lifestyle http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4026/all en-US 11 Easy Ways to Fix Your Whole Life This Summer http://www.wisebread.com/11-easy-ways-to-fix-your-whole-life-this-summer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-easy-ways-to-fix-your-whole-life-this-summer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-462722175.jpg" alt="Woman learning easy ways to fix her whole life this summer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Summer is the season of getting in shape mentally, physically, and financially. But forget making drastic personality changes, devoting hours of extra time to sweating at the gym, or forking over loads of cash. Sometimes the most dramatic lifestyle shifts are the result of tiny decisions we make every day. Here are 11 little lifestyle changes that'll get your whole life fit for summer &mdash; and the rest of the year, too.</p> <h2>1. Clean your cell phone daily</h2> <p>I hate to gross you out, but that phone in your pocket is literally teeming with germs. Various studies have found E. coli, MRSA, Streptococcus, and many other pathogens living on mobile phones. Keep yourself healthy by wiping down your phone thoroughly each day with a dry microfiber cloth. Disinfect it weekly using a microfiber cloth dampened with diluted isopropyl alcohol.</p> <h2>2. Switch to a moisturizer with sunscreen</h2> <p>Even on an overcast day, the sun can damage skin. Using moisturizer with SPF 30 or greater can shield your skin from harmful UV rays, slow the development of wrinkles, minimize redness, and reduce the risk of skin cancer &mdash; all without adding another step to your morning routine.</p> <h2>3. Cut out soda</h2> <p>A 12-ounce can of regular soda contains roughly nine teaspoons of sugar (about the same amount as 2.5 scoops of ice cream). Just this single dietary change will help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of developing type-2 diabetes, and minimize dental problems. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-soda-alternatives-that-wont-bust-your-wallet-or-your-waistline?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Soda Alternatives That Won't Bust Your Wallet &mdash; Or Your Waistline</a>)</p> <h2>4. Socialize</h2> <p>Humans are social animals. Spending time with close friends improves your mood, increases self-confidence, and helps you navigate life's ups and downs. Instead of relying on random get-togethers, make a weekly date to spend quality time with those you care about most. If it won't ruffle any feathers, suggest these events be screen-free and revel in the old-fashioned art of conversation.</p> <h2>5. Make your bed</h2> <p>It may seem trivial, but making your bed first thing in the morning sets a positive and productive tone for the rest of the day (hospital corners optional).</p> <h2>6. Floss</h2> <p>According to many dentists, flossing is more important than brushing. Because floss is designed to clean between teeth and between the teeth and gums, it's a more effective tool for fighting tooth decay and periodontal disease. Make flossing at least once a day part of your routine. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-flosses?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Flosses</a>)</p> <h2>7. Move</h2> <p>Sitting is the new smoking, and we're all doing way too much of it. Walk the dog, take the stairs, mow the lawn with a push mower, schedule an outdoor work meeting and go for stroll &mdash; just try anything that will get you moving more each day.</p> <h2>8. Sleep more &hellip; and better</h2> <p>The busier we are, the more quality sleep matters. Invest in a few things that will transform your bedroom into a sleep-inducing oasis: Consider blackout shades, a <a href="http://amzn.to/2pY5Kih" target="_blank">white noise machine</a>, quality linens, and comfortable pillows. If a new mattress isn't in your budget, add a memory foam or <a href="http://amzn.to/2qjydQV" target="_blank">pillow-top mattress pad</a>.</p> <p>Once your sanctuary is set, fit more naps into your life. A 20- or 30-minute catnap can improve alertness and mood without disrupting your nighttime sleep schedule.</p> <h2>9. Don't check email before bed</h2> <p>While we're on the topic of good sleep, resist checking your email right before bed. Trust me, nothing good can come from it. Inevitably, there'll be a message that gets your mind buzzing or makes you anxious about the coming workday. Establish a media cut-off time and stick to it.</p> <h2>10. Adopt a one-item-in, one-item-out policy for your home</h2> <p>Cluttered spaces can be overwhelming, difficult to clean, and bad for your mental health. Become a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clutter-free-the-zero-accumulation-household?ref=internal" target="_blank">zero-accumulation household</a> by following one simple rule: For every new item you bring into your home, donate or sell an item of similar size. Already drowning under a pile of junk? Purge three or four items for every new one you add.</p> <h2>11. Save an extra five percent of your net income</h2> <p>Saving money is empowering. Properly managed, a healthy nest egg can help you fund a new career, start a family, or become a homeowner. Push yourself to save an extra five percent of your net income. Buy generic, cut the cord on cable TV, or explore ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-painless-ways-to-lower-your-cell-phone-bill?ref=internal" target="_blank">lower your cell phone bill</a>. In short, do whatever it takes to beef up your bank account. Your future self will thank you.</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/11-easy-ways-to-fix-your-whole-life-this-summer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-health-benefits-to-growing-a-garden">6 Surprising Health Benefits of Growing a Garden</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-lifestyle-changes-that-will-always-pay-off">10 Lifestyle Changes That Will Always Pay Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/treat-yourself-with-these-7-free-self-care-routines">Treat Yourself With These 7 Free Self-Care Routines</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-apps-that-pay-you-to-workout">6 Apps That Pay You to Workout</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-5-best-resistance-bands">The 5 Best Resistance Bands</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Organization exercise fit for summer healthy eating healthy lifestyle lifestyle self-care summer bucket list to-do list Thu, 11 May 2017 09:00:08 +0000 Kentin Waits 1943627 at http://www.wisebread.com How Are People Retiring in Their 30s?! http://www.wisebread.com/how-are-people-retiring-in-their-30s <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-are-people-retiring-in-their-30s" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-508191870.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you think about retirement, it's generally a time later in life after you've put many working years into a career. But today, some people are retiring in their 40s, 30s, and even in their 20s! What is the secret to retiring so early?</p> <p>I reached out to several bloggers who either retired or reached financial independence by the time they reached their 30s to learn just how they did it.</p> <p>Even if you are not aiming to retire at a very young age, these strategies can still help you accelerate your retirement.</p> <h2>Secret 1: Pay down debt ASAP</h2> <p>The first step toward early retirement is to get rid of debt as soon as possible. Making payments on debt limits your ability to build your investments and grow enough assets to retire. This is how Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of Making Sense of Cents got started on the path to financial independence in her early 20s. &quot;In the beginning,&quot; she said, &quot;I worked many, many hours a week so that I could pay off my debt in seven months, but it was well worth it.&quot;</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a></p> <h2>Secret 2: Take advantage of compound interest</h2> <p>The key to reaching early retirement is to save a large portion of your income &mdash; for example, 50 percent or more &mdash; and let that money compound over time. How can you put away that much on a modest income? You need to live very frugally so you can apply a large percentage of your income toward investments.</p> <p>Jeremy Jacobson, who runs Go Curry Cracker with his wife Winnie, reached financial independence in his 30s. He explained, &quot;We just used our income to buy our freedom rather than things and experiences that we would have quickly forgotten. Ironically, thanks to compound interest we can now have things, experiences, and freedom.&quot;</p> <h2>Secret 3: Multiple sources of income</h2> <p>Many of these bloggers who retired early had a traditional career for a time, and gradually built up &quot;side hustles&quot; to generate multiple streams of income. The extra cash helps get debt paid off faster and starts building your investment accounts sooner. Writing, owning income properties, selling items on eBay or Amazon, and consulting are some ideas to bring in &quot;extra&quot; money.</p> <p>One of these side projects that you enjoy could grow into enough income to one day replace your primary job. (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>Secret 4: Commit to living differently</h2> <p>One thing I noticed is that these people are quite different from their peers. They are not concerned about fitting in and even celebrate living much differently than others their age.</p> <p>Travis Hornsby, blogger at Millennial Moola, was able to retire in his mid 20s. How did he manage it? &quot;I lived in a semifinished basement for several months because it included utilities and allowed me to supercharge my savings rate,&quot; he explained.</p> <p>Justin McCurry at Root of Good retired in 2013 at age 33 by redefining what qualified as a sacrifice. &quot;Unlike our peers, we never upgraded our starter home to a McMansion, nor did we trade in our Honda sedans for luxury cars,&quot; he said. &quot;Is that a sacrifice?&quot;</p> <p>Kristy Shen, one half of Millennial Revolution and retiree by age 31, resisted the pressure to buy a large home and settle into a traditional lifestyle. &quot;We stuck to our guns because we knew the math didn't make sense,&quot; she said.</p> <h2>Secret 5: Know when to stop</h2> <p>Many of those who retire at an early age plan to maintain a low spending rate after they retire, allowing them to leave the workforce early. But how much is enough? There are many opinions about this, but many subscribe to the 4 percent safe withdrawal rate as a rule of thumb. Simulations have shown that under a range of economic scenarios, you can withdraw up to 4 percent per year from your investment portfolio with a very low probability of running out of money during retirement.</p> <p>If your desire is to retire as soon as possible, it is important to have a specific goal for how much you need to accumulate so you don't end up spending extra years in the cubicle. For example, if you can live on withdrawing $40,000 per year from your account, then $1 million is the minimum amount you would need to fully retire under the 4 percent safe withdrawal rate. If you will have income after you retire, then you will need to withdraw less, so the balance you need to accumulate is less &mdash; and you can retire earlier.</p> <h2>Secret 6: Income after &quot;retirement&quot;</h2> <p>Many of these people who &quot;retire&quot; very early are actually still working at least part-time. Financial independence may be a better description than retirement for this lifestyle. Financial independence means that although you are still working, you don't need to do it purely for the money anymore.</p> <p>Michelle of Making Sense of Cents started her blog in graduate school a few years ago to help pay off student loans faster. As a dramatic example of income after reaching financial independence, she now makes nearly $1 million per year from her blog!</p> <h2>Secret 7: Invest for growth</h2> <p>Saving the money is the first step, but you have to invest it so it will grow. Parking your savings in a bank account at less than 1 percent interest is not going to get you to retirement very fast.</p> <p>Kristy of Millennial Revolution regrets her initial hesitation to dive into investments. &quot;I think we spent a lot more time waffling on whether we should do the investing-route or the housing-route than we should have, and that caused some missed opportunities along the way,&quot; she said. &quot;As a result, we stayed out of the market when the S&amp;P 500 bounced off the floor in early 2009 because we were still deciding whether to buy a house. As a result, we missed a 40 percent rally from 2009&ndash;2010 just sitting in cash! Fortunately by the time we decided in early 2012, there turned out to be plenty more gains to go in this bull market.&quot;</p> <h2>Secret 8: Don't sink money into a house</h2> <p>This one comes as a bit of a surprise to me since I have gone the route of investing in a home. But several folks who have reached early retirement recommend avoiding homeownership in order to reach financial independence sooner.</p> <p>Kristy and her husband Bryce felt scrutiny at their decision to forgo homeownership and continue to rent. &quot;Going against the grain is tough, but it's even tougher to do for such a long period of time while everyone around you is pointing and saying 'What an idiot. They're renting and throwing money away.'&quot; she explained.</p> <p>The advice not to buy a house makes sense if your goal really is to minimize costs. Owning a home not only commits you to a mortgage payment, but also to additional expenses such as insurance, taxes, repairs, and maintenance. Plus, if you own a home, you are more likely to spend money on furniture, landscaping, and home improvement projects. In some cases, you may be better off minimizing your expenses by renting instead of buying a place to live during your run up to early retirement. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rent-your-home-or-buy-heres-how-to-decide?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Rent Your Home or Buy? How to Decide</a>)</p> <h2>Secret 9: Enjoy now</h2> <p>In my experience, most people in their 20s are not focused much on retirement at all. But if you want to retire in your 30s, you will need to start working toward that goal very early in life. The earlier you want to retire, the more aggressively you will need to save money. But it is possible to focus too much on making and saving money. As you look forward to some great experiences after retirement, you don't want to miss out on unique opportunities to enjoy life along the way.</p> <p>Joe Udo of Retire by 40 emphasizes this point: &quot;If you're working toward early retirement,&quot; he said, &quot;don't forget about the present. Being miserable every day will screw up your mental health.&quot;</p> <h2>How early should you retire?</h2> <p>Very early retirement is not for everyone. Retiring early clearly requires some significant sacrifices and lifestyle adjustments. You'll have to decide if this cost is worth the reward of reaching financial freedom years (or possibly even decades) earlier.</p> <p>If you'd like to learn more and read about the journey of the bloggers mentioned in this article, check the table below.</p> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p>Blogger</p> </td> <td> <p>Blog</p> <p>(link to their best early retirement advice post)</p> </td> <td> <p>Age at Retirement / Financial Independence</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Justin</p> </td> <td> <p><a href="http://rootofgood.com/zero-to-millionaire-ten-years/" target="_blank">Root of Good</a></p> </td> <td> <p>33</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Joe</p> </td> <td> <p><a href="http://retireby40.org/3-easy-steps-retire-40/" target="_blank">Retire by 40</a></p> </td> <td> <p>38</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Jeremy &amp; Winnie</p> </td> <td> <p><a href="http://www.gocurrycracker.com/how-we-saved-multi-millions/" target="_blank">Go Curry Cracker </a></p> </td> <td> <p>38, 33</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Michelle</p> </td> <td> <p><a href="http://www.makingsenseofcents.com/2016/01/early-retirement-myths-busted.html" target="_blank">Making Sense of Cents</a></p> </td> <td> <p>20s</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Kristy &amp; Bryce</p> </td> <td> <p><a href="http://www.millennial-revolution.com/freedom/how-i-built-a-seven-figure-portfolio-and-retired-at-31/" target="_blank">Millennial Revolution</a></p> </td> <td> <p>31, 33</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Travis</p> </td> <td> <p><a href="https://millennialmoola.com/2015/06/22/how-to-retire-in-your-20s/" target="_blank">Millennial Moola</a></p> </td> <td> <p>25</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-are-people-retiring-in-their-30s">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-steps-to-starting-a-retirement-plan-in-your-30s">8 Steps to Starting a Retirement Plan in Your 30s</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/one-smart-thing-you-can-do-for-your-retirement-today">One Smart Thing You Can Do for Your Retirement Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-wasting-300000-on-lunch">Are You Wasting $300,000 on Lunch?</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/youre-wasting-up-to-42532-by-not-investing-your-gasoline-savings">You&#039;re Wasting Up to $42,532 by Not Investing Your Gasoline Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement">5 Questions Couples Must Ask Before Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Retirement 20s 30s compound interest debt early retirement expenses income streams lifestyle retiring young saving money Mon, 27 Mar 2017 09:00:11 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1913293 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Questions Couples Must Ask Before Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_sailboat_89092071.jpg" alt="Couple asking questions before retirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What kind of retirement do you imagine? Do you picture taking a long cruise, traveling to international destinations, and racking up the frequent-flier miles? What if your partner is dreaming about a retirement of lazy days spent reading books, watching movies, and visiting the grandkids?</p> <p>Those retirements are two very different kinds. And if you and your partner can't agree on a version of your after-work years that satisfies both of you, your retirement might be a stormy one.</p> <p>Fortunately, you can boost the odds that you and your partner will enjoy your retirement years by asking five key questions before you leave the working world.</p> <h2>1. What Kind of Retirement Do You Want?</h2> <p>This is the most basic of questions, but it might be the most important. Couples need to hammer out exactly what kind of life they want to lead after their working years are over.</p> <p>When you're working, much of your life is planned out for you. You know when you have to be on the job, for instance. If you're raising kids, your weeks are often filled with band practices, soccer games, and gymnastics meets. You and your partner might not even spend much time together during an average week.</p> <p>But when you retire? That all changes. Those hours in the office are now hours spent at home. You and your partner need to determine what you want to fill those hours with. You might want to travel and take on new hobbies. Your partner might prefer quiet days with favorite books.</p> <p>The type of retirement you want also impacts how much money you'll need to save. You'll need more money if you plan to travel the globe and less if you picture quiet nights in your existing home.</p> <p>If you discuss this before retirement, you might be able to work out compromises. Maybe you agree to take two trips a year. Maybe you agree that you'll investigate a new hobby while your partner plows through <em>War and Peace</em>. But you won't be able to agree on anything if you don't first talk about what your ideal retirements look like.</p> <h2>2. Where Do You Want to Live?</h2> <p>Do you want to stay in your current home? Or perhaps you'd like to sell your home and move into an apartment in the middle of downtown? These are both good choices. But you and your partner need to discuss them before you retire. You don't want to be dreaming of a downtown apartment if your partner is making plans for a new sunroom in your current home.</p> <p>And what about your grandkids? Do you want to move closer to them? Or do you want to stay put? This, again, is another conversation that you must have before retirement.</p> <h2>3. When Do You Want to Retire?</h2> <p>You might plan on working late into your 70s. Your partner might be counting down the days to 67. Make sure you and your partner discuss when you both plan on retiring.</p> <p>Your partner might expect that you'll both retire at the same time. Don't make it a surprise that you want to retire earlier or later. The timing of your retirement plays an important role in how much you have to save each year to meet your retirement goals. So talk about this choice early and often.</p> <p>And if you change your mind? Don't keep it a secret from your partner.</p> <h2>4. How Much Money Do You Need?</h2> <p>This might be the most perplexing question of all to couples. It's also the one that couples need to talk about early in their relationship. Couples need to agree on how much money they'll need each year to live a comfortable retirement. If they don't? The odds are high that money issues will be a constant source of tension.</p> <p>How much money couples need in retirement varies depending on the lifestyles that they want. Couples who want to travel during their retirement will need more money. Those who want to spend their time visiting their grandkids will need less.</p> <p>Those couples who plan on living in a pricey seniors' center or an urban apartment building will probably need more money than those who plan to live for as long as possible in a home that they have already paid off.</p> <p>There are plenty of formulas for determining how much money couples should save during retirement. Your best bet, though, might be to meet with a financial adviser who can help you and your partner work through your retirement goals and determine the best way to save for them.</p> <h2>5. Who Will Do What Chores?</h2> <p>You might have been happy with being the home's main cook if your partner worked longer hours. But what about when you are both retired? Will you still want to handle the bulk of the cooking chores then? Maybe not.</p> <p>It pays to talk with your partner about who will handle the bills, cook the meals, clean the house, and mow the lawn once retirement arrives. The old ways of splitting these chores might no longer make sense after you both settle into retirement.</p> <p>Again, not talking about this issue could cause tension. You might not be thrilled to serve your partner dinner if that partner spent all day watching TV or reading a book. So don't be shy about the chores conversation. It might be time to work out a new household schedule.</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/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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-are-people-retiring-in-their-30s">How Are People Retiring in Their 30s?!</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-incredible-world-cities-you-can-afford">5 Incredible World Cities You Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-worst-states-for-retirees">The 10 Worst States for Retirees</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/these-5-expenses-will-probably-cost-you-a-lot-less-in-retirement">These 5 Expenses Will Probably Cost You a Lot Less in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/half-of-americans-are-wrong-about-their-retirement-savings">Half of Americans Are Wrong About Their Retirement Savings</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement chores couples family grandchildren lifestyle marriage moving relocating retirement planning saving money traveling Thu, 10 Nov 2016 09:00:09 +0000 Dan Rafter 1830271 at http://www.wisebread.com Take Control With These Easy 5-Minute Money Fixes http://www.wisebread.com/take-control-with-these-easy-5-minute-money-fixes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/take-control-with-these-easy-5-minute-money-fixes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_list_happy_61309776.jpg" alt="Woman making easy 5-minute money fixes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting your finances in order sounds like an uphill battle &mdash; one that'll take a lot of time. It's true, your financial situation typically won't turn around overnight, but there are things you can do everyday &mdash; in five minutes or so &mdash; that will put you on the right path. Take a look.</p> <h2>1. Plan Out Your Meals for the Week</h2> <p>One major time and money saver for me is planning out meals for the week. I usually sit down on Sunday afternoons and decide what I'd like to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that week. It doesn't take long since I have a fairly limited palette. When I'm done, I visit the supermarket to purchase the groceries I'll need for the meals. This helps me stay healthy, for sure, but it also virtually eliminates the urge to eat out, thereby saving me a significant amount of money on gas, restaurant food, tips, and taxes.</p> <h2>2. Get Your Morning Coffee Fix at Home</h2> <p>I'm sure you've heard from various budgeting experts that you should make your coffee at home instead of hitting up a Starbucks every morning. Many people lament that it's just not the same as the coffee prepared by a barista. Granted &mdash; but you can jazz up your java in your own kitchen, nonetheless.</p> <p>&quot;Investing in a cappuccino machine may cost a bit up front, but the savings add up quickly in terms of money and time spent waiting in line or in the drive-thru,&quot; suggests financial adviser Tammy Johnston.</p> <h2>3. Keep a Running Grocery List</h2> <p>Going to the supermarket without a list is certain disaster &mdash; especially if you're hungry. Cut down on impulse buys by keeping a running list (I keep mine in the Notes section of my phone) so you can add to it whenever you recognize you need something. You'll be amazed at how much you'll save on each shopping trip if you have direction as you navigate those colorful aisles of everything delicious.</p> <h2>4. Practice Meditation to Reduce Stress</h2> <p>&quot;Stressing about money hurts your ability to make good decisions, which can lead to more money issues,&quot; says Ellen Rogin, a CPA and personal financial adviser. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meditation-can-make-you-a-money-master?ref=seealso">6 Ways Meditation Can Make You a Money Master</a>)</p> <p>She's correct.</p> <p>Research shows that meditation can help you in <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-05-28/to-make-killing-on-wall-street-start-meditating">volatile financial situations</a>, like when your investments are at risk.</p> <p>&quot;Think about it: When you're freaked out about money, what kinds of decisions do you make? Good ones?&quot; she asks. &quot;No. Stress is why people sell low and buy high. Meditating just a few minutes a day can help you think more clearly and help you make better decisions.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Download a Financial App</h2> <p>If you find it difficult to keep your monthly budget from going off the rails, let alone minding your overall financial picture, you may find at least a little help from technology, like a financial app.</p> <p>&quot;People who downloaded financial apps checked their accounts an average of 12 times per month and saw their spending decrease by 15% after four months of using the app, with grocery spending and discretionary purchases seeing the biggest reductions,&quot; says money-saving expert Kendal Perez.</p> <p>As a general life rule, I check into my bank accounts when I wake up every morning &mdash; I'd like to know right away if I was robbed blind in the middle of the night &mdash; and it's a habit I suggest you adopt.</p> <p>In terms of the financial apps, I personally recommend Mint and Level Money as good places to start. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money?ref=seealso">These 5 Apps Will Help You Finally Organize Your Money</a>)</p> <h2>6. Review Your Finances Once a Week</h2> <p>Why should you review your finances once a week? Because spending can get out of hand quickly, throwing your entire budget into chaos. I've seen it happen too many times: People neglect their finances altogether because they've let them get so messed up that they don't want to deal with it anymore. It's one of the worst practices there is, but you can avoid it by giving just a few minutes' time to your finances each week.</p> <p>&quot;Balance your checkbook, review your credit card and bank statements, and pay your bills,&quot; Johnston advises. &quot;When it becomes a scheduled, weekly habit, it literally only takes a few minutes. You'll know where you stand so you catch any mistakes or red flags immediately, and you save on late fees because everything is looked after promptly.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Actively Look for Savings</h2> <p>If I'm buying anything, I'm looking for a deal. Aaaanything. I look for deals before I go out to eat, plan an activity, purchase clothing, fill up my tank, buy groceries &mdash; you get the picture. You also should be doing this without question, especially if you're finding it difficult to add to your savings consistently.</p> <p>&quot;Take a few minutes to look for savings on a purchase, whether it's tonight's takeout or an oil change for your car,&quot; Perez urges. &quot;Oftentimes you can find coupons or discounts on company websites or company social media pages, or you can download an app like <a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/">Coupon Sherpa</a>. For example, you can currently save <a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/jiffy-lube/">$5 on an oil change</a> from Jiffy Lube or <a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/smashburger">buy one, get one free entrees</a> from Smashburger.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Increase Your Savings in Small Increments</h2> <p>Many people fail at saving because they're thinking too big. You convince yourself that you'd like to put XXX amount of dollars in the bank, and you don't put in a single penny until you've reached that milestone. The problem with this mentality is that you can very well get derailed along the way, prolonging your goal deposit, ultimately cheating yourself out of savings in smaller, more realistic increments.</p> <p>Rogin provides a few tips on how more focused savings can turn into something substantial.</p> <p>&quot;Set up an automatic savings system, so you have money come directly from your paycheck to your bank each paycheck,&quot; she suggests. &quot;And if you work at a company with a retirement plan, make sure you have money coming out of your paychecks going into this plan. An added bonus &mdash; you automatically spend less than you earn and that is one of the most important thing you can do to fix your finances.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Look Up a New Financial Word Every Day</h2> <p>I absolutely love this tip from Johnston, mostly because in all my years of writing on personal finance topics, this is the first time I'm hearing it. Ready?</p> <p>&quot;Get a financial dictionary and learn a new word every day,&quot; she says. &quot;Knowledge is power and when you understand the language of money you make much better decisions.&quot;</p> <p>Did your head just explode a little bit? Because mine did. We can all learn more about how to better serve ourselves financially if we have a better grasp of what &quot;finance&quot; actually means, and a good place to start is with vocabulary. Genius.</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/take-control-with-these-easy-5-minute-money-fixes">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/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-people-in-your-life-who-are-keeping-you-poor">The 9 People in Your Life Who Are Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apple-watch-apps-thatll-save-you-money">8 Apple Watch Apps That&#039;ll Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-auto-payments-can-screw-you">7 Ways Auto-Payments Can Screw 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/6-money-moves-you-can-make-while-stuck-in-an-endless-tsa-line">6 Money Moves You Can Make While Stuck in an Endless TSA Line</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance apps banking budgeting daily habits financial fix five minutes grocery lists lifestyle meal planning Mon, 10 Oct 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1808268 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Create Your Dream Backyard on a Budget http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-create-your-dream-backyard-on-a-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-create-your-dream-backyard-on-a-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/backyard_party_78624345.jpg" alt="Family creating a dream backyard on a budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Summer has arrived, and your number one priority might be giving your backyard or other outdoor space a party-perfect makeover.&nbsp;We chatted with DIY and design experts Ben and Erin Napier&nbsp;to provide brilliant tips on how to make a dreamy outdoor space on the cheap. Ben and Erin approach their projects with a realistic and relatable point of view, because they want you to succeed without having to sacrifice. All of their projects are attainable &mdash; even by the newbiest of newbies. And what's better than that?</p> <p>Here are some of their best pearls of outdoor DIY wisdom.</p> <h2>Start With Seating and Lighting</h2> <p>If you're planning on hosting a summer soiree, you need the right seating and the right ambience to make it memorable. Erin Napier told us that she and Ben prefer to entertain at night, since it gets so hot during the day where they live. She also suggested stringing party lights around the yard to create a magical setting. For additional seating and decor, &quot;pull things from inside the house into the backyard. Bring rugs and lamps and the dinner table outside, and it makes great décor. Just make sure to bring them back inside before it rains!&quot; Erin said.</p> <p>Unfortunately, since mosquitoes and summer typically go hand in hand, do what you can to keep those pests away. Erin suggests going with citronella plants over the typical candles and sprays.&quot; If you can find citronella plants, buy all they have! Put them in pots and they keep away mosquitoes and bugs. Plants do an awesome job keeping bugs away naturally, and they are just as good as candles. You just need to have them strategically placed around your yard,&quot; she said. You can find these at Home Depot, or any major garden center.</p> <p>Just be careful if you're a dog owner, as they can be <a href="https://bonnieplants.com/growing/growing-mosquito-plants/">toxic to dogs</a>.</p> <h2>3 Yard Decor Choices Even the Pros Worry About</h2> <p>When it comes to DIYing, mistakes are part of the journey. But to avoid any missteps that can easily destroy your budget, Ben and Erin recommend being cautious in three areas: Lawn furniture, paint for your porch, and flowers.</p> <p>When asked what people typically overspend on, Ben told us, &quot;Lawn furniture that&rsquo;s not going to hold up and be durable. Be sure to look for metal that can be used year after year with a metal-bonding paint.&quot;&nbsp;</p> <p>Speaking of paint, don't waste your money on latex paint for your porch. Erin said, &quot;Painting a porch with latex paint is a bad idea. You'll need to redo it because it doesn't hide scratches. Only use old-ace enamel paint because will hold up for a few years.&quot;</p> <p>As for flowers, Erin is all about perennials. &quot;They bloom all year long, even in colder months, whereas annuals need to be replanted.&quot;</p> <p>When it comes to lawn care, Ben reminds us that timing is everything. &quot;It gets so hot in Mississippi, people water and mow their yards in brutal heat during the afternoon, which does more harm than good. Do the mowing and watering in the early morning, and cut your yard a little taller in order to create shade for the roots and allow for more water to be absorbed.&quot;</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WaYqp0rHhBA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <h2>Must-Have Tools</h2> <p>Not all tools are created equal, so make sure you have the right ones in your toolbox before you start redecorating. Ben's three must-haves are a drill, a hammer, and a pair of pliers. Erin added, &quot;And a caulk gun. That's worth spending money on. Tape measures are a must, too. We seem to have thousands of them.&quot;&nbsp;</p> <p>And in terms of splurging on the right tools, if you have a little wiggle room in your budget, and plan to do more DIY projects in the future, Ben recommends getting a skill saw, a miter saw, and a table saw.</p> <p>For more of Ben and Erin's home improvement tips, and some brilliant how-to videos, be sure to check out their blog at <a href="https://erinandben.co/">https://erinandben.co/</a>. They update it every day with more fun and creative ideas.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-create-your-dream-backyard-on-a-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/10-things-you-already-own-that-can-be-turned-into-a-tote-bag">10 Things You Already Own That Can Be Turned Into a Tote Bag</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/25-beautiful-things-you-can-make-with-paint-sample-cards">25 Beautiful Things You Can Make With Paint Sample Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-20-or-less">10 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $20 or Less</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/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think">18 Amazing DIY Decorating Projects That Are Easier Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor">12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting DIY Home decor design DIY diy projects gardening home improvement interview lifestyle outdoor decor party tips Thu, 23 Jun 2016 10:30:09 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1737243 at http://www.wisebread.com The Only 6 Rules of Frugal Living You Need to Know http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-6-rules-of-frugal-living-you-need-to-know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-only-6-rules-of-frugal-living-you-need-to-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_blueprints_piggy_bank_000031080438.jpg" alt="Woman learning only rules of frugal living she needs to know" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We humans have a knack for complicating the simplest of ideas. Our lives are filled with shortcuts that aren't short, tips and tricks that trip us up, and helpful hints that are anything but. The same is true when it comes to frugality. Let's scrap all the circular talk and bottom-line it. Here are the only six rules of frugal living you need to know.</p> <h2>1. Know Your Money</h2> <p>By whatever means necessary, become ridiculously well-acquainted with how much you earn, how much you spend, and where every dollar goes. It's the foundation of frugal living. Without this baseline knowledge, successful budgeting and saving will always be out of reach.</p> <h2>2. Live Below Your Means</h2> <p>Living within your means is a great start, but living <em>below</em> your means is where the real magic happens. The surplus it generates is the capital for saving and investing and the fuel behind long-term wealth building. If you're unable to run a surplus a majority of the time &mdash; either by cutting expenses or growing your income &mdash; you'll never get ahead of the game.</p> <h2>3. Know the Difference Between Spending and Investing</h2> <p>Spending and investing might feel like the same thing, but they're completely different animals.</p> <p>Investing is the outlay of cash in exchange for a tangible asset (think job training, a primary residence, or shares in a mutual fund). Spending, on the other hand, is the outlay of cash for something that will likely depreciate in value and not provide any long-term benefit (think dinners out or a new summer wardrobe).</p> <p>Being frugal doesn't mean you always have choose investing over spending (after all, spending is part of living), but it does require that you understand the difference and know how to put your income to work a majority of the time.</p> <h2>4. Buy for Quality</h2> <p>Frugality isn't about always buying the cheapest product; it's about diligently seeking out the best value. Sometimes that means <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/quality-over-price-15-items-to-spend-more-on">choosing quality over price</a>. A pair of shoes that cost $20 might seem like a great deal, but they're not if you have to replace them every three months. A $75 pair that will last two or three years will be a far better value in the long run.</p> <h2>5. Avoid Consumer Debt</h2> <p>Frugal folks know it: Interest on consumer debt is a tax people pay for living beyond their means. And while a credit card can save the day from time-to-time, embracing easy credit as a way to pad your lifestyle can have disastrous consequences. Interest and other charges will bleed your budget and choke your chances at real financial security. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso">The Fastest Method to Eliminate Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>6. Know the Difference Between a <em>Want</em> and a <em>Need</em></h2> <p>As I write this, there are throngs of advertisers plotting new ways to help consumers confuse wants and needs. It's big business. In reality, our needs are fairly straightforward (nourishing food, secure shelter, good healthcare, etc.).</p> <p>But what about that self-cleaning, solar-powered, lavender-infused kitty litter box that you can control with your smartphone? What sort of primitive existence would you be reduced to without this life-changing gadget?</p> <p>Let's face it: Being able to distinguish what we want from what we need is a prerequisite for making wise buying decisions. If you can't master this skill, your needs will be endless and your paycheck will never keep up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-products-you-think-you-need-but-really-don-t?ref=seealso">25 Products You Think You Need, But Really Don't</a>)</p> <p>Here's the curious thing: Today, when we talk about the rules of frugal living, aren't we really talking about basic financial literacy? It seems over the past couple of generations, common fiscal sense has been reframed as an extreme lifestyle. Maybe it's time to change the conversation about saving and managing money &mdash; and make frugal living a far more fundamental skill.</p> <p><em>Are you frugal-living pro? Which rules were the hardest for you to learn? Which have we missed?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-only-6-rules-of-frugal-living-you-need-to-know&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%20Only%206%20Rules%20of%20Frugal%20Living%20You%20Need%20to%20Know.jpg&amp;description=The%20Only%206%20Rules%20of%20Frugal%20Living%20You%20Need%20to%20Know" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <div align="center">&nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%20Only%206%20Rules%20of%20Frugal%20Living%20You%20Need%20to%20Know.jpg" alt="The Only 6 Rules of Frugal Living You Need to Know" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-6-rules-of-frugal-living-you-need-to-know">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/rich-people-spend-350k-to-park-their-cars-heres-how-wed-spend-it-instead">Rich People Spend $350K+ to Park Their Cars — Here&#039;s How We&#039;d Spend it Instead</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-a-spending-fast-in-16-easy-steps">How to Do a Spending Fast in 16 (Easy!) Steps</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-frugal-living-commencement-speech-id-give-to-my-younger-self">The Frugal Living Commencement Speech I&#039;d Give to My Younger Self</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/pets-old-cars-and-3-other-common-money-pits">Pets, Old Cars, and 3 Other Common Money Pits</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-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">12 Personal Finance Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living debt investing lifestyle living below means money needs spending wants Fri, 08 Apr 2016 10:00:14 +0000 Kentin Waits 1683756 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Surprising Things You Can Have Delivered http://www.wisebread.com/12-surprising-things-you-can-have-delivered <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-surprising-things-you-can-have-delivered" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000044866750_Large.jpg" alt="the surprising things you can have delivered" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Humans are creatures of habit. We're also creatures of convenience, if only evidenced by the growing number of things we can have delivered right to our doors these days. Sure, Amazon helped usher in a new age of get-anything-quick, but more and more retailers are starting to provide privatized delivery services for everything from ski equipment to new cars.</p> <p>What can you get your hands on in flash? Take a look at these 12 items you can have delivered today that you couldn't just a few years ago. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-fresh-food-delivery-services-that-can-save-you-big?ref=seealso">21 Fresh Food Delivery Services That Can Save You Big</a>)</p> <h2>1. Ski Equipment</h2> <p>Winter weather threatening your holiday vacay? Make the most of the snow by having ski equipment delivered to your hotel or wherever you're staying close to 35 ski resorts in North America. Ski Butlers' service includes a personalized fitting by a technician, free pickup on equipment on the final rental day, and any required on-mountain adjustments. The service&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/skibutlers">helps skiers and boarders</a> avoid long lines at the ski shop plus save on shipping from the original location to the destination &mdash; not to mention the hassle of finding ski shaped boxes.</p> <h2>2. Printer Ink</h2> <p>Save yourself a trip to your local office-supply store by having ink delivered when you're running low. That's right &mdash;&nbsp;<a href="http://www8.hp.com/us/en/ads/instant-ink/overview.html">HP Instant Ink</a> allows your <em>printer</em> to order cartridges when you're running low, so you don't even have to remember to do it yourself! Plans start at $2.99 per month with savings of up to 50% on the actual cartridges.</p> <h2>3. Kiteboarding Equipment</h2> <p>If you're an extreme-sports enthusiast, you'll be happy to know that you can&nbsp;<a href="http://www.demoakite.com/">rent and have delivered kiteboarding kites</a> anywhere in the United States from Demo a Kite. The service offers a wide range of kits, allowing users to try out different brands, with the option to choose how much time you'd like to rent the kites. When the rental period is over, ship it back for free in the box provided.</p> <h2>4. Your Favorite Chain Restaurant Foods</h2> <p>Pizza delivery has been around for, like, ever (okay, since the early 1960s when Domino's made it popular), but until recently we haven't been able to get our other favorite fast and chain-restaurants foods delivered. That's all starting to change with services like DoorDash, a third-party service that delivers food from your favorite restaurants, like California Pizza Kitchen, Cheesecake Factory, and (for hangover Saturdays) McDonald's. The service promises that your order will arrive in 45 minutes or less, though its availability is severely limited and growth has&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/12/technology/delivery-start-ups-face-road-bumps-in-quest-to-capture-untapped-market.html?_r=0">experienced a few road bumps.</a> Similar services include Postmates and Instacart, which also will deliver items from other local retailers and grocery stores &mdash; not just restaurants.</p> <h2>5. A New Car</h2> <p>Want to avoid that sleazy car salesman in his polyester suit? In that case, you may want to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nowcar.com">check out NowCar.com</a>, a site that allows users to buy a new car online and have it delivered to their homes for free.</p> <p>&quot;We officially launched in Sept. 2015, so we are a relatively new service,&quot; says Chloe Lykes, NowCar.com's content manager. &quot;NowCar allows a user to complete the entire car shopping, comparing and buying (finance, lease, or cash sales) process of a new car online. And, once completed, the car is delivered to their home, for free. Since buying a car has many facets, much of NowCar's software development stems from a combination of algorithms that make all types of various scenarios possible.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Alcohol</h2> <p>When wild-and-wacky blizzards blow through &mdash; and your backup of reserve booze is compromised (which means it probably time to panic!) &mdash;&nbsp;<a href="http://drizly.com">Drizly</a> will come to the rescue. Delivered to your door within an <em>hour </em>(that's the goal, but maybe cut 'em some slack if there's a snow squall outside your door), this service will bring over your favorite wine, beer, or liquor &mdash; with no markups &mdash; in a growing number of cities that currently include Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Baltimore, NYC, St. Louis, D.C., L.A., and several others.</p> <h2>7. Condoms</h2> <p>Safe sex is the best sex, period. If you have an enviable bedroom life and, thus, generally need to keep your condom stash replenished, Rubber Club, a monthly subscription service that sends your favorite brand of condoms straight to you, might be up your alley. Or, ya know, if things are getting hot and heavy with your lover boy or girl at home (in San Francisco or Brooklyn; sorry rest of the world) and you realize you're fresh out, hop online and order a 12-pack for one-hour delivery from <a href="https://thisisl.com/1h-shop/">L. condoms</a>. Just... no high-fiving the delivery guy.</p> <h2>8. Chicken Eggs... That Will Hatch!</h2> <p>When I was researching this piece for some of the strange things you can have delivered, this came up &mdash; and it's legit. Not only can you&nbsp;<a href="https://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/index.html">order chicken eggs</a> that you can incubate to the point of hatching, but you can raise an entire farm full of fowl with other available eggs that will eventually produce ducklings, goslings, pheasants, turkeys, quail, and more.</p> <h2>9. Laundry and Dry Cleaning Service</h2> <p>If you're like me and you drop off your dry cleaning and tend to forget it for weeks, services like&nbsp;<a href="https://www.getwashio.com/">Washio</a>, which offers premium dry cleaning and laundry delivery, could be a godsend. The wash-and-fold component seems pretty competitive from what I've seen &mdash; $1.99 per pound &mdash; but some of the dry cleaning rates, like $4.99 for a T-shirt and $5.99 for a sweater, are a bit questionable. Though they do balance out with more reasonable rates for other items, including $8.99 jackets and $11.99 two-piece suits. The service will pick up your garments and bring them pack for an additional delivery fee in cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and a few others.</p> <h2>10. Massages</h2> <p>When you're too achy to move,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.soothe.com/">order a masseur from Soothe</a> that will bring everything you need to relax and detox with a legit rubdown right to your home. Soothe helps pair five-star therapists &mdash; every available masseur is licensed, background-checked, and thoroughly vetted &mdash; with weekend warriors and serenity seekers seven days a week from 9 a.m. to midnight, including holidays. You can have your masseur in one hour or schedule in advance, and no cash is exchanged as gratuity is built into the online fee when you book.</p> <h2>11. Women's Hygiene Products</h2> <p>Listen, I'm not a lady, and I'm not faced with lady issues often (luckily I'm married to a dude), so I'm just going to say that if going to the supermarket to buy women's hygiene products (I hope that's what I'm allowed to call them) makes you uncomfortable, there's a service that makes the whole process quick, easy, and discreet. Plus, you'll help someone else at the same time.</p> <p>&quot;Each box [of feminine products] is customizable, and for every box she receives a box goes to a woman in need,&quot; says Aunt Flow founder Claire Coder. &quot;The buy-one-give-one model for basic sanitary products is changing lives.&quot;</p> <h2>12. Puppies!</h2> <p>Out all the cool and strange things you can have delivered these days, nothing beats a puppy! For a &quot;puppy playtime&quot; fee of $30, Uber has tested the waters of doggy delivery &mdash; that is, bringing cute-and-cuddly pups (and their handlers) to those who need a pick-me-up. It recently launched the&nbsp;<a href="http://fortune.com/2016/02/01/uber-puppies-delivery-service/">limited-time promotion</a> with Discovery Communications across several cities, including New York and Chicago.</p> <p>The puppies that were part of the promo also were available for adoption. Keep an eye out for these kind of exciting opportunities more often from ride-sharing services, which have been taking advantage of cool opportunities with other brand partners, like the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cnet.com/news/uber-delivers-adoptable-kittens-to-your-doorstep/">meme site Cheezburger</a> and retaile&nbsp;<a href="http://www.uglychristmassweater.com">UglyChristmasSweater.com</a>, the latter of which offered&nbsp;<a href="https://newsroom.uber.com/us-texas/12-days-of-christmas-ubersweaters/">free sweaters via Uber</a> delivered this past holiday season.</p> <p><em>Anything else you can now have delivered? Let us know in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-surprising-things-you-can-have-delivered">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-strange-ways-online-shopping-has-changed-the-world">6 Strange Ways Online Shopping Has Changed the World</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/can-you-really-save-with-amazon-prime-pantry">Can You Really Save With Amazon Prime Pantry?</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-5-best-exercise-mats">The 5 Best Exercise Mats</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</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-5-best-underwater-watches">The 5 Best Underwater Watches</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping convenience delivery food delivery lifestyle shipping shopping Takeout Mon, 07 Mar 2016 11:00:12 +0000 Mikey Rox 1666841 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Money Misconceptions About Millennials http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-misconceptions-about-millennials <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-money-misconceptions-about-millennials" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_millennial_man_000057999652.jpg" alt="Learning common money misconceptions about millennials" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a Millennial myself &mdash; though, admittedly, at the very outskirts of the spectrum (younger Millennials are keen to point that out to me; can't we all just get along?) &mdash; I can tell you that we're unjustly dragged through the mud by the press. We're lazy, entitled, self-absorbed, and demanding &mdash; or so claims the media.</p> <p>Much of the shade that we're thrown, as far as I can tell anyway, is just that &mdash; shade. Because contrary to popular belief, we Millennials are savvier and more responsible, especially where money matters are concerned, than we're portrayed. To tips the scales back in our favor a bit more, here are six money misconceptions about Millennials, and why they're wrong.</p> <h2>1. Millennials Will Be Renters for Life</h2> <p>I'm 34 years old, born in 1981, and I purchased my first home with my husband at 28 years old. Most of my Millennial friends own their homes, too. The idea that Millennials will be renters for life is an outdated belief, perhaps established during the housing crisis of the last decade, but it's held on nonetheless. That's all changing now.</p> <p>Trulia's Chief Economist Ralph McLaughlin is an expert on Millennials and the housing market, and he says that recent research suggests that 18- to 34-year-olds are on the path to homeownership, though the prospect is contingent on affordability.</p> <p>&quot;A recent Trulia survey found that 80% of Millennials said that owning a home is part of their personal American Dream, and of the young people who plan to buy, 35% plan to buy within the next two years,&quot; he says. &quot;However, saving up for a down payment is the biggest obstacle to homeownership. Many say that a new job, promotion, or raise would be the deciding factor on taking the leap from renting to owning.&quot;</p> <p>Trulia's research is supported by a study from the National Association of Realtors, which reports that<a href="http://www.realtor.org/reports/home-buyer-and-seller-generational-trends"> 32% of homebuyers in 2014</a> were Millennials (Gen Y), and the median age group was 29 years old</p> <h2>2. Millennials Aren't Serious About Setting Savings Goals</h2> <p>While Millennials are focused more on obtaining material status symbols than older generations &mdash; 32% of Millennials said <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/07/american-dream-suffering/397475/">having luxury items</a> was crucial to their attainment of the American Dream &mdash; they're also focused on saving, and setting goals to do so.</p> <p>Chantel Bonneau, a wealth management advisor with Northwestern Mutual, says, &quot;Millennials are a little more financially conservative than maybe their parents, and they act much more like their grandparents. Millennials feel goal oriented, more so than other generations even. Millennials are realistic about taking responsibility and want to see themselves achieve and progress. They want options in retirement and are hopeful that they'll achieve their goals.&quot;</p> <p>The Northwestern Mutual<a href="https://www.northwesternmutual.com/about-us/studies/planning-and-progress-2015-study"> 2015 Planning and Progress Study</a> supports Bonneau's claims. The report details that:</p> <ul> <li>Nearly two-thirds of Millennials classify themselves as more inclined to save than spend, and more than half (53%) of Millennials have set financial goals, compared with 38% of Americans age 35 and older.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Almost half of Millennials have spoken to their partner, friends, family, or an advisor about retirement, taking a step toward successful planning.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Millennials know that safety nets won't be there for them in old age, with 73% of those expecting to need to work past age 65 doing so because Social Security won't take care of their needs.</li> </ul> <h2>3. Millennials Live to Work</h2> <p>Americans live to work, and work to live. That's how Europeans perceive our &quot;no-vacation nation&quot; anyway, but Millennials are poised to change that mindset.</p> <p>According to Bank of America's <a href="http://newsroom.bankofamerica.com/files/doc_library/additional/2015_Millennial_Snapshot_White_Paper.pdf">2015 Year-End Millennial Snapshot</a>, Millennials are just as likely to balance saving for a dream vacation as they are investing &mdash; 32% and 37%, respectively.</p> <p>It's likely this behavior will carry into Millennials' golden years, as nearly half of Millennials (49%) are spending less today so they can ensure a stress-free retirement where they envision time spent traveling and with loved ones. While investing and saving for the future, Millennials are willing to shoulder burdens in the short-term to ensure professional success by delaying compensation in an effort to make ends meet &mdash; so say 64% of Millennial small business owners.</p> <h2>4. Millennials Have No Buying Power</h2> <p>While older generations still think of Millennials as &quot;kids,&quot; the 18- to 34-year-old demographic actually has major influence over the rebounding economy.</p> <p>PayPal reports that 21% of Millennial shoppers opening PayPal Credit accounts in 2015 are in the high-spending power bracket.</p> <p>&quot;This tells us that the 'broke millennial' stereotype may be outdated,&quot; says Rob Skinner, director of marketing strategy at MSLGROUP, a marketing and public relations firm that targets Millennial consumers. &quot;In fact, Millennials spend more money online in a given year than any other age group and represent a quarter of the population.&quot;</p> <p>PayPal also found in a study that Millennials are changing their behavior with regards to using credit. They tend to steer clear of the commitment that comes with credit cards, but will use credit if it is integrated into the technology landscape.</p> <h2>5. Millennials Can't Focus on One Career</h2> <p>Millennials <a href="https://www.recruiter.com/i/its-your-fault-that-millennials-are-job-hoppers-what-are-you-going-to-do-about-it/">hop jobs more frequently</a> than older generations &mdash; but that's because Millennials have no interest in staying in dead-end careers that show little promise of upward mobility&hellip;or the paycheck to match.</p> <p>&quot;Now that they've graduated and are on their own, Millennials are the group that placed the most importance on having a job that paid well, with 46% saying high wages are crucial to their attainment of the American Dream,&quot; says generation expert Tim Elmore, president of Growing Leaders, a nonprofit organization focused on youth leadership development. &quot;Every age group wants to attain financial freedom, of course, but it appears Millennials are more 'direct' than others about their futures and pressuring employers for better wages.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Millennials Don't Save Enough for Retirement</h2> <p>There are plenty of articles that bash Millennials for their retirement plans &mdash; or the perceived lack thereof &mdash; but as Millennials age, they're becoming more concerned with saving for retirement, even if it may not look as traditional as it has in the past. Which is totally fine, by the way. Considering that Millennials will likely have to work until age 75 before they can retire &mdash; thanks to several factors, including high student debt, rising rents, and skittish investors &mdash; the no-rules approach to retirement saving is a perfectly acceptable compromise. And it's working.</p> <p><a href="https://www.fidelity.com/about-fidelity/individual-investing/americas-savings-rate-improves">Fidelity's Retirement Savings Assessment</a> shows that, overall, Millennials are outpacing other generations when it comes to increasing their savings rate. Millennials are now saving 7.5% of their income versus just 5.8% in 2013. Generation X and Boomers are still saving larger percentages of salary but have not stepped up their contributions by nearly as much.</p> <p>&quot;Millennials also have the benefit of time on their side to save and invest, and the most single powerful step they can take for retirement readiness is to increase their savings,&quot; the Assessment states.</p> <p><em>Do any of these misconceptions ring true for you?</em></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/6-money-misconceptions-about-millennials">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-biggest-financial-decisions-in-your-20s">The 6 Biggest Financial Decisions in Your 20s</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/will-forced-frugality-last">Will &quot;forced frugality&quot; last?</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-things-millennials-should-do-today-to-prepare-for-retirement">4 Things Millennials Should Do Today to Prepare for Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/suze-orman-tells-us-to-pay-only-the-minimum-on-credit-cards-wait-what">Suze Orman Tells Us To Pay ONLY The Minimum On Credit Cards. Wait, What?!</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-steps-for-a-womans-financial-self-defense">6 Steps for a Woman&#039;s Financial Self-Defense</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living careers Economy generation y lifestyle millennials misconceptions retirement savings Tue, 16 Feb 2016 11:30:04 +0000 Mikey Rox 1654791 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Money Secrets of the Amish http://www.wisebread.com/9-money-secrets-of-the-amish <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-money-secrets-of-the-amish" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000057399626.jpg" alt="Amish woman sharing money secrets we should adopt" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Amish lifestyle &mdash; and how they handle their finances &mdash; can seem a bit mysterious to outsiders. Typically, our only glimpse of the Amish is when they're seen in their horse and buggy running errands in small towns across Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.</p> <p>So this prompts a question: How do they handle their money and finances? And what can we glean from their thrifty lifestyle that might help us become more financially independent? Here are nine money secrets from the Amish lifestyle that you'll find fascinating &mdash; and hopefully educational, too.</p> <h2>1. They Avoid Debt and Credit Cards</h2> <p>While some Amish will indeed use credit cards for the reward points and convenience, the number who actually carry plastic is only in the 20% range. Most pay for things as they buy them in order to avoid any debt. They also live by the rule of always paying someone on time. According to Amish Bishop Ephraim Lapp, &quot;To <a href="http://www.buffalonews.com/columns/discount-diva/amish-offer-surprising-look-into-ways-to-save-money-20150803">pay someone on time</a> is an extension of the commandment 'Do not steal.' If it's due on the 10th and you pay it on the 15th, you are stealing that man's money for five days.&quot;</p> <p>Also, the Amish focus on whether an item is a need or a want, and they teach their children the value of deciphering between the two in order to avoid unnecessary debt. By instilling this philosophy into their children from an early age, they raise appreciative kids who value the things they <em>do</em> have.</p> <h2>2. They Grow Their Own Food</h2> <p>The Amish grow almost all of their own meats and vegetables and not only save significant money, but serve much healthier meals in the process. While raising your own cattle and pork is simply not an option for everyone, you need very little space to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-a-great-container-garden-started-with-this-guide">start a small garden</a> or herb box of your own.</p> <h2>3. They Make Saving a Priority</h2> <p>While the average <a href="https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/data/PSAVERT.txt">American saves in the 5% range</a>, the average Amish adult saves close to 20% of their monthly income. Savings becomes a way of life for the Amish and creates a sense of financial independence. Knowing that you owe money to no one, and are actually accruing interest on your savings, is something most Amish cherish.</p> <h2>4. They Avoid Government Handouts</h2> <p>The idea of receiving food stamps, a welfare check, or government handouts is something the Amish frown upon. Part of this philosophy can be tied to their self-sufficiency and strong community which believes in helping each other when someone is having a rough spell financially.</p> <h2>5. They Value Experiences Above &quot;Things&quot;</h2> <p>When the Amish do make a purchase, they make sure the item provides value and is of high-quality, even if the item costs more upfront. Rarely, if ever, do they fall victim to flashy marketing campaigns designed to separate you from your money. They have the proper perspective when it comes to material things, and they place a high value on experiences and personal relationships.</p> <h2>6. They Are Smart Business Owners</h2> <p>According to Erik Wesner, who wrote the book&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470442379/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0470442379&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=IOOEPNPBGJTBCXXM">An Inside Look at Why Amish Businesses Thrive</a>, Amish small businesses have a survival rate hovering around 95%, compared to a 50% success rate for non-Amish. The reasoning has to do with leadership techniques and a strong work ethic. Business owners don't simply delegate all of the work and sit back and count the cash. Instead, they work right alongside new hires and create a sense of credibility with employees and customers, alike.</p> <h2>7. They Rarely Waste Anything and Fix Everything</h2> <p>Frugality and resourcefulness is a way of life for the Amish. Clothing that is worn beyond use is cut for rags, and broken tools are fixed before the thought of being discarded enters the conversation. Part of their philosophy has to do with everything having a purpose and they don't succumb to the desire of wanting the newest fashion line or brand. The admirable decision to delay gratification creates wealth that can be used for significant purchases like farms, homes, and cattle. All purchases that can actually add to long-term happiness and financial security.</p> <h2>8. They Buy in Bulk</h2> <p>The Amish are famous for buying goods in bulk, both as a way to save money via quantity discounts, but also as an affordable way to feed a large number of mouths. Remember, most Amish families have several children in the home, and thus are cooking large meals. When I say &quot;bulk buying,&quot; I'm talking about more than an average trip to Costco. Amish families regularly buy rolled oats in 50 pound sacks, 400 pound bags of flour, and 200 pound bags of sugar. While these amounts are simply not feasible for most families, there is no doubt that buying bulk items, in reasonable amounts, is a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-creative-ways-to-save-money-with-bulk-buying">great way to save money</a>.</p> <h2>9. They Rarely Pay Retail</h2> <p>Because of the large family size in most Amish homes, they &quot;shop smart&quot; and consider thrift stores, salvage stores, and auctions as the most practical way to stock up on clothing, tools, and household items.The idea of paying full-price for an item is something the Amish avoid as they realize the value of buying high-quality used items at a discount, especially if they can repair items to &quot;like-new&quot; condition for free.</p> <p>Despite contrary belief, many Amish families will <a href="http://amishamerica.com/where-do-amish-go-shopping/">shop at a local Walmart</a> if one is nearby. They take advantage of the low prices and bulk sizes available in many locations. According to Amish America, &quot;Amish do not have moral issues with shopping at large retailers, viewing it as a matter of practicality and economy. It is not uncommon to see long rows of Amish buggies lined up at the buggy rails outside of Walmarts and other stores in Amish areas, and to frequently find Amish shoppers in the aisles.&quot;</p> <p>By taking an inside glimpse at the Amish lifestyle and how they handle their money, we can learn some pretty cool tools on handling our own finances. Tools that can undoubtedly help you spend less, save more, and put money in the proper perspective.</p> <p><em>Which of these Amish financial principles can you most relate to and adopt in your own life?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-money-secrets-of-the-amish">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-money-advice-youll-actually-listen-to">The Only Money Advice You&#039;ll Actually Listen To</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-of-the-coolest-sayings-about-saving">10 of the Coolest Sayings About Saving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-improve-your-finances-using-social-media">How to Improve Your Finances Using Social Media</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-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">12 Personal Finance Skills Everyone Should 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/6-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-gilmore-girls">6 Money Lessons We Can Learn From &quot;Gilmore Girls&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance advice amish avoiding debt lifestyle saving money Wed, 16 Sep 2015 11:00:21 +0000 Kyle James 1555388 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Signs You Need to Dump Your Friend http://www.wisebread.com/11-signs-you-need-to-dump-your-friend <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-signs-you-need-to-dump-your-friend" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_arguing_friend_000056429574.jpg" alt="Woman realizing it&#039;s time to dump her friend" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having good friends is an important piece of the lifestyle puzzle. For some of us, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-types-of-friends-who-are-costing-you-money">our friends</a> are closer to us than our family members, and we share much of our life's up and downs with them.</p> <p>Not all &quot;friends&quot; are the same, however. Every once in a while you come across an individual who seems benign in the beginning, but eventually reveals himself to be a devil in disguise. (Or just, you know, isn't a great fit for you.) Here are some of the signs that you're keeping bunk company.</p> <h2>1. They're Talking Smack Behind Your Back</h2> <p>Gutter-dwelling gossip was par for the course in high school, but now that you're a real-life adult it shouldn't have any place in your life. &quot;Frenemies&quot; might sound fun in theory &mdash; the people on TV are having a great time stabbing each other in the back between air kisses, after all &mdash; but it's an immature status to put on your relationships. If you suspect that a friend is tarnishing your good name, confront them. Maybe it's a misunderstanding you both can get past. If it's not a case of miscommunication but rather one of Mean Girl/Boy-itis, accept the situation for what it is and kick Regina George to the curb.</p> <h2>2. They Don't Invite You to Do Anything</h2> <p>I'm speaking from experience on this one, and it became such a chronic situation with several people when I'd invite them to parties, events, and on dates with no reciprocation that I had to do major friend housekeeping (and a bit of soul-searching) a few years ago to remedy it.</p> <p>My &quot;Aha!&quot; moment stemmed from an annual holiday party I used to host at my home in Manhattan. I'd invite everyone &mdash; friends, colleagues, acquaintances &mdash; and we'd have a blast drinking, eating, and laughing all night long. While I didn't mind not hearing much from colleagues and acquaintances frequently (we weren't &quot;friends,&quot; so I couldn't expect much), I did expect some level of return friendship from those who I thought were, well, my friends.</p> <p>Outside of the holiday party, I'd invite them over for game and movie nights, we'd go out to brunch or a movie, and I'd lend a hand when needed. Yet, I was rarely-to-never invited to the things they were doing that they proudly posted all over social media. Of course my feelings were hurt, and the pain evolved into anger. They didn't mind drinking my booze and eating my food and using my free movie coupons, but I wasn't good enough to think about otherwise. Thus, I had to make a conscious decision to cut those people out of my life if only to stop feeling sorry for myself. Yeah, it sucked, but I'm much more content with the quality of people I have in my life now opposed to the quantity I had back then.</p> <h2>3. They're Not There for You When You Need Them</h2> <p>Friends not inviting you to do things is a red flag for sure, but friends not being there for you when you need them most is a three-alarm fire that needs to be extinguished immediately.</p> <p>&quot;Having close friends is not just about having fun together but also supporting each other when times are tough,&quot; says John Boese, founder of friend-making social media site&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gofindfriends.com">GoFindFriends</a>. &quot;Great relationships involve both friends supporting each other in times of need. If the relationship feels one-sided, look for someone who wants to build a real relationship that will last through good times and bad.&quot;</p> <p>The rough times are the ones where you'll find out who your true friends are, as they say. If you wanted a particular presence and that person purposefully wasn't around, bury that broken friendship with whatever tragedy you just went through. Time to move on.</p> <h2>4. They Don't Respect Agreements or Boundaries</h2> <p>It may seem like an innocent oversight when a friend borrows something of yours and &quot;forgets&quot; to return it, but if it's a consistent problem, the issue should be addressed. Same goes for crossed boundaries. Did your friend push too far without so much as an apology? Nip that problem in the bud, too.</p> <p>&quot;During any kind of relationship, boundaries become established by both parties communicating what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior,&quot; says Ilianna Luna, licensed marriage and family therapist. &quot;A friend will know your likes and dislikes, and if he or she hurts you by doing something you don't like &mdash; and does nothing to make amends &mdash; it's time to speak up and let him or her know you don't want that kind of friendship.&quot;</p> <h2>5. They're Emotionally Draining</h2> <p>Ever had a friend that you started to avoid because every time you're with that person the conversation is so emotionally draining that you wish God would invent a whiskey swimming pool?</p> <p>Rest assured, we all have one of those. Dr. Ben Michaelis, clinical psychologist and author of the book&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1440540764/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1440540764&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=T7ELL6G5QBWHFWMT">Your Next Big Thing: 10 Small Steps to Get Moving and Get Happy</a>, offers advice.</p> <p>&quot;None of us wants to see friends and family as having a negative influence on our lives, but if they are holding us back from being truly happy and fulfilled, we need to take a hard look at the role they play,&quot; he says. &quot;Be honest with yourself and take a look at the relationships that may not be right for you, or which you may have outgrown. You can't force or expect your friends and family to change, but you can make choices about who you choose to let into your life.&quot;</p> <h2>6. They're Overly Critical of You</h2> <p>There's an old saying that implies that we're our own worst critics (I know I am) &mdash; so why the heck would we want somebody else judging us? Nerp. Turn that harsh bus around, anti-friend.</p> <p>&quot;An occasional constructive comment is fine, but friends who constantly make you feel bad about yourself are not worth your time,&quot; Boese says. &quot;If they often criticize you for how you act, look, or how you choose to live your life, then it's probably best to find someone who is more supportive.&quot;</p> <h2>7. They're Jealous of Your Life</h2> <p>You think you've made a great new friend, but before you know it she's living in your house, breastfeeding your newborn baby, putting the moves on your husband, framing your handyman, and plotting the murder of your bestie in the greenhouse. Okay, so that's the plot of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/6305213305/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=6305213305&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=JR7P37AY7GBBZMSF">The Hand That Rocks the Cradle</a>, but if you're not careful the same scenario could totally happen to you.</p> <p>If you suspect that there's an unhealthy jealousy between you and a friend, it's time to back away from that friendship. There's very little you can do to make that person not jealous (notwithstanding the fact that it's totally creeper to be jealous of a friend in the first place, of course), and it could get ugly down the line. You don't want to have to push the weirdo off the roof, do you? Back away from the friendship slowly and say so long.</p> <h2>8. They Have a &quot;Me-Me-Me&quot; Attitude</h2> <p>&quot;Some people seem to make everything about themselves,&quot; Boese says. &quot;Your conversations always end up focusing on them and you may even struggle to get a word in while they're speaking. This can lead to an unequal relationship where you're getting out of it much less than you're putting in. It's best to find someone who understands the give-and-take of building a strong, lasting relationship.&quot;</p> <p>Alas, Luna offers a more congenial way of handling people with SPD or Selfish Personality Disorder (not a realdisorder, but it is).</p> <p>&quot;When one friend constantly takes from the relationship but gives nothing back, it becomes a breeding ground for resentment and back-stabbing,&quot; she says. &quot;In all fairness, you should let the person know they have hijacked the friendship and give them a chance to change. They may not know they are doing it. If you bring it up in a non-threatening way and the friend continues disregarding your thoughts and feelings, it's time to end it.&quot;</p> <h2>9. They Court the Kind of Drama Fit for Primetime TV</h2> <p>I'm gonna be honest and tell you that I sort of wish I lived in a world where <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00T6KIK4S/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00T6KIK4S&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=75YTM3LBVBEBY7JO">Empire</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;fst=as%3Aoff&amp;keywords=Dallas&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;qid=1433516884&amp;rh=n%3A2625373011%2Cp_n_format_browse-bin%3A2650304011%2Ck%3ADallas&amp;rnid=2941120011&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=BKQE3I3BYOQ4M75E">Dallas</a> were real and all the boys wanted to date me. But unless you're bringing the kind of hotness to the table that makes platinum records spin and/or oil derricks explode all over Texas, save the drama for your mama. Personally, I've never had any patience for premature Emmy Award winners with no TV credits whose hashtags are always &quot;epic&quot; because they're having the WORST. DAY. EVER. Do yourself a favor and exit stage left if you've got a Monday morning thespian bringing you down.</p> <h2>10. They're a Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire</h2> <p>One the best things about being a self-sufficient adult in my 30s is that I don't have to lie to any of my friends (or anyone else, for that matter). I'm not responsible for anyone, I'm not accountable to anyone, and I generally live my life as a grown-up dude who doesn't care what anybody thinks about what I say or do &mdash; because I alone pay my bills. In summary, I won't blow smoke up your bum, because it's absolutely unnecessary.</p> <p>It's also unnecessary for you to accept lies from your friends. It's a juvenile practice common among kids (hopefully that will put things into perspective), or those who have something to hide. While I don't expect that you're hanging out with nine-year-olds, if you happen to have somebody in your life who's lying to you, I suggest getting to the root of the problem right away. Perhaps there's a good reason (embarrassment is an acceptable reason for someone to lie in my book; I can at least understand that point of view) for which you can forgive them. Just don't let your guard down completely and forgive willy-nilly.</p> <h2>11. They Use You for What You Can Give Them</h2> <p>There are two reasons I've identified that compel people to hang out with me other than just being friends. The first is that I work in media, so I'm often invited to cool events and receive neat products to try; people like that. I also have a house on the Jersey Shore, very close to the beach, and people like that, too. I don't mind sharing these perks of my life with them &mdash; I like seeing my friends smile &mdash; but I also don't let either of those reasons define our friendship.</p> <p>If I get even an inkling that I'm being used, that person is shown the door, sometimes quite literally.</p> <p><em>Are there other signs that we need to a dump a friend that you'd like to add? Let me know in the comments below.</em></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%2F11-signs-you-need-to-dump-your-friend&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F11%2520Signs%2520You%2520Need%2520to%2520Dump%2520Your%2520Friend.jpg&amp;description=11%20Signs%20You%20Need%20to%20Dump%20Your%20Friend"></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/u5180/11%20Signs%20You%20Need%20to%20Dump%20Your%20Friend.jpg" alt="Signs You Need to Dump Your Friend" 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/11-signs-you-need-to-dump-your-friend">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-need-to-stop-doing-today-to-be-a-better-friend">12 Things You Need to Stop Doing Today to Be a Better Friend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-be-a-better-friend-without-any-effort">6 Ways to Be a Better Friend Without Any Effort</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/friends-and-goals-dont-let-a-blue-falcon-bring-you-down">Friends and Goals: Don&#039;t Let a Blue Falcon Bring You Down</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/fixing-mistakes-7-steps-for-any-situation">Fixing Mistakes: 7 Steps for Any Situation</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/11-ways-freelancers-and-telecommuters-can-make-friends-and-network">11 Ways Freelancers and Telecommuters Can Make Friends and Network</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development friends lifestyle maturity moving on relationships Thu, 25 Jun 2015 11:00:16 +0000 Mikey Rox 1462285 at http://www.wisebread.com Working on the Road: A Book Review for Professional Nomads http://www.wisebread.com/working-on-the-road-a-book-review-for-professional-nomads <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/working-on-the-road-a-book-review-for-professional-nomads" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/noradunn.jpg" alt="Nora Dunn author of Working on the Road" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nora Dunn's new <a href="http://unconventionalguides.com/cmd.php?af=1624698">Working on the Road</a> may not be the right choice for those looking for a vicarious thrill, fantasizing about a more free life. But for those looking for actionable information &mdash; who are ready to make the jump and are looking for practical tips for avoiding missteps as they change their lives &mdash; it's worth the read.</p> <p>And I should know: I took several different stabs at arranging my life to enable living as a digital nomad. (For more, see my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-paths-to-being-a-digital-nomad">Three Paths to Being a Digital Nomad</a>, which ought to provide some context as a reviewer of this book. See also the disclaimer at the bottom.)</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://unconventionalguides.com/cmd.php?af=1624698"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/GumroadCover_605x340.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></a></p> <h2>The Guide to Working on the Road</h2> <p>The book is very much aimed exactly where the title suggests &mdash; at someone working on the road, or planning to. If your plans are for merely <em>going</em> on the road or <em>living</em> on the road, there will still be useful material here for you, but you'll be wasting more than half the book.</p> <p>On the other hand, the book's focus on work is by no means limited to any stereotype of the sort of work that's typical for the digital nomad. No kind of work is excluded, meaning that this book would be ideal for anyone whose goal is to be productive on the road. For example, I think it would be excellent for someone preparing to take a sabbatical (a sabbatical in the traditional sense &mdash; taking six to 12 months away from a regular job in order to undertake a significant piece of research or complete a major project). It would also be excellent for someone who thinks getting away for a year would help them finish a novel.</p> <p>With working on the road being the focus, you won't be surprised to learn that's where the book starts &mdash; with a look at two big categories of working on the road: location-independent work, like freelancing or writing, and then work that needs to happen in a particular place, but where the places are accepting of people who come from afar and plan to move on, such as teaching English or working in the many branches of the hospitality industry.</p> <p>There are sections on brainstorming for the sorts of things that you might need to do, and on how you might quickly develop a few extra skills that would enable working on the road (either as a complement to the skills you have, or as a whole new thing). There's also a good section on the sort of abilities, work habits, and self-knowledge you need to have if you're going to be successful.</p> <h2>Cost of Living on the Road</h2> <p>One of the few bits of the book that I have a beef with &mdash; and only because it's a personal peeve of my own &mdash; is the section on the cost of living on the road. Nora points out that, &quot;Traveling full-time can actually cost far less than it does to live in one place.&quot;</p> <p>This is true in the strictly technical sense that you can always find a more expensive way of life than the one you want to call less expensive. (It's exactly the same, except we buy three times as many toothbrushes.) It's also true in the deeper sense, that almost anyone can live a lot more cheaply if they're prepared to dramatically change how they live, and the shift to living on the road is going to be the sort of dramatic change that enables all sorts of economies.</p> <p>I just always bristle at the implication that you couldn't just as easily &mdash; in fact, more easily &mdash; find all those economies without going on the road if you're prepared to make the same sort of dramatic change in the way you live. Let your lease run out, sell your car, donate all your stuff beyond what fits in a suitcase, and then rent a cheap room a few miles from your old neighborhood.</p> <p>There are other savings besides those that come from choosing to make a dramatic change toward a cheaper lifestyle. One big one that is often a source of savings for people going on the road is that if you travel to a place where people are poor, things are going to be cheap.</p> <p>However: I'd be willing to bet that there are places where people are poor very close to where you live now.</p> <p>Most of the other sources of cost savings for being on the road are very specific as to time or place. For example, favorable exchange rates can make particular places very cheap, if your income (from your work on the road, or your savings and investments) is in a strong currency but your expenses are in a weak one. There can be some large tax savings, but they are highly dependent on exactly where you live and exactly how you earn your money.</p> <p>Finally, there's the fact that being someplace that's really different provides novelty that can substitute for entertainments that you'd otherwise spend money on.</p> <p>I've written about all this before, in an article called <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/live-abroad-for-less-also-at-home">Live Abroad for Less (Also at Home)</a>. As I say, it's peeve of mine.</p> <p>But the fact that Nora manages to push this precise button of mine should not be held against the book, which actually has a great section on managing your expenses. It presents examples of several different households &mdash; single folks and families, people who travel a lot and those who have a home base for extended periods, all at a range of different income levels.</p> <h2>Work-Life Balance on the Road</h2> <p>The section on work-life balance while on the road is excellent. In fact, it takes exactly the tone I'd have liked to see Nora take for the section on how it can be cheaper to live on the road. Working on the road does not magically give you work-life balance. Whether you're on the road or not, work-life balance comes from the choices you make about what work you do and what you expect from yourself. Just like with living cheaper, choosing to work on the road is inevitably a dramatic change in your life, and making a dramatic change gives you space to choose a better work-life balance. But it still comes down to your choices.</p> <p>The stories Nora tells about her successes and failures along the way to work-life balance are instructive. She provides good tips on striving for a proper balance. (The tips are not much different than you'd come up with for someone who's not on the road, which is kind of my point, but they're good tips.)</p> <p>There's a section on dealing with the fact that you'd probably had great expectations for the magic improvement in work-life balance that was supposed to come from working on the road, and dealing with the disappointment you'll probably face. There are specific tips for people on the road with kids, covering things like education.</p> <p>There is some advice that's very specific to being on the road &mdash; for example, suggesting that housesitting can provide welcome relief for someone who's been staying in hotels or hostels or tents or RVs, and praising the advantages of slow travel.</p> <h2>Heading Out</h2> <p>There are two sections on things to do and how to do them, roughly divided into things to do when heading out and things to do <em>before</em> heading out.</p> <p>This one section alone may make the book worth buying, for a certain class of reader. If you know you want to hit the road, know what kind of work you're going to do, and know how to support yourself on the amount of money you're going to have available, there are still some practical issues to sort out, and this chapter provides a solid overview of a bunch of them:</p> <ul> <li>Dealing with official documents when you're halfway around the world from your file cabinet<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Deciding what kinds of insurance you need<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Managing your cash, and paying your bills when you don't have a local bank<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Managing your investments when you don't have a fixed address<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Figuring out visa rules as they apply to people who will be doing work of one sort or another</li> </ul> <p>The material is nicely organized with a good focus on the arrangements to be made before you head out.</p> <p>There's also a focus on things to do that will help enable a return to working at a fixed location, because you might want back into the world of working at a regular job for a regular paycheck. There are things you can do up front that will make this step easier, and this section mentions some. (I wrote an article with my own suggestions, aimed at people who were going to be working on the road for a specific length of time, who know they will want to option to return, called <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fund-your-own-sabbatical">Fund Your Own Sabbatical</a>.)</p> <p>And there's a good list of things that are easier to do while you still have a day job, such as applying for credit cards.</p> <h2>Tools</h2> <p>There are two sections on tools, divided between regular tools and business tools.</p> <p>The first is about the tools you'll want for everyday stuff (such as a phone) and for work stuff (such as a computer). It's about figuring out what you need, pros and cons of various choices, practicalities (like cables), and so on.</p> <p>This section covers things like:</p> <ul> <li>Backups for people working on the road</li> <li>Information security</li> <li>Getting paid on the road</li> </ul> <p>The second section covers the broad category of things that working on the road make less predictable, more necessary, or more expensive than they'd be for someone working in a fixed location &mdash; internet fees, hiring an accountant, shipping and receiving, etc.</p> <h2>Expanding the Package</h2> <p>The review above covers just the book. There are additional resources that can be purchased with it, including some special-topic articles on things like dealing with your stuff, paying your bills, working on the road with a family, and dealing with property. There are a couple of interviews by Nora (one of someone who built up and then sold a personal finance blog, one of parents working on the road with kids), provided in both MP3 and transcript form. That material is all good. Whether it's worth the extra cost depends on whether it addresses something you personally really need to know.</p> <p>This book is perfect for someone who has gone beyond the stage of just thinking that working on the road sounds cool, but who has not yet figured out any of the details &mdash; what they might do, how they might live, and where they should start.</p> <p><a href="http://unconventionalguides.com/cmd.php?af=1624698">Buy your copy of <em>Working on the Road</em> today!</a></p> <h2>Disclaimers</h2> <p>Nora Dunn is a fellow Wise Bread writer, and a friend of mine. The publisher provided a review copy of the book, and Wise Bread paid me to write this article (same as they pay for other articles I write). Wise Bread policy does not allow writers to benefit from affiliate links (any payment from the affiliate link will go to Wise Bread, not to me), and I have no other financial interest in the success of the book.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/working-on-the-road-a-book-review-for-professional-nomads">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-budget-for-summer-vacation">7 Easy Ways to Budget for Summer Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should 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/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Career Building Travel book review expenses lifestyle nora dunn working on the road Fri, 01 May 2015 17:00:25 +0000 Philip Brewer 1408868 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Things People Without Debt Do http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-people-without-debt-do <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-people-without-debt-do" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_on_roadtrip_000038793128.jpg" alt="Woman without debt on vacation spending cash" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We live in a world where car payments, credit card bills, and other forms of consumer debt are just assumed to be facts of life &mdash; as inevitable as death, taxes, or Kanye West interrupting a music awards show. Anyone lucky or disciplined enough to buck the trend gets little exposure in media. How they did it &mdash; and the benefits they enjoy &mdash; go largely undiscussed. Maybe it's time to explore the lifestyles of the debt-free. Here are 10 things people without debt do.</p> <h2>1. They Wait</h2> <p>When it comes to spending money, patience really is a virtue. Debt-free people achieve their rare status by keeping their needs in check and carefully considering their wants. Then, they save their money, wait for great deals, and shop around for amazing second-hand bargains.</p> <h2>2. They Keep Their Egos in Check</h2> <p>Fat egos usually mean skinny wallets. Credit-fueled conspicuous consumption keeps more households in the red than mortgages and college loans combined. Those who are debt-free try to keep their egos separate from the material stuff they own and rest comfortably in the knowledge that true luxury is freedom from debt servitude.</p> <h2>3. They Spend (When the Deal Is Right)</h2> <p>Our frugal friends and neighbors get a bad rap. They're usually dubbed &quot;tightwads&quot; and quickly dismissed as a fringe group out of touch with reality. But they're not afraid to spend; they're simply selective about what and when they buy.</p> <h2>4. They Pay Cash</h2> <p>People who are debt-free know why <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-why-cash-is-still-king">cash is still king</a>: When you spend it you <em>feel</em> it; it's impossible to spend more cash than you actually have; and when you're negotiating on price, the green stuff gets attention.</p> <h2>5. They Negotiate</h2> <p>And while we're on the topic of negotiating, let's get something straight: The price of almost everything is negotiable. The debt-free realize this. They've learned the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-laws-of-negotiation">rules of negotiation</a> and haggle on the price of everything from cars to cable TV. After all, paying retail and being debt-free don't mix.</p> <h2>6. They Get Great Interest Rates</h2> <p>When the debt-free choose to take on debt strategically, they tend to benefit from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards">lower interest rates</a>. Thanks to a history of responsible credit use, low balance-to-limit ratios, and a modest debt-to-income ratio, they have strong FICO scores.</p> <h2>7. They Avoid Incremental Expenses</h2> <p>If you haven't noticed, marketers are getting more reluctant to share actual prices with consumers. Instead, they frame big expenses in more palatable monthly terms. You can get in that $29,000 new car for only $203 a month; that new cell phone will cost you a mere $18 a month &mdash; you get the idea. But, debt-free folks know that big expenses lurk behind those tiny payments, and they understand how dozens of small cuts can quickly bleed a budget.</p> <h2>8. They Expect the Unexpected</h2> <p>I'll be the first to admit: I'm not an optimist. When it comes to the economy, my work, and the prices of things in relation to income growth, I'm a Debbie Doubter, if not a full-blown Debbie Downer. And I'm in good company. The debt-free have a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emergency-plan-better-than-an-emergency-fund">financial emergency plan</a> and even in the boom times, buckle up for the bust.</p> <h2>9. They Sleep Well</h2> <p>But far from a sense of powerlessness, keeping a low financial profile, being prepared for emergencies, and saving for the future builds a deep sense of security. When the debt-free drift off to sleep, they're not worried about credit card balance shuffling, how to delay payments to the very last second, or if their car might get repossessed in the dark of night. They sleep well knowing that no one has a claim on what they earn tomorrow.</p> <h2>10. They Enjoy More Freedom</h2> <p>High levels of long-term consumer debt limit our choices in life. If a dozen creditors can each take a slice of your income, there's less left for you. That means less choice about what you'll be doing next week or next year (hint: you'll be working). But others know the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-freedom-of-a-debt-free-life">freedom of a debt-free life</a>. They try to keep as much of their income as possible and invest in things that generate wealth, expand their opportunities, and ultimately reduce the number of years they'll have to work.</p> <p>It's important to remember that everyone's financial situation is different and sometimes debt is simply unavoidable. But a debt-free lifestyle doesn't have to be the stuff of legend either. Real people can reap real rewards when they consciously decide to control how they spend, what they spend on, and how vigorously they attack even the smallest debt.</p> <p><em>Are you debt-free or well on your way? How does it help you live differently from your friends, family, or co-workers?</em></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/10-things-people-without-debt-do">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-ways-to-keep-holiday-spending-from-blowing-debt-repayment">6 Ways to Keep Holiday Spending From Blowing Debt Repayment</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/we-do-the-math-save-for-retirement-or-pay-off-credit-card-debt">We Do the Math: Save for Retirement or Pay Off 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/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</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-credit-card-debt-elimination-strategies">The 7 Best Credit Card Debt Elimination Strategies</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-money-moves-to-make-if-your-net-worth-is-negative">6 Money Moves to Make If Your Net Worth Is Negative</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management bills debt-free expenses lifestyle owing money spending Mon, 27 Apr 2015 15:00:08 +0000 Kentin Waits 1397818 at http://www.wisebread.com The 9 People in Your Life Who Are Keeping You Poor http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-people-in-your-life-who-are-keeping-you-poor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-9-people-in-your-life-who-are-keeping-you-poor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-man-family-118427363-small.jpg" alt="happy man family" title="happy man family" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You don't always need any help making dumb financial choices&hellip; but these nine people might be inadvertently rooting you on. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-peer-pressure-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso">Is Peer Pressure Keeping You Poor?</a>)</p> <h2>1. Your Spouse</h2> <p>There are many ways your spouse can hurt your finances, even if she has good spending habits. For example, your spouse has no credit history because she got a full-ride scholarship to college and paid cash for her car. When you jointly apply for a home mortgage, you might be rejected for the loan or charged a higher interest rate for a joint loan due to her lack of credit history, even if your own credit is spectacular.</p> <p>The shopaholic wife driving a couple into poverty is a tired and stupid trope. In fact, hardworking spouses are often the accidental cause of financial mayhem. If a couple with kids is paying more in taxes because their double income is putting them into a higher tax bracket, they should do the math to see if it's financially more profitable for one spouse to be the stay-at-home parent. Fair warning: discovering that you're worth more to the family budget as a dependent on your husband's tax return than as a respected professional is an ego-crushing experience for wives who love their work but make less money than their husbands.</p> <p>Regardless of who stays home with the kids, it's worth running the numbers to see if a double income actually makes financial sense. My friends Katie and Marc discovered a few years ago that they were spending the equivalent of Marc's entire salary on childcare, gasoline, and other related work costs. Marc, who made less than Katie, decided to quit his job and stay home with the kids. With Katie as the sole breadwinner, they fell into a lower tax bracket, no longer needed the help of a nanny, saved on gas money, and put less wear and tear on Marc's car. As a full-time worker outside of the home, Marc was only adding $2000 a year to the family's savings. As a stay at home dad, Marc adds $17,000 to the family's budget.</p> <h2>2. Your Kid</h2> <p>Based on a survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the <a href="http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/tools/CRC_Calculator/default.aspx">cost to raise a child born in 2013</a> to the age of 18 is just over $245,000. Depending on your income and where you live, this number could be higher or lower, but the fact remains: having a child is the single most costly thing that most people will do in their entire lives.</p> <p>Although the high cost of having children is common knowledge to just about everyone, according to the <a href="http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/FB-Unintended-Pregnancy-US.html">Guttmacher Institute</a>, 51% of pregnancies in the United States are unintended. Although many accidental parents are happy with their unintended offspring, what this statistic says is that over 50% of American families are just winging it with their finances, and that's kind of crazy. Would these same people accidentally buy a house for $245,000?</p> <p>Okay, okay. Comparing the pleasure of parenthood to the pleasure of homeownership is like comparing apples to oranges, but I'm hard pressed to think of another $245,000 investment that more than 6.6 million families would fall into without foresight each year.</p> <p>The best thing that parents can do to ensure the financial well-being of their family is to plan their parenthood. When you have children, how many children you have, and where you raise your children all have a direct impact on family finances.</p> <h2>3. Your Parents</h2> <p>While growing up with my parents' near pathological, Scrooge-like tight-waddery was no fun, I'm grateful as an adult to have parents who saved enough for retirement. Even though the financial downturn of 2007 knocked my parents' retirement fund down by 45%, they still have enough money to live comfortably for the next 25 years. Alas, my parents are the outliers in this scenario. Many of my friends are now faced with the financial double-whammy of supporting both their kids <em>and</em> their newly poor parents.</p> <p>What I find shocking is the number of young people forced into supporting their <a href="http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/forum/f35/financially-irresponsible-parents-borrowing-my-money-and-pissing-me-off-231738/">financially</a> <a href="http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/dealing-with-a-financially-irresponsible-parent/">irresponsible</a> <a href="http://eldercare.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/1196030151/m/454101482">parents</a> who live extravagantly with no thought to how they will pay the bills once they leave the job market.</p> <p>Even if you hate your parents, in <a href="http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/health/NOA/30states.pdf">30 states</a> there are filial responsibility laws on the books that your mom and dad can use to force you to pay for their basic life needs, so just as it's important to have frank discussions about money with your children, it's also important to discuss financial boundaries and expectations with your parents. Instead of enabling your parents' poor spending choices by bailing them out with your hard-earned cash, you should consider asking them to meet with a financial counselor. (You can get referrals to non-profit credit counseling agencies at the <a href="http://www.nfcc.org/">National Foundation for Credit Counseling</a>).</p> <h2>4. Your Cat (or Your Dog)</h2> <p>That FREE KITTENS sign is false advertisement. Although cheaper to own than dogs, cat ownership costs <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/business/8199165-420/dogs-vs-cats-both-cost-hundreds-even-thousands-a-year-to-own.html#.VGA6xlPF8_k">between $7,760 to $15,260 per lifetime</a>, (and even more if you married my soft-hearted husband, who spends more on <a href="http://www.myromanapartment.com/words-sound-terrible-cat-abscess-butt-comforter-cover/">pet</a> <a href="http://www.myromanapartment.com/pannonica-cat-baroness/">health care</a> than his own health care every year). As with human children, if you even think there's a chance you'll end up with a pet in the near future, do your research on the real costs of owning an animal. Even &quot;budget&quot; pets like turtles cost <a href="http://www.myromanapartment.com/turtle-survives-raccoon-mauling-double-amputationa-bittersweet-birthday-story/">way more</a> than you might think. Making our indoor/outdoor cats into indoor only cats was one of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-30000-and-helped-the-earth-at-the-same-time">best things</a> I've done for the household budget and for the health of my kitties.</p> <h2>5. Your Cleaning Lady</h2> <p>Oh, I know. The day after my cleaning lady comes is my favorite day of the week, too. But do you have support staff because you work long hours or do you have to work extra hard to pay for the entourage that cleans your house, washes your clothes, manages your money, etc&hellip; Do the math. The convenience of household help may be your golden handcuffs. My job pays $20 an hour, which means I have to work three hours to afford my cleaning lady. For me, this is a fine trade. Not only do I hate to clean my house and love my work, I couldn't clean my house as well as my cleaning lady does in three hours. That said, I would have to work 24/7 to afford the pet-sitter, the gardener, and the dry cleaner that would give me the &quot;free time&quot;&hellip; to work extra hours.</p> <h2>6. Your Employer</h2> <p>I was loyal to my old boss for way too long. He underpaid me and I let this happen because he gave me plenty of autonomy and empowered me to be the best I could be at my job. I loved my work and basked in the adulation of others who were impressed by how much I'd made out of my position. Also, I was good at living on a budget, so my quality of life outside of work was good, too.</p> <p>My freedom at work cost me plenty. Had I been paid market value, I could still have lived on a budget and socked away the extra cash in my retirement fund. Don't be afraid to ask for a raise. When I left that company, my replacement negotiated a salary that was <em>twice</em> what I had been paid for the same job. He also loved the job, but his quality of life outside of work was considerably better than mine.</p> <p>Don't be me.</p> <h2>7. Your Real Estate Agent</h2> <p>Real estate brokers are legally obligated to give information to their sellers that will help them get the best price for their home. Alas, buyers often forget that they are not their broker's only clients. In my neighborhood, the real estate market is so hot that buyers have to get pre-approval from banks. Pre-approval tells agents that a buyer who is haggling for a $420,000 price can really afford $575,000. Obviously, this can really undercut a buyer's ability to negotiate, even with the most honest of brokers.</p> <p>To get around this conflict of interest, a lot of buyers hire buyer brokers, real estate agents who supposedly work only for the best interests of the buyer. Unfortunately, buyer brokers usually get the same 3% commission cut that any other broker gets when he or she gets involved in another agent's listing, so they might encourage you to pay a higher price or close a sale quickly, moves that will benefit everyone but you, the buyer.</p> <p>If you are new to an area and don't have friends or co-workers to recommend a good agent, the <a href="http://naeba.org/">National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents</a> is a good place to find a broker who can work independently from seller's agents.</p> <p>If you are selling your home, make sure that you find a seller who specializes in your area and is willing to work to get you the best deal. I bought my first house for its sky-high asking price, before the home even went on the market, an hour after I'd toured it. The sellers were excited by the quick and pricey sale for exactly two hours. The ink wasn't even dry on my accepted offer when friends of mine offered $6000 above the asking price, unaware that the house was already off the market. Who knows how much money the house would have sold for had the seller's agent put the house on the market. Definitely more than I'd bought it for.</p> <h2>8. Your Accountant</h2> <p>My accountant specializes in creative industries. She is an expert on what tax loopholes exist for video game designers, and what screenwriters should never write off unless they really want to be audited. When my husband sold the house he co-owned with his ex-wife, I hired my accountant to advise my husband on the best way to invest the money from the sale to avoid taxes. As a fan of the Big Picture, my accountant asked to look at his old tax returns. She discovered $8000 in tax write-offs from earlier years that his old accountant had missed.</p> <p>My accountant is on the expensive side, but she's worth the money. The year before I hired her, I went to a nationally known tax accounting chain for tax help and received exactly half the return I get with my pricey accountant. It literally pays to shop around for tax help.</p> <h2>9. Your Rich Friend</h2> <p>I credit two wealthy friends for pulling me into the middle class by giving me all their nice hand-me-downs. Thank God there are still people in my life who can afford to shop retail as a hobby. While there are obvious financial benefits to having rich friends who are happy raise your standard of living, just by cleaning their house, your rich friends can also make living on a budget that much harder.</p> <p>Many <a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10000872396390444032404578008322908926476?mod=rss_PJ_Main&amp;mg=reno64-wsj&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10000872396390444032404578008322908926476.html%3Fmod%3Drss_PJ_Main">people would rather struggle with credit card debt</a>, than admit that they can't afford something. Peer pressure keeps people poor. It's why &quot;Keeping Up With the Joneses&quot; is still a thing. Don't be the Joneses' neighbor, and avoid rich people who care that you don't know that &quot;summer&quot; and &quot;winter&quot; are verbs.</p> <p><em>Is there someone in your life who keeps you poor? Who is it? Please share your experience in comments!</em></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/the-9-people-in-your-life-who-are-keeping-you-poor">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/73-easy-ways-to-save-money-today">73 Easy Ways to Save Money Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-personal-finance-resolutions-anyone-can-master">8 Personal Finance Resolutions Anyone Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-never-too-late-to-fix-these-5-money-mistakes-from-your-past">It&#039;s Never Too Late to Fix These 5 Money Mistakes From Your Past</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance budgeting debt lifestyle spending Tue, 18 Nov 2014 14:00:09 +0000 Max Wong 1255272 at http://www.wisebread.com 16 Ways You Are Causing Road Rage http://www.wisebread.com/16-ways-you-are-causing-road-rage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/16-ways-you-are-causing-road-rage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/angry-driver-475059325-small.jpg" alt="angry driver" title="angry driver" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ever gotten into such a tizzy in the car that your head nearly exploded? You're not the only one. SafeMotorist.com reports that <a href="http://www.safemotorist.com/articles/road_rage.aspx">66% of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving</a> &mdash; or &quot;road rage&quot; &mdash; and half of drivers who are on the receiving end of an aggressive behavior, such as horn honking, a rude gesture, or tailgating admit to responding with aggressive behavior themselves. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-youre-driving-your-coworkers-insane?ref=seealso">12 Ways You're Driving Your Coworkers Insane</a>)</p> <p>You can help prevent road rage, however, if you drive responsibly and recognize the common catalysts for most incidents. In no particular order, here are 16 highly contentious vehicular sins you might be committing that have the potential to escalate to a dangerous level.</p> <h2>1. Driving Slow in the Fast Lane and Refusing to Move Over</h2> <p>It's hard choose the most offensive of all driving offenses from this list, but this one is definitely near the top. There's nothing that will have me calling you all kinds of names not fit for church if you're driving five miles or more <em>under</em> the speed limit in the left lane of the highway. And on two lane highways? It's called the &quot;passing lane.&quot; If you aren't passing, move right!</p> <h2>2. Keeping Pace With the Car Next to You So No One Behind Can Pass</h2> <p>Yeah, you know this guy. He's driving the exact speed as the car next to him so nobody behind can pass. Not only is this really creepy &mdash; I don't want some stranger staring me down for an extended period of time while I'm driving &mdash; but it's also downright rude. Speed up or fall back so I can escape this torture already.</p> <h2>3. Riding Your Brakes for No Apparent Reason</h2> <p>What's that ahead of you? Oh, nothing? You just want to press on your brakes every 10 seconds because you feel like 25 in a 35-mile-per-hour zone is too fast? Or maybe you're just a poor driver who needs to be reevaluated by the DMV. Whatever the case, get with the program pal; people are losing their patience.</p> <h2>4. Endangering Lives Because You're Fiddling With Your Phone</h2> <p>Everybody thinks that they've mastered the skill &mdash; and maybe you have &mdash; but you also have to consider the unpredictability of other drivers on the road who can do any number of things to affect your own driving. The National Safety Council reports that<a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2014/03/28/cellphone-use-1-in-4-car-crashes/7018505/"> more than 25% of all automobile crashes are associated with cell phone use</a> these days. And if you're not paying attention, the potential outcome of this situation can be worse than you've ever imagined. If you're at fault, you might be paying for it for the rest of your life. Listen to Oprah, folks; don't text (or talk or browse the Internet) and drive.</p> <h2>5. Flying Into a Rage for No Good Reason</h2> <p>Did the driver that offended you really do something so bad that you now have to go to confession this weekend? Probably not, so why did you react so aggressively?</p> <p>Author Rachelle Henry thinks that it's important to <a href="http://www.kickingthebucketlist.net">not project your feelings onto others</a> &mdash; especially when in the car &mdash; if they really didn't do anything wrong. &quot;When I had a job that I hated, every morning during my morning commute someone managed to upset me by doing something 'stupid,' and I would become irrationally angry,&quot; she says. &quot;When I no longer had that job and was happy, I let things roll off of me.&quot; It's all about perspective, my friends. Evaluate your happiness level to see if there's a reason you're lashing out prematurely.</p> <h2>6. Failing to Use Blinkers When Changing Lanes</h2> <p>How am I supposed to know that you'd like to get in front of me or that you'd like to glide across three lanes of traffic in an attempt to avoid missing the exit if you don't have a blinker on? I don't &mdash; which makes for an excellent case in court when you cause a crash.</p> <h2>7. Speeding Up When You Spot Someone Trying to Merge</h2> <p>It never fails that as soon as I turn my blinker on to merge into another lane, the person trailing behind me in the intended lane suddenly gets a lead foot. It's one of those give-me-strength moments that are best handled with regulated breathing and a long count to 10.</p> <h2>8. Turning on Your Blinker Two Seconds Before You Turn</h2> <p>It would be nice to know that you'd like to make that right turn more than a few seconds before you make it. But what do you care, right? If I rear-end you, it's my fault regardless. Don't be that person.</p> <h2>9. Weaseling Your Way Into the On- or Off-Ramp at the Last Second</h2> <p>Listen, I live in Manhattan, where traffic is treacherous nearly 24/7, so I understand the plight of not wanting to wait in line for another dreadful few minutes to take the next exit. But have some compassion. The folks ahead of you have been waiting <em>longer</em> than you, so it's a real you-know-what move to cut them off so you can get home quicker.</p> <p>It might also be helpful to know that you could become fodder for someone else when you act a fool, like so many people did for Kerri Kochanski, author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1482319403/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1482319403&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=X4O4CXRKNHQFHKUS">1,001 People That Suck</a>, which features an entire chapter on road rage. &quot;One day I was so aggravated by a driver who cut me off,&quot; she says. &quot;Instead of stalking and confronting the driver, or turning my anger inward, I decided to write a book about this person &mdash; and other anonymous people who do rude, crappy things and get away with it. Maybe they wouldn't suffer a consequence from their actions, but at least they would be 'officially' labeled as 'people that suck.' And that would make me feel better, and it would prevent me from landing in jail.&quot;</p> <h2>10. Blasting Your Horn Prematurely</h2> <p>The light <em>just</em> turned green. Give the driver a break before you fly into a blaring, obnoxious fit because they didn't take off like it's the Daytona 500 the moment the light changed.</p> <h2>11. Rubbernecking</h2> <p>We're all guilty of this, which is the problem. Rubbernecking jams up the road so badly that the delay can last for miles &mdash; even when the accident is on the other side of the road. As soon as you pass it, however, it's a wide-open highway. Why, whhhhhy do we do this to ourselves?</p> <h2>12. Bicyclists Who Don't Follow the Rules of the Road</h2> <p>I've seen bicyclists who have purposefully gone the opposite way of oncoming traffic, those who have blown through red lights with absolutely no regard for drivers, and riders who take up a regular traffic lane with their 14-miles-per-hour nonsense and don't give a lick that anybody's behind them. Note to all the bicyclists out there: You're riding a bike; the rest of us are driving cars. One hurts a whole lot more than the other, so be courteous and obey the rules.</p> <h2>13. Holding Up Turning Traffic When You're Not Turning in a Turn-Only Lane</h2> <p>Many times this is a mistake, so I'll just impart on you that it's important to pay attention to the signs painted on the road ahead of you. If you're not turning, you shouldn't be in the turn-only lane holding up everybody else. That's a real good way to get beeped to death in some places.</p> <h2>14. Multitasking at the Wheel</h2> <p>We've already discussed how you shouldn't fiddle with your phone while you're driving, but there are other distractions that can cause problems on the road. Here's a quick list of no-nos: Eating, putting on makeup, reading a newspaper (I have seen this in action and I was in total shock), doing anything with the person in the passenger seat that would be deemed illegal if you got caught, doing anything with yourself that would be deemed illegal if you got caught. Focus on safe driving so everybody gets home with all the parts with which they started the day.</p> <h2>15. Standing in a Parking Space to Save It</h2> <p>I believe in first-come, first-served, so if the vehicle is not around to claim a spot, you shouldn't have your body in it so nobody else can take it; that's not how this works.</p> <p>Last holiday season I encountered a girl in a parking space that she refused to give up to four nice ladies in a car that pulled up because her &quot;mother was on the way.&quot; She also claimed that her mother was handicapped, at which point I showed her the very available handicapped spot just across the street. She didn't want to hear any of it, refused to budge, and basically wore the four nice ladies down until they moved along. Of course, when her mother showed up (who was driving and also flipped the ladies off), the only handicap she appeared to have was an incredibly rude daughter.</p> <h2>16. Swooping Into a Parking Spot That Has Been Claimed by Another Driver</h2> <p>This is another personal situation I've dealt with, and maybe you have too. I drove around a busy parking lot on a Saturday afternoon for what seemed like forever until I finally found a spot. I put my blinker on and waited for the car to pull out so I could pull in. Before I had a chance, however, a car swooped in from the opposite direction and slid right in. And wouldn't you know that she had the audacity to start screaming at me when I expressed my frustration at her for being selfish and inconsiderate? Soooome people!</p> <p><em>Do you have driving scenarios that are likely to send someone into road rage that you'd like to add? I'd love to hear your stories in the comments section below.</em></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/16-ways-you-are-causing-road-rage">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-reasons-alone-time-is-good-for-your-soul">9 Reasons Alone Time Is Good For Your Soul</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/invest-your-time-in-these-13-things-while-youre-in-your-20s">Invest Your Time in These 13 Things While You&#039;re in Your 20s</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/designing-your-life">Designing your life</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/financial-tricks-to-master-for-a-happier-life">Financial Tricks to Master for a Happier Life</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/will-that-thing-really-change-your-life">Will That Thing Really Change Your Life?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Lifestyle Personal Development general tips lifestyle personal development Mon, 22 Sep 2014 15:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1216065 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Resist Lifestyle Creep and Still Have Everything You Want http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-resist-lifestyle-creep-and-still-have-everything-you-want <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-resist-lifestyle-creep-and-still-have-everything-you-want" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-2557565-small.jpg" alt="man " title="man" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Levels of spending on some things seem to automatically go with levels of spending on other things. But there&#39;s no rule that says this has to be true. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choosing-a-luxury-eccentricity?ref=seealso">Choosing a Luxury Eccentricity</a>)</p> <h2>Overcoming the Lifestyle Problem</h2> <p>This is what I call &quot;The Lifestyle Problem.&quot; It&#39;s expensive enough to support yourself and your family, but supporting all those people <em>and </em>a lifestyle? That&#39;s a problem.</p> <p>Fortunately, the solution is easy: Don&#39;t do it. There is no rule that says certain expenses automatically imply other expenses. You are free to choose luxury in one area while choosing frugality in another. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-little-luxuries-that-go-a-long-way?ref=seealso">Little Luxuries That Go a Long Way</a>)</p> <p>For example, my wife and I have a set of linen sheets to put on our bed in the summertime. They&#39;re two or three times as expensive as cotton &mdash; but they&#39;re luxuriously more comfortable when it&#39;s hot, plus they&#39;re more durable. They might seem incongruous with our cheap apartment and our 23-year-old Honda Civic, but we&#39;re very pleased with the balance we&#39;ve struck.</p> <h3>Splurge Strategically</h3> <p>Probably everybody you know does this in a small way &mdash; think of all your friends with perfectly normal budgets, except this one won&#39;t pay more than $12 for a haircut, that one won&#39;t go to movies in the theater, another insists on doing his own yard work (even though he hates it), and so on.</p> <p>Not so many do this in a big way. In fact, the only place you&#39;re likely to see this idea expressed in full measure is in young bachelors. You can recognize the subtype easily because their apartment is furnished with a recliner chair, a king-sized bed, and no other furniture.</p> <p>Do you want a fancy sports car, but are perfectly happy living in a cheap apartment? That&#39;s fine. Similarly fine is the reverse: cheap car, but a luxury apartment. Also fine: a cheap car, a cheap apartment, and a glorious annual vacation. You can have a few nice things without having to have <em>all</em> nice things! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-allow-yourself-splurges?ref=seealso">Why You Should Allow Yourself to Splurge</a>)</p> <h2>Resisting Lifestyle Creep</h2> <p>Everybody knows this. And yet, it&rsquo;s deceptively <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lifestyle-upgrades-beware-the-diderot-effect">easy to upscale all your expense categories</a> in tandem, without even noticing that you&#39;re doing it.</p> <p>And that&#39;s without considering the social pressures to do this. Just as soon as you start being thoughtful about this &mdash; and not upgrading this or that expense&mdash;you&#39;ll find that everybody and his brother has something to say about it: Why do you have such an old car/such crappy clothes/such a small TV? Why don&#39;t you live in a bigger house/better neighborhood? Why don&#39;t you buy nicer furniture/better wine/a fitness center membership? <em>You can afford it!</em></p> <p>The unstated assumption of that last sentence is that everyone should spend all their money. There are a lot of people out there who seem pretty determined that nobody subvert that assumption. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-peer-pressure-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso">Is Peer Pressure Keeping You Poor?</a>)</p> <p>It is possible to resist that social pressure. You can do it just by determination &mdash; in fact, that&#39;s probably the best way &mdash; but here are two tricks that I&#39;ve found help me.</p> <h3>1. Have a Style</h3> <p>Just about any style will do. If you have a style, it&#39;s easy to turn down the upgrades that don&#39;t match because, &quot;They&#39;re just not my style.&quot;</p> <p>Even if you don&#39;t pick a nameable style (bohemian, yuppy, whatever) people will still quickly figure it out &mdash; and will quit suggesting things that don&#39;t match. People don&#39;t tell yuppies that they need to buy a Lincoln Towncar for their commute or bohemians that they need to get designer onesies for the twins, and they&#39;ll be a lot less likely to tell you that you need to spend money on something that doesn&#39;t &quot;go&quot; with the things you do spend money on.</p> <p>Just be careful not to let the causality go the other way. Just because you&#39;ve decided to go with &quot;preppy&quot; is no reason to upgrade your wardrobe by spending a fortune on Brooks Brothers. (Not that you can&#39;t spend money on Brooks Brothers if you want to, and can afford it.) (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-greatest-frugal-fashion-makeover-ever-refresh-your-wardrobe-for-25-or-less?ref=seealso">Refresh Your Wardrobe for $25 or Less</a>)</p> <h3>2. Embrace the Eccentricity</h3> <p>Anybody whose spending is different from typical is, in fact, eccentric. Embrace that. Own it. But make it about something that matters to you:</p> <ul> <li>You are the person who won&#39;t hire a yard service to get rid of their dandelions because you don&#39;t want herbicides sprayed on your lawn (not because you&#39;re too cheap to spend the money).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You&#39;re the person who doesn&#39;t go to movies in the theater because they turn the sound up too darned loud (not because you&#39;re too cheap to buy tickets).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You&#39;re the person who doesn&#39;t eat out because you cook better food than you can get in a restaurant (not because you won&#39;t spring for the check).</li> </ul> <p>You can resist the tyranny of social rules to keep all your spending levels nicely lined up. Someone looking at my spending and trying to figure out what my &quot;lifestyle&quot; was would be utterly stymied &mdash; because the only rule my wife and I have is that we pay up for what we really want and spend as little as possible on the rest.</p> <p><em>How do you resist the temptation to overspend on lifestyle?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-resist-lifestyle-creep-and-still-have-everything-you-want">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-surprising-things-you-can-have-delivered">12 Surprising Things You Can Have Delivered</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/not-driving-your-less-frugal-friends-crazy">Not driving your less-frugal friends crazy</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/realistic-budgeting-the-marriage-saver">Realistic Budgeting: The Marriage Saver</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/16-ways-you-are-causing-road-rage">16 Ways You Are Causing Road Rage</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle budget lifestyle Tue, 31 Dec 2013 10:49:34 +0000 Philip Brewer 1104836 at http://www.wisebread.com