free http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/47/all en-US I Checked My Credit Score in 11 Places — Here's What I Learned http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-worth-paying-for-your-credit-score <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-it-worth-paying-for-your-credit-score" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_woman_looking_her_financial_progress.jpg" alt="Young woman looking her financial progress" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For decades after credit scores emerged in the late 1950s, they were rarely seen by anyone but loan officers. Nowadays, offers of free and cheap credit scores are everywhere &mdash; from the online dashboard of your bank or credit card account, to self-help finance sites. Other sites charge as much as $20 for a credit score.</p> <p>Why would you pay $20 for something you could get for free? Is the free score as accurate as the $20 score? It turns out, the answers to those questions are not simple, but &mdash; spoiler alert &mdash; it is sometimes worth it to pay up.</p> <p>I tested the various credit scores available myself by visiting a number of free sites, checking the free scores offered by my bank and credit cards, and by purchasing three credit score products. Of my three checking accounts, two of them offered free credit scores. Of three credit card issuers I looked at, all of them offered free scores, although I sometimes had to dig around for them once signed into my account. I learned that different credit scoring systems can come up with a range of numbers based on the same credit history. While all my scores were pretty good, they were spread over a 39-point range, which put me in the top category on some score reports, but only the second-best on others.</p> <h2>Test results</h2> <p>My results are summarized in the chart below. The chart notes the website or other source where I got each score, the name of the particular score I got (more on that in a minute), the credit bureau that provided the information upon which each score was based, and the price for the score. All the scores are based on a range of 300-850 points, unless otherwise noted. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-a-good-credit-score-range?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What Is a Good Credit Score and Why Is It Important?</a>)</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/credit_scores_0.jpg" alt="" width="517" height="800" /></p> <p>I am just one person, with one set of credit cards and one mortgage. How can I have so many different credit scores? How can I even have different credit scores that say they are based on the credit report from the same bureau? Which score is correct? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fico-or-fako-are-free-credit-scores-from-credit-cards-the-real-thing?ref=seealso" target="_blank">FICO or FAKO: Are Free Credit Scores From Credit Cards the Real Thing?</a>)</p> <h2>What you're paying for</h2> <p>Barry Paperno, who worked in the credit industry for 40 years and now writes about credit in his blog, Speaking of Credit, explained that I was looking at least three different products, created by different companies. The free score offered by popular websites is usually the VantageScore, formulated by a software product co-created in 2006 by the three major credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.</p> <p>The $15.95 score was created by <a href="https://www.equifax.com/personal/products/credit/report-and-score/" target="_blank">Equifax</a> with its own proprietary scoring system. Both VantageScore and the proprietary scores offered by the individual credit bureaus are great for educational purposes; in other words, they'll tell you if you have generally good credit or bad credit. But most banks don't use them to make lending decisions, Paperno says.</p> <p>The scores I paid $19.95 each for are from <a href="https://www1.myfico.com/products/onetimereports" target="_blank">FICO</a>, the original credit score company and the one that most banks turn to when making mortgage decisions.</p> <p>Another small difference among the different scores may be how old they are. The free scores that my financial institutions and <a href="https://www.creditsesame.com/" target="_blank">Credit Sesame</a> gave me were between two weeks and two months old, while the ones I paid for were dated only a couple of days before I checked them, and the free scores I got from <a href="https://www.freecreditscore.com/" target="_blank">FreeCreditScore.com</a> and <a href="https://www.creditkarma.com/" target="_blank">Credit Karma</a> were dated the same day I checked them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-things-lenders-check-besides-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Surprising Things Lenders Check Besides Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <p>To further complicate things, several weeks passed between when I paid for the myFICO scores and when I checked the free scores. myFICO, I found, doesn't update once you've paid, so those scores are now almost a month old. During the intervening time, I charged some large purchases, and my credit score declined by 10 points or more on some of the other score reports but you'd never know that looking at the myFICO scores.</p> <h2>Which score should you get?</h2> <p>None of these scores are fake or inaccurate. All work in similar ways, assessing how likely you are to repay debt by looking at your history and your current use of credit. All provide an accurate picture of how your credit stacks up compared to other consumers. Which one you should get depends on your purpose.</p> <h3>Credit score health check</h3> <p>If you just want to know whether you have good or bad credit, any score will do. In that case, you might as well get a free score from your bank or credit card issuer, or go to one of the free sites listed here.</p> <p>There is no apparent advantage to going to a credit score site rather than getting it from your own bank or credit card site. Different sites have different bells and whistles; some show you the history of your score, while others take information from your credit report to help explain your score.</p> <h3>Mortgage</h3> <p>The type of score you look at matters more if your goal is to get a new credit card, mortgage, or other type of loan. &quot;Then your goal is to get your score to a certain point so that your credit application will be accepted,&quot; says Paperno. &quot;Since the scores tend to differ, it becomes important to know what score the lender is likely to pull.&quot;</p> <p>If it's a mortgage lender, they're likely to pull older FICO scores from each credit bureau, namely the FICO 2, FICO 4, and FICO 5 scores, possibly along with others. When you purchase your FICO score from myFICO, you can get your FICO Score 8 from all three credit bureaus, as well as a number of industry-specific scores. So if you want a mortgage and you're not sure if your credit is good enough (760 is usually the cutoff to qualify for the best rates, Paperno says), it's a great idea to go this route.</p> <p>For a <a href="https://www1.myfico.com/products/onetimereports" target="_blank">one-off snapshot of your FICO scores</a>, go to myFICO.com and click on the Products tab at the top. You can buy one-time single-bureau credit reports (FICO Score 1B Report for $19.95) or three-bureau reports (FICO Score 3B Report for $59.85).</p> <p>Why pay more for scores from all three credit bureaus instead of just getting one? Since the credit report from each bureau could be slightly different (each may include some details but not others), it's best to avoid surprises by making sure that the credit score based on each report is in the same range.</p> <h3>Car loan</h3> <p>If you're getting a car loan, the lender might pull the industry-specific FICO Auto Score, which comes with the scores from myFICO. To know for sure, call the finance department at the dealership you're considering and ask which bureau they pull from or which scores they use.</p> <p>Next, go to myFICO.com, click on the Products tab at the top of the page, buy one or all three scores from myFICO, then click on &quot;View additional FICO score versions used in mortgage, auto and bank card decisions.&quot; There, you'll find your FICO Auto Score 8, optimized to reflect the credit behavior that auto lenders care most about, with an emphasis on how well you've paid off previous auto loans (mine was 779, four points higher than my FICO Score 8).</p> <h3>Credit card</h3> <p>There is also a FICO score customized for the credit card industry, FICO Bankcard Score, but Paperno said that it's not as popular with credit card lenders as the Auto Score is with car lenders. He says it's not worth paying money just to get a Bankcard score. Any free FICO Score 8 is good enough.</p> <h3>Personal loan</h3> <p>For personal loans, even a 50-point difference in your credit score could affect your interest rate by several percentage points, according to GoBankingRates.com. But many lenders will do a soft pull of your credit during a prequalification process.</p> <h2>How do you know which score you're getting?</h2> <p>Most of the time, if you're getting it for free you can assume you're looking at a VantageScore, but not always. Most websites will identify &mdash; sometimes in small print &mdash; the source of the score they're providing. I purchased my three-bureau FICO score report from myFICO.com for $59.85; Experian also offers a three-score and credit report package for $39.99.</p> <p>But is it possible to find a FICO score for free? Yes. I got an Experian-based FICO Score 8 at FreeCreditScore.com, a site owned by Experian. And my bank provided my Equifax-based FICO Bankcard score.</p> <p>If you want to follow Paperno's advice and check FICO scores from all three credit bureaus when you have an important borrowing decision ahead of you, you will have to pay to do so. I didn't find any way to get all three for free.</p> <h2>Why are your FICO Score and VantageScore different?</h2> <p>Now that I understand that both FICO and VantageScore give me an accurate picture of my credit, I still wonder how they can look at the same reports and come up with different numbers. In particular, my FICO scores are my lowest scores. Is it always that way?</p> <p>&quot;FICO tends to be a little stricter,&quot; Paperno says. Although both systems consider basically the same facts &mdash; late payments, how much credit you have available, how much debt you have, the age of your accounts, etc. &mdash; they might vary slightly in the details. For example, if you have an account that went to collections and you paid it off, VantageScore will drop that black mark from your record, but it will still influence most versions of the FICO Score.</p> <h2>Buyer beware</h2> <p>When searching for free credit scores, I came across a number of Google ads promising them, leading to websites I was unfamiliar with. I found that many such sites are owned by companies with some pretty unsatisfied customers, many who complain they were charged for ongoing credit monitoring services without their knowledge.</p> <p>Even with the big name companies, make sure when paying for a credit score that you know what you're signing up for. Many will at least ask you if you want to sign up for a paid monthly credit monitoring subscription. When I purchased the $1 <a href="https://www.transunion.com/personal-credit/affiliate-landing" target="_blank">TransUnion</a> score, I at first completely missed that I had also signed up for a weeklong free trial of a $19.95-per-month credit monitoring service. Fortunately, I canceled it in time to avoid billing. I didn't want to repeat that experience, so when I clicked on a $1 credit score offer from Experian and realized that buying it would sign me up for a free trial of their $14.99-per-month monitoring service, I didn't buy either.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Is%20It%20Worth%20Paying%20for%20Your%20Credit%20Score_.jpg" alt="Is It Worth Paying for Your Credit Score?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-worth-paying-for-your-credit-score">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-read-a-credit-report">How to Read a Credit Report</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-apps-that-monitor-your-credit-for-you">7 Apps That Monitor Your Credit for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-minute-finance-checking-your-credit-score">5-Minute Finance: Checking Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-often-your-credit-score-gets-calculated">Here&#039;s How Often Your Credit Score Gets Calculated</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/fico-or-fako-are-free-credit-scores-from-credit-cards-the-real-thing">FICO or FAKO: Are Free Credit Scores From Credit Cards the Real Thing?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance credit bureaus credit scores Experian exquifax fico free transuinon vantage scores Thu, 12 Apr 2018 08:00:06 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2128970 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Natural Wonders You Can See For Free http://www.wisebread.com/5-natural-wonders-you-can-see-for-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-natural-wonders-you-can-see-for-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/amazing_nature_view_with_trolltunga.jpg" alt="Amazing nature view with Trolltunga" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many people's bucket lists include visiting nature's most impressive sites: the Grand Canyon, Victoria Falls, the Great Barrier Reef, and Mount Everest, just to name a few. But entrance fees can cut into tight travel budgets.</p> <p>However, there are natural wonders that charge no entrance fees. These attractions are not man-made, they're totally wondrous, and cost nothing to visit and enjoy. Of course, you'll have to organize transport to and from the sites, but once there, you're free to witness them without paying for a ticket.</p> <h2>1. Harbor of Rio de Janeiro</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/aerial_view_of_christ_and_botafogo.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The harbor of Rio de Janeiro, also known as Guanabara Bay, is the second largest bay in Brazil, stretching 19 miles inland and over 17 miles across at its widest point. It's dotted with islands and surrounded by mountains, including the well known Sugar Loaf Mountain and Corcovado Peak with its Christ the Redeemer statue (there is a cost to visit the statue).</p> <p>The surrounding mountains provide spectacular vantage points to view the harbor from, and while the hikes to reach their peaks are challenging, the views far outweigh the exertion. Hiking up Pedra da Gavea (for experienced hikers/climbers only due to a technical section toward the top), Dois Irmãoes, or Corcovado will all give you panoramic views of the bay.</p> <h2>2. Dead Sea</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/dead_sea_salt.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Despite its moniker, the Dead Sea is actually a giant salt lake that borders Jordan, Israel, and Palestinian territories. The other part of its name is quite accurate, though, and stems from the fact that virtually nothing living can survive in its waters. This is due to the high concentration of salt contained in its water, almost 10 times as much as found in the ocean, making it one of the saltiest bodies of water on earth.</p> <p>Thanks to its high salinity, swimming in the Dead Sea is a strange and unusual experience. Rather than having to flap around to stay on the surface you can just lie back and let go. You'll naturally stay afloat. Most of beaches at the Dead Sea are privately owned and charge a fee to enter, however there are also a number of public beaches that you can use for free (including my favorite, Herodus Spring).</p> <h2>3. Redwood forests</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/path_in_the_redwoods.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Redwood National Park in California is famously home to some of the tallest trees on the planet, which can grow to well over 300 feet tall and have a diameter of 30 feet. These trees used to grow abundantly across much of California's coastline, but due to extensive logging over the past couple of centuries, their population has been significantly reduced. The remaining ones that lie within Redwood National and State Parks are now protected. While the state parks charge entrance fees, the national park is free to enter.</p> <p>Some of the oldest of these redwoods have been alive for more than 2,000 years, though the average age is closer to 600. Standing under one, you are completely dwarfed and can barely see the top. The feeling is both humbling and magnificent. There's plenty of wildlife to see as well, including elk, foxes, bears, and cougars on land. Because it's a coastal park, you can also catch sight of marine animals like whales and seals.</p> <h2>4. Amazon rain forest</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/wetlands_in_belem_do_para_brazil.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The world's largest rain forest covers an area of around 2,100,000 square miles and crosses into the territory of nine South American countries. Though 60 percent of the Amazon rain forest belongs to Brazil, parts of it stretch into Perú, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. It's amazing not just for its vast size, but also for its incredible biodiversity, with one in 10 known species on the planet calling the thick entanglement of life their home. Running through it is the Amazon River, which at around 4,000 miles is the second longest river in the world, after the Nile River.</p> <p>Thanks to the enormous land area that it covers, there are hundreds of ways to get into the Amazon rain forest, and it's possible to enter from any of the countries that it covers. There are also a number of cities that lie within or on the edge of the Amazon rain forest, such as Manaus, Santarem, and Belem in Brazil as well as Iquitos in Peru.</p> <p>It's definitely not advisable to go off on big independent excursions through the rain forest, but there are plenty of jungle retreats and hotels that allow you to experience the Amazon up close. You may have to pay for a hotel, but most access points don't require an entrance fee.</p> <h2>5. Trolltunga</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/amazing_nature_view_with_trolltunga.jpg" width="597" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The spectacular Trolltunga overhang has been the star of adventurous travelers' Instagram feeds for many years now, and seeing the photos it's easy to understand why. Not only does the rock hang precariously over a 2,300 plus foot drop, but it overlooks some truly spectacular natural scenery. Lake Ringedalsvatnet sprawls out into the mountainous distance directly beneath the rock, whose name translates to &quot;troll's tongue,&quot; thanks to its long flat shape. Daredevil visitors perch themselves on the edge of the overhang for an adrenaline rush captured with the perfect snap.</p> <p>Thanks in part to Norway's right to roam rules that allow you to go virtually anywhere without restriction, you can hike to Trolltunga and even camp nearby for the night at no cost. Bear in mind that it's a challenging 10&ndash;12 hour round trip hike, so you'll need to be in decent shape, as people get caught out each year and have to be rescued. Your personal safety when you reach Trolltunga is also entirely up to you because there are no barriers or guards present.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-natural-wonders-you-can-see-for-free&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Natural%2520Wonders%2520You%2520Can%2520See%2520For%2520Free.jpg&amp;description=5%20Natural%20Wonders%20You%20Can%20See%20For%20Free"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Natural%20Wonders%20You%20Can%20See%20For%20Free.jpg" alt="5 Natural Wonders You Can See For Free" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-natural-wonders-you-can-see-for-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks">Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks</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-get-free-accommodations-and-paid-jobs-on-boats">How to Get Free Accommodations (and Paid Jobs) on Boats</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-adventurous-things-you-should-do-before-you-die">15 Adventurous Things You Should Do Before You Die</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/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</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/3-flexible-ways-to-cash-in-your-miles-and-points">3 Flexible Ways to Cash In Your Miles and Points</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel adventure travel adventures free free travel natural wonders nature outdoor travel Wed, 06 Dec 2017 09:30:11 +0000 Nick Wharton 2066635 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Free Accounting Tools for Freelancers http://www.wisebread.com/5-free-accounting-tools-for-freelancers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-free-accounting-tools-for-freelancers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_happy_computer_187025458.jpg" alt="Woman using free accounting tools for freelancers" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a freelancer, you're responsible for every aspect of your business. Not only do you need to deliver a great product, but you also need to manage your expenses, invoice clients, and handle your own taxes. And as a freelancer, time is money. Instead of juggling spreadsheets and files yourself, check out these five accounting tools that are completely free.</p> <h2>1. Zoho</h2> <p><a href="http://zoho.com">Zoho</a> is one of the most robust bookkeeping platforms out there. With the free version, you can invoice up to five customers a month. And you can track expenses, customize your invoices, receive online payments, and manage timesheets.</p> <h2>2. Due</h2> <p>If your business is growing and you need to be able to accept credit card payments rather than just cash or check, <a href="https://due.com/invoicing/">Due</a> may be the solution for you. Due is free to use, and you can send invoices and get paid online. Due charges a processing fee of 2.8%, and promises to match any lower offer.</p> <h2>3. PocketSuite</h2> <p>For people running smaller businesses, such as dog-walking services or housecleaners, some of the bookkeeping software can be overwhelming with unnecessary features. And many of them don't offer essential features those freelancers need, such as scheduling or client contact options.</p> <p><a href="https://pocketsuite.io/pricing/">Pocketsuite</a> is a mobile app that allows you to connect with clients and manage your business finances all in one spot. With the free &quot;Pro&quot; version, you can schedule appointments with clients, send professional invoices, accept credit card payments for a flat 2.5% processing fee, send messages to your customers, and even accept tips.</p> <h2>4. PayPal</h2> <p><a href="https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/ec-telesales-signup">PayPal</a> allows users to upgrade to a free business account in order to receive credit card payments for purchases and create invoices as needed. You won't pay a transaction fee for shopping through your personal account, but upon receiving funds for goods or services, you will pay a 2.9% fee, plus $.30, of the total amount received. PayPal also lets you run reports on all funds coming and going, so you can seamlessly track your professional finances.</p> <h2>5. Wave</h2> <p><a href="https://www.waveapps.com/accounting/">Wave's</a> bookkeeping and accounting services are completely free; you only pay a fee if you add employees. They also charge a 2.9% processing fee if you accept credit card payments from clients.</p> <p>You can track your expenses and income, and with the easy-to-use platform, it's easy to manage even if you don't have experience in accounting. Everything is cloud-based, so you can check your account and update your information from any computer or mobile device.</p> <p>Best of all, Wave generates tax reports that will save you time and money at tax time, making your life &mdash; and your accountant's &mdash; much easier.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-free-accounting-tools-for-freelancers">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/how-to-manage-your-money-no-budgeting-required">How to Manage Your Money — No Budgeting Required</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-budget-consistently-without-a-steady-paycheck">How to Budget Consistently Without a Steady Paycheck</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-parts-every-successful-budget-needs">6 Parts Every Successful Budget Needs</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/this-japanese-budgeting-system-could-be-the-key-to-saving-big-bucks">This Japanese Budgeting System Could Be the Key to Saving Big Bucks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Entrepreneurship bookkeeping bookkeeping apps bookkeeping tools computer programs expenses free invoicing tools Fri, 17 Mar 2017 10:30:17 +0000 Kat Tretina 1910226 at http://www.wisebread.com The Easy Way to Do Your Taxes (Without Paying Someone Else) http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-do-your-taxes-without-paying-someone-else <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-easy-way-to-do-your-taxes-without-paying-someone-else" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-539979144.jpg" alt="Woman finding an easy way to do her taxes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Like clockwork, Tax Day comes every year. In 2017, it falls on Tuesday, April 18 (Wednesday, April 19 for residents of Maine and Massachusetts). If just the mention of taxes makes you nervous, or even stressed, you're not alone. Since 2007, the <a href="http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/index.aspx?tab=2" target="_blank">American Psychological Association</a> (APA) has been tracking the <a href="http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/index.aspx?tab=2" target="_blank">top causes of stress</a> for Americans and has found that money, including tax preparation, is consistently at the very top of the APA's list.</p> <p>While it may feel tempting to relieve this stress by paying somebody else to file your return, or buying expensive tax prep software, there is a long list of options to have your taxes prepared for free. Let's review what organizations offer free tax preparation services and what you can do to make the whole task&hellip; less taxing.</p> <h2>1. Free File Software From the IRS</h2> <p>Individuals who earned less than $64,000 in 2016 &mdash; 70% of Americans, according to the IRS &mdash; can file their federal taxes for free with <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free" target="_blank">Free File Software</a> from the IRS, a partnership of the IRS with eight software providers, including TaxSlayer, H&amp;R Block, and ezTaxReturn.com.</p> <p>In addition to free federal tax filing, most Free File Software partners offer free state tax filing for residents of states with income tax requirements. Some providers may charge a fee for filing state tax returns.</p> <h2>2. IRS Tax Volunteers</h2> <p>Looking to help the community by preparing taxes free of charge, many Americans receive training by the IRS and then volunteer at approved locations in their communities. IRS-certified tax volunteers participate in two main programs.</p> <h3>Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)</h3> <p>Individuals who make $54,000 or less, have disabilities, or have limited English proficiency have access to free basic income tax return preparation with IRS-certified volunteers through VITA. Qualifying taxpayers have their returns filed electronically.</p> <h3>Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE)</h3> <p>IRS-certified volunteers for the TCE program focus on taxpayers who are 60 years of age and older, and specialize in questions about pensions and retirement unique to seniors.</p> <p>Located at neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations throughout the country, VITA and TCE sites can be found online through the <a href="https://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/" target="_blank">VITA/TCE Locator Tool</a> or by calling 1-800-906-9887. Since many TCE sites are operated by the AARP's Foundation Tax Aide program between January and April, you can also use the <a href="https://secure.aarp.org/applications/VMISLocator/searchTaxAideLocations.action" target="_blank">AARP Site Locator Tool </a>or call 1-888-227-7669.</p> <h2>3. Free Tax Services at Universities and Colleges</h2> <p>Around the country, many student-run service organizations offer free tax assistance for low- to moderate-income individuals. Generally, these organizations offer free e-file for federal and state tax returns under the supervision of the IRS and CPA certified accounting faculty. Here are some examples:</p> <ul> <li>VITA site from the Accounting Department at <a href="http://accounting.dixie.edu/vita-free-tax-prep/" target="_blank">Dixie State University</a> in Utah;</li> <li>VITA site from <a href="https://www.york.cuny.edu/news/volunteer-income-tax-assistance-vita-program" target="_blank">York College</a> in New York;</li> <li>VITA site from <a href="https://www.stmarytx.edu/outreach/vita/" target="_blank">St. Mary's University</a> in Texas;</li> <li>VITA site from the <a href="http://www.uwest.edu/vita/" target="_blank">University of the West</a> in California;</li> <li>VITA site from the <a href="https://lsbe.d.umn.edu/about/academic-departments/accounting/vita" target="_blank">University of Minnesota Duluth</a>; and</li> <li>VITA site from the <a href="https://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/jsp/direction.jsp?id=11406&amp;lng=-82.360613&amp;lat=29.650415" target="_blank">Levin College of Law at the University of Florida</a>.</li> </ul> <p>The majority of student-run organizations offering free tax assistance are also IRS-certified VITA sites. Keep in mind that free tax preparation programs at universities and colleges can only provide tax preparation to individuals making $54,000 or less. Student volunteers will most likely turn away small business owners and self-employed individuals because volunteers are limited to returns with certain types of income, including Wages and Salaries (Form W-2), Interest Income (Form 1099-INT), Dividends Received (Form 1099-DIV), Unemployment Compensation (Form 1099-G), IRA Distributions (Form 1099-R), Pension Income (Form 1099-R, Form RRB-1099), and Social Security Benefits (Form SSA-1099).</p> <p>Student-run tax prep organizations can generally help nonresidents on a student visa (F, J, M, or Q), or a teacher or trainee visa (J or Q), but may turn away those with dual citizenship because these types of individuals require much more complex tax prep.</p> <h2>4. Free Offers From Tax Preparation Companies</h2> <p>Commercial tax preparers and software providers also offer free software access to taxpayers filing certain types of returns. Here are two samples from well-known companies:</p> <ul> <li>H&amp;R Block: <a href="https://www.hrblock.com/online-tax-filing/free-online-tax-filing/" target="_blank">Free tax prep</a> for forms 1040EZ, 1040, 1040 with Schedule A, and some <a href="https://www.hrblock.com/pdf/HRB-Online-State-Forms.pdf" target="_blank">state tax forms</a>.</li> <li>TurboTax Federal Free Edition: <a href="https://turbotax.intuit.com/personal-taxes/online/free-edition.jsp" target="_blank">Free prep</a> of forms 1040EZ and 1040A and some state tax forms.</li> </ul> <p>Since no humans are involved when using free tax prep software, you're responsible for figuring out the answer to your questions and responding to audits from the IRS. Also, getting help from a company rep over the phone or via online chat may cost you additional fees.</p> <p>There are many offers available from online and brick-and-mortar providers. Since most of these free tax prep offers involve e-filing, it's a best practice to verify that they're authorized e-file providers by the IRS. Screen offers near you using the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/authorized-irs-e-file-providers-for-individuals" target="_blank">IRS e-file Provider Locator</a>.</p> <h2>5. Free Tax Help From State Governments and Non-Profits</h2> <p>In an effort to help individuals and families with low-to-moderate income levels, many state governments provide free income tax preparation and electronic preparation through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Here are some examples:</p> <ul> <li>The Illinois Department of Human Services offers <a href="http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=64531" target="_blank">free tax help</a> to individuals and families making up to $30,000 and $55,000 respectively per year.</li> <li>The Honolulu Community Action Program is offering <a href="http://www.hcapweb.org/income-tax-services/" target="_blank">free tax preparation to Hawaii residents</a> with $55,000 and under in annual income and with a relatively simple return.</li> </ul> <p>Contact your state government for a list of public and private organizations offering free tax preparation services.</p> <h2>Getting Ready for Free Tax Preparation</h2> <p>As you can imagine, any organization offering free tax preparation gets an avalanche of requests from taxpayers. Let's review some strategies to minimize the chances of being turned away or having to spend more time than necessary.</p> <h3>1. Know the Limitations of the Volunteers or Software</h3> <p>Free help is generally limited to more basic returns. For instance, if you're a small-business owner with questions on your Schedule C about how to take a tax deduction for your commercial refrigerator purchase, you're better off hiring a certified tax professional who can handle such complex tax scenarios. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-you-should-splurge-and-hire-a-pro?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Times You Should Splurge and Hire a Pro</a>)</p> <p>Verify that you're eligible for free tax prep under the guidelines of the organization that you're trying to visit. If you have a tax form that you've never seen before, check with the organization whether or not the volunteers can handle it. Many of the organizations on this list post on their websites the forms that they can process.</p> <h3>2. Schedule an Appointment (If Applicable)</h3> <p>Many organizations offering in-person tax consultation and preparation require you to book an appointment in advance. Whenever this is possible, book one so you can have a guaranteed time slot.</p> <h3>3. Show Up Early and Don't Procrastinate</h3> <p>If you can't make an appointment, do your best to show up early. If an organization has a schedule of 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., you'll probably have a better chance of being helped by showing up at 3 p.m. than at 7:20 p.m. Since most of the tax prep options on this list are only open between January and April, try to visit way before Tax Day when volunteers are less likely to be busy.</p> <h3>4. Prepare for Appointment</h3> <p>Make sure you have all the documents you'll need listed below before you attend your appointment. If you do not have all necessary documents, you may be asked to make another appointment, if available.</p> <p>Bring:</p> <ul> <li>At least one form of government-issued ID;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Your Social Security card to verify your Social Security Number, as well as the Social Security cards for any children you're claiming as dependents;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>All W-2 forms;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>All eligible 1099 forms, such as 1099-MISC, 1099-INT, SSA-1099, and 1099-DIV;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Affordable Care Act Documents, such as 1095-A, 1095-B, and 1095-C;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Form 1098, if you own real estate;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement, if you're a college student;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A copy of your last year's return (not always mandatory, but it helps volunteers a lot);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Documentation proving marriage status when filing jointly (check for more potential requirements because a spouse may or not need to be present, depending on your unique tax situation);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A voided check showing the routing and account numbers for the account that you want to use for direct deposit of your refund, if applicable;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Receipts and supporting documents of any deductions that you plan to take; and<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Any additional forms that apply to your tax situation.</li> </ul> <p>This is a general list, but you may need additional documents or forms. Contact the tax preparation organization in advance or read the fine print of the software that you're planning to use to cross your T's and dot your I's. Best of luck in this tax season, you got this!</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!&nbsp;</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-easy-way-to-do-your-taxes-without-paying-someone-else&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%20Easy%20Way%20to%20Do%20Your%20Taxes%20(Without%20Paying%20Someone%20Else).jpg&amp;description=The%20Easy%20Way%20to%20Do%20Your%20Taxes%20(Without%20Paying%20Someone%20Else)" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%20Easy%20Way%20to%20Do%20Your%20Taxes%20%28Without%20Paying%20Someone%20Else%29.jpg" alt="The Easy Way to Do Your Taxes (Without Paying Someone Else)" 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/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-do-your-taxes-without-paying-someone-else">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/what-to-do-if-you-have-a-tax-lien-on-your-house">What to Do If You Have a Tax Lien On Your House</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/top-10-tax-urban-legends-myths-and-rumors">Top 10 Tax Urban Legends, Myths and Rumors.</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/what-can-you-do-if-you-cannot-afford-to-pay-your-taxes">What can you do if you cannot afford to pay your taxes</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/what-to-do-when-your-tax-preparer-makes-a-mistake">What to Do When Your Tax Preparer Makes a Mistake</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-withholding-the-right-amount-of-taxes-from-your-paycheck">Are You Withholding the Right Amount of Taxes from Your Paycheck?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes aarp federal returns free government H&R Block IRS software state returns tax preparation tce turbo tax vita volunteers Wed, 22 Feb 2017 10:00:20 +0000 Damian Davila 1896808 at http://www.wisebread.com How Many of These "Frugal Virtues" Have You Mastered? http://www.wisebread.com/how-many-of-these-frugal-virtues-have-you-mastered <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-many-of-these-frugal-virtues-have-you-mastered" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_smile_thinking_636275722.jpg" alt="Woman mastering several frugal virtues" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What does it mean to be truly frugal?</p> <p>It's more than just trying to save money. In many ways, being frugal is a lifestyle. It's a virtuous one, too, if you can handle the commitment.</p> <p>To embody a frugal attitude requires you to follow a philosophy based on simplicity, discipline, and an awareness of yourself and the world around you.</p> <p>These are the Frugal Virtues. How many have you mastered?</p> <h2>1. Stifling Instant Gratification</h2> <p>You buy a $5.99 cappuccino because you feel like you need caffeine immediately. You buy a new car because it's shiny and awesome and you just can't wait to have it. You're the first to get the next iPhone, and absolutely must see the next Star Wars sequel on the night it comes out. You're not the type to wait for things. Unfortunately for you, when it comes to spending, patience is a virtue. New products are almost always cheaper if you wait to buy them. And when you wait to buy something, you may realize you don't need the item after all. Spending to satisfy every immediate urge is not part of the path to financial freedom.</p> <h2>2. Seeking Efficiency</h2> <p>To be efficient is to have maximum productivity with the least effort and expense. This concept of efficiency can be applied to a number of areas of personal finance. It could mean driving a car with good fuel mileage, or finding an air conditioning system that gives you the most bang for your buck. It may mean investing your money so that you can generate income with little effort. It could mean spending a small amount of time planning meals for the week, so that you're not wasting time and money later.</p> <h2>3. Looking for Free Stuff</h2> <p>Why pay for something if you can get it for free? One major virtue of frugal people is their ability to find a cost-free option for many items that the rest of us usually pay for. It might be using a coupon for a free meal at a restaurant, checking out books from the library, or grabbing a perfectly good lawn chair that's been placed out in the trash. It means being happy with over-the-air television, and dressing the kids in hand-me-down clothing. Not everything in life can be had for free, but you'd be surprised what you don't need to pay for.</p> <h2>4. Ignoring Advertising</h2> <p>When you watch TV or surf the Internet, you're bombarded with companies trying to get you to part with your money. Marketing folks are experts at manipulating people's emotions, ultimately convincing them that they need a product or service. Frugal people don't get swayed by commercials and banner ads. They don't jump at the latest email promotion or Facebook ad, and they know when something is baloney or not. When they buy things, they are motivated only by their own needs, and aren't swayed by outside influence.</p> <h2>5. Ignoring What's Popular</h2> <p>So everyone you know has a wide selection of clothes from LuLaRoe. They have the newest smartphones. They have awesome sunglasses and eat at the trendiest restaurants. A frugal person ignores this, and avoids making decisions based on what is popular or cool.</p> <h2>6. Avoiding Financial Traps</h2> <p>A financial trap is something that, on the surface, seems like a good deal but is more likely to harm you in the long run. Adjustable rate mortgages, quick payday loans, and even car leases are often considered traps because of their potential to hamstring a person financially if they aren't careful. A frugal person understands the potential pitfalls of every financial decision they make, and stays away from these traps.</p> <h2>7. Embracing the Sharing Economy</h2> <p>Do you and your neighbor both need a high-powered leaf blower? Why not buy one for the two of you and split the cost? Do you have an extra property that you could rent out on Airbnb? Could you save money through a ride-sharing service rather than buying a new car? The sharing economy is based on the notion that we don't need to &quot;own&quot; things as much as have access to them whenever we need them. By reducing what we own, we can save money, clutter, and possibly our sanity.</p> <h2>8. Staying Informed</h2> <p>There are reasons why stock prices go up and down. There are reasons why the cost of goods and services can fluctuate. There are reasons why you're paying more for housing than your parents did. When you understand how markets and the economy work and pay attention to financial news and world events, you're in a position to make smart decisions at every turn. Frugal people know how to read the tea leaves to make the right financial moves. The most frugal people don't just avoid spending; they also make informed choices when it comes to their money.</p> <h2>9. Understanding Value</h2> <p>The concept of value is a bit nebulous, but we've all heard the term &quot;bang for your buck.&quot; In essence, this means getting the most out of every dollar you spend. It doesn't necessarily mean buying the <em>cheapest </em>item every time. Rather, it means avoiding luxury for luxury's sake. And it means taking into account things like overall quality and durability of the items we buy.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-many-of-these-frugal-virtues-have-you-mastered">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/6-thinking-skills-frugal-people-should-master">6 Thinking Skills Frugal People Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/not-the-sort-of-person-who">Not the sort of person who ...</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-football-teaches-us-about-money">9 Things Football Teaches Us About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/an-important-financial-lesson-from-fight-club">The financial wisdom of Fight Club</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/getting-by-on-a-lot-less-money-3-ways-its-easier-than-you-think">Getting by on a lot less money: 3 ways it&#039;s easier than you think</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living advertising advice being frugal financial traps free instant gratification lessons saving sharing economy value virtues Tue, 24 Jan 2017 11:00:11 +0000 Tim Lemke 1871136 at http://www.wisebread.com FICO or FAKO: Are Free Credit Scores From Credit Cards the Real Thing? http://www.wisebread.com/fico-or-fako-are-free-credit-scores-from-credit-cards-the-real-thing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/fico-or-fako-are-free-credit-scores-from-credit-cards-the-real-thing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_reading_paperwork_471708004.jpg" alt="Woman learning if free credit scores are a real thing" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Building up and maintaining a good credit score is a great step toward achieving your financial goals. An <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-for-people-with-excellent-credit?ref=internal" target="_blank">excellent credit score</a> can open doors to better financing for your dream home or a more reliable set of wheels. When used properly, a credit card can help you start off, continue to improve, or even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">build back your credit history</a>. Your on-time monthly credit card payments count as 35% of your FICO credit score, after all.</p> <p>The traditional way to find out your credit score involves contacting one or all of the credit bureaus and paying for their service to provide your score. Thanks to FICO's Open Access initiative in November 2013, however, credit card users may be able to access their scores free, every month on their statements. More than 50 lenders, including American Express, Bank of America, Chase, and Capital One, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-free-credit-scores?ref=internal" target="_blank">offer their customers free credit scores</a>.</p> <p>It's important to note, though, that the score you get on your statements may not reflect the actual score your mortgage lender or car dealership is looking at when considering you for a loan.</p> <h2>Case Study of a Free Credit Score</h2> <p>I have accumulated a few credit cards over the years, and some of those cards offer me a free credit score. I've looked at the credit scores indicated on my latest statements from each of these cards, and the scores vary by up to 59 points.</p> <p>So, what's going on? Which of these credit scores can I trust?</p> <p>The problem is that these credit cards are all using different factors and ways to calculate the score. Some of these factors include:</p> <ul> <li>The date my credit information was pulled;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The credit reporting agency they use; and<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The type of credit score they are reporting.</li> </ul> <p>Given these different factors, you can clearly see that not all free credit scores are alike. It's important to know what credit data you're getting to correctly evaluate your financial health.</p> <h2>3 Criteria to Analyze Your Free Credit Score</h2> <p>Based on these findings, let's review key questions that you should ask yourself about your free credit score from an existing card, or one from a card that you're planning to open.</p> <h3>1. Is It a FICO Score?</h3> <p>Not all credit cards offer the same free credit scores. Capital One offers free TransUnion VantageScore 3.0 scores to all of its cardholders and, since March 2016, to non-customers through its CreditWise credit monitoring service. CreditWise is available as a smartphone app and allows you to sign up for a new account within the app. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-monitor-your-credit-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Apps That Monitor Your Credit for You</a>)</p> <p>Different credit cards use different algorithms to calculate scores. Generally, a FICO credit score provides you a closer look to what your lenders would actually get when pulling your credit score on their own. Credit scores other than a FICO are considered &quot;equivalency scores&quot; or &quot;educational scores,&quot; and are often referred to as &quot;FAKO&quot; scores. While a FAKO score may give you a general idea of where you stand with lenders, it may not be accurate enough to tell you whether or not you'll get approved for a loan.</p> <h3>2. If It's a FICO Score, Which One Is It?</h3> <p>FICO has been in the credit score business for over 25 years and it has developed more than 50 types of credit scores! Most credit card companies offering a free FICO score provide the <a href="http://myfico.7eer.net/c/27771/178841/2185?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.myfico.com%2Fcredit-education%2Ffico-score-8-and-multiple-versions-of-fico-scores%2F" target="_blank">FICO Score 8</a>. The key differentiating factors of a FICO Score 8 are that this score:</p> <ul> <li>Gives a bigger weight to cards that have a balance close to the cards' limit;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Is more forgiving than other FICO score versions to one-time late payments of at least 30 days;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Provides a bigger penalty for numerous late payments;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Reduces &quot;tradeline renting&quot; benefit (a credit repair practice in which individuals with poor credit are added as an authorized user to a stronger credit account); and<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Ignores collection accounts with an original balance under $100.</li> </ul> <h3>3. What FICO Score Will Your Lender Use?</h3> <p>Depending on their industry and preferred credit reporting bureau, lenders can use different scores. Here are some <a href="http://myfico.7eer.net/c/27771/178841/2185?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.myfico.com%2Fcredit-education%2Fcredit-score-versions%2F" target="_blank">examples provided by FICO</a>:</p> <p>&nbsp;<img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Screen%20Shot%202017-01-07%20at%202.47.52%20AM.png" width="605" height="277" alt="" /></p> <p>According to FICO, the FICO Score 8 provided for free by most credit card companies is most useful when applying for a credit card. For other purposes, your FICO Score 8 may not appropriately predict your likelihood of not paying as agreed in the future of a specific credit obligation.</p> <h2>The Bottom Line: Should You Sign Up for a Free Credit Score From Your Credit Card?</h2> <p>Yes, you should definitely sign up for that free credit score from your financial institution as long as it's a FICO score. The main reason is that the lowest price offering from FICO (9 FICO scores, including FICO Score 8, and Equifax credit report monitoring) is <a href="http://myfico.7eer.net/c/27771/218633/2185" target="_blank">$19.95 per month</a> or $219 per year. If your current card doesn't offer you a credit score or you're looking to take advantage of a balance transfer with a 0% promotional APR, here are Wise Bread's recommendations on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-free-credit-scores?ref=internal" target="_blank">best credit cards that offer credit scores</a>.</p> <p>Having access to your free FICO Score 8 will allow you to save money on credit monitoring fees until you get closer to the acceptable range that your lender is looking for. Once you're closer to your target score, find out from your lender what score they are using and consider signing up for the <a href="http://myfico.7eer.net/c/27771/93942/2185" target="_blank">myFICO score tracking service</a> that gives you access to that specific score (ask for score name and company that issues it). While this option may cost up to $29.95 per month for a couple of months, it will allow you to have a more accurate picture than your FICO Score 8 and prevent a hard pull from your lender. Remember that each hard pull on your credit history slightly brings down your credit score, so it's a good practice to minimize hard pulls.</p> <p>Of course, make sure to read the fine print on the service agreement with myFICO so you don't miss the deadline to prevent a charge for the next month.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fico-or-fako-are-free-credit-scores-from-credit-cards-the-real-thing">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/is-an-fha-home-loan-right-for-you">Is an FHA Home Loan Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-free-credit-scores">Best Credit Cards That Offer Free Credit Scores</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-worth-paying-for-your-credit-score">I Checked My Credit Score in 11 Places — Here&#039;s What I Learned</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/3-terrible-things-foreclosure-does-to-your-credit">3 Terrible Things Foreclosure Does to Your Credit</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-monthly-bills-that-vary-based-on-your-credit-behavior">5 Monthly Bills That Vary Based on Your Credit Behavior</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards auto loans credit monitoring credit scores fico free lenders mortgages myfico Thu, 19 Jan 2017 11:00:10 +0000 Damian Davila 1870052 at http://www.wisebread.com The 7 Best Free Tools to Improve Your Work Performance http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_67204101_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="improving his work performance with these free tools" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With tight deadlines and heavy workloads, there are never enough hours in a day to get everything done. If you find yourself constantly pressed for time, your work performance can get impacted. Constant stress at work can cause mistakes and delays. But there are free tools that can help improve productivity, stay organized, and catch errors, and improve your output at work.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-sluggish-workday-go-a-lot-faster?ref=seealso">How to Make Your Sluggish Workday Go (a Lot) Faster</a></p> <h2>1. Reduce Typos With Grammarly</h2> <p><a href="http://grammarly.com/">Grammarly</a> is a free grammar checker, more powerful than the standard spell check tools in Word or Outlook. While you can use it to proofread your projects, you can also install the extension so that it will scan your blogs, social media posts, and emails for typos and errors and correct them &mdash; before you send them to your boss (or the public). Unlike other tools, Grammarly uses context clues to identify issues with misused words, such as if you typed &quot;manger&quot; instead of &quot;manager.&quot; It will also highlight grammatical errors, explaining the issues and how to fix them. If you have always struggled with past participles and direct objects, Grammarly is an easy way to get in-the-moment guidance. While there is a premium version that is more detailed, the free option is robust enough to help improve your daily communications.</p> <h2>2. Manage Your To-Do List With Wunderlist</h2> <p>Between work and your home life, juggling errands, tasks and shopping lists can be overwhelming. To-do list apps can help make things simpler. <a href="http://www.wunderlist.com">Wunderlist</a> is a powerful platform that lets you create and share lists, prioritize tasks, and set up reminders for deadlines or recurring projects. It is available on your phone or desktop, so it can be accessed any time, anywhere.</p> <h2>3. Take Notes on the Go With Evernote</h2> <p>If you're the type of person who depends on a notepad and a pen to take notes and stay organized, you know how frustrating it is if you have a great idea and don't have paper in front of you or if you forgot your notes at your desk. <a href="http://www.evernote.com">Evernote</a> is a solution that lets you take notes anywhere. Type reminders to yourself, take a picture of something that inspires you, or save a snapshot of whiteboard drawings to refer to later. The free plan offers 60 MB of storage and can help you manage various projects and long-term plans.</p> <h2>4. Produce Professional Graphics With Canva</h2> <p>Whether you're a social media manager or simply need to make professional looking graphics as part of your job, design software can be prohibitively expensive &mdash; the basic cloud-based version of InDesign alone can cost over $230 &mdash; and cumbersome for new users. <a href="http://www.canva.com">Canva</a> makes it easy to create polished images, even if you have no graphic design training. There are free templates, images, and elements that are fully customizable. Premium content, such as stock photos, can be added for just an additional $1. You can also upload your own images to use to create custom artwork.</p> <h2>5. Simplify Timesheets With Timely</h2> <p>If you need to track billable hours, you know how difficult it can be to manage and reconcile your timesheets. Unlike other tracking platforms, <a href="https://timelyapp.com/">Timely</a> allows you to track hours as you work but also provides a calendar so you can plan ahead. That way, you can compare time you actually spend on a project versus how much time you thought it would take, helping you budget your time more accurately.</p> <h2>6. Manage Emails With Boomerang</h2> <p><a href="http://www.boomeranggmail.com/">Boomerang</a> can completely change how you handle email and increase your productivity. It allows you to hide emails for a certain amount of time and schedule emails ahead of time. If you're one of those people who just can't ignore an email in your inbox, the hide feature can be useful in helping you focus on your tasks at hand. You can set reminders so that when you do need to address the email, it will flag it for you. By scheduling emails, you can write out notes as you think about them, but plan to send them the next morning or when a coworker is back from vacation, keeping it from getting lost in an overcrowded inbox (or you can make your boss think you work long into the night by scheduling emails at 2:00 a.m.). Boomerang also allows you to set up a follow-up feature, so if you have not received a response, it will notify you and ask if you'd like to send a reminder.</p> <h2>7. Automate Tasks With If This Then That</h2> <p><a href="https://ifttt.com/">If This Then That</a> (IFTTT) is a free service that allows to create &quot;recipes,&quot; or actions in response to specific triggers. For instance, you can set it up so that if someone tags you on Twitter, a private message to that user is automatically generated. Or, if you get a new follower on Facebook, ITTT can establish a recipe which saves a photo of that user for your archives. It can help you manage social media platforms around the clock &mdash; and a whole lot more.</p> <p><em>Do you use any free tools to help with work performance? Share with us!</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%25207%2520Best%2520Free%2520Tools%2520to%2520Improve%2520Your%2520Work%2520Performance.jpg&amp;description=The%207%20Best%20Free%20Tools%20to%20Improve%20Your%20Work%20Performance"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%207%20Best%20Free%20Tools%20to%20Improve%20Your%20Work%20Performance.jpg" alt="The 7 Best Free Tools to Improve Your Work Performance" width="250" height="374" /></em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance">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/7-essential-tools-for-getting-work-done-anywhere">7 Essential Tools for Getting Work Done -- Anywhere!</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-healthy-habits-to-take-to-work">10 Healthy Habits to Take to Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-career-tips-your-younger-self-would-give-you">9 Career Tips Your Younger Self Would Give You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-deal-when-youre-way-behind-at-work">6 Ways to Deal When You&#039;re Way Behind at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-more-out-of-business-trips">10 Ways to Get More Out of Business Trips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Career Building Productivity apps free free tools jobs productivity tools work work performance Fri, 19 Aug 2016 10:30:15 +0000 Kat Tretina 1775077 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Free Ways to Entertain Yourself At Home http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-free-ways-to-entertain-yourself-at-home-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-free-ways-to-entertain-yourself-at-home-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-laptop-178094479-small.jpg" alt="couple laptop" title="couple laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on free ways to entertain yourself at home, financial basics every teen needs to know, and ways to pay less for baby-sitting.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Free-Ways-Entertain-Yourself-Home-30926585">68 Mostly Free Ways to Entertain Yourself at Home</a> &mdash; Catching up on recorded shows and creating a bucket list are a couple free ways to entertain yourself at home. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/financial-basics-every-teen-needs-to-know/">Financial Basics Every Teen Needs to Know</a> &mdash; Every teen should know how to recognize ID theft. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2014/09/22/8-ways-to-pay-less-for-baby-sitting/">8 Ways to Pay Less for Baby-Sitting</a> &mdash; To pay less for baby-sitting, share a nanny or ask for baby-sitting as a gift. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://livingonthecheap.com/get-free-stuff/">18 Ways to Get Free Stuff</a> &mdash; Did you know that most hairdressers will trim bangs for free between regular cuts? [Living on the Cheap]</p> <p><a href="http://couponpal.com/blog/8-ways-you-can-start-eating-healthy-on-a-budget">8 Ways You Can Start Eating Healthy on a Budget</a> &mdash; Eat healthy on a budget by joining a food co-op and planning your meals ahead of time. [CouponPal]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneyunder30.com/diy-projects-that-will-cost-you-more-in-the-long-run">Funny Money: 5 DIY Projects That Will Cost You More in the Long Run</a> &mdash; Trying to tackle plumbing projects on your own can end up costing you more in the long run. [Money Under 30]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2014/09/22/10-negotiation-tips-for-introverts/">10 Negotiation Tips for Introverts</a> &mdash; When negotiating, introverts should have a script and try to do it via email. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/great-affordable-football-parties.html">How to Throw Great, Yet Affordable Football Parties</a> &mdash; To throw an affordable football parties, choose cheaper bottles of wine and divvy up what each person brings. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="http://thefrugalmodel.com/small-budget-wardrobe/">How to Look Rich With a Small Budget Wardrobe</a> &mdash; Getting your clothes tailored and steamed can make your whole wardrobe look more expensive and fashionable. [The Frugal Model]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-help-when-a-child-you-know-has-cancer">How to Help: When a Child You Know Has Cancer</a> &mdash; When a child you know has cancer, listen and pray. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-free-ways-to-entertain-yourself-at-home-0">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/the-5-best-smart-thermostats">The 5 Best Smart Thermostats</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-air-fresheners">The 5 Best Air Fresheners</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-glass-cleaners">The 5 Best Glass Cleaners</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-5-best-allergen-sprays">The 5 Best Allergen Sprays</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-shower-curtains">The 5 Best Shower Curtains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home best money tips entertain free home Mon, 29 Sep 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1222062 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Ways to Watch Movies for Free http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-watch-movies-for-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-watch-movies-for-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/movie-theatre-188007698-small.jpg" alt="movie theatre" title="movie theatre" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="147" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some amazing articles on ways to watch movies for free, bridal shower gift ideas, and motivation and money.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Watch-Movies-Free-31004765">11 Ways to Watch Movies for Free</a> &mdash; To watch movies for free, go to the library or use SwapADVD. [POPSUGAR Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.onesmartdollar.com/5-bridal-shower-gift-ideas-under-50/">5 Bridal Shower Gift Ideas Under $50</a> &mdash; A gift basket or spa certificate are just a couple bridal shower gift ideas that won't break the bank. [One Smart Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2014/06/23/motivation-and-money/">Motivation and Money</a> &mdash; When it comes to staying motivated with your money goals, make yourself accountable. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2014/06/eight-opening-lines-to-network-like-a-pro.html">Eight Opening Lines to Network Like a Pro</a> &mdash; What is your go to line when you are networking? These suggestions can help if you don't have one yet! [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2014/06/23/making-time-for-money/">Making Time for Money</a> &mdash; It is vital to make time to create a formal budgeting process and to shop your credit card business. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.mainstreet.com/article/career/should-all-job-seekers-have-personal-website">Should All Job Seekers Have a Personal Website?</a> &mdash; Having your own personal website can help you in your quest to get employed. [Mainstreet]</p> <p><a href="http://www.newlywedsonabudget.com/2014/06/savinghalf/">How We're Saving Half Our Income</a> &mdash; If you want to save half your income, start by paying off all your debt. [Newlyweds on a Budget]</p> <p><a href="http://money.cnn.com/gallery/pf/2014/06/25/most-stressed-out-cities/index.html?iid=Lead">10 Most Stressed Out Cities</a> &mdash; Did you know New York and Houston are two of the most stressed out cities in the US? [CNN Money]</p> <p><a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/06/25/6-secrets-of-successful-money-coaches?int=aa6a09&amp;int=a86509">6 Secrets of Successful Money Coaches</a> &mdash; Successful money coaches have spend-free days and take latte breaks. [US News &amp; World Report]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/most-patriotic-spots-to-take-a-family-vacation">Most Patriotic Spots to Take a Family Vacation</a> &mdash; Mount Rushmore is a great, patriotic spot to take a family vacation. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-watch-movies-for-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free">How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free</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/never-pay-for-a-redbox-dvd-rental-again">Never Pay for a RedBox DVD Rental Again</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-movies-about-money">25 Great Movies About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-keep-boredom-from-destroying-your-budget">8 Ways to Keep Boredom from Destroying Your Budget</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-8-best-ways-to-stream-tv-and-movies-for-free">The 8 Best Ways to Stream TV and Movies for Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment best money tips free movies Fri, 27 Jun 2014 19:00:04 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1149838 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Free Things You Can Do This Summer http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-free-things-you-can-do-this-summer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-free-things-you-can-do-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/hiker-478884045-small copy.jpg" alt="hiker" title="hiker" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="136" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on free things you can do this summer, saving money at home, and managing your fear of money.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.threethriftyguys.com/2014/05/fun-and-free-things-you-can-do-this-summer-2014/">31 Fun and Free Things You Can Do This Summer</a> &mdash; This summer, go on a long hike or borrow a friend's paddleboard and try it out! [Three Thrifty Guys]</p> <p><a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/slideshows/12-ways-to-save-money-at-home?int=a64b09">12 Ways to Save Money at Home</a> &mdash; Using what you already have and cleaning with baking soda can help you save money at home. [US News &amp; World Report]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2014/05/28/a-guide-to-managing-your-fear-of-money/">A Guide to Managing Your Fear of Money</a> &mdash; When it comes to managing your fear of money, identify your patterns and face your fear. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://christianpf.com/ideas-summer-bbq/">20 DIY Summer BBQ Ideas</a> &mdash; Having a refreshment station and condiment central are just a couple fun DIY ideas for your next BBQ. [Christian PF]</p> <p><a href="https://www.mint.com/blog/consumer-iq/savvy-ways-to-slash-the-price-of-your-wedding-venue-0514/">Savvy Ways to Slash the Cost of Your Wedding Venue</a> &mdash; To slash the cost of your wedding venue, consider getting married in rural areas. [MintLife Blog]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2014/05/23/the-post-college-outlook-a-new-money-worry-for-20-somethings/">The Post-College Outlook: A New Money Worry for 20-Somethings?</a> &mdash; Young people may now have to worry about not making as much money as they previously expected after graduation. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2014/05/do-i-need-life-insurance-once-my-kids-are-grown.html">Do I Need Life Insurance Once My Kids Are Grown?</a> &mdash; If your kids are grown, consider whether or not estate taxes are an issue when deciding if you still need life insurance. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Things-Happy-People-Do-34870691">15 Things Incredibly Happy People Do</a> &mdash; Incredible people go offline and plan getaways. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://howsmarriedlife.net/5-wedding-traditions-came/">5 Wedding Traditions and How They Came to Be</a> &mdash; Have you ever heard of the wedding tradition of the freezer cake? [How's Married Life?]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/the-importance-of-sleep-and-how-to-get-more">The Importance of Sleep and How to Get More</a> &mdash; To get your child to sleep, establish a routine and start when they are young. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-free-things-you-can-do-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-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/25-hobbies-you-can-start-for-under-10">25 Hobbies You Can Start for Under $10</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-beach-umbrellas">The 5 Best Beach Umbrellas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-ways-summer-will-cost-you">7 Surprising Ways Summer Will Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-clever-ways-to-keep-cool-when-its-stupid-hot-out">10 Clever Ways to Keep Cool When It&#039;s Stupid Hot Out</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-fun-things-to-buy-for-under-5">15 Fun Things to Buy for Under $5</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle best money tips free fun summer Fri, 30 May 2014 09:00:23 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1141162 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Free Things That Just Aren't Worth It http://www.wisebread.com/10-free-things-that-just-arent-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-free-things-that-just-arent-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tv-99315423.jpg" alt="TV" title="TV" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are generally two different approaches that people will take when confronted with a freebie.</p> <p>First, you have the person who is all in, simply because the item is free or because they get really jazzed and excited when they're getting a deal. It's the extreme-couponer mentality where it's good to get anything and everything one can for free. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-tvs-extreme-cheapskates-going-too-far?ref=seealso">Are Extreme Cheapskates Going Too Far?</a>)</p> <p>The second approach is the pragmatist mindset where the person immediately becomes skeptical and assumes that if something is free, it can't possibly be worth owning or even bothering with.</p> <p>After all, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Milton Friedman would be proud.</p> <p>Both views can be right and appropriate in different situations, depending on what exactly you're getting for free. Let's look at 10 free things that probably aren't worth your time, thereby justifying the skeptic in you.</p> <h2>1. Web Hosting Services</h2> <p>Web hosting isn't expensive to begin with, running less than $5 per month in most cases. Thus using free hosting companies should be avoided because of the limited storage space, bandwidth, and the fact that most of these companies require you to post ads on your site as a means of paying for that limited space. If you're serious about hosting your site, spring for the monthly fee and do it right.</p> <h2>2. Magazines</h2> <p>A lot of magazines will offer you a free issue if you give them basic information like your name, mailing address, phone number, and email. The problem with that one issue is that it has a nasty habit of becoming a 24-month subscription due to the difficulty of canceling (or remembering to do so in the first place). The safer option is to just avoid the freebie unless you're sure you want to subscribe.</p> <h2>3. Signing Up for Email Coupons</h2> <p>Signing up for coupons online always means you've got to divulge an email address. That's fine, if you don't mind essentially signing up for a massive spam emailing list. Depending on who you initially sign up with, your email address is likely to end up on a number of other spam mailing lists, which will fill your inbox with all kinds of advertisements and coupons for things that you probably aren't interested in.</p> <p>Instead, visit a coupon code aggregator like <a href="http://www.retailmenot.com/">RetailMeNot</a>, Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/coupons">Coupon Codes</a> page, or <a href="http://www.fatwallet.com/">FatWallet</a>. You can visit these sites and pick up coupons without leaving your personal info behind. Even better? Because you initiate the search for a product or service you have already determined you need, you are less likely to make an unplanned or impulse purchase because you got a coupon in your inbox. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-stop-impulse-buying?ref=seealso">Stop Impulse Buying</a>)</p> <h2>4. Samples From Multi-Level Marketing Companies</h2> <p>Multi-level marketing companies will provide free samples for one of two reasons: Either they're trying to recruit you to sell something or they're trying to get you to buy what is often a severely overpriced product. Generally, they aren't giving you anything that's not just going to crowd up your closets and junk drawers.</p> <h2>5. Movie Channel (and Other) Trial Subscriptions</h2> <p>Cable companies will offer promotional deals that include movie channel packages for a few months. Even if movie channels hold some form of relevancy with competing services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, the cable company doesn't cancel the channels for you after the trial is over, which means you get billed for something you're probably not watching. Recently the cable companies brought this strategy to their own Internet streaming offerings, too.</p> <p>It's also common for trial offers on subscriptions of all kinds, from software and apps to gym memberships. Don't take the trial offer if you know you won't bother to cancel!</p> <h2>6. Merch Pens</h2> <p>Why do companies slap their name on a pen and give it out for free? They do it as a marketing tactic, which means the pens are cheap and serve little purpose aside from crowding up your desk. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today?ref=seealso">25 Things to Throw Out</a>)</p> <h2>7. SEO Consultation</h2> <p>SEO or &quot;search engine optimization&quot; is an acronym that has been thrown around the Internet now for several years and has given rise to numerous small companies that specialize in it.</p> <p>These companies advertise themselves as consultants who can help get your website ranking higher with Google and other search engines and generally improve the reach of your online content. They'll offer a free consultation to try and hook you in, but the information they provide isn't anything that you can't figure out on your own.</p> <p>My free SEO advice? Do what <a href="https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35291?hl=en">Google says you should do</a> and follow <a href="https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35769">Google's advice</a>.</p> <h2>8. Store Credit Cards</h2> <p>Not only are the credit cards themselves free, but there are often incentives attached to get you to sign up, like a store discount or some kind of free merchandise. The gut reaction is usually to go for it, but opening a credit card shouldn't be done on a whim, since it can hurt your credit score and cause you to spend more money than you would without it. The APRs on store credit cards are also very high, and since you're only allowed to use it at that particular store, there is very little practical use. To save at your favorite stores, wait for sales or coupons. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/store-credit-cards-that-dont-suck?ref=seealso">Store Credit Cards That Don't Suck</a>)</p> <h2>9. Timeshare Promotions</h2> <p>I suppose there are some of us who don't mind paying for a weekend away at a great resort with a couple of hours spent listening to a high octane sales presentation. Sure, you get to stay in a resort or hotel for free (or get other gifts gratis), but life's too short to fend off aggressive sales pitches. And if you aren't strong enough to say &quot;No,&quot; loudly and often, you may just find yourself roped in to a <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2012/07/19/should-you-invest-in-a-timeshare">poor real estate investment</a>.</p> <h2>10. Other People's Junk</h2> <p>There's a reason that couch, television, desk, and pile of chipped plates is stacked on the sidewalk. Unless you've got a plan to resell that old junk on eBay or Craigslist (and fast), the clutter that someone else pushed to the curb will soon be your clutter. Walk away, and don't come back later with a pickup truck, either.</p> <h2>Understanding Marketing</h2> <p>When you understand a company's marketing tactics, it often takes a lot of the appeal and allure away from whatever free product they might be offering. Sure that item might be free, but it's always designed to get you to spend more money; far more than what the free product is worth.</p> <p>As weird as it may sound, freebies that aren't due to some kind of a sale or liquidation are almost always intended to get more money from you.</p> <p>Thus a bit of skepticism can, at times, be quite helpful.</p> <p><em>Are there other free things that aren't worth it? Share them with us in comments &mdash; it's free!</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/10-free-things-that-just-arent-worth-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/watch-all-the-documentary-movies-you-can-handle-free-online-and-yes-its-legal">Watch All The Documentary Movies You Can Handle, Free Online - And Yes, It&#039;s Legal.</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/new-living-room-0-cost-of-rearranging-the-furniture-priceless">Cost of Rearranging the Furniture - $0. New Living Room - Priceless.</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/pesky-pests-easy-homemade-mosquito-and-insect-traps-and-repellent">Pesky Pests: Easy Homemade Mosquito and Insect Traps and Repellent</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/3-cheap-and-easy-formulas-for-homemade-windshield-de-icer-plus-bonus-tips">3 Cheap and Easy Formulas for Homemade Windshield De-Icer (Plus Bonus Tips)</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/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living General Tips free freebies ripoffs Tue, 15 Apr 2014 08:36:21 +0000 Mikey Rox 1135243 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Cheap Things to Do With Your Kids on Spring Break http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cheap-things-to-do-with-your-kids-on-spring-break <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-cheap-things-to-do-with-your-kids-on-spring-break" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-457102489.jpg" alt="family" title="family" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="173" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on cheap things to do with your kids on spring break, costly mistakes taxpayers make, and smart ways to use extra cash.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/free-or-cheap-things-to-do-with-your-kids-on-spring-break/">5 Free or Cheap Things to Do With Your Kids on Spring Break</a> &mdash; This spring break, play outdoors or have a movie marathon with your kids. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://kiplinger.com/slideshow/taxes/T056-S003-9-costly-mistakes-taxpayers-make/index.html?si=1">9 Costly Mistakes Taxpayers Make</a> &mdash; Don't make the mistake of having too much tax withheld or making math errors when it comes to your taxes. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://donnafreedman.com/2014/03/23/9-smart-ways-to-use-all-that-extra-cash/">9 Smart Ways to Use All That &quot;Extra&quot; Cash</a> &mdash; If you have extra cash, use it to plant a garden or improve your home. [Donna Freedman]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2014/03/27/20-clues-youre-buying-a-home-in-the-right-neighborhood/">20 Clues You're Buying a Home in the Right Neighborhood</a> &mdash; If your neighbors are organized and you can get a latte, you are probably buying a home in the right neighborhood. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2013/06/14/17-awesome-money-saving-apps/">17 Awesome Money Saving Apps</a> &mdash; You can save a lot of money on your next shopping trip with apps like Ibotta and Retail Me Not. [Living Well Spending Less]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://frugalportland.com/how-to-have-a-frugal-wedding-part-one-venue/">How to Have a Frugal Wedding Part One: Venue</a> &mdash; To have a frugal wedding, consider booking the venue for a less popular time, such as a Sunday at lunch in the fall. [Frugal Portland]</p> <p><a href="http://asklizweston.com/get-all-the-college-credit-you-deserve/">Get All The College Credit You Deserve</a> &mdash; When transfering schools, get the credit you deserve by being savvy about the transfer process. [Ask Liz Weston]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Organize-Your-Medicine-Cabinet-34404406">Organize Your Medicine Cabinet and Make It Pretty</a> &mdash; Use patterned contact paper to organize your medicine cabinet and make it pretty. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/get-out-and-play-23-games-and-activities-to-enjoy-outside-with-your-kids-this-spring">Get Out and Play! 23 Games and Activities to Enjoy Outside With Your Kids This Spring</a> &mdash; This spring, get outside and play shadow tag or go on a picnic with your kids. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/student-raises-1000-buy-burritoand-skydiving.html">Student Raises $1,000 to Take Burrito Skydiving</a> &mdash; What is the strangest Kickstarter campaign you've heard of? [Bargaineering]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cheap-things-to-do-with-your-kids-on-spring-break">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-things-to-try-before-you-die-updated">10 frugal things to try before you die (updated)</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-reasons-i-still-dont-have-a-cellphone-plan-yet">6 Reasons I Still Don&#039;t Have a Cell Phone Plan (yet)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-youre-not-frugal-youre-cheap">6 Signs You&#039;re Not Frugal — You&#039;re Cheap!</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/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</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/should-your-kids-contribute-to-family-money-goals">Should Your Kids Contribute to Family Money Goals?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living best money tips cheap free kids spring break Mon, 31 Mar 2014 10:00:35 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1133371 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Free Ways to Entertain Yourself at Home http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-free-ways-to-entertain-yourself-at-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-free-ways-to-entertain-yourself-at-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/reading-2599122-small.jpg" alt="reading" title="reading" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on free ways to entertain yourself at home, free exercises that will help you get in shape, and advice for college graduates without debt.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Free-Ways-Entertain-Yourself-Home-30926585">68 Mostly Free Ways to Entertain Yourself at Home</a> &mdash; Keep yourself entertained at home for free by putting a puzzle together or rereading your old favorite books. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://cashmoneylife.com/awesome-free-exercises-to-help-you-get-in-shape/">5 Awesome Free Exercises that Will Help You Get in Shape</a> &mdash; Push ups and planks are just a couple free exercises that will get you in shape. [Cash Money Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/advice-for-college-graduates-without-debt/">Advice for College Graduates Without Debt</a> &mdash; College graduates without debt should remember to hit their retirement savings hard. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/kids-and-money/3-life-lessons-your-kids-will-learn-from-allowances/">3 Life Lessons Your Kids Will Learn From Allowances</a> &mdash; Giving your kids an allowance will teach them that they must manage their money. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/after-layoff/">What to Do After a Layoff</a> &mdash; If you get laid off, prioritize your expenses and brush up your career paperwork. [Money Smart Life]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.stretcher.com/stories/14/14feb10g.cfm">Preparing Your Income Taxes</a> &mdash; When preparing your income taxes, remember that the cheapest way to file is to do it yourself. [The Dollar Stretcher]</p> <p><a href="http://livingonthecheap.com/10-uses-for-shredded-paper/">10 uses for shredded paper</a> &mdash; Did you know you can use shredded paper as filler at the bottom of gift baskets or as a fire starter? [Living on the Cheap]</p> <p><a href="http://retireby40.org/procrastination-save-money/">Can Procrastination Save Money?</a> &mdash; Procrastination is normally not a good thing, but it can ward off impulse buying. [Retire By 40]</p> <p><a href="http://www.narrowbridge.net/4-tips-to-retire-wealthy/">4 Tips to Retire Wealthy</a> &mdash; To retire wealthy, take advantage of 401(k) matches. [NarrowBridge Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/12-easy-ways-to-make-every-day-valentine-s-day">12 Easy Ways to Make Every Day Valentine's Day</a> &mdash; Just because Valentine's Day is over doesn't mean you have to stop spreading the love! Hug people like you mean it to make every day Valentine's Day! [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-free-ways-to-entertain-yourself-at-home">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/the-5-best-smart-thermostats">The 5 Best Smart Thermostats</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-air-fresheners">The 5 Best Air Fresheners</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-glass-cleaners">The 5 Best Glass Cleaners</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-5-best-allergen-sprays">The 5 Best Allergen Sprays</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-shower-curtains">The 5 Best Shower Curtains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Home best money tips entertain free home Tue, 18 Feb 2014 11:00:25 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1126472 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Restaurants and Retailers Offering Free Gift Cards for Givers http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-restaurants-and-retailers-offering-free-gift-cards-for-givers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-restaurants-and-retailers-offering-free-gift-cards-for-givers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/gift-card-106575669.jpg" alt="gift card" title="gift card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread&#39;s <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on restaurants and retailers offering free gift cards for givers, the best life hacks of 2013, and teaching children frugality.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.doughroller.net/promo-codes/gifting-giver-68-restaurants-retailers-offering-free-gift-cards-givers/">68 Restaurants and Retailers Offering Free Gift Cards for Givers</a> &mdash; Barnes and Noble, Fandango, and Jamba Juice are just a few restaurants and retailers offering gift cards to givers! [The Dough Roller]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Best-Life-Hacks-2013-32903606">The Best Life Hacks of 2013</a> &mdash; To cross out words on paper, use other letters instead of lines. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/teaching-children-frugality/?">Teaching Children Frugality</a> &mdash; In order to teach children frugality, talk through your spending decisions and show them how to shop around. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://timemanagementninja.com/2013/12/5-ways-to-stop-wasting-time-surfing-the-web/">5 Ways to Stop Wasting Time Surfing the Web</a> &mdash; If you want to reduce your time on the web, set a timer and delegate when appropriate. [Time Management Ninja]</p> <p><a href="http://www.forbes.com/pictures/fgmi45hffl/basic-will/?ss=personalfinance">10 Must-Have Estate Planning Documents</a> &mdash; It is important to have beneficiary forms and a living will when doing your estate planning. [Forbes]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2013/12/10-ways-to-fight-holiday-depression.html">10 Ways To Fight Holiday Depression</a> &mdash; Holidays got you down? Fight your depression by doing something silly or connecting with friends. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="http://bargainbabe.com/make-wreath-10/">How to make a wreath for under $10</a> &mdash; All you need to make your own wreath is a coat hanger, some fabric, scissors, and pliers! [Bargain Babe]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/10-hot-holiday-gift-ideas-for-tween-girls">10 Hot Holiday Gift Ideas for Tween Girls</a> &mdash; If you have a tween girl on your shopping list this year, consider getting her an iPod Shuffle. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.marcandangel.com/2013/12/15/8-things-happy-successful-people-never-say/">8 Things Happy, Successful People Never Say</a> &mdash; Happy, successful people never say they don&#39;t have a choice or that they missed their chance. [Marc and Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="http://lifehacker.com/what-is-small-claims-court-and-when-should-i-use-it-1481147923">What is Small Claims Court and When Should I Use It?</a> &mdash; Small claims court may be necessary if your landlord failed to return your security deposit. [Lifehacker]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-restaurants-and-retailers-offering-free-gift-cards-for-givers">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-13"> <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/five-more-tips-for-eating-in-restaurants-and-sticking-to-a-budget">Five More Tips For Eating In Restaurants And Sticking To A Budget</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-many-of-these-frugal-virtues-have-you-mastered">How Many of These &quot;Frugal Virtues&quot; Have You Mastered?</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/swipe-envy">Swipe envy</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/tips-for-eating-out-cheaply">Tips For Eating Out Cheaply</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-free-things-that-just-arent-worth-it">10 Free Things That Just Aren&#039;t Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living best money tips free gift cards restaurants retailers Thu, 19 Dec 2013 11:00:44 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1101062 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Cheap Ways to Celebrate the Holiday Season http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cheap-ways-to-celebrate-the-holiday-season <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-cheap-ways-to-celebrate-the-holiday-season" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/holiday-118329493.jpg" alt="decorating tree" title="decorating tree" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread&#39;s <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on free or cheap ways to celebrate the holidays, what Nelson Mandela can teach you about finances, and giving during the Christmas season.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/35-free-or-really-really-cheap-ways-to-celebrate-the-holiday-season">35 Free (or Really, Really Cheap) Ways to Celebrate the Holiday Season</a> &mdash; To celebrate the holiday season without breaking the bank, turn on Christmas music and decorate your tree. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2013/12/11/what-nelson-mandela-can-teach-you-about-your-finances/">What Nelson Mandela can teach you about finances</a> &mdash; Nelson Mandela can teach you that when it comes to your finances, you must think about the future. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="http://www.threethriftyguys.com/2013/12/ideas-for-giving-during-the-christmas-season/">Ideas for Giving During the Christmas Season</a> &mdash; This Christmas, take the time to go caroling or donate to Goodwill. [Three Thrifty Guys]</p> <p><a href="https://www.jeanchatzky.com/smart-spending/making-the-most-of-your-mail-order-foods/">Making The Most Of Mail Order Food</a> &mdash; Make the most of mail order food by understanding how to go DIY. [Jean Chatzky Making Money Make Sense]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneywisdom.com/about-penny-pinching/">4 Hidden Truths About Penny Pinching</a> &mdash; When it comes to penny pinching, remember that a strict control of finances can create capital for investment. [Free Money Wisdom]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://canadianfinanceblog.com/buying-timeshares/">How to Get a Great Deal When Buying Timeshares</a> &mdash; To get a good deal when buying a timeshare, search on eBay for timeshares. [Canadian Finance Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2013/12/12/anyone-can-start-a-side-business/">Anyone can start a side business</a> &mdash; If you want to start a side business, you cannot be afraid to fail. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://asklizweston.com/your-payout-from-social-security-and-medicare/">Your payout from Social Security and Medicare</a> &mdash; When it comes to social security and medicare it&#39;s not about money in, money out. [Ask Liz Weston]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Office-Holiday-Party-Etiquette-20790234">8 Things You Shouldn&#39;t Do at Your Company Holiday Party</a> &mdash; Do not ignore the dress code or be tongue tied at your company holiday party. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://andthenwesaved.com/christmas-activities/">24 Free (or Super Cheap) Christmas Activities</a> &mdash; Making ornaments and watching Christmas movies are just a couple more ways to have fun this Christmas without breaking the bank. [And Then We Saved]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cheap-ways-to-celebrate-the-holiday-season">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-things-to-try-before-you-die-updated">10 frugal things to try before you die (updated)</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-reasons-i-still-dont-have-a-cellphone-plan-yet">6 Reasons I Still Don&#039;t Have a Cell Phone Plan (yet)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-youre-not-frugal-youre-cheap">6 Signs You&#039;re Not Frugal — You&#039;re Cheap!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-worth-paying-more-for-faster-shipping">Is it worth paying more for faster shipping?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-decorate-your-christmas-tree-for-under-30">10 Ways to Decorate Your Christmas Tree for Under $30</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living best money tips celebrate cheap free Holidays Fri, 13 Dec 2013 11:00:10 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1100002 at http://www.wisebread.com