Personal Development http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/216/all en-US Best Money Tips: Things Extremely Likeable People Do http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-things-extremely-likeable-people-do-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-things-extremely-likeable-people-do-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women-friends-talking-Dollarphotoclub_74554422.jpg" alt="women talking" title="women talking" 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 the things that extremely likeable people do, creative ways to build a work wardrobe for less, and simple ways to eat more plants.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-Likeable-People-Do-35059138">16 Things Extremely Likeable People Do</a> &mdash; Extremely likeable people get off their phones when they're interacting with other people.&nbsp;[PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.retiredby40blog.com/2015/02/23/5-creative-ways-build-professional-wardrobe-on-a-budget/">5 Creative Ways to Build a Professional Wardrobe on a Budget</a> &mdash; Determine what your style is. Take into account things like your workplace dress code, functionality, and what styles you're drawn to. [Retired By 40]</p> <p><a href="http://www.retiredby40blog.com/2015/02/23/5-creative-ways-build-professional-wardrobe-on-a-budget/">5 Simple Habits to Get More Plants Into Your Diet</a> &mdash; Try a new, veggie-packed recipe every week! [Pick The Brain]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/trip-tips-cut-the-cost-spring-break-half">Trip Tips to Cut the Cost of Spring Break in Half</a> &mdash; Save money on meals by renting a room that has a kitchenette. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/0220/Are-all-inclusive-resorts-really-worth-it">Are All-Inclusive Resorts Really Worth It?</a> &mdash; If you really want to relax during your vacation, knowing that all your vacationing needs will be taken care of is probably worth the extra expense. [The Monitor]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.dontpayfull.com/blog/10-natural-herbs-you-should-stock-up-on">10 Natural Herbs You Should Stock Up On</a> &mdash; Garlic helps when you have a fever, stomach ache, hemorrhoids, or if you need to manage your blood pressure. The best time to stock up is during fall.&nbsp;[Don't Pay Full]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bankrate.com/financing/saving-money/5-types-of-freebies-you-can-snag-today">5 Types of Freebies You Can Snag Today</a> &mdash; Check out sites like AdvanceScreenings.com and Gofobo.com to get in on free advanced movie screenings in your area!&nbsp;[Bankrate</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifeoptimizer.org/2015/02/24/spare-time/">The Magic of Well-Used Spare Time</a> &mdash; Using your spare time to grow yourself &mdash; learning new things, exploring new interests &mdash; may open new opportunities in the future. [Life Optimizer]</p> <p><a href="http://dallisonlee.com/blog/2015/02/26/organize-your-junk-drawer/">A Simple and Ruthless Way to Organize Your Junk Drawer</a> &mdash; Get rid of all the junk in your junk drawer! Categorize the remaining items; make sure you actually have a use for them. [Organize to Revitalize!]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/5-reasons-your-young-child-should-be-bilingual">5 Reasons Your Young Child Should Be Bilingual</a> &mdash; Learning a second language at a young age increases creativity, critical thinking skills, and boosts memory. [Parenting Squad]</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-things-extremely-likeable-people-do-0">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/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">Feeling Stuck? 100 Ways to Change Your Life</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/15-ways-to-suck-up-at-work-that-wont-make-you-feel-slimy">15 Ways to Suck Up at Work That Won&#039;t Make You Feel Slimy</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/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress">20 Free (or Really Cheap) Ways to Relieve Stress</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-steps-to-improving-your-critical-thinking">7 Steps to Improving Your Critical Thinking</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-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development best money tips likeable people Mon, 02 Mar 2015 20:00:05 +0000 Amy Lu 1316505 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Self-Help Clichés We Need to Change http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-self-help-clich-s-we-need-to-change <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-self-help-clich-s-we-need-to-change" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-thinking-life-plan-Dollarphotoclub_77580283_0.jpg" alt="woman thinking" title="woman thinking" 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 self-help clichés we need to change, how to avoid a parking ticket, and organizational tools to get your life together.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/9-self-help-cliches-need-change-good/">9 Self-Help Clichés We Need to Change for Your Own Good</a> &mdash; It's easy say you want to follow your dreams, but to make your dreams come true, you need to set a plan and create realistic milestones. [Pick The Brain]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dontpayfull.com/blog/how-to-avoid-a-parking-ticket-in-15-steps">How to Avoid a Parking Ticket in 15 Steps</a> &mdash; Check for a mistake on the parking ticket issued. If there are any, or if the writing is illegible, you can easily contest the parking ticket. [Don't Pay Full]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Organizational-Tools-35359021">Get Your Life Together With These 15 Types of Organizational Tools</a> &mdash; A rotating goal list makes it quick and easy to update and prioritize your tasks each week/month. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/0209/Valentine-s-Day-by-the-numbers-1-in-3-couples-say-no-gifts-this-year">Valentine's Day by the Numbers: 1 in 3 Couples Say 'No Gifts' This Year</a> &mdash; On average, those who <i>are</i> celebrating Valentine's Day will spend about $142 on candy, flowers, clothing, and more. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/10-ways-to-improve-your-relationship-this-valentines-day/">10 Ways to Improve Your Relationship This Valentine's Day</a> &mdash; Don't dwell on the things that could have been. Instead, focus on how you and your SO can make things better in the here and now. [Bible Money Matters]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.marcandangel.com/2015/02/08/7-things-you-should-insist-on-no-matter-what-people-say/">7 Things You Should Insist On No Matter What People Say</a> &mdash; Insist on subtracting what doesn't belong in your life: the habits, routines, and circumstances that are holding you back. [Marc and Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="http://gradmoneymatters.com/money-making-ideas/what-to-do-if-you-dont-have-an-emergency-fund.html">What to Do If You Don't Have an Emergency Fund</a> &mdash; If an unexpected expense comes up and you don't have an emergency fund to cover it, the first thing you should do is see where you can cut your budget and start saving. [Grad Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thecentsiblelife.com/2015/02/6-ways-to-eat-on-the-go-for-less/">6 Ways to Eat on the Go for Less</a> &mdash; Pack high-protein snacks that give you the energy to last through the day. You can take foods like granola bars, hardboiled eggs, and cheese sticks or cubes anywhere you go. [The Centsible Life]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/yum-valentine-s-day-roundup-lunchtime-fun">Yum! Valentine's Day Roundup: Lunchtime Fun!</a> &mdash; Pack a lunch filled with love &mdash; and sweetheart penguin cookies, Cupid's arrow skewers, and lovebug sandwiches! [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.yoursmartmoneymoves.com/2015/02/08/10-questions-to-ask-your-cpa/">10 Questions to Ask Your CPA</a> &mdash; Some tax preparers work seasonally. If you'll need tax or accounting advice and services year-round, make sure your chosen CPA will be available. [Your Smart Money Moves]</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-self-help-clich-s-we-need-to-change">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/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">Feeling Stuck? 100 Ways to Change Your Life</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/15-ways-to-suck-up-at-work-that-wont-make-you-feel-slimy">15 Ways to Suck Up at Work That Won&#039;t Make You Feel Slimy</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/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress">20 Free (or Really Cheap) Ways to Relieve Stress</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-steps-to-improving-your-critical-thinking">7 Steps to Improving Your Critical Thinking</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-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development best money tips self-help Thu, 12 Feb 2015 20:00:11 +0000 Amy Lu 1289615 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: 15 Ways to Reinvent Yourself http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-15-ways-to-reinvent-yourself <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-15-ways-to-reinvent-yourself" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-woman-outdoors-Dollarphotoclub_74085260_0.jpg" alt="happy woman outdoors" title="happy woman outdoors" 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 ways to reinvent yourself, things you shouldn&rsquo;t put in your compost pile, and frugal tips that may not be so frugal after all.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.supermoney.com/2015/02/reinvent-yourself/">15 Ways to Reinvent Yourself to an Amazing Person in 2015</a> &mdash; Tone your facial muscles by making fish lips faces every morning! [SuperMoney]</p> <p><a href="http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/10-things-you-should-not-put-in-your-compost-pile">10 Things You Should Not Put in Your Compost Pile</a> &mdash; Fish and meat scraps will decompose just fine, but their smell will&nbsp;attract any any neighborhood rats, mice, foxes, raccoons, or cats. [Small Footprint Family]</p> <p><a href="http://smartycents.com/articles/frugal-tips-that-may-not-actually-save-you-any-money/">Frugal Tips That May Not Actually Save You Any&nbsp;Money</a> &mdash;&nbsp;There are loads of DIY detergent recipes out there, and it make take many trials and ruined clothing to know how much to use and what ingredients are safe for which fabrics. [Smarty Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/15-apps-everyone-should-consider-downloading.html">15 Apps Everyone Should Have in the Phone</a> &mdash; Tunein Radio allows you to listen to over 100,000 radio stations, including all the sports stations in the world! [Lifehack]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2015/01/5-easy-ways-improve-mental-clarity.html">5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Mental Clarity</a> &mdash; Start the day off right with a morning ritual that feeds, exercises, and nourishes your mind and body. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/DIY-Citrus-Scented-Kitchen-Cleaning-Products-36750343">3 Essential DIY Cleaners That Will Make Your Kitchen Sparkle</a> &mdash; All you need for a citrus-scented vinegar cleaner is a mason jar with a lid, vinegar, a grapefruit, and a lemon. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cookingmanager.com/cooking-large-crowd-small-kitchen/">Cook for a Crowd With Ease</a> &mdash; Plan the menu so you have fewer items that need reheating. For those that do, a hotplate or two will open up some oven and stove space for other cooking. [Cooking Manager]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.credit.com/2015/02/6-signs-it-may-be-time-to-switch-banks-107405/">6 Signs It May Be Time to Switch Banks</a> &mdash; Banking should be convenient. If your bank doesn&rsquo;t offer the services that will make it easy for you to access and monitor your money, it may be time to switch to a different one. [Credit.com]</p> <p><a href="http://www.carefulcents.com/wrong-self-employment-mentality/">The Real Reason Your Freelance Biz Isn&rsquo;t Making Money (and How to Overcome It)</a> &mdash; You limit your opportunities if you keep brushing off your ideas as unrealistic. Some of them may not work out, but they're worth a try anyway. [Careful Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/8-items-you-should-pack-for-yourself-in-your-hospital-bag">8 Items You Should Pack for Yourself in Your Hospital Bag</a> &mdash; Pregnant women who are close to their due date should pack a bathrobe and fuzzy slippers, a cell phone and charger, and an emergency stash of chocolate. [Parenting Squad]</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-15-ways-to-reinvent-yourself">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/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">Feeling Stuck? 100 Ways to Change Your Life</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/15-ways-to-suck-up-at-work-that-wont-make-you-feel-slimy">15 Ways to Suck Up at Work That Won&#039;t Make You Feel Slimy</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/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress">20 Free (or Really Cheap) Ways to Relieve Stress</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-steps-to-improving-your-critical-thinking">7 Steps to Improving Your Critical Thinking</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-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development best money tips reinvention Wed, 04 Feb 2015 20:00:14 +0000 Amy Lu 1285448 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Ways Obama's Free Community College Deal Will Help You http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-obamas-free-community-college-deal-will-help-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-ways-obamas-free-community-college-deal-will-help-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-college-students-thumbs-up-Dollarphotoclub_70193711.jpg" alt="happy college students" title="happy college students" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>President Barack Obama's 2015 State of the Union address proclaimed that community college should be as free and universal in America as high school. If passed by Congress (currently unlikely, given the political polarization in Washington), the plan could make the first two years of community college free, allowing many to obtain free Associate's Degrees, reduce the total cost of a 4-year degree, or obtain necessary job skills and training. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-continue-your-education-without-going-back-to-school?ref=seealso">8 Cheap Ways to Continue Your Education Without Going Back to School</a>)</p> <p>Whether the pursuit of a new degree is in your future or not, here's how a program geared at making it happen could benefit the economy, and by extension, your pocketbook.</p> <h2>1. Economic Growth Would Soar</h2> <p>Putting a college degree in the hands of more Americans would be beneficial for everyone. Here's why.</p> <p>Right now, there are more jobs requiring college degrees than there are college educated people in the job market. It's no wonder that <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/nearly-all-good-jobs-now-require-a-college-degree-151644528.html">the value of a college degree is $300,000</a> &mdash; close to an all-time high. But a free two-year community college program could help restore the balance.</p> <p>Such a job market would also drive economic competitiveness. After all, competition is the backbone of the U.S. economy, and it's vital to a thriving job market. If the U.S. were able to close the educational achievement gaps between white children and minority children with the President's proposed free community college program, <a href="https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/report/2014/11/10/100577/the-economic-benefits-of-closing-educational-achievement-gaps/">the economy would be 5.8% &mdash; or nearly $2.3 trillion &mdash; larger by 2050</a>, according to a study by the Center for American Progress. The cumulative increase in GDP from 2014 to 2050 would amount to $20.4 trillion, or an average of $551 billion per year.</p> <p>A community college expert, Josh Wyner of The Aspen Institute told PBS NewsHour, &quot;The fact of the matter is that we're projected within the next decade to need an educated work force&hellip; where 60 percent of Americans have a college degree. And, today, just over 40 percent have one.&quot; He added, &quot;In today's society, in order to have a chance to get into the middle class, in order to fuel economic growth for our country, <a href="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/free-tuition-boost-student-success-community-colleges/">we need more people with a college credential</a>.&quot;</p> <h2>2. The Wealth Gap Would Narrow</h2> <p>In the last decade, the <a href="http://fortune.com/2015/01/20/the-case-for-obamas-state-of-the-union-free-college-proposal-in-6-charts/">college attendance rate has dropped</a> significantly for students from low- and middle-class families. Among the reasons is a steady decrease in state funding for tuition, which has made the price tag of a college degree more expensive than at almost any other time in history. The fallout is that a higher degree has become something enjoyed by the haves and, unfortunately, a luxury out of reach for the have-nots. &quot;We have got a gap between rich and poor that's growing in our country,&quot; Wyner said in his PBS NewsHour appearance. &quot;And we still have lots of Americans, low-income Americans, African-American folks in the country, who don't get access to higher education.&quot;</p> <p>But increasing access to community college through the program proposed by the President could help many low-income Americans enter the middle class, equipping them with the ticket they need to be competitive in the workforce. And a stronger middle class would help foster a healthier economy, triggering a ripple effect that could benefit Americans in all socio-economic brackets.</p> <p>One demographic that would particularly benefit from the President's zero-cost education plan is Hispanics. About <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/current_tables.asp">half of all Hispanics who attend college</a> are enrolled in a two-year community college, more than any race or ethnicity, according to U.S. Department of Education data.</p> <h2>3. Social Security and Medicare Will Have Brighter Futures</h2> <p>When the Baby Boomers retire, the federal budget will feel the pressure. More retirees means more people drawing from benefit programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. But the President's free community college deal could ease some of this pressure by creating a higher-earning workforce that's better able to financially sustain such programs for the future. As Americans earn more, they'll pay more in taxes and thus provide future budget relief.</p> <p>A study by the Center for American Progress estimates that closing the racial and ethnic educational achievement gaps would boost Social Security tax contributions by $877 billion by 2050. Similarly, Medicare tax revenues for the Hospital Insurance Fund would increase by $265 billion from 2014 to 2050, providing a substantial lift to Medicare solvency. In other words, the study concludes, strengthening the educational achievement of our youth will help provide economic security for future generations.</p> <p><em>Were the President's plan to become law, would you or anyone you know take advantage of it?</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/3-ways-obamas-free-community-college-deal-will-help-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/3-ways-to-get-a-legit-business-education-online">3 Ways to Get a Legit Business Education Online</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-masters-degrees-that-will-drastically-increase-your-earning-power">5 Master&#039;s Degrees That Will Drastically Increase Your Earning Power</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-times-you-should-choose-private-school-over-public">7 Times You Should Choose Private School Over Public</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-things-you-didn-t-learn-in-college-but-you-should-have">10 Things You Didn’t Learn in College (but You Should Have)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-save-on-college-tuition">6 Ways to Save on College Tuition</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Personal Development community college education free tuition obama tuition Tue, 03 Feb 2015 10:00:15 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1284841 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Times You Should Choose Private School Over Public http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-you-should-choose-private-school-over-public <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-times-you-should-choose-private-school-over-public" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/students-teacher-private-school-uniform-Dollarphotoclub_14713868.jpg" alt="students private school" title="students private school" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Private school can be expensive, but it can also be well worth the cost, depending on your family situation. Some circumstances really do make private schooling more financially practical &mdash; and necessary &mdash; than you might think. Here are seven times you might choose private school over public school.</p> <h2>1. When Your Child Has a Special Gift</h2> <p>Some children are truly gifted in a particular area, and often, public schools can't foster that child's talents to their full potential. For example, some kids are unbelievable musicians, others have genius IQs or excel at certain sports. If this is the case with your child, a private school that specializes in a particular area might be a better fit.</p> <h2>2. When Your Child Has a Special Need</h2> <p>Your child may have a special need that isn't accommodated as well in a public school. This may be anything from a learning disability, to behavioral challenges, being a pregnant teenager, or recovering from substance abuse.</p> <h2>3. When Your Child Is Too Young</h2> <p>States dictate the age at which kids can start public school. Some do offer free public preschool, but others don't start public school until kindergarten. It's generally best to start kids in preschool by the time they are three, and especially if you need full-time child-care for your child, an all day private preschool may be your only option.</p> <h2>4. When You Aren't in a Good School District (and You Don't Want to Move)</h2> <p>A major factor in our family's recent decision to move was the school district. Our elementary school district simply wasn't as good as we wanted. If you aren't in a good school district and either can't afford to or don't want to move, private school may be the best option.</p> <h2>5. When Vouchers Will Pay</h2> <p>School vouchers make private schooling possible for a lot of families that might not be otherwise able to pay for it. This chart provides a state by state <a href="http://www.ncsl.org/research/education/voucher-law-comparison.aspx">comparison of school vouchers</a>. If you're in a situation where vouchers (or a school scholarship) will pay for private school, this is a good reason to choose it over public.</p> <h2>6. When Your Family Has Strong Beliefs</h2> <p>If your family has strong beliefs &mdash; maybe you are particularly religious, or care exceptionally for the environment, or believe a different style of teaching is better &mdash; then you may want your child to be raised around others with similar beliefs. In this case, private school is going to be a better fit.</p> <h2>7. When You Want Your Child to Learn Something Specific</h2> <p>Every family is different, and you may want your child to learn something taught in a private school, even if your beliefs aren't strong or your child isn't the most gifted in that area. As a parent, you have the right to make decisions about what you think is best for your child. So maybe you want your kids to learn more about music, art, or a foreign language than you would get in a public school. If that's the case, consider private schooling &mdash; if it's within your means, of course.</p> <p><em>Did you go to private school or public school? Which do you (or will you) send your child to and why?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-you-should-choose-private-school-over-public">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/3-ways-obamas-free-community-college-deal-will-help-you">3 Ways Obama&#039;s Free Community College Deal Will Help You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-get-a-legit-business-education-online">3 Ways to Get a Legit Business Education Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-masters-degrees-that-will-drastically-increase-your-earning-power">5 Master&#039;s Degrees That Will Drastically Increase Your Earning Power</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-things-you-didn-t-learn-in-college-but-you-should-have">10 Things You Didn’t Learn in College (but You Should Have)</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/learning-without-the-high-cost-of-higher-education">Learning Without the High Cost of Higher Education</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Education & Training Personal Development education preschool private school public school Mon, 02 Feb 2015 18:00:11 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 1284259 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Things to Say Yes to for a Happy Life http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-things-to-say-yes-to-for-a-happy-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-things-to-say-yes-to-for-a-happy-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/two-women-talking-park-Dollarphotoclub_42232750.jpg" alt="two women conversation" title="two women conversation" 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 things to say yes to for a happy life, foods you should make instead of buy, and money mistakes to avoid if you want to be rich.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2015/01/15/yes-happy-life/">10 Things to Start Saying Yes to This Year for a Happy Life</a> &mdash; Say yes to making someone else happy. You can offer practical help, or just listen when they need an ear. [The Positivity Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Foods-Cheaper-Make-Rather-Than-Buy-25387569#photo-25387569">10 Food Items You Should Stop Buying (and Make Instead!)</a> &mdash; Why buy pure vanilla extract at $3 per ounce when you can make your own just by steeping vanilla beans in vodka? [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.quizzle.com/blog/2015/01/top-money-mistakes-avoid-want-to-be-rich/">Top Money Mistakes to Avoid If You Want to Be Rich</a> &mdash; Saving money is important, but if you want to be rich, focus your energy on finding ways to earn more. [Quizzle Wire]</p> <p><a href="http://www.everybodylovesyourmoney.com/2015/01/19/10-extreme-frugality-tips.html">10 Extreme Frugality Tips</a> &mdash; Only buy things secondhand. If you can find it for free on the curb or on Craigslist, even better! [Everybody Loves Your Money]</p> <p><strong>In case you missed it:</strong> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life">5 Ways Social Media Saved Someone's Life</a> &mdash; When Michele Freeman posted a picture of her toddler on Facebook, one friend noticed that there was something odd about little Grace's eyes. [Wise Bread]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.financiallypoor.com/home-ownership/7-ways-to-improve-the-resale-value-of-a-home/">7 Ways to Improve the Resale Value of a Home</a> &mdash; Highlight the best parts of your home by placing different kinds of lighting at strategic locations. [Financially Poor]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.readyforzero.com/free-spreadsheets-paying-debt/">Top 5 Best (Free) Spreadsheets for Paying Off Debt</a> &mdash; If you need help mapping out what you owe, try using a free debt spreadsheet from Vertex, Squawkfox, or others! [ReadyForZero]</p> <p><a href="http://www.doughroller.net/productivity/7-ways-harness-power-habit/">7 Ways to Harness the Power of Habit</a> &mdash; There are three parts to a habit loop: the cue, routine, and reward. If you want to change a habit, focus on the routine. [Dough Roller]</p> <p><a href="http://momsneedtoknow.com/uses-egg-cartons">9 Uses for Egg Cartons</a> &mdash; Use egg cartons to organize all the loose nuts, bolts, and screws in your toolbox. [Moms Need to Know]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/10-first-aid-skills-every-parent-should-learn">10 First Aid Skills Every Parent Should Learn</a> &mdash; Insect bites and stings can be treated with a cold compress. Don't use first aid creams or ointments if the skin is broken &mdash; just rinse with soap and water. [Parenting Squad]</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-things-to-say-yes-to-for-a-happy-life">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/100-small-things-that-can-bring-you-joy">100 Small Things That Can Bring You Joy</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-things-scientists-say-will-boost-your-happiness-today">11 Things Scientists Say Will Boost Your Happiness 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/these-7-exercises-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness">These 7 Exercises Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness</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/25-ways-to-feel-better-fast">25 Ways to Feel Better Fast</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-reasons-youre-not-as-happy-as-youd-like-to-be">6 Reasons You&#039;re Not as Happy as You&#039;d Like to Be</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development best money tips happiness Thu, 22 Jan 2015 20:00:09 +0000 Amy Lu 1282662 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Become a Better Listener http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-become-a-better-listener <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-become-a-better-listener" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-talking-rooftop-Dollarphotoclub_64188738_0.jpg" alt="couple talking rooftop" title="couple talking rooftop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="145" /></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 tips to become a better listener, ways to eat less sugar, and goals for a more organized life.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/2015/01/5-tips-for-becoming-a-better-listener/">5 Tips for Becoming a Better Listener</a> &mdash; Ask open-ended questions and make &quot;listening noises&quot; to encourage the other person to elaborate. [Gretchen Rubin]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/new-years-resolution-eat-less-sugar-and-9-ways-to-get-it-done">New Year's Resolution &mdash; Eat Less Sugar and 9 Ways to Get It Done</a> &mdash; You can have better control of your sugar intake by buying unsweetened foods and adding natural sweeteners and flavors to taste. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/New-Year-Resolutions-Organization-36367042">17 Goals For a More Organized Life in 2015</a> &mdash; Want to be more organized? Section off your drawers with plastic dividers &mdash; or simply cut up cardboard boxes and pop them in! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.shebudgets.com/diy-projects/10-steps-creating-easiest-outdoor-herb-garden/52784">10 Steps for Creating the Easiest Outdoor Herb Garden</a> &mdash; There's no need to start from scratch. Buy already-grown plants so you can see what you're cultivating and know if it's a project you want to keep up with. [She Budgets]</p> <p><strong>In case you missed it:</strong> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-supposedly-healthy-things-that-are-actually-hurting-you">10 Supposedly Healthy Things That Are Actually Hurting You</a> &mdash; Be careful of the vitamin levels in your system; overdosing on vitamin supplements can wreak havoc on your body. [Wise Bread]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://acultivatednest.com/2015/01/5-apps-to-organize-receipts-free/">5 Great Free Apps For Organizing Your Receipts</a> &mdash; Take a picture of your receipt with your smartphone, send it to your email account, and an app like OneReceipt or Itemize will automatically extract the data and itemize it for you. [A Cultivated Nest]</p> <p><a href="http://moneysoldiers.com/2015/01/15/top-5-resume-mistakes-avoid-interviewing-job">Top 5 Resume Mistakes to Avoid when Interviewing for a Job</a> &mdash; If you say that you know a foreign language, be sure to also include your level of fluency. [Money Soldiers]</p> <p><a href="http://moneypantry.com/make-money-with-pinterest/">How to Make Money with Pinterest</a> &mdash; Services like ShopSense will pay you for driving traffic to certain retailers. [Money Pantry]</p> <p><a href="http://www.onesmartdollar.com/4-ways-to-use-the-cloud-to-save-money/">4 Ways to Use the Cloud to Save Money</a> &mdash; Make your important documents easily accessible, wherever you are, by storing them onto a secure cloud service. [One Smart Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/goals-versus-dreams/">Goals Versus Dreams</a> &mdash; Goals and dreams are not the same thing, but you can set goals (which include a certain level of practicability) to achieve your dreams. [Listen Money Matters]</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-how-to-become-a-better-listener">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/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">Feeling Stuck? 100 Ways to Change Your Life</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/15-ways-to-suck-up-at-work-that-wont-make-you-feel-slimy">15 Ways to Suck Up at Work That Won&#039;t Make You Feel Slimy</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/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress">20 Free (or Really Cheap) Ways to Relieve Stress</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-steps-to-improving-your-critical-thinking">7 Steps to Improving Your Critical Thinking</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-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development best money tips listener Wed, 21 Jan 2015 20:00:10 +0000 Amy Lu 1282591 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Office Politics Goofs That Can Set Your Career Back Years http://www.wisebread.com/9-office-politics-goofs-that-can-set-your-career-back-years <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-office-politics-goofs-that-can-set-your-career-back-years" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/office-workers-gossip-Dollarphotoclub_33169667.jpg" alt="office workers gossip" title="office workers gossip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Shows like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Office-Complete-Collection-Special/dp/B0002W4P98">The Office</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/30-Rock-Complete-Series-Seasons/dp/B00HDX0JRG">30 Rock</a>, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Parks-and-Recreation-Season-6/dp/B00EY89MWG">Parks and Recreation</a> cast a very humorous light on office politics. But the reality is that office politics are a very real threat to your job. If you engage in them, you are playing a game (and I use that word with its darkest interpretation) that has winners and losers. And sadly, the losers are usually the ones who are naïve, honest, or easily manipulated. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-new-ways-to-hack-your-boss-without-a-machete?ref=seealso">5 Ways to Make Your Boss Love You</a>)</p> <p>You don't have to be on the losing side though. Avoid the following nine office politics faux pas, and gain some more control over your working destiny.</p> <h2>1. Engaging in Gossip</h2> <p>This crosses every level, from the new employee in the lowest department to the bigwings in the executive suite. It's something both men and women do equally. And if you fall into the gossip trap, you may find yourself on the receiving end of some nasty blowback. Gossip is never good. Whether it's about the company, the people, or situations, it can only lead to trouble. No one knows for sure that what they are saying about someone else is 100% accurate. And any sentence that starts with &quot;you know what I heard&hellip;&quot; is speculation at best. If you get sucked into a conversation about someone, or something very gossipy, make your excuses and walk away. You do not want to be associated with this, and it can destroy reputations and office morale.</p> <h2>2. Doing Only What Is in Your Job Description</h2> <p>If you become a person obsessed with the fine print of your contract, and the rules of the office, you will not show yourself in the best light. Okay, so maybe you were not hired to help with certain tasks. But if someone is asking for your help because they think you can be useful, and you have the time, then go ahead and help out. Going above and beyond will often lead to a promotion and a raise. Playing everything by the book will make you seem like a troublemaker, and you could find yourself of the losing end of the game you're playing.</p> <h2>3. Using Sex to Get Promoted</h2> <p>If at all possible, you want to avoid office romances. Of course, that's easier said than done, especially as you spend over 40 hours a week in the company of your coworkers. Some people, however, will use sex and sexual advances as a way to propel their careers. This is a huge faux pas. Male or female, if you are using sex as a way to get ahead in the company, it will only end in tears. Your career should be based on achievements and recognition, not the shortcuts that come from office trysts. Don't fall into this trap.</p> <h2>4. Making Inappropriate Comments on Social Media</h2> <p>In the past you could share your workplace frustrations with trusted friends and family. These days, you have to be really careful. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are places where your coworkers, and upper management, all hang out, too. If you air your grievances on Facebook, or show yourself getting drunk and rambunctious at a party, it could come back to haunt you. If you decide to engage in a popularity contest on Twitter, this could also hurt you. Consider using Facebook settings that show who can see your posts (only close friends and family for instance), but even then, they could easily share a post and get you into hot water. If in doubt, don't send it out.</p> <h2>5. Burning a Bridge</h2> <p>You just cannot afford to throw caution to the wind and burn a bridge. This comes from personal experience, and from the stories of many friends and coworkers. Sure, you are working with someone who is a complete pain. They seem to go out of their way to make your life miserable. They impede your career at every turn. But do not react. Never let the anger bottle up inside you until it explodes and puts you in a bad light. Simply smile, walk away, and find a way to vent your frustrations outside of the office. A good workout can do wonders.</p> <h2>6. Being a Quiet Loner</h2> <p>It may seem like a straightforward way to avoid the office politics, but this is actually a way to become part of the very political silliness you hate. By being the quiet loner, and avoiding contact with people as much as possible, you become a target for office gossip. You can also be seen as unlikeable, unfriendly, and aloof. When the time comes to make layoffs (and it always happens &mdash; no job is for life any more) it's easy to target someone who keeps to themselves. By all means stay out of the gossipy conversations and the BS, but be friendly, engage in a little harmless chit-chat in the break room, and be known as someone likeable.</p> <h2>7. Acting Like the Boss</h2> <p>Showing leadership skills is great; taking complete control and undermining the boss is a recipe for disaster. If you are looking for a promotion, you cannot just jump into the role you want. By all means ask for additional responsibilities. If colleagues need help, dive in. But if you act like you're the boss, you will antagonize both your fellow employees, and the person who should be doing what you have decided to do. This will always end badly for you.</p> <h2>8. Deliberately Sabotaging Projects</h2> <p>It seems like an easy way to get one over on a colleague who is making your life hell. Or even worse, to get credit for something whilst dropping someone else in it. This will always backfire. At the end of the day, you are all working toward the same goal. By sabotaging a project, you are being disloyal to the company that pays your salary and benefits. Just do the very best you can, every time, and let the chips fall where they may.</p> <h2>9. Constantly Complaining to Management</h2> <p>Legitimate gripes are one thing; a constant stream of complaints and bad reports about people (or one particular person) is not going to do you any favors at all. You need to learn which battles are worth fighting and which should be left well alone. If one person decides to focus on you in a negative way, you cannot fight back with complaint after complaint. They will be gaming the system, probably well enough to keep the upper echelons happy, and you will definitely look like the squeaky wheel. Only use official complaints for serious allegations, and let the system handle the rest. If this person really is being mean to you, they will eventually be mean to the wrong person.</p> <p><em>Have you ever committed an embarrassing faux pas at work? How did you recover?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-office-politics-goofs-that-can-set-your-career-back-years">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/12-ways-youre-driving-your-coworkers-insane">12 Ways You&#039;re Driving Your Coworkers Insane</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-create-a-financial-5-year-plan">How to Create a Financial 5 Year Plan</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-psychology-of-salaries-do-you-want-to-know-how-much-your-coworkers-make">The Psychology of Salaries: Do You Want to Know How Much Your Coworkers 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/10-lies-that-even-honest-people-tell">10 Lies That Even Honest People Tell</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/you-are-what-you-do-16-ways-to-improve-your-body-language">You Are What You Do: 16 Ways to Improve Your Body Language</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Personal Development coworkers etiquette office politics work life Fri, 16 Jan 2015 16:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 1280352 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Types of Friends Who Are Costing You Money http://www.wisebread.com/10-types-of-friends-who-are-costing-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-types-of-friends-who-are-costing-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girls-friends-shopping-Dollarphotoclub_68908168.jpg" alt="girls friends shopping" title="girls friends shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Our friends are some of the most important people in our lives. But have you ever considered the impact they have on your finances?</p> <p>Some friends can suck money from your wallet, even if they don't intend to. And because they're your friends, you may not even notice. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-types-of-neighbors-that-are-costing-you-money?ref=seealso">10 Types of Neighbors Who Are Costing You Money</a>)</p> <p>Consider whether yours fall into any of these categories of friends that cost you money.</p> <h2>1. The Leech</h2> <p>He's more than just cheap. He's a moocher. He's always asking to borrow money. He raids your fridge, and if you go out to eat, he always insists on paying just half the check &mdash; even if he ordered more. He wants you to spot him his share of the monthly rent and promises to pay you back &mdash; but you know he won't. He'll even &quot;borrow&quot; books and DVDs that you'll never see again. You need to draw a hard line on what you'll do for this friend. Otherwise, you'll both end up suffering financially.</p> <h2>2. The Big Spender</h2> <p>If you go to a baseball game together, they insist on getting tickets behind home plate instead of in the bleachers. When you suggest a weekend of camping, they push for a week of skiing in Aspen. Perhaps this friend is wealthy and has a good chunk of disposable income. Or, perhaps they just love to spend and hate to save. Either way, keeping up with their lifestyle is making you go broke. You like this friend because you enjoy his or her company, but you must politely find a way to spend time with them on more frugal terms.</p> <h2>3. The Bad Association</h2> <p>He's always getting in trouble, and you're often dragged in his wake. He's the guy who shows up with weed at parties, or gets into fights at clubs. You can try your best to be on the straight and narrow, but just being around him can put you at risk for legal trouble. And even if your criminal record stays clean, your social media profile might not. Think you're due for a raise at work? You better hope the boss doesn't see the drunken Instagram pic your friend tagged you in.</p> <h2>4. The Awful Entrepreneur</h2> <p>She always has a new idea for something that will change the world, and all she needs is some money to get it off the ground. Maybe it's a new mobile app to help you brush your teeth, or a new restaurant specializing in gourmet scrambled eggs. You admire her entrepreneurial spirit, but the truth is that she has neither the business sense nor the dedication to get rich from any of these schemes. It may be tempting to lend money to friends for their business ventures, but don't let your friendship skew your assessment of whether the investment makes good financial sense.</p> <h2>5. The Philanthropist</h2> <p>This month, he's running in a marathon to raise money for cancer research. Next month, he's seeking donations for a local homeless shelter. He's a generous soul &mdash; and that's great! But it's important that you don't feel pressured to donate every time he comes around. You must find a way to gently tell your friend that you can't pony up cash every time he's supporting something. Keep in mind that it's possible to support his cause without giving money. For instance, consider volunteering your time to the charity in question, instead.</p> <h2>6. The Celebrator</h2> <p>I had an old friend from college who would plan parties and outings for the most innocuous of reasons. While most of us grew older and let our birthdays pass with little fanfare, he was still planning annual trips to Las Vegas well into his 30s. His over-celebrating was often excessive, but the truth is that this is something many of us fall prey to. We celebrate the new job, the promotion, the graduation from pre-school. We reward ourselves with a dinner out just because &quot;we've had a tough week.&quot; Resist the urge to celebrate every single life event, and politely beg out of those outings to which you've been invited.</p> <h2>7. The Extravagant Gift Giver</h2> <p>It's Christmas Day and you bought gifts for all of the people on your list. But then a friend arrives with expensive items for you and your entire family. Now you're on the hook to reciprocate, even if you feel like you're not close enough with this person to be exchanging gifts every year. This is a tricky situation, as it hardly seems civil to complain about a friend's generosity. But there are polite ways to nudge the person away from giving gifts. If they still insist on giving, reciprocate by inviting them to dinner or finding a tasteful but inexpensive item.</p> <h2>8. The Spending Enabler</h2> <p>So you're on the fence about whether to buy the 45-inch flat screen TV or the 70-inch monster. On one shoulder is the little Frugal Angel, telling you to buy the smaller one, or even pass on buying altogether. One the other is your friend, telling you how much you deserve the behemoth. She may mean well, but she's always pushing you to spend more. &quot;Go for it,&quot; she'll say. &quot;You work hard. Don't be afraid to spoil yourself.&quot; Never listen to the Enabling Devil.</p> <h2>9. The Early Adopter</h2> <p>This is the guy who stands in line at the Apple Store every time a new phone is released. He's the first to get every new gadget or technology out there. Hanging out with this friend can make you feel pressured to keep up. But keep in mind that Early Adopters rarely get the best deals. Don't let your friend's love of the shiny new thing influence your own buying decisions.</p> <h2>10. The Gambler</h2> <p>With this friend, a casual game of poker always seems to turn into a scene from <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/6305268789/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=6305268789&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=WAXMZ27ZVOTHQLAT">Rounders</a>. His &quot;friendly&quot; fantasy football league just offers another chance for big chunks of money to change hands. He's always betting on something, and all too often you find yourself opening up your wallet to join the fun. Resist the urge to bet big bucks on things every time you hang out with this friend. You'll be better off financially (and your blood pressure may improve as well.)</p> <p><em>Do you have any &quot;friends&quot; like these? How do you deal with friends that are costing you money?</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-types-of-friends-who-are-costing-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-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/10-money-saving-new-years-goals-that-you-can-actually-keep">10 Money-Saving New Year&#039;s Goals That You Can Actually Keep</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/when-should-you-say-no-to-those-who-want-to-borrow-money-from-you">When Should You Say No to Those Who Want to Borrow Money from You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-dodge-peer-pressure-to-spend">5 Ways to Dodge Peer Pressure to Spend</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-nice-ways-to-tell-your-spendy-friends-youre-staying-on-budget">7 Nice Ways to Tell Your Spendy Friends You&#039;re Staying on 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/financial-tricks-to-master-for-a-happier-life">Financial Tricks to Master for a Happier Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle Personal Development borrowing friends gambling saving spending Wed, 14 Jan 2015 18:00:09 +0000 Tim Lemke 1278625 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Everyday Words That Are Making You Look Stupid http://www.wisebread.com/5-everyday-words-that-are-making-you-look-stupid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-everyday-words-that-are-making-you-look-stupid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/two-women-conversation-Dollarphotoclub_60196098_0.jpg" alt="two women conversation" title="two women conversation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We use so many words to get us through basic conversation, and we often think very little about how they make us look (like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-stupidest-things-smart-people-say">these 10 words</a> corrupting the smartest of us). Let's make correcting our speech an easy New Year's resolution! Let's start with five everyday words that are making you look stupid.</p> <h2>1. &quot;Seriously&quot;</h2> <p>Let's cut to the chase here. If you're really serious about something, just use earnest language. Starting a thought with &quot;seriously&quot; will totally undercut your meaning. In other words, using &quot;seriously&quot; now signals the opposite &mdash; that you are not serious about yourself or what you say.</p> <h2>2. &quot;Unique&quot; or &quot;Creative&quot;</h2> <p>Your parents are most likely to fall into this trap, so don't do this to yourself! People tend to say something is &quot;really unique&quot; or &quot;very creative&quot; when they don't understand what they're looking at but want to sound nice. These are phrases that somehow manage to make you look both ignorant and condescending, without providing any useful feedback. The worst part is that all of this is wholly obvious to the recipient.</p> <h2>3. &quot;Actually&quot;</h2> <p><a href="http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mansplainer">Mansplainers</a>, please find a new word. &quot;Actually&quot; is a great way to tell someone that you think what you are saying is a fact, when it's usually an opinion, speculation, or interpretation of someone else's findings. If you want to correct someone, try talking to them like a person, not like an armchair professor without the credentials. &quot;Actually&quot; is not only a crutch, but a signal to others to stop listening.</p> <h2>4. &quot;Awesome&quot;</h2> <p>It's time to cut all those excessive superlatives from our vocabularies. Describing things, people, and places as &quot;awesome&quot; or &quot;totally rad&quot; or &quot;way cool&quot; all the time betrays a lack of adjectives in your arsenal. With too much use, you could also appear immature and lacking in perspective. If everything is awesome or it sucks, are you capable of observing nuance in the world? Your friends certainly won't think so.</p> <h2>5. &quot;Random&quot;</h2> <p>Our everyday lives are mostly a sequence of cause and effect, right? Calling something or someone &quot;random&quot; on its face is a meaningless comment. Is what you witnessed absurd, surreal, or otherwise strange? Attempt to describe it without calling it &quot;random,&quot; which makes you sound like a teenager. There's nothing worse than discussing a topic with someone who displays zero points of reference or bases for comparison.</p> <p><em>Any other words to add to this list? 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/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-everyday-words-that-are-making-you-look-stupid">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/you-are-what-you-do-16-ways-to-improve-your-body-language">You Are What You Do: 16 Ways to Improve Your Body Language</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/31-productive-things-to-do-in-january-to-start-the-new-year-off-right">31 Productive Things to Do in January to Start the New Year Off Right</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-bite-sized-money-resolutions-to-make-2015-your-biggest-year-yet">25 Bite-Sized Money Resolutions to Make 2015 Your Biggest Year Yet</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-rude-things-even-polite-people-do">10 Rude Things Even Polite People Do</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-money-saving-new-years-goals-that-you-can-actually-keep">10 Money-Saving New Year&#039;s Goals That You Can Actually Keep</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development appearance communication resolutions social skills vocabulary Tue, 13 Jan 2015 12:00:07 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1278205 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 More Things People Who Make a Lot of Money Do http://www.wisebread.com/12-more-things-people-who-make-a-lot-of-money-do <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-more-things-people-who-make-a-lot-of-money-do" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/rich-man-car-Dollarphotoclub_67298319.jpg" alt="rich man car" title="rich man car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The rich have been studied extensively &mdash; how they spend their money, how they spend their time. The findings have been published in books like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Millionaire-Next-Door-Thomas-Stanley/dp/0671015206">The Millionaire Next Door</a> by Thomas Stanley, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1934938939/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1934938939&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=IAYRMBFMFHNZ5NEI">Rich Habits</a> by Tom Corley. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/people-who-make-a-lot-of-money-do-these-11-things-do-you?ref=seealso">People Who Make a Lot of Money Do These 11 Things &mdash; Do You?</a>)</p> <p>And now, by Wise Bread! So read on, because you want to make a lot of money, and people who make a lot of money do these 12 things.</p> <h2>1. Skip TV (Especially Reality TV)</h2> <p>Corley found that 67% of wealthy people watch one hour or less of TV every day versus 23% of poor, who watch more. Further, only 6% of the wealthy watch reality TV.</p> <h2>2. Meditate</h2> <p><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/05/business-meditation-executives-meditate_n_3528731.htm">A Huffington Post article</a> highlighted 10 wealthy people (including Oprah, Larry Brilliant, and Bill Ford) who all meditate daily to help them focus.</p> <h2>3. Exercise Regularly</h2> <p>Many studies tout the benefits of exercise to improve not only physical health, but also mental health. This is probably why 76% of the wealthy Corley studied exercise aerobically four days a week.</p> <h2>4. Invest Their Money</h2> <p>The Millionaire Next Door found that millionaires, on average, invest nearly 20% of their household income each year; with the majority investing at least 15%. And 79% of millionaires have at least one account with a brokerage company.</p> <h2>5. Keep Their Mouths Shut</h2> <p>People who make a lot of money don't gossip or say whatever pops into their head at that moment. Corley found that only 6% of wealthy say what's on their mind.</p> <h2>6. Wake Up Early</h2> <p>Are you best friends with your snooze button? If you want to act like a rich person, better start waking up early. Laura Vanderkam, author of <a href="http://lauravanderkam.com/books/successful-people-do/">What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast</a> wrote in an article for Success.com that of 20 premier executives, 18 regularly woke up before 6 a.m.</p> <h2>7. Eat Healthy</h2> <p>People who make a lot of money don't just eat &quot;well&quot; in terms of high end restaurants, they also eat healthy food. Rich people, on average, eat less than 300 junk food calories per day, according to Corley.</p> <h2>8. Read (for Work or Pleasure)</h2> <p>Whether it's for work or pleasure, people who make a lot of money read, read, read.</p> <p>Rich Habits highlights that 88% of wealthy read for 30 minutes or more each day for education/career and most of them (86%) state that they love to read.</p> <h2>9. Have a Nightly Ritual</h2> <p>Having a nightly ritual helps people who make a lot of money collect their thoughts, wind down, and prepare for the next day.&nbsp;</p> <h2>10. Start Their Own Businesses</h2> <p>The Millionaire Next Door found that most millionaires are entrepreneurs who start their own businesses. It doesn't have to be a start-up technology company. Even owners of waste-removal services do quite well financially.</p> <h2>11. Keep a Running List of Tasks</h2> <p>If you make a lot of money you need to keep track of what you have to do. In fact, Corley found that 81% of the wealthy maintain a to-do list and actually manage to accomplish about 70% of their tasks each day.</p> <h2>12. Network</h2> <p>You don't make money in isolation, it takes getting out there and meeting other people. And 79% of wealthy network five hours or more each month according to Rich Habits.</p> <p>If people who make a lot of money do these things, do they do them because they make a lot of money? Or do they make a lot of money because they do them? It's a bit of a chicken and egg problem. But, many of the above require diligence, self-control, persistence, and hard work. So, chances are, if you have or develop these traits and do the same things people who make a lot of money do, you too will earn more.</p> <p><em>How many of these habits do you follow?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-more-things-people-who-make-a-lot-of-money-do">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/25-bite-sized-money-resolutions-to-make-2015-your-biggest-year-yet">25 Bite-Sized Money Resolutions to Make 2015 Your Biggest Year Yet</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-dumb-little-things-you-need-to-stop-saying-today">9 Dumb Little Things You Need to Stop Saying 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/20-habits-you-must-start-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Start Right Now and Be a Better Person</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/habits-arent-boring-theyre-the-secret-to-happiness-heres-why">Habits Aren&#039;t Boring — They&#039;re the Secret to Happiness. Here&#039;s Why.</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-break-bad-habits">How to Break Bad Habits</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development habits high earners money habits Fri, 02 Jan 2015 12:00:08 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 1274865 at http://www.wisebread.com 31 Productive Things to Do in January to Start the New Year Off Right http://www.wisebread.com/31-productive-things-to-do-in-january-to-start-the-new-year-off-right <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/31-productive-things-to-do-in-january-to-start-the-new-year-off-right" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-morning-coffee-Dollarphotoclub_73432160.jpg" alt="woman coffee morning" title="woman coffee morning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've got two ways you can play January. One is to sit around on your butt and lament the winter weather; the other is to suck it up, stay active, and get yourself in gear for the rest of the year. You don't need much to accomplish the former, but here are 31 ideas to help you get started on the latter. Your fresh start won't know what hit it. (See also: 2<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fight-the-post-holiday-blues-20-cheap-ways-to-make-january-special?ref=seealso">0 Cheap Ways to Make January Special</a>)</p> <h2>1. Enjoy the Day Off</h2> <p>It's the first day of the year, and you probably need some downtime after last night's celebration. Feel free to take it. Relax, watch TV, order a pizza. Savor this lazy (but productive in the sense that it's helping you recuperate) day, because you've got 30 days of productivity ahead of you.</p> <h2>2. Hit the Tail-End of the After-Holiday Sales</h2> <p>One of my favorite post-holiday activities is to hit up the after-celebration sales to stock up on decorations and other useful items (think scissors, tape, wrapping papers, bags, and more) that by this date will probably be anywhere from 75% to 90% off the regular price. Pickings will be slim, but you're saving 25% to 40% more than you would have if you went the first few days after Christmas. When you're shopping, remember to think outside the holidays, too. Some of the discounted items are useful year round. Keep that in mind when you're in retail renegade mode.</p> <h2>3. Write Thank-You Notes for Holiday Gifts</h2> <p>Personally, I think a verbal thank-you suffices when you exchange gifts in person, but if you've received a gift in the mail this season, take a few minutes to write a quick note of thanks via postcard or email. The former is a more thoughtful gesture, of course, but I'm never offended by an email thanks. Something is better than nothing, and I'd rather the sender save paper and his or her stamp.</p> <h2>4. Edit Your Social Media Profiles</h2> <p>I recently did a purge of all the photos on my Facebook page that I didn't like, untagged myself from photos I didn't like on other people's pages, and I whittled down my friends list a bit by removing a few folks that I've never heard of before in my life.</p> <h2>5. Take Down Your Holiday Decorations</h2> <p>Did you know that January 5 is widely considered to be the day when holiday decorations should come down? It's all based on the 12 days of Christmas (it's not just a song, y'all), which is<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Days_of_Christmas"> steeped in a long history of religious tradition</a>.</p> <h2>6. Organize the Basement/Attic/Garage</h2> <p>While you're moving your holiday boxes back into their respective storage places until next year, take the time to organize the rest of the space. Pace yourself though. If you have all three of these areas &mdash; basement, attic, garage &mdash; there's no harm in spreading the work out over a few days to a week.</p> <h2>7. Clean Out Your Closet</h2> <p>You probably received more than a few new pieces of clothing over the holidays (either as gifts from someone you love, or as presents to yourself; I'm very guilty of the latter), so to ensure that your closet doesn't start spilling out from the seams, take stock of what you like and wear, and then collect all the unwanted items to sell. I unload a lot of my old clothing at my twice-yearly yard sales, but donating the clothes to the needy is another option.</p> <h2>8. Raid Your Pantry for Expired Food</h2> <p>Non-perishables perish, believe it or not, and I'm willing to bet that there are items in your pantry that are no longer safe (or delicious enough) to eat. Take an hour or so to empty it, examine the labels, and toss out whatever has expired. Also take a good look at what's close to its expiration date so you can make a conscious effort to use it to avoid wasting any more money.</p> <h2>9. Defrost and Clean Freezer and Fridge</h2> <p>This is one of my least favorite chores, but there's something about a clean fridge and freezer that satisfies me inside. This also is a great opportunity to toss out any expired foods and/or anything you know you're probably not going to eat.</p> <h2>10. Tidy Up Your Medicine Cabinet</h2> <p>Just like food, medications have expiration dates. Go through your medicine cabinet and remove all expired items, toss out anything that only exists to take up space, re-organize what's left so it's easily accessed.</p> <h2>11. Give the House a Deep Clean</h2> <p>Now that you've tackled some of the more time-consuming small areas of your home that require specialized attention, it's time to do the dreaded deep clean. This often means getting down on your hands and knees to scrubs toilets, and floors and baseboards, and on ladders to clean ceiling fans and blinds &mdash; but you can do it. Besides, it's freezing outside; would you rather be cleaning the gutters?</p> <h2>12. Rearrange Your Furniture</h2> <p>Besides giving your living space a fresh feel, there are<a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-creativity-cure/201404/rearranging-the-furniture-makes-me-feel-better-2"> bonafide psychological benefits to rearranging your furniture</a>. Move a chair here; put a lamp there. You might be surprised at how much this simple fix can improve your mood &mdash; which might be a much-needed pick-me-up this time of year.</p> <h2>13. Check In With Your Boss/Work Team</h2> <p>With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, you may not have had an ideal opportunity to get down to actual business with your boss and co-workers. The beginning of the year is perfect for reconvening after a period of relaxation to talk about where everybody's at work-wise and plan ahead.</p> <h2>14. Update Your Pets' Health info</h2> <p>Check in on your pet's health status by revisiting your files to make sure all vaccines and tags are up-to-date. If your pet hasn't been to the vet in a while, schedule a routine check-up.</p> <h2>15. Schedule a Physical</h2> <p>After your furbabies receive a clean bill of health, it's time to get yours. Make an appointment with your doctor to make sure everything is in working order. Use this time to discuss with him or her any issues you've been having and any prescriptions you need refilled.</p> <h2>16. Tune-up Your Vehicle</h2> <p>Hopefully your car is already winterized &mdash; you don't want to cause damage to your vehicle by facilitating avoidable issues that can arise from neglecting it &mdash; but you still need to get an oil change from time to time (check your owner's manual!). It's probably that time again.</p> <h2>17. Update Your DVR</h2> <p>At the beginning of the fall TV season, I create season passes for all the new shows I want to watch. By now, however, I've either lost interest in a few of them or they've been canceled. I know I'm not alone. Take 10 minutes to delete unwanted shows from your queue and cancel the season passes in which you're no longer interested.</p> <h2>18. Plan a Date With Your Partner</h2> <p>You don't want to get so wrapped up in being productive this month that you forget about your significant other. Plan a date for you two to spend several quality hours together enjoying each other's company and catching up with one another's lives.</p> <h2>19. Create a List of Goals for the Year</h2> <p>Having the intentions to work toward positive goals and actually planning for them are two completely different things. Exchange more talk for more doing this year by creating a list of goals that you'd like to achieve along with an outline of your plan to achieve them.</p> <h2>20. Learn Something New</h2> <p>You can learn the darndest things with the flick of a finger these days. Skip the cute cat videos on YouTube and search for something useful that'll leave you with a new skill after watching it.</p> <h2>21. Make a Two-Week Meal Calendar With Recipes</h2> <p>I've talked about this tip in several posts, and I keep bringing it up because it's truly changed the way I eat. Instead of blindly going grocery shopping, buying food, and then deciding what I'll make with it after I get home, I've reversed the process. Now I plan ahead of time what I'll make for dinner by adding two weeks' worth of recipes to a calendar and create a shopping list of ingredients based on those recipes (and nothing more!), so I can eat healthy meals on a regular basis. Having this structure in place has cut down on the amount of food waste in my house as well as the number of pizzas ordered because I can't decide what to make for dinner. I've also dropped 15 pounds (exercise helped, too), which I hope will give you more incentive to give this a try.</p> <h2>22. Clip Coupons for Your Next Shopping Trip</h2> <p>Before you head to the supermarket with your very healthy shopping list, clip those coupons. I round up coupons from circulars, past shopping trips, online resources, and apps to ensure that I'm maximizing my food savings as much as I can.</p> <h2>23. List for Sale Your Unwanted Items of Value</h2> <p>If you're feeling the pinch in January (because who isn't?), a great way to make some extra cash is to go through your home (while you're cleaning if you want to kill two birds with one stone) and round up all those odds and ends that you no longer need or want. If any of these items have value (electronics, accessories, appliances, etc.), decide how you'll sell them. Craigslist is a great place for larger items, while Amazon and eBay are ideal for smaller, lightweight pieces.</p> <h2>24. Deliver Remaining Unwanted Items to Donation Center</h2> <p>After you've determined what you can sell, send all the other unwanted clutter to the donation center so that it can live a second life as someone else's.</p> <h2>25. Scan Old Photos into the Computer</h2> <p>Unless you were born after 2007, you likely have albums and boxes and drawers full of actual paper pictures &mdash; and you're probably wondering what the heck you're going to do with them. One option is to scan the photos onto the computer so you can keep them in a file or in the cloud for forever safekeeping. You can do this daunting task manually (it's the cheapest way), or you can send your photos away to a company (of which there are plenty) that will do this for you.</p> <h2>26. Consolidate and Clean Up Computer Files</h2> <p>Adding so many large photo files to your computer is going to eat up a lot of space, so you've got to make up for that somehow. Take this opportunity to delete unwanted files, consolidate stragglers, and otherwise organize your computer in a more concise, easy-to-access manner.</p> <h2>27. De-Clutter Your Office/Desk</h2> <p>Clean your desk the same way you cleaned your computer &mdash; decide, discard, dust. Seriously, you don't need all that nonsense that you keep year in and year out.</p> <h2>28. Set Up a Dentist Appointment</h2> <p>You only get one set of teeth. Take care of them.</p> <h2>29. Establish a Fitness Plan</h2> <p>Six months ago I decided to get my health in check after years of a leading a sedentary lifestyle that severely damaged my self-confidence. I established a goal weight, created an exercise plan to help achieve it, and completely revamped my diet. It wasn't easy, and it wasn't very delicious &mdash; at first. Now that it's part of my normal routine, I've learned how to live healthy and love it. I feel and look better than I have in many years (since high school actually), and if I can do it, then so can you.</p> <h2>30. Reevaluate Your Debt and Establish a Plan of Action</h2> <p>Unless you're going into the New Year completely debt free, now is the time to take a good, long look at your finances and make a solid plan to improve your situation. One of my friends recently told me that she always makes this a part of her New Year's to-dos.</p> <p>&quot;We look at what we saved last year, areas we need to improve on, any debts we need to knock out this year, and big expenses we might need to plan for also,&quot; she says. &quot;By no means is this the only time we talk about finances, but it prepares us mentally for what we want to accomplish.&quot;</p> <h2>31. Prepare Your Tax Materials</h2> <p>Nobody wants to do this. Ever. But I've found that by getting this out of the way sooner rather than later, I stress a whole lot less in a shorter amount of time. In fact, if you wrap it all up by mid-February, you could have your refund (if you get one; my fingers are crossed for you) before the federal tax-filing deadline even arrives. Spring vacation, anyone?</p> <p><em>Do you have other ways to stay productive in the first month of the year so that they rest of it can run smoothly? Let us 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/31-productive-things-to-do-in-january-to-start-the-new-year-off-right">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/10-money-saving-new-years-goals-that-you-can-actually-keep">10 Money-Saving New Year&#039;s Goals That You Can Actually Keep</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/successful-new-years-resolutions-have-this-one-thing-in-common-does-yours">Successful New Year&#039;s Resolutions Have This One Thing in Common — Does Yours?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-resolutions-you-should-skip-this-year">4 Money Resolutions You Should Skip This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-bite-sized-money-resolutions-to-make-2015-your-biggest-year-yet">25 Bite-Sized Money Resolutions to Make 2015 Your Biggest Year Yet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-things-you-can-do-on-your-lunch-break-to-change-your-life">11 Things You Can Do on Your Lunch Break to Change Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development goals january New Year resolutions to-do Thu, 01 Jan 2015 12:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1275494 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Bite-Sized Money Resolutions to Make 2015 Your Biggest Year Yet http://www.wisebread.com/25-bite-sized-money-resolutions-to-make-2015-your-biggest-year-yet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-bite-sized-money-resolutions-to-make-2015-your-biggest-year-yet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dollar-bills-2015-Dollarphotoclub_67129525.jpg" alt="dollar bills 2015" title="dollar bills 2015" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's <em>that</em> time of year &mdash; when everyone's telling you that your New Year's resolutions can help you lose 50 pounds by beach season, revolutionize your career, and save enough to buy a Mercedes with cash by December. But despite our best intentions, almost none of us is going to become a brand-new person the moment 2015 dawns.</p> <p>However, we will have a little fresh start momentum on our side, so why not pick a handful of bite-sized financial resolutions from this party mix? If you pull them off by the end of January, you can always come back for seconds.</p> <h2>1. Don't Pay Any Late Fees</h2> <p>If you are prone to paying bills late, set up auto payments on all accounts, for at least the minimum payment due.</p> <h2>2. Read Your Credit Card Bill Every Month</h2> <p>You may be surprised at how many things you find &mdash; recurring billing for services you no longer use, missed refunds, overcharges, or, if you're unlucky, outright credit card fraud. At the very least, it's an opportunity to think about your spending for the past month and adjust your plans for future spending.</p> <h2>3. Start an Emergency Fund</h2> <p>If you don't have an emergency fund, now is the time to start one. Set up a new savings account and auto transfer a regular amount from every paycheck. Even if it's only $10 a month, you'll be on your way to more peace of mind and a lower chance of running up credit card debt when emergencies happen.</p> <h2>4. Participate in Your Company's Retirement Plan</h2> <p>Especially if your company offers matching dollars, this is a one-time chore that will pay off for the rest of your life.</p> <h2>5. Negotiate With a Credit Card Company</h2> <p>When you see an annual fee hit your bill, or if you slip up and incur a late fee (or even if you just want a lower interest rate), pick up the phone and call your credit card customer service line. If you've held the card for a few years, and ask nicely, you may be surprised how easy it is to get your way.</p> <h2>6. Find a Credit Card With Better Perks</h2> <p>If you use credit responsibly, you might as well be getting something in exchange for all the fees you're earning for the company. Use a credit card comparison engine to find the best <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=inarticle">cash-back</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=inarticle">miles</a>, or other benefit offers for you.</p> <h2>7. Cut Back on One Spending Category</h2> <p>When you read that credit card bill, take notice of any categories where your spending is large, and ask yourself if you could cut back on it. Restaurant lunches are low-hanging fruit for many people.</p> <h2>8. Start Using Coupons</h2> <p>You don't have to go all extreme couponing to benefit. You can start by browsing the coupon <a href="http://www.hotcouponworld.com/forums/coupon.php">database at Hot Coupon World</a> to find coupons for the items you regularly buy.</p> <h2>9. Sign Up for a Budgeting Website</h2> <p>My financial planner recommended <a href="https://www.mint.com/">Mint.com</a>, which pulls in info from your bank accounts and credit cards, so you only need look at the dashboard to see where your money went.</p> <h2>10. Find One Service Provider With Better Rates</h2> <p>Maybe you can switch cable or Internet providers, or try a different lawn care service, or start bringing your cat to a vet that doesn't have a fancy waiting room. Whatever it is, if it's a service you use more than once a year, the savings will add up once you switch.</p> <h2>11. Check Your Bank Account for Fees</h2> <p>You might notice a big one like an overdraft fee, but you might also miss smaller fees that banks sneak in. Some accounts start tacking on monthly fees if your balance falls below a certain threshold or if you have too many transactions per month. Take five minutes to review the last several months' statements online to make sure you're not getting nickel and dimed &mdash; and if you are, call your bank to see if there's a way to avoid future fees.</p> <h2>12. Stop Using Out-Of-Network ATMs</h2> <p>It may only be $2 or $3 here and there, but when you think about it, paying $2 to access $50 is forfeiting 4% of your money! Try to plan ahead for your cash needs, but if you find yourself without cash and far from your own bank, hit up a grocery store or drugstore and make a small purchase with your debit card, and then ask for cash back.</p> <h2>13. Stop Doing One Thing That's Not Worth the Time</h2> <p>Whether it's painting your own house or an extra evening job at a low pay rate, do a little cost/benefit analysis and figure out how much time you've been spending on that activity. Then ask yourself how much you enjoy or hate it. You may realize that you could be doing something else with that time that would save or earn more &mdash; or that it's better to set aside that time for a more rewarding non-financial activity.</p> <h2>14. Schedule Budget Meetings With Your Partner for the Rest of the Year</h2> <p>Pick up that stiff new 2015 calendar, and before it gets crowded with other appointments, ink in monthly, bimonthly, or semi-annual &quot;money dates,&quot; where you sit down without distractions to review your bank account balance, bills, financial goals, and spending habits. Having a time set aside to discuss money issues can prevent a lot of fights. If it sounds too boring, schedule a real date right after the money appointment so you have something to look forward to once you get your ducks in a row.</p> <h2>15. Audit Your Electricity Use</h2> <p>For less than $20, you can pick up an <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00009MDBU/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00009MDBU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RU3V2OHCL3ZQPJTG">electricity monitor</a> to find out which of your appliances or devices is a power hog. Based on that info, you can change your habits or replace outdated appliances for extra savings.</p> <h2>16. Try Buying One Thing Second-Hand</h2> <p>If you have never considered Craigslist, garage sales, eBay, or thrift stores, give it a whirl this year. Great first second-hand purchases include: a Halloween costume, a pair of ice skates, a bread machine, or a bicycle. Why? All of these tend to be used once or infrequently before their owners don't want them any more.</p> <h2>17. Try a Price Comparison Engine</h2> <p>Next time you need to make a substantial purchase, research prices first on <a href="http://www.pricegrabber.com/">PriceGrabber</a>, <a href="http://www.pricewatch.com/">Pricewatch</a> or another resource before buying.</p> <h2>18. Sign Up for a Rebate Site</h2> <p><a href="http://www.ebates.com/">Ebates</a> or <a href="http://www.mrrebates.com/">Mr. Rebates</a> will not only get you cash back on online purchases, but they often provide coupon codes as well.</p> <h2>19. Cooperate With Friends Instead of Paying for Something</h2> <p>Whether it's trading child or pet care instead of paying a sitter, exchanging airport drop-offs to save cab fare, or borrowing and lending items that only get used occasionally, you can save a lot with a little help from your friends. You may have to offer first to get the ball rolling, but make it clear when you babysit or drive that you wouldn't mind getting the same favor in return.</p> <h2>20. Always Check the Daily Deal Sites Before You Go Out</h2> <p>Going to a museum, restaurant, or to the roller derby? Just a quick search of <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-10788528">Groupon</a> and <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-11429060">LivingSocial</a> might save you 50% of the cost.</p> <h2>21. Drive Less</h2> <p>Even with lower gas prices, you still have to pay for parking, tolls, and wear and tear on your vehicle every time you opt to drive somewhere. With ride-sharing services, public transit, and bike sharing programs, it pays to ask whether there is a cheaper way to get to your destination &mdash; and it will probably be friendlier to the planet as well.</p> <h2>22. Consider a Low-Cost Cell Phone Plan</h2> <p>If you want a high-end phone, a two-year contract at a high monthly rate is probably in the cards. But if you can live with a midrange smartphone &mdash; which by the way will use many of the same apps and texts and calls people just like an iPhone &mdash; consider paying cash up front and signing up for a low-cost provider such as Virgin Mobile, T-Mobile, or Boost.</p> <h2>23. Set Up Quarterly Tax Payments</h2> <p>If you owed last year, your future self will thank you if you set that up right now.</p> <h2>24. Give Mindfully</h2> <p>Don't just throw your charity money into the pot of whoever happens to be in front of the grocery store. Use <a href="http://www.guidestar.org/">GuideStar</a> or <a href="http://www.charitynavigator.org/">Charity Navigator</a> to evaluate potential charities.</p> <h2>25. Make an Appointment With a Financial Advisor</h2> <p>No matter how old you are, a check-up with an advisor can help you make decisions that could have a big impact on your entire life. Fee-only planners charge by the hour and do not receive commissions for any investments they recommend.</p> <p><em>Have you succeeded in implementing any small financial resolutions? Tell us about it in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-bite-sized-money-resolutions-to-make-2015-your-biggest-year-yet">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/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/successful-new-years-resolutions-have-this-one-thing-in-common-does-yours">Successful New Year&#039;s Resolutions Have This One Thing in Common — Does Yours?</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/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily">Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily</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/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</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/never-use-cash-for-these-11-things">Never Use Cash for These 11 Things</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Credit Cards Personal Development Shopping money habits new years resolutions small changes Tue, 30 Dec 2014 12:00:11 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1274765 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Money-Saving New Year's Goals That You Can Actually Keep http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-saving-new-years-goals-that-you-can-actually-keep <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-money-saving-new-years-goals-that-you-can-actually-keep" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-thinking-piggy-bank-Dollarphotoclub_41216910.jpg" alt="woman thinking piggy bank" title="woman thinking piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Can you believe it's almost 2015? I certainly can't, but I'm already mulling over my resolutions list for the coming year. After the parties end, the champagne is served, and the ball drops, some of us have some major catching up to do financially. So, here are 10 money-saving goals to ring in the new year.</p> <h2>1. Start Cooking</h2> <p>Getting a hot meal on the dinner table is difficult during the week, and often we used to resort to ordering pizza or eating out, spending way over our food budget each month. Taking a few extra minutes to pack lunch at night can save $10 or more per day. Set a goal this year to cook more with the food you have on hand. Meal planning is the key here, so get out your favorite recipes and cookbooks and write a plan for the week. You can shave dollars off your grocery bill by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-items-for-your-organic-vegan-grocery-list">learning which ingredients</a> give you more bang for your buck, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans?ref=seealso">How to Eat Well on Just $20 a Week</a>)</p> <h2>2. DIY Your Pantry</h2> <p>And if you're interested in learning to cook, consider extending the fun to your pantry. Making your own ingredients at home is both fun and frugal (<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-grocery-items-you-should-make-at-home-and-5-to-buy">here's how</a>). You can take your cooking and baking skills to another level and also eat healthier foods when you control their ingredients. And without all the packaging and store markups, you'll be taking more than a few pennies off the cost.</p> <h2>3. Take a &quot;No New Clothing&quot; Challenge</h2> <p>I challenged myself to stop buying new clothes for an entire year back in 2010. It was hard, but in the end I got used to working with what I already own. It helps to have a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-essential-pieces-for-your-capsule-wardrobe">minimalist wardrobe</a> to begin with, and the rest is self control and avoiding fashion trends. You will definitely save some major bucks if you can curb your regular spending &mdash; and you don't have to eschew purchases altogether. Consider reducing your yearly clothing expense by ⅓ to start.</p> <h2>4. Track Your (Actual) Spending</h2> <p>Most of us have a budget, at least in theory &mdash; but few of us know precisely where the money goes. Start the year off right by recalculating your monthly totals and tracking your spending. Not only does this exercise help you be more mindful with your money, but it also allows you to see where you can cut and save. While you're at it, make sure there aren't any stray bills hitting your account (old subscriptions, unused gym memberships, etc.), and you might see savings right away. Use tools like Mint to track your progress. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-mindless-ways-youre-spending-money?ref=seealso">10 Mindless Ways You're Spending Money</a>)</p> <h2>5. Organize Yourself</h2> <p>Getting my house (and my life) better organized is one of my personal goals for this year. And there are lots of areas of focus here. For example, by keeping better track of your mail, you'll have fewer unpaid bills and late fees. By cleaning your pantry and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-you-maximize-fridge-and-freezer-space">organizing your refrigerator</a>, you'll have less food spoilage and waste. Neatly folding and hanging clothes will allow you to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-washing-your-clothes-too-often-what-to-do-instead">wash them less often </a>and save money on both resources (electricity, water, etc.) and new clothing purchases. The list goes on.</p> <h2>6. Get Fit</h2> <p>Many gyms see a traffic surge of <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/01/this-is-why-you-dont-go-to-the-gym/251332/">up to 50%</a> in January, only to find a steep decline after those origination payments are made. Skip the pricey gym and workout at home. Jogging and walking are virtually free, so sign up for a 5K or join a neighborhood runner's club. And there are many other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-at-home-exercises-will-give-you-a-gym-quality-workout-for-free">types of body weight routines</a> you can do &mdash; for free &mdash; right in the comfort of your living room. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-online-workout-videos-for-free-or-cheap?ref=seealso">7 Online Workout Videos for Free or Cheap</a>)</p> <h2>7. Lean Out TV</h2> <p>Along with getting more active and exercising regularly, you can also cancel your cable subscription. In fact, the average cable bill could hit a staggering <a href="http://time.com/money/2987833/comcast-cancel-ryan-block-time-warner-att-directv-cable-bill-save/">$123 per month</a> this year. Without hundreds of channels at your disposal, you might feel more inclined to get off the couch and get moving. You'll have more time for other areas of your life, like cooking and organizing. If you just have to watch, consider alternatives like Hulu and Netflix, which allow you to be more intentional with your time and conservative with your dollars.</p> <h2>8. Clip Coupons</h2> <p>I'm sure you've heard stories of people walking into the store and leaving with several carts full of stuff for $0. While stories like these sound extreme, learning to clip coupons can mean <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/couponing-hobby-or-lifestyle">an entire lifestyle</a> of savings. And if you play your cards right, you can indeed see some impressive rewards. Try paying it forward by sharing your loot &mdash; here are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-places-to-donate-extra-goods-from-couponing">13 places to donate extra goods from couponing</a>.</p> <h2>9. Simplify Your Routine</h2> <p>Women spend an estimated <a href="http://www.today.com/health/stop-obsessing-women-waste-2-weeks-year-their-appearance-today-2D12104866">55 minutes each day</a> on their looks (that calculates to around two weeks per year!). And not only that, but think of all the money spent on manicures, pedicures, haircuts, colors, and other spa treatments that pile up monthly. Men aren't immune either. You can greatly simplify your routine and use fewer chemical-laden soaps and creams by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products">making some of your own</a> bath and body products.</p> <h2>10. Go Debt Free</h2> <p>If you're able, try <a href="http://www.johnnymoneyseed.com/debt-free/guide-becoming-really-really-ridiculously-debt-free/">going debt free</a> this year &mdash; you may not erase all your debt in 12 months, but you'll make important progress and transform your money mindset. Start by listing all your debts, interest rates, and any other pertinent information. Set payoff goals that are measurable and attainable. Sink funds into those balances starting with the highest APRs and work your way down. Trade in or sell your high ticket items to help pay off debt in larger chunks. And stick with it because &mdash; seriously &mdash; being debt free is totally, completely awesome. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-false-assumptions-about-debt-free-living?ref=seealso">6 False Assumptions About Debt-Free Living</a>)</p> <p><em>What money-savings goals do you have for 2015?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-saving-new-years-goals-that-you-can-actually-keep">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/10-types-of-friends-who-are-costing-you-money">10 Types of Friends Who Are Costing You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-resolutions-you-should-skip-this-year">4 Money Resolutions You Should Skip This Year</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/31-productive-things-to-do-in-january-to-start-the-new-year-off-right">31 Productive Things to Do in January to Start the New Year Off Right</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/73-easy-ways-to-save-money-today">73 Easy Ways to Save Money Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-to-save-50-every-month">9 Easy Ways to Save $50 Every Month</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Personal Development cost cutting goals resolutions saving spending Mon, 29 Dec 2014 14:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1272418 at http://www.wisebread.com Successful New Year's Resolutions Have This One Thing in Common — Does Yours? http://www.wisebread.com/successful-new-years-resolutions-have-this-one-thing-in-common-does-yours <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/successful-new-years-resolutions-have-this-one-thing-in-common-does-yours" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/new-years-resolutions-notes-Dollarphotoclub_73113952.jpg" alt="new years resolutions notes" title="new years resolutions notes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>About <a href="http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/">45% of Americans make New Year's Resolutions</a>, little wishes with wings sent out into the universe on high hopes that they'll come true. Yet only 8% of all resolutions are successful before the year's end, and more than half of them are forfeited within six weeks.</p> <p>It's a grim forecast, but don't be dissuaded. Research shows that we're more apt to achieve our goals and aspirations if we set out to do so on the first of the year. Chalk it up to the &quot;fresh start effect&quot; &mdash; <a href="http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2204126">that little boost of willpower our psyche lends us</a> when we attempt something new or difficult on a clean slate. Timing isn't everything, but when it comes to achieving our goals, it's truly half the battle. So just by timing your resolution with the new year you're giving yourself an instant leg-up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-most-effective-times-for-setting-a-new-goal">The 4 Most Effective Times for Setting a New Goal</a>)</p> <p>But how do you ensure that your New Year's Resolution lands among the successful 8%?</p> <p>Here's the scientifically-backed secret.</p> <h2>The Secret Is Focus</h2> <p>What all successful resolutions have in common is that they are focused, singular goals (not a long laundry list) equipped with a step-by-step plan of execution. (Hope is not a plan, as the saying goes.)</p> <p>Here's why this formula works.</p> <p>Most resolutions (eat healthier, exercise more, make better financial decisions, call Mom once a week, etc.) require that a person <a href="http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/hea/29/4/374/">break one habit and replace it</a> with a healthier or more desirable one. In order to adopt a new habit, it's crucial to have a game plan outlining exactly how this new, desired behavior will be integrated into daily life. And <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201212/why-new-years-resolutions-fail">it must include small steps</a> that will eventually lead you to reach your end goal.</p> <p>So when you sit down to brainstorm your resolution, remember to settle on just one goal, and make is specific. Examples of specific, singular goals include quit smoking (versus adopt a healthier lifestyle), host a monthly family dinner (versus spend more time with family), join and become active in an online dating community (versus fall in love), and build a $5,000 financial safety net (versus spend less, save more).</p> <h2>Next Comes the Plan</h2> <p>Once you've hacked any semblance of vagueness out of your resolution, it's time to map out your plan of attack &mdash; complete with benchmarks, timetables, and rewards.</p> <p>If your resolution is to lose 40 pounds, decide exactly what exercises you'll do, where and when you'll do them, and what behaviors you'll nix in their stead. For example, you might decide that you'll go snowshoeing around the park for 45 minutes three times a week with a podcast in your ears rather than watch your usual morning television news show from the couch. And don't forget to reward yourself with a new purchase or fun weekend outing for each month of 100% success. Even the smallest of rewards goes a long way to motivate a difficult change in behavior.</p> <p><em>What are your resolutions this year? How will to stick with them? Please motivate us to complete ours 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/successful-new-years-resolutions-have-this-one-thing-in-common-does-yours">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/31-productive-things-to-do-in-january-to-start-the-new-year-off-right">31 Productive Things to Do in January to Start the New Year Off Right</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-bite-sized-money-resolutions-to-make-2015-your-biggest-year-yet">25 Bite-Sized Money Resolutions to Make 2015 Your Biggest Year Yet</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-money-saving-new-years-goals-that-you-can-actually-keep">10 Money-Saving New Year&#039;s Goals That You Can Actually Keep</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-resolutions-you-should-skip-this-year">4 Money Resolutions You Should Skip This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development goal setting goals new years resolutions Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:00:07 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1270662 at http://www.wisebread.com