values http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/6778/all en-US 5 Things in Your Garage That Have Serious Re-Sale Value http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-in-your-garage-that-have-serious-re-sale-value <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-in-your-garage-that-have-serious-re-sale-value" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/gargage_sale_000000601779.jpg" alt="Things in your garage that have re-sale value" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Can't fit your car in the garage? It might be time to do a deep cleaning. Before anything hits the trash though, take a step back: there are probably a number of items you have stowed away that could earn you some impressive cash. Check out the ideas below, and feel free to share your tips of the trade in the comments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-old-things-in-your-house-that-have-serious-re-sale-value?ref=seealso">6 Old Things in Your House That Have Serious Re-sale Value</a>)</p> <h2>1. Big Ticket Items</h2> <p>A brand new generator might set you back between $200 and $2,000 from my latest survey of prices at a popular home improvement chain. My dad has a portable generator he bought when my parents lived way out in the country. Now that they've moved to a more central location, it gets little use and he wants to sell it. Sound familiar? Consider the value. I searched &quot;used portable generator&quot; on eBay and discovered around 75 hits with prices ranging from $50 to $2,400 for items in good condition.</p> <p>Other big ticket sellers might include snow blowers, ride-on mowers, and even motorcycles or cars. The trick is assessing a fair value and finding the right place to sell. Kelley Blue Book is always the first place to check with vehicles. For the rest, try looking at similar listings in your local paper, Craigslist, eBay, or even on <a href="http://satruck.org/donation-value-guide">donation valuation charts</a> (as a loose guide). When we bought our house last year, the couple who lived here planned to downsize. They sold their snow blower in two days for $350 by simply placing it outside the garage with a cardboard sign.</p> <h2>2. Camping Gear</h2> <p>We have a whole shelving unit full of camping stuff in our garage. There's anything and everything from lanterns to tents to portable cooking devices to cots and much more. Other frugally minded outdoorsy folks would surely appreciate the care we've taken to keep our gear in working order, so we might try to sell a few things this year. In fact, we bought our large family tent used for a couple hundred dollars &mdash; so we know the system works.</p> <p>If this arena interests you, try sites like <a href="http://www.geartrade.com/browse/tents/1">GearTrade</a>, where you can buy and sell camping wares or just get insight on appropriate pricing if you'd rather sell yourself. Some items in &quot;excellent&quot; condition attract up to 99% of their original value. There are also a couple area camping groups on Facebook I might contact about larger things to avoid shipping.</p> <h2>3. Hand Tools</h2> <p>Let's face it, most of us aren't super handy. But that doesn't stop the hand tools from streaming in as gifts from well-meaning friends and family. Rather than hold onto a tool waiting to be inspired, try selling it. Take this <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HUCUGGE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00HUCUGGE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=FOGMV7GLPFEU62XS">Bosch 18-Volt Hammer Drill</a>, for example. It retails at $219, and a few days ago I found a used one on eBay for $150. This number accords with the $131 average price for <a href="http://www.statricks.com/blue-book/rough/hammer-drill">used hammer drills</a> listed on Statricks. And it would make a solid return (a little over 55%) on something you might not have touched in over a year.</p> <p>Keep in mind that certain brands of tools resell better than others, including DeWalt, Bosch, Ridgid, Makita, Milwaukee, Hitachi, Porter-Cable, Skil, and Delta. In other words, that entry-level saw you got a great deal on new might not seem as appealing on the used market. Along with quality, your buyers will be inspecting these tools for wear and tear, so check for any crimped cords or other issues and price accordingly.</p> <h2>4. Building Materials</h2> <p>Most of us have bought and sold on Craigslist, but have you heard about <a href="http://www.diggerslist.com">DiggersList</a>? Those of you into DIY and home improvement might want to take a look. You can sell your surplus building supplies (or find some to purchase) and get a good portion off the original price. Anything back is better than waste, right?</p> <p>You can sell your doors, pavers, flooring, wall tile, appliances, circuit breakers, and much more. If you'd rather not list online, try taking out an ad in the classifieds or contacting a local carpentry club. Then consider donating anything you don't sell to a <a href="http://www.habitat.org/env/restores.aspx?place=us">Habitat for Humanity ReStore</a>.</p> <h2>5. Outdoor Toys</h2> <p>Children outgrow their playhouses and other outdoor toys quickly, so they clutter garages like crazy. Not only can you earn back a good portion of what you paid (depending on the condition) &mdash; but the used toy market for items like these is refreshing with each generation of kids born into the world. Before having a yard sale, try local Facebook groups, Craigslist, and even re-sale stores like <a href="http://www.onceuponachild.com/">Once Upon a Child</a>.</p> <p>I recently sold a sand box my daughter didn't use much for $30, which is 75% of what I paid for it new. Not only that, I found an eager buyer in less than fifteen minutes on a Facebook mom group. I also took a whole bin of old toys (including a bike, wagon, and other outdoor ride-on) to Once Upon a Child and walked out a half hour later with $121.</p> <p><em>What old junk in your garage have you turned into serious cash?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-in-your-garage-that-have-serious-re-sale-value">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-old-things-in-your-house-that-have-serious-re-sale-value">6 Old Things in Your House That Have Serious Re-Sale Value</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/carving-pumpkins-and-14-other-cool-ways-to-make-cash-from-fall-holidays">Carving Pumpkins and 14 Other Cool Ways to Make Cash From Fall Holidays</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/get-more-money-for-your-stuff-with-these-retail-secrets">Get More Money for Your Stuff With These Retail Secrets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-ease-into-a-day-job-after-freelancing">5 Ways to Ease Into a Day Job After Freelancing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-totally-free-things-you-can-sell-on-ebay">8 Totally Free Things You Can Sell on eBay</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks garage HomeGoods re-sale selling values Wed, 17 Jun 2015 15:00:29 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1454556 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Times It's Actually Okay to Be Underwater on Your Home http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-its-actually-okay-to-be-underwater-on-your-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-times-its-actually-okay-to-be-underwater-on-your-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/house_mortgage_water_000021615609.jpg" alt="Times it&#039;s okay to underewater on your home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the last decade or so, it's become quite common for people to find themselves underwater on their home loans. When real estate values plummeted around 2008, millions of people ended up owing more than what their properties were worth. This led to mass foreclosures and big financial problems throughout the country.</p> <p>Being underwater on your home is rarely a good thing, but there are some cases when homeowners can get through unaffected as long as they are responsible and otherwise in good financial shape.</p> <p>Here's a look at some cases when owing more than you own is not the worst thing in the world:</p> <h2>1. If You Have No Immediate Plans to Sell</h2> <p>The best advice for anyone who is underwater on their home is to stay put. It's obviously hard to predict what life may throw at you, but if you've purchased a home with the intention of staying in it for a long time, being underwater on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-for-tomorrows-mortgage">your mortgage</a> doesn't matter too much. This is especially true if you have a fixed-rate mortgage and are making the monthly payments without trouble. Someone who continues to live in a home really doesn't need to worry about its value. If you keep making payments, you'll eventually own the home free and clear, no matter what happens to real estate values.</p> <h2>2. If You're Working to Make Your House More Valuable</h2> <p>You might find yourself underwater, but if it's because you've spent money to boost the overall value of the home, it's probably okay. Maybe you renovated the entire kitchen or even added a family room or bedroom. Maybe you spent money to finish the basement. This money should be viewed as an investment that will pay off down the road. Just make sure you continue making payments on the mortgage in the meantime, as you wait for the value of the home to shoot up.</p> <h2>3. If the Home Is Generating Healthy Rental Income</h2> <p>If you're renting out the home and have tenants with good credit, being underwater is okay. If you're lucky, the rental income will meet or even exceed the mortgage payments. Be sure to have a plan if the rental income goes away, however.</p> <h2>4. If You Want to Offset Capital Gains</h2> <p>Generally speaking, selling a house for less than you paid for it isn't a good thing. But if the house is not your primary residence, there may be ways to save on your taxes by selling at a loss. If you own a rental property for more than a year, you may be able to sell it at a loss and have this count as a reduction of your income. This is called a <a href="http://www.irs.gov/publications/p544/ch03.html#en_US_2014_publink100072547">section 1231 loss</a>, according to the IRS. You can also use a capital loss to offset a capital gain, if you made a profit on another property. Note that this only works for investment properties, not for properties serving as your primary residence.</p> <h2>5. When Your Property Taxes Will Be Reduced</h2> <p>One of the silver linings about seeing a house decline in value is that you might pay less in property tax. If you're paying 1.25% annually in property tax, and your house has declined in assessed value by $50,000, that's a $675 savings. If your plan is to stay in the house for a long time, then you should be pleased to pocket a little bit of extra savings. Note that in these cases, there may be a difference between the home's market value versus the local government's assessed value for tax purposes, so check with your municipality.</p> <h2>6. If You Are Getting a Good Return on Your Money Elsewhere</h2> <p>These days, interest rates are so low that there's less of an incentive to make extra mortgage payments. You may feel tempted to boost your payments to ensure that your equity is more than what you owe, but if you have no plans to sell immediately, you may be better off placing that money in the stock market or other investments. As long as you continue making payments on the house, you may find that earning a 9% return from an index fund is a better deal than pumping the mortgage.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been underwater on a home? How did you deal with the situation?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-its-actually-okay-to-be-underwater-on-your-home">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/whats-faster-for-mortgage-payoff-100-month-extra-or-1-payment-year-extra">What&#039;s Faster for Mortgage Payoff: $100/Month Extra or 1 Payment/Year Extra?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-why-youre-too-old-or-too-young-for-a-mortgage-loan">4 Reasons Why You&#039;re Too Old — Or Too Young — For a Mortgage Loan</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/when-it-makes-sense-to-apply-for-a-mortgage-loan-without-your-spouse">When It Makes Sense to Apply for a Mortgage Loan Without Your Spouse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-for-tomorrows-mortgage">6 Money Moves to Make for Tomorrow&#039;s Mortgage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-lenders-look-for-in-a-loan-application">5 Things Lenders Look For in a Loan Application</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing home ownership loans mortgages values Mon, 11 May 2015 15:00:11 +0000 Tim Lemke 1414191 at http://www.wisebread.com The 7 Worst Travel Values http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-worst-travel-values <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-7-worst-travel-values" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_on_vacation_000054076798.jpg" alt="Couple on vacation experiencing worst travel values" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Treating yourself to a vacation should be just that &mdash; a treat. And treating yourself by paying extra for some things you normally wouldn't splurge on, such as a massage on the beach or an overpriced cocktail with a view, should be considered a normal part of some vacations.</p> <p>But some travel expenses &mdash; from small to big &mdash; just aren't worth the money. Even some things travelers believe actually save them money are also bad deals. Here are seven of the worst travel values we could find. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-youre-paying-too-much-for-when-you-travel-and-how-to-pay-less?ref=seealso">10 Things You're Paying Too Much for When You Travel</a>)</p> <h2>1. Visiting Popular Locations in Peak Season</h2> <p>Sometimes you can't get around this, especially if you have children. If your family is set on going to Hawaii, Disneyland, or another popular resort during summer vacation, then plan on paying more as you compete with the masses for flights, hotel rooms, rental cars, and anything else you need. (See Also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-popular-vacation-spots-that-arent-worth-the-money-and-where-to-go-instead?ref=seealso">7 Popular Vacation Spots Not Worth the Money</a>)</p> <h2>2. Room Service Breakfast</h2> <p>It sounds like a good idea at night before you go to sleep: Check off a few items on the doorknob menu, and in the morning breakfast will be delivered to your door. While you may save time while getting ready for the day in your room, you probably won't save any money.</p> <p>Look closely at the room service menu and you'll not only see inflated prices for nearly everything, but delivery charges are usually exorbitant, too. The hotel restaurant is usually a cheaper alternative, and if that doesn't work for you, find someplace else nearby that serves breakfast. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-things-most-tourists-overpay-for-and-how-you-can-avoid-them?ref=seealso">19 Things Tourists Overpay For</a>)</p> <h2>3. Not Doing the Math on Credit Card Points</h2> <p>If you have a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">hotel credit card</a> that gives you reward points for spending, it can be a smart way to get a free room for a few nights while you're on vacation. But different cards and loyalty programs offer different values for their points. Before you choose where to spend your points on (or even which <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">travel reward card to sign up for</a>), do your research to figure out which program has properties and award flights where you want to go. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/comparing-miles-which-airline-loyalty-program-is-better?ref=seealso">Which Airline Loyalty Program Has the Best Value for Their Miles?</a>)</p> <h2>4. Perks That Cancel Each Other Out</h2> <p>Stacking perks is a great idea, but sometimes they can cancel each other out, and you won't get as great of a value as you thought. For example, using Hotels.com coupons prevents users from collecting its Welcome Rewards. And using one of its coupons that's worth less than 9% is actually worth less than using the reward points.</p> <p>Its Welcome Rewards gives users a free night for every 10 when collecting rewards, essentially giving 11 stays for the price of 10 &mdash; roughly a 9% savings. Therefore, finding a coupon worth 10% off or more is a better deal than collecting reward points. But if the coupon is less than 9%, then the rewards points offer better savings.</p> <p>Travelers can also use a rewards credit card to earn points and and use coupons or collect rewards to double down on benefits</p> <h2>5. Paying for Wi-Fi</h2> <p>Putting technology aside can be a good goal during vacation, but sometimes it's not that easy. An Internet connection can help you plan the next day by studying maps and looking for things to do. Unfortunately, travelers are often charged for Wi-Fi access, with $15 for 24 hours of use common.</p> <p>High-end hotels are more likely to charge for Wi-Fi, while smaller ones are getting the message that guests don't want to pay for such basic services, and usually offer it for free. If you can't get Internet service for free in your room, go to the lobby and have your device search for free access.</p> <h2>6. Guided Tours</h2> <p>With few exceptions, guided tours are often overpriced side trips that you can plan on your own. Tours are especially popular at cruise ship dockings, and can be booked through the cruise line at mega mark-ups. Instead, find a locally governed taxi to take you to the beach &mdash; along with a return trip.</p> <h2>7. Saving Money Over Time</h2> <p>Your vacation time is limited, making it a valuable asset that shouldn't be wasted. That hotel on the outskirts of town is probably a lot cheaper than one downtown, but it won't look like much of a deal when you spend an hour on a train or bus to get to the historic center of town.</p> <p>The same goes for travel. A short flight or train trip in Europe is more expensive than taking a bus or ferry (or both), but it will give you more time to spend exploring Paris, for example.</p> <p>Don't let these poor values dissuade you from traveling. It just takes a little extra work.</p> <p><em>How do you save while on vacation?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-worst-travel-values">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-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-fool-proof-ways-to-stay-within-your-travel-budget">7 Fool-Proof Ways to Stay Within Your Travel Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-ways-the-sharing-economy-helps-you-save-on-vacation">5 Fun Ways the Sharing Economy Helps You Save on Vacation</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/why-this-thing-in-your-wallet-is-almost-useless-today">Why This Thing in Your Wallet Is Almost Useless Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-airlines-with-the-best-customer-service">5 Airlines With the Best Customer Service</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-tourist-towns-that-are-actually-great-to-live-in">6 &quot;Tourist Towns&quot; That Are Actually Great to Live In</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel peak season room service spending tourism vacation values Tue, 21 Apr 2015 17:01:57 +0000 Aaron Crowe 1392312 at http://www.wisebread.com Trade Goals for Values http://www.wisebread.com/trade-goals-for-values <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/trade-goals-for-values" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4624052176_a44f6f9b63_z.jpg" alt="collaboration table" title="collaboration table" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We are a goal-driven and goal-oriented society; we've been taught to believe that only good things come to those who set goals. Every New Year, those who want a better future get out a pen and paper and set realistic and measurable goals.</p> <p class="p1">While there is a time and place for some types of goals, there is also value in living a goal-less life. Perhaps&nbsp;you've participated the New Year &quot;set and fail cycle&quot; before &mdash; set a goal, don't reach your goal, and feel guilty. Promise to do better next year. For many people, goal setting leads to frustration, guilt, and feelings of inadequacy.</p> <p>The solution? Exploring and clarifying your values instead of setting measurable goals. Not having goals is not the same as lacking direction. Goals come from our values, calling, or bent in life. We all consciously or subconsciously have a destination to which we are traveling.</p> <p>Goal setting is our attempt to break those bigger vision items into smaller and more manageable sections and segments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/goal-setting-defined-and-deconstructed">Goal Setting: Defined and Deconstructed</a>)</p> <h3>The Problem: Setting the Wrong Goals</h3> <p>The problem is that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trade-in-new-years-resolutions-for-achieving-life-goals" target="_blank">we're not usually very good at setting goals</a> that really focus the direction of our life. In 2011, I had the goal of writing a book. I did write that book (The Secret to a Successful Budget), but I also sacrificed a lot of valuable things along the way.</p> <p>Goals give us such intense focus that it's quite possible that we put on blinders to the things that bring our lives true meaning and true joy. Life is so fluid and unpredictable that perhaps we're better off accepting events as they come rather than trying to control the outcome of a year.&nbsp;</p> <h3>Determining Values Instead of Goals</h3> <p>What if, instead of setting goals, you simply acknowledged your values?</p> <p>For example, in 2012, I determined that relationships were important to me. As a result, my focus was on maximizing the opportunities I had to spend with friends and family.</p> <p>The result was that I took three months off and traveled with my wife and kids. I'd take days off work to go and visit friends who happened to be passing through town. Our family attempted to say &ldquo;yes&rdquo; whenever we had the opportunity to be with friends or family.</p> <p>Life is so fluid, so transient, and so fleeting that goals can easily become obsolete or a distraction.</p> <p>So, what do you value?</p> <p>If you value fitness and health, then you'll be looking for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stick-to-an-exercise-plan">opportunities to explore and improve your fitness level</a>. Instead of staying, &quot;I'm going to exercise for 30 minutes four mornings a week,&quot; you could just simply decide to exercise when given an opportunity. Sometimes that may be in the morning, and sometimes that will be in the afternoon. At times you might feel like an hour run and on other occasions you might rather do a 20 minute workout video.</p> <p>If you truly value something, it will find expression in your activity &mdash; with or without goals.</p> <h3>Let Goals Flow From Your Values</h3> <p>I'm a person who seeks to conform my life with my faith. Thus, honoring God is one of my values. Sometimes I never know how that will express itself at any given time. However, there could easily be a knock at the door or a chance meeting that causes me to do something in light of my faith.</p> <p>While goals narrow your view, values broaden them. Values allow you to ask if an unpredicted event conforms to your values. How would a person who values family respond in this situation? How would a person who values faith respond in this situation?</p> <h3>Does This Mean You Shouldn't Set Specific Productivity Goals?</h3> <p>The answer depends on your temperament. In life, events often conflict with your goals. That could lead to frustration and disappointment. If you have a habit of failing at goals and the emotional results are negative, then try skipping goals entirely. This might not be a lifelong change, but an experiment in value-oriented living.</p> <p>As an example, let's return to a discussion about fitness.</p> <p>A goal says that you'll exercise for 30 minutes every morning at 7 a.m. &nbsp;</p> <p>While you can value health and fitness, you can also decide that an unexpected activity should trump your workout schedule. As an example, when I'm traveling with family, I often don't exercise. &nbsp;</p> <p>Why? &nbsp;</p> <p>During family travels, you're likely out of your normal schedule. With two values (spending time with family and fitness), you may need to decide to do only one of the two. One of the problems with goals is that they can often conflict with each other, forcing you to do too much or causing you to feel guilty. However, value-based decisions recognize the fluidity of life and allow you to make an adjustment based on your circumstances.&nbsp;</p> <p>Goals work in a rigid life context, but they provide less value when your life is full of change, transition, and pattern-less living.</p> <p>Instead of setting new goals in 2013, try evaluating your values, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/investing-with-your-values">live a value-focused life</a> instead of a goal-driven life.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/craig-ford">Craig Ford</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trade-goals-for-values">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/you-can-make-a-big-life-change-heres-how">You Can Make a Big Life Change: Here&#039;s How</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-things-you-can-do-today-to-be-happy">10 Things You Can Do Today to Be Happy</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/invest-your-time-in-these-13-things-while-youre-in-your-20s">Invest Your Time in These 13 Things While You&#039;re in Your 20s</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/16-ways-you-are-causing-road-rage">16 Ways You Are Causing Road Rage</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-reasons-alone-time-is-good-for-your-soul">9 Reasons Alone Time Is Good For Your Soul</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Personal Development acheiving goals new years resolutions values Fri, 11 Jan 2013 10:48:39 +0000 Craig Ford 959947 at http://www.wisebread.com The Many Reasons to Make Do with Less http://www.wisebread.com/the-many-reasons-to-make-do-with-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-many-reasons-to-make-do-with-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/suspension-bridge.jpg" alt="Suspension bridge" title="Suspension bridge" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="180" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Why would someone choose to have less than they could? Lots of reasons. There are as many ways to live large as there are people who refuse to think small. Over the time I've been writing for Wise Bread, I've expanded my list of reasons by quite a bit.</p> <p>One thing that I liked about Wise Bread right from the start is that it's about living large, and very much not about depriving yourself. The connection isn't always obvious, though, so I thought I'd run down my list. Making do with less helps you live large by letting you:</p> <p>1) <strong>Focus on what's important (by putting less resources into stuff that matters less)</strong>. This is at the core of how I've chosen to live my life. I have less of what I don't much care about so that I can have more of what I really want. Because my needs are really quite modest, I'm able to do exactly what I want with my life (be a full-time writer) without having to deprive myself. Like most people, there are a lot of things I want--but there isn't much that I want more than living the life I've chosen.</p> <p>2) <strong>Focus on what's important (because the other stuff is a distraction)</strong>. This resonates for me, too. Everything I buy is not only another thing I have to pay for--it's also another thing I have to find a place for, put away and get out again, use enough to justify the purchase, insure, keep clean and in good repair, worry about getting lost or stolen or broken, and then eventually dispose of.</p> <p>3) <strong>Learn the truth about yourself</strong>. Some time back I talked about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/finding-joy-in-temporary-frugality">finding joy in temporary frugality</a>. I compared it to a backpacking trip. Partially it's a means to an end: The less you carry, the further you can go and the longer you can stay. But it's also educational. Some of the things you thought you needed turn out not to be as important as you'd imagined. Giving things up temporarily is occasionally a step toward realizing that you're happier without them.</p> <p>4) <strong>Live more gently on the planet</strong>. You've no doubt seen a dozen carbon-footprint calculators. Some people try to use less and waste less simply because they don't want to take more than their share. This resonates with me as well.</p> <p>5) <strong>Obey the commandments of your faith</strong>. Many religions make rituals out of having less in the form of fasting and charity. There are a lot of reasons for this. It can change your perspective on what's important, strengthen bonds within the community, and serve as a form of solidarity with others who have less.</p> <p>I'd like to finish with one reason that's not on the list: To have more later. It's not on the list because, although it does sort of work, this particular motivation often seems to lead to crazy-stupid behavior. It's true that, if you spend your twenties, thirties and forties scrimping and saving, you can probably spend your fifties, sixties, and seventies doing whatever you want--but that makes no sense. Much better, I think, to spend your youth doing whatever you want, constrained only to the extent that you're not committing your future along with your present--i.e. don't run up debts that you'll be paying for years.</p> <p>It makes good sense to spend less than you earn and save money--it adds to your freedom in the same way that going into debt reduces your freedom. It also makes sense to have a gradually rising standard of living--it's the natural order of things if for no other reason than that as you accumulate durable items they go on improving your life and as your skills grow your value as a worker increases. But to go beyond that--to live in voluntary penury now with the idea that you'll be able to live high on the hog when you're old--is weird, and in my experience doesn't lead to a good end.</p> <p>There are lots of other reasons to choose to spend less, own less, and use less as ways to live large, even without this one.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-many-reasons-to-make-do-with-less">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">12 Personal Finance Skills Everyone Should Master</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-do-a-spending-fast-in-16-easy-steps">How to Do a Spending Fast in 16 (Easy!) Steps</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-only-6-rules-of-frugal-living-you-need-to-know">The Only 6 Rules of Frugal Living You Need to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-line-between-frugal-and-crazy">The line between frugal and crazy</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/treat-yourself-like-a-child-to-be-more-grown-up">Treat yourself like a child to be more grown up</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living faith frugal frugality needs values wants Tue, 18 Aug 2009 13:00:05 +0000 Philip Brewer 3507 at http://www.wisebread.com A Budget is Not a Constraint http://www.wisebread.com/a-budget-is-not-a-constraint <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-budget-is-not-a-constraint" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/notebook-budget-pen_3.jpg" alt="Notebook with budget and pen" title="Notebook with budget and pen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="163" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When people resist the idea of budgets, the most common reason is that they view the budget as an unwelcome constraint. That's completely wrong. A budget is not a constraint. A budget is a tool for maximizing pleasure and satisfaction.</p> <p>That's not to say that people don't operate under constraints. Everybody has limited resources. Everybody has limited time. Everybody operates with a whole constellation of other constraints: legal, moral, and social, from old obligations to family expectations.</p> <p>My point is that the constraints don't come from the budget. They come from the real world. A budget is a tool for managing your resource use in the face of those constraints.</p> <p>What a budget does is let you plan how to allocate your limited resources, so that your expenditures align with your values. If you do this without a plan, it's very easy to slip into a situation where your spending doesn't match your values: You can't afford dinner out with your friends because you bought a book (or vice versa).</p> <p>Unless you make a plan, you find yourself at each decision point with nothing to go on but intuition. It can work to make these decisions purely on intuition--indeed, most people do just that. But unless your intuition is keenly attuned and your resources are abundant relative to your desires, you can do better with a budget.</p> <p>Creating the right budget is an iterative process. Nobody knows the future, and even people who have a firm grasp of their values will find boundary cases that pose hard choices. So, don't expect your first budget to be perfect. On the other hand, if you've created your budget thoughtfully, then don't pitch it aside the first time it doesn't match what you feel like doing.</p> <p>When you first start following a budget, you'll probably find yourself exceeding certain budget categories. That can happen for two different reasons: Maybe it's transient urges that lead to overspending, or maybe it's the budget that does not reflect your true values. In the latter case, adjust the budget. In the former, use the budget to help you put the money where it gives you the most joy.</p> <p>Once you've lived with a budget for a while--once you've found the rough spots and smoothed them down--it can be a source of considerable tranquility. You can be confident that, in your spending, you're living your life according to your values.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-budget-is-not-a-constraint">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/psychology-of-money-how-we-secretly-want-people-to-make-us-buy-things">Psychology of Money: How We Secretly Want People to Make Us Buy Things</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/plan-for-your-wants">Plan for your wants</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/your-budget-envelopes-or-a-plan">Your budget: envelopes or a plan?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-awkward-money-moments-everyone-has-at-work">8 Awkward Money Moments Everyone Has at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-committing-financial-infidelity">8 Signs You&#039;re Committing Financial Infidelity</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting budgeting planning values Fri, 13 Jul 2007 00:04:56 +0000 Philip Brewer 832 at http://www.wisebread.com