investing http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/285/all en-US Get Smart About Money With These 18 Free Online Courses http://www.wisebread.com/get-smart-about-money-with-these-18-free-online-courses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-smart-about-money-with-these-18-free-online-courses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_man_using_laptop.jpg" alt="Young man using laptop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A growing number of leading business schools and universities are offering free personal finance courses online. Why not take advantage of these sophisticated resources to grow your knowledge and take your finances to the next level? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-get-free-personal-finance-classes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Places to Get Free Personal Finance Classes</a>)</p> <p>These free online courses are sometimes known as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Many are either based on university courses, or actually are the same university courses that have been offered to paying students on campus. Although you will not get credit toward a degree for taking a free class, you can certainly learn a thing or two that will help you manage your finances and become a better negotiator, entrepreneur, and investor. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-continue-your-education-without-going-back-to-school?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Cheap Ways to Continue Your Education Without Going Back to School</a>)</p> <h2>1. Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making</h2> <p>This <a href="https://www.edx.org/course/finance-everyone-smart-tools-decision-michiganx-fin101x-1#" target="_blank">introductory personal finance course</a> through the University of Michigan covers the basics of personal finance, teaching frameworks and methods that will better equip you to make sound everyday financial decisions.</p> <p>Time commitment: 6 weeks, 5&ndash;6 hours per week.</p> <h2>2. Behavioral Economics in Action</h2> <p>Offered through the University of Toronto, <a href="https://www.edx.org/course/behavioral-economics-action-university-torontox-be101x-0#" target="_blank">Behavioral Economics in Action</a> teaches students how economics drives consumer decisions and how to develop tools that lead to better financial decisions.</p> <p>Time commitment: 6 weeks, 4&ndash;5 hours per week.</p> <h2>3. Personal Finance</h2> <p>Purdue University offers <a href="https://www.edx.org/course/personal-finance-purduex-pn-17-2" target="_blank">Personal Finance</a>; Improve your money management by improving your understanding of key personal finance concepts such as investments, credit, and insurance.</p> <p>Time commitment: 5 weeks, 3&ndash;4 hours per week.</p> <h2>4. Analyzing Global Trends for Business and Society</h2> <p>The Wharton University of Pennsylvania offers an online course on <a href="https://www.edx.org/course/analyzing-global-trends-business-society-wharton-trends1x?source=aw&amp;awc=6798_1502742497_0d3411ef1fd94a7d7eb647004262589a&amp;utm_source=aw&amp;utm_medium=affiliate_partner&amp;utm_content=text-link&amp;utm_term=301045_https://www.class-central.com/" target="_blank">learning to understand global trends</a>, including how you can use that knowledge to make better financial decisions and investments.</p> <p>Time commitment: 7 weeks, 3&ndash;4 hours per week.</p> <h2>5. How to Start a Startup</h2> <p>With Stanford University's video course <a href="https://www.class-central.com/mooc/2572/how-to-start-a-startup" target="_blank">How to Start a Startup</a>, you'll learn the fundamentals of launching a new business; including how to develop product ideas, make sales, market products, and hire your first employees.</p> <p>Time commitment: 1,000 minutes of video.</p> <h2>6. Stocks and Bonds: Risks and Returns</h2> <p>Another Stanford video course, <a href="https://www.class-central.com/mooc/2453/stanford-openedx-stocks-and-bonds-risks-and-returns" target="_blank">Stocks and Bonds: Risks and Returns</a> covers the basics of stocks and bonds, including how value is established, what affects market prices, and what you actually get when you buy a stock or a bond.</p> <p>Time commitment: Self-paced.</p> <h2>7. Finance Theory I</h2> <p><a href="https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/sloan-school-of-management/15-401-finance-theory-i-fall-2008/" target="_blank">Finance Theory I</a>, offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, teaches you how the economy and capital markets work, including an introduction to complex investment instruments such as derivatives and options.</p> <p>Time commitment: Semester-length course.</p> <h2>8. Retail Fundamentals</h2> <p>Learning <a href="https://www.edx.org/course/retail-fundamentals-dartmouthx-rfundx-0" target="_blank">how retail works</a> can give you an advantage as a consumer. This course from Dartmouth covers the basics of how businesses select inventory and set prices to maximize profit.</p> <p>Time commitment: 4 weeks, 3&ndash;4 hours per week.</p> <h2>9. Economics of Money and Banking</h2> <p>This course from Columbia University teaches the <a href="https://www.coursera.org/learn/money-banking" target="_blank">basics of banking and monetary policy</a> and offers insight into the financial crisis of 2007&ndash;2009 from the perspective of financial institutions.</p> <p>Time commitment: 13 weeks, 5 hours per week.</p> <h2>10. Introduction to Negotiation: A Strategic Playbook for Becoming a Principled and Persuasive Negotiator</h2> <p>Negotiating effectively is one of the most effective ways to get ahead financially. This course from Yale promises to &quot;<a href="https://www.class-central.com/mooc/4336/coursera-introduction-to-negotiation-a-strategic-playbook-for-becoming-a-principled-and-persuasive-negotiator" target="_blank">help you be a better negotiator</a>&quot; by teaching tactics and tools to reach a better deal.</p> <p>Time commitment: 9-week course.</p> <h2>11. Personal &amp; Family Financial Planning</h2> <p><a href="https://www.coursera.org/learn/family-planning" target="_blank">Personal &amp; Family Financial Planning</a> from the University of Florida teaches the fundamentals of personal finance and money management including budgeting, credit, and taxes.</p> <p>Time commitment: 9-week course.</p> <h2>12. Investment Vehicles, Insurance, and Retirement</h2> <p>Khan University's <a href="https://www.khanacademy.org/economics-finance-domain/core-finance/investment-vehicles-tutorial" target="_blank">Investment Vehicles, Insurance, and Retirement</a> course teaches the basic principles that will allow you to grow your money through investments and protect your money through insurance.</p> <p>Time commitment: Self-paced.</p> <h2>13. Securing Investment Returns in the Long Run</h2> <p>In the course <a href="https://www.coursera.org/learn/investment-returns-long-run" target="_blank">Securing Investment Returns in the Long Run</a> through the University of Geneva, you'll learn about active vs. passive investing and how to evaluate the performance of your investments to achieve good long-term returns.</p> <p>Time commitment: 4 weeks, 1&ndash;3 hours per week.</p> <h2>14. Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning</h2> <p><a href="http://cat.ocw.uci.edu/oo/getPage.php?course=AR0102092&amp;lesson=001&amp;topic=1&amp;page=1" target="_blank">Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning</a> from UC Irvine aims to teach you how to set and reach your financial goals by improving your knowledge of personal finance.</p> <p>Time commitment: 30 hours.</p> <h2>15. Free Online Personal Finance Course</h2> <p>This <a href="https://cals.arizona.edu/sfcs/personalfinance/introduction.html" target="_blank">personal finance primer</a> from the University of Arizona will teach you how to navigate the perils of today's consumer economy by mastering personal finance principles.</p> <p>Time commitment: 15 hours.</p> <h2>16. Econ 252: Financial Markets</h2> <p>Become a smarter investor with this <a href="http://oyc.yale.edu/economics/econ-252-08" target="_blank">economics course</a> from Yale, which aims to help you understand the inner workings of financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies, and securities markets.</p> <p>Time commitment: Semester-length course.</p> <h2>17. New Venture Finance: Startup Funding for Entrepreneurs</h2> <p>If you are thinking about starting a business, <a href="https://www.coursera.org/learn/startup-funding" target="_blank">New Venture Finance: Startup Funding for Entrepreneurs</a> from the University of Maryland will help you figure out how to fund your venture.</p> <p>Time commitment: 3&ndash;5 hours per week.</p> <h2>18. Marketing in a Digital World</h2> <p><a href="https://www.coursera.org/learn/marketing-digital" target="_blank">Marketing in a Digital World</a>, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will teach you how digital tools are revolutionizing the way products are bought and sold, and how this is providing unprecedented advantages for consumers.</p> <p>Time commitment: 4 weeks, 6&ndash;8 hours per week.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fget-smart-about-money-with-these-18-free-online-courses&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FGet%2520Smart%2520About%2520Money%2520With%2520These%252018%2520Free%2520Online%2520Courses.jpg&amp;description=Get%20Smart%20About%20Money%20With%20These%2018%20Free%20Online%20Courses"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Get%20Smart%20About%20Money%20With%20These%2018%20Free%20Online%20Courses.jpg" alt="Get Smart About Money With These 18 Free Online Courses" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-smart-about-money-with-these-18-free-online-courses">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-online-forums-thatll-help-you-reach-your-financial-goals">9 Online Forums That&#039;ll Help You Reach Your Financial Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-moves-you-can-make-during-your-commute">10 Financial Moves You Can Make During Your Commute</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-online-tools-to-manage-your-money-in-under-10-minutes-a-week">5 Online Tools to Manage Your Money in Under 10 Minutes a Week</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far">6 Ways Millennials Have Changed Money (So Far)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-tricks-to-master-for-a-happier-life">Financial Tricks to Master for a Happier Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training entrepreneurship freebies investing learning massive open online courses money management online courses resources Tue, 03 Oct 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2028482 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Online Forums That'll Help You Reach Your Financial Goals http://www.wisebread.com/9-online-forums-thatll-help-you-reach-your-financial-goals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-online-forums-thatll-help-you-reach-your-financial-goals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_on_coffee_break.jpg" alt="Girl on coffee break" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've got financial goals, but why be lonely while you're reaching them? Find your tribe! Grow your group! Commit to your community! And reach those money goals faster with the help and advice of online friends who are focused on reaching the same goals with you.</p> <h2>Goal: Get better at money</h2> <p>Start here to master the personal finance basics.</p> <h3>1. Reddit personal finance</h3> <p>If you want to start being more aware of your money and more proactive in how you manage it, you can't find a better place than <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/" target="_blank">Reddit's personal finance subreddit</a>. It's an active, friendly group full of down-to-earth people sharing real advice and tips and asking for insight from others.</p> <h3>2. Mr. Money Mustache Taxes forum</h3> <p>Getting better at finance means getting at least a little bit better at understanding and managing your taxes. The <a href="https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/taxes/" target="_blank">Mr. Money Mustache Taxes forum</a> can help. Topics vary widely with the common theme of taxes bringing them all together. You'll see threads on everything from making IRA contributions, to dealing with an inheritance, to calculating self-employment tax.</p> <h2>Goal: Invest more</h2> <h3>3. BiggerPockets forum</h3> <p>For real estate investment help and support, check out the <a href="https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums" target="_blank">BiggerPockets real estate investing forum</a>. You'll find questions, answers, and plenty of advice on the subject. Topics cover everything from real estate taxes, to investment strategies, to landlord responsibilities.</p> <h3>4. Quora Returns On Investment</h3> <p>Quora is a massive Q&amp;A website with a huge array of topics; dive into <a href="https://www.quora.com/topic/Returns-On-Investment-finance" target="_blank">Returns On Investment</a> to read questions and a variety of answers on the best methods and strategies for investing your money. You can also check out the <a href="https://www.quora.com/topic/Stock-Market-Investing" target="_blank">Stock Market Investing</a> page for even more information on investing.</p> <h2>Goal: Pay off debt</h2> <h3>5. Money Saving Expert forum</h3> <p>This is a large and active forum with many financial-themed topics. Of particular interest for your debt repayment goals are the <a href="http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/forumdisplay.php?f=76" target="_blank">Debt-Free Wannabe</a> and <a href="http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/forumdisplay.php?f=98" target="_blank">Mortgage-Free Wannabe</a> threads. Join hundreds of members who are working their way toward their debt-free goals. It's encouraging to know you're not alone, and you can also find advice and tips for ways to be as efficient as possible with your repayment plans.</p> <h2>Goal: Stick to a budget</h2> <h3>6. Frugal Village forums</h3> <p>How deep do you want to dive into changing your lifestyle to be a more frugal one? The <a href="http://www.frugalvillage.com/forums/forum.php" target="_blank">Frugal Village forum</a> can take you there. Topics get into detail, so you can explore the one you're most interested in. There are also several threads dedicated to specific money and frugal living challenges. For extra incentive, take on a challenge with your forum friends to cheer you on.</p> <h2>Goal: Save more money</h2> <h3>7. Tip Yourself app and community</h3> <p>The <a href="https://tipyourself.com/howitworks/" target="_blank">Tip Yourself app</a> (for iOS) gives you the option to, well, tip yourself. Forego that pricey coffee, new book, or other impulse purchase and give yourself the money instead, designating the amount in the app where you can watch the dollars in your own tip jar increase. The community feature makes this app fun to use; you can see what others are doing, comment and like their tips, and receive the same kind of encouragement for yourself. While you could easily do this yourself with a savings account, the interactive, community-oriented nature of Tip Yourself adds an element of fun that might spur you to save more than you normally would on your own.</p> <h3>8. CafeMom &mdash; The Family Piggy Bank</h3> <p>CafeMom is a popular site with all sorts of specialized groups; this particular one, <a href="http://www.cafemom.com/group/114471" target="_blank">The Family Piggy Bank</a>, brings together moms who are doing their best to save, invest, and plan for a happy financial future for their families. You can join a daily savings challenge, ask a question, or find out how other families are saving money on everything from holiday gifts, family travel, food budgets, and life insurance.</p> <h2>Goal: Increase your income</h2> <h3>9. Mr. Money Mustache Entrepreneurship forum</h3> <p>The <a href="https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/entrepreneurship/?PHPSESSID=ofgi7a48evtpkmc8d49sivq264" target="_blank">forum on Entrepreneurship</a> at Mr. Money Mustache is active and full of advice. You'll read real stories of people who are building up their own businesses in order to increase their income. You don't have to be a full-time entrepreneur or business owner to benefit from the knowledge shared here. In fact, it's a great community to be part of for encouragement as you turn your hobby or side hustle into something more profitable.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F9-online-forums-thatll-help-you-reach-your-financial-goals&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%2520Online%2520Forums%2520That%2527ll%2520Help%2520You%2520Reach%2520Your%2520Financial%2520Goals.jpg&amp;description=9%20Online%20Forums%20That'll%20Help%20You%20Reach%20Your%20Financial%20Goals"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Online%20Forums%20That%27ll%20Help%20You%20Reach%20Your%20Financial%20Goals.jpg" alt="9 Online Forums That'll Help You Reach Your Financial Goals" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-online-forums-thatll-help-you-reach-your-financial-goals">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-personal-finance-resolutions-anyone-can-master">8 Personal Finance Resolutions Anyone Can Master</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-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-savings-strategy-that-works-for-you">How to Find the Savings Strategy That Works For You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far">6 Ways Millennials Have Changed Money (So Far)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-financial-basics-every-new-grad-should-know">The Financial Basics Every New Grad Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance apps budgeting communities debt entrepreneurship forums goals investing saving money websites Tue, 19 Sep 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Annie Mueller 2022479 at http://www.wisebread.com What Fantasy Football Teaches Us About Personal Finance http://www.wisebread.com/what-fantasy-football-teaches-us-about-personal-finance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-fantasy-football-teaches-us-about-personal-finance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/american_football_player_is_celebrating.jpg" alt="American football player is celebrating" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's football season, meaning that you may be among the tens of millions of fantasy football fans glued to their screens each Sunday urging players to rack up points.</p> <p>Fantasy football is a blast, but it also has a lot in common with personal finance. Both things require a lot of knowledge and research to do well. Both require planning and patience. And there's also some luck.</p> <p>Let's take a look at all of the things fantasy football can teach us about personal finance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-football-teaches-us-about-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Things Football Teaches Us About Money</a>)</p> <h2>Have a strategy and know when to adjust</h2> <p>When preparing for a fantasy football draft, it helps to start by understanding how you want to construct your team. Will you be relying on a great quarterback and solid run game? Or do you want great wideouts and a staunch defense? Having your strategy mapped out in advance can help you make the right picks. Of course, you may not always get the players you want, so you will have to know when it's wise to change your strategy.</p> <p>Personal finance planning also requires a strategy. It's important to map out your financial goals and outline how you plan to achieve them. If you are investing, decide how you want to construct your portfolio based on your age and the amount you want to save. From there, you can make sensible choices about the investments that are right for you.</p> <h2>Superstars can help</h2> <p>Every fantasy football manager hopes to make a run at the championship with the help of one or two star players. They want a quarterback who can consistently throw for 350 yards and three touchdowns each week, and a running back who can repeatedly run for 100 yards and two scores. These stars can help cover other deficiencies on the team.</p> <p>The same can be true for investing, if you are lucky. We all dream of a portfolio filled with super stocks that outperform the markets year after year and bring consistent, positive returns. Finding these star investments is easier said than done, but if you can grab a few, you'll be in great shape &mdash; and the rest of your investments can get away with being less than stellar.</p> <h2>You can get by without a superstar</h2> <p>So what if your fantasy football team lacks a superstar? That doesn't mean you can't win. As long as you are getting solid production at every position, you can field a very competitive team. It's a little trickier without a superstar, because you can't get away with making as many bad picks. But many of the best fantasy football teams have been comprised of solid contributors across the board rather than a few top names.</p> <p>When investing, it's important to consider this approach. Look to build a portfolio of stocks, bonds, and other investments that are solid performers, without worrying too much about whether you've got one investment that will go gangbusters. An all-around mix of above average investments can easily get you on the path to financial freedom.</p> <h2>Seek substance over flash</h2> <p>There are some fantasy football players that get treated like shiny objects that everyone must have. But sometimes their reputation isn't backed up by their performance. You may find this is the case with many investments, as well.</p> <p>Are you drawn to buying shares of a company because there's a lot of buzz around it? Or have you taken the time to analyze earnings reports and balance sheets, check price-to-earnings ratios, and determine whether a company makes for a good investment? In both investing and fantasy football, it's important to let objective information guide your decisions.</p> <h2>Understand risk and reward</h2> <p>You may have your eye on a top quarterback who has been known to put up some big numbers, but he had back surgery in the offseason. You'd hate to miss out on his production if he has a great year, but what if you select him and he ends up on injured reserve? When selecting a fantasy football team, it's important to understand the possible risks in every pick, as well as the potential upside.</p> <p>These are concepts worth understanding when it comes to investing, as well. Some investments, such as stocks, offer the potential for great returns, but come with risk. Other investments are safer, but you may limit how much you can potentially earn. When assessing risk and reward, it's important to understand your own risk tolerances and your own goals before making a decision.</p> <h2>Do your homework</h2> <p>It's hard to achieve success in fantasy football if you don't know anything about the game. Sure, you may get lucky with a few picks, but to build a championship season, you need to study the players, read up on matchups, and read the independent analysis.</p> <p>The same is true for investing and other parts of personal finance. It's not wise to buy a mutual fund without studying its historical performance, its holdings, and its expense ratios. You should never get a mortgage loan or finance a car without understanding interest rates. &quot;Just winging it&quot; might work once in awhile, but it is generally bad as a strategy.</p> <h2>There aren't many secrets</h2> <p>Not too long ago, it was hard to get detailed information about football players until you read box scores in the morning paper. Projections were listed in large, printed volumes that were often outdated by the time the season started. Nowadays, there is a mind-boggling amount of up-to-date football information available at our fingertips.</p> <p>This is also true for data on anything related to personal finance, from investments and the financial markets, to interest rates, to the pricing of products. This abundance of available information means that there's no excuse for being unprepared. But it also means that it's trickier than ever to get an edge.</p> <h2>Pay attention, be ready to pounce</h2> <p>A large part of success in fantasy football is following games closely and understanding which players may be poised for a big game. This may mean jumping at a chance to pick up a team's backup quarterback right after their starter got hurt. It may mean picking up an unknown running back right after he broke out for an unexpected big game.</p> <p>In personal finance, it's equally important to have your eyes open and be prepared to act. It might mean locking in a loan when interest rates drop to historic lows. It may mean buying a stock right after news of a big jump in earnings. Or perhaps it's simply reading the local circulars for sales and taking advantage of great bargains at the grocery store.</p> <h2>Look for value</h2> <p>One of the keys to any successful fantasy football campaign is finding that late-round draft pick that turns into a stud. It may be a player that other competitors overlooked in favor of more high-profile names. Maybe it's the backup quarterback who turns into a starter and has a great year. These undervalued players often become the difference between good and great.</p> <p>When investing, it's also important to look for value. Find stocks and funds that are underpriced based on their underlying financials. Look to invest in companies that fell out of favor due to bad publicity but still have strong operations. It's easy to go after the hot name, but real wealth building comes from finding the diamonds in the rough.</p> <h2>Be patient and don't panic</h2> <p>Your fantasy football team came out of the gate slow and you've found yourself a few games behind early in the season. Your quarterback is off to a lousy start and your running backs can't find the end zone. You could blow up your team and try to make it with some different players, but it's often best to wait and see if your team turns things around.</p> <p>When investing and saving, it's helpful to follow the same principals. Wealth is hard to acquire quickly, and it's best to have a disciplined approach of consistently setting aside as much money as you can. It's also good to have faith in the markets, which generally go up over time. This is not to say you should never sell a bad stock or occasionally adjust your investing portfolio. But making frequent changes based on single events or your own emotions is not the key to victory.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhat-fantasy-football-teaches-us-about-personal-finance&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhat%2520Fantasy%2520Football%2520Teaches%2520Us%2520About%2520Personal%2520Finance.jpg&amp;description=What%20Fantasy%20Football%20Teaches%20Us%20About%20Personal%20Finance"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/What%20Fantasy%20Football%20Teaches%20Us%20About%20Personal%20Finance.jpg" alt="What Fantasy Football Teaches Us About Personal Finance" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-fantasy-football-teaches-us-about-personal-finance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-football-teaches-us-about-money">9 Things Football Teaches Us About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-jay-z">7 Money Lessons We Can Learn From Jay-Z</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-jk-rowling">4 Money Lessons We Can Learn From J.K. Rowling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-money-management-tips-from-john-oliver">7 Best Money Management Tips From John Oliver</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-beyonc">7 Money Lessons We Can Learn From Beyoncé</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Entertainment fantasy football football investing lessons NFL players quarterbacks touchdowns Mon, 28 Aug 2017 08:00:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 2009242 at http://www.wisebread.com Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves? http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-499784815.jpg" alt="stop putting off these adult money moves" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You are not a kid anymore. It's time to start acting like an adult, especially with regard to your money. Procrastination won't help you on the path to financial freedom, so it's time to grow up, and examine whether you've been avoiding these adult money moves.</p> <h2>1. Bolstering your emergency fund<strong> </strong></h2> <p>When you are young, you may not need a lot of extra cash on hand. After all, you may feel like your life is simple enough that very few emergencies would result in financial ruin.</p> <p>As you get older, though, there are more costly events that can crop up. You may own a home and face major, unexpected repairs. You may have children with unexpected medical needs. And because your overall expenses are higher, you'll be hurt more if you or a spouse loses their job.</p> <p>While it's important to invest for the long-term, it's also crucial that you keep enough cash on hand to cover emergencies. At least three to six months' worth of income is a good rule of thumb. Without this savings, you may find yourself in debt or tapping into retirement savings to get by. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-new-reasons-you-need-an-emergency-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 New Reasons You Need an Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <h2>2. Tracking your money</h2> <p>When you're young and living large, you have no idea where your money is going. You are too busy having fun to worry about it. But now you're an adult, and it's time to actually assess what you are spending your cash on.</p> <p>It's impossible to budget and save if you have no idea where to cut expenses. To begin tracking your money, analyze your bank and credit card statements to view all of the purchases you've made. Enter these into a spreadsheet, or use an account consolidation website such as Mint.com to help you. Once you start tracking, you'll have a good idea of where you've been wasting money and where you can start cutting down on your costs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Build Your First Budget in 5 Easy Steps</a>)</p> <h2>3. Sticking to a budget</h2> <p>Once you get a handle on where your money is going, it's time to develop a system that will allow you to save money. The only way to avoid debt and save for the future is to keep expenses below what you earn. This may mean making tough decisions and reducing nonessential spending.</p> <p>You may have to eat out less. You may need to cancel your cable TV or baseball season tickets. You may need to forgo that trip to the Caribbean. Set a budget for groceries each week, drive less, and clip more coupons. None of this is fun, but it's what adults do if they want to achieve financial freedom.</p> <h2>4. Getting your credit card debt under control</h2> <p>Early on in life, your credit card debt may just seem like a number you can hide from yourself. But at a certain point, it's something that truly impacts your ability to build wealth and obtain financial freedom.</p> <p>When your debt is high, this impacts your credit score, which in turn impacts what you will pay for things like a mortgage and auto loan. In essence, debt can become a downward spiral of pain if you don't nip it in the bud early. Be an adult, and start paying down that credit card debt.</p> <p>Try to go after the debt with the highest interest rates first, then go from there (otherwise known as the avalanche method). Begin using cards more sparingly and rely instead on good old cash as much as possible. Soon, you'll see your credit score rise and your overall financial picture will look much rosier. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fastest Method to Eliminate Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>5. Saving for a home</h2> <p>Homeownership isn't for everyone, but there will likely come a time in your life when it makes sense to build equity in real estate rather than spend money on rent. Owning a home gives you a sense of pride, a sense of stability for your family, and is a good financial move in the long run &mdash; as long as you can manage the monthly payments.</p> <p>To make a sensible home purchase, traditional expertise has advised saving enough money for a down payment of at least 20 percent. So if you are eyeballing a $250,000 home, for example, that means amassing $50,000 &mdash; a sizable amount. While you aren't required to put 20 percent down, doing so can help you avoid having to pay private mortgage insurance, or PMI, until you build up equity in your home. Saving for a down payment is not an easy task, and may take many years, so it's best to start as soon as possible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-ways-to-start-saving-for-a-down-payment-on-a-home?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Easy Ways to Start Saving for a Down Payment on a Home</a>)</p> <h2>6. Investing toward retirement</h2> <p>The notion of saving for your 60s might seem ridiculous when you're in your 20s. But you can't put off retirement savings forever, and this procrastination can really hurt you down the line. The earlier you start saving, the more money you will have when it's time to leave the workforce.</p> <p>If you're into your 30s or 40s and have little saved for retirement, you need to start socking money away right now. Take advantage of your employer's 401(k) plan and any of your company's matching contributions. You can also open an individual retirement account (IRA). Max out these accounts, if possible. The sooner you start investing, the more time your money has to grow. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retirement-planning-steps-late-starters-must-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Retirement Planning Steps Late Starters Must Make</a>)</p> <h2>7. Saving for your kids' education</h2> <p>It's hard to imagine saving for college when you have no children yet, or your kids haven't even left elementary school. But with college costing tens of thousands of dollars, and getting more expensive every year, you shouldn't put off saving for too long if you plan to help your children with some of the expense.</p> <p>It's possible to begin saving before your child is even born, and there are many investment accounts, including the popular 529 college savings plans, that offer great tax advantages to those that save for education. It's not wise to save for college costs at the expense of your own retirement, but if you have the ability to put aside money for both, do it sooner rather than later. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid's College Savings</a>)</p> <h2>8. Getting properly insured</h2> <p>Proper financial planning isn't just about accumulating wealth, but protecting it. The best way to protect your assets is by insuring them at appropriate levels. Do you own a home? Make sure you have homeowners insurance to protect the structure and everything inside. Do you and your family members have health insurance to protect against illness or injury? And do you have life insurance so that your family will be financially OK if something were to happen to you?</p> <p>Insurance can sometimes seem like a waste of money if you don't use it. But when something bad does happens, you'll be massively grateful you have it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Reasons Why Life Insurance Isn't Just for Old People</a>)</p> <h2>9. Crafting a will</h2> <p>Do you know who gets your assets if you unexpectedly pass away? Do you know who will take care of your children if you are no longer around? Have you given any thought to whether you'd like to be kept on life support if you are the victim of an accident? These are unpleasant things to think about, but they are important considerations.</p> <p>In the absence of a will or other documents that outline your wishes, family members may be left to make challenging decisions. The money and assets you wished to pass on to specific relatives may not be passed on according to your plans. Writing a will may not seem like a crucial thing to do when you are young, but it becomes more important as you get older, expand your family, and accumulate assets. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-writing-a-will?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">What You Need to Know About Writing a Will</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fare-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FAre%2520You%2520Putting%2520Off%2520These%25209%2520Adult%2520Money%2520Moves-.jpg&amp;description=Are%20You%20Putting%20Off%20These%209%20Adult%20Money%20Moves%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Are%20You%20Putting%20Off%20These%209%20Adult%20Money%20Moves-.jpg" alt="Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">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/dont-let-outdated-money-advice-endanger-your-money">Don&#039;t Let Outdated Money Advice Endanger Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-best-free-financial-learning-tools">9 Best Free Financial Learning Tools</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/15-personal-finance-rules-you-should-be-breaking">15 Personal Finance Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance budgeting college costs debt down payments education estate planning investing life insurance money moves retirement saving wills Fri, 18 Aug 2017 08:00:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 2005241 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Money Lessons We Can Learn From Jay-Z http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-jay-z <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-jay-z" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/jay_z_singing.jpg" alt="Jay Z singing" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hip-hop artist Jay-Z recently dropped his latest release, <em>4:44</em>, and is already getting praise for an album that's fresh, honest, and full of insightful commentary.</p> <p>Any observer of Jay-Z's career can learn a thing or two about entrepreneurship and handling money, as the man is worth upward of $800 million according to recent estimates. But <em>4:44</em> has some great new insights on the value of saving and investing, supporting your community, and passing wealth on to the next generation.</p> <h2>1. Diversify your income</h2> <p>Jay-Z isn't just a rapper. He's a founder and owner of record companies. He has a clothing line and a sports bar. He's a part owner of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets. He has involvement in the casino and real estate industries. He owns the majority of the music streaming service, Tidal. All of this has allowed him to amass a net worth of reportedly more than $800 million, far more than he could make from music alone. He's set for life even if he never raps another word, and if any one of his revenue streams falters, he has plenty of other streams coming in.</p> <h2>2. Get married</h2> <p>There are many benefits to being married, and it can often be great for your finances. Having a joint income can improve your buying and borrowing power, and boost the overall net worth of your family. In Jay-Z's case, he's married to Beyoncé, a hugely popular music artist with a net worth that rivals his own. In his new song, &quot;Family Feud,&quot; Jay-Z asks, &quot;What's better than one billionaire? Two.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Support your community</h2> <p>In his new album, Jay-Z raps at length about looking out for those in the black community, noting that &quot;Nobody wins when the family feuds.&quot; He extends this advice to supporting black-owned businesses when he says, &quot;Black-owned things, hundred percent, black-owned Champagne. And we merrily merrily eating off these streams.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Think about your heirs</h2> <p>Many ultrawealthy people got that way through their own business success, but many started out wealthy as money was passed on from their parents. In fact, what often separates wealthy and poorer communities is the amount of &quot;generational wealth&quot; and savings that remains in families over the course of decades.</p> <p>Jay-Z raps about this very concept in the new song, &quot;Legacy,&quot; saying &quot;Generational wealth, that's the key/My parent's ain't have s**t, so that ship started with me/My mom took her money, she bought me bonds/That was the sweetest thing of all time.&quot;</p> <p>Jay-Z also gives a small nod to estate planning by having his daughter Blue Ivy open &quot;Legacy&quot; by asking &quot;Daddy, what's a will?&quot;</p> <h2>5. Buy real estate on the cheap</h2> <p>Jay-Z has made good money on real estate deals, but also recognizes that he may have missed out on some bargains, too. In his song, &quot;The Story of O.J.,&quot; he laments spending his money on frivolous items when he could have bought property in a once-troubled neighborhood.</p> <p>&quot;Wish I could take it back to the beginning/I coulda bought a place in Dumbo before it was Dumbo/For like two million/That same building today is worth 25 million/Guess how I'm feeling? Dumbo.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Spend wisely and invest</h2> <p>In &quot;The Story of O.J.,&quot; Jay-Z digs into the idea that young people should stop worrying about &quot;living large&quot; and instead plan for the future. He advocates buying and holding onto things that will increase in value.</p> <p>&quot;Financial freedom my only hope/F**k living rich and dying broke/I bought some artwork for one million/Two years later, that s**t worth two million/Few years later, that s**t worth eight million.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Control your image and products</h2> <p>It remains to be seen whether Jay-Z's purchase of streaming service Tidal will pay off in the long run, but the move did give him control over how his music &mdash; and its revenue &mdash; would be distributed. Jay-Z has released his latest album exclusively on Tidal, meaning that he will no longer be at the mercy of other competitors who may take a bigger cut of revenue. Jay-Z has noted that Tidal offers higher quality streaming than other services, making it more respectful of artists.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-jay-z&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Money%2520Lessons%2520We%2520Can%2520Learn%2520From%2520Jay-Z.jpg&amp;description=7%20Money%20Lessons%20We%20Can%20Learn%20From%20Jay-Z"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Money%20Lessons%20We%20Can%20Learn%20From%20Jay-Z.jpg" alt="7 Money Lessons We Can Learn From Jay-Z" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-jay-z">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-beyonc">7 Money Lessons We Can Learn From Beyoncé</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/what-fantasy-football-teaches-us-about-personal-finance">What Fantasy Football Teaches Us About Personal Finance</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/financial-lessons-from-its-a-wonderful-life">Financial Lessons From &quot;It&#039;s A Wonderful Life&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-money-management-tips-from-john-oliver">7 Best Money Management Tips From John Oliver</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-doing-these-5-things-your-saving-efforts-are-for-nothing">If You&#039;re Doing These 5 Things, Your Saving Efforts Are for Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Entertainment black-owned business credit financial lessons generational wealth hip-hop income diversification investing Jay-Z rap Tue, 25 Jul 2017 08:00:11 +0000 Tim Lemke 1989545 at http://www.wisebread.com The Financial Basics Every New Grad Should Know http://www.wisebread.com/the-financial-basics-every-new-grad-should-know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-financial-basics-every-new-grad-should-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/thoughtful_graduate_student_woman_looking_at_light_bulb.jpg" alt="Thoughtful graduate student woman looking at light bulb" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're a recent college grad, congratulations. As you settle into your first job, you'll probably have more money flowing through your life than ever before.</p> <p>Take a minute to think of your financial potential. Let's say your starting salary is $45,000. If you're 21 years old, earn a 3 percent raise each year, and work until you're 70, you will have made nearly $5 million by the time you retire! (To use your actual salary and change other assumptions, use <a href="https://www.calcxml.com/calculators/ins07" target="_blank">this lifetime earnings calculator</a>.)</p> <p>Here are seven ideas for making the most of your financial potential.</p> <h2>Plan to succeed</h2> <p>To be intentional about your use of money, you need a plan. That's right, you need a budget &mdash; or as I prefer to call it, a cash flow plan. Today, free tools such as Mint.com make the process relatively painless.</p> <p>There are three key activities involved in using a budget: planning, tracking, and adjusting. First, figure out how much of your income you need to allocate to housing, food, clothing, and all the rest of your expenses. Your income will determine how much you have for discretionary spending on, say, entertainment.</p> <p>Then, keep track of your expenses. You can jot them in a notebook or spreadsheet, or link a tool like Mint to your checking account and credit cards, so it can do much of the tracking for you.</p> <p>Don't be discouraged if you don't hit your numbers each and every month. Your assumptions may have been unrealistic. Plus, your goals and circumstances will change, so the amounts you allocate for various categories will need to be adjusted over time as well.</p> <h2>Put some away</h2> <p>The key to building wealth is to set aside a portion of every dollar you earn for saving and investing. There are two separate types of savings that are important.</p> <p>First, there's an emergency fund. In life, stuff happens. An important way to avoid going into debt for that stuff is to have some money set aside in savings. Financial advisers often recommend your emergency fund have enough to cover three to six months' worth of essential living expenses.</p> <p>But when you're just starting out, you probably have relatively few breakable moving parts in your life. For example, renting an apartment is less financially risky than owning a home. If that's you, having three months' worth of expenses in savings is probably enough.</p> <p>The second type of savings is for periodic expenses. These are expenses that occur every year, but not every month &mdash; things like a semiannual car insurance premium, end-of-year holiday gifts, or a vacation. Take the annual total of each of these items, divide by 12, and then put that much in savings each month. That way, when the expense comes due, you'll have the money already set aside.</p> <h2>Invest for your future</h2> <p>A little bit of money invested each month for a long time and at a decent rate of return will eventually turn into a lot of money you can use for retirement. Using our earlier assumptions (age 21, starting salary of $45,000, and a 3 percent annual raise), if you invest 10 percent of your salary (a good target) and generate an average annual return of 7 percent, by the time you're 70, you will have built a retirement nest egg of $2.7 million!</p> <p>Bottom line? If your employer offers a workplace retirement plan, such as a 401(k), sign up as soon as possible. And don't miss out on any matching money.</p> <h2>Keep your biggest expense under control</h2> <p>Aim to spend no more than 25 percent of your monthly gross income on housing &mdash; even better if you can keep it to no more than 20 percent. If you own, that's the combination of your mortgage, insurance, and property taxes. If you rent, that's the combination of your rent, insurance, and utilities.</p> <p>Keeping your housing costs within that range will give you the margin you need to save, invest, and enjoy financial peace of mind.</p> <h2>Avoid a car payment</h2> <p>Vehicles depreciate in value quickly, so avoid financing them. If you can't pay cash right away, see if you can go without a car, at least while you save up for one. That may be viable if you live in a city with good public transportation. If not, get the least expensive used car that's highly rated by Consumer Reports.</p> <p>You're not looking for something flashy. You're looking for a car you can pay off quickly and keep for a long time. By the time you need to replace it, the combination of your savings and the value you'll still be able to get when trading in your current car should enable you to afford a nicer car.</p> <h2>Choose your bank or credit union carefully</h2> <p>Too often, people choose where to open a checking account based on which bank has the best promotion. Once you go to the trouble of setting up online bill-pay with your utilities, insurance providers, and others, the hassle factor involved in changing banks goes up a lot. So, choose carefully.</p> <p>If you use an ATM frequently, you'll want a bank with lots of ATM locations. And you'll probably want a bank that doesn't charge a fee for a low balance.</p> <h2>Get a credit card</h2> <p>Having a credit card in your own name will help you start building a credit score, which is beneficial for everything from getting a job to paying the least for insurance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use Credit Cards to Improve Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <p>If you don't have a credit card already, see if you could get one through your bank. If not, a retailer may be more willing to approve you &mdash; but retail cards are notorious for having high interest rates, so make sure you pay off your bills quickly. If you still have trouble, look into getting a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-secured-credit-cards" target="_blank">secured card</a>. With a secured card, you'll have to put down a deposit, which will usually be equal to your credit limit.</p> <p>Just be sure to be responsible. That means using your credit card only for preplanned, budgeted expenses, recording any charges in your budget right away, and paying the balance on time and in full each month.</p> <p>If you take the steps and build the habits described above, you'll give yourself the best possible chance of making the most of your financial potential.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-financial-basics-every-new-grad-should-know&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%2520Financial%2520Basics%2520Every%2520New%2520Grad%2520Should%2520Know.jpg&amp;description=The%20Financial%20Basics%20Every%20New%20Grad%20Should%20Know"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%20Financial%20Basics%20Every%20New%20Grad%20Should%20Know.jpg" alt="The Financial Basics Every New Grad Should Know" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-financial-basics-every-new-grad-should-know">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-12-month-get-richer-plan">The 12-Month Get-Richer Plan</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-come-up-with-1000-in-the-next-30-days">How to Come Up With $1,000 in the Next 30 Days</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/is-paying-off-your-mortgage-early-costing-you-money">Is Paying Off Your Mortgage Early Costing You 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-manage-your-money-no-budgeting-required">How to Manage Your Money — No Budgeting Required</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/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance advice budgeting college graduates expenses financial planning grads investing money management retirement saving money tips Fri, 21 Jul 2017 08:00:11 +0000 Matt Bell 1988263 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Financial Differences Between Millennials and the Next Generation http://www.wisebread.com/7-financial-differences-between-millennials-and-the-next-generation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-financial-differences-between-millennials-and-the-next-generation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/group_of_friends_having_fun.jpg" alt="Group of friends having fun" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We hear a lot about millennials and their money, but what about the generation behind them? Members of Generation Z are now approaching adulthood, and have their own unique characteristics. They may also have their own unique attitudes toward money. How do millennials and Generation Z differ? The answer to those questions could have fascinating implications for our economy.</p> <h2>1. Generation Z may be more frugal</h2> <p>Members of Generation Z may only now be entering adulthood, but there are indications that they are more conservative with their money than previous generations. Perhaps it's because this generation has grown up at a time of unrest, from the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the aftermath, to the near collapse of the financial sector at the end of the last decade.</p> <p>The 2016 Annual State of Credit published by Experian noted that Generation Z has an average of 1.29 credit cards, compared to 2.02 for millennials. They also have about half as much debt overall, though it's worth noting that many are entering college age, when debt levels can soar.</p> <h2>2. Generation Z is totally cool with technology</h2> <p>Millennials are pretty tech-savvy, but Generation Z is the first generation that's never known a time without the internet. This means they should be entirely accepting of online banking and investing, using mobile payment apps, and similar innovations &mdash; though they will be cautious, due to their awareness of high-profile data breaches. Generation Z will also have no recollection of the tech bubble burst of the late 1990s, so they'll be perfectly comfortable investing in tech stocks.</p> <h2>3. Generation Z wants career stability</h2> <p>There is some evidence that members of Generation Z prefer to go after careers that are solid and pragmatic. The consulting firm Altitude reported that this generation may be less entrepreneurial and more focused on stability and earning enough money to avoid financial struggles.</p> <p>Another report from Bainbridge Consulting found that more than half Generation Z-ers feel like they need to get work experience as soon as possible in order to succeed. The broader economic implications of this risk aversion will be worth watching in the coming years.</p> <h2>4. Millennials may be less focused on retirement</h2> <p>Even though millennials are the older generation, it's Generation Z that may already be focused on retirement savings. One study from the Center for Generational Kinetics found that about 12 percent of Gen Z-ers already have some retirement savings. Another 35 percent said they expect to begin saving once they hit their 20s. Some of this may be influenced by parents who urged them to save; more than one out of every five people in Generation Z reported having savings accounts by age 10.</p> <h2>5. Millennials are more loyal to brands</h2> <p>Good luck trying to get a millennial to switch from an Apple to an Android phone, or vice versa. But those from Generation Z don't have the same kind of steadfast allegiance to products. A study by IBM said two-thirds of this young generation prefer high-quality products that last, and will do their homework to find the best value, regardless of brand.</p> <h2>6. Generation Z shops smarter</h2> <p>Because of their internet savvy, members of Generation Z know how to comparison shop and get information about products online. Research from MarketingProfs showed that more than half of people in Generation Z use YouTube and other social media sites to research products before they buy.</p> <h2>7. Generation Z is wary of student debt</h2> <p>About two-thirds of millennials say they have more than $10,000 in student loan debt. This reality has led Generation Z to be more thoughtful when examining the value of higher education. One survey by Adecco reported that 21 percent of Generation Z students said they were concerned about the price of tuition, compared to 13 percent for millennials. There are also indications that Generation Z is less inclined to go after a costly advanced degree.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-financial-differences-between-millennials-and-the-next-generation&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Financial%2520Differences%2520Between%2520Millennials%2520and%2520the%2520Next%2520Generation.jpg&amp;description=7%20Financial%20Differences%20Between%20Millennials%20and%20the%20Next%20Generation"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Financial%20Differences%20Between%20Millennials%20and%20the%20Next%20Generation.jpg" alt="7 Financial Differences Between Millennials and the Next Generation" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-financial-differences-between-millennials-and-the-next-generation">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-reasons-to-cut-millennials-some-slack-about-their-money">10 Reasons to Cut Millennials Some Slack About Their 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/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/15-personal-finance-rules-you-should-be-breaking">15 Personal Finance Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meditation-can-make-you-a-money-master">6 Ways Meditation Can Make You a Money Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance career goals generation z investing millennials retirement saving spending technology youth Mon, 17 Jul 2017 08:00:12 +0000 Tim Lemke 1982851 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Reasons to Cut Millennials Some Slack About Their Money http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-to-cut-millennials-some-slack-about-their-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-reasons-to-cut-millennials-some-slack-about-their-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bad_news_headlines.jpg" alt="Bad news headlines" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Millennials are getting beat up these days for their money habits. According to observers, people between the ages of 18 and 34 are financially irresponsible &mdash; one CEO even suggested they are spending too much money on <a href="http://time.com/money/4778942/avocados-millennials-home-buying/" target="_blank">pricey avocados</a> when they should be saving for a home.</p> <p>But these reports are unfair. There's a lot of evidence to suggest that from a financial standpoint, millennials may be facing unique challenges that older generations simply didn't deal with. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-millennials-are-better-with-money-than-you-are?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways Millennials Are Better With Money Than You Are</a>)</p> <p>Should we take it easy on millennials when it comes to their money habits? Perhaps, and here's why.</p> <h2>1. College is really expensive</h2> <p>We encourage young people to attend college, but according to Student Loan Hero, the average member of the class of 2016 graduated with more than $37,000 in student loan debt. Borrowers between the age of 20 and 30 spend an average of more than $350 a month to pay off these loans.</p> <p>This student debt is largely the result of rising college costs: Public school costs have risen 9 percent over the last four years, and private universities have risen 13 percent. A student attending a four-year private school now pays an average of $45,000 each year. While it's true that young adults should be aware of the cost of college when deciding if and where to attend, it's also clear that many are now handcuffed by their student loan burdens. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unique-ways-millennials-are-dealing-with-student-loan-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Unique Ways Millennials Are Dealing With Student Loan Debt</a>)</p> <h2>2. Wages haven't gone up</h2> <p>One of the biggest problems with the current economy is that it's been a long time since wages have gone up in real terms. In fact, there's evidence that wage growth has basically been stagnant since the 1970s, and any wage growth at all has been concentrated to the top earners.</p> <p>Anyone without a college degree has seen their wages decline, on average, in the last decade. It's easy to accuse millennials of making bad financial choices, but there's very little evidence they are rolling in the dough to begin with.</p> <h2>3. Housing is really costly</h2> <p>In many parts of the country &mdash; especially those with good job opportunities for millennials &mdash; it's nearly impossible to find an affordable house or apartment. A recent survey of 24,000 renters by ApartmentList.com found that millennials would have to wait more than a decade to save enough for a 20 percent down payment on a home in many markets. In some cities, including San Francisco and Austin, the wait is as much as 19 years.</p> <p>There are simply not enough affordable, entry-level homes available for millennials to buy, and with interest rates rising, the problem is only going to get worse.</p> <h2>4. Saving for retirement is mostly on them</h2> <p>If you're a baby boomer or even a GenXer, you might have worked for a company that offered generous pensions to its employees. For much of the 20th century, workers could find decent jobs at big companies and know they'd be getting a monthly check even after retirement.</p> <p>Nowadays, it's up to the individual to save for retirement, using a 401(k) plan (if they have access to one) or individual retirement accounts (IRAs). No doubt, you can generate a lot of wealth this way over time, but most of the savings will have to come from the worker, not the employer. And for many young people, setting money aside for retirement is an afterthought if they are also facing student loan debt and other expenses. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-millennials-should-do-today-to-prepare-for-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Things Millennials Should Do Today to Prepare for Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>5. They've lived through several market crashes</h2> <p>For millennials, the stock market and economy have done quite well during their time on Earth, but there were several big events that may have left them wary about investing.</p> <p>The stock market endured three straight years of bad losses from 2000 to 2002, due to the dot com bubble bursting and the terrorist attacks of September 11. The markets tumbled dramatically again in 2008 after the financial crisis. These events may have taken place during a millennials' formative years, and the headlines may have clouded their belief in the power of investing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-millennials-should-stop-being-afraid-of-the-stock-market?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Reasons Millennials Should Stop Being Afraid of the Stock Market</a>)</p> <h2>6. Many don't use credit cards at all</h2> <p>We often assume that millennials have a ton of credit cards. But according to one survey, millennials have fewer cards than most Americans. BankRate.com reported last year that only one-third of people under the age of 30 have a credit card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-millennials?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Millennials</a>)</p> <h2>7. Everybody is marketing to them</h2> <p>It's easy to say that millennials should be more frugal, but that's easier said than done when America's marketing dollars are bombarding that exact generation. Ask any advertiser what their coveted demographic is, and they'll likely tell you they deliberately target people between the ages of 18 and 34.</p> <p>On one hand, we want young people to be responsible with their money. On the other, we know that consumer spending by that same group is often a big driver of the American economy.</p> <h2>8. They are more generous than you think</h2> <p>It may be frustrating to see millennials with poor personal finance skills. But while they may not necessarily be smart with money, they are not as selfish as you might believe.</p> <p>Millennials basically invented the concept of crowdfunding, which has led to sites such as GoFundMe and others that have supported nonprofits. One survey from 2014 noted that 84 percent of millennials donated to a charity that year, and that they are more likely to give on their own accord rather than from a top-down, corporate-driven approach.</p> <h2>9. They grew up in a fairly prosperous era</h2> <p>People who grew up during the Great Depression learned the hard way about living frugally and making every penny stretch. Those who grew up during World War II remember making severe sacrifices. Even baby boomers remember the gas shortages and economic stagnancy of the 1970s.</p> <p>By contrast, millennials have grown up in a time of relative prosperity. Millennials have never been forced to learn how to save and invest as a matter of survival. Is it their fault that they grew up in relative comfort compared to older generations?</p> <h2>10. Luxury items are practically necessities</h2> <p>Older people like to accuse younger generations of spending money needlessly, but think of the expenses they have that did not exist even 20 years ago. Cellphones? Tough to get by without one these days. High-speed internet service? Yeah, that's almost as important as electricity. Millennials have considerable expenses each month that were once considered luxury items, but are now considered vital.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-reasons-to-cut-millennials-some-slack-about-their-money&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Reasons%2520to%2520Cut%2520Millennials%2520Some%2520Slack%2520About%2520Their%2520Money.jpg&amp;description=10%20Reasons%20to%20Cut%20Millennials%20Some%20Slack%20About%20Their%20Money"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Reasons%20to%20Cut%20Millennials%20Some%20Slack%20About%20Their%20Money.jpg" alt="10 Reasons to Cut Millennials Some Slack About Their Money" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-to-cut-millennials-some-slack-about-their-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/7-financial-differences-between-millennials-and-the-next-generation">7 Financial Differences Between Millennials and the Next Generation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-personal-finance-rules-you-should-be-breaking">15 Personal Finance Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/6-ways-meditation-can-make-you-a-money-master">6 Ways Meditation Can Make You a Money Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance baby boomer future generation x generations habits investing millennials retirement saving spending young adults Fri, 30 Jun 2017 08:00:08 +0000 Tim Lemke 1970114 at http://www.wisebread.com Are Your Emotions Costing You Money? Take This Quiz http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-emotions-costing-you-money-take-this-quiz <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-your-emotions-costing-you-money-take-this-quiz" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/pensive_young_woman_holding_empty_wallet_after_shopping.jpg" alt="Pensive young woman holding empty wallet after shopping" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Building a strong financial foundation for you and your family requires discipline. It requires patience. It requires a steady mindset. But even the best of us have found ourselves spending and making financial decisions based on emotions, whether that's retail therapy, or holding off on investing due to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-over-these-5-scary-things-about-investing?ref=internal" target="_blank">fear of the markets</a>. We've made decisions based on joy or comfort in the short term instead of satisfaction in the long run.</p> <p>Are you letting your emotions control your finances? Answer these questions to find out.</p> <h2>Do you spend money when you feel sad, happy, or stressed?</h2> <p>You had a bad day at work, so you go on a shopping spree for new shoes. You got a promotion, so you celebrate by taking friends out to eat at a fancy restaurant. You spend money as a reaction or antidote to whatever feelings you have at a given moment, and this makes it hard to save money at a healthy rate. You don't need to treat yourself to a costly reward every time you're happy or sad. This is an easy way to fall into a dangerous emotional spending cycle. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-the-treat-yourself-mindset?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The High Cost of the &quot;Treat Yourself&quot; Mindset</a>)</p> <h2>Have you held off on investing because you are afraid?</h2> <p>Fear is one of the most powerful emotions we have, and many people have never gotten started with retirement planning and investing because they are intimidated. They may find the whole process of investing to be overwhelming, or they may have a fear of asking a dumb question. Additionally, they may fear that their investments will lose money. In reality, it's best to channel fear into investing more, because not having enough money saved for retirement is a truly scary thought. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-steps-to-getting-started-in-the-stock-market-with-index-funds?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Steps to Getting Started in the Stock Market With Index Funds</a>)</p> <h2>Have you sold investments when you realized they lost value?</h2> <p>We've probably all found ourselves frustrated with certain investments that have tanked, and sold them at a loss. Of course, then we've kicked ourselves when we've seen those same investments rebound in short order. It's not a good practice to be emotional when investing; the most successful investors practice discipline, patience, and steadfastness over the course of many years.</p> <h2>Have you ever bought something out of jealousy?</h2> <p>One of your closest friends just bought a big house in a nice neighborhood. Another just bought a fancy car. It can seem like other people are making out better than you, but this is no excuse to spend irresponsibly. Keeping up with the joneses is a path to financial hardship if you spend simply because you feel left out or jealous.</p> <h2>Do you get excited about getting a tax return?</h2> <p>It's an often ignored fact that if you are getting a tax refund, you've been lending money to the government interest-free all year. Remember: This was your money that you should have had all along. And yet, most people get a rush of excitement from getting a tax return. What's worse, people often treat their tax return like an unexpected windfall, and spend it frivolously. The sound, unemotional approach to taxes is to adjust your withholding so that you don't get a return at all. In fact, even owing a small amount to the IRS is OK as long as you don't pay a penalty. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-im-spending-my-tax-refund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Smart Ways I'm Spending My Tax Refund</a>)</p> <h2>Have you ever sought a refund anticipation loan or payday loan?</h2> <p>The same psychology that governs the love of tax returns also applies to those who seek money before it's due to them. If you are seeking cash early, you may end up paying exorbitant fees or interest rates. A typical payday loan might have an annual interest rate of 400 percent, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-horrible-financial-products-you-should-avoid?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Six Horrible Financial Products You Should Avoid</a>)</p> <h2>Are you a habitual gambler?</h2> <p>Let's face it: Gambling can be exciting. It's a rush when you place a bet on some ponies and see your horse cross the finish line first. It's a thrill to see your ball land on your number. But gambling is ultimately an emotion-driven experience, and the excitement of winning can be addicting. Betting on a few hands of blackjack or the occasional football game won't kill you, but it's important to not let your emotions guide your betting habits. There's a long list of fine people who have ruined their financial lives through gambling.</p> <h2>Do you give a lot of money to children and other family members?</h2> <p>There's nothing wrong with being generous to those people who you care about most. But it's important to not let people take advantage of that generosity. Often, the decision to support a family member or friend is done not out of basic selflessness, but a feeling of obligation or guilt. It's important to not let your feeling of obligation to others outweigh your obligation to yourself.</p> <h2>Have you lost a job due to your temper?</h2> <p>Jobs can be frustrating. But if you've ever flown off the handle at work, you may be threatening your income and job security. While it's true that hiring managers look for workers with specific skill sets, they also want to make sure employees are able to get along with their colleagues. Workers who don't interact well with their peers, or respond poorly to criticism, often don't last long.</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/are-your-emotions-costing-you-money-take-this-quiz">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-biggest-lies-we-tell-ourselves-about-money">The 10 Biggest Lies We Tell Ourselves About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-personal-finance-rules-you-should-be-breaking">15 Personal Finance Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meditation-can-make-you-a-money-master">6 Ways Meditation Can Make You a Money Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-to-cut-millennials-some-slack-about-their-money">10 Reasons to Cut Millennials Some Slack About Their Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance debt emotional spending fear of markets gambling giving money impulse shopping indulging investing overspending saving spending Wed, 21 Jun 2017 08:00:16 +0000 Tim Lemke 1966173 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Lessons on How to Be a Financial Grownup From Bobbi Rebell http://www.wisebread.com/6-lessons-on-how-to-be-a-financial-grownup-from-bobbi-rebell <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-lessons-on-how-to-be-a-financial-grownup-from-bobbi-rebell" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_serious_successful_517011428.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to be a financial grownup" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Thanks to Toys 'R Us and its catchiest ad ever, I spent several years never wanting to grow up. Being a kid was easy, and being a grownup always seemed terrifying. It meant being financially responsible for everything and struggling to make ends meet while pursuing my goals.</p> <p>Luckily, every single person on this planet can relate to that fear, and they are all trying to make it on their own, as well. So when I read the new book by <a href="http://www.bobbirebell.com/" target="_blank">Bobbi Rebell</a>, award-winning TV anchor and former personal finance columnist at Reuters, entitled <em>How to Be a Financial Grownup</em>, I was immediately put at ease.</p> <p>Rebell's book is a compelling collection of stories from successful entrepreneurs and famous faces, detailing the moments they became financial grownups, and the wisdom they picked up along the way. Rebell brilliantly interweaves these powerful stories with her own expertise, and provides actionable steps to make your financial goals a reality. Here are the lessons on how to be a financial grownup that stuck with me the most.</p> <h2>1. Don't compare your path to others</h2> <p>The third chapter of <a href="http://amzn.to/2rRSEUK" target="_blank"><em>How to Be a Financial Grownup</em></a>, titled &quot;Careers Are for Making Money&quot; is my absolute favorite section of the book. Fashion designer Cynthia Rowley, Betterment CEO Jon Stein, Macy&rsquo;s Chairman and CEO Terry J. Lundgren, and others share their stories of how they made it big. All have extremely different paths to success, and some had significant bumps along the way. But you have your own unique background, which shapes your own unique goals. Follow them, and embrace the fact that you are putting yourself out there as someone new, hungry, and different from the rest.</p> <h2>2. Accept that failure is a given</h2> <p>You're going to fail. You're going to struggle. You're going to get burned. It's inevitable. And failure can come in many different forms, but none should deter you from chasing your goals. An extreme example of struggle is when Jim Cramer, host of <em>Mad Money</em>, shared his story with Rebell of being the target of multiple robberies while living in Los Angeles, and upon returning from a journalism assignment in San Diego, learned he was evicted from his L.A. apartment. Cramer was homeless, and his financial grownup moment came when he realized he never wanted to be that poor again. He switched from a career in journalism to finance.</p> <p>The good thing about human beings is our incredible ability to adapt to our surroundings. So when you're facing an epic financial or professional failure, you'll still be able to get some clarity, pick yourself up, and try again the next day.</p> <h2>3. Allow yourself to splurge on those lattes, sometimes</h2> <p>Rebell fully acknowledges that gourmet, pricey lattes should not be an everyday occurrence. We've heard a million times before that expensive coffee is the reason we're all broke, why we can't buy houses, etc. Luckily, Rebell finds a healthy balance between overspending on and abstaining from your morning beverage of choice. Her two exceptions to the &quot;never buy lattes&quot; rule are as follows:</p> <ul> <li>&quot;Buy coffee at a coffee shop if you're going there for social reasons. Meeting friends at a coffee shop is going to be a lot cheaper than going out for a meal.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>&quot;If you're using the coffee shop as an ad hoc office, by all means buy some coffee. Sitting at a coffee shop for a few hours to get some work done, or having a meeting, is a lot less expensive than paying rent on an office.&quot;</li> </ul> <p>See? It's all about balance and moderation. Being a financial grownup shouldn't mean setting restrictive limits on things you enjoy, so long as you don't overdo it.</p> <h2>4. Push bad debt out of your way</h2> <p>According to Rebell, bad debt &mdash; most commonly credit card debt and student loan debt &mdash; is what's standing in your way of becoming a financial grownup. You don't need all of your bad debt to be paid off to before you become a financial grownup, though. The first step to reaching financial maturity is acknowledging the obstacles in front of you. Then you come up with a strategy to defeat them, including reasonable goals that you can meet on a flexible timeline. This process will never be as simple as, &quot;Day 1: Add up bad debt, Day 2: Pay it all off,&quot; unless you stumble upon a pile of cash. But coming up with a realistic plan that works will be immensely rewarding.</p> <h2>5. Nurture your relationship with credit</h2> <p>The thing about credit is that it's not all bad. We all want to be careful about the way we spend money and manage bad debt, but credit is something to be built, embraced, and closely monitored. You need it, even if you'd rather avoid it altogether.</p> <p>This is something millennials should work on. NerdWallet found that about a third of people ages 18 to 34 have never applied for a credit card. While it's wise to have a healthy fear of how irresponsible spending with credit cards can ruin your life, you still need to build credit in order to eventually buy a car or house, and to do all the other things financial grownups do. Rebell suggests using only a small portion of the credit you have available, &quot;ideally about 10 percent, and really try to use no more than 30 percent.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Stop asking the wrong questions</h2> <p>When Rebell asked Kevin O'Leary, successful entrepreneur and star of <em>Shark Tank</em>, to share his financial grownup moment, he recalled a powerful conversation with his stepfather. O'Leary was in high school when his stepfather, George, asked him what he wanted to do with his life. O'Leary wanted to skip college and become a photographer. George told him that &quot;'to be or not to be' isn't the question. The question is: What are you willing to do in order to be what you want to be?&quot;</p> <p>That shift in mindset helped O'Leary realize he wasn't willing to make the sacrifices involved in becoming a photographer. He wanted to make money, and in his business ventures he has made lots of it. That financial freedom has, in turn, allowed him to take up photography in his free time.</p> <p>So when you think about each goal you set for yourself, you shouldn't be asking what you want, but rather, how you're going to get it, and strategize from there.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-lessons-on-how-to-be-a-financial-grownup-from-bobbi-rebell">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/read-ageproof-living-longer-without-running-out-of-money-or-breaking-a-hip-to-live-your-best-life">Read &quot;AgeProof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip&quot; to Live Your Best Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-money-lessons-to-take-from-the-great-depression">9 Money Lessons to Take From the Great Depression</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-money-saving-hacks-are-a-huge-waste-of-time">These 5 Money-Saving Hacks Are a Huge Waste of Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-38-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-celebrities">Flashback Friday: 38 Money Lessons We Can Learn From Celebrities</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-from-playbook-for-tough-times-thatll-help-you-live-your-best-life">5 Tips From &quot;Playbook For Tough Times&quot; That&#039;ll Help You Live Your Best Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting budgeting finances financial grownup financial success frugal living investing life lessons money lessons saving money Thu, 08 Jun 2017 08:30:18 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1962380 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Reasons Every Millennial Needs a Roth IRA http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-every-millennial-needs-a-roth-ira <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-reasons-every-millennial-needs-a-roth-ira" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/her_company_and_savings_are_growing.jpg" alt="Her company and savings are growing" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You're young. You're earning a bit of money. You know you need to start saving for retirement. So what's the easiest way to get started?</p> <p>One of the best vehicles for retirement savings for millennials is a Roth IRA, which is a type of account that offers a great selection of investment options and tax advantages. You contribute to a Roth with money that's <em>already </em>been subject to income tax, but when you withdraw it in retirement, everything you've earned in the fund is tax-free. In comparison, you don't pay tax on 401(k) or traditional IRA contributions until you take out the money in your later years. Both have benefits, but there are reasons you might particularly want to consider a Roth while you're young.</p> <p>It's easy to open a Roth IRA through most popular online brokerage firms, and you don't need a lot of money to get started. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-retirement-accounts-you-dont-need-a-ton-of-money-to-open?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Retirement Accounts You Don't Need a Ton of Money to Open</a>)</p> <p>Here are some reasons why a Roth IRA is an essential part of any millennial's investment plan.</p> <h2>1. You may not have a 401(k)</h2> <p>If you work for a company, you may be offered a 401(k) plan, which allows you to invest in a variety of mutual funds and deduct any contributions from your taxable income. In many cases, your company will match a portion of any contributions you make.</p> <p>But these days, an increasing number of millennials are performing a variety of contract or &quot;gig&quot; jobs, rather than working full-time with a single company. A Roth IRA is not tied to an employer, so anyone can invest as long as they have earned income. If you are earning income but don't have access to a 401(k) plan, a Roth IRA may be your next best option.</p> <h2>2. You have a 401(k), but it's lousy</h2> <p>If you have a 401(k), it's wise to take advantage of it, especially if your company offers a match. But be aware that your 401(k) plan may not offer a wide range of things to invest in, and there may be high fees. This is why many financial planners suggest contributing to a 401(k) up to the company match, and then placing any additional savings in a Roth IRA, which may offer lower costs and more investment choices.</p> <h2>3. There are some tax advantages over a 401(k)</h2> <p>The key feature of a Roth IRA is that any investment gains can be withdrawn tax-free anytime after age 59&frac12;. If you are a millennial, this is a big deal &mdash; because unless you're making big bucks already, there's a good chance you will be in a higher tax bracket when you are older. This tax advantage is in contrast to a traditional IRA or a 401(k) plan, in which the tax advantages come upfront.</p> <h2>4. You can use it to pay for education</h2> <p>Typically, if you withdraw from an IRA before age 59 &frac12;, you must pay a 10 percent penalty on the withdrawal, plus any income tax. But the one big exception involves qualified higher education expenses.</p> <p>If you use a Roth IRA to pay for education, and limit your withdrawal to your contributions but not your earnings, there are no penalties or taxes. If you do decide to include Roth earnings in your withdrawal, those funds will be subject to income tax. This is a helpful feature for millennials, who may consider going back to school. Parents can also use a Roth IRA to pay for educational expenses for their children. Keep in mind that money from a Roth IRA could impact financial aid calculations. And of course, any money taken out for college means less money in the account for retirement.</p> <h2>5. You can get cash quickly in an emergency</h2> <p>It's not the best idea to withdraw money from a retirement account, because you'll lose out on the potential investment gains from the cash you take out. But, you are permitted to take out <em>your contributions</em> from a Roth IRA without penalty at any time. This makes them potentially useful as emergency savings accounts.</p> <p>Just remember it's only the money you put into the account, not the gains, that can be taken out penalty-free. When you're young and not earning much, it helps to have funds that you can tap whenever a crisis arises. Just don't get in the habit of using a Roth IRA this way too often; the account is meant for long-term investment gains and will benefit you the most if you leave your money alone to grow. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/using-your-roth-ira-as-an-emergency-fund-ever-a-good-idea?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Using Your Roth IRA as an Emergency Fund &mdash; Ever a Good Idea?</a>)</p> <h2>6. You can keep contributing for as long as you want</h2> <p>If you are a millennial, it's impossible to know when you will retire. You may choose to retire at age 60, or keep working until you're 100. Thus, it makes sense to have an investment account that will let you contribute for as long as you want.</p> <p>One of the nice things about a Roth IRA is that you will not be forced to make withdrawals at any time. This is in contrast to traditional IRAs, which require you to begin pulling out money by age 70&frac12;. (This assumes, of course, that rules don't change between now and then.)</p> <p><em>(Editor's note: An eagle-eyed reader pointed out that any Roth earnings used to pay for education would be subject to income taxes. We've corrected the text to reflect that.)</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/6-reasons-every-millennial-needs-a-roth-ira">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/using-your-roth-ira-as-an-emergency-fund-ever-a-good-idea">Using Your Roth IRA as an Emergency Fund — Ever a Good Idea?</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-for-retirement-when-you-are-unemployed">How to Save for Retirement When You Are Unemployed</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-signs-your-retirement-is-on-track">8 Signs Your Retirement Is on Track</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-thing-will-get-you-to-1-million-tax-free">This One Thing Will Get You to $1 Million (Tax-Free!)</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-ways-to-get-the-most-from-your-employer-s-automated-retirement-plan">5 Ways to Get the Most From Your Employer’s Automated Retirement Plan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement 401(k) contributions emergency funds investing millennials Roth IRA self employed tax advantaged withdrawals Thu, 01 Jun 2017 09:00:11 +0000 Tim Lemke 1957901 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Biggest Ways Procrastination Hurts Your Finances http://www.wisebread.com/7-biggest-ways-procrastination-hurts-your-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-biggest-ways-procrastination-hurts-your-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-621987808.jpg" alt="Woman learning biggest ways procrastination hurts her finances" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Remember those days in college when you'd put off studying until the night before a big exam? You'd stay up all night, desperately trying to cram everything in at the last minute. If only you'd taken the time earlier, you'd have walked into your test rested, calm, and most importantly, prepared.</p> <p>Those bad habits can cost you a lot more in real life if you carry them into the way you handle money. Here are seven situations when procrastination really hurts your bottom line.</p> <h2>1. Investing: Your money has less time to grow</h2> <p>It's one of the basic rules of smart investing: Invest as early as you can and for as long as you can. Some of the most successful investors are those who had relatively modest incomes, but started investing young and stayed in the markets for decades. Compounding interest worked in their favor, and they enjoyed a sizable nest egg later in life. Even a delay of five to 10 years can make a significant difference in how much money you have by retirement. Quite simply, the more you procrastinate, the less money you'll have.</p> <h2>2. Saving: You continue to spend more than you earn</h2> <p>You're aware that you're spending more money than you're bringing in, but you tell yourself that you'll start cutting back after the holidays. The holidays come and go, so then you tell yourself you'll start saving after your big spring break trip. After spring break, you promise you'll start after your cousin's wedding in July. There's always some reason to put off saving, but the best time to start tightening your belt is right away. Devising an arbitrary future start date for financial prudence only means you're spending money you shouldn't in the interim.</p> <h2>3. Debt payoff: Your balances balloon</h2> <p>That credit card bill keeps getting bigger, and it comes on top of your student loans and car payments. You're getting crushed by debt, but it's so overwhelming you can't bring yourself to come up with a plan to tackle it. Every moment you wait to address your debt problem is a moment that allows that debt to grow. Devise a repayment strategy now, before your debt ruins you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Pay Off High Interest Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>4. Taxes: You might make a costly mistake</h2> <p>Tax Day seems so far away, but before you know it, it's the middle of April and you haven't even gotten started. You may think your taxes are simple, but rushing through the process increases your chances of forgetting income, missing out on deductions, or making a silly error.</p> <p>No one says you have to file your taxes immediately at the beginning of the year, but at least give yourself a few weeks to file your return carefully. A rush job could mean you pay too much, or you may end up with penalties due to mistakes.</p> <h2>5. Bills: You miss payment deadlines</h2> <p>There are consequences to paying bills late, usually in the form of fees and interest charges. If you're the type of person who doesn't even open a bill until it's nearly due, you're putting yourself at risk of extra expenses.</p> <p>Late fees and interest aren't merely one-time charges. Miss your payments by enough days and it can hurt your credit score, impacting your ability to borrow. It's best to pay bills right away when you get them &mdash; or put them on autopay &mdash; so they don't threaten your finances further. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-never-make-a-late-credit-card-payment?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Simple Ways to Never Make a Late Credit Card Payment</a>)</p> <h2>6. Job applications: You don't get that better-paying position</h2> <p>You found a job that you think you'll like, and it pays considerably more than your current one. But instead of applying right away, you wait. And wait. And wait. Before you know it, the position is filled. This is a total wasted opportunity.</p> <p>Yes, applying for a job, reworking your resume, writing cover letters, and going through interviews are all tedious and time-consuming. But when you're stuck sitting at your current gig, underpaid and unhappy, you'll really be kicking yourself for not putting in the work to get yourself unstuck.</p> <h2>7. Raises and promotions: You miss out for another year</h2> <p>It's hard to know the precise time to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-you-should-demand-a-raise" target="_blank">ask for a promotion or a raise</a>. Often, we wait until annual review season, but by then, personnel decisions may already have been made. The best thing is to approach the subject sooner rather than later. Your boss may not be in a position to respond right away, but you've planted the seed so they know your wishes.</p> <p>Besides, simply asking for a raise or promotion may force your employer to look more closely at your work, and hopefully recognize what you bring to the table each day. If you wait too long to ask, you may have to wait for an entire budget cycle to get another shot.</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/7-biggest-ways-procrastination-hurts-your-finances">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</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/are-your-emotions-costing-you-money-take-this-quiz">Are Your Emotions Costing You Money? Take This Quiz</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-easy-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund-from-0">7 Easy Ways to Build an Emergency Fund From $0</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance asking for raise bills debt investing jobs last minute procrastination promotions saving taxes Tue, 23 May 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Tim Lemke 1949205 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Let Outdated Money Advice Endanger Your Money http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-outdated-money-advice-endanger-your-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-let-outdated-money-advice-endanger-your-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-503170570.jpg" alt="Woman ignoring outdated money advice" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We've all received unsolicited financial advice, often from well-meaning relatives and friends. In many cases, this advice is useful. But a lot of &quot;classic&quot; personal finance advice simply hasn't aged well, and is now viewed as flawed. It's just not applicable anymore in today's world.</p> <p>Before you blindly accept any money advice you receive, be sure to do some additional research to find out if the advice is outdated. Here are nine examples of financial tips that may no longer apply.</p> <h2>&quot;Find a good employer and stay forever&quot;</h2> <p>Many of us know an older relative that began working at a company as a teenager and then retired from that same firm four decades later. Often, they walked away with a sizable pension and even health benefits for life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-lucky-enough-to-receive-a-pension-here-are-6-things-you-need-to-do?ref=seealso" target="_blank">If You're Lucky Enough to Receive a Pension, Here Are 6 Things You Need to Do</a>)</p> <p>This doesn't happen much anymore. Job security is not what it once was. A decline in labor unions means that guaranteed annual pay increases are a thing of the past. And a pension? Forget it.</p> <p>There's a lot of evidence now that switching jobs periodically will result in higher pay increases. And with the introduction of 401(k) plans, retirement savings are portable when your employer changes.</p> <h2>&quot;Pay off all of your debt as soon as you can&quot;</h2> <p>This is not so much &quot;bad&quot; advice, it's just less than ideal. Yes, it's a fine goal to remain as close to debt-free as possible, but in the current environment, carrying <em>some </em>kinds of low-interest debt may be more beneficial for you in the long run.</p> <p>Let's say you have a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and were fortunate enough to lock in a low 3.5 percent interest rate. Let's also say stock market returns are averaging 7 percent per year. Over time, you're going to be better off using any extra money you have to invest in stocks rather than pay off your loan early. Generally speaking, if your investment returns outpace current interest rates, there's not much incentive to pay off debt early.</p> <h2>&quot;Technology is a fad&quot;</h2> <p>There was a time when some of the most savvy investors dismissed many tech stocks because they didn't understand them. The bubble collapse of advertising-dependent dot-com companies in the late 1990s didn't help the image of this sector. But there's no denying the fact that investing in technology companies with solid business models has been a clear path to wealth in recent years.</p> <p>All you need to do is look at the incredible returns for companies like Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Facebook, and others. A full 15 percent of companies in the S&amp;P 500 are technology companies, and they comprise most of the companies traded on the NASDAQ.</p> <p>Tech stocks are still notoriously volatile, but if you ignore the sector completely, you're ignoring some big potential returns.</p> <h2>&quot;Max out your 401(k)&quot;</h2> <p>While there's still little question that you should take advantage of your employer's 401(k) plan, people aren't quite as eager anymore to recommend that you contribute the maximum amount allowed. That's because over time, we've learned that the investment options and fees in many plans are rather lousy.</p> <p>Now, the best advice is to contribute to your 401(k) up to the amount that is matched by your employer. After that, begin contributing as much as you can into a Roth IRA, which offers tax-free growth and a wide array of investment choices.</p> <h2>&quot;Education debt is good debt&quot;</h2> <p>Attending college isn't a bad thing, but don't be cavalier about the impact that student loan debt will have on your financial wellbeing. College costs are increasing, along with stories of students and new grads being weighed down by tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-pay-back-student-loans-faster?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Ways to Pay Back Student Loans Faster</a>)</p> <p>Carrying this debt can create a ripple effect that impacts your ability to save, purchase a home, or invest. And student loan debt can't be discharged in bankruptcy. Nowadays, any thought of borrowing for school should not be taken lightly.</p> <h2>&quot;Diversify your portfolio with a mix of stocks and bonds&quot;</h2> <p>Financial advisers have always emphasized diversification, but over time there's evidence that younger investors don't need to devote as much of their portfolio to fixed-income investments. Investing in bonds is useful for people who are nearing retirement age. But if you've got a long way to go before you stop working, you'll be best off with mostly stocks, which will offer much better returns and greater potential to meet your retirement goals.</p> <p>There is more risk and volatility associated with buying stocks, but a long time horizon will give you plenty of time to recoup any losses and then some (especially since people are living longer than ever). If you're not sure what stocks to invest in, pick a simple, low-cost index fund that mirrors the performance of the overall stock market.</p> <h2>&quot;Try to become a millionaire&quot;</h2> <p>There is an enormous amount of mystique surrounding the $1 million mark, and there's no question that saving that amount is something to be proud of. But a million dollars won't carry you as far as it once did. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-being-a-millionaire-is-overrated?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Reasons Being a Millionaire Is Overrated</a>)</p> <p>If you plan to retire at age 60, keep in mind that you need your nest egg to last for 30 years or more. Will $1 million allow you to maintain your lifestyle and pay for things like long-term care? It's certainly possible to retire with $1 million, but you may still have to live conservatively to make the money last.</p> <h2>&quot;Always buy instead of rent&quot;</h2> <p>Homeownership is a powerful thing. It allows you to build equity and get some possible tax breaks while also offering you a place to live. But we've learned in recent years that it's not for everyone.</p> <p>Home prices are sky high in many areas of the country, and having a mortgage payment that's too expensive can make it hard to save for the future or even live comfortably. Remember that just because you qualify for a loan of a certain size doesn't mean that's a sensible loan size for you.</p> <p>The best advice now is to purchase a home if you believe you can make a large down payment and then comfortably make monthly payments while still saving for other future needs. If you're not quite there yet, don't fret. Renting is OK as long as you're still saving, investing, and building your net worth in other ways.</p> <h2>&quot;Buy Coca-Cola stock&quot;</h2> <p>For decades, you'd often hear investors gloat about the consistent, predictably great returns from Coke. Heck, the great <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pieces-of-financial-wisdom-from-warren-buffett" target="_blank">Warren Buffett</a> owns a ton of shares and drinks several Cokes a day.</p> <p>It's still a good company, but anyone who bought Coca-Cola shares in recent years will have seen below-average market returns. Shares have risen just 18 percent in the last five years compared to nearly 70 percent for the S&amp;P 500. Quite simply, the company has had to work very hard to maintain profits in an age when people are increasingly concerned about the health impact of sugary drinks and snacks.</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/dont-let-outdated-money-advice-endanger-your-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-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/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/millennial-millionaires-how-the-brokest-generation-can-also-become-the-richest">Millennial Millionaires: How the Brokest Generation Can Also Become the Richest</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-online-forums-thatll-help-you-reach-your-financial-goals">9 Online Forums That&#039;ll Help You Reach Your Financial Goals</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/15-personal-finance-calculators-everyone-should-use">15 Personal Finance Calculators Everyone Should Use</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance 401(k) bad advice debt education investing pensions retirement saving money stocks student loans Fri, 19 May 2017 09:00:09 +0000 Tim Lemke 1948480 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Expensive Mistakes of the Newly Retired http://www.wisebread.com/9-expensive-mistakes-of-the-newly-retired <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-expensive-mistakes-of-the-newly-retired" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-172208749.jpg" alt="Finding expensive mistakes of the newly retired" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Transitioning to retired life on a fixed income will undoubtedly have a few bumps in the road. This is a brand-new chapter of life for you, and it's reasonable to expect some challenges ahead. The last thing you want to do, however, is compromise your nest egg with costly, easily avoidable mistakes. After all, you need that money to get you through the rest of your life.</p> <p>As such, consider these costly mistakes of the newly retired so you don't follow suit.</p> <h2>1. Not balancing your portfolio</h2> <p>Retiring doesn't mean you have to stop investing. You can still dabble in the stock market, but perhaps not as aggressively as you once did. Risky bets could cost you your life savings, which means that you'll either have to go back to work past age 65, or put your hat out on a street corner. Neither of those options sound great in the golden years of life, so it's important to ensure your retirement portfolio is balanced.</p> <p>&quot;Annuitizing a significant portion of one's retirement income can complement a portfolio of stocks and bonds,&quot; says Jim Poolman, executive director of the Indexed Annuity Leadership Council. &quot;Fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) can serve as part of a balanced financial plan because they do not directly participate in any stock or equity investments and [they] protect your principal from fluctuations in the market.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Not changing your lifestyle after retirement</h2> <p>Your spending habits as a retiree will need to change if you're going to make it for the long haul. This is especially true if you're not receiving any kind of monthly payments, like Social Security or disability, to help with bills. You can live off what you have in the bank (hopefully; otherwise you shouldn't be retiring yet), but you may have to downsize and rethink your spending strategy.</p> <p>This means you need to start learning how to save money on everyday expenses, and re-evaluate your budget to find places for cuts. Don't expect yourself to suddenly drop 30 percent or more of your spending. Work your way to it by making small cuts at a time before you retire.</p> <h2>3. Not evaluating risk</h2> <p>When you start saving for retirement, you may have a certain monetary goal in mind &mdash; either based on what financial sources have told you, or what you've calculated you'll need based on your lifestyle. But you may not be accounting for the ups and downs of Wall Street and inevitable inflation.</p> <p>&quot;Revisit your retirement plan to make sure your savings reflect your new needs, and adjust for market conditions,&quot; Poolman advises.</p> <h2>4. Spending too much money too soon</h2> <p>When you retire, what you have is what you have. Unless you still have income coming in somehow, you have to mind your money and avoid the temptation to spend it on splurges, especially if you find yourself bored in the first year of your forever vacation.</p> <p>&quot;Before finalizing your retirement, you must take into consideration that you will only be living on a fixed amount of money,&quot; Andrew Fiebert, co-founder of Listen Money Matters, says. &quot;Oftentimes the amount of retirement savings looks pretty large, but retirees must keep in mind that money will have to last a very long time &mdash; hopefully a very, very long time.&quot;</p> <p>The enticement to spend your money can be almost irresistible, but discipline is vital. Depleting your money beyond the interest that it earns will hurt the principal and leave you with nothing after just a few years.</p> <h2>5. Loaning money to adult children</h2> <p>I get it &mdash; you love your kids. But at what cost?</p> <p>According to a 2015 Pew Research Center poll, a whopping 61 percent of parents in the U.S. admitted to <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2015/05/21/5-helping-adult-children/" target="_blank">helping their adult children financially</a>. That may be well and good if you have that kind of disposable income lying around (though it only fortifies your children's reliance on you; learn to say NO!). However, if you already need to cut back because you didn't save enough to live an easy, breezy retirement &mdash; which applies to most Americans &mdash; providing handouts, the payback of which you may never see, could put you in a financial pickle.</p> <p>Don't be afraid to cut your grown children off. If you don't have the extra money, neither do they.</p> <h2>6. Taking Social Security benefits too early</h2> <p>The overriding argument against claiming Social Security benefits too early is that you won't receive your full benefit potential. That could come back to bite you later in life.</p> <p>If you decide to claim Social Security benefits before you reach your full retirement age, you'll receive a smaller monthly payout &mdash; up to 30 percent less. If you absolutely need that money before your benefits fully mature, then by all means do what you have to do to survive. You'll be better off, however, the longer you wait.</p> <h2>7. Not taking required minimum distributions after age 70-&frac12;</h2> <p>Starting at age 70-&frac12;, you must take required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your traditional, SEP, or SIMPLE IRA each year to satisfy rules set forth by the IRS. If you don't, you'll pay penalties.</p> <p>You can calculate your required RMD by dividing your IRA account balance as of Dec. 31 of the prior year by the applicable distribution or life expectancy. Qualified charitable distributions can satisfy your RMD, by the way, which you would report on Form 1099-R on the calendar year in which the distribution is made. Do good and save yourself the penalties while you're at it.</p> <h2>8. Falling victim to money scams</h2> <p>Scammers love retirees and the elderly. Why? Because they've usually got money to burn, and they're much easier to fool than the average working-age person. Sad, but true.</p> <p>There are plenty of scams out there, too, and they're getting more intricate all the time &mdash; like one where the scammer poses as the victim's grandchild and begs the grandparent to send money. To prevent yourself from being scammed, remember these two major rules: Never provide personal information over the phone or via email, and never wire any money unless you've spoken directly to your family member or friend who is requesting the transfer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-you-suspect-a-scam?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What to Do When You Suspect a Scam</a>)</p> <h2>9. Failing to account for the unexpected</h2> <p>The reality of retirement is that while you'll certainly have more time to kick back and relax, life isn't necessarily going to get easier &mdash; and you have to prepare for that. Everyone will die eventually, and it's smart to plan ahead not only for end-of-life accommodations, but also long-term medical care.</p> <p>You may live a long and healthy life, but eventually you'll need someone to care for you &mdash; whether that's in a family member's home or a professional facility &mdash; and that will cost money. Hedge your bets by looking ahead and putting those funds aside now. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-long-term-care-insurance-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is Long Term Care Insurance Worth It?</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-expensive-mistakes-of-the-newly-retired">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-its-time-to-retire">8 Signs It&#039;s Time to Retire</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-overcome-these-4-common-retirement-fears">How to Overcome These 4 Common Retirement Fears</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-face-these-7-scary-facts-about-retirement-saving">How to Face These 7 Scary Facts About Retirement Saving</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/three-of-the-toughest-decisions-youll-face-in-retirement">Three of the Toughest Decisions You&#039;ll Face in Retirement</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-things-financial-advisers-wish-you-knew-about-retirement">7 Things Financial Advisers Wish You Knew About Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement expenses investing loaning money long term care Mistakes newly retired required minimum distributions scams social security Wed, 10 May 2017 09:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1940416 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Money Moves to Make If Your Net Worth Is Negative http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-if-your-net-worth-is-negative <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-money-moves-to-make-if-your-net-worth-is-negative" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-546177782.jpg" alt="Woman making money moves when her net worth is negative" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the most illustrative financial figures to know is your total net worth. This is the value of all of your cash and assets, minus your debts. For many people, that figure is below zero.</p> <p>Building a high net worth should be the ultimate goal of anyone seeking financial freedom. If your net worth is less than zero, consider making these moves ASAP. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-increase-your-net-worth-this-year?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Ways to Increase Your Net Worth This Year</a>)</p> <h2>1. Reduce your spending</h2> <p>One of the most direct ways to end up with a negative net worth is to spend more than you earn. Cutting unnecessary expenditures is the first step in having a net positive income each month. This can mean some tough choices, like eliminating cable, eating out, and your annual vacation. It may also require more extreme measures, like getting by without a car.</p> <p>You can help yourself by tracking your spending meticulously in a budget so you know where money is going each month. Even if you think you are already living frugally, there's a chance you can find savings just by taking a closer look.</p> <h2>2. Pay off your high-interest debt</h2> <p>If your net worth is negative, it may be partially due to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">high interest credit card debt</a> and other loans. Interest can quickly pile up and eventually overwhelm your earnings, putting you in negative net worth territory. Tackling debt starting with the highest interest rate first is called the avalanche method, and this can save you a lot of money on interest payments in the long run. Sometimes, even paying off just one credit card can make a huge difference in your financial situation. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>3. Bring in more income</h2> <p>If you're crumbling under a mountain of debt and you don't have enough income to pay off the debt, you must find a way to bring in more money. Start by searching for higher paying jobs or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-you-should-demand-a-raise?ref=internal" target="_blank">asking for a raise</a> from your current employer. Consider starting a side hustle, small business, or taking an additional part-time job. It may also be worth exploring income-producing investments, such as dividend stocks or peer-to-peer lending. If you have a maniacal focus on earning more money, you will help yourself move from negative to positive in the net worth department.</p> <h2>4. Invest</h2> <p>Arguably the most important way to build net worth is through investing. If you are able to put even a small amount of your earnings into stocks or index funds that grow, you'll give your financial picture a boost over time. Obviously, investing in the stock market carries risks. But U.S. stocks have consistently risen in value over time, with long-term growth eventually surpassing losses during market crashes. The more you can invest, the better off you'll be, especially if you stay in the market for many years. You won't get rich overnight, but your overall net worth will eventually rise.</p> <h2>5. Set a financial goal</h2> <p>If you had enough money, what would you ultimately want to do with it? Would you want to buy a home? Start a family? Build a hefty retirement account? To increase your net worth, it helps to have a goal to motivate you to save. Ideally, your financial goal should be geared toward building a high net worth, not a one-time purchase like a car. Whether it's a down payment for a home, a comfortable retirement, or saving for college, your dreams can help keep you accountable.</p> <h2>6. Refinance your mortgage</h2> <p>Homeownership can be a great way to build net worth, but it can also be a drain on your finances if you have the wrong kind of mortgage. If your loan term is very long, or if you have a high-interest or interest-only loan, you may not be paying much toward the principal of the loan (or building any equity) for a while. And that could be a serious problem if you're having trouble making payments.</p> <p>If you find yourself in this situation, you may want to consider refinancing to a shorter term or lower interest rate. There's no sin in borrowing to buy a home, but ideally, homeowners should seek a fixed-rate mortgage with a relatively short loan term: 30 years is standard, but a 15-year mortgage offers you the ability to build equity &mdash; and thus your net worth &mdash; at a faster pace. Just be sure you can comfortably make the monthly payments.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-money-moves-to-make-if-your-net-worth-is-negative&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Money%2520Moves%2520to%2520Make%2520If%2520Your%2520Net%2520Worth%2520Is%2520Negative.jpg&amp;description=6%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20If%20Your%20Net%20Worth%20Is%20Negative"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20If%20Your%20Net%20Worth%20Is%20Negative.jpg" alt="6 Money Moves to Make If Your Net Worth Is Negative" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-if-your-net-worth-is-negative">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-need-to-know-the-difference-between-secured-and-unsecured-debts">Why You Need to Know the Difference Between Secured and Unsecured Debts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-personal-finance-rules-you-should-be-breaking">15 Personal Finance Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meditation-can-make-you-a-money-master">6 Ways Meditation Can Make You a Money Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-retire">12 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Retire</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management assets goals investing mortgages net worth refinancing saving spending stocks Wed, 10 May 2017 08:00:08 +0000 Tim Lemke 1941242 at http://www.wisebread.com