housing http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4859/all en-US 6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_discussing_home_economics_0.jpg" alt="Couple discussing home economics" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Worried about covering your daily living expenses in retirement? You're far from alone. A study released late last year by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that only a small percentage of U.S. workers are &quot;very confident&quot; about being able to fully retire with a comfortable lifestyle.</p> <p>If you have some doubts about how you're going to fund your retirement years, there are some steps you can take now, in the years leading up to your retirement, to prepare yourself financially for the day in which you leave the workforce. By reducing these expenses before you retire, you'll give yourself the chance to boost your retirement savings in the last few years before you leave the working world.</p> <p>You'll also take an important first step toward setting up a post-retirement lifestyle that might, depending upon how much you've saved, require you to cut back on many of the expenses you take for granted today.</p> <h2>1. Housing</h2> <p>The cost of housing, of course, is the biggest financial burden that most people face. Bringing a mortgage with you into retirement can cause plenty of financial stress each month. But even if you are no longer paying off a mortgage, the cost of maintaining a large single-family home can be high.</p> <p>If you still have a mortgage, it might make sense to pay it off before you leave the working world. If you can't afford to do that, you might consider selling your home. If you have enough equity in your residence, you might be able to use the profits to buy a downsized residence &mdash; maybe a condo unit &mdash; in cash.</p> <p>If you've already paid off your mortgage, you'll have more flexibility. If your home requires too much maintenance, or if your property taxes and homeowners insurance are too high, you can sell and move into a smaller residence that requires less maintenance or a condo building that comes with far lower property taxes.</p> <p>You'll no longer need to worry about living in a higher-taxed area with better public schools, so finding a residence with lower annual property taxes shouldn't be too much of a struggle. And if you purchase a smaller home or condo, your annual homeowners insurance bill won't be as high.</p> <h2>2. Insurance</h2> <p>Now might be a good time to review how much you are spending each year on your insurance.</p> <p>First, if you no longer have any dependents who'd need financial help after you die, you can drop any life insurance coverage you might still have. That can immediately save you a significant sum of money each year.</p> <p>You'll no longer need disability insurance, either, after you leave the workforce. Don't drop disability before you retire, but do figure that the cost of this insurance will disappear once you stop working.</p> <p>You might also look at the deductibles you've set up for your auto and homeowners insurance policies. It makes sense to set your deductibles low when you are working. If you have a deductible of $250 for your auto insurance policy, for instance, you'll have to pay for the first $250 in costs after an accident while your auto insurer will cover anything after that.</p> <p>But lower deductibles increase the amount you pay in insurance premiums. When you raise your deductibles, you'll pay less for your auto and homeowners' insurance policies. By the time you reach your retirement age, you might have enough saved to cover these higher deductibles, and moving to lower payments for your insurance policies might help you cover your daily living expenses.</p> <h2>3. Credit card debt</h2> <p>One of the biggest burdens on your retirement could be credit card debt. This debt comes with high interest rates &mdash; as high as 20 percent or more in some cases &mdash; and can grow quickly. If you carry a balance on your cards from month to month, you'll be stuck paying that minimum required monthly payment every time your credit card bills come due.</p> <p>If you have a lot of credit card debt, it's important to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">pay off as much as possible</a> as you approach retirement. You can do this using one of three tested approaches: the debt snowball, debt avalanche, or debt snowflake method.</p> <p>In the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-secrets-to-mastering-the-debt-snowball?ref=internal" target="_blank">snowball method</a>, you list your credit card debts from smallest to largest. You then take any extra money you have and focus on paying off the smallest bill first. Once you've paid off that bill, you'll move on to your next smallest credit card bill and pay that one off.</p> <p>In the avalanche method, you organize your credit card bills by interest rate, from high to low. You then use any extra money to pay off the card with the highest interest rate as quickly as possible. Once you pay off that card, you then move to the card with the next highest rate.</p> <p>If if you find yourself struggling to come up with large debt payments, the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-out-of-debt-faster-with-the-debt-snowflake?ref=internal" target="_blank">snowflake method</a> may work well for you. In this strategy, you'll look for ways to shave dollars off of everyday expenses, such as groceries or gas. You'll then use those savings to make small but frequent payments on your credit card debt. Every little bit helps.</p> <h2>4. Your cars</h2> <p>Cars are expensive. Not only do you have to pay for their upkeep and gas, but you also need to insure them. Going from two cars to one or downgrading to a less expensive car can help you dramatically reduce your daily living expenses.</p> <p>If you can swing it, going from two cars to one will reduce the amount you pay each year in auto insurance. But maybe you can't do this while you are still working. If not, you can still downgrade from a more expensive car to one with lower monthly payments and lower insurance costs.</p> <p>Consider this carefully, though. If you've paid off your car, it probably makes more sense to live with it for as long as you can. That way, you won't have to worry about monthly car payments. If you are still making payments on it, though, downgrading to a nice but less costly vehicle might be a good way to reduce your daily living expenses even while you're still working.</p> <h2>5. Dining out</h2> <p>The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2015, the average U.S. household spent $3,008 on restaurant meals and take-out food. This should inspire you to look at how much money you spend each month on eating out.</p> <p>It's not that you should never eat out. But if you are worried about covering your daily living expenses once you retire, reducing the number of times you dine out at a restaurant is one monthly expense that you can easily control.</p> <p>Instead of eating out whenever you'd like, try budgeting each month for a certain number of restaurant meals. Then don't break that budget. Doing this before you retire will help build your discipline for the days in which you are no longer working.</p> <h2>6. Entertainment</h2> <p>Going to the movies instead of streaming one at home. Taking several vacations a year. The most expensive cable subscription with the most channels. All that entertainment adds up. You can significantly reduce your expenses before retirement by spending less on entertaining yourself.</p> <p>You might think you're depriving yourself, but streaming a movie can be just as much fun as going to the theater, and it can save you plenty of dollars. You can even rent movies for free from your local library or through the online rental services that many public libraries now feature. Why not take a break from that big expensive trip for the next few years and take smaller weekend jaunts instead? You can then save the money you would have spent so that you have more to spend in your retirement years.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Ways%2520You%2520Can%2520Cut%2520Costs%2520Right%2520Before%2520You%2520Retire.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ways%20You%20Can%20Cut%20Costs%20Right%20Before%20You%20Retire"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Ways%20You%20Can%20Cut%20Costs%20Right%20Before%20You%20Retire.jpg" alt="6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-come-up-with-1000-in-the-next-30-days">How to Come Up With $1,000 in the Next 30 Days</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-are-people-retiring-in-their-30s">How Are People Retiring in Their 30s?!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-expenses-will-probably-cost-you-a-lot-less-in-retirement">These 5 Expenses Will Probably Cost You a Lot Less in Retirement</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/youve-been-saving-money-all-wrong-heres-why">You&#039;ve Been Saving Money All Wrong. Here&#039;s Why</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-handle-a-sudden-loss-of-income">How to Handle a Sudden Loss of Income</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Retirement Cars cutting costs debt entertainment expenses food costs housing saving money Tue, 04 Jul 2017 08:00:10 +0000 Dan Rafter 1974324 at http://www.wisebread.com Are Your Assets Costing You Too Much? http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-assets-costing-you-too-much <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-your-assets-costing-you-too-much" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_daydreaming_money_481974106.jpg" alt="Woman learning if her assets are costing her too much" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The more assets, the merrier is generally a good philosophy. But there are times when assets can actually be a drain on your financial wellbeing. Some assets cost a lot to possess and don't bring you much in return.</p> <p>Consider whether these common assets are worth their weight.</p> <h2>Your Home</h2> <p>A home can be one of your biggest assets. It can also be one of your biggest financial enemies. Ideally, you are making payments on your home, building equity, and increasing your net worth as you go. But often, homeowners find that their monthly mortgage payments are hindering their ability to make ends meet. To make matters worse, home upkeep and repairs, electricity, and other utilities may be costing you more than you bargained for. Homeownership is a great goal, but don't buy a home if it will make your life more challenging financially.</p> <h2>Your Cash</h2> <p>It may seem crazy to say that good old cash can work against you. But if you have a lot of it and there's inflation, over time it will lose value. It's great to have a healthy dose of cash on hand, but at a certain point it becomes smarter to invest your money in something with a higher rate of return. If you have large quantities of cash in bank accounts that provide a low interest rate, chances are you are making a financial mistake.</p> <h2>Your Car</h2> <p>You can count an automobile toward your net worth, but you can virtually guarantee it's going to decline in value over time. Add in the cost of maintenance, gas, and insurance, and it's likely that a car is a true drain on your finances. But you need a car to get around, so it's best to look at the true cost of ownership before buying. This means taking into account fuel mileage, reliability history, and the cost of parts and labor.</p> <h2>Your Collectible Items</h2> <p>You've got a Van Gogh hanging in your living room. There's a Mickey Mantle rookie card in your man cave. Your jewelry collection would make Elizabeth Taylor envious. All of these valuable items are nice to possess, until you take into account the expense of owning them. From storage to insurance to the cost of restoration, high-end collectibles can be a financial headache. For example, according to a Wall Street Journal report, managing an art collection could cost you between 1% and 5% of the value of the pieces annually. You may cash in big time if you ever sell these items, but the cost of ownership is high and may not be worth it.</p> <h2>Your Investments</h2> <p>It might seem backward to think of your investments as a drain on your finances, but it can happen if you're not investing in the right way. Are you investing in things that will grow in value over time, or in low-risk things that may be outpaced by inflation? Do you own a property that's costing money to maintain but not bringing in revenue? Are you paying a hefty amount in fees and commissions? Are you paying a high-priced broker or accountant to manage things even though you can probably do it on your own?</p> <h2>Your Life Insurance Policies</h2> <p>Many people don't think of life insurance as an asset, but it can be under certain circumstances. Of course, it's only a good asset for you if you believe the eventual benefit will outweigh the cost. Many life insurance policies are simply not very good &mdash; costly premiums, and low payouts.</p> <h2>Your Intangible Assets</h2> <p>Sometimes you have assets that don't really bring you any monetary gain, but may cost you money to obtain or possess. One example of this is a copyright or patent. These are things that may require upfront costs in the form of research and legal assistance, but the financial gain is uncertain. A patent has no real value until you sell it or develop a product based on it. When you acquire these types of assets, it's important to come up with some plan for monetization. Otherwise, they are simply a vehicle for sunk costs.</p> <h2>Your Inventory</h2> <p>If you run a business, any product you've manufactured but have yet to sell is considered an asset. But if you have too much inventory, that could be problematic. Inventory costs money to store. Some items might become obsolete or spoil, and result in no revenue. On the flip side, too little inventory can result in a lost sale. Smart business owners become skilled in inventory management, in which they can properly forecast sales to ensure the proper amount of product on hand.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-assets-costing-you-too-much">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/does-your-net-worth-even-matter">Does Your Net Worth Even Matter?</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/big-purchases-you-should-make-by-30-40-and-50">Big Purchases You Should Make by 30, 40, and 50</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/why-you-need-to-know-the-difference-between-secured-and-unsecured-debts">Why You Need to Know the Difference Between Secured and Unsecured Debts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-credit-repair-mistakes-that-will-cost-you">8 Credit Repair Mistakes That Will Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0">6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance assets Cars cash collections costs expense fees housing life insurance net worth Fri, 06 Jan 2017 11:00:12 +0000 Tim Lemke 1864688 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Much Life in the Big City Will Cost You http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-much-life-in-the-big-city-will-cost-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-much-life-in-the-big-city-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_walking_city_77672035.jpg" alt="Woman finding out how much life in the big city will cost her" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So, you got a new higher-paying job in the big city. Now you have to decide whether it's worth making the big move. Fortunately, there's an easy cost analysis that can help you determine if the move is worthwhile.</p> <h2>Cost of Living Calculators</h2> <p>For a better estimate of how much you'll need to earn to maintain the same standard of living, use a cost of living calculator. Once you enter your current income, where you currently live, and where you would like to move, you can see a side-by-side comparison of what it will cost to live in both cities.</p> <p>Some <a href="http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/">basic calculators</a> will show how far your salary will go in another city by comparing the price differences of major categories, like housing, utilities, and groceries. There are also more advanced cost of living calculators that will break down everything from what gas costs in the two areas, to how much you pay for coffee and ibuprofen.</p> <p>For example, say you're living somewhere like Bakersfield, California with an income of $50,000, and you're deciding whether to move to a big metro like San Francisco. So, how much will you need to earn in order to maintain your same standard of living? Using a cost of living calculator, you can see that you would need to be making $81,636. Otherwise, you'll have to get used to a lower standard of living and cut costs wherever possible.</p> <h2>Housing</h2> <p>Generally speaking, the closer you live to downtown, the more expensive the rent, food, and entertainment costs. When you live in a bigger city, it also generally means that you will have a smaller living space. Worst of all, rent just keeps getting more expensive over time. According to StreetEasy's annual New York City Rent Affordability Report, the median rent-to-income ratio in NYC rose from 59.7% in 2015 to <a href="http://cdn1.blog-media.zillowstatic.com/streeteasy/2/StreetEasy-2016-Rent-AffordabilityReport-7e91e8.pdf">65.2% in 2016</a>. This means that nearly two-thirds of New Yorkers' income is devoted to rent. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford?ref=seealso">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a>)</p> <h2>Higher Income</h2> <p>In most cases, a higher cost of living also means that the area has a higher than average median household income. While you can usually get a more robust <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/protect-future-earnings-by-negotiating-the-right-starting-salary">starting salary</a> in a large city, you might not want to count on hefty raises. Income growth is lagging behind things like rent increases and cost of living growth, so your expenses may increase in the years to come, but your income might not keep up.</p> <h2>Transportation</h2> <p>In most cases, the closer you can live to work, the better. This will allow you to bike to work, take part in a carpool, use Uber, or even take public transportation.</p> <p>If you will be taking advantage of public transportation, consider storing or selling your car, so you don't have to worry about parking. Driving can also be a lot more overwhelming for someone moving from a smaller town to a big metro (think Los Angeles gridlock). Look into public transportation options in your new city to determine if you can reasonably live there without a car, and how much you would save by making the change to public transportation. Keep in mind that places that are more walkable, or have better transportation options, are typically more expensive to rent.</p> <h2>Parking</h2> <p>In cities like Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle (to name a few), free parking is basically a pipe dream. With parking meters and paid parking lots as far as the eye can see, it's very unlikely that you'll find free parking. Even if you did find street parking, the posted rules can be very confusing and, in large cities, parking tickets are very common.</p> <h2>Convenience</h2> <p>Living in a large city means most things will be at your fingertips. For instance, there isn't much that you won't have access to in New York City. However, getting what you want and need is a different story. Living in a small town means quicker trips to the grocery store and general merchandise stores like Target.</p> <p>In a big city, on the other hand, you have to worry about fighting traffic and finding parking before you even get to the store. Then, there are hordes of people to deal with and long lines at the checkout counter, so small day trips can become much longer and more stressful. Try completing your errands at odd times, like early in the morning or during your lunch break, to beat the crowds.</p> <h2>Entertainment</h2> <p>Living in a big city means there are generally boundless things to occupy your time, such as endless places to eat, shows to watch, people to meet, and free activities to take part in. In a city like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-visit-san-francisco-without-going-broke-0">San Francisco</a> or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-visit-new-york-without-going-broke">New York</a>, you will be exposed to more culture more easily, and can find more fun, free events for the kids.</p> <p>To better deal with the culture shock, try seeking out social groups and other resources for newcomers to the area. Make a valiant effort after moving to make friends with locals and other transplants so you can quickly become acclimated with the city and what is available to you.</p> <h2>Is It Worth It?</h2> <p>Moving to a large city can be very expensive. The move itself can be a frustrating, expensive undertaking, and once you're there, things like rent, groceries, utilities, health care, and transportation can be much more expensive than what you're used to. Take this into account when you're deciding whether to make the move or not.</p> <p>The decision on whether it is worth it to make the big move is an entirely personal one. After living in New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, I can attest to the fact that there is nothing comparable to living in a big metro. What you can (and will) experience in a shorter amount of time there is well worth the higher cost of living. However, if you are trying to save more money or contribute more towards your debt, savings, or retirement accounts, you'll need to use a cost of living calculator (at minimum) to determine whether it's worth it for you.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-much-life-in-the-big-city-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-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/dont-forget-to-budget-for-these-unexpected-moving-expenses">Don&#039;t Forget to Budget for These Unexpected Moving Expenses</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/moving-dont-skimp-on-these-critical-expenses">Moving? Don&#039;t Skimp on These Critical Expenses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-100s-on-your-next-move">How to Save $100s on Your Next Move</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-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-countries-where-you-can-retire-for-1000-a-month">5 Countries Where You Can Retire for $1,000 a Month</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Real Estate and Housing big cities cost of living expenses housing moving relocating renting transportation Tue, 01 Nov 2016 10:00:15 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1824619 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things Americans Spend Too Much On http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-americans-spend-too-much-on <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-americans-spend-too-much-on" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bride_groom_wedding_81998933.jpg" alt="What Americans spend too much money on" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We're all guilty of spending too much money at some point or another. Even when we know the importance of a good budget and have a regular savings routine, we can get off track. Because Americans are big spenders in general, it should come as no surprise that we spend way too much on stuff we don't need &mdash; and, interestingly, stuff we do need.</p> <p>Whether you realize it or not, here are five things you're probably spending too much on.</p> <h2>1. Groceries</h2> <p>We need food for survival, and because food is a necessity, some people never think to calculate how much they actually spend on food on a yearly basis. They don't know if they're spending too much.</p> <p>There are no hard and fast rules regarding how much we should spend on food every year. But considering how a trip to the grocery store can be just as tempting as walking through a clothing store, there's a good chance that we're spending more than we need.</p> <p>According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a family earning $69,629 in 2015 spent an <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cesan.nr0.htm">average of $7,023 on food</a> (includes food at home and away from home), which comes to about $585 a month. The cost of food periodically increases, so we can expect slight increases in our grocery bill. But there are plenty of ways to shave down this number and save.</p> <p>Clipping coupons, signing up for grocery store loyalty cards, and resisting the urge to stock our carts with stuff we don't need &mdash; such as unhealthy snacks &mdash; can result in big savings. And if we limit the amount of times we dine out every month, the savings increase.</p> <p>If you reduce your grocery bill by as little as $20 a week, that's a savings of $1,000 a year. Buying less also makes sense considering how &quot;a four-person family loses about <a href="http://savethefood.com/">$1,500 a year on wasted food</a>,&quot; according to the National Resources Defense Council.</p> <h2>2. Bottled Water</h2> <p>If you're looking for ways to save on groceries, you can start by cutting bottled water from your grocery list. Bottled water has become a necessity in many U.S. households, with many people preferring this over tap water for various reasons. Some people don't trust their city's water supply and others simply enjoy the taste of bottled water.</p> <p>But our love affair with bottled water is costly. On average, Americans spend about <a href="http://www.statisticbrain.com/bottled-water-statistics/">$11.8 billion on bottled water</a> every year, and the average person in American consumes 167 plastic water bottles annually. Given the average cost of $1.45 per bottle, that's $242 a year per person, which is expensive considering how we can purchase a reusable water filter for $30 or $40.</p> <h2>3. Coffee</h2> <p>If you broke the habit of buying coffee every day, you probably think you're saving money &mdash; and maybe you are. Brewing your own coffee at home is supposed to save, yet a new study found that Americans are spending more on coffee than ever before, despite drinking less due to single-serve coffee machines.</p> <p>It's predicted that Americans will spend <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-coffee-demand-kcups-idUSKBN0P209F20150622">$13.6 billion on coffee</a> in 2016, which is up from the expected $12.8 billion in 2015. This is primarily due to the fact that more Americans are drinking single-serve cups and paying a premium for this convenience. Using K-cups can <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/keurig-cups-are-expensive-2015-3">cost up to five times more</a> than using a coffee pot. Fortunately, there are ways to save like purchasing a reusable filter for Keurigs and other single-serve coffee pots, as well as skipping the grocery store and buying K-cups from discount stores or online from Amazon and eBay.</p> <h2>4. Housing</h2> <p>Once you're ready to buy a house, you'll seek a property that offers everything you're looking for and more. But getting everything you want comes at a price, and unfortunately, some people buy more house than they can afford.</p> <p>A competent mortgage lender won't approve a loan for more than you can afford. But if you have excellent credit, some lenders are flexible and they'll allow you to spend a greater percentage of your gross income on housing. But just because you're approved for a particular loan amount doesn't mean you should spend your max.</p> <p>Whether you're renting or buying, keeping house payments below your means creates more disposable income that can go toward saving a rainy-day fund or paying off debt. According to a 2014 report, millions of Americans spend too much of their monthly incomes on housing &mdash; <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2014/12/03/real_estate/housing-costs/">more than 30%</a> of their income. Ideally, house payments should be no more than 28% of your gross income.</p> <h2>5. Weddings</h2> <p>Weddings are a special day. If you stay together forever, this can become one of the best days of your life. But just because weddings are a memorable event doesn't mean you should wipe out your savings or go into debt.</p> <p>In 2015, the average cost of a wedding <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/05/pf/average-wedding-costs/">increased to $32,641</a>. Some people could argue this is a reasonable amount. But given how nearly one in two marriages in the U.S. <a href="http://www.apa.org/topics/divorce/">ends in divorce</a>, spending this type of cash is a waste of money.</p> <p>Even if a marriage never crumbles, $32,000 is too much to spend on a day that's only the beginning of your journey together. Rather than begin a marriage in debt or wipe out your savings account, plan an inexpensive ceremony and put the majority of the money toward a home purchase or save it for the future.</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/5-things-americans-spend-too-much-on">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/the-9-easiest-food-budget-wins">The 9 Easiest Food Budget Wins</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/my-2016-budget-challenge-finding-food">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Finding Food</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars">20 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars</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-stay-on-budget-while-eating-paleo">How to Stay on Budget While Eating Paleo</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-off-season-foods-that-are-destroying-your-grocery-budget">5 Off-Season Foods That Are Destroying Your Grocery Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping americans bottled water coffee food costs food waste groceries housing overspending spending habits weddings Wed, 26 Oct 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1819950 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways That Better Paying Job Out of State May Cost You http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-that-better-paying-job-out-of-state-may-cost-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-that-better-paying-job-out-of-state-may-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/iStock_85520231_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="taking a higher-paying job out of state may cost you" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>On the market for a new, higher paying job? Have you expanded your job search across state lines? When contemplating a job that would require you to move to a new state, part of the decision process should be determining how the local costs, public infrastructure, and local school system will affect your financial bottom line.</p> <p>In some areas of the United States, the increase in salary the job offers might not be enough to offset the added potential living expense. Here are some things to consider.</p> <h2>1. Cost of Living</h2> <p>Before accepting a job in another state, it's essential you don't assume that a higher salary offer in another state will lead to a larger disposable income. Each state has a slightly different cost of living. When you move from one state to another, you can expect slightly different housing, food, utility, healthcare, transportation, and healthcare costs.</p> <p>If the new job offer is from a state with a significantly higher cost of living, the &quot;raise&quot; might:</p> <ul> <li>Not be as extensive as you expect</li> <li>Be an equivalent wage</li> <li>Be a pay decrease.</li> </ul> <p>For example, a $25,000 salary in Boise, Idaho is comparable to a $47,274 salary in Brooklyn, New York. In order to really be considered a raise, individuals that move from Idaho to New York should expect at a little more than a salary of $47,274 a year.</p> <p>Before accepting any jobs out of state, check this<a href="http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/"> cost of living calculator</a> to ensure that you are actually receiving a raise.</p> <h2>2. Housing</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-a-fair-relationship-between-salary-and-rent">Housing costs, rent</a>, and home ownership can differ significantly from state-to-state. You will want to evaluate how the expected rent or mortgage rates (lower, higher, the same) will affect your potential disposable income.</p> <p>Moving from Idaho to New York, for example, can lead to a steep increase in potential rent or mortgage costs. Average rent cost increases from $995 (Idaho) to $3,295 (New York).</p> <h2>3. Transportation</h2> <p>Moving from an area with a good public transit system could significantly increase your expenses. According to the<a href="http://mbaonline.pepperdine.edu/evolution-of-the-daily-commute/"> <em>Evolution of the Daily Commute</em></a>, car bound commuters will spend $1,129 dollars in gas annually to travel to and from work. A good subway, bus, or train system can be significantly cheaper due to the fact you're potentially trading gas and parking expenses for a reasonably priced ticket.</p> <p>If you are unavoidably car bound, you might consider how the<a href="http://money.cnn.com/news/storysupplement/economy/gas_prices_by_state/"> difference in gas prices between states</a>&nbsp;will affect your finances. Moving from Oklahoma to California for example, would increase the amount you pay for gas from $1.39 a gallon to $2.47 a gallon. That can lead to a large extra expense.</p> <p>In addition, each state has different average insurance rates due to state regulations, and the percentage of uninsured drivers on the road. Moving from a state with low insurance rates to a state with high insurance rates might mean that you won't have as much extra money from that raise as you expect.</p> <h2>4. Quality of K-12 Schools</h2> <p>The quality, success, and financial stability of the local K-12 public schools are not uniform across state or county lines. Depending on where you move, your children could be facing a potential downgrade in the quality of their education and an unexpected extra financial expense that could counteract the positive effect of your raise.</p> <p>Parents can check out the quality of local schools:</p> <ul> <li>By searching for news of any potential school and school district in Google.</li> <li>By evaluating the statistic, reviews, and polls of any potential school with&nbsp;<a href="https://k12.niche.com/">Niche's 2016 K-12 School and District Rankings</a>.</li> </ul> <p>Moving to an area where the public schools are failing could inevitably lead families to make the hard decision to either gamble on the poor educational institution or invest time and potentially money to enroll students in a more favorable environment.</p> <h2>5. Quality of Local Colleges</h2> <p>College is expensive. In-state college tuition can be a real money saver. How much college costs&nbsp;<a href="https://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/2015-16-state-tuition-and-fees-public-four-year-institutions-state-and-five-year-percentage">depends on the state that you live in</a>. Moving from Wyoming to New Hampshire, for example, could mean that in-state college tuition is suddenly around $10,000 more expensive. Even with a raise, that might be too big of a price hike to reasonably handle.</p> <p>As an added concern, you should evaluate whether or not you're moving into an area with too many colleges on rocky financial standing. These colleges and universities tend to hike tuition rates, cut back on other amenities, and possibly declare bankruptcy.</p> <p>Bankruptcy, in particular, can be costly for current students. It can lead to red marks on their official transcripts (if the school closes mid-semester), forcing students to go through another college application process, and face the reality that many of the classes and credits earned won't be recognized by the new college.</p> <h2>6. State Regulatory Guidelines (For Your Industry)</h2> <p>Professional standards are often set not on a federal level, but on a state level. Moving to a new state can either create new opportunities, or limit the opportunities available to you and your significant other. The most far reaching differences can be found in the medical field.</p> <ul> <li>Twenty-two states&nbsp;<a href="http://onlinenursingdegrees.maryville.edu/the-states-that-allow-nurse-practitioner-autonomy/">grant Nurse Practitioners full autonomy</a> to diagnose and treat patients without supervision from physicians. This can allow NPs to open private clinics or grants the ability to apply for a broader range of jobs.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Twenty-five states have entered into a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.ncsbn.org/nurse-licensure-compact.htm">Nurse Licensure Compact</a> (NLC) that allows nurses to practice in any other state that has agreed to join the compact. This can allow individuals to engage in travel nursing or telemedicine. Moving out of or into an NLC state could either shrink or increase professional opportunities.</li> </ul> <p>There are a lot of financial factors that should be evaluated when changing jobs within the same state. When moving out of state, there are even more factors that could affect how the new higher paying jobs will negatively or positively affect your net worth.</p> <p><em>Have you taken a job in another state? What 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/samantha-stauf">Samantha Stauf</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-that-better-paying-job-out-of-state-may-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-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/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for 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/17-part-time-jobs-to-do-while-your-kids-are-at-school">17 Part-Time Jobs to Do While Your Kids Are at School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-money-as-a-chat-or-forum-moderator">How to Make Money as a Chat or Forum Moderator</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-questions-to-ask-before-you-take-a-job-offer">12 Questions to Ask Before You Take a Job Offer</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-cool-jobs-for-fashion-lovers">18 Cool Jobs for Fashion Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Job Hunting cost of living gas prices housing new job public transportation states tickets tuition Thu, 08 Sep 2016 09:30:33 +0000 Samantha Stauf 1788318 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Money Moves to Make When You Move Back Home With Your Parents http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-when-you-move-back-home-with-your-parents <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-money-moves-to-make-when-you-move-back-home-with-your-parents" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_and_daughter_000065344549.jpg" alt="Woman making money moves after moving back in with parents" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Somewhere between 30% and 50% of Millennials are currently <a href="http://time.com/4108515/millennials-live-at-home-parents/">living with their parents</a>. While there are a lot of different ways of thinking about this statistic, most of the folks I know who have had to move back home don't feel great about it.</p> <p>No matter how you frame it, moving home often feels like failure, at least at some point in the process. But if you make the right financial moves from the beginning, you ensure that the process is as painless as possible, and you set yourself up for financial success in the future.</p> <p>Whether you're moving home because you lost a job, can't find a job, or your job doesn't pay a living wage, take these steps as soon as you can. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-millennials-are-better-with-money-than-you-are?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways Millennials Are Better With Money Than You Are</a>)</p> <h2>1. Know the Financial Expectations</h2> <p>If possible, sit down with your parents before you move home and talk about your mutual financial expectations. Do your parents want you to pay rent? To buy your own groceries or contribute to a household budget? Will you pay any of the utilities while you're living there?</p> <p>Most people who move home continue to pay the bills that pertain only to them. This includes things like covering your own phone bill, health insurance premiums, and other, similar bills. Some people, though, find that going on their parents' cell phone plan, for instance, is cheaper than having their own.</p> <p>The point is to hash out these things before you move home and write them down. That way, everyone will be on the same page and it will be easy to ensure that everyone is holding up their end of the bargain. This also allows you to keep some measure of independence and feel more dignified about the whole thing, because you will be able to pay for as much of your own stuff as possible.</p> <h2>2. Set Goals and Make Plans</h2> <p>Moving home can feel like a dead end, but it doesn't have to actually be one. Most young people don't want to live with their parents long-term, which can be a relief both for you and your folks. Before you move in, or soon after doing so, decide how you want to proceed.</p> <p>This will depend a lot on your current situation. If you're carrying debt, you might want to focus on paying that off before you move out. Or you may want to land a job that pays more, or finish your education.</p> <p>Having goals will make you feel better about moving home, because you will be able to see your move as a step forward in your overall financial life, rather than a move backwards.</p> <p>Goals alone are not enough, though. Once you know where you're going, draw up a blueprint for how to get there. Decide which classes you're going to take, start making extra payments on that debt, or begin applying for jobs that meet your criteria.</p> <p>Not only will this empower you and move you forward, but it will help your parents see that you are a responsible adult, even though you moved back into your childhood bedroom.</p> <h2>3. Agree on Boundaries</h2> <p>While it will be important for you and your folks to hash through all sorts of boundaries, the ones I'm thinking of here are financial in nature. Unless you're in truly dire straights, decide that you will not borrow money from your parents. And even if they won't take your money for rent, find ways to contribute to the household. You can buy food, pay for meals out, purchase cleaning supplies and clean, etc.</p> <p>Let your parents know what boundaries you're setting. Let them know that you plan to clean the bathrooms every week, that you're available to run errands on the weekends, or that you don't need anything more from them than what has already been agreed upon.</p> <h2>4. Get a Job</h2> <p>This won't apply to folks moving home because they are underemployed but, for everyone else, this is not a free ride. The goal of moving home is to get yourself into a better financial place for later on, so you should be working.</p> <p>Even if the only job you can get is the one you had during high school, take it. Since you're at home, you probably don't need as much money as you would otherwise, and some income is always better than none. Working will also make you feel better about yourself, and will show both your parents and future employers that you are willing to do whatever it takes to move forward.</p> <h2>5. Pay Off Debt</h2> <p>If you have debt, start paying it off as soon as you can. Moving home can save you quite a bit of money and, instead of putting this toward your own pleasure, take steps to make your financial future brighter. Even if you only have student loans, start putting more towards them every month. A couple of extra payments now can mean huge savings in interest later!</p> <p>Paying off debt should probably be your first goal upon moving home. Make a concerted effort to pay off as much as possible, and you will feel better about your decision to not live on your own. Even if you have a crappy job, you should be able to make some extra payments when you're saving money on things like rent.</p> <h2>6. Start Saving</h2> <p>Don't have debt? Great! Start saving. If you're not spending money on rent, you should be putting it towards something useful, and an emergency fund (or a move-out-of-my-parents'-house fund) is a great way to feel good about your decision to move home.</p> <p>If you play your cards right, you can use your time living at home to get a nice little nest egg. That way, you'll be able to cover all of your moving expenses when you move out, and you'll have enough left over for other things that come up (like car problems, paying for a wedding, etc.).</p> <p>Moving home doesn't have to be a death sentence. Even if you feel like you've failed financially, these moves can set you up for future success. Take the long view and you will be happier with your decision.</p> <p><em>Why did you move home? What financial moves did you make when you did?</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/6-money-moves-to-make-when-you-move-back-home-with-your-parents">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/millennial-millionaires-how-the-brokest-generation-can-also-become-the-richest">Millennial Millionaires: How the Brokest Generation Can Also Become the Richest</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-money-moves">6 Signs You&#039;re Making All the Right Money Moves</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0">6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire</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/my-2016-budget-challenge-everything-breaks">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Everything Breaks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-outdated-money-advice-endanger-your-money">Don&#039;t Let Outdated Money Advice Endanger Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living bills debt housing millennials moving back with parents saving money student loans Tue, 19 Apr 2016 09:30:29 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1689032 at http://www.wisebread.com Avoid These 5 Pitfalls When Moving in Together http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-pitfalls-when-moving-in-together <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/avoid-these-5-pitfalls-when-moving-in-together" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_fighting_000051175734.jpg" alt="Couple trying to avoid relationship pitfalls when moving in together" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Moving in with the person you love is a huge step! In fact, it's so huge that we get too swept up in the excitement to really look at the gritty details. These are five things you should never do when moving in together.</p> <h2>1. Don't Avoid Organizing Your Stuff Before the Move</h2> <p>This is one of the most useful things you can do to avoid fights about belongings down the line. You must be willing to self-edit (and to help your partner self-edit) before schlepping all your stuff into a new place where it may not all fit. Clean house and decide which items of yours are most important to keep, so you can make room for the new items you'll acquire as a cohabiting couple.</p> <p>Remember these key categories: Keep, Sell, Donate, and Toss. Keep items such as any clothing you have actually worn in the past year, or big ticket furniture items you can't spare. Sell items of some value that are either redundant or no longer needed. Donate items like new clothing you haven't worn in the last year, shoes, books, and anything not worth taking time to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-things-to-buy-or-sell-on-craigslist">sell on Craigslist</a> or a yard sale. Toss pretty much everything else! Let your partner have a veto option.</p> <h2>2. Don't Reject Your Significant Other's Red Flags</h2> <p>This can range from extremely small to extremely big issues. To some, a loud snore could potentially be a deal breaker; but harboring an addiction to pills could go undetected for years before finally moving in with someone. It comes down to how well you know each other. What are your partner's triggers and soft spots, and will you be able to work around them? </p> <p>For some, a series of talks is all you need to answer questions like, &quot;How will our work schedules mesh?&quot; Or, &quot;Can we share a bedroom or do we need separate spaces as well?&quot; Or, &quot;Who will be in charge of the bills?&quot;</p> <p>There are also elephants in the room that you must address. For example: If your significant other has a child, you will need to be a part of the child's life. Is that something you're ready to do?</p> <p>Another example: If your partner has a disability, how will it affect your responsibilities to them and the home?</p> <p>Maybe you're the one with a lot red flags. Don't react defensively &ndash; deeply consider your partner's needs and decide if they are workable for you. You can't just hope it will all fall into place.</p> <h2>3. Don't Assume Finances Will Work Themselves Out</h2> <p>Finances are the largest source of stress and arguments in every household. Yours will not be an exception. While you're not legally obligated to each other's money, you do need to share some pertinent information with your significant other before you set up your household system. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-life-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-by-30">Are you in massive debt</a>? Are you terrible at managing bills?</p> <p>If you're the organized one who has their bills set up on auto-pay, you're probably going to be the one to shepherd the other into a better system. Try setting up an automatic monthly transfer from your partner's bank account to yours to ensure you get their share of the rent and bills on time. Don't think of this as babysitting; think of this as an investment of your time and expertise into avoiding future fights when the lights suddenly get shut-off!</p> <h2>4. Don't Let One Person Do All the Housework</h2> <p>This is a tough one that inevitably happens to most new couples. Whoever gets sick of staring at the unending tower of dirty dishes first is ultimately the one who cleans them. That's not fair, but it's really easy to get stuck into imbalanced patterns like this when living together.</p> <p>Have a discussion, before moving in, about housekeeping equality. Who takes out the trash? Who does the dishes? (Hint: if you don't own a dishwasher, I suggest it's whoever didn't cook the meal.) Who fixes the bookcase when it starts to teeter? These are tasks that have nothing to do with gender or who earns more money. It's usually whoever can do it with the least amount of goading. If neither of you wants to clean, agree to split the cost of a monthly cleaning service and never fight about dusting again.</p> <h2>5. Don't Pretend You're Married</h2> <p>This is a hard one. Many people see shacking up as a stepping stone to marriage, and for many, it is. This is a great time to test each other's willingness to compromise, generosity with belongings, and emotional, sexual, and financial compatibility on an everyday level. This is all invaluable.</p> <p>But it doesn't mean that you're married. Avoid forming unhealthy, codependent habits with him or her. Your stuff doesn't belong to your partner, nor theirs to you. You have a choice in every decision that doesn't necessarily have to include your partner. You can hang in there and try to make a relationship work, but you can always leave if it isn't going well. That's the whole point, isn't it?</p> <p><em>Did you fall into any of these traps when you moved in with a significant other?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-pitfalls-when-moving-in-together">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/heres-how-much-life-in-the-big-city-will-cost-you">Here&#039;s How Much Life in the Big City Will Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-6-relationship-moves-now-or-youll-regret-it-in-20-years">Make These 6 Relationship Moves Now or You&#039;ll Regret It in 20 Years</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-balancing-love-and-money">10 Tips for Balancing Love and Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-relationship-rules-you-should-be-breaking">10 Relationship Rules You Should Be Breaking</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/gratitude-and-frugality">Gratitude and Frugality</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Personal Development Dating finance housing living arrangements moving moving in relationships Mon, 12 Oct 2015 17:00:44 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1586180 at http://www.wisebread.com Big Purchases You Should Make by 30, 40, and 50 http://www.wisebread.com/big-purchases-you-should-make-by-30-40-and-50 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/big-purchases-you-should-make-by-30-40-and-50" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_empty_piggybank_000018649757.jpg" alt="Man planning big purchases at 30, 40, and 50" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It used to be that major purchases such as a house or a car were rites of passage into adulthood. Sure, times are changing, and the new generation isn't buying all the things their parents did. But there are some things you probably <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-scariest-big-purchases-people-make">can't avoid buying</a>. Here are the big purchases most of us should make by ages 30, 40, or 50.</p> <h2>By Age 30</h2> <p>By the time we reach 30 we've turned the corner from the youth to adulthood, and our possessions show it.</p> <h3>A Car</h3> <p>As more people choose to live in cities, and use mass transit or ride-sharing apps, it's become less necessary to own a car. That said, many of us still have a lifestyle that requires owning a set of wheels. If this is the case for you, by the age of 30, you probably should have purchased a car <em>by yourself for yoursel</em>f. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-joy-of-buying-a-new-car-9-car-buying-tips?ref=seealso">The Joy of Buying a New Car: 9 Car Buying Tips</a>)</p> <h3>A Real Bed</h3> <p>This is something everyone avoids for years. Millenials have bought and sold cars well before buying a new bed for themselves. Once you are old enough to live on your own, an ugly used frame propping up a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deep-clean-your-mattress-for-a-better-nights-sleep">decades-old (and filthy) mattress</a> just won't do. A more comfortable bed will help you sleep better, and sleeping better will improve your overall health, which will cost you less in the long run. It's one of the best investments you can make in your 20s. Now that one can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-the-best-mattress-for-the-least-money">buy affordable and comfortable mattresses online</a>, there's no excuse anymore!</p> <h2>By Age 40</h2> <p>What lies around the corner from age 30? A nest and a family of one's own.</p> <h3>A Home</h3> <p>This can be the most emotional purchase you'll ever make, especially in areas of the country where it's virtually impossible for the average person to afford a home. For those of us who want to own our own home, working toward buying before age 40 is a worthy goal. It's wise to start making sound decisions in your 20s and 30s that will keep your financial state healthy, such as building your credit, in anticipation of a home loan.</p> <h3>Home Appliances</h3> <p>Not every home, whether bought or rented, will come equipped with everything you need. As you get older, you'll probably grow tired of washing your dishes in the sink, or going to the laundromat like you did in your 20s. Eventually, you'll break down and buy a refrigerator, dishwasher, a washer/dryer set, or woodworking tools for the garage. Make sure you do your comparison homework in order to get the best appliance deals.</p> <h2>By Age 50</h2> <p>By now the roots are set deep and the big purchases are behind us, but there are a few big buys that mark time's passage.</p> <h3>Life Insurance</h3> <p>As you get older and have children, you'll want to be covered for whatever may happen. By age 50, you'll almost definitely want to consider life insurance &mdash; well before you develop any chronic health issues or are old enough for premiums to skyrocket. Think about what you need from your life insurance and start planning your beneficiaries' financial future. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/universal-life-insurance-and-whole-life-insurance-a-comparison?ref=seealso">Universal Life Insurance and Whole Life Insurance: A Comparison</a>)</p> <h3>Contractor Work</h3> <p>At this point in your life, making renovations on your bathroom or kitchen, adding on to your home, or re-landscaping your backyard is common. In fact, some renovations <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-renovations-that-almost-pay-for-themselves">nearly pay for themselves</a> over time. If you've never hired a contractor, you'll need to create a budget and detailed timeline, along with a cash buffer for incidentals, accidents, and hotels if you cannot stay in the home at a certain point. Extra frugal? It's also worth <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-diy-home-renovating-for-you">considering DIY renovations</a>.</p> <p><em>Which major purchases do you think signify life milestones?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-purchases-you-should-make-by-30-40-and-50">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/are-your-assets-costing-you-too-much">Are Your Assets Costing You Too Much?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0">6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire</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/welcome-to-container-city-how-shipping-containers-are-recycled-into-green-dwellings">Welcome to Container City - How Shipping Containers Are Recycled into Green Dwellings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-decide-if-its-a-fund-worthy-emergency">8 Ways to Decide if It&#039;s a &quot;Fund-Worthy&quot; Emergency</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/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance appliances big purchases Cars housing life insurance real estate Thu, 07 May 2015 13:00:08 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1410180 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Simple Ways to Live Rent-Free http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-hotel-worker-tray-room-food-iStock_000025670142_Small.jpg" alt="woman room service" title="woman room service" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all need a roof over our heads and a place to sleep at night. Living with mom and dad is an obvious way to live rent-free, but you might prefer your privacy and independence. Fortunately, there are other tricks to score free rent that don't involve getting help from your folks. Here are five of them.</p> <h2>1. Work With an Accommodations Company</h2> <p>Contact hostels or private hotels and negotiate free rent in exchange for working for them on a part- or full-time basis. Some larger chains won't agree to this arrangement, but it doesn't hurt to ask. If a hotel or hostel has vacancies, or if it's understaffed and looking for ways to cut costs, the manager may consider your proposal. You can work in a variety of roles depending on your skill set, ranging from housekeeping to administrative tasks.</p> <h2>2. Home Share With an Elderly Person</h2> <p>Some elderly people live alone, and because of their age or health, they get behind on housework and home maintenance. If you have the skills and time, offer to home share with an elderly person on a temporary basis. In exchange for free rent, you agree to tasks such as cleaning, cooking, running errands, or handling repairs and maintenance. It's a win-win, since you provide your elderly roommate with companionship and assistance around the house, while you save money toward your financial goals. If I were actively seeking rent-free accommodation, this is totally a situation I'd pursue. I love elderly folks, and elderly folks love me. We'd watch our soaps, make fresh sandwiches for lunch, take afternoon naps, and get all gussied up for church bingo. Sounds like my idea of paradise.</p> <h2>3. Live in Your Van or RV</h2> <p>It might get a little cramped inside, but if you're serious about saving money for whatever reason, living in your van or RV for several months to a year (or longer) can really build your savings. This is especially true if you can park the vehicle on a friend or relative's property for free. Almost all RVs are equipped with small kitchens and bathrooms, so it's easier to be self-sufficient. On the other hand, if you live in a van, you'll need to borrow a friend or relative's kitchen or bathroom, unless you're planning to eat out for every meal or shower at the gym before work.</p> <h2>4. House-Sit for Free Rent</h2> <p>Some people are nervous about leaving their home and pets for days while out of town, so they ask a friend or relative to house-sit or check on the property. But what you may not realize is that some career house-sitters don't pay a dime for rent.</p> <p>&quot;House-sitting in return for a free retreat is growing in its popularity as more and more home and pet owners enjoy having the freedom to choose their sitter and having peace of mind that their fur family are kept in their own environment,&quot; says Rachel Martin, co-founder of <a href="http://trustedhousesitters.com">TrustedHousesitters.com</a>.</p> <p>You might not receive compensation for house-sitting, so you'll need an income source to cover other monthly expenses such as food, transportation, entertainment, and so on. However, it's a fair trade-off, considering you're able to stay in someone's home without paying rent or utilities.</p> <h2>5. Find a Job That Includes Accommodations</h2> <p>This is similar &mdash; but not identical &mdash; to my first suggestion. If you have the appropriate skills, look into employment opportunities that include free accommodations. You can work as a live-in nanny for a family who needs assistance caring for their children. Some boarding schools employ full-time resident advisors who live inside dormitories to supervise students. If you have experience in property management, some apartment complexes give employee rent discounts, and apartment managers can often even live in a unit for free. (Heck, I wouldn't mind being a modern day <a href="http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0025226/">Mr. Furley</a>.)</p> <p><em>Have you legitimately lived rent-free? What did you do? Tell us your story in comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20Simple%20Ways%20to%20Live%20Rent-Free.jpg&amp;description=5%20Simple%20Ways%20to%20Live%20Rent-Free" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <div align="center">&nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Simple%20Ways%20to%20Live%20Rent-Free.jpg" alt="5 Simple Ways to Live Rent-Free" width="250" height="374" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</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/5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/can-you-really-afford-to-live-in-your-dream-city">Can You Really Afford to Live in Your Dream City?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-and-fun-things-you-could-do-if-you-paid-less-rent">8 Smart and Fun Things You Could Do if You Paid Less Rent</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/should-you-try-to-reduce-your-rent">Should you try to reduce your rent?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-alternative-housing-options-you-can-afford">5 Alternative Housing Options You Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Real Estate and Housing accommodations free rent housing recreational vehicle rent Mon, 16 Mar 2015 08:00:06 +0000 Mikey Rox 1338585 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: The Home Edition http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-home-edition <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-the-home-edition" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fixing-door-89987115-small.jpg" alt="fixing door" title="fixing door" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some of the best articles around the web on everything related to your home!</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Home-Repairs-You-Can-Do-Yourself-31124855">7 Home Repairs You Can Do Yourself</a> &mdash; Chances are you don't need a professional to do caulking or fix a squeaky door in your home. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2014/06/16/10-tips-most-first-time-home-buyers-dont-consider/">10 Tips Most First-Time Home Buyers Don't Consider</a> &mdash; Most first-time home buyers don't look beyond home staging or research grants or other forms of funding. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="http://lenpenzo.com/blog/id1317-19-tips-for-saving-a-bundle-of-money-on-home-appliances.html">19 Tips for Saving a Bundle of Money on Home Appliances</a> &mdash; If you want to save a bundle on home appliances, take advantage of price match guarantees or buy a floor model. [Len Penzo dot Com]</p> <p><a href="http://sustainablepersonalfinance.com/house-staging-tips/">34 House Staging Tips</a> &mdash; When you are trying to sell your home, keep the toilet seats down and make sure the windows are washed. [Sustainable Personal Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/seven-simple-tactics-we-use-to-keep-summer-energy-bills-low/">Seven Simple Tactics We Use to Keep Summer Energy Bills Low</a> &mdash; Using ambient lights and ceiling fans can help reduce your summer energy bill. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2006/08/save_money_by_p.html">Save Money by Planning Your Home Improvements in the Off Season</a> &mdash; If you plan on updating your home heating system, save money by updating it in the summer. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thedebtprincess.com/2013/08/15/frugal-decorating-tips-for-decorating-on-a-dime/">Frugal Decorating: Tips for Decorating on a Dime</a> &mdash; Having patience when it comes to finding the right item for your home and shopping with a list can help keep your decorating costs low. [The Debt Princess]</p> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/when-does-it-make-sense-to-rent-a-home-instead-of-buy/">When Does It Make Sense to Rent a Home Instead of Buy?</a> &mdash; It may make more sense to rent a home if the mortgage that comes with buying a house isn't affordable. [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="http://cashmoneylife.com/home-additions-that-increase-your-insurance-rates/">3 Home Additions That Will Raise Your Insurance Rates</a> &mdash; Adding on an additional room to your home will increase your insurance rates. [Cash Money Life]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-decorate-a-green-baby-nursery">How to Decorate a &quot;Green&quot; Baby Nursery</a> &mdash; To decorate a green baby nursery, opt for wood floors covered with rugs. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-home-edition">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/the-5-best-air-fresheners">The 5 Best Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free">5 Simple Ways to Live Rent-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/real-estate-appraisals-ten-things-most-people-just-dont-understand-about-them">Real Estate Appraisals - Ten things most people just don&#039;t understand about them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-improve-your-curb-appeal-for-next-to-nothing">6 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal for Next to Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-allergen-sprays">The 5 Best Allergen Sprays</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Real Estate and Housing best money tips home housing Tue, 22 Jul 2014 19:00:06 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1147492 at http://www.wisebread.com Can You Really Afford to Live in Your Dream City? http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-afford-to-live-in-your-dream-city <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/can-you-really-afford-to-live-in-your-dream-city" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/house-4366298-small.jpg" alt="family moving" title="family moving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It finally happened. You've been offered a job in the city of your dreams. Or you're coming up on retirement. Or you're just sick and tired of the Midwest winters. Before packing up your belongings, however, consider these five factors to avoid having your dream move turn into a financial nightmare. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-on-a-long-distance-move?ref=seealso">How to Save on a Long-Distance Move</a>)</p> <h2>A Dollar in Boise May Not Buy as Much in Dallas</h2> <p>To get a better handle on how living expenses &mdash; from groceries to a visit to the dentist &mdash; vary from city to city, use a free online <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/moving-cost-of-living-calculator.aspx">Cost of Living comparison calculator</a>. This tool will also give you an idea of what your income needs to be in order to maintain the same style of living.</p> <p>The factors that make some cities more affordable than others varies. Kiplinger's compilation of the <a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/real-estate/T006-S001-10-cheapest-u-s-cities-to-live-in/">cheapest cities in the U.S.</a> cites shows low grocery prices for some, low housing costs for others, and low medical fees in others. As Kiplinger's points out, however, cheaper living often goes hand in hand with less healthy economic conditions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-of-americas-awesomest-cheap-cities?ref=seealso">Awesome Cheap American Cities</a>)</p> <h2>Determine How Much It Will <em>Really</em> Cost to Hang Your Hat</h2> <p>Most financial experts agree that housing costs should represent 30% of your gross annual income. But to play it safe, some say to increase that to 35% to cover all the &quot;a-la-carte&quot; costs that come on top of the mortgage payment or rent &mdash; property taxes, utilities, assessments, or building/neighborhood amenities, like swimming pools or workout facilities.</p> <p>Property taxes can be a significant factor affecting the cost of owning a home or condo. New York residents contribute the highest percentage of their income to property taxes, followed by New Jersey, Connecticut, California, and Wisconsin. On the flip side, Wyoming residents pay the least percentage (6.9%) of their income to property taxes. Alaska, South Dakota, Texas, and Louisiana round out the <a href="http://247wallst.com/special-report/2014/04/02/states-with-the-highest-and-lowest-taxes/">lowest property tax states</a>, according to 24/7 Wall Street.</p> <p>In addition, potential homebuyers need to consider maintenance costs, building or community assessments, and repairs (often hard to predict). Snow removal may not be a factor if you're moving to Phoenix, but your air conditioning costs may skyrocket compared to what you paid in Minneapolis! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-costly-things-new-homeowners-dont-prepare-for?ref=seealso">Costly Things New Homeowners Don't Prepare For</a>)</p> <p>Homeowner's insurance is required by most mortgage lenders. Average homeowners insurance rates are higher in states prone to extreme weather conditions or with higher building costs.</p> <p>If you're planning to rent, ask the property manager or landlord which utilities or building amenities are not included in the rent, and make sure your budget allows you to comfortably cover these expenses.</p> <h2>Chart Your Commuting Course &mdash; and Costs</h2> <p>How do you plan to get to and from work, the grocery store, or the movie theater and what will it cost? <a href="http://htaindex.cnt.org/">The Housing + Transportation Affordability Index</a> (searchable by city) factors transportation costs into the equation with its recommendation that your <em>combined</em> housing and transportation costs should be no more than 45% of your monthly income.</p> <p>Looking for a place where you can walk, bike, or take public transportation to work? Check Walk Score's <a href="http://www.walkscore.com/cities-and-neighborhoods/">rankings of the best cities</a> to live car-free.</p> <p>If driving is your preferred (or only!) commuting option, take a look at how fuel prices stack up with the help of GasBuddy's <a href="http://www.gasbuddy.com/gb_gastemperaturemap.aspx">gas price heat map</a> or its list of <a href="http://www.gasbuddy.com/GB_Price_List.aspx?cntry=USA#us_cities">average gas price by city</a>.</p> <p>Parking can put additional strain on your monthly budget &mdash; or not, depending on where you plan to live and work. A parking spot in a Chicago high rise could set you back $200 to $500 per month, but far less in Milwaukee, just 90 miles to the north. BestParking offers a <a href="http://www.bestparking.com/">searchable database</a> of parking costs by city to give you a general idea, but be sure to check with individual buildings, which may vary widely in fees. And don't forget the vehicle permit stickers required by many cities.</p> <h2>Be Prepared for the Unexpected</h2> <p>Unforeseen expenses for homeowners come in many forms, from a leaky faucet to a leaky roof &mdash; and everything in between. Where you live can impact repair costs. The national average cost to hire an electrician is $380 per project, but only $213 in Myrtle Beach, and $398 in Seattle, according to <a href="https://www.homeadvisor.com/">Home Advisor</a>. Any repair can put a strain on your wallet depending on the cause and the potential ripple effects.</p> <p>Renters are not immune to the unexpected. Renter's insurance &mdash; often required by the landlord or apartment management company &mdash; is always advised. Sure, if the roof leaks, the landlord will fix it, but what about your computer, clothes, and other personal property? Renters insurance not only covers personal effects, but often covers living expenses should your apartment become uninhabitable due to a fire or natural disaster. Generally very affordable, renters insurance can start as low as $10 per month depending on your coverage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-money-and-hassle-by-bundling-your-home-repairs?ref=seealso">Saving Money on Home Repairs</a>)</p> <p>As the saying goes, &quot;The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.&quot; In this economy, that could mean your job.</p> <p>If your dream city is a thriving employment mecca versus a job desert, you'll find yourself with more options if your company downsizes or your position is eliminated. MuniNet Guide provides a snapshot look <a href="http://www.muninetguide.com/employment-data/">employment trends</a> by metro area. (Note: I am the managing editor of MuniNet Guide.) When considering the health of the employment environment, check both <em>unemployment</em> rate trends (which should be heading down) and <em>employment growth</em> rates (which should be heading up).</p> <h2>Do Your Homework</h2> <p>We are fortunate to live in times where information is more readily available than ever before. Take full advantage of state, city, and county websites, which can provide valuable information and links to help you research a move to your dream city. Being financially prepared can make your dream become a prudent reality.</p> <p><em>Have you moved to another city or burg? Were you surprised by the cost difference (up or down) versus your old home town?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mardee-handler">Mardee Handler</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-afford-to-live-in-your-dream-city">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free">5 Simple Ways to Live Rent-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-try-to-reduce-your-rent">Should you try to reduce your rent?</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-that-will-ruin-your-mortgage-application">5 Money Moves That Will Ruin Your Mortgage Application</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-alternative-housing-options-you-can-afford">5 Alternative Housing Options You Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-mortgage-details-you-should-know-before-you-sign">5 Mortgage Details You Should Know Before You Sign</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing affordable housing home buying housing rent Fri, 11 Apr 2014 08:24:15 +0000 Mardee Handler 1135085 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Save Money on Your Mortgage http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-save-money-on-your-mortgage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-save-money-on-your-mortgage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3079962173_156302209a_z.jpg" alt="Save Money On Your Mortgage" title="Save Money On Your Mortgage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on saving on your mortgage, ways to make extra money and keep your day job, and how to ace a group interview.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://moneyqanda.com/save-money-on-a-mortgage/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MoneyQandA+%28Money+Q%26A%29">Tips To Save Money On A Mortgage</a> &mdash; Save money on your mortgage by renting vacant rooms in your home. [Money Q&amp;A]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/make-extra-money-incom/">26 Ways To Make Extra Money And Keep Your Day Job</a> &mdash; Consider cleaning businesses and offices to earn extra money while keeping your day job. [The Wisdom Journal]</p> <p><a href="http://amateurassetallocator.com/2013/01/14/how-to-ace-a-group-interview/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AmateurAssetAllocator+%28Amateur+Asset+Allocator%29">How To Ace A Group Interview In 18 Immaculately Conceived Bullet Points</a> &mdash; To ace your group interview, be confident and have questions. [Amateur Asset Allocator]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2013/01/15/the-rule-of-reciprocation-an-introduction/">The Rule of Reciprocation: An Introduction</a> &mdash; Did you know that research shows you will receive if you give? [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/debt-is-like-quicksand-the-struggle-to-escape-can-often-lead-to-greater-problems/">Debt Is Like Quicksand: The Struggle To Escape Can Often Lead To Greater Problems</a> &mdash; Sometimes when you are in debt and trying to escape it, the scarcity of funds can lead to poor financial decisions. [Bible Money Matters]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://steadfastfinances.com/blog/2013/01/13/5-ways-to-manage-marriage-and-money/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SteadfastFinances+%28Steadfast+Finances%29">5 Ways to Manage Marriage and Money</a> &mdash; When managing marriage and money, set a budget and ground rules for handling money. [Steadfast Finances]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/What-Do-Old-Clothes-26872552">Post-New Year's Resolution Plan: What To Do With Old Clothes</a> &mdash; Organize a clothing swap to get rid of your old clothes. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-survive-a-messy-toddler">How to Survive a Messy Toddler</a> &mdash; Cleaning as you go is key to surviving a messy toddler. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2013/01/15/in-defense-of-passion-with-the-help-of-reason/">In defense of passion (with the help of reason)</a> &mdash; When you have a passion for something, find a community of supporters to back you. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2013/01/the-power-of-simple-gestures.html">The Power of Simple Gestures</a> &mdash; Building relationships can help you get greater rewards in life and maybe even save a little money! [Free Money Finance]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-save-money-on-your-mortgage">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/low-interest-rates-do-not-make-homes-affordable">Low Interest Rates Do Not Make Homes Affordable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-to-do-if-you-cant-afford-your-mortgage-payment">Here&#039;s What to Do If You Can&#039;t Afford Your Mortgage Payment</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-homeowners-associations">What You Need to Know About Homeowners&#039; Associations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free">5 Simple Ways to Live Rent-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/real-estate-appraisals-ten-things-most-people-just-dont-understand-about-them">Real Estate Appraisals - Ten things most people just don&#039;t understand about them</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing best money tips housing mortgage Fri, 18 Jan 2013 11:00:34 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 966499 at http://www.wisebread.com What Do the Chinese Spend Money On? http://www.wisebread.com/what-do-the-chinese-spend-money-on <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-do-the-chinese-spend-money-on" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5412481533_0297f6687c_z.jpg" alt="Chinese family" title="Chinese family" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Four years ago I wrote about some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">money habits of Chinese people</a>. Most notably I said that Chinese people have a very high savings rate. Some readers have asked me what Chinese people are saving for. Recently I just made another trip to China, and I would like to share some of my observations on the subject of how Chinese people spend their money currently.</p> <p>First of all, I should clarify that I am writing from the point of view of a upper-middle-class urban Chinese family that makes around $1,000 to $2,000 a month. There are many extremely wealthy Chinese people, and there are countless Chinese people who are much poorer. Their spending habits may be vastly different. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-last-name-affects-your-spending-habits">How Your Last Name Affects&nbsp;Your&nbsp;Spending Habits</a>)</p> <h2>Housing</h2> <p>Housing prices have zoomed out of control in the last decade, and the government has made efforts to cool the market. Prices have come down since 2009, but most young people still are not able to afford a house without help. In my hometown of Yangzhou, apartments are selling for about 400 to 600 yuan per square foot. This means it would take an upper middle class family eight to ten years of savings to buy an 1,000 square foot apartment in cash in Yangzhou. In larger cities like Shanghai, apartments generally cost over 1,000 yuan per square foot, so it is much harder to pay cash.</p> <p>Those who take a mortgage in China are called &quot;fangnu,&quot; which means house slave. Another slang for mortgagees is &quot;woniu,&quot; which means snail, because they are weighed down by their shelter. These people generally are extremely frugal with everything in their lives, but they spend a large percentage of their income on their mortgages. Additionally, mortgages are all adjustable in China, and the government can raise or lower the rates at will. So when people can pay cash they will do it because they just don't like the uncertainty. Upper-middle-class families generally try to provide housing for their sons once they get married, and including a new condo as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-wedding-registry-ideas">wedding gift</a> pushes the cost of some weddings into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.</p> <h2>Education</h2> <p>Chinese public schools are not free through the 12th grade. Parents usually have to start paying for high school, or if they want to go out of their predefined district they can do so by paying. When it comes to college, many upper-middle-class parents prefer to send their children abroad because they believe foreign colleges provide a more solid education. Additionally, there are many college students without jobs now in China, so a foreign degree gives a person an extra edge in the job search. Some parents actually sell their houses to fund these international students, but others simply pony up decades of savings. There are student loans in China, but they are very rare, so most people pay for college with cash.</p> <h2>Cars</h2> <p>Cars are very expensive in China if you consider the initial cost and the cost of upkeep. First of all, all imported cars cost two to three times the list price in America due to taxes and other markups. So a car that is about $30,000 new in America can cost $60,000 to $90,000. That makes a car almost as expensive as an apartment. There are cheaper, China-manufactured alternatives to import cars, but Chinese people prefer to buy import Audis and BMWs because they say that the quality of the cars made in China isn't as good. Since they're spending such a big chunk of money, they would rather buy something nice. In addition to the initial cost of the car, there are steep costs for car registration in some cities to help curb congestion. In Shanghai it <a href="http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?cid=1103&amp;MainCatID=&amp;id=20120521000018">costs on average $10,000</a> to just register a new car, and registration is done by a monthly lottery. After you get the car and start driving, you will find that practically all the highways have a toll of around 10 cents per kilometer (16 cents per mile). Even with these costs, more and more cars are getting on the road.</p> <p>The common thread that I saw in China is that Chinese people are still <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-changes-you-can-make-today">very frugal in their daily lives</a>, but many people are saving up for that one big thing. Another notable thing is that Chinese parents pour everything they have into their children even after their children are adults. Ultimately, Chinese and Americans all want to live better lives, but the difference is that most Chinese people don't reach that higher standard of living on borrowed money. Sometimes I don't know if the Chinese method is smart or naive, because it seems that so many Americans get what they want without saving for years, and it is not that hard to get rid of debt through legal maneuvers.</p> <p><em>What do you think? Is it silly to save for purchases in your life when you can just finance everything?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-do-the-chinese-spend-money-on">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/what-you-can-buy-with-5000">What You Can Buy With $5,000</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-get-free-accommodations-and-paid-jobs-on-boats">How to Get Free Accommodations (and Paid Jobs) on Boats</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/welcome-to-container-city-how-shipping-containers-are-recycled-into-green-dwellings">Welcome to Container City - How Shipping Containers Are Recycled into Green Dwellings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-win-the-war-against-this-summers-electric-bill">4 Ways to Win the War Against This Summer’s Electric Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-live-in-a-big-city-on-a-small-town-budget">How to Live in a Big City on a Small-Town Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Chinese housing savings spend less than you make Tue, 12 Jun 2012 09:36:38 +0000 Xin Lu 934439 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get Free Accommodations (and Paid Jobs) on Boats http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-free-accommodations-and-paid-jobs-on-boats <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-free-accommodations-and-paid-jobs-on-boats" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/IMG_2324_0.jpg" alt="On a boat" title="On a boat" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For two months, I <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2012/02/sailing-the-caribbean-video/">lived and/or sailed on five boats</a> spanning three countries. In so doing, I stumbled upon an entire culture, community, and way of life that is sustainable, adventurous, and full of variety.</p> <p>In those two months, I didn't pay for one night of accommodations, nor did I sleep on land once. Instead, I helped out with business ventures, cooked meals for charter guests, or just provided an extra set of helping hands wherever needed. Each scenario was very different &mdash; from the captain to the boat to the location. For me, that was half the appeal &mdash; incredible variety with a common theme of enjoying life on the water.</p> <p>Here are a few things to know about getting free accommodations &mdash; or even paid jobs &mdash; on boats. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a>)</p> <h2>Free Accommodations on Boats</h2> <p>Similar to couch-surfing or hospitality exchanges, nomadic travelers (especially those with nautical skills) can find free passage on sailboats around the world by connecting with captains who need some extra help. (The company doesn't hurt either; it can be a lonely life on the water for a solo captain.)</p> <p>The responsibilities vary as widely as the boats do, but depending on your skills, you could be valuable for your technical expertise, sailing experience, or even your cooking talents. One of the boats I lived on operates some mobile video businesses, and aside from my own share of cooking and cleaning, my video production talents were put to use.</p> <p><strong>Things to Consider</strong></p> <p>Regardless of the agreed-upon tasks and chores, it's important to understand that you're staying in somebody's home &mdash; and a very small home at that. It's important to be adaptable, flexible, and to pitch in wherever you can with communal chores.</p> <p>Depending on the arrangement you make with the captain, you might be charged for your share of the provisions &mdash; mainly being food, water, and fuel. This is normal, and $10-25 U.S./day is a reasonable fee.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm">Here is an article written by a boat owner about <a href="http://www.yachtmollymawk.com/2011/03/hich-hiking-across-the-atlantic/">what <em>not </em>to do when looking for free passage on a boat</a>.&nbsp;Seeing things from the captain's perspective through this article might help you better position your own skills and set the right expectations.</p> <p><strong>Where to Find Accommodations on Boats</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm">Here are a number of (mostly free) websites where captains and passengers alike can connect and determine if there's a fit for sailing together:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.findacrew.net">Find a Crew</a>&nbsp;(one of the largest resources)</li> <li><a href="http://www.desperatesailors.com">Desperate Sailors</a> (includes a section for skilled freelancers/tradesmen to advertise their skills for paid work)</li> <li><a href="http://www.7knots.com">7Knots</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.floatplan.com/">The Float Plan</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.latitude38.com/crewlist/cruising/skipper_results.lasso">Latitude 38</a>&nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.crewseekers.co.uk/">Crew Seekers</a>&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h2>Paid Jobs on Boats</h2> <p>Some of the sites above also cater to people who are looking for paid jobs on boats. These jobs &mdash; and boats &mdash; also vary dramatically.</p> <p><strong>Charter Boats</strong></p> <p>Some sailboat owners make ends meet by opening up their floating home to charter guests. Depending on the arrangement, the guests might be paying for an all-inclusive fully-catered sailing holiday where they have nothing to do but enjoy the view.&nbsp;In this case, the captain might be in need of a host/hostess/cook. This person would be responsible for taking care of guest needs including meal planning and shopping, cooking, and cleaning throughout the week. Depending on the charter, meals can be multi-course affairs with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/quick-easy-and-festive-cream-cheese-appetizers">appetizer platters</a> and drinks served through the afternoon. It's always good to clarify the charter's exact needs to ensure you can fill them before you're all stuck on a boat together and realize you're in over your head (so to speak).</p> <p>I had a chance to hostess a very small informal charter through the British Virgin Islands. I enjoyed this experience, which I found through word of mouth (the sailing community is very small, and once you're on one boat, it's easy to meet other captains). When I wasn't cooking or keeping the place tidy, I was swimming and snorkeling with the guests on a different island each day!</p> <p><strong>Mega-Yachts</strong></p> <p>When <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2012/02/getting-my-feet-wet-on-a-sailboat-in-st-martin/">I was in St. Martin</a>, the sheer prevalence of mega-yachts in the lagoon was overwhelming. And each yacht needs a crew to keep the boat &mdash; and the guests &mdash; in top shape.</p> <p><img width="605" height="454" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u290/IMG_2086.jpg" /></p> <p>Unless you're being hired for a boat-specific skill (like captain or engineer), work on mega-yachts is generally easy but onerous. It's comparable to working for a hotel, with a lot of cleaning, polishing, and pandering to guests' needs. The hours are often long, and from what I've heard, it can be a tough slog if you find yourself on the wrong boat. But if you're passionate about the nautical life, it might still be worthwhile. I've met people who love working on yachts, although they'll admit sometimes it takes a few boats to find the right fit.</p> <p><strong>Where to Find Paid Jobs on Boats</strong></p> <p>Many of the sites listed above have resources and sections for paid jobs on boats. But do a simple search for &ldquo;how to get a job on a mega-yacht,&rdquo; and you'll get pages of answers, including sites like these:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.yachtloop.com/">Yacht Loop</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.superyachtjobs.com/jobsearch.asp?hp=Y&amp;submitted=Y&amp;latest=Y&amp;TableOrder=Jobs.DateAdded&amp;Order=DESC">Super Yacht Jobs</a>&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h2>Warning to Novice Seafarers</h2> <p>Whether you're hitching a ride on a sailboat, working on a mega-yacht, or taking up a position on a smaller boat, a few words of caution are necessary, and although this is directed largely at women, it's good for everybody to consider.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm">When you are on a boat, you are living in a very small space, largely at the mercy of the captain. There is no escape if there's tension, whether you find yourself caught in the middle of a family fight or &mdash; worse yet &mdash; if a drunk captain feels like getting frisky or violent.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm">There are a lot of dudes who have packed up to live on their boats full-time, and they'd like nothing better than to have a partner to do it with. So be aware of captains who are also looking for love when they're looking for crew; miscommunications can happen.</p> <p>Thus, it's important for <em>both </em>the captain and prospective passenger/crew to get to know one another beforehand (at least through Skype and email) and to be very forthright about expectations.</p> <p>By no means are all boat owners like this; I met so many amazing people in the cruising world &mdash; people who I continue to stay in touch with and who have offered up a cabin on their boat any time. The boating community is a very small one, so the bad seeds tend to get bad reputations before long.</p> <h2>The Cruising Life</h2> <p>Some of the things I loved about the cruising life are how sociable it is, how easy it is to meet people, how mobile it is (duh!), and how lovely it is to hop on a dingy and enjoy &ldquo;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-save-money-at-the-bars">happy hour</a>&rdquo; on shore, meeting other like-minded people from all over the world.</p> <p>I feel like I've somehow pulled off a coup by having found free accommodations (and even a paid gig) to live on sailboats throughout the Caribbean for two months. Pinch me!</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-get-free-accommodations-and-paid-jobs-on-boats&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%20to%20Get%20Free%20Accommodations%20(and%20Paid%20Jobs)%20on%20Boats.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Get%20Free%20Accommodations%20(and%20Paid%20Jobs)%20on%20Boats" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Get%20Free%20Accommodations%20%28and%20Paid%20Jobs%29%20on%20Boats.jpg" alt="How to Get Free Accommodations (and Paid Jobs) on Boats" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-free-accommodations-and-paid-jobs-on-boats">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-great-jobs-for-snowbirds">9 Great Jobs for Snowbirds</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-host-a-traveler-13-tips-to-keep-it-safe-easy-and-cheap">How to Host a Traveler: 13 Tips to Keep it Safe, Easy, and Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette">11 Simple Rules of Excellent Houseguest Etiquette</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-can-do-in-denver-that-you-cant-do-anywhere-else">8 Things You Can Do in Denver That You Can&#039;t Do Anywhere Else</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting Lifestyle Travel adventure travel couch surfing housing sailing temporary work Thu, 10 May 2012 09:48:20 +0000 Nora Dunn 927930 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Hidden Costs of Buying a House http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-hidden-costs-of-buying-a-house <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-hidden-costs-of-buying-a-house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bigstock_Couple_Buying_House_4574433-1.jpg" alt="Hidden Costs of Buying a House" title="Hidden Costs of Buying a House" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on the hidden costs of buying a house, vacations to take when your budget is low, and alternatives to traditional gift-wrapping.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thousandaire.com/blog/the-hidden-costs-of-buying-a-house/">The Hidden Costs of Buying a House</a> &mdash; One of the hidden costs of buying a house you might overlook are the closing costs. [Thousandaire]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Cheap-Vacation-Ideas-20531368">5 Vacations to Take When Your Budget Is Low</a> &mdash; Want to take a cheap vacation even when your budget is low? Consider going to a winery. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.creditkarma.com/credit-scores/do-you-know-what&rsquo;s-not-in-your-credit-score/">Do You Know What's NOT In Your Credit Score?</a> &mdash; Things such as age and interest rates are not included in your credit score. [Credit Karma Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2011/11/22/that&rsquo;s-a-wrap-some-alternatives-to-traditional-gift-wrapping/">That's a Wrap: Some Alternatives to Traditional Gift-Wrapping</a> &mdash; Instead of purchasing wrapping paper, consider wrapping gifts in old maps. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2011/11/22/the-unemployment-plan/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+thesimpledollar+%28The+Simple+Dollar%29">The Unemployment Plan</a> &mdash; If you are unemployed, be sure to investigate COBRA and build up your emergency fund. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/financialfinesse/2011/11/23/8-tips-for-turning-your-nest-egg-into-retirement-income/">8 Tips for Turning Your Nest Egg Into Retirement Income</a> &mdash; To turn your nest egg into retirement income, try to not withdraw too much of your portfolio. [Forbes]</p> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/signs-of-a-bad-investment/">7 Signs of a Bad Investment</a> &mdash; If you only have a limited time to get in on an investment, it's probably a bad investment. [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.financialwoman.com/6-steps-for-a-financial-health-checkup?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FinancialWoman+%28Financial+Woman%29">6 Steps for a Financial Health Check Up</a> &mdash; Give yourself a financial health check up by looking at what you spent money on in 2011. [Financial Woman]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/a-7-day-plan-to-preparing-your-home-for-holiday-guests">Parenting Squad Holiday Guide: A 7-Day to Prepare Your Home for Guests</a> &mdash; Prepare for home guests by dusting the entire house before the arrive. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.theopenappcenter.com/improve-cash-flow/essential-tools-maximize-cash-flow/?intlink=us-apfuel-hpcontentarticlecashflowmax">Essential Tools to Maximize Cash Flow</a> -- When calculating your cash flow, make sure you account for variable expenses. [American Express OPEN Forum]</p> <h2>News &amp; Events</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/news/2011/10/wise-bread-tweetchat-wbchat-2">Wise Bread Tweetchat (#WBChat)</a> &mdash; Don't miss our weekly tweetchat at 12pm PST! We will be giving away prizes and talking about Thanksgiving and Black Friday!</p> <p>Be sure to check out our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/news">News &amp; Events Calendar</a> to see all the awesome upcoming events in the personal finance world!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-hidden-costs-of-buying-a-house">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free">5 Simple Ways to Live Rent-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/real-estate-appraisals-ten-things-most-people-just-dont-understand-about-them">Real Estate Appraisals - Ten things most people just don&#039;t understand about them</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-biggest-regrets-of-new-homeowners">8 Biggest Regrets of New Homeowners</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/welcome-to-container-city-how-shipping-containers-are-recycled-into-green-dwellings">Welcome to Container City - How Shipping Containers Are Recycled into Green Dwellings</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/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing best money tips house housing Thu, 24 Nov 2011 11:00:43 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 798282 at http://www.wisebread.com