General Tips http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8131/all en-US 11 Ways to Make Living With Roommates Tolerable http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-make-living-with-roommates-tolerable <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-ways-to-make-living-with-roommates-tolerable" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_67817255_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="making living with roommates tolerable" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Living with roommates is a frugal choice, and, especially in an economy where living expenses are growing more rapidly than paychecks, it's often a necessity. But that doesn't mean it's always fun.</p> <p>We've all heard horror stories about sharing space with other people, and many of us have lived one or two of our own. Whether it's the roommate who starts growing pot illegally in his bedroom or the one who throws parties every weeknight, these are enough to make even the most frugal person think twice about choosing life with roommates. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-7-things-when-living-with-roommates?ref=seealso">Avoid These 7 Things When Living With Roommates</a>)</p> <p>Even the best of roomies sometimes run into rough patches. Here's how to keep a shared household running smoothly.</p> <h2>1. Choose Carefully</h2> <p>Get to know the folks you're moving in with as much as possible beforehand to make sure your living habits are compatible. Make sure you like the space and the way it is (or is not) kept up, because that's how it will be when you move in, too!</p> <h2>2. Ask All the Questions</h2> <p>Whether you're interviewing a roommate for your place or you're the one being interviewed, it's easy to feel like you want to impress. Instead, ask all of the questions you're wondering about. Answers to questions like: &quot;What time do you get up?&quot; &quot;What time do you go to sleep?&quot; and &quot;Do you always have to turn on the lights?&quot; can make the difference between a peaceful roommate relationship and one that is stressful for everyone.</p> <h2>3. Make It Clear</h2> <p>If you want or need something from your roommates, ask for it clearly. It's easy to be frustrated with someone who inadvertently wakes you up every morning, but if you never explained that you're now working the night shift, you can't really blame them.</p> <p>That's not to say that your roommates can (or should!) acquiesce to your every request, but you won't even be able to have a conversation about it if you aren't clear about your own needs in the first place.</p> <h2>4. Talk About Space</h2> <p>Many, many roommate conflicts have to do with differing ideas regarding space. Some people think it's okay to walk into any room where the door isn't locked, while others would appreciate a knock even if the door is open. Most assume they can leave their stuff in a shared space, while a few want that space kept sparse when not in use. Articulate your needs and wants regarding space and ask your roommates to do the same. If there's a conflict, decide together on how to proceed.</p> <h2>5. Make the Bills Easy</h2> <p>When everyone has to write a check or come up with the cash to split every individual bill, it's easy to get overwhelmed or forget to pay something. Instead, if you can swing it, designate one roommate the CFO for the house, and maybe give them a discount on rent, for the time they're putting in. Have them pay the bills for the month, then let everyone know how much they owe. When everyone is only paying once, it's easier to have everything covered.</p> <h2>6. Decide How to Clean</h2> <p>Whether you split up cleaning so everyone does something each week, or everyone takes a week, it's better to make a plan than to just assume everyone will do something. Because, you know what? They won't. Most people will walk right by a mess unless they know it's theirs to clean up. So plan your cleaning and avoid conflict.</p> <h2>7. Get to Know Your Roommates</h2> <p>Spend some time hanging with your roommates. When you know people as friends, and not just as that guy from the other room, it's often easier to live with them. Understanding how they are and why they are that way will help when a difference of opinion arises.</p> <h2>8. Expect Conflict</h2> <p>Whenever human beings are living and working together, there is going to be some sort of conflict. That's just the way it goes &mdash; whether you're in a roommate relationship, hanging out with friends, or in a marriage. When you think about it this way, it's easier to remain calm when conflict arises and to deal with it in a healthy, adult manner.</p> <h2>9. Be Proactive</h2> <p>If something comes up for you or changes in your life, let your roommates know, and ask them to do the same for you. Whether that means you might be moving or that you won't be able to clean the basement this week, letting your roommates know ahead of time will reduce feelings of betrayal or anger.</p> <h2>10. Figure Out Food</h2> <p>Food can be a huge source of conflict for roommates. There are a million ways to deal with it: everyone buys their own, everyone shares, some things are shared and some aren't, etc., but don't just assume it will be one particular way. Figure out what works best for everyone and then be consistent.</p> <h2>11. Be Flexible</h2> <p>Most of us know how we would want to do things if we had our own home all to ourselves. When you live with roommates, though, it almost always means that no single person has everything they want. If you know going in that you are going to need to compromise &mdash; and compromise a lot! &mdash; it will be easier to let some things slide, to speak up about what is important to you, and to figure out how to live life together.</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/11-ways-to-make-living-with-roommates-tolerable">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</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/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</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-best-and-worst-places-to-stash-cash-in-your-home">The Best and Worst Places to Stash Cash in Your Home</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/52-uses-for-rubber-bands">52 Uses for Rubber Bands</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-a-bed-for-cheap-and-look-good-doing-it">Build a Bed for Cheap (and Look Good Doing It)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Home bad roommates good roommates living with roommates roommate etiquette roommates Wed, 12 Oct 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1811013 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Personal Issues No One at Work Needs to Hear http://www.wisebread.com/10-personal-issues-no-one-at-work-needs-to-hear <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-personal-issues-no-one-at-work-needs-to-hear" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_93735987_LARGE.jpg" alt="don&#039;t talk about these personal issues at work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most Americans spend way too much time at work. In fact, according to a 2015 study by Gallup, the <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/175286/hour-workweek-actually-longer-seven-hours.aspx">average work week for a full-time employee</a> in the U.S. is 47 hours. Amid all that team-building togetherness, it's easy to blur the line between our professional and personal lives &mdash; and jeopardize our careers in the process. Protect your future by avoiding topics that can knock you down a rung or two on the corporate ladder. Here are 10 personal issues no one needs to hear about at work.</p> <h2>1. Legal Troubles</h2> <p>However unfair or inaccurate it may be, your ongoing legal issues imply two things to employers: You have poor judgment, and a litigious personality. Whether you're on the right side of the law or the wrong side, it's good policy to keep legal battles private.</p> <h2>2. Relationship Disasters</h2> <p>Messy divorce? Cheating boyfriend? Breakup that you just can't seem to get over? They may be part of life, but not part of appropriate workplace conversation. Rehashing your relationship disasters communicates that you have difficult time separating your personal and professional worlds &mdash; and that's a career-limiting trait.</p> <h2>3. Previous Employment Drama</h2> <p>No surprises here. Skip the stories about the boss who hated you, the coworker who stole your promotion, the office party that got out of hand, or the six-week strike you initiated. Employers tend to frown upon staff members with dramatic work histories, and they're rightfully concerned that certain types of employment issues might be contagious.</p> <h2>4. Sex Life</h2> <p>Tempted to break up a boring afternoon at the office with a tale of romantic misadventure? Abstain. Save the intimate details of your life for close friends, a night out with the guys or girls, or the journal in your nightstand. Beyond the TMI factor, you never know who's listening to your story or sharing it at the water cooler. Those amorous tales could be disastrous for your career.</p> <h2>5. Family Crises</h2> <p>Never-ending family issues suggest that you have a difficult time managing your personal life and setting clear boundaries &mdash; two qualities directly related to professionalism and productivity. Granted, nearly everyone deals with a sick kid or childcare challenges from time to time. Just make sure controlling the chaos at home doesn't become part of your daily work schedule.</p> <h2>6. Money Matters</h2> <p>Sure, we've all had a lean month here and there, but broadcasting persistent money problems at work won't get you very far. Besides making employers question your discipline and ability to manage budgets, chronic money issues hint that you may soon be looking for a higher-paying job.</p> <h2>7. Political Positions</h2> <p>Politics is a divisive topic, especially during a contentious election cycle. Though everyone has strong opinions, it's smart strategy to stay neutral from 9-to-5. We're all human; sharing partisan views can directly or indirectly offend someone and limit your prospects for advancement. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-financial-reasons-to-keep-your-political-views-private?ref=seealso">4 Financial Reasons to Keep Your Political Views Private</a>)</p> <h2>8. Religious Views</h2> <p>Like politics, religion is a hot-button topic. It's extremely easy for a casual comment to negatively affect our professional opportunities. Assume nothing about the religious beliefs of those around you, exercise a high level of political correctness, and keep your personal beliefs out of the workplace. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-never-to-bring-up-in-a-job-interview?ref=seealso">5 Things Never to Bring Up in a Job Interview</a>)</p> <h2>9. Health Problems</h2> <p>Ideally, every workplace would be filled with compassionate team members genuinely concerned about each other's well-being. Sadly, that's not the case. Discussing ongoing medical issues at work may garner some sympathy and even a more flexible schedule. Still, it comes with its own set of risks. Managers tend to offer new projects and promotions to folks who they believe can handle the extra responsibility, workload, and associated stress.</p> <h2>10. Obsessions</h2> <p>Revealing a bit about ourselves and our personal interests can help build stronger work relationships. Still, there's a fine line between mentioning a hobby and endlessly talking about a time-consuming obsession. Being too focused on personal pursuits may lead employers to think that your career is a third or fourth priority.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-personal-issues-no-one-at-work-needs-to-hear">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-focused-at-work-despite-your-chatty-coworkers">How to Stay Focused at Work Despite Your Chatty Coworkers</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-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">How To Write A Resume: 12 Steps To Your Next Job</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/6-career-moves-youll-never-regret">6 Career Moves You&#039;ll Never Regret</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-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</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-dream-jobs-youre-never-too-old-to-pursue">9 Dream Jobs You&#039;re Never Too Old to Pursue</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building General Tips career communication job tips office etiquette personal information personal life private matter TMI Tue, 11 Oct 2016 10:00:12 +0000 Kentin Waits 1810476 at http://www.wisebread.com Create a Reverse Bucket List to Improve Your Money Management http://www.wisebread.com/create-a-reverse-bucket-list-to-improve-your-money-management <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/create-a-reverse-bucket-list-to-improve-your-money-management" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_notebook_thinking_73069659.jpg" alt="Woman creating reverse bucket list for money management" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having financial goals is a wonderful thing. And having lofty ones is even better, because it pushes you to see exactly what you can do &mdash; maybe even more than you'd ever thought possible with your money.</p> <p>But, some days, having goals is just plain frustrating. When you're always looking at where you haven't gotten to yet or what you haven't yet achieved, it's easy to feel like you'll never get there, or like you aren't good enough. You might begin to wonder what the point of these goals is, anyway.</p> <p>That's where the reverse bucket list comes in.</p> <h2>Make a Reverse Bucket List</h2> <p>When it comes to your finances, a reverse bucket list is simply a list of things you've already accomplished financially, or a list of goals you've already met.</p> <p>My husband and I tried this recently. On our list, we put things like buying a house, getting away to Cancun last year, not taking on more debt despite several major expenses this year, and paying off my student loan.</p> <p>Some of these things &mdash; like buying a house &mdash; were things that we had made into goals. They were things we wanted to do, things we saved to do, and things we accomplished over time. Others weren't explicit goals, like not taking on more debt. But we added them because they felt like financial accomplishments to us.</p> <p>Take some time to make your list. Some items &mdash; like, for us, paying off the student loans &mdash; might be things that you accomplished years ago, so they may not be in the forefront of your mind. Give yourself a day or two to think over your list, coming back to add things when you remember them.</p> <h2>The Reverse Bucket List and Positivity</h2> <p>The first thing that we felt, when we looked over our final list, was an overwhelming sense of positivity. We have been discouraged lately. This year seems to have been one surprise attack after another when it comes to our money, and it's frustrating to work harder than ever only to see the balances go down.</p> <p>When we looked at our list, though, we started to feel better about ourselves and the way we're living. We are still people who can make good financial decisions, as evidenced by the number of things we've accomplished in that realm. In fact, it's those decisions that put us where we are now &mdash; without any new debt &mdash; even though life hasn't cooperated recently.</p> <p>Looking at our list has also made us feel more positive about continuing to pursue the financial goals we haven't met yet, even though we feel like our most recent progress has been negative. For each item on the list, we can remember the moment where it happened, where we felt proud and happy, and that motivates us to keep putting one foot ahead of the other.</p> <p>Making this list definitely raised our motivation levels and helped us look at our situation realistically. Setbacks happen. They aren't necessarily a commentary on us or our intelligence or our financial prowess. And now, we feel like moving forward again.</p> <h2>Understanding Your Finances Through the Reverse Bucket List</h2> <p>Looking at our reverse bucket list also helped us find some patterns in our spending and saving that will help us as we move forward.</p> <p>For instance, the closer I get to a goal, the more likely I am to pursue it wholeheartedly. When we were just about able to pay off my student loans, I stopped buying everything that wasn't extra. I could see victory, I could taste it, and I wanted it!</p> <p>On the other hand, when I'm not anywhere near meeting any goals, I tend to spend a lot more haphazardly. If I feel like I will never get there, or I feel like we are just going to encounter another setback anyway, I figure I might as well buy what I want while I have the money in my hands.</p> <p>Moving forward, we are planning to structure our goals differently, making them tiered rather than all-or-nothing. That way, I can always feel like I'm just about to achieve something, so I won't be as tempted to spend in any given moment.</p> <h2>Find What Motivates You</h2> <p>When we thought about our list, we also noticed that we are highly motivated by travel. When we saved for travel, we were able to save quickly, simply because we both really love to get on a plane and see somewhere new.</p> <p>Now, when you have a mortgage and other student loans like we do, you can't just make all of your goals about traveling. But we realized that staggering our goals so that travel goals are included in every two or three things we save for would help us.</p> <p>For instance, when we pay off my husband's student loans, we are planning a trip to New Zealand. We know that we can take that trip as soon as these other goals are met. Even if it takes us several years, we will feel more motivated knowing that the travel goal is coming up, even if the gratification isn't immediate.</p> <p>A financial reverse bucket list won't solve all of your problems, but it certainly might make you feel better about your money situation and help you figure out how to structure your goals so they best suit you.</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/create-a-reverse-bucket-list-to-improve-your-money-management">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-think-like-an-olympian-to-master-your-money">How to Think Like an Olympian to Master 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/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick</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-get-your-finances-back-on-track-after-losing-everything">How to Get Your Finances Back on Track After Losing Everything</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-we-could-all-learn-from-dwayne-the-rock-johnson">6 Money Lessons We Could All Learn From Dwayne &quot;The Rock&quot; Johnson</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/ow-do-you-deal-with-family-members-who-are-bad-at-managing-money">How Do You Deal With Family Members Who Are Bad At Managing Money?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance General Tips accomplishments advice goals inspiration motivation positive thinking psychology reverse bucket list Wed, 14 Sep 2016 09:00:07 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1792247 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Sneaky Ways Identity Thieves Can Access Your Data http://www.wisebread.com/3-sneaky-ways-identity-thieves-can-access-your-data <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-sneaky-ways-identity-thieves-can-access-your-data" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/computer_password_88375551.jpg" alt="Finding sneaky ways identity thieves can access data" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You just can't be too careful nowadays.</p> <p>From 2010 to 2015, identity thieves have stolen <a href="http://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/identity-theft-and-cybercrime">$112 billion</a> from U.S. consumers. A staggering 13.1 million victims of identify theft lost $15 billion in 2015 alone. To curb more cases of identity theft, more and more issuers of credit and debit cards are transitioning their clients to cards with chip technology. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-chip-credit-cards-make-life-easier?ref=seealso">4 Ways Chip Credit Cards Make Life Easier</a>)</p> <p>Still, there are plenty of methods for criminals to get a hold of your personal information. Let's review three more ways thieves can steal your identity and how to protect yourself against them.</p> <h2>1. Mailbox</h2> <p>Snail mail can be annoying in more ways that you think. While receiving paper copies of statements of your bank accounts, credit card accounts, retirement accounts, or investment accounts can save you the cost of printing them out yourself, keep in mind that it also opens the door for potential identity theft. For example, all it takes is a thief to get a hold of a bank account or credit card statement and try his luck changing your mailing address and requesting a replacement card. Don't let somebody go on a shopping spree with your hard-earned dollars!</p> <p>Another target inside your mailbox is any prefilled credit card or loan application. That little trash bin right next to the mailbox area in your apartment building is a gold mine for identity thieves.</p> <h3>How to Prevent It</h3> <p>The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) recommends you avoid leaving mail in your mailbox overnight or on weekends. If you plan to be away from home from three to 30 consecutive days, use the <a href="https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail/">USPS Hold Mail Service</a> to schedule delivery of all mail on the day of your return.</p> <p>Also, make sure that you deposit any mail containing personal information only on U.S. Postal Service collection boxes and securely discard any letters of preapproved offers of credit. You also can opt out of unsolicited credit and insurance offers by calling 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or visiting <a href="http://www.optoutprescreen.com">www.OptOutPrescreen.com</a>.</p> <h2>2. Fake Public Wi-Fi</h2> <p>Whether struggling to keep your data usage within the limits of your existing phone data plan or trying to upload a perfect Instagram selfie during your trip to Italy, many of us can't resist the promise of free Internet from a public hot spot. Malicious hackers are aware of this and set up fake public Wi-Fi hot spots to lure users and steal their data.</p> <p>Main targets are commuters doing work and exposing valuable information, such as lists of clients, business expense accounts, and invoices. If you think getting your identity stolen is bad, imagine exposing that of your clients or coworkers to cyber criminals. And those hackers don't have to be anywhere close to you: They can be <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=3454066&amp;page=1">up to 100 feet</a> away and still get away with your identity.</p> <h3>How to Prevent It</h3> <p>Only activate your Wi-Fi port when you're about to connect to a known and secure Wi-Fi. Whenever possible, check the authenticity of a hot spot. For example, ask the reception desk attendant at a hotel or check billboards at a mall.</p> <p>When using public Wi-Fi connections, don't visit sites related to your personal finance. If you absolutely must use a public Wi-Fi for work, only do so by connecting through your company's Virtual Private Network (VPN) to encrypt all data during your session.</p> <h2>3. Email</h2> <p>You don't need to be a major celebrity for somebody to try hacking your email account. All it takes is the suspicion that you may have a lot of financial assets or are in the process of a major financial transaction, such as closing a mortgage, executing an estate, or applying for a student loan.</p> <p>While you may think that it takes really complicated hacking skills to decipher a password, the harsh reality is that most people use the simplest of passwords. According to a <a href="http://gizmodo.com/the-25-most-popular-passwords-of-2015-were-all-such-id-1753591514">list of over two million leaked passwords</a>, the top five passwords of 2015 were:</p> <ol> <li>123456</li> <li>password</li> <li>12345678</li> <li>Qwerty</li> <li>12345</li> </ol> <p>Internet uses don't learn from their mistakes: The top two most commonly used passwords of 2015 were also the top two of the list from the previous year. Even worse, nearly three out of four individuals <a href="https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/246902">use the same password</a> for multiple accounts. By unlocking your email password, hackers have a good chance of getting a hold of your other online accounts.</p> <h3>How to Prevent It</h3> <p>Microsoft recommends using passwords that:</p> <ul> <li>Are at least <a href="https://blogs.microsoft.com/microsoftsecure/2014/08/25/create-stronger-passwords-and-protect-them/">eight characters</a> in length;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Don't contain your username, real name, or company name;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Don't spell out complete words (sorry sports fans: football and baseball were #7 and #10 in the list of most commonly stolen passwords);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Are significantly different from previous passwords; and<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Are different from passwords used on other websites.</li> </ul> <p>Also, don't use your email to store documents containing sensitive information, such as your social security number or credit card number. If you need to exchange such documents, do so through the encrypted online portal of your financial institution. You'll know it's encrypted when the URL bar shows a &quot;HTTPS.&quot;</p> <p>Finally, learn to identify the meanings of the potential types of padlocks that your web browser uses, such as the <a href="https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-do-i-tell-if-my-connection-is-secure">green and gray padlocks of Mozilla Firefox</a>.</p> <p>Better safe than sorry.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been a victim of identity theft?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-sneaky-ways-identity-thieves-can-access-your-data">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/what-is-your-auto-reply-email-telling-people-about-you">What Is Your Auto-Reply Email Telling People About 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/7-weird-ways-to-keep-you-and-your-stuff-safe">7 Weird Ways to Keep You and Your Stuff Safe</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/phishing-scams-continue-to-plague-social-media-sites">Phishing Scams Continue to Plague Social Media Sites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-slash-the-cost-of-wi-fi-when-you-travel">6 Ways to Slash the Cost of Wi-Fi When You Travel</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/life-without-tv">Life Without Television</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Technology bank statements email free wi-fi identity theft Internet loan applications mail theft passwords protection scams security Thu, 01 Sep 2016 09:00:05 +0000 Damian Davila 1780042 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Negotiating Skills Everyone Should Master http://www.wisebread.com/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_88219469_LARGE.jpg" alt="mastering negotiating skills" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There was a time when a bit of haggling was expected in nearly every transaction &mdash; from the price of shoes to the cost of a loaf of bread. Sadly, negotiating is usually reserved for home-buying, the purchase of car, and used items these days. Still, knowing how to negotiate effectively can save you (and make you!) big bucks over a lifetime. Here are eight negotiating skills everyone should master.</p> <h2>1. Confidence</h2> <p>The relationship between buyers and sellers has been rigidly established from years of training and a culture where the price tag is almost always the last word. It takes a bit of fortitude to enter a conversation with someone over price, and try to get a better deal. If your confidence is shaky, start with low-stakes purchases at garage sales and flea markets, then work your way up to more significant purchases like cars or a house. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-negotiate-with-confidence-and-strike-the-best-deal?ref=seealso">How to Negotiate With Confidence and Strike the Best Deal</a>).</p> <h2>2. Speed</h2> <p>Sellers want to move merchandise and they often embrace a &quot;bird in the hand&quot; philosophy to making a deal. With that in mind, sometimes simply being first is all the advantage you need. Keeping your ear to the ground, combing the classifieds, and being the first in line puts you in a position to beat the competition and walk away with great bargains.</p> <h2>3. Sociability</h2> <p>Great deals can be made between adversaries, but not between enemies. No matter what side of the negotiating table you're on, the ability to establish a rapport and keep things friendly and light will serve you well. Remember, negotiation is more of a dance than a death match. The best deals are those where both parties get to walk away relatively pleased.</p> <h2>4. The Poker Face</h2> <p>Imagine you've found the perfect antique hutch for a song at a local flea market. Congratulations. Now keep your emotions in check and start haggling. Remember, part of your leverage is not letting your enthusiasm show and subtly implying you have other options available. Admittedly, this is a fine line to walk and getting it right is more art than science. The key is to push just hard enough to sweeten the deal, but not so hard that it turns sour.</p> <h2>5. Patience</h2> <p>Negotiating can sometimes be awkward, especially for those new to the sport. Stay calm and try not to make the first offer. Why? Because if you're a seller, that price may be significantly less than the buyer was willing to pay. And if you're the buyer, that price may be significantly more than the seller was hoping for. I know, it sounds like a twisted game of chicken, but the person who throws out the first number is usually at a tactical disadvantage.</p> <h2>6. Creativity</h2> <p>Amazing bargains come in all shapes, so don't get hung up on just one way of striking a deal. Try bundling multiple items together for a better value or bartering goods for services and vice versa. Effective negotiation is a creative enterprise, so look for novel ways to make a great deal happen.</p> <h2>7. Preparedness</h2> <p>Successful negotiators may seem casual about it, but they're anything but. They've done their homework, know what an item is worth, know what they're willing pay and &mdash; most importantly &mdash; have cash in-hand to make a deal.</p> <p>If you're negotiating the price of a gently used dining room set for example, avoid dropping this infamous line: &quot;Sounds good, but I didn't bring any cash with me. Can I stop back tomorrow?&quot; An unprepared buyer is simply being a flirt &mdash; one of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/negotiating-101-the-5-buyers-you-meet-in-hell">worst types of buyers</a> for serious sellers. Usually, not being able to pull the trigger on a deal means all other potential offers are still in play (and you've wasted your time and the seller's time).</p> <h2>8. Determination</h2> <p>Negotiating can sometimes be a drawn-out process, so a little determination goes a long way. As long as both parties are engaged, keep the conversation going and try to find a middle ground that works for both parties.</p> <p>A recent deal my mom made illustrates this point perfectly. In the market for a larger and more comfortable car, my 78-year-old mother negotiated at a local dealership for six full hours (seriously... the sales staff ordered lunch for her). Ultimately, she got the deal she wanted. Remember, if the terms aren't right, be willing to walk away (or in the case of my mom, stay for lunch, get your second wind, and keep on tryin').</p> <p><em>Are you a skilled negotiator? What's the very best deal you've scored? Share your story!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master">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/ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-1-rich-is-relative">Ten Tenets for &quot;Arranging Your Rich&quot; - Part 1: Rich is Relative</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/12-fun-facts-about-valentines-day-spending">12 Fun Facts About Valentine&#039;s Day Spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-negotiation-mistakes-that-will-destroy-your-deal">10 Negotiation Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Deal</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/seller-concessions-and-buyer-bargains-what-to-ask-for-in-the-current-real-estate-market">Seller concessions and buyer bargains - What to ask for in the current real estate market.</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/the-same-actions-will-produce-the-same-results-ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-2">The Same Actions Will Produce The Same Results (Ten Tenets for Arranging Your Rich: Part 2)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks General Tips communication skills life hacks life skills money negotiating negotiating skills negotiation saving money Tue, 19 Jul 2016 09:00:08 +0000 Kentin Waits 1754818 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Times You Should Never Feel Guilty at Work http://www.wisebread.com/8-times-you-should-never-feel-guilty-at-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-times-you-should-never-feel-guilty-at-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_91752527_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="she shouldn&#039;t feel guilty at work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Guilt is not a fun emotion. When we forget someone's birthday, or hurt someone's feelings, we have every right to feel a little guilty. Similarly, if we miss a deadline or make another mistake at work, guilt is an appropriate emotion. But sometimes, it's just not necessary. Here are eight times when you should banish those guilty feelings once and for all. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-awkward-money-moments-everyone-has-at-work?ref=seealso">8 Awkward Money Moments Everyone Has at Work</a>)</p> <h2>1. Taking Time Off When You Need It</h2> <p>One of the big complaints the HR department has about its company's employees is that they don't take the appropriate amount of time off. In other countries, people take time off regularly, and the company encourages it. They don't want people to be burned out, or hating their job.</p> <p>In the U.S., however, it appears that people don't want to take any time off because they're afraid of being laid off, or seen as not essential. This is wrong on so many levels. We need time off to recharge, and you should not feel guilty about taking vacation time, personal days, paid leave, or sick time. In fact, when it comes to the latter, use your sick time. Do not come into work when you're ill. Sitting at home feeling awful is one thing, but adding guilt to that mix of nasty symptoms is even worse. The company has figured time off into your position, you should take it without ever feeling guilty.</p> <h2>2. Leaving Early If You Worked Late the Day Before</h2> <p>Salaried employees have certain benefits. For instance, in most salaried positions, if you come to work for just one hour, feel ill, and go home, that counts as a day's work. You do not have to use any sick time. Similarly, if you put in a 14-hour shift on a Monday, and you have all your work done by 3 p.m. the following day, you should not feel guilty about going home. You should of course check with your manager first, but any reasonable boss will be more than happy to let you go early, and for good reason. They have just gotten a whole lot of work out of you, and if they want to see that kind of dedication again, they should be willing to be flexible with your hours. Even if you leave early a week or two after you put in a big shift, don't feel guilty. You have more than worked those hours.</p> <h2>3. Competing With a Colleague for a Promotion</h2> <p>A position has opened up at work that you really want. Then you find out someone else, maybe even a friend or boss, is going for the same role. Should you feel guilty about competing for that title? Absolutely not. This is business, and this is also your career. Concentrate on yourself and your own best interests first, and go for that promotion with all the drive and vigor you can muster. To quote Col. Jessop from the movie <a href="http://amzn.to/2a9EinQ">A Few Good Men</a>, &quot;We went to the Academy together, we were commissioned together, we did our tours in Vietnam together. But I've been promoted up through the chain of command with greater speed and success than you have. Now if that's a source of tension or embarrassment for you, well, I don't give a s**t.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Telling Someone They Have a Bad Idea</h2> <p>Hurt feelings are legitimate in some aspects of life, but they have no place at work. Too often, people feel guilty about telling someone they have a bad idea, so they don't. They say it's fine, or they say nothing at all. This is not good for the business, or the person that had the idea. By saying &quot;your idea sucks&quot; you are not saying that the person who had the idea sucks. Not at all. This is no time to confuse the two issues. A great person can have an awful idea, and it is not only okay to say so&hellip; it's essential. (So long as it's done respectfully.) Otherwise, terrible ideas gain traction, and before you know it, you have to deal with the fallout of that bad decision. Stop a bad idea in its tracks, and never feel guilty about it.</p> <h2>5. Reporting Someone to HR</h2> <p>There are many reasons to report someone to HR. It could be sexual harassment, racism, bullying, favoritism, illegal activities, or anything else that directly violates HR policy. It doesn't matter if that person is your boss, a friend, someone with a family, or any other reason that could put your guilt chip into overload. The fact of the matter is, they are doing something wrong, and if all other attempts to stop them have failed, talking to HR is nothing to feel guilty about. Of course, you should try to reach out to them first, if possible, and avoid escalating it to something that can have far-reaching consequences. If that falls on deaf ears, going to HR should have no guilt attached.</p> <h2>6. Refusing to Be More Than Colleagues</h2> <p>Some people at work will take a liking to you. They may want to be a friend outside of work. They may want to be more than a friend, and start a personal relationship with you. In either case, you should not feel guilty about rejecting these advances or requests. You may just want to keep your work life separate from your home life. You may, in fact, not really like that person and thing things he or she is into (and let's be honest, that happens a lot). At work, being polite and making it work is the right thing to do, but you should never feel guilty about letting someone know that you want to keep things strictly professional.</p> <h2>7. Reprimanding Someone (Especially a Friend)</h2> <p>It's not easy telling someone off. If that person is a friend, it's even harder. But you must not feel guilty about the admonishment. If someone gets out of line, makes a costly mistake, or acts in a way that embarrasses both you and the company, you must crack the whip. How you do it is up to you. There is no reason to be overly harsh or sadistic, and inversely, being too &quot;nice&quot; will reduce the impact of the reprimand to something forgettable. Find the line, and walk it well. Guilt should play no part in the rebuke &mdash; it's part of working life and if that person cannot handle it, they're clearly in the wrong career.</p> <h2>8. Blowing the Whistle</h2> <p>If your company is doing something illegal, unethical, or otherwise not correct within the organization, you should not feel guilty about blowing the whistle. There is a reason whistleblowing laws exist, and you have the right to be protected and expose any wrongdoing without it coming back to bite you. Yes, your actions may result in some people losing their jobs, but those people were doing something wrong. You cannot afford to feel guilty about that, even if they are really cool people who are fun to be around. Illegal activities can hurt everyone in the company, including you, and if you have the knowledge and ability to stop them from happening, do it. No guilt allowed.</p> <p><em>What other scenarios should you never feel guilty about at work? 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/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-times-you-should-never-feel-guilty-at-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-small-gestures-that-go-a-long-way-at-work">10 Small Gestures That Go a Long Way at Work</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-awkward-money-moments-everyone-has-at-work">8 Awkward Money Moments Everyone Has at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-deal-when-you-work-with-someone-you-hate">8 Ways to Deal When You Work With Someone You Hate</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/your-stressful-job-may-be-making-you-healthier">Your Stressful Job May Be… Making You Healthier?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-your-coworkers-think-youre-a-slacker">6 Reasons Your Coworkers Think You&#039;re a Slacker</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income General Tips emotions feeling guilty guilt guilty harassment harassment at work work work etiquette work scenarios Thu, 14 Jul 2016 09:00:18 +0000 Paul Michael 1751372 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways You're Being a Terrible Neighbor http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-youre-being-a-terrible-neighbor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-youre-being-a-terrible-neighbor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000073263553_Large.jpg" alt="you&#039;re being a bad neighbor" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After family, friends, and coworkers, neighbors comprise one of our most basic social networks. Good neighbors keep a watchful eye on the community, help older folks live independently, pitch in when there's a local emergency, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-reasons-why-its-good-to-know-your-neighbors">provide many other benefits</a>. That's why being a good neighbor is so important &mdash; and why being a terrible one is so damaging. Blissfully unaware of how you're viewed in the neighborhood? It's time for some critical self-review. Here are 10 ways you're being a terrible neighbor.</p> <h2>1. Moonlighting as a Mechanic</h2> <p>I'm all for saving a few bucks by repairing and maintaining your own car, but there's a limit. If your driveway features a permanent installation of automobiles on concrete blocks, you're probably annoying the neighbors. Remember, pneumatic drills and floodlights have a way of detracting from a neighborhood's charm.</p> <h2>2. Impolite Parking</h2> <p>According to data from U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, only 2.5% of American households <a href="https://www.aei.org/publication/chart-of-the-day-rising-household-vehicle-ownership-over-time-belies-the-middle-class-stagnation-narrative/print/">owned three or more vehicles in 1960</a>. By 2013, that number had ballooned to 19.7%. Today, it's common for a family's fleet of vehicles to fill the garage, driveway, and a few curbside spaces.</p> <p>If you must park on the street, avoid parking directly across from a driveway (it makes backing out difficult for the homeowner). And if you tend to park in front of the same few houses everyday, rotate your cars so your neighbors can catch a glimpse of an empty space every once in awhile.</p> <h2>3. Having Your Own Zoo</h2> <p>It's the trifecta of inconsiderate pet ownership: Allowing pets to run loose, not picking up dog waste during walks, and letting dogs bark at all hours. If you're guilty of any of these offenses, assume that each and every one of your neighbors is hoping you get transferred.</p> <h2>4. Letting Your Lawn Turn Into a Jungle</h2> <p>Sure, we all get busy and sometimes it's difficult to keep up with the pace of nature during the spring and summer months. Still, if you're not mowing consistently or you're letting overgrown branches obstruct sidewalks or streets, you're shirking your duties as a good neighbor. Forget the manicured lawn &mdash; just keep things relatively tidy and safe.</p> <h2>5. Burning Yard Waste</h2> <p>Though many communities have an ordinance against open burning within city limits, it's one of the most commonly-ignored laws on the books. If you're burning yard waste, you're reducing general air quality, bathing the neighborhood in trace amounts of carcinogens, and probably aggravating a few neighbors' chronic respiratory conditions.</p> <h2>6. Spurning the Shovel</h2> <p>If it snows in your part of the country, shoveling sidewalks is fact of life and an essential part of being a good neighbor. If you're not shoveling, you're creating an icy slip-and-slide that's particularly treacherous for young kids and the elderly.</p> <h2>7. Encroaching</h2> <p>Using even a small part of someone else's property creates instant ill will. Make sure your parking habits don't cut into a neighbor's lawn, your festive cookouts don't spill over into an adjoining yard, and your kids' skateboard circuit doesn't include 10 feet of the deck next door.</p> <h2>8. Explosive Celebrating</h2> <p>Legal or illegal, setting off fireworks of any kind won't win you a Neighbor of the Year Award. Fireworks disturb the peace, send pets into anxiety overdrive, set off sensitive car alarms, and fill the air with clouds of sulfur.</p> <p>If you simply must vent your enthusiasm on the 4th of July, on New Year's Eve, or when your favorite sports franchise wins a game, try this: Shut yourself in a closet and blow a kazoo for a few minutes. Seriously. The sound is just about as pleasant and you get to keep all your fingers.</p> <h2>9. Not Securing Trash and Recyclables</h2> <p>Unsecured trash and recycling material gets blown around by the wind and carried off by raccoons. Avoid both by using quality garbage cans with tight-fitting lids and not setting out your trash too early on trash day. Also, promptly retrieve any loose items that the garbage collectors missed. Your neighbors will thank you.</p> <h2>10. Slamming Doors</h2> <p>This one's for all the apartment and condo-dwellers out there. Good neighbors don't let doors slam. Heavy modern doors that access stairwells, condo units, and common areas typically feature closure mechanisms for fire safety. Depending on how they're adjusted, these can cause doors to slam shut if you don't catch them first and soften the impact. No matter what time of day, slamming doors make every resident's life a little less peaceful.</p> <p>Terrible neighbors have one thing in common: They're inconsiderate. They've lost sight of the fact that they're part of a community of folks who may not share their schedule, aesthetic sensibility, tolerance for noise, or appreciation for the fertilizing effects of dog poop. Transitioning from a terrible neighbor to a terrific one just takes a bit of self-awareness, some social graces &mdash; and maybe a kazoo.</p> <p><em>Do you or your neighbors commit any of these unneighborly offenses? What's your biggest pet peeve about the people next door? 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/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-youre-being-a-terrible-neighbor">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/10-rules-of-etiquette-everyone-should-know-and-follow">10 Rules of Etiquette Everyone Should Know (and Follow!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-things-people-with-good-table-manners-never-do">13 Things People With Good Table Manners Never 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/10-small-gestures-that-go-a-long-way-at-work">10 Small Gestures That Go a Long Way at Work</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/18-things-people-with-good-social-skills-never-do">18 Things People With Good Social Skills Never Do</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-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Home bad neighbor behavior etiquette manners neighbor neighbor etiquette too much noise Tue, 31 May 2016 10:30:05 +0000 Kentin Waits 1719077 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Small Gestures That Go a Long Way at Work http://www.wisebread.com/10-small-gestures-that-go-a-long-way-at-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-small-gestures-that-go-a-long-way-at-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000081177621_Large.jpg" alt="this small gesture at work went a long way" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've ever worked in an office environment, you know how hectic things can get. Looming deadlines, departmental goals, staffing issues, and customer service challenges can send stress levels soaring and morale plummeting. If your office needs an attitude adjustment, start your own nine-to-five pay-it-forward program. Not only will it help boost morale, it'll help you get noticed in all the right ways. Here are 10 small gestures that go a long way at work.</p> <h2>1. Tidy Up</h2> <p>Does the break room at your office look like a scene from <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000IKQK7E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000IKQK7E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=TSNCPNWRUIJVNKLO">Animal House</a>? Take a few minutes to wipe out the microwave, empty the dishwasher, or replenish supplies. If you're brave enough to dig deep into the refrigerator, send an email notifying everyone well in advance and provide a clear deadline for claiming any unmarked items. (People get very attached to the science projects they've got growing in there.)</p> <h2>2. Feed the Machine</h2> <p>My favorite good deed is to make sure there's enough copy paper on hand and topping off the paper trays. The next person with an urgent, large-scale copy job will appreciate interruption-free &mdash; and panic-free &mdash; copying.</p> <h2>3. Brew It Up</h2> <p>Let's all agree &mdash; the world runs on coffee. Help everyone start their day off right by keeping this magic elixir flowing freely. Brew a fresh pot right before a big meeting or when you notice the supply running dangerously low. You'll be an instant hero and it might inspire some copycat kindness. Also, bringing in treats or doughnuts can give your coworkers a morning boost or turn the day around for someone who couldn't grab breakfast before dashing out the door.</p> <h2>4. Raise Your Hand</h2> <p>If your employer participates in charitable giving, volunteer to be the committee point person and spearhead your company's involvement with United Way, Habitat For Humanity, JDRF, or other worthy causes. Besides providing a valuable service, volunteering builds teamwork and taking a leadership role in volunteer activities can enrich your resume and expand your professional network. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-networking-tips-for-people-under-40?ref=seealso">The 10 Best Networking Tips for People Under 40</a>)</p> <h2>5. Get Social</h2> <p>Help your coworkers blow off some steam and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work">avoid career burnout</a> by organizing a group get-together. Work with management to schedule an off-site team building event, a potluck, or an end-of-the-quarter celebration. Remember, keep things light and make it fun.</p> <h2>6. Offer Kudos</h2> <p>Public acknowledgement of a job well-done is a simple, free, and powerful motivator. Send an email to your team as a shout-out to a colleague who pulled of a mini-miracle. Take it a step further by giving the coworker a stellar LinkedIn recommendation. Besides being the right thing to do, it's one of many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-act-like-a-leader-and-get-ahead-at-work">ways to act like a leader</a> and move your career forward.</p> <h2>7. Be the Minute Man (Or Woman)</h2> <p>Volunteer to take the minutes at the next company-wide or team meeting. It'll provide a welcome respite for someone and showcase your listening, organization, and communication skills.</p> <h2>8. Offer to &quot;Uber&quot;</h2> <p>Channel your inner chauffeur. The next time your team is scheduled to attend an off-site meeting or event, offer to drive. The commute will spark conversations and relieve a few people of the stress of paying for parking, fighting traffic, or walking long distances.</p> <h2>9. Give a Small Gift</h2> <p>Did a coworker pitch in to help you get a difficult project out the door on time? Show your appreciation with a $5.00 gift card to their favorite coffee or dessert shop. Remember, it's not the amount you give, but the gesture that counts.</p> <h2>10. Express Interest</h2> <p>In the busyness of business, it's easy to forget that we're all human. Though some people prefer to draw a clear line between their professional and personal lives, most appreciate a little blurring of the two. Peek over that cube wall and ask how a vacation went, talk about a shared hobby, or briefly share a funny story. A little interest helps pass the time and makes work feel... well, less like work.</p> <p><em>What small gestures have made the biggest impression on you at work? What do you wish more people did in your office? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-small-gestures-that-go-a-long-way-at-work">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/13-things-people-with-good-table-manners-never-do">13 Things People With Good Table Manners Never Do</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-times-you-should-never-feel-guilty-at-work">8 Times You Should Never Feel Guilty at Work</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/10-ways-youre-being-a-terrible-neighbor">10 Ways You&#039;re Being a Terrible Neighbor</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/12-ways-youre-driving-your-coworkers-insane">12 Ways You&#039;re Driving Your Coworkers Insane</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-rules-of-etiquette-everyone-should-know-and-follow">10 Rules of Etiquette Everyone Should Know (and Follow!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income General Tips cleanliness etiquette good habits manners small gestures work etiquette Tue, 16 Feb 2016 10:30:22 +0000 Kentin Waits 1655105 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: How Do You Handle Rude Questions About Money? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-handle-rude-questions-about-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-handle-rude-questions-about-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_not_listening_000082381091.jpg" alt="Woman handling rude questions about money by ignoring" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-handle-rude-questions-about-money#comment-788163">BRB</a>, Suz_Glo, and Kristin for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>It's more acceptable these days to discuss personal finances with relatives, friends, and even co-workers &mdash; but like with any conversation, tone and context matters. You may feel comfortable answering your mom when she asks how much debt you have as you're talking about loans, but not so much when a friend of a friend asks the same question at a party.</p> <p><strong>How do you handle rude questions about money?</strong> What happened the last time you had to deflect a money question that you didn't want to answer? Are there any money topics in general that you don't like to discuss?</p> <p>Tell us how you handle rude questions about money and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For Extra Entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a id="rcwidget_rq068bai" data-template="" data-theme="classic" data-raflid="79857dfa228" rel="nofollow" class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa228/">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <p>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, February 1st at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after February 1st on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us how you handle rude questions about money and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-handle-rude-questions-about-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/ask-the-readers-share-your-favorite-frugal-holiday-tradition">Ask the Readers: Share Your Favorite Frugal Holiday Tradition</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-new-years-resolution">Ask the Readers: What Is Your New Year&#039;s Resolution?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores">Ask The Readers: Should Kids Get Paid For Doing Chores?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-volunteer-experience-had-the-deepest-impact-on-you">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Volunteer Experience Had the Deepest Impact on You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-does-corporate-social-responsibility-mean-to-you">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Does Corporate Social Responsibility Mean to You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Giveaways Ask the Readers questions about money rude Tue, 26 Jan 2016 16:00:04 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1643168 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Reasons Alone Time Is Good For Your Soul http://www.wisebread.com/9-reasons-alone-time-is-good-for-your-soul <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-reasons-alone-time-is-good-for-your-soul" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_reading_book_000061374724.jpg" alt="Woman learning reasons alone time is good for her soul" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My friends, family, and significant other? They are fabulous. We get along great, and I love being around them... most of the time. As a self-proclaimed introvert though, I have to admit that my alone time is just as precious to me. There are countless <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Fun-Things-Do-Yourself-35362035">fun things to do alone</a>, and while it's nice to have company, sometimes it's extremely refreshing to appreciate life from a perspective that's entirely your own.</p> <p>I recently went on a weekend getaway in Southern California with just myself, a beautiful new <a href="http://www.ford.com/cars/mustang/" target="_blank">2015 Ford Mustang</a>, and miles of open desert road. Whether it was the fresh air and warm sun or the endless hours of freedom I had at my fingertips, I came out the other end of my adventure feeling like a new person. If you're able to, take some time to yourself &mdash; whether it's just an for hour or for an entire trip &mdash; and see what it can do for you. Here are more reasons why alone time is good for your soul.</p> <p>RELATED:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Career-Tips-Introverts-38279445">7 Totally Practical Career Tips For Office Introverts</a></p> <h2>1. Being Alone Gives You Time to Think</h2> <p>Life can be crazy sometimes &mdash; crazy good, crazy bad, or just crazy busy &mdash; and it's easy to get caught up in your hectic week or month and forget to allow yourself time to process things. Being alone gives us the time we all need to reflect on important events and to organize our feelings about the things that have happened. Without this, we can get overwhelmed with all we are trying to juggle mentally, and this can cause extra anxiety and stress.</p> <h2>2. You Can Get Creative</h2> <p>There's nothing like putting on headphones, listening to your favorite songs, and getting down to work. It doesn't matter if you're a writer, an artist, a musician, or a software engineer; we all have creative outlets and we all need to nurture them as much as we can. Being by yourself gives you the motivation and the opportunity to open your mind and explore new ideas, then put those ideas to good use.</p> <p>RELATED:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Working-From-Home-Tips-37778375">11 of the Best Work-From-Home Hacks Ever</a></p> <h2>3. You Can Recharge</h2> <p>Being around people is both exhilarating and exhausting. It means having to constantly be alert and aware of what's going on around you and in conversations that require your full attention. Socializing at work and with friends is definitely a positive thing, but it can also be draining. When you're alone, you can use that quiet time to recharge and regroup. It's essential to do this so that when you're around people again, you feel refreshed, more energetic, and ready to interact.</p> <h2>4. You Get to Know Yourself Better</h2> <p>Spending time alone means taking your thoughts and feelings into account above anyone else's, and when you do this, you get to explore your personality in depth. The more time you get to know yourself, the more you'll find out just how awesome you are.</p> <p>RELATED:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Best-Career-Advice-38400406">Real People Share the Greatest Career Advice They've Ever Received</a></p> <h2>5. You Become More Independent</h2> <p>When you're alone, you don't have the option of depending on other people for their opinions, advice, or help. You call all the shots, and even though that can be scary sometimes, it also means you become more reliant on yourself &mdash; and this is a great thing. Being independent means being self-assured, so that you can bring that confidence to the table when you're with people, too.</p> <h2>6. You See and Hear Things You Wouldn't Otherwise</h2> <p>We often make idle conversation with people just to fill the silence, but when we're quiet, we can hear and see things we don't notice otherwise. We are able to appreciate the small things in life because we don't miss them when they happen, and being alone can help you pay more attention to those important moments.</p> <h2>7. You Get to Do Whatever You Want to Do</h2> <p>You don't have to make compromises with anyone on where to eat, what movie to watch, or what sights to see on a trip. You can spend all the time you'd like to doing exactly what you want to do, and while having company is sometimes welcome, going on your own private adventures can be just as exciting and fulfilling.</p> <p>RELATED:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-You-Learn-Your-First-Job-38155545">13 of the Greatest Lessons We Learned at Our First Jobs</a></p> <h2>8. You're More Productive</h2> <p>It's easier to get more things accomplished when you're free from distractions &mdash; including people &mdash; and taking some time to yourself to put all your efforts into getting things checked off your to-do list can be extremely rewarding.</p> <h2>9. You Appreciate the People in Your Life</h2> <p>Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? Taking some time away from the people in your life can help you realize how important and valuable they are to you. This break can renew your excitement for spending time with the people who you care about the most, and you will return from spending time alone happier and more enthusiastic about seeing them.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Need an excuse for more alone time? Here are nine reasons it&#039;s good for you. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" style="height:95px; width:300px" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Career-Tips-Introverts-38279445">7 Totally Practical Career Tips For Office Introverts</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Working-From-Home-Tips-37778375">11 of the Best Work-From-Home Hacks Ever</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Best-Career-Advice-38400406">Real People Share the Greatest Career Advice They've Ever Received</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-You-Learn-Your-First-Job-38155545">13 of the Greatest Lessons We Learned at Our First Jobs</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-reasons-alone-time-is-good-for-your-soul">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/16-ways-you-are-causing-road-rage">16 Ways You Are Causing Road Rage</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/invest-your-time-in-these-13-things-while-youre-in-your-20s">Invest Your Time in These 13 Things While You&#039;re in Your 20s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-that-thing-really-change-your-life">Will That Thing Really Change Your Life?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-to-avoid-watching-a-crappy-movie">7 tips to avoid watching a crappy movie.</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/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Lifestyle Personal Development alone time emotional health introvert me time mental health privacy solo tips Fri, 06 Nov 2015 09:15:11 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1577435 at http://www.wisebread.com 60+ Halloween Costume Ideas That Can Save You Money and Time http://www.wisebread.com/60-halloween-costume-ideas-that-can-save-you-money-and-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/60-halloween-costume-ideas-that-can-save-you-money-and-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000010314928.jpg" alt="Man making Halloween costume that saves him money and time" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's that spooky time of the year again! Halloween is just around the corner, and with it comes the inevitable and difficult decision of what costume you're going to wear for this year's party. But fear not! We have ideas for the perfect costume on any budget.&nbsp;</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-simple-and-cheap-halloween-costumes-for-kids"><strong>20 Simple and Cheap Halloween Costumes for Kids</strong></a></p> <p>It's easy to get caught up in Halloween and become frustrated when a complicated costume goes wrong. Skip all that and go for simple and fun, instead.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-and-easy-halloween-costumes-for-adults" target="_blank"><strong>20 Cheap and Easy Halloween Costumes for Adults</strong></a></p> <p>Halloween dress up is not just for kids. Preserve your dignity &mdash; and your budget &mdash; with these classic and frugal costume ideas.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-halloween-costumes-for-people-who-hate-dressing-up" target="_blank"><strong>15 Halloween Costumes for People Who Hate Dressing Up</strong></a></p> <p>If you think dressing up is a drag but still need a get up for a costume party, consider one of these low-effort, high-reward &quot;costumes.&quot;</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-8-trending-halloween-costumes-on-the-cheap" target="_blank"><strong>How to Make 8 Trending Halloween Costumes on the Cheap</strong></a></p> <p>Halloween is just a few weeks away! That's plenty of time to put together one or two of these clever, trendy costumes.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/william-tran">William Tran</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/60-halloween-costume-ideas-that-can-save-you-money-and-time">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/the-magic-marker-money-safe">The Magic Marker Money Safe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-1-cent-cell-phone-protector-and-other-hacks">The 1-Cent Cell Phone Protector, and Other Hacks.</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-guaranteed-easiest-way-to-make-your-own-pickles">The Guaranteed Easiest Way to Make Your Own Pickles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-and-easy-diy-kitchen-improvements">20 Cheap and Easy DIY Kitchen Improvements</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-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Entertainment General Tips cheap Halloween costumes Homemade Mon, 05 Oct 2015 21:00:32 +0000 William Tran 1576255 at http://www.wisebread.com 20+ Things You Need in Your House to Keep Your Family Safe http://www.wisebread.com/20-things-you-need-in-your-house-to-keep-your-family-safe <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-things-you-need-in-your-house-to-keep-your-family-safe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000047206734.jpg" alt="Father learning which things in his house will keep his family safe" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Is your home safe? Even if you don't have small kids roving around, it's a good idea to assess safety on the regular, and make sure that every room is prepared for the worst. With that in mind, here's a handy list you can use to examine some of the top concerns in each room of your house. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-easy-ways-to-make-your-home-safer?ref=seealso">15 Cheap, Easy Ways to Make Your Home Safer</a>)</p> <h2>1. Kitchen</h2> <p>According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), cooking equipment is the cause of <a href="http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/News-Releases/2013/Kitchen-Fires-1-in-New-Report-Smoke-Alarms-and-Escape-Plans-Key-to-Surviving-Fires-in-the-Home/">40% of residential fires</a> each year. Always keep a working smoke detector in your kitchen to alert you of fire. You can even purchase one with a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000CBIIT/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0000CBIIT&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=HSMREPPHMWGUVMVB">photoelectric sensor</a> that helps to reduce nuisance alarms.</p> <p>You'll also want a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VBGG5Q/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000VBGG5Q&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=R4ROPJAKCMDV5BFD">fire extinguisher</a> in the kitchen. Never used one before? It's easy. Simply remember the acronym PASS:</p> <ul> <li>Pull out the safety pin;</li> <li>Aim at the source of the flames from around six feet away;</li> <li>Squeeze the trigger; and</li> <li>Sweep the source of the fire until your extinguisher is empty.</li> </ul> <h2>2. Living Room</h2> <p>Think there's nothing unsafe about your living room? Well if you're a television-lover, you're likely staring at the problem right now. The journal <em>Pediatrics</em> reports that falling TVs send <a href="http://www.today.com/health/falling-tvs-send-child-er-every-30-minutes-6C10679996">children to the emergency room</a> every half hour. And prevention is as easy as mounting your television to the wall or securing it with a brace or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YTENQUO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00YTENQUO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=SXPUAMMESUUUFYFS">anti-tip strap</a>.</p> <p>Beyond that, you'll want to cover unused outlets to make them safe for tiny fingers. If you regularly need to use outlets and don't want to fuss with removable covers, try installing <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JZJPO9O/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00JZJPO9O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=X4LHIHOJBQZ6O53B">electrical plate covers</a>. These guys work by automatically sliding shut when you remove a plug. You should install outlet covers in each room of your house.</p> <h2>3. Office</h2> <p>Your office might host the vast majority of your plugs and electrical equipment. You likely have a power strip in the space &mdash; but is it safe? Remember that a power strip doesn't give the room more power, it just lets you use more of the available circuit. If you rely heavily on power strips, you might consider calling an electrician to install additional outlets in the room.</p> <p>Switch basic cords over to <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000J2EN4S/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000J2EN4S&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=UTWK7ECSL7AHINCX">surge protectors</a> to protect your computers, printers, and other stuff against peaks in power from turning things on/off or even large surges from lightning. While you're at it, check all power cords for damage (if you have cats, you know exactly what I mean). You can use a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005V9UU1O/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005V9UU1O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=CNBCMV5VIBULPUCZ">split wire loom</a> to inexpensively guard your wires against bites and other damage.</p> <h2>4. Bathroom</h2> <p>To protect yourself and young children from scalding water in the bathroom, you'll need to take a trip to the basement (or wherever your water heater lives). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends turning the setting down to <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/safechild/burns/index.html">120 degrees Fahrenheit</a> or lower. It's as easy and turning a dial.</p> <p>Otherwise, keep any electrical items &mdash; like hairdryers, shavers, curling irons, etc. &mdash; away from water and unplugged when not in use. Place an <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J0JLYBQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00J0JLYBQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=Z3ARVZXEXLAXY2T6">anti-slip bath mat</a> inside your tub to safeguard the whole family against falls. You may even want to install a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000S8O9ME/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000S8O9ME&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=T432GM4WW5MBH6CD">bath shower handle</a> for extra protection and stability.</p> <p>And keep mold at bay by putting in a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=bathroom%20fan&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=ZF7PZH7QDVZ73J2F">bathroom fan</a>.</p> <h2>5. Bedroom</h2> <p>The United States Fire Administration reports that more than 3,500 Americans die each year in <a href="http://www.iabpf.org/CFL%20campaign%20launch.pdf">residential fires</a>. Another 18,300 are injured in fires. While you should have <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=smoke%20alarm&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=NETNTPYY6U6I4RPH">smoke alarms</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=carbon%20monoxide%20detector&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Acarbon%20monoxide%20detector&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=Y7VPEI7DDT4XZVBB">carbon monoxide detectors</a> on every floor, make sure you pay special attention to placing them near bedrooms. And check their batteries often.</p> <p>The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) explains that fire can spread rapidly in your home. You may have as little as one or two minutes to escape in an emergency. Consider purchasing a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005OU7B/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00005OU7B&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=CSEN3EXLNPMHBBQ3">fire escape ladder</a> to keep in your bedroom and plan your escape routes accordingly.</p> <p>The bedroom area also contains large dressers and other pieces of furniture. Protect little ones by installing <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00081MHJI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00081MHJI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=62WL5OPSDW4STCOT">anti-tip brackets</a>. They're detachable to make cleaning a breeze but secure furniture firmly against a wall. To understand the real need for brackets, check out this <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tEGjxDOS3U">PSA video</a> made by the CPSC.</p> <h2>6. Basement</h2> <p>Radon is the leading cause of <a href="http://www.epa.gov/radon/healthrisks.html">lung cancer in nonsmokers</a> across the United States. Did you know that most radon-induced lung cancers result from only low to medium exposure in the home, usually in the basement? Your house may have been tested before you bought it. If not, hire an inspector and &mdash; if your levels are high &mdash; have a <a href="http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/citguide.html#lower">radon mitigation system</a> installed.</p> <p>It might cost you a couple grand, but it's worth every penny if it saves your health.</p> <h2>7. Stairway</h2> <p>Researchers estimate that a <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/stair-injuries-report-every-six-minutes-us-child-falls/">child falls down the stairs</a> every six minutes in the United States. Whether you have kids or animals running around your home, a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=stairway%20gate&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=SLTZZWC4TWB22WGG">stairway gate</a> is an excellent way to keep them safe. They come in a wide variety of shapes, materials, and colors to match your preferences and decor.</p> <h2>8. Garage</h2> <p>Car exhaust is a major source of carbon monoxide, so never run your car inside your garage &mdash; especially if the door is closed. You might have several flammable materials sitting around too. The fire safety rules you use indoors apply to the garage as well. Keep fire extinguishers and smoke detectors in this area, and follow all other precautions.</p> <p>And now is a great time to ensure your <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=garage%20door%20safety%20sensor&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=R54YJ3H4OMFPNOSG">safety sensors</a> are working on your garage door. If not, you can purchase replacements or chat with the company that installed your door.</p> <h2>9. Outdoors</h2> <p>Examine your deck each season to check for loose railings, rotting wood, and other defects. A <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000056OUX/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000056OUX&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YMXJP4H7JJHGLI5G">mesh railnet</a> can help prevent railing and balcony accidents by blocking access to any gaps your kids or animals might find. Those of you with multileveled decks and staircases can also install <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CE8C7SO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00CE8C7SO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=T4SWEDDYVFMK4HBY">outdoor safety gates</a>.</p> <p>If you have a pool, you may be familiar with safety measures to prevent drowning while you're swimming. What about when you're not going for a dip? The CDC estimates that more than half of the <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/Features/dsSafeSwimmingPool/">drowning deaths</a> among young kids could have been prevented by simple <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BIKTISG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BIKTISG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=U4PMYDL4DFAPJSWO">pool fencing</a>. Keep your pool off limits when not in use. Fencing should be at least four feet tall to be the most effective.</p> <p><em>What essential safety steps have you take in your home?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-things-you-need-in-your-house-to-keep-your-family-safe">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/protect-your-home-and-family-from-fire-with-these-easy-safety-basics">Protect Your Home and Family From Fire With These Easy Safety Basics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-dangerous-things-hiding-in-your-home-right-now">The 5 Most Dangerous Things Hiding in Your Home Right Now</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/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</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/use-beer-to-get-rid-of-pests">Use Beer to Get Rid of Pests</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-make-living-with-roommates-tolerable">11 Ways to Make Living With Roommates Tolerable</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Home carbon monoxide children danger fire home safety precautions radon poisoning Wed, 09 Sep 2015 15:00:36 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1547943 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Clean Your Car Like a Pro http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-clean-your-car-like-a-pro <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-clean-your-car-like-a-pro" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_washing_car_000062249362.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to clean her car like a pro" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on the best professional car cleaning tips, ways global warming may affect your finances, and small kitchen appliances you don&rsquo;t really need.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://adebtfreestressfreelife.com/the-best-professional-car-cleaning-tips/">The Best Professional Car Cleaning Tips</a> &mdash; Hose off the car to remove excess dirt, but make sure you don't use a strong jet. The high water pressure can rub grit over the paint and leave scratches. [A Debt Free Stress Free Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savingadvice.com/articles/2015/07/31/1036158_global-warming-finances.html">10 Ways Global Warming May Affect Your Finances</a> &mdash; Global warming changes the weather patterns around the world significantly, which makes it harder and more expensive to produce food. [Saving Advice]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cheapism.com/blog/3717/useless-kitchen-appliances">11 Small Kitchen Appliances You Don't Really Need</a> &mdash; Sure, a blender would make sense if you're making smoothies for the whole family on a regular basis, but for most blending tasks in a kitchen, a smaller and cheaper immersion blender would work just as well. [Cheapism]</p> <p><a href="http://lifehacksmag.com/psychological-life-hacks/">7 Psychological Life Hacks that Will Make Your Social Life Damn Easy</a> &mdash; Just keep quiet if you want a complete answer from someone. They'll likely keep going on the topic and reveal more than they first intended to. [Life Hacks Magazine]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifehack.org/287129/15-things-insanely-productive-people-differently">15 Things Insanely-Productive People Do Differently</a> &mdash; They don't worry about getting a specific result. They stay true to themselves and do the best that they can at the present moment. [Lifehack]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Jobs-Require-Travel-3204508#photo-3204508">13 Jobs to Satisfy Your Wanderlust</a> &mdash; English teachers are in high demand in foreign countries, and you don't even need a teaching credential in most cases. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/2015/08/the-6-sources-of-influence">The 6 Sources Influencing Your Money</a> &mdash; You'll be able to protect yourself (and your wallet!) better if you can recognize how these six things influence the way you manage your money. [Budgets Are Sexy]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dontpayfull.com/blog/how-to-save-money-on-dinners-without-sacrificing-the-quality">How To Save Money On Dinners Without Sacrificing The Quality</a> &mdash; Feeding a large party? Marinade a big &mdash; but cheap! &mdash; cut of meat and roast it, then serve with healthy side dishes. [Don't Pay Full]</p> <p><a href="http://www.onesmartdollar.com/5-innovative-money-making-tips/">5 Innovative Money Making Tips</a> &mdash; Companies will pay you to display their ads on your car! [One Smart Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/4-ideal-workouts-for-busy-moms">4 Ideal Workouts for Busy Moms</a> &mdash; The popular program Beachbody allows you to choose a workout (most are 30 minutes or less) depending on your needs. It also comes with a nutrition plan! [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-clean-your-car-like-a-pro">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/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</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/25-things-to-do-with-used-corks-including-making-money-with-them">25 Things to Do With Used Corks (Including Making Money With Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips best money tips car wash Fri, 14 Aug 2015 19:00:32 +0000 Amy Lu 1521405 at http://www.wisebread.com Dishwasher Smells Bad? Here's How to Fix It http://www.wisebread.com/dishwasher-smells-bad-heres-how-to-fix-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dishwasher-smells-bad-heres-how-to-fix-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_smelly_dishwasher_000040458114.jpg" alt="Woman loading smelly dishwasher and learning how to fix it" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Reeking dishwashers are the worst. Trust me &mdash; I lived in a small apartment with one that emanated a disgusting smell for months. When it gets bad enough, you feel embarrassed to have people over and you don't even want to be there yourself.</p> <p>Fortunately, you don't have to live with a smelly dishwasher. The steps below cured the awful washer in our rental, and they can help yours, too.</p> <h2>Practice Good Dishwasher Hygiene</h2> <p>Sure, everyone knows how to run a dishwasher, but not everyone knows how to do so in such a way that odors are prevented. If your dishwasher keeps developing an odor despite your ongoing attempts to clean it, you may need to change the way you do dishes.</p> <p>Rinse large food particles off your dishes before you put them in the washer. This prevents them from building up in the food trap. Empty your dishwasher as soon as you can after it runs. This makes sure that your dishwasher isn't sitting there with a bunch of hot air inside, which can cause musty, mildewy smells. And make sure the dishwasher gets a chance to dry after every cycle. Leave it open just a crack to let fresh air in.</p> <p>If you have the option, think about running your dishwasher on a setting that allows the dishwasher to blow air in order to partially dry the dishes. This usually costs more in electric bills, but having air flow through the washer can reduce odors quite a bit.</p> <h2>Clean the Food Trap</h2> <p>Most dishwashers have a small area where large particles of food that get washed off your dishes are stored. This keeps them from clogging the dishwasher or even the drain. If they sit in there too long, though, they can get nasty and produce a terrible smell.</p> <p>The food trap will be in a slightly different place in each dishwasher. Usually, they're in a small area on the bottom. Take out your lower washer rack and it's often easy to find. Using a cloth or a pair of rubber gloves to keep you hands out of the muck, scrape it as clean as you can. You may want to use some dishwasher cleaner afterwards, just to make sure it's fresh and sanitized.</p> <h2>Run Various Cleaning Cleansers Through Your Dishwasher</h2> <p>There are several different things that, when ran through your washer alone, can help fix odor problems. You can try a specially formulated dishwasher cleaning solution, vinegar, baking soda, or citric acid (you can even use powdered lemonade if you can't find the acid itself or you don't want to mess with it).</p> <p>If your substance is a powder, put it in like you would normally put in detergent. If it is a liquid, pour &frac14; cup in the bottom of your dishwasher. Then turn it on and run a normal cycle. You may have to do this several times (possibly with several different substances), before you figure out what works for you, but these are all very helpful for odor reduction. In fact, once you've figured out what is best in your dishwasher, run it through once every month or so to keep the odors away for good.</p> <h2>Check Your Air Gap</h2> <p>Depending on where you live, you may or may not have an air gap for your dishwasher (different building codes have different requirements). And air gap sets up the dishwasher so that any overflows will flow into your sink. This keeps waste from your kitchen sink from backing up into your dishwasher, which can cause some really horrible smells.</p> <p>You can search online for information about checking for and installing an air gap, or you can call your local plumber. It's usually not very hard to do on your own, but it does require some confidence in dealing with plumbing problems and fixtures. If you do need to call a plumber, it will be well worth your time and money when that odor disappears.</p> <p>You may want to combine the above techniques &mdash; and, in fact, I highly suggest doing so &mdash; to find a dishwasher deodorizing solution that works for you. You can change your dishwasher hygiene, clean your food trap, and run a cleaning substance through the washer without having to put in much effort. Then, if that doesn't work, you can ponder calling a plumber (or trying to get your landlord to do it!).</p> <p><em>Have you dealt with a particularly smelly dishwasher? How did you fix the problem?</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/dishwasher-smells-bad-heres-how-to-fix-it">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/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-fridge-last-almost-forever-with-these-8-tips">Make Your Fridge Last (Almost) Forever With These 8 Tips</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-cleaning-rules-you-should-be-breaking">6 Cleaning Rules You Should Be Breaking</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/almost-40-everyday-things-you-can-wash-in-the-dishwasher">Almost 40 Everyday Things You Can Wash in the Dishwasher</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips bad smells cleaning dishwasher home maintenance Tue, 28 Apr 2015 21:00:22 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1400620 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Protect Yourself From a Lost Gift Card http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-a-lost-gift-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-a-lost-gift-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_000021000133.jpg" alt="Woman shopping with gift card and trying not to lose it" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Just last week, I was at Chipotle frantically digging through my wallet looking for my gift card. I knew it was somewhere in my pile of plastic, but couldn't find it for the life of me. In the end, my &quot;free&quot; burrito ended up costing me cash, as my gift card was permanently misplaced.</p> <p>Stores and restaurants absolutely love gift cards because of unorganized people like me. But with a few simple steps, you can easily protect those <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-up-remaining-balances-on-prepaid-gift-cards">valuable gift card balances</a> in the event you lose or misplace one.</p> <h2>1. Stash Your Activation Receipt</h2> <p>This is clearly the most obvious, yet overlooked, step to protect yourself. It's often overlooked because the gift card giver doesn't always include the receipt with the card. But if they do, or if you bought the gift card yourself, then by all means stash the receipt someplace safe. In the event you lose the card, you can simply call the retailer or restaurant customer service line and they can access your account balance via the activation receipt. They'll then easily re-issue you a new card.</p> <h2>2. Write Down Gift Card Numbers</h2> <p>If you don't have a receipt, then you can just put pen to paper and copy down the gift card numbers for safe keeping. While this can seem a tedious exercise for a measly $5 Starbucks gift card, you'll be glad you did if you lose a $100 Best Buy card.</p> <h2>3. Get Tech Savvy With a Virtual Wallett</h2> <p>Perhaps the most convenient and fool-proof way of protecting your gift card balances is using a virtual wallet like Google Wallet. You simply download the app to your smartphone (Android or iPhone), enter the card number, balance, snap a picture of the card (front and back) and the app takes care of the rest. You simply present the app when checking out, the cashier scans the corresponding barcode on your phone, and your balance is automatically reduced.</p> <h2>4. Not That Tech Savvy? Just Snap a Pic</h2> <p>If you're just not tech savvy and the idea of adding a gift card to a virtual wallet gives you a headache, I have an easy solution for you. Just use your smartphone or camera to snap a picture of the gift card numbers when you get the card. This is an easy way to access your gift card if you end up losing it.</p> <h2>5. Trace Your Footsteps</h2> <p>If you failed to keep the receipt and/or the gift card number was never recorded, but you used the lost gift card at least once online, you may still have recourse. Your card information may have been recorded when shopping online from the retailer's website. Whether or not your gift card info was saved varies by retailer, but when you are desperate to recapture your account balance, it's worth a shot.</p> <h2>6. Register Your Card With the Retailer</h2> <p>Many retailers and restaurants allow you to actually register your card with them online. Some of the more popular include Crate &amp; Barrel, Starbucks, and Tully's Coffee. By doing so, you get balance protection and a quick replacement card in the event you lose yours. Also, you can often use your gift card for rewards and earn free treats and reward points. The Starbucks gift card is famous for this.</p> <h2>Bottom Line: Treat a Gift Card Like Cash</h2> <p>By treating gift cards like cash (which they essentially are), you'll be more proactive when it comes to protecting their balances. By doing just a little bit of work to protect yourself, you'll never be stuck buying a burrito again after you were sure it would be free. Or is that just my story?</p> <p><em>Have you ever lost a gift card or taken steps to prevent it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-a-lost-gift-card">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/50-ways-to-save-money-on-clothing">50 Ways to Update Your Wardrobe for Cheap</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/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</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-can-you-do-with-unwanted-gift-cards">What Can You Do With Unwanted Gift Cards?</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/the-only-5-grocery-shopping-techniques-you-need">The Only 5 Grocery Shopping Techniques You Need</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips gift cards receipts shopping virtual wallets Thu, 09 Apr 2015 17:00:07 +0000 Kyle James 1376607 at http://www.wisebread.com