finances http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7885/all en-US Here's What Your Vote Says About Your Money Style http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-your-vote-says-about-your-money-style <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-what-your-vote-says-about-your-money-style" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kid_vote_patriotic_78663835.jpg" alt="Learning what your vote says about your money style" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Does your philosophy toward money influence your politics? Do you support or oppose certain candidates based on your own spending or investing style?</p> <p>There are plenty of stereotypes out there, but also a good amount of evidence suggesting that the way we vote is a reflection of our approach to money. The studies sampled below vary in size and quality, so take them with a grain of salt, to be sure &mdash; but here's what they tell us about your vote and your money.</p> <h2>1. Conservatives Save, Liberals Spend</h2> <p>This is a generalization, but it does appear to be backed up by some data. A 2014 Gallup poll revealed that 64% of self-identified conservatives prefer saving money over spending it, compared to 54% for self-identified liberals. And this difference in attitude appears to exist even among young people, though there is growing evidence that Millennials learned to become more frugal after the Great Recession.</p> <h2>2. Democrats Have More Credit Cards, But Use Them More Wisely</h2> <p>A survey from Credit Sesame last year revealed that people in Democratic (or &quot;Blue&quot;) states have more credit cards and higher credit limits than those in Republican-leaning states. Republican states, on the other hand, use fewer cards and have less debt overall, but had 34% more people who have gone over their credit limit.</p> <h2>3. Beliefs Guide Investing</h2> <p>If you have strong feelings on certain social or political issues, it may impact how you shop and how you invest. A conservative voter might not want to invest in movie studios that make violent films, or have sexual content. An anti-gun voter would avoid a mutual fund that invests in Smith and Wesson. Environmentally conscious investors will research a company's record on sustainability or pollution before becoming shareholders.</p> <p>These days, there are hundreds of socially conscious mutual funds that exclude companies for a reasons ranging from their sale of tobacco or alcohol, their use or production of nuclear power, their role in the defense industry, or their labor practices.</p> <h2>4. If Your Candidate's Winning, You're More Optimistic</h2> <p>If the candidate you support is in the lead, then you feel good about the future. And an optimistic person is more likely to invest their money, under the assumption that the economy and stock market will do well. Research shows this is true whether you're a Democrat or a Republican. A study titled, <a href="http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1509168"><em>Political Climate, Optimism, and Investment Decisions</em></a> showed that Democrats were more optimistic about the economy after 1992 and 1996, but that trend reversed in 2000, when a Republican took office.</p> <h2>5. You Should Vote the Way You Should Invest &mdash; With Your Eyes on the Horizon</h2> <p>Accumulating wealth requires patience and time and a willingness to look at the big picture. The best investors take a long view with their money, rather than buy and sell on a whim. And it's possible to vote with a similar mindset. When voting, do you wonder which candidate is best equipped to plan for the nation's long-term health? Voters taking the long view might be attracted to candidates who talk about things like infrastructure investment, the cost of entitlements, or future changes in technology or demographics.</p> <p><em>Do any of these money and politics links ring true for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-your-vote-says-about-your-money-style">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meditation-can-make-you-a-money-master">6 Ways Meditation Can Make You a Money Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-siri-can-be-your-personal-finance-assistant">9 Ways Siri Can Be Your Personal Finance Assistant</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/12-easy-ways-to-wake-up-richer-tomorrow-than-you-are-today">12 Easy Ways to Wake Up Richer Tomorrow Than You Are Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</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/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Clinton conservative democrats finances investing liberal republicans saving trump voting Fri, 09 Sep 2016 09:00:14 +0000 Tim Lemke 1788931 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 50 Money Moves You Need to Make When Big Changes Happen http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-50-money-moves-you-need-to-make-when-big-changes-happen <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-50-money-moves-you-need-to-make-when-big-changes-happen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_holding_cash_91828121.jpg" alt="Woman making money moves when big changes happen" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You wanna win at life? Be flexible. Learn how to adapt to change. Because life is long and change is inevitable. And when you're facing a major shift in your daily routine, it might be time to reevaluate your money. Here are all the money moves you need to make when big changes happen.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock_000077659843_Large.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired?ref=fbf">11 Financial Moves to Make the Moment You Get Fired</a> &mdash; Getting fired sucks, and at some point, it happens to a lot of us. Lessen the blow by being financially prepared in case you walk into work one day and walk out with your stuff in a box.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion?ref=fbf">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a> &mdash; If you work hard and stay focused, chances are you'll get promoted. So when you get a pay bump and a new corner office, make sure your money goals reflect your new success.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_happy_credit_card_000089299163.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-your-credit-cards-are-paid-off?ref=fbf">9 Money Moves to Make the Moment Your Credit Cards Are Paid Off</a> &mdash; Reaching debt-free status with your credit cards is everyone's goal, and it's a good one to strive for. So once you reach it, you need to put a plan in place to keep that money momentum going. Otherwise, you'll end up right back where you started.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-retire?ref=fbf">12 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Retire</a> &mdash; Before you leave the workforce and become an official retiree, examine your savings and confirm that you won't ever have to work again. That's what retirement is all about, right?</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/friends_hands_heart_29104258.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-married?ref=fbf">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Married</a> &mdash; Weddings are expensive, and deciding to share your life with another person can bring about all kinds of major money choices. Make sure you're both on the same page, and are set up for a blissful partnership.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-divorced?ref=fbf">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Divorced</a> &mdash; Not everyone will end up divorced, but if you find yourself in this boat, it's definitely a good time to make sure your finances are in order. Divorce is stressful and heartbreaking enough, so ensure your financial sanity by planning and protecting yourself from ending up broke.</p> <p><em>What other money moves should you make throughout your life? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-50-money-moves-you-need-to-make-when-big-changes-happen">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-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-47-best-back-to-school-shopping-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: 47 Best Back-to-School Shopping Hacks Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-72-brilliant-ways-to-stretch-20">Flashback Friday: 72 Brilliant Ways to Stretch $20</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-45-life-lessons-youd-give-to-your-younger-self">Flashback Friday: 45 Life Lessons You&#039;d Give to Your Younger Self</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-63-best-cooking-hacks-for-busy-people">Flashback Friday: 63 Best Cooking Hacks for Busy People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-dumb-ways-youre-going-to-waste-money-this-summer">9 Dumb Ways You&#039;re Going to Waste Money This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting budgeting fbf finances flashback friday frugal living money moves personal finance smart Fri, 12 Aug 2016 10:00:14 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1770843 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Clear Out Financial Clutter http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clear-out-financial-clutter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-clear-out-financial-clutter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_85246829_LARGE.jpg" alt="clearing out financial clutter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Clearing clutter out of your home can make you instantly more organized and can simplify your life. Clearing away any unnecessary items can also help you find happiness. The same concept goes for your finances. By clearing out financial clutter, you can decrease financial stress in your life, save time during tax season, and get a better grip on your personal finances.</p> <h2>What to Keep</h2> <p>The first step in clearing away paper clutter is deciding what to keep and what to toss.</p> <h3>Tax Records</h3> <p>It is crucial that you keep any tax records for seven years, as the IRS can audit you up to seven years later. This is especially important if you are self-employed. If you are ever hit with an IRS audit, you may need to produce physical documents, so it's a good idea to keep the records together in a large envelope or folder for each tax year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/to-shred-or-not-to-shred-how-long-to-keep-your-tax-records?ref=seealso">To Shred or Not to Shred: How Long to Keep Your Tax Records</a>)</p> <p>According to LearnVest, you'll want to <a href="https://www.learnvest.com/2014/08/how-to-organize-your-finances/2/">keep the following for tax purposes</a>:</p> <ul> <ul> <li>Previous income tax returns</li> <li>Pay stubs</li> <li>Financial statements for investment accounts</li> <li>Bank statements</li> <li>Credit card statements that have a record of tax-deductible items you purchased</li> </ul> </ul> <p>If any of the above items can be pulled up online and printed, then you won't need to keep a paper copy.</p> <h3>Important Personal Documents</h3> <p>Certain items should never be thrown away, such as a marriage license, birth certificate, will, life insurance policies, and record of paid mortgage. You want to keep these in a secure place, like a filing cabinet or safety deposit box. It's also a good idea to keep medical bills and canceled insurance policies for at least three years.</p> <p>Anything related to your home, such as repair bills and the bill of sale, should be kept for as long as you own the home. The same rule applies to your vehicles.</p> <p>You will also want to keep contracts, insurance documents, and retirement plan records for as long as they are still valid. You may also want to keep receipts for major purchases, like expensive furniture, in case you need to file an insurance claim in the future.</p> <h3>Warranties</h3> <p>It is important that you keep any warranties or guarantees for as long as they are valid. If the warranty requires you to send the original UPC code, simply staple the warranty, scan code, and receipt together. Write the warranty expiration date on the front so that you can go through your warranties and toss any expired ones at the end of the year.</p> <h3>The One-Year Rule</h3> <p>In most cases, you can dispose of the following items after one year, once they've been reconciled with your W-2 and annual statement:</p> <ul> <ul> <li>Paycheck stubs</li> <li>Bank records</li> <li>Cancelled checks</li> <li>Quarterly investment statements</li> </ul> </ul> <p>If you need any of these items for tax purposes, then it's best to keep them for at least three years.</p> <h2>What to Toss</h2> <p>According to the National Association of Professional Organizers, <a href="http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/contact-us/community/TIPS-FROM-THE-NATIONAL-ASSOCIATION-OF-PROFESSIONAL-ORGANIZERS-278382951.html">80% of what we file</a> never gets looked at again, so it's time to start tossing unnecessary files and paperwork.</p> <h3>Monthly Statements</h3> <p>In most cases, any utility, phone, credit card, and loan statements can be pulled up online, so there's no reason to keep a paper copy for your records. Some financial institutions will even offer a discount to customers if you choose to receive your statements online or via email. You can also call and request statements later, if needed. If you like keeping financial statements around, consider just keeping the year-end statement for your records. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-finally-make-your-finances-paperless?ref=seealso">5 Ways to Finally Make Your Finances Paperless</a>)</p> <h3>Receipts and ATM Slips</h3> <p>Unless you will need the receipt for tax purposes, in most cases, it's a good idea to throw the receipt away. If you think you may need to return the item at some point, then keep the receipt until the return period has expired. Once you balance your checkbook, you can also dispose of any ATM deposit slips.</p> <h3>Mutual Fund Prospectuses</h3> <p>Mutual fund prospectuses can pile up rather quickly. Instead of keeping the financial clutter around your home, simply look through the prospectus for important changes or information and then chuck it. You can always pull up the prospectus online if you need it.</p> <h3>Close Accounts You Don't Need</h3> <p>Once you've gotten a handle on your bills and which accounts you have, you may find that you have accounts open that you don't need. For instance, if you have more than one bank account, it may be a good idea to close the ones with the highest service fees. Having fewer accounts makes tracking, monitoring, and balancing your budget easier.</p> <p>If you have various investment accounts or retirement accounts from former employers, you may want to roll over your old accounts to your new employer's plan so that you won't have to worry about managing investments all over the place. This can also save you money on investment account fees. If you're planning on selling stocks or investments, then you'll want to keep the records for at least three years as documentation for capital gains taxes.</p> <h2>What You'll Need to Buy</h2> <p>For especially important documents, such as stock certificates and government savings bonds, you may want to consider investing in a safety deposit box. This will ensure that you know where the documents are at all times and that they are safe from harm. A quality <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-paper-shredders">paper shredder</a> can also help you securely shred and dispose of documents, so you won't have to worry as much about identity theft.</p> <p>To make organizing more fun, you may also want to invest in colorful folders or organizational tools that you like. This will also help keep you organized in the future, so you'll never have an unpaid bill hiding under a mess of paperwork again.</p> <h2>Make It Fun</h2> <p>Organizing your financial life doesn't need to be something you dread. Play some good music or have a glass of wine while you organize. You may also want to treat yourself at the end of a large decluttering session with a good meal or movie.</p> <h2>What to Do Next</h2> <p>Once you've cleared out the clutter, consider organizing your accounts in a spreadsheet or updated budget. The more your budget and finances are organized, the less paperwork you'll need going forward.</p> <p>Cleaning out your financial clutter can lead to less risk of identity theft, more organized records, and better financial planning. So the sooner you get started, the sooner you can enjoy these valuable benefits. It can also help you get a better idea of what your financial assets and debts are, so you can create a better budget for your life.</p> <h2>It's Not a Sprint &mdash; It's a Marathon</h2> <p>Organizing your financial clutter is means for celebration. However, this doesn't mean that the work is done. It's important to continue organizing your financial documents consistently so that they don't become overwhelming again. Try organizing all of your financial documents and spend 15-30 minutes per week going through your bills, financial statements, and other important documents that require your attention. This will ensure that you are not dealing with another mess of papers again in the near future.</p> <p><em>Do you have other tips for clearing out financial clutter? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clear-out-financial-clutter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-in-your-office-you-can-throw-out-today">12 Things in Your Office You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter">8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter</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-much-should-your-kids-know-about-your-finances">How Much Should Your Kids Know About Your Finances?</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-things-in-your-basement-you-should-throw-out-today">10 Things in Your Basement You Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Organization clutter declutter finances financial clutter managing money money Tue, 09 Aug 2016 10:30:09 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1768493 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Escape the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-escape-the-paycheck-to-paycheck-cycle <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-escape-the-paycheck-to-paycheck-cycle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_80116831_XLARGE.jpg" alt="stop living paycheck to paycheck" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're living paycheck to paycheck, you probably think it's a normal part of life and accept it for what it is. To that, I stick my tongue out and blow. There are plenty of people who've broken free from this rut, but your particular cycle won't break until <em>you </em>break it.</p> <p>Living paycheck to paycheck can mean you're one paycheck away from being without lights, a car, or a home &mdash; and that's just not acceptable. Granted, this is worst-case scenario, but it's a possible scenario. This isn't meant to scare you, of course, but it is meant to build motivation to help you improve your financial outlook and say so long to a house-poor existence. Here's what you need to do to stop living on the edge. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-grow-your-savings-without-a-steady-paycheck?ref=seealso">5 Ways to Grow Your Savings Without a Steady Paycheck</a>)</p> <h2>1. Take Stock of What You're Working With</h2> <p>If you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck, you have to live below your means. It's that simple. Some people are happy just to break even every month, but if you never have extra income, you'll never achieve some of your goals.</p> <p>To stop the cycle, do a financial checkup.</p> <p>Here's a little exercise: Comb through your most recent bank statements, credit card statements, and receipts, and then write down every monthly expense from housing to groceries. Calculate how much you're spending on clothes, miscellaneous items, groceries, fuel, etc.</p> <p>Once you have this figure, compare it with your take-home pay. The amount you're spending every month may be the equivalent of what you bring home, or more than what you bring home. If the latter is the case, it's time to trim.</p> <h2>2. Cut the Fat</h2> <p>Don't listen to anyone who says living paycheck to paycheck is normal. It's not, and whoever says that will probably be sad for the rest of their life. Alas, many people have been conditioned to think this way, and it's this exact thinking that keeps people stuck.</p> <p>There's a better way to live, and it starts with trimming your expenses. At this point, it's not about your wants; you have to focus on your needs and get rid of any unnecessary expenses. What to cut? These extras:</p> <ul> <li>Gym memberships</li> <li>Eating out for lunch</li> <li>Grabbing coffee</li> <li>Spending $50 a week on entertainment</li> <li>Subscription services</li> </ul> <p>These costs don't seem like a lot, but they add up. Getting rid of nonessential expenses can give your budget some wiggle room, creating more disposable income than you thought possible.</p> <h2>3. Stop Being Enslaved to Debt</h2> <p>The more debt you have, the more likely you are to live paycheck to paycheck. This is because debt robs you of extra money. Even if you can't get rid of your house payment, car payment, or student loan debt immediately, you can start chipping away at credit card balances.</p> <p>Take the money you're saving from trimming unnecessary expenses and dump all or a large portion of this cash on your debt. You can tackle your debt with the smallest balance first, or the debt with the highest interest rate first. It doesn't matter which approach you choose, as long as you're paying down balances. The less you owe, the more you can keep. To help you, I've recently written an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/5-day-debt-reduction-plan">entire five part series on eliminating debt</a>.</p> <h2>4. Pay Yourself &mdash; No Matter What</h2> <p>Once you've got a handle on your debt, it's time to start paying yourself. If you build a cushy savings account, you may never have to borrow money or use a credit card again &mdash; at least not for an emergency or an unexpected expense.</p> <p>Take the money you were putting toward <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt">debt repayment</a> and set up an automatic savings schedule. Each pay period, automatically transfer a specific amount from checking into savings. Schedule this transfer before you pay your bills to ensure you're always paying yourself first.</p> <h2>5. Create Additional Income for Yourself</h2> <p>Sometimes, it isn't enough to trim expenses and pay off debt. You may earn just enough to get by, and despite living simply, you're still trapped in a cycle of living paycheck to paycheck. The truth is, getting ahead may require more income.</p> <p>Now, as a freelancer, I can run down a list of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-make-a-living-in-the-gig-economy">side hustles to increase your income</a>. This includes moonlighting as a consultant, cutting lawns, buying and selling online, watching pets, renting out extra space in your home, etc. But I also realize that not everyone has the entrepreneurial spirit. But even if you don't want to be your own boss, there are ways to build your income.</p> <p>Depending on your circumstances, a part-time job might fit your schedule perfectly. If you can earn as little as an extra $20 a day, you'll have an extra $400 a month. For example, you can search online for local office-cleaning companies, and call these companies to see if they're looking for part-time help in the evenings. I have a friend who cleans a small office every day after work. It only takes two hours and the cleaning company pays him $20 per cleaning. It's not the most glamorous or high-paying part-time job, but it's easy work and pays okay.</p> <h2>6. Learn How to Say &quot;No&quot;</h2> <p>One of the best ways to improve a budget is to learn how to say no. If you have a large social circle, there's always someone inviting you to a restaurant, a movie, or another event. If you get into a pattern of constantly saying yes and accepting invitations, you could end up broke. You should never sacrifice your bank account at the expense of fun, especially when there are too many ways to enjoy yourself for free. The key is having an airtight entertainment budget. Decide what you can realistically afford to spend on fun, and then stick to this budget. I learned how to say no, and now &quot;No&quot; is my favorite word.</p> <h2>7. Face Reality and Downsize</h2> <p>Making simple adjustments to your budget can improve cash flow tremendously, but not when you're too far in the hole. Accept that you'll have to let go of stuff. Ideally, your house payment should be no more than 28%-30% of your gross income. If you're paying more, you're overspending and it's time to face reality. You're never going to get ahead when you're struggling to keep up with the basics. Downsizing your house can create a smaller house payment, cheaper utilities, and less maintenance. Your finances also may improve if you downsize from an expensive car. You can enjoy a lower car payment and cheaper insurance premiums.</p> <p><em>Are you living paycheck to paycheck? What are you doing to change the situation? Let's discuss 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/how-to-escape-the-paycheck-to-paycheck-cycle">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/friends-dont-let-friends">Friends Don&#039;t Let Friends...</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/tips-for-increasing-your-financial-literacy">Tips for Increasing Your Financial Literacy</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/best-of-personal-finance-credit-where-credit-is-due-edition">Best of Personal Finance: Credit Where Credit Is Due Edition</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/life-after-debt-whats-next">Life After Debt: What&#039;s Next?</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/another-path-to-recovery-higher-incomes">Another path to recovery: higher incomes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Debt Management debt management finances income paycheck paycheck to paycheck payday personal finance Fri, 17 Jun 2016 10:30:04 +0000 Mikey Rox 1732946 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Money Myths About Stay-At-Home Moms http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-myths-about-stay-at-home-moms <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-money-myths-about-stay-at-home-moms" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000054774912_Large.jpg" alt="busting stay at home mom myths" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For most of the last five years, I've been a stay-at-home mom. Now, I've also done other things (like write for Wise Bread!) because I just can't help myself, but most of that time has been spent with my kids. I've wiped tears, changed diapers &mdash; the whole bit. And I chose that. It's what worked best for our family at the time, for a number of reasons.</p> <p>I've talked to a lot of people about my choice to stay home while the kids were little and, along the way, I've run into a lot of misconceptions like, &quot;So, you wear pajamas all day, right?&quot; Um, no. We actually leave the house most days.</p> <p>And a good number of those misconceptions are financial, or have financial implications. I have found these conversations both interesting and frustrating. Interesting, because I have come to know and understand how other people see me, and frustrating because they are usually so, so wrong. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-common-money-misconceptions-about-women?ref=seealso">4 Common Money Misconceptions About Women</a>)</p> <p>Here are a few common myths about stay-at-home moms. Hopefully, this list will help you think about staying at home &mdash; or about friends who already stay at home &mdash; differently.</p> <h2>1. SAHMs Don't Make Money</h2> <p>I've had a good number of people assume that staying at home with my kids is all or nothing. I'm either out there working and bringing in income, or I'm at home, making zero dollars. The truth is, there's a huge amount of middle ground between those two scenarios. If we have an unexpected expense, I pick up writing and editing jobs to help cover it. If we decide we want to go on a trip that exceeds our current budget, I do the same thing.</p> <p>Most of the stay-at-home moms I know have some sort of side job that they do when or if they need to make some money. Sure, they don't bring in as much as they used to, but they are not entirely dependent on their significant other's income, either. And they do everything. So staying at home doesn't necessarily mean bringing in zero income.</p> <h2>2. SAHMs Wish They Made Money</h2> <p>I've had so many people ask me if it's hard for my husband and I to have him bringing in the majority of the income. &quot;Don't you wish you could at least make your own spending money?&quot; they'll ask.</p> <p>The truth is, before I started staying home with our kids, we had some hard conversations. Through those, we made decisions. All of our money, right now, is ours. It's not his or mine, but ours. What he brings in and what I bring in both go into a communal pot, and we can both spend from there as we see fit. We also budget together, so we jointly decide on financial goals and pursue them together.</p> <p>That's not to say that I never wish that I was making more money. But me staying home is a decision we made together, and my lack of income is not causing problems in my marriage.</p> <h2>3. SAHMs Are Penny Pinchers</h2> <p>Some people think that my family lives in borderline poverty because I stay at home. They assume that I clip coupons, shop sales, know thrift stores well, etc. While I'd probably be a better manager of our funds if I did all of that, I don't. I don't have to be frugal all the time, because we've budgeted in such a way that we have some financial freedom even though I'm not working.</p> <p>Not all stay-at-home moms are penny pinchers. I know myself, and I know that I'd go crazy if I had to make sure I saved on everything, so we have structured our lives in such a way that I don't. Sure, I love sales as much as the next person, but I don't limit myself to them.</p> <h2>4. SAHMs Spend Too Much</h2> <p>On the other hand, some people think that, because I stay at home, I spend a lot of money. I think these people have a picture in their head of a &quot;yummy mummy,&quot; or a wealthy housewife on a reality show, and that's not just me, nor is it any of the stay-at-home moms I currently know. Being at home really hasn't changed how I think about spending, though I do buy different things now than I used to.</p> <p>I've even had people say things like, &quot;Oh, you must, like, spend so much at Starbucks.&quot; Nope. I didn't buy a lot of expensive coffee before I stayed at home and I don't now. I suppose that someone who overspends before they stay home would be likely to continue those habits, but there's nothing inherent in staying home that makes a person develop expensive habits.</p> <h2>5. SAHMs Feel Like Slaves</h2> <p>&quot;But you're working for nothing,&quot; one friend said to me. &quot;Doesn't that get to you?&quot; I smiled. Not only am I saving the cost of daycare for three small children &mdash; which is not cheap, at least in our neck of the woods &mdash; but I'm doing jobs <a href="http://time.com/money/3461539/financial-habits-stay-at-home-parents/">worth over $110,000 a year</a>. Sure, I don't see that money, but I don't have to spend it, either!</p> <p>I think that some stay-at-home moms do end up feeling like slaves or servants, but most of us don't. Personally, I went into this gig with my eyes open. Sure, there's lots of manual labor, many not-so-glorious moments, and more tears and whining that I can honestly say I needed to hear, ever. But there is also the laughter, learning new things, and the moments of heartbreaking kindness that I wouldn't have seen otherwise.</p> <p>I'm not a slave. I simply chose to do some difficult things in exchange for some good ones. And which of us hasn't made that choice, sometime in our lives?</p> <h2>6. SAHMs Have It All</h2> <p>This is one of the misconceptions about being a stay-at-home mom that I run into the most, usually from other moms who have chosen to work full-time. &quot;Oh, you have it all,&quot; they will say. &quot;You're financially secure and you get to stay at home. I wish I could do that.&quot;</p> <p>Truthfully, we make sacrifices for me to stay at home. We don't drive new cars. We live in a house that is smaller, older, and less updated than those of most of our friends. We take low-key and inexpensive vacations, if we travel at all. My husband works more overtime than he'd like, so we can pay our bills.</p> <p>On the flipside, our financial security is wrapped up in one job, one company. If something ever happens to that, we will be in a world of hurt. All of our eggs, as they say, are in one basket.</p> <p>Is all of this worth it? Right now, yeah. Absolutely. But I don't have it all. I have simply chosen one set of sacrifices and joys over another.</p> <p><em>What are some other myths about stay-at-home moms (or dads)? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-myths-about-stay-at-home-moms">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/could-you-save-money-by-subscribing-to-an-addictive-game">Could you save money by subscribing to an addictive game?</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/health-risks-and-5-other-secrets-barcodes-can-tell-you">Health Risks and 5 Other Secrets Barcodes Can Tell You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-big-of-a-house-do-you-really-need">How Big of a House Do You Really Need?</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-is-keeping-you-from-a-life-of-financial-independence">What is keeping you from a life of financial independence?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Lifestyle common myths finances money misconceptions myths stay-at-home mom stereotypes Tue, 05 Apr 2016 10:30:10 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1684936 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Times We Are Likely to Lie for Money http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-we-are-likely-to-lie-for-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-times-we-are-likely-to-lie-for-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000073936707_Large.jpg" alt="lying to herself about money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The truth is, we're all more likely to lie <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/thinking-about-money-leads-to-bad-behavior-2013-06-18">when money is at stake</a>. Psychologists have found that just the mere mention of money triggers something in the human brain that makes us more susceptible to give in to the temptation of behaving unethically. Namely, lying to earn more money or lying to prevent monetary loss.</p> <p>Compounding this sinister human tendency are two overarching factors: Simply having a lot of money makes us more prone to being dishonest, and so does a history of <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/inside-the-cheaters-mind">lying and getting away with it</a>. As it turns out, the more lies we tell, the more inclined we are to continue to lie again and again in the future.</p> <p>Of course, no two lies hold the same weight. Some are downright criminal, while others are more easily brushed under the rug. Here are the circumstances in which we're most inclined to let our love of money outshine our moral compass. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-biggest-lies-we-tell-ourselves-about-money?ref=seealso">The 10 Biggest Lies We Tell Ourselves About Money</a>)</p> <h2>1. When We Want to Dodge a Paywall</h2> <p>A third of Americans think it's acceptable to use someone else's account login to avoid paying subscription fees for online movies, music, or news articles. And if the temptation to login to another person's Netflix account arises while you're in a dark room, psychologists say you're even more likely to give in to it. That's because the <a href="http://pss.sagepub.com/content/21/3/311">absence of light</a> actually makes us more inclined to act on an impulse to lie or cheat. Psychologists say it all boils down to the illusion of anonymity. Even though you aren't actually more anonymous in the dark, you feel as though you are. Experiencing this sense of &quot;no one's looking&quot; makes us more likely to do something dishonest.</p> <p>So, the next time you feel the urge to mooch on a friend's HBO Go account, turn on a light!</p> <h2>2. When We File Our Taxes</h2> <p>Under-reporting under-the-table income to the IRS in order to pay less in taxes is deemed acceptable by 24% of Americans &mdash; even though it could lead to prosecution. Recent research offers an inkling behind why some Americans would risk criminal penalties just to save an extra buck: We're more likely to cheat when we think there's <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749597809000247">more to go around</a>. When there are plenty of resources &mdash; in this case, Uncle Sam's piggy bank &mdash; we believe that our own behavior won't have much of an impact in the grand scheme of things.</p> <h2>3. When We Sign Up for Auto Insurance</h2> <p>A quarter of Americans think it's acceptable to lie about annual car mileage to save on insurance. If you can get away with it, this lie's potential savings ranges from 6%-14% on your annual premium. The cost of getting caught, however, is raised rates or a flat-out policy cancellation.</p> <h2>4. When We're Applying for Grant Money</h2> <p>Academics commonly feel compelled to lie on applications for grant money. Seeking to win funds, researchers in Australia and Britain <a href="https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/03/10/study-finds-researchers-britain-and-australia-skip-truth-get-research-grants">regularly exaggerate</a> the projected impact of their projects. Most of them say they are driven to lie due to fierce competition. &quot;If you can find me a single academic who hasn't had to bullsh** or bluff or lie or embellish in order to get grants, then I will find you an academic who is in trouble with [their] head of department,&quot; said one professor in Australia.</p> <h2>5. When We're Shopping for Life Insurance</h2> <p>Lying about marijuana use to receive lower life insurance rates is deemed acceptable by 22% of men &mdash; but just 12% of women. The potential savings of getting away with this fib is $1,000 a year. That's pretty significant. But so is the cost of getting caught &mdash; your policy could get canceled.</p> <h2>6. When We Want to Order Off the Kids' Menu</h2> <p>If the kids' meal cut-off age is seven, but little Sarah is 12, would you fib about her age to save $4 on a chicken sandwich? All told, 21% of Americans would have no qualms about lying about a child's age to receive a discount at a restaurant. And a whopping 36% of adults ages 18-34 &mdash; an age bracket that assumedly includes new and expecting parents &mdash; deem lying for a kids' meal to be acceptable.</p> <p><em>What are some of the ways you have lied for money? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-we-are-likely-to-lie-for-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-financial-upgrades-you-can-make-during-breakfast">6 Simple Financial Upgrades You Can Make During Breakfast</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change">10 Money Moves to Make Before the Leaves Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clear-out-financial-clutter">How to Clear Out Financial Clutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-escape-the-paycheck-to-paycheck-cycle">How to Escape the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-your-vote-says-about-your-money-style">Here&#039;s What Your Vote Says About Your Money Style</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance denial fibs finances lie for money lying money moves Tue, 05 Apr 2016 10:00:14 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1684935 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Morning Mantras That’ll Help Keep Your Finances on Track http://www.wisebread.com/8-morning-mantras-that-ll-help-keep-your-finances-on-track <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-morning-mantras-that-ll-help-keep-your-finances-on-track" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000076199465_Large.jpg" alt="these morning mantras help her with money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Mantras are one piece of a traditional meditation practice, and they're an important piece. Using mantras seems to make your <a href="http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2013/10/02/your-brain-on-om-the-science-of-mantra">physical nervous system function better</a>. They are also part of the alternative therapies offered to patients with <a href="http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/61/6/1360">chronic high blood pressure</a>, to help them achieve optimum health.</p> <p>Mantras make our bodies function better because of the effect they have on our minds. And if they are changing how our minds work for the better, why not use them to our advantage when it comes to our finances, too?</p> <p>Don't worry! I'm not asking you to stand in front of your mirror chanting &quot;Ommmm,&quot; every morning. But here are some phrases you can repeat to yourself when you wake up &mdash; and all day long! &mdash; to help you manage your money better. Pick one of these, find a quiet place, and repeat the mantra to yourself for a minute or two. Then let me know if your financial life changes.</p> <h2>1. &quot;I don't need things to make me happy. I choose my own happiness.&quot;</h2> <p>Happiness is something we choose, regardless of our circumstances. Often, we think that buying something new will make us happy. After the purchase, though, we find ourselves still unhappy, and now we have the worry of an added expense on top of it. If this is a problem you face, give this mantra a try.</p> <h2>2. &quot;I will [insert goal here].&quot;</h2> <p>Are you saving for something specific? Repeat that goal to yourself as a mantra. If you like to travel, this could be the name of a destination, but it could also be something like &quot;my own home,&quot; or &quot;that Coach purse.&quot; You will find yourself more motivated to save for something when you think of it throughout the day. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-all-30-somethings-should-have?ref=seealso">10 Money Goals All 30-Somethings Should Have</a>)</p> <h2>3. &quot;I have enough. I am enough.&quot;</h2> <p>Most of us spend a lot of money on things that we want. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, but when we're using those things to make ourselves feel better about life, it can help to remember that what we own adds nothing to our inherent, human value. We are valuable because of who and what we are, not because of the tangible things we possess.</p> <h2>4. &quot;I am blessed.&quot;</h2> <p>No matter how bad things get, there is always something good. It can be as simple as the sun outside, a job that pays the bills (even if you don't like it), a healthy child, or the fact that spring is here. This mantra will help you remember that you don't have to spend more money to have good things.</p> <h2>5. &quot;I can make my own.&quot;</h2> <p>Whether you feel like you're spending too much money on coffee, lunch, snacks, or something else you can whip up in your own kitchen, this mantra can empower you to do the work at home so you don't have to spend the money when you're out. It's easy to feel like we are at the mercy of people who want our money in exchange for simple things like food and drink, but remembering that we have the power to make our own can change that and help us save.</p> <h2>6. &quot;I am on my own good path.&quot;</h2> <p>It's easy to compare ourselves to others, feel like we aren't where we &quot;should&quot; be, and comfort ourselves by spending money. This mantra helps each of us remember that we do not have to walk anyone else's path, and that the one we're already on is, most likely, leading us somewhere good.</p> <h2>7. &quot;I am strong.&quot;</h2> <p>In a world where we manage and are managed, it's easy to lose track of our own personal power. When this happens, we often lose the willpower that helps us resist purchasing things that we don't need or put money into savings rather than just spending it. This mantra, though, can help us remember that we are powerful, that we can choose where our money goes, even when we don't necessarily feel that way throughout the day.</p> <h2>8. &quot;A nicer [item] doesn't change who I am.&quot;</h2> <p>When we feel small, poor, weary, depressed, anxious, and generally anything negative, we can begin to think that a new, nice <em>something</em> will change things. These tend to be big purchases, like a new car or a new house. This mantra reminds us that no item changes us, and can point us toward doing the internal work necessary to make a real change, rather than just spending money to change things on the outside.</p> <p><em>Have you ever used mantras to help your life improve? How did that work for you? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-morning-mantras-that-ll-help-keep-your-finances-on-track">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-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money">5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-letting-fomo-ruin-your-finances">Are You Letting FOMO Ruin Your Finances?</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/budgeting-hack-gift-calendars">Budgeting Hack: Gift Calendars</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/what-s-your-budget-personality">What’s Your Budget Personality?</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/too-broke-to-be-frugal">Too broke to be frugal?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Life Hacks Health and Beauty budgeting finances morning mantras zen Wed, 23 Mar 2016 09:30:23 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1677122 at http://www.wisebread.com Are You Letting FOMO Ruin Your Finances? http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-letting-fomo-ruin-your-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-letting-fomo-ruin-your-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000081529535_Large.jpg" alt="don&#039;t let fomo ruin your finances" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Back in the pre-social media dark ages, I had a friend who would spend every night out on his cell phone, trying to determine if there was a better event going on, so that he could make sure he was having the maximum amount of fun possible. He remains my benchmark for fear of missing out, or FOMO, since I have never met anyone before or since who was so worried about missing out on something more fun than what he was doing at that particular moment.</p> <p>This friend relocated prior to the advent of social media, so I don't know how he has adapted to the rise of FOMO as a lifestyle via Facebook envy (although I do worry that his head has exploded). But sadly, he is no longer an anomaly.</p> <p>Now that we live our entire lives on social media, recording everything from lavish vacations to delicious meals for posterity, FOMO has infected an entire generation. While FOMO can push you to live a fun and spontaneous life, it is more likely to make you overspend &mdash; without actually increasing your enjoyment.</p> <p>FOMO doesn't have to ruin your finances or your evenings out. Here's what you need to know about keeping your fear of missing out from breaking your budget (or annoying your friends).</p> <h2>How FOMO Can Ruin Your Finances</h2> <p>FOMO is a relatively simple concept &mdash; it is the social anxiety that we might lose out on something more awesome than what we are already doing or already have. In other words, choosing any one option costs you the alternatives that you could have chosen. Economists, rather than calling this by its cool acronym, refer to this concept as &quot;opportunity cost.&quot;</p> <p>What makes FOMO/opportunity cost so insidious is the fact that you can easily forget what partaking in any fun activity will cost. For instance, when you are drooling over your friends' Instagrammed brunch photos while eating a bowl of Cheerios in your bathrobe, you tend to focus on how much fun they are having and how delicious the free-range gluten-free French toast looks, rather than the fact that they have probably blown $45 on lunch. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-stop-doing-on-social-media-by-30">10 Things to Stop Doing on Social Media by 30</a>)</p> <p>Here are some other sneaky ways FOMO can break your budget.</p> <h3>1. Experiences</h3> <p>This is the classic FOMO expense. You spend money going out with friends, rather than finding cheap or free ways to have fun together. Fear of missing out on experiences can be even more devastating to a budget if there is an income disparity among a group of friends. It's very easy to spend money to keep up with your richest friend, rather than suggest cheaper alternatives or face the prospect of spending the evening with Netflix and a frozen burrito.</p> <h3>2. The Latest Gadget</h3> <p>The folks who line up overnight in order to be the first to score an iPhone 3.1415s are not camping out because they are convinced that the slightly improved product is going to change their lives &mdash; rather, they are afraid of what they will miss out on if they do not upgrade.</p> <p>Technology seems to change at light speed these days, and not only do we fear missing out on cool new features, but we also fear becoming the luddite who doesn't even know how to use a phone to summon nearby unicorns. (That's what Uber does, right?)</p> <h3>3. Time</h3> <p>There is an incredible time cost to FOMO, since it often leads to constant checking for updates. If you are doing this on your own time, it may not cost you money per se, but it can certainly harm your relationships (as I hope my friend eventually learned).</p> <p>But who hasn't checked Facebook or Twitter at work &mdash; or when they should have been studying? Loss of productive time because you are afraid of missing something can be incredibly costly.</p> <h3>4. Investments</h3> <p>Believe it or not, investors are often bitten by the FOMO bug. Generally, this happens when a particular investment or sector is going gangbusters, and investors are afraid of missing out on big money. Of course, FOMO is often what leads to bubbles, such as the housing crash of 2008. You may recall the number of people who got into home flipping prior to the crash &mdash; who were then left holding the bag after the bubble burst.</p> <h2>Breaking FOMO's Hold on Your Wallet</h2> <p>While there is no way to completely turn off FOMO, there are several ways to lessen the effect enough to stay on budget.</p> <h3>5. Schedule Fun Ahead of Time</h3> <p>FOMO is most likely to strike if you find yourself on Friday afternoon staring down an empty weekend. Not only is that a bad time to make plans for logistical reasons, but it is also a good way to get stuck in my friend's trap, where he would spend all of his &quot;fun&quot; time trying to find something more fun to do.</p> <p>Instead, schedule your fun ahead of time. Not only will you not be tempted by last-minute invitations, but you will also enjoy your planned outing even more than a spontaneous one. According to psychologists who study the science of happiness, we feel an extra boost of pleasure when we <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2837207/">consciously delay enjoyment</a>. So looking forward to your board game night or your weekend camping trip will add to the pleasure of those events &mdash; which is something the last-minute invitation to the lavish party can't offer.</p> <h3>6. Take a Social Media Fast</h3> <p>The big surge in the feeling of FOMO is due to the rise of social media. Back when you heard about the awesome party after the fact, or only learned of your old roommate's incredible vacation to Hawaii when you randomly ran into him at the store, there was no time for you to worry about missing out on their awesome experiences.</p> <p>These days, we know about things in real time, and it can make us feel everything from envy to regret to dissatisfaction with our own lives. In fact, according to a 2013 study, the more people use Facebook, the <a href="http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0069841">worse they feel after logging off</a>.</p> <p>Turning off the social media &mdash; whether for a couple of hours, days, or weeks &mdash; can do wonders for making you feel better about your own life. For starters, you won't be able to compare your regular life to the polished version of your friends' lives online. In addition, we often check social media due to boredom, and taking a break from your feeds can prompt you to get back to the cool hobbies you don't have time for anymore. And nothing kills FOMO faster than working on something you enjoy.</p> <h3>7. Carry Cash</h3> <p>A simple way to fight FOMO in the moment is to make sure you only carry cash on your nights out. The last-minute invitation to the swanky club sounds a lot less tempting if you have to only drink water or stop at the ATM on the way. And having even a moment to think about whether you really want to do something can be enough for your better nature to prevail.</p> <h3>8. Acknowledge the Opportunity Cost</h3> <p>What makes FOMO so devastating is the sense that the stakes are very high. You are not concerned or nervous about missing out &mdash; you are <em>afraid</em> of missing <em>the greatest opportunity of all time!!</em></p> <p>So it helps to take a moment and really think about what it is that you will miss out on. Acknowledge that there is a cost to missing out on an opportunity and think through all of the ramifications of that cost.</p> <p>Often, that is enough for you to recognize that the stakes are not nearly as high as you fear. And if you decide you don't want to miss out, it gives you the time to think about how you can afford to partake and what other costs you are willing to pay. For instance, if you absolutely must join your friends for drinks once a week, you could decide to forgo your daily latte to pay for it.</p> <p>FOMO might be the 21st century acronym for the phenomenon, but human beings have always struggled with concerns about the grass being greener on the other side. Embracing the opportunities you do take is the key to breaking FOMO's grip on your life and your finances.</p> <p><em>Do you experience FOMO? How do you deal with it? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-letting-fomo-ruin-your-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-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-morning-mantras-that-ll-help-keep-your-finances-on-track">8 Morning Mantras That’ll Help Keep Your Finances on Track</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/budgeting-hack-gift-calendars">Budgeting Hack: Gift Calendars</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/what-s-your-budget-personality">What’s Your Budget Personality?</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-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money">5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/too-broke-to-be-frugal">Too broke to be frugal?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Life Hacks budgeting fear fear of missing out finances FOMO managing finances Thu, 10 Mar 2016 10:30:24 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1669475 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Money Fixes You Can Make When You're Stuck Inside Because of the Weather http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-fixes-you-can-make-when-youre-stuck-inside-because-of-the-weather <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-money-fixes-you-can-make-when-youre-stuck-inside-because-of-the-weather" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_phone_window_000068400755.jpg" alt="Woman making money fixes while stuck inside " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Crazy winter weather have you stuck indoors? Take advantage of your lazy snow days around the house by digging deep into your finances to make a few (and perhaps much-needed) tweaks.</p> <h2>1. Call Your Service Providers About Reducing Rates</h2> <p>Recently I had a couple bills lying on my desk &mdash; one from the IRS and another from my doctor &mdash; that I had been putting off because I wanted to call their respective offices to ask about the charges and, ideally, reduce them. The bills sat there for weeks because I didn't have time to spend 30 minutes or more on the phone during my regular work hours (the IRS call took an hour and 45 minutes!). I made good use of my time inside during the recent blizzard to follow up.</p> <p>The calls saved me about $200. Outside of questionable charges and bills you may want to investigate, now is a good time to check in with your service providers to see what kind of new deals for which you may qualify, too.</p> <p>&quot;Whether it's your cable bill, car insurance, or even trash service, calling these providers regularly to ask about rate reductions is a great way to save money every month,&quot; says Kendal Perez, savings expert at Coupon Sherpa. &quot;Often times the threat of departure is enough to get someone to reduce your rates, but be sure to do your research to find out if there's a lesser-cost alternative out there. If your current provider won't budge and there's a viable alternative, take the snow day to get accounts switched over.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Download Some Money-Saving (and Making) Apps</h2> <p>You've probably heard about how smartphone apps can make and save you money, but maybe you haven't had the time or patience to download the apps and learn what they're all about. Now's your chance, and there are several ways you can boost your bottom line in just a few taps of your fingers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-smartphone-saves-you-money?ref=seealso">8 Ways Your Smartphone Saves You Money</a>)</p> <p>Apps like&nbsp;<a href="https://www.varagesale.com/">VarageSale</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://us.wallapop.com">Wallapop</a> let you sell unwanted items (like Craigslist, but way easier to use), while grocery-specific apps like Ibotta and Checkout 51 help you earn cash back on your purchases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-shopping-apps-thatll-actually-save-you-money-in-2016?ref=seealso">The 8 Shopping Apps That'll Actually Save You Money in 2016</a>)</p> <p>If you're really ambitious (and also looking for a sort of side gig), check out&nbsp;<a href="https://dogvacay.com/">DogVacay</a>, where you can watch people's pets and get paid for it, or Airbnb, if you have extra space in your home that you'd like to rent out to earn more income. All of these apps also have similar alternatives, providing plenty of platforms from which to choose.</p> <h2>3. Review Your Recurring Payments and Make Adjustments</h2> <p>As a personal rule, I don't have any automatic payments set up because I don't like the idea of an institution pilfering money out of my account when I'm not actively monitoring the fees. Errors happen all the time, and all the time they go unnoticed. That's not to say that you should avoid automatic bill-pay altogether &mdash; there's something to be said for its convenience &mdash; but you should, every once in awhile, check in to make sure everything is on the up-and-up.</p> <p>&quot;Automatic bill-pay is a great way to ensure you're never late on a payment, but these set-it-and-forget-it systems can be detrimental to your finances if you don't pay close attention to the charges,&quot; Perez says. &quot;Review recurring payments to determine a) if the charges are what you expect, and b) if it's still something you want to pay for. You may decide a gym membership or streaming membership are no longer worth your dollars.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Organize Your Finances on an Easy-to-Access Spreadsheet</h2> <p>One of the biggest problems that people with financial issues have is that they lack organization &mdash; and chaos begets chaos, as the old adage goes. Nip that problem in the bud once and for all by creating a spreadsheet that comprehensively compiles your finances across the board for easy access and upkeep.</p> <p>Harrine Freeman, financial expert and CEO of H.E. Freeman Enterprises, details a few category options to help you get started.</p> <p>&quot;Create a list of company names, account numbers, passwords/PINs, security questions/answers, account balances, minimum monthly payments, interest rates, how often you receive statements, due dates, customer service phone numbers, hours, customer service email addresses, and any other information you feel you may need,&quot; she suggests.</p> <h2>5. Purge Your Inbox of All Those Solicitation Emails</h2> <p>Cards on the table, I love my marketing emails &mdash; especially around my birthday (three cheers for free pancakes, cheeseburgers, ice cream, and candy!) &mdash; but they can become overwhelming, especially if you don't stay on top of your email regularly. I have friends who have thousands of emails in their inbox &mdash; <em>and I just can't!</em> For that reason, I love that Gmail now has a separate tab that auto-files promo messages, but it's also not a bad idea to go through and weed out what no longer interests you and unsubscribe.</p> <p>&quot;Snow days are a great opportunity to clean up your email, and when it comes to unnecessary spending, retail newsletters should be the first thing to go,&quot; Perez advises. &quot;While you may have received a nice coupon upon sign up, subsequent emails are only tempting you to spend more. The urgency associated with these messages coupled with the tempting images of stuff you desire most are tough to pass up, but can be immediately fixed with the click of a button.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Create the Budget That's Been on Your To-Do List</h2> <p>Don't have a budget established to keep your money on track and in the black from month to month? Tisk. I probably don't have to tell you that this is one of the touchstones of positive personal finance, and it's about time you caught up.</p> <p>Perez agrees.</p> <p>&quot;A snow day is a perfect opportunity to [create a budget],&quot; she says. &quot;Brew some coffee or tea and create a spreadsheet of all your recurring expenses. Record how much you've spent on groceries, gas, dining out, and any other activities over the last several months. This will give you a good idea of where your money goes and how you can economize to meet your financial goals, whether it's building an emergency fund, contributing more to retirement, or saving up for a vacation.&quot;</p> <p>This budget can and should be different and separate from the previous spreadsheet that you created, which serves as a broader and more comprehensive compilation of your whole financial picture. Your budget may fluctuate from one billing period to the next, while your overall financial spreadsheet may just serve as a reference guide.</p> <h2>7. Establish a Budget-Tracking Account</h2> <p>Prefer to manage your finances the new-school way? Skip the desktop-based system and go the cloud route by tracking your finances with an app.</p> <p>&quot;If a spreadsheet doesn't work for you, consider taking the time offered by a snow day to set up a budget-tracking account with a service like Mint,&quot; Perez suggest. &quot;You can list all your accounts including checking, savings, retirement, mortgage, etc., to get a full picture of your finances and budget. You can also set up alerts for when upcoming bills are due and when you're close to spending your limit in a budget category.&quot;</p> <p><em>What are some ways you'd spend your snow day making money fixes at home? Let's discuss 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/7-money-fixes-you-can-make-when-youre-stuck-inside-because-of-the-weather">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-50-money-moves-you-need-to-make-when-big-changes-happen">Flashback Friday: 50 Money Moves You Need to Make When Big Changes Happen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-everyday-money-tasks-youve-been-doing-wrong">12 Everyday Money Tasks You&#039;ve Been Doing Wrong</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-financial-upgrades-you-can-make-during-breakfast">6 Simple Financial Upgrades You Can Make During Breakfast</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/build-savings-faster-with-a-multiple-account-strategy">Build Savings Faster With a Multiple Account Strategy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting bad weather bills expenses finances money moves organization snow days Wed, 10 Feb 2016 22:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1653341 at http://www.wisebread.com What’s Your Budget Personality? http://www.wisebread.com/what-s-your-budget-personality <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-s-your-budget-personality" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_using_tablet_000050902322.jpg" alt="Woman figuring out her budgeting personality" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Our personalities inform how we approach every part of our lives. From the workplace to friendships and even at home, your distinct style is uniquely yours when you interact with the world around you. This goes for budgets, too. Personalities often impact how you spend, save and manage your money, sometimes positively and sometimes impeding your progress.</p> <p>Do you know your budget personality? Check out these four common types and corresponding tips to jump-start your road to better financial health. You just may recognize yourself!</p> <h2>The Go(al)-Getter</h2> <p>You set incremental goals, map out a plan and then make it happen. Save for a big purchase? Check. Increase retirement savings? Check. Put money aside for a down payment? Check. Your drive, ability to focus and discipline help you stick to your plans and achieve what you want out of life, including hitting your financial goals big and small.</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong>: You plan for everything, but don't forget to plan for unexpected expenses like a car breakdown, a broken leg, or even three destination-wedding invitations in your mailbox! To keep with your planning personality, tell yourself, &ldquo;My car&nbsp;<em>will</em>&nbsp;eventually need repair,&rdquo; and &ldquo;I <em>will</em>&nbsp;have medical expenses at some point.&rdquo; That way you can anticipate the unexpected. Look at your budget from last year and map what categories you&rsquo;re most likely to experience surprises. In the world of budgeting, sometimes lightning does strike twice!</p> <h2>The Automater</h2> <p>You fill your life with the things you love: friends, family, and hobbies. Money isn't your favorite topic &mdash; it probably doesn&rsquo;t even crack the top 10. But that doesn't mean you don't stay on top of your financial responsibilities. You've created a system that does the work for you: automatic bill pay, deposits to your savings account from each paycheck and round-ups into an investment account with each purchase. Knowing your money is managed in the background of life gives you comfort as you go about your business.</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong>: Automation is a great way to manage your bills and saving, but don&rsquo;t become robotic about your budget. You may miss out on opportunities to optimize your money. Look at money coming in and going out of your accounts monthly. You may find that you're spending money on services you're not using (e.g. subscriptions) or not taking advantage of offers like credit card points or company 401(k) matching.</p> <h2>The Busy Bee</h2> <p>You are always on the go, so your phone is a mobile command center for your life. Your phone helps you understand your daily &ldquo;to-do list&rdquo; &mdash; alerts and push notifications make sure you're at meetings, kids' functions and paying your bills on time&hellip; even if it&rsquo;s by the skin of your nose! You focus your seemingly endless energy to what's immediately next, often doing three things at once&hellip; rarely without a phone in your hand to accelerate your tasks.</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong>: Mobile tools have made budgeting efficient and easy, even while in the car or at work. But don't forget to slow down and think about the big picture. Where do you want to be in 5, 10, and 20 years? Do you have the financial plans in place to make that vision a reality? Though it may be hard to imagine even a week in the future, make time for yourself (and your partner, if someone is along for the ride) to discuss what you want out of your future and make a plan together.</p> <h2>The Avoider</h2> <p>For you, money = worry. As a result, you avoid the subject as much as possible; putting off bills and financial decisions until they become late notices and missed opportunities. Your budget is more &ldquo;approximation&rdquo; than exact math, which usually creates more worry than your thoughts on money in the first place!</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong>: Start small. Creating a budget may seem like an insurmountable task, especially for someone who feels like they don&rsquo;t have enough money to cover his or her expenses. Knowledge is a powerful ally when cleaning up your financial act. Start off by tracking everything you spend in one week vs. the money that you bring in. You may discover things you didn&rsquo;t know about your spending habits. Once you see the value of these insights, <a href="https://www.mint.com/">Mint</a> can help you establish a budget and set you on a path to be worry-free.</p> <p>What&rsquo;s your budget personality? Share in the Comments or on Twitter with hashtag #BudgetPersonality.</p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at&nbsp;<a href="https://blog.mint.com/" target="_blank">mintlife</a>.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> What&#039;s your budget personality? Find out here! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mint">Mint</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-s-your-budget-personality">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-way-birth-order-decides-your-money-habits">The Surprising Way Birth Order Decides Your Money Habits</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/too-broke-to-be-frugal">Too broke to be frugal?</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/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-grocery-budgeting-a-game-the-price-is-right-style">Make Grocery Budgeting A Game, The Price Is Right Style</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-50-money-moves-you-need-to-make-when-big-changes-happen">Flashback Friday: 50 Money Moves You Need to Make When Big Changes Happen</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting budgeting finances personality types spending habits Wed, 04 Nov 2015 17:16:29 +0000 Mint 1598543 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Essential Things Women Should Know About Investing http://www.wisebread.com/5-essential-things-women-should-know-about-investing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-essential-things-women-should-know-about-investing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women_investors_000054398090.jpg" alt="Things women should know about investing" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to investment decision-making, women wield greater economic power than ever before. They now comprise nearly half the workforce and half of all household breadwinners &mdash; but their financial literacy levels still trail. Here are five important ways women are still behind &mdash; and how to catch up.</p> <h2>1. Women Earn Less Than Men</h2> <p>A growing number of women are primary breadwinners, yet women earn just 77 cents for every dollar earned by their male colleagues working in the same positions, despite having equal qualifications. The &quot;gender-gap&quot; is even wider for African-Americans, who earn just 64 cents on the dollar, and Latino women earning 56 cents for every dollar earned by men.</p> <p>To tackle this pressing issue, in 2009 President Obama enacted the <a href="http://www.lillyledbetter.com/">Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Act</a>. Another initiative taken under the Obama Administration is the <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/equalpay/equal_pay_task_force_progress_report_june_2013_new.pdf">Equal Pay Task Force</a>, which is comprised of several federal agencies, including the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Justice, the Department of Labor, and the Office of Personnel Management.</p> <h2>2. Women Live Longer and Save Less For Retirement Than Men</h2> <p>The average female life expectancy in the United States is age 81 &mdash; about four years more than men. Yet according to a recent study, women save 40% less for retirement than their male counterparts. &quot;This is especially concerning because women live longer than men, and thus need more retirement savings. In addition to a longer average lifespan, women are more likely to have work disruptions for caregiving that hinder their capacity to save. Therefore, they need to capitalize on savings opportunities while they are working,&quot; says Cecilia Shiner, senior analyst.</p> <h2>3. Women Are Less Likely to Receive Retirement Benefits</h2> <p>Of the 62 million working women, the U.S. Dept. of Labor says only about 45% contribute to a retirement plan, because many are likely working in part-time jobs due to family obligations and do not meet the qualifications to contribute. Women who find themselves in this position should <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-set-up-an-ira-to-build-wealth">open an Individual Retirement Account</a> (IRA) and max-out the contribution limit for every year they are employed.</p> <h2>4. Women Lack Confidence in Their Ability to Invest</h2> <p>As a 2014&ndash;2015 Prudential Financial research study shows, women have not improved their <a href="http://www.prudential.com/media/managed/wm/media/Pru_Women_Study_2014.pdf?src=Newsroom&amp;pg=WomenStudy2014">understanding of insurance</a> and financial products over the last decade despite the 2008 financial crisis. However, the same study reported that women are becoming more confident in terms of managing their day-to-day finances (i.e. budgeting and saving). This is extremely significant because it's the first step towards having the discretionary income needed to invest.</p> <h2>5. Women Invest Differently and Are More Risk Averse</h2> <p>Women <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-best-investments-for-lazy-investors">invest more</a> conservatively than men. A Barclays Wealth Insights study found that men were more likely to consider themselves financial risk-takers and were more willing to choose high-risk investments in order to achieve higher returns. Even when other approaches would have achieved higher gains, women pursued a steadier course and had more stable returns.</p> <p><em>What do you wish you knew more about investing?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-essential-things-women-should-know-about-investing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-invest-like-warren-buffett">7 Reasons You Shouldn&#039;t Invest Like Warren Buffett</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-money-moves-to-make-as-soon-as-you-conquer-debt">7 Money Moves to Make as Soon as You Conquer Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-millennials-should-stop-being-afraid-of-the-stock-market">7 Reasons Millennials Should Stop Being Afraid of the Stock Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-your-401k-is-a-good-or-a-bad-one">How to Tell if Your 401K Is a Good or a Bad One</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/best-online-sites-for-building-wealth">Best Online Sites for Building Wealth</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment 401(k)s finances retirement women Fri, 22 May 2015 11:00:21 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1429695 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways to Stop Your Spouse From Overspending http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-stop-your-spouse-from-overspending <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-to-stop-your-spouse-from-overspending" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/money_saved_piggy_banks_000055929726.jpg" alt="Learning how to keep your spouse from overspending" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Spouses aren't always honest with each other when it comes to money. A study released earlier this year by CreditCards.com found that nearly one in five U.S. consumers have hidden purchases of $500 or more from their live-in partners or spouses. The same study found that nearly 7.2 million people have hidden a bank or credit card account from their spouse or partner.</p> <p>It's no surprise, then, that partners often butt heads over spending decisions. One partner wants to save. The other likes to spend, and will spend enough each month to break the household budget, often hiding these purchases until they show up on next month's credit card statement.</p> <p>What if you are the financially responsible partner in a relationship? Is there anything you can do to stop your partner from blowing your household savings on video games, clothes, or expensive electronics?</p> <p>There might be. Changing a partner's bad spending habits requires plenty of work and even more communication. To start, check out these four tips for changing your partner's free-spending ways.</p> <h2>Set a Regular Money Meeting</h2> <p>Robert Stammers, director of investor education at the CFA Institute &mdash; a trade association serving investment professionals &mdash; says that couples need to be willing to talk about money. Unfortunately, too many couples never hold these financial talks.</p> <p>This isn't surprising: Money often scares couples. A survey released in early 2015 by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that 47% of couples say that money disagreements are the most common <a href="https://www.nfcc.org/press/multimedia/news-releases/january-nfcc-survey-reveals-top-financial-relationship-stressors/">cause of stress</a> in their relationships.</p> <p>But not talking about money as a way to avoid these disagreements is a mistake. A partner who overspends needs to realize the consequences of this behavior. That can't happen if partners never talk about money. Stammers recommends that couples set a regular meeting date &mdash; maybe once a month &mdash; to talk about money issues.</p> <p>&quot;No two people have the same ideas and philosophy about money and investing, so it is important to determine upfront what is important to the both of you,&quot; he says.</p> <h2>Set Aside Some Fun Money</h2> <p>Creating a separate bank account for fun money might be a solution, says Kelley Long, resident financial planner for El Segundo, California's Financial Finesse, and a spokesperson for the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission.</p> <p>This account will give the overspending partner a bit of financial freedom, and might prevent this spouse from breaking into a couple's main account set aside for paying the mortgage, car payment, and other bills, Long claims.</p> <p>&quot;This money can be spent without restriction or comment,&quot; Long says. &quot;When the money in the account is gone, the spender has to wait until the next payday to spend again.&quot;</p> <p>If the overspending partner raids other accounts after cleaning out the &quot;fun money&quot; account? Then a relationship has more serious trust issues that must be addressed, Long says.</p> <h2>Don't Let the Money Come Home</h2> <p>Michael Chadwick, chief executive officer of Unionville, Connecticut-based Chadwick Financial Advisors, has a more practical solution: Send more of the money you're earning into a retirement account and less of it into your savings account. Your overspending spouse can't spend the money you've stashed in a 401(k) account.</p> <h2>Let the Spender Take Control &mdash; For a Month</h2> <p>It may be counterintuitive, but it might help to have your free-spending partner pay the bills and manage the budget for at least a month. As Chadwick says, this might provide your partner with some insight into why wasting money on unnecessary purchases is such a problem.</p> <p>If none of these tips work? Your overspending partner might have a more serious issue, one that perhaps only counseling can solve, Chadwick says. &quot;Spending and shopping when out of control are no different than smoking, drugs, or alcohol.&quot;</p> <p><em>How do you and your spouse or partner manage money?</em></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/4-ways-to-stop-your-spouse-from-overspending">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-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring</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-escape-the-paycheck-to-paycheck-cycle">How to Escape the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-when-its-okay-to-take-a-loan">6 Times When It&#039;s Okay to Take a Loan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-put-your-spouse-on-a-budget-without-ruining-your-marriage">How to Put Your Spouse on a Budget Without Ruining Your Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management Family couples finances marriage Spending Money Tue, 28 Apr 2015 13:00:28 +0000 Dan Rafter 1399139 at http://www.wisebread.com Back in Debt? Here's How to Pay it Off for Good http://www.wisebread.com/back-in-debt-heres-how-to-pay-it-off-for-good <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/back-in-debt-heres-how-to-pay-it-off-for-good" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_doing_taxes_000020148166.jpg" alt="Couple back in debt and learning how to pay it off" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Finding yourself back in debt after having paid it off before is a horrible feeling. I know, because I've been there. In 2012, I spent 14 months aggressively paying off <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carrie-smith/getting-out-of-debt-_b_1581507.html">$14,000 of consumer debt</a> and worked hard to become debt free for the first time in life.</p> <p>Then, in 2013 I decided to quit my job to pursue my own freelance business. This is when my financial situation became much more volatile and resulted in taking on a bit of business debt to keep things going. So when I say that it's a horrible feeling to be debt free only to find yourself back in debt, I mean it. It's not fun!</p> <p>If you find yourself in a similar place, here's the strategy I'm using to pay it off again &mdash; and keep myself out of debt <em>for good</em>.</p> <h2>Identify the Problem</h2> <p>Before you can begin to pay off debt and get back on track, it's vital that you understand <em>why </em>and <em>how </em>you're back in the situation. Creating a permanently debt-free life is much more difficult than working towards becoming free of debt for the first time.</p> <p>The mindset and lifestyle changes are vastly different. This is something I miscalculated when I first got out of debt, as I obviously didn't change my mindset or spending habits sufficiently. I'd stopped using credit cards as part of my debt payoff plan, but after about a year I thought I could handle using them again. Wrong!</p> <p>I also thought that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/basic-tips-for-investing-in-a-business-1">investing in a new business</a> was a smart idea as it would pay off in the long run. That's all well and good, but you have to draw the line as <em>how much</em> you're going to invest in business ventures and <em>how often</em> you use credit cards as an extension of your income.</p> <p>The need to depend on personal loans or credit cards for additional cash flow proved that my new business wasn't bringing in enough income to survive on its own. Doing a thorough inventory of my spending habits to elucidate why I was back in debt again showed that I needed to not only change my mindset, but also find ways to bring in more money.</p> <h2>Try a New Plan of Action</h2> <p>Obviously, if you've gotten out of debt once you can do it again, but in order for this time to really stick, you have to change your approach and try something new. As Albert Einstein put it, &quot;Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.&quot; So don't expect to follow the same plan and have it work better this time.</p> <p>My mistake was that I viewed getting out of debt as the end goal. But getting out of debt is merely step one, and <em>staying out of debt</em> while changing your mindset and spending habits is a very long-term step two.</p> <p>My new plan of action includes:</p> <ul> <li>Finding ways to level out my inconsistent income<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Bringing in multiple streams of income to have more of a cushion<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Stopping the use of credit cards and loans as an extension of income<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Working with an accountability partner to stay on track<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Living well below my means and doing monthly budget check-in<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Performing a cash budget challenge (or other spending challenge) on a quarterly basis</li> </ul> <h2>Decide How You Want to Live</h2> <p>There are two key parts to being debt free: staying out of debt, and living a life without using debt as a tool to get what you want. For me, that second part has been the most difficult. Your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-things-you-dont-know-about-your-credit-report-but-should">credit history and score</a> is basically determined by how much debt you leverage and pay off over time.</p> <p>So if you don't want to use debt to buy things, you will have to face that fact that it won't be easy. Most banks and lenders will not understand your reasoning for paying. And there will be instances where you simply cannot buy something without using debt, so you and your family will have to come to grips with this limitation.</p> <p>As long as you define a new set of priorities and have a renewed plan of attack, you'll be able to move forward and pay off debt for good. Take comfort in knowing that you don't have to stay here, and that since you've been debt free once, you can do it again. But now you'll have more experience and lessons to fall back on!</p> <p><em>Have you ever fallen back into debt? How did you climb back out again?</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/back-in-debt-heres-how-to-pay-it-off-for-good">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-revolving-debt-helps-you">5 Surprising Ways Revolving Debt Helps You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oops-i-maxed-out-my-credit-cards-now-what">Oops — I Maxed Out My Credit Cards. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-escape-the-paycheck-to-paycheck-cycle">How to Escape the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle</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/building-a-credit-history">Building a Credit History</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-stop-your-spouse-from-overspending">4 Ways to Stop Your Spouse From Overspending</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management credit history finances owing money paying back spending habits Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:00:09 +0000 Carrie Smith 1386121 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Times When It's Okay to Take a Loan http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-when-its-okay-to-take-a-loan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-times-when-its-okay-to-take-a-loan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-contract-financial-consultant-loan-iStock_000051526142_Large.jpg" alt="couple financial advisor" title="couple financial advisor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Loans are a tricky subject in the financial world, because ideally, you'd never really need one. In the real world, however, plenty of responsible people find themselves needing loans for legitimate reasons. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-you-should-never-take-a-loan?ref=seealso">6 Times You Should Never Take a Loan</a>)</p> <p>Whether it's an unplanned financial emergency or a necessary, major purchase, there are some situations when taking out a loan can't be avoided. Read on to understand when a new loan is actually okay.</p> <h2>1. When You Can Easily Afford the Payments</h2> <p>This might seem like a no-brainer, but when people are desperate they will sometimes assume loans with large payments they couldn't possibly afford. Before you take out any loan, create a realistic budget that includes the payment. If you can't afford it, you should probably reconsider the loan.</p> <p>Don't fall into the temptation of telling yourself that you will find <em>some way</em> to make ends meet. Instead, take care of securing any realistic extra income sources <em>before</em> you sign on the dotted line. Get a second job, line up freelance work, start selling stuff on eBay, or do whatever else you need in order to make loan repayment affordable. Just do it before you get the loan &mdash; otherwise, you're just creating more financial stress for yourself. And isn't that what the loan was supposed to solve?</p> <h2>2. When Your Purchase is Essential</h2> <p>Loans are never a good idea when you're using them to finance a lifestyle that is beyond your means. If, however, you find yourself in a place where you absolutely must have something <em>essential</em> (no, a remodeled kitchen or a tropical vacation are not essentials), and you can't afford it, a loan might be a good idea.</p> <p>Again, I'm talking basic essentials here. If you have to drive to work, you must have a functioning vehicle. If you live in a cold climate, you need a working furnace. Most of the time, these aren't purchases that can wait until you've saved the funds, and so a loan might be necessary.</p> <h2>3. When You Have Good Credit</h2> <p>If you have good credit (above a 720), you will most likely be eligible for lower interest rates on your loans. This means that you will pay less over the life of the loan and that your individual payments will be lower than they would be if your credit were poorer. And having good credit is, in itself, an indicator that you're probably capable of managing your debt effectively.</p> <p>Having good credit makes loans a lot more affordable. But once again, make sure you can make those payments! Otherwise, you'll ruin that solid credit score.</p> <h2>4. When Interest Payments Are Less Than Your Investment Returns</h2> <p>Many investors think that they should use money from their investments to make major purchases before considering a loan. While this is sometimes true, it's also possible that it'll be better financially to leave your investments untouched and get a loan to cover the purchase instead. As an example, if your portfolio generates 10% annual returns, but a loan's interest rate would be only 4%, then it doesn't make sense to lose that extra 6% in returns that your portfolio's funds are generating.</p> <p>If the rate on the loan is lower than your rate of return <em>and</em> you can make the loan payments, take the loan and keep your money invested. On the other hand, monies from your portfolio might be a smart source of cash for re-paying very high interest loans, such as credit cards. Never touch your emergency fund, though &mdash; that's the money you'll need for true emergencies, and unless you're facing bankruptcy or legal action, high interest debt isn't quite a <em>true</em> emergency that warrants depleting your safety net.</p> <h2>5. When You Can Pay it Off Early</h2> <p>Sometimes you know there's money coming in, but you just don't have it yet. If you need to make a major purchase before that money arrives, you can take out a loan and repay it as soon as the funds hit your bank account.</p> <p>But if you're taking this approach, be sure that your loan doesn't have any prepayment penalties. This strategy can work well for people who get large bonus or commission checks on a quarterly or yearly basis, so long as you don't overestimate your actual earnings.</p> <h2>6. When You Qualify for a &quot;Special&quot; Loan</h2> <p>There are a lot of &quot;special&quot; loans on the market, most offered by different government programs for things such as home-buying, education, or energy-efficiency retrofitting. These loans typically offer very favorable repayment terms which often make them worthwhile.</p> <p>For example, <a href="http://www.fha.com/fha_loan_requirements">FHA loans</a>, <a href="http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/purchaseco_eligibility.asp">VA loans</a>, and even <a href="http://time.com/money/2929695/home-loan-usda-credit-rural-development/">USDA loans</a> can help people buy homes who might not have qualified otherwise. My husband and I bought our house last year using his VA loan, which saved us tons of money on the up-front costs. Without it, we'd have been hard-pressed to afford the house.</p> <p>Taking out a loan is something that a financially responsible person might never want to do. However, sometimes loans are necessary to meet our larger goals and, in the above cases, they may not be such a bad idea.</p> <p><em>What have you bought with money from a loan? Do you think that getting the loan was worth it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-when-its-okay-to-take-a-loan">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-9"> <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-loan-options-for-those-with-good-credit">5 Loan Options for Those With Good 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/8-signs-youve-crossed-from-healthy-debt-to-problem-debt">8 Signs You&#039;ve Crossed From &quot;Healthy&quot; Debt to &quot;Problem&quot; Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/co-signing-for-a-loan-4-things-to-consider-first">Co-Signing for a Loan: 4 Things to Consider First</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/best-of-personal-finance-credit-where-credit-is-due-edition">Best of Personal Finance: Credit Where Credit Is Due Edition</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/is-it-ever-okay-to-cosign-a-loan">Is It Ever Okay to Cosign a Loan?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Debt Management big purchases borrowing finances loans Wed, 11 Mar 2015 13:00:09 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1333072 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Steps Towards Getting Today's Finances in Order http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-steps-towards-getting-todays-finances-in-order <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-steps-towards-getting-todays-finances-in-order" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/finances-91460117.jpg" alt="finances" title="finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></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 fantastic articles on getting today's finances in order, insurance policies you can live without, and how to use eBay to turn clutter into cash.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://financialhighway.com/6-steps-towards-getting-todays-finances-order/">6 Steps Towards Getting Today's Finances in Order</a> &mdash; To get your finances in order, look for patterns and generate extra income. [Financial Highway]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Insurance-Policies-Arent-Worth-19090574">7 Insurance Policies You Can Live Without</a> &mdash; Chances are you can live without extended warranties and trip cancellation insurance. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://staplerconfessions.com/index.php/how-to-use-ebay-to-turn-clutter-into-cash/">How to Use eBay to Turn Clutter into Cash</a> &mdash; Did you know eBay gives you 50 free listings each month? [Stapler Confessions]</p> <p><a href="http://lenpenzo.com/blog/id1142-8-big-reasons-why-youre-getting-an-f-in-personal-finance-101.html">8 Big Reasons Why You're Getting an F in Personal Finance</a> &mdash; You may be getting an F in personal finance because you don't know how much money you have in your bank accounts. [Len Penzo dot Com]</p> <p><a href="http://www.threethriftyguys.com/2014/04/why-isnt-personal-finance-being-taught-in-schools/">Why Personal Finance Isn't Being Taught in Schools</a> &mdash; Do you think the fact that personal finance is too complex and vast of a topic is why it's not being taught in schools? [Three Thrifty Guys]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2014/04/29/the-new-way-to-get-rich-slowly/">The new way to get rich slowly</a> &mdash; Did you know the 1% make their living from investing? [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2014/04/28/learning-to-live-with-risk/">Learning to live with risk</a> &mdash; Learn to live with risk by broadening your view of risk and keeping the time frame in perspective. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="http://asklizweston.com/can-you-submit-too-many-college-applications/">Can you submit too many college applications?</a> &mdash; When in doubt, it's better to err on the side of submitting too many applications as opposed to too few. [Ask Liz Weston]</p> <p><a href="http://www.frugalconfessions.com/uncategorized-2/3-simple-ways-to-save-money-on-your-natural-gas-bill.php">3 Simple Ways to Save Money on Your Natural Gas Bill</a> &mdash; Checking for gas leaks can help you save money on your natural gas bill. [Frugal Confessions]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/easy-tips-for-getting-rid-of-toys-your-kids-don-t-play-with-anymore">Easy Tips for Getting Rid of Toys Your Kids Don't Play With Anymore</a> &mdash; To get rid of toys your kids don't play with anymore, sort through them and consider donating them! [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-steps-towards-getting-todays-finances-in-order">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-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clear-out-financial-clutter">How to Clear Out Financial Clutter</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-escape-the-paycheck-to-paycheck-cycle">How to Escape the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle</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-what-your-vote-says-about-your-money-style">Here&#039;s What Your Vote Says About Your Money Style</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/are-your-finances-fragile">Are Your Finances Fragile?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-morning-mantras-that-ll-help-keep-your-finances-on-track">8 Morning Mantras That’ll Help Keep Your Finances on Track</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance best money tips finances Fri, 02 May 2014 08:48:16 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1137649 at http://www.wisebread.com