Budgeting http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4804/all en-US 4 Risky Life Decisions That Millionaires Made — But You Shouldn't http://www.wisebread.com/4-risky-life-decisions-that-millionaires-made-but-you-shouldnt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-risky-life-decisions-that-millionaires-made-but-you-shouldnt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/elegant_business_woman.jpg" alt="Elegant business woman" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you read about self-made millionaires and billionaires, it can often seem as if their success was an inevitable result of their tenacity and savvy decisions. But sometimes those choices are less savvy and more borderline irresponsible &mdash; and it would be foolhardy for most of us to try some of these stunts in our own lives.</p> <p>The stories of people going from rags to riches may be inspiring, but most of us need to remain practical. That's why you should avoid copying these four life decisions successful millionaires have made. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-bedtime-routines-of-famous-financial-gurus?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Bedtime Routines of Famous Financial Gurus</a>)</p> <h2>Dropping out of high school</h2> <p>There are a number of hugely successful individuals who did not complete their high school educations, and it did nothing to stop them from reaching the top of their fields. For instance, Wendy's founder Dave Thomas, Tumblr developer David Karp, director Quentin Tarantino, and Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson all dropped out of high school and still went on to become multi-millionaires.</p> <p>Yes, these millionaires were able to build wildly successful careers without completing their formal educations, but it's a mistake to assume that most people can emulate their irregular paths.</p> <p>To begin with, a worker without a high school diploma earns an average of $520 per week, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Assuming a year of constant earning (which is not necessarily the case, as many workers without a diploma cannot count on steady employment), this works out to $27,040 annually. Just completing high school means a bigger paycheck, as workers with a diploma earn a median weekly income of $712, or $37,024 per year.</p> <p>In addition, high school dropouts have the highest rate of unemployment in America at 6.5 percent. Workers with at least a high school diploma have an unemployment rate of 4.6 percent, while the national unemployment rate is 3.8 percent overall. Clearly, completing your high school education is one of the surest ways to ensure financial stability.</p> <p>This is why Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's, earned his GED in 1993 at the age of 61. He described dropping out of high school as one of the worst mistakes of his life, and he did not want his subsequent success to encourage young people to quit school. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-a-college-education-will-improve-your-life?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Surprising Ways a College Education Will Improve Your Life</a>)</p> <h2>Putting your life savings into your business</h2> <p>From Elon Musk, who funneled the money that he earned from the sale of PayPal into Tesla and SpaceX, to Sara Blakely who put the $5,000 she had managed to save from her sales job into the business venture that became Spanx, there are a number of successful entrepreneurs who gambled their own funds on their business ideas. Between these inspiring stories and the prevalence of such gambits working out in movies, it would be easy to assume that being willing to put your own money into a business venture is the secret to entrepreneurial success.</p> <p>The problem with this assumption is that it ignores the scores of would-be entrepreneurs who don't succeed. Half of all new businesses fail within five years, and only a third are around after 10 years. For every Elon Musk and Sara Blakely out there, there are several business owners who put their own money into a venture that flopped. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-fund-your-business-without-touching-savings?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Ways to Fund Your Business Without Touching Savings</a>)</p> <p>Such business owners may have solid business ideas and just as much drive &mdash; but without a healthy dash of luck or opportunity, they may be stuck declaring bankruptcy after putting all of their own money into the business.</p> <h2>Living on credit cards</h2> <p>Novelist Lisa Scottoline got divorced soon after her daughter was born, and she wanted to be able to stay home with her child. She had previously been a trial lawyer, and the long hours made it a difficult job to continue as a single mother. Instead, she wanted to become a writer of legal thrillers. So Scottoline took a major gamble:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">I supported myself on credit. I had five credit cards with about $10,000 each available. I said to myself, 'You have $50,000 to get published.' I got to $38,500 in debt. I went back to being a law clerk for money and a week later my first novel was sold.</p> <p>Scottoline's decision to live off her credit cards paid off. She is now the successful author of nearly 40 books, many of them of <em>New York Times</em> best-sellers.</p> <p>However, as tempting as it may be for starving artists, musicians, writers, actors, and other creative types to follow Scottoline's example by living on plastic until the artistic career takes off, it would be irresponsible to do so. It's important to remember that Scottoline was a successful attorney before taking her big risk. Had her plan to become an author not panned out, she had a high-income career to fall back on, which meant she was never in serious danger of running up a debt she couldn't pay off. Most budding creatives cannot say the same. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-scary-facts-about-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Scary Facts About Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>Gambling in Vegas</h2> <p>Fred Smith, the founder of Federal Express (now known as FedEx), would not currently be bringing in profits of $4.4 billion if it weren't for a remarkably lucky game of blackjack.</p> <p>Smith started the company in 1971 with a $4 million inheritance, as well as $80 million in loans and equity investments. But by 1973, the company was struggling. When the company's funds diminished to a mere $5,000, it meant that there was not enough money to fuel the planes for the coming week. So Smith took that money to Vegas and used it to play blackjack.</p> <p>Miraculously, he won. His lucky blackjack game turned that $5,000 to $27,000, which would cover the coming week's fuel needs. Though it did not solve all of FedEx's cash flow problems, Smith saw his lucky break as motivation to seek more funding.</p> <p>Smith was sanguine about his decision to gamble the last of the company's money. He knew that they would not be able to fly the following week without more money for fuel, so leaving the money in FedEx's coffers would have spelled the end anyway.</p> <p>Needless to say, this is an irresponsible way to run a business. Smith is lucky that his literal gamble succeeded, but he easily could have lost everything. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-greed-is-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways Greed Is Keeping You Poor</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-risky-life-decisions-that-millionaires-made-but-you-shouldnt">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-ways-grown-ups-can-make-new-friends-without-going-broke">7 Ways Grown-Ups Can Make New Friends Without Going Broke</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/heres-how-generosity-actually-improves-your-life">Here&#039;s How Generosity Actually Improves 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/4-countries-where-you-can-live-on-1000-a-month">4 Countries Where You Can Live on $1,000 a Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-ways-being-too-nice-is-hurting-your-wallet">18 Ways Being Too Nice Is Hurting Your Wallet</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-think-like-a-billionaire-when-you-re-broke">How to Think Like a Billionaire When You’re Broke</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Lifestyle career tips education tips getting rich millionaires saving money stay in school success stories what not to do Tue, 19 Jun 2018 09:00:25 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2150090 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Affordable Kid-Free Vacation Ideas http://www.wisebread.com/6-affordable-kid-free-vacation-ideas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-affordable-kid-free-vacation-ideas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_enjoys_her_summer_holiday_in_the_tropics.jpg" alt="Woman enjoys her summer holiday in the tropics" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Vacationing with your children may be the stuff memories are made of, but it's also <em>a lot</em> of work. In between moments of relaxation and travel-induced excitement, you do have to take care of them, after all.</p> <p>Kids need meals and clean clothes, and they tend to ask a million and one questions &mdash; especially when they're somewhere new. And if you have kids in diapers or little ones who can't walk on their own, well, you can forget about having much of a &quot;vacation&quot; at all.</p> <p>Now, let's say you get a chance to vacation without the kids. Sounds like a dream come true, right? It is, except that you may not be able to justify spending a lot of cash when you have kids at home. With that in mind, it's smart to look for trips that let you enjoy some kid-free time without breaking the bank. Here are a few options to consider.</p> <h2>1. Pet-sit somewhere new</h2> <p>If your budget is pretty small and you're willing to go almost anywhere, a pet-sitting gig may be an option you want to explore.</p> <p><a href="https://www.trustedhousesitters.com/us/" target="_blank">TrustedHousesitters.com</a>, the biggest international housesitting and pet-sitting website, allows you to search for jobs all over the globe. You don't get paid for these gigs, but you can score a free Airbnb-style vacation experience if you're willing to watch pets while their owner is away.</p> <p>Where can you go? A quick look at the website shows homes requiring pet care in destinations like New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Hawaii, and Dubai. While these destinations can be expensive to fly to, you may be able to get your flights covered for free with the right combination of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel credit cards</a>.</p> <p>There are plenty of more realistic and closer options as well, ranging from Las Vegas to Denver to Orlando, Florida. Most of these gigs require you to care for a few cats, a dog, or some chickens for a few days or a few weeks.</p> <p>Competition can be stiff for attractive destinations, so you'll need to build an attractive profile and gather a few references. But then start bidding on the destinations of your dreams. It's a great way to score free accommodations in an interesting setting. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-landing-the-perfect-house-sitting-gig?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Tips for Landing the Perfect House-Sitting Gig</a>)</p> <h2>2. Book a discount cruise</h2> <p>Don't like the idea of watching pets? Consider a discount cruise somewhere warm or, even more importantly, quiet. You can book fairly inexpensive seven-night cruises to destinations like the Caribbean starting at around $449 per person, and these cruises include your lodging, entertainment, and three meals a day at one price.</p> <p>To find the best deals, consider low-cost cruise lines like Carnival and MSC Cruises. Also look for a cruise port you can drive to, which will vary depending on where you live. If you can skip airfare and drive to a cruise port in New Orleans, Louisiana; Florida; Galveston, Texas, or New York City, for example, you can reduce the costs of your trip considerably.</p> <p><a href="https://www.vacationstogo.com/index.cfm" target="_blank">VacationstoGo.com</a> is a solid place to search for discount cruises or just compare prices, and that's particularly true if you can cruise last-minute. The website's 90-day ticker connects you with unsold cruise cabins on soon-to-depart cruises for up to 82 percent off. Since not all cruises carry that kind of discount, you should also make sure to compare prices with cruises you book directly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-saving-items-to-bring-on-your-next-cruise?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Money-Saving Items to Bring on Your Next Cruise</a>)</p> <h2>3. Be reclusive at an all-inclusive</h2> <p>Booking an all-inclusive resort can be similar to booking a cruise since your accommodation, food, and entertainment is included for one low price. Many all-inclusive resorts are also marketed to adults only, meaning you won't have to deal with anyone's children. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-get-the-most-value-from-your-all-inclusive-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Ways to Get the Most from Your All-Inclusive Vacation</a>)</p> <p>There are plenty of all-inclusive resorts you can book with rewards as well, including the adults-only Hyatt Zilara properties in Cancun, Mexico and Montego Bay, Jamaica. Both properties cost 25,000 Hyatt points per night based on double occupancy, but include your food, drink (with alcohol), and fun in the nightly rate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/all-inclusive-resorts-you-can-book-for-free-with-points?ref=seealso" target="_blank">All-Inclusive Resorts You Can Book For Free With Points</a>)</p> <p>You will likely have to fly to all-inclusive resorts since the majority are located outside the U.S. But a good airline credit card strategy could help you score round-trip flights for free. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-southwest-airlines-is-the-best-domestic-airline-for-families?ref=internal" target="_blank">Southwest Rapid Rewards</a> program is a good option for flights to the Caribbean since you get two free checked bags and flights frequently go on sale, but JetBlue can work well too, provided they fly out of your home airport. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Co-Branded Airline Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>4. Camping</h2> <p>If you're not into the resort scene and really just want to relax, camping can also work for a kid-free trip. It will certainly be a lot easier &mdash; and less stressful &mdash; with only yourself to care for versus your entire crew.</p> <p>Camping can also be inexpensive if you choose a frugal trip versus &quot;glamping&quot; in a luxury cabin rental. You may be able to borrow a tent from a family member or friend and camp for little more than the cost of a camping spot at a state park, which could be less than $15 per night without electricity. Bring a cooler of food, a good book, and some fishing gear and you could get away for almost nothing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-essential-money-saving-items-to-take-on-a-camping-road-trip?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Essential Money-Saving Items to Take on a Camping Road Trip</a>)</p> <h2>5. Carefree beach vacation</h2> <p>A beach trip can be frugal if you're able and willing to skip the big mega-resorts and book something inexpensive instead. Imagine yourself in an affordable Airbnb for the week in a beachfront destination like Panama City, Florida, for example. You won't need a huge place, since the kids will be at home, so a one-bedroom or studio condo should work great. Condos that could work start at less than $90 per night. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-budget-friendly-beach-destinations?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Affordable Beach Destinations</a>)</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/1_0.jpg" width="605" height="395" alt="" /></p> <p>If you don't live anywhere near the ocean, don't discount the possibility of booking a lakefront cabin, either. Tons of waterfront options are available on websites like Airbnb and VRBO.com, but you should look for deals within driving distance.</p> <p>Why is the beach such an affordable option? Because water provides a lot of activities. Depending on where you are, you could partake in a number of affordable pursuits that range from fishing, to stand-up paddle boarding, to kayaking, to good ol' swimming. Or, you could curl up in a hammock and listen to the waves while you read, paint, draw, or sit by a campfire. Book a place with a basic kitchen, and you may not even have to leave.</p> <h2>6. Winery weekend</h2> <p>A winery weekend is a trip that's hard to pull off with the kids in tow. But when you're kid-free, you can have your wine, learn about it, and drink it, too. Of course, you<em> can </em>drive to Napa, California to sample locally grown grapes and stay in fancy resorts, but don't forget there may be wineries closer to home, too.</p> <p>In Michigan, there are <a href="https://www.michigan.org/wine-beer-spirit-trails" target="_blank">actual wine trails</a> to explore &mdash; or, at least, strings of wineries and breweries you can visit one after another with hotel stops in between. This option can be affordable since you get to choose where you stay along the way.</p> <p>If you don't want to drive, you can also book a winery weekend at an adjacent hotel or a winery with a hotel on-site. A Romanza Suite at the South Coast Winery Resort &amp; Spa in Temecula, California starts at just $219 per night, for example.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/2_1.jpg" width="605" height="232" alt="" /></p> <p>You can stay right on-site, pay $15 to $20 per person for wine tastings and even take a winery tour complete with wine and charcuterie.</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/6-affordable-kid-free-vacation-ideas">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/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget">9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-a-7-day-cross-country-road-trip-for-350-or-less">How to Take a 7-Day Cross Country Road Trip for $350 or Less</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-places-to-travel-where-the-dollar-is-still-strong">8 Places to Travel Where the Dollar Is Still Strong</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-free-things-you-can-do-on-any-vacation">8 Free Things You Can Do on Any Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-on-a-european-getaway-with-kids">7 Ways to Save on a European Getaway With Kids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel affordable travel getaways kid-free vacations romantic getaways travel tips vacation ideas Tue, 19 Jun 2018 08:30:26 +0000 Holly Johnson 2149480 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Take a 7-Day Cross Country Road Trip for $350 or Less http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-a-7-day-cross-country-road-trip-for-350-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-take-a-7-day-cross-country-road-trip-for-350-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girlfriends_having_fun_on_road_trip.jpg" alt="Girlfriends having fun on road trip" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to the standard family vacation, there's almost nothing more American than the old-fashioned summer road trip. And this type of trip may be more popular than ever thanks to low gas prices and the diversity of destinations within the U.S.</p> <p>According to the 2017-2018 Portrait of American Travelers study, which is sponsored by travel and hospitality marketing firm MMGY, 85 percent of American vacations take place within the U.S. This figure represents a 7 percent increase from the previous year's numbers, which means 13.9 million more vacations were taken domestically instead of internationally during this study session. Road trips are increasingly popular, with 39 percent of U.S. leisure travel over the last year including a stint on the road, an increase of 17 percent over the prior year.</p> <p>If you're angling for a road trip this year but hoping to keep costs low, it's smart to start planning now. With some creative thinking, you may be able to cover the bulk of your expenses with rewards and keep your total out-of-pocket costs to a minimum. And this is true no matter where you plan to explore, from the Great Smoky Mountains to the arid deserts of the Southwestern U.S.</p> <p>Here's how to finagle a seven-night road trip around the U.S. for $350 or less. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-fun-family-road-trip-without-breaking-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Have a Fun Family Road Trip Without Breaking Your Budget</a>)</p> <h2>Cover gas with cash back</h2> <p>One of the biggest expenses of any road trip is the cash it will take to fuel your car. The price of this expense can vary depending on your car's fuel economy and how far you plan to travel, but it will mostly like take up a good chunk of your road trip budget.</p> <p>One of the easiest ways to get your gas covered is by signing up for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash-back credit card</a> that offers an initial sign-up bonus and gives you ongoing rewards for your spending. With a cash-back card, you can redeem your points for statement credits to cover your gas after your road trip is over.</p> <p>The key to choosing a cash-back card for this expense is looking for a card with the highest rate of return, hopefully more than the standard 1 percent back. A big sign-up bonus is a plus as well.</p> <p>Make sure you come up with an idea of the total rewards you'll need to cover your gas purchases ahead of time. AAA has a solid <a href="https://gasprices.aaa.com/aaa-gas-cost-calculator/" target="_blank">gas cost calculator</a> that can help you determine what you'll spend based on the car you drive and other details. For example, if you plan to drive from Mobile, Alabama to the Grand Canyon in a 2009 Honda Civic that gets 30 miles per gallon on average, this calculator reveals the fuel cost at $146.92 one-way or $293.84 round-trip at today's gas prices.</p> <p>In that case, you would need to earn nearly $300 in cash-back to cover fuel costs before you go, which shouldn't be that difficult when you combine a sign-up bonus and regular spending on the card.</p> <p>You may also want to consider how you can earn more cash back on the road on that gas you'll be buying. Cards that earn <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">extra points for spending on gas</a> are ideal for this purpose. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-road-trips?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Road Trips</a>)</p> <h2>Pick up a co-branded hotel credit card or two</h2> <p>One huge advantage of road trips is the fact that you may be able to stay in lower-end, roadside hotels and motels. Doing so will make your hotel stays considerably less expensive in points or cash.</p> <p>A <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=internal" target="_blank">co-branded hotel credit card</a> or two can easily help you cover a week's worth of hotel stays around the country, although the right card for you depends on your itinerary.</p> <p>Imagine you plan to drive through the Black Hills of South Dakota and all the way to Yellowstone National Park. In that case, earning rewards with the IHG Rewards program could be beneficial if you plan to stay in Winner or Fort Pierre, South Dakota on the way. Both cities offer IHG properties that are just 15,000 IHG Rewards points per night.</p> <p>On the way from the Black Hills to Yellowstone, you would probably want to drive through Wyoming. Once again, the IHG Rewards program is a great one for this state. In cities like Casper, Lander, and Buffalo, Wyoming, there are numerous IHG properties for 15,000&ndash;20,000 IHG Rewards points per night. These destinations (Casper, especially) are also worth a visit on their own and not just a place to lay your head at night. Casper boasts a beautiful mountain backdrop, museums, and hiking trails with waterfalls. What's not to love?</p> <p>Still, your road map may look totally different. Maybe you're driving through the Everglades to the Florida Keys or exploring the northeastern coast of the U.S. Take the time to explore <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">hotel credit cards and loyalty programs</a> to find options that will work with your itinerary, then consider signing up for a few. By staying outside big cities and closer to the highway, you will find options that cost a lot fewer points. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Travel Hacks for an Affordable Summer Road Trip</a>)</p> <h2>Using flexible travel credit for guided tours and miscellaneous travel expenses</h2> <p>The next challenge you'll face is figuring out how to cover the other components of your trip &mdash; expenses like museum entries, park visits, or guided tours. This is one area where you'll want some flexibility in how you can redeem your rewards, which is why <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-with-easy-travel-redemption?ref=internal" target="_blank">cards that offer travel statement credits</a> are perfect.</p> <p>Many flexible rewards cards offer two points for each dollar you spend, then let you redeem them for a statement credit against any travel purchase at a rate of one cent per point. If you can earn a sign-up bonus worth 50,000 points, for example, you could redeem them for $500 in travel including day trips and excursions.</p> <p>Also consider checking out a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly?ref=internal" target="_blank">popular credit card rewards program</a> to pay for excursions and tours. This program lets you book an endless number of activities all over the country, and your experience will be free if you pay with points. Options can include <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards?ref=internal" target="_blank">once-in-a-lifetime experiences</a> like kayaking tours, guided hikes, food tours, and museums. Basically, you can book almost anything found on Viator.com through this program &mdash; except you get the privilege of paying with points.</p> <p>If you play your cards right and use a combination of flexible rewards and travel credit, you could book all your family's activities for free.</p> <h2>Cover your other travel expenses</h2> <p>If you cover gas with cash-back, book free hotels with hotel points, and pay for excursions and tours with travel credit or other rewards points, the bulk of your trip will be free. So, what does that leave?</p> <p>Other expenses you'll need to cover may vary depending on your family and travel style, but there's one giant cost you likely can't get away from &mdash; food.</p> <p>This is one area where you'll want to set a daily budget and look for ways to save. Hopefully, you can set a dining budget of $50 per day, or $350 for the week. However, you may spend more or less depending on the age of your kids and your flexibility in dining options. If you love to splurge for a nightly dinner out, you will likely need to spend more than $350 for the week. If your kids are cool with eating PB&amp;Js out of a cooler, on the other hand, you could spend even less. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-dining-out?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Dining Out</a>)</p> <p>Either way, it's possible to save on food while you travel. Here are some strategies to consider and plan for ahead of time:</p> <ul> <li> <p><strong>Booking a hotel with free breakfast</strong>: Although you'll likely be covering your hotels with points, many lower end properties bookable with the big hotel brands (Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Inn, Hampton Inn, etc.) offer free breakfast as a perk whether you pay in cash or points. Make sure to scan rewards programs for options that include breakfast for free so you can avoid paying for this meal altogether.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Eat on the road</strong>: You can pick up fast food that's fairly healthy, although your options may be limited depending on where you're traveling.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Pack meals ahead of time:</strong> Bring a cooler with snacks, sandwiches, and ingredients you can use to make a healthy meal. Lunch meat, bread, fresh fruit, and carrot sticks can easily be brought along on your trip to cover lunch for each day of the week. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-15-road-trip-snacks-make-it-all-about-the-journey?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These 15 Road Trip Snacks Make It All About the Journey</a>)</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Read restaurant reviews and study menus online:</strong> One of the most important steps you'll take to save money on food is not walking into the first restaurant you see. Use the internet to search for affordable dining along the route of your trip so you can avoid pricey establishments and dine on a budget instead.</p> </li> </ul> <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-take-a-7-day-cross-country-road-trip-for-350-or-less">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/8-affordable-us-destinations-for-a-weekend-getaway">8 Affordable U.S. Destinations for a Weekend Getaway</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-family-of-4-can-book-a-disney-vacation-for-1000-or-less">How a Family of 4 Can Book a Disney Vacation for $1,000 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget">9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny 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/7-ways-to-save-on-a-european-getaway-with-kids">7 Ways to Save on a European Getaway With Kids</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/watch-out-for-these-hidden-costs-of-free-travel">Watch Out for These Hidden Costs of Free Travel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel affordable travel cross-country drive road trip road trip costs travel budget travel tips Mon, 18 Jun 2018 08:30:20 +0000 Holly Johnson 2149184 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Score a European Cruise for $1,000 or Less http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-score-a-european-cruise-for-1000-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-score-a-european-cruise-for-1000-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cruise_ship_on_dock.jpg" alt="Cruise ship on dock" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you dream of seeing Europe but your time and budget are limited, consider planning a cruise. Mediterranean and Adriatic cruises with stops in Spain, Italy, Croatia, and Greece are particularly popular, but you could also cruise through the Norwegian Fjords or through greater Scandinavia. River trips with brands like Viking River Cruises are also well-liked since they let you traverse smaller waterways and get up close and personal with some of Europe's most beautiful cities.</p> <p>But why cruising? Most cruises offer a lot of bang for your buck since they let you see more than one destination for a single price. Pay for flights to your departure city and your cruise fare, and you get to wake up in a new place for a unique adventure every day. Food, some drinks, and entertainment are also included on cruises, making them an especially good deal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-little-known-secrets-to-saving-money-on-your-next-cruise?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Little-Known Secrets to Saving Money On Your Next Cruise</a>)</p> <p>Still, the term &quot;good deal&quot; is relative since European cruises aren't exactly cheap. Plus, you have to pay for international flights upfront, which could easily add thousands of dollars to the cost of your trip.</p> <p>If your goal is seeing as much as you can for as little as possible, it's wise to come up with a comprehensive plan to use travel rewards. With the right <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel credit cards</a> and some patience, you could even book this trip for $1,000 or less. Here's how:</p> <h2>Pay for flights to your departure city with airline miles</h2> <p>For the purpose of this example, let's say you're a family of four. You need to cover transportation expenses for four people and a cruise cabin big enough to accommodate your family.</p> <p>The first step to planning this trip is making sure you have the airline miles to cover your flights. Fortunately, there are several ways to get to Europe on the cheap &mdash; even if there are multiple people in your party.</p> <p>One of the easiest rewards programs to pay for flights to Europe is Air France/Flying Blue. While this airline doesn't have its own co-branded airline credit card, you can transfer points to this program from several other popular credit card rewards programs.</p> <p>While Air France/Flying Blue no longer publishes an award chart, one-way economy flights to Europe are typically just 25,000 miles. This means that a family of four could fly round-trip for just 200,000 miles, plus airline taxes and fees.</p> <p>Those fees usually amount to between $100 and $125 per person, though they can be higher, especially in London. For most destination airports, however, your family will pay $400-$500 in airline taxes in addition to your miles. Considering that round-trip economy flights can cost $1,500 each or more, this represents a huge savings.</p> <p>To rack up the miles you need, you'll want to sign up for flexible rewards <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles?ref=internal" target="_blank">cards that let you transfer points to airlines</a>, and in particular, to this program. While 200,000 miles is a lot, you could earn these miles easily with some time and with both spouses earning their own signup bonuses.</p> <p>You could also opt for airline-specific rewards, including the American AAdvantage program. This frequent flyer program is fairly easy to accumulate miles with, since several <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-american-airlines-us-airways-credit-card-should-you-get?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit cards earn American AAdvantage miles</a>. Off-peak MileSAAver flights to Europe, which can be booked from November through April with blackout dates over the holidays, are only 22,500 miles each way plus airline taxes and fees. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-saving-items-to-bring-on-your-next-cruise?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Money-Saving Items to Bring On Your Next Cruise</a>)</p> <h2>Shop around for an affordable cruise and matching available flights</h2> <p>Your next step is comparing cruises to find the best deal. While many cruise lines offer similar itineraries in Europe, their prices can be all over the board.</p> <p>If you're cruising with kids and need a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-most-affordable-cruise-lines-for-families?ref=internal" target="_blank">cruise line that's family-friendly</a>, you can look for a cruise line that lets kids cruise for free. MSC Cruises offers numerous options out of various European cities such as Venice, Italy and Barcelona, Spain. Kids ages 11 and under cruise free on many of their itineraries.</p> <p>Use a travel portal like Expedia.com to search for inexpensive cruises, then try to line up potential cruises with airfare you can swing based on award availability.</p> <p>Let's say you find ideal flights into and out of Venice, Italy for the month you want to travel. From there, you can look for cruises that embark from this cruise port on your preferred dates using an online search engine.</p> <h2>Cover your hotels</h2> <p>You may want to fly into the cruise port a day or two early to get your bearings and make sure a flight delay doesn't cause you to miss your cruise. You may also want to stay a night in your departure city once your cruise is over. In either case, you'll want to earn some rewards to cover a few nights in a hotel.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-sign-up-bonuses-for-hotel-stays?ref=internal" target="_blank">Co-branded hotel credit cards</a> can work splendidly in this regard, although the card you should get will depend on the city you need to stay in. In Venice, for example, the IHG Rewards program could be a good option. You can book the Holiday Inn Venice &mdash; Mestre Marghera, which is on the mainland and fairly close to the airport and public transportation, for just 20,000 points per night.</p> <h2>Cover your cruise with flexible rewards</h2> <p>Once your flights and potential overnight stays are covered, you'll need to rack up rewards to cover your cruise. The best way to do this is by earning flexible rewards points you can redeem for any type of travel.</p> <p>There are several credit cards that offer big signup bonuses and two points for every dollar you spend. These cards let you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-with-easy-travel-redemption?ref=internal" target="_blank">redeem points for statement credits</a> to pay for any type of travel, including cruises. When you redeem, you'll get a rate of one cent per point.</p> <p>This is where pricing is important. If you're redeeming rewards for a cruise at one cent per point, more affordable cruises will be easier to cover with points.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are many inexpensive cruises you can book in Europe. With Norwegian Cruise Line, for example, you can book an inside cabin for myriad cruises out of cities like Venice and Rome for less than $2,500. Meanwhile, MSC Cruises offers cruise deals out of European cities for slightly less on itineraries where kids cruise free.</p> <p>Keep in mind, however, that even &quot;free cruises&quot; for kids come with government taxes and fees. Also, most cruise lines charge gratuities that are added to your onboard account at the end of your cruise.</p> <p>Ideally, you will book an affordable cruise you love for less than $2,500 all-in. If both you and your spouse or partner sign up for cards with big signup bonuses, you could easily rack up $2,000 in flexible travel credit over the span of a year.</p> <p>Cover the difference and enjoy all the free food and entertainment on your ship, and you could end up with your out-of-pocket expenses at $500 or less.</p> <h2>Book cruise excursions with rewards</h2> <p>You can get off your ship and look for free things to do, but it's likely you'll want to maximize your time in Europe while you're there. One of the best ways to cover excursions in Europe is to sign up for a credit card that earns points that can be used for cruise excursions. One particularly popular program offers many of the same cruise excursions you can book through Viator.com and ones that are similar to what you can book via your cruise line. The difference is, you can book with rewards points and save your cash for something else.</p> <p>But what kinds of trips can you book? It really depends on your cruise stops and your interests, but nearly anything you want to do is a solid possibility. From vegan food tours in Barcelona, to skip-the-line access to the Colosseum in Rome or a <em>Game of Thrones</em> tour in Dubrovnik, Croatia, credit card rewards bring Europe's greatest treasures and cities within reach. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Once-in-a-Lifetime Experiences I've Booked With Credit Card Rewards</a>)</p> <p>Following this plan, you'll pay $400-$500 for flight taxes and fees for your family, plus an estimated $500 on cruise expenses, putting your total for this trip at a very modest $1,000 or less for a family of four. To make it work, get to work earning those credit card rewards.</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-score-a-european-cruise-for-1000-or-less">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/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget">9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny 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/5-laid-back-girls-trip-destinations-anyone-can-afford">5 Laid-Back Girls&#039; Trip Destinations Anyone Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-vacation-in-greece-for-300-or-less">How to Vacation in Greece for $300 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-exciting-overseas-winter-vacation-destinations">3 Exciting Overseas Winter Vacation Destinations</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/watch-out-for-these-hidden-costs-of-free-travel">Watch Out for These Hidden Costs of Free Travel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel cruise european cruise travel budget travel destinations travel tips trip to europe Fri, 15 Jun 2018 08:30:22 +0000 Holly Johnson 2148580 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Steps to Successful Budgeting http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-successful-budgeting <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-steps-to-successful-budgeting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/building_a_tight_household_budget_0.jpg" alt="Building a tight household budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Budgeting is one of the most important tenets of personal finance, and it's no small thing. Everyone should know exactly what goes into making a budget &mdash; it dictates your current living situation, and determines how much you can save to support your future living situation. Follow these five steps to get started.</p> <h2>Step 1: Automate essential, recurring living expenses</h2> <p>Let's start with the basics: Add up all monthly household income and make a list of all necessary monthly expenses, like housing, utilities, and groceries. Since these are nonnegotiable expenses, take time to set up automatic payments to cover as many of these items as you can. In many cases, you can even choose the day you'd like your bills to be debited from your account, so consider when you get paid each month. Arrange to have your bills automatically deducted when you know you'll have cash available.</p> <p>Next, subtract your bills from your income. If there's no money left over after paying your bills, or you're not able to cover your bills, there are only a few viable options: Make more money, get another job, or spend less. If you've got extra money after paying your bills, move on to step two. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Build Your First Budget in 5 Easy Steps</a>)</p> <h2>Step 2: Automate savings</h2> <p>Generally, you'd like to get your personal savings rate to 15 percent of your gross income. If you're saving for other big-ticket items, like a home or college education, in addition to retirement, you may need to save more. Yes, everyone's situation is different and everyone is at a different point in their lives &mdash; but if you have available cash, you should be saving <em>something</em>. Set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account on the same schedule as your other essential bills. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-automate-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Automate Your Finances</a>)</p> <h2>Step 3: Establish a debt reduction plan</h2> <p>Debt and credit are vital aspects of our financial system and allow individuals to accomplish their dreams, like owning a home or paying for college. But high levels of consumer debt, including student loans and credit cards, can stunt your ability to save and can negatively affect your borrowing ability. One common benchmark is to limit your consumer debt repayment to 20 percent or less of your <em>net </em>monthly income.</p> <p>If you're having a hard time meeting your financial obligations and goals because of a heavy debt load, make a list of all outstanding debts owed, including the total amount due, monthly payment, and interest rate. Always make at least the minimum payment due on all accounts to remain in good credit standing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Pay It Off</a>)</p> <p>Next, focus on one debt &mdash; either the lowest balance or the highest interest rate &mdash; and send any extra money that you may have toward that debt. When that debt is paid off, take the money you were sending to that paid-off debt and redirect it toward the next debt in line. Continue this process until all debts are paid in full. If you're struggling to come up with a workable repayment plan, check out PowerPay.org, which offers a free tool that you can use to run various payback scenarios that can illustrate how to best utilize any extra funds you have to pay off your debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snowballs-or-avalanches-which-debt-reduction-strategy-is-best-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Snowballs or Avalanches: Which Debt Reduction Strategy Is Best for You?</a>)</p> <h2>Step 4: Commit to a spending plan</h2> <p>Once you've met your financial obligations for the month, including bills, savings, and debt, your lifestyle expenses are dictated by your remaining balance &mdash; not the other way around. After tracking your spending over a period of time, you should have a clearer picture of your money habits as well as where your money is going and where you can make cuts. Start with your monthly bills and look for ways to trim some easy expenses, like your TV or phone services, or setting a tighter food budget.</p> <p>Then examine your lifestyle spending. If you find that you overspend in certain areas, try using an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-envelope-system?ref=internal" target="_blank">envelope saving method</a>, whereby each month you take out a set amount of money for a specific expense &mdash; like eating out &mdash; and put cash in an envelope marked specifically for that expense. Spend only what's in that envelope and when it's empty, there is no more spending on that area for the month.</p> <p>There are various recommended spending and saving plans out there, but I'd argue that as long as you're meeting the obligations in steps one through three, you can go ahead and spend the rest of your cash flow however you'd like.</p> <h2>Step 5: Account for irregular expenses</h2> <p>This may be one area that everyone overlooks. We all have a few bills that come only once or twice a year. Whether it's an insurance premium or a property tax bill, these infrequent yet yearly expenses can ruin a budget fast if you don't plan for them. Setting up a cash cushion in your checking account or keeping a separate reserve fund can help prevent you from having to dip into your emergency savings to cover these bills.</p> <p>One straightforward way to account for these expenses is to divide the total amount of irregular yearly bills by 12 and set that amount aside every month as part of the cash buffer in your checking account.</p> <p>Irregular expenses also include special occasions, like birthdays and holidays. Here's a neat idea I heard about recently: Choose an amount of money you'd like to have saved for something; for example, Christmas. Divide that number by 12, and every month, buy a store gift card for that amount. This probably works best if you choose one or two stores that you can buy various gifts from, like Target. By the time Christmas comes along, go ahead and spend only what you have saved on the gift cards. It can be a somewhat painless way to save a good amount of money, and by using the store cards, it can protect your savings account from overspending during this time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-common-budget-mistakes-you-can-fix-right-now?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Common Budget Mistakes You Can Fix Right Now</a>)</p> <p>Your budget is your personal financial blueprint; it determines where you are and where you're going. That's why getting it right should be a priority for everyone.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-steps-to-successful-budgeting&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Steps%2520to%2520Successful%2520Budgeting.jpg&amp;description=5%20Steps%20to%20Successful%20Budgeting"></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%20Steps%20to%20Successful%20Budgeting.jpg" alt="5 Steps to Successful Budgeting" 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/alicia-rose-hudnett">Alicia Rose Hudnett</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-successful-budgeting">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-money-fixes-you-can-make-when-youre-stuck-inside-because-of-the-weather">7 Money Fixes You Can Make When You&#039;re Stuck Inside Because of the Weather</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-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Pay It Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-budgeting-for-people-who-hate-math">Easy Budgeting for People Who Hate Math</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting automating avalanche method bills debt repayment Envelope system expense tracking expenses organization snowball method spending plan Fri, 15 Jun 2018 08:00:21 +0000 Alicia Rose Hudnett 2148338 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways Grown-Ups Can Make New Friends Without Going Broke http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-grown-ups-can-make-new-friends-without-going-broke <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-grown-ups-can-make-new-friends-without-going-broke" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/enjoying_drinks_after_work.jpg" alt="Enjoying drinks after work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you're a kid, making friends is easy. Walk up to another kid and say &quot;Hey, wanna be my best friend?&quot; and boom &hellip; you're inseparable. But as an adult, it's not as simple. Try that and you seem like a weirdo. You can obviously make friends through work, but what about outside of your employer? Cooking classes, bars, and yoga classes are certainly places to meet people who share your interests, but those activities can burn through your budget in no time. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make friends as a grown-up that won't drain your bank account.</p> <h2>1. Use a friend-finder app</h2> <p>There are plenty of dating apps out there, but what if you want to meet people for friendship only? Well, there are apps for that, too. <a href="http://thebeehive.bumble.com/bumble-bff/" target="_blank">Bumble</a>, for example, is not just a dating app. You can tweak the settings to specifically be matched with people who only want to find a friend. You can have the app show you whatever gender you want, distance, and other factors, and then swipe like you would when looking for dates. Other apps that can facilitate this include <a href="https://www.peanut-app.io/" target="_blank">Peanut</a> (for moms looking for other moms to connect with), <a href="http://www.skout.com/" target="_blank">Skout</a>, <a href="https://www.meetme.com/" target="_blank">MeetMe</a>, and even <a href="http://meetmydogapp.com/" target="_blank">MeetMyDog</a> (a way to meet fellow dog owners).</p> <h2>2. Find local meetings with people who share your interests</h2> <p>No doubt you have some kind of interests or hobbies outside of work (and if you don't, you're working <em>way</em> too hard). The internet has made it possible to find people who love the same things you love, regardless of how unusual or niche your passions may be. A site like MeetUp.com lists hundreds of different social groups in your area, covering everything from mountain biking and veganism, to brewing your own beers, blogging, and cosplaying. Do a search for your interest, check out the group, and attend with an open mind. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-hobbies-you-can-start-for-0?ref=seealso" target="_blank">50 Hobbies You Can Start for $0</a>)</p> <h2>3. Become a volunteer</h2> <p>Volunteering is not just a great way to meet people, it's also an excellent way to improve your self-esteem and give back to those in need. There are all kinds of opportunities, including helping out at animal shelters, feeding the homeless, or building homes for low-income families. Or you could join volunteer organization <a href="https://www.togetherwerise.org/team-building/sweet-cases/" target="_blank">TogetherWise</a>. It's a project that brings people together to bring a smile to foster kids around the country. You can decorate duffel bags and blankets, build bikes and skateboards, and create special birthday boxes. As you work together, you will naturally start talking to people, and maybe make a friend or two. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-free-ways-to-be-a-better-person?ref=seealso" target="_blank">18 Free Ways to Be a Better Person</a>)</p> <h2>4. Connect with more people on social media</h2> <p>Are you on Facebook? How about Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or even YouTube? If you aren't, well, you should definitely consider one of these platforms as a way to make friends. And if you already embrace these sites, go big. Look at friends you already have, and see who they're friends with. Start following people who genuinely interest you on Twitter or Instagram. You could find yourself becoming best friends with someone who lives just around the corner &hellip; or halfway around the world.</p> <h2>5. Become more active in your neighborhood</h2> <p>Long ago, everyone knew everyone in the neighborhood. These days, people tend to keep to themselves, and modern technology certainly hasn't helped that cause. But it doesn't have to stop you from making an effort to meet the people who live around you. You could start by organizing a neighborhood event, like a community garage sale or a scavenger hunt. Maybe block off your cul-de-sac and have a neighborhood potluck. A communication forum like <a href="https://nextdoor.com/" target="_blank">Nextdoor</a> can really help, as it uses your address to connect you with people who also live in your area. You can also get creative with posting flyers on community boards.</p> <h2>6. Drop hints with your co-workers and family</h2> <p>People know people. Your co-workers and family members have friends of their own. Maybe they know people whom you would get along with. All you have to do is drop a few subtle hints. Tell them that you'd love to get out more, but don't know many people. Ask if they know anyone interested in your hobbies. Lay a foundation so that the wheels start turning, and they realize that their friend knows someone who is just as much into kite-flying or indoor soccer as you are. You don't even have to be subtle. Just say, &quot;Anyone know someone great who I'd get along with?&quot; It never hurts to ask.</p> <h2>7. Hang out in bookstores and libraries</h2> <p>The library is obviously the cheaper option here, but bookstores are also a great place to meet people with bookish interests. If you're really into books about crime, strike up a conversation with someone browsing that section. It can be as simple as, &quot;Can you recommend a good crime thriller?&quot; or &quot;What do you think of this author?&quot; Most libraries and bookstores have a coffee and snack section now, so if you do hit it off, you can find a place to sit and chat. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-modern-reasons-to-visit-your-local-library-today?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Modern Reasons to Visit Your Local Library Today</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-ways-grown-ups-can-make-new-friends-without-going-broke&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Ways%2520Grown-Ups%2520Can%2520Make%2520New%2520Friends%2520Without%2520Going%2520Broke.jpg&amp;description=7%20Ways%20Grown-Ups%20Can%20Make%20New%20Friends%20Without%20Going%20Broke"></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%20Ways%20Grown-Ups%20Can%20Make%20New%20Friends%20Without%20Going%20Broke.jpg" alt="7 Ways Grown-Ups Can Make New Friends Without Going Broke" 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/7-ways-grown-ups-can-make-new-friends-without-going-broke">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-you-can-save-1000-by-christmas-if-you-start-now">7 Ways You Can Save $1,000 by Christmas, If You Start 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/4-countries-where-you-can-live-on-1000-a-month">4 Countries Where You Can Live on $1,000 a Month</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-getting-more-sleep-helps-your-finances">How Getting More Sleep Helps Your Finances</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/11-ways-cycling-can-save-you-money">11 Ways Cycling Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Lifestyle adult friends budgeting tips going out introvert making new friends networking saving money seeing friends socializing Thu, 14 Jun 2018 08:00:31 +0000 Paul Michael 2148277 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Pointless Fees That Are Sabotaging Your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/10-pointless-fees-that-are-sabotaging-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-pointless-fees-that-are-sabotaging-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/worried_woman_calculating_accountancy_reading_a_letter_0.jpg" alt="Worried woman calculating accountancy reading a letter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I read the word &quot;fee,&quot; what I see is, &quot;something you should have avoided paying.&quot; No one likes to pay fees, fines, service charges, or anything that sounds remotely like a penalty. While some fees are unavoidable &mdash; try taking a flight without paying the Passenger Civil Aviation Security Service Fee &mdash; there are plenty that you can sidestep by calling to complain, avoiding certain behaviors, or switching providers.</p> <p>Of course, to get out of a fee, first you have to know it was charged. Here are the especially pointless ones you need to watch out for.</p> <h2>1. Digital equipment rental fees</h2> <p>A friend recently replaced her internet provider's outdated modem with one she bought herself. When she called to let the company know, they removed a $20 monthly equipment rental fee she hadn't even known she was paying. She just saved $240 a year!</p> <h2>2. Bank fees</h2> <p>Banks love to tack on fees. One of the most insidious is the overdraft fee, which kicks in when a bank allows you to take more money out of your account than you actually have, then charges you for the &quot;privilege.&quot; The really devilish thing here is that if the bank doesn't cover the transaction &mdash; for instance, if you haven't opted in to the overdraft program &mdash; they will deny payment to the merchant and charge you a non-sufficient funds fee. Either way, you pay.</p> <p>Other sneaky bank fees are account maintenance fees, which might kick in if your account falls below a certain balance threshold, or check writing fees, which can crop up if you signed up for an account that typically allows only a small number of transactions per month.</p> <p>A few tips for avoiding bank fees: Use a credit card rather than a debit card to avoid accidental overdrafts. Keep an eye on your balance and know what checks are coming in. Keep a buffer of several hundred dollars in your account and set a text alert to let you know if your balance dips below it. Link your checking account to a savings account. Know the terms of your bank account.</p> <p>If you do see a fee on your bank account statement, call the bank. They may agree to fully or completely reverse the charge, and at the very least, they can let you know how to avoid the fee in the future &mdash; for example, by changing account types. If you find yourself getting hit with a lot of fees, consider changing banks or switching to a credit union. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-paying-these-6-unfair-banking-fees?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are You Paying These 6 Unfair Banking Fees?</a>)</p> <h2>3. ATM fees</h2> <p>The average fee for using a cash machine not run by your bank has hit an all-time high of $4.69, according to Bankrate. This may not seem like a big deal until you consider the percentages here. If you withdraw $40 from an out-of-network ATM and pay $4 for it, that's like giving away 10 percent of your hard-earned money just for the privilege of using the machine.</p> <p>To avoid this fee, always keep a little cash in your wallet in case of an emergency. If I find myself in a crunch, I stop at a grocery or drugstore and make a small purchase to get cash back. I'd rather pay $1 for a pack of gum with my cash than $4 for nothing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-make-sure-you-never-pay-an-atm-fee?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Make Sure You Never Pay an ATM Fee</a>)</p> <h2>4. Investment account fees</h2> <p>When you invest for retirement, you can expect to pay some fees, but plans and accounts with higher-than-average fees can sap your retirement income big time. There are the fees you can easily see: The average investment manager charges around 1 percent of your assets each year. But you may also be paying fees you don't know about, like load fees on the mutual funds your adviser is buying or excessive trading fees if your manager is moving your money around a lot.</p> <p>To avoid excessive investment fees, consider a low-cost platform such as Vanguard target date funds or a robo adviser. If you're stuck with your company's 401(k) plan, study the fees carefully and complain to human resources if they're too high. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/watch-out-for-these-5-sneaky-401k-fees?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Watch Out for These 5 Sneaky 401K Fees</a>)</p> <h2>5. Foreign transaction fees</h2> <p>If you go overseas, you may find yourself hit with foreign transaction fees both while using your credit card and while withdrawing cash. The only way to avoid this is to do your homework before you go. There are a lot of credit cards that advertise <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=internal" target="_blank">no foreign transaction fees</a> now, so if your card doesn't offer that perk, simply apply for one that does before your trip. Getting approved should only take a few days, and you can even pay extra for express shipping if you're leaving soon.</p> <p>If your bank account charges foreign transaction fees, that can be harder to change, because opening a new account takes paperwork and time. If you have more than one account, check with all of them. Last time I went overseas, I learned that my credit union account doesn't charge the fee, while my regular checking account did. So I simply used the credit union account to withdraw cash on my trip. You can also ask your bank if there is a different account type you can switch to that doesn't charge the fee. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-avoid-bank-fees-while-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Ways to Avoid Bank Fees While Traveling</a>)</p> <h2>6. Library fines</h2> <p>When my kids were little and liked to check out 10 picture books at a time from our local library, the books would end up mixed in with their personal libraries and I would forget we ever checked them out. We ended up running up so much money in fines that my library card was frozen.</p> <p>A better way to operate is to set a calendar reminder on your phone for the day before books are due. Keep the receipt handy, or consult your online library account, so that you have a list of all the books you checked out. If none of that works, you may have to do what I did: Institute a &quot;read them at the library only&quot; policy for library books.</p> <p>If you do let those fees add up, find out if your library has an amnesty or fee forgiveness day scheduled. Our local library sometimes forgives fines in exchange for donations to the food pantry. You can also let the library know if you have a financial hardship; as long as they get the books back, they may be willing to waive the fines. Finally, find out if your library offers fine-free cards for children.</p> <h2>7. Credit card fees</h2> <p>If you fail to make the minimum payment on your credit card, you will be charged not only interest, but also a late fee. While traveling last month, I missedpayments on two credit card accounts, each which only had a tiny amount of charges on them. For both, the fee was larger than the balance I'd failed to pay.</p> <p>To avoid this, always make at least the minimum payment each month. Not only will this avoid this month's fee, but it will demonstrate a good payment record which will help if you ever do slip up. Because I'd had a perfect on-time payment record before this, both credit cards forgave my late payments and reversed the fees. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-never-make-a-late-credit-card-payment?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Simple Ways to Never Make a Late Credit Card Payment</a>)</p> <h2>8. Credit report fees</h2> <p>It's a good idea to check your credit report regularly for accounts you don't recognize, accounts sent to collections without your knowledge, or other problems that could prevent you from getting a loan in the future. But you generally don't need to pay for this. Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) all Americans are entitled to one free credit report a year from each bureau. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-read-a-credit-report?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Read a Credit Report</a>)</p> <h2>9. Money transfer fees</h2> <p>Sending money to family or even paying bills if you don't have a checking account can run up large fees, but it doesn't have to be that way. There are now tons of ways to send money with no fee or only a small fee, using PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay, or Square Cash. For PayPal, if you're not making a business transaction, make sure to choose the friends and family option so you're not charged a fee. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-modern-ways-to-send-money-to-your-kid?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Modern Ways to Send Money to Your Kid</a>)</p> <h2>10. Airline fees</h2> <p>We are in the era of a thousand airline fees, and it is annoying. Many of the so-called fees that airlines tack onto your bill are just price increases in disguise, while others are mandated by the government. But there are some that are often avoidable, such as phone booking fees, baggage fees, and ticket change fees.</p> <p>To avoid a phone fee, book online whenever possible. If you are booking an itinerary that can't be booked online, such as using miles on partners for some airlines, remind the phone agent that your transaction can't be done online and they probably won't charge you the fee.</p> <p>To avoid baggage fees, look into getting the airline's credit card; many offer a free checked bag and other privileges to cardholders. Another strategy is to bring a roll-aboard bag that fits within the airline's carry-on allowance. In my experience, passengers with these bags are often offered free checked baggage at the gate anyway. Finally, you can stick to airlines that don't charge a fee for the first bag or two, such as Southwest. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-save-on-baggage-fees?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways to Save On Baggage Fees</a>)</p> <p>Avoiding ticket change fees can be both the easiest and hardest. When your plans don't change, or if you book with Southwest, it's easy to avoid. If you made a mistake on your booking or if plans change, these can be impossible to avoid. The best you can do is to check and double check your reservation within the first 24 hours, before the airlines are allowed to charge a fee.</p> <p>Some airlines offer the chance to purchase a ticket with free changes for a higher cost. Naturally, on the flights when I paid extra for that privilege, my plans did not change. If your plans change unavoidably, you can try calling the airline or booking company to plead your case. If the change is due to a death, you'll be expected to produce the death certificate.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-pointless-fees-that-are-sabotaging-your-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Pointless%2520Fees%2520That%2520Are%2520Sabotaging%2520Your%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=10%20Pointless%20Fees%20That%20Are%20Sabotaging%20Your%20Budget"></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%20Pointless%20Fees%20That%20Are%20Sabotaging%20Your%20Budget.jpg" alt="10 Pointless Fees That Are Sabotaging Your Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-pointless-fees-that-are-sabotaging-your-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-2 views-row-even"> <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> <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-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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-really-need-to-pay-yourself-first-seriously">7 Reasons You Really Need to Pay Yourself First (Seriously)</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-signs-your-emergency-fund-is-too-big">4 Signs Your Emergency Fund Is Too Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting airline fees atms fees fines investing library fees money transfers overdraft fees penalties saving money Tue, 12 Jun 2018 09:00:30 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2146892 at http://www.wisebread.com 24 Ways to Have a Blast This Weekend While Spending $0 http://www.wisebread.com/24-ways-to-have-a-blast-this-weekend-while-spending-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/24-ways-to-have-a-blast-this-weekend-while-spending-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_plant_gardening_504344623.jpg" alt="Woman gardening and spending $0 over the weekend" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you feel like you're stuck in a rut doing the same old things each weekend, and draining your finances while you're at it? Weekends are the best part of the week, but when you go into Monday without any money left in your wallet, you're doomed to have a stressful workweek.</p> <p>Luckily, with a bit of imagination and a little planning, a fun or productive weekend doesn't need to cost a cent. Here are 24 ways to spend $0 over an entire weekend. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend?ref=seealso" target="_blank">47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</a>)</p> <h2>1. Learn a new skill</h2> <p>Thanks to the internet, there are instructional videos for virtually any skill you could ever wish to learn &mdash; from a clever magic trick to DIY woodworking tips. So pick something you'd love to be able to do, and spend the weekend learning how to master it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-to-learn-skills-that-will-save-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Easy to Learn Skills That Will Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2>2. Start writing a book</h2> <p>They say that everyone has at least one book in them. Even if you don't have an idea for the next best-selling fiction novel, you can always tell your own life story. Why not try your hand at being an author? All you need is a computer or a pad of paper and pen and you're good to go. Start writing, and see what comes out. You never know, you may just turn out to be the next J.K. Rowling.</p> <h2>3. Catch up on sleep</h2> <p>A lack of sleep has been proven to adversely affect everything from your mood to your immune system, so making sure you're well rested is an excellent time investment. A weekend spent in slumber won't cost a thing, but it will pay dividends when it comes to your health. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-getting-more-sleep-helps-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Getting More Sleep Helps Your Finances</a>)</p> <h2>4. Visit friends</h2> <p>Got a friend you haven't seen in a while? Invite yourself over for the weekend, or invite them over to your place You will have a blast catching up, and they will likely appreciate the company. Humans are social creatures, so not only will you have fun seeing an old friend, but it can also count as self-care.</p> <h2>5. Go camping</h2> <p>Camping can get expensive if you stay in campgrounds with designated campsites and top notch facilities. However, there are plenty of places where it's possible to camp in the wild at zero cost. It's referred to as &quot;dispersed&quot; or &quot;wild camping&quot; and many national forests allow it &mdash; as long as you follow their camping guidelines. So pack the tent, stock up on food from your pantry, and head out into the wild for the weekend.</p> <h2>6. Visit museums</h2> <p>Visiting museums is an interesting and educational way to spend a weekend. Look for museums that don't charge an entry fee, then check out the free days available for the ones that do. Many open their doors at no cost one day a week. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-visit-museums-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Visit Museums for Free</a>)</p> <h2>7. Play Pokémon Go</h2> <p>If you're into gaming, but don't want to spend the weekend stuck inside, then Pokémon Go is a great solution. This game will get you checking in at PokéStops and meeting other Pokétrainers, all while exploring your local neighborhood in the fresh air. Beware, it's addictive! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-clever-ways-people-are-making-money-from-pok-mon-go?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Clever Ways People Are Making Money From Pokémon GO</a>)</p> <h2>8. Tidy up your garden</h2> <p>A weekend is enough time to completely transform your garden from drab to fab. So make a plan, dig out the garden tools, and get to work on landscaping, weeding, mowing, and beautifying your garden. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-simple-gardening-skills-anybody-can-master?ref=seealso" target="_blank">13 Simple Gardening Skills Anybody Can Master</a>)</p> <h2>9. Bake up some treats</h2> <p>Get out your baking dishes and spend the weekend whipping up some pastries like cakes, biscuits, and pies from the ingredients you already have in your cupboard. Your colleagues will love you on Monday morning when you show up to work with a basket full of goodies.</p> <h2>10. Find free events in your neighborhood</h2> <p>Most towns and cities have regular events organized each weekend that are absolutely free to attend. A quick search online or a look at the community calendar on your town or city's website will provide you with the info you need on everything from concerts and plays to festivals.</p> <h2>11. Host a board game night</h2> <p>Dig out a selection of your favorite board games, or even just a pack of cards, and invite friends over for a games marathon. Cut out the potential catering costs by turning it into a potluck as well, and asking each guest bring a dish or drink with them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-cheap-party-games-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Fun, Cheap Party Games You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <h2>12. Volunteer</h2> <p>Volunteering can be a wonderful way to give something back to your community, with the added benefit of making you feel great at the same time. Find an organized volunteer project, or do things on your own like pick up garbage, or help an elderly neighbor with their shopping or gardening. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-free-ways-to-be-a-better-person?ref=seealso" target="_blank">18 Free Ways to Be a Better Person</a>)</p> <h2>13. Do a deep clean</h2> <p>Spring cleaning isn't just for springtime. You can give your home a deep cleanse at any time of the year. Start with your most frequently used room, as this will take the most time, and work out to your other rooms.</p> <h2>14. Have an at-home spa day</h2> <p>A pamper weekend is the ultimate in luxurious relaxation, but it doesn't have to cost a penny. Instead of heading to a spa and spending hundreds of dollars, you can do it in your own home. Make yourself some products from things you've already got in the house and spend the weekend enjoying a bit of quality &ldquo;me time.&rdquo; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-homemade-beauty-treatments-that-actually-work?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Homemade Beauty Treatments That Actually Work</a>)</p> <h2>15. Play a team sport</h2> <p>Grab a ball and head down to your local park with some friends for a sportsfest. Depending on the equipment you have, you could play dodge ball, softball, football, or any other team sport. Why not try organizing a weekend tournament that takes place over two days and ends with the crowning of a champion? No prizes needed, as bragging rights alone will get people interested.</p> <h2>16. Do some meal prep</h2> <p>We've all got ingredients lying around that for one reason or another we've never gotten around to using. Instead of letting them go bad in the pantry, take them all out and plan some meals for the week ahead. Then you can stick the meals in the freezer so you've got homemade food ready for when you can't be bothered to rustle something up from scratch. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-and-eat-better-with-these-6-online-meal-planners?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Save Money and Eat Better With These 6 Online Meal Planners</a>)</p> <h2>17. Host a movie marathon</h2> <p>Dig out your old DVD collection or check your streaming service for some of your favorite movies, set a schedule for the weekend for when you'll be &quot;screening&quot; them, and send it out to all of your friends. They can then choose which ones they want to see and you'll have a revolving door of company for the weekend.</p> <h2>18. Hold a yard sale</h2> <p>Yard sales are a fantastic way to get rid of all your unwanted stuff and also make a few dollars in the process. Spend some time putting together everything you want to sell, publicize it on social media and with your friends and family, then set up shop in your front yard or garage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</a>)</p> <h2>19. Make a financial plan</h2> <p>Everyone should have a solid financial plan in place that covers short- and long-term goals. Even if you already have one, it's worth revising it regularly. Spend time setting out a plan for where you want to be in a year or five, and how you're going to get there. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-why-financial-planning-isnt-just-for-the-wealthy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Reasons Why Financial Planning Isn't Just for the Wealthy</a>)</p> <h2>20. Learn about different religions</h2> <p>Learning about different religions can be eye-opening, enriching, and educational. Places of worship are usually extremely welcoming to newcomers, and you can explain to anyone who asks that you're there to observe and learn. Go to a Muslim mosque for Friday night prayers, attend a Jewish synagogue on Saturday, and head to a Christian church service on Sunday morning to see how different, and similar, they are.</p> <h2>21. Start exercising</h2> <p>Whether it's been months, years, or decades since you last laced up a pair of sneakers, there's no time like the present to get going again. You don't need a pricey gym membership, fancy equipment, or swanky athletic wear to do so, either. Throw on comfy clothes and go for a run around the block. Find a park and do some pullups on the bars. Or you could follow along with a free yoga class on YouTube. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-at-home-exercises-will-give-you-a-gym-quality-workout-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These At-Home Exercises Will Give You a Gym-Quality Workout for Free</a>)</p> <h2>22. Start a vlog</h2> <p>If you've ever dreamed of becoming an internet star, why not give vlogging a go? Starting a vlog on YouTube is quick, free, and easy. All you need is a camera or smartphone, and an idea of what your vlog will be about. Spend the weekend making videos on your favorite subject and uploading them for the world to enjoy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-money-by-creating-youtube-videos?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Make Money by Creating YouTube Videos</a>)</p> <h2>23. Learn a new language</h2> <p>It's unlikely that you're going to be fluent in a new language after just 48 hours, but you can certainly lay down the foundations. Some modern methods of language learning work on the principle that memorizing the 100 most frequently used words will give you a basic understanding of everyday conversations. Find a list of these for your chosen language on the web and focus on committing them to memory. Or check out a free language learning app to get you started. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-learn-a-new-language-just-use-one-of-these-3-apps?ref=seelso" target="_blank">You CAN Learn a New Language &mdash; Just Use One of These 3 Apps</a>)</p> <h2>24. Read a classic novel</h2> <p>There are endless works of literature that are revered as all-time classics, and many are now completely free to download or access online. If you're more of a paperback kind of person then head down to your local library, and get sucked into some timeless writing from the greats.</p> <p>Another alternative: We all have a pile of &quot;to be read&quot; books collecting dust in our homes, and this weekend is the perfect time to crack a few of those open.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F24-ways-to-have-a-blast-this-weekend-while-spending-0&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F24%2520Ways%2520to%2520Have%2520a%2520Blast%2520This%2520Weekend%2520While%2520Spending%2520%25240.jpg&amp;description=24%20Ways%20to%20Have%20a%20Blast%20This%20Weekend%20While%20Spending%20%240"></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/u5180/24%20Ways%20to%20Have%20a%20Blast%20This%20Weekend%20While%20Spending%20%240.jpg" alt="24 Ways to Have a Blast This Weekend While Spending $0" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-ways-to-have-a-blast-this-weekend-while-spending-0">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/8-common-weekend-money-traps-and-how-to-avoid-them">8 Common Weekend Money Traps (And How to Avoid Them)</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-your-bartender-is-ripping-you-off">7 Ways Your Bartender Is Ripping You Off</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Entertainment activities free activities hobbies saving money skills weekend fun weekend plans Fri, 08 Jun 2018 08:30:30 +0000 Nick Wharton 2147390 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways You Can Save $1,000 by Christmas, If You Start Now http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-you-can-save-1000-by-christmas-if-you-start-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-you-can-save-1000-by-christmas-if-you-start-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggybank_under_christmas_tree_in_beach.jpg" alt="Piggy bank Under Christmas tree in Beach" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In 2017, an American Research Group survey found that American shoppers planned to spend an average $983 on holiday gifts. Though we don't yet know what this year's average will be, it will likely go up. Do you have an extra $1,000 stashed away for the holidays? If not, you've got six months to build your reserve. Here are seven ways you can save $1,000 by Christmas &hellip; if you start now.</p> <h2>1. Turn your clutter into cash</h2> <p>OK, I'm cheating a little bit with this one. But hey, you gotta <em>make</em> money in order to <em>save</em> money!</p> <p>Explore the dark recesses of your attic, closets, and basement. What long-forgotten treasures could you liquidate for cash on eBay, Etsy, or Facebook Marketplace? List a few items each week. Depending on value and volume, you could easily accumulate $1,000 by Christmas. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</a>)</p> <h2>2. Cut back on dining out</h2> <p>For many of us, cooking has become a casualty of our busy lives. According to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, American families spent an average $3,008 dining out in 2015 (that's more than $250 a month!). Replace takeout with &quot;make-in&quot; and you'll save that $1,000 by Christmas. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2>3. Make water your beverage of choice</h2> <p>Though recent statistics are scarce, Time magazine reported in 2012 that the average American spends nearly $850 a year on soda and $1,100 on coffee. Oh, and don't forget our other liquid love &mdash; booze. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, American families spent an average $515 on alcohol in 2015. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Rich You'd Be If You Stopped Drinking</a>)</p> <p>Make tap water your beverage of choice for the next six months and you'll save a load of cash. Even if you don't cut out the soda, coffee, and booze entirely, cutting back until Christmas will help you save a significant amount that you can spend on gifts for your loved ones.</p> <h2>4. Swap cable TV for a streaming service</h2> <p>According to data collected by Leichtman Research Group, the average monthly cable TV bill in the U.S. was about $106 in 2017. But with just few extra premium channels, your bill could easily hit $150-$175 a month. Cut the cord and subscribe to a streaming service. A Hulu Plus membership is $7.99 a month and Netflix's standard streaming service is currently $10.99.</p> <h2>5. Try no-spend weekends</h2> <p>Movies, shopping, dinners out, and drinks with friends &mdash; weekends can be expensive. Try a different approach. Two weekends each month, take a spending break. Besides essential bills that come due, challenge yourself to not spend one dime. If your typical weekend budget is $70, by the time Christmas rolls around, you'll have saved over $700. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend?ref=seealso" target="_blank">47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</a>)</p> <h2>6. Don't buy any new clothing</h2> <p>A pair of jeans for $65? A shirt for $48? New clothes can really take a bite out of your budget. Over the next six months, see how far your current wardrobe will stretch. That means saying &quot;no&quot; to all new clothing purchases.</p> <p>Need something essential during that time? Skip retail and shop secondhand. If your current clothing budget is $150 per month, this single move could save you $900 by Christmas. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These 6 Shopping Challenges Will Keep You Stylish Without Breaking Your Budget</a>)</p> <h2>7. Cut out the smaller expenses</h2> <p>Try cutting or eliminating 10-15 small expenses. Resolve to never use an out-of-network ATM. Examine your homeowners, auto, and life insurance policies to see if you qualify for discounts or lower premiums. Wait another year to upgrade your smartphone. Buy generic groceries or embrace a discount grocery store. Remember, dozens of small changes can quickly add up to big savings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-big-at-these-4-discount-supermarkets?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Save Big at These 4 Discount Supermarkets</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-ways-you-can-save-1000-by-christmas-if-you-start-now&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Ways%2520You%2520Can%2520Save%2520%25241%252C000%2520by%2520Christmas%252C%2520If%2520You%2520Start%2520Now.jpg&amp;description=7%20Ways%20You%20Can%20Save%20%241%2C000%20by%20Christmas%2C%20If%20You%20Start%20Now"></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%20Ways%20You%20Can%20Save%20%241%2C000%20by%20Christmas%2C%20If%20You%20Start%20Now.jpg" alt="7 Ways You Can Save $1,000 by Christmas, If You Start Now" 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/7-ways-you-can-save-1000-by-christmas-if-you-start-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/9-things-you-can-do-right-now-for-a-frugal-holiday-season">9 Things You Can Do Right Now for a Frugal Holiday Season</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/buy-these-9-christmas-gifts-now-and-save">Buy These 9 Christmas Gifts Now and Save</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-grown-ups-can-make-new-friends-without-going-broke">7 Ways Grown-Ups Can Make New Friends Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget">These 6 Shopping Challenges Will Keep You Stylish Without Breaking Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-getting-more-sleep-helps-your-finances">How Getting More Sleep Helps Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping budgeting tips christmas budget christmas shopping holiday fund saving money Tue, 05 Jun 2018 09:00:25 +0000 Kentin Waits 2146551 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Decide If Airport Lounge Access Is Worth Paying For http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-decide-if-airport-lounge-access-is-worth-paying-for <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-decide-if-airport-lounge-access-is-worth-paying-for" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mature_businessman_waiting_at_airport_lounge.jpg" alt="Mature businessman waiting at airport lounge" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you fly the friendly skies often, you already know just how stressful airports can be. Listening to loud voices on the intercom while milling through hoards of people can make waiting for your flight an unpleasant experience. You may not even have internet access at your gate unless you pay for it, which means you could be missing out on work or other productive tasks you could be doing, all while in a relative state of discomfort.</p> <p>Now, consider how different your experience could be if you had access to an airport lounge. In place of the plastic chairs around your gate, you may find comfy couches, desks appropriate for working, and reading corners where you can curl up with a good book. Free internet service and power outlets are plentiful, and many airport lounges have a decent selection of snacks. Some of the better lounges even offer partial or full meals and free alcohol, including beer, wine, and liquor. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-airport-lounge-access?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Get the Most Out of Airport Lounge Access</a>)</p> <p>Is paying for airport lounge access a good deal? It can be, but only if you travel often enough and know you can take advantage. Here are some steps to help you determine whether airport lounge access is worth paying for, plus how you may be able to get it for free.</p> <h2>Run the math based on how often you travel</h2> <p>The value of airport lounge access depends heavily on how much you'll be able to use it, which is why it's important to gauge how much it costs and how much you actually travel. Imagine you're considering a Priority Pass membership, which will grant you access to more than 1,200 airport lounges around the world. This network offers three main membership tiers: a $99 Standard membership that allows you to enter Priority Pass lounges for $27 a visit, a $249 Standard Plus membership with 10 free visits and $27 visits thereafter, and a $399 all-access Prestige membership with unlimited visits and $27 visits for guests. There's also a highly popular Priority Pass Select membership, which you can only qualify for through a U.S. financial institution. More on that in a minute.</p> <p>If you fly several times per month and feel like you could hang out in an airport lounge 30-40 times per year, breaking it down into a per-visit cost can help. If you paid $399 for a Prestige membership and visited an airport 40 times per year, that breaks down to $10 per visit.</p> <p>The $99 Standard membership may seem like a better deal upfront, but don't forget that you have to pay $27 per visit <em>on top of</em> the annual membership fee. Same goes for the Standard Plus membership. For $27, you could sit down at a restaurant and have a decent meal each time you're at the airport instead. You won't get the free power outlets and Wi-Fi, though, and lounges can be more peaceful than busy airport restaurants.</p> <p>Your calculation should also take into account how much you plan to eat and drink and how long your layovers tend to be. Paying $27 per visit for an airport lounge can be a bad deal if you don't drink, but it can be a great bargain if you drink a ton and have layovers that last several hours or over mealtimes.</p> <p>Regardless, running the math to see how often you travel can help you decide whether the average price per visit makes sense for what you get in return, which normally includes peace and quiet, food, drinks, and a place to work and recharge your devices.</p> <h2>Figure out which airlines you fly with most, and if it matters</h2> <p>While Priority Pass is the most popular lounge network available, it's not the only one. If you always fly with a specific airline or your airport is a major hub of one you're familiar with, you can also check out airline-specific airport lounges that you know you can frequent often and get some value from.</p> <p>Let's say your airport has a fancy Delta Sky Club in the terminal you normally fly out of. You could buy your way into Delta Sky Clubs at a rate of $495 or 47,000 Delta miles for a one-year Individual Membership. Guests aren't free with this membership, however, which is why some travelers opt for Delta's Executive Membership for $745 per year so they can bring two guests along. American Airlines Admirals Clubs also offer annual memberships, with the price for individuals starting at $550, or 85,000 AAdvantage miles. Discounts are also offered to frequent flyers with elite status.</p> <p>Is the juice worth the squeeze when it comes to paying for these airline-specific lounges? It really depends on how often you can take advantage and the type of value you get in return (i.e. how much you eat and drink).</p> <p>Another advantage of being in an airline lounge is having access to airline staff, who can answer questions about your flight and keep you updated of delays. If your flight gets canceled, you've got a lot better chance of being rebooked quickly by using the staff in the lounge rather than competing with the hordes at the gate for the two or three airline staff there.</p> <h2>Decide if you're willing to splurge for convenience or relaxation</h2> <p>Paying $400 or more for a year of airport lounge access may sound absurd, but the value is often there for frequent flyers who need quiet and internet access for work. If your job has you flying all the time and you are tired of losing valuable work time at your airport gate, airport lounge access can even be a valuable investment.</p> <p>It's also possible your employer would be willing to cover lounge access for you if you truly need it for work. They could balk at the request, sure, but you'll never know unless you ask.</p> <h2>Score airport lounge access for free</h2> <p>Finally, one way to get airport lounge covered without worrying about cost is by signing up for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel credit card that offers airport lounge access</a> as a cardholder perk. While different cards offer different levels of access, signing up can absolutely be worth it if you use the access and other card perks often enough.</p> <p>Before you pursue this strategy, you should make sure the airport lounge access offered by a card you're interested in is unlimited and doesn't come with a surcharge. Some travel cards say you get access via their programs, but what you really get is a very basic membership where you still have to pay per visit.</p> <p>Priority Pass Select is the most common airport lounge pass you can get with a credit card. This type of membership gives you access to unlimited Priority Pass lounge visits and traditionally lets you bring up to two guests.</p> <p>Also keep in mind that several top tier airline credit cards offer access to their independent airport lounges for free along with bonus offers and other perks. If you fly with a certain airline often enough, these cards could be worth signing up for.</p> <p>By scoring airport lounge access for free, you won't have to worry about what you paid or whether or not you're getting enough value in return. You can just show up, take advantage of the freebies, and relish in the fact you're in an airport oasis instead of languishing at the gate with everyone else.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-decide-if-airport-lounge-access-is-worth-paying-for&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Decide%2520If%2520Airport%2520Lounge%2520Access%2520Is%2520Worth%2520Paying%2520For.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Decide%20If%20Airport%20Lounge%20Access%20Is%20Worth%20Paying%20For"></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%20Decide%20If%20Airport%20Lounge%20Access%20Is%20Worth%20Paying%20For.jpg" alt="How to Decide If Airport Lounge Access Is Worth Paying For" 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-decide-if-airport-lounge-access-is-worth-paying-for">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-airport-lounge-access">How to Get the Most Out of Airport Lounge Access</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-most-affordable-beach-towns-in-mexico">8 Most Affordable Beach Towns in Mexico</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/cut-these-9-expenses-in-one-year-to-get-a-10-day-hawaii-vacation">Cut These 9 Expenses in One Year to Get a 10-Day Hawaii Vacation</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-budget-destinations-where-you-can-learn-to-scuba-dive">5 Budget Destinations Where You Can Learn to Scuba Dive</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-overwater-bungalows-you-can-book-with-rewards-points">5 Overwater Bungalows You Can Book With Rewards Points</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel airport lounge airport lounge access airport tips flight perks travel tips VIP access Tue, 29 May 2018 08:30:43 +0000 Holly Johnson 2142939 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Parts Every Successful Budget Needs http://www.wisebread.com/6-parts-every-successful-budget-needs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-parts-every-successful-budget-needs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/building_a_tight_household_budget.jpg" alt="Building a tight household budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Budgets aren't perfect. No matter how much you plan, it's impossible to predict every single expense, which can make it challenging to stick to your plan. Fortunately, you can weather any financial storm by making sure your budget has these at least these components.</p> <h2>1. Emergency fund</h2> <p>A car repair, medical expense, or sudden job loss can all wreak havoc on your normal monthly budget. Instead of panicking and going into debt after an emergency, you can give yourself peace of mind by starting an emergency fund.</p> <p>How much money should you keep in an emergency fund? Well, the answer depends on many things, including the cost of your daily expenses, how hard your job would be to replace, and any other unique circumstances. One savings guideline is to save at least three to six months' worth of daily living expenses, though some people may need more. That way, if you ever suffer a job loss, you would be covered for a few months until you found another job.</p> <p>To prevent yourself from using the money you are saving for a rainy day, it's a good idea to stash your cash in a separate savings account. You can start building your emergency fund by having money automatically deposited from every paycheck. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-minute-finance-start-an-emergency-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Minute Finance: Start an Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <h2>2. Debt repayment</h2> <p>Debt can add up quickly and become overwhelming if you do not have a repayment plan in place. Whether you have a mortgage, car loan, student debt, or a credit card balance, it's your responsibility to manage your debt.</p> <p>You can take away the burden of debt repayment by tallying up the payments you owe and putting them into your monthly budget. This will keep you on track, accountable, and working to hit your repayment goals. To make more progress, aim to free up extra dollars every month and put that toward your debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-first-steps-to-paying-off-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Easy First Steps to Paying Off Debt</a>)</p> <h2>3. Retirement fund</h2> <p>Do you have a plan to take care of your future? If not, it's time to start a retirement savings plan.</p> <p>Retirement might seem like a long ways away, but failing to save now can have dire consequences later. The more you save while you're still young, the longer you'll have to earn compound interest on your investments. The longer you wait to save, the harder it will be to catch up. Retirement savings needs to be a line item in your budget every single month.</p> <p>If you work for a traditional employer, you likely have a company 401(k) or IRA plan you are eligible to participate in. Most employers can set up paycheck deductions, making it incredibly easy to start contributing to the account ASAP. In addition, check with your employer to see if they offer any company match. As part of your benefits package, many employers will match a percentage of what you contribute to your retirement account. Failing to at least meet the requirements for a match is leaving free money on the table, so make sure you take advantage of it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retirement-planning-steps-late-starters-must-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Retirement Planning Steps Late Starters Must Make</a>)</p> <h2>4. Fun money</h2> <p>You can't have all work and no play. Allow yourself a break and start putting money into a vacation or fun fund. Whether you prefer to take a trip, play a round of golf, or spend the day at the spa, you can treat yourself guilt-free by budgeting for it in advance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-need-fun-money-in-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Yes, You Need &quot;Fun Money&quot; in Your Budget</a>)</p> <h2>5. Funds for irregular expenses</h2> <p>Not every expense is billed monthly. Most people find they have at least a few quarterly or even annual expenses, such as HOA fees, insurance premiums, club membership dues, and more.</p> <p>Since they aren't regular bills, it can be easy to forget that they are coming due. Don't panic &mdash; you can still budget for them and ensure you always have the cash for odd expenses.</p> <p>An easy way to handle these types of bills is to create an irregular expense savings account. Calculate what you owe in total irregular expenses for the year and divide it by 12. That's how much you should save every month to cover irregular expenses. Just remember to start saving before your first bill is due so you can ensure you have enough to cover what you owe.</p> <p>It may also be helpful to keep a financial calendar. You can mark when each bill is due throughout the year, so no quarterly or annual bill will come as a surprise.</p> <h2>6. Regular review</h2> <p>Circumstances change, and your budget should change accordingly. By regularly reviewing your budget, you can see what's working and what isn't. Are there areas where you are constantly going over the amount you budgeted for? Areas where you are spending less? Has your income changed? Do you need to set aside more for savings?</p> <p>Review your budget at least once a month. If you have a significant other, sit down together and discuss your financial goals. By making small tweaks as you go, you will discover how to use your money most effectively.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-parts-every-successful-budget-needs&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Parts%2520Every%2520Successful%2520Budget%2520Needs.jpg&amp;description=6%20Parts%20Every%20Successful%20Budget%20Needs"></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%20Parts%20Every%20Successful%20Budget%20Needs.jpg" alt="6 Parts Every Successful Budget Needs" 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/rachel-slifka">Rachel Slifka</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-parts-every-successful-budget-needs">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/5-money-goals-you-can-achieve-this-summer">5 Money Goals You Can Achieve This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-arent-prepared-for-an-emergency">8 Signs You Aren&#039;t Prepared for an Emergency</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-money-saving-strategies-that-are-actually-hurting-you">25 Money-Saving Strategies That Are Actually Hurting 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/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-why-financial-planning-isnt-just-for-the-wealthy">6 Reasons Why Financial Planning Isn&#039;t Just for the Wealthy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting buffer debt emergency fund expenses fun money insurance line items retirement saving money Wed, 16 May 2018 09:00:26 +0000 Rachel Slifka 2138312 at http://www.wisebread.com These 6 Shopping Challenges Will Keep You Stylish Without Breaking Your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/the_perfect_dress_for_me.jpg" alt="The perfect dress for me" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a passionate yet frugal fashion connoisseur, I'm always looking for ways to keep the peace between my inner Chic Chandra and Frugal Fran. It isn't easy. One of my favorite ways to pacify both sides and exercise a bit of creativity is by engaging in shopping challenges. Some challenges I've found through social media, fashion blogs, and some my fellow spendthrift friends and I create ourselves.</p> <p>No matter what you're trying to do &mdash; be &quot;bougie on a budget,&quot; upgrade your wardrobe, try out different styles, or give yourself a complete makeover &mdash; shopping challenges help you simultaneously accomplish your fashion and finance goals. Below are a few of my favorites, but I challenge you to be creative and mix and modify these, or create your own.</p> <h2>1. No Shopping Challenge</h2> <p>The No Shopping Challenge is exactly like it sounds. You don't shop for a specific amount of time. It's one of my favorites. During the challenge, you don't buy clothes, shoes, or accessories of any kind. This challenge forces you to use what you have and re-envision your wardrobe. It stretches you past your comfort zone and it helps break your normal fashion thought pattern. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-simple-do-not-buy-list-keeps-money-in-your-pocket?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How a Simple &quot;Do Not Buy&quot; List Keeps Money in Your Pocket</a>)</p> <p>I always institute this challenge during a spending fast, but it usually extends far beyond the end of the fast. My shopping fasts usually last anywhere from four to eight months. However, some people stretch the challenge a full year.</p> <p>During my most recent fast, I noticed the most fascinating thing. Not once, during the entire six months, did I ever say to myself, &quot;I have nothing to wear.&quot; The shopping fast actually keeps my Frugal Fran happy and Chic Chandra satisfied.</p> <h2>2. Adding Accessories Challenge</h2> <p>In the Adding Accessory Challenge, you set a very small budget and buy nothing but accessories for a set period of time. This challenge came about during a time, several years ago, when money was tight because I was aggressively saving for a big-ticket item. I had $25 per month allocated for shopping, entertainment, and miscellaneous items. I wanted to revamp my outfits a bit without going over budget. And I found a way to do just that by accessorizing. Even though I had very little money to spend, during the initial challenge, I was able to amass quite a collection of eclectic accessories. The trick is to pair an interesting and eccentric piece of jewelry or a great hat with a basic outfit, allowing the accessories to take center stage.</p> <p>Accessories can be super cheap &mdash; if you have a keen eye and a bit of imagination. You can pick up scarves, hats, socks, jewelry, and even purses for very little money. I've paid as little as $.50 for some really great pieces. What you spend instead of money is time. Shop yard sales, thrift stores, sample sales, and keep an eye out for seasonal sales from your favorite brands, and you're sure to find some killer deals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-ways-to-save-money-on-clothes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">101 Ways to Save Money on Clothes</a>)</p> <h2>3. One In, One Out Challenge</h2> <p>The One In, One Out Challenge is all about spending money strategically and combating excess and wastefulness. The object of this challenge is that for every item you purchase, you must get rid of a similar item, sell it, or donate it to charity. For example, if you buy a pair of black pumps, you must get rid of a pair of dress shoes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-make-800-on-month-on-ebay-selling-used-clothes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How I Make $800 on Month on eBay Selling Used Clothes</a>)</p> <p>This challenge can be extremely difficult, because when you pick something up, you have to choose to let go of something else. It combats hoarding tendencies, making you regularly take stock of what you already have, and only purchasing things you need. It also helps you break your attachment to material things and become a more mindful shopper.</p> <h2>4. A Week Without Challenge</h2> <p>The Week Without Challenge is truly a challenge. The purpose of this challenge is to assess the clothing items you love and chose one or two of those items to go without for the week. For example, if you're always wearing black shoes, you would go an entire seven days without wearing black shoes. This really shakes up your wardrobe and makes you think outside the box.</p> <p>This challenge is especially helpful for people who have a very specific style and wear the same few items incessantly. If a T-shirt and jeans is your go-to outfit, you would go a week without wearing either one of those items. It's also a great challenge to do with a friend. Instead of you choosing the items to go without, you allow your friend to choose for you. It keeps you honest and it will provide you with a more objective perspective on your style. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-master-these-10-shopping-skills-before-you-hit-30?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Master These 10 Shopping Skills Before You Hit 30</a>)</p> <h2>5. The 10x10 Challenge</h2> <p><a href="http://www.stylebee.ca/10-x-10-challenge/" target="_blank">The 10x10 Challenge</a> is when you select 10 clothing items and style those items into different outfits for the same number of days. The catch is you wear <em>only </em>those 10 items for the entire 10 days. Chic Chandra just had a mild panic attack.</p> <p>This challenge really gets your creative juices flowing, and essentially helps you create a micro capsule closet. It will also highlight the fact that you can do a lot with very little. A boyfriend button down triples as a shirt, a dress, and a jacket. Tie it around your waste and you've got another look. It teaches you how to look at your clothes in a new way in lieu of always looking for new clothes. Some people do the challenge for 30 or even 60 days. Of course, the longer the time frame, the less challenging it becomes.</p> <h2>6. $30 Outfit Challenge</h2> <p>The $30 outfit challenge is all about learning how to shop on a budget. It makes you visit shops you may not otherwise visit. You are given a budget $30, and you must purchase an entire outfit &mdash; including shoes &mdash; without going over. I know you're reading this saying, &quot;There's no way.&quot; It's not only possible, it's actually pretty easy once you learn where to look and how to shop.</p> <p>If you're like most people, you have a handful of stores you frequent regularly. They are your tried and true. You know exactly how the clothes fit. You know the style, and you know the price range. This challenge pushes you to look beyond your traditional go-tos and visit stores and websites that may be outside your comfort zone. The best part about this challenge is that once you try it and succeed, you'll be hooked. And your inner Frugal Fran will rise to her feet and begin the slow clap that crescendos into thunderous applause.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthese-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThese%25206%2520Shopping%2520Challenges%2520Will%2520Keep%2520You%2520Stylish%2520Without%2520Breaking%2520Your%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=These%206%20Shopping%20Challenges%20Will%20Keep%20You%20Stylish%20Without%20Breaking%20Your%20Budget"></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/These%206%20Shopping%20Challenges%20Will%20Keep%20You%20Stylish%20Without%20Breaking%20Your%20Budget.jpg" alt="These 6 Shopping Challenges Will Keep You Stylish Without Breaking Your Budget" 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/denise-hill">Denise Hill</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys">7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-social-media-tricks-you-into-spending-more">8 Ways Social Media Tricks You Into Spending More</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-guilty-pleasures-that-are-killing-your-budget">6 Guilty Pleasures That Are Killing Your 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/how-a-simple-do-not-buy-list-keeps-money-in-your-pocket">How a Simple &quot;Do Not Buy&quot; List Keeps Money in Your Pocket</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/9-ways-your-lazy-habits-are-costing-you">9 Ways Your Lazy Habits Are Costing You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping impulse buys new clothes no shopping challenge saving money shopping habits shopping tips style challenges Mon, 14 May 2018 09:01:08 +0000 Denise Hill 2140341 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Online Stores That Let You Try Before You Buy http://www.wisebread.com/5-online-stores-that-let-you-try-before-you-buy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-online-stores-that-let-you-try-before-you-buy" 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_smiling_with_shopping_bags_outside.jpg" alt="Young woman smiling with shopping bags outside" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Shopping online is always a fun way to pass the time, but when your order arrives and it doesn't fit right or isn't how you pictured it, going through the return process can be a headache. Lots of online retailers are consistently updating their returns protocols to be as easy as possible, but it doesn't change the fact that your money has already been spent and you aren't happy.</p> <p>Luckily, there are brands that now offer a 'try before you buy' option, that gives you access to samples before buying full sizes, or shipping the items to you for $0 and giving you a trial period before charging you for the item. Here are a few you should check out.</p> <h2>1. Amazon Prime Samples and Prime Wardrobe</h2> <p>Exclusively for Prime members, <a href="https://amzn.to/2rfsQjM" target="_blank">Prime Samples</a> lets you try samples of food, baby items, beauty products, personal items, and household supplies. You can pick individual samples from their large selection, or you can select a box of pre-chosen samples in a specific product category. And when you buy samples, all are $2&ndash;$4 each, you get a credit of equivalent value to redeem on a future purchase of the full-size product if you decide to buy it.</p> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2JIrntx" target="_blank">Prime Wardrobe</a> offers a similar concept but with clothing, shoes, and accessories. Fill your box, try them for seven days, and you can either keep them and get charged for only the items you wish to keep, or return them all for free in the box and with the return label provided. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Amazon Prime Perks You've Forgotten to Use</a>)</p> <h2>2. Warby Parker</h2> <p>Choosing the right eyeglasses is a process that takes time. When the founders of <a href="https://www.warbyparker.com/home-try-on" target="_blank">Warby Parker</a> were tackling the challenge of an online store for glasses, they decided to try the sampling idea for customers, and it stuck. You can select five frames to test for five days and they'll ship them to you &mdash; for free! Send back the ones you don't want and only pay for the glasses that you wish to keep.</p> <h2>3. ThirdLove</h2> <p><a href="https://www.thirdlove.com/pages/try-before-buying#/" target="_blank">ThirdLove</a> has been making quite a splash with women. Because their bras are on the expensive side (about $68 each), the try-before-you-buy idea has helped them expand their customer base. Order your bra with the help of their online guide in finding your exact size (they have half sizes, too!), receive it in the mail, and then &quot;wear it, wash it, live in it&quot; for 30 days. If you love it, it's yours for $68. Don't love it? Return it for free, and they will donate it to their charity, <a href="https://www.thirdlove.com/blogs/unhooked/thirdlove-difference-importance-of-giving-back" target="_blank">Bras for All</a>.</p> <h2>4. Casper</h2> <p>Mattress purchases are challenging, and doubly so if you're buying them online. So <a href="https://casper.com/" target="_blank">Casper</a> makes it easy for you to give it a go. Buy your mattress, have it shipped right to your door, and then sleep on it for 100 days. Don't like it? No problem. They'll come pick it up with no additional cost to you, and they'll give you a full refund. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-a-mattress-in-10-minutes-or-less?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Buy a Mattress in 10 Minutes or Less</a>)</p> <h2>5. Sephora</h2> <p>Making a purchase online or in-store with <a href="https://www.sephora.com/free-beauty-samples" target="_blank">Sephora</a>? Make sure you take advantage of their generous free sample program to try some new products. When you place an order online, you can add three samples free of charge. In-store, you can ask for a sample of just about anything and they will accommodate you whether you're buying something or not.</p> <p>I have a Sephora in my neighborhood and every time I've visited, they are more than willing to whip up a sample of anything that interests me. And whenever I do make an in-store purchase, they always toss some samples into my bag as a little surprise. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-smartest-ways-to-save-at-sephora?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Smartest Ways to Save at Sephora</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-online-stores-that-let-you-try-before-you-buy&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Online%2520Stores%2520That%2520Let%2520You%2520Try%2520Before%2520You%2520Buy.jpg&amp;description=5%20Online%20Stores%20That%20Let%20You%20Try%20Before%20You%20Buy"></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%20Online%20Stores%20That%20Let%20You%20Try%20Before%20You%20Buy.jpg" alt="5 Online Stores That Let You Try Before You Buy" 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/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-online-stores-that-let-you-try-before-you-buy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-amazon-prime-day-actually-worth-it-this-year">How to Make Amazon Prime Day Actually Worth It 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/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget">These 6 Shopping Challenges Will Keep You Stylish Without Breaking Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-little-known-amazon-shopping-hacks">5 Little Known Amazon Shopping Hacks</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-guilty-pleasures-that-are-killing-your-budget">6 Guilty Pleasures That Are Killing Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys">7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping Amazon amazon prime casper free samples samples sephora shopping tips thirdlove warby parker Fri, 11 May 2018 08:30:15 +0000 Christa Avampato 2138950 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Turn Your Wedding Expenses Into a Free Honeymoon http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-turn-your-wedding-expenses-into-a-free-honeymoon <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-turn-your-wedding-expenses-into-a-free-honeymoon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_loving_couple_walking_on_tropical_beach.jpg" alt="Happy loving couple walking on tropical beach" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're worrying about the outrageous costs of getting hitched, you have good reason. According to online wedding resource, The Knot, the average wedding in 2017 set couples back $33,391. This amount includes everything from the venue, to the dress, to the cake, to the invitations. One thing it doesn't include, however, is the cost of a honeymoon.</p> <p>Imagine spending more than $30,000 for your wedding and <em>still </em>having to pay for the trip of a lifetime. For many people, this could mean scaling down their dreams, delaying their trip, or going without a honeymoon altogether.</p> <p>But what if there was a better way &mdash; a way to turn your wedding expenses into the free or almost-free trip of your dreams? Doing so is possible if you're willing to strategize, think ahead, and take advantage of rewards offered by credit cards, airlines, and hotel chains. Here are some steps to take as you hatch a plan.</p> <h2>1. Set a budget for your wedding</h2> <p>First things first. Before you can plan a rewards strategy for your honeymoon, you need to know how much your wedding will cost. Since creating a budget for your wedding is likely a good idea anyway, it makes sense to sit down and tally up all of your expenses.</p> <p>Create a budget for each component of your ceremony and reception, including table décor, the dress and tux, rings, and food. Obviously, it may be difficult to have some of this information handy until you start meeting with wedding vendors. Either way, <a href="https://www.theknot.com/content/average-wedding-cost-2017" target="_blank">The Knot's 2017 Real Weddings Survey</a> can provide you average prices you can use to create your own estimates.</p> <h2>2. Turn wedding expenses into sign-up bonuses</h2> <p>Once you know how much you plan to spend on your wedding, you can strategize which rewards cards to sign up for. Ideally, you and your betrothed will both sign up for a few cards at once in order to maximize your biggest wedding expenses by earning sign-up bonuses.</p> <p>Here's how this works: Many travel and rewards cards offer a bonus if you sign up and meet a minimum spending requirement within a few months (e.g. spend $3,000 on your card within 90 days to earn 50,000 points). If you plan to spend $15,000 on your wedding, for example, you and your fiancé could each apply for up to five cards with big bonus offers to earn a huge stash of points all at once.</p> <p>The key to making this strategy work is ensuring you have the cash to pay off your wedding expenses right after you charge them. With credit cards carrying an average APR of more than 16%, you shouldn't charge your wedding expenses if you plan to carry a balance.</p> <h2>3. Look for expenses that fit within &quot;bonus categories&quot;</h2> <p>While sign-up bonuses offer an easy way to maximize your wedding expenses, also think about whether any of your wedding bills may qualify for bonus categories. The fact that some of the best <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards cards</a> offer three points per dollar spent on dining could prove lucrative if you have your rehearsal dinner at a restaurant, for example, or even have your wedding catered by a restaurant.</p> <p>Considering having your reception at a hotel? <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-sign-up-bonuses-for-hotel-stays?ref=internal" target="_blank">Hotel credit cards</a> offer extra points if you book using their co-branded credit card. If you plan to buy supplies or food for your reception from a traditional grocery store, you could consider the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=internal" target="_blank">best credit cards for grocery spending</a>, which offer up to 6% cash back that can go into your honeymoon fund.</p> <p>Keep these bonus categories in mind when you're selecting cards to sign up for. While earning an early sign-up bonus is always ideal, earning extra points for some of your biggest wedding expenses can boost your point haul considerably.</p> <h2>4. Put all of your everyday ongoing expenses on a few cards</h2> <p>Once you've earned your bonuses, charge everything you normally buy to the cards that fit those bonus categories, or just the cards that you want to focus most of your spending on. Maybe you know how many miles you need to get your honeymoon flights covered, or you've got a hotel in mind and how many free nights you'd like to earn. Use those cards to pay for everything from cable bills to car repairs.</p> <p>If all else fails, pick a good <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-flat-rate-rewards-for-all-spending?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card that earns a flat rewards rate of 1.5%&ndash;2%</a> for every dollar you spend. If the card pays cash back instead of travel rewards, you can use the cash back to feed your honeymoon fund. Remember to not charge more than you can afford to pay off in full every month.</p> <h2>5. Let friends know how to contribute points</h2> <p>Maybe you wish friends and family would give you their frequent flyer miles or hotel points but aren't sure how to ask. You can just come out directly and ask in private conversations with people you know are frequent travelers, or family members closest to you. Or, you could include instructions on your wedding website if you have one.</p> <p>Unfortunately, most airline and hotel programs don't let you give your points to others directly &mdash; at least not without paying a fee. Fortunately, there are plenty of exceptions. The new Hilton Honors program lets you transfer points to anyone, making it easy for someone to gift these hotel points to pay for all or part of your honeymoon stay at Hilton hotels worldwide.</p> <p>If your friend or relative has a card that earns <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choose-the-best-travel-rewards-credit-card-with-this-guide?ref=internal" target="_blank">flexible rewards points through a credit card program</a>, they can also book travel for you through their card's travel portal. Or they could book travel for you through any travel provider and be reimbursed through statement credits they've earned with points.</p> <p>Finally, frequent flyers can use airline miles to book travel for anyone. So if a friend or family member has a huge stash of frequent flyer miles, you could ask them to redeem some of them to cover the airfare for your honeymoon and book the flights in your name.</p> <h2>6. Plan the perfect trip using rewards</h2> <p>Whether you pursue sign-up bonuses to get the most out of your wedding expenses or not, the <em>type</em> of cards you signed up for will play a huge role in the type of honeymoon you can book. With that in mind, make sure you explore all the available travel card options and their potential sign-up bonuses and rewards program before you sign up.</p> <p>Once you do, here are some strategies you may want to pursue:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Book an all-inclusive resort with points. There are several <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/all-inclusive-resorts-you-can-book-for-free-with-points?ref=internal" target="_blank">all-inclusive resorts you can book with points</a> through various programs like Wyndham Rewards and World of Hyatt. Since these properties include your food, drink, and entertainment in the nightly rate (even when you pay with points), they can be a good deal and help you cut down costs.</p> </li> <li> <p>Book long-haul international flights using frequent flyer miles. You can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-miles-and-points-for-a-big-award-trip?ref=internal" target="_blank">use points and miles to cover a huge award-fueled trip</a> if you're strategic enough. Make sure to research frequent flyer programs so you wind up with the right card and airline currency for your ideal trip.</p> </li> <li> <p>Plan a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amazing-destinations-you-can-go-to-with-rewards-points-and-miles?ref=internal" target="_blank">trip to your dream destination</a>. No matter where you dream of traveling to, credit card rewards can likely make it happen. Consider booking a trip to a bucket list spot like Tahiti, Aruba, Italy, or Greece. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Once-in-a-Lifetime Experiences I've Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a>)</p> </li> </ul> <p>Whatever you decide, make sure you stay flexible. If you have your heart set on a specific destination on specific dates, it will be a lot harder to redeem your points and miles optimally. By keeping your options open, considering multiple destinations, and being willing to compromise, you can increase your chances of finding the award availability you want for a trip you'll be happy with.</p> <h2>7. Ask for money instead of points or other gifts</h2> <p>It's perfectly fine to ask guests for money to cover your honeymoon in lieu of gifts. Some online wedding registries are even set up to accept cash gifts for the couple. By alerting everyone of your honeymoon fund, you may even make the gift selection process easier for some people. And if they don't like the idea of giving cash, they don't have to.</p> <p>When I visited Bora Bora last year, I met a couple who executed this strategy perfectly. They had never left the U.S. before, they told me, but they had managed a honeymoon to Bora Bora and Moorea with funds they received at their wedding.</p> <p>I asked the bride, a Mary Kay saleswoman, whether guests minded the suggestion. She said that people seemed happy to contribute. She also noted that she and her new husband had been living together before they got married, so they didn't need traditional gifts like dishes and towels.</p> <p>They did register for gifts at a department store, but they included a note about their honeymoon fund in their wedding invitations. In the end, her guests gave what they wanted and they used the cash they received to book the trip of their dreams.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-turn-your-wedding-expenses-into-a-free-honeymoon&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Turn%2520Your%2520Wedding%2520Expenses%2520Into%2520a%2520Free%2520Honeymoon.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Turn%20Your%20Wedding%20Expenses%20Into%20a%20Free%20Honeymoon"></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%20Turn%20Your%20Wedding%20Expenses%20Into%20a%20Free%20Honeymoon.jpg" alt="How to Turn Your Wedding Expenses Into a Free Honeymoon" 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-turn-your-wedding-expenses-into-a-free-honeymoon">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-amazing-affordable-honeymoon-destinations">4 Amazing, Affordable Honeymoon Destinations</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/save-big-with-a-dream-wedding-overseas">Save Big With a Dream Wedding Overseas</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-most-affordable-beach-towns-in-mexico">8 Most Affordable Beach Towns in Mexico</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-decide-if-airport-lounge-access-is-worth-paying-for">How to Decide If Airport Lounge Access Is Worth Paying For</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/cut-these-9-expenses-in-one-year-to-get-a-10-day-hawaii-vacation">Cut These 9 Expenses in One Year to Get a 10-Day Hawaii Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel honeymoon honeymoon budget honeymoon destinations travel tips wedding wedding budget wedding costs wedding planning Wed, 09 May 2018 08:30:13 +0000 Holly Johnson 2137407 at http://www.wisebread.com Take Control of Your Money With These 10 Free Spreadsheet Templates http://www.wisebread.com/take-control-of-your-money-with-these-10-free-spreadsheet-templates <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/take-control-of-your-money-with-these-10-free-spreadsheet-templates" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_with_eyeglasses_using_laptop_at_home.jpg" alt="Woman with eyeglasses using laptop at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While there are a ton of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-make-budgeting-fun-no-really?ref=internal" target="_blank">apps to help you automate your finances</a>, some people prefer the old-school spreadsheet method. Spreadsheets are an excellent financial tool, because you can input your financial goals and numbers, and allow the spreadsheet to do the rest of the work. We rounded up a sample of free spreadsheet templates for every budgeting need.</p> <h2>1. Extended budget template</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/1_2.png" width="605" height="362" alt="" /></p> <p>After searching for the perfect budgeting template for years, Libby Kane of Business Insider decided to create her own. <a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15m5axD9Hw9FdoR-HfeeVEy7o6cCFiZWkGqbLQwOYK-w/edit?usp=sharing" target="_blank">This template</a> is perfect for anyone looking to track both their business and personal spending all in one place. While it is pretty detailed, it's easy to simply delete or rename the categories that don't fit your lifestyle. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-minute-finance-track-your-spending?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Minute Finance: Track Your Spending</a>)</p> <h2>2. Student loan tracker</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/2_0.png" width="605" height="238" alt="" /></p> <p>Young Adult Money's David Carlson knows a few things about student loans. After starting his blog as a side hustle to help pay off $100,000 in student loans, he credits a systemized approach to his success. You can download his <a href="http://www.youngadultmoney.com/2016/08/12/use-this-spreadsheet-to-track-your-student-loans/" target="_blank">student loan tracker</a> for free by signing up with your email.</p> <h2>3. Income tracker</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/3.png" width="605" height="206" alt="" /></p> <p>As a small-business owner, blogger Alexa Mason of Single Moms Income needed a spreadsheet to track all of her business income and expenses. So she created the <a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1zLznZXqHfNGcblqcUY6WNHT_XjFbr288cHA1oPeK1ds/edit#gid=0" target="_blank">income tracker spreadsheet</a>. This spreadsheet is particularly helpful for income-earning bloggers, although you can easily swap out the line items to fit your business needs.</p> <h2>4. Weekly budget template</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/4.png" width="605" height="203" alt="" /></p> <p>Want to break down your monthly budget even more? Try the free <a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/17bJyLZ4lTA4T5Zc8V3ez0Tix2hwaA7EoOR1V9Gow6Js/edit#gid=480803683" target="_blank">weekly budget template</a>. This template can help give you a snapshot of your spending each week, allowing you to see where you can really cut back. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-savings-with-this-easy-budgeting-system?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Boost Your Savings With This Easy Budgeting System</a>)</p> <h2>5. College student budget</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/5.png" width="605" height="286" alt="" /></p> <p>College students have different budgeting needs than the rest of the adult world. If you're a college student, you can keep track of all of your expenses, tuition, and income all in one convenient place with <a href="https://www.mint.com/budgeting-3/college-budget-template-keep-track-of-your-school-expenses" target="_blank">Mint's free spreadsheet download</a>.</p> <h2>6. Mortgage calculator</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/6.png" width="605" height="245" alt="" /></p> <p>Want to make some serious progress on paying down your mortgage? This <a href="https://www.vertex42.com/ExcelTemplates/extra-payments.html" target="_blank">mortgage calculator from Vertex42</a> can advise you on pretty much anything you need to know about your mortgage rates and how to reach your payment goals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-smart-ways-to-lower-your-monthly-mortgage-payment?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Smart Ways to Lower Your Monthly Mortgage Payment</a>)</p> <h2>7. Holiday spending budget</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/7.png" width="605" height="183" alt="" /></p> <p>It's never too early to start prepping your holiday season budget. You know you'll have people to shop for and your budget can quickly turn into a mess if you wait until the last minute. Luckily, you can calculate all of your holiday costs with this <a href="https://templates.office.com/en-us/Holiday-budget-planner-TM10288174" target="_blank">spreadsheet from Microsoft Office</a>.</p> <h2>8. Travel spreadsheet</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/8.png" width="605" height="272" alt="" /></p> <p>Planning to hit the open road or head overseas in the near future? Take a gander at <a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RN-JrmZ-QZP8i1k8GoVVqd6IjHYYd53d7S7or8xjbAQ/template/preview?usp=drive_web&amp;ouid=%7BuserId%7D" target="_blank">Lifehacker's free travel spreadsheet</a>. It helps you to keep track of your confirmation numbers, schedule, and emergency contact info, plus, you can add all of your expenses so you get a full picture of your travel budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</a>)</p> <h2>9. Savings goals tracker</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/9.png" width="605" height="314" alt="" /></p> <p>The best way to set and achieve savings goals is to track your progress. It's important to always understand how far you've come, and how far you have left to go. This free <a href="https://www.vertex42.com/ExcelTemplates/savings-goal-tracker.html" target="_blank">savings goal tracker spreadsheet</a> from Vertex42 is the perfect tool to keep you on track.</p> <h2>10. Wedding budget</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/10.png" width="605" height="411" alt="" /></p> <p>Weddings will always cost a pretty penny, but setting budget goals for the big day and finding smart ways to save can keep you from spiraling into debt before even uttering your vows. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/people-are-still-spending-too-much-on-their-weddings?ref=seealso" target="_blank">People Are Still Spending Too Much on Their Weddings</a>)</p> <p>For a simple, no-fuss wedding budget, check out this <a href="http://www.gailvazoxlade.com/resources/wedding_budget_worksheet.html" target="_blank">wedding budget work sheet template</a> from Gail Vaz-Oxlade. This spreadsheet is completely free and doesn't require sign up.</p> <p><em>Note: The author is a contributor at Young Adult Money but is not being paid to promote the site.</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ftake-control-of-your-money-with-these-10-free-spreadsheet-templates&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FTake%2520Control%2520of%2520Your%2520Money%2520With%2520These%252010%2520Free%2520Spreadsheet%2520Templates.jpg&amp;description=Take%20Control%20of%20Your%20Money%20With%20These%2010%20Free%20Spreadsheet%20Templates"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Take%20Control%20of%20Your%20Money%20With%20These%2010%20Free%20Spreadsheet%20Templates.jpg" alt="Take Control of Your Money With These 10 Free Spreadsheet Templates" width="250" height="374" /></em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rachel-slifka">Rachel Slifka</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/take-control-of-your-money-with-these-10-free-spreadsheet-templates">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-you-can-save-1000-by-christmas-if-you-start-now">7 Ways You Can Save $1,000 by Christmas, If You Start Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-grown-ups-can-make-new-friends-without-going-broke">7 Ways Grown-Ups Can Make New Friends Without Going Broke</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/21-things-you-should-make-your-kids-pay-for">21 Things You Should Make Your Kids Pay For</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/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money">These 5 Apps Will Help You Finally Organize Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Technology budget spreadsheet budgeting tips finance tracker spreadsheet templates track your spending Mon, 07 May 2018 08:31:13 +0000 Rachel Slifka 2137073 at http://www.wisebread.com