saving http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/284/all en-US 12 Easy Ways to Wake Up Richer Tomorrow Than You Are Today http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-wake-up-richer-tomorrow-than-you-are-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-easy-ways-to-wake-up-richer-tomorrow-than-you-are-today" 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_money_84649931.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to wake up richer tomorrow" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Here at Wise Bread, we like to talk about building wealth over the long term. But what if you want to be worth more <em>tomorrow</em> than you are today?</p> <p>There are plenty of ways to make a quick buck, but more importantly there are <em>easy</em> ways to build your overall net worth in a single day.</p> <p>Here are a dozen ways that you can bolster your financial situation in quick order.</p> <h2>1. Buy a Stock</h2> <p>This is not a guarantee. But on any given day, the stock market is more likely to go up than down. In the last decade, there have been about 2,500 trading days. Of those, the S&amp;P 500 &mdash; the index that tracks the performance of the biggest companies &mdash; has finished up more than 1,300 times. So about 55% of the time, if you invest in a fund that mirrors the S&amp;P 500, you'll make money in a single day.</p> <h2>2. Spend No Money</h2> <p>One of the nice things about having some money in the bank is that you can make money by simply doing nothing. If you manage to get through a day without spending a dime &mdash; no runs to Starbucks, no impulse buys on Amazon &mdash; you'll have increased your net worth simply because your cash is earning interest.</p> <h2>3. Sell Stuff</h2> <p>These days, it's relatively easy to find buyers for things you don't need. Consider using Craigslist or eBay to sell your unwanted items. You'd be surprised how many people have made decent side incomes just by selling things online. If you don't want to go the Internet route, you may be able to get cash for your items at consignment shops or used book stores.</p> <h2>4. Earn Cash for Doing Quick Tasks</h2> <p>There are a number of websites that will pay you money to do things like fill out surveys, play online games, or even just surf the web. Check out <a href="http://trk.cotterweb.net/?a=13562&amp;c=16696&amp;s1=1079289">InboxDollars</a> and <a href="http://swagbucks.7eer.net/c/27771/19503/799">Swagbucks</a>, which have proved fairly popular. There's also TaskRabbit, which connects people with quick jobs like running errands, picking up groceries, or performing handyman work. You won't get rich this way, but you might make a few bucks and have more money in your bank account tomorrow than yesterday. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cool-convenient-cash-11-easy-ways-to-make-money-online?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;campagin=article">Effortless Ways to Make Money Online That Don&rsquo;t Require Skills</a>)</p> <h2>5. Refinance Your Mortgage</h2> <p>With interest rates still historically low, it may be a good time to examine whether you can save money on your house payments. A lower interest rate means more money available to pay off the house earlier, or invest. Any money that's not being used to pay back the bank is money that can be used to make you wealthier.</p> <h2>6. Pay Off a Debt</h2> <p>There are two ways to boost your net worth. One is to increase your income. The other is to cut down on the amount you owe. So if you can reduce or eliminate a debt, your net worth will be immediately higher, even if you don't earn any more money.</p> <h2>7. Watch a Pet</h2> <p>If your neighbor is going out of town for a day or two, offer to watch their dog, cat, or pet parakeet. If you're lucky, the pet may only need to be fed once or twice a day and taken for a short walk. (I got paid once simply to drop by and throw some food into a tank of tropical fish.)</p> <h2>8. House Sit</h2> <p>Here's another way to make a quick buck or two: When a friend or neighbor goes out of town, offer to water their plants, keep an eye out for mail and packages, and generally make sure their house is okay.</p> <h2>9. Claim Lost Cash</h2> <p>Did you know that there are billions of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/billions-of-dollars-go-unclaimed-every-year-is-some-of-it-yours?ref=internal">dollars in unclaimed property</a>? It's often things like insurance claim money, or perhaps even an inheritance from a long-lost relative. Most states keep a database of such items, or you can also check <a href="http://missingmoney.com/">MissingMoney.com </a>or <a href="https://www.unclaimed.org/other/">NAUPA</a>.</p> <h2>10. Buy Insurance</h2> <p>Your wealth and assets are worth more if they are protected. Being properly insured means that you can financially withstand everything from lawsuits to landslides and medical emergencies.</p> <p>Having a solid homeowners policy will protect you from financial ruin if your house gets hit by a tornado, volcano, or run-of-the-mill thunderstorm. Auto insurance will protect you if you crash your car. Health insurance will keep you from going bankrupt due to the injuries from that car crash. Life insurance will ensure your family is okay if you pass away unexpectedly, and some life insurance policies also have a cash value and will contribute to your net worth.</p> <h2>11. Sell Your Body</h2> <p>Relax, I am not talking about the world's oldest profession. But you can make a few bucks by donating your plasma, your hair, or taking part in medical trials. Check with your local Red Cross headquarters for blood donation information, and also go to sites such as <a href="https://www.clinicalconnection.com/">ClinicalConnection</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-hair-for-cash?ref=seealso">How to Sell Your Hair for Cash</a>).</p> <h2>12. Donate to Charity</h2> <p>Wait, you can become richer by giving something away? It may not have an immediate impact on your bank account, but most charitable donations are tax-deductible, meaning that you can reduce your taxable income and keep more of your hard-earned cash. Look to donate big ticket items like used cars or even real estate.</p> <p><em>What are you doing today to become richer tomorrow?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-wake-up-richer-tomorrow-than-you-are-today">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/comparing-savings-rates-us-vs-japan">Comparing Savings Rates: U.S. vs Japan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-selling-office-supplies">8 Money Lessons I Learned Selling Office Supplies</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-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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-increase-your-net-worth-this-year">10 Ways to Increase Your Net Worth This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Extra Income earning money get richer investing net worth saving side jobs Tue, 14 Jun 2016 10:30:06 +0000 Tim Lemke 1730464 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money Lessons I Learned Selling Office Supplies http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-selling-office-supplies <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-lessons-i-learned-selling-office-supplies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_working_food_service_21858355.jpg" alt="Woman sharing money lessons she learned selling office supplies" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My first real job came when I was 16 years old and landed a position at one of those large <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-office-supply-purchases?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">office supply stores</a>.</p> <p>As jobs for high schoolers go, it was not a bad one. I earned some money to get through the summer, kept myself busy, learned a lot about varieties of printer ink, and made some friends in the process. I also took away some solid money lessons that have proven helpful over the years.</p> <p>So as we enter summer, let me offer these financial bits that I <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-i-learned-working-as-a-corn-detasseler" target="_blank">learned from my first job</a>.</p> <h2>1. Work Isn't So Bad</h2> <p>Everyone fantasizes about not having to work. But by having a job at the office supply store, I realized that being employed isn't a bad thing. A job gives you income, which is a pretty important thing to have if you want do stuff. And working at a job allows you to learn and enhance key skills like communication, reliability, and even mathematics. A job, to put it simply, can give you a foundation for life.</p> <h2>2. Investing Is Better Than Spending</h2> <p>I can tell you for sure that the cash from my first paychecks did not go into a Roth IRA, or even a savings account with a decent interest rate. No, it went to movies, trips to Burger King, Stone Temple Pilot CDs, and baseball tickets. If I had enough money leftover for gas in my car, I was happy.</p> <p>I had fun as a teenager, but if I had saved more of my earnings and invested them, the total stash would have grown tremendously, and I'd have a lot more money in the bank now. Even just $1,000 invested in an index fund in 1996 would be worth about $4,000 now. If I had somehow managed to save $5,000, I'd have about $20,000 today.</p> <h2>3. The Government Get Its Cut</h2> <p>My first job meant my very first paycheck, which meant I got a glance at the amount of money Uncle Sam takes away. And it certainly seemed like a lot! By looking at my first check, I came to understand that you can only plan your spending based on take-home pay, not your gross wages. Later on in my work life, this understanding of the tax man led me to learn about 401K, Roth IRA plans, and other tax-advantaged ways to invest.</p> <h2>4. You Can Always Haggle</h2> <p>Everything for sale has a price, but that doesn't necessarily mean that's what you have to pay. There's very little downside to asking if you can pay less for an item if you believe it's overpriced. Often, stores will have price-match guarantees that aren't advertised. And you can always ask a manager to adjust a price if you think you have a good reason. When I worked at the office supply store, we had a small refrigerator for sale that had a damaged handle. It otherwise worked fine, but the manager agreed to cut the price in <em>half </em>simply because the customer asked.</p> <h2>5. Never Stop Learning</h2> <p>When I worked at the office supply store, we had many high-schoolers and college students on staff, but also a number of middle-aged and older employees who had been there a long time. Seeing these older workers made me realize that I did not want to find myself employed as a stockboy at an office supply store for the rest of my life. It was important for me to continue with school and develop a wide range of skills that would give me career options and the chance to earn more money over time.</p> <h2>6. Salespeople Want You to Part With Your Money</h2> <p>Though my primary job at the office supply store was to help with customer service, I also helped with sales of office furniture. I was encouraged to convince customers to buy our brand of chairs, desks, and shelves.</p> <p>Keep in mind, my job was not to ensure people ended up with the best product. It was to get them to <em>believe</em> our product was the best, whether that was true or not. I became a master in the art of spewing baloney, and it somehow worked a lot of the time. I earned a bonus each time a customer bought a product I helped sell.</p> <p>Remember this: A salesperson does not work for you and does not have your best interests in mind.</p> <h2>7. Everything Goes on Sale at Some Point</h2> <p>I worked long enough at the store to know that just about every product was discounted at one point or another. It wasn't always easy to predict when items would go on sale, but I learned that if you waited long enough, a lower price would come around. And certain items went on sale at certain times a year. There were usually deep discounts, for example, on many items at back-to-school time. And the holidays usually meant big <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/surprising-ways-to-save-even-more-on-black-friday?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campagin=article">Black Friday sales</a> and other promotions.</p> <p>I learned that the most patient shoppers were the ones most often rewarded with bargains.</p> <h2>8. Americans Love Their Credit Cards</h2> <p>As a teenager, I didn't have a credit card. And my parents were rather frugal people who used cash whenever possible. So it came as a surprise to me when, as a cashier, I would see most customers using credit cards, even for small purchases.</p> <p>It's possible that many of these customers were only using cards to collect reward points or cash back, but I can't help but think they were racking up considerable amounts of debt.</p> <p>We're up to about $1 trillion in credit card debt as a nation, and I can't help but think a portion of that is the result of people using cards for small purchases when they could have used cash.</p> <p><em>What was your first job? What did it teach you about money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-selling-office-supplies">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-i-learned-working-as-a-corn-detasseler">6 Money Lessons I Learned Working as a Corn Detasseler</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/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-personal-finance-tips-for-introverts">8 Personal Finance Tips for Introverts</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-things-people-who-are-good-with-money-never-say">5 Things People Who Are Good With Money Never Say</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/12-easy-ways-to-wake-up-richer-tomorrow-than-you-are-today">12 Easy Ways to Wake Up Richer Tomorrow Than You Are Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career and Income investing life skills money lessons saving summer jobs teenagers working Wed, 08 Jun 2016 09:30:23 +0000 Tim Lemke 1725703 at http://www.wisebread.com When Should You Start Saving for Your Child’s Education? http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-start-saving-for-your-child-s-education <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/when-should-you-start-saving-for-your-child-s-education" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/boy_school_books_000053329704.jpg" alt="Determining when to start saving for your child&#039;s education" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>College is expensive, and it's only going to get more expensive. Tuition costs continue to climb at a rate significantly <a href="http://www.finaid.org/savings/tuition-inflation.phtml">higher than the inflation rate</a>. In fact, on average, the cost of college doubles about every nine years. This means that for a child born today, once they enter college, the college costs will be nearly four times what they are now. You can help your child pay for college by saving (and saving early!), but before you open any accounts, be sure your understand your situation, and your options.</p> <h2>Is It Better to Save for <em>Your </em>Retirement or <em>Their </em>Education?</h2> <p>In a perfect world, you should be saving both for your retirement and your child's education. It's also important to have a sizable savings account in case of an emergency. However, if you can't save for everything, the first priority is to save for your own future retirement.</p> <p>If your child doesn't have enough money for their education, they can always take out educational loans and apply for scholarships. You won't be able to take out loans for your retirement, so it's important that you save for retirement first.</p> <p>If you can afford to save for your child's education, here's what to expect.</p> <h2>Compound Interest Is Your Friend</h2> <p>The best time to start planning for your child's education is from the day they are born. If you begin saving from day one, a good estimate is to save $250 a month for an in-state public college, $400 a month for an out-of-state public college, and $500 a month for a private college.</p> <p>As is the case when saving early for retirement, saving early for your child's education can be huge. Compound interest can be your best friend because the interest that you earn early on will also earn interest from then on, which can spell huge gains if you start investing early. On the other hand, the longer you wait to save, the less interest you will accumulate, and the more you will need to save later on.</p> <p>For instance, if you start saving $250 per month at a 6% return from the time your child is born, you'll earn approximately $97,330 by the time they enter college. If you wait until they are 10 years old to begin saving, you'll have approximately $30,862 accumulated by the time they enter college. This is the beauty of compound interest.</p> <h2>How to Invest</h2> <p>In most cases, if you start saving early, it is best to use an age-based allocation for your investment. This means that it will start with more aggressive investments to earn more interest early on. The allocation will then become more conservative as your child gets older and closer to entering college.</p> <h3>529 Savings Plans</h3> <p>A 529 college savings plan, also known as a Qualified Tuition Program, will allow you to save for your child's education in a tax-free manner. Each 529 plan has its own associated annual fees and operating costs, so you will want to carefully compare these to get the best deal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=seealso">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a>)</p> <p>The plan works similarly to a 401K or IRA, so the contributions will be taxed, but the earnings will not be. You can contribute to this tax-free account until your child is 18. The money from the account must be used by the time they are 30. If your child decides that they don't want to go to college, you can change the beneficiary.</p> <h3>Coverdell ESA</h3> <p>A Coverdell Education Savings Account is a custodial account that can be used to cover any educational expenses, at any time, so you won't need to wait until your child enters college. While they function similarly to a 529 savings plan, the contribution amounts are much lower. While a 529 account allows lifetime contributions of $200,000&ndash;$400,000, a Coverdell ESA only allows contributions of $2,000 per year. The money from the account must be used by the time they are 30.</p> <h3>Prepaid Tuition Plans</h3> <p>A prepaid tuition plan will allow you to purchase tuition credit in advance at a predetermined price from an in-state public school, though many will also cover out-of-state schools. This means that you can pre-purchase tuition at today's price, so you won't need to worry about inflation or the increasing cost of education. These plans have the same tax and financial aid restrictions as 529 savings plans. The major downside to the plan is that if your child decides to go to another school, you'll get a return of your money, but inflation can still affect you.</p> <p>For instance, say you invest $10,000 for a year of tuition and the cost per-year increases to $20,000. You would still get a full year's worth of tuition. If your child decides to go to another school, your original investment of $10,000 (plus a very small amount of interest) will be returned to you. However, now that the tuition per year is higher, your investment won't go as far.</p> <h3>UGMA and UTMA Accounts</h3> <p>UGMA (Uniform Gift to Minors Act) and UTMA (Uniform Transfer to Minors Act) accounts are custodial accounts, which will allow you to reserve cash and assets for your children. According to the IRS, the initial $1,000 in gains is tax-free, the next $1,000 is taxed at the child's income tax rate, and the remainder is taxed at the parent's income tax rate. The downside to these accounts is you have less control over how your child spends the money because there are no restrictions on how the funds are used as long as they directly benefit your child. Once your child comes of age (between age 18&ndash;21, depending on the state), they can use the money however they choose.</p> <h2>Using Your IRA to Pay for Your Child's Education</h2> <p>The IRS allows you to <a href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p970/ch09.html">withdraw IRA funds tax-free</a> and penalty-free to pay for qualifying educational expenses. This will allow you to save for their education, while having the peace of mind that if your child decides not to go to college, you can still use the funds for retirement.</p> <h2>Avoid the Savings Account Trap</h2> <p>Opening a savings account in your child's name may seem like a good idea, but it may end up costing you in the end. Financial aid is based on assets from the year prior to applying for aid. When determining how much financial aid to award your child, they will consider your child's savings accounts as well as any funds in any custodial accounts. This means that if your child has a large amount of savings in their name, they may end up losing out on financial aid.</p> <h2>Getting a Late Start</h2> <p>If you haven't begun saving for your child's education as they approach college, it's never too late to start. If you have less than five years to save before they enter college, it may be a good idea to work with a financial planner or advisor so that they can help you get the most from this time. They can help you determine what your risk tolerance is so that you don't invest too aggressively and take on too much risk in an effort to catch-up.</p> <h2>Get Your Child to Help</h2> <p>Once your teenager lands their first job, be sure to to make it into a learning opportunity for them. This can be a good time for them to begin saving and breaking their paychecks up into three portions: weekly expenses, short-term goals, and long-term expenses (such as saving for college). This will help to relieve some of the burden, and it will prepare your child for the real world and teach the importance of saving.</p> <p><em>Did you start saving early for your child's education? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-start-saving-for-your-child-s-education">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tax-tricks-to-try-if-youre-stuck-with-student-loans">8 Tax Tricks to Try if You&#039;re Stuck With Student Loans</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/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know About 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/how-to-score-free-or-almost-free-college-textbooks">How to Score Free (or Almost Free) College Textbooks</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/dont-skip-these-8-tax-breaks-for-students">Don&#039;t Skip These 8 Tax Breaks for Students</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Family 529 plans college compound interest Coverdell ESA investing saving tuition UGMA UTMA Fri, 08 Apr 2016 09:30:31 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1682911 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Reasons the Easter Bunny Should Give Money Instead of Candy http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-the-easter-bunny-should-give-money-instead-of-candy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-reasons-the-easter-bunny-should-give-money-instead-of-candy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000008240280_Large.jpg" alt="the Easter bunny brought money instead of candy" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In 2015, the <a href="https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/consumers-the-hunt-candy-new-spring-apparel-this-easter">average family spent about $140</a> on Easter-related goodies. That's a lot of cash for a lot of sugar. Is it a good idea to be spending so much on something that's gone by the end of the spring? (Aside from those immortal Peeps, of course.) Or is it better to save your dough and give them some lessons in personal finance instead?</p> <p>Now, I'm not going to be the one to suggest that the Easter Bunny forgo candy in favor of sensible financial gifts. It's the Easter Bunny, not the boring Easter Financial Planner, after all.</p> <p>But there may be ways to weave in personal finance lessons while letting your kids gorge on some treats. Here are some good &quot;financial&quot; alternatives to chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, and why they're so much sweeter as gifts than sugary, empty calories.</p> <h2>1. Kids Need an Early Lesson in Saving</h2> <p>Many banks offer savings accounts for people under age 18, with parents having joint custody and control. Other banks, including Wells Fargo, have some accounts allowing children over 13 to have full control. Your kids are free to use the savings account and learn about deposits and withdrawals, interest, and even how to use an ATM card.</p> <h2>2. Savings Bonds Teach the Power of Patience</h2> <p>It's easy to purchase U.S. Treasuries through Treasurydirect.gov and gift them to whomever you want. You can even have a gift certificate delivered with the bond. Savings bonds are very simple financial instruments that are virtually guaranteed to grow in value over time and teach children about interest. And if they are long-term bonds, they'll get lessons in patience, as well.</p> <h2>3. Becoming a Choco-Stock Holder Is Way More Fun Than Just Eating Chocolate</h2> <p>If you want to let your kids embrace chocolate, but give some financial lessons along the way, give them a few shares of a chocolate or candy company. Hershey [NYSE: NSY] is the largest chocolate company in North America. Its stock is a solid performer with a 2.5% dividend. Another solid option is Rocky Mountain Chocolate Company [NASDAQ: RMCF]. And it's also possible to invest in international chocolate makers including Nestle and Cadbury.</p> <h2>4. They Can Learn How to Build a Nest Egg</h2> <p>Let's say you take that $140 you're planning to spend on Easter and instead, place it in an index fund that mirrors the S&amp;P 500. If you do that every year for the next 10 years, you'll have more than $2,000 to give to your kiddos, according to most investment calculators. Do it for 20 years and you'll have more than $6,000. Do it for 30 years, and you'll have more than $14,000. Seems a lot better than cheap baskets and piles of fake grass, am I right?</p> <h2>5. Give Them an Early Start on Saving for College</h2> <p>It's hard to think about your kids going off to college when they still believe in the Easter Bunny. But college ain't cheap, and there may be no greater gift than helping them avoid thousands of dollars of debt when they graduate. A 529 college savings plan will allow you to put money into the stock market and have it grow tax-free, provided the funds are used for college later. And you may also get some additional tax breaks from your state. The annual cost of public college tuition in 2030 could top $40,000, while private school tuition might run you $90,000 or more, according to the College Board. Start saving now! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=seealso">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a>)</p> <h2>6. You Can Help Them Start a Business</h2> <p>When your kid is opening a Hershey bar, consider telling him the story of how Milton Hershey founded several businesses before hitting it big with chocolate. Your kid has great ideas. Why not help them see if they can turn their smarts and creativity into a money-making operation?</p> <p>You can help them craft a business plan, learn how to develop and market products, and even keep a balance sheet. Many schools offer real-world business lessons through the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, so it's worth exploring whether the program is available in your area. Even if your child isn't ready to start a business now, giving them lessons in entrepreneurship can open up a world of opportunities later.</p> <h2>7. Make Chocolate With Them Instead of Buying It</h2> <p>Adults know it takes time to properly save for big ticket items like homes and cars, and that the most patient investors are the ones that come out ahead. By teaching your children to make chocolate instead of getting store-bought candy, they will learn the value of patience over immediate gratification. They'll also learn how to be frugal by exploring DIY options, rather than immediately spending money on pre-made, overpriced items. Because, after all, their homemade chocolate is bound to taste better than whatever the Easter Bunny drops off.</p> <h2>8. Give Them an Allowance &mdash; And a Budget to Buy the Chocolate</h2> <p>Depending on the child's age, it may be time to pay them for doing chores around the house. It's often recommended to give a child 50 cents a week for every year they've been alive. So a six-year-old might get $3 a week if they take care of their responsibilities. But the allowance should also come with lessons on spending. Set limits on what a child can spend each week, so they understand the power of accumulating savings. Who knows? Perhaps they'll realize they can afford even more than what was left on Easter morning.</p> <p><em>What other gifts should the Easter Bunny give other than candy? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-the-easter-bunny-should-give-money-instead-of-candy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-diy-easter-baskets-that-cost-10-or-less">7 DIY Easter Baskets That Cost $10 or Less</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-save-money-on-child-care-this-summer">How to Save Money on Child Care This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-save-on-a-shoestring">25 Ways to Save on a Shoestring</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-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About 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/7-lessons-about-money-i-learned-after-having-twins">7 Lessons About Money I Learned After Having Twins</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family budgeting candy Easter interest kids saving Tue, 22 Mar 2016 09:00:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 1677120 at http://www.wisebread.com The 10 Biggest Lies We Tell Ourselves About Money http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-biggest-lies-we-tell-ourselves-about-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-10-biggest-lies-we-tell-ourselves-about-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_cash_mouth_000051776556.jpg" alt="Man telling biggest lies to himself about money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to personal finance, honesty is the best policy. Be honest with banks, be honest with your family, but most of all, be honest with yourself.</p> <p>It's a frequent occurrence that people find themselves in financial trouble because they weren't honest about their money situation. But recognizing the most common lies is one key to moving toward a more honest &mdash; and profitable &mdash; future.</p> <p>Here are some of the biggest money lies we tell ourselves.</p> <h2>1. &quot;It's Good Debt&quot;</h2> <p>It's often said that there's such a thing as &quot;good debt&quot; and &quot;bad debt.&quot; The so-called &quot;good debt&quot; may stem from student loans or your mortgage, which can play a role in building long-term wealth. &quot;Bad debt,&quot; on the other hand, is most commonly from credit cards with high interest rates. But by separating debt in this way, it's easy to rationalize having debt in the first place. It's true that some kinds of debt are worse than others, but it's wisest to try to avoid debt altogether. Only by having an &quot;all debt is bad&quot; attitude will you aggressively try to rid yourself of of it.</p> <h2>2. &quot;I'm Earning a Return of X%&quot;</h2> <p>When we place money in the stock market, we often assume it's generating a certain amount of return, based on historical averages. It's good to be aware of these historical returns in order to understand the potential of stock market investing, but you must remember that past performance does not guarantee future results. It's also important to have a true understanding of how well your investments are doing. Thornburg Investments issued a report in 2014 outlining how the S&amp;P 500 Index earned an <a href="http://www.thornburginvestments.com/pdfs/th1401.pdf">11% annualized nominal return</a> over 30 years, but that return was actually 6% annually once taxes, fees, and inflation were factored in.</p> <h2>3. &quot;I'll Start Saving Later&quot;</h2> <p>Retirement always seems like such a long way off. We tell ourselves that we have plenty of time, and many years ahead before we need to start putting money away. But before we know it, retirement age is on our doorstep and we've hardly saved at all. And because we waited, we missed out on the power of compounding returns. It's easy to come up with reasons not to save money, but very few of them are valid. Consider your retirement fund to be the first bill you need to pay each month. You won't miss the money now, but you'll be happy to have it down the road when you stop working.</p> <h2>4. &quot;I'll Be Earning More in the Future&quot;</h2> <p>When planning our future, we often do a good job of predicting expenses, but operate under the faulty assumption that our incomes will increase. I know people who have purchased larger homes than they can truly afford, justifying the expense by arguing that they'll be getting pay raises down the road. We all want to assume we'll be earning more as time goes on, but there are no guarantees. Your company may freeze wages, or even lay off workers. You may decide to stop working to raise your family. To achieve financial freedom, work to ensure your spending is less than your actual current income. This way, any pay increases you receive are like bonuses.</p> <h2>5. &quot;I Don't Have Enough to Invest&quot;</h2> <p>If you have money for that morning trip to Starbucks, then you have money to invest. If you have money for Netflix, or those pricey new shoes, or that bottle of wine, you have money to invest. The key to financial freedom is ultimately about what we choose to spend our money on. And if you prioritize long-term saving over buying non-essential material goods, you'll find that you have much more money to invest than you think.</p> <h2>6. &quot;I Deserve This&quot;</h2> <p>One common way people end up overspending is that they rationalize the purchase of things they don't need. Splurging on things like an expensive dinner or even a pricey Caribbean vacation is followed by an explanation like &quot;I've worked hard this year,&quot; or &quot;I need a treat.&quot; This is not to say that you should never splurge or celebrate, but when this type of spending becomes routine, it can really put a dent in your savings. If you change your thinking and instead give yourself a pat on the back for avoiding an impulse purchase, you'll be better off financially.</p> <h2>7. &quot;I Saved Money on This Purchase&quot;</h2> <p>It's impossible to save money if you are spending it. If you rationalize a purchase by pointing out that it was on sale, or that you used a coupon, you are ignoring the fact that money still exited your wallet. Remember that retailers roll out coupons and sales to encourage people to spend money. The only way to determine if you truly &quot;saved&quot; money on an item is if it was something you were planning to purchase anyway.</p> <h2>8. &quot;I Got Approved for This Credit Card, So My Debt Can't Be Too Bad&quot;</h2> <p>If a credit card company is sending you an application for a new card, they must think you're financially responsible, right? Wrong. Even people with horrendous credit can get approved for cards. And if you already have credit card debt, the last thing you want to do is open a new card that will allow you to rack up even more. While it's true that credit card companies would prefer that you not go bankrupt, they're more than happy to keep accepting your payments with high interest rates.</p> <h2>9. &quot;I'm Young, I Don't Need Health Insurance&quot;</h2> <p>If you're in your 20s and rarely get sick, it may seem like health insurance is an expense you don't need to bother with. But tell that to the guy who got into a car accident or who tore his ACL in the pickup soccer game. Without health insurance, you're exposing yourself to potentially catastrophic medical expenses if something bad occurs. Make sure to sign up for insurance through your employer or search for low-cost plans on HealthCare.gov.</p> <h2>10. &quot;I Get Paid Well, So This Crappy Job Is Worth It&quot;</h2> <p>Stories abound of people who stayed in jobs they hated, simply because it offered financial security. Don't get us wrong &mdash; financial security is huge , and it's not necessarily smarter to take a job you love if you can't pay your bills. But if you live sensibly and spend wisely, you may be able to find a middle ground where bills get paid and you're also happy in your work. Remember, too, that well-paying jobs can sometimes lead to lifestyle inflation, where you buy larger and more expensive things just because you can.</p> <p><em>How many of these lies have you told yourself? How many others we haven't included?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-biggest-lies-we-tell-ourselves-about-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/12-easy-ways-to-wake-up-richer-tomorrow-than-you-are-today">12 Easy Ways to Wake Up Richer Tomorrow Than You Are Today</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-inspiring-people-who-each-paid-off-over-100000-in-debt">5 Inspiring People Who Each Paid Off Over $100,000 in Debt</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/comparing-savings-rates-us-vs-japan">Comparing Savings Rates: U.S. vs Japan</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/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-increase-your-net-worth-this-year">10 Ways to Increase Your Net Worth This Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance debt investing lies we tell ourselves myths overspending saving Splurging Tue, 15 Mar 2016 11:30:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 1670512 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Habits of Highly Frugal People http://www.wisebread.com/7-habits-of-highly-frugal-people <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-habits-of-highly-frugal-people" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_tablet_000078796949.jpg" alt="Woman learning habits of highly frugal people" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Frugal people who pay off their debt and achieve financial independence don't succeed by accident. They establish habits that allow them to consistently reach their goals over the long haul.</p> <p>During the past few years as a personal finance blogger and author, I have noticed that the most successful frugal people tend to follow a common set of habits. These same habits remind me of the traits that Stephen Covey detailed in his popular 1989 book, <a href="http://amzn.to/1VJ7Yc0">The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People</a>. For this article, I kept the original seven habits, but updated them for achieving financial independence today.</p> <p>What are the seven habits that allow some people to excel at being frugal?</p> <h2>1. Be Proactive</h2> <p>Frugal people are proactive about their money, taking action to monitor and control spending and maximize income. They find ways to spend less and reduce expenses &mdash; even if it requires effort and creative thinking. They direct most of the money they save from reduced expenses into savings and investments for long term goals.</p> <p>Although the first thing that comes to mind with frugality is saving money, many frugal people maximize income through side hustles or by generating passive income in addition to controlling their spending. An extra dollar saved or an extra dollar earned both contribute favorably to the bottom line.</p> <p>Frugal people know how much money they have coming in and how much is going out, often with great precision. This is accomplished by creating and following a budget and proactively monitoring spending. They focus on what they can control within their budget to achieve financial success.</p> <h2>2. Begin With the End in Mind</h2> <p>Why do frugal people work so hard to control spending and keep track of their money? Are they simply not interested in buying things? On the contrary, most frugal people are striving to reach financial independence so that they can travel or launch a second career or to have plenty of money to buy the things that matter to them. Frugal people are willing to worry about money now so they don't need to worry about it later.</p> <p>Surprisingly, many frugal people care more about their time than their money. Saving money buys financial independence, which buys time to do whatever you want. Frugal people want freedom to use their time as they wish and not be locked into working at a job until they reach old age.</p> <p>Frugal people begin with the end in mind. The end they want to achieve is financial independence. With that end in mind, they make a plan to reach the goal and follow it every day. The sacrifices along the way are worth reaching the goal.</p> <h2>3. Put First Things First</h2> <p>What is the first thing you pay every month? Do you pay your mortgage first? Perhaps you pay your utility bill or car payment first. Frugal people pay something else first &mdash; themselves.</p> <p>Paying yourself first means that you invest in your retirement fund or other savings accounts first, then you pay other bills using the money that is left. Most people pay their bills first, and then save or invest if there is any money left.</p> <p>Frugal people realize that having money to invest is the most important priority, and they take care of that priority first. If there is not enough money left to pay the bills, then frugal people find ways to make their bills smaller so they can fully fund their investment goals.</p> <h2>4. Think Win-Win</h2> <p>Stephen Covey talked about win-win situations in terms of structuring deals where both parties involved get something beneficial. His point was that someone doesn't have to lose in order to make a great deal &mdash; in fact, the best deals happen in win-win situations.</p> <p>Looking at this habit in the context of frugal success, just because you spend less money doesn't mean you have to benefit less or receive less value. In fact, frugal people find ways to spend less money and achieve greater benefit at the same time.</p> <p>Frugal people find plenty of win-win situations for their money. For example, why do many of them prepare most of their meals at home instead of dining out? Of course, making food at home is cheaper than paying the bill at a restaurant, but eating at home is healthier as well. The benefit of making your own food goes beyond just saving money.</p> <p>Buying a smaller house is less expensive than a larger house and it costs less for maintenance, insurance, heating/cooling, and lighting. In addition to the lower initial price and reduced ongoing costs, a smaller house also takes less time to clean and maintain, freeing up time for other activities.</p> <p>Most win-win scenarios involve not just price, but value. Frugal people consider the overall value that a purchase would provide throughout its life, including hidden expenses and potential benefits. Frugal people are willing to spend money to get a good value, and they shop around and use coupons to get the best deal they can on the right item.</p> <h2>5. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood</h2> <p>Most frugal people don't start out being frugal. They start out as &quot;normal&quot; spenders and rack up credit card bills and student loans like most people. Over time, they come to understand that spending and debt are not the path to contentment. They realize that sometimes less really is more, at least when it comes to debt and spending.</p> <p>Frugal people reach an understanding of how much stuff they need to be happy, which is often far less stuff than most people think they need to be happy. Frugal people make spending decisions in terms of needs and wants, while most people think primarily in terms of having more and better stuff than their friends and neighbors.</p> <p>As far as being understood, most frugal people don't seem to care much what &quot;normal&quot; people think of them. Frugal people understand that spending money to keep up with the Joneses, or anyone else, doesn't make much sense and is certainly not the path to long term contentment.</p> <h2>6. Synergize</h2> <p>Synergy is the concept that sometimes, one plus one adds up to more than just two. How is this possible?</p> <p>If you decide that you can live without cable TV, you can save about $100 per month. Not only do you save $100 this month and every month thereafter, but you have significantly reduced the amount of money you need to retire by forgoing a recurring expense during your retirement years. You could retire years earlier due to the synergy of eliminating a recurring expense.</p> <p>Another example of synergy is reducing clutter. If you minimize the amount of clutter you collect over time, you will require less space to store your stuff. You will be able to live in a smaller, less expensive house. With less clutter, you will be better able to find and use the items that you do have. Savings of time and money will accumulate over the years greatly exceeding the small amount of effort it takes to nip clutter in the bud. This is another example where a seemingly insignificant action can allow you to achieve your goals years earlier due to synergy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor?ref=seealso">8 Ways Clutter Keeps You Poor</a>)</p> <h2>7. Sharpen Your Saw</h2> <p>As you are reading this, you are sharpening your saw! If you have ever tried to cut something with a dull saw, you know that it takes a lot of work and a long time to get the job done. Keeping your saw sharp is time well spent.</p> <p>Sharpening your saw means to continue learning and finding new inspiration to get the most from your money. Frugal people tend to seek out ideas on saving money from blogs, podcasts, books, and by talking with other frugal friends. Reading about the financial success and failures of others can provide inspiration to keep your goals firmly in mind and on track.</p> <p><em>Which of these seven habits do you think is the most important?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-habits-of-highly-frugal-people">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/the-nfls-5-most-frugal-players">The NFL&#039;s 5 Most Frugal Players</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/are-you-saving-too-much">Are You Saving Too Much?</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-sloth-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Sloth Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-make-yourself-hate-spending-money">10 Smart Ways to Make Yourself Hate Spending Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-hating-yourself-about-money-and-actually-make-positive-changes">How to Stop Hating Yourself About Money and Actually Make Positive Changes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Lifestyle being proactive frugal people good habits money habits saving spending wisely win-win Tue, 08 Mar 2016 11:30:05 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1666846 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Ways to Save Money That Go Too Far http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-save-money-that-go-too-far <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-ways-to-save-money-that-go-too-far" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_freezing_cold_000018372138.jpg" alt="Man saving money and going too far" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are some real advantages to reducing your expenses. You can focus your spending on only the things you value most, helping you direct more money into building assets that will allow you to achieve financial independence.</p> <p>But there are times when efforts to reduce spending and save money go too far &mdash; and are actually harmful to your financial goals.</p> <p>Are you guilty of any of these ways of being too cheap when trying to save money?</p> <h2>1. Driving an Unsafe Vehicle</h2> <p>Driving an old car is a good way to save money, but driving an <em>unsafe</em> car is not. Your car is unsafe if the brakes do not work reliably, or if the car has serious mechanical problems. For example, severely worn ball joints can cause a wheel to fall off while you are driving down the road! Driving with bald or visibly damaged tires is also unsafe.</p> <p>Driving an unsafe vehicle puts yourself and others at risk of injury, not to mention the potential cost of lost earnings, medical bills, and property damage if you are involved in a car accident.</p> <h2>2. Skipping Dental and Medical Appointments</h2> <p>It may seem like skipping dental appointments and avoiding the doctor&rsquo;s office is a good way to avoid an immediate expense. But cutting corners on your health will catch up with you eventually, and cost much more in the long term. Untreated cavities get worse over time and eventually require larger &mdash; and more expensive &mdash; fillings, or even tooth extractions to treat. Minor health issues can develop into more serious conditions that require expensive treatment and lost time from work.</p> <h2>3. Downloading Bootleg Movies, Books, Games, Etc.</h2> <p>There are dark corners of the Internet where you can find stolen content offered for free. Many of these sites are loaded with viruses and malware. Once you get to the stolen content, you may need to fight through pop-up ads to view it and endure painfully slow streaming and unreliable servers to access the files. Even if you eventually get the content you are seeking for free, you&rsquo;ll waste a lot of time in the process. Not to mention that stealing copyrighted material is illegal. Worst case, you could end up in serious trouble.</p> <h2>4. Eating an Unhealthy Diet</h2> <p>When I was in college, I survived mostly on grilled cheese sandwiches, baked potatoes, and instant iced tea. This diet was great for my food budget, but not so great for my health. Poor diet can lead to all kinds of health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Surviving on the cheapest available food is too cheap.</p> <h2>5. Buying Extreme Fixer-Uppers</h2> <p>You can find some really cheap stuff that needs a lot of work &mdash; such as houses, cars, bikes, and other projects. These can be a good investment if you are capable of fixing up the cheap project to make it functional, but buying something in poor condition and not spending the time and money to repair it is a bad financial move. Your fixer-upper will likely deteriorate and lose what little value it has while taking up space. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-hidden-costs-of-buying-an-old-house">23 Hidden Costs of Buying an Old House</a>)</p> <h2>6. Extreme Couponing</h2> <p>I use coupons all the time, but I don&rsquo;t spend much time or effort on it. I feel like the small effort that I put forth into finding and keeping track of coupons is more than offset by the amount of money that I save. But it would be easy to go too far. If you spend half a day sorting through and organizing coupons before each grocery shopping trip, you may be going past the point of diminishing returns. Your time is worth something in terms of opportunity cost. If you could get more value doing something else with your time, then extreme couponing is too cheap!</p> <h2>7. Reusing Disposable Products</h2> <p>Disposable products such as paper towels and Ziploc baggies are meant to be used once. You can easily expend way too much time, effort, and soap trying to wash and dry these disposable items. Reusing things is great, but use a cloth rag instead of a paper towel, or a glass/plastic container instead of a baggie.</p> <h2>8. Wearing Embarrassing Clothes</h2> <p>My kids tell me that I look like a homeless person when I wear my weekend clothes. My wife once refused to go into a store with me because my shoes repaired with duct tape were too embarrassing. It wouldn&rsquo;t cost anything for me to repurpose my most worn, out of style, embarrassing clothes into rags and wear my slightly newer, less worn out clothes. Goodwill wouldn&rsquo;t even accept most of the clothes I wear as donations, which means my embarrassing clothes are too cheap.</p> <h2>9. Setting Extreme Indoor Temperatures</h2> <p>Setting the thermostat down a bit in winter and up a bit in summer is a great way to save some money on your utility bill. Using less energy is good for the environment as well. But there is such a thing as going too far with thermostat settings. I have awakened on a cold winter morning to find frost on my bedroom wall. I had the wastewater drain to my washer freeze, and I have had my kitchen sink drain pipe freeze. One summer, we did not use the air conditioner at all even when it was over 100 degrees and humid. At some point, the discomfort and damage from extreme indoor temperatures outweighs the savings.</p> <h2>10. Cutting Back on Personal Hygiene</h2> <p>Hot water and soap costs money, but there is such a thing as cutting back too much trying to save. Some people recommend taking shorter showers, which seems reasonable to me, although the savings would only amount to a few cents per shower. Some people have stopped buying soap and shampoo at the store, and make their own soap at home instead. At some point, cutting back on personal hygiene to save a few cents becomes too cheap!</p> <h2>11. Ruining Clothes to Save on Laundry</h2> <p>Back when I was still allowed to do laundry, I would pack whatever clothes needed washing into the largest loads possible, without consideration for color or material types. I operated the clothes dryer using the same principles. My goal was to save time and money doing laundry, but the only result was lots of ruined clothes and an angry wife.</p> <h2>12. Not Throwing Away Spoiled Food</h2> <p>Trying not to waste food is a good thing, but taking risks with food safety can have serious consequences that can far exceed the savings. A few years ago, I ate some questionable sliced meat that I got on clearance and ended up violently sick in bed for several days with food poisoning. Last night, I got caught cutting the moldy end off a loaf of bread and serving the rest. My family helped remind me that serving ruined food is being too cheap.</p> <h2>13. Using Broken Things</h2> <p>When I chipped a dinner plate, I decided to to keep right on using it. But the chipped dinner plate looked horrible and had a sharp edge. Plus the rough ceramic under the chip provided an uneven surface where germs could easily grow. I eventually decided not to keep using the broken plate after all because the consequences could be worse than the small amount of money I could save by not replacing it.</p> <p><em>Have you ever gone too far trying to save money and ended up doing something that was too cheap?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-save-money-that-go-too-far">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/does-your-culture-support-saving">Does your culture support saving?</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/could-you-save-money-by-subscribing-to-an-addictive-game">Could you save money by subscribing to an addictive game?</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/five-reasons-why-i-love-public-transportation">Five Reasons Why I Love Public Transportation</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-ways-your-brain-tricks-you-into-spending">4 Ways Your Brain Tricks You Into Spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/afraid-of-spending-money-here-are-5-perks-of-your-phobia">Afraid of Spending Money? Here Are 5 Perks of Your Phobia</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living cheapskate saving Spending Money stingy too cheap unhealthy unsafe Thu, 25 Feb 2016 11:30:06 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1660231 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Ways to Save on a Shoestring http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-save-on-a-shoestring <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-ways-to-save-on-a-shoestring" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_piggy_bank_000064441061.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to save on a shoestring" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ask a financial expert how people can save money and you're likely to hear the phrase &quot;pay yourself first.&quot; This means immediately setting aside money, when you earn it, rather than waiting to see if anything is left at the end of the month. With PYF, savings gets top priority in your budget, like rent or a loan payment.</p> <p>What if you don't have money to save? You get creative and find it! Below are 25 tips from my book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Saving-Shoestring-Expenses-Reduce-Stash/dp/0793111188/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1454020290&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=saving+on+a+shoestring">Saving on a Shoestring</a>.</p> <h2>Savings Strategies</h2> <p>Saving more doesn't have to be complicated or painful, but it does need to be intentional.</p> <h3>1. Automate It</h3> <p>Use an automatic deposit plan such as an employer 401K or 403B plan, mutual fund automatic investment plan, or credit union paycheck deduction to put money into savings before you miss it.</p> <h3>2. Grab Free Money</h3> <p>Take the savings that your employer offers. Some employers match workers' 401K savings twenty-five cents, fifty cents, or even a dollar for every dollar saved. This is &quot;free money&quot; that should not be missed.</p> <h3>3. Up Current Savings</h3> <p>Kick your existing savings up a notch (e.g., from 2% to 3% of pay). The best time to do this is when you receive a raise or a household expense (e.g., loan payment or child care) ends.</p> <h3>4. Bank Your Windfalls</h3> <p>Save all or part of &quot;windfalls&quot; you receive &mdash;&nbsp;retroactive pay, lucrative &quot;side hustles,&quot; prizes, or gifts.</p> <h3>5. Bank Your IRS Refund</h3> <p>Save all or part of your income tax refund. Earmark savings automatically on your tax return by using IRS Form 8888 or save it yourself after your refund arrives.</p> <h3>6. Start &mdash; and Finish &mdash; Savings Challenges</h3> <p>Complete a savings challenge that gradually ramps up savings deposits over time. Try any of these <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/BarbaraONeill/four-savings-challenges-for-new-year-0116">four challenges</a>.</p> <h3>7. Bank Your Pocket Change</h3> <p>Save your pocket change. Throw it into a clear jar (so you can see your savings) and label the jar with a savings goal for added motivation. Ramp up to $1 to $5 a day, plus loose change, for added savings.</p> <h3>8. Build a Budget</h3> <p>Develop a spending plan (budget). Include savings for emergencies and future financial goals as fixed &quot;expenses.&quot; Then automate savings deposits so they don't require ongoing self-control.</p> <h3>9. Keep Making Those Payments</h3> <p>Keep making monthly &quot;payments&quot; for soon-to-be paid-off loans &mdash; to yourself. You're already used to living without this money (e.g., a $280 monthly car loan payment), so put it into savings.</p> <h3>10. Commit Half of Your Raise</h3> <p>Save half of your next pay increase (e.g., raise, bonus, overtime, freelance income, or additional income from changing jobs). Your net pay will still go up and the additional savings will be painless.</p> <h3>11. Save Your Extra Paychecks</h3> <p>Save part of your &quot;extra&quot; paychecks. Workers paid weekly have four months with five paychecks, instead of four, and those paid bi-weekly have two months with three paychecks, instead of two.</p> <h3>12. Bank Supermarket Savings</h3> <p>Save the amount of money you save at the supermarket by using &quot;shopper cards,&quot; sales, and coupons. Your receipt will show how much you saved. If you save $20 a week, that's over $1,000 a year!</p> <h3>13. Snowball or PowerPay Your Debt</h3> <p>PowerPay your way out of debt. Visit <a href="http://www.powerpay.org/">PowerPay</a> to calculate the time and interest savings available from faster debt repayment. As each debt is repaid, remaining debts receive larger payments until all debts are zeroed out. Afterwards, the money that you spent on debt can be saved.</p> <h3>14. Bank on Your Health</h3> <p>Take care of yourself by eating healthy meals and getting adequate physical activity and sleep. The greatest wealth is health, so take care of yourself and protect your ability to earn money and save.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Saving-Shoestring-Expenses-Reduce-Stash/dp/0793111188/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1454020290&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=saving+on+a+shoestring"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/51D9XNCQGJL.jpg" width="318" height="475" alt="" /></a></p> <h2>Expense Reduction Tips</h2> <p>Cutting costs is the quickest way to find more cash to save.</p> <h3>15. Cut 10% From Extras</h3> <p>Adopt the 10 Percent Solution: find ways to cut 10% of current spending for variable expenses such as food, utilities, gifts, entertainment, and transportation.</p> <h3>16. Buy Only the Necessities</h3> <p>&quot;Crash save&quot; by deciding, for a month or two, to buy only absolute necessities and save the difference.</p> <h3>17. Take Aim at Big Expenses</h3> <p>Reduce large expenses such as housing (e.g., refinancing mortgage), income taxes (e.g., tax credits and tax-deferred investments), and insurance (e.g., policy discounts).</p> <h3>18. Brown Bag It</h3> <p>&quot;Brown bag&quot; lunch to work on most days, instead of eating out, and buy packages of soda or bottled water on sale instead of using expensive vending machines.</p> <h3>19. Skip the Boutique</h3> <p>&quot;Step down&quot; when buying clothing, from high-end to moderately priced department stores to discount stores, factory outlets, consignment stores, and thrift shops. The more steps down, the greater the savings.</p> <h3>20. Plug Your Spending Leaks</h3> <p>Add up what you're spending on &quot;little things&quot; such as snacks, coffee, soda, candy, fast food, lottery tickets, magazines, take-out dinners, beverages, and more. If you can &quot;find&quot; $5 per day from reduced spending, that adds up to $1,825 of savings per year and even more with interest.</p> <h3>21. Use Employee Discounts</h3> <p>Take advantage of rebates, discounts, and/or wellness incentive programs provided through your employer. Talk to your boss or human resources office to find out what perks your company offers.</p> <h3>22. Don't Smoke</h3> <p>Quit smoking, or don't start. Assume a pack of cigarettes costs $6. Multiply $6 by 365 days and you could save $2,190 a year, plus interest (not to mention all of the positive health effects!).</p> <h3>23. Cut Home Energy Costs</h3> <p>Save on home energy costs. Check weather stripping and caulking for leaks, upgrade attic insulation, shift energy use during &quot;off-peak&quot; hours, and turn the thermostat down a degree or two.</p> <h3>24. Be Smart About Smartphones</h3> <p>Choose a cell phone plan that best meets your needs (e.g., number of monthly minutes and texts, data usage, number of linked callers) or use low-cost prepaid telephone calling cards as needed.</p> <h3>25. Find Free Entertainment</h3> <p>Seek out free or low-cost community resources such as summer concerts, health fairs, state parks, rabies clinics for pets, and inexpensive adult education classes such as those offered by Cooperative Extension.</p> <p>Even small amounts of savings will grow to significant sums with compound interest over time. When there's a will, there's a way. Consider combining several of the above savings strategies for greater impact. It is also important to have a reason to save. Write down one or more specific financial goals (e.g., a new car in 2019). Having an eventual use for your money in mind will increase your motivation to save.</p> <p><em>How are you saving more and spending less?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-barbara-oneill">Dr. Barbara O&#039;Neill</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-save-on-a-shoestring">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-low-effort-ways-to-save-money-ever">The 10 Most Low Effort Ways to Save Money Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-dumb-ways-youre-going-to-waste-money-this-summer">9 Dumb Ways You&#039;re Going to Waste Money This Summer</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/8-expenses-you-should-never-cut">8 Expenses You Should Never Cut</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/making-every-penny-count-with-a-zero-based-budget">Making Every Penny Count With A Zero-Based Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/73-easy-ways-to-save-money-today">73 Easy Ways to Save Money Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living budgeting Health saving saving strategies spending Mon, 15 Feb 2016 11:00:04 +0000 Dr. Barbara O'Neill 1654795 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Money Goals All 30-Somethings Should Have http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-all-30-somethings-should-have <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-money-goals-all-30-somethings-should-have" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/30-somethings_financial_goals.jpg" alt="30-somethings achieving financial goals" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You are not 29 anymore. It's time to start acting like a grown-up. Aside from doing mature things like ironing your clothes and eating more kale, it's also time to get your financial house in order.</p> <p>Take a look at these 10 financial goals that all 30-somethings should have. Do yours line up?</p> <h2>1. Saving for a Comfortable Retirement</h2> <p>You may think that retirement is a long way off, but you're approaching a time when retirement age is closer than your college years. Crazy, but true. Hopefully, you've saved at least a little bit toward retirement up until this point. Now is the time to ramp it up. Try to max out your contributions into retirement accounts, if you can. If you're maxed out on your 401K, open an IRA. The last thing you want is to be sitting there at age 65 unable to retire because your 30-something self didn't plan ahead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-age-40">6 Financial Mistakes to Stop Making by Age 40</a>)</p> <h2>2. Rebalancing Investments</h2> <p>If you began putting money into your 401K or other retirement plans in your 20s, that's great. But have you looked at them recently? Chances are, the balances of those investments may be out of line with what you intended. You may be too heavily invested in company stock. You may have less exposure to international investments than you planned. You may have too many large-cap investments and not enough small-cap stocks. Consider talking with an investment advisor to find the right investment mix, and get in the habit of rebalancing once each year.</p> <h2>3. Eliminating Credit Card Debt</h2> <p>If you racked up bills due to some irresponsible spending habits when you were younger, it's time to get yourself in line and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">eliminate that high-interest debt</a>. Start by paying off the card with the highest interest rate and go from there. And then once you that debt paid off, start getting in the habit of paying your credit card bill in full each month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso">When to Use a Balance Transfer to Pay Off Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>4. Paying Off Student Loans</h2> <p>Student loans were crushing to you in your 20s. But now you're reaching a point when maybe you can see the bottom of that debt pile. If elimination of that debt is within reach, go after it aggressively until it's all gone. You'll be amazed at how liberating it will feel, both financially and psychologically. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-refinance-your-student-loan?ref=seealso">Should You Refinance Your Student Loan?</a>)</p> <h2>5. Earning More Money</h2> <p>Now that you're in your 30s, there's a good chance you have a good sense of what you want to be when you grow up. You have chosen a career path and can gain some income stability. Moreover, you have now been in the workforce for more than a decade, and have experience that you can leverage to go after that new job, that raise, and that promotion.</p> <h2>6. Saving for a Down Payment On a Home</h2> <p>If you are earning more and have your credit card and student loan debt gone, now's the time to stop renting and buy a home. If you plan to settle down, you're doing to want to save as much as you can to afford the house you want. Being saddled with a huge mortgage will only kill you later. Save up, so those monthly mortgage payments are manageable &mdash; or even non existent.</p> <h2>7. Building Up an Emergency Fund</h2> <p>Living on the edge was fun and exciting when you were in your 20s. If you got into a pinch, you could always bum money off your friends or parents. But it's not so cute when you're in your 30s and one major car repair or broken furnace from a financial disaster. It's time to start building up that emergency fund &mdash; at least three months worth of expenses &mdash; so you can easily handle whatever comes your way.</p> <h2>8. Being Properly Insured</h2> <p>When you're young, you may not feel it's necessary to save for your car insurance. You might settle for a low-cost health plan and skimp on some cheap renters' insurance. But you're older now. You have stuff that's worth money. And you're no longer invincible, health-wise. You may even have people in your life who count on you. This means you may need a more robust health insurance plan. You may need better homeowner's insurance. And it may be time to look into some term life insurance plans, so that your loved ones are taken care of if something happens to you. You may not want to think about bad things happening, but it's not like being unprepared for disasters will prevent them from happening.</p> <h2>9. Writing a Will</h2> <p>I'm not suggesting you need to start worrying about death, but you need to at least give some guidance on how your things should be divided up if you pass. And if you have kids, it's especially important to outline a plan for how they'll be cared for. You can get a will completed fairly easily online at websites like LegalZoom.</p> <h2>10. Giving to Charity</h2> <p>You are hopefully at a point in your life when you have a little extra money to give to those less fortunate. If you have some extra cash, consider donating it to a cause that you support. Not only will it be great for the recipient and make you feel good, but you can get a tax deduction as well.</p> <p><em>Do you have your act together, or are your finances still stuck in the previous decade?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-all-30-somethings-should-have">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-retirement-latte">The Retirement Latte</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-most-valuable-thing-debt-takes-from-you-isnt-money-its-this">The Most Valuable Thing Debt Takes From You Isn&#039;t Money — It&#039;s This</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/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know About 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/making-every-penny-count-with-a-zero-based-budget">Making Every Penny Count With A Zero-Based Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-by-30">5 Financial Mistakes You Need to Stop Making by 30</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Budgeting budgeting insurance investing millennials resolutions saving Thu, 14 Jan 2016 12:01:03 +0000 Tim Lemke 1638009 at http://www.wisebread.com Stop Ignoring These 11 Financial Cries for Help http://www.wisebread.com/stop-ignoring-these-11-financial-cries-for-help <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/stop-ignoring-these-11-financial-cries-for-help" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_stressed_thinking_000024331014.jpg" alt="Woman trying to stop ignoring financial cries for help" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's easy to delude yourself into thinking you have your financial house in order. You've got a roof over your head and food on the table, after all. But the truth is that many of us are living on the edge financially, especially when it comes to the use of credit cards.</p> <p>If any of these seem to apply to you, consider taking a hard look at your finances so you get back on track.</p> <h2>1. You're Hit With Bank Account Fees Each Month</h2> <p>Getting charged by your bank for not meeting a minimum balance is annoying, but such fees should be avoidable if you're diligent about saving. If you find that you're constantly below the threshold where you'll be charged a fee, it's time to take some action. You can start by examining where your money is going and cutting out extraneous spending. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/banks-still-offering-free-checking-and-great-interest-rates?ref=seealso">Banks Still Offering Free Checking</a>)</p> <h2>2. You're Over 30 With No Retirement Savings</h2> <p>If you've gone the first decade of your work life without putting a single penny aside for retirement, you're putting your future self at financial risk. While it's not too late to build a large nest egg, you don't want to wait much longer. Consider these numbers: A person who sets aside $10,000 a year at age 25 will have about $2.3 million, assuming a market return of 8% annually. If you start at age 30, you'll have $1.5 million. But if you wait until you're 35, that number dips to barely over $1 million. Start saving as soon as you can.</p> <h2>3. You Rarely Pay More Than the Minimum on Your Credit Cards</h2> <p>If, at the end of each billing cycle, you find that you never pay your credit card bill in full (and often pay nothing more than the minimum), that's a problem. You can't get rid of debt by adding to it, but that's what happens when you only pay a portion of what's owed. To stop this cycle, begin aggressively paying down the credit cards with the highest interest rates and work from there. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso">When Should You Do a Balance Transfer to Pay Off Credit Card Debt?</a>)</p> <h2>4. You Keep Borrowing From People to Make Ends Meet</h2> <p>At first, it's $50 from your folks. Then a little more. Then you keep asking people to &quot;spot you&quot; a few dollars, but rarely pay them back. It's no shame to seek financial help if you're going through a tough spell, but if this is a routine part of your life, it's time to assess your overall situation. Your friends and family are there for you if you have an emergency, but they're not going to keep lending or giving you money just to help you get through each day. Next time you ask them for help, ask for help in finding a better paying job, or for some budgeting tips.</p> <h2>5. Your Credit Cards Get Declined</h2> <p>Perhaps you're at the supermarket and try to pay with one credit card, but it's declined. So you simply pay with another one and act like it's no big deal. But it is a big deal. Often, it means you are over your credit limit, which means you've maxed out what you can borrow that month. And simply getting another credit card isn't solving the problem. If you've had a card declined due to high spending, perhaps it's time for some serious budgeting work.</p> <h2>6. You Frequently Ask for Increases to Your Credit Limit</h2> <p>It's not necessarily bad to ask for a credit limit increase, but once you reach a borrowing limit of a few thousand dollars a month, there should be no need to raise the ceiling further. If you are frequently calling credit card companies to raise that limit, ask yourself whether you have a debt and spending problem.</p> <h2>7. Creditors Keep Calling</h2> <p>You may feel like bill collectors are your enemy, and your instinct is to hide from them. But the only way to get them off your case is to pay what you owe, or at least negotiate to pay a portion so they'll leave you alone. Every call from a creditor should be a warning bell that you don't have your financial act together. Now is the time to develop a plan to pay your debts and avoid letting this happen in the future.</p> <h2>8. Your Credit Score Is Low</h2> <p>Don't ignore the score! Perhaps it's just a number, but it's an important number. If your credit score is below 700, you may find it hard to secure a loan with a solid interest rate. Anything under 650, and you may find it difficult to borrow at all. Work to get the score higher by using credit cards responsibly and paying bills on time. This will have an enormous impact on what you pay for a home, car, or other major purchases.</p> <h2>9. You Can't Wait for Payday</h2> <p>When you have savings and are keeping your spending under control, you should be only vaguely cognizant of when your next paycheck is coming. If you are paying bills at the last second &mdash; or late &mdash; because you need to wait for payday, that's a red flag. And if you're taking costly advances on your paycheck, that's even worse. You must work hard to earn more and spend less to stop the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.</p> <h2>10. You Can't Wait for Your Tax Return</h2> <p>We all like getting a little money back from Uncle Sam each spring, even though it's <em>always</em> been our money and we've been loaning it to the government all year. If you are desperate for that tax return check to come, that's a sign that you're living too close to the financial edge. What if you don't get as much back as you expect, or even owe money?</p> <h2>11. You And Your Partner Are Constantly Fighting About Money</h2> <p>Even financially stable couples have arguments about spending and saving. But if you're having these kinds of fights all the time, that's a red flag. Perhaps you can't get your partner to keep their spending under control. Perhaps you don't agree on what the saving priorities should be. This is not just a financial red flag, but may be a red flag for your relationship, as well. You and your partner should work together to tackle the biggest sources of financial stress, particularly when it comes from high levels of debt. If you can't get on the same page, an independent marital or financial counselor might be able to help.</p> <p><em>What financial cries for help are you failing to heed?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-ignoring-these-11-financial-cries-for-help">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-most-valuable-thing-debt-takes-from-you-isnt-money-its-this">The Most Valuable Thing Debt Takes From You Isn&#039;t Money — It&#039;s This</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-dark-side-motivations-to-start-saving">8 Dark-Side Motivations to Start Saving</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/16-easy-ways-to-save-100-this-month">16 Easy Ways to Save $100 This Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-dark-side-motivations-to-get-you-out-of-debt">10 Dark-Side Motivations to Get You Out of Debt</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-working-from-home-can-save-and-cost-you-big">10 Ways Working From Home Can Save (And Cost) You Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting cries for help debt saving signs Mon, 04 Jan 2016 12:00:03 +0000 Tim Lemke 1630350 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's Why Your Parents Could Buy a Home While You Still Rent http://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-your-parents-could-buy-a-home-while-you-still-rent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-why-your-parents-could-buy-a-home-while-you-still-rent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/older_married_couple_000014305685.jpg" alt="Learning why our parents can buy a home and we still rent" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You pinch your pennies. You look for extra income. You're disciplined. And yet you can't get close to saving enough for a decent down payment on a house. It's especially frustrating because you know your parents somehow managed to buy their first home with very little trouble. Were the Baby Boomers just better than you? Or are there reasons why they could save up and you can't?</p> <p>It turns out there are some valid reasons why your folks could buy a home while you're still renting. Here's a look.</p> <h2>1. Houses Just Cost More</h2> <p>Even when you adjust for inflation, houses are more expensive than they used to be. The House-Price Index maintained by the Federal Housing Finance Agency is a tool that measures affordability, mortgage defaults, and mortgage prepayments, and it has more than tripled since 1980. The average home price, when adjusted for inflation, was $157,000 in 1980. Today, it's $180,000. (It peaked at nearly $230,000 in 2006.) Affordability is a truly, truly serious problem in many metropolitan areas, including San Francisco and New York.</p> <h2>2. There Are No New &quot;Levittowns&quot;</h2> <p>One key reason that homes cost more is because there hasn't been as much development of affordable and middle class housing. After World War II, there were many new housing developments with acres of simple, affordable homes designed for veterans and their families. Developments in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York were named &quot;Levittown&quot; after developer William Levitt, and sold quickly. Many of today's Baby Boomers grew up in these homes or purchased them in the 1950s and 60s. These days, affordable housing is more scarce and new developments of simple homes aren't as plentiful.</p> <h2>3. You Have More &quot;Necessities&quot;</h2> <p>Think of all the things that you pay for that did not even exist 40 years ago, or that might have been viewed as luxuries. A computer. Internet access. A cell phone with monthly plan. Cable TV and/or a streaming service. You <em>could</em> live without these things, but they are increasingly seen as necessities that could add up to hundreds of dollars in expenses each month.</p> <h2>4. Student Loan Debt</h2> <p>Rest assured, your Baby Boomer parents did not come out of college with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. But that's the reality for many young people today. College costs have been rising above the rate of inflation for years, and the Wall Street Journal reported that the average member of the Class of 2015 will have to pay back $35,000. That's money that you might still be paying back when you probably would prefer to be saving for a good down payment on a home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-refinance-your-student-loan?ref=seealso">Should You Refinance Your Student Loan?</a>)</p> <h2>5. Young People Can't Find Good Jobs</h2> <p>The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than 12% of people between age 16 and 24 are unemployed. Among African-Americans, it's even worse, with one out of every five young people seeking work. If you can't find steady work at a young age, you can't begin saving. Combine that with student loan debt, and it's no wonder so many young people are behind the financial eight ball.</p> <h2>6. You Have to Save for Retirement</h2> <p>There's a good chance that your parents never put money into a 401K or Individual Retirement Account. That's because their employers were far more likely to offer a pension, or defined benefit retirement plan. The Social Security Administration reports that participation in pensions by workers in the private sector fell from 38% to 20% between 1980 and 2008. Baby Boomers are also more likely than Millennials to believe that Social Security payments will be around when they retire. If you feel like you need to set aside money for your own retirement, that's money that can't go toward saving for a home.</p> <h2>7. Incomes Haven't Been Growing</h2> <p>One of the more troubling signs in the economy in recent years is that people aren't being paid more as years go by. The Economic Policy Institute reports that the economy should be producing wage growth of between 3.5% and 4%, but that growth has been stuck at about 2.3% for almost a decade. Fortunately, inflation has been quite low, but there's no question that people aren't getting the type of salary and wage increases Baby Boomers became accustomed to.</p> <p><em>Sound familiar? What's keeping you from purchasing a home?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-your-parents-could-buy-a-home-while-you-still-rent">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease">8 Moves to Make If You Need to Break Your Lease</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-only-5-rules-you-need-to-know-about-investing-in-real-estate">The Only 5 Rules You Need to Know About Investing in Real Estate</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-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</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/20-tips-for-getting-your-security-deposit-back">20 Tips for Getting Your Security Deposit Back</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-questions-landlords-cant-ask">10 Questions Landlords Can&#039;t Ask</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing baby boomers buying renting saving Wed, 30 Dec 2015 12:00:03 +0000 Tim Lemke 1626818 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways Working From Home Can Save (And Cost) You Big http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-working-from-home-can-save-and-cost-you-big <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-working-from-home-can-save-and-cost-you-big" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_working_from_home_000029434486.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways working from home can cost and save her" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For several years, I had a full-time job that allowed me to work from home. But then I switched to a job that required me to be in an office. So I've experienced life on both sides, and can tell you that each job had its own impact on not just my lifestyle, but my personal finances.</p> <p>Working from home allowed me to wear pajama pants in the middle of the day or take afternoon naps without guilt. And in many ways, it allowed me to save some money. But there were some drawbacks on the financial side as well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-jobs-for-work-life-balance">4 Best Jobs for Work Life Balance</a>)</p> <p>Here are some of the ways that working from home can impact your finances, both positively and negatively.</p> <h2>The Good</h2> <p>Working from home has some pretty amazing financial perks.</p> <h3>1. Zero Commuting Costs</h3> <p>When I worked from home, I put very few miles on my car. My trek to work consisted of a stroll from my bedroom to my home office 100 feet away. Now, I spend more than $150 monthly on public transit costs. My colleagues who drive spend a similar amount in gas and parking. Working from home = no commute = money saved.</p> <h3>2. The Eating Out Temptation Is Eliminated</h3> <p>When you work in an office, you might tell yourself that you'll pack your lunch every day. But that's hard when there are 10 great restaurants and coffee shops around the corner, not to mention all the places on the way to and from the office. You may have colleagues who invite you to lunch or happy hour, and you'll feel tempted to run out to Starbucks for that afternoon caffeine run. When you work from home, going out to eat is less probable.</p> <h3>3. Wardrobe Flexibility</h3> <p>Most office environments have some sort of dress code, and that's going to lead to some expense on your part. Even a casual office environment means you'll have to invest in a few decent shirts, dresses, or slacks. If you work from home, your comfort is your only guide.</p> <h3>4. Taxes</h3> <p>This really only applies to people who are salaried employees who work from home. If you fit that bill, you may be able to save on taxes by getting deductions for things like computer equipment or building a home office. If you can prove that you use a certain percentage of your home for work purposes, you can get a tax deduction based on that percentage of your utility bills. Even some automotive costs could be tax deductible.</p> <h3>5. You Can Argue for a Raise Based on Money Saved</h3> <p>There's a lot of evidence that telework policies save companies money, particularly on real estate costs. Fewer workers in an office means less demand for space. At your next performance review, raise this point when discussing the potential for a raise in pay.</p> <h3>6. You Can Be More Productive</h3> <p>If you were spending an hour commuting in the past, but now work from home, that's an hour that you can give to your employer. Working from home also frees you from various distractions, like co-workers popping in. (But be careful, as working from home can come with distractions of its own.)</p> <h3>7. No Relocation Needed</h3> <p>Many companies have found that it's cheaper to allow employees to work from home rather than spend tens of thousands of dollars to help them relocate to new cities. And imagine the money &mdash; not to mention the stress and hassle &mdash; saved by the worker who doesn't have to worry about uprooting his or her life. I personally know some employees who live in communities with low cost of living, but are paid based on the salaries of those near the company's offices in a more expensive part of the country. Score! (Of course, be warned that this could also work in reverse.)</p> <h2>The Bad</h2> <p>Despite the perks, there are still ways to burn through money while working from home.</p> <h3>8. Utility Costs Increase</h3> <p>One of the nice things about heading to an office is that you're not using up electricity, heat, or air conditioning during the day at home. Working from home can cause those bills to shoot way up.</p> <h3>9. Home Office Costs Add Up</h3> <p>When I worked from home, I was expected to keep a professional workspace, but was not given any funds to build it. So any costs associated with constructing a home office fell to me. Some of these costs were tax-deductible, but the deduction did not cover the full cost of things like a desk, a decent chair, lamps, and even some office supplies. These expenses can add up.</p> <h3>10. No Networking</h3> <p>Working from home can be socially isolating, but that isolation can also hurt your wallet. If you are removed from an office, you will get less face time with the boss, and may also miss out on office gossip and interactions that might be helpful to you and your career. It's harder to impress your employer if they never see you. If this sounds like you, make an effort to drop by the office for meetings on a regular basis, or even pop in to take a colleague out to lunch. <a href="http://globalworkplaceanalytics.com/resources/costs-benefits">Global Workplace Analytics</a> reported that &quot;teleworkers who maintain regular communications with traditional co-workers and managers find career impact is not an issue.&quot;</p> <p><em>Do you work from home? What other costs do you incur? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-working-from-home-can-save-and-cost-you-big">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-money-when-you-are-unemployed">10 Ways to Save Money When You Are Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-selling-office-supplies">8 Money Lessons I Learned Selling Office Supplies</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/9-jobs-you-may-not-have-considered-but-should">9 Jobs You May Not Have Considered (But Should)</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/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired">11 Financial Moves to Make the Moment You Get Fired</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/day-job-or-freelance-which-is-right-for-you">Day Job or Freelance: Which Is Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Budgeting jobs saving work from home working Tue, 22 Dec 2015 18:00:03 +0000 Tim Lemke 1625207 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Financial Lessons From Adele http://www.wisebread.com/8-financial-lessons-from-adele <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-financial-lessons-from-adele" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_headphones_music_000056821166.jpg" alt="Woman learning money lessons from Adele" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Adele is the hottest thing in music these days, as her new album <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016WW10SA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B016WW10SA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=JQZJF7E6YDACOJJ7">25</a> is setting all kinds of sales records and receiving ubiquitous radio airplay.</p> <p>The British songstress has some amazing pipes, but there's some evidence that she's also pretty savvy with her funds, and can teach us a thing or two about money management. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-best-pieces-of-financial-wisdom-from-oprah-winfrey">The 3 Best Pieces of Financial Wisdom From Oprah Winfrey</a>)</p> <p>We may not become multi-millionaires living in large castles in the English countryside, but following the singer's financial lead could mean extra dollars in our wallets. Here are eight financial lessons we can learn from Adele.</p> <h2>1. Know Your Worth</h2> <p>When Adele released her latest album, 25, she refused to allow it to appear on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. That's because she had an instinct that people would be willing to pay for the full album itself. And she was right, as it recorded 3.4 million sales in the first week alone.</p> <h2>2. Own What You Create</h2> <p>Adele is wealthy not only because she sells a lot of albums and concert tickets, but because she gets other revenue from the ownership of her music and lyrics. In fact, her company, Melted Stone, has a publishing arm that pulled in more than $7.8 million in 2014.</p> <h2>3. Use an Old Phone</h2> <p>No fancy iPhone for Adele, it seems &mdash; at least not if her music videos are any indication. In the video to her hit single &quot;Hello,&quot; Adele is seen talking into a flip phone. A flip phone! It's unclear from what antique store she bought the phone, but she's probably not concerned about overages on her data plan. While Adele may or may not have a more updated phone in real life, the premise is still valid &mdash; don't buy new technologies you don't actually need.</p> <h2>4. Shop at Thrift Stores</h2> <p>British newspaper The Sun reported that Adele isn't keen on shopping at fancy stores, despite her vast wealth. She's been known to frequent thrift stores near her home in the English countryside. &quot;Adele is like any normal girl &mdash; she loves a bargain,&quot; a source told The Sun.</p> <h2>5. Dress Simply and Flexibly</h2> <p>There's no doubt that Adele will be pushed to set some fashion trends, but she seems most content keeping things basic, especially during performances. The singer is most often seen in simple black dresses, and even the music video for the hit song &quot;Hello&quot; shows her in versatile items like a checked coat, plaid shirt, and printed scarves. &quot;Not only are Adele's vocals in the video beautifully powerful but her fashion choices are attainable,&quot; the website Mashable reported.</p> <h2>6. Avoid Crazy Lifestyle Inflation</h2> <p>Okay, so she moved into an $8.5 million mansion. That's a big step up. But Adele claims that she isn't suddenly spending extravagantly on luxury items. She told the Daily Mail that she did begin shopping at a higher-end online grocer, but only got a flat-screen television not long ago. &quot;That's probably the biggest change, honestly,&quot; she told the newspaper. &quot;That's about it, really. I got a plasma [television ]. I used to have that big thick one up until recently.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Find a Good Formula and Stick With It</h2> <p>Adele has achieved great success by sticking with what has worked for her: singing big, powerful ballads about love and loss. She does it better than anyone else, so why mess with a good thing? This approach can be applied to investing, where it's often best to buy stocks and mutual funds that have a good track record of success and simply letting them do their thing.</p> <h2>8. Take Care of Your Health</h2> <p>People don't always think of health as a personal finance decision, but it is. It's hard to work and earn money if you are injured or ill, and ignoring seemingly minor health issues can lead to big, expensive procedures later. Adele underwent surgery on her vocal cords in 2012, and while the ordeal put her on the shelf for a while, it preserved her voice and allowed her to continue her record-breaking career.</p> <p><em>Anything else Adele can teach us about personal finance?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-financial-lessons-from-adele">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-financial-mistakes-we-dont-make-anymore-and-2-we-still-do">6 Financial Mistakes We Don&#039;t Make Anymore (and 2 We Still Do)</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-easy-ways-to-wake-up-richer-tomorrow-than-you-are-today">12 Easy Ways to Wake Up Richer Tomorrow Than You Are Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-you-save-money-by-subscribing-to-an-addictive-game">Could you save money by subscribing to an addictive game?</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-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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-reasons-why-i-love-public-transportation">Five Reasons Why I Love Public Transportation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Adele frugal living saving thriftiness Wed, 16 Dec 2015 14:00:07 +0000 Tim Lemke 1619693 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Things Your Boomer Parents Could Afford That You Can't http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-your-boomer-parents-could-afford-that-you-cant <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-things-your-boomer-parents-could-afford-that-you-cant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_classic_car_000013375059.jpg" alt="Boomer parent affording things that we can&#039;t" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many of us have probably been subjected to the judgement of our Baby Boomer parents, who wonder why younger generations are facing more debt and financial troubles.</p> <p>I won't defend the spendthrift ways of Millennials and Gen-Xers, but the truth of the matter is that many things are simply more expensive now than they used to be. Baby Boomers &mdash; those born between 1946 and 1964 &mdash; paid less for many of the things considered essential now.</p> <p>Here are eight things that our Baby Boomer parents could afford more easily than we can.</p> <h2>1. A Home</h2> <p>Interest rates were probably higher for Baby Boomers, but the average price of a home was considerably lower, even after adjusting for inflation. The <a href="http://www.multpl.com/case-shiller-home-price-index-inflation-adjusted/">Case Shiller Home Price Index</a> offers a good examination of home prices over time. Through most of the '60s, '70s, and '80s, the index was at about 120. Now it's near 170, an increase of about 40%. During the housing bubble, it topped 220 &mdash; that was a near doubling of prices after inflation. No wonder so many of us got into unnecessary housing debt.</p> <h2>2. College</h2> <p>We've all heard stories about Baby Boomers who claim to have attended college for just a few hundred bucks a semester. Indeed, education was a relative bargain for our folks, who in 1975 paid the <a href="http://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/tuition-fees-room-board-time-1974-75-2014-15-selected-years">equivalent of $2,469</a> for a year of tuition and fees at a public university. The cost is more than four times that today. The College Board reports that we experienced increases of 9.5% above inflation during the 2009-10 school year, and another 6.5% above inflation in 2010-11.</p> <h2>3. A Car</h2> <p>A Baby Boomer may have bought his or her first car in 1970 for $3,450, or $20,781 in today's dollars. The average price of a car is now more than $30,000. The good news for today's car buyers is that quality of cars has improved, and there is a wider range of choices, including many at the more affordable end.</p> <h2>4. Child Care</h2> <p>There's not a lot of data on child care costs for older Baby Boomers, but for those raising kids in the 1980s, things were much easier on the wallet than today. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that the <a href="https://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p70-135.pdf">average weekly child care payment</a> in 1985 was about $40, or $84 in 2011 dollars. Compare that to the $143 weekly paid by families in 2011.</p> <h2>5. Food</h2> <p>It cost less for your parents to serve dinner. The Department of Agriculture reported that the price of food has <a href="http://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2015-july/growth-in-inflation-adjusted-food-prices-varies-by-food-category.aspx#.ViZwTH6rRaR">outpaced the rate of inflation</a> in many areas, including fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, red meat, and poultry. Fresh fruits and vegetables are 40% more expensive than in 1985, and that's after adjusting for inflation.</p> <h2>6. Health Care</h2> <p>In 1970, per capita spending on health care was a mere $356, or $2,144 in today's dollars. That rose to $8,402 per person in 2010. Some of this increase could be due to the availability of more advanced medical treatment, but there's no doubt it costs more to get sick these days.</p> <h2>7. Going to the Movies</h2> <p>In this case, it may actually depend on the year. A person born in 1946 might have attended the movies as a teenager for 50 cents, or about $4.15 in today's dollars. That's a steal compared to a current ticket, which comes in at $8.61, according to The Hollywood Reporter. But a Baby Boomer attending the movies in the 1970s may have paid prices that, when adjusted for inflation, weren't too much less than today. One thing is for sure: Moviegoers of yesteryear were not subjected to the additional charges for 3D or IMAX screenings that can often add several dollars to the price of a ticket today.</p> <h2>8. Pro Sports Tickets</h2> <p>A ticket to a baseball game cost an average of $28 in 2015, according to Team Marketing Report. The average ticket price is $54 for the NBA, $86 for the NFL, and $62 for the NHL. The cost of player salaries and state-of-the-art stadiums has brought us away from the days when a bleacher seat could be had for $1. At the first Super Bowl in 1967, the average ticket price was $12, or $85 in today's dollars, Sports Illustrated reported. The average ticket price for the Super Bowl in 2014 was an eye-popping $1,250.</p> <p><em>What else was cheaper for Boomers than the generations following?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-your-boomer-parents-could-afford-that-you-cant">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/10-types-of-friends-who-are-costing-you-money">10 Types of Friends Who Are Costing You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/73-easy-ways-to-save-money-today">73 Easy Ways to Save Money Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-nice-ways-to-tell-your-spendy-friends-youre-staying-on-budget">7 Nice Ways to Tell Your Spendy Friends You&#039;re Staying on Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-low-interest-rates-make-you-stupid">Don&#039;t let low interest rates make you stupid</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/why-save-during-an-inflation">Why save during an inflation?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance baby boomers inflation parents saving spending tuition Thu, 29 Oct 2015 15:15:44 +0000 Tim Lemke 1602062 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Countries Where Banks Pay Crazy Interest Rates http://www.wisebread.com/10-countries-where-banks-pay-crazy-interest-rates <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-countries-where-banks-pay-crazy-interest-rates" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000074065601.jpg" alt="Countries where banks pay crazy interest rates" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone in America has been waiting to find out when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates, which have been down at historic lows for some time.</p> <p>Think interest rates in the U.S. are shockingly low? Well, there are other nations with rates that are even more off the wall. Some have rates below zero. Some have rates above 25%. (Imagine that &mdash; 25% returns just for parking your cash in the bank!)</p> <p>Here's a look at the countries with the wackiest <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/banks-still-offering-free-checking-and-great-interest-rates">interest rates</a> &mdash; and if you can figure out a way to get a 25% interest rate on your bank deposits, please let me know!</p> <h2>The High End</h2> <p>Savers in these countries ought to be happy &mdash; or should they?</p> <h3>1. Belarus</h3> <p>Interest rates in this former Soviet republic have always been some of the highest in Europe, but rates really shot up last year when the government jacked them up to fend off a devaluing of the nation's ruble. The benchmark rate in Belarus is a whopping 25%.</p> <h3>2. Ghana</h3> <p>In an effort to fend off inflation, this West African nation rose its benchmark interest rate to just under 25%, one of the highest rates on the continent. Ghana's currency, the cedi, has been plunging in value as the nation has struggled with debt, according to Bloomberg News.</p> <h3>3. Malawi</h3> <p>On the other side of Africa, Malawi also reports a benchmark interest rate of about 25%. In fact, that's been the average rate since 2001, when rates hit as high as 75%. The mortgage finance rate from the National Bank of Malawi is 32%.</p> <h3>4. Argentina</h3> <p>This country has the highest rates in South America, with a benchmark of just under 24%. Rates have been creeping up for years as the country has faced major economic problems, but they are still much lower than in 2002, when rates topped 90%.</p> <h3>5. Ukraine</h3> <p>Interest rates in Ukraine are so wacky that they now stand at 22% even after two rate cuts. Ukraine has battled a devaluing of its currency, the hyrvnia, that once forced interest rates to above 30%, then the highest in the world.</p> <h2>The Low End</h2> <p>In some cases, savers <em>pay </em>banks to hang onto their money.</p> <h3>6. Switzerland</h3> <p>Rates in Switzerland are so low that it may actually cost you money to &quot;save&quot; there. With a rate of -0.75%, the Swiss must pay to lend. This unusual move was made to cause some inflation (in an overly low inflation environment) and prevent the Swiss franc from becoming too overvalued.</p> <h3>7. Denmark</h3> <p>The Danish central bank started off 2015 by slashing interest rates several times, to the point where they are now also at -0.75%. Many Danish citizens now have to <em>pay</em> interest on any bank deposits. This move to crazy-low rates comes as a response to a sagging European economy.</p> <h3>8. Sweden</h3> <p>While not quite as low as Switzerland and Denmark, Sweden is another European nation with a benchmark rate below zero. The Swedes made the move to lower rates to -0.35% in July, citing deflation concerns and the impact of problems with the Greek economy. With borrowing so cheap, now the Swedes have to battle fears of a possible housing bubble.</p> <h3>9. Japan</h3> <p>Japan's central bank has been trying all kinds of things to get the country's economy moving and fend off deflation, and interest rates now stand at... nothing. That's right, interest rates are zero in Japan, and have been near or below 1% for about 20 years.</p> <h3>10. Bulgaria</h3> <p>It's better than zero, but not by much. The benchmark rate from the Bulgarian National Bank is a mere 0.01%. The head of the bank resigned in June following the bankruptcy of one of the nation's largest commercial banks.</p> <p><em>What's worse, high interest rates or rates at zero or below?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-countries-where-banks-pay-crazy-interest-rates">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-three-interest-rates">The Three Interest Rates</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/money-to-start-your-business-without-banks-or-saving">Money to start your business--without banks or saving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-personal-finance-calculators-everyone-should-use">15 Personal Finance Calculators Everyone Should Use</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-times-when-its-okay-to-take-a-loan">6 Times When It&#039;s Okay to Take a Loan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-you-should-never-take-a-loan">6 Times You Should Never Take a Loan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking borrowing deposits finance interest rates international saving Thu, 15 Oct 2015 13:00:23 +0000 Tim Lemke 1586506 at http://www.wisebread.com