Budgeting http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4804/all en-US 7 Ways Psychologists Say Saving Boosts Your Mental Health http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-psychologists-say-saving-boosts-your-mental-health <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-psychologists-say-saving-boosts-your-mental-health" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-woman-piggy-bank-Dollarphotoclub_73644280.jpg" alt="young woman piggy bank" title="young woman piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know that saving consistently can do wonders for our bank accounts, but what about our minds and our moods? As those dollars add up, how do our personalities change? Our outlooks on life? Our stress levels?</p> <p>If your personal savings plan is gaining momentum, I bet you've noticed some unexpected benefits in other areas of life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-factors-what-traits-do-most-savers-share?ref=seealso">What Traits Do Most Savers Share?</a>)</p> <p>Here are seven psychological benefits of saving regularly.</p> <h2>1. Discipline</h2> <p>A healthy bank balance doesn't happen by accident. We live in a virtual wonderland of consumer goods where every taste, inclination, or terrible idea can be indulged with a swipe or a click. Saving means swimming against the tide of stuff and having the discipline to say &quot;no&quot; more often than &quot;yes.&quot; And the wonderful thing is this: When we adopt effective <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-self-discipline-tricks-i-learned-from-the-marathon">self-discipline tricks</a>, the results can help us in nearly every part of life.</p> <h2>2. Peace of Mind</h2> <p>If being in debt or riding the edge of your budget has you stressed, then <a href="http://njaes.rutgers.edu/sshw/message/message.asp?p=Finance&amp;m=122">building a savings cushion</a> should bring you peace of mind, suggests Rutgers University. All savers may not be Zen masters, and there's a lot more to tranquility than a pile of cash, but establishing a healthy financial buffer sure doesn't hurt. Saving is a form of personal insurance and, after all, isn't peace of mind what insurance companies are selling?</p> <h2>3. Confidence</h2> <p>Successful saving builds confidence in at least two important ways. First, it reinforces the fact that you can really achieve something when you set your mind to it. And second, saving provides the capital to get things done when necessary. If that 1979 Bronco finally kicks it, you have the capital to buy a dependable replacement (or at least fund a healthy down payment). If your 30-year old furnace gives you the cold shoulder in the middle of a January blizzard, you don't have to kindle a campfire in the bathtub to stay warm. Isn't having the resources to act the ultimate confidence-builder? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-little-ways-to-feel-more-confident?ref=seealso">17 Little Ways to Feel More Confident</a>)</p> <h2>4. Assertiveness</h2> <p>Having a deeper and more authentic sense of confidence makes people more assertive. With the skills to save and the bank balance to prove it, you can channel healthy assertiveness when the occasion calls for it. Go after that promotion, ask that special someone out on a first date, or simply work toward your next set of personal goals with greater gusto.</p> <h2>5. Optimism</h2> <p>It's easy to be cynical when all your hard work barely floats you from one paycheck to the next. Research shows that saving <em>something</em> &mdash; no matter how small &mdash; can gradually build a sense of optimism. Watching a fledgling bank account grow helps us feel like we're working toward something greater and gives us the traction we need to find new ways to save more and save faster.</p> <h2>6. Compassion</h2> <p>Savers don't have a monopoly on compassion, of course, but saving can give us enough breathing room in our own financial lives to look around and see what others need. Saving regularly affords us the luxury of a clearer perspective &mdash; and that's often the seed of active compassion. It also gives rise to compassionate actions &mdash; such as having the means to donate to good causes or help others when they're in need.</p> <h2>7. Sense of Freedom</h2> <p>A high level of consumer debt is a lot like indentured servitude. Steep interest rates, late fees, the potential damage to credit (and all that can entail) can keep people toiling for years with very little to show for it. Being able to save regularly means you've at least tamed your debt enough to stash some cash &mdash; and cash is often an important part of being free. Spending less and saving more can help us embrace <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-freedoms-you-gain-by-spending-less">important freedoms</a> in our careers, our relationships, and where we choose to live. Without overstating it: If you feel cornered by any aspect of life, explore the transformative power of amassing some capital and then use it to launch yourself in a new direction.</p> <p>Sure, it might not be the cure for everything that ails you, but there are some very real psychological benefits to establishing and maintaining a savings routine. In fact, saving and frugality can be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/men-why-frugal-is-sexy">downright sexy</a>. So, as you watch that bank balance grow, consider what other parts of your life are blossoming too.</p> <p><em>Do you save regularly? How has it improved your frame of mind and your sense of self? Share your story below.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-psychologists-say-saving-boosts-your-mental-health" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Ways Psychologists Say Saving Boosts Your Mental Health" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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-psychologists-say-saving-boosts-your-mental-health">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/16-easy-ways-to-save-100-this-month">16 Easy Ways to Save $100 This Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-nfls-5-most-frugal-players">The NFL&#039;s 5 Most Frugal Players</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-most-valuable-thing-debt-takes-from-you-isnt-money-its-this">The Most Valuable Thing Debt Takes From You Isn&#039;t Money — It&#039;s This</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-ways-your-mind-can-make-you-rich">4 Ways Your Mind Can Make You Rich</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-dumb-little-budgeting-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-today">10 Dumb Little Budgeting Mistakes You Need to Stop Making Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Budgeting confidence psychology saving security Mon, 15 Dec 2014 16:00:10 +0000 Kentin Waits 1267802 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Reasons Why You Must Use Bill Reminders http://www.wisebread.com/11-reasons-why-you-must-use-bill-reminders <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-reasons-why-you-must-use-bill-reminders" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/past-due-bill-payment-122479255-small.jpg" alt="past due bill payment" title="past due bill payment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Bills. They never seem to stop coming. And unless you have a perfect memory or someone on your payroll that manages them for you, it's difficult to keep track of all the due dates and make sure payments are made on time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-automate-your-finances?ref=seealso">5 Ways to Automate Your Finances</a>)</p> <p>Bill reminders are a good solution for this, and offer other added benefits, too.</p> <h2>1. They're Free</h2> <p>Most service providers, banks, and online platforms like Mint.com and Google Now offer free bill reminders.</p> <h2>2. They're Your Very Own Virtual Money Manager</h2> <p>It's like having your own financial assistant &mdash; but one that practically never makes an error and doesn't cost a dime.</p> <h2>3. Setup Is Easy</h2> <p>A one-time setup means you can easily and efficiently get on track. And managing payees is as simple as logging into your account and adding, deleting, or editing payee information.</p> <h2>4. Alerts Protect Your Money</h2> <p>You can set alerts to let you know when an upcoming bill is due, using alert features that let you decide how and when you want to be notified. You can choose to receive email and/or text alerts. You can also opt to receive low balance and suspicious activity alerts.</p> <h2>5. They Help You Plan Ahead</h2> <p>By knowing you have an upcoming bill, you can make sure money is in your account. This helps you avoid service interruptions or point-of-sale embarrassments.</p> <h2>6. They Help You Avoid Overdraft Charges</h2> <p>NSF fees are annoying and a flat-out waste of your hard-earned money. Spare yourself the inconvenience of incurring them &mdash; and the potential trickle-down effect they can have on your pocketbook &mdash; even on the smallest of purchases.</p> <h2>7. They Help You Avoid Late Fees</h2> <p>There are times when we simply can't avoid paying late fees. Those times should be limited to the very rare occasions when you simply don't have the money to pay a bill. They should never be incurred just because you forgot to pay your bill on time.</p> <h2>8. Reminders and Autopay Do the Dull Work For You</h2> <p>Enjoy your weekend. Bill reminders with autopay free you from that dreaded one day a month where you sit sifting through bills and licking stamps.</p> <h2>9.They Help You Monitor Spending</h2> <p>You can use bill reminders to track your spending and stay within your budget. For example, your credit card payment should be steadily decreasing each month. If it isn't &mdash; or worse, if it goes up &mdash; you can catch and correct the issue.</p> <h2>10.They Help Organize Receipts</h2> <p>You will have a digital record of every bill payment made and will no longer have to hang onto paper receipts that clutter your office or desk. Tracing a bill payment is as easy as reviewing your account history and pinpointing dates.</p> <h2>11. Automation Is Good for Us</h2> <p>Our busy lifestyles demand so much of our time as it is. So why not embrace the advances in technology that are designed to make our lives easier? It's about building good money habits.</p> <p><em>Do you use billpay or other automated money management services? Tell us about your system in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-reasons-why-you-must-use-bill-reminders" class="sharethis-link" title="11 Reasons Why You Must Use Bill Reminders" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-reasons-why-you-must-use-bill-reminders">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/5-ways-to-automate-your-finances">5 Ways to Automate Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-young-entrepreneur-paid-off-40000-in-student-debt-by-age-24">How One Young Entrepreneur Paid Off $40,000 in Student Debt By Age 24</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/ten-great-charities-that-deserve-your-dollars-this-year">Ten Great Charities that Deserve Your Dollars This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Personal Finance Budgeting auto pay bill pay bill reminders Wed, 03 Dec 2014 15:00:24 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1260496 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Mindless Ways You're Spending Money http://www.wisebread.com/10-mindless-ways-youre-spending-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-mindless-ways-youre-spending-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-buying-water-bottles-159204373-small.jpg" alt="woman buying bottled water" title="woman buying bottled water" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you ever heard the term &quot;conscious spending&quot;? The idea revolves around being mindful with your dollars. Instead of treating your life as a restrictive budgeting experience, you have a handle on where your money is going and an awareness as to the value (monetary and emotional, etc.) you're getting from your purchases. The thing is, too many of us are spending zombies. We don't think about it; we just spend it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-never-succumb-to-impulse-spending-again?ref=seealso">How to Never Succumb to Impulse Spending Again</a>)</p> <p>Here are some sneaky ways you (and I) are spending money.</p> <h2>1. Bottled Beverages</h2> <p>Beverages are a huge money waster for my husband. He enjoys coffee, craft beer, smoothies, and even bottled water. I added up how much we spent on drinks one month and the total was a staggering $100. Needless to say, we've learned to love our tap.</p> <h2>2. Magazine Subscriptions</h2> <p>Here's my vice. I love magazines, but I rarely find the time to read them with everything going on in our lives. The other problem I've had with subscriptions is that some of them have automatically renewed without me realizing it. Though the expense might not be great, it's still dollars out of my pocket.</p> <h2>3. Supplements</h2> <p>Between protein powder, extra vitamins, and all other types of supplements, you might be spending a pretty penny on health-related items. Thing is, not all claims have been proven, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/multivitamins-arent-as-good-as-you-think-eat-these-real-foods-instead">multivitamins might not be as good for you as you think</a>. Eating a whole foods diet can often give the same benefit with less financial backlash.</p> <h2>4. Entertainment</h2> <p>No, I'm not going to tell you to become a friendless hermit to save money. However, many of us blow cash every weekend on movies, concerts, and other events when there are plenty of cheap or free things to do. All it takes is a look at the local calendar and some imagination. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend?ref=seealso">47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</a>)</p> <h2>5. Energy</h2> <p>We all want to stay warm in the winter chill or cool in the summer heat, but many of us could use an energy audit. Cracks in windows, gaps in doors, and old thermostats could literally be sucking the change from your bank account. To start, try these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-lower-winter-energy-costs">seven ways to lower your winter energy costs</a> &mdash; you could save hundreds of dollars this way.</p> <h2>6. Online Shopping</h2> <p>If you've stored your credit card information on your favorite online shop, you could be getting more than you bargained for, quite literally. All those emails and social media messages broadcasting &quot;big deals&quot; might send you flying over all too often to buy things you may or may not need &mdash; and it often takes just one click. Online shopping certainly has its merits, but make it harder by entering your pay information by hand, giving yourself a few extra minutes to consider your purchases.</p> <h2>7. Clothing</h2> <p>Closely related to online shopping is clothing itself. While it's fun to keep up with the latest style trends, it can add up quickly. Soon you have a closet of clothes you wear infrequently. I used to spend hundreds on clothes each year, and nothing was getting good use. Now? I've switched to a more minimalist wardrobe, and I look smart while spending in a savvy way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-essential-pieces-for-your-capsule-wardrobe?ref=seealso">8 Essentials for Your Capsule Wardrobe</a>)</p> <h2>8. Food</h2> <p>We all have had that moment at the grocery checkout when the total has made our jaws drop. And, generally speaking, many of us are spending far too much money on food and restaurants. There are some opportunities for improvement, though. Shopping at discount grocers like Aldi can help. So can creating a solid meal plan and buying only the ingredients you need, which can also save your food from spoiling. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-items-for-your-organic-vegan-grocery-list?ref=seealso">25 Frugal Items for Your Organic Grocery List</a>)</p> <h2>9. Grocery Add-Ons</h2> <p>It's true &mdash; those impulse items continue to get us almost every time. Resist the urge to add candy, gum, and even cigarettes to your order in the checkout line. Skip those lottery tickets that usually yield very little in return. Other add-ons include anything and everything store managers choose to stock by the register. Put your blinders on, if necessary, because every little bit helps.</p> <h2>10. ATM Fees</h2> <p>Sure, it might not seem like a lot in the moment when you need cash. But &mdash; over time &mdash; those <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2014/09/29/ap-survey-atm-checking-account-overdraft-fees-surge/16392783/">$4 ATM fees</a> will suck you dry. To avoid them, try to think ahead for when you'll need paper money. Then, always aim for a fee-free ATM (usually the bank where you hold a checking account) or actually going to your bank to get out the dollars you need.</p> <p><em>Any other mindless spends I've overlooked? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-mindless-ways-youre-spending-money" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Mindless Ways You&#039;re Spending Money" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-mindless-ways-youre-spending-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-dumb-little-purchases-you-need-to-stop-making-today">13 Dumb Little Purchases You Need to Stop Making Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-dark-side-motivations-to-get-you-out-of-debt">10 Dark-Side Motivations to Get You Out of Debt</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/16-easy-ways-to-save-100-this-month">16 Easy Ways to Save $100 This 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/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste 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/10-dumb-little-budgeting-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-today">10 Dumb Little Budgeting Mistakes You Need to Stop Making Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Budgeting mindless spending spending wasteful spending Mon, 01 Dec 2014 19:00:08 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1260488 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Automate Your Finances http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-automate-your-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-automate-your-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-paying-bills-computer-519456677-small.jpg" alt="woman paying bills" title="woman paying bills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>No matter how hectic your schedule, it's important to keep your personal finances on track. Let them fall by the wayside, and you could face late fees or a damaged credit score. Automating your personal finances, however, is one easy way to simplify and maintain control of your money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/money-management-in-5-minutes-a-day?ref=seealso">Money Management in 5 Minutes a Day</a>)</p> <p>Consider these simple options for getting your finances on the right path and avoiding costly mistakes.</p> <h2>1. Let Your Online Purchases Pay Off Your Debt Automatically</h2> <p>Many of us enjoy the benefits of rewards credit cards that give us cash back or points for regular purchases. You can go one step further by enrolling in services such as <a href="http://www.upromise.com/welcome">Upromise</a> and <a href="https://shopperfund.com/">ShopperFund</a> which enable you to automatically pay off debt from cash back earned by shopping at participating retailers. Upromise lets you earn cash back to be automatically applied toward student loan debt, while services like ShopperFund let you pay off other types of debt.</p> <h2>2. Enroll in Your Employer's 401(k) Plan</h2> <p>Saving for retirement on your own takes discipline and dedication. Fortunately, you can automate much of your retirement investing by enrolling in your employer's 401(k) plan.You choose how much of your pre-tax paycheck to contribute (such as 2%, 3%, or up to the maximum percentage allowed by your employer), and the plan automatically deducts this percentage from your check and deposits the funds into your retirement account. And if the company offers a matching program, they'll match a percentage of your contributions, helping to grow your retirement funds at a faster rate. Since 401(k) contributions are taken directly out of your paycheck, you won't miss the money.</p> <h2>3. Set Up Automatic Transfers to Savings and Investment Accounts</h2> <p>If you have trouble remembering to feed your savings account, consider scheduling automatic transfers from checking into your personal savings account. You can decide what amount or fixed percentage of each paycheck to transfer from checking into savings each pay period. The same also applies for investment accounts; many online brokerages, such as <a href="http://www.sharebuilder.com/">Sharebuilder</a> also enable automatic funds transfers from checking accounts to fund regular purchases of stocks or mutual funds. It's a foolproof way to make sure you always pay yourself first.</p> <h2>4. Set Up Online Automatic Bill Pay</h2> <p>You can also automatically pay monthly bills, such as rent, mortgage, utilities, and credit card payments by selecting a monthly withdrawal date and allowing your providers to directly deduct from your checking account. Many providers offer extra benefits or discounts for auto-pay customers; student loan borrowers, for example, can often benefit from interest rate reductions. Online bill payment also helps organize your financial records, since any payments can be easily tracked in your web account.</p> <h2>5. Transfer Discretionary Funds to a Prepaid Debit Card</h2> <p>I got this idea from a friend about two years ago, and so far it's been an effortless way to manage our discretionary funds. It's basically a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-envelope-system">modern-day version of the envelope system</a>. But instead of separate envelopes for different spending categories, we use a prepaid debit card to hold funds set aside for groceries and entertainment. That way, we don't have to use our bank debit card so much throughout the month.</p> <p>Since we're committed to only spending what we deposit on the card, this method keeps our grocery and recreational budget on track. And one of the best features of some prepaid debit cards is the ability to set up automatic transfers from a bank account. Not all prepaid debit cards offer direct deposit or automatic transfers, so you'll need to research different cards.</p> <p><em>Do you have other easy ways that you automate your finances that you'd like to share? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-automate-your-finances" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Ways to Automate Your Finances" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-automate-your-finances">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/11-reasons-why-you-must-use-bill-reminders">11 Reasons Why You Must Use Bill Reminders</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/37-savings-changes-you-can-make-today">37 Savings Changes You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-young-entrepreneur-paid-off-40000-in-student-debt-by-age-24">How One Young Entrepreneur Paid Off $40,000 in Student Debt By Age 24</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-financial-moves-you-can-make-during-your-commute">10 Financial Moves You Can Make During Your Commute</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/ten-great-charities-that-deserve-your-dollars-this-year">Ten Great Charities that Deserve Your Dollars This Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Personal Finance Budgeting automatic money management bill pay easy money management money management Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:00:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 1257138 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Ways to Have a No-Spend Holiday Season http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-have-a-no-spend-holiday-season <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-ways-to-have-a-no-spend-holiday-season" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother-daughter-gingerbread-house-173299436-small.jpg" alt="mother daughter gingerbread house" title="mother daughter gingerbread house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you ever feel like the holidays are getting out of control? Like that portly fellow in the red suit and beard is actually budget-busting bully? Maybe it's time for a midwinter revolution: the No-Spend Holiday. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-festive-frugal-ways-to-spruce-up-your-home-for-the-holidays?ref=seealso">6 Festive, Frugal Ways to Spruce Up Your Place for the Holidays</a>)</p> <p>Here are 12 ideas to make your holiday less about spending money on things and more about spending time with people.</p> <h2>1. Get Crafty</h2> <p>Holidays are the perfect excuse for even the most macho among us to string popcorn, geek out making custom Christmas cards, or delight in the finer points of gingerbread house construction. Instead of worrying about the &quot;stuff&quot; of the holidays, lose yourself in the joy of making things to exchange as gifts or keep as mementos. Involve the wee ones too with easy <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-easy-holiday-crafts-for-kids">holiday craft ideas for kids</a>.</p> <h2>2. Make a &quot;Me Menu&quot;</h2> <p>Instead of a long holiday wish list, encourage each family member to create a favorite dinner menu. From appetizers to drinks and dessert, each person chooses their favorite meal and the rest of the family pitches in to pull it off exactly as planned. Rotate turns and tasks until everyone has enjoyed their gastronomic gift.</p> <h2>3. Play Outside</h2> <p>Baby, it's cold outside &mdash; but all that snow creates a veritable playground for the young at heart. Bundle up and have a good-natured snowball fight, window shop, or just flop down and make a snow angel. And what's even better than spending an hour outside? Coming inside and warming up with a hot toddy or a cup of hot chocolate.</p> <h2>4. &hellip;Or Inside</h2> <p>Not in the mood for outdoor adventure? Stay inside and play old-fashioned board games, charades, or Bingo. With the right amount of planning and PR, even simple activities can feel like major events.</p> <h2>5. Sculpt in Snow</h2> <p>Sure, the snowman is a classic, but get inventive this year. Build a snow dinosaur, a snow monster, a snow mermaid, or a snow castle. Get the whole family involved and see how you can make it bigger, more realistic, and more attention-grabbing for passersby.</p> <h2>6. Pick Classic Flicks</h2> <p>The list of classic holiday movies gets longer every year: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004TS0E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00004TS0E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=DUHLYTPQETU5NROF">Miracle on 34th Street</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VBIGCW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000VBIGCW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=HBP25IYBMKE4LY7M">A Christmas Story</a>, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/6305949980/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=6305949980&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=NXGDA5YQDRQDKKLZ">The Nightmare Before Christmas</a> are just three off the top of my head. Stream them or borrow a few from your local library and devote an evening to silencing the smartphones, popping popcorn, and enjoying downtime together.</p> <h2>7. Unplug</h2> <p>And while we're on the topic of smartphones, maybe it's time to create a new tradition &mdash; The Unplugged Christmas. If every event is interrupted with buzzing and flashing and your holiday dinner table resembles a futuristic game of <em>Simon Says</em>, carve out a few electronics-free moments for adults and kids (over dinner, while opening gifts, for the first and last hour of each day, etc). It'll help everyone live in the moment and be less distracted by media and messages.</p> <h2>8. Volunteer</h2> <p>It really is better to give than to receive. Contribute your time and talents to a local charity this year and in return, enjoy <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-unexpected-benefits-of-volunteering">a few unexpected benefits</a>, including a deeper awareness of all you have to be thankful for.</p> <h2>9. Get Thrifty</h2> <p>If a no-spend holiday just isn't realistic, how about a low-spend holiday? Instead of buying new, explore local second-hand shops and give <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-holiday-gifts-from-the-thrift-store">great thrifty gifts</a>!</p> <h2>10. Donate Your Time</h2> <p>Gifts don't have to be material. This year, offer to help someone with a task, a chore, or a goal. Maybe your mother-in-law would love to visit her childhood home but can't make the drive solo. Offer your chauffeur get specific about the when and the how. Shovel the sidewalk for an elderly neighbor, or surprise a young niece or nephew with an impromptu sledding adventure.</p> <h2>11. Revel in Your Achievements and Dreams</h2> <p>There's something entirely appropriate about taking time during the holidays to review our achievements and goals. Take turns with friends or family and remind each other of all your individual and collective triumphs. Promotions, good grades, saving, volunteering, learning a new skill, and decluttering all count. What do you want to do next year? What are the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-steps-to-achieving-all-your-goals">steps to achieving your goals</a> and how can everyone help?</p> <h2>12. Make Something Together</h2> <p>Holidays take a lot of preparation, so why not make them a family affair? Explore <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/keeping-santa-sane-budget-holiday-decorating">budget holiday decorating ideas</a>, prepare for guests by sprucing that spare bedroom, or break out the saw and sander and <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Giant-Jenga-Diy/">build a giant Jenga game</a>. Working together is a great way to teach new skills, build a sense of pride, and replace getting stuff with doing stuff.</p> <p>Remember, the goal isn't to cut all the money out of our holidays, but to shift our focus. It's easy to get caught up the consumerism and materialism, but challenging to change course and reconnect with simpler ideas about giving, receiving, and sharing. This holiday, push back on the tide of baubles and bangles and see if there isn't just a little more joy, a lot more time, and a lot less stress.</p> <p><em>Are you planning a no-spend or low-spend holiday this year? What ideas do you have to make it a success?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-have-a-no-spend-holiday-season" class="sharethis-link" title="12 Ways to Have a No-Spend Holiday Season" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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/12-ways-to-have-a-no-spend-holiday-season">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/people-who-love-christmas-do-these-9-things-do-you">People Who Love Christmas Do These 9 Things — Do 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/13-holiday-gifts-that-arent-worth-the-money">13 Holiday Gifts That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-overpriced-holiday-gifts-you-should-skip">7 Overpriced Holiday Gifts You Should Skip</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-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do">7 Things the Craziest Christmas Fanatics Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-holiday-mistakes-that-can-ruin-your-cheer">8 Holiday Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Cheer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Budgeting Entertainment Christmas gifts holiday costs holiday spending Holidays Mon, 17 Nov 2014 16:00:14 +0000 Kentin Waits 1254627 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Use Peer-to-Peer Lending to Pay Down Credit Card Debt? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-use-peer-to-peer-lending-to-pay-down-credit-card-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-use-peer-to-peer-lending-to-pay-down-credit-card-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young-people-consultant-153999609-small.jpg" alt="young couple consultant" title="young couple consultant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you are digging yourself out of credit card debt, you might consider borrowing from a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer-to-peer_lending">peer-to-peer lending</a> (P2P) company. Depending on your personal situation and credit profile, this approach may enable you to get out of debt faster and save money.</p> <p>There is much to consider besides the possibility of snagging a lower interest rate, reducing your monthly payments, and accelerating your payoff. Here's what you should know about getting a loan from Peer-to-Peer lender.</p> <h2>Consider the Pros and Cons of Peer-to-Peer Lending</h2> <p>There are distinct advantages and noteworthy disadvantages to credit card refinancing or debt consolidation with a P2P lender, such as <a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=22959155&amp;fot=1159&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Lending Club</a> or <a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=22964539&amp;fot=1159&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Prosper</a>.</p> <h3>Pros</h3> <p>Getting a P2P loan has several benefits that may allow you to quickly pay off credit card debt.</p> <p><strong>Lower Interest Rates</strong></p> <p>Interest rates as low as 6.03% are available through P2P lenders, depending on your creditworthiness. Even if you don't qualify for the lowest possible rate, you may be able to borrow at rates much lower than the current rate on your credit card, which could be as high as 30%. Additionally, credit cards are set up so that you're paying interest on top of your interest, since it's based on your running total balance.</p> <p><strong>Fixed Payment Schedule</strong></p> <p>Loans are fully amortized over standard loan terms of either 36 months or 60 months and your interest rate stays the same throughout the term; as a result, your loan payment is predictable and each loan is paid in full at the end of its term.</p> <h3>Cons</h3> <p>Before committing to a new loan, be sure that you are aware of all the costs, including the monthly amount due and additional fees.</p> <p><strong>Origination Fees</strong></p> <p>Loan origination fees are charged to borrowers at both Lending Club and Prosper. These fees range from 1.1% to 5.0% of the loan amount and are deducted from loan proceeds transferred to the borrower. The annual percentage rate (APR) associated with the interest rate offered to you reflects the true cost of borrowing and includes the origination fee (similar to credit card companies' <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">balance transfer fees</a>).</p> <p><strong>Fixed Monthly Payment</strong></p> <p>Borrowers must make the entire loan payment every month, as opposed to a credit card balance where you can change your payment depending on your cash flow (after meeting the minimum payment required).</p> <p><strong>Late Fees</strong></p> <p>Late payment fees are the greater of $15 or 5% of the unpaid loan balance (also referred to as the unpaid installment amount). If you have a high loan balance, 5% could mean a very hefty fee (5% of $5000 is $250).</p> <h2>Compare Total Payments of Various Payoff Alternatives</h2> <p>To decide if you should use P2P lending to pay down credit card debt, start by getting a rate quote. Then evaluate the offers to see what might work best for your situation.</p> <p>Let's say you have a $35,000 balance on your credit card, an interest rate of 18.90%, and a minimum monthly payment of 4% of your outstanding balance (currently, $1,400.00). If you made the minimum payment of 4.0% for five years and then $500 per month until the balance was paid down (with the last payment to wipe out remaining debt), then you would pay $52,615.70 over 78 months.</p> <p>Borrowing through a P2P lender to eliminate the credit card balance and then repaying the P2P loan may work better for you financially. For example, you could take out a debt consolidation loan at <a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=22964539&amp;fot=1159&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Prosper</a>. Judging from listings on the firm's website, you may be able to snag a 36-month loan at an interest rate at 10.29% for a monthly payment of $1,134.12 if you have good credit with an &quot;A&quot; rating. You would be charged a loan origination fee of $1,400.00. Over the life of the loan, your cost to destroy your credit card debt using this method will total $42,228.42, as long as you made every payment on time and never had a late fee or other charge.</p> <p>Alternatively, you could borrow money through <a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=22959155&amp;fot=1159&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Lending Club</a>. Based on a rate offered to a family member, you may be able to get a 36-month loan for a credit card payoff at an interest rate of 7.69% if you have average credit with an &quot;A4&quot; rating. Your loan origination fee would be $1,050.00 and your monthly payments would equal $1091.78. In total, you would make payments of $40,354.24 to pay off your loans.</p> <p>If you decided to aggressively pay down debt with $1,400.00 monthly payments, then the credit card balance would be eliminated in less than three years using any of these options. Your total cost would vary from just over $39,000 to nearly $44,000 depending on interest charges and loan origination fees.</p> <p>Note that if your credit card rate is much higher, 29.99% for example, then the benefits of a P2P loan are significantly greater.</p> <h2>Be Realistic About Your Cash Flow</h2> <p>Crunching the numbers to determine your best course of action is a reasonable way to make a decision. In the scenario described above, paying off your credit card balance at a high rate and borrowing at a much lower rate using a P2P loan seems to make the most sense.</p> <p>But before signing up to get a debt consolidation loan, you should consider what might happen if you are late in making a payment. At both Lending Club and Prosper, late payment fees are the greater of $15 or 5% of the unpaid balance. So, if you happen to have a cash flow problem in the second year of your loan and are more than 16 days late on a payment, you'll be charged a late fee of more than $1,000. Just a handful of such fees can create significant loan-payoff woes.</p> <p>A comparable problem with your credit card company may trigger late fees and added interest charges (along with a higher interest rate), but the cost of your tardiness should be less than the P2P fees. Again, every situation is different and should be evaluated independently.</p> <p>If your financial picture is likely to change in the next three to five years, consider whether your cash flow will be able to sustain regular payments. Major life events, such as returning to graduate school, starting a family, or opening a new business, may interfere temporarily with the availability of funds. Make sure you will be able to make the monthly payments on a timely basis over the life of the loan.</p> <p>When comparing various types of credit, look at all aspects of the loan structure, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?ref=inarticle">interest rate</a>, monthly payments, terms, and fees. Note that offers extended to you may look much different than those available to your friends, coworkers, or family members. Do the math and consider your entire financial picture when determining whether you should use P2P lending to pay down credit card debt.</p> <p><em><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=22964539&amp;fot=1159&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Click here to check out available loan offers at Prosper.</a></em></p> <p><a title="Get a Personal Loan at a Low Rate" alt="Get a Personal Loan at a Low Rate" rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=22964539&amp;fot=1159&amp;foc=2&amp;foc2=600913" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="http://content.linkoffers.net/SharedImages/Products/220171/600913.gif" alt="" /></a></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-use-peer-to-peer-lending-to-pay-down-credit-card-debt" class="sharethis-link" title="Should You Use Peer-to-Peer Lending to Pay Down Credit Card Debt?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-use-peer-to-peer-lending-to-pay-down-credit-card-debt">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/whats-the-best-way-to-get-out-of-debt">What&#039;s the Best Way to Get out of Debt?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-rebuild-your-credit-in-8-simple-steps">How to Rebuild Your Credit in 8 Simple Steps</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/credit-counseling-when-you-need-it-and-when-you-dont">Credit Counseling: When you Need it and When you Don&#039;t</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-strategies-to-wipe-out-your-credit-card-balance">5 Strategies To Wipe Out Your Credit Card Balance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Budgeting Credit Cards Debt Management credit dept peer-to-peer lending repayment Fri, 14 Nov 2014 10:00:06 +0000 Julie Rains 1254514 at http://www.wisebread.com 16 Easy Ways to Save $100 This Month http://www.wisebread.com/16-easy-ways-to-save-100-this-month <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/16-easy-ways-to-save-100-this-month" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-calculating-bills-78716592-small.jpg" alt="man calculating bills" title="man calculating bills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What would you do with an extra $100 in your pocket? Think of a good answer fast, because if you follow the below tips this month, that's exactly what you'll have.</p> <h2>Trim the Fat on Groceries</h2> <p>The average family of four spends between <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/01/grocery-costs-for-family/2104165/">$146 to $289 a week</a> on groceries, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We spend around $75 per week for a family of three, and whenever I'm looking to save some money, I hit this area first because I know I can still eat well for less.</p> <h3>1. Plan Your Meals</h3> <p>Meal planning can help you make use of the ingredients you buy and eliminate food waste. Start by digging deep into those cabinets and freezer bins. Make a list of what you already have and then consult cookbooks and online recipes for simple meals for the week. From there, make a concise list of what you need and stick to the list. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-budget-friendly-meals-everyone-should-know-how-to-make?ref=seealso">10 Budget-Friendly Meals Everyone Should Know How to Make</a>)</p> <h3>2. Shop at Discounters</h3> <p>Evaluate your store options and see if discount shopping is for you. We switched to shopping at Aldi one month and immediately saw a <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/03/grocery-budget-month-report.html">$100 reduction</a> in our food bill costs (around $25 savings each week on average). If you're single and smart about shopping, you could eat well on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans">just $20 this week</a>. Don't want to switch stores? Try adding these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-items-for-your-organic-vegan-grocery-list">25 frugal items</a> to your organic grocery list or switching to generic/store brands.</p> <h3>3. Cook in Bulk</h3> <p>You can save both time and money with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-and-money-with-a-monthly-assembly-or-bulk-cooking-weekend">assembly or bulk cooking</a>. This idea takes meal planning to the max, but if you play your cards right &mdash; you can spend one weekend shopping and cooking for the entire month and take advantage of bulk buys, coupon savings, and other store deals in the process.</p> <h2>Plan Your Entertainment Carefully</h2> <p>Is weekend spending your vice? We all like to have fun, but if you need to save money &mdash; the dinners out, movie dates, and other activities are things you can easy trim without losing too much quality of life. Here are some ideas for getting your kicks on the cheap.</p> <h3>4. Make It a &quot;Freekend&quot;</h3> <p>My family makes a habit of trying to include what we call Freekends or &mdash; free weekends &mdash; at least once a month. Seeing as we usually spend around $50, this can be a great help if we need to buckle down and save. And it's easier than you might think. Here are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-fun-free-ways-to-have-a-great-time-with-friends">50 fun, free ways to have fun with friends</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-entertain-your-kids-for-free">20 ideas to entertain your kids for free</a>.</p> <h3>5. Find Cheaper Thrills</h3> <p>If you just have to go out, be smart about it. For example, AMC movie theaters offer reduced rate movies before <em>noon</em>. Sites like Groupon and <a href="http://www.restaurant.com/">Restaurant.com</a> help you find deals on things to do in your area. And never leave home without checking the social media sites of your favorite restaurants and store to see if they're running any sales or promotions.</p> <h3>6. Use Your Perks</h3> <p>We keep a binder of coupons, loyalty cards, gift certificates, and other money-saving entertainment stuff right by our back door. Before heading out on a Saturday afternoon, we consult the binder to see if we can modify our plans and save a little cash in the process.</p> <h2>More Money Saving Ideas for the Long Haul</h2> <p>For a longer term money-saving plan, the tips above juyts won't cut it. Get serious about spending less with these easy lifestyle changes.</p> <h3>7. Change How You Think About Energy</h3> <p>You likely won't see huge savings immediately, but changing the way you approach energy can put some money in your pockets. Turn off lights when you're not using them. Turn your thermostat down (which can save you up to <a href="http://news.discovery.com/earth/big-savings-by-degrees-120515.htm">$10 per degree</a> each day). Investigate your utility services to see if you can switch to off-peak hours usage at a lower cost. And if you're able, shop around for more competitively priced energy providers.</p> <h3>8. Cut Out Pricey Services</h3> <p>Trim the fat on services, like landline phones and cable, that you rarely use. My family relies on our cell phone plan for communication, eliminating duplication. We also switched to Netflix and Hulu (which total less than $20 a month) versus our old $100 cable bill.</p> <h3>9. Go Cash Only for a Month</h3> <p>If you have a hard time tracking the money going out of your bank account while using cards, switch to cash for a month and see if it helps you. For some, the physical act of paying with dollar bills helps with savings. I'm one of these people, and if you're not convinced, here are six reasons why <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-6-reasons-why-using-cash-only-rocks">using cash-only</a> rocks.</p> <h3>10. Stash Your Change</h3> <p>While you're at it, make a habit of putting all change and dollar bills into a jar when you get home, then see how much you have at the end of the month. Many banks also offer programs that do this same thing. So, if something cost you $25.15, the $0.85 would automatically transfer into your savings account.</p> <h3>11. Use a Cash Back Card</h3> <p>You don't need to switch your entire routine, however. Using cards can actually be in your favor, just try to find one that gives you cash-back rewards for your shopping. Here are the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=inarticle">5 best cash-back credit cards</a> you can apply for today.</p> <h3>12. Brown Bag It</h3> <p>Skip your morning coffee and pack your lunch to cut down on food costs that pile over your grocery bill. You can buy a whole bag of coffee for the week that costs less than $5 versus spending almost that much on a single cup per day.</p> <h3>13. Quit Your Gym</h3> <p>Is your $75 gym membership earning its keep? We cut ours years ago, and I'm in the best shape of my life. Try exercises like running and body weight workouts that require no equipment. Here are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-online-workout-videos-for-free-or-cheap">7 online workout channels</a> you can get for free or little money. And these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-at-home-exercises-will-give-you-a-gym-quality-workout-for-free">at-home exercises</a> are just as good as going to the gym, but they'll cost you nothing.</p> <h3>14. Spa Yourself</h3> <p>I rarely go to the salon for manicures, pedicures, or other spa services. I dye my own hair, too. Plus, my hairdresser offers discounts on Tuesdays &mdash; just $15 for a haircut, which is a $15 savings over the usual price.</p> <h3>15. Fast</h3> <p>Challenge yourself to a <a href="http://frugalbeautiful.com/blog/fiscal-fast-aka-30-day-nospend-challenge/">fiscal fast</a>. You can choose to stop spending money for any length of time, but start with just one week and work up to a month. Then stick to buying only essentials like food, medicine, and bills. This tip is great in a pinch!</p> <h3>16. Pay Attention to Your Money</h3> <p>Last, but not least: Examine your bank account to see exactly where your money is going. Perhaps you have a monthly subscription you forgot about. Or maybe, like me, you realized that your bank is charging you $5 each month for an account you no longer use. Every little bit counts, so take charge of your money.</p> <p><em>Need an extra $100 next month? How are you going to save to get it?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-easy-ways-to-save-100-this-month" class="sharethis-link" title="16 Easy Ways to Save $100 This Month" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-easy-ways-to-save-100-this-month">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/10-dumb-little-budgeting-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-today">10 Dumb Little Budgeting Mistakes You Need to Stop Making Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-money-when-you-are-unemployed">10 Ways to Save Money When You Are Unemployed</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/making-every-penny-count-with-a-zero-based-budget">Making Every Penny Count With A Zero-Based 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/10-smart-ways-to-make-yourself-hate-spending-money">10 Smart Ways to Make Yourself Hate Spending 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/build-a-better-budget-in-5-minutes-flat">Build a Better Budget in 5 Minutes Flat</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Budgeting cutting back expenses saving scrimping spending Thu, 13 Nov 2014 16:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1253729 at http://www.wisebread.com 21 Foods That Cost Under a Buck a Pound — With Recipes! http://www.wisebread.com/21-foods-that-cost-under-a-buck-a-pound-with-recipes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/21-foods-that-cost-under-a-buck-a-pound-with-recipes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-grocery-shopping-159289223-small.jpg" alt="grocery shopping" title="grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you ever look at your inflated grocery bill and think, &quot;Maybe I should have just gone to the drive-through?&quot; Cooking can feel a little pricey, especially if you're not a seasoned deal finder. It might be time to change the way you approach a visit to the supermarket. Luckily, many of the healthiest foods are also the cheapest, so you can save money and be healthy at the same time. Start with the following foods, which can all be found for under $1 a pound! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-with-the-most-bang-for-your-buck?ref=seealso">10 Foods With the Most Bang for Your Buck</a>)</p> <p>While exact prices depend on where you live, where you shop, and even what time of year it is, no matter where you are or the season, all of these food items are worth their weight.</p> <h2>1. Pumpkin</h2> <p>A fall favorite, pumpkin also happens to be reasonably priced and versatile. You can make desserts, soup, bread, side dishes, and more, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-fun-ways-to-use-pumpkin">including non-food items</a>.</p> <h2>2. Beans</h2> <p>Beans are healthy, easy to prepare, and a great source of protein. Good thing they're so cheap! Two of the cheapest beans, pinto beans and chickpeas, can be used in a variety of ways, including a <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/mediterranean-bean-salad/">fresh and tasty bean salad</a>.</p> <h2>3. Bananas</h2> <p>This potassium-rich yellow fruit is the ultimate snack on-the-go. Even organic bananas cost well under $1 a pound, and you can use over-ripe fruit for baked goods like <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/banana-nut-muffins-recipe.html">muffins</a>.</p> <h2>4. Potatoes</h2> <p>A cornerstone of the American diet, potatoes are also a good source of fiber and potassium. They can be used in all sort of ways, but as a <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/parmesan-roasted-potatoes">simple roasted side dish</a> is a good place to start.</p> <h2>5. Canned Tuna</h2> <p>A protein that is shelf-stable for years, canned tuna is ultimately convenient. You can't go wrong with a classic <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/essential-recipe-tuna-salad-recipes-from-the-kitchn-194944">tuna salad.</a></p> <h2>6. Apples</h2> <p>Many common varieties of apples are under $1 a pound when bought in three or five pound bags. Lucky for us, since apples are delicious and great for you. An easy and satisfying way to eat apples is to simply <a href="http://www.pbs.org/food/recipes/baked-apples-with-cinnamon/">bake them.</a></p> <h2>7. Cantaloupe and Honeydew</h2> <p>These melons play a starring role in any successful fruit salad, and happen to be easy on the wallet. Cantaloupe and honeydew also successfully straddle the sweet and savory line, often featured with cured meat or <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/315726/cucumber-cantaloupe-and-squash-salad#Cantaloupe%20and%20Honeydew%20Recipes%7C/275379/cantaloupe-and-honeydew-recipes/@center/276955/seasonal-produce-recipe-guide%7C315726">in salads.</a></p> <h2>8. Grapefruit</h2> <p>A healthy citrus fruit that makes a great breakfast, grapefruit is also very affordable. Sprinkle a little sugar on your grapefruit halves and <a href="http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/broiled-grapefruit.html">broil them</a> for a real treat.</p> <h2>9. Limes</h2> <p>Another biggie in the citrus world, limes are a zesty accent to many dishes and drinks, and are cheaper than their yellow counterparts. They can also be big players in desserts <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/07/10-minute-lime-cracker-pie-recipe.html">such as pie.</a></p> <h2>10. Plain Yogurt</h2> <p>Yogurt contains beneficial probiotics and much-needed calcium, and is often priced under $1 a pound for the plain variety (not Greek-style). Yogurt pairs well with sweet fruit, granola, or in smoothies and drinks like a <a href="http://www.chow.com/recipes/10689-mango-lassi">mango lassi.</a></p> <h2>11. Oranges</h2> <p>Not just for juice, eat a Valencia orange and get a juicy boost of Vitamin C. Oranges add a nice flavor to many dishes sweet and savory, like in salads and <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/citrus_salsa.html">salsa.</a></p> <h2>12. Cabbage</h2> <p>A crunchy cruciferous vegetable that is full of fiber and vitamin K, cabbage is a real bargain. It can be eaten raw or cooked, and serves as the base for the popular side dish <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/classic-coleslaw">coleslaw.</a></p> <h2>13. Onions</h2> <p>Many great savory recipes start with cooked or raw onion, and for good reason. Onions add layers of flavor to dishes, and can even be used as a <a href="http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/02/french-onion-soup/">main ingredient.</a></p> <h2>14. Pineapple</h2> <p>This funny looking tropical fruit is juicy budget-friendly. Simply eaten as is or made into a <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Grilled-Pineapple-102083">grilled dessert</a>, pineapple is a crowd-pleaser.</p> <h2>15. White Rice</h2> <p>White rice might not be as healthy as its cousin brown rice (which costs a little more), but it's easy, versatile, and affordable. Combine it with beans or <a href="http://shewearsmanyhats.com/chicken-and-rice-is-oh-so-nice/">chicken</a> for a low-cost meal.</p> <h2>16. Sweet Potatoes</h2> <p>These brightly-colored tubers are vitamin-filled and taste great simply baked in the oven or <a href="http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0,,10000000522028,00.html">roasted with herbs</a>.</p> <h2>17. Carrots</h2> <p>Another orange powerhouse, carrots can be eaten raw, baked, steamed, sauteed, or juiced. They make a nice crunchy snack and a <a href="http://www.onceuponachef.com/2013/03/curried-roasted-carrots.html">flavorful side dish</a>.</p> <h2>18. Corn</h2> <p>You can buy corn fresh, frozen or canned, and use it in a number of ways. Fresh corn on the cob is perfect grilled, briefly boiled, or steamed with a little seasoning. Using canned or frozen corn, you can make a hearty <a href="http://www.jamieoliver.com/us/foundation/jamies-food-revolution/recipes/CORN_CHOWDER">corn chowder</a>.</p> <h2>19. Eggs</h2> <p>Believe it or not, there are still eggs to be found for less than $1 a pound. Eggs are a great source of protein and play many roles in cooking and baking. They also make a satisfying main dish, like a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/dining/151mrex.html?_r=0">simple frittata.</a></p> <h2>20. Mustard and Collard Greens</h2> <p>Dark leafy greens are a superfood, and are loaded with valuable nutrients. Shred them up into salads or saute them as a healthy <a href="http://www.pauladeen.com/quick-spicy-collards">side dish.</a></p> <h2>21. Butternut Squash</h2> <p>This rich-tasting squash can be roasted, put in pasta, made into soup, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-squash-recipes-for-fall">and more.</a> Plus it's a real bang for your buck!</p> <p><em>What's your favorite buck a pound food? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-foods-that-cost-under-a-buck-a-pound-with-recipes" class="sharethis-link" title="21 Foods That Cost Under a Buck a Pound — With Recipes!" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-foods-that-cost-under-a-buck-a-pound-with-recipes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-prairie-farmer-s-meal-plan-eat-for-a-buck-or-two-a-day">A Prairie Farmer’s Meal Plan: Eat for a Buck or Two a Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ghetto-mac-yours-for-1">The GHETTO MAC - yours for $1.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-in-your-pantry-that-dont-last-as-long-as-you-think">10 Things in Your Pantry That Don&#039;t Last as Long as You Think</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/25-tasty-ways-to-use-chicken-stock">25 Tasty Ways to Use Chicken Stock</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-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans">How to Eat Well on Just $20 a Week (With Meal Plans!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Budgeting Food and Drink cheap eats Cheap Food Staples Mon, 10 Nov 2014 16:00:11 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1252175 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Easy Ways to Lower Winter Energy Costs http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-lower-winter-energy-costs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-easy-ways-to-lower-winter-energy-costs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-changing-thermostat-iStock_000032848840Small.jpg" alt="woman changing thermostat" title="woman changing thermostat" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's snow in the forecast. As much as I'd like to ignore all the fallen leaves in our backyard and gloss over the shorter daylight hours, the fact remains: Winter is upon us.</p> <p>We're in a new-to-us home this year, so how much our heating might cost is a wildcard. Thankfully, we've lined up some defenses to keep our energy bills as low as they can be. And these simple tips are universally helpful whether you live in a 1960s ranch or an 1880s Victorian.</p> <h2>1. Tame Drafts</h2> <p>The best way to keep the warm air in is to make sure it isn't flowing out. Take a tour around your home and examine windows and doors for any drafts. Our front door had a sizable gap at its base, so we installed weatherstripping and it took care of the cold air problem immediately.</p> <p>There are many ways to <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5955246/drafty-how-to-seal-your-windows-and-doors-from-the-cold">fill in voids</a>, including stripping, insulator kits, foam, silicone, etc. If you're in an apartment or just want a temporary fix, you can also use one of those draft guards. Here's a <a href="http://thefeltmouse.blogspot.com/2009/02/we-got-new-dog.html">DIY tutorial</a> using an old pair of tights, polyfill, and only a few stitches.</p> <h2>2. Lower the Thermostat</h2> <p>How low can you go on your thermostat this winter? Start just one degree and you could <a href="http://news.discovery.com/earth/big-savings-by-degrees-120515.htm">save up to 5%</a> (or around $10 per day) on your overall heating bill according to an analysis released by EnergyHub in 2012. The EPA recommends settings on 70 degrees during the eight hours most people are home turning it down to 62 degrees for the 16 hours when people are away or sleeping. And if you can get away with keeping your thermostat on lower (we keep ours on 67 during the day), that's great, too. Using a <a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/The-Simple-Dollar/2012/0601/Properly-used-a-programmable-thermostat-cuts-energy-costs">programmable thermostat</a> also helps you save by taking out the manual temperature changing.</p> <h2>3. Cover Yourself</h2> <p>Feeling nervous about taking the plunge? Keeping comfortable at lower thermostat levels isn't difficult. Wear more clothing! Long sleeves, pants, thick socks, and layers are the fashion statements in our house during the winter. We also keep a fleece blanket on the couch to ward off chills in the evening. Our beds are topped with flannel sheets and wool covers for the nights when our thermostat is at its lowest setting. You don't want to be frigid all season long, but some common sense is employed here.</p> <h2>4. Zone It Out</h2> <p>My family lives in a 4-bedroom home, but we're currently only using two of those bedrooms on a daily basis. So, we've closed the hot air vents in those rooms to redirect the heating to the spaces we're living in and keep the doors shut most hours of the day. If you have baseboard heating, see if there's a localized switch in your room so you can turn it off and shut the door. The savings here are hard to quantify because so many factors are involved (room size, etc.), however &mdash; the less area to heat, the more money that stays in your pockets.</p> <h2>5. Use Curtains</h2> <p>During the day, take advantage of the sun's rays by opening your curtains to let the light in. Even on the coldest days you'll get a boost, especially with those south-facing windows in the afternoon rays. Then in the evening, close your curtains to help keep the heat indoors. If your windows are bare (or you only have sheers), consider purchasing some <a href="http://www.sparkenergy.com/blog/2012/january/save-energy-with-insulated-curtains/">insulated curtains</a>, which protect your home from heat loss through conduction, infiltration, convection, and radiation. They come in all colors and patterns, too!</p> <h2>6. Service Your Furnace</h2> <p>It's one of those annoying home maintenance tasks you don't think you should need to do, but getting your furnace cleaned and evaluated each year can help save you cash and unexpected breakdowns. (It's also a safety thing, as furnaces can leak carbon monoxide into your home without your knowledge.) You'll also need to change out the filter at least once per season &mdash; or whenever it's dirty &mdash; to keep everything flowing as it should. Check your local coupon books to see if any HVAC providers are offering promotions.</p> <h2>7. Add Insulation</h2> <p>If your house is still feeling quite cold, take a trip to your attic to assess the insulation situation. In our last home, we were surprised to find only a few inches of the stuff keeping our heat from flowing out the roof. (Insulation acts like a hat does on your body.) We added a thick fiberglass roll to the entire attic ourselves and could tell the difference in our second floor level almost immediately. How much insulation you add and where you add it is going to depend on your home. If you plan to stay there for quite a while, it certainly makes sense to <a href="http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/adding-insulation-existing-home">evaluate and correct</a> any issues that might cost you big dollars as the years go on.</p> <p><em>How do you save on your winter energy bill? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-lower-winter-energy-costs" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Easy Ways to Lower Winter Energy Costs" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-lower-winter-energy-costs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-dumb-little-purchases-you-need-to-stop-making-today">13 Dumb Little Purchases You Need to Stop Making Today</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-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</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-things-in-your-kitchen-that-get-rid-of-bad-smells-naturally">6 Things in Your Kitchen That Get Rid of Bad Smells Naturally</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/naturally-get-rid-of-ants-in-your-kitchen">Naturally Get Rid of Ants in Your Kitchen</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/breathe-easy-10-natural-air-fresheners">Breathe Easy: 10 Natural Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Budgeting Green Living Home furnace heating insulation utility bill winter Fri, 07 Nov 2014 14:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1251558 at http://www.wisebread.com The NFL's 5 Most Frugal Players http://www.wisebread.com/the-nfls-5-most-frugal-players <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-nfls-5-most-frugal-players" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/american-football-iStock_000033233020Small.jpg" alt="american football" title="american football" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Professional football players are among the highest-paid people in America, and yet the story of the bankrupt NFL retiree is so common it's become a stereotype. Sports Illustrated reported that 78% of former <a href="http://www.si.com/vault/2009/03/23/105789480/how-and-why-athletes-go-broke">NFL players experience financial hardship</a> after just two years of retirement.</p> <p>That's no great wonder, when you read about rampant spending of newly rich players, like Chad Ochocinco spending $100,000 for his own <a href="http://bleacherreport.com/articles/775852-7-most-ridiculous-purchases-in-nfl-history/page/2">personalized semi truck</a>. Other players lend to friends and family who see their new salaries as limitless lending accounts, or, as inexperienced investors, sink money into ventures that never pay off.</p> <p>So it's refreshing to hear these five players &mdash; well compensated all &mdash; talk about gas mileage, retirement accounts, and distinguishing &quot;needs&quot; from &quot;wants.&quot; Read on to see who makes the list of the NFL's Most Frugal.</p> <h2>1. Aaron Rodgers</h2> <p><strong>Team</strong>: Green Bay Packers</p> <p><strong>Position</strong>: Quarterback</p> <p>As one of the NFL's top quarterbacks, Rodgers earns about <a href="http://www.forbes.com/profile/aaron-rodgers/">$22 million a year</a> in salary and endorsements. Yet he lives in a relatively ordinary &mdash; <a href="http://www.celebrityhousepictures.com/aaron-rodgers.php">some might even say ugly</a> &mdash; home in a suburb of Green Bay. He <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/packers/2013/06/09/quarterback-aaron-rodgers-q-and-a-mike-mccarthy-/2404843/">mows his own lawn</a>, shops at Piggly Wiggly, and likes to hang out at a modest-looking place called Chives Restaurant.</p> <h2>2. Giovani Bernard</h2> <p><strong>Team</strong>: Cincinnati Bengals</p> <p><strong>Position</strong>: Running Back</p> <p>Bernard signed a $5.253 million dollar contract in 2013, plus a $2.2 million signing bonus &mdash; hefty for a rookie. But instead of buying a custom Hummer with his first paycheck, he <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/giovani-bernard-lives-simple-rookie-life-including-driving-223332867.html">drives a minivan</a> he borrowed from his girlfriend's mother. He lives in a modest apartment near the stadium.</p> <p>Bernard knows how unexpectedly hard times can turn life upside down. After his mother died when he was a child, Bernard lived with his father, who owned a dry cleaning business. But when Bernard was in high school, his dad lost the business &mdash; and the two <a href="http://www.providencejournal.com/sports/patriots/content/20141004-trip-to-foxboro-reunites-giovani-bernard-with-friend-who-once-provided-a-home.ece">lost their home</a>. Bernard moved in with the family of his best friend, James White, now a <a href="http://projostats.projo.com/fb/playerstats.asp?id=27658&amp;team=17">running back for the New England Patriots</a>.</p> <h2>3. Antonio Cromartie</h2> <p><strong>Team</strong>: Arizona Cardinals</p> <p><strong>Position</strong>: Cornerback</p> <p>After <a href="http://www.newsday.com/sports/football/jets/antonio-cromartie-an-unlikely-mentor-for-younger-players-dealing-with-financial-issues-1.5386541">blowing an estimated $5 million</a> in his first two years playing football on nine (NINE!!) cars, lavish jewelry, and two homes, Cromartie realized he had spent everything he had coming to him. Instead of spiraling into debt, though, Cromartie wised up, sold the excess stuff, and bought a Prius.</p> <p>&quot;I'll fill it up every two and a half weeks or so, and I'm only spending 33 bucks, while everybody else is spending 80 or 90 bucks a tank,&quot; he told Newsday. &quot;Right now, I'm all about saving money.&quot;</p> <p>He'll need it: Cromartie is the father of 10.</p> <p>Cromartie now has his retirement account fully funded through age 100, and he advises younger teammates on how to avoid making the same mistakes he did.</p> <h2>4. Rod Smith</h2> <p><strong>Team</strong>: Denver Broncos (retired)</p> <p><strong>Position</strong>: Wide Receiver</p> <p><a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/aliciajessop/2012/10/31/not-broke-how-nfl-players-stay-financially-stable-after-the-game-ends/">Smith told Forbes</a> that he lives well in retirement because he always kept his post-NFL life in mind during his playing days, which led him to avoid spending like some of his teammates did: &quot;The most luxurious thing I bought was my house. I wasn't a big jewelry or car guy. I don't have Ferraris and Bentleys. I had a motto that I lived by, 'There are two places I want to look good at: home and practice.'&quot;</p> <h2>5. Prince Amukamara</h2> <p><strong>Team</strong>: New York Giants</p> <p><strong>Position</strong>: Cornerback</p> <p>Amukamara isn't just a professional football player, he's also <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/shutdown-corner/outside-game-prince-amukamara-royal-lineage-explains-name-205803570&mdash;nfl.html">Nigerian royalty</a>. Really. And no, he didn't email me about how I could get $100,000 if only I helped him transfer some money.</p> <p>Despite his paycheck and his pedigree, Amukamara isn't a wild spender.</p> <p>Back in 2011, just after leaving the Nebraska Cornhuskers for the NFL, he tweeted that he was &quot;<a href="https://twitter.com/PrinceAmukamara/status/136273464746184704">looking at getting a good deal at Husker Auto</a>.&quot; Apparently he proceeded directly to the <a href="http://www.budgetinginthefunstuff.com/prince-amukamara-a-frugal-football-rookie/">used car section</a> and successfully bargained for a lower price on an SUV by paying cash.</p> <p>A subsequent <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/nfl/comments/2d5zh7/i_am_prince_amukamara_new_york_giants_cb_and/">&quot;Ask Me Anything&quot; session on Reddit</a> revealed more signs of Amukamara's frugal nature. He said the most common mistake NFL rookies make is &quot;Spending their money on 'wants' and not 'needs'.&quot; He also said that his favorite place to visit when he plays in California is In-N-Out Burger, where meals are under $10.</p> <p>Being thrifty is not the same as being a tightwad, though. Amukamara once spent<a href="http://www.sportsmedia101.com/newyorkgiants/2012/07/20/new-york-giants-prince-amukamara-donates-10000-to-nebraska-high-school-football-program/"> $10,000 outfitting a Nebraska high school football team</a>.</p> <p><em>Have you heard any tales of frugal-minded sports stars? Please share in comments.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-nfls-5-most-frugal-players" class="sharethis-link" title="The NFL&#039;s 5 Most Frugal Players" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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/the-nfls-5-most-frugal-players">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-saving-too-much">Are You Saving Too Much?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-same-actions-will-produce-the-same-results-ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-2">The Same Actions Will Produce The Same Results (Ten Tenets for Arranging Your Rich: Part 2)</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-stop-hating-yourself-about-money-and-actually-make-positive-changes">How to Stop Hating Yourself About Money and Actually Make Positive Changes</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/ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-1-rich-is-relative">Ten Tenets for &quot;Arranging Your Rich&quot; - Part 1: Rich is Relative</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-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Budgeting Lifestyle frugal lifestyle retirement saving thrift wealth Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:00:08 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1245699 at http://www.wisebread.com How One Young Entrepreneur Paid Off $40,000 in Student Debt By Age 24 http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-young-entrepreneur-paid-off-40000-in-student-debt-by-age-24 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-one-young-entrepreneur-paid-off-40000-in-student-debt-by-age-24" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/modern-businesswoman-470761315-small.jpg" alt="modern businesswoman" title="modern businesswoman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>More than 70% of graduates finish college with debt, at an average level of almost <a href="http://projectonstudentdebt.org/state_by_state-data.php">$30,000 per student</a>. The <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/specialfeatures/2013/08/07/how-the-college-debt-is-crippling-students-parents-and-the-economy/">national student debt level</a> has reached $1.2 trillion and a staggering 7 million borrowers have already defaulted on their loans. With so many adults seeing their debt situation as helpless, it was refreshing to come across a young borrower who managed to pay off her hefty $40,000 student debt burden in just a few years.</p> <p>A $40,000 debt load put Michelle Schroeder in the top 10% of borrowers. Even with a loan burden substantially higher than most young graduates, she was able to return her debt by the time she was just 24 years old. &quot;It was hard but it paid off in the end,&quot; says Schroeder. &quot;It's the best feeling ever. I don't have to submit a $1,000 payment every month for something I don't see.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-balance-saving-for-retirement-emergency-fund-and-paying-off-debt?ref=seealso">How to Balance Saving for Retirement, Emergency Fund, and Retiring Debt</a>)</p> <p>Schroeder concedes that her journey wasn't easy, but that anyone can do it, if they really want to. To reach her goal and pay off her debt, Schroeder took three simple steps. Read on to discover how you can follow in her tracks.</p> <h2>1. A Financial Assessment</h2> <p>When Schroeder reviewed her personal balance sheet, she didn't like what she saw. &quot;I didn't want to be one of those people with $40,000 in student loan debt when their kids are going to college,&quot; she said. &quot;I just wanted to be done with it. I made a crazy action plan to have it paid off within the year.&quot; Schroeder admits it can be scary to add up 10 different student loans and realize how much they total. Even so, she knew she'd have to face up to her reality before she could create a game plan and start to pay her burden off.</p> <p>According to Schroeder, this is a step anyone can take, and yet many don't. &quot;A lot of people are afraid to look at the total or they're just not interested in doing the work to pay it off right now.&quot; Even so, it's not a difficult task, once you bulldoze past the psychological barriers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-money-worries-are-holding-you-back-heres-what-to-do?ref=seealso">Your Money Worries Are Holding You Back &mdash; Here's What to Do</a>)</p> <h2>2. A Decrease in Spending</h2> <p>Schroeder's first line of attack was to figure out where she could scale back. She cut her gym membership, dropped her cable TV package, and scaled down her food budget. She also took on mystery shopping work, which would often fund dinners, snacks, and other perks. She received an annual bonus that she used to fund her emergency savings account and further reduce her debt. All together, she was bringing home $5,000 per month in salary and was cutting costs wherever she could.</p> <p>Anyone can develop their own cost cutting strategies by identifying areas of excess consumption. To target where to reduce spending, check out an online tracking service like Mint or Quicken. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/73-easy-ways-to-save-money-today?ref=seealso">73 Easy Ways to Save Money Today</a>)</p> <h2>3. An Increase in Income</h2> <p>Schroeder was already doing more to decrease her debt burden than many borrowers but even so, she wanted to speed up her debt repayment pace. To make a real dent in her burden, she started looking into ways to boost her income.</p> <p>She got creative and took on a boarder, which brought in an extra $300 &mdash; $400 per month. She next started a side business, first as a virtual assistant, later as a staff writer, and finally as a blogger and website consultant at <a href="http://www.makingsenseofcents.com">Making Sense of Cents</a>. &quot;I wasn't making much money for the first one to two years,&quot; she says of her online business. &quot;Plus, I sacrificed a lot like hanging out with my friends and watching TV. Instead, I focused on growing my business.&quot;</p> <p>Between her day job and side gigs, Schroeder worked 100 hours per week for three years straight. Her small side income grew and she eventually was paying $5,000 per month toward her student loan debt. In the final month, she wiped out her emergency savings account to pay the $10,000 remaining student loan balance.</p> <p>According to Schroeder, anyone can build a side income, regardless of skill set. Her suggestions include a part-time job in a retail store, walking dogs, babysitting, or starting a business. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-earn-more-money-heres-how/?ref=seealso">You CAN Earn More Money &mdash; Here's How</a>)</p> <p>Last year, once her loans were repaid in full, Schroeder left her day job. She now lives off of what was once a side income, and works from home. When asked why more people don't take a fast-track approach to paying off their debt, Schroeder chalked it up to societal expectations. &quot;It's not normal to pay student loans off fast,&quot; she says. &quot;People consider it good debt and they're fine with it because everyone else has them.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Most people can pay their loans off within a couple of years if they try really hard,&quot; she says. For her, the upfront work was worth it. &quot;Life's not as stressful, now that I don't have student loans,&quot; she says.</p> <p><em>Are you burdened by a mountain of debt? How do you plan to eliminate it?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-young-entrepreneur-paid-off-40000-in-student-debt-by-age-24" class="sharethis-link" title="How One Young Entrepreneur Paid Off $40,000 in Student Debt By Age 24" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alaina-tweddale">Alaina Tweddale</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-young-entrepreneur-paid-off-40000-in-student-debt-by-age-24">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-inspiring-couple-paid-off-48000-in-25-years">How One Inspiring Couple Paid Off $48,000 in 2.5 Years</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-college-graduate-paid-off-28000-in-three-years-on-a-30k-salary">How One College Graduate Paid Off $28,000 in Three Years on a $30K Salary</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-couple-paid-off-147k-of-debt-even-while-unemployed">How One Couple Paid Off $147k of Debt (Even While Unemployed)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-gettin-baptized-in-the-watahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-epiphany">The Gettin&#039;-Baptized-in-the-Watah Epiphany</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/making-personal-finance-fun-while-fighting-for-financial-freedom">Making Personal Finance Fun while Fighting for Financial Freedom</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Personal Finance Budgeting debt repayment debt stories entrepreneur personal finance side gig student loans Tue, 28 Oct 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Alaina Tweddale 1245576 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Save Money When You Are Unemployed http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-money-when-you-are-unemployed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-save-money-when-you-are-unemployed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/employee-fired-iStock_000007255442Small.jpg" alt="employee fired" title="employee fired" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was laid off from my job recently, I had to quickly learn how to survive. I must do everything I can to save money while I search for work. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-5-things-you-must-do-after-getting-laid-off?ref=seealso">The First 5 Things You Must Do After Getting Laid Off</a>)</p> <p>If you are in a similar position, you probably feel as if you are scraping by and that saving money is nearly impossible. But it isn't hopeless. Here are 10 ways you can save money and make some extra cash while you search for a full-time job.</p> <h2>1. Take Advantage of Local Resources</h2> <p>Even if you are not receiving unemployment, there are organizations that can help you with getting your basic needs met, including food and housing. The United Way and The Alliance for Information and Referral Services (AIRS) have created an easy way to find these resources in your area. You can dial 211 in most areas, or go to the <a href="http://211us.org/">2-1-1 website</a> to learn more about what resources might be available to you. By taking advantage of social services, you can save a lot of money on the essentials.</p> <h2>2. Use Alternate Transportation</h2> <p>We all know that gas can be a major expense, especially if you rely solely on your car for transportation. Try not to drive unless it's absolutely necessary. Public transportation is much cheaper than driving, and buying monthly passes is often a better deal than a one-time fare. Check with your local unemployment office to see if your state offers free or discounted passes for public transportation in your area for unemployed people and low-income families.</p> <p>You might also find local programs that offer cheap, alternate modes of transportation. For instance, here in Burlington, Vermont, you can purchase a bike for as low as $30 through the non-profit program, <a href="http://www.localmotion.org/programs/bikerecycle/">Bike Recycle Vermont</a>. Or you can get discounted tune-ups and bike accessories through the program. If walking, biking, or public transportation are not an option, some gas stations may offer discounts on groceries at local grocery stores when you spend a certain amount on gas, so you can at least save on food if you must drive.</p> <h2>3. Quit Unhealthy and Expensive Habits</h2> <p>A friend of mine also recently lost her job, and then she started smoking as a way to cope with the loss. Aside from the obvious health risks, smoking is an incredibly expensive habit. She often pays as much as $10 to $12 a pack! Alcohol is another nonessential that can take a huge chunk of your budget and a toll on your health. Keep in mind that recreational drugs and alcohol are also depressants that will make you feel worse about your situation. Even if you don't drink or smoke, there are probably other unnecessary purchases that you could cut out for the time being.</p> <h2>4. Eat Your Meals at Home</h2> <p>In addition to cutting out items that are not part of your basic diet, there are plenty of ways to save on the groceries you do need. First, avoid going out to dinner or grabbing fast food for your meals. Fast food joints might be cheap, but in the long run, eating out all the time can be more expensive than making food at home. Don't forget that soup kitchens offer free hot meals once a day, and you can find the locations through your local food shelf. Many food shelf organizations also offer recipes if you are picking up groceries, or you don't feel like you know how to cook very well. Also check with the unemployment office to see if you qualify for food stamps.</p> <h2>5. Find Ways to Save on Groceries</h2> <p>Resisting the urge to dine out and taking advantage of the food shelf are only part of saving on the overall cost of food. There are plenty of ways to save money when you go to the grocery store. Buy in bulk whenever possible, and take advantage of discounted items and coupons. One caveat: never purchase a sale item unless it is something that you buy regularly. You may end up spending more overall. Most co-ops offer a basic discount for members, and a larger discount if you volunteer a certain number of hours per week. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-feed-yourself-for-50-a-week-or-less?ref=seealso">How to Feed Yourself on $50 a Week or Less</a>)</p> <p>Joining a local <a href="http://www.localharvest.org/csa/">CSA</a> can save a lot of money on produce, and some CSAs offer other staples, such as eggs, meat, and dairy. Ask a friend to join with you and split the cost and the food if you can't afford the membership. The CSA weekly pickups usually include too much food for one person to eat in a week anyway.</p> <h2>6. Create a Realistic Spending Plan</h2> <p>Everyone hates to budget, but it is an absolute necessity if you want to manage your spending. Because the word &quot;budget&quot; implies that you are limiting yourself, one trick is to call it a &quot;spending plan.&quot; Even though it is more difficult to create a spending plan if you don't have a regular income, it is much easier to save when you know how much you are spending. You can easily find templates for a basic spending plan online, and <a href="http://www.saveandinvest.org/militarycenter/militaryfinancialtoolkits/makingendsmeet/P124805">SaveAndInvest.org</a> has some great advice on how to get started when creating a spending plan.</p> <p>The key is to be realistic about how much you spend each month and ensure that you are covering every category. This includes purchases you may not have thought about, such as entertainment (you have to treat yourself every once in a while), cat food, emergency fund, etc. Once you do find a job again, stick to your spending plan, and put some money into a savings account each month for an emergency fund. Then if you do lose another job, you won't be as stressed about finances.</p> <h2>7. Join a Support Group</h2> <p><a href="http://www.debtorsanonymous.org/">Debtors Anonymous</a> is a great resource for people who have lost a job. Being unemployed for a long period of time can easily lead to crippling debt. The group meetings are based on the same 12 steps as AA and other 12-step programs. You may find that you already have issues with debting, and the group provides support when trying to break old habits, such as overspending or maxing out credit cards. <a href="http://www.underearnersanonymous.org/">Underearners Anonymous</a> is a similar program, and often people find that they consistently accept jobs under their skill level and salary needs, which can easily lead to debting. These groups may not meet as often in your area as other 12-step groups, but if you go to the website to search for a local group, you should be able to find phone meetings as well.</p> <h2>8. Negotiate Reduced Rent or Mortgage Payments</h2> <p>Before I started receiving unemployment (keep in mind there is a waiting period, so apply as soon as you get laid off), I was unable to pay my rent in full at the beginning of the month. I decided to talk to my landlord about splitting my rent in two payments. She was very understanding and said she would be willing to work with me as long as I communicated my needs to her. You'll find that as long as you are honest about your situation, most people are willing to work with you, especially if you have been a good tenant and always pay your rent on time. If you own a house, talk with a loan officer about refinancing. You may be able to get a lower interest rate and lower your mortgage payments.</p> <p>If you have student loans, you can get them deferred while you are out of work, or at least put them in temporary forbearance. For credit cards, make sure you are at least paying the minimum each month. It can be tempting to want to continue paying off debt with your normal payments, but you will risk getting further into debt if you can't realistically make those payments.</p> <h2>9. Don't Be Afraid to Accept Money</h2> <p>One of the key rules of Debtors Anonymous is not to start a new debt, which includes loans from friends and family. However, if a friend or family member offers you a monetary gift, it is okay to accept it, as long as you have a good relationship with that person. By the same token, avoid using loans to pay off other loans, even if the new loan has a lower interest rate. It may save a little money in the short term, but it can create debting habits that are hard to break.</p> <h2>10. Earn Extra Cash</h2> <p>This last tip has kept my head above water for the past few months. Even before I lost my job, I was a regular house and pet sitter for friends. While we had bartered for this service in the past, I had to ask them to start paying me after I lost my job. Again, people are very understanding if you are upfront with them.</p> <p>Find out what the going rate is in your area, and don't be afraid to ask for what you need. I've also been paid for doing yardwork, cleaning houses, babysitting, freelance writing, editing, and helping friends with websites. There are plenty of opportunities to make a some fast cash while you are out of work. Use social media and online forums to offer your services. Be clear about how much you want to get paid but also try to be a little flexible if the pay is still reasonable for the amount of work you are doing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/earn-extra-income-with-these-15-creative-side-gigs?ref=seealso">Earn Extra Income With These 15 Creative Side Gigs</a>)</p> <p>While I wish I had read <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-re-fired-20-signs-that-a-pink-slip-is-coming">You're Fired! 20 Signs That a Pink Slip is Coming</a> before I lost my job, I have found ways to make ends meet and minimize the stress so far. Just keep in mind that you are not alone, and there are plenty of resources and support groups to help you out during this difficult time.</p> <p><em>Have you ever endured a long period of unemployment? How did you reduce your spending?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-money-when-you-are-unemployed" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Ways to Save Money When You Are Unemployed" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-watson">Ashley Watson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-money-when-you-are-unemployed">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-easy-ways-to-save-100-this-month">16 Easy Ways to Save $100 This Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-dumb-little-budgeting-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-today">10 Dumb Little Budgeting Mistakes You Need to Stop Making Today</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/making-every-penny-count-with-a-zero-based-budget">Making Every Penny Count With A Zero-Based 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/10-smart-ways-to-make-yourself-hate-spending-money">10 Smart Ways to Make Yourself Hate Spending 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/build-a-better-budget-in-5-minutes-flat">Build a Better Budget in 5 Minutes Flat</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Career and Income Budgeting saving spending unemployment Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:00:06 +0000 Ashley Watson 1245575 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Dumb Little Budgeting Mistakes You Need to Stop Making Today http://www.wisebread.com/10-dumb-little-budgeting-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-dumb-little-budgeting-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-frustrated-bills-78426183-small.jpg" alt="woman frustrated bills" title="woman frustrated bills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Did your budget go bust&hellip; again?</p> <p>Instead of promising yourself that it won't continue to happen, you need to fix the roots of the problem, once and for all. Start paying attention to the small, yet important, details that you are leaving out of your budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-small-mistakes-that-can-ruin-your-finances?">10 Small Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Finances</a>)</p> <p>Here are the 10 dumb little budgeting mistakes that you need to stop making today.</p> <h2>1. Forgetting to Cancel That Membership You Never Use</h2> <p>Do you have a Netflix subscription for several DVDs at a time, only to have a single DVD gathering dust for an entire month? Then you're wasting money. Take a second look at all of those memberships that you pay on a recurring basis. A very common one is that expensive gym subscription that goes unused month after month. If you don't use it, lose it.</p> <p>Also, evaluate your music, movie, and TV show subscriptions and decide whether you should continue it, downgrade it to a smaller plan, or switch to pay-as-you-go. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buy-or-subscribe-how-to-pay-the-least-for-the-media-you-love-the-most?ref=seealso">Buy or Subscribe: How to Pay the Least for the Media You Love the Most</a>)</p> <h2>2. Budgeting Based on Your Gross Income</h2> <p>Let's imagine that you were making $50,000 per year. This would mean that you would count on about $4,167 every month before taxes, right?</p> <p>Wrong! Even before that money hits your bank account, there may be several deductions affecting it. Some of them are mandatory, such as taxes, union dues, and uniform deductions. Others are voluntary, such as 401(k) contributions, health saving accounts, and parking fees. Make sure to budget based on your net paycheck, not on your gross paycheck.</p> <h2>3. Withholding Too Much in Taxes</h2> <p>Talking about paychecks, <a href="http://business.time.com/2013/03/18/why-were-so-irrational-when-it-comes-to-tax-refunds/">75% of Americans are withholding too much in taxes</a> from their incomes. If you're struggling to make ends meet, one possible cause is that you are unnecessarily limiting every single one of your paychecks.</p> <p>Review two year's worth of tax forms and determine what should be the right amount to withhold from your paycheck:</p> <ul> <li>Update your W4 form for changes in marriage status or number of dependents;</li> <li>Stop withholding additional amounts, if applicable; or</li> <li>Adjust your <a href="http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-%26-Self-Employed/Estimated-Taxes">estimated taxes every quarter through Form 1040-ES</a>.</li> </ul> <p>Develop these three habits every year and you will increase your available monthly cash flow. Remember that the IRS doesn't pay you interest on the money that you withhold from your paycheck.</p> <h2>4. Buying Christmas Gifts on Credit</h2> <p>During January and February, consumer counseling agencies see a <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=88539">25% increase</a> in the number of people seeking financial help.</p> <p>Too many folks fall for discounts on opening store cards or using credit cards. About 60% of Americans keep on rolling their card balances, maintaining an average balance of more than $11,500.</p> <p>The best way to fix this is by setting a budget for holiday gifts in January and saving up every month to meet that goal. If you have problems resisting the temptation of spending those funds before the holidays, then use a financial vehicle, such as a Christmas Saving account (also known as &quot;Christmas Clubs&quot; at credit unions) or Certificate of Deposit, that blocks access for a set period of time.</p> <h2>5. Forgetting About Your Car Registration Fee</h2> <p>While you cannot predict every single expense related to your car, there are several that you can count on every year. The most important one is your annual car registration fee.</p> <p>This is no small fee and, depending on the weight and year make of your car, can run into a couple hundred of dollars. For example, between my wife's truck and my sedan, we pay about $500 every year in registration fees. That's enough to mess up any month's paycheck if we were to forget about setting an annual reminder.</p> <p>Check with your local DMV, find out how much is your registration fee, and set a reminder every year.</p> <h2>6. Buying a Cup of Coffee Every Day</h2> <p>That morning stop at your favorite coffee shop may be throwing off your budget without you even noticing. If you buy a $3 cup of coffee every weekday, it adds up to $780 over the year. And that's being conservative: in New York City shoppers have reported that a <a href="http://www.humuch.com/prices/Starbucks-Cappuccino-grande/______/102#.VDSW8xZ9LWo">Starbucks Cappuccino Grande costs between $5.01 and $5.30</a>.</p> <p>With what you're spending on coffee in a year you could easily pay off an entire store card or knock off a good chunk of a credit card balance.</p> <p>Instead of buying coffee every single day, look for cheaper alternatives, such as:</p> <ul> <li>Preparing your own cup at home and investing in a good travel mug;</li> <li>Drinking your office's free coffee or starting a coffee pool with coworkers; or</li> <li>Having your own drip machine and coffee bag at work.</li> </ul> <h2>7. Not Negotiating Credit Card and Cell Phone Bills</h2> <p>The path of least resistance is the most expensive one. If you don't negotiate credit card interest rates or cell phone charges, then you are paying more than you have to. A 20-minute call could save you a couple hundred dollars over the course of a year.</p> <p>Don't think that you're being rude for asking for a better deal, you're entitled to do so. Even the Federal Trading Commission provides <a href="http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/shopping-saving">tips on shopping and saving</a>. Do your homework, compare prices from competitors, and negotiate your way into savings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily?ref=seealso">Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily</a>)</p> <p>The worst that can happen is that they say no, and you get a freebie for your effort. Make sure to ask for one, such as account credit or a gift card.</p> <h2>8. Relying Only on Credit Cards</h2> <p>You need to start paying with cash more often.</p> <p>The convenience of carrying a less bulky wallet or purse is killing your spending power. People paying with credit cards spend <a href="http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/tips/credit-cards-make-you-spend-more/">12% to 18% more</a> than those paying with cash. Even McDonald's knows this because its customers using plastic spend an average of $7 per order, while those using cash only an average of $4.50.</p> <h2>9. Spending Lucky Money Windfalls</h2> <p>What do you do when any of these happen?</p> <ul> <li>Found a $50 bill on the street.</li> <li>Grandma's sends you a $100 check for your birthday.</li> <li>Surprise bonus at the end of the year.</li> </ul> <p>If you answer: &quot;shopping spree!&quot;, then that's a dumb little budgeting mistake. Like Will Rogers said, &quot;too many people spend money they haven't earned to buy things they don't want to impress people they don't like.&quot;</p> <p>Curb your spending habit and put all those lucky windfalls into your savings account. Even better, use them to pay down debt. If you often have trouble meeting monthly expenses, then use that extra cash to prevent you from breaking your budget.</p> <h2>10. Not Having an Emergency Fund</h2> <p>Not having or maintaining an emergency fund is the biggest of all dumb budgeting mistakes you can ever make. If you don't have one, you're hit with a double whammy.</p> <p>First, you bust your budget by spending more than you have available. Second, you are very likely to put those expenses on a credit card. These are the reasons why you need to build an emergency fund and, of course, replenish it every time that you use it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/figuring-the-size-of-your-emergency-fund?ref=seealso">Figuring the Size of Your Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <p>Remember to save your emergency fund for true emergencies: forgetting about your monthly credit card bill or your annual tax payment is not an emergency.</p> <p><em>What are some other common dumb little budgeting mistakes? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-dumb-little-budgeting-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-today" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Dumb Little Budgeting Mistakes You Need to Stop Making Today" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-dumb-little-budgeting-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/build-a-better-budget-in-5-minutes-flat">Build a Better Budget in 5 Minutes Flat</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/16-easy-ways-to-save-100-this-month">16 Easy Ways to Save $100 This 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/10-ways-to-save-money-when-you-are-unemployed">10 Ways to Save Money When You Are Unemployed</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-have-an-above-average-life-for-below-average-prices">How to Have an Above-Average Life for Below-Average Prices</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/making-every-penny-count-with-a-zero-based-budget">Making Every Penny Count With A Zero-Based Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Budgeting budgets saving spending Thu, 16 Oct 2014 13:00:07 +0000 Damian Davila 1236726 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Never Succumb to Impulse Spending Again http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-never-succumb-to-impulse-spending-again <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-never-succumb-to-impulse-spending-again" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping-81172431-small.jpg" alt="shopping" title="shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Impulse spending can make it almost impossible for someone to manage their finances effectively. It creates a habitual need to spend and a knee-jerk reaction to sales, products, and advertising. And the result is usually the same: a lack of cashflow, problems saving, and almost always an inability to maintain a budget.</p> <p>But what exactly is impulse spending? How do we define and/or recognize it?</p> <h2>Defining Impulse Spending</h2> <p>First, impulse spending is almost always chronic and recurring. To see something every once in a while and &quot;splurge&quot; is normal. Impulse spending is something that happens regularly and develops into a bad habit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-creative-ways-to-avoid-spending-money?ref=seealso">13 Creative Ways to Defeat Impulse Spending</a>)</p> <p>Second, buying on an impulse means that you're making an unplanned purchase that you hadn't already recognized a need for. These purchases might be useful and might even seem wise on the surface, but had you not made visual contact with the item, you probably wouldn't have wanted to spend money on it. In other words, an impulse purchase is made when a product or ad instigates the transaction. Instead of you deciding that you need something and then going to find it, you see a product or service and decide immediately that it warrants your money. Those who struggle with this end up spending a lot of money that they didn't need to spend or that wouldn't have been spent, had they been in control of their purchases. In fact, that's the real goal here &mdash; to be in control of how purchases.</p> <h2>1. Break the Habit With a Freeze on All Discretionary Spending</h2> <p>Impulse spending is a habit, so try breaking it by going cold turkey on all discretionary spending. That's not to say that you can't pick back up after a few weeks, but stick to essentials until you've given yourself enough time to get comfortable spending money on just those things.</p> <p>The goal is to take away your tendency to be a reactive purchaser, before you take the steps necessary to build yourself back into a proactive budgeter. Once you can go into stores and see ads without feeling that twitch making you want to spend money, you're ready to move on. It'll happen quicker than you think.</p> <h2>2. Make a Weekly Budget</h2> <p>Budgeting is one of the simplest and most basic safety nets you have to protect yourself against impulse spending. There are plenty of ways to do it, like using a <a href="http://www.daveramsey.com/tools/budget-forms/">Dave Ramsey budget sheet</a>. But the general concept is to start by writing down both your expected income and expenses for each month. Separate your expenses between the amounts that are fixed (rent, insurance, etc.) and those that fluctuate (gas, groceries). Use what's left to disperse between savings, discretionary spending, charitable giving, or however you choose to divide it up. That discretionary amount will serve as a safeguard to help limit your ability to spend impulsively.</p> <p>You'll know that there's a limit to what you can spend, thereby making you less likely to buy something on an impulse. Instead, you end up asking yourself the question: &quot;Do I really want to buy this?&quot;</p> <h2>3. Practice Deciding What to Buy Before You Leave the House</h2> <p>After breaking with your bad spending habits, a good habit to get into is to always make a list or at least plan in your mind what you want to buy before you shop. This ensures that you're in control of your purchasing and that you're not being pushed around by products and advertisements that you might see. Make sure you decide specifically what you want to purchase and avoid deviating from that plan. In time, you'll be able to shop around in a way that isn't impulsive. But until you get better spending habits established, it's best to never deviate from intentional expenses.</p> <h2>4. Put Potential Purchases Through a Litmus Test</h2> <p>There will be gray areas that come up regarding whether or not you're being impulsive or if a purchase is actually necessary or beneficial in some way. A good way to figure that out is to come up with a litmus test in the form of a few questions that you can use to figure out whether or not you really need to spend money on something.</p> <ol> <li>Is there room in the budget for it?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Is the purchase redundant (do you already have the item or something similar to it)?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Will it substantially improve your quality of life?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Did you want or need this item before you were made aware of its existence?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>What really made you want the item (an ad, visual appeal, need, practical use, etc.)?</li> </ol> <p>These questions can help give you a clearer picture of why you might want to buy something and whether or not that purchase will benefit you in a way that justifies the amount of money needed to acquire it.</p> <h2>Be the One in Control</h2> <p>The underlying problem with impulse spending is that you end up losing control of your money. If products, services or advertisements are completely driving you to spend, then you'll never be able to stop, because those things will always be there. While it's true that those things have an informative impact (i.e. you see a product and can tell it's useful), the bulk of the decision should stem from your own needs and decisions. Thus, learning how to avoid impulse buys will go a long way in freeing up your financial situation and putting you back in control of your money. It's well worth the effort.</p> <p><em>How do you control impulse spending? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-never-succumb-to-impulse-spending-again" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Never Succumb to Impulse Spending Again" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-never-succumb-to-impulse-spending-again">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-dark-side-motivations-to-get-you-out-of-debt">10 Dark-Side Motivations to Get You Out of Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-dumb-little-budgeting-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-today">10 Dumb Little Budgeting Mistakes You Need to Stop Making Today</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-have-an-above-average-life-for-below-average-prices">How to Have an Above-Average Life for Below-Average Prices</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-sites-and-apps-to-help-you-track-your-spending-and-stick-to-your-budget">10 Sites and Apps to Help You Track Your Spending and Stick to 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/10-big-expenses-you-can-easily-get-rid-of">10 Big Expenses You Can Easily Get Rid Of</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Budgeting Debt Management budgets impulse spending mindful spending spending Thu, 16 Oct 2014 09:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1236048 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Ways to Make a Better Budget Today http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-make-a-better-budget-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-make-a-better-budget-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-paying-bills-76754631-small.jpg" alt="man paying bills" title="man paying bills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles with helpful tips to make your budget better, the smartest way to repay your student loans, and the only legit reasons to work for free.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://blog.readyforzero.com/17-ways-to-budget-better-starting-today/">17 Ways to Make Your Budget Better &ndash; Starting Today</a> &mdash; You can learn a lot about your spending habits when you try out a &quot;zero spending day.&quot; [ReadyForZero]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneyunder30.com/smartest-way-to-repay-student-loans">What&rsquo;s the Smartest Way to Repay Your Student Loans?</a> &mdash; It depends on your financial situation. If you want to reduce your monthly loan payments, consider consolidating or refinancing your student loans. [Money Under 30]</p> <p><a href="http://www.girlsjustwannahavefunds.com/the-only-five-reasons-you-should-ever-work-for-free-and-one-big-reason-why-you-shouldnt/">The Only Five Reasons You Should Ever Work For Free (and One Big Reason Why You Shouldn&rsquo;t)</a> &mdash; One good reason to work for free is if the project will enhance your career skills in some way, like helping you gain new expertise or visibility in a different area. [Girls Just Wanna Have Funds]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-Youll-Never-Regret-35665219">51 Things That You'll Never Regret</a> &mdash; For a happier life, remember that you'll never regret traveling somewhere new or saying &quot;I love you&quot; when you mean it. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/business/T057-S001-7-things-that-will-soon-disappear/index.html">7 Things That Will Soon Disappear</a> &mdash; Your neighborhood mail collection box will soon become a thing of the past as the USPS pulls boxes that don't see enough traffic. [Kiplinger]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thousandaire.com/is-now-the-time-to-buy-a-house/">Is Now the Time to Buy a House?</a> &mdash; Interest rates are at historic lows, so if you're financially prepared to buy a house, this may be the right time to take the jump! [Thousandaire]</p> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/peer-lending-friends-family-layoff/">How to Use Peer-to-Peer Sites to Borrow Money From Friends and Family After a Layoff</a> &mdash; Using a peer-to-peer lending site formalizes the borrowing process so you don't encounter the usual misunderstandings that can occur when you borrow directly from friends and family. [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.carefulcents.com/transition-from-employee-entrepreneur/">Is Now the Right Time to Transition From Employee to Entrepreneur?</a> &mdash; Saying &quot;yes&quot; to everything and creating an abundance of work ensures that you'll have a full portfolio of clients to draw from when you quit your day job. [Careful Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/8-ways-to-get-and-stay-healthy">8 Ways to Get and Stay Healthy</a> &mdash; Keeping your family healthy isn't only about good nutrition and exercise. Make sure to spend quality time together, too. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://couponpal.com/blog/where-to-buy-glasses-online-for-less">Where to Buy Glasses Online for Less</a> &mdash; You can find great deals on glasses when you shop online. For example, get your first pair of glasses at Coastal.com for free when you use their coupon code! [CouponPal]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-make-a-better-budget-today" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Ways to Make a Better Budget Today" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-make-a-better-budget-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <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/13-dumb-little-purchases-you-need-to-stop-making-today">13 Dumb Little Purchases You Need to Stop Making Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-use-cash-for-these-11-things">Never Use Cash for These 11 Things</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/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-most-valuable-thing-debt-takes-from-you-isnt-money-its-this">The Most Valuable Thing Debt Takes From You Isn&#039;t Money — It&#039;s This</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-retirement-latte">The Retirement Latte</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Budgeting best money tips budgeting Tue, 14 Oct 2014 19:00:06 +0000 Amy Lu 1235110 at http://www.wisebread.com