income http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8754/all en-US These 13 Numbers Are the Keys to Understanding Your Finances http://www.wisebread.com/these-13-numbers-are-the-keys-to-understanding-your-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-13-numbers-are-the-keys-to-understanding-your-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_thinking_money_000059289248.jpg" alt="Woman using 13 numbers to understand her finances" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Understanding a few basic numbers can give you a good picture of your financial health and help you plan your future. You may have seen these terms mentioned in personal finance articles and in the news. Learn what these numbers mean and how to use them to improve your money situation.</p> <h2>1. Net Worth</h2> <p>Net worth is the most important measure of your overall financial health. The calculation of net worth is simple &mdash; in short, subtract everything you owe from everything you have:</p> <p><em>Net Worth = Total Assets - Total Liabilities</em></p> <p>Assets include all property you own (including cars, a home, etc.), savings, investments, and the money in your checking account.</p> <p>Liabilities include credit card debt, student loan balances, mortgage balance, auto loan balances, and other debt. It is possible to have negative net worth if your liabilities exceed your assets &mdash; this is a common situation for new college graduates who have student loan debt and few assets, for example.</p> <p>There are two ways to improve your net worth: Increase your assets, or reduce your debt. Do both simultaneously, and you'll be on your way to improving your financial health quickly.</p> <h2>2. Home Equity</h2> <p>Home equity is a measure of how much of your home you own based on its current value, including improvements and appreciation. Here's how to calculate your home equity:</p> <p><em>Home Equity = Current Market Value of Your Home - Mortgage Balance</em></p> <p>You can see that the calculation of home equity does not include the price you paid for your house. Home equity depends only on the current market value of your home &mdash; in other words, how much would it sell for today?</p> <p>As with net worth, home equity can also be negative in some situations. If your home value declines to less than your mortgage balance, you have negative home equity. This is also known as an &quot;underwater mortgage.&quot;</p> <p>A great way to increase home equity is by doing your own home improvement projects and repairs that increase the value of your home by more than the cost of doing the improvements.</p> <h2>3. Gross Income</h2> <p>Gross income is your total income before taxes and withholdings. If you are an employee, taxes and withholdings are taken out before you get each paycheck. You can find your gross income on your paystub.</p> <p>Most salary offers and salary statistics are given in terms of gross income. This is also the number that you report on income tax forms. Gross income can be confusing for budget planning, since you'll never really have this much money to spend. Use your <em>net income</em> instead.</p> <h2>4. Net Income</h2> <p>Your net income is how much money you get after taxes and withholdings are taken out. This is an important number because this is how much money you have available to work with to pay bills and to save and invest.</p> <h2>5. Market Salary</h2> <p>Market salary is how much you are worth in the labor market, depending largely upon your length of job experience, education, and location. Your market salary may not be equal to your actual salary if you are overpaid or underpaid. You can find your estimated market salary on survey websites (such as Salary.com).</p> <p>It is useful to know your market salary to bargain for a raise or to know when it would be worthwhile to look for a higher paying job.</p> <h2>6. Monthly Expenses (Burn Rate)</h2> <p>Monthly expenses (burn rate) is one of the most important financial numbers, and one that you have a lot of control over. This is the total of your expenses over a month, including housing, food, clothing, and transportation.</p> <p>Your burn rate is the amount you are actually spending each month, and there is always room to reduce this number to leave you with more money available to pay down debt or invest.</p> <h2>7. Investment Balance</h2> <p>Good for you if you are regularly contributing to investment accounts. Your investment balance is an important number since this will largely determine if and when you will be able to retire. Check it regularly to determine whether your investment strategy is meeting expectations.</p> <h2>8. Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)</h2> <p>The Dow Jones Industrial Average is the stock market value that is most often reported in the news. This is calculated based on the value of a handful of large company stock prices and is currently around 18,000. The DJIA provides a general indication of the stock market's overall valuation and performance, and may give you a rough indication of how your stock portfolio is performing (assuming it's broadly diversified).</p> <h2>9. Cash Balance</h2> <p>Net worth does not reflect how much of your assets are liquid. For example, if all of your assets were invested in land holdings, you might have a hard time getting cash in a timely manner to buy food or pay your real estate taxes. Access to cash and other liquid assets (assets that can be sold rapidly to get cash) is important to be able to pay expenses.</p> <p>When I ran a small business, I learned that the three most important rules for success were:</p> <ol> <li>Never run out of cash;</li> <li>Never run out of cash; and</li> <li>Never run out of cash.</li> </ol> <p>These three rules apply to personal finance, as well. Make sure to have some cash available at all times to cover expenses that come up.</p> <h2>10. Emergency Fund Balance</h2> <p>Building an emergency fund is a step that many financial planners recommend for people trying to get out of debt. Putting cash into an emergency fund provides a cushion against using credit cards to cover unexpected bills. This practice also establishes the habit of saving money from every paycheck instead of spending it all.</p> <p>How much money do you have available to handle an emergency without running up debt? Experts recommend a minimum of three to six months worth of living expenses.</p> <h2>11. Credit Card Balance and Interest Rate</h2> <p>Many households carry a credit card balance. It is important to keep track of all debt, but credit card debt is especially important, since it usually carries the highest interest rates of any debt, and since it is easy to increase your debt without noticing.</p> <p>If you are paying a high interest rate on your credit card debt, save money by making a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt">balance transfer to a card with a lower interest rate</a>. Try to reduce expenses so you will be able to pay off credit card balances faster. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>12. Monthly Nut</h2> <p>I encountered this unusual term in an entrepreneurship course back in my college days. Your monthly nut is the <em>minimum </em>amount of money you would need to make it through a month. Your monthly nut includes basic housing, minimal food, and other essential expenses after unnecessary spending is eliminated.</p> <p>Your monthly nut is an important number to understand when you are planning to use as much of your income as possible to meet a goal, such as starting a business or getting out of debt as quickly as possible.</p> <h2>13. Inflation Rate</h2> <p>If you want to have enough money to buy the things you need in the future and throughout retirement, you'll need to account for the effects of inflation. Prices tend to rise over time, reducing the purchasing power of money in the future. Historical average for inflation rate is around 3%, but inflation rates in recent decades have varied from over 10% down to the current inflation rate of nearly 0%.</p> <p>For retirement planning, you will want to estimate your expenses, and then scale the expenses up based on the expected effect of inflation over the years.</p> <p><em>What key numbers do you track to monitor your personal finance health?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr. Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-13-numbers-are-the-keys-to-understanding-your-finances">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/dont-despair-over-small-retirement-savings">Don&#039;t Despair Over Small Retirement Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</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/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-increase-your-net-worth-this-year">10 Ways to Increase Your Net Worth This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-boost-your-finances-while-you-sleep">7 Ways to Boost Your Finances While You Sleep</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance expenses financial health income investments net worth Wed, 09 Dec 2015 18:00:16 +0000 Dr. Penny Pincher 1618971 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways an Income Gap Can Strain Your Relationship http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-an-income-gap-can-strain-your-relationship <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-an-income-gap-can-strain-your-relationship" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_breaking_up_000043320308_1.jpg" alt="Couple learning ways income gap can strain their relationship" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Money is the <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2015/02/04/money-is-the-leading-cause-of-stress-in-relationships.html">leading cause of arguments</a> in married couples. Income disparity, when one person makes much more than the other, can be a surprising source of stress. If you're one of these couples, be on the lookout for these four ways an income disparity could harm your relationship.</p> <h2>1. Holding on to Old Gender Roles</h2> <p>Women are more and more likely to have higher education and a&nbsp;<a href="http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/how-many-women-earn-more-than-their-husbands/">higher paying salary</a> than their significant other. However, in heterosexual relationships in which women are the &quot;breadwinners,&quot; the women are actually <em>still</em> doing more housework than men. That doesn't sound like an equal partnership. That might also be why the divorce rate jumps 50% for couples in which the woman earns the higher income.</p> <p>So much inequality comes from not being comfortable to speak up, and worse, tacitly defaulting to your parents' roles. Having a deep and meaningful conversation about gender and money is important in a relationship &mdash; find each other's biases and challenge them. Outdated and unreasonable gender expectations should not dictate what happens in your relationship.</p> <h2>2. Using Salary as Leverage</h2> <p>For many, money equals power. So when one partner earns more than the other, the higher earner can easily become the de facto decision-maker in where to vacation, what to buy for dinner, the kind of house you live in, and what kind of hobbies you partake in. This is precisely the kind of power imbalance that leads to highly toxic relationships.</p> <p>Resolve to discuss medium-to-major expenditures with your partner before making them. As long as you share your household, it's always half theirs. It's also key to encourage your partner's goals. Aid them generously, in faith that s/he would do the same for you if the roles were reversed.</p> <h2>3. Acting Defensive Over Earning Less</h2> <p>Earning less than your partner can make you feel as if you don't matter, because one salary is floating most of the household. This can lead to resentment, or worse, a childlike attachment and dependency on the other to help you financially.</p> <p>Just because your income accounts for a smaller percentage of the household finances doesn't mean that your role in the relationship is smaller. This comes up a lot when one person decides to stay home to take care of the kids. But remember that contribution to the household is not measured by income.</p> <h2>4. Letting Money Determine Your Partner's Worth</h2> <p>The easiest way to avoid fights is to assign financial contributions on a sliding proportion scale. Instead of letting your partner struggle to pay 50% of the utilities, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/create-your-first-shared-budget-without-blowing-up-your-relationship">find a shared budget</a> that allows him or her to pay what they can afford. Or, agree on new terms &mdash; like one being in charge of all groceries and utilities, while the other pays the rent or mortgage.</p> <p>Also, it's time to ban the word &quot;breadwinner.&quot; Not only is it divisive, it assigns a &quot;winner/loser&quot; dynamic, which has no place in a loving domestic relationship. If you think less of your partner for doing the dishes, or if you think more of a partner for earning more material wealth, you have set yourself up for trouble.</p> <p>It's time to stop being combative about status. Feeling more or less important is only true if you believe it.</p> <p><em>Is there an income gap in your relationship? How do you get over it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-an-income-gap-can-strain-your-relationship">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/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-an-above-average-life-for-below-average-prices">How to Have an Above-Average Life for Below-Average Prices</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/long-hours-and-other-employer-demands">Long Hours and Other Employer Demands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-before-moving-in-with-someone">What to Do Before Moving in With Someone</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-be-happy">How to be happy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Breadwinner budgets gender Households income marriage work Tue, 03 Nov 2015 19:15:54 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1603576 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Certifications That Add Big $$ to Your Salary http://www.wisebread.com/7-certifications-that-add-big-to-your-salary <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-certifications-that-add-big-to-your-salary" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_using_computer_000051515506.jpg" alt="Woman getting certifications that will add money to her salary" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A certification can strengthen your degree, and maybe even improve your income. Better still? It can do all this without you ever having to set foot inside a classroom, as all of the seven certifications listed below are offered online. Take a look, and start moving ahead today.</p> <h2>1. Project Management</h2> <p>Aside from IT, project managers work in engineering, healthcare, and construction. They are responsible for overseeing the completion of a project &mdash; on budget, and on time. It's a high-pressure career, but the salary is great (<a href="http://blog.capterra.com/much-project-managers-make/">average $89,000</a> for entry-level). Fortunately, you don't have to quit your day job to earn your certification. The average cost varies widely, but reputable UC Berkeley lists it as <a href="http://extension.berkeley.edu/cert/project.html">around $5,600</a>. Here is a list of <a href="http://blog.capterra.com/the-5-best-online-project-management-courses/">online project management programs</a> where you can study.</p> <h2>2. Microsoft Certified IT Professional</h2> <p>My friend Chad, who has a degree in IT, obtained this <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/microsoft-certified-professional.aspx">Microsoft Certified Professional</a> (MCP) certification on his own, reasoning that &quot;I thought it might be helpful.&quot; Upon completion, he showed it to his manager...and was immediately promoted and reimbursed for the cost of obtaining the certification. The cost? A very affordable $150 for the first level (Microsoft Certified); then you can take more courses and build into Professional (MCITP), Architect (MCA), Professional Developer, etc.</p> <p>How much can you expect to earn from certifications? From Microsoft:</p> <p>&quot;In high-growth industries, entry-level employees who hold a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certification or Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification can earn up to $16,000 more, annually, than their peers.&quot;</p> <h2>3. CPA</h2> <p>An accountant with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts" target="_blank">Bachelor's degree</a>&nbsp;can expect annual earnings of $63,550 per year. But what if that accountant passes the licensure exam and becomes a Certified Public Accountant? Here is an interesting breakdown from the folks at Becker Professional Education:</p> <p>&quot;Over the course of a 40-year career, a CPA can earn as much as <a href="http://www.becker.com/cpa-review/resources/career-opportunities/what-you-can-earn-as-a-cpa">$1 million more</a> than a non-certified accountant. Here's an example:</p> <ul> <li>Two non-Certified Public Accountants with Bachelor's degrees begin working at the same time at the same large public accounting firm in Audit/Assurance Services at the same annual salary of $68,000.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>One earns the CPA credential, creating a 10% salary differential of about $7,000 more than the other (CPA's can earn between 5% and 15% more than their non-credentialed counterparts).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Over time, more frequent and higher-level promotions can widen the salary gap to as much as $50,000.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Over a full career that can mean an additional $1 million or more in lifetime earnings.&quot;</li> </ul> <p>The <a href="http://www.aicpa.org/BECOMEACPA/LICENSURE/Pages/default.aspx">licensure exam</a> is very rigorous, but what a difference in income obtaining that license makes.</p> <h2>4. Process Management</h2> <p>The question I get most often in HR about this position is, &quot;What is it that those people DO?&quot; Well, they look at a process, or flow, that isn't working, reorganize it, and implement it so that things work better. As a rule, they are really good at seeing the &quot;big picture&quot; and being diplomatic about change. Process managers have a <a href="http://www.abpmp.org/?page=certification_home">governing body</a> and must pass an exam. Earnings are estimated at <a href="http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Process_Improvement_Manager/Salary">$79,000 annually</a>. Fortunately, this is another position where you can obtain online certification (here are some <a href="http://www.processexcellencenetwork.com/business-process-management-bpm/articles/8-business-process-management-bpm-training-provide/">training resources</a>) while keeping your day job.</p> <h2>5. Medical Coder</h2> <p>With the implementation of ICD-10 medical coding, knowledgeable coders are in high demand. Already have your B.A.? Good, because those with Bachelor's degrees &quot;...out-earned those with only a high school diploma by a dramatic $10,000 per year ($51,825 vs. $41,802).&quot; The <a href="http://www.ahima.org/">American Health Information Management Association</a> is the governing body for health information management. It also provides information about education and certification courses. I personally know coders who are able to work from home, which is a nice option if you have a family.</p> <h2>6. Exercise Physiologist</h2> <p>The median salary for a fitness instructor is $40,996. But, obtain certification as an <a href="http://certification.acsm.org/acsm-registered-clinical-exercise-physiologist">exercise physiologist</a>, and that jumps to $44,470. Perhaps more importantly, though, is that if you are interested in this field, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 19% growth, higher than the average for all occupations.</p> <h2>7. Actuary</h2> <p>Have a degree in mathematics? Or, maybe you work in the field of finance, or statistics? The BLS cites median pay in 2012 for actuaries to have been $93,680, with job growth outlook of 26% (much higher than average). Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. They often work for insurance companies or in finance. A <a href="http://www.beanactuary.org/what/">series of exams</a> must be passed to obtain certification. It's not all about number-crunching, though &mdash; a good actuary needs the skills to be able to communicate, too.</p> <p>Remember: Do your research before you leap. Some of these certifications are extremely rigorous and, although likely worth it in the long run, will put a strain on your time. Take a look at job listings to see what employers are looking for.</p> <p><em>Have you gotten a certification to boost your career &mdash; and your pay?</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/7-certifications-that-add-big-to-your-salary">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/7-careers-that-pay-women-more-than-men">7 Careers That Pay Women More Than Men</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/crime-scene-cleaner-and-4-other-trades-that-pay-surprisingly-well">Crime Scene Cleaner and 4 Other Trades That Pay Surprisingly Well</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-high-paying-careers-with-low-educational-barriers">10 High-Paying Careers With Low Educational Barriers</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/learning-without-the-high-cost-of-higher-education">Learning Without the High Cost of Higher Education</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/five-j-o-b-s-that-aren-t-that-b-a-d">Five J.O.B.’s That Aren’t That B.A.D.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training certifications degree income jobs online learning salary Tue, 27 Oct 2015 11:15:27 +0000 Marla Walters 1599962 at http://www.wisebread.com The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy_bank_rent_reminder_000021309733.jpg" alt="Deciding how much rent you can truly afford" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you looking for a new place? Not sure how much you should be spending on rent? We've come up with some general guidelines to help you determine what the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free">ideal rent</a> is for your income.</p> <h2>1. Establish a Budget</h2> <p>First, you need to assess your income. How much do you bring in every year, with any salary, bonuses, dividends, interest, support, or other means of income included? If you're not sure where to get started, you can easily calculate your monthly budget using simple&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/smart-spending/home-budget-plan-calculator.aspx">home budget calculators</a>.</p> <p>You should expect to spend about 60% of your budget on the top three budget items for most families, which includes housing, transportation, and food. Avoid going too far over this number, because you'll also need money for emergency funds, your retirement plan, entertainment, credit card payments, insurance, and all of your other monthly expenses.</p> <h2>2. The 30% Income Rule</h2> <p>In the past most experts recommended spending no more than 30% of your income on rent &mdash; and it's still a fair rule of thumb. On the other hand, this may just be an arbitrary number because every person's situation is different. For instance, approximately 20% of households spend <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2014-07-17/housings-30-percent-of-income-rule-is-near-useless">more than half their income</a> on housing and are still living comfortably.</p> <h2>3. 40 Times the Rent</h2> <p>Many landlords require that your income is 40 times the monthly rent &mdash; or more. Simply take your pre-tax annual salary and divide it by 40 to find the monthly rent that you will be approved for, assuming your landlord uses this requirement.</p> <p>For example, if your annual household salary is $100,000, then you could afford to spend $2,500 per month on rent ($100,000/40 = $2,500 per month). If you find that your total income is not 40 times the rent, but you know that you can do it anyhow, consider applying with a guarantor.</p> <h2>5. 50/30/20 Guideline</h2> <p>A simple rule that many follow is the 50/20/30 guideline. This suggests spending your income in the following manner:</p> <ul> <li>50% on fixed costs (such as rent, utilities, and transportation).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>30% on day-to-day expenses (such as entertainment, dining out, shopping, and other miscellaneous things).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>20% on financial goals (like paying down debt, building an emergency fund, and saving for retirement).</li> </ul> <p>For example, if your monthly household income is $8,000, you'll want to budget $4,000 on fixed costs, $2,400 on flexible spending, and $1,600 on future financial goals. Once you account for all of your monthly income, you can budget half of your income towards fixed costs. Once you subtract utilities, transportation, and other fixed costs from this number, you will know what is left to spend on rent.</p> <h2>6. What About Additional Fees?</h2> <p>If you'll be working with an agent, remember to account for the broker's fee. They'll typically charge between 8%&ndash;15% of the full year's lease, usually as a large upfront payment due at the time of signing. There will also be a deposit to consider and move-in costs.</p> <h2>7. What Are You Comfortable With?</h2> <p>At the end of the day, you'll need to ask yourself what you feel comfortable paying. What is the most you're willing to spend every month? Figure out what your priorities are, what your necessities are, and what you can sacrifice in order to save money on rent. And when in doubt, spending less than 30% of your income on total housing costs remains a smart guideline.</p> <p><em>How much of your income do you spend on rent? Share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">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/dont-forget-to-budget-for-these-unexpected-moving-expenses">Don&#039;t Forget to Budget for These Unexpected Moving Expenses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-rent-an-apartment-with-bad-credit">7 Ways to Rent An Apartment With Bad Credit</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-reasons-you-definitely-need-renters-insurance">5 Reasons You Definitely Need Renters&#039; Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space">The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space</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-ways-to-apartment-hunt-on-craigslist-without-getting-scammed">6 Ways to Apartment Hunt on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing apartments debt expenses income renting Wed, 19 Aug 2015 11:00:14 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1524661 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Sneaky Ways You Cheat on Your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/6-sneaky-ways-you-cheat-on-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-sneaky-ways-you-cheat-on-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_empty_piggy_bank_000011565578.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways she cheats on her budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If your budget always seems to fall short, you might tell yourself it just doesn't work or that you're plain better off without one. However, the problem might not be the budget, but rather the person who created the budget &mdash; you.</p> <p>A spending plan isn't going to follow itself, so if you get into a pattern of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tricks-to-beating-budget-burnout">cheating on your budget</a> and making excuses, you might never stop overspending. An honest examination of your budget and spending behaviors might reveal clues such as these as to why your budgets haven't worked in the past.</p> <h2>1. Overstating Your Income</h2> <p>Overstating your income doesn't work when creating a budget. Obviously, you need to include all your income when budgeting, but only if the income is regular or consistent.</p> <p>Some people make the mistake of including overtime income in their budgets. But since overtime income can fluctuate from paycheck to paycheck, adding this income to your budget can make it appear like you have more money than you actually do.</p> <p>If you base a budget on money you don't have, you could end up overspending throughout the month, and you might have to use a credit card to get by.</p> <h2>2. Denial About How Much You Actually Spend</h2> <p>Not only are some people in fantasyland about how much they earn, they're also in fantasyland about how much they spend. Guesstimating monthly expenses isn't going to work. You need to be as realistic and accurate as possible.</p> <p>&quot;A budget should always include actual numbers, such as the actual income received that month and actual expenses,&quot; says Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, author behind the personal finance blog Making Sense of Cents. &quot;Too many people use numbers that they estimate or numbers they wish they were at, which is a big mistake because an estimate doesn't help you grasp the real picture of your finances.&quot;</p> <p>To illustrate, if you normally spend $120 a month on fuel for your car, don't under account for this expense and only budget $80 a month, unless you plan on adjusting how much you commute. Take a look at bank statements or monitor your spending for an entire month to get an accurate picture of your expenses.</p> <h2>3. Never Reviewing Your Budget</h2> <p>A budget isn't a Crock-Pot, so you shouldn't expect to set it and forget it. In the beginning, your budget won't be perfect, and you'll need to make tweaks here and there until you get it right. Also, some unexpected expenses might result in extra spending, so you have to monitor your budget regularly to make sure everything stays on track. And if you spend money unexpectedly outside the budget, be ready to adjust or reduce how much you spend in other categories to avoid overspending or having to use a credit card.</p> <h2>4. Keeping Your Money Too Accessible</h2> <p>A budget is the perfect tool if you're always in the hole. But a budget doesn't magically cure a spending problem. You still have to recognize your weaknesses and limitations, and work in harmony with your budget. If you have a problem controlling spending, yet you walk around with extra cash and credit cards in your wallet, there's a pretty good chance that you'll cheat and blow your budget. Don't make it too easy to spend money. Only carry the cash you'll need for the day and keep your credit cards at home.</p> <h2>5. Forgetting to Budget for Splurges</h2> <p>You need to include a little splurge money in your budget so it doesn't feel like you're depriving yourself. Giving yourself spending cash might seem a step in the wrong direction if you're trying to save money. However, depriving yourself almost always guarantees that your budget will fail.</p> <p>&quot;No budget on earth will work long-term if you don't allow for some fun stuff, even if it's as small as a chocolate bar once a week,&quot; says Avery Breyer, best-selling author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UVSHAWM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00UVSHAWM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=BVMBOJDPIMQ6OGOK">Smart Money Blueprint: How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck</a>.</p> <h2>6. Stealing Money From Other Spending Categories</h2> <p>This is your budget, so you have to decide a reasonable amount to spend in your various spending categories. If you want to eliminate a category in order to put additional cash in another area, this is entirely up to you, but you shouldn't start a practice of stealing money from essential categories to satisfy a need for fun.</p> <p>If it's the 20th of the month and you've already blown through your entertainment budget for the month, don't steal $100 from your housing budget in order to have a good time with friends this weekend. Spending the money you need for essential expenses can put you in the hole. And again &mdash; what's the point of budgeting if you don't stick to it? Be honest with yourself, and your money will thank you.</p> <p><em>Are you cheating on your budget? In what ways? How has this affected your finances? 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/6-sneaky-ways-you-cheat-on-your-budget">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/insights-from-the-worlds-9-most-frugal-cultures">Insights From the World&#039;s 9 Most Frugal Cultures</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/is-six-figures-really-that-much">Is Six Figures Really That Much?</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-of-the-coolest-sayings-about-saving">10 of the Coolest Sayings About Saving</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting cheating denial income saving money spending Thu, 09 Jul 2015 15:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1481965 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Careers That Pay Women More Than Men http://www.wisebread.com/7-careers-that-pay-women-more-than-men <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-careers-that-pay-women-more-than-men" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/chef_preparing_pastries_000020498947.jpg" alt="Female chef in career where she&#039;s earning just as much as men" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The good news is that as the <a href="http://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2011/women/pdf/women_bls_spotlight.pdf">gender pay gap</a> continues to narrow, women are out-earning men in new and surprising fields, helping reverse the stereotype of men as the breadwinners. Clearly, we've got a long way to go to achieve equality in the workplace. But we're making strides. Read on for our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-high-paying-careers-with-low-educational-barriers">roundup of the careers</a> where women are bringing home the bacon. A few of them just might surprise you.</p> <h2>1. Construction Worker</h2> <p>Though they hold only about 3% of the jobs, female construction laborers, construction supervisors, and maintenance painters <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennagoudreau/2011/03/14/jobs-where-women-earn-more-than-men/">earn more money</a> than their male counterparts, according to a Forbes analysis of median weekly earnings for full-time workers.</p> <h2>2. Car and Airplane Mechanic</h2> <p>Forbes also found that female car and airplane mechanics earn slightly more than their male colleagues. Caren Goldberg, a management professor at American University, has an inkling as to why: &quot;Researchers have found that both sexes fare better when they are in the minority,&quot; she said. &quot;Women who choose male-dominated jobs are likely perceived as 'atypical' or less consistent with the stereotypes associated with women, which are also associated with lower-paying jobs.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Bartender Helper</h2> <p>There is perhaps no higher paid bartender than the attractive woman who treats her patrons like old friends. Female bartender helpers earn, on average, about $2,000 more per year than men who pour drinks and collect empty glasses. That works out to $40 a week in extra cash.</p> <h2>4. Teacher's Assistant</h2> <p>Women account for 92% of the nation's teacher assistants, earning a median salary of $474 a week, compared to men's $453. Teacher assistants work under a teacher's supervision to give students additional attention and instruction, a role that's projected to grow 9% &mdash; <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/teacher-assistants.htm">100,000 more jobs</a> &mdash; by 2022. If you like to travel or want to be home to raise the kids, the job comes with perks: About 4 in 10 teacher assistants work part time and get summers off.</p> <h2>5. Nutritionist</h2> <p>Women also earn more than men in higher paying jobs like nutritionists, as well as fields in the life, physical, and social sciences. The median pay for nutritionists of both genders is $55,240 per year &mdash; with women earning slightly more than men. Nutritionist jobs are in demand, with a faster than average, <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm">21% job growth rate</a> through 2022.</p> <h2>6. Baker</h2> <p>Baking also helps women bring home the bigger slice of bread. Female bakers earn 104% more than male bakers, taking home $18 more than men in median weekly earnings. Employment researcher Laurence Shatkin tells Forbes that baking is essentially a production job with odd hours, and women may have more flexibility to work higher-paying night or early-morning shifts.</p> <h2>7. Computer Programmer</h2> <p>Female computer programmers earn a median of $62,000 a year, and those in the top 10% of the field make a salary of $111,000. Other perks include standard 40-hour work weeks and often, the option of telecommuting. Another bonus: To start, computer programmers usually need <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-programmers.htm">no work experience</a> and no specialized certification beyond a bachelor's or associate's degree. That bodes well for women who want a well-paying career but don't want to shell out the money it takes to become a doctor or attorney.</p> <p><em>Do any of these careers interest you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-careers-that-pay-women-more-than-men">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-certifications-that-add-big-to-your-salary">7 Certifications That Add Big $$ to Your Salary</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/crime-scene-cleaner-and-4-other-trades-that-pay-surprisingly-well">Crime Scene Cleaner and 4 Other Trades That Pay Surprisingly Well</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-essential-facts-women-should-know-before-asking-for-a-raise">5 Essential Facts Women Should Know Before Asking for a Raise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-re-fired-20-signs-that-a-pink-slip-is-coming">You’re Fired! 20 Signs That a Pink Slip is Coming</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building income jobs salary wage gap women workforce Wed, 01 Jul 2015 11:00:16 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1469519 at http://www.wisebread.com Crime Scene Cleaner and 4 Other Trades That Pay Surprisingly Well http://www.wisebread.com/crime-scene-cleaner-and-4-other-trades-that-pay-surprisingly-well <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/crime-scene-cleaner-and-4-other-trades-that-pay-surprisingly-well" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/crime_scene_tape_000032312458.jpg" alt="Crime scene cleaner and other trades that pay well" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>These days, the dream of owning a home with two dogs, a gaggle of kids, and a white picket fence will cost you something fierce. In most pockets of this country, the <a href="https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2014/demo/p60-249.pdf">median U.S. household income</a> of $52,000 simply won't cut it. But you needn't enroll in law or medical school to earn a fine living. In fact, there are several high-paying jobs floating under the radar that can help you earn a desirable salary &mdash; without all those lectures on ethics and anatomy. Read on for our roundup of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-more-places-to-buy-sell-and-trade-books">top trades</a> that pay surprisingly well.</p> <h2>1. Elevator Repairer</h2> <p>The median pay for an <a href="http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes474021.htm">elevator repairer</a> in the U.S. is $78,620, and can be as high as $110,000 in places where the job is in demand such as New York, California, Illinois, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, and Hawaii. While only 27 people a year <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/US/woman-crushed-york-elevator-accident/story?id=15153573#.T5W5J-3U7zI">die in elevator crashes</a> &mdash; you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning &mdash; more than 10,000 people a year are injured in elevator malfunction incidents. When something goes wrong, an elevator repairer is one of the first people called on the scene for help. Even more common than injuries and deaths are cases of inconvenience: People get stuck inside elevators quite often, which is why this job is well-paid as well as important.</p> <h2>2. Geographer</h2> <p>The job of mapping the world may seem gone with the wind, but there are actually 1,700 modern-day Alexander von Humboldts in the U.S. who track human activity, chart demographic trends, study migration patterns, and, of course, sketch and edit maps of points of interest across our planet. If you're lucky enough to secure a geographer gig &mdash; they are few and far between &mdash; the rewards are handsome. In addition to enjoying a contemporary job rooted in the age of global exploration, you'll earn a <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/geographers.htm">median salary</a> of about $75,000. There's more good news: Geographer jobs have a rapid growth forecast rate of nearly 30%, which means new job opportunities are sprouting across the country.</p> <h2>3. Crab Fisherman</h2> <p>If you're looking to make fast cash, a crab fisherman's life may be for you. The dangerous work of collecting crabs from freezing, tumultuous waters is handsomely rewarded. Crab fisherman can earn $60,000 in just two to three months. If that kind of money seems worth the risk of taking on the most dangerous job in the nation, you may want to head to Alaska. Crab fishermen in the 49th state tend to be the highest earners. You do not need a high school degree for this craft, but strength and guts are all but required.</p> <h2>4. Crime Scene Cleaner</h2> <p>Crime doesn't pay. But crime cleanup certainly does. The job of <a href="http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/crime-scene-cleanup-job-duties-2469.html">cleaning up blood and shattered glass</a> and toxic hazards takes a strong stomach, but with a few years experience you can earn upwards of $80,000. It's also not a 9-to-5 gig; you need to be ready to jump into action at a moment's notice. But there are few other occupations that can give you the thrill of feeling like you're living in an episode of <em>CSI: Crime Scene Investigation</em>.</p> <h2>5. Landfill Gas Operator</h2> <p>Landfills contain tons of garbage that produce methane gas, a byproduct of the natural breakdown process. Landfill gas operators remove the gas, which can be dangerous if left unchecked. It's a stinky job &mdash; literally &mdash; but what doesn't stink is the take-home pay. You can <a href="http://www.insidejobs.com/careers/landfill-gas-collection-operator">earn as much as $148,000</a> by monitoring gas levels and diverting excess fumes that could become hazardous.</p> <p><em>Do you work in a high-paying trade? Tell us about it 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/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/crime-scene-cleaner-and-4-other-trades-that-pay-surprisingly-well">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-important-signs-that-your-job-sucks">10 Important Signs That Your Job Sucks</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-good-reasons-to-become-a-contractor">8 Good Reasons to Become a Contractor</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-essential-facts-women-should-know-before-asking-for-a-raise">5 Essential Facts Women Should Know Before Asking for a Raise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-careers-that-pay-women-more-than-men">7 Careers That Pay Women More Than Men</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-unexpected-costs-of-a-higher-paying-job-offer">4 Unexpected Costs of a Higher-Paying Job Offer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building employment income labor pay salary trades Tue, 30 Jun 2015 09:00:15 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1469200 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Financial Questions You Must Answer Before Going Freelance http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-questions-you-must-answer-before-going-freelance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-financial-questions-you-must-answer-before-going-freelance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Woman_working_000045281724.jpg" alt="Woman answering financial questions before going freelance" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Planning to quit your day job to become a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-all-successful-freelancers-do">full-time freelancer</a> can be the most exciting transition in your career. You gain control over your own schedule, and have the freedom to choose the type of projects you work on.</p> <p>But with this excitement comes a lot of financial questions and planning. In order to make the leap from your day job as smooth as possible, here are five questions to ask &mdash; and answer! &mdash; before becoming a full-time freelancer.</p> <h2>1. How Much Should You Save?</h2> <p>If you have no other sources of income to pay the bills after you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-should-quit-your-job">quit your job</a>, how long would your savings last? Do you feel comfortable giving yourself three months to get your new freelancing career off the ground? Or is six months a more reasonable timeline? Obviously the more money you save up, the less risky your leap into freelancing will be.</p> <p>There are additional factors that need to be accounted for too, like whether or not you're the breadwinner for your family. It's likely you'll have to pay for your own health insurance, taxes, and fund your own retirement account. All of these things need to be calculated before you can accurately estimate how much money you should save.</p> <p>Most experts suggest that you keep at least three to six months' worth of expenses in a separate savings account to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/figuring-the-size-of-your-emergency-fund">cover any emergencies</a> or losses of income (some even suggest as much as twelve months' worth). As a freelancer you might as well double this amount to account for the added risk of being self-employed.</p> <h2>2. What's Your Bare Minimum Budget?</h2> <p>What's the bare minimum amount of money you need to make in order to pay your bills each month? Make sure you add in all of your household bills (utilities, insurance, groceries,) as well as the cost of doing business as a freelancer.</p> <p>When I was in the process of quitting my day job, I calculated my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-budget-items-you-may-be-forgetting">bare minimum budget</a> to be $3,000 a month. This meant that I needed at least $18,000 saved up ($<em>3,000 a month X six month savings cushion = $18,000</em>) in order to cover my bare expenses for six months while I built my freelancing business.</p> <p>Calculate how much money you need to adequately pay your bills every month, then multiply this figure by six to eight months. This is the amount you'll need to save in a separate account to make the transition from a day job to freelancing a successful one.</p> <h2>3. Do You Have Passive Income Streams?</h2> <p>One other way to make this process much easier is creating <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-freelance-gigs-anyone-can-do-to-make-extra-money">multiple streams of income</a>. Aside from your core freelance duties, do you have other options for creating passive income? What other assets can you leverage to bring in more money each month?</p> <p>Maybe you can branch out and offer business consulting, or create an online course that teaches a specific skill based on your background and experience. Do you have investments that earn small dividends or interest?</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-a-side-hustle-can-further-your-career">Every little bit of income</a> can help you save up money faster, while easing the transition of quitting your job and steady paycheck.</p> <h2>4. Are You Willing to Do What it Takes?</h2> <p>How much time do you have available to dedicate to finding work? Are you prepared to spend nights and weekends building your business? In the beginning, clients won't come to you, so you'll have to actively seek them out and build a solid network from scratch.</p> <p>How much time you spend in the beginning will determine how quickly you're able to replace your day job's income. There will likely be a lot of sleepless nights and stressful days, but in the end you have to determine if the reward is worth all the effort.</p> <p>Freedom is never free, and this includes financial freedom. You have to figure out if the cost is worth it.</p> <h2>5. Do You Have a Financial Backup Plan?</h2> <p>What happens if Plan A doesn't work out? Do you have a Plan B in place? In the event that you blow through all of your savings, and are still not where you can fully pay your monthly expenses, how are you going to cope?</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-money-for-a-week-here-s-what-to-do">Create a backup plan</a> of action for this specific event. List out the possible solutions and scenarios for how you and your family will deal with this. Are you going to find another full-time job? Will you be able to move back in with your parents?</p> <p>This is another reason that having a large chunk of money stashed away in savings can really help you during the process of quitting your job to freelance full time. Calculate at least six months' worth of your minimum budget expenses and then save money like crazy.</p> <p><em>Are you in the process of quitting your job? How are you preparing yourself financially?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-smith">Carrie Smith</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-questions-you-must-answer-before-going-freelance">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-ways-to-fund-your-new-business-without-borrowing-a-dime">4 Ways to Fund Your New Business Without Borrowing a Dime</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/self-employed-heres-how-to-get-your-apartment-application-approved">Self-Employed? Here&#039;s How to Get Your Apartment Application Approved</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/101-tax-deductions-for-bloggers-and-freelancers">101 Tax deductions for bloggers and freelancers</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-i-got-over-the-hump-and-sold-my-blog-for-3-million">How I Got Over the Hump and Sold My Blog for $3 Million</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/12-legit-ways-for-stay-at-home-moms-and-dads-to-earn-some-extra-cash">12 Legit Ways for Stay-at-Home Moms and Dads to Earn Some Extra Cash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Entrepreneurship emergency funds freelance income self employment Mon, 18 May 2015 21:00:09 +0000 Carrie Smith 1424770 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 American Cities With the Highest Minimum Wage http://www.wisebread.com/6-american-cities-with-the-highest-minimum-wage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-american-cities-with-the-highest-minimum-wage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/american_flag_city_000033240984.jpg" alt="Woman in American city with highest minimum wage" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With elections coming up next year, it appears that there is at least one issue most of us can agree on: 73% of Americans support <a href="http://www.people-press.org/2014/01/23/most-see-inequality-growing-but-partisans-differ-over-solutions/">raising the federal minimum wage</a> from its current level of $7.25 an hour to $10.10 per hour.</p> <p>Given the public support for these initiatives, several cities around the country have successfully increased their own minimum wages. Here are the six U.S. cities with the highest minimum wages in 2015.</p> <h2>1. Oakland, California</h2> <p>If you're looking for the U.S. city with the highest minimum wage, then &quot;Go west, young man!&quot;</p> <p>As of March 2, 2015, Oakland's wage of $12.25 an hour is the highest in the country. Approved by <a href="http://ballotpedia.org/City_of_Oakland_Minimum_Wage_Increase_Initiative,_Measure_FF_(November_2014)">81.77% of eligible voters</a>, this minimum wage increase initiative also provides <a href="http://www.liftupoakland.org/about">paid sick days</a> to an estimated 56,721 private sector workers (37% of all private employees in Oakland) that previously enjoyed no paid sick days.</p> <p>And there's more: Oakland's minimum wage rate is now tied to the cost of living, so it'll continue increasing every year on January 1st in tandem with inflation.</p> <h2>2. San Francisco, California</h2> <p>As of January 1, 2015, the city of San Francisco's minimum wage stands at $11.05 per hour. However, the Golden Gate City is on the road to <a href="http://sfgsa.org/index.aspx?page=411">raising its minimum wage</a> to $15.00 by 2018.</p> <p>A second increase is already scheduled for May 1, 2015, when workers can expect a minimum wage of $12.25 per hour. The third minimum wage raise is set for July 1, 2016, when it becomes $13.00 per hour. Then, San Franciscans can expect a $1 raise every year for the next two years until the minimum wage reaches $15.00 per hour on July 1, 2018. After that date, San Francisco's minimum wage will increase every July 1st based on the city's Consumer Price Index.</p> <h2>3. Seattle, Washington</h2> <p>While Washington boasts a <a href="http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm#Washington">higher state minimum wage</a> ($9.47 per hour) than California ($9.00), several cities in Washington have scheduled wage increases that are below those of their California counterparts.</p> <p>As of April 1, 2015, the city of Seattle's minimum wage is $11.00 per hour. But there's much more to that number. The current mayor has plans to make <a href="http://murray.seattle.gov/minimumwage/#sthash.TlHE5mje.8vcZBMh9.dpbs">Seattle's minimum wage</a> $15.00 per hour as early as January 1, 2017, and $18.13 per hour by 2025.</p> <h2>4. Berkeley, California</h2> <p>The Golden State really does lead the nation in minimum wage increases.</p> <p>The third Californian city to make this list is Berkeley. Since October 1, 2014 the <a href="http://www.cityofberkeley.info/MWO/">minimum wage in Berkeley</a> has been $10.00 per hour. However, on October 1, 2015 it'll rise to $11.00 per hour and, on October 1, 2016 it will be $12.53 per hour.</p> <p>Any worker who puts in at least two hours per week for an employer within the geographic boundaries of the City of Berkeley is entitled to be paid Berkeley's minimum wage.</p> <h2>5. Santa Fe, New Mexico</h2> <p>In our search of highest minimum wages in the nation, we arrive at the Land of Enchantment. The state's capital, Santa Fe, was already boasting a high minimum wage in March 1, 2014, when city officials increased the wage from $10.51 to $10.66 an hour.</p> <p>Since March 1, 2015, all employers in Santa Fe are required to pay employees, including those who are part-time and temporary workers, a <a href="http://www.santafenm.gov/living_wage_1">minimum hourly wage</a> of $10.84 per hour.</p> <h2>6. Washington, D.C.</h2> <p>On July 1, 2015, <a href="http://does.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/does/page_content/attachments/DC%20Minimum%20Wage%20Poster%20-%20English.pdf">Washington, D.C.'s minimum wage</a> will go up by $1 to $10.50 per hour. A year after that, the nation's capital's minimum wage will be $11.50.</p> <p>And beginning July 1, 2017, the city's minimum wage will be indexed in proportion to the area's Consumer Price Index.</p> <p><em>Do you support a higher minimum wage in your city?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-american-cities-with-the-highest-minimum-wage">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/crime-scene-cleaner-and-4-other-trades-that-pay-surprisingly-well">Crime Scene Cleaner and 4 Other Trades That Pay Surprisingly Well</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-things-you-must-learn-about-the-company-before-your-job-interview">5 Things You Must Learn About the Company Before Your Job Interview</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-low-key-jobs-for-people-who-hate-stress">5 Low Key Jobs for People Who Hate Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-high-paying-careers-with-low-educational-barriers">10 High-Paying Careers With Low Educational Barriers</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/video-resumes-and-5-other-cool-tricks-to-land-the-job">Video Resumes and 5 Other Cool Tricks to Land the Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting american cities earnings employment income minimum wage Mon, 04 May 2015 09:01:59 +0000 Damian Davila 1407751 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 High-Paying Careers With Low Educational Barriers http://www.wisebread.com/10-high-paying-careers-with-low-educational-barriers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-high-paying-careers-with-low-educational-barriers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/high_paying_job_000009131941.jpg" alt="Woman seeking high-paying career with low educational barrier" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2014&ndash;2015 school year was $31,231 at private colleges, $9,139 for state residents at public colleges, and $22,958 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.</p> <p>Ouch.</p> <p>Let's take a realistic look at some careers that not only pay well given a relatively low educational investment, but also have a positive income growth potential. For the purposes of this article, I've used the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook, narrowing my search to jobs that usually pay $50,000 or more a year, and that also have a projected growth rate of 20% or more within the next decade.</p> <h2>Jobs Requiring a Two-Year Associate of Arts Degree</h2> <p>Most Americans can earn an affordable two-year degree at a local community college.</p> <h3>1. Sonographers</h3> <p>In 2012, the median pay for sonographers (or &quot;ultrasound techs&quot;) was $60,350; job outlook for growth was at 39%. While most work in hospitals, others find employment in physicians' offices as well as in private radiology facilities. My friend Clarissa worked in a hospital until she decided to start a family, at which time she decided shift work was not for her, and she went to work at a radiology office. Because it is in the health care industry, job satisfaction is high, and the work environment usually non-competitive and friendly.</p> <h3>2. Dental Hygienists</h3> <p>When my friend Lisa became a dental hygienist, I said, &quot;Yuck &mdash; aren't you grossed out all the time?&quot; She laughed and said no, it was usually just fine. She had the last laugh &mdash; at a salary of $70,210 per year (2012 data) with a 33% growth outlook. Because it is a family-friendly profession, she was also able to eventually choose her hours.</p> <h3>3. Cardiovascular Technicians</h3> <p>Here is another positive-growth position, predicted at 39% growth and paying an average of $52,000 per year. Most positions are located in hospitals; some are in physicians' offices or diagnostic laboratories. If you are good at communicating, are drawn to helping people, and can multi-task and think quickly on your feet, this may be a good position to investigate.</p> <h3>4. Web Developers</h3> <p>With a faster-than-average predicted growth (20%) and median pay of $62,500, the position of web developer is very intriguing. If you enjoy working with computers, learning and writing code, and have a creative side, this may be for you. Read these <a href="http://www.myinkblog.com/5-reasons-why-i-love-being-a-web-designer/">developers' accounts</a> of favorite things about their jobs.</p> <h3>5. Radiologic and MRI Technologists</h3> <p>At a median of $55,910, these positions also predict good growth (21%), plus the option of working in a hospital or private radiology setting. Interesting was this quote from an MRI technologist: &quot;The biggest surprise of my career is the <a href="http://www.citytowninfo.com/career-story/radiologic-tech/MRI-technologist-at-a-hospital">job security</a>. In this difficult economy, I am at no risk of losing my job.&quot;</p> <h3>6. Nuclear Medicine Technologist</h3> <p>While the rate of growth is just slightly slower than other imaging positions listed above, the salary is still impressive ($55,000 to $74,000). Most work in hospitals, or, in metropolitan-area, private radiological facilities. It is exacting work, with much of it spent on your feet.</p> <h3>7. Nursing</h3> <p>Although I found varying statistics about the growth rate for nursing jobs, I felt I shouldn't rule it out, given a 2012 median pay of $65,000 &mdash; with just a two-year degree. There is a lot of versatility in this area &mdash; from hospitals to doctors' offices, clinics, the military, hospices, public health, etc. Another plus for nursing is that it can be a very family-friendly schedule, especially if you work in a clinic or doctors' office, for example, which are closed on weekends.</p> <h2>Jobs Requiring a High School Diploma</h2> <p>Yes, there are still high paying careers that require nothing more than a high school diploma.</p> <h3>8. Elevator Installers and Repairers</h3> <p>Having seen a young woman working on the elevator at the local hospital, I wondered if it was a good job, so I checked. The 2012 median pay? Try $76,650, with projected growth of 25% &mdash; faster than average. One article even calls it a &quot;<a href="http://www.riseandgrind.com/2010/03/10/elevator-technician-recession-proof/">recession-proof job</a>.&quot; To get the gig, you'll need to serve an apprenticeship, be physically fit, and often be on call.</p> <h3>9. Law Enforcement</h3> <p>As of the 2007 census, only about one in eight local <a href="http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&amp;tid=71">police officers were women</a>. This career deserves a hard look. The pay ranges from $55,000 to $74,000 with a high school education and some on-the-job training. Government police jobs also have excellent health benefits, including dental and retirement funds. If you earn the rank of detective, pay takes a big jump. I only know one female police officer, and it ain't easy. It's dangerous work, but these women love their jobs.</p> <h3>10. Purchasing Manager</h3> <p>At a 2012 median of $60,550, the pay is good, but 4% growth is slow. Most of the job openings I found seemed to have &quot;specialties,&quot; i.e., automotive, construction, government, etc. Obtaining certification is recommended. If you are someone who enjoys the hunt of the best bang for your buck, you'd probably enjoy this job.</p> <p><em>Do you have a high-paying job without a four-year degree? Tell us about it below!</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/10-high-paying-careers-with-low-educational-barriers">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/7-certifications-that-add-big-to-your-salary">7 Certifications That Add Big $$ to Your Salary</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-great-jobs-that-offer-college-loan-forgiveness">7 Great Jobs that Offer College Loan Forgiveness</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-college-degrees-with-the-highest-roi">5 College Degrees With the Highest ROI</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-didn-t-learn-in-college-but-you-should-have">10 Things You Didn’t Learn in College (but You Should Have)</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-american-cities-with-the-highest-minimum-wage">6 American Cities With the Highest Minimum Wage</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Job Hunting careers degrees growth income Thu, 23 Apr 2015 15:00:10 +0000 Marla Walters 1398947 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Quick Financial Moves to Make Today at Lunch http://www.wisebread.com/10-quick-financial-moves-to-make-today-at-lunch <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-quick-financial-moves-to-make-today-at-lunch" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000051387044_Full.jpg" alt="woman coffee break" title="woman coffee break" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you are fortunate enough to have a job that affords you a break for lunch, you may find that time to be more valuable than you realize. Your lunch break is certainly a good time to get away from work for a bit, but that hour or so can also be used to perform a wide range of activities that will help you financially.</p> <p>Consider these easy things that you can do to improve your financial situation over your lunch break.</p> <h2>1. Visit Your Broker</h2> <p>If you live in an urban or denser suburban area, many online brokers including <a href="https://www.fidelity.com/">Fidelity</a>, <a href="https://www.tdameritrade.com/">TDAmeritrade</a> and <a href="https://www.scottrade.com/">ScottTrade</a> have offices designed for people to walk in to get advice or questions answered. It's a great chance to get a little financial checkup and some facetime with folks who might know something about your portfolio.</p> <h2>2. Trade Stocks</h2> <p>If you trade stocks online, lunch can be an opportunity to look over your portfolio, or buy and sell shares. It's a great time to make a trade, because you'll have a sense of how the market is doing for the day, and most economic news and earnings announcements will have already been released for the day.</p> <h2>3. Read Financial News</h2> <p>Get caught up on the <a href="http://online.wsj.com/">Wall Street Journal</a> and other financial publications online, or if you're old fashioned, hit the library or a local coffee shop and read it in print. Most financial news websites are mobile-friendly now, and you can also digest a lot of articles by creating a &quot;financial news&quot; feed in an RSS reader such as Feedly or Instapaper. For longer articles, I like to save them to the <a href="https://getpocket.com/">Pocket app</a> on my phone and tablet, so I can read them even if I am not online.</p> <h2>4. Watch Financial News Programs</h2> <p>If your office lets you watch streaming video, you can probably catch CNBC and other financial news channels' lunchtime programs. It's a good way to get quickly caught up on the business news of the day.</p> <h2>5. Take an Online Financial Seminar</h2> <p>Many online brokers offer &quot;webinars&quot; that you can take on your computer, and they are often scheduled to allow people to check in during their lunch breaks. The <a href="https://www.fidelity.com/learning-center">Fidelity Learning Center</a>, for example, offers free webinars on things like market forecasts and the ins and outs of ETFs. There are also tutorials on trading stocks and options strategies.</p> <h2>6. Work on Your Side Hustle</h2> <p>An hour-long lunch break may offer enough time to give your other streams of income some attention. If you do some freelance writing on the side, take some time to hammer out a few hundred words. If you have an online auction business, your lunch break is a good time to check on bids, tweak your listings, and even communicate with buyers. You may even have time to make a quick run to the post office get some items delivered. This comes with the important caveat to make sure you're not using a company computer or phone to work on your side business, as that could be frowned upon by your full-time employer.</p> <h2>7. Eat Your Packed Lunch</h2> <p>Avoiding going out to eat may be the biggest financial move you can make. Pack a sandwich and a few other items for lunch, rather than spending $10 at Panera. ICMA-RC, a non-profit financial services company, estimates that if you pack a lunch three days a week, you can <a href="http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/employees-across-america-encouraged-to-pack-their-lunch-on-wednesday-october-22-324001504.html">save $9,000 over seven years</a>, assuming a 5% investment return. And if sandwiches aren't your thing, consider these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-non-sandwich-work-lunches">non-sandwich lunches</a> that will still save you a bundle. Your lunchbox is your financial friend.</p> <h2>8. Network</h2> <p>Are you trying to build a business or plan your next career move? Do you want to advance at your current company? You can help yourself by setting up lunch meetings with people who can help you with your career goals.</p> <p>Maybe it's a colleague who can assist you in getting that promotion, or an old friend who works at an organization you'd like to break into. Perhaps it's an executive who can help you land a client. Depending on who you are meeting with, that one-hour lunchbreak could prove to be the most valuable time of your day. Just be careful not to meet with someone that your employer might disapprove of.</p> <h2>9. Work on Your Resume</h2> <p>You have to be careful here, because no employer wants to see a worker looking elsewhere on company time. That said, keep your resume fresh so when your lunchtime networking efforts pay off, you'll be ready to seize the opportunity.</p> <h2>10. Go Work Out</h2> <p>This may not seem like a financial move, but there may be some indirect monetary benefits to working out over your lunch break. You'll feel more energized in the afternoon, thus perhaps making you more alert for that 3:30 staff meeting. And by exercising at lunch, you avoid the need to sacrifice sleep by working out in the early morning hours. In addition, there is evidence to suggest that an obese person has a smaller chance of climbing the corporate ladder than someone who's physically fit. The Wall Street Journal, citing data from the Center for Creative Leadership, reported that a person's weight can impact how they are <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324595704578241573341483946">perceived at the workplace</a>. This may seem unfair, but maybe it's best to hit the treadmill instead of the burger joint at lunchtime.</p> <p><em>What financial activities do you engage in during your lunch break?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-quick-financial-moves-to-make-today-at-lunch">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/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <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-financial-moves-you-can-make-during-your-commute">10 Financial Moves You Can Make During Your Commute</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/dont-despair-over-small-retirement-savings">Don&#039;t Despair Over Small Retirement Savings</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-best-free-financial-learning-tools">9 Best Free Financial Learning Tools</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-rising-interest-rates-can-help-your-wallet">8 Ways Rising Interest Rates Can Help Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance income investing saving Thu, 29 Jan 2015 14:00:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 1283488 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Buys That Will Be Cheaper in 2015 http://www.wisebread.com/8-buys-that-will-be-cheaper-in-2015 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-buys-that-will-be-cheaper-in-2015" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-pumping-gas-thumbs-up-Dollarphotoclub_59630807.jpg" alt="man pumping gas" title="man pumping gas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>2015 is shaping up to be a great year.</p> <p>While economists agree that the Great Recession was officially over back in 2009, you may not have felt the benefits until recently. But thanks to a stronger dollar and lower commodity prices, several industries now have a cost advantage and are ready to pass on those savings to us consumers.</p> <p>Here are the eight things that will be cheaper in 2015.</p> <h2>1. Gasoline</h2> <p>As a resident of the notoriously expensive state of Hawaii, I couldn't be more ecstatic about this news! U.S. gasoline prices ended 2014 at their <a href="http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=19471">lowest levels since May 2009</a>. And they might be about to drop even lower. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2015 the average price per gallon will be about $2.60 (the average in 2014 was about $2.71). Some states are expected to enjoy per gallon prices below the $2 mark. As of December 2014, some gas stations in Texas were selling gas at&nbsp;<a href="http://money.cnn.com/2014/12/05/news/texas-gas-prices/">$1.89 and $1.99 per gallon</a>.</p> <h2>2. Air Travel</h2> <p>The benefits of falling fuel prices are trickling down to other industries, among them the airline industry. Carrier companies are likely to <a href="http://www.dailyfinance.com/2015/01/12/will-airfares-drop-cheaper-oil/">cut the average flight's ticket price</a>&nbsp;by 5% in 2015. However, don't expect this price drop to happen right away. Airlines are experiencing healthy demand from consumers and are still tied up with fuel contracts at old prices. Due to this, economists suggest that it will take about six months for airfares to drop. Some analysts predict that flights leaving from Dallas, Washington, and Tampa could experience the biggest drops from last year's prices (-11.2%, -6.7%, and -5.9% respectively).</p> <h2>3. Bacon</h2> <p>Bringing home the bacon just got easier: Experts expect <a href="http://restfinance.com/Restaurant-Finance-Across-America/September-2014/Food-Prices-Should-Get-Better-Except-For-Beef/">bacon prices</a>&nbsp;to fall 15% to 17% in 2015. I know what you're thinking, &quot;How do I go about becoming a bacon expert?&quot; But let's keep on topic. Due to moderate corn prices, the pork and poultry markets will be able to lower the prices of several products, including cheese, chicken breasts &mdash; and yes, bacon.</p> <h2>4. Milk</h2> <p>There are two reasons why you can expect lower milk prices this 2015. First, <a href="http://www.agweb.com/article/how-russia-us-milk-ban-affects-markets-nate-birt/">Russia's ban on U.S. milk imports</a> is forcing producers to find other buyers. Keep in mind that milk is a perishable item, so this puts pressure on them to accept lower prices. Second, the lower price of corn, used in the feeding of cows, is boosting per-cow milk output to record levels. U.S. dairies are expected to reach production levels of <a href="http://www.agweb.com/article/wasde-more-milk-fewer-exports-lower-prices-in-2015-catherine-merlo/">212.8 billion pounds of milk</a> in 2015, a 6.7 billion pound increase from 2014 levels. This excess supply means lower milk prices for you.</p> <h2>5. Smart watches</h2> <ul> <li>2013 gave us the Samsung Galaxy Gear.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>2014 revealed to us the Apple Watch.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>2015 will give us a bigger and cheaper selection of smart watches.</li> </ul> <p>While the Apple Watch looks very cool, its expected $349 price tag may turn off price-sensitive customers. That's why Chinese equipment manufacturers are racing to capture the wearables market by producing <a href="http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2848817">Android-based smart watches</a>&nbsp;with retail prices as low as $30. This aggressive pricing strategy is bound to drive down the price of existing Android-based smart watches below $150.</p> <h2>6. Cloud Storage</h2> <p>If you're currently paying for your cloud storage, you probably loved seeing Microsoft and Amazon&nbsp;<a href="http://www.computerworld.com/article/2486931/cloud-computing/amazon-and-microsoft-drop-cloud-storage-prices-by-up-to-50-.html">dropping their cloud storage prices</a>&nbsp;by up to 50%. In August 2014, Dropbox reduced the price of 1TB storage to $9.99 per month. Then later in October, Microsoft rolled out unlimited cloud storage to its Office 365 subscribers.</p> <p>Cloud storage's race to zero, as in $0, is on. Take advantage of these falling prices, but make sure to keep your data safe. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-critical-steps-to-protect-your-data-in-the-cloud?ref=seealso">10 Critical Steps to Protect Your Data in the Cloud</a>)</p> <h2>7. New Homes</h2> <p>Most analysts agree that <a href="http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2014/11/update-more-2015-housing-forecasts.html">new home sales</a>&nbsp;will be above the 500,000 mark in 2015. That means that builders need to come up with about 50,000 new homes from existing inventory from the Great Recession era. One opinion is that builders are going to sell fewer expensive new homes to be able to come up with that inventory. These new homes are often packaged with eased credit conditions for buyers with moderate credit scores. As the prices of homes are plateauing around the country and new inventory becomes available, 2015 may be a good year to acquire a home.</p> <h2>8. Gold</h2> <p>What goes up, must come down. And gold is not an exception.</p> <p>Gold is often used as a commodity to hedge against rising prices. Given that there are so many industries set to enjoy cost breaks throughout 2015, there are fewer concerns about inflation, thus reducing demand for gold. Goldman Sachs forecasts&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-23/cheaper-oil-putting-gold-out-of-job-as-an-inflation-hedge.html">gold prices to drop $1,050</a>&nbsp;by December 2015, while SocGen expects a price of $950 in 2015's Q4.</p> <p>To put things in perspective, the price of gold peaked at $1,923.70 an ounce in 2011. If there was ever a good time to pick up gold, it would be 2015.</p> <p>So, the next time somebody tells you about the &quot;good ol' days,&quot; you have eight reasons to let them know that the good ol' days for consumers are here now.</p> <p><em>Which price drops are you looking forward to the most this year?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-buys-that-will-be-cheaper-in-2015">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/do-these-8-things-to-profit-from-the-improving-economy">Do These 8 Things to Profit From the Improving Economy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-buy-one-get-one-free-is-usually-a-bad-deal">Why &quot;Buy One Get One Free&quot; Is Usually A Bad Deal</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/americans-spend-more-than-other-countries-on-these-10-things">Americans Spend More Than Other Countries On These 10 Things</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-pricey-things-you-shouldnt-buy-and-what-to-get-instead">14 Pricey Things You Shouldn&#039;t Buy (And What to Get Instead)</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-easy-ways-to-use-technology-to-save-on-christmas-shopping">6 Easy Ways to Use Technology to Save on Christmas Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Economy income prices spending Fri, 16 Jan 2015 12:00:03 +0000 Damian Davila 1280355 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Boost Your Finances While You Sleep http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-boost-your-finances-while-you-sleep <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-boost-your-finances-while-you-sleep" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young-woman-sleeping-bed-Dollarphotoclub_70087199.jpg" alt="woman laying on bed" title="woman laying on bed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So you work from 9-to-5, but your income just isn't cutting it. You need to earn more money, but there are only so many hours in the day. Your problem could be solved with passive income, or money you can earn without needing to be physically present &mdash; even in your sleep. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-side-jobs-for-stay-at-home-moms-and-dads?ref=seealso">12 Side Jobs for Stay-at-Home Moms and Dads</a>)</p> <p>Check out these strategies for increasing and diversifying your income without having to take on another &quot;real&quot; job.</p> <h2>1. Sell Products Online</h2> <p>It's easy to setup an ecommerce store for selling products online, or you can <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/seller-account/mm-summary-page.html">partner with a big company like Amazon</a> to do the selling for you. Selling items on auction sites like eBay is also easy. Even monetizing your hobbies via sites like <a href="https://www.etsy.com/">Etsy</a> can pay off big time. There is no need for you to be present &mdash; or even awake &mdash; to receive orders or payments.</p> <h2>2. Create Awesome Online Content</h2> <p>It's definitely possible to make money while blogging or producing YouTube videos, especially if you're consistently producing awesome stuff. Of course, scientists have yet to discover a way to blog while sleeping. So, the work itself has to happen with your eyes wide open. But the money-making part of the operation can happen while you're sound asleep.</p> <p>People can read your content at any hour and click on your site's advertisements. You can also make money through affiliate marketing, in which users click on a link to a product or service, and you get a cut from any sale. It's possible to schedule social media updates to direct people to your site at any hour. Waking up to see a robust new traffic and revenue report can be a truly exhilarating experience.</p> <h2>3. Rent a Property</h2> <p>Being a landlord can often be more difficult than people expect, but it can be a great passive income stream if you have a low-maintenance property and great tenants. Ideally, the amount of rent you collect will exceed whatever payments you have to make on the property, making it a profitable venture that you can manage on the side.</p> <h2>4. Peer-to-Peer Lending</h2> <p>Websites such as <a rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=22959155&amp;fot=1184&amp;foc=1" target="_blank">Lending Club</a> allow you to earn some passive income by lending to people who need cash and earning interest on those loans. Once you select who you want to lend to, the income will come on its own as long as the borrower can pay you back.</p> <h2>5. Invest in International Stocks</h2> <p>Imagine waking up to find that your investments made money overnight. That's what can happen if you place money in investments from around the globe. Some international investments &mdash; especially those in Europe &mdash; have performed sluggishly in recent years, but others offer strong growth potential.</p> <p>If you are intimidated by the idea of investing internationally, don't worry: There are some very solid mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that mirror international markets, meaning you avoid the need to research individual stocks. The <a href="http://www.ishares.com/us/products/244048/ishares-core-msci-total-international-stock-etf">iShares Core MSCI Total International ETF</a> is well regarded and has low fees. Funds from the Lazard Fund Family have also performed well.</p> <h2>6. Trade Currencies</h2> <p>The foreign exchange market (or <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_exchange_market">forex</a> for short), is open round the clock, six days a week, and it's possible to schedule trades to take place while you're asleep. Before jumping into the Forex, it helps to know the difference between the Euro and Yen, of course. And <a href="http://www.xe.com/currencytrading/">trading currencies</a> isn't for everyone &mdash; it's volatile, and often requires strong knowledge of global markets. Check out reputable forex courses, such as those offered by TD Ameritrade, first.</p> <h2>7. Just&hellip; Sleep</h2> <p>There is some evidence that sleep, by itself, can at least indirectly help you financially. There's no question that getting adequate sleep can make you more alert and productive. But the benefits of sleep may go much deeper. Sleep deprivation has been linked to a variety of ailments ranging from obesity to cancer, so getting enough sleep could be a way to avoid costly medical bills.</p> <p>Some new research suggests <a href="http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/sleep-loss-precedes-alzheimers-symptoms">there's a link between inadequate sleep and Alzheimer's disease</a>. Thus, getting enough sleep will help you remain mentally sharp as you age, possibly extending the length of time you can work and earn money.</p> <p><em>How do you make productive use of your time sleeping? Perk up and and tell us about it in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-boost-your-finances-while-you-sleep">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-say-no-to-those-who-want-to-borrow-money-from-you">When Should You Say No to Those Who Want to Borrow Money from You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-legit-ways-for-stay-at-home-moms-and-dads-to-earn-some-extra-cash">12 Legit Ways for Stay-at-Home Moms and Dads to Earn Some Extra Cash</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/13-ways-to-make-money-online-that-arent-scams">13 Ways to Make Money Online That Aren&#039;t Scams</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance blogging extra income income lending online sales renting Mon, 15 Dec 2014 14:00:07 +0000 Tim Lemke 1267801 at http://www.wisebread.com Do These 8 Things to Profit From the Improving Economy http://www.wisebread.com/do-these-8-things-to-profit-from-the-improving-economy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/do-these-8-things-to-profit-from-the-improving-economy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-buying-home-178728490-small.jpg" alt="couple buying home" title="couple buying home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After several years of sluggish growth, it appears that the economy is getting better. Unemployment has dropped. The stock market has been setting record highs. But are you poised to take full advantage of the rebound? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-rising-interest-rates-can-help-your-wallet?ref=seealso">8 Ways Rising Interest Rates Can Help Your Wallet</a>)</p> <p>Here are eight ways to position yourself for the best result once the economy kicks into high gear.</p> <h2>1. Pay Off Debt</h2> <p>If the economy is getting better and you find yourself earning more, getting rid of debt should be your first priority. The last thing you want is to miss out on an economic boom because you're handcuffed by loans and credit card bills, so pay that stuff off. And do it fast, because a good economy often comes with higher interest rates. So if you have debt, it's best to rid yourself of it before it gets pricier to pay down later.</p> <h2>2. Spend Less</h2> <p>The flipside of higher interest rates is that you'll be making more on any money you have in your bank account. So there's an incentive to save now. What's more, you may be earning more in general during strong economic times, so you have the double whammy of stashing more money into those saving and retirement accounts, plus a higher return.</p> <h2>3. Pump Those Retirement Accounts</h2> <p>There's never a truly bad time to begin investing, especially if you have a long savings window. So get started now, before stock prices get too out of hand. Consider upping your 401(k) contribution. And if you have an IRA, you have until April 15 to make contributions that count toward 2014's tax bill.</p> <h2>4. Lock In Whatever Prices You Can</h2> <p>A good economy often comes with some inflation. So it might make sense to explore ways to secure long-term price stability on items or services you use frequently. Locking in a price on a cable or mobile phone bill might make sense, and you may even be able to lock in prices on electricity and other utilities.</p> <h2>5. Build Up Your Emergency Fund</h2> <p>If you are fortunate enough to have some extra money come your way, consider using it to build up your savings to protect yourself. Opinions vary on how much liquid cash you should have socked away, but at least three months of salary is a good rule of thumb.</p> <h2>6. Consider Buying That House</h2> <p>If interest rates do go up, mortgages could get pricier. So it may be wise to try and purchase a home now while rates are still historically low. If you've been on the fence about when to buy, now may be the time.</p> <h2>7. Ask for That Raise</h2> <p>When the economy was slow, employers were loath to give out pay raises. &quot;Times are tough, we've got to tighten belts,&quot; was the common response. Now, with things improving, it's harder for your boss to make the argument that you're not worth a bump in pay. If your organization has done well financially and you feel you've played a role in that, go ahead and ask for that increase.</p> <h2>8. Update Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile</h2> <p>If things are getting better, employers may starting looking for new hires. Take advantage of the situation by updating your online presence and doing what's necessary to look good to recruiters. If you stopped working during the downturn, maybe its time to get back into the workforce. If you hate your job, maybe now is when you find a better one. And if you like your job, it never hurts to build up your network and see what else is out there.</p> <p><em>Are you ready for a better economy? How do you plan to profit from it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-these-8-things-to-profit-from-the-improving-economy">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/another-path-to-recovery-higher-incomes">Another path to recovery: higher incomes</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-new-normal-economy">The new normal economy</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/9-reasons-why-the-us-economy-is-kicking-the-worlds-butt">9 Reasons Why the U.S. Economy Is Kicking the World&#039;s Butt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-weird-logic-of-economic-growth">The weird logic of economic growth</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/peak-debt">Peak Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Financial News debt Economy employment growth income spending Mon, 08 Dec 2014 14:00:10 +0000 Tim Lemke 1264105 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Change Spending Habits to Increase Your Income http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-change-spending-habits-to-increase-your-income <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-change-spending-habits-to-increase-your-income" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-shopping-sale-467758709-small.jpg" alt="woman shopping sale" title="woman shopping sale" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some amazing articles on changing spending habits to increase your income, the art of healthy discontentment, and creating a budget you'll stick with.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://thewealthnumber.com/change-spending-habits/">Change Spending Habits to Increase Your Income</a> &mdash; Becoming a bargain shopper can help you change your spending habits and increase your income. [The Wealth Number]</p> <p><a href="http://www.grantbaldwin.com/art-of-healthy-discontentment/">The Art of Healthy Discontentment</a> &mdash; If you have a healthy discontentment, you are able to appreciate where you are in life but are not content to stay there. [Grant Baldwin]</p> <p><a href="http://www.adamhagerman.com/how-to-prepare-a-budget/">Creating a Budget You'll Stick With in 8 Easy Steps</a> &mdash; To create a budget you'll stick to, start by setting goals. [Adam Hagerman Financial Coach]</p> <p><a href="http://www.belmorefinancial.com/blog/saving-strategies-10-easy-ways-spend-less-and-save-more%E2%80%A8">Saving Strategies: 10 Easy Ways to Spend Less and Save More</a>
 &mdash; Maintaining your car and practicing energy efficiency can help you save more while spending less. [Belmore Financial]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2014/08/five-myths-and-misconceptions-about-indexing.html">Five Myths and Misconceptions About Indexing</a> &mdash; It is a myth that index funds underperform in bear markets. [Free Money Finance]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://my-alternate-life.com/moving-on-a-budget/">How to Stay Sane and on a Budget When Moving</a> &mdash; Taking the time to purge before you move can help you save on moving expenses. [My Alternate Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.tamingthehighcostofcollege.com/012/">Saving and Investing for College</a> &mdash; 529 plans and education IRAs are a couple ways you can save and invest for college. [Taming the High Cost of College]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Disaster-Emergency-Kit-24626776">What to Keep at Home to Prepare for Natural Disasters</a> &mdash; Be sure you have medication as well as tools on hand in case of a natural disaster. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/8-easy-tips-for-parents-to-save-money">8 Easy Tips for Parents to Save Money</a> &mdash; Parents can save money by taking advantage of kids eat free nights and borrowing from friends. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://debtfreeinthree.tumblr.com/post/84293471368/guest-post-how-to-save-money-on-flights">How to Save Money on Flights</a> &mdash; To save money on flights, check the calendar of your destination to make sure you aren't trying to travel there during a big event. [Debt Free in Three]</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-change-spending-habits-to-increase-your-income">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/6-sneaky-ways-you-cheat-on-your-budget">6 Sneaky Ways You Cheat on Your Budget</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/frugal-tip-do-not-spend-when-you-are-sad">Frugal Tip: Do Not Spend When You Are Sad</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/americans-spend-more-than-other-countries-on-these-10-things">Americans Spend More Than Other Countries On These 10 Things</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-problems-you-cant-solve-with-money">9 Problems You Can&#039;t Solve With Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-your-boomer-parents-could-afford-that-you-cant">8 Things Your Boomer Parents Could Afford That You Can&#039;t</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance best money tips habits income shopping spending Wed, 03 Sep 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1195776 at http://www.wisebread.com