Holidays http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/61/all en-US 9 Sweet Valentine's Day Gifts to Give to Your Truest Love — You! http://www.wisebread.com/9-sweet-valentines-day-gifts-to-give-to-your-truest-love-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-sweet-valentines-day-gifts-to-give-to-your-truest-love-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_pink_balloon_539016316.jpg" alt="Woman giving herself sweet V-Day gifts" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The stereotypical Valentine's Day gifts of roses and chocolates are nice, but have you considered giving <em>yourself</em> a gift? Before you dismiss that notion as being selfish, consider the airplane analogy. When the flight attendant gives his or her talk about oxygen masks, what are you supposed to do? That's right, put on your own &mdash; because you can't help others until you help yourself first. Giving yourself a little Valentine's Day self-care gift may help to alleviate stress, and possibly, protect you from sickness.</p> <p>That doesn't mean you need to go on a shopping spree, though. Here are nine self-care tips and treats to help you fight stress, find health, and be your own best Valentine's Day date ever.</p> <h2>1. Make a Spa-Quality Scrub</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6UpdsuGEGfE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>After joining the coconut oil craze, a lot of us now have big tubs of it. That's a lot of coconut oil, so let's put it to good use with a DIY <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UpdsuGEGfE" target="_blank">Coconut-Oil Sugar Scrub</a>. It's so easy! And yes, I've tried it, and I really like how it exfoliates and makes my face feel smooth. It's nice on your feet, too.</p> <h2>2. Eat Well</h2> <p>Surf N' Turf is traditional for Valentine's Day, but instead, why not consider a month of clean eating? After the holidays and the Super Bowl, I find myself craving healthy foods. Simply Google &quot;month of clean eating&quot; and you'll find several choices for menus and recipes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-clean-eating-slow-cooker-recipes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Great Clean Eating Slow Cooker Recipes</a>)</p> <h2>3. Take a Class</h2> <p>For around $60, my local college is offering community classes. I can choose from classes such as Beginning Guitar, Conversational Spanish, Qigong, or Hula Hoop Fitness, just to name a few. My husband has enjoyed Sushi Making and Surfing. Check out classes at your local community college, community center, or even free classes online in order to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-hobbies-you-can-take-up-for-free?ref=internal" target="_blank">learn something new</a> and expand your mind.</p> <h2>4. Get a Massage</h2> <p>Man, do I love a massage. But I love them even more where I can get a full hour for just $50. Do you have a massage school in your area? Students need to rack up hours to become licensed, so it can be a bargain. See if you have one in your area.</p> <h2>5. Embrace Your Inner Child</h2> <p>What sorts of things did you love doing as a kid? Did you love to color? You're in luck, because adult coloring books are so in right now. One of my friends has taken up painting again. Take some time to think about what you enjoyed, and take it up again for some relaxing fun.</p> <h2>6. Volunteer</h2> <p>Wait, isn't volunteering about helping <em>others</em>? Yes, but according to Harvard Medical School, &quot;volunteering helps people who donate their time <a href="http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/volunteering-may-be-good-for-body-and-mind-201306266428" target="_blank">feel more socially connected</a>, thus warding off loneliness and depression.&quot; Plus, you could also make some new friends in the process. Find a group where you feel you could contribute by using <a href="http://www.volunteermatch.org/" target="_blank">VolunteerMatch.org</a>, which matches interests with needs.</p> <h2>7. Learn Meditation</h2> <p>Do you have a stressful job? High blood pressure? Maybe you just need to slow life down a little. Meditation, according to WebMD, can &quot;not only <a href="http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/meditation-heals-body-and-mind#1" target="_blank">lower blood pressure</a>, but can also amp up your immune system, while improving your ability to concentrate.&quot; I took the <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/oprah-deepaks-21-day-meditation/id903893632?mt=8" target="_blank">Oprah &amp; Deepak's 21-Day Meditation Experience</a> and loved it.</p> <h2>8. Give Yourself a DIY Pedi</h2> <p>A salon pedicure can run you $40 and up. Save your money and give yourself one at home for almost nothing. You don't need a lot of fancy equipment, either. Just <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-hacks-for-the-perfect-at-home-mani-pedi" target="_blank">some nail care steps at the start</a>, a steady hand, a favorite color polish.</p> <h2>9. Take a Nap</h2> <p>A quick nap can help you to feel more alert, refreshed, and recharged. As a cube-dweller, I'd never try to take one at work, but I often grab one when I get home, or on the weekends. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-benefits-of-naps-including-the-best-time-to-take-them?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Surprising Benefits of Naps and the Best Time to Take Them</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-sweet-valentines-day-gifts-to-give-to-your-truest-love-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-19"> <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-better-ways-to-celebrate-v-day-this-year">5 Better Ways to Celebrate Valentine&#039;s Day This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-autumn">9 Frugal Skills You Must Have to Survive Autumn</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-84-frugal-ways-to-eliminate-stress">Flashback Friday: 84 Frugal Ways to Eliminate Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-use-google-alerts-to-save-money">6 Ways to Use Google Alerts to Save 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/flashback-friday-76-new-years-resolutions-thatll-make-2017-your-year">Flashback Friday: 76 New Year&#039;s Resolutions That&#039;ll Make 2017 Your Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping frugal living Health Holidays self-care self-love shopping Valentine's Day valentine's day gifts Mon, 06 Feb 2017 10:00:09 +0000 Marla Walters 1886389 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 87 Frugal Ways to Make Winter Less Miserable http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-87-frugal-ways-to-make-winter-less-miserable <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-87-frugal-ways-to-make-winter-less-miserable" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_winter_snow-499814150.jpg" alt="Woman finding frugal ways to make winter less miserable" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Winter is a dreary, dark time. The sun rarely shines, and you can barely wade through the white mess on the ground without getting your feet and pants soaked. But never fear. You <em>can</em> turn that S.A.D.-induced frown upside down. Here are 87 ways to make winter less miserable.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_sad_window_507633424.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-prevent-the-winter-blues-from-busting-your-budget?ref=fbf">5 Ways to Prevent the Winter Blues from Busting Your Budget</a> &mdash; Seasonal Affective Disorder puts you in a very vulnerable state of mind during the winter months. This can naturally lead you to making all sorts of ill-advised decisions, especially when it comes to your finances. Use these tips to keep you armed with a plan to fight those habits.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-winter-activities-to-keep-kids-busy-during-holiday-break?ref=fbf">9 Frugal Winter Activities to Keep Kids Busy During Holiday Break</a> &mdash; When the kids are home during holiday breaks or snow days, it's hard to know what to do with them to keep them busy and entertained. These activities are fun and cheap, so everybody wins.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock-490080588.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-destinations-for-a-dreamy-winter-getaway?ref=fbf">8 Frugal Destinations for a Dreamy Winter Getaway</a> &mdash; Wanna get out of the snow? Plan a trip to somewhere idyllic and in your mind, you'll already be there. It doesn't matter if the trip is weeks or months away. Having something to look forward to will instantly boost your mood.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-investments-that-do-better-in-winter?ref=fbf">5 Investments That Do Better in Winter</a> &mdash; Sometimes, money actually can buy happiness. Especially when money turns into even more money. Put your cash in these stocks and you could have a nice little cushion by the time spring arrives.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/winteract-78255607.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-fun-things-to-do-when-youre-stuck-inside-during-winter?ref=fbf">50 Fun Things to Do When You're Stuck Inside During Winter</a> &mdash; Life isn't so bad when you can curl up by the fire and read a book or take a nap. The weather outside might be frightful, but these indoor winter ideas are all kinds of delightful.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-awesome-staycations-you-should-take-before-winter-ends?ref=fbf">5 Awesome Staycations You Should Take Before Winter Ends</a> &mdash; Before the snow melts, embrace your indoors-y side and have a nice little staycation. You'll feel bad about doing this when the weather outside is warm and beautiful, so take advantage of it now.</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-87-frugal-ways-to-make-winter-less-miserable">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/flashback-friday-76-new-years-resolutions-thatll-make-2017-your-year">Flashback Friday: 76 New Year&#039;s Resolutions That&#039;ll Make 2017 Your Year</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-reasons-to-look-forward-to-2017">17 Reasons to Look Forward to 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/flashback-friday-the-81-best-tips-for-saving-big-at-the-grocery-store">Flashback Friday: The 81 Best Tips for Saving Big at the Grocery Store</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-84-frugal-ways-to-eliminate-stress">Flashback Friday: 84 Frugal Ways to Eliminate Stress</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living fbf fitness flashback friday frugal living frugal living goals goals Health Holidays money New Year's new year's resolutions Fri, 13 Jan 2017 10:30:30 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1873235 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Gifts and Make Money Too http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-502527550.jpg" alt="make money from unwanted gifts" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's already 2017, which means it's time to take inventory and clean up. Got a few unwanted or duplicate presents for the holidays? Here are five ways to make money on the gifts you don't want.</p> <h2>Sell Clothing on ThredUp</h2> <p>Need something to do with your &quot;ugly christmas sweater&quot; from the work holiday party, or the pjs that are four sizes too big? If you're saddled with some brand new clothes you don't want, resell them on ThredUp &mdash; a site dedicated to clothing recycling and reuse. Sign up and send a batch of your clothing with their provided kit, and they will send you payment based on what they deem the clothing to be worth. You can even estimate <a href="https://www.thredup.com/p/cleanout-payout-estimator" target="_blank">what you might earn</a>. Soon, you can make some scratch to spend toward that cute unicorn pj onesie you really wanted.</p> <h2>Sell Toys and Games on eBay</h2> <p>Some sites stay the same for a reason. When it comes to toys, games, and other collectibles, you just can't beat eBay. It's where folks looking for a specific item are shopping. If you're stuck with a gigantic Power Rangers toy your kids don't want, or a third copy of <em>Big Bang Theory</em> Monopoly, it's easy to post them with a &quot;Buy It Now&quot; and/or an &quot;Make an Offer&quot; option. eBay even makes it easy to fill out the product form, as half the fields can be auto-filled based on the product. Take a photo and you're good to go.</p> <h2>Sell Books on Amazon Marketplace</h2> <p>Turns out everyone in your life only knows one thing about you, because everyone got you a copy of the newest <em>Peanuts</em> collection. You should definitely push off your other copies at <a href="https://services.amazon.com/selling/benefits.htm" target="_blank">Amazon Marketplace</a>. When one shops for books on Amazon, they can look at the section reading (for example), &quot;5 used and new starting at $2.46.&quot; People buy tons of books there, as you can usually get a really good deal on a used, but &quot;like new&quot; copy. Group together a crop of books you don't need, then simply sign up for an Amazon Marketplace account as an individual selling fewer than 40 items per month, so that you only have to pay 99 cents per item and a few other fees.</p> <h2>Sell Antiques and Appliances on Craigslist</h2> <p>Good old Craigslist is always there for when you need to get rid of something fairly quickly. Got some majorly heavy and space-consuming gifts from family you can't use? Post an ad for that awkward antique floor lamp, the racing bike gathering dust, or that huge pizza oven that you'll never bake with on Craigslist. It's easy and everyone knows how it works. No setting up an elaborate account, and there's minimal upkeep. The buyer comes to you to pick up the bulky item and then it's out of your life.</p> <h2>Sell Household Items on OfferUp</h2> <p>For miscellaneous presents from friends and family that you know will only gather dust, sell them while they're still new on <a href="https://offerupnow.com/howitworks/" target="_blank">OfferUp</a> for extra money. OfferUp attempts to make the Craigslist style of selling accessible and easy for the mobile phone generation. Snap a photo of the item, add details, and post. You can chat instantly with buyers within the app, which is especially helpful for those who dread getting emails and texts from random strangers on Craigslist.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts">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/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter">9 Gifts That Won&#039;t Become Clutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">Regifting: A Simple How-To Guide</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/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">Save on Christmas Shopping With This Clever Gift Card Strategy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping Christmas Christmas gifts exchange gifts gifts Holidays Internet presents regift regifting resale sell your stuff Fri, 06 Jan 2017 10:00:10 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1869197 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: What Is Your Favorite Holiday Across the Seasons? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-favorite-holiday-across-the-seasons <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-holiday-across-the-seasons" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_winter_snow_492810978.jpg" alt="Woman sharing her favorite holiday across the seasons" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-favorite-holiday-across-the-seasons#comment-803591">Lucy</a>, Raina, and Lisa for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>The holiday season is officially over, but celebrations will continue throughout the year. In fact, pretty much every day of the year honors one thing or another, whether it's a widely celebrated event like Valentine's Day or Memorial Day, or it's a quieter holiday like Arbor Day or&nbsp; a not-so-quiet International Talk Like a Pirate Day.</p> <p><strong>What is your favorite holiday across the seasons?</strong> How do you celebrate? What are other weird and wacky holidays that you enjoy?</p> <p>Tell us about your holiday 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> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For Extra Entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa278/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="79857dfa278" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_xjtbm1wc">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <p>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on Flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, January 9th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after January 9th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.<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 holiday 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-holiday-across-the-seasons">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/ask-the-readers-do-you-return-gifts-chance-to-win-10">Ask the Readers: Do you Return Gifts? (Chance to Win $10!)</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-200-giveaway-would-you-ding-your-credit-to-get-out-of-debt">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: Would You Ding Your Credit to Get Out of Debt?</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/ask-the-readers-how-did-you-spend-your-first-paycheck">Ask the Readers: How Did You Spend Your First Paycheck?</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/ask-the-readers-is-a-penny-saved-really-a-penny-earned">Ask the Readers: Is a Penny Saved Really a Penny Earned?</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-do-you-honestly-follow-a-budget-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: Do You Honestly Follow a Budget? (Chance to win $20)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers Holidays Tue, 03 Jan 2017 10:30:29 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1865833 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 76 New Year's Resolutions That'll Make 2017 Your Year http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-76-new-years-resolutions-thatll-make-2017-your-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-76-new-years-resolutions-thatll-make-2017-your-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_2017_loading_624248520.jpg" alt="Woman making new year&#039;s resolutions for 2017" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's no dancing around it &mdash; 2016 has been a garbage year. Most of us are ready to enthusiastically wave goodbye to it on New Year's Eve and usher in a fresh start. And even though most resolutions are abandoned by February, if you incorporate focused, realistic goals, your chances for success are far greater. So let's give it a go when the clock strikes midnight. Here are 76 New Year's resolutions that will make 2017 your best year ever!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock-518171446_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-to-keep-new-years-resolutions-that-really-pay-off?ref=fbf" target="_blank">15 Easy to Keep New Year's Resolutions That Really Pay Off</a> &mdash; The smartest way to make goals that will stick is to make them easy. If they're difficult and vague, you won't be motivated enough to keep them. These are all easy, focused, and will make your life so much better.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/successful-new-years-resolutions-have-this-one-thing-in-common-does-yours?ref=fbf" target="_blank">Successful New Year's Resolutions Have This One Thing in Common &mdash; Does Yours?</a> &mdash; The secret to achieving these holiday goals is to understand why the successful ones actually work. This breaks down the one thing all successful resolutions have in common. Make sure it's part of yours, too!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_dog_pet_499423418_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-new-years-resolutions-your-pet-wants-you-to-make?ref=fbf" target="_blank">4 New Year's Resolutions Your Pet Wants You to Make</a> &mdash; Your pet lives for you. They think you're the best creature on this Earth. So why not consider what they'd want for you when making your annual list of resolutions? Seeing your dog with that goofy grin will be more than worth it.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-frugal-living-resolutions-anyone-can-master?ref=fbf" target="_blank">23 Frugal Living Resolutions Anyone Can Master</a> &mdash; Living frugally is a trend that will never go away. We could all spend less money and buy fewer things. All of these brilliantly simple resolutions incorporate the frugal mindset. A little saving can go a long way.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/friends_new_years_498059820_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-personal-finance-resolutions-anyone-can-master?ref=fbf" target="_blank">8 Personal Finance Resolutions Anyone Can Master</a> &mdash; Money. We all need more of it. Living paycheck-to-paycheck is a miserable way to live. Taking these small steps to building your financial cushion will give you financial freedom, and ultimately, a better life.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-small-new-year-s-resolutions-you-can-start-today?ref=fbf" target="_blank">25 Small New Year&rsquo;s Resolutions You Can Start Today</a> &mdash; Why wait until the ball drops? Get started on your resolutions now! These steps are all small and easy-to-make. After all, the early bird gets the worm, right?</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-76-new-years-resolutions-thatll-make-2017-your-year">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/flashback-friday-87-frugal-ways-to-make-winter-less-miserable">Flashback Friday: 87 Frugal Ways to Make Winter Less Miserable</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-84-frugal-ways-to-eliminate-stress">Flashback Friday: 84 Frugal Ways to Eliminate Stress</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/flashback-friday-the-99-best-fitness-hacks-of-all-time">Flashback Friday: The 99 Best Fitness Hacks of All 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-the-119-best-fitness-hacks-for-busy-people">Flashback Friday: The 119 Best Fitness Hacks for Busy People</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Health and Beauty fbf fitness flashback friday frugal living frugal living goals goals Health Holidays money New Year's new year's resolutions Fri, 30 Dec 2016 10:30:30 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1865098 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Easy to Keep New Year's Resolutions That Really Pay Off http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-to-keep-new-years-resolutions-that-really-pay-off <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-easy-to-keep-new-years-resolutions-that-really-pay-off" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-518171446.jpg" alt="these easy new year&#039;s resolutions really pay off" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>New Year's resolutions are designed to help you improve your life in the new year. However, the vast majority of us have a very hard time sticking to them past January. That's why we've found some small changes you can realistically make that will result in a big difference over time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-mondays?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Frugal Skills You Must Have to Survive Mondays</a>)</p> <h2>Fitness Resolutions</h2> <p>Two of the top three New Year's Resolutions of 2016 had to do with staying fit and losing weight. Fortunately, there are some simple changes that you can make in the new year that will help you achieve your fitness goals more quickly.</p> <h3>1. Set Achievable Goals</h3> <p>Set achievable fitness goals on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. You aren't going to get that perfect body overnight, so set goals that you can realistically achieve. Reward yourself when you reach your milestones by taking a day off, paying for a special exercise class, or purchasing affordable new workout gear. Don't over think things, try not to get frustrated, and remember that fitness takes time.</p> <h3>2. Save Money On Your Fitness</h3> <p>Getting in shape doesn't have to cost a fortune. There are endless ways to get in shape for free, such as running, yoga, and hiking. You can even join a hiking group or find free yoga classes near you to shake up your workout routine and spend time with friends without breaking the bank. You can also find free workout apps, follow fitness Instagram accounts, or follow a YouTube fitness page for new workouts and inspiration. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-easy-ways-to-save-on-your-gym-membership?ref=seealso" target="_blank">13 Easy Ways to Save on Your Gym Membership</a>)</p> <h3>3. Keep a Food Journal</h3> <p>Keeping a food journal can keep you on track and accountable for what you eat. By writing down every little crumb that you eat on a daily basis, you can look back every week and see what you need to improve on and how well (or how poorly) you actually eat. It can also encourage you to eat fewer calories, improve your health, and help you make positive dietary changes for life. Your doctor or personal trainer may have already recommended that you keep a food journal, and the new year is the best time to start.</p> <h2>Health Resolutions</h2> <p>For the new year, focus on improving your overall well-being by making healthy changes that you can stick to.</p> <h3>4. Skip the Snooze Button</h3> <p>Waking up earlier can help you achieve so much more every week. By cleaning, stretching, or completing one item from your &quot;to-do&quot; list during your extra time, you can get your day started on a more productive note. However, waking up earlier can be difficult, so try getting up early (or ignoring the snooze button) just one day per week.</p> <h3>5. Multitask More</h3> <p>During commercial breaks, try multitasking. Do a quick exercise set or quick clean during each commercial break. For the average 60-minute show, there are about 13-19 minutes of commercials. Imagine what you could get done with all that extra time.</p> <h3>6. Start Meditating</h3> <p>Meditating has dozens of health and stress-reducing benefits. It can help you sleep better, make better decisions, and refocus your energy in a positive way. If you aren't familiar with meditation, consider starting with breathing exercises or use apps like <a href="https://www.headspace.com/register/free-trial?" target="_blank">Headspace</a> to get you started. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-a-mindfulness-journal-can-fix-your-life?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways a Mindfulness Journal Can Fix Your Life</a>)</p> <h3>7. Exercise More</h3> <p>The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend getting at least two and a half hours of exercise each week. This means that you should be working out about 30 minutes per day, five days per week. This is a very attainable goal that can have huge health and fitness benefits both in the short- and long-term.</p> <h3>8. Clear Away Clutter</h3> <p>Clearing clutter from your life will make you more organized and productive, can decrease stress, and can make way for new things in your life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clear-out-financial-clutter?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Clear Out Financial Clutter</a>)</p> <h3>9. Drink Water in the Morning</h3> <p>Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is a great way to soothe the stomach, curb your appetite throughout the day, boost energy, and improve overall health. It can also help you detoxify the body and even lose weight, helping you stick to your fitness and health resolutions.</p> <h3>10. Volunteer More</h3> <p>Volunteering more often has countless benefits for both you and those you volunteer for. While others can benefit from your time, energy, and talents, you can feel good about yourself for your efforts. Volunteering also looks great on your job applications, can help you make new friends, and most importantly, you're helping to make the world a better place.</p> <h2>Financial Resolutions</h2> <p>In 2016, more than half of Americans had a finance-related resolution. Fortunately, there are some simple changes you can make that can result in huge savings.</p> <h3>11. Save Your 5's</h3> <p>Save all $5 bills in a designated jar or drawer. At the end of every month, apply them toward your debt, emergency fund, or retirement account. You'll be amazed at how quickly this adds up, and you won't feel a huge difference in your spending. This is known as &quot;<a href="https://www.quickenloans.com/blog/5-savings-plan" target="_blank">The $5 Savings Plan</a>&quot; and can help you save hundreds each month. Even if you only save one $5 every week, you'll save an extra $260/year.</p> <h3>12. Invest an Extra $35/Week</h3> <p>According to <a href="https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/retire-a-millionaire-on-35-a-week" target="_blank">Dave Ramsey</a>, by investing $35/week for 40 years, you can retire a millionaire.</p> <h3>13. Sign Up for Automatic Deposits</h3> <p>Consider signing up for automatic deposits to your savings account every month. The money will add up quickly and you won't feel like you're missing much.</p> <h3>14. Eat Out Less</h3> <p>Eating out less often will save you money and can even help you achieve your fitness goals more quickly. If you eat out all the time, just try cutting back on your morning coffee or to-go orders by one day per week.</p> <h3>15. Cut Expensive Habits</h3> <p>By cutting an expensive habit like smoking, you can save up to $2,321 per year. Not only is this great for your pocketbook, but it is also a healthy change you can make in the new year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-a-surprising-amount-by-quitting-these-4-bad-habits?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Save a Surprising Amount by Quitting These 4 Bad Habits</a>)</p> <h2>How to Stick With Your Resolutions</h2> <p>According to The University of Scranton, only <a href="http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/" target="_blank">8% of Americans are actually successful</a> in achieving their New Year's resolutions. To ensure that you're part of that 8% this year, write down your resolutions in a place that you can see them daily. Also, determine what measurable steps you need to take to accomplish these goals. Consider using a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-journal-may-be-the-fix-for-your-finances" target="_blank">bullet journal</a> to help you track your goals and monitor your progress.</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/15-easy-to-keep-new-years-resolutions-that-really-pay-off">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-8"> <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-76-new-years-resolutions-thatll-make-2017-your-year">Flashback Friday: 76 New Year&#039;s Resolutions That&#039;ll Make 2017 Your Year</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-the-99-best-fitness-hacks-of-all-time">Flashback Friday: The 99 Best Fitness Hacks of All Time</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/17-reasons-to-look-forward-to-2017">17 Reasons to Look Forward to 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/flashback-friday-the-119-best-fitness-hacks-for-busy-people">Flashback Friday: The 119 Best Fitness Hacks for Busy People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-87-frugal-ways-to-make-winter-less-miserable">Flashback Friday: 87 Frugal Ways to Make Winter Less Miserable</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Life Hacks Health and Beauty 2017 financial goals fitness fitness goals Holidays life goals New Year new year's resolutions resolutions Tue, 27 Dec 2016 10:30:34 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1860475 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Gifts That Won't Become Clutter http://www.wisebread.com/9-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-498764046.jpg" alt="these minimalist gifts won&#039;t become clutter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you come from a family of minimalists? Do you live under the stairs like Harry Potter? Do you simply want less stuff in your home? Your friends and family may feel the same way. Here's a handy list of gifts that won't gather dust.</p> <h2>1. Anything on the Wish List</h2> <p>People spend a lot of time and thought assembling their gift lists. Respect that. A study by researchers at Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas at Austin found that when buying wedding gifts, the people closest to the bride and groom are the most likely to <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/05/10/why-your-close-friends-always-buy-you-such-crummy-gifts/?utm_term=.40b205cef386" target="_blank">buy gifts off the registry</a> in order to express their close relationship with the recipients. The same study also shows that gift recipients are <em>less </em>happy with unique gifts than if they had just received something from their registry. Why would you ever want to make anyone less happy?</p> <p>If you're one of these people trying to cut down on the clutter, lead by example and set up a gift registry for yourself. By sharing your wish list, you not only limit what comes into your house, but it makes it easy to casually ask what everyone in your life really wants.</p> <p>Years ago, when I was setting up my first apartment, I registered myself for wedding gifts at Williams-Sonoma. Back in the days before the Internet, no one used gift registries for single people. They just didn't exist. I had to use the wedding registry form at the store to create my apartment wish list. When I told my friends and family, most of them were mortified. A gift registry for a single girl? How unseemly! However, it was the first year that I got everything that I wanted for the holidays and my birthday. Moral of the story: Ignore the negsters and stick to your guns about your registry.</p> <h2>2. Cash Money</h2> <p>Don't ask me how I know this, but gift cards are easy to lose in a messy house. I've lost conservatively a bazillion dollars in gift card and store credit value in my life. I have yet to lose one single paper currency gift.</p> <h2>3. A Night (or Day) Out</h2> <p>I can count on one hand the number of people I know who aren't completely overworked. While most people can't afford to give even themselves a needed vacation, a great night out can be just the break that people need to recharge.</p> <p>I love to take my friends out to lunch for their birthdays. Because many of my friends have super busy schedules, it's a great excuse to spend quality time with people I care about.</p> <p>I have friends who share their season tickets as their go-to gift. My friend Ellen buys two season tickets to the Hollywood Bowl each year. She then sends out the concert schedule to all of her friends so they can choose which show they want to see as her guest. My friend Ryan does the same thing with his season tickets to the Dodgers. My friend Andrew takes his friends and family to the Huntington Gardens for tours, museum events, and an occasional high tea. Sharing season tickets involves a lot of scheduling, but it's a gift that you get to enjoy with the recipients. As a bonus, this gift also benefits the organizations that you care about.</p> <p>A memorable day out doesn't have to be costly. Attend a free concert or set up a hiking date.</p> <h2>4. Digital Subscriptions</h2> <p>Digital subscriptions to magazines and entertainment companies like Audible, Steam, and Netflix are great gifts for people who live in small spaces. In addition to taking up no physical space, digital subscriptions can provide hours of entertainment throughout the year.</p> <p>Looking beyond entertainment subscriptions, there are a variety of other services that run on a subscription model. Offer to pay for a year's subscription to reference sites like imdbPro or for digital tools like Adobe Photoshop.</p> <p>I just received a 23andMe DNA testing kit in the mail. It was sent anonymously, with the message &quot;Happy Birthday&quot; noted on the invoice. I texted my adopted sister; she is a big fan of the service. &quot;Did you send me a DNA test?&quot; &quot;Hmmmmm, was it me or another mystery sister?&quot; she texted back. We both agree that we're probably distant cousins on our Neanderthal side.</p> <p>If you can't afford the cost of a gift subscription, there is an excellent, cost-free option: Curate a list of free podcasts. My best friend spends a lot of time in the car for work. She is a rabid fan of podcasts for education and entertainment. This year she asked me if I would listen along with her to <a href="http://ohwitchplease.ca/" target="_blank">Witch, Please</a>, a fortnightly podcast about the Harry Potter universe that is hosted by two potty-mouthed college professors. We spent an entire month listening to the podcasts and then debating important topics like whether the wizards, as described in the books, wear pants under their robes, and if puberty and Voldemort are equally evil forces.</p> <h2>5. Give the Gift of Education</h2> <p>My parents believe that the two lasting gifts you can give your children are love and a good education. I think this is true. Education, like love, might not make you richer, but it will make your life more interesting.</p> <p>The gift can be as large as a college scholarship or as small as a single knitting class at your local craft store. Two of my friends have asked me to teach them how to make homemade sauerkraut as their Christmas present this year.</p> <p>If you take a class with someone you love, it can be a present for you, too. When my best friend and I were 13, we obsessively read every Agatha Christie mystery. We were less into the whodunit than we were the Downton Abbey-esque universe of Hercule Poirot and his friends. The transcontinental train rides, the Mah Jongg games, the constant tea drinking all seemed so glamorous. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of our friendship, we took a Mah Jongg class together, a game we still enjoy playing years later.</p> <p>Don't forget about online classes. Lynda.com has 4000 different courses in business, technology, and creative skills. Audible carries Pimsleur language courses at a discount.</p> <h2>6. Donate to a Charity in Their Name</h2> <p>Donating to charity is a nice way to make friends feel remembered at the holidays and also spread the holiday cheer to people who need help. If you need help choosing a worthy cause, <a href="https://www.charitywatch.org/top-rated-charities" target="_blank">Charity Watch</a> keeps a list of top-rated charities that spans a huge number of categories.</p> <h2>7. Make New Holiday Traditions<strong> </strong></h2> <p>In 2001, to address the Christmas elephant in the room &mdash; an elephant that we can't actually see because it's hidden under a pile of half-completed craft projects and books we intend to read very soon &mdash; my hoarder family took a radical step: We stopped giving Christmas gifts to each other. Even the kids. This is the nuclear option. But for families who can make the psychological jump, a No Gifts Christmas can totally change the way you feel about the holiday&hellip;for the better.</p> <p>For 15 straight years my family's No Gifts Christmas tradition has made the holiday season merrier for my relatives and me. There are countless ways to experience the spirit of the season that don't involve clutter. We have less stress and a lot more fun than when we had to shop for each other. Oh, and money. Did I mention <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor" target="_blank">we have a lot more money</a>? And empty floor space. Empty floor space in my house is priceless.</p> <h2>8. The Gift of Time</h2> <p>No one loves chores. That's why they are called chores instead of hobbies. Give the gift of time by helping your friends complete their own to-do lists.</p> <p>This year for my birthday my friend Señor Amor helped me hang curtains in my dining room. It was an all day ordeal. I can't imagine how long it would have taken me to do the job by myself. Every time I look at those drapes, I have a nice reminder of our friendship.</p> <p>My friend Crickett and I recently discussed our mutual hatred for filing. For our holiday gift to one another, we're going to help each other organize the piles of paperwork taking up precious real estate on our desks. If we have to suffer, at least we don't have to do it alone.</p> <h2>9. Just Ask</h2> <p>Even minimalists have wish lists. If you don't mind ruining the surprise, just ask.</p> <p>Don't get me wrong; surprises are great. But who prefers to be surprised by a gift she doesn't want over something she's been pining to own? You cannot deny there is a certain satisfaction to getting exactly what you want. If your soul requires that every gift contain the element of surprise, then stake out your friends' Amazon wish list, Pinterest page, or Etsy favorites. Or, just be a good listener.</p> <p>My friend Todd, a professional organizer who works with hoarders, is a master at choosing clutter-free gifts. He gives me two gigantic, 36-count packages of toilet paper from Costco every year for my birthday. Back when we were in college, I had mentioned to him that never having to buy toilet paper would be weirdly luxurious.</p> <p>Now, I don't remember saying this, but I do hate spending money on boring things like cleaning supplies. And, even if I never said it, can I tell you? Never buying your own toilet paper is luxurious.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter">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/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts">How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Gifts and Make Money Too</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-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-miles-and-points-for-holiday-gifts">9 Ways to Use Miles and Points for Holiday Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wrap-gifts-with-leftovers">How to wrap gifts with leftovers.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Organization Shopping charities classes clutter gifts Holidays presents subscriptions thoughtful gifts unique gifts wish lists Mon, 19 Dec 2016 11:30:07 +0000 Max Wong 1856079 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Easy Steps for a Greener Holiday Season http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-easy-steps-for-a-greener-holiday-season <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-easy-steps-for-a-greener-holiday-season" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/recycle_green_christmas_182187349.jpg" alt="Taking easy steps for a greener holiday season" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on ways to have a green holiday season, opportunities to save money in 2017, and simple but smart ways to improve your home security.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://blog.shoplet.com/environment/how-to-green-your-holiday-in-9-easy-steps/">How to Green Your Holiday in 9 Easy Steps</a> &mdash; Instead of wrapping gifts for your nuclear family, put all gifts for each person in a large holiday sack. It's like a stocking, but bigger! [Shoplet]</p> <p><a href="http://www.northerncheapskate.com/7-opportunities-to-save-money-in-2017/">7 Opportunities to Save Money in 2017</a> &mdash; Why spend more when you don&rsquo;t need to? Plan the year's purchases so that you only shop during big sales. [Northern Cheapskate]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifehack.org/506374/7-smart-and-simple-ways-improve-your-home-security">7 Smart and Simple Ways to Improve Your Home Security</a> &mdash; Use a bracket, sliding window lock, or corner braces to secure window air conditioning units in place. [Lifehack]</p> <p><a href="http://untemplater.com/self-improvement/dont-forget-these-year-end-must-dos/">Don&rsquo;t Forget These Year-end Must Dos</a> &mdash; If you get paid time off, make sure you use it by the end of the year. You've earned it! [Untemplater]</p> <p><a href="http://www.shebudgets.com/personal-finance/10-money-saving-skills-to-teach-your-kids-in-2017/71784">10 Money Saving Skills to Teach Your Kids in 2017</a> &mdash; Teach your kids how to track their spending on a notebook or a computer. By the time they're all grown up, this skill will be second nature to them. [SheBudgets[</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-More-Positive-42854814">27 Ways to Be More Positive in 2017</a> &mdash; Set yourself up for more positivity in 2017. Swear off media sites that make you feel dread or negativity, listen to motivational podcasts, and plan a trip that will expand your cultural horizons. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.theorderexpert.com/ways-keep-resolution/">10 Ways to Keep Your New Year&rsquo;s Resolution</a> &mdash; Check in with yourself each day to review your goal and give yourself a pep talk. [The Order Expert]</p> <p><a href="https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/4-ways-to-boost-productivity-and-enter-flow-states-consistently/">4 Ways to Boost Productivity and Enter Flow States Consistently</a> &mdash; When you're in a flow state, you are focused, energized, and immersed in the task at hand. It can be easier to get to a flow state when you play to your natural strengths when you work. [Pick The Brain]</p> <p><a href="http://www.asianefficiency.com/productivity/10-myths-about-personal-productivity-and-procrastination/">10 Myths about Personal Productivity and Procrastination</a> &mdash; Productivity isn't about getting things exactly the way you want them. Do things right, but accept that they don't need to be perfect. [Asian Efficiency]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-reduce-your-childs-stress-when-getting-a-flu-shot">How to Reduce Your Child's Stress When Getting a Flu Shot</a> &mdash; Help your kids get through the flu shot appointment with less stress and fewer tears by following these tips. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-easy-steps-for-a-greener-holiday-season">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/10-smart-things-to-do-with-leftover-easter-goodies">10 Smart Things to Do With Leftover Easter Goodies</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-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</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/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</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-use-the-holiday-quiet-time-to-boost-your-career">How to Use the Holiday Quiet Time to Boost Your Career</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/do-you-really-need-soft-water">Do You Really Need “Soft” Water?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living best money tips Holidays Fri, 16 Dec 2016 10:30:34 +0000 Amy Lu 1855465 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Use Credit Cards Responsibly During the Holidays http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-responsibly-during-the-holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-use-credit-cards-responsibly-during-the-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-525827989.jpg" alt="use credit cards responsibly during the holidays" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Americans enjoy Christmas so much, that they often get carried away. It's one thing to go all-out decorating a tree or preparing the ultimate Christmas dinner, but some take the holiday spirit too far when they charge so much to their credit cards that they begin the New Year under a mountain of debt. At the same time, credit cards are a very secure and convenient method of payment, and shoppers can earn valuable rewards for their holiday spending.</p> <p>Before you pull out the plastic this year, consider these tips for using your credit cards responsibly during the holidays</p> <h2>1. Set a Budget</h2> <p>If you had unlimited money, then you could simply buy everyone you know anything they want, and not worry about the cost. But the reality is that we all must live within our means, or face crippling debt and costly interest charges. Regardless of how much money you make, it's best to set a budget for your holiday spending and stick with it. Start with an overall figure for how much your household can afford to spend during the holidays, and then split that budget among your different expenses like gifts, decorations, parties, and travel.</p> <h2>2. Watch Your Credit Utilization Ratio</h2> <p>Your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit utilization</a> ratio is the amount of total debt you have divided by the total amount of credit you've been extended. A rule of thumb is that you don't want to use up more than 30% of the credit that you've been extended on any one of your cards, or on all of your credit cards as a whole. The lower that percentage, the better. If you find yourself having to keep an eye on your credit limits, you can pay down your balances before you receive your statements. Also, you can apply for new credit cards or ask for credit limit increases on your existing cards. However, you want to have very low balances when you apply for new credit. As the old saying goes, banks only want to lend money to those who don't need it.</p> <h2>3. Use Your Credit Card Account's Alerts</h2> <p>It's because credit cards are so convenient to use that it's so easy to overspend. However, nearly all credit card issuers now offer ways to configure email and text alerts. You can set alerts to notify you when your payments are due, or when you've reached a certain spending threshold. Many card issuers also allow you to configure an alert that notifies you when one of your authorized users spends a certain amount. And best of all, you can use these alerts for free.</p> <h2>4. Look for Holiday Promotions</h2> <p>The credit card industry is intensely competitive, and each card issuer is trying to give you a reason to use its card over its competitors' cards. One of the ways it does this is to offer special promotions throughout the holiday season. Check if your credit card offers exclusive discounts for spending at certain stores. For example, some issuers have a shopping portal where if you click to a partner site through their portal, you will get a discount (or extra rewards) for your purchases. Others might have a Twitter feed that offers discount codes, or another program that requires you to sign in and sign up for offers. However, be careful not to make unnecessary purchases just to receive a discount.</p> <h2>5. Maximize the Value of Your Rewards</h2> <p>If you are using a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">rewards credit card</a>, then you may have many choices when it comes time to redeem your points, miles, or cash back. If you are paying interest on your holiday debt, then the best thing that you can do with your rewards is to redeem them for statement credits to pay down your debt. But if you are able to avoid interest charges by paying off all of your statement balances each month, then you might be able to redeem your points and miles for travel rewards that are worth more than the cash back offered. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-miles-and-points-for-holiday-gifts?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Ways to Use Your Points and Miles for Holiday Gifts</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-responsibly-during-the-holidays">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/10-tricks-to-save-money-with-credit-cards">10 Tricks to Save Money with Credit Cards</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/reduce-your-credit-limits-to-manage-your-spending">Reduce Your Credit Limits to Manage Your Spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/worried-about-debt-tips-on-managing-your-loans">Worried About Debt? Tips On Managing Your Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-money-moves-to-make-before-the-holiday-season-begins">9 Smart Money Moves to Make Before the Holiday Season Begins</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards budget Christmas credit debt Holidays shopping Fri, 16 Dec 2016 10:00:07 +0000 Jason Steele 1855411 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: 6 Ways to Simplify the Holidays http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-6-ways-to-simplify-the-holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-6-ways-to-simplify-the-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_christmas_presents_614869036.jpg" alt="Family learning how to simplify the holidays" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on ways to simplify your life during the holidays, ways for introverts to get their energy back, and phrases that ignite money fights in marriage.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.getorganizedwizard.com/blog/2016/12/6-ways-simplify-life-holiday-season/">6 Ways to Simplify Your Life During The Holiday Season</a> &mdash; Block out quiet time where you're free to do whatever you want&hellip;or nothing at all! [Get Organized Wizard]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Ways-Introverts-Recharge-39990746">Ways For Introverts to Get Their Energy Back When Other Humans Suck It Out of Them</a> &mdash; Take up a single-person exercise, like yoga, Pilates, or dance. It's good for your body and you don't have to interact with other people to do it. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.everybodylovesyourmoney.com/2016/12/14/money-fights-in-marriage.html">4 Phrases to Avoid That Ignite Money Fights In Marriage</a> &mdash; You may be tempted to say &quot;Fine, you handle it&quot; and tap out, but remember that this is a team effort. If one spouse runs the budget, the other should still check in and be active in the process. [Everybody Loves Your Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/blog/6-ways-great-time-work/">6 Ways to Have a Great Time at Work</a> &mdash; Organize an outing after work to give everyone a chance to bond in a casual setting. [Change Your Thoughts]</p> <p><a href="http://moneypantry.com/save-money-when-moving/">37 Ways to Save Money When Moving</a> &mdash; Plan the cutoff date for your utilities carefully. Don't pay for an extra month when you don't need to! [Money Pantry]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="https://www.supermoney.com/2016/12/refinancing-mortgage/">7 Questions to Ask Before Refinancing Your Mortgage</a> &mdash; Answering these questions will help you figure out if refinancing your mortgage is the right move for your situation. [SuperMoney]</p> <p><a href="http://www.adebtfreestressfreelife.com/last-minute-christmas-clean-up/">Last Minute Christmas Clean Up Checklist</a> &mdash; If your guests are about to arrive and you still have cleaning to do, use this checklist to tidy up where it matters. [A Debt Free Mess Free Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/steps-for-buying-a-used-car/">Caution: 5 Steps to Take Before Buying a Used Car</a> &mdash; Have a mechanic inspect the car, and if they sign off on it, inspect it and test drive it yourself. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="https://www.lupgrade.com/4-tips-making-late-career-change/">4 Tips On Making A Late Career Change</a> &mdash; Identify the real issues you're having with your current career and use that knowledge to map out what changes you can make for your next career. [Life Upgrade]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-teach-your-child-a-to-have-a-strong-work-ethic">How to Teach Your Child a to Have a Strong Work Ethic</a> &mdash; Start laying down the foundation for a good work ethic by helping your kids create a homework routine and a way to organize their workload. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-6-ways-to-simplify-the-holidays">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-to-keep-new-years-resolutions-that-really-pay-off">15 Easy to Keep New Year&#039;s Resolutions That Really Pay Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-decorate-your-christmas-tree-for-under-30">10 Ways to Decorate Your Christmas Tree for Under $30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter">9 Gifts That Won&#039;t Become Clutter</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/flashback-friday-76-new-years-resolutions-thatll-make-2017-your-year">Flashback Friday: 76 New Year&#039;s Resolutions That&#039;ll Make 2017 Your Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts">How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Gifts and Make Money Too</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living best money tips Holidays simplify Thu, 15 Dec 2016 11:00:15 +0000 Amy Lu 1854679 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Use the Holiday Quiet Time to Boost Your Career http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-the-holiday-quiet-time-to-boost-your-career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-use-the-holiday-quiet-time-to-boost-your-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-539452034.jpg" alt="using holiday quiet time to focus on your career" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Depending on your office's culture, it can become a barren wasteland starting right after Thanksgiving, and stay that way until after the New Year. Especially if your office is open the week between Christmas and December 31, it's completely common to find yourself as one of the few people in the office &mdash; if not the only one!</p> <p>And while bingeing on Netflix or having chair races with the only other person in the office may sound appealing, office quiet time is a golden opportunity for you. The empty office gives you a chance to prepare for 2017 and build your skills. Instead of whiling away the hours on Candy Crush, try the following ideas to be productive.</p> <h2>Take a Course</h2> <p>Whether you want to learn how to code, dream of graphic design, or think mastering advanced Excel functions will help you in your current work, there are free and low-cost courses available to help you meet your goal.</p> <h3>Coursera</h3> <p><a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=467035.208&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0" target="_blank">Coursera</a> offers free classes from top universities like Yale, Harvard, and Brown in subjects like psychology, neuroscience, or fundamental programming concepts. While you cannot get credit for the classes you take, these are excellent resources for developing new skills.</p> <h3>Udemy</h3> <p>Similarly, <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=323085.8&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0" target="_blank">Udemy</a> offers free classes, but they also have more in-depth classes with a fee, too. Udemy courses tend to be more niche-focused. If you want to learn about the latest in social media, such as how to use Periscope for brand promotion, or how to use Photoshop's editing features, Udemy offers many options and self-paced learning opportunities. While even Udemy's paid classes tend to be very affordable, if the lesson can be applied to your work, check with your manager to see if the company will cover the cost. Your initiative will show a good use of your time during the slow season.</p> <h2>Research Tools That Can Improve Your Work</h2> <p>During the busiest months, it can get so crazy you don't have a lot of time to research ways to streamline processes or make your job easier. So you stick to what you know and what works, even if it is inefficient. The slow weeks can be a great time to find new ways of doing business that can make your life simpler in 2017.</p> <p>There are many free or cheap tools available for every line of work. Below are just five free options that can help you in different industries, but there are hundreds of tools that can improve efficiencies and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance?ref=internal">empower you to be more productive</a>.</p> <h3>Asana</h3> <p>If your company struggles to keep up with deadlines and track who is accountable for what, <a href="https://asana.com/" target="_blank">Asana</a> can be a gamechanger. Asana allows you to create tasks, assign people to each step, and set public deadlines. Asana is free for for teams up to 15 people, so it can be great for individual departments to stay on track and keep projects moving forward.</p> <h3>Canva</h3> <p>If you run social media pages, coming up with images for the different channels can be a major timesink. And if you have to wait on someone else to do them for you, that can make it difficult to capitalize on breaking trends. <a href="http://www.canva.com" target="_blank">Canva</a> allows you to create polished, professional-looking images in minutes, even if you have no graphic design training yourself. There's thousands of free templates, and while you can upload your own photos, they also offer stock photos for just $1.</p> <h3>FullContact Card Reader</h3> <p>Whether you work in sales, procurement, or marketing, gathering business cards is part of the job. And it's all too easy to accumulate a stack and forget about them, or lose them altogether. The <a href="https://www.fullcontact.com/cardreader/" target="_blank">FullContact Card Reader</a> scans the business card and saves the information to a designated place that you can organize and search. You can save up to 1,000 contacts with the free version.</p> <h3>HemingwayApp</h3> <p>If you're a writer, you'll enjoy <a href="http://www.hemingwayapp.com/" target="_blank">HemingwayApp</a>. Not only does it recognize typos and grammatical errors, but it also highlights bad habits like passive voice, excessive adverb use, and overly complicated sentence structure.</p> <h3>Written Kitten</h3> <p>Have you been delaying writing an email or starting on a sales report? Meet <a href="http://www.writtenkitten.net/" target="_blank">Written Kitten</a>, an utterly ridiculous free tool that may get you inspired. After you write 100 words, the site rewards you with an adorable picture of a kitten. Just don't allow yourself to cheat the system and start writing nonsense just to see the next cat.</p> <h2>Take Advantage of Your Time</h2> <p>It can feel like a real drag as the only person in the office. But this time of the year can be a fantastic chance to invest in yourself, learn new skills, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-productivity-tips-for-it-professionals?ref=internal">optimize your productivity</a>. Dress comfortably, load up your phone with great music, and try these courses and tools to set yourself up for a strong 2017.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-the-holiday-quiet-time-to-boost-your-career">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-11"> <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-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance">The 7 Best Free Tools to Improve Your Work Performance</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-succeed-as-an-online-student">How to Succeed as an Online Student</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/dont-go-to-college-to-learn">Don&#039;t Go to College to Learn</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-important-signs-that-your-job-sucks">10 Important Signs That Your Job Sucks</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/15-easy-to-keep-new-years-resolutions-that-really-pay-off">15 Easy to Keep New Year&#039;s Resolutions That Really Pay Off</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Career Building education holiday break holiday vacation Holidays online classes productivity training Wed, 14 Dec 2016 11:30:08 +0000 Kat Tretina 1853788 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-155441599.jpg" alt="it&#039;s okay to do your holiday shopping at the last minute" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Full disclosure here, folks: I'm a planner. Most years, I start my holiday shopping in October and have everything wrapped Martha Stewart-style by Thanksgiving. But the older I get, and the more holidays I put behind me, the more tempted I am to cross over to the other side.</p> <p>For just one year, I'd like to make October and November strictly about enjoying the changing leaves, spooking trick-or-treaters, and consuming an embarrassing amount of turkey. Why? Because procrastinating offers some strategic advantages, especially during the holidays. Here are nine reasons why it's perfectly okay to shop for the holidays at the very last minute.</p> <h2>1. More Seasonal Spirit</h2> <p>Compared to those of us who start our holiday shopping in the heat of August, last-minute buyers are far more immersed in the spirit of the season. The air is crisp, stores are decked out in full holiday cheer, carolers are caroling, and everything feels more festive. If you have trouble gearing up for the holiday, a last-minute shopping trip could be the nudge you need.</p> <h2>2. Deeper Discounts</h2> <p>Who needs Black Friday? Retailers live and die by their holiday sales volume. The closer the holiday, the more anxious they are to hit their sales goals, clear out inventory, and prepare for the next big sales season. Last-minute shoppers can take advantage of this reality and score some amazing deals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/december-deals-that-are-better-than-black-friday?ref=seealso">December Deals That Are Better Than Black Friday</a>)</p> <h2>3. Amazing Online Deals</h2> <p>Sometimes the best last-minute deals are just a click away. Online retailers promote doorbuster discounts at different times throughout the holiday season. And if you don't mind being late with a gift or two, standard shipping is often free for buyers who meet minimum purchase requirements.</p> <h2>4. More Planning Time</h2> <p>Choosing to delay your holiday shopping doesn't have to mean you're operating in complete chaos. Procrastination gives you more time to plan and more time to see what other gifts have already been exchanged &mdash; two distinct advantages if you want find just the perfect item and avoid giving a duplicate gift.</p> <h2>5. Smaller Crowds</h2> <p>As the holidays draw near, most people focus less on shopping and more on decorating their homes, cooking, preparing for visitors, or traveling. That means malls and other retail outlets can be almost serene for eleventh-hour shoppers.</p> <h2>6. No Spoiled Surprises</h2> <p>No matter how expert your skills of concealment, kids have an uncanny ability to sniff out their gifts. But last-minute shoppers have nothing to worry about. They only need to hide their gifts for a few days &mdash; heck, sometimes just a few short hours! That means half-pint hunters have less time to explore and less chance of spoiling their surprise on Christmas morning.</p> <h2>7. Fewer Wish List Changes</h2> <p>Some children's holiday wish lists could generously be described as &quot;fluid.&quot; New products, changing tastes, and evolving interests all mean that what you bought in early November could be passé by late December. Here, last-minute shoppers have a distinct advantage: They can dash out the door on December 23rd with relative certainty that they have the latest and greatest wish list in-hand.</p> <h2>8. More Time to Save</h2> <p>In theory, the longer you wait to shop, the more time you'll have to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-do-now-to-get-your-finances-in-order-for-the-holidays">prep your finances for the holidays</a> and sock away some green. Last-minute shoppers who've been disciplined budgeters can pay cash for every item on their holiday list &mdash; that means not having to rely on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?ref=internal">credit cards and avoiding interest charges</a>. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!</p> <h2>9. Bigger Challenge</h2> <p>Are you one of those amazing people who work best under pressure? Then December 22&ndash;24 is your time to shine. Slam a double espresso, hit the malls, check out your favorite neighborhood shops, and start wrapping. You got this.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">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/flashback-friday-160-gift-ideas-for-everyone-you-know">Flashback Friday: 160 Gift Ideas for Everyone You Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-30-brilliant-ways-to-survive-black-friday-madness">Flashback Friday: 30 Brilliant Ways to Survive Black Friday Madness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts">How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Gifts and Make Money Too</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-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-autumn">9 Frugal Skills You Must Have to Survive Autumn</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter">9 Gifts That Won&#039;t Become Clutter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping Christmas gifts holiday shopping holiday shopping hacks Holidays shopping shopping hacks Mon, 12 Dec 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Kentin Waits 1851184 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Charities You Can Trust With Your Holiday Donations http://www.wisebread.com/8-charities-you-can-trust-with-your-holiday-donations <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-charities-you-can-trust-with-your-holiday-donations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_cuddling_dog_485251750.jpg" alt="Girl finding charities she can trust with holiday donations" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>'Tis the season for giving, and giving to charity is the perfect way to help those in need while also helping yourself to a tax break. But how do you know which charities are the best? There are thousands of great charities out there doing amazing things with donated money, but there are also shady charities that are just out to get your money.</p> <p>Here we have collected some of the highest rated charities according to Consumer Reports and Charity Navigator. Whether you are an animal lover or want to help countries in need, there is a charity supporting that cause. Don't see a charity for you on the list? Check out Consumer Reports' full list of the <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/charitable-donations/best-and-worst-charities-for-your-donations/">highest and lowest rated charities</a> in each category. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-give-back-to-charity?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards That Give Back to Charity</a>)</p> <h2>For Animal Lovers</h2> <p>Our furry friends need our help!</p> <h2>1. World Wildlife Fund</h2> <p>The <a href="http://gifts.worldwildlife.org/gift-center/gifts/Species-Adoptions.aspx">World Wildlife Fund</a> (WWF) allows animal lovers to donate money to help species of wild animals. A $55 donation allows you to help wildlife while also earning you a small animal plush of your choice, photo, adoption of certification, species card, and gift bag. This charity is a fun one if you are looking to give a donation in lieu of a gift, since the WWF donation comes with a little gift.</p> <h3>2. Petsmart Charities</h3> <p><a href="https://www.petsmartcharities.org/">Petsmart Charities</a> is very upfront with how they use donations to make an impact in pets' lives. The site says they save 400,000 pets each year. In 2015, more than $29 million went to animal welfare groups and 214,000 spay/neuter surgeries were performed. They also used 90 cents of every dollar donated to help pets directly. Individuals can donate money or volunteer with Petsmart Charities.</p> <h2>For Environment Protectors</h2> <p>Because the Earth needs us to protect it.</p> <h3>3. Amazon Conservation Association</h3> <p>The <a href="http://www.amazonconservation.org/index.html">Amazon Conservation Association</a> received a perfect score through Charity Navigator, a website devoted to helping individuals find legitimate charities and avoid inefficient charities. The charity has been around for over 15 years and conserves the Amazon. The site says a $50 donation can plant about 50 trees in a highland Andean community.</p> <h2>For Helping People in Need</h2> <p>Not everyone has a roof over their head or enough food to eat.&nbsp;</p> <h3>4. Direct Relief</h3> <p><a href="https://www.directrelief.org/">Direct Relief</a> is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that seeks to help and improve the lives of those affected by poverty and emergency situations. It has been one of the top charities to help with Hurricane Matthew and Syrian refugees. It has been voted as a top charity by Forbes, Fast Company, and BBB. Direct Relief also has an option to donate in tribute to someone else, which is practical for holiday gift giving.</p> <h3>5. Compassion International</h3> <p>One of my favorite organizations to donate to is <a href="http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/default.htm?gclid=Cj0KEQiAm-CyBRDx65nBhcmVtbIBEiQA7zm8lRk2gj1H17ly97aBsssWbO5UF3DRbLoyRtZ4RqApvx8aAnvM8P8HAQ">Compassion International</a> because you are able to sponsor a child. Not only do you get to choose the child you sponsor and send money to, but you also can send letters, pictures, and small gifts to them. In return, you will be given a picture of the child, as well as updates, and sometimes thank you letters. Many donors have even had the opportunity to go and meet their sponsored child. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-give-to-charity-that-fit-a-holiday-budget?ref=seealso">15 Ways to Give to Charity That Fit a Holiday Budget</a>)</p> <h2>For Health Advancement</h2> <p>A cure is out there. We just need to give scientists the chance to find it.</p> <h3>6. Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research</h3> <p>The <a href="https://www.michaeljfox.org/">Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research</a> goal is to eliminate Parkinson's disease. Over $87 million went straight to research programs in 2015. Overall the foundation has funded more than $650 million to find a cure.</p> <h2>For Veteran Support</h2> <p>After protecting our freedom, our veterans should have everything they need.</p> <h3>7. Homes for Our Troops</h3> <p><a href="https://www.hfotusa.org/">Homes For Our Troops</a> (HFOT) is a privately funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that builds mortgage-free homes for severely injured veterans. Since 2004, HFOT has spent 90 cents for every dollar donated on veterans. The organization has already built 226 homes and has another 80 projects underway nationwide.</p> <h3>8. Operation Homefront</h3> <p><a href="http://www.operationhomefront.net/">Operation Homefront</a> matches specific veterans needs with donors. Donors can donate money or in-kind gifts, such as services or items. Operation Homefront accepts donated in-kind services to include, but not limited to, legal support, automotive repair, heating and air conditioning services, roofing, and accounting services. Donated goods may be items such as gift cards, household items, children's books, furniture, computers, or any other non-monetary items that are new or like new.</p> <h2>How to Avoid a Charity Scam</h2> <p>There are several more amazing charities out there, so don't think that this list is the end all, be all. However, it is important that you know <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away?ref=internal">how to spot a charity scam</a>. Here are some quick tips to keep in mind:</p> <ul> <li>Charities should be upfront with what they are using the funds for.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Charities should have a federal tax ID number so you can write off your donations.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>It's a huge red flag if they are pushing you for donations or ask you to wire the money.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-charities-you-can-trust-with-your-holiday-donations">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away">How to Spot a Charity Scam From a Mile Away</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-give-back-on-givingtuesday-without-breaking-the-bank">10 Ways to Give Back on #GivingTuesday Without Breaking the Bank</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/15-ways-to-give-to-charity-that-fit-a-holiday-budget">15 Ways to Give to Charity That Fit a Holiday 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/can-i-write-it-off-as-charity">Can I Write It Off as Charity?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-greed-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Greed Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living animals charity donating environment Giving Back Holidays nonprofits veterans Fri, 09 Dec 2016 11:00:15 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1849996 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Classic Toys That Won Christmas http://www.wisebread.com/8-classic-toys-that-won-christmas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-classic-toys-that-won-christmas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/barbie_pink_hat_514110576.jpg" alt="Finding classic toys that won Christmas" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you're trying to connect with your child, nephew or niece, little cousin, or your best friend's kid, you may have a hard time getting their eyes away from Pokemon Go or the Elena of Avalor TV show.</p> <p>Fortunately, as the holiday season is getting nearer, you have one great way to get their attention: must-have toys from yesteryear. From the Radio Flyer Wagon to the G.I. Joe action figure, let's walk down memory lane and review eight notorious holiday toys that still provide hours of entertainment.</p> <h2>1. Radio Flyer Wagon (1923)</h2> <p>I have learned many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-lessons-about-money-i-learned-after-having-twins">lessons after having twins</a>. And one of them is that some classics just never go out of style. First known as the No. 4 Liberty Coaster and handcrafted in wood, the <a href="http://amzn.to/2g6puwH">Radio Flyer Wagon</a> was a must-have item in most lists of good boys and girls in the 1920s. Nowadays, these wagons are colored in their signature red, made out of stamped metal, and continue to encourage kids to go outside and play.</p> <p><strong>Fun fact:</strong> The inventor of this wagon, Antonio Pasin, named it after his two favorite inventions, the radio and the airplane.</p> <h2>2. Buck Rogers Rocket Pistol (1934)</h2> <p>First introduced in the Amazing Stories comic book series in 1928 and eventually landing his own TV series in the 1970s, the futuristic superhero Buck Rogers has been captivating audiences for nearly a century. Rogers' iconic rocket pistol was first sold in 1934 and made a signature &quot;Zap!&quot; sound. Getting your hands on an original one might be too expensive, but there are many manufacturers making plenty of much more affordable versions of the <a href="http://amzn.to/2h2IERk">classic toy ray gun</a>.</p> <p><strong>Fun fact:</strong> There are many versions of the Buck Rogers rocket pistol, including the XZ-31 Rocket Pistol, XZ-38 Disintegrator Pistol, and XZ-44 Liquid Helium Water Pistol.</p> <h2>3. Slinky (1945)</h2> <p>&quot;It's Slinky; it's Slinky. For fun it's a wonderful toy. It's fun for a girl and a boy!&quot; That <a href="https://youtu.be/EZL6RGkPjws">TV jingle </a>that has been hashed and rehashed for decades. Little changes has been made to the same <a href="http://amzn.to/2g6AidZ">Slinky</a> walking spring toy that was a hit during the 1945 Christmas shopping season. Still, all of us still marvel at Slinky's nonstop journey down any set of stairs.</p> <p><strong>Fun fact: </strong>In recent years, most kids first got exposed to the Slinky while watching the <a href="http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0002476/">Slinky Dog</a> (also known just as &quot;Slinky&quot;) character in the Toy Story movies from 1995, 1999, or 2010. Fans of the movie will be happy to hear that Slinky is coming back in a fourth installment in the series scheduled for 2019!</p> <h2>4. Lego (1958)</h2> <p>The name Lego is an abbreviation of the two Danish words &quot;leg gods,&quot; meaning &quot;play well.&quot; This is not only the company's name, but also its ideal. If you think that these little interlocking color blocks were invented in no time, think again. The Lego Group has been around since 1932 and it wasn't until 1949 that the group came up with the first design for the first set of blocks. It took nine years of tinkering to get the design of the Lego as we know it today. Besides the <a href="http://amzn.to/2h2MzgW">classic Lego set</a>, you can find brick sets in a wide range of models, purposes, and colors.</p> <p><strong>Fun fact: </strong>Some Lego sets can become great investments: An Imperial Star Destroyer worth <a href="http://time.com/money/4162059/lego-investment-compare-gold-return/">$249.99 in 2002</a> today is worth about $2,185 (a 774% return). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-stash-your-money-besides-a-savings-account?ref=seealso">10 Places to Stash Your Money Besides a Savings Account</a>)</p> <h2>5. Chatty Cathy (1959)</h2> <p>1959 was a great year for dollmakers, and they came out with many iconic dolls that are still beloved by little girls everywhere. First created in 1959, Chatty Cathy was groundbreaking as it could say 11 phrases, including &quot;Let's play school&quot; or &quot;I love you,&quot; after pulling a string on her back. If you can get a hold on an original or <a href="http://amzn.to/2gZBQUd">reproduction version of Chatty Cathy</a>, you'll definitely have a conversation starter as they are very hard to find nowadays.</p> <p><strong>Fun fact: </strong>Besides the original blonde and blue-eyed Cathy, Mattel also release a brunette Cathy and an African-American Cathy.</p> <h2>6. Barbie (1959)</h2> <p>While Cathy generally appealed to a younger set of girls, Barbie attracted many groups. With her virtually endless collection of accessories, clothing pieces, vehicles, and homes, Barbie is the top selling doll of all time. To address the consumer demand for Barbies with more realistic body shapes and more sensible career choices, Mattel has released updated dolls, including the <a href="http://amzn.to/2h2Iida">Barbie Careers Game Developer Doll</a> and the <a href="http://amzn.to/2hdRESz">Barbie Fashionistas Doll &amp; Fashions Emoji Fun, Curvy</a>.</p> <p><strong>Fun fact:</strong> Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts. She is from Willows, Wisconsin and celebrates her birthday every March 9th (she'll be 58 in 2017!).</p> <h2>7. Etch A Sketch (1960)</h2> <p>Originally <em>L'Ecran Magique</em>, this toy was a total flop when it was first introduced in 1959 at an European toy fair. Still, the Ohio Art. Co saw the toy's potential, bought the rights, renamed it to Etch A Sketch, and released the mechanical drawing toy a year later in the U.S. Today, you can find the <a href="http://amzn.to/2gZH4zl">classic Etch A Sketch</a> in a wide variety of sizes, including keychain-size and giant board.</p> <p><strong>Fun fact:</strong> The toy was so popular during its release that the Ohio Art Co.'s factory workers had to work <a href="http://www.toyhalloffame.org/toys/etch-sketch">until noon on Christmas Eve</a> to meet demand!</p> <h2>8. G.I. Joe (1964)</h2> <p>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2g6BkGQ">original G.I. Joe action figures</a> stood 12-inches tall and represented four of the branches of the U.S. armed forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps). While the popularity of G.I. Joe drowned out over the next couple of years, the &quot;real American Hero&quot; was successfully relaunched in 1982 with a more kid-friendly size (3.75 inches, or 9.5 cms.), an animated TV miniseries, and an ongoing comic book. True to its fighting spirit, the Joes keep making a comeback to protect us against modern versions of their lethal archenemies, Cobra, as they did in the G.I. Joe movies in 2009 and 2013. <em>Go Joe!</em></p> <p><strong>Fun fact: </strong>G.I. Joe and Barbie went out on a date in 1996 in a <a href="https://youtu.be/uXdFKcETEPg">memorable Nissan TV commercial</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-classic-toys-that-won-christmas">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/this-year-s-hot-toy-is-next-year-s-trash">This Year’s Hot Toy is Next Year’s Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-spending-too-much-on-halloween-this-year">Are You Spending Too Much on Halloween This Year?</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-big-list-of-money-saving-coupon-codes-for-halloween-2016">The Big List of Money-Saving Coupon Codes for Halloween 2016</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-homemade-child-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought">10 Homemade Child Products That Are Cheaper and Better Than Store Bought</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-new-toys-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use New Toys to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Shopping barbie chatty Cathy classics dolls etch a sketch g.i. Joe Holidays kids legos radio flyer toys vintage Wed, 07 Dec 2016 11:01:04 +0000 Damian Davila 1849010 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: What Do You Enjoy Most About the Holidays? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-do-you-enjoy-most-about-the-holidays <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-do-you-enjoy-most-about-the-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_christmas_cozy_496580294.jpg" alt="Woman sharing what she enjoys most about the holidays" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-do-you-enjoy-most-about-the-holidays#comment-802385">C Hui</a>, Christie, and Happy Love for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>The holiday season is a special time for many of us. This is a time to revisit traditions and create new ones, to eat seasonal foods with the people we love, and to spend time with friends and family. It's a time for cozy sweaters and hot cocoa by the fire, and, depending on where you are, afternoon walks in the snow or on the beach.</p> <p><strong>What do you enjoy most about the holidays?</strong> Are there any holiday traditions that you look forward to every year? What is your favorite seasonal food?</p> <p>Tell us what you enjoy most about the holidays 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> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For Extra Entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa274/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="79857dfa274" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_srzmwaeq">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <p>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on Flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, December 12th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after December 12th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and US 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 what you enjoy most about the holidays 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-do-you-enjoy-most-about-the-holidays">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/ask-the-readers-do-you-return-gifts-chance-to-win-10">Ask the Readers: Do you Return Gifts? (Chance to Win $10!)</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-200-giveaway-would-you-ding-your-credit-to-get-out-of-debt">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: Would You Ding Your Credit to Get Out of Debt?</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/ask-the-readers-how-did-you-spend-your-first-paycheck">Ask the Readers: How Did You Spend Your First Paycheck?</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/ask-the-readers-is-a-penny-saved-really-a-penny-earned">Ask the Readers: Is a Penny Saved Really a Penny Earned?</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-do-you-honestly-follow-a-budget-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: Do You Honestly Follow a Budget? (Chance to win $20)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers Holidays Tue, 06 Dec 2016 12:00:10 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1844260 at http://www.wisebread.com