how to http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4959/all en-US How to Ace Your Next Coffee Interview http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-ace-your-next-coffee-interview <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-ace-your-next-coffee-interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000051956032_Large.jpg" alt="acing her coffee interview" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ah, the modern job hunt. You've optimized your online profiles, mastered the art of digital networking, and figured out how to stay on the right side of the line between using the Internet to research a hiring manager, and full-on stalking. So far, so good.</p> <p>And you've even landed an interview, but there a catch. Your first face-to-face contact with your prospective dream boss is a &quot;coffee interview.&quot; Say what?</p> <p>Using an informal screening stage in recruiting isn't new, but since this important kind of meeting has moved to a cafe setting, it has become an etiquette minefield.</p> <p>If you've got a coffee interview booked and you're stumped by such vital questions as what to wear, how to identify your interviewer, and, if it's okay to order a double skinny lactose free caramel latte, read on. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-calm-your-nerves-and-ace-your-interview?ref=seealso">6 Ways to Calm Your Nerves and Ace Your Interview</a>)</p> <h2>Be Informal, Not Relaxed</h2> <p>Don't be fooled into feeling that the informal environment will lead to a <em>relaxed </em>meeting. One of the most common mistakes job seekers make is to underestimate the expectation of the interviewer and arrive underprepared at this type of interview. If you don't want to fail at the first hurdle, you need to get prepped!</p> <p>Ask the interviewer what the format of the interview will be, and if there is anything in particular you can prepare in advance, or bring along, such as references or a portfolio. Often the first meeting will be a gate keeping exercise, to test basic suitability for the job, and to sound out candidate expectations about salary, working conditions, and availability. Expect to be asked practical questions, and have answers in mind, so they don't become a barrier.</p> <p>Preparing for the meat of the conversation starts with research. Pick out the key skills and experience detailed in the job posting, and make sure you're clear on your unique selling point &mdash; what makes you suited to the role. Learn everything you can about the company, and think of ways you can make your mark even at this early stage. You might consider visiting a competitor, for example, or preparing some thoughts on the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the company. By having knowledge and unique ideas, you will stand out for the right reasons.</p> <h2>Map It Out</h2> <p>The logistics of a coffee interview can feel somewhat daunting. Make sure you know exactly where you're going &mdash; especially if you're meeting in a chain cafe that has several different locations in town &mdash; and arrive a little early if possible.</p> <p>Identifying your interviewer from an anonymous crowd is the next challenge. If you know exactly who you're meeting in advance, have a look at their social media presence to find a picture to increase your odds of picking them out in a crowd. Take a seat facing the door if you can, and text or call your interviewer a few minutes before you're due to meet, to describe your location. Be aware that recruiters often batch meetings, so your interviewer might already be in the cafe with another candidate.</p> <p>Once you've found the right person, remember it's an interview, not a date. Take your lead from them when ordering, and don't order anything too wacky! If you're eating, spend a second figuring out what on the menu is suitable. Spraying yourself with spaghetti sauce, or trying to talk while gnawing on ribs isn't a good look!</p> <p>Although you're there to talk about the position, remember that you're creating an impression before you're ever been asked a question. More so than in an office environment, your interviewer will pick up on your interactions with others. Treat everyone with <em>real </em>respect. This is no time to get snarky with your waitress, even if the order is muddled up.</p> <p>Similarly, what you choose to wear is more open in a coffee interview. While office attire is fairly well defined, anything goes in a cafe. Choose something that makes you feel good and that fits with your perception of the company culture. If you're in any doubt, err on the side of more formal. Unless you habitually hang out in your tux, it's hard to be overdressed, in any interview situation.</p> <h2>Exit Gracefully</h2> <p>As your meeting is coming to an end, hopefully you've developed a great rapport with your interviewer, and are parting on good terms &mdash; but you still need to avoid an etiquette fail. Getting the bill is the first challenge. It's pretty common for the recruiter to pick up the tab, but have some cash just in case. Having to borrow a few dollars from your prospective boss is not the best start to a working relationship.</p> <p>When you're done, shake hands and part ways. Even if you might really want to hang round in the same cafe, or grab a bite to eat, it's usually best to leave. If your interviewer has another meeting lined up directly after you, they won't want you in a position to spy on the competition. Make a dignified exit and get your lunch elsewhere!</p> <h2>Always Follow Up</h2> <p>As with any interview, it's a good idea to follow up with a thank you note. An email is fine in such an informal scenario, just to reiterate your interest in the role, and say thanks for the meeting. If you touched upon anything in your conversation that really resonated with you both &mdash; maybe a book you mentioned, or an interesting article about a mutual passion &mdash; then mention this as an anchor to your conversation, and to help your interviewer remember the connection you had.</p> <p>A coffee interview is never going to be quite as much fun as hanging out with friends over a latte and lunch, but it shouldn't be too terrifying, either.</p> <p><em>What do you think? Have you had coffee interview successes, or disasters? Tell us in the comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/claire-millard">Claire Millard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-ace-your-next-coffee-interview">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/make-guerrilla-job-hunting-work-for-you">Make Guerrilla Job Hunting Work for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-never-to-bring-up-in-a-job-interview">5 Things Never to Bring Up in a Job Interview</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/escape-your-dying-industry-with-one-of-these-8-careers-instead">Escape Your Dying Industry With One of These 8 Careers, Instead</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-words-to-never-use-in-a-job-interview">10 Words to Never Use in a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-being-passive-kills-your-job-prospects">4 Ways Being Passive Kills Your Job Prospects</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Job Hunting coffee interview how to interview etiquette job interview tips job interviews job search Thu, 02 Jun 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Claire Millard 1722227 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Start Investing http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-start-investing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-start-investing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/finances-480177597.jpg" alt="money graph" title="money graph" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="173" /></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 how to start investing, time management for part-time entrepreneurs, and home staging on a budget.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://asklizweston.com/how-to-start-investing/">How to start investing</a> &mdash; If you are just getting started with investing, remember to not try to beat the market and keep fees low. [Ask Liz Weston]</p> <p><a href="http://ptmoney.com/time-management-part-time-entrepreneurs/">Time Management for Part-Time Entrepreneurs</a> &mdash; To better manage their time, part-time entrepreneurs can harness the power of routines. [PT Money]</p> <p><a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/04/11/10-keys-to-home-staging-on-a-budget?int=aa6a09&amp;int=a86509">10 Keys to Home Staging on a Budget</a> &mdash; Refreshing your landscape and painting are a couple low-cost ways to stage your home on a budget [US News &amp; World Report]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/celebrating-your-achievement-without-undoing-your-progress/">Celebrating Your Achievement Without Undoing Your Progress</a> &mdash; Celebrate your achievements without undoing your progress by finding other ways to commemorate the occasion if you think your celebration may be something you will regret. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Ways-Deal-Difficult-Co-Workers-34332751">Don't Let Your Co-Workers Bring You Down</a> &mdash; To avoid letting your co-workers bring you down, try to be positive. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="https://www.mint.com/blog/investing/5-easy-investment-strategies-that-build-wealth-0414/">5 Easy Investment Strategies that Build Wealth</a> &mdash; Cutting costs and diversifying your investments can help you build wealth. [MintLife Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/sage/2014/04/02/four-tips-to-help-women-excel-in-the-workplace/">Four Tips To Help Women Excel In The Workplace</a> &mdash; Women need to be willing to take risks in order to excel in the workplace. [Forbes]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mainstreet.com/article/smart-spending/autos/car-insurance-woes-millennials">Car Insurance Woes for Millenials</a> &mdash; Millenials are being subjected to the highest car insurance premiums. [MainStreet]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/kids-and-money/4-baby-products-worth-splurging-on/">First Baby? Here are 4 Products Worth Splurging On</a> &mdash; It is worth it to splurge on the safety gear you'll use the most often with your new baby. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/10-best-blogs-for-your-family-budget">10 Best Blogs for Your Family Budget</a> &mdash; Have you ever checked out Mom Advice or Daily Finance? [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-how-to-start-investing">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-only-8-rules-of-investing-you-need-to-know">The Only 8 Rules of Investing You Need to Know</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-investors-with-better-returns-than-warren-buffett">5 Investors With Better Returns Than Warren Buffett</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-trust-your-money-with-these-4-popular-financial-robo-advisers">Should You Trust Your Money With These 4 Popular Financial Robo-Advisers?</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-make-the-most-of-your-401K">How to Make the Most of Your 401K</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-steps-to-getting-started-in-the-stock-market-with-index-funds">3 Steps to Getting Started in the Stock Market With Index Funds</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment best money tips how to investing Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:24:20 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1135645 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Become a Morning Person http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-become-a-morning-person <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-become-a-morning-person" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/morning-804741-small.jpg" alt="morning" title="morning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread&#39;s <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on becoming a morning person, ways to avoid common bank fees, and financial resolutions to keep in 2014.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Become-Morning-Person-26607205">How to Become a Morning Person</a> &mdash; Want to become a morning person? Try to relax before bed. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2014/01/02/7-ways-to-avoid-common-bank-fees/">7 Ways to Avoid Common Bank Fees</a> &mdash; To avoid common bank fees, read the fine print on your accounts. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/5-financial-resolutions-keep-2014/" style="color: rgb(7, 130, 193); ">5 Financial Resolutions to Keep in 2014</a> &mdash; Rebalancing your savings is a good resolution to keep in 2014. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/make-clothing-last-longer.html">How to make the clothes you got for Christmas last at least until next year</a> &mdash; If you want the clothes you got for Christmas to last until next year, store them right. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/money-tips/got-a-gift-card-for-christmas-spend-it-now/">Got a Gift Card for Christmas? Spend it Now</a> &mdash; Spend your Christmas gift cards now because they might have expiration dates. [MoneyNing]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2014/01/30-steps-to-great-finances-steps-1-through-3.html">30 Steps to Great Finances: Steps 1 through 3</a> &mdash; Want to have great finances? Track your spending for 30 days. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://frugalportland.com/how-to-start-a-minimalist-wardrobe/">How to Start a Minimalist Wardrobe</a> &mdash; Start a minimalist wardrobe by not being sentimental about your clothes. [Frugal Portland]</p> <p><a href="http://portal.kiplinger.com/article/spending/T050-C000-S002-3-simple-steps-to-cash-in-unused-gift-cards.html">3 Simple Steps to Cash in Unused Gift Cards</a> &mdash; When selling your gift cards, make sure you find the site that will give you the best deal. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://yesiamcheap.com/2013/12/entrepreneurship-is-not-about-the-money/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+yesiamcheap+%28Yes%2C+I+Am+Cheap%29">Entrepreneurship Is Not About The Money</a> &mdash; Entrepreneurship is about freedom, not money. [Yes I Am Cheap]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/easy-take-away-meal-butternut-squash-quesadilla">Easy Take-Away Meal: Butternut Squash Quesadilla</a> &mdash; Butternut Squash Quesadillas can be prepared ahead of time to save money. [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-how-to-become-a-morning-person">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</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/learn-new-skills-for-free-the-power-of-forums">Learn New Skills for Free: The Power of Forums</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/let-things-go">Let things go</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-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master">8 Negotiating Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips best money tips how to morning morning person Mon, 06 Jan 2014 11:01:12 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1107106 at http://www.wisebread.com A Beginner’s Guide to Frugal Living http://www.wisebread.com/a-beginner-s-guide-to-frugal-living <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-beginner-s-guide-to-frugal-living" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/holding_starbucks_cup_0.jpg" alt="Woman holding Starbucks mug" title="Woman holding Starbucks mug" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don&rsquo;t do frugal living perfectly. There are times (usually around 8:00 a.m. on a Monday) when I cannot be stopped from my single-minded march toward Starbucks. At other times, I willfully disregard everything I know about paying retail and (albeit begrudgingly) fork over $75 for a pair of jeans. Still, I consider myself a pretty frugal guy. The broad brushstrokes of my life are characterized by financial decisions that are well-considered and based on clear financial goals.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re new to frugal living, fear not. Most of us are still learning, and we can all be tempted to veer off track at times. For the newbies out there, here are seven principles to keep in mind as you enter the ranks of the frugal &mdash; it&rsquo;s a sort of beginner&rsquo;s guide that we&rsquo;ve all had to learn (and often, relearn). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-two-biggest-mistakes-people-make-when-starting-to-live-frugally">The Two Biggest Mistakes People Make When Starting to Live Frugally</a>)</p> <h2>1. Pace Yourself</h2> <p>Adopting a simpler and more frugal lifestyle can take a bit of practice. Embrace it by degrees. Diving in and cutting your monthly budget by 50% all at once will only be a shock to your system and leave the entire family feeling pinched and resentful. It takes time to phase out unnecessary expenses and gradually redirect your resources to align with your goals.</p> <h2>2. Understand Your Goals</h2> <p>Saving money in and of itself may be a worthy enough goal. After all, we all know we&rsquo;ll need it &mdash; we just may not yet know when or why. But a smarter, more motivating approach is to understand specifically why you&rsquo;re saving. Is it for an earlier and more comfortable retirement? To start your own business? To finally pay off the mortgage? To just sleep better at night? Having a &ldquo;vision&rdquo; for your financial life will help drive your frugal choices.</p> <h2>3. Get on the Same Page</h2> <p>For couples or families, no financial decision is made in a vacuum. Make sure your significant other is as committed to reinventing your financial life as you are. Reach a common goal or set of goals and understand what changes and sacrifices are needed from each person. Encourage each other and redirect each other when necessary.</p> <h2>4. Sacrifice &mdash; Selectively</h2> <p>Living a frugal lifestyle doesn&rsquo;t mean saying &ldquo;no&rdquo; to everything. Rather, successful frugality means understanding your priorities so that the &ldquo;yeses&rdquo; are aligned with your priorities. It&rsquo;s still okay to indulge from time-to-time,&nbsp; and it&rsquo;s still okay to splurge because those moments are balanced by an overall money management style that is driven by clear boundaries. Feel like a lunch out on a Friday? Go for it. You can because you&rsquo;ve brown-bagged it every other day of the week.</p> <h2>5. Don&rsquo;t Over-Budget</h2> <p>The idea of planning, creating, and sticking to a budget gets a lot of airtime. But categorizing and budgeting every dollar that comes in the door might not be the best strategy. This approach can sometimes give frugality a bad name &mdash; it fosters the idea that frugal living means constant number-crunching and long sleepless nights hunched over a calculator. A far simpler approach is to simply pay yourself first and live off what&rsquo;s left. Determine an assertive savings rate (subject to change as your skill level increases) and have that money funneled into a savings account, retirement account, or money market. The money that&rsquo;s remaining will be stretched and redistributed as-needed to cover expenses &mdash; often without hours and hours of conscious effort.</p> <h2>6. Make Mistakes</h2> <p>Living a more conscious financial life is a lot like dieting. You&rsquo;ll have good days, and you&rsquo;ll have those chocolate cupcake slip-up days. Don&rsquo;t let the little bumps and short-comings along the way derail you. Understand that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-learn-from-your-mistakes">mistakes</a> and missteps are part of the learning process. They will fade away as your skill level grows and as frugality becomes second nature.</p> <h2>7. Chart and Reward Success</h2> <p>Adults need gold stars too. The most successfully frugal people I know monitor how they&rsquo;re doing from month-to-month and from year-to-year. They become motivated by successes like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-does-your-credit-card-debt-cost-you">paying off credit cards</a>, paying down mortgages, and watching their bank account balances grow. The rush of seeing their efforts pay off has replaced the high they used to get from spending mindlessly and acquiring more stuff. Financial milestones acknowledged and celebrated as the truly special occasions they are.</p> <p>There you have it &mdash; the seven principles that will lead you to a more frugal lifestyle. More importantly, these ideas will help make frugality a permanent part of your life, instead of something you dive in and out of as your fortunes change. Embrace the success of it. Embrace the failures. Embrace the road that gets you where you want to go.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-beginner-s-guide-to-frugal-living">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-married">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-i-wish-i-had-known-when-i-started-living-frugally">What I Wish I Had Known When I Started Living Frugally</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-step-by-step-guide-for-when-friends-ask-for-help-being-frugal">A Step-by-Step Guide for When Friends Ask for Help Being Frugal</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/youth-and-money-finding-the-frugal-balance">Youth and Money: Finding the Frugal Balance</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/why-the-scarcity-mentality-is-keeping-you-poor">Why the Scarcity Mentality Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle beginning frugality compromise how to Fri, 16 Dec 2011 11:36:17 +0000 Kentin Waits 825562 at http://www.wisebread.com Learn New Skills for Free: The Power of Forums http://www.wisebread.com/learn-new-skills-for-free-the-power-of-forums <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/learn-new-skills-for-free-the-power-of-forums" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/elmo_computer.jpg" alt="Elmo using a computer" title="Elmo using a computer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="144" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Learning a new skill is hard. Whether it&rsquo;s becoming a better cook &nbsp;or trying to build your own computer, your success rate will improve if you have some help. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-paid-to-learn">6 Ways to Get Paid to Learn</a>)</p> <p>That can be expensive &mdash; taking classes or hiring someone to help will cost you. But there&rsquo;s an old-school kind of social media that can help. It isn't talked about very much since it isn&rsquo;t Twitter or Facebook or Foursquare (ugh).</p> <p>I&rsquo;m talking about the good-ol' fashioned forum.</p> <h3>What&rsquo;s a Forum?</h3> <p>A forum is simply a place where people gather to discuss a common topic. If you&rsquo;re trying to learn it, I guarantee there&rsquo;s a decent forum out there of like-minded people talking about everything from growing your own tomatoes to trimming your cat&rsquo;s whiskers. (Forums are better suited for DIY-ish things like setting up a home theater, growing your own herbs, and around-the-house repairs. For things like learning a new language and perfecting a sport, you're probably better off taking classes.)</p> <p>The reason forums are so helpful is because they&rsquo;re filled with people that are knowledgeable and passionate about the topic. Some are like you &mdash; they&rsquo;re there to learn new things. Others are more experienced and can share their tips on how they learned. Then you have the veterans. These people are subject-matter experts and pretty much know everything there is to know about the topic.</p> <p>Some are even professionals.</p> <p>You put a collection of experts and newbies together in one place and you end up with a few things:</p> <h4>Lots of Knowledge</h4> <p>Browsing forums is a great way to get learn the basics.</p> <h4>A Place to Ask Questions</h4> <p>Asking questions (and getting them answered in a timely manner) is probably the coolest part of participating in a forum. It&rsquo;s like Twitter, but everyone here is focused on this one, narrow topic.</p> <h4>Network</h4> <p>Sure, it&rsquo;s just online, but if you hang out long enough and participate, these people will eventually become part of your network, which is always valuable.</p> <h3>How to Use a Forum to Learn New Things</h3> <p>My experience with forums has been great, as long as you follow a few rules:</p> <h4>Do Your Research</h4> <p>Don&rsquo;t just join and start demanding questions because you want a quick fix. It will piss everyone off. Make sure you read any threads that are &ldquo;pinned&rdquo; to the top of a forum and search (you may have to register for this) thoroughly for your question, since it&rsquo;s probably been answered already.</p> <h4>Learn the Language</h4> <p>Know the words people use relative to the topic. If I went into a computer-building forum and asked how I can install the video thingy, people would dismiss me right away. Learn the vocab &mdash; it&rsquo;ll make the communication smoother. You should be able to pick all this up in the forum during the research phase &mdash; just make sure you get it before you start posting!</p> <h4>Say Please and Thank You</h4> <p>You should do this everywhere in life, but especially in forums. People are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/being-generous-on-a-budget">being generous</a> with their time and their knowledge, so thank them accordingly. It goes a long way.</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve had great experiences with forums. <a href="http://forums.anandtech.com/">Anandtech</a> helped me figure out the hardware for my last desktop. <a href="http://forum.xda-developers.com/">XDA Developers</a> guided me through the process of rooting my phone. And the <a href="http://forum.byopvr.com/dvr/">Build Your Own PVR</a> forum has given me a wealth of information about how to build my own personal video recorder.</p> <p>Could I have figured all this out by researching the web? Sure, but there&rsquo;s nothing like several informed voices helping you out instead of just reading what one person thinks on a website. I highly recommend you try it out.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carlos-portocarrero">Carlos Portocarrero</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/learn-new-skills-for-free-the-power-of-forums">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/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</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-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</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-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</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/quickly-removing-scratches-from-cds-and-dvds">Quickly Remove Scratches From CDs and DVDs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY General Tips forums how to learning a new skill Thu, 13 Oct 2011 09:48:13 +0000 Carlos Portocarrero 738298 at http://www.wisebread.com Website 101: How to Build a Site and Get It Online http://www.wisebread.com/website-101-how-to-build-a-site-and-get-it-online <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/website-101-how-to-build-a-site-and-get-it-online" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000004384999XSmall.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For the technology-challenged person, the idea of creating your own website may seem overwhelming, perhaps even impossible. This is why a lot of people hire web designers. Unfortunately, not only do web designers cost a lot of money, but they often keep your website's files and maintain the site themselves, meaning that you have to wait for their availability and pay them more money every time you want to make another change to your website.</p> <p>Building and putting a website online doesn't have to be difficult or complicated, though. If you are willing to do a little mental gymnastics and learn a few tricks, you can build a simple website on your own and publish it to your server yourself. Here are a few simple tips for do-it-yourselfers.</p> <h3>Get Your Domain Name and Hosting</h3> <p>While you may choose to wait to purchase hosting for your website until you are ready to publish it to the Internet, you should get your domain name as soon as possible. The reason for this is that anyone could take your idea for a domain name in the meantime. It doesn't cost very much to register a domain name for a year, usually about $10 or less depending on whether it ends in .com or something else, and it will keep someone else from taking your idea for a name while you are working on your website.</p> <p>As for hosting, there are a lot of web hosts to choose from. While this article won't go into detail on the criteria for making that decision, you do need to be sure the service you choose allows you to upload files via FTP. Some web hosts also offer website-building software, but you will pay more for these, and as you will see in the next section, they are not really necessary.</p> <h3>Build Your Website</h3> <p>There are a number of ways to build your website. You could use the website builder or templates your web host offers, but you will probably need to pay more for that. You could also purchase a program that will help you to build your own website, such as Microsoft FrontPage. Or, with a little time and work on your part, you can do it for free.</p> <p>If you search online for free website templates, you will actually find that there are many to choose from. (You can also buy templates at a minimal cost, but with all the free ones available, why bother?) A template sets up the website's design for you so that all you have to do is fill in the text on each page. To do this you will need to:</p> <ul> <li>Copy the file for every page you need (e.g., Index/Home, About, Services, etc.) and name each file accordingly (one-word file names with no spaces work best).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Open each page in Notebook or another text editor so that you can see the code.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Locate the header information and change it to reflect your website's name and URL.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Find the location of the page's text and replace the placeholder text with your own.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Name all of the buttons in the sidebar or top nav bar, and replace each placeholder link with the link to the correct Web address (e.g., http:&frasl;&frasl;www.yourwebsite.com&frasl;about.html).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Search each page (control + F) for &quot;meta title&quot; and name the page &mdash; you can also provide a description and keywords in this section that will be picked up by search engines.</li> </ul> <p>To do all of this, you will need to have a basic understanding of HTML, such as the code for text formatting (paragraphs, bold, italics, etc.) and the code for links and images. All of this is relatively easy, and you should be able to learn what you need by reading a few tutorials online. If you get stuck while working on your website, just do a quick Google search to find the code or explanation you need. You can check your page by saving your edits in your text editor, then opening the file in your web browser to see what the page will look like when someone views it on the Internet.</p> <p>Some website templates have a separate file that acts as a style guide for every page on your website. In this file you'll find the code that controls the colors, images, and other details that are the same on every page, and you might find the sidebar or top nav bar menus in this file as well. If your knowledge of HTML is pretty good, or if you are an ambitious do-it-yourselfer, you might want to tinker with this file to customize your template a little.</p> <h3>Upload the Files</h3> <p>Once you have finished writing the text on your website and fixing all the links in the template, you are ready to upload. This is when FTP comes in handy. If your web host has a good user interface, you can sign into your account and upload the files from your dashboard.&nbsp;If you use Windows, you can also create a network connection (You can find this in My Network Places in XP or by clicking Map Network Drive in Windows 7 and Vista), which will allow you to drag and drop your files from your computer onto your website's server. Fancy programs to help you publish your website to your server are completely unnecessary!</p> <h3>Are You a Do-It-Yourselfer?</h3> <p>If you are reading this article, most likely you are the kind of person who takes an interest in doing things yourself, even if it means rolling up your sleeves and learning to do something new. Building your own website can seem like a big project, and you are likely to feel overwhelmed occasionally while working on it, but there is no reason you can't do it yourself! All you need is the time and dedication to learn what you need to know.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a guest post by Jason Kay. Jason has created dozens of websites in the last few years by using website builder software. He started <a href="http://easywebsitebuilders.net/">EasyWebsiteBuilders.net</a> to provide a single online resource for finding and comparing website builder services. For more resources:</p> <ul> <li>Create your own website with no programming by using an online <a href="http://www.easywebsitebuilders.net/">website builder</a>.</li> <li>Find and compare <a href="http://www.cheaphostingsites.org/">cheap web hosting</a> plans.</li> <li>Learn more about starting and running a <a href="http://www.easyhomeinternetbusiness.com/">home internet business</a>.</li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-kay">Jason Kay</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/website-101-how-to-build-a-site-and-get-it-online">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-a-cable-to-control-your-android-phone-while-you-drive">Build a Cable to Control Your Android Phone While You Drive</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/learn-new-skills-for-free-the-power-of-forums">Learn New Skills for Free: The Power of Forums</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-refill-an-ink-cartridge-with-a-small-piece-of-tape">How to refill an ink cartridge with a small piece of tape</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/make-your-computer-faster">Make Your Computer Faster Instead of Buying a New One</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/make-your-computer-last-almost-forever-with-some-simple-tricks">Make Your Computer Last (Almost) Forever With Some Simple Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Technology how to tech advice website Sat, 06 Nov 2010 17:36:36 +0000 Jason Kay 280436 at http://www.wisebread.com How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew! http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/494073305_224e4967c7.jpg" alt="MacGyver" title="MacGyver" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;m a big fan of <a href="http://www.howcast.com/ ">Howcast.</a> Their website is a treasure trove of information, and you can also find their videos on popular sites like Metacafe and YouTube. Sometimes their advice is really useful, sometimes it&rsquo;s just plain weird, but it&rsquo;s always very entertaining. Howcast videos also end with a handy dandy fact; the icing on the cake so to speak.</p> <p>I was recently searching their wonderful site for a how-to video on hard-boiling an egg. You may scoff, but the last few times I&rsquo;ve done this the shell has been glued to the egg, making it impossible to remove. I figured Howcast would have a solution, but became increasingly distracted by some of the other great videos I found.</p> <p>All in all, I watched about 25 videos and have selected my ten favorites for you to check out. They run the gamut, from simple recipes for laundry detergent and butter, to more complex issues like overcoming fear. All are relatively short and are well worth a watch. Some will save you time and money. Others are just an alternative way of doing things. Enjoy.</p> <p><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/2527381/how_to_make_your_own_soda/">1: How To Make Your Own Soda. Cheap, quick and easy.&nbsp;</a></p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/2527381/how_to_make_your_own_soda.swf" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/2326550/how_to_save_money_by_making_your_own_laundry_detergent/">2: How To Make Your Own Laundry Detergent (liquid and powder). </a></p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/2326550/how_to_save_money_by_making_your_own_laundry_detergent.swf" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1328284/how_to_cure_a_hangover/ ">3: How To Cure A Hangover . </a></p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/1328284/how_to_cure_a_hangover.swf" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1328421/how_to_start_a_fire_with_a_battery/ ">4: How To Start A Fire With A Battery.</a></p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/1328421/how_to_start_a_fire_with_a_battery.swf" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1710004/how_to_hard_boil_an_egg_so_it_peels_easily/">5: How To Hard Boil An Egg So It Peels Easily. </a></p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" allowfullscreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" wmode="transparent" src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/1710004/how_to_hard_boil_an_egg_so_it_peels_easily.swf"></embed></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1328396/how_to_overcome_any_fear/ ">6: How To Overcome ANY Fear. Seriously. </a></p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/1328396/how_to_overcome_any_fear.swf" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1930913/how_to_make_your_own_butter/">7: How To Make Your Own Butter. Mmmmm</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/1930913/how_to_make_your_own_butter.swf" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/2223003/how_to_tidy_up_in_three_minutes/">8: How To Tidy Up In Three Minutes. Start The Timer. </a></p> <p>&nbsp;<embed width="425" height="350" src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/2223003/how_to_tidy_up_in_three_minutes.swf" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1483480/how_to_peel_a_potato_in_10_seconds/">9: How To Peel A Potato In Ten Seconds</a>.</p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/1483480/how_to_peel_a_potato_in_10_seconds.swf" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1497566/how_to_become_an_extra_in_a_movie/">10: How To Become An Extra In A Movie.&nbsp;</a></p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/1497566/how_to_become_an_extra_in_a_movie.swf" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">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/search-online-for-a-fix-before-you-toss-that-broken-gadget">Search Online for a Fix before You Toss that Broken Gadget</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/in-times-like-these-separate-the-want-from-the-need">In times like these, separate the want from the need.</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/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</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/make-your-own-self-tanning-lotion-and-5-other-fabulous-diy-tips-from-the-web">Make Your Own Self-tanning Lotion and 5 Other Fabulous DIY Tips from the Web</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-guaranteed-easiest-way-to-make-your-own-pickles">The Guaranteed Easiest Way to Make Your Own Pickles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living Life Hacks Consumer Affairs DIY Food and Drink General Tips Productivity Shopping advice DIY home made how to Mon, 23 Mar 2009 20:30:28 +0000 Paul Michael 2963 at http://www.wisebread.com How to bake sourdough bread (and save a buck on every loaf) http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bake-sourdough-bread-and-save-a-buck-on-every-loaf <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-bake-sourdough-bread-and-save-a-buck-on-every-loaf" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fresh-baked-loaf.jpg" alt="Just-sliced loaf of fresh-baked bread" title="First slices" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="205" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I doubt if the cost of yeast is really breaking your household budget. If you bake a lot you probably already buy yeast in bulk, so you're not paying the per-packet price anyway. And yet, baking sourdough bread (or rolls or pizza crust) is just so cool. My wife and I haven't bought yeast for years, but we bake bread all the time. And that's what this post is about--baking sourdough bread.</p> <p><img width="300" height="296" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/bubbles.jpg" alt="Sourdough starter" />Carrie wrote a great post on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-kitchen-could-be-a-yeast-farm">getting your sourdough starter going</a>, so I'll mostly skip that step. You can catch wild yeasts in your kitchen, spend a few dollars on a packet of fancy &quot;San Francisco&quot; sourdough starter, or just use your last packet of store-bought yeast to kick off your starter. It doesn't matter.</p> <p>I'm going to use that phrase a lot: It doesn't matter. By that I don't mean that the bread will come out the same no matter what you do. What I mean is that <em>it will be bread</em> no matter what you do. In fact, that's the theme of this whole post: Making bread is easy. It's possible to screw it up, but most people succeed on their first try. My wife and I have been baking bread at least once a week for years and we haven't had a failure yet.</p> <p>So, assuming you have a jar of starter--even if it's just a couple cups of water, a couple cups of flour, and a packet of store-bought yeast--here's what you do. When you're done, you'll have a fresh-baked loaf of bread. You'll also once again have a jar of starter--which is why you'll never have to buy yeast again.</p> <p>Whichever technique you use to create your starter, remember that it's a living thing. We think of ours as a pet. (We named her Bubbles.)</p> <h2>Feed your starter</h2> <p><img width="300" height="237" align="right" alt="Starter after feeding" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/after-feeding.jpg" />Step one is to feed the starter. You have to do this every week or so whether you're going to bake anything or not, so you might as well bake something.</p> <p>Feeding your starter just means putting it in a big bowl and adding some water and some flour so that the yeast have something to eat. After a week, even in the refrigerator where yeast grows pretty slowly, the yeast will have eaten pretty much all the sugar in the flour, so you have to give it some fresh flour if you want it to live.</p> <p>So, how much water and flour do you need to add? It doesn't matter. What I usually do is add as much water as I want for whatever I'm baking. If I'm baking a full-size loaf of bread, that's usually two cups of water, for pizza dough, one cup. (Lately I've been using a bit less for bread, because I had a couple of loaves rise so much they didn't fit in our bread box.) I add about as much flour as I added water.</p> <p>The books say to add all-purpose flour, because whole-wheat flour has oils that can go rancid.</p> <p>Let your starter feast on that fresh flour for a while. How long? It doesn't matter. The yeast will start growing right away, so in as little as 20 minutes you'll have doubled the amount of yeast. You could go on to the next step as early as that, if you're in a big hurry. You could leave it over night, if you wanted to bake bread first thing the next morning. I usually feed Bubbles right after breakfast and then go on to the next step right after lunch.</p> <p>The books on these things always emphasize that you should keep your starter in a glass jar, as the alcohol and acid produced can leach things you don't want to eat out of metal or plastic containers. For the same reason, they often say to use a wooden spoon rather than a metal one.</p> <p>The starter won't grow very fast while it's cold, so it's good if the water you add is warm. Just make sure it isn't so hot as to kill the yeast. (The books say 110&deg; F. I just go with &quot;warm&quot; and haven't killed Bubbles yet.) You can add cold water and it'll still work, it'll just take a little longer.</p> <h2>Save your starter</h2> <p><img width="300" height="242" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/dough-and-starter.jpg" alt="After saving the starter" />This is the only other step that's different from making bread with store-bought yeast. Once your yeast has had a chance to feed for a bit, pour some back into the jar where you keep your starter. How much? It doesn't matter. I always pour back 2 cups so that we always have the same amount. One cup would be enough. You could pour back variable amounts if you wanted.</p> <p>Put something over the jar with your starter, but don't close it up too tightly. The covering is to keep dust out, keep the starter from drying out, and keep it from exchanging smells and flavors with everything else in your fridge. Since it's alive, though, it'll produce carbon dioxide, and if you have a tight lid the pressure can build up enough to break the jar.</p> <p>Put your starter in the fridge. You can leave it for a week or two. If you're going to go be away from it longer than that, you can freeze it. It may not be as lively as usual the first time or two you use it after that, but it'll usually survive.</p> <h2>Make dough</h2> <p>With the part of the starter that you didn't put back in the fridge, make bread dough. Making bread dough, of course, is easy--just add flour until it's dough and knead it for a while.</p> <p><img width="300" height="287" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/ingredients.jpg" alt="Bread ingredients" />What flour? It doesn't matter. Whatever you like. All-purpose flour will make fine bread. I like bread made with whole wheat flour better, so I almost always use mostly whole wheat flour. I like the way the bread comes out if I use some bread flour, though, so I usually do. You can also put in moderate amounts of all kinds of exotic flours, if you want. We got a big bag of rye flour for 99&cent;, so I've been putting some of that in every loaf just lately. I often put in a third of a cup of rolled oats or of corn meal, just to add a bit of complexity to the bread. I don't think I've ever added brown rice flour to the bread, but I bet it would be good. I almost always add a couple tablespoons of flax seed meal for the fiber and the omega-3 fatty acids.</p> <p>There's a lot of other things you can add. You can put in some oil or butter, if you want. I usually don't, because the bread is just as yummy and lower in fat without it. You can put in some sugar, if you want. That can speed up the rising a bit, by giving the yeast some simple sugars to eat. If you put in a lot, it can also make the bread a little sweet, if you like that. I've been known to add sugar in many different forms--white sugar, brown sugar, honey, molasses. Just lately we've been adding corn syrup. (We've had this bottle for years, because our previous cat had diabetes and our vet suggested we keep it on hand in case of insulin shock. Rather than throw it out, we're putting a tablespoon or so in loaves of bread here and there.)</p> <p><img width="300" height="267" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/kneading.jpg" />We don't put salt in our bread, because we like it better without, but lots of people do. (If you make your bread in a bread machine, don't skip the salt. Salt retards the growth of the yeast; if you skip it, the timing in the bread machine will lead to the bread rising too quickly and then partially collapsing. If you're baking it yourself, you can just go by how the bread looks and it'll be fine.)</p> <p>Add whatever flour and other ingredients you want. Once it's not too sticky, start kneading. Add flour as necessary until you get dough. That's really all there is to this step.</p> <h2>Let the dough rise</h2> <p>I usually do two risings. I form the dough into a ball, put it back in the same bowl I used to mix it, and then cover it with a piece of plastic wrap. (The tradition is to cover it with a damp cloth. It doesn't matter. The covering is just to keep dust out of the dough and to keep it from drying out.)</p> <p>The traditional rule of thumb is to let the bread &quot;double in bulk&quot; at each rising. I usually do a short first rising--just 20 or 40 minutes--and then form the loaf and let it rise again in the loaf pan. You can also just do one rising, forming a loaf and letting it rise in the loaf pan right from the start. You get bread either way.</p> <p><img width="300" height="279" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/dough-in-bowl.jpg" alt="" />How you do the rising makes a difference in the texture of the bread--whether it has lots of little holes or fewer, larger holes. If your starter is a San Francisco-style culture, doing a long first rising and then a long second rising may give you bread that's more sour than you get from just one rising.</p> <p>One thing about sourdough is that there's likely to be a lot of variability at this stage. Depending on a lot of different things--how long it's been since the last time you fed starter, how long you fed it this time, how much sugar you put in the dough, how moist the dough is, how much you kneaded it, and no doubt lots of other things--the bread can double in bulk in anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 or 4 hours. (This is probably the reason that people ever even invented yeast packets.)</p> <p>Forming the loaf?&nbsp; Just knead the dough into an oblong blob that'll fit in your loaf pan.&nbsp; You probably want to grease the pan so the bread will come out easily.&nbsp; Drop the blob in the pan and let it rise.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Bake the bread</h2> <p>Once the bread has risen enough, turn on the oven and bake it. I bake mine at 350&deg; F, but I'm sure you could bake it at other temperatures.</p> <p>I do a couple of things to save energy, and because I like the way the bread turns out. One is to just put the dough into a cold oven and then turn the oven on. Unlike with cakes and pies, there's no need to preheat the oven. Another thing I do is to turn the oven off about 15 minutes before the bread is ready to come out--it stays hot long enough to finish the bread.</p> <p>You're supposed to be able to tell of the bread is done by thumping on the bottom of the loaf and listening to the sound, so I always do that. My bread is always done, though, so I've never heard what it sounds like if it isn't done.</p> <h2>Quality control</h2> <p><img width="184" height="300" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/saved-starter.jpg" alt="" />The bread will slice better if you let it cool some before you cut it. But who can wait that long?&nbsp; We always cut a couple of slices right away and perform quality control.&nbsp; Fortunately, it's always of high quality.</p> <p>Besides just eating it yourself, you can also give bread away to friends and relations.&nbsp; It's always appreciated as a gift by people who imagine that it's a lot of work to bake bread.&nbsp; In fact, though, it isn't.&nbsp; The only real issue is wall-clock time.&nbsp; It probably only takes about half an hour of actual work to bake a loaf, but that half hour is spread over at least half a day.&nbsp; If you have to spend all day at work, it would require some pretty fancy scheduling to be able to be there for each step along the way.&nbsp; So I&nbsp;can see why some people buy store-bought bread.</p> <p>If you can bake your own bread, though, there's only one reason not to make it sourdough bread--if you bake so rarely that your starter would die between loaves.</p> <p>As I say, we haven't bought yeast in years, so baking sourdough bread does save us a bit of money--but that's not why we do it. We do it because it's fun, because we enjoy kneading the dough, because fresh bread is better whether it's sourdough or not, because we can make the bread exactly the way we like it, because we can make it different every time, because we can use premium ingredients--and still make it cheaper than store-bought bread. But mostly because it's fun.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bake-sourdough-bread-and-save-a-buck-on-every-loaf">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/10-delicious-ways-to-save-stale-bread">10 Delicious Ways to Save Stale Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-simple-tips-to-improve-homemade-bread">4 Simple Tips to Improve Homemade Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-many-reasons-besides-frugality-to-do-for-yourself">The many reasons--besides frugality--to do for yourself</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/a-beginners-guide-to-homemade-bread">A Beginner&#039;s Guide to Homemade Bread</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/my-kitchen-could-be-a-yeast-farm">My Kitchen Could Be a Yeast Farm</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink baking bread bread dough Cooking DIY Homemade how to how to bake bread photos pizza dough sourdough sourdough bread Fri, 13 Mar 2009 18:40:13 +0000 Philip Brewer 2930 at http://www.wisebread.com Dealing with Financial Drought: A Recovery Plan http://www.wisebread.com/dealing-with-financial-drought-a-recovery-plan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dealing-with-financial-drought-a-recovery-plan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2529466333_f5a35dd2fc_m.jpg" alt="Cracked earth at his feet" title="drought" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="146" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You know how it goes. One minute, you have extra money sitting in the bank just waiting for you to play with it. The next, your car needs repaired, or the cat gets sick, or the roof falls in and there&#39;s no way you can afford the bills without dipping into savings. Not only has your &quot;fun money&quot; disappeared, but so has some of your emergency fund, general savings fund, or goal-oriented savings fund. And we all know what happens next: more catastrophe, more bills, more dipping in when you meant with all your will to save this month. </p> <p>Financial drought sucks, but it happens to all of us. Not even the wisest, most frugal person on the &#39;net can avoid it. What we do when the savings numbers are slipping backwards, however, can determine how much we actually lose during the drought and how quickly we bounce back. </p> <p><strong>Know what to expect.</strong></p> <p>All sorts of negative emotions can accompany financial drought. Don&#39;t be surprised if you find yourself wondering if it&#39;s all your fault, or if you&#39;re lying awake at night wondering if you could have seen this coming and how. Your emotions may run particularly close to the surface during and just after a drought, or you may find yourself unable to feel at all. However you respond emotionally, know that you will and that it will go away when things get better. Expecting an emotional fallout of some sort can, rather ironically, help you keep your equilibrium when you&#39;re in the middle of the drought. You won&#39;t be nearly as tempted to follow them into an unwise choice or to change your financial plan on a whim. </p> <p>Rather closely related to that point, know that things will get better. Financial drought doesn&#39;t last forever. It might seem like it&#39;s going to when you&#39;re wading through it with the water at your neck, but it doesn&#39;t. And knowing that it will end can make all the difference in the world.  </p> <p><strong>Take stock.</strong></p> <p>Sometimes, an emergency fund isn&#39;t enough. I hate to bring up depressing stuff, but it&#39;s true. When life throws a really big lemon, not even the most overfunded emergency fund in the world can make lemonade. But you know what? That&#39;s ok. Sure, it means taking money from somwhere else, maybe from a goal-oriented savings account, or a general fund, or even a loan. And that sucks. Even this worst-case scenario, however, isn&#39;t the end of the world. Are you alive? Check. Relatively hale and whole? Check. Ready to get back on the pony? Well....maybe. </p> <p>Wherever you find  yourself after the bills are paid or the wells are dried up, look around. What&#39;s good? What&#39;s wretched? What can you change? What will only make things worse if you tinker with it? The answers to these questions will help you figure out where you are. And generally, when we know where we are, the way forward becomes much more clear.</p> <p><strong>Your goals are still your goals.</strong> </p> <p>Even when you&#39;re negatively saving towards whatever it is you want, that thing you want is still your goal, and don&#39;t you forget it! It&#39;s easy to lose sight of your goals when your finances take a dip for the worst. When you&#39;re taking money out of your savings account instead of putting it in, it&#39;s so easy to let the doubts wiggle in. It might start with a, &quot;Wow, I guess we won&#39;t be able to buy the boat in April,&quot; but quickly progresses to, &quot;Maybe we&#39;ll never be able to buy the boat,&quot; and in the worst cases becomes, &quot;It was silly of me to try and save for a boat.&quot; Nip those thoughts in the bud. Your boat (or car, house, horse, roadtrip, cruise, whatever) is worth the time you spend saving, the effort of saving, and the money you save. Just because it may not happen when you wanted it to happen doesn&#39;t change that. Knowing that your goals have value can help you stay focused and oriented even when life tries to throw you off. </p> <p>Not only that, but remembering the value of your goals and staying focused on them can help you bounce back after the crisis. Sure, it sucks to be in the hole with your savings account, but at least you still have one. And there&#39;s something out there that you want! Focusing on your desire wil help you save even when it feels hopeless to do so. Because that day where everyone sees you having accomplished your goal? It&#39;s out there somewhere, and your saving makes it come quicker. </p> <p><strong>Take your time.</strong></p> <p>All of that said, give yourself some space to figure out where you are, where you want to go next, and how to get there. A drought can change a lot of things in your life, not the least of which are your energy, stress levels, relationshps, and general health. An extended, sudden, or particularly intense drought can impact all of these and more for the worse. So give yourself time. Maybe you need to sleep every Saturday afternoon for a month instead of assessing your finances. Or maybe you need a day at the beach, a chance to finish that book you got into before it all started, or a couple of massages. Whatever it is, you have time for it. Let your whole self take a deep breath before you dive back in. </p> <p>In addition to healing some of the hurts of drought, taking some time can give you a different perspective. It can help you notice that the world isn&#39;t out to get you, no one actually seems to hate you, and things look remarkably similar to how they looked before the drought. What a relief! </p> <p><strong>Get back on the pony.</strong></p> <p>Whether you decide on a recovery plan or just jump back in to what you were doing before, get started. Maybe your drought has lingering consequences and you can&#39;t save like you used to. That&#39;s ok; save what you can. Sometimes, a drought shakes us so deeply that we can&#39;t bear to risk again. That&#39;s ok; do it anyway. The more you follow a plan and get some money back in savings, the more you&#39;ll be able to stop expecting the worst. And once you&#39;ve done that, well, you&#39;ve overcome the drought.</p> <p>What sorts of droughts have you faced? How did you overcome them? I&#39;d love to hear your stories in the comments. </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/dealing-with-financial-drought-a-recovery-plan">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/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands</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-escape-the-paycheck-to-paycheck-cycle">How to Escape the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle</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/preparing-for-a-recession">Preparing for a Recession</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-make-yourself-save-more-money">12 Ways to Make Yourself Save More Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-a-divorce-improve-your-finances">Could a Divorce Improve Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance how to personal finance Tue, 02 Sep 2008 22:39:50 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 2394 at http://www.wisebread.com How to get a job--learn the secret from a bad movie http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-job-learn-the-secret-from-a-bad-movie <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-a-job-learn-the-secret-from-a-bad-movie" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/rambo-ette.jpg" alt="Rambo-ette" title="Rambo-ette" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="246" height="400" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>[Editor's note:&nbsp; If you recently lost your job, take a look at Wise Bread's collection of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lost-my-job-tips-for-the-recently-laid-off">tips and resources for the recently laid off</a>.]</em></p> <p>I've read a bunch of books on how to do a job search. They all talk about networking. They all talk about researching the company--knowing what they do and what they need done. They all talk about &quot;creating&quot; a job--presenting yourself as a solution to a problem. I read the books, but I didn't understand what they meant, until I saw this really bad movie.</p> <p>The movie was &quot;Let's Get Harry,&quot; and it's bad enough that the director didn't want his name on it. (It's an &quot;Alan Smithee&quot; film.) It's well worth missing, except for one bit near the beginning.</p> <p>The set-up is that a small-town American has been taken hostage in Colombia. The guy's friends decide to mount a rescue mission. Realizing that they'll need help, they take out an ad for a mercenary.</p> <p>The good bit is the stretch where the heros hire their mercenary. They interview a seemingly endless string of lunatics, nutcases, and losers--guys pretending to be dangerous, guys pretending to have connections, guys pretending to have mysterious pasts. Our heros are at the point of giving up, knowing that any these clowns would be worse than useless in a dangerous situation, when Robert Duvall shows up--and shows us how it's done.</p> <p>Duvall's character shows up having already done some research. He'd made the connection between news reports about an American kidnapped overseas and the interview taking place in the man's home town. He'd figured out what the mission was going to be. He'd done some research on the Colombian criminal element, and figured out what group had most likely done the kidnapping. He showed up with a photo of the guy the were trying to rescue and a photo of the head of the gang that had probably done the kidnapping.</p> <p>That little stretch of film made an impression on me that the job search books never had. Here was a worked example of how to create a job:</p> <ol> <li>Figure out what the employer's problem is.</li> <li>Figure out what the solution is.</li> <li>Present yourself as someone who can provide the solution.</li> </ol> <p>It was a revelation to me. Until then, I'd generally taken the lazy path in looking for a job--I showed up for the interview, expecting the employer to tell me what the problem was and what they'd decided to do to solve it. Then, I presented myself as someone with the expertise to do the work. In a high-demand field like software engineering, the lazy way can be successful, but it's never going to give you as good a job as one that's created for you.</p> <p>I got tempted down the path to the lazy way because it seemed so easy--and because it seemed stupid to do a bunch of work for a job I didn't even have yet. If they hired me to solve their problem, then I would. Until then, I had other stuff I'd rather be doing.</p> <p>What I didn't understand was that a position created for me could be <em>nothing but</em> stuff that I'd rather be doing. If that's the pay-off for a few hours of unpaid work, it's well worth it.</p> <p>There are plenty of insights in those job search books--good advice on networking, good advice on identifying the person who can say &quot;yes&quot; to hiring you, good advice on presenting yourself as a can-do person who can get the job done. I managed to get most of them from the books. It was just this one where I somehow never managed to make the connection until I saw this bad movie.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-job-learn-the-secret-from-a-bad-movie">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-depressing-jobs-that-arent-worth-the-money">10 Depressing Jobs That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-65-best-career-tips-weve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 65 Best Career Tips We&#039;ve Ever Shared</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/getting-by-without-a-job-part-1-losing-a-job">Getting by without a job, part 1--losing a job</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-bounce-back-from-job-rejection">4 Ways to Bounce Back From Job Rejection</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-jobs-for-work-life-balance">4 Best Jobs for Work Life Balance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Job Hunting career career advancement how to job job search jobs movie movies Sat, 08 Mar 2008 13:41:53 +0000 Philip Brewer 1895 at http://www.wisebread.com Let things go http://www.wisebread.com/let-things-go <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/let-things-go" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/edinburgh-monument.jpg" alt="Unfinished monument above Edinburgh" title="Unfinished Monument Above Edinburgh" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="191" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Two of the unhappiest people I ever knew lived in the apartment below mine when I lived for two years in Salt Lake City. They acted as on-site managers--collected rent checks in exchange for a break on their own rent. I didn&#39;t have any real visibility into their financial situation; they seemed to be getting by, but at a pretty low standard of living. Like many unhappy people, though, they had a well-worn story of woe. They told it to me the very first time we met.</p> <p>There&#39;s nothing wrong with a story of woe. We all have one. Most of us have more than one. But their story wasn&#39;t about their current problems. Their story was that some two decades earlier, they had sold a few acres of land in central Florida, land that later became part of Walt Disney World. They figured they&#39;d probably been cheated, or at best were terrible unlucky. </p> <p>That experience seemed to have colored their whole life. Every day was a day that they could have been--would have been, if not for bad people and bad luck--rich.</p> <p>I&#39;ve known other people like that. They viewed everything through the prism of something gone wrong. In some cases, the bad thing was a real trauma--a crippling accident, growing up without a parent, the loss of a lover or sibling or child--but often, as in the case with my neighbors, it seemed to be less than that. All that had really happened to them was that an opportunity for great good fortune had come close, but had missed them. It was like standing next to the guy who bought the winning lottery ticket. But in their eyes, not being super-lucky was somehow the same as having been very unlucky.</p> <p>My experience is that you can&#39;t really be happy until you can let these things go.</p> <p>In many cases the people in question may be clinically depressed and need to get proper medical attention, after which issues like these that seem to cloud their lives will just clear up on their own. If that&#39;s your situation, by all means, get the care you need. Great strides have been made in treating depression in the past twenty years or so, in the form of modern antidepressants and various kinds of therapy.</p> <p>Looking in from the outside, though, it seems that a lot of these cases aren&#39;t that. They&#39;re just people getting stuck on what might have been and finding it hard to accept that things are as they are.</p> <p>When this isn&#39;t a medical issue, I think there&#39;s a spiritual component to getting past such things--what you&#39;re looking for here is grace, and offering forgiveness to those around you is going to help as much as anything. Personally, I find that Buddhist practice is of help here. The way not to live in the past is to practice <strong>mindfulness</strong>--put your attention on where you are now. The first step to forgiving others is to feel <strong>compassion</strong> for them. Rather than feeling bitter over missed opportunities and past ill-use, chose to feel <strong>gratitude</strong> for the opportunities that weren&#39;t missed and the times that people and fate treated you kindly.</p> <p>Those are the tools that I use when I need to let things go.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/let-things-go">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/when-poor-folks-have-better-crap-than-you">When poor folks have better crap than 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/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</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-sell-your-hair-for-cash">How to Sell Your Hair for Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-and-simple-sunburn-remedies-that-really-work">Cheap and Simple Sunburn Remedies That Really Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-home-uses-for-mayonnaise">10 Unexpected Home Uses for Mayonnaise</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Health and Beauty attention compassion gratitude how to mindfulness Tue, 05 Feb 2008 20:54:26 +0000 Philip Brewer 1749 at http://www.wisebread.com Preparing for a Recession http://www.wisebread.com/preparing-for-a-recession <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/preparing-for-a-recession" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy-bank-5306352-small.jpg" alt="piggy bank" title="piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't know if a recession is coming. Nobody does. We may dodge the bullet for a while. On the other hand, the economy may already be in recession. You don't need to know the future, though, to make some wise moves.</p> <p>Recessions hit everybody differently, so we'll take a look at how things tend to play out for people in different situations. First, though, it helps to understand what a recession is. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-recession-glossary-1">The Recession Glossary</a>)</p> <h2>What Happens in a Recession</h2> <p>A recession is a reduction in the total amount of business done in the economy.</p> <p>When conditions are right for a recession almost anything can set one off &mdash; anything that prompts businesses to decide to produce less, or prompts consumers to decide to buy less. High oil prices, for example, may lead consumers to cut back on food and clothing purchases so they can afford enough gasoline to get to their job. A credit squeeze may force businesses to scale back, because they can't borrow enough to buy all the raw materials they need to keep their factories running at full capacity.</p> <p>Once a recession gets started, it tends to spread. Every business that sells less also buys less &mdash; meaning their suppliers are doing less business. Pretty soon, all those businesses are laying off employees &mdash; meaning a bunch of would-be consumers no longer have any income, so they're buying less as well.</p> <h2>How It Affects You</h2> <p>A slowdown in business hits you directly if you own a business. It hits you one step removed if you work for a business (or want to) &mdash; jobs will be harder to find, raises will be smaller, layoffs will be more common.</p> <p>A lot of people don't work for a business. Some work for governments (federal, state, local). Others work for institutions, large and small: colleges, universities, hospitals, orchestras, art centers, food pantries, land trusts (any of which may be purely independent or government-sponsored to some extent). People who work for governments or institutions are a second step removed from the impact of a recession, but that doesn't make them immune. The decline in business activity always reduces tax receipts to governments, leading to cutbacks especially at the state and local level. A general decline in prosperity often reduces charitable donations, leading to cutbacks at private institutions. Again: fewer jobs, less secure jobs, smaller raises.</p> <p>There are also, of course, people who don't work in the money economy. Putting aside children and non-working spouses (who face the same circumstance as their family breadwinner), I divide these people into two groups &mdash; the ones who are actually out of the money economy (subsistence farmers, freegans, prisoners), and the ones who are are in the money economy but their income doesn't depend on the work they do (the wealthy, retirees, people on welfare).</p> <p>It's an important distinction, because people in the second category are depending on promises &mdash; the income from investments, pensions, social security, welfare, and the like &mdash; which are at best only as sound as the finances of whoever is paying the money. In a recession, that soundness is threatened.</p> <p>If you live on promises, remember that promises get broken &mdash; especially in a recession.</p> <h2>What to Do</h2> <p>So, what can you do to soften the blow if a recession hits?</p> <p><strong>Reduce Your Expenses</strong></p> <p>The first key, whether your income is tied to a business or not, is to <a href="/start-with-recurring-monthly-expenses">reduce fixed expenses</a>. High variable expenses can be tolerated, as long as there's an income stream to pay them. But high fixed expenses will wreck your finances very quickly if the income stream dries up. This means reducing debt and avoid new obligations (fitness center memberships, burglar alarm contracts, etc.). For businesses, it means postponing hiring (hire temps instead) and postponing raises (instead, offer bonuses conditioned on profits).</p> <p><strong>Increase Your Emergency Fund</strong></p> <p>The second key is to <a href="/figuring-the-size-of-your-emergency-fund">boost your emergency fund</a>. A temporary income shortfall doesn't need to become a financial catastrophe, as long as you have enough cash on hand to tide yourself over. Resist the temptation to rely on credit as your emergency fund. It can be tempting to figure that paying down revolving debt frees up part of your credit line for use in a future emergency, but that's not the same as an emergency fund. At any time, but <em>especially during a recession</em>, lenders can cut credit limits, refuse to extend further credit, or simply get out of the business entirely. Have an emergency fund that doesn't depend on someone making you a loan. (After all, the classic reason to tap an emergency fund is when you've just lost your job &mdash; which is exactly the time that a creditor would be especially likely to cut off your credit.)</p> <p><strong>Diversify Your Income</strong></p> <p>The third key is to <a href="/best-investment-yourself">diversify your income sources</a>. If your goal were maximum total income, diversity would probably be the wrong choice. There's almost certainly one income stream that would give you the highest total income if you put all your effort there. The problem is, that's not a stable strategy. A better choice, especially if a recession is in the offing, is to try to arrange several income streams, some of which don't depend too much on a thriving economy.</p> <p><strong>Reduce Your Dependence on Money</strong></p> <p>The fourth key is to <a href="/opting-out-of-the-money-economy">reduce your dependence on money economy</a>. This is the one sure way to protect your family from recession &mdash; provide for their needs without having to spend money. It seems unnatural in today's world for people to grow their own food and make their own clothes, but, to the extent that you can do so, you're in a position to just ignore the ups and downs in the economy. All the other options are just stop-gaps &mdash; they help you keep things together until the economy picks up again. This one actually solves the problem.</p> <h2>Same Strategies, Different Balance</h2> <p>Wise Bread readers will recognize these four strategies as the same core principles that we talk about all the time, so I'm not telling you to do something new. Rather, I'm suggesting that you <em>alter the balance</em>. The downside of all these strategies is that in good economic times they result in a lower standard of living than you could achieve if you followed more mainstream personal finance strategies. In bad economic times, though, these are the winning strategies.</p> <p>In good economic times, a business that refuses to use debt to grow will inevitably fall behind its more aggressive competitors. In bad economic times, the business that avoids debt will survive while the others will fail. For individuals, the calculation leans even more away from debt.</p> <p>On top of that, a recession provides many opportunities for someone with ready cash. When no one else is buying, someone with cash in hand can get some terrific bargains &mdash; enough to catch up with years' worth of &quot;lost opportunities&quot; for growth.</p> <p>We don't know for sure that bad economic times are coming, but the threats to the economy (housing collapse, credit crunch, spiking prices for oil and food) are as great as they've been in a long time, and the potential missed opportunities from an excess of caution are smaller than during a boom.</p> <p>Now is the time to go with these strategies &mdash; accepting the slower growth and lower standards of living that go along with them as a small price to pay for security and a reasonable shot at some big opportunities ahead.</p> <p>Remember, a recession is a time when promises get broken. Business fail, leaving both their debts and their employees unpaid. Tenants don't pay their rent. People who have always paid their bills on time suddenly can't. Sales fall through. Wherever your income comes from, it is at some risk. Arrange things so that you can face that risk.</p> <p><em>Update: The National Bureau of Economic Research, the group that makes the &quot;official&quot; call on the beginnings and ends of recessions, announced on </em><em>December 1st, 2008</em><em> that a recession began in the US in December 2007, the month this post was written.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/preparing-for-a-recession">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/living-within-your-means-isnt-nasty">Living within your means isn&#039;t nasty</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-the-last-person-to-leave-america-please-turn-out-the-light">Could the last person to leave America please turn out the light.</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/stag-hyperinflation">Stag-hyperinflation?</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/peak-debt">Peak Debt</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/recession-depression">Recession Depression</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance depression Economy emergency account how to prepare recession reduce Fri, 28 Dec 2007 17:14:06 +0000 Philip Brewer 1549 at http://www.wisebread.com Broken down? Turn your pencil into a flashlight. http://www.wisebread.com/broken-down-turn-your-pencil-into-a-flashlight <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/742812_pencil_tip.jpg" alt="pencil light" title="pencil light" width="360" height="239" /></p> <p>If there&#39;s one thing I know about travel, it&#39;s be prepared. But it&#39;s sometimes easier said than done. We all know we should carry emergency supplies in the trunk of the car, and one of those essentials is a flashlight. It can help you see the root of the problem under the hood or the beneath the car itself, and obviously it&#39;s invaluable at night. But if you don&#39;t have one, you can still see the light...if you have a pencil!</p> <p>This clever guy shows you, quickly and easily, how to turn a regular pencil into a very bright light using only the pencil, some speaker wire and your battery. Remember it well, it may just save you from a night on the side of the road.</p> <p><embed src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/726251/turn_a_pencil_into_a_light.swf" width="400" height="345" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"></embed> <p><em>Photo by <a href="http://www.sxc.hu/">The Stock Exchange </a></em> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/broken-down-turn-your-pencil-into-a-flashlight">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/dead-car-battery-give-it-a-glass-of-red-wine">Dead car battery? Give it a glass of red wine.</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/are-your-new-tires-really-6-year-old-ticking-time-bombs">Are your new tires really 6-year old ticking time-bombs?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-used-car-salesman-reveals-dirty-tricks-and-how-to-beat-them">A Used Car Salesman Reveals Dirty Tricks (and How to Beat 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/save-more-gas-by-safely-following-trucks">Save More Gas by Safely Following Trucks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-reasons-why-i-love-public-transportation">Five Reasons Why I Love Public Transportation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation breakdowns Cars DIY emergency how to pencil quick fix Sat, 21 Jul 2007 18:31:43 +0000 Paul Michael 875 at http://www.wisebread.com Dead car battery? Give it a glass of red wine. http://www.wisebread.com/dead-car-battery-give-it-a-glass-of-red-wine <!-- google_ad_section_start --><!-- google_ad_section_start --><p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/redwine.jpg" alt="red wine" title="red wine" width="327" height="216" /></p> <p>I love quick fixes for problems. Especially quick fixes that involve alcochol, and let me tell you that this one is pure genius.</p> <p>If you&#39;ve ever done something silly, like leave a dome light on all night, or you just happen to have a battery that&#39;s on its last legs, then you&#39;ll know the sinking feeling of a dead battery. You dashboard panel lights may not even come on, or you get that repetitive cranking that just won&#39;t turn over.</p> <p>Well, a clever wine drinker has figured out that the acids in red wine are just the boost your battery needs to give it some extra juice. The video below explains it all. But from now on, you can absolutely say that drinking red wine is good for you. Maybe every car repair kit should come with a fruity Shiraz?</p> <p><embed src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/703646/car_battery_charged_with.swf" width="400" height="345" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"></embed><br /><font size = 1><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/703646/car_battery_charged_with/">Car Battery Charged With...</a> - <a href='http://www.metacafe.com/'>The most amazing videos are a click away</a></font> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Main photo by <a href="http://flickr.com/photos/archivalproject/">archival</a> . Thanks. </em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --><!-- google_ad_section_end --><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dead-car-battery-give-it-a-glass-of-red-wine">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/broken-down-turn-your-pencil-into-a-flashlight">Broken down? Turn your pencil into a flashlight.</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-the-rich-stay-rich-a-lesson-in-lateral-thinking">How the rich stay rich; a lesson in lateral thinking</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/save-money-on-gas-free-ebook">Save money on gas + free ebook</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/giving-up-your-car-may-be-easier-than-you-think">Giving Up Your Car May Be Easier Than You Think</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-best-cities-for-going-car-free">5 Best Cities for Going Car-Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation automotive battery car car battery how to quick fix tips tricks Thu, 05 Jul 2007 15:13:38 +0000 Paul Michael 809 at http://www.wisebread.com