savings plan http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8052/all en-US 5 Ways to Grow Your Savings Without a Steady Paycheck http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-grow-your-savings-without-a-steady-paycheck <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-grow-your-savings-without-a-steady-paycheck" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_woman_piggy_bank_000031080258.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways to grow her savings without a steady paycheck" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're a freelancer or part-time employee, not having a regular salary can disrupt your progress toward big financial goals. Money fluctuations can mean you either have to stop the savings transfers, or withdraw money out of the account to cover bills.</p> <p>But saving money without a regular paycheck isn't impossible, and with these tips you can learn to create a savings habit that sticks!</p> <h2>1. Separate All Your Savings Goals</h2> <p>Even if you have a separate savings account, it's too tempting to have all the money in one account while simply allocating the funds to different savings goals. For this reason I recommend <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-to-consider-before-you-open-an-online-savings-account">opening a new savings account</a> for each individual goal.</p> <p>My husband and I recently did this as an experiment, and for two months in a row we've had a surplus of money in our bank accounts, and have been able to save money toward all of our goals. And we're both self-employed so you know how difficult this can be!</p> <p>While it is possible to have too many accounts, this strategy works for us, and has allowed us to pay all of our bills, self-employment taxes, and save extra money toward various specific goals.</p> <h2>2. Pay Yourself a Regular Salary</h2> <p>As a freelancer, temp, or someone who works on commissions, it's still important to pay yourself a &quot;salary&quot; on a regular basis. I deposit a regular salary from my business account to the household account every Monday &mdash; no matter how little or how much my freelance business brings in.</p> <p>Giving yourself a regular &quot;paycheck&quot; will help combat the inconsistent income that comes with being self-employed. It may take a few months for your budget to adjust to the changes, but it can drastically <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-improve-your-finances-in-5-minutes">improve your finances</a> and allow you to finally get into the habit of saving money.</p> <h2>3. Try a Microsaving Tool</h2> <p>Microsaving is when you save extremely small amounts of money &mdash; like $2 or $5 a week. As your budget adjusts to the savings, and you begin to see your small balance grow, you can increase the savings amounts. Next thing you know, you've saved a couple hundred dollars that can be used towards anything you want.</p> <p>To make it even easier to save money without thinking, there are several different <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-microsaving-tools-to-help-you-start-saving-now">microsaving apps</a> available that will put saving money into automatic mode.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://digit.co/">Digit</a> is a popular tool that allows you to start saving money via text message. Once you link your account, Digit will start withdrawing a few dollars every week and deposit into your new Digit account, based on your bank balance and only if you can afford it.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://www.acorns.com/">Acorns</a> is a microsaving investment tool that helps beginner investors or students get their feet wet in the market. Everyone has to start somewhere and Acorn's round-up payment withdrawals makes saving money very easy.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://www.smartypig.com/">SmartyPig</a> allows you to create individual accounts for each savings goal and keeps you updated on the progress. You can also earn rewards, cash back, and gift cards as incentives to save money.</li> </ul> <h2>4. Find What Motivates You to Save</h2> <p>What motivates you to save money? Are you a competitive person who likes to turn saving money into a challenge? Find a few friends who will commit to a savings competition with you. Whoever reaches the goal first gets a free dinner, night out, or other incentive (paid for by the losers, of course!).</p> <p>Are you an artist or visual person? Try mapping your progress by coloring in circles for each $50 or $100 you save. Whether it's goal tracking, paying off debt, or saving for a particular event, try coloring your way to reaching your goal. And when you've reached your goal you can hang the artwork in your home as a motivational reminder.</p> <h2>5. Join a Savings Challenge</h2> <p>Much like a diet helps you jumpstart your weight loss plan or workout regimen, a savings challenge can help you get your spending under control, and create a regular savings habit.</p> <p>There are lots of different challenges available. You can go on a 14-day spending diet, a 60-day&nbsp;<a href="http://www.carefulcents.com/cash-budget-challenge/">cash budget challenge</a>, a year-long shopping ban. Last year I participated in a 12-month money challenge from inspiration I found on Pinterest. But the options are basically limitless, so start out small and then increase the challenge as you become more comfortable with it.</p> <p>Experiment with different methods and test out strategies based on your money personality and saving style. Don't be afraid to try out new ideas to see how they work for you.</p> <p><em>How do you save money without a regular paycheck? Share your best tips!</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/5-ways-to-grow-your-savings-without-a-steady-paycheck">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-easy-college-savings">5 Tips for Easy College Savings</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/saving-money-for-kids-made-easy-not-by-banks">Saving money for kids made easy (NOT) by banks</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-often-do-you-get-your-paycheck">How often do you get your paycheck?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/managing-your-short-term-money">Managing Your Short-Term 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/meet-meg-favreau-our-senior-editor">Meet Meg Favreau, Our Senior Editor</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance freelancing paychecks savings account savings plan self-employment Thu, 10 Sep 2015 15:00:27 +0000 Carrie Smith 1553947 at http://www.wisebread.com Budgeting for People Who Hate Planning http://www.wisebread.com/budgeting-for-people-who-hate-planning <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/budgeting-for-people-who-hate-planning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/calendar_1.jpg" alt="Woman looking at a calendar" title="Woman looking at a calendar" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="148" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Although potentially life-changing, there are two things that most people hate doing &mdash; dieting and budgeting. Whether it&rsquo;s weight loss or a better financial situation that you seek, neither task is easy, they&rsquo;re often frustrating or boring, and it tends to take quite some time before you see significant results. With budgeting, it&rsquo;s more about crunching numbers than crunching abs, but if you hate math or just planning in general, there are several ways to make this important task more exciting. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spend-less-without-starting-a-budget">How to&nbsp;Spend Less Without Starting a Budget</a>)</p> <h2>Find the Motivation</h2> <p>Your first step to better budgeting is finding a motivating factor that will keep you surging onward even in the face of boredom. I used to dread budgeting too, but after printing up pictures of things I would like to have or do (travel, new laptop, etc.), I noticed a substantial boost in my enthusiasm level. Having these pictures (or just visualizations, if you prefer) with me constantly &mdash; on the refrigerator, in the car, on the bathroom mirror &mdash; was helpful in keeping my mind focused on the goal at hand. We don&rsquo;t live in a fantasy world, though, so in order to achieve our goals, we need to put in a little (or a lot of) effort along the way. Visualizing or seeing your goals in pictorial format serves as a constant reminder why you&rsquo;re planning out your financial future in the first place. If you need an extra &quot;kick,&quot; then perhaps keep a diary or start your own blog to keep track of your process (again, keeping you continuously focused on the end goal).</p> <h2>Seek Inspiration From Others</h2> <p>The Budgeting Babe has an excellent list of <a href="http://thebudgetingbabe.com/budgeting-blogs">budgeting blogs</a> on her website. Check out some of the blogs listed to help you kick-start your own foray into the realm of numbers and dollar signs. And consider starting your own blog or diary (or discussing your budgeting goals with a trusted friend or spouse) to keep yourself accountable for your financial situation, and thus, more likely to succeed.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Make It Fun</h2> <p>Now that you&rsquo;re motivated and being held accountable, let&rsquo;s get down to the actual process. All work and no play makes one a dull budgeter. Challenging yourself to spend under $___ amount in a given category each month can get your mind off the mind-numbing calculations and more engaged with the goal of saving money. If you &ldquo;win,&rdquo; then at the end of the month, go out and splurge a <i>little</i> as your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-frugal-ways-to-reward-yourself-right-now">reward</a>. Just as the dieting process is nearly impossible for most people without a break (comfort food!), budgeting will grow old very quickly if you don&rsquo;t reward yourself for milestones along the way.&nbsp;</p> <p>Furthermore, there are some websites and smartphone apps that can help you compose your budget in the form of colorful pie charts, which are more fun to work with and look at than just a plain spreadsheet. Two of the best websites for this process are <a href="http://www.mint.com/">Mint</a> and <a href="https://pearbudget.com">PearBudget</a>.</p> <h2>Take It Slowly</h2> <p>Again with the dieting references, &ldquo;crashing&rdquo; your way through this mildly unpleasant task is not going to work. In order to maintain a suitable level of drive <i>and</i> succeed in creating a functional budget, you ought to take things in little steps. Phase unnecessary expenses out slowly and factor in a savings category as your excess income builds up over the course of time. Also, fewer categories will help &mdash; not only does this mean there is less to keep track of overall, but it decreases the amount of time you&rsquo;ll need to spend pouring over spreadsheets and bill categorization. Speaking of bills, having as many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-set-up-automatic-payments">online payments</a> as you are comfortable with can speed up the initial formation of your budget, producing a low-maintenance, almost-automated system to help guide you through your finances in the future.</p> <p>Budgeting isn&rsquo;t difficult unless you make it so. Take a personal finance class or read blogs if you need added help (coming to Wise Bread is a fantastic start!). With proper planning (with fun elements thrown in), you will have a budget up and running in no time.</p> <p><em>Tell us about your budgeting tips 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/kelly-kehoe">Kelly Kehoe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/budgeting-for-people-who-hate-planning">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money">These 5 Apps Will Help You Finally Organize Your 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/tax-document-checklist-what-to-gather-before-doing-your-taxes">Tax Document Checklist: What to Gather Before Doing Your Taxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-things-every-frugal-person-should-have-in-their-wallet">The 7 Things Every Frugal Person Should Have In Their Wallet</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-old-school-tools-to-help-you-stay-on-budget">6 Old School Tools to Help You Stay on Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-your-hidden-spending-habits-and-save">Find Your Hidden Spending Habits and Save</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Organization financial organization motivation savings plan Thu, 02 Feb 2012 11:24:11 +0000 Kelly Kehoe 883016 at http://www.wisebread.com Death and Money: Helping your family now in case something happens later http://www.wisebread.com/death-and-money-helping-your-family-now-in-case-something-happens-later <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/death-and-money-helping-your-family-now-in-case-something-happens-later" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/459207903_d5ce64f14a.jpg" alt="Running Ahead of Ourselves" title="Running Ahead of Ourselves" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A lady I know of died last night. It was expected; she was diagnosed with incurable cancer last spring. I didn&#39;t really know her, as I&#39;d just recently moved into a place where I would have had contact with her. I wish I&#39;d known her, as her friends are going to some great lengths to honor her. It&#39;s been really cool to see people coming alongside each other, comforting each other, speaking meaningful things to each other. One of the things that has comforted people, that I&#39;ve heard them mention when they think about her and her family, is that they are in a secure place financially.</p> <p>I&#39;m not sure what plans they have in place, but it does seem that they have been able to cover her medical costs and will be able to cover her funeral without a lot of trouble. This comforts people because they know that money is one worry this family does not have to carry around as they grieve the loss of this wife and mother. This has all made me think, hard. There is so much that you can do before a crisis hits to help your family when it does. Here are the things I&#39;m glad I have and the ones I intend to look into.</p> <p><strong>1. Health insurance</strong></p> <p>I have great health insurance and will have better next spring, when we switch to Dave&#39;s plan instead of mine. It&#39;s tempting to try to go without health insureance, but the truth is that we really don&#39;t know when something will happen. It seems better, both for the sufferer and for those who would be caring for them, to pay the cost of insurance, rather than risk more debilitating bills later.</p> <p><strong>2. Emergency fund</strong></p> <p>If sudden, severe illness isn&#39;t an emergency, I don&#39;t know what is! Even though the average emergency fund won&#39;t make a big dent in medical bills, it can help with other things. Supplementing income, for example, if a caretaker is forced to take extra time off. Buying food, if all the other money is taken up covering medical costs. Planning a funeral, it it comes down to that. I&#39;m building my emergency fund, though it&#39;s not nearly there yet!</p> <p><strong>3. Life insurance</strong></p> <p>I&#39;m lucky; my company provides life insurance for each employee at minimal cost. It&#39;s on the minimal side of things, but it is enough that it would help my family if something happened to me. I&#39;ve been tempted to opt out of it, but now realize that I don&#39;t want to do that. I hope Dave never has to use it but, if he does, I want it to be there for him. Even if he just used it to pay rent for several months until he could figure out what he wanted to do, the cost is worth it to me for his peace of mind on that front.</p> <p><strong>4. A written (or videotaped) will</strong></p> <p>The thought of writing a will makes me think of a myriad of mystery books I read as a kid, where they had to find the will, or someone was killed over a will. They are associated with deception, in my mind. Now, though, I can see their value. Giving loved ones the security that they have what they need or want of mine just makes sense, because it would give them less to be burdened with if something happened to me. I haven&#39;t decided quite how i want to go about making one of these, but I&#39;ve decided that I do.</p> <p><strong>5. A plan</strong></p> <p>Some years ago, when I was an undergraduate, my parents sat me down on one of their visits and handed me several stapled, printed pages. It was the state of their finances, a statement of where they wanted to be buried, and other various instructions for use if something happened to one or both of them. They went over it with me, and I remember doing a lot of nodding. I couldn&#39;t really conceive of them not being around. In the last years, though, I&#39;ve seen just how quickly something could happen and the value of their plan. I would still have a lot to learn about how exactly everything is structured, but it&#39;s great to know that all the phone numbers and people to contact are in one place. I would love to say that I&#39;ve done the same for my family, but I haven&#39;t. Not yet!</p> <p><strong>6. Openness and honesty</strong></p> <p>It&#39;s easy, or at least it is for me, to not talk about my financial difficulties. It&#39;s easy for me to say, &quot;Yeah, I&#39;m fine,&quot; when people ask me if I can really afford to fix my car again. And sometimes, that&#39;s appropiate. But there are also times when it is appropriate to say, &quot;No, I&#39;m not ok,&quot; (if that&#39;s the truth). That doesn&#39;t mean that the person I&#39;m talking to has to help me, or has to get others to help me. It does mean that I know where I&#39;m really at and am not ashamed of it. In particular, it&#39;s important to be honest about money with those close to you. One of the things I want my family to be able to do is ask for help when they need it, even if an illness or tragedy brings that need. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I&#39;d love to write a more poetic tribute to this woman and her family, but this is where I&#39;m at today. To this woman and her family, whose privacy I want to respect, please know that she was loved, and that so many people care about you as you grieve this loss. </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/death-and-money-helping-your-family-now-in-case-something-happens-later">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/8-money-saving-hacks-for-those-who-hate-cooking">8 Money-Saving Hacks for Those Who Hate Cooking</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-things-successful-30-somethings-do">9 Things Successful 30-Somethings Do</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-cheap-ways-to-lower-your-blood-sugar">13 Natural and Easy Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar</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-clever-ways-to-sample-the-good-life">8 Clever Ways to Sample the Good Life</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/30-unexpected-uses-for-mineral-oil">30 Unexpected Uses for Mineral Oil</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks death emergancy fund health insurance planning ahead savings plan Thu, 25 Oct 2007 21:15:56 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1322 at http://www.wisebread.com