Budgeting http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4804/all en-US 9 Money Lessons to Take From the Great Depression http://www.wisebread.com/9-money-lessons-to-take-from-the-great-depression <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-money-lessons-to-take-from-the-great-depression" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000044780084.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Lasting from 1929 until 1939, the Great Depression was the deepest and longest-lasting economic downturn of the 20th Century. Unemployment went as high as 25% in the U.S., over 5,000 banks failed, and hundreds of thousands of Americans became homeless. Extreme situations call for extreme measures, and that's when everyone looked at ways to cut back, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-simple-thing-you-can-do-to-start-budgeting-today">save money</a>, and survive. Here are nine tips from that era that are still just as relevant today, and can save your household a lot of money.</p> <h2>1. Waste Not, Want Not</h2> <p>The definition of that proverb is, &quot;if you use a commodity or resource carefully and without extravagance, you will never be in need.&quot; In other words, don't waste anything and you'll always have enough. That was something people from the Depression lived and breathed daily, and yet in today's throwaway society, we are often guilty of ignoring it. How often do we all throw away leftovers, or even dump the chicken carcass once the meal is over? Get into the habit of using every part of everything that you can. A great stock can be made from chicken bones. If you use a juicer, put the pulp left behind into muffins and breads. And when your t-shirts are ready for the trash, cut them up and use them as rags.</p> <h2>2. Pad Your Ground Beef Meals</h2> <p>The cost of one pound of ground beef is currently hovering around $4, with grades like 93/7 (which means 93% lean, 7% fat) running $5-$6 per pound. However, the cost of a pound of lentils is significantly less, with most grocery stores having one-pound bags for under $2.</p> <p>During the Depression, it was common practice to pad out ground beef meals with filler, like lentils or oatmeal, and if done correctly, the taste difference is subtle. If you're making meatballs, add more breadcrumbs. Interestingly enough, the humble British Yorkshire Pudding was used as a substitute for meat during the wars, when rationing made meat very hard to come by (and costly when available).</p> <h2>3. Stop Replacing, Start Fixing</h2> <p>It would have been unthinkable in the 1930s to replace a broken or malfunctioning item without first trying to fix it. But these days, with the price of so many items being very affordable, it's easy to just throw the broken thing away and buy a new one. Well, stop. You happen to have the greatest possible resource at your disposal: the Internet. Whatever is broken, from a toaster to a laptop, there are hundreds of online tutorials available in both written and video form. Some of them go step-by-step with photos, through every single part of the process.</p> <p>If your lawn mower refuses to start after the winter, don't just throw it away and buy a new one. A simple tune-up kit costs $20 and could get it back on its feet. An ice maker in the fridge can be replaced by you, with parts available online for a lot less than a plumber would charge. Get into the habit of fixing things first. Then, if you can't do it, hire someone who can (if it's cheaper than replacing it). Only buy a replacement if all other options fail.</p> <h2>4. Grow Your Own Food</h2> <p>Sure, the grocery store is nice and convenient, but you can easily grow a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables yourself at a fraction of the cost. There is even a &quot;grow your own food&quot; movement, with thousands of people converting some, or all, of their backyards into fruit and vegetable gardens. Self-sustainability is not only cheaper, but important, should anything ever happen to the foods you take for granted.</p> <p>Start simple with potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and blueberries. When you get confident, and have a great crop, expand to beets, lettuce, cucumbers, cabbages, rhubarb, and strawberries. Of course, where you live in the world will dictate the kind of success you have, and what you can grow well, but there are also products that can help. A greenhouse can help you weatherproof your crops, and you can also grow inside with the help of indoor cultivators. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-fresh-veggies-you-can-grow-from-kitchen-scraps?ref=seealso">7 Fresh Veggies You Can Grow From Kitchen Scraps</a>)</p> <h2>5. Don't Buy Anything You Can Make Yourself</h2> <p>There are plenty of items you can make at home, using raw materials and a little skill. For instance, several cheeses (including cottage cheese and fresh mozzarella) are very quick and easy to make at home, and cost far less than they do in the store. They're also fun to make. Yogurt is also very simple and easy to make. Then there are breads, cakes, pastas, and even beers and wines you can make yourself. Back in the Depression, it often wasn't an option to go to the store and buy whatever you needed. It's all too easy to pop to the store, but you will save a lot of money doing it all yourself.</p> <h2>6. Layer Your Clothing</h2> <p>It's not always an option with small children in the house, but if you do have the opportunity to do it, layering is far cheaper than heating the whole house. Wear several layers in cold weather, and set the thermostat between 50-60&ordm;F during the hours you sleep. Put extra blankets on the beds, too. If you're watching a movie with someone, huddle up together in a blanket together. Do whatever you can to warm your own body without paying to warm every room in the home. You can also invest in a small heater that you can take from room to room. Use a hot water bottle, or an electric blanket. It may seem very frugal, but when money is tight, it can vastly reduce the heating bill.</p> <h2>7. Buy Used, or Even Get Things Free</h2> <p>There are so many avenues open to you to save money on used items. From clothing and furniture, to electronics and accessories, you can get excellent used goods from thrift stores, Craigslist, local classified ads, eBay, Amazon (look for the &quot;used&quot; option), and even friends and neighbors. It's often great to host a get-together and bring clothing that you can swap, either for yourselves or the kids. And don't be ashamed to seek free items. Dumpster diving, also known as <a href="http://freegan.info/">freeganism</a>, can bag you an incredible amount of perfectly good food, clothing, and furniture without spending a cent.</p> <h2>8. Buy Essentials in Bulk</h2> <p>It is much cheaper in the long run to buy the things you use week in, week out, in bulk. Stores like Sam's Club and Costco make it very easy for you to load up on soap, flour, toilet paper, canned goods, coffee, diapers, cleaning supplies, and pet food. This dramatically reduces the &quot;unit cost&quot; of the items, saving you money over time.</p> <p>However, there are a few warnings that come with bulk buying. First, when you initially bring home some of these things, it's very easy to dig right into them. You must have willpower and proper rationing to make it work. And second, don't be tempted to buy bulk items that are not going to be used often. Remember Kramer in <em>Seinfeld</em>, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugazcvzOM0Q">buying industrial-sized cans of beefarino</a>? Not a good idea.</p> <h2>9. Learn to Go Without</h2> <p>What do you want, and what do you need? The two are very different. With the availability of credit cards and loans, it's easy enough to get the things we want and pay for them later (at additional cost). But before bringing out the plastic, or diving into savings, consider the want vs. need argument. Do you really need that new watch or pair of shoes? Do you need all the channels on cable TV? Do you need a new car? Do you need 14 different flavors of soda in the pantry? What can you do without, and still live a life you consider happy and comfortable?</p> <p><em>What other Depression-era hacks can we still use today? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-money-lessons-to-take-from-the-great-depression">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/one-simple-thing-you-can-do-today-to-start-living-frugally">One Simple Thing You Can Do Today to Start Living Frugally</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-how-to-turn-your-spouse-into-a-money-saver">My 2016 Budget Challenge: How to Turn Your Spouse Into a Money Saver</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-hacks-for-single-living">10 Frugal Hacks for Single Living</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</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-surprising-way-birth-order-decides-your-money-habits">The Surprising Way Birth Order Decides Your Money Habits</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting budgeting frugal living Great Depression money habits money saving tips saving money Wed, 25 May 2016 10:30:05 +0000 Paul Michael 1716914 at http://www.wisebread.com Never Borrow Money for These 5 Buys http://www.wisebread.com/never-borrow-money-for-these-5-buys <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/never-borrow-money-for-these-5-buys" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_boat_ride_000021453043.jpg" alt="Friends talking about what they should never borrow money for" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While there is a time and a place for credit &mdash; most of us won't ever be able to pay cash for a home, a college education, or even a car &mdash; there are also times when it should be avoided, at all costs.</p> <p>It's difficult to delay gratification. It doesn't help that there's always a credit card or personal loan application in the mail. Still, there are certain times when it absolutely does not make sense to borrow money to make a purchase. For these big ticket items, think hard before you swipe your card or apply for that credit line. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-pride-is-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways Pride Is Keeping You Poor</a>)</p> <h2>1. A Boat</h2> <p>Depending on the boat purchased, a payment could equal the cost of a new car payment or &mdash; for a more luxurious option &mdash; the cost of a mortgage. At the same time, <a href="http://www.boatus.com/boatloans/">current boat loan rates</a> range from about 4.5% for a $350,000 boat to as high as 6.25% for a $25,000 boat. That means that over a 15-year term, a modest $25,000 boat could end up costing $38,584. That's $13,584 more than the original sticker price.</p> <p>When it comes to boating, though, the cost of the vessel is often the cheapest part of ownership. Additional costs to consider are state taxes, slip fees, winter storage, registration and licensing, fuel, insurance, and maintenance. Mint recently estimated the annual cost of a $20,000 boat upkeep at $4,300 per year or $358 per month.</p> <h2>2. Your Wedding</h2> <p>Getting married is one of the most exciting times in a young person's life, and yet&hellip; many don't fully realize all the costs that come after embarking on a new life together. Not everyone makes the same life choices, of course, but houses, children, college tuition, retirement accounts, and even new cars are expensive life items that many new couples choose to buy or fund as they build their lives together.</p> <p>Starting a journey together with a pricey loan with a high interest rate is an expensive way to handicap yourself as you work to build a financially stable life together. When planning a wedding, it can be helpful to remember that it's just a big party. You'll have the memories when it's over, but it's the foundation that the marriage is built upon that's really most important. And that doesn't cost a dime.</p> <h2>3. Jewelry</h2> <p>High-end jewelry like engagement rings or tennis bracelets are expensive enough without adding in the financing costs. It may seem like good news that many jewelry stores are willing to help defray the costs by offering zero interest if the purchase is paid off within six or 12 months (depending on the store) but beware, there's usually a catch.</p> <p>Miss one payment or fail to pay off the balance before the due date and, for most of the stores, interest will become due for the <em>entire </em>original balance &mdash; and it's usually at a rate that's somewhere between 23% and 29%. That means that a $5,200 ring (the average wedding ring cost) could end up costing an additional $1,461 in interest payments alone, assuming a 25% interest rate and a two-year term.</p> <h2>4. Furniture and Consumer Electronics</h2> <p>Store issued credit cards are common upsells at the cash register and, if you're buying a big ticket item like a new sofa or flat screen TV, it's easy to be tempted by the seemingly attractive financing terms. What many credit consumers don't realize is that store cards typically work in a similar way as jewelry financing, as described above.</p> <p>The offer may state 12-months, zero APR (or 12-months, same as cash), but miss a payment and you'll reset the clock, finding yourself responsible for interest payments from the date of purchase, not from the date when the payment was missed. For a $4,000 furniture purchase, a missed payment could add $1,400 in interest to the bill, assuming a 24.99% interest rate and a 24-month term. In other words, that financed furniture (or computer or refrigerator or&hellip; well, you get the idea) could end up costing you a lot more than you expected.</p> <h2>5. Vacation</h2> <p>Most vacations last a week or less but, if you take out a personal loan or swipe a credit card to fund the getaway, it won't just be the memories that last a lifetime. Earlier this year, MarketWatch determined that you could <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-long-does-it-take-to-clear-a-2000-credit-card-with-minimum-payments-2015-07-07">raise a child from infancy</a> to adulthood before you could repay a $2,000 credit card balance with a 18% annual rate, if you're making just the monthly minimum payment. That's 30 years in repayment, based on their analysis, and an extra $4,931 in interest payments.</p> <p>For many purchases, buying on credit can cause a lot of financial strain. Before you buy, it's important to understand the full cost of the purchase, including the cost of credit. Most times, you'd be much better served by saving up, instead of swiping your card. Think before you borrow. Your wallet will thank you.</p> <p><em>What purchases do you refuse to make on credit?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alaina-tweddale">Alaina Tweddale</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-borrow-money-for-these-5-buys">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-moves-to-make-if-your-loan-gets-denied">5 Moves to Make If Your Loan Gets Denied</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/15-surprising-ways-bad-credit-can-hurt-you">15 Surprising Ways Bad Credit Can Hurt 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/whats-the-best-way-to-get-out-of-debt">What&#039;s the Best Way to Get out of Debt?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-a-credit-invisible-get-seen-by-building-your-score">Are You a Credit Invisible? Get Seen by Building Your Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-expect-when-youre-expecting-a-huge-credit-card-bill">What to Expect When You&#039;re Expecting a Huge Credit Card Bill</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting bad money moves boats borrowing money credit history debt furniture interest jewelry loans travel weddings Tue, 24 May 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Alaina Tweddale 1711683 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: Do You Keep a Budget? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-keep-a-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-do-you-keep-a-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_paperwork_computer_000021881617.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to keep a budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's widely agreed that one of the best ways to take control of your finances is to set up a budget. Experts recommend that you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-simple-thing-you-can-do-to-start-budgeting-today">start simple for your first budget</a> and get into the nitty-gritty stuff as you become more comfortable with the process, but many people burn out on a budget that doesn't work for them or the task seems too big to even begin. Alternatively, some people have discovered that budgets in general aren't effective for their situation, and they find other ways to keep their finances in order.</p> <p><strong>Do you keep a budget? </strong>What has been the easiest &mdash; and hardest &mdash; part of budgeting? If you don't budget, why not? What other method do you use to manage your money?</p> <p>Tell us whether you keep a budget and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For Extra Entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa246/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="79857dfa246" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_37jqrv9q">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <p>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, May 30th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after May 30th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us whether you keep a budget and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-keep-a-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/ask-the-readers-whats-the-biggest-item-in-your-budget">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s the Biggest Item in Your 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/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-and-fun-things-you-could-do-if-you-paid-less-rent">8 Smart and Fun Things You Could Do if You Paid Less Rent</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/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">Regifting: A Simple How-To Guide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-new-years-resolution">Ask the Readers: What Is Your New Year&#039;s Resolution?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Giveaways Ask the Readers budget Tue, 24 May 2016 10:00:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1713709 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways Pride Is Keeping You Poor http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-pride-is-keeping-you-poor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-pride-is-keeping-you-poor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000057148896_Large.jpg" alt="pride is keeping him poor" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's said that of all the sins, pride is at the forefront. Hubris, vanity, and the obsession with oneself can actually lead to the other six sins in the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/seven-deadly-sins">Deadly Sin</a> lineup. But how can pride keep you poor? What is its impact on your financial well-being, and you future? These seven examples are a warning to us all.</p> <h2>1. It Makes You Spend More on Brand Names</h2> <p>There are brand names, and there are generics. Brand names cost more because you're paying for the marketing and advertising behind it, as well as the privilege of actually buying something with that label stuck to it. However, in most cases, brand names are almost identical to their generic counterparts. The only noticeable difference is the price tag. But some people are too proud to ever opt for the generic version.</p> <p>The shame of having someone come over for dinner, only to see a loaf of generic bread, or a bottle of generic hot sauce can be enough to get people to spend money they don't have just for the brand name. To some, it's another way of saying, &quot;I'm too poor to afford the brand name stuff.&quot; Well, who says you are? Wanting to spend money frugally is not the same as having no money to spend. It's just that you care what you spend your money on, and want as much bang for your buck as possible. Some millionaires and even billionaires will still insist on buying generics simply because of the principal that they don't want to spend one cent more than they have to. And that, after all, is how they became rich in the first place.</p> <h2>2. It Gets You Into Considerable Debt</h2> <p>There are some people who are known as &quot;car poor.&quot; They drive around in huge, expensive cars that have the latest gadgets, spinning rims, and neon undercarriage lighting. But when they get home, it's to a house with very little furniture and no food in the fridge. They're car poor because they spend way too much of their budget on a vehicle, and all because they want to be proud of their ride. They wouldn't dream of cutting that payment in half by driving a used car with no modern conveniences.</p> <p>Other people suffer the same problems with fashion, or technology. They may be house poor, choosing to live in a place with a crippling mortgage payment, because they simply cannot swallow their pride and lower their standard of living. Pride, in cases like this, can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tricks-to-consolidating-your-debt-and-saving-money">lead to bankruptcy</a>. Isn't it better to sort the problem out before it gets to that point? Surely, if pride is an issue, filing for bankruptcy is a bigger hit to your ego than anything else.</p> <h2>3. It Stops You Getting Bargains From Thrift Stores</h2> <p>&quot;I would never get my clothes and kitchen items from a thrift store. I am way above that.&quot; I actually heard someone say that when I told them about a killer jacket I got from The Salvation Army. And it's a rotten attitude to have. Thrift stores are not just for people who are really down on their luck. Everyone can, and should, shop at stores selling used goods. The simple reason is that they're way cheaper, and most of the time last as long as a brand new item anyway.</p> <p>You can buy brand name items for a fraction of the price, and pick up electronics and appliances for pennies on the dollar. What's more, no one ever has to know where you bought the items from, unless you decide to tell them. So if pride is the only thing stopping you from opening the door to a thrift store, it's time to swallow it.</p> <h2>4. It Prevents You Receiving Financial Help</h2> <p>Some people are so proud, they will never accept a handout. Whether from friends, family, or the government, they would rather struggle than admit that they need charity. That is just not a good way to look at life. Government programs exist to help people in their time of need, and these safety nets can be an essential way for some people to get back on their feet. From unemployment benefits, to food stamps, and grants &mdash; the money is there for you.</p> <p>Admittedly, some people (very few people) abuse the system. For them, it may be greed and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-sloth-is-keeping-you-poor">sloth</a> combined that is their downfall. But for everyone else, and especially those too proud to admit that they need help, remember why that help is there. Our society is one that is set-up to make sure people don't fall through the cracks and become another terrible statistic. It doesn't always work, but when financial help is offered, pride should not be a reason to turn it down. You can work hard to pay that back at a later date, and maybe then you'll be in a position to help someone else who desperately needs it.</p> <h2>5. It Enables You to Keep Making the Same Financial Mistakes</h2> <p>There's an expression most of us know all too well, &quot;they're just throwing good money after bad.&quot; This is a prime example of pride affecting the way someone handles his or her finances. For example, when it comes to investing money, that person may have lost a fortune over the years on a business that keeps on tanking. And yet, despite the best advice, they continue to pour money down a bottomless hole. They're just too proud to admit that they made a mistake, and have a very bad investment.</p> <p>Doing something over and over again at considerable cost, because you're too proud to admit any kind of poor judgment, is pride messing with your head. Whether you're throwing money at the same problem, the same way, or refusing to admit the problems with your budgeting, you're only hurting yourself. It's also a problem some gamblers have, covering losses with more money, and making bigger bets that lead to ruin. It's okay to step back, reevaluate and say, &quot;No, this isn't working, it's time to pull the plug.&quot; Sadly, it's a lesson some people only learn when they're broke.</p> <h2>6. It Keeps You From Learning How to Manage Your Money</h2> <p>Pride can be a real barrier to knowledge. After all, who would want to admit that they don't know about the ins and outs of a 401K, IRA, or balancing a budget at the age of 40? Better to just keep guessing, making mistakes, and losing money than admit you need help, right? Well, of course not. Whatever age you are, be it 16 or 66, it's never too late to learn about handling your money. There are courses, online seminars, books, financial advisers, and a whole host of other options available.</p> <p>There is no shame in admitting you need help with managing your money. In fact, it's something you should embrace, and quickly. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to financial matters, and the more you know, the greater your success with money will be. So what if you feel a bit silly asking seemingly obvious questions. You are probably making way more of it than the person you're asking, and they will always be happy to help. Learn about investing. Learn about stocks and bonds. Learn about interest rates and tax plans. It's all leading to a better financial future. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-debt-management-questions-youre-too-embarrassed-to-ask?ref=seealso">5 Debt Management Questions You're Too Embarrassed to Ask</a>)</p> <h2>7. It Makes You Pay for Things You Don't Need</h2> <p>A friend of mine was having some issues with his car, and so he took it into a local garage to have the problem checked out. The mechanic came back with a whole host of problems, and a list of work and parts that were needed. The bill came to over $2,000. When I asked him why he didn't ask for a second opinion, he said he didn't want to look foolish asking for his car back. He also didn't want the mechanic to think he couldn't afford it.</p> <p>My response to both issues was&hellip; who cares? It's a mechanic, his or her opinion of you is not your concern. But what you spend your money on, and potentially overpaying for, that's a big concern. As it turns out, after reviewing the invoice, some of the work performed was definitely unnecessary and overpriced (it's good to have a mechanic in the family to ask about such things). If my friend had simply driven away and asked someone else, he would have saved over $800. But pride got in the way.</p> <p>Whether it's work that needs done on a car, your home, an appliance, or anything else, never ever be afraid to walk away. That also applies to buying something new as well. Don't let pride force you into paying for something you really don't want. Saving face can actually cost you an awful lot of money. Remember, when in doubt, walk out.</p> <p><em>Have you struggled with pride getting in the way of saving money? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-pride-is-keeping-you-poor">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/4-ways-your-brain-tricks-you-into-spending">4 Ways Your Brain Tricks You Into Spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</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-ways-envy-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Envy Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-your-pets">6 Money Lessons You Can Learn From Your Pets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it">Flashback Friday: The 60 Best Ways to Use Food Other Than Eating It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting being poor ego keeping up with the joneses losing money pride seven deadly sins vanity Mon, 23 May 2016 10:00:04 +0000 Paul Michael 1714249 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Signs You Aren't Making Enough Money http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-you-arent-making-enough-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-signs-you-arent-making-enough-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_stressed_computer_000044901658.jpg" alt="Woman learning signs she isn&#039;t making enough money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Living paycheck to paycheck can take a toll on your stress levels and emotional wellbeing. It can also greatly impact your financial wellbeing both in the present and in the future. If you aren't confident about your financial future, then it's time to make a change. Here are a few signs that you need to spend less &mdash; or make more.</p> <h2>1. Your Bills Are Overwhelming</h2> <p>If you don't make enough to pay your bills every month, then you need to make more. Even paying the minimum amount on your bills is not enough. You should be working to pay off your debt, without having to worry about making enough to buy food every month.</p> <p>Overdrawing your checking account, paying your bills late every month, or ignoring your financial obligations altogether can make the problem much worse. If you commit any of these bad habits, then you'll have to worry about overdraft fees, bounced check fees, and may even be sent to collections. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-late-payments-affect-your-credit?ref=seealso">How Late Payments Affect Your Credit</a>)</p> <h2>2. Your Budgeting Isn't Enough</h2> <p>The best way to get more out of every paycheck is to simply spend less. Creating a budget can be the right step towards making lasting changes that will pay off big in the end. However, what do you do if you have already created a budget and cut out all the unnecessary spending you can, but still aren't making enough? You'll need to find a way to make more money.</p> <h2>3. You Have No Savings</h2> <p>If you aren't able to pay down your debt and set aside money for your savings and retirement accounts, then you simply need to make more. In the event that there is a large unexpected expense coming your way, you should have some savings to cover it. It is crucial that you set aside money for your future, and if you aren't, then you need to do something to change the present.</p> <p>It's important to keep your money goals and future finances in mind. It's essential that you are saving for your future, in the event that you experience a pay cut or layoff. Saving for retirement is also one of the most important things you can do for your future self. If you aren't reaching your short and long-term financial goals, then you aren't making enough money.</p> <h2>4. You Keep Relying On Credit Cards</h2> <p>If you find that you are relying on your credit cards just to make ends meet, and are only paying the minimum on your credit cards month after month, you're heading towards prolonged debt and a host of other problems. This can result in a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-increase-your-credit-score-quickly" target="_blank">lower credit score</a> and less money available for your savings account. In the long run, you'll also be responsible for higher interest charges and credit card payments.</p> <h2>5. Your Paycheck Disappears in No Time</h2> <p>If you spend the bulk of your paycheck in the first couple of days, then there's a problem. You should have more than just enough to pay your bills. There should be money left to save and invest towards retirement. Everyone has a bad month from time to time, but if you find that your paycheck runs out within the first week of every month, then you may be overspending or simply not making enough.</p> <p>Special occasions occur for most people several times per year. During these times, you'll want to have a little money set aside (for holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, and other occasions that can cut into your pay). The last thing you want to worry about is breaking out the credit cards just because you need to buy gifts for the kids.</p> <h2>6. You Feel Undervalued</h2> <p>If you feel you aren't being paid enough at your current job, then you may get resentful and less productive. Consider speaking with your manager about what you bring to the table and ask for a raise. The worst they can say is &quot;No.&quot;</p> <p>If you decide to ask for a raise, then you need to first determine <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-underpaid-how-to-figure-out-what-salary-you-deserve">what your time is worth</a>. Use a salary calculator or salary comparison site, and find out what the average salary is for your career so that you have that information on your side when you speak with management. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-the-most-out-of-salary-comparison-sites?ref=seealso">Getting the Most Out of Salary Comparison Sites</a>)</p> <h2>Is It Time to Make a Move?</h2> <p>If you realize it's time to make a move, then there are several steps you can take. If you haven't <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps">worked on a budget</a> yet, then it's time to do so. You can also take steps to reduce your rent, find alternate forms of transportation, or simply spend less. You may also need to consider changing employment or taking on a weekend or side job.</p> <p><em>Do you know of other signs that a person just isn't making enough? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-you-arent-making-enough-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-keep-holiday-spending-from-blowing-debt-repayment">6 Ways to Keep Holiday Spending From Blowing Debt Repayment</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-good-reasons-to-become-a-contractor">8 Good Reasons to Become a Contractor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-financial-habits-just-bad">Are Your Financial Habits Just Bad?</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/prioritize-these-5-bills-when-youre-short-on-cash">Prioritize These 5 Bills When You&#039;re Short on Cash</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-debt-management-questions-youre-too-embarrassed-to-ask">5 Debt Management Questions You&#039;re Too Embarrassed to Ask</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Career Building Debt Management asking for a raise bills paycheck to paycheck salary underpaid wages Mon, 23 May 2016 09:30:20 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1714251 at http://www.wisebread.com One Simple Thing You Can Do to Start Budgeting Today http://www.wisebread.com/one-simple-thing-you-can-do-to-start-budgeting-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/one-simple-thing-you-can-do-to-start-budgeting-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_bills_calculator_000049499644.jpg" alt="Woman learning one simple thing to start budgeting today" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For people who've never done it, the idea of putting together a budget feels like a lot of work and certainly not much fun. It's why I don't recommend starting with logging every expense. That <em>will </em>feel like work.</p> <p>Instead of starting with the nitty-gritty spreadsheet stuff, start with the big picture. The <em>really </em>big picture. Here's one simple thing you can do to get a glimpse of your financial potential.</p> <h2>Money Plus Time = A Lot of Money</h2> <p>Consider this: If you're 32 years old and your salary is $55,000, by the time you're 70, it's realistic that you will have earned over $3.8 million! Try this exercise yourself by plugging your current age, planned retirement age, current annual income, and assumed annual salary increase (I used a 3% in the example above) into <a href="https://www.calcxml.com/do/ins07">this calculator</a>.</p> <p>Starting with the big picture will give you a sense of how the seemingly small steps you take today will be magnified over time. Keep yourself gainfully employed, earn a small raise each year, and you'll generate a lot of income over your lifetime.</p> <p>By nature, we don't tend to think long-term. For many of us, it's difficult to imagine the future. But it can be very motivating to do so.</p> <h2>Some Practical Examples</h2> <p>Think about investing. I remember reading a column by one of my favorite financial journalists in which he talked about the day someone introduced him to the power of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-most-valuable-thing-debt-takes-from-you-isnt-money-its-this?ref=internal">compound interest</a>. He had never heard of it before, but when he saw compounding in action, it was as if a light bulb switched on above his head. It motivated him to find the money to start investing.</p> <p>In your first years investing, compound interest may not seem like much of a big deal. But give it some time, and it turns into a <em>very</em> big deal.</p> <p>Let's say you're 20 years old, start investing $200 per month, do that for 50 years, and generate an average annual return of 7%. After 10 years, you would have invested $24,000. But because of the power of compound interest, you will have earned about another $10,000. Nice, right? Sure, but it's not yet hugely impressive.</p> <p>Now let's run the example out 50 years. At that point you will have invested $120,000 &mdash; a great accomplishment in itself. But because of the power of compound interest, it will have turned into over $1 million. Now, <em>that's </em>impressive.</p> <p>But what if you can't find $200 to invest every month at age 20? Besides, you figure, you're young; you can afford to wait. Finally, at age 30, you start investing $200 per month, do that for <em>40 </em>years, and get that same 7% average annual return.</p> <p>You've only invested $24,000 less than if you had started at age 20. However, because you started 10 years later, you end up with about $500,000 less!</p> <p>This same type of thinking can be applied to every aspect of your financial life, understanding the future value of every dollar you spend or (hopefully) invest today. What types of vacations would you like to take? How much of your kids' future college costs would you like to cover? Thinking big is the starting point. Then those goals can become part of your monthly budget.</p> <h2>It Works Both Ways</h2> <p>Of course, a lifetime of financial miscues can really add up as well. Think about the negative magnifying impact of consumer debt. Let's say you have a $6,000 balance on a credit card that charges you 18% interest, and you carry that debt from month to month, making just the minimum required payments each month (we'll assume it requires a minimum payment of 3% of the balance). It'll take you more than 17 years to pay it off, and you'll end up paying $5,700 in interest!</p> <p>But if you could put $300 toward your debt every month, you'd be debt-free in just two years. Run some what-if scenarios to see how much faster you could get out of debt. What if you could put an extra $20 toward your debts each month, or an extra $50?</p> <p>Using a budget can help you find that extra money, and it can help you more intentionally manage your use of credit cards so you never carry a balance from month to month again.</p> <h2>Translating the Big Picture Into the Day-to-Day</h2> <p>Wouldn't it be a shame to look back on your life and wonder, &quot;What happened to all the money I made?&quot; By the same token, wouldn't it be satisfying to look back and know you made the most of your financial opportunities?</p> <p>Getting a feel for your huge financial potential can be very motivating. Be sure to take the next step, though, and turn that potential into a plan by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps?ref=internal">getting started with a budget</a> today.</p> <p><em>Do you keep a budget? If not, why not?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-simple-thing-you-can-do-to-start-budgeting-today">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/6-sneaky-ways-you-cheat-on-your-budget">6 Sneaky Ways You Cheat on Your 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/9-money-lessons-to-take-from-the-great-depression">9 Money Lessons to Take From the Great Depression</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/one-smart-thing-you-can-do-for-your-retirement-today">One Smart Thing You Can Do for Your Retirement Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-your-credit-cards-are-paid-off">9 Money Moves to Make the Moment Your Credit Cards Are Paid Off</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/save-more-money-with-5-sneaky-tricks">Save More Money With 5 Sneaky Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting compound interest income long-term planning retirement saving money Fri, 20 May 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Matt Bell 1713707 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Budget Like You Diet? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-budget-like-you-diet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-budget-like-you-diet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_cupcakes_000055050698.jpg" alt="Woman budgeting the way she diets" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;Spend less&quot; is right up there with &quot;lose weight&quot; and &quot;eat better&quot; as one of the more popular New Year's resolutions of all time. We are almost halfway through 2016 and, whether your resolutions are going well or poorly, there's probably room for improvement.</p> <p>It's a great time to sit back and evaluate your resolutions. Are you achieving your goals? Do you feel half-hearted, at best, about the things you're pursuing? What can you do to improve over the rest of the year?</p> <p>If you wanted to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-old-school-tools-to-help-you-stay-on-budget" target="_blank">budget better and spend less</a>, you can take some hints from the people trying to lose weight. In some ways, these are very similar endeavors, and you can learn from the things we know about losing weight to gain some financial heft.</p> <h2>Think Simple</h2> <p>Michael Pollan is famous for saying that we should only eat food with <a href="http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/20090323/7-rules-for-eating">five or fewer ingredients</a>, all of which we recognize and can pronounce. This helps dieters to eliminate junk from their diets, and a similar simplicity can help you spend less.</p> <p>Think about paring down your life so that you only buy things you need, or taking certain extravagant categories out of your budget entirely. You might consider selling the five pairs of shoes that you never wear and replacing them with one that actually meets your needs. Or maybe you don't really need to go to happy hour every evening, after all. When you eliminate these things from your financial diet, you will spend less.</p> <h2>Prepare Yourself Ahead of Time</h2> <p>Some people gain weight simply because they never have healthy food around. They can combat this by meal planning and prepping &mdash; spending some time, once or twice a week, getting food ready for the next few days. This can include meals, snacks, even desserts. Similarly, if you sit down once a week to plan your spending, you can save money.</p> <p>Take 30 minutes every week to look ahead at what you'll need to spend money on. Maybe you need to buy lunch for your team at work this week, or you've got to have a new clothes dryer. Work out how you're going to find the money for those things. You can even do some research online, so you know about how much you'll spend. Even just having a ballpark figure in your mind can help you refrain from overspending when making the actual purchase.</p> <p>For larger items, take the time to research different options, etc. Decide what features you really need, want, and can afford, so you don't end up splurging last minute.</p> <h2>Consistency Is Key</h2> <p>One of the major principles of modern weight loss is consistency. You can't just eat well one or two days a week, but you need to make good food choices every day. Similarly, if you want to spend less money, you need to figure out how to consistently make good financial choices, too.</p> <p>Figure out what motivates you financially. Are you saving for a trip to the Caribbean? Do you want to buy a new car or a house or know that you can retire at 60? Keeping your goals in the forefront of your mind (and even writing them down where you can see them) will help you remember, every day, that every choice matters.</p> <h2>There Are No Villains Here</h2> <p>Dieters are learning that there's <a href="http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/R-D/Is-the-there-is-no-such-thing-as-bad-foods-only-bad-diets-argument-helpful">no such thing as a bad food</a>. Sure, some foods have less nutritional value, but when you're craving something, it's better to have a little than to deprive yourself now and binge later. A similar principle can apply financially.</p> <p>If there's something you really want to buy, and you say no and think about it for a week or a month and you still want it, it's worth looking into ways to get it. If you need to save, start a special savings account. If you can fit it in your budget by taking other, non-essential things out, then make it work. Otherwise, wanting that thing can make you miserable.</p> <p>Along the same lines, there are no absolute rules for saving. There's nothing that says it's always wrong to spend money, and no saving formula that works for everyone. Instead of villainizing certain items and methods, realize that there is a time and place for everything, even in your budget.</p> <h2>Take Baby Steps</h2> <p>Dieters often find that taking baby steps &mdash; making small changes one at a time &mdash; is more effective for achieving their goals than overhauling their lives entirely. Budgeting and saving money can be like that, too.</p> <p>Instead of eliminating whole categories from your budget (&quot;I'm not going to eat out at all this month!&quot;), try making incremental changes (&quot;I'm only going to eat out twice, instead of four times, this week.&quot;). These kinds of changes will make you feel less like you are missing out, and you will still end up with more money in the bank than you would have otherwise.</p> <h2>Do It Yourself</h2> <p>People who cook their own food often end up weighing less than those who don't. In a similar vein, people who DIY it as much as possible often save money.</p> <p>Last week, my washing machine stopped working. I had several people send me names and numbers of repair folks. I'm sure they were well-intentioned, but I decided to try it myself, first. Sure, it took a couple of hours and some YouTube-ing, but I was able to do the necessary repairs on my own. I saved myself at least a couple hundred dollars because I didn't call the repair guy.</p> <p>There are a lot of things you can learn to do online in order to save yourself some cash. Sure, you have to balance the cost of your time and energy with what you'd spend, but it's often fiscally worthwhile, not to mention satisfying, to do simple repairs and food prep yourself.</p> <h2>Take a Financial Cheat Day Now and Then</h2> <p>Some weight loss experts consider it wise to plan a cheat day (or a cheat meal) into your diet so you don't feel so deprived and end up binging. Planning a <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/articles/2016-02-04/why-you-need-financial-cheat-days">financial cheat day</a> can function very much the same way.</p> <p>Note that a cheat doesn't have to be huge. Buy your coffee instead of making it one day a week, or take your family for authentic Mexican instead of Taco Bell. Plan your cheats around things you really want, things that are satisfying to you, and you'll be able to stick to a stricter budget the rest of the time and, ultimately, you'll spend less than if you tried to restrain yourself all the time.</p> <p><em>Do you budget like you eat? What does that look like for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-budget-like-you-diet">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/wisdom-from-my-favorite-frugal-tv-character-julius-rock">Wisdom from My Favorite Frugal TV Character - Julius Rock</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-big-expenses-you-can-easily-get-rid-of">10 Big Expenses You Can Easily Get Rid Of</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-healthy-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Healthy Changes You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-an-extra-109486-a-year">How to Save an Extra $1,094.86 a Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Food and Drink Lifestyle cheat days cutting costs DIY expenses simplifying spending less Tue, 17 May 2016 09:30:26 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1706850 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-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/woman_exercise_plank_000083103031.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to get fit for free" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting in shape can seem like an uphill battle, especially if it costs big bucks to do so. You shouldn't need to spend all of your hard-earned money to become your healthiest self. There are so many ways to exercise on the cheap, or even for free. You don't need a pricey gym membership and a closet full of designer yoga pants. Really, all you need are some comfy clothes, space to move, and determination to keep pushing even when you get tired.</p> <p>Here are our 95 best fitness hacks for getting in great shape without spending any money.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/family-460428563.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-benefits-of-a-10-minute-walk?ref=fbf">10 Surprising Benefits Of: A 10 Minute Walk</a> &mdash; Don't underestimate the power of a short walk. Choosing to get outside and move &mdash; no matter how fast or slow &mdash; is an excellent way to promote overall health. So get outdoors and start walking!</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-quick-workouts-you-can-do-during-commercial-breaks?ref=FBF">9 Quick Workouts You Can Do During Commercial Breaks</a> &mdash; Not only can you get your sweat on for free, but you can also do it while you watch your favorite shows. It doesn't get much easier than that, right?</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman-exercise-living-room-Dollarphotoclub_63851547.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/36-workouts-you-can-do-in-your-living-room-while-its-cold-out?ref=fbf">36 Workouts You Can Do in Your Living Room While It's Cold Out</a> &mdash; The only time winter isn't coming is when it's already winter, so you should have an indoor workout routine already established by the time the snow starts to fall. These are all fun and effective!</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-home-workout-hacks-for-people-with-no-equipment-and-no-room?ref=fbf">12 Cheap Home Workout Hacks for People With No Equipment and No Room</a> &mdash; It turns out you don't even need much space or exercise equipment to get in shape. Just use the contents of your pantry, furniture, and your own body weight to add resistance to your sweat sesh.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-work-out-when-its-hot-outside?ref=fbf">5 Ways to Work Out When It's Hot Outside</a> &mdash; Sweating when you're already covered in sweat from the heat isn't fun for anyone. But rather than heading outside for your workout, stay indoors and get fit during the warmer months.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/exercise-479677521.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-at-home-exercises-will-give-you-a-gym-quality-workout-for-free?ref=fbf">These At-Home Exercises Will Give You a Gym-Quality Workout for Free</a> &mdash; You don't need to be a gym rat to look like one. Here are several sweat-inducing moves you can make at home, all while spending zero dollars.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-exercises-to-do-at-work-that-dont-make-you-look-silly?ref=fbf">10 Exercises to Do at Work That Don't Make You Look Silly</a> &mdash; Kill two birds with one stone and work out while you're at work. That way, when your work day is over, your workout work is also done.</p> <p><em>How do you get fit for free? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-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/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it">Flashback Friday: The 60 Best Ways to Use Food Other Than Eating It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-119-best-fitness-hacks-for-busy-people">Flashback Friday: The 119 Best Fitness Hacks for Busy People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-99-best-fitness-hacks-of-all-time">Flashback Friday: The 99 Best Fitness Hacks of All Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store">Flashback Friday: The 81 Best Tips for Saving Big at the Grocery Store</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting Health and Beauty budget fbf fitness hacks flashback friday free fitness frugal fitness Health saving money Fri, 22 Apr 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1695510 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Make Retail Therapy Good for You http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-retail-therapy-good-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-make-retail-therapy-good-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000023781556_Large.jpg" alt="making retail therapy healthy" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After a long and frustrating day, nothing feels better than heading to your favorite store. When you emerge an hour later with heavily laden bags and a lighter wallet, you have forgotten all about the argument with your coworker, and you head home feeling much more cheerful.</p> <p>The only problem with this scenario is the lighter wallet.</p> <p>But what if you could have your retail therapy and balance your budget at the same time? As it turns out, researchers have discovered that shopping really does give you a needed pick-me-up, and used in moderation, retail therapy offers several psychological rewards.</p> <p>Here is what you need to know about the psychological soundness of retail therapy &mdash; and some suggestions for how to make your therapeutic shopping profitable.</p> <h2>Why We Like to Shop When We're Down</h2> <p>In general, people get down or irritable because they feel out of control. When you are in a sour mood, it is often related to a sense of anxiety that you do not have control over your circumstances or environment.</p> <p>And that is why retail therapy is so effective. You get a chance to have complete control over where you go, what you look for, and what you purchase. Add in the fact that most retail therapy also involves treating yourself in some way, and it's no wonder that shopping is such a common method for improving a bad mood.</p> <p>In addition, according to Kit Yarrow of Psychology Today, &quot;shopping can be a <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-why-behind-the-buy/201305/why-retail-therapy-works">rich source of mental preparation</a>. As people shop, they're naturally visualizing how they'll use the products they're considering, and in doing so, they're also visualizing their new life.&quot; Part of what makes retail therapy feel so good is getting a chance to imagine how great things will be with your new wardrobe/gadget/library of books.</p> <p>If you're not a regular user of retail therapy, just keeping some money set aside for your occasional pick-me-ups should be sufficient. But if you often indulge in therapeutic shopping, then you might want to revise your shopping strategy to make sure your mood lifter doesn't get you into financial trouble.</p> <h2>Using Retail Therapy Strategically</h2> <p>Here are five different strategies for making sure your shopping habit actually helps your bottom line.</p> <h3>1. Shop for Gifts</h3> <p>While retail therapy traditionally means buying some sort of treat for yourself, it can also feel great to buy gifts for loved ones. The next time you go shopping to relieve stress after a bad day, decide to buy a present for someone on your Christmas list, no matter what time of year it is. Since you would spend the money on a gift anyway, your shopping trip will save you money in the future while still giving you the mood-boosting sense of the control you crave. Also, you can have fun visualizing how much the recipients will enjoy the gifts you are picking out.</p> <p>If you make a habit of using retail therapy to shop ahead for holiday gifts, you will save money and stress at Christmas since you won't be shopping at the height of retail season.</p> <h3>2. Keep a List of Items You Need or Want</h3> <p>Living in the digital age means that it is possible to buy something for yourself as soon as you think of it. However, we don't necessarily need that level of convenience, and you receive no psychological benefits from it.</p> <p>Instead, make a list of items that you need or want that you could get anytime. For example, there are currently two t-shirts and a DVD that I would like to own, but I am waiting to purchase any of them until a day when I need a serious cheer-up. (I liken this to keeping an emergency bar of chocolate hidden in my desk drawer. I'll wait to enjoy it until it's going to give me the biggest mood-boosting bang for my buck.)</p> <p>By limiting your retail therapy to items that you have already decided to purchase, you keep the hit on your wallet to a minimum.</p> <h3>3. Use Gift Cards</h3> <p>Retail therapy is most dangerous when you engage in it mindlessly. But it is possible to get the same psychological benefit while being a thoughtful consumer.</p> <p>For instance, purchasing a discounted gift card from a store that is your go-to retail therapy destination is a good way to feel better without spending <em>too </em>much. Get this gift card ahead of time and keep it in your wallet. On a day when you need to indulge in retail therapy, you can lock the rest of your wallet in your glove box and shop your bad mood away without hurting your budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stop-your-mindless-spending?ref=seealso">5 Ways to Stop Your Mindless Spending</a>)</p> <h3>4. Become a Mystery Shopper</h3> <p>If retail therapy is a regular habit, consider making it a part-time job by becoming a mystery shopper. Generally, mystery shoppers can receive between <a href="http://www.learnvest.com/2013/02/confessions-of-a-mystery-shopper-how-i-made-14k/">$5 and $20 per shopping trip</a>, as well as reimbursement for their purchases, although there is often a limit to the purchase amount. While mystery shopping will not necessarily be as flexible as a normal session of retail therapy, once you have been hired by a company, you can select jobs when and where you want, saving your mystery shopping for the weeks you need to feel better.</p> <p>It is important to make sure you go through a reputable mystery shopping company. You will never be asked to pay to become a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-truths-from-a-mystery-shopper-you-must-read-before-you-get-started">mystery shopper for a legitimate company</a>. It's also a good idea to check that the mystery shopping organization that hires you is a member of the MSPA, the official organization that regulates mystery shopping.</p> <h3>5. Indulge in Window Shopping</h3> <p>A recent study asked subjects to watch a depressing video clip, and then randomly assigned the subjects to one of <a href="http://www.dailyfinance.com/on/retail-therapy-shopping-psychological-benefitsworks/">two simulated shopping scenarios</a>. The participants whose simulated shopping experience gave them more of an opportunity to choose the products they liked were found to be happier after the experience.</p> <p>What's important about this study is the fact that the &quot;shoppers&quot; weren't actually buying anything, but they still experienced an improved mood. The authors of the study determined that it is the act of choosing between products that helps alleviate sadness, even if those choices are hypothetical.</p> <p>This means that you will feel just as cheered up by trying on clothes without buying them than you would from purchasing a new wardrobe &mdash; all without spending a penny.</p> <h2>Making Retail Therapy Truly Therapeutic</h2> <p>It's very easy to feel guilty about the things that make us feel good, whether that's the hidden chocolate bar in the desk drawer, or indulging in retail therapy after a bad day. But there is no reason to deny ourselves the psychological benefits of these alternative &quot;therapies,&quot; as long as we can find a way to do so strategically.</p> <p><em>Do you frequently partake in retail therapy? How do you keep it under control? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-retail-therapy-good-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stop-your-mindless-spending">5 Ways to Stop Your Mindless Spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-purchases-youll-never-regret">25 Purchases You&#039;ll Never Regret</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-bite-sized-money-resolutions-to-make-2015-your-biggest-year-yet">25 Bite-Sized Money Resolutions to Make 2015 Your Biggest Year Yet</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/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-habits-of-highly-frugal-people">7 Habits of Highly Frugal People</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping bad habits buyer's remorse healthy habits mindless spending money habits retail therapy Fri, 22 Apr 2016 10:00:04 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1695165 at http://www.wisebread.com The Smart Way to Budget on a Freelance Income http://www.wisebread.com/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000081820163_Large.jpg" alt="Learning to budget on a freelance income" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If the <a href="https://www.upwork.com/press/2014/09/03/53-million-americans-now-freelance-new-study-finds-2/">53 million freelancing Americans</a> agree on one thing, it's that their lifestyle gives an unbeatable level of flexibility, and can be an extremely lucrative working model. If there was a second thing the global freelance community might agree on, however, I would bet that it's the fact that managing your money as a freelancer can be a nightmare.</p> <p>With income varying month by month, budgeting can be tricky &mdash; but having a solid budget is all the more important because of the normal fluctuations of income most freelance workers experience. So how do you go about setting a budget as a freelancer? The following steps can guide you.</p> <h2>Step One: Determine What You're Spending</h2> <p>Before you can start creating a budget, you need to get a picture of how your spending looks today. Set a challenge for yourself to record all your expenses over the course of a month. This could be using pen and paper, collecting receipts, and then adding them all up later, or using one of these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sites-and-apps-to-help-you-track-your-spending-and-stick-to-your-budget">great spending tracker apps</a>.</p> <p>Once you have some measurable data about your spending patterns, group different expenses together, and add in the known costs that did not occur during your test month. If you pay annual insurance premiums, or other annual bills, for example, divide the total by 12, and add that figure to your monthly calculation.</p> <p>As an example, you may put together the following categories:</p> <ul> <ul> <li><strong>Housing</strong> &mdash; rent or mortgage, utilities, insurance</li> <li><strong>Debt</strong> &mdash; credit or store cards, student loans</li> <li><strong>Transport and commuting</strong> &mdash; public transit ticket costs, or car loan, petrol, parking and servicing costs, as well as any insurance you pay</li> <li><strong>Taxes</strong> (As a freelancer this is especially important!)</li> <li><strong><strong>Savings</strong></strong></li> <li><strong>Personal expenses</strong> &mdash; food, phone bills, vacations, clothes, gifts, parties, and regular health costs</li> <li><strong>Fun</strong> &mdash; all entertainment</li> </ul> </ul> <p>The categories you choose will vary according to your lifestyle, but by grouping them like this, you have an overview &mdash; which is helpful if you later decide you need to trim the budget a little.</p> <h2>Step Two: Create a Baseline Budget</h2> <p>Your goal now is to create a <em>survival </em>budget, and an <em>ideal </em>budget. The survival version is your baseline, and should not include any unnecessary costs. This is your worst case scenario information about how much you need to spend, even if there is a problem and you're out of work for a while.</p> <p>The ideal version can be much more relaxed &mdash; covering your preferred spending levels and any discretionary spending on hobbies and entertainment.</p> <p>Scrutinize your recorded spending by category. Remove any optional costs, and add the categories together for your baseline monthly budget. Once you have done this, you can put the fun stuff back into your budget &mdash; along with your preferred levels of saving, and any discretionary spending, like donations to charities. You should now have a monthly total for your minimum and ideal levels of spending.</p> <h2>Step Three: Optimize Where Possible</h2> <p>Now is the time to look at your monthly income. As a freelancer, this might vary significantly month-to-month, so taking your annual income and dividing it by 12 for an average can make the process easier. If you are more risk averse, or have little or no financial cushion at the moment, then you may choose to take your lowest month's income as your model instead of an average.</p> <p>How does your monthly income match up with your projected baseline and ideal budget? This exercise should give you a view of how realistic your figures are, but if your income falls below your survival budget, then you need to think about how you can make the numbers match.</p> <p>Are there other items you can remove from your budget, or can you reduce regular costs such as utilities or insurance premiums? Alternatively, can you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-freelance-jobs-that-pay-surprisingly-well">bring in some extra income</a> on top of your usual workload to help balance the books?</p> <h2>Step Four: Pay Yourself</h2> <p>Set yourself a trial budget, factoring in both your expected income and your necessary expenses. If it looks like you can be quite comfortable on the income you expect on a monthly basis, then go with your ideal budget. But if you're concerned, then try the baseline budget for a while to see how it works out.</p> <p>Whichever spending level you go for, pay yourself a paycheck to help you smooth out the ups and downs. You could do this quite literally, by billing clients to one account and transferring only a fixed amount to your main spending account on a monthly basis.</p> <p>Your aim is to even out your spending, so any additional income you make in a lucrative month can be saved, and added to an emergency fund or used as a financial cushion for periods when income falls.</p> <h2>Step Five: Make a Long-Term Plan</h2> <p>If you're able to earn enough to support your chosen lifestyle, then over time you will be able to create a financial buffer and build savings. If you use any extra income mindfully, rather than allowing your spending to creep up without noticing it if your earnings increase, then you can repeat the budgeting exercise as your personal circumstances and needs change.</p> <p>More of us are now working in a freelance model, and studies suggest that anything from 40%&ndash;50% of workers will be working freelance by 2020. With freedom-loving Millennials quickly becoming the largest segment of the working population, this is hardly surprising. But with the struggles faced by freelancers trying to budget effectively, the Gen Y trailblazers already reshaping the future of work now need to turn their attentions to planning their finances.</p> <p><em>How do you manage your freelance budget? Share your tips in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/claire-millard">Claire Millard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income">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/16-festive-ways-to-make-extra-money-for-the-holidays">16 Festive Ways to Make Extra Money for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-side-benefits-of-your-side-hustle">5 Unexpected Side Benefits of Your Side Hustle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-400-a-week-as-a-pet-sitter">How to Make $400+ a Week as a Pet Sitter</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-things-you-must-know-about-money-before-you-take-a-side-job">10 Money Moves You Need to Make Before You Take a Side Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-i-learned-about-money-after-i-went-freelance">7 Things I Learned About Money After I Went Freelance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Extra Income extra money freelance freelancing side business side hustle side job Wed, 20 Apr 2016 09:30:26 +0000 Claire Millard 1693788 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Unexpected Dog Costs You Should Prepare for Now http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-dog-costs-you-should-prepare-for-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-unexpected-dog-costs-you-should-prepare-for-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000065477617_Large.jpg" alt="unexpected dog costs can add up" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Is dog man's best friend &mdash; or budget blower? Many potential pet owners are aware of the initial costs of buying and owning a canine, but what about the unexpected costs, such as furniture damage and travel expenses?</p> <p>Here are five unexpected dog-related costs to be aware of before committing to your new furry friend. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-your-dog-is-ruining-your-credit-score?ref=seealso">3 Ways Your Dog Is Ruining Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2>1. Damaged Furniture and Housing</h2> <p>Puppies will be puppies, and that includes chewing on just about everything. While the occasional shoe or clothing item will not set you back a lot of money, you should prepare for costly furniture damage.</p> <p>Not only can dogs ruin table legs and couches, but some canines will even do costly home damage. One friend had a bulldog puppy who chewed a good-sized hole in the wall and baseboard. Puppies are not the only ones to blame, either. My husband's grandmother's adult dog ruined her front doorway because he was accidentally left outside during 4th of July and grew overly anxious during the fireworks.</p> <h2>2. Minor Medical Costs</h2> <p>Thankfully there is pet insurance that helps cover costly vet bills from injuries and old age. However, many people do not factor in the minor medical costs, such as flea and tick medication, special lotion for dry skin, nail trims, anal gland expression, and even sedative medication during certain holidays &mdash; like New Year's and 4th of July.</p> <p>Even just adding a puppy to your family can add on the costs of vaccinations, exams, and getting them spayed or neutered. Money.com says, &quot;Routine vet exams cost between $45 and $200 for puppies in the first year of life.&quot; So don't let that cute puppy face make you forget all of these extra upfront costs.</p> <h2>3. Higher Home Insurance Policies</h2> <p>Certain dog breeds are blacklisted by insurance companies due to their breed traits. Pit bulls, dobermans, rottweilers, German shepherds, huskies, and akitas are all breeds that can raise home insurance premiums. Even if your dog is the sweetest dog around, you will still be charged more, or be denied coverage altogether. The average dog bite claim <a href="http://www.iii.org/issue-update/dog-bite-liability">costs insurance companies $30,000</a>, so you can see why they charge more.</p> <h2>4. Excess Rental Fees</h2> <p>Landlords can charge you extra for living with a dog. Many landlords will charge a standard pet deposit and might even add on an additional monthly payment. Depending on the contract you sign, your landlord can come after you for damages if your dog ruins the yard or interior. Many apartments and landlords do not even allow dogs, so your pooch could put you in a tough spot when it comes to finding a place to live.</p> <h2>5. Traveling Fees</h2> <p>My husband and I got our two dogs in our first year of marriage. We missed out on several vacation and travel opportunities because of them that first year. I didn't realize how much it would cost to board them or to take them with us, and when you are newly married, the budget can be very tight.</p> <p>According to Pettravel.com, the average cost to <a href="http://www.pettravel.com/0001216.cfm">fly domestic with your pooch</a> is $125 each way. So expect to pay $250 roundtrip just for your pup to be on board. To keep your dog in a kennel, it costs on average $20-$25 per day, per pet.</p> <p>If you plan to take your pooch with you on vacations, you should prepare for these following costs:</p> <ul> <li>Air travel costs;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Vaccination updates;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Accessory costs, such as a carrier that meets flight requirements, and a travel bed;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Hotel costs. For example, the Best Western charges <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/hotels/2014/09/03/pet-dog-friendly-hotel/14972079/">$20 per day</a> and other hotels might charge a refundable damage deposit.</li> </ul> <h2>How to Avoid Higher and Unexpected Pet Costs</h2> <p>Most of these costs come from a lack of planning. Dogs can bring great joy and fun to a family, but the costs, pros, and cons needed to be thought out carefully. Dogs, like children, are living creatures that will need many years of love, care, and even sacrifice at times. Be sure you consider the future money and time required when you see that cute face and floppy ears.</p> <p><em>How do you prepare for costly vet bills? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-dog-costs-you-should-prepare-for-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-your-pets">6 Money Lessons You Can Learn From Your Pets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-affordable-alternatives-to-pet-boarding">5 Affordable Alternatives to Pet Boarding</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/wise-bread-reloaded-watch-these-adorable-puppy-and-kitten-videos-and-learn-how-to-care-for-your-own">Wise Bread Reloaded: Watch These Adorable Puppy and Kitten Videos and Learn How to Care for Your Own, Frugally</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-surprising-way-birth-order-decides-your-money-habits">The Surprising Way Birth Order Decides Your Money Habits</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/is-pet-health-insurance-worth-it">Is Pet Health Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Family cat dog dog costs household pet pet costs pet owner vet bills veterinary bills Mon, 18 Apr 2016 10:30:09 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1691404 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: The 60 Best Ways to Use Food Other Than Eating It http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_cucumber_eyes_000000765447.jpg" alt="Woman using foods in ways other than eating them" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Eating food might be the best time of anyone's day. And while food is meant to be consumed with thorough chewing wrapped in &quot;ooh&quot;s and &quot;ahh&quot;s, it can also be used for beauty, decor, and home repair. Though you'd probably use a jar of honey as a sweetener over a face mask ingredient any day, it's comforting to know that the contents of your kitchen have the potential to take care of all of your everyday needs.</p> <p>Here are the 60 best food hacks that have nothing to do with eating.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/bowl_of_lemons_000019714803_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-use-your-food-that-dont-involve-eating?ref=fbf">4 Ways to Use Your Food That Don't Involve Eating</a> &mdash; Aside from keeping your skin and hair all kinds of gorgeous, you can use food as home decor, pesticides, and cleaning products! A little DIY magic can make your fridge's contents go a long way.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-home-uses-for-mayonnaise?ref=fbf">10 Unexpected Home Uses for Mayonnaise</a> &mdash; It turns out, mayo is seriously <em>amayozing</em>. Sorry, had to do it. But for real, this beloved condiment kills head lice, fixes cracks in wooden furniture, strengthens fingernails, and beyond. It's all kinds of handy.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/women_wearing_facemasks_000050640308_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-diy-beauty-masks-made-from-food?ref=fbf">9 DIY Beauty Masks Made From Food</a> &mdash; Just open the fridge and you'll find a vast array of beauty products! So instead of wasting extra cash on a face mask, just make your own using edible ingredients from your kitchen.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unexpected-uses-for-peanut-butter?ref=fbf">15 Unexpected Uses for Peanut Butter</a> &mdash; You might be shocked to learn that PB performs better without the J, especially when it's not used for eating. Peanut butter can be used as a leather cleaner, a squeak squasher, and a delicious way to lure pests to their death. Mind = blown.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-do-with-your-coffee-beans?ref=fbf">5 Things to Do With Your Coffee Beans</a> &mdash; Of course, your morning cup of joe is sacred. But if you've got any extra coffee beans lying around, put them to good use with these brilliant tricks!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/honey_000050003532.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-uses-for-honey?ref=fbf">7 Unexpected Uses for Honey</a> &mdash; Did you know honey can heal burns? I didn't either! Honey is a wonder product that can do so much more than simply sweeten your tea.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-and-useful-things-to-do-with-ketchup?ref=fbf">10 Surprising and Useful Things to Do With Ketchup</a> &mdash; Oh, you thought ketchup was just a cheap way to dress up a burger? Think again. This talented condiment can shine copper, fight skunk odor, prevent cancer, and so much more!</p> <p><em>What are your best non-food food hacks? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-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-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/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store">Flashback Friday: The 81 Best Tips for Saving Big at the Grocery Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right">Flashback Friday: The 107 Best Breakfast Hacks to Start Your Day Off Right</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-102-amazing-food-hacks-you-have-to-try-this-summer">Flashback Friday: 102 Amazing Food Hacks You Have to Try This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting Food and Drink budget fbf flashback friday food hacks frugal food Health saving money Fri, 15 Apr 2016 10:00:12 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1690723 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Ways to Use Luck to Stretch Your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-use-luck-to-stretch-your-budget <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-use-luck-to-stretch-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_fingers_crossed_000073161863.jpg" alt="Woman using luck to stretch her budget" title="" 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 helpful articles on ways to use luck to stretch your budget, how to make your laundry routine more eco-friendly, and grilling tips for newbies.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.northerncheapskate.com/how-to-use-luck-to-stretch-your-budget/">How To Use Luck To Stretch Your Budget</a> &mdash; Enter Facebook or blog giveaways for a chance to get gift cards and merchandise&hellip;for free! [Northern Cheapskate]</p> <p><a href="http://momsneedtoknow.com/green-laundry-routine/">How To Green Your Laundry Routine</a> &mdash; Stop using dryer sheets! They&rsquo;re hard on our environment and full of chemicals. If it&rsquo;s the scent you want, put some essential oil on an old rag and throw it in with your laundry. [Moms Need to Know]</p> <p><a href="http://www.easyways.net/7-easy-ways-grill/">7 Easy Ways To Grill</a> &mdash; New to grilling? Learn the do's and don'ts for grilling common meats like chicken, turkey, salmon, and ribs. [easyWays.net]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/5-Household-Uses-Denture-Cleaner-8116869">5 Surprising Household Uses For Denture Cleaner</a> &mdash; Cleaning off the burnt food on your Pyrex is easy when you soak the dish in denture cleaner and warm water first. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifeoptimizer.org/2016/04/12/how-to-develop-self-discipline/">How to Develop Self-Discipline in 7 Steps</a> &mdash; When you plan out your to-do list, alternate pleasant tasks with unpleasant tasks. The things you want to do will motivate you to get through the things you don't want to do. [Life Optimizer]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.morewithlesstoday.com/10-item-checklist-to-prepare-your-home-for-overnight-guests/">10 Item Checklist to Prepare Your Home for Overnight Guests</a> &mdash; Make sure the bathroom your guest will be using is stocked with extra toilet paper, sanitary items, a plunger, and a basket or cup for their toothbrush. [More With Less Today]</p> <p><a href="https://due.com/blog/7-attributes-of-highly-functional-home-offices/">7 Attributes of Highly Functional Home Offices</a> &mdash; It&rsquo;s important for a home office to have rules so you&rsquo;re not constantly distracted by the people you live with. [Due.com]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cultofmoney.com/2016/04/13/4-basic-things-sell-home-faster/">4 Basic Things to Sell Your Home Faster</a> &mdash; Put together a sheet with the answers to commonly asked questions, like what options your potential buyers have for TV and internet services, who the utility providers area, and what schools are in the area. [Cult of Money]</p> <p><a href="http://vipforair.com/5-sources-of-air-pollution-in-your-home/">5 Sources of Air Pollution In Your Home</a> &mdash; Your carpet can be a trap for dust mites, fungus, dirt, bacteria, and other allergens &mdash; you probably already know this. But did you know that the chemicals used to manufacture your carpet can also &quot;off-gas&quot; into the room? [VIP for Air]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/5-amazing-things-we-can-learn-from-children">5 Amazing Things We Can Learn From Children</a> &mdash; Most things are new to children, and they're always ready to give it a try. Stop making excuses and jump into something new and strange. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-use-luck-to-stretch-your-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/6-signs-you-arent-making-enough-money">6 Signs You Aren&#039;t Making Enough Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-pride-is-keeping-you-poor">7 Ways Pride Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> <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-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-your-pets">6 Money Lessons You Can Learn From Your Pets</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-you-budget-like-you-diet">Should You Budget Like You Diet?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting best money tips luck Fri, 15 Apr 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Amy Lu 1690613 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's What I Learned About Money After Using Acorns http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-i-learned-about-money-after-using-acorns <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-what-i-learned-about-money-after-using-acorns" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman _holding_cash_000088024827.jpg" alt="Woman learning money lessons using acorns " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have a rich history of being broke. I've always struggled with managing my money properly, and being able to resist the urge to buy things I don't need, rather than saving for my future. The problem with the future is that it's <em>the future.</em> It's off in the distance, a haze that I can't even see. There's no immediate reward in investing or saving. When faced with a new book, a flowy frock, or a delicious meal, the peace of mind that comes with planning for the future has always seemed like the boring, undesirable option. Until now.</p> <p>Now, I'm actually an adult. I've got big plans that go beyond what I'll be doing this coming Saturday night, and they involve retiring comfortably with lots of cash in the bank and lots of grandkids running around my yard. And what caused this shift in mindset was not only age, but also, <a href="https://www.acorns.com/">Acorns</a>.</p> <h2>How It Works</h2> <p>Acorns is a service that takes your electronic spare change, and invests it into a diversified portfolio. A team of experts, including mathematicians, financial experts, and top investors work behind the scenes to make sure your chump change grows into a brilliant little nest egg. You connect your bank account to your Acorns account, and the &quot;spare change&quot; from each transaction in that bank account gets automatically transferred into your Acorns account.</p> <p>So, for example, with the bank I use, I have a checking account with a debit card, a savings account, and a credit card. Acorns sees the transactions of all these accounts, and rounds up the total of each purchase to the next dollar. If I buy something on Amazon and spend $19.60 &mdash; whether I use my debit card or credit card to pay &mdash; Acorns will round that transaction up to $20.00, and invest the remaining $.40. Once the round ups reach $5.00, the funds will be automatically deducted from my checking account, and Acorns will invest it.</p> <p>The investments are spread over large company stocks, small company stocks, emerging market stocks, real estate, corporate bonds, and government bonds. Based on your investing goal and general time frame, you can change your investing style from conservative to aggressive whenever you want.</p> <p>It's easy, convenient, and it really teaches you a lot about money &mdash; especially if you're prone to recklessly spending all your dough. Here's what I learned about money after using Acorns for just three months. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-microsaving-tools-to-help-you-start-saving-now?ref=seealso">5 MicroSaving Tools to Help You Start Saving Now</a>)</p> <h2>Investing Doesn't Need to Be Complicated</h2> <p>I've had a few investment accounts through previous employers, and it always seemed like such a complex and intimidating process to make the right investment decisions. It was like learning a new language, and I can't even remember most of the French I learned in high school, so I felt utterly left out.</p> <p>But Acorns breaks it down and lets you see any changes to your investments in real time. You can also make changes to your portfolio at any time, depending on your goals. It could not be a more painless process.</p> <h2>Patience Is Money</h2> <p>They say, &quot;Time is money&quot; but I'd argue that patience, specifically, is way more valuable. Because you can't get anywhere in saving money or investing money without patience. Safeguarding your financial future takes a long time, and you need to be in it for the long haul, if you're going to do it right. Luckily, by using Acorns, and playing with their projection tools, that hazy future is a whole lot clearer.</p> <h2>Saving Is Surprisingly Thrilling</h2> <p>Getting any joy out of spending money used to mean purchasing a tangible thing that I could look at, wear, or play with like a shiny new toy. But Acorns has flipped that habit on its head, by giving me a substantial peek into just how cozy I can be if I save regularly and invest wisely. Being smart is way more fun than being spendy.</p> <p>Since I started using acorns three months ago, I've invested about $300, between round ups, weekly automatic transfers, and occasionally sending over an extra $20 when I'm feeling particularly money-motivated. My total gain is $4.48. It doesn't seem like much, right? But that money was working hard for me over the course of 90 days. And if I hadn't used Acorns, I probably wouldn't have saved that much, and I <em>definitely </em>would not have made any extra. I'm proud of that baby gain, and I'm excited to see where I'll be in six months. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-millennial-money-apps-everyone-should-use?ref=seealso">The 5 Millennial Money Apps Everyone Should Use</a>)</p> <h2>The More You Earn, the More You Learn</h2> <p>With Acorns, once you start seeing your account grow, you feel a sense of accomplishment that often leads to a hunger for more knowledge. You don't want to worry about losing it all, or your &quot;luck&quot; wearing out. So you want to know more, to become more informed, so you can maybe take what you've learned from Acorns and find other ways to invest in your future.</p> <h2>Your Money Should Never Get a Day Off</h2> <p>You work hard. And your money should always be working hard, too. Acorns makes monitoring your investments so easy that you can check in on everything while on a tropical vacation, sipping blended cocktails in the sun, while your moola is still on the 9-5 grind.</p> <h2>An Automated Life Is a Happy Life</h2> <p>The best part of Acorns, by far, is the automation. You link your bank account to Acorns to get it set up, and then you can also set up recurring deposits, track upcoming round-ups, and make checking on your investments as quick and easy as checking your Twitter notifications. This is now a quick part of your daily routine that leads to zero headaches, and only profitable progress in the right direction. Does it really get any better than that?</p> <p><em>Have you tried Acorns? Has it worked for you? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-i-learned-about-money-after-using-acorns">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/zen-and-the-art-of-hiding-money">Zen and the Art of Hiding Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-your-pets">6 Money Lessons You Can Learn From Your Pets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</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/does-your-kid-need-an-ira">Does Your Kid Need an IRA?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-save-and-make-money-while-traveling">12 Ways to Save and Make Money While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Investment acorns life lessons money lessons rounding up saving money Thu, 14 Apr 2016 09:30:19 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1687439 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30 http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_smiling_coffee_000083191027.jpg" alt="Woman learning best life lessons by age 30" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting older is scary. You're losing your supple, wrinkle-free glow one day at a time, you're edging closer to retirement and you may or may not have a sufficient amount of money saved, and ultimately, you're running out of time to accomplish your goals. But the flip side of that is with age comes wisdom, and by age 30, you should have a ton of it. Mainly because everyone's 20s are a hot mess of transitions, frightening unknowns, and emotional ups and downs. So once your 20s are behind you, you're ready to live your life like a <em>boss</em>.</p> <p>Here are our 76 best bits of wisdom to become your best self by age 30.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/young_woman_money_000062037450.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-personal-finance-milestones-every-20-and-30-year-old-should-hit?ref=fbf">7 Personal Finance Milestones Every 20 and 30 Year Old Should Hit</a> &mdash; Successfully managing your money is a struggle at every age. But if you can come up with the right strategy by 30, and stick to it, then you'll be living a very sweet life.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-by-30?ref=fbf">5 Financial Mistakes You Need to Stop Making by 30</a> &mdash; Just as important as learning what to do, is learning what not to do. You probably made all of these mistakes in the rough and tumble times in your 20s, but it's time to break these reckless habits by your third decade on Earth.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-stop-doing-on-social-media-by-30?ref=fbf">10 Things to Stop Doing on Social Media by 30</a> &mdash; We live in a digital age, in which the way you conduct yourself online is almost as important as the way you conduct yourself in person. So seriously, stop taking drunk, revealing selfies and plastering them all over the web.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_cooking_000057441244.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-life-hacks-you-should-master-by-age-30?ref=fbf">10 Life Hacks You Should Master by Age 30</a> &mdash; From changing a tire to properly wrapping a present, these are the skills you should master by the time you hit the big 3-0. Some are easy, and some are hard, but all will make you a self-sufficient human. And that is priceless.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-life-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-by-30?ref=fbf">5 Life Mistakes You Need to Stop Making by 30</a> &mdash; Adulting is not always easy. In fact, most of the time, it's incredibly difficult. But by 30, it's truly time to grow up and stop making irresponsible life choices.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-foods-everybody-should-be-able-to-cook-by-30?ref=fbf">12 Foods Everybody Should Be Able to Cook by 30</a> &mdash; Even if you're not much of a cook, you should be able to throw together a basic and hearty meal for yourself in a pinch. From pasta to pancakes, these are the foods you should really know how to cook by now.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/30-somethings_financial_goals.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-all-30-somethings-should-have?ref=fbf">10 Money Goals All 30-Somethings Should Have</a> &mdash; Now that your 20s are officially behind you, it's time to get serious about your financial goals. You've always dreamed of retiring on a beach with cocktails always in hand, yes? Well, now is the time to make that dream come true.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-career-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-30?ref=fbf">8 Career Mistakes to Stop Making by 30</a> &mdash; Decade numero tres is usually around the time people get laser-focused on their career goals. So if you're looking to switch industries, start your own business, or get a promotion, make sure you're always being your best self at work, and stop letting these mistakes slow you down.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-successful-30-somethings-do?ref=fbf">9 Things Successful 30-Somethings Do</a> &mdash; Oh you, wanna be a baller? Learn from the best, and adopt these smart habits of successful 30-somethings and you'll be well on your way.</p> <p><em>What are your tips for mastering the game of life by age 30? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">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/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it">Flashback Friday: The 60 Best Ways to Use Food Other Than Eating It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store">Flashback Friday: The 81 Best Tips for Saving Big at the Grocery Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right">Flashback Friday: The 107 Best Breakfast Hacks to Start Your Day Off Right</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-119-best-fitness-hacks-for-busy-people">Flashback Friday: The 119 Best Fitness Hacks for Busy People</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting Lifestyle budget fbf flashback friday frugal food Health saving money Fri, 08 Apr 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1686913 at http://www.wisebread.com