goals http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3301/all en-US 8 Traits of People Who Live Debt-Free http://www.wisebread.com/8-traits-of-people-who-live-debt-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-traits-of-people-who-live-debt-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/saving_for_a_home_concept_0.jpg" alt="Saving for a home concept" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Why are some families debt-free and others chronically debt-ridden, even when they have nearly the same amount of income and expenses? Are there universal qualities that keep some of us on the financial straight and narrow, while others crash and burn?</p> <p>After years of introspection and observation, I think there are certain traits all debt-free folks have in common. Here are the key characteristics of a successful debt-free lifestyle.</p> <h2>1. Goal-driven</h2> <p>Living debt-free doesn't happen by accident; it takes a combination of crystal-clear goals and sheer force of will. And once one goal is reached, it's time to tackle the next. You'd be surprised by what you can accomplish personally, professionally, and financially when you're free of crippling consumer debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Pay It Off</a>)</p> <h2>2. Nonmaterialistic</h2> <p>It's nearly impossible to be debt-free if accumulating more stuff is your measure of success. There will always be something newer, faster, flatter, or bigger to buy. And worse, you'll happily pay for it with plastic. Those who live without debt steer clear of the more stuff/more money/more debt trap and keep their consumerism in check. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-were-so-materialistic-even-though-we-know-its-dumb?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why We're So Materialistic</a>)</p> <h2>3. Controlled</h2> <p>Americans live in a consumer wonderland that's designed to test our willpower at every turn. But in order to embrace debt-free living, control has to override impulse a majority of the time. Those of us who live debt-free understand how marketing manipulates human behavior, and we're able to acknowledge &mdash; but not act on &mdash; wealth-draining whims. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-classic-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-falling-for?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Classic Impulse Buys We Need to Stop Falling For</a>)</p> <h2>4. Self-aware</h2> <p>Sophisticated advertising, easy credit, and countless consumer baubles &mdash; it's a dangerous mix. Those who've conquered debt have developed a strong filter and a clear understanding that <em>buying</em> isn't the same as <em>being</em>.</p> <p>Before any purchase, we're able to ask ourselves (and truthfully answer) three crucial questions: &quot;Do I really want it or need it?&quot; &quot;Will this simplify my life or make it more complicated?&quot; and, &quot;Am I buying this from a position of strength or weakness?&quot;</p> <h2>5. Self-assured</h2> <p>There are numerous ways to broadcast affluence in our society, but very few ways to communicate the sort of freedom that comes from living debt-free. Instead of keeping up with the Joneses, we have to be comfortable in our skin. The race (if you want to call it that) is only with ourselves and only we know when we've won. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-envy-is-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways Envy Is Keeping You Poor</a>)</p> <h2>6. Strategically sacrificial</h2> <p>Not all sacrifices have to hurt. For those who live debt-free, strategic sacrifices feed a greater good. We gladly skip a few meals out, buy used cars instead of new, and try to make our old brick cellphones last as long as possible. Why? So we can enjoy the luxury of living debt-free.</p> <h2>7. Patient</h2> <p>Buying something is immediately gratifying. You get to open it, play with it, buy accessories for it, and show it off. By comparison, the real rewards of budgeting, saving, and paying off debt come much later. The debt-free take a long view of success and have achieved a nearly Zen-like level of patience. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-being-patient-saves-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways Being Patient Saves You Money</a>)</p> <h2>8. Consistent</h2> <p>Becoming &mdash; and staying &mdash; debt-free is a slow march that's marked by unwavering dedication and consistency. Success is all about finding a formula that works and executing it month after month and year after year. The journey may not always be glamorous, but the destination is wonderful. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-good-money-habits-that-will-keep-you-out-of-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Good Money Habits That Will Keep You Out of Debt</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-traits-of-people-who-live-debt-free&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Traits%2520of%2520People%2520Who%2520Live%2520Debt-Free.jpg&amp;description=8%20Traits%20of%20People%20Who%20Live%20Debt-Free"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Traits%20of%20People%20Who%20Live%20Debt-Free.jpg" alt="8 Traits of People Who Live Debt-Free" 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/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-traits-of-people-who-live-debt-free">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/4-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-the-joneses">4 Money Lessons You Can Learn From the Joneses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-even-millionaires-arent-happy-about-their-finances">Why Even Millionaires Aren&#039;t Happy About Their Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-money-habits-that-make-you-look-financially-immature">11 Money Habits That Make You Look Financially Immature</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meditation-can-make-you-a-money-master">6 Ways Meditation Can Make You a Money Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-freedom-and-using-passion-to-budget">Financial Freedom and Using Passion to Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle debt-free financial freedom goals impulse buys materialistic sacrifices self assurance self awareness Mon, 05 Feb 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Kentin Waits 2091493 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Build a Side Business While Keeping Your Day Job http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-a-side-business-while-keeping-your-day-job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-build-a-side-business-while-keeping-your-day-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businesswoman_with_smiling_face_talking_on_mobile.jpg" alt="Businesswoman with smiling face talking on mobile" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The saying, &quot;Don't quit your day job,&quot; has become all but obsolete. We live in an era of entrepreneurship. Being your own boss is the chic new trend. But while throwing caution to the wind and only having a Plan A is tempting, keeping your day job while turning a side gig into a business is a great way to mitigate risk, learn your market niche, and test ideas and business models.</p> <p>However, building a business and a brand while working a nine-to-five is tough. Below are a few tips to help you ease your way into doing both. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-outside-your-day-job?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Ways to Make Money Outside Your Day Job</a>)</p> <h2>1. Consider getting a business partner or co-founder</h2> <p>Taking on a business partner is an excellent way to hedge risks, gain access to additional resources, and split the workload. It is also the quickest way to ruin a friendship and drag your business down before it gets off the ground. Before jumping into bed with your bestie, here are a few things you should consider:</p> <h3>What type of partner do you need?</h3> <p>The first step in getting a partner is to determine the type of partner you need and the role he or she will play. Do you need help with ideas, branding, marketing, balancing the books, procuring finances or additional resources? Or, do you need a silent partner &mdash; someone who helps financially and that's it?</p> <h3>How much of the business does your partner own?</h3> <p>Drawing lines in the sand early is essential. The longer you wait, the murkier things become and the harder it will be to determine who owns what. It is critical that you state upfront who is in charge or if everything will be split 50/50. Draw up a contract that reflects this decision. A contract between friends, you ask? Absolutely.</p> <h3>How do you make decisions?</h3> <p>Who has the final say? Establishing how decisions are made during the infancy stages of the partnership is beyond important. If you are the sole owner, should your partner make decisions on your behalf? If so, which decisions? Or should they run all decisions by you? A great way to work through this is by establishing roles and areas of responsibility. Your partner will clearly know his or her sphere and the boundaries will be better defined.</p> <h2>2. Respect your nine-to-five</h2> <p>Understand and respect the fact that your nine-to-five is your main, primary, and most important job. Your side gig has to be done outside of business hours. Until you are ready to divorce your employer and make your side gig your new bride, you must prioritize your day job as such &mdash; even if you hate it.</p> <p>Just remind yourself that your day job is paying the bills and providing you with the means and motivation to launch out on your own. Here are a few ground rules when it comes to respecting your nine-to-five:</p> <h3>Work while you are at work</h3> <p>Do your best to <em>be</em> the best at your current job. Work to be fully present and to always do a good job. This will translate to your business as well.</p> <h3>Beware of conflicts of interest</h3> <p>If your side business is in the same market or area as your current employment, you need to tread lightly. Your employer's clients, business procedures, and intellectual property should not be used for personal gain.</p> <h3>Check what contracts you've signed</h3> <p>If you signed a nondisclosure or noncompete agreement, then you may be prevented from working for a competitor or against your employer for a specific amount of time. Find out exactly what your rights are and what you can and cannot do.</p> <h2>3. Do the hard, boring, and expensive stuff</h2> <p>While you are gainfully employed, it's a good idea to do as much foundational work as possible. Draft your business plan, secure any licenses or certifications you may need, and establish your business as an LLC or sole proprietorship.</p> <p>It's also a good idea to begin buying equipment and paying any legal fees associated with your business niche. It may feel like a waste of money to shell out this type of cash upfront before you begin earning revenue, but it's worth it. The more you can take care of before launching the business, the more profits you keep and the less capital you'll need down the road.</p> <p>This is also a great time to work on branding and developing a solid marketing strategy. It's easier to nail these things down before you begin doing business versus winging it after you're officially open. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-ways-to-market-your-side-business?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Simple Ways to Market Your Side Business</a>)</p> <h2>4. Start generating revenue</h2> <p>If it is in any way feasible, start generating revenue while you are still employed. Test out your prototype. See how much of your product you can sell or which services you can provide on a smaller scale before you go all in.</p> <p>This allows you to test the market, make better financial projections, and properly scale your business before you open. You can tweak processes, find new vendors, and get a sense of your business's flow. It will also help you answer these questions:</p> <ul> <li> <p>What adjustments do I need to make?</p> </li> <li> <p>How are people responding to my marketing campaign?</p> </li> <li> <p>Am I properly branded?</p> </li> <li> <p>Are my prices too high or too low?</p> </li> <li> <p>Do customers pay on time?</p> </li> <li> <p>How much business can I handle alone? At what point should I hire additional staff?</p> </li> <li> <p>Is my service or product in demand? How can I increase demand?</p> </li> </ul> <p>Generating revenue before you officially dive into business ownership is also crucial if you need investors. You need to demonstrate the profit potential of your business in order to entice people to invest. And the best way to show that you can make money is by actually making money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fundamentals-of-naming-a-small-business?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Fundamentals of Naming a Small Business</a>)</p> <h2>5. Use downtime efficiently</h2> <p>The biggest myth concerning entrepreneurship is that you get to set your own hours. As a business owner, your time is no longer truly your own &mdash; your customers, the market, and the need to get work done are your new bosses, at least at first. You work when you need to work &mdash; or you go out of business.</p> <p>You've got to learn to use downtime efficiently. Days off from your nine-to-five become full workdays for the business. And yes, you will have to work on holidays.</p> <p>It also means getting up an hour or two earlier to reconcile the books, answer emails, or order more inventory. You lunch hour is now time for you to nibble on a sandwich while you update your website, post on social media, and generate new marketing ideas (on your own computer). And the evenings &mdash; which used to be a time for socializing with friends and vegging out with Netflix &mdash; are now devoted to doing whatever needs to be done to keep the business running.</p> <p>The schedule may sound brutal, and it is. But hopefully, it's only temporary. Success comes at a cost, and in order to make it in business, you have to initially pay up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-myths-about-starting-a-small-business?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Common Myths About Starting a Small Business</a>)</p> <h2>6. Set a date</h2> <p>Make your business Plan A and your current job Plan B. Set a firm date for quitting your day job and work diligently toward that goal. Structure your life around achieving that goal. Restructure your personal finances to help you reach that quit date. Cut back, reduce your overhead, downsize, and save as much money as possible to help stabilize your income while you shift business gears. See if your employer will allow you to work part-time for a while before quitting.</p> <p>Quitting your job and going into business full time must be your end game. If not, your business will become and forever remain a hobby. With a good idea, proper planning, and a bit of luck, your business will eventually be able to provide you a full-time income, and then some. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/starting-your-dream-business-is-easier-than-you-think-heres-how?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Starting Your Dream Business Is Easier Than You Think &mdash; Here's How</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-build-a-side-business-while-keeping-your-day-job&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Build%2520a%2520Side%2520Business%2520While%2520Keeping%2520Your%2520Day%2520Job.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Build%20a%20Side%20Business%20While%20Keeping%20Your%20Day%20Job"></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/How%20to%20Build%20a%20Side%20Business%20While%20Keeping%20Your%20Day%20Job.jpg" alt="How to Build a Side Business While Keeping Your Day Job" 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/denise-hill">Denise Hill</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-a-side-business-while-keeping-your-day-job">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-tax-deductions-for-bloggers-and-freelancers">101 Tax deductions for bloggers and freelancers</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/your-small-business-needs-an-emergency-fund-too">Your Small Business Needs an Emergency Fund, Too</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-to-fund-your-new-business-without-borrowing-a-dime">4 Ways to Fund Your New Business Without Borrowing a Dime</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-and-fun-ways-to-reward-yourself">20 Free and Fun Ways to Reward Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-self-employed-persons-guide-to-getting-credit">The Self-Employed Person&#039;s Guide to Getting Credit</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship business ownership business partners day jobs goals income investors productivity revenue Mon, 29 Jan 2018 09:30:09 +0000 Denise Hill 2086770 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Clever Tricks to Make Your New Year's Resolution Stick http://www.wisebread.com/7-clever-tricks-to-make-your-new-years-resolution-stick <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-clever-tricks-to-make-your-new-years-resolution-stick" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/get_into_a_creative_state_of_mind.jpg" alt="Get into a creative state of mind" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Another year, another list of New Year's resolutions that most of us will be unable to keep. The problem with resolutions is that they require a tremendous amount of mental processing power to get from point A to point B. You not only have to begin with over-the-top motivation, but you also need to stay that way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-resolutions-anyone-can-conquer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Money Resolutions Anyone Can Conquer</a>)</p> <p>When you overtax your brain by trying several new things or adopting new routines at the same time, you subject yourself to cognitive overload, which can result in reduced productivity, and lead to anxiety.</p> <p>Luckily there are brain hacks and workarounds that you can use to fine-tune your resolutions and ultimately achieve your goals.</p> <h2>1. Simplify your goal</h2> <p>If your New Year's resolution is so complex and grand that it requires a checklist, you are stacking the deck against yourself. Keep it simple. Don't choose an ambiguous goal like, &quot;Save Money.&quot; Instead resolve to turn one good financial behavior into a habit. For example, &quot;I will open my bills as soon as I get them and pay them promptly.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-need-to-make-financial-habits-not-goals?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why You Need to Make Financial Habits, Not Goals</a>)</p> <h2>2. Avoid multitasking with your resolution</h2> <p>Most resolutions are not one goal, but sprawling, impossible-to-schedule projects with hundreds of moving parts. But successful resolvers are the people who make one actionable goal and put it into practice until it becomes a regular routine they don't even need to think about. For example, instead of making your goal to &ldquo;lose weight,&rdquo; resolve to always drink water instead of soda, and watch as your overall health improves with that one new habit.</p> <h2>3. Don't overschedule yourself</h2> <p>It's hard to stay motivated, to do anything, over a long period of time if you have to continually start and stop due to scheduling issues. One of my goals in 2017 was to reduce my number of personal belongings down to 1,000 items. I failed to meet this goal because the scope was too big. I didn't lose my desire to downsize, but my revised goal for 2018 is to spend one hour each day listing items for sale online. I may not widdle my belongings down to my target number in the next 12 months, but I will succeed in reducing the number of things I have to spend time dusting, and I'll even make some additional cash. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-money-off-of-your-new-years-resolutions?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Make Money Off of Your New Year's Resolutions</a>)</p> <h2>4. Reward yourself along the way</h2> <p>People that have successfully maintained their weight loss know that cheat days are a key part of their success. If you never reward yourself for good behavior, then the healthy habits start to feel like punishment.</p> <p>However, unlike weight loss &mdash; which has visible results that can be validated by peers &mdash; no one is going to tell you how cute you look in your new 401(k). While financial responsibility should be its own reward, saving money generally involves a certain level of deprivation. So if your resolution involves saving money, give yourself the ability to splurge in a structured way. For example, give yourself $50 to spend selfishly for every $1,000 you put into savings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-frugal-ways-to-reward-yourself-right-now?ref=seealso" target="_blank">21 Frugal Ways to Reward Yourself Right Now</a>)</p> <h2>5. Practice, practice, practice</h2> <p>It only takes 13 days to make a new habit. Or 21 days. Or 28 days. Or close to 70. Really, it depends on who you ask. Don't despair, though, because it really is possible to create a new habit; it's just easier if you follow three steps.</p> <h3>Choose a small action</h3> <p>&quot;Lose weight&quot; is not small. Instead choose a tiny component to losing weight, like, &quot;I will take a 30-minute walk five days a week.&quot;</p> <h3>Attach it to an existing habit</h3> <p>The easiest way to make a new habit stick is to attach it to an existing habit. For example, if you drink coffee each morning, walk to a nearby coffee shop to get your 30 minutes of walking in. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprisingly-easy-way-to-change-your-habits-and-your-life?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Surprisingly Easy Way to Change Your Habits and Your Life</a>)</p> <h3>Create multiple reminders</h3> <p>You have to make your new habit super easy to remember, especially during the first week. Make your new routine as mindless as possible by setting up multiple reminders to get it done. Swap out your regular coffee mug with a travel thermos that will remind you to get your coffee down the street. Ask your coworkers if they want to join your &quot;Walk to Coffee Club&quot; so they can keep you accountable. Wear a fitness tracker, or set your phone to prompt you to walk for 30 minutes each day. Write, &quot;Why aren't you walking?&quot; on the lid of your to-go coffee cup at home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Productivity Secret That'll Change the Way You Work</a>)</p> <h2>6. Find a buddy</h2> <p>Why is it so much harder to break a promise to someone else than it is to break a promise to yourself? It will be much easier, and way more fun to keep your resolution if you have an accountability buddy to commiserate and compete with. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprisingly-simple-ways-to-motivate-yourself?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself</a>)</p> <h2>7. Focus on timing</h2> <p>New Year's is a totally arbitrary start date for practicing new habits, so why not start a resolution when your schedule best matches your end goal? For example, why not start working toward your savings goal the day after Tax Day? If you've done your taxes for the previous year, you're already caught up on your accounting and have a fresh view of all your finances.</p> <p>Or, if your goal is to lose weight, why not start your new healthy habits at the beginning of spring, when you have your choice of fun, outside physical activities to enjoy, rather than in the dead of winter when you'll be stuck inside using the machines that you hate at the gym? If you give yourself a running start, you are more likely to maintain your new practice for one calendar year.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-clever-tricks-to-make-your-new-years-resolution-stick&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Clever%2520Tricks%2520to%2520Make%2520Your%2520New%2520Year%2527s%2520Resolution%2520Stick.jpg&amp;description=7%20Clever%20Tricks%20to%20Make%20Your%20New%20Year's%20Resolution%20Stick"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Clever%20Tricks%20to%20Make%20Your%20New%20Year%27s%20Resolution%20Stick.jpg" alt="7 Clever Tricks to Make Your New Year's Resolution Stick" 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/7-clever-tricks-to-make-your-new-years-resolution-stick">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-ways-to-make-money-off-of-your-new-years-resolutions">7 Ways to Make Money Off of Your New Year&#039;s Resolutions</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Health and Beauty career goals goals health goals motivation New Year's new year's resolutions nye Thu, 11 Jan 2018 10:00:07 +0000 Max Wong 2086412 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Reasons to Get Spring Cleaning Done During Winter http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-get-spring-cleaning-done-during-winter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-reasons-to-get-spring-cleaning-done-during-winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_cleaning_kitchen.jpg" alt="Woman cleaning kitchen" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Spring cleaning &mdash; it's a timeless tradition that makes perfect sense &hellip; until you think about it for a minute or two. Why does everyone wait until spring to start that deep clean? Wouldn't winter be a more ideal time to tend to all things indoors? Let's turn this unquestioned custom upside down. Here are seven reasons to get spring cleaning done during the dark and dreary months of winter.</p> <h2>1. Baby, it's cold outside</h2> <p>With fewer reasons to be outside, winter gives us more time to focus on the inside of our homes. This is the season for nesting, and cleaning is an essential part of making our nests as comfortable as possible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-prepare-for-spring-cleaning?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Prepare for Spring Cleaning</a>)</p> <h2>2. You're organizing new stuff anyway</h2> <p>If you're like most Americans, you probably have loads of new trinkets and gadgets coming into your homes during the holidays. As long as you're organizing your haul, why not clean out your closets, rearrange the attic, and clear out the garage to make room for your new toys?</p> <h2>3. It's the giving season</h2> <p>Organizing, decluttering, and donating &mdash; they all work together in perfect harmony. Wintertime is <em>the</em> time to give away cold-weather gear your kids have outgrown, clothes you don't wear, and household items that could brighten the lives of those in need. (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 Can Improve Your Life</a>)</p> <h2>4. And the season of getting sick</h2> <p>Stuffy noses, sore throats, and sneezing &mdash; they're all part of the magic of the chilly season. But a thorough winter clean can help you keep the nastiest germs and viruses at bay. If your family is already under the weather, a deep clean can prevent a second round of sickness.</p> <h2>5. Everyone's home</h2> <p>With everyone home for the holiday break and the following snow days, it's much easier to declutter. Get the whole family involved; decide together which items can go and which should stay. Then, assign each person a simple cleaning chore and make short work of long to-do lists.</p> <h2>6. It's the right way to ring in the new year</h2> <p>New Year's is all about fresh starts. Clear your mind by clearing out the accumulation of years past. A spotless, clutter-free, and organized home is the perfect place to discover what's next for you and your family. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-productive-things-to-do-in-january-to-start-the-new-year-off-right?ref=seealso" target="_blank">31 Things to Do in January to Start the New Year Off Right</a>)</p> <h2>7. It'll be on your mind until you get it done</h2> <p>Spring is still a few months away. However, you know you'll have to buckle down and get this time-consuming deep clean done eventually, so why not cross it off your list now? Completing necessary tasks early will make you feel accomplished, stress-free, and will keep you motivated to keep checking those boxes and chasing your New Year's goals.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-reasons-to-get-spring-cleaning-done-during-winter&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Reasons%2520to%2520Get%2520Spring%2520Cleaning%2520Done%2520During%2520Winter.jpg&amp;description=7%20Reasons%20to%20Get%20Spring%20Cleaning%20Done%20During%20Winter"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Reasons%20to%20Get%20Spring%20Cleaning%20Done%20During%20Winter.jpg" alt="7 Reasons to Get Spring Cleaning Done During Winter" 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/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-get-spring-cleaning-done-during-winter">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/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-decide-what-to-keep-when-downsizing">How to Decide What to Keep When Downsizing</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-spring-clean-your-whole-life-one-step-at-a-time">How to Spring Clean Your Whole Life — One Step at a Time</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization cleaning cleaning the house declutter get organized goals New Year new year's resolutions spring cleaning Thu, 04 Jan 2018 09:00:09 +0000 Kentin Waits 2082603 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Bounce Back After You Miss a Credit Card Payoff Goal http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-bounce-back-after-you-miss-a-credit-card-payoff-goal <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-bounce-back-after-you-miss-a-credit-card-payoff-goal" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_and_woman_with_financial_problem_0.jpg" alt="Man and woman with financial problem" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've been diligently working to pay off that pesky credit card and get your finances in order. You've cut back on spending, quit eating out, and you <a href="https://uber.7eer.net/c/27771/207645/3437?sharedid=000_wisebread.com">drive for Uber</a> and Lyft twice a month. Yet after all that hard work, you still didn't pay the card off within six months like you planned.</p> <p>Missing a milestone can be disheartening and demotivating. But just because you didn't meet your debt payoff goal in the allotted time, doesn't mean it's time to quit. Consider this quote from Michael Jordan, arguably one of the greatest basketball players of all time:</p> <p>&quot;I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And this is why I succeed.&quot;</p> <p>Failure and falling short are risks in any meaningful endeavor. Here are several things you can do to bounce back after missing your credit card payoff goal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-remember-every-time-you-face-a-financial-failure?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Things to Remember Every Time You Face a Financial Failure</a>)</p> <h2>1. Forgive and forget</h2> <p>The first thing you must do is forgive yourself. Whatever role you played that made you miss your goal has to be acknowledged and forgiven.</p> <p>You may have strayed from your budget a few times. You may have miscalculated how much you needed to pay. You could have missed entire payments. Whatever it is, you did it. Own it and make amends with yourself.</p> <p>After you've taken responsibility for your role in the failure, move on. No need to cry over spilled milk. What's done is done. The quicker you can wipe it from your memory, the quicker you can regroup and move forward. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>2. Consider the factors</h2> <p>The next thing you should do is to go back and look at all the things that impeded your progress. Were there unexpected emergencies or expenses that hindered you from paying the credit card off as planned? Did you miscalculate? Did you incur any fees? Did the repayment terms or interest rate change?</p> <p>Also during this process, it is important to conduct a self-audit. You are the most important factor to paying off your credit card debt. Did you miss any payments? Did you spend money that wasn't planned? Were you disciplined? Was your goal reasonable for your situation?</p> <p>Answering these questions will allow you to see what you did right and what you need to change moving forward. It allows you to assess your plan, your income, level of discipline, and other factors you may have been unaware of initially. Once you have these answers, you can tweak your process, set a new goal, and pay off that credit card.</p> <h2>3. Look on the bright side</h2> <p>There is a silver-lining to every dark cloud &mdash; you just have to find it. As it relates to your credit card debt, it's pretty easy to see. Just look at your credit card balance. Even though you didn't pay it off in full, you drastically reduced the balance and expedited the repayment time.</p> <p>You've also saved yourself hundreds of dollars in interest and potential fees. You have made progress and moved yourself closer to financial freedom. You've also made progress toward improving your credit score. Your score may not reflect it at the moment, but as soon as you pay off the card, it will go up.</p> <p>One of the greatest benefits of the process you've just endured is that you've improved as a person. You've developed more discipline, tenacity, and grit. You set a goal and worked to achieve it. You saw something you didn't like and you put a plan in place to intentionally change it. That should be celebrated.</p> <h2>4. Set SMART goals (re-evaluate your plan)</h2> <p>You didn't reach your repayment goal, but you are a lot further along than you were before you started. It's not time to quit. It's time to re-evaluate your plan and establish smaller SMART goals to get you there. Your goals should be:</p> <p>Specific: How much will you pay on the bill every month? When will you make the payments? Should the payments be automated? Do you need to get a side gig or part time job to generate more income? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-best-side-jobs-for-fast-cash?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Best Side Jobs For Fast Cash</a>)</p> <p>Measurable: How often will you check in to make sure you're on track? What adjustments will you make if you find that you have fallen behind?</p> <p>Attainable: Is your repayment goal reachable? Do your income and expenses allow you to pay off the card in the allotted time frame? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Pay It Off</a>)</p> <p>Realistic: Is your repayment plan realistic? Does it leave room in your budget for unexpected expenses? Is the budget too tight? Have you allowed any wiggle room for eating out or the occasional movie?</p> <p>Timely: Does this time frame represent a practical sense of urgency? In other words, does what you would like to accomplish line up with your reality? What is an appropriate time limit for paying off the credit card? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-steps-to-eliminating-your-debt-painlessly?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Steps to Eliminating Your Debt Painlessly</a>)</p> <h2>5. Celebrate small wins</h2> <p>The brain is hard-wired to win. Research shows that whenever you win at something, dopamine receptors in your brain are increased. This in turn enhances intelligence, confidence, and feelings of happiness. It's called the &quot;winner effect.&quot;</p> <p>According to Ian Robertson, cognitive neuroscientist and author of <em>The Winner Effect: The Neuroscience of Success and Failure</em>, success and failure have more of an effect on humans than genetics and drugs.</p> <p>Creating opportunities for small wins increases your odds of reaching long-term goals and staying motivated along the way. Pausing to celebrate a small victory &mdash; for instance, paying down your credit card by $200 &mdash; is a reminder that you are making progress. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-out-of-debt-faster-with-the-debt-snowflake?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Get Out of Debt Faster With the &quot;Debt Snowflake&quot;</a>)</p> <h2>6. Keep it moving</h2> <p>No matter how many times you get off track, pick yourself up, complete the first five steps, and begin again. Every payment gets you closer to your goal. Staying focused and committed is tough and you will slip up from time to time, but the key is to keep moving.</p> <p>Each time you restart, you build a little bit more tenacity. Every time you fall and get back up, you win. Progress is about putting one foot in front of the other, over and over, month by month.</p> <p>Even if you miss a payment or three, once you have the ability and opportunity to regroup and move forward, do it. Debt repayment is a slow and steady process. The process in and of itself &mdash; when done slowly and consistently &mdash; discourages you from incurring new debt. You not only pay off your current debt, but you reduce the likelihood of developing new debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-and-fun-ways-to-reward-yourself?ref=seealso" target="_blank">20 Free and Fun Ways to Reward Yourself</a>)</p> <h2>7. Get a support system</h2> <p>Having people that support your goal, encourage you throughout the process, and hold you accountable is a sure way to keep you dedicated and focused. So, start reporting your progress to someone.</p> <p>Accountability requires courage. When we hold ourselves accountable for something and don't follow through, our brain processes it as a loss. The brain hates to lose. It takes courage to make a commitment because there is always, looming in the distance, the opportunity to fail.</p> <p>Write out your goal and your plan to reach it and give it to a friend. Have them check in with you every couple of months to see if you are hitting your smaller goals and sticking to your repayment plan. Celebrate with them if you are, or regroup and make the necessary adjustments if you are not.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-ways-to-bounce-back-after-you-miss-a-credit-card-payoff-goal&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Ways%2520to%2520Bounce%2520Back%2520After%2520You%2520Miss%2520a%2520Credit%2520Card%2520Payoff%2520Goal.jpg&amp;description=7%20Ways%20to%20Bounce%20Back%20After%20You%20Miss%20a%20Credit%20Card%20Payoff%20Goal"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Ways%20to%20Bounce%20Back%20After%20You%20Miss%20a%20Credit%20Card%20Payoff%20Goal.jpg" alt="7 Ways to Bounce Back After You Miss a Credit Card Payoff Goal" 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/denise-hill">Denise Hill</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-bounce-back-after-you-miss-a-credit-card-payoff-goal">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-do-these-5-things-when-youre-in-debt">Never Do These 5 Things When You&#039;re in Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-biggest-dangers-of-credit-card-debt">The 5 Biggest Dangers of Credit Card 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/whats-better-less-debt-or-more-savings">What&#039;s Better: Less Debt or More Savings?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-add-it-up">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Add It Up</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">The Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management accountability credit card debt evaluating failure goals high interest debt payoff plans Wed, 03 Jan 2018 09:30:14 +0000 Denise Hill 2077704 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Questions Your Financial Adviser Should Ask You http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-your-financial-adviser-should-ask-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-questions-your-financial-adviser-should-ask-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mid_adult_woman_with_tablet_smiling_at_mature_colleague.jpg" alt="Mid adult woman with tablet smiling at mature colleague" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you're looking for the right financial planner, you are essentially interviewing someone to work for you. Any hiring manager will tell you that a prospective hire who has no questions about the job during the interview is not well prepared to become an employee. The same is true for your prospective financial adviser. If the entire meeting is only about them answering your questions, you don&rsquo;t have the full story on whether or not this will be a good fit.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s why you should expect to hear the following questions from an adviser before you decide to entrust your financial future with them.</p> <h2>1. What are your financial goals and objectives?</h2> <p>If you don&rsquo;t know where you&rsquo;re going, it will be tough to know how to get there. A financial adviser who asks you this question will not only help you better understand and articulate your goals, but they&rsquo;ll also be in a much better position to help you achieve them.</p> <p>This is also a good way to help you and your adviser understand your values, needs, and reasonable expectations. If you simply say you want to prepare for retirement and save a little for your kids&rsquo; college funds, your adviser should dig a little deeper to help you put specifics and numbers to your goals, so that you don&rsquo;t find yourself saving for a goal you don&rsquo;t really want. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-details-your-financial-adviser-may-be-ignoring?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Details Your Financial Adviser May Be Ignoring</a>)</p> <h2>2. What are your biggest financial concerns right now?</h2> <p>We all carry some sort of financial stress, and an important part of your adviser&rsquo;s job is to help you arrange your finances to minimize that stress. Letting your adviser know that you are regularly losing sleep over your debt will help them recognize that getting that debt paid off is an important goal. Even if it might make better sense on paper to focus on investing while paying off debt slowly, tackling the debt more aggressively will be more beneficial to your mental wellbeing.</p> <p>While many advisers will ask you to fill out some sort of risk assessment questionnaire to help determine what kind of investor you are, it&rsquo;s important for them to also understand the more day-to-day type of financial thinker you are. The goal of financial planning is helping you live well on the money you have, both today and in the future, and the best financial planners recognize that they can help you by addressing your most pressing concerns.</p> <h2>3. What are your biggest nonfinancial concerns right now?</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s important to remember that money does not exist in a vacuum. The nonfinancial issues that are causing you stress will also affect your financial life, so it&rsquo;s important to talk through those issues, as well. That could include your concerns about your child&rsquo;s education or your parents&rsquo; declining health, or your concerns that you don&rsquo;t spend enough time with your family. Your financial adviser can help you figure out what aspects of your life could improve and how financial planning can help. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-secrets-you-need-to-tell-your-financial-adviser?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Secrets You Need to Tell Your Financial Adviser</a>)</p> <h2>4. Where do you expect to be in five years?</h2> <p>This is a common job interview question, and it&rsquo;s also a good question to hear from your financial adviser. So often, we think of financial planning as being solely about retirement and estate planning, but there are any number of important life milestones long before you reach the end of your career. Knowing where you&rsquo;d like to be in the near future &mdash; and what upcoming potential issues you may be facing &mdash; can help you to determine what goals to set for yourself and with your financial adviser.</p> <h2>5. What do you expect to get out of this relationship?</h2> <p>Unmet expectations are the root of bad feelings and resentment. If you expect your financial adviser to be there for your debt payoff journey, tax questions, retirement planning, estate planning, and college savings, you&rsquo;ll be sorely disappointed if your adviser is only planning on chatting with you once a year about how your retirement investments are doing. Similarly, if your adviser is usually very hands-on while you are happy to DIY anything that you can do on your own, you might find them too invasive when they make recommendations you don&rsquo;t feel you need.</p> <p>Laying out the expectations on both sides for how the relationship will work can help you determine if the adviser you&rsquo;re meeting with will take care of your needs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-to-be-picky-when-hiring-a-financial-planner?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Reasons to Be Picky When Hiring a Financial Planner</a>)</p> <h2>What to do if you don&rsquo;t hear these questions</h2> <p>While many good financial advisers will ask you these sorts of questions during your initial interview, it&rsquo;s not necessarily a given that <em>every</em> good financial adviser will think to ask them. That means you risk turning away a financial adviser who would be a good fit just because they didn&rsquo;t ask these questions.</p> <p>It can often be up to the client to take the bull by the horns. If your prospective adviser hasn&rsquo;t asked deep getting-to-know-you questions, let them know that you would like to discuss these issues. Come right out and explain your financial goals and objectives, your concerns, and your expectations. This will prompt a productive discussion with a good planner who just hasn&rsquo;t thought to ask these questions, and will be dismissed or minimized by a planner who isn&rsquo;t actually interested in helping you.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-questions-your-financial-adviser-should-ask-you&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Questions%2520Your%2520Financial%2520Adviser%2520Should%2520Ask%2520You.jpg&amp;description=5%20Questions%20Your%20Financial%20Adviser%20Should%20Ask%20You"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Questions%20Your%20Financial%20Adviser%20Should%20Ask%20You.jpg" alt="5 Questions Your Financial Adviser Should Ask You" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-your-financial-adviser-should-ask-you">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/5-details-your-financial-adviser-may-be-ignoring">5 Details Your Financial Adviser May Be Ignoring</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-financial-decisions-youll-never-regret">8 Financial Decisions You&#039;ll Never Regret</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/3-reasons-to-be-picky-when-hiring-a-financial-planner">3 Reasons to Be Picky When Hiring a Financial Planner</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/saving-money-is-easy-if-you-set-the-right-goals">Saving Money Is Easy If You Set the Right Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-money-milestones-anyone-can-hit">6 Simple Money Milestones Anyone Can Hit</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance financial advisers financial planners goals hiring interviews milestones questions retirement Wed, 20 Dec 2017 10:00:06 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2073761 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 New Year's Goals Every Freelancer Should Make http://www.wisebread.com/8-new-years-goals-every-freelancer-should-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-new-years-goals-every-freelancer-should-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/latina_businesswoman_using_laptop_in_her_office.jpg" alt="Latina Businesswoman Using Laptop In Her Office" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It&rsquo;s part of the magic of the season &mdash; each new year is a chance for a new beginning. For those of us who freelance, this time of year is particularly important. It&rsquo;s a moment to reflect on what&rsquo;s going right in our businesses, what needs improvement, and what goals should shape the next 12 months. In short, it&rsquo;s time to plan for the care and feeding of our self-made careers. With that in mind, here are eight New Year&rsquo;s goals every freelancer should make.</p> <h2>1. Build your brand</h2> <p>No matter how small the enterprise, branding matters. If you haven&rsquo;t established a brand for your freelance business, resolve to do it this year. Remember, a brand is more than a logo and tagline; it&rsquo;s also the <em>experience</em> clients have with you.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;ve already established a brand, apply it consistently and flawlessly online, in all printed material, and in person. Remember, the goal is to make sure clients keep your business top-of-mind and recommend your services without hesitation.</p> <h2>2. Update your LinkedIn profile</h2> <p>LinkedIn has established itself as <em>the</em> social networking hub for all things employment-related. Its network connects professionals in nearly every field imaginable &mdash; and many of them are in desperate need of freelance help. If your LinkedIn profile is out of date, sloppy, or incomplete, it reflects poorly on you and your business. Update it ASAP. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-on-linkedin?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Things You Should Never Do on LinkedIn</a>)</p> <h2>3. Learn a new skill</h2> <p>Regardless of what field you&rsquo;re in, markets never stand still. Changing technologies, new tools, and shifting tastes all demand that freelancers adapt or die. Stay competitive by sharpening your current skills; stay engaged by learning new ones. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-all-successful-freelancers-do?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Things All Successful Freelancers Do</a>)</p> <h2>4. Expand your network</h2> <p>Freelancing can be isolating, especially for those who work from home. A strong network of colleagues will keep you engaged socially and plugged into new professional opportunities. Devote an hour or two each week to expanding your network through social media, blogs, and industry events. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-freelancers-and-telecommuters-can-make-friends-and-network?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Ways Freelancers and Telecommuters Can Make Friends and Network</a>)</p> <h2>5. Ditch toxic clients</h2> <p>Take a critical look at your project list for the past couple of years. Are there clients who consistently paid late? Had endless demands and unreasonable deadlines? They&rsquo;re likely costing your more money than they bring in. Free yourself by phasing out chaotic professional relationships. But be diplomatic; bad clients often employ good people and you never know where those folks may land.</p> <h2>6. Bump up your rates</h2> <p>For many freelancers, it&rsquo;s tempting keep rates low to draw in more business. But over time, this loss-leader strategy can do more harm than good. Not only does it keep you at a financial disadvantage, it implies your services aren&rsquo;t as professional or in-demand as your competitors&rsquo;.</p> <p>Assess what price the market can bear and adjust your rates accordingly. Communicate the increase clearly in writing and give your clients at least 60&ndash;90 days notice.</p> <h2>7. Make time for downtime</h2> <p>When you work for yourself, the boundary that separates your personal and professional world can get a little fuzzy. This year, establish (and stick to!) a more formalized schedule &mdash; one that allows for real downtime and breaks from client calls, email, and paperwork.</p> <h2>8. Save for retirement</h2> <p>Without access to employee-sponsored retirement programs, freelancers must take the lead on saving for the future. Roth, traditional, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-sep-ira-is-how-the-self-employed-do-retirement-like-a-boss?ref=internal" target="_blank">SEP (Simplified Employee Pension)</a> IRAs each have distinct benefits and limitations. Choose the one that works best for you and make regular contributions &mdash; starting <em>now</em>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-retirement-plans-for-the-self-employed?ref=seealso" target="_blank">A Simple Guide to Retirement Plans for the Self-Employed</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-new-years-goals-every-freelancer-should-make&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520New%2520Years%2520Goals%2520Every%2520Freelancer%2520Should%2520Make.jpg&amp;description=8%20New%20Years%20Goals%20Every%20Freelancer%20Should%20Make"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20New%20Years%20Goals%20Every%20Freelancer%20Should%20Make.jpg" alt="8 New Year's Goals Every Freelancer Should Make" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-new-years-goals-every-freelancer-should-make">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/5-signs-its-time-to-close-your-business">5 Signs It&#039;s Time to Close Your Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-fund-your-new-business-without-borrowing-a-dime">4 Ways to Fund Your New Business Without Borrowing a Dime</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-tax-mistakes-freelancers-need-to-stop-making">5 Tax Mistakes Freelancers Need to Stop Making</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/self-employed-heres-how-to-get-your-apartment-application-approved">Self-Employed? Here&#039;s How to Get Your Apartment Application Approved</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-budget-consistently-without-a-steady-paycheck">How to Budget Consistently Without a Steady Paycheck</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship branding freelance goals networking new year's resolutions retirement self employment skills small businesses social media Wed, 20 Dec 2017 09:00:07 +0000 Kentin Waits 2074044 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Simple Money Milestones Anyone Can Hit http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-money-milestones-anyone-can-hit <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-simple-money-milestones-anyone-can-hit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_piggy_bank_599767404.jpg" alt="Woman hitting money milestones" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Achieving financial freedom is really about setting big goals and going after them. But these goals can sometimes seem overwhelming. Saving enough for retirement, a new home, or a college degree is a big task. Eliminating debt can also feel impossible.</p> <p>That's why it helps to set smaller, more manageable goals and work from there. You won't save all of your retirement nest egg or pay off all of your credit cards tomorrow, but there are steps you can take to build your confidence and get you on your way. Here are some achievable financial milestones that you can go after.</p> <h2>1. Open a retirement account</h2> <p>Just <em>open</em> the account. You don't even have to invest more than the minimum: Simply take that first step and open your 401(k) or individual retirement account. By checking this off your list, you have removed a big mental hurdle from investing, and you may even begin getting matching contributions from your employer even if you are not contributing much yourself.</p> <p>With the accounts open, you'll be able to begin putting more sizable chunks of money aside and buying stocks and mutual funds when you feel you are ready. But if your accounts aren't open to begin with, you might talk yourself out of getting started. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-retirement-accounts-you-dont-need-a-ton-of-money-to-open?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Retirement Accounts You Don't Need a Ton of Money to Open</a>)</p> <h2>2. Be independent</h2> <p>Do you still rely on your parents or other friends and family for financial help? Do they assist you with rent payments, credit card bills, and other expenses? Getting help from others isn't a bad thing, but there comes a time when a young person must learn how to maintain financial independence.</p> <p>This means being able to live on your own, pay your bills, and avoid debt without seeking &quot;loans&quot; from the Bank of Mom and Dad. This is not always easy, especially in an era when many young people have student loan debt &mdash; but this should be a goal for anyone in their 20s. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-money-habits-that-make-you-look-financially-immature?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Money Habits That Make You Look Financially Immature</a>)</p> <h2>3. Reduce your credit card debt</h2> <p>Ideally, you want to pay off the whole credit card balance as soon as possible. But for some of us, we just want to keep the balance from growing. Sometimes, we're stuck in a spiral of making minimum payments, while interest charges are adding to the debt. You may not be able to get rid of your credit card balance overnight, but you can take a big step toward that goal by simply reducing the balance the next time your bill is due.</p> <p>This will mean paying substantially more than the minimum required to make a real dent into the principal. If you can do this once, you'll prove to yourself it's possible to reduce your debt burden and eventually get rid of it entirely. (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>4. Get your credit score over 700</h2> <p>Many people have trouble getting ahead financially because they are saddled with a bad credit score. A low credit score makes it hard to get favorable rates on loans, and can lead to a spiral of debt that's hard to escape. The good news is that you can fix your credit score over time by making the right financial choices, and your bad finances of the past don't have to burden you forever.</p> <p>A credit score of 700 is considered &quot;good&quot; by most credit bureaus. To get there, you need to pay your bills on time and try to pay off all balances in full. If you have missed payments, get current as soon as possible. You don't want to close your credit cards after paying them off, as this can lower your percentage of available credit and ding your credit score. But you should avoid the temptation to open new cards, as that only increases your potential for adding debt. Your credit score may take time to rise, but hitting 700 is achievable if you make the right moves. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-improve-your-credit-score-fast?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score Fast</a>)</p> <h2>5. Earn $1,000 in passive income</h2> <p>One of the great ways to give yourself some financial breathing room is to get revenue from sources that don't require a lot of work. This could mean purchasing dividend stocks, in which companies pay out portions of their earnings each quarter to shareholders. It might mean buying and renting out properties, licensing your creative works, or building a website that generates some ad revenue. Passive income may require some work and expense up front, but could provide you with a solid amount of extra cash without extra effort over time.</p> <p>Try to earn a spare $1,000 in the next year. Then try and boost that figure. Before you know it, proceeds from these passive sources could be a significant total of your overall income. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-passive-income-online?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Make Passive Income Online</a>)</p> <h2>6. Save $100 in a month</h2> <p>When your income is barely covering your living expenses, it may seem impossible to save even a few bucks a month, let alone $100. But most people should be able to hit that $100 milestone by taking a good look at their spending.</p> <p>Begin by tracking your spending in a detailed way, making a note of where every dollar goes. Then categorize your spending. You might have a category for eating out, and another for gas or kids' activities. By examining your spending this way, you will likely find areas where you can cut costs. You may have to make some hard choices, but they will be worthwhile. A few dollars here and there can add up to $100 or more. And $100 a month can add up to thousands of dollars over time.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-simple-money-milestones-anyone-can-hit&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Simple%2520Money%2520Milestones%2520Anyone%2520Can%2520Hit.jpg&amp;description=6%20Simple%20Money%20Milestones%20Anyone%20Can%20Hit"></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%20Simple%20Money%20Milestones%20Anyone%20Can%20Hit.jpg" alt="6 Simple Money Milestones Anyone Can Hit" 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-simple-money-milestones-anyone-can-hit">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals">Don&#039;t Start a Family Before Reaching These 5 Money Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-why-financial-planning-isnt-just-for-the-wealthy">6 Reasons Why Financial Planning Isn&#039;t Just for the Wealthy</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/7-financial-differences-between-millennials-and-the-next-generation">7 Financial Differences Between Millennials and the Next Generation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance credit score debt financial independence goals money milestones passive income retirement saving Wed, 15 Nov 2017 10:00:06 +0000 Tim Lemke 2054445 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Online Forums That'll Help You Reach Your Financial Goals http://www.wisebread.com/9-online-forums-thatll-help-you-reach-your-financial-goals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-online-forums-thatll-help-you-reach-your-financial-goals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_on_coffee_break.jpg" alt="Girl on coffee break" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've got financial goals, but why be lonely while you're reaching them? Find your tribe! Grow your group! Commit to your community! And reach those money goals faster with the help and advice of online friends who are focused on reaching the same goals with you.</p> <h2>Goal: Get better at money</h2> <p>Start here to master the personal finance basics.</p> <h3>1. Reddit personal finance</h3> <p>If you want to start being more aware of your money and more proactive in how you manage it, you can't find a better place than <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/" target="_blank">Reddit's personal finance subreddit</a>. It's an active, friendly group full of down-to-earth people sharing real advice and tips and asking for insight from others.</p> <h3>2. Mr. Money Mustache Taxes forum</h3> <p>Getting better at finance means getting at least a little bit better at understanding and managing your taxes. The <a href="https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/taxes/" target="_blank">Mr. Money Mustache Taxes forum</a> can help. Topics vary widely with the common theme of taxes bringing them all together. You'll see threads on everything from making IRA contributions, to dealing with an inheritance, to calculating self-employment tax.</p> <h2>Goal: Invest more</h2> <h3>3. BiggerPockets forum</h3> <p>For real estate investment help and support, check out the <a href="https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums" target="_blank">BiggerPockets real estate investing forum</a>. You'll find questions, answers, and plenty of advice on the subject. Topics cover everything from real estate taxes, to investment strategies, to landlord responsibilities.</p> <h3>4. Quora Returns On Investment</h3> <p>Quora is a massive Q&amp;A website with a huge array of topics; dive into <a href="https://www.quora.com/topic/Returns-On-Investment-finance" target="_blank">Returns On Investment</a> to read questions and a variety of answers on the best methods and strategies for investing your money. You can also check out the <a href="https://www.quora.com/topic/Stock-Market-Investing" target="_blank">Stock Market Investing</a> page for even more information on investing.</p> <h2>Goal: Pay off debt</h2> <h3>5. Money Saving Expert forum</h3> <p>This is a large and active forum with many financial-themed topics. Of particular interest for your debt repayment goals are the <a href="http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/forumdisplay.php?f=76" target="_blank">Debt-Free Wannabe</a> and <a href="http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/forumdisplay.php?f=98" target="_blank">Mortgage-Free Wannabe</a> threads. Join hundreds of members who are working their way toward their debt-free goals. It's encouraging to know you're not alone, and you can also find advice and tips for ways to be as efficient as possible with your repayment plans.</p> <h2>Goal: Stick to a budget</h2> <h3>6. Frugal Village forums</h3> <p>How deep do you want to dive into changing your lifestyle to be a more frugal one? The <a href="http://www.frugalvillage.com/forums/forum.php" target="_blank">Frugal Village forum</a> can take you there. Topics get into detail, so you can explore the one you're most interested in. There are also several threads dedicated to specific money and frugal living challenges. For extra incentive, take on a challenge with your forum friends to cheer you on.</p> <h2>Goal: Save more money</h2> <h3>7. Tip Yourself app and community</h3> <p>The <a href="https://tipyourself.com/howitworks/" target="_blank">Tip Yourself app</a> (for iOS) gives you the option to, well, tip yourself. Forego that pricey coffee, new book, or other impulse purchase and give yourself the money instead, designating the amount in the app where you can watch the dollars in your own tip jar increase. The community feature makes this app fun to use; you can see what others are doing, comment and like their tips, and receive the same kind of encouragement for yourself. While you could easily do this yourself with a savings account, the interactive, community-oriented nature of Tip Yourself adds an element of fun that might spur you to save more than you normally would on your own.</p> <h3>8. CafeMom &mdash; The Family Piggy Bank</h3> <p>CafeMom is a popular site with all sorts of specialized groups; this particular one, <a href="http://www.cafemom.com/group/114471" target="_blank">The Family Piggy Bank</a>, brings together moms who are doing their best to save, invest, and plan for a happy financial future for their families. You can join a daily savings challenge, ask a question, or find out how other families are saving money on everything from holiday gifts, family travel, food budgets, and life insurance.</p> <h2>Goal: Increase your income</h2> <h3>9. Mr. Money Mustache Entrepreneurship forum</h3> <p>The <a href="https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/entrepreneurship/?PHPSESSID=ofgi7a48evtpkmc8d49sivq264" target="_blank">forum on Entrepreneurship</a> at Mr. Money Mustache is active and full of advice. You'll read real stories of people who are building up their own businesses in order to increase their income. You don't have to be a full-time entrepreneur or business owner to benefit from the knowledge shared here. In fact, it's a great community to be part of for encouragement as you turn your hobby or side hustle into something more profitable.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F9-online-forums-thatll-help-you-reach-your-financial-goals&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%2520Online%2520Forums%2520That%2527ll%2520Help%2520You%2520Reach%2520Your%2520Financial%2520Goals.jpg&amp;description=9%20Online%20Forums%20That'll%20Help%20You%20Reach%20Your%20Financial%20Goals"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Online%20Forums%20That%27ll%20Help%20You%20Reach%20Your%20Financial%20Goals.jpg" alt="9 Online Forums That'll Help You Reach Your Financial Goals" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-online-forums-thatll-help-you-reach-your-financial-goals">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-personal-finance-resolutions-anyone-can-master">8 Personal Finance Resolutions Anyone Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-youre-financially-ready-to-start-a-family">7 Signs You&#039;re Financially Ready to Start a Family</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-financial-perks-of-being-in-your-20s">The Financial Perks of Being in Your 20s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-that-ll-protect-you-during-the-next-recession">7 Money Moves That’ll Protect You During the Next Recession</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-financial-basics-every-new-grad-should-know">The Financial Basics Every New Grad Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance apps budgeting communities debt entrepreneurship forums goals investing saving money websites Tue, 19 Sep 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Annie Mueller 2022479 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Budget When You Rely on Cash Tips http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-budget-when-you-rely-on-cash-tips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-budget-when-you-rely-on-cash-tips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/waitress_preparing_bill_at_cash_register_in_restaurant.jpg" alt="Waitress Preparing Bill At Cash Register In Restaurant" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you work in the service industry, the majority of your income likely comes from tips &mdash; and that can present difficulty when trying to budget your money responsibly. But just because it's not easy doesn't mean it's impossible. You can keep your cash flow in check if you have the right tools and systems in place.</p> <h2>Track every dollar you make</h2> <p>The first step to getting on track financially &mdash; even when your tips fluctuate from shift to shift &mdash; is to account for all of the cash you make over a period of time. You won't get a good idea of what to expect from month to month from just a couple weeks' worth of income, so it's best to monitor your tips over an extended period, ideally two to three months. This sampling should provide a decent basis on what you can expect to average throughout the year given that your place of employment is relatively consistent in terms of traffic. It may be a better idea to sample a slow period so you have a real bottom line as opposed to an inflated sense of income during a rush like the holidays.</p> <p>Natasha Rachel Smith, personal finance expert at TopCashBack.com, offers a suggestion to put this plan in place.</p> <p>&quot;Write down how much you make in a journal or spreadsheet after every shift for 10 weeks to get an idea of your average weekly income,&quot; she says. &quot;Although that amount will fluctuate depending on the economy, low or high seasons, and service quality, by averaging 10 weeks' worth of pay you can get a fairly reasonable and realistic idea of your typical earnings.&quot;</p> <h2>Create (and stick to) a budget based on goals</h2> <p>Once you have an idea of how much you can expect to bring home on average per month, it's time to budget your income so all your bills are paid on time &mdash; and so you're not stressed out and trying to scrounge up cash for a car payment at the last minute. To do this effectively, says finance expert Kevin Gallegos, vice president of Phoenix operations for Freedom Financial Network, create a budget based on goals.</p> <p>&quot;Whether your goal is to save on weekly grocery bills, have time to train for a marathon, save for retirement, or take a vacation to China, write down the goals and build your budget with the goals in mind.&quot;</p> <p>In the budget, be sure to include a line item for savings in the &quot;expenses&quot; area, and treat it as a mandatory item to be paid. But, it can also be a variable expense &mdash; establish a percentage of your take-home pay that you'd like to put toward your goal after every shift.</p> <p>&quot;Ten percent or more is ideal,&quot; Gallegos says, &quot;but if it's less than that, choose the number and stick to it.&quot;</p> <h2>Start a system for envelope budgeting</h2> <p>An easy way to delegate your funds to the bills you need to pay &mdash; especially if you don't want to make daily deposits to your checking account (which I don't recommend anyway because the only agency who will benefit from that paper trail is the IRS) &mdash; is to start a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-envelope-system?ref=internal" target="_blank">system of envelope budgeting</a>. With this system, you add the regular cash you earn to envelopes designated for specific expenses, like rent, groceries, and student loans. By divvying up your cash after each shift, you can see in real-time how much you've saved and how much you still need to contribute to cover your general life expenses. This is also a good way to cut back on your &quot;extra&quot; expenses because live tracking will keep you informed on whether you can spare the money or not.</p> <h2>Separate your singles if you can afford it</h2> <p>If you can afford it, and provided you aren't only paid in this denomination, tuck away all one-dollar bills into a jar or container instead of spending them.</p> <p>&quot;Dollar bills will accumulate faster than change and it will give you a jar-fund to use when low on money or for the small, fun things in life,&quot; Smith says.</p> <h2>Look for patterns to keep your finances balanced</h2> <p>After a while, you'll be able to observe patterns in your income &mdash; a slump during the winter months or an uptick around a holiday, for instance &mdash; as well as determine a typical monthly minimum income level. By minding these patterns and building your budget around them, your finances should stay fairly balanced throughout the year so you're not stuck in the lurch because you were naive to expectation.</p> <p>Gallegos suggests holding on to receipts and keeping a spending log.</p> <p>&quot;Many people find it eye-opening to see how much they spend each day,&quot; he says. &quot;It's very similar to writing down everything you eat when trying to lose weight. Review carefully on a weekly basis to spot areas where you can cut back, and to become more familiar with your spending patterns.&quot;</p> <h2>Establish a &quot;floating fund&quot;</h2> <p>Another idea of Gallegos' that you may not have heard is the &quot;floating fund,&quot; which establishes an absolute baseline of sufficient savings to cover expenses such as quarterly estimated self-employment taxes and an emergency fund.</p> <p>&quot;Common wisdom suggests keeping six to nine months' living expenses in an emergency fund at all times,&quot; he explains. &quot;This fund then can also serve as a 'floating' fund to pull from during leaner times, for replenishment as income increases. It's key to think of the funds in this way &mdash; not just to pull from, but to replenish.&quot;</p> <p>You will need to train yourself to pull from &mdash; and replenish (the hard part!) &mdash; these funds on a regular basis to make this work.</p> <h2>Send financial windfalls directly to savings</h2> <p>When you earn or receive extra money &mdash; from a large event you work, a gift, or even a yard sale that you host &mdash; get in the habit of saving rather than spending that extra money. If you make this standard protocol whenever you come into unexpected cash, your savings will increase quicker.</p> <h2>Don't make any major financial commitments</h2> <p>The last thing you want to do if your income fluctuates is overextend yourself unnecessarily. Business can decline unexpectedly or you could lose your job altogether. These unfortunate circumstances can put you in a precarious predicament financially &mdash; perhaps even driving you into a deep debt situation that could impair your life for many years into the future.</p> <p>&quot;Stay away from accruing debts or taking out loans if you're living on a tip-based income,&quot; Smith advises. &quot;This is because your earnings are unpredictable and you could find one bad week creates a financial avalanche, simply because you didn't make enough money to cover a car payment or a credit card's minimum repayment.&quot;</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%2Fhow-to-budget-when-you-rely-on-cash-tips&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Budget%2520When%2520You%2520Rely%2520on%2520Cash%2520Tips.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Budget%20When%20You%20Rely%20on%20Cash%20Tips"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Budget%20When%20You%20Rely%20on%20Cash%20Tips.jpg" alt="How to Budget When You Rely on Cash Tips" 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/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-budget-when-you-rely-on-cash-tips">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/managing-your-short-term-money">Managing Your Short-Term 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/everything-you-need-to-know-about-switching-to-the-cash-only-lifestyle">Everything You Need to Know About Switching to the Cash Only 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/this-simple-journal-may-be-the-fix-for-your-finances">This Simple Journal May be the Fix for 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/is-an-all-cash-diet-right-for-you">Is an All-Cash Diet Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-things-every-frugal-person-should-have-in-their-wallet">The 7 Things Every Frugal Person Should Have In Their Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting cash emergency fund Envelope system expenses floating fund goals paying bills service industry tips windfalls Wed, 13 Sep 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 2019306 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Start a Family Before Reaching These 5 Money Goals http://www.wisebread.com/dont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/parents_carrying_son_on_shoulders_as_they_walk_in_park.jpg" alt="Parents Carrying Son On Shoulders As They Walk In Park" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Raising kids is expensive. The numbers bear this out: The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that in 2015 a middle-income family spent an average $12,980 each year on each child. To raise a child from birth through age 17, it would cost married parents an average $233,610. And these figures don't include the cost of a college education.</p> <p>Because raising children &mdash; not to mention buying cars and homes to accommodate them &mdash; is an expensive task, it makes sense to set certain financial goals for yourself before you start a family. Being financially prepared for children can make raising them, and paying for this process, a far easier task.</p> <p>Here are a few money goals to set before you start having children.</p> <h2>1. An emergency fund with six months of daily living expenses</h2> <p>Children come with unexpected expenses; everything from $200 for an emergency room visit to a surprise $500 bill from the dentist. You can prepare for these expenses by creating an emergency fund.</p> <p>As its name suggests, an emergency fund is an account that you only tap to cover unanticipated necessities. With an emergency fund, you won't have to resort to paying for unexpected expenses with a high-interest credit card.</p> <p>Most financial experts recommend that you have at least six months' worth of daily living expenses saved in your emergency fund. That might seem like a daunting goal, but you can get there by steadily putting away even just $100 every month.</p> <h2>2. A credit score of 740 or higher</h2> <p>Your credit score is an important number. Lenders use it to determine if you qualify for mortgage, auto, personal, and student loans. They also rely on it to set your interest rate, with a high score usually equaling lower interest rates.</p> <p>Most lenders today consider a credit score of 740 or higher to be very good. Getting your score to this level, then, should be one of your goals before you start having children. Having a strong credit score means you'll pay less for a mortgage or car loan. That can reduce your living expenses significantly, something that can help ease the financial stresses that come with raising children. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-improve-your-credit-score-fast?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score Fast</a>)</p> <h2>3. A work history</h2> <p>You'll need a steady income to pay for the expenses involved in raising children. The best way to get this income is to build a stable career in your field. Make sure you have several years logged in your field before you begin having children. While there are no guarantees that you'll never lose your job, the odds will be lower if you've already established yourself in your field. And if you do lose your job, you'll have an easier time finding new work.</p> <h2>4. Saving for retirement</h2> <p>Retirement might seem far off, especially when you're thinking of starting a family. But it's never too early to start saving for retirement. The earlier you start, the more dollars you have once you leave the workforce.</p> <p>Before you have children, start socking away money each month for retirement. The easiest way to do this is to sign up for the 401(k) plan that your employer offers. This way, your retirement funds will be deposited automatically with each paycheck.</p> <p>If you don't have access to a 401(k) fund, open a traditional or Roth IRA. Deposit as much as you can each year to get into the habit of saving for retirement. If you do this, it'll be easier to continue saving for retirement after your children are born. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-ruining-your-retirement-by-spoiling-your-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are You Ruining Your Retirement by Spoiling Your Kids?</a>)</p> <h2>5. A plan for your children's college education</h2> <p>College might seem far away, too. After all, your children aren't even born yet. You're focused more on paying for preschool than on picking a college.</p> <p>But you should start planning for your children's college education before you even begin building your family. The average class of 2016 graduate took home $37,172 in student loan debt, a number 6 percent higher than the year before. That amount continues to rise each year. You don't want your children to be burdened with student loan debt as they become young adults.</p> <p>Consider opening a 529 college savings plan to help you start stowing away money for your soon-to-be-born children's secondary education. You might be surprised at how quickly college costs sneak up on you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid's College Savings</a>)</p> <h2 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%2Fdont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FDont%2520Start%2520a%2520Family%2520Before%2520Reaching%2520These%25205%2520Money%2520Goals.jpg&amp;description=Dont%20Start%20a%20Family%20Before%20Reaching%20These%205%20Money%20Goals"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Dont%20Start%20a%20Family%20Before%20Reaching%20These%205%20Money%20Goals.jpg" alt="Don't Start a Family Before Reaching These 5 Money Goals" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-conversations-parents-should-have-with-their-adult-kids">7 Money Conversations Parents Should Have With Their Adult Kids</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-financial-decisions-youll-never-regret">8 Financial Decisions You&#039;ll Never Regret</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/money-a-mess-try-this-personal-finance-starter-kit">Money a Mess? Try This Personal Finance Starter Kit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-brilliant-money-moves-you-should-make-on-january-1">5 Brilliant Money Moves You Should Make on January 1</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-money-moves">6 Signs You&#039;re Making All the Right Money Moves</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family career college credit score emergency funds expenses goals kids money moves raising children retirement saving money Tue, 29 Aug 2017 08:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2009180 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Money Moves to Make If Your Net Worth Is Negative http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-if-your-net-worth-is-negative <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-money-moves-to-make-if-your-net-worth-is-negative" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-546177782.jpg" alt="Woman making money moves when her net worth is negative" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the most illustrative financial figures to know is your total net worth. This is the value of all of your cash and assets, minus your debts. For many people, that figure is below zero.</p> <p>Building a high net worth should be the ultimate goal of anyone seeking financial freedom. If your net worth is less than zero, consider making these moves ASAP. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-increase-your-net-worth-this-year?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Ways to Increase Your Net Worth This Year</a>)</p> <h2>1. Reduce your spending</h2> <p>One of the most direct ways to end up with a negative net worth is to spend more than you earn. Cutting unnecessary expenditures is the first step in having a net positive income each month. This can mean some tough choices, like eliminating cable, eating out, and your annual vacation. It may also require more extreme measures, like getting by without a car.</p> <p>You can help yourself by tracking your spending meticulously in a budget so you know where money is going each month. Even if you think you are already living frugally, there's a chance you can find savings just by taking a closer look.</p> <h2>2. Pay off your high-interest debt</h2> <p>If your net worth is negative, it may be partially due to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">high interest credit card debt</a> and other loans. Interest can quickly pile up and eventually overwhelm your earnings, putting you in negative net worth territory. Tackling debt starting with the highest interest rate first is called the avalanche method, and this can save you a lot of money on interest payments in the long run. Sometimes, even paying off just one credit card can make a huge difference in your financial situation. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>3. Bring in more income</h2> <p>If you're crumbling under a mountain of debt and you don't have enough income to pay off the debt, you must find a way to bring in more money. Start by searching for higher paying jobs or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-you-should-demand-a-raise?ref=internal" target="_blank">asking for a raise</a> from your current employer. Consider starting a side hustle, small business, or taking an additional part-time job. It may also be worth exploring income-producing investments, such as dividend stocks or peer-to-peer lending. If you have a maniacal focus on earning more money, you will help yourself move from negative to positive in the net worth department.</p> <h2>4. Invest</h2> <p>Arguably the most important way to build net worth is through investing. If you are able to put even a small amount of your earnings into stocks or index funds that grow, you'll give your financial picture a boost over time. Obviously, investing in the stock market carries risks. But U.S. stocks have consistently risen in value over time, with long-term growth eventually surpassing losses during market crashes. The more you can invest, the better off you'll be, especially if you stay in the market for many years. You won't get rich overnight, but your overall net worth will eventually rise.</p> <h2>5. Set a financial goal</h2> <p>If you had enough money, what would you ultimately want to do with it? Would you want to buy a home? Start a family? Build a hefty retirement account? To increase your net worth, it helps to have a goal to motivate you to save. Ideally, your financial goal should be geared toward building a high net worth, not a one-time purchase like a car. Whether it's a down payment for a home, a comfortable retirement, or saving for college, your dreams can help keep you accountable.</p> <h2>6. Refinance your mortgage</h2> <p>Homeownership can be a great way to build net worth, but it can also be a drain on your finances if you have the wrong kind of mortgage. If your loan term is very long, or if you have a high-interest or interest-only loan, you may not be paying much toward the principal of the loan (or building any equity) for a while. And that could be a serious problem if you're having trouble making payments.</p> <p>If you find yourself in this situation, you may want to consider refinancing to a shorter term or lower interest rate. There's no sin in borrowing to buy a home, but ideally, homeowners should seek a fixed-rate mortgage with a relatively short loan term: 30 years is standard, but a 15-year mortgage offers you the ability to build equity &mdash; and thus your net worth &mdash; at a faster pace. Just be sure you can comfortably make the monthly payments.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-money-moves-to-make-if-your-net-worth-is-negative&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Money%2520Moves%2520to%2520Make%2520If%2520Your%2520Net%2520Worth%2520Is%2520Negative.jpg&amp;description=6%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20If%20Your%20Net%20Worth%20Is%20Negative"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20If%20Your%20Net%20Worth%20Is%20Negative.jpg" alt="6 Money Moves to Make If Your Net Worth Is Negative" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-if-your-net-worth-is-negative">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/first-rule-of-financial-wins-avoid-losses">First Rule of Financial Wins: Avoid Losses</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/7-financial-differences-between-millennials-and-the-next-generation">7 Financial Differences Between Millennials and the Next Generation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-wake-up-richer-tomorrow-than-you-are-today">12 Easy Ways to Wake Up Richer Tomorrow Than You Are Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-retire">12 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Retire</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management assets goals investing mortgages net worth refinancing saving spending stocks Wed, 10 May 2017 08:00:08 +0000 Tim Lemke 1941242 at http://www.wisebread.com 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-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-the-risk-averse-can-get-into-the-stock-market">How the Risk Averse Can Get Into the Stock Market</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-successful-investing-is-trusting-the-process">The Secret to Successful Investing Is Trusting the Process</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rate-of-return-can-help-you-invest-smarter">Here&#039;s How Rate of Return Can Help You Invest Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</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/6-free-self-care-rituals-to-get-you-through-a-long-winter">6 Free Self-Care Rituals to Get You Through a Long Winter</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-smart-ways-to-invest-in-your-health">7 Smart Ways to Invest in Your Health</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/14-smartphone-apps-that-make-self-care-a-snap">14 Smartphone Apps That Make Self-Care a Snap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-age-well-for-0">10 Ways to Age Well for $0</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-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/5-jobs-that-pay-over-50k-and-dont-require-a-bachelors-degree">5 Jobs That Pay Over $50K and Don&#039;t Require a Bachelor&#039;s Degree</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </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