Budgeting http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4804/all en-US How to Budget Consistently Without a Steady Paycheck http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-budget-consistently-without-a-steady-paycheck <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-budget-consistently-without-a-steady-paycheck" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-607504814.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to budget with inconsistent income" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Freelancers, small business owners, contractors, and salespeople working on commission all have one thing in common: irregular income. Anyone who has worked in these professions knows the insecure feeling you get when you are lurching from flush months to lean months as work (and on-time payment) waxes and wanes.</p> <p>Since the majority of budgeting advice starts with the assumption of a steady paycheck, it may seem like budgeting is out of reach for the average person with an irregular income. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only can you successfully budget an irregular income, but creating and adhering to a budget can mean the difference between surviving the lean months and thriving through them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Smart Way to Budget on a Freelance Income</a>)</p> <p>Here's how to create a budget if your income is inconsistent or irregular.</p> <h2>The cash flow bucket system</h2> <p>Before you even get started, you should know what budgeting success will look like. According to Roger Whitney, certified financial planner and podcaster, &quot;the goal for inconsistent income is to slowly build up your savings to the point where you can pay yourself a regular monthly salary out of your cash reserves.&quot;</p> <p>How do you do this? By using a method called the cash flow bucket system. With this system, instead of having your paychecks deposited into your checking account, they will go into savings. Once a month, you'll transfer the amount you need for expenses and bills into your checking account. This is your own self-created &quot;monthly paycheck.&quot; This system is a great fit for anyone with irregular income, because it keeps excess money from burning a hole in your checking account, and will help you smooth over the irregularities in your income.</p> <p>However, creating a cash flow bucket system can take a little more time with inconsistent income. Here are the steps you need to follow to get this system to work for you.</p> <h3>1. Capture excess income</h3> <p>Before you plunge headlong into depositing all of your income into your savings account, start by putting away excess cash during high-income months. This can take some discipline.</p> <p>Anyone who has received irregular income knows the feeling of being flush when several paychecks or client payments come in all at once. It's very tempting to use that excess income for discretionary spending, especially if you can thank your own hustle for the huge payday. But before you blow the big check on a steak dinner, slow down and remember how tough it is to go grocery shopping with the change you pilfered out of the couch cushions.</p> <p>That's why it's so important to recognize when you are experiencing a flush month and immediately put aside as much of the excess income as you can. The larger your savings account is as you start the cash flow bucket system, the easier it will be for you to smooth over the inconsistency of your income.</p> <h3>2. Determine your minimum budget baseline</h3> <p>The next step is determining your baseline expenses for a regular month. This baseline should be comprised of the expenses that are the absolute essentials for maintaining your life &mdash; such as your rent or mortgage, utility bills, transportation, groceries, and child care.</p> <p>This figure should be relatively easy to calculate. Write down your fixed expenses, such as your rent or mortgage, and estimate the fluctuating expenses, such as utility bills and groceries, by figuring the average cost over the past six to 12 months.</p> <p>When you know your baseline minimum, compare it to your existing savings account balance. Assuming you already have some money saved, you can see how many months' worth of minimum expenses you have set aside in your savings account &mdash; or how much you need to accumulate. It's a good idea to have three to six months' worth saved up, depending on the variability of your income. Just recognizing that you could survive with no money coming in for several months can help ease a great deal of the financial stress that comes with an inconsistent income.</p> <h3>3. Calculate your discretionary expenses</h3> <p>Once you know the bare minimum that you need to have on hand to keep the lights on and everything running, it's time to calculate how much you spend each month on discretionary purchases. This will include your spending on everything from dining out, to entertainment, to your hobbies.</p> <p>It's a good idea to go over several months' worth of bank statements and credit card bills to figure out how much you have spent on average on these discretionary expenses in the past. This way, you can come up with an average monthly discretionary budget.</p> <p>Be prepared to cut your discretionary spending as needed, since that can help you smooth over your inconsistent income more quickly.</p> <p>The best way to pare down discretionary spending is to cut things from easiest to hardest. If you love your weekly movie date with your best friend, then make sure that $15 you spend per week is preserved in your budget. But if you get coffee at the local coffee shop out of habit rather than enjoyment, then be prepared to start brewing your own.</p> <h3>4. Start having your paychecks deposited into savings</h3> <p>Now that you've beefed up your savings account during flush months, and figured out your baseline budget level and monthly discretionary spending, you can start having your payments from clients deposited directly into savings, rather than checking. Then, on the first of each month, transfer your &quot;monthly paycheck&quot; from your savings account into your checking account to pay for your monthly expenses.</p> <p>This is where things differ between someone with a steady paycheck and someone with irregular income. Depending on how much money you have already set aside in your savings account, and how frequently you deal with lean months, early on you may need to decide from month to month whether you will be living on your baseline budget or your baseline budget plus discretionary spending.</p> <p>However, as you build up your cash reserves, you will be able to eventually switch to an automatic transfer of your baseline budget plus discretionary spending.</p> <h3>5. Keep an eye on the system</h3> <p>Your checking account will be nearly depleted by the end of the month, but if you calculated your budget correctly, the money should last you until the first of the following month.</p> <p>If you find you are running short before the end of the month, you will need to look at your expenses to see where your calculation went wrong or your spending was too high. You can also decide to move more money from your savings account into your checking account or end all unnecessary spending until the next month begins.</p> <h3>6. Start saving for the future</h3> <p>The final step of budgeting irregular income is to incorporate saving for the future. While the cash flow bucket system will put excess income into your savings account and hold it for your lean months, it does not take the place of saving for retirement or other financial goals.</p> <p>Once you have reached a point that you have enough savings to consistently pay yourself a monthly salary, factor saving for the future into your monthly budget. Set up an automatic transfer of that amount from your savings account to your retirement fund or (other savings vehicle). Though you won't see that money in your monthly &quot;paycheck,&quot; you will need to factor in the deduction from your savings account.</p> <h2>Budgeting like a boss</h2> <p>Earning an irregular income can feel overwhelming. Not knowing how much you make from one month to the next may seem like a liability. But with the right money management, your irregular income can empower you to take control of your finances, your career, and your life.</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/how-to-budget-consistently-without-a-steady-paycheck">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-strategies-for-paying-off-debt-when-living-on-a-variable-income">7 Strategies for Paying Off Debt When Living on a Variable Income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-questions-you-must-answer-before-going-freelance">6 Financial Questions You Must Answer Before Going Freelance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-employed-heres-how-to-get-your-apartment-application-approved">Self-Employed? Here&#039;s How to Get Your Apartment Application Approved</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-its-time-to-close-your-business">5 Signs It&#039;s Time to Close Your Business</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Entrepreneurship contract work expenses freelance inconsistent incomes irregular incomes paychecks saving money self employment Fri, 11 Aug 2017 08:30:05 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1998639 at http://www.wisebread.com 23 Effortless Ways to Go Green (and Save Money, Too) http://www.wisebread.com/23-effortless-ways-to-go-green-and-save-money-too <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/23-effortless-ways-to-go-green-and-save-money-too" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/portrait_of_woman_carrying_vegetables_in_crate_at_farm.jpg" alt="Portrait of woman carrying vegetables in crate at farm" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Believe it or not, going green and saving money often directly align, since consuming fewer resources results in less pollution and costs less, as well. Here are a few ways to help the earth by spending less &mdash; or even by spending nothing! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-green-living-habits-thatll-save-you-every-month?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Green Living Habits That'll Save You Every Month</a>)</p> <h2>1. Eat less meat</h2> <p>Eat less red meat and move down the food chain for cheaper food and less environmental impact. You could also incorporate a meat-free day of the week to scale back on meat consumption, while also helping the environment and spending less on groceries. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-slow-cooker-recipes-for-busy-or-lazy-vegetarians?ref=seealso" target="_blank">35 Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy (or Lazy) Vegetarians</a>)</p> <h2>2. Fight food waste</h2> <p>The best way to spend less on food is to throw less food away. Shop carefully to avoid overbuying, and preserve excess food items to reduce food waste going to the landfill.</p> <h2>3. Drink tap water</h2> <p>Infrastructure is already in place to provide drinking water to your home, so why pay extra to have drinking water bottled and shipped hundreds of miles or more? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-we-keep-buying-that-are-killing-the-planet?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Things We Keep Buying That Are Killing the Planet</a>)</p> <h2>4. Resist fast food</h2> <p>Cut down on fast food with its wrappers, bags, boxes, disposable cups, and plastic straws. You'll keep waste out of the landfill and save money, too.</p> <h2>5. Catch water with a rain barrel</h2> <p>Use a <a href="http://amzn.to/2frw4yo" target="_blank">rain barrel</a> to provide water for your plants with no chlorine or other added chemicals. This saves the energy of pumping water out of the ground, and you'll save on your water bill.</p> <h2>6. Create a no-mow zone</h2> <p>Consider creating a natural space in your yard that does not require mowing. This will save time and energy mowing, and provides a habitat for wildlife in your yard. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-your-backyard-into-a-wildlife-refuge-for-under-40?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Turn Your Backyard Into a Wildlife Refuge for Under $40</a>)</p> <h2>7. Drive a gas-sipper, not a gas-guzzler</h2> <p>Get the most fuel-efficient car that meets your daily needs. If you occasionally need more capacity, you can borrow or even rent a vehicle and still come out ahead. You'll spend less on gas every day and add less pollution to the air.</p> <h2>8. Air up your car tires</h2> <p>Keeping your tires fully inflated is the easiest thing you can do to improve your fuel economy. Air up your tires for a couple quarters at the gas station to save money &mdash; and gas &mdash; every time you drive.</p> <h2>9. Walk whenever possible</h2> <p>Everyone knows you can save money and burn less gas by walking or riding a bike instead of driving. If this is not feasible, try to combine trips to reduce how much driving you need to do.</p> <h2>10. Use public transit or carpool</h2> <p>You may be able to have someone else drive you to work, freeing up some time to read and relax on the ride while saving gas, too. If you do not have convenient mass transit in your area, see if your employer has organized a carpool, or start your own.</p> <h2>11. Send email, not snail mail</h2> <p>Use email rather than snail mail for letters, paying bills, and sending greeting cards to reduce the carbon footprint from trucking mail around. Plus, you can also save money on postage.</p> <h2>12. Avoid gratuitous tech upgrades</h2> <p>It takes a lot of resources and energy to produce a technology device. Before you get rid of your current device and pay extra get the new model, consider whether the upgrade is really worthwhile.</p> <h2>13. Use rechargeable batteries</h2> <p>If you find yourself throwing away a lot of batteries, pick up some <a href="http://amzn.to/2wsaON1" target="_blank">rechargeable batteries</a> you'll save money and reduce waste from spent batteries going to the landfill.</p> <h2>14. Resist Ctrl+P</h2> <p>Work to reduce the amount of printouts and paper copies of documents you make. Save paper, ink, toner, space, and money but cutting back on printing.</p> <h2>15. Reduce A/C and heating</h2> <p>In summer, turn off the A/C and open the windows (and maybe turn on a fan). In the winter, turn down the heat and put on a sweater. You'll end up saving fossil fuel and money.</p> <h2>16. Replace furnace filters</h2> <p>Regularly replace your furnace filter with a clean one so your heating and cooling system runs at higher efficiency, saving money and energy.</p> <h2>17. Reduce wasted electricity</h2> <p>Turn off unused lights and unplug appliances when you're done using them to reduce your electric bill and your demand for electric energy production.</p> <h2>18. Dry clothes on a clothesline</h2> <p>Use free solar power in your yard to dry clothes on a clothesline. Save money, electricity, and wear-and-tear on your clothes dryer.</p> <h2>19. Use LED bulbs</h2> <p>An easy green upgrade is to replace your incandescent light bulbs with <a href="http://amzn.to/2vNBA5l" target="_blank">LED light bulbs</a>. This will save you money on your electric bill and reduce your energy consumption to light your home.</p> <h2>20. Reduce disposable products</h2> <p>After realizing how many plastic spoons and forks I was throwing away at lunch, I took a set of silverware from home to work and use it every day. Try to identify disposable products you are using and replace them with reusable products instead.</p> <h2>21. Buy stuff that lasts longer</h2> <p>The initial cost of higher quality products may be higher, but the overall cost of ownership is lower over the life of the product. Longer-lasting products are greener than products that need to be replaced after a short life, as it requires less resources to meet a lower product demand.</p> <h2>22. Just say 'no' to excessive packaging</h2> <p>Choose products that minimize packaging, and therefore waste. For example, use refillable dispensers for items such as hand soap and laundry soap that you can replenish from an efficient bulk container. The bulk supply is often cheaper than buying a new dispenser each time, too.</p> <h2>23. Use reusable shopping bags</h2> <p>Paper or plastic? How about neither! Some stores offer a discount if you bring your own shopping bag. For example, a local store near me offers 10 cents per bag discount, or you can donate it to charity. Plus, I find that my <a href="http://amzn.to/2vCY2xq" target="_blank">reusable bags</a> are sturdier and better protect my items than disposable plastic bags.</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/23-effortless-ways-to-go-green-and-save-money-too">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-long-does-it-take-to-break-even-with-solar-panels">How Long Does It Take to Break Even With Solar Panels?</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-128-creative-ways-to-upcycle-your-trash">Flashback Friday: 128 Creative Ways to Upcycle Your Trash</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-living-on-a-tight-budget-makes-you-happier">How Living on a Tight Budget Makes You Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-too-many-decisions-costs-you-money">Here&#039;s How Too Many Decisions Costs You 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/its-time-to-drop-these-6-rules-of-money-etiquette">It&#039;s Time to Drop These 6 Rules of Money Etiquette</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Green Living buy used go green green lifestyle pollution recycle reduce reduce waste reuse saving money Spending Money Fri, 11 Aug 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2000692 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Generosity Actually Improves Your Life http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-generosity-actually-improves-your-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-generosity-actually-improves-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/iStock-482063553.jpg" alt="Learning how generosity improves your life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Generosity will not only improve your moral standing, but also your long-term finances. Giving doesn't have to cost money, either; donating your time and skills produces the same effect as giving money or material items. Here's how it could work for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-the-world-better-with-these-17-free-ways-to-give-back?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Make the World Better With These 17 Free Ways to Give Back</a>)</p> <h2>You'll make better money decisions</h2> <p>Money can be a big source of stress. Maybe you and your partner disagree about the budget. Perhaps you're struggling to reduce debt, dealing with a loss of income, or recovering from a financial crisis. Or perhaps you're trying to determine how to be smart with your savings, become a better investor, and create a better financial future. In any of these situations, you need the ability to calmly and rationally assess your options and make decisions for your future.</p> <p>Stress has a huge, negative impact on your ability to make good decisions. In fact, stress prompts us to act quickly and instinctively, and reroutes the energy needed by the brain for wise decision-making, according to Stanford health psychologist Kelly McGonigal, PhD. &quot;Stress also encourages you to focus on immediate, short-term goals and outcomes,&quot; says McGonigal, &quot;but self-control requires keeping the big picture in mind.&quot;</p> <p>An excellent way to combat stress is to give to others. Whether it's your time, your money, or your unwanted items, giving to those less fortunate will give you a sense of purpose, it will make you feel better about yourself and the world you live in, and can reduce your anxiety. That combination equips you to better handle stress when it does occur, keeping it in perspective. And you'll be able to more calmly and rationally make financial decisions for yourself and your future.</p> <h2>You'll benefit from a stronger support network</h2> <p>Hard times happen, but consistent generosity &mdash; whether through volunteering, acts of kindness, or monetary giving &mdash; can lead to an extended network and stronger relationships. Meeting people at volunteering events can create lasting friendships. Helping out a neighbor when they need it most will solidify a true bond. And when you need those people to be there for you in return, they most likely will be.</p> <p>I've experienced the financial perks of having a strong support network many times in my life. For example, during my mother's fight against breast cancer, my friends and family brought food, baby-sat (both my sister and I had young children), ran errands, made phone calls, organized important information, and, when needed, assisted in bedside care for my mom. If I didn't have a loving support system willing to do those things, I would've had to, either do it all myself &mdash; which would've increased my stress to an unbearable degree, or I would've had to pay someone to help out &mdash; which would've sucked my bank account dry.</p> <p>A community of friends bringing you meals when you're unable to shop and cook saves you the cost of takeout. When your network pitches in to watch your kids, help you with a big project, or loan you a needed resource, you save the money you'd have otherwise spent to get those things done.</p> <h2>Your work opportunities will improve</h2> <p>LinkedIn is built on the idea that social capital leads to better work and increased work opportunities. We call it networking, mostly. And giving, it turns out, is one of the best ways to network. Even low-key acts of generosity improve work relationships, according to a study from the University of California published in the journal <em>Emotion</em>. Giving mutual support, practicing gratitude, and showing hospitality all contribute to stronger work connections and increased social capital. And with a strong professional network, more job opportunities (and all the financial perks that go along with them) will be aplenty. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-networking-tips-for-people-under-40?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 10 Best Networking Tips for People Under 40</a>)</p> <p>It's all about who you know, right?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-generosity-actually-improves-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-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/ten-great-charities-that-deserve-your-dollars-this-year">Ten Great Charities that Deserve Your Dollars This Year</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/its-time-to-drop-these-6-rules-of-money-etiquette">It&#039;s Time to Drop These 6 Rules of Money Etiquette</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-cycling-can-save-you-money">11 Ways Cycling Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-peer-pressure-from-destroying-your-finances">How to Keep Peer Pressure From Destroying Your Finances</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-things-you-can-look-forward-to-when-you-have-money">6 Things You Can Look Forward to When You Have Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Lifestyle charity generosity generous giving Giving Back helping hands pay it forward saving money Mon, 07 Aug 2017 08:31:05 +0000 Annie Mueller 1996572 at http://www.wisebread.com How Living in a Hotel Can Be Surprisingly Affordable http://www.wisebread.com/how-living-in-a-hotel-can-be-surprisingly-affordable <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-living-in-a-hotel-can-be-surprisingly-affordable" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-520654062.jpg" alt="Couple living in a hotel and saving money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Since the housing bubble of 2008, people are more reluctant to take out a mortgage and get themselves tied to a specific location and 30 years of payments. A house is usually an asset that appreciates, but property values can drop for a variety of reasons, and homeowners can get hit with expensive repairs at any time.</p> <p>If you live in a hotel, you'll never have to worry about finding yourself underwater on a mortgage and unable to move. You also won't have to come up with a large sum of money to buy a new furnace or replace a roof. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-hidden-housing-costs-new-homeowners-dont-expect?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Hidden Housing Costs New Homeowners Don't Expect</a>)</p> <p>Some people who decide not to make the commitment to buy a house choose to rent a house or an apartment instead. Living in a hotel or motel is even more flexible than renting, since most rentals require a one-year lease agreement plus a deposit. Your hotel commitment is one day at a time, or perhaps a few weeks at a time if you negotiate a long-term rate.</p> <p>Living long-term in a hotel is not ideal for everyone, but can be a surprisingly affordable option for people who want to live in an expensive location without paying high rent or a big mortgage. For example, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is $3,600 per month. Throw in at least $100 more for basic utilities and the price works out to over $120 per night. While you won't find many San Francisco hotels for less than $120 a night, keep in mind that if you stay in a hotel, you'll also be forgoing the need to furnish an apartment and pay a deposit, which is often three months' rent in one lump sum.</p> <p>Not all locations are as expensive as San Francisco, but there are a number of places where staying in a hotel can be less expensive than the overall cost of renting an apartment.</p> <h2>Advantages of living in a hotel</h2> <p>Your living expenses become a lot more streamlined when you live in a hotel.</p> <h3>Fewer bills</h3> <p>You can avoid entire categories of bills such as utilities, property tax, insurance, repairs, and maintenance. Cable is often included, and you might even be able to get internet thrown in with it. If your hotel has a pool and a gym, you'll be able to forgo the monthly gym fees, too.</p> <h3>Minimal commitments</h3> <p>You won't have to pay a security deposit, an application fee, or have your credit checked. You can also move to another location with little or no notice.</p> <h3>Convenient locations</h3> <p>Depending on the hotel you choose, you gain access to affordable living in expensive ZIP codes and near shopping and other attractions. You can also minimize time spent commuting if your hotel is close to work. And since hotels have a full staff of housekeepers, you won't have any household chores to deal with.</p> <h2>Disadvantages of living in a hotel</h2> <p>There are some drawbacks that may rule out living in a hotel for you.</p> <h3>Less space</h3> <p>Obviously, there will be less storage for your personal items. There won't be an opportunity to grow a garden. And your kids and pets may not enjoy living in a small hotel room for a long period of time.</p> <h3>Receiving mail</h3> <p>Living in a hotel might make it difficult to receive mail and packages if you change locations a lot.</p> <h2>How to make it work</h2> <p>If living in a hotel makes sense for you, here's how get the most value from a long-term stay.</p> <h3>Negotiate for lower rates and perks</h3> <p>Hotels like to keep their rooms occupied and generating revenue, so they like to get long-term guests. Use this to your advantage to negotiate a lower rate and possible perks such as free meals or free Wi-Fi access. One tactic to negotiate a lower rate is to book a less desirable room, for example a small room or a room with a crummy view, for a long period of time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</a>)</p> <h3>Use hotel rewards programs to save even more</h3> <p>If you stay long-term in a hotel, you can rack up a lot of rewards points that can be used for free hotel stays, saving you even more money. Join the hotel's rewards program when you check in &mdash; or before &mdash; to make sure you get all of the points you can for your stay. It's probably also worth signing up for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards" target="_blank">hotel credit card</a> that will earn you extra points when you pay your considerable bill.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-living-in-a-hotel-can-be-surprisingly-affordable&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520Living%2520in%2520a%2520Hotel%2520Can%2520Be%2520Surprisingly%2520Affordable.jpg&amp;description=How%20Living%20in%20a%20Hotel%20Can%20Be%20Surprisingly%20Affordable"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20Living%20in%20a%20Hotel%20Can%20Be%20Surprisingly%20Affordable.jpg" alt="How Living in a Hotel Can Be Surprisingly Affordable" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-living-in-a-hotel-can-be-surprisingly-affordable">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free">5 Simple Ways to Live Rent-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-i-choose-to-rent-instead-of-buy">Why I Choose to Rent Instead of Buy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-it-really-costs-to-own-a-home">What It Really Costs to Own a Home</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-family-lives-well-and-even-owns-a-home-on-just-11-an-hour">How One Family Lives Well (And Even Owns a Home) on Just $11 an Hour</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/quiz-am-i-really-ready-to-buy-a-home">Quiz: Am I Really Ready to Buy a Home?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Real Estate and Housing affordable housing hotel hotel living living in a hotel rental renting a hotel room Thu, 03 Aug 2017 08:30:08 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1994328 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Strategies for Paying Off Debt When Living on a Variable Income http://www.wisebread.com/7-strategies-for-paying-off-debt-when-living-on-a-variable-income <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-strategies-for-paying-off-debt-when-living-on-a-variable-income" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-516427450.jpg" alt="Woman paying off debt on variable income" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Paying off debt can be a challenge even if you have a steady paycheck. When your income is variable, it's even harder. These strategies can help you take care of your financial obligations even when your salary isn't stable.</p> <h2>1. Set a budget from your baseline</h2> <p>Take a look at your earning potential and set a baseline. Base it on what you can expect to earn even in a worst-case scenario month. For example, if you're in sales and you earn a base salary plus commission, your baseline is your base salary. If you're a freelancer with several contracted clients and fluctuating income from other projects, your baseline is what you earn from the ongoing contracts.</p> <p>From your baseline, build a budget that covers the minimum payments you need to make every month. If more money comes in, you can split it among savings and paying down debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Smart Way to Budget on a Freelance Income</a>)</p> <h2>2. Reduce your expenses and bills</h2> <p>Be very detailed in your baseline budget. Your recurring bills are the starting point; your actual spending is just as important. You need to know, for example, if you spend $100 on books every month, or if your grocery bill is $200 more than you think it is. Once you're aware of all your bills and expenses, look for ways to reduce them. You don't need to reduce them all; keep the expenses that give you the greatest payback in satisfaction and minimize the costs that don't add much to your quality of life.</p> <p>If you're paying off more than one debt, debt consolidation might be key to reducing multiple high-interest payments into one monthly payment. Explore your options to determine if you can lower your debt interest and payments and close that gap.</p> <h2>3. Build up your gap savings</h2> <p>When you have a high-earnings month, send a percentage into a savings account and let it accumulate over time. When needed, you can use it to fill in the gap when your baseline earnings aren't quite enough.</p> <h2>4. Pick up a side hustle</h2> <p>Another strategy for closing the baseline gap is to pick up a steady side job. There are many kinds of side hustles and part-time jobs you can consider; it's most helpful, in this case, if you find one that will give you a predictable amount of earnings every month. That way, you can add it to your baseline so that there's no longer a gap between what you'll make and what you need to make.</p> <p>When you get that big commission or finally get paid for the last project, it's tempting to splurge and enjoy the high times. A little splurging is good for morale, but the key to surviving and thriving on a variable income is making the most of the big paydays.</p> <h2>5. Follow a savings plan</h2> <p>You may not be able to add to your savings during the lean times. But when your earnings spike, save a good percentage of it. Put a plan in place before you get the big payday. You might decide, for example, that anything over your baseline gets divided into three categories: 30 percent for savings, 30 percent for debt payments, and 30 percent for expenses that have been on hold. That leaves you 10 percent for splurge money.</p> <h2>6. Follow a debt reduction plan</h2> <p>If you use the plan above, or one similar to it, you'll know that a set percentage of your earnings over baseline go to reducing your debt. It's good practice to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first, otherwise known as the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snowballs-or-avalanches-which-debt-reduction-strategy-is-best-for-you?ref=internal" target="_blank">avalanche method</a>. You can also negotiate with creditors if you have a good chunk of the debt ready to pay. Some creditors will reduce your total amount owed if you're able to pay off most of it in cash, right away.</p> <h2>7. Maximize your savings</h2> <p>Finally, don't let a variable income keep you from being smart about how you save. While it feels good to have cash at the ready, it's a smarter long-term strategy to put your savings into high-earning investments. Build up a decent <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-step-by-step-guide-to-creating-your-emergency-fund?ref=internal" target="_blank">emergency fund</a> so you can handle a crisis and close that baseline gap as needed. Put any savings beyond the emergency fund into longer term investments with a higher yield, so you make the most out of your income, variable or not.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-strategies-for-paying-off-debt-when-living-on-a-variable-income&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Strategies%2520for%2520Paying%2520Off%2520Debt%2520When%2520Living%2520on%2520a%2520Variable%2520Income.jpg&amp;description=7%20Strategies%20for%20Paying%20Off%20Debt%20When%20Living%20on%20a%20Variable%20Income"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Strategies%20for%20Paying%20Off%20Debt%20When%20Living%20on%20a%20Variable%20Income_0.jpg" alt="7 Strategies for Paying Off Debt When Living on a Variable Income" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-strategies-for-paying-off-debt-when-living-on-a-variable-income">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-budget-consistently-without-a-steady-paycheck">How to Budget Consistently Without a Steady Paycheck</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-its-time-to-close-your-business">5 Signs It&#039;s Time to Close Your Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-improving-or-starting-a-budget">8 Tips for Improving or Starting a 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/try-these-6-money-saving-challenges-now">Try These 6 Money-Saving Challenges Now</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-live-on-12-000-a-year">How to live on $12,000 a year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Debt Management Entrepreneurship debt payments emergency fund financial planning freelance saving money self employed side gigs variable income Wed, 02 Aug 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Annie Mueller 1990975 at http://www.wisebread.com How Living on a Tight Budget Makes You Happier http://www.wisebread.com/how-living-on-a-tight-budget-makes-you-happier <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-living-on-a-tight-budget-makes-you-happier" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-658617512.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've been living on a tight budget for a while now, you know it's not all fun and games. Sometimes you don't want to compare prices &mdash; you just want to buy the groceries you need. But frugality is worth the effort, not only because it leads to greater financial freedom, but also because, in many ways, it contributes to a fuller, more creative, and more satisfying life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-do-today-to-be-happy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Things You Can Do Today to Be Happy</a>)</p> <h2>You choose experiences over things</h2> <p>When you're trying to rein in your spending, you know that going for a hike, enjoying the sunset, listening to music, or playing games can provide just as much fun as shopping and spending money. Experiences provide joy and satisfaction through memories, and over time those memories keep boosting our happiness.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the new wears off on those new possessions, and as objects become familiar, they provide us with less satisfaction. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-you-should-splurge-on-experiences-not-things?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Reasons You Should Splurge on Experiences, Not Things</a>)</p> <h2>You emphasize quality over quantity</h2> <p>There's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-youre-not-frugal-youre-cheap" target="_blank">frugal, and then there's cheap</a>. Frugality emphasizes not buying stuff you don't need, but also getting the most for each dollar you do spend. Cheap items may cost less, initially, but they wear out and need to be replaced sooner.</p> <p>Another great aspect of prioritizing quality over quantity on a tight budget is that you prevent more clutter from accumulating. Clutter is stressful, and gets in the way of you having a clean, peaceful home. Who needs that?</p> <h2>You focus on relationships</h2> <p>A limited budget means you won't be able to splurge on expensive hobbies and other pricey forms of entertainment. Instead, you're more likely to invest your time in relationships. You could volunteer at a community garden, make art with your friends, explore your local parks, or host potluck dinners. And in focusing on community rather than cash, you're creating a more full and satisfying life. When we have an extended network of friends in place, they help us manage crisis and change. With friends by your side to help you move, adjust to being a parent, or recover from an illness, you're better off in every possible way.</p> <h2>You increase your creativity</h2> <p>When you have an endless supply of funds, you can just throw money at a problem and not give it a second thought. But when you live on a budget, you need to get strategic and creative about how to make day-to-day life run smoothly. If you've ever had to come up with a weekly meal plan for four on a budget of $100, you know how to get creative. If you've had to DIY the solution to some household problem because you couldn't afford to hire a pro, you've learned to problem-solve. If you've learned to borrow and barter instead of buy, you know how to negotiate and use connections.</p> <p>It's the restrictiveness of a small budget that induces creativity. Creativity thrives on boundaries. By giving yourself financial boundaries, you've enhanced your own creativity. And the more you use it, the more it grows.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-living-on-a-tight-budget-makes-you-happier&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520Living%2520on%2520a%2520Tight%2520Budget%2520Makes%2520You%2520Happier.jpg&amp;description=How%20Living%20on%20a%20Tight%20Budget%20Makes%20You%20Happier"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20Living%20on%20a%20Tight%20Budget%20Makes%20You%20Happier.jpg" alt="How Living on a Tight Budget Makes You Happier" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-living-on-a-tight-budget-makes-you-happier">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/5-when-youre-rich-dream-buys-that-arent-that-great">5 &quot;When You&#039;re Rich&quot; Dream Buys That Aren&#039;t That Great</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-too-many-decisions-costs-you-money">Here&#039;s How Too Many Decisions Costs 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/its-time-to-drop-these-6-rules-of-money-etiquette">It&#039;s Time to Drop These 6 Rules of Money Etiquette</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-lessons-on-how-to-be-a-financial-grownup-from-bobbi-rebell">6 Lessons on How to Be a Financial Grownup From Bobbi Rebell</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting budgeting happier happiness tips happy life mental bias saving money Spending Money tight budget Mon, 31 Jul 2017 08:00:04 +0000 Annie Mueller 1992321 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Times Splurging on Experiences Is a Bad Idea http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-splurging-on-experiences-is-a-bad-idea <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-times-splurging-on-experiences-is-a-bad-idea" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_having_a_duh_moment.jpg" alt="Man having a duh moment" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're a regular reader of Wise Bread, you know that we encourage you to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-you-should-splurge-on-experiences-not-things?ref=internal" target="_blank">spend your money on experiences</a> rather than material things. You will be happier if you make great memories, rather than stockpiling great electronics, clothes, shoes, watches, and jewelry. But there are two sides to every story. And sometimes, these experiences are just not worth the splurge.</p> <h2>1. Exotic destination weddings</h2> <p>We've all received those wedding invitations that, at first, seem like a dream come true. We picture ourselves tanning on a beach in Hawaii or Jamaica with a cocktail and a smile. But that's usually not the case. Destination weddings don't give you a lot of time to yourself. You are there for the bride and groom. It's their big day, they've spent a lot of money on it. You'll be expected to go to rehearsals, receptions, and other parties. You may well have to hang out with a bunch of people you don't know or even like all that much. And to top it all off, you're paying through the nose to go on this trip. It will likely cost thousands. You might make some good memories from it, but this isn't the same as a vacation on your own terms. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-resist-a-splurge?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways to Resist a Splurge</a>)</p> <h2>2. Tickets to the Super Bowl</h2> <p>Blasphemy, right?! Well, not really. When it comes down to it, a trip to the Super Bowl is a great experience if you can get it for the right price. But if you're buying the tickets through the secondary market, or even worse, getting an &quot;On Location Experience,&quot; you are going to be spending a small fortune. SeatGeek.com states that the <a href="https://seatgeek.com/events/super-bowl" target="_blank">average price of a Super Bowl 52 ticket</a> will be between $2,500 and $3,000. For those On Location Experiences, you're looking at between $6,000 to $12,000. Up to $12,000 to see a football game. Now, think about the experience you're going to have for that money. You're there, in the stadium, but most of the time you're actually watching the action on the big screen projection. You're paying an arm and a leg for food and drinks. You also had to pay to get to the Super Bowl and stay in a hotel, unless you're lucky enough to live in that city. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-man-used-credit-card-rewards-to-go-to-the-last-11-super-bowls?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How One Man Used Credit Card Rewards to Go to the Last 11 Super Bowls</a>)</p> <p>What else could you do with that money? How about two weeks in Europe? Or Japan? Or paying down debt? Wouldn't that be a better use of your money? Forget the Super Bowl experience, and watch it on a big screen at home with your friends and family.</p> <h2>3. Extremely high-priced restaurants</h2> <p>There are some restaurant experiences that balance good food with a reasonable check at the end of the meal. And there are others that just blow the budget completely out of the water. You may be thinking that once, just once, you want to spend a whole lot of money on an amazing meal &hellip; just to experience it. Well, honestly, you will not be getting your money's worth. For example, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-of-the-worlds-most-expensive-restaurants" target="_blank">Sublimotion in Spain</a> charges over $2,000 per person for a series of 15-20 small courses. It gets exceptional reviews of course, but $2,000 for a meal is just an absurd waste of your cash, and you will find stunning food in your area for way, way less money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-worlds-most-affordable-michelin-starred-restaurants?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The World's Most Affordable Michelin-Starred Restaurants</a>)</p> <h2>4. A trip on the Orient Express</h2> <p>I mean, it's a train. It may be the most famous train the world, but is it worth the cost to ride? If you were to book a <a href="https://www.luxury-trains.co.uk/orient-express/venice-simplon-orient-express-train-fares.htm" target="_blank">cabin suite from Paris to Istanbul</a>, the cost is almost $16,000! If you instead opt for a double or single room, it's still up there at around $8,000! And what do you get for that? Honestly, not all that much. Some nice food, some fancy service, and nice views.</p> <p>However, if you purchase a First Class InterRail ticket for the same journey, with the same views, you will only be out of pocket around $400 per person. Don't bother with the Orient Express. It's overpriced and underwhelming, and includes a lot of wood paneling and polished brass.</p> <h2>5. The big fight</h2> <p>Despite the phenomenal rise in popularity of UFC, world-class boxing matches still command massive audiences. And it seems massively inflated ticket prices, too. In 2015, Forbes reported that the Floyd Mayweather Jr. versus Manny Pacquiao fight had ticket prices so incredible they broke records. As hard as it is to believe, some tickets went on sale for upward of $350,000! That's right, over a quarter of a million dollars, for a fight that many thought did not come close to living up to the title of &quot;Fight of the Century.&quot; If you're thinking, <em>Well, yeah, but most tickets didn't cost anywhere near that price,</em> then you're right. The worst seats in the house were being sold for over $3,500 per ticket. And that would have gotten you on the upper level with a view that left a lot to be desired. People were spending upward of $150 to attend the weigh-in for that fight! And these fights will continue to garner a lot of attention, and ask for grossly-inflated sums of money. Watch it on Pay-Per-View if you really want to see it, and split the cost with your friends.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-times-splurging-on-experiences-is-a-bad-idea&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Times%2520Splurging%2520on%2520Experiences%2520Is%2520a%2520Bad%2520Idea.jpg&amp;description=5%20Times%20Splurging%20on%20Experiences%20Is%20a%20Bad%20Idea"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Times%20Splurging%20on%20Experiences%20Is%20a%20Bad%20Idea.jpg" alt="5 Times Splurging on Experiences Is a Bad Idea" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-splurging-on-experiences-is-a-bad-idea">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now">10 Frugal Fall Getaways You Can Start Packing For Now</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/12-ways-to-save-and-make-money-while-traveling">12 Ways to Save and Make Money While Traveling</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/never-borrow-money-for-these-5-buys">Never Borrow Money for These 5 Buys</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 Entertainment expensive things experiences material things saving money spending splurges travel vacation weddings Thu, 27 Jul 2017 09:00:04 +0000 Paul Michael 1990724 at http://www.wisebread.com What to Do When You've Blown Your Budget for the Month http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-youve-blown-your-budget-for-the-month <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-to-do-when-youve-blown-your-budget-for-the-month" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/budget_jar.jpg" alt="Budget jar" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You're a week into a new month, and you take a look at your bank account &mdash; only to find it dangerously low. You've spent way more than you had budgeted for way too early.</p> <p>Overspending happens. Sometimes it's planned (like for a vacation), but other times things get out of control, emergencies occur, or you end up in situations where spending money legitimately seems like the best way out.</p> <p>No matter the reason for your blown up budget, there are steps you can take to limit and mitigate the damage.</p> <h2>Assess the situation</h2> <p>Start by being completely honest with yourself about the situation. Determine what caused it, how much responsibility you bear, and whether it's going to be ongoing. For instance, a medical emergency could be over after a couple of days, or it could be something that you're going to need to budget for into the future.</p> <p>If the budget blowout is your fault, admit your mistake. It helps to tell someone, whether it's your spouse, a good friend, or someone else you're close to. This makes it real, and it also means you'll have someone to keep you accountable.</p> <p>If the issue was beyond your control, let yourself off the hook for any guilt. Emergencies happen. Simply focus on trying to bounce back and don't stew over the situation.</p> <p>You also need to determine how you will be affected financially for the rest of the month. Do you have the money to cover your bills and expenses, or is this going to leave you totally strapped for cash? You can't bounce back until you know exactly where you stand.</p> <h2>Tap your emergency fund</h2> <p>While it's best to save an emergency fund for a true emergency, like a medical crisis or an essential car repair, you may need to use it to bail yourself out of a tough financial spot.</p> <p>The key to using an emergency fund, though, is to replenish it afterward. If you overspent and it saved you, you need to start putting money back into it the following month. As long as you make sure you are doing this regularly, you will be more likely to have that financial cushion again when you need it.</p> <h2>Cut your losses</h2> <p>Stop spending wherever you can. No matter your situation, there are things you can do to spend less. Cut out restaurant and takeout meals and prep your own food at home. Pack a lunch to work. See if you can walk, bike, or even carpool to the office or out on errands. Don't spend money on anything that isn't an absolute necessity.</p> <p>If you are in a budget hole of your own doing, this is the time to get strict with yourself. Maybe you need to spend a week of evenings at home instead of out with friends. Maybe you can invite them over instead of going out. Or, maybe you need to face your shopping addiction, and learn to cope with negative feelings in other ways.</p> <p>No matter where you are and what is going on, the first thing you need to do is stem the outflow of money.</p> <h2>Make a plan</h2> <p>Once you know how you're going to stop the bleeding, it's time to make a plan for how you're going to cover your expenses and pay off any debt that has accrued.</p> <p>If you're in the middle of a crisis, this may not be something you're able to do until later. If you can sit down and assess your finances, though, you will probably be better off. Grief and pain can be overwhelming, however, so if the best you can do is put things on a low-interest credit card until you can deal with them later, that's an acceptable temporary move. Just be sure to make paying off that credit card balance a priority once you're back on your feet.</p> <p>Note that you may need to revamp your budget for a while to accommodate extra credit card payments or reestablish your emergency fund. You may even have to cut your spending for a few months into the future. Knowing this ahead of time can make those months less of a financial struggle.</p> <p>This is also the time to look beyond the surface at what caused this crisis and determine whether you can do anything to keep it from happening again. Do you need a larger emergency fund? Do you need to cultivate more discipline with money? Do you need to talk to a therapist about how you feel when you spend? Make a plan not only to cover the amount you spent, but to keep yourself from similar situations in the future.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhat-to-do-when-youve-blown-your-budget-for-the-month&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhat%2520to%2520Do%2520When%2520Youve%2520Blown%2520Your%2520Budget%2520for%2520the%2520Month.jpg&amp;description=What%20to%20Do%20When%20Youve%20Blown%20Your%20Budget%20for%20the%20Month"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/What%20to%20Do%20When%20Youve%20Blown%20Your%20Budget%20for%20the%20Month.jpg" alt="What to Do When You've Blown Your Budget for the Month" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-youve-blown-your-budget-for-the-month">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/10-golden-rules-of-personal-finance-everyone-should-know">10 Golden Rules of Personal Finance Everyone Should Know</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/rich-people-spend-350k-to-park-their-cars-heres-how-wed-spend-it-instead">Rich People Spend $350K+ to Park Their Cars — Here&#039;s How We&#039;d Spend it Instead</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-an-all-cash-diet-right-for-you">Is an All-Cash Diet Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-everyday-money-tasks-youve-been-doing-wrong">12 Everyday Money Tasks You&#039;ve Been Doing Wrong</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-reasons-youre-still-stuck-in-a-financial-hole">8 Reasons You&#039;re Still Stuck in a Financial Hole</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting Crisis emergencies emergency funds overspending ruined budget running out of money Spending Money Thu, 27 Jul 2017 08:00:05 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1990723 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Books to Read for a Better Money Mindset http://www.wisebread.com/10-books-to-read-for-a-better-money-mindset <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-books-to-read-for-a-better-money-mindset" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_in_a_library.jpg" alt="Girl in a library" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It can be lonely living in a frugal world; maybe you're surrounded by big spenders, or mocked for being a penny pincher. Or maybe you struggle to see the long-term goals in the midst of short-term needs. Peruse this list of books for your next read, and build a stronger, proactive, and positive money mindset. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-beloved-books-of-successful-millionaires?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Beloved Books of Successful Millionaires</a>)</p> <h2>1. <em>A</em>&nbsp;<em>Conflict of Visions</em> by Thomas Sowell</h2> <p>Read <a href="http://amzn.to/2tntlYU" target="_blank">A Conflict of Visions</a> for a big picture, to understand why people think about and react to money issues the way they do. A dense read, this isn't one you'll grab for the beach. Instead, grab your highlighter and tackle a chapter at a time. You'll learn a lot about money and why people have so many conflicts with it, which might, in the end, help you feel less conflicted.</p> <h2>2. <em>The Power of Less</em> by Leo Babauta</h2> <p>Successful blogger, author, and father of six, Leo Babauta knows a few things about handling money and a life of many responsibilities. His book, <a href="http://amzn.to/2tnuijR" target="_blank">The Power of Less</a>, will help you appreciate what less can bring you, in both business and in life. It's liberating to realize that pursuing more, whether personally or financially, won't necessarily lead to more life satisfaction or more success.</p> <p>Babauta advises readers to take a quality over quantity approach, focusing on what's most important and treating the rest as a distraction. It's a lesson you can use in many areas of life (decluttering session, anyone?) but when applied to your money management, this approach can make it easier for you to focus on your best money moves and quit worrying about what everybody else is doing.</p> <h2>3. <em>The Worldly Philosophers</em> by Robert L. Heilbroner</h2> <p>In this classic, Heilbroner examines the history of economic thought by walking the reader through the &quot;lives, times, and ideas of great economic thinkers.&quot; You'll learn not only about the economic philosophies developed by, say, John Stuart Mill or John Maynard Keynes, but also about the political upheavals and cultural issues that influenced and motivated them. If you're looking for a big-picture look at money and the economic systems that have been built around it, make <a href="http://amzn.to/2gQUX6H" target="_blank">The Worldly Philosophers</a> your next read.</p> <h2>4. <em>Thinking, Fast and Slow</em> by Daniel Kahneman</h2> <p>In <a href="http://amzn.to/2vttLOI" target="_blank">Thinking, Fast and Slow</a>, Kahneman explores the inner workings of the mind. Specifically, he introduces the reader to fast thinking, which is quick and instinctive, and slow thinking, which is deliberate and more logical. These two thinking systems, Kahneman explains, can and do serve us well; however, if we don't understand their weaknesses, we can be misled by mental biases into decisions that don't serve us well. Read this book to solidify your commitment to making money decisions based on long-term goals rather than short-term desires.</p> <h2>5. <em>Debt Is Slavery</em> by Michael Mihalik</h2> <p>Mihalik's direct, powerful book on dealing with debt is a great one for bettering your money mindset, because that's his whole premise. In <a href="http://amzn.to/2uHO4KH" target="_blank">Debt Is Slavery</a>, Mihalik argues that getting better at money happens when you get better at how you think about money, because, he says, &quot;all action is born from thought.&quot;</p> <p>There's no fluff here; <em>Debt Is Slavery</em> gets straight to the point in each chapter and provides practical steps for, first, changing the way you think about money and then changing what you do with it. If you're struggling to get out of debt and wondering if it's worth the trouble, read this book to renew your motivation and maybe even improve your debt-reduction strategies.</p> <h2>6. <em>Material World: A Global Family Portrait</em> by Peter Menzel, Charles C. Mann, and Paul Kennedy</h2> <p>It's easy to fall into a bubble, then forget you're in it. For a fascinating journey far outside your bubble, take a look at <a href="http://amzn.to/2ujlCML" target="_blank">Material World</a> by renowned photojournalist Peter Menzel. Each portrait &mdash; of an &quot;average&quot; family and all their worldly possessions &mdash; provides a point of vivid comparison: your standard of living next to that of people in many diverse areas of the world. Some will make you feel absolutely frugal, while others (most, perhaps?) will make you feel like you live at the height of excess.</p> <h2>7. <em>The Intelligent Investor</em> by Benjamin Graham and Jason Zweig</h2> <p>Warren Buffett (who is also a collaborator on the book), calls it &quot;by far the best book on investing ever written.&quot; <a href="http://amzn.to/2vsY9IS" target="_blank">The Intelligent Investor</a> was first published in 1949 and has since been updated for the current marketplace with commentary by Jason Zweig, personal finance columnist for <em>The Wall Street Journal</em>. If you want to solidify your understanding of investment options and move your mindset from a timid, maybe-investor to a knowledgeable practitioner of value investing, this is the book for you.</p> <h2>8. <em>If You Can: How Millennials Can Get Rich Slowly</em> by William Bernstein</h2> <p>Written specifically to help a younger generation gain better financial footing, <a href="http://amzn.to/2tnT0Al" target="_blank">If You Can</a> is also available as a <a href="http://efficientfrontier.com/ef/0adhoc/2books.htm" target="_blank">free downloadable booklet</a> on the author's website. Bernstein recognizes that the theory of saving and investing money is fairly simple, but the practice of it is much more difficult. He outlines five hurdles that the reader must overcome in order to succeed financially. Read it to understand clearly what's tripping you up.</p> <h2>9. <em>Your Money or Your Life</em> by Vicki Robin</h2> <p>Robin's book is a practical manual on personal financial management. It's also a book that will help you connect the dots between your money, your choices, and your ability to live according to your own values and priorities. In <a href="http://amzn.to/2gQHg7Y" target="_blank">Your Money or Your Life</a>, you'll learn to equate time with money, and to make money decisions with the time-cost in mind. Suddenly, that $170 pair of shoes isn't so appealing when you calculate the price in hours of your life rather than dollars in your bank account. By shifting the way you think about money and value, you can see saving and investing as the reward it is, rather than as a self-imposed deprivation.</p> <h2>10. <em>Nickel and Dimed</em> by Barbara Ehrenreich</h2> <p>In <a href="http://amzn.to/2uiV0wW" target="_blank">Nickel and Dimed</a>, Ehrenreich went undercover and exposed how difficult it is to get anywhere past financial survival while living on minimum wage. She opened up a big conversation on what it means to be rich and how disparate the lives of the poor, middle class, and wealthy can be: So disparate, in fact, that those in this financial segment may feel completely alienated from those in the other, unable to understand their motives, purposes, or needs.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-books-to-read-for-a-better-money-mindset&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Books%2520to%2520Read%2520for%2520a%2520Better%2520Money%2520Mindset.jpg&amp;description=10%20Books%20to%20Read%20for%20a%20Better%20Money%20Mindset"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Books%20to%20Read%20for%20a%20Better%20Money%20Mindset.jpg" alt="10 Books to Read for a Better Money Mindset" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-books-to-read-for-a-better-money-mindset">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easiest-ways-to-score-free-ebooks">5 Easiest Ways to Score Free eBooks</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-times-splurging-on-experiences-is-a-bad-idea">5 Times Splurging on Experiences Is a Bad Idea</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-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">8 Alternatives to Cable TV That Will Keep You Entertained</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/extreme-couponing-5-reasons-why-i-ll-pass">Extreme Couponing? 5 Reasons Why I’ll Pass.</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-beloved-books-of-successful-millionaires">10 Beloved Books of Successful Millionaires</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Entertainment books books to read finance books money advice money books money mindset new books reading list Wed, 26 Jul 2017 08:30:19 +0000 Annie Mueller 1990781 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Problems You Can Solve With a Good Attitude http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-problems-you-can-solve-with-a-good-attitude <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-problems-you-can-solve-with-a-good-attitude" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_on_a_grass_smiling.jpg" alt="Man on a grass smiling" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Money. They say it's the root of all evil, but we all need it to survive. Your money problems can really bring you down, and that creates a horrible Catch-22 situation. You can't reduce your stress without more money, but you can't make more money while you're stressed out.</p> <p>However, with a shift in your attitude, despite whatever money problems you may have, you can work toward real solutions. Here are five ways you can solve some of your money problems just by thinking about them in a different way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-money-does-buy-happiness?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Ways Money Does Buy Happiness</a>)</p> <h2>1. Reduce high interest rates and increase credit limits</h2> <p>There are a few ways you can deal with the interest rates and limits on your credit cards.</p> <ul> <li> <p>You can simply accept that they are what they are, and get on with life.</p> </li> <li> <p>You can whine and complain about them to your friends and family.</p> </li> <li> <p>Or you can be proactive, and get in touch with customer service.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Most of the time, reducing your interest rate or getting a credit line increase is as simple as asking for it. (Depending on your credit score, a credit line increase can be a bit harder to get and may hinge upon how much available credit you currently have.) Of course, how you ask is very important.</p> <p>If you plan on calling, be positive, polite, and prepared. If you do it by live chat, make sure you use plenty of appropriate emojis or phrases that ensure you come across as nice, not demanding. Tell the credit card company you have been a loyal customer, you were given a low-rate offer by another card, but would love to stay with them for a reduced rate (or increased line of credit). Usually, you'll be offered something to your benefit within the first few minutes. It's really that easy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">This One Ratio Is the Key to a Good Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2>2. Bring in additional sources of income</h2> <p>There's an old saying that's applicable to many aspects of life, but it works particularly well for your finances: &quot;Whether you think you can, or your think you can't, you're right.&quot;</p> <p>Many years ago, I was convinced that the only way to make more money was to get a raise, a promotion, or move to a company with a higher paying job. I never even considered the possibility of making money from other lines of work, so no chances to make more money ever appeared. Then, I started talking to people who did. They told me to look for opportunities, be positive about new ventures, and really believe that I could make more money. And, just with that change in attitude, side-hustles started to happen. Freelance work, paying hobbies, buying and selling items on eBay, and so many other gigs fell into my lap. On their own, they were small. But together, they made me enough extra money to buy a bigger home for my growing family. Be open to the chances of making more, and you will. It works.</p> <h2>3. Get discounts on almost everything you buy</h2> <p>One of the ways to ensure you get bargains &mdash; and to never pay full price if you can avoid it &mdash; is to have a great attitude. You can demand a discount with an arrogance that stinks, and you probably won't get it. But with a smile, some genuine banter, and empathy, you can easily convince anyone to take some money off the items you're looking to purchase.</p> <p>Politely ask the store manager if they have expiring products you can buy at a discount. Ask for free shipping, or expedited shipping at no charge when you buy something online. There is always a chance to chat with customer service, and if you emit nothing but positive energy, you'll usually get a coupon code, a free item included, or some other financial freebie. Try it out. Don't be smarmy, but do go out of your way to be nice. The worst that can happen is that you'll pay what you were going to pay anyway.</p> <h2>4. Achieve your financial goals</h2> <p>Whatever your income, you should have financial goals. They could be simply reducing debt, saving for a vacation, investing, building your own business, or getting into real estate. The principles for success are the same, no matter the goal. And you need to set goals and maintain a healthy, positive attitude for this to work.</p> <p>Sometimes it can be daunting to go through all of your assets and liabilities, but it's important. When you have a clear picture of where you stand, spend some time thinking about where you want to be in one month, one year, and even five years. Plan these goals, and find ways to make them happen. Maybe that dream vacation needs you to sacrifice the morning Starbucks run, and fewer meals at restaurants. Or maybe you cut a few things out to pay down your student loan more quickly. If you simply deny yourself things to save money, it can be tough to maintain. But by working toward a goal, tracking your progress, and maintaining that determined, positive attitude, it becomes much easier.</p> <h2>5. Destroy envy-induced spending</h2> <p>A lot of us tend to focus on what we <em>don't </em>have. This is in part due to advertising and the culture of materialism. We see people on Facebook sharing photos of bigger homes, new cars, jewelry, and exotic vacations, and we think <em>I wish I had that.</em> That is immediately going to put you in a negative mindset, and it can be hard to escape from it. But if you have access to a safe home, clean water, nutritious food, and a life that does not involve the daily risk of death and disease, you're doing really well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-envy-is-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways Envy Is Keeping You Poor</a>)</p> <p>Wealth is relative. Success is relative. It simply requires a paradigm shift to a more positive view of the great things you really have, rather than some of the &quot;great&quot; things you want. And when it comes down to it, most of the material stuff is just that. We really get our happiness from family, friends, partners, and experiences. No one runs into the burning house to save the big TV; they go for the family photos. So, while it may sound hokey, get into the habit of writing down the things you're thankful for at the end of each day. Spend time reading through these lists at the end of each week, or month. You'll shift your thinking to appreciate the good, and while you can still want more, it doesn't make you unhappy that you don't have it.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-money-problems-you-can-solve-with-a-good-attitude&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Money%2520Problems%2520You%2520Can%2520Solve%2520With%2520a%2520Good%2520Attitude.jpg&amp;description=5%20Money%20Problems%20You%20Can%20Solve%20With%20a%20Good%20Attitude"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Money%20Problems%20You%20Can%20Solve%20With%20a%20Good%20Attitude.jpg" alt="5 Money Problems You Can Solve With a Good Attitude" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-problems-you-can-solve-with-a-good-attitude">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-lessons-on-how-to-be-a-financial-grownup-from-bobbi-rebell">6 Lessons on How to Be a Financial Grownup From Bobbi Rebell</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-simple-journal-may-be-the-fix-for-your-finances">This Simple Journal May be the Fix for Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-lessons-on-surviving-and-thriving-through-tough-times-from-author-donna-freedman">6 Lessons on Surviving and Thriving Through Tough Times From Author Donna Freedman</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/23-effortless-ways-to-go-green-and-save-money-too">23 Effortless Ways to Go Green (and Save Money, Too)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-budget-consistently-without-a-steady-paycheck">How to Budget Consistently Without a Steady Paycheck</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting finances good attitude happiness money problems money struggles saving money wealth Thu, 20 Jul 2017 09:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 1987559 at http://www.wisebread.com It's Time to Drop These 6 Rules of Money Etiquette http://www.wisebread.com/its-time-to-drop-these-6-rules-of-money-etiquette <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/its-time-to-drop-these-6-rules-of-money-etiquette" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_holding_cash_516174758.jpg" alt="Woman dropping rules of money etiquette" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Good manners are important to me. Over the years, I have made a habit of reading Miss Manners, Emily Post, Letitia Baldridge, and other etiquette experts to make sure my politeness game is on point. But as committed as I am to the many etiquette rules that help to make life more considerate, there are some rules that should be retired.</p> <p>Specifically, money etiquette rules have not necessarily kept up with the changing economic times. The following six rules now cause more social awkwardness and embarrassment than they prevent &mdash; and that's why it's time to drop them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-rules-of-etiquette-we-wish-were-still-around-today?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Rules of Etiquette We Wish Were Still Around Today</a>)</p> <h2>1. The man pays for the first date</h2> <p>The standard of a man paying for a first date is based on the assumption that he's the higher earner. But that's hardly the case in the modern world. Today's romantic pairings very likely include women who far outearn their dates &mdash; not to mention the fact that this old-timey rule excludes same-sex couples.</p> <p>A better rule, and one that Miss Manners has always promoted, is for the person who issues the invitation to pay for the outing. That being said, the invitee should always be prepared to pay for him or herself, just in case.</p> <h2>2. Salary discussions are always off limits</h2> <p>While it will never be considered polite to straight-up <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-questions-you-never-have-to-answer" target="_blank">ask someone how much they make</a>, the limitation on salary discussions does need to be lifted. For one thing, not discussing compensation has helped to entrench the gender wage gap. You might recall <a href="http://us11.campaign-archive1.com/?u=a5b04a26aae05a24bc4efb63e&amp;id=64e6f35176&amp;e=1ba99d671e#wage" target="_blank">Jennifer Lawrence's essay</a> on Lenny Letter about how shocked she was to discover that her male co-stars in the movie <em>American Hustle</em> made significantly more than she did. The only reason she was aware of the pay discrepancy was because of the Sony email hack.</p> <p>But there is more at stake than just the gender wage gap. When you don't know what other people with commensurate skills and experience are paid, then your employer always has the upper hand in salary negotiations. This is called &quot;information asymmetry,&quot; wherein one party in a transaction has more information than the other. The only way to tilt hiring and salary negotiations in your favor is to talk openly about salary with your colleagues and friends.</p> <p>That being said, it's still a tough topic to bring up. The best way to go about it is to ask a trusted colleague if you can talk about money, and be willing to take no for answer.</p> <h2>3. The bride's family pays for the wedding and the groom's family pays for the rehearsal dinner</h2> <p>This rule is a holdover from when financially dependent brides went directly from their parents' home to their new married life, and the tradition has even older and more offensive roots. Back in the day, a bride's family would pay a dowry to the groom in order to compensate him for taking over financial responsibility for their daughter.</p> <p>While the origins of the tradition that the groom's family will pay for the rehearsal dinner are not as clear, the upshot of this rule was that it gave the new husband's parents an opportunity to host a portion of the wedding celebration.</p> <p>For both of these rules, the assumption was that the parents of the bride and groom &mdash; rather than the new couple themselves &mdash; are hosting the wedding.</p> <p>A better rule would be for couples to plan on paying for their own nuptials rather than assuming their parents will cover the costs. This way, any parental offers of money to go toward the wedding can be treated as a gift rather than an obligation. This will prevent any unpleasant surprises if the couple's expectations don't match their parents' financial abilities (and vice versa), and can ensure that the couple gets the wedding they want.</p> <h2>4. Parents pay for family dinners out</h2> <p>When adult children go out to dinner with their parents, there's an expectation that the parents will pick up the check. This etiquette rule seems to reflect habit rather than true politeness, and it's a habit you should grow out of as your parents age. Adult children in the thick of their careers are likely to have more disposable income than retired parents on fixed incomes, and you should keep this in mind rather than simply assuming that your parents will always pay.</p> <p>However, changing this dynamic can be a little tough, even if you make it clear ahead of time that you're inviting your parents out to eat and that it will be your treat. A good way to make sure there's no scuffle over the bill is to let your waiter know ahead of time that you're paying. You can get up just before dessert and hand over your credit card so the meal is truly your treat.</p> <h2>5. Tip waiters 15 percent for normal service, 20 percent for exceptional service</h2> <p>The 15 percent tip was the gold standard for dining out through much of my childhood and young adulthood. I was taught to calculate my tip as 15 percent of the pretax amount of my food. This rule most definitely needs to change because the federal minimum wage for tipped employees has been stuck at $2.13 per hour since 1991.</p> <p>While your server's hourly wage may be higher depending on where you live, since different states have <a href="https://www.dol.gov/whd/state/tipped.htm" target="_blank">different minimum wage regulations</a>, the bottom line is that wait staff <em>depend upon tips to make a living</em>. Continuing to tip 15 percent on your pretax bill could make a big, negative difference on your server's finances.</p> <p>These days, tipping 20 percent on your whole bill (after tax) for normal service is a better rule of thumb. You can always up your tip to 25 percent or more if the service is extraordinary.</p> <h2>6. Don't mention gifts on an invitation</h2> <p>One of the diciest etiquette land mines has to do with the expectation of gifts for weddings and birthdays. The old rules require you to say nothing about gifts, other than profuse thanks for any that are given. According to these rules, guests can ask about what the birthday child or bridal couple or expectant parents would like when they RSVP for the event.</p> <p>Miss Manners has expressed her horror at both the proliferation of gift registries and the inclusion of the words &quot;no gifts, please&quot; on an invitation. According to her, a gift should be an expression of affection from the giver to the recipient, and any mention of gifts on an invitation sullies the joy of gift-giving.</p> <p>While disdain for clear gift-grabs is absolutely warranted &mdash; no one wants to feel like they have only been invited to a party to increase the number of presents &mdash; the hard-and-fast rule of no mentions of gifts on invitations has become outdated.</p> <p>In general, most wedding guests want to have some idea of what the bride and groom would like or need, and most parents of birthday-party-aged children would like to turn off the onslaught of stuff that accompanies a modern childhood. Bridal (and baby) registries make life much easier for friends and family who would not otherwise know what to give. Spelling out these expectations helps diminish confusion, resentment, and waste at gift-giving occasions.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fits-time-to-drop-these-6-rules-of-money-etiquette&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FIts%2520Time%2520to%2520Drop%2520These%25206%2520Rules%2520of%2520Money%2520Etiquette.jpg&amp;description=Its%20Time%20to%20Drop%20These%206%20Rules%20of%20Money%20Etiquette"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Its%20Time%20to%20Drop%20These%206%20Rules%20of%20Money%20Etiquette.jpg" alt="It's Time to Drop These 6 Rules of Money Etiquette" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-time-to-drop-these-6-rules-of-money-etiquette">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-living-on-a-tight-budget-makes-you-happier">How Living on a Tight Budget Makes You Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-parenting-mistakes-to-avoid-when-teaching-kids-about-money">4 Parenting Mistakes to Avoid When Teaching Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-when-youre-rich-dream-buys-that-arent-that-great">5 &quot;When You&#039;re Rich&quot; Dream Buys That Aren&#039;t That Great</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-terrible-money-moves-to-avoid-on-the-first-date">6 Terrible Money Moves to Avoid on the First Date</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/4-ways-millennials-are-changing-marriage">4 Ways Millennials Are Changing Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Lifestyle budgeting etiquette money etiquette money rules saving money Spending Money Wed, 19 Jul 2017 08:00:17 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1986887 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Too Many Decisions Costs You Money http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-too-many-decisions-costs-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-too-many-decisions-costs-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/she_has_too_much_work_recently.jpg" alt="She has too much work recently" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you were in jail and you had a parole hearing coming up, would you rather have it in the morning or the afternoon? It doesn't really matter as long as you present a good case, right? As it turns out, the timing of your hearing matters quite a bit.</p> <p>A study conducted by the Department of Management at Ben Gurion University showed that the number of decisions a judge has had to make in a row, and how long it's been since he's eaten, drastically affects the outcomes of these hearings. The <a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/108/17/6889.full.pdf" target="_blank">more decisions that a judge makes consecutively</a>, the less of a chance a prisoner may have of going free. (So if you ever have to schedule your parole hearing, try for one of the first slots in the morning or right after lunch!)</p> <p>This phenomenon doesn't just apply to judges, though. We all tend to suffer from <em>decision fatigue</em>, and when we do, it can lead us to bad choices.</p> <h2>What is decision fatigue, exactly?</h2> <p>Decision fatigue is what happens to all of us when we have to make too many choices in a row. When we have too many individual choices, or a few choices with too many options, we get tired and we stop choosing based on our values, our logic, and our best selves. Instead, we begin to choose anything just to get the choice made.</p> <h2>How it affects your money</h2> <p>Decision fatigue can affect everything, including your money. I have a friend who always tells stories about making choices for her new home. She and her husband were building, so they went to the design center to select flooring, cabinets, add-ons, and other things. They had a limited budget, so they went in with a list of what they wanted, hoping it would keep them on track. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-nice-thing-can-ruin-your-whole-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How One Nice Thing Can Ruin Your Whole Budget</a>)</p> <p>The way she tells it, everything went well until they got to the flooring, because with flooring, there were a million options. First they had to choose where they wanted carpet. Then they had to choose what kind of carpet they wanted. For the rest of the house, they had to choose between wood, laminate, and other materials. And then they had to look at samples. She talks about how inundated they were with samples and information, and how eventually they looked at each other and just chose something, anything, to make the situation better. They blew through their budget because they were tired and overwhelmed from all of the decisions.</p> <p>Even if your story isn't as drastic as that, you can probably think of a time when you bought something just so you didn't have to think about it anymore. So often, throwing money at a situation makes it go away, even if we regret it later. This isn't usually good for your budget, though. (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>How to fight it</h2> <p>So what can we do? How can we mitigate the effects of decision fatigue?</p> <h3>Take choice out of the equation</h3> <p>Whenever possible, eliminate superfluous choices from your life. Maybe this means having a simple wardrobe, eating the same thing for breakfast every morning, or always renting the same model car when you go out of town for business.</p> <p>Because we live in a world with so many choices, taking the ones that don't matter out of the equation will leave us more energy for the ones that are more important to us, or that we can't remove.</p> <h3>Become aware</h3> <p>So often, it helps just to know what is happening and why. When you come to understand decision fatigue and see how it's affecting your life, you'll be in a better place to combat it. This can take some time, especially if you haven't thought about the phenomenon and how it intersects with your life before. But be patient, and pay attention.</p> <h3>Make important choices first</h3> <p>You can lower the impact that decision fatigue has on your life by making your important decisions first thing in the morning, before fatigue has time to set in. This means that you have to decide what is important and organize your life so that you face those decisions first.</p> <p>This might mean exercising early in the morning, or setting up your business meetings so they are as early as possible. Basically, it means looking at what is important to you and prioritizing that when it comes to your time and decision-making energy.</p> <h3>Flip a coin</h3> <p>Let chance make some of your decisions for you (obviously ones that aren't terribly important) and save your decision-making prowess for the things that really matter.</p> <h3>Make some things nonnegotiable</h3> <p>When something is nonnegotiable, you don't have to think about it because the decision is already made. The more things you can make like this in your life, the better you will be at living according to your values. So that 5 a.m. workout? Not even a choice.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fheres-how-too-many-decisions-costs-you-money&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHeres%2520How%2520Too%2520Many%2520Decisions%2520Costs%2520You%2520Money.jpg&amp;description=Heres%20How%20Too%20Many%20Decisions%20Costs%20You%20Money"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Heres%20How%20Too%20Many%20Decisions%20Costs%20You%20Money.jpg" alt="Here's How Too Many Decisions Costs You Money" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-too-many-decisions-costs-you-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-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-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-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/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/how-living-on-a-tight-budget-makes-you-happier">How Living on a Tight Budget Makes You Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping decision fatigue mental bias saving money shopping shopping habits Spending Money Thu, 13 Jul 2017 08:00:10 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1983091 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Lessons on Surviving and Thriving Through Tough Times From Author Donna Freedman http://www.wisebread.com/6-lessons-on-surviving-and-thriving-through-tough-times-from-author-donna-freedman <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-lessons-on-surviving-and-thriving-through-tough-times-from-author-donna-freedman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/photo_of_young_business_woman_in_a_conference_room.jpg" alt="Photo of young business woman in a conference room" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you need a haircut, you go see your barber or hair stylist. When you're feeling ill, you go to your doctor. And when you need sound financial advice from someone who would never belittle or money-shame you, you go to <a href="http://donnafreedman.com/" target="_blank">Donna Freedman</a>. We sung her praises after reading her book, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-from-playbook-for-tough-times-thatll-help-you-live-your-best-life" target="_blank"><em>Playbook For Tough Times: Living Large On Small Change, For The Short Term Or The Long Haul</em></a>, and lucky for us (and you) she has recently released her new book, <a href="http://amzn.to/2tJQKqJ" target="_blank"><em>Your Playbook For Tough Times, Vol. 2</em></a><em>. </em></p> <p>Yep, Freedman is back with even more spectacular tips on how to make the most of what you have, even if that is very little. Here are some of the best ways to stretch your dollars and survive a financial setback <em>Vol. 2</em> had to offer.</p> <h2>1. Know that you are not alone</h2> <p>The best part of <em>Your Playbook For Tough Times, Vol. 2.</em> &mdash; or any bit of wisdom Freedman shares, really &mdash; is that she gets where you're coming from as she's been through financial struggles herself. Freedman has faced a lengthy divorce, she's been a single mom to a disabled adult daughter while scraping by on money from part-time jobs, and she went back to school later in life. She gets it.</p> <p>She's not sitting up in a gold tower on a pile of money telling you how your financial struggles are your fault. Freedman's empathy is genuine and her tips are realistic. It's like a best friend who is also your financial adviser telling you how to achieve your goals, and showing you why there's no doubt you will.</p> <h2>2. Stop seeing frugality as a punishment</h2> <p>Freedman emphasizes that frugality is not punishment, but rather, a power move. Controlling your spending urges, scaling back a bit on entertainment and dining out, and other frugal strategies will ultimately help you reach your financial goals. So while the road to reaching those goals may seem long, you shouldn't view your careful money habits as restrictive and misery-inducing, especially if they lead you to paying off your mortgage and retiring early. Because isn't that the whole point?</p> <h2>3. Always be prepared for tough times</h2> <p>After Freedman published <a href="http://amzn.to/2eLFRcE" target="_blank"><em>Your Playbook For Tough Times, Vol. 1</em></a><em>, </em>she received the following comment that caught her eye:</p> <p><em>&quot;I realized that 'tough times' are no longer an isolated event. They're pretty much like a fifth season, like hurricane season, and (something) one really has to prepare for.&quot;</em></p> <p>While many people see financial hardships as something to always be prepared for, others still view them as isolated incidents that may happen once or twice, but never again. That's not the case, though, is it? Life is long, and your financial situation may change a dozen times before you reach retirement. So rather than seeing these obstacles as temporary and infrequent, proactively gain the upper hand by spending mindfully and saving diligently, even when your finances are solid.</p> <h2>4. Focus, focus, focus</h2> <p>Every time I go to put an item into my cart from this point on, I'll hear Freedman's clever words, &quot;The trick is to care about what you spend vs. spending without a care.&quot;</p> <p>Sure, it looks like a blast to grab cute clothes off all the shelves of your favorite store and hand your card over to the cashier without even looking at the total, but nobody should be making reckless money moves like these unless all of their debt is paid off. Freedman provides actionable steps to kick this urge and spend more mindfully.</p> <p>There's also a section where she recommends adding personal finance goals in between items on your shopping list. Seeing things like, &quot;Retire by 40&quot; and &quot;Pay off credit debt by next year&quot; sandwiched between things you're planning to spend money on keeps you laser-focused on careful spending, keeping you from falling victim to impulse buys that can pull you off-course.</p> <h2>5. The right attitude can change everything</h2> <p>In chapter two, &quot;A Winning Attitude,&quot; Freedman discusses how vital it is to be able to adapt. A job loss or a health setback can quickly derail your finances. And as difficult as it is to recover, you must be able to strategize in order to survive.</p> <p>An example she gives is a woman living paycheck-to-paycheck who has just gotten her hours cut at work. Her attitude might be: &quot;<em>Once I pay my rent and utilities this month there will be nothing left for groceries.&quot; </em>Sure, it's a reasonable reaction, but how will that help her? Instead, Freedman recommends a shift in mindset like this:<em> &quot;I'm going to make it my business to find short-term help to get through this, and also search for a steadier job.&quot;</em></p> <p>This subtle tweak into positivity and determination can mean the difference between scraping by and going hungry. Those who can adapt during tough situations are the ones who will make it to the other side, after all.</p> <h2>6. Acknowledge how lucky you are</h2> <p>Freedman acknowledges that it may seem trite, but the importance of appreciating all that you do have during a financial crisis cannot be understated. She writes, &quot;When I was at my lowest point financially, I kept reminding myself that I had family and friends, a roof over my head, basic food, a library card, and a chance to improve my life by going back to school (on scholarship &mdash; no way was I borrowing money).&quot;</p> <p>So while it may take some time to reach your financial goals and to really feel the comfort of the cushion you're building, the ride will be a lot smoother if you can look around and be content with what you already have.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-lessons-on-surviving-and-thriving-through-tough-times-from-author-donna-freedman&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Lessons%2520on%2520Surviving%2520and%2520Thriving%2520Through%2520Tough%2520Times%2520From%2520Author%2520Donna%2520Freedman.jpg&amp;description=6%20Lessons%20on%20Surviving%20and%20Thriving%20Through%20Tough%20Times%20From%20Author%20Donna%20Freedman"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Lessons%20on%20Surviving%20and%20Thriving%20Through%20Tough%20Times%20From%20Author%20Donna%20Freedman.jpg" alt="6 Lessons on Surviving and Thriving Through Tough Times From Author Donna Freedman" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-lessons-on-surviving-and-thriving-through-tough-times-from-author-donna-freedman">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-lessons-on-how-to-be-a-financial-grownup-from-bobbi-rebell">6 Lessons on How to Be a Financial Grownup From Bobbi Rebell</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-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> <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-splurging-on-experiences-is-a-bad-idea">5 Times Splurging on Experiences Is a Bad Idea</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-living-on-a-tight-budget-makes-you-happier">How Living on a Tight Budget Makes You Happier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Entertainment budgeting donna freedman finances money tips playbook for tough times saving money Mon, 10 Jul 2017 08:30:16 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1980034 at http://www.wisebread.com The 10 Commandments of Reaching Financial Freedom http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-commandments-of-reaching-financial-freedom <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-10-commandments-of-reaching-financial-freedom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_woman_working_at_home.jpg" alt="Young woman working at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Financial freedom means different things to different people. For some, the ultimate freedom is having enough money saved to retire early and pursue long-delayed interests. For others, it's simply reaching a point where debt no longer controls their lives. No matter how you define it, achieving financial freedom (or at least, &quot;<em>freer</em>-dom&quot;) takes intention. Here are the 10 commandments for getting there.</p> <h2>1. Have a plan and stick to it</h2> <p>Like any other goal, reaching financial freedom takes solid planning. Set realistic short-term and long-term goals. Do you want to pay off your credit cards within six months? Have a solid emergency fund by this time next year? Save enough for a down payment on a home within five years? Get specific and track your progress.</p> <h2>2. Embrace satisfaction</h2> <p>Let's be clear on one thing, folks: The goal of every marketer and advertiser is to disrupt. Why? Because people who are satisfied with who they are and what they have don't spend much money. Ignore the Joneses. Don't let relentless and heavy-handed commercials shake up your world. Embrace the idea of <em>enough</em>.</p> <h2>3. Know where every dollar comes from &mdash; and where it goes</h2> <p>If you don't understand exactly how much money you bring home and how you spend it, your budget will never be more than a best guess. These two pieces of information form the foundation of effective budgeting. Together, they can help you find ways to reduce spending, increase savings, and totally reinvent the way you manage money.</p> <h2>4. Drastically reduce expenses</h2> <p>Find ways to tactically reduce your monthly expenses so you can pay off debt faster and build savings. Can you switch to a more economical cellphone plan? Cut the cable cord? Cancel a few memberships and subscriptions? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unnecessary-household-expenses-you-can-cut-today?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Unnecessary Household Expenses You Can Cut Today</a>)</p> <h2>5. Aggressively pay off consumer debt</h2> <p>In a world of easy credit, debt can quickly become a way of life. But remember, those who reach financial freedom tend to favor <em>earning</em> interest over <em>paying</em> interest. Attack your credit card debt with dogged determination. Once it's history, apply that same level of energy toward saving. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>6. Find ways to increase your income</h2> <p>Speaking of paying off debt, supplement your regular income by getting a part-time job, starting a small at-home business, or finding a roommate. Even a modest amount of additional cash directed at high-interest credit card debt can make a big difference over time. Once you're in the black, earmark the money for savings.</p> <h2>7. Live below your means</h2> <p>Living within your means is great, but living <em>below</em> your means is where the magic really happens. Reaching a point where your net income exceeds your expenses creates a financial surplus &mdash; the fuel for saving, investing, and wealth-building.</p> <h2>8. Pay yourself first</h2> <p>Saving can't be an afterthought. By paying yourself first, you remove the element of choice that often makes socking away cash low-priority. Instead, saving and investing becomes similar to a bill you have to pay month in and month out &mdash; and that consistency is a mighty wealth-building tool. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-really-need-to-pay-yourself-first-seriously?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Reasons You Really Need to Pay Yourself First</a>)</p> <h2>9. Never spend money you don't have</h2> <p>Why would you pay someone a fee so you can spend money you haven't earned yet? The overuse and abuse of consumer credit siphons billions from household incomes every year. Avoid interest and late fees by never charging more than you can easily pay off at the end of every billing cycle.</p> <h2>10. Track your progress, make adjustments, learn</h2> <p>Working toward financial freedom is a process. No doubt you'll slip up every now and then (I still do). Stay focused and learn from your mistakes. Motivate yourself by tracking your progress on a simple spreadsheet and embracing wealth-building apps like <a href="https://www.youneedabudget.com/" target="_blank">YNAB</a> (You Need a Budget), <a href="https://digit.co/" target="_blank">Digit</a>, or <a href="https://visit.acorns.com/" target="_blank">Acorns</a>.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-10-commandments-of-reaching-financial-freedom&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%252010%2520Commandments%2520of%2520Reaching%2520Financial%2520Freedom.jpg&amp;description=The%2010%20Commandments%20of%20Reaching%20Financial%20Freedom"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%2010%20Commandments%20of%20Reaching%20Financial%20Freedom.jpg" alt="The 10 Commandments of Reaching Financial Freedom" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-commandments-of-reaching-financial-freedom">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-living-on-a-tight-budget-makes-you-happier">How Living on a Tight Budget Makes You Happier</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/five-more-tips-for-eating-in-restaurants-and-sticking-to-a-budget">Five More Tips For Eating In Restaurants And Sticking To A Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-lessons-on-how-to-be-a-financial-grownup-from-bobbi-rebell">6 Lessons on How to Be a Financial Grownup From Bobbi Rebell</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/4-parenting-mistakes-to-avoid-when-teaching-kids-about-money">4 Parenting Mistakes to Avoid When Teaching Kids About 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/5-when-youre-rich-dream-buys-that-arent-that-great">5 &quot;When You&#039;re Rich&quot; Dream Buys That Aren&#039;t That Great</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting 10 commandments budgeting tips financial freedom golden rules saving money Thu, 06 Jul 2017 08:00:14 +0000 Kentin Waits 1977850 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Make Sure You're Getting a Deal With Groupon Getaway http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sure-youre-getting-a-deal-with-groupon-getaway <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-sure-youre-getting-a-deal-with-groupon-getaway" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mid_adult_couple_shopping_using_laptop_and_credit_card.jpg" alt="Mid adult couple shopping using laptop and credit card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've ever explored different ways to save on travel, you've probably stumbled on <a href="http://tracking.groupon.com/r?tsToken=US_AFF_0_201409_1663122_0&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.groupon.com%2Foccasion%2Fhot-travel-deals%3Fz%3Dskip%26utm_medium%3Dafl%26utm_campaign%3D201409%26mediaId%3D1663122%26utm_source%3DGPN" target="_blank">Groupon Getaways</a>. Like traditional Groupon deals, Groupon Getaways promise huge discounts on hotels and hotel-and-airfare packages if purchased within a limited time frame.&nbsp;(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</a>)</p> <p>It's easy to see their allure. Groupon Travel recently advertised a one-week&nbsp;Italy vacation with airfare for $999&nbsp;per person. It featured round-trip flights to Naples from major cities like Chicago and New York, and six or seven nights at a hotel in the ancient town of Paestum, south of Naples.</p> <p>That sounds like a good deal, but is it? Let's explore this Groupon travel package and others to find out.</p> <h2>Deconstructing a Groupon&nbsp;Getaway</h2> <p>Before we can decide if this is a good deal, it helps to know what exactly was included. Here's what the Groupon travel website offered with the package.</p> <h3>Flights and transportation</h3> <ul> <li> <p>Round-trip airfare from New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), or Chicago (ORD)</p> </li> <li> <p>Manual shift economy car rental for duration of trip</p> </li> </ul> <h3>Hotel</h3> <ul> <li> <p>A stay of six or seven nights at&nbsp;Hotel Ariston in Paestum</p> </li> </ul> <p>For $99 extra per person, you could also score free breakfast at your hotel daily, along with a Bufala cheese tasting.</p> <p>Read further and you'd see this package came from a company called&nbsp;Great Value Vacations. And while your vacation isn't guided, the company went through the trouble of creating a sample itinerary with suggestions of cities and sights to see &mdash; stops in Rome to see Piazza Navona and Trevi Fountain, for example, along with tips on seeing the buried city of Pompeii and the unparalleled beauty of Capri and Anacapri. Of course, you'd have to pay out of pocket to see all those sights, just as you would if you'd booked your airfare and hotel yourself.</p> <p>In the ad's fine print it said that the Groupon was limited to one per person, yet the price was based on two people sharing a room and there was a $500 fee to travel solo.</p> <p>Another detail to note: The fine print said that &quot;additional fees apply to select departure dates.&quot; And while there were a ton of departure dates available, they weren't flexible at all. Worse, only two of the departure dates and cities offered came with the advertised price tag of $999. To fly out of Chicago in July, for example, costs $1,724 per person instead of $999. Out of New York in September on select dates? That would set you back $1,249.</p> <p>So much for that.</p> <p>Out of curiosity, I checked for a similar trip on Expedia using random dates this summer and fall. While I didn't find any hotel packages that included a stay in Paestum, here's what I did find: Airfare, hotel, and rental car packages from Chicago to Naples started at $759 for a week in September. Similar packages from Boston to Rome in October started at about $525.</p> <p>Plugging in a bunch of different dates and cities, I found dozens of similar packages for less than $1,000 &mdash; and sometimes a lot less. Best of all, these packages allow you to pick your dates and your hotel instead of locking you in.</p> <p>So, while $999 per person for a week in Italy with a hotel and rental car seemed like a good deal, it may not be that great after all. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-save-money-on-holiday-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Ways to Save Money on Travel</a>)</p> <h2>How to evaluate Groupon Getaways</h2> <p>The Italy package is just one example of a sour &quot;deal,&quot; but there are many, many more. There are also plenty of travel packages that <em>are</em> a good deal.</p> <p>For example, Groupon Getaways recently offered a $599 all-inclusive trip to Negril, Jamaica from certain cities. If you departed from Atlanta on June 1, you would have paid $599 for round-trip airfare and an all-inclusive stay at the Riu Negril.</p> <p>I checked outside of Groupon, and similar flights started at $570 per person on discount airline Spirit. That was for the flight alone. It would cost another $200 a night to stay at the all-inclusive Hotel Riu Negril. Obviously, this was an awesome deal if you lived near Atlanta or could get there cheaply. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-travel-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Save Up a Big Travel Budget</a>)</p> <p>So, how can you sort the good deals from the bad? Consider these tips.</p> <h3>1. Price out Groupon packages to see how much you'll save</h3> <p>The best way to save money with Groupon Getaways is to price out each trip and its components individually. With the Italy itinerary mentioned above, there were scads more affordable options with a lot more flexibility. But, you may not have known that if you didn't do some digging to see how much everything costs.</p> <p>The same can be true when you <em>are </em>getting a good deal. As with the Riu Negril package mentioned above, pricing the components out individually can accurately depict your savings. But you won't know how much you'll save if you never check.</p> <h3>2. Avoid packages with excessive fine print or blackout dates</h3> <p>The big problem with Groupon Getaways is all the fine print. Some only offer the packages on certain dates and from certain airports. Others have so many exclusions it's hard to keep track, or they add a surcharge if you travel alone. Make sure to read all the details so you know what you're getting into.</p> <h3>3. Factor in the costs of getting to a specific airport</h3> <p>If you're considering a Groupon Getaway that includes airfare, make sure to add in the costs of getting to a big city airport. Most of the packages only offer departures from major airline hubs like New York, Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles. If you live in Boise, Idaho, you'll need to get to one of those airports first. Unfortunately, that costs money, too.</p> <h3>4. Just because&nbsp;it's &quot;on sale&quot; doesn't mean it's a good deal</h3> <p>While this last tip is broader, it's probably the most important. Just because something says it's a deal doesn't mean it will save you money. The Italy vacation referenced above said it had a $1,599 retail value and saved you 38 percent, but it likely wouldn't have. At the end of the day, it's important to do your research and decide for yourself. A little bit of digging can ensure any decision you make is an informed one.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-make-sure-youre-getting-a-deal-with-groupon-getaway&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Make%2520Sure%2520Youre%2520Getting%2520a%2520Deal%2520With%2520Groupon%2520Getaway.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Make%20Sure%20Youre%20Getting%20a%20Deal%20With%20Groupon%20Getaway"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Make%20Sure%20Youre%20Getting%20a%20Deal%20With%20Groupon%20Getaway.jpg" alt="How to Make Sure You're Getting a Deal With Groupon Getaway" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sure-youre-getting-a-deal-with-groupon-getaway">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/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</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/14-useful-items-hotels-usually-provide-for-free">14 Useful Items Hotels Usually Provide for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid">11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now">10 Frugal Fall Getaways You Can Start Packing For Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-splurging-on-experiences-is-a-bad-idea">5 Times Splurging on Experiences Is a Bad Idea</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel flight deals groupon groupon getaway hotels travel travel tips vacation vacation tips Mon, 26 Jun 2017 08:30:18 +0000 Holly Johnson 1971632 at http://www.wisebread.com