advice http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/277/all en-US 6 Money Lessons We Can Learn From "Gilmore Girls" http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-gilmore-girls <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-gilmore-girls" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women_friends_tv_69491221.jpg" alt="Learning money lessons from Gilmore Girls" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In case you have had your head in the sand, been stranded on a desert island, or just been sitting on your couch with your fingers in your ears chanting, &quot;La, la, la,&quot; let me be the one to tell you: The Gilmore Girls are coming back!</p> <p>We've learned a lot from them over the years. Feisty Lorelai and sweet Rory have taught us about love, family, friendship, food, and more. And, on November 25th, I hope to continue my education.</p> <p>Not only do I hope to hear more witty banter and find out (finally???) whether Team Jess really and truly won Rory's heart, but I bet I'll also learn a bit about money. Here's what I've learned so far.</p> <h2>1. Money Isn't Everything</h2> <p>Look at Richard and Emily, or Paris Gellar, or even Logan. They all have quite a bit of money, but it hasn't brought them much in the way of happiness. Instead, it has brought them stress, a constant need to keep up with the other wealthy folks around them, a whole lot of pressure, and anxiety. In fact, if they are what it means to be wealthy, I don't want any part of it!</p> <p>On the flip side, Lorelei and Rory don't have that much money. Sure, by the time the show starts, they clearly are better off than they used to be, but they still aren't wealthy. Yet they are happy, have a solid relationship, and know what they want out of life. When it comes to happiness, being financially stable is important, but being wealthy is not.</p> <h2>2. Sometimes the Little Splurges Are Worth It</h2> <p>We've all heard about how much we could save if we didn't get that coffee every morning, didn't eat out so much, didn't buy so many drinks, etc. But, sometimes, those little splurges are worth it. Think about the number of times the girls bonded over coffee and a meal at Luke's, or even the relationship that developed between Luke and Lorelai.</p> <p>While there are other ways to facilitate relationships, getting a coffee together is socially acceptable and nonthreatening in our culture. So you may not want to drink as much coffee as the Gilmore Girls, but a cuppa here and there, especially when it comes with good conversation, can easily be worth the cost.</p> <h2>3. It's Okay to Ask for Help</h2> <p>Lorelai asks her parents for financial help several times (starting in the very first episode) and it's hard for her every time. She has worked hard to get to where she is, and she doesn't want to lose her financial independence and put herself in a place where she owes someone. Yet, in order to make it possible for Rory to attend Chilton, she humbles herself and asks Richard and Emily for help.</p> <p>And it turns out to be a good thing.</p> <p>While asking for financial help can be at least as tricky in the real world as it is for Lorelai and Rory, sometimes that is what you need to do. If there is something you need and can't afford, or something that would be really, really good for you or a family member, and asking for aid in a mature, intentional way could be one of the best things you ever do.</p> <h2>4. Dream and Plan for Financial Success</h2> <p>Owning their own inn is a dream for Lorelai and Sookie, and it's not one that could ever come true without intentional planning. First, they dream, then they save, then they look for the perfect place, find the right realtor, and so on. By combining their dream with a plan, they eventually achieve their goals.</p> <p>Most dreams cost money, which means that achieving them requires some sort of plan. Without this, the dream will never become feasible and will only ever be a dream. Planning and putting your money behind a dream means that your money is working for you, and gives you motivation to be frugal and make wise choices.</p> <h2>5. You Can Have Fun Without Spending a Lot</h2> <p>Sure, Rory and Lorelai spend quite a bit on coffee and takeout, but they aren't extravagant when it comes to entertainment. Other than a concert here or there, they spend most of their evenings at home, eating a ton of food and watching all sorts of movies. Through this ritual, they've gotten to know each other and have built a strong mother-daughter bond.</p> <h2>6. That Side Hustle Can Add Up</h2> <p>Lorelai works full time and goes to school, but she also takes jobs on the side. She and Sookie cater parties so posh that even Emily wants them to throw one of hers. Without this extra income, I'm pretty sure Lorelai would never have been able to buy the Dragonfly, even on a very generous manager's salary.</p> <p>If you're good at something, start developing your side hustle today. It can be small at first, but who knows what it will grow into. Maybe it will generate some income so you can follow your dreams, too.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-gilmore-girls">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-money-lessons-we-could-all-learn-from-dwayne-the-rock-johnson">6 Money Lessons We Could All Learn From Dwayne &quot;The Rock&quot; Johnson</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-jk-rowling">4 Money Lessons We Can Learn From J.K. Rowling</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/12-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">12 Personal Finance Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-money-secrets-of-the-amish">9 Money Secrets of the Amish</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Entertainment advice dreams gilmore girls money lessons saving money side jobs success TV shows Wed, 09 Nov 2016 09:00:06 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1829534 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Essentials for Building a Profitable Portfolio http://www.wisebread.com/5-essentials-for-building-a-profitable-portfolio <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-essentials-for-building-a-profitable-portfolio" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/growing_money_trees_84090749.jpg" alt="Finding essentials for building profitable portfolio" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For many people, investing is the most complicated and intimidating aspect of managing money. But it doesn't have to be. Here are some of the essentials for building a successful investment portfolio.</p> <h2>1. Know What You're Investing For</h2> <p>Investing is best done with a purpose in mind. Investing for a child's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-start-saving-for-your-child-s-education">future college costs</a> is not the same as investing for your retirement. You would use different investment vehicles &mdash; a 529-plan account or Coverdell Education Savings Account for college, and an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/401k-or-ira-you-need-both">IRA or 401K</a> for retirement.</p> <h2>2. Know Your Time Frame</h2> <p>Investing is for goals you want to accomplish in five or more years. Anything shorter than that and you can't afford to take much, if any, risk, so you would be best served by a savings account.</p> <p>Still, a &quot;five or more years&quot; time horizon contains a wide range of options. Someone planning to retire in 10 years should invest quite differently than someone planning to retire in 30 years. The first person can't afford to take as much risk as the second person. By the same token, the second person can't afford the risk of playing it too safe.</p> <h2>3. Know Your Temperament</h2> <p>This has to do with how well you sleep at night when the stock market is in free fall. Vanguard has a decent <a href="https://personal.vanguard.com/us/FundsInvQuestionnaire">free assessment</a> that combines your investment time frame with your temperament to suggest an optimal asset allocation &mdash; that is, what percentage of your portfolio you should allocate to stocks and what percentage to bonds (or stock, or bond-based mutual funds).</p> <h2>4. Know How to Choose Specific Investments</h2> <p>If investing is the most complicated and intimidating aspect of managing money, choosing specific investments is the most complicated and intimidating aspect of investing. Very few people have the wherewithal to do this on their own. It's helpful to acknowledge that. As Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry character noted, &quot;A man's got to know his limitations.&quot; Of course, the same is true for women!</p> <p>There's just too much to know. There are thousands of different investments to choose from. And it can be crazy confusing (and dangerous) to make these decisions based on the all-too-common articles about &quot;Last Year's Best-Performing Mutual Funds&quot; or &quot;Where to Invest to Take Advantage of Advances in Wind Power.&quot;</p> <p>The crucial decision you need to make is not so much about which investments to choose; it's about which investment process to use. Here are three options.</p> <h3>Go With a Target-Date Fund</h3> <p>The simplicity of such funds has made them tremendously popular. Most of the big mutual fund companies offer them. You just choose the fund with the year closest to the year of your intended retirement as part of its name (Fidelity Freedom 2050, for example). The fund is designed with what the fund company believes is the ideal asset allocation for someone with that retirement date in mind, and it even changes the allocation as you get closer to that target date, becoming increasingly conservative. It's a very simple process, but <a href="https://www.soundmindinvesting.com/articles/view/target-date-funds-the-devils-in-the-details">all target-date funds are not alike</a>. So, be informed.</p> <h3>Go With an Investment Adviser</h3> <p>He or she will get to know you and your goals and then tailor an investment strategy to you. Along the way, you will typically pay 1% of the amount of money you have the adviser manage for you each year. Also, advisers usually won't work with anyone with less than $100,000 to manage. If you go this route, ask friends for referrals and opt for a fee-based adviser (as opposed to one compensated by commissions) who works as a &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-to-hire-a-financial-planner-or-a-financial-adviser">fiduciary</a>.&quot;</p> <h3>Go With an Investment Newsletter</h3> <p>Whereas an investment adviser works with clients one-on-one, an <a href="https://www.soundmindinvesting.com/articles/view/what-investing-newsletters-do-that-financial-magazines-dont">investment newsletter</a> works with investors on a one-on-several thousand (or however many subscribers they have) basis. There are hundreds of investment newsletters, each with their own investment strategies. Subscribers gain access to the strategies along with the specific investment recommendations needed in order to implement the strategies. Subscription costs range from less than $200 per year to over $1,000 per year.</p> <h2>5. Know Some Market History</h2> <p>One of the biggest threats to your success as an investor can be seen in the mirror. When the market falls, it's easy to give in to fear and sell. When the market is booming, it's easy to give in to greed, and invest too aggressively.</p> <p>Far better to understand that the market cycles between bull markets and bear markets (growing markets and declining markets). Even within a specific year, there will be ups and downs.</p> <p>That's why it's so important to have a trusted investment selection process. With a good process in place, you should have some sense as to how your portfolio is likely to perform under a variety of market situations and you should be content to stay with it in good times and bad.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-essentials-for-building-a-profitable-portfolio">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/what-are-income-stocks">What Are Income Stocks?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-too-much-investment-diversity-can-cost-you">How Too Much Investment Diversity Can Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-to-make-as-soon-as-you-conquer-debt">7 Money Moves to Make as Soon as You Conquer Debt</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/9-costly-mistakes-diy-investors-make">9 Costly Mistakes DIY Investors Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-before-you-start-investing">8 Money Moves to Make Before You Start Investing</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment advice college fund financial advisers money management portfolio retirement risk stock market target date funds Wed, 26 Oct 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Matt Bell 1820715 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Ways to Rekindle Passion for Your Job http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-rekindle-passion-for-your-job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-ways-to-rekindle-passion-for-your-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_73237551_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="rekindle passion for your job" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Not loving your job, or even hating it, seems to be a part of life these days. Drew Carey once said, &quot;Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called everybody, and they meet at the bar.&quot;</p> <p>Some people are lucky, and always love their jobs, but most of us love it for a while, before forgetting its highlights and focusing on its flaws. However, your current job doesn't have to be a drag. All it takes is a paradigm shift.</p> <h2>1. Write Down the Good Parts of Your Day</h2> <p>There is good and bad in everyone, and in every day. Even on the days that result in you getting home with a scowl on your face, drinking a double scotch, and pulling out your hair for two hours, something good must have happened. True, it may be hard to find, but try and dig.</p> <p>Make a log, on your computer or in a journal. Perhaps a coworker gave you a compliment. Maybe you had a really tasty bagel on the way to work. Or, was the sun shining as you walked from the car or train to your office? When it's something much bigger, like working in a project you really enjoyed, log that in detail. As you look back over your weeks, and months, you'll see a record of enjoyment. That can help make the negative feelings go away.</p> <h2>2. Hang Out With People That Make You Happy</h2> <p>People at work can be a great source of happiness. In fact, all those times that you laughed at work, or felt happiness, most likely came from your interactions with other people. So, find ways to interact more with the people that make you feel good about yourself. And conversely, avoid the people who drag you down. That guy who never has anything good to say about the job, or anyone else, is not going to make you feel great. But the one who lifts your spirits can bring you into a different attitude quickly. Stick with the positive ones.</p> <h2>3. Compare Your Job to One That Sucks</h2> <p>We measure our misery or success by those around us. While you may think you have a job that stinks, do a little digging, and find out what jobs really do suck. You may hate what you do now, but would you rather be doing something demeaning for minimum wage? (And if the answer is yes to that one, maybe you really do <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-careers-you-dont-need-a-ton-of-experience-to-start">need to move on</a>.) Some people in other countries are risking death for barely enough money to feed and clothe themselves. How does your job stack up? If you're still complaining about monotonous data entry, or not having the complete respect of your peers, it may be time to rethink your outlook.</p> <h2>4. Remember What Your Job Allows You to Do</h2> <p>So most of the time, the job is awful. However, what does it allow you to do that isn't awful? Maybe it's the two-week vacation you took to a tropical island. Perhaps it helped pay for the Harley Davidson parked in your driveway, or season tickets to see your favorite sports team. Yes, while your job may not make you happy, it provides the income and security to bring wonderful things into your life.</p> <h2>5. Find the Positive in the Little Things</h2> <p>Looking at the big picture isn't always the best strategy. You have to find joy in some of the smaller aspects of your day-to-day routine. Maybe it's the fact that you get to sit down, put your feet up, and drink coffee a few times a day. Hey, you get paid for it. That's nice. Maybe it's even smaller than that. Your chair felt really comfy, or you got a great parking spot. You don't have to concentrate on the whole day, or the big issues. Find something small, each day, to be thankful for.</p> <h2>6. Take Moments Just for Yourself</h2> <p>Even at work, you can have some &quot;me time.&quot; Employers are required to give you adequate work breaks. Take that time to switch off, completely. That means go outside, walk around, read a book, close your eyes and listen to music, or meditate. It may not always be possible to do that, depending on what you do and where you work, but there should always be an opportunity to find a moment of peace in the daily grind.</p> <h2>7. Ignore What You Cannot Change</h2> <p>You'll often hear people worrying about things that are, to be blunt, completely out of their control. The easiest way to deal with these problems is to shut them out. If layoffs are coming, you will not have any control over that situation, so ignore it. By all means, prepare for the worst, but get on with your day. If the company has a system in place that you blatantly disagree with, but cannot change, then forget about it. If you cannot change something, you are giving it way too much energy by obsessing about it. You'll feel much happier if you accept what is beyond your control.</p> <h2>8. Fix What You Can Change</h2> <p>There may be things in your company that you cannot control, but there are also things you can definitely impact. If you hate the way your office space is set up, see what you can do to change it. Are your hours flexible? Can you get the awful coffee replaced with a better brand? Can you talk about dress code, or suggest new methods of doing things that will save people time? You are never going to change the way the CEO does business, but you may be able to change his mind on having plants in the building, or endorsing &quot;bring your kids to work day.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Get Really, Really Organized</h2> <p>A lot of the stress we encounter in our daily routine comes from a lack of organization and preparation. Too often, we can leave ourselves too little time to get a certain task done. We may rush to work, have a messy office, or miss appointments. Get around this by organizing, and using the latest apps for your smartphone. You can set reminders that take the worry out of a daily schedule. You can log the names and important information about all of your clients and colleagues. Everything can be setup to work smoothly, and with more organization comes less stress, and a better outlook on the job.</p> <h2>10. Take Significant Time Off If You Can</h2> <p>If you really are just completely burned out, get away from it all. Some people, especially in America, are afraid to take time off. They say it looks bad, or they might not be seen as indispensable. There is simply no excuse not to take time off, especially if it drastically changes your attitude. If you have a few weeks of vacation saved up, take them. Even if it's just to stay at home, you need to escape. If you have sick time, use it to heal your mind. And if things have become really bad, <a href="https://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/">look into FMLA.</a> You can take up to 12 weeks off, every year, and your job will be protected. You will be covered if it's a serious health condition, and <a href="http://thelawdictionary.org/article/what-are-employees-right-to-stress-leave/">depression or stress can be debilitating.</a></p> <h2>11. Find Ways to Take on New Responsibilities</h2> <p>If the daily grind is wearing you down, find something new to do at work. Some factories do this as a way to prevent burnout, rotating people to different stations after a few hours to avoid a lack of concentration, and to keep accidents from happening. If you're always working on the same old stuff, see what you can do to shake things up. Can you swap roles with someone? Can you take on a new task? Can you create a new initiative? You would be surprised how much a change is as good as a rest.</p> <h2>12. Quit Being a Complainer</h2> <p>At the end of the day, your own attitude about your job can drag you down. Henry Ford, among others, said, &quot;Whether you think you can, or you think you can't &mdash; you're right.&quot; Attitude can be the difference between seeing an opportunity for success, or something destined to fail. Complaining also brings others down around you. And that, in turn, can feed into morale issues and bad company culture. So, cheer up. Look at the list above, and find ways to change your outlook. You can bring a spark back to your career that could ignite something huge.</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/12-ways-to-rekindle-passion-for-your-job">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-pearls-of-career-wisdom-from-brian-tracy">6 Pearls of Career Wisdom From Brian Tracy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-focused-at-work-despite-your-chatty-coworkers">How to Stay Focused at Work Despite Your Chatty Coworkers</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/escape-your-dying-industry-with-one-of-these-8-careers-instead">Escape Your Dying Industry With One of These 8 Careers, Instead</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-get-the-job-without-saying-a-word">How to Get the Job Without Saying a Word</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-career-moves-youll-never-regret">6 Career Moves You&#039;ll Never Regret</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building advice career tips job hunting job search job tips passion pursue your passion work Thu, 13 Oct 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Paul Michael 1811798 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Money Lessons We Can Learn From J.K. Rowling http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-jk-rowling <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-jk-rowling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wizards_magic_wands_62514930.jpg" alt="Learning money lessons from JK Rowling" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While divorced and living on government assistance in a tiny apartment with her infant child, J.K. Rowling wrote the first book in the world-famous <em>Harry Potter</em> series. The rest is history: Rowling became the first female billionaire novelist creating a brand worth an estimated $15 billion.</p> <p>Even though she released the last Harry Potter book back in 2007, she still makes a cool $14 million per year through her proprietary website Pottermore and her other books. When it comes to becoming successful, she is living proof that perseverance and hard work can be just as effective as any spell from the Elder Wand. Here are the four money lessons we could all learn from author J.K. Rowling.</p> <h2>1. Be Prepared for the Worst</h2> <p>Rowling is so talented that her first three Harry Potter books occupied the top spots on numerous best-seller lists in the U.S. and the U.K. With each new book in the series, she went on to set new records in sales. When she published the seventh and final book the Harry Potter series, she set the record for the fastest selling book in the U.K. and U.S. and sales, accumulating more than 375 million book sales around the globe.</p> <p>However, Rowling hasn't taken any of her success for granted. &quot;Talent and intelligence never yet inoculated anyone against the caprice of the fates,&quot; she warned the <a href="http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2008/06/text-of-j-k-rowling-speech/">Harvard Class of 2008</a> when she received her honorary degree at that institution. By citing her short-lived marriage, jobless situation, single-parent status, and dependency on welfare, she stated that some failure in life is inevitable and impossible to avoid. The trick is to have the humility to plan ahead and set yourself up to be able to survive the vicissitudes of life.</p> <p><strong>Money Lesson:</strong> Nobody is invincible, life happens. Sometimes your carburetor goes bust or your kid decides to test the water resistance of your laptop. Don't become part of the 67% to 75% of U.S. households that <a href="http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/05/28/a-staggering-number-of-us-households-cant-cover-a.aspx">can't cover a $1,000 emergency expense</a>; build an emergency fund that can help during a cash crunch. Also, if you're the sole or main breadwinner of your household, invest in life insurance to prevent a financial crisis for your dependents in case you're no longer in the picture. Realize that today is the cheapest that your life insurance will ever be.</p> <h2>2. Pay With Cash More Often</h2> <p>Being completely skint left a heavy mark on Rowling. In an <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/nov/28/conversation-lauren-laverne-jk-rowling-interview">2015 interview</a> she confessed, &quot;I hate not having cash on me, and that's definitely a connection to having been on benefits and, you know, just watching my cash dwindle through the week and praying it will last.&quot;</p> <p>The empirical evidence suggests that Rowling is doing the smart thing by sticking to cold hard cash as often as possible to make her purchases:</p> <ul> <li>Credit card users spend 12% to 18% more than those using cash;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Diners at McDonald's using plastic spend an average of $7 while those using cash spend an average $4.50;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>States with highway tolls realize that they can get away with charging more to credit card users than cash users; and<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Credit card users were willing to pay more than twice as much on average as cash users for basketball tickets in a study.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Money Lesson:</strong> While a credit card can help you build your credit score, cash can help you to stick to your budget and hold you back from spending more than you have to. Start paying with cash more often. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-6-reasons-why-using-cash-only-rocks?ref=seealso">Top 6 Reasons Why Using Cash-Only Rocks</a>)</p> <h2>3. Seek Professional Advice</h2> <p>In a world of memorable characters, Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore is sure to stand out. Whether it's due to being the founder of the Order of the Phoenix or having a fondness for sherbet lemon and knitting patterns, Dumbledore just can't be ignored. In <a href="http://amzn.to/2dPCGBZ">Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone</a>, he explains to Harry, &quot;Humans do have a knack for choosing precisely the things that are worst for them.&quot;</p> <p>From the many bad choices that Fred and George make throughout the entire series, you can clearly see that both muggles and wizards have a tendency to make poor decisions, particularly when it comes to making money. Remember the bet with Ludo Bagman? Throughout the Potter series, Rowling clearly suggests the importance of seeking out others for advice and help. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-personal-finance-lessons-from-harry-potter?ref=seealso">21 Personal Finance Lessons From Harry Potter</a>)</p> <p><strong>Money Lesson:</strong> From executing an estate to pulling out a tree from your backyard, there are many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-you-should-splurge-and-hire-a-pro">times you should splurge and hire a pro</a>. Hiring a professional doesn't just help you minimize the potential to cause physical or financial damage, but also prevents you from making bad decisions due to a lack of information. When it comes to finances, you'll often find it's a good idea to seek out the help of a financial adviser as your unique financial situation becomes more complex due to many instances, including a large inheritance, closeness to retirement age, or setup of a trust with relatives. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-to-hire-a-financial-planner-or-a-financial-adviser?ref=seealso">Who to Hire: A Financial Planner or a Financial Adviser?</a>)</p> <h2>4. Save for Retirement</h2> <p>In the same 2015 interview, Rowling shared the following anecdote:</p> <p>&quot;I met a man a couple of years ago who had grown up with a huge amount of money. And he said to me in passing, 'You know, money is not the most important thing.' Which is both true, and profoundly ignorant. Because when you have no money, it is absolutely the most important thing. Only someone who has never had to worry can make a statement like that.&quot;</p> <p>This is a strong call as to why you need to start saving for retirement or strengthen your nest egg even more. In 2016, 26% of U.S. workers have <a href="https://www.ebri.org/pdf/briefspdf/EBRI_IB_422.Mar16.RCS.pdf">less than $1,000</a> saved for retirement. This trend is particularly troubling among Millennials: 40% of Millennials say they <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2016-05-27/who-needs-a-retirement-plan-apparently-not-millennials">don't have a retirement income strategy</a> in place and 57% of them report they haven't even begun saving yet. As Rowling indicates, money isn't everything &mdash; but it'll surely become the most important thing when you don't have enough during your retirement years.</p> <p><strong>Money Lesson:</strong> In 2016 and 2017, you can contribute each year up to $18,000 ($24,000 if age 50 and over) to your 401K and up to $5,500 ($6,500 if age 50 and over) to your IRA. Make your very best effort to take advantage of those high limits by increasing your monthly contributions, taking advantage of windfalls, and maximizing employer matches. Remember that contributing to retirement accounts effectively reduces your tax liability every year and defers applicable income taxes until retirement when you're more likely to be in a lower tax bracket. It's never too late to start saving for retirement, and it ain't over till it's over! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retirement-planning-steps-late-starters-must-make?ref=seealso">7 Retirement Planning Steps Late Starters Must Make</a>)</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/4-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-jk-rowling">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/7-best-money-management-tips-from-john-oliver">7 Best Money Management Tips From John Oliver</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-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-gilmore-girls">6 Money Lessons We Can Learn From &quot;Gilmore Girls&quot;</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-money-lessons-we-could-all-learn-from-dwayne-the-rock-johnson">6 Money Lessons We Could All Learn From Dwayne &quot;The Rock&quot; Johnson</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-essentials-for-building-a-profitable-portfolio">5 Essentials for Building a Profitable Portfolio</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/ow-do-you-deal-with-family-members-who-are-bad-at-managing-money">How Do You Deal With Family Members Who Are Bad At Managing Money?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Entertainment advice harry potter jk rowling lessons money management rags to riches retirement success stories Thu, 13 Oct 2016 09:00:08 +0000 Damian Davila 1811797 at http://www.wisebread.com These 10 Money Podcasts Will Help You Save Tons http://www.wisebread.com/these-10-money-podcasts-will-help-you-save-tons <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-10-money-podcasts-will-help-you-save-tons" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_coffee_phone_92461379.jpg" alt="Woman listening to money podcasts that will save her tons" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want to save money and become more financially literate without hitting the books? Podcasts are a great way to pass the time, and they serve to entertain and educate. You can find a podcast about almost anything, and best of all, they are free.</p> <p>Listen to podcasts while commuting to and from work or listen to one while taking a walk. I even enjoy listening to financial podcasts when I am cleaning or folding laundry. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-money-podcasts?ref=seealso">The 5 Best Money Podcasts</a>)</p> <h2>1. Dave Ramsey Show</h2> <p>Even though I don't agree with all of Ramsey's money philosophies, he is one of my favorite personal finance gurus. The <a href="http://www.daveramsey.com/show">Dave Ramsey podcast</a> is a mix of stories and interviews of individuals and couples who have conquered their debt, as well as personal finance advice from Ramsey. It is more of a talk-show type podcast than a financial monologue, which makes for an engaging listen.</p> <h2>2. Money Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life</h2> <p>Want to become financially smarter in the least amount of time possible? Then the <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/money-girls-quick-dirty-tips/id209859739?mt=2">Money Girl's</a> podcast is the right fit for you. Most podcasts are around 15&mdash;18 minutes, which makes it easy to fit financial lessons in a busy schedule. Money Girl discusses a wide range of tips, from more serious issues such as protecting your money in a divorce to fun topics, such as choosing a wardrobe on a budget.</p> <h2>3. Chris Hogan's Retire Inspired</h2> <p>Hogan just started his <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/chris-hogans-retire-inspired/id1117556964?mt=2">Retire Inspired</a> podcast in June 2016, but <a href="http://amzn.to/2dsV5pF">his book of the same name</a> is a best-seller. His advice for retirement is not just for those close to retirement. Hogan talks to Millennials and those on the edge of retirement simultaneously. Listen to this podcast for retirement and saving and financial motivation, but don't expect in-depth strategies for investing or 401K advice.</p> <h2>4. Radical Personal Finance</h2> <p>If you feel like you have already heard it all when it comes to personal finance advice, then <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/radical-personal-finance-financial/id896153632?mt=2">Radical Personal Finance</a> is one podcast to listen to. Host Joshua J. Sheats tackles very interesting and off-the-wall finance topics that are just fascinating. Some notable show titles include, &quot;Tips to Hitchhike Europe (or Anywhere) on $40 a Week&quot; and &quot;Investing in Rare Coins With Numismatic Value.&quot; Sheats also has podcasts on every day finance topics too, including a recent show titled, &quot;The Recovering Spender: How to Live a Happy, Fulfilled, Debt-Free Life.&quot;</p> <h2>5. The Clark Howard Podcast</h2> <p><a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-clark-howard-podcast/id207724573?ign-mpt=uo%3D8">Clark Howard</a> is a household name when it comes to personal finance. His podcasts are all over an hour but are packed with financial news and advice on how to save money and avoid scams and being ripped off.</p> <h2>6. Listen Money Matters</h2> <p><a href="https://www.listenmoneymatters.com/show/">Listen Money Matters</a> (LMM) is a podcast for both those new to money management, as well as more seasoned investors. The podcast focuses on four main areas: budgeting, investing, getting out of debt, and growing your income. The practical advice spans from podcasts like, &quot;How to Prioritize Your Financial Goals,&quot; which is useful to everyone, to &quot;How to Calculate Your Rental Yield,&quot; which is important for those who want to profit in real estate.</p> <h2>7. Smart Passive Income</h2> <p>Pat Flynn from <a href="http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/podcasts/">Smart Passive Income</a> is a must-listen for individuals interested in growing passive streams of income in their lives. Flynn also has a lot of influence, which means he has a lot of interesting guests and interviews on the show. He has interviewed Tim Ferris, Michael Hyatt, Chalene Johnson, and Ramit Sethi. It is a fun listen, even if passive income is not your first passion in life.</p> <h2>8. You Need a Budget Podcast</h2> <p>The creators of the <a href="http://www.youneedabudget.com/">You Need a Budget (YNAB)</a> financial software have a weekly podcast that discusses debt, saving money, and getting out of the paycheck to paycheck cycle. Topics include reasons to pay cash for your next house and whether you should outsource your finances.</p> <h2>9. The Investors Podcast</h2> <p>The tagline of <a href="https://www.theinvestorspodcast.com/">The Investor Podcast</a> is, &quot;We study billionaires.&quot; If that doesn't grab your attention right away, I don't know what will. The podcast studies the habits and books billionaires read and breaks them down for listeners. The podcast also includes fascinating interviews, like the recent one that interviewed billionaire investor, Carl Icahn's friend, Mr. Mark Stevens.</p> <h2>10. Mad Fientist</h2> <p><a href="http://www.madfientist.com/podcast/">Mad Fientist</a> considers themselves a financial independence podcast that covers early retirement, investing, real estate, and entrepreneurship. Unlike many of the other podcasts, this podcast is not just one voice/person giving financial advice. Instead, this podcast is all interviews of some of the top experts in personal finance, including Nick Loper, J. Money, and JD Roth.</p> <p>Don't be overwhelmed by all of the amazing choices of podcasts. Subscribe to a handful of them, find out which ones are your favorite, and only listen to shows that are directed toward your unique situation.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-10-money-podcasts-will-help-you-save-tons">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-money-lessons-we-could-all-learn-from-dwayne-the-rock-johnson">6 Money Lessons We Could All Learn From Dwayne &quot;The Rock&quot; Johnson</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-best-money-saving-channels-on-youtube">9 Best Money Saving Channels on YouTube</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-think-like-an-olympian-to-master-your-money">How to Think Like an Olympian to Master Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-ways-summer-will-cost-you">7 Surprising Ways Summer Will Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-143-fun-and-frugal-ways-to-spend-your-weekend">Flashback Friday: 143 Fun and Frugal Ways to Spend Your Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Entertainment advice inspiration listening money podcasts technology Mon, 10 Oct 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1808266 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get Your Finances Back on Track After Losing Everything http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-your-finances-back-on-track-after-losing-everything <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-your-finances-back-on-track-after-losing-everything" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/father_daughter_kitchen_83167945.jpg" alt="Man getting his finances back on track after losing everything" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Losing your job, your house, your car, or your bank account can shake your confidence and leave you feeling helpless. But the best thing you can do when you hit rock bottom is dust yourself off and put the pieces back together again. While bouncing back after financial loss may seem impossible, there are several strategies you can use to get your finances back on track.</p> <h2>1. Assess the Situation</h2> <p>Some financial setbacks occur because of situations beyond your control, like losing a job because your employer had to reduce expenses, or incurring massive medical debt after a serious illness. But even when you have limited control, you should assess the circumstances that led to your downfall and figure out what you did wrong, or what you could have done differently to avoid the experience.</p> <p>Maybe the setback was caused by poor financial choices, such as buying more house than you could afford, which then led to losing the home. Or maybe shopping became your therapy, and rather than save, you blew your income on &quot;stuff&quot; and never built an emergency fund for the unexpected.</p> <p>If you can narrow down what contributed to the mishap, you can come up with a plan to dig yourself out of the hole and avoid repeating the past.</p> <h2>2. Change Your Attitude</h2> <p>Attitude is everything in these types of situations. After losing everything, getting out of bed every morning can be a struggle. And depending on the gravity of the setback, a comeback can feel like an unrealistic dream. But to get your finances back on track, you have to change your attitude and believe there's light at the end of the tunnel.</p> <p>If you make excuses or think you're destined to fail, this can become a self-fulfilling prophecy wherein you never reverse the situation.</p> <h2>3. Adjust Your Budget</h2> <p>It takes income to bounce back from a financial disaster. If you've lost everything, chances are you're working with minimum income. You have an uphill battle ahead of you. But if you prioritize spending, save more, and look for ways to generate additional income, you can begin the road to recovery. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-a-better-budget-in-5-minutes-flat?ref=seealso">Build a Budget in Five Minutes Flat</a>)</p> <p>Take a look at your budget to make sure you're spending less than you're earning. You need to keep expenses as low as possible, which frees up cash for paying down debt and building an emergency cash reserve. Although there's nothing fun about losing a home or a car, you can turn this tragedy into something positive. You need a roof over your head and transportation, but rather than jump into another housing or car payment prematurely, see if you can rent a room from family or friends. This will probably be cheaper than getting your own place. And if you use public transportation, you'll save on auto insurance, personal property taxes, and gasoline.</p> <p>You also can boost your income with a part-time job, or sell stuff to generate disposable income. The money earned might not be a lot at first, but it can jump-start your savings account and help pay off debt and past due accounts.</p> <h2>4. Get a Financial Mentor</h2> <p>Some people experience a financial downfall because they don't know the fundamentals of managing their personal finances. In this case, education is how you bounce back and make smarter decisions moving forward.</p> <p>The good news is that you don't have to spend money on a personal finance course to learn the basics. There are plenty of resources at your fingertips including reputable financial blogs and websites that cover various aspects of personal finance from saving money to debt management. Working with a financial adviser is also helpful because these professionals can guide you through a financial hardship.</p> <p>If you never learn the right and wrong ways to manage your money, you'll keep making the same mistakes over and over again.</p> <h2>5. Set Realistic Goals</h2> <p>Naturally, you want to rebound as quickly as possible and regain what you've lost, but you have to be realistic and patient. By setting unrealistic goals, you're ultimately setting yourself up for failure.</p> <p>After a foreclosure, your plans might include purchasing another home after 12 months. But considering how you'll need to improve your credit score and save money for a down payment, your expectations could be unrealistic, and if you don't attain this goal, you could become discouraged and lose focus. If you take your time and establish a more realistic time frame for buying another home &mdash; perhaps two or three years &mdash; you're likely to achieve this goal.</p> <h2>6. Don't Give Up</h2> <p>No plan is perfect, so even with a solid strategy for bouncing back, you could hit a few roadblocks along the way. The worst thing you can do is give up. Stumbling blocks will happen, and it's not the number of setbacks that matter but rather the number of times you pick yourself up. If you can rebound from every setback, you'll eventually win and reverse the situation.</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-get-your-finances-back-on-track-after-losing-everything">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/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">12 Personal Finance Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/create-a-reverse-bucket-list-to-improve-your-money-management">Create a Reverse Bucket List to Improve Your Money Management</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/6-money-lessons-we-could-all-learn-from-dwayne-the-rock-johnson">6 Money Lessons We Could All Learn From Dwayne &quot;The Rock&quot; Johnson</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change">10 Money Moves to Make Before the Leaves Change</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance advice budgeting disaster inspiration losing everything loss mentor positivity rebuilding rock bottom tragedy Fri, 07 Oct 2016 10:30:12 +0000 Mikey Rox 1806464 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-advice-would-you-give-your-younger-self <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-what-advice-would-you-give-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_whispering_girl_90780615.jpg" alt="Woman giving advice to her younger self" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-advice-would-you-give-your-younger-self#comment-796689">Chris</a>, Gina, and Karen for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>You've probably gotten a lot of tips, suggestions, and guidance from other people throughout your life &mdash; but only you know what is best for you...or what would've been best for you if someone had given you the right advice (and you actually followed it).</p> <p><strong>What advice would you give your younger self, and at what age?</strong> Are there certain things that you wish you had done differently? Are there any &quot;mistakes&quot; that you're glad you made?</p> <p>Tell us what advice you would give your younger self and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For Extra Entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa263/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="79857dfa263" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_ak6w2ntk">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <p>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on Flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, September 26th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after September 26th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us what advice you would give your younger self and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-advice-would-you-give-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-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-money-advice-are-you-sick-of-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: What Money Advice are You Sick Of? (Chance to Win $20!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-will-you-celebrate-fathers-day">Ask the Readers: How Will You Celebrate Father&#039;s Day?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-whats-in-your-wallet">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s In Your Wallet?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-new-years-resolution">Ask the Readers: What Is Your New Year&#039;s Resolution?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-watch-your-movies">Ask the Readers: How Do You Watch Your Movies?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways advice Ask the Readers Tue, 20 Sep 2016 10:00:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1793875 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Thinking Skills Frugal People Should Master http://www.wisebread.com/6-thinking-skills-frugal-people-should-master <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-thinking-skills-frugal-people-should-master" 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_blue_84408167.jpg" alt="Frugal woman mastering thinking skills" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;Think before you speak&quot; is a lesson most of us have learned well over the years. However, &quot;Think before you buy&quot; is just as important to the frugal shopper. It's not just a case of questioning the reasons you're spending money, but also weighing up hidden costs, wants and needs, and even the usefulness of the item. Here are six thinking skills you can adopt today that can help you become an even better frugal shopper.</p> <h2>1. The 80/20 Rule (Pareto's Principle)</h2> <p>You may well have heard this before, and it has been around for over 100 years. The rule suggests that, for many events in life, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. So, how does that apply to you, and your frugal life?</p> <p>Well, for a start, take a look at your wardrobe. Almost all of us wear around 20% of the items in our closet approximately 80% of the time. Go in there tonight, and do a little stocktaking; the things you wear regularly, versus the things you hardly ever wear. Is there any point in having those rarely worn items around? It's highly likely you can sell or donate those items, and build your closet based on the items you wear most of the time (such as Steve Jobs filling his closet with black polo shirts and blue jeans).</p> <p>If you sell items on eBay or Etsy, 80% of your business will come from 20% of your clients. So, you should use this information to keep them happy. Used more broadly, the 80/20 rule can help in other ways. When grocery shopping, 80% of the stuff in your cart should be devoted to &quot;clean eating,&quot; such as fresh fruits and veggies, with 20% being more of the treats and packaged goods. And 80% of the items you buy should be on sale, if you can spend the time hunting for bargains. And 20% of your paycheck should go straight into a savings account. What's more, you spend 20% more when using a credit card, as opposed to cash or checks, so keep that in mind.</p> <h2>2. Always Put a Price on Your Time</h2> <p>You know the expression &quot;Time is money,&quot; but how often do you apply it to your own life? It is vital to figure out exactly what your own time is worth, and using it as an anchor point whenever you think you are saving money by doing it yourself. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-psychology-of-money-how-a-t-shirt-equals-a-taco?ref=seealso">How a T-shirt Equals a Taco</a>)</p> <p>For instance&hellip; washing the car. For the longest time, I used to wash my own car. It would take a good hour to do it properly. The local gas station charges $8 for a decent wash when filling up the tank. I realized my time is more valuable than $8/hour, which is barely minimum wage, and let's not forget the materials that have to be purchased to keep the car clean. So, I stopped washing my own car.</p> <p>Some people will spend hours clipping coupons, and yet, they forget to use them, or the savings add up to only a few bucks. What did that time actually cost? What else could have been achieved? DIY jobs around the house can go either way. Sometimes, it is clearly worth your time to do something over paying a professional, such as changing a washer or even mowing the lawn. But on other occasions, stop and think first. If you're about to tackle building your own deck, or laying a floor, figure out the cost of hiring a professional, and then figure out how long it will take you to do the same job. Which is the better deal? If it takes you 80 hours, would that have been time better spent doing something else?</p> <p>If you buy and sell items on eBay, you may be making a small profit. But, have you factored in your own time? If it takes hours each day to list the items, photograph them, package them up, and get them mailed out, does that eat into your profits? Are you really only making a few bucks an hour? Your time is valuable, and you should think of it like that whenever possible.</p> <h2>3. Look After the Pennies &mdash; The Dollars Will Take Care of Themselves</h2> <p>Don't think of those expenses that cost a dollar or less as something trivial, because they add up quickly. A candy bar here, a small coffee there, and before you know it, those tiny purchases are eating away at your bank account like termites in a 19th century cabinet. So, get into the habit of tracking your smaller expenditures, and repeating the &quot;look after the pennies&quot; mantra whenever you are putting low-cost items into your shopping cart. It may only be 69 cents, but is it worth it? Do you need it, or just want it? A good way to do this is to pay cash for anything that costs less than one dollar; you'll be amazed at how quickly that $20 bill disappears, whereas swiping a card each time doesn't have the same instant impact on your wallet.</p> <p>You should also do your best to save that small change. An app like <a href="https://www.acorns.com/">Acorns</a> will literally take care of those pennies for you, putting your small change into a savings account, or an investment. What's more, never be afraid to haggle over pennies. Most of the time, people won't fight you, especially on an item costing $100. So, you ask if you can pay $99.20, and pocket the 80 cents. Do that enough times during the month, and your pennies are quickly turning into dollars. It can seem like a lot of work for small rewards, but remember&hellip; they add up. It's not simply 10 cents here, and 20 cents there. It's all adding to a pile that can make a big difference.</p> <h2>4. Keep One Eye Fixed on the Future</h2> <p>Many people who live for today (or YOLO), do not have the future in mind. This can lead to overspending from things like impulse buys and extravagant purchases, and eventually, a lack of funds in savings and retirement accounts. Whether you're 19 or 69, you should have one eye firmly fixed on the future, and it should be something you think of regularly.</p> <p>One such example is growth.</p> <p>Money, when combined with compound interest, can grow and grow over time. A small investment today can turn into many thousands of dollars in the future. Of course, when that future is 40 years away, it's hard to think about the impact of a few dollars here and there, but it really does make a vast difference.</p> <p>When buying big-ticket items, consider the future. Is this going to be something you use on a daily basis, or are you buying it on a whim? Fitness equipment is a prime example of this. The dedication and effort required should be there before spending thousands on high-end machines. If you are not committed now, the shiny new exercise bike or rowing machine won't change that. It may get used for a week, but chances are, it will be at next year's garage sale.</p> <p>And think about money being spent today, and how it could impact your future. Are you spending it wisely? Would it be better off in a savings account? What are you sacrificing in your future to have things now? It may radically change the way you spend today.</p> <h2>5. Question Value for Money</h2> <p>There's an expression; &quot;Buy cheap, buy twice.&quot; There's another expression; &quot;A fool and his money are easily parted.&quot; These two philosophies can sometimes be at odds with each other, especially when comparing the prices of two similar purchases. A pair of shoes that costs $100 may last you four to five years, whereas a pair of shoes costing $400 may last a lifetime. However, will you still want those same shoes 30 years from now, or will they be completely out of fashion? If that's the case, the cheaper pair is probably your better bet. They may not last as long, but you don't want them to.</p> <p>However, the same cannot be said of a major appliance. The $300 dishwasher may do everything you want, but will it last? The $800 dishwasher has the same features, but it's made with superior parts, and will last many years longer than the budget model. In this case, you are better off paying for the more expensive model.</p> <p>This can apply to almost every purchase you make. Is it worth spending the extra $1 to go from generic ketchup to Heinz? Some people say yes, others say it's a waste. Check the weight of the items on the grocery shelves, too. Perhaps the brand name package of cereal is actually cheaper than the generic, but you may discover the generic weighs twice as much. A plumber that costs half as much as one you have used in the past may take twice as long. Or, the work may be substandard, and will need to be fixed again. However, it may be that the cheap plumber gets incredible ratings and simply charges less than the others because he or she has less overheads. Whatever you are buying, even if it's a service, question the value.</p> <h2>6. Examine Your Wants and Needs</h2> <p>Frugal thinkers have mastered the separation of the wants and the needs. Learn to do it, and you can save a fortune. Sometimes, it's an open and shut case. You need milk. You need gas for the car. You need dog food. But even in those situations, there are wants as well. You need milk, but want the most expensive brand. You need gas, but want premium. You need dog food, but want organic. You have to assess the additional costs, and whether they are worth paying simply because you want it.</p> <p>Of course, things get a little more tricky when it comes to other expenses. You need a car. But you want a new one, not a used one. There are good reasons for having both. You want to buy instead of leasing. There, your wants may well be justified, or they may not be. So, you have to employ an online calculator, and figure out why you want to buy, and what the pros and cons are of each method. It may turn out your wants and needs are in perfect sync, or that your wants are impossible on your budget.</p> <p>When you buy clothing, what do you need, and what do you want? You need shoes, but do you need $500 Guccis? Probably not. However, when weighing up a pair of work boots that cost twice as much as the most popular brand, but have much better protection, you may need to spend the extra money.</p> <p>Wants versus needs should be top of mind whenever you open your wallet or purse. From buying takeout to getting a four-bedroom house, analyze it. Is it a want, or a need? This thinking strategy can save you a small fortune.</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/6-thinking-skills-frugal-people-should-master">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/9-smart-money-moves-to-make-before-the-holiday-season-begins">9 Smart Money Moves to Make Before the Holiday Season Begins</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/23-money-saving-items-everyone-should-own">23 Money-Saving Items Everyone Should Own</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/not-the-sort-of-person-who">Not the sort of person who ...</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-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/in-times-like-these-separate-the-want-from-the-need">In times like these, separate the want from the need.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping advice hidden costs saving the future thinking skills time management value wants vs needs Thu, 15 Sep 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Paul Michael 1793089 at http://www.wisebread.com Create a Reverse Bucket List to Improve Your Money Management http://www.wisebread.com/create-a-reverse-bucket-list-to-improve-your-money-management <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/create-a-reverse-bucket-list-to-improve-your-money-management" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_notebook_thinking_73069659.jpg" alt="Woman creating reverse bucket list for money management" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having financial goals is a wonderful thing. And having lofty ones is even better, because it pushes you to see exactly what you can do &mdash; maybe even more than you'd ever thought possible with your money.</p> <p>But, some days, having goals is just plain frustrating. When you're always looking at where you haven't gotten to yet or what you haven't yet achieved, it's easy to feel like you'll never get there, or like you aren't good enough. You might begin to wonder what the point of these goals is, anyway.</p> <p>That's where the reverse bucket list comes in.</p> <h2>Make a Reverse Bucket List</h2> <p>When it comes to your finances, a reverse bucket list is simply a list of things you've already accomplished financially, or a list of goals you've already met.</p> <p>My husband and I tried this recently. On our list, we put things like buying a house, getting away to Cancun last year, not taking on more debt despite several major expenses this year, and paying off my student loan.</p> <p>Some of these things &mdash; like buying a house &mdash; were things that we had made into goals. They were things we wanted to do, things we saved to do, and things we accomplished over time. Others weren't explicit goals, like not taking on more debt. But we added them because they felt like financial accomplishments to us.</p> <p>Take some time to make your list. Some items &mdash; like, for us, paying off the student loans &mdash; might be things that you accomplished years ago, so they may not be in the forefront of your mind. Give yourself a day or two to think over your list, coming back to add things when you remember them.</p> <h2>The Reverse Bucket List and Positivity</h2> <p>The first thing that we felt, when we looked over our final list, was an overwhelming sense of positivity. We have been discouraged lately. This year seems to have been one surprise attack after another when it comes to our money, and it's frustrating to work harder than ever only to see the balances go down.</p> <p>When we looked at our list, though, we started to feel better about ourselves and the way we're living. We are still people who can make good financial decisions, as evidenced by the number of things we've accomplished in that realm. In fact, it's those decisions that put us where we are now &mdash; without any new debt &mdash; even though life hasn't cooperated recently.</p> <p>Looking at our list has also made us feel more positive about continuing to pursue the financial goals we haven't met yet, even though we feel like our most recent progress has been negative. For each item on the list, we can remember the moment where it happened, where we felt proud and happy, and that motivates us to keep putting one foot ahead of the other.</p> <p>Making this list definitely raised our motivation levels and helped us look at our situation realistically. Setbacks happen. They aren't necessarily a commentary on us or our intelligence or our financial prowess. And now, we feel like moving forward again.</p> <h2>Understanding Your Finances Through the Reverse Bucket List</h2> <p>Looking at our reverse bucket list also helped us find some patterns in our spending and saving that will help us as we move forward.</p> <p>For instance, the closer I get to a goal, the more likely I am to pursue it wholeheartedly. When we were just about able to pay off my student loans, I stopped buying everything that wasn't extra. I could see victory, I could taste it, and I wanted it!</p> <p>On the other hand, when I'm not anywhere near meeting any goals, I tend to spend a lot more haphazardly. If I feel like I will never get there, or I feel like we are just going to encounter another setback anyway, I figure I might as well buy what I want while I have the money in my hands.</p> <p>Moving forward, we are planning to structure our goals differently, making them tiered rather than all-or-nothing. That way, I can always feel like I'm just about to achieve something, so I won't be as tempted to spend in any given moment.</p> <h2>Find What Motivates You</h2> <p>When we thought about our list, we also noticed that we are highly motivated by travel. When we saved for travel, we were able to save quickly, simply because we both really love to get on a plane and see somewhere new.</p> <p>Now, when you have a mortgage and other student loans like we do, you can't just make all of your goals about traveling. But we realized that staggering our goals so that travel goals are included in every two or three things we save for would help us.</p> <p>For instance, when we pay off my husband's student loans, we are planning a trip to New Zealand. We know that we can take that trip as soon as these other goals are met. Even if it takes us several years, we will feel more motivated knowing that the travel goal is coming up, even if the gratification isn't immediate.</p> <p>A financial reverse bucket list won't solve all of your problems, but it certainly might make you feel better about your money situation and help you figure out how to structure your goals so they best suit you.</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/create-a-reverse-bucket-list-to-improve-your-money-management">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-think-like-an-olympian-to-master-your-money">How to Think Like an Olympian to Master Your 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/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick</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-get-your-finances-back-on-track-after-losing-everything">How to Get Your Finances Back on Track After Losing Everything</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/6-money-lessons-we-could-all-learn-from-dwayne-the-rock-johnson">6 Money Lessons We Could All Learn From Dwayne &quot;The Rock&quot; Johnson</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/ow-do-you-deal-with-family-members-who-are-bad-at-managing-money">How Do You Deal With Family Members Who Are Bad At Managing Money?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance General Tips accomplishments advice goals inspiration motivation positive thinking psychology reverse bucket list Wed, 14 Sep 2016 09:00:07 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1792247 at http://www.wisebread.com It's the 21st Century — Why Is Your Money Stuck in the 20th? http://www.wisebread.com/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_friends_piggy_bank_74667997.jpg" alt="Woman learning why her money is stuck in the 20th century" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you read financial advice these days, you could be forgiven for checking the date to see if you'd wandered back into the 1990s (or 1970s).</p> <p>What was good advice for the 20th century? Go to the best college you can, get a good job, live frugally, save and invest, buy a house, and max out your retirement savings.</p> <p>But all that generic financial advice of the 20th century isn't necessarily the surest route to success anymore. Millennials figured this out a while ago. That's why so many aren't bothering with college, why so many are living at home with their parents, and why so many are getting by with casual jobs &mdash; or no jobs.</p> <h2>Smart Moves for the 21st Century</h2> <p>So, what's the right financial advice for the 21st century? Well, Millennials' instincts aren't wrong. But these are hard waters to navigate purely on instinct. Here's what I'd do.</p> <h3>It's Not &quot;Don't Go to College&quot;</h3> <p>Rather, it's &quot;Don't <em>go into debt</em> to go to college.&quot;</p> <p>Even that is a bit extreme, because there are career paths &mdash; engineering, technology &mdash; where you can earn enough to pay off student loans. It would probably be even better to say, &quot;Keep your student loans small, relative to your prospects of paying the money back.&quot;</p> <p>In particular, don't pay up to attend a mid-tier college. In the 20th century there was real ROI in going to the best college you could get into. In the 21st century, I think that's only true at the top. If you can't get into (or afford!) one of the absolute top colleges, there's no reason to pay extra to attend a second-tier college. The cost-benefit ratio shifts strongly in your favor if you do a couple of years at community college and then finish your degree at a good state school. Of course if your family is rich or you can get excellent scholarships, there's no reason not to go to a second-tier college &mdash; just not if you have to borrow extra to do it.</p> <p>Even if you can get into a top-tier college, consider whether its cost is justified. Will your degree ensure a job upon graduation, or result in better-compensated roles than you might otherwise have access to? Will it make entry into a graduate program of your choice easier? Will it materially benefit your intended life path in some way?</p> <h3>It's Not &quot;Live at Home With Your Parents&quot;</h3> <p>Rather, it's &quot;Live a lifestyle you can really afford, <em>even if that means</em> living at home with your parents.&quot;</p> <p>Do not go into debt to support your lifestyle! In fact, you'll be way ahead of the game if you can start accumulating <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/on-the-importance-of-having-capital">a little capital</a>. Even just a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/figuring-the-size-of-your-emergency-fund">small emergency fund</a> can make your life enormously better.</p> <p>Other sorts of debt may not be as bad as student loan debt (which can't be discharged even in bankruptcy, and which lenders will give you even if your planned course of study gives you no hope of ever paying it off), but that doesn't mean the other sorts are okay.</p> <h3>It's Not &quot;Work Casual Jobs&quot;</h3> <p>Rather, it's &quot;Find a way to support your low-cost lifestyle, <em>even if all you can get</em> are casual jobs.&quot;</p> <p>There are all kinds of ways to make money. There are good jobs, there are crappy jobs, there are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-outside-your-day-job">side gigs</a> of all sorts. The key is to fund your lifestyle (plus a little extra).</p> <p>In today's economy there are times and places where crappy jobs are all you can get. That's unfortunate.</p> <p>Also unfortunate is that so many people writing about &quot;kids these days&quot; don't see that <em>these two items are paired</em>. Millennials are (very wisely) matching lifestyle choices with income opportunities, while journalists (and even financial advisers) are pretending that these two things are independent of one another.</p> <h3>All the Other Generic Financial Advice</h3> <p>Investing used to be easy.</p> <p>From around 1980 through the end of the 20th century, just about any mix of cash, bonds, and stocks purchased through low-cost index funds would yield several percentage points above inflation, letting anybody be an investing super-genius.</p> <p>Housing prices didn't go up in a straight line through the whole period, but between the tax advantages of homeownership and the leverage of mortgages with a low down payment, as long as you didn't pay too much, anybody could have both a home <em>and </em>a valuable capital asset.</p> <p>Because none of this stuff is true any more, investing is now really hard.</p> <p>The return on cash has for years been so close to zero as to be not worth worrying about. Bonds, stocks, and real estate are all up so much since the crash that they're probably a lousy place to invest new money.</p> <p>None of which is to say that you shouldn't be frugal and accumulate some savings, but doing so will not be the path to wealth this century that it was last century.</p> <p>That means that we need to look someplace besides the 20th century for financial advice. And for that, I have an idea.</p> <h2>Look to Earlier Centuries</h2> <p>The 20th century was genuinely different. For about two generations &mdash; the generation that fought World War II and the Baby Boomers &mdash; we had a unique set of circumstances that made it possible to work for a paycheck and eventually, before you got too old to work, get rich.</p> <p>Until then, for all of human history, there were only two paths to wealth: You could inherit wealth, or you could achieve wealth through some sort of risk-taking endeavor (entrepreneurship, speculation, etc.).</p> <p>Those unique circumstances no longer apply, and because of that, the best place to look for strategies for the future is to look at the strategies that worked before the 20th century. The 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries will provide fertile ground. Things that worked then are going to work <em>better </em>going forward than reflexively copying what worked in the 20th century.</p> <p>Perhaps financial professionals can be forgiven for not having figured this out &mdash; the whole financial industry is a product of the 20th century.</p> <p>I have a book of financial advice from 1883 called <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Worth-Wealth-Collection-Miscellanies-Merchants-ebook/dp/B0071IGXEG">Worth and Wealth</a> by T.L. Haines. It's a fascinating book. Much of it reads exactly like personal finance advice from today (minus any high-tech stuff like automating your bill paying) &mdash; getting an education, finding a job, living frugally, and so on &mdash; except that it has nothing about what we would consider investing. There's nothing about stocks or bonds. Instead, there's <em>investing</em> the way it was done in prior centuries.</p> <h3>Buy Productive Land</h3> <p>Land was the basis of <em>all</em> wealth right up until the 19th century. In the old days it would have been land with crops or pasture, but rental property counts too. Of course, both running a farm and being a landlord are more like a second job than like passive investing. Speaking of which...</p> <h3>Invest in a Business</h3> <p>That is, invest in <em>your own</em> business.</p> <p>The sorts of paper investments &mdash; stocks and bonds &mdash; that did so well in the 20th century are not going to go away, and no doubt a lot of people will make a lot of money in the market. But I don't think we'll see a continuation of the days in which a simple diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds provided a safe, high return.</p> <p>Of course, running a small business is more like a full-time job than like passive investing. And that's my point. The right response now to any the article on investing for &quot;passive income&quot; is to shake your head and say, &quot;That's so last century.&quot;</p> <h3>Organize Like a Family</h3> <p>The idea of an individual person as the fundamental economic unit is an idea of the late 20th century. Before that the fundamental economic unit was the <em>family</em>.</p> <p>There are all kinds of advantages to organizing your economic life around a family with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/strategies-for-households-with-more-than-one-adult">more than one adult</a>. It meshes especially well with the ideas I've already mentioned. Family members may work outside the family to bring in wages or a salary, but if there's family land or a family business, family members who lose their jobs can work them until they find a new job. That way the family still has some income and the family member has productive work to do.</p> <p>One mental model for this might be the big farm families of the 19th century, but I suggest that you think bigger. Model your home economy after the aristocratic families of the 18th century. Everyone can contribute. The most able can be given scope to vastly increase the family's wealth, while the young and the old and those who simply lack that spark can still contribute to (and share in) the family's success.</p> <p>If organizing like a family doesn't work for you, consider organizing like a tribe. It's probably an even better metaphor.</p> <h2>The Way Things Are Going to Be</h2> <p>In all these areas, I think that the Millennials' instincts have been pretty good, except that I think they've bought in on the 20th-century idea that the economic unit is the individual.</p> <p>That's understandable. It's an appealing model, one that gives maximum freedom with minimal responsibility &mdash; you're only responsible for yourself.</p> <p>Because of this, I worry that many of them, even those who are making the right moves on a piecemeal basis, have not figured out that the 21st century is going to look a lot more like the 19th and prior centuries than like the 20th.</p> <p>The choices that they make &mdash; in particular, the choice to live at home with their parents &mdash; show them instinctively moving in the right direction, but until they can correct their mental model, they're missing out on some useful perspective that history can provide.</p> <p>Look into how families organized their home economy before the 20th century. There's a lot of practical wisdom there.</p> <p><em>Where is your money &mdash; in the 20th century or the 21st?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th">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-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far">6 Ways Millennials Have Changed Money (So Far)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-successful-millennials-do">7 Things Successful Millennials Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meditation-can-make-you-a-money-master">6 Ways Meditation Can Make You a Money 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/ow-do-you-deal-with-family-members-who-are-bad-at-managing-money">How Do You Deal With Family Members Who Are Bad At Managing 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/not-rich-enough-and-not-poor-enough">Not Rich Enough and Not Poor Enough</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle 20th century 21st century advice baby boomers business education family investing millennials property investing Mon, 05 Sep 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Philip Brewer 1785277 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Thoughts I Had After Paying Off My Credit Card Debt http://www.wisebread.com/5-thoughts-i-had-after-paying-off-my-credit-card-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-thoughts-i-had-after-paying-off-my-credit-card-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/87173709.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm in my mid-30s now, financially stable, and I keep close tabs on my dough. But it wasn't always that way. It wasn't that long ago that I was reckless with my money, racking up credit card debt on a mountain of material possessions and teetering on zero in my bank account several times a month &mdash; and often overdrafting as a result. It was an awful way to live. I knew what I was doing was damaging my financial future, but I couldn't stop. After I while, I dug myself so much into debt that the only way I could afford necessary life items (like food and gas for my car) was to dig myself deeper into debt. The cycle was as vicious as they come.</p> <p>Eventually, however, I was able to emerge from the quicksand of debt (many years after I maxed out my cards, mind you). My credit was completely obliterated, but at least I was able to start picking up the pieces. When I made the last payments that freed me from the chains of negative balances, I reflected on my journey. Here's what went through my mind.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Fastest Way to Pay Off 10K Credit Card Debt</a></p> <h2>1. I Did It &mdash; I Finally Did It!</h2> <p>Collections duped me into picking up the phone one fateful day, and, after giving me a lecture on what a terrible person I was, the lady on the line offered me a payoff deal. The deal was about half of what I owed &mdash; which was above and beyond what my spend balance was because of years of late fees and interest &mdash; but I was promised that the entire debt would be resolved if I could make the payment in full in less than 60 days.</p> <p>I didn't have what I needed to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">pay off the debt</a> then and there, but the offer was motivating, nonetheless. I had lived under that black cloud of debt long enough, and I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to reboot my finances. So I saved: I cut out everything I didn't need for the next two months, picked up extra work, and I finally paid it off. I was proud of myself, and now I could look to the future without the guilt and stress of past debt holding me back.</p> <h2>2. I Royally Screwed My Credit Score</h2> <p>The celebration of being newly debt-free was short-lived. At the end of the day, even though the debt was gone, the effects of my irresponsibility lingered, namely in my very poor credit score. And I felt those effects for a long time afterward. Like when I wanted to purchase my first new car, for instance. My dad had to cosign for the car because I didn't qualify for the loan on my own &mdash; which wasn't a large one &mdash; despite having a decent-paying full-time job at the time. These ripples infiltrated many other parts of my life, too &mdash; like applying for apartments. These were hurdles I didn't anticipate, but I knew I had to do some swift thinking on how to reverse the damage.</p> <h2>3. How Do I Avoid Digging This Hole Again?</h2> <p>My number one rule post payoff was that everything gets paid on time; not a single payment will be processed late! That means that I need to have the money I need to cover these expenses in advance of the due date, and that check needs to be in the mail far enough ahead of time that it's deducted from my account before the due date. As such, I had to completely rearrange my budget and make cutbacks. I couldn't buy new clothes at the frequency at which I previously bought them, I skipped drinks with my friends, I ate out less and took my lunch to work more, I started carpooling with a friend to work, and I picked up a part-time job. These tactics combined helped me build enough reserve cash that I could be proactive about payments moving forward to avoid another dangerous situation, and it was a small step in the right direction toward an improved credit outlook.</p> <h2>4. No More Credit Cards for a While &mdash; Cash Only</h2> <p>I cut up my credit cards long before I paid them off. They were maxed out and essentially useless, and I stayed that course after the debt was paid, and even when new credit card offers were coming in, too. I would have been bonkers to take those new deals. Given my poor credit score, the interest rate on those offers were sky high, which only served as an additional warning that creditors see irresponsible people coming a mile away, and they prey on them &mdash; and I didn't want to play the willing victim anymore.</p> <p>So, I committed myself to a life of cash only for about five years. I decided that if I couldn't pay for it in cash, I didn't need it. Was that self-imposed plan difficult to uphold? Absolutely it was. But &mdash; it also was arguably the single best decision I've ever made for myself.</p> <p>Moving to a cash-only system helped me get a solid handle on my money, it helped me develop financial discipline, it taught me the value of being frugal, and I learned how to save for purchases that would enhance my life (and increase my income) over the long term instead of spending it on things that gave me instant gratification in the short term. Without the temptation of credit sitting idly in my wallet, I could see the bigger picture much clearer. If I couldn't afford it with the real money I had, I couldn't afford it &mdash; end of story.</p> <h2>5. How Can I Keep My Finances on the Straight and Narrow?</h2> <p>After my five-year credit card hiatus, I opened one new account to further <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">improve my credit score</a>. But this wasn't like the last time. I was a decade older and wiser, and I used that card for emergencies only. I also paid the bill off in full (nine times out of 10, anyway) each billing cycle. In fact, it wasn't until recently (I'd say in the last three years) that I've taken on additional cards, but not for frivolous reasons. Each card I've accepted has served a purpose, like helping to furnish an income property that I own. It comes with perks and rewards, and I have a plan in place to pay for the anticipated and purposeful purchases in advance. If I don't already have the money in the bank to pay that debt &mdash; or at least earmarked income to settle it &mdash; I don't put anything on the cards.</p> <p>Credit can be beneficial if you use it the right way, but it's easy to get off track. Which is why after I've used the cards for their intended purpose, I remove them from my wallet and put them in a safe. I typically only have one card on me at any given time: The first one I accepted after my cash-only experiment, and that's enough to get me through an emergency should I need to use it.</p> <p><em>If you've paid off significant debt, how did you feel?</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/5-thoughts-i-had-after-paying-off-my-credit-card-debt">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/10-credit-card-truths-you-wish-you-could-tell-your-younger-self">10 Credit Card Truths You Wish You Could Tell Your Younger Self</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/avoid-these-5-common-mistakes-while-rebuilding-your-credit">Avoid These 5 Common Mistakes While Rebuilding Your Credit</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-your-unused-credit-cards-may-be-costing-you">How Your Unused Credit Cards May Be Costing You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score">This One Ratio Is the Key to a Good Credit Score</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/building-a-credit-history">Building a Credit History</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards advice cash credit history credit score debt free overspending Fri, 02 Sep 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1782254 at http://www.wisebread.com The Personal Finance Letter I'd Write to My Younger Self http://www.wisebread.com/the-personal-finance-letter-id-write-to-my-younger-self <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-personal-finance-letter-id-write-to-my-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_letter_mail_78316923.jpg" alt="Woman writing personal finance letter to her younger self" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Dear Sweet, Naive, Handsome Mikey:</p> <p>You're going to be a real idiot with your money in your 20s.</p> <p>So many people will tell you how to handle your finances better &mdash; more responsibly, even &mdash; but you won't care. Because you think you know everything. You think that because you're only 20-something, you don't have to worry about how much you're spending or how much you're <em>not</em> saving. But trust me, your reckless financial abandonment will catch up with you, and you'll want to crawl under a rock and disappear when it does.</p> <p>Alas, the debt you'll rack up won't just disappear because you want it to. It's going to follow you around like a black cloud for <em>years</em>. Everywhere you go. Everywhere! You can lessen some of this unnecessary stress, however, if you avoid these five missteps (even though I know you're going to do them anyway because you won't listen to anybody, not even yourself.)</p> <h2>1. Do <em>Not </em>Accept Those Credit Card Offers Straight Out of High School</h2> <p>Heads up. As soon as you turn 18, credit card companies will call you and address you like you're somebody important. They'll tell you that you can have free money to take your friends out to dinner, take your boyfriend to the movies, and to go shopping. And we both know how much you love to go shopping. But as appealing as this sounds, buddy, be strong and just say no &mdash; because it's a trap &mdash; a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-didn-t-understand-about-credit-card-interest-grace-periods-and-penalty-aprs?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">23%-interest trap</a>.</p> <p>You're going to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oops-i-maxed-out-my-credit-cards-now-what?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">max those cards</a> out in six months, but it's going to take you six <em>years</em> to pay them off. In fact, you're going to pay more in late fees and interest than the actual amount you spent. As a result, your credit will be jacked up for most of your 20s. It'll be difficult to rent an apartment and buy a car, milestones that other people your age are having an easier time with because they didn't treat their credit cards like they just won the Mega Millions jackpot.</p> <p>It'll help if you think of your credit cards this way: You were broke before them, and when you get them, you're still broke. <em>Because you don't have the money to pay for them!</em> You're virtually penniless, young, handsome Mikey. Street-corner vagabonds shaking change cups have more money to their name that you do. The net worth of your eight-year-old neighbor who just celebrated a birthday is higher than yours. Finding a shiny quarter on the ground will make you 25% richer than you were before.</p> <p>Get what I'm saying?</p> <h2>2. Stop Spending Money Within Cents of Overdrafting Your Account</h2> <p>A zero balance in your bank account isn't the amount you're striving to reach. It's not a goal or a &quot;caution&quot; amount. A zero balance means you're Oliver Twist poor, teetering on the brink of begging for scraps outside a California Pizza Kitchen just to stay fed. Frankly, it's a good thing you have room and board at college, thanks in part to the United States government. But the joke's on you. Because while you're spending every dollar you earn working semi-part time, and then money that you don't even have, the government is laughing all the way to the bank because it knows it's got you on the hook for the next 20 years.</p> <p>Rein it in.</p> <h2>3. Put More Emphasis on Saving So Your Grandma Doesn't Have to Win You Money at the Casino</h2> <p>Yeah, Mom-Mom likes to go to Atlantic City, but that doesn't mean she wants to hand over all her winnings to help you fix your car because you have a minus sign in front of your entire life. Shop less, eat more at home, and pick up another job so you can be an adult for once and pay for your own mistakes. Seriously, dude &mdash; who wants to be 25 years old calling up Granny for cash because they're acting a fool? You're better than that. Hopefully.</p> <h2>4. For the Love of God, Quit Drinking Away Your Paycheck</h2> <p>You like to have fun &mdash; I get it. But at what price? Spending half your salary on booze (which, by the way, at age 27 is a <em>very</em> good salary by any estimation; count your blessings) is not only irresponsible, it will lead to other problems in the near future. Lack of savings or anything of substance of which to be proud notwithstanding, you're in danger of developing a real drinking problem. You can avoid the severe pain that this will cause you and your family and friends for years to come if you can learn to stay out of the bar on Friday and Saturday nights.</p> <p>You don't enjoy waking up every Sunday with a massive hangover. I should know. I did it for a long time. But you don't have to if you heed this advice as a serious health warning that could have life-or-death consequences.</p> <h2>5. Steer Clear of the Beaten Path and Everything Will Be Okay</h2> <p>At some point, everyone you care about will have an opinion about your future. You can't be mad about that though, because you created a situation where people became concerned. As much as they mean well, however, don't always listen to them. You will make lots of mistakes, but one of your strong suits is following your instincts. Your intuition, work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit, and built-in business acumen will serve you well once you get all this adolescent immaturity out of your system.</p> <p>You'll go farther faster if you cut all this crap out earlier, which I implore you to do, because who knows &mdash; I could be writing this letter from a corner office in Manhattan right now or on a bright, sunny beach on a weekday. But you'll only live up to your potential if you allow yourself to make your mistakes, learn and grow from them, and press on ever determined. What will happen when you're young will happen, but your future is still being written. Be bold, take risks, and get your financial self back on track sooner than later and you'll be pleasantly surprised with the outcome.</p> <p>Good luck, pal, and Godspeed,</p> <p>The Better and Even Handsomer You</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/the-personal-finance-letter-id-write-to-my-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-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-biggest-lies-we-tell-ourselves-about-money">The 10 Biggest Lies We Tell Ourselves About 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/i-am-doing-well-financially-now-what">I Am Doing Well Financially. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-credit-card-truths-you-wish-you-could-tell-your-younger-self">10 Credit Card Truths You Wish You Could Tell 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/4-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-jk-rowling">4 Money Lessons We Can Learn From J.K. Rowling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-you-disrespect-your-money">10 Ways You Disrespect Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance advice debt money management money matters overspending saving younger self Wed, 24 Aug 2016 09:00:06 +0000 Mikey Rox 1778481 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Money Moves to Make Before the Leaves Change http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_fall_leaves_81399473.jpg" alt="Woman making money moves before the leaves change" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As yet another fun summer season winds down, there's no better time than the start of autumn to take a look at our finances to see where we can make adjustments. Consider these 10 money moves to make before the leaves change.</p> <h2>1. Get Back to Budget Reality</h2> <p>Summer activities can put budgeting on the back burner as we spend more and save less over vacation. A little splurging or a savings vacation isn't the end of the world, as long as it isn't a permanent getaway that drains your accounts. With autumn right around the corner, however, now's the time to get back to basics and rein in spending. Summer can be expensive, but you can regain control of your money by coming up with a spending plan that helps you curb impulse buys and save more of your income for a rainy day.</p> <h2>2. Start a Holiday Fund</h2> <p>The beginning of fall means the holiday season is only three months away. As you revamp your budget, start putting money aside for the end of the year. Whether your plans include taking an end-of-the-year vacation or buying gifts for loved ones, early planning can ensure enough cash so that you don't have to rely on credit cards.</p> <h2>3. Ask About Flat-Rate Billing</h2> <p>If your gas or electric bills trigger heart palpitations, talk to your utility company about flat-rate billing. The company looks at your past electricity or gas usage and uses this information to estimate your expected usage over the next year. Based on this estimation, you're charged a flat rate for the next 12 months. Flat-rate billing protects against higher utility bills during the winter and summer months, and as a result, budgeting is easier because you know exactly what you'll owe each month and there are no surprises.</p> <h2>4. Review Your TV Habits</h2> <p>Fall signifies that start of the new prime time television schedule &mdash; one of my favorite parts of the change of seasons. This is an excellent time to evaluate your TV viewing habits to see if you can do without cable, downgrade your package, or otherwise modify your home-entertainment budget to better suit your needs. With so many options these days, you can likely stream many of your favorite shows at a price that's far less than cable.</p> <h2>5. Pay Off Summer Debt</h2> <p>Carrying credit card debt from month-to-month is expensive. If your credit cards took a beating over the summer, come up with a plan to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">eliminate this debt</a>. Give your credit cards a break and pay for everything with cash, and then cut back on unnecessary spending to free up cash in your budget. Use the savings to double or triple your minimum payments and pay off balances sooner. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">5 Day Debt Reduction Plan</a>)</p> <h2>6. Prepare for Colder Days</h2> <p>Temperatures cool down around September and October, so to trim your heating bill, take steps early in the season to keep the heat in and the cold out. This includes replacing missing insulation in the attic, weatherstripping your doors and windows, sealing any cracks around windows and electrical outlets, installing a storm door, hanging heavy drapes, getting a programmable thermostat, and closing your fireplace flue.</p> <h2>7. Check Your Savings Contributions</h2> <p>If summer fun threw off your savings goals, you can play catch-up by taking advantage of your company's retirement plan, or increasing your contributions if you already have a 401K.</p> <p>&quot;An employer may offer to match a percentage or all of your contributions to a retirement account,&quot; says Jim Poolman, retirement expert and executive director of the lndexed Annuity Leadership Council. &quot;Some employers may even contribute to your retirement account each year whether you save or not.&quot; Any employer retirement contribution is considered &quot;free money&quot; and can maximize your savings at any age.</p> <h2>8. Balance Your Portfolio</h2> <p>In addition to contributing or increasing contributions to your company's retirement plan, you should get serious about balancing your portfolio to protect against market shifts. It isn't enough to have a 401K. Poolman suggests adding more conservative, low-risk products, such as fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) to balance your retirement portfolio.</p> <p>This is important as you become older, because a savings strategy that worked in your 20s might not be the right fit in your 30s or 40s.</p> <p>&quot;Assessing your investment mix at different stages in your life is key,&quot; Poolman warns. &quot;When you're young, a higher-risk investment strategy may be more effective, whereas the closer you are to retirement, the more important a low-risk portfolio may be.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Have a Money Talk With Your Partner</h2> <p>It's also important to sit down with your partner and/or a financial planner to review your overall financial picture and determine where you can improve. For example, when was the last time you reviewed your life insurance policy? If you've recently tied the knot, had a baby, or purchased a home, can you increase your coverage? Or if you're self-employed, could you increase contributions and max out your IRA, which can grow your money and help you save on taxes? A yearly review can ensure a firm financial foundation and help you hit your goals.</p> <h2>10. Make Doctor's Appointments</h2> <p>A flexible spending account (FSA) lets you set aside a percentage of your pretax pay for eligible out-of-pocket medical expenses. These accounts effectively reduce health care costs for doctor appointments, prescription medications, vision care, and dental care. You can withdraw funds to pay for covered expenses. The catch, however, is that funds in a flexible spending account must be used in the plan year. Some employers don't allow funds to carry over into the next year, or they only allow employees to carry over $500. If you don't use the money, you lose it. So with three months left in the year, schedule your doctor, dental, and vision appointments to avoid forfeiting your unused balance.</p> <p><em>What steps are you taking to prep your finances for fall?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-you-will-always-be-thankful-for">7 Money Moves You Will Always Be Thankful For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pieces-of-financial-wisdom-from-warren-buffett">The 5 Best Pieces of Financial Wisdom From Warren Buffett</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-50">5 Money Mistakes to Stop Making by 50</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-graduate">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-you-can-make-while-stuck-in-an-endless-tsa-line">6 Money Moves You Can Make While Stuck in an Endless TSA Line</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance advice autumn budgeting debt fall health care money moves organizing paying bills savings seasons Mon, 22 Aug 2016 09:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1775890 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things Millennials Can Learn About Saving Money From Gen-X http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-millennials-can-learn-about-saving-money-from-gen-x <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-millennials-can-learn-about-saving-money-from-gen-x" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women_friends_shopping_64269827.jpg" alt="Millennials learning about saving money from Gen-Xers" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Millennials think they've got it all figured out &mdash; just ask one and they'll tell you. But while I'm an advocate of the so-called &quot;Me Generation,&quot; allow me to freely admit we still have a few things to learn.</p> <p>Recently, money-saving grocery app Ibotta conducted a three-year analysis on user shopping habits &mdash; they dove deep into 25-million-plus user receipts &mdash; and the findings were interesting. As it turns out, Millennials aren't as financially savvy as they think they are. In fact, they can still learn a thing or two from Gen-Xers, who seem to have the saving vs. spending game down pat. Here are some of the results.</p> <h2>1. Gen-X Shops Where They Get More Bang for Their Buck</h2> <p>According to Ibotta's study, Millennials shop most frequently at beauty/cosmetic stores, nutrition stores, movie theaters, convenience stores, and apparel stores. That tells us that Millennials value quality over cost, and they don't mind paying the price for it. Especially when you consider the places Millennials shop the least, including pharmacies, dollar stores, arts-and-crafts stores, footwear stores, and home improvement stores.</p> <p>I have to admit, as someone who considers myself more Millennial than Gen-X (and I'm right on the cusp of both of these generations being born in 1981), I tend to shop at the places Millennials are least likely to be found. There are incredible savings at dollar stores and arts-and-crafts stores, in particular, and they're too good for me to pass up. Of course, I go to the movies a lot as well (I guess that's the Millennial in me), but you'll very rarely find me in beauty/cosmetics stores or nutrition stores when I know that I get anything I'd find there cheaper at places like Wal-Mart and Target &mdash; and I'm never too proud to shop at either of those establishments.</p> <h2>2. Gen-X Is Perfectly Happy Shopping at Traditional, Lower-Cost Grocery Stores</h2> <p>Millennials shop at natural grocery stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's about 56% more than non-Millennials, the Ibotta study reports. Which means that Millennial shoppers are not only trendy (or &quot;health-conscious&quot; if you want to be PC about it) in their food choices, but their grocery bills are likely much higher considering the steep prices of natural food markets.</p> <p>Personally, I've never understood the appeal of &quot;organic&quot; food. I've been putting nonorganic foods in my body for 35 years, and I feel two ways about it: First, I'm A-okay, healthy as an ox. Second, the damage by preservative- and pesticide-packed foods has already been done; I hardly believe that switching to organic fruits and vegetables now will change whatever is going to happen to me down the road.</p> <p>Plus, organic broccoli is the worst. I hate it, and you can't make me eat it.</p> <p>On the flip side, Gen-Xers still shop at traditional grocery stores &mdash; and use coupons! &mdash; which we'll get into later.</p> <h2>3. Gen-X Values Their Own Hard-Earned Money More Than Making a Political Statement</h2> <p>I'm not at all surprised by this statistic: Millennials are 8% more likely to shop at Costco over Sam's Club. Moreover, they're 13.5% more likely than non-Millennials to shop at Costco.</p> <p>I have a hunch as to why Millennials largely shun Sam's Club, and it has everything to do with being associated with Wal-Mart.</p> <p>Now, I'm not someone who avoids Wal-Mart as a result of its labor practices or other political stances &mdash; I go where the savings are, just like Gen-Xers (yep, I'm fickle) &mdash; but it seems that there's an entire generation of consumers that look down on Wal-Mart as if it's subpar for whatever reason. (Although, one of those reasons might have to do with those unflattering &quot;People of Wal-Mart&quot; memes or the tramplings at Christmastime &mdash; who's to say, really?)</p> <p>In any case, my assumption is especially valid when you consider that Millennials are 27% more likely to shop at Target than users in all other age groups.</p> <p>I will contend that Target is much cleaner and more organized than most Wal-Marts I've been in, but I'm not boycotting a Wal-Mart or Sam's Club to make a political statement if at the end of the day my wallet comes out the winner. That's just common sense.</p> <h2>4. Gen-Xers Are Good at Making the Most of Mid-Level Consumer Goods</h2> <p>Millennials are brand loyalists through and through. Just look at the forever converts Apple has following its cult. The loyalty doesn't stop there, though. Whereas Gen-X is open to trying new brands, especially if they're lower priced or on sale, Millennials are willing to loosen the purse strings for established labels. When it comes to a brand like Sephora, in fact, Millennials are two times more likely to shop there than Gen X &mdash; and it ain't cheap.</p> <p>But perhaps beauty vlogger Raye Boyce can change a few Millennial minds. She recently tested $600 worth of makeup on one side of her face and $60 in makeup on the other side. The results? Well, see if you can tell the difference in her video on <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCXwnlOYsfs">makeup that could save you money</a>.</p> <h2>5. Gen-X Clips a Good Coupon When They See It</h2> <p>I don't know if it's the stigma of using a coupon (maybe they feel &quot;cheap&quot; or embarrassed when they hand over a discount?), but Millennials are losing out on a lot of opportunity to save, which in turn is making their lifestyle way costlier than it needs to be.</p> <p>The Ibotta study reveals that Millennials use 20% fewer coupons than Gen-X, and they take advantage of 7.5% fewer in-store discounts. Those numbers are crazy &mdash; especially the disparity in coupon use.</p> <p>If you're a Millennial reading this right now, listen up: Your ego is making you broke, and it's time to come back down to earth.</p> <p>I don't know how anybody can shop without coupons. This is coming from a guy who has and will continue to use coupons on dates (first dates even!). Because wherever I save means extra money for things I like to do, like enjoying new experiences or making investments that make me more money. That full-price pair of expensive shoes will only make you so happy &mdash; and that happiness will run right out when you're sitting in those shoes at home, broke and alone, on a Saturday night.</p> <p>But at least then you'll have time to clip a few coupons with your shears&hellip; and probably a few tears.</p> <p><em>Do you recognize yourself in any of these shopping stats and behaviors?</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/5-things-millennials-can-learn-about-saving-money-from-gen-x">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/6-highly-effective-ways-to-save-without-clipping-a-coupon">6 Highly Effective Ways to Save Without Clipping a Coupon</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-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</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/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-best-deals-coupons-sites">50 Best Deals and Coupon Sites</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping advice coupons deals gen x generations millennials politics saving money stores Fri, 19 Aug 2016 09:00:15 +0000 Mikey Rox 1775193 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money Moves to Make Before You Start Investing http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-before-you-start-investing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-moves-to-make-before-you-start-investing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coins_growing_plants_67145371.jpg" alt="Finding money moves to make before you start investing" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm a staunch advocate for investing &mdash; especially if the alternative is piling up money in a savings account just to have &quot;savings.&quot; Savings are great, but you only need so much in that offensively low-interest account. Put the excess to work, hopefully making even more money out of your investment. Before you take that plunge, however, there are a few financial matters you need to mind.</p> <h2>1. Organize Your Budget and Expenses</h2> <p>If you're considering making an investment &mdash; whatever it may be &mdash; you should have a solid handle on how much money is coming in and going out on a monthly basis. You want to make sure you can afford the investment without teetering on the edge of debt, but this also is a good time to find any weak spots in your budget so you can address them accordingly. Online money-tracking services like Mint.com can make this task much easier on you, and help you stay on track over the long term.</p> <p>&quot;When you know where your money goes, you are in control and can be thoughtful about aligning spending with priorities,&quot; says Carla Dearing CEO of SUM180, an online financial planning service. &quot;Mint, for example, gives you complete access to your data through the website and your mobile device, whether you use iOS or Android. Better yet, Mint keeps an eye on your money for you. It even sends alerts to remind you to pay your bills or when you go over budget.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Get That Emergency Fund in Order &mdash; Stat!</h2> <p>In almost every &quot;money moves&quot; article I write, the &quot;emergency fund&quot; usually pops up somewhere. That's because it's a critical and indispensable part of your overall financial picture. You should have a sizable cushion in the bank to cover life's little mishaps, and that &quot;should&quot; becomes a &quot;must&quot; when you add investing to the equation. If you don't have an emergency fund, you have no business investing &mdash; bottom line.</p> <p>Just how much dough are we talking for an emergency fund to be considered satisfactory? Six times your monthly expenses, according to Dearing.</p> <p><strong>&quot;</strong>Be disciplined about saving a little every month until your emergency fund is where it needs to be, even if it means sacrificing little luxuries once in a while,&quot; she says. &quot;Remember to replenish the account every time you use it. Having your cushion ready whenever you need it will give you a great sense of security and freedom. It will also free you up to work on other savings goals without getting derailed by unexpected expenses.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Pay Off Your High-Interest Debts</h2> <p>You don't need to be completely out of debt before you start investing. Many financial advisers argue that you should be debt free before you start investing, but that's just not true. Most people don't pay off their homes for up to 30 years, and you wouldn't want to wait that long before you start a retirement fund.</p> <p>You should, however, pay off your high-interest debts. They'll drag you down faster than the Titanic.</p> <p>&quot;Whether it's a credit card or student loan, it doesn't make any sense to invest and make a market average return of 7% annually while you're paying 20% on credit debt,&quot; says Nick Braun, founder of a pet insurance company. &quot;Pay off your high-interest debts first, then start using excess income to save for the future.&quot;</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=article">Fastest Way to Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt</a></p> <h2>4. Contribute to Your Retirement Savings</h2> <p>Retirement savings <em>is</em> an investment. It may not seem like it now, because what you're funding seems so far away &mdash; but you'll see it as such when you reach retirement age. Which is why, before you start throwing money at other investment opportunities, you need to invest in yourself. If you don't have a retirement account set up yet, make that a priority. If you have one currently, like a 401K, for instance, take advantage of free, pretax contribution opportunities where available, like matching funds from your employer. Then max those contributions out so you don't miss a single cent.</p> <h2>5. Contribute to an HSA</h2> <p>If you have a health insurance policy that comes with a qualifying Health Savings Account, take full advantage of it and fully fund it.</p> <p>&quot;Most contributions are tax-deductible, and withdrawals to pay qualifying medical expenses &mdash; at any time in life &mdash; are tax-free,&quot; explains Kevin Gallegos, vice president of Freedom Financial Network in Phoenix. &quot;These accounts are essentially emergency funds devoted to health care costs, and so savings have a double benefit of tax relief and savings.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Refinance Your Student Loans</h2> <p>Are student loans holding you back from building your savings or investment accounts or from making other types of investments? Free up some of your budget by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-refinance-your-student-loan?ref=internal">refinancing your loans</a> for a lower monthly payment.</p> <p>&quot;The average Class of 2016 graduate owes more than $37,000 in student loan debt,&quot; says financial expert Michael Blattman, professor at University of Maryland. &quot;With 43 million borrowers nationwide, Americans owe nearly $1.3 trillion in student loan debt. Individually, this crushing debt delays borrowers' life decisions, such as getting married, investing in the stock market, buying a house, or having children. Collectively, it's hampering the U.S. economy.&quot;</p> <p>You don't, however, have to be part of these statistics. Take back some of your financial freedom by making a call to your loan provider(s) to discuss refinance options that are right for you.</p> <h2>7. Get Started on a Taxable Investment Portfolio</h2> <p>After you've maxed out your retirement accounts, Dearing suggests starting a taxable investment portfolio. You can get started investing with just a few simple steps.</p> <p>To get set up, call one of the high-quality, low-fee money management companies, like Vanguard, Fidelity, or T. Rowe Price, tell them about yourself, and ask them to tell you what type of account or fund you need, and what minimum investment requirements apply. These companies, which are the gold standard in the financial services industry, are extremely knowledgeable and committed to serving their clients (who, in the case of Vanguard, are also their shareholders).</p> <p>&quot;Companies like this get you started with a comprehensive, diversified, low-cost fund that will serve you well as a beginning investor,&quot; says Dearing. &quot;Follow their recommendations and you won't go wrong.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Set Savings Goals for Your Taxable Investment Portfolio</h2> <p>Once you have your taxable investment portfolio established, set goals &mdash; $10,000, then $25,000 and, eventually, $100,000.</p> <p>&quot;When you are just starting out, choose one or two tax-advantaged funds, like the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF or the Vanguard Small Cap Index ETF, or similar index funds,&quot; Dearing suggests. &quot;These passively managed funds do a minimum amount of buying and selling &mdash; what the industry calls 'churning' &mdash; which translates into significantly less taxable investment income for you to deal with each year. They also tend to outperform most actively managed mutual funds over time.&quot;</p> <p>Revisiting the goal aspect of this equation, it helps to have a contribution target in place so you have a solid idea of what you're trying to achieve. Likewise, make sure that it's a goal that you <em>can</em> achieve. $10,000 may take a while to reach, but you can do it. If that goal is too steep for you right now, start smaller. There's no harm in that. The most important part of this is that you set the bar just high enough to accomplish it and be motivated by your success to continuing striving further.</p> <p><em>Do you have additional suggestions on money moves to make before investing? I'd love to hear your thoughts 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/8-money-moves-to-make-before-you-start-investing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-to-make-as-soon-as-you-conquer-debt">7 Money Moves to Make as Soon as You Conquer Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-essentials-for-building-a-profitable-portfolio">5 Essentials for Building a Profitable Portfolio</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-easiest-way-to-invest-in-the-worlds-biggest-companies">The Easiest Way to Invest in the World&#039;s Biggest Companies</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-too-much-investment-diversity-can-cost-you">How Too Much Investment Diversity Can Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-are-income-stocks">What Are Income Stocks?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment advice emergency funds health savings account money moves Paying Off Debt portfolio retirement savings stock market student loans Wed, 17 Aug 2016 09:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1771628 at http://www.wisebread.com