budgeting http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/503/all en-US 6 Ways to Travel When You Have Student Loans http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-travel-when-you-have-student-loans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-travel-when-you-have-student-loans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_backpack_travel_87628739.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to travel while paying student loans" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Student loans are a reality for millions of recent graduates and even some of us who have been out of school for a while. Americans alone have <a href="https://commonbond.co/blog/average-student-loan-debt-and-student-loan-refinancing/">1.36 trillion dollars</a> of student loan debt. That's second only to U.S. mortgage debt.</p> <p>Don't worry! There are plenty of ways to manage your student debt and continue doing what you love. With these tips, you can get out and spend your time traveling while making all of your payments on time!</p> <h2>1. Take a Look at Your Loans Before You Go</h2> <p>Getting ready for a big trip is actually a very good time to re-evaluate your student loans (and the rest of your finances), especially because it has the potential to save you a lot of money. By <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-refinance-your-student-loan">refinancing your student loans</a> you could save thousands. That's because you may be able to get a better APR, and you can also change the terms of your loan so that your monthly payment feels more manageable.</p> <p>Even a small difference in the interest rate can make a big difference over the time that you're paying off your loan. With <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-private-lenders-that-can-really-save-you-money-on-your-student-loans">online lenders like CommonBond</a>, you can get an APR starting as low as 2.14%. It only takes minutes to fill out the application, and you're under no obligation to change your loan once you get your free quote.</p> <p>That cash you're saving can easily go into your travel fund!</p> <h2>2. Consider Consolidating Your Loans</h2> <p>This second tip is closely linked to the first, since in the process of refinancing your loans, you may also want to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-s-the-difference-between-student-loan-refinancing-and-consolidation">consolidate your loans</a>. This means that if you have multiple student loans, instead of paying, let's say, three separate bills every month, you can combine all of your existing loans into one.</p> <p>Consolidating your loans will help to simplify the payment process for you and reduce the time you spend every month administering and worrying about your loan payments.</p> <p>This is an especially important point for people planning to travel, since you're already going to have a lot of logistics to keep straight. The simpler you can keep your loan payments, the better.</p> <h2>3. Put Things in Perspective &mdash; And Into Your Budget!</h2> <p>It can be paralyzing to think about the total amount of money that you owe, especially if you know you're going to be spending the next 20 years of your life paying it off.</p> <p>It's more helpful to put things in perspective, so once you've refinanced your loans and you have a manageable monthly payment, treat that like you would any other monthly bill that you have to pay.</p> <p>Take it on a month-to-month basis and you won't feel as limited by the amount of money that you owe. When you're making your travel budget, simply factor in the monthly payment that you'll be making into your overall budget for the time you'll be traveling, and set aside that money before you go. That way, you won't feel like you have to scramble for funds at the last minute.</p> <h2>4. Start a Travel Fund</h2> <p>Figure out how much money you can commit to setting aside for travel every month. Then you can set up an automatic transfer into a special bank account that is dedicated just to travel expenses. Even if you're only putting in a few hundred dollars a month, you'll be surprised at how fast these funds can add up over time.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-college-students?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=travel">Best Credit Cards for College Students</a></p> <h2>5. Create a Realistic Budget</h2> <p>You should think about how you like to travel and be honest with yourself. Frugal travel is not for everyone, so you should consider what your priorities are; maybe you will be just as satisfied going on a shorter trip and putting more emphasis on higher-end accommodations and fancy restaurant meals.</p> <p>If these types of comforts or luxuries don't matter to you, you can probably get by with a smaller budget, but on a longer trip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/savor-your-trip-and-save-big-with-these-5-slow-travel-tips">Save Big With These Slow Travel Tips</a>)</p> <p>Budgeting is all about striking a balance that works best for you while being realistic about how much you can afford to spend on your trip. By weighing these decisions before you leave, you'll eliminate a lot of money-related stress so that you can just enjoy your trip, knowing that you've already budgeted in the funds to cover your student loans.</p> <h2>6. Earn Extra Money for Travel</h2> <p>You're probably already getting excited to go, so if you want to speed up the process you can always consider earning a little extra money to cover your travel expenses.</p> <p>It's up to you what skills you have and what kind of work you enjoy, but maybe you want to consider getting a second part-time job and putting the money you earn right into your travel account!</p> <p>Depending on your professional skill set, you can also consider taking on some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">freelance gigs</a>, since they can be very flexible and add a little something extra to your normal paycheck. While you'll have less free time, this also means less time to be out spending money which can be a big help when you're trying to save money. There are also ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-while-you-travel">make money while you&rsquo;re traveling</a>.</p> <h2>Don't Let Debt Stop You</h2> <p>There's no reason to let student debt paralyze you, and there are simple steps you can take if you're passionate about traveling. It will take a bit of good strategy, combined with some hard work and a proper execution of your plan, but if you're willing to put in the time you can really reap the rewards on your next trip (and even at home).</p> <p><a href="http://www.inklingafar.com/"><em>Amanda Gokee</em></a><em>, a writer at </em><a href="http://www.goatsontheroad.com/"><em>Goats On The Road</em></a><em> contributed to this article and helped with some student loan specific information.</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-ways-to-travel-when-you-have-student-loans&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%20Ways%20to%20Travel%20When%20You%20Have%20Student%20Loans.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ways%20to%20Travel%20When%20You%20Have%20Student%20Loans" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Ways%20to%20Travel%20When%20You%20Have%20Student%20Loans.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-travel-when-you-have-student-loans">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/dont-ignore-these-4-things-before-refinancing-your-student-loans">Don&#039;t Ignore These 4 Things Before Refinancing Your Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-private-lenders-that-can-really-save-you-money-on-your-student-loans">3 Private Lenders That Can Really Save You Money on Your Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-s-the-difference-between-student-loan-refinancing-and-consolidation">What’s the Difference Between Student Loan Refinancing and Consolidation?</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-times-student-loan-refinancing-can-save-you-big">4 Times Student Loan Refinancing Can Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-get-trapped-by-these-higher-education-scams">Don&#039;t Get Trapped by These Higher Education Scams</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Travel APR budgeting consolidation debt refinancing strategy student loans travel funds trips Mon, 22 Aug 2016 10:00:13 +0000 Nick Wharton 1775891 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Money Moves to Make Before the Leaves Change http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_fall_leaves_81399473.jpg" alt="Woman making money moves before the leaves change" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As yet another fun summer season winds down, there's no better time than the start of autumn to take a look at our finances to see where we can make adjustments. Consider these 10 money moves to make before the leaves change.</p> <h2>1. Get Back to Budget Reality</h2> <p>Summer activities can put budgeting on the back burner as we spend more and save less over vacation. A little splurging or a savings vacation isn't the end of the world, as long as it isn't a permanent getaway that drains your accounts. With autumn right around the corner, however, now's the time to get back to basics and rein in spending. Summer can be expensive, but you can regain control of your money by coming up with a spending plan that helps you curb impulse buys and save more of your income for a rainy day.</p> <h2>2. Start a Holiday Fund</h2> <p>The beginning of fall means the holiday season is only three months away. As you revamp your budget, start putting money aside for the end of the year. Whether your plans include taking an end-of-the-year vacation or buying gifts for loved ones, early planning can ensure enough cash so that you don't have to rely on credit cards.</p> <h2>3. Ask About Flat-Rate Billing</h2> <p>If your gas or electric bills trigger heart palpitations, talk to your utility company about flat-rate billing. The company looks at your past electricity or gas usage and uses this information to estimate your expected usage over the next year. Based on this estimation, you're charged a flat rate for the next 12 months. Flat-rate billing protects against higher utility bills during the winter and summer months, and as a result, budgeting is easier because you know exactly what you'll owe each month and there are no surprises.</p> <h2>4. Review Your TV Habits</h2> <p>Fall signifies that start of the new prime time television schedule &mdash; one of my favorite parts of the change of seasons. This is an excellent time to evaluate your TV viewing habits to see if you can do without cable, downgrade your package, or otherwise modify your home-entertainment budget to better suit your needs. With so many options these days, you can likely stream many of your favorite shows at a price that's far less than cable.</p> <h2>5. Pay Off Summer Debt</h2> <p>Carrying credit card debt from month-to-month is expensive. If your credit cards took a beating over the summer, come up with a plan to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">eliminate this debt</a>. Give your credit cards a break and pay for everything with cash, and then cut back on unnecessary spending to free up cash in your budget. Use the savings to double or triple your minimum payments and pay off balances sooner. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">5 Day Debt Reduction Plan</a>)</p> <h2>6. Prepare for Colder Days</h2> <p>Temperatures cool down around September and October, so to trim your heating bill, take steps early in the season to keep the heat in and the cold out. This includes replacing missing insulation in the attic, weatherstripping your doors and windows, sealing any cracks around windows and electrical outlets, installing a storm door, hanging heavy drapes, getting a programmable thermostat, and closing your fireplace flue.</p> <h2>7. Check Your Savings Contributions</h2> <p>If summer fun threw off your savings goals, you can play catch-up by taking advantage of your company's retirement plan, or increasing your contributions if you already have a 401K.</p> <p>&quot;An employer may offer to match a percentage or all of your contributions to a retirement account,&quot; says Jim Poolman, retirement expert and executive director of the lndexed Annuity Leadership Council. &quot;Some employers may even contribute to your retirement account each year whether you save or not.&quot; Any employer retirement contribution is considered &quot;free money&quot; and can maximize your savings at any age.</p> <h2>8. Balance Your Portfolio</h2> <p>In addition to contributing or increasing contributions to your company's retirement plan, you should get serious about balancing your portfolio to protect against market shifts. It isn't enough to have a 401K. Poolman suggests adding more conservative, low-risk products, such as fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) to balance your retirement portfolio.</p> <p>This is important as you become older, because a savings strategy that worked in your 20s might not be the right fit in your 30s or 40s.</p> <p>&quot;Assessing your investment mix at different stages in your life is key,&quot; Poolman warns. &quot;When you're young, a higher-risk investment strategy may be more effective, whereas the closer you are to retirement, the more important a low-risk portfolio may be.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Have a Money Talk With Your Partner</h2> <p>It's also important to sit down with your partner and/or a financial planner to review your overall financial picture and determine where you can improve. For example, when was the last time you reviewed your life insurance policy? If you've recently tied the knot, had a baby, or purchased a home, can you increase your coverage? Or if you're self-employed, could you increase contributions and max out your IRA, which can grow your money and help you save on taxes? A yearly review can ensure a firm financial foundation and help you hit your goals.</p> <h2>10. Make Doctor's Appointments</h2> <p>A flexible spending account (FSA) lets you set aside a percentage of your pretax pay for eligible out-of-pocket medical expenses. These accounts effectively reduce health care costs for doctor appointments, prescription medications, vision care, and dental care. You can withdraw funds to pay for covered expenses. The catch, however, is that funds in a flexible spending account must be used in the plan year. Some employers don't allow funds to carry over into the next year, or they only allow employees to carry over $500. If you don't use the money, you lose it. So with three months left in the year, schedule your doctor, dental, and vision appointments to avoid forfeiting your unused balance.</p> <p><em>What steps are you taking to prep your finances for fall?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change">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-5-best-pieces-of-financial-wisdom-from-warren-buffett">The 5 Best Pieces of Financial Wisdom From Warren Buffett</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-money-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-50">5 Money Mistakes to Stop Making by 50</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-personal-finance-letter-id-write-to-my-younger-self">The Personal Finance Letter I&#039;d Write to My Younger Self</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/i-am-doing-well-financially-now-what">I Am Doing Well Financially. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-you-disrespect-your-money">10 Ways You Disrespect Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance advice autumn budgeting debt fall health care money moves organizing paying bills savings seasons Mon, 22 Aug 2016 09:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1775890 at http://www.wisebread.com 19 Frugal (And Easy) Ways to Update an Old Home http://www.wisebread.com/19-frugal-and-easy-ways-to-update-an-old-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/19-frugal-and-easy-ways-to-update-an-old-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_74322623_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="frugal ways to update an old home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even though I have a tight budget for home improvement, my wife and I have been able to make cheap changes that have the neighbors complimenting us on how nice the house looks, and in one case even asking if we replaced the siding and the roof! The truth is that we spent nowhere near the cost of big projects like new siding or a new roof. We spent only a few dollars to make some highly visible changes that made a big impact.</p> <p>So what are these cheap upgrades you can do yourself to make your house look so much better? Here are some of the cheap upgrades I did at my 1980s house over the past two years. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-create-your-dream-backyard-on-a-budget?ref=seealso">How to Create Your Dream Backyard on a Budget</a>)</p> <h2>1. Add an Architectural Mailbox</h2> <p>Our house is at the end of a street with the mailbox right out front. Unfortunately, our faded old mailbox made a terrible first impression with its wasp nests in the newspaper slot, battle scars from having trellis nailed to it, and being overgrown with vines over the years. My wife found a black steel &quot;architectural&quot; mailbox set on clearance and we decided to upgrade. Now we have the fanciest mailbox in the neighborhood for only a few dollars more than the standard plastic mailbox kit that everyone else seems to have.</p> <h2>2. Paint the Front Door</h2> <p>A new front door can cost a few hundred dollars or more. Painting the front door you already have costs about $30. You can add some color to your exterior, and painting your front door can protect it from the elements and make it last longer as well.</p> <h2>3. Paint Shutters</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/painted_shutters.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>My house has vinyl decorative shutters on each side of the windows, but they were looking faded. We were able to easily take them down, paint them, and replace them since they are attached with screws. We painted the shutters a bold color to add some interest and make the windows more prominent.</p> <h2>4. Hide Ugly Utilities</h2> <p>The central air conditioning unit, gas regulator, and other utilities are installed right at the front of our house, probably because it is at the end of a street. My wife built a low fence about eight feet wide out of cedar pickets in front of the utility stuff, and stained it a nice golden color. She hung some flower baskets on the fence posts and installed some nice black steel house numbers on the new fence that match the mailbox. Now instead of seeing ugly utility equipment, you see a nice feature that is coordinated with the house.</p> <h2>5. Replace Front Porch Light</h2> <p>I removed the faded and out-of-style early 1980s porch light next to the front door and replaced it with a modern unit for about $30.</p> <h2>6. Housewash</h2> <p>A neighbor generously offered to let us borrow their power washer for an afternoon, and my wife happily signed me up to take advantage of this offer! We washed the moss, mold, and mildew off of the vinyl siding &mdash; making it look almost new again.</p> <h2>7. Slash and Burn</h2> <p>While doing the other exterior projects, we gathered up several truckloads of clutter from the yard. We hauled the stuff that someone might want to the auction house and hauled the junk to the landfill. The yard had a number of overgrown bushes and flower beds filled with weeds. We pruned back the bushes, weeded the flower beds, and added fresh mulch. Finally, we had a huge bonfire to finish clearing the yard.</p> <h2>8. Install Bathroom Floor Tile</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/bathroom_tile.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>An inexpensive upgrade to the bathroom was to install a porcelain tile floor. We got some tiles on clearance at the local carpet warehouse and installed these on top of cement board that went down right over the old vinyl bathroom floor.</p> <h2>9. Install a One-Piece Toilet</h2> <p>We decided to replace the leaky old toilet with a new one since we had to take it out to install the tile floor anyway. Much like the architectural mailbox, a one-piece toilet is not the cheapest way to go, but it sure adds a lot of style for a few extra dollars.</p> <h2>10. Replace Light Switch Plates</h2> <p>We went around and replaced all of the old faded plastic light switch plates and outlet plates with nice brushed nickel ones. This cost about $5 per plate, but this is a cheap upgrade that adds style and consistency throughout the house.</p> <h2>11. Replace Bathroom Vanity</h2> <p>We found a deal on Craigslist for a bathroom vanity with solid surface top and a built-in sink. It even included the faucet with the sink. This is just what we needed to replace the old bathroom vanity set and provide a nearly instant upgrade. We also installed a new mirror and light above the sink.</p> <h2>12. Install LED Recessed Lights</h2> <p>The old recessed spotlights that are used as primary lighting in much of the house were hot and used a lot of electricity. I replaced all of them with LED recessed light fixtures that will last thousands of hours and use a fraction of the electricity.</p> <h2>13. Replace Light Fixture in Entryway</h2> <p>The old light fixture in the entryway was one of the first things to catch your eye when you walked in the front door. We replaced this with a nice new light fixture that has a glass shade that looks like tile for about $50.</p> <h2>14. Paint Old Light Fixture</h2> <p>In the dining room, we decided to keep the old light fixture, but painted it black with spray paint to make it look more modern. This project cost about $5 for a can of spray paint. This light fixture was installed on an adjustable track, so it could be easily unplugged and taken down for painting. If your fixture is wired-in, you will need to turn power off at the circuit breaker in order to disconnect the wire nuts and take it down safely for painting.</p> <h2>15. Install New Kitchen Sink, Faucet</h2> <p>We picked up a kit at the home improvement store that included a heavy-duty two bowl stainless steel kitchen sink and faucet for under $200. Replacing the stained porcelain sink and leaky faucet fixtures was a great upgrade.</p> <h2>16. Paint Subfloor With Porch Paint</h2> <p>The carpets were stained and worn out, so we removed them and found raw subfloor underneath. Ideally, we would have installed hardwood flooring, but this is quite expensive. Instead, we painted the subfloor with a $30 can of brown porch paint. This was a quick and easy project, and it is easy to touch up any scrapes or scratches that may occur with a bit of porch paint.</p> <h2>17. Paint Tub and Shower Surround</h2> <p>Replacing a bathtub and shower surround would be a big, expensive ordeal. We decided to apply some white epoxy tub paint to our old fiberglass bathtub and surround instead of replacing it. This project cost about $60. I must say that painting the tub and surround with the sticky epoxy paint was a lot of work, and the strong chemical odor of this paint was unpleasant. But hauling out the old bathtub and shower surround and replacing it would have been much more difficult and expensive.</p> <p>We found a replacement kit and installed a new shower faucet and bathtub spout. We also upgraded the shower head with one that provides a bit more pressure. The shiny new plumbing fixtures look sharp against the freshly painted bright white tub and shower surround.</p> <h2>18. Paint Interior Walls</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/painted_walls_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>My wife led the charge in painting the interior walls. The walls were a faded off-white color. now they are several colors including a modern light gray, dark blue, green, and orange. Putting some modern color on the walls is a cheap way to make an older house look more modern.</p> <h2>19. Install Closet Organizers</h2> <p>We installed closet organizer kits in all of the bedroom closets, adding more places to hang clothes and additional shelves to amplify storage. I changed the light bulbs in the closets to cool white LED bulbs to better show the color of clothes and avoid the possibility of something falling against a hot incandescent light bulb and catching on fire.</p> <p><em>What are the best frugal home upgrades that you have done? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-frugal-and-easy-ways-to-update-an-old-home">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-dumb-ways-youre-going-to-waste-money-this-summer">9 Dumb Ways You&#039;re Going to Waste Money This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-50-money-moves-you-need-to-make-when-big-changes-happen">Flashback Friday: 50 Money Moves You Need to Make When Big Changes Happen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-create-your-dream-backyard-on-a-budget">How to Create Your Dream Backyard on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-47-best-back-to-school-shopping-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: 47 Best Back-to-School Shopping Hacks Ever</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Home budgeting decor frugal living frugal repairs home improvement Home repair home updates Wed, 17 Aug 2016 10:30:18 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1773895 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 50 Money Moves You Need to Make When Big Changes Happen http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-50-money-moves-you-need-to-make-when-big-changes-happen <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-50-money-moves-you-need-to-make-when-big-changes-happen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_holding_cash_91828121.jpg" alt="Woman making money moves when big changes happen" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You wanna win at life? Be flexible. Learn how to adapt to change. Because life is long and change is inevitable. And when you're facing a major shift in your daily routine, it might be time to reevaluate your money. Here are all the money moves you need to make when big changes happen.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock_000077659843_Large.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired?ref=fbf">11 Financial Moves to Make the Moment You Get Fired</a> &mdash; Getting fired sucks, and at some point, it happens to a lot of us. Lessen the blow by being financially prepared in case you walk into work one day and walk out with your stuff in a box.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion?ref=fbf">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a> &mdash; If you work hard and stay focused, chances are you'll get promoted. So when you get a pay bump and a new corner office, make sure your money goals reflect your new success.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_happy_credit_card_000089299163.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-your-credit-cards-are-paid-off?ref=fbf">9 Money Moves to Make the Moment Your Credit Cards Are Paid Off</a> &mdash; Reaching debt-free status with your credit cards is everyone's goal, and it's a good one to strive for. So once you reach it, you need to put a plan in place to keep that money momentum going. Otherwise, you'll end up right back where you started.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-retire?ref=fbf">12 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Retire</a> &mdash; Before you leave the workforce and become an official retiree, examine your savings and confirm that you won't ever have to work again. That's what retirement is all about, right?</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/friends_hands_heart_29104258.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-married?ref=fbf">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Married</a> &mdash; Weddings are expensive, and deciding to share your life with another person can bring about all kinds of major money choices. Make sure you're both on the same page, and are set up for a blissful partnership.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-divorced?ref=fbf">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Divorced</a> &mdash; Not everyone will end up divorced, but if you find yourself in this boat, it's definitely a good time to make sure your finances are in order. Divorce is stressful and heartbreaking enough, so ensure your financial sanity by planning and protecting yourself from ending up broke.</p> <p><em>What other money moves should you make throughout your life? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-50-money-moves-you-need-to-make-when-big-changes-happen">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-72-brilliant-ways-to-stretch-20">Flashback Friday: 72 Brilliant Ways to Stretch $20</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-45-life-lessons-youd-give-to-your-younger-self">Flashback Friday: 45 Life Lessons You&#039;d Give to Your Younger Self</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-47-best-back-to-school-shopping-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: 47 Best Back-to-School Shopping Hacks Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-84-reasons-to-be-done-with-summer-and-get-excited-for-fall">Flashback Friday: 84 Reasons to Be Done With Summer and Get Excited for Fall</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/9-dumb-ways-youre-going-to-waste-money-this-summer">9 Dumb Ways You&#039;re Going to Waste Money This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting budgeting fbf finances flashback friday frugal living money moves personal finance smart Fri, 12 Aug 2016 10:00:14 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1770843 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Apps for Busy Working Parents http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-apps-for-busy-working-parents <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-apps-for-busy-working-parents" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_baby_phone_43606458.jpg" alt="Mom using apps for busy working parents" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Working parents need to maximize their time in order to be most efficient. These apps will help working moms and dads better manage kids' routines, plan family outings, and manage family budgets effectively.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-money-apps-for-kids?ref=seealso">10 Fun Money Apps for Kids</a></p> <h2>1. Happy Kids Timer</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/KidTimer_02.PNG" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Having a hard time keeping kids on schedule, especially in the mornings? <a href="http://www.kidssmartzone.com/">HappyKidsTimer</a> is an app your kids use to help them manage their daily morning routines, like making their beds, getting dressed, brushing their teeth, and so forth. The app features timers and fun incentives to help your kids get on their way.</p> <p>Available for Android and iOS.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-basic-manners-you-must-teach-your-kids?ref=seealso">10 Basic Manners You Must Teach Your Kids</a></p> <h2>2. KidsEatFree</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/KidsEatFree.PNG" width="340" height="605" alt="" /></p> <p>Busy parents often don't have time to cook &mdash; and dining out with the whole family gets expensive, fast. Restaurateurs have responded with a variety of kids eat free promotions. Too many, in fact, for busy parents to track. <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kids-eat-free-restaurant-finder/id933114765?mt=8">KidsEatFree</a> is the free app that helps you find free kids' meals nearby, keeping your family on time &mdash; and on budget.</p> <p>Available for iOS.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-and-delicious-meals-to-make-with-your-kids?ref=seealso">10 Frugal and Delicious Meals to Make With Your Kids</a></p> <h2>3. Mint.com</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Mint_AppStore.jpeg" width="341" height="605" alt="" /></p> <p>Speaking of budgets, busy parents need to manage their family's money while they are managing the kiddoes. <a href="https://www.mint.com/">Mint.com</a> remains the gold standard free app for tracking all your spending, paying bills, setting and tracking budgets, and monitoring overall net worth.</p> <p>Available for Android and iOS.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-can-fix-your-finances?ref=seealso">These 5 Apps Can Fix Your Finances</a></p> <h2>4. VarageSale</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/VarageSale_01.PNG" width="340" height="605" alt="" /></p> <p>If you're keen on sticking to your budget, <a href="https://www.varagesale.com/">VarageSale</a> is great for connecting busy parents with others who want to buy or sell used family and children goods. You can make extra cash off your used stroller or crib &mdash; or you can pick up gently used ones for a great price. Look at all the cute outfits!</p> <p>Available for Android and iOS.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-kids-stuff-at-a-consignment-sale?ref=seealso">How to Sell Your Kids' Stuff at a Consignment Sale</a></p> <h2>5. Trekaroo</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Trekaroo.PNG" width="340" height="605" alt="" /></p> <p>Finally, even the busiest, most goal-directed families need some downtime. <a href="http://www.trekaroo.com/">Trekaroo</a> helps hardworking parents plan and budget family outings &mdash; everything from faraway vacations to local day trips. The app finds kid-friendly activities when and where you need them. Even better, each destination includes reviews from other busy parents who've already been, so you can get the inside scoop way before you get there.</p> <p>Available for Android and iOS.</p> <p><em>What are your go-to apps for managing life with kids?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janet-alvarez">Janet Alvarez</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-apps-for-busy-working-parents">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-make-budgeting-fun-no-really">7 Apps That Make Budgeting Fun — No Really!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-smartphone-saves-you-money">8 Ways Your Smartphone Saves You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apple-watch-apps-thatll-save-you-money">8 Apple Watch Apps That&#039;ll Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Technology apps budgeting managing money money management parenting phone phone apps productivity saving money smartphone Tue, 09 Aug 2016 11:00:11 +0000 Janet Alvarez 1768674 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways You Disrespect Your Money http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-you-disrespect-your-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-you-disrespect-your-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cash_trash_can_47150330.jpg" alt="Learning ways you disrespect your money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you look after your money, it will look after you. It's something that financial experts, parents, and countless advice columnists will tell you, and with good reason. Ignore your money, and disrespect your finances, and you will come off worse for wear. But treat your finances with the respect they deserve, and you can look forward to stability, growth, and freedom. So, if you're disrespecting your finances in any of these 10 ways, it's time to put a stop to the behavior, or face the consequences.</p> <h2>1. You Don't Have a Budget</h2> <p>Whether you're flush with money at the end of every month, or you are always scraping to get by, there is no excuse for not having a set budget. You owe it to yourself to know exactly how much money is coming in each month; what the bills are, how much you should be setting aside for retirement and an emergency fund, and what you should be spending on things like food, entertainment, clothing, and so on. Without this budget, you are playing fast and loose with your money, and it can result in some financial hardships that can be avoided. You can also see just where you are spending, and wasting, your hard-earned money.</p> <h2>2. You Don't Store Receipts in an Organized Fashion</h2> <p>It's all well and good to keep every receipt, but if they are all over the house and garage, stuffed into junk drawers and nightstands, they aren't much good when you actually need them. It does not take a lot of work to have an organized receipt folder. Just purchase an alphabetized concertina folder, and place your receipts in the appropriate section each time you get home. Go through it every few months to remove receipts that are no longer needed (although if they are for tax reasons, keep them&hellip;for years). You can also scan your receipts and save them digitally. This saves room and makes them even easier to organize and reference.</p> <h2>3. You Max Out Your Credit Cards</h2> <p>Some people will tell you credit cards are just free money. These people have no respect for credit, and how it should be used. Credit cards, when used responsibly, are a fabulous way to securely pay for goods and services, giving you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">purchase insurance</a>, fraud protection, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">cash back</a> or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">travel rewards</a>. But if you don't use them correctly, you will pay the price.</p> <p>By <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oops-i-maxed-out-my-credit-cards-now-what?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">maxing out a credit card</a> (or many cards) you are damaging your credit, and you are running up huge interest charges. Some people can only afford to pay the minimum, and when that happens, it can take years (or even decades) to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">pay the balance off</a>. Use credit cards as a tool, but make sure you pay as much off as possible (ideally, bring the balance to $0 with each payment) to reap the rewards.</p> <h2>4. You Keep Spending the Equity in Your Home</h2> <p>Right now, the housing market is in pretty good shape. That means many of us owe considerably less on our mortgage than the home is worth, and that means equity. Lovely, lovely equity. Hey, it means the investment paid off, and you can take out a home-equity loan to pay off debt, make home improvements, or go on lavish vacations. Well, not so fast. A lot of people made that mistake the last time the housing market flourished, only to see house prices crash, and ended up with a mortgage that cost more than the home was worth. Your house should not be a piggy bank. If it's an emergency, and there is plenty of equity, it's certainly an option to take a little out to pay for something you need. But dipping into that equity too often, or spending it all, can lead to financial heartache.</p> <h2>5. You Live a Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget</h2> <p>No matter how much money you have coming in each month, if you are spending more than you earn, this applies to you. Sure, you like the name-brand goods and fashions, and you must have your Starbucks every morning. But if your budget does not support that kind of spending, you are racking up debt that will have to be paid back sooner or later. It's possible you once had that bigger budget, but now have less due to a major life event (getting divorced, for instance). Sadly, you have to adjust. No more expensive pedicures and massages. No more fancy dinners that cost a small fortune. Your budget will dictate where you can go, how often you go, and how much you can spend. Listen to it. Ignore it, and you'll be in real trouble.</p> <h2>6. You Are Not Saving Regularly</h2> <p>This is not about saving money on deals and bargains, but rather, putting money away for the future. Every financial planner will tell you to pay yourself first, and it's good advice. Whether it's a 401K, an IRA, a savings account, an emergency fund, or ideally, all of them, you need to get into the habit now of squirreling away your money. Right now, time is your friend. The longer you have to go to retirement, the more money you can accumulate through compound interest. What's more, if anything bad were to happen that required access to quick cash, that emergency fund or savings account will be invaluable. Of course, it's easier said than done. Many Americans simply cannot afford to put money away each month, and something like an unexpected bill for $400 can put so many people in real trouble. Analyze your finances. Look at every cent coming in, and going out. Where can you cut back, to save money for tomorrow?</p> <h2>7. You Don't Have a Calendar of Bills and Payments</h2> <p>Many of us do the old &quot;set it and forget it.&quot; Basically, we set up automatic bill payments, linked to a checking account or credit card, and let the automated system do the rest. This is great for avoiding late fees, but it can also be hazardous if you don't have a clear picture of your finances. If you set up a spreadsheet or simple Word doc, outlining all of the bills you have to pay each month, cross-referenced with when you get paid, you will see any potential issues that could arise. Can you schedule some of the payments to fall a day or two after you get paid, rather than a week before? Do you have a lot of bills coming out on one day? Are you cutting it a little too close with the mortgage, or paying late fees? This will all become clear on a financial calendar.</p> <h2>8. You Don't Check Your Accounts Daily</h2> <p>Checking accounts, credit card accounts, and all other sources of money should be checked at least once a day. This takes just a few minutes, but it can make all the difference. You may have several auto-debits come out at once, leaving your balance precariously low. You may be the victim of credit card fraud, which if left unchecked can spiral out of control. From spotting suspicious activity, to simply monitoring the credits and debits on each account, get into the habit of checking your accounts every day.</p> <h2>9. You Ignore Your Debt</h2> <p>Most of us have debt. Let's face it, who can afford to put down $400,000 in cash on a new home, or $45,000 on a new car? However, if it's all kept under control, and there is a plan in place to pay everything off, you're good to go. Problems arise when people accumulate a lot of debt from many different sources, and then choose the &quot;head in the sand&quot; approach. It's scary to acknowledge a lot of debt, and even scarier to figure out how to pay it off. So, why not just ignore it, pay the minimums, and smile? Well, ignoring debt is like ignoring the hungry wolf that is sat in the corner of the room with you. At some point, it will attack you, so you better have a plan on how to deal with it before that happens.</p> <h2>10. You Don't Check You Credit Score and Reports</h2> <p>In America, your credit score can be life altering. If it's high, especially in the 800s, you get amazing offers, low APRs, and a whole world of options. If it's low, you can be denied even the most basic offers, and may not be able to live with things many of us take for granted. Checking your credit reports is free, and should be done regularly to ensure you spot inaccuracies. Go to <a href="https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action">AnnualCreditReport.com</a> and request yours (not freecreditreport.com, which is NOT actually free). You should also know what your specific credit score is, and this can be found via <a href="https://www.creditkarma.com">CreditKarma.com</a> (again, totally free). Also, the three different credit-reporting agencies &mdash; Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian &mdash; should also be able to supply this to you.</p> <p><em>In what ways do you respect your money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-you-disrespect-your-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/8-financial-wake-up-calls-and-how-to-deal-with-them">8 Financial Wake Up Calls — And How to Deal With Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change">10 Money Moves to Make Before the Leaves Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-terrible-money-situations-you-need-to-stop-getting-yourself-into">6 Terrible Money Situations You Need to Stop Getting Yourself Into</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-reasons-youre-bad-at-money-and-how-to-fix-it-asap">8 Reasons You&#039;re Bad at Money — And How to Fix It ASAP</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-back-on-track-when-youre-behind-on-your-bills">How to Get Back on Track When You&#039;re Behind on Your Bills</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance bills budgeting debt disrespectful going broke living beyond means money overspending receipts respect Mon, 08 Aug 2016 09:00:09 +0000 Paul Michael 1767032 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 47 Best Back-to-School Shopping Hacks Ever http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-47-best-back-to-school-shopping-hacks-ever <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-47-best-back-to-school-shopping-hacks-ever" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kid_glasses_books_52890860.jpg" alt="Kid sharing best back to school shopping hacks ever" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As soon as the lattes go from iced to hot and pumpkin spice-flavored, you know it's time to load up on school supplies. But back-to-school shopping doesn't need to be a pricey excursion. You just need to head to the pen aisle armed with a plan, and some clever tricks of the shopping trade. Here are the 47 best back-to-school shopping hacks we've ever shared.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock_70676425_MEDIUM.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-supplies-right-now?ref=fbf">The 8 Best Ways to Save on Back-to-School Supplies Right NOW</a> &mdash; The back-to-school sales have just begun, so make sure you take advantage of the deals going on now. Because the closer we get to September, you run the risk of the best supplies going out of stock.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales?ref=fbf">How to Find the Best Back to School Sales</a> &mdash; Not all sales are going to be worth your time, so it's important to know which stores to shop in person, and which sales to shop online. This guide will serve as your back-to-school map for success!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/man_office_supplies_75992729.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-everybody-saves-during-back-to-school?ref=fbf">8 Ways Everybody Saves During Back-to-School</a> &mdash; Just because you're no longer in school doesn't mean you don't need new supplies in the fall. So here are eight ways to maximize your back-to-school shopping, grownup-style.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-for-back-to-school-shopping?ref=fbf">5 Best Credit Cards for Back to School Shopping</a> &mdash; Shopping is fun, but getting money back after a shopping trip is even better. Use the right credit card (like any of the ones here) and you can actually end up with money back in your wallet after your shopping trip.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/child_back_to_school_000038781424.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-back-to-school-shopping-hacks-for-big-savings?ref=fbf">6 Back-to-School Shopping Hacks for Big Savings</a> &mdash; Believe it or not, you can save mega bucks by shopping alone, avoiding &trade; cartoon characters, price matching advertised deals, and more!</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-back-to-school-shopping-tips-for-the-busy-parent?ref=fbf">12 Back-to-School Shopping Tips for the Busy Parent</a> &mdash; It's hard to find the time for back-to-school shopping when you're a busy parent. But these tips will help you make the most of your time, and get everything you need, also at the right price for your budget!</p> <p><em>What are some other back-to-school shopping hacks? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-47-best-back-to-school-shopping-hacks-ever">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-50-money-moves-you-need-to-make-when-big-changes-happen">Flashback Friday: 50 Money Moves You Need to Make When Big Changes Happen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-supplies-right-now">The 8 Best Ways to Save on Back-to-School Supplies Right NOW</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-84-reasons-to-be-done-with-summer-and-get-excited-for-fall">Flashback Friday: 84 Reasons to Be Done With Summer and Get Excited for Fall</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-use-google-alerts-to-save-money">6 Ways to Use Google Alerts to Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-yourself-for-100-or-less">10 Ways to Improve Yourself for $100 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping back-to-school back-to-school shopping budgeting fbf flashback friday frugal living school supplies shopping Fri, 05 Aug 2016 10:00:07 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1766502 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Improve Yourself for $100 or Less http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-yourself-for-100-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-improve-yourself-for-100-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_51778846_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="reinvent yourself for less than $100" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,&quot; wrote Founding Father Benjamin Franklin. While it may be true that opportunity doesn't knock on your door that often, it's true that you'll only make the most of the good times when you're truly prepared.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are many ways to reinvent yourself for under one Benjamin! Ranging from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-career-moves-youll-never-regret">career growth</a> to personal finance to personal growth, here's a list of 10 inexpensive investments in one's own self.</p> <h2>Career Growth</h2> <p>Franklin said it best, &quot;An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.&quot; Put that $100 (or even less!) toward improving your chances of landing a promotion.</p> <h3>1. Invest in a Lynda.com Membership</h3> <p>One of the secrets to getting ahead in any career is to become familiar with the requirements of the job you want, and determine what skills you need to develop in order to thrive in that dream job.</p> <p>For example, I wanted to land more social media management projects, but kept getting turned down because I didn't know basic Adobe Photoshop skills. Most clients look for a freelancer who can create or edit images with this software. That's why I set aside about $75 for a three-month subscription to <a href="http://www.lynda.com">Lynda.com</a> and learned not only the basics of Photoshop, but also picked up some intermediate skills. You can pay from $24.99 (unlimited access to the subscription library of courses) or $34.99 (unlimited access to the subscription library of courses plus ability to download project files) on a month-to-month basis until you're able to become proficient in the skills you need.</p> <h3>2. Buy Your Name as a Domain</h3> <p>Give yourself a professional look by directing your potential clients or employers to YourName.com instead of wix.com/xY7893b40. Not only are domains that use names easier to share and remember, but they also allow you to keep a consistent look. Your email and URL will share the same domain name. If your name is already taken, then try sensible alternatives. Most basic domain packages start at $10 per year.</p> <h3>3. Get a Professional Headshot</h3> <p>The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) clearly states that &quot;<a href="https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/practices/">employers should not ask for a photograph</a> of an applicant.&quot; However, the reality is that you'll run into plenty of instances that you will need a professional headshot. Ranging from social media presences to promotion announcements in the local newspaper to opportunities to contribute to a trade journal, a great headshot will positively contribute to your career. Prices vary per city, so do your homework. Don't forget to check with your HR department if they provide such a service and contact your photography friends for some references.</p> <h3>4. Enroll in a Non-Credit Program at Local College</h3> <p>If learning online isn't your cup of tea, a great alternative is to enroll in a non-credit course at your local university or community college. For example, the University of Hawaii at Manoa Outreach College offers non-credit workshops <a href="http://www.outreach.hawaii.edu/noncredit/courses/parent/34#Social%20Media">starting at $50</a>. By enrolling in such a course, you become eligible for the <a href="http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8863.pdf">Lifetime Learning Credit</a>, allowing you to deduct up to 20% of your first $10,000 in qualified education expenses, up to $2,000 per taxpayer. Depending on your income, you could complete college-level courses for free through this tax credit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-skip-these-8-tax-breaks-for-students?ref=seealso">Don't Skip These 8 Tax Breaks for Students</a>)</p> <h2>Personal Finance</h2> <p>&quot;Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship,&quot; warned Franklin. Here are three ways to spot some of those little expenses (and debts!) that can truly add up over time.</p> <h3>5. Set a $100 Food Budget for One Week</h3> <p>If you're constantly wondering &quot;where did my paycheck go?&quot; it's time to start taking control of your expenses. One great way to start this task is to limit yourself to only $100 for food for one week and see what happens. Writer Hillary Hoffower took on this challenge and she ended up surprising herself by spending only <a href="http://www.careercontessa.com/conversations/100-dollar-weekly-budget/">$99.88 in one week</a>! By keeping track of your food expenses, you'll spot opportunities for saving, such as those daily $4 Starbucks lattes, and improve your budgeting skills.</p> <h3>6. Allocate Some Investments to Index Funds</h3> <p>One way to improve the performance of your investment or retirement saving accounts is to allocate a portion of your actively managed accounts, such as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-top-mutual-funds-for-income-investors">mutual funds</a> or target-date funds, into index funds. Here's why: The average expense ratio across all funds was <a href="https://news.morningstar.com/pdfs/2015_fee_study.pdf">0.64% in 2014</a>. That means that you would pay $64 per year for every $10,000 you were to invest.</p> <p>On the other hand, the average expense ratio for exchange-traded index funds was closer to <a href="http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/032715/when-expense-ratio-considered-high-and-when-it-considered-low.asp">0.25%</a>! That means a nice 60% drop on average investment fees. There are some index funds, such as those from Vanguard, that have even lower expense ratios. Those investment cost savings can mean the difference between reaching and missing your target investment.</p> <h3>7. Order Your Free Annual Credit Report</h3> <p>To prevent identity theft and have a full picture of your credit history, request your credit report every 12 months at <a href="http://www.annualcreditreport.com">AnnualCreditReport.com</a>. Federal law requires each of three consumer credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to provide you a free credit report. Order your free credit report every 12 months so that you can double check that only the accounts and loans that you applied for are there. If you find an issue with your credit report, you can submit a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) <a href="http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/#credit-report">online</a> or by calling (855) 411-CFPB (2372).</p> <h2>Personal Growth</h2> <p>Personal development is a lifelong process. Here are some frugal ideas to help you maximize your potential.</p> <h3>8. Improve Your Public Speaking With Toastmasters International</h3> <p>Becoming a more effective communicator and finding your own voice are both important parts of personal growth. First established in 1924, non-profit educational organization Toastmasters helps its members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills. Total annual fees generally range from <a href="https://www.toastmasters.org/Membership/Facts-for-First-Timers">$74 to $92</a> per year.</p> <h3>9. Develop a Hobby</h3> <p>There are many theories about self-actualization, and many of them share a common belief in the need to remain enthusiastic about the future. One way to become enthused and energize your body is to develop a hobby. Choose an activity that provides you an opportunity to break a sweat, improve a skill, or strengthen bonds with family or friends. From a pair of dumbbells to a chessboard, there are plenty of hobbies that are under $100.</p> <h3>10. Slow Down Through Meditation</h3> <p>While stress is a natural part of life, it's important to keep it in check. It has been estimated that <a href="http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/effects-of-stress-on-your-body">43% of all adults</a> suffer adverse health effects from stress and that 75% to 90% of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints. You need to slow down, and one easy way to achieve this is through meditation. Skip the yoga pants and incense candles and use <a href="http://www.calm.com">Calm.com</a> site and app (available for <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/calm-meditate-relax-guided/id571800810?mt=8">iOS</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.calm.android&amp;hl=en">Android</a>) to guide you. This free service teaches you the skill of meditation so that you can reduce stress and improve your sleeping.</p> <p><em>What are other ways to reinvent yourself under $100? Share with us!</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-yourself-for-100-or-less">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-47-best-back-to-school-shopping-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: 47 Best Back-to-School Shopping Hacks Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-use-google-alerts-to-save-money">6 Ways to Use Google Alerts to Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-50-money-moves-you-need-to-make-when-big-changes-happen">Flashback Friday: 50 Money Moves You Need to Make When Big Changes Happen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-underwater-watches">The 5 Best Underwater Watches</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-exercise-mats">The 5 Best Exercise Mats</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping budgeting career building frugal living improve yourself makeover personal finance shopping Wed, 03 Aug 2016 10:30:08 +0000 Damian Davila 1764815 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Common Weekend Money Traps (And How to Avoid Them) http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-weekend-money-traps-and-how-to-avoid-them <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-common-weekend-money-traps-and-how-to-avoid-them" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_69330627_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="don&#039;t get sucked into these weekend money traps" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even though weekends are only a small portion of the week, it seems like I spend a lot more money on those two days than I do on the other five days. Why? I think having unstructured time and wanting to do things with my family makes it easy to go off the rails of my budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-cheap-or-free-ways-to-make-the-most-of-the-weekend?ref=seealso">40+ Cheap or Free Ways to Make the Most of the Weekend</a>)</p> <p>Here are some of the worst weekend money traps &mdash; and how to avoid them.</p> <h2>1. The Movie Theater</h2> <p>Even if there is nothing great to watch, people like going to the movies to have something to do for a few hours. This can be especially tempting if you have lots of time on your hands and your family is bored. But the cost of movie tickets plus popcorn and other expensive snacks will quickly deplete the funds you work so hard during the week to earn.</p> <p><strong>How to avoid:</strong> Watch a movie at home via streaming or rent from Redbox instead of going to the movie theater.</p> <h2>2. The Car Lot</h2> <p>A weekend activity that seems like free entertainment is going to the car lot just to look. The problem is, looking is how the car buying cycle starts. You see newer, nicer cars than the car you have with cool new features and this gets you to start thinking about upgrading. You could even get talked into taking a test drive with a skilled salesperson and end up buying a car that you weren't planning to buy, resulting in thousands of dollars of unplanned spending.</p> <p><strong>How to avoid:</strong> Wait until you are ready to buy a car and set a budget to go car shopping. And instead of looking at cars, spend some time working on the car you already have. Wash it, vacuum it, check the air pressure in the tires, check the fluid levels, and even change the oil and oil filter if you are mechanically inclined.</p> <h2>3. The Mall</h2> <p>I fell into this weekend money trap last weekend. I wanted to take the family for a walk in the mall since it was hot and humid outside. By the time we headed home, I was carrying a bag filled with video games that erased most of the money I earned working on Friday.</p> <p><strong>How to avoid:</strong> Go grocery shopping instead of shopping at a mall or sporting goods store. You can have a shopping experience, but you will be buying things you need. Plus, having a fresh supply of groceries to kick off the weekend can help you avoid another money trap &mdash; dining out.</p> <h2>4. Restaurants</h2> <p>With all of the free time that people have on weekends, there are many opportunities to go out to eat. It's easy to spend $10 per person for breakfast or lunch, or $15 per person for dinner. You could easily buy enough groceries to last all weekend and then some for the cost of going out to eat just once.</p> <p><strong>How to avoid:</strong> Have a plan for what meals you will make at home Saturday and Sunday, and try not to be out and about at mealtime, or on an empty stomach.</p> <h2>5. Open Houses</h2> <p>Another example of a weekend activity that seems like free entertainment is to go look at houses for sale. Chances are, you won't be inspired to run out and buy a house. But you might get ideas for upgrades and expensive projects for your current house that you didn't even know you needed until you checked out new house.</p> <p><strong>How to avoid:</strong> Don't go house shopping unless you need to move.</p> <h2>6. The Furniture Store</h2> <p>Furniture stores make it so easy to buy furniture. If you don't have money or credit, this is not a problem &mdash; you can get store credit on the spot. If the furniture won't fit in your vehicle, you can get free delivery. If you don't like the color of the floor model, you can order whatever color you like. Also, it seems like the furniture store is always having some sort of major sale to make you feel like you should buy now to get the best price. But do you really want to spend a month's salary on a new couch?</p> <p><strong>How to avoid:</strong> If you need furniture, check out used furniture at a consignment shop, thrift shop, and Craigslist instead of looking at new furniture. Used furniture can cost 90% less than new furniture.</p> <h2>7. Big Ticket Events</h2> <p>Every few years, my wife gets me tickets to go to a college football game. It's incredible how expensive it is to go to a big event like this! The tickets are expensive. The food and refreshments are expensive. Even getting to the stadium is expensive &mdash; you can pay to park near the stadium, or you can park for free and pay for transportation from the parking area to the stadium. And there are lots of opportunities to buy jerseys, posters, footballs, and other souvenirs. In addition to college or professional sports, other expensive weekend events include rock concerts and theater productions.</p> <p><strong>How to avoid:</strong> I try to go to big events only a few times a year, at the most. It's a lot cheaper to catch the big game or other events on TV at home, and you get a better view of the action as well.</p> <h2>8. The Weekend Roadtrip</h2> <p>Taking a road trip can be an expensive way to spend the weekend. It costs about $5 per hour to cruise down the highway in a car, just for gas. The cost of gas and wear and tear on your vehicle is often just the beginning. You'll likely eat most or all of your meals at gas station convenience stores or fast food places while you are on the road, taking a toll on both your bank account and your waistline. If you are on an overnight trip, a hotel stay can easily cost $75 or more.</p> <p><strong>How to avoid:</strong> Take a fuel efficient vehicle, bring food from home with you, and stay with friends or family instead of staying at a hotel to reduce the cost of taking a road trip.</p> <p><em>What are your weekend money traps? How do you avoid them? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-weekend-money-traps-and-how-to-avoid-them">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-ways-summer-will-cost-you">7 Surprising Ways Summer Will Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-save-money-when-getting-your-drink-on">15 Ways to Save Money When Getting Your Drink On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">12 Personal Finance 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/8-reasons-frugal-families-love-boardgame-night">8 Reasons Frugal Families Love Boardgame Night</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Entertainment activities budgeting entertainment money traps saving money weekend fun weekend plans Fri, 22 Jul 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1756948 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Waste Your Money on These 6 Workout Snacks http://www.wisebread.com/dont-waste-your-money-on-these-6-workout-snacks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-waste-your-money-on-these-6-workout-snacks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_91874357_LARGE.jpg" alt="don&#039;t waste money on these workout snacks" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The fitness industry tends to insist that you need all kinds of &quot;fuel&quot; in order to build muscle and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-avoid-workout-burnout">get through your workouts</a>. But a lot of workout snacks on the market are processed, pricey, and totally unnecessary. So rather than wasting your money on expensive workout snacks, know which ones to skip, and how to make quality versions at home using real ingredients.</p> <h2>1. Protein Powder Shakes</h2> <p>For the average joe, protein supplements &mdash; most often sold as powders that consumers can add to smoothies and shakes &mdash; are <a href="http://www.livescience.com/8086-protein-supplement-myth-revealed-body-work.html">a royal waste of money</a>. There's mounting evidence that you don't need protein supplementation unless you are a professional-level athlete, or suffering from starvation. All told, these powders offer the average person's body very little benefit.</p> <p>You do need protein when you exercise, especially if you're trying to build muscle, but the average diet provides all the protein you need. If you're looking for a little extra fuel, try edamame. This soybean is packed with protein, magnesium, fiber, and B vitamins that help the body power up to its full potential.</p> <h2>2. Boxed Coconut Water</h2> <p>Despite claims of &quot;100% coconut water&quot; or &quot;all natural,&quot; even the best of boxed coconut water is made from a reconstituted concentrate. To make the product shelf-stable, boxed coconut water makers heat up fresh, raw coconut water and reduce it to a syrup, which they later add water to before packaging. The heating process denatures the beneficial enzymes, stripping not only the beverage's nutritional content, but also much of the flavor.</p> <p>Instead of the boxed brands, drink real raw coconut water straight from the nut. Low in calories and high in electrolytes, coconut water &mdash; the real stuff &mdash; is <a href="http://healthandwellness.kaplan.edu/articles/nutrition/Coconut%20water%20-%20Is%20it%20really%20natures%20sport%20drink.html">nature's sports drink</a>. It will keep you hydrated and fueled during and after your workout.</p> <h2>3. Individually Packaged Snacks</h2> <p>One-serving snacks, such as pre-packaged health bars, mixed nut assortments, and dried fruit, will often <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Business/waste-money-grocery-store/story?id=39206951">cost you double</a> for the convenient size. Is it really worth paying twice as much money for a bunch of nuts just to get the tidy, but environmentally wasteful packaging? Energy bars in particular are rife with calories &mdash; as many as some candy bars. And you can make your own trail mix for far cheaper than the pre-made varieties.</p> <p>Instead, buy in bulk and use reusable tupperware to cart around one serving at a time.</p> <h2>4. Peanut Butter</h2> <p>Even the &quot;natural&quot; stuff contains add-ins such as glycerin to keep the oil from pooling at the top of the jar, hydrogenated oil for creaminess, or sugar for taste. Very rarely are you getting <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/06/natural-peanut-butter/488237/">pure peanut butter</a> &mdash; just nuts with, perhaps, a touch of salt &mdash; no matter what the label tells you.</p> <p>Instead of betting on the jarred stuff for your dose of good fats and protein, stick with raw nuts. This way, you know for sure what you're getting. Nuts are high in calories that can help you rev up your energy level when you don't have time for a more substantial meal. A cup of almonds, for example, contains enough fuel to power your body through a five-mile run. It's also a power snack with presidential approval. President Barack Obama reportedly eats exactly seven almonds each night.</p> <h2>5. Gel Packs</h2> <p>Unless you're putting in more than 90 minutes of cardiovascular training each day, you don't need to be slurping up those tiny energy gel packets while you bench press or jog an eight-miler. These <a href="http://nutritionfacts.org/2013/09/24/raisins-vs-energy-gels-for-athletic-performance/">sugar-saturated snacks</a> are made to restore depleted glycogen stores. But your glycogen stores aren't actually getting depleted unless you're very athletic.</p> <p>Instead, go for a fistful of raisins. Research shows that this dried fruit is just as effective at enhancing athletic performance. But, unlike the numerous brands of energy gel packets on the market, they don't run the risk of throwing your blood sugar levels off-balance.</p> <h2>6. Store-Bought Fruit Smoothies</h2> <p>Don't get me wrong, smoothies can be the ultimate workout snack. Just not the kind that's made to be shelf-stable at your local market. These pre-made smoothies are often chock full of added sugars, fats, and preservatives, which means you're getting much less nutritional content as you would if the smoothie were freshly made.</p> <p>Instead, opt for a homemade fruit smoothie, or simply grab a piece or two of fresh, whole fruit. Citrus fruits such as oranges are chock full of natural sugars capable of boosting your energy to keep you moving. And <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/419220-why-do-athletes-eat-bananas/">bananas will give you energy</a> as well as endurance. Studies show that eating a banana before and during prolonged periods of exercise will help your body maintain its peak performance level throughout the workout. This potassium-rich fruit also prevents bone density loss, fights off cramping, and helps keep your muscles functioning normally. And it makes for a great base ingredient in any smoothie.</p> <p><em>Any other workout snacks that are a total waste of money? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-waste-your-money-on-these-6-workout-snacks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-green-workout">The Ultimate &quot;Green&quot; Workout</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-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money">5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-more-quick-tips-and-tricks-for-better-posture">7 More Quick Tips and Tricks for Better Posture</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cheapest-way-to-get-fit-and-strong-in-30-days-or-less">The Cheapest Way to Get Fit and Strong in 30 Days or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-eating-these-6-things-your-diet-is-doing-nothing">If You&#039;re Eating These 6 Things, Your &quot;Diet&quot; Is Doing Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty budgeting coconut water drinks fitness pre-workout protein powder snacks workout workout snacks Tue, 19 Jul 2016 10:00:14 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1754844 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_62926796_LARGE.jpg" alt="saving thousands from taking one vacation day" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have a list of financial tasks we keep meaning to get to, but between work, family, everyday obligations, and the need for sleep, we just keep putting them off. Whether it's rolling over an old employer 401K or finding cheaper car insurance, you can end up costing yourself hundreds, or even thousands of dollars by procrastinating.</p> <p>However, there is a solution: Use a vacation or personal day as an annual &quot;Money Day&quot; to catch up on all those finance to-dos you keep putting off. You'll have the time to stay on the line with customer service, fill out forms, and get organized &mdash; setting yourself up for a more secure financial future. Here are all the financial boxes you can check off on your annual Money Day.</p> <h2>Negotiate Bills</h2> <p>Phone bills, cable subscriptions, and car insurance can be expensive, eating up a huge part of your budget. However, rather than just gritting your teeth and bearing it, you can negotiate your bill and bring down your cost. Make a list of all of the services and subscriptions you currently pay for, and contact each one. For the introverts who get nervous negotiating over the phone, most companies have an online chat option that will work just as well.</p> <h3>Tell Them You Want to Cancel</h3> <p>Whether you are on the phone or chatting online, be as polite and kind as possible, but firmly let them know you want to cancel because the cost is just too high.</p> <h3>Be Prepared to Deal With the Retention Department</h3> <p>Customer service is likely to transfer you to their sales department or retention department, whose sole goal is to keep you on board. Again, be as friendly as possible, but explain that the monthly bill is more than you can afford. You do not have to give a long script or even say you are looking at other competitors; just noting you cannot afford the price will trigger the next steps.</p> <h3>Continue to Negotiate</h3> <p>They will likely offer you a temporary adjustment, like a promotional three-month offer. Be firm, saying something like, &quot;I'm sorry, I just can't afford this rate. I would need something more permanent.&quot; More than likely, they will come back with a more generous offer, saying they are authorized to give it to you that day. That language indicates it's the best they can do. Ask them to send you an email confirmation with the new agreement and then repeat the process with each service provider you have.</p> <h3>Research Alternatives</h3> <p>In some cases, companies just won't budge, particularly if you have only been a customer for a year or two. If that's the case, use some time during your money day to look up alternatives and get quotes. For instance, services like <a href="https://www.thezebra.com/">The Zebra</a> help you compare rates from multiple car insurers so you can get the most competitive price.</p> <h2>Find and Rollover Retirement Funds</h2> <p>Nearly three million people <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.nr0.htm">quit their jobs each month</a>, with many of those individuals leaving old 401Ks behind, either intending to get to it later or thinking the amount is too small to matter. Then they end up forgetting about it, and the money disappears. Take the time to hunt down old plans and come up with a strategy for them:</p> <h3>Find Old 401Ks</h3> <p>You may have to call each of your former employers' human resources departments to determine where your old 401Ks are currently held. If that's not an option, you can also check with the <a href="https://www.unclaimedretirementbenefits.com/">National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefit</a>.</p> <h3>Take Action</h3> <p>Once you've found your old accounts, you can keep them where they are, but keep their log-in information in a safe place. However, it might also make more financial sense to roll them into one place, like in a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/401k-or-ira-you-need-both">traditional IRA</a>. Vanguard and Fidelity offer IRA options that are cheaper regarding fees you will pay in most 401Ks, so rolling the account over can save you money and prevent any penalties.</p> <h2>Search for Unclaimed Money</h2> <p>There are millions of dollars in unclaimed money sitting around. Whether it's an old savings account, an insurance credit or, other windfall, state laws require that unclaimed funds be turned over to the state for safekeeping until the owner claims them. Most people don't even realize that hundreds of dollars belong to them, and it goes unclaimed for years.</p> <p>To find lost money, visit <a href="http://www.unclaimed.org">Unclaimed.org</a>. Check each state that you have lived in and enter your full name and any other names you may have gone by in the past. The site will list any money that belongs to you. You can file a claim, following the process outlined on the site, to get the money returned to you.</p> <h2>Automate Savings</h2> <p>If you have been putting off building up your emergency fund or retirement savings, your money day is a very good time to get them started. Set up automatic contributions for the start of each month to go into your savings and retirement accounts, so you do not even miss the money from your paycheck.</p> <p>Setting aside an annual vacation day to manage your finances can be an excellent way to stay on top of essential money tasks, trim your budget, maximize your dollars, and find you hundreds of dollars that may have gone missing. By dedicating a day to money management, you can end up savings thousands of dollars in just 24 hours.</p> <p><em>What else should be done on your annual Money Day? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-50-money-moves-you-need-to-make-when-big-changes-happen">Flashback Friday: 50 Money Moves You Need to Make When Big Changes Happen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">12 Personal Finance Skills Everyone Should Master</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-save-money-at-the-post-office">How to Save Money at the Post Office</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-save-on-baggage-fees">6 Ways to Save On Baggage Fees</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living Travel budgeting career frugal living personal finance saving money travel vacation day Tue, 19 Jul 2016 09:00:10 +0000 Kat Tretina 1754845 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Awkward Money Moments Everyone Has at Work http://www.wisebread.com/8-awkward-money-moments-everyone-has-at-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-awkward-money-moments-everyone-has-at-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_4640750_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="everyone has an awkward money moment or two at work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Money and work go together like peanut butter and jelly. We go to work to make money, and we spend money while we're at work. But it's not always as simple as that. People and situations can make some money moments more than a little awkward, and you are left feeling all sorts of emotions. Here are eight of those occasions we'd all prefer to be stricken from the workplace.</p> <h2>1. Contributing to Gifts for People You Don't Like</h2> <p>It's fair to say, wherever you work, there will be people you like, and people you don't. There will also be the usual birthdays, anniversaries, retirements, and layoffs. That's when Janice from accounting pops around with a collection tub and asks for money to buy a gift. You are faced with the dilemma &mdash; do you chip in and say nothing, or refuse and look like a real villain? It's hard to come out and say, &quot;Nah, not putting money in, I hate that guy.&quot; You can try and act poor, or claim you don't have any money on you. However, that's usually met with, &quot;No worries, I'll put $10 in for you, pay me back later.&quot; Perhaps the only option you have left is to just avoid the collection using ninja-like skills.</p> <h2>2. Splitting the Check on a Pricey Night Out</h2> <p>The boss decides that after-work drinks are going to happen, and everyone is invited. But this is not a company-sponsored event, despite the fact that people are ordering food and drinks like everything is &quot;on the boss.&quot; After an evening of revelry, the check comes, and that's when most people say it's easier to just split the check equally among everyone. Great. Except John and Jane were knocking back $15 cocktails all night, and you were taking advantage of the 2-for-1 well drinks. So you tell everyone you want the check split based on what everyone had, making you about as popular as a cold sore&hellip; especially with your server. Is it better to pay up, and chalk it up to experience? Oof, it's very hard to win this one.</p> <h2>3. Asking for a Raise</h2> <p>You've been doing your homework on your salary, and realize you are being underpaid. Whether it's by a little, or a lot, the next move is not easy. It's time to have that awkward conversation with the boss, and you know it will not be easy. If there have been layoffs recently, it makes it even harder. Maybe you'll be met with the old &quot;you're lucky you still have a job!&quot; retort. Whatever has happened though, if you are doing the work and should be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">getting paid more</a>, you deserve the money.</p> <h2>4. Calling in a Loan You Gave to a Coworker</h2> <p>It may only be $20, but it's been months since you forked over the cash for a coworker in need. A sad realization has dawned on you. Either they totally forgot about the money you loaned them, or they are hoping you have forgotten about it, and are doing nothing to remind you. It's time to get your money back. From the furtive glances in the office kitchen, to steering the conversations back to money, nothing is working. You have to come out and ask &mdash; which somehow makes you look like a tightwad who cares only about money. And worse still&hellip; they may tell you you'll get it back, but forget, and you have to go through it all again!</p> <h2>5. Saying No When Someone Asks to Borrow Money</h2> <p>If you don't want to get into the situation outlined above, you can simply say no when someone asks for money. But it's not as easy as that, is it? It's hard enough to pluck up the courage to ask a coworker for money, but that person is almost always going to be greeted with a &quot;Sure, how much do you need?&quot; in reply. Now, you have to drop the hammer and say no. But what good reason do you have? If it's a significant amount of money, then declining based on that is not a problem. But if it's $10&ndash;$50, and you feel sure you'll have a horrible time trying to get it back, what do you do? Saying &quot;Sorry, I'd like to, but I don't trust you to ever pay that back&quot; is not going to give you the best reputation in the office. This could be a great time to suddenly make an urgent call, and hope he or she never comes back and asks again.</p> <h2>6. Watching in Horror as Your Card Is Declined</h2> <p>It's been a fun lunch. The server comes back to the table with a mountain of receipts for people to sign. Well, except you. They have to whisper in your ear &quot;I'm sorry&hellip; this card was declined.&quot; Aaaarrgghhhhhh! If you could grow a shell and crawl inside it, you would. It may be a technical error, or it could be that the card was canceled due to a fraud alert, but it doesn't really matter right now. All you know is that a bunch of coworkers are looking at you with a mixture of pity and confusion on their collective faces. Will rumors surface that you're having money problems? Will people start offering to pay for things because they know you're having a hard time? Eek, there's no way to come out of this one without a perma-cringe on your face.</p> <h2>7. Saying No to a Charity Collection</h2> <p>Coworkers may be actively involved in fundraising for charities, or may even know someone who benefited from that charity. But let's face it, if we all contributed to every charity, we'd go broke. What's more, you may simply not agree with giving money to some charities, and that's your right. However, the fact of the matter is, when you say no to a charity collection, you are instantly seen as some kind of Scrooge figure who hoards money and hates the poor, the sick, and the disabled. And what if you say no, but then go out later to the office happy hour and drop a bunch of money on drinks? Your best bet here is to make up an excellent excuse (you gave money already to the charity last week), or offer support in another way. Your time, your skills, or something non-monetary.</p> <h2>8. Finding Out What People Earn</h2> <p>There is a reason most companies keep salary information a secret. It can lead to a lot of griping, demands for raises, or even job losses and people quitting. So when you find out what someone else in the company makes, it can really lead to some stunningly awkward moments. They may make way less than you assumed, and your reaction can make them feel awful. &quot;Really&hellip; you're only earning that? Wow!&quot; On the other hand, you could think they're overpaid, especially if they do the job you do, but for more money.</p> <p>And then there's the moment people discover what you earn. If you earn more than they expected, you can get daggers shooting at you. They expect you to pick up the check at lunch. They feel like you owe them. If it's less, suddenly you're pitied. Or laughed at for taking such a low salary. In any of these situations, red faces, long silences, and hasty exits are the norm.</p> <p><em>What was your most awkward money moment at work, and how did you deal with it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-awkward-money-moments-everyone-has-at-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-times-you-should-never-feel-guilty-at-work">8 Times You Should Never Feel Guilty at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-your-coworkers-think-youre-a-slacker">6 Reasons Your Coworkers Think You&#039;re a Slacker</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/10-money-moments-that-are-awkward-for-everyone">10 Money Moments That Are Awkward for Everyone</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/9-dumb-ways-youre-going-to-waste-money-this-summer">9 Dumb Ways You&#039;re Going to Waste Money This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Budgeting awkward budgeting coworkers money moments office etiquette work work conversations work etiquette work talk Wed, 13 Jul 2016 10:00:07 +0000 Paul Michael 1750532 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Save Money at the Post Office http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-at-the-post-office <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-money-at-the-post-office" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_15385326_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="saving money at the post offie" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Visiting the post office can get very expensive, very quickly. Fortunately, there are several ways to save money at the post office, without sacrificing any of the quality or services you've come to expect.</p> <h2>Buy Forever Stamps</h2> <p>The benefit of forever stamps is that the value never &quot;expires.&quot; This means that if the cost of stamps increases again, your forever stamps will still be just as valuable as they were when the price was lower. On the other hand, if you have a bunch of $0.47 stamps lying around and the price of stamps increases again, you will need to purchase supplemental stamps to make up the difference in cost. Forever stamps aren't any more expensive than normal stamps, so there's no reason not to purchase them.</p> <h2>Buy Stamps Elsewhere</h2> <p>Making a trip to the post office just for stamps can be a waste of time, money, and effort. Instead, consider purchasing stamps at your local grocery store, ATM, or even ordering them online and <a href="https://store.usps.com/store/browse/category.jsp?categoryId=buy-stamps">printing them out at home</a>.</p> <h2>Go With Postcards</h2> <p>If you're sending a lot of holiday cards or making an announcement, consider sending postcards instead of traditional cards. When it comes to sending cards, saving money with the postcard stamp of $0.34 on all those cards can really add up. That's because for every postcard you send (rather than a traditional card), you will save $0.13.</p> <h2>Weigh Your Items First</h2> <p>You can often choose your shipping options and print out the shipping label at home using services like PayPal. However, if you need to go into the post office to arrange shipment, then make sure to weigh your items beforehand and do some research on the USPS site to find which option will be the most affordable, so that you're prepared when you get there.</p> <h2>Use Media Mail</h2> <p>Use Media Mail whenever possible to save on shipping costs. Media mail service is for shipping things like books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, educational media, and computer-related media at a low cost. Visit the USPS.com for more information on what you can send using <a href="http://about.usps.com/notices/not121/not121.htm">Media Mail services</a>.</p> <p>Keep in mind that the post office has the right to examine what's inside your Media Mail package to ensure it fits within their guidelines, so make sure you're only shipping the approved items. If you attempt to ship items that are not approved via Media Mail, it can be considered a postal crime, which is a federal offense, and definitely not worth the savings.</p> <h2>Use First-Class Mail for Small Packages</h2> <p>If you have a package that weighs less than 13 oz, you likely won't find a cheaper, faster option than <a href="https://www.usps.com/ship/first-class-mail.htm">First-Class mail</a>. Your item will arrive in 1-3 business days and won't cost much.</p> <h2>Use Priority Mail</h2> <p><a href="https://www.usps.com/ship/priority-mail.htm?gclid=Cj0KEQjwte27BRCM6vjIidHvnKQBEiQAC4MzrYN9UliUVadm95HsBtVAVegmUsWfgGpJZnjPo0voPp4aApGT8P8HAQ">Priority Mail flat rate shipping</a> offers a flat rate to any state, for shipments up to 70 lbs. It includes free package pickup, online tracking, and up to $50 of insurance with most shipments. For small, heavy items, this is usually the way to go. Best of all, if you print your label from home and have the package picked up for free, you won't have to visit the post office at all.</p> <p>You can pick up the appropriate Priority Mail envelopes or boxes from your local post office. You can also order free <a href="https://store.usps.com/store/browse/subcategory.jsp?categoryId=free-shipping-supplies">Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express supplies</a> online with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-surprising-things-you-can-have-delivered">free home delivery</a>.</p> <h2>Go Minimal</h2> <p>Shipping an item is expensive enough as it is. Adding services like insurance, tracking, receipt confirmation, and other add-ons can really rack up the cost. When possible, choose the slowest shipping option with minimal add-ons to save the most.</p> <h2>Recycle Shipping Supplies</h2> <p>Whenever possible, save your packaging materials from previous shipments so that you don't have to buy new ones later. When you receive a package, consider saving the bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and even the box. If you have old newspapers, you may want to save those for your next shipment, as well.</p> <h2>Choose the Right Shipping Service</h2> <p>USPS is typically the most affordable shipping service provider, but that's not always the case, particularly when you have larger items to ship. If you aren't set on using USPS, sites like <a href="https://shipgooder.com/#/">ShipGooder</a> can help you choose the best shipping service for your items.</p> <h2>Go With UPS Instead</h2> <p>Sometimes, the best way to save money with USPS is to choose a different service provider altogether. For instance, if you need insurance on your package, it may be a better idea to go with UPS. UPS offers $100 in insurance for free, so it may be a better option if you're shipping a large or valuable package.</p> <p><em>Do you have other tips for saving money at the post office? Please share your thoughts 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/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-at-the-post-office">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-use-google-alerts-to-save-money">6 Ways to Use Google Alerts to Save 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/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-47-best-back-to-school-shopping-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: 47 Best Back-to-School Shopping Hacks Ever</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-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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-money-lessons-to-take-from-the-great-depression">9 Money Lessons to Take From the Great Depression</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping budgeting frugal living mail Post Office saving money shipping shipping costs Tue, 12 Jul 2016 09:00:14 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1749748 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Signs You're Committing Financial Infidelity http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-committing-financial-infidelity <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-signs-youre-committing-financial-infidelity" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_sad_face_90980753.jpg" alt="Man committing financial infidelity and how to stop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's often said that honesty is the key to a good relationship. But are you totally honest with your spouse or partner when it comes to money?</p> <p>Lies about finances can be some of the most damaging in any relationship, but they are surprisingly common. Two out of every five Americans have admitted to committing financial infidelity in the past, according to a February survey from the National Endowment for Financial Education. That's up from one-third just a couple of years ago, even though 75% of survey respondents admitted the dishonesty had a negative impact on their relationship.</p> <p>Here are some clear ways you are being dishonest about your finances with your partners &mdash; and tips on how to get back on the right track.</p> <h2>1. You Have Secret Bank Accounts/Credit Cards</h2> <p>There are different trains of thought about whether couples should combine their finances or keep separate accounts. But one thing that's definitely not okay is having bank accounts or credit cards that your partner isn't aware of. Depending on where you live, your spouse could be held liable for debts you incur during your marriage, even if they are only in your name.</p> <p>It's best to be honest about the accounts and credit cards that you have. Literally lay them out on the table for your partner to see. Come up with a plan to pay off those with the highest interest rates. Then, together, decide on which credit cards you plan to use.</p> <h2>2. You're Using Cash and Not Recording the Purchases</h2> <p>I will admit to being guilty of this. Cash has its advantages, but when you use cash to pay for things, there's no easy way to track your spending. Your partner may know you withdrew cash from an ATM, but is probably not going to interrogate you on how you plan to spend the cash. So you're more or less free to buy lunch, drinks, or any other sundry items you wish.</p> <p>To break this habit, use a debit card or credit card for most purchases, so it's easy for you and your partner to track your spending, budget appropriately, and keep each other in line. As long as you're honest about what is being spent, it's even okay to give each other a small amount of &quot;fun money&quot; on a monthly basis that you can spend on anything you want.</p> <h2>3. You Have a Gambling Problem</h2> <p>It may have started with a couple of horse races, or a fantasy baseball league or two. Then it expanded to big bucks bets on games, with money in offshore accounts and bookies calling your cell phone. Soon, checks are bouncing and your spouse can't figure out why.</p> <p>Time to 'fess up. Your partner will want to know about your gambling problem, but more importantly, they'll want to know that you have a plan to stop. Gamblers Anonymous is one major resource that's been proven to help people stop. It may also be worth talking to a mental health professional to learn how to deal with compulsive behavior.</p> <h2>4. You're Investing Without Talking It Over With Your Partner</h2> <p>Your partner may be vaguely aware that you have an investment account, but do they know what you are invested in? If you are buying and selling stocks frequently, is it part of an overall strategy that you discussed together? If not, this is a form of financial infidelity. While it may be common for one spouse to be more investment-savvy than the other, it's not wise to place money in the markets without discussing your goals.</p> <p>Are you saving for retirement, or for something in the nearer future? Are you placing money in a college savings account? Do you have the same tolerance for risk? All of these questions should be answered and discussed with your partner before you invest.</p> <h2>5. You're Hiding a Job Loss</h2> <p>It's understandable. You're hurt, maybe even humiliated, that you've found yourself unemployed. But continuing to act as if you still have a job is not going to make things better. For one thing, your partner will eventually wonder where all of your income went. And they'll be furious when they learn that you've lied.</p> <p>If you find yourself jobless, remember that even the best of people lose their jobs for reasons beyond their control. And any respectful partner will understand this, and will want to play a role in ensuring your family remains financially stable while you look for a new job.</p> <p>To keep this situation from occurring, establish a pattern of talking to your partner about your career. If your company is in trouble, or if you are at risk of being downsized, that's information you should share. This communication will make it less of a shock when the hammer drops.</p> <h2>6. You've Kept Outstanding Debt a Secret</h2> <p>This can really be a relationship killer. Imagine entering a relationship believing that your finances are in good order, only to find that your partner has thousands of dollars in debt you didn't know about. This could impact everything from your ability to pay for a mortgage, get a decent rate on an auto loan, and invest and save for the future.</p> <p>If you're guilty of this, it's time to 'fess up. It's also time to recognize that your partner can play a supportive role, both financially and emotionally, in helping you pay off the debt. Having debt doesn't make you a bad person, so there's no reason to hide it.</p> <h2>7. You're Not Being Honest When You Rationalize Purchases</h2> <p>You say you bought tickets to the basketball game to &quot;entertain clients&quot; when that client is really just an old buddy of yours. You convince your partner that your smartphone desperately needs to be replaced, when it fact it's working perfectly fine and you just felt like buying the newest version. Even if you aren't hiding purchases from the ones you love, you're committing financial infidelity if you're making up reasons to buy things you don't need.</p> <p>To remedy this problem, start being more honest with yourself when you have the urge to buy things. Before any purchase, ask yourself: Do I need this item? More often than not, the answer will be no.</p> <h2>8. Your Partner Has No Idea What You Earn</h2> <p>You may like the idea of having separate accounts, but when one person in a household doesn't know what the other is earning, it makes budgeting impossible. What if your spouse assumes you earn more than you do and then makes a big purchase? If you are planning for things like buying a home or cars, financing children's education or your own retirement, it's imperative that both partners know what the net household income is.</p> <p>The easiest way to avoid this problem is to operate using joint accounts. But if you decide to keep money separate, at least share account statements, paystubs, and tax information.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been victimized by these &mdash; or other &mdash; acts of financial infidelity?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-committing-financial-infidelity">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/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/plan-for-your-wants">Plan for your wants</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-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change">10 Money Moves to Make Before the Leaves Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-you-disrespect-your-money">10 Ways You Disrespect Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance budgeting infidelity lying marriage planning shared finances spouses Fri, 01 Jul 2016 10:00:04 +0000 Tim Lemke 1738701 at http://www.wisebread.com Easy Ways to Save on 7 Everyday Buys http://www.wisebread.com/easy-ways-to-save-on-7-everyday-buys <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/easy-ways-to-save-on-7-everyday-buys" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_33629166_XLARGE.jpg" alt="saving money on everyday buys" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are some payments and purchases you make because you have to, like gas, insurance, and a mortgage &mdash; but there are others that you make because they make you feel good. By saving money on your favorite purchases, you'll likely purchase them more often and thus, have a happier and more fulfilling life.</p> <p>Here's how you can save money on your favorite everyday things.</p> <h2>1. Restaurants</h2> <p>We all love dining out for a meal. But dinner at a nice restaurant can quickly eat up your budget, especially if you're going out two or three times a week. If you're a person who loves to go out for food, there are three things you should explore:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-12562208-1462979854000">Groupon</a>: With restaurant discounts of up to 75%, you could essentially go out three times as often as you do now, for the same price.</li> <li><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10849242-1415311741000">Restaurant.com</a>: Get $25 certificates for as low as $4. Note that they have a new batch of certificates at the beginning of each month, and costs will keep going down as the month progresses, but it also might mean that the certificates for the restaurants you want will be sold out. No matter when you buy them, you'll still get a nice discount on your meal.</li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-dining-out?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">Rewards Credit Cards for Dining Out</a>: Use the best credit card that offers rewards at restaurants, for example the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-sapphire-preferred-review?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">Chase Sapphire Preferred Card</a> offers 2x points for dining. Or a general <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">cash back credit card</a> like the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unlimited-cash-back-the-quicksilver-cash-rewards-credit-card?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card</a>, which offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.</li> </ul> <h2>2. Travel</h2> <p>Once you become a Groupon member, you can get discounts on vacation packages, but once you're in the country, you should also look for local discount cards. Simply run a Google search with your planned destination and &quot;discount card.&quot; It should be something like this: &quot;Venice Discount Card.&quot;</p> <p>The Venice discount card has excellent discounts on transport, sights, and cultural events. You can find similar discount cards in Bangkok, <a href="http://www.cancun-discounts.com/cancun-discount-card.htm">Cancun</a>, <a href="https://www.parispass.com/">Paris</a>, <a href="https://www.londonpass.com/">London</a> and pretty much every major tourist town.</p> <p>You may be surprised how often there's a discount card on offer and these things can save you a lot of money! In Malta for example, the Malta Discount Card saves 50% off at dozens of restaurants, as well as discounts on tours, attractions, and water sports. You're likely to pay off the cost of the card within a day, so I recommend always searching for them before going anywhere.</p> <h2>3. Alcohol</h2> <p>Costco, Costco, Costco. You probably already have a number of Kirkland products in your house, but did you know that Kirkland alcohol was compared in a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oei8K2TYg9s">blind taste test</a> and the tasters couldn't decide if the expensive brands were better than Kirkland?</p> <p>They weren't drinking the liquor with mixers, either. Straight up, these people couldn't agree on the better booze. The Kirkland brand alcohol is as much as 75% cheaper, and if the experts can't tell the difference, you should probably get your buzz on for a bit less with the Costco brand. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-costco-anywhere-visa-card-by-citi-is-good-news-for-costco-shoppers">Get Cash Back on Your Costco Shopping</a>)</p> <h2>4. Movies</h2> <p>Head to the library. You remember that stuffy, quiet place where you had to go to get information in the '80s? As libraries are becoming more and more obsolete, they've made some efforts to bring in new clientele. One of the ways they've done this is by adding DVDs to their inventory.</p> <p>Go to the library, apply for a library card, and take out as many DVDs as you want. They even stock some TV series box sets, so you can save a few bucks of your cable bill as well.</p> <h2>5. Coffee</h2> <p>Stop going to Starbucks! That $3 Americano that you're buying could be made at home for much less.</p> <p>Pick up a <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00P0ZMWEC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B00P0ZMWEC&amp;linkId=8bd38a03a49d9f429ee6f94b039d1276">2.2 pound bag of delicious Lavazza Espresso</a> on Amazon for under $20, then buy yourself a <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H2BQATK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B00H2BQATK&amp;linkId=51aa792433c4a0820c782f0aaf0ed330">Handpresso machine</a>. This thing can make the perfect cup of espresso every time, plus it's compact, and you don't need electricity to use it so you can take it anywhere.</p> <p>That 2.2 pound bag of coffee will make 120 cups of Americano coffee, meaning that each cup will cost you less than 17 cents, rather than $3. By the time you finish that bag, you'll have saved $340 on coffee, which pays off the cost of the Handpresso machine two times over!</p> <h2>6. Yoga</h2> <p>Your yoga instructor may not be happy that I'm telling you this, but you can get free Yoga classes on YouTube every day. There are some excellent channels like <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/FreeYogaTV">Free Yoga TV</a>, that have professional yogis giving quality classes online for zero dollars.</p> <p>The best part of YouTube yoga, is that you can play it from your smartphone and turn pretty much anywhere into your own personal yoga studio. No more having to head to the gym or yoga center. Lock the door in your office, lay down a mat, and stretch to your heart's content.</p> <h2>7. Groceries</h2> <p>If you're not a foodie who loves to cook at home, maybe groceries aren't one of your favorite purchases. But even so, they're a costly budget item that everyone has to purchase every week. With <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/app/grocery-pal/id339684652?mt=8">Grocery Pal</a>, <a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/mobile-coupons/">Coupon Sherpa</a>, and the right credit cards, you can save a lot of money on your groceries.</p> <p>Grocery Pal helps you find weekly sales at your local supermarkets, like Safeway, Whole Foods, Smart&amp;Final, Walmart, Target, and more. Coupon Sherpa helps you find all the right coupons for the stuff in your cart, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">credit cards that reward grocery purchases</a> will put more money back into your wallet. For example, the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cashing-in-at-the-supermarket-blue-cash-preferred-card-from-american-express-review?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</a> will give you 6% cash back on your supermarket purchases! Terms and limitations apply.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite purchases, and how do you save money on them? Share with everyone in the comments below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-ways-to-save-on-7-everyday-buys">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/never-use-cash-for-these-11-things">Never Use Cash for These 11 Things</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/11-ways-your-credit-card-will-save-you-money-while-holiday-shopping">11 Ways Your Credit Card Will Save You Money While Holiday Shopping</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/3-smart-ways-to-save-on-fathers-day">3 Smart Ways to Save on Father&#039;s Day</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-smart-ways-to-save-on-audio-books">8 Smart Ways to Save on Audio Books</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/this-simple-shopping-list-strategy-from-5-meal-plan-will-save-you-big">This Simple Shopping List Strategy From $5 Meal Plan Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Entertainment Shopping budgeting coffee credit cards groceries restaurants saving money shopping travel vacation Tue, 21 Jun 2016 10:30:05 +0000 Nick Wharton 1735240 at http://www.wisebread.com