big purchases http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/19208/all en-US How to Determine If Your Finances Are Ready for a Big Purchase http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-determine-if-your-finances-are-ready-for-a-big-purchase <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-determine-if-your-finances-are-ready-for-a-big-purchase" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businesswoman_with_piggybank.jpg" alt="Businesswoman with piggybank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Maybe you're ready to make an offer on that dream home down the street. Maybe you're eying a new car for that long commute to work. Or, maybe you just want to plunk down a few thousand dollars on a fancy vacation or the latest gadget. How do you know that you're financially ready to make such a large purchase?</p> <p>Whatever it is that you want to buy won't bring you any joy if you can't actually afford it. Here are some questions you need to ask yourself to make sure you're financially ready to commit to a big purchase.</p> <h2>Do you already pay all your bills on time?</h2> <p>If you're taking out a loan for a large purchase such as a house or car, first look at how you pay the rest of your bills. Do you routinely pay your credit card bill three weeks late? How about your utilities or cellphone bill?</p> <p>If that's the case, you're not ready for the financial responsibility of another large monthly payment. If you're already struggling to pay your bills on time, adding another even larger bill to your financial responsibilities will only put you at a higher risk of accumulating debt.</p> <p>You can hurt your credit score doing this, too. If you're late on the monthly payments for a house or car by 30 days or more, your score will tumble &mdash; usually by 100 points or more. If you struggle enough to pay those big payments on time, you might even lose the house or car altogether.</p> <p>Protect yourself financially by holding off on that big purchase until you've already developed the habit of paying all your other monthly bills on time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-never-make-a-late-credit-card-payment?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Simple Ways to Never Make a Late Credit Card Payment</a>)</p> <h2>How much wiggle room is left in your budget?</h2> <p>Before making any big purchase, it's important to check your household budget. Make sure you have the ability to make the monthly payments comfortably while leaving enough money to cover your other monthly expenses.</p> <p>And if you don't have a budget, you absolutely need to make one. How else will you know if you can afford your new purchase to begin with? Making a budget isn't as intimidating as it sounds. First, list all your recurring expenses each month. Then estimate how much you spend each month on discretionary and non-fixed expenses such as entertainment, groceries, and eating out. Finally, list your monthly income. The difference is how much you can afford to spend on new purchases and save each month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-a-better-budget-in-5-minutes-flat?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Build a Better Budget in 5 Minutes Flat</a>)</p> <h2>How strong is your credit?</h2> <p>Before taking out a loan for a new car, home, or other big purchase, make sure to check your credit. Lenders rely on your credit score to determine if you qualify for loans and, if you do, how high of an interest rate they'll charge. Lenders consider credit scores of 740 or higher to be strong ones. Generally, the lower your credit score, the higher your interest rate on loans. The higher the interest rate, the more paying off that big purchase will cost you over time.</p> <p>You can check your credit reports &mdash; a list of your outstanding loans, how much you owe on credit cards, and whether you have any late payments or other financial blemishes in your past &mdash; by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. At this site, you can order one free copy of each of your three credit reports (from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) every year. It's important to make sure that there are no errors on your credit reports and that the bureaus don't have any late payments or other financial black marks listed against you. These reports, though, don't contain your credit score. You can order your score for a small fee from any of the bureaus.</p> <p>Before making a purchase big enough to warrant a loan, you might want to check your credit score to determine if you'll be saddled with high interest rates. A score under 640 will almost always leave you with a sky-high rate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-improve-your-credit-score-fast?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score Fast</a>)</p> <h2>How much credit card debt do you have?</h2> <p>Credit card debt is among the worst kind of debt to have. Interest rates can be as high as 16 percent, 18 percent, or even higher. If you carry a balance on your cards each month, your credit card debt grows quickly.</p> <p>If you are struggling to pay down your credit cards, resist the temptation to spend big on electronics, furniture, or other items. Instead, devote that money to paying down your debt. And if you can only make that big purchase by putting it on one of your credit cards, <em>don't</em> pull the trigger. You will only dig yourself deeper into a hole. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Pay Off High Interest Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>Can you cover the maintenance expenses?</h2> <p>Sometimes buying an expensive item is only the start of how much you'll actually pay for it in the long run. Many big-ticket items come with high yearly maintenance expenses. Consider a house, for example: Sure, you'll spend a lot of money upfront to buy one. But you can also expect to spend 1 percent of your home's purchase price on maintenance each year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-hidden-housing-costs-new-homeowners-dont-expect?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Hidden Housing Costs New Homeowners Don't Expect</a>)</p> <p>If you can't afford to maintain your big purchase, hold off until you can create more wiggle room in your budget.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-determine-if-your-finances-are-ready-for-a-big-purchase">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-before-moving-out-on-your-own">5 Money Moves to Make Before Moving Out on Your Own</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-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</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-7-debt-payoffs-that-boost-your-credit-score-the-most">The 7 Debt Payoffs That Boost Your Credit Score the Most</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-personal-finance-resolutions-anyone-can-master">8 Personal Finance Resolutions Anyone Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-money-moves">6 Signs You&#039;re Making All the Right Money Moves</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance affordability big purchases budgeting credit score debt financial readiness maintenance Wed, 18 Oct 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2037388 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Times to Update Your Homeowners Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beautiful_couple_relaxing_at_home_and_loving_their_pet.jpg" alt="Beautiful couple relaxing at home and loving their pet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you took out your mortgage loan, your lender required you to sign up for a homeowners insurance policy. Chances are, you haven't thought much about this policy since.</p> <p>That might be a mistake. You should review your homeowners insurance policy whenever you make changes to both your home and your lifestyle. Doing so could save you money in the form of valuable discounts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Surprising Things Covered by Homeowner's Insurance</a>)</p> <p>And not reviewing your insurance policy when you make these changes might leave you with inadequate financial protection should a fire or other disaster damage your home or a thief steal your valuables.</p> <p>Here are the times when it's wise to review your homeowners insurance policy.</p> <h2>1. You've remodeled your home</h2> <p>If you've updated your 1970s-era kitchen, added a master-bedroom suite, or completed another large remodeling job, it's smart to call your homeowners insurance agent. That's because a major remodeling job could increase the value of your home. And this could make it more expensive to rebuild your home should disaster strike.</p> <p>You might need additional coverage after a remodel to make sure that your policy will pay for the entire rebuild of your now more-valuable residence.</p> <h2>2. You've purchased big-ticket items</h2> <p>Your homeowners insurance policy will cover the loss of valuables inside your home if a thief steals them. But if you've recently purchased big-ticket items such as pricey artwork, jewelry, furs, or electronics, it's time, again, to call your insurance agent.</p> <p>You'll want to make sure that you have enough insurance to cover the replacement value of these expensive items. If you don't update your insurance policy, you risk coming up short.</p> <h2>3. You've stopped smoking</h2> <p>Kicking the smoking habit is a smart move for your health. But it can also save you money in the form of lower homeowners insurance payments.</p> <p>Most insurers will reduce the premiums of your policy &mdash; at least by a bit &mdash; if you don't smoke. Smokers are riskier to ensure. The chance of a fire damaging or destroying your home is higher if you smoke. If you've stopped, contact your insurer to see if you're eligible for a reduced premium.</p> <h2>4. You've retired</h2> <p>Retirement might come with an insurance discount, too. The Insurance Information Institute says that some companies offer discounts of as much as 10 percent to retirees who are at least 55 years old.</p> <p>Why? Retired people usually spend more time at home. They're more likely, then, to spot the signs of a fire before it gets out of control. They're also less likely to be burglarized and have more time to spend on maintaining their homes. If you've left the working world, it's time to call your insurance agent.</p> <h2>5. You've added an alarm system</h2> <p>Adding an alarm system makes it less likely that a thief will break into your home. It can also bring you a lower homeowners insurance premium. After installing your system, call your homeowners insurance company. The Insurance Information Institute says that a new alarm system can usually save you about 5 percent in premiums each year.</p> <h2>6. You've added a swimming pool</h2> <p>Some changes can actually increase the cost of your homeowners insurance policy. One of these is adding a swimming pool. You'll be liable if someone is injured or drowns while using your swimming pool. This holds true even if the person using your pool didn't get your permission first. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-surprising-things-your-homeowners-insurance-doesnt-cover?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Surprising Things Your Homeowners Insurance Doesn't Cover</a>)</p> <p>Insurance companies take on more risk when insuring homeowners with swimming pools, and will often increase their premiums.</p> <p>You might be tempted to keep your swimming pool a secret from your insurer. Don't. If someone is injured in your pool and sues you, your insurance company won't pay out if you added the pool without its knowledge.</p> <h2>7. You've bought a dog</h2> <p>Your homeowners insurance policy will most likely cover you if your dog bites someone on your property. But, again, you'll have to inform your insurer about your new pet to guarantee this protection. Again, your rates might rise, but keeping your new pooch a secret could cost you in the long run. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-your-insurance-may-not-cover-these-8-losses?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Beware: Your Insurance May Not Cover These 8 Losses</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Times%2520to%2520Update%2520Your%2520Homeowners%2520Insurance.jpg&amp;description=7%20Times%20to%20Update%20Your%20Homeowners%20Insurance"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Times%20to%20Update%20Your%20Homeowners%20Insurance.jpg" alt="7 Times to Update Your Homeowners Insurance" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-other-kinds-of-insurance-you-may-need-to-buy-for-your-home">7 Other Kinds of Insurance You May Need to Buy for Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-unexpected-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance">11 Unexpected Things Covered by Homeowners Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-your-bank-pick-your-homeowners-insurance">Don&#039;t Let Your Bank Pick Your Homeowner&#039;s Insurance</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-buy-a-house-with-a-pool-until-you-can-answer-these-7-questions">Don&#039;t Buy a House With a Pool Until You Can Answer These 7 Questions</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-money-moves-to-make-after-buying-your-first-house">6 Money Moves to Make After Buying Your First House</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Real Estate and Housing big purchases big ticket items homeowners insurance new dogs pools premiums remodeling retired security alarm Tue, 12 Sep 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Dan Rafter 2019187 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Save Loads of Money Using Credit Cards http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-loads-of-money-using-credit-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-save-loads-of-money-using-credit-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-514475258.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to save money using credit cards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For many people, credit cards are simply a payment method. But savvy users take advantage of the additional benefits and services that only credit cards offer. A credit card may give you cash back, free travel, insurance, and other services worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. Check out some of the most significant ways you can save money by paying with credit cards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-reasons-to-always-use-your-credit-card?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Reasons You Should Always Use Your Credit Card to Pay</a>)</p> <h2>1. Get an Interest-Free Loan for a Large Purchase</h2> <p>If you can't afford something, it's always best to either forgo it or save up for it before making the purchase. In some cases, however, you don't have the option of waiting. Your refrigerator dies just when you need a new transmission, or your dentist orders a root canal, stat. If you are disciplined, you can swing free financing on that fridge or dental work by getting a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-0-apr-for-purchases?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card with a promotional 0% APR on purchases</a>. These cards allow you to make new charges and carry a balance with no interest for an introductory period &mdash; in some cases, as long as 21 months. After that, your purchases will be subject to the card's standard interest rate. As long as you make your payments on time and clear your balance within the intro period, you'll stay out of debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/same-as-cash-store-offers-vs-0-intro-apr-credit-cards-which-is-right-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Difference Between Store Credit Offers and 0% Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>2. Get a Break From Interest on Debt</h2> <p>Sometimes bad decisions in the past continue to haunt us. Interest that continues to accrue on current debt makes it even harder to make up for those bad decisions. Once you've decided to put your financial life back in order and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off?ref=internal" target="_blank">create a debt repayment plan</a>, one of the best tools you can use to help <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">pay off debt faster</a> is a balance transfer to a card <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">offering an intro 0% APR</a>. These offers allow you to take a break from your interest charges so that you can devote 100% of your monthly payments toward paying down the principle. These interest-free offers can last up to 21 months, giving you the time you need to finally pay off your debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article" target="_blank">When to Do a Balance Transfer</a>)</p> <h2>3. Earn Cash Back<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Are you diligent about paying off your credit card bill each month? If so, getting a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash back card</a> is a no brainer. You can get a card that gives a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-flat-rate-rewards-for-all-spending?ref=internal" target="_blank">flat rate percentage for all purchases</a>, allowing you to get unlimited cash back. Or you can get a card with a higher return for the category that you spend the most in. For example, certain cards offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=internal" target="_blank">big cash back rewards for groceries</a>. There's no reason you shouldn't get <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-everyday-purchases?ref=internal" target="_blank">rewarded on your everyday expenses</a>.</p> <h2>4. Get Free Travel</h2> <p>You can score hundreds of dollars worth of free travel by using a travel rewards credit card that gives you points or miles every time you use the card &mdash; again, assuming you clear your credit card balance every month. There are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choose-the-best-travel-rewards-credit-card-with-this-guide?ref=internal" target="_blank">different types of travel rewards cards</a>. Some allow you to use rewards to get a statement credit for any type of travel purchase you make on the card. Others let you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles?ref=internal" target="_blank">transfer points to airline or hotel</a> loyalty programs so you can claim award flights and stays. Many offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">valuable sign-up bonuses</a> that can get you free flights fast, and money-saving travel perks such as free checked bags and even exclusive <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access?ref=internal" target="_blank">airport lounge access</a>. The best travel rewards card for you depends on your travel preferences and habits. Need more advice? Check out <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">our favorite travel rewards cards</a>.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">12 Travel Perks You Didn't Know Your Credit Card Had</a></p> <h2>5. Use Free Travel Insurance</h2> <p>Credit cards can be essential when you are traveling not just for their <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=internal" target="_blank">security and convenience</a>, but because they include important insurance. For instance, you can decline your rental car company's expensive optional insurance and use your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card's collision damage waiver policy</a> instead. Some credit cards also have coverage that reimburses you for additional expenses in the event that your trip is delayed or canceled, your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-airline-lost-your-luggage-now-what?ref=internal" target="_blank">luggage is lost</a>, or you're <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-exactly-does-travel-accident-insurance-cover-on-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">hurt while traveling</a>. Just be sure to check with your card issuer to find out which policies your card has, and what they cover. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-types-of-travel-insurance-credit-cards-include-that-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Types of Travel Insurance Your Credit Card Includes</a>)</p> <h2>6. Protect Your Purchases</h2> <p>Many credit cards come with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-credit-cards-protect-your-purchases-from-damage-or-theft?ref=internal" target="_blank">valuable purchase protection policies</a> that repair or replace your purchase if it's damaged or stolen, typically within 30&ndash;90 days of when you buy the item. In addition, most cards offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-free-extended-warranty-from-your-credit-card-issuer?ref=internal" target="_blank">extended warranty</a> programs that add up to two years to your manufacturer's warranty. That can save you a bundle on expensive service plans. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-free-extended-warranties-work-on-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Free Extended Warranties Work on Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>Some cards even offer return protection policies, meaning they'll accept your return if the store won't. You'll need to ask to make the return within 90 days of purchase, but that's still longer than many stores allow for refunds.</p> <p>All this is included as long as you pay for the purchase with a card that offers these features. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <h2>7. Get a Price Match</h2> <p>Not only can your credit card protect your purchases from theft or damage, it may also provide <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-price-match-through-your-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">price matching services</a>. If the price goes down on a purchase you made (within a specified amount of time), your card may reimburse you for the difference. Different cards have different policies, but usually you don't have to do anything more than submit a claim. Sometimes the card will even track prices for you and automatically issue you a credit for the price difference. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-credit-card-offers-applications-reviews?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Citi Credit Cards and Benefits</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-loads-of-money-using-credit-cards">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/should-you-sign-up-for-that-store-credit-card">Should You Sign Up for That Store Credit Card?</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-annual-fees">Best Credit Cards With Annual Fees</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/reduce-your-credit-limits-to-manage-your-spending">Reduce Your Credit Limits to Manage Your Spending</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/3-ways-your-cash-rewards-can-make-you-rich">3 Ways Your Credit Card Rewards Can Make You Rich</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Shopping big purchases borrowing credit deals offers rewards Wed, 15 Feb 2017 10:30:23 +0000 Jason Steele 1892610 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Major Expenses That Are Surprisingly Cheaper Than Ever Before http://www.wisebread.com/5-major-expenses-that-are-surprisingly-cheaper-than-ever-before <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-major-expenses-that-are-surprisingly-cheaper-than-ever-before" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_selling_house_000046490000.jpg" alt="Family finding major expenses that are cheaper than ever" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A dozen eggs cost nearly $3 at your local grocery store. It costs more than $25 to fill up your car's gas tank. And buying a new car? Kelley Blue Book reports that as of July, the average consumer spent more than $30,000 to buy a new set of wheels.</p> <p>But not everything is getting more expensive. Here are five key expenses that you'll probably pay less for in 2015.</p> <h2>1. Housing</h2> <p>The National Association of Realtors says that the median sales price of existing homes stood at $232,000 in August. That's expensive, and it's up 7% from August of 2014. But it's actually lower than in June of this year. That month, the median price of an existing home hit $236,400, the highest this figure has ever been. The hope for buyers is that home prices will continue to trend down &mdash; the August median price is actually 0.9% lower than in July &mdash; over time. (Sellers, of course, hope for the opposite.)</p> <p>Even more important for people buying homes is the direction that mortgage interest rates are taking. These remain at historically low levels, with the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey showing that the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan stood at 3.91% as of September 17. The average rate on a 15-year fixed-rate loan was even lower, 3.11% as of the same date.</p> <p>Compare this to where these rates stood on December 30 of 2010: 4.86% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan and 4.20% for a 15-year fixed-rate loan.</p> <p>Interest rates matter. The lower they are, the lower homebuyers' monthly payments will be, too. Thanks to these lower interest rates it costs far less today to borrow money to buy a home than it did less than five years ago.</p> <h2>2. Computers</h2> <p>Computers are an essential part of most of our lives. Good thing that their price tags continue to drop.</p> <p>Statistics portal Statista reports that the average selling price of notebook computers was $1,292 in 2005. In 2015, this number had fallen all the way to $451. Meanwhile, NPD Group reported that from October 5 to 25 of last year, the average selling price of Windows-fueled personal computers was $430. That was down 10% just from one year earlier. And IBISWorld says that the average price of a desktop computer in its surveys was $390.49 in 2015.</p> <p>Now, you won't be getting a top-of-the-line computer for these lower prices. But you can still get a pretty powerful machine that will serve the needs of most users.</p> <h2>3. Smartphones</h2> <p>You could make the argument that smartphones are even more important to us than computers. We use them to communicate with our friends, find the address of that new Thai restaurant, surf the Web, pay our bills, and watch TV while we're stuck on the train.</p> <p>It's good news, then, that the cost of these devices has been steadily falling, too. Market research firm IDC reports that the average price of an unlocked iPhone in 2014 was $657. But this price is on the way down. IDC predicts that the average price of an unlocked iPhone will soon fall to $604.</p> <p>Android phones are even less expensive today. IDC says that the average price of an unlocked Android phone was $254 in 2014, and will fall to $215 by 2018. And the news is even better for fans of Windows-based smartphones. According to IDC, the price of these phones will fall to $214 in 2018.</p> <h2>4. TVs</h2> <p>As anyone who's entered an electronics store can tell you, the cost of TVs has fallen, too. This holds true for even the most premium models.</p> <p>Statista reports that in 2011, the average sale price of a smart TV stood at $2,100. In 2015, that price has fallen to $1,510. Consumers can expect TV prices to continue to fall. Statista predicts that the average cost of a smart TV will fall to $1,200 in 2017.</p> <h2>5. Federal Income Taxes</h2> <p>Yes, you hate paying your income taxes each April, and you love to complain about them. But federal income taxes today are actually sucking up a far smaller percentage of consumers' incomes.</p> <p>According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, in 1998 through 2000, a household making the median income for a family of four in the United States paid roughly 8% of its income in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-surprising-facts-about-income-tax">individual income taxes</a>. But when those same households filed their income taxes in 2014? That median-income family of four paid just 5.3% of its income in federal income taxes.</p> <p><em>Have you noticed prices falling on big expenses?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-major-expenses-that-are-surprisingly-cheaper-than-ever-before">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance">7 Times to Update Your Homeowners Insurance</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-7-dumbest-big-purchases-people-make">The 7 Dumbest Big Purchases People Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-loads-of-money-using-credit-cards">7 Ways to Save Loads of Money Using Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward 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/8-things-you-should-always-buy-used">8 Things You Should Always Buy Used</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing Shopping big purchases consumer goods lower prices Wed, 07 Oct 2015 21:00:35 +0000 Dan Rafter 1577225 at http://www.wisebread.com Big Purchases You Should Make by 30, 40, and 50 http://www.wisebread.com/big-purchases-you-should-make-by-30-40-and-50 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/big-purchases-you-should-make-by-30-40-and-50" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_empty_piggybank_000018649757.jpg" alt="Man planning big purchases at 30, 40, and 50" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It used to be that major purchases such as a house or a car were rites of passage into adulthood. Sure, times are changing, and the new generation isn't buying all the things their parents did. But there are some things you probably <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-scariest-big-purchases-people-make">can't avoid buying</a>. Here are the big purchases most of us should make by ages 30, 40, or 50.</p> <h2>By Age 30</h2> <p>By the time we reach 30 we've turned the corner from the youth to adulthood, and our possessions show it.</p> <h3>A Car</h3> <p>As more people choose to live in cities, and use mass transit or ride-sharing apps, it's become less necessary to own a car. That said, many of us still have a lifestyle that requires owning a set of wheels. If this is the case for you, by the age of 30, you probably should have purchased a car <em>by yourself for yoursel</em>f. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-joy-of-buying-a-new-car-9-car-buying-tips?ref=seealso">The Joy of Buying a New Car: 9 Car Buying Tips</a>)</p> <h3>A Real Bed</h3> <p>This is something everyone avoids for years. Millenials have bought and sold cars well before buying a new bed for themselves. Once you are old enough to live on your own, an ugly used frame propping up a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deep-clean-your-mattress-for-a-better-nights-sleep">decades-old (and filthy) mattress</a> just won't do. A more comfortable bed will help you sleep better, and sleeping better will improve your overall health, which will cost you less in the long run. It's one of the best investments you can make in your 20s. Now that one can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-the-best-mattress-for-the-least-money">buy affordable and comfortable mattresses online</a>, there's no excuse anymore!</p> <h2>By Age 40</h2> <p>What lies around the corner from age 30? A nest and a family of one's own.</p> <h3>A Home</h3> <p>This can be the most emotional purchase you'll ever make, especially in areas of the country where it's virtually impossible for the average person to afford a home. For those of us who want to own our own home, working toward buying before age 40 is a worthy goal. It's wise to start making sound decisions in your 20s and 30s that will keep your financial state healthy, such as building your credit, in anticipation of a home loan.</p> <h3>Home Appliances</h3> <p>Not every home, whether bought or rented, will come equipped with everything you need. As you get older, you'll probably grow tired of washing your dishes in the sink, or going to the laundromat like you did in your 20s. Eventually, you'll break down and buy a refrigerator, dishwasher, a washer/dryer set, or woodworking tools for the garage. Make sure you do your comparison homework in order to get the best appliance deals.</p> <h2>By Age 50</h2> <p>By now the roots are set deep and the big purchases are behind us, but there are a few big buys that mark time's passage.</p> <h3>Life Insurance</h3> <p>As you get older and have children, you'll want to be covered for whatever may happen. By age 50, you'll almost definitely want to consider life insurance &mdash; well before you develop any chronic health issues or are old enough for premiums to skyrocket. Think about what you need from your life insurance and start planning your beneficiaries' financial future. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/universal-life-insurance-and-whole-life-insurance-a-comparison?ref=seealso">Universal Life Insurance and Whole Life Insurance: A Comparison</a>)</p> <h3>Contractor Work</h3> <p>At this point in your life, making renovations on your bathroom or kitchen, adding on to your home, or re-landscaping your backyard is common. In fact, some renovations <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-renovations-that-almost-pay-for-themselves">nearly pay for themselves</a> over time. If you've never hired a contractor, you'll need to create a budget and detailed timeline, along with a cash buffer for incidentals, accidents, and hotels if you cannot stay in the home at a certain point. Extra frugal? It's also worth <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-diy-home-renovating-for-you">considering DIY renovations</a>.</p> <p><em>Which major purchases do you think signify life milestones?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-purchases-you-should-make-by-30-40-and-50">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/are-your-assets-costing-you-too-much">Are Your Assets Costing You Too Much?</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/welcome-to-container-city-how-shipping-containers-are-recycled-into-green-dwellings">Welcome to Container City - How Shipping Containers Are Recycled into Green Dwellings</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/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0">6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-the-end-of-6-real-estate-commissions">Is It the End of 6% Real Estate Commissions?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-decide-if-its-a-fund-worthy-emergency">8 Ways to Decide if It&#039;s a &quot;Fund-Worthy&quot; Emergency</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance appliances big purchases Cars housing life insurance real estate Thu, 07 May 2015 13:00:08 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1410180 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Times When It's Okay to Take a Loan http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-when-its-okay-to-take-a-loan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-times-when-its-okay-to-take-a-loan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-contract-financial-consultant-loan-iStock_000051526142_Large.jpg" alt="couple financial advisor" title="couple financial advisor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Loans are a tricky subject in the financial world, because ideally, you'd never really need one. In the real world, however, plenty of responsible people find themselves needing loans for legitimate reasons. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-you-should-never-take-a-loan?ref=seealso">6 Times You Should Never Take a Loan</a>)</p> <p>Whether it's an unplanned financial emergency or a necessary, major purchase, there are some situations when taking out a loan can't be avoided. Read on to understand when a new loan is actually okay.</p> <h2>1. When You Can Easily Afford the Payments</h2> <p>This might seem like a no-brainer, but when people are desperate they will sometimes assume loans with large payments they couldn't possibly afford. Before you take out any loan, create a realistic budget that includes the payment. If you can't afford it, you should probably reconsider the loan.</p> <p>Don't fall into the temptation of telling yourself that you will find <em>some way</em> to make ends meet. Instead, take care of securing any realistic extra income sources <em>before</em> you sign on the dotted line. Get a second job, line up freelance work, start selling stuff on eBay, or do whatever else you need in order to make loan repayment affordable. Just do it before you get the loan &mdash; otherwise, you're just creating more financial stress for yourself. And isn't that what the loan was supposed to solve?</p> <h2>2. When Your Purchase is Essential</h2> <p>Loans are never a good idea when you're using them to finance a lifestyle that is beyond your means. If, however, you find yourself in a place where you absolutely must have something <em>essential</em> (no, a remodeled kitchen or a tropical vacation are not essentials), and you can't afford it, a loan might be a good idea.</p> <p>Again, I'm talking basic essentials here. If you have to drive to work, you must have a functioning vehicle. If you live in a cold climate, you need a working furnace. Most of the time, these aren't purchases that can wait until you've saved the funds, and so a loan might be necessary.</p> <h2>3. When You Have Good Credit</h2> <p>If you have good credit (above a 720), you will most likely be eligible for lower interest rates on your loans. This means that you will pay less over the life of the loan and that your individual payments will be lower than they would be if your credit were poorer. And having good credit is, in itself, an indicator that you're probably capable of managing your debt effectively.</p> <p>Having good credit makes loans a lot more affordable. But once again, make sure you can make those payments! Otherwise, you'll ruin that solid credit score.</p> <h2>4. When Interest Payments Are Less Than Your Investment Returns</h2> <p>Many investors think that they should use money from their investments to make major purchases before considering a loan. While this is sometimes true, it's also possible that it'll be better financially to leave your investments untouched and get a loan to cover the purchase instead. As an example, if your portfolio generates 10% annual returns, but a loan's interest rate would be only 4%, then it doesn't make sense to lose that extra 6% in returns that your portfolio's funds are generating.</p> <p>If the rate on the loan is lower than your rate of return <em>and</em> you can make the loan payments, take the loan and keep your money invested. On the other hand, monies from your portfolio might be a smart source of cash for re-paying very high interest loans, such as credit cards. Never touch your emergency fund, though &mdash; that's the money you'll need for true emergencies, and unless you're facing bankruptcy or legal action, high interest debt isn't quite a <em>true</em> emergency that warrants depleting your safety net.</p> <h2>5. When You Can Pay it Off Early</h2> <p>Sometimes you know there's money coming in, but you just don't have it yet. If you need to make a major purchase before that money arrives, you can take out a loan and repay it as soon as the funds hit your bank account.</p> <p>But if you're taking this approach, be sure that your loan doesn't have any prepayment penalties. This strategy can work well for people who get large bonus or commission checks on a quarterly or yearly basis, so long as you don't overestimate your actual earnings.</p> <h2>6. When You Qualify for a &quot;Special&quot; Loan</h2> <p>There are a lot of &quot;special&quot; loans on the market, most offered by different government programs for things such as home-buying, education, or energy-efficiency retrofitting. These loans typically offer very favorable repayment terms which often make them worthwhile.</p> <p>For example, <a href="http://www.fha.com/fha_loan_requirements">FHA loans</a>, <a href="http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/purchaseco_eligibility.asp">VA loans</a>, and even <a href="http://time.com/money/2929695/home-loan-usda-credit-rural-development/">USDA loans</a> can help people buy homes who might not have qualified otherwise. My husband and I bought our house last year using his VA loan, which saved us tons of money on the up-front costs. Without it, we'd have been hard-pressed to afford the house.</p> <p>Taking out a loan is something that a financially responsible person might never want to do. However, sometimes loans are necessary to meet our larger goals and, in the above cases, they may not be such a bad idea.</p> <p><em>What have you bought with money from a loan? Do you think that getting the loan was worth it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-when-its-okay-to-take-a-loan">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/8-signs-youve-crossed-from-healthy-debt-to-problem-debt">8 Signs You&#039;ve Crossed From &quot;Healthy&quot; Debt to &quot;Problem&quot; Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-paying-off-student-loans-early-can-boost-your-finances">7 Ways Paying Off Student Loans Early Can Boost Your Finances</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/best-of-personal-finance-credit-where-credit-is-due-edition">Best of Personal Finance: Credit Where Credit Is Due Edition</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-these-4-important-questions-before-signing-any-loan">Ask These 4 Important Questions Before Signing Any Loan</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/stop-is-that-loan-too-big-for-your-wallet">Stop! Is That Loan Too Big For Your Wallet?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Debt Management big purchases borrowing finances loans Wed, 11 Mar 2015 13:00:09 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1333072 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Every Major Purchase http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-you-need-to-ask-yourself-before-every-major-purchase <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-questions-you-need-to-ask-yourself-before-every-major-purchase" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car-shopper-thinking=506576603-small.jpg" alt="car shopper thinking" title="car shopper thinking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A car. The wedding of your dreams. Your first house. These could be three of the most wonderful purchases of your life &mdash; or three of the worst. After all, the words &quot;regret car purchase&quot; generate 7.5 million Google search results, your wedding day will very likely be the most expensive day of your life, and <a href="http://blog.redfin.com/blog/2014/04/1-in-4-homeowners-have-buyers-remorse.html#.VBfXsS5dXTz">1 in 4 homeowners have buyer's remorse</a>. Better do it right. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-dumbest-big-purchases-people-make?ref=seealso">The 7 Dumbest Purchases People Make</a>)</p> <p>But how does one keep far from catastrophe when making purchasing decisions about items that cost five figures or more? Purchases of this magnitude aren't run-of-the-mill for most of us. Well, lucky for you we've compiled a tidy list of questions to ask yourself before pulling the trigger on any major purchase.</p> <h2>1. Will I View This as a Good Purchase a Year From Now? Five Years From Now?</h2> <p>Buyer's remorse is a sneaky thing. At first, you're over-the-moon for your new Jeep. But will you still be pleased with your purchase once the newness wears off? Even our most prized possessions have a way of becoming just another thing in the pile of stuff that occupies so much of the space in our lives. We begin to compare it to other things like it that we don't yet have. Like a petite, red sports car. Or a Harley Davidson. And just like that our Jeep loses its luster.</p> <p>Besides, research shows <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/06/why-wanting-expensive-things-makes-us-so-much-happier-than-buying-them/276717/">it's the experience of wanting</a> a luxury item and shopping around for it &mdash; not the purchase itself &mdash; that makes us happy. So, go ahead and research the heck out of that new Jeep. You can even take it for a test drive. Just don't buy the thing unless it passes our four-question vetting process.</p> <h2>2. How Secure Are My Finances?</h2> <p>How plausible is it that your income could drop off dramatically two years from now? Would you be left to drown in payments you can no longer afford? Imagine your worst-case financial scenario, and draft a plan for how you'd escape things like bankruptcy and foreclosure. Are you completely dependent on your income to cover your expenses and financial obligation, or do you have a sizable savings?</p> <p>If you don't seriously consider your financial forecast, even things widely considered as great investments can become regrettable. Exhibit A: A third of millennials say they would have been <a href="https://www.wellsfargo.com/press/2013/20130522_MorethanhalfofMillennials">better off working than going to college</a>. The reason? They're drowning in debt. More than half the 1,414 college grads surveyed by Wells Fargo said they afforded their education by taking out hefty student loans that has become the crux of their financial distress.</p> <h2>3. Am I Suffering From Stress, Duress, or Lack of Sleep?</h2> <p>Studies show that <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=4268597">we're more likely to make big, splurgy purchases</a> we'll later regret when we're mourning a death, dealing with a divorce, feeling depressed, experiencing stress at work, or otherwise emotional. That's because sadness often tricks us into thinking we can better ourselves and therefore our emotional state by making extravagant purchases. So steer clear of making any drastic financial decisions when experiencing any period of personal turmoil.</p> <h2>4. Am I Buying Because It's a Good Deal?</h2> <p>Make sure it's a good deal for <em>you</em> &mdash; your personal wants, needs, values, and financial standing &mdash; and not just &quot;a good deal,&quot; period. The boat may very well be &quot;the deal of a lifetime,&quot; but make sure it's <em>your</em> lifetime that you're considering. In fact, it doesn't really matter how good the deal is anyway. If you weren't planning on buying a boat until the good deal came along, then you're running the risk of throwing your money away on a luxury item you simply don't need. Now that's a recipe sure to do nothing more than worsen your financial position.</p> <p><em>What do you ask yourself before making a big purchase? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-you-need-to-ask-yourself-before-every-major-purchase">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/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-scariest-big-purchases-people-make">The 7 Scariest Big Purchases People Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-personal-finance-rules-you-should-be-breaking">15 Personal Finance Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-times-cash-is-not-king">8 Times Cash Is Not King</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-9-people-in-your-life-who-are-keeping-you-poor">The 9 People in Your Life Who Are Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance big purchases budgeting purchases spending Wed, 24 Sep 2014 13:00:05 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1219246 at http://www.wisebread.com The 7 Scariest Big Purchases People Make http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-scariest-big-purchases-people-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-7-scariest-big-purchases-people-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-shocked-bills-93987068-small.jpg" alt="couple shocked bills" title="couple shocked bills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Big ticket purchases are prone to freak us out. The stakes are higher. And when we do make a mistake, like signing a lease to rent an apartment we can't comfortably afford, psychologists say we're more apt to convince ourselves that we've made the right decision rather than work to find a way out. It's <a href="http://www.spring.org.uk/2007/10/how-and-why-we-lie-to-ourselves.php">a natural tendency toward self-sabatoge</a> that's difficult to shake.</p> <p>All this can be avoided, of course, if we do our homework, thoroughly explore our options, and stay alert for the tell-tale signs that we're being bamboozled. Yet even the smartest among us make large-scale investments that end in regret. Studies show <a href="http://blog.redfin.com/blog/2014/04/1-in-4-homeowners-have-buyers-remorse.html#.VAth6mRdXTy">1 in 4 homeowners have buyer's remorse</a> about their current house, for example. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sure-fire-signs-of-an-investment-scam">5 Sure-Fire Signs of an Investment Scam</a>)</p> <p>Read on for our list of the top seven purchasing decisions that are sure to keep you up at night.</p> <h2>1. A House</h2> <p>Shopping for a home is momentous, exhilarating &mdash; and downright frightening. A home is the most expensive purchase most of us will ever make and unfortunately it's easier to muck it up than it is to do it right. Exhibit A? <a href="http://www.federalreservehistory.org/Events/DetailView/55">The subprime mortgage meltdown</a>. Lest we forget: What the bank says you can afford and what you actually can afford are not necessarily the same thing.</p> <h2>2. A Vacation Home</h2> <p>It's a dream come true, right? Well, yes, it can be &mdash; but it can just as easily be the stuff of nightmares. It's easy to be romanced by the mountain views so much so that you neglect to fully inspect the property itself or seriously consider the challenges of living in a seasonal locale once all the tourists have gone home.</p> <p>&quot;Many people love spending a week each summer at a particular beach,&quot; Jeff Haden, author of &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0910627746/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0910627746&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RTWXZXWFTI7SSSI4">The Second Homeowner's Handbook: A Complete Guide for Vacation, Income, Retirement, and Investment</a>&quot; told the New York Times. &quot;But when they buy a home and start to spend several months a year in the area, they realize that <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/04/greathomesanddestinations/04your.html?_r=0">traffic is a mess, shopping is limited</a>, and seasonal factors like the influx of students at a nearby college change the feel of the area.&quot;</p> <h2>3. A College Education</h2> <p>A college degree is one of the most valuable things you can buy. But if you don't do it right, it can swiftly become one of your biggest regrets. A third of millennials say they would have been <a href="https://www.wellsfargo.com/press/2013/20130522_MorethanhalfofMillennials">better off working than going to college</a>, according to a Wells Fargo study. The reason? They're drowning in debt.</p> <p>More than half the 1,414 college grads surveyed by Wells Fargo said they afforded their education by taking out hefty student loans that are now the crux of their financial distress. If given the chance to do it again, many said that they'd choose a less expensive school so as to reduce their future debt.</p> <h2>4. A Business Franchise</h2> <p>You get to be your own boss making money off a proven brand. No business plan to write, no venture capital to raise. Sound too good to be true? Well, in some cases, it very well could be. Investing in a franchise is little more bullet proof than investing in a start-up. In either scenario, it's possible <a href="http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231557">you could lose out on your investment</a> &mdash; sometimes due to no fault of your own. What if the franchisor goes belly up? It's a possibility. And because franchises are so young, it's difficult to judge the likelihood of such a thing. There's just not much of a track record to go off of.</p> <h2>5. A Boat</h2> <p>From water skiing on the lake to deep sea fishing far out at sea, boating is one of the most enjoyable warm-weather pastimes. But it's a joy that comes with a big price tag, regular repair costs, and a lot of fancy options that can make or break your boat-owning experience. Perhaps the most important thing you need to figure out is how much time you want to invest in caring for your boat. There are lots of neat add-on features &mdash; swim platforms, entertainment consoles, removable carpeting &mdash; but many of them require work to stay up and running. What you don't pay for in money you pay for in time and maintenance.</p> <h2>6. A Wedding</h2> <p>From the ring to the cake, <a href="http://blog.theknot.com/2014/03/27/average-wedding-cost-2014/">the average American wedding</a> costs $29,858. That's five figures spent on one day of your life &mdash; honeymoon not included. With so many different facets to decide on &mdash; flowers, linens, photographers &mdash; odds are high that you'll misspend on something. Common blunders include splurging on the venue and skimping on everything else, over-spending on fancy save-the-date mailings, and blowing your fashion budget on the dress and tux before even thinking about the shoes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-attend-a-wedding-for-cheap-without-actually-looking-cheap?ref=seealso">How to Attend a Wedding for Cheap (Without Actually Looking Cheap)</a>)</p> <h2>7. A Gravesite and Funeral</h2> <p><a href="http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2013/04/11/10-facts-funeral-directors-may-not-tell/">It costs about $10,000 to bury the dead</a>. Casket, grave liner, and cemetery groundskeeping costs all contribute to the bottom line. But there's so much more than dollars at stake. The location of the grave in comparison to loved ones of the deceased and whether the cemetery meets the requirements of your family's religion are also important. And experts say it's difficult to make these decisions when we're under duress.</p> <p>&quot;In fact, <a href="http://www.calebwilde.com/2014/01/when-you-should-fire-your-funeral-home/">grief is, in many ways, similar to alcohol inebriation</a> when it comes to decision making,&quot; writes Caleb Wilde, a sixth generation licensed funeral home director. &quot;You can't and shouldn't make big decisions when you're grieving.&quot;</p> <p><em>Any other Big Scary Purchases that should've been on this list?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-scariest-big-purchases-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/4-questions-you-need-to-ask-yourself-before-every-major-purchase">4 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Every Major Purchase</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-problems-you-cant-solve-with-money">9 Problems You Can&#039;t Solve With 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/are-you-doing-bad-things-with-your-money">Are You Doing Bad Things with Your 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/not-the-sort-of-person-who">Not the sort of person who ...</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-things-to-do-with-your-settlement-money">8 Smart Things to Do With Your Settlement Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance big purchases expensive purchases spending Mon, 22 Sep 2014 13:00:03 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1216061 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: What Was Your Most Expensive Purchase, Ever? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-was-your-most-expensive-purchase-ever <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-was-your-most-expensive-purchase-ever#comment-7534862">Steve</a>, Diane, and Anna for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>For most frugal-minded people, everyday life is filled with many small purchases with a few mid-range expenses sprinkled in. When a big-ticket purchase comes along, it takes much more consideration than what to buy at the grocery store.</p> <p><strong>What was your most expensive purchase, ever?</strong> How did you pay for it &mdash; did you save up until you had enough cash, put in on your credit card, or did you take out loans? In retrospect, was this big expense worth it?</p> <p>Tell us about your most expensive purchase and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For Extra Entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a id="rc-79857dfa127" class="rafl" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa127/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="//widget.rafflecopter.com/load.js"></script></p> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, August 18th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after August 18th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></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/ask-the-readers-what-was-your-most-expensive-purchase-ever">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-whats-in-your-wallet">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s In Your Wallet?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-did-you-spend-your-first-paycheck">Ask the Readers: How Did You Spend Your First Paycheck?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-new-years-resolution">Ask the Readers: What Is Your New Year&#039;s Resolution?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-does-corporate-social-responsibility-mean-to-you">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Does Corporate Social Responsibility Mean to 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/ask-the-readers-name-your-favorite-moment-of-2010">Ask the Readers: Name Your Favorite Moment of 2010</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers big purchases Tue, 12 Aug 2014 15:43:47 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1183110 at http://www.wisebread.com The 7 Dumbest Big Purchases People Make http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-dumbest-big-purchases-people-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-7-dumbest-big-purchases-people-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-tv-shopping-177435130-small.jpg" alt="couple tv shopping" title="couple tv shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Retail therapy is no myth. Psychologists have found that there's a real science behind the burst of joy we feel when we <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mar.20404/abstract">treat ourselves with a big, exciting purchase</a> &mdash; no matter how impractical it may be.</p> <p>Unfortunately, buyer's remorse also exists. Once the newness wears off, our prized purchase sometimes <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ulterior-motives/201201/why-regret-makes-buying-experiences-better-buying-stuff">becomes just another thing</a> in the pile of stuff that occupies so much of the space in our lives. We begin to compare it to other things like it that we don't have. A faster sports car. A bigger jacuzzi. The latest cell phone upgrade. And just like that our big buy loses its luster.</p> <p>Some items are prone to invoke buyer's remorse. Typically these items are just downright absurd, yet we've convinced ourselves that they're an important, practical, or smart purchase anyway. Thanks to the mistakes of thousands of consumers before us, we've been able to identify a few of them for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-your-financial-kryptonite-and-how-to-conquer-it?ref=seealso">What Is Your Financial Kryptonite and How to Conquer It</a>)</p> <p>Read on for our list of the top seven purchases that are sure to leave you wallowing in your own tears of regret.</p> <h2>1. 3D TVs</h2> <p>The majority of <a href="http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/majority-3d-tv-owners-regret-their-purchase-1431326">3D television owners regret their purchase</a>. It's not that the technology isn't cool. The leading complaint is that there just isn't enough 3D content to make ownership of one of these futuristic devices worthwhile.</p> <p>More than half the 50 movie titles offered in 3D in 2011 were kids' flicks, while <a href="http://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/3d-tv-autopsy-did-it-finally-die-or-was-it-never-alive-to-begin-with/#!beO9si">most blockbuster movie titles opted out</a> of the 3D format altogether. When you're coughing up between $2,000 and $12,000 for the TV plus another couple hundred bucks a pop for the glasses, that's sort of a deal breaker.</p> <p>That leads us to another popular complaint: It can be a major annoyance to wear the glasses that make the third dimension pop. Sort of like wearing your sun shades in the house.</p> <h2>2. Whirlpool Tub</h2> <p>It's a vision of romance: Flower petals, candle light, a bottle of wine &mdash; and then you turn the thing on. Who wants to canoodle with that grumbling sound? Yeah, it's a vision alright.</p> <p>Jacuzzi-style whirlpool tubs can be a real mood killer. Not only are they noisy, they're time consuming to fill with water and prone to completely draining the hot water tank. Plus they're expensive to operate, not to mention expensive to buy and install.</p> <p>Bottom line: Most people don't use them enough to outweigh the negatives.</p> <h2>3. A College Education (No, Really&hellip;.)</h2> <p>Okay, so most people would say a college degree is a smart investment &mdash; but it can certainly be regrettable. A third of millennials say they would have been <a href="https://www.wellsfargo.com/press/2013/20130522_MorethanhalfofMillennials">better off working than going to college</a>, according to a Wells Fargo study. The reason? They're drowning in debt.</p> <p>More than half the 1,414 college grads surveyed by Wells Fargo said they afforded their education by taking out hefty student loans that have become the crux of their financial distress. Many said they think they'd have been better off with a less expensive, public education than a much more costly degree from a top-tier school.</p> <p>If given $10,000, more than half of those surveyed said the first thing they would use the money for is to pay off student loans or credit card debt.</p> <h2>4. A Timeshare</h2> <p>The cost of owning a timeshare extends well beyond the mortgage. Annual maintenance fees, property taxes, and special assessments are piled on top &mdash; and they can be quite expensive.</p> <p>Another major gripe among timeshare owners is that it's not always easy to schedule their allotted time at the unit. In fact, it can be downright maddening. Some timeshare contracts have so <a href="http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/top-ten-reasons-think-twice-before-buying-timeshare.html">severely misstated the ease in scheduling</a> that several states have passed laws to punish these misrepresentations.</p> <p>Timeshares are also difficult to unload. Few people are interested in purchasing a timeshare in the aftermarket, meaning you're very likely to lose money even if you do find a buyer.</p> <h2>5. A Car They Didn't Research</h2> <p>Nearly a third of all <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2280243/Millions-regret-buying-latest-car-Third-admit-purchasing-faulty-vehicle-say-didnt-research.html">motorists regret their most recent car purchase</a>, a consumer watchdog report found. Among the top triggers of dissatisfaction: The car is faulty, it costs more to run than they anticipated, or they simply didn't do enough research.</p> <p>A car is one of the most expensive purchases many of us will ever make. So before pulling the trigger on a flashy sport convertible or a clunker with the little engine that could, experts say it's important to weigh all your options and do your homework.</p> <p>Here are a couple good online resources to get you started: <a href="http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/first-time-new-car-buyer-guide.html">Edmund's Guide for First-Time New Car Buyers</a> and <a href="http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/repair/how-to-buy-a-used-car-without-getting-burned?click=pp">Popular Mechanic's How to Buy a Used Car Without Getting Burned</a>.</p> <h2>6. High-End Designer Bags, Clothes, and Shoes</h2> <p>Speaking of cars, a Gucci handbag can cost more than the down payment on your vehicle. Ditto that for many designer scarves, furs, and dresses. What you're really paying for is an air of luxury and exclusivity.</p> <p>Many of the clothes and accessories we find to be swoon-worthy at the store, high-end and otherwise, end up spending nearly their entire existence in storage. That's because the average person wears only about <a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324240804578415002232186418">20% of the clothes in their closet</a>, according to retail specialists.</p> <p>Among the top reasons our garments go unworn? The items no longer seem as unique or important as when first purchased, or we realize it was an impulse buy rather than a smart, practical purchase.</p> <h2>7. A $5,000 Watch</h2> <p>So you got a big promotion at work. Why not reward yourself with a Rolex? You earned it. Plus, what's more practical than a classic timepiece?</p> <p>Ted Jenkins, who co-operates a financial advisory firm focused on generations X and Y, speaks from experience when he says: &quot;Don't do it!&quot;</p> <p>&quot;<a href="http://www.yoursmartmoneymoves.com/2014/07/08/a-5000-watch-doesnt-make-you-look-cool/">The dumbest purchase I ever made was spending $5,000 on a watch</a>,&quot; Jenkins wrote on his financial literacy blog. &quot;I wore two watches over the course of a year, one that cost $5,000 and one that cost $79. The $5,000 watch was a Panerai and the $79 was a Diesel&hellip; During that year, my compliment ratio was four to one in favor of the $79 Diesel watch. I never really cared that much about brand names and it taught me that nobody else really does as well. Now I don't even wear a watch because my phone can tell time.&quot;</p> <p><em>Have you ever made a big dumb purchase? Please share your experience in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-dumbest-big-purchases-people-make">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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