goals http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3301/all en-US 6 Money Moves to Make If Your Net Worth Is Negative http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-if-your-net-worth-is-negative <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-money-moves-to-make-if-your-net-worth-is-negative" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-546177782.jpg" alt="Woman making money moves when her net worth is negative" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the most illustrative financial figures to know is your total net worth. This is the value of all of your cash and assets, minus your debts. For many people, that figure is below zero.</p> <p>Building a high net worth should be the ultimate goal of anyone seeking financial freedom. If your net worth is less than zero, consider making these moves ASAP. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-increase-your-net-worth-this-year?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Ways to Increase Your Net Worth This Year</a>)</p> <h2>1. Reduce your spending</h2> <p>One of the most direct ways to end up with a negative net worth is to spend more than you earn. Cutting unnecessary expenditures is the first step in having a net positive income each month. This can mean some tough choices, like eliminating cable, eating out, and your annual vacation. It may also require more extreme measures, like getting by without a car.</p> <p>You can help yourself by tracking your spending meticulously in a budget so you know where money is going each month. Even if you think you are already living frugally, there's a chance you can find savings just by taking a closer look.</p> <h2>2. Pay off your high-interest debt</h2> <p>If your net worth is negative, it may be partially due to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">high interest credit card debt</a> and other loans. Interest can quickly pile up and eventually overwhelm your earnings, putting you in negative net worth territory. Tackling debt starting with the highest interest rate first is called the avalanche method, and this can save you a lot of money on interest payments in the long run. Sometimes, even paying off just one credit card can make a huge difference in your financial situation. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>3. Bring in more income</h2> <p>If you're crumbling under a mountain of debt and you don't have enough income to pay off the debt, you must find a way to bring in more money. Start by searching for higher paying jobs or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-you-should-demand-a-raise?ref=internal" target="_blank">asking for a raise</a> from your current employer. Consider starting a side hustle, small business, or taking an additional part-time job. It may also be worth exploring income-producing investments, such as dividend stocks or peer-to-peer lending. If you have a maniacal focus on earning more money, you will help yourself move from negative to positive in the net worth department.</p> <h2>4. Invest</h2> <p>Arguably the most important way to build net worth is through investing. If you are able to put even a small amount of your earnings into stocks or index funds that grow, you'll give your financial picture a boost over time. Obviously, investing in the stock market carries risks. But U.S. stocks have consistently risen in value over time, with long-term growth eventually surpassing losses during market crashes. The more you can invest, the better off you'll be, especially if you stay in the market for many years. You won't get rich overnight, but your overall net worth will eventually rise.</p> <h2>5. Set a financial goal</h2> <p>If you had enough money, what would you ultimately want to do with it? Would you want to buy a home? Start a family? Build a hefty retirement account? To increase your net worth, it helps to have a goal to motivate you to save. Ideally, your financial goal should be geared toward building a high net worth, not a one-time purchase like a car. Whether it's a down payment for a home, a comfortable retirement, or saving for college, your dreams can help keep you accountable.</p> <h2>6. Refinance your mortgage</h2> <p>Homeownership can be a great way to build net worth, but it can also be a drain on your finances if you have the wrong kind of mortgage. If your loan term is very long, or if you have a high-interest or interest-only loan, you may not be paying much toward the principal of the loan (or building any equity) for a while. And that could be a serious problem if you're having trouble making payments.</p> <p>If you find yourself in this situation, you may want to consider refinancing to a shorter term or lower interest rate. There's no sin in borrowing to buy a home, but ideally, homeowners should seek a fixed-rate mortgage with a relatively short loan term: 30 years is standard, but a 15-year mortgage offers you the ability to build equity &mdash; and thus your net worth &mdash; at a faster pace. Just be sure you can comfortably make the monthly payments.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-money-moves-to-make-if-your-net-worth-is-negative&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Money%2520Moves%2520to%2520Make%2520If%2520Your%2520Net%2520Worth%2520Is%2520Negative.jpg&amp;description=6%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20If%20Your%20Net%20Worth%20Is%20Negative"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20If%20Your%20Net%20Worth%20Is%20Negative.jpg" alt="6 Money Moves to Make If Your Net Worth Is Negative" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-if-your-net-worth-is-negative">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-financial-differences-between-millennials-and-the-next-generation">7 Financial Differences Between Millennials and the Next Generation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-inspiring-people-who-each-paid-off-over-100000-in-debt">5 Inspiring People Who Each Paid Off Over $100,000 in Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/refinance-these-4-common-debts-before-year-ends">Refinance These 4 Common Debts Before Year Ends</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-emotions-costing-you-money-take-this-quiz">Are Your Emotions Costing You Money? Take This Quiz</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-to-cut-millennials-some-slack-about-their-money">10 Reasons to Cut Millennials Some Slack About Their Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management assets goals investing mortgages net worth refinancing saving spending stocks Wed, 10 May 2017 08:00:08 +0000 Tim Lemke 1941242 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Invest Like a Pro — No Financial Adviser Required http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-invest-like-a-pro-no-financial-adviser-required <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-invest-like-a-pro-no-financial-adviser-required" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-500538951.jpg" alt="Man learning how to invest like a pro without a financial adviser" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Investing can be intimidating. There's a unique language, with expense ratios, ETFs, and dollar-cost averaging &mdash; oh my! And there's a lot at stake, like your retirement. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beginners-guide-to-reading-a-stock-table?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Beginner's Guide to Reading a Stock Table</a>)</p> <p>However, at the risk of sounding like a home repair store commercial, you can do this and we can help. With the following five keys, you'll be well on your way toward becoming a confident, successful, do-it-yourself investor.</p> <h2>1. Commit to the market</h2> <p>The stock market has been on a tear. Since bottoming out in March 2009, it nearly tripled in value by the end of 2016. And since the start of this year, it has only climbed higher. Unfortunately, for many people, it doesn't matter. According to a recent Gallup poll, about half U.S. adults are not investing in the market.</p> <p>Some waffle. They're in when it seems safe; they're out when trouble strikes. But pros don't waffle. They're in it for the long haul because they know that as a long-term investment, the U.S. stock market has delivered average annual returns of nearly 10 percent.</p> <h2>2. Know your goal</h2> <p>The most common investment goal is retirement. It that's your goal, make it as specific as possible. How much money do you want to have? By when? And how much do you need to invest each month in order to get there? These questions can feel overwhelming at times, but you need to answer them in order to get a clear picture of your path to a secure retirement. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-should-you-have-saved-for-retirement-by-30-40-50?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Much Should You Have Saved for Retirement by 30? 40? 50?</a>)</p> <h2>3. Determine your optimal asset allocation</h2> <p>While many of the headlines in the investment press are about which investments to choose, there's a different factor that'll have an even greater impact on your investing success. It's making sure you've determined your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-truth-of-investing-mediocre-advice-is-best?ref=internal" target="_blank">optimal asset allocation</a>.</p> <p>Asset allocation refers to how you divvy up the money you invest between asset classes, with the two most important ones being stocks and bonds (preferably, stock and bond mutual funds, since mutual funds enable you to hold a diversified &quot;basket&quot; of stocks and bonds).</p> <p>Generally, when you're young, your portfolio should tilt more toward stocks. Yes, your portfolio will experience sharper ups and downs, but you should have the time to ride them out, and a higher-risk portfolio should lead you to higher returns. As you get older, you would be wise to reduce stock exposure and increase your allocation to bonds. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-basics-of-asset-allocation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Basics of Asset Allocation</a>)</p> <h2>4. Choose an investment selection process</h2> <p>Pay no attention to headlines touting &quot;This Year's Top Mutual Funds&quot; or &quot;Why You Must Own Gold Now.&quot; And tune out all hot tips from your brother-in-law or coworker. What you need is a trustworthy investment selection <em>process</em>.</p> <p>You could keep it super easy by choosing a target-date mutual fund. These funds have years as part of their name, such as the Fidelity Freedom 2040 fund. Just choose the fund with the year closest to the year you intend to retire. Its stock/bond allocation will be what the mutual fund company thinks is the appropriate mix for someone with that much time until retirement, and that allocation is automatically made more conservative over time. Target-date funds aren't perfect, but they get a lot of the big picture decisions right.</p> <p>If you prefer a more hands-on approach, you could do your own research and choose <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-warren-buffett-says-you-should-invest-in-index-funds?ref=internal" target="_blank">index funds</a> to build a portfolio that reflects your optimal asset allocation.</p> <p>Or, you could subscribe to an investment newsletter, some of which cost far less than the fees charged by financial planners. Investment newsletters usually offer a number of different strategies and then tell you what to invest in. You're still a do-it-yourself investor. You maintain your own account and make your own trades, but you follow the investing process outlined by the newsletter. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-trust-your-money-with-these-4-popular-financial-robo-advisers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Should You Trust Your Money With These 4 Popular Financial Robo-Advisers?</a>)</p> <h2>5. Understand the terrain ahead</h2> <p>One of the most important roles a financial adviser plays is seen during market downturns. That's when the best become therapists, speaking calm words of wisdom into the lives of frightened clients. You could serve the same role for yourself with a little understanding of how the market works.</p> <p>If you hear that the market turned in a great performance in a certain year, it's easy to make the mistake of assuming this wonderful result came about through a smooth, yearlong, upward ride. It doesn't usually work that way.</p> <p>Expecting some turbulence can help calm your fears and keep you from selling when the market gets wobbly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-your-investments-to-do-better-stop-watching-the-news?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Want Your Investments to Do Better? Stop Watching the News</a>)</p> <p>Taking all of the steps above will get you headed in the right direction. You have a plan. Now put your plan into action and stay with it. The longer you invest, the more confidence you'll gain and the more comfortable you'll become at being a do-it-yourself investor. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-4-things-you-need-to-do-to-start-investing?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Only 4 Things You Need to Do to Start Investing</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-invest-like-a-pro-no-financial-adviser-required">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/how-one-mediocre-investor-prospered-after-the-market-crash">How One Mediocre Investor Prospered After the Market Crash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-berkshire-hathaway-and-other-blue-chip-stock-for-17-off">How to Buy Berkshire Hathaway and Other Blue Chip Stock for 17% Off</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/why-does-the-stock-market-keep-going-up">Why Does the Stock Market Keep Going Up?</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/is-it-finally-time-to-invest-in-marijuana-stocks">Is It Finally Time to Invest in Marijuana Stocks?</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/beginners-guide-to-reading-a-stock-table">Beginner&#039;s Guide to Reading a Stock Table</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment asset allocation diy investor Do It Yourself goals investment selection retirement planning stock market Mon, 17 Apr 2017 09:00:09 +0000 Matt Bell 1928275 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Lifestyle Changes That Will Always Pay Off http://www.wisebread.com/10-lifestyle-changes-that-will-always-pay-off <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-lifestyle-changes-that-will-always-pay-off" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-522949013.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Change is never easy. As Garth Algar once said in <em>Wayne's World</em>, &quot;we fear change.&quot; And that's natural. The unknown can present risks. It can pose a threat. Change can also be hard, whereas maintaining the status quo is easy. But hard lifestyle changes &mdash; like the 10 that follow &mdash; will always lead to a much better life for you. And best of all, they will cost you absolutely nothing.</p> <h2>1. Decluttering and Organizing</h2> <p>Whether it's the garage, the junk drawer, the closet, the kitchen, the basement, the attic, or all of the above, it's a task most of us put off. And keep putting off. The problem with decluttering and organizing is that things always look worse before they look better. If you pull everything out of that junk drawer, you've got a real mess on your hands. It's far easier to just close it and forget about it. But whatever is a mess at home, or at work, you need to attack it with vigor. Not only will you find things you thought were lost forever, you'll also free up space and feel better. And it will stop you from buying things over and over, because you can never find them. Chapstick, anyone? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-a-deep-declutter-can-improve-your-life?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Ways a Deep Declutter Will Improve Your Live</a>)</p> <h2>2. Eating Well</h2> <p>It's hard to eat healthy, especially in this country. You can go to McDonald's right now and get two cheeseburgers, fries, and a soda for less than $5. It's filling, and it's tasty. Finding a healthy, filling, and convenient alternative for the same price &mdash; now that's a challenge. But we are what we eat, and study after study tells us that junk food and a lack of fruit and vegetables in our diet is making us all more susceptible to illness and disease. Limit fast food, eat smaller portions, and substitute unhealthy snacks for things like low-sugar granola bars, nuts, and fruits. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-dinner-no-meal-planning-required?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Save on Dinner &mdash; No Meal Planning Required</a>)</p> <h2>3. Drinking More Water</h2> <p>Ricky Gervais has said that he hates drinking water &quot;because it's boring.&quot; Many people feel the same way. Water is not the delight to the taste buds that coffee, soda, or a glass of chilled white wine is. But we need water. Many of us are actually dehydrated and we don't even realize it.</p> <p>So, pledge to drink a little more water each day. Make it a habit. Add ice and a slice of lemon or lime. Have it with every meal, alongside a drink you find tastier. If it's there, you'll most likely drink some of it. It can make a huge difference to your health. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-get-you-drinking-more-water?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Tricks to Get You Drinking More Water</a>)</p> <h2>4. Looking on the Bright Side</h2> <p>They say stress is one of the biggest killers in the world today. Stress can have a major negative impact on your blood pressure, your heart, your body, and your mood. It can lead to depression, and substance abuse. And many times, it can be alleviated by simply refusing to look for the worst possible outcome in every situation. It can be easy to dismiss people who are constantly cheery, but they really do have the advantage. While preparing for the worst can be a good idea, dwelling on it is not going to do you any favors. Don't worry about things out of your control. Don't focus on the negatives. Find ways to be thankful for the best things that happen to you every day.</p> <h2>5. Avoiding Gossip</h2> <p>Gossip can be toxic in any environment, either at work, at home, or in a circle of friends. Gossip can ruin people's lives, and can spread small falsehoods that grow into major incidents. But, gossip is fun. When someone calls you over to the water cooler surreptitiously, and says, &quot;Hey, did you hear about John&hellip;,&quot; you naturally move in closer and get involved. It's rare that anything positive comes from a scenario like this, and you can be hurt by it, too. Just back out of these gossip sessions, and concentrate on facts and reality.</p> <h2>6. Exercising More</h2> <p>You do not need a gym membership. You do not need fancy workout clothes. You don't even need the best sneakers, although it's wise to get a pair that support your feet well. What you do need are determination and commitment. You should be getting at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, and while that is tough for most of us to achieve, it can be done. It doesn't have to be an intense workout with weights and treadmills. Walking up and down the stairs at home for 30 minutes can get your heart rate up and make you sweat. Push-ups, situps, and a jog around the block all cost nothing. Start with a few times a week, and then add a day here, and a day there. You'll be amazed at the results.</p> <h2>7. Finding Your Purpose</h2> <p>You sometimes hear people say, &quot;I really want to find myself,&quot; and it's not easy to understand what they want, or what they mean. What is your purpose in life? What do you love doing? Why are you here, and what kind of difference are you making? This is not a call to change the world, cure cancer, or overthrow a dictator. It can be small. It can mean you focus on your family and raising your amazing children. It can be creating a wonderful garden that you tend to daily. It can be painting, or playing guitar, or working with wood. It's <em>your</em> purpose. Once you find it, you can feel really fulfilled every day.</p> <h2>8. Reading More</h2> <p>There are so many distractions in everyday life: exciting, visual, interactive, and engaging distractions. In comparison, picking up a book can be hard work. It's not as much fun as watching a movie in 4K, or playing an immersive video game. However, reading is important. It stimulates your brain in ways that those other distractions cannot. Your imagination can build worlds from those words you read that blow any special effects visual out of the water. And remember, your local library has thousands of books, fiction and nonfiction, that are there for you for free.</p> <h2>9. Meditating</h2> <p>Meditation is not just for new-age hippies and yoga addicts. Meditation is something many people do, including celebrities like Katy Perry, Madonna, Hugh Jackman, Clint Eastwood, Eva Mendes, and Nicole Kidman. Our busy lives make it hard to find time to sit in silence and &quot;get into ourselves,&quot; but it can have an incredible, transformational effect on your life. In the beginning, it can be difficult to train your mind, but over time, it can really pay off.</p> <h2>10. Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone</h2> <p>Routines are very comforting to us. They are also ruts that are very easy to get stuck in, and we may not even recognize them as such. If you spend every Friday evening at home with a movie and a bottle of wine, that becomes habit. A routine. It's nice. But when people ask you to go to a comedy club, or take dance classes, or even go hiking, it's way easier to say no than yes. But &quot;yes&quot; can lead to some incredible life experiences.</p> <p>If you're too afraid to approach someone in a bar, get over it. Move out of your comfort zone of smiling and looking coy, and actually say hi. Who knows where it may lead. Sure, it's not as comfortable. But it can also be exciting, maybe even scary, and that really gets your heart pumping. Who knows&hellip; you may even have fun!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-lifestyle-changes-that-will-always-pay-off">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/11-easy-ways-to-fix-your-whole-life-this-summer">11 Easy Ways to Fix Your Whole Life This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-earn-extra-money-with-a-healthy-lifestyle">5 Ways to Earn Extra Money With a Healthy Lifestyle</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-ways-to-get-fit-while-hanging-out-with-animals">8 Ways to Get Fit While Hanging Out With Animals</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-surprising-health-benefits-to-growing-a-garden">6 Surprising Health Benefits of Growing a Garden</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-have-energy-after-work">7 Easy Ways to Have Energy After Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle exercise goals hard changes healthy eating healthy lifestyle life changes meditation Fri, 17 Mar 2017 10:00:24 +0000 Paul Michael 1909971 at http://www.wisebread.com This Simple Negotiating Trick Puts Money in Your Pocket http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-negotiating-trick-puts-money-in-your-pocket <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-simple-negotiating-trick-puts-money-in-your-pocket" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-513381684.jpg" alt="Man using negotiating trick to keep money in his pocket" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you hear the word &quot;anchoring,&quot; what comes to mind? No doubt something that involves a ship dropping anchor, or perhaps fixing something to a wall or floor. But it's also a known technique used in sales and negotiations that helps people get what they want.</p> <p>The basic premise is not unlike that ship dropping its anchor, only instead of keeping the vessel in one place, it keeps your mind there. Whether it's a price, a salary, a sale, or a goal, this technique anchors your mind at a certain level. Then, all decision-making is based on that first piece of information you were given.</p> <p>Let's take a look at how it can be used to help you get what you want, save money, and even achieve a lot more around the house.</p> <h2>Negotiate a Bigger Raise or Starting Salary</h2> <p>Many people foolishly wait for the other person to make the first move when it comes to salary negotiations. The thinking here is that you don't want to show any of your cards too soon. Well, that's the complete opposite of what you should actually do. Using the anchoring technique, you can choose a salary that sets the starting point for the negotiations.</p> <p>If you're an employer, throw out a figure that is way too low. If you're an employee, raise the bar higher than you'd expect to hit. If you ask for a $180,000 salary, and the actual salary on offer is $120,000, you may actually get a little more than what they originally intended to pay. It's much harder to come down to $120k from $180k than it is from $130k. Similarly, giving an employee an offer of $70,000 for a job you'd be willing to pay $120,000 is just as effective.</p> <h2>Sell a Product or Service for More Money</h2> <p>You don't have to be in a big business to use this effectively. It can work online, at a market stall, or even a garage sale. Here, you will use anchoring as a comparison tool.</p> <p>For instance, let's say you're selling vinyl records, which are very popular these days. Set a few vinyls on the table and mark them way above the price you actually want. Then, further back, put a larger selection of vinyls set at a price slightly above what you would like, but much lower than the other, more expensive records. When the patron comes to peruse the stock, they'll initially get sticker shock. But then, they see a vast drop off. That initial price of $20 per vinyl just dropped to $8. These $8 vinyls seem like a bargain. However, if they had all been marked at $8, or some cheaper ones had been placed first, that initial anchor price would have set the standard. Try it out. You'll be amazed at the results.</p> <h2>Get More Done at Home or at Work</h2> <p>If you're having trouble getting all of your tasks done, either at home or at the office, you can use anchoring as a way to be more productive. In this case, it can be overwhelming to have 20 different things to do when you get home. You are anchored to a task list so large that you simply don't do any of them.</p> <p>Instead of 20, anchor yourself at a more manageable number. How about five? Divide those 20 tasks into five groups of four, and attack them that way. For example, instead of organizing the fridge, doing the dishes, cleaning the stove, and wiping the counters, your task instead becomes &quot;clean the kitchen.&quot; By grouping your activities, and creating a smaller list of tasks, you are anchoring yourself at a much more achievable goal. At the office, it's the same thing. Don't give yourself a massive list of tasks. Instead, divide and conquer.</p> <h2>Get a Better Price on a Car or a House</h2> <p>Car dealerships use anchoring all the time to get you to pay more for a vehicle. The sticker says $18,000, but in reality, they're willing to go as low as $13,000; they just never tell you that. It's time to turn the tables on them.</p> <p>When you go into the dealership, never tell them what you are prepared to pay for the car. Instead, set your price way lower. If you're ready to spend $20,000, tell them the most you can pay is $15,000. It's your hard stop. No more. The salesperson will now be anchored at that lower price, and will do whatever he or she can to get you to go past it by a few thousand dollars. This is good news for you, because in reality, you're going to spend a few thousand less than you actually wanted to pay. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-things-car-salesmen-dont-want-you-to-know?ref=seealso" target="_blank">17 Things Car Salesmen Don't Want You to Know</a>)</p> <p>The same goes for buying a house. Your initial offer should be low. Not low enough to price yourself out of a bidding war, but low enough to set the expectations of the seller. And as an aside, if you're selling the home, go high. When you list the home at $300,000 and sell it for $280,000, the buyer thinks they saved $20,000. However, you may well have wanted $270,000 for the house. You just made an extra $10,000 and the buyer is happy with the deal.</p> <h2>Use Your Knowledge of Anchoring to Beat the Sales Staff</h2> <p>Whether you're buying a car, a bag of apples, a new set of wireless headphones, or a few books, anchoring will often come into play. Trained sales staff know how to use anchoring to get what they want. But, if you're prepared, you can become &quot;anchorproof&quot; and pay less. Here are a few techniques at your disposal.</p> <p>First, you can simply ignore their anchor, especially if it's ridiculously high or low. Now, you don't want to say &quot;No way,&quot; as this halts the process. Instead, use language like &quot;I see, that's not quite what I had in mind, let's look at this at a different way and find something we can both be comfortable with.&quot;</p> <p>If you don't want to do that, try an anchor that negates theirs. For example, at a car dealership, when the salesperson gives you the old &quot;We can take $3,000 off this car,&quot; you can reply &quot;Wow, that still puts it $3,000 above my maximum price.&quot;</p> <p>You can also deflect an anchor by offering one from a different company. At that same dealership, you can say &quot;That's a great discount, but it's still $2,000 more than the same vehicle on offer at ABC Dealership.&quot; Of course, to do this you have to have done your research. Make sure you know exactly what the prices are at competitors, and be ready to back it up.</p> <p>So, armed with all of this, you should now be ready to use anchoring to make and earn more money, and save money every time you have to negotiate a price. Go get 'em.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-negotiating-trick-puts-money-in-your-pocket">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master">8 Negotiating Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance">The 7 Best Free Tools to Improve Your Work Performance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-retailers-where-you-can-negotiate-a-lower-price">11 Retailers Where You Can Negotiate a Lower 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/ask-these-8-questions-to-get-a-better-price">Ask These 8 Questions to Get a Better Price</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/31-foolproof-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill">31 Foolproof Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Career Building deals goals negotiating productivity raises salaries sales saving money selling strategy Wed, 15 Mar 2017 10:30:19 +0000 Paul Michael 1907105 at http://www.wisebread.com The One Thing That Will Help You Actually Save Money http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-thing-that-will-help-you-actually-save-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-one-thing-that-will-help-you-actually-save-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-525488514.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>At least 66 million American adults <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/21/66-million-americans-have-no-emergency-savings.html" target="_blank">don't have anything saved</a> in an emergency fund. Whether you have one or not, that is a whopper of a number!</p> <p>Saving is hard. There are so many legitimate places to spend our money, and so many things we want on top of that. It can be difficult to figure out how to set anything aside, let alone to leave it there when a new need or want pops up on our horizon.</p> <p>Lucky for us, there is one very simple way to help ourselves save more money.</p> <h2>Positive Encouragement</h2> <p>The Rand Corporation recently published a study examining the role of <a href="https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/working_papers/WR1000/WR1055/RAND_WR1055.pdf" target="_blank">positive encouragement in savings</a>. Study participants were randomly given $50, $100, or $500 just for participating, but they had to put at least a portion of that into savings. They were able to choose the portion, as long as some of the money got saved for the six-month duration of the study.</p> <p>Each saver was assigned one of three different types of savings account: A traditional savings account, earning 30% interest and allowing the participant to withdraw the money at any time; a hard commitment account, also earning 30% interest but disallowing withdrawals; and a soft commitment account, which was the same as the traditional account except that it also included encouraging nudges designed to potentially help participants save.</p> <p>These nudges weren't anything huge. The folks running the study just reminded people why they were saving, helped them see themselves as good savers, and helped them think about how good it would feel to reach their savings goals.</p> <p>In addition to all of this, every participant got an update on their money every month, and they were also asked if they wanted to save more. The results? The folks with the soft commitment accounts were the most successful savers early on, while those with the hard commitment accounts enjoyed the greatest return at the end of the study.</p> <p>That's not the only good news! The people who seemed to benefit most from the encouragement they received were &quot;impatient&quot; people, a group less likely to successfully reach a savings goal.</p> <h2>Encourage Yourself</h2> <p>Since we can't all be part of a study like this, what does it mean for us? Is there a way to apply these ideas so that we can motivate ourselves to start &mdash; and continue &mdash; saving?</p> <h3>1. Find a Goal</h3> <p>Before you can know how it feels to reach a goal, you have to set one. Even if you are saving for something less glamorous, like an emergency fund or a new water heater, set that goal firmly in your mind. It is what you need, and it is the reason you are putting money away.</p> <h3>2. Think About Your Goal</h3> <p>When it comes to financial goals, don't just set it and forget it. Instead, remind yourself of your goal regularly. This can mean writing &quot;Hawaii&quot; on a sticky note and putting it on your bedroom mirror or your computer monitor, or it can mean setting daily reminders on your phone. Do whatever works for you, but make sure your goal comes to mind at least every few days.</p> <h3>3. Feel Good About Your Goal</h3> <p>Positive feelings are important when it comes to feeling encouraged, so don't just analyze your goal, but think about how you will feel when you achieve it, too. If you're saving for a new car, picture yourself driving it to work feeling happy and proud. If you need an emergency fund, imagine yourself feeling safe and secure, even in the face of a medical bill or a massive auto repair.</p> <p>It can help to write these scenarios and feelings down, too. Writing has a way of making things feel more real, of making them tangible. If you struggle to meet your goals, giving yourself a tangible reminder of why you're pursuing your goal can help make it more concrete in your mind.</p> <h3>4. Affirm Yourself</h3> <p>In addition to focusing on your goal, spend some time focusing on yourself, too. Say and write down statements like &quot;I am a good saver,&quot; and &quot;I will reach my financial goals.&quot; You might feel silly, but doing these things will help you come to believe these things about yourself. Saying it once won't make it true, but saying it over and over can help you change what you believe about yourself.</p> <p>Be sure that your statements are all positive. Keep away from statements that include words like &quot;I won't&hellip;&quot; or &quot;I will stop...&quot; These can be harder for our brains to process, and can sometimes backfire. You can turn any statement into a positive one with a couple moments' work, thus avoiding any accidental confusion in your own head.</p> <p>Saving may feel like a gargantuan task for you, but you can get started today. Set aside a little bit of money &mdash; open a new account if you need to! &mdash; and jump in with these positive reminders. You may be able to save more than you think!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-thing-that-will-help-you-actually-save-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/23-frugal-living-resolutions-anyone-can-master">23 Frugal Living Resolutions Anyone Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-mental-habits-that-make-the-rich-richer">5 Mental Habits That Make the Rich Richer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-commandments-of-reaching-financial-freedom">The 10 Commandments of Reaching Financial Freedom</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-family-plans-can-save-you-tons">How Family Plans Can Save you TONS</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/this-simple-negotiating-trick-puts-money-in-your-pocket">This Simple Negotiating Trick Puts Money in Your Pocket</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living affirmations encouragement goals positive reinforcement psychology saving money Wed, 08 Feb 2017 10:00:09 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1878070 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 87 Frugal Ways to Make Winter Less Miserable http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-87-frugal-ways-to-make-winter-less-miserable <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-87-frugal-ways-to-make-winter-less-miserable" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_winter_snow-499814150.jpg" alt="Woman finding frugal ways to make winter less miserable" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Winter is a dreary, dark time. The sun rarely shines, and you can barely wade through the white mess on the ground without getting your feet and pants soaked. But never fear. You <em>can</em> turn that S.A.D.-induced frown upside down. Here are 87 ways to make winter less miserable.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_sad_window_507633424.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-prevent-the-winter-blues-from-busting-your-budget?ref=fbf">5 Ways to Prevent the Winter Blues from Busting Your Budget</a> &mdash; Seasonal Affective Disorder puts you in a very vulnerable state of mind during the winter months. This can naturally lead you to making all sorts of ill-advised decisions, especially when it comes to your finances. Use these tips to keep you armed with a plan to fight those habits.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-winter-activities-to-keep-kids-busy-during-holiday-break?ref=fbf">9 Frugal Winter Activities to Keep Kids Busy During Holiday Break</a> &mdash; When the kids are home during holiday breaks or snow days, it's hard to know what to do with them to keep them busy and entertained. These activities are fun and cheap, so everybody wins.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock-490080588.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-destinations-for-a-dreamy-winter-getaway?ref=fbf">8 Frugal Destinations for a Dreamy Winter Getaway</a> &mdash; Wanna get out of the snow? Plan a trip to somewhere idyllic and in your mind, you'll already be there. It doesn't matter if the trip is weeks or months away. Having something to look forward to will instantly boost your mood.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-investments-that-do-better-in-winter?ref=fbf">5 Investments That Do Better in Winter</a> &mdash; Sometimes, money actually can buy happiness. Especially when money turns into even more money. Put your cash in these stocks and you could have a nice little cushion by the time spring arrives.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/winteract-78255607.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-fun-things-to-do-when-youre-stuck-inside-during-winter?ref=fbf">50 Fun Things to Do When You're Stuck Inside During Winter</a> &mdash; Life isn't so bad when you can curl up by the fire and read a book or take a nap. The weather outside might be frightful, but these indoor winter ideas are all kinds of delightful.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-awesome-staycations-you-should-take-before-winter-ends?ref=fbf">5 Awesome Staycations You Should Take Before Winter Ends</a> &mdash; Before the snow melts, embrace your indoors-y side and have a nice little staycation. You'll feel bad about doing this when the weather outside is warm and beautiful, so take advantage of it now.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-87-frugal-ways-to-make-winter-less-miserable">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-76-new-years-resolutions-thatll-make-2017-your-year">Flashback Friday: 76 New Year&#039;s Resolutions That&#039;ll Make 2017 Your Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-51-ways-to-organize-your-whole-life-in-2017">Flashback Friday: 51 Ways to Organize Your Whole Life in 2017</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store">Flashback Friday: The 81 Best Tips for Saving Big at the Grocery Store</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-34-ways-fitness-can-improve-your-finances">Flashback Friday: 34 Ways Fitness Can Improve Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-reasons-to-look-forward-to-2017">17 Reasons to Look Forward to 2017</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living fbf fitness flashback friday frugal living frugal living goals goals Health Holidays money New Year's new year's resolutions Fri, 13 Jan 2017 10:30:30 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1873235 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 51 Ways to Organize Your Whole Life in 2017 http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-51-ways-to-organize-your-whole-life-in-2017 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-51-ways-to-organize-your-whole-life-in-2017" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_clothes_closet_585786834.jpg" alt="Woman organizing her whole life in 2017" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are tons of resolutions you could focus on in the new year. You can get healthier, get in better shape, and focus on your career goals. But none of those goals are truly attainable if your living space is cluttered with stuff you don't want or need. The first step to accomplishing any goal is getting organized. So why not start there? Here are 51 ways to organize your life in 2017.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock_68476985_MEDIUM.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-smart-ways-to-organize-old-photos?ref=fbf" target="_blank">12 Smart Ways to Organize Old Photos</a> &mdash; We all have stacks of old photos somewhere. And until you sit down and decide what to do with them, that increasingly dusty stack will remain on your to-do list. Do it now! These tips are super helpful.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-organize-a-messy-closet?ref=fbf" target="_blank">14 Ways to Organize a Messy Closet</a> &mdash; I have deep respect for anyone who constantly maintains a clean closet, because&hellip; how? But that feeling of pulling out the stuff you no longer wear is such a wonderful form of freedom. Do not underestimate it.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/organized-woman-home-490848943-small.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/organized-people-have-these-5-things-in-their-homes-do-you?ref=fbf" target="_blank">Organized People Have These 5 Things in Their Homes &mdash; Do You?</a> &mdash; In order to become successful at organization, you might as well learn from the pros, right? And these five items can be found in every pro-organizer's home. Are they in yours?</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-ways-to-keep-your-family-organized?ref=fbf" target="_blank">8 Easy Ways to Keep Your Family Organized</a> &mdash; You can't accomplish any of your goals &mdash; organization-related or otherwise &mdash; if your entire day is packed with familial responsibilities. Get everyone else's schedules down on paper and then you'll have a much easier time organizing yours.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_writing_paperwork_000077386871.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-organize-your-paperwork-in-just-10-minutes-a-week?ref=fbf" target="_blank">How to Organize Your Paperwork in Just 10 Minutes a Week</a> &mdash; Even in the digital age, paperwork can easily pile up. And nobody wants to tackle that stack after a month of putting it off. If you do this each week, for only 10 minutes, your desk will always look clutter-free.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-a-mindfulness-journal-can-fix-your-life?ref=fbf" target="_blank">7 Ways a Mindfulness Journal Can Fix Your Life</a> &mdash; For some people, getting organized starts with the right mindset. When you start using a mindfulness journal, you become so much more aware of your moods, thoughts, and priorities. Then you have more room to live a happier life. Give it a go!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-51-ways-to-organize-your-whole-life-in-2017">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-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-76-new-years-resolutions-thatll-make-2017-your-year">Flashback Friday: 76 New Year&#039;s Resolutions That&#039;ll Make 2017 Your Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-87-frugal-ways-to-make-winter-less-miserable">Flashback Friday: 87 Frugal Ways to Make Winter Less Miserable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared</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-45-life-lessons-youd-give-to-your-younger-self">Flashback Friday: 45 Life Lessons You&#039;d Give to Your Younger Self</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-missing-out-on-these-5-easy-fixes-for-fomo">You&#039;re Missing Out on These 5 Easy Fixes for FOMO</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Life Hacks Organization fbf flashback friday frugal living frugal living goals goals money New Year's new year's resolutions organization Fri, 06 Jan 2017 10:30:31 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1869315 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money Moments That Should Be On Everyone's Bucket List http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moments-that-should-be-on-everyones-bucket-list <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-moments-that-should-be-on-everyones-bucket-list" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/money_happy_woman_161954601.jpg" alt="Woman celebrating money moments on her bucket list" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The big house. The fancy car. The 'round-the-world vacation. When you think of a bucket list, and mention money, it's easy to start daydreaming about things that cost a fortune.</p> <p>However, you don't have to have your head in the clouds to achieve a bucket list of money moments. Here are eight of the big ones. Many of them are already within your reach.</p> <h2>1. Becoming Debt Free</h2> <p>Let's start with the most obvious money moment we should all be striving for &mdash; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=internal">eliminating our debt</a>. It's certainly not easy, and it's not something that can be done quickly. This requires careful planning, a lot of willpower, and the willingness to forgo the little luxuries we all like to have in our daily lives. But, it can be done.</p> <p>One way to do this is by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-debt-snowball-method-0" target="_blank">snowballing your debt</a>. You take the smallest debt you have, perhaps a store card or a loan, and you figure out a way to pay as much off that balance as you can each month. While you're doing this, you pay the minimum on your other debts. When that small debt has been paid off, you apply that to the next debt on your list, and just keep going. Eventually, you'll have everything paid off, including the car and the mortgage. What does &quot;eventually&quot; actually mean? It might be a few years, but if you stick to it, you'll achieve your goal.&nbsp;</p> <h2>2. Putting Work That You Love Ahead of Salary</h2> <p>All too often, we do work that doesn't really fulfill us, but gives us the money to pay the bills, save for a college fund, and go away on vacation every year. However, as we spend most of our lives working, it makes sense that the job should be one that really brings us happiness.</p> <p>By&nbsp;following some of the advice mentioned earlier, it is possible to put salary and benefits second to job satisfaction. And when you don't need the money, the job market looks very different. Suddenly, your options are wide open. If you love working with animals, you can leave the rat race to care for dogs and cats. If you love working with children, or the elderly, you can find careers in those fields. They don't pay as much, but the rewards to your soul are much greater.</p> <h2>3. Building a Solid Emergency Fund</h2> <p>Some 50 years ago, you could start a job at a company in your youth, and with hard work and dedication, retire from that same company 40 years later. That time has passed. These days, corporations are constantly looking for ways to cut costs and give greater value to their shareholders. That means mergers, streamlining, and of course, layoffs.</p> <p>When the worst happens (and it will probably happen more than once in your lifetime), you need to be adequately prepared. Experts say your emergency fund should have three to six months' living expenses in it. Some say more, especially when the economy tanks and jobs are scarce.</p> <p>How do you do that, especially when you're trying to pay down debt? You need to first set a target &mdash; how much will be in the fund? Then, you need to take advantage of great interest rates, low or no-fee accounts, and apps like <a href="https://www.acorns.com/" target="_blank">Acorns</a> that invest the change from every transaction. Put a dedicated amount to one side each month, and stick to it. If that means no eating out, or no trips to the cinema, so be it. Once your fund is established, you can loosen the reins a little.</p> <h2>4. Creating a Last Will and Testament</h2> <p>Very few people like the idea of creating a will. The whole idea of planning for a life that does not have you in it is morbid to say the least. But, it's essential, especially if you have family and have specific ideas about who gets your possessions.</p> <p>With a will, you can ensure that your last wishes are met. You can name an executor, who will take on the task of wrapping up your affairs. You can be very specific about who gets what, and how it is all divided. You can name a guardian for your children and pets, and a property manager. This is all very important. If you do die without a will in place, it can lead to a lot of infighting and malice. And in some cases, it can split families apart. The state will decide how to distribute your belongings, and it will not be done with the delicacy or care that you would like.</p> <h2>5. Earning Passive Income</h2> <p>Passive income is a way to earn money using little-to-no effort, usually from a business or venture you have set up yourself. Examples of passive income include earnings from rental properties, royalties from intellectual property (books, songs, software, etc.), investment portfolios, renting out tools and equipment, and even interest from lottery winnings. The latter is not something you have much control over, but everything else is achievable.</p> <p>Look for ideas on ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-outside-your-day-job" target="_blank">make lucrative money on the side</a> without the need for a lot of regular work. It may take some serious elbow grease on the front end, but once that's established, you can sit back and watch the money come rolling in.</p> <h2>6. Buying Something Big With Cold, Hard Cash</h2> <p>This one is certainly not as important as the money moments preceding it, but it's worth aiming for. When you can buy something big (a car, a house, a boat, an RV) with cash, you have so much more power to negotiate. And you will save a staggering amount of money because you are not paying compound interest.</p> <p>Let's look at a home. Cash buyers usually get a discount, and even if it's only 3%, that can mean $6,000 on a $200,000 home. So let's say the cash price is $194,000, versus the $200,000 mortgage price, and the mortgage buyer puts down 10%. Over 30 years at 4%, that $180,000 loan has become around $310,000! By paying cash up front, you are literally saving the cost of another smaller home. It's not easy, but once you pay off your debts, you can quickly accumulate income. With some savvy investing, you could one day feel the satisfaction of saying &quot;And how much if I pay cash&hellip; right now?&quot;</p> <h2>7. Negotiating a Higher Salary&nbsp;</h2> <p>Some people work hard, put in the hours, and accept the 3% raise they get each year, which&nbsp;barely covers the rising cost of living. Other people grab life by the throat, and get a bump in pay simply by asking for it. Before you do it, you'll need some good data on your side.</p> <p>First, look at the position you are in on Salary.com and Glassdoor. What are people being paid at other companies in your area? Are you earning a competitive salary, or are you underpaid? (If you're overpaid, you may want to hold off on asking for even more&hellip;that could backfire).</p> <p>Next, assemble all the reasons that you believe you are owed more money. Did you save the company a lot of money? Did you bring in new accounts? Did you work 70-hour weeks all year long? Just like buying a car, you want to do your homework. Then, call a meeting with the boss, and lay it all on the line, politely but assertively.</p> <h2>8. No Longer Living Paycheck to Paycheck&nbsp;</h2> <p>The number of people living paycheck-to-paycheck in America may surprise you. It's not one in four, or even half of us. No. Three out of every four Americans are <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/24/pf/emergency-savings/index.html" target="_blank">struggling to make ends meet</a>.</p> <p>For many, it's a case of not being paid enough, or having crippling debt repayments. For others, it's more about bad budgeting and excessive spending. Whatever the reason, you should have a plan to get beyond living paycheck to paycheck. Have a big enough cushion in the bank to make life more comfortable. And, cut out the expenses that are dragging you down. With dedication, you could be&nbsp;one of those people who&nbsp;doesn't&nbsp;count the days to the next check going in the bank.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moments-that-should-be-on-everyones-bucket-list">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-critical-money-mistakes-people-make-in-their-40s">7 Critical Money Mistakes People Make in Their 40s</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-personal-finance-resolutions-anyone-can-master">8 Personal Finance Resolutions Anyone Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-financial-decisions-youll-never-regret">8 Financial Decisions You&#039;ll Never Regret</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/13-financial-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season">13 Financial Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday Season</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-tell-youve-become-a-financial-grownup">How to Tell You&#039;ve Become a Financial Grownup</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance bucket lists cash debt free emergency funds estate planning goals jobs passive income salary saving money Mon, 02 Jan 2017 10:00:07 +0000 Paul Michael 1865345 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 76 New Year's Resolutions That'll Make 2017 Your Year http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-76-new-years-resolutions-thatll-make-2017-your-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-76-new-years-resolutions-thatll-make-2017-your-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_2017_loading_624248520.jpg" alt="Woman making new year&#039;s resolutions for 2017" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's no dancing around it &mdash; 2016 has been a garbage year. Most of us are ready to enthusiastically wave goodbye to it on New Year's Eve and usher in a fresh start. And even though most resolutions are abandoned by February, if you incorporate focused, realistic goals, your chances for success are far greater. So let's give it a go when the clock strikes midnight. Here are 76 New Year's resolutions that will make 2017 your best year ever!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock-518171446_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-to-keep-new-years-resolutions-that-really-pay-off?ref=fbf" target="_blank">15 Easy to Keep New Year's Resolutions That Really Pay Off</a> &mdash; The smartest way to make goals that will stick is to make them easy. If they're difficult and vague, you won't be motivated enough to keep them. These are all easy, focused, and will make your life so much better.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/successful-new-years-resolutions-have-this-one-thing-in-common-does-yours?ref=fbf" target="_blank">Successful New Year's Resolutions Have This One Thing in Common &mdash; Does Yours?</a> &mdash; The secret to achieving these holiday goals is to understand why the successful ones actually work. This breaks down the one thing all successful resolutions have in common. Make sure it's part of yours, too!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_dog_pet_499423418_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-new-years-resolutions-your-pet-wants-you-to-make?ref=fbf" target="_blank">4 New Year's Resolutions Your Pet Wants You to Make</a> &mdash; Your pet lives for you. They think you're the best creature on this Earth. So why not consider what they'd want for you when making your annual list of resolutions? Seeing your dog with that goofy grin will be more than worth it.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-frugal-living-resolutions-anyone-can-master?ref=fbf" target="_blank">23 Frugal Living Resolutions Anyone Can Master</a> &mdash; Living frugally is a trend that will never go away. We could all spend less money and buy fewer things. All of these brilliantly simple resolutions incorporate the frugal mindset. A little saving can go a long way.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/friends_new_years_498059820_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-personal-finance-resolutions-anyone-can-master?ref=fbf" target="_blank">8 Personal Finance Resolutions Anyone Can Master</a> &mdash; Money. We all need more of it. Living paycheck-to-paycheck is a miserable way to live. Taking these small steps to building your financial cushion will give you financial freedom, and ultimately, a better life.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-small-new-year-s-resolutions-you-can-start-today?ref=fbf" target="_blank">25 Small New Year&rsquo;s Resolutions You Can Start Today</a> &mdash; Why wait until the ball drops? Get started on your resolutions now! These steps are all small and easy-to-make. After all, the early bird gets the worm, right?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-76-new-years-resolutions-thatll-make-2017-your-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-87-frugal-ways-to-make-winter-less-miserable">Flashback Friday: 87 Frugal Ways to Make Winter Less Miserable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-51-ways-to-organize-your-whole-life-in-2017">Flashback Friday: 51 Ways to Organize Your Whole Life in 2017</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-34-ways-fitness-can-improve-your-finances">Flashback Friday: 34 Ways Fitness Can Improve Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-84-frugal-ways-to-eliminate-stress">Flashback Friday: 84 Frugal Ways to Eliminate Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-38-ways-to-get-more-sleep-tonight">Flashback Friday: 38 Ways to Get More Sleep Tonight</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Health and Beauty fbf fitness flashback friday frugal living frugal living goals goals Health Holidays money New Year's new year's resolutions Fri, 30 Dec 2016 10:30:30 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1865098 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Mental Habits That Make the Rich Richer http://www.wisebread.com/5-mental-habits-that-make-the-rich-richer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-mental-habits-that-make-the-rich-richer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kid_money_maker_532666075.jpg" alt="Kid learning mental habits that make the rich richer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The mind is a powerful thing that should not be underestimated.</p> <p>Many successful people believe that if you can change your thought patterns, you can also change your bank account size. Here are five mental tricks that rich people use to make even more money. Try adopting these thought patterns to see if they work at boosting your income.</p> <h2>1. They Think of Money as a Game</h2> <p>Rich people tend to think of money as a game, calculating where to spend and where to invest. Successful people love to win, which is why they are continually trying to do better, do more, learn more, and grow. The average earner gets in trouble when they become stagnant in their career and finances. If you drag yourself to work each day for just a paycheck to survive, then don't expect much more than that. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-retire-rich?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Retire Rich</a>)</p> <h2>2. They Set Big Goals</h2> <p>Rich people are not afraid of setting big, somewhat unrealistic goals because they know they can conquer them. Why are we afraid of setting big goals for ourselves? Is it because we don't believe they can happen? Is it because we know we will hit our financial expectation if we set it low enough?</p> <p>Set big, scary goals for all areas of your life and look at them as a challenge. What if you don't meet those goals? There is always going to be a possibility of setting a huge goal that you never meet, but what if you try and get halfway there? When you set the bar high, you force yourself to grow as a person.</p> <p>For example, you can set two different financial goals this next year. One goal is to save $1,000, and the other to save $20,000. There's a big difference in the two goals, and for some, the latter seems impossible. However, if you set the $20,000 savings goal and then tried your best to achieve it, you are going to surprise yourself. You might not hit the $20,000 mark, but you might hit the $10,000 or even $15,000 mark, which are all so much greater than the low-expectations goal of saving $1,000. Don't be afraid to set big goals for yourself. Shoot for the stars, not the dirt.</p> <h2>3. Fear Is Not an Option</h2> <p>One of the biggest emotions that keeps people from achieving great things is fear. Rich people block out fear and take smart risks. Do they fail? Yes! Every rich and successful person has a list of failures to their name, along with even more accomplishments and achievements. When you are trying to battle your fear, ask yourself, &quot;What is the worst that can happen?&quot; Many times, the worst isn't that bad at all.</p> <h2>4. They Deserve to Be Rich</h2> <p>The rich think that they deserve to be rich. They view themselves as worthy of having money. On the flip side, those stuck in middle class don't feel worthy to be rich. They don't view themselves as anyone important or of value.(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-when-youre-rich-dream-buys-that-arent-that-great?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 &quot;When You're Rich&quot; Dream Buys That Aren't That Great</a>)</p> <p>This isn't just some lofty thought to have. Think of your current job position. Can you be replaced easily in your company? If you answered yes, then figure out how you can become a valuable asset to your boss. If your company doesn't want to lose you, they will pay more to keep you. This can apply to almost any position, so don't think you need to go back to school to get a better degree to make this true for you.</p> <h2>5. Money Is Their Friend</h2> <p>Wealthy individuals realize the power that money has, knowing that it can solve problems and make their lives better. Those who earn less view money as the enemy. They work so that they can pay bills, they pay bills so that they can live, and so on. The cycle never ends, and they are miserable.</p> <p>Obviously, money is not the answer to happiness, but those who are smart with their money can leverage their paychecks to make their lives better.</p> <p>These mental tricks aren't magic. Instead, they help rewire your brain to value yourself and your work &mdash; which in turn means you will earn more and spend your money better.</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-mental-habits-that-make-the-rich-richer">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/create-a-reverse-bucket-list-to-improve-your-money-management">Create a Reverse Bucket List to Improve Your Money Management</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-smart-ways-young-millionaires-manage-their-money">3 Smart Ways Young Millionaires Manage Their Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-pessimism-can-actually-improve-your-finances">4 Ways Pessimism Can Actually Improve Your Finances</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-personal-finance-resolutions-anyone-can-master">8 Personal Finance Resolutions Anyone Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-when-youre-rich-dream-buys-that-arent-that-great">5 &quot;When You&#039;re Rich&quot; Dream Buys That Aren&#039;t That Great</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance goals mental tricks outlook paycheck to paycheck psychology rich saving money wealth building wealthy Thu, 29 Dec 2016 10:30:37 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1864425 at http://www.wisebread.com 23 Frugal Living Resolutions Anyone Can Master http://www.wisebread.com/23-frugal-living-resolutions-anyone-can-master <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/23-frugal-living-resolutions-anyone-can-master" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/charity_fund_coins_495493374.jpg" alt="Finding frugal living resolutions anyone can master" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ooooooooh! I love a good challenge, don't you?</p> <p>Every year, 50% of Americans make a New Year's resolution. But each year, 88% of New Year resolvers fail to meet their goals. How is that possible? And how can we beat that disheartening statistic?</p> <h2>Do Less, More Often</h2> <p>The problem with most resolutions isn't too little willpower, but too much abstraction. Most people choose a gigantic, but vaguely defined, goal to achieve. Too many moving parts, mission creep, a steep learning curve; these things are obstacles to attaining goals. The key to success is to make the goal a small, but achievable habit. To quote Tim, my yoga teacher: &quot;Do less, more often.&quot;</p> <p>For example, I am currently trying to lose the 15 pounds I packed on this past year while recovering from an ankle injury. If I want to be successful in my goal to lose weight, my New Year's resolutions should not be, &quot;Get back in shape.&quot; That's a huge and amorphous mandate. Instead, my New Year's resolution should be a tiny daily habit like, &quot;Jump rope for 20 minutes every morning before breakfast.&quot;</p> <p>Plot twist: My New Year's resolution isn't actually about losing weight. My resolution this year, as it is every year, is to save more money.</p> <h2>Choose a Resolution That Requires No Talent</h2> <p>&quot;Save more money&quot; is about as undefined and unwieldy as you can get with a New Year's resolution. There are so many things that can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-everything-breaks" target="_blank">throw a wrench into your plans</a> and destroy your motivation to save in the course of 12 months. Trust me, this resolution is dumb.</p> <p>If you want to grow your savings, simplify your life, or just live a little lighter on the planet, here's a list of simple, frugal living resolutions that require no talent.</p> <h2>1. Don't Drive Like a Jerk</h2> <p>It was a word problem on a 7th grade algebra exam that taught me that speeding wastes money. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) can lower your gas mileage by up to 33%. Stop speeding and practice hypermiling instead.</p> <h2>2. Carpool</h2> <p>My husband saves thousands of dollars each year by carpooling to work. But don't limit your carpooling to just your daily work commute. You can save a ton of money by using a rideshare service to carpool home for the holidays or to a cultural event in another city. My awesome neighbor Patria and I carpool our errands at least once a week. It saves time, money, wear and tear on the car, and makes boring trips to the post office way more fun.</p> <h2>3. Go Carless for Short Trips</h2> <p>I try to walk, bike, or take public transportation to all events within a three-mile radius of my house. This habit saves me on gas money and allows me to avoid a costly gym membership. The hardest part about this practice is the time management. I no longer have to schedule around my workout, but it takes me much longer to get to the grocery store.</p> <h2>4. Stop Paying to Park</h2> <p>The hardest thing about driving in Los Angeles is not the traffic, but the parking. The city makes up its budget shortfall by aggressively doling out parking tickets, which start at $35 and go up from there. Parking signs are notoriously difficult to parse, of course.</p> <p>The key to saving money on parking is to give yourself extra time to find a free or cheap parking spot, so schedule that into your day. Also, there have been manifestos written about how to park on a budget in LA. I am sure <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-parking-apps-for-your-city" target="_blank">parking apps and maps</a> exist in other cities, too.</p> <h2>5. Be on Time</h2> <p>It takes absolutely no talent to be on time. There's a reason why the saying, &quot;Time is money,&quot; is a thing. Even so, American CEOs are late to 80% of their meetings. According to a survey by Proudfoot Consulting, CEO tardiness costs the U.S. economy $90 billion in lost productivity every year.</p> <p>But, even if you aren't a captain of industry, lateness is a money loser. Worst case scenario, you could get fired. As the job market becomes more competitive, more companies have decided to take a zero tolerance stance against employee tardiness. Your boss might be able to show up late, but you could lose your job.</p> <p>Also, being chronically late says a lot about you, and none of it is good.</p> <h2>6. Get Rid of 10 Things a Day</h2> <p>Clutter will keep you poor and drive you crazy. My November 1, 2001 Resolution was <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-this-one-thing-a-day-to-defeat-clutter-forever" target="_blank">Get Rid of 10 Things a Day</a>. I keep clutter at bay by removing 10 things from my home every day. That comes to 300 things per month, or 3,650 things per year, that leave my house. A thing can be as big as a car or as small as a safety pin. I can trash, donate, or recycle a thing. As long as the item physically leaves my house, I can count it as part of my 10 things.</p> <h2>7. Mari Kondo Your Home</h2> <p>Japanese organizing guru <a href="http://amzn.to/2ieBLPM" target="_blank">Mari Kondo</a> has taken the world by storm with her very simple method of managing clutter: Only keep the things that bring you a spark of joy. (Anything that doesn't bring you a spark of joy gets tossed.)</p> <h2>8. Downsize Your Storage</h2> <p>If your goal this year is to downsize, you should definitely start by emptying your storage.</p> <p>If you have ever watched <em>Storage Wars</em>, then you already know that most people pay a lot of money to store a lot of worthless crap. Personal storage is a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-self-storage-units-are-more-sad-museums-than-savvy-solutions">huge money drain</a>. Do the math. It might actually be cheaper to buy and then sell seasonal items like sleds and garden tools each year rather than paying to store them during the offseason.</p> <h2>9. Join the Compact (Buy Nothing New for One Calendar Year)</h2> <p>I <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-30000-and-helped-the-earth-at-the-same-time" target="_blank">joined The Compact</a> in 2007 out of green guilt. Almost 10 years later, I am still a subscriber to this conservation movement. In addition to helping me live a more environmentally sustainable life, it has also helped me save over $30,000. Also, it's a super fun challenge that has taught me so much about myself!</p> <p>The core idea behind The Compact is to lighten your environmental impact on the planet by reducing the number of virgin resources you take out of it. You achieve this by agreeing to step off the consumer grid and buy nothing new for one calendar year, save for necessities like food, medication, and safety supplies.</p> <p>While buying nothing new sounds like deprivation, it's really more like a treasure hunt, because you can buy anything you want used. Under Compact rules, you could buy vintage furniture, or used clothes, or even a classic automobile, because none of these items are new.</p> <p>It's a super simple idea that runs deceptively deep, as sourcing used goods upends modern life's push for instant gratification.</p> <h2>10. Create a Capsule Wardrobe</h2> <p>While fashion bloggers on Pinterest and Tumblr might lead you to believe that a capsule wardrobe is all about shopping for the perfect minimalist wardrobe, I would argue that those people are doing it wrong. A true capsule wardrobe is a tightly edited collection of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-a-work-wardrobe-for-any-job-on-a-budget" target="_blank">garments that fit your lifestyle</a>, year-round.</p> <p>A capsule wardrobe shouldn't be about perfection, but about creativity and practicality. How many outfits can you create out of the smallest number of garments?</p> <p>Since most people only wear a fraction of the clothes in their closets, downsize to the favorite items you wear over and over and get rid of everything else. Replace only your favorite garments when they wear out. Your new, smaller wardrobe will save you money and time.</p> <h2>11. Shop in Your Own Home First</h2> <p>Before you make a purchase, search your home first for an alternative that you can use instead. Can you make do with a navy blue dress instead of a little black dress? Can you learn how to cook on the stovetop instead of replacing your broken microwave with a new one? For the love of all that is good and beautiful, can you watch an instructional video to learn how to make your own fancy coffee at home for 10 cents versus buying it for $2.00?</p> <h2>12. Be a Part-Time Vegetarian</h2> <p>Meat costs a lot of money and is hard on the planet. The <a href="http://www.meatlessmonday.com/the-global-movement/" target="_blank">Meatless Monday Movement</a> found that by cutting meat consumption to just one day a week saved participating families $80 per month on their grocery bills. Save even more by going meatless several days a week.</p> <h2>13. Eat Your Leftovers!</h2> <p>My sister and I grew up eating last night's dinner leftovers for breakfast. In addition to cutting food waste, eating leftovers also sped up the morning schedule because on most days, we didn't even bother reheating the food. This weird, frugal hack has saved my sister and I a small fortune in food costs.</p> <p>A lot of people who hear about our dinner for breakfast habit are grossed out. Of course, these same people probably have no problem with eating dinner for breakfast as long as they pay a lot of money for steamed table food and call it brunch.</p> <p>If dinner for breakfast doesn't float your boat, make <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-night-soup-delicious-soup-from-leftovers" target="_blank">Thursday Night Soup</a> out of your kitchen scraps to stretch your grocery budget and keep your fridge compost-free.</p> <h2>14. Bring Your Lunch to Work</h2> <p>My husband has saved over $2,500 this year just by bringing his lunch to work instead of going out to eat. My husband doesn't feel deprived or shamed by his brown bagging. A<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-non-sandwich-work-lunches" target="_blank"> brown bag lunch</a> doesn't have to be boring. My husband takes great pleasure in preparing elaborate meals for himself that cost pennies.</p> <p>Alternately, if you have a favorite food, eating the same lunch every day can be a comforting ritual that saves a lot of time. Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox famously ate the <a href="http://www.self.com/story/jennifer-aniston-and-the-friends-ladies-ate-this-salad-every-day-for-10-years" target="_blank">same salad</a> for lunch for 10 years. My mother, who is an excellent cook, loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches so much, that she has special refillable tubes that allow her to take her favorite lunch ingredients with her when she goes camping. Eating the same lunch each day also makes it easy to save money on groceries. You can budget down to the penny what your lunch costs and buy the ingredients when they go on sale.</p> <h2>15. Use Less</h2> <p>This one is easy. Just use less. If you use half the amount of detergent, will your clothes still get clean? Can you split an entree at dinner with a friend and still feel full? What would happen if you just lathered and rinsed, but didn't repeat?</p> <h2>16. Save Water</h2> <p>Is your water bill sky high or would you just like to do your part to preserve the water table? It's time to plan out your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-save-water" target="_blank">water-saving plan</a>.</p> <h2>17. Save Electricity</h2> <p>Turn off those lights! Make these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-youre-wasting-electricity-without-realizing-it" target="_blank">energy-saving strategies</a> part of your daily life and save big.</p> <h2>18. Cut Down on Your Trash</h2> <p>The average American generates 4.4 pounds of trash per person, per day. You can do better! Here are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-cut-down-on-garbage-and-save-money-too" target="_blank">12 ways to cut down on garbage</a> and save money (and your sanity, too).</p> <h2>19. Recycle</h2> <p>Before I was old enough to legally work, I earned pocket money by collecting bottles and cans and recycling them for money. As an adult, I still make several hundred dollars a year recycling the bottles and cans that my wino neighbors throw onto the parkway. Yes. It might be embarrassing to cruise target-rich public areas like fraternity row or the trash cans outside your local concert venue for recyclables. But, if you are scrambling to make ends meet, consider the cost of your vanity. There's at least one Los Angeles family that <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=1787254&amp;page=1#.UU6Z1I73BdQ" target="_blank">sent their three kids to college</a> with the money they made collecting bottles and cans.</p> <p>Recycling is obviously good for the wallet. But, if you already recycle for the money, consider recycling items that don't offer a rebate for the sake of the planet. An increasing number of companies are now offering <a href="https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/brigades" target="_blank">free recycling</a> for their packaging.</p> <h2>20. Keep Making Payments</h2> <p>My husband and I finally paid off our home equity line of credit! We've been making the $423 payments each month for over a year now, and we intend to continue paying the $423&hellip; but as extra principal payments on our home mortgage. Since we're used to covering the $423, we won't even notice a difference in our budget.</p> <h2>21. Collect the Change</h2> <p>Every time you get a $5 bill, put that money into your savings account. If your budget won't permit $5 increment savings, put your spare change into a piggy bank at the end of each day. Either way, your savings will pleasantly surprise you at the end of the year.</p> <h2>22. 52-Week Challenge</h2> <p>This savings strategy has a slow roll out, but strong payout. Every year is divided into 52 weeks. On week one, put $1 into your savings account. On week two, put $2 into your savings account. On week three, save $3. You get the idea. The largest weekly deposit you will have to make is $52. At the end of the year you will have saved $1,378!</p> <h2>23. Learn and Practice One New Skill</h2> <p>I didn't become a ninja saver overnight. Every year I try to master one new skill that will make or save me more money. One year, my friend Carol Ann taught me how to can my cranberry jam, and now I own an artisanal food company. This last year I learned how to forage for edible plants in my own backyard to save money on fresh produce. Years ago I taught myself how to sell online on Etsy and eBay. Each year I <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-dumpster-diving-to-garage-sales-turning-trash-into-cash" target="_blank">make at least $1,000 </a>selling trash picked items that I have literally pulled out of the garbage, for cash.</p> <p>In 2017, I am going to learn how to refinish wood furniture like a pro. With the help of my friend Kirk, a retired painting contractor, I am currently refinishing an original Jens Risom coffee table that was purchased for $3 at a garage sale and hidden under layers of paint. Modern reproductions of this same table sell for over $3,000 and originals in pristine condition go for even more.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F23-frugal-living-resolutions-anyone-can-master&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F23%20Frugal%20Living%20Resolutions%20Anyone%20Can%20Master.jpg&amp;description=23%20Frugal%20Living%20Resolutions%20Anyone%20Can%20Master" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/23%20Frugal%20Living%20Resolutions%20Anyone%20Can%20Master.jpg" alt="23 Frugal Living Resolutions Anyone Can Master" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-frugal-living-resolutions-anyone-can-master">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-restart-your-resolutions-this-spring">5 Ways to Restart Your Resolutions This Spring</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/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter">My 16 Favorite Ways to Get Rid of Clutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-to-keep-new-years-resolutions-that-really-pay-off">15 Easy to Keep New Year&#039;s Resolutions That Really Pay Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-51-ways-to-organize-your-whole-life-in-2017">Flashback Friday: 51 Ways to Organize Your Whole Life in 2017</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-ways-summer-will-cost-you">7 Surprising Ways Summer Will Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Lifestyle budget challenges cleaning downsizing goals new year's resolutions resolutions saving money Thu, 29 Dec 2016 10:00:21 +0000 Max Wong 1864429 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Personal Finance Resolutions Anyone Can Master http://www.wisebread.com/8-personal-finance-resolutions-anyone-can-master <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-personal-finance-resolutions-anyone-can-master" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_new_years_498059820.jpg" alt="Friends making personal finance resolutions they can master" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Working on your New Year's resolutions? Unfortunately, an incredible <a href="https://blog.bufferapp.com/the-science-of-new-years-resolutions-why-88-fail-and-how-to-make-them-work">88% of New Year's resolutions fail</a>. The big problem is that most people's resolutions aren't specific enough, or they're too ambitious.</p> <p>Ready to get 2017 off to a good money start? Try out these eight financial resolutions. They're simple enough so that anyone can accomplish them in the new year.</p> <h2>1. Build a Household Budget</h2> <p>We know it doesn't sound like fun, but crafting a household budget is the best financial move that you can make in 2017. Why? A budget tells you how much money you should be spending each month on everything from groceries to eating out to streaming movies on Amazon. Without a budget, your odds of overspending will soar. Fortunately, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps">making a budget</a> isn't nearly as challenging as you might think.</p> <h2>2. Pay Down Your Credit Card Debt</h2> <p>Your credit card debt might look overwhelming, but paying down this expensive debt in 2017 is actually a fairly easy task &mdash; if you commit. There are several different ways you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-credit-card-debt-elimination-strategies">attack your credit card debt</a>, from paying off the cards with the lowest balance first to prioritizing those with the highest interest rates. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso">The Fastest Way to Pay Down $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>3. Build an Emergency Fund</h2> <p>What happens if your home furnace conks out? What if your car's transmission dies? Can you cover these unexpected expenses with cash? Or would you have to charge the repairs? If you have an emergency fund, you'll always have cash on hand to cover life's unexpected disasters. Financial experts say you should have at least six months' worth of daily living expenses saved in an emergency fund at all times. That might sound like a difficult goal, but you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-jars-and-8-other-clever-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund">build this fund</a> as slowly as you'd like.</p> <h2>4. Cut Out One Unnecessary Expense</h2> <p>Vowing to cut your spending isn't the easiest New Year's resolution to keep; it's simply too vague. Instead, vow to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unnecessary-household-expenses-you-can-cut-today">cut one unnecessary expense</a> from your routine. For instance, you might vow to stop buying coffee on the way to work, and instead brew your own java at home.</p> <h2>5. Boost Your Life Insurance Coverage</h2> <p>If you were to unexpectedly die, would you have enough of a life insurance payout to provide financial protection for your loved ones? If not, it might be time to boost your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/term-vs-whole-life-insurance-heres-how-to-choose">life insurance coverage</a>. Fortunately, this is an especially easy New Year's resolution to keep: Just call an insurance agent.</p> <h2>6. Protect Your Things</h2> <p>Whether you're a renter or a homeowner, you need to make sure that you have enough insurance to replace the items in your home, should they be stolen or destroyed. Resolve in 2017 to meet with an insurance agent to discuss either homeowners' or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-you-definitely-need-renters-insurance">renters' insurance</a>.</p> <h2>7. Pay Your Bills on Time Every Month</h2> <p>Want a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-increase-your-credit-score-quickly">sky-high credit score</a>? Then pay your bills on time every month. Doing this will slowly, but steadily, cause your FICO credit score to rise. And a higher credit score will mean lower interest rates when you're borrowing money later.</p> <h2>8. Find a Better Savings Account</h2> <p>You might think savings accounts are a fairly boring place to stash your dollars. The truth, though, is that some savings accounts are better than others, and some provide far better interest. Make a resolution this year to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-types-of-savings-accounts-which-is-right-for-you">find a savings account</a> that will help you build your savings at a faster clip.</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/8-personal-finance-resolutions-anyone-can-master">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-youve-become-a-financial-grownup">How to Tell You&#039;ve Become a Financial Grownup</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-critical-money-mistakes-people-make-in-their-40s">7 Critical Money Mistakes People Make in Their 40s</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-moves-to-make-before-moving-out-on-your-own">5 Money Moves to Make Before Moving Out on Your Own</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/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-golden-rules-of-personal-finance-everyone-should-know">10 Golden Rules of Personal Finance Everyone Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance budgeting debt emergency funds goals life insurance money resolutions new year's resolutions saving money savings accounts Wed, 28 Dec 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Dan Rafter 1863676 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: What Are Your Goals for 2017? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-are-your-goals-for-2017 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-what-are-your-goals-for-2017" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2016_2017_runner_617775188.jpg" alt="Woman setting goals for 2017" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-are-your-goals-for-2017#comment-802832">Gina</a>, Miss Kim, and Ashley for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>2016 is closing out! With the new year comes new experiences and opportunities &mdash; and new goals and resolutions.</p> <p><strong>What are your goals for 2017?</strong> What steps will you take to achieve those goals? What are some lessons you learned in 2016 that will help you with your new goals?</p> <p>Tell us about your goals for 2017 and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For Extra Entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa276/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="79857dfa276" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_esotvsg3">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <p>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on Flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, December 26th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after December 26th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and U.S. resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us about your goals for 2017 and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-are-your-goals-for-2017">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-does-corporate-social-responsibility-mean-to-you">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Does Corporate Social Responsibility Mean to 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/ask-the-readers-would-you-relocate-for-the-perfect-job-chance-to-win">Ask the Readers: Would You Relocate for the Perfect Job? (Chance to win!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-care-for-your-pet-affordably">Ask the Readers: How Do You Care For Your Pet Affordably?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-new-years-resolution">Ask the Readers: What Is Your New Year&#039;s Resolution?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-did-you-spend-your-first-paycheck">Ask the Readers: How Did You Spend Your First Paycheck?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers goals Tue, 20 Dec 2016 11:00:07 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1855466 at http://www.wisebread.com This Simple Journal May be the Fix for Your Finances http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-journal-may-be-the-fix-for-your-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-simple-journal-may-be-the-fix-for-your-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_happy_notebook_88108789.jpg" alt="Woman using journal to fix her finances" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you'd like an organized system to help you track the past, plan the present, and look to the future, a bullet journal is just what you need. If you already live your life according to a to-do list, then this journal will help you organize the millions of to-do lists that you have for every part of your life.</p> <p>A bullet journal, originally created by Brooklyn-based digital product designer Ryder Carroll, is a to-do list that can help you manage your finances, track your expenses, and budget more effectively. You can even use it to help you save more. Your spending book can assist with financial planning by helping you set goals and track them on a daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly basis.</p> <h2>How to Use It</h2> <p>A bullet journal can be used for whatever you need. It can help you keep better track of your work projects, organize your daily life, or improve your finances. The purpose of this journal is to jot down quick bullet point notes, rather than writing out full sentences. This is referred to as &quot;rapid logging&quot; and can help save you time.</p> <h2>How to Make One</h2> <p>You can find a number of bullet journal budget layouts online. The most important thing is to have a quality journal that is the right size, so you can take it with you anywhere you need. Most journal enthusiasts recommend getting a journal with dotted lines, as this makes it easier to adapt to different layouts. Some bullet journal enthusiasts also recommend finding a journal that already has a blank index and numbered pages to save you more time.</p> <p>To get things started, there are some standard sections that are traditionally included in most bullet journals:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Index:</strong> Each page in your journal should have a page number, which you can reference in your index. This will help you quickly find whatever you need.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Daily Log:</strong> Keep track of everything you need to get done for the day. Tasks, events, and notes should be tracked for each day. For important bullets, mark them with a star to the left, so your eye will automatically go to this important task. Once you complete a task, add an X to the left, so you can see that it's been completed. When you're planning for the following month, simply move over any tasks that did not get completed (with an X) from the prior month.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Monthly Log:</strong> This will be split into each day of the month and can be used as a traditional monthly calendar.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Monthly Task List:</strong> Write down everything you need to get done over the month, such as paying bills.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Future Log:</strong> This can help you keep track of future events and goals, and can put your year at a glance. It's ideal for long-term goals, such as paying off a particular bill or increasing your monthly contribution to your retirement accounts.</li> </ul> <p>To make your journal more effective, you'll need to master a few simple symbols so that you can easily categorize your tasks. The most commonly used symbols include:</p> <ul> <li>A <strong>bullet</strong> is a to-do.</li> <li>An <strong>X</strong> marks a task completed.</li> <li>An <strong>O</strong> marks a big event.</li> <li>A <strong>&mdash;</strong> marks a note or quick thought.</li> <li>A <strong>&lt;</strong> marks a scheduled event.</li> <li>A<strong> &gt;</strong> means you procrastinated and need to move that task to the following day, week, or month.</li> </ul> <p>If you don't like these symbols, you can use whatever you prefer. If you tend to get confused or can't remember what the symbols mean in the beginning, simply keep a key in the front or back of your journal.</p> <h2>How the Journal Relates to Your Finances</h2> <p>With a bullet journal, your past, present, and future can meld into one. This will allow you to look back and see what has worked and what hasn't. In order for this to work, you need to track your successes along the way. Think of it as your financial diary. Be honest about what you purchased, whether those purchases were worth it, how you saved extra money every month, and how much closer you're getting toward your financial goals.</p> <h2>Track a Single Goal</h2> <p>If you have trouble with one particular task, and you feel gratification from crossing things off your to-do list, then consider focusing on one goal that you can track in your journal. Simply set one line for each month (with numbers for each day of the month) and cross off each day that you are able to achieve this goal. Some of the best things to track include taking lunch to work every day (saving you a hefty sum every month) and not spending money on an expensive habit (like drinking, eating out, or buying cigarettes).</p> <h2>Determine What You're Saving For</h2> <p>First, you want to figure out what you're saving for and when you'd like to reach that goal. Separate one page into four sections, for this year and the next three years. Mark what you'd like to save for in each year. You can also keep a page of things that you want, so you can keep your eye on the prize, rather than just buying everything you want on the spot.</p> <p>Find <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BAkY4AlRy8T/">fun ways to save</a> for certain future events, such as a vacation, new car, or wedding. For a <a href="http://www.hellodeborah.co.uk/app/uploads/2016/07/bullet-journal-savings-goals-1024x722.jpg">basic savings plan</a>, mark what you're saving for with a rectangle that includes small boxes for every $100 that you need to save. Once you save $100 toward that goal, you can fill in the box, so you can see how much closer you're getting to your goal.</p> <h2>Track Your Bills and Expenses</h2> <p>You can <a href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/113364115598769829/">track expenses</a>, plan out how you'll achieve your financial goals, check off that you met your budget every week, and <a href="https://bulleteverything.com/bills-finance-tracker/">track your bills</a> paid and due. You can even flag your expenses with <a href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/302726406184978726/">different symbols or colors</a>, based on the category or necessity, so you can get a better idea of what you're spending the most on and what you can cut out. Try to set up at least two pages to track your expenses and income.</p> <p>To track your bills due, note all of the bills you pay regularly. Separate these expenses into how often they need to be paid down the side of the journal page. At the top, split each month into three sections: Amount, Due Date, and Paid (which you will mark with an X once the bill or expense has been paid). This will ensure that you never miss a payment again.</p> <p>For your expenses list, separate one page into categories, so you can mark what you've spent toward each category, such as gas and groceries. Separate your monthly expenses spread into three columns: Date, Description, and Cost. You can also add another column for how you paid (by cash, check, or card), if you're trying to use cash or a particular card more often. You can even color code the expenses, based on whether you wanted them or needed them. This can serve as your checkbook registrar, so you can keep track of what's been spent and where. It'll give you a better estimate of what you're spending on each category, so you can make future projections.</p> <h2>Keep a Financial Spread</h2> <p>Keep track of what your financial goals are and how often you should be saving for them. This will ensure that you save enough without having to save more than you're able to afford.</p> <p>These are the basics of starting and using a bullet journal. Your journal is what you make of it, so <a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/nicolenguyen/genius-ways-you-can-customize-your-bullet-journal?utm_term=.dadNDYGmK#.hcgV6Y3B0">customize it</a> in any way you choose. Just try to keep it fun and organized, so it can help you achieve the ultimate financial freedom. If you want to delve more deeply into this powerful to-do list, there is <a href="http://bulletjournal.com/get-started/">endless information online</a> and you can even find inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthis-simple-journal-may-be-the-fix-for-your-finances&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThis%2520Simple%2520Journal%2520May%2520be%2520the%2520Fix%2520for%2520Your%2520Finances.jpg&amp;description=This%20Simple%20Journal%20May%20be%20the%20Fix%20for%20Your%20Finances"></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/This%20Simple%20Journal%20May%20be%20the%20Fix%20for%20Your%20Finances.jpg" alt="This Simple Journal May be the Fix for Your Finances" 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/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-journal-may-be-the-fix-for-your-finances">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/6-lessons-on-surviving-and-thriving-through-tough-times-from-author-donna-freedman">6 Lessons on Surviving and Thriving Through Tough Times From Author Donna Freedman</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/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-making-these-7-basic-budget-mistakes">Stop Making These 7 Basic Budget Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-no-budgeting-required">How to Manage Your Money — No Budgeting Required</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Organization bullet journal expenses finances goals keeping track saving money to do lists Wed, 26 Oct 2016 10:30:09 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1820846 at http://www.wisebread.com Create a Reverse Bucket List to Improve Your Money Management http://www.wisebread.com/create-a-reverse-bucket-list-to-improve-your-money-management <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/create-a-reverse-bucket-list-to-improve-your-money-management" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_notebook_thinking_73069659.jpg" alt="Woman creating reverse bucket list for money management" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having financial goals is a wonderful thing. And having lofty ones is even better, because it pushes you to see exactly what you can do &mdash; maybe even more than you'd ever thought possible with your money.</p> <p>But, some days, having goals is just plain frustrating. When you're always looking at where you haven't gotten to yet or what you haven't yet achieved, it's easy to feel like you'll never get there, or like you aren't good enough. You might begin to wonder what the point of these goals is, anyway.</p> <p>That's where the reverse bucket list comes in.</p> <h2>Make a Reverse Bucket List</h2> <p>When it comes to your finances, a reverse bucket list is simply a list of things you've already accomplished financially, or a list of goals you've already met.</p> <p>My husband and I tried this recently. On our list, we put things like buying a house, getting away to Cancun last year, not taking on more debt despite several major expenses this year, and paying off my student loan.</p> <p>Some of these things &mdash; like buying a house &mdash; were things that we had made into goals. They were things we wanted to do, things we saved to do, and things we accomplished over time. Others weren't explicit goals, like not taking on more debt. But we added them because they felt like financial accomplishments to us.</p> <p>Take some time to make your list. Some items &mdash; like, for us, paying off the student loans &mdash; might be things that you accomplished years ago, so they may not be in the forefront of your mind. Give yourself a day or two to think over your list, coming back to add things when you remember them.</p> <h2>The Reverse Bucket List and Positivity</h2> <p>The first thing that we felt, when we looked over our final list, was an overwhelming sense of positivity. We have been discouraged lately. This year seems to have been one surprise attack after another when it comes to our money, and it's frustrating to work harder than ever only to see the balances go down.</p> <p>When we looked at our list, though, we started to feel better about ourselves and the way we're living. We are still people who can make good financial decisions, as evidenced by the number of things we've accomplished in that realm. In fact, it's those decisions that put us where we are now &mdash; without any new debt &mdash; even though life hasn't cooperated recently.</p> <p>Looking at our list has also made us feel more positive about continuing to pursue the financial goals we haven't met yet, even though we feel like our most recent progress has been negative. For each item on the list, we can remember the moment where it happened, where we felt proud and happy, and that motivates us to keep putting one foot ahead of the other.</p> <p>Making this list definitely raised our motivation levels and helped us look at our situation realistically. Setbacks happen. They aren't necessarily a commentary on us or our intelligence or our financial prowess. And now, we feel like moving forward again.</p> <h2>Understanding Your Finances Through the Reverse Bucket List</h2> <p>Looking at our reverse bucket list also helped us find some patterns in our spending and saving that will help us as we move forward.</p> <p>For instance, the closer I get to a goal, the more likely I am to pursue it wholeheartedly. When we were just about able to pay off my student loans, I stopped buying everything that wasn't extra. I could see victory, I could taste it, and I wanted it!</p> <p>On the other hand, when I'm not anywhere near meeting any goals, I tend to spend a lot more haphazardly. If I feel like I will never get there, or I feel like we are just going to encounter another setback anyway, I figure I might as well buy what I want while I have the money in my hands.</p> <p>Moving forward, we are planning to structure our goals differently, making them tiered rather than all-or-nothing. That way, I can always feel like I'm just about to achieve something, so I won't be as tempted to spend in any given moment.</p> <h2>Find What Motivates You</h2> <p>When we thought about our list, we also noticed that we are highly motivated by travel. When we saved for travel, we were able to save quickly, simply because we both really love to get on a plane and see somewhere new.</p> <p>Now, when you have a mortgage and other student loans like we do, you can't just make all of your goals about traveling. But we realized that staggering our goals so that travel goals are included in every two or three things we save for would help us.</p> <p>For instance, when we pay off my husband's student loans, we are planning a trip to New Zealand. We know that we can take that trip as soon as these other goals are met. Even if it takes us several years, we will feel more motivated knowing that the travel goal is coming up, even if the gratification isn't immediate.</p> <p>A financial reverse bucket list won't solve all of your problems, but it certainly might make you feel better about your money situation and help you figure out how to structure your goals so they best suit you.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/create-a-reverse-bucket-list-to-improve-your-money-management">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/how-to-think-like-an-olympian-to-master-your-money">How to Think Like an Olympian to Master Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. 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