entertainment http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5993/all en-US Ask the Readers: What Is Your Favorite Form of Entertainment? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-favorite-form-of-entertainment <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-favorite-form-of-entertainment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_headphones_music_613309632.jpg" alt="Woman listening to music through headphones" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to Jillian, Christie, and sweepermom for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Entertainment is an important part of a balanced lifestyle. Many forms of entertainment are free, and there are usually affordable options for those that cost money.</p> <p><strong>What is your favorite form of entertainment?</strong> What strategies do you use to save money on this entertainment?</p> <p>Tell us about your favorite form of entertainment and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win:</p> <ul> <li>Follow us on Twitter</li> <li>Follow our Executive Editor Janet Alvarez on Twitter</li> <li>Tweet about our giveaway for an entry.</li> <li>Visit our Facebook page for an entry.</li> </ul> <p>Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards:</p> <p><a class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa371/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="79857dfa371" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_6w8lv8xn">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, April 9th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after April 9th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook or Twitter.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and U.S. resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us about your favorite form of entertainment and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-favorite-form-of-entertainment">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/ask-the-readers-what-are-your-best-entertainment-tips-a-chance-to-win-tickets-to-a-broadway-show">Ask the Readers: What are Your Best Entertainment Tips? (A Chance to Win Tickets to a Broadway Show!)</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/ask-the-readers-whats-in-your-wallet">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s In Your Wallet?</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/18-awesome-things-you-can-do-this-weekend-for-under-10">18 Awesome Things You Can Do This Weekend for Under $10</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/11-great-apps-for-book-lovers">11 Great Apps for Book 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/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-does-corporate-social-responsibility-mean-to-you">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Does Corporate Social Responsibility Mean to You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Giveaways Ask the Readers entertainment Tue, 03 Apr 2018 08:30:10 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 2126679 at http://www.wisebread.com Yes, You Need "Fun Money" in Your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-need-fun-money-in-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/yes-you-need-fun-money-in-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping_girls_are_laughing_on_the_escalator.jpg" alt="Shopping girls are laughing on the escalator" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Saving money and living frugally can be hard work. While there's something romantic about living the ascetic life, most of us need to let loose once in a while. But how can you inject fun into your life when you're trying to save every penny? That's easy! Just budget for it.</p> <p>It's perfectly OK to allow for a modest amount of fun in your life. The key is to plan for it each month, so that you don't let your spending exceed your income. Here are some key reasons why budgeting for fun activities is something even the most frugal people should do.</p> <h2>Every dollar needs a bucket</h2> <p>If you are tracking your spending, every expenditure you make belongs as part of a budget. By maintaining these budgets, you'll have better control over ensuring that your spending falls under a certain overall level for the month.</p> <p>Fun money should be kept separate from things like your restaurant budget or your cable bill. This is money that you use for anything you want, with no guilt or questions. It can be used for a night out at the movies, or on that new sweater you saw at Banana Republic. Anything goes, as long as it falls within your (modest) predetermined budget.</p> <h2>Being frugal can be exhausting</h2> <p>Saving money and living on a shoestring budget is really, really hard. Watching every penny and spending money only on essentials can get old, tiresome, and flat-out depressing. In fact, it can be so soul-sucking that after a while, you may just abandon the whole effort altogether.</p> <p>But if you give yourself a small fun budget, it can take the pressure off. You can reward yourself for a job well done and enjoy yourself without feeling guilty about it, as long as you don't blow through your modest budget.</p> <h2>A small fun budget can prevent a big expenditure</h2> <p>If you go too long without fun, eventually you may break down and do something over the top and expensive. You might buy a motorcycle you don't need, or book a trip to Bali that you can't afford. You may overpay for tickets to the Super Bowl. You'll go overboard, because you can't take it anymore. Think of it like a dam that needs to let some water through occasionally so that it doesn't burst entirely. Your fun budget is saving yourself from an explosion of spending.</p> <h2>You don't want to resent your partner</h2> <p>It's a real drag being the person who has to clamp down on fun. It's also unfair if you're the one having fun while your partner is depriving themselves of it. It's best to give each other a small fun budget, so neither person can get on the other's case for enjoying themselves a bit. Your relationship will be enhanced if you allow yourself to have some fun together or apart, as long as you don't spend too much.</p> <h2>It's impossible to avoid fun</h2> <p>There are times when you will get roped into having a good time. Your buddy calls and begs you to come and see the new <em>Star Wars </em>movie with him. One of your girlfriends has a bachelorette party. There's a happy hour to thank a coworker who's moving on. These are things you can't say no to, but they might not necessarily fall into any other budget. Start each month assuming you'll get roped into something fun, and you won't feel bad for taking part.</p> <h2>Fun doesn't have to be expensive</h2> <p>You may ask, &quot;Why budget for fun when the entire idea is to save as much as possible?&quot; Well, because fun doesn't necessarily have to make a big dent in your overall spending. Grabbing $5 bleacher seats at the ballgame isn't going to make or break you financially. A round of golf every other month won't hurt too bad, especially if you play at the local municipal course on a Tuesday.</p> <p>No one says you have to budget hundreds of dollars to allow for front row seats at the Foo Fighters concert. Just a few bucks of fun can help lighten the tension of saving money and boost your morale.</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%2Fyes-you-need-fun-money-in-your-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FYes%252C%2520You%2520Need%2520_Fun%2520Money_%2520in%2520Your%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=Yes%2C%20You%20Need%20%22Fun%20Money%22%20in%20Your%20Budget"></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/Yes%2C%20You%20Need%20_Fun%20Money_%20in%20Your%20Budget.jpg" alt="Yes, You Need &quot;Fun Money&quot; in Your Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-need-fun-money-in-your-budget">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-parts-every-successful-budget-needs">6 Parts Every Successful Budget Needs</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/23-effortless-ways-to-go-green-and-save-money-too">23 Effortless Ways to Go Green (and Save Money, Too)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-living-on-a-tight-budget-makes-you-happier">How Living on a Tight Budget Makes You Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-calculation-will-tell-you-if-youre-getting-your-moneys-worth">This Simple Calculation Will Tell You If You&#039;re Getting Your Money&#039;s Worth</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting entertainment frugal fun money rewards saving money self control Spending Money Thu, 08 Feb 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Tim Lemke 2096391 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_discussing_home_economics_0.jpg" alt="Couple discussing home economics" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Worried about covering your daily living expenses in retirement? You're far from alone. A study released late last year by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that only a small percentage of U.S. workers are &quot;very confident&quot; about being able to fully retire with a comfortable lifestyle.</p> <p>If you have some doubts about how you're going to fund your retirement years, there are some steps you can take now, in the years leading up to your retirement, to prepare yourself financially for the day in which you leave the workforce. By reducing these expenses before you retire, you'll give yourself the chance to boost your retirement savings in the last few years before you leave the working world.</p> <p>You'll also take an important first step toward setting up a post-retirement lifestyle that might, depending upon how much you've saved, require you to cut back on many of the expenses you take for granted today.</p> <h2>1. Housing</h2> <p>The cost of housing, of course, is the biggest financial burden that most people face. Bringing a mortgage with you into retirement can cause plenty of financial stress each month. But even if you are no longer paying off a mortgage, the cost of maintaining a large single-family home can be high.</p> <p>If you still have a mortgage, it might make sense to pay it off before you leave the working world. If you can't afford to do that, you might consider selling your home. If you have enough equity in your residence, you might be able to use the profits to buy a downsized residence &mdash; maybe a condo unit &mdash; in cash.</p> <p>If you've already paid off your mortgage, you'll have more flexibility. If your home requires too much maintenance, or if your property taxes and homeowners insurance are too high, you can sell and move into a smaller residence that requires less maintenance or a condo building that comes with far lower property taxes.</p> <p>You'll no longer need to worry about living in a higher-taxed area with better public schools, so finding a residence with lower annual property taxes shouldn't be too much of a struggle. And if you purchase a smaller home or condo, your annual homeowners insurance bill won't be as high.</p> <h2>2. Insurance</h2> <p>Now might be a good time to review how much you are spending each year on your insurance.</p> <p>First, if you no longer have any dependents who'd need financial help after you die, you can drop any life insurance coverage you might still have. That can immediately save you a significant sum of money each year.</p> <p>You'll no longer need disability insurance, either, after you leave the workforce. Don't drop disability before you retire, but do figure that the cost of this insurance will disappear once you stop working.</p> <p>You might also look at the deductibles you've set up for your auto and homeowners insurance policies. It makes sense to set your deductibles low when you are working. If you have a deductible of $250 for your auto insurance policy, for instance, you'll have to pay for the first $250 in costs after an accident while your auto insurer will cover anything after that.</p> <p>But lower deductibles increase the amount you pay in insurance premiums. When you raise your deductibles, you'll pay less for your auto and homeowners' insurance policies. By the time you reach your retirement age, you might have enough saved to cover these higher deductibles, and moving to lower payments for your insurance policies might help you cover your daily living expenses.</p> <h2>3. Credit card debt</h2> <p>One of the biggest burdens on your retirement could be credit card debt. This debt comes with high interest rates &mdash; as high as 20 percent or more in some cases &mdash; and can grow quickly. If you carry a balance on your cards from month to month, you'll be stuck paying that minimum required monthly payment every time your credit card bills come due.</p> <p>If you have a lot of credit card debt, it's important to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">pay off as much as possible</a> as you approach retirement. You can do this using one of three tested approaches: the debt snowball, debt avalanche, or debt snowflake method.</p> <p>In the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-secrets-to-mastering-the-debt-snowball?ref=internal" target="_blank">snowball method</a>, you list your credit card debts from smallest to largest. You then take any extra money you have and focus on paying off the smallest bill first. Once you've paid off that bill, you'll move on to your next smallest credit card bill and pay that one off.</p> <p>In the avalanche method, you organize your credit card bills by interest rate, from high to low. You then use any extra money to pay off the card with the highest interest rate as quickly as possible. Once you pay off that card, you then move to the card with the next highest rate.</p> <p>If if you find yourself struggling to come up with large debt payments, the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-out-of-debt-faster-with-the-debt-snowflake?ref=internal" target="_blank">snowflake method</a> may work well for you. In this strategy, you'll look for ways to shave dollars off of everyday expenses, such as groceries or gas. You'll then use those savings to make small but frequent payments on your credit card debt. Every little bit helps.</p> <h2>4. Your cars</h2> <p>Cars are expensive. Not only do you have to pay for their upkeep and gas, but you also need to insure them. Going from two cars to one or downgrading to a less expensive car can help you dramatically reduce your daily living expenses.</p> <p>If you can swing it, going from two cars to one will reduce the amount you pay each year in auto insurance. But maybe you can't do this while you are still working. If not, you can still downgrade from a more expensive car to one with lower monthly payments and lower insurance costs.</p> <p>Consider this carefully, though. If you've paid off your car, it probably makes more sense to live with it for as long as you can. That way, you won't have to worry about monthly car payments. If you are still making payments on it, though, downgrading to a nice but less costly vehicle might be a good way to reduce your daily living expenses even while you're still working.</p> <h2>5. Dining out</h2> <p>The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2015, the average U.S. household spent $3,008 on restaurant meals and take-out food. This should inspire you to look at how much money you spend each month on eating out.</p> <p>It's not that you should never eat out. But if you are worried about covering your daily living expenses once you retire, reducing the number of times you dine out at a restaurant is one monthly expense that you can easily control.</p> <p>Instead of eating out whenever you'd like, try budgeting each month for a certain number of restaurant meals. Then don't break that budget. Doing this before you retire will help build your discipline for the days in which you are no longer working.</p> <h2>6. Entertainment</h2> <p>Going to the movies instead of streaming one at home. Taking several vacations a year. The most expensive cable subscription with the most channels. All that entertainment adds up. You can significantly reduce your expenses before retirement by spending less on entertaining yourself.</p> <p>You might think you're depriving yourself, but streaming a movie can be just as much fun as going to the theater, and it can save you plenty of dollars. You can even rent movies for free from your local library or through the online rental services that many public libraries now feature. Why not take a break from that big expensive trip for the next few years and take smaller weekend jaunts instead? You can then save the money you would have spent so that you have more to spend in your retirement years.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Ways%2520You%2520Can%2520Cut%2520Costs%2520Right%2520Before%2520You%2520Retire.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ways%20You%20Can%20Cut%20Costs%20Right%20Before%20You%20Retire"></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%20You%20Can%20Cut%20Costs%20Right%20Before%20You%20Retire.jpg" alt="6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire" 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/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-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-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/why-saving-money-is-harder-today">Why Saving Money Is Harder Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-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/how-are-people-retiring-in-their-30s">How Are People Retiring in Their 30s?!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-ways-to-get-richer-in-2018">4 Easy Ways to Get Richer In 2018</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Retirement Cars cutting costs debt entertainment expenses food costs housing saving money Tue, 04 Jul 2017 08:00:10 +0000 Dan Rafter 1974324 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways for College Students to Save Loads of Money http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-for-college-students-to-save-loads-of-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-for-college-students-to-save-loads-of-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-609683672.jpg" alt="College student learning how to save loads of money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Between big expenses like tuition and housing, and smaller everyday expenses such as school supplies and coffee, the costs of being a student can rack up fast. According to the College Board, tuition, fees, and room and board at a public four-year in-state school cost an average of $20,000 a year.</p> <p>But there are a lot of ways for students to save money. Here are 10 ways to tackle expenses of every size. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-avoid-student-loan-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Easy Ways to Avoid Student Loan Debt</a>)</p> <h2>Big savings</h2> <p>Tuition and housing make up the bulk of student spending, so finding ways to reduce those costs can pay off big.</p> <h3>1. Look at off-campus housing for lower rent</h3> <p>While living on campus can be a fun college experience, university housing often comes with a big price tag. Room and board at my private university cost approximately $10,000 a year &mdash; that's about $1,250 for the eight months school is in session.</p> <p>You may be able to find more competitive rents off campus. Check websites for apartment listings in your college town.</p> <p>Also talk with your university's housing department about opportunities for <em>free </em>housing that may be offered if you provide advising services to younger, first-year students. This could result in huge savings and be an interesting college experience.</p> <h3>2. Apply for scholarships to save money on tuition</h3> <p>Tuition is often the most expensive part of going to school, with some private institutions in the United States charging as much as $33,000 &mdash; and that doesn't include room and board. While federal financial aid can help, it's often not enough.</p> <p>There are a plethora of scholarships available, both locally and nationally, that you can apply for. The best part is, unlike federal student loans, scholarships don't have to be repaid. To find them, check with your university's financial aid office, your high school guidance counselor, your parents' employers, and organizations related to your field of study. Also try using the U.S. Department of Labor's <a href="http://www.careeronestop.org/toolkit/training/find-scholarships.aspx" target="_blank">free scholarship search tool</a>.</p> <h2>Medium savings</h2> <p>Textbooks, entertainment, and transportation all add significant costs to your overall college bill. Try trimming or offsetting these expenses with these suggestions.</p> <h3>3. Save on textbooks</h3> <p>Textbooks can have a very high price tag. When I was a student, I remember books costing up to $100, and sometimes even more for specialized course booklets that included all of the semester's reading assignments. With multiple classes and most classes assigning at least five books per semester, it was easy to spend at least $500 on books alone in a semester, or $1,000 per academic year.</p> <p>Buying used textbooks is one way to save. In my experience, they cost about half the price of new books. You can buy books directly from students who have already taken the course or check online retailers like Amazon for deals on used books.</p> <p>Another option is to rent your textbooks, which means that you will pay a smaller amount upfront to the bookstore, but that the book won't be yours to keep at the end of the semester. <a href="https://www.chegg.com/etextbooks" target="_blank">Chegg</a> and <a href="http://amzn.to/2rqTvcz" target="_blank">Amazon</a> both offer rentals, and both claim you can save up to 90 percent by renting.</p> <p>Alternatively, you can cut out the cost of books entirely by checking them out for free at your college library. Supplies are limited, so you may have to wait to get the book you need, but you can't beat the price. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-places-to-buy-or-rent-textbooks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">20 Places to Buy or Rent Textbooks</a>)</p> <h3>4. Sell back your textbooks at the end of the semester</h3> <p>Chances are, you can get some of your textbook investment back by selling your books when you're done using them. You can likely make back a couple hundred dollars at the end of the semester. One easy option is to use Amazon, which has a streamlined process for <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Sell-Books/b?node=2205237011" target="_blank">buying back books</a> for up to 80 percent of what you originally paid. Amazon will then sell the book used. You can also check with your university bookstore, as it may have a program in place to buy back books.</p> <p>A third option is to sell the book yourself. By cutting out the middleman, you'll get to pocket more money from the sale. You can ask around, or post notices on bulletin boards or online to find other students who are going to take the same class. If the book is required reading, chances are you will be able to find a buyer fairly easily with just a little bit of extra work.</p> <h3>5. Participate in studies to earn cash</h3> <p>If you don't have the time to commit to a full-time job, there are plenty of ways to earn on campus without the commitment. Check in with different departments about research studies that they may be running.</p> <p>These opportunities can range from writing tests to filling out questionnaires. Once, I was paid $100 an hour to have scans taken in an MRI machine.</p> <h3>6. Take advantage of free facilities</h3> <p>Familiarize yourself with everything your college or university offers on campus. You can save $50 and up a month on an expensive gym membership, for example, if you have access to this type of amenity for free as a part of your tuition. Some schools also offer free tutoring, software, legal services, and psychological counseling. All of these can save you money.</p> <h3>7. Reduce transportation costs</h3> <p>If you live off campus, consider ditching your car for an economic bicycle that will get you to class for free, saving you on the cost of gas, maintenance, and parking. Public transportation may be another way to get where you need to go without paying car and parking expenses. When you go home at the end of the semester, check with friends and on-campus forums to find out if you can find a ride with someone and split the gas costs.</p> <h2>Small Savings</h2> <p>Even small savings can add up. Check out these ways to pare your everyday expenses.</p> <h3>8. Save on coffee</h3> <p>Some college students have a costly coffee dependency, and at a cafe you can expect to spend as much as $3 to $4 on a coffee. If you are buying coffee once or twice a day, in a month you could be spending over $150!</p> <p>While a coffee maker might cost you a little bit up front, if you are a big coffee drinker it will pay for itself within the first month. Plus, with Italian coffee makers (around $30, depending on which size pot you choose), you can get stronger coffee and a better buzz for late night studying or just getting to your 5 o'clock class.</p> <p>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2pWBu3E" target="_blank">Handpresso</a> is a handheld espresso machine that is as convenient as it is cheap. Simply pump, add boiling water, a coffee pod or loose espresso grounds, and press a button for delicious coffee. Based on my experience buying ground coffee and milk in the grocery store, an Americano with milk only costs around 30 cents per coffee using this machine.</p> <p>If you make two 30-cent coffees per day, rather than buying two at $3 a cup, by the end of the year you could save nearly $2,000 in coffee expenses!</p> <h3>9. Find free events and entertainment</h3> <p>Check if your university offers free lectures, movie screenings, concerts, or other arts events instead of paying big bucks to go to ticketed events. You'll be surprised how much you can do for free with just a student ID. Signing up for a newsletter will help you to stay on top of the cool speakers that the university is hosting.</p> <p>Also use your college library, not just for studying but for entertainment options. Take advantage of newspapers, magazines, and movies that the library offers you to check-out, all completely free. By opting for this type of entertainment and reading materials, you can save a lot of money. With the average movie ticket costing around $9, if you instead go to two free movies per month or watch DVDs from the library, you'll save over $200 by the end of the year.</p> <h3>10. Stay in style for less</h3> <p>Trends move fast, and buying new clothes all the time can add up to significant costs for students. You don't have to completely forget about fashion for four years to stick to a tight budget. Check out thrift stores for fashions at a tiny fraction of the cost of new clothing. Also, find out about consigning the items you no longer want at the end of the semester.</p> <h2>Doing the math</h2> <p>Each item on this list may not seem like a lot &mdash; a coffee here, a movie ticket there &mdash; but when you add it all up over the course of the year, it can mean big savings for students. It's worth the effort to examine which of these costs you could cut, and then start realizing those savings.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-for-college-students-to-save-loads-of-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-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/the-encouraging-truth-about-how-americans-are-covering-the-cost-of-college">The Encouraging Truth About How Americans Are Covering the Cost of College</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-late-starters-can-save-for-their-kids-education">Here&#039;s How Late Starters Can Save for Their Kids&#039; Education</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-things-financial-aid-might-not-cover">6 Things Financial Aid Might Not Cover</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/should-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan">Should You Save for College Using a 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan?</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/25-money-saving-strategies-that-are-actually-hurting-you">25 Money-Saving Strategies That Are Actually Hurting You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Education & Training coffee college students cutting costs entertainment room and board saving money scholarships textbooks transportation tuition Tue, 23 May 2017 08:30:12 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1949206 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Fun Tax Facts You Probably Never Knew http://www.wisebread.com/11-fun-tax-facts-you-probably-never-knew <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-fun-tax-facts-you-probably-never-knew" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-180714432.jpg" alt="soap was taxed in the middle ages" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Taxes: Love 'em or hate 'em, you still gotta pay 'em.</p> <p>In fact, taxes are a tale as old as time. Well, almost. The earliest tax, according to the book &quot;A World History of Tax Rebellions,&quot; was on the <em>corvee </em>(by definition, a day's unpaid labor owed by a vassal to his feudal lord) in 594 B.C. China. Peasants paid overlords for the land they farmed in labor if they couldn't pay the land tax in money.</p> <p>That's just one fun fact. Check out this list of tax trivia that's weird, wacky, and sometimes just plain wrong.</p> <h2>1. There was no re-using cooking oil in Ancient Egypt</h2> <p>Ancient Egypt's early taxation system isn't exactly known for being fair, and their cooking oil tax was a perfect example. Not only was cooking oil taxed, but citizens weren't allowed to reuse it. They had to continually buy new oil, thus constantly forking over the associated tax. This was no joke: Scribes (Ancient Egypt's version of tax collectors) would sweep homes in search of recycled cooking oil, forcing people to pony up and buy new.</p> <h2>2. People in the Middle Ages really stunk up the joint<strong> </strong></h2> <p>European governments taxed soap during the Middle Ages, which meant that you probably only bought a bar if you had some extra dough. As for the rest of the folks, well, they weren't making any new friends smelling like King John's sewage pot. The tax lasted for quite a while, too: Britain didn't repeal its soap tax until 1835.</p> <h2>3. Watching TV in the U.K. ain't cheap, you guys<strong> </strong></h2> <p>We all need a license to drive, but a license to watch television? That's the case in the United Kingdom, where each household is taxed on its TVs &mdash; &pound;145.50 a year &mdash; the funds from which primarily support the television, radio, and online services of the BBC. Total income from TV license fees in 2015&ndash;16 was &pound;3.74 billion.</p> <h2>4. The good deed that lingered too long<strong> </strong></h2> <p>To rebuild the town after a devastating flood in 1936, Johnstown, Pennsylvania slapped a tax on alcohol to raise money for the recovery efforts. The town met its fundraising goal in 1942, but the tax remained. Today it brings in around $200 million annually.</p> <h2>5. Eating a bagel in New York could cut you two ways</h2> <p>New York City has a special tax on food <em>and</em> prepared foods. If you have your bagel sliced in the store, you'll pay both taxes. Leave it uncut, you'll only pay the food tax since nobody is &quot;preparing&quot; it for you.</p> <h2>6. Pennsylvania has put a price on fun</h2> <p>Want to go to the movies? Or bowling? Or to a concert? Add 5 percent to your bill thanks to Pennsylvania's amusement tax, which applies to any kind of entertainment.</p> <h2>7. Certain pumpkins get a pass in Iowa, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Pumpkins are exempt from sales tax in these states if they'll be eaten and not carved. Carving pumpkins and cooking pumpkins are separated so customers aren't confused.</p> <h2>8. Leaving out this one ingredient drives candy prices way up in Chicago</h2> <p>It's simple. If the candy is made with flour &mdash; like licorice (who knew?) and KitKat bars &mdash; it receives a 1 percent tax. Leave the flour out for pure sugary goodness, and the tax climbs to 6.25 percent.</p> <h2>9. You have to lose both limbs to qualify for this tax credit in Oregon<strong> </strong></h2> <p>That's right: Double amputees receive a $50 tax credit in the Beaver State. You might think that single amputees would receive half that credit, but no such luck.</p> <h2>10. If you live to age 100, you're home free in New Mexico</h2> <p>They say the only two things that are certain in life are death and taxes. Except in New Mexico. If you can make it to age 100, you become tax-exempt (but only if you're no one's dependent).</p> <h2>11. You can count your pet as a moving expense<strong> </strong></h2> <p>You're allowed to write off moving expenses if you're relocating to begin a new job. You can also deduct the cost of taking your pet with you as the IRS treats your furbaby as personal property. How rude! But also, thank you.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-fun-tax-facts-you-probably-never-knew">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/these-6-things-will-make-your-next-flight-more-comfortable">These 6 Things Will Make Your Next Flight More Comfortable</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/beat-the-heat-with-cool-summer-meals">Beat the heat with cool summer meals</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-ways-to-have-a-cheaper-easter">10 Ways to Have a Cheaper Easter</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/why-tax-day-is-april-15-and-other-weird-financial-deadlines">Why Tax Day Is April 15 and Other Weird Financial Deadlines</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-most-common-tax-mistakes-made-by-college-grads">5 Most Common Tax Mistakes Made by College Grads</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes alcohol bizarre candy entertainment Food history moving expenses soap tax facts trivia Tue, 18 Apr 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 1926610 at http://www.wisebread.com These 6 Things Will Make Your Next Flight More Comfortable http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-things-will-make-your-next-flight-more-comfortable <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-6-things-will-make-your-next-flight-more-comfortable" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-537456529.jpg" alt="Woman making her next flight more comfortable" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Traveling by plane can be uncomfortable, with long waits in the airport followed by hours packed into ever-smaller airplane seats. Rushed and frustrated, you often end up paying way more than you should for small conveniences.</p> <p>After years of traveling and countless hours in transit, I've put together this practical guide to help you avoid the pitfalls of air travel and enjoy your trip. Here are some easy ways you can ensure you have a smooth, painless experience, both in the airport and once you board the plane. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tricks-to-make-flying-in-coach-feel-almost-luxurious?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Tricks to Make Flying in Coach Feel (Almost) Luxurious</a>)</p> <h2>1. Bring your own food and tea bags</h2> <p>Food at airports and onboard domestic flights is expensive &mdash; often double the cost you'd normally pay. And though meals are usually free on international flights, the quality is notoriously hit or miss. It's always best to err on the side of caution. Bring your own <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-to-pack-delicious-and-cheap-airline-snacks?ref=internal" target="_blank">healthy snacks</a>, like nuts, and dried and fresh fruit. Sandwiches made with bagels are also easily packable and won't squish easily in your bag.</p> <p>Consider, too, bringing some herbal tea bags. Most coffee shops and flight attendants will give you hot water for free if you ask. This can save you on pricey airport lattes and help you stay calmer than drinking caffeinated beverages. Herbal tea is an especially good choice if you want to snooze while you're on the plane.</p> <h2>2. Bring your own water bottle</h2> <p>Bring an empty water bottle to get through security, and then fill up at the water fountains around the airport. If you're in a country where drinking from the fountain isn't always safe, consider heading to a coffee shop or restaurant and asking them to fill up your bottle with water from the soda dispenser. You can often get ice this way, too!</p> <p>Having your own water bottle on the plane helps you stay hydrated without relying on sometimes slow service from the flight attendants, who dole out liquids in tiny plastic cups. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers</a>)</p> <h2>3. Choose the right credit card</h2> <p>Booking your flight through an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">airline credit card</a> gives you extra perks while flying. You'll usually get priority boarding, allowing you to get on the plane before all of the overhead bins are filled up with carry-ons. You may also get discounts on in-flight purchases, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-types-of-travel-insurance-credit-cards-include-that-you-didnt-know-about?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel protections</a> in case your flight is canceled or your baggage doesn't show up.</p> <p>Some premium cards even grant you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access?ref=internal" target="_blank">access to airport lounges</a>, which can make layovers infinitely more comfortable. You'll also get excellent service from staff in the lounges if your flight is canceled and you need to rebook. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Travel Perks You Didn't Know Your Credit Card Had</a>)</p> <h2>4. Pack for success</h2> <p>Think strategically <em>before</em> you leave home about how you will spend your time while in transit. If you're checking a bag, be sure to put the items you want to use during the flight in your carry-on. It's frustrating to have packed your earbuds in your checked bag when you need them on the plane!</p> <p>In-flight entertainment can be a good distraction from long hours of discomfort and boredom. But some airlines don't offer any entertainment, or at least not any that you're interested in. Bring your own to be sure you can stay occupied during the flight.</p> <p>If you start your trip equipped with the right reading material, some good music, and a few favorite TV shows or movies, you may be surprised how fast your airport and flying time goes by. Amazon Prime allows you to download free books, movies, and music to take with you, and other services such as Netflix and the premium version of Spotify have similar services. You can also save free podcasts to your phone, or pay for audiobooks. With <a href="http://amzn.to/2mQTcWF" target="_blank">Audible's audiobook</a> service, your first book is free.</p> <p>Make sure your electronics are charged and ready to go. Some flights offer outlets but you don't want to take the chance that your seat doesn't have it or is not working.</p> <p><strong>Bonus Trick:</strong> If you can do without the checked bag entirely, this is an easier and faster way to travel. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-carry-on-luggage-can-save-you-time-and-money?ref=internal" target="_blank">Traveling with just a carry-on</a> means you can say goodbye to expensive checked bag fees and worries about lost luggage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-packing-secrets-from-a-professional-traveler?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Packing Secrets From a Professional Traveler</a>)</p> <h2>5. Set yourself up for sleep</h2> <p>Sleeping on a plane is another way to make the time pass quickly, but it's admittedly tricky business.</p> <p>Bring along the items you need for slumber, including an eye mask, ear plugs, sleeping medications, and a neck pillow to get comfortable. A jacket can double as a pillow or blanket if need be. Try to get these items in advance. A neck pillow at the airport can cost twice as much as at a regular store.</p> <p>Keep everything in a clothing pocket or a bag under your seat so it's easy to access when you feel drowsy. Getting up to rummage through a bag in the overhead bin is a sure way to wake yourself back up.</p> <h2>6. Try to have a sense of humor</h2> <p>Airports can be great spots for people watching. You get to see humanity in action in its many colorful renditions. Of course, it's annoying to be restricted in your movements and trapped in stale air for a long time, but keep things in perspective.</p> <p>You're getting to experience one of the most freeing things of all, the ability to jet somewhere far away. Having a good attitude will only make the ride that much better.</p> <p>By preparing yourself to have a good trip, packing a few travel essentials, and keeping a positive attitude, you can make traveling by plane not just bearable, but even enjoyable. Happy flying! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-to-keep-you-sane-on-a-plane?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Things to Keep You Sane on a Plane</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthese-6-things-will-make-your-next-flight-more-comfortable&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThese%206%20Things%20Will%20Make%20Your%20Next%20Flight%20More%20Comfortable.jpg&amp;description=These%206%20Things%20Will%20Make%20Your%20Next%20Flight%20More%20Comfortable" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <div align="center">&nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/These%206%20Things%20Will%20Make%20Your%20Next%20Flight%20More%20Comfortable.jpg" alt="These 6 Things Will Make Your Next Flight More Comfortable" 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/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-things-will-make-your-next-flight-more-comfortable">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/9-ways-to-avoid-or-mitigate-flight-delays">9 Ways to Avoid or Mitigate Flight Delays</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-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use">The Secret Flight Search Site Savvy Travelers Use</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-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</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-smart-travel-hacks-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Smart Travel Hacks Only Frequent Flyers Know</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/23-airport-hacks-to-remember-before-your-next-flight">23 Airport Hacks to Remember Before Your Next Flight</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel air travel airplanes comfortable travel entertainment flights flying Food movies music reading sleeping snacks Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:30:41 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1914539 at http://www.wisebread.com Live a Longer and Happier Life With These 8 Frugal Buys http://www.wisebread.com/live-a-longer-and-happier-life-with-these-8-frugal-buys <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/live-a-longer-and-happier-life-with-these-8-frugal-buys" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_74523869_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="these items help you live longer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Life has its ups and downs. Despite the problems we face, most of us would give anything to maximize longevity. Fortunately, there's plenty you can do to have a long, fulfilling life. Some things are fairly obvious, such as quitting a bad habit like smoking, and avoiding life-threatening behaviors. What you might not realize, however, is that certain purchases also have a hand in extending your lifespan. Here are eight things you can buy to help you live longer.</p> <h2>1. Books</h2> <p>After finishing high school or college, maybe you vowed never to pick up another book again. Reading was no doubt a grueling chore while you were cramming for an exam, but there are benefits to making reading a regular routine. According to a new study, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/08/book-up-for-a-longer-life-readers-die-later-study-finds">reading can boost cognitive function</a>, and people who read for at least 30 minutes a day can extend their lives and live two years longer than those who don't read.</p> <h2>2. A Cat</h2> <p>If you're thinking about getting a pet, don't automatically assume a dog is the better choice. Some cats aren't as social or playful as dogs. Nonetheless, owning a cat can be good for your heart and have a positive effect on your life. The National Health and Nutrition Examination study followed 4,500 men and women over a 20-year period. More than half of the <a href="http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20080221/owning-a-cat-good-for-the-heart">participants owned a cat</a> during their lives. The study found that people who never had a cat were 30% more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than those who had owned a cat.</p> <h2>3. Floss</h2> <p>Brushing your teeth at least two times a day contributes to oral health. But if you're looking to add years to your life, don't forget to <a href="http://amzn.to/2cf5qo2">floss</a>. The American Dental Association recommends daily flossing, and for good reason. Flossing &mdash; which helps remove particles of food from places a toothbrush can't reach &mdash; can add as much as six years to your life. The <a href="http://www.today.com/health/there-s-little-proof-flossing-protects-your-teeth-or-gums-t101389">benefits of flossing</a> have recently been hotly debated, but not flossing increases the risk of gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). Gingivitis can lead to heart disease, stroke, and infection.</p> <h2>4. Sunscreen</h2> <p>Whether you're at the beach, an amusement park, driving in the car, or working in your garden, it's important to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays with <a href="http://amzn.to/2cf4K2j">sunscreen</a>. Sunshine is an excellent source of vitamin D, but too much exposure can be deadly. Having more than five sunburns can double your risk for melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Therefore,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sunburn/five-ways-to-treat-a-sunburn">always apply sunscreen</a> before exposing your skin to the sun, and reapply as directed.</p> <h2>5. Coffee</h2> <p>You don't have to feel guilty about starting your morning with a cup of Joe. Coffee can provide a much-needed energy boost to get through the day, and it can help you live longer. Researchers found that <a href="http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/can-your-coffee-habit-help-you-live-longer-201601068938">coffee has antioxidants that protect our bodies</a> from damage. The beverage can reduce the risk of cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and type 2 diabetes. But it's important to drink in moderation. Too much caffeine also increases blood pressure and can cause sleep problems.</p> <h2>6. Bike</h2> <p>One or more days a week, ride your bike to work or while running errands. And if you have a regular exercise routine, incorporate cycling a few days a week. Researchers have found a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.uu.nl/en/news/dutch-bikers-live-six-months-longer">link between riding a bike and living longer</a>. For every hour you bike, you can add one hour to your life.</p> <h2>7. Blood Pressure Monitor</h2> <p>You probably don't give your blood pressure a second thought &mdash; but you should. High blood pressure is a silent killer because it increases the risk of stroke and heart disease. Rather than wait for a health crisis to learn you have high blood pressure, invest in a <a href="http://amzn.to/2cIGCXS">blood pressure monitor</a> and regularly check your levels to ensure they remain within a healthy range (less than 120/80 mm Hg).</p> <p>Blood pressure can fluctuate throughout the day, and you may have higher than normal readings after exercising or eating. If your numbers are consistently high, talk to your doctor. With lifestyle changes or medication you can lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of early death.</p> <h2>8. A Wedding Ring</h2> <p>Maybe you're happy living a bachelor or bachelorette life. Even so, there are benefits to tying the knot. Not only can you enjoy companionship, a study conducted by Duke University Medical Center found that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/10/marriage-research_n_2450639.html">people who never marry</a> were &quot;more than twice as likely to die early in life than those people in long-term, stable relationships.&quot; The study followed 4,800 people born in the 1940s. These findings support other studies, which found that married people had a lower risk of heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, and cancer.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Flive-a-longer-and-happier-life-with-these-8-frugal-buys&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FLive%2520a%2520Longer%2520and%2520Happier%2520Life%2520With%2520These%25208%2520Frugal%2520Buys.jpg&amp;description=Live%20a%20Longer%20and%20Happier%20Life%20With%20These%208%20Frugal%20Buys"></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/Live%20a%20Longer%20and%20Happier%20Life%20With%20These%208%20Frugal%20Buys.jpg" alt="Live a Longer and Happier Life With These 8 Frugal Buys" 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/live-a-longer-and-happier-life-with-these-8-frugal-buys">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/the-5-best-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</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-resistance-bands">The 5 Best Resistance Bands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-kettlebells">The 5 Best Kettlebells</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-new-years-resolutions-your-pet-wants-you-to-make">4 New Year&#039;s Resolutions Your Pet Wants You to Make</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-ways-you-can-save-money-on-prescription-medications">7 Ways You Can Save Money On Prescription Medications</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Shopping entertainment exercise extend your life green living health care Live Longer longevity marriage pets Mon, 19 Sep 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1794518 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Common Weekend Money Traps (And How to Avoid Them) http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-weekend-money-traps-and-how-to-avoid-them <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-common-weekend-money-traps-and-how-to-avoid-them" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_69330627_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="don&#039;t get sucked into these weekend money traps" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even though weekends are only a small portion of the week, it seems like I spend a lot more money on those two days than I do on the other five days. Why? I think having unstructured time and wanting to do things with my family makes it easy to go off the rails of my budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-cheap-or-free-ways-to-make-the-most-of-the-weekend?ref=seealso">40+ Cheap or Free Ways to Make the Most of the Weekend</a>)</p> <p>Here are some of the worst weekend money traps &mdash; and how to avoid them.</p> <h2>1. The Movie Theater</h2> <p>Even if there is nothing great to watch, people like going to the movies to have something to do for a few hours. This can be especially tempting if you have lots of time on your hands and your family is bored. But the cost of movie tickets plus popcorn and other expensive snacks will quickly deplete the funds you work so hard during the week to earn.</p> <p><strong>How to avoid:</strong> Watch a movie at home via streaming or rent from Redbox instead of going to the movie theater.</p> <h2>2. The Car Lot</h2> <p>A weekend activity that seems like free entertainment is going to the car lot just to look. The problem is, looking is how the car buying cycle starts. You see newer, nicer cars than the car you have with cool new features and this gets you to start thinking about upgrading. You could even get talked into taking a test drive with a skilled salesperson and end up buying a car that you weren't planning to buy, resulting in thousands of dollars of unplanned spending.</p> <p><strong>How to avoid:</strong> Wait until you are ready to buy a car and set a budget to go car shopping. And instead of looking at cars, spend some time working on the car you already have. Wash it, vacuum it, check the air pressure in the tires, check the fluid levels, and even change the oil and oil filter if you are mechanically inclined.</p> <h2>3. The Mall</h2> <p>I fell into this weekend money trap last weekend. I wanted to take the family for a walk in the mall since it was hot and humid outside. By the time we headed home, I was carrying a bag filled with video games that erased most of the money I earned working on Friday.</p> <p><strong>How to avoid:</strong> Go grocery shopping instead of shopping at a mall or sporting goods store. You can have a shopping experience, but you will be buying things you need. Plus, having a fresh supply of groceries to kick off the weekend can help you avoid another money trap &mdash; dining out.</p> <h2>4. Restaurants</h2> <p>With all of the free time that people have on weekends, there are many opportunities to go out to eat. It's easy to spend $10 per person for breakfast or lunch, or $15 per person for dinner. You could easily buy enough groceries to last all weekend and then some for the cost of going out to eat just once.</p> <p><strong>How to avoid:</strong> Have a plan for what meals you will make at home Saturday and Sunday, and try not to be out and about at mealtime, or on an empty stomach.</p> <h2>5. Open Houses</h2> <p>Another example of a weekend activity that seems like free entertainment is to go look at houses for sale. Chances are, you won't be inspired to run out and buy a house. But you might get ideas for upgrades and expensive projects for your current house that you didn't even know you needed until you checked out new house.</p> <p><strong>How to avoid:</strong> Don't go house shopping unless you need to move.</p> <h2>6. The Furniture Store</h2> <p>Furniture stores make it so easy to buy furniture. If you don't have money or credit, this is not a problem &mdash; you can get store credit on the spot. If the furniture won't fit in your vehicle, you can get free delivery. If you don't like the color of the floor model, you can order whatever color you like. Also, it seems like the furniture store is always having some sort of major sale to make you feel like you should buy now to get the best price. But do you really want to spend a month's salary on a new couch?</p> <p><strong>How to avoid:</strong> If you need furniture, check out used furniture at a consignment shop, thrift shop, and Craigslist instead of looking at new furniture. Used furniture can cost 90% less than new furniture.</p> <h2>7. Big Ticket Events</h2> <p>Every few years, my wife gets me tickets to go to a college football game. It's incredible how expensive it is to go to a big event like this! The tickets are expensive. The food and refreshments are expensive. Even getting to the stadium is expensive &mdash; you can pay to park near the stadium, or you can park for free and pay for transportation from the parking area to the stadium. And there are lots of opportunities to buy jerseys, posters, footballs, and other souvenirs. In addition to college or professional sports, other expensive weekend events include rock concerts and theater productions.</p> <p><strong>How to avoid:</strong> I try to go to big events only a few times a year, at the most. It's a lot cheaper to catch the big game or other events on TV at home, and you get a better view of the action as well.</p> <h2>8. The Weekend Roadtrip</h2> <p>Taking a road trip can be an expensive way to spend the weekend. It costs about $5 per hour to cruise down the highway in a car, just for gas. The cost of gas and wear and tear on your vehicle is often just the beginning. You'll likely eat most or all of your meals at gas station convenience stores or fast food places while you are on the road, taking a toll on both your bank account and your waistline. If you are on an overnight trip, a hotel stay can easily cost $75 or more.</p> <p><strong>How to avoid:</strong> Take a fuel efficient vehicle, bring food from home with you, and stay with friends or family instead of staying at a hotel to reduce the cost of taking a road trip.</p> <p><em>What are your weekend money traps? How do you avoid them? 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/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-weekend-money-traps-and-how-to-avoid-them">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-ways-summer-will-cost-you">7 Surprising Ways Summer Will Cost You</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/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</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-keep-boredom-from-destroying-your-budget">8 Ways to Keep Boredom from Destroying Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-for-college-students-to-save-loads-of-money">10 Ways for College Students to Save Loads of Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now">10 Frugal Fall Getaways You Can Start Packing For Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Entertainment activities budgeting entertainment money traps saving money weekend fun weekend plans Fri, 22 Jul 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1756948 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 72 Brilliant Ways to Stretch $20 http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-72-brilliant-ways-to-stretch-20 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-72-brilliant-ways-to-stretch-20" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hand_cash_20_39629376.jpg" alt="Finding brilliant ways to stretch $20" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Few great things in this life are free. Even the most frugal folks have trouble staying under $20 doing any particular activity. The world is quite the pricey place now. But if $20 is all you have left to spend on weekend fun, here are 72 ways to drop that Harriet Tubman.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_diy_painting_000017057578.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-20-or-less?ref=fbf">10 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $20 or Less</a> &mdash; Is that $20 burning a hole in your pocket? Put it to good use with some simple and frugal home improvement projects. Because you really don't need to throw away big bucks on every repair or piece of decor.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-in-baltimore-the-20-best-ways-to-spend-it?ref=fbf">$20 in Baltimore: The 20 Best Ways to Spend It</a> &mdash; If you find yourself in Baltimore, check out one of the last remaining drive-in theaters, visit the grave of John Wilkes Booth, or take in the city from the water in the Baltimore water taxi.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_applying_makeup_000060162238.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-brand-name-beauty-buys-under-20?ref=fbf">10 Great Brand Name Beauty Buys Under $20</a> &mdash; You don't need to settle for store brand beauty products to score good deals. These brand name beauty products are top notch, and will fit right into your limited budget.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-in-new-york-city-the-15-best-ways-to-spend-it?ref=fbf">$20 in New York City: The 15 Best Ways to Spend It</a> &mdash; Strolling around the Big Apple wondering if a gourmet coffee and a slice will deplete your funds? Never fear! You can check out the Brooklyn Bridge, see an off-Broadway play, or grab a bite from a food truck. The options are endless in this beautiful city.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/los-angeles-5224486542_688f23ce34_z.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-in-los-angeles-the-16-best-ways-to-spend-it?ref=fbf">$20 in Los Angeles: The 16 Best Ways to Spend It</a> &mdash; And on the other coast is sunny LA, where the people are gorgeous and the pressed juice is in abundance. But don't waste your $20 on just one pricey juice, when you can be an audience member at a live show and still eat all the tacos.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-dinner-party-for-6-feed-em-for-under-20?ref=fbf">A Dinner Party for 6: Feed 'Em for Under $20</a> &mdash; Hosting a dinner party is stressful, especially if you only have $20 to feed everyone! But here are some brilliant tricks to fill the bellies of your guests without going over your $20 limit.</p> <p><em>What other brilliant ways can you stretch $20? 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/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-72-brilliant-ways-to-stretch-20">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/flashback-friday-50-money-moves-you-need-to-make-when-big-changes-happen">Flashback Friday: 50 Money Moves You Need to Make When Big Changes Happen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-45-life-lessons-youd-give-to-your-younger-self">Flashback Friday: 45 Life Lessons You&#039;d Give to Your Younger Self</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-51-ways-to-organize-your-whole-life-in-2017">Flashback Friday: 51 Ways to Organize Your Whole Life in 2017</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/these-5-money-saving-hacks-are-a-huge-waste-of-time">These 5 Money-Saving Hacks Are a Huge Waste of Time</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-38-money-misconceptions-we-need-to-stop-believing">Flashback Friday: 38 Money Misconceptions We Need to Stop Believing</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting $20 beauty entertainment fbf flashback friday frugal living money management Spending Money weekend activities Fri, 22 Jul 2016 10:00:13 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1757097 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Reasons Frugal Families Love Boardgame Night http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-frugal-families-love-boardgame-night <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-reasons-frugal-families-love-boardgame-night" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_17015005_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="frugal families love board games" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My siblings and I spent our childhood playing popular, mainstream board games. <a href="http://amzn.to/29V2gS0">Monopoly</a>, <a href="http://amzn.to/2auGmXZ">The Game of Life</a>, <a href="http://amzn.to/2auI4bu">Clue</a>, <a href="http://amzn.to/2auHwm6">Chinese Checkers</a>, and <a href="http://amzn.to/2auHrPy">Pictionary</a> granted us hours of family fun, interrupted occasionally by a temper tantrum. Monopoly, as many people know, can be dull and brutal.</p> <p>Playing board games died off in my high school years. Once I hit college, I was introduced to a wider variety of games &mdash; and the spark was rekindled. Instead of vegging in front of the TV or spending money to go see a movie, we began to sit down to play board games once again. Here are eight reasons why you should pick up boardgaming as a family activity, too.</p> <h2>1. So Many Game Options</h2> <p>Dozens of new games are introduced every year by major board game companies and individuals through Kickstarter campaigns. You don't need, nor should you, limit your family to the games you can find on Walmart's shelves.</p> <p>A local game store, or Amazon, will all have a broader collection of board games that range anywhere from $5-$100. This large collection of potential games will increase the chance of finding a game your family will love at the right price range.</p> <h2>2. Game Guidance From the Pros</h2> <p>Don't be intimidated by a new game. No one expects you to fork over the money for a game without a little guidance on how to play. There are a number of YouTube channels dedicated to reviewing and recommending games to help individuals find good games.</p> <p>Frugal families might want to check out any of these YouTube shows to watch reviews of games before purchasing the game:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9QtdiRJYro&amp;list=PL0Y9n5uBJuXxjSe6lJEHRZICCHym3e-aS">TableTop</a> with Wil Wheaton</li> <li><a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/WatchItPlayed">Watch It Played</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/thedicetower">The Dice Tower</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/MoonratMedia/videos">Board With Life</a></li> </ul> <h2>3. Access to Simple and Clear Game Rules</h2> <p>Board games can be complicated. I have a game that has around 30 pages of rules. Even as an experienced gamer, I find that a tad intimidating. There are a variety of different interactive and visual means to help families deal with learning these complicated rules for more enjoyable game play.</p> <ul> <li>Check out free board game rules introduction videos (as mentioned above) and game playthroughs on YouTube.</li> <li>Search the Android or iTunes app store for free or cheap digital versions of the game. Ascension and Coup are both complicated games that have free app versions that provide interactive walkthroughs.</li> <li>Look for free game aids that can help you understand the rules, set the game's difficulty level, and randomize board setup. Settlers of Catan, Legendary, and Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game all have free player aids.</li> </ul> <h2>4. You Can Shop Bigger, for Lower Prices</h2> <p>Support your local TableTop store when you can, but don't feel bad if you occasionally need to turn to bigger retailers like Toys 'R Us, Target, Amazon, or Walmart for lower prices. Even better, if you find a game at a store you can't in good conscious shop from, you can utilize price matching to get that lower price on either an in-store or online purchase.</p> <h2>5. Try Board Game Rental Services</h2> <p>An alternative option to creating your own version of popular games is to rent board games rather than buy them. This has the bonus of being fairly cheap, allows you to explore different types of games, and allows you to play games that might be out of your price range.</p> <p>You can either rent games by seeing if your local board game store has a rental service, or checking out an online board game rental store. In rare cases, you might even find that your local library has added board games to their rental collection.</p> <h2>6. DIY Board Games</h2> <p>Not ready to spend $60 for a game? Here's a bit of good news: With a little creativity and work, you can easily create <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy">DIY board games to save money</a>.</p> <p>Don't stop there though. There are a number of fun games you can easily DIY.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8-XTMbszPk">Telestrations</a> &mdash; A mix of telephone and Pictionary, requires you to cut out 30+ medium-sized pieces of paper and give everyone a pen.</li> <li><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0hX47QFtGI">Superfight</a> &mdash; A game where you present a case over which person, object, or animal in a match-up would win. It only requires you to cut out card-sized pieces of paper. On 1/3 of the pieces of paper, you will write any sentient object, person, or creature. On the rest of the cards, in a different color pen or a different color paper, you'll write an object, personality trait, or physical trait.</li> </ul> <h2>7. Fan-Made DIY Board Games</h2> <p>There are tons of dedicated fans that have already done all the hard work of creating original fan games or expansions of already-made board games. All you need to do is download the PDF versions of their work and print it off at home.</p> <p>Here are a few free fan-made versions of board games:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1416104/printer-studio-ready-templates">Legendary: A Star Wars Deckbuilding Game</a></li> <li><a href="http://bangcardgame.blogspot.com/p/bang-custom-expansions.html">Bang!</a></li> <li><a href="http://enter-there.com/">Game of Thrones: The Board Game</a></li> </ul> <h2>8. Choose Games With High Replay Value</h2> <p>Board games can be expensive. Games tend to run anywhere from $10-$60. Yes, a $60 game might be expensive, but you can make that price worth it by carefully choosing games that grant high replay value. These are games that often come with extra boards, scenarios, or cards that offer a slightly fresh gaming experience each time you play. These are also games where it isn't easy for players to pinpoint a set strategy to win.</p> <p>Here are a few games with high replay value:</p> <ul> <li>Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game</li> <li>Betrayal at the House on the Hill</li> <li>Robo Rally</li> <li>Cosmic Encounter</li> </ul> <p>If you need a new pastime, board games can be a fun, cost-effective activity that offer hours of family fun. Between the vast number of games and the rapidly growing TableTop community &mdash; on and off-line &mdash; now is the time to adopt board gaming as a new family pastime.</p> <p><em>Do you have family game nights? Which board games do you play? 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/samantha-stauf">Samantha Stauf</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-frugal-families-love-boardgame-night">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-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy">8 Amazing Board Games You Can DIY</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/17-creative-no-mess-activities-for-kids-stuck-at-home">17 Creative, No-Mess Activities for Kids Stuck at Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-on-kids-activities">How to Save Money on Kids&#039; Activities</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/9-frugal-winter-activities-to-keep-kids-busy-during-holiday-break">9 Frugal Winter Activities to Keep Kids Busy During Holiday Break</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-ways-to-keep-boredom-from-destroying-your-budget">8 Ways to Keep Boredom from Destroying Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Entertainment Family board game board games entertainment family time fun things to do game night games kids quality time things to do on the weekend Thu, 21 Jul 2016 09:30:27 +0000 Samantha Stauf 1756345 at http://www.wisebread.com 18 Little Things That Make — and Keep — America Great http://www.wisebread.com/18-little-things-that-make-and-keep-america-great <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/18-little-things-that-make-and-keep-america-great" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_american_flag_39580462.jpg" alt="Woman counting things that make and keep America great" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Donald Trump has built his entire presidential campaign on the motto &quot;Make America Great Again,&quot; but many people are wondering, when did it stop being great? The truth is, despite all our issues, we're still a pretty awesome country &mdash; and there's no sign of that stopping anytime soon. Thus, this Independence Day, put politics aside to appreciate all the freedoms, freebies, and fun stuff this country has to offer &mdash; without asking for too much in return.</p> <h2>1. Take a Penny, Leave a Penny</h2> <p>We've all been a cent or two short at the convenience store, and the little take a penny, leave a penny dish by the cash register helps keep us from breaking another bill or having to put everything back because we don't have the extra few cents. If you've ever taken advantage of this uniquely American concept (they were common in Canada, too, until the country eliminated the penny from their currency in 2013), be sure to do you part by leaving a Lincoln or two the next time you see one.</p> <h2>2. Paying It Forward</h2> <p>You've heard tales on social media about somebody who started a trend at, say, a coffee shop or tollbooth to pay for the person behind them. Sometimes these random acts of kindness stop after a few customers, but every once in a while, Americans let their generous spirit really shine, like the time over 700 people <a href="http://www.eater.com/2014/8/22/6167041/over-700-people-paid-it-forward-at-a-starbucks-this-week">paid it forward</a> at a Starbucks in Florida. Paying it forward doesn't always have to be in a financial capacity. You can pay acts of kind forward any way you see fit, so long as you're doing something nice for somebody &mdash; which the world needs much more of.</p> <h2>3. Our Commitment to Global Health Initiatives in Developing Countries</h2> <p>The American government isn't just concerned that you're healthy at home. It has a stake in the health of the world's people, too &mdash; especially those in developing countries that are more prone to diseases. It recognizes the importance of providing those in need a better quality of life and lessening the ripple effects within our own borders by reducing the chance of devastating epidemics and pandemics. Hallmarks of U.S. leadership in global health include The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, The President's Malaria Initiative, and Feed the Future.</p> <h2>4. Free Dry Cleaning for Job Interviews</h2> <p>Not every dry cleaner offers free cleaning services to those in need, but there are a few good men and women out there who happily open their doors to the homeless and unemployed to have their interview garments professionally cleaned and pressed.</p> <h2>5. Free Soft Drink Refills</h2> <p>As a general courtesy to patrons, most restaurants in the United States offer free refills, as do other establishments, like movie theaters. They don't have to, but they do &mdash; because they appreciate your business.</p> <h2>6. Free Breakfast and Lunch Programs in Public Schools</h2> <p>There is room for improvement in our school's lunches &mdash; especially compared to other countries like France and Italy (have you seen the gourmet meals those kids eat!?) &mdash; but we at least get an A grade for offering students in need free meals when they may otherwise not eat anything healthy (or at all) at home. In some places, those free meals are extended throughout the summer (in my neighborhood in New York City they're available), which makes this program above average in my book.</p> <h2>7. Holding Doors for Each Other</h2> <p>Holding the door for someone behind you is a custom in many places around the world, granted, but it's still worth recognizing because it's an important aspect of our own social culture. We've passed the habit down through generations, and it's still alive and well today.</p> <h2>8. Letting Someone With Fewer Items Go Ahead of You at the Grocery Store</h2> <p>I'm particularly impressed when there's someone in front of me at the grocery store with a cart full of items who invites me to go ahead of them since I'll be quick with the five or so items I have. Thanks to those who do this; if you haven't, try it the next time you're out.</p> <h2>9. Stopping Your Vehicle at Crosswalks to Let People Pass</h2> <p>I grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore where you waited for the walk sign to change or you didn't go. When I moved to southwest Virginia for college, I remember being at a crosswalk once that didn't have a walk sign and the traffic stopped completely to allow me to cross. I was hesitant at first &mdash; I thought it was some kind of joke &mdash; but it turned out to be one of those totally mundane experiences that I'll never forget.</p> <h2>10. Asking Strangers to Watch Your Stuff When You Run to the Bathroom</h2> <p>Have to potty while you're working at a café or hanging out on the beach? Because Americans are pretty great, all you have to do is ask your neighbor to watch your personal items for a few minutes while you're gone and they'll usually oblige. Just don't try this at airport; it's a &quot;see something, say something&quot; culture around those parts, and asking a stranger to watch your luggage will make them feel very uncomfortable.</p> <h2>11. Safe Havens Where Minority Groups Can Feel Comfortable Among Their Own</h2> <p>While I wholly condemn segregation, I do think it's important for minority groups who feel oppressed by another group (whether that assessment is accurate or not) to have places they can go to be themselves. I speak from experience as a gay man who has found solace, security, and friendship in establishments primarily frequented by other LGBT people. In other parts of the world, these places don't exist, and that's a real shame, but here at home they're abundant and well attended.</p> <h2>12. Neighborly Courtesies, Like Bringing in Your Garbage Cans</h2> <p>One of my neighbors is always super helpful, especially when I'm away from home, by taking out my garbage and returning the cans, shoveling my sidewalk if he gets out there first, and mowing my front lawn when he's feeling particularly energetic. That kind of neighborly attitude makes the neighborhood &mdash; and my own experience in it &mdash; better, and I try to return those favors whenever I can.</p> <h2>13. Interracial and Same-Sex Marriages</h2> <p>Yeah, we have a long history of denying rights to minority groups, but we're blazing trails this century to end all that. We've come a long way, even though we have a ways to go for full equality for all, and that alone makes this a good time to be alive in America.</p> <p><span style="color: rgb(17, 17, 17); font-family: georgia; font-size: 1.5em; font-weight: normal; line-height: 1.4em;">14. America's Public Libraries</span></p> <p>Attendance at libraries has dwindled over the past two decades, thanks in large part to the Internet, but America's free library system is still thriving and striving to provide those without access to technology the means to continue educating themselves.</p> <h2>15. Free STD Testing</h2> <p>If you can't afford to visit your doctor to get an STD test &mdash; or you're just embarrassed &mdash; there's likely a clinic in your area that provides anonymous, free testing so you stay up-to-date on your health status. As my own little PSA, if you haven't been tested lately, do so; you owe it to yourself.</p> <h2>16. Little Free Library</h2> <p>I love this idea of these little boxes, most of the time shaped like tiny houses, erected in neighborhoods where bookworms can add a book or take a book without charge. The program was popularized in Wisconsin in 2009, and today it includes more than 15,000 locations worldwide.</p> <h2>17. The Honor System</h2> <p>The honor system applies to many things &mdash; like Halloween candy left on porches by folks who are out for the night, and in my neighborhood, a free garden where residents can pick an amount of veggies that they'll eat. Even as we get more and more disconnected, it's nice that we still have values and morals and a small, neighborly trade system that helps hold ourselves and each other accountable without much effort.</p> <h2>18. Free Outdoor Movies</h2> <p>I'm always talking up free outdoor movies. I think it's one of the best summer date nights ever, and I'm so excited that the concept has spread like wildfire across the country. You'll likely find outdoor screenings near the place you call home during the warmer months &mdash; seriously, it's like every town in America is doing it these days (and that's awesome!) &mdash; and all you have to do is show up with a blanket or chair and a few snacks and settle in for an evening under the stars in the greatest country on earth.</p> <p><em>What are some of the little things that you think help make and keep America great? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-little-things-that-make-and-keep-america-great">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-for-college-students-to-save-loads-of-money">10 Ways for College Students to Save Loads of 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/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily">Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/volunteer-to-travel-11-opportunities-for-free-or-very-cheap-travel">Volunteer to Travel: 11 Opportunities for Free or Very Cheap Travel</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/20-freebies-for-college-students">20+ Freebies for College Students</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Lifestyle community donald trump entertainment Fourth of July freebies make america great again morals united states Mon, 04 Jul 2016 10:30:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1743312 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Easiest Ways to Score Free eBooks http://www.wisebread.com/5-easiest-ways-to-score-free-ebooks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-easiest-ways-to-score-free-ebooks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_72457041_XLARGE.jpg" alt="reading free ebooks" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm a bookworm. But the life of a bookworm can be an expensive one. Popular novels tend to be priced anywhere from $6 to $20. That's a pricey prospect for readers who tend to power through five, ten or more books every month.</p> <p>Throughout elementary school and college, I controlled the costs of books primarily by utilizing my public library. I haven't stepped foot in a library in three years, yet I still tend to pay less than $10 every month buying books. The large majority of my reading time is spent downloading and reading free ebooks. Here are five smart reading hacks that can eliminate your monthly book expenses entirely. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-ways-to-save-on-audio-books?ref=seealso">8 Smart Ways to Save on Audio Books</a>)</p> <h2>1. Sign Up for Kindle Family Library</h2> <p>Kindle Family Library is a handy feature that allows you to link up to two adult and four child Amazon accounts. Once the accounts are linked, you have access to all the eBooks that the individual has purchased in the past. This can provide months of free reading.</p> <p>Once you have read all of the books in your shared library, you can then separate your accounts, wait 180 days, and then sync up with another family member or friend for access to <em>their </em>library.</p> <p>The only downside of linking accounts is that you will need to authorize the other individual to utilize the credit and debit cards you have on file. You need to trust the individual not to go on a wild shopping spree on your Amazon account.</p> <h2>2. Borrow ebooks From Strangers and Friends</h2> <p>Both Amazon and Barnes and Noble allow individuals to lend the books they bought for 14 days. This can allow you access to more books without directly linking up your accounts.</p> <p>You can supercharge your ability to borrow books by signing up for an online book lending community. Websites like <a href="http://booklending.com/">booklending.com</a> (Kindle), <a href="http://lendle.me/">Lendle</a> (Kindle), and <a href="http://ebookfling.com/f">eBookFling</a> (Kindle and Nook), all allow you to borrow and lend books to strangers.</p> <p>However, many of these lending sites (Lendle and eBookFling in particular) do expect you to lend books to other members in order to continue to borrow books yourself. If you don't already have a library of lendable books, or you don't plan on slowly expanding your library, you might not be able to utilize many of the online lending communities.</p> <h2>3. Read Non-Professional Stories Online</h2> <p>There are hundreds of solid stories self-published online for free on a variety of websites. Budding writers flock to sites like <a href="https://www.fictionpress.com/">FictionPress</a> to in order to practice the craft of writing. In exchange for an occasional review of a chapter or story, readers have the ability to dive into a potentially good book for free.</p> <p>Another non-professional option for the more geek-inclined is to start reading fanfiction. Fanfiction, for those who don't know, are stories that utilize the characters and setting of already existing television shows, movies, comics, or books. If you do delve into the world of free reading by devouring fanfiction, I would suggest starting with either <a href="https://www.fanfiction.net/">Fanfiction.net</a> or <a href="https://archiveofourown.org/">Archive of Our Own</a>.</p> <p>But there are a couple potential downsides of utilizing sites like FictionPress or Fanfiction.com to find good books.</p> <ul> <li>You can expect to find some sub-par writing due in part, to the fact that individuals of various skill levels publish on these types of sites. Try to choose more popular novels based on how many reviews, favorites, or follows they have.</li> <li>The majority of writers publish in these forums as chapters are completed. This process often leads to many writers abandoning stories mid-way. So search for completed stories when doing searches for potential novels.</li> </ul> <p>If fanfiction is for you, utilize an application within Calibre (a free eBook organizer) called&nbsp;<a href="https://github.com/JimmXinu/FanFicFare/wiki/SupportedSites">FanFicFare</a> to download the books onto your computer as either an ePub (Nook), a Mobi (Old Kindle), or an AZW3 (New Kindle) file.</p> <h2>4. Read Public Domain Books</h2> <p>You can keep your electronic bookshelf well stocked by simply sticking to reading books that are within the public domain. This means that anyone is free to use or re-use the book. You can find older classics like <em>Pride and Prejudice</em> by Jane Austen or <em>Oliver Twist</em> by Charles Dickens as part of public domain.</p> <p>Some of these books you can find for free on major eBook publishing sites. Others, you can locate on one of these 25 different&nbsp;<a href="http://ebookfriendly.com/free-public-domain-books-sources/">free public domain publication</a> websites. Many of the free-to-use websites allow you to choose which format (ePub, mobi, HTML) you would like to download the novel in.</p> <p>If you're unsatisfied with the file option available on the site you choose, you can always upload the file to Calibre and convert that file to one of your choice.</p> <h2>5. Check Author Websites for Free Short Stories and Novels</h2> <p>You might want to scope out your favorite author's websites for free novels or short stories. Many authors publish their older novels or short stories online as a gift to fans or in an attempt to attract new readers.</p> <p>And you can either read their stories online or utilize Internet applications like&nbsp;<a href="https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/send-to-kindle-for-google/cgdjpilhipecahhcilnafpblkieebhea">Send to Kindle</a> or&nbsp;<a href="http://ebookfriendly.com/how-to-send-any-web-page-to-ibooks-nook-or-kobo-app/">Readability</a> to send the chapters or short stories on the author's website to your ereader.</p> <p><em>How do you save money on ebooks? 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/samantha-stauf">Samantha Stauf</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easiest-ways-to-score-free-ebooks">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-smart-ways-to-save-on-audio-books">8 Smart Ways to Save on Audio Books</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-reasons-to-choose-traditional-books-over-e-books">5 Reasons to Choose Traditional Books Over E-Books</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-great-frugal-gifts-for-booklovers">11 Great Frugal Gifts for Booklovers</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/another-one-for-the-readers-0">Another one for the readers</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/can-you-really-make-a-living-as-an-ebook-writer">Can You Really Make a Living as an Ebook Writer?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Entertainment Shopping books bookworm eBooks entertainment ereader free books reading tablet Mon, 27 Jun 2016 09:30:22 +0000 Samantha Stauf 1738461 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Great Apps for Book Lovers http://www.wisebread.com/11-great-apps-for-book-lovers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-great-apps-for-book-lovers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000052824962_Large.jpg" alt="she&#039;s checking out great apps for book lovers" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So, you love books. I mean, you really love books. Join the party. As a fellow book lover, I welcome you into our ranks.</p> <p>While nothing beats curling up with a good book, sometimes you just can't. Even when your physical books are far away, though, you will usually have your phone on you. Fortunately, there are some great apps for book lovers that will help you make it through until you can find your favorite tome again. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-cool-jobs-for-book-lovers?ref=seealso">17 Cool Jobs for Book Lovers</a>)</p> <h2>1. Goodreads</h2> <p>Many book lovers already know about Goodreads, but I'm always surprised by how many of my book-loving friends don't use it. When it comes to social apps for book lovers, this is by far the best. Store your library, list books you've read and books you want to read, rate books, leave reviews, connect with friends, and join discussion groups about nearly any book you can think of. It's a one-stop-shop for your bookish needs. Available for <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/US/app/id355833469?mt=8">Apple</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.goodreads&amp;hl=en">Android</a>.</p> <h2>2. OverDrive</h2> <p>If you belong to a library &mdash; and what book lover doesn't? &mdash; then <a href="https://app.overdrive.com/">OverDrive</a> can help you check out eBooks on your favorite device. As long as your library belongs to the system, you have access to a vast collection of free eBooks. You can read them on the OverDrive app itself, or download them straight to your Kindle app. Available for Apple, Android, and more.</p> <h2>3. SnapTell</h2> <p>So you're out and about and you pick up a book. After scanning the back cover, you realize that you have <em>got</em> to own this book. But where can you buy it? Enter SnapTell. Just take a picture of the book's cover or scan the barcode, and you will get a description of the book, reader ratings, and information on the best prices, both near you and online. Available for <a href="http://www.macworld.com/product/69045/snaptell.html">Apple</a> and <a href="http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2348467,00.asp">Android</a>.</p> <h2>4. InstantPoetry</h2> <p>If you love poetry, InstantPoetry is a great way to create your own poems and send them to friends and family. Remember those refrigerator magnets that you could shift around to form poems? This is just like that, except on your phone instead of your fridge. If you have a few minutes of down time and you don't have a book, this app could be the next best thing. Available for <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/instant-poetry-2/id925723441?mt=8">Apple</a>.</p> <h2>5. WattPad</h2> <p><a href="https://www.wattpad.com/getmobile?v=1&amp;utm_">WattPad</a> offers a new kind of reading experience. Writers who use the platform choose to release stories serially, offering a section or a chapter at a time. Readers can subscribe to a story, and then are notified when an update is available. As you read, you can write comments, which are then viewable by other readers, too. Over time, discussions pop up, and you come to recognize those readers whose taste and commentary you appreciate. Thus, reading becomes a social as well as a solitary activity. Available for Apple, Android, and more.</p> <h2>6. BookCrawler</h2> <p><a href="http://www.chiisai.com/j25/">BookCrawler</a> is similar to Goodreads, without the social aspect. If you want a robust catalog for your books, this is a great app for you. It also allows you to categorize your books as to whether you've read them, who you've loaned them to, and more. The search feature is among the most robust that I've seen in an app like this, and the app works fast, so you can determine, while standing in a bookstore, whether you already own a book or not. Available for Apple.</p> <h2>7. Scribd</h2> <p><a href="https://www.scribd.com/get-app">Scribd</a> is kind of like Netflix, but for books. For $8.99/month, you get access to every book that Scribd has the rights to. While many of the most popular books aren't available, the overall selection across genres is very good. If you like to read on your mobile device and you love to hunt down your next favorite read, or if your favorite authors happen to be among Scribd's offerings, this app can ensure that you always have something new to read. Available for Apple, Android, and more.</p> <h2>8. Shelfie</h2> <p>More than anything else, <a href="http://www.shelfie.com/">Shelfie</a> is a lot of fun. Snap a photo of your bookshelf, upload it, and the app will automatically catalog your books for you. If you own a print edition of certain books, you'll be able to get discounted (and sometimes free!) audio and eBook versions. You'll be able to see pics that other people uploaded, and connect with them. Whether you're reading the same book or you're interested in each other's past reads, it's always fun to connect with other readers. Available for Apple and Android.</p> <h2>9. The Pickle Index</h2> <p>Take reading to a whole new level with <a href="http://www.thepickleindex.com/">The Pickle Index</a>. This novel was released not only in hard and soft cover editions, but also in an app edition. Read the story as it is released to you, and participate in various games and more along the way. You will get the story over 10 days, along with interactive maps, relevant recipes, and more. It's a completely unique experience, and one that many book lovers find they can fully embrace. Available for Apple.</p> <h2>10. Gerty</h2> <p><a href="http://appstafarian.com/gerty.html">Gerty</a> combines journaling and reading to create something completely different. It's an eReader, but it also allows you to comment on your reading as you go. However, your comments are more like a journal than like notes you take in other eReaders. You can create links to outside sources, too (with the paid version), like Facebook, Wikipedia, and more. It also has a feature that sends you information on a book in exchange for a barcode scan. And if you want to journal without a book, you can do that, too! Available for Apple.</p> <h2>11. British Library 19th Century Collection</h2> <p>There are a lot of ways to get free classic eBooks, but this is one of the most elegant. You get books from the time period across all genres, including fiction, theology, philosophy, and more. While the free collection is enough for most people, you can buy the total collection for $89. Sure, that's a chunk of change, but if you love the app and the time period, and you'd like to support the British Library, it's not bad. Available for <a href="http://appcrawlr.com/ipad/british-library-19th-century-co">Apple</a>.</p> <p><em>Are you a book lover? What are your favorite apps? </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/11-great-apps-for-book-lovers">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/12-podcasts-bookworms-will-love">12 Podcasts Bookworms Will Love</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/17-cool-jobs-for-book-lovers">17 Cool Jobs for Book Lovers</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-get-paid-to-read">8 Ways to Get Paid to Read</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/18-awesome-things-you-can-do-this-weekend-for-under-10">18 Awesome Things You Can Do This Weekend for Under $10</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-great-side-jobs-for-book-lovers">6 Great Side Jobs for Book Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment apps book apps book lovers bookworms entertainment reading apps Tue, 08 Mar 2016 10:30:42 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1666775 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Modern Reasons to Visit Your Local Library Today http://www.wisebread.com/7-modern-reasons-to-visit-your-local-library-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-modern-reasons-to-visit-your-local-library-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000016065203_XXXLarge.jpg" alt="woman after visiting her local library" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The library is filled with adventure and wonder for kids and adults of all ages. Going to the library is a rewarding pastime that many of us already enjoy. So rather than twiddle your thumbs and wonder what you're going to do on your day off, here's why you should head over to the library.</p> <h2>1. Personal Development</h2> <p>Visiting the library can encourage reading and exploration in children. Children can learn at every turn. Even being responsible for returning books on time can teach some basics of responsibility.</p> <p>Studies have shown that students who visit the library tend to <a href="http://www.islma.org/pdf/ILStudy2.pdf">have better test scores</a> than those who don't. Studies have also shown that <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2807801/">reading can aid in brain development</a> in young children, so it's important to read to them and encourage them to read and visit the library from a very young age.</p> <h2>2. Free Stuff</h2> <p>The library is home to a wealth of free items, such as:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Free newspaper, magazine, audiobook, CD, DVD, and video rentals</strong>: You'll have access to much more than just books. It would cost a fortune to try purchasing all of these sources of reading, music, and videos, but fortunately, the library has access to much more than your home library and entertainment center could ever store.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Free eBooks</strong>: Thanks to <a href="http://amzn.to/1Kxu0bx">Amazon's library lending program</a>, you can now check out a Kindle eBook for two weeks before it is deleted from your digital library. It doesn't get much better than that.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Free Wi-Fi</strong>: Who isn't looking for free Wi-Fi every once in awhile?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Free computer and Internet access</strong>: You can research whatever you need and have access to a computer whenever you need it.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Free adult classes</strong>: These can range from academic training like GED classes, to creative ventures like art and poetry classes.</li> </ul> <h2>3. Library Events and Programs</h2> <p>Libraries offer all types of events and programs for bookworms. You can enjoy everything from author readings to health workshops. Every library is different, so you can't expect anything in particular, but some activities commonly provided at the library include:</p> <ul> <li>Author readings for adults and kids</li> <li>Poetry circles</li> <li>Story circles for kids</li> <li>Puppet shows</li> <li>Family films</li> <li>Special programs for children</li> <li>Book discussions</li> <li>Reading programs and summer events</li> <li>Used book sales</li> <li>Workshops like knitting and parenting skills</li> </ul> <h2>4. Unusual Discoveries</h2> <p>You can find rare, out-of-print material at your local library that you won't be able to find elsewhere. You'll also be able to find old and used books for sale at a great price, so make sure to keep your eyes open for any of their cheap book sales.</p> <p>If you haven't been to your local library, you may be shocked to find what kind of food and shopping options they have. For instance, the Los Angeles Public Library has a gift shop, restaurant, and café inside, but it could all be easily missed if you don't know what you're looking for and don't take the time to really map out your library and find out what they offer.</p> <h2>5. Opportunities to Bond With Like-Minded People</h2> <p>The library is full of other bookworms. You can bond over your favorite books and love of literature. Libraries often promote local businesses, so you can also find out more about local artists, businesses, and even book clubs.</p> <p>And the librarian probably has an abundance of useful information and recommendations. Just let them know what you're looking for and they can help you find the right book or answer any questions you may have. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-cool-jobs-for-book-lovers?ref=seealso">17 Cool Jobs for Book Lovers</a>)</p> <h2>6. Quiet Personal Space</h2> <p>We all need a bit of personal space, and the library can provide the quiet reprieve you need. It's a great place for reading, working, researching, or just relaxing. There are always comfy chairs and corners at the library where you can enjoy a great new book and expand your mind.</p> <p>The library is brightly lit, so you won't have to squint your eyes to see the words on the page. Add that to the cool environment, quiet atmosphere, and endless rows of books, and you've got a very calming way to relieve stress and relax.</p> <h2>7. Book Rentals</h2> <p>Most importantly, once you become a member of your local library, you can rent all the books your heart desires. When there's a book that everyone's buzzing about, or a novel you want to read before it's turned into a film, you can borrow the books for free from your library. Knowing that you need to return the book can also encourage you to finish the book by the return date.</p> <p>Be honest, after reading a book once, you probably won't read it again. So, it will just take up space on your bookshelf and gather dust. Instead, you can rent a book in any genre, read it, and return it for free. Imagine all the money you'll save.</p> <p><em>Do you have other great reasons for visiting the library? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-modern-reasons-to-visit-your-local-library-today">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-easiest-ways-to-score-free-ebooks">5 Easiest Ways to Score Free eBooks</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/18-awesome-things-you-can-do-this-weekend-for-under-10">18 Awesome Things You Can Do This Weekend for Under $10</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-reasons-to-choose-traditional-books-over-e-books">5 Reasons to Choose Traditional Books Over E-Books</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-books-to-read-for-a-better-money-mindset">10 Books to Read for a Better Money Mindset</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-beloved-books-of-successful-millionaires">10 Beloved Books of Successful Millionaires</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment book rental entertainment library new books reading Fri, 12 Feb 2016 11:30:04 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1653861 at http://www.wisebread.com Get Paid to Watch Your Favorite TV Show Live http://www.wisebread.com/get-paid-to-watch-your-favorite-tv-show-live <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-paid-to-watch-your-favorite-tv-show-live" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_on_tv_000021453219.jpg" alt="Woman getting paid to be on TV" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Lights! Cameras! Cue audience applause! You know those TV shows? The ones taped in front of a live studio audience? The ones that air daily and seem to be on all of the time with no reruns? Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes or how people get to be in the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-get-people-to-listen-when-you-talk">audience</a>? How do they fill their seats every single day? Especially the, well, not so good shows. The answer is surprisingly simple.</p> <p>TV shows pay people to attend. No, not all of them, but many, and some are very well-known shows at that. Take <em>The People's Court</em> for instance. You could earn $70 for sitting in their courtroom. How about the <em>Beat Bobby Flay</em> cooking competition? Folks can earn $54 just for attending, and probably get a tasty sample to boot. Interested? It's not hard to do. Here's what you need to know.</p> <h2>1. Pay Rates Vary by Show</h2> <p>As you can see from the examples above, the amount that you can earn as a paid audience member can vary. Some shows pay a set fee and others pay an hourly rate. The amount of time involved can differ too. Some shows will pay for one taping, and for other shows audience members participate in two, three, or more tapings in a day. Payment is received on the same day and is almost always in cash.</p> <h2>2. Some Shows Provide Transportation</h2> <p>For example, a number of shows that used to tape in New York City moved to Stamford, Connecticut, presumably to save money on production costs. Since it's easier to find public transportation to NYC than Connecticut, these shows offer transportation to keep the seats full. In this case, audience members meet at a location pre-determined by the show. A bus picks everyone up, takes them to the show, and returns them to the original location.</p> <h2>3. Sometimes You'll Be Fed</h2> <p>One time I attended a show with my mom and we received pre-taping breakfast pastries, coffee and juice, and pizza for lunch after the taping. Many shows do this. Many do not. You most likely won't know in advance. Think of it as a welcome surprise if it does happen.</p> <h2>4. It's Easier to Get Paid Audience Gigs if You Reside on the Coasts</h2> <p>The reality is that most shows are taped on the East or West coast, so if you don't have easy access to the New York or Los Angeles areas, you won't have as many options. This could still work for you if you're visiting the area and plan for it in advance. It would be a fun and unique vacation experience.</p> <h2>5. Some People Audience-Sit as a Job</h2> <p>Not a formal job, mind you. But if you live in the vicinity of a lot of tapings like Los Angeles, you can earn as much as, or more than, minimum wage for a day's sitting. This is appealing to a variety of people like actors trying to break in, students, or anyone really who wants to earn some cash while keeping a flexible schedule. There is of course no guarantee that audience-sitting gigs will be available exactly when you want them, but there are a lot of opportunities available for folks who hustle.</p> <h2>6. So How Do I Find the Shows That Pay?</h2> <p>There are a variety of ways to find paid seat-filling gigs from checking the Craigslist &quot;talent,&quot; &quot;gigs,&quot; or &quot;TV&quot; sections, to subscribing to newsletters that typically target actors. The easiest way to find paid audience-sitting opportunities is to go to the companies that specialize in them. Below are two of the most well-known companies that fit the bill:</p> <h3>Onset Productions</h3> <p>Here you will find opportunities to be&nbsp;<a href="https://onsetproductions.com/">paid audience members</a>, get cast as a performer for product endorsements, or just score free tickets to TV shows like, <em>MTV Catfish Aftershow</em>, or the <em>Bridezilla's Reunion Aftershow</em>. The paid audience member opportunities are mostly lump sums, like $50&ndash;$70 (sometimes more, sometimes less). Some shows provide transportation to the tapings. Interested parties complete a free online profile which includes age, gender, and ethnicity. Once your profile is created, you can request tickets from the numerous shows available. You'll be notified if you've been chosen to receive tickets, and if it's a show that indicated that it is paying, you'll enjoy a show and walk out with some extra cash.</p> <h3>Standing Room Only</h3> <p>This process of finding paid seat-filling opportunities is similar to Onset Productions in that you fill out a profile before requesting tickets to a show. Though their game shows and political talk shows&nbsp;<a href="http://www.standingroomonly.tv/">pay an hourly rate</a> as opposed to a lump sum.</p> <p>There are other companies out there, like&nbsp;<a href="http://www.auditionsfree.com/">Auditions Free</a>, that primarily focus on casting extras and actors for movies, that occasionally offer paid audience-sitting gigs as well. But if experiencing a TV show from behind the camera while getting paid is your primary objective, it's easier to stick with the two companies above.</p> <p><em>Is audience-sitting something you'd try? Let me know below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kim-owens">Kim Owens</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-paid-to-watch-your-favorite-tv-show-live">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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