Budgeting http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4804/all en-US 39 Mindless Ways You're Wasting Money in Every Part of Your Life http://www.wisebread.com/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_empty_wallet_653879988.jpg" alt="Woman learning mindless ways she&#039;s wasting money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even though you try to be careful with your money, you are probably wasting a lot of cash without even noticing. If you find yourself wondering where your money goes, see if any of these mindless money wasters are escaping your attention.</p> <h2>1. Superfluous presents</h2> <p>The easiest way to make sure you have a special occasion covered is to buy presents, cards, flowers, cakes, etc. Some special occasions merit this kind of spending, but it's easy to get in the habit of routinely buying small gifts that will quickly be forgotten and eventually get tossed. A quick note is a meaningful way to show you care &mdash; and it's free.</p> <h2>2. High-tech gadgets</h2> <p>Many people automatically get a new cellphone when their contract is up, or buy every new game console that comes out. But do you really need an upgrade? Instead, keep your working tech toy around until it starts to get glitchy.</p> <h2>3. In-app purchases</h2> <p>Those free games and apps are usually trying to sell you something. They make it easy to click and buy a way to beat a hard level of a game or add a new feature to your free app without really thinking about it. Resist!</p> <h2>4. Unused subscriptions</h2> <p>When you were hyped up about getting in shape for the new year, you subscribed to a fitness video channel and watched it a few times. But you are still paying $9.99 per month just in case you decide to get in shape later. Cancel that membership and start saving money.</p> <h2>5. Your morning coffee</h2> <p>Lots of people seem to operate on autopilot during their morning routine. They hit the coffee shop or maybe grab fast food for breakfast. They are blowing money every day before they are awake enough to notice!</p> <h2>6. Recreational shopping</h2> <p>Stores are intentionally designed to trigger buying and extract as much money from shoppers as possible. Walking around a store or mall just for something to do is likely to result in unintended spending.</p> <h2>7. Buying books</h2> <p>You may be in the habit of buying the latest book in a series from your favorite author as soon as you see it at the store. But you can get new book releases at the library for free, or get ebooks instead of paper books, sometimes for lower prices &mdash; plus you won't need to store the book after you read it. Another alternative is to find used books for a fraction of the cost of new books.</p> <h2>8. Buying name-brand everything</h2> <p>People like buying name-brand items and seem to do so without even considering generic alternatives. Sometimes buying name brands makes sense if it offers more features or higher quality, but often the generic version costs a lot less and you won't even notice the difference.</p> <h2>9. Convenience items</h2> <p>Individual serving containers and prepared food items are quick and convenient, but cost much more than larger quantities. With a little planning, you can get the same items and avoid paying extra. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-much-more-youre-paying-for-these-6-convenience-buys?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Much More You're Paying for These 6 Convenience Buys</a>)</p> <h2>10. Making minimum payments</h2> <p>Credit card bills show the minimum payment you are required to make each month based on your total balance. Many people simply pay just this amount, but it can take over a decade to pay off a credit card making minimum payments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Fastest Way to Pay Off 10K Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>11. Getting high interest credit cards</h2> <p>Credit cards often offer a low introductory interest rate and later bump it up significantly when the promotional period has ended. Check the interest rates on your accounts and do a balance transfer or debt consolidation loan to get rid of high interest balances. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">When to Do a Balance Transfer to Pay Off Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>12. Opening high fee investment accounts</h2> <p>The good news is that you are investing money for retirement, but the bad news is that high fees may be erasing a lot of your gains and could delay retirement by years. Take the extra step to check out the expense ratio on your investment options and choose ones with low fees. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-warren-buffett-says-you-should-invest-in-index-funds?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why You Should Invest In Index Funds</a>)</p> <h2>13. Accruing late fees</h2> <p>With free autopay, you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-autopay" target="_blank">pay your bills</a> even if you don't bother to open them and avoid late fees.</p> <h2>14. Getting the extended warranty</h2> <p>When you buy a new gizmo, you will often be offered <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-free-extended-warranties-work-on-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">extended warranty coverage</a>. At that moment, saying yes to protect your new toy can seem like the easy answer, but purchasing an extended warranty is often a bad deal for many items including appliances, electronics, and vehicles. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-buying-the-extended-warranty-makes-sense?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Times Buying the Extended Warranty Makes Sense</a>)</p> <h2>15. Going along with the crowd</h2> <p>It is easy to get pulled into going to an expensive activity such as a concert or sporting event with friends, but make sure the cost is worth it to you before you commit to going. There are plenty of things you can do together that cost little or no money.</p> <h2>16. Keeping cable TV</h2> <p>Once you get signed up for cable TV or satellite TV, the bills just keep on coming every month unless you do something to make it stop. There are several cost-effective alternatives once you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-everyone-can-cut-cable-and-still-watch-what-they-love-even-sportsfans?ref=internal" target="_blank">cut the cable cord</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-tv-must-haves-once-you-cut-the-cable-cord?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 TV Must-Haves Once You Cut the Cable Cord</a>)</p> <h2>17. Hobbies</h2> <p>Some hobbies require continuously buying new materials and equipment. Replace expensive, resource-intensive hobbies with activities that are less focused on trips to the store to buy supplies. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hobbies-you-can-start-for-under-10?ref=seealso" target="_blank">25 Hobbies You Can Start for Under $10</a>)</p> <h2>18. Collections</h2> <p>It can be easy to start a collection, but you end up buying things solely to own them and you need space to keep your collection.</p> <h2>19. Extra driving</h2> <p>One great thing about modern life is that you can travel effortlessly from one place to another by driving a car, rather than in a horse and buggy, but driving around is expensive. Save money at the gas pump by cutting down on unnecessary and inefficient trips.</p> <h2>20. Not changing your thermostat setting</h2> <p>If you use a &quot;set it and forget it&quot; approach to temperature control in your house, you are sending extra money to the utility company each month. Instead of leaving the A/C cranked up all summer long, turn the temperature up at night and when you are not home. Better yet, use a <a href="http://amzn.to/2okYqtt" target="_blank">programmable thermostat</a> to automatically adjust the temperature for your schedule.</p> <h2>21. Driving a big car</h2> <p>Sometimes having a big vehicle is handy, but most of the time when I see pickup trucks and SUVs on the road, they have no cargo and only the driver on board. Think about driving a small car instead of a large vehicle to cut your fuel bill and save on the vehicle purchase price as well. You can rent or borrow a large vehicle for occasions when you need extra capacity, or let someone else do the hauling.</p> <h2>22. Carrying extra stuff in your car</h2> <p>If you have extra junk in your trunk, you are paying to haul it around everywhere you go. Get rid of extra stuff you have accumulated in your car to get better gas mileage and improve your vehicle's ride.</p> <h2>23. Keeping your home lit up like Times Square</h2> <p>It is easy to remember to turn on the lights when you walk into a dark room, but it is much harder to remember to turn the lights off when you leave. Forgetting to turn off unused lights and electronics is running up your electric bill.</p> <h2>24. Dining out</h2> <p>It is easy to go through the fast food drive-thru on the way home or take your family out to a casual dining restaurant when you don't feel like cooking, but this costs a lot more than buying groceries and preparing food at home.</p> <h2>25. Up-sizing your orders</h2> <p>When you are offered an upgrade to a large drink and large fries for a dollar, it can seem like a no-brainer to say yes. You always want a good deal, right? But if you don't need a bigger drink and more fries, up-sizing is a waste of money.</p> <h2>26. Buying bottled water</h2> <p>Buying cold bottles of water is convenient, but you can easily bring water from home for almost free. Freeze your refillable bottles of water so they will be cold when you are ready to drink them.</p> <h2>27. Using vending machines</h2> <p>When you are hungry and there is a giant machine filled with snacks nearby, it can be hard to avoid putting money into it. With a little planning, however, you can buy snack items at the grocery store instead and save a lot of money.</p> <h2>28. Entertainment snacking</h2> <p>Many people are in the habit of eating snacks at the movie theater, at ballgames, after work, or when watching TV at home. Are you really that hungry, or are you just in the habit of eating something when some form of entertainment is in front of you? Because you can still enjoy whatever you're watching with or without the snack.</p> <h2>29. Always ordering a drink</h2> <p>When dining out or at meals at home, there is always an opportunity to get a drink. Most people opt for this choice. But are you actually thirsty? And if you are, what's wrong with drinking free water instead of soda?</p> <h2>30. Blindly following expiration dates</h2> <p>Most expiration dates on food are a suggestion rather than a hard rule. Use common sense rather than throwing out food based only on the &quot;use by&quot; or &quot;best before&quot; dates printed on food packaging. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-i-eat-this-a-quick-guide-to-expiration-dates-and-food-safety?ref=seealso" target="_blank">A Quick Guide to Expiration Dates and Food Safety</a>)</p> <h2>31. Creating premature container waste</h2> <p>Is that empty food container really empty? Use a rubber spatula to get all of the peanut butter out of the jar before recycling it. You can probably get enough for one more PB&amp;J sandwich.</p> <h2>32. Eating too much in one sitting</h2> <p>It's hard to leave only two cookies in the package or to leave a small amount of leftovers in a tupperware container for the next day. Most people will finish off a container of food, even if it is more than they want or need. But that small amount of food may be just right for a snack or to round out the next meal. Save it for later, and save money in the process.</p> <h2>33. Buying new furniture</h2> <p>Instead of automatically going to look at new furniture, check out much cheaper used furniture first at consignment shops and on Craigslist.</p> <h2>34. Buying disposable products</h2> <p>Would you buy something and then immediately throw it away after one use? That's exactly what you are doing when you buy disposable products. I try to minimize wasting money on disposable products by using cloth napkins and reusable rags instead of paper products, for example.</p> <h2>35. Using a storage unit</h2> <p>You have too much stuff to fit in your house, basement, attic, and garage &hellip; but not to worry &mdash; you can rent a storage unit. You're paying for extra room in order to keep things you aren't using. It can be a lot of work to get rid of extra stuff, but you will save money every month by avoiding that storage unit fee. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-why-self-storage-is-a-really-bad-idea?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Reasons Why Self-Storage Is a Really Bad Idea</a>)</p> <h2>36. Paying for DIY services</h2> <p>You might find yourself signed up for home services such as lawn care and pest control that you could take care of yourself, or perhaps no longer need.</p> <h2>37. Carwash</h2> <p>When your car is dirty, driving through a car wash may seem like a good solution, but you can wash your car at home for a fraction of the cost.</p> <h2>38. Taking the kids to toy land</h2> <p>Will your kids really play with a new toy for more than a few minutes? Instead of mindlessly buying another toy, spend time playing with them and the toys they already have.</p> <h2>39. Pampering your pets too much</h2> <p>Last time I moved, I was embarrassed to find a box labeled &quot;Dog Clothes.&quot; In addition to clothes, my dogs have lots of toys and accessories, too. I could have saved a lot of money if I had thought about what my dogs would actually use rather than impulsively buying things that looked fun.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life">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/flashback-friday-23-mental-tricks-thatll-help-you-save-money">Flashback Friday: 23 Mental Tricks That&#039;ll Help You Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-nice-thing-can-ruin-your-whole-budget">How One Nice Thing Can Ruin Your Whole Budget</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/people-are-still-spending-too-much-on-their-weddings">People Are Still Spending Too Much on Their Weddings</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-ways-your-lazy-habits-are-costing-you">9 Ways Your Lazy Habits Are Costing You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shop-with-purpose-and-save-more-money">How to Shop With Purpose — And Save More Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping how to save money money habits saving money shopping habits Spending Money wasting money Wed, 19 Apr 2017 09:00:09 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1930448 at http://www.wisebread.com 34 Ways to Come Up With the Rent Before the Month Ends http://www.wisebread.com/34-ways-to-come-up-with-the-rent-before-the-month-ends <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/34-ways-to-come-up-with-the-rent-before-the-month-ends" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/calendar_money_rent_185251717.jpg" alt="Finding ways to come up with the rent before the end of the month" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you are short on rent, $300 might as well be $3,000,000. Finding the money seems impossible. But don't despair! Here's a list of ways to come up with the rent this month and every month.</p> <h2>1. Call in your markers</h2> <p>Do people owe you money? Now is the time to call in those loans.</p> <h2>2. Return your recent purchases</h2> <p>Did a recent shopping spree put you in this rental money crisis? You can even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-return-items-through-your-credit-card-if-the-store-refuses?ref=internal" target="_blank">return unused items through your credit card</a> if the store refuses.</p> <h2>3. Ask for overtime at work</h2> <p>Let your employer and your coworkers know that you are looking for additional shifts.</p> <h2>4. Take over a contract</h2> <p>Is your employer paying an outside contractor for work you could do on the side? Offer to do the job for a flat fee (to be paid outside your regular paycheck).</p> <h2>5. Be a great reference</h2> <p>My husband's company pays up to $5,000 per referral to employees who successfully recruit top talent.</p> <h2>6. Cash in on commuter benefits</h2> <p>Some employers allow their workers to make pre-tax payroll deductions to help pay for commuting costs. Other employers offer money saving commuter perks like free parking to carpoolers, free use of company bikes, or paying for public transit costs outright.</p> <h2>7. Get a second job</h2> <p>This might seem like a no-brainer, but you would be shocked by how many people don't look beyond their 9-5 job for extra cash. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-outside-your-day-job?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Ways to Make Money Outside Your Day Job</a>)</p> <h2>8. Join the gig economy</h2> <p>Drive for Uber, Lyft, or Caviar. Find a job using TaskRabbit or Upwork. Use Fiverr and Mechanical Turk to find micro gigs that you can complete in minutes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-a-side-gig-at-these-4-best-micro-jobs-sites?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Find a Side Gig at These 4 Best Micro-Jobs Sites</a>)</p> <h2>9. Create your own job</h2> <p>Every job that I have ever loved <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-job-creation?ref=internal" target="_blank">I have invented</a>. Find something that needs to get done and do it for money. Babysit for your neighbors. Monetize your DJ abilities. Shovel snow. There are all sorts of long- and short-term jobs that require your skill set.</p> <h2>10. Offer day labor on a farm</h2> <p>Farms are always short on labor. It's a physically demanding way to make a buck, but if you like working outside, day laboring on a farm might be a solution to your financial woes.</p> <p>Also, a side perk of many farm jobs is access to free produce. Reduce your grocery bills and get the rent paid!</p> <h2>11. Tuneup your finances</h2> <p>Are you paying for services that you aren't using? Go through your monthly expenses with a fine-toothed comb. You might be shocked by how much money you are wasting. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-escape-the-paycheck-to-paycheck-cycle?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Escape the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle</a>)</p> <h2>12. Delete duplicate accounts</h2> <p>Are you paying for multiple streaming video services? Can you entertain yourself with just one? Or, can you suspend or delete all of your subscription services until you get a grip on your finances?</p> <h2>13. Audit your accounts</h2> <p>Examine your bank statements closely. Are you paying extra fees for services that you don't use? Call your credit card company. Are you getting the best interest rate that you can get?</p> <h2>14. Clear out costly apps</h2> <p>There are many free apps and programs that provide a premium service for a fee. Are you using each of the pro versions enough to warrant the extra costs?</p> <h2>15. Cash in your credit card reward points</h2> <p>One of my friends tracks all her reward programs on an Excel spreadsheet so she never misses a perk. Are you leaving money on the table? Can you cash out your reward points for gift cards that you can resell or use to offset other line items in your budget?</p> <h2>16. Sell your stuff</h2> <p>The average <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2014/mar/21/health/la-he-keeping-stuff-20140322" target="_blank">American home contains over 300,000 items</a> and many of those can be sold off for cold hard cash. Bonus: If you have been trying to downsize, now is the time to purge your home of unwanted items. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clear-out-that-clutter-15-places-to-sell-your-stuff?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Clear Out That Clutter: 15 Places to Sell Your Stuff</a>)</p> <h2>17. Sell your gift cards</h2> <p>In some states, you can get cash for gift cards with a low balance. But there are a number of other ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-turn-unwanted-gift-cards-into-cash?ref=internal" target="_blank">convert gift cards into cash</a>.</p> <h2>18. Sell your collections</h2> <p>Collections can be hugely valuable. But before you hock Grandma's jewels, look around your house for hidden treasures. You would be shocked by the value of your old Starbucks mugs, concert T-shirts, and other random housewares. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-old-knick-knacks-you-can-flip-for-easy-cash?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Old Knick-Knacks You Can Flip for Easy Cash</a>)</p> <h2>19. Sell your nostalgia</h2> <p>My husband just made $960 selling his old Nintendo, Super Nintendo, and Dreamcast games. But even more recent games can have value. Last year, I sold a copy of Kuon, a PlayStation 2 game, for $200.</p> <p>Vintage analog toys such as board games, Breyer horses, Matchbox cars, Lego sets, action figures, and dolls can all fetch a small fortune on eBay. My friend Steve sold his collection of vintage Blythe dolls for $29,000, enough pay for the down payment on his home!</p> <h2>20. Sell bulky items on Craigslist</h2> <p>Sell bulky and hard-to-ship items like furniture, cast iron pans, and glassware on Craigslist so you don't have to fiddle with shipping.</p> <h2>21. Host a garage sale</h2> <p>My husband and I throw three garage sales a year that net us between $500 and $1,000 annually. Our garage sale inventory consists of random crap we couldn't sell elsewhere for more money. We price our garage sale merchandise to move, typically charging $1 to $5 for just about everything. The way we see it, if people are paying us to declutter our home, they deserve the bargain.</p> <h2>22. Set up a lemonade stand</h2> <p>To augment our garage sale profits, we sell lemonade or brownies for $1 per serving. In cold climates, you can sell hot cocoa or coffee to your shoppers.</p> <h2>23. Trash pick and flip</h2> <p>Are you already a minimalist who sold all her stuff ages ago? Don't worry. You can always sell other people's stuff! Since most rental contracts start at the first of the month, the last week of the month (when people are moving out) is always a great time to scrounge for curbed furniture and other items that renters don't want to pay to move. Sell your found treasures at a garage sale, or use Craigslist or an app like 5miles to advertise your merchandise to local customers.</p> <h2>24. Recycle</h2> <p>Why give the $.05 rebate per can that you paid for to someone else? University campuses and concert venues are a prime place to scrounge for bottles and cans.</p> <h2>25. Sell your books and music</h2> <p>While you will make more money selling your media on sites like Amazon and Half.com, you may not make an online sale in time to help your rent payment. For fast cash, sell your books, movies, and music to brick and mortar stores in your area.</p> <h2>26. Have a plant sale</h2> <p>Do you have a green thumb? Root cuttings from your garden or hook up with a local landscaper for their castoffs.</p> <p>Or, sell heirloom vegetable seedlings. A package of 25 tomato seeds costs me about $8, or $0.40 per seed. But I can sell my tomato seedlings for $2 each at my neighborhood farmers market.</p> <h2>27. Sell your body, legally</h2> <p>There are numerous legal ways to sell your body for money. You can sell your sperm or eggs for thousands of dollars, but those donations require that your money be escrowed for at least six months and an equally long time commitment. For quick rent money, you can sell blood, platelets, plasma, breast milk, and, <a href="https://www.boston.com/culture/health/2014/10/15/a-poop-bank-in-massachusetts-will-pay-you-40-every-day" target="_blank">if you live in Massachusetts, your poop</a>.</p> <h2>28. Stop driving</h2> <p>Do you have a less convenient, but also less expensive commuting option? Now is the time to learn to love the bus. Save on gas money and car repair costs by walking, biking, carpooling, or taking public transportation to work.</p> <h2>29. Monetize your commute</h2> <p>My friend Duke operates a mobile record store every Friday on his train commute to work. My neighbor knits hats during her daily bus rides. She makes enough money each month with her commuter knitting to pay for her metro card.</p> <h2>30. Advertise with your car</h2> <p>And if you can&rsquo;t do without your car, make some extra dough by turning it into a rolling billboard. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-earn-extra-money-with-your-car?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Earn Extra Money With Your Car</a>)</p> <h2>31. Rent out part of your house</h2> <p>My brother-in-law rents out his spare bedrooms in his suburban mini mansion to foreign students who are attending the local college. In addition to offsetting his mortgage, his daughter gets free Mandarin lessons. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed?ref=seealso" target="_blank">This Is How You Rent Your Place on Airbnb</a>)</p> <p>Pro tip: If you can find a housesitting gig at the same time, you can double up your house-renting profit.</p> <h2>32. Become an Airbnb host</h2> <p>Even if you don't have space to rent out, you can still be a host via the <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/host/experiences" target="_blank">Airbnb Experiences</a> program. Airbnb is a great place to advertise your local expertise as a specialty tour guide. For example, a chef could host a two-hour cooking experience or an experienced hiker could host a multiday camping excursion.</p> <h2>33. Leverage your parking space</h2> <p>If you live next to a university, hospital, concert venue, or sports arena, consider renting out your parking space. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space</a>)</p> <h2>34. Rock the garage</h2> <p>Rent your garage out to your favorite local band as a practice space. Or, if you value your peace and quiet, rent your garage as studio space for photographers, sculptors, and woodworkers.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/34-ways-to-come-up-with-the-rent-before-the-month-ends">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life">39 Mindless Ways You&#039;re Wasting Money in Every Part of Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-make-your-money-grow-this-spring">11 Ways to Make Your Money Grow This Spring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-you-can-earn-18-to-25-an-hour-with-amazon-flex">How You Can Earn $18 to $25 an Hour With Amazon Flex</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Extra Income making a budget making extra money rent rent money saving money saving tips side gig Tue, 18 Apr 2017 09:00:08 +0000 Max Wong 1929795 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Money Lessons We Can Learn From the Easter Bunny http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-the-easter-bunny <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-the-easter-bunny" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-160593094.jpg" alt="Learning money lessons from the Easter bunny" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Easter is upon us once again, and with it comes the arrival of the Easter bunny and baskets full of treats. Sure, everything about this holiday is delicious and worth the caloric splurge &mdash; right down to the succulent Easter ham &mdash; but what can we learn from all this spending? Maybe it's time to embrace the bits of financial wisdom we can get from the Easter bunny himself. What can he teach us about this annual day of sweet treats? And how can he help us with our money over time?</p> <h2>1. Hard work is rewarded</h2> <p>Hunting for Easter eggs is something most of us remember fondly from our childhood, and pass on to the kids of today. And there's a simple lesson to be learned here; the more work you put in, the more you get out of it. In this case, get out there early, search every nook and cranny, and fill your basket with as many eggs as it can hold. Then, there's egg decoration. Many schools, and some families, like to make a competition out of the task. While a simple egg dipped in dye is ok, those who really go the extra mile win the day. And that can mean winning a basketful of goodies, or a fun experience.</p> <p>In your career, your financial management, or a creative pursuit, the more effort you put in, the more you'll get out of the entire process. You'll also be much prouder of the reward you receive, knowing you truly earned it. So do the work and get the rewards &mdash; financial or otherwise.</p> <h2>2. Don't compare your assets with your neighbor's</h2> <p>How many times have you seen some kids continually look into the baskets of their friends, saying, &quot;No fair, you have way more than me!&quot; And &quot;How many have you got?&quot; They're so concerned with what others have, they get less eggs than they could if they were focused on their own egg haul. Plus, it's also a quick path to misery. They may have only four or five eggs in the basket, but that's still a bunch of free candy and goodies that they didn't have an hour earlier.</p> <p>It's been said that we measure our happiness by our neighbors, and that can be frighteningly true. For example, you're proud of your new car, especially next to your neighbor's old rust bucket. But when they trade that in for a brand-new car twice the price of yours, with all the bells and whistles, your paradigm shifts. Your great car &hellip; now, is not so great, even though it's the exact same car. This attitude can make you spend money when you don't want to. So, focus on yourself, not what others have.</p> <h2>3. Never put all your eggs in one basket</h2> <p>When kids are running around, grabbing as many eggs as they can to load up their baskets, there's no problem. But in the real world, we want to avoid this practice.</p> <p>Whether it's the stock market, your career, investors, or clients, diversification is the key. When it comes to your career, these days it's essential to have other irons in the fire. Layoffs happen daily in America, and all too often, people are finding it hard to get the same job because it's dying out. You should consider finding other ways to bring in money, in areas that are growing in strength; even if it's just a side business flipping thrift store finds on eBay. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-outside-your-day-job?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Ways to Make Money Outside Your Day Job</a>)</p> <h2>4. Something of value may not be visible &hellip; yet</h2> <p>That Easter egg hidden in the dense grass isn't something that can be found immediately. But for those with a little perseverance, it's waiting to be collected. So much that we do in life applies to that moment. It's the idea sitting in the back of your head that can become a business venture. It's the investment opportunity that seems like nothing special. Or, if we are to be very literal, it's a hidden treasure tucked away in your basement or attic; something worth a small fortune, just waiting to be uncovered one day. Keep your eyes peeled for the prospect of uncovering something of value, and it's much more likely to happen.</p> <h2>5. Don't judge a book by its cover</h2> <p>In the case of Easter, don't judge the contents of an egg by its shell. Many parents and schools will put the most valuable prizes, like cash and gift cards, inside the most unassuming eggs. The big, gold, shiny eggs may well be fool's gold, containing only a few candies.</p> <p>Now, if you have ever shopped at a garage sale or thrift store, and found something valuable, you'll know it was hiding in plain sight. It didn't look like much, but to the right person, it was worth a lot. People can be judged in just the same way. Do you hire someone based on how they look, or what they offer? It is, of course, the latter. A home can look terrible at first glance, but after a little sweat equity, they can double in value. Find your hidden gem.</p> <h2>6. Something can come out of nothing</h2> <p>We all know (well, most of us, anyway) that the Easter bunny doesn't really exist. However, look at the excitement and incredible good will generated by the existence of this fantasy, including the revenue generated every Easter. We spend big bucks on this holiday each year. And yet, there is no bunny. There's no magic. It's all something we have created. So, do likewise with your finances. Can you find a way to create money out of something that doesn't exist right now? Is there a gap in the market? Do you see a need that is not being fulfilled, like all those contestants who appear on <em>Shark Tank</em>? It may not exist right now, but you can make it real, and you can make it a financial success.</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/6-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-the-easter-bunny">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-new-toys-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use New Toys to Teach Kids About 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/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life">39 Mindless Ways You&#039;re Wasting Money in Every Part of Your Life</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/heres-what-i-learned-about-money-after-using-acorns">Here&#039;s What I Learned About Money After Using Acorns</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-one-nice-thing-can-ruin-your-whole-budget">How One Nice Thing Can Ruin Your Whole Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-times-spending-more-will-save-you-money">21 Times Spending More Will Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping Easter easter bunny financial lessons Holidays money lessons saving money wisdom Wed, 12 Apr 2017 08:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 1925855 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 College Expenses You Aren't Saving For http://www.wisebread.com/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-517076077.jpg" alt="Parent finding college expenses she didn&#039;t save for" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Worried that tuition and room and board will bleed you dry when your kid goes off to college? Pfft. Wait till you get a load of all the expenses you didn't account for! You'll want to sit down for this.</p> <h2>1. College prep items</h2> <p>You'll want to send your kid off to college well prepared &mdash; with things. Things like study and work supplies, dorm room necessities, snack foods, toiletries, a new computer, maybe a new phone. It's amazing how easily items pile up when you're shopping for college.</p> <h2>2. Traveling home and back</h2> <p>No loving parent can go too long without seeing their kid &mdash; especially their freshman year in college. So, you'll need to account for travel costs to get your child back and forth to your home if they attend a school that requires more than a few hours' travel.</p> <p>&quot;Create a travel budget by researching typical costs for airfare, train, or bus, whichever mode of transportation is available to you, and estimate the number of times your child will head home throughout the year,&quot; suggests money-saving expert Andrea Woroch. &quot;If they have a car and are driving [a long] distance away from home, propose that they carpool to save on gas and tolls if applicable.&quot;</p> <p>They can also use a site like <a href="https://www.zimride.com/" target="_blank">Zimride</a>, which will connect them with other college students looking to share a ride.</p> <h2>3. Local transportation costs</h2> <p>If your child has a car on campus, you're looking at the cost of a parking pass plus insurance and gas. If they don't have a car, you'll need to consider a new bike and investigate the cost of public transportation passes. These costs can add up, as well. College students don't tend to be holed up in their tiny dorm rooms while not in class.</p> <h2>4. Food outside the meal plan</h2> <p>College meal plans are expensive enough by themselves, but don't count on those being your child's only source of food. Many campus dining halls close earlier than you probably think, and late night study sessions require energy. Plan on having to send them some extra dollars for groceries, snacks, and late-night diner runs.</p> <h2>5. Greek life</h2> <p>I was interested in joining a fraternity when I went to college. It signified the quintessential coming-of-age experience to me, and I liked the idea of having &quot;brothers,&quot; as I wasn't close with my own growing up.</p> <p>Nice sentiment, but it got expensive real quick.</p> <p>My dues were about $400 per semester, I wanted to buy new clothes every time we had a formal or theme party, and if something went wrong in the house &mdash; like the one time a drunk alumni brother smashed up our soda machine &mdash; we had to collectively cover the cost. By the end of four years, I had spent thousands of dollars to be part of this exclusive club &mdash; which, in hindsight, was worth every penny considering the memories I made. So, I guess what I'm saying here is &hellip; grab your checkbook.</p> <h2>6. Sports and extracurriculars</h2> <p>If you're the parent of a child whose athletic skills have earned them a college scholarship, congrats; consider yourself lucky. On the other hand, if your child is perfectly average but still wants to play sports or join extracurriculars, you'll need to cough up the cash.</p> <p>&quot;Sometimes participating in extracurricular activities on campus can cost extra money,&quot; says Johan Zhang, co-founder of CollegeVine. &quot;Whether it's paying for club dues, schoolwide participation fees, or even apparel, at many colleges there exists a hidden cost to joining and being an active member in extracurricular activities..&quot;</p> <p>Be sure to consider this and save up in advance.</p> <h2>7. Your trips to see your child</h2> <p>Bringing your kid home is going to cost you, and so is traveling to visit your child. You may also want to attend things like orientation weekend, parents' weekend, and other events hosted by the college. You'll need to factor in transportation, lodging, and food, so budget wisely.</p> <h2>8. Off-campus living</h2> <p>Eventually your kid will outgrow the dorm and want to live off-campus. This usually happens around junior year, but sometimes you can hold it off until senior year. With that comes the expense of monthly rent, renter's insurance, furniture, utility bills, and a security deposit that you're never going to see again. Make amends with that right now; it's already spent.</p> <h2>9. The extended plan</h2> <p>Listen, I'm rooting for you to get your kid in and out of college in four years, but, well... the odds aren't in your favor.</p> <p>&quot;At most public universities, over 80 percent of students will take more than four years to graduate due to overcrowded or unavailable classes,&quot; say Adrian Ridner, CEO and co-founder of Study.com. &quot;That means if you are planning on four years of college expenses, you could be under budgeting by 25 percent to 50 percent. Taking low cost college courses online can be a great way to stay on track and graduate on time. Another factor that can extend your child's time in school is lack of college readiness. This may mean completing remedial courses that do not count toward graduation.&quot;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-financial-aid-might-not-cover">6 Things Financial Aid Might Not Cover</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-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs">9 Freshman Shopping Tips to Cut College Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid&#039;s College Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-saving-hacks-every-college-student-should-try">8 Money-Saving Hacks Every College Student Should Try</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Education & Training college dining plans dorm rooms expenses food costs fraternities hidden costs kids sororities students transportation travel Tue, 11 Apr 2017 08:00:16 +0000 Mikey Rox 1923858 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 52 Money Mistakes You Need to Stop Making http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-52-money-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-52-money-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_no_money_489081790.jpg" alt="Man making money mistakes he needs to stop making" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Too much credit card spending. Not having an emergency fund. Waiting to save for retirement. Making a money mistake or two like these is fine early on, and is probably not the end of the world as you get older, but at a certain point, you need to clean up your finances and start making responsible money choices. Here are 52 money mistakes you need to stop making.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/man_piggy_bank_000072626017.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-but-no-one-talks-about?ref=fbf">20 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes But No One Talks About</a> &mdash; We all make money mistakes. We forget to budget, we underestimate tax bills sometimes, or go broke from a pricey college education. But the key to recovery is acknowledging the problem, so start talking about these rarely talked about money mistakes, and you'll be on your way to fixing them.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-50?ref=fbf">5 Money Mistakes to Stop Making by 50</a> &mdash; Being reckless with your finances close to retirement age is not a good look. So start putting those irresponsible money moves behind you so you don't reach age 50 lost in a sea of debt.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_piggy_bank_000035836870.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-savings-mistakes-even-smart-people-make?ref=fbf">8 Savings Mistakes Even Smart People Make</a> &mdash; You think smart people are immune to poor money choices? Nope! Intelligence helps you manage your money, but it doesn't mean you won't screw up. And there's something oddly comforting about knowing the smartest among us struggle sometimes.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-dumb-401k-mistakes-smart-people-make?ref=fbf">5 Dumb 401(k) Mistakes Smart People Make</a> &mdash; Ok, so you've got a 401(k). That's great! But just having one isn't enough. Make sure you aren't making these mistakes &mdash; that even smart people make &mdash; because you could be destroying your retirement.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/finances-135546859.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-worst-money-mistakes-married-people-make?ref=fbf">The 7 Worst Money Mistakes Married People Make</a> &mdash; Once you recite those vows and become a married pair, you should probably get your money in check. You're a team now, and you shouldn't avoid those tough financial conversations, or hide major purchases from each other.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-making-these-7-basic-budget-mistakes?ref=fbf">Stop Making These 7 Basic Budget Mistakes</a> &mdash; The work that goes into maintaining a budget is never done. You constantly need to adjust your goals to align with your financial needs. But please stop making these basic budget mistakes. You're only hurting yourself.</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-52-money-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making">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/time-is-money-budget-them-both-out">Time Is Money: Budget Them Both Out</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-72-brilliant-ways-to-stretch-20">Flashback Friday: 72 Brilliant Ways to Stretch $20</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-23-mental-tricks-thatll-help-you-save-money">Flashback Friday: 23 Mental Tricks That&#039;ll Help You Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-76-new-years-resolutions-thatll-make-2017-your-year">Flashback Friday: 76 New Year&#039;s Resolutions That&#039;ll Make 2017 Your Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-38-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-celebrities">Flashback Friday: 38 Money Lessons We Can Learn From Celebrities</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting credit fbf flashback friday money money mistakes Fri, 07 Apr 2017 08:30:16 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1923221 at http://www.wisebread.com How One Nice Thing Can Ruin Your Whole Budget http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-nice-thing-can-ruin-your-whole-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-one-nice-thing-can-ruin-your-whole-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-613134306.jpg" alt="Woman shopping and ruining her whole budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As your income rises, you tend to experience &quot;lifestyle inflation,&quot; defined as the tendency to increase spending over time to upgrade your lifestyle. You get a nicer place to live, buy better food, eat at restaurants more, buy a nicer car, spend more on vacations, spend more on pets, hobbies, and other nonessential expenses. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-youre-suffering-from-lifestyle-inflation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Signs You&rsquo;re Suffering From Lifestyle Inflation</a>)</p> <p>Even if your income is not rising, there is still pressure to spend more and upgrade your lifestyle as you grow older. You see your friends and neighbors &quot;moving on up&quot; and feel like you are working hard and deserve to move up as well. Once you start spending more, you reset your baseline expectations, and your increased level of spending becomes the new normal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-mental-biases-that-are-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Mental Biases That Are Keeping You Poor</a>)</p> <h2>The problem with lifestyle inflation</h2> <p>This habit can keep you stuck in the mud forever, financially speaking. Lifestyle inflation is typically a repeated behavior rather than a one-time splurge, so you keep paying more month-after-month and year-after-year for things like a bigger house or nicer car. This extra spending saps money that could be funding investment accounts and paying off debt. Even worse, lifestyle inflation spending is sometimes funded with borrowed money &mdash; such as charging a vacation to a credit card. It can keep you living paycheck-to-paycheck and delay reaching financial independence by decades. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-escape-the-paycheck-to-paycheck-cycle?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Escape the Paycheck-to-Paycheck cycle</a>)</p> <h2>How the Diderot Effect makes it worse</h2> <p>What benefit do you get from all of the extra spending to inflate your lifestyle? The simple answer is that you get nicer stuff. But is buying the nicer stuff making you <em>happier </em>than you would be without it?</p> <p>According to a phenomenon called the Diderot Effect, buying nicer stuff can actually make you less satisfied and lead to spiraling consumption. The Diderot Effect is named after the French philosopher Denis Diderot who described the following scenario in the 1700s: He received some very high quality clothing as a gift. The new clothes made his old clothes and even his furniture and artwork seem shabby in comparison. Diderot was no longer satisfied with his possessions and went about upgrading most of his belongings to try to find satisfaction again.</p> <p>The Diderot Effect is a driver of lifestyle inflation today. Let's say one of your kitchen appliances breaks down and you decide to replace it. You find a good deal on a fancy new appliance and buy it. Now all of your other appliances seem outdated and you can't wait to upgrade the rest of your appliances as well. And after you upgrade the appliances, you might decide that upgrading your countertops would make sense to go with the new appliances. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-biggest-lies-we-tell-ourselves-about-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 10 Biggest Lies We Tell Ourselves About Money</a>)</p> <p>Another aspect of the Diderot Effect is that people tend to buy possessions that form a culturally complementary set. In other words, you see yourself as belonging to a particular cultural group and tend to buy possessions that reflect this status and that are consistent with your other possessions. However, if you get some higher status possessions, this can drive you to see yourself in a higher cultural status. You will then strive to upgrade all of your possessions to match your perceived status and be complementary with your other possessions. So getting a fancy refrigerator can make you feel like the kind of person who has fancy things and lead you to upgrade accordingly.</p> <p>Lifestyle inflation is a vicious cycle. You spend more money to buy nicer things that ultimately make you less satisfied. You then spend more money trying to find satisfaction and the cycle continues. Unfortunately, no matter how much money you spend, there will always be something newer, nicer, or better that you want to buy.</p> <h2>Break the cycle with &quot;lifestyle leveling&quot;</h2> <p>The way to break the cycle of spending more and more money in pursuit of happiness is to realize what is happening and short circuit the Diderot Effect. When you do spend money, buy things that are consistent with your other possessions. In the kitchen appliance example, you could buy a midrange appliance instead of the high-end model, or even find a used appliance the same age as your other appliances. This way you will spend less, and keep your lifestyle level and consistent instead of buying something much nicer than your current possessions that could spark dissatisfaction and send you into a spending spiral.</p> <p>The concept of <em>lifestyle leveling</em> will help you to maintain a consistent lifestyle &mdash; and spending level. Gain control over lifestyle inflation by upgrading your lifestyle by choice, not as an unintended consequence of the Diderot Effect. When it comes down to it, you don't need the nicest things money can buy &mdash; especially if you don't have the money to spend. All you need are things that work well and make your life easier. And there are plenty of ways to find items that fit those requirements without letting the Diderot Effect destroy your perception of needs vs. wants.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-nice-thing-can-ruin-your-whole-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-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/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life">39 Mindless Ways You&#039;re Wasting Money in Every Part of Your Life</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/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/people-are-still-spending-too-much-on-their-weddings">People Are Still Spending Too Much on Their Weddings</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-23-mental-tricks-thatll-help-you-save-money">Flashback Friday: 23 Mental Tricks That&#039;ll Help You Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-the-easter-bunny">6 Money Lessons We Can Learn From the Easter Bunny</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping diderot effect lifestyle inflation mental biases saving money shopping Shopping Tricks Spending Money Thu, 06 Apr 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1922315 at http://www.wisebread.com People Are Still Spending Too Much on Their Weddings http://www.wisebread.com/people-are-still-spending-too-much-on-their-weddings <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/people-are-still-spending-too-much-on-their-weddings" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-185257276.jpg" alt="people are still spending too much on their weddings" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How much should it cost to get married?</p> <p>According to the most recent Real Weddings Study by The Knot, couples in 2016 spent an average of $35,329 on their weddings &mdash; and that figure does not include the cost of the honeymoon.</p> <p>Considering the fact that $35K could make for a nice down payment on a house, or could buy a fully-loaded, brand new Honda Accord, or could pay for a few semesters of college, it's fair to argue that people are spending too much on their weddings. But how do you avoid the high costs of wedding planning? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shave-5000-off-your-wedding-expenses?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Save $5,000 Off Your Wedding Expenses</a>)</p> <p>Here's what you can do about trimming those costs for your own nuptials.</p> <h2>Breaking down wedding costs</h2> <p>A full breakdown of how couples allot their wedding budgets can help you figure out where you want to spend your money and where you are comfortable pinching pennies. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-big-ticket-wedding-items-you-should-borrow-instead-of-buy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Big Ticket Wedding Items You Should Borrow Instead of Buy</a>)</p> <h2>The venue</h2> <p>This is generally the largest expense for couples, costing an average of $16,107. It is possible to lower the cost of the venue without sacrificing any of the beauty or elegance that caught your eye in the first place.</p> <h3>Get married on a weekday</h3> <p>A dear friend of mine saved 80 percent off the cost of her preferred venue &mdash; a historic house in Boston &mdash; by getting married on a Monday. This choice also helped them to have a smaller and more intimate wedding, since not everyone was able to attend a weekday wedding. They got the small wedding they wanted, and were able to trim costs. Even if you can't schedule a weekday wedding, choosing a Friday night or Sunday afternoon wedding time can save you money.</p> <h3>Get married out of season</h3> <p>Venues offer discounts for bridal couples who get married during the slower times of year, which generally include: January, February, and March.</p> <h3>Have your ceremony and reception in the same place</h3> <p>This not only saves you the additional cost of the ceremony site (which cost an average of $2,197 in 2016) as well as transportation costs, but your out-of-town guests will also appreciate not having to navigate their way to two different unfamiliar locations.</p> <h2>The engagement ring</h2> <p>I still remember the commercials I saw as a child that asked, &quot;How else can two months' salary last a lifetime?&quot; That question was asked (and answered) by the De Beers company, and it made the idea of spending two months' salary on an engagement ring the standard requirement for a marrying couple.</p> <p>Which helps explain why the second largest wedding expense is the engagement ring, at an average cost of $6,163. Marketing by the De Beers company has clearly done its job. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Money Saving Tricks for Engagement Rings</a>)</p> <p>But engagement rings (and wedding rings) are a new phenomenon, and there is no need to feel like you are bucking tradition by choosing not to spend money on one. If you do want to mark your engagement by putting a ring on it, there are some great engagement ring options to choose from without spending a fortune.</p> <h3>Use a family ring</h3> <p>Many families pass engagement rings from one generation to the next, but the family ring you use does not have to be a diamond engagement ring in order to be meaningful and beautiful. Any jewel that your grandmother or mother would like to see passed along to your fiancee could be the perfect engagement ring. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-great-reasons-to-choose-a-secondhand-engagement-ring-and-where-to-find-one?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Where to Get Secondhand Engagement Rings</a>)</p> <h3>Choose a non-diamond gemstone</h3> <p>There are many different types of gems out there in a variety of colors, and they tend to be much cheaper than diamonds, in addition to being unique and gorgeous.</p> <h3>Select a knot or Claddagh ring style</h3> <p>Knot rings are a lovely symbol of two people joining together, and they generally do not include a gemstone. Similarly, Claddagh rings are traditional Irish symbols that represent pledging vows.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-fabulous-alternatives-to-the-diamond-engagement-ring?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">7 Frugal, Fabulous Alternatives to the Diamond Engagement Ring</a></p> <h2>The dress</h2> <p>There is no getting around the fact that wedding dresses are expensive. The average bride in 2016 spent $1,564 on her wedding dress. To reduce wedding dress costs, consider the following options.</p> <h3>Rent your wedding dress</h3> <p>Many dress rental companies now offer bridal rentals, which allow you to have all of the designer chic for a fraction of the cost.</p> <h3>Purchase a secondhand wedding dress</h3> <p>Not all brides keep their dresses forever, and new brides can find their perfect gown on sites like <a href="https://www.preownedweddingdresses.com/" target="_blank">preownedweddingdresses.com</a>.</p> <h3>Think outside the bridal section</h3> <p>You can find gorgeous white dresses in the formal section of department stores. Since these aren't marketed as wedding dresses, they tend to be much cheaper.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-save-on-a-wedding-dress?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">7 Smart Ways to Save on a Wedding Dress</a></p> <h2>The photographer and videographer</h2> <p>It's important to record your special day with photographs and/or a video of your vows. However, professional photographers and videographers tend to be expensive, costing an average of $2,783 and $1,995, respectively, in 2016.</p> <p>However, it is possible to get professional photos and videos of your special day without paying the professional-level prices.</p> <h3>Find a student photographer at a local art school</h3> <p>This was how my husband and I saved on the cost of our photographer. We posted an ad for a photography student at the local art college, and had a chance to look through the portfolios of several students. We loved the photos that we got of our wedding day, and we saved 50% off the cost of a professional wedding photographer.</p> <h3>Ask for an off-peak discount</h3> <p>If you are getting married on a weekday or off-season, ask your photographer for a discount. Presumably, he or she would not be working on your non-traditional wedding date otherwise.</p> <h3>Ask for referral discounts</h3> <p>Wedding photography and videography are word-of-mouth businesses, which means you might be able to score a referral discount on your own wedding photos and video if you refer your vendors to friends who are also getting married.</p> <h2>Reception music</h2> <p>Couples who danced to live bands at their 2016 wedding receptions paid an average of $4,156, while brides and grooms who opted for DJs paid an average of $1,245. Here are some ways to bring down the cost of getting down on the dance floor.</p> <h3>Follow your preferred entertainer's social media</h3> <p>Bands and DJs will often have special discounts for their followers, which you can take advantage of for your wedding.</p> <h3>Find local talent</h3> <p>Hire student musicians from a local music school.</p> <h3>DIY the playlist</h3> <p>This will only work if your venue comes with a top quality sound system, but you could potentially whip up a wedding playlist on your laptop or mp3 player and just plug it into the sound system. Make sure you ask a charismatic friend to play MC for the night, since a DJ's job is also about introducing people and events at the reception.</p> <h2>You don't have to go into debt for your wedding</h2> <p>Just because the average cost of a wedding has been going up doesn't mean that your wedding day has to be expensive. Find creative ways to make your wedding unique and memorable, instead of settling for the average wedding's hefty price tag. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-wedding-ideas-for-big-savings?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Alternative Wedding Ideas for Big Savings</a>)</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/people-are-still-spending-too-much-on-their-weddings">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-millennials-are-changing-marriage">4 Ways Millennials Are Changing Marriage</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/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life">39 Mindless Ways You&#039;re Wasting Money in Every Part of Your Life</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-one-nice-thing-can-ruin-your-whole-budget">How One Nice Thing Can Ruin Your Whole Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-23-mental-tricks-thatll-help-you-save-money">Flashback Friday: 23 Mental Tricks That&#039;ll Help You Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-the-easter-bunny">6 Money Lessons We Can Learn From the Easter Bunny</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping saving money Spending Money wedding budget wedding costs wedding dress wedding expenses weddings Mon, 03 Apr 2017 09:00:11 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1919581 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Times It's OK to Be "Selfish" With Your Money http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-its-ok-to-be-selfish-with-your-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-times-its-ok-to-be-selfish-with-your-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-616225056.jpg" alt="sometimes it&#039;s okay to be selfish with your money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So many of us (especially women!) have been trained, by our families and our culture, to never, ever be selfish. We don't even want to appear selfish, and will do so many things to make sure we come across as generous and <em>nice</em>.</p> <p>Taken to extremes, there are &quot;unselfish&quot; financial choices that can cause huge problems in your own budget. This is unfortunate, because saying &quot;No&quot; in situations wherein you don't really want to spend hard-earned money isn't selfish. After all, the money is yours. You earned it, and you should choose how you spend it, regardless of other people's desires and expectations.</p> <p>Here are some situations where it isn't selfish at all to keep your money for yourself. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-saving-habits-you-should-never-apologize-for?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Money-Saving Habits You Should Never Apologize For</a>)</p> <h2>1. When a borrower approaches</h2> <p>Many of us know a borrower. Whether it's a friend or family member, there's that one person who, when they reach out to you, you always wonder, <em>How much do you need this time?</em></p> <p>It's so hard to say no to these people. Their needs are often legitimate, even if they're created by the their own inability to stop spending. Even when the need is real, if you have some misgivings or if they still owe you from last time, you can choose to deny their request.</p> <p>It's your money, and it's also your job to make sure it is spent responsibly. If they won't be responsible, or even if you just anticipate needing the money before they can pay it back, keep it. And if the person is a serial borrower, they need to learn to stand on their own two feet. It may as well be now. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-16-cardinal-rules-of-loaning-money-to-friends-and-family?ref=seealso" target="_blank">16 Cardinal Rules of Loaning Money to Friends and Family</a>)</p> <h2>2. When it's MLM madness</h2> <p>Oh, multi-level marketing &hellip; everyone's favorite get-rich-quick scheme. Whether it's kitchen tools or jewelry or leggings or oils or candles or anything else, when a friend buys into the latest MLM fad, it can be so hard to say no.</p> <p>If you attend their latest sales party, you'll almost surely be expected to buy something. And it almost always comes from a mom who wants to quit her job and stay home, or a family member who just needs a little more each month.</p> <p>There's nothing wrong with most MLM products. If you like them and you'll use them and you want them anyway, go ahead and buy. But don't feel like you <em>have to</em> buy them out of guilt. After all, there's only so much you can spend, and then your friend will have to find real clients &mdash; people who actually want the product &mdash; anyway. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-types-of-friends-who-are-costing-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Types of Friends Who Are Costing You Money</a>)</p> <h2>3. When your child screams</h2> <p>Next time your child yells, &quot;You never buy me anything! You're so selfish!&quot; remember that he or she is just trying to get a reaction out of you.</p> <p>Sometimes, we don't even feel that guilt. We know the kid is acting like a kid &hellip; but we still end up buying them something so they will just be quiet and let us finish our shopping.</p> <p>Seriously, no one wants the be the parent dragging the screaming kid around the store. But better to be that and teach your child that they can make as much noise as they want and it won't change anything, than to cave and teach them to scream for what they want.</p> <h2>4. When the neighbors come knocking</h2> <p>So your neighbor kids are cute. Seriously cute. But there's only so much candy/Girl Scout cookies/wrapping paper/odd pastries/Christmas trees that you need. Sure, you want to help them raise money for that class trip, but you'd also like to take a trip of your own someday.</p> <p>When they come to the door, it's perfectly acceptable to decline their fundraising products. If you really want to support them, you can ask them what they'll be selling over the course of the year, and tell them to come by when they have an item you actually want.</p> <p>Beware, too, the fact that kids talk amongst themselves. If one kid finds out you bought something, sometimes that brings a whole herd of them to your door, and then it's extra hard to say no, because you know that they know that you already said yes once.</p> <p>So if you want to support them, or they are selling a product you like, go ahead and buy. But if there's nothing you want or you are strapped for cash, feel free to decline, too. It really is your choice.</p> <h2>5. When GoFundMe asks</h2> <p>You're scrolling through your Facebook feed when you see a picture of an adorable family and one of your friends, who you love and trust, is asking for help for them. So you click through to the fundraising page and find out someone has cancer, or is in the hospital, or died suddenly, and their dear friends are asking anyone for financial help.</p> <p>It's hard to deny the fact that your heart breaks a little. Life is hard, and these stories remind us that our lives could get much, much harder at any moment. That doesn't mean you need to give them money, though.</p> <p>I think that many of us want to fix hard things, and giving a little money in these situations makes us feel better. But unless you know the people personally and truly feel moved to give, from the generosity of your heart and not from guilt, you can skip it. It's OK. You don't have to try to fix the whole world's problems. Plus, if you give away all your money and then face your own medical or financial emergency, you won't even be able to help yourself.</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/5-times-its-ok-to-be-selfish-with-your-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-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/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life">39 Mindless Ways You&#039;re Wasting Money in Every Part of Your Life</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/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily">Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-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-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/the-real-value-of-forever-stamps">The Real Value of Forever Stamps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Budgeting begging money habits money moments money situations mooching selfish selfish with money Mon, 03 Apr 2017 08:00:12 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1919578 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Signs Your Takeout Habit Has Gone Too Far http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-your-takeout-habit-has-gone-too-far <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-signs-your-takeout-habit-has-gone-too-far" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-502497216.jpg" alt="Woman wondering if her takeout habit has gone too far" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Takeout. Delivery. The very words get my stomach growling. The promise of a tasty dinner with no prep work and no dishes to wash &mdash; not to mention a meal where family members all get to choose their own dishes &mdash; is so tantalizing that I would order out every night if I could afford it. And apps and websites such as DoorDash, GrubHub, UberEats, Seamless, and Foodler make succumbing to temptation even easier.</p> <p>Can you afford all this takeout and delivery, though? Probably not, because even if you're rolling in cash, eating restaurant food every night can take its toll on your health and your cooking skills &mdash; and especially your budget.</p> <p>So, is it time to delete those food delivery apps from your phone? If more than three of these sounds like you, the answer is a double yes with extra cheese. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/all-the-modern-ways-you-can-order-pizza?ref=seealso" target="_blank">All the Modern Ways You Can Order Pizza</a>)</p> <h2>1. Deliveries have turned your home into a traffic hot spot</h2> <p>You keep having to change the batteries in your doorbell. The city put a five-minute loading zone at the curb in front of your house. Single neighbors who can't hit the delivery minimum on their own frequently piggyback on your orders. And the first time they told you they couldn't meet the delivery minimum, you were utterly baffled as to what that struggle must feel like since it's never been a problem for you.</p> <h2>2. Takeout containers are piling up</h2> <p>Your kids are able to make three-bedroom igloos in the backyard out of white Styrofoam containers. Your building has a sign in the hallway forbidding pizza boxes in the trash chute, and it mentions you by name. You have come up with 10,000 uses for spare wooden chopsticks and have dedicated kitchen drawers for condiment packets and plastic cutlery. Instead of a tablecloth, your dining room table is protected by a thick, cushiony layer of receipts. And your kids bring their lunches to school in large white or brown bags with your address scribbled on them in Sharpie.</p> <h2>3. You know the delivery drivers too well</h2> <p>You know to never order sushi on a Tuesday because that driver lets the dipping sauce slosh all over the tempura. When you went two weeks without ordering, the DoorDash driver stopped by to check on you. You're so tight with the drivers that they stop by your house between deliveries to use your bathroom or play a quick game of cribbage.</p> <h2>4. Your addiction has changed your relationship with technology</h2> <p>Your phone is so full of restaurant phone numbers that you have accidentally ordered at least three kinds of cuisine with your butt. When your phone rings, you immediately open your front door. (This is why you always sound disappointed if it's a friend calling.) Your mother spoofed her number to appear as Gary's Gyros on your caller ID, just so you'll take her calls.</p> <h2>5. You find yourself going to great lengths to maintain the thrill that drew you to takeout to begin with</h2> <p>You keep a stash of foreign currency so you can tip natively for each ethnic cuisine. (The drivers hate you for this.) When a new takeout place opens in town, you ferret out their phone number before they open for business so you can place the first order.</p> <h2>6. You have forgotten the food gathering skills you'd need to survive in the wild</h2> <p>You just found out that your oven doesn't work &mdash; and you've been living in your home for 12 years. Last time you were in a grocery store, Nestle Quik was still sold in a metal can.</p> <h2>7. You and your family are way too good at ordering takeout</h2> <p>You just ordered a No. 4, a No. 17, and a double order of No. 23 &mdash; without consulting the menu. Your baby's first words were, &quot;extra spicy.&quot; Ordering online takes less than 10 seconds because your favorite meal is already saved for every area restaurant.</p> <h2>Have you gone too far?</h2> <p>If you recognized yourself in any three of the above &mdash; seek help. At the least seek out some frugal dining advice that's only a click away:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-the-takeout-meal-cycle-and-save?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">How to Stop the Takeout Meal Cycle and Save</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-and-easy-meals-that-make-even-better-leftovers?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">10 Cheap and Easy Meals That Make Even Better Leftovers</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-and-easy-dinners-plus-5-delicious-desserts?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">25 Quick and Easy Dinners (Plus 5 Delicious Desserts!)</a></li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-your-takeout-habit-has-gone-too-far">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/9-ways-you-are-sabotaging-your-weekly-grocery-budget">9 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Weekly Grocery 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-ways-restaurant-menus-are-designed-to-make-you-spend-more">9 Ways Restaurant Menus Are Designed to Make You Spend More</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/stock-these-20-frugal-foods-for-tough-financial-times">Stock These 20 Frugal Foods for Tough Financial Times</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/can-you-really-save-with-amazon-prime-pantry">Can You Really Save With Amazon Prime Pantry?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Food and Drink bad habits food app food delivery healthy eating junk food ordering in pizza Takeout takeout app Thu, 30 Mar 2017 08:00:14 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1917657 at http://www.wisebread.com When Self-Care Actually Harms Your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/when-self-care-actually-harms-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/when-self-care-actually-harms-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/iStock-528288108.jpg" alt="Learning when self-care is harming your budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As buzzwords go, self-care is up there with &quot;fake news.&quot; In fact, if the ads showing up in my Facebook feed are any indication, any company trying to sell anything to a woman these days markets it as self-care. A $300 commuter backpack? Self-care. A $45 facial? Self-care. I can pretty much buy anything my little heart desires and call it self-care.</p> <p>Self-care as a daily practice is absolutely important. At its core, this concept revolves around the idea of making basic needs a priority. Make sure you're eating balanced meals. Make sure you're exercising regularly. Make sure you're getting enough sleep.</p> <p>The problem is, what's marketed as self-care isn't always that. Sometimes, you buy one of these things and you just feel worse, because you spent too much, or you should have spent that money on something else, or you ended up with something you didn't actually want.</p> <p>And sometimes, you wonder if there's a way to tell, ahead of time, which self-care purchases you will regret. Here are a few of my personal guidelines for choosing between legitimate self-care purchases and the ones that aren't care at all.</p> <h2>When you can't afford it</h2> <p>Self-care will hurt your budget when you can't afford an item. Whether it's bubble bath, a vacation, a day at the spa with your friends, or even just an adult coloring book, if you can't afford it, there's no way that buying the item will help you feel better.</p> <p>In fact, self-care doesn't have to be expensive at all. In our society, where so many of us are busy and unhappy, taking a day off and spreading out a blanket in a grassy park might provide more in the way of self-care than that expensive mani/pedi/facial package you've been eyeing.</p> <p>It's not that there's a problem with spending your money on things that are within your means and that will legitimately help you to feel better. It's more that self-care has become an excuse for buying things we can't afford, all in the name of making ourselves feel better. If you can't afford it, it will hurt your budget, which is likely to make your purchase an act that makes you feel worse, rather than better. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-the-treat-yourself-mindset?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The High Cost of the &quot;Treat Yourself&quot; Mindset</a>)</p> <h2>When you don't actually want it</h2> <p>Self-care purchases also hurt your budget when you end up buying things you don't want or need. It's easy to read Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow's newsletter full of overpriced, luxury items, mostly marketed under the guise of self-care, and feel like, surely, that dress/wrap/bath bomb will help you feel better.</p> <p>So you justify the exorbitant cost, and later remember that you don't even like taking baths.</p> <p>Self-care is such a trendy concept right now that most of us have purchased things we wouldn't otherwise have spent money on because they were supposed to help us feel better. And, when they don't, we are out the money and we have extra junk lying around the house that, now, we have to feel guilty about and get rid of.</p> <p>Most of us know what we need in terms of basic self-care, and we know what won't help at all. We know if we need more sleep, to take time alone, to spend time with friends, or enjoy a few moments with a good book. It's usually nothing fancy and nothing that we need to be told to do by celebrities. But when we buy things we don't really want, even in the name of self-care, we hurt ourselves and our budgets.</p> <h2>So, how do you master self-care on a budget?</h2> <p>Taking care of ourselves, especially in a world that can be difficult and capricious, involves some time, practice, and determination.</p> <p>Most of us have some intuitive idea about what we need to do feel better. Many of these things won't cost a whole lot of money &mdash; if any at all &mdash; so we won't have to worry about blowing our budgets just to get them.</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/when-self-care-actually-harms-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-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/treat-yourself-with-these-7-free-self-care-routines">Treat Yourself With These 7 Free Self-Care Routines</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life">39 Mindless Ways You&#039;re Wasting Money in Every Part of Your Life</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-one-nice-thing-can-ruin-your-whole-budget">How One Nice Thing Can Ruin Your Whole Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-a-gym-membership-isnt-worth-it">5 Times a Gym Membership Isn&#039;t Worth It</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/people-are-still-spending-too-much-on-their-weddings">People Are Still Spending Too Much on Their Weddings</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Health and Beauty budgeting tips saving money self-care self-care tips Spending Money treat yourself Mon, 27 Mar 2017 10:00:09 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1914541 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Free Accounting Tools for Freelancers http://www.wisebread.com/5-free-accounting-tools-for-freelancers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-free-accounting-tools-for-freelancers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_happy_computer_187025458.jpg" alt="Woman using free accounting tools for freelancers" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a freelancer, you're responsible for every aspect of your business. Not only do you need to deliver a great product, but you also need to manage your expenses, invoice clients, and handle your own taxes. And as a freelancer, time is money. Instead of juggling spreadsheets and files yourself, check out these five accounting tools that are completely free.</p> <h2>1. Zoho</h2> <p><a href="http://zoho.com">Zoho</a> is one of the most robust bookkeeping platforms out there. With the free version, you can invoice up to five customers a month. And you can track expenses, customize your invoices, receive online payments, and manage timesheets.</p> <h2>2. Due</h2> <p>If your business is growing and you need to be able to accept credit card payments rather than just cash or check, <a href="https://due.com/invoicing/">Due</a> may be the solution for you. Due is free to use, and you can send invoices and get paid online. Due charges a processing fee of 2.8%, and promises to match any lower offer.</p> <h2>3. PocketSuite</h2> <p>For people running smaller businesses, such as dog-walking services or housecleaners, some of the bookkeeping software can be overwhelming with unnecessary features. And many of them don't offer essential features those freelancers need, such as scheduling or client contact options.</p> <p><a href="https://pocketsuite.io/pricing/">Pocketsuite</a> is a mobile app that allows you to connect with clients and manage your business finances all in one spot. With the free &quot;Pro&quot; version, you can schedule appointments with clients, send professional invoices, accept credit card payments for a flat 2.5% processing fee, send messages to your customers, and even accept tips.</p> <h2>4. PayPal</h2> <p><a href="https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/ec-telesales-signup">PayPal</a> allows users to upgrade to a free business account in order to receive credit card payments for purchases and create invoices as needed. You won't pay a transaction fee for shopping through your personal account, but upon receiving funds for goods or services, you will pay a 2.9% fee, plus $.30, of the total amount received. PayPal also lets you run reports on all funds coming and going, so you can seamlessly track your professional finances.</p> <h2>5. Wave</h2> <p><a href="https://www.waveapps.com/accounting/">Wave's</a> bookkeeping and accounting services are completely free; you only pay a fee if you add employees. They also charge a 2.9% processing fee if you accept credit card payments from clients.</p> <p>You can track your expenses and income, and with the easy-to-use platform, it's easy to manage even if you don't have experience in accounting. Everything is cloud-based, so you can check your account and update your information from any computer or mobile device.</p> <p>Best of all, Wave generates tax reports that will save you time and money at tax time, making your life &mdash; and your accountant's &mdash; much easier.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-free-accounting-tools-for-freelancers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/how-to-manage-your-money-no-budgeting-required">How to Manage Your Money — No Budgeting Required</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for">9 College Expenses You Aren&#039;t Saving For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-making-these-7-basic-budget-mistakes">Stop Making These 7 Basic Budget Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Entrepreneurship bookkeeping bookkeeping apps bookkeeping tools computer programs expenses free invoicing tools Fri, 17 Mar 2017 10:30:17 +0000 Kat Tretina 1910226 at http://www.wisebread.com Read "AgeProof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip" to Live Your Best Life http://www.wisebread.com/read-ageproof-living-longer-without-running-out-of-money-or-breaking-a-hip-to-live-your-best-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/read-ageproof-living-longer-without-running-out-of-money-or-breaking-a-hip-to-live-your-best-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_happy_smile_498296950.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to be Age Proof" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even though the world is filled with unique individuals pursuing their own unique goals, we're all seeking an abundance of two things: health and wealth. And while the paths to these goals can require different choices, the methodologies behind the success in each are actually quite similar.</p> <p>Jean Chatzky, acclaimed author and financial editor of NBC's <em>Today</em>, and Dr. Michael Roizen, longtime wellness expert at the Cleveland Clinic, have brought their respective areas of expertise together in a new book to show readers how to become <em><a href="http://amzn.to/2m1NzYp">AgeProof</a></em>. They create easily actionable steps to achieve healthful longevity with enduring financial security with the same habits. They take the guesswork out of how to live longer and become richer. Is there anything better than that?</p> <p>Here are the best bits of wisdom from <em><a href="http://amzn.to/2m1NzYp">AgeProof</a></em> that'll show you how to live your best life.</p> <h2>1. Instant Gratification Is the Enemy</h2> <p>One of the first things Chatzky and Roizen mention is that we often pit instant gratification against long-term security. And that habit tends to affect health and wealth at every turn. If we learn how to manage the need to have something <em>right now</em> so that we could have much more in the future, our lives would vastly improve. Terrible financial and health-related decisions are made on impulse, and can have negative ramifications. But patience feels like a sacrifice, and Chatzky and Roizen want to teach you that you don't have to sacrifice in order to gain health and wealth. There is a middle ground that can work for you.</p> <h2>2. You Need to Acknowledge Your Longevity</h2> <p>The reason it's so important to strive for optimal health and wealth is because people are living longer lives. No matter how old you think you'll get, technology and medicine is improving at a rapid pace, so you'll probably live longer than you think. So if your goal is to enjoy a healthy life with a thick financial cushion, you need to master this interconnecting skill now in order to make that possible. And it's one thing to just survive to an old age with money in the bank, but it's another thing entirely to thrive until your very last day.</p> <h2>3. Science Is Your Friend</h2> <p>Sure, it would be easy to use medical statistics and financial statistics separately to reinforce the concept that health and wealth are important, but Chatzky and Roizen incorporate scientific data at the beginning of each section to show how these two are directly linked. Because in order to believe something can work for you, it's helpful to see how it has already helped others. It makes the goal seem even more achievable, and Chatzky and Roizen are your biggest cheerleaders here &mdash; even sharing some of their own personal anecdotes in the margins.</p> <h2>4. You Never Have to Settle for a Mediocre Life</h2> <p>One of the most important things Chatzky and Roizen reinforce is that you can dig yourself out of any hole. It doesn't matter if your finances are a complete disaster and you're in the worst shape of your life. These are both common problems that are easily reversible, and they provide small, actionable steps to getting back on track. At the end of each chapter, they even offer a list of three AgeProof Essentials that you can tackle right away.</p> <h2>5. Nobody Achieves Anything Alone</h2> <p>Building a strong community is crucial to going the distance in finance and health. Isolating yourself in either, or both, areas of your life adds stress, while sharing your progress in a social setting gives you space to reflect on your goals, as well as helping others feel less alone in those same struggles. Keeping a proper team, both professionally and personally, will aid you in your path to achieving health and wealth, and Chatzky and Roizen show you how.</p> <p>Pick up <a href="http://amzn.to/2m1NzYp">AgeProof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip</a> today!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janet-alvarez">Janet Alvarez</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/read-ageproof-living-longer-without-running-out-of-money-or-breaking-a-hip-to-live-your-best-life">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-50-money-moves-you-need-to-make-when-big-changes-happen">Flashback Friday: 50 Money Moves You Need to Make When Big Changes Happen</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-tips-from-playbook-for-tough-times-thatll-help-you-live-your-best-life">5 Tips From &quot;Playbook For Tough Times&quot; That&#039;ll Help You Live Your Best Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-money-saving-hacks-are-a-huge-waste-of-time">These 5 Money-Saving Hacks Are a Huge Waste of 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-38-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-celebrities">Flashback Friday: 38 Money Lessons We Can Learn From Celebrities</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting age proof budgeting finances frugal living healthy living jean chatzky living longer Thu, 16 Mar 2017 10:30:20 +0000 Janet Alvarez 1910225 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Signs You Aren't Prepared for an Emergency http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-arent-prepared-for-an-emergency <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-signs-you-arent-prepared-for-an-emergency" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-487795974.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone eventually faces an emergency, whether it's related to finances, health, the weather, or something else entirely. The more prepared we are, however, the easier it is to roll with the punches when life throws them our way. Are you ready? Here are eight signs you aren't prepared for an emergency. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-decide-if-its-a-fund-worthy-emergency?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Decide if It's a &quot;Fund-Worthy&quot; Emergency</a>)</p> <h2>1. You Haven't Saved a Single Cent</h2> <p>While emergencies come in various forms, many of us will face a financial crisis at some point &mdash; and it may be hard to keep your head above water when it strikes.</p> <p>Financial experts constantly preach the importance of an emergency fund. Yet some people don't take steps to ensure they have enough in reserves for unexpected surprises. If you have little to no money reserved for a financial emergency, you likely won't come out of it on top.</p> <p>Say you lose your job and primary source of income. Even if you're eligible for unemployment compensation, what you receive on a monthly basis may be significantly less than your regular salary. Your finances can also take a hit if a medical emergency triggers high monthly payments to a hospital or doctor's office. If you can't afford your health insurance deductible, which can run thousands of dollars, this can result in delaying needed medical treatment.</p> <p>Similarly, lack of a savings account causes problems when you deal with a car repair or a home repair. Some people rely on a credit card when they don't have money in the bank. This puts them in debt and makes it even harder to save over a long period of time.</p> <h2>2. You Don't Have an Emergency Kit</h2> <p>If you've never lived through a natural disaster (count your blessings), you may not worry much about one impacting your life. But anything is possible, and it's important to have emergency supplies on hand just in case. For instance, if you were to lose power after a major storm and couldn't stay at a relative or friend's house, it'll be difficult to prepare food, and the food in your refrigerator would begin to spoil as the temperature inside the fridge rises. Sometimes we don't realize how much we need electricity for meal preparation until we don't have it.</p> <p>Be prepared and always maintain a supply of nonperishable food and one gallon of water per person per day &mdash; for at least three days. Personally, I have about nine gallons of water stored in my basement for this purpose. Also consider purchasing a go bag &mdash; available at most outdoor or sporting goods stores &mdash; which is prepacked with essentials in the event of an emergency. Mine has food rations, survival and self-defense tools, first-aid materials, and more. You can add items to the bag as needed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-emergency-kits?ref=seealaso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Emergency Kits</a>)</p> <h2>3. You Don't Have a Backup Generator</h2> <p>Power outages caused by wind and ice storms and other natural disasters can last for hours, or even days. When you don't have power, any appliance that requires electricity becomes useless, including your stove, fridge, deep freezer, and HVAC unit.</p> <p>To prepare for long-term outages, consider a permanent or portable emergency generator. These machines can restore power to your home in a jiff. Permanent generators sit outside the home and run on propane or natural gas, just like your outdoor grill. A portable generator &mdash; which is a cheaper alternative (and probably all you need if you're not in a frequent disaster zone) &mdash; can operate on gas or diesel fuel. You can store it in the garage, but you should never run the generator inside the home. Using a generator indoors can cause buildup of carbon monoxide, and that can kill you.</p> <h2>4. You Don't Know the Location of Important Documents</h2> <p>In the event of an emergency, you'll also need to grab important documents before you head out the door, and unfortunately, if you're unorganized and have your documents stored in different locations, it'll be difficult to quickly locate them in an emergency. Get organized and keep important paperwork clearly labeled in a fireproof locked cabinet, preferably inside a sealed plastic bag; both measures protect the paper from fire and water. Important documents include Social Security cards, passports, your homeowner's or renter's insurance policies, medical insurance cards, and the like.</p> <h2>5. You Don't Have Extra Insurances</h2> <p>If you have health insurance, auto insurance, homeowner's insurance, and life insurance, you probably think you've covered your bases. But these aren't the only insurances to think about. Life can go horribly wrong in a matter of seconds, so prepare for the &quot;what ifs&quot; with additional insurance and protect your assets.</p> <p>If you haven't already, compare costs for a short-term disability policy which pays a percentage of your salary if you become temporarily disabled and can't work. There are also legal insurance plans that provide affordable legal representation in the event that someone takes legal action against you. Even if you do not live in a flood zone, a flood insurance plan is worth consideration. This is because a standard homeowner's insurance policy does not cover flood damage. Also, most insurance policies have a hurricane deductible, which is higher than the policy's standard deductible for theft, fire, and other perils.</p> <p>If you have a hurricane deductible and your home is damaged by a hurricane, this deductible is a percentage of your home's assessed value, which can be as much as 5%. If a hurricane causes a tree to fall on your house, or if hurricane-force winds break your windows and rain water floods your property, you have to pay the hurricane deductible before your insurance company pays for any damage. On the other hand, if you purchase flood insurance, the policy covers flood and/or rain damage caused by the hurricane.</p> <h2>6. You Don't Keep a Stock of Batteries or Candles</h2> <p>Nowadays, cellphones do more than make and receive phone calls. You can use your phone's Internet to check the weather or news, and some smartphones even have a built-in flashlight. With so much technology in the palm of your hands, it's easy to downplay the importance of an old-fashioned flashlight, batteries, and candles during an emergency.</p> <p>However, no matter what type of phone you have, the battery will eventually die. And if you lose power and don't have a backup generator, you can't power your electronic devices. To make sure you're never stuck in the dark and cut off from the outside world, keep a supply of batteries and candles on hand.</p> <h2>7. You Don't Have Extra Gasoline for Your Car</h2> <p>When a natural disaster causes widespread power outages, gas stations without backup electricity will not have working pumps, which can trigger a local gas shortage. If you don't have fuel in your car, you can't drive or evacuate the area, if necessary. That, in itself, should be a top priority when you're expecting a major weather event. You must be able to evacuate if needed. Also, lack of gasoline means you can't power a portable generator.</p> <p>Ideally, you should fill up your car before disaster strikes. But of course, impending danger doesn't always come with a heads up. To prepare yourself, consider stockpiling several gallons of gasoline in an approved airtight container. Many containers can hold between five and 25 gallons. Store your gasoline supply in a cool location outside of your home, such as a shed or garage.</p> <h2>8. You Don't Have an Outdoor Grill</h2> <p>Regardless of whether you prefer cooking on the grill or stove, a charcoal or gas grill comes in handy during an emergency. If you can't use your stove due to lack of electricity, outdoor grilling lets you enjoy a hot meal until your utility company restores power. Grill veggies, hot dogs, hamburgers, and any other meat you have on ice in a cooler (because otherwise it's probably going to spoil if the power is out for too long). Plan ahead and make sure you have enough charcoal, lighter fluid, or gas to get you through at least a week without power.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-arent-prepared-for-an-emergency">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-the-50-rule-can-save-you-money">4 Ways the 50% Rule Can Save You 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/5-big-winter-expenses-that-could-freeze-your-budget">5 Big Winter Expenses That Could Freeze Your Budget</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/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life">39 Mindless Ways You&#039;re Wasting Money in Every Part of Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/34-ways-to-come-up-with-the-rent-before-the-month-ends">34 Ways to Come Up With the Rent Before the Month Ends</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Home disaster emergency fund emergency kit emergency preparedness insurance natural disaster saving money Thu, 16 Mar 2017 10:00:22 +0000 Mikey Rox 1909970 at http://www.wisebread.com 18 Ways Being Too Nice Is Hurting Your Wallet http://www.wisebread.com/18-ways-being-too-nice-is-hurting-your-wallet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/18-ways-being-too-nice-is-hurting-your-wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_piggy_bank_182381879.jpg" alt="Woman being too nice and hurting her wallet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's nice to be nice, but sometimes it comes with a price. If you have trouble saying no to everyone, from commission-earning salespeople to bosses to your own family and friends, you're probably overspending and underearning. Here are several ways your niceness is biting you in the wallet.</p> <h2>1. You Can't Turn Down the Upsell</h2> <p>You don't actually want to add the drink and fries, but you hate saying no. Afraid the Girl Scout will think you're stingy when you decline to add one more box to make it an even $20? Practice in front of the mirror: &quot;No, thank you.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-sneaky-ways-youre-being-upsold?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Sneaky Ways You're Being Upsold</a>)</p> <h2>2. You Accept Every Project</h2> <p>Are you the person at work who ends up churning out routine tasks while others pitch their promotion-getting projects? Is it truly &quot;niceness&quot; that makes you acquiesce, or fear of stretching yourself? Next time, tell the boss or your client you are too busy, and save your time for work that benefits you more.</p> <h2>3. You Go to Every Party You're Invited To</h2> <p>Sadly, many invitations nowadays are thinly veiled shakedowns. Your ex-husband's third cousin invited you to her baby shower? Your coworker invited you to celebrate her birthday at a pricey cocktail bar and you know she's expecting her friends to pick up the check? It's okay to skip events that aren't dear to your heart, especially if they are outside your budget or clearly designed to take advantage of you.</p> <h2>4. You Pick Up the Check Too Much</h2> <p>My husband, a certified super-nice guy, would pick up the check at every single meal out with friends if I let him. It's okay to say, &quot;Let's split this.&quot; It's even okay to gently remind friends that you picked up the check last time.</p> <h2>5. You Don't Insist on Getting Paid Back</h2> <p>If you are someone who hates to remind friends or your grown children that they borrowed money from you, then don't lend to begin with. And if you are susceptible to hard luck stories explaining why debts can't be paid on time, <em>definitely </em>don't a lender be. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-16-cardinal-rules-of-loaning-money-to-friends-and-family?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 16 Cardinal Rules of Lending to Friends</a>)</p> <h2>6. You Worry Too Much About Inconveniencing Other People</h2> <p>You didn't point out to the cashier that your coupon didn't scan because you dread making the people behind you wait. You didn't tell the server that she charged you for a drink that never arrived because your dining partners wanted to get going and you didn't want to cause the restaurant staff a hassle.</p> <p>It's nice to be considerate, but if these little things are piling up, it might be time to remind yourself that everyone has the right to a complete and accurate transaction before ceding their turn in line.</p> <h2>7. You Give to Every Cause That Crosses Your Path</h2> <p>Giving to charity is a wonderful thing. But make sure you give what you can afford, and that the organizations you fund are the ones that truly matter to you. Don't give to organizations you've never heard of simply because you feel bad that the canvasser is out in the cold ringing doorbells. Remember, this is most likely their job, which they're getting paid for.</p> <h2>8. You Can't Say No to Your Kids</h2> <p>This is probably the most financially ruinous problem on this list, because it snowballs as your kids age. The parents who can't buy a present for a friend's birthday without leaving the store with a toy for their own kid, too? Those are the parents who are going to be stuck paying for their college student's spring break trip and their twenty-something's car payment. Say no early and often. It's good for them, and for your wallet.</p> <h2>9. You Give Away Too Much of Your Time for Free</h2> <p>Volunteer work is great for your community and it can be a great experience for you, as well. It can also be a bottomless pit. If you find yourself cutting back work hours or shelving business ideas because your kids' school or the local animal shelter depends on you so heavily, ask yourself if this is really worth your limited free time.</p> <h2>10. You Don't Confront Companies That Owe You</h2> <p>It might feel unpleasant to call your credit card to complain that a local business double-charged you, but it's a necessary part of being an adult. Let too many little things slide, and you may end up with big financial problems.</p> <p>I once had an airline fail to book my family's flights, forcing us to rent a vehicle and drive to our destination at the last minute. After the trip, I sent a polite but firm complaint email to the airline, cc'ing the top customer service executive. Friends were amazed when the airline agreed to reimburse me for the road trip expenses in addition to refunding our tickets. I was pleased, but not surprised, because if you are persistent and refuse to let important things go, you should eventually get a fair resolution. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-times-you-should-demand-a-refund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Times You Should Demand a Refund</a>)</p> <h2>11. You Say Yes to Every Potential House Guest</h2> <p>I love having guests, but if they are to eat meals with my family, and expect me to show them around town, including dining out with them, it is inevitable that the visit will cost me money. If a guest is a total mooch on their first visit, they're not getting invited back.</p> <h2>12. You Always Agree to Be a Bridesmaid</h2> <p>Of all the friend invitations, this is probably the costliest. You'll have to buy a dress, possibly travel to the wedding, and host or share the cost of the shower and bachelorette party. Group professional makeup and hair appointments are increasingly the norm as well.</p> <p>This doesn't mean that money should be the only factor when you decide whether to accept a bridesmaid query. The main factor should be, are you really close friends? Is this invite heartfelt, or were you just asked to even up the number of men and women in the wedding party?</p> <h2>13. Your Arms Are Always Open to Another Pet</h2> <p>One dog is wonderful. Two can be fun. But if you can't go to the shelter without coming home with another pooch, and feeding your menagerie is getting expensive, I have a tip for you: <em>Don't go to the shelter. </em>If you make yourself go broke by taking in too many, all of you will suffer.</p> <h2>14. You Let Yourself Get Overcharged</h2> <p>You hate negotiating with tradespeople and car sales floor staff? Guess what? So does everyone. But in certain transactions, if you don't negotiate, you may get stiffed. You can minimize price gouging and confrontation if you research well in advance, get multiple quotes, and if needed, conduct negotiations by email or phone.</p> <h2>15. You Stay Loyal Even When You Can't Afford Your Service Provider</h2> <p>So the same person has been cutting your hair for 15 years, but now she has a chair in a famous salon and has tripled her price? It's okay to ask for a loyalty discount, even if you feel like old friends. And if she declines and you have to find a new hairdresser, remember that her decision led to the change as much as yours did. It was a business relationship all along, remember, not a friendship.</p> <h2>16. You Buy Stuff You Never Wanted to Help Friends With Businesses</h2> <p>You go to every nail wrap, makeup, and tote bag party your entrepreneurial friend throws, and buy merchandise that ends up piled in your basement. Well, there are more effective ways to help out a struggling friend.</p> <h2>17. You're a Pushover With Employees or Tenants</h2> <p>When my husband and I rented out our home, our first tenants asked us to repair an ancient fan system, even though we had a brand-new central air system. We said yes without hesitating, wanting to be nice landlords, but the repair put us into the red for many months. As we became more experienced landlords, we learned to distinguish between urgent repair calls (broken refrigerator) and &quot;nice to have&quot; requests that we could decline.</p> <p>With employees, whether it's a cleaning person or middle manager at your business, if you say yes to every request for extra time off or raises, or turn a blind eye to boxes of office supplies disappearing every day, you're going to be in over your head before you know it.</p> <h2>18. You Always Go Along With Friends' Plans Even If it Means Wasting Money</h2> <p>I have lots of friends who are not nearly as frugal as I am. If they are making the plans, we'll be parking our cars in the expensive garage, buying the brand of vodka that's not on sale, and basically spending twice as much for everything than I would have spent on my own. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-peer-pressure-from-destroying-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Keep Peer Pressure From Destroying Your Finances</a>)</p> <p>The nice me wants to stay quiet and just let it be. But the frugal me is not afraid to push that namby pamby wimp aside and say, &quot;Hey. May I suggest parking on the street two blocks away instead of in that garage?&quot; My friends will tell you that I'm a pain about stuff like this, but they still hang out with me, so I must be just nice enough. Or maybe they like how much money I save them.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-ways-being-too-nice-is-hurting-your-wallet">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-millennials-are-changing-marriage">4 Ways Millennials Are Changing Marriage</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/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life">39 Mindless Ways You&#039;re Wasting Money in Every Part of Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-self-care-actually-harms-your-budget">When Self-Care Actually Harms Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-nice-thing-can-ruin-your-whole-budget">How One Nice Thing Can Ruin Your Whole Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Lifestyle budgeting mistakes hurting your wallet pushover saving money Spending Money too nice Tue, 14 Mar 2017 10:00:16 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1908924 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Smart Ways to Save on Smartphones http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-ways-to-save-on-smartphones <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-smart-ways-to-save-on-smartphones" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-538872884.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Phones and phone service plans are an almost inescapable part of modern society. Every few years, we must choose a new cell phone and a new service plan to invest in. It's a modern necessity that can take up a huge chunk of our monthly expenses.</p> <p>Don't worry, there are several strategies that can help save you money on this necessity. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-smart-way-to-pay-for-cell-phone-service?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Smart Way to Pay for Cell Phone Service</a>)</p> <h2>1. Repair the Phone You've Got</h2> <p>Do you have a glitchy or damaged phone? Tired of dealing with it? Don't sign up for a new phone just yet. Nearly every town has one or two smartphone repair shops that might be able to fix your phone.</p> <p>The diagnostic tests to determine if the problem can be fixed are typically free. The actual repairs can run anywhere from $50 to $150 depending on the device, the problem, and the store. That's still expensive, but it might be worth it if it prevents the need to purchase another $300 to $700 phone.</p> <h2>2. Sell Back Old Devices</h2> <p>If you determine it's time for a new cell phone, don't just throw the device in the trash. Many businesses have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sites-that-will-pay-for-your-old-iphone?ref=internal" target="_blank">cell phone trade-in programs</a>.</p> <p>What exactly are trade-in programs? You sell the devices that are <em>not</em> currently being financed by a carrier or business to the store for cash. That's cash you can use to purchase your next phone. How much money you will receive is based on the following factors:</p> <ul> <li>The phone type;</li> <li>The phone's ability to power on;</li> <li>If the phone has cracks on the screen.</li> </ul> <p>The following stores have trade-in programs: Gazelle, Amazon, uSell, Best Buy, Walmart, EcoATM, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile.</p> <p>You might also want to check out Trade-Up programs from various cell phone carriers and stores. Trade-Up programs allow you to trade in your old phone and put the money directly toward your next phone purchase.</p> <h2>3. Don't Purchase Phones Directly From Cellphone Carriers</h2> <p>Amazon, eBay, Best Buy, and even Costco (pretty much any store other than the traditional phone carriers) can offer cheaper smartphone options. You should shop around to see if you can find new, used, or refurbished phones for a cheaper price.</p> <p>If you find a phone, you should check that the phone will be compatible with the cellular provider you use. (Some smartphones are locked to only work with certain providers.)</p> <h2>4. Purchase an Unlocked Smartphone</h2> <p>Why purchase an unlocked phone? Unlocked phones have the following benefits:</p> <ul> <li>They're available at a variety of stores;</li> <li>They aren't tied to one particular phone provider;</li> <li>They can be slightly cheaper;</li> <li>They allow the use of your phone on international trips;</li> <li>You're able to leave a provider and take your phone with you.</li> </ul> <p>If you decide to purchase an unlocked new, refurbished, or used smartphone, you need to keep in mind that you will most likely need to either purchase or receive a SIM card from a store or the cellular provider you opt to use.</p> <p>Cell phone companies have different plans for unlocked phones. These plans typically have monthly payments like more traditional phone plans. Or, you can opt to just purchase pre-paid SIM cards from stores like Amazon and Best Buy.</p> <h2>5. Choose the Best Plan for You</h2> <p>Don't just sign onto the first provider you stumble across. You should check out a wide variety of plans before signing up. Consider your usage habits. Don't automatically sign up for the cheapest plan not knowing how much data you use each month. You'll be in for budget-breaking overage charges. But don't just sign up for the unlimited plan, either, just to have a safety net from possible overage charges. The only thing worse than paying for using too much data, is paying for data you'll never use.</p> <p>Plan comparison sites can help you get a general sense of how much various phone providers cost. Two sites that can help you determine which provider offers the best plans are <a href="http://www.myrateplan.com/" target="_blank">MyRatePlan.com</a> and <a href="https://www.whistleout.com/" target="_blank">WhistleOut.com</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/samantha-stauf">Samantha Stauf</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-ways-to-save-on-smartphones">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-make-budgeting-fun-no-really">7 Apps That Make Budgeting Fun — No Really!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-apps-for-busy-working-parents">The 5 Best Apps for Busy Working Parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-smartphone-saves-you-money">8 Ways Your Smartphone Saves You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-unlimited-data-still-a-thing">Is Unlimited Data Still a Thing?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Technology cell plan Cell service money phone phone bill saving money smartphone unlimited data Wed, 08 Mar 2017 10:30:37 +0000 Samantha Stauf 1905167 at http://www.wisebread.com