personal finance http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/27/all en-US 8 Money-Smart Things I Wish I'd Asked Santa For http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-smart-things-i-wish-id-asked-santa-for <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-smart-things-i-wish-id-asked-santa-for" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/santa_good_list_-499122032.jpg" alt="Asking Santa for items on Christmas list" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I spent a couple of decades asking Santa Claus for toys, clothes, and gadgets galore, but I don't have a single thing to show for it &mdash; I mean, besides a basement full of outdated stuff. Instead, I should've begged Ol' Saint Nick for these eight things that would have paid for themselves over and over again &mdash; so I could afford an even bigger basement full of outdated stuff. Take a look:</p> <h2>1. An Impenetrable Credit Score</h2> <p>When I turned 18 and the friendly lady at Discover Card called to ask if I'd like my very own credit card, I enthusiastically said yes. I generally consider that my very first adult mistake. Not that credit cards are bad, but they're the devil in the hands of a financially irresponsible college freshman. Because not only did I max the card out in less than six months, I was unaware that not paying the bill for five years thereafter would result in a disaster of a credit score when I entered the &quot;real world.&quot; If only Santa could have done me a solid by fortifying my credit score &mdash; against myself.</p> <h2>2. Everything Gold</h2> <p>In 2006, I asked Santa Claus for things like seat covers for my vehicle and a new digital camera because that's what materialistic 25-year-olds in major credit card debt ask for. Instead, I should've asked for straight-up gold bars. Heck, I would've been happy with a few flakes &mdash; like this guy who got away with <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/04/nyregion/the-one-that-waddled-away-retracing-a-weighty-gold-theft.html">86 pounds of jeweler's &quot;bench sweeps&quot;</a> worth $1.6 million. Because 10 years ago, on Dec. 11, gold was valued at $625.81 per troy ounce. Flash forward a decade and the price has nearly doubled to between $1,100 and $1,200, depending on the day, and that's really just midrange. On Sept. 12, 2011, gold hit its 10-year high of $1,861.49 per troy ounce, which &mdash; if you were feeling lucky that day &mdash; raked in three times its original amount if you unloaded a few bricks.</p> <h2>3. EE Savings Bonds</h2> <p>Hardly anybody gives savings bonds as gifts anymore (well, except maybe your grandma) because what fun is a certificate that you have to hold on to for, like, ever to reap its benefits? But just because they're not as popular as they once were doesn't mean they're not still valuable &mdash; if you got in on them in the 1980s and '90s, that is. EE bonds issued in the 1980s had rates of return of 6% to 9% a year, compared to today's 0.1% annual fixed rate. Mathematically, if you have a $500 bond from June 1983, for instance, it reached full maturity in June 2013, with a value of $1,014.40. Santa, can you hear me?</p> <h2>4. Real Estate in Depressed Markets</h2> <p>Throughout my years living in major cities like Baltimore and NYC, I've heard legendary tales of beautiful row houses and brownstones in economically and socially depressed areas, like Federal Hill in Baltimore and Harlem in New York City, that sold for crazy-low prices like $1. The $1 price is probably a myth, but dilapidated properties have in fact gone for very affordable prices with agreements that buyers reside in their neighborhoods for a specified period of time. I personally know a few people who purchased homes in blighted areas for around $30,000 20 years ago and are now sitting pretty on $2+ million lots.</p> <h2>5. College Tuition</h2> <p>All I needed was a cool $100K, Santa. I would've paid my college tuition and room and board outright so I didn't have to make up for half that amount myself over the next 20 years after graduating. Alas, I'm halfway there, and I've paid two of three notes off, but if you could cut a check for the rest this year, I'd appreciate it.</p> <h2>6. A Trust Fund</h2> <p>My financial woes would be nonexistent if I had asked Santa for a generous trust fund at an early age. Then I'd be just like the rest of my friends who were lucky enough to be related to someone filthy rich &mdash; free of debt with plenty of time to take selfies on a beach and dedicate my life's work to my own liver replacement.</p> <h2>7. Guaranteed Employment</h2> <p>There's nothing more stressful than job hunting, and I'm thankful that I haven't had to do that in a while since I'm self-employed. But self-employment isn't easy, either. I'm responsible for my own income instead of enjoying that twice monthly direct deposit for just showing up at my desk five days a week. Still, even that's on shaky ground if you don't mind your Ps and Qs &mdash; a friend of mine was recently laid off two weeks before Christmas &mdash; so this year I'd like to ask the big guy to make sure everybody can get (or keep) the job they really love for a happy and prosperous 2017.</p> <h2>8. Winning Lottery Numbers</h2> <p>I rarely play the lottery, but I do spend a few bucks when Mega Millions is, like $300 million, because, hey, somebody has to win. If that ever happens, my friends, you'll never hear from me again. Ev-er. Send me those winning numbers, Santa!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-smart-things-i-wish-id-asked-santa-for">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/10-places-to-stash-your-money-besides-a-savings-account">10 Places to Stash Your Money Besides a Savings Account</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/welcome-to-container-city-how-shipping-containers-are-recycled-into-green-dwellings">Welcome to Container City - How Shipping Containers Are Recycled into Green Dwellings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-45-life-lessons-youd-give-to-your-younger-self">Flashback Friday: 45 Life Lessons You&#039;d Give to Your Younger Self</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-of-a-walkable-neighborhood">The Benefits of a Walkable Neighborhood</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-big-of-a-house-do-you-really-need">How Big of a House Do You Really Need?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living credit score employment gold personal finance real estate santa savings bonds trust funds tuition winning the lottery wishlist Fri, 16 Dec 2016 11:00:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 1853793 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways Wrath Is Keeping You Poor http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-wrath-is-keeping-you-poor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-wrath-is-keeping-you-poor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_99971945_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="wrath is keeping you poor" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Our series on the seven deadly sins has looked at <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-gluttony-is-keeping-you-poor">gluttony</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-greed-is-keeping-you-poor">greed</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-envy-is-keeping-you-poor">envy</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-sloth-is-keeping-you-poor">sloth</a>, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-pride-is-keeping-you-poor">pride</a>. Now, it's time for wrath. The word itself is not often used in everyday speech, but the definition on dictionary.com tells us it is: &quot;strong, stern, or fierce anger; deeply resentful indignation; ire; vengeance or punishment as the consequence of anger.&quot; Wrath is an extreme emotion, and a negative one. And when you hold onto an emotion as powerful as wrath, you and your finances can suffer the consequences. Here's how.</p> <h2>1. It Keeps You Focused on the Wrong Things</h2> <p>You may have many legitimate reasons to be angry. Maybe someone betrayed you at work, and took your promotion. Or, got you fired. Perhaps you were not given a deal you were promised, or you are just severely angry with your current lot in life. Whatever it is, it's not helping you to move on and be successful. Holding in this kind of anger and resentment takes a lot of time and energy, and it's all negative. But if you can instead get past the anger and hostility, and channel your energies into something good, you'll do a lot better financially.</p> <h2>2. It Can Make You Ill</h2> <p>The occasional outburst of anger is fine. If it's quick, and results in releasing some pent-up frustration &mdash; a punching bag can be a good investment &mdash; it can actually be good for you. But holding in anger, and resenting people, can have negative consequences on your health. As we all know, being unhealthy in America can be an expensive proposition. Anger can weaken your immune system, with a recent study showing that recalling experiences that <a href="https://www.heartmath.org/research/research-library/basic/physiological-and-psychological-effects-of-compassion-and-anger-01/">made people angry caused a six-hour dip</a> in the antibody immunoglobulin. Anger is also a very stressful emotion, and the additional stress on your heart and other vital organs can take a serious toll. Deep-seated anger can turn into a deep depression, and that, too, can have devastating effects on your body and your health. Any and all of these issues can be expensive to treat, and when you're ill, you are not going to be as successful as when you're in good health.</p> <h2>3. It Clouds Your Judgment</h2> <p>People who experience wrath may not literally &quot;see red&quot; (although there is <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/seeing-red-its-not-just-an-expression-for-angry-people-but-also-scientific-fact-9194815.html">evidence that it can happen</a>), but there is definitely something muddying their thought processes. When you're filled with anger and resentment, you are more likely to be impulsive, and react without thinking things through. For instance, snap-judgments on purchases can have long-lasting effects on your financial situation, and may even result in situations that decrease your credit score. There are also issues with acting out at people, and this could lead to problems at work, at home, or with friends. Any decisions you make while suffering from this kind of negative emotion may be completely out of character, and you will have to live with the consequences long after wrath has left your life.</p> <h2>4. It Can Ruin Your Career</h2> <p>You do not want to be &quot;that guy&quot; or &quot;that woman&quot; in the office. You know the one. He walks around muttering to himself all day. He flies off the handle. He is bitter and angry in every conversation or meeting. And honestly, his work isn't all that good. Clients don't like meeting with him. He takes criticism poorly. Everyone knows, he'll be let go soon enough.</p> <p>It can require a long, hard look in the mirror to know if you are becoming that person. But you should already know, deep down, that things at work are being affected by your resentment and bitterness. If people are going out of their way to avoid you in the halls, or you're having trouble concentrating because you're so angry, then you know wrath is taking its toll. Hopefully, it's something you can catch now, and reverse the trend.</p> <h2>5. It Can Have Legal Implications</h2> <p>Being angry is one thing, but when it turns into the search for vengeance, you could be on the shaky path to breaking the law. It could start out as something harmless, such as sending someone an anonymous letter (which, to be fair, is never harmless to the person receiving it, despite what they may have done). But as you are gripped by wrath and revenge, your judgment will be affected, and you may find yourself doing things that are not even close to legal, like vandalism, harassment, perhaps even physical violence. This can, and will, lead to arrest and conviction. Once that's in your life, nothing will ever be the same again. It can destroy your relationships, your job prospects, and eat into whatever savings you may have. Your actions could affect many people in your life, and aside from the financial costs of hiring a lawyer and going to jail, the emotional scars will last a lifetime.</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/5-ways-wrath-is-keeping-you-poor">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/6-ways-gluttony-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Gluttony Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-greed-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Greed Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-42-ways-the-7-deadly-sins-are-keeping-you-poor">Flashback Friday: 42 Ways the 7 Deadly Sins Are Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands</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/miser-v-stunna-a-case-study">Miser v. Stunna: A Case Study</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living anger personal finance poor saving money seven deadly sins wrath Thu, 20 Oct 2016 09:00:08 +0000 Paul Michael 1816474 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 34 Ways Fitness Can Improve Your Finances http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-34-ways-fitness-can-improve-your-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-34-ways-fitness-can-improve-your-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_stretching_90742145.jpg" alt="Woman learning how fitness can improve her finances" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you look closely, you can find helpful money lessons everywhere &mdash; even in your workouts. The skills required to get in shape, gain strength, and improve your balance on the yoga mat are the same as becoming a money master. Here are 34 ways exercise can make help you get your money in shape, too.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock_000076935935_Large.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money?ref=fbf">5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money</a> &mdash; Mindfulness, flexibility, and balance won't just help you on the mat. They'll help you take charge of your financial wellbeing, too. Yoga is basically the answer to everything, even learning how to master your money.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-a-great-workout-for-free-with-11-simple-moves?ref=fbf">Get a Great Workout for Free With 11 Simple Moves</a> &mdash; It's tempting to splurge on the latest fitness trends, but finding ways to get fit for free will serve as a reminder that you have the willpower to remain frugal in other areas as well. Why pay anything when you can get away with paying $0?</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/martial_arts_000064696395.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-lessons-i-learned-from-martial-arts?ref=fbf">7 Money Lessons I Learned From Martial Arts</a> &mdash; Much like yoga, becoming skilled in martial arts requires focus and balance. But it also helps you strengthen your patience, awareness, and become more confident. And a confident, patient, fully aware person can do anything, even save money like a boss.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/family-roleplaying-178431199-small.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-play-teaches-you-about-personal-finance?ref=fbf">5 Things Play Teaches You About Personal Finance</a> &mdash; Just as important as work, is play! And playtime isn't just for kids. Adults need time to run around, cut loose, and be silly, because it allows us to step away from a task and come back later with a fresh mindset. Your money needs that every now and then.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meditation-can-make-you-a-money-master?ref=fbf">6 Ways Meditation Can Make You a Money Master</a> &mdash; Although you don't necessarily break a sweat during mediation, it's still an extension of yoga and requires basically all the same skills. The only muscle you'll be flexing is your brain, but that's also the one that will keep you striving for a better financial life.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-34-ways-fitness-can-improve-your-finances">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/flashback-friday-the-119-best-fitness-hacks-for-busy-people">Flashback Friday: The 119 Best Fitness Hacks for Busy People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-99-best-fitness-hacks-of-all-time">Flashback Friday: The 99 Best Fitness Hacks of All Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-50-money-moves-you-need-to-make-when-big-changes-happen">Flashback Friday: 50 Money Moves You Need to Make When Big Changes Happen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-76-new-years-resolutions-thatll-make-2017-your-year">Flashback Friday: 76 New Year&#039;s Resolutions That&#039;ll Make 2017 Your 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/flashback-friday-85-best-ways-to-save-on-halloween-this-year">Flashback Friday: 85 Best Ways to Save on Halloween This Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Health and Beauty budgeting exercise fbf finances fitness flashback friday frugal living personal finance yoga Fri, 30 Sep 2016 10:00:06 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1802807 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 50 Money Moves You Need to Make When Big Changes Happen http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-50-money-moves-you-need-to-make-when-big-changes-happen <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-50-money-moves-you-need-to-make-when-big-changes-happen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_holding_cash_91828121.jpg" alt="Woman making money moves when big changes happen" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You wanna win at life? Be flexible. Learn how to adapt to change. Because life is long and change is inevitable. And when you're facing a major shift in your daily routine, it might be time to reevaluate your money. Here are all the money moves you need to make when big changes happen.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock_000077659843_Large.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired?ref=fbf">11 Financial Moves to Make the Moment You Get Fired</a> &mdash; Getting fired sucks, and at some point, it happens to a lot of us. Lessen the blow by being financially prepared in case you walk into work one day and walk out with your stuff in a box.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion?ref=fbf">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a> &mdash; If you work hard and stay focused, chances are you'll get promoted. So when you get a pay bump and a new corner office, make sure your money goals reflect your new success.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_happy_credit_card_000089299163.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-your-credit-cards-are-paid-off?ref=fbf">9 Money Moves to Make the Moment Your Credit Cards Are Paid Off</a> &mdash; Reaching debt-free status with your credit cards is everyone's goal, and it's a good one to strive for. So once you reach it, you need to put a plan in place to keep that money momentum going. Otherwise, you'll end up right back where you started.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-retire?ref=fbf">12 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Retire</a> &mdash; Before you leave the workforce and become an official retiree, examine your savings and confirm that you won't ever have to work again. That's what retirement is all about, right?</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/friends_hands_heart_29104258.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-married?ref=fbf">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Married</a> &mdash; Weddings are expensive, and deciding to share your life with another person can bring about all kinds of major money choices. Make sure you're both on the same page, and are set up for a blissful partnership.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-divorced?ref=fbf">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Divorced</a> &mdash; Not everyone will end up divorced, but if you find yourself in this boat, it's definitely a good time to make sure your finances are in order. Divorce is stressful and heartbreaking enough, so ensure your financial sanity by planning and protecting yourself from ending up broke.</p> <p><em>What other money moves should you make throughout your life? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-50-money-moves-you-need-to-make-when-big-changes-happen">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-34-ways-fitness-can-improve-your-finances">Flashback Friday: 34 Ways Fitness Can Improve Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-85-best-ways-to-save-on-halloween-this-year">Flashback Friday: 85 Best Ways to Save on Halloween 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/flashback-friday-38-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-celebrities">Flashback Friday: 38 Money Lessons We Can Learn From Celebrities</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-47-best-back-to-school-shopping-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: 47 Best Back-to-School Shopping Hacks Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-45-life-lessons-youd-give-to-your-younger-self">Flashback Friday: 45 Life Lessons You&#039;d Give to Your Younger Self</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting budgeting fbf finances flashback friday frugal living money moves personal finance smart Fri, 12 Aug 2016 10:00:14 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1770843 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Improve Yourself for $100 or Less http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-yourself-for-100-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-improve-yourself-for-100-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_51778846_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="reinvent yourself for less than $100" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,&quot; wrote Founding Father Benjamin Franklin. While it may be true that opportunity doesn't knock on your door that often, it's true that you'll only make the most of the good times when you're truly prepared.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are many ways to reinvent yourself for under one Benjamin! Ranging from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-career-moves-youll-never-regret">career growth</a> to personal finance to personal growth, here's a list of 10 inexpensive investments in one's own self.</p> <h2>Career Growth</h2> <p>Franklin said it best, &quot;An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.&quot; Put that $100 (or even less!) toward improving your chances of landing a promotion.</p> <h3>1. Invest in a Lynda.com Membership</h3> <p>One of the secrets to getting ahead in any career is to become familiar with the requirements of the job you want, and determine what skills you need to develop in order to thrive in that dream job.</p> <p>For example, I wanted to land more social media management projects, but kept getting turned down because I didn't know basic Adobe Photoshop skills. Most clients look for a freelancer who can create or edit images with this software. That's why I set aside about $75 for a three-month subscription to <a href="http://www.lynda.com">Lynda.com</a> and learned not only the basics of Photoshop, but also picked up some intermediate skills. You can pay from $24.99 (unlimited access to the subscription library of courses) or $34.99 (unlimited access to the subscription library of courses plus ability to download project files) on a month-to-month basis until you're able to become proficient in the skills you need.</p> <h3>2. Buy Your Name as a Domain</h3> <p>Give yourself a professional look by directing your potential clients or employers to YourName.com instead of wix.com/xY7893b40. Not only are domains that use names easier to share and remember, but they also allow you to keep a consistent look. Your email and URL will share the same domain name. If your name is already taken, then try sensible alternatives. Most basic domain packages start at $10 per year.</p> <h3>3. Get a Professional Headshot</h3> <p>The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) clearly states that &quot;<a href="https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/practices/">employers should not ask for a photograph</a> of an applicant.&quot; However, the reality is that you'll run into plenty of instances that you will need a professional headshot. Ranging from social media presences to promotion announcements in the local newspaper to opportunities to contribute to a trade journal, a great headshot will positively contribute to your career. Prices vary per city, so do your homework. Don't forget to check with your HR department if they provide such a service and contact your photography friends for some references.</p> <h3>4. Enroll in a Non-Credit Program at Local College</h3> <p>If learning online isn't your cup of tea, a great alternative is to enroll in a non-credit course at your local university or community college. For example, the University of Hawaii at Manoa Outreach College offers non-credit workshops <a href="http://www.outreach.hawaii.edu/noncredit/courses/parent/34#Social%20Media">starting at $50</a>. By enrolling in such a course, you become eligible for the <a href="http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8863.pdf">Lifetime Learning Credit</a>, allowing you to deduct up to 20% of your first $10,000 in qualified education expenses, up to $2,000 per taxpayer. Depending on your income, you could complete college-level courses for free through this tax credit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-skip-these-8-tax-breaks-for-students?ref=seealso">Don't Skip These 8 Tax Breaks for Students</a>)</p> <h2>Personal Finance</h2> <p>&quot;Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship,&quot; warned Franklin. Here are three ways to spot some of those little expenses (and debts!) that can truly add up over time.</p> <h3>5. Set a $100 Food Budget for One Week</h3> <p>If you're constantly wondering &quot;where did my paycheck go?&quot; it's time to start taking control of your expenses. One great way to start this task is to limit yourself to only $100 for food for one week and see what happens. Writer Hillary Hoffower took on this challenge and she ended up surprising herself by spending only <a href="http://www.careercontessa.com/conversations/100-dollar-weekly-budget/">$99.88 in one week</a>! By keeping track of your food expenses, you'll spot opportunities for saving, such as those daily $4 Starbucks lattes, and improve your budgeting skills.</p> <h3>6. Allocate Some Investments to Index Funds</h3> <p>One way to improve the performance of your investment or retirement saving accounts is to allocate a portion of your actively managed accounts, such as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-top-mutual-funds-for-income-investors">mutual funds</a> or target-date funds, into index funds. Here's why: The average expense ratio across all funds was <a href="https://news.morningstar.com/pdfs/2015_fee_study.pdf">0.64% in 2014</a>. That means that you would pay $64 per year for every $10,000 you were to invest.</p> <p>On the other hand, the average expense ratio for exchange-traded index funds was closer to <a href="http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/032715/when-expense-ratio-considered-high-and-when-it-considered-low.asp">0.25%</a>! That means a nice 60% drop on average investment fees. There are some index funds, such as those from Vanguard, that have even lower expense ratios. Those investment cost savings can mean the difference between reaching and missing your target investment.</p> <h3>7. Order Your Free Annual Credit Report</h3> <p>To prevent identity theft and have a full picture of your credit history, request your credit report every 12 months at <a href="http://www.annualcreditreport.com">AnnualCreditReport.com</a>. Federal law requires each of three consumer credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to provide you a free credit report. Order your free credit report every 12 months so that you can double check that only the accounts and loans that you applied for are there. If you find an issue with your credit report, you can submit a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) <a href="http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/#credit-report">online</a> or by calling (855) 411-CFPB (2372).</p> <h2>Personal Growth</h2> <p>Personal development is a lifelong process. Here are some frugal ideas to help you maximize your potential.</p> <h3>8. Improve Your Public Speaking With Toastmasters International</h3> <p>Becoming a more effective communicator and finding your own voice are both important parts of personal growth. First established in 1924, non-profit educational organization Toastmasters helps its members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills. Total annual fees generally range from <a href="https://www.toastmasters.org/Membership/Facts-for-First-Timers">$74 to $92</a> per year.</p> <h3>9. Develop a Hobby</h3> <p>There are many theories about self-actualization, and many of them share a common belief in the need to remain enthusiastic about the future. One way to become enthused and energize your body is to develop a hobby. Choose an activity that provides you an opportunity to break a sweat, improve a skill, or strengthen bonds with family or friends. From a pair of dumbbells to a chessboard, there are plenty of hobbies that are under $100.</p> <h3>10. Slow Down Through Meditation</h3> <p>While stress is a natural part of life, it's important to keep it in check. It has been estimated that <a href="http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/effects-of-stress-on-your-body">43% of all adults</a> suffer adverse health effects from stress and that 75% to 90% of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints. You need to slow down, and one easy way to achieve this is through meditation. Skip the yoga pants and incense candles and use <a href="http://www.calm.com">Calm.com</a> site and app (available for <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/calm-meditate-relax-guided/id571800810?mt=8">iOS</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.calm.android&amp;hl=en">Android</a>) to guide you. This free service teaches you the skill of meditation so that you can reduce stress and improve your sleeping.</p> <p><em>What are other ways to reinvent yourself under $100? Share with us!</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-yourself-for-100-or-less">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/flashback-friday-47-best-back-to-school-shopping-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: 47 Best Back-to-School Shopping Hacks Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-44-sneaky-shopping-traps-to-avoid">Flashback Friday: 44 Sneaky Shopping Traps to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-exercise-mats">The 5 Best Exercise Mats</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-eye-masks">The 5 Best Eye Masks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-underwater-watches">The 5 Best Underwater Watches</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping budgeting career building frugal living improve yourself makeover personal finance shopping Wed, 03 Aug 2016 10:30:08 +0000 Damian Davila 1764815 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_62926796_LARGE.jpg" alt="saving thousands from taking one vacation day" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have a list of financial tasks we keep meaning to get to, but between work, family, everyday obligations, and the need for sleep, we just keep putting them off. Whether it's rolling over an old employer 401K or finding cheaper car insurance, you can end up costing yourself hundreds, or even thousands of dollars by procrastinating.</p> <p>However, there is a solution: Use a vacation or personal day as an annual &quot;Money Day&quot; to catch up on all those finance to-dos you keep putting off. You'll have the time to stay on the line with customer service, fill out forms, and get organized &mdash; setting yourself up for a more secure financial future. Here are all the financial boxes you can check off on your annual Money Day.</p> <h2>Negotiate Bills</h2> <p>Phone bills, cable subscriptions, and car insurance can be expensive, eating up a huge part of your budget. However, rather than just gritting your teeth and bearing it, you can negotiate your bill and bring down your cost. Make a list of all of the services and subscriptions you currently pay for, and contact each one. For the introverts who get nervous negotiating over the phone, most companies have an online chat option that will work just as well.</p> <h3>Tell Them You Want to Cancel</h3> <p>Whether you are on the phone or chatting online, be as polite and kind as possible, but firmly let them know you want to cancel because the cost is just too high.</p> <h3>Be Prepared to Deal With the Retention Department</h3> <p>Customer service is likely to transfer you to their sales department or retention department, whose sole goal is to keep you on board. Again, be as friendly as possible, but explain that the monthly bill is more than you can afford. You do not have to give a long script or even say you are looking at other competitors; just noting you cannot afford the price will trigger the next steps.</p> <h3>Continue to Negotiate</h3> <p>They will likely offer you a temporary adjustment, like a promotional three-month offer. Be firm, saying something like, &quot;I'm sorry, I just can't afford this rate. I would need something more permanent.&quot; More than likely, they will come back with a more generous offer, saying they are authorized to give it to you that day. That language indicates it's the best they can do. Ask them to send you an email confirmation with the new agreement and then repeat the process with each service provider you have.</p> <h3>Research Alternatives</h3> <p>In some cases, companies just won't budge, particularly if you have only been a customer for a year or two. If that's the case, use some time during your money day to look up alternatives and get quotes. For instance, services like <a href="https://www.thezebra.com/">The Zebra</a> help you compare rates from multiple car insurers so you can get the most competitive price.</p> <h2>Find and Rollover Retirement Funds</h2> <p>Nearly three million people <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.nr0.htm">quit their jobs each month</a>, with many of those individuals leaving old 401Ks behind, either intending to get to it later or thinking the amount is too small to matter. Then they end up forgetting about it, and the money disappears. Take the time to hunt down old plans and come up with a strategy for them:</p> <h3>Find Old 401Ks</h3> <p>You may have to call each of your former employers' human resources departments to determine where your old 401Ks are currently held. If that's not an option, you can also check with the <a href="https://www.unclaimedretirementbenefits.com/">National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefit</a>.</p> <h3>Take Action</h3> <p>Once you've found your old accounts, you can keep them where they are, but keep their log-in information in a safe place. However, it might also make more financial sense to roll them into one place, like in a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/401k-or-ira-you-need-both">traditional IRA</a>. Vanguard and Fidelity offer IRA options that are cheaper regarding fees you will pay in most 401Ks, so rolling the account over can save you money and prevent any penalties.</p> <h2>Search for Unclaimed Money</h2> <p>There are millions of dollars in unclaimed money sitting around. Whether it's an old savings account, an insurance credit or, other windfall, state laws require that unclaimed funds be turned over to the state for safekeeping until the owner claims them. Most people don't even realize that hundreds of dollars belong to them, and it goes unclaimed for years.</p> <p>To find lost money, visit <a href="http://www.unclaimed.org">Unclaimed.org</a>. Check each state that you have lived in and enter your full name and any other names you may have gone by in the past. The site will list any money that belongs to you. You can file a claim, following the process outlined on the site, to get the money returned to you.</p> <h2>Automate Savings</h2> <p>If you have been putting off building up your emergency fund or retirement savings, your money day is a very good time to get them started. Set up automatic contributions for the start of each month to go into your savings and retirement accounts, so you do not even miss the money from your paycheck.</p> <p>Setting aside an annual vacation day to manage your finances can be an excellent way to stay on top of essential money tasks, trim your budget, maximize your dollars, and find you hundreds of dollars that may have gone missing. By dedicating a day to money management, you can end up savings thousands of dollars in just 24 hours.</p> <p><em>What else should be done on your annual Money Day? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">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/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now">10 Frugal Fall Getaways You Can Start Packing For Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">12 Personal Finance Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-money-saving-hacks-are-a-huge-waste-of-time">These 5 Money-Saving Hacks Are a Huge Waste of Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-budget-friendly-beach-destinations">6 Budget-Friendly Beach Destinations</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living Travel budgeting career frugal living personal finance saving money travel vacation day Tue, 19 Jul 2016 09:00:10 +0000 Kat Tretina 1754845 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 45 Life Lessons You'd Give to Your Younger Self http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-45-life-lessons-youd-give-to-your-younger-self <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-45-life-lessons-youd-give-to-your-younger-self" 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_concerned_77389547.jpg" alt="Woman thinking about lessons she&#039;d give to her younger self" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you had a time machine, what would you change about your past? (Other than investing in Apple immediately, of course.) You've spent at least a few years on this earth, and with time comes wisdom. Why not go back and crack an egg of knowledge on your younger self? They could use some serious guidance.</p> <p>Here are 45 brilliant life lessons we wish we could give our younger selves.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/child_holding_cash_000073924377.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-finance-tips-you-wish-you-could-tell-your-younger-self?ref=fbf">11 Finance Tips You Wish You Could Tell Your Younger Self</a> &mdash; Your parents told you to save money, pay off credit cards consistently, shop wisely, etc. But did you listen? No. Now that you've seen the other side of poor financial decisions, little you would definitely take your money advice.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-frugal-living-commencement-speech-id-give-to-my-younger-self?ref=fbf">The Frugal Living Commencement Speech I'd Give to My Younger Self</a> &mdash; Remember how exciting graduation was? You had your whole life ahead of you. Now your school days are loonnnggg behind you, and what do you have to show for that time? If nothing else, experience. Share all of it with your naive new-grad self.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock_000071991467_Large_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-career-tips-you-wish-you-could-give-your-younger-self?ref=fbf">7 Career Tips You Wish You Could Give Your Younger Self</a> &mdash; When you first started on your career path, you were so wide-eyed and innocent. But in the professional world, office politics are everywhere, and things can get tricky. Here are all the things you wish you knew way back when.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-investing-tips-you-wish-you-could-tell-your-younger-self?ref=fbf">11 Investing Tips You Wish You Could Tell Your Younger Self</a> &mdash; Investing might seem like an overwhelming concept for those who are still learning the basics of money management, but it's something we all should've been doing the moment we got our own bank accounts, like these 11 investing moves.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_credit_card_000043691962.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-credit-card-truths-you-wish-you-could-tell-your-younger-self?ref=fbf">10 Credit Card Truths You Wish You Could Tell Your Younger Self</a> &mdash; Ah, credit cards. We need them to help build credit, but they can be tricky little buggers, can't they? Once you have your own, and can spend money without having to pay it back right away, debt can quickly pile up. Here's how you would've done it differently, if you could go back in time.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/advice-to-your-younger-self-what-would-you-say?ref=fbf">Advice to Your Younger Self: What Would You Say?</a> &mdash; Our writing team got to share the advice they'd give to their younger selves, and it was all kinds of brilliant and fascinating!</p> <p><em>What other important lessons would you give your younger self? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-45-life-lessons-youd-give-to-your-younger-self">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/flashback-friday-70-brilliant-ways-to-beat-the-heat-this-summer">Flashback Friday: 70 Brilliant Ways to Beat the Heat This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right">Flashback Friday: The 107 Best Breakfast Hacks to Start Your Day 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/flashback-friday-50-money-moves-you-need-to-make-when-big-changes-happen">Flashback Friday: 50 Money Moves You Need to Make When Big Changes Happen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-51-ways-to-organize-your-whole-life-in-2017">Flashback Friday: 51 Ways to Organize Your Whole Life in 2017</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-34-ways-fitness-can-improve-your-finances">Flashback Friday: 34 Ways Fitness Can Improve Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Life Hacks adulting fbf flashback friday Food frugal living growing up life hacks life lessons money management personal finance Fri, 08 Jul 2016 10:00:06 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1747540 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Escape the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-escape-the-paycheck-to-paycheck-cycle <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-escape-the-paycheck-to-paycheck-cycle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_80116831_XLARGE.jpg" alt="stop living paycheck to paycheck" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're living paycheck to paycheck, you probably think it's a normal part of life and accept it for what it is. To that, I stick my tongue out and blow. There are plenty of people who've broken free from this rut, but your particular cycle won't break until <em>you </em>break it.</p> <p>Living paycheck to paycheck can mean you're one paycheck away from being without lights, a car, or a home &mdash; and that's just not acceptable. Granted, this is worst-case scenario, but it's a possible scenario. This isn't meant to scare you, of course, but it is meant to build motivation to help you improve your financial outlook and say so long to a house-poor existence. Here's what you need to do to stop living on the edge. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-grow-your-savings-without-a-steady-paycheck?ref=seealso">5 Ways to Grow Your Savings Without a Steady Paycheck</a>)</p> <h2>1. Take Stock of What You're Working With</h2> <p>If you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck, you have to live below your means. It's that simple. Some people are happy just to break even every month, but if you never have extra income, you'll never achieve some of your goals.</p> <p>To stop the cycle, do a financial checkup.</p> <p>Here's a little exercise: Comb through your most recent bank statements, credit card statements, and receipts, and then write down every monthly expense from housing to groceries. Calculate how much you're spending on clothes, miscellaneous items, groceries, fuel, etc.</p> <p>Once you have this figure, compare it with your take-home pay. The amount you're spending every month may be the equivalent of what you bring home, or more than what you bring home. If the latter is the case, it's time to trim.</p> <h2>2. Cut the Fat</h2> <p>Don't listen to anyone who says living paycheck to paycheck is normal. It's not, and whoever says that will probably be sad for the rest of their life. Alas, many people have been conditioned to think this way, and it's this exact thinking that keeps people stuck.</p> <p>There's a better way to live, and it starts with trimming your expenses. At this point, it's not about your wants; you have to focus on your needs and get rid of any unnecessary expenses. What to cut? These extras:</p> <ul> <li>Gym memberships</li> <li>Eating out for lunch</li> <li>Grabbing coffee</li> <li>Spending $50 a week on entertainment</li> <li>Subscription services</li> </ul> <p>These costs don't seem like a lot, but they add up. Getting rid of nonessential expenses can give your budget some wiggle room, creating more disposable income than you thought possible.</p> <h2>3. Stop Being Enslaved to Debt</h2> <p>The more debt you have, the more likely you are to live paycheck to paycheck. This is because debt robs you of extra money. Even if you can't get rid of your house payment, car payment, or student loan debt immediately, you can start chipping away at credit card balances.</p> <p>Take the money you're saving from trimming unnecessary expenses and dump all or a large portion of this cash on your debt. You can tackle your debt with the smallest balance first, or the debt with the highest interest rate first. It doesn't matter which approach you choose, as long as you're paying down balances. The less you owe, the more you can keep. To help you, I've recently written an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/5-day-debt-reduction-plan">entire five part series on eliminating debt</a>.</p> <h2>4. Pay Yourself &mdash; No Matter What</h2> <p>Once you've got a handle on your debt, it's time to start paying yourself. If you build a cushy savings account, you may never have to borrow money or use a credit card again &mdash; at least not for an emergency or an unexpected expense.</p> <p>Take the money you were putting toward <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt">debt repayment</a> and set up an automatic savings schedule. Each pay period, automatically transfer a specific amount from checking into savings. Schedule this transfer before you pay your bills to ensure you're always paying yourself first.</p> <h2>5. Create Additional Income for Yourself</h2> <p>Sometimes, it isn't enough to trim expenses and pay off debt. You may earn just enough to get by, and despite living simply, you're still trapped in a cycle of living paycheck to paycheck. The truth is, getting ahead may require more income.</p> <p>Now, as a freelancer, I can run down a list of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-make-a-living-in-the-gig-economy">side hustles to increase your income</a>. This includes moonlighting as a consultant, cutting lawns, buying and selling online, watching pets, renting out extra space in your home, etc. But I also realize that not everyone has the entrepreneurial spirit. But even if you don't want to be your own boss, there are ways to build your income.</p> <p>Depending on your circumstances, a part-time job might fit your schedule perfectly. If you can earn as little as an extra $20 a day, you'll have an extra $400 a month. For example, you can search online for local office-cleaning companies, and call these companies to see if they're looking for part-time help in the evenings. I have a friend who cleans a small office every day after work. It only takes two hours and the cleaning company pays him $20 per cleaning. It's not the most glamorous or high-paying part-time job, but it's easy work and pays okay.</p> <h2>6. Learn How to Say &quot;No&quot;</h2> <p>One of the best ways to improve a budget is to learn how to say no. If you have a large social circle, there's always someone inviting you to a restaurant, a movie, or another event. If you get into a pattern of constantly saying yes and accepting invitations, you could end up broke. You should never sacrifice your bank account at the expense of fun, especially when there are too many ways to enjoy yourself for free. The key is having an airtight entertainment budget. Decide what you can realistically afford to spend on fun, and then stick to this budget. I learned how to say no, and now &quot;No&quot; is my favorite word.</p> <h2>7. Face Reality and Downsize</h2> <p>Making simple adjustments to your budget can improve cash flow tremendously, but not when you're too far in the hole. Accept that you'll have to let go of stuff. Ideally, your house payment should be no more than 28%-30% of your gross income. If you're paying more, you're overspending and it's time to face reality. You're never going to get ahead when you're struggling to keep up with the basics. Downsizing your house can create a smaller house payment, cheaper utilities, and less maintenance. Your finances also may improve if you downsize from an expensive car. You can enjoy a lower car payment and cheaper insurance premiums.</p> <p><em>Are you living paycheck to paycheck? What are you doing to change the situation? Let's discuss 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/how-to-escape-the-paycheck-to-paycheck-cycle">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/build-a-secure-future-starting-with-your-next-paycheck">Build a Secure Future Starting With Your Next Paycheck</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/another-path-to-recovery-higher-incomes">Another path to recovery: higher incomes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-no-budgeting-required">How to Manage Your Money — No Budgeting Required</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/life-after-debt-whats-next">Life After Debt: What&#039;s Next?</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/best-of-personal-finance-credit-where-credit-is-due-edition">Best of Personal Finance: Credit Where Credit Is Due Edition</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Debt Management debt management finances income paycheck paycheck to paycheck payday personal finance Fri, 17 Jun 2016 10:30:04 +0000 Mikey Rox 1732946 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Old School Tools to Help You Stay on Budget http://www.wisebread.com/6-old-school-tools-to-help-you-stay-on-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-old-school-tools-to-help-you-stay-on-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_writing_journal_000055707370.jpg" alt="Woman using old school tools to stay on budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Because I am a visual thinker, low-fi tools like datebooks and check registers help me keep my finances better organized than when I use digital tools like Quicken and Excel. Surprisingly, these <em>olde time-y </em>office supplies also keep me from overspending.&nbsp;</p> <h2>1. A Receipt Spindle</h2> <p>I actually hate bookkeeping. As a result, my desktop used to be a mess of receipts at the end of every month &mdash; until I started using a <a href="http://amzn.to/1Uxxanl">cheap spindle</a> to organize my paper receipts. Every night I pull the receipts out of my tiny wallet and stick them onto the prong. At the end of the month, I pull the receipts off as one stack, flip the stack, and voila &mdash; receipts in chronological order ready to be reconciled with Mint.com. After double checking the receipts against my bank records, I then put the receipts into an <a href="http://amzn.to/253dSej">accordion file</a> in the odd event I need hard, tangible evidence at tax time. While my system might sound fiddly, it actually takes less than 20 minutes a month to manage my receipts this way.</p> <h2>2. Paper Checks</h2> <p>No pain, no gain. There have been, conservatively, 55,321 studies in the last two decades that show that people are willing to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-we-spend-more-when-we-pay-with-credit-cards">spend up to twice as much</a> for the same item when they pay with a credit card instead of cash.</p> <p><em>Coupling</em> is the psychological term for that negative feeling you get when you shell out cold hard cash for purchases. I double down on the discomfort by paying with checks. When I use a check, I am forced to write out the cost of a purchase, twice. The evidence of my consumption is right there in my own handwriting. While the moment it takes for me to pull out my checkbook and write a check might be annoying to anyone standing behind me in the checkout line, that moment gives me one last chance to think to myself, &quot;Do I really need to spend money on this?&quot; More often than not, that answer is no.</p> <p>There are several other reasons why I refuse to kick my check writing habit:</p> <h3>When Digital Banking Technology Fails You, Paper Won't</h3> <p>My neighbor's debit card was just spoofed. Although her bank caught the theft within hours, she has to wait 10 days before her new ATM card arrives. She's currently living off the $200 the bank allowed her to draw down without her card. If she had checks, she wouldn't have to live off $20 a day.</p> <p>Also, ATM machines and credit card machines require phone lines and electricity. During disasters like Hurricane Sandy, when the utilities go down, a paper check might be the only way to pay for emergency supplies.</p> <h3>Some Businesses Charge Extra Fees for Credit Cards</h3> <p>Many restaurants and small businesses charge an extra fee for credit card payments, or have a minimum amount for credit card purchases.</p> <h3>Utility Companies and Government Agencies Might Not Take Plastic</h3> <p>I thought I was going to just rack up the frequent flyer points by paying for all my utilities with my credit card. Alas, many of my utilities don't accept credit payments.</p> <h3>Use Checks to Create a Paper Trail</h3> <p>Not only do I use checks, I use duplicate checks. They make it easy to keep track of expenditures because they act like additional receipts.</p> <h2>3. A Spending Book</h2> <p>A <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-saving-more-with-this-one-simple-tool">spending book</a> is a diet journal for your bank account. If you want to create a budget and save more money, you first have to know how you are spending all your filthy lucre. Most people don't blow through cash at the craps table in Las Vegas. Instead, they fritter away huge sums of money every year on super boring purchases and experiences. This is the reason why financial writers are constantly harping about why you shouldn't buy bottled water or to-go coffee. Those <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-dumb-little-purchases-you-need-to-stop-making-today">little impulse purchases</a> are death by a thousand cuts to a budget.</p> <p>A spending book helps save money in two ways. First, it gives you a detailed, down to the penny, view of your spending habits. Secondly, like writing a check, it makes parting with your earnings that much more painful.</p> <h2>4. A Record of Financial Triumphs</h2> <p>In addition to tracking my spending in the week-at-at-glance section of my <a href="http://amzn.to/1UxAAX6">Moleskine </a>datebook, I use the month-at-a-glance section of my datebook to track my income. And by income, I mean the dime I picked up off the street, my garage sale earnings, and the money I made by selling old textbooks. All those teeny weenie income streams can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-dumpster-diving-to-garage-sales-turning-trash-into-cash">add up to serious money</a> over the course of one year. My husband didn't think we would be able to afford to fly East to visit friends and family over Christmas, but we handily paid for our 10-day vacation to NYC and Washington, D.C. with the money we'd earned from these little transactions.</p> <h2>5. The Envelope System</h2> <p>My grandmother taught me how to budget using the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-envelope-system">envelope system</a> when I was a child and too young to open a savings account of my own. Yes, this budget hack is so simple, that even a nine-year-old can use it.</p> <p>In brief, the envelope system uses cash to help visualize a budget and control spending. For example, three main spending categories for my household are groceries, records, and gas. Say my average monthly grocery budget is $200, my record budget is $100, and my gas budget is $200. To cover these three categories, I will withdraw $500 in cash from my paycheck and put the cash amount for each bill/budget category into their respectively named envelopes. This method prevents me from spending money out of pocket or my checking account because money has already been earmarked for every bill.</p> <p>This type of budgeting is also called <em>zero based budgeting</em> because 100% of the spending money for each month is allocated to envelopes and zeroed out at the end of each month.</p> <p>Personally, I like to have money left over in my envelopes each month. This little visual incentive is another reason why the envelope system helps me save money. I have tangible evidence of my good behavior!</p> <h2>6. A Portable Filing Cabinet</h2> <p>I think the main reason why old-fashioned bookkeeping tools have fallen out of favor is that many people have a hard time keeping track of paperwork. After years of trial and error, I finally found a solution that keeps my house free of loose papers.</p> <p>I use eight plastic <a href="http://amzn.to/253fS6j">accordion files</a> to keep track of my tax documents. One for this year's bills and paperwork, and one for each of the seven previous tax years. Although I have gone the &quot;paperless&quot; route with many of my bills, I still use this type of file to manage the hard copies of everything (real estate paperwork, recipes, knitting patterns) in my life.</p> <p>I also like envelope closure accordion files because I am a klutz who is constantly dropping her paperwork. These files keep my records neatly separated by category, even if I accidentally put them into my bag upside down. These files are also great for people like me who live in small houses with no storage space.</p> <p><em>What low-tech tricks do you use to manage your money? Share your skills with your fellow Wise Bread readers so we can all stay on budget when our Robot Overlords take control of the Matrix. </em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-old-school-tools-to-help-you-stay-on-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Old%2520School%2520Tools%2520to%2520Help%2520You%2520Stay%2520on%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=6%20Old%20School%20Tools%20to%20Help%20You%20Stay%20on%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Old%20School%20Tools%20to%20Help%20You%20Stay%20on%20Budget.jpg" alt="6 Old School Tools to Help You Stay on Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-old-school-tools-to-help-you-stay-on-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/6-simple-ways-to-save-money-by-tracking-your-receipts">6 Simple Ways to Save Money by Tracking Your Receipts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-things-every-frugal-person-should-have-in-their-wallet">The 7 Things Every Frugal Person Should Have In Their Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-time-is-worth-more-than-money">8 Reasons Time Is Worth More Than Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-no-budgeting-required">How to Manage Your Money — No Budgeting Required</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Organization checks Envelope system filing gadgets low-tech personal finance receipts record keeping tools Mon, 28 Mar 2016 10:01:03 +0000 Max Wong 1677889 at http://www.wisebread.com The Step-by-Step Guide to Rolling Over Your 401(k) http://www.wisebread.com/the-step-by-step-guide-to-rolling-over-your-401k <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-step-by-step-guide-to-rolling-over-your-401k" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_401k_000020117190.jpg" alt="Woman discussing rolling over her 401(k) with her employer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've recently switched jobs, you may be wondering what to do with your retirement accounts. First, congratulations on thinking ahead and planning for your future. Rolling over accounts is an important step toward continuing to build your financial future, and we've created this step-by-step plan to help you navigate the process.</p> <p>That said, before you figure out how to rollover your 401(k), it's first important to know what not to do.</p> <h2>Don't Take a Distribution</h2> <p>It's tempting to let your former employer send you a check to cash out your account, but, unless you're over age 59&frac12;, this can be a huge mistake. Your former employer is required to withhold 20% of the distribution. On top of that, the IRS will charge you an additional 10% penalty if you're younger than 59&frac12;.</p> <p>To break it down in dollars and cents, let's assume there's a $10,000 balance in your 401(k) and you're in a 25% tax bracket.</p> <p>$10,0000 &ndash; $2,000 (20% Withholding) &ndash; $1,000 (10% Tax Penalty) = $7,000</p> <p>You've just taken a $3,000 hit on your portfolio. That's a heavy hit to take. Plus, you'll no longer have that money working in the market for you, which means you're more likely to end up like the majority of Americans who fear their retirement funds are lacking.</p> <p>Some people take distributions because they're not sure how to make ends meet between jobs (a valid fear). But taking a 401(k) distribution is one of the most expensive ways to bridge the gap when you're between jobs.</p> <p>But some distributions happen by accident. If you don't know how to conduct a 401(k) rollover, the paperwork can be confusing and it's easy to check the wrong box or make an inaccurate assumption.</p> <p>If your former company has already sent a check directly to you, there is a remedy, if you act fast. You'll have 60 days to get the funds deposited into an IRA. There is a bit of a hitch, though. You'll be directly responsible for making up the 20% that was withheld by your former employer.</p> <h2>So, What Should You Do?</h2> <p>If you're just starting the 401(k) rollover process, you'll have a few options.</p> <h3>Keep Your Funds In the Current 401(k)</h3> <p>If your 401(k) balance is greater than $5,000, you'll have the option to keep the money right where it is. The upside? No paperwork. The downside? Well, there are a few.</p> <ul> <li>It's easy to lose track of your accounts. The average person holds 11 jobs by age 46. That can add up to a lot of retirement accounts, if they're not being rolled over or combined.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Retirement plan quality varies greatly. Not all 401(k)s are created equal. There are drastically different fee structures and varying levels of investment options. Most separated employees would be better off moving their money into an account with a low-fee provider like Vanguard or Fidelity, each of which offers vast investment options for your IRA.</li> </ul> <p>Some employers automatically distribute 401(k) funds for separated employees if the balance is below the $5,000 mark. If this is you, you'll want to get your rollover going immediately.</p> <h3>Roll Your Funds Into Your New Employer's Retirement Plan</h3> <p>It's not a bad idea to keep your retirement funds in the same place, so that you don't lose track of previous accounts. Not all 401(k) plans accept rollovers, so if you want to go this route, check with your new employer first.</p> <p>If rollovers are accepted, ask your new employer for instructions on where your former employer should send your existing 401(k) funds. Once you have these rollover instructions, call your former employer and ask for the forms you'll need to fill out.</p> <p>Once the paperwork is complete, your former employer should send your account balance directly to your new employer's plan. There shouldn't be any taxes withheld or penalties assessed for a direct rollover. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-supercharge-your-retirement?ref=seealso">10 Easy Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement</a>)</p> <h3>Roll Your Funds Into an IRA</h3> <p>This is my favorite option, because low cost mutual fund giants like Vanguard or Fidelity generally offer more investment options than most employer 401(k) plans, and they're usually cheaper, too.</p> <p>The first step is to open a new IRA account with a high-quality, low-fee investment provider (like <a href="https://personal.vanguard.com/us/openaccount?CompLocation=GlobalHeader&amp;Component=OpenAccount">Vanguard</a> or <a href="https://rewards.fidelity.com/offers/iramatch?imm_pid=1&amp;immid=00994&amp;imm_eid=e41730670&amp;buf=999999&amp;gclid=CjwKEAjwoZ-oBRCAjZqs96qCmzgSJADnWCv8IN3h4jALOK1EtX2J45rce9bLEBvEsPyTK_PJF86VXxoCDLLw_wcB">Fidelity</a>). You can open an account online with most investment providers by simply going to their website, selecting the Open An Account option, and looking for an account option for rolling over employer-sponsored retirement plan account. To open the new account, you'll need the following:</p> <ul> <li>Your personal information, like social security number, birth date, email address, and street address;</li> <li>The current balance in the 401(k) account that you're rolling over;</li> <li>Your former employer's name;</li> <li>The name of the investment (usually a mutual fund of exchange traded fund) in which you plan to invest your funds. If you don't know what to choose, a popular option is a target retirement fund, which automatically rebalances your account as you age and get closer to retirement.</li> </ul> <p>Once the rollover account is open, the next step is to call your former employer and ask for their rollover instructions. They will likely have a form that needs to be completed and will likely ask for the name and address of the investment house where the funds are to be sent. They'll also need your new rollover IRA account number.</p> <p>Make sure the check they send goes directly to the investment house where you've opened the new account. The check should be made out to the new investment house, with your name and new account number notated on the check. Do not have the check sent directly to you.</p> <p>To complete the transaction, some employers will require a letter of acceptance. If yours is one that does, you'll need to go back to the investment house where you opened the IRA and make the request. Not all employers require this, but it's not uncommon, either, meaning getting the form together shouldn't be a big deal for your new account holder.</p> <p>Once all the forms are signed and completed, it usually takes about three weeks for a rollover to be complete. The funds should be sent directly from your old employer to your new account holder and you should receive a confirmation either in the mail or email. Again, there shouldn't be any taxes withheld or penalties assessed for a direct rollover. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-set-up-an-ira-to-build-wealth?ref=seealso">How to Set Up An IRA to Build Wealth</a>)</p> <p>The whole thing should take about 10 minutes in paperwork and three weeks in wait time (while your old employer sends the funds to your new account holder). It's a small price to pay for building a secure retirement.</p> <p><em>Have you rolled over your 401(k) recently? Did you hit any snags or was it smooth sailing? Tell us about it 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/alaina-tweddale">Alaina Tweddale</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-step-by-step-guide-to-rolling-over-your-401k">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/left-a-job-do-a-rollover">Left a job? Do a rollover.</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/intimidated-by-retirement-investing-get-professional-help">Intimidated by Retirement Investing? Get Professional Help!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-why-you-cant-postpone-planning-for-your-retirement-and-how-to-start">This Is Why You Can&#039;t Postpone Planning for Your Retirement (And How to Start)</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/if-you-want-your-401k-to-grow-stop-doing-these-6-things">If You Want Your 401K to Grow, Stop Doing These 6 Things</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-retirement-planning-changes-when-youre-single">7 Ways Retirement Planning Changes When You&#039;re Single</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement 401(k) IRA life hacks personal finance retirement rollover Wed, 25 Mar 2015 13:00:10 +0000 Alaina Tweddale 1356036 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Personal Finance Moves You Can Make While Jogging http://www.wisebread.com/8-personal-finance-moves-you-can-make-while-jogging <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-personal-finance-moves-you-can-make-while-jogging" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mature-man-jogging-Dollarphotoclub_74121318.jpg" alt="mature man jogging" title="mature man jogging" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Exercise is important, right? It makes us happier, healthier, and (if you're anything like me) takes everyday stress down to a manageable level. But it can also take quite a bit of time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-moves-you-can-make-during-your-commute?ref=seealso">10 Financial Moves You Can Make During Your Commute</a>)</p> <p>Wouldn't it be better if you could multitask &mdash; if you could get other things done while you were out running? When it comes to personal finance, you absolutely can. Here are my top favorite things to improve my finances while I'm out on a run.</p> <h2>1. Check Your Balances</h2> <p>Every run has those annoying interruptions in their exercise. You know, traffic lights, people in your way, or maybe you just got tired and need to walk. Make sure you have your bank and credit card apps downloaded, and you can check your balances on the fly. While accessing each account can feel like an annoying drag most of the time, it's fast enough that you can easily look at one account per stop light. By the end of the run, you'll have a big-picture view of your financial situation.</p> <h2>2. Pay Your Credit Card Bill</h2> <p>As soon as I head out the door with my running shoes on, it happens: I remember things that I need to do. So many times, I realize that I need to pay a bill. Fortunately, I've had my credit cards so long that I've got all my payment information saved in my credit card apps, so it only takes a few clicks to get that bill paid. It's such a relief to get that done, and I don't have the burden of remembering it for later.</p> <h2>3. Clip Electronic Coupons</h2> <p>I love to save money, but it takes so long to clip coupons. In the last few weeks, I've started using apps instead, and they save a ton of time &mdash; in fact, you could easily find some coupons while waiting for the light to change. The right apps for you will depend on where you want to shop and what you want to buy, but it's almost always easy to navigate to the app, find coupons for items you want or need, and activate those to your account. Not sure where to start? Try <a href="http://www.retailmenot.com/mobile/">RetailMeNot</a>, <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=thecouponsapp.coupon">The Coupons App</a>, or <a href="http://cartwheel.target.com/">Cartwheel for Target</a>.</p> <h2>4. Budget On the Fly</h2> <p>Do you need to check your budget or major expenses? Most finance apps have some sort of budgeting tool, so you can easily make the changes you need while you're literally (and figuratively) on the run. If you're not sure where to start, <a href="https://www.mint.com/how-it-works/anywhere/">Mint</a> makes a great app that has some budgeting capability. Otherwise, check your bank and credit card apps for this feature or, if you're really serious, lay down the cash and get <a href="http://www.youneedabudget.com/features/iphone">You Need a Budget</a>.</p> <h2>5. Get Tax Advice</h2> <p>Worrying about taxes? Instead of letting the anxiety build, <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ask-tax-preparer-tax-answers/id586582640?mt=8">search for answers</a> or ask a question via your tax app. There are versions of both the <a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-11281907">TurboTax</a> and <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-10986083">H&amp;R Block</a> apps that allow you to get tax help via email (but be sure you have the app for the right year!). You can type in a quick question while you're running and maybe you'll have your answer by the time you get home.</p> <h2>6. Ponder Your Money Mindset</h2> <p>Your money mindset encompasses many things, such as what money means to you, how you like to be able to spend your money, and whether finances are a comfortable or uncomfortable topic for you. These are big questions, and you can ponder them while you run. Break it down by looking at <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelkay/2014/04/22/deciphering-your-money-mindset/">a list of money</a> <a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/100-questions-to-ask-yourself-about-your-financial-mindset/">mindset questions</a> before you go out, then use your workout time to pinpoint how you think about money, what you like about that mindset, and what you'd like to change.</p> <h2>7. Organize Your Expense Report</h2> <p>Expense reports can be a huge pain, especially if you need to be reimbursed for a lot of things. An app like <a href="https://www.expensify.com/">Expensify</a> can make the whole process easier, though. Once you've got your transactions in their system, you can categorize them or make the necessary notes during pauses in your run. By the time you get home, your report will be ready to print out and turn in.</p> <h2>8. Find the Best Deal</h2> <p>There are a lot of ways to find the best deal using your smartphone, but <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2014/9/30/6873665/path-talk-lets-you-text-businesses-talkto">Path Talk</a> is one of my new favorites. It lets you text local businesses with requests for all sorts of information, like what time they open, how long their lines are, and their current prices on specific items. The amazing thing is, it usually works. Most of the time, you have a response within just a few minutes! So head out for your run with your Christmas list in tow, send a few messages while you're exercising, and determine the best deal when you get home.</p> <p>Exercise doesn't have to interfere with getting things done, at least when it comes to your finances. These quick, streamlined methods allow you to get your workout and be financially responsible, too!</p> <p><em>Do you get things done while you jog? What's your favorite quick-and-dirty personal finance move?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-personal-finance-moves-you-can-make-while-jogging">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/financial-tricks-to-master-for-a-happier-life">Financial Tricks to Master for a Happier 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/6-dumb-places-you-re-leaving-your-money">6 Dumb Places You’re Leaving Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-apps-that-pay-you-to-workout">6 Apps That Pay You to Workout</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-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> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money">5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Productivity apps fitness jogging multitask personal finance Tue, 23 Dec 2014 14:00:07 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1271111 at http://www.wisebread.com How One Young Entrepreneur Paid Off $40,000 in Student Debt By Age 24 http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-young-entrepreneur-paid-off-40000-in-student-debt-by-age-24 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-one-young-entrepreneur-paid-off-40000-in-student-debt-by-age-24" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/modern-businesswoman-470761315-small.jpg" alt="modern businesswoman" title="modern businesswoman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>More than 70% of graduates finish college with debt, at an average level of almost <a href="http://projectonstudentdebt.org/state_by_state-data.php">$30,000 per student</a>. The <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/specialfeatures/2013/08/07/how-the-college-debt-is-crippling-students-parents-and-the-economy/">national student debt level</a> has reached $1.2 trillion and a staggering 7 million borrowers have already defaulted on their loans. With so many adults seeing their debt situation as helpless, it was refreshing to come across a young borrower who managed to pay off her hefty $40,000 student debt burden in just a few years.</p> <p>A $40,000 debt load put Michelle Schroeder in the top 10% of borrowers. Even with a loan burden substantially higher than most young graduates, she was able to return her debt by the time she was just 24 years old. &quot;It was hard but it paid off in the end,&quot; says Schroeder. &quot;It's the best feeling ever. I don't have to submit a $1,000 payment every month for something I don't see.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-balance-saving-for-retirement-emergency-fund-and-paying-off-debt?ref=seealso">How to Balance Saving for Retirement, Emergency Fund, and Retiring Debt</a>)</p> <p>Schroeder concedes that her journey wasn't easy, but that anyone can do it, if they really want to. To reach her goal and pay off her debt, Schroeder took three simple steps. Read on to discover how you can follow in her tracks.</p> <h2>1. A Financial Assessment</h2> <p>When Schroeder reviewed her personal balance sheet, she didn't like what she saw. &quot;I didn't want to be one of those people with $40,000 in student loan debt when their kids are going to college,&quot; she said. &quot;I just wanted to be done with it. I made a crazy action plan to have it paid off within the year.&quot; Schroeder admits it can be scary to add up 10 different student loans and realize how much they total. Even so, she knew she'd have to face up to her reality before she could create a game plan and start to pay her burden off.</p> <p>According to Schroeder, this is a step anyone can take, and yet many don't. &quot;A lot of people are afraid to look at the total or they're just not interested in doing the work to pay it off right now.&quot; Even so, it's not a difficult task, once you bulldoze past the psychological barriers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-money-worries-are-holding-you-back-heres-what-to-do?ref=seealso">Your Money Worries Are Holding You Back &mdash; Here's What to Do</a>)</p> <h2>2. A Decrease in Spending</h2> <p>Schroeder's first line of attack was to figure out where she could scale back. She cut her gym membership, dropped her cable TV package, and scaled down her food budget. She also took on mystery shopping work, which would often fund dinners, snacks, and other perks. She received an annual bonus that she used to fund her emergency savings account and further reduce her debt. All together, she was bringing home $5,000 per month in salary and was cutting costs wherever she could.</p> <p>Anyone can develop their own cost cutting strategies by identifying areas of excess consumption. To target where to reduce spending, check out an online tracking service like Mint or Quicken. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/73-easy-ways-to-save-money-today?ref=seealso">73 Easy Ways to Save Money Today</a>)</p> <h2>3. An Increase in Income</h2> <p>Schroeder was already doing more to decrease her debt burden than many borrowers but even so, she wanted to speed up her debt repayment pace. To make a real dent in her burden, she started looking into ways to boost her income.</p> <p>She got creative and took on a boarder, which brought in an extra $300 &mdash; $400 per month. She next started a side business, first as a virtual assistant, later as a staff writer, and finally as a blogger and website consultant at <a href="http://www.makingsenseofcents.com">Making Sense of Cents</a>. &quot;I wasn't making much money for the first one to two years,&quot; she says of her online business. &quot;Plus, I sacrificed a lot like hanging out with my friends and watching TV. Instead, I focused on growing my business.&quot;</p> <p>Between her day job and side gigs, Schroeder worked 100 hours per week for three years straight. Her small side income grew and she eventually was paying $5,000 per month toward her student loan debt. In the final month, she wiped out her emergency savings account to pay the $10,000 remaining student loan balance.</p> <p>According to Schroeder, anyone can build a side income, regardless of skill set. Her suggestions include a part-time job in a retail store, walking dogs, babysitting, or starting a business. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-earn-more-money-heres-how/?ref=seealso">You CAN Earn More Money &mdash; Here's How</a>)</p> <p>Last year, once her loans were repaid in full, Schroeder left her day job. She now lives off of what was once a side income, and works from home. When asked why more people don't take a fast-track approach to paying off their debt, Schroeder chalked it up to societal expectations. &quot;It's not normal to pay student loans off fast,&quot; she says. &quot;People consider it good debt and they're fine with it because everyone else has them.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Most people can pay their loans off within a couple of years if they try really hard,&quot; she says. For her, the upfront work was worth it. &quot;Life's not as stressful, now that I don't have student loans,&quot; she says.</p> <p><em>Are you burdened by a mountain of debt? How do you plan to eliminate it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alaina-tweddale">Alaina Tweddale</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-young-entrepreneur-paid-off-40000-in-student-debt-by-age-24">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/this-recent-grad-paid-off-34k-in-sudent-loans-and-launched-a-business-in-just-4-years">This Recent Grad Paid Off $34K in Student Loans and Launched a Business (In Just 4 Years)</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-after-the-holidays-moves-your-credit-score-will-thank-you-for">5 After the Holidays Moves Your Credit Score Will Thank You For</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-gettin-baptized-in-the-watahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-epiphany">The Gettin&#039;-Baptized-in-the-Watah Epiphany</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-inspiring-couple-paid-off-48000-in-25-years">How One Inspiring Couple Paid Off $48,000 in 2.5 Years</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-this-single-income-family-found-financial-freedom-in-just-27-months">How This Single-Income Family Found Financial Freedom in Just 27 Months</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting debt repayment debt stories entrepreneur personal finance side gig student loans Tue, 28 Oct 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Alaina Tweddale 1245576 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways the Ebola Outbreak Could Hurt the Economy — And Your Wallet http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-the-ebola-outbreak-could-hurt-the-economy-and-your-wallet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-the-ebola-outbreak-could-hurt-the-economy-and-your-wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman-panic-186181532-small.jpg" alt="panicking businessman" title="panicking businessman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know that the Ebola virus probably is not a threat to our health &mdash; but what about our fiscal health? As this deadly global story comes to a boil, it's also taking its toll on our wallets. And while nothing could compare to the deadly effects of the disease, these financial concerns are worth keeping an eye on.</p> <h2>1. There Could Be a Global Financial Collapse</h2> <p>Analysts at Barclays are warning that the continued spread of the deadly Ebola virus beyond the confines of West Africa could have a <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/markets/11148603/Ebola-Could-viruss-spread-cause-financial-market-turmoil.html">&quot;significant&quot; impact on the financial markets</a>. &quot;Ebola's likelihood of spreading to larger, more integrated economies has increased,&quot; Barclays' Marvin Barth told The Telegraph.</p> <p>Already the disease has sparked a sell-off of travel and airline stocks worldwide. &quot;If consumers and businesses retrench by <a href="http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/10/13/calculating-the-grim-costs-of-ebola/?_php=true&amp;_type=blogs&amp;_r=0">reducing flights on airplanes</a>, changing vacation plans, or altering business connections in a globally interdependent world, G.D.P. growth rates will fall farther,&quot; wrote David R. Kotok, chairman and chief investment officer of Cumberland Advisors. &quot;We do not know how much, at what speed, or for how long.&quot;</p> <p>In terms of its potential to wreak havoc on the markets, experts are comparing Ebola to Asia's outbreak of the airborne SARS virus in 2003. Not only did SARS rattle regional tourism and China's stock exchange, it also instigated a pronounced slump in retail sales.</p> <h2>2. The Price of Chocolate Could Skyrocket</h2> <p>Hold on to your chocolate bars! The <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11145266/What-chocolate-prices-tell-us-about-the-spread-of-Ebola.html">price of cocoa beans spiked</a> more than 10% last month due to fears that Ebola could spread to the Ivory Coast, the world's largest producer of chocolate's main ingredient. Ivory Coast shares a border with Guinea and Liberia, two of the three countries (the third being Sierra Leone) that are most affected by the virus. Not only is this West African region ground zero for Ebola, but it's also home of 70% of the world's cocoa supply. With Halloween just around the corner and the holiday season soon to follow, Nestle's chief executive has said <a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/nestle-on-high-alert-over-ebola-1413450717">the company is on &quot;high alert.&quot;</a></p> <h2>3. Airline Stocks Could Take a Plunge</h2> <p><a href="http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2014/oct/08/ebola-fears-create-entry-point-for-airline-stocks/?businessdiary">Airline stocks are already down</a> about 7% due to fears of a global health crisis. And on the heels of news earlier this month that a medical worker contracted Ebola in Spain, shares in IAG, which owns British Airways and Iberia, as well as the cruise operator Carnival, dropped nearly 9% in two days, largely due to concerns about the potential for future travel bans. Meanwhile, the World Travel and Tourism Council that represents airlines, hotels, and other travel companies is reporting <a href="http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/a8439bf4-4eb3-11e4-a1ef-00144feab7de.html">a 30% plunge in early bookings to Africa</a>, where the disease is deeply entrenched. But experts say the outlook for airline companies and their shareholders could likely get much, much worse.</p> <p>&quot;It certainly depends on how serious and how <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ebola-could-hurt-u-s&mdash;economy-171944171.html">widespread the situation becomes</a>,&quot; Michelle Girard, chief economist at RBS, told a reporter for Yahoo! Finance. &quot;Of course, people talk about, 'What if it becomes airborne?' And then you have a scenario where the borders are shut and people are afraid to travel, not just internationally, but perhaps domestically. If there are concerns about&hellip; being trapped on an airplane with the potential for somebody to be spreading the virus. Those are all the things that people are worried about, and you can understand that forward-looking investors are beginning to at least price in. [They] feel the need to price in some probability or some sort of risk of that [happening], albeit small.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Travel Insurance Could Become a Must</h2> <p>Global health and safety events are among the top reasons why nearly half of all jetsetting Americans <a href="http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/allianz-travel-insurance-vacation-confidence-index-shows-summer-vacation-spending-will-1923901.htm">consider purchasing travel insurance</a> for international trips, according to data from Allianz Global Assistance USA. After Sept. 11, for example, there was a 10% bump in spending by Americans on airline travel insurance. But right now only about a third of Americans flying to foreign destinations actually follow through and buy the insurance. Experts say that's likely to change. As the Ebola virus continues on its cross-continental course, infecting numerous persons who either caught the virus or transported it via airplane, it's likely that more Americans will begin to view spending on airline travel insurance as a necessity.</p> <h2>5. The Health Care System Could Be Taken for a Ride</h2> <p>Nobody has yet to calculate the fallout of the Ebola virus on the health care system &mdash; neither here in North America nor abroad. But what's clear is that the money being poured into the fight against the disease (training, testing, treatment, waste disposal) &mdash; not to mention the money lost as hospital beds sit unused in isolation areas &mdash; will certainly affect the industry.</p> <p>&quot;One of the things I fear about Ebola is that it could spread more widely in Africa,&quot; Center for Disease Control Director Dr. Thomas Frieden told a congressional hearing. &quot;If this were to happen, it could become a threat to our health system and the healthcare we give for a long time to come.&quot;</p> <p><em>How fearful are you about Ebola?</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/5-ways-the-ebola-outbreak-could-hurt-the-economy-and-your-wallet">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/afraid-of-spending-money-here-are-5-perks-of-your-phobia">Afraid of Spending Money? Here Are 5 Perks of Your Phobia</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-gettin-baptized-in-the-watahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-epiphany">The Gettin&#039;-Baptized-in-the-Watah Epiphany</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/on-choosing-temporary-freedom">On choosing temporary freedom</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/why-you-should-donate-a-blood-sucking-timeshare">Why You Should Donate a Blood Sucking Timeshare</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/bouncing-back-when-theres-no-bounce-left">Bouncing Back When There&#039;s No &quot;Bounce&quot; Left</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living disasters and money ebola fear personal finance sickness Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:00:04 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1241738 at http://www.wisebread.com The Habits of the Financially Successful http://www.wisebread.com/7-habits-of-the-financially-successful <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-habits-of-the-financially-successful" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy-bank-165507219.jpg" alt="piggy bank" title="piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you think about it, achieving success in some of our most important life activities requires two key ingredients: knowledge and behavior. Knowledge by itself isn't enough; knowing <em>what</em> to do only gets you halfway there. You also need to follow through by taking action. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/success-secrets-you-should-have-learned-in-high-school-but-didnt?ref=seealso">Success Secrets You Should've Learned in High School</a>)</p> <p>Take a job, for example. On paper I might be an expert at my profession. Very knowledgeable. But if some aspects of my behavior are lacking &mdash; say, weak organization or communication skills &mdash; and they lead to poor or failed execution, then my chances for rapid career advancement are slim.</p> <p>The same holds true for financial success. There's certainly no shortage of information and advice on managing our finances. But what are the behaviors that contribute most to turning that knowledge into successful results? A good place to look is among people who are financially successful. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-made-billionaires-investment-lessons-from-their-success?ref=seealso">Investment Lessons From Self-Made Billionaires</a>)</p> <p>To help identify these behaviors, I've drawn from &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0671015206/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0671015206&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">The Millionaire Next Door</a>&quot; by Tom Stanley and William Danko, from Daniel Goleman's &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/055338371X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=055338371X&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Emotional Intelligence</a>,&quot; and also from my own experiences and observations. What did I find? The financially successful tend to have seven behaviors in common.</p> <h2>1. They Are Goal Oriented</h2> <p>As the expression goes, they &quot;keep their eyes on the prize.&quot; That prize is financial independence. It requires a longer term perspective and the ability to focus all their financial decisions and actions on achieving it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/achieve-more-with-goal-sequencing?ref=seealso">Use Goal Sequencing to Get More Done</a>)</p> <h2>2. They Are Organized</h2> <p>According to &quot;The Millionaire Mind,&quot; about two-thirds of America's millionaires are self-employed or business owners, and they apply the same organizational tools and methods that make their businesses successful to their personal finances. So not only do they set specific, measurable financial goals, but they also develop a plan &mdash; a financial plan with deadlines &mdash; and they establish an organized process for reviewing progress against plan. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-it-done-how-to-measure-your-goals?ref=seealso">How to Measure Your Goals</a>)</p> <h2>3. They Are Open Minded</h2> <p>Life happens, which means circumstances change. We're all confronted with unforeseen events, and as much as we try not to, we also misjudge some situations and make bad decisions. The financially successful understand and accept this. They're quick to acknowledge change and to recognize, learn from, and correct their mistakes.</p> <h2>4. They Are Action Oriented</h2> <p>The financially successful are comfortable with making decisions and taking action. If one approach doesn't solve the problem, they try another one. Sometimes it's two steps forward and a step or two backwards, but in the end there is progress. By contrast, fear of making a mistake leads to fear of making a decision, and that rarely moves you forward.</p> <h2>5. They Are Frugal</h2> <p>This is perhaps the most common behavior of all, as reflected in Stanley and Danko's profile of the typical millionaire: &quot;We live well below our means. We wear inexpensive suits and drive American-made cars. Only a minority of us drive the current model-year automobile. Only a minority ever lease our vehicles.&quot; Instead they pay off vehicles quickly, keep them for years, and use the freed up cash flow to get further ahead.</p> <p>Importantly, as their income increases their expenditures do NOT (or at least, not as quickly). In other words, they don't fall into the &quot;make more, spend more&quot; trap.</p> <h2>6. They Are Team Oriented</h2> <p>Do you know any couples with split financial personalities? While one is a model of frugality, the other is a poster child for extravagance. Result: Financial (and emotional) disarray.</p> <p>Not so among financially successful households. They typically have a primary breadwinner, but the spouse or other partner is, according to Stanley and Danko, &quot;a planner and meticulous budgeter.&quot; As one millionaire stated in a focus group, &quot;Most of us will tell you that our spouses are a lot more conservative with money than we are.&quot; It's all about communication and collaboration, not conflict. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-should-ask-in-the-money-talk?ref=seealso">5 Money Questions Couples Should Ask</a>)</p> <h2>7. They Are Persistent</h2> <p>Last but certainly not least, ultimate success requires perseverance. Achieving financial success is a long term activity; it's a marathon, not a sprint, and there will be obstacles and setbacks along the way. Overcoming them requires self-control, self-motivation, and patience. Slow and steady wins the race.</p> <h2>Is This How You Behave?</h2> <p>All of this leads to a question: How many of these seven behaviors do you have?</p> <p>The good news is that it's not an all-or-nothing proposition &mdash; that you either &quot;have&quot; these behaviors or you don't. Rather, we all have the ability to develop each one. Sure, some of us need to develop certain behaviors more than others. That's OK; the place to start is by becoming more self-aware of our weak spots&hellip;of the behaviors needing the most development.</p> <p>Here's some more good news. You don't have to go it alone. This is a team effort &mdash; and you're not limited to just a two-person team. In addition to your spouse or partner you have many other people, tools, and resources at your disposal. Financial advisors can assist with setting goals and guiding decisions. Software is available to organize the effort and help you manage your progress against goals. And you can lean on a support network of family, friends and colleagues to see you through the disappointments and setbacks on this journey to financial independence.</p> <p>Where's a good place to start? Behavior #4: Take Action.</p> <p><em>Have I missed any behaviors on my list? Let me know your thoughts in comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/keith-whelan">Keith Whelan</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-habits-of-the-financially-successful">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/12-ways-to-make-yourself-save-more-money">12 Ways to Make Yourself Save More 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/8-reasons-youre-still-stuck-in-a-financial-hole">8 Reasons You&#039;re Still Stuck in a Financial Hole</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-check-if-your-mortgage-statement-is-correct">How to check if your mortgage statement is correct</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-young-entrepreneur-paid-off-40000-in-student-debt-by-age-24">How One Young Entrepreneur Paid Off $40,000 in Student Debt By Age 24</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-gettin-baptized-in-the-watahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-epiphany">The Gettin&#039;-Baptized-in-the-Watah Epiphany</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance financial success habits personal finance Thu, 16 Jan 2014 10:48:08 +0000 Keith Whelan 1098947 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Ways to Make Yourself Save More Money http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-make-yourself-save-more-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-ways-to-make-yourself-save-more-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy-bank-5226424-small.jpg" alt="piggy bank" title="piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Saving money isn&#39;t something that comes naturally to most people. In fact, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/poverty-makes-you-stupid">research has shown</a> people with less money tend to have a more difficult time making financial and time management-related decisions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-brain-hacks-for-better-investment-decisions">Brain Hacks for Better Investment Decisions</a>)</p> <p>In short, the<a href="http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/cp243.pdf"> psychological factors</a> involved with saving money matter &mdash; a lot. So it might seem like a fairly daunting task to simply keep your checking account above water so that you can pay bills and cover the necessary monthly expenses. The good news is that even when you&#39;re in a situation like this, there are some things you can do to essentially <em>force</em> yourself to save and increase your cash flow.</p> <h2>1. Figure Out What Your <em>Actual</em> Discretionary Income Is</h2> <p>If you sit down and add up all of your monthly expenses, then subtract that from your monthly take-home pay, you might be surprised at how much discretionary income you actually have. Most people don&#39;t even do the math, so it just <em>feels</em> like things are tight, when in reality, they have a lot of extra money that they&#39;re just not managing well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/money-management-in-5-minutes-a-day">Money Management in 5 Minutes a Day</a>)</p> <p>Map it all out so that you know exactly what <em>has</em> to go out on a monthly basis, then give your best guess for things that fluctuate like gas and groceries. If the money leftover is around $400, then you can probably safely take at least half of that and put it away. If it&#39;s $200, then $100 every two weeks can go into savings.</p> <h2>2. Recognize That It Doesn&#39;t Take Much</h2> <p>A lot of people are under the impression that &quot;saving money&quot; means setting aside a high percentage of their weekly pay, which usually isn&#39;t something they can afford. That thought alone is enough to frustrate someone to digress into an attitude of &quot;since I can&#39;t save a lot, I just won&#39;t save any at all.&quot;</p> <p>Before you go into a savings plan, recognize that saving money is often just one small step at a time. In fact, financial advisors will tell you that the earlier you start saving for retirement, the <em>less</em> you need to put away every week. Someone in their mid-20s who starts putting $25 every week into an investment account can count on being close to (if not over) the $600,000 mark by the time they&#39;re ready to retire. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retirement-planning-if-you-re-under-30">Retirement Planning If You&#39;re Under 30</a>)</p> <p>If you can start at age<a href="http://money.cnn.com/retirement/guide/basics_basics.moneymag/index.htm?iid=EL"> 25 and manage $57 a week (or $3,000 per year for 10 years)</a> in a retirement account with 8% return, that money would grow to over $470,000 by the time you&#39;re 65, without you having to contribute anything after you&#39;re 35 years old.</p> <p>The longer you wait, the bigger that weekly number gets and the less time your money has to grow. It can still be done, but the pressure gets higher. The key is to get started as soon as possible, no matter how small the amount you have to contribute.</p> <h2>3. Cut Costs Somewhere and Put the Savings Away</h2> <p>You don&#39;t necessarily need to cut into the excess income that you already enjoy; instead, find an area where you can cut costs. A fairly typical recommendation is coffee; so instead of getting coffee four times a week, get it once. Better yet, make it at home for about 10 cents per cup. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-coffeemakers">The Top 5 Coffeemakers</a>)</p> <p>If you skip out on coffee four times a week, that&#39;s anywhere from $15-$20 per week. Downgrade your gym membership (cut out tanning, pool, whatever), and you&#39;ve got maybe another $10 per week to add to the pile.</p> <p>Let&#39;s say conservatively that, overall, you can cut $25 out of every week. If you can put that away, there&#39;s your weekly retirement savings.</p> <h2>4. Set Up Automatic Savings</h2> <p>Almost all online banking systems have functions that allow you to set up automatic transfers that will send a certain amount of money every week from one account to another. In this case, it would be sending money from your checking account to your savings account. Or, sign up for a service like <a href="http://savedplus.com/">SavedPlus</a>, which will automatically redirect a percentage of everything you <em>spend</em> into a savings account.</p> <p>It&#39;s a good thing to put in place and then forget about for several months. If you can swing $25 per week (and you probably can!), you will have upwards of $600 saved by the end of six months.</p> <p>If you can afford more per week, and you&#39;re comfortable sending it over to savings, the higher that weekly number is, the better. Just keep in mind that it doesn&#39;t really need to be high. You can even just do $15, if that&#39;s more manageable. It will all depend on your budget.</p> <h2>5. Contribute More to Your 401(k)</h2> <p>If your employer provides a 401(k) retirement plan, you&#39;ll be able to give either a percentage or dollar amount that they take out of each check. Many employers will match up to eight percent, so if you&#39;re able to do without that money, a matched 401(k) is a good place for it. Plus, it will force you to wait to take it out until retirement age.</p> <p>Even if you just consider a smaller percentage, it adds up big over time, so set an amount and forget that you even make that money. In a few years, you&#39;ll be impressed with how much you&#39;ve saved.</p> <h2>6. Stay Busy at Home</h2> <p>On a more practical note, the more time you&#39;re at home, the less of an opportunity you&#39;ll have to go out and spend money that doesn&#39;t need to be spent. It doesn&#39;t mean that you have to lock yourself away and avoid going out, but if you can find productive and engaging things to do at home, you&#39;ll likely have more money in your pocket at the end of every week that can be socked away into your savings account.</p> <p>Take, for example, restaurants. There are few things in this life that drain money from our wallets like paying for restaurant food. Sure, it&#39;s fun and totally fine to do occasionally; but don&#39;t get into the habit of always relying on restaurants for your food, because the cost (compared to cooking at home) is exorbitant. Try to eat most of your meals in your home and allow for the occasional splurge with friends or family. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-restaurant-dishes-you-can-make-at-home">Restaurant Dishes You Can Make at Home</a>)</p> <h2>7. Start Using Personal Finance Software</h2> <p>Programs like Quicken usually cost a good bit of money, but <a href="https://www.mint.com/">Mint.com</a> is completely free and works just the same. Keeping track of your finances as you go can help to keep your checkbook balanced, and it can also motivate you to actually save money and put some away at the end of the week. The bottom line is that if you have to watch your money go out, you&#39;ll be more careful with it as it&#39;s coming in.</p> <h2>8. Pay Off Your Credit Card</h2> <p>If you&#39;ve been carrying a balance on your credit card, now is the time to pay it down and eliminate your monthly payment. Not only will the monthly payment be off the table, but the interest you&#39;re paying on what you owe will be a thing of the past as well. If you can afford to, pay it all off at once and leave the credit card alone unless it&#39;s an emergency.</p> <p>If you&#39;re able to do that, you&#39;ll save money every month by default, simply because you don&#39;t have to worry about those payments. Take that sum (whatever it might be) and put it in a short or long term savings account.</p> <h2>9. Artificially Reduce Your Paycheck</h2> <p>We tend to live near the ceiling of whatever we make, staying close to the maximum amount of spending that our income can handle.</p> <p>But what if that income was lower?</p> <p>If it were lower, we&#39;d make do. So the strategy to make yourself save is to &ldquo;pretend&rdquo; that you don&#39;t make as much as you do and designate a certain amount or percentage of your check to <em>immediately</em> be put into a savings account and adjusting your life to work around the remaining amount.</p> <h2>10. Drink One Less Beer and Pocket the Savings</h2> <p>If you go out for a drink once or twice a week and drink more than one beer, perhaps two or three, stick to one drink and pocket the savings. Put the extra cash in a jar, or keep a spreadsheet with a total if you make all your purchases through a debit card.</p> <p>At the end of the year, grab your total and put it all in your savings account. Two less beers a week would be about $15, multiplied by 52 weeks is $780.</p> <h2>11. Go With Netflix Instead of TV</h2> <p>Paying for TV every month is about $60 on a good day. If you can live without it, a Netflix instant subscription is only $8 per month, giving you an extra $52. Multiply that by 12 months and you&#39;ve got another $624 to your credit.</p> <p>If you combine that with your beer money savings, over the course of 10 years, that total savings eclipses $14,040 &mdash; not too shabby.</p> <h2>12. Prioritize Saving Money</h2> <p>If you don&#39;t prioritize saving money, it&#39;s never going to happen. You&#39;ve got to make it an emotional priority and something that you&#39;re passionate about in order to save on a consistent basis. Without that drive and desire to build up your savings, it&#39;s going to be a constant uphill battle to even stay in the black.</p> <p>Motivation isn&#39;t exactly something that you can just call up, but considering the fact that you&#39;re reading this article, you almost certainly have at least <em>some</em> motivation to save. Translate that into action and get aggressive about putting money away.</p> <h2>Establishing Good Habits</h2> <p>Saving is a matter of small steps over a long period of time. It doesn&#39;t happen overnight, so make sure to fight the feeling that not being able to save big means you shouldn&#39;t save at all. As you see money in your account build, you&#39;ll be more motivated to put more away and allow it to grow, either in investments or as an emergency fund in a short-term savings account.</p> <p><em>How do you trick yourself into saving more?</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/12-ways-to-make-yourself-save-more-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-i-dont-want-to-regret-once-i-retire-take-two">25 Things I Don&#039;t Want to Regret Once I Retire: Take Two</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/book-review-spend-til-the-end">Book review: Spend &#039;til The End</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</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/7-financial-differences-between-millennials-and-the-next-generation">7 Financial Differences Between Millennials and the Next Generation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance personal finance saving savings strategies Mon, 28 Oct 2013 10:00:04 +0000 Mikey Rox 1047156 at http://www.wisebread.com