budgeting http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/503/all en-US 7 Money Conversations Parents Should Have With Their Adult Kids http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-conversations-parents-should-have-with-their-adult-kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-money-conversations-parents-should-have-with-their-adult-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/smiling_mother_with_young_daughter.jpg" alt="Smiling mother with young daughter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's hard for many of us to talk about money. Money conversations can be stressful and awkward, and you may be tempted to just stay mum on the subject. However, it's vital that you pass financial wisdom on to your kids, even when they're adults. It's important to teach them about money growing up, but there are some things better discussed when they are older. Here are the money conversations you should be having with your adult children.</p> <h2>1. Financial boundaries</h2> <p>If you are supporting your adult children and you'd like to stop, or if you want to avoid it altogether, it's important to set up some financial boundaries. If you don't want to support them financially at all, tell them that up front and stick to it. That way, you won't end up paying for things and resenting it.</p> <p>If your adult kids are relying on you for part or all of their financial support, sit down together and form a plan. Cutting them off entirely probably won't work for either of you, but you can start slow; back off on payments over the course of six months to a year, and set up concrete steps along the way. For instance, you may decide to stop giving them &quot;fun&quot; money right away, but be willing to cover their cellphone plan for six more months.</p> <p>Make sure you go about having this conversation compassionately. Tell your child that you love them and that you want this for them as well as for you. Offer to help them along the way, to be available to answer questions or aid in budgeting, and let them know that you will always be there for them in other ways. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-ruining-your-retirement-by-spoiling-your-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are You Ruining Your Retirement by Spoiling Your Kids?</a>)</p> <h2>2. Financial values</h2> <p>Have a conversation with your adult child about what they want in life and how much those things will realistically cost. This is the time to talk about the financials behind car ownership, homeownership, traveling the world, and more. Make sure they have an understanding of how much money they'll need to have in order to afford the lifestyle they want, and how much they need to make in a week, a month, and a year to achieve that.</p> <p>Talk to them, also, about what is really important in life. Tell them that fancy cars, big houses, and lavish vacations aren't the keys to happiness. Ask them to think about what they would pursue if they were dying or what they would miss most if they suffered a serious injury. This can help them figure out what is important to them and what they may not be willing to trade their time and money for.</p> <h2>3. What it means to live within your means</h2> <p>Your adult kids need to understand the importance of spending less than they earn. Show them how to calculate this so they can determine for themselves when to spend their money and when it would be better to save or invest it. Your kids need to figure out how to sacrifice spending on superfluous things in order to live a financially secure life.</p> <h2>4. How to make a budget</h2> <p>Along the same lines, your adult children need to know how to make a budget. You can actually begin teaching this in childhood by giving your kid a weekly allowance and helping them break down how they want to spend their money. Even if you wait until they're older, though, you need to sit down with them and make sure your kids understand what they <em>need</em> to spend money on, what they <em>want</em> to spend money on, and how to allocate those dollars accordingly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Build a First Budget in 5 Easy Steps</a>)</p> <h2>5. The benefits and dangers of loans and credit cards</h2> <p>In a culture where credit is readily available, your kids need to know how to evaluate different credit opportunities based on benefits and drawbacks, as well as how to wisely use credit. As soon as they are old enough to obtain financing of their own, you need to talk with your kids about credit cards, educational loans, personal loans, and home loans.</p> <p>It will help to tell stories from your own life. Whether you've made financial mistakes or have been wise with your money, walking your kids through how you made your financial decisions and how they ultimately affected you will make the principles real, rather than keep them so abstract. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-financial-basics-every-new-grad-should-know?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Financial Basics Every New Grad Should Know</a>)</p> <h2>6. Saving for retirement</h2> <p>It can be hard for people in their late teens and 20s to think about saving for retirement, because it all feels so far away. But it's critical you talk with your adult children about how much they may need for retirement, and walk through some compound interest calculations with them so they see the benefit of saving early. Make sure they understand the basics of an IRA and 401(k), as well as what it means to be fully vested and take advantage of an employer match. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-basic-intro-to-having-a-retirement-fund-that-everyone-needs-to-read?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Basic Intro to Retirement Funds</a>)</p> <h2>7. Your financial plan</h2> <p>As your kids get older, they also need to know about <em>your</em> financial plan, before they find themselves trying to figure it out without you. This can be an especially difficult conversation to have, because on top of talking about money, you're also talking about serious injury, illness, or death.</p> <p>Still, it's important for your kids to know what types of insurance you have, because knowing whether you have long-term care coverage, for instance, may help them make better decisions later on. Talk to them, too, about how you plan to divide up your estate. This can keep conflicts to a minimum after you are gone, so they can grieve instead of fight. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fair-way-to-split-up-your-familys-estate?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fair Way to Split Up Your Family's Estate</a>)</p> <p>If one of your adult children is the executor of your will, make sure they understand that responsibility and that they have all the relevant information. They should have access to the location of your accounts, the account numbers, and any identification information, as well as contact information for your lawyer. You can write all of this out for them so they can simply file it away until they need it.</p> <p>Talking about money can be hard, but it's also important. Speaking with your adult children about these topics will ensure they have a better chance at a financially healthy life.</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/7-money-conversations-parents-should-have-with-their-adult-kids">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals">Don&#039;t Start a Family Before Reaching These 5 Money Goals</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-family-money-matters-your-kids-dont-need-to-know">9 Family Money Matters Your Kids Don&#039;t Need to Know</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-financial-basics-every-new-grad-should-know">The Financial Basics Every New Grad Should Know</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/where-to-find-emergency-funds-when-you-dont-have-an-emergency-fund">Where to Find Emergency Funds When You Don&#039;t Have an Emergency Fund</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/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family adult children boundaries budgeting credit kids loans money conversations money matters retirement saving money Wed, 22 Nov 2017 10:00:07 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 2056811 at http://www.wisebread.com First Rule of Financial Wins: Avoid Losses http://www.wisebread.com/first-rule-of-financial-wins-avoid-losses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/first-rule-of-financial-wins-avoid-losses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business_financial_opportunity.jpg" alt="Business Financial Opportunity" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The task of accumulating wealth and ensuring long-term financial security is often discussed alongside the idea of winning. And while it's fine to think of financial planning this way, it may be just as important to simply <em>avoid losing</em>. Smart investing involves looking for gains over time, but also escaping costly losses when the market goes down. Let's take a look at some ways we can &quot;win&quot; financially simply by avoiding losses.</p> <h2>1. Avoid overpriced stocks</h2> <p>The last thing you want is to buy a stock and immediately see it take a dive. If you are a young investor with a long time horizon, you can usually get away with putting your money in the market at any time. But it is important for anyone to avoid buying stocks when they are overvalued and perhaps due for a correction.</p> <p>It's tempting to buy a stock if shares have been moving upward, because we all like to invest in companies that are doing well. At a certain point, however, share prices can be too high based on the company's earnings. It's important to learn the basics of how to tell if a stock is fairly valued.</p> <p>A price-to-earnings ratio is an important consideration in valuing a stock. A P/E ratio is the share price divided by earnings-per-share (EPS). A P/E of more than 25 is on the high side, though P/Es vary by industry. Take time to learn what typical P/E ratios are for the sector you're looking to invest in.</p> <p>Another rule of thumb to keep in mind: If a stock has been consistently setting new 52-week highs, it may be due for a pullback.</p> <p>If a company's share prices seem overvalued, it's wise to practice patience or look elsewhere for better value. This will decrease your likelihood of losing money on the investment.</p> <h2>2. Know when to cut your losses</h2> <p>One common piece of investing advice is to stay the course and avoid panicking when shares of stock fall. This is sensible, but it should be balanced with an awareness of when to cut your losses.</p> <p>There's a fine line between being patient and sticking with a dud investment for too long. It's OK to stick with an investment if the company's underlying financials are still strong, but if the company is seeing shrinking profit margins and revenues, or has completely lost its competitive advantage, it may be time to cut and run. In particular, hanging onto investments during major market downturns can result in massive losses that will take years to recover from. Some financial advisers suggest selling an investment if it drops more than 10 percent in a short amount of time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-signs-a-stock-is-about-to-tank?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Signs a Stock Is About to Tank</a>)</p> <h2>3. Be truly diversified</h2> <p>Most investors know to avoid investing in too much of one thing. Diversification of investments is a key way to avoid a big loss. But sometimes, it's possible to think you are diversified when you aren't. For example, you may think you are diversifying your portfolio by investing in both U.S. based and international stocks. But have you considered that many U.S. companies already have a huge presence internationally? And even if you think you are diversified with various investments and asset classes, many investments still perform similarly, meaning that you're not as diversified as you think.</p> <p>Financial advisers have varying thoughts on the ideal way to diversify. Of course, everyone's portfolio will differ depending on their age, risk tolerance, and projected retirement year. But the basic tenet applies: Don't be too invested in one area.</p> <h2>4. Watch out for investment fees</h2> <p>When you buy and sell stocks and other investments, you'll likely be stuck paying a variety of fees. There are transaction costs for every trade, and maintenance fees and other costs for mutual funds and ETFs. These are costs that are taken out of money you invest, so you not only lose money immediately, but lose out on its potential gains. This can add up to thousands of dollars in the long run.</p> <p>Savvy investors know how to invest well while avoiding high costs. Discount brokerages such as Fidelity and Scottrade allow you to buy and sell stocks for as little as $4.95 per trade. Mutual fund companies including Vanguard, T. Rowe Price, and others have become more cognizant of fees, and are increasingly offering funds with super-low expense ratios. (Generally speaking, it's best look for funds that charge less than 1 percent for expenses.)</p> <p>Keep your costs low when you invest, and you'll find that avoiding these &quot;losses&quot; can boost your gains.</p> <h2>5. Understand when the markets may be due for a dip</h2> <p>It's very difficult to time the stock market, and for young investors, it's a good idea to just invest as soon as you can. But it's also possible to avoid big losses by recognizing when the markets may be due for a correction. If it seems like stocks are priced too high based on their earnings, that's one bad sign. A slowdown in economic growth is another, and you should be wary of a spike in inflation and interest rates, too. It's also worth noting if companies are downgrading their earnings predictions for the upcoming quarter, as that could be a sign that business executives are pessimistic. If you recognize any or all of these signs, it may be worth waiting a while before investing too heavily.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffirst-rule-of-financial-wins-avoid-losses&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FFirst%2520Rule%2520of%2520Financial%2520Wins_%2520Avoid%2520Losses.jpg&amp;description=First%20Rule%20of%20Financial%20Wins%3A%20Avoid%20Losses"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/First%20Rule%20of%20Financial%20Wins_%20Avoid%20Losses.jpg" alt="First Rule of Financial Wins: Avoid Losses" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/first-rule-of-financial-wins-avoid-losses">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/15-personal-finance-rules-you-should-be-breaking">15 Personal Finance Rules You Should Be Breaking</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/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-if-your-net-worth-is-negative">6 Money Moves to Make If Your Net Worth Is Negative</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meditation-can-make-you-a-money-master">6 Ways Meditation Can Make You a Money Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance apps budgeting cutting expenses energy efficient fees insurance investing losing saving spending stocks winning Tue, 14 Nov 2017 09:31:09 +0000 Tim Lemke 2053314 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Ways to Prepare for Your Best Black Friday http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-prepare-for-your-best-black-friday <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-ways-to-prepare-for-your-best-black-friday" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_asian_woman_with_shopping_bags.jpg" alt="Happy asian woman with shopping bags" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Don't let the success of Cyber Monday fool you: Black Friday is still a massive holiday spending day. According to the National Retail Federation, over 154 million consumers shopped over Black Friday weekend in 2016 &mdash; up from 151 million the year before.</p> <p>Chances are, you're going to be one of those many consumers shopping on Black Friday this year. But you don't have to totally blow your budget in the process. There are ways you can soften the blow to your bank account with advance preparation. Here's how.</p> <h2>1. Put your common indulgences on hold</h2> <p>I like to have my hair cut every two weeks. But when I'm trying to save, I push the cut out to every three weeks. My haircuts cost $17 including tip, and if I adhered to this schedule on a regular basis, I'd save a whopping $148 a year. You may have an indulgence like this that you can honor less frequently or stop altogether while you try to budget more strictly during the holidays. These indulgences usually aren't cheap, and forgoing them will provide a sizable amount of extra dough for you to use for gift shopping.</p> <h2>2. Focus on paying off any existing credit card debt</h2> <p>Before you start swiping your cards left and right, it's important to tackle any existing credit card debt, especially if you've only been making minimum payments up to this point. Concentrate on the highest-interest cards first; you'll save more in the long run by paying those down or off as soon as possible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Pay Off High Interest Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>3. Pause or change your media subscriptions</h2> <p>The holidays are busy. Shopping, parties, pageants &mdash; you know the drill. All that running around probably leaves you with little time to use the subscription services for which you're paying a premium. So don't.</p> <p>&quot;Consider pausing subscriptions for a few months, or temporarily changing services to a lower-priced tier,&quot; advises Lindsay Sakraida, director of content marketing with DealNews. &quot;For example, if you pay extra for Hulu without ads, premium Netflix, or extra data cell service, you might want to adjust all of them for a month or two to save some cash for Black Friday and the holidays.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Pick up short-term gigs and odd jobs for quick cash</h2> <p>I participate in several &quot;gig&quot; services throughout the year, but this side work really picks up around the holidays &mdash; and that helps my disposable income swell. Pet sit via Rover.com, pick up passengers using Lyft, host guests in your home through Airbnb, and deliver groceries with the help of Instacart. I do it all, and I highly recommend looking into any one of these opportunities for quick cash. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-seasonal-side-hustles-thatll-cover-your-holiday-spending?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Seasonal Side Hustles That'll Cover Your Holiday Spending</a>)</p> <h2>5. Make a gift list and establish a firm maximum budget</h2> <p>Make your list, check it twice, and decide how much you want to spend on each recipient. Once that budget is set, stick to it. Better yet, make it your goal to come in under the amounts you've established for each person so you can treat yourself to a little something special when all is said and done. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow</a>)</p> <h2>6. Research the Black Friday deals ahead of time</h2> <p>News of many Black Friday offers will be released well in advance &mdash; several retailers, like Walmart, Costco, Kohl's, and JCPenny have already whetted consumers' appetites with &quot;leaked&quot; deals &mdash; which allows you plenty of time to research the best of the best. There are entire sites, such as <a href="https://bestblackfriday.com/" target="_blank">Best of Black Friday</a>, dedicated to compiling the deals in one place.</p> <h2>7. Start shopping early to spread out your spending</h2> <p>Why wait until Black Friday if you recognize a great deal when you see one? Just because the day after Thanksgiving receives heavy promotion doesn't mean there aren't other great deals before the stampedes begin.</p> <p>&quot;Make it a point to get a jump-start on planning and shopping early so you have a few months to purchase gifts instead of waiting until the holiday season,&quot; suggests Natasha Rachel Smith, personal finance expert at TopCashback.com. &quot;Also, don't forget about deals on Thanksgiving. Every year Black Friday has crept up earlier and earlier. In fact, in recent years, some deals sell out before Black Friday.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-black-friday-deal-without-leaving-home?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways to Score a Black Friday Deal Without Leaving Home</a>)</p> <h2>8. Have a game plan before stepping foot in the store</h2> <p>Similar to never going to the supermarket on an empty stomach, don't head into the holiday season without a game plan.</p> <p>&quot;Most major retailers will release their deals for Black Friday the week before to give consumers time to plan and get excited about what they want to purchase,&quot; Smith says. &quot;Use this time wisely to see what is going to be on sale and compare deals at each retailer. By creating a game plan, you can prioritize any items that sell fast or are at the best-discounted price. Not only will you save time but you'll save money too by planning what to get, when, and where.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-skills-you-need-to-survive-black-friday?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Frugal Skills You Need to Survive Black Friday</a>)</p> <h2>9. Consult your cash back apps before heading out</h2> <p>I've been killing it in the cash back game lately, thanks to apps like Ibotta and Checkout 51. The trick is to consult these apps before you go shopping so you know what's available and opt in if required. With Ibotta, for instance, many times it requires you to make purchases through its app &mdash; it will launch the retailers' sites for you, like Under Armour, as an example &mdash; so it can track your purchase and deposit the cash back you've earned. Every penny returned to you helps. Trust me &mdash; you will be thankful for this at holiday time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a>)</p> <h2>10. Consider your method of payment for maximum savings</h2> <p>You might think that cash in hand is the best way to shop on Black Friday (it certainly can help avoid overspending if you're disciplined), but you could be disqualifying yourself for deals available through other methods of payment. Capitalize on your Black Friday spending by deciding how you're going to buy things &mdash; cash, debit, or credit card &mdash; to reap the best benefits.</p> <p>Scope out all your payment options and use the bonuses and rewards in your favor. If you do the research and find that you want to apply for a specific card, do so a couple weeks in advance to ensure you receive it in time to use it. Using the shopping season to get <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-bonus-cash-for-sign-up?ref=internal" target="_blank">bonus cash back</a> that has a spending requirement can give you help ease the holiday costs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/read-this-to-maximize-your-rewards-and-cash-back-this-holiday-season?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Read This to Maximize Your Rewards and Cash Back This Holiday Season</a>)</p> <h2>11. Renew your commitment to financial freedom</h2> <p>It's easy to go overboard during the holidays, whether it's on gifts or social activities. Don't let yourself off the hook on your financial goals just because it's the holidays. Stay committed to them and use the holidays to focus on gratitude rather than the mad dash to grab discounts.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F11-ways-to-prepare-for-your-best-black-friday&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F11%2520Ways%2520to%2520Prepare%2520for%2520Your%2520Best%2520Black%2520Friday.jpg&amp;description=11%20Ways%20to%20Prepare%20for%20Your%20Best%20Black%20Friday"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/11%20Ways%20to%20Prepare%20for%20Your%20Best%20Black%20Friday.jpg" alt="11 Ways to Prepare for Your Best Black Friday" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-prepare-for-your-best-black-friday">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-skills-you-need-to-survive-black-friday">8 Frugal Skills You Need to Survive Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-black-friday-deal-without-leaving-home">6 Ways to Score a Black Friday Deal Without Leaving Home</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-to-use-miles-and-points-for-holiday-gifts">9 Ways to Use Miles and Points for Holiday Gifts</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/money-a-mess-try-this-personal-finance-starter-kit">Money a Mess? Try This Personal Finance Starter Kit</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-excuses-we-need-to-stop-making-about-overspending">5 Excuses We Need to Stop Making About Overspending</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Shopping black friday budgeting cash back credit deals gifts holiday shopping money moves retail rewards sales Thanksgiving Thu, 09 Nov 2017 09:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 2050495 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Financial Resolutions You Can Conquer Before New Year's http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-resolutions-you-can-conquer-before-new-years <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-financial-resolutions-you-can-conquer-before-new-years" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/new_years_resolutions_series.jpg" alt="New years resolutions series" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The new year is right around the corner and with it, a whole new set of resolutions. But why wait? There's still time to reshape your financial life before the ball drops and the Champagne toasts begin. Here are 10 financial resolutions you can conquer before New Year's.</p> <h2>1. Clarify your money goals</h2> <p>Success will always be elusive if you don't define it. Get specific about the goals you want to accomplish in the short-term (within the next year) and the long-term (beyond three years). Do you want to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">pay off credit card debt</a> in the next six months? Do you want to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-ways-to-start-saving-for-a-down-payment-on-a-home?ref=internal" target="_blank">save for a down payment on a home</a> in five years? Write down each objective and include the mini-milestones you need to hit along the way.</p> <h2>2. Build a budget</h2> <p>Don't let the word &quot;budget&quot; strike fear in your heart. The best ones are simple, realistic, and flexible. With your short and long-term goals in mind, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps?ref=internal" target="_blank">develop a budget</a> that accurately reflects your income and expenses. Refine as you go; some variable expense categories can be reduced and others may need to be expanded. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-a-better-budget-in-5-minutes-flat?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Build a Better Budget in 5 Minutes Flat</a>)</p> <h2>3. Cut your spending by 5 percent</h2> <p>Look for ways to cut your spending by just 5 percent starting next month. Can you finally cancel that unused gym membership? Switch to a cheaper cellphone plan? Brown-bag your lunch three days a week? All of the above? The percent you save is less important that simply being able to consciously change your spending habits. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-savings-with-this-easy-budgeting-system?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Boost Your Savings With This Easy Budgeting System</a>)</p> <h2>4. Don't incur any new consumer debt</h2> <p>More debt means more interest, more stress, and fewer options in the new year. Put the credit cards on ice. Switch to cash if it helps control your spending. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-good-money-habits-that-will-keep-you-out-of-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Good Money Habits That Will Keep You Out of Debt</a>)</p> <h2>5. Prioritize (and attack!) existing debt</h2> <p>Once you've cut your spending 5 percent, funnel the extra money toward paying down debt. But be strategic: Prioritize what you owe based on the interest rate and attack the highest interest debt first. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Pay It Off</a>)</p> <h2>6. Open an IRA</h2> <p>Whether you choose a traditional or Roth, an individual retirement account can provide valuable tax advantages that make saving for retirement easier and much more effective. Start now. If you're under age 50, you can contribute a maximum of $5,500 in 2017. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-retirement-accounts-you-dont-need-a-ton-of-money-to-open?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Retirement Accounts You Don't Need a Ton of Money to Open </a>)</p> <h2>7. Start building an emergency fund</h2> <p>Life is unpredictable. Having an emergency fund large enough to cover three to six months' worth of living expenses is a smart strategy. It can help you weather a layoff, cover an uninsured medical expense, or deal with an urgent household repair. Not sure how to begin? Explore some simple ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund-from-0?ref=internal" target="_blank">build an emergency fund from $0</a>.</p> <h2>8. Start saving your change</h2> <p>Every time you pay for something with cash, pocket the change and save it. Stash all those coins in empty coffee cans or Mason jars. At the end of the year, you'll likely have a few hundred dollars to bulk up your emergency fund or IRA. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everyones-using-spare-change-apps-are-they-really-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Spare Change Apps &mdash; Are They Worth It?</a>)</p> <h2>9. Get serious about a side hustle</h2> <p>There are two ways to improve your financial position: spend less or make more. And if you really want to shake things up, do <em>both</em>. Brainstorm ways to earn extra income outside your 9-to-5 job. The cash can be used to pay down debt or invest. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-best-side-jobs-for-fast-cash?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Best Side Jobs For Fast Cash</a>)</p> <h2>10. Try shopping secondhand</h2> <p>This resolution may surprise you, but I'm a firm believer in the power of thrift-shopping. Buying quality goods secondhand can save you thousands over the course of a year. Expand your consumer horizons and make paying retail your method of last resort. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-reasons-why-im-in-love-with-thrift-shopping-and-you-should-be-too?ref=seealso" target="_blank">31 Reasons I'm in Love With Thrift Shopping</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-financial-resolutions-you-can-conquer-before-new-years&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Financial%2520Resolutions%2520You%2520Can%2520Conquer%2520Before%2520New%2520Year%2527s.jpg&amp;description=10%20Financial%20Resolutions%20You%20Can%20Conquer%20Before%20New%20Year's"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Financial%20Resolutions%20You%20Can%20Conquer%20Before%20New%20Year%27s.jpg" alt="10 Financial Resolutions You Can Conquer Before New Year's" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-resolutions-you-can-conquer-before-new-years">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/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-financial-decisions-youll-never-regret">8 Financial Decisions You&#039;ll Never Regret</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-golden-rules-of-personal-finance-everyone-should-know">10 Golden Rules of Personal Finance Everyone Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-money-moves-to-make-in-the-new-year">8 Smart Money Moves to Make in the New Year</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-financial-basics-every-new-grad-should-know">The Financial Basics Every New Grad Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance budgeting cutting expenses debt money goals resolutions retirement saving money secondhand shopping side gigs thrift stores Mon, 06 Nov 2017 08:00:06 +0000 Kentin Waits 2045796 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Moves Every First Year Freelancer Should Make http://www.wisebread.com/6-moves-every-first-year-freelancer-should-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-moves-every-first-year-freelancer-should-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/she_makes_multi_tasking_look_easy.jpg" alt="She makes multi-tasking look easy" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I started my freelance career seven years ago, I honestly had very little idea of what I was doing. I made some seriously painful mistakes that affected everything from my bottom line to my stress level to my relationships with some of my clients. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-biggest-mistakes-freelancers-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Biggest Mistakes Freelancers Make</a>)</p> <p>But even though self-employment mistakes are common, they're not inevitable. You can make the transition to self-employment much smoother and easier to handle if you commit to doing the following things in your first year as your own boss. Not only will you lay down the good habits and policies you'll need throughout your new career in self-employment, but these moves can also help your career start off with a bang. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/day-job-or-freelance-which-is-right-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Day Job or Freelance: Which Is Right for You?</a>)</p> <h2>1. Set aside 30 to 35 percent of every paycheck for taxes</h2> <p>One of the double-edged swords of working for yourself is the fact that your paychecks will generally not have any taxes withheld. While it feels pretty good to have the full amount of money you earned coming directly to you, it can really mess up your finances if you don't plan ahead for taxes.</p> <p>Many of the newly self-employed can get themselves into trouble by assuming they'll pay their quarterly estimated tax bills with whatever funds they have received as of the quarterly estimated tax due date. But Uncle Sam doesn't care if you have a slow work spell or are waiting on some payments that are not quickly forthcoming from a client &mdash; he wants you to pay the taxes you owe on time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-irs-penalties-with-this-simple-estimated-payment-strategy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Avoid IRS Penalties With This Simple Estimated Payment Strategy</a>)</p> <p>You can bypass the quarterly stress of finding the necessary funds to pay your tax bill by specifically setting aside 30 to 35 percent of every check you receive. This does take a depressingly large bite out of your paychecks, but it gives you the peace of mind to know that you will be able to cover your estimated tax payments. In addition, by putting this money into a savings account, you can earn a little interest &mdash; which already puts you financially ahead of folks who have their taxes withheld.</p> <p>If your diligent savings of 30 to 35 percent of each paycheck means you have more money than you need for taxes in your first year of self-employment, then you can always use the leftover money to reinvest in your business or smooth over any lean months in your second year of self-employment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-i-learned-about-money-after-i-went-freelance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Things I Learned About Money After I Went Freelance</a>)</p> <h2>2. Hire an accountant</h2> <p>Speaking of taxes, they are going to get more complex now that you have begun working for yourself. While it is certainly possible for you to complete your taxes all by yourself as you've done in the past, the money you spend on an accountant for your self-employment taxes can both save you time and lower your stress. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-free-accounting-tools-for-freelancers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Free Accounting Tools for Freelancers</a>)</p> <p>Asking for referrals from trusted colleagues or small business owners can be the best way to find the right accountant or tax professional for your needs. Don't let this important part of self-employment go on the back burner. Having an accountant throughout your first year of self-employment can help you to accurately pay your quarterly estimated taxes on time, and take advantage of deductions and other tax benefits that you might otherwise miss.</p> <h2>3. Determine your payment floor</h2> <p>During my first year as a freelancer, an educational company contracted me to write lesson plans for English teachers. I had been working as an English teacher before my freelancing career, and I loved that this company was committed to using humor in all of its resources. I thought it was a perfect fit, and I quoted them a price per lesson plan that felt reasonable for my expertise (and comedic chops). They offered me a fifth of what I asked for. Since I was worried that I wouldn't be able to actually make a living as a freelancer, I took the job.</p> <p>It was a huge mistake.</p> <p>Here's why: The amount of work that I put into each lesson plan meant I was earning less than minimum wage for my hours of toil. It took me months to get through the initial contract of 10 lesson plans, in part because I knew how little I was making and it was difficult to prioritize this client over those who paid more for less work.</p> <p>Even though the company loved my work, we parted ways after I finished the first round of lesson plans. They were just as happy to get a quicker and less-funny turnaround from another freelancer who did not have my expertise. I was glad to no longer be working so hard for a company that did not financially value my contributions.</p> <p>After this experience, I learned to figure out my payment floor &mdash; the least amount of money my time was worth. Once I knew my payment floor, it became much easier to recognize which jobs were worth my time, and which jobs would leave me feeling overworked and resentful. Knowing your payment floor may seem premature in your first year of self-employment since you feel like you are hustling just to capture enough clients to keep the lights on. But you are better off holding out for clients who value you, rather than taking any job, no matter how low the pay.</p> <h2>4. Build free time into your schedule</h2> <p>There are a couple of common scheduling traps that can trip up the newly self-employed:</p> <ul style="margin-left: 40px;"> <li> <p>Working all the time. Since you are now completely in control of your schedule and your career, and since you presumably love what you do, it can be very easy to throw yourself into your work 24/7.</p> </li> <li> <p>The planning fallacy. Even after seven years as a freelancer, I still <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-why-your-projects-always-take-longer-than-you-expect?ref=internal" target="_blank">underestimate how long it will take</a> me to complete a project, because it never occurs to me that my kids might get sick, my internet might go out, my research might uncover more complex issues than I anticipated, or that I might be struck down by an unexpected nap after eating too many carbs for lunch.</p> </li> <li> <p>Lack of discipline. For some newly self-employed individuals, it can be difficult to stick to self-imposed (or even client-imposed) deadlines if you don't have a boss to keep you honest. It's a lot harder to succeed in self-employment if you have trouble sticking to a work schedule.</p> </li> </ul> <p>All three of these scheduling mistakes can be helped by building free time into your schedule. Forcing yourself to take time off from your otherwise nonstop work will prevent burnout and allow you to be far more productive. Having a free afternoon built into each week has helped me to improve my on-time percentage, because it leaves some slack for when life happens and I'm not able to finish things according to my pie-in-the-sky planning assumptions. And anyone who struggles with self-discipline will generally have an easier time forcing themselves to work if they know that there is free time coming. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-employed-tips-for-taking-time-off-without-trauma?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Self-Employed? Tips for Taking Time Off Without Trauma</a>)</p> <h2>5. Capture excess income in a savings account</h2> <p>When you are self-employed, there will be some months when several paychecks or client payments come in all at once. This can feel pretty great, especially if you can thank your own hustle for making it rain, but it's important to be disciplined about this kind of excess income and put it in a savings account. That's because you are likely to have a low-income month sooner or later, and that excess income can be the difference between you being able to pay your bills as usual and you having to go grocery shopping with couch cushion change. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-sep-ira-is-how-the-self-employed-do-retirement-like-a-boss?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The SEP-IRA Is How the Self-Employed Do Retirement Like a BOSS</a>)</p> <p>During your fat-paycheck months, you should not only set aside the 30 to 35 percent you put away for your taxes, but you should also put whatever additional excess income you can afford into a &quot;rainy day&quot; savings account. This account is where you will go to get the money you need to keep everything running smoothly during any lean months. And like your taxes savings account, if you don't end up needing to dip into this rainy day savings account, that means you will have money already set aside that you can potentially invest back into your business. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-budget-consistently-without-a-steady-paycheck?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Budget Consistently Without a Steady Paycheck</a>)</p> <h2>6. Insist on clear contracts</h2> <p>Everyone who has ventured into self-employment has at least one story about being stiffed out of payment from a client. For instance, in my first year of freelancing, I was hired to write for a startup parenting website. I wrote several articles for the site, but I was only paid for one of the half dozen pieces I provided them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-freelancers-can-make-sure-they-get-paid-on-time?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways Freelancers Can Make Sure They Get Paid on Time</a>)</p> <p>The client was in the wrong for not paying me &mdash; but I also made a mistake in accepting work from them without a contract. Our arrangement was based on nothing more than email exchanges and a phone call. We did not have a contract that spelled out our legal expectations of each other, which meant it would have been very difficult for me to pursue the client for the money they owed me.</p> <p>In addition, contracts are also helpful for defining the scope of a project and specifying the details of a termination fee. A contract that outlines the specific timeline and deliverables will protect you from having to revisit the same project over and over again for no extra money if your client insists on more edits or revisions or a larger scope than you expected. Similarly, if your client decides to end your project, having a contract that specifies the termination fee you'll receive under such circumstances will protect you from having wasted your time.</p> <h2>Welcome to self-employment!</h2> <p>You can set yourself up for se<span id="1508499285936S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span>lf-employment success in your very first year as your own boss. Planning ahead for everything from taxes to lean months to time management to contractual disputes will help you create a self-employment career that you'll love for years to come. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/freelancing-a-beginner-s-guide-to-doing-it-right?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Freelancing: A Beginner's Guide to Doing It Right</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-moves-every-first-year-freelancer-should-make&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Moves%2520Every%2520First%2520Year%2520Freelancer%2520Should%2520Make.jpg&amp;description=6%20Moves%20Every%20First%20Year%20Freelancer%20Should%20Make"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Moves%20Every%20First%20Year%20Freelancer%20Should%20Make.jpg" alt="6 Moves Every First Year Freelancer Should Make" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-moves-every-first-year-freelancer-should-make">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/the-5-biggest-mistakes-freelancers-make">The 5 Biggest Mistakes Freelancers Make</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/self-employed-heres-how-to-get-your-apartment-application-approved">Self-Employed? Here&#039;s How to Get Your Apartment Application Approved</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-strategies-for-paying-off-debt-when-living-on-a-variable-income">7 Strategies for Paying Off Debt When Living on a Variable Income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-budget-consistently-without-a-steady-paycheck">How to Budget Consistently Without a Steady 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/5-signs-its-time-to-close-your-business">5 Signs It&#039;s Time to Close Your Business</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship budgeting contracts free time freelance Mistakes payments self employment taxes variable income Mon, 30 Oct 2017 08:30:14 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2039970 at http://www.wisebread.com The 4 Smartest Things to Do With an Inheritance http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-smartest-things-to-do-with-an-inheritance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-4-smartest-things-to-do-with-an-inheritance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/one_hundred_usd_bills_stack.jpg" alt="One hundred USD bills stack" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you ever wondered what you'd do if you found yourself with an unexpected financial windfall, such as an inheritance? Chances are, you didn't say what most Americans actually do &mdash; which is, basically, to blow it all.</p> <p>That's right. According to recent research cited by the National Endowment for Financial Education, an estimated seven in 10 people who suddenly receive a large sum of money will lose it all within just a few years. It's not just a couple of bucks we're talking about, either &mdash; $30 trillion is expected to transfer between baby boomers and their heirs during the next 30 to 40 years, according to a recent report released by consulting giant Accenture. That's some serious cash.</p> <p>For many Americans, a modest inheritance of even $5,000 has the potential to change life for the better, so long as the inheritor knows what to do with the cash. Sadly, many of us don't. That's why I turned to financial planners from around the country and asked them outright: What exactly should an heir do with a newfound inheritance? Here's what they had to say.</p> <h2>Take time to grieve</h2> <p>An unexpected financial windfall &mdash; particularly if it was bestowed upon you following the death of a loved one &mdash; can often be accompanied by unexpected feelings of guilt. Many inheritors would much rather have more time with a beloved uncle than a bank account filled with his riches.</p> <p>Still, Matt Adams, financial adviser and partner at registered investment advisory firm Money Methods, suggests inheritors honor the memory of the giver by being a good steward of those newly acquired funds. &quot;It took sacrifice for the inheritor to acquire those assets,&quot; he says. &quot;Have a heart of gratitude and don't blow the money.&quot;</p> <p>Of course, that's often easier said than done, particularly if we don't have experience managing money or if friends or loved ones have designs on your newfound wealth.</p> <h2>Keep mum about your newfound riches</h2> <p>Your true friends will be there to help you grieve, but it may be in your best interest to keep the details about your newly inherited wealth to yourself. Many inheritors are surprised by how quickly their circle of friends and family seems to grow once word gets out about their newfound riches. Particularly during a time of grief, when many of us can fall prey to poorly made decisions, you'll want to know that your loved ones are there because they want to support you &mdash; not because they're hoping for financial gain.</p> <p>Sadly, that warning doesn't just apply to your besties.</p> <p>&quot;As a former banker, I can tell you that as soon as your deposit hits your account, bells and whistles will go off, informing everyone from the teller to the branch manager,&quot; says Jude Wilson, chief financial strategist at Wilson Group Financial. &quot;They will all have opinions of what you should do with your money.&quot; And, if you don't choose your advisers carefully, those opinions could very well be at odds with what is in your best interest.</p> <h2>Seek out sound expert advice</h2> <p>Many inheritors don't know how to manage a large influx of funds and, without the necessary financial know-how, it's easy to make money mistakes. You may intend to take good care of your benefactor's wealth, but &quot;it can be stressful to figure out how,&quot; says Wilson, who suggests new inheritors put together what he calls a &quot;dream team&quot; of advisers. This includes:</p> <ul style="margin-left: 40px;"> <li> <p>A financial planner who can help you develop a money plan that works best for you and your individual situation.</p> </li> <li> <p>A tax planner who can help you work through and perhaps even minimize the tax implications of your newfound wealth.</p> </li> <li> <p>An attorney who can help you navigate any potential probate issues.</p> </li> </ul> <p>If you find the idea of finding and hiring three new experts overwhelming, start with the financial planner. A good financial planner can help you identify any other experts you may need on your team. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-these-5-questions-before-deciding-on-a-financial-advisor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Ask These 5 Questions Before Deciding on a Financial Adviser</a>)</p> <p>If you just want someone to help you get started but don't want to pay for ongoing support, you can get a financial plan written up for a one-time fee from a fee-only certified financial planner. &quot;The cost can be anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000 depending on the scope of work and the experience of the planner,&quot; says Taylor Schulte, financial planner and owner of Stay Wealthy San Diego.</p> <p>Ultimately, though, make sure that you or the pro you're working with understands what type of money you're inheriting and how it should be treated. &quot;It could be a major misstep to liquidate and spend qualified money from an IRA [or other retirement account], which would be taxed at ordinary income rates,&quot; says Mitchell Bloom, financial planner, author, public speaker, and president of Bloom Financial.</p> <h2>Develop your money plan</h2> <p>Most of the planners I spoke with generally agree upon the steps new inheritors should take toward using their newfound wealth to build a financial base. Those include:</p> <ul style="margin-left: 40px;"> <li> <p>Pay off your high-interest debts. This is particularly true if you hold <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt" target="_blank">high-interest credit cards</a> or other consumer debt, like loans issued by furniture stores or used car dealerships. Student loans and new car debt also falls within this category.</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-step-by-step-guide-to-creating-your-emergency-fund" target="_blank">Create an emergency fund</a>. This should amount to somewhere between three and six months' worth of expenses and, ultimately, should be able to tide you over in the event of an unexpected financial catastrophe like a job loss or illness.</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-retirement-savings-fast-with-this-6-step-plan" target="_blank">Boost your retirement savings</a>. A financial boon can help fill the gap between falling short and being retirement ready.</p> </li> </ul> <p>In short, it's far from easy to manage an inheritance. Make the most of the money your loved one left. That means using the funds to create a better life for yourself in the long run, no matter how much was passed down. It's what your benefactor would want.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-4-smartest-things-to-do-with-an-inheritance&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%25204%2520Smartest%2520Things%2520to%2520Do%2520With%2520an%2520Inheritance.jpg&amp;description=The%204%20Smartest%20Things%20to%20Do%20With%20an%20Inheritance"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%204%20Smartest%20Things%20to%20Do%20With%20an%20Inheritance.jpg" alt="The 4 Smartest Things to Do With an Inheritance" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alaina-tweddale">Alaina Tweddale</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-smartest-things-to-do-with-an-inheritance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-end-of-life-cost-savings-your-survivors-will-thank-you-for">9 End-of-Life Cost Savings Your Survivors Will Thank You For</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-fair-way-to-split-up-your-familys-estate">The Fair Way to Split Up Your Family&#039;s Estate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-money-moves-for-empty-nesters">7 Smart Money Moves for Empty Nesters</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-financial-resolutions-you-can-conquer-before-new-years">10 Financial Resolutions You Can Conquer Before New Year&#039;s</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/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance budgeting debt emergency fund grief heirs inheritance last will and testament leaving money retirement contributions windfalls Tue, 24 Oct 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Alaina Tweddale 2038827 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Determine If Your Finances Are Ready for a Big Purchase http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-determine-if-your-finances-are-ready-for-a-big-purchase <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-determine-if-your-finances-are-ready-for-a-big-purchase" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businesswoman_with_piggybank.jpg" alt="Businesswoman with piggybank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Maybe you're ready to make an offer on that dream home down the street. Maybe you're eying a new car for that long commute to work. Or, maybe you just want to plunk down a few thousand dollars on a fancy vacation or the latest gadget. How do you know that you're financially ready to make such a large purchase?</p> <p>Whatever it is that you want to buy won't bring you any joy if you can't actually afford it. Here are some questions you need to ask yourself to make sure you're financially ready to commit to a big purchase.</p> <h2>Do you already pay all your bills on time?</h2> <p>If you're taking out a loan for a large purchase such as a house or car, first look at how you pay the rest of your bills. Do you routinely pay your credit card bill three weeks late? How about your utilities or cellphone bill?</p> <p>If that's the case, you're not ready for the financial responsibility of another large monthly payment. If you're already struggling to pay your bills on time, adding another even larger bill to your financial responsibilities will only put you at a higher risk of accumulating debt.</p> <p>You can hurt your credit score doing this, too. If you're late on the monthly payments for a house or car by 30 days or more, your score will tumble &mdash; usually by 100 points or more. If you struggle enough to pay those big payments on time, you might even lose the house or car altogether.</p> <p>Protect yourself financially by holding off on that big purchase until you've already developed the habit of paying all your other monthly bills on time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-never-make-a-late-credit-card-payment?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Simple Ways to Never Make a Late Credit Card Payment</a>)</p> <h2>How much wiggle room is left in your budget?</h2> <p>Before making any big purchase, it's important to check your household budget. Make sure you have the ability to make the monthly payments comfortably while leaving enough money to cover your other monthly expenses.</p> <p>And if you don't have a budget, you absolutely need to make one. How else will you know if you can afford your new purchase to begin with? Making a budget isn't as intimidating as it sounds. First, list all your recurring expenses each month. Then estimate how much you spend each month on discretionary and non-fixed expenses such as entertainment, groceries, and eating out. Finally, list your monthly income. The difference is how much you can afford to spend on new purchases and save each month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-a-better-budget-in-5-minutes-flat?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Build a Better Budget in 5 Minutes Flat</a>)</p> <h2>How strong is your credit?</h2> <p>Before taking out a loan for a new car, home, or other big purchase, make sure to check your credit. Lenders rely on your credit score to determine if you qualify for loans and, if you do, how high of an interest rate they'll charge. Lenders consider credit scores of 740 or higher to be strong ones. Generally, the lower your credit score, the higher your interest rate on loans. The higher the interest rate, the more paying off that big purchase will cost you over time.</p> <p>You can check your credit reports &mdash; a list of your outstanding loans, how much you owe on credit cards, and whether you have any late payments or other financial blemishes in your past &mdash; by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. At this site, you can order one free copy of each of your three credit reports (from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) every year. It's important to make sure that there are no errors on your credit reports and that the bureaus don't have any late payments or other financial black marks listed against you. These reports, though, don't contain your credit score. You can order your score for a small fee from any of the bureaus.</p> <p>Before making a purchase big enough to warrant a loan, you might want to check your credit score to determine if you'll be saddled with high interest rates. A score under 640 will almost always leave you with a sky-high rate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-improve-your-credit-score-fast?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score Fast</a>)</p> <h2>How much credit card debt do you have?</h2> <p>Credit card debt is among the worst kind of debt to have. Interest rates can be as high as 16 percent, 18 percent, or even higher. If you carry a balance on your cards each month, your credit card debt grows quickly.</p> <p>If you are struggling to pay down your credit cards, resist the temptation to spend big on electronics, furniture, or other items. Instead, devote that money to paying down your debt. And if you can only make that big purchase by putting it on one of your credit cards, <em>don't</em> pull the trigger. You will only dig yourself deeper into a hole. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Pay Off High Interest Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>Can you cover the maintenance expenses?</h2> <p>Sometimes buying an expensive item is only the start of how much you'll actually pay for it in the long run. Many big-ticket items come with high yearly maintenance expenses. Consider a house, for example: Sure, you'll spend a lot of money upfront to buy one. But you can also expect to spend 1 percent of your home's purchase price on maintenance each year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-hidden-housing-costs-new-homeowners-dont-expect?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Hidden Housing Costs New Homeowners Don't Expect</a>)</p> <p>If you can't afford to maintain your big purchase, hold off until you can create more wiggle room in your budget.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-determine-if-your-finances-are-ready-for-a-big-purchase&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Determine%2520If%2520Your%2520Finances%2520Are%2520Ready%2520for%2520a%2520Big%2520Purchase.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Determine%20If%20Your%20Finances%20Are%20Ready%20for%20a%20Big%20Purchase"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Determine%20If%20Your%20Finances%20Are%20Ready%20for%20a%20Big%20Purchase.jpg" alt="How to Determine If Your Finances Are Ready for a Big Purchase" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-determine-if-your-finances-are-ready-for-a-big-purchase">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-before-moving-out-on-your-own">5 Money Moves to Make Before Moving Out on Your Own</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-surprise-credit-limit-increase-can-harm-you">How a Surprise Credit Limit Increase Can Harm You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-money-milestones-anyone-can-hit">6 Simple Money Milestones Anyone Can Hit</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-financial-resolutions-you-can-conquer-before-new-years">10 Financial Resolutions You Can Conquer Before New Year&#039;s</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/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance affordability big purchases budgeting credit score debt financial readiness maintenance Wed, 18 Oct 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2037388 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About Money http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-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/halloween_is_here.jpg" alt="Halloween is here" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My kids love the holidays. They plan their Halloween costumes as early as March; they ask to help make pumpkin pie the moment there's even a hint of chill in the air; and they have Hanukkah wish lists going nearly year-round.</p> <p>My husband and I get a kick out of their enthusiasm. It helps us remember the holiday magic we felt as children. But in addition to being fun and meaningful traditions, holidays also offer parents the opportunity to teach their kids about money.</p> <p>Before this year's holiday season kicks into high gear, consider using the occasions to teach your kids the following lessons about managing money:</p> <h2>Halloween</h2> <p>Your kids' favorite candy-based holiday provides you with several ways to teach important money management skills.</p> <h3>Costume budgeting</h3> <p>Whether you are footing the bill for your child's costume or you are asking them to use their own money, start by setting a dollar limit on the amount they can spend and offer to help them shop around. These limits will help your child understand the trade-offs they will have to make to stay within a budget.</p> <p>For instance, your daughter might find that the Wonder Woman costume at the local party store would blow her budget &mdash; but she could save money by stenciling Diana Prince's WW logo on a red T-shirt she already owns and adding white star stickers to a pair of blue shorts or a blue skirt. Recognizing that she could spend either money or time is an important part of learning to budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-simple-and-cheap-halloween-costumes-for-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">20 Simple and Cheap Halloween Costumes for Kids</a>)</p> <h3>Candy negotiations</h3> <p>Not every candy in your child's trick-or-treat bag can be a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup or a Snickers. There's bound to be some candy corn, Good &amp; Plenty, or even just Dum Dums that your kids aren't particularly interested in. You can help them to learn the value of negotiation by fostering candy exchanges.</p> <p>After they've finished with trick-or-treating, encourage your kids to trade with each other. These candy swaps can help your kids figure out just how much they value coveted candy. Is another Mars Bar worth three Twizzlers? Just how many Tootsie Rolls are equivalent to a Blow Pop? This kind of negotiation can help your kids learn how to compromise and determine what they value.</p> <h2>Thanksgiving</h2> <p>Thanksgiving is a time for family, but it can also provide your kids with an excellent opportunity to learn about the importance of tracking your expenses.</p> <h3>Track spending</h3> <p>The average household spent $342 over Thanksgiving weekend in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. You can involve your kids in your Thanksgiving expenditures by asking them to keep a running tally of your spending for the holiday.</p> <p>Save your receipts from any Thanksgiving-related expenditures &mdash; everything from your purchase of pumpkin pie fixings, to the gas station fill-up on the way to Grandma's house, to the 75 percent off fitness tracker you bought for Aunt Sue on Black Friday. Hand over the receipts to your child so they can keep careful track of just how much Thanksgiving will cost you this year.</p> <p>Not only will this exercise in tracking your household spending help your kids to practice their math skills, but it will also help them see just how quickly expenses can add up.</p> <h2>Christmas and Hanukkah</h2> <p>Kids get understandably excited about the gift aspect of Christmas and Hanukkah, but these holidays are also a perfect opportunity to teach them how to manage their money.</p> <h3>Gift budgeting</h3> <p>It's so easy to go overboard when buying gifts for loved ones, and it's important for children to learn that you can give presents without breaking the bank. Even very young children can help you to create a list of everyone you want to give a present to. From there, decide on the amount of money you can afford to spend per person. Older children who will be buying their own presents for family can make this decision themselves, with your help. Younger kids can help by writing down the dollar amount you can spend.</p> <p>You can then start brainstorming gift possibilities. Have your kids comparison shop for prices or figure out alternatives if certain gifts aren't in the budget. This exercise can help your kids understand that generosity and spending too much aren't synonymous.</p> <h3>Wants and needs</h3> <p>Holidays can often be a time of excess, which means it can be tough for kids to recognize the difference between their wants and their needs. One way parents can help their kids learn those differences is to institute the Four Gift Rule. With this rule, each child receives:</p> <ol style="margin-left: 40px;"> <li> <p>Something they want.</p> </li> <li> <p>Something they need.</p> </li> <li> <p>Something to wear.</p> </li> <li> <p>Something to read.</p> </li> </ol> <p>Limiting your children's wish lists to four distinct categories helps your kids focus on the things that they truly need and the wants that they value most. You can make it clear to your kids that they can put more than one item in each category, but that they will only receive one present from each category.</p> <p>Not only will this system help save you money and time, but it will help your kids keep their gift expectations reasonable.</p> <h2>Holidays, with a side of money management</h2> <p>Enjoying the holiday season with your children is a perfect time to teach them some of the finer points of budgeting, negotiation, money management, and managing expectations.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Use%2520the%2520Holidays%2520to%2520Teach%2520Kids%2520About%2520Money.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Use%20the%20Holidays%20to%20Teach%20Kids%20About%20Money"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Use%20the%20Holidays%20to%20Teach%20Kids%20About%20Money.jpg" alt="How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About Money" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-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-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/teach-your-kids-about-money-with-their-holiday-gift-lists">Teach Your Kids About Money With Their Holiday Gift Lists</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-family-money-matters-your-kids-dont-need-to-know">9 Family Money Matters Your Kids Don&#039;t Need to Know</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-old-holiday-traditions-we-cant-believe-ever-existed">8 Old Holiday Traditions We Can&#039;t Believe Ever Existed</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-ways-to-tidy-up-your-finances-before-the-holidays">10 Ways to Tidy Up Your Finances Before the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-to-answer-before-giving-your-kid-a-credit-card">4 Questions to Answer Before Giving Your Kid a Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family budgeting children Christmas gift giving Halloween hanukkah Holidays kids money lessons negotiating Thanksgiving tracking Mon, 09 Oct 2017 08:30:08 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2031775 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Tidy Up Your Finances Before the Holidays http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-tidy-up-your-finances-before-the-holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-tidy-up-your-finances-before-the-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_young_woman_depositing_money_into_her_piggy_bank.jpg" alt="Happy young woman depositing money into her piggy bank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Summer is over. This fall, fortify your finances to take the end of the year in stride. These helpful tips will get you back on track (and help you stay on track) budget-wise.</p> <h2>1. Start your holiday shopping now</h2> <p>Instead of making a mad rush for last-minute deals, spread out your gift buying over the course of the next couple months. Watch your local circulars and emails for discounts and promo codes, and strike while the proverbial iron seems hot.</p> <p>For instance, I just purchased several packs of Calvin Klein undies as a Christmas gift for my boo because I received an email for 25 percent off, plus I had an additional 15 percent off coupon with free shipping. Will there be steeper discounts in the near future? I can't be sure, but I had enough savings stacked up to feel like I made a smart choice, and now I can check one more gift off my list.</p> <h2>2. Max out retirement plan contributions</h2> <p>If you haven't already &mdash; and your budget can tolerate it &mdash; try to max out your 401(k) and 403(b) contributions at work. The employee contribution limit for 2017 is $18,000, and if you haven't reached that, it's time to come as close as you can. Those over age 50 can contribute an additional $6,000 as a catch-up contribution. If your employer offers matching funds, this should be a top financial priority, lest you fail to claim thousands of dollars in free money.</p> <h2>3. Take advantage of layaway</h2> <p>Layaway has had its up and downs over the years. What was once a common practice during the Great Depression started to fall out of favor by the 1980s thanks to the rising popularity of credit cards. Walmart all but left the service for dead in 2006 when it announced it would stop offering it, but by 2012, many retailers were back on the layaway bandwagon to make buying easier on customers in a tumultuous economy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-layaway-still-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is Layaway Still Worth It?</a>)</p> <p>Personally, I loved layaway in my early 20s when I was on a shoestring budget. It allowed me to plan ahead and make scheduled payments so everything would be ready to go by Christmas. It's certainly a helpful buying tactic to look into if your finances are tight but you still want to participate in gift giving.</p> <h2>3. Use or lose flexible spending dollars</h2> <p>If you're lucky enough to have a flexible spending account through your employer, your FSA may need to be spent by year's end. Try to use up the balance so you're not losing cash. In doing so, you'll free up funds elsewhere that you don't have to use on medical needs.</p> <p>&quot;Since 2013, your employer may offer one of two carry-over options,&quot; says Ryan McPherson, founder of the financial planning firm Intelligent Worth in Atlanta, Georgia. &quot;One &mdash; roll up to $500 of unused funds into the following year or two, offer a two-and-a-half month grace period during which you may use your unspent FSA balance. Check with your employer, because offering one of these options is not a requirement. If you don't have either of these carry-over options and expect to have money left in your FSA, try to move appointments and medical/dental-related purchases (i.e., eye glasses or contacts) into 2017.&quot;</p> <p>If you're unsure where your FSA funds apply, IRS publication 502 offers guidance on what counts as a &quot;<a href="https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/p502--2016.pdf" target="_blank">qualified medical expense</a>.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-spend-your-last-minute-health-care-fsa-funds?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Spend Your Last-Minute Health Care FSA Funds</a>)</p> <h2>4. Make a gift list and check it twice</h2> <p>I use to get in this mindset &mdash; especially when I started making a little more money &mdash; that everybody needed a gift. That logic is false. Everybody doesn't need a gift for the sake of giving them a gift. Now, I make a list of the usual suspects with whom I exchange &mdash; immediate family, boyfriend, a few friends &mdash; but even then I give it a second glance to see where I can make cuts. Will I see this aunt or that buddy this year? If the answer is no, decide whether a gift is necessary at all to put some more money back in your pocket. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Gifts That Won't Become Clutter</a>)</p> <h2>5. Revise your winter budget</h2> <p>Everything about winter costs more than other times of the year, and you should prepare by revising your budget to make sure all bases are covered.</p> <p>&quot;In addition to holiday expenses, as the weather gets colder, heating costs also increase,&quot; says Roslyn Lash, an accredited financial counselor. &quot;It's imperative that you also set some money aside for inclement weather expenses. Unfortunately, when ice/snow is the forecast, schools typically close, and this could mean paying someone to baby-sit the kiddos. It could also prevent you from going to work, which means lost revenue.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-big-winter-expenses-that-could-freeze-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Big Winter Expenses That Could Freeze Your Budget</a>)</p> <h2>6. Determine what's necessary for the holidays and cut back from there</h2> <p>I love all things holiday &mdash; the decorations, the parties, the gifts, the endless array of baked goods &mdash; and if I'm not participating in someone else's festivities, I'm hosting my own. Of course that can get expensive, so I take a one-year-on, one-year-off approach to the latter part of that equation. Two years ago I hosted a holiday party in my home, but last year I didn't. I bought more holiday decorations for the house last year, but this year I won't. This practice not only helps me save money, but it also lets me cycle through things that I need to get rid of in a timely manner (like half-full bottles of liquor, for instance) and cut down on overall holiday clutter. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-common-holiday-budget-pitfalls?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Avoid These 5 Common Holiday Budget Pitfalls</a>)</p> <h2>7. Get into a cash back state of mind</h2> <p>Upfront coupons and savings are great, but there's plenty more to be had on the back end if you know where to look. Apps like <a href="https://ibotta.com/r/jcsgjbv" target="_blank">Ibotta</a> and Fetch Rewards provide cash back on purchases made on preset items or at selected retailers. Last month I scored more than $50 cash back (which was on top of other savings I received on the front end) by shopping through Ibotta.</p> <p>If you're responsible at managing credit, now's also a great time to take advantage of a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash back credit card</a> on your day to day purchases. By using a cash back card on necessities like groceries or gas, you'll earn cash to bolster your budget. Just be sure to pay off your balance in full every month, or else this method isn't worth it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-your-credit-card-will-save-you-money-while-holiday-shopping?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Ways Your Credit Card Will Save You Money While Holiday Shopping</a>)</p> <h2>8. Rebid your insurance policies</h2> <p>You may be able to shave some money off your bills this fall by reviewing your insurance coverage.</p> <p>Michael Landsberg, CFP and founder of Landsberg Bennett Private Wealth Management in Punta Gorda, Florida, recommends rebidding your auto and home insurance policies to at least three independent agents (but not the online ones that are all owned by the same companies).</p> <p>&quot;Often times, this rebidding process puts hundreds if not thousands back in people's pockets right before the holidays,&quot; he explains. &quot;It's very easy. Just take your current policy declaration page and send that to an independent agent and let them do the work. The worst that can happen is you find out you've got a good program in place already.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Book travel before demand pricing kicks in</h2> <p>If you're traveling this fall or holiday season, book your mode of transportation and accommodations as soon as possible so you're not looking at ultra expensive rates at the last minute. Hotels and rental cars in particular go fast, and they're subject to on-demand pricing, which means your wallet could end up getting walloped if you're not shut out altogether. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-these-9-things-now-to-make-holiday-air-travel-easier?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Do These 9 Things Now to Make Holiday Air Travel Easier</a>)</p> <h2>10. Investigate a balance transfer</h2> <p>If you're carrying a high balance on a credit card, now is a great time to give yourself a credit card checkup.</p> <p>&quot;Explore what's out there,&quot; advises Han Chang, co-founder of InvestmentZen. &quot;Many lenders are beginning to offer deals now to get a jump on the holidays. Consolidating credit card debt via a balance transfer can be pretty enticing, especially with those 0 percent introductory APR offers, which usually last for six to 12 months. If you can find a good offer, you could potentially pay down a significant amount of debt before November and December.&quot;</p> <p>But nothing is ever free; offers like this often come with a one-time balance transfer fee ranging from 3 percent to 10 percent of the total balance transfer. That can really add up and, if you're not careful, completely negate any savings that 0 percent APR offers. Be sure to make your payments on time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-balance-transfer-offer-a-good-deal?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is a Balance Transfer Offer a Good Deal?</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-ways-to-tidy-up-your-finances-before-the-holidays&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Ways%2520to%2520Tidy%2520Up%2520Your%2520Finances%2520Before%2520the%2520Holidays.jpg&amp;description=10%20Ways%20to%20Tidy%20Up%20Your%20Finances%20Before%20the%20Holidays"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Ways%20to%20Tidy%20Up%20Your%20Finances%20Before%20the%20Holidays.jpg" alt="10 Ways to Tidy Up Your Finances Before the Holidays" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-tidy-up-your-finances-before-the-holidays">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/10-money-goals-you-should-set-for-the-holidays">10 Money Goals You Should Set for the Holidays</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-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop</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/teach-your-kids-about-money-with-their-holiday-gift-lists">Teach Your Kids About Money With Their Holiday Gift Lists</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-secrets-to-a-debt-free-holiday-season">8 Secrets to a Debt-Free Holiday Season</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-ways-to-prepare-for-your-best-black-friday">11 Ways to Prepare for Your Best Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living balance transfer budgeting cash back checkup Christmas gifts Holidays layaway planning savings shopping winter Wed, 04 Oct 2017 08:30:12 +0000 Mikey Rox 2030770 at http://www.wisebread.com How Cutting Your Losses Can Save You More Than Money http://www.wisebread.com/how-cutting-your-losses-can-save-you-more-than-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-cutting-your-losses-can-save-you-more-than-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/this_is_becoming_too_hard_to_handle.jpg" alt="This is becoming too hard to handle" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Let's say you bought tickets in advance for an upcoming concert, but the day of the show, a friend invites you to do something you'd enjoy even more. If you're like most people, you'll choose to go to the concert anyway. You don't want to waste the money you've spent, even though you'd rather be somewhere other than the concert. Your aversion to losing the money you spent on the tickets (aka a &quot;sunk cost&quot;) means you give up on doing something more enjoyable.</p> <p>A sunk cost is the time, money, or resources that have already been spent &mdash; and cannot be recouped &mdash; on a project or goal. Sunk costs should not color your decision whether or not to continue with a project, because the money and time has already been spent and cannot affect the outcome.</p> <p>The sunk cost fallacy is farther reaching than just financial decisions, though. It can also cost you much more than money if you fall victim to this fallacy. Here are five ways the sunk cost fallacy can affect various parts of your life beyond your budget.</p> <h2>1. Staying in a job you hate</h2> <p>When I was in high school, my mother very suddenly had to find a new dentist. The one she'd been going to for years had decided to quit dentistry and go back to school to become an accountant, which was what he had always wanted to do. We made a lot of jokes about it at the time, even though we were very happy that he was finally following his passion for accounting.</p> <p>This dentist had been practicing for over a decade when he decided to make this enormous career change. His family had pressured him to pursue dentistry, and it seemed like a waste to have gotten all that schooling and not practice. Once he became a dentist, each year that passed was another year that would have been &quot;wasted&quot; if he changed careers.</p> <p>Luckily for him, this dentist came to realize that his time at dental school and in practice was &quot;wasted&quot; anyway, since he did not want to be a dentist. Continuing in this profession would be wasting even more time because he'd be following a path he didn't enjoy.</p> <p>Many people who are stuck in jobs they don't like are not nearly as clear-eyed about their own professional sunk costs. If it feels like a &quot;waste&quot; of your time or education to get out of a job that is making you unhappy, then you are falling victim to the sunk cost fallacy. How you have spent your professional training and time up to this point doesn't matter if you're on a path that doesn't interest you.</p> <p>If you're worried about wasting what you've already sunk into a hated profession, make like my dentist and pursue what you truly love. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-that-job-you-hate-keeps-you-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways That Job You Hate Keeps You Poor</a>)</p> <h2>2. Staying in an unhappy relationship</h2> <p>If you regularly read dating advice columns, sooner or later you'll come across a letter from someone who wants to end an engagement, but feels like they can't because deposits have already been paid, people will be disappointed, and Great Aunt Hilda has already bought her plane ticket for the wedding.</p> <p>In short, these cold-footed would-be brides and grooms are focused on the sunk costs of the upcoming nuptials. That's because thinking about the loss of money, face, and Great Aunt Hilda's respect makes it difficult to clearly see the huge benefit of calling off a wedding: Not marrying the wrong person.</p> <p>Of course, the sunk cost fallacy doesn't just lead you down the aisle with the wrong person. It can also keep you in a relationship with someone who doesn't want the same things you do.</p> <p>If humans were able to think rationally about our relationships, it wouldn't matter that the deposit on the swan-shaped ice sculpture for the reception is nonrefundable. In this scenario, a rational decision would be to determine if the marriage or the current relationship is what you want and make your decision from there. But we all have a tendency to make current decisions based on what we've invested up to this point.</p> <p>So, we enter into marriages we're unsure about because we can't stand the thought of losing catering deposits, and we stay with partners who don't offer us what we want in a relationship because we can't stand the idea of losing all the time we've already put in.</p> <h2>3. Sticking with entertainment you're not enjoying</h2> <p>I'm ashamed to admit I watched the entire final season of a show I ended up hating. It was a truly terrible season of TV and it included virtually none of the characters that had made the previous seasons of the show charming and funny. So why did I endure 286 minutes of this show when I didn't have to? Because I had invested eight seasons in the show, and, by gum, I was going to finish it.</p> <p>My entertainment sunk cost experience is hardly unique &mdash; and game developers have actually taken notice of this quirk of our brains. Facebook game <em>Farmville</em>, which at its peak had 84 million people playing, was created to take advantage of the sunk cost fallacy. Since you could lose the time and money you have invested in the game ― your crops and livestock would die if you neglected the game too long &mdash; many players would return over and over again to protect themselves from loss. They weren't enjoying the game anymore. They simply didn't want to lose their investment in it.</p> <p>Despite the fact that <em>Farmville</em> was simply pixels on a screen, we have a tendency to stick with entertainment we dislike just to protect our previous investment or time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-resist-the-expensive-once-in-a-lifetime-mentality?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Resist the Expensive &quot;Once in a Lifetime&quot; Mentality</a>)</p> <h2>4. Eating food you don't want</h2> <p>As a parent, I've often found myself finishing meals my kids have only nibbled at, to keep from wasting food. Even before I had children, there would be times I'd force myself to finish eating something after I was already full, for fear of wasting money.</p> <p>The problem is that the food is just as wasted if it ends up as extra padding on my hips. The money and time has already been spent buying and preparing the food, and it's not as if I could actually send the excess to starving children in other parts of the world. Finishing the food simply takes away the visual reminder of the waste (until it shows up on my body). It does not negate the waste of buying and preparing food my kids refuse to eat or eating at restaurants that make portions too large to finish.</p> <p>If I'm full, I should stop eating, since the food in front of me is already a sunk cost. I should also get better at preserving the leftovers for future meals and reducing said food waste. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-food-waste-from-spoiling-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Keep Food Waste From Spoiling Your Budget</a>)</p> <h2>5. Keeping a cluttered house</h2> <p>All across the nation, there are bread machines and stationary bicycles gathering dust in basements, attics, and garages. I personally have a set of adjustable weight dumbbells in my basement that cost $300 and have been used fewer than a dozen times.</p> <p>The sunk cost fallacy keeps these unused items in our homes. We refuse to part with something we spent &quot;good money&quot; on, despite the fact that we would be happier with uncluttered homes.</p> <p>Even if we do decide to clear house, we often want to get back what we put into the items we don't use. The fact that we spent &quot;good money&quot; on an exercise bike or small appliance blinds us to the item's current value. We recall spending several hundred dollars for the unused item, and we hate to &quot;lose&quot; that investment by selling our stuff at a loss. But now that the item is covered with several years' worth of basement dust and it smells slightly moldy, its value is much lower than it was when we bought it.</p> <p>This sunk cost fallacy makes us believe that we can't get rid of unused items unless we can sell them for at least what we paid for them &mdash; forgetting that the money we spent is sunk, and that having a less cluttered house would improve our lives. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a>)</p> <h2>Don't let sunk costs sink your decisions</h2> <p>The simple (but not necessarily easy) way to handle the sunk cost fallacy is to consistently check in with yourself. Ask yourself, &quot;Is this really what I want?&quot; and be honest when you answer. This question can help you decide what to do, whether you're staring down a career that you feel ambivalent about, a marriage that doesn't feel right, another episode of a show you're not enjoying, a French fry that you're not hungry for, or a panini press you haven't used since the first Bush administration.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-cutting-your-losses-can-save-you-more-than-money&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520Cutting%2520Your%2520Losses%2520Can%2520Save%2520You%2520More%2520Than%2520Money.jpg&amp;description=How%20Cutting%20Your%20Losses%20Can%20Save%20You%20More%20Than%20Money"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20Cutting%20Your%20Losses%20Can%20Save%20You%20More%20Than%20Money.jpg" alt="How Cutting Your Losses Can Save You More Than Money" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-cutting-your-losses-can-save-you-more-than-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-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-living-on-a-tight-budget-makes-you-happier">How Living on a Tight Budget Makes You Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-feel-better-about-your-financial-situation">6 Ways to Feel Better About Your Financial Situation</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/heres-how-too-many-decisions-costs-you-money">Here&#039;s How Too Many Decisions Costs You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-yourself-for-100-or-less">10 Ways to Improve Yourself for $100 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Personal Development Shopping budgeting cut your losses improve your life lifestyle tips mental bias saving money spending habits sunk cost Fri, 29 Sep 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2028481 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Avoid Vacation Debt http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-avoid-vacation-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-avoid-vacation-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel_cost.jpg" alt="Travel cost" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Vacation is meant to be fun and relaxing. With no office to go into and no stove to slave over, you can enjoy some peace and quiet and forget about life for a while. Unfortunately, many Americans return home to a rude awakening in the form of a big, fat vacation bill. Nearly three-quarters of Americans have gone into debt to pay for a vacation, racking up an average balance of $1,108, according to LearnVest's 2017 Money Habits and Confessions Survey.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to avoid vacation debt and the havoc it creates. If you're gearing up for a trip but don't want to return home to a nasty bill, here are some steps you can take in advance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-fool-proof-ways-to-stay-within-your-travel-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Fool-Proof Ways to Stay Within Your Travel Budget</a>)</p> <h2>1. Start a travel savings account</h2> <p>One possible reason Americans wind up with vacation debt could be the fact that more than half of us don't have a travel budget. The LearnVest survey shows that 55 percent of Americans don't factor vacations into their annual spending plans.</p> <p>One of the best ways to ensure you have vacation funds saved in advance of your holiday is to create a targeted savings account just for travel. A travel account allows you to see exactly how much you have to spend on vacation without digging into your regular budget, or worse, going into debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</a>)</p> <h2>2. Carve out some travel savings in your monthly budget</h2> <p>Once you have a travel account, you need to save regularly if you want your funds to grow. Make it easy on yourself by budgeting for travel expenses monthly &mdash; as in, set aside a few hundred dollars (or whatever you can afford) each month as if you were paying a regular bill. By stashing this money in your travel savings account, you help make sure it doesn't get spent elsewhere. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-budget-for-summer-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Easy Ways to Budget for Summer Vacation</a>)</p> <h2>3. Find ways to save on travel</h2> <p>Part of our problem with vacation debt could stem from the fact that we're spending too much on travel compared to our incomes. LearnVest's survey showed that the average American spends around 10 percent of their income on vacations &mdash; meaning an individual who earns $50,000 is spending $5,000 a year on holiday travel. Worse, 39 percent of millennials spend 15 percent or more of their annual income on vacations. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Steps to Getting a Free Vacation in 9 Months or Less With Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>While there's no one-size-fits all way to save on travel, we could all stand to dig a little deeper to find savings. Consider searching for package deals that include both airfare and hotels, for example. Or, vacation closer to home so you can avoid flying altogether. Also check out the many useful <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel deals websites</a> that can help you save money on nearly any trip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources?ref=seealso" target="_blank">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a>)</p> <h2>4. Leverage credit card rewards (but only if you're debt-free)</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">Travel credit cards</a> can serve as a valuable money-saving tool, as long as you don't run a balance on them. If you plan ahead to earn airline miles or hotel points, and pay your bill in full before your due date every month, you can use rewards to supplement your travel budget and save money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-miles-and-points-for-a-big-award-trip?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use Miles and Points for a Big Award Trip</a>)</p> <p>For example, if you cash in frequent flyer miles to pay for your airfare, you can focus on saving for your hotels and food separately. Or, consider driving to a hotel you paid for with points. In that case, you would only be on the hook for travel expenses, activities, and food.</p> <p>Of course, travel rewards are not a good option for people struggling with debt. The key to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips?ref=internal" target="_blank">using credit card rewards for travel</a> is to never carry a balance. Instead, consider your cards as a thoughtful extension of a planned out monthly budget.</p> <h2>5. Cut your expenses, or try a &quot;spending freeze&quot;</h2> <p>The LearnVest survey found that the most common ways Americans save money for travel are avoiding restaurants, shopping less often, and spending less on entertainment. This is all good news, as &quot;extra&quot; spending categories like dining out and entertainment are often the easiest to cut. But, that doesn't mean you can't look for more ways to save money over time.</p> <p>As you save up for a vacation, you can even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-a-one-month-spending-freeze?ref=internal" target="_blank">try a spending &quot;freeze&quot;</a> &mdash; an exercise in which you only spend money on absolute essentials for several weeks or months. If you can avoid extra spending for short bursts of time, you can reach your vacation budget goal much quicker.</p> <h2>6. Pick up a side gig</h2> <p>Not everyone has enough wiggle room in their budget to cut out enough to pay for a vacation. Maybe you live in a high-cost area, or perhaps your monthly expenses are unusually high due to debt, child support, or other factors. Either way, it's hard to save for vacation when you're barely making ends meet.</p> <p>If you're struggling to come up with the cash to travel, consider picking up a side hustle or part-time job that leads to additional income. Since the extra cash you earn is in addition to the money you earn at your job, you should theoretically be able to save it for anything you want. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-best-side-jobs-for-fast-cash" target="_blank">14 Best Side Jobs for Fast Cash</a>)</p> <p>Your side hustle can be anything, although you'll probably earn more if you align it with your career or some skill you already have. If not, you can always try something like baby-sitting, dog-sitting, or housesitting. Mow lawns, drive for Uber, or tutor kids online. Start hustling, and by the time your next vacation rolls around, you'll be ready.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-ways-to-avoid-vacation-debt&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Ways%2520to%2520Avoid%2520Vacation%2520Debt.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ways%20to%20Avoid%20Vacation%20Debt"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Ways%20to%20Avoid%20Vacation%20Debt.jpg" alt="6 Ways to Avoid Vacation Debt" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-avoid-vacation-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/10-financial-resolutions-you-can-conquer-before-new-years">10 Financial Resolutions You Can Conquer Before New Year&#039;s</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-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now">10 Frugal Fall Getaways You Can Start Packing For Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-living-on-a-tight-budget-makes-you-happier">How Living on a Tight Budget Makes You Happier</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-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Pay It Off</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/7-strategies-for-paying-off-debt-when-living-on-a-variable-income">7 Strategies for Paying Off Debt When Living on a Variable Income</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management Travel budgeting expenses saving money side gigs Spending Money vacation debt Wed, 27 Sep 2017 08:30:06 +0000 Holly Johnson 2027163 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Online Forums That'll Help You Reach Your Financial Goals http://www.wisebread.com/9-online-forums-thatll-help-you-reach-your-financial-goals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-online-forums-thatll-help-you-reach-your-financial-goals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_on_coffee_break.jpg" alt="Girl on coffee break" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've got financial goals, but why be lonely while you're reaching them? Find your tribe! Grow your group! Commit to your community! And reach those money goals faster with the help and advice of online friends who are focused on reaching the same goals with you.</p> <h2>Goal: Get better at money</h2> <p>Start here to master the personal finance basics.</p> <h3>1. Reddit personal finance</h3> <p>If you want to start being more aware of your money and more proactive in how you manage it, you can't find a better place than <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/" target="_blank">Reddit's personal finance subreddit</a>. It's an active, friendly group full of down-to-earth people sharing real advice and tips and asking for insight from others.</p> <h3>2. Mr. Money Mustache Taxes forum</h3> <p>Getting better at finance means getting at least a little bit better at understanding and managing your taxes. The <a href="https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/taxes/" target="_blank">Mr. Money Mustache Taxes forum</a> can help. Topics vary widely with the common theme of taxes bringing them all together. You'll see threads on everything from making IRA contributions, to dealing with an inheritance, to calculating self-employment tax.</p> <h2>Goal: Invest more</h2> <h3>3. BiggerPockets forum</h3> <p>For real estate investment help and support, check out the <a href="https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums" target="_blank">BiggerPockets real estate investing forum</a>. You'll find questions, answers, and plenty of advice on the subject. Topics cover everything from real estate taxes, to investment strategies, to landlord responsibilities.</p> <h3>4. Quora Returns On Investment</h3> <p>Quora is a massive Q&amp;A website with a huge array of topics; dive into <a href="https://www.quora.com/topic/Returns-On-Investment-finance" target="_blank">Returns On Investment</a> to read questions and a variety of answers on the best methods and strategies for investing your money. You can also check out the <a href="https://www.quora.com/topic/Stock-Market-Investing" target="_blank">Stock Market Investing</a> page for even more information on investing.</p> <h2>Goal: Pay off debt</h2> <h3>5. Money Saving Expert forum</h3> <p>This is a large and active forum with many financial-themed topics. Of particular interest for your debt repayment goals are the <a href="http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/forumdisplay.php?f=76" target="_blank">Debt-Free Wannabe</a> and <a href="http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/forumdisplay.php?f=98" target="_blank">Mortgage-Free Wannabe</a> threads. Join hundreds of members who are working their way toward their debt-free goals. It's encouraging to know you're not alone, and you can also find advice and tips for ways to be as efficient as possible with your repayment plans.</p> <h2>Goal: Stick to a budget</h2> <h3>6. Frugal Village forums</h3> <p>How deep do you want to dive into changing your lifestyle to be a more frugal one? The <a href="http://www.frugalvillage.com/forums/forum.php" target="_blank">Frugal Village forum</a> can take you there. Topics get into detail, so you can explore the one you're most interested in. There are also several threads dedicated to specific money and frugal living challenges. For extra incentive, take on a challenge with your forum friends to cheer you on.</p> <h2>Goal: Save more money</h2> <h3>7. Tip Yourself app and community</h3> <p>The <a href="https://tipyourself.com/howitworks/" target="_blank">Tip Yourself app</a> (for iOS) gives you the option to, well, tip yourself. Forego that pricey coffee, new book, or other impulse purchase and give yourself the money instead, designating the amount in the app where you can watch the dollars in your own tip jar increase. The community feature makes this app fun to use; you can see what others are doing, comment and like their tips, and receive the same kind of encouragement for yourself. While you could easily do this yourself with a savings account, the interactive, community-oriented nature of Tip Yourself adds an element of fun that might spur you to save more than you normally would on your own.</p> <h3>8. CafeMom &mdash; The Family Piggy Bank</h3> <p>CafeMom is a popular site with all sorts of specialized groups; this particular one, <a href="http://www.cafemom.com/group/114471" target="_blank">The Family Piggy Bank</a>, brings together moms who are doing their best to save, invest, and plan for a happy financial future for their families. You can join a daily savings challenge, ask a question, or find out how other families are saving money on everything from holiday gifts, family travel, food budgets, and life insurance.</p> <h2>Goal: Increase your income</h2> <h3>9. Mr. Money Mustache Entrepreneurship forum</h3> <p>The <a href="https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/entrepreneurship/?PHPSESSID=ofgi7a48evtpkmc8d49sivq264" target="_blank">forum on Entrepreneurship</a> at Mr. Money Mustache is active and full of advice. You'll read real stories of people who are building up their own businesses in order to increase their income. You don't have to be a full-time entrepreneur or business owner to benefit from the knowledge shared here. In fact, it's a great community to be part of for encouragement as you turn your hobby or side hustle into something more profitable.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F9-online-forums-thatll-help-you-reach-your-financial-goals&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%2520Online%2520Forums%2520That%2527ll%2520Help%2520You%2520Reach%2520Your%2520Financial%2520Goals.jpg&amp;description=9%20Online%20Forums%20That'll%20Help%20You%20Reach%20Your%20Financial%20Goals"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Online%20Forums%20That%27ll%20Help%20You%20Reach%20Your%20Financial%20Goals.jpg" alt="9 Online Forums That'll Help You Reach Your Financial Goals" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-online-forums-thatll-help-you-reach-your-financial-goals">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-personal-finance-resolutions-anyone-can-master">8 Personal Finance Resolutions Anyone Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far">6 Ways Millennials Have Changed Money (So Far)</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/first-rule-of-financial-wins-avoid-losses">First Rule of Financial Wins: Avoid Losses</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-financial-resolutions-you-can-conquer-before-new-years">10 Financial Resolutions You Can Conquer Before New Year&#039;s</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/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance apps budgeting communities debt entrepreneurship forums goals investing saving money websites Tue, 19 Sep 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Annie Mueller 2022479 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Find the Savings Strategy That Works For You http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-savings-strategy-that-works-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-find-the-savings-strategy-that-works-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_woman_with_a_piggy_bank.jpg" alt="Young woman with a piggy bank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Creating a savings strategy may sound like an odd concept. Saving money seems like a simple task &mdash; one that doesn't require much strategy on your part.</p> <p>But saving money, like any other financial skill, can be set up to either fit in with your psychology, lifestyle, and preferences, or go against them. And just how successful can your savings plan be if your savings strategy doesn't work for you?</p> <p>If you've ever struggled to save money, you might have been using the wrong strategy. Instead of following the same old failed savings path, try a strategy that works for you:</p> <h2>If you like getting something for nothing: Use a change jar or roundup app</h2> <p>When I was in high school, I was the person holding up every transaction by counting out exact change to the cashier, while my friend thought nothing of breaking a $20 bill. For a long time, I thought my friend was bad with money &mdash; until I learned what he did with all the loose change he gathered by breaking bills. Every few weeks, he'd take his change to the bank and deposit the money into a savings account.</p> <p>My friend's habit was an excellent way for him to set money aside. He got to avoid counting out change at every transaction (which he hated doing), and he felt like he was getting a nice financial bonus every few weeks.</p> <p>In 2017, change jars may not be as practical as they were in the 1990s, but you can consider using an app that offers a similar strategy. Apps like Acorns and Qoins recreate the feeling of throwing change in a jar. These apps round your purchases up to the nearest dollar, and use the difference to build your savings account or pay down debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everyones-using-spare-change-apps-are-they-really-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Spare Change Apps &mdash; Are They Worth It?</a>)</p> <h2>If you like seeing progress toward a goal: Manually transfer your savings</h2> <p>Sometimes, the best motivation to do something is the same one your elementary school teacher offered: gold stars on progress charts. If this describes you, consider manually transferring money to your savings account every payday.</p> <p>This may sound counterintuitive, since so much personal finance advice suggests automating your savings so you don't have to think about it. But if you're someone who feels great about seeing the progress made on a goal, manually transferring your savings will make you excited about doing it in the first place. It will motivate you to stick with it, and maybe even put more money aside.</p> <p>In addition, actually creating a savings chart or other visual representation of your goal will help you stay on track and inspired to find more ways to save. That's because tracking your progress helps build a chain of good habits, and you want to keep that chain going until the good habits become second nature.</p> <h2>If you don't want to think about saving money: Deposit your whole paycheck into savings</h2> <p>Some people have trouble saving money, no matter how hard they try. If this describes you, why not set up your finances so that your money goes into savings <em>before </em>it hits your checking account?</p> <p>Under this system, your entire paycheck is deposited into your savings account on payday. Once a month, you'll transfer the amount you need for your regular expenses and bills into your checking account.</p> <p>When you follow this strategy, you'll automatically spend less than you earn and save money every month without having to think about it. The money has already been saved for you.</p> <p>If you correctly calculated the amount you need to cover your monthly expenses, the money in your checking account should last until the following month. If you are running short before the end of those 30 days, you can decide to move more money from your savings account, or go on a spending ban (make no unnecessary purchases until the next month begins).</p> <p>If you find that you're regularly adding a second transfer near the end of the month to make ends meet, take time to re-evaluate your expenses.</p> <h2>If you want to productively ignore your savings: Automate and use savings apps</h2> <p>Part of the problem with saving money is the fact that it becomes just another financial decision you have make. How much should you set aside? When should you make your transfer? Where will you find the money to put into savings?</p> <p>If you'd rather skip the whole task of saving money instead of answering these questions, then automation is the right savings strategy for you. Setting up an automatic transfer from your paycheck into your savings account means that you don't have to think about putting the money aside. It's a seamless transfer of your money to savings.</p> <p>Digit is one way to do this. Digit is an app that analyzes your cash flow. After syncing your accounts, about twice a week, the app will determine an amount of money ($5&ndash;$50) that is safe to transfer out of your checking account and into an FDIC-insured Digit deposit account. This is a simple way to save money without having to think about it. Digit is free for one month, and $2.99 per month thereafter. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-microsaving-tools-to-help-you-start-saving-now?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 MicroSaving Tools to Help You Start Saving Now</a>)</p> <h2>If you have trouble prioritizing yourself: Treat your savings like a bill</h2> <p>Many of us have trouble putting ourselves first, including <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-really-need-to-pay-yourself-first-seriously?ref=internal" target="_blank">paying ourselves first</a>. If you're someone who prides yourself on always paying bills on time, but who struggles to prioritize savings, then start treating your savings like a bill to pay.</p> <p>Set up a reminder to transfer money to savings on the same day you pay your other regular bills. Making &quot;savings&quot; a bill when you are paying all your other bills makes it feel like a nonnegotiable, which will help you make it a priority.</p> <h2>If saving money bores you: Create targeted savings accounts</h2> <p>If you have trouble getting excited about saving money when there is so much fun stuff you could spend your money on, you're not alone. Having money funneled into a savings account can feel pretty boring if you don't have any specific plans for the cash.</p> <p>You are much more likely to get excited about saving money if you have a set goal for your savings. This is partially due to something known as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mental-accounting-why-you-blow-your-tax-refund-but-not-your-raise?ref=internal" target="_blank">mental accounting</a>, which is our tendency to value money differently depending on how it is physically and mentally labeled. You might not hesitate to &quot;borrow&quot; $400 from your general savings account for a couple of tickets to Jay-Z's 4:44 tour &mdash; but taking that money from your new car fund, on the other hand, would hurt.</p> <p>Many online and traditional banks will allow you to create several targeted accounts, each with its own nickname. Taking the time to put a name to each one of your savings goals can help you save more and spend less.</p> <h2>Know thy savings self</h2> <p>Finding the best savings strategy for you starts with understanding your psychology and preferences when it comes to money. Working within those preferences makes saving money a much easier and far more satisfying prospect.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-find-the-savings-strategy-that-works-for-you&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Find%2520the%2520Savings%2520Strategy%2520That%2520Works%2520For%2520You_0.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Find%20the%20Savings%20Strategy%20That%20Works%20For%20You"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Find%20the%20Savings%20Strategy%20That%20Works%20For%20You_0.jpg" alt="How to Find the Savings Strategy That Works For You" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-savings-strategy-that-works-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-no-budgeting-required">How to Manage Your Money — No Budgeting Required</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-come-up-with-1000-in-the-next-30-days">How to Come Up With $1,000 in the Next 30 Days</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-financial-basics-every-new-grad-should-know">The Financial Basics Every New Grad Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youve-been-saving-money-all-wrong-heres-why">You&#039;ve Been Saving Money All Wrong. Here&#039;s Why</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-online-forums-thatll-help-you-reach-your-financial-goals">9 Online Forums That&#039;ll Help You Reach Your Financial Goals</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance apps automated savings budgeting expenses mental biases psychology saving money spare change strategy Mon, 18 Sep 2017 08:30:05 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2020047 at http://www.wisebread.com Where to Find Emergency Funds When You Don't Have an Emergency Fund http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-find-emergency-funds-when-you-dont-have-an-emergency-fund <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/where-to-find-emergency-funds-when-you-dont-have-an-emergency-fund" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_having_financial_problems.jpg" alt="Woman having financial problems" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Establishing an emergency fund is the first and most important step in taking control of your finances. This fund makes it possible for you to weather a financial crisis &mdash; anything from a big car repair or medical bill to losing your job. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-step-by-step-guide-to-creating-your-emergency-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <p>But what if you don't have an emergency fund? Or you have only just started building it when an emergency strikes? Or you have been hit with back-to-back hardships that your emergency fund can't handle? How do you find money in an emergency when there's nothing but cobwebs in your &quot;emergency fund?&quot;</p> <p>Before you assume that dealing with such a situation is basically a hopeless case, remember that your ability to handle an emergency is not limited to the size your emergency fund. Here are several places you can find emergency funds when you don't have an emergency fund. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-prevent-an-emergency-from-driving-you-into-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Ways to Prevent an Emergency From Driving You Into Debt</a>)</p> <h2>1. Your own budget</h2> <p>One of the fastest ways to find some emergency cash in your budget is to cut your costs to the bone. Take a look at what you normally spend on groceries, entertainment, gas, and utilities. You may be surprised to find that there is enough money in your monthly budget to cover your emergency if you are willing to eat nothing but peanut butter and jelly, say no to happy hour with your friends, turn off the A/C, take the bus, and switch off your cellphone data plan for a month. This might not sound like much fun, but it will be well worth the short-term discomfort if you can use the savings to solve your emergency. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-spending-too-much-on-normal-expenses?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are You Spending Too Much on &quot;Normal&quot; Expenses?</a>)</p> <p>As a bonus, you could extend your cost-cutting to last a few weeks after you've taken care of your emergency, and use the freed-up cash to refill (or start) your emergency fund. That will make it much less likely you'll have to deal with this kind of deprivation the next time an emergency crops up.</p> <h2>2. Your stuff</h2> <p>It's very easy for us to forget just how much money is sitting in our homes in the form of all of our stuff. When you are facing an emergency, it can become clear that a lot of the stuff you own doesn't actually add anything to your life.</p> <p>A financial emergency is a good time to sell some of the things you have kept but don't actually need. Craiglist, eBay, and Facebook groups are all excellent options for maximizing your profit if you have some time available before you need the cash. If your emergency has a quick deadline, however, you can take your valuables to a consignment or pawnshop.</p> <h2>3. Your monthly due dates</h2> <p>If your emergency is one you could financially handle if you just had a little more time, it may be worth your while to call your landlord, utility companies, and creditors to see if they would be willing to push back your due date for this month's bills. You may or may not be able to convince them all to accept a delayed payment this month, but it doesn't hurt to ask.</p> <h2>4. Your withholdings</h2> <p>If you regularly get a large tax refund every spring, you could potentially get hold of that money before April 15 by adjusting your withholdings on your W-4 form at work. Doing this, you may see more money in your very next paycheck.</p> <p>Use the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/individuals/irs-withholding-calculator" target="_blank">IRS online withholding calculator</a> to figure out exactly what your withholding should be. Once you've adjusted your withholding, you can keep it at the adjusted amount for the rest of the year and save the difference in your emergency fund.</p> <h2>5. Your employer</h2> <p>Depending on your workplace, you may be able to take an advance on your future salary to help you cover a financial emergency. If you work for a small company where your boss is the final authority, you will need to appeal directly to him or her for your advance. If you work in a larger or corporate environment, you will need to discuss the possibility of an advance with your human resources department.</p> <p>Be prepared to explain why you need the money, which may feel awkward. But your boss will want to know that the advance isn't enabling a problem behavior, such as gambling or substance abuse, and you do need to give some background so they will understand that this is a one-time emergency.</p> <p>You can also expect to fill out some paperwork, which will specify the payback schedule and what will happen in the event you leave the job before the advance has been paid off. In most cases, the payback schedule will mean that you receive a reduced paycheck for a few pay periods until you have paid back the advance, although you may be able to negotiate for future overtime in exchange for the advance.</p> <h2>5. Borrowing money</h2> <p>There are several ways to borrow money that can help get you through a financial emergency, although they all have different costs that you need to consider before signing on the dotted line:</p> <h3>A loan from a friend or family member</h3> <p>Borrowing money from someone you know can be a relationship land mine, which is why so many people are leery of asking for that kind of help.</p> <p>It is possible to borrow money from a loved one, but you must be prepared to handle it like a business transaction and actually use a promissory note. This legal agreement will spell out the specifics of payment dates, interest, and other loan details.</p> <h3>Peer-to-peer lending</h3> <p>The modern world has made it possible to borrow small amounts of money through peer-to-peer lending platforms like Lending Club and Prosper. To successfully borrow money from a peer-to-peer platform, you will generally need a credit score of about 660 or above, and you will need a checking account, since your loan will be deposited to it, and your payments will be automatically debited from it.</p> <p>Generally, these loans have a maximum lending period of 36 months. There is no penalty for paying off your loan early, however, so a peer-to-peer loan may be an excellent choice for someone who needs money quickly but whose situation will stabilize soon afterward. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-personal-loans-may-be-better-than-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Times Personal Loans May Be Better Than Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h3>An emergency overdraft from your bank</h3> <p>Your bank may be able to extend you an emergency overdraft if your emergency occurs within a few days of payday and the amount you need does not exceed your usual payday deposit. Explain the situation to your bank and request an overdraft for the amount you will need to cover your emergency &mdash; but don't forget to ask what overdraft fees you can expect to pay. If your bank approves this course of action and their overdraft fees are reasonable, this could be a relatively inexpensive way to get the money you need.</p> <h3>Take a loan from your 401(k)</h3> <p>Though it's generally not a great idea to borrow from your 401(k) for a financial emergency, it is a good idea for you to know what your rights are in regards to such a loan. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-to-ask-before-you-borrow-from-your-retirement-account?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Questions to Ask Before You Borrow From Your Retirement Account</a>)</p> <p>The IRS allows you to access a portion (generally the lesser of 50 percent or $50,000) of your retirement plan money tax-free for an emergency. If you do take such a loan, the law requires you to repay the amount you accessed, plus interest &mdash; which you are paying to yourself, meaning you are helping to restore at least some of the growth you lost by taking the loan.</p> <p>Loan rules specify a five-year amortization repayment schedule, but there are no prepayment penalties if you would like to rebuild your account quicker. In addition, many plans will allow you to make repayments through payroll deduction, in the same way you make normal contributions.</p> <p>One caveat: If you leave (or lose) your job before paying back the loan, it will be considered an early distribution, which will mean that you owe the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty <em>and</em> tax on your loan.</p> <h3>Take a tax-free rollover from your IRA</h3> <p>While the IRS does not allow investors to take loans from their IRA accounts, a 60-day tax-free rollover allows you to access the money you have in your IRA in case of an emergency. Such a rollover lets you take money out of your IRA with no taxes or penalties, provided you put the money back in that or another IRA within 60 calendar days. If you fail to replace the money within that time frame, it will be considered an early withdrawal and you will have to pay income taxes on the money and a 10 percent penalty.</p> <p>In addition, it's important to note that there is what's known as the one-year rule. You can only do such a tax-free rollover once within any 12-month period.</p> <h2>Emergencies are never convenient</h2> <p>Like death, taxes, and childbirth, financial emergencies don't like to arrive when it's convenient. The key to being able to handle financial emergencies is flexibility. If you are willing and able to make changes to your habits, respectfully ask for help, borrow mindfully, or reduce your spending, you can get to the other side of any emergency with your finances intact. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-decide-if-its-a-fund-worthy-emergency?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Decide if It's a &quot;Fund-Worthy&quot; Emergency</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhere-to-find-emergency-funds-when-you-dont-have-an-emergency-fund&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhere%2520to%2520Find%2520Emergency%2520Funds%2520When%2520You%2520Don%2527t%2520Have%2520an%2520Emergency%2520Fund.jpg&amp;description=Where%20to%20Find%20Emergency%20Funds%20When%20You%20Don't%20Have%20an%20Emergency%20Fund"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Where%20to%20Find%20Emergency%20Funds%20When%20You%20Don%27t%20Have%20an%20Emergency%20Fund.jpg" alt="Where to Find Emergency Funds When You Don't Have an Emergency Fund" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-find-emergency-funds-when-you-dont-have-an-emergency-fund">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/7-easy-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund-from-0">7 Easy Ways to Build an Emergency Fund From $0</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-financial-resolutions-you-can-conquer-before-new-years">10 Financial Resolutions You Can Conquer Before New Year&#039;s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fast-ways-to-restock-an-emergency-fund-after-an-emergency">6 Fast Ways to Restock an Emergency Fund After an Emergency</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-personal-finance-resolutions-anyone-can-master">8 Personal Finance Resolutions Anyone Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/money-a-mess-try-this-personal-finance-starter-kit">Money a Mess? Try This Personal Finance Starter Kit</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance borrowing money budgeting cutting expenses emergency funds loans overdraft peer to peer lending salary advance saving money withholdings Thu, 07 Sep 2017 08:01:05 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2016465 at http://www.wisebread.com Why Retiring With Debt Isn't the End of the World http://www.wisebread.com/why-retiring-with-debt-isnt-the-end-of-the-world <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-retiring-with-debt-isnt-the-end-of-the-world" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/calculating_our_day_to_day_living_cost.jpg" alt="Calculating our day-to-day living cost" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In a perfect world, you'll retire with no debt at all. But that might not be realistic. Most U.S. adults carry at least <em>some </em>debt with them into retirement. A majority even die owing money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-pays-when-loved-ones-leave-debt-behind?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Who Pays When Loved Ones Leave Debt Behind?</a>)</p> <p>The good news is while retiring with debt might not be uncommon today, it's also not a financial disaster. It mostly depends on the type of debt you bring with you into retirement.</p> <h2>The numbers</h2> <p>In a 2016 study, credit bureau Experian found that 73 percent of consumers died with debt. And these consumers didn't die with just a little debt: Experian reported that these individuals had an average debt of $61,554 when they died. Without counting mortgage debt, that figure fell to a still high $12,875.</p> <p>As you near retirement, you might worry that you'll be saddled with too much debt after you leave the workforce. It's important to realize, though, that there are different types of debt, some better than others. Your monthly income in retirement matters, too: If you can easily cover your debts, and still cover your other expenses, your debt won't be as much of a financial burden.</p> <h2>Start with a budget</h2> <p>You won't know how bad your retirement debt might be until you first draft a household budget for your after-work years. This budget should include all of the money you expect to flow into your hands after you retire, including Social Security payments, pensions, and the income you'll be drawing each month from your retirement savings vehicles.</p> <p>You should then list your monthly expenses, both fixed and estimated. This should include your housing costs, food, utilities, entertainment expenses, medical costs, and, of course, the money you'll have to spend each month to pay off your debts.</p> <p>Once you have your expenses and your income listed, compare the figures. Will you have enough money to cover everything each month? Or will you be short?</p> <p>If you have enough, that's good, though you'll still want to reduce your debt as much as you can before you leave the workforce. The less debt you enter your retirement years with, the better.</p> <p>If you'll be short, it's time to make changes. Figure out ways to reduce your expenses, such as trading in a costly car or maybe selling your expensive home and making the move to a less costly condo or smaller residence. You might also have to scale back your plans for retirement; instead of traveling the world, you might have to be content with catching up on your golf game in your own community.</p> <h2>Good vs. bad debt</h2> <p>Once you've determined your budget, it's time to look at your debt.</p> <p>You might think that all debt is the same. That's not true. Some debt is considered &quot;good debt,&quot; while <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youve-crossed-from-healthy-debt-to-problem-debt" target="_blank">other debt is considered bad</a>.</p> <p>Good debt is debt you owe for something that can grow in value and provide you with financial benefits in the future. A mortgage is the most common form of good debt. If you're fortunate, the house that your mortgage is financing will grow in value while you own it. When you sell it, you might make a profit. Mortgage debt has the added benefit of coming with low interest rates and some tax benefits.</p> <p>The most common form of bad debt is credit card debt. This debt grows over time and doesn't provide you with any possible financial benefits. It also often comes with sky-high interest rates. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Pay Off High Interest Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <p>If you're nearing retirement and you have both mortgage and credit card debt, it makes financial sense to spend any extra dollars you have to reduce your credit card debt. Your mortgage debt, as long as you can afford the monthly payment in retirement, should not be a priority.</p> <h2>Attack your bad debt</h2> <p>If you want to eliminate your credit card debt &mdash; or at least a chunk of it &mdash; before retirement, you'll have to send extra money each month to your credit card providers.</p> <p>Generally, financial experts recommend two main approaches here. You can follow the debt snowball strategy, in which you pay extra each month on the credit card that has the lowest balance. Once you pay off that card, you pay more each month on the card with the next lowest amount of debt, working your way through all your cards.</p> <p>You can also go with the debt avalanche approach. This method works the same way, only you pay extra on your card with the highest interest rate first instead of the lowest balance. This method will save you the most money because you'll be eliminating your highest-interest debt first. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snowballs-or-avalanches-which-debt-reduction-strategy-is-best-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Snowballs or Avalanches: Which Debt Reduction Strategy Is Best for You?</a>)</p> <p>Again, to free up enough money to pay down your debts &mdash; no matter which debts you choose to tackle &mdash; you might have to make lifestyle changes, such as cutting down on your meals out or your entertainment and travel expenses.</p> <p>You'll have to determine how much of a financial burden your debt will be after you retire. The debt you bring into retirement might not scuttle your after-work plans. But if it might, that's why a bit of sacrifice now can really pay off later. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhy-retiring-with-debt-isnt-the-end-of-the-world&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhy%2520Retiring%2520With%2520Debt%2520Isnt%2520the%2520End%2520of%2520the%2520World.jpg&amp;description=Why%20Retiring%20With%20Debt%20Isnt%20the%20End%20of%20the%20World"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Why%20Retiring%20With%20Debt%20Isnt%20the%20End%20of%20the%20World.jpg" alt="Why Retiring With Debt Isn't the End of the World" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-retiring-with-debt-isnt-the-end-of-the-world">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/what-to-do-if-youre-retiring-with-debt">What to Do If You&#039;re Retiring With Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-you-should-budget-your-social-security-checks">Here&#039;s How You Should Budget Your Social Security Checks</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-things-people-without-debt-do">10 Things People Without Debt 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/4-red-flags-that-your-retirement-plan-may-be-off-track">4 Red Flags That Your Retirement Plan May Be Off Track</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-american-cities-where-you-can-retire-on-just-social-security">5 American Cities Where You Can Retire On Just Social Security</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management Retirement bills budgeting expenses income mortgages owing money social security Wed, 30 Aug 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2011955 at http://www.wisebread.com