the-line. Get as much value out of your durable goods as possible, and only replace them when it's truly necessary. You'll be glad you did once you see that extra money accruing in your savings account.</p> <p>Maxing out your IRA isn't the sexiest purchase you'll ever make, but it's important to contribute as much as you can <em>as soon as you can</em> to take advantage of the compound interest it will generate.</p> <p><em>What clever tricks are you using this tax season to max out your IRA contributions? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-max-out-your-ira-contributions-by-april-15th">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/is-this-the-end-of-the-back-door-roth-ira-tax-loophole">Is This the End of the Back-Door Roth IRA Tax Loophole?</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/should-you-choose-a-roth-401k-or-a-regular-401k">Should You Choose a Roth 401k or a Regular 401k?</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/101-tax-deductions-for-bloggers-and-freelancers">101 Tax deductions for bloggers and freelancers</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/dont-miss-these-7-great-tax-deductions-for-parents-and-caretakers">Don&#039;t Miss These 7 Great Tax Deductions for Parents and Caretakers</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-step-by-step-guide-to-rolling-over-your-401k">The Step-by-Step Guide to Rolling Over Your 401(k)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement Taxes deductions IRA saving money Mon, 23 Mar 2015 11:00:09 +0000 Christa Avampato 1350978 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Stupid Shopping Mistakes Even Smart People Make http://www.wisebread.com/10-stupid-shopping-mistakes-even-smart-people-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-stupid-shopping-mistakes-even-smart-people-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/Hb5y0KoZofAK4VcV4QdVmOsXEuQqYdgiyxcDjvv-B10/mtime:1426611695/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/lady_shopping_000011736667.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I bet you consider yourself a savvy shopper, and probably rightfully so. You search for online discount codes before checkout, pull up mobile coupons at the register, and buy in bulk when necessary. Yes, you're a veritable savings superstar &mdash; but I'm about ruin your day.</p> <p>Even the smartest shoppers make stupid mistakes &mdash; including me &mdash; by overlooking more savings opportunities right under their noses. That ends today. So you can smell what the Rox is cookin', take a look at these 10 buying blunders and change your spendthrift ways.</p> <h2>1. Not Stacking Coupons at Checkout</h2> <p>There's no question that you're using coupon codes at checkout when you're shopping online, but let's face it &mdash; that's amateur hour. Those of us in the major leagues know how to work the system to take advantage of the highest-level discount that we can possibly achieve.</p> <p>Take a recent purchase I made at Gap.com, for instance. I received a promo email touting 50% off one regular-price item, along with 35% off the rest of my purchase. I had to enter two separate codes for the deal. Since the system accepted two separate codes, I wondered if it would take a third, and I found a few online that seemed valid. The first one I entered was rejected, but the second one for an extra 10% off for card members was accepted. Since the system took three codes, I thought maybe it would take a fourth; free shipping &mdash; huzzah! By the time I checked out, I had reduced what was originally $222.75 to $80.79, and because I used my store card, I got reward points that will save me more on a future purchase.</p> <p>This won't work everywhere, mind you, since each retailer's system is different. But, like your momma always told you, you won't know until you try.</p> <h2>2. Bypassing the Refurbished Rack</h2> <p>I have to admit that I don't give much thought to refurbished products. I like the thought of having items that are new and untainted by grubby human hands because, well... they just make my soul feel right. Turns out I'm paying dearly for this snobbishness though, and I may have to reconsider.</p> <p>&quot;Not evaluating the refurbished sections at Sears, Best Buy, Dell, Apple, or other electronics retailers [is a mistake],&quot; says Phong Vu, CEO of DealScience. &quot;The electronics inside are almost always in tip-top shape and always come with a warranty &mdash; big red flag if there's no warranty. These aren't your dent-and-scratch items either. Nowadays, refurbished items look practically new.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Failing to Leverage Price Matching</h2> <p>This is a tactic I learned when I purchased an outdoor theater system for my home last summer. The salesperson at Best Buy told me he was going to consult the online store to see if there was a price difference between in-store and the website. (Nice guy, that one.) If there was a lower price, he would match it. There was, to my bank account's delight. As a result, I make sure to take advantage of this opportunity (if it exists) every time I make a high-price purchase wherever I shop.</p> <p>&quot;When Amazon came along, a lot of retailers like Best Buy, Walmart, and Target felt the price pressure,&quot; Vu explains. &quot;Each of these stores now matches Amazon (and each other) on price. Policies differ by store, so you'll need to read the fine print. In addition, Amazon even matches itself: If you find a lower price on an item you just bought within seven days, they'll give you a refund on the difference in price.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Shopping Like There's Wiggle Room in Your Budget</h2> <p>A lot of times we give up after we're satisfied that we've saved a certain amount &mdash; but is that the maximum amount you can keep for yourself? In some cases it isn't, which is why (if you're dedicated to recouping every last cent you can) you should buy like your budget depends on it (because it does). This is a particularly useful habit when you're booking travel.</p> <p>&quot;Savvy shoppers can utilize Airbnb, HomeAway, and other [short-term rental] sites on vacation for cheaper accommodations,&quot; Vu suggests. &quot;In many cases, you can rent a fully furnished house or apartment for less than your typical hotel chain, like Marriott or Hilton.&quot;</p> <p>As a short-term rental host myself, it's important for me to press this issue. Personally, I offer an entire two-story, three-bedroom home near the beach for less per night than local one-room hotel accommodations. I also undercut all the competition in my area and offer the most amenities, so my guests are truly getting their money's worth on their vacation accommodations.</p> <p>Remember, though, that this habit doesn't only apply to vacations. You should be shopping like there's no wiggle room in your budget on anything &mdash; from groceries to gym membership.</p> <h2>5. Buying Something Just Because It's on Sale</h2> <p>Even though I'm a personal finance expert, I'm still only human &mdash; and I'm guilty of falling prey to falling prices. There have been plenty of times that I've bought things just because they were on sale (hello, holiday decorations), and it's a character flaw that I'm actively trying to correct.</p> <p>I wonder if they have anonymous meetings for discount Christmas décor hoarders...</p> <p>&quot;Buying something solely because it is on sale is one of the best ways to waste your money,&quot; says Sarah Giller Nelson of Less is More organizers. &quot;Before you purchase something on sale, ask yourself if you would still buy it if it was full price. If the answer is no, then save your money for something to come along that you truly love.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;I see this a lot with my more creative clients,&quot; adds Katherine Trezise of Absolutely Organized. &quot;They purchase storage containers, decorative items, and craft supplies simply because they like the way they look and therefore assume they could use them &mdash; somehow, someday,&quot; she says. &quot;I encourage my clients to wait to shop for something until they are ready to put it into use or give it away. Someday is not a day of the week.&quot;</p> <p>Sage advice. These two are never allowed in my basement.</p> <h2>6. Not Negotiating Financing</h2> <p>This is another one of those why-didn't-I-think-of-this tips, but I understand how you can wave the white flag during the financing part of the deal after heavy price negotiating. You don't want to seem cheap or greedy &mdash; but that self-consciousness will cost you. Take the advice of millennial finance expert and author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00RI0JE9I/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00RI0JE9I&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=2QDCGFXUJO3YUHLT">The Broke and Beautiful Life</a><em>,</em> Stefanie O'Connell, and go in for the kill anyway. You'll thank yourself later.</p> <p>&quot;One major shopping blunder is working hard to find and negotiate the best price, but failing to apply that same strategy when it comes to financing the purchase,&quot; O'Connell says. &quot;On a mortgage, for example, many people take the first quote they get from their lender. It's far more likely that a negotiation of a few percentage points on the interest rate of a 15 to 30 year loan will pay off more than negotiating a few thousand dollars on closing costs.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Ignoring the Fine Print of Credit Cards</h2> <p>This probably seems like Shopping Savvy 101, but most of us pay more attention to the perks of a credit card than the fine print. This is precisely the purpose of all those attractive incentives: Dangle something shiny in front of your eyes, and you'll totally overlook the ruse. Consider this a reminder to keep your wits about you, especially at the cash wrap.</p> <p>&quot;Signing up for a store credit card may seem like a good idea for even the most savvy shoppers &mdash; who doesn't want 20% off their first purchase?&quot; asks Kevin Fleming, founder of Credit Forums. &quot;The truth is, however, that many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/store-credit-cards-that-dont-suck">store cards</a> have high interest rates, hidden fees, and lots of fine print. For example, many store cards offer a 0% introductory period with no interest if paid in full. This may seem like a great deal for those who want to finance a large purchase, like a new TV. But there's a huge catch: If you don't pay off your purchase by the end of the introductory period, you may owe deferred interest.&quot;</p> <p>In other words, don't apply for plastic without reading the fine print.</p> <h2>8. Costly Assumptions on Past Experiences</h2> <p>Has a retailer put a bad taste in your mouth because of its high prices? Have you avoided that retailer ever since? Well, you might be doing yourself a disservice.</p> <p>&quot;Comparing prices is a fundamental savings strategy, but sometimes assumptions get the best of us,&quot; warns Kendal Perez, savings expert at<a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com"> Coupo</a>n<a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com"> Sherpa</a>. &quot;For example, my mom purchased a griddle for my husband and me on Christmas, buying it from a local store in town. She was shocked to find it for $20 less at another local shop known for high prices, since she assumed it would cost more there.&quot;</p> <p>You know the saying: Old habits die hard &mdash; until you start bleeding cash.</p> <h2>9. Letting &quot;Vacation Brain&quot; Control Your Wallet</h2> <p>Deny it all you want, but we all know Perez is talking about you (and me):</p> <p>&quot;With Spring Break coming up, many of us will allow 'vacation brain' to take over and bust budgets on 'just one more drink' or a pricey excursion in the spirit of YOLO,&quot; she says.</p> <p>I often write about splurging on vacation &mdash; and sometimes that's okay &mdash; but you don't need to ball like a Rockefeller on every getaway. Unless, of course, you like eating powdered mac-and-cheese when you get home. Otherwise, reign it in, vacation like the average American you are, have a couple meals at Le Sizzler, and come home with change to spare.</p> <h2>10. Not Speaking Up When You've Been Overcharged</h2> <p>This is a foreign concept to me because I have a big mouth, but I can see how the meek and timid can get steamrolled if they're not careful. But if you stick with me, kid, you'll learn how to complain at the register and annoy everybody else in line just like the rest of us.</p> <p>&quot;Selecting something you think is on sale only to find it rings up for more is irritating, but failing to tell the cashier about it and buying the item anyway is not smart,&quot; Perez says. &quot;Whether it's a passive nature or not wanting to be 'that guy' holding up the line with a price check, staying silent can be costly.&quot;</p> <p><em>Do you have other stupid shopping mistakes that even smart people make? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stupid-shopping-mistakes-even-smart-people-make">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/are-coupons-for-everyone-a-review-of-the-couponizer-and-a-giveaway">Are Coupons For Everyone? A Review of the Couponizer (and a Giveaway)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-shouldnt-order-on-amazon">5 Things You Shouldn&#039;t Order on Amazon</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/13-food-items-to-always-buy-in-bulk">13 Food Items to Always Buy in Bulk</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-best-deals-coupons-sites">50 Best Deals and Coupon Sites</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-outlet-shopping-hacks-that-will-save-you-big">10 Outlet Shopping Hacks That Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping coupons price matching sales saving money Tue, 17 Mar 2015 17:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1344239 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Surprising Ways Spring Is Gonna Cost You http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-spring-is-gonna-cost-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-surprising-ways-spring-is-gonna-cost-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/cOD2O4ZRWS9-21Sr5f0iN3e_We-5Zr5nwPQZLGTP1-k/mtime:1426507269/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bike-commuter-city-hipster-iStock_000021384980Small.jpg" alt="bike commuter" title="bike commuter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you live in a colder part of the country, you probably can't wait for this winter to end. The New York City area, for example, has experienced its second-coldest February in history. But before the warmer months hit, it's important to understand how the change in seasons will impact your finances. While winter brings its own financial burdens, spring and summer can empty your pocketbook, as well.</p> <p>Here's how to stay within your budget as the temperatures warm up.</p> <h2>1. Go Green With Transportation</h2> <p>You'll probably drive more when it gets warmer, and may even take long road trips. You can expect gas prices to rise as demand increases and fuel companies switch from winter to summer fuel blends. Gas prices will remain low by recent standards, but it might help to consider walking or biking to work, or using public transit.</p> <h2>2. Register Early for Summer Camp</h2> <p>Summer can be a challenge for working parents, as the kids are out of school and need someone to look after them during the day.This means that many families explore summer camps and other activities. A week of summer camp will set you back an average of $304, according to the American Camp Association, with some for-profit camps costing more than $500 weekly. It helps to register in the winter to take advantage of early bird registration deals, and you may get a discount by signing up for multiple weeks at the same location. There may also be discounts for families with multiple children at the same camp.</p> <h2>3. Start Saving for New Family Additions</h2> <p>If you or your partner are not pregnant already, you can probably disregard this one. But statistics show that more children are born during the spring and summer months than other times of the year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that August is the <a href="http://www.livescience.com/32728-baby-month-is-almost-here-.html">top month for new babies</a>. New arrivals aren't cheap, and you can definitely expect to spend some money in the months leading up to the delivery. Now is the time to start banking as much cash as you can.</p> <h2>4. Travel Within Your Means</h2> <p>With an improving economy, the American Automobile Association expects more people to take trips this summer. According to American Express, an average <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2014/07/07/the-real-cost-of-summer-vacation-dont-get-buried-in-taxes/">vacation will set you back $1,145</a> per person, or $4,580 for a family of four. The good news is that gas prices are lower than in years past, and a strong dollar means that it's cheaper to travel overseas.</p> <h2>5. Budget Home Expenses</h2> <p>When it's cold and snowy outside, there's no lawn to mow (and you're probably postponing the construction of that backyard patio until the thaw). Warmer weather is when you whip out the lawnmower and make the call to that contractor. It's also when you might make any repairs necessitated by the snow, ice, and wind of winter. Various sources suggest that a homeowner will spend about 1% of their home's value on maintenance each year. Much of this expense will happen during the spring and summer, so be sure to budget accordingly. Consider saving a few bucks here and there by watering your lawn less and attempting landscaping projects yourself.</p> <h2>6. Be Patient With Investments</h2> <p>There's an old saying that investors should &quot;sell in May and stay away&quot; until October. This is not perfect advice, but there is evidence to suggest that the <a href="https://www.fidelity.com/learning-center/trading-investing/technical-analysis/sell-in-may-and-go-away">stock market's slowest months</a> are in the spring and summer. Since 1950, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has averaged negative returns during the months of May, June, August, and September. It has seen positive returns during all other months.</p> <h2>7. It's the Thought That Counts for Mom and Dad</h2> <p>Undoubtedly, people spend more money on gifts around Christmas than any other time of year. But the holidays of spring and summer can also add to your expenses. Americans were expected to spend $162.94 on Mother's Day in 2014 and $113.80 on Father's Day, according to the National Retail Federation. If you want to save money on these holidays, consider some thoughtful, but less expensive gift options, such as a great home-cooked meal.</p> <h2>8. Skip the Theater</h2> <p>The summer months are when Hollywood's <a href="http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=2014">biggest blockbusters</a> hit the theaters, and many of us go, even if it's just to sit in an air conditioned environment for a while. Six of last year's top grossing movies at the box office were released during the spring and summer. Going to the movies is not cheap; the average cost of a movie ticket is $8.17, and many recent top films have extra charges for 3D or IMAX screenings. Want to save a few bucks? Get a Netflix account or go to RedBox and watch movies at home.</p> <h2>9. Don't Buy a Car</h2> <p>Generally speaking, the best time to buy a car is the end of the year when sellers are looking to meet their sales quotas. And you might get some good prices on older models in the fall when new models come in. Though you won't see as many deep discounts in the summer, you can still do okay at the end of months or quarters.</p> <h2>10. Take Advantage of the Real Estate Market</h2> <p>No one wants to move in the winter time, so there's more competition for homes during warmer months. This places upward pressure on home prices. In 2014, the <a href="http://www.realtor.org/sites/default/files/reports/2015/embargoes/ehs-02-23/ehs-01-2015-single-family-only-2015-02-23.pdf">median price for homes sold</a> in the U.S. between May and August was about $220,000, according to the National Association of Realtors. That's about $20,000 more than the median price of other months. On the positive side, this is good news if you are selling your home, and buyers are more likely to see a larger selection of homes for sale.</p> <p><em>What does spring do to your budget?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-spring-is-gonna-cost-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-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-often-do-you-get-your-paycheck">How often do you get your paycheck?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste 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-stuff-i-try-never-to-buy-new">The stuff I try never to buy new</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/in-times-like-these-separate-the-want-from-the-need">In times like these, separate the want from the need.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting General Tips gas prices saving money summer budgeting Mon, 16 Mar 2015 12:00:08 +0000 Tim Lemke 1338574 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Quick Ways to Save for a Trip http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-quick-ways-to-save-for-a-trip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-quick-ways-to-save-for-a-trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/KjqS6rQHl0k0xPhc-Edf0PIRtFJ7EFsB2GYYvYeKBq8/mtime:1415908845/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-traveling-464298775-small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles to help you quickly save money for a trip, avoid overspending traps, and form good money habits that stick.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Save-Money-Travel-36092909">Need Quick Cash for a Trip? 11 Easy Ways to Save</a> &mdash; Cash in your cash back rewards and put it towards your vacation fund. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.imoney.ph/articles/overspending-traps/">5 Overspending Traps to Watch Out For</a> &mdash; We tend to spend more money when we use credit at checkout. To avoid overspending, set hard limits for credit card purchases and don't go over it! [iMoney]</p> <p><a href="http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/how-to-form-good-money-habits-that-stick/">How to Form Good Money Habits That Stick</a> &mdash; Break down your big financial goal into smaller, more manageable steps. [Bible Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-save-money-on-your-thanksgiving-dinner">How to Save Money on Your Thanksgiving Dinner</a> &mdash; Keep your recipes simple, using as few ingredients as possible. Better yet, go for recipes that use staple ingredients you already have. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/7-simple-ways-winterize-home-save-winter-heating-costs/">7 Simple Ways to Winterize Your Home and Save on Winter Heating Costs</a> &mdash; Use heavy window curtains to block drafts coming into your home at night. [Credit Sesame]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/shopping-black-friday/">Shopping on Black Friday</a> &mdash; If you love chaos and will be shopping at a brick-and-mortar store on Black Friday, know exactly what you want to buy before you get there. This is no time for a leisurely stroll! [Listen Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="http://timemanagementninja.com/2014/11/21-dos-and-donts-to-improve-your-email">21 Dos and Don'ts to Improve Your Email</a> &mdash; State the question or call-to-action in the first line of your email to improve responses. [Time Management Ninja]</p> <p><a href="http://ridiculouslyefficient.com/sitting-induced-stress/">How to Fight Sitting-Induced Stress</a> &mdash; If you must sit while you work, use an active desk chair to engage your muscles while you work. [Ridiculously Efficient]</p> <p><a href="http://www.marcandangel.com/2014/11/09/9-negative-thoughts-that-push-people-away-from-you/">9 Negative Thoughts That Push People Away From You</a> &mdash; If you think others have it easier than you, you're probably wrong. We're all fighting our own private battles. Why put up another barrier between yourself and others? [Marc and Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.financiallypoor.com/home-ownership/savvy-ways-manage-mortgage/">Savvy Ways to Manage Your Mortgage</a> &mdash; Periodically check your mortgage rates during the loan turn and reassess your finances as necessary. [Financially Poor]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-quick-ways-to-save-for-a-trip">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-the-right-way-to-save">What&#039;s the Right Way to Save?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-more-gas-by-safely-following-trucks">Save More Gas by Safely Following Trucks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-things-i-won%E2%80%99t-give-up-just-to-save-money">The 10 Things I Won’t Give Up Just To Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-more-tips-for-eating-in-restaurants-and-sticking-to-a-budget">Five More Tips For Eating In Restaurants And Sticking To A Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smartphone-apps-to-help-you-save-big">6 Smartphone Apps to Help you Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living best money tips saving money Thu, 13 Nov 2014 20:00:10 +0000 Amy Lu 1254512 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What is Your Favorite Way to Save Money? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-is-your-favorite-way-to-save-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-is-your-favorite-way-to-save-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/o7wuiF4NiyTYcIBS4Dp1Ro1rRY69tpoQSQa6GlU0rnA/mtime:1396345023/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy-bank-164520839.jpg" alt="piggy bank" title="piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Congratulations to Karen L for winning a $100 Skype gift card and to Susan S and Karen G for winning $50 Visa gift cards!</em></p> <p>Chances are if you are a Wise Bread reader, you are interested in saving money and have learned many ways to cut your costs. There are many blogs out there that can help you keep your expenses low using money-saving tactics. From couponing to apps to thrift shops and more, everyone has their favorite ways to save money!</p> <p><strong>What is your favorite way to save money?</strong> Do you love couponing? Using money-saving apps? Doing DIY projects?</p> <p>Tell us about your favorite way to save money and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $100 Skype Gift Card or one of two $50 Visa Gift Cards!</p> <h2><span style="font-size:14.0pt;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman Bold&quot;"><b>Win a $100 Skype gift card or one of two $50 Visa Gift Cards</b></span></h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways via Rafflecopter &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3><span style="font-family:&quot;Times New Roman Bold&quot;"><b>Mandatory Entry:</b></span></h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comment section below, then enter the name and email address you used to post your comment into the Rafflecopter widget to confirm your entry. (Your email is kept private, other entrants will not be able to see it! We just use this information to confirm your entry.)</li> </ul> <h3><b>For an extra entry:</b></h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. After you tweet, use our Rafflecopter widget to confirm your entry:</li> </ul> <p><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857d86/" class="rafl" id="rc-79857d86">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> <script src="//d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js"></script></p> <p>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</p> <p><span style="font-size:14.0pt;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman Bold&quot;"><b>Giveaway Rules:</b></span></p> <ul> <li>Contest starts Tuesday April 1<sup>st</sup>, 2014 and ends Monday, April 7<sup>th</sup>, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after April 7<sup>th</sup>, 2014 on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all the drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment and once by tweeting then confirming your entry through Rafflecopter.</li> <li>NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.</li> <li>Open only to permanent legal U.S. residents 18 years or older physically residing in the fifty (50) United States of America and the District of Columbia, excluding the state of Rhode Island.</li> <li>Prizes are delivered by Wise Bread. Wise Bread is the host and administrator of this contest.</li> <li>Additional terms and conditions apply. Click <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wisebread-official-contest-rules">here</a> for more details.</li> </ul> <h3><span style="font-size:14.0pt;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman Bold&quot;"><b>Here is a message from our sponsor:</b></span><span style="color:#1f497d;background:yellow"><br /> </span></h3> <blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.skype.com/go/rates/?cm_mmc=SMAD_2214_wisebread_reader_giveaways">Sponsored by Skype</a> - Use Skype Credit to call mobiles and landlines home and abroad at low rates.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/Dc0wHmcPrMMQ6-tIbN3FeyDCFxuFyDJsDEvTCzVeHF8/mtime:1395247600/files/fruganomics/image001.png" /></p> </blockquote> <p class="MsoNormal">Good Luck!</p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> What is Your Favorite Way to Save Money? Enter for a chance to win $200 in prizes! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-is-your-favorite-way-to-save-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unusual-ideas-to-save-an-extra-100-a-month">Unusual Ideas to Save an Extra $100 a Month</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/whats-the-right-way-to-save">What&#039;s the Right Way to Save?</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-simple-ways-to-start-living-on-less-today">10 Simple Ways to Start Living on Less Today</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-types-of-neighbors-that-are-costing-you-money">10 Types of Neighbors That Are Costing You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-wasteful-things-that-frugal-people-do">10 Wasteful Things That Frugal People Do</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Ask the Readers saving saving money Skype Credit Tue, 01 Apr 2014 09:36:23 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1131422 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Unconventional Ways to Save on Your Wedding http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-unconventional-ways-to-save-on-your-wedding <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-unconventional-ways-to-save-on-your-wedding" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/O4S1iFAWCMvyZgyl6bu_W6yU4A86Jqh4EPek1u81lFU/mtime:1392116910/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wedding-5263840-small.jpg" alt="wedding" title="wedding" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on unconventional ways to save on your wedding, furniture buying tips, and giving yourself a pay raise every year.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://andthenwesaved.com/save-money-wedding/">Unconventional Ways To Save Money On Your Wedding</a> &mdash; Save money on your wedding by not being afraid to think outside the box and enlisting the help of everyone who can help you. [And Then We Saved]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stretcher.com/stories/07/07feb05d.cfm?slider">Furniture Buying Tips</a> &mdash; When buying furniture, ask for a 15% discount when shopping at a local retailer to save. [TheDollarStretcher.com]</p> <p><a href="http://cashmoneylife.com/give-yourself-pay-raise-every-year/"> How to Give Yourself a Pay Raise Every Year</a> &mdash; To give yourself a pay raise every year, consider building a portfolio of blue chip dividend stocks. [Cash Money Life]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/tax/ask-yourself-these-4-questions-before-doing-your-own-taxes/">Ask Yourself These 4 Questions Before Doing Your Own Taxes</a> &mdash; Before you do your own taxes, ask yourself how much time you are willing to invest in the process. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/emergency-prepared/">Are You Prepared for an Emergency?</a> &mdash; If you were to end up snowed in, would you have enough food and water to get by for at least a week or two? [Money Smart Life]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thousandaire.com/5-ways-to-increase-your-portfolios-growth/">5 Ways to Increase Your Portfolio's Growth</a> &mdash; To increase your portfolio's growth, think small for big gains. [Thousandaire]</p> <p><a href="http://freefrombroke.com/where-is-my-irs-form-1040-package-free-tax-file/">Where Can I Get IRS Tax Forms (or Where Can I File Free)?</a> &mdash; You can get free tax forms at local IRS offices or at <a href="http://www.irs.gov" title="www.irs.gov">www.irs.gov</a>. [Free From Broke]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Signs-Hoarding-Tendencies-33911301">11 Signs You Have Hoarding Tendencies</a> &mdash; You may have hoarding tendencies if you take free things, such a toiletries, and never end up using them. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.financefox.ca/selling-your-home/">Keeping Seasonality In Mind When Selling Your Home</a> &mdash; Did you know that spring time tends to be a hotter time to sell your home than other seasons? [Finance Fox]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-throw-a-kid-friendly-grown-up-party">How to Throw a Kid-Friendly, Grown-Up Party</a> &mdash; When throwing a kid-friendly, grown-up party, have a designated kid zone. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-unconventional-ways-to-save-on-your-wedding">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-the-right-way-to-save">What&#039;s the Right Way to Save?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-things-i-won%E2%80%99t-give-up-just-to-save-money">The 10 Things I Won’t Give Up Just To Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-more-gas-by-safely-following-trucks">Save More Gas by Safely Following Trucks</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/five-more-tips-for-eating-in-restaurants-and-sticking-to-a-budget">Five More Tips For Eating In Restaurants And Sticking To A Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smartphone-apps-to-help-you-save-big">6 Smartphone Apps to Help you Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living best money tips saving money wedding Tue, 11 Feb 2014 11:00:29 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1125121 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Tips to Save Money Daily http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-tips-to-save-money-daily <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-tips-to-save-money-daily" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/oSHpQy4TG5UCznJbQLe_u22QhfXvggQJ8ZfvUIe3_HM/mtime:1367921457/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy-bank-292014-small.jpg" alt="piggy bank" title="piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on tips to save money daily, the biggest problem with early retirement, and job benefits you can negotiate.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.girlsjustwannahavefunds.com/tips-to-save-money-daily/">Even More Tips To Save Money - Daily</a> &mdash; To save money daily, get a reusable coffee mug and buy second hand. [Girls Just Wanna Have Funds]</p> <p><a href="http://retireby40.org/2013/05/biggest-problem-early-retirement/">The Biggest Problem With Early Retirement</a> &mdash; One of the biggest problems with early retirement is a lack of long term goals. [Retire By 40]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mainstreet.com/article/career/after-diploma-top-new-job-benefits-you-can-negotiate">After the Diploma: The Top New-Job Benefits You Can Negotiate</a> &mdash; Did you know 22% of employers are willing to negotiate flexible scheduling with their employees? [MainStreet]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mint.com/blog/consumer-iq/the-7-best-apps-for-shopping-on-a-budget-0413/">The 7 Best Apps for Shopping On a Budget</a> &mdash; Google Offers and Red Laser are two awesome apps for shopping on a budget. [MintLife]</p> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/working-with-job-recruiters/">5 Tips for Working with Job Recruiters</a> &mdash; When working with job recruiters, remember to follow up with the recruiter. [Money Smart Life]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://genxfinance.com/try-before-you-buy/">Try Before You Buy</a> &mdash; If you want to try something before you commit to buying it at full price, take advantage of product samples or coupons. [Generation X Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.20sfinances.com/2013/05/03/tax-deductions-for-having-a-baby/">Tax Deductions for Having a Baby</a> &mdash; The child tax credit is just one of the tax deductions you can take when you have a baby. [20's Finances]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Love-Yourself-23012605">Finding a Job When Relocating</a> &mdash; If you are trying to find a job while relocating, start by identifying what kind of job you are looking for. [Cash Money Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Love-Yourself-23012605">11 Ways to Love Yourself More</a> &mdash; To love yourself more, get plenty of sleep and set small, realistic goals. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/traveling-with-kids-as-a-single-parent">Traveling With Kids as a Single Parent</a> &mdash; When traveling with kids as a single parent, preparation is absolutely vital! [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-tips-to-save-money-daily">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unusual-ideas-to-save-an-extra-100-a-month">Unusual Ideas to Save an Extra $100 a Month</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/whats-the-right-way-to-save">What&#039;s the Right Way to Save?</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-simple-ways-to-start-living-on-less-today">10 Simple Ways to Start Living on Less Today</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-types-of-neighbors-that-are-costing-you-money">10 Types of Neighbors That Are Costing You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-wasteful-things-that-frugal-people-do">10 Wasteful Things That Frugal People Do</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living best money tips saving saving money Tue, 07 May 2013 09:48:34 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 973916 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Saving Money on Coffee http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-saving-money-on-coffee <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-saving-money-on-coffee" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/aPcpLzDiorlFSxkmL9Z7c5U7BNYxLmD2VSpEgoh7Ps0/mtime:1364896868/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4394399552_9b3312d11a_z.jpg" alt="coffee" title="coffee" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on saving money on coffee, ways to use your tax refund, and tips for decorating rentals without losing your security deposit.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://ptmoney.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-saving-money-on-coffee/">The Ultimate Guide to Saving Money on Coffee</a> &mdash; Save money on coffee by getting a coffee maker and remembering that expensive doesn't always mean good. [PT Money]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/6-ways-to-use-your-tax-refund-and-2-ways-not-to">6 Ways to Use Your Tax Refund (and 2 Ways Not to)</a> &mdash; Consider using your tax refund to beef up your emergency fund. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Decorate-Rental-Apartments-22742698">Tips For Decorating Rentals That Won't Cost You Your Security Deposit</a> &mdash; To decorate your rental without losing your security deposit, use adhesive hooks instead of putting holes in your wall to hang things. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://andthenwesaved.com/5-very-good-reasons-to-become-a-cheapskate/">5 Very Good Reasons to Become a Cheapskate</a> &mdash; Becoming a cheapskate enables you to eliminate your debts for good! [And Then We Saved]</p> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/smart-places-to-keep-cash/">Smart Places to Keep Cash</a> &mdash; It's a good idea to keep $50 in your wallet and some extra cash at home in case of an emergency. [Money Smart Life]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/insurance/have-huge-medical-bills-get-crafty-with-your-payments/">Have Huge Medical Bills? Get Crafty with Your Payments</a> &mdash; If you have a medical procedure you need done, consider looking at Groupon to see if there are any businesses offering it at a discount. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://www.girlsjustwannahavefunds.com/kissing-the-w2-life-goodbye-8-things-you-need-to-know-about-working-for-yourself/">Kissing The w2 LIfe Goodbye - 4 Things You Need To Know About the 1099 Life (Working For Yourself)</a> &mdash; When working for yourself, remember to budget and pay your bills as you go. [Girls Just Wanna Have Funds]</p> <p><a href="http://onecentatatime.com/spring-break-less-budget-cheap-fun/">Few Ways to have More Spring break Fun with Less Budget</a> &mdash; Plan ahead to have more fun this spring break without breaking the bank! [Once Cent at a Time]</p> <p><a href="http://www.narrowbridge.net/should-you-have-safe-deposit-box/">Should You have a Safe Deposit Box?</a> &mdash; A safe deposit box is a great place for you to keep copies of legal documents or your social security card. [NarrowBridge Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://cashmoneylife.com/is-cell-phone-insurance-a-ripoff/">Cell Phone Insurance - Valuable Purchase, or Ripoff?</a> &mdash; Cell phone insurance may not be a ripoff, but it isn't the best deal either. [Cash Money Life]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-saving-money-on-coffee">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-food-items-to-always-buy-in-bulk">13 Food Items to Always Buy in Bulk</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/french-press-coffee">French Press Coffee: Step-by-Step Guide to Handcrafted Coffee</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/going-short-at-starbucks-worth-it">Going Short at Starbucks: Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-being-a-slave-to-starbucks-how-to-quit-caffeine">Stop Being a Slave to Starbucks - How to Quit Caffeine</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/teach-yourself-to-cook">Teach yourself to cook</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink best money tips coffee saving money Tue, 02 Apr 2013 09:48:31 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 971635 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Controversial Moves That Will Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-controversial-moves-that-will-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-controversial-moves-that-will-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/6TSwZdKnYv0AAsXwXGefi8fQkXq0ZZg7NEvkUDajHEM/mtime:1337681536/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/1969774877_fb1da312a7_z-1.jpg" alt="Controversial Moves That Will Save You Money " title="Controversial Moves That Will Save You Money " class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on controversial moves that will save you money, saving on your grocery bill, and creating a budget.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Extreme-Changes-Save-Money-17904633">6 Controversial Moves That Will Save You Money</a> &mdash; Dumpster diving and not attending college will save you money. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mydollarplan.com/14-ways-to-save-on-your-grocery-bill/">14 Ways to Save on Your Grocery Bill</a> &mdash; Save money on your grocery bill by skipping convenience items and using your freezer. [My Dollar Plan]</p> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/create-a-budget-in-under-10-minutes-a-day/">How to Create a Budget in under 10 Minutes a Day</a> &mdash; To create a budget in under 10 minutes a day, first get your finances organized. [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thedigeratilife.com/blog/tips-safe-shopping-online-stores/">25 Tips For Safe Shopping Online Or At Brick And Morter Stores</a> &mdash; Shop safely online by reviewing internet services and sites before you use them. [The Digerati Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moolanomy.com/5981/how-to-prepare-for-disaster-without-going-broke-kmulligan/">How to Prepare for Disaster Without Going Broke</a> &mdash; Be ready for disaster by putting together a first aid kit and stocking up on canned food. [Moolanomy]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.financiallypoor.com/extra-income/top-5-ways-to-write-your-way-to-online-income/">Top 5 Ways to Write For Online Income</a> &mdash; To make money writing online, try writing reviews! [Financially Poor]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/better-yourself/what-to-do-while-youre-unemployed/">What To Do While You're Unemployed</a> &mdash; While you are unemployed, consider freelancing or being a temp. [Money Ning]</p> <p><a href="http://money.cnn.com//2012/05/18/pf/health-care-savings-strategies.moneymag/index.htm?section=money_pf&amp;utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fmoney_pf+%28Personal+Finance%29">Push your health care insurer to pay more</a> &mdash; Convince your insurer to pay for physical therapy by getting a note from your doctor saying physical therapy will prevent the need for surgery. [CNNMoney]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bucksomeboomer.com/the-living-food-budget/">The Living Food Budget</a> &mdash; If you live by yourself, make your own pre-packaged meals. [Bucksome Boomer]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/get-grilling-with-kids">Get Grilling With Kids</a> &mdash; Get your kids involved in grilling by making kabobs. [Parenting Squad]</p> <h2>News &amp; Events</h2> <p><a href="http://www.financiallypoor.com/extra-income/top-5-ways-to-write-your-way-to-online-income/">Free Webinar - How to Manage Risk and Reward When Investing</a> &mdash; Don't miss Invest in the Market's free webinar on managing risk and reward when investing. You could win a $25 Amazon gift card.</p> <p>Be sure to check out our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/news">News &amp; Events Calendar</a> to see all the awesome upcoming events in the personal finance world!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-controversial-moves-that-will-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-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-the-right-way-to-save">What&#039;s the Right Way to Save?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-things-i-won%E2%80%99t-give-up-just-to-save-money">The 10 Things I Won’t Give Up Just To Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-more-gas-by-safely-following-trucks">Save More Gas by Safely Following Trucks</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/five-more-tips-for-eating-in-restaurants-and-sticking-to-a-budget">Five More Tips For Eating In Restaurants And Sticking To A Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smartphone-apps-to-help-you-save-big">6 Smartphone Apps to Help you Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living best money tips controversial saving money Tue, 22 May 2012 09:48:14 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 929293 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Allocate Your Cash When You Are Broke http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-allocate-your-cash-when-you-are-broke <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-allocate-your-cash-when-you-are-broke" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/vVHbGvKnHOMz40wLeNKAn5g0an6gvo34ix0Q3bEajoU/mtime:1333964910/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/broke%20pig.jpg" alt="Broken piggy bank" title="Broken piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are many reasons why you might have a serious lack of cash, and it can seem impossible to budget the little bit of money you have on hand. Of course, the obvious question is &quot;How did I get in this mess in the first place?&quot; and the answer is usually due to a lack of smart budgeting. But since we can&rsquo;t go back and change the past, all we can do is look towards the future and try to do better with our money management.</p> <p>Here are some tips for surviving life when you are cash-strapped or flat broke. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emergency-belt-tightening">Emergency&nbsp;Belt-Tightening</a>)</p> <h2>Don&rsquo;t Stay Silent</h2> <p>It won&rsquo;t take long until your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/look-out-consumers-debt-collections-get-scarier">creditors come calling</a>. The worst thing you can do is ignore those calls, and the best thing you can do is take control of the situation, no matter how out of control you feel. Ask your creditors upfront for a payment extension or an alternative payment plan on a temporarily basis until you can recover from your financial hardship.</p> <h2>Prioritize the Money You Do Have</h2> <p>If you find you are falling a few hundred dollars short of your monthly financial obligations, sit down and prioritize the bills you need to pay such as your mortgage, electricity, and insurance payments. The other bills can wait until you free up more cash. You want to make sure you keep your home and have the basic utilities you need to survive. Again, speaking to your individual creditors can also help you extend payments without serious consequences and assure your creditors you are doing your best to get back on track.</p> <h2>Interrupt Your Savings Plan...for Now</h2> <p>If you have been contributing to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pay-yourself-first-what-it-means-and-how-to-do-it">savings account</a>, it would be wise to put that money to better use. Otherwise you will find that in order to save your typical $50 a week, you will need to pay a few hundred dollars in overdraft bank fees, credit card interest rates, and other fees for making late payments or missing them entirely.</p> <h2>Don&rsquo;t Live on Credit</h2> <p>A big mistake people make when they are short on cash is to use their credit cards like they would their paycheck. They are quick to spend on credit because it is available, but they fail to see the long term impact these purchases will have on their financial life. The golden rule of credit card use is that you should only spend on credit what you have in cash reserves. Since you have no cash, you're likely to end up racking up even more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-does-your-credit-card-debt-cost-you">debts you can&rsquo;t afford</a>.</p> <h2>Add to Your Income</h2> <p>If you do not foresee an end to your budget crisis in the immediate future, you should start to take action now to find ways to boost your income. Depending on the reason for your financial hardship, you may need to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-one">find a second job</a> and bring in another paycheck. You may also want to consider working overtime when you can or offloading some of the stuff around your home through a yard sale or online auction. The faster you can regain your financial ground, the less expensive this period will be for you in the long run.</p> <h2>Get Cracking on a New Budget</h2> <p>While the last thing you may want to do is deal with your money issues, now is the time to construct a better, more viable budget to prevent this from happening again. Even if this current financial hardship was due to unforeseen circumstances (such as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-to-prepare-for-a-health-emergency">medical emergency</a> or job loss) you should make a plan to be better prepared for such instances in the future. Boost your income and your savings goals, and learn new tricks to start living below your means.</p> <p>It will take some sacrifices to survive a period of being broke, but the only way to assure you will get ahead of the game is if you commit to better money management and work as hard as you can to get back into the black. If you fall into despair and just avoid the situation altogether, you must know that things will only get worse. The longer you take to act, the longer it will take you to recover financially.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-allocate-your-cash-when-you-are-broke">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-live-on-12-000-a-year">How to live on $12,000 a year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-deal-with-collection-agencies">How to Deal With Collection Agencies</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-surprising-ways-spring-is-gonna-cost-you">10 Surprising Ways Spring Is Gonna Cost 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-much-should-you-spend-on-a-new-car">How Much Should You Spend on a New Car?</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-freedom-of-a-debt-free-life">The Freedom of a Debt-Free Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Debt Management cash flow problems Creditors saving money Mon, 09 Apr 2012 09:48:12 +0000 Tisha Tolar 916317 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Daily Deal Sites for Small Business http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-daily-deal-sites-for-small-business <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-daily-deal-sites-for-small-business" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-daily-deal-sites-for-small-business</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/5-daily-deal-sites-for-small-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/NIxGM6bTXVLZz1WoWC_J9QvD4VuLAfiJLIT--ozObfw/mtime:1323727004/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000002048191Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you thought the daily deals sites were only for those interested in restaurants, gifts, or spa services, you may be surprised and delighted to learn that small business owners <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/4-ways-to-get-vendor-discounts-1" target="_blank">can also find applicable discounts</a> through these types of retailers. Here is a list of sites that offer exclusive bargains perfect for your home office or entrepreneurial dream.</p> <p><strong>Startups.com</strong></p> <p>If saving up to 90 percent on a hot web app is your thing, then <a href="http://startups.com/" target="_blank">Startups.com</a> may be for you. Each deal is tested prior to being advertised, and the offerings have quite a variety. Past deals include apps for gaining more Twitter followers, organizing tips for your cloud-based documentation, professional translating tools, and web-based hosting. Startups.com offers a 30 day money back guarantee for all purchases, as well is a $10 refer-a-friend program.</p> <p><strong>BizDeals.com</strong></p> <p>For those looking for more tangible savings, <a href="http://bizdeals.com/" target="_blank">BizDeals.com</a> can help you out. By using the power of group discounting, the site can offer significant savings on items like telephones, video cameras, and tradeshow printing services. The majority of the deals still seem to be service-based (web design, for example), but there but are definitely deals here that aren&rsquo;t posted elsewhere. [<i>Note: Like all deal sites, do some research before committing to a purchase. Some of the bargains we found here were widely available to anyone and weren&rsquo;t always the best price.</i>] There are usually no more than two deals running at a time on this site.</p> <p><strong>AppSumo</strong></p> <p>The new love of my life is <a href="http://www.appsumo.com/" target="_blank">AppSumo</a>, a highly addictive shopping site with everything from e-books to virtual seminars to design services. Perhaps the most valuable deals listed here are those that promise to educate. Techies will love the tutorials designed to up your programming skills or social media strategy. You don&rsquo;t have to be a hard-core IT buff to enjoy the deals, however. Some of the most popular bargains would be useful to anyone; a recent deal involved a deep discount on test prep software for the SAT, ACT, GRE, and more! AppSumo has a 100 percent money back guarantee and gives $10 credit per each referred sale.</p> <p><strong>GroupPrice</strong></p> <p>When you&rsquo;ve found yourself with a shrinking budget, but need some of the more traditional marketing and promotional services to fulfill your business plan, <a href="http://www.groupprice.com/" target="_blank">GroupPrice</a> may be able to help. This site offers quite a few deals at a time, and the offerings range wildly. Some of the more notable deals include items that mid-sized businesses would likely buy anyway: automated calling services, remote staffing, and even online video spokespeople! If you&rsquo;re still in the homegrown stages, however, you may find their venture capital pitch review or stock video footage services to be more your speed.</p> <p><strong>RapidBuyr</strong></p> <p>Looking for a decent price on a laptop, printer, or full-color ad in a major magazine? <a href="http://www.rapidbuyr.com/" target="_blank">RapidBuyr</a> strives to provide high-end goods and services to business owners with their competitive deals. Like more generalized deal sites, RapidBuyr offers a credit equal to the unused portion of a deal you purchase and are unable to redeem, and most deals run from 1-5 days (provided they don&rsquo;t sell out first!) One handy feature of the site is an embedded price comparison chart that shows major competitor&rsquo;s pricing and what they call &ldquo;street pricing.&rdquo; Our own searches found that they were, indeed, at least 10 percent lower than all outlets on the deals that were active at the time.</p> <p>Finding more deal sites can be dangerous (especially if you like to shop.) As a small business owner or purchasing manager, however, they can also provide the potential to stretch that buck in some hard economic times.</p> <p><em>Have you used a business deal site? Is there one you love that we missed?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-daily-deal-sites-for-small-business">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</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-food-items-to-always-buy-in-bulk">13 Food Items to Always Buy in Bulk</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-stupid-shopping-mistakes-even-smart-people-make">10 Stupid Shopping Mistakes Even Smart People Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-max-out-your-ira-contributions-by-april-15th">7 Ways to Max Out Your IRA Contributions by April 15th</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-ways-to-save-money-around-the-house">101 Ways to Save Money Around the House</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center business costs cost cutting costs daily deals online discounts saving money small business Thu, 01 Dec 2011 00:43:09 +0000 Linsey Knerl 789073 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways You May Be Wasting Money in Your Business http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-ways-you-may-be-wasting-money-in-your-business <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-ways-you-may-be-wasting-money-in-your-business" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-ways-you-may-be-wasting-money-in-your-busine...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/5-ways-you-may-be-wasting-money-in-your-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/5lg4ZH_CIuJZGwQxuQ5k1XTtyASP46yYQKp-qaPP9gc/mtime:1317858702/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000007506364Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="177" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to small business and money management, are you wasting money or using your resources wisely?</p> <p>You might be wasting money if you have...</p> <ul> <li>A stellar website with no conversion funnel.</li> <li>A star sales guy who's bogged down with meetings and red tape.</li> <li>An outdated product line you won't give up on.</li> <li>A leadership style that makes trying a new idea impossible.</li> <li>A bloated system that makes routine tasks far too complex.</li> </ul> <p>All of these issues are costing you money, either in charges you could avoid or in profits you could be making.</p> <p><strong>1. A Bait with No Hook</strong></p> <p>That great website you have, for example: you paid a professional design team to build it. You pay to host it. You pay for somebody to put new content on it (you are putting fresh content on it, right?). Maybe you're paying to get an SEO professional to tweak your website, or you're buying stacks of Google ads to get the traffic to your home page.</p> <p>But do your visitors know where to go once they get there?</p> <p>A stellar website with no conversion funnel is like bait with no hook. You aren't going to catch any fish.</p> <p><strong>2. Stuck Employees and Weak Teams</strong></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/managing/article/7-ways-to-motivate-your-employees">What about your employees</a>? These people are the backbone of your business, but if you squelch their natural talents, ignore their strengths, and manage them poorly, they will lose all desire to help you succeed.</p> <p>Who do you have on your team? Do you have a guy who's a little out there, or a gal who's rather hard to manage? Maybe he has great people skills but stinks at time management. Maybe she excels at managing herself but doesn't like being told what to do.</p> <p>What can you do to put these people in a place where their strengths matter and their weaknesses don't?</p> <p>Play to Their Strengths</p> <p>Put your employees in places where their strengths matter and their weaknesses don't. Give your star sales guy the support he needs to stay on schedule, or give him the freedom to do things on his own time line by providing money-oriented goals rather than time-oriented tasks.</p> <p>An employee working in areas of strength will bring in more profit than an employee struggling daily to conquer weaknesses.</p> <p><strong>3. Outdated Products or Poor Marketing</strong></p> <p>Your products need the same analysis. Are they selling? If not, why not? Is the problem in the marketing or in the product itself? Do they need to be repackaged, or is the whole product line simply outdated?</p> <p>Don't be afraid to let go of what isn't working; that's the only way you'll find out what will work.</p> <p><strong>4. Resistance to New Ideas</strong></p> <p>A fear of <a target="_blank" href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/innovation/article/3-must-read-blogs-for-developing-innovation-systems?intlink=us-openf-nav-gallery">new ideas</a>&mdash;and a leadership style that squelches them automatically&mdash;will cost you in terms of innovation that could improve your products, services, company image, processes, systems, and customer service.</p> <p>5. Consider the System</p> <p>So, next time you're faced with a new idea, take your time and consider it. And next time you find yourself spending twenty minutes to do a task that should take two, consider the system; is it time to make a change?</p> <p>The value of simplifying systems is that it allows you to focus on what is important. Detail work shouldn't be part of a complex process, but should be streamlined into a simple routine you can get through quickly.</p> <p>If you're wasting money stupidly, it's not because you're stupid; it's because you're busy in the work of running your business, too busy to stop and consider what you might be losing. But take a moment. Step back, look around, make some changes, and start making money instead of wasting it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-ways-you-may-be-wasting-money-in-your-business">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-food-items-to-always-buy-in-bulk">13 Food Items to Always Buy in Bulk</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-stupid-shopping-mistakes-even-smart-people-make">10 Stupid Shopping Mistakes Even Smart People Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-max-out-your-ira-contributions-by-april-15th">7 Ways to Max Out Your IRA Contributions by April 15th</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center costs efficiency employee management innovation saving money small business waste wasting money Thu, 29 Sep 2011 20:34:01 +0000 Annie Mueller 705935 at http://www.wisebread.com Zen and the Art of Hiding Money http://www.wisebread.com/zen-and-the-art-of-hiding-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/zen-and-the-art-of-hiding-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/V6FgJLXrMwdB690D_amwuHl3SL9eUnexma-8HVhyYxo/mtime:1312367275/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/zen.jpg" alt="Women in zen poses" title="Women in zen poses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Recently, I emailed a Zen Buddhist priest to ask for some advice about work, money, life &mdash; the usual. I used a quote from her book, <a href="http://www.karenmaezenmiller.com/books">hand wash cold</a>, in a blog post and wanted to share the piece with her, since it reflected my spiritual and emotional connection to money and work.</p> <p>After a short note about where I'm at in my career and where I'd like to be, I attached a link to my post. Her <a href="http://www.karenmaezenmiller.com/read-this-sign">response</a> was not what I had expected. But then, I'm not sure if I had any expectations about what a Zen Buddhist priest might write in response to my search for monetary enlightenment.</p> <p>Part of what she wrote to me was about doing things the &quot;hard way,&quot; which is not something I wanted to hear, to be honest, but I took it in and sat with it. One particular passage stood out for me:</p> <blockquote><p>I don&rsquo;t know the alchemy that turns fiction into fact or pain into pleasure. If I did know how to do that, I would be doing things the easy way. But I&rsquo;m not. I am doing things the hard way. We are all doing things the hard way, as best as we can.</p> </blockquote> <p>This sentiment echoes Meg's advice to &quot;nut up&quot; in a recent post about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-one-favorite-frugal-living-tip">frugal living tips</a>, though her advice was coming from a slightly different place. However, the conclusion is the same and what I want to emphasize &mdash; change is not easy. And it becomes increasingly difficult to change your saving habits in a tough economy.</p> <p>But there are some small steps you can take to help you feel less overwhelmed by your financial situation and take control again. For many people, the hardest part about saving money is not spending all of your expendable income. If you have difficulty controlling your spending, hiding or finding ways you can't touch your money is one way you can make sure that there's cash leftover at the end of the month to save, even if it is a small amount. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/37-savings-changes-you-can-make-today">37 Savings Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <p>As you read these suggestions for hiding money, keep in mind that even if you are living on a shoestring budget, you can always find ways to curb spending with a little extra effort. Although it won't be easy at first, you might find that by making a few small changes, saving will become a part of your everyday life, or, as a Zen priest might suggest, as ordinary as doing the laundry.</p> <h3>Hide Cash in a Safe Place</h3> <p>If you are careful about where you hide cash, and don't hide large amounts of it, this is a simple way to put something away for those times when you want to order a pizza or go out for drinks but don't have enough left in your budget at the end of the month. When I get a little unexpected cash, I like to squirrel away some of it and then try to forget it is there until I need it.</p> <p>The trick is remembering where you hid it. I can't tell you how many times I've pulled almost every book off the shelf and thumbed through each one at least twice to search for twenty bucks that I <em>thought </em>I hid in that book of Frost poems, or was it the one on multiculturalism? Wherever you choose to hide it, write yourself a note or send yourself an email with some sort of code. Recently, I hid some cash in a CD case for the Arcade Fire's album &quot;The Suburbs,&quot; and I emailed myself a note that said, &quot;There's money in the suburbs.&quot; To anyone else, that could be anything &mdash; a random quote or a wish to live in the suburbs. But I knew what it meant, and it came in handy a few months later when I was short on funds.</p> <p>I also put spare change in a jar that I have deliberately put in a closet, out of plain sight. My bank has a machine that turns coins into paper money, and I've managed to save as much as thirty dollars in change. You may have to get a little creative when thinking of different ways to hide cash, but you will be glad you did it when you are in a pinch.</p> <h3>Use a Short-Term Investment</h3> <p>For larger amounts of money, look into your options for short-term investments. The best place to start is your bank, since they may have additional rewards for certain types of checking accounts or limited offers. Whether it's a CD, short-term IRA, or a Money Market account, you have lots of options regarding the amount of time you want to save the money and the minimum amount you have to put in (usually around $500 for most banks). Investing your money in one of these accounts guarantees that you won't touch it, since most banks charge a penalty for taking out the money early. Just make sure you will not need that money for the duration of the investment.</p> <h3>Cut Up Your Credit Cards</h3> <p>Believe it or not, I have never owned a credit card, and while most people will tell you that you have to own a credit card to earn good credit, this is not true. I have excellent credit. There are other ways to earn credit, such as paying bills on time, and &quot;good&quot; debt such as student loans. Credit card debt is, however, a good way to get yourself into a lot of bad debt and ruin your credit. I am a firm believer in not spending money that you don't have.</p> <p>If you already have a credit card, cut it up. I'm serious. Go get a pair of scissors and cut it in half. If you feel that you need a credit card for emergency situations, put it in the freezer or some place you can't get to it easily (the freezer is more symbolic than anything, and it works for some people).</p> <h3>Change Your View on Savings Accounts</h3> <p>I am the first to admit that my savings account is really just a backup checking account, especially since my bank offers more incentives for keeping money in my regular checking account. This is another example of &quot;doing things the hard way.&quot; Whenever you go online to your account, look at your savings account. Focus on that word, &quot;savings,&quot; and challenge yourself not to take money out of it unless you are going to invest it elsewhere or need it for an emergency. Keep in mind that &quot;emergency&quot; does not include sidewalk sales and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see your favorite band live (there will always be more sales and tours). Although this suggestion has more to do with your outlook on money than practical suggestions for investing, it is a small step toward financial stability.</p> <h3>Put Back 10% of Your Earnings</h3> <p>One of my college professors gave all of his students three pieces of advice:</p> <ol> <li>Read a well-respected publication, such as <em>The New York Times</em>, every day.</li> <li>Listen to NPR as much as you can.</li> <li>Put back 10% of your paycheck every month, even if it is ten dollars.</li> </ol> <p>I have followed that advice for the most part, though I don't listen to NPR during member drives and I am less likely to save money when I don't have a lot of income. But I am learning that the things that take the most effort are the things that pay off in the end. So I am challenging myself to start doing this, right now. I urge you to take the same challenge. It doesn't have to be 10%; you can work your way up to that. Start by transferring <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/organize-a-room-for-10-with-no-extra-effort">ten dollars</a> from your checking into your savings account, or put ten dollars in a CD jacket somewhere, or 500 in the other kind of CD. No matter what method you try, it might not be easy, but the best that you can do is simply start.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-watson">Ashley Watson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/zen-and-the-art-of-hiding-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-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-bank-review-you-know-the-card-but-what-about-the-bank">Discover Bank Review: You Know the Card, but What About the Bank?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-max-out-your-ira-contributions-by-april-15th">7 Ways to Max Out Your IRA Contributions by April 15th</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-places-to-keep-your-money-safe-and-growing">12 Places to Keep Your Money Safe — And Growing</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-surprising-ways-spring-is-gonna-cost-you">10 Surprising Ways Spring Is Gonna Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-set-up-an-ira-to-build-wealth">How to Set Up an IRA to Build Wealth</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Budgeting Investment CD hiding place IRA saving money Wed, 03 Aug 2011 10:24:13 +0000 Ashley Watson 647557 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Invisible Savings Tips That Work http://www.wisebread.com/3-invisible-savings-tips-that-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-invisible-savings-tips-that-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/HrYYl6DPvuUqGXANlfCFDXp1TBbKockH4rhOqMl7li4/mtime:1321071607/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3673567823_40e78d78d5_z.jpg" alt="bowl of money" title="bowl of money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With money tight these days for so many people, it's worthwhile considering some subtle &quot;invisible&quot; savings tips to ensure you're meeting your financial goals. When money was tight as a fresh college grad, I had devised a few different ways to set aside money without really noticing it. This both removed the temptation to spend it and the deterrent to give up when I was having a tight month, since these methods were virtually invisible! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-save-money-on-everyday-expenses" title="5 Ways to Save Money on Everyday Expenses">5 Ways to Save Money on Everyday Expenses</a>)</p> <h3>1. Checkbook Roundup&nbsp;</h3> <p>Before the advent of online banking, I was writing 15-20 checks per month. No matter what the payment amount was, I would always round up to the next full dollar amount and record that in my ledger. When something was $1.20, a $2 entry went in and so on. After a couple years, my checking account balance was several hundred dollars greater than what was showing in my checkbook ledger. This served two purposes: First, I'd be hard pressed to bounce a check with a buffer that large, even if I accidentally forgot to record a check or ATM withdrawal. Second, after a few years of this, it was a nice unplanned couple hundred dollars I could draw down to rebalance and start over again once I had accounted for all recent outstanding checks that hadn't been processed yet. These days, if you write very few checks, the system may not generate much in the way of invisible savings, but I still practice it to this day. I like the idea of the cash buffer in there. With interest rates close to zero, the opportunity cost on a few hundred dollars is inconsequential, and it's reassuring to know that if my wife or I forget to record an entry, it's covered.</p> <h3>2. Save Every $5 Bill</h3> <p>The neat thing about $5 bills is they are somewhat rare, yet not so painful to part with for an invisible saving method. I used to pay for almost everything in cash, and I tended to deal with 20s and singles quite a bit. On the occasions where I was handed a $5 bill for change, it went right in my invisible savings jar that night. See, the $5 bill is small enough and rare enough that I didn't really miss having it, yet after a year or so of a five per week, I'd saved around $250.</p> <h3>3. Never Use Change</h3> <p>Aside from the fact that watching the customer in front of me dig around and count out pennies to pay the cashier drives me batty, I've derived more pleasure from saving and investing my change than carrying it around and counting it out. I've always just dumped all my change in a can and then counted it out and savored the pleasant surprise. I used to do it the hard way with coin rolls, but now many banks have automatic change counters for free.</p> <p>Each of these methods might realistically only yield a few hundred dollars per year, but that's a few hundred dollars you probably wouldn't have saved otherwise. And it's practically invisible!</p> <h3>Important: Have a Strategy for Deployment of Your Invisible Savings</h3> <p>Saving this money is only half the battle.&nbsp; If it's holiday time, you've saved $700, and you go blow it on an impulse purchase, that probably wasn't your initial intent at the beginning of the year. What I used to do with these savings was to deposit the money every quarter or so, even if it was just $100, and write a check for an equivalent amount to a dividend reinvestment program (<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/slow-drip-into-investing">DRIP</a>). Essentially, these programs allow you to buy partial shares of common stock from publicly traded companies at any time, often for free or a very low fee. By forcing myself to divert these funds to a pre-determined objective, over several years, I was able to amass a nice portfolio of large blue-chip companies simply from invisible savings. Perhaps your objective might be a 529 plan contribution for the year (see <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rethinking-the-529-college-savings-plan-strategy">529 pre-paid vs. tuition strategies</a>), Christmas shopping money, next year's travel fund, or simply building up your emergency fund.</p> <p><em>Do you have other &quot;invisible&quot; savings methods to share?</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/darwins-money">Darwins Money</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-invisible-savings-tips-that-work">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-15"> <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/forget-saving25-place-to-look-for-spare-change">Forget Saving...25 Places to Look for Spare Change</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/finding-money-11-ways-to-save-money-you-are-spending-without-sacrificing-anything">Finding Money: 11 Ways to Save Money you are Spending Without Sacrificing Anything</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/save-more-gas-by-safely-following-trucks">Save More Gas by Safely Following Trucks</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/37-ways-youd-be-better-off-as-a-bum">37 Ways You’d be Better Off as a Bum</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/saving-for-opportunity">Saving for Opportunity</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance balance a checkbook change money saving tips saving money Thu, 18 Nov 2010 13:00:06 +0000 Darwins Money 311138 at http://www.wisebread.com