Budgeting http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4804/all en-US Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_exercise_plank_000083103031.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to get fit for free" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting in shape can seem like an uphill battle, especially if it costs big bucks to do so. You shouldn't need to spend all of your hard-earned money to become your healthiest self. There are so many ways to exercise on the cheap, or even for free. You don't need a pricey gym membership and a closet full of designer yoga pants. Really, all you need are some comfy clothes, space to move, and determination to keep pushing even when you get tired.</p> <p>Here are our 95 best fitness hacks for getting in great shape without spending any money.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/family-460428563.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-benefits-of-a-10-minute-walk?ref=fbf">10 Surprising Benefits Of: A 10 Minute Walk</a> &mdash; Don't underestimate the power of a short walk. Choosing to get outside and move &mdash; no matter how fast or slow &mdash; is an excellent way to promote overall health. So get outdoors and start walking!</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-quick-workouts-you-can-do-during-commercial-breaks?ref=FBF">9 Quick Workouts You Can Do During Commercial Breaks</a> &mdash; Not only can you get your sweat on for free, but you can also do it while you watch your favorite shows. It doesn't get much easier than that, right?</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman-exercise-living-room-Dollarphotoclub_63851547.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/36-workouts-you-can-do-in-your-living-room-while-its-cold-out?ref=fbf">36 Workouts You Can Do in Your Living Room While It's Cold Out</a> &mdash; The only time winter isn't coming is when it's already winter, so you should have an indoor workout routine already established by the time the snow starts to fall. These are all fun and effective!</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-home-workout-hacks-for-people-with-no-equipment-and-no-room?ref=fbf">12 Cheap Home Workout Hacks for People With No Equipment and No Room</a> &mdash; It turns out you don't even need much space or exercise equipment to get in shape. Just use the contents of your pantry, furniture, and your own body weight to add resistance to your sweat sesh.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-work-out-when-its-hot-outside?ref=fbf">5 Ways to Work Out When It's Hot Outside</a> &mdash; Sweating when you're already covered in sweat from the heat isn't fun for anyone. But rather than heading outside for your workout, stay indoors and get fit during the warmer months.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/exercise-479677521.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-at-home-exercises-will-give-you-a-gym-quality-workout-for-free?ref=fbf">These At-Home Exercises Will Give You a Gym-Quality Workout for Free</a> &mdash; You don't need to be a gym rat to look like one. Here are several sweat-inducing moves you can make at home, all while spending zero dollars.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-exercises-to-do-at-work-that-dont-make-you-look-silly?ref=fbf">10 Exercises to Do at Work That Don't Make You Look Silly</a> &mdash; Kill two birds with one stone and work out while you're at work. That way, when your work day is over, your workout work is also done.</p> <p><em>How do you get fit for free? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it">Flashback Friday: The 60 Best Ways to Use Food Other Than Eating It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-119-best-fitness-hacks-for-busy-people">Flashback Friday: The 119 Best Fitness Hacks for Busy People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-99-best-fitness-hacks-of-all-time">Flashback Friday: The 99 Best Fitness Hacks of All Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store">Flashback Friday: The 81 Best Tips for Saving Big at the Grocery Store</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting Health and Beauty budget fbf fitness hacks flashback friday free fitness frugal fitness Health saving money Fri, 22 Apr 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1695510 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Make Retail Therapy Good for You http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-retail-therapy-good-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-make-retail-therapy-good-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000023781556_Large.jpg" alt="making retail therapy healthy" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After a long and frustrating day, nothing feels better than heading to your favorite store. When you emerge an hour later with heavily laden bags and a lighter wallet, you have forgotten all about the argument with your coworker, and you head home feeling much more cheerful.</p> <p>The only problem with this scenario is the lighter wallet.</p> <p>But what if you could have your retail therapy and balance your budget at the same time? As it turns out, researchers have discovered that shopping really does give you a needed pick-me-up, and used in moderation, retail therapy offers several psychological rewards.</p> <p>Here is what you need to know about the psychological soundness of retail therapy &mdash; and some suggestions for how to make your therapeutic shopping profitable.</p> <h2>Why We Like to Shop When We're Down</h2> <p>In general, people get down or irritable because they feel out of control. When you are in a sour mood, it is often related to a sense of anxiety that you do not have control over your circumstances or environment.</p> <p>And that is why retail therapy is so effective. You get a chance to have complete control over where you go, what you look for, and what you purchase. Add in the fact that most retail therapy also involves treating yourself in some way, and it's no wonder that shopping is such a common method for improving a bad mood.</p> <p>In addition, according to Kit Yarrow of Psychology Today, &quot;shopping can be a <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-why-behind-the-buy/201305/why-retail-therapy-works">rich source of mental preparation</a>. As people shop, they're naturally visualizing how they'll use the products they're considering, and in doing so, they're also visualizing their new life.&quot; Part of what makes retail therapy feel so good is getting a chance to imagine how great things will be with your new wardrobe/gadget/library of books.</p> <p>If you're not a regular user of retail therapy, just keeping some money set aside for your occasional pick-me-ups should be sufficient. But if you often indulge in therapeutic shopping, then you might want to revise your shopping strategy to make sure your mood lifter doesn't get you into financial trouble.</p> <h2>Using Retail Therapy Strategically</h2> <p>Here are five different strategies for making sure your shopping habit actually helps your bottom line.</p> <h3>1. Shop for Gifts</h3> <p>While retail therapy traditionally means buying some sort of treat for yourself, it can also feel great to buy gifts for loved ones. The next time you go shopping to relieve stress after a bad day, decide to buy a present for someone on your Christmas list, no matter what time of year it is. Since you would spend the money on a gift anyway, your shopping trip will save you money in the future while still giving you the mood-boosting sense of the control you crave. Also, you can have fun visualizing how much the recipients will enjoy the gifts you are picking out.</p> <p>If you make a habit of using retail therapy to shop ahead for holiday gifts, you will save money and stress at Christmas since you won't be shopping at the height of retail season.</p> <h3>2. Keep a List of Items You Need or Want</h3> <p>Living in the digital age means that it is possible to buy something for yourself as soon as you think of it. However, we don't necessarily need that level of convenience, and you receive no psychological benefits from it.</p> <p>Instead, make a list of items that you need or want that you could get anytime. For example, there are currently two t-shirts and a DVD that I would like to own, but I am waiting to purchase any of them until a day when I need a serious cheer-up. (I liken this to keeping an emergency bar of chocolate hidden in my desk drawer. I'll wait to enjoy it until it's going to give me the biggest mood-boosting bang for my buck.)</p> <p>By limiting your retail therapy to items that you have already decided to purchase, you keep the hit on your wallet to a minimum.</p> <h3>3. Use Gift Cards</h3> <p>Retail therapy is most dangerous when you engage in it mindlessly. But it is possible to get the same psychological benefit while being a thoughtful consumer.</p> <p>For instance, purchasing a discounted gift card from a store that is your go-to retail therapy destination is a good way to feel better without spending <em>too </em>much. Get this gift card ahead of time and keep it in your wallet. On a day when you need to indulge in retail therapy, you can lock the rest of your wallet in your glove box and shop your bad mood away without hurting your budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stop-your-mindless-spending?ref=seealso">5 Ways to Stop Your Mindless Spending</a>)</p> <h3>4. Become a Mystery Shopper</h3> <p>If retail therapy is a regular habit, consider making it a part-time job by becoming a mystery shopper. Generally, mystery shoppers can receive between <a href="http://www.learnvest.com/2013/02/confessions-of-a-mystery-shopper-how-i-made-14k/">$5 and $20 per shopping trip</a>, as well as reimbursement for their purchases, although there is often a limit to the purchase amount. While mystery shopping will not necessarily be as flexible as a normal session of retail therapy, once you have been hired by a company, you can select jobs when and where you want, saving your mystery shopping for the weeks you need to feel better.</p> <p>It is important to make sure you go through a reputable mystery shopping company. You will never be asked to pay to become a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-truths-from-a-mystery-shopper-you-must-read-before-you-get-started">mystery shopper for a legitimate company</a>. It's also a good idea to check that the mystery shopping organization that hires you is a member of the MSPA, the official organization that regulates mystery shopping.</p> <h3>5. Indulge in Window Shopping</h3> <p>A recent study asked subjects to watch a depressing video clip, and then randomly assigned the subjects to one of <a href="http://www.dailyfinance.com/on/retail-therapy-shopping-psychological-benefitsworks/">two simulated shopping scenarios</a>. The participants whose simulated shopping experience gave them more of an opportunity to choose the products they liked were found to be happier after the experience.</p> <p>What's important about this study is the fact that the &quot;shoppers&quot; weren't actually buying anything, but they still experienced an improved mood. The authors of the study determined that it is the act of choosing between products that helps alleviate sadness, even if those choices are hypothetical.</p> <p>This means that you will feel just as cheered up by trying on clothes without buying them than you would from purchasing a new wardrobe &mdash; all without spending a penny.</p> <h2>Making Retail Therapy Truly Therapeutic</h2> <p>It's very easy to feel guilty about the things that make us feel good, whether that's the hidden chocolate bar in the desk drawer, or indulging in retail therapy after a bad day. But there is no reason to deny ourselves the psychological benefits of these alternative &quot;therapies,&quot; as long as we can find a way to do so strategically.</p> <p><em>Do you frequently partake in retail therapy? How do you keep it under control? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-retail-therapy-good-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stop-your-mindless-spending">5 Ways to Stop Your Mindless Spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-purchases-youll-never-regret">25 Purchases You&#039;ll Never Regret</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-bite-sized-money-resolutions-to-make-2015-your-biggest-year-yet">25 Bite-Sized Money Resolutions to Make 2015 Your Biggest Year Yet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-sloth-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Sloth Is Keeping You Poor</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/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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping bad habits buyer's remorse healthy habits mindless spending money habits retail therapy Fri, 22 Apr 2016 10:00:04 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1695165 at http://www.wisebread.com The Smart Way to Budget on a Freelance Income http://www.wisebread.com/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000081820163_Large.jpg" alt="Learning to budget on a freelance income" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If the <a href="https://www.upwork.com/press/2014/09/03/53-million-americans-now-freelance-new-study-finds-2/">53 million freelancing Americans</a> agree on one thing, it's that their lifestyle gives an unbeatable level of flexibility, and can be an extremely lucrative working model. If there was a second thing the global freelance community might agree on, however, I would bet that it's the fact that managing your money as a freelancer can be a nightmare.</p> <p>With income varying month by month, budgeting can be tricky &mdash; but having a solid budget is all the more important because of the normal fluctuations of income most freelance workers experience. So how do you go about setting a budget as a freelancer? The following steps can guide you.</p> <h2>Step One: Determine What You're Spending</h2> <p>Before you can start creating a budget, you need to get a picture of how your spending looks today. Set a challenge for yourself to record all your expenses over the course of a month. This could be using pen and paper, collecting receipts, and then adding them all up later, or using one of these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sites-and-apps-to-help-you-track-your-spending-and-stick-to-your-budget">great spending tracker apps</a>.</p> <p>Once you have some measurable data about your spending patterns, group different expenses together, and add in the known costs that did not occur during your test month. If you pay annual insurance premiums, or other annual bills, for example, divide the total by 12, and add that figure to your monthly calculation.</p> <p>As an example, you may put together the following categories:</p> <ul> <ul> <li><strong>Housing</strong> &mdash; rent or mortgage, utilities, insurance</li> <li><strong>Debt</strong> &mdash; credit or store cards, student loans</li> <li><strong>Transport and commuting</strong> &mdash; public transit ticket costs, or car loan, petrol, parking and servicing costs, as well as any insurance you pay</li> <li><strong>Taxes</strong> (As a freelancer this is especially important!)</li> <li><strong><strong>Savings</strong></strong></li> <li><strong>Personal expenses</strong> &mdash; food, phone bills, vacations, clothes, gifts, parties, and regular health costs</li> <li><strong>Fun</strong> &mdash; all entertainment</li> </ul> </ul> <p>The categories you choose will vary according to your lifestyle, but by grouping them like this, you have an overview &mdash; which is helpful if you later decide you need to trim the budget a little.</p> <h2>Step Two: Create a Baseline Budget</h2> <p>Your goal now is to create a <em>survival </em>budget, and an <em>ideal </em>budget. The survival version is your baseline, and should not include any unnecessary costs. This is your worst case scenario information about how much you need to spend, even if there is a problem and you're out of work for a while.</p> <p>The ideal version can be much more relaxed &mdash; covering your preferred spending levels and any discretionary spending on hobbies and entertainment.</p> <p>Scrutinize your recorded spending by category. Remove any optional costs, and add the categories together for your baseline monthly budget. Once you have done this, you can put the fun stuff back into your budget &mdash; along with your preferred levels of saving, and any discretionary spending, like donations to charities. You should now have a monthly total for your minimum and ideal levels of spending.</p> <h2>Step Three: Optimize Where Possible</h2> <p>Now is the time to look at your monthly income. As a freelancer, this might vary significantly month-to-month, so taking your annual income and dividing it by 12 for an average can make the process easier. If you are more risk averse, or have little or no financial cushion at the moment, then you may choose to take your lowest month's income as your model instead of an average.</p> <p>How does your monthly income match up with your projected baseline and ideal budget? This exercise should give you a view of how realistic your figures are, but if your income falls below your survival budget, then you need to think about how you can make the numbers match.</p> <p>Are there other items you can remove from your budget, or can you reduce regular costs such as utilities or insurance premiums? Alternatively, can you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-freelance-jobs-that-pay-surprisingly-well">bring in some extra income</a> on top of your usual workload to help balance the books?</p> <h2>Step Four: Pay Yourself</h2> <p>Set yourself a trial budget, factoring in both your expected income and your necessary expenses. If it looks like you can be quite comfortable on the income you expect on a monthly basis, then go with your ideal budget. But if you're concerned, then try the baseline budget for a while to see how it works out.</p> <p>Whichever spending level you go for, pay yourself a paycheck to help you smooth out the ups and downs. You could do this quite literally, by billing clients to one account and transferring only a fixed amount to your main spending account on a monthly basis.</p> <p>Your aim is to even out your spending, so any additional income you make in a lucrative month can be saved, and added to an emergency fund or used as a financial cushion for periods when income falls.</p> <h2>Step Five: Make a Long-Term Plan</h2> <p>If you're able to earn enough to support your chosen lifestyle, then over time you will be able to create a financial buffer and build savings. If you use any extra income mindfully, rather than allowing your spending to creep up without noticing it if your earnings increase, then you can repeat the budgeting exercise as your personal circumstances and needs change.</p> <p>More of us are now working in a freelance model, and studies suggest that anything from 40%&ndash;50% of workers will be working freelance by 2020. With freedom-loving Millennials quickly becoming the largest segment of the working population, this is hardly surprising. But with the struggles faced by freelancers trying to budget effectively, the Gen Y trailblazers already reshaping the future of work now need to turn their attentions to planning their finances.</p> <p><em>How do you manage your freelance budget? Share your tips in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/claire-millard">Claire Millard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-side-benefits-of-your-side-hustle">5 Unexpected Side Benefits of Your Side Hustle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-400-a-week-as-a-pet-sitter">How to Make $400+ a Week as a Pet Sitter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-festive-ways-to-make-extra-money-for-the-holidays">16 Festive Ways to Make Extra Money for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-part-time-jobs-to-do-while-your-kids-are-at-school">17 Part-Time Jobs to Do While Your Kids Are at School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-great-side-jobs-for-outdoorsy-types">12 Great Side Jobs for Outdoorsy Types</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Extra Income extra money freelance freelancing side business side hustle side job Wed, 20 Apr 2016 09:30:26 +0000 Claire Millard 1693788 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Unexpected Dog Costs You Should Prepare for Now http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-dog-costs-you-should-prepare-for-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-unexpected-dog-costs-you-should-prepare-for-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000065477617_Large.jpg" alt="unexpected dog costs can add up" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Is dog man's best friend &mdash; or budget blower? Many potential pet owners are aware of the initial costs of buying and owning a canine, but what about the unexpected costs, such as furniture damage and travel expenses?</p> <p>Here are five unexpected dog-related costs to be aware of before committing to your new furry friend. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-your-dog-is-ruining-your-credit-score?ref=seealso">3 Ways Your Dog Is Ruining Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2>1. Damaged Furniture and Housing</h2> <p>Puppies will be puppies, and that includes chewing on just about everything. While the occasional shoe or clothing item will not set you back a lot of money, you should prepare for costly furniture damage.</p> <p>Not only can dogs ruin table legs and couches, but some canines will even do costly home damage. One friend had a bulldog puppy who chewed a good-sized hole in the wall and baseboard. Puppies are not the only ones to blame, either. My husband's grandmother's adult dog ruined her front doorway because he was accidentally left outside during 4th of July and grew overly anxious during the fireworks.</p> <h2>2. Minor Medical Costs</h2> <p>Thankfully there is pet insurance that helps cover costly vet bills from injuries and old age. However, many people do not factor in the minor medical costs, such as flea and tick medication, special lotion for dry skin, nail trims, anal gland expression, and even sedative medication during certain holidays &mdash; like New Year's and 4th of July.</p> <p>Even just adding a puppy to your family can add on the costs of vaccinations, exams, and getting them spayed or neutered. Money.com says, &quot;Routine vet exams cost between $45 and $200 for puppies in the first year of life.&quot; So don't let that cute puppy face make you forget all of these extra upfront costs.</p> <h2>3. Higher Home Insurance Policies</h2> <p>Certain dog breeds are blacklisted by insurance companies due to their breed traits. Pit bulls, dobermans, rottweilers, German shepherds, huskies, and akitas are all breeds that can raise home insurance premiums. Even if your dog is the sweetest dog around, you will still be charged more, or be denied coverage altogether. The average dog bite claim <a href="http://www.iii.org/issue-update/dog-bite-liability">costs insurance companies $30,000</a>, so you can see why they charge more.</p> <h2>4. Excess Rental Fees</h2> <p>Landlords can charge you extra for living with a dog. Many landlords will charge a standard pet deposit and might even add on an additional monthly payment. Depending on the contract you sign, your landlord can come after you for damages if your dog ruins the yard or interior. Many apartments and landlords do not even allow dogs, so your pooch could put you in a tough spot when it comes to finding a place to live.</p> <h2>5. Traveling Fees</h2> <p>My husband and I got our two dogs in our first year of marriage. We missed out on several vacation and travel opportunities because of them that first year. I didn't realize how much it would cost to board them or to take them with us, and when you are newly married, the budget can be very tight.</p> <p>According to Pettravel.com, the average cost to <a href="http://www.pettravel.com/0001216.cfm">fly domestic with your pooch</a> is $125 each way. So expect to pay $250 roundtrip just for your pup to be on board. To keep your dog in a kennel, it costs on average $20-$25 per day, per pet.</p> <p>If you plan to take your pooch with you on vacations, you should prepare for these following costs:</p> <ul> <li>Air travel costs;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Vaccination updates;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Accessory costs, such as a carrier that meets flight requirements, and a travel bed;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Hotel costs. For example, the Best Western charges <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/hotels/2014/09/03/pet-dog-friendly-hotel/14972079/">$20 per day</a> and other hotels might charge a refundable damage deposit.</li> </ul> <h2>How to Avoid Higher and Unexpected Pet Costs</h2> <p>Most of these costs come from a lack of planning. Dogs can bring great joy and fun to a family, but the costs, pros, and cons needed to be thought out carefully. Dogs, like children, are living creatures that will need many years of love, care, and even sacrifice at times. Be sure you consider the future money and time required when you see that cute face and floppy ears.</p> <p><em>How do you prepare for costly vet bills? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-dog-costs-you-should-prepare-for-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-your-pets">6 Money Lessons You Can Learn From Your Pets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-important-questions-to-ask-before-adding-to-your-family">5 Important Questions to Ask Before Adding to Your Family</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/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pet-health-insurance-worth-it">Is Pet Health Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-way-birth-order-decides-your-money-habits">The Surprising Way Birth Order Decides Your Money Habits</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Family cat dog dog costs household pet pet costs pet owner vet bills veterinary bills Mon, 18 Apr 2016 10:30:09 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1691404 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: The 60 Best Ways to Use Food Other Than Eating It http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_cucumber_eyes_000000765447.jpg" alt="Woman using foods in ways other than eating them" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Eating food might be the best time of anyone's day. And while food is meant to be consumed with thorough chewing wrapped in &quot;ooh&quot;s and &quot;ahh&quot;s, it can also be used for beauty, decor, and home repair. Though you'd probably use a jar of honey as a sweetener over a face mask ingredient any day, it's comforting to know that the contents of your kitchen have the potential to take care of all of your everyday needs.</p> <p>Here are the 60 best food hacks that have nothing to do with eating.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/bowl_of_lemons_000019714803_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-use-your-food-that-dont-involve-eating?ref=fbf">4 Ways to Use Your Food That Don't Involve Eating</a> &mdash; Aside from keeping your skin and hair all kinds of gorgeous, you can use food as home decor, pesticides, and cleaning products! A little DIY magic can make your fridge's contents go a long way.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-home-uses-for-mayonnaise?ref=fbf">10 Unexpected Home Uses for Mayonnaise</a> &mdash; It turns out, mayo is seriously <em>amayozing</em>. Sorry, had to do it. But for real, this beloved condiment kills head lice, fixes cracks in wooden furniture, strengthens fingernails, and beyond. It's all kinds of handy.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/women_wearing_facemasks_000050640308_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-diy-beauty-masks-made-from-food?ref=fbf">9 DIY Beauty Masks Made From Food</a> &mdash; Just open the fridge and you'll find a vast array of beauty products! So instead of wasting extra cash on a face mask, just make your own using edible ingredients from your kitchen.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unexpected-uses-for-peanut-butter?ref=fbf">15 Unexpected Uses for Peanut Butter</a> &mdash; You might be shocked to learn that PB performs better without the J, especially when it's not used for eating. Peanut butter can be used as a leather cleaner, a squeak squasher, and a delicious way to lure pests to their death. Mind = blown.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-do-with-your-coffee-beans?ref=fbf">5 Things to Do With Your Coffee Beans</a> &mdash; Of course, your morning cup of joe is sacred. But if you've got any extra coffee beans lying around, put them to good use with these brilliant tricks!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/honey_000050003532.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-uses-for-honey?ref=fbf">7 Unexpected Uses for Honey</a> &mdash; Did you know honey can heal burns? I didn't either! Honey is a wonder product that can do so much more than simply sweeten your tea.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-and-useful-things-to-do-with-ketchup?ref=fbf">10 Surprising and Useful Things to Do With Ketchup</a> &mdash; Oh, you thought ketchup was just a cheap way to dress up a burger? Think again. This talented condiment can shine copper, fight skunk odor, prevent cancer, and so much more!</p> <p><em>What are your best non-food food hacks? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store">Flashback Friday: The 81 Best Tips for Saving Big at the Grocery Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right">Flashback Friday: The 107 Best Breakfast Hacks to Start Your Day Off Right</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-more-tips-for-eating-in-restaurants-and-sticking-to-a-budget">Five More Tips For Eating In Restaurants And Sticking To A Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting Food and Drink budget fbf flashback friday food hacks frugal food Health saving money Fri, 15 Apr 2016 10:00:12 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1690723 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Ways to Use Luck to Stretch Your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-use-luck-to-stretch-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-use-luck-to-stretch-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_fingers_crossed_000073161863.jpg" alt="Woman using luck to stretch her budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found helpful articles on ways to use luck to stretch your budget, how to make your laundry routine more eco-friendly, and grilling tips for newbies.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.northerncheapskate.com/how-to-use-luck-to-stretch-your-budget/">How To Use Luck To Stretch Your Budget</a> &mdash; Enter Facebook or blog giveaways for a chance to get gift cards and merchandise&hellip;for free! [Northern Cheapskate]</p> <p><a href="http://momsneedtoknow.com/green-laundry-routine/">How To Green Your Laundry Routine</a> &mdash; Stop using dryer sheets! They&rsquo;re hard on our environment and full of chemicals. If it&rsquo;s the scent you want, put some essential oil on an old rag and throw it in with your laundry. [Moms Need to Know]</p> <p><a href="http://www.easyways.net/7-easy-ways-grill/">7 Easy Ways To Grill</a> &mdash; New to grilling? Learn the do's and don'ts for grilling common meats like chicken, turkey, salmon, and ribs. [easyWays.net]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/5-Household-Uses-Denture-Cleaner-8116869">5 Surprising Household Uses For Denture Cleaner</a> &mdash; Cleaning off the burnt food on your Pyrex is easy when you soak the dish in denture cleaner and warm water first. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifeoptimizer.org/2016/04/12/how-to-develop-self-discipline/">How to Develop Self-Discipline in 7 Steps</a> &mdash; When you plan out your to-do list, alternate pleasant tasks with unpleasant tasks. The things you want to do will motivate you to get through the things you don't want to do. [Life Optimizer]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.morewithlesstoday.com/10-item-checklist-to-prepare-your-home-for-overnight-guests/">10 Item Checklist to Prepare Your Home for Overnight Guests</a> &mdash; Make sure the bathroom your guest will be using is stocked with extra toilet paper, sanitary items, a plunger, and a basket or cup for their toothbrush. [More With Less Today]</p> <p><a href="https://due.com/blog/7-attributes-of-highly-functional-home-offices/">7 Attributes of Highly Functional Home Offices</a> &mdash; It&rsquo;s important for a home office to have rules so you&rsquo;re not constantly distracted by the people you live with. [Due.com]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cultofmoney.com/2016/04/13/4-basic-things-sell-home-faster/">4 Basic Things to Sell Your Home Faster</a> &mdash; Put together a sheet with the answers to commonly asked questions, like what options your potential buyers have for TV and internet services, who the utility providers area, and what schools are in the area. [Cult of Money]</p> <p><a href="http://vipforair.com/5-sources-of-air-pollution-in-your-home/">5 Sources of Air Pollution In Your Home</a> &mdash; Your carpet can be a trap for dust mites, fungus, dirt, bacteria, and other allergens &mdash; you probably already know this. But did you know that the chemicals used to manufacture your carpet can also &quot;off-gas&quot; into the room? [VIP for Air]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/5-amazing-things-we-can-learn-from-children">5 Amazing Things We Can Learn From Children</a> &mdash; Most things are new to children, and they're always ready to give it a try. Stop making excuses and jump into something new and strange. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-use-luck-to-stretch-your-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/5-unexpected-dog-costs-you-should-prepare-for-now">5 Unexpected Dog Costs You Should Prepare for Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-envelope-system">A Comprehensive Guide to the Envelope System</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-save-and-make-money-while-traveling">12 Ways to Save and Make Money While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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><br/></br> Budgeting best money tips luck Fri, 15 Apr 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Amy Lu 1690613 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's What I Learned About Money After Using Acorns http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-i-learned-about-money-after-using-acorns <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-what-i-learned-about-money-after-using-acorns" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman _holding_cash_000088024827.jpg" alt="Woman learning money lessons using acorns " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have a rich history of being broke. I've always struggled with managing my money properly, and being able to resist the urge to buy things I don't need, rather than saving for my future. The problem with the future is that it's <em>the future.</em> It's off in the distance, a haze that I can't even see. There's no immediate reward in investing or saving. When faced with a new book, a flowy frock, or a delicious meal, the peace of mind that comes with planning for the future has always seemed like the boring, undesirable option. Until now.</p> <p>Now, I'm actually an adult. I've got big plans that go beyond what I'll be doing this coming Saturday night, and they involve retiring comfortably with lots of cash in the bank and lots of grandkids running around my yard. And what caused this shift in mindset was not only age, but also, <a href="https://www.acorns.com/">Acorns</a>.</p> <h2>How It Works</h2> <p>Acorns is a service that takes your electronic spare change, and invests it into a diversified portfolio. A team of experts, including mathematicians, financial experts, and top investors work behind the scenes to make sure your chump change grows into a brilliant little nest egg. You connect your bank account to your Acorns account, and the &quot;spare change&quot; from each transaction in that bank account gets automatically transferred into your Acorns account.</p> <p>So, for example, with the bank I use, I have a checking account with a debit card, a savings account, and a credit card. Acorns sees the transactions of all these accounts, and rounds up the total of each purchase to the next dollar. If I buy something on Amazon and spend $19.60 &mdash; whether I use my debit card or credit card to pay &mdash; Acorns will round that transaction up to $20.00, and invest the remaining $.40. Once the round ups reach $5.00, the funds will be automatically deducted from my checking account, and Acorns will invest it.</p> <p>The investments are spread over large company stocks, small company stocks, emerging market stocks, real estate, corporate bonds, and government bonds. Based on your investing goal and general time frame, you can change your investing style from conservative to aggressive whenever you want.</p> <p>It's easy, convenient, and it really teaches you a lot about money &mdash; especially if you're prone to recklessly spending all your dough. Here's what I learned about money after using Acorns for just three months. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-microsaving-tools-to-help-you-start-saving-now?ref=seealso">5 MicroSaving Tools to Help You Start Saving Now</a>)</p> <h2>Investing Doesn't Need to Be Complicated</h2> <p>I've had a few investment accounts through previous employers, and it always seemed like such a complex and intimidating process to make the right investment decisions. It was like learning a new language, and I can't even remember most of the French I learned in high school, so I felt utterly left out.</p> <p>But Acorns breaks it down and lets you see any changes to your investments in real time. You can also make changes to your portfolio at any time, depending on your goals. It could not be a more painless process.</p> <h2>Patience Is Money</h2> <p>They say, &quot;Time is money&quot; but I'd argue that patience, specifically, is way more valuable. Because you can't get anywhere in saving money or investing money without patience. Safeguarding your financial future takes a long time, and you need to be in it for the long haul, if you're going to do it right. Luckily, by using Acorns, and playing with their projection tools, that hazy future is a whole lot clearer.</p> <h2>Saving Is Surprisingly Thrilling</h2> <p>Getting any joy out of spending money used to mean purchasing a tangible thing that I could look at, wear, or play with like a shiny new toy. But Acorns has flipped that habit on its head, by giving me a substantial peek into just how cozy I can be if I save regularly and invest wisely. Being smart is way more fun than being spendy.</p> <p>Since I started using acorns three months ago, I've invested about $300, between round ups, weekly automatic transfers, and occasionally sending over an extra $20 when I'm feeling particularly money-motivated. My total gain is $4.48. It doesn't seem like much, right? But that money was working hard for me over the course of 90 days. And if I hadn't used Acorns, I probably wouldn't have saved that much, and I <em>definitely </em>would not have made any extra. I'm proud of that baby gain, and I'm excited to see where I'll be in six months. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-millennial-money-apps-everyone-should-use?ref=seealso">The 5 Millennial Money Apps Everyone Should Use</a>)</p> <h2>The More You Earn, the More You Learn</h2> <p>With Acorns, once you start seeing your account grow, you feel a sense of accomplishment that often leads to a hunger for more knowledge. You don't want to worry about losing it all, or your &quot;luck&quot; wearing out. So you want to know more, to become more informed, so you can maybe take what you've learned from Acorns and find other ways to invest in your future.</p> <h2>Your Money Should Never Get a Day Off</h2> <p>You work hard. And your money should always be working hard, too. Acorns makes monitoring your investments so easy that you can check in on everything while on a tropical vacation, sipping blended cocktails in the sun, while your moola is still on the 9-5 grind.</p> <h2>An Automated Life Is a Happy Life</h2> <p>The best part of Acorns, by far, is the automation. You link your bank account to Acorns to get it set up, and then you can also set up recurring deposits, track upcoming round-ups, and make checking on your investments as quick and easy as checking your Twitter notifications. This is now a quick part of your daily routine that leads to zero headaches, and only profitable progress in the right direction. Does it really get any better than that?</p> <p><em>Have you tried Acorns? Has it worked for you? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-i-learned-about-money-after-using-acorns">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/zen-and-the-art-of-hiding-money">Zen and the Art of Hiding Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-your-kid-need-an-ira">Does Your Kid Need an IRA?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-save-and-make-money-while-traveling">12 Ways to Save and Make Money While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-your-pets">6 Money Lessons You Can Learn From Your Pets</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Investment acorns life lessons money lessons rounding up saving money Thu, 14 Apr 2016 09:30:19 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1687439 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30 http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_smiling_coffee_000083191027.jpg" alt="Woman learning best life lessons by age 30" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting older is scary. You're losing your supple, wrinkle-free glow one day at a time, you're edging closer to retirement and you may or may not have a sufficient amount of money saved, and ultimately, you're running out of time to accomplish your goals. But the flip side of that is with age comes wisdom, and by age 30, you should have a ton of it. Mainly because everyone's 20s are a hot mess of transitions, frightening unknowns, and emotional ups and downs. So once your 20s are behind you, you're ready to live your life like a <em>boss</em>.</p> <p>Here are our 76 best bits of wisdom to become your best self by age 30.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/young_woman_money_000062037450.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-personal-finance-milestones-every-20-and-30-year-old-should-hit?ref=fbf">7 Personal Finance Milestones Every 20 and 30 Year Old Should Hit</a> &mdash; Successfully managing your money is a struggle at every age. But if you can come up with the right strategy by 30, and stick to it, then you'll be living a very sweet life.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-by-30?ref=fbf">5 Financial Mistakes You Need to Stop Making by 30</a> &mdash; Just as important as learning what to do, is learning what not to do. You probably made all of these mistakes in the rough and tumble times in your 20s, but it's time to break these reckless habits by your third decade on Earth.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-stop-doing-on-social-media-by-30?ref=fbf">10 Things to Stop Doing on Social Media by 30</a> &mdash; We live in a digital age, in which the way you conduct yourself online is almost as important as the way you conduct yourself in person. So seriously, stop taking drunk, revealing selfies and plastering them all over the web.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_cooking_000057441244.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-life-hacks-you-should-master-by-age-30?ref=fbf">10 Life Hacks You Should Master by Age 30</a> &mdash; From changing a tire to properly wrapping a present, these are the skills you should master by the time you hit the big 3-0. Some are easy, and some are hard, but all will make you a self-sufficient human. And that is priceless.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-life-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-by-30?ref=fbf">5 Life Mistakes You Need to Stop Making by 30</a> &mdash; Adulting is not always easy. In fact, most of the time, it's incredibly difficult. But by 30, it's truly time to grow up and stop making irresponsible life choices.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-foods-everybody-should-be-able-to-cook-by-30?ref=fbf">12 Foods Everybody Should Be Able to Cook by 30</a> &mdash; Even if you're not much of a cook, you should be able to throw together a basic and hearty meal for yourself in a pinch. From pasta to pancakes, these are the foods you should really know how to cook by now.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/30-somethings_financial_goals.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-all-30-somethings-should-have?ref=fbf">10 Money Goals All 30-Somethings Should Have</a> &mdash; Now that your 20s are officially behind you, it's time to get serious about your financial goals. You've always dreamed of retiring on a beach with cocktails always in hand, yes? Well, now is the time to make that dream come true.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-career-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-30?ref=fbf">8 Career Mistakes to Stop Making by 30</a> &mdash; Decade numero tres is usually around the time people get laser-focused on their career goals. So if you're looking to switch industries, start your own business, or get a promotion, make sure you're always being your best self at work, and stop letting these mistakes slow you down.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-successful-30-somethings-do?ref=fbf">9 Things Successful 30-Somethings Do</a> &mdash; Oh you, wanna be a baller? Learn from the best, and adopt these smart habits of successful 30-somethings and you'll be well on your way.</p> <p><em>What are your tips for mastering the game of life by age 30? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it">Flashback Friday: The 60 Best Ways to Use Food Other Than Eating It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store">Flashback Friday: The 81 Best Tips for Saving Big at the Grocery Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right">Flashback Friday: The 107 Best Breakfast Hacks to Start Your Day Off Right</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-119-best-fitness-hacks-for-busy-people">Flashback Friday: The 119 Best Fitness Hacks for Busy People</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting Lifestyle budget fbf flashback friday frugal food Health saving money Fri, 08 Apr 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1686913 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: The 81 Best Tips for Saving Big at the Grocery Store http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_grocery_store_000086102447.jpg" alt="Woman learning tips to save big at the grocery store" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You go to the grocery store. You have a list in hand. Then, you stray from the list for just one item, and somehow you end up bringing home a bunch of food you didn't plan on buying, leaving your grocery budget completely obliterated. This happens to all of us, and it happens often.</p> <p>And no matter how much you plan ahead and try to stay on track, you can easily be lured into extra spending with 10 for $10 deals and delicious deli specials. The problem is that we need food to survive, so buying additional snacks and meals is way easier to justify in your mind than clothes or shoes. You can resist the urge to buy a new pair of shoes you don't need, but you will always need to put food in your belly.</p> <p>So to combat this tricky spending trap, here are the 81 best tips for saving big at the grocery store that we've ever shared.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_fresh_strawberries_000067876803.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-off-season-foods-that-are-destroying-your-grocery-budget?ref=fbf">5 Off-Season Foods That Are Destroying Your Grocery Budget</a> &mdash; You love fresh produce, but do you really need all your favorites 365 days a year? Nope. Stay away from foods that aren't in season and you can protect your food budget.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-healthiest-grocery-stores?ref=fbf">The 6 Healthiest Grocery Stores</a> &mdash; These stores are actively trying to ensure you make healthy food choices every time you shop. And sure, you can't guarantee that you'll never make an impulse buy at the register ever again, but wouldn't you rather that impulse buy be something good for you, as opposed to junk food? Me too.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch?ref=fbf">5 Easy Ways to Save on Groceries in a Pinch</a> &mdash; You need food but you're low on funds. Now what? Here are five clever ways to get what you need while staying within your means.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/man_confused_groceries_000061844584.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-you-are-sabotaging-your-weekly-grocery-budget?ref=fbf">9 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Weekly Grocery Budget</a> &mdash; The first step to fixing a problem is acknowledging that there is one, and becoming aware of the triggers that lead to the problem. These are the grocery budget saboteurs that are keeping you from staying on track. Now you know.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-100s-next-month-with-these-10-grocery-shopping-tips?ref=fbf">Save $100s Next Month With These 10 Grocery Shopping Tips</a> &mdash; These tips will take your shopping strategy to the next level, and will help you resist those all-too-tempting food deals that are not on your list and outside of your budget.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-organic-grocery-items-that-arent-worth-it?ref=fbf">10 Organic Grocery Items That Aren't Worth It</a> &mdash; The &quot;organic&quot; label is a popular one to seek when food shopping. But some things don't need to be &quot;organic&quot; to be good for you. Skip these organic items and save big.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_food_shopping_000016896623.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/negotiate-better-prices-on-these-6-grocery-store-buys?ref=fbf">Negotiate Better Prices on These 6 Grocery Store Buys</a> &mdash; Good news! That price tag isn't set in stone. There are several items in your local grocery store that can be negotiated. So get haggling and save some major cash.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-grocery-store-secrets-only-the-pros-know?ref=fbf">10 Grocery Store Secrets Only the Pros Know</a> &mdash; These master hacks will show you how to get the best possible foods for your money, without spending more than need to.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars?ref=fbf">20 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars</a> &mdash; Just because you don't have a full house doesn't mean you can't do some smart bulk buying. Stretch your grocery bucks as far as they'll go with these easy tricks.</p> <p><em>How do you avoid overspending at the grocery store? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it">Flashback Friday: The 60 Best Ways to Use Food Other Than Eating It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right">Flashback Friday: The 107 Best Breakfast Hacks to Start Your Day Off Right</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-119-best-fitness-hacks-for-busy-people">Flashback Friday: The 119 Best Fitness Hacks for Busy People</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting Food and Drink fbf fitness flashback friday frugal food grocery budget grocery shopping grocery store Health Fri, 01 Apr 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1683036 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Ways to Save and Make Money While Traveling http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-save-and-make-money-while-traveling <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-ways-to-save-and-make-money-while-traveling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000068178575.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to save and make money while traveling" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What is the sharing economy, and how can it work for you? Based on the principle that people can share excess goods, peer-to-peer, it's a way to get what you need and share what you no longer use without a corporate middleman.</p> <p>The sharing economy brings a practice formerly reserved for small transactions among friends to a regional, or even global scale. Now you can rent the extra room in your house to a complete stranger for cash, or you can share your knack for making excellent chicken pot pie with more than just your friend circle by hosting people you don't know yet for dinner &mdash; for a fee.</p> <p>At first, I was skeptical. Sharing my time and space with perfect strangers seemed like an odd and even dangerous way to make a buck. However, with newcomers exploding onto the scene all the time, changing the way we do business with each other, it started to become financially irresponsible <em>not</em> to at least dabble. These days, harnessing the sharing economy is my primary way of saving money when I travel, which is 365 days of the year.</p> <p>Here are some of the most clever ways to utilize the sharing economy before and during your travels to save money for your trip, and once you're on the road.</p> <h2>1. AirBnB</h2> <p><strong>Before you go</strong>: Paying rent can seriously eat into travel savings, but you can make some money while you're away by renting out your place at AirBnB. If you're not using it, you may as well make it work for you. Some people make a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed">sizable chunk of earnings</a> off this service alone. Make sure to look into the rules and regulations for holiday rentals in your area, and check with your landlord, if you have one, before listing your place.</p> <p><strong>On the road</strong>: While traveling, renting rooms with AirBnB will often prove much cheaper than hotel rooms &mdash; while providing access to a kitchen for cooking rather than eating out, and lending to a more local experience. I found that in many countries, a private room with an ensuite bathroom was even cheaper than a shared dorm room in a hostel. Who would have thought? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers</a>)</p> <h2>2. Camp in my Garden</h2> <p><strong>Before you go</strong>: If renting out space within your home isn&rsquo;t an option, <a href="http://campinmygarden.com">Camp in my Garden</a> allows you to rent out your yard. That's a space that you probably don't use 24/7, so why not rent it out?</p> <p><strong>On the road</strong>: If you love camping and want cheap digs, consider taking your tent along and turning places that previously seemed impossible for campers (like urban spaces) into a whole new travel experience.</p> <h2>3. JustPark</h2> <p><strong>Before you go</strong>: Say you don't even have space in your backyard, but there's a parking spot you're not using that you could rent out from time to time &mdash; like when you're at work &mdash; in an area where parking is limited. Make that spot work for you by renting it out on <a href="https://www.justpark.com/">JustPark</a>.</p> <p><strong>On the road</strong>: Parking lot fees and expenses can add up quickly. Look into the options near you, and see if you can save some money by parking with a local who has excess space.</p> <h2>4. Uber</h2> <p><strong>Before you go</strong>: If you live in a city or live your life in such a way that you truly need a car, make up for this expense by <a href="http://uber.7eer.net/c/27771/207645/3437">giving rides to people through Uber</a>. Both drivers and passengers have peer reviews, and no money is exchanged between parties, making it a safer and easier transaction.</p> <p><strong>On the road</strong>: Uber exists all over the world, including most of Europe, South Africa, and even India. It's often a much cheaper, less scammy, and safer alternative to a taxi. It was my chief method of getting around in Johannesburg, South Africa, which doesn't have public transport and isn't safe to walk around. And I felt safer since the app tracked me from pick-up to drop off.</p> <h2>5. FlightCar</h2> <p><strong>Before you go</strong>: If Uber isn't your cup of tea, or if you don't have time to devote to driving, rent your car out to others on <a href="https://www.flightcar.com/">Flightcar</a>. Save the fees you'd pay to the parking meter and make your car work for you when you aren't using it.</p> <p><strong>On the road</strong>: In true sharing economy fashion, while someone else is making use of your car, do the same by renting a car that&rsquo;s already sitting at the airport from another traveler, and enjoy ultimate vacation flexibility for less than a rental from the big guys.</p> <h2>6. Relay Rides</h2> <p><strong>Before you go</strong>: If you don't have time to drive others around and don't have any trips coming up, rent your car out short-term with <a href="https://relayrides.com/">Relay Rides</a>. Rentals can be as short as an hour or two.</p> <p><strong>On the road</strong>: Don't need a car for a full several days or weeks? Just rent a car for an hour to get across town and back if that's all you need.</p> <h2>7. SpinLister</h2> <p><strong>Before you go</strong>: Do you have a bike that's collecting dust? Do you go away for long periods of time, leaving your wheels idle? Rent it out to others on <a href="https://www.spinlister.com/">SpinLister</a> when you don't need it yourself.</p> <p><strong>On the road</strong>: Day-use bicycle rentals can become costly, especially in big cities or beach towns. In much of Europe, for example, a bicycle is the easiest and cheapest way to get around, so look into renting from a local rather than a company to save some cash.</p> <h2>8. EatWith</h2> <p><strong>Before you go</strong>: Are you a talented chef? Take your dinner party game past your circle of friends and invite guests to come together at your dinner table for a fee with <a href="http://www.eatwith.com/">EatWith</a>. Run your own restaurant from home.</p> <p><strong>On the road</strong>: EatWith is a great resource for solo travelers and groups alike. Share the cost of a private chef with several people, and make new friends in the process. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-super-smart-travel-hacks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">31 Super Smart Travel Hacks</a>)</p> <h2>9. Vayable</h2> <p><strong>Before you go</strong>: Are you particularly knowledgeable about the area where you live? If your town or city gets a fair amount of tourist traffic, there could be an opportunity for you to show people around and share your local knowledge for some cash through <a href="https://www.vayable.com/">Vayable</a>. Get creative: tours can be as niche as showing people around the best organic farmers markets in San Francisco, or a walking tour of Berlin's street art, for example.</p> <p><strong>On the road</strong>: Tour companies can be expensive. What better way to get to know a place than by checking it out with a local and meeting other travelers in the process? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cheap-fun-fall-getaways?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Cheap, Fun Fall Getaways</a>)</p> <h2>10. Thredup</h2> <p><strong>Before you go</strong>: What is sitting in your closet that you haven&rsquo;t worn for a year or more? Pick through the racks and let go of the things that you no longer use, and rather than getting pennies on the dollar at a consignment store, try selling on <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=395939.79&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0">Thredup</a> to your peers.</p> <p><strong>On the road</strong>: Do you live in a warm climate but are heading somewhere cold for a few days? I found myself in this situation as a Californian packing for Iceland without many warm clothes. Quality winter gear can get expensive, so I had to get creative. Are you in a similar position? Buy gently used clothes you need for your journey for way less. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today</a>)</p> <h2>11. Yerdle</h2> <p><strong>Before you go</strong>: Have you ever bought something that you simply didn't end up using? Get rid of the guilt by selling those items through <a href="https://yerdle.com/">Yerdle</a>, and get more money for your items than you would by selling them to a used goods store.</p> <p><strong>On the road</strong>: Have you been aching for a new camera for your trip but can't shoulder the cost? Get brand new goods for your travels for cheaper.</p> <h2>12. Fon</h2> <p><strong>Before you go</strong>: <a href="https://corp.fon.com/en">Fon</a> allows you to share your Wi-Fi connection remotely with those passing through the area. Share the costs of that expensive Internet connection!</p> <p><strong>On the road</strong>: If you're like me, you still need to work on the road from time to time, and Wi-Fi can be a pain to find in some places, and quite costly to boot. Find cheaper connections by harnessing Fon's network.</p> <p>There are many creative ways to make the sharing economy work for you while benefiting others who are in the same situation. Thanks to new companies popping up every day that harness ways to directly share excess items or skills, saving up for a trip and preserving funds on the road keeps getting easier.</p> <p><em>What do you think? Would you give these companies a try? If you have, tell us about your experience in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kristin-addis">Kristin Addis</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-save-and-make-money-while-traveling">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-budget-for-summer-vacation">7 Easy Ways to Budget for Summer Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-ways-the-sharing-economy-helps-you-save-on-vacation">5 Fun Ways the Sharing Economy Helps You Save on Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel extra income making money saving money travel travel budget Tue, 29 Mar 2016 09:00:16 +0000 Kristin Addis 1645848 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Old School Tools to Help You Stay on Budget http://www.wisebread.com/6-old-school-tools-to-help-you-stay-on-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-old-school-tools-to-help-you-stay-on-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_writing_journal_000055707370.jpg" alt="Woman using old school tools to stay on budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Because I am a visual thinker, low-fi tools like datebooks and check registers help me keep my finances better organized than when I use digital tools like Quicken and Excel. Surprisingly, these <em>olde time-y </em>office supplies also keep me from overspending.&nbsp;</p> <h2>1. A Receipt Spindle</h2> <p>I actually hate bookkeeping. As a result, my desktop used to be a mess of receipts at the end of every month &mdash; until I started using a <a href="http://amzn.to/1Uxxanl">cheap spindle</a> to organize my paper receipts. Every night I pull the receipts out of my tiny wallet and stick them onto the prong. At the end of the month, I pull the receipts off as one stack, flip the stack, and voila &mdash; receipts in chronological order ready to be reconciled with Mint.com. After double checking the receipts against my bank records, I then put the receipts into an <a href="http://amzn.to/253dSej">accordion file</a> in the odd event I need hard, tangible evidence at tax time. While my system might sound fiddly, it actually takes less than 20 minutes a month to manage my receipts this way.</p> <h2>2. Paper Checks</h2> <p>No pain, no gain. There have been, conservatively, 55,321 studies in the last two decades that show that people are willing to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-we-spend-more-when-we-pay-with-credit-cards">spend up to twice as much</a> for the same item when they pay with a credit card instead of cash.</p> <p><em>Coupling</em> is the psychological term for that negative feeling you get when you shell out cold hard cash for purchases. I double down on the discomfort by paying with checks. When I use a check, I am forced to write out the cost of a purchase, twice. The evidence of my consumption is right there in my own handwriting. While the moment it takes for me to pull out my checkbook and write a check might be annoying to anyone standing behind me in the checkout line, that moment gives me one last chance to think to myself, &quot;Do I really need to spend money on this?&quot; More often than not, that answer is no.</p> <p>There are several other reasons why I refuse to kick my check writing habit:</p> <h3>When Digital Banking Technology Fails You, Paper Won't</h3> <p>My neighbor's debit card was just spoofed. Although her bank caught the theft within hours, she has to wait 10 days before her new ATM card arrives. She's currently living off the $200 the bank allowed her to draw down without her card. If she had checks, she wouldn't have to live off $20 a day.</p> <p>Also, ATM machines and credit card machines require phone lines and electricity. During disasters like Hurricane Sandy, when the utilities go down, a paper check might be the only way to pay for emergency supplies.</p> <h3>Some Businesses Charge Extra Fees for Credit Cards</h3> <p>Many restaurants and small businesses charge an extra fee for credit card payments, or have a minimum amount for credit card purchases.</p> <h3>Utility Companies and Government Agencies Might Not Take Plastic</h3> <p>I thought I was going to just rack up the frequent flyer points by paying for all my utilities with my credit card. Alas, many of my utilities don't accept credit payments.</p> <h3>Use Checks to Create a Paper Trail</h3> <p>Not only do I use checks, I use duplicate checks. They make it easy to keep track of expenditures because they act like additional receipts.</p> <h2>3. A Spending Book</h2> <p>A <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-saving-more-with-this-one-simple-tool">spending book</a> is a diet journal for your bank account. If you want to create a budget and save more money, you first have to know how you are spending all your filthy lucre. Most people don't blow through cash at the craps table in Las Vegas. Instead, they fritter away huge sums of money every year on super boring purchases and experiences. This is the reason why financial writers are constantly harping about why you shouldn't buy bottled water or to-go coffee. Those <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-dumb-little-purchases-you-need-to-stop-making-today">little impulse purchases</a> are death by a thousand cuts to a budget.</p> <p>A spending book helps save money in two ways. First, it gives you a detailed, down to the penny, view of your spending habits. Secondly, like writing a check, it makes parting with your earnings that much more painful.</p> <h2>4. A Record of Financial Triumphs</h2> <p>In addition to tracking my spending in the week-at-at-glance section of my <a href="http://amzn.to/1UxAAX6">Moleskine </a>datebook, I use the month-at-a-glance section of my datebook to track my income. And by income, I mean the dime I picked up off the street, my garage sale earnings, and the money I made by selling old textbooks. All those teeny weenie income streams can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-dumpster-diving-to-garage-sales-turning-trash-into-cash">add up to serious money</a> over the course of one year. My husband didn't think we would be able to afford to fly East to visit friends and family over Christmas, but we handily paid for our 10-day vacation to NYC and Washington, D.C. with the money we'd earned from these little transactions.</p> <h2>5. The Envelope System</h2> <p>My grandmother taught me how to budget using the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-envelope-system">envelope system</a> when I was a child and too young to open a savings account of my own. Yes, this budget hack is so simple, that even a nine-year-old can use it.</p> <p>In brief, the envelope system uses cash to help visualize a budget and control spending. For example, three main spending categories for my household are groceries, records, and gas. Say my average monthly grocery budget is $200, my record budget is $100, and my gas budget is $200. To cover these three categories, I will withdraw $500 in cash from my paycheck and put the cash amount for each bill/budget category into their respectively named envelopes. This method prevents me from spending money out of pocket or my checking account because money has already been earmarked for every bill.</p> <p>This type of budgeting is also called <em>zero based budgeting</em> because 100% of the spending money for each month is allocated to envelopes and zeroed out at the end of each month.</p> <p>Personally, I like to have money left over in my envelopes each month. This little visual incentive is another reason why the envelope system helps me save money. I have tangible evidence of my good behavior!</p> <h2>6. A Portable Filing Cabinet</h2> <p>I think the main reason why old-fashioned bookkeeping tools have fallen out of favor is that many people have a hard time keeping track of paperwork. After years of trial and error, I finally found a solution that keeps my house free of loose papers.</p> <p>I use eight plastic <a href="http://amzn.to/253fS6j">accordion files</a> to keep track of my tax documents. One for this year's bills and paperwork, and one for each of the seven previous tax years. Although I have gone the &quot;paperless&quot; route with many of my bills, I still use this type of file to manage the hard copies of everything (real estate paperwork, recipes, knitting patterns) in my life.</p> <p>I also like envelope closure accordion files because I am a klutz who is constantly dropping her paperwork. These files keep my records neatly separated by category, even if I accidentally put them into my bag upside down. These files are also great for people like me who live in small houses with no storage space.</p> <p><em>What low-tech tricks do you use to manage your money? Share your skills with your fellow Wise Bread readers so we can all stay on budget when our Robot Overlords take control of the Matrix. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-old-school-tools-to-help-you-stay-on-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-ways-to-save-money-by-tracking-your-receipts">6 Simple Ways to Save Money by Tracking Your Receipts</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-7-things-every-frugal-person-should-have-in-their-wallet">The 7 Things Every Frugal Person Should Have In Their Wallet</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/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money">These 5 Apps Will Help You Finally Organize Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-organize-your-paperwork-in-just-10-minutes-a-week">How to Organize Your Paperwork in Just 10 Minutes a Week</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/five-easy-steps-to-keeping-track-of-expenses-for-the-self-employed">Five Easy Steps to Keeping Track of Expenses for the Self-Employed</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Organization checks Envelope system filing gadgets low-tech personal finance receipts record keeping tools Mon, 28 Mar 2016 10:01:03 +0000 Max Wong 1677889 at http://www.wisebread.com Everything You Need to Know About Switching to the Cash Only Lifestyle http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-switching-to-the-cash-only-lifestyle <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/everything-you-need-to-know-about-switching-to-the-cash-only-lifestyle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_cash_000009192860.jpg" alt="Woman learning everything she needs to know about cash only" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you considered using the cash system to get your budget under control? You're not alone. But what are the best practices? I'm going to share a few tips and tricks that work for my family. If you're totally new to this method, these tips should help you become a cash-carrying ninja in no time at all. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-6-reasons-why-using-cash-only-rocks?ref=seealso">Top 6 Reasons Why Using Cash-Only Rocks</a>)</p> <h2>1. Plan Ahead</h2> <p>Carrying money around can be horribly inconvenient and even intimidating without a good plan in place. When I started out with cash, I was always worried I wouldn't have enough to cover what I was buying. Worse, I didn't have a clear understanding of exactly how much I spent in each of my budget categories.</p> <p>Now? I use cash for all our variable expenses. These core areas for my family include groceries, clothing, entertainment, household items, allowances, and other activities. At the start of each month, we get out half of the budgeted amounts in cash and divide them up into the categories. We get the second half out at the next pay period during the month.</p> <h2>2. Get Organized</h2> <p>A lot of people use an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-envelope-system">envelope system</a> to organize their cash. And it makes good sense. Once you have planned ahead and budgeted out your amounts, you simply label envelopes, distribute your money into them, and get to sensible spending.</p> <p>I personally like to use one of those <a href="http://amzn.to/1Rhrlv1">mini expanding files</a> to keep everything together and clearly labeled. I also have a paper register where I track how much cash I've taken out of each category. It's a little old school, but it's a system that works well for me. You may want to use an Excel spreadsheet or budget app to manage your paper money.</p> <h2>3. Keep Track</h2> <p>At the end of each month, I try to make some mental notes about how everything went. Our needs as a family change and evolve over time. For example, we haven't bought many clothes lately, so we've been able to reallocate some of those funds into our grocery budget that seems to have ballooned since our daughter transitioned from toddler to preschooler.</p> <p>I also track any extra money we have leftover at the end of each month by category. As I observe the trends, I customize our budget accordingly. The thing I like about cash is that it's so physical. There's no ignoring it. It's either there or it isn't. So, it's a nice, in-your-face reminder of how we're doing with our variable expenses each month. The extra time it takes to pay attention is well worth it.</p> <h2>4. Mind Leftovers</h2> <p>Usually we use the surplus to do something fun as a family &mdash; go out to dinner, enjoy a movie, etc. Though lately we've considered adding it to our savings since we're expecting baby number two in the summer. The cool thing about leftover money is that it's, well, leftover. You can do whatever you want or need to do with it, depending on your current lifestyle and financial situation.</p> <p>We keep our excess funds in a big jar. This method, if you can call it that, might not work for everyone, but our budget is tight enough that it isn't overflowing. Still, it's a good place to grab cash as needed for incidentals, like random ice cream dates. If you're more into getting ahead or saving, you could consider pitching the money forward and taking out less for the next month. Or when you visit the bank for next month's withdrawal, put the leftovers straight into your savings account.</p> <h2>5. Think Safety</h2> <p>Above all, if you're carrying a load of cash around, you want to be safe about it. I try not to carry more than I need for any given shopping trip. So, if I'm going grocery shopping, I won't bring any of the other envelopes unless I need to. (If I'm getting household products in addition to food, for example.)</p> <p>I also don't bring the entire month's worth of funds with me when I go shopping. Instead, I calculate how much I might spend beforehand and bring only that much (or just slightly over what I expect to spend). It can be tricky, but with a little practice, you will get the hang of it. The worst that can happen is you have to leave something at the store.</p> <p>With regard to safekeeping at home, there are definitely good and bad ways to store your cash. Our jar is well hidden in the kitchen cupboards (though, I should probably go move it after telling you that). Also: We don't keep more than a set amount at home. If you plan to keep lots, make sure you add that amount to your home or rental insurance in case of emergencies. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-places-to-stash-cash-in-your-home?ref=seealso">The Best and Worst Places to Stash Cash at Home</a>)</p> <p><em>How do you handle keeping cash at home?</em></p> <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/everything-you-need-to-know-about-switching-to-the-cash-only-lifestyle">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/the-7-things-every-frugal-person-should-have-in-their-wallet">The 7 Things Every Frugal Person Should Have In Their Wallet</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/managing-your-short-term-money">Managing Your Short-Term 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/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-envelope-system">A Comprehensive Guide to the Envelope System</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-old-school-tools-to-help-you-stay-on-budget">6 Old School Tools to Help You Stay on 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/dont-forget-to-budget-for-these-unexpected-moving-expenses">Don&#039;t Forget to Budget for These Unexpected Moving Expenses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting cash Envelope system expenses money organizing planning Mon, 28 Mar 2016 09:00:05 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1678001 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Money Lessons You Can Learn From Your Pets http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-your-pets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-your-pets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000047379998_Large.jpg" alt="learning money lessons from your cat and dog" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Each morning, I am generally awoken in one of two ways: either Tivo, our three-year-old greyhound, places his wet nose directly in my face and snuffles with excitement, or our cat Lebowski (a.k.a. The Dude) lays himself across my neck and purrs jet-engine-decibel contentment straight into my ear.</p> <p>I love my pets, and not just because they have made the alarm clock app on my phone completely superfluous. They are great companions and friends, but they are also fonts of incredible money wisdom. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-your-dog-can-save-you-money?ref=seealso">5 Surprising Ways Your Dog Can Save You Money</a>)</p> <p>Don't believe me? Consider the following.</p> <h2>1. Dogs Remind You to Enjoy the Little Things</h2> <p>If you want to make your dog happy, just grab his favorite ball and head outside. A little bit of rough-and-tumble play with Rover, or some scratches behind his ear are more than enough to send him over the moon. He knows that there's no need to commit to a huge, expensive indulgence to have fun, when walkies and a full bowl of kibble get his tail wagging.</p> <p>And researchers have found that dogs are onto something. We derive more happiness from the small, regular pleasures in life than we do from the big, occasional indulgences. That's because of something known as <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedonic_treadmill">hedonic adaptation</a>, where we feel less pleasure from something we have become accustomed to. After a day at the beach, you will not be feeling as happy as you were when you got there, and by the end of your vacation, you will be completely accustomed to sand and surf, which means you'll take it for granted.</p> <p>If you emulate your beloved pooch, however, and spend your money or time on smaller and more regular pleasures &mdash; such as weekly drinks out with friends, a monthly manicure, and daily walks with Rover &mdash; then you'll be much happier than if you deny the small indulgences in favor of big purchases.</p> <h2>2. Model Your Investments After Catnaps</h2> <p>Cats sleep between 12 and 16 hours a day, and will often only move in order to stay in the sunbeam they are napping in. But even with all of that shut-eye, cats are hardly &quot;sleeping on the job.&quot; Even a snoozing feline will twitch his ears if you drop something &mdash; and he can spring into action almost instantaneously if he feels threatened while snoozing.</p> <p>What Mittens is indirectly teaching you with this type of sleeping pattern is how to be a rational investor. Taking a long view and sitting tight on your investments through market ups and downs is by far the smartest way to grow your wealth. Most of us have a hard time doing what feels like nothing during market volatility. This is called the <a href="http://ambiguityadvantage.blogspot.com/2008/02/action-bias-in-decision-making-problem.html">action bias</a>, and it makes us feel as though doing anything, even if it is counterproductive, is preferable to sitting around doing nothing. But listening to the action bias is the reason why people sell when the market is at its lowest and buy when it's at its highest. They are afraid of doing nothing.</p> <p>It's important to note that your cat doesn't just sleep the day away. He always keeps one ear cocked for signs of trouble. Doing nothing may be his default &mdash; as it should be with your investments &mdash; but he is ready to take action when it is necessary, and not a moment before.</p> <h2>3. Dogs Teach Us That Boredom Is Destructive</h2> <p>When we first got Tivo, one afternoon he managed to tear open our locked bread drawer by pulling hard enough on the handle to break the wooden face of the drawer. We quickly realized that our new family member didn't just share our affinity for bagels &mdash; he was also suffering from boredom. Thankfully, increasing our visits to the dog park, and investing in a better drawer lock, helped solve the problem.</p> <p>But Tivo's drawer-breaking tendencies reminded me of the destructive power of boredom. Parents know that bored kids will always find something to do, and generally that something is destructive. Bored grownups, on the other hand, tend to spend money to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-frugal-ways-to-battle-boredom">relieve their ennui</a>. How often have you found yourself browsing Amazon or going out to eat because you can't think of anything else to do?</p> <p>For both dogs and people, the best boredom relief is often exercise. Heading out for a quick walk or even doing some jumping jacks when you are feeling bored can stimulate both your body and your mind, for free. Even better, it won't result in the better part of your kitchen being strewn through your living room.</p> <h2>4. Your Cat Doesn't Fear Failure, and Neither Should You</h2> <p>I have owned cats my entire life, and yet I never cease to be impressed by their ability to leap tall cabinets in a single bound. Cats do not weigh risks or do cost-benefit analysis when trying to navigate a tricky obstacle to the preferred spot on the highest piece of furniture. They simply leap without hesitation. Even if they do miss their target and fall, they simply get up, pretend that they meant to fall, and try again.</p> <p>Of course, cats feel confident making acrobatic jumps because they are uniquely suited to landing on their feet. But human beings are similarly well-suited to adapting to new circumstances and handling the issues life throws at them. We may fear big changes, like leaving a job to become an entrepreneur, or going back to school to learn a new skill. But like the cat's landing reflexes, we have the ability to handle those big changes. We should look at failure like cats do &mdash; as a potential cost you can easily bounce back from.</p> <h2>5. Emulate Your Dog by Thoroughly Investigating Opportunities</h2> <p>When you introduce your dog to a new person, their first instinct is to take a good whiff of the stranger before deciding if he's a friend or a foe. Dogs also thoroughly investigate every fire hydrant and patch of yellow snow on their walks to make sure they are au courant with the neighborhood doggy business.</p> <p>This kind of investigation is an important aspect of protecting your finances. Dogs are known for being easily excitable, and yet they take a moment to make sure they know everything they can about a person or fellow animal's scent before making a decision. Human beings, who are supposedly more rational, will often jump into the &quot;sure thing&quot; investment because they are so excited about the prospect of big money. Only when they discover that there are no tin mines in Bolivia and that they were taken in by a con man, do they remember that they should have investigated the investment thoroughly before writing a check.</p> <h2>6. Cats Know How to Ask for What They Want</h2> <p>Although cats have a reputation for being aloof and dignified, they are also perfectly happy letting the humans in their lives know when they want something &mdash; as anyone who has spent a day letting a cat in and then back out and then back in again, can attest.</p> <p>Human beings have trouble being both dignified and willing to ask for help. We tend to think of dignity as somehow being above asking others for help. But our cats show us that there is nothing undignified in recognizing when you need help getting what you want. Getting help from others is often necessary to meet your career and financial goals. You would hate to miss opportunities just because you were afraid to ask for help.</p> <h3>Four-Footed Friends and Finance</h3> <p>Tivo and The Dude may not have a thriving stock portfolio or even a simple budget. But my dog and cat both show me on a daily basis that they may know a thing or two about money anyway.</p> <p><em>What money lessons have you learned from your pets? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-your-pets">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-dog-costs-you-should-prepare-for-now">5 Unexpected Dog Costs You Should Prepare for Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-great-teachable-money-moments-to-share-with-your-kids">6 Great Teachable Money Moments to Share With Your Kids</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-8-best-pets-for-frugal-animal-lovers">The 8 Best Pets for Frugal Animal Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-sibling-discounts-that-can-save-you-big">6 Sibling Discounts That Can Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting Family cat dog family pet lessons learned money lessons Thu, 24 Mar 2016 10:30:06 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1677206 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_on_vacation_000069738815.jpg" alt="Friends finding spring break budget busters to avoid" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Planning to whoop it up on spring break? Let your fun flag fly without obliterating your bank account by avoiding these getaway budget busters.</p> <h2>1. Lodging</h2> <p>Even now that I'm in my mid-30s (that's the first time I've written that &mdash; gimme a minute), I still prefer inexpensive lodging to high-end hotels when I travel, at least when it's on my own dime. As an alternative, I opt for short-term apartment rentals (like Airbnb or VRBO) or even crash with friends to help save a ton of money that, when you think about it, I'm just sleeping away.</p> <p>Anita Covic, destination specialist TripTogether, a travel site that helps travelers meet other travelers, also thinks this route is the way to go.</p> <p>&quot;Cutting costs doesn't have to be stressful, and one of the biggest costs that can be cut is lodging,&quot; she says. &quot;Personally, I think hostels are a great alternative to expensive hotels. Airbnb is a great option for a large group of people. Eating out can add up as well. Try booking a hostel or Airbnb [rental] with a kitchen and stock up on groceries that can be easily converted to quick breakfasts and lunches.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Airfare</h2> <p>Save on airfare by knowing when to shop for plane tickets, and use a multifaceted approach by consulting discount sites and the airlines proper to see who offers the best price. You also can avoid spending full price for airfare by setting alerts for deals. If you happen to earn frequent flyer miles, check out the new award travel search engine <a href="http://pexportal.com">PEX+</a> to find the best price on an award ticket.</p> <h2>3. Eating Out</h2> <p>When you're on vacay, it's easy to get lax on your waistline and your wallet. Keep both of these areas in check by curbing your cravings for junk food (which might go hand in hand with those hangovers, by the way) while trying to make more of your meals wherever you're staying (made easier with a kitchen). Find ways to munch for free instead of popping into a restaurant, café, or fast-food joint for every meal.</p> <p>&quot;Dining out at new restaurants is one of the best parts of traveling, but there's no need to eat out three meals a day,&quot; reminds saving expert Andrea Woroch. &quot;Many hotels and hostels offer some sort of free breakfast, typically consisting of fruit, cereal, and pastries, which is plenty to start your day. Sandwiches are an easy meal to prepare in-room, which you can then pack as lunch for a day exploring the city. When looking for a spot to eat, use apps to track down coupons for nearby restaurants and search for daily dining deals via Groupon Now.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Alcohol</h2> <p>Oh, alcohol. It's the stuff that many great spring break memories are made of &mdash; but it can quickly take your budget from hero to zero if you're not careful. To reduce how much you're spending on booze, remember one word: pregame.</p> <p>&quot;Drinks at bars and restaurants are very expensive, so if you're planning to do some drinking, try to plan a get-together somewhere where you can bring your own alcohol &mdash; like someone's hotel room &mdash; before you go out,&quot; advises The Stave Diaries travel blogger Stefanie Parks. &quot;This way you can get your alcohol from a grocery or convenience store and won't have to splurge for more expensive drinks while you're out.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Entertainment and Activities</h2> <p>When you're traveling, you want to see and do as much as possible within your destination. However, an action-packed schedule comes with a cost. Before you embark, take time to review entertainment and activity options and identify those that are most important and affordable to you.</p> <p>&quot;There are plenty of free things you can do on your trip, like a day at the beach, viewing art galleries, or simply exploring city streets,&quot; Woroch says. &quot;You can even skip the pricey guided tours and take a self-guided walking tour for free. Print city guides from resources like <a href="http://citywalkingguide.com/">City Walking Guide</a> or download a walking tour guide on your mobile device using apps like <a href="https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/audio/audio-europe">Rick Steves Europe Travel</a> and <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/city-maps-walks-470+-cities/id417207307?mt=8">City Maps and Walks</a>.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Hidden Fees</h2> <p>The money trap is right there in the name &mdash; hidden fees &mdash; and these can add up to a substantial amount when all is said and done, slowly chipping away at your budget along the way.</p> <p>Saveful.com's Louis DeNicola details some of the more common offenders.</p> <p>&quot;Rental car companies can charge around $10/day for a collision damage waiver, but many credit cards include that coverage free of charge,&quot; he points out. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=seealso">What Does Car Rental Insurance Really Cover On Your Credit Card?</a>)</p> <p>Travelers should also look for hidden hotel-related fees. Some hotels in popular tourist destinations charge a resort fee on top of the standard room rate. Hotels may offer extra perks, such as free Wi-Fi, to members of their loyalty program &mdash; even brand new members.</p> <p>&quot;Some hotels' minibars have weight sensors and you might get charged even if you didn't drink or eat anything,&quot; DeNicola adds. &quot;Review your bill before leaving the hotel.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Convenience-Store Goodies</h2> <p>When you have a packed spring break schedule of exciting activities, it's not only easy to eat out more than you normally would, but popping into convenience stores for quick snacking items also is more prevalent. Two dollars here and there for bottles of water, coffee, candy, and chips may seem like insignificant expenses, but if you're doing it every day, you'll find that you're wasting a decent chunk of change.</p> <p>&quot;Limit the excess you spend on drinks and snacks by packing fruit or granola bars and a refillable water bottle to stay fueled and hydrated during a long day of exploring,&quot; Woroch suggests.</p> <h2>8. Mobile Data</h2> <p>I recently traveled to Montreal for the New Year's holiday and I was conscious to turn off my mobile roaming and data as soon as we crossed the border from the United States into Canada. But would you believe that when I received my bill for that period there was $20 of international charges on it? Apparently I wasn't fast enough, or the networks got crossed as I approached the border, and I incurred the fees I was trying to avoid. And that was within seconds to minutes. Can you imagine what I would have been charged had I left it one for a few hours or days?</p> <p>Woroch warns against a similar situation.</p> <p>&quot;To avoid pricey data-overage fees, turn off pop-up notifications and use a <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/free-wifi-finder/id411134124?mt=8">Free Wi-Fi Finder</a> app to track down local hotspots. Otherwise, turn on your phone's Wi-Fi locator to find a free Internet connection wherever you are and take this time to post pictures and reply to emails.&quot;</p> <p>She also recommends downloading any maps you may need ahead of time.</p> <p>As an extra tip, if you have an experience like I did during my Montreal trip, be sure to give your wireless carrier a call to explain the situation. If you're a loyal customer, they may waive those minor, erroneous fees like they did for me, but you won't know unless you pick up the phone to fight it.</p> <h2>9. Photo Memories From Secondary Sources</h2> <p>Photo ops are everywhere these days, and there are plenty of companies that are cashing in on them, like pictures you get at the beach and those funny snapshots at the end of a thrill ride. Don't fall for it. You and every single person you know is armed with a phone at their fingertips. Set up backgrounds and strike your own poses to enjoy free shots that you can post to social media immediately or print when you get home.</p> <h2>10. Souvenirs</h2> <p>I have a rule at my house than nothing comes home from vacation that isn't either some form of art or a useful object &mdash; which means to say that no junk souvenirs, like spoons, shot glasses, and other bric-a-brac, are welcome. My photos are good enough memories of my time on vacation, and they help me save money, space in my luggage, and a backache from having to carry otherwise heavy objects.</p> <p>Blogger Barb Webb provides other easy ways to cut back on souvenir spending.</p> <p>&quot;Theme parks, hotels, and restaurants often have buttons, stickers, postcards, and other trinkets they gift for free to patrons,&quot; she says. &quot;Stop by the local tourism office and you'll find everything from free coloring books to posters and key chains to add to your souvenir collection. Also look for local extension agencies that will have free treasures like recipe cards, calendars, and other small items.&quot;</p> <p>To turn photos into more organized memories like I do, Woroch suggests using the <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/keepsayk-photo-books-instant/id884920246?mt=8">Keepsayk app</a> to organize pictures and create a photo book, or use deal sites like Coupon Sherpa to find coupon codes from photo book makers like Snapfish, which usually offers steep discounts.</p> <h2>11. Gas</h2> <p>Gas is affordable now, but we don't know where it will be in a few weeks or months when we're more on the go. Even while it's inexpensive, you still want to score the best deals possible.</p> <p>&quot;There are a few ways to reduce your fuel costs, including using the <a href="http://www.gasbuddy.com/App">GasBuddy</a> app to find the cheapest gas nearby; paying with cash to avoid the extra 10 cents for credit card charges; and using your warehouse club membership to save up to 30 cents per gallon at their fuel pumps,&quot; Woroch says.</p> <p>On a personal note, I've been visiting BP stations almost exclusively to fill up at the pump for a few months, and I use its loyalty card to rack up points. Just the other day, I received a generous kickback of $.63 per gallon &mdash; yes, you read that correctly &mdash; which resulted in a total savings of about $10 for a complete fill-up. My total cost was $18 and change for a full tank of premium gas, all because I swiped my loyalty card consistently. Totally worth the two seconds it takes.</p> <p><em>Are you headed away for spring break? How do you plan to save? Where will you splurge? I'd love to hear about your vacation plans in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid">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/6-little-known-ways-to-save-when-booking-spring-travel">6 Little-Known Ways to Save When Booking Spring Travel</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-ways-to-take-a-frugal-grownup-spring-break">4 Ways to Take a Frugal Grownup Spring Break</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/20-secrets-of-last-minute-travel">20 Secrets of Last-Minute Travel</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-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-budget-and-track-expenses-for-your-next-vacation">How to Budget and Track Expenses for Your Next Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel Airfare alcohol budget busters food costs hotels overspending spring break trips vacation Thu, 24 Mar 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1678011 at http://www.wisebread.com The Surprising Way Birth Order Decides Your Money Habits http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-way-birth-order-decides-your-money-habits <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-surprising-way-birth-order-decides-your-money-habits" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000087462289_Large.jpg" alt="wondering how her birth order determines spending habits" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The order in which you were born can say a lot about you. There have been many studies done that suggest your <a href="http://familyservices.us.com/pdf/A%20Review%20of%20200%20Birth-Order%20Studies-Lifestyle%20Characteristics.pdf">birth order is directly connected</a> with your personality, achievements, and even who you marry. Your birth order might even give some significant insight in how you save and spend money.</p> <h2>Oldest Child</h2> <p>Being the eldest of the family usually means you are <a href="http://www.uclouvain.be/cps/ucl/doc/psyreli/documents/2003.BirthOrder.pdf?spnCategory=525&amp;spnDomain=17&amp;spnContent=23&amp;spnContent=28&amp;spnID=41021">more responsible and driven</a>. Firstborns tend to be more organized and punctual, too. You have probably been in charge of your younger siblings on multiple occasions. And there were also many times when your parents depended on you.</p> <p>All of these personality traits translate to healthy financial habits. Firstborns are more likely to pay bills on time, spend responsibly, and calculate financial risks thoroughly. Their driven behavior might be why many firstborns also make more money or have prestigious careers, such as a profession in the medical or law field.</p> <p>Firstborns can also come with flaws. Their perfectionist nature can drive them too far. Firstborns are more likely to suffer burnout and mid-life crises. Your finances will suffer if you reach burnout and give up on your career or savings goals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-smarter-than-your-sibling-your-birth-order-might-provide-the-answer?ref=seealso">Are You Smarter Than Your Sibling?</a>)</p> <h2>Middle Child</h2> <p>Middle children tend to be the <a href="http://familyservices.us.com/pdf/A%20Review%20of%20200%20Birth-Order%20Studies-Lifestyle%20Characteristics.pdf">family's peacemaker</a>. They are good at solving problems and coming up with inventive solutions to conflict and issues. Middle children can fall into the trap of not wanting to look upstaged by their older sibling. Middle children are more likely to hide their true financial situation, so that parents and siblings will think the middle child is responsible and successful.</p> <p>Middle children will benefit the most financially by being honest with themselves and others about money. You will only put your budget in trouble if you pretend that you can afford everything your older sibling can. While the pressure to compete might have you embellishing how much is in your savings account, don't let your pride cause you to overspend or forgo asking for help when you are in financial hot water.</p> <p>As an inventive problem solver, middle children can tend to deal with financial problems in a creative, but unhelpful way. Shuffling debt around to new <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">0% APR credit cards</a> might seem smart, but it does not address the root issue &mdash; debt.</p> <h2>Youngest Child</h2> <p>As the baby of the family, you are used to being in the spotlight. Family members are more likely to dote on the youngest and provide extra leniency as far as responsibility goes. The youngest tend to be more social and fun-loving, too.</p> <p>All of these traits can lead to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-habits-that-kill-your-buying-power">poor money habits</a>. The youngest child might rely on their parents for financial support much longer than their other siblings and have a hard time developing financial responsibility. They can tend to blame bad financial consequences on others instead of owning up to mistakes. For example, a late bill is not their fault since the company forgot to send the bill or they were working too many hours to have time to pay it.</p> <p>The youngest children can tend spend their money carelessly, especially in social and fun settings. They might complain about not having enough money to fix their car or pay rent, but they always seem to have money for a dinner out with friends or a Starbucks latte.</p> <p>Don't let your youngest-child status ruin your finances though. You can still enjoy fun, social nights out, but learn to budget for it and find creative and more affordable solutions. A potluck with friends can be just as fun &mdash; and much less expensive &mdash; than going out for a dinner and a movie.</p> <h2>Only Child</h2> <p>Only children share many of the great financial habits of firstborns. They tend to have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-your-credit-score-mean-good-bad-or-excellent">great credit scores</a> and be driven to make more money. Since only children have spent most of their lives around adults, they also tend to be more mature. However, only children can also feel more inclined to impress others and take risks. They might overspend and live above their means to impress others and to fit in.</p> <p>Only children might also take riskier financial moves, such as putting their money in a new startup or risky investment. Their higher level of risk can either work for them, or against them. Some risks will pay off in big ways, while others will drain their bank accounts.</p> <p>It is important to remember that birth order is a theory and not a law. While your birth order <em>might </em>mean you have natural inclinations to certain personality quirks and spending habits, it should by no means be what defines you. Don't write off your bad money habits just because you are the youngest child. Instead, learn what your natural inclinations are and work against them to create healthy money habits.</p> <p><em>Did we nail your money habits right on the head or were we completely wrong? Share your how your birth order affects your money management. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-way-birth-order-decides-your-money-habits">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/what-s-your-budget-personality">What’s Your Budget Personality?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-sloth-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Sloth Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money">5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-often-do-you-get-your-paycheck">How often do you get your paycheck?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-i-learned-about-money-from-famous-peoples-wills">6 Things I Learned About Money From Famous People&#039;s Wills</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting Family birth order budgeting money habits money personality only child spending habits Wed, 16 Mar 2016 10:00:06 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1673866 at http://www.wisebread.com