budgeting http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/503/all en-US Flashback Friday: 39 Inspiring Stories and Tips to Help You Beat Debt http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-39-inspiring-stories-and-tips-to-help-you-beat-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-39-inspiring-stories-and-tips-to-help-you-beat-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_happy_victory_000078187401.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to beat debt with tips and inspirational stories" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having debt sucks. It weighs on you like a metaphorical stack of bricks piled high on each shoulder, pushing you closer to a pit of despair with every minimum-only payment made. Of course, having some debt is good for your credit, and helps to build a solid credit history, but most debt is just suffocating.</p> <p>Since we're all still in New Year's resolution mode and working hard to stay focused on achieving our goals this year, we've decided to round up our favorite pearls of wisdom relating to debt management. Hopefully, these debt management tips will keep you locked in on clearing that pesky debt from your life &mdash; and sparing your shoulders from more suffering.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/couple-happy-snow-travel-178492223-small.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-couple-paid-off-147k-of-debt-even-while-unemployed">How One Couple Paid Off $147k of Debt (Even While Unemployed)</a> &mdash; If you need an extra push to get you inspired, this true tale about a couple who got their finances in tip-top shape while unemployed will do the trick.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-inspiring-people-who-each-paid-off-over-100000-in-debt?ref=seealso">5 Inspiring People Who Each Paid Off Over $100,000 in Debt</a> &mdash; Here are five real-life stories of debt-fighting superheroes who conquered their debt demons and are currently living financially, happily ever after.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/female-graduate-176844972-small_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-college-graduate-paid-off-28000-in-three-years-on-a-30k-salary?ref=seealso">How One College Graduate Paid Off $28,000 in Three Years on a $30K Salary</a> &mdash; A common misconception about debt management is that you need to be wealthy in order to bring your accounts from red to black. That's simply not true, and this story of a college grad clearing over 25k in debt on a modest salary serves as proof.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-dark-side-motivations-to-get-you-out-of-debt?ref=seealso">10 Dark-Side Motivations to Get You Out of Debt</a> &mdash; Ever wonder how exactly you ended up in debt in the first place? These common debt traps could be the source. Here's how to avoid them forever.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/couple_stressed_finances_000062304938.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-this-if-you-have-too-much-credit-card-debt">Do This If You Have Too Much Credit Card Debt</a> &mdash; Credit card debt might be the most stressful kind of debt, because it's so easy to get into and so so hard to escape. But it is doable, and these tips will get you there.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-inspiring-saver-found-true-love-shook-off-debt-denial-and-paid-off-123000?ref=seealso">How One Inspiring Saver Found True Love, Shook Off Debt Denial, and Paid Off $123,000</a> &mdash; Paul Amato was a young dentist drowning in debt. Everything changed for him the moment he decided to face the problem head on and stay vigilant in paying it down. He even found love in the process.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/modern-businesswoman-470761315-small.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-young-entrepreneur-paid-off-40000-in-student-debt-by-age-24">How One Young Entrepreneur Paid Off $40,000 in Student Debt By Age 24</a> &mdash; The incredible journey of Michelle Schroeder and how she managed to clear 40k in student loan debt before she was even able to rent a car will truly inspire you. I mean, talk about impressive.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-great-things-you-could-do-if-you-just-got-rid-of-your-debt">15 Great Things You Could Do If You Just Got Rid of Your Debt</a> &mdash; Thinking about all the ways you could spend your time and extra cash sans debt is a powerful tool to keep you focused on your goal. Make a post-debt bucket list and keep on truckin'!</p> <p><em>What are some of the ways you've managed your debt? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-39-inspiring-stories-and-tips-to-help-you-beat-debt">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/flashback-friday-119-amazing-meals-you-can-make-from-a-can">Flashback Friday: 119 Amazing Meals You Can Make From a Can</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-wise-breads-88-best-food-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: Wise Bread&#039;s 88 Best Food Hacks Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-celebrate-national-slow-cooking-month-with-these-95-crock-pot-dishes">Flashback Friday: Celebrate National Slow Cooking Month With These 95 Crock Pot Dishes</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-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt">The Fastest Method to Eliminate Credit Card Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-staying-on-budget-can-be-fun-really">9 Ways Staying on Budget Can Be Fun (Really!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management budgeting debt management fbf flashback friday money hacks Fri, 22 Jan 2016 18:00:04 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1643287 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000076935935_Large.jpg" alt="doing yoga and learning about money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether or not yoga is your thing, you're probably familiar with it. The practice of yoga has become popular enough that most people know how yoga is done and how to do the basic poses.</p> <p>What you may not know is that you can learn a lot about life in general while holding a pose like downward dog or happy baby. When you practice, you study not only the yogic postures, but also things like balance, flexibility, and mindfulness. And you can apply all of these concepts outside of the studio, too.</p> <p>Here's how I've come to apply things I've learned from yoga to my personal financial life. I hope these ideas help you think about your money a little differently, maybe with a little more Zen! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-zen-concepts-thatll-improve-your-finances?ref=seealso">4 Zen Concepts That'll Improve Your Finances</a>)</p> <h2>1. Balance Is Central</h2> <p>My favorite yoga teacher will tell us to center ourselves not just over the left foot, but over the toes, or the heel. Slowly, I've come to realize that how I balance myself changes the posture subtly, often bringing in more of a stretch or making it more challenging.</p> <p>Just as how you balance is key in the yoga studio, it's helpful when you're thinking about money, too. Most of us want more money, but what if we were to focus somewhere else? For instance, is there enough to pay the bills? Are we spending more thoughtfully than we did last year? And what would making more money actually add to our lives?</p> <p>These questions, and more, can help us think in a more balanced way about our money. This, in turn, will free us to change spending or saving habits that might be harming us.</p> <h2>2. Proper Preparation Is Key</h2> <p>A good yoga teacher will prepare you for what is coming, both in the current class and in the future. There's a reason that harder poses often come near the end of a yoga class &mdash; it's because you wouldn't be ready for them before that. You have to open your hips, your hamstrings, your shoulders, and whatever else is needed for that final, challenging pose of the flow. If you don't prepare, you'll hurt yourself and hamper your ability to progress in the long term.</p> <p>Money works the same way. What are your long-term financial goals? And your short-term goals? These aren't just going to happen. They require planning and preparation ahead of time. Just like in yoga, you need to do specific things now so you can reach your goals later. Want to travel around the world? Start saving. Need a specific kind of of mortgage, come spring? Look at starting the application now. Proper planning will help ensure your long-term financial health, just like a proper flow will help ensure that you stay healthy enough to continue practicing yoga.</p> <h2>3. Flexibility Is Crucial</h2> <p>Most people who practice regularly see an increase in their flexibility. And people like me &mdash; who just thought they weren't flexible at all &mdash; begin to see how this rise in flexibility influences their entire lives.</p> <p>Similarly, the more flexible you can be with your money, the better prepared you'll be financially. Financial flexibility has to do with your ability to change how you spend based on your current circumstances. If you empty your emergency fund because your car breaks down, can you flex for a few months until the fund is replenished? And if you realize you need more than you'd anticipated for a down payment, can you find the funds and flex on a few things until you've made up the difference?</p> <p>Financial flexibility pertains to small things, like how much coffee you buy and how often you dine out. But it also pertains to bigger things, like when you decide to buy a house, how you structure your investments, and more. Just as flexibility and strength are tied in yoga, they often come together financially, too. And you want your money to be as strong as it can be.</p> <h2>4. Self-Care Is Always Worth It</h2> <p>People start yoga for all different sorts of reasons, but they often continue because of self-care. Doing yoga feels good. It makes your body feel better, even alleviating long-term aches and pains. And it's often meditative, offering quiet and space that most of us don't have in our daily lives. So, in learning yoga, we often stumble onto self-care, too.</p> <p>Learning self-care through yoga often helps people take better care of themselves financially. This can mean spending money on things &mdash; even little things &mdash; that make you feel good. A sweet smelling candle, a good book, or a cup of coffee can all be acts of self-care. It can also mean using more discretion about how you spend your money, so that you aren't always worrying about debt, overdraft fees, and how to pay the bills. Once people get started on a path to self-care, it often spills into their entire lives.</p> <h2>5. Mindfulness Will Help You Reach Your Goals</h2> <p>Mindfulness means staying aware in the present, and is often stressed in the yoga studio. Living in the now, paying attention to how your body is moving, what you need to do, and how to stay in a pose, can all help you learn to remain present &mdash; even when so many things pressure you to think about them, instead.</p> <p>More than anything else, mindfulness is a path to self-mastery. It teaches us to choose where we focus, rather than letting the mind run willy nilly wherever it wants. And when we learn to focus in yoga, we learn a skill that can help us financially, too.</p> <p>Being mindful &mdash; and therefore a master of ourselves &mdash; can help us stick to a budget. It can help us save up for something we really want. It can help us get through a frugal season without taking on debt. And it can even help us buy Christmas presents, because it will help us focus on the recipient and what they want, rather on everything we might like to buy for them. In the end, being mindful will help us save more, invest better, and be happier with what we have.</p> <p>When we are open, willing learners, yoga can improve not only our physical health, but our financial health as well.</p> <p><em>How does your yoga practice tie to your financial life? What yoga lesson can you start applying to your personal finances today?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-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-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-1-rich-is-relative">Ten Tenets for &quot;Arranging Your Rich&quot; - Part 1: Rich is Relative</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-5-best-exercise-mats">The 5 Best Exercise Mats</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/get-and-keep-amazing-posture-by-doing-these-10-stretches-today">Get — and Keep — Amazing Posture by Doing These 10 Stretches Today</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-yoga-blocks">The 5 Best Yoga Blocks</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-same-actions-will-produce-the-same-results-ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-2">The Same Actions Will Produce The Same Results (Ten Tenets for Arranging Your Rich: Part 2)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Life Hacks Health and Beauty budgeting fitness life lessons money habits yoga zen Tue, 19 Jan 2016 10:00:02 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1638732 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Money Goals All 30-Somethings Should Have http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-all-30-somethings-should-have <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-money-goals-all-30-somethings-should-have" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/30-somethings_financial_goals.jpg" alt="30-somethings achieving financial goals" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You are not 29 anymore. It's time to start acting like a grown-up. Aside from doing mature things like ironing your clothes and eating more kale, it's also time to get your financial house in order.</p> <p>Take a look at these 10 financial goals that all 30-somethings should have. Do yours line up?</p> <h2>1. Saving for a Comfortable Retirement</h2> <p>You may think that retirement is a long way off, but you're approaching a time when retirement age is closer than your college years. Crazy, but true. Hopefully, you've saved at least a little bit toward retirement up until this point. Now is the time to ramp it up. Try to max out your contributions into retirement accounts, if you can. If you're maxed out on your 401K, open an IRA. The last thing you want is to be sitting there at age 65 unable to retire because your 30-something self didn't plan ahead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-age-40">6 Financial Mistakes to Stop Making by Age 40</a>)</p> <h2>2. Rebalancing Investments</h2> <p>If you began putting money into your 401K or other retirement plans in your 20s, that's great. But have you looked at them recently? Chances are, the balances of those investments may be out of line with what you intended. You may be too heavily invested in company stock. You may have less exposure to international investments than you planned. You may have too many large-cap investments and not enough small-cap stocks. Consider talking with an investment advisor to find the right investment mix, and get in the habit of rebalancing once each year.</p> <h2>3. Eliminating Credit Card Debt</h2> <p>If you racked up bills due to some irresponsible spending habits when you were younger, it's time to get yourself in line and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">eliminate that high-interest debt</a>. Start by paying off the card with the highest interest rate and go from there. And then once you that debt paid off, start getting in the habit of paying your credit card bill in full each month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso">When to Use a Balance Transfer to Pay Off Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>4. Paying Off Student Loans</h2> <p>Student loans were crushing to you in your 20s. But now you're reaching a point when maybe you can see the bottom of that debt pile. If elimination of that debt is within reach, go after it aggressively until it's all gone. You'll be amazed at how liberating it will feel, both financially and psychologically. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-refinance-your-student-loan?ref=seealso">Should You Refinance Your Student Loan?</a>)</p> <h2>5. Earning More Money</h2> <p>Now that you're in your 30s, there's a good chance you have a good sense of what you want to be when you grow up. You have chosen a career path and can gain some income stability. Moreover, you have now been in the workforce for more than a decade, and have experience that you can leverage to go after that new job, that raise, and that promotion.</p> <h2>6. Saving for a Down Payment On a Home</h2> <p>If you are earning more and have your credit card and student loan debt gone, now's the time to stop renting and buy a home. If you plan to settle down, you're doing to want to save as much as you can to afford the house you want. Being saddled with a huge mortgage will only kill you later. Save up, so those monthly mortgage payments are manageable &mdash; or even non existent.</p> <h2>7. Building Up an Emergency Fund</h2> <p>Living on the edge was fun and exciting when you were in your 20s. If you got into a pinch, you could always bum money off your friends or parents. But it's not so cute when you're in your 30s and one major car repair or broken furnace from a financial disaster. It's time to start building up that emergency fund &mdash; at least three months worth of expenses &mdash; so you can easily handle whatever comes your way.</p> <h2>8. Being Properly Insured</h2> <p>When you're young, you may not feel it's necessary to save for your car insurance. You might settle for a low-cost health plan and skimp on some cheap renters' insurance. But you're older now. You have stuff that's worth money. And you're no longer invincible, health-wise. You may even have people in your life who count on you. This means you may need a more robust health insurance plan. You may need better homeowner's insurance. And it may be time to look into some term life insurance plans, so that your loved ones are taken care of if something happens to you. You may not want to think about bad things happening, but it's not like being unprepared for disasters will prevent them from happening.</p> <h2>9. Writing a Will</h2> <p>I'm not suggesting you need to start worrying about death, but you need to at least give some guidance on how your things should be divided up if you pass. And if you have kids, it's especially important to outline a plan for how they'll be cared for. You can get a will completed fairly easily online at websites like LegalZoom.</p> <h2>10. Giving to Charity</h2> <p>You are hopefully at a point in your life when you have a little extra money to give to those less fortunate. If you have some extra cash, consider donating it to a cause that you support. Not only will it be great for the recipient and make you feel good, but you can get a tax deduction as well.</p> <p><em>Do you have your act together, or are your finances still stuck in the previous decade?</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/10-money-goals-all-30-somethings-should-have">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-retirement-latte">The Retirement Latte</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/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know 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/making-every-penny-count-with-a-zero-based-budget">Making Every Penny Count With A Zero-Based Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-by-30">5 Financial Mistakes You Need to Stop Making by 30</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-best-free-financial-learning-tools">9 Best Free Financial Learning Tools</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Budgeting budgeting insurance investing millennials resolutions saving Thu, 14 Jan 2016 12:01:03 +0000 Tim Lemke 1638009 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Go From Two Incomes to One http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-go-from-two-incomes-to-one <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-go-from-two-incomes-to-one" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_using_tablets_000081377523.jpg" alt="Couple learning how to go from two incomes to one" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you planning on taking some time off from work to raise a family &mdash; or has your spouse recently lost their job? Living on one income can be challenging, but it doesn't have to spell financial disaster. Consider the following ways to reduce the stress of a household income transition.</p> <h2>1. Plan a Trial Run</h2> <p>If possible, try giving a one-income lifestyle a trial run for at least a couple of months before making any sudden changes to your household. Act like the second income doesn't exist. This will help you determine if a one-income lifestyle is attainable, prepare you for any challenges ahead, and help you build up your savings in the meantime before transitioning to one income.</p> <h2>2. Make a Budget</h2> <p>If you aren't sure of how much you'll need to meet your monthly expenses on one income, then use a <a href="http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/considering-baby/financing-family/calculator/">stay-at-home calculator</a> for an accurate estimate. Once you understand your monthly needs, work on creating a budget and sticking to it.</p> <p>Your budget should factor for fixed expenses like rent, car payments, utilities, health and life insurance, credit cards and loan payments, cable and cell phone bills, taxes, and necessities like groceries. But you should also account for variable expenses, like eating out and entertainment, subscriptions, and other expenses that you can more easily limit.</p> <p>You may need to get aggressive in cutting some of these expenses, like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-easy-ways-to-save-on-your-gym-membership">canceling your gym membership</a> or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-great-hair-without-the-salon">visiting the salon less often</a>. And make sure you aren't living beyond your means when it comes to your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">rent or mortgage</a> and car payments.</p> <h2>3. Build Up a Savings Cushion</h2> <p>Building a savings cushion becomes doubly important now that your household will be subsisting on a single income. The average family should save a minimum of three to six months' worth of expenses &mdash; and ideally up to a year's worth, if possible. While you're at it, create a contingency plan to help manage any further changes in income, unexpected expenses, or other financial emergencies.</p> <h2>4. Pay Off Debt</h2> <p>One-income households are less able to handle debt, so try to reduce what you owe as much as possible <em>before</em> transitioning to once earnings stream. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt">Eliminate credit card debt</a> and pay down as much as possible early on, and by all means, try not to add any further debt to your plate so that you don't increase your monthly expenses.</p> <h2>5. Strive to Save More Every Month</h2> <p>A lower household income means it's even more important to do all you can to save money wherever possible. Some easy tips for cutting monthly expenses include:</p> <ul> <li>Shop sales and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">use coupons</a>, whenever and wherever possible.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Limit dining out. When you do dine out, look for deals from sites like Ebates and Restaurant.com, so you can save money at all your favorite restaurants.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Take advantage of free activities with your family. Plan free date nights and family outings together.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Host swaps with your friends and family. You can swap food, clothes, books, or toys. You can clear clutter out of your home and receive items that feel like new from your friends and family.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Take advantage of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money">personal finance apps</a> to stay on track and receive alerts when you risk going over budget.</li> </ul> <h2>Living on One Income &mdash; Even When You Don't Need To</h2> <p>The steps outlined above are wonderful for households downsizing their income, but they work just as well in a two-earner household. In fact, living on a single income and saving the other is an excellent way to strengthen your finances quickly. And if you do find yourself needing to live on one income, you'll be better prepared &mdash; financially and psychologically.</p> <p><em>What are your tips for going down to one income? 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-go-from-two-incomes-to-one">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/what-is-keeping-you-from-a-life-of-financial-independence">What is keeping you from a life of financial independence?</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/is-living-on-one-income-a-status-symbol">Is living on one income a status symbol?</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/looking-on-the-bright-side-how-to-find-a-silver-lining-in-the-current-financial-crisis">Looking On The Bright Side: How to Find A Silver Lining In The Current Financial Crisis</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/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste 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/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money">5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle budgeting household job loss one income stay at home parent Tue, 12 Jan 2016 14:00:02 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1634309 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Smart Post-Holiday Moves http://www.wisebread.com/12-smart-post-holiday-moves <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-smart-post-holiday-moves" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_savings_cash_000046941008.jpg" alt="Woman making smart post-holiday money moves" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After a busy holiday season filled with giving and getting gifts, some of us feel the financial pinch in January. Keep your finances on track with these smart post-holiday money moves.</p> <h2>1. Make a Money Resolution</h2> <p>The post-holiday season is the perfect time to make sound financial resolutions. You've had your fun and indulgence, so now it's time to tighten your belt a little. Make a plan for the coming year &mdash; be it paying down your debt, saving a certain amount every month, or making a budget &mdash; and you'll be in a good place to start making smart financial decisions for the next 12 months. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-new-year-money-resolutions-anyone-can-keep">10 New Year Money Resolutions Anyone Can Keep</a>)</p> <h2>2. Check Your Credit Score</h2> <p>Every year, you're entitled to a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com. Take advantage of this to see if your credit score has taken any hits over the past year, and make a plan to improve your credit score during 2016.</p> <h2>3. Transfer Your Balance</h2> <p>If you racked up some credit card debt during the holidays, consider <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt">transferring the balance to another card</a> with low introductory interest rate to avoid paying excess amounts of interest. Although the low interest rate will expire after the introductory period, some cards offer as much as 21 months of relief to pay off the balance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>4. Do Your Taxes Early</h2> <p>As soon as you get your tax documents from your employer, start doing your taxes. The earlier you file your taxes, the earlier your tax refund will come, which might be the key to paying down some of that holiday debt.</p> <h2>5. Cut Your Dining Budget</h2> <p>After a season of feasting, January is a good time to trim the fat &mdash; in your budget, that is! Try cutting down on dining out and instead cook healthy dinners at home. As a bonus, you could combine this with a resolution to eat healthier and end up in better shape both physically and financially.</p> <h2>6. Return Unwanted Stuff</h2> <p>If there are any gifts you bought that you didn't end up giving, return them ASAP before the return period expires. If you received gifts that you don't want or need, try to return those as well. Many large stores will let you return merchandise without a receipt (as long as it's in the original packaging with tags intact).</p> <h2>7. Set Aside Re-Gifts</h2> <p>Honestly, I don't always give my kids all of their presents. They always get so many, I feel that it's excessive and only contributes to the clutter in our home. So I set aside a few presents that I can give at upcoming birthday parties, where they can be enjoyed by someone else, while also saving me a little cash.</p> <h2>8. Avoid Shopping</h2> <p>Avoid the post-holiday sales like the plague. Don't even look at the ads to avoid temptation. You've spent enough during the holidays!</p> <h2>9. Stay Informed About Your Spending</h2> <p>Sometimes it's easy to rack up a large credit card balance because you don't know how much you've already spent. If you haven't already, tie your accounts into an app like Mint.com, which allows you to see, at a glance, how much you're spending.</p> <h2>10. Go on a Spending Freeze</h2> <p>The month or two after the holidays is the perfect time to go on a spending freeze &mdash; when you are the most determined to stick to your goals. For one month, don't spend money on anything that isn't a complete necessity. Go through your freezer and pantry to cook meals, buying just the fresh produce that you need. No shopping, no eating out, and no trips to Starbucks. At the end of the month, you'll have a healthy cushion of savings to either pay off debt, or to save for a rainy day. Re-evaluate your month of no spending, and consider doing it for another month.</p> <h2>11. Do Your Spring Cleaning</h2> <p>What better way to start fresh than by going through your house and getting rid of all the stuff you don't need? Go through your garage and basement (or other storage areas) and sell unwanted furniture, tools, and other miscellaneous items. Go through your closet and see if you can sell used clothing to an online consignment store like <a href="https://www.thredup.com/">Thredup</a>, or a local used clothing store. Donate what you can't sell and give yourself a little breathing room in your home.</p> <h2>12. Start a Free or Low-Cost Hobby</h2> <p>New Year, new habits. Replace a more expensive hobby with a free or low-cost one. For example, if you love trying out new restaurants, maybe pick up gourmet cooking instead. Take up running or another low-cost sport instead of paying for fitness classes (and recruit a friend to keep you accountable). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pick-up-one-of-these-frugal-hobbies-this-weekend?ref=seealso">Pick Up One of These Frugal Hobbies This Weekend</a>)</p> <p><em>What are you going to do after the holidays to keep your finances in good health?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-smart-post-holiday-moves">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-rules-for-planning-your-most-affordable-christmas-ever">5 Rules for Planning Your Most Affordable Christmas Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-all-30-somethings-should-have">10 Money Goals All 30-Somethings Should Have</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/debt-repayment-is-not-an-expense">Debt repayment is not an expense</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-grocery-budgeting-a-game-the-price-is-right-style">Make Grocery Budgeting A Game, The Price Is Right Style</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting bills budgeting Christmas gifts holiday shopping holiday spending Thu, 07 Jan 2016 12:01:02 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1632871 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Money Moments That Are Awkward for Everyone http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moments-that-are-awkward-for-everyone <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-money-moments-that-are-awkward-for-everyone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/awkward_couple_date_000072860441.jpg" alt="Couple experiencing money moment that is awkward for everyone" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most of us don't like to talk about money, because when we talk about money, things get awkward. But it's not just the talking part that ruffles our feathers. Sometimes just being in a situation that <em>relies</em> on money can make us uncomfortable. From the first time you ask your boss for a raise to not having enough cash when tipping is suggested, these are the most awkward money moments in life.</p> <h2>1. The First Time You Ask Your Boss For a Raise</h2> <p>It's not easy asking your boss for <em>anything</em>, let alone a higher salary. In fact, I suspect that many people never speak up where money is concerned because they're afraid the boss will take it the wrong way or it might somehow affect their current employment status. I can assure you, however, that you cannot be penalized or fired for asking for a raise &mdash; because that would be illegal. There's a chance your boss could say no, of course, but that shouldn't stop you from standing up for yourself. If you think you deserve a raise or haven't received one in a while, don't be intimidated. Schedule a meeting to discuss your performance and take it from there. If nothing comes of it, at least you'll know where you need to improve. If it works out in your favor, on the other hand, well... you're welcome.</p> <h2>2. Deciding Who Pays the Check on a First Date</h2> <p>I have a real problem when someone on a date automatically assumes that the other person is paying. I don't want to be sexist, but this happens more among females than it does males when they're out together. I also see this imbalance when one person is younger than the other (at least in my personal experience); the oldest among the two is often expected to pick up the tab. But I don't mess with either of those scenarios. Instead, I have a solid solution to keep things fair. If I ask you on a date, I'll happily pay. If you ask me on a date, you should pay. And if we've decided mutually to go on a date, we should split the tab. No free rides from this show pony.</p> <h2>3. Forgetting Your Wallet When on a Date or Out With Friends</h2> <p>I think we've all forgotten our wallets at home on a date or while we're out with friends at least once, and it's a bit embarrassing. Especially if you have friends like mine who like to rag on you when you do something silly. It's a little worse on a date, though &mdash; even if your date is easy-going about the situation &mdash; because you want to make a great first impression. But these days the problem is easily solvable by being able to pay your portion immediately to the person who covered for you via PayPal, Venmo, or another mobile banking tool.</p> <h2>4. When Your Credit and Debit Cards Are Declined at Checkout</h2> <p>This has happened to me more than a few times, not because I didn't have the funds, but because my bank flagged unusual spending habits on my card when I'm on vacation or in an area that's not within my typical range. To avoid this particular problem when traveling, give your credit card company a call to let them know in advance where you will be. If however, you've been declined because you have gone over your limit, it's simply a strong reminder to keep track of your finances and not to take your credit for granted in the future. Do not act indignant and insist there must be something wrong with their machine.</p> <h2>5. Discussing Finances With a Soon-to-Be Spouse</h2> <p>Having the money discussion with the person you're about to marry isn't the most fun you'll have with each other, but it's a completely necessary conversation. Before your lives become intertwined with a binding legal contract, you both need to be honest about assets, debts, loans, savings goals, and anything else money-related. If you love each other, your past financial history shouldn't matter too much &mdash; unless someone's been hiding a huge secret &mdash; but it's a smart start to lay everything out on the table. (See also: <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>)</p> <h2>6. Dealing With a Roommate Who Owes Rent</h2> <p>I have two ways of going about this. First, if you're not the landlord, your roommate's lack of payment shouldn't be your problem. This is why I recommend that everyone have separate leases. Without an individual lease for yourself only, you run the risk of having to cover for your roommate financially or deal with the consequences of their failure to pay &mdash; and that could mean eviction.</p> <p>Secondly, if you own the property, you shouldn't feel awkward at all about asking your tenant to pay on time each month. Paying the bills on time is a fundamental adult skill, and, frankly, if they can't afford to live in your property, they should find another suitable option that's more in line with their budget.</p> <h2>7. Reminding Someone You've Loaned Money to That They're Late</h2> <p>I generally don't advise anybody to loan money to family or friends in order to avoid this awkward conversation altogether. But, if you somehow get suckered into loaning people cash, at least draw up a written contract to help avoid potential default. Establishing terms, like due dates and interest, will improve your chances of receiving your money on time.</p> <h2>8. Asking Your Parents to Help With Bills as an Adult</h2> <p>Quite honestly, the last people I want to ask for money are my parents. Somehow it feels as if I've failed if I'm running to Mom and Dad for cash, so I'd rather reach out to friends first. But if they're a last resort, don't just show up asking for a handout. Promise to pay them back &mdash; even offer to draw up the loan contract for them so they can respect your seriousness about the situation &mdash; and stick to your plan. While you're at it, take this time to figure out what's wrong with your financial situation that you needed to ask your parents for money, and try to address that simultaneously.</p> <h2>9. Explaining Overdraft Fees to Your Significant Other</h2> <p>Yep, even I've overdrafted before, and I hate when my bank sends me a note in the mail reminding me of the fact. Like I didn't notice it in my online banking statement. Oh, I noticed. And we all know what the little mailer looks like, so it's not like my husband has to open it to recognize that I've overdrafted. Then I have to tell him that I forgot about an automatic bill payment while I was Christmas shopping. Which will totally make me roll my eyes because it's my bank account and my error, but it's still awkward nonetheless.</p> <h2>10. Not Having Cash on Hand When Tipping Is Suggested</h2> <p>If you know you're going someplace where tipping is suggested, you should have cash on you. There are times, however, that you go someplace where you didn't expect to tip and you don't have any cash on you &mdash; and I'm not sure if there's anything more awkward than staring that service provider in the face, like, &quot;my bad,&quot; before they sulk away cursing your name under their breath. In this case, go get the tip money you owe that person and give it to them after the fact. It'll totally make their day that you recognized your mistake, and it'll help you feel like less of a jerk for stiffing the poor guy or girl in the first place.</p> <p><em>Are there other awkward money moments in life that you'd like to share? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moments-that-are-awkward-for-everyone">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-grocery-budgeting-a-game-the-price-is-right-style">Make Grocery Budgeting A Game, The Price Is Right Style</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-staying-on-budget-can-be-fun-really">9 Ways Staying on Budget Can Be Fun (Really!)</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-smart-post-holiday-moves">12 Smart Post-Holiday Moves</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-often-do-you-get-your-paycheck">How often do you get your paycheck?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting awkward moments bills budgeting money moments raise Tue, 05 Jan 2016 12:00:02 +0000 Mikey Rox 1632863 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 New Year Money Resolutions Anyone Can Keep http://www.wisebread.com/10-new-year-money-resolutions-anyone-can-keep <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-new-year-money-resolutions-anyone-can-keep" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_winter_holidays_000051693820.jpg" alt="Woman making money new year resolutions anyone can keep" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every New Year brings the usual New Year's resolutions. Time to lose weight, exercise more, get a promotion, and of course, save money. I'm not going to tell you to cut out cups of fancy coffee, or contribute more to your 401K &mdash; you've heard that before, and no doubt will again. These are some easy resolutions that absolutely anyone can keep. If you want to save money in 2016, start right here.</p> <h2>1. Use Money-Saving Apps</h2> <p>There are so many great apps that make it effortless to save money. Most of the time, you don't even know you're doing it. For example, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-investing-today-acorns-lets-you-invest-your-change-while-you-shop">Acorns</a> automatically rounds up your daily purchases to the nearest dollar, and applies the difference (what you would call spare change) to an investment account. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-a-robot-called-digit-really-help-you-save-more">Digit</a> will monitor your spending habits, and safely move some of your money into a savings account when you can afford it (it comes with a no-overdraft guarantee as well). Do a quick search in the App Store or Google Play Store, and download the apps that you are most comfortable with. Then, set it and forget it. The money soon adds up.</p> <h2>2. Buy Used</h2> <p>Sure, it's nice to have brand new things, but often it's not essential. By buying used, you'll save yourself a whole lot of cash over the year. Pick up gently used clothing at thrift stores or on eBay at a fraction of the price they retail for brand new. Cars should always be bought used, as new ones depreciate in value the second you drive off the lot. For electronic items, kitchen appliances, and even furniture, look for factory seconds, or manufacturer refurbished. Every time you buy used, you are making significant savings.</p> <h2>3. Sell Unwanted Items</h2> <p>During the year, you'll acquire new things, and throw away old ones. Well, not so fast. Although it's easier to just put items in the trash or the donation bag, it is also very easy to sell them. Sites like Etsy, Craigslist, and eBay make it very simple. All you need to do is take a few good snapshots using your smartphone, and list using the templates provided. You can make hundreds of dollars a month from an investment of just 10&ndash;15 minutes a few times a week.</p> <h2>4. &quot;Clip&quot; Coupons</h2> <p>It used to be a chore to go through the circulars every week and cut out coupons. These days, you can &quot;clip&quot; coupons electronically, and it is so easy your kids can do it for you. Apps like Cartwheel by Target, Cellfire, Coupons.com, and Grocery IQ make it painless. Many of them apply the coupons directly to your grocery store loyalty card, and others send scannable coupons to your phone for easy access. It's free money just waiting to be collected.</p> <h2>5. Make Big Batches of Your Favorite Foods</h2> <p>Making spaghetti and meatballs for 12 people is almost as easy as making it for four. It can save time and money by preparing meals in large batches. Take advantage of bulk pricing, especially on meats and canned goods (those 10 for $10 deals can be invaluable). And, you're creating meals that can be frozen and reheated at a later date, perhaps for lunch at work, or for dinner again later in the month. Even if you live alone, cook for a big group of people. It's way cheaper than buying ready meals, and easier than cooking every night.</p> <h2>6. Use Cash When You Can</h2> <p>Credit and debit cards are very convenient, but they make spending money mindless. If you withdraw cash, you can see it being spent as you go, and this makes it easier to understand your own spending habits. Make sure you use either a free ATM, or go into your branch to make the withdrawal to avoid fees. By all means, carry an emergency card, but it really should be for emergencies only. If you get brave, try leaving the house without it now and again. Sure, you may not have enough cash for everything you want, but maybe you don't need all of those items anyway.</p> <h2>7. Take Advantage of Your Library</h2> <p>Books, CDs, and movies are cheap enough to rent or own, but almost every title you can think of will be available for free at your local library. What's more, you don't even have to physically go into the library. An app called Hoopla lets you borrow digital copies of movies, audiobooks, ebooks, albums, and more. After a set amount of time, the items come due and are removed from your account. No late fees, no hassle. You'll be surprised at how much you save.</p> <h2>8. Raise Your Deductibles</h2> <p>You can pay a lot less for your insurance policies simply by raising the deductible. If it's currently at $500, raise it to $1000, or even $2000. You will see a massive drop in the monthly premium. Now, you may think &quot;But if anything happens, I'll have a bigger bill.&quot; Yes, you will. However, consider the fact that on homeowners insurance, the average household makes a claim <a href="http://finance.zacks.com/average-homeowner-file-insurance-claims-8387.html">every 10 years</a>. For auto insurance, the average is <a href="http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2011/06/17/heres-how-many-car-accidents-youll-have/">every 17.9 years</a>! Think about that. You are paying a lot extra to keep that deductible low, and the chances are, you'll only ever need it a few times in your life. Still, to protect yourself, beef up your emergency fund to cover the deductible.</p> <h2>9. Buy Generic Whenever Possible</h2> <p>It's one of the simplest things you can do to save money at the grocery store, and takes little to no effort on your part. From laundry detergent and cereal, to breads, cheeses, and coffee creamers, there is usually a generic version for almost everything. They can be less than half the price of the name brand, and 99% of the time, you won't notice the difference.</p> <h2>10. Program Your Thermostat</h2> <p>If no one is home, there is no reason to have your heat set to comfortable temperatures. A programmable thermostat will set you back as little as $50, and can save you big. You can set the heating, or A/C, to less aggressive temperatures when you're out, and program the temperature you prefer to kick in about a half hour before you arrive home. If you really want to go all out, pick up a learning thermostat, like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0131RG6VK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B0131RG6VK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=REANDTTRTBQMVIVT" target="_blank">Nest</a>. It will adjust the temperature automatically for you based on your habits. And, it's also hooked up to the web, so you can adjust it using your smartphone.</p> <p><em>What are your New Year money resolutions?</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-new-year-money-resolutions-anyone-can-keep">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/americans-savings-rate-up-to-almost-7-who-benefits">Americans&#039; savings rate up to almost 7% - who benefits?</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/tricks-for-budgeting-as-parent">Budgeting Tricks for Parents</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-steps-to-absorb-the-cost-of-an-at-home-lifestyle">4 Steps to Absorb the Cost of an at-Home Lifestyle</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/common-currency-a-primer">Common Currency: A Primer</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/killin-em-out-there-the-school-clothes-conundrum">Killin &#039;em Out There: The School Clothes Conundrum</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living budgeting money new year's resolution savings Mon, 28 Dec 2015 16:00:04 +0000 Paul Michael 1626213 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Sloth Is Keeping You Poor http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-sloth-is-keeping-you-poor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-sloth-is-keeping-you-poor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/lazy_man_work_000010275265.jpg" alt="Man learning ways sloth is keeping him poor" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sloth &mdash; probably the weirdest of the seven deadly sins. How did it make it onto a short list alongside <em>wrath </em>and <em>greed</em>? What's so bad about being a master in relaxation?</p> <p>English speakers tend to translate sloth as <em>laziness</em>, but sloth is kind of the super group of bad behaviors, encompassing not just laziness, but also apathy, dejection, and indifference. And, although Western Culture tends to reference sloth within the context of Catholicism's seven deadly sins, most cultures and religious traditions around the world think that sloth is really, really bad because it impoverishes people in so many ways. Here's how this sin is keeping you poor. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-recipes-for-lazy-people">25 Healthy Recipes for Lazy People</a>)</p> <h2>1. It Destroys Professional Relationships</h2> <p>The main reason why sloth is globally loathed is that it often involves the exploitation of others. The slothful will turn in the bare minimum required at any job, forcing coworkers to pick up the slack. This willingness to squander other people's time, always results in hard feelings. No one likes to feel used. So if your professional growth is stunted by a sloth-like reputation, you can kiss any future raises goodbye.</p> <h2>2. It Degrades Potential</h2> <p>Work is worship. The journey is the destination. The reason why these maxims exist is because it is the hard process of many activities that results in enlightenment, not the end goal. For example, while regular yoga practice can result in a firmer butt, yoga was designed as a preparation for meditation.</p> <p>The demon of sloth is Belphegor. One of the seven princes of Hell, Belphegor tempts humans to the dark side by offering them time-saving gadgets. What a master of seduction, am I right? Because who doesn't want to find an invention that replaces real work? Alas, innovation and great achievement rarely come from taking the easy route.</p> <p>By yielding to sloth, a person is giving up personal and professional growth in exchange for mediocrity. And nobody becomes successful or wealthy by settling for mediocrity.</p> <h2>3. It Makes Work/Life Balance Impossible</h2> <p>Sloth sounds like the most un-American of vices. Say what you will about us, but we're nothing if not industrious. However, we all have that friend who constantly complains about his job. He could quit or switch to a less stressful gig, but his pride gets in the way. He humble-brags about never taking a vacation, and then calls into the office while on holiday, under the assumption that the world will fall apart without him. Sloths will often spend a lot of time just spinning their wheels, rather than creating anything of lasting value.</p> <h2>4. It Erodes Common Sense</h2> <p>I hate camping. Inevitably, I get stuck sharing a tent with the person who wakes up in the middle of the night and needs to pee. But, instead of putting on her shoes and going outside where she might have to be cold for a few minutes, she instead stays inside the tent and keeps me awake by tossing and turning for hours in discomfort. While common sense would dictate that a few moments of cold would be worth several hours of sleep, Belphegor is the devil that you know. And sloth is ultimately about pain avoidance, to the dumbest degree.</p> <p>On a more serious note, the inability to make tough, but necessary decisions can do serious damage to a person's future, when the devil that you know is a terrible job.</p> <h2>5. It Puts Pleasure Out of Reach</h2> <p>Dante describes sloth as a slow love that cannot uplift. Cloistered monks nicknamed sloth the &quot;Noonday Devil.&quot; The Latin translation for sloth comes closer to the word <em>acedia</em>, which Thomas Aquinas described as &quot;the sorrow of the world.&quot; Acedia is that low-grade feeling of ennui, that sense that life is just passing by. Sloth makes it hard to think big or dream of a better life. Which will make it impossible to chase those dreams and achieve personal and professional success.</p> <h2>6. It Harms Your Health</h2> <p>As it turns out, a sorrow for the world can also damage a person's physical and mental health. That &quot;Meh&quot; feeling is actually low-grade anxiety, which can raise levels of cortisol, the body's stress hormone. Elevated cortisol levels are not only associated with mood disorders and depression, but also put people at a <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037">greater risk for heart disease and diabetes</a>. And nothing destroys your finances like rapidly accumulating medical bills.</p> <p><em>Are you stuck in sloth-mode? Share in the comments section!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-sloth-is-keeping-you-poor">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste 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/financial-peace-in-hard-times">Financial Peace in Hard Times</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-peer-pressure-from-destroying-your-finances">How to Keep Peer Pressure From Destroying Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Lifestyle budgeting lazy money habits poor seven deadly sins sins Wed, 23 Dec 2015 12:00:03 +0000 Max Wong 1625889 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 New Year Budget Resolutions You Should Make Now http://www.wisebread.com/4-new-year-budget-resolutions-you-should-make-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-new-year-budget-resolutions-you-should-make-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_new_years_eve_000051592454.jpg" alt="Woman making budget New Year&#039;s resolutions now" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You know your finances are a mess. But why wait until New Year's Day to make changes? Here are four financial resolutions you should make, and start following, before 2016 rolls around.</p> <h2>1. Make a Realistic Budget</h2> <p>Before you can change your financial habits, you need a roadmap listing how much you earn each month and how much you typically spend. Once you have a handle on your monthly expenses and income, you can better determine how much extra money you have to save each month or pay down credit card debt.</p> <p>Creating a budget needn't be a chore. Simply list the income that comes into your household every month, then list the expenses that you must pay every month. Some won't vary, such as your mortgage or car payment. Some might change, such as groceries, gas, utility bills, or your minimum monthly required payments on your credit card. Calculate an average for these fluctuating bills.</p> <p>Don't forget to budget for discretionary items, too. You'll need to list how much you plan on these &quot;extras&quot; &mdash; such as entertainment, travel, or shopping.</p> <p>Once you have all your monthly estimated expenses and income tabulated for the month, you'll have a better idea if you have any extra money to build an emergency fund, cut down your credit card debt, or pay toward your mortgage's principal balance. Still overwhelmed? Try free tools such as Mint or You Need a Budget to help create and track your budget.</p> <h2>2. Put Aside $100 a Month for Your Emergency Fund</h2> <p>Far too many people have no emergency fund to handle life's unexpected expenses. If your furnace conks out or your car's transmission goes on the fritz, how would you pay for the repairs? If you're like many, you'd put them on your credit card.</p> <p>An emergency fund, though, can act as a safety net, allowing you to pay for costly repairs with cash instead of credit. An emergency fund can help you through periods of unemployment too, giving you spending money as you search for a job.</p> <p>Ideally, your emergency fund should have enough dollars to cover six to 12 months of living expenses. That can be an imposing figure. But saving $100 a month for an emergency fund? That's not nearly as intimidating &mdash; and the money adds up quicker than you might think. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-step-by-step-guide-to-creating-your-emergency-fund?ref=seealso">A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <h2>3. Always Pay More Than the Minimum Monthly Payment</h2> <p>Credit card providers are required to list how long it will take you to pay off your debt if you only make the minimum required payment each month. Resolve to look carefully at this information on your next credit card statement. The numbers there might shock you.</p> <p>Here's an example: If you have $5,000 in credit card debt at an interest rate of 17%, and your minimum monthly payment is 3% of your balance, it would take you 189 months &mdash; nearly 16 years &mdash; and a total of $9,207.81 to pay off that balance. And that's only if you don't use your card to make any additional purchases.</p> <p>Resolve starting this month to always pay more than the minimum. You'll save thousands of dollars in interest. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-habits-of-highly-responsible-credit-card-users?ref=seealso">12 Habits of Highly Responsible Credit Card Users</a>)</p> <h2>4. Give Your Credit Card Issuers a Call</h2> <p>Make a call before New Year's Day to the financial institutions behind your credit cards. Why talk to them? To ask them for lower interest rates, of course. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?ref=seealso">These Credit Cards Have the Lowest Interest Rates</a>)</p> <p>You might be surprised at how willing credit card companies sometimes are to reward good customers with lower interest rates. If you carry a balance each month on your cards &mdash; you shouldn't, but many of us do &mdash; these lower rates can save you a big chunk of change.</p> <p>Your odds of convincing your card provider to give you a lower rate will be higher if you've been a long-time customer and if you have a history of paying your credit card bill on time each month. But you'll never know if you can nab a lower rate if you don't first call.</p> <p><em>Are you planning to make any money-related resolutions this year?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-new-year-budget-resolutions-you-should-make-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/73-easy-ways-to-save-money-today">73 Easy Ways to Save Money Today</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-9-people-in-your-life-who-are-keeping-you-poor">The 9 People in Your Life Who Are Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/join-america-saves-week-february-24-to-march-2nd">Join America Saves Week February 24 to March 2nd</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-financial-decisions-youll-never-regret">8 Financial Decisions You&#039;ll Never Regret</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money">5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance budgeting debt emergency funds new years resolution Thu, 19 Nov 2015 17:08:47 +0000 Dan Rafter 1615343 at http://www.wisebread.com What’s Your Budget Personality? http://www.wisebread.com/what-s-your-budget-personality <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-s-your-budget-personality" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_using_tablet_000050902322.jpg" alt="Woman figuring out her budgeting personality" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Our personalities inform how we approach every part of our lives. From the workplace to friendships and even at home, your distinct style is uniquely yours when you interact with the world around you. This goes for budgets, too. Personalities often impact how you spend, save and manage your money, sometimes positively and sometimes impeding your progress.</p> <p>Do you know your budget personality? Check out these four common types and corresponding tips to jump-start your road to better financial health. You just may recognize yourself!</p> <h2>The Go(al)-Getter</h2> <p>You set incremental goals, map out a plan and then make it happen. Save for a big purchase? Check. Increase retirement savings? Check. Put money aside for a down payment? Check. Your drive, ability to focus and discipline help you stick to your plans and achieve what you want out of life, including hitting your financial goals big and small.</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong>: You plan for everything, but don't forget to plan for unexpected expenses like a car breakdown, a broken leg, or even three destination-wedding invitations in your mailbox! To keep with your planning personality, tell yourself, &ldquo;My car&nbsp;<em>will</em>&nbsp;eventually need repair,&rdquo; and &ldquo;I <em>will</em>&nbsp;have medical expenses at some point.&rdquo; That way you can anticipate the unexpected. Look at your budget from last year and map what categories you&rsquo;re most likely to experience surprises. In the world of budgeting, sometimes lightning does strike twice!</p> <h2>The Automater</h2> <p>You fill your life with the things you love: friends, family, and hobbies. Money isn't your favorite topic &mdash; it probably doesn&rsquo;t even crack the top 10. But that doesn't mean you don't stay on top of your financial responsibilities. You've created a system that does the work for you: automatic bill pay, deposits to your savings account from each paycheck and round-ups into an investment account with each purchase. Knowing your money is managed in the background of life gives you comfort as you go about your business.</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong>: Automation is a great way to manage your bills and saving, but don&rsquo;t become robotic about your budget. You may miss out on opportunities to optimize your money. Look at money coming in and going out of your accounts monthly. You may find that you're spending money on services you're not using (e.g. subscriptions) or not taking advantage of offers like credit card points or company 401(k) matching.</p> <h2>The Busy Bee</h2> <p>You are always on the go, so your phone is a mobile command center for your life. Your phone helps you understand your daily &ldquo;to-do list&rdquo; &mdash; alerts and push notifications make sure you're at meetings, kids' functions and paying your bills on time&hellip; even if it&rsquo;s by the skin of your nose! You focus your seemingly endless energy to what's immediately next, often doing three things at once&hellip; rarely without a phone in your hand to accelerate your tasks.</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong>: Mobile tools have made budgeting efficient and easy, even while in the car or at work. But don't forget to slow down and think about the big picture. Where do you want to be in 5, 10, and 20 years? Do you have the financial plans in place to make that vision a reality? Though it may be hard to imagine even a week in the future, make time for yourself (and your partner, if someone is along for the ride) to discuss what you want out of your future and make a plan together.</p> <h2>The Avoider</h2> <p>For you, money = worry. As a result, you avoid the subject as much as possible; putting off bills and financial decisions until they become late notices and missed opportunities. Your budget is more &ldquo;approximation&rdquo; than exact math, which usually creates more worry than your thoughts on money in the first place!</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong>: Start small. Creating a budget may seem like an insurmountable task, especially for someone who feels like they don&rsquo;t have enough money to cover his or her expenses. Knowledge is a powerful ally when cleaning up your financial act. Start off by tracking everything you spend in one week vs. the money that you bring in. You may discover things you didn&rsquo;t know about your spending habits. Once you see the value of these insights, <a href="https://www.mint.com/">Mint</a> can help you establish a budget and set you on a path to be worry-free.</p> <p>What&rsquo;s your budget personality? Share in the Comments or on Twitter with hashtag #BudgetPersonality.</p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at&nbsp;<a href="https://blog.mint.com/" target="_blank">mintlife</a>.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> What&#039;s your budget personality? Find out here! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mint">Mint</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-s-your-budget-personality">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/too-broke-to-be-frugal">Too broke to be frugal?</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-moments-that-are-awkward-for-everyone">10 Money Moments That Are Awkward for Everyone</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/make-grocery-budgeting-a-game-the-price-is-right-style">Make Grocery Budgeting A Game, The Price Is Right Style</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-often-do-you-get-your-paycheck">How often do you get your paycheck?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-1-losing-a-job">Getting by without a job, part 1--losing a job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting budgeting finances personality types spending habits Wed, 04 Nov 2015 17:16:29 +0000 Mint 1598543 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Things I Learned About Money From Famous People's Wills http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-i-learned-about-money-from-famous-peoples-wills <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-things-i-learned-about-money-from-famous-peoples-wills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/william_shakespeare_000049023568.jpg" alt="Learning about money and finance from William Shakespeare&#039;s will" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I've always been fascinated by William Shakespeare's will. Specifically, by the way he left his wife his &quot;second-best bed,&quot; especially since historians are at odds over what he meant by it. Was this an insult to a spouse he didn't get along with, or a tender gesture? After all, since everything was handmade, furniture was much more valuable back in the 1600s than it is today.</p> <p>Thinking about Shakespeare's seemingly odd bequests made me realize that what people list in their wills says a lot about what they value.</p> <p>So when Ancestry made a searchable database of 170 million will and probate documents available to its subscribers, I eagerly dove in. Of course, most Ancestry members use this information to learn more about their family members; the site touts these records' value in particular for African Americans searching for family history, since wills from the slavery era may <a href="http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2015/10/12/finding-a-name-why-probate-records-are-a-gold-mine-for-african-americans/">name their ancestors as property</a>.</p> <p>In fact, when I started searching well-known names, the first one I found was a slave owner: George Washington, whose will calls for the freeing of his slaves after Martha's death. (He also called for one, named William Lee, to be freed as soon as he died, which makes sense because Lee was Washington's personal valet.)</p> <p>What can we learn from the wills of notable dead people? Here's what famous people's taught me about money and finances.</p> <h2>1. Furniture Was Really Valuable</h2> <p>Like Shakespeare, Paul Revere made specific plans for his household furniture after his death; he left it all to his only unmarried daughter &mdash; but only if she was still single by the time he died. Revere no doubt figured that if his daughter had already established her own household, she'd have no room for dad's tables, chairs, and beds, second best or otherwise.</p> <h2>2. Families Held Onto Silver No Matter What</h2> <p>Louisa May Alcott's family often went hungry in her childhood; in fact, poverty drove Alcott to start writing. Yet, they never became desperate enough to sell the &quot;family silver&quot; &mdash; Alcott left her share to a niece in her will.</p> <p>Alcott's will also made me wonder if the famous author, who never married, had a love affair or some other skeleton in her closet to cover up, because she called for all her letters and manuscripts to be burned upon her death.</p> <h2>3. Intellectual Property Has Been Valuable for Hundreds of Years</h2> <p>Shakespeare's will makes no mention of his plays, because with no copyright law, intellectual property was not a thing yet. Shakespeare might not have even had copies of his own works.</p> <p>Not so for Nathaniel Hawthorne, who died intestate in 1864. An inventory of his estate includes copyrights estimated at a $2,500 value &mdash; much more than his $200 book collection, his $800 worth of household goods, or any of his investments, which included 10 shares in Boston National Bank ($1,020) and two shares of Jamaica Plain Gas Company ($200).</p> <h2>4. The Price of Property in Florida Has Gone Way Up</h2> <p>Harriet Beecher Stowe was an early snowbird, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-your-first-home-what-to-do-and-when-to-do-it">buying property</a> in Mandarin, Florida, where she enjoyed wintering with her husband. An inventory of her estate at her death in 1896 values a six-acre orange grove in Mandarin at $0.</p> <p>Nowadays, according to Zillow, a lot of similar size in the area is <a href="http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/Mandarin-Jacksonville-FL/pmf,pf_pt/land_type/2118327479_zpid/125198_rid/lot_sort/30.204784,-81.572714,30.111424,-81.729956_rect/12_zm/?3col=true">listed for $799,000</a>.</p> <p>By the way, Stowe, whose book <em>Uncle Tom's Cabin</em> was a record-breaking bestseller, also had nearly $2,000 cash on hand when she died &mdash; more than $50,000 in today's dollars.</p> <h2>5. Parents Love Their Kids Equally &mdash; Except for Their Favorite</h2> <p>Booker T. Washington left his three children the future royalties from his books to &quot;share and share alike.&quot; But he also left his gold watch and chain to his namesake, Booker T. Jr., while failing to bequeath any personal effects to the other two.</p> <h2>6. Ernest Hemingway Wrote a Tight Will</h2> <p>In life, Papa was known for short and meaty sentences, and his books are no longer than they need to be. So I guess we shouldn't be surprised that Hemingway's will, written from Finca Vigia, his house in Cuba, six years before he took his own life, is only one page long and contains a minimum of legalese.</p> <p>Hemingway left everything to his spouse, designating nothing for his children, merely saying, &quot;I repose complete confidence in my beloved wife Mary to provide for them according to written instructions I have given her.&quot;</p> <p><em>What does your will say about you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-i-learned-about-money-from-famous-peoples-wills">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/12-financial-moves-to-make-when-a-loved-one-dies">12 Financial Moves to Make When a Loved One Dies</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/tricks-for-budgeting-as-parent">Budgeting Tricks for Parents</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/leave-marley-in-the-movies-why-buying-a-trendy-pet-makes-no-sense">Leave Marley in the Movies: Why Buying a Trendy Pet Makes No Sense</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/fess-up-to-your-addictions-how-to-satisfy-them-on-a-frugal-budget">Fess Up to Your Addictions: How to Satisfy Them on a Frugal 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/11-silent-budget-killers-you-dont-notice">11 Silent Budget Killers You Don&#039;t Notice</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Family budgeting estate planning inheritance money will Wed, 04 Nov 2015 16:15:36 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1605685 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Apple Watch Apps That'll Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/8-apple-watch-apps-thatll-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-apple-watch-apps-thatll-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/apple_watch_000065441195.jpg" alt="Man using apple watch apps to save him money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Technology is a pretty amazing thing. It has the ability to make our lives easier and more complicated at the same time. Ask any parent with a teenager on social media.</p> <p>The recently released <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-why-apple-is-still-on-a-tear">Apple Watch</a> has certainly lifted the technology bar in terms of what you can now do directly from your wrist. The days of glancing at your wrist to <em>only</em> get the time are a thing of the past, especially when it comes to managing your finances. There are some pretty amazing Apple Watch apps out there, many of which are free, that can help you save and manage your money. Here are the eight apps worth knowing about.</p> <h2>1. Mint for Apple Watch</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free on iTunes</p> <p>The folks at Mint.com have entered the smart watch market by releasing a <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mint-money-manager-budget/id300238550">Mint app</a> designed specifically for the Apple Watch. Once you pair your watch with your iPhone, the app lets you set up your monthly budget and helps keep your spending in check. You can review your day-to-day spending directly on your watch face and quickly glance at how much discretionary spending money you have left.&nbsp;</p> <h2>2. Daily Bread</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $1.99 on iTunes</p> <p>The&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/gm/app/daily-bread-smart-grocery/id917256488">Daily Bread Grocery app</a> with Apple Watch integration, helps you save money by keeping your spending in check when at the grocery store. The app allows you to create smart shopping lists, and avoid expensive impulse purchases, by using a &quot;predictive algorithm&quot; which shows you the groceries you'll likely need based on your buying history. You can shop from your grocery list directly from your wrist and tell Siri to add specific items to your list without having to write anything down.</p> <h2>3. Pennies</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $3.99 on iTunes</p> <p>The&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pennies-personal-money-budget/id916741290">Pennies app</a> with Apple watch integration is a very easy to use &quot;everyday money tracker.&quot; The app lets you set-up specific budgets, both recurring and one-offs, and allows you to track your spending when on-the-go via your smartphone or Apple Watch. For example, if you have a $200 monthly entertainment budget you can simply enter your &quot;fun money&quot; expenses and check your wrist to see how you are doing throughout the month. You can also set &quot;Daily Targets&quot; to track your spending today and see how it will affect your spending tomorrow. The app is a fantastic tool to not only keep your spending reigned in, but also provides a useful way to see where your money goes every month in an attempt to find your budget-busters.</p> <h2>4. iBank</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $9.99 on iTunes</p> <p>The popular <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ibank-for-iphone/id919518925">iBank app</a> now has Apple Watch integration that'll display budget and expense details directly on your watch. You can also get information on how your investments are currently performing. It doesn't stop there &mdash; you can dig even deeper and check your linked credit card and bank accounts via your &quot;timepiece.&quot; For the $10 price tag, the app is by far the most expensive on my list, but you end up getting a lot of useful features for your money.</p> <h2>5. Unspent</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $0.99 on iTunes</p> <p><a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/unspent-track-your-spending/id952563330">Unspent</a> for the Apple Watch is a great way to keep your spending in check. The app connects to your iPhone and allows you to create spending categories, both seasonal and every day, and then lets you enter new transactions directly from your wrist. You can then view a summary of what you have left to spend in each category. The beauty of the app is in its simplicity; no charts, no bank connections, and no decimal points. According to their website, &quot;Unspent is for people who want to track spending balances, but don't want to overthink it.&quot;</p> <h2>6. MoneyWiz 2</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $4.99 in iTunes</p> <p>The <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/moneywiz-2-personal-finance/id936248215">MoneyWiz app</a> has been around for iOS devices for some time now, but they just recently added Apple Watch integration that's pretty powerful. The app allows you to track your spending, manage your budget, and get bill pay reminders that'll make late fees a thing of the past. Almost all of this information is now just an arm's length away via your Apple Watch. The budgeting tools are very intuitive and easy to set up, and the money saved by avoiding late fees makes this app worth a look.</p> <h2>7. Chronicle</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $4.99 in iTunes</p> <p>The&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/chronicle-bill-reminders/id572561420">Chronicle app</a>, with Apple Watch integration, allows you to track your spending, keep track of your monthly bills, and set-up bill reminders to make those costly late fees a thing of the past. The ease of use with the app, and how you can access your financial information with a glance at your wrist, makes it a winner. For example, you can immediately see what bill is due next along with a chronological list of all your bills that are coming due. The app saves you money by helping you avoid late fees and documents your spending so you can keep your monthly budget on track.</p> <h2>8. Gas Guru</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free in iTunes</p> <p>The <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gas-guru-cheap-gas-prices/id525588154">Gas Guru app</a> is free on iTunes and helps you locate the cheapest gas in your vicinity. To the excitement of many, the app has recently been integrated for use on the Apple Watch. Your watch display will show you the cheapest gas stations around you based on the grade of gas you select, and give you the address of the station and how far you are from it. While the&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gasbuddy-find-cheap-gas-prices/id406719683?mt=8">GasBuddy app</a> has been a long-time favorite among the frugal sect, Gas Guru takes it to a whole new level by letting you use it directly from your wrist.</p> <p>While many of these apps are available to anyone with a smartphone, the Apple Watch integration is pretty cool, and quite handy. With that said, the hefty price tag of an Apple Watch makes it a hard to justify purchase. But if you're an Apple junkie and already own an Apple Watch, these apps are definitely worth a look.</p> <p><em>Are you an Apple Watch owner? If so, do you take advantage of any of these apps, or perhaps one not listed, that helps you save or manage your money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apple-watch-apps-thatll-save-you-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-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/4-must-have-apps-for-roommates">4 Must-Have Apps for Roommates</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-surprising-ways-your-smartphone-can-keep-you-and-your-family-safe">6 Surprising Ways Your Smartphone Can Keep You and Your Family Safe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money">5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-shopping-apps-thatll-actually-save-you-money-in-2016">The 8 Shopping Apps That&#039;ll Actually Save You Money in 2016</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-money-moments-that-are-awkward-for-everyone">10 Money Moments That Are Awkward for Everyone</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Technology apple watch apps budgeting gas groceries ITunes smartphone Thu, 20 Aug 2015 15:00:49 +0000 Kyle James 1531718 at http://www.wisebread.com The Fastest Method to Eliminate Credit Card Debt http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_cutting_credit_card_000015615021.jpg" alt="Woman learning fastest way to eliminate credit card debt" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you have credit card debt that you want to pay off quickly? Well, you're not alone. In fact, more than 45% of Americans currently have a credit card balance, and according to Ben Woolsey, director of marketing and consumer research for CreditCards.com, the average amount of debt per household is $15,956.</p> <p>Millions of Americans in their late 20s and early 30s will be <a href="http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/young-people-paying-off-card-debt-more-slowly/?_r=0">outlived by their credit card debt</a>, so it's time to take charge now. If you have credit card debt, then there are several simple steps you can take to eliminate it in less time.</p> <h2>1. Pay Off the Highest Interest Rate Card First</h2> <p>Invest <em>any </em>extra cash you have every month into paying off your highest interest rate card, while still paying the minimums on your others. Once you've paid off your highest interest rate card, begin applying all your extra cash to the card with the next highest rate, and continue paying the minimums on the remaining cards. Each time you pay off a card, you will be left with a little more extra cash every month, which you can invest into the next card you're paying off, creating a positive payment snowball effect.</p> <p>Paying off the highest interest card first is the fastest way to eliminate your credit card debt and reduce your monthly interest fees. But if your goal is to pay off a single credit card as quickly as possible, then you'll want to attack the card with the lowest balance first. This can also leave you with a huge feeling of accomplishment knowing that you've paid off one of your credit cards in full. On the other hand, if you're trying to boost your credit score, then you'll want to pay off the card with the highest utilization rate first. The utilization rate is simply your overall card balances divided by their credit limits. The lower your utilization rate is, the better your credit score is.</p> <h2>2. Don't Use Your Cards</h2> <p>The easiest and fastest way to eliminate credit card debt is to stop using your credit cards. Plan to pay in cash and you will automatically spend less. In fact, research has shown that consumers are willing to pay twice as much for an item when they are <a href="http://web.mit.edu/simester/Public/Papers/Alwaysleavehome.pdf">paying with a credit card</a> as opposed to cash. If you are still using your credit cards as you are trying to pay off your debt, you will only sabotage your own efforts.</p> <h2>3. Get Organized</h2> <p>Make a spreadsheet detailing which cards you have, how much debt you have on each, and their interest rates. You'll also want to know what your total amount of debt is, and make a game plan on how you'll begin paying it off. You won't be able to tackle a problem if you don't know what you're dealing with.</p> <h2>4. Set a Budget</h2> <p>Make a budget detailing what you spend. Are there areas where you can save money? This extra money can be used to pay down your credit cards even faster. Whether you are dining out less, downgrading your cable service, going easy on the A/C, or cutting unnecessary luxury expenses, do what you need to do to reduce your spending.</p> <h2>5. Request a Lower Interest Rate</h2> <p>Call each credit card company and request a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?ref=internal">lower interest rate</a>. Lower rates can mean lower monthly payments and fees, so every payment will pay off more of the principal. If you have good credit or you've been offered a lower rate by a competing credit card, make sure to mention that to the customer service rep.</p> <h2>6. Make Two Minimum Payments Per Month</h2> <p>Making two minimum payments every month can be your key to living debt-free in no time. Each time you make a payment, your average daily balance is reduced, which results in lower interest charges. This will result in paying off debt at a much faster speed and can also help boost your credit score.</p> <h2>7. Transfer a Balance</h2> <p>If you have a credit card with a high interest rate, you may want to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?ref=internal">consider a balance transfer</a>. You may be eligible for a 0% promo rate, which will provide you with more time to pay off the balance and allow you to focus on other high interest rate cards. It'll also mean that you're spending less in interest fees, so more money will be going towards the principal owed. However, you want to be careful with balance transfers because there is usually a fee incurred of about 3% of the total amount transferred. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Cards with 0% Balance Transfer APR</a>)</p> <h2>8. Consolidate Your Debt</h2> <p>It may be in your best interest to consolidate your debt. This can usually be done by borrowing money from a bank, private lender, or a peer-to-peer lender, such as <a href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=22959301&amp;fot=9999&amp;foc=1">Lending Club</a> and <a href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=22964539&amp;fot=9999&amp;foc=1">Prosper</a>. You can use the loan to pay off all of your credit cards at once and then focus on paying one larger loan payment per month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-use-peer-to-peer-lending-to-pay-down-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso">Should You Use Peer-to-Peer Lending to Pay Down Credit Card Debt?</a>)</p> <h2>9. Continue Paying Your Cards Off</h2> <p>Once you've paid one credit card off, it may be tempting to pocket what you would normally spend on that bill every month. However, the last thing you should do right now is pay less on your credit cards; the goal is to increase your payments every month. Instead, taking the money you would usually spend on that credit card and putting it towards another one will result in a faster pay-off</p> <h2>10. Don't Close the Card</h2> <p>While it may seem like a good idea to close your card after you've paid it off, this is actually not the best route. Your credit score is based partly on your credit utilization ratio, which is calculated based on the amount of credit you are using versus the total amount of credit in your name. Once you close the card, there is less credit in your name. This will cause your debt utilization ratio to increase, which will hurt you in the end. It's also important to maintain a long length of credit history, so keeping your card open will improve your score, too.</p> <p><em>Do you have any other tips on how to eliminate credit card debt quickly? 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/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-dirty-secrets-of-credit-cards">The Dirty Secrets of Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-dont-love-capital-one-how-to-get-a-lower-apr-or-possibly-not">How to Get a Lower APR, or Possibly Not</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-people-with-good-credit-never-do">8 Things People With Good Credit Never Do</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/debt-repayment-is-not-an-expense">Debt repayment is not an expense</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-7-best-credit-card-debt-elimination-strategies">The 7 Best Credit Card Debt Elimination Strategies</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Debt Management budgeting consolidating credit card bills debt payment plans Fri, 14 Aug 2015 13:00:27 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1519346 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Financial Mistakes You Need to Stop Making by 30 http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-by-30 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-financial-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-by-30" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_thinking_about_money_000059288760.jpg" alt="Man learning about financial mistakes to stop making by 30" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Managing money is tricky, especially when you're in your 20s and just starting your adult life. Between low starting pay, student loan debt, and the pressure to keep up with your friends materially, your finances are usually anything but perfect.</p> <p>As you learn the financial ropes, it's only natural that you'll make some mistakes along the way. I certainly did &mdash; because nobody's perfect, and our 20s are a time of self-discovery where we learn the dos and don'ts of money management. Alas, while you can get away with a few financial screw ups as a young adult, your 30s are the time to get serious about your money. You can no longer afford rookie mistakes.</p> <p>To help you advance to the big league, here's a look at five <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-financial-mistakes-that-limit-your-freedom">financial mistakes</a> to stop making by age 30.</p> <h2>1. Not Getting Serious About Budgeting</h2> <p>As a 20-something adult, you might live at home with your parents or share household expenses with a roommate. As a result, maybe you're able to spend money frivolously and you don't have to pinch pennies. If you get into any financial messiness, you can easily dig yourself out of a hole, leaving you feeling like a budget is unnecessary. Except there's one little problem: You'll eventually be on your own.</p> <p>By age 30, it's time to put impulse buying and bad habits behind you and get serious about managing your money. A budget is one of the best ways to maintain control of your finances. You're able to assess exactly where your money goes, and allocating a certain amount for different spending categories reduces the risk of overspending and ensures there's enough cash for other financial goals (building an emergency fund, saving up to buy a house, paying off debt, etc). You're an adult now, and you need to treat your money like one.</p> <h2>2. Using a Credit Card to Satisfy Your Wants</h2> <p>It's smart to apply for a credit card in your 20s. A credit card jumpstarts your credit history and provides access to funds during an emergency. Unfortunately, some 20-something adults rely too much on credit and accumulate massive debt. (You're not alone; I did it too.) But by the time you hit 30, it's time to give credit cards a rest and live mostly on cash.</p> <p>Using a credit card to satisfy your wants doesn't end well. The more debt you have, the harder it becomes to save for the future, and high minimum payments make it difficult to afford basic living expenses, like a mortgage or utilities. In your 30s, a credit card should be the exception, not the rule. If you use credit, make sure you're paying off the balance every month.</p> <h2>3. Ignoring Your Retirement Savings</h2> <p>Thinking back to my 20s, saving for retirement was the last thing on my mind. Maybe you feel the same way. In your 30s, you can't afford to put off saving for the future. For every year you delay saving for retirement, that might be an extra year you have to work later in life &mdash; and who the heck wants to do that? Talk to your employer about joining the company's 401(k) plan, and consider diversifying your retirement savings with an individual retirement account.</p> <h2>4. Relying Too Much on Your Parents for Support</h2> <p>I know from experience that making it on your own as a 20-something adult can be brutal. Entry-level salaries don't always keep up with the cost of living, and making ends meet might require some financial assistance from your parents. There's no shame in asking for help, but once you're in your 30s, you need to stand on your own two feet.</p> <p>This doesn't mean you'll never need financial help again, but instead of running to your parents every time you hit a financial roadblock, attempt to solve the problem yourself. What would you do if your parents weren't in a position to help? You could possibly sell items you don't need, ask your employer for overtime work, or downsize if you're living above your means.</p> <h2>5. Skipping Health Insurance and Other Insurance Needs</h2> <p>Some 20-something adults remain on a parent's health insurance plan until age 26. But once they're on their own, some feel they don't need insurance because they're healthy and only visit a doctor once a year for a physical, which is free under the Affordable Care Act. But just because you're healthy today doesn't mean you'll be healthy tomorrow. The older you get, the more likely you'll develop health problems, and it only takes one trip to the emergency room to wipe out your savings account. Even if you can't afford the best health insurance plan, some coverage is better than none.</p> <p>You also need to stop ignoring other insurance needs, such as disability insurance in the event you're unable to work for more than two weeks due to an injury or illness, and renter's insurance, which covers the replacement cost of your belongings in the event of fire, theft, or other damage to the property. Life often throws us curveballs when we're least expecting, so it's best to be as prepared as possible.</p> <p><em>Do you have other financial mistakes to add that we should stop making by age 30? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-by-30">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-all-30-somethings-should-have">10 Money Goals All 30-Somethings Should Have</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-best-free-financial-learning-tools">9 Best Free Financial Learning Tools</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-6-biggest-financial-decisions-in-your-20s">The 6 Biggest Financial Decisions in Your 20s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-7-money-moves-now-or-youll-regret-it-in-20-years">Make These 7 Money Moves Now Or You&#039;ll Regret It in 20 Years</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-financial-decisions-youll-never-regret">8 Financial Decisions You&#039;ll Never Regret</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance 30s budgeting habits insurance millennials money moves retirement Mon, 03 Aug 2015 13:00:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 1507542 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Must-Have Apps for Roommates http://www.wisebread.com/4-must-have-apps-for-roommates <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-must-have-apps-for-roommates" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_on_phones_000043476584.jpg" alt="Roommates uploading must-have apps for living together" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Maybe you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-of-having-a-roommate-besides-saving-on-rent">love your roommate</a>, or maybe you merely occupy the same space. No matter the relationship you might share, chances are that things have gotten dicey at least once or twice when it comes to money, sharing chores, and overall organization. Even the best of friends can disagree over who took the trash out last, or which one of you paid $10 more on the cable bill last month.</p> <p>When all else fails, here are four must-have apps for roommates that will make sure your house stays a happy home for all.</p> <h2>1. Splitwise</h2> <p>You know the situation. You are out at the grocery store getting a whole laundry list of items when your roommate opens their wallet and discovers they only have $5.00 to their name. If you're splitting expenses, this is cause for a major panic attack. &quot;I'll pay you back, I swear,&quot; says your roommate who still owes you $20.00 from last week's dinner out. Enter Splitwise.</p> <p>With <a href="http://www.splitwise.com">Splitwise</a> you can enter each roommate's (or friend's) name in the app and then go to town adding all sorts of expenses from shopping, to eating out, to household bills. Splitwise will take the guesswork out of keeping up with who owes whom, and will give you a clear snapshot of where everyone stands financially. It's easy to use, and you no longer have to keep all those loose receipts lying around. It's available in iPhone, Android, and web versions, and is totally free to boot.</p> <h2>2. Spotme Payments</h2> <p>This free app works just like Splitwise, focusing on managing all of those IOUs that roommates and friends seem to rack up. <a href="http://www.getspotme.com">Spotme</a> has some cool additional features that you might want to check out. You can add photos and memos to each entry, and even split up each expense evenly (or unevenly), depending on who bought two gallons of ice cream that night. The pictures come in handy because you can snap a shot of the receipt and not have arguments over how much you actually spent on toilet paper.</p> <p>Spotme is only for iPhone, but with the app you can now message users and bug them when they haven't sent you any payment yet. If you are an A-type personality roommate, you are sure to love this app.</p> <h2>3. Splitrr</h2> <p>You and your roommates decided to take an amazing trip to Chicago for a long weekend. You drove there, paid for the gas, loaded up your car with snacks, and rented a killer apartment on Airbnb. By this point you are at least a couple of hundred dollars in, while everyone else is enjoying a fat wallet and a full belly. Going on trips with roommates is one of the luxuries of sharing a home. You have a built in friend that is often game for whatever crazy adventure you can dream up. Most trips, however, end up a bit messy, because no one actually keeps track of who spent what, and inevitably one person ends up spending more than the others. Enter bitterness and resentment.</p> <p>Don't let your vacations end that like. <a href="http://www.splittrapp.com/">Splitrr</a> is a great iPhone app that takes the guesswork out of expensing the cost of a vacation with your roommates. All you do is add an expense in Splitrr, give the expense an name (like &quot;trip to Chicago&quot;), enter the price, the person who paid for the expense, and finally, who benefited. You let Splitrr go to work and magically calculate what each person owes. The beauty of Splitrr comes once the trip is over, because all you do is hit a button and the app generates a .pdf copy of the calculations that you can send easily to each person.</p> <h2>4. Fairshare</h2> <p>Up to this point we've talked about great apps to solve the common roommate money sharing problem &mdash; you owe me $100, and Bob owes $75, and Sally owes us all $25. What about the household chores? When was the last time your roommate took out the trash, or cleaned the dishes, or what about the dreaded laundry? Suddenly your best friend is your arch rival waging a war over the chore list.</p> <p><a href="http://www.getfairshare.com">Fairshare's</a> motto is &quot;shared living made easy,&quot; because that's the way it should be. This iPhone and Android app made the list of best roommate apps because of its versatility. Fairshare promotes happy living by making household tasks hassle-free. You enter a household task, assign it a time factor for how long it will take to complete, difficulty level, and the person responsible. Once they do the task, you mark it off the list and they receive their household points. Fairshare takes it a step forward with a feature that lets you see how many points each person has, what tasks they've completed, and who has surely dropped the ball. Rounding out the app is a feature that lets you quickly message your roommate and remind them that tonight you expect a home cooked meal when you arrive.</p> <p><em>What are some of your favorite roommate apps?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shannah-game">Shannah Game</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-must-have-apps-for-roommates">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-can-fix-your-finances">These 5 Apps Can Fix Your Finances</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-11-best-parking-apps-for-your-city">The 11 Best Parking Apps for Your City</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-back-to-school-iphone-apps">10 Back-to-School iPhone Apps</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-skills-that-will-be-obsolete-soon">9 Skills That Will Be Obsolete Soon</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology apps budgeting expenses living together roommates Fri, 17 Jul 2015 15:00:16 +0000 Shannah Game 1486831 at http://www.wisebread.com