Lifestyle http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4806/all en-US How to Sell Your Kid's Stuff at a Consignment Sale http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-kids-stuff-at-a-consignment-sale <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-sell-your-kids-stuff-at-a-consignment-sale" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hanging_baby_clothes_61959774.jpg" alt="Learning to sell your kid&#039;s stuff at a consignment sale" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you have kids, clothing and toys seem to multiply by the minute. One way I like to stay on top of decluttering is to sell my kids' outgrown items at consignment sales. Here are my top tips to cash in on your kid items through local sales.</p> <h2>How to Find a Local Consignment Sale</h2> <p>I have sold my kid items at an actual consignment shop and a semiannual consignment sale. The latter is better. With a consignment shop, you are limited and do not tend to make as much as you'd hoped. However, with a semiannual consignment sale, you are able to set your own prices, drop off your items, and then pick up what does not sell at the end of the week.</p> <p>Find a local consignment sale by doing a web search of &quot;(your city) + consignment sale&quot; to see if there are any in your area. You can also go to the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.jbfsale.com/home.jsp">Just Between Friends</a> website and search local consignment sales. It will cost $10&ndash;$20 to sign up to be a <em>consignor</em>, and most sales happen at the beginning of spring and fall.</p> <h2>Make Your Items Shine</h2> <p>There are several volunteers who will look over your items for sale, and they can be picky. Make sure your items are in the best shape possible. Spot treat and wash clothing and shoes. Wipe down toys and books. The better your items look, the quicker they will sell.</p> <p>Try using a <a href="http://amzn.to/2ad1S3m">Magic Eraser</a> for spots or scribbles on dolls or plastic toys. I also like to use fabric softener and a laundry brightener when washing the kid clothing to make it look even better. All battery-operated toys will also need to include batteries, so be sure to stock up on packs from the .99 Cent Store or Dollar Tree.</p> <h2>The Brand Name Sweet Spot</h2> <p>More common brand names like Cherokee, Circo, or Carters will sell, but at lower prices. For example, a cute outfit from Target might have cost you $20 and would sell for $3&ndash;$5. Higher end brand names like Gap and Gymboree will sell for more, especially if it is a recent style. Specialty brands such as Naartjie, TEA, or Isobella &amp; Chloe might be better sold online, since many shoppers are not familiar with these brands.</p> <h2>Group Like Items Together</h2> <p>Grouping similar items together for one price helps you to sell more of your stuff and earn more money. I try to group same-sized outfits or pieces together to increase my chance of selling. At these consignment events, there are generally a lot of baby clothes, and there is a good chance no one wants to buy a single onesie for $2. However, if you put together five onesies and five pairs of baby pants for $10, there is a better chance that a shopper will buy it.</p> <p>I also like to group together books to make a better profit. I have found that the books should be related to make the most money. For example, putting an early reader book with some baby books will probably not sell. However, if I put several of the Magic Treehouse series together or several board books together in a bag, then its salability increases dramatically.</p> <h2>Discover What the Best and Worst Sellers Are</h2> <p>If you know of individuals who have consigned in the past, ask them what sells and what doesn't sell well for that particular sale. In my experience, maternity clothes and generic baby items do not sell well. Usually my local consignment sale is full of baby equipment and baby clothes, making it hard to compete.</p> <p>However, for the sale that happens right before Christmas, toys are hot sellers. Shoppers seem more inclined to splurge with the holiday season in mind. I have also found that attractive, brand name clothing in sizes 4-7 sell better than the smaller sizes. I also have good luck with my book lots.</p> <h2>Don't Be Afraid to Discount</h2> <p>Many consignment sales will offer a 50% off day at the end of the sale. Take advantage of this and mark your items for discount, unless you believe you can get a better price on eBay or Craigslist. For most of my items, I price them to sell. Usually my best items are gone before the discount day. The discount day then allows me to sell the rest of my stuff rather than having to take it home.</p> <h2>Get a Bigger Cut</h2> <p>If you volunteer to work the sale, you might get some benefits. For my local sale, volunteers get into the pre-sale early and receive an additional 5% back on their sold items. I will only volunteer if the 5% would equal a nice amount of money and if I want to get into the pre-sale.</p> <p><em>Have you ever sold in a consignment sale? How was your experience? </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/how-to-sell-your-kids-stuff-at-a-consignment-sale">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids">4 Bad Money Habits You&#039;re Teaching Your Kids</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-use-new-toys-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use New Toys to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-from-thrift-stores">11 Ways to Earn Extra Cash From Thrift Stores</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/five-tips-for-a-smooth-nanny-share">Five Tips for a Smooth Nanny Share</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/14-free-or-cheap-toys-that-will-make-your-kid-smarter">14 Free or Cheap Toys That Will Make Your Kid Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Family Lifestyle clothes consignment sales kids selling thrift stores toys used Mon, 25 Jul 2016 09:30:34 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1753336 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Married http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-married <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-married" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_hands_heart_29104258.jpg" alt="Couple making money moves when they decide to get married" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There is nothing more romantic than the giddy days after you ask your sweetheart to marry you. But now is also the perfect time to start preparing for one of the most important aspects of a successful marriage: money.</p> <p>Before you groan that bringing money into the marriage equation is going to be the death of romance, remember that money problems are cited as one of the top reasons for divorce, just behind infidelity and communication issues. If promising fidelity and good communication aren't romance-killers, then preparing financially shouldn't be one, either. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-committing-financial-infidelity?ref=seealso">8 Signs You're Committing Financial Infidelity</a>)</p> <p>Here are the top five money moves you and your betrothed should make the moment you decide to get married:</p> <h2>1. Share Your Money Backgrounds</h2> <p>Just as you and your fiancé should know about each other's health, family, romantic, and work backgrounds, it's important that you share financial backgrounds with each other. This starts with the obvious, such as outstanding debts and current assets. It's not possible to move forward financially as a couple if you don't already know where you are &mdash; and keeping financial secrets from each other is an emotionally dangerous way to begin a marriage.</p> <p>But understanding each other's money background also includes knowing how you each think and feel about money. The way you view money is generally unconscious and tied to how you feel about everything from relationships to success. It's a good idea to recognize the way you and your spouse-to-be differ in those unconscious beliefs. In particular, start by answering the following questions, suggested by Terri Orbuch, marriage and family therapist and author of <a href="http://amzn.to/29GqG5o">5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great</a>:</p> <ul> <li>How did your parents deal with money growing up?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>What did money mean to you (and your parents) when you were growing up?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>How have you dealt with money in previous relationships?</li> </ul> <p>Your answers can both illuminate attitudes you may not realize you carried, and help you understand where to expect (and prepare for) potential financial friction in your marriage.</p> <h2>2. Start a Wedding Fund</h2> <p>A wedding is a joyous event, but the finances can create some complications. This dynamic can get even more pronounced when the extended family is paying for some portion of the wedding.</p> <p>To minimize this friction, create a wedding fund, and transfer money to it regularly.</p> <p>This will help you create the financial freedom necessary to say no to those who attach strings to wedding money.</p> <p>In addition, it's easier to keep a saving habit than it is to start one. So once you're home from the honeymoon, you can just change the name of your wedding fund to your house fund (or start sending the money to your retirement accounts) and keep the regular saving habit in place.</p> <h2>3. Set Financial Ground Rules</h2> <p>There are few couples in the world who aren't driven a little crazy by each other's financial habits. For instance, my husband tends to splurge on himself with large purchases about once or twice a year, whereas I tend to make smaller purchases for myself two to three times a month. Even though he is spending several hundred dollars on a video game system and I am spending $15 here and $20 there on books or manicures, the amount we each spend is pretty equal. But when we first got married, each one of us thought the other was being frivolous with money.</p> <p>The thing is, neither one of us was wrong (even though we each took turns trying to prove the other one was completely misguided, which worked about as well as you could expect). We just had different expectations for fun money.</p> <p>What helped was for us to set up financial ground rules. We each have a certain amount of splurge money that is ours alone. As long as we are spending from that splurge money and not dipping into shared funds, then we can splurge on whatever we like.</p> <p>Financial ground rules allow you to both feel comfortable within the framework of your finances. You might also set rules on spending thresholds over which you have to discuss issues before spending the money, or how you might use joint accounts.</p> <h2>4. Think About Worst-Case Scenarios</h2> <p>Marriage is a common time for people to acquire or update their life insurance and wills. These are important to have in place in order to protect yourself and your spouse in case life takes a turn you don't expect. Whether you don't yet have life insurance or a will, or you need to change your beneficiary to your spouse. Taking the time to make sure these documents are thoroughly completed, updated, and signed can give you both some peace of mind.</p> <p>But there are other scenarios you might want to prepare for. Getting adequate renter's or homeowner's insurance is always a great idea. It's also worth talking with your spouse-to-be about a prenuptial agreement. Unless you're both hollering &quot;We want prenup!&quot; such conversations can be pretty difficult to broach. But the issues you would hammer out in a prenuptial are important to discuss before you get married, even if you are not couching them in terms of what would happen if you divorce. According to Mandi Woodruff, writing for Business Insider, there are typically <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/10-ways-to-bring-up-a-prenup-without-getting-dumped-2012-1?op=1">five pillars to every prenuptial</a>:</p> <p>&quot;How to handle the income each partner makes before marriage, how to handle your prior assets (businesses, homes, etc.) and liabilities (such as student loans), division of property acquired during the marriage, your retirement plans, and how you'll handle spousal support.&quot;</p> <p>Discussing these issues in terms of both an estate plan and a prenuptial agreement is an important part of planning the financial side of your marriage together.</p> <h2>5. Adopt a Team Mentality</h2> <p>One of the best ways to build a strong financial foundation for your marriage is to adopt a team mentality for your money. It can be very easy to see money as &quot;yours&quot; and &quot;mine,&quot; particularly if you have each been out on your own for a while. But keeping your money separate in your mind can be the first step toward bean counting and money fights. This is especially true if you have varying income levels or different money priorities.</p> <p>Getting on the same team financially means seeing money as something you share &mdash; which means that you also share your decisions about money.</p> <p>There are many ways to adopt a team mentality, from mingling all funds into a joint checking account to setting up a yours-mine-and-ours system. But the important thing is to recognize that you are in the same financial boat and to treat the majority of your money as shared.</p> <p>Marriage and money go hand-in-hand, and taking the time before you wed to discuss finance is an investment in your long and happy married life.</p> <p><em>What money moves did you make to prepare for marriage?</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-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-married">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/could-you-save-money-by-subscribing-to-an-addictive-game">Could you save money by subscribing to an addictive game?</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/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-types-of-friends-who-are-costing-you-money">10 Types of Friends Who Are Costing You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-before-moving-in-with-someone">What to Do Before Moving in With Someone</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle agreements compromise ground rules marriage money matters saving spouse weddings Mon, 18 Jul 2016 10:30:12 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1753206 at http://www.wisebread.com Why the Scarcity Mentality Is Keeping You Poor http://www.wisebread.com/why-the-scarcity-mentality-is-keeping-you-poor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-the-scarcity-mentality-is-keeping-you-poor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_concerned_work_81472073.jpg" alt="Woman learning why scarcity mentality is keeping her poor" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I know how I feel when I start believing that there isn't enough. It doesn't matter what we're talking about &mdash; time, money, energy, appreciation. When I start to feel like there isn't enough, my heart starts to pound. My shoulders tense up, and I feel an odd combination of adrenaline rush and hopelessness.</p> <p>Why do I feel these things? Because I believe there isn't enough for me.</p> <p>I know that I'm not alone in feeling this &quot;not enough&quot; mentality. Through conversations and other interactions, I've discovered that many of us struggle with this, in one form or another. The popular term for this sort of thinking is the &quot;scarcity mentality,&quot; and, if you struggle with it, I can guarantee it is holding you back.</p> <h2>What Is Scarcity?</h2> <p>Scarcity is exactly what it sounds like: The belief that resources are scarce, that there's not really enough to go around. It is the idea that human desire and need goes on forever, but there isn't an infinite amount of resources to be spread around.</p> <p>Steven Covey, of <a href="http://amzn.to/2a634W6">The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People</a> fame, says that we think of resources like time, money, happiness, etc., as <a href="https://www.stephencovey.com/7habits/7habits-habit4.php">belonging to one pie</a>. When the pie is gone, the resource is gone. And there's a limited amount of pie, so that if big chunks have already been dispensed, there's not much left for the rest of us.</p> <p>The scarcity mentality can come out in different ways. For some of us, it mostly comes out with other people, producing something of an &quot;us versus them&quot; mentality. We see someone with a lot of money, and we feel all sorts of negative emotions because we don't have that money and now less of it is available. Or, when we are going through a hard time in life, we look to others and wonder why they have all of the happiness and stability while we keep struggling.</p> <p>Scarcity can also come out in how we view ourselves, and how we think about our own lives. I know that I spend a lot of time, when things are going well, waiting for the other shoe to drop. It seems like good can't go on forever, so I start to feel anxious because I'm waiting for the moment when things go all wrong.</p> <h2>How Does the Scarcity Mentality Limit Us Financially?</h2> <p>There are a lot of ways we end up limited financially by scarcity. More than anything else, I think scarcity makes us hold ourselves back from pursuing opportunities that could make us rich. Maybe we don't believe there's enough money to support our particular opportunity, or we see other people in a similar niche and we think that there aren't enough customers for us to be there, too.</p> <p>The scarcity mentality also causes us to hedge our bets. We aren't willing to lay it all on the line in the hopes of financial success, so we take a route that feels safer. Maybe we get a degree in a field where jobs are plentiful, even if they don't pay well, or we launch a product that is cheaper because we are afraid no one will buy the one we really want to sell.</p> <p>When we don't believe that there's enough money, success, goodness, customer support, or whatever, we tend to get stingy. We don't want to invest ourselves and our money in something, because it might not work out. We don't want to try for something better, because we wonder what bad thing might happen to us in another part of our lives if that thing did work out.</p> <h2>Fighting Scarcity</h2> <p>One antidote to scarcity is safety. When we feel safe, like the world isn't out to get us and our place in it is secure, we are often more willing to risk. I think the same thing can be said for our financial lives, too.</p> <p>When we know that we have enough money to cover most contingencies, when we feel like there is enough good in the world to cover both them and us, we will be more likely to take the sorts of risks that lead to wealth.</p> <p>For some of us, beating scarcity might mean coming up with a good plan and following through. Getting a job with a steady paycheck and amassing some savings isn't sexy, but it makes us feel financially safer. And when we have a safety net, it's easier to start that business, get that new training, apply for jobs out of the comfort zone, and more.</p> <p>That might not be possible for all of us, though, and I don't think it's the whole answer even if it is. Beyond making smart financial decisions, we need to decide that scarcity is false and embrace abundance, instead. Sure, many of the resources we feel to be scarce are not infinite (like money), but there is enough. There's plenty of money out there for you and me and all of us not to be poor.</p> <p>When we believe this, when we tell ourselves this truth over and over, we will begin to live by it. We will start to believe there's enough money for my product and yours, too; enough goodness for my love life and my work life and my financial life to all go well at the same time; and enough time to work a good job and pursue a passion in the evenings.</p> <p>When we believe there is enough, we will act as if there is enough, and then we will see that there is, actually, enough.</p> <p><em>In what areas do you struggle with the mentality of scarcity? How does it keep you poor?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-the-scarcity-mentality-is-keeping-you-poor">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-married">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Married</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/could-you-save-money-by-subscribing-to-an-addictive-game">Could you save money by subscribing to an addictive game?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-financial-reasons-to-keep-your-political-views-private">4 Financial Reasons to Keep Your Political Views Private</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/does-your-money-management-reflect-who-truly-you-are">Does Your Money Management Reflect Who You Truly Are?</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/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle being poor frame of mind hopelessness mentality never enough scarce resources scarcity Fri, 15 Jul 2016 10:30:08 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1752348 at http://www.wisebread.com Does Your Money Management Reflect Who You Truly Are? http://www.wisebread.com/does-your-money-management-reflect-who-truly-you-are <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/does-your-money-management-reflect-who-truly-you-are" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_76449071_LARGE (1).jpg" alt="does your money management reflect who you are?" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you ever thought about what is driving your spending decisions?</p> <p>While some of us might choose frugality out of necessity, for many people who choose to live beneath their means, the decision is not about money at all. Perhaps you're pretty wealthy, but choose to drive an old car. Or maybe you would rather learn to do your own plumbing than call someone out to fix that dripping pipe.</p> <p>While there are many different reasons for people to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-dead-simple-reasons-why-people-are-frugal">adopt a frugal lifestyle</a>, for some people, the decision is all about their core purpose. And when that's the case, living by your own brand of frugality isn't a chore; it's just who you are.</p> <p>Do these driving factors resonate with you?</p> <h2>Faith</h2> <p>A sense of social justice can drive attitudes about finance and consumerism. Frugality is not a optional quirk people who have a strong sense of faith can take or leave &mdash; it's a core purpose that keeps them grounded.</p> <p>Actively working to help others and encourage a more equal distribution of resources results in a frugal lifestyle. Maybe by living beneath your means, you have more disposable income to donate to causes you care about, or maybe by working less you have more time to support others through your actions. Either way, learning to live well on less becomes second nature.</p> <h2>Environmental Concerns</h2> <p>Sustainability (or the lack thereof) is a driving factor to many people who choose a frugal lifestyle. Making decisions with some thought about the world we might leave our children with means that many of the worst excesses of consumerism are dropped.</p> <p>Shopping for clothes at a thrift store, for example, means consuming fewer resources, sending less to landfills, and reducing pollution. The same logic means avoiding new gadgets, flying less frequently, and trying to eat local and seasonal produce. The simpler life that results is not only better for the environment, it is also less costly.</p> <h2>Rejection of Consumerism</h2> <p>In everyday life, we are bombarded with ways to spend our hard earned cash. Advertising is everywhere &mdash; and for some of us, ignoring it and rejecting consumerism as a whole can be thoroughly liberating.</p> <p>Many people who reject consumerism in this wholehearted way were actually massive spenders themselves in the past. Because this can lead to debt and financial stress, it is not unusual for a moment to come along and leave the spendthrift reformed. The revelation hits that this lifestyle is not sustainable, and excessive spending in the present is sacrificing future happiness. And a new core purpose of frugality emerges.</p> <h2>Inspiring Self-Reliance</h2> <p>Being frugal requires a good degree of self-reliance and creativity &mdash; whether it's coming up with great homemade gifts, or learning to fix your own furnace. There's a certain sense of satisfaction from learning these skills, and being able to manage whatever life throws at you.</p> <p>If you're raising a family, being frugal takes on a whole new dimension. Not only are you teaching your kids to live within their means, and place value on the right things, you're also likely teaching them great life skills, too. If part of your core purpose is to inspire this self-reliance for your kids, then being frugal is not about saving money so much as learning &mdash; and sharing &mdash; skills.</p> <p>When you're driven by a core purpose, living well on a budget ceases to be a punishment and becomes a part of who you are. If you're struggling to stick to your financial goals, then try to figure out how saving cash aligns with your core purpose. Identifying this can make it a whole lot easier to keep moving towards a frugal lifestyle.</p> <p><em>What drives your attitudes towards spending? Let us know 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/does-your-money-management-reflect-who-truly-you-are">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/ow-do-you-deal-with-family-members-who-are-bad-at-managing-money">How Do You Deal With Family Members Who Are Bad At Managing 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/i-am-doing-well-financially-now-what">I Am Doing Well Financially. Now What?</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-audacity-to-waste-money-for-better-finances">The Audacity to Waste Money for Better Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-frugal-balance-staying-away-from-financial-extremes">The Frugal Balance: Staying Away from Financial Extremes</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/financial-tricks-to-master-for-a-happier-life">Financial Tricks to Master for a Happier Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle money habits money management personality personality traits religion shopping shopping habits Fri, 08 Jul 2016 09:00:07 +0000 Claire Millard 1747537 at http://www.wisebread.com 18 Little Things That Make — and Keep — America Great http://www.wisebread.com/18-little-things-that-make-and-keep-america-great <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/18-little-things-that-make-and-keep-america-great" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_american_flag_39580462.jpg" alt="Woman counting things that make and keep America great" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Donald Trump has built his entire presidential campaign on the motto &quot;Make America Great Again,&quot; but many people are wondering, when did it stop being great? The truth is, despite all our issues, we're still a pretty awesome country &mdash; and there's no sign of that stopping anytime soon. Thus, this Independence Day, put politics aside to appreciate all the freedoms, freebies, and fun stuff this country has to offer &mdash; without asking for too much in return.</p> <h2>1. Take a Penny, Leave a Penny</h2> <p>We've all been a cent or two short at the convenience store, and the little take a penny, leave a penny dish by the cash register helps keep us from breaking another bill or having to put everything back because we don't have the extra few cents. If you've ever taken advantage of this uniquely American concept (they were common in Canada, too, until the country eliminated the penny from their currency in 2013), be sure to do you part by leaving a Lincoln or two the next time you see one.</p> <h2>2. Paying It Forward</h2> <p>You've heard tales on social media about somebody who started a trend at, say, a coffee shop or tollbooth to pay for the person behind them. Sometimes these random acts of kindness stop after a few customers, but every once in a while, Americans let their generous spirit really shine, like the time over 700 people <a href="http://www.eater.com/2014/8/22/6167041/over-700-people-paid-it-forward-at-a-starbucks-this-week">paid it forward</a> at a Starbucks in Florida. Paying it forward doesn't always have to be in a financial capacity. You can pay acts of kind forward any way you see fit, so long as you're doing something nice for somebody &mdash; which the world needs much more of.</p> <h2>3. Our Commitment to Global Health Initiatives in Developing Countries</h2> <p>The American government isn't just concerned that you're healthy at home. It has a stake in the health of the world's people, too &mdash; especially those in developing countries that are more prone to diseases. It recognizes the importance of providing those in need a better quality of life and lessening the ripple effects within our own borders by reducing the chance of devastating epidemics and pandemics. Hallmarks of U.S. leadership in global health include The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, The President's Malaria Initiative, and Feed the Future.</p> <h2>4. Free Dry Cleaning for Job Interviews</h2> <p>Not every dry cleaner offers free cleaning services to those in need, but there are a few good men and women out there who happily open their doors to the homeless and unemployed to have their interview garments professionally cleaned and pressed.</p> <h2>5. Free Soft Drink Refills</h2> <p>As a general courtesy to patrons, most restaurants in the United States offer free refills, as do other establishments, like movie theaters. They don't have to, but they do &mdash; because they appreciate your business.</p> <h2>6. Free Breakfast and Lunch Programs in Public Schools</h2> <p>There is room for improvement in our school's lunches &mdash; especially compared to other countries like France and Italy (have you seen the gourmet meals those kids eat!?) &mdash; but we at least get an A grade for offering students in need free meals when they may otherwise not eat anything healthy (or at all) at home. In some places, those free meals are extended throughout the summer (in my neighborhood in New York City they're available), which makes this program above average in my book.</p> <h2>7. Holding Doors for Each Other</h2> <p>Holding the door for someone behind you is a custom in many places around the world, granted, but it's still worth recognizing because it's an important aspect of our own social culture. We've passed the habit down through generations, and it's still alive and well today.</p> <h2>8. Letting Someone With Fewer Items Go Ahead of You at the Grocery Store</h2> <p>I'm particularly impressed when there's someone in front of me at the grocery store with a cart full of items who invites me to go ahead of them since I'll be quick with the five or so items I have. Thanks to those who do this; if you haven't, try it the next time you're out.</p> <h2>9. Stopping Your Vehicle at Crosswalks to Let People Pass</h2> <p>I grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore where you waited for the walk sign to change or you didn't go. When I moved to southwest Virginia for college, I remember being at a crosswalk once that didn't have a walk sign and the traffic stopped completely to allow me to cross. I was hesitant at first &mdash; I thought it was some kind of joke &mdash; but it turned out to be one of those totally mundane experiences that I'll never forget.</p> <h2>10. Asking Strangers to Watch Your Stuff When You Run to the Bathroom</h2> <p>Have to potty while you're working at a café or hanging out on the beach? Because Americans are pretty great, all you have to do is ask your neighbor to watch your personal items for a few minutes while you're gone and they'll usually oblige. Just don't try this at airport; it's a &quot;see something, say something&quot; culture around those parts, and asking a stranger to watch your luggage will make them feel very uncomfortable.</p> <h2>11. Safe Havens Where Minority Groups Can Feel Comfortable Among Their Own</h2> <p>While I wholly condemn segregation, I do think it's important for minority groups who feel oppressed by another group (whether that assessment is accurate or not) to have places they can go to be themselves. I speak from experience as a gay man who has found solace, security, and friendship in establishments primarily frequented by other LGBT people. In other parts of the world, these places don't exist, and that's a real shame, but here at home they're abundant and well attended.</p> <h2>12. Neighborly Courtesies, Like Bringing in Your Garbage Cans</h2> <p>One of my neighbors is always super helpful, especially when I'm away from home, by taking out my garbage and returning the cans, shoveling my sidewalk if he gets out there first, and mowing my front lawn when he's feeling particularly energetic. That kind of neighborly attitude makes the neighborhood &mdash; and my own experience in it &mdash; better, and I try to return those favors whenever I can.</p> <h2>13. Interracial and Same-Sex Marriages</h2> <p>Yeah, we have a long history of denying rights to minority groups, but we're blazing trails this century to end all that. We've come a long way, even though we have a ways to go for full equality for all, and that alone makes this a good time to be alive in America.</p> <p><span style="color: rgb(17, 17, 17); font-family: georgia; font-size: 1.5em; font-weight: normal; line-height: 1.4em;">14. America's Public Libraries</span></p> <p>Attendance at libraries has dwindled over the past two decades, thanks in large part to the Internet, but America's free library system is still thriving and striving to provide those without access to technology the means to continue educating themselves.</p> <h2>15. Free STD Testing</h2> <p>If you can't afford to visit your doctor to get an STD test &mdash; or you're just embarrassed &mdash; there's likely a clinic in your area that provides anonymous, free testing so you stay up-to-date on your health status. As my own little PSA, if you haven't been tested lately, do so; you owe it to yourself.</p> <h2>16. Little Free Library</h2> <p>I love this idea of these little boxes, most of the time shaped like tiny houses, erected in neighborhoods where bookworms can add a book or take a book without charge. The program was popularized in Wisconsin in 2009, and today it includes more than 15,000 locations worldwide.</p> <h2>17. The Honor System</h2> <p>The honor system applies to many things &mdash; like Halloween candy left on porches by folks who are out for the night, and in my neighborhood, a free garden where residents can pick an amount of veggies that they'll eat. Even as we get more and more disconnected, it's nice that we still have values and morals and a small, neighborly trade system that helps hold ourselves and each other accountable without much effort.</p> <h2>18. Free Outdoor Movies</h2> <p>I'm always talking up free outdoor movies. I think it's one of the best summer date nights ever, and I'm so excited that the concept has spread like wildfire across the country. You'll likely find outdoor screenings near the place you call home during the warmer months &mdash; seriously, it's like every town in America is doing it these days (and that's awesome!) &mdash; and all you have to do is show up with a blanket or chair and a few snacks and settle in for an evening under the stars in the greatest country on earth.</p> <p><em>What are some of the little things that you think help make and keep America great? Let me know 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/18-little-things-that-make-and-keep-america-great">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-weekend-money-traps-and-how-to-avoid-them">8 Common Weekend Money Traps (And How to Avoid Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-72-brilliant-ways-to-stretch-20">Flashback Friday: 72 Brilliant Ways to Stretch $20</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-frugal-families-love-boardgame-night">8 Reasons Frugal Families Love Boardgame Night</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/could-you-save-money-by-subscribing-to-an-addictive-game">Could you save money by subscribing to an addictive game?</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/volunteer-to-travel-11-opportunities-for-free-or-very-cheap-travel">Volunteer to Travel: 11 Opportunities for Free or Very Cheap Travel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Lifestyle community donald trump entertainment Fourth of July freebies make america great again morals united states Mon, 04 Jul 2016 10:30:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1743312 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Clever Ways to Keep Cool When It's Stupid Hot Out http://www.wisebread.com/10-clever-ways-to-keep-cool-when-its-stupid-hot-out <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-clever-ways-to-keep-cool-when-its-stupid-hot-out" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_fan_hot_17666765.jpg" alt="Man finding clever ways to keep cool when it&#039;s stupid hot out" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't know what it's like where you live, but where I am, it's hot. And if my weather app is at all accurate, it's going to stay that way for a good long while.</p> <p>While I am lucky to have air conditioning in my house, I like to use it as little as possible. Those bills add up, and every dollar I spend on air conditioning is a dollar that I can't spend on something else I'd rather have, like a trip or a comfortable retirement.</p> <p>So I'm finding other ways to keep cool this summer. Sure, I'll use the A/C sometimes. But the rest of the time, I'll be doing these things to stay cool, and you can, too! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-dumb-ways-youre-going-to-waste-money-this-summer?ref=seealso">9 Dumb Ways You're Going to Waste Money This Summer</a>)</p> <h2>1. Get Your Hair Wet</h2> <p>I'm always amazed at how much cooler I am when my hair is wet. Even just damp, it changes my perception of how warm I am by a significant factor. So when I get hot this summer, I'll dump some water on my head or take a quick (and cool!) shower, or even hose my head down outside.</p> <p>I'm lucky in that I can wear my hair air-dried and it looks fine. If you can't do that, you can still use this technique. Get your hair wet, let it air dry to damp, then style it as usual. Or wear it air dried around your house, because no one there cares how you look!!</p> <h2>2. Wear Cotton</h2> <p>Because it is light and breathable, you will stay cooler in cotton than you will if you wear most synthetics. So if you're trying to beat the heat, make sure you have as many cotton-based clothing items as possible. This goes for undergarments as well as outer ones.</p> <h2>3. Mist Your Clothes</h2> <p>I've had people tell me to freeze my clothes, but that sounds miserable no matter how hot I am. Instead, I keep a spray bottle of water in my fridge and I spray myself down when I start to get warm. Because the clothes dry slower than my skin, this keeps me cooler longer than just spraying my arms and legs (though I usually do that, too!). Fortunately, cotton clothing tends to handle water just fine, so you can spray it down as many times as you need to.</p> <h2>4. Wash Your Hands (and Feet!) In Cold Water</h2> <p>I learned this from a college roommate who swore by it. When it gets hot, run your hands and feet under cold water for 30-60 seconds and you will feel cooler. You can repeat this as needed.</p> <p>My friend claimed that this works because your veins are close to the surface in your hands and your feet, so the water cools off the blood as it runs through them back to your heart. I don't know if this is true, but I do know that this trick got me through some seriously hot nights in an LA apartment when the A/C broke.</p> <h2>5. Sit on an Ice Pack</h2> <p>Stuck in an office chair all day? I know a lot of buildings don't give you any control over either AC or heat, so you can end up pretty warm all summer. Instead of suffering, take an ice pack to work with you. One of the flat ones most often used for injuries is best. Get it cold, stick it under a towel, and sit on it or put it behind your back to cool off.</p> <h2>6. Don't Cook &hellip; Grill</h2> <p>Anytime you cook in your house, it heats things up. Since you still need to eat, try using a grill instead. This keeps the hot air outside, and it lets you get even more mileage out of what is often an underutilized major purchase. I know a family who grills four or five times a week in the summer, and they swear that it keeps their house significantly cooler.</p> <h2>7. Suck on an Ice Cube</h2> <p>Need to cool down quickly? Suck on an ice cube. Smaller is better, since the large ones can trigger ice cream headaches if they cool your mouth too quickly. Try to suck and not chew the ice, so the coolness can slide down your throat and into your belly, chilling you as it goes. This doesn't offer long-lasting cooling, but it can give you the break you need on a hot day.</p> <h2>8. Make Your Own A/C</h2> <p>If you like to tinker and/or you have a lot of time on your hands, there are about a billion ways to <a href="http://www.instructables.com/howto/air+conditioning/">make your own A/C</a>. My favorite is super easy. Fill a large-ish bowl with ice cubes. Set the bowl somewhere near you, with a portable fan on the opposite side. Make the fan blow toward you, and make sure the air passes over the ice cubes. It will blow that delicious frozenness toward you, too, cooling the air around you.</p> <p>There are more complicated versions of this with coolers and dry ice, so you can get as fancy as you want. Do make sure, though, that you aren't spending more money doing this than you would just running the A/C!</p> <h2>9. Close the Blinds</h2> <p>About <a href="http://www.familyhandyman.com/smart-homeowner/energy-saving-tips/how-to-save-energy-and-cut-cooling-costs/view-all">30%&nbsp;of the heat</a> you don't want in your home comes in through the windows. Thus, it's worth investing in some heat-blocking film, blinds, or curtains to keep your home cooler.</p> <p>I've done this in my homes over the years and it's amazing the difference it makes! Sometimes, I pull back the curtains to open my sliding glass door and get a blast of heat, because there's so much of it trapped between the curtain and the door. But hey, it's not getting into my house, so I'm good with that!</p> <h2>10. Freeze Your Hat</h2> <p>So, we established earlier that freezing clothing sounds at least a little miserable. But what about freezing your hat? If you want to cool your head and getting your hair wet won't work, for whatever reason, try putting a hat in the freezer for a couple of hours before you want to wear it. This will cool your head and your temples, which will help your whole body feel cooler.</p> <p><em>How do you plan to stay cool this summer without your A/C? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-clever-ways-to-keep-cool-when-its-stupid-hot-out">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/flashback-friday-70-brilliant-ways-to-beat-the-heat-this-summer">Flashback Friday: 70 Brilliant Ways to Beat the Heat This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-places-to-go-to-beat-the-summer-heat">9 Places to Go to Beat the Summer Heat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-dumb-ways-youre-going-to-waste-money-this-summer">9 Dumb Ways You&#039;re Going to Waste Money This Summer</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-72-brilliant-ways-to-stretch-20">Flashback Friday: 72 Brilliant Ways to Stretch $20</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-budget-friendly-beach-destinations">6 Budget-Friendly Beach Destinations</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Lifestyle air conditioning frugal living hot day life hacks summer summer heat summer sun Tue, 28 Jun 2016 10:30:05 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1740225 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 70 Brilliant Ways to Beat the Heat This Summer http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-70-brilliant-ways-to-beat-the-heat-this-summer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-70-brilliant-ways-to-beat-the-heat-this-summer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_hot_fan_55851106.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to beat the heat this summer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are few things worse than being uncomfortably hot in the summer, especially if you can't find a way to cool down. Outside of a gym or sauna, walking around drenched in sweat isn't all that cute. Luckily, it doesn't take a whole lot of time or money to regulate your temp and keep those pit stains at bay. You just need to get a little creative. Here are 70 brilliant ways to beat the summer heat.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/friends_summer_drive_000061858874.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-cheap-ways-to-keep-cool-during-the-hottest-month-of-the-year?ref=fbf">22 Cheap Ways to Keep Cool During the Hottest Month of the Year</a> &mdash; Rather than pour all your cash into a new air conditioner, get chilled on the cheap with a frozen treat, a cold washcloth draped over a fan, or a pair of underwear that's been in the freezer.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wear-frozen-clothes-and-9-other-ways-to-beat-the-heat?ref=fbf">Wear Frozen Clothes and 9 Other Ways to Beat the Heat</a> &mdash; Just by paying a little more attention to your surroundings, you can manage the summer hotness and keep yourself cool all summer. Know when to open the windows, cool your pulse point, and more!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman-cooling-down-472008353-small.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-affordable-ways-to-stay-cool-in-the-summer-heat?ref=fbf">11 Affordable Ways to Stay Cool in the Summer Heat</a> &mdash; The sun's main goal during summer is to suck out your energy and make you sweaty. Fight back! Put some fans on the floor, keep those shades pulled during peak sunniness, and do not let the sun win.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cold-frugal-drinks-to-keep-you-cool-in-the-heat?ref=fbf">Cold, Frugal Drinks to Keep You Cool in the Heat</a> &mdash; Sometimes all you need to cool off is an ice-cold beverage. And here are 10 that will give you the chill you need, while also keeping you within your budget.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock_000065700299_Large.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-and-refreshing-popsicles-to-make-this-summer?ref=fbf">8 Frugal and Refreshing Popsicles to Make This Summer</a> &mdash; Until summer comes around, we tend to forget that just about any drink can be made into a popsicle. Cocktails, smoothies, juice &mdash; you name it! Just pour some into an ice tray, add popsicle sticks, then once they're set, chill out and enjoy.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-places-to-go-to-beat-the-summer-heat?ref=fbf">9 Places to Go to Beat the Summer Heat</a> &mdash; Rather than changing your surroundings to keep you cool, change them entirely. Get out of the house and hit the local pool, movie theater, or any other air-conditioned location and give yourself a cool-down break.</p> <p><em>How else do you keep cool in the summer heat? Share with us!</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-70-brilliant-ways-to-beat-the-heat-this-summer">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-45-life-lessons-youd-give-to-your-younger-self">Flashback Friday: 45 Life Lessons You&#039;d Give to Your Younger Self</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-51-easy-ways-to-live-a-happier-life">Flashback Friday: 51 Easy Ways to Live a Happier Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-55-brilliant-ways-to-turn-your-junk-into-cash">Flashback Friday: 55 Brilliant Ways to Turn Your Junk Into Cash</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-106-delicious-lunches-that-will-make-you-excited-to-brown-bag-it">Flashback Friday: 106 Delicious Lunches That Will Make You Excited to Brown-Bag 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/10-clever-ways-to-keep-cool-when-its-stupid-hot-out">10 Clever Ways to Keep Cool When It&#039;s Stupid Hot Out</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Lifestyle fbf flashback friday Food life hacks summer summer hacks summer heat summer treats Fri, 24 Jun 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1737975 at http://www.wisebread.com The Frugal Guest's Guide to Surviving Wedding Season http://www.wisebread.com/the-frugal-guests-guide-to-surviving-wedding-season <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-frugal-guests-guide-to-surviving-wedding-season" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_25341091_LARGE.jpg" alt="being a frugal wedding guest" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So you're invited to a ton of weddings this summer. Yay for you &mdash; you're popular! But before you let your friends drag you onto the dance floor and do the Electric Slide as atonement, consider these tips on how to make it through wedding season without spending it in the poor house.</p> <h2>1. Redeem Credit Card Rewards Thoughtfully</h2> <p>If you've racked up <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-biggest-mistakes-you-can-make-when-redeeming-credit-card-rewards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">credit card rewards</a> over the past year, or even since the holidays, now's the time to cash them in for travel if it's a destination wedding, lodging, or even gifts for the betrothed.</p> <p>&quot;Prepare ahead for travel expenses by stockpiling airline miles and credit card rewards which you can redeem toward a flight or hotel stay,&quot; suggests money-saving expert Andrea Woroch. &quot;You can even gift accrued miles to the couple for their honeymoon. Otherwise, you can redeem rewards toward gift cards for the bridal shower and wedding gift.&quot;</p> <p>While I don't always advise opening a credit card just to take advantage of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">sign-up perks</a>, depending on how many weddings you're attending, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-redeemed-a-12000-family-vacation-with-credit-card-rewards-in-2-months?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">how far you're traveling</a>, opening a new account may work in your favor &mdash; so long as you plan to pay off the balance right away and it won't adversely affect your credit score. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>2. Compare Lodging Rates Before Booking</h2> <p>Most of the weddings I've attended have suggested lodging for guests, either where the bride and groom are staying or other nearby establishments if the home base has reached capacity. But these aren't your only options. If you find the suggested lodging options out of your budget, search for better deals. Check the hotel's website for exclusive discounts, or even daily deal sites like LivingSocial or Groupon. Even if you have to stay 10 miles away from the venue, saving that extra $25 or $50 per night may be worth the short drive to you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-in-a-5-star-hotel-for-less-than-the-cost-of-a-motel?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">How to Stay in a 5-Star Hotel for Less Than the Cost of a Motel</a>)</p> <h2>3. Rent a Private Home With a Group</h2> <p>Some people enjoy the privacy of hotel rooms, but personally I'd rather go in with friends on a home rental via Airbnb or another short-term rental site if several of us are invited to the same wedding. Not only will you typically save a substantial amount of money over a hotel by reserving private lodging, but you can split the total cost between the group, which could make the trip a real steal. You'll save even more money on meals if the place is equipped with a kitchen you can use to make food during your stay. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-get-a-vacation-rental-instead-of-a-hotel?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">When Should You Get a Vacation Rental Instead of a Hotel?</a>)</p> <h2>4. Offer a Service in Lieu of a Tangible Gift</h2> <p>Can't afford a gift from the bride and groom's registry? Put your thinking cap on and come up with creative ways you can honor their marriage by offering a service.</p> <p>&quot;Most couples financing their wedding welcome free or a discounted service in lieu of a gift,&quot; says Woroch. &quot;Some of the most common services provided by friends and family include photography, videography, day-of makeup and hair prep, and decorating help. You can even offer to bake the wedding treat or officiate the ceremony, if the couple hasn't made other arrangements.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Purchase Discount Gift Cards to Buy Gifts</h2> <p>Buying discount gift cards online is a smart tactic to save on gift purchases for any occasion. Use your saving savvy to stack deals, and you'll likely come in way under budget with plenty of cash to spare for the other wedding expenses.</p> <p>Personal finance expert Kevin Gallegos offers a smart tip with regards to wedding gifts: shop early!</p> <p>&quot;If invited to a wedding, find out where the couple has registered as soon as you can,&quot; he says. &quot;Go online or to the brick-and-mortar store and select a gift immediately. Shopping early assures the best selection &mdash; and one that fits your budget.&quot;</p> <p>Wait too long and all that will be left are the crystal candelabras and $60-a-piece Kate Spade dinner plates.</p> <h2>6. Opt Out of Rental Car Insurance</h2> <p>I have never purchased insurance for a rental car. Why? Because it's a fool's game. My own personal insurance will cover me if I'm in an accident, so why do I need extra? I don't, and you don't either if you have similar coverage. Check with your provider, of course, to make sure you're covered. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-car-rentals-with-these-10-easy-hacks?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">Save on Car Rentals With These 10 Easy Hacks</a>)</p> <p>Travel expert Katelyn O'Shaughnessy, founder of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tripscopeapp.com/">TripScope</a>, suggests another way of getting around the insurance car rental joints try to scare you into buying.</p> <p>&quot;Before you opt for the overpriced car insurance that rental companies offer, call your credit card company and see if car insurance is included. In my case, three of my credit card companies offer this little perk, which saved me $200,&quot; she says. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">What Does Car Rental Insurance Really Cover On Your Credit Card?</a>)</p> <h2>7. Avoid Mobile Data Charges By Planning Ahead</h2> <p>Recently I traveled to Canada and I turned off my mobile data two minutes too late and racked up $20 in extra charges by using navigation. O'Shaughnessy says you can nip that in the bud by using Google Maps offline by typing &quot;OK Maps,&quot; and the map will save for future, offline access. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-minimize-cell-phone-charges-when-you-travel-abroad?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">How to Minimize Cell Phone Charges When You Travel Abroad</a>)</p> <h2>8. Dress Plainly</h2> <p>Men have it easy when it comes to dressing for a wedding. Just throw on that one suit you own, swap out different ties for different events, and you're all set. Nobody will ever notice. Women, however, have it rough when dressing for a wedding. For starters, you can't show up the bride or the bridesmaid in a stunning ensemble or you'll be shunned. Secondly, if you show up in a memorable dress, you likely won't want to wear it to another wedding if it's attended by any of the same people. Frequent wedding guest Emily Taffel has a solution to that problem: Be boring. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-attend-a-wedding-for-cheap-without-actually-looking-cheap?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">How to Attend a Wedding for Cheap (Without Actually Looking Cheap)</a>)</p> <p>&quot;Never buy a printed dress to wear to a wedding; prints are remembered. Dresses aren't if they are boring enough,&quot; she says. &quot;I say that dearly, but every woman knows a navy shift dress in a perfect fit will take you everywhere. Accessories make <em>all</em> the difference &mdash; scarves, hats, the right handbag, shoes, and jewelry. That navy dress works day and night and saves you having to buy multiple outfits.</p> <h2>9. Work the System to Avoid Hotel Cancellation Fees</h2> <p>If you can't make the wedding for some reason, and your plans have changed less than 72 hours in advance, there's a way around forfeiting the deposit you put on the hotel, even if it is a bit shady.</p> <p>&quot;Just reschedule for a future date &mdash; usually there's no monetary penalty for that &mdash; then call the hotel back, get a different rep and cancel free of charge,&quot; O'Shaughnessy advises.</p> <p>My new hero.</p> <h2>10. Don't Overcommit Yourself</h2> <p>Listen, if you can't afford to attend all the weddings to which you're invited, it's okay to say no. I've already declined one wedding invitation for this summer in San Francisco because I recently came back from a three-week stay in California, and the timing wasn't right for my budget. If the bride and groom are reasonable, they'll understand. If not, well, it'll be two less jerks you'll have to worry about in the future, because you'll be dead to them from here or out.</p> <p>As an alternative, perhaps you can make it to one or more of the events leading up to the wedding to show your support.</p> <p><em>Do you attend a lot of weddings? What are some of your budget hacks? I'd love to hear about them 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/the-frugal-guests-guide-to-surviving-wedding-season">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/could-you-save-money-by-subscribing-to-an-addictive-game">Could you save money by subscribing to an addictive game?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-ways-summer-will-cost-you">7 Surprising Ways Summer Will Cost You</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/18-little-things-that-make-and-keep-america-great">18 Little Things That Make — and Keep — America Great</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-70-brilliant-ways-to-beat-the-heat-this-summer">Flashback Friday: 70 Brilliant Ways to Beat the Heat This Summer</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/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Lifestyle wedding wedding budget wedding costs wedding etiquette wedding season Thu, 16 Jun 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Mikey Rox 1731884 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Surprising Ways Summer Will Cost You http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-ways-summer-will-cost-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-surprising-ways-summer-will-cost-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_ice_cream_74904405.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways ice cream will cost her" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know that summer comes with expenses &mdash; higher-priced fuel fill-ups, increased electricity bills from running the A/C nonstop (mine doesn't get a rest from, like, March to October; thank you, first-world luxuries), and sky-high hotel rates. But there are other items that see an uptick during vacation season that you might not immediately recognize. Here's a list to watch with your wallet.</p> <h2>1. Bottled Water</h2> <p>We loooove to wag our fingers at others for buying bottled water &mdash; because get a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-aluminum-and-stainless-steel-water-bottles">reusable bottle</a> already! &mdash; but we also understand that sometimes it's necessary. Like when it's hot as lava outside and you're about to have a heat stroke because you forgot your reusable bottle at home. While it may seem innocuous enough to pick up a bottle at your local convenience store now and then, that's not usually how it goes down &mdash; especially if you have kids.</p> <p>According to<a href="http://www.pennypinchingprincess.com"> money-saving expert Nedalee Thomas</a>, who also happens to be CEO of a water-filtration company, a family of four will spend a whopping $1,600 on bottled water a year. Uh, come again?</p> <p>&quot;Consumption is higher in the summer just because of heat and dehydration, but families tend to buy more bottled water when heading out for the day's activities, spending on average $12 a day for a family of four,&quot; Thomas says. &quot;Theme parks and many venues cost much more.&quot;</p> <p>The best way to save &mdash; if you haven't already heard it a <em>million</em> times &mdash; is to refill BPA-free bottles with your own good filtered water.&quot;</p> <p>Chanson Water USA provides a comparison chart of <a href="https://chansonalkalinewater.com/water-ionizer-vs-bottled-water-cost-comparison-chart/">annual costs of various types of bottled water</a> versus what it costs to filter your own water at home, and it's a doozy.</p> <h2>2. Iced Coffee</h2> <p>Drinking more iced coffee during the summer to give yourself a jolt <em>and</em> beat the heat? Well, it's gonna cost you.</p> <p>Grub Street did some digging a few years back to find out<a href="http://www.grubstreet.com/2012/03/why-does-iced-coffee-cost-more-than-hot.html"> why iced coffee costs more than hot coffee</a>, and their findings may make your temperature rise. Save yourself some gas on a trip to the java joint, and pocket the extra money you'd be spending on each cup of cold joe, by making your own watered-down pick-me-up at home.</p> <h2>3. Car Maintenance</h2> <p>Another unexpected way summer will cost you extra money is through car maintenance.</p> <p>&quot;Many dealers and mechanics want to service cars more frequently than the manufacturer recommends, especially during weather transitions, which is both unnecessary and costly,&quot; says car expert Richard Reina. &quot;While hot weather absolutely takes a toll on our vehicles, the best way to cut these costs is taking proper precautions and doing the simple repairs yourself.&quot;</p> <p>He offers a few DIY ways to avoid the mechanic this summer.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Replace wiper blades</strong>: A winter's worth of clearing slush and ice from the windshield takes its toll, resulting in streaking and chattering that you don't want in spring/summer downpours as it could severely hinder your vision and cause an accident.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Check coolant hoses and belts</strong>: It's also important to check coolant hoses and belts for deterioration and wear, and be sure to check all fluid levels. Just as you checked your antifreeze to make sure the freezing point was well below anticipated winter temperatures, check it now to ensure you won't have a boil over during hot summer driving. By performing this basic auto tuneup yourself, you would save $250, as it only costs $100 to DIY compared to a dealer cost of $350.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Test your battery</strong>: As much as the winter is harsh on batteries, summer is, too, with the constant running of the cooling fans and the pull on your alternator from driving with the windows down. Test the battery to make sure you don't get stranded with a no-start on a summer trip. Check the battery connections for tightness and clean away any dirt and corrosion. If it's time for a new battery, I suggest buying them at local &quot;buyer's club&quot; (Costco, Sam's Club) to save money, and change it yourself. You'll save $120, with DIY costing $80 versus dealer prices of $200.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Change your engine oil and filter</strong>: Cold weather is tough on engine oil because it doesn't get a chance to come to normal operating temperature necessary to get rid of moisture and contaminants, which can cause sludge. If you buy the oil yourself, make sure that you are certain that you are using a high-quality oil of the correct viscosity. Often, chain-store oil-change outfits may be using the same oil for different cars. If your car is older with high mileage, it can be very helpful to switch to a heavier oil with different detergent. Higher temps require higher oil weight/viscosity, and since the seals on the engine of an older car have likely started to wear, switching will help keep your engine protected. Also be sure to check the brake/steering/washer fluids while you're under the hood. This will save you $35, as DIY costs $25 compared to dealer cost of $60.</li> </ul> <h2>4. Dining and Drinking Al Fresco</h2> <p>Warmer weather means more opportunity for eating and drinking outdoors, and if you're not careful, it can get out of hand, financially. Nobody wants to cook indoors when it's hot out &mdash; I get it &mdash; so think of alternative ways to eat at home, like by using the outdoor grill more frequently or making meals that don't require a heat source, like salads, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-10-frugal-lunches-are-delicious-hot-or-cold">cold soups</a>, and slow-cooker meals. If you're drinking with your dinner, have a glass of water between adult bevies to reduce the risk of overspending, and tomorrow's pounding headache.</p> <h2>5. Home and Apartment Rentals</h2> <p>Rental season is at its busiest during the warmer months, from May to October, for several reasons. For starters, this period is a time when many people are in transition, especially students who are looking for housing after the school year ends or before it begins. Plus, this time of year is more conducive to moving, because who wants to haul furniture around during a blizzard? Nobody, including those begrudging friends you've enlisted to help you. Because of these factors, and the laws of supply and demand, rental prices may be at a premium during the summer. If you have a choice, wait until the weather gets a bit cooler to make your move.</p> <h2>6. New Cars</h2> <p>According to USAA via TrueCar, you can expect to experience more sticker shock on vehicles during the summer than you would while everybody's hibernating and generally steering clear of walking around car lots in a foot of snow. Prices increase as the weather warms because, again, of our old friend supply and demand. More people are out and about when things thaw out, and their tax refunds are burning holes in the pockets &mdash; an incentive that car dealerships fully take advantage of.</p> <h2>7. Ice Cream</h2> <p>You might think ice cream costs more during the summer because everybody is eating it, but that's not necessarily the case. I mean, it's sort of the reason why you may see higher prices this year, but it's mostly because there's a<a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/03/28/vanilla-shortage-threatens-ice-cream-prices-this-summer.html"> vanilla shortage in Madagascar because of poor harvest quality</a>, and that means less mint chocolate chip for you, me, and the rest of the cone-loving U.S. population. Hey, at least we still have freeze-pops.</p> <p><em>How do you stay on top of your summer budget? 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/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-ways-summer-will-cost-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-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-weekend-money-traps-and-how-to-avoid-them">8 Common Weekend Money Traps (And How to Avoid Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</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-8-everyday-buys-will-be-cheaper-this-summer">These 8 Everyday Buys Will Be Cheaper This Summer</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/15-ways-to-save-money-when-getting-your-drink-on">15 Ways to Save Money When Getting Your Drink On</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-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Entertainment Lifestyle budgeting frugal summer ice cream saving money summer summer costs summer fun Tue, 14 Jun 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1730465 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Financial Reasons to Keep Your Political Views Private http://www.wisebread.com/4-financial-reasons-to-keep-your-political-views-private <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-financial-reasons-to-keep-your-political-views-private" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_yelling_megaphone_51049894.jpg" alt="Woman learning reasons to keep her political views private" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We live in a world that makes it incredibly easy to share our views and opinions. Our phones are an instant connection to news outlets and social media sites, and the two can create a very polarizing look at the political horizon. With the Presidential election looming, it can be hard to bite your tongue. But if you don't, there are some financial risks that go along with freely spouting your political beliefs.&nbsp;</p> <h2>They Could Cost You a Job or Promotion</h2> <p>By far, the biggest impact political views can have on your life is work-related. Like it or not, your employer, boss, and clients can discover a lot about you through social media sites. Aside from making sure you don't appear as if you're doing anything inappropriate or illegal, you also have to be very careful about the political views you post or comment on.</p> <p>One day, you could be raging against a new bill introduced by a Republican, or ranting about an act signed into law by a Democrat. The next thing you know, that big promotion you were gunning for at work has gone to someone else. Your political views should not have any bearing on the work you're doing (unless you are actually <em>in</em> politics), but people are people. It's quite possible your views will rub someone important the wrong way, and they will respond in the most effective way they know; they'll hit you in the wallet, or the career.</p> <p>Perhaps the boss's wife works for a political party for which you have expressed extreme disdain. Maybe your CEO voted for Romney, and you have an Obama sticker on your car. It could even be as simple as liking a comment or story on Facebook that is in direct opposition to your employer's views. Yes, it's a free country, and yes, freedom of speech is one of the guiding principles of our nation. But do not underestimate the pettiness of regular people. If you are going to have opinions on political subjects, do not blast them far and wide. Talk them over with your friends and family. Keep your views away from anywhere that a boss or coworker can see, and worse, react to. You could even get fired or laid off, under the guise of a different reason.</p> <h2>They Could Cost You Customers</h2> <p>If you're a small business owner, you have to be very careful about the political views you take a stance on. And openly shouting about the things you believe in could cost you customers, income, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/donald-trumps-5-biggest-business-failures" target="_blank">even your business</a>. The news outlets have reported time and again about small business owners who have abjectly refused to back down from an opinion deeply-held by the political party they support.</p> <p>Simply by having a sticker for either the Republican or Democratic party in the store window could be enough to scare away people with opposing political beliefs. You've just lost a sale; one that could very easily have happened if it were not for the announcement.</p> <p>Online, a prospective client could do a quick search on your social activities, see a lot of blustering about certain political views, and choose someone else. Even if you're a freelancer doing writing, hair styling, or gardening, the kind of views you openly express can bite you, and that hits you in the wallet. Not only that, but word of mouth can spread, and suddenly you have not lost one customer, but five or six. Was the loss of income worth it to tell everyone something that was on your mind? Did it have to be said?</p> <h2>They Could Get You Sued</h2> <p>If you're a small business owner, or occasionally employ someone (even if it's just a guy who mows your lawn or cleans your windows), you have to be very careful about how you hire and fire people. Specific laws have been put in place to prevent employers from discriminating based on political beliefs. Not all states have these laws, but many do. And violating these laws could result in legal action.</p> <p>For example, a boss could notice a lot of Republican paraphernalia adorning an employee's car. Maybe there are party line stickers on there, including pro-gun control and pro-life statements. This could enrage him or her, especially if these views are the polar opposite of what he or she believes. So, the boss has a word with HR, and the employee is terminated. That is a clear case for a lawsuit, and could cost the business owner not only a great deal of money, but perhaps the whole business. And what's more, the news could spread, meaning clients and partners decide to take their business elsewhere.</p> <p>It's fine to have political views, but there are limits to the way you can act upon them. Even if you really, really hate the political opinions of an employee, you cannot terminate them just for that reason.</p> <h2>They Could Lead to a Costly Break-Up</h2> <p>This story comes from someone I used to work with. Christopher (not his real name) was known for being outspoken, especially on politics. He had very strong views, and was pro-life, pro-gun, anti-gay marriage, and hated big government. He was also engaged to be married, to someone who was of a similar mindset, but nowhere near as passionate or outspoken.</p> <p>During the 2012 election cycle, his posts and rants on Facebook and other social media sites reached epic proportions. What he didn't know was that his fiancée's parents and siblings did not feel the same way about his views. They tolerated him, for the most part, until his rants crossed a line that triggered a family meeting. They did not want their daughter/sister marrying someone who was so politically opinionated.</p> <p>Of course, the tension was too much to overcome, and they split up. It was not a cheap break-up (they rarely are). So be warned. If you are in a relationship with someone, and know your views will be a serious cause for concern for his or her family, keep them to yourself for as long as you can.</p> <p><em>Have your political views ever cost you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-financial-reasons-to-keep-your-political-views-private">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-married">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-the-scarcity-mentality-is-keeping-you-poor">Why the Scarcity Mentality 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/could-you-save-money-by-subscribing-to-an-addictive-game">Could you save money by subscribing to an addictive game?</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/does-your-money-management-reflect-who-truly-you-are">Does Your Money Management Reflect Who You Truly Are?</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/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle debates democrats opinions politics presidential election republicans things that cost you Fri, 10 Jun 2016 10:00:14 +0000 Paul Michael 1728080 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 143 Fun and Frugal Ways to Spend Your Weekend http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-143-fun-and-frugal-ways-to-spend-your-weekend <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-143-fun-and-frugal-ways-to-spend-your-weekend" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_walking_park_51967000.jpg" alt="Couple finding fun ways to spend their weekend" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's almost the weekend and you have no plans. That can be exciting, or also a little scary. Because when weekend plans aren't mapped out ahead of time, it's easy to default to the pricier activities like shopping &mdash; or to just skip it and stay home (again).</p> <p>So instead of leaving the fate of your savings hanging in the balance, try one of these fun and frugal ways to spend your weekend. And walk into work on Monday fully relaxed and not totally broke.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/couple_gardening_000053678990.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-fun-cheap-projects-to-try-this-weekend?ref=fbf">19 Fun, Cheap Projects to Try This Weekend</a> &mdash; Why spend all of your cash on a crafty item you can just make yourself? Enter the beautiful world of DIY and give these fun projects a try.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-escape-with-these-14-affordable-weekend-getaways?ref=fbf">Make Your Escape With These 14 Affordable Weekend Getaways</a> &mdash; A last-minute weekend getaway to Paris would be a blast, sure, but have you explored all of your local and regional nooks and crannies yet? Because with any of these affordable weekend getaway ideas, you'll feel like a tourist without spending money like one.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_reading_hammock_000044042996.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-best-weekend-activities-for-introverts?ref=fbf">The 12 Best Weekend Activities for Introverts</a> &mdash; Introverts don't need much in terms of outside entertainment, and they would prefer a 48-hour period of minimal social interactions. So if you're in the mood to hibernate and relax like a pro, here you go.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-things-you-can-do-this-weekend-for-under-10?ref=fbf">18 Awesome Things You Can Do This Weekend for Under $10</a> &mdash; It doesn't take much these days to spend $10. I mean, one bottle of pressed juice can cost more than that, in some places. So these cheap weekend plans are especially inspiring, and also a ton of fun!</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pick-up-one-of-these-frugal-hobbies-this-weekend?ref=fbf">Pick Up One of These Frugal Hobbies This Weekend</a> &mdash; If you haven't given origami or geocaching a try, you are seriously missing out. Along with these other 11 frugal hobbies, your future weekends will be budget-friendly and extremely fulfilling.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/kids_summer_water_balloon_fight_000062702582.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-fun-things-to-do-with-kids-this-weekend?ref=fbf">20 Cheap Fun Things to Do With Kids This Weekend</a> &mdash; Keeping the kids busy without spending much money can seem like an impossible magic trick. But quality time with the kiddos shouldn't cost a thing, and it doesn't have to with these 20 activities.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend?ref=fbf">47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</a> &mdash; Do not underestimate the enjoyment you'll get from watching a sunset or baking a pie. They're simple ways to spend your time, but aren't simple things actually the best things?</p> <p><em>What are your plans for the weekend? Share with us!</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-143-fun-and-frugal-ways-to-spend-your-weekend">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-72-brilliant-ways-to-stretch-20">Flashback Friday: 72 Brilliant Ways to Stretch $20</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-70-brilliant-ways-to-beat-the-heat-this-summer">Flashback Friday: 70 Brilliant Ways to Beat the Heat This Summer</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-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-4 views-row-even"> <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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-122-scrumptious-super-bowl-party-snack-ideas">Flashback Friday: 122 Scrumptious Super Bowl Party Snack Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Entertainment Lifestyle fbf flashback friday free things to do frugal activities fun things to do hobbies outdoors weekend weekend activities weekend fun Fri, 03 Jun 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1723164 at http://www.wisebread.com How Much Would It Cost to Actually Live Like a Queen for a Day? http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-would-it-cost-to-actually-live-like-a-queen-for-a-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-much-would-it-cost-to-actually-live-like-a-queen-for-a-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_wearing_crown_000041703122.jpg" alt="Here&#039;s how much it would cost to live like a queen" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As I gaze at pictures of smart Duchess Kate, Prince William, and their adorable royal offspring while waiting in line to pay for marked-down groceries, I can't help wondering what it would be like to live like royalty, even for just one day.</p> <p>But let's be real: The lives of today's royals are far too down-to-earth to aspire to. I mean, as long as we're dreaming, why not imagine what it would cost to live like the most famously extravagant monarch of European history &mdash; Marie Antoinette?</p> <p>The Austrian bride of King Louis XVI likely never suggested that citizens without bread eat cake instead, but her lifestyle was indeed so lavish that she was personally blamed for the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-money-lessons-to-take-from-the-great-depression" target="_blank">national financial hardships</a> that led to the French Revolution.</p> <p>A typical day in her life went like so: Her majesty rose at 9-ish, took breakfast in bed, then chose her day's outfits from a massive catalogue. On some days she had a bath, and then she was dressed and primped. Throughout the day, she would hold court, attend mass, take a music lesson, take in entertainment such as plays or operas or playing cards, or of course, visit her hamlet to play farm girl, accompanied by ladies in waiting. Punctuating these activities were formal meals, with spectators, and wardrobe changes.</p> <p>What would it all cost, in today's dollars?</p> <h2>Meals: $30,300</h2> <h3>Breakfast</h3> <p>Marie Antoinette's morning meal seems modest: coffee or hot chocolate and perhaps a pastry. But both beverages were wildly expensive in 18th century France. So let's compare it to today's most expensive coffee, the kind eaten by a civet and passed through its GI tract. You can get three ounces of it shipped next-day on Amazon for $100.</p> <h3>Banquet</h3> <p>The main meal of the day would be a lavish affair attended by many, and might feature <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/01/the-marie-antoinette-diet.html">pate, seafood, duck, rabbit stew</a> &mdash; or likely, all of the above, plus lots of chocolates for the queen. Although it probably can't compete in lavishness, <a href="http://www.wedding-spot.com/venue/317/Morningside-Castle/">Manhattan's Morningside Castle</a> does have one advantage of Versailles: modern plumbing. You can host 100 people there for a banquet for $30,000.</p> <p>Marie-Antoinette's evening meal was a simple affair of soup, a milk-soaked biscuit, and other hospital food. But because she still had to feed her ladies in waiting, let's put the cost at $200.</p> <h2>Clothing: $20,300</h2> <p>Marie Antoinette's clothing allowance is known: about <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2006/09/25/dressed-for-excess">$3.6 million</a>. But she went over budget, often by 100%. That works out to about $20,000 per day for clothes.</p> <p>That may seem like a lot, but keep in mind that each day she donned at least three outfits: a <a href="http://madameguillotine.org.uk/2011/01/31/marie-antoinettes-beauty-secrets/">velvet or silk morning gown</a>, a breezy day dress for visiting her hamlet and whatnot, and then a formal gown for evening. She rarely repeated outfits, instead giving them away to ladies in waiting or leaving them on display to the public in her three wardrobe rooms at Versailles. Today's prices would probably be similar: $10,000 for an elaborate designer ball gown, and $5,000 apiece for the other two dresses.</p> <p>For nighttime, Marie-Antoinette would be slipped into a fine lingerie nightdress &mdash; you can get a LaPerla version today for $300.</p> <h2>Toilette: $900</h2> <h3>Hair</h3> <p>Like nearly every minute of her life, getting her hair styled in the morning was a public event. Her paintings are evidence of her lavish hairdos. Sometimes she wore wigs, other times her natural hair was piled high and adorned with everything from feathers to jewels to figurines. It's not unheard of for upscale brides to pay $600 for wedding day updos, so let's peg that as the price for Marie-A's everyday do.</p> <h3>Makeup</h3> <p>Like other aristocrats of her time, Marie-Antoinette wore a thick coat of pale white lead-based &quot;paint&quot; on her face (which not only made her look stylish but hid any scars from childhood smallpox), streaks of rouge, black beauty patches, and other cosmetics. Makeup this elaborate won't be found nowadays outside a film set, so let's assume Marie-Antoinette employed her time's equivalent of a full-time movie studio makeup artist, who would <a href="http://work.chron.com/movie-makeup-artists-paid-14891.html">earn $88,000 a year</a>. That's $240 a day. Throw in $60 a day for the makeup itself.</p> <h2>Entertainment: $40,000</h2> <p>Entertainments would vary, but consider that nowadays you can easily spend $400 on a ticket to the opera or a Broadway show. Then assume you're paying for 100 of your best buddies to see it with you. Boom.</p> <h2>Little Farm: $200</h2> <p>Marie-Antoinette liked to leave Versailles proper to visit her little hamlet and working farm, where pigs, cows, and rabbits were raised, and vegetables grown. Operating a small farm costs about <a href="http://littleseedfarm.com/to-be-a-farmer-blog/small-farm-operating-expenses.html">$200 a day today</a>.</p> <h2>Overhead: $150,000</h2> <p>It costs France about $54 million a year to maintain and operate Versailles today, which works out to be $150,000 per day. True, the palace is used very differently now than it was in Marie-Antoinette's days, but let's call the many differences a wash.</p> <h2>Total: $241,700</h2> <p>While this is of course an educated guess, by looking at Marie-Antoinette's meals, clothing, toilette, entertainment, and overhead costs, it seems reasonable that you could live like her for a day for a few hundred grand. Just remember that it's important to specify <em>which</em> day you want to emulate: Certainly not Sept. 21, 1792, the day Marie-Antoinette's body was separated from her once-finely-coiffed head.</p> <p><em>If Marie-Antoinette is not your choice, which Queen (or King) would you choose to live like for a day?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-would-it-cost-to-actually-live-like-a-queen-for-a-day">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/could-you-save-money-by-subscribing-to-an-addictive-game">Could you save money by subscribing to an addictive game?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-ways-summer-will-cost-you">7 Surprising Ways Summer Will Cost You</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-frugal-guests-guide-to-surviving-wedding-season">The Frugal Guest&#039;s Guide to Surviving Wedding Season</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-70-brilliant-ways-to-beat-the-heat-this-summer">Flashback Friday: 70 Brilliant Ways to Beat the Heat This Summer</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/18-little-things-that-make-and-keep-america-great">18 Little Things That Make — and Keep — America Great</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Lifestyle extravagance kings luxury marie antoinette princesses queens royalty Thu, 26 May 2016 09:00:12 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1717318 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/married_couple_game_000017059049.jpg" alt="Learning things about money after getting married" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Marriage comes with its fair share of life lessons, and money is among the most prominent of these. Here's what I've <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-getting-married-is-good-for-your-finances" target="_blank">learned about money while being married</a> &mdash; for better and worse.</p> <h2>1. Credit Scores and Debt Should Be Laid Bare While You're Still Dating</h2> <p>Money is a taboo subject, in general, and couples &mdash; especially new ones who are still navigating the muddy waters of a blossoming relationship &mdash; don't like to talk about the financial predicaments they may be in. But these conversations are necessary.</p> <p>My husband and I were sort of forced into the conversation as we bought our first home before we got married, but even if that's not on the horizon for you and your partner, it's still good to assess the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-increase-your-credit-score-quickly" target="_blank">credit score and debt</a> situation so you both know what you're dealing with. That's not to say that you should dump somebody because their financial standing isn't as great as you might have hoped it would be, but it's certainly a factor to consider as you plan your life together.</p> <h2>2. Discuss Future Financial and Investment Goals Before Saying &quot;I Do&quot;</h2> <p>Before I got married I had plans for my future, but those plans changed (at least a little) when I decided to get hitched. I adapted my strategy to accommodate my husband &mdash; but I didn't derail it altogether, and I don't recommend that you do either. It's about compromise &mdash; it's beneficial to discuss your specific plans and goals ahead of your nuptials. Your partner may not want to open that new business, or carry the potential financial burden that comes along with it. On the other hand, your spouse may be totally on board with how you've mapped out your financial future and/or investments, and vice-versa. But you won't know until you discuss it.</p> <p>Lay it all out on the table before getting anywhere near the altar so you each have a clear idea of where your relationship is headed financially (in theory, at least) once you're joined in holy &mdash; and legally binding &mdash; matrimony.</p> <h2>3. Schedule Uninterrupted Time to Discuss Your Finances in Depth</h2> <p>The only way my husband and I stay on the same page about our finances &mdash; and, specifically, the money that's coming in and going out on a constant basis &mdash; is to schedule time to discuss where we're at financially. We usually have a dinner date once a month where at least part of the conversation is about our budget, expenses, debt, and increases or decreases in expected income.</p> <p>We also have an annual meeting at the end of the year to discuss what we anticipate the next year's expenses to be, and how we plan to meet them. While it's not easy integrating another person into the mix financially &mdash; and it can sometimes be stressful for you if you've overspent or missed a bill and you don't want it to result in an argument &mdash; it's needed so that you can both stay on track and repair snags together.</p> <h2>4. Keep Your Family Out of Your Finances &mdash; Period</h2> <p>In a perfect world, we'd all be rich and nobody would want for anything. That's not the case, however, and sometimes family and friends come knocking for a loan. My general rule is to not provide this type of financial support to anyone, as it rarely turns out well &mdash; and most people will tell you that. My husband, on the other hand, views this subject differently, and there's been at least one time where there was zero discussion about providing the loan to a family member, and I didn't find out about it until after the fact.</p> <p>I wasn't particularly bothered by the amount of the loan or to whom it went &mdash; it was his money and he could do what he wanted with it &mdash; but rather that I wasn't included in the conversation. Even though I wasn't contributing to this particular loan, it could have affected our ability to purchase or finance something we needed down the road, and I felt as if I had the right to be informed.</p> <h2>5. You're Morally and Legally Obligated to Help One Another Financially</h2> <p>Whether you like it or not, whatever happens to your spouse financially also, in a sense, happens to you. This could mean a moral obligation to get out of whatever money pickle you may have gotten into, or, worst-case scenario, it could be a legal obligation, like if you file joint taxes and owe the government money. The IRS debt may be the result of one or the other's financial status &mdash; like if you have taxes taken out automatically each pay period from employment, but your spouse is an entrepreneur (like I am) who pays estimated taxes &mdash; but legally you're both on the hook for the debt. Not being prepared for this situation, or how to handle it responsibly and fairly, can lead to resentment and loads of other issues that you're better off without.</p> <h2>6. Keeping Separate Accounts Can Help Maintain Some Independence</h2> <p>My husband and I keep a joint account for shared purchases, like vacations, but we've also always maintained our own separate checking and savings accounts. For some couples this may seem odd, but for us it's helped us keep a part of our individual independence intact. While we consult each other on major purchases, we don't have to ask one another if we can buy some of the smaller things or little luxuries that we want, which in turn helps us to avoid nitpicking each other about things we don't think the other one should be buying.</p> <p>I can only imagine how couples who co-mingle all their money argue about how many coffees or beers each is buying per week, the 19th pair of new shoes she's bought this year, or the new video game he brought home. The bottom line for us is that the bills get paid and we're still able to save; we're allowed to treat ourselves every now and then without having to ask permission or fear retribution.</p> <h2>7. Debt Can Destroy Your Relationship &mdash; If You Let It</h2> <p>A few years ago I discovered a substantial amount of debt that my husband racked up, and I was completely gutted over the situation. How, why, when, where? So many questions went through my mind, not the least of which was, how are we going to pay this off? I was lucky in that regard as my husband took full responsibility for it and promised to pay it off himself &mdash; and he has. But it may not work out like that for everyone.</p> <p>If your partner isn't capable of paying off the debt, you, in fact, may be responsible for it too if it's attached to a joint credit card or another joint account. When that happens, it will likely put a major strain on your relationship. Old debt is one thing, but new debt &mdash; that is, debt acquired singularly by one partner while you're in the relationship &mdash; has a much more damaging and lasting effect. We were able to get past this and get back on track, but it's not easy. It definitely puts stress on the marriage, which can further worsen an already rocky relationship.</p> <h2>8. Money Doesn't Buy Happiness</h2> <p>All the houses, nice cars, designer clothes, and luxury goods in the world will not make you happy in a relationship you don't want to be in. When you're sitting among all your beautiful things and you wonder why you seemingly have everything but still aren't satisfied, you need to look beyond the bling. There's a deeper issue for which you're trying to compensate. Talk about it; make decisions. Your mental health is worth more than what's in your bank account &mdash; always. Remember that.</p> <p><em>What has marriage taught you about money?</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/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">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/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</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/make-love-not-money-sort-of">Make Love, Not Money (Sort Of)</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-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-married">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids">4 Bad Money Habits You&#039;re Teaching Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-committing-financial-infidelity">8 Signs You&#039;re Committing Financial Infidelity</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family Lifestyle budget meetings compromises credit scores debt marriage money lessons relationships spouses Tue, 24 May 2016 09:30:21 +0000 Mikey Rox 1716048 at http://www.wisebread.com What You Can Buy With $5,000 http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-can-buy-with-5000 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-you-can-buy-with-5000" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kitten_cash_000008767834.jpg" alt="Learning you can buy a kitten and more for $5,000" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>If I had a million dollars&hellip;</em></p> <p>So the song by Canadian alt rockers Barenaked Ladies goes. While it may be fun to imagine what you would spend a cool mill on, it's a lot more realistic to imagine that you may find yourself with $5K to dispose of as you wish. Maybe you got a big tax refund this year, or an unknown uncle left you a little something.</p> <p>Whatever the backstory, here are 11 fun and/or responsible things you could do with $5,000.</p> <h2>1. Pay Off Credit Card Debt</h2> <p>The average American household with credit card debt owes about $15,000. If this is you, making only the monthly minimum payment at a very typical 15% annual interest rate, it could take you seven years to pay off &mdash; and you'd end up wasting $8,000 to $9,000 on interest.</p> <p>Pay down $5,000 of that debt now, and you could finish paying the rest in half the time, for only about $3,000 total interest. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso1&amp;utm_campaign=article">Use a Balance Transfer to Pay Off Debt Faste</a>r)</p> <h2>2. Get a Cat</h2> <p>Half leopard, half house cat, the Bengal is a beautiful animal and can be yours for <a href="http://adorablekittens.com/20-of-the-most-expensive-cat-breeds-in-the-world/18/">just about $5,000</a>.</p> <p>If being ignored by one feline doesn't cut it for you, you can get more cat for your cash by adopting. With an average fee of around $100, you could bring home <a href="http://www.thecatsite.com/a/how-much-does-it-cost-to-adopt-a-shelter-cat">50 felines for $5,000</a>. Then again, maybe you'll need to save some money for litter and food &mdash; and a really good vacuum cleaner.</p> <h2>3. Start a Business</h2> <p>There are a number of low-overhead businesses you could start with a $5,000 or smaller investment, many of them work-from-home gigs such as being a <a href="http://www.cheatsheet.com/business/15-businesses-you-can-start-with-5000-or-less-2.html/?a=viewall">virtual assistant</a> (expenses include computer, phone, Internet, and possibly training and marketing). You could also buy a small franchise, such as a <a href="http://www.thefranchisemall.com/franchises/details/13818-0-all_american_hot_dog_carts.htm">hot dog cart</a>, for $5,000 or less.</p> <h2>4. Take Your Inner Geek on a Vacation of a Lifetime</h2> <p>For about $5,000, you can take the <a href="http://www.firstlighttravel.com/group-tours/new-zealand-adventure-tours-new-zealand/new-zealands-lord-rings-location-tour">Lord of The Rings New Zealand Tour</a>. The trip includes staying at the adorable Hobbit Hotel &mdash; but second breakfasts and elevenses are on you.</p> <h2>5. Bank It</h2> <p>Interest rates are still low, but you can get <em>some</em> return on your money if you deposit it.</p> <p>EverBank currently pays 0.61% on its money market accounts and compounds interest daily, so after five years of compounding interest, you would have $5,154. So basically, after five years of saving, you'll have earned enough interest to buy a scooter or have your house cleaned once.</p> <h2>4. Give It to an Old Person: Future You</h2> <p>If you're not regularly depositing money in an IRA from your paycheck, you can meet almost the entire year's <a href="https://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Plan-Participant,-Employee/Retirement-Topics-IRA-Contribution-Limits">maximum deposit</a> with a $5,000 lump sum contribution.</p> <p>Because traditional IRAs grow tax-free, you might be amazed at how much your $5,000 deposit could blossom into by the time you retire. Assuming a 7% annual return, if you deposit $5,000 at age 20, you could have more than $50,000 by age 65. Not bad!</p> <h2>5. Indulge Yourself for a Year</h2> <p>For $5,000, you could get a one-year subscription to a <a href="https://www.caskers.com/clubs/whiskey/">whiskey club</a> ($600), a <a href="http://www.1-800-kobebeef.com/48ozkobestpe.html">Kobi beef of the month club</a> ($1,250), a <a href="http://thefreshlobstercompany.com/product-category/seafood-of-the-month-club/">seafood of the month club</a> (about $1,660), a <a href="http://www.sweetemotionscandy.com/">candy of the month club</a> (about $300), and order one <a href="https://www.soothe.com/sf?utm_source=google&amp;utm_medium=cpc&amp;utm_campaign=san+francisco&amp;gclid=CjwKEAjw0pa5BRCLmoKIx_HTh1wSJABk5F_4CGfgwWvoqqotkCvC7pNOm8aG4rKMnxmebDmV5JZU7BoCyJDw_wcB">in-home massage</a> per month ($1,200). A great deal for xenophobes, freelance writers, or folks on house arrest!</p> <h2>6. Donate to Charity</h2> <p>It will make you feel great, and you can deduct your gift from your taxable income. Make sure your recipient is a qualified nonprofit &mdash; you can look it up on the <a href="https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/">IRS website</a> &mdash; and remember that you need a letter of verification from the charity for all donations over $250.</p> <h2>9. Eat a Burger</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.alux.com/most-expensive-burger-in-the-world/">Fleurburger 5000</a>, served at Hubert Keller's Fleur eatery in Las Vegas, is made with Wagyu beef, foie gras, shaved black truffles, and truffle oil. It comes with a bottle of fine wine &mdash; and fries.</p> <h2>10. Grill Your Own Burgers In an Outdoor Kitchen</h2> <p>While you can flip burgers on the most inexpensive hibachi, making your yard into a <a href="https://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-much-does-outdoor-kitchen-cost.htm"><em>plein air</em> living space</a> where you can comfortably cook starts around $5,000 for a decent grill, an island with a built-in refrigerator, and a dining set.</p> <h2>11. Skip Waiting in Lines for a Year</h2> <p>Estimates for how much time Americans spend waiting in line in a lifetime vary from <a href="http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1657807,00.html">two to five years</a>. That boils down to hundreds of hours per year! You can pay line waiters about $25 per hour on TaskRabbit or through local services. So for $5,000, you can get out of 200 hours of line waiting. Pro tip: Don't blow it all on one phone.</p> <p><em>What would you do with $5000?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-can-buy-with-5000">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-free-things-that-arent">8 &quot;Free&quot; Things That Aren&#039;t</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/unbearably-stupid-packaging">Dumbest packaging ever?</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/flower-power-a-guide-to-frugal-valentines-flowers">Flower Power - A Guide to Frugal Valentine&#039;s Flowers</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-5-best-pet-flea-medications">The 5 Best Pet Flea Medications</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/save-100s-next-month-with-these-10-grocery-shopping-tips">Save $100s Next Month With These 10 Grocery Shopping Tips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping donating extra money Food Paying Off Debt pets savings Splurging windfalls Wed, 18 May 2016 09:30:22 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1703944 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Budget Like You Diet? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-budget-like-you-diet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-budget-like-you-diet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_cupcakes_000055050698.jpg" alt="Woman budgeting the way she diets" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;Spend less&quot; is right up there with &quot;lose weight&quot; and &quot;eat better&quot; as one of the more popular New Year's resolutions of all time. We are almost halfway through 2016 and, whether your resolutions are going well or poorly, there's probably room for improvement.</p> <p>It's a great time to sit back and evaluate your resolutions. Are you achieving your goals? Do you feel half-hearted, at best, about the things you're pursuing? What can you do to improve over the rest of the year?</p> <p>If you wanted to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-old-school-tools-to-help-you-stay-on-budget" target="_blank">budget better and spend less</a>, you can take some hints from the people trying to lose weight. In some ways, these are very similar endeavors, and you can learn from the things we know about losing weight to gain some financial heft.</p> <h2>Think Simple</h2> <p>Michael Pollan is famous for saying that we should only eat food with <a href="http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/20090323/7-rules-for-eating">five or fewer ingredients</a>, all of which we recognize and can pronounce. This helps dieters to eliminate junk from their diets, and a similar simplicity can help you spend less.</p> <p>Think about paring down your life so that you only buy things you need, or taking certain extravagant categories out of your budget entirely. You might consider selling the five pairs of shoes that you never wear and replacing them with one that actually meets your needs. Or maybe you don't really need to go to happy hour every evening, after all. When you eliminate these things from your financial diet, you will spend less.</p> <h2>Prepare Yourself Ahead of Time</h2> <p>Some people gain weight simply because they never have healthy food around. They can combat this by meal planning and prepping &mdash; spending some time, once or twice a week, getting food ready for the next few days. This can include meals, snacks, even desserts. Similarly, if you sit down once a week to plan your spending, you can save money.</p> <p>Take 30 minutes every week to look ahead at what you'll need to spend money on. Maybe you need to buy lunch for your team at work this week, or you've got to have a new clothes dryer. Work out how you're going to find the money for those things. You can even do some research online, so you know about how much you'll spend. Even just having a ballpark figure in your mind can help you refrain from overspending when making the actual purchase.</p> <p>For larger items, take the time to research different options, etc. Decide what features you really need, want, and can afford, so you don't end up splurging last minute.</p> <h2>Consistency Is Key</h2> <p>One of the major principles of modern weight loss is consistency. You can't just eat well one or two days a week, but you need to make good food choices every day. Similarly, if you want to spend less money, you need to figure out how to consistently make good financial choices, too.</p> <p>Figure out what motivates you financially. Are you saving for a trip to the Caribbean? Do you want to buy a new car or a house or know that you can retire at 60? Keeping your goals in the forefront of your mind (and even writing them down where you can see them) will help you remember, every day, that every choice matters.</p> <h2>There Are No Villains Here</h2> <p>Dieters are learning that there's <a href="http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/R-D/Is-the-there-is-no-such-thing-as-bad-foods-only-bad-diets-argument-helpful">no such thing as a bad food</a>. Sure, some foods have less nutritional value, but when you're craving something, it's better to have a little than to deprive yourself now and binge later. A similar principle can apply financially.</p> <p>If there's something you really want to buy, and you say no and think about it for a week or a month and you still want it, it's worth looking into ways to get it. If you need to save, start a special savings account. If you can fit it in your budget by taking other, non-essential things out, then make it work. Otherwise, wanting that thing can make you miserable.</p> <p>Along the same lines, there are no absolute rules for saving. There's nothing that says it's always wrong to spend money, and no saving formula that works for everyone. Instead of villainizing certain items and methods, realize that there is a time and place for everything, even in your budget.</p> <h2>Take Baby Steps</h2> <p>Dieters often find that taking baby steps &mdash; making small changes one at a time &mdash; is more effective for achieving their goals than overhauling their lives entirely. Budgeting and saving money can be like that, too.</p> <p>Instead of eliminating whole categories from your budget (&quot;I'm not going to eat out at all this month!&quot;), try making incremental changes (&quot;I'm only going to eat out twice, instead of four times, this week.&quot;). These kinds of changes will make you feel less like you are missing out, and you will still end up with more money in the bank than you would have otherwise.</p> <h2>Do It Yourself</h2> <p>People who cook their own food often end up weighing less than those who don't. In a similar vein, people who DIY it as much as possible often save money.</p> <p>Last week, my washing machine stopped working. I had several people send me names and numbers of repair folks. I'm sure they were well-intentioned, but I decided to try it myself, first. Sure, it took a couple of hours and some YouTube-ing, but I was able to do the necessary repairs on my own. I saved myself at least a couple hundred dollars because I didn't call the repair guy.</p> <p>There are a lot of things you can learn to do online in order to save yourself some cash. Sure, you have to balance the cost of your time and energy with what you'd spend, but it's often fiscally worthwhile, not to mention satisfying, to do simple repairs and food prep yourself.</p> <h2>Take a Financial Cheat Day Now and Then</h2> <p>Some weight loss experts consider it wise to plan a cheat day (or a cheat meal) into your diet so you don't feel so deprived and end up binging. Planning a <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/articles/2016-02-04/why-you-need-financial-cheat-days">financial cheat day</a> can function very much the same way.</p> <p>Note that a cheat doesn't have to be huge. Buy your coffee instead of making it one day a week, or take your family for authentic Mexican instead of Taco Bell. Plan your cheats around things you really want, things that are satisfying to you, and you'll be able to stick to a stricter budget the rest of the time and, ultimately, you'll spend less than if you tried to restrain yourself all the time.</p> <p><em>Do you budget like you eat? What does that look like for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-budget-like-you-diet">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wisdom-from-my-favorite-frugal-tv-character-julius-rock">Wisdom from My Favorite Frugal TV Character - Julius Rock</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-big-expenses-you-can-easily-get-rid-of">10 Big Expenses You Can Easily Get Rid Of</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-frugal-new-twists-on-classic-lemonade">12 Frugal New Twists on Classic Lemonade</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-create-your-dream-backyard-on-a-budget">How to Create Your Dream Backyard on a 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/4-starbucks-drinks-you-can-easily-make-yourself">4 Starbucks Drinks You Can Easily Make Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Food and Drink Lifestyle cheat days cutting costs DIY expenses simplifying spending less Tue, 17 May 2016 09:30:26 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1706850 at http://www.wisebread.com