zen http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5468/all en-US 8 Morning Mantras That’ll Help Keep Your Finances on Track http://www.wisebread.com/8-morning-mantras-that-ll-help-keep-your-finances-on-track <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-morning-mantras-that-ll-help-keep-your-finances-on-track" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000076199465_Large.jpg" alt="these morning mantras help her with money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Mantras are one piece of a traditional meditation practice, and they're an important piece. Using mantras seems to make your <a href="http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2013/10/02/your-brain-on-om-the-science-of-mantra">physical nervous system function better</a>. They are also part of the alternative therapies offered to patients with <a href="http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/61/6/1360">chronic high blood pressure</a>, to help them achieve optimum health.</p> <p>Mantras make our bodies function better because of the effect they have on our minds. And if they are changing how our minds work for the better, why not use them to our advantage when it comes to our finances, too?</p> <p>Don't worry! I'm not asking you to stand in front of your mirror chanting &quot;Ommmm,&quot; every morning. But here are some phrases you can repeat to yourself when you wake up &mdash; and all day long! &mdash; to help you manage your money better. Pick one of these, find a quiet place, and repeat the mantra to yourself for a minute or two. Then let me know if your financial life changes.</p> <h2>1. &quot;I don't need things to make me happy. I choose my own happiness.&quot;</h2> <p>Happiness is something we choose, regardless of our circumstances. Often, we think that buying something new will make us happy. After the purchase, though, we find ourselves still unhappy, and now we have the worry of an added expense on top of it. If this is a problem you face, give this mantra a try.</p> <h2>2. &quot;I will [insert goal here].&quot;</h2> <p>Are you saving for something specific? Repeat that goal to yourself as a mantra. If you like to travel, this could be the name of a destination, but it could also be something like &quot;my own home,&quot; or &quot;that Coach purse.&quot; You will find yourself more motivated to save for something when you think of it throughout the day. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-all-30-somethings-should-have?ref=seealso">10 Money Goals All 30-Somethings Should Have</a>)</p> <h2>3. &quot;I have enough. I am enough.&quot;</h2> <p>Most of us spend a lot of money on things that we want. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, but when we're using those things to make ourselves feel better about life, it can help to remember that what we own adds nothing to our inherent, human value. We are valuable because of who and what we are, not because of the tangible things we possess.</p> <h2>4. &quot;I am blessed.&quot;</h2> <p>No matter how bad things get, there is always something good. It can be as simple as the sun outside, a job that pays the bills (even if you don't like it), a healthy child, or the fact that spring is here. This mantra will help you remember that you don't have to spend more money to have good things.</p> <h2>5. &quot;I can make my own.&quot;</h2> <p>Whether you feel like you're spending too much money on coffee, lunch, snacks, or something else you can whip up in your own kitchen, this mantra can empower you to do the work at home so you don't have to spend the money when you're out. It's easy to feel like we are at the mercy of people who want our money in exchange for simple things like food and drink, but remembering that we have the power to make our own can change that and help us save.</p> <h2>6. &quot;I am on my own good path.&quot;</h2> <p>It's easy to compare ourselves to others, feel like we aren't where we &quot;should&quot; be, and comfort ourselves by spending money. This mantra helps each of us remember that we do not have to walk anyone else's path, and that the one we're already on is, most likely, leading us somewhere good.</p> <h2>7. &quot;I am strong.&quot;</h2> <p>In a world where we manage and are managed, it's easy to lose track of our own personal power. When this happens, we often lose the willpower that helps us resist purchasing things that we don't need or put money into savings rather than just spending it. This mantra, though, can help us remember that we are powerful, that we can choose where our money goes, even when we don't necessarily feel that way throughout the day.</p> <h2>8. &quot;A nicer [item] doesn't change who I am.&quot;</h2> <p>When we feel small, poor, weary, depressed, anxious, and generally anything negative, we can begin to think that a new, nice <em>something</em> will change things. These tend to be big purchases, like a new car or a new house. This mantra reminds us that no item changes us, and can point us toward doing the internal work necessary to make a real change, rather than just spending money to change things on the outside.</p> <p><em>Have you ever used mantras to help your life improve? How did that work for you? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-morning-mantras-that-ll-help-keep-your-finances-on-track">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/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money">5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-letting-fomo-ruin-your-finances">Are You Letting FOMO Ruin Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-s-your-budget-personality">What’s Your Budget Personality?</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/budgeting-hack-gift-calendars">Budgeting Hack: Gift Calendars</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/too-broke-to-be-frugal">Too broke to be frugal?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Life Hacks Health and Beauty budgeting finances morning mantras zen Wed, 23 Mar 2016 09:30:23 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1677122 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000076935935_Large.jpg" alt="doing yoga and learning about money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether or not yoga is your thing, you're probably familiar with it. The practice of yoga has become popular enough that most people know how yoga is done and how to do the basic poses.</p> <p>What you may not know is that you can learn a lot about life in general while holding a pose like downward dog or happy baby. When you practice, you study not only the yogic postures, but also things like balance, flexibility, and mindfulness. And you can apply all of these concepts outside of the studio, too.</p> <p>Here's how I've come to apply things I've learned from yoga to my personal financial life. I hope these ideas help you think about your money a little differently, maybe with a little more Zen! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-zen-concepts-thatll-improve-your-finances?ref=seealso">4 Zen Concepts That'll Improve Your Finances</a>)</p> <h2>1. Balance Is Central</h2> <p>My favorite yoga teacher will tell us to center ourselves not just over the left foot, but over the toes, or the heel. Slowly, I've come to realize that how I balance myself changes the posture subtly, often bringing in more of a stretch or making it more challenging.</p> <p>Just as how you balance is key in the yoga studio, it's helpful when you're thinking about money, too. Most of us want more money, but what if we were to focus somewhere else? For instance, is there enough to pay the bills? Are we spending more thoughtfully than we did last year? And what would making more money actually add to our lives?</p> <p>These questions, and more, can help us think in a more balanced way about our money. This, in turn, will free us to change spending or saving habits that might be harming us.</p> <h2>2. Proper Preparation Is Key</h2> <p>A good yoga teacher will prepare you for what is coming, both in the current class and in the future. There's a reason that harder poses often come near the end of a yoga class &mdash; it's because you wouldn't be ready for them before that. You have to open your hips, your hamstrings, your shoulders, and whatever else is needed for that final, challenging pose of the flow. If you don't prepare, you'll hurt yourself and hamper your ability to progress in the long term.</p> <p>Money works the same way. What are your long-term financial goals? And your short-term goals? These aren't just going to happen. They require planning and preparation ahead of time. Just like in yoga, you need to do specific things now so you can reach your goals later. Want to travel around the world? Start saving. Need a specific kind of of mortgage, come spring? Look at starting the application now. Proper planning will help ensure your long-term financial health, just like a proper flow will help ensure that you stay healthy enough to continue practicing yoga.</p> <h2>3. Flexibility Is Crucial</h2> <p>Most people who practice regularly see an increase in their flexibility. And people like me &mdash; who just thought they weren't flexible at all &mdash; begin to see how this rise in flexibility influences their entire lives.</p> <p>Similarly, the more flexible you can be with your money, the better prepared you'll be financially. Financial flexibility has to do with your ability to change how you spend based on your current circumstances. If you empty your emergency fund because your car breaks down, can you flex for a few months until the fund is replenished? And if you realize you need more than you'd anticipated for a down payment, can you find the funds and flex on a few things until you've made up the difference?</p> <p>Financial flexibility pertains to small things, like how much coffee you buy and how often you dine out. But it also pertains to bigger things, like when you decide to buy a house, how you structure your investments, and more. Just as flexibility and strength are tied in yoga, they often come together financially, too. And you want your money to be as strong as it can be.</p> <h2>4. Self-Care Is Always Worth It</h2> <p>People start yoga for all different sorts of reasons, but they often continue because of self-care. Doing yoga feels good. It makes your body feel better, even alleviating long-term aches and pains. And it's often meditative, offering quiet and space that most of us don't have in our daily lives. So, in learning yoga, we often stumble onto self-care, too.</p> <p>Learning self-care through yoga often helps people take better care of themselves financially. This can mean spending money on things &mdash; even little things &mdash; that make you feel good. A sweet smelling candle, a good book, or a cup of coffee can all be acts of self-care. It can also mean using more discretion about how you spend your money, so that you aren't always worrying about debt, overdraft fees, and how to pay the bills. Once people get started on a path to self-care, it often spills into their entire lives.</p> <h2>5. Mindfulness Will Help You Reach Your Goals</h2> <p>Mindfulness means staying aware in the present, and is often stressed in the yoga studio. Living in the now, paying attention to how your body is moving, what you need to do, and how to stay in a pose, can all help you learn to remain present &mdash; even when so many things pressure you to think about them, instead.</p> <p>More than anything else, mindfulness is a path to self-mastery. It teaches us to choose where we focus, rather than letting the mind run willy nilly wherever it wants. And when we learn to focus in yoga, we learn a skill that can help us financially, too.</p> <p>Being mindful &mdash; and therefore a master of ourselves &mdash; can help us stick to a budget. It can help us save up for something we really want. It can help us get through a frugal season without taking on debt. And it can even help us buy Christmas presents, because it will help us focus on the recipient and what they want, rather on everything we might like to buy for them. In the end, being mindful will help us save more, invest better, and be happier with what we have.</p> <p>When we are open, willing learners, yoga can improve not only our physical health, but our financial health as well.</p> <p><em>How does your yoga practice tie to your financial life? What yoga lesson can you start applying to your personal finances today?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/8-morning-mantras-that-ll-help-keep-your-finances-on-track">8 Morning Mantras That’ll Help Keep Your Finances on Track</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-exercise-mats">The 5 Best Exercise Mats</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-119-best-fitness-hacks-for-busy-people">Flashback Friday: The 119 Best Fitness Hacks for Busy People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-way-birth-order-decides-your-money-habits">The Surprising Way Birth Order Decides Your Money Habits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-99-best-fitness-hacks-of-all-time">Flashback Friday: The 99 Best Fitness Hacks of All Time</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Life Hacks Health and Beauty budgeting fitness life lessons money habits yoga zen Tue, 19 Jan 2016 10:00:02 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1638732 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Zen Concepts That'll Improve Your Finances http://www.wisebread.com/4-zen-concepts-thatll-improve-your-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-zen-concepts-thatll-improve-your-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_praying_zen_000043216640.jpg" alt="Woman using zen concepts to improve finances" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Zen and personal finance &mdash; sounds a little &quot;woo woo,&quot; right? Except that there are actually several Zen concepts that can help you gain a different perspective on your money and improve your finances. Give it a try! Here are four ways that going Zen can help you handle your money better.</p> <h2>1. Fight Craving With Self-Awareness</h2> <p>Central to Zen is the idea that craving things causes us to experience bitterness, pain, and unease, and that the remedy for this lies in self-awareness. Basically, we see things (or people, or vacations, etc.) that we want. If we don't have them, we are unhappy. To get rid of this unhappiness, we need to understand our cravings better, rather than give into them without analysis.</p> <p>This can be as simple as asking, &quot;Why do I want this right now?&quot; Make sure to always weigh a &quot;want&quot; versus a &quot;need.&quot; Sometimes, we crave something so badly that we feel like we need it &mdash; but in reality, we don't.</p> <h2>2. Understand That Fear Gets Us Into Trouble</h2> <p>Zen says that a lot of people find fear or uneasiness at the bottom of their wants. They crave things because they feel like having them will resolve some anxiety. For instance, one person might want a larger retirement fund, and find at the bottom of that craving is the fear of being poor and elderly.</p> <p>Finding this fear allows us to make conscious, intentional choices about how to address it. Maybe we do need to save more, not to provide ourselves with full security, but because it's a smart thing to do. In that case, we can slow down, make a plan, and stick to it, rather than blindly throwing money at our anxieties. Discovering our fears also allows us to address them in other ways, be that talking about them to a friend or finding a therapist</p> <h2>3. Stay Present in the Present</h2> <p>When it comes to money, the very best place to focus is on the present, which is central to Zen philosophy. If, for instance, the market drops suddenly, staying present might help you decide to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-investors-should-know-about-the-october-effect">hold an investment</a> and ride out the swings, rather than sell too low and frantically buy whatever seems like it might be doing well. If you lose your job, staying present can help you deal with the stressful feelings in a healthy, productive way, rather than drowning in depression, trying to fill the void by buying things, or making hasty decisions about future employment.</p> <h2>4. Tell the Truth About Your Money</h2> <p><em>Shizen</em> is a Japanese Zen concept of presenting yourself to the world as your true self, without pretense or lies. This means ignoring the desire to try and live wealthier than your means, and only buying things you can actually afford. It requires us to be honest with ourselves about how much money we really have. This is a truth we must face in order to live well.</p> <p>Making a budget can be the first step to finding the truth of your finances. Many of us don't even know how much money we have or where it's going. When you write down your income and outflow, you'll have a much better picture of your situation. This will allow you to make realistic, honest decisions about how you spend.</p> <p><em>Do you practice any Zen concepts that influence your finances? How does that work for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-zen-concepts-thatll-improve-your-finances">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-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</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-ways-good-manners-make-you-wealthier">5 Ways Good Manners Make You Wealthier</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-ways-millennials-are-better-with-money-than-you-are">7 Ways Millennials Are Better With Money Than You Are</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-financial-decisions-youll-never-regret">8 Financial Decisions You&#039;ll Never Regret</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/forget-saving25-place-to-look-for-spare-change">Forget Saving...25 Places to Look for Spare Change</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance fear honesty inner peace meditation saving money zen Tue, 17 Nov 2015 18:15:36 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1613348 at http://www.wisebread.com When poor folks have better crap than you http://www.wisebread.com/when-poor-folks-have-better-crap-than-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/when-poor-folks-have-better-crap-than-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/guitar-camera-game-ipod-krishna_0.jpg" alt="Some stuff I&#039;ve got" title="Cool Stuff" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="305" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every notice how upset people get, when someone poorer than them has better crap? I&#39;m talking about the guy agonizing over whether to spring for a 32-inch flat screen who finds out that his poorer neighbor has come home with a 42-inch one. It&#39;s bad enough trying to keep up with the Jones; when you have trouble keeping up with the guy living on the wrong side of the tracks, it&#39;s a source of constant aggravation.</p> <p>I think this is a really natural emotion, but it&#39;s also a harmful one. I&#39;ve seen it from more than one side.</p> <p>I wrote a post a while back arguing that the fact that many families now have two people in the workforce was because standards of living had risen; if you were willing to live at a 1950s standard of living, you could still get by with a single income. (I also pointed out that there&#39;s a name for that--it&#39;s called &quot;<a href="/our-high-high-standard-of-living-1">living in poverty</a>.&quot;)</p> <p>A lot of people didn&#39;t like that post. Some people disputed it on factual grounds, doing a back-of-envelope budget for a poor person to show that it was impossible (but without considering the sort of extreme solutions that were common in the 1950s, such as moving in with your wife&#39;s parents; most didn&#39;t even consider carpooling). Other people seemed to think that I was trying to claim that poverty wasn&#39;t poverty (even though I&#39;d used that very word).</p> <p>Other people did like the post, but some of them liked it in the unsavory way that I&#39;m talking about--suggesting that living in poverty isn&#39;t so bad, as long a you&#39;ve got good crap.</p> <p>(On that topic, I saw a great cartoon recently, where a <a href="http://www.salon.com/comics/boll/2007/09/13/boll/">rich guy disputes the poverty of a poor guy</a>, pointing out all the stuff he&#39;s got. In 1800: &quot;You can&#39;t be poor! You&#39;ve got a shirt!&quot; In 1975: &quot;You can&#39;t be poor! You&#39;ve got a TV!&quot; In 1990: &quot;You can&#39;t be poor! You&#39;ve got a VCR!&quot; Let me just say, as I&#39;ve said before, living in poverty is bad, <a href="/voluntary-simplicity-versus-poverty">even if the poor person spends as much as a frugal person</a>.)</p> <p>Still, I&#39;ve felt that ire myself. I&#39;m somewhat prone to be in that situation, because of where I live.</p> <p>My apartment complex has an odd mix of tenants. Rents are at the lower end of the range for the area, so there are a good number of working-class folks along with graduate students, senior citizens, single folks, couples, new families, and so on. The place has quite a cosmopolitan air, actually, due to the number of foreigners who live here. It&#39;s a milieu that I rather like--I get to mix with a lot of different kinds of people. A good number of my neighbors have modest incomes, which is yet another aspect of the diversity that I enjoy.</p> <p>There are also other upsides to this. One is is that it gives me a valuable perspective, as far as the &quot;keeping up with the Joneses&quot; thing goes. If you live or work where the Joneses make as much as (or more than) you, it&#39;s easy for that perspective to work against you. For example, whenever my former employer was hiring in a hot job market, new software engineers would start showing up with expensive new cars for which a signing bonus had provided the down payment. Looking at the parking lot quite easily gave one a skewed notion of what was normal. Living here helped me avoid that.</p> <p>Still, inevitably, some neighbors have better crap than me. Some of them may not be poorer than me. Maybe, as I used to be, they are well-paid professionals who chose to live here because it suits them. Maybe they&#39;re students from affluent families willing to subsidize their lifestyle. Maybe they&#39;re just young singles who can comfortably afford nice crap because they have no debts and no one else to support. </p> <p>In many cases, though, they&#39;re people who are making poor decisions about their spending--and that&#39;s aggravating to watch. It makes me feel bad for them, and it also makes me feel bad for myself, because I don&#39;t have everything I want.</p> <p>Both these feelings are pernicious. One of the reasons I write for Wise Bread is to deal with the first. (Far better for me to advocate for living within your means here, where there&#39;s an interested audience, than to buttonhole my neighbors and criticize their lifestyle choices.) One of the reasons I read Wise Bread is to deal with the second. (It helps to be part of a supportive community of people trying to avoid the harmful effects of our consumer culture.)</p> <p>I think this is one of those situations where a Buddhist attitude provides the best results. When people around you make unwise choices the appropriate emotion to feel is <strong>compassion</strong>, not ire. When you find yourself wishing for better crap the appropriate emotion to feel is <strong>gratitude</strong> for the crap you&#39;ve got, not envy for someone else&#39;s.</p> <p>It&#39;s not always easy to choose how to feel about things. It takes practice, and it takes paying attention to what you&#39;re doing and how you&#39;re feeling. But it&#39;s practice that worth doing. And what you&#39;re doing and how you&#39;re feeling are worth paying attention to.</p> <p>And, if you simply must have more and better crap, check out Myscha&#39;s post: <a href="/stash-your-cash-how-to-have-cool-crap-for-less-money">Stash Your Cash: How to Have Cool Crap for Less Money</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-poor-folks-have-better-crap-than-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/let-things-go">Let things go</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/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-4 views-row-even"> <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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sensible-ways-to-raise-cash-for-a-wedding">Sensible Ways to Raise Cash for a Wedding</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle attention compassion gratitude practice zen Tue, 20 Nov 2007 13:26:24 +0000 Philip Brewer 1411 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Frugalfying Ways to get to $1 Million http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugalfying-ways-to-get-to-1-million <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/zenhabits.gif" alt="Zen Habits" title="Zen Habits" width="343" height="139" /> </p> <p><em>This guest post is by Leo from <a href="http://zenhabits.net">Zen Habits</a>. If you like this post, check out his site or <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/zenhabits">subscribe to his feed</a>.</em> </p> <p>No matter how much you increase your income, you&#39;ll never increase your net worth if you spend it all on flatscreen TVs, double monitors, a swish home office, or a pimped-out ride. <strong>But the good news is that with a few minor adjustments to your lifestyle, you can set up your finances to get to $1 million (or more) without killing yourself or your pocketbook.</strong> </p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>Let&#39;s take a look at 10 easy ways to frugalfy yourself and get to $1 million. But first, let&#39;s take a little look at how we&#39;re going to get there: </p> <ul> <li><strong>Long-term.</strong> Let&#39;s assume that you&#39;re starting with $0 in investments, and that you have 25 years to get to $1 million. If either of those are wrong, you&#39;ll need to play with a calculator such as <a href="http://www.hellodollar.com/archives/2005/08/savings_growth.html">this one</a> to get the right numbers for you. But the general principles will still apply.</li> <li><strong>Automatic.</strong> How we&#39;ll get there is by making some adjustments in the way we live, and take the savings and automatically deposit them into an investment account. We&#39;ll also assume a 10% interest in an index fund. Again, the numbers can be played with.</li> <li><strong>YMMV.</strong> The actual changes you make could also vary -- the ones we provide here are just ideas -- an example to get you started.</li> </ul> <p> OK, so let&#39;s take a look at the <strong>10 Frugalfying Ways to get to $1 million</strong>: <ol> <li><strong>Make your own coffee.</strong> Instead of buying that Starbucks latte at $4 per pop, brew your own at home and bring it in with a thermos. It&#39;s so much cheaper (and with a good creamer, tastes just as good), and you help the environment by not throwing out all those disposable cups!<font color="#000000"> <strong>Savings: $120 ($4 a day) per month.</strong></font></li> <li><strong>Brown bag it to work.</strong> Instead of buying a $6-$12 lunch every day, bring in last night&#39;s leftovers or a sandwich and some healthy snacks (fruits and veggies!) at a cost of $1-2. Plus, get a lot more done at work during your quiet lunch hour, and you can leave early! <strong>Savings: $180 ($6 a day) per month.</strong></li> <li><strong>Watch DVDs instead of going to the movies.</strong> Not only will you save $5-6 on the ticket, but you also don&#39;t have to pay $10 for overpriced concessions. And you can be much more comfortable on your own couch. Get Netflix or a similar service with a monthly fee, and your DVD rental can be super convenient at a price of less than $1 per movie! Let&#39;s assume that you go to the movies once a week or more ($7 ticket) and get popcorn and a drink (about $8). If you go with your partner, this could be much more. <strong>Savings: $60 per month.</strong></li> <li><strong>Cut out cable. </strong>This might sound drastic to many people, but my family cut it out and we don&#39;t miss it a bit. And if you have Netflix or a similar DVD service, you still get to watch some great stuff without all the commercials. Better yet, read! Cable costs vary in each area, but in mine it&#39;s about $60. <strong>Savings: $60 per month.</strong></li> <li><strong>Eat in more.</strong> How often do you eat out? Depending on where you eat, it could cost anywhere from $6 to $30 (or more). And eating at home is not only much cheaper, but is much healthier as well. If you eat out 5 or more times per week, we&#39;re talking about some major cash here. Let&#39;s assume you eat in 5 times more per week at $10 savings per pop. <strong>Savings: $200 per month.</strong><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/zenwater.jpg" alt="water drop" title="zen water drop" width="240" height="160" align="right" /></li> <li><strong>Quit the gym.</strong> Face it -- you don&#39;t really use it. If you do, you can probably do it much cheaper at home with a set of dumbbells and a barbell. If you do aerobic exercise, the local park, or your neighborhood streets, are free! <strong>Savings: about $40 per month.</strong></li> <li><strong>Drive less.</strong> Gas prices (and auto maintenance) are really high. Commute with a friend or family member, consolidate your errands into one errands day, walk to your corner store instead of drive, and try cycling to work a couple days a week. I&#39;m sure you can come up with other ideas. If you can drive less, you can easily save $20-40 in gas each week. And help the environment and get healthier at the same time! There are no losers here. <strong>Savings: about $150 per month.</strong></li> <li><strong>Rent.</strong> Sure, everyone wants to own a home. Until they struggle to meet their mortgage, or see how much they have to pay in insurance and taxes, or have to maintain a house on their own. Owning comes with a much higher price tag, with a higher mortgage and other costs. And when you factor in interest payments, you are paying three times the house&#39;s value just to get a little equity. Invest the difference instead and you&#39;ll have much more equity. This is a biggie. I don&#39;t know what it could save you each month, as housing and rent prices vary greatly per region. But for myself, I easily save $1,000 per month by renting. Let&#39;s be conservative though. <strong>Savings: $500 per month.</strong></li> <li><strong>Reduce power consumption.</strong> A few simple changes, such as using CFLs instead of regular light bulbs, or reducing your heating or cooling costs, using less hot water, shutting off your appliances and lights more, etc., and you can make big changes to your power bill. <strong>Savings: about $50 per month.</strong></li> <li><strong>Have sex.</strong> OK, this might not be an obvious way to save money, but I threw this in to make the rest of it more fun. To qualify as a frugal measure, though, you shouldn&#39;t pay for the sex. Find someone willing to do it for free. It&#39;s cheap exercise, it&#39;s great fun, and it&#39;s the cheapest form of entertainment there is. <strong>Savings: unlimited.</strong></li> <li><strong>Bonus</strong>. Top 10 lists are too constricting, so we&#39;ll add a bonus tip: buy a late-model used car instead of a new one. If you can, pay in cash, saving you thousands in interest payments. <strong>Savings: $200 per month.</strong></li> </ol> <p> <strong>Total saved with all of the above options: $1,560 per month.</strong> If you took this amount and invested it, at 10% return, you&#39;d have more than $2 million after 25 years.<img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/zengarden.jpg" alt="Tiny Zen Garden" title="Tiny Zen Garden" width="240" height="166" align="right" /> <ul> <li><strong>You choose. </strong>You only need to choose half these options to get $1 million -- pick the ones that you think you can do, make them add up to $800 per month. Or substitute others where you can cut back (let&#39;s say magazines, or video games, or using store brands instead of brand names).</li> <li><strong>Make it gradual.</strong> You don&#39;t need to make these frugal changes all at once. Do one or two per month, and it won&#39;t seem hard at all.</li> <li><strong>Make it automatic.</strong> Now take the amount you save each month, divide it by two, and automatically deduct that bi-weekly amount from your paycheck and deposit it into an investment account. Again, make it automatic! Don&#39;t count on your willpower to make the transfer. And don&#39;t even think about touching it. To make this work, you should save up an emergency fund first, but after a couple of months of building up this fund, switch your transfers to an index fund investment account.</li> <li><strong>Watch it grow.</strong> Every few months, check on your account. You should see it growing at a very satisfactory rate. Every time you get an income increase, or cut back on more expenses, put the difference into your automatic investment transfers. Now sit back, and enjoy the climb to becoming a millionaire.</li> </ul> <p> <em>Read more posts by <a href="http://zenhabits.net">Leo Babauta at Zen Habits</a>, including popular ones on <a href="http://zenhabits.net/2007/04/zen-to-done-ztd-the-ultimate-simple-productivity-system/">Zen To Done: The Ultimate Simple Productivity System</a>, <a href="http://zenhabits.net/2007/04/big-rocks-first-double-your-productivity-this-week/">Double Your Productivity</a>, <a href="http://zenhabits.net/2007/01/email-zen-clear-out-your-inbox/">keeping your inbox empty</a>, <a href="http://zenhabits.net/2006/11/steps-to-permanently-clear-desk/">clearing your desk</a>, <a href="http://zenhabits.net/2007/01/how-i-became-early-riser/">becoming an early riser</a>, and the <a href="http://zenhabits.net/2007/02/top-20-motivation-hacks-overview/">Top 20 Motivation Hacks</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Photos by <a href="http://flickr.com/photos/20149359@N00/395226087/">Darkpatator</a> and <a href="http://flickr.com/photos/spiritwalk/206137814/">Linbow</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/leo-babauta">Leo Babauta</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugalfying-ways-to-get-to-1-million">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-6-rules-of-frugal-living-you-need-to-know">The Only 6 Rules of Frugal Living You Need to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-wasting-68000-on-gas">Are You Wasting $68,000 on Gas?</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-inspiring-people-who-each-paid-off-over-100000-in-debt">5 Inspiring People Who Each Paid Off Over $100,000 in Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-new-year-money-resolutions-anyone-can-keep">10 New Year Money Resolutions Anyone Can Keep</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/will-a-dental-discount-plan-save-you-money">Will A Dental Discount Plan Save You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living frugalfying investing savings zen zen habits Wed, 16 May 2007 04:47:00 +0000 Leo Babauta 649 at http://www.wisebread.com