thrift http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/575/all en-US The NFL's 5 Most Frugal Players http://www.wisebread.com/the-nfls-5-most-frugal-players <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-nfls-5-most-frugal-players" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/american-football-iStock_000033233020Small.jpg" alt="american football" title="american football" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Professional football players are among the highest-paid people in America, and yet the story of the bankrupt NFL retiree is so common it's become a stereotype. Sports Illustrated reported that 78% of former <a href="http://www.si.com/vault/2009/03/23/105789480/how-and-why-athletes-go-broke">NFL players experience financial hardship</a> after just two years of retirement.</p> <p>That's no great wonder, when you read about rampant spending of newly rich players, like Chad Ochocinco spending $100,000 for his own <a href="http://bleacherreport.com/articles/775852-7-most-ridiculous-purchases-in-nfl-history/page/2">personalized semi truck</a>. Other players lend to friends and family who see their new salaries as limitless lending accounts, or, as inexperienced investors, sink money into ventures that never pay off.</p> <p>So it's refreshing to hear these five players &mdash; well compensated all &mdash; talk about gas mileage, retirement accounts, and distinguishing &quot;needs&quot; from &quot;wants.&quot; Read on to see who makes the list of the NFL's Most Frugal.</p> <h2>1. Aaron Rodgers</h2> <p><strong>Team</strong>: Green Bay Packers</p> <p><strong>Position</strong>: Quarterback</p> <p>As one of the NFL's top quarterbacks, Rodgers earns about <a href="http://www.forbes.com/profile/aaron-rodgers/">$22 million a year</a> in salary and endorsements. Yet he lives in a relatively ordinary &mdash; <a href="http://www.celebrityhousepictures.com/aaron-rodgers.php">some might even say ugly</a> &mdash; home in a suburb of Green Bay. He <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/packers/2013/06/09/quarterback-aaron-rodgers-q-and-a-mike-mccarthy-/2404843/">mows his own lawn</a>, shops at Piggly Wiggly, and likes to hang out at a modest-looking place called Chives Restaurant.</p> <h2>2. Giovani Bernard</h2> <p><strong>Team</strong>: Cincinnati Bengals</p> <p><strong>Position</strong>: Running Back</p> <p>Bernard signed a $5.253 million dollar contract in 2013, plus a $2.2 million signing bonus &mdash; hefty for a rookie. But instead of buying a custom Hummer with his first paycheck, he <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/giovani-bernard-lives-simple-rookie-life-including-driving-223332867.html">drives a minivan</a> he borrowed from his girlfriend's mother. He lives in a modest apartment near the stadium.</p> <p>Bernard knows how unexpectedly hard times can turn life upside down. After his mother died when he was a child, Bernard lived with his father, who owned a dry cleaning business. But when Bernard was in high school, his dad lost the business &mdash; and the two <a href="http://www.providencejournal.com/sports/patriots/content/20141004-trip-to-foxboro-reunites-giovani-bernard-with-friend-who-once-provided-a-home.ece">lost their home</a>. Bernard moved in with the family of his best friend, James White, now a <a href="http://projostats.projo.com/fb/playerstats.asp?id=27658&amp;team=17">running back for the New England Patriots</a>.</p> <h2>3. Antonio Cromartie</h2> <p><strong>Team</strong>: Arizona Cardinals</p> <p><strong>Position</strong>: Cornerback</p> <p>After <a href="http://www.newsday.com/sports/football/jets/antonio-cromartie-an-unlikely-mentor-for-younger-players-dealing-with-financial-issues-1.5386541">blowing an estimated $5 million</a> in his first two years playing football on nine (NINE!!) cars, lavish jewelry, and two homes, Cromartie realized he had spent everything he had coming to him. Instead of spiraling into debt, though, Cromartie wised up, sold the excess stuff, and bought a Prius.</p> <p>&quot;I'll fill it up every two and a half weeks or so, and I'm only spending 33 bucks, while everybody else is spending 80 or 90 bucks a tank,&quot; he told Newsday. &quot;Right now, I'm all about saving money.&quot;</p> <p>He'll need it: Cromartie is the father of 10.</p> <p>Cromartie now has his retirement account fully funded through age 100, and he advises younger teammates on how to avoid making the same mistakes he did.</p> <h2>4. Rod Smith</h2> <p><strong>Team</strong>: Denver Broncos (retired)</p> <p><strong>Position</strong>: Wide Receiver</p> <p><a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/aliciajessop/2012/10/31/not-broke-how-nfl-players-stay-financially-stable-after-the-game-ends/">Smith told Forbes</a> that he lives well in retirement because he always kept his post-NFL life in mind during his playing days, which led him to avoid spending like some of his teammates did: &quot;The most luxurious thing I bought was my house. I wasn't a big jewelry or car guy. I don't have Ferraris and Bentleys. I had a motto that I lived by, 'There are two places I want to look good at: home and practice.'&quot;</p> <h2>5. Prince Amukamara</h2> <p><strong>Team</strong>: New York Giants</p> <p><strong>Position</strong>: Cornerback</p> <p>Amukamara isn't just a professional football player, he's also <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/shutdown-corner/outside-game-prince-amukamara-royal-lineage-explains-name-205803570&mdash;nfl.html">Nigerian royalty</a>. Really. And no, he didn't email me about how I could get $100,000 if only I helped him transfer some money.</p> <p>Despite his paycheck and his pedigree, Amukamara isn't a wild spender.</p> <p>Back in 2011, just after leaving the Nebraska Cornhuskers for the NFL, he tweeted that he was &quot;<a href="https://twitter.com/PrinceAmukamara/status/136273464746184704">looking at getting a good deal at Husker Auto</a>.&quot; Apparently he proceeded directly to the <a href="http://www.budgetinginthefunstuff.com/prince-amukamara-a-frugal-football-rookie/">used car section</a> and successfully bargained for a lower price on an SUV by paying cash.</p> <p>A subsequent <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/nfl/comments/2d5zh7/i_am_prince_amukamara_new_york_giants_cb_and/">&quot;Ask Me Anything&quot; session on Reddit</a> revealed more signs of Amukamara's frugal nature. He said the most common mistake NFL rookies make is &quot;Spending their money on 'wants' and not 'needs'.&quot; He also said that his favorite place to visit when he plays in California is In-N-Out Burger, where meals are under $10.</p> <p>Being thrifty is not the same as being a tightwad, though. Amukamara once spent<a href="http://www.sportsmedia101.com/newyorkgiants/2012/07/20/new-york-giants-prince-amukamara-donates-10000-to-nebraska-high-school-football-program/"> $10,000 outfitting a Nebraska high school football team</a>.</p> <p><em>Have you heard any tales of frugal-minded sports stars? Please share in comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-nfls-5-most-frugal-players">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/how-to-stop-hating-yourself-about-money-and-actually-make-positive-changes">How to Stop Hating Yourself About Money and Actually Make Positive Changes</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-saving-too-much">Are You Saving Too Much?</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/ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-1-rich-is-relative">Ten Tenets for &quot;Arranging Your Rich&quot; - Part 1: Rich is Relative</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-pitfalls-stay-at-home-parents-should-avoid">5 Financial Pitfalls Stay-at-Home Parents Should Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-same-actions-will-produce-the-same-results-ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-2">The Same Actions Will Produce The Same Results (Ten Tenets for Arranging Your Rich: Part 2)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Lifestyle frugal lifestyle retirement saving thrift wealth Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:00:08 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1245699 at http://www.wisebread.com Jack Bauer Never Buys Anything — How TVs Frugalest Characters Get by With Less http://www.wisebread.com/jack-bauer-never-buys-anything-how-tvs-frugalest-characters-get-by-with-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/jack-bauer-never-buys-anything-how-tvs-frugalest-characters-get-by-with-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/watching-tv-460592517-small.jpg" alt="watching tv" title="watching tv" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Saving is not a common trait among television characters. It's more common to see people spending money on frivolous goods than using a coupon. But there are a number of television characters that appear to having the saving money thing down pat. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-life-and-money-lessons-from-will-ferrell-movies?ref=seealso">8 Surprising Life and Finance Lessons From Will Ferrell</a>)</p> <p>Here's a look at nine television characters who wave their thrifty flag proudly.</p> <h2>1. Jack Bauer (&quot;24&quot;)</h2> <p>You can't live off the grid for four years without knowing how to stretch a dollar. In many ways, he's living the dream. No mortgage, no car payments, no credit cards. There's a lot that we don't know about how Jack's been getting by, but we do know he wears the same outfit everyday and always seems to be able to get a ride to wherever he needs to go. We also never see him eat or drink, so he's probably saving money in that area.</p> <p>Granted, Jack is probably a bit of a moocher, and there are times when he's just taken stuff through force when he could have just asked nicely. But that's hardly the worst of his crimes.</p> <h2>2. Scooby-Doo and the Gang</h2> <p>The conventional advice on car ownership is to drive your vehicle until it dies, and this group has certainly squeezed a lot of mileage out of the old Mystery Machine. Scooby appears to be content with a diet of low-cost Scooby snacks, while everyone else is fine eating at whatever side-of-the-road diner they find. Their choices of lodging are often a bit sketchy, but surely offer low nightly rates. Like Jack Bauer, this crew is happy wearing the same clothing every day.</p> <h2>3. Max Black and Caroline Channing (&quot;Two Broke Girls&quot;)</h2> <p>This is a show about two poor roommates working to try and save enough money ($250,000, initially) to open a cupcake shop. The show has several good financial lessons, chiefly the idea of having a specific financial goal and working towards it.</p> <p>Also, there are some good messages about the value of hard work and taking advantage of opportunities. In last year's season finale, the duo agreed to clean a nasty, once-hidden section of the diner to make some extra money. After they began work, they discovered a window that would eventually serve as the opening to their new shop.</p> <h2>4. Walter White (&quot;Breaking Bad&quot;)</h2> <p>The man amassed tens of millions of dollars, but he was forced to maintain the guise of the out-of-work schoolteacher. He lived in a humble Albuquerque tract home and drove a Pontiac Aztec for much of the show's run. His clothes may have been straight out of an old Sears catalog. He even saved money on haircuts by shaving his head, even when he wasn't getting chemo treatments.</p> <h2>5. Ben Matlock (&quot;Matlock&quot;)</h2> <p>Forget $5,000 suits. The powder blue special served this successful country lawyer just fine. Matlock has a known fondness for hot dogs, not prime rib. In a crossover episode with &quot;Diagnosis Murder,&quot; it is explained that Matlock's thriftiness may stem from the sting of <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090481/trivia">a bad investment in eight-track tapes</a>.</p> <h2>6. George Constanza (&quot;Seinfeld&quot;)</h2> <p>This is a man whose desire to save a buck led to him selecting cheap envelopes (for wedding invitations!) with toxic glue that eventually killed his fiancee. In another episode, George insists on seeking out a lower price for a massage chair to be given to a friend.</p> <p>&quot;I'll sniff out a deal,&quot; he says. &quot;I have a sixth sense.&quot;</p> <p>To which Jerry replies: &quot;Cheapness&hellip; is not a sense.&quot;</p> <p>We agree. It's a way of life.</p> <h2>7. Danny Tanner (&quot;Full House&quot;)</h2> <p>He's a single dad taking care of three daughters living in a house in San Francisco, one of the most expensive cities in the country. Oh, and he has to help support his freeloading best friend and brother-in-law. You can hear the bemused exasperation in his voice during this exchange with his eldest daughter, D.J.:</p> <p>D.J.: &quot;We hit the big sale at the Fashion Mart. Everything is half off.&quot;</p> <p>Danny: &quot;Of course that doesn't save me any money 'cause you'll just buy twice as much stuff, right?&quot;</p> <p>D.J.: &quot;I like your attitude.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Ron Swanson (&quot;Parks and Recreation&quot;)</h2> <p>I've written about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-personal-finance-lessons-from-parks-and-recreation">the greatness of Ron Swanson</a> frequently in this space. He knows the value of making things himself, whether it be a child's crib or a wedding ring. He appears to only spend money on good breakfasts, steaks, and scotch. His favorite store is a place called &quot;Food N' Stuff,&quot; and he advocates for only the cheapest haircuts (high and tight, buzz cut, or crew cut).</p> <p>Swanson talks a lot about slashing government spending in Pawnee, Indiana, and he no-doubt practices cost-cutting in his personal life, too. Channel your inner Swanson, and you'll likely find yourself on a more stable financial path.</p> <h2>9. Adam Braverman (&quot;Parenthood&quot;)</h2> <p>He and his family live in a sizable house in Berkeley, CA. He has a special needs son and a wife who's battled cancer. Oh, and his daughter goes to Cornell. All this, and we're to believe that he's getting by on whatever money he brings in from running a recording studio with his brother. It's entirely possible that the Bravermans are in debt up to their eyeballs and on the verge of bankruptcy. But I choose to believe they are getting by because Adam has found some ways to save money along the way.</p> <p>When he and brother Crosby open the recording studio, it is Adam who crunches the numbers to see if it can work. And when Crosby comes to him seeking money to remediate mold in his house, Adam flatly says no. (A more fiscally irresponsible person would have caved to the pressure of helping out a family member.) Perhaps Adam learned a thing or two from his gruff father, Zeke, who's always insisted on doing his own car and home repairs.</p> <p><em>Any frugal TV characters I've missed? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jack-bauer-never-buys-anything-how-tvs-frugalest-characters-get-by-with-less">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">Massive List of Things to Do While Watching TV</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/which-online-services-are-worth-paying-for">Which Online Services Are Worth Paying For?</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/this-american-life-trailers">Trailers for Ths American Life</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-dramatic-vacation-spots-for-tv-and-film-fanatics">5 Dramatic Vacation Spots for TV and Film Fanatics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprisingly-frugal-lifestyles-of-12-famous-superheroes">The Surprisingly Frugal Lifestyles of 12 Famous Superheroes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment frugality television thrift Mon, 02 Jun 2014 14:00:52 +0000 Tim Lemke 1141163 at http://www.wisebread.com Stay Off the Frugal Path to Disaster http://www.wisebread.com/stay-off-the-frugal-path-to-disaster <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/stay-off-the-frugal-path-to-disaster" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/suspension-bridge-large.jpg" alt="Suspension Bridge" title="Suspension Bridge" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="180" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Frugality is a great tool. But if your approach to frugality is to pare away everything non-essential, you're setting yourself up for failure. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ruthless-frugality">Ruthless Frugality</a>)</p> <p>If you're already living at the lowest acceptable standard of living, what happens when you suffer a negative event &mdash; an injury or an illness or a recession or a theft or a natural disaster?</p> <p>The capacity to tolerate negative event is resilience, and for an economic unit, the key enabling factor for resilience is to use inputs no faster than the environment supplies them.</p> <p>You already know a form of that rule &mdash; live within your means. But that's a simplistic version of the rule, one suited to the decades between the New Deal and the Great Society, but now rapidly becoming obsolete. In a world where no job is secure, it's no longer safe to take the view that you're okay as long as your spending is well under your take-home pay.</p> <p>The environment doesn't provide inputs at a steady rate, so you can't just assume that your current income is reliable. You need additional tools.</p> <h2>Frugality</h2> <p>Frugality is a useful tactic for dealing with variability, as long as you avoid the trap of targeting the lowest-acceptable lifestyle. Through frugality, you produce a gap between your income and your spending. Especially if, like most people, you spend all you earn (or, like a lot of people, spend more than you earn), it's a starting point for accumulating a bit of a surplus.</p> <p>An accumulated surplus makes your household more resilient. It's not the only <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-second-best-way-to-make-your-household-more-secure">source of resilience</a>, and it has <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/just-saving-more-is-not-the-answer">definite limits</a>, but a household with no accumulated surplus is very fragile.</p> <h2>Self-Sufficiency</h2> <p>On the face of it, self-sufficiency would be the perfect tactic for insulating your household from the vagaries of economics or politics. In practice, of course, self-sufficiency is much too hard a way to live. It takes capital, skills you probably don't have, and long hours of difficult, dirty, and often dangerous work, all to produce a standard of living lower than minimum wage.</p> <p>But <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-sufficiency-self-reliance-and-freedom">strategic partial self-sufficiency</a> is a great idea. If you can cover at least a fraction of your household's most essential needs &mdash; water, food, shelter &mdash; outside the money economy, then you can tolerate those negative events, as long as they're transitory.</p> <h2>Community</h2> <p>The downside of self-sufficiency comes from the &quot;self&quot; part. The more you try to do for yourself, the less you're able to benefit from specialization. That's why living in the global economy produces a much higher a standard of living than living as a subsistence farmer.</p> <p>But the downsides of living in the global economy have been made abundantly clear over the past few years.</p> <p>The safe strategy is to aim for the middle &mdash; localization. Don't try to produce everything you need yourself, but live someplace where the community can produce at least the essentials.</p> <p>I've been following the work of John Robb on resilient communities. (In fact, it was his post on the difference between <a href="http://www.resilientcommunities.com/dont-act-dead/">thrift and frugality</a> that started me thinking about these issues this way.) I think he goes awry in suggesting that frugality is at root an unsuccessful attempt to get by on nothing. As I said above, I view frugality as a tactic for matching your resource demand with the resource supply provided by the environment in a world where the resource supply is highly variable.</p> <p>But despite that misstep, Robb is clearly right that a resilient community is the right strategy if you want to have a high standard of living without being terribly vulnerable to negative events. There are lot of ways to start making your community more resilient. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choosing-local-businesses">Shop locally</a>. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-dont-people-share-more">Share things with your neighbors</a>. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-poor-folks-and-the-middle-class-on-the-same-side">Make common cause with the people around you</a>.</p> <p>Those sorts of tactics, together with some frugality to match your resource demands to the reliable supply and some strategic partial self-sufficiency to buffer your household from external shocks, will make your household a lot less vulnerable.</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/stay-off-the-frugal-path-to-disaster">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/self-sufficiency-self-reliance-and-freedom">Self-sufficiency, self-reliance, and freedom</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-freedom-of-the-independent-yeoman">The Freedom of the Independent Yeoman</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-ways-greed-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Greed Is Keeping You Poor</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-starbucks-drinks-you-can-easily-make-yourself">4 Starbucks Drinks You Can Easily Make Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-can-do-online-besides-watch-cat-gifs">9 Things You Can Do Online Besides Watch Cat GIFs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living resilience self-sufficiency thrift Tue, 24 Apr 2012 09:36:25 +0000 Philip Brewer 923652 at http://www.wisebread.com Where to Save and Where to Spend http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/where-to-save-and-where-to-spend <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/where-to-save-and-where-to-spend" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/where-to-save-and-where-to-spend</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/where-to-save-and-where-to-spend" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000016735317Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's thrifty, and then there's cheap. Which one are you?</p> <p>When profits diminish by a little bit, you get concerned. When the economy rumbles and your entire market segment stops buying, you panic. Panic is not your friend.</p> <p>If you eliminate what you need in order to operate your business and produce what you sell, you won't be able to keep up when customers do start buying again. A smart savings approach is the answer. Get your heart rate back down to normal, then peruse the save/spend list below.</p> <table width="100%" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" border="1"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top"> <p>SAVE</p> </td> <td valign="top"> <p>SPEND</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> <p>Traditional advertising</p> </td> <td valign="top"> <p>Online advertising/new media</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> <p>Marketing/PR Firms</p> </td> <td valign="top"> <p>Outsourced freelancer or employee to do marketing work</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> <p>Extraneous employee perks</p> </td> <td valign="top"> <p>Important employee benefits</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> <p>Travel expenses</p> </td> <td valign="top"> <p>Professional accounting/tax services</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <h3>Save on Traditional Advertising</h3> <p>Advertising is dead! Long live advertising!</p> <p>Print publications, radio ads, and television ads are no longer the only, or even the best, ways to advertise. You know this already. Now act on it.</p> <p>Take the leap of faith that, after all, those <a href="http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/cats/wholesale_retail_trade/online_retail_sales.html" target="_blank">statistics about millions of people</a> doing their research and shopping online are accurate. Then cancel your Yellow Pages ad, your newspaper ad, and all other advertising in traditional media sources. At the very least, cut that budget by 50%.</p> <h3>Spend on Online Advertising and New Media</h3> <p>Build up your business website; pay for some SEO consulting. Set a monthly budget for <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/how-social-media-lets-small-businesses-poke-big-competitors-in-the-eye" target="_blank">online advertising</a>, which can cost much, much less than traditional advertising.</p> <h3>Save on Marketing/PR Firms</h3> <p>Since most of your advertising can be done via social networking, switch your whole marketing and public relations strategy to online venues. If you're not sure about how to do this, then hire a consultant for a specific task. For example, hire someone to help you set up an appropriate online profile and a social media strategy. Don't, however, spend money on open-ended objectives like &quot;get us more publicity.&quot;</p> <h3>Spend on a Freelancer or Employee for Marketing Work</h3> <p>Pay an employee or <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/managing/article/10-tips-for-landing-the-right-freelancer-1" target="_blank">outsource to a freelancer</a> to do the actual work of marketing your business online. This work could include ongoing SEO research, creating content for your website and blog, keeping up with social networking, writing press releases, and finding (free) opportunities for publicity online.</p> <h3>Save on Extraneous Employee Perks</h3> <p>Perks are great; who doesn't like a free lunch, or free coffee, or free bagels on Friday mornings, or valet service, or a gym membership? But these perks, small as they are, add up quickly. Given the choice, your employees would probably choose job security and continued wages over a couple of small perks. If you're not sure, ask them.</p> <h3>Spend on Important Employee Benefits</h3> <p>Health insurance tops the list. Allowing employees to have flexible hours or telecommuting options is also an important benefit that can improve employee productivity and give them more control of their lifestyle. It can also save you money on overhead costs (less office use).</p> <p>And while &quot;wages&quot; aren't exactly a benefit, keeping employee salaries at a livable level allows you to keep the good employees who will help your business survive.</p> <h3>Save on Travel Expenses</h3> <p>First question: does anyone actually need to travel to X event or Y client meeting or to make Z presentation? With all the options <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/technology/article/5-tools-to-take-your-business-meetings-online-1" target="_blank">to connect via the Internet</a>, travel itself might be extraneous. Don't go or send your employee unless it's actually necessary. You'll save money for your business and time for everyone involved.</p> <p>Second question: if the travel is necessary, skip the expensive upgrades. Get there, get the job done, get home. You can accomplish these things without traveling business class, hiring a limo service, or staying in a suite.</p> <h3>Spend on Professional Accounting Services</h3> <p>Business taxes can get complicated, and small business owners who don't specialize in tax law can spend a lot of time trying to figure it all out... and still end up paying more than they had to on taxes. Spend some money on a professional CPA to do this work for you and you can save even more than you spend.</p> <p>Remember, cheap doesn't mean smart. Cheap means cheap. Smart means making good decisions, spending where you need to and saving where you can without sacrificing the quality of your business.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/where-to-save-and-where-to-spend">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/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</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/build-a-better-budget-in-5-minutes-flat">Build a Better Budget in 5 Minutes Flat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-dumb-little-budgeting-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-today">10 Dumb Little Budgeting Mistakes You Need to Stop Making Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</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/change-jars-and-8-other-clever-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund">Change Jars and 8 Other Clever Ways to Build an Emergency Fund</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Small Business Resource Center budgets business costs saving small business spending spending priorities thrift Fri, 08 Jul 2011 19:41:36 +0000 Annie Mueller 601183 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Brown Bag it With Style http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-brown-bag-it-with-style <p><img width="352" height="440" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/Food_568.jpg" alt="wine and grapes" title="jazzy brown bag lunch story pic" /></p> <p>Finding time to pack your lunch for work each day can feel pretty overwhelming. Trying to be creative about it can be even more frustrating. Following are several categories of suggestion ideas to help you get started, and stay psyched, about joining the brown bag movement.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Having One or Two Large Batch Items Available Each Week </strong>- This can work well if you have several small containers to pack up ahead of time and toss in with your other lunch items. The smaller Gladware containers or a small thermos from the thrift store are helpful items. Some ideas for large batch items to round out your lunch repertoire? Zingy pasta salad, chili, soup, quiche, fried rice, pizza, tabouleh, pancit or lo mein noodle dishes. I think it's fun to bring things occasionally that you need something besides a fork to eat. If you have children to keep happy with their lunch options, this works great for that, too.</li> <li><strong>Pre-packaging some &quot;grab and takes&quot;</strong>&nbsp; - Grab and takes is the term we use in our house for those little extras that are easily eaten at your desk, on the run or in the car. One item I used quite often during the last few years of my husband's military career was the large packages of restaurant style tortilla chips from the bulk warehouse stores. They were easy to break down into pint or snack size re-sealable containers. They are also much sturdier than regular tortilla chips and hold up to some seriously sturdy dips. Other ideas? Popcorn, roasted almonds, home made trail mix, pretzels (chocolate coated or otherwise), bargain store cheese and cracker combos by the case, dried fruit, raisin and sunflower kernel mixture, dried cereals and the snack mixes you can creat from them, fruit, etc.</li> <li><strong>Factor in Some Finger Foods </strong>- This strategy really goes a long way towards breaking up the monotony of the traditional bag lunch. Finger food is also great for those who don't have a long break for lunch and need to be nibbling on it in stages throughout the day.Some ideas to get you started? Hard boiled eggs, cold chicken drummies / nuggets, home made versions of the popular &quot;lunchables&quot; combos, pinwheel appetizer style sandwiches (tortillas rolled up with your favorite filling spread and sliced into rounds works great for this), and self-cut string cheese snacks from bulk block mozzarella. Ham and cheese cubes you can snag with a toothpick are also great for those cutting carbs as well as school children who like to try something different. One of my favorite (and affordable) ideas for finger type foods though is using non-dessert mini muffins or scones with the meal items baked right in. A couple of examples of this would be ham and cheese scones, or corn muffins with turkey sausage, cheese and chopped green chiles.</li> <li><strong>Celebrate Your Sandwich Ingredients </strong>- Let's face it. Tuna salad, while affordable, just really doesn't cut it long term. Neither does PB &amp; J. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with those sandwich selections. In fact, they are both used quite frequently in our home. What I am saying is that most people (including myself) will not stick with the &quot;take my lunch to work&quot; resolution if they get bored too quickly. If you grow your own basil, caprese sandwiches can be quite affordable. Another one my husband and I both like is zatyr with olive oil as a spread, combined with mozzarella and roma tomatos. A little curry powder in with your chicken salad can really help a lot, as can a pinch or two of horseradish. Alternative greens to lettuce (spinach, basil, radicchio, etc.) and home grown sprouts can also help. A break from the traditional mayo for a spread can keep you motivated as well. (Think hummus or mashed avacado.) Bored with your wonder bread? Try a wrap, a roll, or a different grain entirely. Here are some other <a href="http:// http://www.wisebread.com/sex-up-your-sandwich-ideas-for-budget-conscious-brown-baggers">ideas for sandwiches</a>, to help get you started. Those reducing meat and dairy in their diets should find this <a href="http://webesharin.com/2010/06/07/hot-vegan-sandwiches-even-meat-lovers-will-enjoy/">list of vegan sandwiches</a> helpful.</li> <li><strong>Dunkin' and Dippin' Combos </strong>- I'm partial to this, because I'm a dunker from way back. In addition to the age old carrots and peanut butter, here are a few ideas you may not have thought of. Tortilla chips with salsa, guacamole or ranch sauce. Celery with a multi-ingredient cream cheese spread (think smoked salmon or pineapple).&nbsp;Mini cocktail meatballs with sweet and sour dip, or pita bread chips with hummus are also some out of the ordinary ideas, depending upon where you live.</li> <li><strong>Romancing the Stone </strong>- I guess what I'm saying here is, make it sexy and you'll stick with it. If some of the more elaborate ingredients are out of your budget reach, try keeping <strong>picnic</strong> supplies packed in your lunch bag (fabric napkin, sarong, good book). You can hit the park if there's one near your work place. You could also try organizing a weekly or monthly <strong>pot luck</strong> lunch at work, or a <strong>brown bag buffet</strong> of simple items. Two things that come to mind? First,&nbsp;a &quot;make your own Italian&quot; lunch buffet the PTO used to coordinate for a school I used to work at. You could sign up for lunch meat, green peppers, sliced cheese, whatever. It's just important that everyone gets on board and commits to their assigned item. This worked well, was healthy, and affordable for nearly every budget. Second is a lunch we used to have in the teachers' room on Guam quite often . . . Vietnamese lumpia. If you've never had it, it's sort of like having a spring roll inside a veggie taco. You need the long lumpia, fish sauce, rice noodles, bean sprouts, mint leaves and long pieces of lettuce to use like a soft tortilla.</li> <li><strong>Consider Starting a Brown Bag Theater at Work </strong>- A teacher of mine in high school started hosting one of these when she was trying to encourage all of us to eat healthier. We had to bring a healthy lunch to get in on each afternoon's installment of the movie or mini-series she was showing. A similar idea I used years ago is how I got to know a co-worker who is to this day one of my closest friends. The murder trial of a famous sports star (you know the one) was on television practically non stop. I was working at a software company at the time and there was no time to step out to grab lunch as well as catch the TV coverage. She and I used this as motivation to start bringing low cal lunches and opted for catching the news. Soon, many of our co-workers started joining us. You don't need a major long-term news item to get one of these started. Check out episodes of a popular TV series no one has time to watch. Without the commercials, they are often around 40-45 minutes long. That's enough time with an hour lunch break for everyone to get there, get settled with their lunch and enjoy the episode. It would also be a great way for bloggers and other reviewers to keep up to date on a show they were posting about online. Or, try it with a book on tape for an alternative form of a book club. There are many ways to make this work. I'd love to hear some of your ideas.</li> </ul> <p>I guess in conclusion, my only additional advice is to cut yourself some slack if you need it. I don't know how many times I made myself be extra frugal when shopping for lunch items for the week, only to blow it by Thursday because I was so bored with what I had selected that I caved and ordered take out food. In retrospect, would those frozen chicken nuggets have been as expensive as I thought they were the Friday before? Ditto for the sliced Swiss or occasional bottle of fruit flavored sparkling water? There's nothing wrong with adding a little spice to the brown bag experience. It's one of the most powerful cash-carving strategies we have available to us, and if shaking it up a little is what will help you stick with the habit, go for it.</p> <p>Have some fabulous and fun ideas for sticking with the brown bag movement? I'd really love to hear them.</p> <p>Photo by Art Expressions</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/staff">Staff</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-brown-bag-it-with-style">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/15-ways-to-save-money-when-getting-your-drink-on">15 Ways to Save Money When Getting Your Drink On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-rice-cake-topping-ideas">40 Rice Cake Topping Ideas</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/11-delicious-dishes-you-can-make-with-a-can-of-tomato-soup">11 Delicious Dishes You Can Make With a Can of Tomato Soup</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/20-gluten-free-lunch-ideas">20 Gluten-Free Lunch Ideas</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-delicious-uses-for-leftover-hot-dogs">7 Delicious Uses for Leftover Hot Dogs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink fun food lunch make your own saving money thrift Fri, 20 Jul 2007 19:54:47 +0000 Staff 873 at http://www.wisebread.com It's NATURAL for me to spend as I do! http://www.wisebread.com/its-natural-for-me-to-spend-as-i-do-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/its-natural-for-me-to-spend-as-i-do-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000063419811_Large.jpg" alt="empty piggy bank" title="empty piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Turns out that my brain, rather like the devil, MAKES ME DO IT. Spend too much, that is.</p> <p>Via <em>Consumerist</em>:</p> <blockquote><p>It turns out that one's <a href="http://consumerist.com/2007/01/24/its-science-the-brains-of-spendthrifts-fuction-differently-than-tightwads/">shopping habits</a> have a lot to do with how active two centers of the brain are, the &quot;nucleus accumbens, a region of the brain with dopamine receptors that are activated when you experience or anticipate something pleasant, like making money or drinking something tasty,&quot; and the insula, a &quot;region of the brain activated when you smell something bad, see a disgusting picture or anticipate a painful shock.&quot; </p></blockquote> <p><em>The New York Times</em> reports on the surprisingly complicated science behind spending. Apparently, spendthrifts find themselves stuck between the brain's <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/16/science/16tier.html?ex=1326603600&amp;en=21f10df7dda51289&amp;ei=5089&amp;_r=0">neutral and passionate response</a>. While others may look at an item and not be phased, shopaholics see something they simply must have.&nbsp;</p> <p>It's time to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-stop-your-spouse-from-overspending">stop yourself (or a spouse!) from overspending</a> and kick those <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-youre-bad-at-money-and-how-to-fix-it-asap">bad money habits</a> to the curb. You'll thank us later.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-natural-for-me-to-spend-as-i-do-0">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/can-i-conquer-my-vanity-for-the-sake-of-my-sanity">Can I Conquer My Vanity for the Sake of My Sanity?</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/jettison-the-junk-why-clutter-clouds-your-mind-and-saps-your-energy">Jettison the Junk: Why Clutter Clouds Your Mind and Saps Your Energy</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/14-pricey-things-you-shouldnt-buy-and-what-to-get-instead">14 Pricey Things You Shouldn&#039;t Buy (And What to Get Instead)</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/will-that-thing-really-change-your-life">Will That Thing Really Change Your Life?</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/buy-baby-bunting-but-dont-pay-full-price">Buy Baby Bunting... But don&#039;t pay full price!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle overspending savings shopping spending spendthrift thrift Wed, 24 Jan 2007 23:21:07 +0000 Andrea Karim 217 at http://www.wisebread.com