investing http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/285/all en-US 8 Ways to Preserve Your Net Worth in Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-preserve-your-net-worth-in-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-preserve-your-net-worth-in-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/reaching_their_savings_goals_with_smart_technology.jpg" alt="Reaching their savings goals with smart technology" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know the key to a comfortable retirement is amassing enough wealth to last your entire post-work life. But if you truly want to ensure financial security, you should work to maintain or even build upon your net worth as you age. This requires an aggressive level of saving when you are young, and a lot of discipline along the way &mdash; but it can be done.</p> <p>Let's examine some ways you cannot only make your retirement savings last, but also protect all of your net worth throughout your lifetime.</p> <h2>1. Budget and plan wisely</h2> <p>Retirees generally see their expenses decline as they age. The kids are out of the house, college is paid off, homes are owned free and clear. Don't get too cocky, though; you still need to ensure your expenses don't outpace your income. Continue working hard to live within your means. Keep budgets for most expenses, and develop savings plans for any big-ticket purchases. If you want to maintain your net worth, you can't allow your day-to-day cost of living to get out of hand.</p> <h2>2. Downsize</h2> <p>Do you need to live in such a large house? Do you really need two cars? You can reduce your day-to-day expenses and make your retirement funds last longer by simply scaling down your possessions. Considering selling some of your material items and converting them to cash for living expenses or for investing. Or, just donate them to charity and potentially get a tax break on donations.</p> <p>Even though the footprint of your life may be getting smaller, your net worth can actually increase under these circumstances because you may be converting physical assets (house, car, etc.) to investments that can rise in value and generate new income. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-need-to-downsize?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Reasons You Need to Downsize</a>)</p> <h2>3. Never spend your principal</h2> <p>In an ideal world, you are spending your retirement living off the gains and interest from your savings, not the savings itself. If you amass enough savings, that sum can by itself generate its own income in the form of interest, dividends, and capital gains, and it may be possible to live on that income alone. You need a lot of money saved to make this happen, but it's a wonderful feeling to know you are living comfortably without ever tapping into the bulk of your savings.</p> <h2>4. Avoid taking on new debt</h2> <p>You may be tempted in retirement to finally buy that beach house, that luxury car, or that set of his-and-hers personal watercraft. This is fine if these are things you saved for, but you can't let yourself go overboard. The last thing you want is to take on new debt that will add to your expenses at a time when your income is drastically reduced.</p> <p>Borrowing can lead to interest payments, which can lead to more debt, and then you're seeing your nest egg and net worth drop faster than you ever intended. Avoid debt &mdash; especially new debt &mdash; and you will be in much better shape financially as you age. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-youre-retiring-with-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What to Do If You're Retiring With Debt</a>)</p> <h2>5. File for Social Security as late as possible</h2> <p>Anyone can begin accepting Social Security benefits starting at age 62, but if you can wait until you're 67 (what the Social Security Administration considers full retirement age), you'll get 100 percent of your benefits. Accepting benefits before your full retirement age means you'll receive lower monthly payments, costing yourself thousands of dollars annually. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-boost-your-social-security-payout-before-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Smart Ways to Boost Your Social Security Payout Before Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>6. Continue to invest</h2> <p>It may seem counterintuitive to consider investing when you're looking to protect the income you have. But there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that it's OK to invest in stocks even as you get older. Why? Because people are living longer and are more likely to outlast their savings.</p> <p>Continuing to invest smartly in stocks can help you increase your savings and make it last longer. It's certainly wise to move most of your money into safer things like bonds and cash, but setting aside a certain portion for stocks could mean the difference between seeing your net worth shrink and watching it grow.</p> <h2>7. Pay as little tax as you can</h2> <p>Hopefully, you've used tax-advantaged accounts such as a 401(k) and Roth IRA to build your retirement savings. When you retire, you no longer have those vehicles at your disposal. But there are some things you can do to keep the government from taking too much. First, you can work to ensure that any income you have is taxed at as low a rate as possible. This means taking advantage of stock dividends and long-term capital gains, which are taxed at lower rates than normal income. It means purchasing tax-free municipal bonds. It means claiming as many deductions as you can on your taxes. Taxes are necessary to keep our society upright, but there's no reason to pay more than required.</p> <h2>8. Avoid bailing out relatives</h2> <p>This is not an argument against helping out your children or other loved ones with financial expenses. But it's important to be thoughtful about how you help and the impact it may have on your finances. Is the money you are giving to your adult child simply throwing good money after bad?</p> <p>If you are helping to take care of the grandkids, are you being reimbursed for the child care expenses (food, clothes, etc.) you are taking on? Remember that in order to make your retirement funds last, you can't be giving away your savings carelessly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-ruining-your-retirement-by-spoiling-your-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are You Ruining Your Retirement by Spoiling Your Kids?</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-preserve-your-net-worth-in-retirement">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/9-things-to-consider-before-retiring-to-a-tiny-home-or-rv">9 Things to Consider Before Retiring to a Tiny Home or RV</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-liabilities-that-will-ruin-your-net-worth">7 Liabilities That Will Ruin Your Net Worth</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-things-millennials-can-do-right-now-for-an-early-retirement">8 Things Millennials Can Do Right Now for an Early Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-myths-about-money-in-retirement">5 Myths About Money 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/how-to-plan-for-a-forced-early-retirement">How to Plan for a Forced Early Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement budgeting downsizing family giving money investing net worth retirees social security taxes Thu, 21 Jun 2018 08:01:16 +0000 Tim Lemke 2149185 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Pointless Fees That Are Sabotaging Your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/10-pointless-fees-that-are-sabotaging-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-pointless-fees-that-are-sabotaging-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/worried_woman_calculating_accountancy_reading_a_letter_0.jpg" alt="Worried woman calculating accountancy reading a letter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I read the word &quot;fee,&quot; what I see is, &quot;something you should have avoided paying.&quot; No one likes to pay fees, fines, service charges, or anything that sounds remotely like a penalty. While some fees are unavoidable &mdash; try taking a flight without paying the Passenger Civil Aviation Security Service Fee &mdash; there are plenty that you can sidestep by calling to complain, avoiding certain behaviors, or switching providers.</p> <p>Of course, to get out of a fee, first you have to know it was charged. Here are the especially pointless ones you need to watch out for.</p> <h2>1. Digital equipment rental fees</h2> <p>A friend recently replaced her internet provider's outdated modem with one she bought herself. When she called to let the company know, they removed a $20 monthly equipment rental fee she hadn't even known she was paying. She just saved $240 a year!</p> <h2>2. Bank fees</h2> <p>Banks love to tack on fees. One of the most insidious is the overdraft fee, which kicks in when a bank allows you to take more money out of your account than you actually have, then charges you for the &quot;privilege.&quot; The really devilish thing here is that if the bank doesn't cover the transaction &mdash; for instance, if you haven't opted in to the overdraft program &mdash; they will deny payment to the merchant and charge you a non-sufficient funds fee. Either way, you pay.</p> <p>Other sneaky bank fees are account maintenance fees, which might kick in if your account falls below a certain balance threshold, or check writing fees, which can crop up if you signed up for an account that typically allows only a small number of transactions per month.</p> <p>A few tips for avoiding bank fees: Use a credit card rather than a debit card to avoid accidental overdrafts. Keep an eye on your balance and know what checks are coming in. Keep a buffer of several hundred dollars in your account and set a text alert to let you know if your balance dips below it. Link your checking account to a savings account. Know the terms of your bank account.</p> <p>If you do see a fee on your bank account statement, call the bank. They may agree to fully or completely reverse the charge, and at the very least, they can let you know how to avoid the fee in the future &mdash; for example, by changing account types. If you find yourself getting hit with a lot of fees, consider changing banks or switching to a credit union. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-paying-these-6-unfair-banking-fees?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are You Paying These 6 Unfair Banking Fees?</a>)</p> <h2>3. ATM fees</h2> <p>The average fee for using a cash machine not run by your bank has hit an all-time high of $4.69, according to Bankrate. This may not seem like a big deal until you consider the percentages here. If you withdraw $40 from an out-of-network ATM and pay $4 for it, that's like giving away 10 percent of your hard-earned money just for the privilege of using the machine.</p> <p>To avoid this fee, always keep a little cash in your wallet in case of an emergency. If I find myself in a crunch, I stop at a grocery or drugstore and make a small purchase to get cash back. I'd rather pay $1 for a pack of gum with my cash than $4 for nothing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-make-sure-you-never-pay-an-atm-fee?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Make Sure You Never Pay an ATM Fee</a>)</p> <h2>4. Investment account fees</h2> <p>When you invest for retirement, you can expect to pay some fees, but plans and accounts with higher-than-average fees can sap your retirement income big time. There are the fees you can easily see: The average investment manager charges around 1 percent of your assets each year. But you may also be paying fees you don't know about, like load fees on the mutual funds your adviser is buying or excessive trading fees if your manager is moving your money around a lot.</p> <p>To avoid excessive investment fees, consider a low-cost platform such as Vanguard target date funds or a robo adviser. If you're stuck with your company's 401(k) plan, study the fees carefully and complain to human resources if they're too high. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/watch-out-for-these-5-sneaky-401k-fees?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Watch Out for These 5 Sneaky 401K Fees</a>)</p> <h2>5. Foreign transaction fees</h2> <p>If you go overseas, you may find yourself hit with foreign transaction fees both while using your credit card and while withdrawing cash. The only way to avoid this is to do your homework before you go. There are a lot of credit cards that advertise <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=internal" target="_blank">no foreign transaction fees</a> now, so if your card doesn't offer that perk, simply apply for one that does before your trip. Getting approved should only take a few days, and you can even pay extra for express shipping if you're leaving soon.</p> <p>If your bank account charges foreign transaction fees, that can be harder to change, because opening a new account takes paperwork and time. If you have more than one account, check with all of them. Last time I went overseas, I learned that my credit union account doesn't charge the fee, while my regular checking account did. So I simply used the credit union account to withdraw cash on my trip. You can also ask your bank if there is a different account type you can switch to that doesn't charge the fee. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-avoid-bank-fees-while-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Ways to Avoid Bank Fees While Traveling</a>)</p> <h2>6. Library fines</h2> <p>When my kids were little and liked to check out 10 picture books at a time from our local library, the books would end up mixed in with their personal libraries and I would forget we ever checked them out. We ended up running up so much money in fines that my library card was frozen.</p> <p>A better way to operate is to set a calendar reminder on your phone for the day before books are due. Keep the receipt handy, or consult your online library account, so that you have a list of all the books you checked out. If none of that works, you may have to do what I did: Institute a &quot;read them at the library only&quot; policy for library books.</p> <p>If you do let those fees add up, find out if your library has an amnesty or fee forgiveness day scheduled. Our local library sometimes forgives fines in exchange for donations to the food pantry. You can also let the library know if you have a financial hardship; as long as they get the books back, they may be willing to waive the fines. Finally, find out if your library offers fine-free cards for children.</p> <h2>7. Credit card fees</h2> <p>If you fail to make the minimum payment on your credit card, you will be charged not only interest, but also a late fee. While traveling last month, I missedpayments on two credit card accounts, each which only had a tiny amount of charges on them. For both, the fee was larger than the balance I'd failed to pay.</p> <p>To avoid this, always make at least the minimum payment each month. Not only will this avoid this month's fee, but it will demonstrate a good payment record which will help if you ever do slip up. Because I'd had a perfect on-time payment record before this, both credit cards forgave my late payments and reversed the fees. (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>8. Credit report fees</h2> <p>It's a good idea to check your credit report regularly for accounts you don't recognize, accounts sent to collections without your knowledge, or other problems that could prevent you from getting a loan in the future. But you generally don't need to pay for this. Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) all Americans are entitled to one free credit report a year from each bureau. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-read-a-credit-report?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Read a Credit Report</a>)</p> <h2>9. Money transfer fees</h2> <p>Sending money to family or even paying bills if you don't have a checking account can run up large fees, but it doesn't have to be that way. There are now tons of ways to send money with no fee or only a small fee, using PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay, or Square Cash. For PayPal, if you're not making a business transaction, make sure to choose the friends and family option so you're not charged a fee. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-modern-ways-to-send-money-to-your-kid?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Modern Ways to Send Money to Your Kid</a>)</p> <h2>10. Airline fees</h2> <p>We are in the era of a thousand airline fees, and it is annoying. Many of the so-called fees that airlines tack onto your bill are just price increases in disguise, while others are mandated by the government. But there are some that are often avoidable, such as phone booking fees, baggage fees, and ticket change fees.</p> <p>To avoid a phone fee, book online whenever possible. If you are booking an itinerary that can't be booked online, such as using miles on partners for some airlines, remind the phone agent that your transaction can't be done online and they probably won't charge you the fee.</p> <p>To avoid baggage fees, look into getting the airline's credit card; many offer a free checked bag and other privileges to cardholders. Another strategy is to bring a roll-aboard bag that fits within the airline's carry-on allowance. In my experience, passengers with these bags are often offered free checked baggage at the gate anyway. Finally, you can stick to airlines that don't charge a fee for the first bag or two, such as Southwest. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-save-on-baggage-fees?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways to Save On Baggage Fees</a>)</p> <p>Avoiding ticket change fees can be both the easiest and hardest. When your plans don't change, or if you book with Southwest, it's easy to avoid. If you made a mistake on your booking or if plans change, these can be impossible to avoid. The best you can do is to check and double check your reservation within the first 24 hours, before the airlines are allowed to charge a fee.</p> <p>Some airlines offer the chance to purchase a ticket with free changes for a higher cost. Naturally, on the flights when I paid extra for that privilege, my plans did not change. If your plans change unavoidably, you can try calling the airline or booking company to plead your case. If the change is due to a death, you'll be expected to produce the death certificate.</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%2F10-pointless-fees-that-are-sabotaging-your-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Pointless%2520Fees%2520That%2520Are%2520Sabotaging%2520Your%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=10%20Pointless%20Fees%20That%20Are%20Sabotaging%20Your%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Pointless%20Fees%20That%20Are%20Sabotaging%20Your%20Budget.jpg" alt="10 Pointless Fees That Are Sabotaging Your Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-pointless-fees-that-are-sabotaging-your-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/is-an-all-cash-diet-right-for-you">Is an All-Cash Diet Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-youre-still-stuck-in-a-financial-hole">8 Reasons You&#039;re Still Stuck in a Financial Hole</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-everyday-money-tasks-youve-been-doing-wrong">12 Everyday Money Tasks You&#039;ve Been Doing Wrong</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-monthly-bills-that-wont-affect-your-credit-score">6 Monthly Bills That Won&#039;t Affect Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everyones-using-spare-change-apps-are-they-really-worth-it">Everyone&#039;s Using Spare Change Apps — Are They Really Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting airline fees atms fees fines investing library fees money transfers overdraft fees penalties saving money Tue, 12 Jun 2018 09:00:30 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2146892 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Moves to Make When It's Too Hot to Go Outside http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-when-its-too-hot-to-go-outside <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-moves-to-make-when-its-too-hot-to-go-outside" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_with_heat_exhaustion.jpg" alt="Man with heat exhaustion" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The heat wave is coming &mdash; are you ready? For many, summer marks the start of vacation season, especially for kids or those who have several weeks off work. While it is good to take a much-needed break, don't get too lackadaisical when it comes to your bank account this season.</p> <p>Here are a few money moves you should make when it is too hot to do much else. You will be thankful later that you didn't take a vacation from managing your money wisely.</p> <h2>1. Comparison shop insurance plans</h2> <p>When you've had the same auto insurance and home insurance for over a year, you might be stuck in the mindset that you are paying the best price, especially if you shopped quotes the year previously. Recently, my husband and I thought we were getting the best price for our car insurance because it had been the cheapest option for us for the past six years, and we had racked up several discounts for being on the plan so long.</p> <p>However, replacing our paid-off SUV with a new van and having a minor accident the year before slowly made our rates creep up. I honestly didn't think another company could offer cheaper insurance, but a few quick searches online helped us find the same coverage for $500 less a year.</p> <p>Bottom line: Don't assume you are paying the best price for insurance just because your plan was the cheapest when you shopped for rates earlier. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-a-claim-will-impact-your-car-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How a Claim Will Impact Your Car Insurance</a>)</p> <h2>2. Put investing on autopilot</h2> <p>Don't want to think about investing on your summer break? Me neither. Investing is similar to exercising. Only a select few really love to partake and the rest of us know we must do it to remain (financially) healthy. Thankfully, you don't have to become an expert in the stock market to start investing your money. Instead, try these simple ways to put your investments on autopilot:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Start with setting up automatic deposits from your paycheck into your 401(k) through your employer. If you can set your account to increase your investment by 1 percent each year, you can grow your retirement fund without feeling the monetary sacrifice.</p> </li> <li> <p>Use an app like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-investing-today-acorns-lets-you-invest-your-change-while-you-shop?ref=internal" target="_blank">Acorns</a>, which rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and automatically invests your spare change.</p> </li> <li> <p>Set up automatic payments to investment accounts. Both Fidelity and Ally offer different online investment accounts where you can set up automatic transfers. While they might require a minimum amount to start the account (i.e. Ally's professionally-managed portfolio account requires $2,500 to open), you can set up small amounts of money to be transferred each week. Think about it. You really won't miss $10 to $20 a week, but setting up the transfer will equate to $520 to $1,040 invested each year.</p> </li> </ul> <p>(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-all-rookie-investors-should-ask?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Questions All Rookie Investors Should Ask</a>)</p> <h2>3. Declutter, sell, and donate</h2> <p>It may be too hot for a garage sale, but that doesn't mean you can't sell some unused items and free up space around the house. Make a game out of decluttering and tackle one small area of your air-conditioned home each day of the week. You can worry about your garage, basement, or attic in the cooler months. Make your decision quickly about what to keep, sell, and donate. Remember, anything you don't use regularly is taking up prime real estate in your home. Don't try to justify a need for it in the future.</p> <p>If the item is larger, such as a baby swing or chair, list it on Craigslist, OfferUp, or local Facebook selling groups. If the item is easy to ship and can make you more than $10, like designer jeans or an old iPad, list it on eBay. For eBay sales, I schedule postal pickups so that I don't have to deal with the heat and post office lines.</p> <p>If the item does not sell well locally or through eBay, schedule a donation pickup. Fill up a box of unwanted goods, schedule a pickup with a local second hand store, leave it on your porch, and save the donation slip for tax season. Finally, enjoy a large glass of lemonade in your decluttered home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-easy-ways-to-earn-more-on-ebay?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Easy Ways to Earn More on eBay</a>)</p> <h2>4. Review your credit reports and credit score</h2> <p>Plan to get your credit in tiptop shape this summer, especially if you hope to purchase a car, home, or open a new credit card in the near future. An excellent credit score will save you money on lower interest rates.</p> <p>First things first, order a free copy of your credit report through <a href="https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action" target="_blank">AnnualCreditReport.com</a>. You are entitled to three free copies &mdash; one each from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion &mdash; every year. Check the report for inaccuracies and make sure everything looks as expected. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-read-a-credit-report?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Read a Credit Report</a>)</p> <p>Next, order your credit score. You can purchase your FICO score from <a href="https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1150834&amp;u=255320&amp;m=41089&amp;urllink=&amp;afftrack=" target="_blank">myFICO</a> &mdash; it will run you about $19.95 a piece from each of the three credit bureaus. You can also get a good idea of what your score is through free sites like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame, or through <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-free-credit-scores?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit cards that offer free credit scores</a>.</p> <p>Note that these free scores often have their own metric for credit scoring, and that number may differ slightly from your official FICO score, which is what most lenders use when determining whether or not to approve you for credit. Still, a free score will give you a good ballpark estimate of where your score stands. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-worth-paying-for-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">I Checked My Credit Score in 11 Places &mdash; Here's What I Learned</a>)</p> <p>What I like about both Credit Karma and Credit Sesame is that they will show you which areas you need to improve to boost your score. For example, if your credit usage is too high, the site may recommend that you boost your score by paying off debt and/or increasing your credit limit, either by opening up a new card or asking for a limit increase. Of course, be aware that asking for a credit increase and opening up a new card can be reported as hard inquiries on your credit report, and too many hard inquiries can negatively affect your credit score. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-improve-your-credit-score-fast?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score Fast</a>)</p> <h2>5. Start your holiday savings fund</h2> <p>Even though Thanksgiving and Christmas are months away, they are coming, and they will be costly. Avoid the holiday debt trap or credit card hangover by saving way ahead of time. If you start in June, you have six months to build up a savings fund without the stress. Calculate how much you spent on Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa the year before, and use it as a guideline for how much you should save.</p> <p>For example, if the winter celebrations cost your family $1,000 between food shopping, decorations, presents, and outfits, divide that number by six and aim to save that much each month. It is much easier to save $167 each month for six months than to try and find an extra $1,000 in your budget between November and December. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-common-holiday-budget-pitfalls?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Avoid These 5 Common Holiday Budget Pitfalls</a>)</p> <p>Don't waste your summer months wishing you were on a beach somewhere or enviously looking at friends' and co-workers' vacation pictures. Instead, work on your finances with these easy steps so that you can be the one enjoying a debt-free vacation next year.</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%2F5-money-moves-to-make-when-its-too-hot-to-go-outside&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Money%2520Moves%2520to%2520Make%2520When%2520It%2527s%2520Too%2520Hot%2520to%2520Go%2520Outside.jpg&amp;description=5%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20When%20It's%20Too%20Hot%20to%20Go%20Outside"></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/u5180/5%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20When%20It%27s%20Too%20Hot%20to%20Go%20Outside.jpg" alt="5 Money Moves to Make When It's Too Hot to Go Outside" 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/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-when-its-too-hot-to-go-outside">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-money-moves-youre-never-too-old-to-make">9 Money Moves You&#039;re Never Too Old to Make</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-easy-money-moves-to-make-on-a-rainy-day">7 Easy Money Moves to Make on a Rainy Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-accomplishments-you-should-be-proud-of">5 Money Accomplishments You Should Be Proud Of</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/heres-why-you-shouldnt-freak-out-if-you-miss-a-payment-due-date">Here&#039;s Why You Shouldn&#039;t Freak Out If You Miss a Payment Due Date</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-fair-credit-reporting-act-protects-you">How the Fair Credit Reporting Act Protects You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance credit report credit score decluttering Holidays insurance investing money moves savings funds selling summer Mon, 21 May 2018 09:00:30 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 2140372 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Money Moves You're Never Too Old to Make http://www.wisebread.com/9-money-moves-youre-never-too-old-to-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-money-moves-youre-never-too-old-to-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/old_man_smile_to_you.jpg" alt="Old man smile to you" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We often assume as we get older that money matters become more simple, and in many cases, this is true. You may be done worrying about saving for the future, and may be free of many of the expenses you had when you were younger. But this doesn't mean you're too old to make financial decisions that will still benefit you.</p> <p>There are many money moves that you made when you were younger that still apply. Not all of these actions below will make sense for everyone. But age, by itself, shouldn't rule them out.</p> <h2>1. Buying a home</h2> <p>You may think that by a certain age, it makes no sense to purchase a home because you may not live long enough to pay it off in full. But there are some great financial advantages to homeownership, even for older people.</p> <p>For one thing, if you want your retirement nest egg to last, you are better off putting money into something that builds equity and may increase in value. That's money that can be used in the future for your long-term care, or passed on to your heirs. Some older citizens even fund their retirement using a reverse mortgage, which allows you to draw equity from your home to pay expenses.</p> <p>Additionally, when you own a home, you can make adjustments to the design and features to accommodate any health needs. For example, you could install a chairlift or add a bedroom on a lower floor so you won't have to go up steps. These are things you may not be able to do if you live in a rental property. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-benefits-of-carrying-a-mortgage-into-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Benefits of Carrying a Mortgage Into Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>2. Getting life insurance</h2> <p>Many older people don't bother with life insurance past a certain age, because the premiums do get more costly. But there are many cases where it makes sense.</p> <p>If you are still working and your spouse relies on that income, term life insurance can come in handy. You may also have some debt &mdash; mortgage debt, for example &mdash; and want to ensure there is enough money to pay it off if you pass away. Guaranteed Universal Life policies can be good for seniors who want to ensure there's money to pay for final expenses or estate taxes.</p> <p>There are many different insurance products; be sure to closely examine the costs and benefits of each to see if they make sense for your situation. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-kinds-of-insurance-every-retiree-should-consider?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Kinds of Insurance Every Retiree Should Consider</a>)</p> <h2>3. Shopping for health insurance</h2> <p>We assume that older Americans are simply covered by Medicare and that there's nothing more they need to know. But the reality is that Medicare doesn't cover everything, and it's often important to get supplemental insurance to protect yourself.</p> <p>You are never too old to shop around to find the lowest premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. No matter your age, it's smart to re-evaluate your insurance periodically to ensure you have the right coverage at the right cost. This is especially true if your health situation changes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sense-of-the-different-parts-of-medicare?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Make Sense of the Different Parts of Medicare</a>)</p> <h2>4. Investing</h2> <p>If you are retired, you may be of the mindset that you already have all the money you need to live comfortably. But are you sure this is true? People are living longer these days, and you can spend as much time in retirement as you did working. Thus, it may be necessary to continue to accumulate money as you get older.</p> <p>Even if you think stocks are not right for you at this stage of your life, continuing to buy bonds, real estate, and other investments can help bolster your nest egg and ensure that you can cover all of your life expenses as you age. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-invest-in-stocks-past-age-50?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Reasons to Invest in Stocks Past Age 50</a>)</p> <h2>5. Rebalancing your portfolio</h2> <p>At a certain age, you may feel like your investments don't need much baby-sitting. If you've shifted to a lot of fixed-income investments, it may be true that your portfolio doesn't need much maintenance. But that doesn't mean you should ignore it.</p> <p>Even the oldest investors need to check in to see if they are on track to hit their savings goals. All investment portfolios can get out of whack if they are not monitored properly. An older investor may find, for example, that stocks make up too much of a percentage of their portfolio and represent a risk if the market goes down. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/think-outside-the-index-when-you-rebalance-your-investment-portfolio?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Think Outside the Index When You Rebalance Your Investment Portfolio</a>)</p> <h2>6. Building an emergency fund</h2> <p>You may have accumulated enough money to retire on, but did you take into account the cost of a new roof for your home? Did you count on thousands of dollars in unreimbursed medical expenses? It helps to have a separate account to cover these types of expenses, separate from the money you use to cover everyday costs.</p> <p>If you are no longer working, you may still be able to fund your emergency account through income from stock dividends, interest, or capital gains. Just be sure you're not tapping into money you may need in the future for living expenses. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-still-need-an-emergency-fund-in-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Yes, You Still Need an Emergency Fund in Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>7. Crafting a will</h2> <p>You are certainly never too old to outline your final wishes. If you haven't done this yet, don't delay. A will offers family members guidance on how you want to spend your last days, freeing them from making difficult choices. You can assign an executor to help carry out your wishes, and a clearly written will can help avoid fights over how to divide your assets. Many families have been broken apart due to spats regarding their inheritance.</p> <p>It helps to have a will in place while you are still relatively young, but it's never too late to change a will as long as you are of sound mind. If you have a will already, it may be worth reviewing it periodically to make sure the information is accurate and up to date. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-you-need-to-update-your-will?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Times You Need to Update Your Will</a>)</p> <h2>8. Saving for college</h2> <p>You can go back to school at any age. But you can also save money for your children, grandchildren, or anyone else who you'd like to see get a degree.</p> <p>Most states offer college investment plans, known as 529 plans, that allow you to invest money for the purposes of education. You can designate a beneficiary of the funds and that money can be withdrawn tax-free as long as the money is used for qualifying education expenses. Depending on where you live, your contributions may also be tax deductible. The new tax law allows these funds to be used for K-12 schooling as well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a>)</p> <h2>9. Starting a business</h2> <p>If you have skills and knowledge built up over a long life, why not make it work for you? Who says retirement has to involve sitting at home and doing crossword puzzles? Maybe you can start a quilting business. Perhaps you can launch a new career investing in real estate. Heck, you can build your own tech startup. At this point in your life you probably have the money, time, and experience to give it a go.</p> <p>If you have your wits about you, you're never too old to start a new venture. Obviously, you need to be realistic about how much time and energy you want to devote to a new company, and you should avoid putting your retirement savings at risk. It's also important to have a clear succession plan in place to ensure the organization will keep running after you are gone. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-retirees-should-ask-before-starting-a-small-business?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Questions Retirees Should Ask Before Starting a Small Business</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"> <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%20Money%20Moves%20You%27re%20Never%20too%20Old%20to%20Make.jpg" alt="9 Money Moves You're Never too Old to Make" 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/9-money-moves-youre-never-too-old-to-make">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/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/8-money-moves-for-the-newly-independent">8 Money Moves for the Newly Independent</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-talk-to-mom-and-dad-about-their-money">How to Talk to Mom and Dad About Their 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/4-signs-your-emergency-fund-is-too-big">4 Signs Your Emergency Fund Is Too Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-you-need-to-update-your-will">6 Times You Need to Update Your Will</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance aging college savings emergency funds estate planning homeownership insurance investing money moves retirement small businesses wills Wed, 09 May 2018 09:00:13 +0000 Tim Lemke 2137657 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Signs Your Emergency Fund Is Too Big http://www.wisebread.com/4-signs-your-emergency-fund-is-too-big <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-signs-your-emergency-fund-is-too-big" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/huge_savings_in_the_piggy_bank.jpg" alt="Huge savings in the piggy bank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Financial experts have long advocated for the emergency fund: savings set aside to pay for life's unexpected emergencies. This financial cushion can also help cover your daily living expenses should you lose your job. But is it possible to save <em>too much </em>money in an emergency fund?</p> <p>Yes, if you could be using that extra money to invest, pay off high-interest debt, or boost your retirement savings.</p> <p>Here are a few signs that your emergency fund is too big, and that the money in it &mdash; at least some of it &mdash; would be better used elsewhere.</p> <h2>1. You have more than enough emergency savings to live off</h2> <p>Financial experts have long recommended having three to six months' worth of daily living expenses covered in an emergency fund. However, this is a general guideline, and you should tailor the specific amount to your unique life circumstances.</p> <p>If you're a high earner with a specialized job, for example, you may need a larger emergency savings. If you suddenly lost your job, it may take you longer to find a new position in your field, and your loss of income may be significant. Single people should also consider saving more. With only one source of income coming in, there is much less wiggle room in the budget to withstand a job loss or other financial emergency.</p> <p>Regardless of how much is in it, your emergency fund should have enough money so that you can pay your mortgage, car payment, phone bill, utilities, and any other daily expenses during a crisis without resorting to credit cards.</p> <p>To calculate if your emergency fund is too big, you'll first need a monthly budget that lists all of your expenses. Multiply that figure by six, or 12 if your situation calls for a larger emergency savings. If you have more than enough saved to live off for six months to a year, you can stop building the fund. Your additional dollars would better serve you elsewhere. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-emergency-fund-costing-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is Your Emergency Fund Costing You Money?</a>)</p> <h2>2. You're behind on your retirement savings</h2> <p>You might think having too much money in your emergency fund is far from a problem. But it could be if you are stowing money in an emergency fund at the expense of depositing it in a 401(k), IRA, or other retirement savings vehicle.</p> <p>You're supposed to save emergency fund dollars in a safe place. That usually means a savings account. The problem is, even the most generous savings accounts pay interest at just 1 percent, if not lower. The money you have in a savings account will grow much slower than it would invested in an IRA or mutual fund.</p> <p>Those extra thousands of dollars sitting in your emergency fund could instead be helping to build your nest egg. If you're behind on retirement savings, it might be time to take a closer look at your emergency fund. If you have more than the recommended amount of savings in it, start moving some of that money into retirement savings. (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>3. You're struggling with credit card debt</h2> <p>High-interest credit card debt is the worst kind of debt to have. It's not unusual for cards to come with interest rates of 17 percent or higher.</p> <p>If you carry a balance on your cards each month, and if you're only able to make minimum monthly payments, check in with your emergency fund. Any extra dollars in that fund beyond the recommended amount could instead be used to pay down your credit card debt faster. (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>4. You're a two-income household</h2> <p>Do both you and your spouse or live-in partner work full-time? You might not need as large of an emergency fund. If you lose your job, your household will still receive an injection of cash from your partner's salary.</p> <p>If you do have that extra salary, you might consider an emergency fund that has fewer months' worth of daily living expenses. Your partner's salary can act as a cushion while you use the dollars that you would have placed in your emergency fund to instead pay down credit card debt, boost your retirement savings, or invest. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-minute-finance-start-an-emergency-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Minute Finance: Start an Emergency Fund</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F4-signs-your-emergency-fund-is-too-big&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Signs%2520Your%2520Emergency%2520Fund%2520Is%2520Too%2520Big.jpg&amp;description=4%20Signs%20Your%20Emergency%20Fund%20Is%20Too%20Big"></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/u5180/4%20Signs%20Your%20Emergency%20Fund%20Is%20Too%20Big.jpg" alt="4 Signs Your Emergency Fund Is Too Big" 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/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-signs-your-emergency-fund-is-too-big">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/9-money-moves-youre-never-too-old-to-make">9 Money Moves You&#039;re Never Too Old to Make</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-financial-basics-every-new-grad-should-know">The Financial Basics Every New Grad Should Know</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/saving-goals-for-every-age">Saving Goals for Every Age</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-just-5-a-day-can-improve-your-financial-future">How Just $5 a Day Can Improve Your Financial Future</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-critical-money-mistakes-people-make-in-their-40s">7 Critical Money Mistakes People Make in Their 40s</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance debt repayment emergency funds investing retirement saving money too big two incomes Fri, 13 Apr 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2128968 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Build Your Financial Self Esteem http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-build-your-financial-self-esteem <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-build-your-financial-self-esteem" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/we_have_managed_our_budget_so_well_this_month.jpg" alt="We have managed our budget so well this month" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're struggling to make ends meet, or are crushed by debt, it's not a great feeling. It's easy to feel despondent when you can't seem to get ahead financially. But don't get discouraged! If you make the right choices, things will come together for you and your money. There are many small things you can do to make yourself feel better about your financial situation.</p> <p>Try a few of these ways to give your financial self esteem a boost. Positive things will snowball from there.</p> <h2>1. Pay off one credit card</h2> <p>You may be battling a giant monster of debt from credit cards, student loans, auto loans, and more. And you probably feel pretty cruddy about it all. But you can give yourself a little psychological boost by targeting <em>one </em>credit card and working to get that balance down to zero.</p> <p>Even if you pay off a credit card with a relatively low balance, it will make that debt pile seem a little less overwhelming. From a money-saving standpoint, it makes more sense to pay off the credit cards with the highest interest rates first. But those cards may have higher balances and take longer to pay down. Prioritizing paying off small-balance cards in full, otherwise known as the snowball method, gives you valuable momentum that encourages you to keep chipping away at other debts.</p> <p>Once you pay off that first credit card, stick it in a drawer and say, &quot;I'm done with you!&quot; You'll feel great and will be eager to tackle the next one. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-secrets-to-mastering-the-debt-snowball?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Secrets to Mastering the Debt Snowball</a>)</p> <h2>2. Buy some shares of stock and wait a few months</h2> <p>This one won't give you an immediate self esteem boost, but it will make you feel awesome if you are patient. Select a popular stock or common index fund and buy a few shares. The size of the investment does not matter here. A few hundred dollars invested will suffice. Leave the investments alone for about three months and check the price. In most cases, you will find that the investments have risen in value since you bought them. Congratulations! You just made money as an investor and you hardly had to do anything.</p> <p>Of course, this strategy can backfire if the market takes a dive, but if that happens, just hang in there and wait a few more months. You will be rewarded for your patience and will feel a lot better about your finances. And who knows? You may fall in love with investing and start on the path to making a ton of money in the markets. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-tell-if-a-stock-is-worth-buying?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Ways to Tell If a Stock is Worth Buying</a>)</p> <h2>3. Recognize that everyone has money troubles</h2> <p>I am not a big fan of schadenfreude &mdash; that is, the act of getting joy from the suffering of others &mdash; but you can feel a little bit better about your own financial problems when you realize that few people are free of money stress. Household debt is practically ubiquitous. Student loan debt is common. And no one feels like they have enough saved for retirement.</p> <p>I'm not suggesting you should feel comfortable with your bad finances, but there's no reason to beat yourself up too hard. If you have a plan to reduce debt, build your credit score, and boost your net worth over time, keep plugging away. You'll get there, and are probably doing better than you think. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-the-joneses?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Money Lessons You Can Learn From the Joneses</a>)</p> <h2>4. Score some extra income</h2> <p>You may be stuck in a job that doesn't pay great and you feel like you are struggling to make ends meet. You've cut expenses, but things still don't add up. This is where you need to find creative ways to make extra money.</p> <p>There are a variety of ways to make a few extra bucks on the side that can help add to your bottom line while also potentially opening up new opportunities. It may be a freelance writing project, some homemade jewelry to sell on Etsy, or even just an occasional pet sitting gig. Even a small extra paycheck &mdash; especially if it's from work you enjoy doing &mdash; can lift your spirits and make you feel a little more in control of your financial situation. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-best-side-jobs-for-fast-cash?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Best Side Jobs For Fast Cash</a>)</p> <h2>5. Walk right past your temptations</h2> <p>When I used to work in the city, I would pass a coffee shop on the way to my office. And I would frequently stop in for an overpriced Americano. I knew it was a waste of money &mdash; we had free coffee at my office! &mdash; but it was a habit. One day, I decided to challenge myself to keep on walking. I looked straight into the window of the coffee shop, but did not go in. I missed the caffeine pick-me-up, but also knew that I just saved myself $3.50. Over time, that $3.50 a day turned into hundreds of dollars saved. And I got an ego boost from staring temptation in the face and walking on.</p> <p>Successfully resisting temptation is hard, but it can feel so good over time, especially when you know you're giving yourself a financial boost. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys</a>)</p> <h2>6. Give some money away</h2> <p>This may seem counterintuitive. How can you give away money if you are struggling financially yourself? But donating money to a cause will make you feel better about yourself in general. It's also likely that the amount you give will make a big difference to the recipient and won't ultimately impact your own finances too much in the long run.</p> <p>This is not to say you should give away money carelessly, or constantly bail out friends or relatives. You still need to take care of you. But an occasional small donation can be great for the world and give you a little charge of self esteem. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-giving-to-charity-is-good-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways Giving to Charity Is Good for You</a>)</p> <h2>7. Get a better deal</h2> <p>Searching for bargains can be exhausting, but it can feel rewarding when you score a big one. It's a nice feeling to get $200 knocked off the price of a new refrigerator. You feel awesome when you find a gallon of milk for $1.19. And buy one, get two free on boxes of cereal? Score!</p> <p>If you can find a way to make searching for sales fun, you'll feel great when you succeed, and will feel even better knowing that your finances benefit as a result. There is one word of caution though, which is to remember that you're not really saving money if you're spending it on items you wouldn't otherwise be buying. So focus your bargain hunting on things you need. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-apps-and-extensions-find-online-deals-for-you-automatically?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These Apps and Extensions Find Online Deals for You &mdash; Automatically</a>)</p> <h2>8. Improve your credit score, even a little</h2> <p>Your credit score has an enormous impact on your finances, as it dictates how much you can borrow and at what interest rate. If you have a bad credit rating, you may feel like you're in a terrible spiral. Your credit rating is bad because of your finances, but you're having trouble improving your finances because of your credit rating.</p> <p>If you can stay focused on improving that credit rating, it will pay off. Focus hard on paying bills on time, every time. Reduce your overall debt load and don't use too much of your available credit. It will take time, but eventually you will see your credit rating creep up. Start by celebrating a 10-point increase. Throw a party when you get up above 600, and again when you're at 700. Every increase in credit rating should lift your spirits and motivate you to keep going. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-increase-your-credit-score-quickly?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Increase Your Credit Score Quickly</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-ways-to-build-your-financial-self-esteem&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Ways%2520to%2520Build%2520Your%2520Financial%2520Self%2520Esteem.jpg&amp;description=8%20Ways%20to%20Build%20Your%20Financial%20Self%20Esteem"></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/u5180/8%20Ways%20to%20Build%20Your%20Financial%20Self%20Esteem.jpg" alt="8 Ways to Build Your Financial Self Esteem" 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/8-ways-to-build-your-financial-self-esteem">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/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-2 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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rich-people-spend-350k-to-park-their-cars-heres-how-wed-spend-it-instead">Rich People Spend $350K+ to Park Their Cars — Here&#039;s How We&#039;d Spend it Instead</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-financial-perks-of-being-in-your-20s">The Financial Perks of Being in Your 20s</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-liabilities-that-will-ruin-your-net-worth">7 Liabilities That Will Ruin Your Net Worth</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance confidence credit score debt financial literacy investing saving money self esteem spending Mon, 09 Apr 2018 08:00:07 +0000 Tim Lemke 2124240 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Things Teens Can Do Now to Prepare for Financial Independence http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-teens-can-do-now-to-prepare-for-financial-independence <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-things-teens-can-do-now-to-prepare-for-financial-independence" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_business_woman_holding_money_dollar_bills.jpg" alt="Young business woman holding money dollar bills" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the past couple months, it's become abundantly clear that today's teens are tenacious and enterprising. Add in the fact that they are &quot;digital natives&quot; and have a firm grasp on social media and technology, and it seems as if there is very little teens cannot do if they put their minds to it.</p> <p>Unfortunately, there is one area where teens feel a little less optimistic: Money.</p> <p>According a 2013 survey by Junior Achievement, an organization dedicated to teaching kids about money, 25 percent of teens believe they will not be able to support themselves without the help of parents until they are between the ages of 25 and 27. In addition, only 59 percent of teens feel confident that they will be able to support themselves between the ages of 18 and 24.</p> <p>Some of this pessimism about future financial independence is a natural reaction to the relatively high unemployment rate among teens. But teens, with a little judicious help from Mom and Dad, can set themselves up for financial independence down the road. Here are a few things that every teen can do to prepare for financial independence in adulthood.</p> <h2>1. Set financial goals</h2> <p>One of the best ways to learn how to handle finances is through financial goal setting. Parents can help teens set realistic financial goals, such as saving up for a coveted iPhone, making a contribution to a college fund, or paying for the class trip. Teens can learn how empowering it is to create a written plan for achieving their financial goals and find ways to earn or save money toward those goals.</p> <p>Parents can help foster this ability by asking teens to pay for wanted purchases on their own, while showing them how to create and follow through on a plan. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget</a>)</p> <h2>2. Track spending</h2> <p>One of the biggest stumbling blocks in achieving financial independence is ignorance of where the money goes. Without financial awareness, it's very easy to spend your way through a great deal of money without ever realizing how much is slipping through your fingers. This is why it's important for teens to learn the habit of tracking their finances now.</p> <p>There are several ways that parents can help to encourage their teens to track their spending.</p> <ul> <ul> <li> <p>Make your teen's allowance conditional on tracking. According to former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, this was how the famously wealthy family handled allowances: &quot;All of us had to keep a record of where our money went. We were required to give 10 percent to charity, save 10 percent, and then account for how we spent or saved the other 80 percent.&quot;</p> </li> </ul> </ul> <ul> <li> <p>Make tracking a family affair. It's much easier to encourage your kids to join in on something they already see you do than ask them to start doing something that seems foreign to them. Include them in money tracking and find a way to make a game of it among the family. For instance, you could have a contest to see who can get their weekly or monthly tracking done first &mdash; which will have the added benefit of encouraging all of you to track your spending as it happens.</p> </li> </ul> <ul> <li> <p>Let them embrace financial technology. There are a number of apps and computer programs out there that will help your teen track money on the very device they are generally glued to. The best options for teens are systems like Mvelopes and YNAB, which both allow for manual tracking of cash transactions. Not only will manual tracking help get teens in the habit of always tracking their spending, but even young teens who depend solely on cash can use them.</p> </li> </ul> <p>(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-things-you-should-make-your-kids-pay-for?ref=seealso" target="_blank">21 Things You Should Make Your Kids Pay For</a>)</p> <h2>3. Open a Roth IRA</h2> <p>Any teen who has earned income &mdash; that is, who has earned money from a job &mdash; can contribute to a Roth IRA. The contribution limit is $5,500 per year, or the maximum amount the contributor earned from a job &mdash; whichever amount is lower. For instance, a teen who earns $2,500 per year flipping hamburgers on weekends can only contribute up to $2,500 into their IRA or Roth IRA.</p> <p>Getting started on a retirement account in your teens can make an enormous difference in your ability to retire. The magic of compound interest has more time to work if you start in your teens. In addition, getting in the habit of paying yourself (and your retirement account) first is an important aspect of achieving financial independence as an adult.</p> <p>Since few teens will be interested in setting aside every single paycheck for a Roth IRA, parents can encourage their teens to put money in the IRA by offering to match anything they set aside.</p> <h2>4. Start investing</h2> <p>While getting teens into the habit of putting money into retirement accounts is incredibly important, it's also vital for them to feel comfortable with investing in general. This will not only help them make smart decisions with the investments in their retirement accounts, but it is also an important way to build wealth.</p> <p>There are several ways to help your teens get involved in investing.</p> <ul> <li> <p>Encourage them to buy individual stocks that they find interesting. The stock market offers teens a chance to own a piece of the companies whose products they use every day. This makes investing feel more personal, and gives teens the opportunity to learn how their favorite brands are faring.</p> </li> </ul> <ul> <li> <p>Ask them to defend their purchases before they make them. Financial professional Lawrence Sprung told U.S. News &amp; World Report that he asked his 11-year-old son to defend his request to buy a particular stock. The article explains: &quot;When his 11-year-old son declared that he wanted to invest in Walt Disney Co, Sprung asked him to prove his case. His son noted how Disney was unrolling a new <em>Star Wars </em>enterprise, enlarging and redeveloping some of its parks, and that people from all over the world would head to Disney's parks whether the economy was good or bad.&quot;</p> </li> </ul> <ul> <li> <p>Create a teen-run family investment account to help your kids understand the importance of diversifying. Hold regular meetings to discuss how the holdings are doing and go over investment strategies. This will help teens feel perfectly at home with the ins and outs of investing.</p> </li> </ul> <p>(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-investing-lessons-you-must-teach-your-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Investing Lessons You Must Teach Your Kids</a>)</p> <h2>Make financial upkeep a habit</h2> <p>Teens can do a great deal to prepare for financial independence while still under their parents' roof. By getting into the habit of good money management &mdash; including setting goals, tracking spending, saving for the future, and investing &mdash; teens can be sure that they will reach financial independence and avoid the possibility of living in Mom's basement.</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%2F4-things-teens-can-do-now-to-prepare-for-financial-independence&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Things%2520Teens%2520Can%2520Do%2520Now%2520to%2520Prepare%2520for%2520Financial%2520Independence.jpg&amp;description=4%20Things%20Teens%20Can%20Do%20Now%20to%20Prepare%20for%20Financial%20Independence"></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/u5180/4%20Things%20Teens%20Can%20Do%20Now%20to%20Prepare%20for%20Financial%20Independence.jpg" alt="4 Things Teens Can Do Now to Prepare for Financial Independence" 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/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-teens-can-do-now-to-prepare-for-financial-independence">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/8-money-moves-for-the-newly-independent">8 Money Moves for the Newly Independent</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-build-your-financial-self-esteem">8 Ways to Build Your Financial Self Esteem</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-financial-gifts-to-give-your-kids-this-year">6 Smart Financial Gifts to Give Your Kids 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/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-adult-children-become-financially-independent">How to Help Your Adult Children Become Financially Independent</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance financial independence financial literacy investing kids Roth IRA teens tracking Tue, 03 Apr 2018 08:00:06 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2122919 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Financial Risks Worth Taking http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-risks-worth-taking <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-financial-risks-worth-taking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/each_diploma_is_a_lighted_match.jpg" alt="Each diploma is a lighted match" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>They say no big reward comes without risk. That can be a hard pill to swallow, especially when it comes to our money.</p> <p>Most of us would rather not put our hard earned cash at risk. With the tough economic times of 2008 in recent memory, people are still on edge when it comes to taking financial risks.</p> <p>On the other hand, leaving your cash in a savings account isn't going to get you ahead of the game. In order to be successful financially, you will eventually have to face some risk. In fact, being too complacent with your cash can be one of the biggest financial risks of all.</p> <p>Here are the financial risks that can be hugely beneficial.</p> <h2>1. Moving to a new city</h2> <p>Do you feel like your current location is lacking in career opportunities? Or perhaps rent is atrocious and you're finding it hard to get by? A move may be a solution.</p> <p>There's no doubt about it &mdash; moving is expensive. You may have to break a lease and sign a new one, complete with security deposit. You'll probably have to pay for a moving truck, movers, new furniture, and more. Not to mention, your new city could come with a much higher cost of living. But, for some people, moving could be well worth it.</p> <p>When I moved cities, even though I tried to make it as cheap as possible, I still incurred quite a few expenses. But financially and personally, it was worth it to me. My hometown is small with very few opportunities, so I knew I would have a better shot at earning a bigger income in a larger city. Fortunately, that turned out to be true. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-much-life-in-the-big-city-will-cost-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Much Life in the Big City Will Cost You</a>)</p> <h2>2. Investing in graduate school</h2> <p>Graduate school is a big investment, so it's important to weigh whether or not the expense is worth it in the long run. Tuition costs are ever increasing, books are expensive, and if you choose a full-time program, you are losing out on income you could have earned while working instead.</p> <p>While it is a big investment, a graduate degree can help you find a higher paying job with more opportunity for growth. And some high paying careers cannot be achieved without some sort of degree in higher education.</p> <p>Before you sign up for graduate school, take time to truly consider what you want to do and whether it will benefit you financially. Be sure to consider how you can market yourself, even without an advanced degree. While a graduate degree can certainly help in the job process, there are many other factors that determine whether or not you receive a job offer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-to-consider-before-paying-for-an-mba?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Things to Consider Before Paying for an MBA</a>)</p> <h2>3. Starting a business</h2> <p>Starting a business is outside many people's comfort zone. It can cost significant cash to start and to grow a business from scratch. There is also uncertainty in working for yourself if you've only ever worked with for a traditional 9-to-5 employer.</p> <p>But starting a business can come with many personal and financial benefits. For one, you keep all of your own profit. If the business is successful, you are the one who gets the big payout. For many people, owning and operating their own business is a personal and career preference as well. If you've been dreaming about starting your own business, develop a financial plan before you dive in head first. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/starting-your-dream-business-is-easier-than-you-think-heres-how?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Starting Your Dream Business Is Easier Than You Think &mdash; Here's How</a>)</p> <h2>4. Investing</h2> <p>The stock markets are full of ups and downs and uncertainty, but the payoff can be huge. Most, if not all, experts would agree that failing to invest is riskier than not investing. While leaving your money in a savings account might ensure it doesn't lose much value in the short term, it won't gain much value, either. In fact, due to inflation, you are likely to lose value over time.</p> <p>Investing thoughtfully, however, can give you the opportunity to grow your money at a much faster rate. Investing certainly isn't a get-rich-quick scheme, but overall, it can pay off big time with smart decisions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-risk-averse-can-get-into-the-stock-market?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How the Risk Averse Can Get Into the Stock Market</a>)</p> <h2>5. Buying a home</h2> <p>The housing market isn't necessarily as stable as it used to be, and a home is a major cost. But can it be worth the risk?</p> <p>There are many factors to consider when deciding if purchasing a home is worth the risk. You'll want to consider resale value, in the event that you need to move. Location, school district, quality of home, and neighborhood are all other important factors to consider. If you are planning to stay in a location long-term, a house may be a smart investment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-worst-reasons-not-to-buy-a-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Worst Reasons NOT to Buy a House</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-financial-risks-worth-taking&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Financial%2520Risks%2520Worth%2520Taking.jpg&amp;description=5%20Financial%20Risks%20Worth%20Taking"></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/u5180/5%20Financial%20Risks%20Worth%20Taking.jpg" alt="5 Financial Risks Worth Taking" 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/rachel-slifka">Rachel Slifka</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-risks-worth-taking">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/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far">6 Ways Millennials Have Changed Money (So Far)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th">It&#039;s the 21st Century — Why Is Your Money Stuck in the 20th?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/not-free-to-be-poor">Not free to be poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/9-money-moves-youre-never-too-old-to-make">9 Money Moves You&#039;re Never Too Old to Make</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle business ownership education entrepreneurship homeownership investing master's degree moving risks Spending Money Wed, 28 Mar 2018 10:00:07 +0000 Rachel Slifka 2111742 at http://www.wisebread.com Free "Digital Retirement Coach" Aims to Take Angst Out of Retirement Planning http://www.wisebread.com/free-digital-retirement-coach-aims-to-take-angst-out-of-retirement-planning <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/free-digital-retirement-coach-aims-to-take-angst-out-of-retirement-planning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_happy_laptop_623865198.jpg" alt="Couple working on retirement planning" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're like me, you dread thinking about retirement planning. But a new website from two nonprofit organizations, AARP and the Ad Council, incorporates a &quot;digital retirement coach&quot; that helps you get started with minimal pain.</p> <p>That's saying a lot. According to a survey commissioned by AARP and Ad Council, 45 percent of moderate-income Americans between 40 and 59 years old said they would prefer a visit to the dentist to a meeting with a financial adviser. The same survey found that 49 percent of people in that age group were not confident about retirement planning.</p> <p>To be sure, there are plenty of obstacles to retirement saving, including tight budgets and lack of financial confidence. Yet most of the 40- to 59-year-olds surveyed have already met significant financial challenges in their lives, including buying a car or a house, or paying off a student loan or mortgage. More than half have used money-saving strategies like coupon-clipping and comparison shopping.</p> <p>With that data in mind, AARP and the Ad Council created <a href="https://aceyourretirement.org/" target="_blank">AceYourRetirement.org</a>, a free website that takes a lot of complexity and stress out of retirement saving. That's also where you'll meet a chatbot named Avo, the site's digital retirement coach. But why a chatbot?</p> <p>&quot;People already feel overwhelmed or stressed when they think about their retirement savings,&quot; says Mary Liz Burns, the Strategy Director of Financial Resilience at AARP, &quot;and we wanted to create an empowering experience to help people get on track &mdash; they <em>can</em> do this! AceYourRetirement.org and our friendly digital coach, Avo are fun and accessible for everyone, and there is no judgement. As you use the site, you feel like you are simply texting with a friend.&quot;</p> <p>Here's what I found when I visited.</p> <h2>It doesn't look like other retirement planning websites</h2> <p>Here's a screenshot of my visit.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Avo_001.png" alt="" width="605" height="337" /></p> <p>It looks more like the interface on a smartphone chat or texting app than an accounting tool. There are no form fields to fill with personally identifiable information, or spreadsheets to download and save. There are no ads pitching retirement saving products (it was created by nonprofits, after all).</p> <p>After you click through a few introductory screens, a smiling chatbot named Avo blinks at you and begins to ask questions. Avo is a &quot;digital retirement coach&quot; that makes the whole process feel friendly and supportive. You answer its questions by typing a few words in the chat window or by selecting &quot;yes&quot; or &quot;no&quot; with a slider button.</p> <h2>It doesn't ask you for a bunch of financial details</h2> <p>Avo asks your age, when you plan to retire, whether you plan to work part-time once you do, and if you have kids. Only one question is tough &mdash; the percentage of income you're already setting aside for retirement, so you may want to get a handle on that before you start.</p> <p>After half a dozen or so similar questions, it returns with some advice. The questionnaire was much shorter than I expected it to be.</p> <h2>It gives you three action items when you're finished</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Avo_002.png" alt="" width="605" height="339" /></p> <p>Mine were:</p> <ul> <li>Get paid to wait.</li> <li>Picture yourself post-retirement.</li> <li>What's your number?</li> </ul> <p>With the action items, the website drops the chatbot and gets down to brass tacks.</p> <p>&quot;Get paid to wait&quot; advised me to delay taking Social Security to maximize my monthly payment. It also pointed me to additional tools where I can learn my full retirement age (according to the Social Security Administration), and how much I can expect to receive once I do take Social Security.</p> <p>Reading this is a little more involved than answering a chatbot's questions, but honestly, it still takes only 20 minutes max. The other two action items were more detailed and required more time &mdash; and financial details &mdash; before I could check them off my to-do list.</p> <h2>It's a cute face on top of a lot of retirement planning depth</h2> <p>Digging in on the other two action items meant reviewing my current savings and expenses to estimate my post-retirement needs and calculating how much I need to save to get there. These are the familiar calculations one finds at retirement planning websites across the internet.</p> <p>Presented here as a series of step-by-step tasks, the road ahead seems a little less daunting. That's not to say the required amount that I need to save isn't daunting &mdash; it is! &mdash; but with the website's help, at least I have a number to aim for.</p> <h2>The website sets me on the right path, but I have to follow through</h2> <p>With the savings goal in hand, I have an idea of the scope of the challenge ahead, but I still have a lot of work to do. I need to increase my savings to reach that number, and there is more to that than answering questions in chat and filling in calculator fields. I need to choose the right savings vehicles, prioritize some spending, and eliminate credit card debt once and for all.</p> <p>The resources included in the action items offer additional detail on how to accomplish some of these important tasks. It's still a lot of work, but at least with the provided guidance I'm more confident now that I know where to start.</p> <h2>Will Avo be a financial adviser in the future?</h2> <p>There is a lot of chatter in personal finance circles about using behavioral &quot;nudges&quot; to help people become better at money management, including retirement planning. Popular personal finance apps like Mint and Personal Capital make the task easier by eliminating a lot of the tedium through automation, and they make it more fun with user-friendly interfaces.</p> <p>Elsewhere, financial experts often encourage us to automate saving through direct deposit from our paychecks, and there's been a shift toward making 401(k) deductions &quot;opt-out&quot; rather than &quot;opt-in.&quot; When the deductions are done by default, we're much more likely to take advantage of them.</p> <p>Right now, Avo does a great job helping reluctant savers get over early resistance to retirement planning. Maybe one day, Avo will work in tandem with a financial robo-adviser tied to our investment accounts to give us with more in-depth financial planning.</p> <p>For now, give Avo a try and see if you don't feel more confident about retirement planning, too.</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%2Ffree-digital-retirement-coach-aims-to-take-angst-out-of-retirement-planning&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FFree%2520_Digital%2520Retirement%2520Coach_%2520Aims%2520to%2520Take%2520Angst%2520Out%2520of%2520Retirement%2520Planning.jpg&amp;description=Free%20%22Digital%20Retirement%20Coach%22%20Aims%20to%20Take%20Angst%20Out%20of%20Retirement%20Planning"></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/Free%20_Digital%20Retirement%20Coach_%20Aims%20to%20Take%20Angst%20Out%20of%20Retirement%20Planning.jpg" alt="Free &quot;Digital Retirement Coach&quot; Aims to Take Angst Out of Retirement Planning" 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/lars-peterson">Lars Peterson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-digital-retirement-coach-aims-to-take-angst-out-of-retirement-planning">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-why-you-cant-postpone-planning-for-your-retirement-and-how-to-start">This Is Why You Can&#039;t Postpone Planning for Your Retirement (And How to Start)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retirement-planning-steps-late-starters-must-make">7 Retirement Planning Steps Late Starters Must Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-boost-an-underperforming-401k">5 Simple Ways to Boost an Underperforming 401(k)</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/x-exciting-world-cities-you-can-afford-to-retire-in">4 Exciting World Cities You Can Afford to Retire In</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Retirement aarp ad council bots fintech investing retirement retirement calculator retirement planning saving Wed, 21 Mar 2018 14:01:05 +0000 Lars Peterson 2121988 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Liabilities That Will Ruin Your Net Worth http://www.wisebread.com/7-liabilities-that-will-ruin-your-net-worth <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-liabilities-that-will-ruin-your-net-worth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman_standing_upset_and_column_diagram_with_a_dollar_sign.jpg" alt="Businessman standing upset and column diagram with a dollar sign" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're passionate about personal finance, you know about the importance of building net worth. This means accumulating things that will grow in value, while reducing your liabilities. A person with no debt, a home that they own free and clear, and a sizable retirement account likely has a high net worth. A person with thousands of dollars in credit card debt, a burdensome mortgage, and no cash savings has a low or even negative net worth.</p> <p>Building net worth is about accumulating money and assets, but it's also about reducing liabilities. In short, it's about making sure debt isn't hurting your ability to achieve your financial goals. Here are some big liabilities that can hurt your chances to build a high net worth. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-if-your-net-worth-is-negative?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Money Moves to Make If Your Net Worth Is Negative</a>)</p> <h2>1. Credit card debt</h2> <p>Credit cards can be poison to those looking to generate wealth. Interest rates on credit cards are so high that it rarely makes sense to carry a heavy balance on them. The average household with credit card debt owes more than $15,000 on their cards. It's no wonder Americans are, in general, fairly lousy at building net worth.</p> <p>Having a lot of credit card debt can hurt your credit score, thus making it more expensive to borrow for mortgages and auto loans. This leads to a nasty spiral that virtually guarantees your liabilities will be larger than your assets. If you have credit card debt, start paying it off as soon as possible. Aggressively reduce your expenses, learn to invest rather than spend, and get out from under the pressure of those crippling cards. (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>2. Car loans</h2> <p>Many people live with car payments as a permanent part of their lives. Financing the purchase of a vehicle is a common practice, but is also an easy way to add to your liabilities while adding very little to your net worth (cars almost always decline in value).</p> <p>Vehicles aren't cheap, but if you can avoid making car payments over the course of several years, you'll be better off financially. Work to save toward the purchase of a vehicle so payments are minimal or nonexistent. Resist the urge to purchase a new car until the one you have is no longer viable. Avoiding several hundred dollars a month in car payments will free up cash to invest and accumulate assets rather than see your net worth stagnate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cutting-your-car-payment-is-easier-than-you-think?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Cutting Your Car Payment Is Easier Than You Think</a>)</p> <h2>3. Unpaid taxes</h2> <p>Yeah, taxes are a pain. No one really feels like paying them. But if you don't pay them, they turn into liabilities that can grow as a result of penalties and fines. Failure-to-file penalties only add to your tax bill, and keep increasing the longer you avoid paying.</p> <p>If you are employed, most of your taxes are taken from your paycheck, but you still may find that you owe some money on your tax return. Self-employed people must be extra diligent to ensure they are paying taxes on any income they receive. It's also important to make sure you are paying proper real estate taxes on your home, as well as taxes for income gained from your investments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tax-return-mistakes-even-smart-people-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Tax Return Mistakes Even Smart People Make</a>)</p> <h2>4. Medical bills</h2> <p>There will come a time when you or a family member gets hurt or injured. The expense of hospital stays, surgeries, or ongoing care can be devastating. It's driven many families into bankruptcy and can crush any attempts to boost your net worth.</p> <p>It may not be possible to avoid medical emergencies, but you can protect yourself by being properly insured. If your employer subsidizes the cost of health insurance, take advantage. If you are self-employed, seek to find a reasonably priced plan through a state or federal health exchange. Insurance isn't always cheap, but it will prevent you from taking on costly medical bills that destroy your financial well-being. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-a-massive-medical-bill?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Handle a Massive Medical Bill</a>)</p> <h2>5. Student loan debt</h2> <p>We often view student loans as investments in our financial future because an education can help us earn more in our career. But until they are paid off, student loans are only liabilities. If you are still in school, you have some time before you have to start making payments; but once you graduate, those loans can become awfully burdensome. Heavy student loans can force you to take on additional debt just to make ends meet, in turn sinking your net worth even further.</p> <p>To avoid this, it's important for you and your family to save as much money for college as possible in advance. Take cost and value into consideration when making your college choice, and think about getting a job while in school to help pay for tuition. This may require some tough choices, but avoiding student loan debt will help you get on track for building your net worth much sooner. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-to-ask-before-taking-out-student-loans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Questions to Ask Before Taking Out Student Loans</a>)</p> <h2>6. Your mortgage</h2> <p>Owning a home can be a great way to build your net worth, but that may not be the case if you have a bad mortgage. If your payments are so high that you are unable to save money and invest, it's preventing you from boosting your net worth in other ways.</p> <p>Borrowing money to buy a home is perfectly normal and has helped countless people get on the path to financial freedom. But it's important to have a mortgage that helps you more than hurts you. Put as much money down as you can so the loan itself is not too large. Get a loan with a low, fixed interest rate with a relatively short term (30-year mortgages are OK, 15-year mortgages are even better).</p> <p>When you begin paying off your mortgage, you may not be paying off much of the principal of the loan at first. But soon, you'll be making a good dent and building real equity. And that's the path to building net worth. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-paying-too-much-for-your-mortgage?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Signs You're Paying Too Much for Your Mortgage</a>)</p> <h2>7. Home equity loans</h2> <p>It's not uncommon for people to borrow money from the equity of their home to pay for major expenses. There are a variety of reasons why this may make sense. But it's important to be careful when doing this. When you are borrowing from your home equity, you are essentially turning an asset &mdash; the equity of your home &mdash; into a liability. In essence, you are taking away something that adds to your net worth.</p> <p>In the long run, borrowing from home equity can help build wealth if you make the right financial choices. For example, you could use money from the equity of your home to make repairs or expand the home, thus boosting its value. And when interest rates are low and market returns are high, it may make sense to borrow for major purchases and use your available cash to invest instead. Just be sure to weigh the risks and rewards before borrowing heavily against the equity in your home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-smartest-ways-to-use-a-home-equity-loan?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Smartest Ways to Use a Home-Equity Loan</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-liabilities-that-will-ruin-your-net-worth&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Liabilities%2520That%2520Will%2520Ruin%2520Your%2520Net%2520Worth.jpg&amp;description=7%20Liabilities%20That%20Will%20Ruin%20Your%20Net%20Worth"></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%20Liabilities%20That%20Will%20Ruin%20Your%20Net%20Worth.jpg" alt="7 Liabilities That Will Ruin Your Net Worth" 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-liabilities-that-will-ruin-your-net-worth">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-your-net-worth-even-matter">Does Your Net Worth Even Matter?</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-biggest-ways-procrastination-hurts-your-finances">7 Biggest Ways Procrastination Hurts Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund-from-0">7 Easy Ways to Build an Emergency Fund From $0</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/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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance assets bills borrowing debt income investing liabilities loans net worth saving money taxes Thu, 15 Mar 2018 09:30:17 +0000 Tim Lemke 2114611 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Factors That Could Keep You Broke Forever http://www.wisebread.com/8-factors-that-could-keep-you-broke-forever <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-factors-that-could-keep-you-broke-forever" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sad_woman_showing_her_wallet_with_money.jpg" alt="Sad woman showing her wallet with money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you are perpetually penniless, you may feel that's just the hand you've been dealt when it comes to money.</p> <p>The truth is, no one has to live their life permanently broke. And many people don't simply end up in the red due to poor luck. If you want to reach true financial security, you'll need to take a good, hard look at your money habits and identify the culprits of your struggling finances.</p> <p>Here are some reasons you could stay broke forever.</p> <h2>1. You would rather look rich than be rich</h2> <p>One thing that keeps many people broke is spending money &mdash; and even taking on debt &mdash; to look like they are doing well. You want to drive a nice car and live in a nice house so that everyone will think you're successful, even though maintaining appearances is keeping you broke. It's an easy trap to fall into, and it's a vicious cycle to try and break free from.</p> <p>Instead of spending your time worrying what your neighbors and friends on Facebook think, focus your energy on getting back on your feet. If you stop spending money to look rich, you can actually be rich someday. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-the-joneses?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Money Lessons You Can Learn From the Joneses</a>)</p> <h2>2. You are not keeping track</h2> <p>You may feel that since you don't have any money, there's no point in keeping track of it. The reality is, no matter how much money you make, you need a budget. Operating without one can keep you in the red. If you don't have a way to oversee and manage your spending so that you have more money coming in than going out, you will be broke forever.</p> <p>Start a budget today so you can understand how much money you have to work with and what you're spending it on. Use your findings to make more mindful choices about your expenses and spending habits. While you're at it, be sure to add a column for &quot;savings,&quot; too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-using-these-5-excuses-not-to-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Stop Using These 5 Excuses Not to Budget</a>)</p> <h2>3. You wait to start investing</h2> <p>When you are broke, you don't feel you have any &quot;extra&quot; money to send to nonessential things like investing. But investing <em>is</em> an essential. Instead of waiting until your finances get better to take a dip into the markets, you should really be making an effort ASAP. The longer you wait to invest, the longer it will take you to build wealth and reach financial independence.</p> <p>You don't need to be wealthy to start. Invest now with whatever money you can come up with. Even a few dollars per day can make a huge difference. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-just-5-a-day-can-improve-your-financial-future?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Just $5 a Day Can Improve Your Financial Future</a>)</p> <h2>4. You don't have a plan for getting ahead</h2> <p>If you are broke, something needs to change to make you un-broke. Making a real change requires more than simply <em>hoping</em> that things will change. You need to form a plan, followed by action to execute your plan and meet your goals. If you don't have a plan to improve your financial situation, you will never get ahead.</p> <p>There's no reason to overwhelm yourself. Start small; plan on paying off your smallest credit card using the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-secrets-to-mastering-the-debt-snowball?ref=internal" target="_blank">debt snowball</a> method, and take steps to make it happen. You'd be surprised how great it will feel to achieve even a small financial goal, and you'll be inspired to tackle the next one.</p> <h2>5. You have given up</h2> <p>When your financial outlook is bleak, it's easy to get discouraged. But if you accept the state of being broke as your permanent reality and stop working to change things, you will probably stay broke.</p> <p>Find inspiration from people who have managed to pull themselves out of bad financial situations. Read blogs, subscribe to newsletters, and listen to podcasts about debt repayment. Hearing about other people's success will inspire you to achieve your own financial freedom. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-inspiring-couple-paid-off-48000-in-25-years?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How One Inspiring Couple Paid Off $48,000 in 2.5 Years</a>)</p> <h2>6. You are addicted to debt</h2> <p>No money? No problem! You can still get almost anything you want just by swiping your card and signing your name on the dotted line. Does this sound familiar? If so, those credit card payments may be keeping you broke. If you continue using credit instead of money you actually have to buy things, interest payments will bury you. You will never get ahead financially.</p> <p>Change your focus from accumulating things to accumulating wealth. Start by paying down your credit card accounts and resolving to make new purchases with cash. (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>7. Lifestyle inflation is eating up your raises</h2> <p>Your annual raise can easily evaporate due to lifestyle inflation. Those extra dollars in your paycheck disappear from your account only to go toward more TV channels, a bigger house or apartment, a nicer car, a lavish vacation, and better food. The problem here is that once you upgrade your lifestyle, you don't want to go back. Your newer, &quot;nicer&quot; things become your new normal. But if your expenses keep ratcheting up as fast (or faster) than your income, you'll stay broke forever.</p> <p>The key to battling lifestyle inflation is to recognize what is happening and prevent those little upgrades from sneaking in. If you get a pay raise, don't automatically set off on an online shopping spree; instead, send the extra dollars into an emergency fund, retirement account, or toward debt repayment. You'll be glad you did. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-nice-thing-can-ruin-your-whole-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How One Nice Thing Can Ruin Your Whole Budget</a>)</p> <h2>8. You are piling up deferred expenses</h2> <p>I once lived in an old farmhouse that I was fixing up. I had a long list of upgrades and repairs that I needed to do as soon as I got some money. Eventually, I realized that those deferred expenses were keeping me broke &mdash; so I sold the farm. Your list of deferred expenses may look different from mine &mdash; maybe it's never-ending home improvement projects, or things you are waiting to buy for your hobby &mdash; but they are keeping your money tied up nonetheless.</p> <p>Take a hard look at the deferred expenses that are standing in line waiting to take your money. Can you eliminate the root cause of these expenses and free up future dollars? Doing so just may be your ticket to financial freedom. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-commandments-of-reaching-financial-freedom?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 10 Commandments of Reaching Financial Freedom</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-factors-that-could-keep-you-broke-forever&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Factors%2520That%2520Could%2520Keep%2520You%2520Broke%2520Forever.jpg&amp;description=8%20Factors%20That%20Could%20Keep%20You%20Broke%20Forever"></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/u5180/8%20Factors%20That%20Could%20Keep%20You%20Broke%20Forever.jpg" alt="8 Factors That Could Keep You Broke Forever" 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/8-factors-that-could-keep-you-broke-forever">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-youre-still-struggling-to-pay-bills">6 Reasons You&#039;re Still Struggling to Pay Bills</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-types-of-overspenders-which-one-are-you">5 Types of Overspenders — Which One Are 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/15-smart-things-you-can-do-with-your-finances-even-if-youre-broke">15 Smart Things You Can Do With Your Finances, Even if You&#039;re Broke</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 bad habits broke budgeting circles debt investing keeping up with the joneses lifestyle inflation paycheck to paycheck Tue, 06 Mar 2018 09:00:07 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2111220 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Worries You'll Always Have No Matter How Rich You Become http://www.wisebread.com/6-worries-youll-always-have-no-matter-how-rich-you-become <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-worries-youll-always-have-no-matter-how-rich-you-become" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/magnifying_glass_over_a_newspaper.jpg" alt="Magnifying glass over a newspaper" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Benjamin Franklin once said, &quot;Do not worry about trouble, or what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.&quot; In other words, don't fret.</p> <p>But it's not always easy to follow Ben's advice. Worrying is a normal, natural thing, and it happens to the poorest and wealthiest among us. Money can help ease some fears, but there are ultimately things that will cause us to worry no matter how financially secure we are.</p> <p>Here are things that we all worry about, regardless of our income. What else keeps you up at night?</p> <h2>1. Your health</h2> <p>One of the sad ironies about building wealth is that once you actually have accumulated enough to achieve financial freedom, you may not be young enough to enjoy it for very long. As much as older Americans worry about having enough saved, they also worry about whether they'll remain healthy enough to have the active and happy retirement they dreamed of.</p> <p>Financial wealth can help you get access to good medical care, but aging can win over even the richest among us. And even young people with money worry about falling ill or getting injured. The good news is that this worry can motivate us to do those things necessary to maintain good health, like eat well and exercise. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-problems-you-cant-solve-with-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Problems You Can't Solve With Money</a>)</p> <h2>2. Your loved ones</h2> <p>Having money may ease your worries a bit, as you can help protect your loved ones from financial hardship.</p> <p>But you can't protect them from the consequences of their own bad choices. You can't cure their illnesses. You can't prevent them from having their hearts broken. Their health and happiness will be a perpetual source of worry. Even when we're old and gray, we'll still worry about our kids and other relatives. We'll always worry about our spouses. But that's OK. What kind of monsters would we be if we felt differently?</p> <h2>3. The health of our institutions</h2> <p>We can do a lot on our own to ensure financial security, but much of it also depends on outside entities to function properly. We need the federal government to operate smoothly and play a role in keeping our economy stable. We need a banking system that works. We need stock markets that operate effectively and in the best interests of investors. We need education systems that are working to make America stronger and smarter.</p> <p>At various times in recent years, these institutions have had shaky moments. No matter how wealthy you are, you'll always be keeping an eye on our governmental and financial systems to see if they are working the way they should.</p> <h2>4. Global conflict</h2> <p>There's a reason the stock market took a major dive after the events of September 11, 2001. That's because as a nation, there was genuine fear that we'd be roped into a major conflict or war that might have hurt our nation's economy. We worry about war and global instability due to the potential impact on our finances.</p> <p>But we also worry about global conflict because we are human. Having money in the bank means nothing when you're worried about terrorism, or concerned about a friend or loved one serving overseas. We worry when we hear about global tensions that might turn into something worse. We actually live in one of the most peaceful times in human history, but until there's peace on earth we will worry, regardless of how wealthy we are.</p> <h2>5. Change</h2> <p>Fear of change is so prevalent that it actually has a name: <em>metathesiophobia</em>. It is natural for people to worry about changes in their lives, particularly those they can't control. Having wealth can help mitigate some negative impacts of change, but there is some change that is inevitable no matter how financially prepared you are.</p> <p>In fact, some of our biggest life changes &mdash; retirement, kids moving out, new living situations due to health declines &mdash; come later in life when we have achieved financial security. Consider that many older workers choose to remain in their jobs for no other reason than they fear the lifestyle changes that retirement might bring.</p> <p>Change is inevitable, no matter how rich you are. Do you have the ability to embrace it when it comes?</p> <h2>6. Money</h2> <p>Yes, you'll worry about money even when you have a lot of money. That's because there's a good chance you've spent all your life worrying about having enough. So even when you reach a point when you're financially comfortable, your brain defaults to worrying. Even when you're rich, there may be things that happen to throw you financially off track.</p> <p>The stock market can take a dive. Your family may be faced with a string of bad events. You never know what's around the corner. We all want to reach a point when we don't have to worry about money, but perhaps worrying about having enough money may be the very thing that ensures we have enough. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-even-millionaires-arent-happy-about-their-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why Even Millionaires Aren't Happy About Their Finances</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-worries-youll-always-have-no-matter-how-rich-you-become&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Worries%2520Youll%2520Always%2520Have%2520No%2520Matter%2520How%2520Rich%2520You%2520Become.jpg&amp;description=6%20Worries%20Youll%20Always%20Have%20No%20Matter%20How%20Rich%20You%20Become"></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%20Worries%20Youll%20Always%20Have%20No%20Matter%20How%20Rich%20You%20Become.jpg" alt="6 Worries You'll Always Have No Matter How Rich You Become" 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-worries-youll-always-have-no-matter-how-rich-you-become">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance change Economy Health investing retirement saving security worries Mon, 26 Feb 2018 10:00:06 +0000 Tim Lemke 2107216 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Smart Things You Can Do With Your Finances, Even if You're Broke http://www.wisebread.com/15-smart-things-you-can-do-with-your-finances-even-if-youre-broke <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-smart-things-you-can-do-with-your-finances-even-if-youre-broke" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggybank_in_middle_of_wooden_rectangles.jpg" alt="Piggy bank in middle of wooden rectangles" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you living paycheck to paycheck, unsure if you will have enough money to cover your bills every month? If so, it can seem nearly impossible to get ahead financially.</p> <p>But even if you're broke, you can focus on making small, smart money moves. By changing the way you handle your finances, you'll be able to prepare for an emergency, save for the future, and break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck. Here are 15 smart things you can do with your finances, even if you're broke.</p> <h2>1. Pay your bills on time</h2> <p>No matter how broke you may be, failure to pay your bills on time is only going to make matters worse. Not only will this result in late fees or overdraft charges, but it also damages your credit score and could even cause your credit card's interest rate to increase.</p> <p>Typically, there are two reasons why people do not pay bills on time. One is that they don't have enough money, and the second reason is that they simply forget.</p> <p>If cash flow is your problem, you will need to figure out how you can lower your expenses while increasing your income. If disorganization causes you to miss bills, it's time to try out systems to better organize your finances. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-automate-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Automate Your Finances</a>)</p> <h2>2. Start an emergency fund</h2> <p>An emergency fund can make or break your finances. Though experts say you should ideally have six months' to a year's worth of living expenses saved in an emergency fund, you don't have to let that amount overwhelm you. Even $500 can protect you from many financial emergencies.</p> <p>You can easily start an emergency fund by opening a new savings account that is specifically for emergencies. You can auto draft a few dollars out of your paycheck every pay period. This will automatically build your emergency fund without any additional effort on your part. Don't forget, these funds are only to be used in emergency situations, such as for a medical expense or car repair bill. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-life-is-amazing-with-an-emergency-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Ways Life Is Amazing With an Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <h2>3. Prioritize debt</h2> <p>Debt, especially high-interest debt, can completely derail your finances. And if you're broke, it can feel nearly impossible to make any progress in paying it off. If you're having problems even making the minimum payments, it's vital to speak with your lenders as soon as possible. They may be able to get you on a repayment plan that works for you.</p> <p>The more quickly you pay off debt, the less you will pay. Even if you are struggling financially, try to find small ways to slash your budget and earn more income in order to put more money toward debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-first-steps-to-paying-off-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Easy First Steps to Paying Off Debt</a>)</p> <h2>4. Start small with investing</h2> <p>I know, I know; when money is tight, the last thing you think you should do is siphon off money for investments. But investing even a few dollars now can change your financial future for the better. Start small. If your employer offers a match when you contribute to the 401(k) plan, aim to contribute at least enough to receive the full match. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-know-about-your-401k-match?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Things You Should Know About Your 401(k) Match</a>)</p> <h2>5. Automate your finances</h2> <p>Automating your finances is an easy way to ensure all your bills are paid and you meet all of your savings goals. You can set up autopay for most bills. Some companies, or even student loan servicers, offer a small discount if you sign up for autopay, so it is certainly worth considering.</p> <p>Keep in mind, it's a good idea to still thoroughly look over every bill even if it is on autopay. You will want to ensure that you're being billed accurately. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-autopay?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Pros and Cons of Autopay</a>)</p> <h2>6. Find a better bank</h2> <p>Most people find a bank and stick with it. But what if you could earn more money simply by switching your financial institution?</p> <p>When searching for a bank, there is a lot to consider. Everyone has different personal preferences, so it's important to find a bank that works for you. For instance, do you prefer to go into a physical branch? If so, you should make sure there are locations convenient for you. Are interest rates important to you? Shop around for the best deals. Do you frequent ATMs? Find a bank that offers plenty of in-network ATMs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/switch-to-a-better-bank-in-5-easy-steps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Switch to a Better Bank in 5 Easy Steps</a>)</p> <h2>7. Live frugally</h2> <p>Living frugally doesn't mean you have to be cheap. You can practice frugality by simply making a few small lifestyle changes.</p> <p>Cook at home instead of eating out. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Cut back on expensive hobbies and events. You don't have to cut everything out entirely, but by making a few frugal choices, you can save significant money every single month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-6-rules-of-frugal-living-you-need-to-know?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Only 6 Rules of Frugal Living You Need to Know</a>)</p> <h2>8. Track your spending</h2> <p>When you're broke, every cent counts. The most valuable tool at your disposal is a budget. In order to start a budget, you will need to track all of your spending. Where does your money actually go? You might be surprised.</p> <p>Luckily, tracking your spending doesn't have to be an arduous task. There are plenty of apps that will automatically track your spending for you and provide analytics about your budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These 5 Apps Will Help You Finally Organize Your Money</a>)</p> <h2>9. Cut out expenses entirely</h2> <p>While you're tracking your spending, you are likely to find expenses that you didn't even know you had. What could you cut out?</p> <p>Things like cable TV, magazine subscriptions, or cleaning services might be nice, but they aren't necessary, especially if you're struggling to make ends meet. Cut these expenses out entirely and you may be able to free up a few hundred dollars in your budget every month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-spending-too-much-on-normal-expenses?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are You Spending Too Much on &quot;Normal&quot; Expenses?</a>)</p> <h2>10. Communicate with your family</h2> <p>Communication is key to financial success. You'll find it very difficult, if not impossible, to succeed financially if your family is not on board. Talk to your family and friends about your financial goals. Make goals together, so that everyone is on the same page. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-talk-to-friends-and-family-about-money-without-making-everyone-mad?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Talk to Friends and Family About Money (Without Making Everyone Mad)</a>)</p> <h2>11. Get organized</h2> <p>Organization can greatly improve your finances, and it costs almost nothing to be organized.</p> <p>Figure out systems that work for you. How will you track your income? Expenses? Net worth? How will you budget? Make sure all your bills get paid on time? Save money?</p> <p>You can organize your finances by setting aside as little as one hour per week. Use that hour to update your numbers, check in with your financial goals, and communicate with your family. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-quick-tips-for-organizing-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Quick Tips for Organizing Your Finances</a>)</p> <h2>12. Prioritize your financial goals</h2> <p>If you're saving for an emergency, socking away retirement funds, paying off credit card debt, sending your kids to college, and plugging away at your mortgage, it can be nearly impossible to hit all of your financial goals at once. Achieving your personal finance goals requires prioritization.</p> <p>Determine what goal is most important to you right now. Maybe your initial goal is to simply organize your finances, and then focus on paying off credit card debt. Once you set a focus, you'll feel less overwhelmed and you'll be better able to make discernible progress (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-money-milestones-anyone-can-hit?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Simple Money Milestones Anyone Can Hit</a>)</p> <h2>13. Avoid unnecessary fees</h2> <p>Fees are typically penalties for small financial blunders, but they can add up quickly. For example, say you miss one bill because you didn't have enough money to cover it. That biller could charge you a late payment fee, plus you could receive an overdraft fee from your bank. One late bill could cost you an additional $50 or more in fees.</p> <p>If you have a couple of these a month, you'll find it hard to ever get ahead financially. By budgeting hard for a few months and building enough of a buffer in your checking account, you'll be able to prevent unnecessary fees.</p> <h2>14. Increase your income</h2> <p>Increasing your income is one of the best things you can do for your financial situation. Unfortunately, many people don't think they have control over their income. They might believe that their income is at the sole discretion of the organization they work for.</p> <p>That's not true. While your boss probably has the final say over your pay, you can always work to earn income outside of your 9-to-5. Whether you start freelancing, baby-sitting, or working a part-time job, there's no shortage of ways to earn extra cash. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-best-side-jobs-for-fast-cash?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Best Side Jobs For Fast Cash</a>)</p> <h2>15. Have fun</h2> <p>Remember, you won't be successful for long if you don't allow yourself to have some fun along the way. Prioritize the things that are important to you, even if they cost money.</p> <p>Of course, you'll have to make many sacrifices, but by treating yourself every once in awhile, you will be better able to sustain your new financial lifestyle for the long haul. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-need-fun-money-in-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Yes, You Need &quot;Fun Money&quot; in Your Budget</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F15-smart-things-you-can-do-with-your-finances-even-if-youre-broke&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F15%2520Smart%2520Things%2520You%2520Can%2520Do%2520With%2520Your%2520Finances%252C%2520Even%2520if%2520Youre%2520Broke.jpg&amp;description=15%20Smart%20Things%20You%20Can%20Do%20With%20Your%20Finances%2C%20Even%20if%20Youre%20Broke"></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/u5180/15%20Smart%20Things%20You%20Can%20Do%20With%20Your%20Finances%2C%20Even%20if%20Youre%20Broke.jpg" alt="15 Smart Things You Can Do With Your Finances, Even if You're Broke" 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/rachel-slifka">Rachel Slifka</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-smart-things-you-can-do-with-your-finances-even-if-youre-broke">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make">7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make</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-easy-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund-from-0">7 Easy Ways to Build an Emergency Fund From $0</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-money-moves-youre-never-too-old-to-make">9 Money Moves You&#039;re Never Too Old to Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-factors-that-could-keep-you-broke-forever">8 Factors That Could Keep You Broke Forever</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-your-money-is-being-a-jerk-and-how-to-fight-back">5 Ways Your Money Is Being a Jerk (And How to Fight Back)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living automating bills broke emergency funds investing money moves organizing paycheck to paycheck savings Tue, 20 Feb 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Rachel Slifka 2098610 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Money Lessons We Can Learn From Past Presidents http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-past-presidents <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-past-presidents" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/lincoln_memorial_in_washington_dc_0.jpg" alt="Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C." title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every February, Americans celebrate the presidencies of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln on the third Monday of the month. Presidents' Day is often nothing more than a day off for children in school, and a prime sale weekend for Americans to engage in their favorite sport of shopping.</p> <p>But rather than spending money on Presidents' Day, why not learn some of the most important money lessons from the lives of former presidents instead?</p> <p>Here are four vital money lessons that past presidents can teach us.</p> <h2>Lesson from George Washington: Diversify your investments</h2> <p>Our first president was both a canny strategist in war, and a very smart investor. In 18th century Virginia, tobacco farming was an extremely profitable business, and George Washington grew the crop on his farmland. Tobacco growers made a great deal of money by shipping their product back to Europe.</p> <p>However, in 1766, Washington decided to stop growing tobacco on his land, because the crop was hard on the soil and was becoming less profitable. Instead, he planted several different crops, including wheat, corn, flax, and hemp &mdash; all of which had a local demand and did not require shipping overseas. This was a very smart move, as it both diversified Washington's crop production, and ensured that he was not vulnerable to loss during the transportation process. Other Virginia farmers who continued to grow tobacco (including Thomas Jefferson) lost their shirts.</p> <p>Modern investors can learn a great deal from Washington's decision. Tobacco was the 18th century's equivalent of a &quot;sure thing,&quot; but it was much smarter to invest farmland in diverse crops that were locally needed. Instead of betting on one &quot;sure thing&quot; investment, modern Americans should plan to put their money in diverse assets so they are not overdependent on any single asset or industry. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/first-rule-of-financial-wins-avoid-losses?ref=seealso" target="_blank">First Rule of Financial Wins: Avoid Losses</a>)</p> <h2>Lesson from Thomas Jefferson: Tracking your spending isn't enough</h2> <p>Thomas Jefferson is one of our country's most beloved founding fathers. The red-haired intellectual was responsible for writing the Declaration of Independence and went on to become the third U.S. president. But despite his overwhelming political success, Jefferson's last years were plagued by financial difficulties, and he died completely broke.</p> <p>What's even more surprising about Jefferson's money trouble is the fact that he obsessively tracked his spending throughout his life. According to the overseer at Monticello, Jefferson's estate, &quot;Mr. Jefferson was very particular in the transaction of all his business. He kept an account of everything. Nothing was too small for him to keep an account of it.&quot;</p> <p>Unfortunately, the daily tracking of Jefferson's finances did not keep him from spending well beyond his means. Jefferson had very fine tastes, and would spend lavishly on wine, furnishings, and updates to his estate at Monticello. Though he dutifully recorded all of his over-the-top purchases (not to mention each and every small purchase), it did not stop him from spending more than he could possibly afford.</p> <p>Modern Americans have a much easier time tracking their spending than Jefferson did, since there are now any number of smartphone apps and online tracking programs that can help you get a handle on your money. However, we need to remember from Jefferson's example that knowing where every penny is going is not enough. We also need to reduce our spending if we want to get out of debt and build wealth. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These 5 Apps Will Help You Finally Organize Your Money</a>)</p> <h2>Lesson from Abraham Lincoln: Embrace frugality</h2> <p>Abraham Lincoln's impoverished childhood in a log cabin not only adds to the heroic patina of his life's story, but it also helps to explain our 16th president's lifelong frugality. In fact, Lincoln saved much of the $25,000 annual salary he made as president. According to author Harry E. Pratt, &quot;[Lincoln's] estate grew from $15,000 in 1861 to more than $85,000 at his death. The increment came principally from his $25,000 yearly salary as president.&quot;</p> <p>Lincoln was also frugal with public money, becoming angry when his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, blew her budget by almost $7,000 while refurbishing the White House &mdash; after Congress had already allotted $20,000 for her to use. He recognized that it was unseemly for Mrs. Lincoln to spend $20,000, much less $27,000, on furnishings and upgrades when Union soldiers were going without blankets.</p> <p>The importance of being careful with one's money is a timeless lesson, but it's worth noting that Lincoln maintained frugality throughout his lifetime, even after he no longer needed to be cognizant of every penny spent. From Lincoln's example, modern Americans can learn that being frugal, even after one's financial situation improves, is a smart way to handle money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-6-rules-of-frugal-living-you-need-to-know?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Only 6 Rules of Frugal Living You Need to Know</a>)</p> <h2>Lesson from Ulysses S. Grant: Only invest in what you understand</h2> <p>Beloved Civil War hero (and the impressively bearded face on our $50 bill), Ulysses S. Grant was a talented Army general and a well-liked president. However, he struggled with money in his personal life from beginning to end. In particular, after the end of his presidency, he decided to settle in New York and try to make a fortune in banking. He partnered with 33-year-old Ferdinand Ward, who at the time was known as the &quot;Young Napoleon of Wall Street,&quot; to create the investment firm of Grant and Ward.</p> <p>Unfortunately, Grant's lack of financial savvy was his downfall. Ferdinand Ward was nothing but a swindler, and Grant and Ward was simply a Ponzi scheme that Ward set up to bilk money out of Grant's famous and rich friends.</p> <p>When the entire scheme blew up, Grant had been diagnosed with cancer and knew he had only a short time to live. The former president was only able to avoid leaving his wife destitute by writing his memoirs and having his friend Mark Twain publish them. The book became a best-seller, but Grant did not live to see it.</p> <p>The sad story of Grant's financial troubles can remind modern Americans of the importance of truly understanding your investments. Grant fell victim to a scam artist because he did not understand the investments he was putting his money (and name) behind. We should all remember Grant's misfortune when we are tempted to jump on something we don't understand that seems to be going gangbusters. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-costly-mistakes-diy-investors-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Costly Mistakes DIY Investors Make</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F4-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-past-presidents&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Money%2520Lessons%2520We%2520Can%2520Learn%2520From%2520Past%2520Presidents.jpg&amp;description=4%20Money%20Lessons%20We%20Can%20Learn%20From%20Past%20Presidents"></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/u5180/4%20Money%20Lessons%20We%20Can%20Learn%20From%20Past%20Presidents.jpg" alt="4 Money Lessons We Can Learn From Past Presidents" 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/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-past-presidents">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/6-lessons-on-how-to-be-a-financial-grownup-from-bobbi-rebell">6 Lessons on How to Be a Financial Grownup From Bobbi Rebell</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-things-people-who-are-good-with-money-never-say">5 Things People Who Are Good With Money Never Say</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance abraham lincoln americans frugal living george washington history investing money lessons president's day thomas jefferson u.s. presidents ulysses s. grant Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:00:06 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2104969 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Profit Off Your Cabin Fever http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-profit-off-your-cabin-fever <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-profit-off-your-cabin-fever" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_sitting_near_windows.jpg" alt="Woman sitting near windows" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Winter can be the pits. The weather's cold, and getting outside can be tough. You've got cabin fever, and you can't wait for spring.</p> <p>But perhaps you can use the time stuck inside to your advantage. Now may be the time to get a handle on your finances and perhaps even make a little extra money while you're cooped up.</p> <p>Consider these ways to improve your finances during the long, cold winter.</p> <h2>1. Optimize your investments</h2> <p>You may have spent much of the last year simply watching your investments do their thing, and thankfully they've probably done well. Every portfolio is due for a review now and again, so consider taking a look at your investments to ensure you're set up for maximum returns.</p> <p>This may mean rebalancing your stocks and mutual funds so you aren't disproportionately invested in one area. It may mean selling some investments that have underperformed, or doing the same for stocks that may be due for a sharp fall. Making some good choices now could allow you to enjoy another year of worry-free investing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-an-exit-strategy-can-make-you-a-better-investor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How an Exit Strategy Can Make You a Better Investor</a>)</p> <h2>2. Get your taxes in order</h2> <p>Your tax returns will be due in mid-April. It's always wise to avoid waiting until the last second to file, and you should consider using this winter time to research the best ways to avoid paying too much at tax time.</p> <p>Perhaps there are tax credits and deductions you never knew you could take advantage of. Maybe you have time to make IRA contributions or make other moves to reduce your tax liability. Or maybe you need time to dig up those receipts from charities you donated to in 2017. Doing taxes may not seem like fun, but it can be interesting, especially if you do the work to maximize your savings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-tax-deductions-you-might-miss?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Surprising Tax Deductions You Might Miss</a>)</p> <h2>3. Put together a pitch for a raise</h2> <p>Now may be the time of year when you can focus on advancing your career. Maybe you've been seeking a raise or promotion for a while, but haven't had the time to build your case. With a little time on your hands, now you may have the ability to develop a solid pitch to your supervisor. This may mean collecting examples of goals you've achieved, or ways in which you've helped the company. It may mean collecting data on salaries and how yours compares to the industry average. Take the time to find the right tone, make the right arguments, and go for it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-you-should-demand-a-raise?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Times You Should Demand a Raise</a>)</p> <h2>4. Look for a new job</h2> <p>What if you don't want a promotion or raise, because you can't stand your job to begin with? What if you feel like the only way to make more money is to switch companies or careers? Well, use the winter months to look for a new one. If you're stuck inside, take the time to update your resume, get active on LinkedIn, and reach out to your online network.</p> <p>There are many employers that post new jobs at the start of the year, because they may have received the budget approval to hire. The caveat to this is that many people look for new jobs as part of their New Year's resolutions, so you may face some stiff competition. But if you want a new job and know what you're looking for, take advantage of the time to search for a new career in a thoughtful and deliberate way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-should-quit-your-job?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Signs You Should Quit Your Job</a>)</p> <h2>5. Develop a side hustle</h2> <p>Perhaps a raise or a new job isn't yet in the cards. That's OK, you can still boost your income by finding other ways to make money on the side. Maybe now is the time to develop that pottery hobby into something revenue producing. Perhaps all this time inside the house will lead you to start a profitable blog or podcast. Whatever it is, you have the ability to make some extra cash just by leveraging your current talents. And who knows? Maybe the side hustle can eventually become your main hustle. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-best-side-jobs-for-fast-cash?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Best Side Jobs For Fast Cash</a>)</p> <h2>6. Create budgets</h2> <p>Why not use the start of a new year to get smarter about spending less money than you earn? Now is the time to take a look at your spending and develop real limits on what you're buying and how much you are paying.</p> <p>Ideally, you should have numerous budgets for things like eating out, entertainment, housing costs, automotive expenses, and even gifts. These budgets should be attainable but allow you to save money at the end of each month. Sticking to budgets can be hard, but even if you lose discipline during the year, you may succeed in reducing expenses in some areas and making progress in reducing debt or boosting your savings. (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>7. Review your insurance policies</h2> <p>Oh yeah, everyone loves looking at insurance policies in their spare time. Exciting stuff, huh? It's true that this does not seem like fun, but a periodic review of your policies related to auto insurance, homeowners insurance, health insurance, and life insurance &mdash; as well as the rates you are paying &mdash; is a good financial move.</p> <p>During this process, you may find that you are underinsured and placing yourself at risk, or that you are paying too much for insurance for someone in your situation. If you do a little rate shopping, you may find you can save significant money by switching providers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Times to Update Your Homeowners Insurance</a>)</p> <h2>8. Put on a sweater</h2> <p>When you're inside during the winter, you'll be tempted to crank that thermostat for maximum comfort. Consider instead keeping the house temperature lower and simply wearing more layers. While you may feel like you need the thermostat set to 72, you could probably get used to having it below 68.</p> <p>Last year, my family's main heater broke during a snowstorm, and our house temperature fell into the 50s. Guess what? We threw on some extra sweatshirts, cuddled under some more blankets, and survived fine. Every few degrees of temperature on the thermostat could add up to hundreds of degrees &mdash; and dollars &mdash; annually, so dial it back and save. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-big-winter-expenses-that-could-freeze-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Big Winter Expenses That Could Freeze Your Budget</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-ways-to-profit-off-your-cabin-fever&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Ways%2520to%2520Profit%2520Off%2520Your%2520Cabin%2520Fever.jpg&amp;description=8%20Ways%20to%20Profit%20Off%20Your%20Cabin%20Fever"></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/u5180/8%20Ways%20to%20Profit%20Off%20Your%20Cabin%20Fever.jpg" alt="8 Ways to Profit Off Your Cabin Fever" 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/8-ways-to-profit-off-your-cabin-fever">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-biggest-ways-procrastination-hurts-your-finances">7 Biggest Ways Procrastination Hurts Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-software-tools-worth-the-price">7 Money Software Tools Worth the Price</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-personal-finance-tasks-that-arent-as-hard-as-you-think">5 Personal Finance Tasks That Aren&#039;t as Hard as You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance budgeting cabin fever deductions investing job hunting making money promotions raises rebalancing side gigs side hustle taxes Fri, 09 Feb 2018 10:00:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 2100157 at http://www.wisebread.com