rent http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7748/all en-US How a Single Mother In Debt Over $200K Is Fixing Her Finances http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-single-mother-in-debt-over-200k-is-fixing-her-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-a-single-mother-in-debt-over-200k-is-fixing-her-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_daughter_finances_108359432.jpg" alt="Single mother managing her debt" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For those of us actively trying to improve our financial situation, it's inspiring to read about others who have succeeded. Dilenia Frias is one such example, embarking upon Wise Bread's Total Financial Transformation Plan, and successfully improving her credit score, better managing her debt, and on the road to higher earnings in just a few, short months.</p> <p>When we first met Dilenia in August, she shared her financial concerns with us: Over $200,000 in student loan debt, tens of thousands owed on credit cards, personal loans, and a timeshare, a damaged credit score, and relatively low earnings despite graduating law school. To top it off, Dilenia was recently unemployed for two years, and is a single mother residing in New York City, an area with arguably the highest of cost of living in the country. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fastest Way to Eliminate Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <p>We decided to help Dilenia tackle these challenges one-by-one, by providing methodical advice for stabilizing her debt, raising her credit score, and improving her earnings. Read on to hear Dilenia's story in her own words &mdash; and even better, her remarkable progress in the two months since we first talked.</p> <h2>Credit Cards</h2> <p><em>I have $8,500 in credit card debt, spread over three cards &mdash; American Express, Children's Place, and Discover cards. My cards' interest rates are anywhere from 10.99-24%, and most are maxed out or over their credit limit. </em></p> <h3>Our advice:</h3> <ul> <li>Contact your creditors, explain your situation, and request lower interest rates, if possible. Always pay on time &mdash; even if it's only your minimum payments.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Try to bring your balances under the credit card's limit &mdash; this will have an immediate impact on your credit score. Long-term, your goal should be to keep your balances under 30% of your total available credit. This will significantly boost your credit.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>One useful trick for repaying cards is to make two payments per month, instead of just one. For example, if you normally make one monthly payment of $100, try making two payments of $50 each. Since interest is calculated over the entire month, this will reduce your interest owed. Plus, depending on what time of the month your card reports to the credit bureaus, it may also show a lower debt level and boost your score.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Don't close your credit cards &mdash; even once you pay them off! This reduces the amount of credit you have available, which lowers your credit score.</li> </ul> <h3>Dilenia's credit card situation now</h3> <p><em>My Equifax credit score went up 48 points to 677!</em></p> <p><em>I hadn't used my Children's Place credit card in about a year, and the suggestion was to use the card for at least a small amount, so that my account wouldn't get closed for lack of use, so I spent $125 on gift cards in August. I received my bill later in August and paid it on time. I received an email approximately a week ago that my credit limit was increased from $500 to $750. </em></p> <p><em>I also paid my American Express enough so that my statement only showed a $99 balance when the statement printed (so I was using a little under 20% of my credit limit). My Discover card was also a bit over the limit last month, but I brought the balance back down in time for the September statement closing date. I am still using almost 100% of my credit limit, but at least I am no longer above my credit limit.</em></p> <h2>Personal loan and timeshare</h2> <p><em>My $7,000 personal loan was unfortunately charged off in 2015, when, after leaving my job in February 2015, was only able to make payments until May 2015. I am currently paying $150 per month to the collection agency handling the account. Based on the amount owed, I would need to make payments until April 2021.</em></p> <p><em>A $9,000 loan for a timeshare is also in collections. I am currently trying to negotiate a limited-use timeshare based on the payments I have already made, but was told that I needed to make a final payment to the collection agency before they would release my account to the timeshare company. If I am able to regain the timeshare, I might be able to sublease it.</em></p> <h3>Our advice:</h3> <ul> <li>Aggressively try to regain use of the timeshare on a more limited-use basis. Request that the collections agency annotate your credit report to show that your are making payments on time.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Once you regain limited <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-thousands-by-buying-a-timeshare-on-the-secondary-market?ref=internal" target="_blank">use of the timeshare, sublease it</a> using services such as rentmytimesharenow.com. Apply any extra money toward repaying credit cards more quickly, starting with the highest-interest card first.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Attempt to negotiate lower payments or interest rates directly with the personal loan collections agency. Ensure they've annotated your credit report to reflect that your account is being paid on time per your agreement.</li> </ul> <h3>Dilenia's personal loan and timeshare situation now</h3> <p><em>I recently made a payment to the timeshare company, and I am awaiting documents transferring ownership in my previous timeshare to a new timeshare. When the paperwork is finalized, the collection account currently being reported to my credit reports will be removed. That should also increase my score, and also allow me to sublease the unit.</em></p> <h2>Student loans</h2> <p><em>I have over $200,000 in federal student loans, most of which are being repaid via the Income Based Repayment program (IBR). However, I have over $16,000 in Perkins loans which are currently on deferment; I'll need to start making payments on these, too, by March 2018. Due to my limited income and two dependents, my current monthly payment is $0. </em></p> <h3>Our advice:</h3> <ul> <li>Consolidate <em>all</em> your student loans &mdash; including the Perkins loans, so that they can all be placed on IBR and result in a low payment.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Place your IBR account on autopay &mdash; even if your payment is $0, it may result in a slightly lower interest rate.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Contact your law school's employment services office and inquire whether your school offers any debt forgiveness for students in public service or other modestly-paid legal jobs.</li> </ul> <h2>Income, employment, and other credit boosts</h2> <p>In order to be admitted to the Bar, lawyers must pass a Character &amp; Fitness (C&amp;F) evaluation, including a credit check. Unfortunately, given Dilenia's credit issues, being denied entry to the Bar (and a higher income as an attorney) was a real possibility.</p> <p>Thankfully, by bringing all of Dilenia's accounts current and boosting her credit score, C&amp;F should be less of an issue, thus ensuring that Dilenia should be employable as an attorney by late this year. This will likely result in higher income and allow Dilenia to repay debt more aggressively. More importantly, it'll enable her to save &mdash; even a modest amount saved every month toward an emergency fund of three-to-six months' expenses will help ensure she doesn't get into this sort of trouble again. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund-from-0?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Easy Ways to Build an Emergency Fund From $0</a>)</p> <p>Dilenia's 19-year-old son is also considering seeking employment to help contribute to household expenses, and once Dilenia's timeshare is subleased, the extra income can be applied to debt and emergency fund savings.</p> <p>Dilenia has made great progress, and she can do more still. Dilenia should request higher credit limits on her cards once she's made twelve on-time monthly payments and dropped her balances. Then, once her cards are paid off, she should open new lines of credit &mdash; such as gas cards &mdash; and not use them. This will all result in lower credit utilization ratios &mdash; and higher credit scores.</p> <p>Recently Dilenia joined eMoneyPool, since it reports user accounts to credit bureaus like Experian. eMoneyPool is an online version of a savings club in which members make regular contributions and receive &quot;payouts&quot; of their savings on targeted dates. She joined two $500 money-sharing pools in August, and by early September the account was added to her Experian credit report.</p> <p>Dilenia can also have her rental payments reported to the credit bureaus using services such as RentTrack or RentReporters. Depending on the lender and the type of credit score they use to determine credit worthiness, this could help her with loans or other credit applications down the line.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janet-alvarez">Janet Alvarez</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-single-mother-in-debt-over-200k-is-fixing-her-finances">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/peak-debt">Peak Debt</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/pay-these-6-bills-first-when-money-is-tight">Pay These 6 Bills First When Money Is Tight</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/whats-the-big-deal-about-banks-refusing-to-lend">What&#039;s the big deal about banks refusing to lend?</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/recession-journal-part-i-fast-money-in-the-09">Recession Journal Part I: &#039;Fast&#039; Money in the &#039;09</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/uk-banks-are-blocking-customers-credit-cards-will-the-usa-be-next">UK banks are blocking customers&#039; credit cards. Will the USA be next?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Debt Management credit debt extra income rent student loans timeshare total financial transformation Mon, 16 Oct 2017 16:02:05 +0000 Janet Alvarez 2037681 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Things Your Credit Report Does NOT Include http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-your-credit-report-does-not-include <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-things-your-credit-report-does-not-include" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-629305628_0.jpg" alt="these things don&#039;t show up in your credit reports" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ordering your credit reports every year and studying them carefully is a smart way to get a window into your financial well-being. But while credit reports contain a wealth of information about your history with money, they don't tell you <em>everything </em>about your financial health.</p> <p>In fact, there is plenty of financial information you won't find in any of your credit reports.</p> <h2>1. Your credit score</h2> <p>Your credit score is a key financial number. It gives lenders a snapshot of how responsible you've been with your finances. If you have thousands of dollars of credit card debt and you routinely pay bills late, your credit score will be low. If you pay your bills on time and you are using a smaller percentage of your available credit, your score will be high.</p> <p>Unfortunately, your credit report does not contain your credit score. To obtain your score, you'll have to pay one of the three national credit bureaus for it. Your credit card provider might also list a credit score on your monthly statements. This score might not be your official FICO credit score &mdash; the one most lenders rely on when deciding whether to lend you money. It can still give you a general idea of where you stand, though, and is worth keeping track of. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fico-or-fako-are-free-credit-scores-from-credit-cards-the-real-thing?ref=seealso" target="_blank">FICO or FAKO: Are Free Credit Scores From Credit Cards the Real Thing?</a>)</p> <h2>2. Your payments to utility companies</h2> <p>You pay your gas and electric bills on time every month. You might think that this key indicator of your financial responsibility would be listed on your credit report. Unfortunately, it's not. Utilities don't report payments to the credit bureaus.</p> <p>This means that your on-time payments to utility providers don't help your credit score. Late payments aren't reported, either. But be careful: If you're far enough behind on your payments that a utility sends your account to collections, that will show up on your credit report. And that black mark will give lenders reason to hesitate when deciding whether you qualify for a loan. An account in collections can also send your credit score plummeting by 100 points or more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/account-in-collections-heres-how-to-fix-it" target="_blank">Account in Collections? Here's How to Fix It</a>)</p> <h2>3. Your rent payments</h2> <p>Paying your rent on time probably won't help your credit score, either. That's because most landlords still don't report rent payments to the credit bureaus, meaning that these payments don't show up on your credit report.</p> <p>There are services today, though, that landlords can use to report rent payments to the bureaus. Most landlords don't use these services yet, but the fact that they are available could be a sign that rent information will become more common on credit reports in the future.</p> <h2>4. Medical bills</h2> <p>The payments you make to doctors, dentists, and other medical professionals don't show up on your credit reports, either. Again, this is because doctors don't report payment information to the credit bureaus.</p> <p>Paying these bills late, though, could show up on your credit report if your medical providers send your account to a collections agency.</p> <h2>5. Your salary</h2> <p>You'd think the money you earn would be a key indicator of your financial health, and it is. But it's not an indicator of how likely you are to pay your bills on time and manage your credit. Because of this, it doesn't show up on your credit reports.</p> <h2>6. A job loss</h2> <p>Your credit reports do provide some basic employment information, with some listing your past and most recent employers. But if you've just lost your job, that information won't be included in your report. Your reports never mention whether you are still employed, and they don't list how long you've worked with any one company.</p> <h2>7. Your spouse's credit history</h2> <p>Your credit reports list financial information about you and you alone. If you're married, your spouse's history of paying bills and running up debt won't show up.</p> <p>However, if you and your spouse both have your names on a loan or credit card, that debt will show up on both of your credit reports. So will late payments you made on these accounts, even if paying the bills was your spouse's responsibility and not yours.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-things-your-credit-report-does-not-include&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Things%2520Your%2520Credit%2520Report%2520Does%2520NOT%2520Include.jpg&amp;description=7%20Things%20Your%20Credit%20Report%20Does%20NOT%20Include"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Things%20Your%20Credit%20Report%20Does%20NOT%20Include.jpg" alt="7 Things Your Credit Report Does NOT Include" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-your-credit-report-does-not-include">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/heres-how-often-your-credit-score-gets-calculated">Here&#039;s How Often Your Credit Score Gets Calculated</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-protect-your-credit-after-the-equifax-breach">How to Protect Your Credit After the Equifax Breach</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-why-you-shouldnt-freak-out-if-you-miss-a-payment-due-date">Here&#039;s Why You Shouldn&#039;t Freak Out If You Miss a Payment Due Date</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/7-apps-that-monitor-your-credit-for-you">7 Apps That Monitor Your Credit for You</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/what-the-new-credit-card-formula-means-for-your-wallet">What the New Credit Card Formula Means for Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance bills collections credit history credit reports credit score Equifax Experian income payments rent TransUnion utilities Fri, 22 Sep 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Dan Rafter 2024892 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: Would You Rather Rent or Own Your Home? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-would-you-rather-rent-or-own-your-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-would-you-rather-rent-or-own-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/family_baby_new_house_640228626.jpg" alt="Family renting their home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to Dena, Lynda, and Wendy for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Buying a home is a common goal for many people, and it can make a lot of sense&nbsp; &mdash; you're not paying rent, the property will likely increase in value, and you can fix it up any way you want. However, homeownership isn't for everyone. The mortgage is a big commitment for most people, and it's harder to leave if you need to move for a job or it turns out you don't like the area. You're also solely responsible for maintenance and repairs.</p> <p><strong>Would you rather rent or own your home?</strong> Why? What do you think is the best part to renting or to homeownership?</p> <p>Tell us if you would rather rent or own your home and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win:</p> <ul> <li>Follow us on Twitter</li> <li>Follow our Executive Editor Janet Alvarez on Twitter</li> <li>Tweet about our giveaway for an entry.</li> <li>Visit our Facebook page for an entry.</li> </ul> <p>Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards:</p> <p><a class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa317/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="79857dfa317" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_3docadqk">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, September 11th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after September 11th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook or Twitter.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and U.S. resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us if you would rather rent or own your home 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-would-you-rather-rent-or-own-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/ask-the-readers-save-money-on-rent-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: Save Money on Rent? (Chance to win $20!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-whats-in-your-wallet">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s In Your Wallet?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free">5 Simple Ways to Live Rent-Free</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-alternative-housing-options-you-can-afford">5 Alternative Housing Options You Can Afford</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/2-things-you-must-know-about-the-new-mortgage-rules">2 Things You Must Know About the New Mortgage Rules</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Real Estate and Housing Ask the Readers homeowner rent Tue, 05 Sep 2017 08:30:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 2013364 at http://www.wisebread.com 34 Ways to Come Up With the Rent Before the Month Ends http://www.wisebread.com/34-ways-to-come-up-with-the-rent-before-the-month-ends <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/34-ways-to-come-up-with-the-rent-before-the-month-ends" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/calendar_money_rent_185251717.jpg" alt="Finding ways to come up with the rent before the end of the month" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you are short on rent, $300 might as well be $3,000,000. Finding the money seems impossible. But don't despair! Here's a list of ways to come up with the rent this month and every month.</p> <h2>1. Call in your markers</h2> <p>Do people owe you money? Now is the time to call in those loans.</p> <h2>2. Return your recent purchases</h2> <p>Did a recent shopping spree put you in this rental money crisis? You can even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-return-items-through-your-credit-card-if-the-store-refuses?ref=internal" target="_blank">return unused items through your credit card</a> if the store refuses.</p> <h2>3. Ask for overtime at work</h2> <p>Let your employer and your coworkers know that you are looking for additional shifts.</p> <h2>4. Take over a contract</h2> <p>Is your employer paying an outside contractor for work you could do on the side? Offer to do the job for a flat fee (to be paid outside your regular paycheck).</p> <h2>5. Be a great reference</h2> <p>My husband's company pays up to $5,000 per referral to employees who successfully recruit top talent.</p> <h2>6. Cash in on commuter benefits</h2> <p>Some employers allow their workers to make pre-tax payroll deductions to help pay for commuting costs. Other employers offer money saving commuter perks like free parking to carpoolers, free use of company bikes, or paying for public transit costs outright.</p> <h2>7. Get a second job</h2> <p>This might seem like a no-brainer, but you would be shocked by how many people don't look beyond their 9-5 job for extra cash. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-outside-your-day-job?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Ways to Make Money Outside Your Day Job</a>)</p> <h2>8. Join the gig economy</h2> <p>Drive for Uber, Lyft, or Caviar. Find a job using TaskRabbit or Upwork. Use Fiverr and Mechanical Turk to find micro gigs that you can complete in minutes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-a-side-gig-at-these-4-best-micro-jobs-sites?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Find a Side Gig at These 4 Best Micro-Jobs Sites</a>)</p> <h2>9. Create your own job</h2> <p>Every job that I have ever loved <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-job-creation?ref=internal" target="_blank">I have invented</a>. Find something that needs to get done and do it for money. Babysit for your neighbors. Monetize your DJ abilities. Shovel snow. There are all sorts of long- and short-term jobs that require your skill set.</p> <h2>10. Offer day labor on a farm</h2> <p>Farms are always short on labor. It's a physically demanding way to make a buck, but if you like working outside, day laboring on a farm might be a solution to your financial woes.</p> <p>Also, a side perk of many farm jobs is access to free produce. Reduce your grocery bills and get the rent paid!</p> <h2>11. Tuneup your finances</h2> <p>Are you paying for services that you aren't using? Go through your monthly expenses with a fine-toothed comb. You might be shocked by how much money you are wasting. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-escape-the-paycheck-to-paycheck-cycle?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Escape the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle</a>)</p> <h2>12. Delete duplicate accounts</h2> <p>Are you paying for multiple streaming video services? Can you entertain yourself with just one? Or, can you suspend or delete all of your subscription services until you get a grip on your finances?</p> <h2>13. Audit your accounts</h2> <p>Examine your bank statements closely. Are you paying extra fees for services that you don't use? Call your credit card company. Are you getting the best interest rate that you can get?</p> <h2>14. Clear out costly apps</h2> <p>There are many free apps and programs that provide a premium service for a fee. Are you using each of the pro versions enough to warrant the extra costs?</p> <h2>15. Cash in your credit card reward points</h2> <p>One of my friends tracks all her reward programs on an Excel spreadsheet so she never misses a perk. Are you leaving money on the table? Can you cash out your reward points for gift cards that you can resell or use to offset other line items in your budget?</p> <h2>16. Sell your stuff</h2> <p>The average <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2014/mar/21/health/la-he-keeping-stuff-20140322" target="_blank">American home contains over 300,000 items</a> and many of those can be sold off for cold hard cash. Bonus: If you have been trying to downsize, now is the time to purge your home of unwanted items. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clear-out-that-clutter-15-places-to-sell-your-stuff?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Clear Out That Clutter: 15 Places to Sell Your Stuff</a>)</p> <h2>17. Sell your gift cards</h2> <p>In some states, you can get cash for gift cards with a low balance. But there are a number of other ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-turn-unwanted-gift-cards-into-cash?ref=internal" target="_blank">convert gift cards into cash</a>.</p> <h2>18. Sell your collections</h2> <p>Collections can be hugely valuable. But before you hock Grandma's jewels, look around your house for hidden treasures. You would be shocked by the value of your old Starbucks mugs, concert T-shirts, and other random housewares. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-old-knick-knacks-you-can-flip-for-easy-cash?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Old Knick-Knacks You Can Flip for Easy Cash</a>)</p> <h2>19. Sell your nostalgia</h2> <p>My husband just made $960 selling his old Nintendo, Super Nintendo, and Dreamcast games. But even more recent games can have value. Last year, I sold a copy of Kuon, a PlayStation 2 game, for $200.</p> <p>Vintage analog toys such as board games, Breyer horses, Matchbox cars, Lego sets, action figures, and dolls can all fetch a small fortune on eBay. My friend Steve sold his collection of vintage Blythe dolls for $29,000, enough pay for the down payment on his home!</p> <h2>20. Sell bulky items on Craigslist</h2> <p>Sell bulky and hard-to-ship items like furniture, cast iron pans, and glassware on Craigslist so you don't have to fiddle with shipping.</p> <h2>21. Host a garage sale</h2> <p>My husband and I throw three garage sales a year that net us between $500 and $1,000 annually. Our garage sale inventory consists of random crap we couldn't sell elsewhere for more money. We price our garage sale merchandise to move, typically charging $1 to $5 for just about everything. The way we see it, if people are paying us to declutter our home, they deserve the bargain.</p> <h2>22. Set up a lemonade stand</h2> <p>To augment our garage sale profits, we sell lemonade or brownies for $1 per serving. In cold climates, you can sell hot cocoa or coffee to your shoppers.</p> <h2>23. Trash pick and flip</h2> <p>Are you already a minimalist who sold all her stuff ages ago? Don't worry. You can always sell other people's stuff! Since most rental contracts start at the first of the month, the last week of the month (when people are moving out) is always a great time to scrounge for curbed furniture and other items that renters don't want to pay to move. Sell your found treasures at a garage sale, or use Craigslist or an app like 5miles to advertise your merchandise to local customers.</p> <h2>24. Recycle</h2> <p>Why give the $.05 rebate per can that you paid for to someone else? University campuses and concert venues are a prime place to scrounge for bottles and cans.</p> <h2>25. Sell your books and music</h2> <p>While you will make more money selling your media on sites like Amazon and Half.com, you may not make an online sale in time to help your rent payment. For fast cash, sell your books, movies, and music to brick and mortar stores in your area.</p> <h2>26. Have a plant sale</h2> <p>Do you have a green thumb? Root cuttings from your garden or hook up with a local landscaper for their castoffs.</p> <p>Or, sell heirloom vegetable seedlings. A package of 25 tomato seeds costs me about $8, or $0.40 per seed. But I can sell my tomato seedlings for $2 each at my neighborhood farmers market.</p> <h2>27. Sell your body, legally</h2> <p>There are numerous legal ways to sell your body for money. You can sell your sperm or eggs for thousands of dollars, but those donations require that your money be escrowed for at least six months and an equally long time commitment. For quick rent money, you can sell blood, platelets, plasma, breast milk, and, <a href="https://www.boston.com/culture/health/2014/10/15/a-poop-bank-in-massachusetts-will-pay-you-40-every-day" target="_blank">if you live in Massachusetts, your poop</a>.</p> <h2>28. Stop driving</h2> <p>Do you have a less convenient, but also less expensive commuting option? Now is the time to learn to love the bus. Save on gas money and car repair costs by walking, biking, carpooling, or taking public transportation to work.</p> <h2>29. Monetize your commute</h2> <p>My friend Duke operates a mobile record store every Friday on his train commute to work. My neighbor knits hats during her daily bus rides. She makes enough money each month with her commuter knitting to pay for her metro card.</p> <h2>30. Advertise with your car</h2> <p>And if you can&rsquo;t do without your car, make some extra dough by turning it into a rolling billboard. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-earn-extra-money-with-your-car?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Earn Extra Money With Your Car</a>)</p> <h2>31. Rent out part of your house</h2> <p>My brother-in-law rents out his spare bedrooms in his suburban mini mansion to foreign students who are attending the local college. In addition to offsetting his mortgage, his daughter gets free Mandarin lessons. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed?ref=seealso" target="_blank">This Is How You Rent Your Place on Airbnb</a>)</p> <p>Pro tip: If you can find a housesitting gig at the same time, you can double up your house-renting profit.</p> <h2>32. Become an Airbnb host</h2> <p>Even if you don't have space to rent out, you can still be a host via the <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/host/experiences" target="_blank">Airbnb Experiences</a> program. Airbnb is a great place to advertise your local expertise as a specialty tour guide. For example, a chef could host a two-hour cooking experience or an experienced hiker could host a multiday camping excursion.</p> <h2>33. Leverage your parking space</h2> <p>If you live next to a university, hospital, concert venue, or sports arena, consider renting out your parking space. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space</a>)</p> <h2>34. Rock the garage</h2> <p>Rent your garage out to your favorite local band as a practice space. Or, if you value your peace and quiet, rent your garage as studio space for photographers, sculptors, and woodworkers.</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/34-ways-to-come-up-with-the-rent-before-the-month-ends">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/7-surprising-ways-to-earn-money-online">7 Surprising Ways to Earn Money Online</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/8-smart-and-fun-things-you-could-do-if-you-paid-less-rent">8 Smart and Fun Things You Could Do if You Paid Less Rent</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund-from-0">7 Easy Ways to Build an Emergency Fund From $0</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-you-can-earn-18-to-25-an-hour-with-amazon-flex">How You Can Earn $18 to $25 an Hour With Amazon Flex</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-ways-to-make-money-on-halloween">15 Ways to Make Money on Halloween</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Extra Income making a budget making extra money rent rent money saving money saving tips side gig Tue, 18 Apr 2017 09:00:08 +0000 Max Wong 1929795 at http://www.wisebread.com Pay These 6 Bills First When Money Is Tight http://www.wisebread.com/pay-these-6-bills-first-when-money-is-tight <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/pay-these-6-bills-first-when-money-is-tight" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-503389404.jpg" alt="Man paying certain bills when money is tight" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Is your money situation a little tight this month? It happens to the best of us. What if you don't have enough money this month to pay every bill by its due date? For the time being, you might need to prioritize your payments.</p> <p>This isn't the ideal solution. Far from it &mdash; paying any bill late could result in a late fee. But thanks to a bit of leeway when it comes to credit reporting, paying bills <em>just a bit late </em>might not hurt your all-important FICO credit score.</p> <p>This makes it a bit easier to determine which bills you absolutely <em>must</em> pay on time, and which bills you can more easily tackle after their due dates pass.</p> <h2>1. Mortgage</h2> <p>It's important to keep the roof over your head. And not paying your mortgage payment on time can send your credit score plummeting by 100 points or more. Credit scores are important: Lenders rely on them to determine if you qualify for a loan and at what interest rate.</p> <p>There is some leeway, though, with mortgage payments. First, lenders can't report your payment as late to the credit bureaus until you're at least 30 days past due. This means that paying your bill one, two, or three weeks late won't hurt your credit score.</p> <p>Second, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, lenders usually won't start the foreclosure process until three to six months after your first missed mortgage payment.</p> <p>Even though these safeguards are built in, you don't ever want to take the chance of losing your home. Make sure to pay your mortgage as soon as you can.</p> <h2>2. Rent</h2> <p>If you're renting an apartment, do everything you can to pay this bill on time. Your landlord can send you an eviction notice if you're just one day late with your rent payment. Now, actually evicting you will take time, and most landlords probably won't file a notice that quickly. But you don't want to give your landlord any excuse to start this process in motion.</p> <h2>3. Car payment</h2> <p>As with your mortgage, there is a grace period before your late car payment starts to affect your credit score. Your auto lender can't officially report your payment as late to the credit bureaus until that payment is more than 30 days past due.</p> <p>However, you need to be aware that if you stop making car payments, your vehicle can be repossessed. If this happens, your credit <em>will </em>suffer the consequences &mdash; by up to 100 points. Auto lenders can repossess your vehicle quickly, too. In fact, in most states they have the legal right to repossess your car as soon as you miss a single payment. It's unlikely that your lender will move to take your car that quickly, but why take that risk? If you're prioritizing your bills, this is definitely one to move to the top of your list.</p> <h2>4. Utility bills</h2> <p>Typically, you'll receive plenty of advance warning before your utility providers shut off your services. But you will have to pay these bills eventually to keep them on. Put these bills at the top of your priorities list.</p> <p>If you are struggling to pay these bills, don't ignore them; call the utility company. Utilities will often work with homeowners who are struggling financially. They might lower your bill for a period of time or defer your payments for a few months to allow you to rebuild your finances.</p> <h2>5. Student loans</h2> <p>Student loan debt is a financial burden for many, but you might be able to work out a new repayment plan with your lender if you are struggling. This is usually easier to do with federal student loans. You might qualify for a deferment, depending on your financial situation. But even if you are struggling to pay private student loans, call your lender. The company issuing your loans might be willing to work with you to keep you from falling into default. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-ways-to-pay-off-your-student-loans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Surprising Ways to Pay Off Your Student Loans</a>)</p> <h2>6. Credit cards</h2> <p>Yes, your credit card issuer can hit you with a late fee if you miss a payment. And yes, your card's interest rate might then soar. But credit cards don't need to be at the very top of your priorities list if you are struggling with critical bills like your mortgage.</p> <p>Your credit card provider can't throw you in jail if you miss payments, and it can't take your house or car. So paying this provider <em>after</em> making your mortgage and car payments is OK in a financial pinch.</p> <p>It typically isn't a smart move to pay only the monthly minimum on a credit card, because it's often such a small amount. However, if you're really struggling with money, this is another temporary option you can take. This will keep you current on your bill, and you can always boost your payments back up again once you've regained financial footing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-never-make-a-late-credit-card-payment?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Simple Ways to Never Make a Late Credit Card Payment</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fpay-these-6-bills-first-when-money-is-tight&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FPay%2520These%25206%2520Bills%2520First%2520When%2520Money%2520Is%2520Tight.jpg&amp;description=Pay%20These%206%20Bills%20First%20When%20Money%20Is%20Tight"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Pay%20These%206%20Bills%20First%20When%20Money%20Is%20Tight.jpg" alt="Pay These 6 Bills First When Money Is Tight" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pay-these-6-bills-first-when-money-is-tight">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/5-financial-mistakes-that-wont-hurt-your-credit-score">5 Financial Mistakes That Won&#039;t Hurt Your Credit Score</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/7-things-your-credit-report-does-not-include">7 Things Your Credit Report Does NOT Include</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-late-payments-affect-your-credit">How Late Payments Affect Your Credit</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/prioritize-these-5-bills-when-youre-short-on-cash">Prioritize These 5 Bills When You&#039;re Short on Cash</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/why-you-need-to-know-the-difference-between-secured-and-unsecured-debts">Why You Need to Know the Difference Between Secured and Unsecured Debts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Debt Management bills car loan credit score late fees late payments mortgage rent repossession student loans utilities Fri, 31 Mar 2017 08:00:16 +0000 Dan Rafter 1915858 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Alternative Housing Options You Can Afford http://www.wisebread.com/5-alternative-housing-options-you-can-afford <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-alternative-housing-options-you-can-afford" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_using_laptop_94437549.jpg" alt="Friends finding alternative housing options they can afford" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Keeping your housing costs low is key to achieving financial freedom. Minimizing your expenses frees up more money for investments, savings, and pursuing your passions. While renting an apartment or a house is still the mainstream approach, there are other alternatives available that are more cost effective. By pursuing one of these nontraditional housing options, you can cut your expenses and break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.</p> <h2>1. Co-Living Spaces</h2> <p>Co-living spaces, which often resemble college dorms, are increasingly popular in places with a high cost of living, such as San Francisco. The tech capital is booming, and as a result, it is unaffordable for many; a one-bedroom can cost <a href="https://www.rentjungle.com/average-rent-in-san-francisco-rent-trends/">nearly $3500 a month.</a></p> <p>More and more people are turning to co-living spaces as a cost-effective way to get living situations they can afford. In Silicon Valley, co-living spaces can be <a href="http://www.coliving.club/">had for $1,000</a>, less than half what a regular apartment would cost. In these dorm-style spaces, renters usually have a small bedroom of their own, but share the kitchen and common areas with up to a dozen other residents. Besides cost savings, these arrangements also provide people new to the area with great social opportunities and allows them to meet others in their industries.</p> <h2>2. Housing Co-Ops</h2> <p>While housing co-ops are fairly common overseas, they are just starting to gain traction in the United States. In a co-op, residents pool resources to own and manage housing together. The property can be a cluster of homes or an apartment-style building. Dwellers use their joint contributions to purchase the facilities and pay for community amenities like utilities, Wi-Fi, and lawn maintenance. The community approach cuts down costs dramatically, allowing you to save a significant amount of money compared to traditional housing.</p> <p>The <a href="http://coophousing.org/resources/living-in-a-cooperative/how-to-find-a-housing-cooperative/">National Association of Housing Cooperatives</a> has comprehensive information on how to locate a co-op, how to start one yourself, and questions to ask before handing over your hard earned money.</p> <h2>3. Work-Trade</h2> <p>Many people find success with work-trade agreements. Most common in rural areas, people can get free or cheap housing in return for a set number of labor hours, such as weeding, yard maintenance, or gardening. However, this approach is also getting more common in suburban and city areas, as even regular apartment complexes are willing to offer rent subsidies for men and women with repair or maintenance skills. You can find work-trade arrangements by searching for &quot;work trade housing&quot; or &quot;rent-free exchange&quot; on community job boards.</p> <h2>4. Tiny Homes</h2> <p>While <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-tiny-house-living-actually-save-you-money">tiny homes</a> are increasingly popular for those looking for a cheap alternative to homeownership, these micro living spaces can also be a great avenue for renters. Many tiny home communities offer select units for rent. This approach can be a great option to cut down your costs while you save up a down payment for a home of your own, or to test out if small living is for you. Housing can cost as little as $300 a month.</p> <h2>5. House-Sitting</h2> <p>Another option is to act as a serial housesitter. When people are selling their homes, the structures often go vacant for months, leaving them vulnerable to thieves and squatters. Many sellers hire housesitters to live in the home rent-free to keep the home occupied and safe while it's on the market. This idea is a great strategy to get free housing without requiring a lot of work or time. You can often find housesitting opportunities on Craigslist, <a href="https://www.trustedhousesitters.com/us/">Trusted Housesitters</a>, community classifieds, or by connecting with local realtors.</p> <p>With the national rent average increasing for yet another year, many people are feeling pressure regarding their budgets. Housing eats up a huge part of their income, making it difficult to meet their other obligations or pursue their goals. Alternative housing solutions offer cost effective ways to keep a roof over your head while minimizing your expenses.</p> <p><em>Have you considered these &mdash; or other &mdash; alternative housing arrangements?</em></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/5-alternative-housing-options-you-can-afford">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/rent-your-home-or-buy-heres-how-to-decide">Rent Your Home or Buy? Here&#039;s How to Decide</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/avoid-these-7-things-when-living-with-roommates">Avoid These 7 Things When Living With Roommates</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-a-mobile-home-may-be-your-best-option-for-affordable-housing">Why a Mobile Home May Be Your Best Option for Affordable Housing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-move-to-a-new-city-to-reduce-lifestyle-costs">Should You Move to a New City to Reduce Lifestyle Costs?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-buy-a-house-without-a-mortgage">4 Ways to Buy a House Without a Mortgage</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Real Estate and Housing alternative housing co-living co-ops cost of living house sitting mortgages rent tiny homes work-trade agreements Fri, 12 Aug 2016 10:30:14 +0000 Kat Tretina 1770724 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Smart and Fun Things You Could Do if You Paid Less Rent http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-and-fun-things-you-could-do-if-you-paid-less-rent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-smart-and-fun-things-you-could-do-if-you-paid-less-rent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000075723379_Large.jpg" alt="Woman enjoying life by paying less rent" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Paying rent is one of life's necessary evils. And you have to toil away to cover the cost of your too-small dwelling that seems to <em>always</em> need the Super to fix <em>something</em>. But let's think happy thoughts. What would you do, in a perfect world, if you paid less rent? Here are eight smart and fun things to do with all that extra cash in your pocket at the end of the month.</p> <h2>1. Take Classes to Learn a New Skill</h2> <p>A few years ago, my husband spent an incredible amount of money on helicopter lessons, because learning how to fly an aircraft has been a pursuit of his since his Navy days. Okay, I get it, people have dreams and all, but I also think that if you're not rich, like we aren't, those lessons should somehow pay for themselves or earn income down the road. But they didn't, and still haven't.</p> <p>Thus, let my disdain be a lesson in and of itself: If you want to use your leftover rent money to take a class, I highly recommend it, but you should have a purpose, an endgame. For instance, if you'd like to take a pottery class, that's all well and good, but are you doing it so you can make everybody ashtrays and vases for Christmas, or are you visualizing the potential of becoming proficient enough to sell the items or market yourself as a potter? The choice certainly is yours, but you'd be doing yourself a solid by trying to <em>monetize </em>your new skill, whatever it may be.</p> <h2>2. Upgrade Your Vehicle to Something You Want</h2> <p>There are upsides and downsides to buying a car brand new or used, which should be considered when deciding on a vehicle. But many times we get so lost in the details that we don't end up with the vehicle we actually <em>want</em>. If you're in this situation &mdash; driving a car or truck that gets you from A to B without much joie de vivre &mdash; maybe it's time to upgrade. It'd be a real possibility if you paid less rent.</p> <h2>3. Enhance Your Work Wardrobe</h2> <p>No matter where you work, somebody is judging you on your professional attire. And whether or not you want to believe it, the way you look plays a part in your income potential. It's not fair, no, because dressing &quot;well&quot; is a relative concept, but it behooves you to be on the trendier, more fitted side of the spectrum. If you're not feeling as confident as you'd like when you walk into the office, use your rent surplus to upgrade and enhance your wardrobe. Just a few key pieces &mdash; a fitted suit and shinier shoes &mdash; can do the trick.</p> <h2>4. Pursue a Healthier Lifestyle</h2> <p>It's true that nobody really needs to pay for exercise. You can do that on your own, without a trainer or even a gym. However, having the ability to work out by your own motivation and <em>wanting</em> to do it are two different things. I'm a self-motivator in all other aspects of my life, but when it comes to exercise, I need help. Which is why I don't feel bad paying for my gym membership or my personal trainer because I'm using these services to their full potential and seeing results (which is necessary for these expenditures to make sense).</p> <p>If you're like me, there's no harm in using what you would have paid in rent to better your health and your body by getting help along the way.</p> <h2>5. Save for That Always-Out-of-Reach Vacation</h2> <p>If you find yourself with the good fortune of paying less rent, you probably won't be able to pack your bags and jet off on your dream vacation right away. With about a half a year of saving &mdash; depending on how much you were able to shave off your rent &mdash; that always out-of-reach vacation will be much easier to grasp.</p> <h2>6. Establish a New Side Gig or Small Business</h2> <p>With the sharing economy in full effect &mdash; thanks to services like Airbnb, DogVacay, and Uber &mdash; you can start earning income with little to no investment. But not all side gigs or small businesses are that easy. If you have an idea in mind that requires start-up capital, use your rent surplus to fund this endeavor.</p> <p>In fact, I would say that this opportunity trumps everything else on this list so far. Adding another source of income can help you get to those other things faster, but establishing a new revenue generator should always be a priority. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-must-know-about-money-before-you-take-a-side-job?ref=seealso">10 Money Moves You Need to Make Before You Take a Side Job</a>)</p> <h2>7. Funnel Cash Into Your Home-Buying Fund</h2> <p>Nobody will ever convince me that <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303948104579534230618539424">renting is better than owning</a> your own home &mdash; not even the <em>Wall Street Journal</em>. Because why pay someone else to live in their house when you can pay yourself to live in your own house? Get out of that rental prison quicker by establishing a down-payment savings account and sending your rental savings there every month. Stick to it, and you'll have enough for a down payment before you know it.</p> <h2>8. Invest in Yourself</h2> <p>Go back to school, pursue a higher paying job, learn a new language &mdash; do something that will make you a better person <em>and</em> a more attractive employee. The best investment you can make is in yourself. Unless, of course, you have a hot tip on stocks; then I'll stand corrected.</p> <p><em>What are some of the smart and fun things you would do if you paid less rent? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-and-fun-things-you-could-do-if-you-paid-less-rent">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/5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free">5 Simple Ways to Live Rent-Free</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/6-ways-to-resist-a-splurge">6 Ways to Resist a Splurge</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/34-ways-to-come-up-with-the-rent-before-the-month-ends">34 Ways to Come Up With the Rent Before the Month Ends</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-budget-overhaul-tricks-for-the-recently-unemployed">5 Budget Overhaul Tricks for the Recently Unemployed</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/in-times-like-these-separate-the-want-from-the-need">In times like these, separate the want from the need.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Real Estate and Housing budget frugal fun activities rent rent money Spending Money Mon, 25 Jan 2016 16:00:03 +0000 Mikey Rox 1643601 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Important Things You Need to Know About the Housing Market in 2016 http://www.wisebread.com/6-important-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-housing-market-in-2016 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-important-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-housing-market-in-2016" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/housing_market_000074855705.jpg" alt="Learning important changes coming to housing market in 2016" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Buying a home is still part of the American dream.</p> <p>According to a survey from Trulia, 75% of Americans dream of owning a home, up 1% from 2015. This dream is even more pressing among Millennials because 80% of those surveyed would like to buy a home &mdash; and 31% would like to do so by 2018.</p> <p>Whether you're looking to buy a home this year or already own one, there are important factors that will affect your investment. Here are the six important things you need to know about the housing market in 2016.</p> <h2>1. Mortgage Rates Are Staying Low (For Now!)</h2> <p>The Fed's December 2015 interest rate hike had many consumers worried that rock-bottom mortgage rates would finally come to an end. However, the economic events of the first two weeks of 2016 show that low mortgage rates will stick around for a bit longer.</p> <p>Given the lackluster performance of the stock market, many investors are buying bonds and driving down the yields of these investment vehicles. This is great news for those looking for a home loan, because the interest rates on 30-year mortgage loans are highly correlated with the yield of the U.S. Treasury 10-year bond. According to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage average in the U.S. was <a href="https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/MORTGAGE30US">3.97% on January 7, 2016</a>, down from 4.1% in December 31, 2015.</p> <h2>2. HARP Refinance Deadline Receives Extension</h2> <p>Many experts expect mortgage interest rates to increase further down the road. Those mortgage holders that haven't been able to refinance to a lower rate yet should think about doing so this year &mdash; especially homeowners that are underwater on their mortgages.</p> <p>As of January 2015, about 700,000 borrowers who owed more than their homes were worth were <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/24/your-money/700000-homeowners-could-still-benefit-from-us-harp-refinancing-program.html?_r=0">still eligible to refinance</a> their loans through the HARP program from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). HARP was originally set to expire at the end of 2015, but it was extended for an additional year, until the end of 2016.</p> <p>Nearly 3.3 million Americans have benefited from a HARP refinance to lower their monthly payments on their mortgages. The five basic requirements to qualify for a HARP refinance are:</p> <ul> <li>Loan was originated on or before May 31, 2009.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Property is a primary residence, one-unit second home, or one- to four-unit investment property.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Loan is owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Current loan-to-value ratio must be greater than 80%.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Borrower is current on the mortgage, with no over-30-day late payments in the last six months and no more than one in the past 12 months.</li> </ul> <p>There are still close to 430,000 HARP-eligible loans out there and you can check the <a href="http://harp.gov/Default.aspx?Page=363">eligibility of loans</a> by zip code.</p> <h2>3. Home Prices Are Rising Less Than in Previous Years</h2> <p>One of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-necessities-that-will-be-cheaper-in-2016">necessities that will be cheaper in 2016</a> is the single-family home. In 2016, the national average price for a single-family home is expected to be 3% higher than last year, a much slower rate of growth than 2015's 5% increase.</p> <p>However, some markets will experience bigger price bumps, such as Sacramento, California with an expected 15% increase, and other markets will experience smaller price bumps, such as Houston, Texas with an expected 1.1% increase.</p> <h2>4. Rent Prices Are Increasing Faster</h2> <p>On the other hand, rent prices are expected to increase sharply. In the third quarter of 2015, U.S. home buyers were spending <a href="http://www.zillow.com/research/q3-2015-mortgage-rent-affordability-11197/">15% of their monthly income</a> on the mortgage payment of a typical home, while U.S. renters were spending 30% of their monthly income on the rent payment of a median-valued property.</p> <p>Higher rent prices will continue to be norm in 2016. According to a survey of more than 500 large U.S. property managers, <a href="http://www.rent.com/blog/2015-rental-market-report/">rental inventory</a> is at the lowest level in over 20 years.</p> <p>A smaller inventory of available units for rent enables landlords to demand higher prices from renters. Of the surveyed property managers, 55% reported to be &quot;less likely to offer concessions or lower rents to fill vacancies&quot; and 68% of them expected to continue raising their rental rates in 2016 by an average of 8%.</p> <h2>5. New FHA Loan Limits Take Effect</h2> <p>On December 9, 2015, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced its new schedule of <a href="http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2015/HUDNo_15-156">loan limits for 2016</a>. FHA home loans allow homebuyers to access financing with a minimum 3.5% down payment of the market value of the property, among other requirements.</p> <p>Given the changes to median house prices in certain metropolitan areas, in 2016 the maximum FHA loan limit is higher in <a href="http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=limitsincreasedcy15_cy16.pdf">188 counties</a>. However, the maximum nationwide FHA loan limit remains at $625,500 (here is a <a href="http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/sfh/lender/origination/mortgage_limits">list of areas</a> that are at the ceiling or that are considered &quot;high cost.&quot;)</p> <p>On the other hand, in 2016 the minimum FHA loan limit doesn't decrease for any areas in the country.</p> <h2>6. Fannie Mae Loosens Some Requirements</h2> <p>The Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), better known as Fannie Mae, is giving Americans a break in 2016. Through its new <a href="https://www.fanniemae.com/singlefamily/homeready">HomeReady mortgage program</a>, Fannie Mae aims to broaden access to home financing to credit-worthy low-to-moderate income borrowers.</p> <p>Some of the <a href="https://www.fanniemae.com/content/fact_sheet/homeready-overview.pdf">loosened requirements</a> from Fannie Mae include:</p> <ul> <li>Borrower isn't required to be a first-time homebuyer;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Down payment can be as low as 3% of property's market value;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Gifts, grants, and cash-on-hand are acceptable funds to cover downpayment and closing costs;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Nontraditional credit is allowed;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Income from non-borrower household members can be counted as part of the debt-to-income ratio of the borrower; and<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Underwriting process includes additional flexibilities.</li> </ul> <p>To learn more details about the HomeReady program, call 1-800-7FANNIE (1-800-732-6643) or visit <a href="http://www.fanniemae.com">FannieMae.com</a>.</p> <p><em>Do you expect 2016 to be better for the housing market &mdash; and your plans of owning a home?</em></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/6-important-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-housing-market-in-2016">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/3-terrible-things-foreclosure-does-to-your-credit">3 Terrible Things Foreclosure Does to Your Credit</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-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free">5 Simple Ways to Live Rent-Free</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-alternative-housing-options-you-can-afford">5 Alternative Housing Options You Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-need-to-know-about-a-home-appraisal">9 Things You Need to Know About a Home Appraisal</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing fannie mae FHA HARP housing market loans mortgage rates rent Thu, 21 Jan 2016 14:00:03 +0000 Damian Davila 1642416 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Move to a New City to Reduce Lifestyle Costs? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-move-to-a-new-city-to-reduce-lifestyle-costs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-move-to-a-new-city-to-reduce-lifestyle-costs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_city_view_000064735719.jpg" alt="Man deciding if he should move to a new city to reduce costs" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Moving to a big or popular city is often associated with higher housing costs. But even so, it may be worth it when you're able to change your lifestyle for the better &mdash; while reducing overall costs elsewhere.</p> <p>This is the exact decision that my husband and I faced a few months ago when we decided to move across the country to be closer to family.</p> <p>If you're considering whether or not you should move to pursue a better career or lifestyle, here's why you may want to move to a new city <em>even</em> if rent or housing costs more. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-mid-sized-cities-for-millennials">The 5 Best Mid-Sized Cities for Millennials</a>)</p> <h2>Why I Chose to Pay Double the Cost of Rent</h2> <p>Compared to our previous apartment near Dallas, TX our Boulder, CO rent is nearly double the price. Basically, the <a href="http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?country1=United+States&amp;country2=United+States&amp;city1=Boulder%2C+CO&amp;city2=Tyler%2C+TX&amp;tracking=getDispatchComparison">average price per square foot</a>&nbsp;to buy an apartment in Texas is $100, while Colorado is as much as $383 per square foot.</p> <p>Our one bedroom rented apartment in Texas only cost $900, whereas here in Boulder it's $1,660 &mdash; not including utilities. But we looked at our budget and took <em>all</em> our lifestyle costs into account before deciding that moving was the best option. Here are four reasons we decided to move to a new city despite the higher housing costs.</p> <h3>1. Lower Utility Charges</h3> <p>One of the biggest factors to your budget, aside from rent and housing costs, are your utility costs. This can include your water, electricity, gas, Internet, TV, and other small things like trash and sewer maintenance.</p> <p>Depending on whether you live inside or outside the city limits, these costs could be quite high. Added together, my husband and I used to pay close to $400 per month towards our utility bills. But now that we live in a more cost efficient city, we're able to save nearly <em>half </em>of that each month.</p> <p>Check your utility costs against those of your potential new city by making a list of your current bills. Compare those utility costs to your potential new place. (You can compare the costs online via the utility company's website, or calling the local phone number.) Be sure to check:</p> <ul> <li>Internet</li> <li>Phone</li> <li>TV/Cable</li> <li>Electricity</li> <li>Gas</li> <li>Water/Sewer</li> <li>Trash/Recycling</li> </ul> <p>Even though we may pay a lot more in rent, the amount we save every month by having low-flow faucets and more cost effective heating/cooling is definitely worth the move to us.</p> <h3>2. Food Costs and Waste</h3> <p>Groceries are a non-fixed expense that can eat into your budget if you're not careful. In our previous city, we had limited options of grocery stores to choose from, which left us little choice of saving money on food. We could either spend a fortune at a small boutique grocery store, or sacrifice the quality by going to a big chain store. We chose to spend a bit more for organic food and had a grocery bill upwards of $800+ per month &mdash; just for the two of us!</p> <p>Since moving to Colorado, we have access to 10 different grocery stores (seriously, we counted!) and can find what we need at a <em>much</em> lower price. In the past several months we've knocked an average of $230 off our grocery bill, and it keeps declining.</p> <p>Better quality organic food at one-fourth the cost has been well worth the move to a new city. In addition, we're able to buy less food and avoid so much going to waste. Having more options has allowed us to save money while still getting the organic and healthy food we want.</p> <h3>3. Environmental Impact</h3> <p>One of the main reasons my husband and I wanted to move from Texas to Colorado was to be more environmentally aware of the impact we were making. This city has a built-in recycling program so we no longer have to take weekend trips to the recycling center.</p> <p>And because of the climate, there's no air conditioning unit in our apartment. During the cold months, we simply use a gas-powered furnace. When you compare the cost of a electric heater versus a gas furnace, prices for gas <a href="https://www.mge.com/images/PDF/Brochures/residential/RentersGasVsElec.pdf">typically cost much less</a> to operate than electric ones.</p> <p>According to the EPA, the fuel from a gas furnace comes from natural gas production, which burns much cleaner and poses less of an environmental threat. It's important to evaluate your impact on the environment, as well as your overall lifestyle costs. Consider how this change could save you money and help better the local community.</p> <h3>4. Transportation Costs</h3> <p>Since settling into our life here in Boulder, my husband and I have only filled up the car with gas twice in the past three months. Our gas and car maintenance budget used to be $250 per month, but now it's down to around $40&ndash;$50 for all our transportation costs.</p> <p>Because this new city has <a href="https://bouldercolorado.gov/goboulder/other-great-options">several different transportation choices</a>, including a bus system, carpooling, and car sharing options, we've stopped using our car as much. We now bike or walk to work or while running errands.</p> <p>This allows us to save <em>over $200 a month</em> on gas and maintenance costs for our car. In addition it allows us to put less emissions into the environment.</p> <p>All-in-all, we increased our housing costs by $760 but are currently saving $610+ in lower utility, transportation, and food costs. For us, this was definitely worth it.</p> <p><em>Are you thinking of moving to reduce lifestyle costs? What are some other things that impact your decision?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-smith">Carrie Smith</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-move-to-a-new-city-to-reduce-lifestyle-costs">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/5-alternative-housing-options-you-can-afford">5 Alternative Housing Options You Can Afford</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/avoid-these-7-things-when-living-with-roommates">Avoid These 7 Things When Living With Roommates</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/book-review-off-the-grid">Book Review: Off the Grid</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/7-things-your-credit-report-does-not-include">7 Things Your Credit Report Does NOT Include</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-countries-where-you-can-retire-for-1000-a-month">5 Countries Where You Can Retire for $1,000 a Month</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Real Estate and Housing environmental impact food costs housing costs rent transportation utilities Thu, 21 Jan 2016 12:01:03 +0000 Carrie Smith 1642415 at http://www.wisebread.com Avoid These 7 Things When Living With Roommates http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-7-things-when-living-with-roommates <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/avoid-these-7-things-when-living-with-roommates" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/disagreeing_roomates.jpg" alt="disagreeing roommates who can&#039;t get along" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Until very recently, I've never lived alone. I went from my parents' house to a college dorm room to a fraternity house to various apartments, to a condo of my own &mdash; all of which were occupied by at least one other person. Considering that I'm OCD about everything &mdash; which is perhaps why I find myself currently living alone &mdash; and that I've lived with a couple crap-bag human beings in the past, I'm a bona fide expert in all the things you should never do when cohabitating with someone else.</p> <p>You've been warned.</p> <h2>1. Eat Other People's Food Without Permission</h2> <p>It's important for me to establish that while I've had many roommates over the years who have all done something I didn't like (as I'm sure I did for them, too), most of them weren't particularly offensive. A little annoyance here and there, yeah, but that's par for the course. And we're still friends. But there was one roommate who was so vile, so rude, so throw-up-in-my-mouth disgusting that most of the following anecdotes will be based on my short, six-month experience with him. Like the time he ate my food without permission.</p> <p>But he didn't <em>just</em> eat my food without permission. It's not like a pack of ramen was missing and I lost my ish. Oh, no. This dude and three of his drunken friends ravaged $50 worth of the groceries and snacks I had just purchased the night before. Straight-up murdered the fridge and cabinets. My cheese popcorn never stood a chance. Of course, the next day when I confronted him, he was all apologetic and offered to pay for the pilfered goods. But he never did. Because that's the kind of person he was &mdash; Satan's Spawn (SS), who, admittedly, I should've known was up to no good when he suspiciously smelled like both sweat and Cool Ranch Doritos simultaneously.</p> <h2>2. Fail to Pitch In on Common Household Items</h2> <p>There were three of us living in the Baltimore row house in which SS kept his lair, but only two of us pitched in on household items. Personally, I didn't mind buying cleaning products. I accept that not everyone lives as extreme-clean as I do, and they don't have to. But, when you don't throw in a few bucks for paper towels and toilet paper, and then use half the rolls yourself, you're some special kind of evil. As a result, my other roommate and I started rationing the paper products amongst ourselves and kept them in our respective bedrooms for our own use.</p> <p>And, nope, I'm not even a little bit remorseful about the first time SS discovered our new tactic right after doing his business. Bet he found the cleaning products that day.</p> <h2>3. Bring in a Revolving Door of Randos for Overnight Stays</h2> <p>Surprisingly, SS didn't bring in a bunch of randos. Frankly, we were shocked when anybody at all would stay the night in his bedroom &mdash; because Godspeed to that brave warrior princess and her penicillin prescription.</p> <p>Still, it's never cool to have strangers in and out of the house all hours of the night. Be respectful of your roommates and recognize that perhaps they don't appreciate Tinder &quot;dates&quot; staying over all the time. My personal rule is that non-roommate stays should be limited to no more than 1/3 of the month, which applies to significant others just as much as it does bar-to-bedroom buddies, friends, and family. I didn't sign a lease with those people, so why are they here all the time?</p> <h2>4. Being Consistently Late on Rent and Other Payments</h2> <p>If SS didn't pay me back for the $50 worth of food he scarfed down, then it's probably not hard to believe that he rarely paid his rent. We lived in an equal-payment situation, and our landlord wanted us to help make up the difference. Pfft. Nerp. Hold up, bub. That's not my friend over there drinking top-of-the-line tequila, but who's too house-poor to buy toilet paper. I'm not picking up his slack. Likewise, nobody in your place should be covering for you if you can't make ends meet. In that case, you got to go. Don't let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moments-that-are-awkward-for-everyone?ref=seealso">10 Money Moments That Are Awkward for Everyone</a>)</p> <h2>5. Keep Untidy Spaces</h2> <p>This dude didn't pick up a broom the whole time he lived with us. Couldn't find the Ajax to scrub the tub, or replace the shower curtain when it got grimy. Nary a bottle of Windex or 409 ever touched his hands, and God forbid he wipe down the stove after his Spaghetti-Os splattered everywhere. But while he left his indelible mark on the common areas, it was his bedroom that should have been quarantined. After months of my dishes consistently disappearing, rarely to be seen again, I opened SS's bedroom door one day to take back what was mine. Except they were now science projects, like that time Stephen King touched a meteorite in <a href="http://amzn.to/1Rm7LwC">Creepshow</a> and starting growing alien vegetation all over himself. Thus, they became <em>his</em> dishes, that jerk.</p> <p>Of course everybody has a right to keep their room how they want it. Some people aren't as tidy as others, and that's okay, in your own personal area. But if you're downright filthy, it becomes a household issue, especially as pests and rodents can be problematic. Keep common areas tidy and at least try to keep your bedroom somewhat clean, as well.</p> <h2>6. Partake in &quot;Recreational Activities&quot; Indoors</h2> <p>I use to be a cigarette smoker, but I never smoked indoors in a roommate situation if they didn't like it. I also recognize that some people like to smoke weed, and since that was never my thing, I appreciated when my roommates would smoke elsewhere.</p> <p>If you drink or smoke and your roommate isn't cool with it, then you need to respect that and keep your recreational activities far away from them.</p> <h2>7. Borrow Clothing Without Asking</h2> <p>I didn't have to worry about SS borrowing my clothing without asking, but when I was in college I had a roommate &mdash; one of my fraternity brothers &mdash; who would borrow my clothes on the regular. In all fairness, we borrowed each other's clothing, since we were essentially the same size and build, but I didn't like when he would go into my closet without asking first. It's cool when you're both in the room getting ready for a party and can swap closets in person, but it's a little invasive if you're going through your roomie's wardrobe when they're not there. If this is something you enjoy with your roommates, just remember boundaries. If the other person doesn't know about it, it's stealing. And you better hope you don't get a stain on my shirt... lest you want to be buried in it.</p> <p><em>Tell me: What are some other things to never do when living with a roommate? I'd love to hear some of your roommate horror stories in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-7-things-when-living-with-roommates">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/5-alternative-housing-options-you-can-afford">5 Alternative Housing Options You Can Afford</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-benefits-of-having-a-roommate-besides-saving-on-rent">The Benefits of Having a Roommate (Besides Saving on Rent)</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/should-you-move-to-a-new-city-to-reduce-lifestyle-costs">Should You Move to a New City to Reduce Lifestyle Costs?</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-score-cheap-rent-without-annoying-roommates">5 Ways to Score Cheap Rent — Without Annoying Roommates</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/11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette">11 Simple Rules of Excellent Houseguest Etiquette</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Real Estate and Housing apartment living etiquette life hacks living with roommates rent roommates Fri, 15 Jan 2016 12:00:02 +0000 Mikey Rox 1638028 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Simple Ways to Live Rent-Free http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-hotel-worker-tray-room-food-iStock_000025670142_Small.jpg" alt="woman room service" title="woman room service" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all need a roof over our heads and a place to sleep at night. Living with mom and dad is an obvious way to live rent-free, but you might prefer your privacy and independence. Fortunately, there are other tricks to score free rent that don't involve getting help from your folks. Here are five of them.</p> <h2>1. Work With an Accommodations Company</h2> <p>Contact hostels or private hotels and negotiate free rent in exchange for working for them on a part- or full-time basis. Some larger chains won't agree to this arrangement, but it doesn't hurt to ask. If a hotel or hostel has vacancies, or if it's understaffed and looking for ways to cut costs, the manager may consider your proposal. You can work in a variety of roles depending on your skill set, ranging from housekeeping to administrative tasks.</p> <h2>2. Home Share With an Elderly Person</h2> <p>Some elderly people live alone, and because of their age or health, they get behind on housework and home maintenance. If you have the skills and time, offer to home share with an elderly person on a temporary basis. In exchange for free rent, you agree to tasks such as cleaning, cooking, running errands, or handling repairs and maintenance. It's a win-win, since you provide your elderly roommate with companionship and assistance around the house, while you save money toward your financial goals. If I were actively seeking rent-free accommodation, this is totally a situation I'd pursue. I love elderly folks, and elderly folks love me. We'd watch our soaps, make fresh sandwiches for lunch, take afternoon naps, and get all gussied up for church bingo. Sounds like my idea of paradise.</p> <h2>3. Live in Your Van or RV</h2> <p>It might get a little cramped inside, but if you're serious about saving money for whatever reason, living in your van or RV for several months to a year (or longer) can really build your savings. This is especially true if you can park the vehicle on a friend or relative's property for free. Almost all RVs are equipped with small kitchens and bathrooms, so it's easier to be self-sufficient. On the other hand, if you live in a van, you'll need to borrow a friend or relative's kitchen or bathroom, unless you're planning to eat out for every meal or shower at the gym before work.</p> <h2>4. House-Sit for Free Rent</h2> <p>Some people are nervous about leaving their home and pets for days while out of town, so they ask a friend or relative to house-sit or check on the property. But what you may not realize is that some career house-sitters don't pay a dime for rent.</p> <p>&quot;House-sitting in return for a free retreat is growing in its popularity as more and more home and pet owners enjoy having the freedom to choose their sitter and having peace of mind that their fur family are kept in their own environment,&quot; says Rachel Martin, co-founder of <a href="http://trustedhousesitters.com">TrustedHousesitters.com</a>.</p> <p>You might not receive compensation for house-sitting, so you'll need an income source to cover other monthly expenses such as food, transportation, entertainment, and so on. However, it's a fair trade-off, considering you're able to stay in someone's home without paying rent or utilities.</p> <h2>5. Find a Job That Includes Accommodations</h2> <p>This is similar &mdash; but not identical &mdash; to my first suggestion. If you have the appropriate skills, look into employment opportunities that include free accommodations. You can work as a live-in nanny for a family who needs assistance caring for their children. Some boarding schools employ full-time resident advisors who live inside dormitories to supervise students. If you have experience in property management, some apartment complexes give employee rent discounts, and apartment managers can often even live in a unit for free. (Heck, I wouldn't mind being a modern day <a href="http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0025226/">Mr. Furley</a>.)</p> <p><em>Have you legitimately lived rent-free? What did you do? Tell us your story in comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20Simple%20Ways%20to%20Live%20Rent-Free.jpg&amp;description=5%20Simple%20Ways%20to%20Live%20Rent-Free" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <div align="center">&nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Simple%20Ways%20to%20Live%20Rent-Free.jpg" alt="5 Simple Ways to Live Rent-Free" width="250" height="374" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free">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/should-you-try-to-reduce-your-rent">Should you try to reduce your rent?</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/8-smart-and-fun-things-you-could-do-if-you-paid-less-rent">8 Smart and Fun Things You Could Do if You Paid Less Rent</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/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</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-you-really-afford-to-live-in-your-dream-city">Can You Really Afford to Live in Your Dream City?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-obamas-new-mortgage-plan-really-reward-responsibility">Will Obama&#039;s new mortgage plan really reward responsibility?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Real Estate and Housing accommodations free rent housing recreational vehicle rent Mon, 16 Mar 2015 08:00:06 +0000 Mikey Rox 1338585 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Score Cheap Rent — Without Annoying Roommates http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-score-cheap-rent-without-annoying-roommates <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-score-cheap-rent-without-annoying-roommates" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young-man-reading-couch-Dollarphotoclub_70838329.jpg" alt="young man reading couch" title="young man reading couch" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The United States is in the midst of a rent affordability crisis. While financial advisers will tell you housing should cost no more than 30% of your income, the reality for many people is that rent is commonly much, much more. In fact, half of all renters across the nation <a href="http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/sites/jchs.harvard.edu/files/jchs_americas_rental_housing_2013_1_0.pdf">spend well more than 30%</a>&nbsp;of their gross income on housing.</p> <p>Yet, finding a cheap place to rent isn't pure fantasy. We've all heard of a friend or loved one living in an expensive area for a fraction of the neighbors fork over in rent. So how do they do it? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-haggle-your-way-to-cheaper-rent?ref=seealso">6 Ways to Haggle Your Way to Cheap Rent</a>)</p> <p>Read on for our cheat sheet of the best ways to score cheap rent &mdash; without having to live with a stranger.</p> <h2>1. Seek Out Properties Under Renovation</h2> <p>Housing construction makes a racket, stirs up dust, and jeopardizes parking &mdash; all of which are turn-offs to most potential renters. To compensate, rental offices commonly offer up price concessions, including discounted rents, waived fees, and lower deposits. New renters can usually enjoy these benefits for a full year, even when renovations only last a couple of months.</p> <h2>2. Scope Out an Ugly View</h2> <p>No one fantasizes about <a href="http://www.timeout.com/newyork/style-design/how-to-find-a-cheap-apartment-in-nyc">bedroom window views of highway ramps</a> and abandoned parking lots. But it might be better for your bank account. &quot;Proximity to generally undesirable transportation facilities can be a money saver,&quot; says Ryan Harris, a New York City planner and a representative of the local American Planning Association, told Time Out New York. &quot;Look for areas near elevated train lines, highways, or bridge and tunnel entrances to be more affordable than those even one or two blocks away.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Wait for Winter</h2> <p>Fewer people move in the winter, so landlords are usually ready to cut a deal. New York City resident Susan Goldstein, a designer, says she saved big bucks by planning her most recent move between Thanksgiving and Christmas. &quot;We looked at buildings that offered incentives.&quot; Her broker, David J. Bucci of A.C. Lawrence &amp; Co., said Goldstein was able to get one month of rent free, and the building paid the broker's fee. &quot;The majority of leases turn over during the summer, so the inventory is high, but so are prices and the number of people looking increases dramatically,&quot; Bucci told the city guide. &quot;If you are looking for a deal, the winter months are the way to go.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Become a Live-In Caretaker, Nanny, or Pet Sitter</h2> <p>These opportunities are hard to find. But for those who are lucky enough to score a caretaker gig, the payoff can be astounding. Namely, free or deeply discounted rent in what's typically a fully furnished home. What's the catch? Typically, there isn't one, which is why these living arrangements are so hot. Often it will be a well-to-do couple who wants someone clean, quiet, and reliable to walk the dog and water the begonias while they're away in Europe. Sound like your cup of tea? Check Craigslist, coffee shop bulletin boards, and the classifieds in your local newspaper for potential opportunities.</p> <h2>5. Offer to Sign a Longer Lease</h2> <p>It never hurts to negotiate. In fact, it's rather silly not to try, at the very least. So if the landlord asks for a 6-month commitment, offer up a full year in exchange for a knock-down on the monthly price. If he or she wants you to agree to a year-long commitment, say that you're willing to up the ante to 18 months if they're willing to throw in some extras &mdash; like free parking or a gratis gym membership. Landlords often offer discounts to long-term tenants, but your commitment saves them on turnover expenses such as lost rent during the search for a new tenant, advertising costs, and cleaning fees.</p> <p><em>Have you snagged cheap rent? Share your tips and tricks with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-score-cheap-rent-without-annoying-roommates">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/avoid-these-7-things-when-living-with-roommates">Avoid These 7 Things When Living With Roommates</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/getting-by-without-a-job-part-3-cut-spending">Getting by without a job, part 3--cut 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/renting-is-cheaper">Renting is cheaper</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-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free">5 Simple Ways to Live Rent-Free</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-alternative-housing-options-you-can-afford">5 Alternative Housing Options You Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Real Estate and Housing cheap rent rent roommates Tue, 23 Dec 2014 18:00:09 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1271113 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Surprising Things You Can Rent http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-things-you-can-rent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-surprising-things-you-can-rent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-reading-pet-dog-86536350-small.jpg" alt="woman reading pet dog" title="woman reading pet dog" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Furniture. Movies. Moving trucks. Tuxedos. Cars. Homes. Those are the first things that spring to mind when thinking about what you can rent instead of buy. But there are several items that you may never have considered were &quot;rentable.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-25-best-things-to-buy-on-craigslist?ref=seealso">The 25 Best Things to Buy on Craigslist</a>)</p> <p>And make no mistake, some of these 10 surprisingly rentable things can save you a <em>lot</em> of money.</p> <h2>1. Caskets</h2> <p>Death is a lucrative business. The average <a href="http://www.learnvest.com/knowledge-center/how-much-do-funerals-cost/">price of a funeral in the USA</a> is now somewhere between $7,000-$10,000. That includes the ceremony, embalming, and the cost of the casket &mdash; around $2,300. If you choose cremation, the costs can be lowered. And if you choose a rental casket, you can chop at least $1,300 off the bill. <a href="http://www.pettettfuneralhome.com/Rental_Caskets_98791.html">Rental caskets</a> are reusable outer shells with a new inner container. The rental casket is used for viewing and visitation, but the inner box is cremated or buried. And several funeral homes now offer a simple cardboard box with a <a href="http://avenidasfuneralchapel.blogspot.com/2011/03/all-new-and-improved-rental-casket-do.html">pillow and lining for around $75.</a> That's an important saving at a time when you don't want to think about spending money.</p> <h2>2. A Friend</h2> <p>Not everyone is a social butterfly (I know I'm not). If you have a wedding to go to, or a big event, and you don't want to go alone, you can simply rent a friend for the evening. A site called Rent-a-Friend can introduce you to people who will happily be your &quot;plus one&quot; for the night, be it a wingman, a date, or just someone to go and see a movie with. <a href="http://rentafriend.com/whatis">Rates start at just $10/hour</a>, which is about the going rate for babysitting these days! And for those very special occasions, you can (seriously) even <a href="http://www.rentaparent.com/">rent a parent</a>.</p> <h2>3. Fame</h2> <p>Do you want to be famous? Well, you can rent an experience that gives you a glimpse into the life of a famous celebrity, and it won't require any breakout acting or singing roles. A site called <a href="http://www.celeb4aday.com/">Celeb4aday.com</a> has packages starting at $499 that will have the paparazzi bugging you for 30 minutes, snapping photos, screaming your name, and making you feel like an A-List Hollywood celeb! If you go for the MegaStar Package, you get two hours of harassment from 6 paparazzi photographers, plus a limo, a publicist, a bodyguard, and a lot of extra trimmings. If you're celebrating the big 40 out on the town, and really want an experience to remember, maybe this is the way to go.</p> <h2>4. Designer Handbags</h2> <p>Do you have a 10-year high school reunion coming up, and you want to look your very best (i.e. show off) without breaking the bank? Well, places like BagBorrowOrSteal.com will let you rent designer handbags for a fraction of the retail price. For instance, the <a href="http://us.louisvuitton.com/eng-us/products/lockit-pm-008811">Louis Vuitton Soft Lockit bag retails for $3,650!</a> You can rent that same bag <a href="http://www.bagborroworsteal.com/handbags/louis-vuitton-soft-lockit-mm-bag/69069/1737/1163&amp;posCol=0&amp;posRow=0&amp;page=1">for $500 a month</a>. And if you shop around, you can find weekly rates.</p> <h2>5. College Textbooks</h2> <p>College is expensive, and one of the big expenses very few people prepare for is the cost of new textbooks. Some books can cost hundreds of dollars, which is more than a little frustrating when you are asked to buy a new version every year. However, one of the simplest ways to get around this high price tag is to choose the rental option. Sites like <a href="http://www.campusbookrentals.com/">CampusBookRentals.com</a> and <a href="http://www.bookrenter.com/">BookRenter.com</a> offer the latest books at less than half the price of a new book. You can even highlight passages (although excessive highlighting will result in additional charges). To avoid this, simply photocopy the pages you really need (remember, it's legal to do so if you follow the <a href="http://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2014/08/is-it-legal-to-photocopy-textbooks.html">fair use guidelines</a> as a student).</p> <h2>6. A Pet</h2> <p>Yes, man's best friend is now available at an hourly rate. Animal shelters around the country are now letting people rent pets for days, or weeks, at a time. This is a good way to find out if you're actually ready to bring home a pet, and the money goes to the shelter to help house and feed the animals they care for until they are ready for adoption. Of course, the hope is that you love the pet and adopt it. In that case, your rental fees go towards the adoption.</p> <p>Other sites, such as <a href="https://www.borrowmydoggy.com/how-it-works">BorrowMyDoggy.com</a>, put owners of pets in touch with people who want some animal company for a while. From simply walking the dog, to having a play date for your own pooch, it's often free to find a &quot;pet rental&quot; once you've signed up and gone through the verification process.</p> <h2>7. Wedding Dress</h2> <p>For some, the very idea of renting a wedding dress is abhorrent. This is a very big day, and the bride's dress is perhaps the most important item in the wedding (which now runs <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2014/03/28/pf/average-wedding-cost/">$30,000 on average</a>). However, with wedding dresses averaging over $1,200, it may be wise to rent the dress that will probably be worn just once in its lifetime. For as <a href="http://www.lifeedited.com/wedding-dress-rentals/">little as $200</a> you can rent a designer dress for the day; one that would cost much more than your average wedding dress. Or, you can buy pre-owned for as little as $75 if you're really in a pinch.</p> <h2>8. Wheels</h2> <p>Crazy, but true. You can now <a href="http://www.rent-n-go.com/wheels-and-tires-brands/">rent a whole range of wheels,</a> and other automotive parts, on a month-to-month basis. So, if you're driving a car that you'd like to pimp out for the summer, you can rent some major chrome rims for much less than it would cost to buy.</p> <h2>9. Celebrities</h2> <p>You don't need to be rich and famous to hobnob with the elite; but you will need a chunk of money to spend a little time in their company. Many celebrities make a lot of extra cash by showing up to private parties. Imagine having Benedict Cumberbatch, Patrick Stewart, or Karl Urban on your guest list. If you can't afford the A-Listers, there are plenty of B and C list celebrities who will gladly make a grand entrance for you.</p> <h2>10. Someone to Stand In Line</h2> <p>There are certain things that people with more money than sense like to do. One is to buy the latest fad gadget the second it comes out. These same people will pay someone to stand in line for hours, or even days, so that they don't have to. <a href="http://ny.racked.com/archives/2014/03/25/sold.php">Professional line sitters exist,</a> and they can make a decent chunk of money for basically doing nothing. A whole lot of nothing. They even have reviews on Yelp.</p> <p><em>Do you know of something bizarre you can rent that isn't covered here? Let us know.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-things-you-can-rent">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/5-ways-to-score-cheap-rent-without-annoying-roommates">5 Ways to Score Cheap Rent — Without Annoying Roommates</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/borrowing-renting-substituting-and-doing-without">Borrowing, renting, substituting, and doing without</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/manage-your-fixed-expenses">Manage your fixed expenses</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/renting-is-cheaper">Renting is cheaper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-tidy-up-your-finances-before-the-holidays">10 Ways to Tidy Up Your Finances Before the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living lease rent share Tue, 04 Nov 2014 17:00:07 +0000 Paul Michael 1250691 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Surprising Things You Can Rent http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-surprising-things-you-can-rent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-surprising-things-you-can-rent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl-playing-legos-478293073-small.jpg" alt="girl playing legos" title="girl playing legos" 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 some stellar articles on surprising things you can rent, tricking your brain and building wealth, and strategies to retire early.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/article/spending/T050-C011-S001-11-surprising-things-you-can-rent.html">11 Surprising Things You Can Rent</a> &mdash; Did you know you can rent Legos and Christmas trees? [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dailyworth.com/posts/2978-5-mental-habits-that-make-you-poor/1">5 Ways to Trick Your Brain and Build Your Wealth</a> &mdash; Visualizing your goals can help you build wealth. [DailyWorth]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2014/10/02/10-strategies-to-retire-earlier-than-your-friends-on-the-same-salary/">10 Strategies to Retire Earlier Than Your Friends on the Same Salary</a> &mdash; If you want to retire earlier than your friends who have the same salary, don't have kids too early and live in cheaper areas. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/mileage-baby-gear.html">How to Get the Most Mileage Out of Baby Gear</a> &mdash; Get the most mileage out of baby gear by purchasing gender-neutral gear and recycling burp clothes. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mainstreet.com/article/10-questions-a-career-coach-says-will-help-you-ace-job-interviews">10 Questions a Career Coach Says Will Help You Ace Job Interviews</a> &mdash; Asking where your interviewer sees your potential position going can help you ace your job interview. [MainStreet]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/2014/10/01/8-ways-to-destroy-workplace-distractions/*?int=aa6a09&amp;int=a86509">8 Ways to Destroy Workplace Distractions</a> &mdash; If you want to destroy workplace distractions, take a stroll instead of a scroll. [US News &amp; World Repor]</p> <p><a href="http://money.cnn.com/2014/09/30/investing/investing-secrets-wealthy/index.html?iid=SF_PF_River">5 Investing Secrets of the Wealthy</a> &mdash; It is vital to know the fees on your investments and to know your risk tolerance. [CNN Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/make-stolen-data-useless-to-identity-thieves/">What If We Could Make Stolen Data Useless to Identity Thieves?</a> &mdash; By creating a kill switch on smartphones, San Francisco saw phone theft drop by 30%. If we could do the same thing for identity theft, chances are it could drop significantly as well! [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/30-Day-Kindess-Challenge-35664620">Become a Better Person With This 30-Day Kindness Challenge</a> &mdash; Are you trying to be a better person? Take this awesome 30-day kindness challenge! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/9-ways-to-create-a-workable-chore-chart-for-your-kids">9 Ways to Create a Workable Chore Chart for Your Kids</a> &mdash; To create a workable chore chart for your kids, keep it simple and provide incentives. [Parenting Squad]</p> <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/best-money-tips-surprising-things-you-can-rent">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-score-cheap-rent-without-annoying-roommates">5 Ways to Score Cheap Rent — Without Annoying Roommates</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/manage-your-fixed-expenses">Manage your fixed expenses</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/borrowing-renting-substituting-and-doing-without">Borrowing, renting, substituting, and doing without</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-surprising-things-you-can-rent">10 Surprising Things You Can Rent</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/renting-is-cheaper">Renting is cheaper</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living best money tips rent Mon, 06 Oct 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1227463 at http://www.wisebread.com Can You Really Afford to Live in Your Dream City? http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-afford-to-live-in-your-dream-city <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/can-you-really-afford-to-live-in-your-dream-city" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/house-4366298-small.jpg" alt="family moving" title="family moving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It finally happened. You've been offered a job in the city of your dreams. Or you're coming up on retirement. Or you're just sick and tired of the Midwest winters. Before packing up your belongings, however, consider these five factors to avoid having your dream move turn into a financial nightmare. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-on-a-long-distance-move?ref=seealso">How to Save on a Long-Distance Move</a>)</p> <h2>A Dollar in Boise May Not Buy as Much in Dallas</h2> <p>To get a better handle on how living expenses &mdash; from groceries to a visit to the dentist &mdash; vary from city to city, use a free online <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/moving-cost-of-living-calculator.aspx">Cost of Living comparison calculator</a>. This tool will also give you an idea of what your income needs to be in order to maintain the same style of living.</p> <p>The factors that make some cities more affordable than others varies. Kiplinger's compilation of the <a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/real-estate/T006-S001-10-cheapest-u-s-cities-to-live-in/">cheapest cities in the U.S.</a> cites shows low grocery prices for some, low housing costs for others, and low medical fees in others. As Kiplinger's points out, however, cheaper living often goes hand in hand with less healthy economic conditions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-of-americas-awesomest-cheap-cities?ref=seealso">Awesome Cheap American Cities</a>)</p> <h2>Determine How Much It Will <em>Really</em> Cost to Hang Your Hat</h2> <p>Most financial experts agree that housing costs should represent 30% of your gross annual income. But to play it safe, some say to increase that to 35% to cover all the &quot;a-la-carte&quot; costs that come on top of the mortgage payment or rent &mdash; property taxes, utilities, assessments, or building/neighborhood amenities, like swimming pools or workout facilities.</p> <p>Property taxes can be a significant factor affecting the cost of owning a home or condo. New York residents contribute the highest percentage of their income to property taxes, followed by New Jersey, Connecticut, California, and Wisconsin. On the flip side, Wyoming residents pay the least percentage (6.9%) of their income to property taxes. Alaska, South Dakota, Texas, and Louisiana round out the <a href="http://247wallst.com/special-report/2014/04/02/states-with-the-highest-and-lowest-taxes/">lowest property tax states</a>, according to 24/7 Wall Street.</p> <p>In addition, potential homebuyers need to consider maintenance costs, building or community assessments, and repairs (often hard to predict). Snow removal may not be a factor if you're moving to Phoenix, but your air conditioning costs may skyrocket compared to what you paid in Minneapolis! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-costly-things-new-homeowners-dont-prepare-for?ref=seealso">Costly Things New Homeowners Don't Prepare For</a>)</p> <p>Homeowner's insurance is required by most mortgage lenders. Average homeowners insurance rates are higher in states prone to extreme weather conditions or with higher building costs.</p> <p>If you're planning to rent, ask the property manager or landlord which utilities or building amenities are not included in the rent, and make sure your budget allows you to comfortably cover these expenses.</p> <h2>Chart Your Commuting Course &mdash; and Costs</h2> <p>How do you plan to get to and from work, the grocery store, or the movie theater and what will it cost? <a href="http://htaindex.cnt.org/">The Housing + Transportation Affordability Index</a> (searchable by city) factors transportation costs into the equation with its recommendation that your <em>combined</em> housing and transportation costs should be no more than 45% of your monthly income.</p> <p>Looking for a place where you can walk, bike, or take public transportation to work? Check Walk Score's <a href="http://www.walkscore.com/cities-and-neighborhoods/">rankings of the best cities</a> to live car-free.</p> <p>If driving is your preferred (or only!) commuting option, take a look at how fuel prices stack up with the help of GasBuddy's <a href="http://www.gasbuddy.com/gb_gastemperaturemap.aspx">gas price heat map</a> or its list of <a href="http://www.gasbuddy.com/GB_Price_List.aspx?cntry=USA#us_cities">average gas price by city</a>.</p> <p>Parking can put additional strain on your monthly budget &mdash; or not, depending on where you plan to live and work. A parking spot in a Chicago high rise could set you back $200 to $500 per month, but far less in Milwaukee, just 90 miles to the north. BestParking offers a <a href="http://www.bestparking.com/">searchable database</a> of parking costs by city to give you a general idea, but be sure to check with individual buildings, which may vary widely in fees. And don't forget the vehicle permit stickers required by many cities.</p> <h2>Be Prepared for the Unexpected</h2> <p>Unforeseen expenses for homeowners come in many forms, from a leaky faucet to a leaky roof &mdash; and everything in between. Where you live can impact repair costs. The national average cost to hire an electrician is $380 per project, but only $213 in Myrtle Beach, and $398 in Seattle, according to <a href="https://www.homeadvisor.com/">Home Advisor</a>. Any repair can put a strain on your wallet depending on the cause and the potential ripple effects.</p> <p>Renters are not immune to the unexpected. Renter's insurance &mdash; often required by the landlord or apartment management company &mdash; is always advised. Sure, if the roof leaks, the landlord will fix it, but what about your computer, clothes, and other personal property? Renters insurance not only covers personal effects, but often covers living expenses should your apartment become uninhabitable due to a fire or natural disaster. Generally very affordable, renters insurance can start as low as $10 per month depending on your coverage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-money-and-hassle-by-bundling-your-home-repairs?ref=seealso">Saving Money on Home Repairs</a>)</p> <p>As the saying goes, &quot;The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.&quot; In this economy, that could mean your job.</p> <p>If your dream city is a thriving employment mecca versus a job desert, you'll find yourself with more options if your company downsizes or your position is eliminated. MuniNet Guide provides a snapshot look <a href="http://www.muninetguide.com/employment-data/">employment trends</a> by metro area. (Note: I am the managing editor of MuniNet Guide.) When considering the health of the employment environment, check both <em>unemployment</em> rate trends (which should be heading down) and <em>employment growth</em> rates (which should be heading up).</p> <h2>Do Your Homework</h2> <p>We are fortunate to live in times where information is more readily available than ever before. Take full advantage of state, city, and county websites, which can provide valuable information and links to help you research a move to your dream city. Being financially prepared can make your dream become a prudent reality.</p> <p><em>Have you moved to another city or burg? Were you surprised by the cost difference (up or down) versus your old home town?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mardee-handler">Mardee Handler</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-afford-to-live-in-your-dream-city">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/5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free">5 Simple Ways to Live Rent-Free</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/should-you-try-to-reduce-your-rent">Should you try to reduce your rent?</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/growin-home-how-much-house-do-you-really-need">Growin&#039; Home: How Much House Do You Really Need?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-questions-to-ask-during-an-open-house">20+ Questions to Ask During an Open House</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-money-moves-that-will-ruin-your-mortgage-application">5 Money Moves That Will Ruin Your Mortgage Application</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing affordable housing home buying housing rent Fri, 11 Apr 2014 08:24:15 +0000 Mardee Handler 1135085 at http://www.wisebread.com