music http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/93/all en-US Who Really Owns Your Digital Assets? http://www.wisebread.com/who-really-owns-your-digital-assets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/who-really-owns-your-digital-assets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sporty_woman_taking_a_break_after_running_outdoors.jpg" alt="Sporty woman taking a break after running outdoors" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Throughout your life, you accumulate a wide variety of assets, including cash, real estate, and vehicles. But you've also probably been collecting assets of the digital kind &mdash; whether that be music downloads, frequent flyer miles, or cryptocurrency. When you put so many of your hard-earned dollars into virtual goods, there are some important considerations to keep in mind if you want to pass them on to your heirs.</p> <h2>What are digital assets?</h2> <p>Many people think of digital assets as digital copies of things that you purchase online, such as music or ebooks, but there are other types of digital assets. They include things that you store in virtual storage systems, such as Dropbox or iCloud. Some examples are photographs in your Flickr account, financial documents in your Box account, and bitcoins in your Coinbase account.</p> <p>Social media accounts are also digital assets. Even if they don't have any monetary value, the contents may be something you want to bequeath to your heirs.</p> <p>It can be easy to assign a dollar value to some digital assets, and difficult for others. The dollar value of an online-only savings account, for example, is as straightforward as it gets. On the other hand, a photo collection of the first 10 years of your son's life could be worth several thousands of dollars to you and nothing to the average Joe.</p> <h2>Taking care of your digital assets</h2> <p>Here are some best practices for taking care of your digital assets once you're no longer in the picture.</p> <h3>1. Read the fine print of your user agreement</h3> <p>Just because you hit the &quot;Buy now&quot; button for a digital file doesn't really mean that it's yours. Unlike physical books, CDs, DVDs, or vinyl records, purchasing digital works grants you no ownership rights. Most companies just license you the right to access and use the song or video.</p> <p>For example, if you read Amazon's Conditions of Use, you'll find that &quot;Amazon or its content providers grant you a limited, nonexclusive, nontransferable, non-sublicensable license to access and make personal and noncommercial use of the Amazon Services.&quot; In Amazon's Music Terms of Use, it also notes that your account can't be shared or transferred: &quot;You may not share your Amazon.com username and password with others or use anyone else's Amazon.com username and password.&quot;</p> <p>In other words, you don't own the asset and you can't get around that fact by giving your account password to anyone else.</p> <h3>2. Double check if digital assets can be in your will</h3> <p>If you haven't already, you need to create a last will and testament. But whether you can include a particular digital asset in the will depends. Not only must you actually own the digital asset, but also you must be able to transfer it.</p> <p>Every company treats digital assets differently. For example, let's take a look at three cases of transferring airline frequent flyer miles upon death:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Air Miles Canada allows you to transfer ownership of air miles at no charge when an account holder has passed away.</p> </li> <li> <p>American Airlines' AAdvantage program indicates that &quot;mileage credit is not transferable&quot; even to estates, successors, or assigns. However, American Airlines includes a clause that it may make exemptions upon its sole discretion and payment of any applicable fees.</p> </li> <li> <p>Delta SkyMiles clearly outlines that &quot;Miles are not the property of any member&quot; and may not be transferred under any circumstances, including death.</p> </li> </ul> <h3>3. Store a repository of all passwords</h3> <p>This is key. While your executor (the person executing your estate after your die) will need your login credentials to access your digital assets, they will have no legal authority to access your passwords under most state jurisdictions.</p> <p>So, plan to leave a letter to your executor with the usernames and passwords of the accounts that you would like to pass on to beneficiaries. While a simple letter containing the account information can do the trick, there are also several digital alternatives. Some digital services that allow you to pass on digital assets are Password Box's <a href="https://www.passwordbox.com/legacylocker" target="_blank">Legacy Locker</a> and <a href="https://www.youdeparted.com" target="_blank">YouDeparted.com</a>.</p> <h3>4. Take advantage of existing programs</h3> <p>Some companies are already taking steps to plan your digital afterlife.</p> <ul> <li> <p>Google's <a href="https://www.google.com/settings/u/0/account/inactive" target="_blank">Inactive Account Manager</a> allows you to instruct Google to transfer data from several services, including Google+, Picasa Web Albums, and YouTube to specific individuals after three to 12 months of inactivity.</p> </li> <li> <p>Facebook can &quot;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/help/150486848354038" target="_blank">memorialize</a>&quot; an account after its owner has passed away.</p> </li> </ul> <h3>5. Designate a beneficiary for all financial accounts</h3> <p>All types of banking and investment accounts provide you the option to designate a beneficiary. Without a beneficiary, your account will most likely end up in probate. While some states may grant your family some protection, designating a beneficiary well in advance is the best way to make sure that your digital moneys reach the right person(s).</p> <p>You can change the beneficiary of your account as many times as you need. Every time that you go through a major life change, such as marriage, birth of a child, or retirement, you should revisit who your beneficiaries are.</p> <h3>6. Check your local and state legislation</h3> <p>In 2014, Delaware became the first state to sign legislation (<a href="http://www.dehousedems.com/press/rep-scotts-first-nation-digital-assets-bill-becomes-law" target="_blank">House Bill 435</a>) granting families the right to the digital assets of loved ones who become incapacitated or pass away. The law includes a wide rage of digital assets, including computer programs, audio files, images, and more. It's reasonable to expect similar legislation to appear in other states.</p> <h3>7. Instruct your beneficiaries to still give it a shot</h3> <p>Even when the company has a reputation of not budging and an airtight user agreement, tell your beneficiaries to try anyway. You never know when a company may make an exception. Airlines, in particular, are often willing to work with survivors who want access to a spouse's frequent flyer miles.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwho-really-owns-your-digital-assets&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWho%2520Really%2520Owns%2520Your%2520Digital%2520Assets-.jpg&amp;description=Who%20Really%20Owns%20Your%20Digital%20Assets%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Who%20Really%20Owns%20Your%20Digital%20Assets-.jpg" alt="Who Really Owns Your Digital Assets?" width="250" height="374" /></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/who-really-owns-your-digital-assets">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/the-fair-way-to-split-up-your-familys-estate">The Fair Way to Split Up Your Family&#039;s Estate</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/dont-make-these-5-common-mistakes-when-writing-a-will">Don&#039;t Make These 5 Common Mistakes When Writing a Will</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/should-you-set-up-a-trust-for-your-child">Should You Set Up a Trust for Your Child?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-apps-turn-saving-money-into-a-game-are-they-worth-it">These Apps Turn Saving Money Into a Game — Are They Worth It?</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/what-is-cryptocurrency-anyway">What Is Cryptocurrency, Anyway?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Technology bitcoin books cryptocurrency digital assets downloads estate planning frequent flyer miles heirs last will and testament music rewards video Wed, 27 Sep 2017 08:30:12 +0000 Damian Davila 2025920 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Choose the Best Streaming Music Service for You http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-choose-the-best-streaming-music-service-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-choose-the-best-streaming-music-service-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_girl_dancing_to_the_music.jpg" alt="Young girl dancing to the music" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;Without music, life would be a mistake,&quot; asserted Friedrich Nietzsche back in the 1800s. To many this quote still holds true today. But when the radio alone doesn't cut it, there are just so many different music streaming services, all offering slightly different exclusive benefits and prices. Here's your guide to help you choose the right one. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buy-or-subscribe-how-to-pay-the-least-for-the-media-you-love-the-most?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Buy or Subscribe: How to Pay the Least for the Media You Love the Most</a>)</p> <h2>1. Amazon Music Unlimited</h2> <p>With a catalog of millions of songs, you're bound to find something that you like at <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/dmusic/promotions/AmazonMusicUnlimited" target="_blank">Amazon Music Unlimited</a>. This service allows you curate your own playlists or create stations based on a song or artist.</p> <p>Amazon Music Unlimited provides discounts to Amazon Prime members, college students, and owners of Alexa-enabled devices. If you own an <a href="http://amzn.to/2iFUS6T" target="_blank">Amazon Echo</a>, <a href="http://amzn.to/2iFVn0L" target="_blank">Echo Dot</a>, <a href="http://amzn.to/2gp0d1t" target="_blank">Echo Show</a>, or <a href="http://amzn.to/2vH9vrQ" target="_blank">Amazon Tap</a> device and want to try out the service, ask &quot;Alexa, try Amazon Music Unlimited.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-amazons-alexa-can-make-your-life-easier?ref=seealso" target="_blank">20 Ways Amazon's Alexa Can Make Your Life Easier</a>)</p> <h3>Pricing</h3> <ul> <li> <p>Free 30-day trial.</p> </li> <li> <p>Non-Prime members: $9.99 per month or $79 per year for an individual subscription, $14.99 per month for a Family Plan (up to six family members).</p> </li> <li> <p>Prime members: $7.99 per month or $79 per year for an individual subscription, $14.99 per month or $149 per year (two free months) for a Family Plan (up to six family members).</p> </li> <li> <p>Owners of Amazon Echo devices: $3.99 per month per single device.</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>Note to Prime members:</strong> You already have access to over 2 million songs for ad-free and on-demand listening through Prime Music. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Amazon Prime Perks You've Forgotten to Use</a>)</p> <h2>Apple Music</h2> <p>Competing for the top spot of the most available songs, <a href="https://www.apple.com/apple-music/membership/" target="_blank">Apple Music</a> services offers 40 million songs. And with a bankroll of over $250 billion, the Cupertino giant is able to secure some exclusive contracts with artists. For example, Chance the Rapper's <em>Coloring Book</em> was only available on Apple Music for the first two weeks of release. And you'll get access to on-demand radio-style shows hosted by DJs and artists, such as Pharrell Williams and Beastie Boys' Mike D, and Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig.</p> <p>Apple Music integrates your existing iTunes library, including all purchased tracks, uploads to <a href="https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204146" target="_blank">iTunes Match</a>, and rips from physical CDs. This is a great feature for those who have already made a hefty investment in music through the Apple ecosystem.</p> <p>It's also compatible with vehicles equipped with CarPlay.</p> <h3>Pricing</h3> <ul> <li> <p>Free 90-day trial.</p> </li> <li> <p>Individual plan: $9.99 per month.</p> </li> <li> <p>Student plan: $4.99 per month, verification required and discounted price for up to 48 months.</p> </li> <li> <p>Family plan: $14.99 per month, requires iCloud Family Sharing (up to six people with up to 10 devices for each person).</p> </li> </ul> <h2>Bandcamp</h2> <p>Tired of services pushing mainstream tracks? Try to <a href="https://bandcamp.com/" target="_blank">Bandcamp</a> to uncover indie bands in unique genres. Did you know there were close to over 7,500 albums on Bandcamp tagged under the <em>vaporwave</em> genre in 2016?</p> <p>Bandcamp provides users the chance to directly support new artists. Fans have paid indie artists $236 million using Bandcamp to date. It's also a one-stop shop for artist merch and albums in physical format (cassettes and vinyls are very popular!). Bandcamp allows you to create and customize a page to share your music collection with anybody.</p> <h3>Pricing</h3> <ul> <li> <p>Listening is mostly free as long as the artist provides free access.</p> </li> <li> <p>Once you purchase a song or album, you get unlimited streaming through the Android or iOS app or any browser.</p> </li> <li> <p>Pricing varies greatly per artist, but some artists are willing to let you pay-what-you-want.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>Google Play Music</h2> <p>With over 35 million songs available for streaming, <a href="https://play.google.com/music/listen?u=0#" target="_blank">Google Play Music</a> is another top contender for the most songs online. Google Play Music is free to use, but you're limited to radio stations with ads (think Pandora) and up to 50,000 songs uploaded from your personal music collection without ads. Paid subscription plans get <a href="https://www.youtube.com/red" target="_blank">YouTube Red</a> bundled in, which eliminates ads on all YouTube videos, allows you to listen to music even when using other apps, and listen offline.</p> <h3>Pricing</h3> <ul> <li> <p>Free 30-day trial.</p> </li> <li> <p>Individual plan: $9.99 per month.</p> </li> <li> <p>Family plan: $14.99 per month (up to six people with up to 10 devices for each person).</p> </li> </ul> <h2>iHeartRadio</h2> <p>If you listen to radio, chances are that you have heard a spot asking you to give <a href="https://www.iheart.com/news/welcome-to-iheartradio-6906244/" target="_blank">iHeartRadio</a> a try. So far, over 100 million users have enjoyed iHeartRadio's library of 20 million songs and 800,000 artists.</p> <p>Listen to radio stations from all around the country, such as DC101 for Washington, D.C.'s alternative rock picks and POWER 106 for Los Angeles' freshest hip-hop. Paid plans enable you to save songs from live radio broadcasts to your playlists and instantly replay those songs.</p> <h3>Pricing</h3> <ul> <li> <p>Free 30-day trial.</p> </li> <li> <p>iHeartRadio Plus: $4.99 per month.</p> </li> <li> <p>iHeartRadio All Access: $9.99 per month (All Access plan allows you listen to tracks offline, get unlimited access to songs, and create unlimited playlists).</p> </li> </ul> <h2>Napster</h2> <p>Yes, <a href="http://us.napster.com/pricing" target="_blank">Napster</a> is still around, and it joined forces with Rhapsody to form one global brand across 34 countries. This team-up provides access to over 30 million songs.</p> <p>This service allows Rhapsody members to access all of their playlists, favorites, and libraries. All plans require a subscription. Premier, Family, and Premier +1 include a feature for access to only kid-friendly music.</p> <h3>Pricing</h3> <ul> <li> <p>unRadio plan: free 14-day trial, then $4.99 per month (no ads, up to four stations for offline listening, unlimited skips and replays, and higher quality audio).</p> </li> <li> <p>Premier +1 plan: $14.99 per month (all the features from the Rhapsody Premier plan, plus the ability to stream in two locations with the same location).</p> </li> <li> <p>Premier plan: free 30-day trial, then $9.99 per month.</p> </li> <li> <p>Family plan: starting at $14.99 per month (up to five people).</p> </li> </ul> <h2>Pandora</h2> <p>Besides Napster, this is the way Millennials started listening to music via the web. Nowadays, it boasts a catalog ranging from 30 to 40 million songs.</p> <p>The more you use <a href="https://www.pandora.com/" target="_blank">Pandora</a> by liking and disliking songs, the better the app becomes at churning out personalized music recommendations.</p> <h3>Pricing</h3> <ul> <li> <p>Free with ads.</p> </li> <li> <p>Plus plan: free 30-day trial, then $4.99 per month (no ads, up to four stations for offline listening, unlimited skips and replays, and higher quality audio).</p> </li> <li> <p>Premium plan: free 60-day trial, then $9.99 per month (no ads, unlimited skips and replays, search and play any song, create playlists, download music for offline listening, and even higher quality audio).</p> </li> </ul> <h2>SoundCloud</h2> <p><a href="https://soundcloud.com/go" target="_blank">SoundCloud</a> is another option to explore music from independent artists. Think Myspace without the pink, glittery, animated backgrounds: a streamlined service that lets you listen whatever you want, find out what other users are listening to, and interact with artists and users. Many recording artists, like Drake, for example, post their music here before it hits other streaming services.</p> <h3>Pricing</h3> <ul> <li> <p>Free plan: access to over 120 million tracks with ads.</p> </li> <li> <p>Go plan: free seven-day trial, then $4.99 per month for web or Android app access or $5.99 per month for iOS app (no ads and offline listening).</p> </li> <li> <p>Go+ plan: free 30-day trial, then $9.99 per month for web or Android app access or $5.99 per month for iOS app access (no ads, offline listening, and full access to over 150 million tracks).</p> </li> </ul> <h2>Spotify</h2> <p>Developed in 2006 in Sweden, <a href="https://www.spotify.com/us/premium/" target="_blank">Spotify</a> has become the worldwide standard for music streaming services, allowing its users to browse music in almost any way. You can search by artist, track, album, or record label.</p> <p>Spotify lets you share an artist, album, or track via your Spotify profile, social media apps, email, or text message. Many artists record exclusive sessions (1,465 songs and counting!) for Spotify and anybody can listen to them for free. Fully integrated with PlayStation Music.</p> <h3>Pricing</h3> <ul> <li> <p>Free plans: listen to all tracks but with ads.</p> </li> <li> <p>Premium plan: free 30-day trial, then $9.99 per month (ad-free, unlimited skips, offline listening, and higher quality audio).</p> </li> <li> <p>Student plan: $4.99 per month (same features as Premium, verification required and discounted price for up to 12 months.</p> </li> <li> <p>Family plan: $14.99 per month, requires iCloud Family Sharing (up to six people).</p> </li> <li> <p>PlayStation owners: For PlayStation 3 and higher models, free with ads or Premium plan for just $2.00 for two months, then $9.99 per month.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>Tidal</h2> <p>Co-founder Jay Z dubbed <a href="http://tidal.com/" target="_blank">Tidal</a> as the &quot;first-ever artist owned streaming service.&quot; Other top-tier artists who own Tidal include Alicia Keys, Arcade Fire's Win Butler and Regine Chassagne, Beyoncé, Calvin Harris, Coldplay's Chris Martin, Daft Punk, Damian Marley, deadmau5, Indochine, J. Cole, Jack White, Jason Aldean, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, T.I. and Usher.</p> <p>As a member, you'll get access to exclusive content, such as single tracks, video clips, and rereleases from artists who own the streaming service and exclusives that those artists secure. You'll also have the option to stream music using FLAC &mdash; a more robust streaming format than MP3.</p> <h3>Pricing</h3> <ul> <li> <p>Free 30-day trial for all plans.</p> </li> <li> <p>Premium plan: $9.99 per month.</p> </li> <li> <p>HiFi plan: $19.99 per month (High Fidelity sound quality).</p> </li> <li> <p>Family Premium plan: $14.99 per month.</p> </li> <li> <p>Family HiFi plan: $29.99 per month (up to five people).</p> </li> <li> <p>Student Premium plan: $4.99 per month.</p> </li> <li> <p>Student HiFi plan: $9.99 per month.</p> </li> <li> <p>Military Premium plan: $5.99 per month.</p> </li> <li> <p>Military HiFi plan: $11.99 per month.</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>Note</strong>: Some plans offer a discount when you prepay for six months. For example, the Premium plan drops to $8.49 per month.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-choose-the-best-streaming-music-service-for-you&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Choose%2520the%2520Best%2520Streaming%2520Music%2520Service%2520for%2520You.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Choose%20the%20Best%20Streaming%20Music%20Service%20for%20You"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Choose%20the%20Best%20Streaming%20Music%20Service%20for%20You.jpg" alt="How to Choose the Best Streaming Music Service for You" width="250" height="374" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</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/how-to-choose-the-best-streaming-music-service-for-you">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-podcasts-for-foodies">7 Podcasts for Foodies</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/3-subscription-services-every-traveler-needs">3 Subscription Services Every Traveler Needs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-a-breakdown-of-concert-ticket-prices">How Much?! A Breakdown of Concert Ticket Prices</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-family-plans-can-save-you-tons">How Family Plans Can Save you TONS</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/new-ways-to-listen-to-music-for-free-or-cheap">New Ways to Listen to Music for Free or Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment amazon music apple music bandcamp google play monthly subscriptions music playlists spotify tidal Thu, 31 Aug 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Damian Davila 2012630 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Save Big on Everything for Your Wedding http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-big-on-everything-for-your-wedding <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-big-on-everything-for-your-wedding" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/newlyweds_with_guest_on_their_garden_party.jpg" alt="Newlyweds with guest on their garden party" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For most people, their wedding is one of the most important days of their lives. In many cases, it's also one of the most expensive. With a little planning, though, you can still have everything you want for your special day, affordably. Here are over 25 ways to save big for your big day.</p> <h2>The general stuff</h2> <p>Cutting costs starts with the basics.</p> <h3>1. Get the right credit card</h3> <p>One of the best tools to use for paying for and saving on your wedding is credit cards. No, not to borrow more than you can afford and end up paying thousands in interest charges. But to use them to save money and get rewards. There are three main strategies for using credit cards to pay for your wedding: Getting <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">big bonuses</a> and earning <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">rewards for cash</a> or travel, getting a zero interest loan in the form of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-0-apr-for-purchases?ref=internal" target="_blank">0% APR on purchases</a> for a limited time, and paying off purchases with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">0% interest balance transfer</a> card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Travel Rewards</a>)</p> <p>In order for any of these strategies to work, you must commit to paying off your balance each month (for the rewards to actually be worthwhile), or make a plan to pay off the balance within the intro period to save on interest. Otherwise, you'll end up paying much more for your wedding than you anticipated due to the high interest charges.</p> <h3>2. Be flexible on timing</h3> <p>September, October, and June are the most popular months to get married, according to The Knot, so avoid those months for better prices. You can cut your costs further by staying away from Saturday night dates and evening weddings in general.</p> <h3>3. Pare the guest list</h3> <p>The easiest way to shave expenses across the board is to invite fewer people to your party. A smaller guest list means you'll be able to book a smaller venue, buy less food and alcohol, and hire less help. Start by eliminating anyone you haven't spoken to in more than six months, and be firm about not inviting &quot;plus-ones&quot; that you don't know.</p> <h3>4. Eliminate the bridal party</h3> <p>One of the latest wedding trends, according to Pinterest's 2017 Wedding Report, is doing without wedding attendants. Getting rid of (or shrinking) your bridal party means the focus is solely on you and your beloved. What's more, you don't have to pay for flowers, gifts, or other expenses for them.</p> <h3>5. Tap your network</h3> <p>Have a friend that does calligraphy or an uncle who's an amateur photographer? Ask them whether they'd offer their services for your wedding at cost or in lieu of a gift.</p> <h2>The venue</h2> <p>You don't have to break the bank to find a nice place to say &quot;I do.&quot;</p> <h3>6. Consider nontraditional locations</h3> <p>Choosing a venue other than a banquet hall or hotel can add personality to your party, and cut costs at the same time. Research low-key outdoor locations such as a state or national park or renting out your favorite restaurant for the night.</p> <h3>7. Combine the wedding and reception</h3> <p>Having both the ceremony and the party at the same place will cut out one of your rental fees as well as the cost of transportation from one place to the next. Plus, it's easier and less stressful for everyone.</p> <h3>8. Compare apples to apples</h3> <p>When shopping around for a venue, be sure to ask exactly what's included in the rental fee, and if there are any extra costs, such as extra fees for cake-cutting or corkage if you're bringing your own wine. Knowing what's covered will help you make an informed decision about which venue offers the best value.</p> <h3>9. Consider a destination</h3> <p>While destination weddings typically cost more for guests to attend, they can be fairly cost-effective for the couple. Many all-inclusive resorts offer relatively low-cost wedding packages in which most of the planning is already done for you. Given the cost and commitment of attending the wedding, fewer guests will attend, keeping your costs down even further.</p> <h2>The music</h2> <p>It's not a wedding without awkward dancing.</p> <h3>10. Get a smaller band</h3> <p>The cost of a live band varies depending on the type of music and where you live, but no matter what, you'll pay more for a bigger band. Cutting down the size of your band from 10 pieces to six or eight will significantly reduce the price, and your guests probably won't notice the difference.</p> <h3>11. Opt for a DJ</h3> <p>A good DJ will be just as great at getting people onto the dance floor as a band, and you'll only have to pay one person. They'll also likely be able to play every song on your list and take requests, no matter how obscure.</p> <h3>12. Go the playlist route</h3> <p>Creating your own playlist for the wedding lets you eliminate the cost of a DJ entirely, and gives you total control over the music that's played. Ask a guest to handle the emcee duties, such as introducing you and announcing the cake-cutting. Ask someone else to hit &quot;play&quot; and &quot;pause&quot; at the appropriate times, and let the playlist handle the tunes. Just makes sure to scope out the sound system ahead of time to make sure you're able to hook into the available speakers.</p> <h2>Food and drink</h2> <p>Your guests will expect something to eat &mdash; but they won't expect it to be Michelin star.</p> <h3>13. Skip the sit-down dinner</h3> <p>Serving food buffet-style reduces the cost of the meal, since you need to hire fewer servers. Plus, buffets give guests more menu options, as well as a chance to mingle at the food stations with people who aren't sitting at their table.</p> <h3>14. Count the kids</h3> <p>If you're having children at your wedding, ask the caterer whether they offer a kids' meal. Most will provide something like chicken or pizza at a per-plate cost that's significantly lower than what they're charging for adult food.</p> <h3>15. Truck it in</h3> <p>Hiring a few local food trucks can be a fun and easy way to feed guests at a more casual, outdoor wedding. You'll want to bring in a few trucks in order to offer variety and ensure that guests aren't spending too much time standing in line.</p> <h3>16. Serve a sheet cake</h3> <p>Rather than splurging on a fancy tiered cake, purchase a small, decorated round cake for you and your spouse to use for the cake-cutting ceremony. Keep a cheaper supermarket sheet cake in the kitchen to serve to the guests. The quality and taste will be the same, and most will never know the difference.</p> <h2>Photography</h2> <p>Memorialize the occasion with affordable photos &mdash; not big credit card balances.</p> <h3>17. Set time limits</h3> <p>Cut the costs of your videographer and photographer by limiting the time that they're actually on-site and shooting. Skip the pre-wedding formal photos, and let the photographer or videographer finish up after the cake cutting. You'll have candid photos that capture the essence of the ceremony and reception.</p> <h3>18. Forget the photo booth</h3> <p>Eight in 10 couples who got married last year installed a photo booth for guests to take keepsake photos. Go old school instead and put a few disposable cameras on your tables for guests to use for snapping pictures.</p> <h2>Decor</h2> <p>Bright, cheery, and cheap should be your strategy with wedding decor.</p> <h3>19. Go with large, seasonal flowers and lots of greens</h3> <p>Local, seasonal flowers will cost less since there will be no shipping charge for your florist. Using large flowers (like hydrangeas or peonies) accented with greens allows you to get a bigger look while purchasing fewer blooms.</p> <h3>20. Dry it out</h3> <p>Dried flowers cost considerably less (and last considerably longer) than their fresh cousins. They make great bouquets or centerpieces for a wedding with a vintage feel.</p> <h3>21. DIY</h3> <p>Avoid the florist altogether and make your own centerpieces (get inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram). The dollar store is a great, low-cost resource to stock up on vases, votive candles, and other accessories for your tables.</p> <h2>Clothing and accessories</h2> <p>Why spend a ton on something you'll only wear once?</p> <h3>22. Rent your dress (or accessories)</h3> <p>Grooms have been renting their tuxes for years. Now, thanks to websites such as <a href="https://www.renttherunway.com/" target="_blank">RentTheRunway</a>, brides can also avoid forking over a fortune for an outfit they're only going to wear one time. Renting your dress allows you pay a fraction of the garment's cost while wearing real designer clothes on your wedding day.</p> <h3>23. Look for a non-bridal dress</h3> <p>Hit up your favorite dress store to see whether there are any off-the-rack white dresses that could serve as a wedding dress without the monster price tag. Or forget about white altogether and simply look for a dress you love that you might be able to wear again.</p> <h3>24. Something old, something new-to-you</h3> <p>Most people only wear their wedding dress once, so it's possible to find secondhand gowns that are in great condition. In addition to Craigslist and eBay, check out <a href="https://www.preownedweddingdresses.com/" target="_blank">PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com</a>, where you can find designer dresses for up to 75 percent off. (It's also a good site to keep in mind after your wedding, since you may be able to sell your gown for some extra cash.)</p> <h2>Invitations</h2> <p>You'll need to send more than a bunch of text messages to invite your guests &mdash; but not much more.</p> <h3>25. Skip save-the-date cards</h3> <p>Your biggest VIP guests probably already have your wedding date committed to memory. Use a site like Evite to send online save-the-date notifications to everyone else, or simply send out an email blast. You'll avoid the expense of printing and shopping for an additional set of cards on top of your invitations.</p> <h3>26. Think minimal</h3> <p>The bells and whistles of formal wedding invitations (letterpress printing, envelope lining, response cards, tissue paper) add up quickly. Skip the extras and select a simple design that can fit on a single card. If there's additional information you want to convey, direct guests to your website.</p> <h3>27. Design them online</h3> <p>Use a site like TinyPrints to select from dozens of templates, rather than paying someone to design the invitation for you. Then, you can order hard copies of the invitations and mail them out, or cut your costs even further by sending them digitally to your guests.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beth-braverman">Beth Braverman</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-big-on-everything-for-your-wedding">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-big-ticket-wedding-items-you-should-borrow-instead-of-buy">5 Big Ticket Wedding Items You Should Borrow Instead of Buy</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-family-plans-can-save-you-tons">How Family Plans Can Save you TONS</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/five-more-tips-for-eating-in-restaurants-and-sticking-to-a-budget">Five More Tips For Eating In Restaurants And Sticking To A Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-in-5-seconds-or-less-with-these-27-easy-tricks">Save Money in 5 Seconds or Less With These 29 Easy Tricks</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-sibling-discounts-that-can-save-you-big">6 Sibling Discounts That Can Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living caterers discounts DJ Food getting married music photography renting save the dates saving money venues weddings Tue, 06 Jun 2017 08:30:16 +0000 Beth Braverman 1959962 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Subscription Services Every Traveler Needs http://www.wisebread.com/3-subscription-services-every-traveler-needs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-subscription-services-every-traveler-needs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-626700900.jpg" alt="every traveler needs these subscriptions" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Subscription services are everywhere these days, and some of them are great for frequent travelers. We've compiled a list of convenient ways you can save money through subscriptions that will work whether you're at home or traveling.</p> <h2>Netflix</h2> <p>Since it came out in 1997, Netflix has grown to be an international entertainment giant. And with good reason. While it can be great to watch movies or TV shows from the comfort of your home, Netflix can also travel with you to 190 different countries where you can stream content around the world.</p> <p>I have personally used Netflix in both France and Mexico. The selection of films and TV shows varies from country to country, but I love having the option to watch Netflix while I'm traveling. First, it gives me the ability to easily watch my favorite shows while I'm abroad, which can be a big comfort when I'm surrounded by a foreign language and culture. But secondly, I also like Netflix in that it is adapted to the local context and offers a good selection of some of the classic and contemporary films from the country I'm visiting.</p> <p>For instance, in Mexico, there's a very popular Netflix original show called Club de Cuervos, which is about a fictitious soccer team. Having a Netflix subscription made it easy for me to check out local pop culture. Watching local shows is also a great way to practice a foreign language, and you can always turn on the subtitles if you're struggling to understand.</p> <p>At $7.99 a month for online streaming to one screen in standard definition, a Netflix subscription costs less than one movie ticket and about one-seventh the price of the average cable bill. For that you get a wide selection of movies and TV shows in your home or hotel.</p> <h2>Spotify</h2> <p>One of my favorite subscriptions is Spotify. For a music lover like me, the premium subscription is well worth the price tag. The sign-up offer gives you a month for free, and then it costs $9.99 a month after that. You can save even more money with a student or family subscription.</p> <p>With the premium subscription, you're freed from advertisements popping up every few songs when you stream, and you get the option to download tracks to your device, which is great for travel. Having the tunes on your phone or tablet saves you the cost of data that you'd need to use to stream songs.</p> <p>Plus, with either the free or paid versions of the service, you have access to a huge library of music that's more affordable than buying lots of CDs or album downloads.</p> <h2>Amazon Subscribe &amp; Save</h2> <p>If you're spending lots of time away from home, it can be hard to keep up with tasks like keeping the house stocked for when you get back. When you get home from a trip, you'll want to spend time with friends and family, not out buying toilet paper.</p> <p>Amazon's <a href="http://amzn.to/2meUESq" target="_blank">Subscribe &amp; Save</a> can help by automatically delivering household staples, including groceries, office supplies, and beauty products. You choose the products you want to receive and set up an automated delivery. Deliveries of at least five products on a monthly basis are eligible for discounts of up to 15 percent.</p> <p>If you normally spend $300 a month on these types of items, that means you're setting yourself up for a monthly savings of $45 and the cost of gas, not to mention the time it takes you to do these errands yourself.</p> <p>Depending on how often you're on the road, you may need to check in just to make sure you don't end up with a large supply of paper napkins that you don't have space for.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F3-subscription-services-every-traveler-needs&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F3%2520Subscription%2520Services%2520Every%2520Traveler%2520Needs.jpg&amp;description=3%20Subscription%20Services%20Every%20Traveler%20Needs"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/3%20Subscription%20Services%20Every%20Traveler%20Needs.jpg" alt="3 Subscription Services Every Traveler Needs" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-subscription-services-every-traveler-needs">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/how-family-plans-can-save-you-tons">How Family Plans Can Save you TONS</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-get-netflix-and-hulu-to-play-on-your-tv">How to Get Netflix and Hulu to Play on Your TV</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-choose-the-best-streaming-music-service-for-you">How to Choose the Best Streaming Music Service for 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/3-tv-must-haves-once-you-cut-the-cable-cord">3 TV Must-Haves Once You Cut the Cable Cord</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/these-6-things-will-make-your-next-flight-more-comfortable">These 6 Things Will Make Your Next Flight More Comfortable</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Travel abroad Amazon deliveries movies music netflix shopping spotify subscribe and save subscription services tv Wed, 19 Apr 2017 08:30:06 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1926605 at http://www.wisebread.com These 6 Things Will Make Your Next Flight More Comfortable http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-things-will-make-your-next-flight-more-comfortable <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-6-things-will-make-your-next-flight-more-comfortable" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-537456529.jpg" alt="Woman making her next flight more comfortable" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Traveling by plane can be uncomfortable, with long waits in the airport followed by hours packed into ever-smaller airplane seats. Rushed and frustrated, you often end up paying way more than you should for small conveniences.</p> <p>After years of traveling and countless hours in transit, I've put together this practical guide to help you avoid the pitfalls of air travel and enjoy your trip. Here are some easy ways you can ensure you have a smooth, painless experience, both in the airport and once you board the plane. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tricks-to-make-flying-in-coach-feel-almost-luxurious?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Tricks to Make Flying in Coach Feel (Almost) Luxurious</a>)</p> <h2>1. Bring your own food and tea bags</h2> <p>Food at airports and onboard domestic flights is expensive &mdash; often double the cost you'd normally pay. And though meals are usually free on international flights, the quality is notoriously hit or miss. It's always best to err on the side of caution. Bring your own <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-to-pack-delicious-and-cheap-airline-snacks?ref=internal" target="_blank">healthy snacks</a>, like nuts, and dried and fresh fruit. Sandwiches made with bagels are also easily packable and won't squish easily in your bag.</p> <p>Consider, too, bringing some herbal tea bags. Most coffee shops and flight attendants will give you hot water for free if you ask. This can save you on pricey airport lattes and help you stay calmer than drinking caffeinated beverages. Herbal tea is an especially good choice if you want to snooze while you're on the plane.</p> <h2>2. Bring your own water bottle</h2> <p>Bring an empty water bottle to get through security, and then fill up at the water fountains around the airport. If you're in a country where drinking from the fountain isn't always safe, consider heading to a coffee shop or restaurant and asking them to fill up your bottle with water from the soda dispenser. You can often get ice this way, too!</p> <p>Having your own water bottle on the plane helps you stay hydrated without relying on sometimes slow service from the flight attendants, who dole out liquids in tiny plastic cups. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers</a>)</p> <h2>3. Choose the right credit card</h2> <p>Booking your flight through an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">airline credit card</a> gives you extra perks while flying. You'll usually get priority boarding, allowing you to get on the plane before all of the overhead bins are filled up with carry-ons. You may also get discounts on in-flight purchases, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-types-of-travel-insurance-credit-cards-include-that-you-didnt-know-about?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel protections</a> in case your flight is canceled or your baggage doesn't show up.</p> <p>Some premium cards even grant you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access?ref=internal" target="_blank">access to airport lounges</a>, which can make layovers infinitely more comfortable. You'll also get excellent service from staff in the lounges if your flight is canceled and you need to rebook. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Travel Perks You Didn't Know Your Credit Card Had</a>)</p> <h2>4. Pack for success</h2> <p>Think strategically <em>before</em> you leave home about how you will spend your time while in transit. If you're checking a bag, be sure to put the items you want to use during the flight in your carry-on. It's frustrating to have packed your earbuds in your checked bag when you need them on the plane!</p> <p>In-flight entertainment can be a good distraction from long hours of discomfort and boredom. But some airlines don't offer any entertainment, or at least not any that you're interested in. Bring your own to be sure you can stay occupied during the flight.</p> <p>If you start your trip equipped with the right reading material, some good music, and a few favorite TV shows or movies, you may be surprised how fast your airport and flying time goes by. Amazon Prime allows you to download free books, movies, and music to take with you, and other services such as Netflix and the premium version of Spotify have similar services. You can also save free podcasts to your phone, or pay for audiobooks. With <a href="http://amzn.to/2mQTcWF" target="_blank">Audible's audiobook</a> service, your first book is free.</p> <p>Make sure your electronics are charged and ready to go. Some flights offer outlets but you don't want to take the chance that your seat doesn't have it or is not working.</p> <p><strong>Bonus Trick:</strong> If you can do without the checked bag entirely, this is an easier and faster way to travel. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-carry-on-luggage-can-save-you-time-and-money?ref=internal" target="_blank">Traveling with just a carry-on</a> means you can say goodbye to expensive checked bag fees and worries about lost luggage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-packing-secrets-from-a-professional-traveler?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Packing Secrets From a Professional Traveler</a>)</p> <h2>5. Set yourself up for sleep</h2> <p>Sleeping on a plane is another way to make the time pass quickly, but it's admittedly tricky business.</p> <p>Bring along the items you need for slumber, including an eye mask, ear plugs, sleeping medications, and a neck pillow to get comfortable. A jacket can double as a pillow or blanket if need be. Try to get these items in advance. A neck pillow at the airport can cost twice as much as at a regular store.</p> <p>Keep everything in a clothing pocket or a bag under your seat so it's easy to access when you feel drowsy. Getting up to rummage through a bag in the overhead bin is a sure way to wake yourself back up.</p> <h2>6. Try to have a sense of humor</h2> <p>Airports can be great spots for people watching. You get to see humanity in action in its many colorful renditions. Of course, it's annoying to be restricted in your movements and trapped in stale air for a long time, but keep things in perspective.</p> <p>You're getting to experience one of the most freeing things of all, the ability to jet somewhere far away. Having a good attitude will only make the ride that much better.</p> <p>By preparing yourself to have a good trip, packing a few travel essentials, and keeping a positive attitude, you can make traveling by plane not just bearable, but even enjoyable. Happy flying! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-to-keep-you-sane-on-a-plane?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Things to Keep You Sane on a Plane</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthese-6-things-will-make-your-next-flight-more-comfortable&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThese%206%20Things%20Will%20Make%20Your%20Next%20Flight%20More%20Comfortable.jpg&amp;description=These%206%20Things%20Will%20Make%20Your%20Next%20Flight%20More%20Comfortable" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <div align="center">&nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/These%206%20Things%20Will%20Make%20Your%20Next%20Flight%20More%20Comfortable.jpg" alt="These 6 Things Will Make Your Next Flight More Comfortable" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-things-will-make-your-next-flight-more-comfortable">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/the-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use">The Secret Flight Search Site Savvy Travelers Use</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-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</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-ways-to-avoid-or-mitigate-flight-delays">9 Ways to Avoid or Mitigate Flight Delays</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-sign-up-for-global-entry">How to Sign Up for Global Entry</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/fly-out-of-these-airports-and-save-big-on-airfare">Fly Out of These Airports and Save Big on Airfare</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel air travel airplanes comfortable travel entertainment flights flying Food movies music reading sleeping snacks Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:30:41 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1914539 at http://www.wisebread.com How Family Plans Can Save you TONS http://www.wisebread.com/how-family-plans-can-save-you-tons <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-family-plans-can-save-you-tons" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_watching_tv_90916655.jpg" alt="Learning how family plans can save you tons" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While house phones and cable may be on their way toward obsoletion, the subscription market is booming. You can find a subscription or membership plan for just about anything &mdash; your favorite TV shows, your cell phone, music, and even Uber.</p> <p>While these subscription plans can save consumers money, especially if you switch from a $100 cable bill to a $7.99 Hulu bill, they can still add up. Thankfully, many subscription or membership plans offer discounts for families. Here are the top shareable accounts you can take advantage of to save money.</p> <h2>TV Streaming</h2> <p>There are quite a few TV streaming services available right now. Most of them don't openly advertise a family sharing plan, but you can activate the streaming on multiple devices.</p> <h3>Netflix</h3> <p>Netflix allows users to stream shows on up to six devices, have up to five profiles, and even stream simultaneously on up to four devices at a time. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tricks-for-a-better-netflix-experience" target="_blank">6 Tricks for a Better Netflix Experience</a>)</p> <h3>Hulu</h3> <p>Membership can be activated on however many devices you wish, but streaming can only be done on one device at a time.</p> <h3>Amazon Prime</h3> <p>Amazon Prime allows users to add one adult to their account, and have up to four children profiles. Sharing Amazon Prime means the shared user has access to the large library of Prime shows and movies. Two different shows can be streamed at the same time on two different devices.</p> <h3>HBO Now</h3> <p>HBO Now doesn't offer specific rules on sharing, but several devices can use the same HBO account, though simultaneous streaming is limited. Funny enough, HBO CEO Richard Pepler said, &quot;It's not that we're unmindful of it, it just has no impact on the business. In fact, the practice of sharing usernames and passwords serves as a terrific marketing vehicle for the next generation of viewers.&quot;</p> <h2>Spotify</h2> <p>Spotify just rolled out its revised family plan in May. It allows you and up to five family members to enjoy a Spotify Premium account for only $14.99 a month. That works out to about $2.50 per person. What is neat about Spotify's family account is that six people are not sharing the same account. Instead, all six individuals in the family get their own premium account, which means they can play their favorite music ad-free and offline.</p> <p>There are some restrictions to Spotify's family plan. All members must reside at the same address, though it is unclear how Spotify enforces this rule. Also, the account head will be billed the $14.99 each month, so you could get stuck with the $14.99 monthly bill if other family members don't pay you their portion.</p> <h2>Uber</h2> <p>Uber launched its Family Profiles in March for select cities. Even though Uber called its new program &quot;Family Profiles,&quot; the company does not discriminate if you add friends or coworkers. Once this feature is more widely available, the profile can include up to 10 riders under one payment option.</p> <p>This makes it easier to arrange rides for college students in other cities or to help older family members who cannot drive to do errands.</p> <h2>Cell Phones</h2> <p>It is no secret that you cell phone providers offer family share plans. Before we got married, my husband and I joined his sister's family plan with Verizon. It was the cheaper alternative to getting on our own plan. Somehow our bill kept growing (because his sister's family was charging us the same amount as their phones, even though they were using premium services). We were able to pay less on our own family plan with T-Mobile.</p> <p>With T-Mobile, we are not on a contract and only pay about $55 for both of us. To get that price, we added my father and sister at $25 per line. With T-Mobile, the phones are pricier, since you are not under a contract. However, there are no extra charges for using too much data or texting. When one of us goes over our allotted data, instead of receiving a hefty charge, our browsing and streaming just slows considerably.</p> <p>Another affordable family plan to consider is<a href="https://www.cricketwireless.com/5for100">Cricket's</a> five lines for $100. The basic plan starts at $40 ($35 after autopay discount). Then you can add on a second line for $30, the third line for $20, the fourth line for $10, and the fifth line should be free. This would equate to $20 per person on the plan (or less, depending on the autopay discount).</p> <h2>Kindle Library</h2> <p>If you share an Amazon Prime account with another adult, they will be able to access the Kindle Owners' Lending Library if they own a Kindle. Even if you do not add on someone to your Amazon Prime account, you can still lend out books to friends and family members, as long as the book has lending rights.</p> <p>Using family plans and sharing accounts is a great way to save money on membership and subscription costs. Just be sure to know the terms and conditions before sharing. Some companies have specific programs designed for family sharing, while others frown upon sharing your password.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite way to save money on subscription services?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-family-plans-can-save-you-tons">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-subscription-services-every-traveler-needs">3 Subscription Services Every Traveler Needs</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/life-without-tv">Life Without Television</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-big-on-everything-for-your-wedding">How to Save Big on Everything for Your Wedding</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-get-netflix-and-hulu-to-play-on-your-tv">How to Get Netflix and Hulu to Play on Your TV</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/who-really-owns-your-digital-assets">Who Really Owns Your Digital Assets?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living books cell phones family plans music netflix saving money spotify streaming subscription plans tv Tue, 19 Jul 2016 09:30:38 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1753338 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Amazon Prime Perks You've Forgotten to Use http://www.wisebread.com/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_music_headphones_000091734517.jpg" alt="Woman forgetting to use her Amazon Prime perks" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With the recent news of Amazon changing <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/18/business/amazon-challenges-netflix-by-opening-prime-to-monthly-subscribers.html">how they charge for Prime</a>, and allowing users to pay on a month-by-month basis, it has many revisiting their membership and asking themselves if they're using Prime to its fullest potential. It's with this frame of mind that I wanted to talk about some of the lesser known Prime perks. After all, Amazon Prime these days is much more than just free two-day shipping, and some of these perks can actually replace monthly premium pay services and help reduce your overall entertainment costs.</p> <h2>1. Unlimited Photo Storage</h2> <p>One of the least used Prime perks is the free <a href="https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/primephotos">unlimited photo storage service</a>. Their cloud drive is secure and allows you to upload and access photos from your PC, mobile device, or via any web connection. So the next time your smartphone or SD card on your digital camera is reaching capacity, you can easily upload your photos to the Amazon cloud.The only limit that Amazon places on your cloud storage is with 1080p video &mdash; you're only allowed 5GB of storage, where the Google free storage option allows unlimited storage.</p> <h2>2. Prime Music</h2> <p>The <a href="http://amzn.to/1TuI49b">Amazon Prime Music Streaming Service</a> has gotten much better in recent months and is worth revisiting. Its improvements make it a fantastic alternative to premium pay music services like Spotify Premium and Pandora One. For example, all Prime Music Stations and custom created playlists now offer ad-free listening with unlimited skips, making it very comparable to premium services. You can now also download songs directly to your listening device, allowing for offline playback when an Internet connection is not available.</p> <h2>3. Prime &quot;Early Access&quot; Deals</h2> <p>As a Prime member, have you ever heard of a site called <a href="http://www.myhabit.com/">MyHabit</a>? If you're like most members, probably not, but it's definitely worth a look as it's owned by Amazon and specializes in highly discounted clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry, and home items. The deals, often in the 70% off range, are only available to registered Amazon members, and <a href="http://www.myhabit.com/help/201612240">30-minute early access</a> to these deals is granted only to Prime members. Once on the MyHabit website, simply look for the Early Access logo and start your bargain shopping before popular items get snatched up by non-Prime members. It's also worth mentioning that, unfortunately, free two-day Prime shipping is not available on your orders from MyHabit. Their standard shipping rate is a flat $5.95.</p> <h2>4. Amazon Prime Pantry</h2> <p>Another perk that many busy families are not taking advantage of is <a href="http://amzn.to/1YaPEKg">Prime Pantry</a>, which offers &quot;low-priced everyday essentials in everyday sizes, delivered to your home.&quot; The key takeaway to their tagline is &quot;everyday sizes,&quot; as you no longer have to order in bulk and hope you use it all. You can now order the amount that you'll actually use. As long as it fits in your &quot;virtual box,&quot; you'll get it delivered to your doorstep for a flat $5.99. It becomes kind of a fun game to follow your box &quot;fill-percentage&quot; while building your online order. Popular <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-save-with-amazon-prime-pantry">Amazon Pantry</a> product categories include groceries, snacks, household, pet supplies, and baby care. If you've never explored this Prime service, and you could use some help keeping your kitchen pantry full, it's definitely worth a look.</p> <h2>5. Free Video Streaming</h2> <p>Are you a Prime member and currently paying for an online streaming service like Netflix or Hulu Plus? If so, you probably haven't explored <a href="http://amzn.to/1TuIa0B">Prime Video</a> recently. For many users, it has become an excellent replacement for the above mentioned pay services. Improvements in recent months include several highly rated Amazon original series, more monthly-added Prime movies and TV shows, and an easier to navigate interface.</p> <h2>6. Amazon Family</h2> <p>My wife and I had our Prime membership for two years before we took the time to see if the<a href="http://amzn.to/1WL7GDR"> Amazon Family</a> program (formerly Amazon Mom) could benefit us. Come to find out, I wish we had used it much earlier as it saves us a lot of time and money every month. Straight from their site, &quot;Amazon Family provides Prime members exclusive family-oriented offers, coupons, age-based recommendations, 20% off diaper subscriptions, and a 15% Baby Registry completion discount.&quot; The 20% diaper savings alone would have been of a great benefit. Also, if you have young children, the coupon offers will often save you 15%&ndash;20% on baby health items, baby food, as well as kitchen and beauty items.</p> <h2>7. Free Trial for Students</h2> <p>I was just recently chatting with a college freshman, and he was telling me about all the things he needed to buy for his dorm room. I asked if he had taken advantage of the <a href="http://amzn.to/1YaQcj2">free six-month Amazon Prime</a> trial that they offer. Surprisingly, he had never heard of it and was excited to get the free two-day shipping on all products sold directly by Amazon. It's worth noting that other perks like Prime Video, Prime Music, and the Kindle Lending Library are not available during the trial period. But after your six-month trial ends, you'll have the option to purchase Amazon Prime for 50% off the $99 price tag at which point you'll gain access to all the Prime perks.</p> <p><em>How do you use Amazon Prime to its fullest potential? Or if not a member, do any of these perks sway your decision to join?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwisebread.com%2F7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%20Amazon%20Prime%20Perks%20Youve%20Forgotten%20to%20Use_0.jpg&amp;description=7%20Amazon%20Prime%20Perks%20Youve%20Forgotten%20to%20Use" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <div align="center">&nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Amazon%20Prime%20Perks%20Youve%20Forgotten%20to%20Use_0.jpg" alt="7 Amazon Prime Perks Youve Forgotten to Use" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use">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/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-avoid-sneaky-online-price-changes">6 Ways to Avoid Sneaky Online Price Changes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-secrets-of-amazons-pricing-strategy-will-help-you-find-the-best-buys">These Secrets of Amazon&#039;s Pricing Strategy Will Help You Find the Best Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-little-known-amazon-shopping-hacks">5 Little Known Amazon Shopping Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-always-order-on-amazon">10 Things You Should Always Order on Amazon</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Amazon early access deals free shipping music online shopping Prime prime pantry students Wed, 18 May 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Kyle James 1706851 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Big Ticket Wedding Items You Should Borrow Instead of Buy http://www.wisebread.com/5-big-ticket-wedding-items-you-should-borrow-instead-of-buy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-big-ticket-wedding-items-you-should-borrow-instead-of-buy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/newlywed_couple_000042336338.jpg" alt="Married couple finding wedding items to borrow instead of buy" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting fed up with the high ticket prices on wedding items? Zero out a few fields in your wedding budget and &quot;borrow&quot; them instead.</p> <p>See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-save-on-a-wedding-dress?ref=seealso">7 Smart Ways to Save on a Wedding Dress</a></p> <h2>1. The Altar, Arch, or Canopy</h2> <p>This is an item everyone wants, until they remember how it's totally useless after the wedding. Building your own structure is awesome if you're handy, but why not borrow one? Try asking your officiant, venue, or your religious institution if they already have some materials you can use. For my wedding, our Rabbi already had the elements for a simple chuppah, so we used that instead of buying or renting an expensive one.</p> <p>If you are getting married outdoors, find a nearby tree. A tree is not only the perfect backdrop and canopy in one, but it's a great symbol for the family you are making.</p> <h2>2. The Live Band or DJ</h2> <p>Instead of hiring a DJ, why not make the music a fun activity for your guests in anticipation of your wedding? Make a form on your wedding site asking guests what song they want to move their bodies to on the dance floor. You (or your Best Man or Maid of Honor) can gather up all the answers to form one epic playlist. Have your coordinator hit play at the start of the reception and let the good times roll.</p> <p>Really have your heart set on a live band? If you are friends with musicians, try asking them to play for a portion of your wedding as their gift to you. Of course, they are working, too, so it may not be fair to keep them from enjoying the full night of festivities. Talk to your friends and family musicians to see how they can be a part of your wedding and enjoy it, too.</p> <h2>3. The Table Decor</h2> <p>From bunting to centerpieces, this is a factor of every wedding budget that tends to spiral out of control. A few ideas to borrow...</p> <ul> <li>Looked at the florist's quote and cried? Instead of buying their labor, try having the mothers of the family gather flowers from their homes in mismatched vases to use as table dressings.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Bored of flowers and want something unique? Borrow framed family photos from all sides of the family and place them as table centerpieces with a few small tealights from the Dollar Store.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Borrow old books from your parents' bookshelves. Pick some ones that mean a lot to you to stack as a cute, nerdy centerpiece.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Looking for old decor that you don't have to DIY? Try asking your local department store when they will discard their window displays. Anthropologie tends to take theirs down every month.</li> </ul> <h2>4. The Getaway Car</h2> <p>Every couple wants a cool way to leave their reception, but trying to book a Batmobile or a vintage Rolls Royce can mean the difference between being on budget and having to cut down your honeymoon. Ask around! You probably have a relative or friend of a friend with a cool ride (or a connection to one). Leave in something authentic and cool, instead of paying hundreds for a rental that someone else will have to return for you the next day.</p> <h2>5. The Photography</h2> <p>While it's awesome to have a professional photographer following you all day, it's simply not in the cards for everyone. Lots of couples are saving room in the wedding budget by going the guest-sourced photography route. All your friends and family are eager to snap photos of the big day already, so encourage them to get their Instagrams ready. A great way to include guest photography can be through a game or scavenger hunt for people or details, like with the <a href="https://ceremonyapp.com/">Ceremony app</a>. Just be clear about when it is okay to ambush the couple for photos.</p> <p>The wedding goes by fast, so the most beautiful part is seeing your wedding through the eyes of all your friends and family just days later. Remember to make a Dropbox or Flickr account for everyone to add their memories.</p> <p><em>What else should couples borrow for wedding day?</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/5-big-ticket-wedding-items-you-should-borrow-instead-of-buy">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/how-to-save-big-on-everything-for-your-wedding">How to Save Big on Everything for Your Wedding</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-a-great-wedding-if-you-havent-saved-enough">How to Have a Great Wedding if You Haven&#039;t Saved Enough</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-family-plans-can-save-you-tons">How Family Plans Can Save you TONS</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-big-list-of-money-saving-coupon-codes-for-halloween-2016">The Big List of Money-Saving Coupon Codes for Halloween 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-americans-spend-too-much-on">5 Things Americans Spend Too Much On</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living borrowing decorations DJ flowers marriage music photography weddings Mon, 22 Feb 2016 10:30:27 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1659838 at http://www.wisebread.com This Is the Best Music to Listen to If You Want to Be Productive http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-best-music-to-listen-to-if-you-want-to-be-productive <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-is-the-best-music-to-listen-to-if-you-want-to-be-productive" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/music-459417755.jpg" alt="listening to music" title="listening to music" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I prefer to work in silence. I don't want any background noise, including music, loud talking, or a TV on. In the working world, I'm probably in the minority. Music can help workers relax, get excited about their work, and drown out distractions such as traffic noise or talkative office workers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shhhhh-how-to-block-out-noise?ref=seealso">How to Block Out Noise</a>)</p> <p>I've worked in newsrooms that buzz with discussions, and that can be invigorating and provides motivation to keep writing or editing. But music can work much better for some people, helping with focus and improving mental tasks and mental development. What parent hasn't played Mozart for their baby, hoping it would make them smarter, even though the theory has been overblown?</p> <p>While some people argue that listening to any type of <a href="http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/listen-and-learn-music-for-the-brain-20140206-32382.html">music will improve performance</a>, there are some views that certain types of music will help with specific types of work. Here are a few. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-focused-at-work?ref=seealso">Ways to Listen to Music for Free or Cheap</a>)</p> <h2>Classical Music Makes You Smarter, Sleepier, and Healthier</h2> <p>A 2005 study at the University of San Diego found that <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15296685">classical music lowers blood pressure</a>. It can also put you to sleep, researchers have found, which can't be a good thing at work. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-focused-at-work?ref=seealso">Staying Focused at Work</a>)</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1281386/?tool=pubmed#ref1">Mozart effect</a> may be the most-cited study on the connection between Mozart's music and improving IQ.</p> <p>Karan Singh, a teacher of Indian classical music in New Jersey, says that in 30 years of playing music, he's found the best <a href="http://swartarang.webs.com/">music to play at work is string music</a>, recorded on middle octave and played softly.</p> <p>&quot;Intelligent improvisations in the compositions will trigger the best creativity in the workers,&quot; Singh says. &quot;It will generate tolerance and calmness. I have noticed that even when I teach music to students coming from different walks of life.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Music plays an effective role in subduing the so-called emotional balance,&quot; he says. &quot;For optimum results, select light instrumental music since it will not have verbal words which will attract the attention of your mind particularly. Listen to the music in low volume or medium volume for optimum influence. People listening to soft music will be totally relaxed.&quot;</p> <h2>Feel-Good Music Gets You Going</h2> <p>This genre can vary widely, depending on your tastes. Jazz, soft rock, oldies, and '80s music can &quot;provide a <a href="http://junearcher.wordpress.com/">feel-good vibe to get you going</a> and help you sustain you throughout the day,&quot; says June Archer, a musician and recording consultant.</p> <p>Archer points to laundromats that play oldies music to help customers get their clothes washed, dried, and out the door quicker. Such songs include &quot;The Dock of the Bay&quot; by Otis Redding, &quot;Up On the Roof&quot; by The Drifters, and &quot;Chain of Fools&quot; by Aretha Franklin.</p> <p>&quot;The oldies provide a tone of feel-good music that stimulates a sense of urgency to feel better, and in return makes productivity go up,&quot; he says.</p> <h2>An Upbeat Tempo Helps You Feel ... Upbeat</h2> <p>Like &quot;Car Wash&quot; and other songs that get you to dance, music with a heavy beat may be productive for any type of work if done in short bursts. Play a few songs, get reinvigorated, and then return to work without music.</p> <p><a href="http://www.musicmakersnh.com/trisha-craig.asp">Trisha Craig</a>, director of Music Makers, a music lesson business based in New Hampshire, says that music with a heavy beat can help more with manual labor, but it can also help office workers if played for a bit to improve their mood. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-improve-a-bad-mood?ref=seealso">Easy Ways to Improve a Bad Mood</a>)</p> <p>&quot;Listening to music with a heavy beat, regardless of genre, will elevate the mood while taking focus away from intellectual activities,&quot; Craig says. &quot;The same music, however, might increase production for physical work, exercise, or manual labor.&quot;</p> <p>The best way to increase productivity for indoor activities is to listen to something to first elevate the mood and heart rate, then do the work in silence or with white noise to cancel out extraneous sounds.</p> <p>&quot;As energy wanes, take another music break, get recharged, then work in silence again,&quot; she says.</p> <h2>Ambient Music Is Still Engaging</h2> <p>Elevator music, music at your dentist's office, or telephone &quot;hold&quot; music are examples of ambient music that are played in the background that you might not notice or think about. It will keep your brain engaged without you realizing it.</p> <p>A great example is &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002PZVH0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0002PZVH0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Music for Airports</a>&quot; by Brian Eno. I've never even noticed music playing at airports, but if this was playing, I expect it would allow me to more calmly get to my flight's gate.</p> <p>There's also &quot;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSV3jRMiRRE">chillout music</a>&quot; to give dance club patrons a break to relax that could help just as much with work.</p> <p>Whatever type of music you prefer, it's worth listening to more at work if it helps you be more productive. Time for me to take a dance break.</p> <p><em>Do you listen to music while you work? Sing 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/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-best-music-to-listen-to-if-you-want-to-be-productive">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/this-is-why-your-projects-always-take-longer-than-you-expect">This Is Why Your Projects Always Take Longer Than You Expect</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/create-a-reverse-bucket-list-to-improve-your-money-management">Create a Reverse Bucket List to Improve Your Money Management</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/youre-blocking-your-own-success-heres-how-to-stop">You&#039;re Blocking Your Own Success — Here&#039;s How to Stop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-and-fun-ways-to-reward-yourself">20 Free and Fun Ways to Reward Yourself</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/change-your-life-by-changing-your-bedtime-routine">Change Your Life by Changing Your Bedtime Routine</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips motivation music productivity Fri, 21 Mar 2014 09:48:14 +0000 Aaron Crowe 1131659 at http://www.wisebread.com Why Learning the Guitar Is the Best Investment You Can Ever Make http://www.wisebread.com/why-learning-the-guitar-is-the-best-investment-you-can-ever-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-learning-the-guitar-is-the-best-investment-you-can-ever-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/musician-1915247-small_0.jpg" alt="guitar" title="guitar" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We often think of investments in terms of dollars and cents. Financial investments are judged on their ability to show a monetary profit over time. But how about an investment in a life skill that will reward you mentally, physically, emotionally, and even socially for all the years of your life? One of the best things I ever did was pick up a stranger's guitar at a party when I was 17. Here are eight reasons learning the guitar is the best investment you can ever make. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-music-lessons-worth-it-hidden-benefits-may-tip-the-scale" target="_blank">Are Music Lessons Worth It? Hidden Benefits May Tip the Scale</a>)</p> <h2>1. It's Ubiquitous</h2> <p>Why the guitar? Of all instruments, the guitar is the most versatile, popular, and portable. You can't lug a piano to a beach or park. When was the last time someone whipped out a clarinet at a party? Nearly everyone's family has at least one guitar lying around somewhere. With a guitar you can play single notes or chords, and you can play by yourself or with other musicians. And most importantly, you can use it to accompany singing.</p> <h2>2. It's Cheap</h2> <p>From a purely monetary perspective, getting started playing guitar is as cheap as can be. If you can't find a family member or friend to give you hers for free, you can easily pick up a very playable guitar new out of the showroom for $100-200. And if you're really budget conscious, you can find a huge second hand market on Craigslist or eBay where you can pick a guitar up for less than 50% of the new purchase price. Because there are so many guitars, supply is never a problem. Compare that with violins, horns, or pianos.</p> <h2>3. It's Easy</h2> <p>Learning how to play the guitar simply isn't as hard as most people think it is. For the purpose of playing a few simple songs, anyone can learn to play within a month with some dedication and practice. Most popular songs are composed of the same ten or so chords, so once you learn the basic chord shapes, thousands of songs become available for you to play. Most pop songs are constructed from two to four chords. Learning guitar is easy in the beginning, and then gets deeper and more fantastic as you progress.</p> <h2>4. It's Accessible</h2> <p>When I started playing guitar, there was no such thing as the Internet. Each song I learned I had to either painstakingly deduce note for note by rewinding and trial and error, or I had to buy expensive published sheet music, which often was hard to understand. Today there are websites devoted to hosting tablatures of most any song. Type in a song name and add the word &quot;tab,&quot; and you will easily pull a listing of free transcribed songs with lyrics. Furthermore, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-music-lessons-online-for-now" target="_blank">YouTube provides many free guitar lessons</a>. Search for any guitar lessons, guitar styles, or song names; and you will probably find someone has already made a guitar playing video about it.</p> <h2>5. It's Social</h2> <p>The guitar is a social instrument. Across all cultures, people gather and play music. Most people have a hidden (or not so hidden) desire to sing. Normally shy people quickly open up after a few songs, breaking external barriers in the process. Music is magical like that. I once took a lightweight travel guitar around while traveling abroad, and I was surprised by how quickly I made friends with no common language other than music. Guitars are big enough to be seen when carrying or playing one, and playing gives an excuse for strangers to start a conversation with you (or for you to start one with a stranger)!</p> <h2>6. It's a Start</h2> <p>With some songs under your belt and a few hot licks, you can then turn your attention to playing with others and/or performing &mdash; which is when the journey takes a marvelous turn. Start a rock band. Record a song and put it on the Internet for others to hear. Release an album. Perform at a local coffeehouse, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-when-money-is-tight" target="_blank">singing your own songs</a>. It's all free and easy with the Internet, and it will bring people and experiences that enrich your life like nothing else.</p> <h2>7. It Helps You Grow</h2> <p>One of the great things about playing guitar is that it is always there waiting for you, whether you're happy, upset, bored, or inspired. Through it you can give voice to your troubles or release built up physical tension after a stressful day. Unlike other hobbies, the very act of playing an instrument is a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-be-a-better-person-today" target="_blank">way to talk to and know yourself</a>. Parts of yourself you didn't know existed will show themselves through music. Learn to know your true voice. You have one. Everyone does. But not everyone knows what it sounds like. This is perhaps the most important reason of all to learn.</p> <h2>8. It Makes You More Attractive</h2> <p>For guys: A <a href="http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-05/guys-holding-guitar-makes-you-more-attractive" target="_blank">French study</a> has recently shown that merely holding a guitar makes you more attractive to women.</p> <p>An experiment was run where a young man went up to random women on the street and asked for their phone number while holding:</p> <ul> <li>A guitar</li> <li>A gym bag</li> <li>Nothing</li> </ul> <p>Thirty-one percent of the women gave their number to the man with the guitar versus 9% and 14% for the gym bag and air respectively. And that's without ever actually playing the guitar! Imagine the benefits if you actually learn to play with skill and ease! On a personal note, I can attest that without the guitar I would probably not have had a chance with 50% of my girlfriends. Having such a worthwhile skill shows persistence, sensitivity, and hidden depths. A great first date idea is a guitar lesson indeed.</p> <p>OK, now go out pick up a guitar and bring more glorious music to the world!</p> <p><em>This is a guest post by Wolf Chen, a guitar player for 20 years. He runs a </em><a href="http://www.cheaperpedals.com/" target="_blank"><em>guitar pedals</em></a><em> retail website at <a href="http://www.cheaperpedals.com" title="www.cheaperpedals.com">www.cheaperpedals.com</a>. You can listen to some of his music at </em><a href="https://soundcloud.com/wolfchen" target="_blank"><em>soundcloud.com/wolfchen</em></a><em>.</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhy-learning-the-guitar-is-the-best-investment-you-can-ever-make&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhy%2520Learning%2520the%2520Guitar%2520Is%2520the%2520Best%2520Investment%2520You%2520Can%2520Ever%2520Make.jpg&amp;description=Why%20Learning%20the%20Guitar%20Is%20the%20Best%20Investment%20You%20Can%20Ever%20Make"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Why%20Learning%20the%20Guitar%20Is%20the%20Best%20Investment%20You%20Can%20Ever%20Make.jpg" alt="Why Learning the Guitar Is the Best Investment You Can Ever Make" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wolf-chen">Wolf Chen</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-learning-the-guitar-is-the-best-investment-you-can-ever-make">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/inside-the-shady-world-of-cheap-itunes-gift-cards">Inside the Shady World of Cheap iTunes Gift Cards</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/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">Feeling Stuck? 100 Ways to Change Your Life</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/11-signs-you-need-to-dump-your-friend">11 Signs You Need to Dump Your Friend</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/11-fun-games-that-make-you-smarter-too">11 Fun Games That Make You Smarter, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development guitar music music lessons skills -- LHP -- Thu, 25 Jul 2013 14:19:23 +0000 Wolf Chen 980648 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: Do You Go to Concerts? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-go-to-concerts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-do-you-go-to-concerts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4175041759_94430816da_z-1.jpg" alt="Do You Go To Concerts?" title="Do You Go To Concerts?" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-go-to-concerts#comment-535935"><em>Betty D</em></a><em>, </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-go-to-concerts#comment-536285"><em>Kate</em></a><em>, and </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-go-to-concerts#comment-536037"><em>Ang</em></a><em> for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Almost everyone has been to at least one concert in their lives. Some people go to concerts regularly to see their favorite artists or bands. However, the price of tickets deters others from attending concerts on a regular basis.</p> <p><b>Do you go to concerts?</b><span style="font-weight:normal">&nbsp;How often do you go? How do you save on tickets? What is the best concert you've ever been to?</span></p> <p>Tell us whether or not you go to concerts and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; one for random comments, one for random Facebook &quot;Likes&quot;, and another one for random tweets.</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:&nbsp;</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries (1 per action):</h3> <ul> <li>Go to our <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wise-Bread/26830741467?ref=ts">Facebook page</a>, &quot;Like&quot; us, and leave a comment on this article telling us you did, or</li> <li><a href="http://www.twitter.com/">Tweet</a> your answer. You have to be a follower of our <a href="http://twitter.com/wisebread">@wisebread account</a>. Include both &quot;@wisebread&quot; and &quot;#WBAsk&quot; in your tweet so we'll see it and count it. Leave a link to your tweet (click the timestamp for the individual URL) in a separate comment.</li> </ul> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, June 11th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after June 11th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us whether or not you go to concerts and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-go-to-concerts">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/how-much-a-breakdown-of-concert-ticket-prices">How Much?! A Breakdown of Concert Ticket Prices</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/join-our-tweetchat-on-thursday-1012-at-12pm-pst3pm-est-for-a-chance-to-win-200-in-prizes">Join Our Tweetchat on Thursday 10/12 at 12pm PST/3pm EST for a Chance to Win $200 in Prizes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-kid-a-money-genius-highlights-from-our-chat-with-beth-kobliner">Make Your Kid a Money Genius: Highlights from Our Chat With Beth Kobliner</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/inside-the-shady-world-of-cheap-itunes-gift-cards">Inside the Shady World of Cheap iTunes Gift Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-to-clip-or-not-to-clip-a-chance-to-win-10">Ask The Readers: To Clip or Not to Clip? (A Chance to Win $10!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Announcements Ask the Readers concerts music Tue, 05 Jun 2012 10:36:17 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 932769 at http://www.wisebread.com New Ways to Listen to Music for Free or Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/new-ways-to-listen-to-music-for-free-or-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/new-ways-to-listen-to-music-for-free-or-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/headphones.jpg" alt="Woman listening to music" title="Woman listening to music" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It seems like everyone has an iPod or a cell phone with mp3 capabilities now. But paying for music stinks, and every week seems to bring a new favorite song, so why keep paying just to fill your iTunes with thousands of songs you don't listen to? I don't consider myself a music junkie, and even I have about 100 hours worth of music on my computer. That's the equivalent of listening to music non-stop for over four days! Sounds interesting, but it's unlikely to happen.</p> <p>There are lots of free music services out there, so paying for music may be a thing of the past (and not just by downloading it illegally). Here are a few great ways to listen to music for free! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">8 Alternatives to Cable TV That Will Keep You Entertained</a>)</p> <h3>Listen to Your Favorite Radio Station Online</h3> <p>In Los Angeles, 102.7 <a href="http://www.kiisfm.com/main.html">KIIS FM</a> is the bomb. They're always playing the most popular songs, and there's a solid argument for setting all six pre-set radio stations in your car to this one channel.</p> <p>If there's a station you absolutely love, it's possible (and likely) that there's an option to listen to it stream online. And if not? Give KIIS a chance! You won't regret it!</p> <p>The plus side is great, free music. The downside is the regular commercials that come with the radio. So let's explore some options that have fewer or no commercials at all.</p> <h3>Pandora</h3> <p><a href="http://www.pandora.com/">Pandora</a> is a music-streaming service that allows users to create customized radio stations based on a song, album, artist, or genre. Pandora plays songs that it thinks are similar to your song (or album, artist, or genre). A thumbs up lets the program know it did a good job in picking a song for you, while a thumbs down lets it know you're not interested in that song. The more feedback it gets, the better job it does at picking music you like.</p> <p>Pandora has short, 15-second commercials approximately every 10 songs, so it's a small price to pay for such a great service. The more significant downside is that free listeners are limited to a total of 40 hours each month. However, for $36 a year, you can avoid the commercials and get unlimited listening by upgrading to Pandora One, which also offers higher-quality audio, though I've never noticed low-quality sound in the free version.</p> <h3>Last.fm</h3> <p>This service is similar to Pandora in that it plays songs similar to your original choice. <a href="http://www.last.fm/">Last.fm</a> is free to use, though ads appear on the site while playing music. Last.fm also has a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-an-easy-source-of-coupons">social network</a> aspect to it, and while it scores high in matching new music to your tastes, the website is not all that user friendly or intuitive.</p> <p>If having music chosen for you isn't your thing, there are two services that let you choose the exact music you want to play.</p> <h3>Grooveshark</h3> <p>With <a href="http://grooveshark.com/">Grooveshark</a>, you can search for music and create customized playlists with the songs you select, and there's no need to sign up just to play music. If you're always connected to the Internet, you can create a library with the songs you want and play it from wherever you are.</p> <p>For $6 a month, you can get the service ad-free, and for $9 a month you can also stream the service to your Grooveshark application on your smartphone.</p> <h3>Spotify</h3> <p>The newest addition to the streaming music scene is <a href="http://www.spotify.com">Spotify</a>, which is similar to Grooveshark, but comes as a desktop application (similar to iTunes). Once you download it, the user interface will blow you away. It's very easy to use (and fast, too!), and searching for the song or album you want is a breeze. Creating playlists is as simple as dragging and dropping your selections, and the playlists are accessible from wherever you use Spotify. You can also add your own files into the program, so it can become your one stop shop for all your music needs. It's my favorite way to listen to music these days, so if you can get your hands on an invite (or have the patience to wait for it to become public), check it out!</p> <p>The free application comes with a few unobtrusive ads that pop up while playing music, but for $10 a month, you can get full access on your smartphone, enhanced sound quality, and offline mode (which keeps your favorite playlists synced for a plane ride).</p> <p>There's no shortage of free music services out there. And splurging to get rid of ads or higher quality audio is pretty cheap as well, far cheaper than buying the songs individually only to forget about them a month later. Plus, as opposed to illegally downloading music, all four of these services <a href="http://blog.pandora.com/faq/contents/351.html">pay a royalty fee to artists</a>, so not only do you get your music for free (or at least very cheap), but by listening to music through the services, you're helping the artists get paid as well!</p> <p><em>Which free music service is your favorite?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/daniel-packer">Daniel Packer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-ways-to-listen-to-music-for-free-or-cheap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-fun-podcasts-for-kids-that-parents-love-too">7 Fun Podcasts for Kids (That Parents Love, Too)</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-much-a-breakdown-of-concert-ticket-prices">How Much?! A Breakdown of Concert Ticket 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/how-to-choose-the-best-streaming-music-service-for-you">How to Choose the Best Streaming Music Service for 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/diy-entertainment-a-recipe-for-the-recession">DIY Entertainment--A Recipe for the Recession</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/3-subscription-services-every-traveler-needs">3 Subscription Services Every Traveler Needs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment free entertainment music streaming media Wed, 24 Aug 2011 10:36:15 +0000 Daniel Packer 675083 at http://www.wisebread.com How Much?! A Breakdown of Concert Ticket Prices http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-a-breakdown-of-concert-ticket-prices <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-much-a-breakdown-of-concert-ticket-prices" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kiss.jpg" alt="Kiss Concert" title="Kiss Concert" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you buy concert tickets on a regular basis, like me and many of my friends, then you know one topic of conversation that often rears its ugly head &mdash; what's the deal with the pricing?!</p> <p>You start off with a ticket for $35, by the time you're done it's closer to $50. What's with all the service fees and other add-ons? Why does it cost more to print the ticket yourself than to have the online service print it for you? How much does the artist actually get after all's said and done? Why are some of these tickets more expensive than a new laptop?!</p> <p>If these questions have been rattling around your brain, Wise Bread has the answers for you. And you may be quite surprised at the results. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free">How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free</a>)</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s a chart that outlines where the money goes, with a further breakdown below.</p> <p>&nbsp;<img width="599" height="399" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/paul_concert.jpg" />&nbsp;</p> <h3>The Biggest Shocker &mdash; Most of the Money Goes to the Artist!</h3> <p>I know, amazing. My cynical brain, coupled with the way artists often complain about vampire record labels, had me thinking that the artists walk away with one tenth of the take, if they're lucky. It turns out that assumption was dead wrong. Although artists get poorly compensated for music sales (roughly 10% of the retail price) they get a much bigger chunk of change when they tour. And good for them, because touring is no easy task (despite what you may have heard from Motley Crue).</p> <p>On average, <a href="http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/stories/071610ticket">the artist takes 74% of the ticket price,</a> although it can go as high as 90% in some cases. Now you know why more bands tour so much.</p> <h3>Next, the Dreaded Service Fees</h3> <p>Back in the eighties and nineties, it was usual to pay 10% or less in service fees. Those days are gone. Now, depending on the price of the ticket's face value, service fees can be as much, or sometimes more, than the cost of the actual ticket! If you buy a ticket to an unknown (or maybe unpopular) act, it may only set you back $15. But don't expect to pay just $1.50 in service fees. No, they will still be around the same price as those of a $50 ticket, and friends have shown me stubs from concerts that showed a $15 ticket fee and $12.50 in service fees.</p> <p>So what are you paying for? Well, it's usually made up of the following:</p> <h4>Convenience Fee/Charge and Order Processing Fee</h4> <p>These vary by event, and retail outlet/box office purchases usually don't include an order processing fee. These fees are typically shared with the artist, venue, or promoter, but this is the main source of revenue for places like Ticketmaster and covers their costs plus substantial profits.</p> <h4>Delivery Price</h4> <p>If you choose standard delivery or print-at-home options, these should not apply. But you can add a lot to the final price of the ticket if you have them shipped two-day or overnight.&nbsp;</p> <h4>Facility Charge</h4> <p>The venue of the concert/gig is responsible for adding any facility charges, and they receive 100% of the money collected from them.</p> <h4>Taxes</h4> <p>City, state, and local taxes are typically included in the face value of the ticket and are not considered service fees.</p> <h3>Why Did It Once Cost More to Print Your Own Ticket?</h3> <p>Ticketmaster used to charge you $2.50 for the option of printing your ticket at home, or you could get them delivered free. Wait, what? Well, it wasn't a question of the physical cost of printing the ticket; clearly it cost the company more to print them than to have you print them yourselves. This was simply one of those &ldquo;because we can, that&rsquo;s why&rdquo; fees and it made a lot of financial sense to the company. People were willing to pay the small fee for the convenience of having instant access to tickets and a soft copy available that they could print at any time.</p> <p>Physical tickets can get lost in the mail, damaged, or misplaced, and that&rsquo;s just a headache. Plus, if you&rsquo;re buying concert tickets last minute, the instant option is your only one unless you want your tickets to arrive after the event. The good news is, as you can see from the <a href="http://phx.corporate-ir.net/External.File?item=UGFyZW50SUQ9NTM4Nzh8Q2hpbGRJRD0tMXxUeXBlPTM=&amp;t=1">LiveNation PDF</a> (or if you have recently purchased tickets via Ticketmaster), that these TicketFast fees have been abandoned. Increased scrutiny from watchdogs and complaints from consumers over the power of the Ticketmaster monopoly had a lot to do with it. So now instant gratification is even more gratifying.</p> <h3>So You Want the Best Price For Tickets...What Do You Do?</h3> <p>Well, in most instances you're going to get your tickets from a reputable online dealer like LiveNation, which includes Ticketmaster, TicketsNow, TicketWeb, and House of Blues. And yes, they've pretty much cornered the market. But you do have some options to save money.</p> <p>First, see if you can buy tickets directly from the box office of the venue the gig is at. That may be a trip, but it saves you on a few of those service fees. You could also try buying through the artist's website, which may offer discounts to fan club members, better seats, CDs with purchase, or any other number of goodies. And if you do go through an online source, order them in plenty of time so you can choose better seats and avoid any rush delivery charges (if printing at home is not an option).</p> <p>Oh, and please, don't give money to the scalpers, and that includes those insidious sites like StubHub. I wanted to get tickets to a concert recently that had completely snuck up on me. Face value of the ticket was $62, but the tickets had all gone. Lucky for me though, StubHub had a bunch at the bargain-basement price of $370! Yeah, no thanks. I went to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/craigslist-shopping-101">Craigslist</a> and found someone selling them last minute because they had to back out, and they only asked face value.</p> <p>I personally think there should be a limit to how many tickets anyone can buy, and that includes corporations or other businesses. And I mean real limits, not the feeble ones they have now that aren't enforced and clearly don't work.</p> <p><em>Any other ticket buying advice? Concert ticket horror stories? Ridiculous fees that you paid? Chime in.</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-much-a-breakdown-of-concert-ticket-prices&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%20Much-!%20A%20Breakdown%20of%20Concert%20Ticket%20Prices.jpg&amp;description=How%20Much%3F!%20A%20Breakdown%20of%20Concert%20Ticket%20Prices" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <div align="center">&nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20Much-%21%20A%20Breakdown%20of%20Concert%20Ticket%20Prices.jpg" alt="How Much?! A Breakdown of Concert Ticket Prices" width="250" height="374" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-a-breakdown-of-concert-ticket-prices">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-modern-love">The High Cost of Modern Love</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-choose-the-best-streaming-music-service-for-you">How to Choose the Best Streaming Music Service for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-money-management-tips-from-john-oliver">7 Best Money Management Tips From John Oliver</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/new-ways-to-listen-to-music-for-free-or-cheap">New Ways to Listen to Music for Free or Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-do-la-on-the-cheap">10 Ways to Do LA On the Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment concerts fees music tickets Tue, 05 Jul 2011 10:24:20 +0000 Paul Michael 603242 at http://www.wisebread.com Runaway Debt, Can You Ever Pay It Back? http://www.wisebread.com/runaway-debt-can-you-ever-pay-it-back <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/runaway-debt-can-you-ever-pay-it-back" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/moving_train.jpg" alt="moving train" title="moving train" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="180" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you ever hear a song that reminds you of someone from your past? I used to know a student named Andy who was always up to his eyeballs in debt. Every time I hear the tune &quot;Runaway Train&quot; by Soul Asylum, I think about Andy&rsquo;s massive debt and how this song probably captured the way he felt about it.</p> <h2>Runaway Debt</h2> <p>I don&rsquo;t know what the song&rsquo;s lyrics are actually about, but I imagine many people struggling to pay off their debts sometimes feel like they&rsquo;re on a runaway train. Let's take a look at some of the lyrics and what we can learn from them.</p> <h3>&quot;It seems no one can help me now&quot;</h3> <p>When you&rsquo;re drowning in debt, it&rsquo;s easy to feel alone and beyond help. The crazy thing is, when you feel the farthest from help is probably when you need it the most.</p> <p>Family and friends might not be able to help you financially, but they can lend moral support and help you find professional guidance. Look out for companies trying to take advantage of your situation; the FTC has some tips for dealing with <a href="http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/moneymatters/dealing-with-debt-relief-services.shtml">debt-relief services</a>.</p> <p>There are legitimate debt-counseling organizations that can help you; a good place to start looking is the <a href="http://www.nfcc.org/FirstStep/firststep_01.cfm">National Foundation for Credit Counseling</a> (NFCC). The NFCC is the country&rsquo;s largest and oldest nonprofit credit-counseling network.</p> <h3>&quot;I'm in too deep; there's no way out&quot;</h3> <p>One of the discouraging things about high-interest debt is that it&rsquo;s really easy to get &ldquo;buried&rdquo; by the interest payments.</p> <p>You feel like all your payments are going to just pay off the interest, and you&rsquo;re not even putting a dent in the amount you borrowed.</p> <p>Like any really discouraging situation, you may be tempted to give up and walk away from the debt, but that&rsquo;s probably the worst thing you can do. Filing for bankruptcy is an option, but not the one you should consider first.</p> <p>Your debtors want their money back and may be willing to work with you to renegotiate the terms of the loan to make it more likely you&rsquo;ll be able to pay it back.</p> <h3>&quot;This time I have really led myself astray&quot;<em> </em></h3> <p>We're human, and we all make mistakes &mdash; some worse than others. When you&rsquo;re stumbling under a crushing load of debt, the reality of your situation can really get you down.</p> <p>Not everyone&rsquo;s battle with debt has self-inflicted wounds, but often one or more decisions you&rsquo;ve made have contributed to the problem. While it&rsquo;s good to take responsibility for those mistakes and make changes so they won&rsquo;t happen again, dwelling on the past can slow your climb out of debt.</p> <p>You don&rsquo;t have to be destined for a debt-ridden life because of your past choices. Getting hung up on bad decisions, misfortune, being a victim, or being treated unfairly can take your focus off of digging out of debt.</p> <h3>&quot;Bought a ticket for a runaway train&quot;</h3> <p>This line says to me, &ldquo;I did this to myself.&rdquo; However, it&rsquo;s a lyric that comes with the benefit of hindsight.</p> <p>Would you get on a train you knew was going to jump the track? I&rsquo;d hope not. Chances are you probably had a much different destination in mind when you set out. Looking back, you wouldn&rsquo;t do it again.</p> <p>Sure, things might have crashed and burned somewhere along the way, but don&rsquo;t beat yourself up about it. What would you do if you were literally on a runaway train? Probably find a way to get off as quickly as possible&hellip;sounds like the way to go to me.</p> <h3>&quot;Like a madman laughin' at the rain: little out of touch, little insane&quot;</h3> <p>Tens of thousands of dollars in debt is enough to make anyone a little crazy. It weighs on your mind and probably every financial decision that you make.</p> <p>If your debt truly has put you into a stupor of denial or avoidance, maybe you need a wake-up call to snap you out of it. Of course, when you're consumed by something, it can be tough to realize you need some intervention. This is where the people you surround yourself with become really important.</p> <p>You want to be around people who care about you and are willing to put themselves on the line to help you out. A good support system is important to helping you beat your debt.</p> <h2>Getting Out of Debt</h2> <p>Just like the song &quot;Runaway Train,&quot; the experience of being in debt is full of emotion. Sometimes our emotions can drag us down to a real low point, but don't let them derail your efforts for getting out of debt. Just remember, there are many people who were once in a similar situation and made it out of debt. You can too.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ben-edwards">Ben Edwards</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/runaway-debt-can-you-ever-pay-it-back">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/john-cummuta-transforming-your-debt-into-his-wealth">John Cummuta: Transforming Your Debt Into His Wealth</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/debt">Debt Management Resources</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-things-you-should-know-about-debt-relief-lawyers">5 Things You Should Know About Debt Relief Lawyers</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/slow-and-steady-wins-the-debt-race">Slow and Steady Wins the Debt Race</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/debt-free-living-is-attainable-if-you-want-it-you-can-have-it">Debt-Free Living IS Attainable: If You Want It, You Can Have It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management debt relief music pay off debt Tue, 04 Jan 2011 14:00:14 +0000 Ben Edwards 420627 at http://www.wisebread.com Pianos cost too much? Get a synth! http://www.wisebread.com/pianos-cost-too-much-get-a-synth <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/pianos-cost-too-much-get-a-synth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/torley-on-piano.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="180" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm thankful for a delicious cornucopia of experience with music: I grew up on classical <a href="http://torley.com/piano">piano</a> before moving into electronics, a galaxy — wait, <em>universe</em> of sound at my fingertips! With all that learned, and not just because of the recessed economy but practical factors, if a parent were to ask me:</p> <blockquote><p>&quot;What piano would you recommend I buy for my kid to get into music?&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>I'd shake my head, and <strong><em>not</em> suggest a piano at all!</strong></p> <p>Blasphemy? Absolutely not. I've played dozens of epic grand pianos and oodles of uprights with character. But <strong>pound-for-pound, buck-for-buck, synthesizers — synths for short — beat them almost every time</strong>. An initial hurdle to getting into synths is the dizzying array of choices, including &quot;digital pianos&quot; (not strictly synths since they're not focused on sound creation, but performance with a limited array of sounds). But on the whole, synths beat pianos in both the quantity and quality departments.</p> <p><em>Wait, how can I say that?</em></p> <p>Throw away your 80s stereotypes of bleeps and beeps — technology has advanced to where electronically-amplified piano sounds are in many cases indistinguishable from &quot;the real deal&quot;. From <a href="http://www.imperfectsamples.com/website/samples/braunschweig/braunschweiguprightpiano.php">multilayered samples</a> to <a href="http://www.pianoteq.com/">physical modeling</a>, there's a rich sea of options. Yes, a few purists will cry foul, but they're the same people who can't tell the difference in a double-blind test; and if you happen to be <em>that</em> picky, by all means, get a real piano. Like <a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;source=web&amp;ct=res&amp;cd=1&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-greatest-story-ever-sold-is-a-fantasy-covered-in-blood&amp;ei=BQIsSsrGEaWwtAOqw_3rCg&amp;usg=AFQjCNGxCIguW7L4W_IaDwgRAjJrWkjUqA&amp;sig2=7TnuAks23jm87YZ6YmTXqQ">diamonds</a>, they have overpriced charm. But plenty of people who'd be better off with a cheaper, more expansive solution would be wise to try synths first, then <strong>understand firsthand</strong>.</p> <p><div style="padding-bottom: 0px; margin: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; float: none; padding-top: 0px" id="scid:5737277B-5D6D-4f48-ABFC-DD9C333F4C5D:426eca5b-a247-4ce7-b2ff-d9de3e5437a1" class="wlWriterEditableSmartContent"><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/2ZPdiz2qJcw&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0&amp;color1=0xcc2550&amp;color2=0xe87a9f&amp;hd=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></div> </p> <p><em>(That's me playing — sorry, the video is flipped.)</em></p> <p>If you're looking to get yourself, your child, or a friend started on piano, here are 6 solid reasons to consider a synth (or other digital instrument) over an acoustic beast:</p> <h2>1. Playing a synth is the same as a piano… plus bonuses</h2> <p>Synths have same black-and-white keyboard layout, and up to the same number of keys. There are synths with &quot;hammer action&quot; keyboards for the hammer-strike feel of a real piano with robust durability. Good to try these out in-store, words won't do.</p> <p>On top of that, synths usually have additional controls like a pitch-bend wheel (to emulate other instruments) and a modulation wheel (to add expressivity), plus knobs and sliders. These can make a sound duller or sharper, add reverb to make a piano sound like it's in the Grand Canyon, and much, <em>much</em> more.</p> <p>(I'm not getting into alternative controllers like <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keytar">keytars</a> and the <a href="http://www.global.yamaha.com/design/tenori-on/">Tenori-On</a> in this article, but yes, they're options once you know the basics!)</p> <h2>2. Synths are cheaper… by far</h2> <p>To really drive this point home, a low-end-yet-decent upright piano can set you back US$2,500. Guess what you could buy with the same money? A high-end synth workstation like the Yamaha MOTIF XS6, which is one of the top performers across the <em>whole</em> synth pantheon. Yes, it's the same parent company that makes Yamaha acoustic pianos and the XS6 only has 61 semi-weighted keys, but the 88 weighted-key version, the XS8, can be had for $3,600. What's more, you're not limited to one sound: you get <strong>thousands of sounds out of the box</strong>, can make your own, and can record yourself on the built-in sequencer, creating song arrangements on the same tool Grammy-winning pros use. It'll teach you a lot more about the sonic universe than a single, limited piano will. (More on that later.)</p> <p>By the way — I'm not referring <em>here</em> to sub-$300 starter keyboards that are sometimes labeled &quot;<a href="http://www.zzounds.com/cat--Personal-Keyboards--2698">personal</a>&quot;. They're fun and can be a worthwhile trial to test if you want to commit further to music, but while they've gotten more powerful over the years, they're easy to outgrow. It's worth paying a few hundred bucks more for something that lasts much longer. And if your wallet still screams for mercy, look local for a rental shop that'll let you try out top synths for a stretch of weeks.</p> <p>But, if that still makes your bank account cringe, do you have a decent computer? You can look into a keyboard controller (like <a href="http://www.m-audio.com/index.php?do=products.family&amp;ID=USBkeyboardcontrollers">M-Audio's</a> or <a href="http://us.novationmusic.com/products/">Novation's</a>), which may contain <em>no</em> sounds of its own, but instead plugs into your computer via USB (like your mouse) or MIDI and uses your computer's existing processing power to play — it's called &quot;software synthesis&quot;. There's a wealth of &quot;software studio&quot; options, and they tend to cost a few hundred dollars at most.</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.computermusic.co.uk/"><strong>Computer Music</strong></a></em> is one of the best online-and-offline magazines to learn about this from. There are <a href="http://kvraudio.com/">hundreds of plugins</a> for some of these soft studios, <strong>many free ones</strong>, and many under $100. To discover these tools in addition to mainstays like <strong><a href="http://harmony-central.com/">Harmony Central</a></strong>, a couple of my favorite sites are <strong><a href="http://www.synthtopia.com/">Synthtopia</a></strong> and <a href="http://rekkerd.org/"><strong>Rekkerd</strong></a>, both of which are superb at highlighting all things related to &quot;synth culture&quot;. Learn day-by-day, strange names will soon become familiar.</p> <p><em></p> <object width="480" height="295"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/jytjn_xQe6U&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0&amp;color1=0xcc2550&amp;color2=0xe87a9f&amp;hd=1" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/jytjn_xQe6U&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0&amp;color1=0xcc2550&amp;color2=0xe87a9f&amp;hd=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="295"></embed></object><p></em></p> <p><em>(Synths make it easy to play along to music you love, facilitating the process of practice or simply jamming!)</em></p> <p>For a controller, I have an <a href="http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Keystation88es.html"><strong>M-Audio Keystation 88es</strong></a>, which cost less than $200 (I got it after <a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;source=web&amp;ct=res&amp;cd=1&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fdont-buy-it-now-on-ebay-without-using-livecom-cashback&amp;ei=bdwrSqbHCJWatAP96vXwCg&amp;usg=AFQjCNF5n96eFwHFQx2M4IbkIiMWox7ZwA&amp;sig2=HeZtMVezgjV-xDrM_CIrbQ">cashback on eBay</a>) and has 88 semi-weighted keys. I prefer these because it's easier to do quick runs up and down the keybed. I've paired it with the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) called <a href="http://www.ableton.com/"><strong>Ableton Live</strong></a>, which is such an elegant way to put together tracks. Even if you don't need those options now, a computer is far more expandable because as long as software can run on it, you can adapt your configuration. If you had a max. of $2,500 to spend on music gear, including a computer, you can easily include a quality audio interface + mic (to record vocals if you chose) and speakers. But you could just use headphones, which brings me to…</p> <h2>3. Synths let you practice without bothering other people</h2> <p>Guess what's impossible on a traditional piano? Making music without having it invade the room around you. This is good if you're putting on a show, sucks if you have tight living space or your walls are weak — I often ran into the issue of my performance leaking into the kitchen, where sometimes it was welcome, other times my Mom would scream at me to stop.</p> <p>Just about every single digital keyboard/synth can have its output confined to headphones. Even those which simulate the conventional piano form factor, like <a href="http://europe.yamaha.com/en/products/musical_instruments/keyboards/silentpianos/">Yamaha's Silent Pianos</a>, have this advantage. There are numerous capable digital pianos which can be found for under $1000 and they all have a headphone jack. Price of a quality pair of &quot;cans&quot;? Easily $150 or less. I've had my <strong>Sony MDR-V900s</strong> for years now, cups over my ears and has big bass; others swear by Sennheiser or Grado. There's something to be said for focus when you can enclose yourself when playing, too.</p> <h2>4. Synths don't go out of tune (unless you want them to) and are easier to carry</h2> <p>There's no need to call a piano tuner. While early analog synths like some <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moog_synthesizer">Moogs</a> had pitch instabilities, current generations don't suffer that frailty. However, some noted sound designers have deliberately introduced drift and detune into their sounds for that wow-and-flutter-sorta retro sound. (Funny how much we treasure imperfections when we've gained control of how to fix them.)</p> <p>Real pianos, however, are weak against the weather and being moved. Oh yeah, they're also a lot less portable, which is a problem if you want to take your instrument gigging. All worthwhile things to think about as you make a checklist of what's right for <em>you</em>.</p> <h2>5. Synths encourage explorations through sound</h2> <p>I had some mighty piano teachers, but for the most part, they didn't &quot;get&quot; the outer realms I wanted to venture to on my own. And ultimately, that's what counts: if you have goals, your mentors may not appreciate all of it, but they should help you get there. Unfortunately, there are still too many classical music snobs out there who're killing their music by being limited and stuffy. If they balk at you learning music on a synth for no pragmatic reason, I'd caution to stay away — <strong>their mindset isn't progressive enough to help you prosper</strong>.</p> <p>Fingering techniques and other virtuoso fortes can be learned on a 88-key, weighted synth just as well as a &quot;normal piano&quot;, and don't let anyone deceive you otherwise. (To those who say &quot;It's not the same as a real piano&quot;, there are many different pianos with varying feels; they need to substantiate what they mean.)</p> <p>After all, music demands <em>your</em> creativity to make the most of it. No one wants to have memories of lessons they were forced to take, because the <strong>best learning comes when you're enjoying yourself</strong>. I've long been supportive of exploring tonal textures through electronic music. As this video with me playing shows, you can easily emulate guitar and other sounds. (And to extend on that idea, yes, there are synthy equivalents for other instrument families; guitars have the <a href="http://line6.com/variax/">Line 6 Variax</a> to thank.)</p> <p><em></p> <object width="480" height="295"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/TLajokq3nyc&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0&amp;color1=0xcc2550&amp;color2=0xe87a9f&amp;hd=1" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/TLajokq3nyc&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0&amp;color1=0xcc2550&amp;color2=0xe87a9f&amp;hd=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="295"></embed></object><p></em></p> <p><em>(I heart the <strong><a href="http://www.native-instruments.com/index.php?id=kore2">Native Instruments Kore 2</a></strong> sound libraries — as you can hear, amazing!)</em></p> <h2>6. Learn skills not possible with a &quot;real piano&quot; on a synth</h2> <p>An electronic setup is harder to outgrow than a single real piano, since it can be vastly more flexible. In addition to chords and scales, you can learn all about synthesis: how more complex sounds are formed from simple waveforms, oscillators, filtering, and soforth. And if you intend to take music from a hobby into a career, some of these skills are commonplace must-knows.</p> <p><em></p> <object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="480" height="277" data="http://www.flickr.com/apps/video/stewart.swf?v=71377" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"> <param name="flashvars" value="intl_lang=en-us&amp;photo_secret=fc258f4d0f&amp;photo_id=3517718845" /> <param name="movie" value="http://www.flickr.com/apps/video/stewart.swf?v=71377" /> <param name="bgcolor" value="#000000" /> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.flickr.com/apps/video/stewart.swf?v=71377" bgcolor="#000000" allowfullscreen="true" flashvars="intl_lang=en-us&amp;photo_secret=fc258f4d0f&amp;photo_id=3517718845" height="277" width="480"></embed></object><p></em></p> <p><em>(Many surprises await you when browsing sounds!)</em></p> <p>What's relevant <em>now</em>: the distinction between sound engineer and performer has blurred, and if you want to squeeze the most potential out of the time and energy you put in, electronics make this accessible. For example, <a href="http://www.propellerheads.se/products/reason/">Propellerheads Reason</a>, a &quot;studio-in-a-box&quot;, lets you simulate rackloads of expensive gear and shows how they're routed to and from each other to generate the final sound. While still in their early years, programs like this are being taken increasingly seriously to result in certification programs and courses at distinguished schools like <a href="http://www.berkleemusic.com/school/course?course_item_id=1492069">Berklee</a>.</p> <h2>Still… don't scrimp on a teacher</h2> <p>The above in mind and synth in hand will hopefully save you money you can put forth towards a good teacher. You can pay for lessons, but there's no clear monetary value for the <em>joy of music</em>. <strong>This human element can't be replaced by a machine</strong>, and while there's a wide variance of teaching styles (and online courses beyond the scope of this article), past the obvious &quot;You should get along and grow&#160; together,&quot; if you subscribe to what I've shared above, you should <strong>go with a teacher who understands the connections between styles of music</strong> — the most exciting, potent stuff is cross-disciplinary, and stodgy dinosaurs are dying out.</p> <p>It's time to awake the new breed and destroy old misconceptions. <strong>Learning music needs to be useful <em>and</em> fun… and oh, preferably affordable!</strong></p> <p><strong><em>Have questions about the similarities &amp; differences between pianos &amp; synths? Are you like my parents and think pianos have more &quot;dignity&quot;? Let me know in the comments below!</em></strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/torley-wong">Torley Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pianos-cost-too-much-get-a-synth">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/6-surprising-things-you-still-cant-do-online-in-2016">6 Surprising Things You Still Can&#039;t Do Online in 2016</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/inside-the-shady-world-of-cheap-itunes-gift-cards">Inside the Shady World of Cheap iTunes Gift Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use">7 Amazon Prime Perks You&#039;ve Forgotten to Use</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-5-best-drones-for-beginners">The 5 Best Drones for Beginners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping computer electronic learn lesson m-audio music piano sound synth synthesizer teacher yamaha Sun, 07 Jun 2009 19:09:01 +0000 Torley Wong 3236 at http://www.wisebread.com