new year&#039;s resolutions http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8392/all en-US 5 Ways to Restart Your Resolutions This Spring http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-restart-your-resolutions-this-spring <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-restart-your-resolutions-this-spring" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000076065413_Large.jpg" alt="restarting her resolution in spring" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sure, I resolved to &quot;be better about flossing&quot; and &quot;do more crunches&quot; in my list of resolutions for 2016. I even spoke my resolutions aloud in my work wellness group to reinforce ethem. And then, upon re-reading them, I wondered how long those goals would last. A little research told me that only 8% of people who make resolutions actually achieve them.</p> <p>As it turns out, maybe New Year's just isn't the best time to make resolutions. Maybe we should all be waiting until the snow melts and the flowers start to bloom. Isn't that a better setting to tap into your motivated self anyway? Here are five ways to restart your resolutions this spring, so you actually achieve them.</p> <h2>1. Remember That Goals Can Be Made Anytime</h2> <p>We like to make resolutions in January, because it's the traditional time to do so, and that &quot;new year, fresh start&quot; feeling is palpable and contagious. By breaking free of that January tradition, you might be able to actually achieve success. According to StatisticBrain, the top <a href="http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/">New Year's Resolutions in 2015</a> were:</p> <ul> <li>Lose weight</li> <li>Spend less, save more</li> <li>Enjoy life to the fullest</li> <li>Stay fit and healthy</li> <li>Learn something exciting</li> <li>Quit smoking</li> <li>Help others</li> <li>Fall in love</li> <li>Spend more time with family</li> </ul> <p>Sure, it's easy to hop on the scale January 1 and resolve to move more and consume less, but when the days are short and your energy is at an all-time low, it can be tough to get motivated. Why not start that new fitness chapter of your life once the snow melts and when being outdoors is actually bearable?</p> <p>And for &quot;spend less, save more,&quot; wouldn't reviewing your financial goals <em>after </em>your taxes are done make more sense? That's a very natural time to review what you've done, and see where you need to work harder. April, then, could be a month to <em>begin</em> setting financial goals.</p> <p>Many of these resolutions can be implemented at any point during the year. There is nothing magical about starting them in January.</p> <h2>2. Learn to Exercise Because You Want to, Not Because You Have To</h2> <p>A soon-to-be-published Duke University study found that <a href="http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/news_events/news-releases/jordan-etkin-tracking/">measurement of exercise</a> &quot;Has these pernicious effects. Enjoyable activities can become almost like a job, by forcing out the outcomes of things that used to be fun,&quot; said Professor Etkin, of the results.</p> <p>I'm guilty of that. I like to write tasks down, and then cross them off. In doing those crunches, I'm not focusing on whether I'm doing them well, and using good form. I'm just counting them. I see a lot of this on Twitter, in tweets about how far a person has walked, or the amount of exercise performed. Instead, find something that's actually enjoyable, and it will feel less like a chore and more like a treat. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money?ref=seealso">5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money</a>)</p> <h2>3. Get Focused on Being Frugal</h2> <p>What do many of us do in January? We pay, or begin to pay, our credit card bills. Christmas was merry, but the Macy's bill isn't. And yet, what do we do? Join gyms. Buy exercise equipment. We pile debt upon debt in the name of self-improvement. And then tax season hits and we're back to suffering through another financial stress period.</p> <p>Once Tax Day passes, look at springtime as a fresh start for your finances. Banish the urge to buy a new spring wardrobe and focused on becoming more frugally-minded instead.</p> <h2>4. Use Winter as a Recovery Period</h2> <p>After the delightful fun vibe of the holiday season, we put away our decorations and gear up for the new year. Many of us have put off big work projects until the holidays are over, since it's frustrating trying to coordinate meetings or meet deadlines at the end of the year. So, work in the winter becomes one long day after another. If you have resolved to go to the gym before or after work, that's just one more thing you need to get done each day. If you are already stressed about bills, work, family pressures, or other areas of your life, this is the wrong time to try to &quot;better yourself.&quot;</p> <p>What's best is to get your life in a calmer place, first. Think of winter as a recovery time for every aspect of your life, and use the dewy beauty of spring for rejuvenation and goal achievement.</p> <h2>5. Go Slow and Steady Toward Your Goals</h2> <p>Would you like to make a lot of self-improvements? First, remember that Rome wasn't built in a day. Next, try making a list. Pick the <em>one </em>thing on that list that is the most important to you. Make sure it's realistic. When you feel you are ready to try to achieve this goal (meaning not stressed out about other parts of your life), give it a while. If, after a month or two, you are sticking with it, <em>then</em> add another. Be like the tortoise, and you'll get there way before the hare.</p> <p><em>Will you restart your resolutions this spring? Let us know in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-restart-your-resolutions-this-spring">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/checking-in-with-old-goals-for-the-new-year">Checking in With Old Goals for the New Year</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/solve-problems-study-and-brainstorm-using-mind-maps">Solve Problems, Study, and Brainstorm using Mind Maps</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-money-goals-all-30-somethings-should-have">10 Money Goals All 30-Somethings Should Have</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/spice-up-the-conversation-by-skipping-what-do-you-do">Spice Up the Conversation by Skipping &quot;What Do You Do?&quot;</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/avoid-big-dental-bills-with-safe-and-inexpensive-products">Avoid Big Dental Bills with Safe and Inexpensive Products</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Lifestyle focus goals new year's resolutions resolutions spring Fri, 22 Jan 2016 12:00:04 +0000 Marla Walters 1642418 at http://www.wisebread.com Try These 6 Money-Saving Challenges Now http://www.wisebread.com/try-these-6-money-saving-challenges-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/try-these-6-money-saving-challenges-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_challenging_savings.jpg" alt="woman challenging herself to save big this year" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you have a major goal to spend less or save more in 2016? I'm sure many of us do. But if you're anything like me, you need a challenge to get the motivation going. Frank L. Smoll, Ph.D., writing in <em>Psychology Today</em> explains that <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/coaching-and-parenting-young-athletes/201311/keys-effective-goal-setting">effective goal-setting in sports </a>is all about the ABCs:</p> <p>A: The goal should be Achievable.</p> <p>B: It should also be Believable.</p> <p>C: And you've got to be Committed to working on it.</p> <p>The same principles apply to any sort of goal you set out to reach. Looking for a place to start? Here are six money-saving challenges to get your own creative juices flowing.</p> <h2>1. No New Clothing</h2> <p>Clothing is a huge expense for a lot of us (pointing the finger at myself here). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cesan.nr0.htm">spends over $1,700 on apparel</a> each year. That's a whole lot of sweaters and slacks. Why not try giving up this line item with a No New Clothing Challenge?</p> <p>Try digging in the back of your closet to assess all your options &mdash; then live with what you have. Still need to buy? You can always find steals on second-hand clothing (especially for kids!) at thrift shops or garage sales. You may also want to host a clothing swap or make a more minimalist wardrobe. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-essential-pieces-for-your-capsule-wardrobe?ref=seealso">8 Essential Pieces for Your Capsule Wardrobe</a>)</p> <h2>2. Buy Nothing New Challenge</h2> <p>Beyond your fixed bills and a few necessities, do you think you could buy nothing new for a month? Maybe longer? Assya Barrette at <em>Alternet</em> went on a <a href="http://www.alternet.org/culture/i-bought-nothing-new-200-days-and-why-you-should-too">Buy Nothing New Challenge</a> for a whopping 200 days. (Wise Bread writer Max Wong <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-compact-mindfullness-and-frugality-through-buying-used">bought nothing new</a> for more than a year!) Outside of basic food, toiletries, and medicines, Barrette did acquire a few things borrowed or gently used.</p> <p>But the lesson was about way more than saving money. Throughout the process, she discovered that a lot of our material possessions just aren't necessary to live a full, happy life. Breaking the habit of mindless shopping is another benefit of this challenge. Start small and try this idea for a week, month, or &mdash; if you dare &mdash; even longer.</p> <h2>3. 52-Week Money Challenge</h2> <p>The concept is simple and likely familiar: You start by saving $1 in your first week, $2 in the second, and so on. By the end of the <a href="http://media1.onsugar.com/files/docs/52weekmoneychallenge.pdf">52-Week Money Challenge</a>, you enjoy a total savings of $1,378. Some of my friends have even done the challenge in reverse, starting with the $52 and counting down to zero.</p> <p>If you're not so disciplined with stashing savings, this challenge can be a great way to start an emergency fund or to put away cash for another purpose in your life. If structure scares you, you can also try dumping all your leftover change or dollar bills into a jar each night. At least it's a step in the right direction!</p> <h2>4. Debt-Free Challenge</h2> <p>Don't you get so jealous when you hear someone has paid off all of his or her debts? I know I do. Shift that energy into starting your own debt-free challenge. Many of my friends swear by Dave Ramsey's Debt Snowball Plan where you focus on one debt at a time (usually with the smallest balance first) and knock them out until they're all gone. Where exactly can you find extra cash to pay down the debt? Try selling your unused stuff on Craigslist, lowering your variable expenses and extras, and just plain saving. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pay-down-debt-and-get-cash-back-with-these-6-services?ref=seealso">Pay Down Debt and Get Cash Back With These 6 Services</a>)</p> <p>On the flip side, you could also work on not creating any <em>new </em>debt this year. Live within your means, skip tempting store card incentives, leave the credit cards at home, or save up for what you want and enjoy delaying gratification. It'll all be worth it when you look back at 2016 and bask in your smart spending.</p> <h2>5. Grocery Savings Challenge</h2> <p>Food is the big budget-suck in our home. Between regular grocery runs, takeout, and other edible incidentals, we spend a wad on what we eat. Check out this <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/can-a-pantry-challenge-really-save-you-money-223065">Pantry Challenge</a> at The Kitchn. You'll dig deep into the cupboards and freezer drawers to use up what's hiding back there. Try this challenge for a week or a month, and repeat as often as you like. You can surely save hundreds this way over time and get better satisfaction that you're not letting anything spoil.</p> <p>Getting into the habit of regular meal planning helps lower your grocery bill as well. First, you'll know exactly what to buy at the store &mdash; nothing more. Second, you'll waste less food because everything has a plan. Start by finding some easy recipes you love, write out all the ingredients on your list (and try to get some to overlap from meal to meal), then stick to the plan. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans?ref=seealso">Eat Well on Just $20 a Week</a>)</p> <h2>6. Create Your Own Challenge</h2> <p>Maybe you don't see your own spending vice on this list. That's okay. You can make your own challenge. Try setting and adhering to a budget if you haven't already. Get rid of cable and challenge yourself to free entertainment this year. Stop going out to eat or quit the gym and workout at home for free. There are so many ways you can save, so take some time to brainstorm a list, make a plan, and then get going.</p> <p><em>What are your money-saving goals for 2016?</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/try-these-6-money-saving-challenges-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-dont-ever-stop">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Don&#039;t Ever Stop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Pay It Off</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/4-psychological-traps-preventing-you-from-saving-and-how-to-fix-them">4 Psychological Traps Preventing You From Saving — And How to Fix Them</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-allocate-your-cash-when-you-are-broke">How to Allocate Your Cash When You Are Broke</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-live-on-12-000-a-year">How to live on $12,000 a year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Debt Management money goals new year's resolutions saving money savings goals Mon, 18 Jan 2016 10:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1637556 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: What Are Your New Year's Resolutions for 2016? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-are-your-new-years-resolutions-for-2016 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-what-are-your-new-years-resolutions-for-2016" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_new_years_000078421819.jpg" alt="Woman making New Year&#039;s resolutions for 2016" 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-what-are-your-new-years-resolutions-for-2016#comment-787356">Happy Love</a>, Ernest, and Michelle for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>It's 2016! For many people, a new year signals a fresh start. It's a time when motivation is high and New Year's resolutions abound!</p> <p><strong>What are your New Year's resolutions for 2016?</strong> Do you have a game plan for making sure your resolutions don't lose steam? What is it?</p> <p>Tell us about your New Year's resolutions for 2016 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_nz04ny3t" data-template="" data-theme="classic" data-raflid="79857dfa225" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa225/" class="rcptr">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, January 11th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after January 11th 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 about your New Year&#039;s resolutions for 2016 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-what-are-your-new-years-resolutions-for-2016">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-did-you-spend-your-first-paycheck">Ask the Readers: How Did You Spend Your First Paycheck?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-new-years-resolution">Ask the Readers: What Is Your New Year&#039;s Resolution?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-volunteer-experience-had-the-deepest-impact-on-you">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Volunteer Experience Had the Deepest Impact on You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-does-corporate-social-responsibility-mean-to-you">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Does Corporate Social Responsibility Mean to You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-are-you-optimistic-about-2011">Ask the Readers: Are You Optimistic About 2011?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers new year's resolutions Tue, 05 Jan 2016 16:00:04 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1630228 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Small New Year’s Resolutions for Your Money http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-small-new-year-s-resolutions-for-your-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-small-new-year-s-resolutions-for-your-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/money_new_year_000027067626.jpg" alt="Making small new year&#039;s resolutions for your money" 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 small New Year&rsquo;s resolutions for your money, cheap ways to make your life happier, and overpriced grocery items to skip.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.cultofmoney.com/2015/12/30/30-small-new-years-resolutions-for-your-money/">30 Small New Year&rsquo;s Resolutions for Your Money</a> &mdash; Need some inspiration on small ways to improve your finances next year? Check out these highly achievable resolutions! [Cult of Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dontpayfull.com/blog/cheap-ideas-to-make-your-life-happier">10 Great and Cheap Ideas to Make Your Life Happier</a> &mdash; Have more human connection. Meet a friend for coffee, spend time with your parents, or simply say good morning to someone on the bus. [Don't Pay Full]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Overpriced-Grocery-Items-19150854">8 Overpriced Grocery Items to Skip</a> &mdash; Name brand spices are marked up almost 97%! If you can, buy your spices at a natural food store, or at drugstores or discount stores. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/2015/12/7-tips-for-helping-someone-else-to-change-a-habit/">7 Tips for Helping Someone Else to Change a Habit</a> &mdash; You can help make the habit a little more convenient for the other person. They're more likely to keep it up if it's quicker and easier to do. [Gretchen Rubin]</p> <p><a href="http://www.morewithlesstoday.com/saving-money-at-the-movies-15-ways-to-get-discounts-on-movie-tickets/">Saving Money at the Movies: 15 Ways to Get Discounts on Movie Tickets</a> &mdash; Many theaters offer early bird discounts for the first matinee show of the day. [More With Less Today]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://sustainablog.org/2015/12/green-giving-4-new-uses-old-wrapping-paper/">Green Giving: 4 New Uses For Old Wrapping Paper</a> &mdash; Use old wrapping paper to dress up scrapbooks! [Sustainablog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2015/12/30/how-to-handle-financial-disappointments/">How to handle financial disappointments</a> &mdash; Disappointment is a complex emotion. To help you move on from it, try to figure out what exactly caused the disappointment. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/kids-and-money/stopping-self-entitlement-in-kids-and-teens/">Stopping Self-Entitlement in Kids and Teens</a> &mdash; There's a time when parents will need to step away from protecting their children from everything. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://couplemoney.com/retirement/keeping-tabs-on-our-retirement-accounts/">Keeping Tabs on Retirement (without Stressing Out!)</a> &ndash; Financial services provided by companies like Vanguard and Betterment allow you to put your retirement account on autopilot. [Couple Money]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-put-down-the-phone-and-focus-more-on-your-kids">How to Put Down the Phone And Focus More On Your Kids</a> &mdash; Remind yourself that most messages are not that important. 99% can wait half an hour for you to respond. [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-small-new-year-s-resolutions-for-your-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-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/best-of-personal-finance-41-financial-calculators-for-major-life-decisions">Best Money Tip: 41 Financial Calculators for Major Life Decisions</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/diagnose-and-improve-your-financial-health-a-10-item-checklist">Diagnose and Improve Your Financial Health: A 10-Item Checklist</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-married">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-celebrities-with-shockingly-low-net-worths">6 Celebrities With Shockingly Low Net Worths</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-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance best money tips new year's resolutions Thu, 31 Dec 2015 20:00:04 +0000 Amy Lu 1630226 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Doable Financial New Year's Resolutions http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-doable-financial-new-years-resolutions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-doable-financial-new-years-resolutions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cash-187038903.jpg" alt="cash" title="cash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread&#39;s <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on doable financial New Year&#39;s resolutions, uses for dead gift cards, and financial figures you need to know.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/10-doable-financial-new-years-resolutions/">10 Doable Financial New Year&#39;s Resolutions</a> &mdash; Make one of your New Year&#39;s resolutions to make on-time bill payments. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2013/12/19/22-uses-for-a-dead-gift-card/">22 Uses for Dead Gift Cards</a> &mdash; Not sure what to do with your dead gift cards? Use them to remove gum from the floor or clear off frosty windshields. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2013/12/five-financial-figures-you-need-to-know.html" style="color: rgb(7, 130, 193); ">Five Financial Figures You Need to Know</a> &mdash; It is important for you to know your net worth and tax rate. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://kiplinger.com/article/spending/T050-C011-S001-retailers-with-stingy-return-policies.htmlhttp://www.creditsesame.com/blog/10-doable-financial-new-years-resolutions/">Retailers With Stingy Return Policies</a> &mdash; Did you know Best Buy and Gilt have stingy return policies? [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://thirtysixmonths.com/trying-to-save-money-5-ways-to-still-have-fun-at-the-weekends/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Thirtysixmonthscom+%28thirtysixmonths.com%2Fblog%29" style="color: rgb(7, 130, 193); ">Trying to Save Money? 5 Ways to Still Have Fun at the Weekends</a> &mdash; You can still have fun while saving money during the weekends by having a movie night. [Thirty Six Months]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://financialhighway.com/grocery-store-products-make-holidays-easier/" style="color: rgb(7, 130, 193); ">Grocery Store Products that Make the Holidays Easier</a> &mdash; Boxed wine and canned toppings can help make your holidays easier. [Financial Highway]</p> <p><a href="http://Trying to Save Money? 5 Ways to Still Have Fun at the Weekends — You can still have fun while saving money during the weekends by having a movie night. [Thirty Six Months]">5 steps to punch a denied health insurance claim in the face</a> &mdash; If your health insurance claim was denied, apply for a formal appeal. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="http://creativemoney.biz/2013/12/10/give-raise/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CreativeMoneyBlog+%28Creative+Money+Blog%29">How to give yourself a raise</a> &mdash; To give yourself a raise, take the time to update your resume and think about your work passion. [Creative Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/DIY-Christmas-Ornaments-26255266">34 Creative DIY Christmas Ornaments</a> &mdash; Need a few more ornaments for your tree? Try making some of these awesome ornaments! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/6-christmas-eve-traditions-for-young-families">6 Christmas Eve Traditions for Young Families</a> &mdash; Young families should think about starting the tradition of giving new books to the kids on Christmas Eve. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-doable-financial-new-years-resolutions">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/8-financial-decisions-youll-never-regret">8 Financial Decisions You&#039;ll Never Regret</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-saving-new-years-goals-that-you-can-actually-keep">10 Money-Saving New Year&#039;s Goals That You Can Actually Keep</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/4-money-resolutions-you-should-skip-this-year">4 Money Resolutions You Should Skip This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-restart-your-resolutions-this-spring">5 Ways to Restart Your Resolutions This Spring</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/eliminate-failed-new-years-resolutions-with-3-simple-steps">Eliminate Failed New Year&#039;s Resolutions with 3 Simple Steps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance best money tips New Year new year's resolutions resolutions Mon, 23 Dec 2013 11:00:56 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1101539 at http://www.wisebread.com Fight the Post-Holiday Blues: 20 Cheap Ways to Make January Special http://www.wisebread.com/fight-the-post-holiday-blues-20-cheap-ways-to-make-january-special <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/fight-the-post-holiday-blues-20-cheap-ways-to-make-january-special" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5326400672_50b7ba2f35_z.jpg" alt="paper snowflakes" title="paper snowflakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>January can be a tough month &mdash; the post-holiday blues and dreary weather can be enough to make anyone feel a little down. Combine this with failed New Year's resolutions and a long month, and you've got a case of the winter doldrums. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-for-making-resolutions-stick-in-the-new-year">4 Tips for Making Resolutions Stick in the New Year</a>)</p> <p>But don't give in to the Holiday Hangover. Here are 20 ways to make January feel a bit more special.</p> <h2>1. Change Your Diet</h2> <p>Always felt that eating animal products wasn't right but weren't sure if you had what it took to become a vegetarian? Or maybe you've been keen on the Atkins diet but didn't think you could make a long-term commitment. You don't have to &mdash; just set aside the month of January to try a new diet. It doesn't have to be drastic. You can try a quick and easy detox. It's only a month, after all.</p> <h2>2. Volunteer</h2> <p>Find a cause and volunteer for one month. You might find that you like it so much that you don't want to stop when January's up.&nbsp;</p> <h2>3. Decorate for January</h2> <p>It can be kind of depressing, taking down all of the lights and chipping the Christmas tree. Well, why not decorate the house for January? Create paper snowflakes and string them around the living room. Or get a headstart on Valentines Day, and start decking out your home in hearts.</p> <h2>4. Start a Journal</h2> <p>Keeping a diary is a good way to jog your memory, but it can be tough to keep up every single day. Try doing it for the month of January &mdash; knowing that you have a quitting date can make the task seem easier.</p> <h2>5. Spring Clean (a Few Months Early)</h2> <p>Get started on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-one-month-guide-to-spring-cleaning">spring cleaning</a> before spring is here &mdash; and make a big donation to Goodwill, The Salvation Army, or your favorite secondhand store, or sell excess stuff online. If you really pare down your belongings, you can start out the year fresh and uncluttered.</p> <h2>6. Get a Makeover</h2> <p>Not a big one &mdash; but little changes to your appearance can make you feel better. Get a fresh haircut, try a new hair color, or test out some new drugstore cosmetics.</p> <h2>7. Go on a Date Once a Week</h2> <p>Whether you're single or not, date nights are great. Going out every night is pricey, so pick one night per week to go out for some frugal fun. Whether you grab a burger or just go stare at the stars, spending time with your partner, spouse, or a new love interest is a good way to build a solid relationship.</p> <h2>8. Get in Touch With Long-Lost Friend</h2> <p>You've always wondered what happened to Becky from first grade &mdash; so try to find her.</p> <h2>9. Write Letters</h2> <p>When was the last time your wrote a proper letter to your grandmother? Some grannies are on email, but others don't know how to operate a computer. Regardless, real letters aren't often sent anymore and are appreciated. Take some photos, write about your life, and ask lots of questions. Write one letter per week, and take your time.</p> <h2>10. Chronicle Your Past Year</h2> <p>How did the last year go for you? Sit down for five minutes every morning and look back on emails that you sent over the past year. Note major achievements and mistakes. Don't dwell on problems, but think of ways to avoid them in the future.</p> <h2>11. Stay in and Watch a Movie Every Night</h2> <p>Dig into your movie collection or hit your local library and check out movies that you've always wanted to watch but never got around to seeing. Going out is fun, but staying in is affordable (and if you live in a cold climate like I do, it's preferable). If you're not a big movie buff, you can do the same with books (although perhaps at a slower pace).</p> <h2>12. Start a Workout (That You Enjoy)</h2> <p>Exercising can sometimes be a drag, which is why it's better to find a workout routine that you can look forward to. If you played basketball or tennis in high school, look into joining a local league or playing at your gym. Try kayaking or rock climbing, or take tai chi at a community center.</p> <h2>13. Get Your Taxes Done Early</h2> <p>OK, this might not be FUN <em>per se</em>, but it's a real load off of your chest if you have all of your taxes in order before January is done. Set all of the appropriate paperwork in one central location so you won't lose sight of it, and once you have everything, either prepare your taxes online or have them done by a professional. You'll feel awfully smug in April when everyone else is scrambling to get their taxes finished and filed.</p> <h2>14. Audit Your Finances</h2> <p>Performing a financial audit of your expenses is a good way to face up to holiday spending, as well as set your financial behavior for the year. Find out how much you owe (if anything) or how much money you should be saving, and make the requisite changes to pay down credit cards or set aside part of your salary for retirement. While the idea of taking a hard look at your financial habits can be daunting, it's also a relief once you finally know what kind of monetary challenges you face.</p> <h2>15. Thank Someone for Something Every Day</h2> <p>There's a Facebook tradition in November in which people post a daily status that indicates thankfulness for something &mdash; friends, family, coworkers, and more. Do the same in January &mdash; if you're not on Facebook, email or write to people who you are thankful for and let them know why. This little exercise reminds us of all that we have to be thankful for, and it reminds other people why they are important.</p> <h2>16. Perform Random Acts of Kindness</h2> <p>I have a weekly habit of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-ways-to-pay-it-forward">paying for the person behind me</a> at the Starbucks drive-thru. The first time someone paid for my coffee, I nearly cried with gratitude (I was having a really bad day). It's a fun way to be anonymously kind, and doesn't cost much more than what I normally spend (usually less than $3 extra per week).</p> <h2>17. Start Growing Things</h2> <p>From window herb gardens to paperwhites, growing stuff indoors is easy and brightens up a room. Or start ordering your seeds for your outdoor garden.</p> <h2>18. Indulge Yourself a Little</h2> <p>You don't have to sacrifice something in order to start off the year. Go ahead and indulge in something &mdash; a piece of chocolate with your morning coffee, a glass of (not terribly expensive) wine with dinner every night. Take a long hot bath with bubbles.</p> <h2>19. Take a Break From the Internet</h2> <p>Sometimes, a vacation from our plugged in lives can be good. Take a break from Facebook and the Internet (except where it is absolutely necessary), and even email, if you can handle it. Just be sure to let people know that you will be unavailable on social media, and enjoy a vacation from your screen.</p> <h2>20. Organize Some Parties</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-potluck-parties-that-help-you-share-the-wealth">Potlucks and soup swaps</a> are popular these days, and why not enjoy the same kind of familial camaraderie that you had during the holidays? Get friends an family together a few times during January for some home-cooked meals and conversation.</p> <p><em>How are you working through the post-holiday blues? Do you have traditions in your house to make January feel less boring?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fight-the-post-holiday-blues-20-cheap-ways-to-make-january-special">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/30-free-ways-to-cheer-yourself-up">30 Free Ways to Cheer Yourself Up</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-weekend-money-traps-and-how-to-avoid-them">8 Common Weekend Money Traps (And How to Avoid Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-72-brilliant-ways-to-stretch-20">Flashback Friday: 72 Brilliant Ways to Stretch $20</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/my-budget-challenge-2016-how-to-live-frugally-when-you-have-no-time">My Budget Challenge 2016: How to Live Frugally When You Have No Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-save-money-when-getting-your-drink-on">15 Ways to Save Money When Getting Your Drink On</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living cheer up frugal fun january new year's resolutions Tue, 08 Jan 2013 11:00:31 +0000 Andrea Karim 961759 at http://www.wisebread.com An Organized Year: A Month-by-Month Guide http://www.wisebread.com/an-organized-year-a-month-by-month-guide <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/an-organized-year-a-month-by-month-guide" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/monthly calendar istock.jpg" alt="Marking dates on a calendar." title="Marking dates on a calendar." class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you find yourself scrambling from one thing to the next all year, procrastinating until the last minute and running out of time? Get your act together and organize the tasks that you do every year into a month-by-month schedule. If you have a plan of action, you will be less likely to put things off or forget them, which means less stress and more success! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-organizing-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Easy Organizing Changes You&nbsp;Can Make Today</a>)</p> <h2>January</h2> <p><b>Resolve Resolutions</b></p> <p>Did you make a New Year&rsquo;s resolution? Now is the time to get the goal &ldquo;booked&rdquo; on your calendar. Break the overall goal up into smaller, more manageable pieces and schedule a date for completion of each piece of your resolution on your calendar throughout the year. Seeing it on the calendar that way should help you become one of the few people who do not abandon their resolution by February!</p> <p><b>Declutter Your Decorations</b></p> <p>As you are packing up your holiday decorations, make sure you throw away anything that is broken, missing pieces, or no longer your style. There is no point in storing and holding on to anything you know you will not use again.</p> <p><b>Tackle Tax Time Early</b></p> <p>Now that the previous year has come to an end, it&rsquo;s a good time to start preparing to file your income taxes. Hopefully you have kept up with your paperwork and all receipts and statements are filed neatly and orderly &mdash; but if not, don&rsquo;t wait until April to start the process. If you are going to use a tax preparer to file your income taxes, you might want to start looking for an accountant now as they will start getting booked very quickly.</p> <h2>February</h2> <p><b>Get Ready for the Holidays</b></p> <p>The holiday season is safely behind us at this point, but now is the ideal time to start preparing for next year&rsquo;s holiday shopping. Take a look at what you spent over the holidays in the previous year and work out a monthly budget. If you spent $1,000, plan on saving about $100 a month over the next 10 months. By the time the holiday shopping season rolls around, you will have the cash on-hand, and you won&rsquo;t need to rely on credit cards to make it through the season!</p> <p><b>Review Insurance Policies</b></p> <p>Take a close look at your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/things-to-insure-things-not-to-insure" target="_blank">insurance policies</a> and health records. Now is a good time to get them organized and make sure you have all of the insurance you need and get rid of any policies you don&rsquo;t need. It&rsquo;s also a good idea to make a few phone calls or check online to make sure you are getting the best rates.</p> <h2>March</h2> <p><b>Change Smoke Detector Batteries</b></p> <p>As a good way to remember to do this task, you should replace batteries in your home&rsquo;s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time.</p> <p><b>Get Up-to-Date on Car Maintenance</b></p> <p>Take a look at your vehicle maintenance records. When was the last time you had the oil changed? What about the brakes, windshield wipers, or other maintenance needs? Schedule service appointments as necessary to ensure your vehicle is running at its best.</p> <h2>April</h2> <p><b>Finish the Taxes You Started in January</b></p> <p>It is income tax month, so pull out everything you started organizing in January and get to work. If you file your own taxes, make sure you give yourself enough time to meet the deadline. If you use a tax preparer, check in with him or her to see how the progress is going and make sure they have everything they need to file your taxes.</p> <p><b>Inspect Your Home for Maintenance Needs</b></p> <p>Walk around the outside of your home and check for any areas that need maintenance, repair, or updating. Schedule a yard clean-up day, and start making plans for any landscaping you want to do this season.</p> <h2>May</h2> <p><b>Spring Cleaning</b></p> <p>For most of the country, May marks the beginning of warmer weather. It&rsquo;s a great time to start your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tasks-you-shouldnt-skip-during-spring-cleaning" target="_blank">spring cleaning</a> and home organizing. Clean all of the areas that tend to get neglected throughout the year. Make piles of items you no longer need &mdash; a pile to give away to charity, a pile for a yard sale, and a pile of items that need to be disposed of. Decluttering your home regularly will help keep it comfortable and maintained.</p> <h2>June</h2> <p><b>Turn Your Clutter Into Cash</b></p> <p>Get rid of the clutter you collected during spring cleaning with a yard sale or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-successful-garage-sale" target="_blank">garage sale</a>, or by listing items online for sale. Most all homes have items they no longer need in them, taking up valuable space and making it harder to keep your home clean.</p> <p><b>Plan Your Fall or Winter Vacation</b></p> <p>Do you like to take a vacation and travel someplace warm during the winter months? Now is a good time to start planning and setting aside money for your trip. Don&rsquo;t wait until December to figure out where you will take your January or February vacation.</p> <h2>July</h2> <p><b>New Year's Resolution Reminder</b></p> <p>You&rsquo;ve just passed the half-way mark for the year, so it&rsquo;s a great time to review your resolution progress and evaluate how you are doing in relation to any goals you have set for yourself this year. Take a close look at your budget to make sure you are on track financially, reorganize yourself, and figure out what needs to change in order to achieve your goals this year. There is still time to turn things around if you have gone off track!</p> <h2>August</h2> <p><b>Get Ready for Back-to-School</b></p> <p>If you have school-aged children, the beginning of August is the prime time to start gathering their required school supplies and preparing for a new school year. You&rsquo;ll beat the rush of last minute back-to-school shoppers and still be able to take advantage of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-get-big-back-to-school-savings" target="_blank">school supply sales</a>.</p> <h2>September</h2> <p><b>Inspect Your Furnace</b></p> <p>Has your furnace or heating source been maintained recently? Most companies recommend that your furnace or chimney be maintained at least once a year. Check to make sure your heat works now, before you need it, so when the temperatures drop you aren&rsquo;t scrambling around trying to get it fixed.</p> <p><b>Get Ready for Halloween</b></p> <p>Do you have children who celebrate Halloween? September is the ideal time to start thinking about their costumes, especially if you like to make your own.</p> <h2>October</h2> <p><b>Schedule Checkups</b></p> <p>Take a look at your schedule &mdash; when is the last time you and your family visited the dentist or doctor? If anyone is due for healthcare checkups, make sure you get the appointments scheduled. Preventative maintenance is always cheaper and easier to deal with than treating problems after they occur.</p> <p><b>Get Your Home Ready for Winter</b></p> <p>Start <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-winterize-your-home-for-maximum-savings">winterizing your home</a> in preparation for the coldest months of the year. Many winterizing tasks can help save money on your utility bills.</p> <h2>November</h2> <p><b>Start Thanksgiving Preparations Early</b></p> <p>As the month of November begins, start thinking about Thanksgiving. Will you host the family dinner? If so, begin meal planning and preparing your home as early as possible. Starting early gives you plenty of time to tackle everything a little at a time, rather than trying to do it all in the last few minutes. You will greatly reduce your stress level and help make the holidays more enjoyable.</p> <p><b>Plan Vacation Days for the Upcoming Holidays</b></p> <p>Do you like to take time off from work over the December holiday season? Take a look at your schedule and work-related tasks and see what you can start doing in advance in order to make taking time off easier. If you own your own business, you may be able to schedule some tasks in advance so they will happen automatically during the holidays, or take steps now to reduce your workload later.</p> <h2>December</h2> <p><b>Declutter Your Email Inbox</b></p> <p>Is your email inbox overflowing? Take some time to unsubscribe from all the various newsletters and subscriptions you somehow joined throughout the year. I like to do this by sorting my inbox by sender, so I can see a group of emails that come from the same sender all together in a list &mdash; it makes spotting the newsletters I never even open easier! Click on the unsubscribe links and then delete all of the unread or unneeded emails from your inbox in preparation for the New Year.</p> <p><b>Start Your NYE Planning Early</b></p> <p>Are you hosting a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-host-a-new-years-eve-party-on-a-budget" target="_blank">New Year's Eve party</a>? Don't wait until the 30th to start planning! The earlier you plan, the easier it will be to have a fun party and stick to a budget.</p> <p>Take some time to reflect on the current year and think about anything you would like to change in the New Year. Make resolutions or goals for the upcoming year, and write them down.</p> <p><em>What do you have planned for the upcoming year?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debbie-dragon">Debbie Dragon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/an-organized-year-a-month-by-month-guide">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/25-small-new-year-s-resolutions-you-can-start-today">25 Small New Year’s Resolutions You Can Start Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-good-habits-that-may-actually-be-hurting-you">6 &quot;Good&quot; Habits That May Actually Be Hurting You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-checklists-will-make-your-life-better">These Checklists Will Make Your Life Better</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-productivity-apps-for-really-busy-people-like-you">The 10 Best Productivity Apps for Really Busy People Like You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Organization Productivity living proactively new year's resolutions yearly planning Wed, 02 Jan 2013 11:24:29 +0000 Debbie Dragon 961641 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Frugal Ways to Go Green in 2013 http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-ways-to-go-green-in-2013 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-frugal-ways-to-go-green-in-2013" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3055499387_f035ec964f_z_0.jpg" alt="green" title="green" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Contrary to what advertisers would have us believe, going green doesn&rsquo;t have to be complicated or expensive. If you&rsquo;d like to green-up your life in 2013, but don&rsquo;t have the budget for a hybrid car or wind turbine just yet, here are a few easy and inexpensive ways to still make an impact. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-recycling-is-my-lowest-priority">Why Recycling Is My&nbsp;Lowest Priority</a>)</p> <h2>1. Share</h2> <p>The most revolutionary thing we can do to lessen the demand for more stuff, reduce waste, and stretch our budgets, is the simplest and oldest solution of all &mdash; share.</p> <p>Sharing things like lawn equipment (does every homeowner on the block <em>really</em> need their own lawn mower?), DVDs, cookware, books, and tools can build stronger relationships, set a great example for kids, and keep our needs in check. Try it with your friends, neighbors, and coworkers. It&rsquo;s easier than you think.</p> <h2>2. Repurpose What You Already Own</h2> <p>Be suspicious of any simplicity or green-living advice that requires you to purchase a new product.</p> <p>With few exceptions, hard-core green living means living (happily) with less and getting creative with what we already own. Stores are filled with reusable tote bags for every season, color-coded recycling containers, and aisles of gleaming energy-efficient products. But how green is it to toss out what we already own and restock our homes in the spirit of environmentalism? Before you buy, ask yourself, &ldquo;Is there any other way to achieve my goal without buying new? Is tossing out a perfectly good appliance truly helping the environment? How can I make what I need or re-imagine what I already own?&rdquo; Though it might not be nearly as sexy, reusing is usually smarter.</p> <h2>3. Redefine Convenience</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s no newsflash that convenience products in all their forms usually mean higher price tags, smaller portions, and more packaging. If you&rsquo;re serious about going green, skip the pre-packaged, single-serving, drive-thru world and embrace the stumbling, sometimes messy world of inconvenience. From hamburgers to paper products and from coffee to car washes, our drive to consume conveniently is playing havoc with our budgets and with our environment. Simple planning, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-ahead-food-10-things-to-cook-on-a-sunday">a bit of prep time</a>, and combining work with play can go a long way toward changing habits and making inconvenience far less&hellip;inconvenient.</p> <h2>4. Learn a Skill</h2> <p>Sometimes living green takes a bit of skill.</p> <p>Before it was fashionable or had a name, our grandparents and great-grandparents were green pioneers. They darned socks, made their own clothes, planted gardens, cooked from scratch, changed their own oil, and hunted and fished. Now, I know we live a much more complex world today, and I&rsquo;m not suggesting that everyone channel Thoreau and move to a one-room shack in the woods. But maybe there are a few things we can take better control of &mdash; and save a few bucks on in the process. Think about it. What <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-great-frugal-skills-and-how-to-get-them">new household skill</a> would save you a bit of cash and reduce your need to buy new?</p> <h2>5. Buy Used</h2> <p>I&rsquo;ll let you in on a little secret. Every <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-look-for-every-time-you-visit-a-thrift-store">thrift store shopper</a> is secretly delighted that most of the country turns its collective nose up at the idea of buying used. Why? Because it means more great stuff for us.</p> <p>Seriously, if you&rsquo;ve never ventured into a thrift store with an open mind, make 2013 the year that you try. Once you see the price difference between new and gently-used, you may never look back. Besides being budget-friendly, buying used helps the environment by giving a second life to cast-off items. Typically, the items you find in these stores are just as good as new (I&rsquo;m not exaggerating here) and, if you&rsquo;re up for some hunting, you can find amazing deals and a few treasures along the way. Try it. If you hate it, you can swing by Target on your way home and pretend it never happened.</p> <p>These are just some of the ways to be greener in 2013 and not break the bank (and your spirit) by buying a bunch of stuff. Going green should be less about addition and more about subtraction &mdash; what bad habits can we resolve to correct? How can we better manage our personal resources for the greater good? Once you begin to look closely, you&rsquo;ll see other ways to green your 2013. Happy New Year.</p> <p><em>What&rsquo;s your favorite green tip? Do any of your resolutions for 2013 involve living greener?</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/5-frugal-ways-to-go-green-in-2013">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/15-ways-to-reuse-detergent-bottles">15 Ways to Reuse Detergent Bottles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-creative-uses-for-stale-cereal">5 Creative Uses for Stale Cereal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-eco-friendly-water-bottles">The Best Eco-Friendly Water Bottles</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/9-greener-cheaper-alternatives-to-paper-cleaning-products">9 Greener, Cheaper Alternatives to Paper Cleaning Products</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/reusable-gift-wrapping-the-wrap-that-keeps-on-giving">Reusable Gift Wrapping: The Wrap That Keeps on Giving</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living convenience new year's resolutions reusable thrift stores Tue, 01 Jan 2013 11:24:30 +0000 Kentin Waits 961668 at http://www.wisebread.com Checking in With Old Goals for the New Year http://www.wisebread.com/checking-in-with-old-goals-for-the-new-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/checking-in-with-old-goals-for-the-new-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6610940949_edb6c5fca6_z.jpg" alt="old resolutions" title="old resolutions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It&rsquo;s time to make those New Year's resolutions. But before you start scribbling a list to stick to the fridge, I thought it would be a good idea to check in on last year&rsquo;s goals. I&rsquo;ve chosen eight of the most popular that you&rsquo;ve inevitably broken by now to offer my advice on how to give it another go in 2013 &mdash; and actually follow through. Good luck, and Happy New Year! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-for-making-resolutions-stick-in-the-new-year">4 Tips for Making Resolutions Stick in the New Year</a>)</p> <h2>1. Eat Healthier</h2> <p>We all want to eat healthier, but it can be almost impossible if you don&rsquo;t have a plan. Rising food costs can be prohibitive, for sure, but I find that it&rsquo;s mostly my own busy-ness (and laziness, at times) that contributes to my poor eating habits.</p> <p>In order to stick to a regime of healthy food consumption more often than not, I started creating a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-every-day-a-month-of-frugal-meals">monthly meal calendar</a> using recipes I found online or in magazines. For each day of the workweek, I listed a main course and one or two healthy side dishes. I left the weekends open just in case a weeknight meal was skipped due to an event or other obligation that popped up, and I included one maybe-not-so-good-for-me meal on the list as a reward for sticking to the plan. With this new outlook on healthy eating, I find myself not only making better-for-my-body meals, but I often have healthy leftovers for lunch, and I&rsquo;m saving more money with a rigid grocery list of ingredients than I did without the plan in place. I definitely plan to keep this in place in the New Year, and I encourage you to try this out as well.</p> <h2>2. Quit Smoking</h2> <p>This has been my resolution for many years &mdash; and it will be one of my resolutions again in 2013. In my defense, I&rsquo;m getting closer to completely kicking the habit, I think, because I&rsquo;ve decided to enlist the help of smoking cessation aids like an e-cig and medication. I certainly don&rsquo;t want to replace one habit with another, but if these devices can assist my efforts to quit, I&rsquo;m all for it.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re in the same position, don&rsquo;t beat yourself up about it. You&rsquo;ll quit when you&rsquo;re ready, but there&rsquo;s no harm in trying again on Jan. 1. To get ready, mark your calendar with the date you plan to quit so you can mentally prepare. When that day comes, use whatever you need to use to stay away from the cigarettes &mdash; whether it&rsquo;s a doctor-prescribed medicine, an electronic cigarette, or a support group (or maybe all three). You&rsquo;ll get there soon enough &mdash; just stick with the program.</p> <h2>3. Workout More</h2> <p>One of the ways I was able to stay on track with a workout routine was to shake it up. Early last year, I canceled my gym membership and started buying one- to three-month short-term memberships to local gyms via daily-deal services like Groupon and LivingSocial. It worked. I went to the gym much more often than the previous year, in part because of the urgency of the deals (they expire, after all) and because of the constant change of scenery. The other plus side to my new way of working out is that I save about $40 a month on the short-term memberships than I did paying for the membership for which I was being billed every month.</p> <h2>4. Drink Less</h2> <p>What can I say? I love my vices. It seems that many of us do, in fact, since this is a perennial resolution. I still drink, but I did cut my drinking down in 2012 by limiting the situations that focused on drinking (fewer parties and after-work happy hours) and adding more active-living activities (more time in the gym, concentrating on projects, or cooking and baking) to reduce my desire and available time to pop into my neighborhood watering hole. I also refrained from bringing booze into the house on a regular basis, only picking up wine or beer for a special occasion. Even though I cut back this year, I&rsquo;d like to cut back a little more next year, perhaps setting a goal of only one bottle of wine per week. Fingers crossed.</p> <h2>5. Get Out of Debt/Save Money</h2> <p>Unless money is not a concern of yours, paying down your debt and boosting your savings is probably on your list of resolutions. But to complete a goal, you have to make an achievable one opposed to a lofty one built on a board concept. For instance, my goal this year is to put $500 a month into savings. After I pay all my normal living expenses, this won&rsquo;t always be easy &mdash; which means that I&rsquo;ll have to cut back in some areas &mdash; but it&rsquo;s achievable given my personal income and budget. The trick that I&rsquo;m employing here is in assigning a real number to what I&rsquo;d like to save per month. Just saying that I want to &ldquo;save money&rdquo; makes the goal vulnerable to being broken. Rather, I&rsquo;ll have this number in my head every month so I&rsquo;m more apt to hold myself accountable &mdash; if only so I don&rsquo;t make myself feel guilty for unnecessarily failing because I didn&rsquo;t try hard enough.</p> <h2>6. Learn Something New</h2> <p>This is one of the easiest resolutions you can make &mdash; and it&rsquo;s totally easy to keep, too &mdash; you have all year to accomplish it after all. My goal in this area isn&rsquo;t really <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-new-things-to-do-today">learning something new</a> but rather being better at something I already know &mdash; speaking Spanish. I studied the language for 11 years (it was my minor in college), and I&rsquo;m decent at it, but I&rsquo;m nowhere near the fluent speaker I&rsquo;d like to be. In 2013, I plan to pick up language learning software and brush up on my skills. Perhaps I&rsquo;ll even reward myself at the end of next year with a trip to a Spanish-speaking country. Now that&rsquo;s incentive!</p> <h2>7. Spend More Time With Family</h2> <p>Another easy resolution, I think, if you can put an achievable plan in place. First, however, think about why you feel like you&rsquo;re not spending enough time with your family. Are there obstacles in the way? Are you working too much? Are they too far away? Focus on fixing those problems first, then put a plan in place &mdash; say, allotting one Saturday per month to giving your family your undivided attention or participating in an outside activity with them.</p> <h2>8. Enjoy Life More</h2> <p>To achieve any of your new goals, it&rsquo;s important that you&rsquo;re happy with the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">quality of your life</a>; if there are issues and obstacles preventing you from being happy, work toward removing or remedying these situations. When the worry and frustration is removed, you&rsquo;ll find that you&rsquo;ll have an easier time enjoying life. Of course, that may mean concentrating harder on the other resolutions on your list and seeing them through, but nobody said it would be easy.</p> <p><em>What were some of your resolutions for 2012? Were they a success? How did you achieve them? If you didn&rsquo;t meet your goals, why do you think you failed and how will you approach your new resolutions in 2013? 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/checking-in-with-old-goals-for-the-new-year">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/5-ways-to-restart-your-resolutions-this-spring">5 Ways to Restart Your Resolutions This Spring</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/solve-problems-study-and-brainstorm-using-mind-maps">Solve Problems, Study, and Brainstorm using Mind Maps</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/spice-up-the-conversation-by-skipping-what-do-you-do">Spice Up the Conversation by Skipping &quot;What Do You Do?&quot;</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/avoid-big-dental-bills-with-safe-and-inexpensive-products">Avoid Big Dental Bills with Safe and Inexpensive Products</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/looking-for-answers-in-life-heres-your-key">Looking for Answers in Life? Here&#039;s your Key...</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Lifestyle acheiving goals losing weight new year's resolutions Mon, 31 Dec 2012 10:48:39 +0000 Mikey Rox 959920 at http://www.wisebread.com Weight Watchers for Your Wallet http://www.wisebread.com/weight-watchers-for-your-wallet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/weight-watchers-for-your-wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/red-wallet-iStock_000015022629Small.jpg" alt="red wallet" title="red wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As both a financial blogger and an &ldquo;amateur nutritionist&rdquo; (and no, those are not sugar cookie crumbs on my chin, and you&rsquo;ll never prove otherwise), I have often noticed that many of the behavioral tips for dieting really overlap with the behavioral tips for paying off debt. In fact, the willpower necessary for avoiding spending temptations is very similar to the willpower needed to avoid the office donut box &mdash; and just as difficult to harness. Changing your habits and behaviors is what really leads to long-term changes in both your overall and your financial health. So, with that in mind, let&rsquo;s look at four common diet tips out there and see how they relate to paying off your credit card debt. With these tips, you can kill two New Year&rsquo;s resolution birds with one stone. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-for-making-resolutions-stick-in-the-new-year">4 Tips for Making Resolutions Stick in the New Year</a>)</p> <h3>1. You Should Consider Whether You&rsquo;re Really Hungry</h3> <p>At first glance, this advice from <a href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/15-best-diet-tips-ever">WebMD</a> seems to have little to do with your Visa bill. But getting in touch with your body&rsquo;s hunger cues has a lot to do with listening to your own emotional state. Just as we will often eat mindlessly when we are bored, stressed, or upset, we will also find ourselves heading to the mall or surfing Amazon to relieve an emotion that has nothing to do with our need for more stuff.</p> <p><strong>How to Implement This Advice</strong></p> <p>If you truly have a hard time determining the difference between a shopping need and want, go on a fast. Even though completely cutting out food is an unhealthy way to learn what hunger really feels like, going on a week- or month-long <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-a-spending-fast-in-16-easy-steps">financial fast</a> can be truly cleansing. It helps you to determine the difference between shopping to fill an emotional need and buying things you truly need. The bonus is that at the end of a financial fast, the money you saved by not spending at all can be added to your credit card payment.</p> <h3>2. You Should Step on Your Scale Daily</h3> <p>This tip comes from <a href="http://www.cosmopolitan.com/advice/health/10-best-weight-loss-tips-ever-0809">Cosmopolitan</a> (that bastion of excellent reporting). You can&rsquo;t know what work you have to do on either your diet or your debt payoff plan if you don&rsquo;t know where you are in the journey. That means you have to do two of the most dreaded personal chores: weighing yourself and logging into your credit card account. Often, the first time you step on the scale or check out your credit card balance, it&rsquo;s enough for you to shut down and try to forget you ever knew how bad you let it get. But as long as you are willing to do work to improve your situation, your daily weigh-in/log-in will become first informational, and then inspirational, as the numbers improve day after day and week after week.</p> <p><strong>How to Implement This Advice</strong></p> <p>Check your account balances. Right now. And don&rsquo;t just look at the big total &mdash; go back over your individual purchases. This might give you some ideas for things you can return or help you to find <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/consumers-sucker-punched-sneaky-gray-050000487.html">charges you need to dispute</a>. Taking care of those right away will help that big, scary number go down. (The only way to get such immediate improvement with a scale is to strip down to your birthday suit &mdash; and even then it&rsquo;s rarely an improvement worth freezing off your tooshie.)</p> <p>Then keep looking at your accounts online regularly. It is a habit that will help you to remember why you are working so hard to send every extra penny to your credit card bill. And it will keep you honest if you fall off the wagon and go on a shopping spree.</p> <h3>3. Go Ahead and Have That Cookie</h3> <p>Follow this advice from <a href="http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/top-diet-tips-lose-weight-good?page=4">Shape Magazine</a>, because going cold turkey on your favorite things, whether they be Mallomars or shopping with your Mom, is difficult. So difficult, in fact, that deciding that you will <em>never do that again!</em> is a great way to set yourself up for failure. Because ultimately the cookie or the mall will call your name, and once you&rsquo;ve cheated a little bit, why not go ahead and cheat a lot?</p> <p>Psychologists and behavioral economists refer to this as the <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/changepower/201111/beware-the-what-the-hell-effect-especially-holidays">&ldquo;what-the-hell&rdquo; effect</a>, and we have all felt it. (In point of fact, psychologists actually call this &ldquo;counterregulatory behavior,&rdquo; but calling it the &ldquo;what-the-hell&rdquo; effect is much more concise, if slightly profane.) This effect explains our sense that dieting or refraining from spending money is either all or nothing, so the moment we have given in to temptation a little bit, we might as well throw our own guidelines out the window &mdash; &ldquo;What the hell! I&rsquo;ve already bought myself a new lipstick/eaten a brownie, I might as well go buy some new shoes and a purse/have a burger and a milkshake.&rdquo;</p> <p>The way to combat this effect, both when you are dieting and trying to pay off debt, is to allow yourself cheats and consider that part of your plan. No one is capable of always avoiding temptation, and our brains our wired to think of ourselves as either dieting/refraining from spending or not, so the first time you slip up is often an opportunity to binge on whatever you&rsquo;ve been denying yourself.</p> <p><strong>How to Implement This Advice</strong></p> <p>Plan ahead for when you will indulge in little shopping treats, and save up the cash to pay for them. If you love buying new clothes, save up about $100 in cash and go for a spree at a consignment store, where that amount of money can buy quite a lot. You will not only satisfy your desire for shopping, you can also feel virtuous because it&rsquo;s not detracting from your debt pay off plan.</p> <h3>4. Celebrate Success (but Not With Food)</h3> <p>One of the universal truths of the human makeup is that we are wired to want immediate gratification. According to Dan Ariely in his book &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Predictably-Irrational-Revised-Expanded-Edition/dp/0061353248">Predictably Irrational</a>,&quot; &ldquo;if a particular desired behavior results in an immediate negative outcome (punishment), this behavior will be very difficult to promote, even if the ultimate outcome is highly desirable.&rdquo; In English, that means it&rsquo;s really hard to give something up now even if what it&rsquo;ll get us later is, in a word, awesome.</p> <p>So, we need to bribe ourselves to behave. That&rsquo;s what celebrating little successes is all about. Every time we reach a small milestone &mdash; whether that&rsquo;s losing the first two pounds or getting our credit card balance below a particular dollar amount &mdash; we need to reward ourselves for all that hard work we&rsquo;ve been doing.</p> <p>Where this gets tough is in choosing the right type of reward. If you&rsquo;re dieting, rewarding yourself with a hot fudge sundae after running five miles leaves you basically where you started. Similarly, if you&rsquo;re trying to pay off your credit card, buying yourself a new video game to reward your thrifty ways will mess with your debt payoff mojo.</p> <p>Following advice from <a href="http://www.medicinenet.com/diet_pictures_slideshow/article.htm">Medicine.net</a>, if you&rsquo;re only dieting <em>or </em>only paying down credit card debt, the fix is easy: you can spend money on rewards for weight loss successes, or you can eat something sinfully fattening as a reward for debt payoff successes. Now, the problem is if you&rsquo;re trying to do both (or at least, you&rsquo;re trying to be generally healthy in both of those areas of your life).</p> <p><strong>How to Implement This Advice</strong></p> <p>Find rewards that cost no money or calories and still make you feel great. Those include a chat with an old friend, allowing yourself a free 30 minutes or more to get lost in your favorite (non-shopping) sites on the internet (provided you don&rsquo;t already do this on a daily basis), pampering yourself with an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-give-yourself-a-manicure-at-home">at-home pedicure</a>, taking a long nap in the middle of the day, or giving yourself a day off from chores you hate. There are plenty of free ways to celebrate your small victories &mdash; you just have to think about the things you normally don&rsquo;t allow yourself and pick out the one or two that require no cash outlay. Having those rewards to look forward to in the near future will help you stay on track overall.</p> <h3>The Bottom Line</h3> <p>Reducing your waistline requires very similar behavior modifications to reducing your debt burden. Like losing weight, reducing debt needs a two-pronged approach: lowering your consumption and increasing your (payment) activity. So as you read through New Year&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-steps-to-weight-loss">weight loss advice</a> lists (and they are plentiful!), remember that with just a little tweaking, many of these same pieces of advice can be used in your debt payoff journey.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weight-watchers-for-your-wallet">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-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Pay It Off</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-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">The 5 Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards">The Best Low Interest Rate Credit 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/how-to-rebuild-your-credit-in-8-simple-steps">How to Rebuild Your Credit in 8 Simple Steps</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-surprising-ways-to-negatively-affect-your-credit-score">10 Surprising Ways to Negatively Affect Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Debt Management balanced spending dieting new year's resolutions spending freeze Fri, 28 Dec 2012 11:36:31 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 961471 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Self-Discipline Tricks I Learned From the Marathon http://www.wisebread.com/4-self-discipline-tricks-i-learned-from-the-marathon <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-self-discipline-tricks-i-learned-from-the-marathon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/runners_post_race.jpg" alt="Runners post-race" title="Runners post-race" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="148" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For most of my life, I&rsquo;ve been a competitive distance runner. I&rsquo;ve run more than 100 miles in a week, competed at several distances, and trained through all kinds of terrible weather. I think you could say that discipline comes easily to me. If I really decide to do something, I will do it (possibly at all costs). But to be honest, I haven&rsquo;t always been successful at applying that level of discipline in all areas of my life; I&rsquo;ll work logistical wonders to get my run in, but procrastinate for weeks when it comes to taking care of business in other areas. That said, distance running has taught me more than a few things about self-discipline, some of which I&rsquo;ve used to grind my way through other tough situations. As we approach the New Year, many of you may be making resolutions. Whether you&rsquo;re looking to get in shape, get out of debt, or tackle some other challenge, here are some tips I hope will help you see those goals through. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trade-in-new-years-resolutions-for-achieving-life-goals">Trade in&nbsp;New Year's Resolutions for Achieving Life Goals</a>)</p> <h3>1. Don&rsquo;t Leave Room for Excuses</h3> <p>When I head out for a morning run, my door bursts open at 7:45 a.m., and I&rsquo;m in full stride before I even hit the street. Rather than stand at my window and wage an internal battle about whether it&rsquo;s too hot/cold/icy/wet to get out there like I&rsquo;ve planned, I&rsquo;ve gotten into the habit of running down the stairs and rights through the front door &mdash; before the weather can change my mind.</p> <p>If you give yourself the time to make excuses, you&rsquo;ll probably come up with some pretty good ones. But if you let too many of these win over too often, your goals will soon fall by the wayside. If you have a goal you want to achieve, try to remove as much room for excuses as possible. Want to save more money? Set up automatic withdrawals from your checking account on payday. Looking to get out of debt? Find out what often makes you cave to temptation, then work on keeping yourself out of those situations. That old expression about excuses says that we all have them. It&rsquo;s true, but that doesn&rsquo;t mean they&rsquo;re a good source of advice.</p> <h3>2. It&rsquo;s Not As Bad as You Think It Is</h3> <p>I live in a northern Canadian city, which typically means <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/exercising-in-a-winter-wonderland-how-to-be-fit-and-frugal">very cold winters</a>. And yes, I still run. But what I&rsquo;ve noticed over the years is that even on the days when the snow is swirling outside my window and the air is so cold and clear you can hardly breathe it in &mdash; the days when I dread going out and worry about frozen eyelashes and frost-bitten toes &mdash; when I do get out there, it&rsquo;s never as bad as I imagined. And I&rsquo;ve noticed the same thing when I&rsquo;ve had to give a presentation at work or do something else that takes me out of my comfort zone &mdash; my dread of the situation far surpasses it in reality. As it turns out, my imagination takes a mundane situation and turns it into a monster, and that often makes me procrastinate, make excuses, and generally avoid what is actually a much smaller trial than I anticipated.</p> <h3>3. Set Yourself Up for Success</h3> <p>I often write goals down &mdash; and even stick them up on the fridge. Moving my goal from the comfortable privacy of my mind out into the open for my friends and family to see makes it real &mdash; and makes me accountable. That goal becomes more than just something I&rsquo;m thinking about; it&rsquo;s something I&rsquo;m actively working on.</p> <p>First, however, you have to settle on a goal that you can actually achieve. This isn&rsquo;t to say you shouldn&rsquo;t be ambitious, but you should be realistic &mdash; and recognize that you can always move toward a bigger goal in the future. If you want to get out of debt this year, for example, take a look at how much debt you can realistically pay down in 2012 and how you will make it happen. Then, post a note to yourself in a visible place, and mark down your progress as you go. If your debt is bigger than your net income, you&rsquo;re not going to be paying it off before the year is out. Rather than set yourself up for failure, choose a goal you can realistically achieve. Once you get there, you can always set a new one to take you the rest of the way.</p> <h3>4. Provide an Escape Hatch</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;ve ever run a marathon, you might be familiar with the &ldquo;one more mile&rdquo; trick. It comes in handy for met at around the 20-mile mark, when I often feel like sitting down on the curb, throwing up my hands, crossing my arms, and perhaps indulging in some pouting about how the whole marathon thing is just too hard. That&rsquo;s when I make a bargain with myself. I will run <em>one more mile</em> &mdash; and not a step more. In other words, I break down what seems like an insurmountable task into manageable pieces. And, bit by bit, I coax myself to the finish line.</p> <p>Next time you&rsquo;re overwhelmed with a big task or goal, break off a tiny part of it and work on just that. Chances are, once you finish, you&rsquo;ll be game for more.</p> <h3>Training for Discipline</h3> <p>I think self-discipline is a muscle; flex it regularly, and it&rsquo;s likely to get a whole lot stronger. This doesn&rsquo;t mean you&rsquo;ll always succeed at what you set out to do, but taking the first steps in the right direction is often the hardest part. After that, it&rsquo;s all about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-steps-to-weight-loss">putting one foot in front of the other</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-self-discipline-tricks-i-learned-from-the-marathon">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/5-ways-to-keep-your-new-years-resolutions">5 Ways to Keep Your New Year&#039;s Resolutions</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/eliminate-failed-new-years-resolutions-with-3-simple-steps">Eliminate Failed New Year&#039;s Resolutions with 3 Simple Steps</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/get-it-done-how-to-measure-your-goals">Get It Done: How to Measure Your Goals</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/my-one-favorite-frugal-living-tip">My One Favorite Frugal Living Tip</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/25-small-new-year-s-resolutions-you-can-start-today">25 Small New Year’s Resolutions You Can Start Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development achieving goals new year's resolutions running self-discipline Tue, 27 Dec 2011 11:00:19 +0000 Tara Struyk 839373 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Small New Year’s Resolutions You Can Start Today http://www.wisebread.com/25-small-new-year-s-resolutions-you-can-start-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-small-new-year-s-resolutions-you-can-start-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/jump_for_joy.jpg" alt="Girls jumping for joy" title="Girls jumping for joy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every year, we make the same mistake &mdash; making New Year&rsquo;s resolutions we know we won&rsquo;t keep.</p> <p>Losing weight. Quitting smoking. Getting out of debt. Those are some of the <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2040218_2040220_2040221,00.html">top commonly broken resolutions</a>. Why? Because they require a long-term commitment to achieve, but we want instant gratification. When we don&rsquo;t see results, we give up.</p> <p>This year, make resolutions you can reasonably keep &mdash; short-term goals that give you the satisfaction you want right away. Here are 25 ideas to get you started today. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-keep-your-new-years-resolutions">5 Ways to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions</a>)</p> <h3>1. Read More Books</h3> <p>This is on my list every year because I don&rsquo;t read nearly enough books. I read a lot &mdash; online news, blogs, magazines, the backs of cereal boxes &mdash; but I don&rsquo;t schedule enough time to sit down and get lost in a good book. To make this your resolution, set an achievable goal for the amount of books you&rsquo;d like to read next year, starting today. If you read zero books this year, even one book will be a step up. If you read two books this year, make it three next year. The point is to make the amount manageable, so you can feel good about yourself when you reach your goal.</p> <h3>2. Buy Fewer Daily Deals</h3> <p>Every morning I wake up, slide open my iPhone, and tap on the apps for Groupon and LivingSocial. Too many times I end up purchasing the deal(s) of the day. On my desk at this moment, there are no less than 10 unredeemed daily deals. I&rsquo;m very good about using them &mdash; so they&rsquo;re in no danger of expiring &mdash; but 10 is admittedly too many. I know I&rsquo;m not the only one with this problem. When you see today&rsquo;s daily deal that you &quot;have&quot; to have, just say no. You don&rsquo;t have to have it; there will be another deal that comes along soon enough.</p> <h3>3. Keep an Organized Desk</h3> <p>Throw away the papers you no longer need. Separate utensils and supplies into their own containers. Untangle your electronics cords. Suck the crumbs out of your keyboard. Dust and sanitize the surfaces. Organization is contagious. Start here, and who knows where it could lead.</p> <h3>4. Spend at Least 20 Minutes Walking</h3> <p>Me and cardio do not get along, but I want to lose a little weight. Instead of running &mdash; which I give up quickly because I hate it with a passion &mdash; I started walking 20 minutes a day. If you live in a city, you can add some steps to your routine by getting off public transportation sooner than you normally might and walking the rest of the way. Of course, it&rsquo;s cold this time of year, so you might not be down with walking outside more than you have to. If you have a gym membership, hop on the treadmill and turn on the TV while you walk the pounds off. It helps the time fly.&nbsp;</p> <h3>5. Watch Less TV</h3> <p>If you normally put on the TV as soon as you get home, wait an hour and do something productive instead. During the week I try to TiVo my favorite shows while spending after-work hours continuing projects, seeing a film, or spending quality time with my friends. Then on Sundays, when I would normally watch reruns of whatever&rsquo;s on, I play the shows I actually want to see. This cuts down on the total amount of TV I&rsquo;m consuming, keeps me entertained on Sundays (while everybody else is watching football), and helps me get more things done that I need to do.</p> <h3>6. Eliminate Unnecessary Expenses</h3> <p>If you think about it, there&rsquo;s probably at least one expense you can trim from your budget. Mine is Netflix. I don&rsquo;t plan to renew my subscription when it expires in a few days. Maybe you can get even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">get rid of your cable plan</a>, which will save you a decent amount. Think about it. How will you reclaim some of your hard-earned cash?</p> <h3>7. Be More Eco-Conscious</h3> <p>If you don&rsquo;t already have recycling bins, go get some. They&rsquo;re very inexpensive; IKEA has some nice ones. Turn off the lights when you leave the room. Use less water. Pile on the blankets instead of turning on the heat (or invest in a <a href="http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=126837">heated blanket</a> &mdash; I love mine!) when it&rsquo;s cold out. Don&rsquo;t run the dishwasher or washing machine unless they&rsquo;re full. Buy eco-friendly products when possible. In general, try to create less waste and reduce your carbon footprint.</p> <h3>8. Remove Clutter From Your Computer</h3> <p>Put your docs and photos in the proper folders, uninstall unwanted programs, dump any items that aren&rsquo;t serving you any purpose in the trash. You&rsquo;ll clear the path and save yourself time looking for what you need. Your computer might even run faster, too.</p> <h3>9. Add More Culture to Your Life</h3> <p>Support the local theater, visit a new museum exhibit, find a restaurant that&rsquo;s showcasing a indie musician. Just get out of the house to learn, do, or see something new.</p> <h3>10. Volunteer Your Time</h3> <p>There are umpteen ways you can give back to your community and the world &mdash; but the best way is with your time. Maybe the local shelter needs you to serve food. Or perhaps your neighborhood Red Cross chapter could use some help in its facility. Check around. Opportunities to volunteer are virtually endless. And who knows &ndash; you might make some new friends along the way.</p> <h3>11. Cut Back on Sugar and Empty Calories</h3> <p>When your sweet tooth starts acting up, satiate it with fruit instead. Cuties &mdash; yes, those easy-to-peel oranges the kids on TV are talking about &mdash; are an excellent and healthy alternative to chocolate and other fattening snacks.</p> <h3>12. Log Off Facebook More Often</h3> <p>Damn that Mark Zukerberg! He invented the biggest time waster in history &mdash; and made a billion dollars from it. Take your life back &mdash; for at least an hour a day (we don&rsquo;t need to get too crazy here) &mdash; by logging off Facebook for an hour. Your friends will probably think you're dead, but you&rsquo;ll be back to posting LOLCats in no time.</p> <h3>13. Go to Bed Earlier</h3> <p>This is a hard one. I have trouble sleeping, let alone going to bed early, but it&rsquo;s worth a try. Whatever your &ldquo;normal&rdquo; bedtime is, try to bump it up an hour or two. Besides, who couldn&rsquo;t use a little more sleep?</p> <h3>14. Make at Least One Cookbook Meal a Week</h3> <p>I have a whole row of cookbooks that I never crack open because it&rsquo;s much easier for me to find a recipe online while I&rsquo;m working. What&rsquo;s the point of having them then, right? Dust one off, crack it open, and find something delicious to make for dinner &mdash; the old-fashioned way.</p> <h3>15. Clean Out Your Closet</h3> <p>Toss anything you haven&rsquo;t worn in a year. Get rid of beat-up shoes. Donate unwanted accessories. And for goodness sake, fold up your shirts, sock, and underwear. You&rsquo;re a grownup.</p> <h3>16. Call Your Grandparents More Often</h3> <p>They&rsquo;re not getting any younger. Pick up the phone and make their day.</p> <h3>17. Gossip Less</h3> <p>One of my favorite quotes is from the movie <em>Steel Magnolias</em>: &ldquo;If you don&rsquo;t have anything nice to say, come sit by me.&rdquo; But this year, starting today, I&rsquo;m going to bite my tongue more often. Sometimes, very, VERY hard.</p> <h3>18. Drink More Water</h3> <p>I have a friend who had to have $4,000 worth of dental work done because his primary source of liquid sustenance was <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-reasons-to-stop-drinking-soda">soda</a>. Do you want your teeth to rot and fall out of your face? Then drink more water.</p> <h3>19. Start a Journal</h3> <p>Whether it&rsquo;s online or in a book, chronicle a year in your life. You never know what might come of it. Stranger things have happened than someone having their journal published for the world to read. You might be more interesting than you think.</p> <h3>20. Reduce Your Alcohol Intake</h3> <p>This is another biggie for me. I love to kick back with a glass or two (or seven) of wine, but too much of a good thing can turn bad very quickly. Ideally, I&rsquo;d like to cut out alcohol from Sunday to Thursday. Maybe we can be each other&rsquo;s no-drinking-during-the-week buddies. We can support each other via Facebook &mdash; until you log off like I told you to earlier.</p> <h3>21. Embark on a Journey of Spiritual Enlightenment</h3> <p>Oprah&rsquo;s not around anymore to make you feel bad about your lack of moral judgment (at least not on a daily basis), but who the heck needs her attitude anyway? The best way to find spiritual enlightenment is any way you want. Research religion, spirituality, and theology. Brush up on your deities. Go to church even. Spirituality is personal journey that you create. Can I have my own talk show now?</p> <h3>22. Turn Your Devices Off at Bedtime</h3> <p>How can you get to bed earlier if your phone is ringing, your friends are pinging, and your computer is dinging? Turn your electronics off when you get into bed so you&rsquo;re not tempted to stay awake buying Groupons or checking texts. If anybody needs to get a hold of you after midnight on a weekday, they only want one of two things &mdash; a) a booty call, or b) to tell you that somebody died. With regards to the former, you&rsquo;re better off missing that message. And the latter, well, they&rsquo;ll still be dead when you wake up.</p> <h3>23. Do Something Nice for Your Neighbors</h3> <p>Whether you like them or not, you have to live near them &mdash; at least for the time being. Extend a hand by baking up a batch of cookies, shoveling their sidewalk, offering to carpool their kids, or inviting them offer for a night of board games to get to know each other better. A little kindness goes a long way. Especially when you want to borrow their riding lawnmower.</p> <h3>24. Learn a New Skill</h3> <p>This was on Time magazine&rsquo;s list of commonly broken resolutions, but I think it&rsquo;s because those who resolve to learn a new skill choose something unreasonable. If you want to learn a new skill, choose one that you can actually accomplish &mdash; a skill that&rsquo;s challenging but not unachievable. And, yes, there are new skills that you can totally learn today. You know your own strengths and weaknesses, so choose wisely. You don&rsquo;t want to set yourself up for disappointment.</p> <h3>25. Schedule More &ldquo;You&rdquo; Time</h3> <p>Ah, yes. That coveted time where you get to do whatever you want, even if it&rsquo;s breaking one of these resolutions. What are you working so hard for if you can&rsquo;t kick your feet up and pat yourself on the pack for all the check marks on your list?</p> <p>There are you have it &mdash; 25 New Year&rsquo;s resolutions you can start today. Will you choose one or more of these, or do you have something on your mind that&rsquo;s not on this list? Let me know in the comments below.</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/25-small-new-year-s-resolutions-you-can-start-today">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-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</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/an-organized-year-a-month-by-month-guide">An Organized Year: A Month-by-Month 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/6-good-habits-that-may-actually-be-hurting-you">6 &quot;Good&quot; Habits That May Actually Be Hurting 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/these-checklists-will-make-your-life-better">These Checklists Will Make Your Life Better</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/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization Personal Development Productivity 25 changes new year's resolutions self-improvement Mon, 26 Dec 2011 11:36:34 +0000 Mikey Rox 826730 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Resolutions for the Green Revolution http://www.wisebread.com/10-resolutions-for-the-green-revolution <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-resolutions-for-the-green-revolution" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/lettuce_0.jpg" alt="Farmers market lettuce" title="Farmers market lettuce" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="160" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Environmental awareness is enjoying an all-time high, which means that more and more people are making choices aimed at helping rather than hurting the planet. If you&rsquo;re reading this, you&rsquo;re probably also interested in this quest for sustainability &mdash; how to provide the best for people and the environment, both now and in the future. The good news is that 2011 can be a GREAT year to live a greener life, but you have to make it that way. We&rsquo;ve been talking the talk. These 10 activities will enable us to walk the walk:</p> <h3>1. Join Up</h3> <p>Going green shouldn&rsquo;t be a solo activity. To amplify your impact on the green revolution, it&rsquo;s important to support local, regional, and national initiatives that promote sustainability. There&rsquo;s plenty of opportunity for creativity here because green advocacy is needed in many organizations: the local chamber of commerce, state or regional historic preservation organizations, scouting or 4H clubs, planning and zoning committees, and so on. Make this the year you make your voice count by getting more involved.</p> <h3>2. Bring Your Own Bag</h3> <p>They may look harmless, but plastic bags are clogging our oceans and killing tens of thousands of marine animals every year because the bags are mistaken for food. Between 60 and 100 million barrels of oil are required to make a year&rsquo;s worth of plastic bags, and once they enter the waste stream, the bags persist for hundreds of years. It won&rsquo;t be easy to break our plastic-bag addiction, but we need to get serious about it. The simple solution is to bring along your own reusable bag whenever you go shopping. You can also lobby for a limited ban on plastic bags in your community, as some citizens have already done successfully.</p> <h3>3. Make Your Representatives See Green</h3> <p>The representatives who (are supposed to) look after your interests in state and national governments need to know specifically what those interests are. You can communicate green concerns by email or phone, but old-fashioned letters actually have the greatest impact. Contact info is available on the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.house.gov">U.S. House of Representatives</a> and <a href="http://www.senate.gov">U.S. Senate</a> websites.</p> <h3>4. Support the Local Economy</h3> <p>Many experts believe that local economies will recover (or reinvent themselves) faster than the national economy can. That&rsquo;s because you and your neighbors get to vote with your wallets every day. It&rsquo;s surprising how often you get to choose between a local business and a national chain &mdash; restaurants, lumber yards, opticians, jewelry stores, etc. In your day-to-day activities, you can help the mom-and-pop businesses stay in business. Whether you&rsquo;re getting vegetables at the farmers market or patronizing the corner coffee shop, it&rsquo;s usually worth paying a little extra to support the local economy.&nbsp;</p> <h3>5. Improve Home Energy Performance</h3> <p>Residences consume nearly a quarter of the all the energy used in the U.S. every year, and most houses are extremely inefficient in terms of energy performance. When a homeowner adds insulation, replaces inefficient HVAC equipment, installs new windows, or completes any of numerous energy-saving upgrades, the impact of these improvements goes way beyond increasing green value. The house becomes more affordable to own and more valuable for resale. Energy-saving upgrades also lessen our dependence on fossil fuels and the foreign countries that supply most of what we use.</p> <h3>6. Grow (More of) Your Own</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s greener and much more satisfying to eat a salad harvested in your own backyard than to buy vegetables that have traveled across the country in a refrigerated truck. In the year ahead, you can take an existing garden to the next level or take the first steps toward growing your own food. Thanks to the effectiveness of container gardening, even a back porch or balcony can serve as a garden site.</p> <h3>7. Lighten Your Landfill Load</h3> <p>There are a number of ways to reduce the amount of garbage we ship to landfills. Since we currently throw away about half the food we buy, it makes sense to take more care when shopping for food and planning meals. Composting organic waste helps gardens as well as landfills (see point six above). Practice more rigorous recycling to prevent cans, cardboard, newspapers, and plastic from entering the waste stream. Have your name removed from mailing lists that send you flyers, catalogs, and other junk mail. Finally, you can make an effort to select products that aren&rsquo;t enshrouded with excess packaging material. Express your green-packaging preferences where you shop.</p> <h3>8. Aim for More Companionship and Less Gas</h3> <p>In other words: carpool. It may take some initiative to discover who&rsquo;s duplicating your journey to work, but once you make contact and establish a routine, the rewards are significant. In addition to cutting your carbon footprint and saving on gas, you&rsquo;ll be able to ease your way into and out of the work day with some good conversation.</p> <h3>9. Up Your Miles Per Gallon</h3> <p>There&rsquo;s never been a better time to buy a greener ride. There are plenty of super-efficient vehicles available, from Toyota&rsquo;s proven Prius and Honda&rsquo;s new Insight to the hybrid Chevy Volt and the all-electric Nissan Leaf. The diesel-powered sedans and wagons from VW also belong in this high-mileage category. With such variety, there&rsquo;s bound to be a high-mpg vehicle that suits your needs.</p> <h3>10. Sell, Sell, Sell (or Give It Away)</h3> <p>How about recycling some of the forgotten, unused items that have been gathering dust in the basement, garage, or attic? It takes a bit of work, but organizing a tag sale brings some major benefits. You&rsquo;re sure to meet neighbors you didn&rsquo;t know you had, and some of these folks will pay to prove that your trash is their treasure. What you don&rsquo;t sell can go to your local Salvation Army or Goodwill store, earning you a tax deduction.</p> <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>This is a guest post by Tim Snyder. A journalist specializing in sustainability, energy efficiency, and home building topics, Tim writes frequently for <a href="http://www.drenergysaver.com/">Dr. Energy Saver</a>, a nationwide network of energy improvement contractors. Read more about saving energy on Dr. Energy Saver:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.drenergysaver.com/blog/2010/10/how-good-is-burning-wood/">How Good Is Burning Wood?</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.drenergysaver.com/blog/2010/09/lessons-from-count-rumford/">Lessons from Count Rumford</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.drenergysaver.com/blog/2010/08/the-greenest-insulation/">The Greenest Insulation</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/tim-snyder">Tim Snyder</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-resolutions-for-the-green-revolution">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> <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/17-ways-to-use-old-newspaper">17 Ways to Use Old Newspaper</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/original-ways-to-use-original-dawn">Original Ways to Use Original Dawn</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/19-tips-to-cut-costs-by-using-your-oven-efficiently">19 Tips to Cut Costs by Using Your Oven Efficiently</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Green Living cheap and green eat local new year's resolutions reusable shopping bags Thu, 06 Jan 2011 13:00:12 +0000 Tim Snyder 438315 at http://www.wisebread.com Diagnose and Improve Your Financial Health: A 10-Item Checklist http://www.wisebread.com/diagnose-and-improve-your-financial-health-a-10-item-checklist <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/diagnose-and-improve-your-financial-health-a-10-item-checklist" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000008544183XSmall.jpg" alt="Doctor with money" title="Doctor with money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most people usually want to do one of three things every January: They want to lose weight, improve finances, or quit a bad habit. Since this is a personal finance blog, I guess we ought to focus on the goal to improve your finances.</p> <p>The problem with trying to improve your finances is that it is awfully broad. Where do you need to be focusing your time, effort, and attention? J.D. Roth suggests you <a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2010/12/27/one-problem-one-correction-how-to-set-new-years-resolutions-youll-actually-keep/">focus on one task</a>. That&rsquo;s probably a good idea, but what one task is worthy of your intense focus?</p> <p>I&rsquo;m going to put 10 financial tasks in order. It&rsquo;s just like a triage list. If you answer &quot;no&quot; to any of the following items, don&rsquo;t move onto the next until you can answer the question with a &quot;yes.&quot;</p> <p>Think about it: A guy comes into the hospital with a nail in his leg and a runny nose. Which do you treat first? You address the most serious issue first, and then once that problem is resolved, you address the second issue.</p> <h2>Insert your own number: Are you regularly giving to your church or a favorite charity?</h2> <p>Wow. This was an extremely hard one to place on the list. Giving is a very important part of being financially healthy. But it&rsquo;s more, too; it is part of being a good citizen, and it also significantly impacts your spiritual life. Personally, I recommend that people start giving as soon as they try to improve their finances. Developing this healthy financial habit early makes it easier to continue. However, I know not everyone will agree with putting it as number one, so I&rsquo;ll let you plug it in as you see fit.</p> <h3>1. Do you have, keep, and maintain a budget?</h3> <p>Since I wrote a book about budgeting, I tend to be one of those geeks who thinks budgeting is one of the most important financial habits. If you don&rsquo;t know where your money is going, and you don&rsquo;t know how much disposable income you have, it will be very hard to create any type of a decent financial plan. If you don&rsquo;t have a budget, then you should make it your goal to learn how to budget and start right away.&nbsp; In the process, you&rsquo;ll want to be sure you have the right budgeting tools. Find the best personal finance software that matches with your needs and goals.</p> <h3>2. Could you get your hands on $1,000 in 48 hours?</h3> <p>Financial management requires that you cleverly balance offense and defense. This is a defensive move. Since you don&rsquo;t know what could go wrong this year, you want to be prepared by saving enough money for a little emergency fund to handle any hiccups along the way. Use your budget to help you save enough money to get $1,000 of spare cash sitting in your bank account.</p> <h3>3. Do you have appropriate levels of the right kinds of insurance?</h3> <p>Review your health, auto, life, and disability plans. Do you have insurance? Do you have adequate amounts? Unfortunately, it would take an entire blog post to help you determine adequate levels and types of insurance. Here&rsquo;s an article that helps you <a href="http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Insurance/AssessYourNeeds/give-your-insurance-a-checkup.aspx">evaluate your insurance needs</a>. At the very least, be sure you have minimal insurance in place.</p> <h3>4. Do you have any credit card debt or other non-secure debt? Do you have a car payment?</h3> <p>All right, I&rsquo;m going to cheat on my list of ten things and turn this into a two-part number:</p> <p><strong>4a.</strong> You can&rsquo;t run until you cut off whatever is weighing you down. We all know that trying to get financially healthy with credit card debt is tough. That&rsquo;s because the math of credit card interest works against you. Thus, your next step (and yes, it could take years) is to pay off your credit card debt and other high-interest debt that you have.</p> <p><strong>4b.</strong> A car payment is another lead weight that holds people back. Once you&rsquo;ve taken care of credit card debt, you should have some extra dollars available to help you take care of that nasty car payment. What&rsquo;s wrong with a car payment? It sucks up way too much of your income. Get rid of it.</p> <h3>5. Do you have three-to-six months of expenses in your bank account?</h3> <p>Now it&rsquo;s time to adjust to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-false-assumptions-about-debt-free-living">debt-free living.</a></p> <p>This money is typically called an emergency fund. You never know when you might lose a job or have a serious medical condition. This is another defensive move, but it is very important.</p> <h3>6.&nbsp; Have you started investing for retirement?</h3> <p>Once you have paid off your debts, start seriously focusing on investing. Learning how to start investing will be your next major stage. This will be a stage when there are lots of questions &mdash; what is the best retirement option, how much should you be saving, and what type of investments are best?</p> <h3>7. Are you saving anything for your kids&rsquo; college?</h3> <p>As the cost of college continues to increase, you&rsquo;ll want to be sure that you are setting savings aside for their future education. The amount you save should increase the older your children are when you start saving. The three major options are 529 plans, Educational ESAs, and the Roth IRA for college savings. You can check out <a href="http://www.fool.com/college/compare.htm">this helpful chart</a> to decide which is best.</p> <h3>8. Do you have a home mortgage?</h3> <p>There are a lot of financial and non-financial incentives for paying off your mortgage. I tend to focus on the non-financial elements and do recommend that people pay off their homes early.</p> <h3>9. Do you have big goals for how you can change the world through generosity?</h3> <p>Earning money, saving money, and investing money gets old. Why not do something truly meaningful and spectacular with money? Set a goal or plan to do something significant as you continue to give, earn, save, and invest. I like this <a href="http://christianpf.com/my-strategy-for-giving-away-millions/">plan to give away millions</a>.</p> <p>Now that you&rsquo;ve got the skeleton of the pieces you need to put together for financial health, it&rsquo;s time to get out there and start working vigorously on completing as much of the checklist as possible before another year slips past.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/craig-ford">Craig Ford</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/diagnose-and-improve-your-financial-health-a-10-item-checklist">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/these-13-numbers-are-the-keys-to-understanding-your-finances">These 13 Numbers Are the Keys to Understanding Your Finances</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/making-personal-finance-fun-while-fighting-for-financial-freedom">Making Personal Finance Fun while Fighting for Financial Freedom</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/happy-financial-independence-day">Happy (Financial) Independence Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-married">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-celebrities-with-shockingly-low-net-worths">6 Celebrities With Shockingly Low Net Worths</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance financial goals financial health new year's resolutions Wed, 05 Jan 2011 14:00:10 +0000 Craig Ford 434249 at http://www.wisebread.com Eliminate Failed New Year's Resolutions with 3 Simple Steps http://www.wisebread.com/eliminate-failed-new-years-resolutions-with-3-simple-steps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/eliminate-failed-new-years-resolutions-with-3-simple-steps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/eliminate_failed_resolutions.jpg" alt="Excited people jumping" title="Excited people jumping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ahhh....New Year's. The time of perpetual hope. Well, at least until the end of January. I, like many of you, have put together a list of New Year's resolutions that I will try to set out to achieve in 2011. And I, like many of you, have taken a moment to reflect on the sad past of New Year's resolutions forgotten.</p> <p>There are the resolutions that are long-term and ambiguous:</p> <ul> <li>Lose weight</li> <li>Reduce my debt</li> <li>Give to charity</li> <li>Buy a house</li> </ul> <p>Then, when I decided to really challenge myself, there were the resolutions that were long-term, but had a specific quantitative goal attached to them:</p> <ul> <li>Cut 10% off my debt</li> <li>Cut $10,000 off my debt</li> <li>Lose 10 lbs.</li> <li>Lose 2% of my body fat</li> <li>Give 10% of my money to charity</li> <li>Buy a home in XYZ city for under $250,000</li> </ul> <p>Yeah, those didn't quite work either.</p> <p>The problem is that when resolutions end up being goals that you can't measure exactly through every action, they end up being worthless.</p> <p>For example, I might set the goal of losing 10 lbs. over the course of the year, but I have no idea how much any one action (one less slice of pizza, one more mile on the treadmill, one less drink at a party) actually has towards that specific quantitative number. Additionally, our minds work in the moment, not over the course of a year.</p> <h3>The Key to Succeeding in Your Resolutions</h3> <p>Succeeding in your resolutions really requires you to live in the moment, be passionate, and challenge yourself. It's not really about the resolution at all. It's all in the ensuing actions that you take to fight towards that resolution. So how do you do it? Here are three steps that might just work:</p> <p><strong>Step 1</strong></p> <p>Identify what you will be really passionate about this year. What do you really, <em>really</em> want to achieve? Keep the list simple and short &mdash; one to two items. Too many resolutions will mean that you don't succeed in any.</p> <p><strong>Step 2</strong></p> <p>Ask yourself one question when making a decision that will impact you achieving your goal. Print out this question. Stick it to your computer monitor, make it your wallpaper on your smartphone, and laminate it into a card and stick it in your wallet. The question is: &quot;Am I giving it everything that I've got?&quot;</p> <p><strong>Step 3</strong></p> <p>If your answer to that question is &quot;yes,&quot; great! You have taken one small step towards succeeding in your resolution. If the answer is &quot;no,&quot; then give it everything you've got! Nobody wants to live with regret. We only get one chance at this. Fight for what you truly want.</p> <h3>Why Does This Work?</h3> <p>This simple three-step strategy for resolutions works because:</p> <ol> <li>The question changes your habits. If you are serious about your resolutions, changing your habits is the only way to succeed at them in this and future years.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>It challenges you and keeps the fire burning.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>It is simple.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>It works universally. Losing weight; reducing debt; performing at work; being a better husband, wife, brother, sister...you get the idea. The question is universal.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Most importantly, it keeps you focused in the now, at the moment of action and decision that is going to impact whether or not you achieve your resolution.</li> </ol> <p>Give it a shot. What could it hurt?</p> <p>May your 2011 be a happy, prosperous, and successful one.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ge-miller">G.E. Miller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eliminate-failed-new-years-resolutions-with-3-simple-steps">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/4-self-discipline-tricks-i-learned-from-the-marathon">4 Self-Discipline Tricks I Learned From the Marathon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-proactive-things-you-can-do-right-now">12 Proactive Things You Can Do Right Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-keep-your-new-years-resolutions">5 Ways to Keep Your New Year&#039;s Resolutions</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/get-it-done-how-to-measure-your-goals">Get It Done: How to Measure Your Goals</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/25-bite-sized-money-resolutions-to-make-2015-your-biggest-year-yet">25 Bite-Sized Money Resolutions to Make 2015 Your Biggest Year Yet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development achieving goals new year's resolutions resolutions Sat, 01 Jan 2011 18:00:08 +0000 G.E. 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