budgeting http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/503/all en-US 5 Money Moves to Make Before You Move in Together http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-before-you-move-in-together <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-moves-to-make-before-you-move-in-together" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_couple_moving_in_new_home.jpg" alt="Young couple moving in new home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Moving in with your significant other is an important moment in your relationship, and it can feel awkward to worry about anything so concrete as finances when you both have stars in your eyes. But money has a way of causing tension in even the closest relationships if you don't spell out expectations before you've signed a lease or a mortgage contract together.</p> <p>In addition to the potential strain money can put on your relationship, it's also important to remember that cohabiting couples can have an even greater need to protect themselves financially than married couples do, since there is less legal protection available for unmarried couples who split up after living together.</p> <p>Though it may seem unromantic, make sure you and your soon-to-be live-in boo follow these money moves before you call the moving trucks.</p> <h2>1. Talk about finances</h2> <p>You may assume that you and your partner each make about the same amount of money and have similar attitudes toward finance. But until you are living together and your joint household depends on each of your finances, you can't really know for sure.</p> <p>That's why the first and most important step in making sure your new living situation is blissful rather than stressful is to talk openly about your finances together. Discuss how much money you each make; how much each of you are used to spending for housing, utilities, and other living expenses; and how much you spend each month on individual expenses, like student loans, car loans, gifts to family, work-related expenses, and the like.</p> <p>This may sound like the world's most awkward conversation (just ahead of when your parents gave you &quot;the talk&quot;), but a little discomfort now will save you a great deal of relationship strife in the future. That's because you can discuss fundamental disagreements about how to spend money when you're not in the midst of a financial issue or problem.</p> <p>For instance, if you know ahead of time that your sweetheart sends $400 per month to help her younger brother in college, it will not come as a nasty surprise when that is the reason she gives for not being able to afford half the cost of a new dryer to replace the broken old one. You will know just how strongly she values giving financial help to family, and you can talk about how that will affect your financial choices as a live-in couple before it becomes a reality. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-conversations-every-couple-should-have?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Money Conversations Every Couple Should Have</a>)</p> <h2>2. Set a budget you can both afford</h2> <p>Beyond the initial conversation about your income, expectations, and financial philosophy, it's important to work together to set a budget that's affordable for you both. This is especially vital if there is a big income disparity between you, since the higher-earning partner may assume they can afford a more expensive place than the lower-earner is comfortable with.</p> <p>Couples with an income imbalance may be tempted to simply let the higher earner pick up the financial slack, but there are two big problems with this plan. First, it can come with a big helping of resentment to have the income imbalance reflected in housing costs, since the higher earner may resent paying more while the lower earner may feel beholden.</p> <p>In addition, nothing is guaranteed, including employment. Setting a budget that is completely outside the means of the lower earning partner could turn a potential job loss into a huge financial crisis. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-an-income-gap-can-strain-your-relationship?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Ways an Income Gap Can Strain Your Relationship</a>)</p> <p>When you are setting your joint budget, talk about how much rent or mortgage you can each afford, as well as how you will split up the cost of utilities so that you can each easily afford your portion of the housing costs. While it's perfectly OK not to split everything 50/50, it's a good idea to draw up a budget that either partner could handle for at least a month or two in a pinch. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</a>)</p> <h2>3. Put both your names on the lease</h2> <p>If either partner is not represented on the formal housing document, that opens you up to some big potential problems.</p> <p>For instance, let's say Brian and Jeff move in together to an apartment just in Jeff's name. If they were to break up, Jeff would have a better claim on staying in the apartment they have both called home because his name is on the lease.</p> <p>Alternatively, if Brian decides to pack up and leave, Jeff is left holding the bag (and paying the rent solo), and he will have no legal recourse. With Brian's name on the lease, they are both responsible for continuing to pay rent.</p> <h2>4. Put your arrangement in writing</h2> <p>A running gag on <em>The Big Bang Theory</em> is the overly-complex roommate agreement that the socially inept Sheldon drew up with Leonard before they moved in together. While most of Sheldon's quirks should not be attempted at home, this is one that bears imitation, though it doesn't need to be as complicated as Sheldon made it. Writing out the specific financial expectations of each partner can protect you both.</p> <p>What should you include in the agreement? It should detail how much you will each pay for rent, which partner will pay for which household expenses, when bills will be paid, and any other arrangements for sharing your space.</p> <p>A written agreement is especially important if one partner owns a house that the other partner is moving into. Without both names on the title, the non-homeowning partner is vulnerable should the relationship go south, or if the homeowner were to pass away. In either case, that partner could be evicted at another's whim because there was only one name on the title. Alternatively, if the homeowner is unable to pay the mortgage because of job loss or disability, the other partner would have no obligation to pay it.</p> <p>A legal, written agreement between partners can make sure that you both have financial protection in regards to your joint home.</p> <h2>5. Keep separate emergency funds</h2> <p>Having a financial cushion available to leave a bad situation is an important part of financial health. Knowing you have the money to leave an abusive job, a dangerously maintained apartment, or a toxic relationship gives you the freedom to set important emotional boundaries and keep yourself from being walked all over.</p> <p>When you're talking about moving in with your significant other, you may feel like this relationship could never become a bad situation &mdash; but there's a reason why it's called an &quot;emergency&quot; fund. Relationships can sour and people can wait to show their true colors, so it's always prudent to make sure you each have the funds to take care of yourself if you have a relationship emergency. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-minute-finance-start-an-emergency-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Minute Finance: Start an Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <h2>Spelling out expectations is the path to happy cohabitation</h2> <p>It's easy to get caught up in the fun part of planning out your move with your beloved. After all, talking about money, leases, legal agreements, and the like is not exactly romantic. But talking to each other about your financial expectations before you are unpacking boxes means you are walking into your new living situation with eyes open, and you will not get stuck in a situation that makes you uncomfortable.</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%2F5-money-moves-to-make-before-you-move-in-together&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Money%2520Moves%2520to%2520Make%2520Before%2520You%2520Move%2520in%2520Together.jpg&amp;description=5%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20Before%20You%20Move%20in%20Together"></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/u5180/5%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20Before%20You%20Move%20in%20Together.jpg" alt="5 Money Moves to Make Before You Move in Together" 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/5-money-moves-to-make-before-you-move-in-together">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-on-what-to-do-before-moving-in-together">5 Tips on What to Do Before Moving in Together</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-things-to-never-do-when-sharing-finances">6 Things to Never Do When Sharing Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-personal-finance-tasks-that-arent-as-hard-as-you-think">5 Personal Finance Tasks That Aren&#039;t as Hard as You Think</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-money-conversations-every-couple-should-have">5 Money Conversations Every Couple Should Have</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-money-moves-to-make-before-adopting-a-dog">5 Money Moves to Make Before Adopting a Dog</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Real Estate and Housing budgeting cohabitation couples emergency funds homeownership leases living together moving in together relationships sharing finances significant other Tue, 05 Jun 2018 08:30:31 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2145221 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Moves to Make Before Applying For a Credit Card http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-before-applying-for-a-credit-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-moves-to-make-before-applying-for-a-credit-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_with_credit_card_and_laptop_0.jpg" alt="Woman with credit card and laptop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You're ready to apply for your first credit card. Or, maybe you simply want to add another card to the rotating deck of plastic in your wallet. Whatever the case, there are certain money moves you must make before filling out an application.</p> <p>Adding a credit card to your name might seem like a small thing, but a credit card carries tremendous weight. It can be either a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">useful tool for building credit</a> &mdash; or, if misused, it can lead you straight toward high-interest debt. It all depends on how you use that card and if you're financially prepared for it.</p> <p>To get yourself off on the right foot, here are some important money moves smart consumers must make before applying for a credit card &mdash; whether it's their first or their fifth.</p> <h2>1. Do some budgeting</h2> <p>Don't have a household budget? It's time to make one. Have one? It's time to review it to make sure that it accurately reflects the money you are earning each month and the dollars you are spending.</p> <p>Getting a new credit card could tempt you to make purchases that you can't afford to pay off in full each month. This will lead to you carrying a balance on your cards from month to month. With interest rates on credit cards being so high, this balance can grow out of control quickly.</p> <p>Make a household budget listing the income you earn each month and the expenses you face. Expenses should include fixed costs that never change, such as your car bill, mortgage payment, and student loan costs. It should also include estimates for expenses that aren't the same each month, such as your utility bill or grocery bills. And don't forget to budget for discretionary expenses such as restaurant meals and entertainment.</p> <p>If you have a budget, study it to make sure that it accurately reflects how much you spend and earn each month. If you rarely meet your budget, adjust it. Once you have an accurate budget in place, you'll know how much you can charge on a new card and still be able to pay it off each billing cycle. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Build Your First Budget in 5 Easy Steps</a>)</p> <h2>2. Check your credit reports</h2> <p>If you want to qualify for the best cards &mdash; with generous rewards programs and low interest rates &mdash; you'll need a solid credit score. Before you apply for a new card, do some research on your credit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-for-people-with-excellent-credit?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Excellent Credit</a>)</p> <p>You are entitled to one free copy of your three credit reports &mdash; one each maintained by Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion &mdash; every year. You can order these reports at AnnualCreditReport.com. Once you've done this, review them carefully. They will list how much you already owe on your credit card accounts, car loans, student loans, mortgage loans, and other forms of revolving credit.</p> <p>They'll also list any late or missed payments up to seven years old. Other financial missteps, such as bankruptcy filings or foreclosures, will also be listed on your reports if they are not older than seven or 10 years.</p> <p>If there are mistakes on your reports, contact the credit bureaus to let them know. And if your credit report is filled with late payments and high balances, you might want to take some time to pay down your other debts and build a history of on-time payments before applying for a new credit card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-read-a-credit-report?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Read a Credit Report</a>)</p> <h2>3. Order your credit score</h2> <p>Your credit score is another important number to know when applying for a credit card. This number gives financial institutions an instant look at how you've handled your credit in the past. A low score indicates that you have missed payments or other negatives on your record. A high score indicates that you have a history of paying your bills on time and keeping your debt under control.</p> <p>You can order your credit score from any of the national credit bureaus. Expect to pay about $15 or so for your score. You might even have a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-free-credit-scores?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card that shows your credit score</a> in your monthly statement.</p> <p>If your score comes in low, it again might be a good idea to pause your search for a new credit card. Build that score up by making on-time payments and paying off your existing credit card debt. This will boost your odds of qualifying for the best credit cards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-worth-paying-for-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">I Checked My Credit Score in 11 Places &mdash; Here's What I Learned</a>)</p> <h2>4. Pay off your existing credit card debt</h2> <p>You shouldn't be adding a credit card to your collection simply because you're running out of available credit on your other cards. This will only tempt you to make more purchases that you can't afford and lead you deeper into a cycle of debt.</p> <p>Instead, work on paying off the credit card debt you already have. Don't apply for a new card until you've gotten your existing credit card debt under control. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-credit-card-debt-elimination-strategies?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 7 Best Credit Card Debt Elimination Strategies</a>)</p> <h2>5. Build your savings</h2> <p>Financial experts recommend that everyone have an emergency fund of cash to help them pay for life's unexpected expenses &mdash; everything from a furnace on the fritz to a car that needs a new transmission. If you don't have an emergency fund, you might find yourself needing to turn to credit cards to pay for such emergencies. And that will only make your debt grow.</p> <p>Before you apply for a new credit card, build an emergency fund. That way, you'll be less tempted to use your new card to pay for urgent big-ticket items such as a new water heater or an emergency brake repair for your car.</p> <p>How much should you have in this emergency fund? It's generally recommended that you have enough to cover six months' to a year's worth of daily living expenses, though you may need more or less depending on your unique circumstances. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-minute-finance-start-an-emergency-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Minute Finance: Start an Emergency Fund</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%2F5-money-moves-to-make-before-applying-for-a-credit-card&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Money%2520Moves%2520to%2520Make%2520Before%2520Applying%2520For%2520a%2520Credit%2520Card.jpg&amp;description=5%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20Before%20Applying%20For%20a%20Credit%20Card"></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/u5180/5%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20Before%20Applying%20For%20a%20Credit%20Card.jpg" alt="5 Money Moves to Make Before Applying For a Credit Card" 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/5-money-moves-to-make-before-applying-for-a-credit-card">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-signs-youre-no-longer-a-personal-finance-rookie">10 Signs You&#039;re No Longer a Personal Finance Rookie</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change">10 Money Moves to Make Before the Leaves Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-do-right-now-to-boost-your-600-credit-score">5 Things to Do Right Now to Boost Your 600 Credit Score</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/73-easy-ways-to-save-money-today">73 Easy Ways to Save Money Today</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 credit cards credit reports credit score debt missed payments money management money moves paying bills Mon, 04 Jun 2018 09:00:16 +0000 Dan Rafter 2145008 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Obstacles You Can Expect on Your Journey to Financial Freedom http://www.wisebread.com/5-obstacles-you-can-expect-on-your-journey-to-financial-freedom <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-obstacles-you-can-expect-on-your-journey-to-financial-freedom" 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_drinking_coffee_at_home.jpg" alt="Young woman drinking coffee at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The road to financial freedom is paved with good intentions &mdash; and littered with skid marks from those who started out, but opted for an easier path. It can be a lonely, winding road that has potholes, roadblocks, and detours. The best way to ensure any journey is successful is to properly prepare.</p> <p>Here are a few pitfalls you can expect to run into on your way to financial freedom, and what you can do to cope.</p> <h2>1. You'll get tired</h2> <p>Living a life of frugality can be exhausting. Always pinching pennies, weighing options, tracking expenses, and telling yourself &quot;no&quot; can get old quick. Your ability to remain on the financial straight and narrow is directly proportional to your level of tolerance.</p> <p>Some people can go months without new clothes, drive the same hoopty for years, take one vacation every decade, and be perfectly happy. Others cannot. Find a pace and intensity that fits your personality and level of discipline. Give yourself the wiggle room you need to succeed.</p> <p>A great way to combat the fatigue that will pop up along your journey is to take breaks. Allow yourself the opportunity to relax and enjoy the view from time to time. Set financial goals that secure your future, but also keep you happy. Plan to take a vacation, save up for a mini shopping spree, and blow a little cash every once in a while just hanging with friends. The key is to pace yourself. This journey is a marathon. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-need-fun-money-in-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Yes, You Need &quot;Fun Money&quot; in Your Budget</a>)</p> <h2>2. You'll feel lonely</h2> <p>Forging a path toward financial freedom goes against the grain of our current society. You are bombarded with messages that tell you that you deserve the best no matter the cost. You are worth it. And you only live once, so you might as well live it up now. You are encouraged to indulge yourself.</p> <p>Living a lifestyle contrary to the popular consensus can be extremely lonely. It can be hard to find people who support your money management value system. And not having someone you can talk to and who understands the dilemmas that come with financial freedom can leave you feeling isolated. You may even find yourself tempted to abort your mission and follow the crowd.</p> <p>Before you give up and join the ranks of the financially irresponsible, consider this &mdash; you are <em>not</em> alone. There are others like you out there. If you're surrounded by those who do not share your passion for financial independence, you must look for those who do.</p> <p>There are countless online forums, social media groups, and communities of people who are committed to living a financially responsible life. Join a few. And don't be afraid to strike up a conversation about finances with your friends, family members, and colleagues. You'd be surprised how many people you can recruit to the frugal side. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-friend-types-that-can-hurt-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Friend Types That Can Hurt Your Finances</a>)</p> <h2>3. You'll have setbacks</h2> <p>The number one thing to absolutely count on during your quest for financial freedom is setbacks. They will come. Sometimes they come in packs. The important thing is knowing that they will happen and how to recover when the wagon crashes and the wheels fall off.</p> <p>As soon as you have painstakingly saved and set aside $500 in your emergency fund, you will have a $700 emergency. These kinds of setbacks can be demoralizing and can quickly deplete your energy and drive. However, setbacks &mdash; even the ones you cause &mdash; don't have to completely derail you and end your journey.</p> <p>You have to go into your journey fully aware that you will encounter unexpected surprises, unplanned emergencies, and occasionally fall victim to good ol' lack of discipline. Instead of trying to avoid them, you should work on becoming adept at contingency planning. Not falling down is an impractical goal. Getting up quickly is where your focus should lie.</p> <p>Planning spending fasts, aggressive saving bouts, and ferociously attacking debt for a while are all ways to strategically plan for the unexpected. When the $700 emergency depletes your emergency fund, immediately launch a spending ban and throw every extra dollar you have at your emergency fund until you've caught back up. Every time you fall, get back on your feet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-to-cut-yourself-some-slack-following-a-financial-setback?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Reasons to Cut Yourself Some Slack Following a Financial Setback</a>)</p> <h2>4. You'll hear conflicting information</h2> <p>Another incredibly frustrating pothole you'll encounter is that of conflicting financial information. The longer you are on the journey, the hungrier for information you become. You begin to have questions and want to ensure that all your efforts are properly focused. This is a good thing.</p> <p>The issue you'll find yourself running into quite frequently is that often, financial experts don't agree. Some tell you to pay off your mortgage as soon as possible, while others say it's financial suicide. And the topic of investing can be particularly convoluted and confusing. Who do you believe? How do you discern practical advice from hoopla?</p> <p>As a rule of thumb, when it comes to financial advice, KISS &mdash; keep it super simple. If you don't understand it, don't do it. If it sounds too good to be true, run. You don't have to be a financial Einstein to achieve financial freedom. If you understand basic addition, subtraction, and can operate a calculator, you are good to go.</p> <p>Get rid of your debt. Have an emergency fund. Set aside money in a basic retirement account. Stick to financial experts you trust and who are easy to understand. Trying to be overly sophisticated will keep you broke. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-commandments-of-reaching-financial-freedom?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Ten Commandments of Reaching Financial Freedom</a>)</p> <h2>5. You'll want to do it all at once</h2> <p>One of the hardest things to do once you get going is to remain patient. Financial freedom is a slow walk. It takes regular baby steps in lieu of random leaps in order to be successful long-term. Consistency is the key. You have to do the same things over and over again to make progress.</p> <p>It's hard &mdash; nearly impossible &mdash; to pay off debt, establish an emergency fund, save for retirement, and put away money to purchase a new car with cash all at the same time. You have to work on things slowly and you have to make tough choices. The trick is to do what you can while you can, and everything will work out in the end.</p> <p>Stay the course and trust the process. It is a slow grind. But a funny thing happens as you chip away at your goal: Your progress picks up speed the longer you stick with it. The more money you save, the more interest it earns, and the faster it grows. Financial freedom takes patience and fortitude. Hang in there. You can do this. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-boost-your-financial-resilience?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Boost Your Financial Resilience</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%2F5-obstacles-you-can-expect-on-your-journey-to-financial-freedom&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Obstacles%2520You%2520Can%2520Expect%2520on%2520Your%2520Journey%2520to%2520Financial%2520Freedom.jpg&amp;description=5%20Obstacles%20You%20Can%20Expect%20on%20Your%20Journey%20to%20Financial%20Freedom"></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/u5180/5%20Obstacles%20You%20Can%20Expect%20on%20Your%20Journey%20to%20Financial%20Freedom.jpg" alt="5 Obstacles You Can Expect on Your Journey to Financial Freedom" 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/denise-hill">Denise Hill</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-obstacles-you-can-expect-on-your-journey-to-financial-freedom">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-become-a-minimalist-with-your-money">How to Become a Minimalist With Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">12 Personal Finance Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-minute-finance-create-financial-goals">5-Minute Finance: Create Financial Goals</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-money-goals-you-can-achieve-this-summer">5 Money Goals You Can Achieve This Summer</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-signs-youre-financially-ready-to-start-a-family">7 Signs You&#039;re Financially Ready to Start a Family</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance advice budgeting cutting costs debt financial freedom loneliness saving money setbacks Fri, 01 Jun 2018 09:00:29 +0000 Denise Hill 2145065 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things That Could Wreck an Early Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-that-could-wreck-an-early-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-that-could-wreck-an-early-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/one_gold_and_two_ordinary_eggs_in_the_hay_nest.jpg" alt="One gold and two ordinary eggs in the hay nest" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Financial Independence/Retire Early (FIRE) movement is hot right now. People working toward FIRE are hoping to retire in their 40s and, in some cases, even their 30s. And while the focus of FIRE is to produce financial freedom and not ascribe to a strict definition of the term &quot;retired,&quot; it is a tantalizing goal many find worth chasing.</p> <p>However, if not properly planned, early retirement can be more of a burden than freedom. The earlier you retire, the longer your money has to last. Your life mitigation plan also has to be more solid and thorough than those who retire at the standard age. Below are some things that could derail your finances if you retire early. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-millennials-can-do-right-now-for-an-early-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Things Millennials Can Do Right Now for an Early Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>1. Health crisis</h2> <p>Proper diet, adequate amounts of exercise, and regular doctor visits are the trifecta of good health. However, genetics and fate are the dynamic duo that can override your diligent efforts of maintaining good health. Failing to properly plan for a health crisis leaves the door gaping open for financial hardship during early retirement.</p> <p>According to a Fidelity analysis, the average couple retiring at traditional retirement age (65) can expect to spend $275,000 on health care during their retirement years. If you retire at 45, you have an additional 20 years' worth of potential expenses for which to plan. You have to factor this additional cost into your overall retirement number.</p> <p>Financial experts strongly advise that you keep health insurance coverage during retirement to help offset the cost of a serious illness or injury. There are coverage options available through private companies &mdash; which can be pricey. You should also explore Affordable Care Act (ACA) special coverage options. The ACA provides income-based premium subsidies which are based on your modified adjusted gross income during retirement. In addition to keeping health insurance, you must also ensure that you've adequately accounted for out of pocket health costs when determining how much you need during retirement.</p> <h2>2. Failing to live on a budget</h2> <p>One of the biggest myths many retirees fall prey to is the notion that you'll spend less money during retirement. The truth is it is rare that your cost of living will decrease as dramatically as you think it might. This is why living by a strict budget is financial life or death for the early retiree. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-unexpected-expenses-for-retirees-and-how-to-manage-them?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Unexpected Expenses for Retirees &mdash; And How to Manage Them</a>)</p> <p>Getting older also comes with hidden expenses. You spend more time engaging in leisurely activities &mdash; which usually comes with a cost. You outsource chores as you age. And of course, health care expenses increase with age. Budgeting and tracking expenses isn't just for working folks. Living frugally, budgeting, and strategic spending are habits that should follow you to your grave.</p> <p>If you find that you are burning through your retirement funds quicker than expected, make sure you readjust immediately. This means you may have to scale back or even cancel some of the leisure activities and find ways to cut day-to-day spending. If an unexpected expense arises which consumes a large chunk of your funds, you may have to consider getting a side gig, working part-time, or rejoining the work force for a few years to replace the loss. You must proactively budget and track your funds to ensure they last. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-can-you-afford-to-spend-in-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Much Can You Afford to Spend in Retirement?</a>)</p> <h2>3. Inflation</h2> <p>Piggybacking on point two is failure to properly plan for and adjust for inflation. As you age, your dollar loses its elasticity. Your fixed cost of living expenses are slowly going to creep up over time. Retiring early means you have to deal with that creep a lot longer.</p> <p>Your retirement budget and planning should include a yearly (or at least every two years) cost of living increase. Think about the things you do regularly and plan to spend more on those things as time goes on. Your medication, transportation, food, and clothing are going to cost more and failing to adjust your budget to accommodate the increase can prove to be a costly mistake long-term. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-protect-your-retirement-from-inflation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Ways to Protect Your Retirement From Inflation</a>)</p> <h2>4. Becoming a caregiver</h2> <p>Boomerang children, caring for the grands, and providing for aging parents are some of the unexpected ways you can find yourself burning through your retirement funds. One of the primary purposes for chasing financial freedom &mdash; at least for me &mdash; is to be in a position to help others. Helping becomes a problem when a person's need exceeds your capacity.</p> <p>This is even more true for those retiring early. You really have to be careful to ensure that your money lasts past your life span. If you have children and grandchildren, try to plan for things you know you want to assist with. Do you want to give your children a down payment on their first home? Pay for the grandkids to attend private school or even college? Provide long term-care for aging parents? Whatever you think you may want to do, set money aside for that purpose and don't touch it.</p> <p>It is strongly advisable that you establish a &quot;friends and family fund.&quot; This is money that you set aside specifically to help a loved one out of a financial jam. It can pay for health care, funeral expenses, the added cost of caring for your kids, grandkids, parents, or all of them. Most importantly, it can help offset the heightened cost of living that occurs when loved ones come to live with you for an extended period of time. It's better to live on less in order to set money aside for &quot;just in case&quot; in lieu of trying to adjust when life happens. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-for-retirement-while-caring-for-kids-and-parents?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Save for Retirement While Caring for Kids and Parents</a>)</p> <h2>5. Incurring debt after retiring</h2> <p>One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to carry debt into retirement. Retiring with no debt can be a bit tougher when you retire early, but it should be your goal. You don't want to waste your precious resources making years of interest payments. You should aggressively work to eliminate all debt before retiring. You could even opt for a partial retirement and work part-time or get a side gig just to pay off your debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-great-retirement-jobs?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Great Retirement Jobs</a>)</p> <p>It's also ill-advised to incur new debt while retired. If you need to make home improvements, buy another car, or make another major purchase, try to do it with cash &mdash; and even then, proceed with caution. If you must use credit for any reason, make a deal with yourself to find some other means to finance the purchase. That may mean going back to work temporarily until the debt is paid.</p> <p>You also should avoid taking on debt to help friends and family. Steer clear of co-signing &mdash; always &mdash; but especially during retirement when funds are limited. Helping friends and family members is one thing, but using debt to do it is a bad idea. If you can't afford to give it, you can't afford to lend it. In other words, if you need to be paid back, you really can't afford to loan the money. Consider gifting a portion of the money to the asker in lieu of lending them the whole amount. That way, they are not indebted to you, you haven't financially endangered yourself, and you provide assistance while simultaneously preserving the relationship. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-youre-retiring-with-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What to Do If You're Retiring With Debt</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%2F5-things-that-could-wreck-an-early-retirement&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Things%2520That%2520Could%2520Wreck%2520an%2520Early%2520Retirement.jpg&amp;description=5%20Things%20That%20Could%20Wreck%20an%20Early%20Retirement"></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/u5180/5%20Things%20That%20Could%20Wreck%20an%20Early%20Retirement.jpg" alt="5 Things That Could Wreck an Early Retirement" 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/denise-hill">Denise Hill</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-that-could-wreck-an-early-retirement">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/how-to-plan-for-a-forced-early-retirement">How to Plan for a Forced Early Retirement</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-save-for-retirement-while-caring-for-kids-and-parents">How to Save for Retirement While Caring for Kids and Parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-youre-financially-ready-to-start-a-family">7 Signs You&#039;re Financially Ready to Start a Family</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-retirement-struggles-nobody-talks-about-and-how-to-beat-them">5 Retirement Struggles Nobody Talks About — And How to Beat Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-money-is-harder-today">Why Saving Money Is Harder Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement budgeting caregiving debt early retirement financial independence health care inflation sandwich generation Wed, 30 May 2018 09:00:24 +0000 Denise Hill 2144959 at http://www.wisebread.com How a New Marriage Can Survive Student Loan Debt http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-new-marriage-can-survive-student-loan-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-a-new-marriage-can-survive-student-loan-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/guests_throwing_confetti_on_couple_during_reception.jpg" alt="Guests Throwing Confetti On Couple During Reception" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's a very common scenario. Girl meets boy, they fall in love, and decide to get married. They're excited about starting their new life together, but they're also weighed down by student loan debt &mdash; a <em>lot </em>of student loan debt. As they drag that heavy ball and chain into the future, what steps can they take to tilt the odds of marital and financial success in their favor? If that's your situation, read on.</p> <h2>1. Understand the details</h2> <p>Good communication is essential to the success of any relationship, and while money can be a tough topic, you'll get your marriage off to a great start by getting accustomed to talking about your finances. You might as well dive right in and start with your debt.</p> <p>No matter which one of you is bringing debt into the marriage, both of you should know exactly <em>how much </em>debt. You should also be clear about the interest rate, the monthly payment amount, and how long those payments will continue.</p> <p>That will help you to both manage your expectations about when you might be able to buy a house, how much you can spend on vacations, and all the rest. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-worst-money-mistakes-married-people-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 7 Worst Money Mistakes Married People Make</a>)</p> <h2>2. Be one in debt</h2> <p>Marriage is about oneness, unity, and teamwork. You're not becoming roommates; you're becoming husband and wife. So, if one of you was wealthy and the other was not before getting married, after you get married, both of you will be wealthy. By the same token, before marriage, if one of you had debt and the other did not, once you're married, both of you will have debt.</p> <p>When my friends Scott and Karen Coy got married, Karen had more than $50,000 of nonmortgage debt. Scott jokingly referred to it as &quot;a reverse dowry.&quot; After getting married, Karen often expressed how bad she felt about &quot;my debt.&quot; But from day one, Scott would correct her, saying it was &quot;our debt.&quot;</p> <p>It took them six-and-a-half years to become debt-free. All that time, they rented even though they would have preferred to buy a house. It took great patience and perseverance.</p> <p>Karen says she will always remember the day they made their last payment. It was as if a huge weight had been lifted from their shoulders. And looking back, she says the way they navigated the journey &mdash; <em>together &mdash; </em>created an inseparable bond in their marriage.</p> <h2>3. Consider being two in taxes</h2> <p>If you were using an income-based repayment plan <em>before</em> getting married, how you file your taxes <em>after</em> you get married will matter greatly. If you file jointly, your payment amount may go up. That's because income-based repayment plans require you to &quot;recertify&quot; each year by submitting your income tax returns to your loan servicer, who will now make decisions based on your joint income. So, you may want to consider filing separately, in which case most student loan plans will use just the borrower's income as the basis for recertification.</p> <p>However, filing separately may make you ineligible for certain tax credits, so proceed with caution. It would be best to consult with an accountant or run some what-if scenarios with tax-planning software.</p> <h2>4. Figure out the implications for your budget</h2> <p>Before deciding where you'll live after you get married, create a post-marriage cash flow plan. What works best is to fill in your financial commitments first. How much of your joint income will you save and invest? How much will you give to charity? And how much will you need to devote to debt repayment?</p> <p>Then you can see how much you can afford for rent or a mortgage. I usually recommend committing no more than 25 percent of monthly gross income to the combination of your mortgage, property taxes, and homeowners' insurance. If you rent, devote no more than 25 percent to your rent and renters' insurance.</p> <p>A student loan payment, however, changes the math. I recommend that the combination of your housing <em>and </em>your student loans together make up no more than 25 percent of your monthly gross income. So, you should figure out what percentage of your monthly gross income your loan payment amounts to and subtract that from 25 percent. The answer is the percentage of gross income you could devote to housing while you have student loans.</p> <p>If your student loans amount to an especially large percentage of your gross income, that may end up being overly restrictive. So, you'll have to adjust other spending categories downward, such as entertainment, clothing, or vacations. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</a>)</p> <h2>5. Prioritize early payoff</h2> <p>The early years of your marriage present a great opportunity to speed up the process of getting out of debt. If you want to have kids one day, your pre-kid days will be the most financially flexible time you may ever experience. Make the most of it by making extra payments on your loans.</p> <p>Debt can be a roadblock in the pursuit of financial goals such as buying a home, and it can be a hindrance to a happy marriage. So, consider building your lifestyle on just one income and putting most of the other paycheck toward your student loans. By living an especially frugal life in the early years of your marriage, you'll be setting yourselves up for long-term success. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-paying-off-student-loans-early-can-boost-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways Paying Off Student Loans Early Can Boost Your Finances</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%2Fhow-a-new-marriage-can-survive-student-loan-debt&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520a%2520New%2520Marriage%2520Can%2520Survive%2520Student%2520Loan%2520Debt_0.jpg&amp;description=How%20a%20New%20Marriage%20Can%20Survive%20Student%20Loan%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/How%20a%20New%20Marriage%20Can%20Survive%20Student%20Loan%20Debt_0.jpg" alt="How a New Marriage Can Survive Student Loan 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/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-new-marriage-can-survive-student-loan-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-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-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-taking-a-loan-for-your-wedding-is-a-bad-idea">3 Reasons Taking a Loan For Your Wedding Is a Bad Idea</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-reasons-youre-still-struggling-to-pay-bills">6 Reasons You&#039;re Still Struggling to Pay Bills</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/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-boost-your-partners-bad-credit-without-risking-your-own">6 Ways to Boost Your Partner&#039;s Bad Credit Without Risking Your Own</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle bills budgeting compromise debt marriage sharing expenses spouses student loans taxes Tue, 29 May 2018 08:30:47 +0000 Matt Bell 2143779 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Moves to Make Before Adopting a Dog http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-before-adopting-a-dog <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-moves-to-make-before-adopting-a-dog" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/we_are_having_so_much_fun_away_from_the_city.jpg" alt="We are having so much fun away from the city" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's nothing better than coming home to a wiggling dog. Their soft fur, wet noses, and boundless enthusiasm can brighten even the dreariest of days.</p> <p>However, bringing home a furry friend can be expensive. The ASPCA estimates that owning a small dog costs over $1,400 in just the first year, while large dog owners are looking at a figure above $2,000. And those amounts only cover the basics. Extras like emergency vet bills or specialized training can cause your costs to skyrocket.</p> <p>Because of the serious expense of owning a dog, it's important to not bring a pet home impulsively. Preparing for a new pet means you need to spend some time getting ready for his arrival. And that includes some important first steps. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-pet-costs-you-dont-see-coming?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Pet Costs You Don't See Coming</a>)</p> <h2>1. Build an emergency fund</h2> <p>Unfortunately, dogs can be prone to accidents and illnesses. If they gobble a sock &mdash; which is oddly common &mdash; or eat something they shouldn't, you could end up with a four-figure vet bill. In fact, PetPlan, a pet insurance company, reported in 2017 that unexpected veterinary care typically costs between $750 and $1,600, though higher bills are also common.</p> <p>If you're not prepared for an unexpected vet bill this high, you might be faced with a tough decision if something bad happens. To prevent that from occurring, start building an emergency fund for your pet's care before you even bring them home. That way, if there is an accident, you'll be able to handle it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-prep-your-finances-for-an-emergency-vet-visit?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Prep Your Finances for an Emergency Vet Visit</a>)</p> <h2>2. Create a budget for the necessities</h2> <p>When you think about what it costs to own a dog, you probably think of basics like food and flea and tick prevention. But there are many other expenses to keep in mind, including:</p> <ul> <li> <p><strong>Spaying or neutering:</strong>&nbsp;Spaying or neutering prevents overpopulation and can even help with your dog's behavior.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Dog crate or bed:</strong>&nbsp;When your dog is new to your home, a designated crate or bed can help soothe him and be useful during housebreaking.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Leash and collar:</strong>&nbsp;You'll need a strong leash and collar to walk your dog safely.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>County dog license and tags:</strong> Some areas require you to get a license for your dog. Usually, the dog has to wear the license at all times.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Food and water bowls:</strong> Designated bowls make it easier to keep your home clean.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Routine shots and exams:</strong>&nbsp;At a minimum, your dog will need rabies, parvovirus, and distemper vaccines.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Grooming:</strong> Grooming is more important than just making your dog pretty. It also keeps their skin in good condition, and can help you catch illnesses and problems before they get worse.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Treats and toys:</strong> Treats and toys are essential to teach your dog and to help him burn off energy.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Training:</strong> If you're not an experienced dog owner, dog training can be invaluable. Ensuring your dog will obey you and develop good manners is an important part of pet ownership.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Some of these items can cost a lot more than you expect, especially if you plan to get a larger dog. For example, spaying or neutering your dog could cost as much as $600. By knowing how much money you'll need ahead of time, you can better manage your paycheck and budget accordingly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-pet-expenses-you-should-never-skip?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Pet Expenses You Should Never Skip</a>)</p> <h2>3. Buy secondhand where possible</h2> <p>When making your budget, you'll likely look at the prices for new items. However, you can save a lot of money by shopping for secondhand stuff. Especially if you're getting a young dog who will outgrow things quickly, buying used items or asking friends and family for their old things can help you save big.</p> <p>For example, a new hard-sided crate can cost over $100 at big-name pet stores. But if you shop on Craigslist or find someone who is getting rid of one, you could spend as little as $10, and they're often as good as new. Just be sure to wash and disinfect any secondhand items thoroughly, and make sure there are no cracks or damage.</p> <h2>4. Research pet insurance</h2> <p>Pet insurance can be a smart investment. If your dog has a serious injury or illness, it can be a literal lifesaver. It's a good idea to shop around while your dog is still young since puppies and young dogs typically qualify for lower premiums than older ones. Premiums can vary, but most pet owners can expect to pay between $30 and $50 per month. If you're not sure where to start, check out the <a href="https://www.caninejournal.com/pet-insurance-comparison/" target="_blank">Canine Journal</a> for reviews of the top pet insurers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Things You Need to Know About Pet Insurance</a>)</p> <h2>5. Identify discount pet supply stores</h2> <p>When it comes to dog food, treats, and toys, you might think your only option is the local pet store. However, you can often get better deals at farm supply stores or online discount retailers. Sites like Chewy even often discounts if you sign up for automatic shipments, helping you save on food and other supplies. Plus, you get the added benefit of not having to lug heavy bags of dog food home from the store. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-dog-costs-you-should-prepare-for-now?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Unexpected Dog Costs You Should Prepare for Now</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%2F5-money-moves-to-make-before-adopting-a-dog&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Money%2520Moves%2520to%2520Make%2520Before%2520Adopting%2520a%2520Dog.jpg&amp;description=5%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20Before%20Adopting%20a%20Dog"></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/u5180/5%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20Before%20Adopting%20a%20Dog.jpg" alt="5 Money Moves to Make Before Adopting a Dog" 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/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-before-adopting-a-dog">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-your-dog-is-ruining-your-credit-score">3 Ways Your Dog Is Ruining Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance">7 Things You Need to Know About Pet Insurance</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-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills">8 Ways to Lower Your Vet Bills</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/7-personal-finance-tips-for-animal-lovers">7 Personal Finance Tips for Animal Lovers</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-reasons-youre-still-struggling-to-pay-bills">6 Reasons You&#039;re Still Struggling to Pay Bills</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle budgeting dog adoption dogs emergency funds pet insurance pets vet bills Wed, 23 May 2018 08:00:28 +0000 Kat Tretina 2141992 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Smart Things You Should Do With Your First Real Paycheck http://www.wisebread.com/4-smart-things-you-should-do-with-your-first-real-paycheck <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-smart-things-you-should-do-with-your-first-real-paycheck" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/successful_businesswoman_showing_cheque.jpg" alt="Successful Businesswoman Showing Check" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've finally landed your first real job. And with that, comes your first real paycheck. This is a monumental occasion and should be celebrated. But what should you do? Should you blow all of your funds on an expensive and wild weekend? Should you buy a new wardrobe? Or should you just pay your bills and save the rest?</p> <p>The answer to this question depends on your overall financial plan, your budget, and your surplus once you've met all of your obligations. An important thing to do once you receive that first check (preferably before) is to establish a plan. It's OK to splurge a little and celebrate the fact that you are officially a taxpaying, adulting member of society. However, it's critical that you use this first paycheck to jump-start your journey to financial independence.</p> <p>Here are some important money moves you should make with your first real paycheck.</p> <h2>Let your money breathe</h2> <p>This sounds ridiculous, I know. But one of the biggest challenges people with newfound wealth face is getting used to having money.</p> <p>One of the most important things to remember is that your thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes about money directly influence how you spend it. When you're not used to having it, it's easy to spend a small windfall immediately. And often, you overspend. You have to give yourself time to acclimate to having money. Paradigm shifts take time. Allowing your checking and savings account to remain full can be difficult.</p> <p>If possible, allow the money to sit for a while. Pay your bills and let what's left breathe. Buy only what you absolutely need, at least at first. You don't have to go out to eat, buy new clothes, or cop a new ride just because you're earning steady money. Begin conditioning your mind to enjoy seeing a positive checking and savings balance. And vow to keep the trend going.</p> <h2>Create a budget</h2> <p>The most important thing to do with that first paycheck is to create a budget before you spend a dime. Once you see exactly what you're working with, establish a spending and savings plan by creating a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/making-every-penny-count-with-a-zero-based-budget?ref=internal" target="_blank">zero-based-budget</a>. You want to give every dollar a purpose. There's no such thing as leftover money or a surplus. Every dollar is accounted for, and if you do find a way to save a buck, that buck goes to savings.</p> <p>Creating a budget is a great way to set a good financial habit moving forward. It's like establishing a healthy diet, but with finances. It helps you determine correct portion sizes and helps you guard against overextending yourself and becoming house poor. It allows you to see where every dollar is going. It also helps you to better track your spending and find ways to save during lean times. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-budget-when-youre-no-longer-broke?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Budget When You're No Longer Broke</a>)</p> <p>When you receive your first paycheck, make a list of all of your regular monthly bills, debts, and necessary expenses along with the due dates, in order of importance. This not only helps you see what needs to be paid and when, but it also helps you establish payment priorities in case there ever is a shortfall.</p> <p>There are multiple budgeting, bill pay, and tracking apps that can help you streamline your finances. But the most important thing is getting it all written down &mdash; in some form &mdash; and having a plan. Taking the time to organize your finances and create a budget with your first paycheck sets you on the path to good financial stewardship. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These 5 Apps Will Help You Finally Organize Your Money</a>)</p> <h2>Establish a solid savings plan</h2> <p>After you've listed and prioritized your bills and expenses, it's important that you add savings to the budget and move it to the top of the list. It should be ahead of everything. Your budget shows you how much you owe and how much you have left after the necessities are paid &mdash; which allows you to determine how much you should save each month. The old financial advice, &quot;Pay yourself first&quot; is still very true and should begin with your first paycheck.</p> <p>Start by establishing how much you can afford to save and lock in that number. If possible, set up an automatic transfer so that as soon as your paycheck is deposited into your bank account, your savings amount is automatically transferred to another dedicated savings account. That way you never see the funds. You won't miss what you never see.</p> <p>Part of savings involves establishing your retirement and emergency fund. Traditionally, an emergency fund is three to six months' worth of daily living expenses, but can be more or less depending on your particular circumstances. This fund should only be used in real emergencies, like an urgent medical bill or a job loss. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund-from-0?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Easy Ways to Build an Emergency Fund From $0</a>)</p> <p>If you work for a company that offers a workplace retirement plan, use your first paycheck to establish how much you'd like to contribute. You should contribute <em>something</em>, even if it's a small amount at first. If you are self-employed, freelancing, or work for a startup that doesn't have a workplace retirement plan option, look into setting up an IRA through your banking institution or other reputable financial management firm. You may need to save up a minimum amount to open an IRA, but you can use a portion of your paycheck as the first step toward saving that amount. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-basic-questions-about-retirement-saving-everyone-should-ask?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Basic Questions About Retirement Saving Everyone Should Ask</a>)</p> <h2>Set financial goals</h2> <p>After you've gotten your budget in place and saving money is at the top of the list, it's time to set some financial goals. Setting financial goals is important for a variety of reasons. It helps you stick to a realistic budget. It puts something concrete out in front of you and challenges you to go get it. It gives you a purpose for earning, saving, and spending money. Even if you don't reach your goal, you still make progress and move forward. Setting financial goals allows you to view money as a tool that will help you live an independent life.</p> <p>Financial goal setting is pivotal to becoming and remaining financially independent. You should set immediate, short-term goals (less than six months), some intermediate goals (up to three years), and some long-term goals. Write down legitimate things you want to do with your money and determine the steps you need to take to reach each goal. Make sure your goals fit the SMART frame work (Specific, Measurable, Achieveable, Realistic, and Time-bound) and fit your lifestyle and unique situation. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-minute-finance-create-financial-goals?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Minute Finance: Create Financial Goals</a>)</p> <p>Your first few goals should be to live by your budget, maintain a healthy emergency fund, and kickoff your retirement savings. From there, make other goals that will help keep you on track, such as eliminating debt or paying cash for your next car or vacation.</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%2F4-smart-things-you-should-do-with-your-first-real-paycheck&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Smart%2520Things%2520You%2520Should%2520Do%2520With%2520Your%2520First%2520Real%2520Paycheck.jpg&amp;description=4%20Smart%20Things%20You%20Should%20Do%20With%20Your%20First%20Real%20Paycheck"></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/u5180/4%20Smart%20Things%20You%20Should%20Do%20With%20Your%20First%20Real%20Paycheck.jpg" alt="4 Smart Things You Should Do With Your First Real Paycheck" 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/denise-hill">Denise Hill</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-smart-things-you-should-do-with-your-first-real-paycheck">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/6-reasons-why-financial-planning-isnt-just-for-the-wealthy">6 Reasons Why Financial Planning Isn&#039;t Just for the Wealthy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-rules-every-working-adult-should-know">10 Money Rules Every Working Adult Should 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/saving-money-is-easy-if-you-set-the-right-goals">Saving Money Is Easy If You Set the Right Goals</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance budgeting emergency funds first paycheck goals retirement savings windfall Tue, 22 May 2018 08:00:37 +0000 Denise Hill 2142436 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Become a Minimalist With Your Money http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-become-a-minimalist-with-your-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-become-a-minimalist-with-your-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_woman_with_a_piggy_bank_3.jpg" alt="Young woman with a piggy bank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Minimalism is a way of living that centers on finding contentment with <em>less</em>. Becoming a minimalist can benefit many aspects of your life, including your finances. You may be inspired to purchase less stuff, consider quality over quantity, and declutter to create systems that keep you organized.</p> <p>If you are interested in taking on a minimalist approach with your money, here are a few tips to get you started.</p> <h2>Establish your personal and financial priorities</h2> <p>Everyone has different values. What is important to one person might not be important to you. Your values should drive your spending. If you are working to become more of a minimalist, you'll need to be very specific about what is valuable to you and cut out everything else.</p> <p>Often, people spend money on things that are of little to no value to them. This is partly because of the world around you, which can influence your money decisions if you aren't careful. Aggressive marketing on television, social media, and other platforms is constantly trying to convince you to purchase something. Unfortunately, many people fall into this trap and end up spending money on things that add no real value to their lives.</p> <p>What's truly important to you and your finances? For instance, some common financial priorities include paying off debt, saving for retirement, or putting 20 percent of your income aside for savings. By setting your priorities, you can better determine how you should be spending your money.</p> <h2>Simplify your budget</h2> <p>Now that you have a better understanding of your financial priorities, the next step is to take a hard look at your budget. Where is your money going?</p> <p>Carefully observe your spending patterns. Do all of your purchases align with your financial priorities?</p> <p>After analyzing your expenses, you are likely to find you are spending money on material things that you don't really need or for experiences that aren't adding value to your life. For instance, is shopping or eating out every week really bringing you joy? Would you be just as happy if you cut back on some of your spending in these areas?</p> <p>Don't forget to consider the value of your typical expenses. When you are billed for something every month, it is easy to accept that it is a bill you will always have. All too frequently, people find themselves paying regular monthly fees for things that are not truly important to them. Maybe you're paying for a membership to a club you no longer participate in, or you're paying for subscription cable that you don't watch. Take the time to cancel those subscriptions now to help simplify your financial picture. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Build Your First Budget in 5 Easy Steps</a>)</p> <h2>Limit shopping trips and consider every purchase</h2> <p>One tactic to avoid overspending on needless purchases is to limit how often you go to the store. By doing this, you can better plan for what you actually need and remove a lot of the temptation to spend altogether. It can also help you save time, which is always a welcome benefit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shop-for-food-once-a-month-and-save-big?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Shop for Food Once a Month and Save Big</a>)</p> <p>If shopping is your weakness, try limiting your visits to the grocery store to once a week and your trips to the mall to once a month. Purchase everything you need in one trip. Any time you want to buy an item, ask yourself if it is really worth it. It is an absolute necessity? Will it add value to your life? Is it useful? Do you really love it?</p> <p>Often, when you take the time to honestly think about each purchase, you'll find the answer to these questions is no.</p> <p>If you forget something during your planned shopping trip, wait until the next planned trip to make the purchase. By then, you may discover that you can live without it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys</a>)</p> <h2>Clean out your home</h2> <p>What's the best way to become a minimalist in all areas of your life? Start by cleaning out your home. Sort through all of your drawers, closets, and cupboards. Sell or donate anything you don't like or that you don't use anymore.</p> <p>You'll likely find that you can live with much less stuff than what you've been holding on to. This step is important because clearing out your home will also help you to better evaluate future purchases. In order to prevent cluttering your home again, you're more likely to evaluate an item before buying it to decide if it's something you really need.</p> <h2>Push your savings goals</h2> <p>One simple way to spend less is to encourage yourself to save more money. By creating lofty savings goals, you may find that you are more likely to consider the opportunity cost of a potential expense. When you are thinking about buying something new, you'll not only have to consider if you truly need it and how much you'll use it, but you'll also need to think about whether or not the purchase is worth putting less into your savings account.</p> <h2>Automate your bills</h2> <p>Bills piling up on the counter do nothing but contribute to the disorganization of your home and your money. If you're constantly losing bills, missing payments, and racking up fees and penalties, take some time to set up e-statements and autopay for all of your accounts. When the statement comes due, the money will come straight out of your bank account without you having to think about it. This doesn't mean you shouldn't check to make sure everything looks correct, but autopay can be a huge help in a minimalist approach to money management. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-automate-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Automate Your Finances</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%2Fhow-to-become-a-minimalist-with-your-money&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Become%2520a%2520Minimalist%2520With%2520Your%2520Money.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Become%20a%20Minimalist%20With%20Your%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%20Become%20a%20Minimalist%20With%20Your%20Money.jpg" alt="How to Become a Minimalist With Your 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/rachel-slifka">Rachel Slifka</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-become-a-minimalist-with-your-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-come-up-with-1000-in-the-next-30-days">How to Come Up With $1,000 in the Next 30 Days</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-money-saving-strategies-that-are-actually-hurting-you">25 Money-Saving Strategies That Are Actually Hurting You</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-obstacles-you-can-expect-on-your-journey-to-financial-freedom">5 Obstacles You Can Expect on Your Journey to Financial Freedom</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-savings-strategy-that-works-for-you">How to Find the Savings Strategy That Works For You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance autopay budgeting cutting costs expenses goals minimalism organizing saving money simplify Thu, 17 May 2018 08:00:48 +0000 Rachel Slifka 2138236 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Signs You Aren't Ready for a Credit Card http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-you-arent-ready-for-a-credit-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-signs-you-arent-ready-for-a-credit-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_with_credit_card_using_laptop.jpg" alt="Woman with credit card using laptop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are plenty of smart reasons to apply for a credit card. Having a credit card can give you financial flexibility, provide a way to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">build or boost your credit</a>, and offer a range of valuable rewards, cash back, and perks. But having plastic at your disposal is not all fun and games.</p> <p>Having a credit card can cause problems if you're not quite ready for one. How do you know if you're not ready for a credit card? Here are a few surefire signs.</p> <h2>1. You don't follow a budget</h2> <p>The key to using a credit card properly is knowing how much you can afford to charge each billing cycle. The goal is to make charges during the month and pay off your balance in full every time your payment due date rolls around. This way, you'll steadily build your credit history along with a strong credit score. But if you don't have a budget, you won't know how much you can afford to charge each month.</p> <p>Before applying for any credit card, make sure you've drafted a budget that includes your monthly expenses &mdash; including those that change each month and those that are discretionary, such as entertainment and eating out &mdash; and your monthly income. This will provide a guide for how much you can afford to put on your credit card without running a balance from month to month.</p> <p>Running a balance is a huge financial mistake. Credit card debt comes with high interest rates, and if you don't pay off your balance in full each month, that debt can quickly grow out of control. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-using-these-5-excuses-not-to-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Stop Using These 5 Excuses Not to Budget</a>)</p> <h2>2. You're often late on other payments</h2> <p>Do you struggle to pay your landlord on time each month? Do you often pay your cellphone bill a week or two late? Then you aren't ready for a credit card.</p> <p>Credit card payments are reported to the three national credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). On-time payments will boost your score and strengthen your credit profile. If you pay your credit card bill late &mdash; 30 days or more past due is considered officially late &mdash; your credit will take the blow. A single late payment can cause your credit score to fall by 100 points or more. That late payment will also stay on your credit reports for seven years.</p> <p>If you struggle to pay your other bills on time, there's no indication you'd be any better at paying your credit card bill every month. Hold off on applying for a credit card until you change your habits. (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>3. You can't build up your savings</h2> <p>Before taking on the financial responsibility of a credit card, you should have already built up some savings. This is a sign of financial maturity and stability &mdash; the type of maturity and stability you'll need to handle a credit card.</p> <p>If your bank account falls to zero (or near it) before every payday, you probably aren't ready for the responsibility of managing a credit card and the monthly payments that come with it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-factors-that-could-keep-you-broke-forever?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Factors That Could Keep You Broke Forever</a>)</p> <h2>4. You can't stop borrowing money from your parents</h2> <p>Do you frequently turn to your parents for help when the rent is due? Are you constantly asking them for extra cash when you want to go out for dinner or to a concert?</p> <p>This is another huge warning sign of financial immaturity, and evidence that you are not ready for a credit card. If you can't handle your monthly living expenses without cash infusions from Mom and Dad, you'll be tempted to use your credit card to make those extra purchases. And that's a surefire formula for running up debt that you won't be able to pay off. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-should-make-your-adult-child-pay-for?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Things You Should Make Your Adult Child Pay For</a>)</p> <h2>5. You don't have a reliable income stream</h2> <p>You need a steady stream of income coming in every month if you want a credit card. It's imperative that you're able to pay off your credit card bill in full at the end of each billing cycle. Otherwise, you risk sending yourself into a cycle of high-interest debt.</p> <p>If you don't have a steady job, or if you're constantly struggling to find enough money to pay your bills each month, avoid the temptation of applying for a credit card. Instead, focus on increasing your income and building up some emergency savings before sending in a credit card application. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-minute-finance-start-an-emergency-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Minute Finance: Start an Emergency Fund</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%2F5-signs-you-arent-ready-for-a-credit-card&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Signs%2520You%2520Aren%2527t%2520Ready%2520for%2520a%2520Credit%2520Card.jpg&amp;description=5%20Signs%20You%20Aren't%20Ready%20for%20a%20Credit%20Card"></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/u5180/5%20Signs%20You%20Aren%27t%20Ready%20for%20a%20Credit%20Card.jpg" alt="5 Signs You Aren't Ready for a Credit Card" 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/5-signs-you-arent-ready-for-a-credit-card">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-youre-still-struggling-to-pay-bills">6 Reasons You&#039;re Still Struggling to Pay Bills</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-why-financial-planning-isnt-just-for-the-wealthy">6 Reasons Why Financial Planning Isn&#039;t Just for the Wealthy</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-why-you-shouldnt-freak-out-if-you-miss-a-payment-due-date">Here&#039;s Why You Shouldn&#039;t Freak Out If You Miss a Payment Due Date</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-a-new-marriage-can-survive-student-loan-debt">How a New Marriage Can Survive Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-late-payments-affect-your-credit">How Late Payments Affect Your Credit</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance bills borrowing money budgeting financial readiness income late payments not ready savings Tue, 15 May 2018 08:00:19 +0000 Dan Rafter 2138233 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Personal Finance Tasks That Aren't as Hard as You Think http://www.wisebread.com/5-personal-finance-tasks-that-arent-as-hard-as-you-think <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-personal-finance-tasks-that-arent-as-hard-as-you-think" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_man_paying_bills_on_his_laptop.jpg" alt="Happy man paying bills on his laptop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The thought of making a budget or preparing your own taxes makes you want to collapse on the couch and binge watch your favorite TV show. It's understandable: Most people don't consider personal finance to be a fun way to pass an afternoon.</p> <p>But the truth is, most personal finance tasks aren't nearly as difficult or time-consuming as you think they are. And if you muster up the courage to finally take them on, you can generate a nice financial boost for yourself.</p> <p>These personal finance tasks aren't as tricky as you think. Give them a go. You'll feel a lot less guilty when you waste three hours streaming old episodes of <em>Battlestar Galactica</em>.</p> <h2>1. Writing a household budget</h2> <p>Drafting a budget is the first step toward making good financial choices. The problem? Making a budget sounds dull and difficult.</p> <p>The good news, though, is that it doesn't take nearly as much time or effort as many people assume it does. Simply list your monthly expenses that never change &mdash; everything from your mortgage or rent payment, to your car payment and insurance costs. Next, list those costs that change each month &mdash; such as your utility bill, transportation costs, and grocery spending. Put down an estimate for how much you think you'll spend on these items every month.</p> <p>From there, list the expenses that are more discretionary, such as eating out or going to the movies. Create a maximum spend for these items each month.</p> <p>Finally, list the money that comes into your household from salaries, overtime, bonuses, settlements, investments, and any other source that pays out each month. Compare your expenses to your income. Now you know how much leeway you have in your monthly budget and how much you can devote to savings. Best of all? Doing this doesn't have to take more than an hour. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Build Your First Budget in 5 Easy Steps</a>)</p> <h2>2. Building an emergency fund</h2> <p>Financial experts recommend that you have six months' to a year's worth of daily living expenses saved in an emergency fund. That way, if you face an unexpected financial emergency &mdash; anything from a $1,000 car repair bill to a job loss &mdash; you'll have money set aside and won't have to resort to credit cards.</p> <p>Building such a large emergency fund sounds intimidating. But if you take it in small steps, you'll find that building this fund isn't nearly as hard as you think.</p> <p>Start with whatever you can spare each month. If you can only devote $100 a month to your emergency fund, start with that. After a year, you'll have $1,200 saved. If you can save $200 a month, you'll have $2,400 at the end of a year.</p> <p>The key is to continue depositing whatever you can in your emergency fund. If you do, you'll be surprised at how quickly it grows. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-minute-finance-start-an-emergency-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Minute Finance: Start an Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <h2>3. Making a will</h2> <p>Drafting a will not only sounds complicated, it's also not much fun to think about. No one wants to consider their own death. But if you own property and assets, you absolutely need a will to make sure those assets are passed on to your loved ones according to your wishes after you die.</p> <p>How to do it? Start by titling a blank document with the words &quot;Last will and testament.&quot; Then, state your name and write that you are of sound mind and legal age (this is usually 18).</p> <p>Name the executor of your will &mdash; the person who will carry out what your will states after you die &mdash; and name a legal guardian to take care of your children if you should pass away.</p> <p>Your will should include the names of any beneficiaries, the people whom you want to inherit your assets. Usually, this will be your children or spouse. But you can also name friends, charities, other relatives, or organizations.</p> <p>Finally, list your assets and whom they should go to. This can include your home, your savings, your car, or any other possessions.</p> <p>Sign the will in front of at least two witnesses. Check with your state; in some, your witnesses can't be beneficiaries. Write down these witnesses' names and addresses. Make sure they sign your will, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-happens-if-you-dont-leave-a-will?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's What Happens If You Don't Leave a Will</a>)</p> <h2>4. Paying your taxes</h2> <p>It can be tempting to hire an accountant or tax pro to do your taxes for you. The truth, though, is that most of us can do our taxes on our own.</p> <p>Taxes for most people aren't overly complicated. Things only get messy if you rely heavily on freelance income, write off part of your home as an office, or have plenty of deductions that you want to claim. Most taxpayers don't fall into that category. They can file their taxes on their own, especially with the help of easy-to-follow tax preparation software.</p> <p>So before you spend $600, $700, or more on a professional tax filer, consider doing this on your own. It'll usually take you less than an afternoon. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-should-know-about-the-new-tax-law?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Things You Should Know About the New Tax Law</a>)</p> <h2>5. Changing your bank</h2> <p>Your bank just closed the only ATM and branch near you. Its online banking function is sluggish and frequently offline. You're ready to make a change &mdash; but you don't want the hassle of closing accounts and opening new ones. Here's the good news: Changing your bank doesn't have to be a hassle.</p> <p>You will have to do the research, of course. You'll have to find a new bank that has branches and ATMs close by. You might even decide to go with an online-only bank. Once you've analyzed your choices and selected a new bank, it's time to open an account. You might be able to do this online, but some banks require you to visit their office in-person. You'll usually need to make a deposit to start your new account.</p> <p>Once your account is open, you can transfer money from your old bank &mdash; hopefully you can do this online &mdash; into your new account. But don't close your old account too early: You want to make sure that any checks you've written recently have been cashed before you close that account.</p> <p>You'll also want to change all your automatic payments before closing your old bank account so that the payments are withdrawn from your new account. Many people have everything from their mortgage payments to their auto loan payments set up as automatic deductions from their checking accounts. Make sure you've switched all of these before closing your old account. And if your paychecks are direct-deposited to your old bank account, you'll have to make that switch, too.</p> <p>Finally, if you rely on online payment systems such as PayPal, be sure to connect these services to your new bank. If you're lucky, you should be able to set up a new bank account, make these switches, and close your old account mostly from your computer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/switch-to-a-better-bank-in-5-easy-steps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Switch to a Better Bank in 5 Easy Steps</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%2F5-personal-finance-tasks-that-arent-as-hard-as-you-think&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Personal%2520Finance%2520Tasks%2520That%2520Aren%2527t%2520as%2520Hard%2520as%2520You%2520Think_0.jpg&amp;description=5%20Personal%20Finance%20Tasks%20That%20Aren't%20as%20Hard%20as%20You%20Think"></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/u5180/5%20Personal%20Finance%20Tasks%20That%20Aren%27t%20as%20Hard%20as%20You%20Think_0.jpg" alt="5 Personal Finance Tasks That Aren't as Hard as You Think" 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/5-personal-finance-tasks-that-arent-as-hard-as-you-think">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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-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/7-signs-youre-financially-ready-to-start-a-family">7 Signs You&#039;re Financially Ready to Start a Family</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 banking budgeting changing banks emergency funds estate planning last will and testament saving money taxes Thu, 10 May 2018 09:00:11 +0000 Dan Rafter 2134241 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Boost Your Partner's Bad Credit Without Risking Your Own http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-boost-your-partners-bad-credit-without-risking-your-own <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-boost-your-partners-bad-credit-without-risking-your-own" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_and_woman_home_budgeting_0.jpg" alt="Man and woman home budgeting" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You can't help with whom you fall in love &mdash; and that's never more annoying than when the object of your affection has royally effed up their credit. Nobody's calling it quits over a few past financial mistakes, but the situation will need to improve if you two are planning a future together that includes buying a home, starting a business, or other major money-based life decisions.</p> <p>Since you're now in this together, you have a responsibility to do what you can to make sure you start your joint life on the right foot credit-wise. Here's how.</p> <h2>1. Help your partner review their credit report to flag and report errors</h2> <p>If your partner has terrible credit, it's likely that they don't know how to pull their credit report, flag errors, and report them to the appropriate authority to have them removed or updated. That's where your expertise (or even elementary knowledge) of how credit reports work comes in. Flagging and reporting credit errors is the first step in getting their situation back on track and under control. Once that's squared away, you can move on to the bigger issues. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-read-a-credit-report?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Read a Credit Report</a>)</p> <h2>2. Provide positive reinforcement instead of bailing them out</h2> <p>It's easy to throw money at a problem to make it go away &mdash; especially if you have extra cash to spare and the person you love will benefit immensely from your generosity (at least in the short term). But I urge you to avoid opening your wallet to deal with your partner's bad credit. Instead, provide encouragement that they can manage their debt on their own.</p> <p>They created this situation, after all, and the only acceptable solution is that they work it out without your financial assistance. Help them in other areas, like navigating their credit report, but don't shill out dough to dig them out. The only thing they'll take away from that scenario is that you'll always be the sucker who pays for their poor judgment.</p> <h2>3. Establish a cash allowance that you'll both adhere to</h2> <p>You can't take your adult partner's credit cards from them (even though you might like to), so an easier-to-swallow solution is to jointly stop using credit and instead switch over to an all-cash budget. If they feel like you're both in this together, they'll be more willing to comply. You might have to make a few sacrifices along the way with your cards not available, sure. But if it helps condition your partner to spend and save smarter, forgoing the treat-yo'-self impulse buys you're used to will be worth it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-put-your-spouse-on-a-budget-without-ruining-your-marriage?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Put Your Spouse on a Budget Without Ruining Your Marriage</a>)</p> <h2>4. Brainstorm actionable ways they can start chipping away at their debt</h2> <p>Sit down together and come up with ideas about how your partner can start paying down their debt faster. That may involve asking for a raise at work; picking up a part-time job; working a few side gigs, like driving for a ride-sharing service and pet sitting; selling off unwanted or unused valuables; downsizing their lifestyle (maybe it's time to move in together so both of you can save?); and canceling all frivolous monthly expenses, like subscription services and memberships. (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>5. Schedule autopays on pay days</h2> <p>Help your partner set up auto-payments that coincide with their paydays so the money goes straight from their checking account to their debt accounts, leaving them little time to start a spending spree before handling their financial responsibilities. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-automate-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Automate Your Finances</a>)</p> <p>If your partner doesn't like the idea of auto-paying bills, maybe they could get on board with a regular money meeting where you both sit down each week or month to discuss your budget and bills and make payments in each other's presence. It's a way to keep each other accountable, build trust, and establish good money behaviors. Either of these options will make sure the bills are getting paid on time.</p> <h2>6. Discuss secured credit card options</h2> <p>If your partner's credit score is weak, you can help improve it by encouraging them to open a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-secured-credit-card-can-repair-your-credit-score-heres-how-to-pick-the-best?ref=internal" target="_blank">secured credit card</a>. Secured cards are fairly easy for anyone to get because the risk to the bank is low. That's because the cardholder puts down a deposit that's typically the same size as the credit limit (which will be low to begin with). If the cardholder defaults on the payments, the bank keeps their deposit.</p> <p>Secured cards are great for building credit because your payment activity is reported to the credit bureaus, just like any other credit card. &quot;After demonstrating consistent payment history, your credit score will steadily improve,&quot; says certified financial adviser Lou Haverty. &quot;You could consider applying for a regular credit card when your score is in the high 600 to low 700 range.&quot;</p> <p>I took my boyfriend to the bank to get a secured card after he moved in with me because I wanted him to start rebuilding his weak (but not necessarily bad) credit. This was an important step for us to take early on because I want him to have decent credit if we decide to buy a house together a few years down the road. Sometimes that's how long it takes, so there's no time like the present to start working the system. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-secured-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Best Secured Cards</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-ways-to-boost-your-partners-bad-credit-without-risking-your-own&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Ways%2520to%2520Boost%2520Your%2520Partner%2527s%2520Bad%2520Credit%2520Without%2520Risking%2520Your%2520Own.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ways%20to%20Boost%20Your%20Partner's%20Bad%20Credit%20Without%20Risking%20Your%20Own"></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%20Boost%20Your%20Partner%27s%20Bad%20Credit%20Without%20Risking%20Your%20Own.jpg" alt="6 Ways to Boost Your Partner's Bad Credit Without Risking Your Own" 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/6-ways-to-boost-your-partners-bad-credit-without-risking-your-own">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-new-marriage-can-survive-student-loan-debt">How a New Marriage Can Survive Student Loan 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/how-to-put-your-spouse-on-a-budget-without-ruining-your-marriage">How to Put Your Spouse on a Budget Without Ruining Your Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-married">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bounce-back-from-a-bankruptcy">How to Bounce Back From a Bankruptcy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-do-right-now-to-boost-your-600-credit-score">5 Things to Do Right Now to Boost Your 600 Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance allowances autopay budgeting cash compromise credit history credit score marriage secured credit cards spouse Tue, 08 May 2018 09:00:13 +0000 Mikey Rox 2136184 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Reasons You're Still Struggling to Pay Bills http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-youre-still-struggling-to-pay-bills <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-reasons-youre-still-struggling-to-pay-bills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_and_woman_with_financial_problem_1.jpg" alt="Man and woman with financial problem" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've worked hard. You've hit your career goals. Your salary has never been higher. Still, at the end of the every month, you break into a cold sweat worrying if there's enough money to go around. Why, at this point in your life, does bill paying still feel like a painful game of financial Twister? It's time to get to the root of the problem. Here are six reasons you're still struggling to pay bills.</p> <h2>1. You don't have a budget</h2> <p>Budgets are how people anticipate their expenses and allocate their spending. Without this essential framework, your financial life will look a lot like the Wild West &mdash; filled with drama and boom and bust cycles (and probably too many saloon scenes). If you're making late payments or missing payments altogether, it's time to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps?ref=internal" target="_blank">build your first budget</a>, cowboy.</p> <h2>2. You have too much credit card debt</h2> <p>With astronomical interest charges, late fees, and other penalties, credit card debt leaves millions of families strapped for cash year after year. If you're struggling to pay your bills each month, take a hard look at your credit habits. How much of your income is devoted to servicing debt? Are you barely covering the minimum payments or racking up new charges? If so, grab a shovel. It's time to dig yourself out of high-interest credit card debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>3. You're house poor</h2> <p>If your mortgage consumes more than 25 percent of your income, you may be house poor. For many, that single payment is simply too steep and leaves little money leftover for bills and other budget essentials. Think you may be house poor? Explore refinance options, rent out a spare bedroom, or consider selling and moving into a more affordable home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-ends-meet-when-youre-house-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Make Ends Meet When You're House Poor</a>)</p> <h2>4. You can't stop impulse buying</h2> <p>We all fall prey to impulse buys every now and then. But if off-budget spending has become a way of life, you're probably broke by bill-paying day. Examine why impulse buying is so attractive. Is it a way of relieving stress? Is it a reward for working long hours at a job you don't like? How could you rearrange your life and take control of your spending? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-stop-impulse-buying?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Simple Ways to Stop Impulse Buying</a>)</p> <h2>5. You're too focused on keeping up with the Joneses</h2> <p>Trying to keep up with the Joneses can exhaust you mentally, emotionally, and financially. If you're constantly struggling to pay your bills, ask yourself: &quot;To what degree is my spending influenced by the spending habits of others? Am I trying to project an image I can't afford?&quot; Since paying your monthly bills doesn't give you much &quot;image bang&quot; for your buck, you may simply be prioritizing status over solvency. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-the-joneses?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Money Lessons You Can Learn From the Joneses</a>)</p> <h2>6. Someone's draining your income</h2> <p>If you're always behind the eight ball with your bills, maybe the problem isn't some<em>thing</em>, but some<em>one</em>. Is your BFF always &quot;a little strapped for cash?&quot; Are you supporting a chronically unmotivated spouse, sibling, or adult child? Practice a little tough love (and self-care); use <em>your </em>cash to cover your own bills, protect your own credit, and keep your lights on. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-should-make-your-adult-child-pay-for?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Things You Should Make Your Adult Child Pay For</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-reasons-youre-still-struggling-to-pay-bills&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Reasons%2520You%2527re%2520Still%2520Struggling%2520to%2520Pay%2520Bills.jpg&amp;description=6%20Reasons%20You're%20Still%20Struggling%20to%20Pay%20Bills"></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%20Reasons%20You%27re%20Still%20Struggling%20to%20Pay%20Bills.jpg" alt="6 Reasons You're Still Struggling to Pay Bills" 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/6-reasons-youre-still-struggling-to-pay-bills">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-a-new-marriage-can-survive-student-loan-debt">How a New Marriage Can Survive Student Loan 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/11-money-habits-that-make-you-look-financially-immature">11 Money Habits That Make You Look Financially Immature</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-types-of-overspenders-which-one-are-you">5 Types of Overspenders — Which One Are You?</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-factors-that-could-keep-you-broke-forever">8 Factors That Could Keep You Broke Forever</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-you-arent-ready-for-a-credit-card">5 Signs You Aren&#039;t Ready for a Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle bills budgeting credit card debt house poor impulse buys income keeping up with the joneses making ends meet paycheck to paycheck Thu, 03 May 2018 09:00:11 +0000 Kentin Waits 2131787 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Signs You're No Longer a Personal Finance Rookie http://www.wisebread.com/10-signs-youre-no-longer-a-personal-finance-rookie <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-signs-youre-no-longer-a-personal-finance-rookie" 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_2.jpg" alt="Young woman with a piggy bank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How are you doing with your money? Is your checking account flourishing? Do you have a well-stocked savings account, a growing 401(k), and an emergency fund ready to save you from life's unexpected money mishaps? That's great news. These are all signs you're out of the minor leagues and are now a major player in the world of personal finance. Here are a few more.</p> <h2>1. You're not panic-checking your financial accounts</h2> <p>When you are in full control of your finances, you know where your money is going, when it's coming in, and you have a pretty good idea of all your balances at all times. You keep track of your spending and you see the numbers you expect to see when you log into your bank or credit card account.</p> <p>This is a far cry from the days when checking your accounts was like a horrible game show moment ('Let's see if there's any money behind door Number 1!'). You may not even notice this good habit anymore, but you can feel good knowing those panicky peeks at your balances are over.</p> <h2>2. You never get a huge tax refund (but you don't owe anything, either)</h2> <p>A massive tax refund is not a smart way to manage your money. By overpaying your taxes, you are giving the government an interest-free loan all year while you miss out on investment opportunities and the benefits of compound interest. Finance rookies overpay their taxes because a refund feels like a windfall. The fact of the matter is that money should have been in your paycheck all along.</p> <p>No one wants to owe money at tax time, but if you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-withholding-the-right-amount-of-taxes-from-your-paycheck?ref=internal" target="_blank">calculate your withholdings correctly</a>, you should come out as close to $0 as possible. That means you're taking advantage of every cent you earn throughout the year.</p> <h2>3. You have almost no monthly debt</h2> <p>Most of us are going to carry at least some debt for a chunk of our lives; after all, it's difficult to pay for a home with cold, hard cash. But excessive monthly debts mean that your finances are not as shipshape as they could be.</p> <p>It's better to buy a car in cash, upfront, than it is to pay a lease or car payment. Credit card debt that lingers for years is a huge drain on your finances. Other loans or monthly debts almost always carry interest, and that means you're continuously throwing money away. If you're living with little to no monthly debt, you have financial freedom; and that means you're no rookie. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fastest Method to Eliminate Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>4. Your credit score is doing really well</h2> <p>When was the last time you checked out your credit score? It's a good idea to do it once a month, because erroneous things can creep up. Now, take a look and see where you are on the credit rating scale.</p> <p>If you're above 700, it means you're doing great. Above 750, you're doing even better. And if you are in that magic 800+ category, you are considered by all credit agencies to be one of the best customers around. This means you have low debt, you pay everything on time, and you have accounts that date back many years. This is all evidence that you are definitely not a finance rookie. Congrats! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-life-is-amazing-with-an-800-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways Life Is Amazing With an 800 Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2>5. You're automatically putting money away</h2> <p>Saving money when you can is great, and you should always try and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-really-need-to-pay-yourself-first-seriously?ref=internal" target="_blank">pay yourself first</a>. However, if you have automated this system, you have taken a much bigger step toward financial freedom.</p> <p>By automating payments to savings accounts, retirement accounts, and an emergency fund, you have prioritized your future. Now, saving isn't just something you do if there is money left over at the end of the month. Instead, saving comes first, and you budget with what's left. It's tougher to do it this way, and it often requires discipline. But it's the best way to go about it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-automate-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Automate Your Finances</a>)</p> <h2>6. You're not living paycheck to paycheck</h2> <p>This is a tough one. The sad state of affairs is that as many as 78 percent of Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck, according to a poll by CareerBuilder. Wages have stagnated, and the cost of living has risen dramatically compared to income. However, a chunk of that 78 percent are living this way due to a lack of budgeting, discipline, and overwhelming debt. Even people earning over $100,000 a year are living like this, and that's just unacceptable.</p> <p>If you don't live above your means, don't try and keep up with the Joneses, and don't make rash decisions with your money, you should be able to escape this paycheck to paycheck existence. It's not only bad for your finances, but extremely bad for your health and mental wellbeing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-escape-the-paycheck-to-paycheck-cycle?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Escape the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle</a>)</p> <h2>7. You have an emergency fund</h2> <p>An emergency fund is just that; a stash of money that can be used for a crisis, such as losing your job, unexpected home repairs, medical care, and even emergency travel. Ideally, this fund should cover at least six months' worth of daily living expenses for you and your family &mdash; even more if you have a high-paying job or unique living expenses such as a medical condition.</p> <p>Socking away a few months' worth of expenses can be daunting, but if you at least have a few thousand dollars put away, you're off to a great start and doing better than the majority of the population. You'll thank yourself when a financial speed bump comes along. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-minute-finance-start-an-emergency-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Minute Finance: Start an Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <h2>8. You pay all your bills on time</h2> <p>Have you ever seen people play fast and loose with their bills? They will choose to pay some one month, and others the next. But sooner or later, everyone has to pay the piper. Utilities will get shut off, debt collectors will call, and credit scores will tumble. And, it often costs even more money to put things right. If you pay all your bills on time, every month, you're doing a fantastic job with your finances.</p> <h2>9. You don't make impulse purchases</h2> <p>It takes willpower to shed the 'personal finance rookie' title, and if you are no longer throwing money at purchases without thinking, you have moved beyond that role.</p> <p>Impulse buying should not be confused with taking advantage of a sale on a needed item or even an occasional treat. If you carefully consider the purchase and decide it is one you need or deserve, that's great. The problem arises when you see a 75 percent off sticker and automatically grab the item regardless of whether or not you would ever actually use or need it. In that case, you didn't 'save' 75 percent &hellip; you wasted money on the remaining 25 percent. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys</a>)</p> <h2>10. You have a monthly budget and stick to it</h2> <p>Perhaps the most important item on the list is a monthly budget. In fact, if you adhere to a monthly budget, most of the other habits on this list will follow naturally.</p> <p>A monthly budget is the linchpin of financial stability. It tells you exactly what money is coming in, what is going out, where it's being spent, and what you can expect to see when you look in your different accounts. By sticking to a monthly budget, you have fewer financial surprises. Even if you're not yet at the point where you can save, you are at least managing the money you have, and that will lead to financial freedom down the road. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-using-these-5-excuses-not-to-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Stop Using These 5 Excuses Not to Budget</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-signs-youre-no-longer-a-personal-finance-rookie&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Signs%2520You%2527re%2520No%2520Longer%2520a%2520Personal%2520Finance%2520Rookie.jpg&amp;description=10%20Signs%20You're%20No%20Longer%20a%20Personal%20Finance%20Rookie"></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%20Signs%20You%27re%20No%20Longer%20a%20Personal%20Finance%20Rookie.jpg" alt="10 Signs You're No Longer a Personal Finance Rookie" 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/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-signs-youre-no-longer-a-personal-finance-rookie">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-before-applying-for-a-credit-card">5 Money Moves to Make Before Applying For a Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-youre-financially-ready-to-start-a-family">7 Signs You&#039;re Financially Ready to Start a Family</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-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-money-moves">6 Signs You&#039;re Making All the Right Money Moves</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance automated budgeting credit score debt emergency funds impulse buys paying bills signs tax refunds Wed, 02 May 2018 08:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 2132024 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Goals You Can Achieve This Summer http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-goals-you-can-achieve-this-summer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-goals-you-can-achieve-this-summer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggybank_with_sunglasses.jpg" alt="Piggy bank with sunglasses" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With summer right around the corner, you might be thinking about travel plans, backyard barbecues, and spending time with friends and family. Summer feels like the vacation we've all earned after enduring colder, drearier months &mdash; and that can lead to us slacking off in a very important area: money.</p> <p>It's time to change your thinking. Summer can be the perfect time to tackle some of your financial goals. Here are some to consider working toward over the next few months.</p> <h2>1. Start an emergency fund</h2> <p>When disaster strikes, an emergency fund can protect you, your family, and your finances. This is money set aside for an unexpected but major expense like a job loss, medical bill, or costly car repair.</p> <p>How much money should you have in your emergency fund? It can depend on a few factors, such as your lifestyle and income, but a good goal to strive for is typically three to six months' worth of daily living expenses &mdash; or a year's worth if you're single or in a high-paying job.</p> <p>You may not be able to build this entire fund overnight, but you can make some serious progress this summer. Set up automatic contributions from your paycheck into a savings account &mdash; a few hundred dollars a month is a great start. You'll thank yourself if there's ever a catastrophic financial emergency. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-minute-finance-start-an-emergency-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Minute Finance: Start an Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <h2>2. Boost your bottom line</h2> <p>Most of us could use a little extra cash during the summer. Longer days and warmer weather may have you spending more time (and money) hosting cookouts, taking road trips, and hitting the town. Not to mention with the kids home from school for the next three months, the blow to your budget is imminent. How can you combat this inevitable cash crunch? Get a side hustle.</p> <p>There are hundreds of ways you can earn money through a side gig. You could pick up a part-time shift at a restaurant, offer to baby-sit or pet sit, or even start your own blog or small business. Your options are endless.</p> <p>Side hustle income can improve every single area of your finances. It can help you to pay off debt faster, save more, and give you a little extra room in your budget every month. (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>3. Start saving more for retirement</h2> <p>While you're lounging in the backyard hammock, take the moment of downtime as a perfect reminder of a major financial concern &mdash; retirement. Are you on the path to being able to retire when you are hoping to?</p> <p>Set a goal this summer to catch up on your retirement contributions. Even contributing just one more percent of your income into your 401(k) will boost your savings goals with very little effort on your part. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retirement-planning-steps-late-starters-must-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Retirement Planning Steps Late Starters Must Make</a>)</p> <h2>4. Track your spending</h2> <p>Everyone knows that budgeting can help people reach their financial goals, but many people still don't bother to track their spending every month. Tracking your spending has traditionally been an arduous task, but with technology, it's become much easier. Now you can use free apps, like Mint, that will automatically track your spending for you. You can set your budget for each category, and the app will tell you where you have overspent.</p> <p>Take the time this summer to find a way to track your spending. Whether you like the tech route or you're an old school Excel spreadsheet lover, it's all about finding what works for you and sticking to it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-using-these-5-excuses-not-to-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Stop Using These 5 Excuses Not to Budget</a>)</p> <h2>5. Pay off debt</h2> <p>While you might not be able to become entirely debt-free this summer, you can set a realistic goal of how much debt you would like to pay off.</p> <p>Give yourself a starting day and a deadline. Take the total amount of your goal and divide it by three months to calculate how much you need to pay off per month. Then, take a look at your budget and figure out where you can come up with the additional cash. Do you need to cut some line items out entirely? When you set a goal and stick to it, you might be amazed at what you can accomplish this summer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-first-steps-to-paying-off-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Easy First Steps to Paying Off Debt</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%2F5-money-goals-you-can-achieve-this-summer&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Money%2520Goals%2520You%2520Can%2520Achieve%2520This%2520Summer.jpg&amp;description=5%20Money%20Goals%20You%20Can%20Achieve%20This%20Summer"></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/u5180/5%20Money%20Goals%20You%20Can%20Achieve%20This%20Summer.jpg" alt="5 Money Goals You Can Achieve This Summer" 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/rachel-slifka">Rachel Slifka</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-goals-you-can-achieve-this-summer">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-12"> <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/9-smart-moves-to-make-after-getting-a-raise-or-promotion">9 Smart Moves to Make After Getting a Raise or Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-minute-finance-create-financial-goals">5-Minute Finance: Create Financial Goals</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-money-resolutions-anyone-can-conquer">4 Money Resolutions Anyone Can Conquer</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-obstacles-you-can-expect-on-your-journey-to-financial-freedom">5 Obstacles You Can Expect on Your Journey to Financial Freedom</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance budgeting debt emergency fund money goals retirement saving money summer tracking Fri, 27 Apr 2018 08:00:17 +0000 Rachel Slifka 2130604 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Smart Moves to Make After Getting a Raise or Promotion http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-moves-to-make-after-getting-a-raise-or-promotion <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-smart-moves-to-make-after-getting-a-raise-or-promotion" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/nothing_can_break_our_team.jpg" alt="Nothing can break our team" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've worked hard, and you've impressed the boss: You've been rewarded with a raise, promotion, or both. That's great news.</p> <p>The worst mistake you could make right now is to use this time as an excuse to slack off at work or spend more money. Your new challenge is to figure out how to handle your new responsibilities and your new money in a way that will help you continue to succeed.</p> <p>Here are some smart career and money moves to make after your employer rewards you with a raise or promotion.</p> <h2>After a promotion</h2> <p>Getting a promotion is a sign that you've been a hardworking, valuable employee. You should pat yourself on the back for your achievement.</p> <p>But, promotions can also prove stressful. You may be managing people for the first time, or maybe you'll be taking on more responsibilities. Regardless, there are a few key things you should do immediately following a promotion. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-career-moves?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Signs You're Making All the Right Career Moves</a>)</p> <h3>1. Be confident, but humble</h3> <p>There's a reason you earned that promotion. There's something that your employer values about you, your decision-making, and your leadership. It's great to feel confident, but don't let this make you cocky.</p> <p>You still have a lot to learn after a promotion. You'll be taking on new duties. Your job description might have swelled. You might even be overseeing others for the first time. Remain humble, grateful, and don't alienate your peers. It's harder to reach your new goals if your co-workers don't like you.</p> <h3>2. Ask plenty of questions</h3> <p>Questions are your friend after a promotion. You want to make sure that you understand all that is required of you in your new position. If you have any doubts or confusion on this matter, get concrete expectations and instructions from your superiors.</p> <p>You also want to come up with as many good ideas for improving your company's performance as you can get. Ask your co-workers &mdash; even if you are now managing them &mdash; for their input on what steps the company can take to improve morale, boost productivity, and compete more successfully in the marketplace.</p> <h3>3. Get ready to work hard</h3> <p>You'll want to reassure your boss that they made the right decision when they promoted you, so put in the hours necessary to show them how dedicated you are to your company. Now is not the time to take extra days off or leave the office early. Instead, work even harder than you did before you earned your promotion.</p> <p>Take the initiative at the next company meeting. Research what new skills would help you thrive in your role, and make a plan to learn them. Not only will this impress your boss, it will help you catch up more quickly with your new duties and responsibilities.</p> <h3>4. Start churning out the ideas</h3> <p>Does worker productivity at your office slump after lunch? Is employee morale low? Is a big project behind schedule? Come up with potential solutions to these problems. Crafting new ideas to solve important problems is the best way to show your supervisors that they were right in giving you that promotion.</p> <h2>After getting a raise</h2> <p>A promotion doesn't always come with a big pay boost, but if it does, it's the perfect reason to give your finances a makeover. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a>)</p> <h3>5. Calculate exactly how much more you'll be getting each month</h3> <p>It's tempting to start spending your raise before it even shows up in your paycheck, but be careful: Taxes and other withholdings will eat up a portion of your raise before it even hits your bank account. Getting a $3,000 raise does not mean there will be exactly $3,000 extra dollars in your pocket at the end of the year. Wait until your salary increase is reflected in one of your paychecks before changing your saving or spending patterns. That extra chunk of change might not be as large you originally expected. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-withholding-the-right-amount-of-taxes-from-your-paycheck?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are You Withholding the Right Amount of Taxes from Your Paycheck?</a>)</p> <h3>6. Rework your household budget</h3> <p>Once you know exactly how much extra money you'll get with each paycheck, it's time to tweak your household budget. Your expenses should remain the same &mdash; lifestyle creep is a dangerous thing &mdash; but your monthly income, obviously, will change. What should also change? How much money you contribute each month to retirement and savings. Rework that budget to help you determine your new savings goals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-budget-when-youre-no-longer-broke?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Budget When You're No Longer Broke</a>)</p> <h3>7. Boost your retirement savings</h3> <p>It's fun to imagine using your new funds to buy a high-end laptop, flat-screen TV, or shiny new car. While no one can stop you from buying those things, make sure to first use your extra funds to boost your retirement savings. Building a retirement nest egg should be your ultimate goal starting your very first day of work. That might not seem like a whole lot fun now, but you'll be thankful for the foresight as retirement grows closer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meeting-the-2018-401k-contribution-limits-will-brighten-your-future?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways Meeting the 2018 401(k) Contribution Limits Will Brighten Your Future</a>)</p> <h3>8. Build your emergency fund</h3> <p>You should always have an emergency fund of savings that you can tap to cover unexpected expenses &mdash; whether it's a big vet bill for your dog or a blown gasket in your car. Having such a fund makes it less likely that you'll need to turn to credit cards to pay for an emergency.</p> <p>Financial experts recommend that your emergency fund have enough dollars in it to cover your daily living expenses for six to 12 months. If your fund isn't stocked to this level, use the extra money from your raise to hit that target. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund-from-0?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Easy Ways to Build an Emergency Fund From $0</a>)</p> <h3>9. Continue to live frugally</h3> <p>Too often, people boost their monthly spending as their income rises. They spend more on cars, clothing, entertainment, and meals. The problem is this lifestyle creep can quickly erase any added savings that come with a larger paycheck.</p> <p>Resist the temptation to overspend after earning a raise. Instead, focus on the less fun but more important task of building your savings, emergency fund, and retirement accounts. After getting a raise, don't spend more. Save more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-nice-thing-can-ruin-your-whole-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How One Nice Thing Can Ruin Your Whole Budget</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%2F9-smart-moves-to-make-after-getting-a-raise-or-promotion&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%2520Smart%2520Moves%2520to%2520Make%2520After%2520Getting%2520a%2520Raise%2520or%2520Promotion.jpg&amp;description=9%20Smart%20Moves%20to%20Make%20After%20Getting%20a%20Raise%20or%20Promotion"></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%20Smart%20Moves%20to%20Make%20After%20Getting%20a%20Raise%20or%20Promotion.jpg" alt="9 Smart Moves to Make After Getting a Raise or Promotion" 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/9-smart-moves-to-make-after-getting-a-raise-or-promotion">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-goals-you-can-achieve-this-summer">5 Money Goals You Can Achieve This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-got-a-raise-now-what">You Got a Raise! Now What?</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-accomplishments-you-should-be-proud-of">5 Money Accomplishments You Should Be Proud Of</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-money-conversations-parents-should-have-with-their-adult-kids">7 Money Conversations Parents Should Have With Their Adult Kids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career Building budgeting career moves emergency fund lifestyle creep money moves promotions raise retirement saving money Thu, 26 Apr 2018 08:00:13 +0000 Dan Rafter 2131008 at http://www.wisebread.com