General Tips http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8131/all en-US 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-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-2 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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/help-end-hunger-get-kindled-and-3-more-positive-web-tips-you-should-know-about">Help End Hunger, Get Kindled, and 3 More Positive Web Tips You Should Know About</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-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> <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/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> </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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-say-no-to-those-who-want-to-borrow-money-from-you">When Should You Say No to Those Who Want to Borrow Money from You?</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/standout-stuff-to-put-on-your-resume">Standout Stuff for Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile</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/welcome-to-the-real-world-my-best-advice-for-new-graduates">Welcome to the Real World - My Best Advice for New Graduates</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-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/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-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-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/5-ways-to-ease-into-a-day-job-after-freelancing">5 Ways to Ease Into a Day Job After Freelancing</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-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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-would-you-relocate-for-the-perfect-job-chance-to-win">Ask the Readers: Would You Relocate for the Perfect Job? (Chance to win!)</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-whats-the-biggest-item-in-your-budget">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s the Biggest Item in Your Budget?</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-name-your-favorite-moment-of-2010">Ask the Readers: Name Your Favorite Moment of 2010</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-how-do-you-care-for-your-pet-affordably">Ask the Readers: How Do You Care For Your Pet Affordably?</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-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-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-magic-marker-money-safe">The Magic Marker Money Safe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</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/quickly-removing-scratches-from-cds-and-dvds">Quickly Remove Scratches From CDs and DVDs</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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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-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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </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-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/quickly-removing-scratches-from-cds-and-dvds">Quickly Remove Scratches From CDs and DVDs</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/20-office-potluck-dishes-everyone-loves">20 Office Potluck Dishes Everyone Loves</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/cheap-and-simple-sunburn-remedies-that-really-work">Cheap and Simple Sunburn Remedies That Really Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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 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-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/fall-cleaning-101-the-spic-and-span-basics-of-making-your-home-sparkle">Fall Cleaning 101: The Spic-and-Span Basics of Making Your Home Sparkle</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-clean-your-dishwasher">How to Clean Your Dishwasher</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-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <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-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 5 Newspaper or Magazine Subscriptions That Are Actually Worth the Cost http://www.wisebread.com/5-newspaper-or-magazine-subscriptions-that-are-actually-worth-the-cost <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-newspaper-or-magazine-subscriptions-that-are-actually-worth-the-cost" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/newspaper_000020671239.jpg" alt="Woman reading newspaper through subscription that&#039;s worth the money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Any newspaper or magazine you actually read is worthy of its subscription value. But there are a few publications that offer some additional benefits. From buyer's remorse prevention to stress relief, a subscription to one of these publications is worth the price &mdash; and more.</p> <h2>1. Consumer Reports</h2> <p>The expert product ratings contained in just one issue of <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/index.htm">Consumer Reports</a> could save you from making purchase mistakes that no customer service hotline could fix. This consumer's bible is one of the most highly regarded resources for folks cutting through the spin of advertising in order to identify which consumer products are safe, reliable, and fairly priced. If you've ever bought a product that didn't live up to its name, you know how valuable such a guidebook can be. A subscription to the magazine gets you access not only to new product reviews, but also more than 7,000 archived ratings for appliances, home and gardening tools, electronics, baby gear, food products, and cars.</p> <h2>2. Mindful</h2> <p><a href="http://www.mindful.org/mindful-magazine/current-issue">Mindful</a> magazine celebrates being mindful in all aspects of daily living. Its pages are filled with how-to guides and anecdotal stories on topics like yoga, meditation, eating with intention, taking time to appreciate nature, and decluttering your home. In short, it's filled with inspiration and guides to achieving inner peace, happiness, and wellness. If you're inspired to meditate after reading a Mindful story about the ancient practice, you'd be well on your way to feeling happier, focused, and more even-keeled. And if you were to follow their <a href="http://www.mindful.org/mindful-magazine/5-ways-to-declutter-your-home-and-mind">guide to decluttering</a> material objects from your living space, you'd be opening yourself up to greater personal fulfillment and self-confidence. Simply reading the magazine won't change your life for the better, but applying its teachings certainly may.</p> <h2>3. Your Local Newspaper</h2> <p>The average American family can <a href="https://nchmarketing.com/assets/0/16/33/37/246f9f1d97554980b20a36bf999712a2.pdf">save up to $1,000</a> a year with coupons, and your local newspaper &mdash; particularly the Sunday edition &mdash; is chock full of them. But there's much more to gain by subscribing to your local broadsheet than supermarket savings. News about jobs, crime, weather, politics, traffic, and building and permitting regulations are essential to navigating modern life. Local news enthusiasts are also more <a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/2012/04/12/72-of-americans-follow-local-news-closely/">connected to their communities</a>, which just so happens to be an <a href="http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/topic/connecting/connection-happiness">indicator of wellness</a> and health. Belonging to a community gives us a strong sense of identity that researchers say can lead to fewer stress-related health problems, lower risk of mental illness, and faster recovery from trauma or illness.</p> <h2>4. The New York Times</h2> <p>From its searing photographic account of a massacre by <a href="http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/21/witness-to-a-massacre-in-a-nairobi-mall/">gun-wielding terrorists</a> at a Nairobi shopping mall, to an investigation into the millions of dollars in <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/30/world/africa/ransoming-citizens-europe-becomes-al-qaedas-patron.html">secret payments</a> by European nations to ransom hostages held by the Islamic State; The <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/">New York Times</a> produces some of the finest reporting and storytelling in the world. And that was just last year.</p> <p>Since 1990, the paper has had 117 <a href="http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/do-pulitzers-help-newspapers-keep-readers/">Pulitzer Prize winners and finalists</a>, more than any other publication. The Pulitzer is widely considered to be the top prize for excellence in journalism, and the fact that the Gray Lady has racked up so many is telling of the value of a subscription. In addition to hard-hitting news, the Times is also a top source for feature stories, travel reporting, health and wellness news, and up-and-coming trends and events in the arts.</p> <h2>5. TIME For Kids</h2> <p>In a survey by Rutgers University, 92% of teachers said classroom magazines like TIME For Kids improve <a href="http://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/resource/uploads_classmag/Research%20and%20Results/Survey.pdf">student interest in reading</a>. Now, what parent wouldn't want that? This weekly news magazine puts interesting, educational, and age-appropriate content in the hands of kids with the goal of making them motivated and excited about reading. A powerful teaching tool, <a href="http://www.timeforkids.com/">TIME For Kids</a> builds reading and writing skills while reinforcing curriculum in subjects like social studies, science, and math. Plus, every issue of the classroom magazine addresses the new <a href="http://www.timeforkids.com/info/what-you-get">Common Core State Standards</a>, further supporting our kids' efforts to succeed at school.</p> <p><em>Which subscriptions are essentials in your household?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-newspaper-or-magazine-subscriptions-that-are-actually-worth-the-cost">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/exposed-magazine-subscription-rates-complete-bs">Exposed: Magazine subscription rates complete BS.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</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/quickly-removing-scratches-from-cds-and-dvds">Quickly Remove Scratches From CDs and DVDs</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-office-potluck-dishes-everyone-loves">20 Office Potluck Dishes Everyone Loves</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/cheap-and-simple-sunburn-remedies-that-really-work">Cheap and Simple Sunburn Remedies That Really Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips consumer reports magazines newspapers reading subscriptions Thu, 02 Apr 2015 15:00:21 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1366064 at http://www.wisebread.com 27 Things You Should Have in Your Utility Drawer http://www.wisebread.com/27-things-you-should-have-in-your-utility-drawer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/27-things-you-should-have-in-your-utility-drawer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/measuring_tape_000050146530.jpg" alt="Woman with measuring tape kept in utility drawer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You know the kitchen drawer &mdash; the one with an interesting assortment of odds and ends? Well at some point, the &quot;utility drawer&quot; often turns into the &quot;junk drawer.&quot; And if yours is bordering on being more of a scrapbook, maybe this is the time to clean it out and stock it with some really practical items.</p> <p>The well-stocked drawer is going to contain some very tiny items, as well as some rather unwieldy ones, so start by investing in <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002RL9CYK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002RL9CYK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=I3EON6AAYU72JPZR">divider trays</a>. Next, begin collecting tiny tins (think empty Altoids containers) for some of the smaller items below. If you own a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005TJMC0S/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B005TJMC0S&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=4NN7YQK74AYL3G7D">label printer</a>, you can really make your drawer look spiffy &mdash; but masking tape and a marking pen will work, too. &quot;Found items&quot; like clean, empty tuna cans, old muffin tins, or even ice-cube trays are helpful for sorting the goods.</p> <p>Then it's time to stock up on the following.</p> <h2>1. Flashlight</h2> <p>Probably one of the most important items in your utility drawer, and it needn't be bulky. For Christmas, my husband just got me one of these powerful, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BA5BM8I/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00BA5BM8I&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=64AQH52KYQW4HR62">tiny LED flashlights</a>. It takes up very little room, but boy, does it throw a big light.</p> <h2>2. Batteries</h2> <p>I keep an assortment of all sizes in the drawer, since you never know what you'll need.</p> <h2>3. Barbeque Lighter</h2> <p>These <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000UONR4M/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000UONR4M&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YTLJ6GVOBLNKQ3AG">long lighters</a> aren't only for the barbeque. I use mine to light my gas stove, candles, or the outdoor fireplace. When the power goes out, this is one of the first things I grab.</p> <h2>4. Tape Measure</h2> <p>I like both the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004SILEXM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B004SILEXM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=FEUV2C7LLP2CSQOL">retractable tape measures</a> and the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005KMMOK2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B005KMMOK2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=XRTJ5BQDLVO73YSR">flexible tape measures</a> that you use for sewing. I also have the freebie paper tape from Ikea, which is really handy.</p> <h2>5. Band-Aids</h2> <p>Keeping Band-Aids in the kitchen makes more sense than the bathroom, to me. There I'll be, slicing away, and oops! So having an assortment of Band-Aids right there in the utility drawer is pretty handy.</p> <h2>6. Safety Pins</h2> <p>Wardrobe malfunction right before work? Grab a safety pin. Buy a box of pins in assorted sizes.</p> <h2>7. Sewing Kit</h2> <p>Lose a button, or is a hem coming out? I love this <a href="http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/real-simple-sewing-kit/1017916297?mcid=PS_googlepla_nonbrand__&amp;adpos=1o3&amp;creative=39230263429&amp;device=c&amp;matchtype=&amp;network=g&amp;gclid=CjwKEAjw0LmoBRDHuo7UkaKXhn8SJADmDTG0XYJnNNX9v5cW5-Fl3evxasugzs8YsIVmTttkmaYl3BoCkvfw_wcB">zippered sewing kit</a> that keeps everything in one place.</p> <h2>8. Eyeglass Repair Kit</h2> <p>Do you, or does a family member, wear glasses? If so, this little <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000RB7B72/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000RB7B72&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YL2HEAKRYOHRVWM2">eyeglass repair kit</a> will be a lifesaver. We even bring our kit on vacations.</p> <h2>9. String or Twine</h2> <p>I like this food-safe <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000ST1EW6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000ST1EW6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ET4HFGYQUYGCVCQM">cooking twine</a>. Tie a plumb-bob to the string end and get a straight edge for hanging wallpaper. String is one of those things you don't know you need until you need it.</p> <h2>10. Mini-Hammer</h2> <p>I could not live without my mini-hammer. It cracks nuts, pounds tough meat, and hangs pictures. They are nice for little hands when kids want to &quot;help daddy,&quot; too.</p> <h2>11. Pliers</h2> <p>Ideally, your toolbox will contain a larger assortment, but a small pair of pliers are great to have in the drawer for emergencies.</p> <h2>12. Duct Tape</h2> <p>My favorite use is to get rid of pet hair, but here are 10 other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-ways-to-use-duct-tape">great uses for duct tape</a>.</p> <h2>13. Deck of Cards</h2> <p>I recently learned to play Texas Hold 'Em, which turned out to be a lot of fun and a great way to kill time. Of course, I had a deck of cards handy in that utility drawer. If the power goes out, light a votive candle and deal 'em, pardner.</p> <h2>14. Matches</h2> <p>I like to keep two types in the drawer: book matches and stick matches. If you live somewhere humid, the book matches can fail you. Store in a plastic bag.</p> <h2>15. Screwdriver</h2> <p>This is another &quot;must-have.&quot; I like this <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002I3TDP0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002I3TDP0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=OF6O2VVEYQESS7EZ">ratcheting screwdriver</a> that has the multiple bits.</p> <h2>16. Utility Knife</h2> <p>Also known as an &quot;X-acto knife&quot; or a &quot;boxcutter,&quot; these are hugely practical. Keeping one in the utility drawer ensures I won't be tempted to use one of my good kitchen knives when a box is delivered.</p> <h2>17. Votive Candles</h2> <p>I'm not a big &quot;candles-as-atmosphere&quot; person, but when the power is out, votives are the greatest. Not only are they inexpensive, but you can also buy unscented ones. I also own some of the &quot;flameless&quot; candles, but they don't have a long life &mdash; so for disaster preparedness, I like real candles.</p> <h2>18. Take-Out Menus</h2> <p>Pizza, anyone? Chinese? Whatever your preference, if you keep your take-out menus in your utility drawer, you are ready to make a phone call. We keep ours in a manila folder so they stay tidy.</p> <h2>19. Tweezers</h2> <p>Sliver? Bones in fish? Thorn in the dog's paw? A pair of tweezers is a great addition to any utility drawer.</p> <h2>20. Nail File</h2> <p>The cheap emery boards will work, but a friend got me hooked on these <a href="http://www.sephora.com/crystal-nail-file-P310307">crystal nail files</a>, which perform so much better. They come in a case, which also makes them much easier to find.</p> <h2>22. Rubber Bands</h2> <p>Keeping rubber bands in your junk drawer makes good sense. How many times have I used only half a bag of frozen peas? Grab a rubber band out of the drawer, seal them up, and send them back into the freezer. Keep them in a Ziploc bag so that they stay tidy and out of the humidity, and they will last longer.</p> <h2>23. Pens and Pencils</h2> <p>Absolutely indispensable and inexpensive. You'll need both in the drawer.</p> <h2>24. Thumb Tacks</h2> <p>I am a big fan of bulletin boards, so naturally I keep thumb tacks around. I prefer push pins, which are easier to dig back out of the cork.</p> <h2>25. Tape</h2> <p>Let's face it &mdash; the drawer is not complete without tape. Stock up.</p> <h2>26. Chip Clips</h2> <p>Keep those chips, crackers, and bags of cereals crispy with clips. I really like binder clips the best, since they clamp more tightly than some of the &quot;clothespin&quot; types. They also take up less room.</p> <h2>27. Glue</h2> <p>I like two types in the drawer &mdash; Super Glue and Elmer's. Both get regular use.</p> <p>Still not inspired to whip that drawer into shape? Then take a fun look at people whose <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/theprotojournalist/2014/08/15/337759135/what-your-junk-drawer-reveals-about-you">utility drawers</a> well, failed. And then get to organizing!</p> <p><em>Is there anything I've forgotten? What's in your jun</em>&hellip;<em> err, </em><em>utility </em><em>drawer?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/27-things-you-should-have-in-your-utility-drawer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans">A Denim Expert Reveals Why You Only Need 3 Pairs of Jeans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-old-school-tools-to-help-you-stay-on-budget">6 Old School Tools to Help You Stay on Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stuff-will-never-make-you-organized">Stuff will never make you organized</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/101-little-things-you-can-fix-right-now">101 Little Things You Can Fix Right Now!</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/7-essential-tools-for-getting-work-done-anywhere">7 Essential Tools for Getting Work Done -- Anywhere!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Organization junk drawers repairs tools utility drawers Thu, 02 Apr 2015 13:00:10 +0000 Marla Walters 1361032 at http://www.wisebread.com Invest Your Time in These 13 Things While You're in Your 20s http://www.wisebread.com/invest-your-time-in-these-13-things-while-youre-in-your-20s <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/invest-your-time-in-these-13-things-while-youre-in-your-20s" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/asian_student_000017738107.jpg" alt="Asian student studying" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Our 20s fly by before we know it, and we want to make sure we did the decade justice. Did we worry about the right things? Are we where we should be now? The best way to prepare for those questions and answer them to the best of our abilities, is to make sure we spend time on what really matters and what may help us in the future. We took a look at a <a href="http://www.quora.com/How-should-a-24-year-old-invest-time-1">Quora thread</a> that had great advice for people in their 20s who may be wondering what some of the important things to invest time in may be, and here is what we found.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-Happy-People-Do-34870691">15 Things Incredibly Happy People Do</a></p> <h2>1. Network</h2> <p>If you form a solid mainstay of people, you are exposed to more opportunities and potential for success in both your career and in your personal life. Build bridges, because you never know when you might be looking to cross them. As <a href="http://www.quora.com/Karan-Jaiswani">Karan Jaiswani</a> put it, &quot;the 20s are all about utilizing your today and structuring your future.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Read &mdash; A Lot</h2> <p>There is nothing more productive than taking the time to read. Read whatever you can get your hands on &mdash; current news, nonfiction, fiction, career advice, self-help books &mdash; anything! The more you know and understand about people around you, yourself and the world, the more easily and successfully you can navigate those very things.</p> <p>&quot;This will keep your mind stimulated and open to ideas. You will get a number of ideas for each author that you can implement in your life. You will also get opinions from across the globe,&quot; <a href="http://www.quora.com/Rizwan-Aseem">Rizwan Aseem</a> says.</p> <h2>3. Take Care of Your Body</h2> <p>Making time at night to wash your face, exercise, and remembering to apply (and reapply) sunscreen may not be on the top of your priority list, but it should be. General health care is something that, later in life, you will be glad you considered in your 20s. As <a href="http://www.quora.com/Rizwan-Aseem">Aseem</a> points out, &quot;No matter what you do in your life, you will do it in your body. You cannot replace it, get a new one, or trade it in. This is your body and you will live in it.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Use Your Time and Money on Education</h2> <p>Education is an invaluable resource that you are unlikely to ever regret having. Money is well spent when it is used to broaden your mind and pool of knowledge, especially when honing skills to be applied to your career path. <a href="http://www.quora.com/Anuj-Kumar-1">Anuj Kumar</a> advises you to &quot;try different things and find out where your passion lies&hellip; and then find ways to make a career doing that, adding that &quot;if you need further education, get it.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Pay Attention to Your Mental Health and Wellbeing</h2> <p>While your physical health is extremely important, investing time into taking care of your mind should not be forgotten. Stimulate it, challenge it, be conscious of what you're exposing it to daily, and take care of yourself. <a href="http://www.quora.com/Rizwan-Aseem">Aseem</a> makes the point that, &quot;The mind, like anything else, has the characteristics of a muscle. You use it, or lose it. And as long as you are using it, it will remain fit and healthy. The minutes you stop using it, it will decay and rust.&quot; So use it!</p> <h2>6. Learn New Skills (and Master Them)</h2> <p>While the advice to &quot;follow your passion&quot; can be good in the general sense, <a href="http://www.quora.com/John-J-Bowman-Jr">John. J. Bowman</a> urges those in their 20s to master and control a set of skills that can be used to benefit you within the field you are passionate about.</p> <h2>7. Create and Maintain Good Habits</h2> <p>The hardest part of creating good habits is getting started, but once you are able to master them, they will have an undeniably positive impact on your day-to-day as well as your future, because, as <a href="http://www.quora.com/Rizwan-Aseem">Rizwan</a> notes, &quot;once a habit is established it lasts for a life time.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Build Meaningful Relationships</h2> <p>Now is the time to drop the fair-weather friends and make time only for those who are really going to stick around and be positive forces in your life. As you mature, so should your relationships, so you don't have time to waste on people who will be harmful rather than helpful in your pursuit of your future goals.</p> <h2>9. Eat Well</h2> <p>Spend time planning meals, learning healthy recipes, and overall taking what you're eating into consideration regularly. Gone are the days when donuts, chips, and sodas can pass as a full day's meal. Even it if takes a little more time and effort, your future self will thank you when you find yourself maintaining your energy and healthy body as you age.</p> <h2>10. Establish a System for Handling Finances</h2> <p>Sit down and figure out how you are spending money, what you are spending it on, and what your ongoing expenses are. &quot;If you take care of your finances starting today they will take care of you when you most need them. When you are old, or sick, or sending your kids to school, or helping a parent through sickness. Your finances will help you,&quot; <a href="http://www.quora.com/Rizwan-Aseem">Aseem</a> says. Big pitfalls to avoid: bad business opportunities (if it seems to good to be true &mdash; it is), overuse of credit cards, and choosing not to save or put money aside for a rainy day.</p> <h2>11. Travel</h2> <p>In your 20s, you're full of enthusiasm and energy and usually have the mobility to indulge a bit of wanderlust. So indulge it. Experience new cultures, countries, and challenges. You will learn things that you can take with you and apply to your life back at home.</p> <h2>12. Communicate With Loved Ones</h2> <p>Make an effort to remember birthdays, holidays, and important events. Your family and close friends can act as your support system when you need it, but you should put the time in and return the favor. Small gestures that show you are thinking about the people who love you go a long way, so take the extra five minutes to write a nice card and stick it in the mail, or schedule that quick Skype call &mdash; you won't regret it.</p> <h2>13. Examine What You Really Want in Life</h2> <p>It's easy to get caught up in the everything going on throughout your 20s, and people often forget to actually sit down and contemplate what it is they really want. <a href="http://www.quora.com/Tonya-Turpin">Tonya Turpin</a>&nbsp;advised that you &quot;actively, and with intent, become aware of the world and everything it holds. Not just about the outside world, but also the one in your head. Spend time alone because it is the only true way to get to know yourself. Be curious and question everything.&quot; Make the time to figure out what you love, and map out a plan of how to get it.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> When we&#039;re in our 20s we feel possibility ahead of us as nearly infinite. Grasp it by laying the foundation of your future when you&#039;re young, smart, and full of health. </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 style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img style="height:95px; width:300px" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" alt="" /></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/Uses-Old-Books-23418154#photo-23418154">21 Uses For Old Books</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Inspirational-Quotes-36634903#photo-36634903">46 Quotes From Reddit That Will Change Your Life For the Better</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Shorten-Cleaning-Time-22498197">The Lazy Girl's Guide to a Clean Home</a></li> </ul> </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/invest-your-time-in-these-13-things-while-youre-in-your-20s">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-reasons-alone-time-is-good-for-your-soul">9 Reasons Alone Time Is Good For Your Soul</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/16-ways-you-are-causing-road-rage">16 Ways You Are Causing Road Rage</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/financial-tricks-to-master-for-a-happier-life">Financial Tricks to Master for a Happier Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-say-no-to-friends-and-family">5 Ways to Say &quot;No&quot; to Friends and Family</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Lifestyle Personal Development 20s career retirement planning Fri, 27 Mar 2015 09:00:07 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1302679 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways to Spend Less on Your Significant Other (And Not Get Killed!) http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-spend-less-on-your-significant-other-and-not-get-killed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-spend-less-on-your-significant-other-and-not-get-killed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_opening_gift_000054352330.jpg" alt="Couple opening gift" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Being in a relationship is expensive &mdash; whether you've been together a day or a decade. That means that at some point you'll need to reign in the spending (unless your last name is Gates or Rockefeller). Here are nine ways to do it without ending up on your partner's hit list.</p> <h2>1. Buy Dollar Store Greeting Cards</h2> <p>Tangible cards are quickly losing their appeal in this digital world (I stopped sending out holiday cards five years ago to preserve time, money, and paper), though they're not bygone relics just yet. It's still nice to receive one every now and again. But at an average price of $3 to $7 a pop &mdash; yes, some cards cost as much as a small meal now &mdash; they can put a considerable dent in your gift-buying budget over the course of a year. To scale back, ditch the premium greetings and hit up the dollar store.</p> <p>&quot;I've been purchasing greeting cards from the dollar store ever since I discovered them a few years back,&quot; says Kedal Perez,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com">Coupon Sherpa</a>'s resident money-saving expert. &quot;I often find the perfect card &mdash; sometimes two &mdash; for just 50 cents, compared to Hallmark cards costing $4 and up. In addition to holidays, I like to buy 'just because' cards for my husband when I remember to be a good wife. This habit saves me a ton and conveys the sentiment I'm looking for.&quot;</p> <p>While you're there, don't forget to pick up other gift-giving essentials like gift bags, balloons, tissue paper, ribbons, and more.</p> <h2>2. Decorate a Gift Instead of Wrapping It</h2> <p>On one occasion, I didn't have birthday-specific gift wrap for a present for one of my nephews, and in a bind I decided to decorate the plain cardboard box with crayons. My lack of resources resulted in a gift with a thoughtful presentation that didn't cost any additional money. I've kept up this habit with other gifts throughout the year, keeping a considerable amount of cash in my pocket. You also can adopt this practice. Get creative, too. You can use all kinds of items &mdash; markers, glue and glitter, and other crafty-type items like bows and ribbons that you may have lying around.</p> <h2>3. Celebrate a Holiday Post-Holiday</h2> <p>Ready to be a prime-time savings boss? Celebrate big holidays like Valentine's Day and Christmas after February 14 and December 25. It'll probably take a bit of convincing on your part &mdash; having nothing to open on Christmas morning will seem strange &mdash; but if it works out for the both of you, you're looking at substantial markdowns on all the coveted gifts.</p> <p>&quot;My husband and I recently agreed to celebrate certain holidays [like Valentine's Day] after the fact to avoid mark-ups,&quot; Perez says. &quot;He bought me a beautiful bouquet of orange roses and white lilies on February 15, and I loved them just as much as I would have a day earlier.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Buy Flowers From the Grocery Store</h2> <p>Speaking of flowers, you're spending too much if you're going to a local florist. It's an unfortunate fact, because I like to support small business &mdash; but they just don't have the discount buying power that large chain supermarkets do. You will have to contend with a more limited selection, perhaps, but that's an easy compromise to make when a beautiful bouquet doesn't make you weep for all the wrong reasons.</p> <h2>5. Shop the Clearance Section for Gifts</h2> <p>I'm always keeping my eye out for the perfect gift for my husband, and I hit the jackpot when it's from the clearance section. Whenever I'm shopping &mdash; for anything &mdash; that's the first place I go. I bypass the new arrivals, to the eye rolls of the associates, and get my discount on. This is a great tactic to cut costs on birthday, holiday, and anniversary gifts (or just ordinary wardrobe updates), and you can walk away with some amazing deals if you're shopping well out of season.</p> <h2>6. Make a Gift If You Have the Skills</h2> <p>I like receiving shiny gadgets as gifts from my husband, but I would equally appreciate anything he gave me that was completely handmade. The kind of dedication it takes to make a handcrafted gift sends the message that he'd rather spend time on something thoughtful than buy an item that will never have an ounce of sentiment. Those handmade Christmas ornaments would be treasured forever, but I would replace the iPhone he bought me as soon as a new one was released.</p> <p>Brett Hamilton, whose business <a href="http://www.simple.be">SIMPLE.BE</a> was built on the idea of handmade gifts, agrees.</p> <p>&quot;My favorite way to give great gifts to my wife without spending too much is to custom-make practical gifts for her,&quot; he says. &quot;One year I made her a new waterproof duffle bag from vinyl trucker tarps for soccer games. Last year it was a black and white tote bag made from old recycled sails. She loved it so much.&quot;</p> <p>There is one slight complication with this tactic, however: Your SO might get used to the idea of receiving handmade gifts, so you may have to keep it up once you start it. But is that kind of appreciation really so bad?</p> <h2>7. Get Accustomed to Discount Dating</h2> <p>My husband and I have one rule for our dates (or at least I do): Never pay full price.</p> <p>Seriously, if you're planning dates at full retail value, you're doing it all wrong &mdash; and you're paying dearly for it.</p> <p>There's absolutely no reason you shouldn't be saving money on every date you have together, given the abundance and availability of daily-deal sites, coupon codes, free activities, BOGO deals, and other discount dating opportunities. Even when you can't find a discount, there's probably a way to shave off a few bucks if you're willing to adjust your plans. Take the movies, for instance. In my neck of the woods, a regular screening is no less than $12 (up to $22 when you start throwing in 3D and IMAX). But if you plan the date before noon, you can score $7 tickets at certain theaters like AMC. All you need is a little creative thinking to reduce of the cost of virtually any activity or meal date.</p> <p>Also, don't forget to use your military or students discounts where available. My husband forgets to ask about military discounts all the time, which is why it's a good thing he has me. I never forget, and with the money I saved him on this-and-that admission, he has enough left over to buy me lunch.</p> <p>I love when it works out like that.</p> <h2>8. Buy Refurbished Electronics When Appropriate</h2> <p>Some people are picky about the newness of their electronics, so you need to know your partner well enough to be certain they won't act like an ungrateful brat when they find out their gift is previously own or refurbished. Personally, I prefer that my phone is new &mdash; I don't like the idea of someone else using something that touches my face (I know it's clean, but still) &mdash; though I have no qualms with receiving, say, a refurbished iPad. Buying refurbished can save you hundreds of dollars &mdash; and these deals are available for a wealth of electronics, including video games &mdash; so whether or not to implement this tactic is a relevant conversation to have with your guy or girl.</p> <h2>9. Spend More Time and Effort Than Money</h2> <p>Now that we're past the materialistic and superficial things, let's get real: No amount of money you spend will ever equal the value of your time and effort. I touched on this a bit when I talked about handmade gifts, but it really applies to all aspects of your relationship. Gifts are nice, of course, but a reasonable person (read: a keeper) will choose a free date, gift, meal, or experience with you over something with a price tag any day. Learn how to pay attention to one another's needs before it jeopardizes the relationship, and you're on the right track to a happy life together. Good luck!</p> <p><em>Do you have any ideas on how to spend less on your significant other without getting killed? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-spend-less-on-your-significant-other-and-not-get-killed">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-senior-discounts">Big List of Senior Discounts</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/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">Regifting: A Simple How-To Guide</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/being-frugal-with-froogle">Being Frugal with Froogle</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/buy-raincoats-in-summer-because-winter-always-comes-0">Buy raincoats in summer, because winter always comes.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wrap-gifts-with-leftovers">How to wrap gifts with leftovers.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Shopping bargains cheap gifts Dating Holidays romance Mon, 23 Mar 2015 17:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1351086 at http://www.wisebread.com