Spending Money https://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/13068/all en-US 8 Signs Your House Is Holding You Back https://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-your-house-is-holding-you-back <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-signs-your-house-is-holding-you-back" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_woman_sitting_alone_at_home.jpg" alt="Young woman sitting alone at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Owning a home can be a powerful thing. It can bring happiness and security to you and your family, and it's often a wise financial decision. But sometimes, your house can be a problem.</p> <p>Many of us fall for the temptation to purchase a home that is ultimately too costly for us to sustain. We pursue our &quot;dream home&quot; only to find that the costs of ownership and maintenance are actually preventing us from achieving other goals. Let's examine the signs that your house may be holding you back.</p> <h2>1. It is costing you more than 30 percent of your income</h2> <p>It's fine to budget a certain amount of your income to housing costs, but at a certain point, that share becomes too much. The federal government advises spending no more than 30 percent of your income on housing. This is not a requirement &mdash; very wealthy people may be able to afford more &mdash; but it's a good rule of thumb. For most people, once you pass that 30 percent threshold, you may find it hard to make your housing payments and cover other expenses in your life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-ends-meet-when-youre-house-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Make Ends Meet When You're House Poor</a>)</p> <h2>2. You're barely making a dent in the loan principal</h2> <p>One of the major advantages of owning a home versus renting is that you have the opportunity to build equity over time. This can be a major part of building net worth. But, a large mortgage loan with unfavorable terms could mean that you are paying mostly interest and very little principal.</p> <p>With most home loans, homeowners can build equity over time &mdash; if they're patient, they can pay off the interest and begin chipping away at the principal. But some mortgage loans (such as interest-only or negative amortization loans) can leave a homeowner with little to no equity and may even leave them owing more than the home is worth. This is a hard situation to get out of, but if you can find a way to refinance your mortgage into a fixed-rate loan, the house will be less of a financial burden over time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-paying-too-much-for-your-mortgage?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Signs You're Paying Too Much for Your Mortgage</a>)</p> <h2>3. You are taking on other debt</h2> <p>It's OK to have some mortgage debt, but when you find yourself borrowing to pay for other things, that's problematic. Have you been forced to finance your cars instead of pay for them outright? Are you taking on credit card debt? Your house may be responsible for an ever-increasing debt load that could eventually destroy your financial dreams. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surefire-signs-you-have-too-much-debt?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Surefire Signs You Have Too Much Debt</a>)</p> <h2>4. You're struggling to hold onto it</h2> <p>When that mortgage bill is due each month, are you scrambling to get the funds together? Have you been late on payments or skipped them altogether? Is the bank threatening to take your home away? This is a horrendous way to live. Chances are, you've taken on too much house. That home, which is supposed to provide your family with shelter, security, and comfort, is now something you can barely afford to keep. It may be time to devise an exit strategy.</p> <h2>5. You've come to resent the house</h2> <p>A home should be a source of pride. It's the place where you watch your kids grow up, grow vegetables in the backyard, and host Thanksgiving. Your home should be your refuge and a place of happiness.</p> <p>Have you instead found yourself simply hating the place? Have you ever said, &quot;Gosh, I can't stand this house?&quot; Maybe it's because the house is haunted or backs up to the city dump. Or it could be that the costs of owning and maintaining the house stresses you out. If your house is a source of strain rather than joy, it could be that it's too much of a financial burden.</p> <h2>6. Your life has shrunk</h2> <p>OK, so you have your house. You go to work every morning. What else are you doing with your time? What dreams are you pursuing?</p> <p>Sometimes, our housing costs impose such a burden that we find ourselves unable to really &quot;live&quot; life in a meaningful way. Taking time to travel? Forget it. Going back to school? No way. Starting a business? Not a chance. Even going out to eat with friends and family may be out of the question.</p> <p>You may feel &quot;rich&quot; living in a large, expensive house. But how rich is your life, in the final analysis?</p> <h2>7. Investing seems impossible</h2> <p>Your employer offers a 401(k) plan, but you haven't even thought about contributing. You've heard about things like IRAs and mutual funds, but can't bother to research what it all means. The notion of putting money aside for retirement seems almost ridiculous, because you're barely treading financial water.</p> <p>There's no question that investing can be difficult when you have other living costs to consider, but you need to budget for the future in the same way that you budget for groceries and other costs. If you find it hard to set aside even a small amount, it could be that your house is eating up too much of your income.</p> <p>Reducing your housing costs and freeing up even $50 to $100 per month could represent tens of thousands of dollars in savings over time. If you can further reduce your housing costs by thousands and invest toward retirement instead, you'll be sitting pretty. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-start-investing-with-a-lot-less-money-than-you-think?ref=seealso" target="_blank">You Can Start Investing With a Lot Less Money Than You Think</a>)</p> <h2>8. You feel stuck in your job</h2> <p>Maybe you're not satisfied with your career path, or aren't getting along with your boss. Perhaps you can't stand your commute. Ideally, you can simply leave your job and find a new one. But sometimes, we stay at jobs because the pay and other benefits are simply too good to pass up. How many of us have said, &quot;I can't leave this job because I've got a mortgage to pay?&quot;</p> <p>If this sounds like you, think about how your house is actually forcing you to stick with a job you hate. While we all must earn income to live, we also all deserve the right to pursue careers based on reasons other than money. Moreover, we should ideally be able to take time off work &mdash; or endure a job loss &mdash; without it resulting in immediate financial disaster. If you feel trapped in a job you don't like, are your housing costs to blame?</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=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-signs-your-house-is-holding-you-back&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Signs%2520Your%2520House%2520Is%2520Holding%2520You%2520Back.jpg&amp;description=8%20Signs%20Your%20House%20Is%20Holding%20You%20Back"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Signs%20Your%20House%20Is%20Holding%20You%20Back.jpg" alt="8 Signs Your House Is Holding You Back" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-your-house-is-holding-you-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="https://www.wisebread.com/5-benefits-of-carrying-a-mortgage-into-retirement">5 Benefits of Carrying a Mortgage Into Retirement</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-much-money-do-you-need-in-savings-when-applying-for-a-mortgage">How Much Money Do You Need in Savings When Applying for a Mortgage?</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="https://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-that-will-ruin-your-mortgage-application">5 Money Moves That Will Ruin Your Mortgage Application</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="https://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-need-to-downsize">7 Reasons You Need to Downsize</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-ends-meet-when-youre-house-poor">How to Make Ends Meet When You&#039;re House Poor</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing debt homeownership house poor housing costs interest investing mortgage Spending Money Tue, 03 Jul 2018 08:00:09 +0000 Tim Lemke 2149553 at https://www.wisebread.com 10 Reasons You Probably Overpaid at the Store https://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-you-probably-overpaid-at-the-store <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-reasons-you-probably-overpaid-at-the-store" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_accountant_working.jpg" alt="Young accountant working" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even if you're a smart shopper, there are still some psychological factors that can cause you to pay too much at the store. After all, stores are set up to convince you to buy things you don't need. But being aware of the following spending traps can help you avoid emptying your wallet on your next shopping trip.</p> <h2>1. Peer pressure</h2> <p>If you go shopping with a group of friends and they're all buying things, you might get swept up and join in on the action, even if it means buying things you don't really need. A friend saying, &quot;This would look so great on you!&quot; is hard to resist. It also removes the opportunity for you to spend time comparison shopping before making a purchase, like you would on your own. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-friend-types-that-can-hurt-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Friend Types That Can Hurt Your Finances</a>)</p> <h2>2. Fear of looking cheap</h2> <p>In the eyes of some, comparison shopping, bargaining on prices, and using coupons makes it seem like you don't have much money and can't afford to buy things. But even the wealthiest people among us know how important it is to get a good deal. In an effort to protect their pride, some people skip these frugal strategies to avoid appearing broke or cheap. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-pride-is-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways Pride Is Keeping You Poor</a>)</p> <h2>3. You touched the merchandise</h2> <p>There's a reason stores put out neat displays of merchandise within easy reach &mdash; they want you to touch the products. Not only does holding a product make it more likely that you'll buy it, but it makes you willing to pay more for it as well.</p> <h2>4. Convenience</h2> <p>When you're at the store and the item you want is right there, it is a lot easier to simply buy it instead of going to other stores and websites to check for lower prices. For example, when you're thirsty, are you going to grab the closest water or soda? Or are you going to hit a couple stores to find the best deal for your dollar? Probably the former. Sometimes saving money takes more work than you're willing or able to put in. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-much-more-youre-paying-for-these-6-convenience-buys?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Much More You're Paying for These 6 Convenience Buys</a>)</p> <h2>5. Force of habit</h2> <p>People can establish shopping habits that result in overpaying at the store on a regular basis. For example, you might have a routine of buying your coffee at a particular coffee shop, and your groceries at your favorite grocery store without even looking anywhere else for better deals. Routines are hard to break, as we are creatures of comfort. And that comfort can come at a price.</p> <h2>6. You're being upsold</h2> <p>Store displays can prompt you to buy a more expensive product than you originally intended. Picture this: You go into the store looking to buy a basic TV and come out with one of the nicer models with some advanced features (and an advanced price tag to match). When you see a range of products side-by-side, you tend to increase your expectations for the level of product that will meet your needs.</p> <p>You might also have a salesperson approach you and show you some product options. You might feel pressured into making a purchase before you have finished your research or comparison shopping, and the salesperson might get you interested in a more expensive item than you would select on your own. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-sneaky-ways-youre-being-upsold?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Sneaky Ways You're Being Upsold</a>)</p> <h2>7. Impulse buying</h2> <p>While shopping at the store, some impulse items might find their way into your cart without any comparison shopping or careful thought about whether you really need the items. Shopping while hungry, tired, distracted, or in physical discomfort tends to lower your impulse control and increases the tendency to reward yourself with immediate gratification through purchases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys</a>)</p> <h2>8. Store design and ambience</h2> <p>Some stores are designed to get you in the mood to spend money. These stores have high quality furnishings, good lighting, and even use scents to get shoppers in the buying mood for certain products. High prices seem more reasonable when all of your senses are being manipulated, so you are willing to spend more in that atmosphere.</p> <p>An example of this is when best-selling author and branding expert Martin Lindstrom found that when an appliance store was filled with the scent of apple pie, sales on ovens and fridges went up 23 percent.</p> <h2>9. You're stubborn</h2> <p>You decide what you want to buy before you even know the price, and no matter what it costs, you know you're going to buy it. For example, you have your mind set on your favorite brand and don't even consider other options that might cost less. Stores facilitate this behavior by promoting popular (and more expensive) brands, making it easy to overlook less expensive choices.</p> <h2>10. Payday shopping</h2> <p>The psychological effect of having more money in your bank account after a payday makes you more likely to spend money. Even if you have funds available throughout the month, knowing that there is more in your account after getting paid can change your spending behavior, reducing your motivation to avoid overspending. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-7-common-spring-spending-traps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Avoid 7 Common Spring Spending Traps</a>)</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%2F10-reasons-you-probably-overpaid-at-the-store&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Reasons%2520You%2520Probably%2520Overpaid%2520at%2520the%2520Store.jpg&amp;description=10%20Reasons%20You%20Probably%20Overpaid%20at%20the%20Store"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Reasons%20You%20Probably%20Overpaid%20at%20the%20Store.jpg" alt="10 Reasons You Probably Overpaid at the Store" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-you-probably-overpaid-at-the-store">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="https://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase">The One Question You Should Ask Before Every Major Purchase</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="https://www.wisebread.com/now-or-later-how-to-decide-the-right-time-to-buy-almost-anything">Now or Later: How to Decide the Right Time to Buy Almost Anything</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-small-monthly-bills-slowly-wreck-your-annual-budget">How Small Monthly Bills Slowly Wreck Your Annual 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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-things-its-better-to-buy-at-the-last-minute">6 Things It&#039;s Better to Buy at the Last Minute</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="https://www.wisebread.com/28-ways-to-never-pay-full-price-for-anything">28 Ways to Never Pay Full Price for Anything</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping budgeting tips overpaid saving money shopping tips Spending Money stop overpaying Wed, 20 Jun 2018 08:00:22 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2150091 at https://www.wisebread.com 7 Little White Lies That Can Save You Money https://www.wisebread.com/7-little-white-lies-that-can-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-little-white-lies-that-can-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/liar_sly_funny_looking_young_woman.jpg" alt="Liar sly funny looking young woman" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sometimes you have to fudge the truth a bit to get out of spending money. There are so many demands on our finances that it helps to get creative in order to save a few bucks now and then. Whether it's getting out of costly social events, fending off salespeople, or even postponing charitable donations, we all tell white lies to avoid spending once in a while. And that's OK! Here are some of the most common ones I've used, and you can, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-biggest-lies-we-tell-ourselves-about-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 10 Biggest Lies We Tell Ourselves About Money</a>)</p> <h2>1. &quot;I have a lot of expenses right now.&quot;</h2> <p>Unless you're swimming in money, this isn't even a lie. If you own a home and have a family, chances are, you do have many ongoing expenses to juggle. From your mortgage to school activities, it can all add up. If you are dealing with a salesperson or even just a friend asking for money, drop this line and you'll usually slide right out of this interaction. No one needs to know exactly how burdensome these expenses actually are. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-friend-types-that-can-hurt-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Friend Types That Can Hurt Your Finances</a>)</p> <h2>2. &quot;I already have one.&quot;</h2> <p>If someone is trying to sell you a product or service, you may be able to make them go away by insisting that you have no need for what they're selling, even if that's not the case. Remember that the entire motivation of salespeople is to convince you that you need something. Your job, in turn, is to convince them that you don't.</p> <p><strong>Salesperson</strong>: &quot;Can I interest you in some new windows?&quot;</p> <p><strong>You</strong>: &quot;Thanks, but I just got new ones installed last year.&quot;</p> <p>Those windows may be 20 years old, and the salesperson may be able to tell that you're lying. But they are also unlikely to pressure you much further.</p> <h2>3. &quot;I have a scheduling conflict.&quot;</h2> <p>You may not have a conflict at all. It's likely that the only date you have is with your sofa and a few episodes of <em>The Good Wife</em>. But when you have no interest in attending that bachelorette party &mdash; that will likely end up costing you quite a bit of cold hard cash &mdash; this is how you can wiggle out of it. Your excuse can be anything. A cousin is visiting from out of state. You're pet-sitting for a neighbor. It doesn't matter. The key here is to save money, but also save the relationship by offering to meet the person later for a less expensive, one-on-one outing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-out-of-social-obligations-that-break-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Get Out of Social Obligations That Break Your Budget</a>)</p> <h2>4. &quot;I'm trying to get healthier.&quot;</h2> <p>You may not be trying to lose weight at all, but when you go out to eat, avoiding appetizers, drinks, and desserts is a good way to avoid unwanted costs as well as calories. These things can nearly double the price of your meal. The next time your friend or coworker tries to urge you to get those cheese sticks, the extra beer, or the chocolate cake, just tell them you're trying to eat healthier. In fact, you could say &quot;I'm trying to cut back.&quot; They don't need to know that it's the spending you're cutting back on.</p> <h2>5. &quot;My car is in the shop.&quot;</h2> <p>Sometimes you'll be asked to attend an event or outing that requires a long drive. This would involve miles on the car, gas, tolls, parking, and other expenses. However, if you tell folks that you're having car trouble, you may be able to avoid the event, or save the wear and tear on your car by getting a ride there. Of course, this doesn't mean you should simply accept transportation for free. You should be a decent person and offer to pay for gas money or parking. But you'll likely still come out better financially than if you drove yourself. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-free-ways-to-be-a-better-person?ref=seealso" target="_blank">18 Free Ways to Be a Better Person</a>)</p> <h2>6. &quot;I'm sick.&quot;</h2> <p>Pretending to be under the weather will get you out of almost anything. Dinner dates. Happy hours. Weddings. Little League Baseball banquets. No one wants to be around a sick person, so it's a great excuse. This is not a trick you can pull too often, or you'll be called out as a fraud. But every once in a while, it's convenient &mdash; and cost-effective &mdash; to feel some &quot;flu-like symptoms.&quot;</p> <h2>7. &quot;I've already donated this year.&quot;</h2> <p>I admit it: I've lied to a Girl Scout. She was in front of a store selling those famous cookies and she asked if I could purchase a box. &quot;No, thanks,&quot; I said. &quot;I bought some recently.&quot; This was a lie. Truth be told, I just didn't want to spend the money on cookies.</p> <p>When faced with solicitations from charities, it's often hard to say no. Sometimes, simply saying, &quot;I've already donated,&quot; can end the conversation. And it doesn't mean you can't go back and give once you're in a position to be more charitable.</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%2F7-little-white-lies-that-can-save-you-money&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Little%2520White%2520Lies%2520That%2520Can%2520Save%2520You%2520Money.jpg&amp;description=7%20Little%20White%20Lies%20That%20Can%20Save%20You%20Money"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Little%20White%20Lies%20That%20Can%20Save%20You%20Money.jpg" alt="7 Little White Lies That Can Save You Money" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-little-white-lies-that-can-save-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/25-money-saving-strategies-that-are-actually-hurting-you">25 Money-Saving Strategies That Are Actually Hurting You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-you-should-set-for-the-holidays">10 Money Goals You Should Set for the Holidays</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="https://www.wisebread.com/12-fun-facts-about-valentines-day-spending">12 Fun Facts About Valentine&#039;s Day Spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-youre-still-stuck-in-a-financial-hole">8 Reasons You&#039;re Still Stuck in a Financial Hole</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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-good-financial-deeds-that-can-backfire">6 Good Financial Deeds that Can Backfire</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Life Hacks little white lies saving money saving tips Spending Money truth white lies Mon, 28 May 2018 08:00:22 +0000 Tim Lemke 2142709 at https://www.wisebread.com When Should You Pay a Credit Card Convenience Fee? https://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-pay-a-credit-card-convenience-fee <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/when-should-you-pay-a-credit-card-convenience-fee" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_having_bank_card_in_hand_and_finger_near_lips.jpg" alt="Girl having bank card in hand and finger near lips" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the great things about credit cards is that consumers typically don't have to pay for the convenience of using them at the point of sale. You usually swipe your card, and the merchant bears the 2%-3% transaction fee that covers the cost of processing the payment.</p> <p>Merchants are actually permitted by law to pass those costs on to consumers in the form of a credit card surcharge, except in the handful of states where such surcharges are illegal. But in reality, most retailers don't do that for fear of alienating customers.</p> <p>There are exceptions, though. Some utilities tack on a fee if you want to pay with a credit card. The IRS and universities do the same. Sometimes these fees are a flat amount, say, $3-$5. Other times they're a percentage of the purchase price, often 2%-4%. That means that even people who use <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash back credit cards</a> or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards credit cards</a> choose an alternate form of payment because the fees are larger than the rewards they'd earn.</p> <p>There are times, however, when it may make sense to pay a fee to use credit. Understanding these situations can save you money and headaches. Here's a rundown of the situations where paying a flat convenience fee or a percentage of your purchase can make sense.</p> <h2>The rewards you're earning are worth more than the fee</h2> <p>One of the most common scenarios where it makes sense to pay a fee to use your rewards card is if the rewards you earn are worth above and beyond the fee you're asked to pay.</p> <p>For example, let's say you're considering paying your federal tax bill with a credit card to earn rewards. The IRS offers three payment processors you can use to pay your bill with credit, the cheapest of which charges a 1.87% fee with a minimum fee of $2.59.</p> <p>If you owed $5,000 in federal taxes and used a card that offered only 1% cash back, you would pay $93.50 to use your credit card but only earn $50 in cash back.</p> <p>But if you used a card that offers 2% cash back to pay your federal taxes, you would earn $100 in cash back, which would be more than enough to cover the $93.50 fee.</p> <p>It would make even more sense if you earn rewards that are worth quite a bit more than the fee. For instance, some experts value United Airlines frequent flyer miles at 3-4 cents each when used for international business class award tickets. If you're planning such a trip on United, it's probably worth it to pay your taxes on a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-united-mileageplus-credit-card-should-you-get?ref=internal" target="_blank">United credit card</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-airlines-frequent-flyer-miles-have-the-best-value?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which Airline's Frequent Flyer Miles Have the Best Value?</a>)</p> <h2>You're under the gun to earn a big sign-up bonus</h2> <p>Regardless of your credit card's ongoing rewards rate, there's another situation where paying a fee to use a credit card could make sense: When you're pursuing a big sign-up bonus.</p> <p>While all rewards cards vary, there are many that offer $500 or more worth of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards</a> after you spend $3,000 or more within the first three months of opening the card. In the scenario above, paying a $93.50 fee to use a credit card to pay your federal taxes could be worth it if you didn't think you'd otherwise make the spending requirement before the deadline to earn your sign-up bonus.</p> <p>Of course, you don't have to pay taxes specifically to earn a sign-up bonus. You can use your rewards card for shopping, bills, gas, insurance, and all other purchases you make. As long as you meet the minimum spending requirement within the time frame listed in your card's terms and conditions, you'll earn the sign-up bonus whether you pay a fee to use the credit card or not.</p> <h2>You want to take advantage of another credit card benefit</h2> <p>Finally, there are purchases where you may want to take advantage of your credit card's legal protections or other benefits. For example, let's say you hire a contractor to remodel your bathroom. Your contractor charges a 3% fee to use your credit card, but you think it's worth it. Why? Because using a credit card allows you to file a &quot;chargeback&quot; if your contractor messes up your remodel and refuses to refund your money.</p> <p>Chargebacks are covered under the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-fair-credit-billing-act-protects-you?ref=internal" target="_blank">Fair Credit Billing Act</a>, which set up guidelines to govern the process for consumers to dispute a credit card charge. With a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-your-money-back-when-you-re-denied-a-refund?ref=internal" target="_blank">chargeback</a>, your credit card issuer can remove a charge from your statement if it's fraudulent, made in error, or if the merchant did not deliver what was promised. If you paid for the remodeling job with cash or a debit card, on the other hand, you would have to try to get your money back some other way.</p> <p>There are other benefits your card may offer that make a credit card surcharge worth it. For instance, many credit cards offer extended warranties that add up to a year onto the manufacturer's existing warranty. These warranties can save you hundreds of dollars in repair or replacement costs, and third-party warranties often cost more than $100 themselves. In those cases, if you're asked to pay a surcharge to use your credit card, it may be worth it.</p> <h2>When it doesn't make sense to pay a fee</h2> <p>While these situations may make paying a fee to use a credit card perfectly reasonable, there are situations where using credit never makes sense.</p> <h3>The rewards you earn are worth less than the fee</h3> <p>If you're earning credit card rewards for a purchase but the fees to use credit outweigh the value of your rewards, then you should try to use cash or debit instead. Remember, rewards are only valuable when they're worth more than you're paying to get them.</p> <p>One example is my Vectren gas bill. During the warm months when my gas bill is only around $25, I don't pay the $1.95 flat convenience fee to use a credit card. But during winter months when my gas bill approaches $200 for the month, it makes sense to pay the $1.95 fee with a card that earns 2% cash-back. Why? Because I would earn $4 in rewards in exchange for paying a $1.95 fee.</p> <h3>You can't pay off your credit card balance in full at the end of the month</h3> <p>Whether there's a convenience fee involved or not, you should never go into debt just to earn credit card rewards. In most cases, the interest you'll pay by carrying a balance far outweighs the value of any rewards you receive. You're better off saving up until you have enough money to make your purchase and then using cash or debit to pay.</p> <p>If you do have to pay with a credit card and carry a balance, apply for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">low-interest credit card</a> and forget about rewards until you're debt-free.</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%2Fwhen-should-you-pay-a-credit-card-convenience-fee&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhen%2520Should%2520You%2520Pay%2520a%2520Credit%2520Card%2520Convenience%2520Fee_.jpg&amp;description=When%20Should%20You%20Pay%20a%20Credit%20Card%20Convenience%20Fee%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/When%20Should%20You%20Pay%20a%20Credit%20Card%20Convenience%20Fee_.jpg" alt="When Should You Pay a Credit Card Convenience Fee?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-pay-a-credit-card-convenience-fee">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="https://www.wisebread.com/2-minute-read-what-you-need-to-know-about-cash-advances">2-Minute Read: What You Need to Know About Cash Advances</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="https://www.wisebread.com/step-by-step-guide-to-doing-a-balance-transfer-on-credit-cards">Step-by-Step Guide to Doing a Balance Transfer on Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/deferred-interest-credit-cards-dont-fall-for-this-trick-over-the-holidays">Deferred Interest Credit Cards: Don&#039;t Fall For This Trick Over The Holidays</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="https://www.wisebread.com/this-is-when-it-pays-to-stay-loyal-to-a-rewards-credit-card">This Is When It Pays to Stay Loyal to a Rewards Credit Card</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="https://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-ways-to-reduce-your-credit-card-interest">5 Smart Ways to Reduce Your Credit Card Interest</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards budgeting tips convenience fees credit card fees credit card tips fees Spending Money Thu, 10 May 2018 08:30:10 +0000 Holly Johnson 2137658 at https://www.wisebread.com 25 Money-Saving Strategies That Are Actually Hurting You https://www.wisebread.com/25-money-saving-strategies-that-are-actually-hurting-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-money-saving-strategies-that-are-actually-hurting-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_calling_insurance_for_home_leaks.jpg" alt="Couple calling insurance for home leaks" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Taking action to save money can be a great way to get your finances on track. But some of the ways we try to cut costs are actually harmful to our financial well-being. Here are all the money-saving strategies that can backfire on us.</p> <h2>1. Skipping college</h2> <p>College is expensive, so you may think the best plan of action is to skip it and save the money. That's the smarter move, right? Maybe not. Depending on your chosen career field, a degree can mean the difference of more than $1 million in income over the lifetime of your career. So while college is expensive, you'll also probably earn a lot more with a college degree, even considering the salary you miss out on during the years you are in school. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-kid-got-accepted-to-an-expensive-private-college-now-what?ref=seealso" target="_blank">My Kid Got Accepted to an Expensive Private College &mdash; Now What?</a>)</p> <h2>2. Not participating in your 401(k) plan</h2> <p>Your paycheck is already hit with taxes, Social Security, FICA, and other expenses before you get your money. Your natural reaction may be to try to keep your paycheck as fat as possible by not contributing to your employer-sponsored retirement plan. In the long run, this move is almost guaranteed to backfire. Not only are you hurting your own financial future, but 401(k) contributions are tax-advantaged, and if you keep the money in your paycheck, you are more likely to spend it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-dumb-401k-mistakes-smart-people-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Dumb 401(k) Mistakes Smart People Make</a>)</p> <h2>3. Buying food in bulk</h2> <p>Food waste is a big problem, and this can be exacerbated when you buy food in bulk. It can seem smart to load up with bulk food at low cost-per-pound prices, but how many pounds of oats are you <em>really</em> going to eat before they go stale?</p> <h2>4. Not investing in yourself</h2> <p>Reducing expenses is important to stay within your budget and move forward in your financial goals. But obsessing over saving money can result in missing out on opportunities to better your life or invest in yourself. For example, you might skip out on spending $400 for a new suit or $1,000 for career training that would help you land job that pays $20,000 more per year.</p> <h2>5. Deferring expenses</h2> <p>Sometimes getting by cheaply now results in big expenses down the road. For example, you could buy a cheap house with lots of serious issues and benefit now from lower payments, but you may end up pouring money into it later to keep it livable or to get the house in a condition so you can sell it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-hidden-costs-of-buying-an-old-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">23 Hidden Costs of Buying an Old House</a>)</p> <h2>6. Buying minimal car insurance</h2> <p>You can save money on insurance payments every month by purchasing minimal car insurance. But if you have an accident that results in major damage or injury, minimal insurance could leave you with big bills and cost you more in the long run.</p> <h2>7. Saving to spend</h2> <p>It feels good to save up some money and watch your savings account grow. But if you are saving up a big pot of money with the sole intention of spending it, having funds in a savings account can actually result in spending more money, not less. Examples of this include saving up for expensive items that don't retain value such as a recreational vehicle or new car.</p> <h2>8. Doing-it-yourself</h2> <p>You can save a lot of money doing projects yourself instead of hiring a professional, but DIY projects still cost a lot of money for materials, not to mention time and effort. And if you do something wrong, you may need to hire a professional anyway to fix your mistake. Before you take on a project, make sure it is worth doing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-diy-projects-from-ruining-your-life?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Keep DIY Projects From Ruining Your Life</a>)</p> <h2>9. Buying items on sale that you don't need</h2> <p>Buying things on sale can be a good way to save money, but this only works if you need the items in the first place and will actually use them within a reasonable period of time. If you buy stuff you don't need <em>just </em>because it's on sale &mdash; no matter how cheap it is &mdash; you are wasting money.</p> <h2>10. Skipping meals</h2> <p>Skipping meals occasionally can save you money on food. However, this savings can be offset by reduced productivity and by the potential for making poor spending and financial decisions while hungry.</p> <h2>11. Eating cheap food</h2> <p>Eating junk food such as soda, chips, and fast food will provide your daily caloric requirements for a minimal amount of money, but you are likely to end up overweight and miss out on key vitamins and minerals that you need to stay healthy. If you want to find affordable healthy food, check out this list of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-low-cost-foods-packed-with-nutrition" target="_blank">cheap foods that are packed with nutrition</a>.</p> <h2>12. Using coupons</h2> <p>How did using coupons end up on a list of money-saving strategies that can hurt you? Stores give out coupons for a reason. They know that coupons can lead you to buy stuff you normally wouldn't buy, and that results in more profit for the store. Using coupons for items you would buy anyway makes sense, but resist buying extra items only because you have a coupon. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a>)</p> <h2>13. Ignoring home maintenance</h2> <p>Sometimes you need to take on home repairs right away to avoid expensive damage. If you notice water leaking from a roof, or a leaky pipe, you might think that ignoring the problem costs no money while calling in someone to make a repair could cost hundreds of dollars. While it is true that repairs can be expensive, ignoring routine maintenance can be even more expensive down the road if more extensive repairs are needed for cumulative damage.</p> <h2>14. Supersizing</h2> <p>Why not pay 49 cents extra to upgrade from a medium size drink and fries to a large? This &quot;deal&quot; feeds into temptation and poor impulse control, and again, paying extra for something you don't need or didn't originally want is not a way to save money. This strategy can hurt your waistline as well as your wallet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys</a>)</p> <h2>15. Leasing a car</h2> <p>The monthly payments for leasing a car are often lower than for purchasing a car, so it might seem like you can save money by leasing instead of buying. The problem with leasing is that you make all of the payments on the vehicle during the time when it depreciates the most, but you don't end up owning the car at the end of the lease. You end up with nothing! If you purchase a car, you can pay it off and go for years without making payments after you own the vehicle. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-before-leasing-a-car?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What You Need to Know Before Leasing a Car</a>)</p> <h2>16. Making minimum payments on credit cards</h2> <p>When is it good to pay more than you are charged? When your credit card bill comes. Making minimum payments on a credit card seems like a way to spend the least amount possible, but interest charges pile up and it can take decades to pay off a credit card by making minimum payments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/all-the-ways-minimum-payments-are-evil?ref=seealso" target="_blank">All the Ways Minimum Payments Are Evil</a>)</p> <h2>17. Repairing old appliances and vehicles</h2> <p>You can often repair an old appliance or vehicle for less than the cost of replacing it, which can seem like a good strategy to save money. But if the repair cost exceeds the value of the item, you might come out ahead by replacing it, even if it costs more in the short term. Instead of sinking money into an older item that has a limited life expectancy and will likely need additional repairs soon, you can apply the money toward buying a newer item that should be trouble-free for many years.</p> <h2>18. Hanging on to unneeded things because they are paid for</h2> <p>After you buy something, its value typically declines over time. This means that you will never be able to get your full money back by selling your things. So, you might decide to hang on to everything that you have paid for instead of selling it at a loss. This strategy may make financial sense, but you can end up with lots of clutter from things you don't use, and some items require costly maintenance. Even if it's paid for, if you don't use it, get rid of it.</p> <h2>19. Not boosting your productivity</h2> <p>For years, I used an old laptop that was barely functional. It took hours to accomplish things that should have taken a few minutes due to laggy performance and system crashes. I finally bought a refurbished laptop to replace my aging computer, and I was able to pay for it within a couple months due to increased productivity. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-a-new-computer-without-breaking-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Buy a New Computer Without Breaking Your Budget</a>)</p> <h2>20. Skipping a worthwhile project to save money</h2> <p>Although it may seem like the best money strategy is to minimize expenses, sometimes you have to spend money to make money. For example, you could decide to skip the expense of seed packets, tools, and fertilizer to plant a garden. But a garden can pay for itself many times over with its produce. Plus you can reuse many garden tools and supplies for years after the initial purchase.</p> <h2>21. Skipping vehicle maintenance</h2> <p>You can try to save money by not getting regular oil changes and other routine maintenance on your vehicle, but this strategy will cost more than it saves. Keeping up with maintenance on your vehicle will extend its life, lower the likelihood of an expensive breakdown, and can make your vehicle run more efficiently so you reduce fuel costs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bookmark-this-save-money-with-an-easy-to-follow-car-maintenance-checklist?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Bookmark This: Save Money With an Easy to Follow Car Maintenance Checklist</a>)</p> <h2>22. Skipping vet appointments</h2> <p>Vet bills for routine vaccinations and checkups can be expensive, but skipping these appointments can be even more costly. Not taking pets to the vet regularly can result in more expensive treatments down the road, plus your pet's health can suffer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Lower Your Vet Bills</a>)</p> <h2>23. Wearing cheap shoes</h2> <p>A good pair of shoes is expensive, so why not save some money by getting cheap shoes instead? A good pair of shoes can last for years, while a cheap pair of shoes may only last a few months before wearing out. Buying a good pair of shoes can be less expensive in the long run, and you can walk all you want in comfort without getting sore feet or back pain.</p> <h2>24. Not having a comfortable bed</h2> <p>You can avoid some expenses for bedding through long-term couch surfing or by using a mattress forever even after it is worn out and no longer comfortable. But not getting a good night's sleep will lower your productivity and you are more likely to make poor spending and financial decisions when you have not gotten enough sleep.</p> <h2>25. Skipping medical and dental appointments</h2> <p>Visits to the doctor or dentist can be unpleasant and expensive, but you are better off taking care of your health the way you are supposed to. Failing to go for routine health screenings and teeth cleanings can lead to more expensive problems down the line. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-expenses-you-should-never-cut?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Expenses You Should Never Cut</a>)</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%2F25-money-saving-strategies-that-are-actually-hurting-you&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F25%2520Money-Saving%2520Strategies%2520That%2520Are%2520Actually%2520Hurting%2520You.jpg&amp;description=25%20Money-Saving%20Strategies%20That%20Are%20Actually%20Hurting%20You"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/25%20Money-Saving%20Strategies%20That%20Are%20Actually%20Hurting%20You.jpg" alt="25 Money-Saving Strategies That Are Actually Hurting You" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/25-money-saving-strategies-that-are-actually-hurting-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-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-money-is-harder-today">Why Saving Money Is Harder Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals">Don&#039;t Start a Family Before Reaching These 5 Money Goals</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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0">6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire</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="https://www.wisebread.com/the-financial-basics-every-new-grad-should-know">The Financial Basics Every New Grad Should Know</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="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-late-starters-can-save-for-their-kids-education">Here&#039;s How Late Starters Can Save for Their Kids&#039; Education</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living backfire college cutting costs expenses health care maintenance retirement saving money shopping Spending Money too frugal Tue, 08 May 2018 08:00:18 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2136177 at https://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Spot a Knockoff https://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-spot-a-knockoff <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-spot-a-knockoff" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_with_little_black_bag_in_stylish_outfit.jpg" alt="Woman with little black bag in stylish outfit" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The counterfeit goods business is a big problem, so big that it's valued at <a href="http://www.oecd.org/gov/risk/trade-in-counterfeit-and-pirated-goods-9789264252653-en.htm" target="_blank">$461 billion as of 2013</a>. Knockoffs are everywhere, and can be found in almost every product line. It's not just watches and purses, but razor blades, laundry detergent, cosmetics, toys, medications, and even fish, wine, and milk. And counterfeiters are getting more sophisticated with their copies. So, how do you protect yourself? Here are 10 ways to avoid getting taken.</p> <h2>1. The price is too good to be true</h2> <p>You can argue that some brands are way overpriced (Kanye West really does sell a plain white T-shirt for $120). The price of any legitimate product you purchase goes way beyond the cost of materials. You're paying for fancy ad campaigns, design and research costs, quality materials, and many other factors. Knockoff brands don't have to incorporate any of that, so although they look almost identical, they can be priced at 75 percent less than the original, and that should be an immediate red flag. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-cheap-clothes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The High Cost of Cheap Clothes</a>)</p> <h2>2. It's not available from the original retailers</h2> <p>Retail stores and trusted online sites go to great lengths to keep fakes out of the system. They also have the power to help authorities track down the suppliers of knockoffs. If you see incredible prices online for brands you know to be much more expensive, they will be on unfamiliar, sketchy-looking sites.</p> <p>If someone is selling these items on the streets of your town or city, that's also a major warning sign. Not only will you be risking more than just the purchase of a fake brand, but you have no way to return the illegal purchase. Even eBay has had trouble with knockoffs, and will often have to remove sellers when they find out the items are counterfeit.</p> <h2>3. You find mistakes and typos</h2> <p>Knockoff products do not go through the rigorous quality controls that legal items must endure. It's extremely rare to find errors on legitimate products, and those that do have them are usually marked down and sold in outlets. If you see spelling errors, especially in logos, then it's a fake. If you see highly visible typos (not something buried in legal verbiage), then it's almost certainly fake. If you notice that the color combinations are way out of character for the brand, then it's most likely a knockoff.</p> <h2>4. The materials look and feel wrong</h2> <p>If you examine the product and it feels off, it's good to trust your gut. It could be way lighter than you expect it to be, or not as smooth and luxurious as you'd hoped. Knockoff brands cut corners, using man-made materials in place of leather or suede, steel instead of silver and gold, and cheap alternatives to quality supplies. If it just feels wrong when you handle it, you should walk away. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-spot-and-avoid-a-fake-sale?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Ways to Spot and Avoid a Fake Sale</a>)</p> <h2>5. The workmanship is way below par</h2> <p>From a distance, fakes can be difficult to spot. However, if you get up close, you should be able to see some of the poor quality workmanship. For example, on clothing and bags, you will come across inferior stitching, misaligned labels, overprinting, collar tags instead of tagless labels, and uneven embossing. Authentic products are well-made because a brand's reputation is everything. With knockoffs, it's just about profit margins.</p> <h2>6. The description goes overboard on &quot;authenticity&quot;</h2> <p>Real products don't usually have to point out that they're authentic. Fake products, on the other hand, are promoted with language that sounds desperate to convince you that they're the real deal. You'll see phrases like &quot;100 percent authentic,&quot; &quot;no cheap knockoffs,&quot; and &quot;verified genuine.&quot; Any kind of description littered with these words is akin to a serial cheater telling you they are totally, completely, 100 percent trustworthy. Yeah, sure.</p> <h2>7. Smell and color can be major red flags</h2> <p>You may think, <em>what's the harm?</em> when buying a knockoff perfume, if it looks and smells the same. Well, keep in mind that shortcuts to make the product cheaper might include using ingredients like antifreeze and urine. Yes, pee has been used in the production of counterfeit perfume. Imagine what that could do to your skin.</p> <p>The other biggest indicator, other than price and smell, is color. Genuine perfumes do not use a lot of dye in the formulation. Also, the bottle will be a little misshapen, or the glass could be cloudy.</p> <h2>8. The packaging is off</h2> <p>Sneakers, for example, can go for thousands of dollars, especially the limited editions. If you spy a pair that you really want, carefully inspect the box first. Look up genuine sneaker box packaging on your phone and look for shoe size placement, logos, and the color of the box. The fakes will be a little off, and the printing won't be as sharp. Look inside for the correct labels. Everything should match with the box. Look at the stitching. It will be perfect on a genuine sneaker.</p> <p>Take a whiff, too. It should smell fresh and new, not like chemicals or &quot;gluey.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Use magnets and your breath to check jewelry</h2> <p>When it comes to precious metals, your secret weapon here is a magnet. Gold and silver are not magnetic, so if the solid gold chain sticks to the magnet, it's either gold plated or simply gold colored metal.</p> <p>With diamonds, breathe on them. A genuine diamond does not retain heat so it will not fog up. A fake one will go cloudy. Also, look for hallmarks on jewelry. Most counterfeiters cannot be bothered to stamp them.</p> <h2>10. Test out electronics before buying</h2> <p>Fake electronics can look identical to the real deal, but the internal components are miles away from the quality of the originals. First, turn it on (if you can). When you fire up a new tech gadget, it should work perfectly. You shouldn't have issues with flickering, loading, or anything else.</p> <p>Look for misspellings, especially in the places most people don't look (the serial number panels, inside the battery compartment, and so on). Also, make sure the packaging and the item are on-brand. Apple is very clean, sleek, and simple. If your packaging is busy, it's not Apple. Most genuine electronics have a certification mark and a hologram &mdash; these are almost impossible to fake. And again, look at the price. An offer of $250 for a new iPhone? Yeah, that's clearly counterfeit.</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%2F10-ways-to-spot-a-knockoff&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Ways%2520to%2520Spot%2520a%2520Knockoff.jpg&amp;description=10%20Ways%20to%20Spot%20a%20Knockoff"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Ways%20to%20Spot%20a%20Knockoff.jpg" alt="10 Ways to Spot a Knockoff" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-spot-a-knockoff">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="https://www.wisebread.com/now-or-later-how-to-decide-the-right-time-to-buy-almost-anything">Now or Later: How to Decide the Right Time to Buy Almost Anything</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="https://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase">The One Question You Should Ask Before Every Major Purchase</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-small-monthly-bills-slowly-wreck-your-annual-budget">How Small Monthly Bills Slowly Wreck Your Annual 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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-guilty-pleasures-that-are-killing-your-budget">6 Guilty Pleasures That Are Killing Your Budget</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="https://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-you-probably-overpaid-at-the-store">10 Reasons You Probably Overpaid at the Store</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping knockoff handbags knockoffs luxury items rip off shopping tips Spending Money Tue, 01 May 2018 09:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 2135303 at https://www.wisebread.com 6 Guilty Pleasures That Are Killing Your Budget https://www.wisebread.com/6-guilty-pleasures-that-are-killing-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-guilty-pleasures-that-are-killing-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coffee_to_go.jpg" alt="Coffee to go" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to guilty pleasures, we all have a few. Some vices are fine to indulge in every once in a while &mdash; like that weekly caramel latte. However, splurging too much on these vices can rob our budget, and in some cases, our health. Here are six guilty pleasures that are destroying your budget.</p> <h2>1. Smoking</h2> <p>Smoking is famously detrimental to your health, of that we are all aware. But it's also a nightmare for your budget. The average cost of a pack of cigarettes is $6.16, with most states charging between $5-$10 a pack. Smoke five packs a week, and you are looking at spending more than $1,600 a year on cigarettes.</p> <p>Even if you label yourself a social smoker, and only smoke the occasional cigarette, you're risking getting addicted, or resurrecting a smoking addiction you've previously kicked. Your financial and physical health will both prosper by dropping this habit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-smoking?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Rich You'd Be If You Stopped Smoking</a>)</p> <h2>2. Eating out for lunch</h2> <p>When you're rushing around in the morning, it seems easier to just buy lunch near your place of business. But shelling out your hard-earned cash every day of the workweek can quickly add up. According to a Visa survey, the average American spends $11.14 twice per week on eating lunch out. And that works out to be over $1,000 annually that you could be putting into an emergency fund, your 401(k), or your child's college fund while bringing a bag lunch to work instead.</p> <h2>3. Monthly subscriptions</h2> <p>How many subscriptions do you currently pay for each month that you can live without? Add up your magazine subscriptions, radio, books, TV subscriptions, meal deliveries, and any fun monthly boxes you receive each month. If you aren't using these subscriptions or can do without them, now is the time to cancel.</p> <p>Canceling $150 worth of subscriptions and memberships a month will allow you to save $1,800 a year. Think about how far that $1,800 could go in your debt repayment quest. You could even plan a European vacation with your spouse with that money. Is a monthly box of makeup samples or dog treats really worth it? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-on-a-european-getaway-with-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Save on a European Getaway With Kids</a>.)</p> <h2>4. Buying lottery tickets</h2> <p>Whether you drop a few hundred dollars playing poker with friends or buy $10 worth of lottery tickets each week, this guilty pleasure adds up quickly. Even if your casual gambling habits only cost you $200 a year, think about how much more likely your $200 can yield a return if you invested it into the stock market or an ETF. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-safeguard-your-financial-future-with-just-200?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Safeguard Your Financial Future With Just $200</a>)</p> <h2>5. Retail therapy</h2> <p>Retail therapy is a quick way to turn a frown upside down, for many people. It's also a quick way to spend tons of money. Even if you stick to seasonal sales and the clearance rack, it's easy to spend $100 on unneeded items in a single shopping spree. Feeling the need to shop like this once a month will drain you $1,200 a year, and you will probably be struggling with extra clutter, too.</p> <p>Invest this $1,200 in your retirement account each year instead and that'll be one less thing (and a big one) causing you stress &mdash; that often leads you to retail therapy in the first place &mdash; effectively breaking this cycle and improving your financial health.</p> <h2>6. Daily lattes</h2> <p>Five-dollar lattes or blended coffee drinks seem like a drop of change in the bucket. Buy one 300 days out of the year, however, and your coffee habit runs up a $1,500 tab. Brew from home and in five years you'll have enough for a $7,500 down payment on a home instead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking-expensive-coffee?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Rich You'd Be if You Stopped Drinking Expensive Coffee</a>)</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%2F6-guilty-pleasures-that-are-killing-your-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Guilty%2520Pleasures%2520That%2520Are%2520Killing%2520Your%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=6%20Guilty%20Pleasures%20That%20Are%20Killing%20Your%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Guilty%20Pleasures%20That%20Are%20Killing%20Your%20Budget.jpg" alt="6 Guilty Pleasures That Are Killing Your Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-guilty-pleasures-that-are-killing-your-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys">7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys</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="https://www.wisebread.com/11-things-that-should-never-cost-more-than-99">11 Things That Should Never Cost More Than $99</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="https://www.wisebread.com/28-ways-to-never-pay-full-price-for-anything">28 Ways to Never Pay Full Price for Anything</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="https://www.wisebread.com/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget">These 6 Shopping Challenges Will Keep You Stylish Without Breaking Your Budget</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="https://www.wisebread.com/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life">39 Mindless Ways You&#039;re Wasting Money in Every Part of Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping bad habits budget tips Guilty Pleasures shopping habits shopping tips Spending Money Fri, 27 Apr 2018 09:00:09 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 2133484 at https://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways Social Media Tricks You Into Spending More https://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-social-media-tricks-you-into-spending-more <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-social-media-tricks-you-into-spending-more" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/summer_shopping_in_the_city.jpg" alt="Summer shopping in the city" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to saving money, social media may not be your friend &mdash; especially if you're a millennial. Research shows that a whopping <a href="https://www.allianzlife.com/-/media/files/allianz/pdfs/newsroom/2018-allianz-generations-ahead-fact-sheet-3.pdf?la=en&amp;hash=1EEE6760599516273AC49A4712924887E665A52A" target="_blank">57 percent of millennials</a> spent money they hadn't planned to spend because of what they saw on social media. Here are some of the sneaky ways social media gets you to spend more, and what you can do to avoid it.</p> <h2>1. Impulse buys</h2> <p>Social media makes it easy for you to hand over your hard-earned (digital) cash with frictionless in-app purchases, like unlocking game levels, adding monthly subscriptions, and shopping for items recommended by people you follow. Within seconds, you can tap or swipe your way into an expensive, unplanned purchase.</p> <p>Avoid this impulse by making it your policy to save the photo of the item or subscription and revisit it at a later date. Chances are, by the time you look at the saved photo later, you won't want the item as badly, or at all. Another strategy that works for me is looking up the reviews of the item before buying. A lot of the time, items that are super trendy on social media get terrible reviews in real life. Find a mental trick that works for you, like telling yourself you'll wait until the item is on sale, to delay purchasing until you've thought it through. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys</a>)</p> <h2>2. Suggested posts</h2> <p>Social media algorithms may not be helping you in your quest to save money. If you've shown interest in anything from fashion, to coffee, to beauty products, the algorithm on platforms like Instagram remembers what it thinks you like and shows you similar content and products. When you open up the app, the algorithm may then show you a barrage of things you should buy &mdash; and they're usually tailored to your preferences, making it doubly hard to resist.</p> <p>To avoid this influx of temptation, be sure to avoid the Explore page on Instagram or skip over suggested posts if you can. You might not be able to avoid all temptation, but you'll definitely cut down on the sheer number of tempting photos you see. Also, avoid &quot;liking&quot; photos full of products, so the algorithm doesn't push similar content into your feed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-mental-biases-that-are-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Mental Biases That Are Keeping You Poor</a>)</p> <h2>3. Those sneaky influencers</h2> <p>If you follow any influencers, your best bet is to unfollow them if you want to keep your hard-earned cash. Seeing someone else's perfectly-curated and styled life is a surefire way to feel unsatisfied with what you currently have, especially if the influencer has (as most do) cultivated an approachable persona.</p> <p>Remember, influencers are <em>not</em> just like us. That entire line of Tom Ford lipsticks, the stylish new watches, and the new clothing line at Nordstrom were probably all provided for free, as was the trip on a private yacht to a beautiful island getaway to show off all their new wares in front of epic scenery. If you start trying to keep up with your favorite influencer's lifestyle, you'll quickly end up in the poorhouse.</p> <h2>4. FOMO</h2> <p>It's telling that fear of missing out, aka FOMO, has become common parlance on social media. Most of us, to some extent, want to keep up with everyone else. And we fear being left behind, or being seen as not up-to-date.</p> <p>Remember that trends come and go fast, especially on social media. Once you buy that latest gear, watch, or stylish outfit, in a few months, the next trend cycle will be pushing another product. Instead of buying something to fit in with the crowd, think about whether it truly fits in with your needs and lifestyle. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-letting-fomo-ruin-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are You Letting FOMO Ruin Your Finances?</a>)</p> <h2>5. An expanded social circle</h2> <p>Before the advent of social media, it was hard enough to resist comparing ourselves to our friends, but it's even more difficult now with our drastically expanded circles on social media. The increased frequency of social contact online has also made it harder to resist spending. Whereas before social media, you might've seen that uber-rich high school classmate once a year, now you see what she's doing everyday on Instagram. In fact, 88 percent of millennials believe that social media makes them compare themselves more with others.</p> <p>Consider unfollowing people you barely know on social media, especially if they're a bad influence on your shopping habits. Instead, interact with closer friends more frequently &mdash; social media algorithms usually show you posts from accounts you interact with more frequently &mdash; rather than acquaintances you barely know, and will probably never see again in real life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-the-joneses?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Money Lessons You Can Learn From the Joneses</a>)</p> <h2>6. Endless MLMs from old friends</h2> <p>Not long ago, it seemed like every time I opened Facebook, another friend was hawking leggings, skin care, or essential oils from a multilevel marketing (MLM) company. Wanting to support friends who are trying to make ends meet is an admirable goal, but doing so can quickly add up, especially with the high prices of most of these MLM products. Before long, buying a few products I didn't need had completely wiped out my &quot;fun&quot; money for the month.</p> <p>Facebook allows you to stay friends with a person, but to stop allowing their posts to show up on your feed. All you need to do is unfollow. Eventually, I had to block the feeds of more than one person to prevent my feed from turning into one huge ad. Those friends can still send messages to me, but I don't see what they post unless I consciously go and check out their page. And now, when people approach me about MLM products, I tell them that I already have a supplier. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-friend-types-that-can-hurt-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Friend Types That Can Hurt Your Finances</a>)</p> <h2>7. Hyper-targeted ads</h2> <p>Sometimes it seems as if the internet is reading your mind. Advertisers on social media are able to target you based on the data you generate by using the platform. Everything including the movie you streamed recently, the ramen shop you checked in at, and your political leanings are accessible in this new marketplace, making it harder to ignore ads that seem custom-made for you.</p> <p>In the interest of preserving your hard-earned cash, take steps to prevent ads from being quite as eerily targeted toward your likes. Clicking on the small triangular &quot;AdChoices&quot; logo on any online ads served to you will take you to a page run by an organization called the Digital Advertising Alliance. Once you get to the AdChoices page, you can opt out of having ad networks target you with personalized information. It won't block ads entirely, but it will help you avoid the onslaught of personalized ads.</p> <h2>8. Go off the grid</h2> <p>It may seem old-fashioned, but it's nice to take a break from social media sometimes if you feel you're too caught up in the constant marketing ploys. Research shows that spending a lot of time on social media can have negative effects on your mental health. Try consciously unplugging over the weekend and spending that time with friends in-person, or limiting yourself to an hour a day of social media time throughout the week.</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%2F8-ways-social-media-tricks-you-into-spending-more&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Ways%2520Social%2520Media%2520Tricks%2520You%2520Into%2520Spending%2520More.jpg&amp;description=8%20Ways%20Social%20Media%20Tricks%20You%20Into%20Spending%20More"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Ways%20Social%20Media%20Tricks%20You%20Into%20Spending%20More.jpg" alt="8 Ways Social Media Tricks You Into Spending More" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-social-media-tricks-you-into-spending-more">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="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-too-many-decisions-costs-you-money">Here&#039;s How Too Many Decisions Costs You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase">The One Question You Should Ask Before Every Major Purchase</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="https://www.wisebread.com/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget">These 6 Shopping Challenges Will Keep You Stylish Without Breaking Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life">39 Mindless Ways You&#039;re Wasting Money in Every Part of Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-7-common-spring-spending-traps">How to Avoid 7 Common Spring Spending Traps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology impulse buys mental bias privacy saving money shopping habits social media social media tips Spending Money Thu, 19 Apr 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Camilla Cheung 2131790 at https://www.wisebread.com How Small Monthly Bills Slowly Wreck Your Annual Budget https://www.wisebread.com/how-small-monthly-bills-slowly-wreck-your-annual-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-small-monthly-bills-slowly-wreck-your-annual-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/problem_with_documents.jpg" alt="Problem with documents" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you ever noticed that we look at most of our expenses in terms of monthly payments? We often justify these expenses by saying, &quot;It's just a few dollars a month.&quot; Sometimes, we even break costs down into weeks or days. But this type of thinking can be dangerous to our finances. Looking only at monthly expenses can mask the total impact of what you're spending. And when we view our expenses in isolation, we don't always see our full financial picture.</p> <p>Here are some things to think about when you tell yourself, &quot;It's just a few dollars per month.&quot;</p> <h2>It all adds up</h2> <p>When you think of your expenses as individual costs that you pay on a monthly basis, you're seeing only a very small part of your finances at any given time. Combine these monthly costs, however, and you'll see how quickly they can add up and make it hard for you to save. This is especially true with subscription-type services, in which you may pay a seemingly low monthly fee for a product or service.</p> <p>Netflix is just $9.99-$11.99 per month. Your news subscription may be $7. You have subscriptions for meal planning services like Blue Apron, and clothing delivery services like Stitch Fix. None of these subscriptions may seem costly in and of themselves, but when you add them up, they could comprise hundreds of dollars in monthly expenses and leave you with very little left over. And because they're subscriptions, they may be automatically deducted from your checking account or credit card, so you may not even be fully aware that money is leaving or when. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-meal-prep-subscription-boxes-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are Meal Prep Subscription Boxes Worth It?</a>)</p> <h2>You're being manipulated</h2> <p>How did we get into the habit of thinking of expenses in the context of a month or less? Because the people who seek our money want it that way. If a company can get us thinking about costs in smaller chunks, we're more likely to spend money. A gym could easily charge you $480 a year to join, but instead, they charge $40 a month and advertise that monthly amount because it seems like less. Your cellphone company could just ask for $1,200 upfront when you sign a two-year contract, but it's less scary to charge you $50 a month.</p> <p>Granted, most of us would prefer to pay in monthly amounts because we may not have tons of cash on hand, but most companies don't even offer us the option to pay in bulk amounts if we want to, because they don't even want us thinking about how much they take out of our accounts each year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-scarcity-marketing-tricks-you-to-spend-more?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Scarcity Marketing Tricks You to Spend More</a>)</p> <h2>Resist the coffee analogy</h2> <p>Every once in a while, someone will encourage you to donate money or buy a product, arguing that it will cost you &quot;less than a cup of coffee&quot; each day. The suggestion is that coffee is a fairly low and everyday expense, and it's a compelling sales tactic. But the next time someone comes at you with this pitch, consider examining it in a different way.</p> <p>First, ask yourself if you'd be willing to cut out your daily coffee in order to buy this new product or service. If not, then accept that your expenses will definitely rise. Second, recognize how much that cup of coffee each day actually is costing you. Maybe it's just $2 every time, but that's $10 during a workweek, $40 monthly, and nearly $500 a year. Suddenly, you realize that the &quot;cost of a cup of coffee&quot; isn't mere pocket change. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking-expensive-coffee?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Rich You'd Be if You Stopped Drinking Expensive Coffee</a>)</p> <h2>A higher monthly payment is always a big deal</h2> <p>Have you ever financed a car? The goal of the car salesman is to get you comfortable with a monthly payment and ignore the total costs over time. If you're paying for the car in full with cash, there's not much a seller can do to mask the cost. But when breaking out the total into payments, the seller can convince you that a few extra dollars are no big deal.</p> <p>For example, let's say you're looking to have payments of no more than $200 per month. The seller may say &quot;Well, I can get you down to $230, which is in the ballpark. Deal?&quot; That extra $30 may not seem like a lot. But if you have a 60-month loan, that adds up to $1,800! If you were paying for the car with cash in full, you'd never think that paying an extra $1,800 was reasonable.</p> <h2>Monthly payments can mask interest</h2> <p>If you purchase a home, you will likely have a mortgage with interest payments. You may also have interest payments if you finance a car. When this happens, the total cost of your purchase is higher, even though you don't think of it that way.</p> <p>Consider that if you purchase a house with a sale price of $400,000, you may pay $2,000 per month over the course of 30 years, bringing the actual money paid to $720,000. Monthly payments can make large purchases feel more digestible and manageable, but they can also cover up the total cost of big-ticket items over time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-paying-too-much-for-your-mortgage?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Signs You're Paying Too Much for Your Mortgage</a>)</p> <h2>Consider the lifetime costs</h2> <p>Once, while in the process of paying some bills, I tried to calculate how much I had spent over my lifetime toward cellphone, internet, and cable TV services to one particular company. I determined that I had paid this company each month for about 18 years. The math was eye-popping. In my life, I had directed more than $30,000 to one company just so I could stay connected.</p> <p>Granted, I'm not sure what I'd do without my phone or high-speed internet. But it did make me wonder whether I was always getting the best deal. Imagine if I had found a way to cut these bills by 10 percent each month. That would be $3,000 more in my pocket today! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-driving?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Rich You'd Be If You Stopped Driving</a>)</p> <h2>We don't think of income this way</h2> <p>If someone asks you how much money you make, do you tell them what you take in on a weekly or monthly basis? If you are a salaried employee, probably not. Usually, we think of our income in terms of annual salary, and we rarely stop to think about how much we bring in each month, each week, or each day. Unless you're an hourly employee, you don't say &quot;I make just $24 in an hour.&quot; You say, &quot;I make $50,000 a year.&quot;</p> <p>Think of expenses the same way. You might change your behavior as a result. &quot;I spend $1,200 a year on cable so I can watch Portland Trail Blazers games.&quot; &quot;I spend $940 a year on Americanos from Peet's Coffee.&quot; Yikes! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-get-your-morning-coffee-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Get Your Morning Coffee for Free</a>)</p> <h2>Saving is a long-term goal</h2> <p>It's important to remember that building wealth and achieving financial freedom is a very long process. It's the relatively small amount of money you save each day that piles up over time and becomes something substantial. It's very easy to be dismissive of a small weekly or monthly expense, but it's those very expenses that can make the difference between accumulating wealth or accumulating debt.</p> <p>When analyzing spending, it's helpful to examine all money as potentially helpful in your quest to build wealth. One hundred dollars now, if saved, could represent much more in the future. If spent, it's gone forever. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-safeguard-your-financial-future-with-just-200?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Safeguard Your Financial Future With Just $200</a>)</p> <h2>Take your usage into account</h2> <p>It's easier to defend the &quot;it's only a few dollars a month&quot; attitude if you regularly use the product or service in question. One could argue that a high-speed internet subscription, while costly, is worthwhile if you use it for several hours a day to run a business. But what about all those things you pay for that you never use?</p> <p>Your gym membership may only be $10 a month, yet you haven't worked out in months. Netflix may seem inexpensive, but you rarely stream any movies or shows. These monthly costs can really add up, and they are made worse if you are spending money on things you never use.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20Small%20Monthly%20Bills%20Slowly%20Wreck%20Your%20Annual%20Budget.jpg" alt="How Small Monthly Bills Slowly Wreck Your Annual Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-small-monthly-bills-slowly-wreck-your-annual-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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="https://www.wisebread.com/now-or-later-how-to-decide-the-right-time-to-buy-almost-anything">Now or Later: How to Decide the Right Time to Buy Almost Anything</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="https://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase">The One Question You Should Ask Before Every Major Purchase</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="https://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-you-probably-overpaid-at-the-store">10 Reasons You Probably Overpaid at the Store</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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-things-its-better-to-buy-at-the-last-minute">6 Things It&#039;s Better to Buy at the Last Minute</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="https://www.wisebread.com/28-ways-to-never-pay-full-price-for-anything">28 Ways to Never Pay Full Price for Anything</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Shopping monthly boxes monthly costs saving money shopping tips Spending Money subscriptions Fri, 13 Apr 2018 08:30:10 +0000 Tim Lemke 2129347 at https://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: 5 Things Every Frugal Person Should Spend Money On https://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-5-things-every-frugal-person-should-spend-money-on <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-5-things-every-frugal-person-should-spend-money-on" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_smiling_902673236.jpg" alt="Frugal woman spending her money on things" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on things every frugal person should spend money on, pantry tips from the pros, and easy ways to save money after you turn 50.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="https://madmoneymonster.com/2018/04/06/5-things-every-frugal-person-should-spend-money-on/">5 Things Every Frugal Person Should Spend Money On</a> &mdash; Your home is where you live, sleep, and eat. It's okay to spend money to make it nice and make it yours. [Mad Money Monster]</p> <p><a href="https://food52.com/blog/21840-restaurant-pantry-tips-we-re-stealing-for-our-own-kitchens">12 Restaurant Pantry Tips We're Stealing for Our Own Kitchens</a> &mdash; Keep painter's tape and a Sharpie handy so you can label containers on the fly. While you're at it, label the shelves, too, so others who enter your pantry know where things are supposed to go. [Food52]</p> <p><a href="https://www.moneytalksnews.com/fabulous-ways-save-after-you-turn-50/#at_pco=cfd-1.0">6 Easy Ways to Save Money After You Turn 50</a> &mdash; With an AARP membership, you qualify for discounts at tons of stores, restaurants, and travel services. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="https://www.popsugar.com/home/How-Bring-Nature-Indoors-44539619">3 Practical Ways to Bring the Garden Indoors and Fuel Your Green Thumb</a> &mdash; Green up your space with a low-maintenance succulent terrarium. They're easy to assemble and even easier to take care of. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="https://www.frugalrules.com/live-on-last-months-income/">4 Awesome Benefits of Living on Last Month&rsquo;s Income</a> &mdash; Paying this month's bills with last month's income gives you a buffer in case surprise expenses come up. [Frugal Rules]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="https://www.thriftyfrugalmom.com/tips-for-shopping-kids-consignment-sales/">8 Tips to Shop Kid&rsquo;s Consignment Sales Like a Pro</a> &mdash; If you're not bringing the kids, you can jot down their measurements ahead of time and bring a measuring tape to help you check if items will fit. [Thrifty Frugal Mom]</p> <p><a href="https://www.themuse.com/advice/7-unexpected-ways-to-boost-your-creativity?ref=recently-published-0">7 Unexpected Ways to Boost Your Creativity (Even if You Think You Have None)</a> &mdash; Taking a vacation allows you to step back, recharge, and reflect. When you come back to work, you'll have a fresh perspective on things. [The Muse]</p> <p><a href="https://www.lifehack.org/682973/how-to-get-motivated-to-lose-weight">How to Get Motivated to Lose Half a Pound a Day (A Health Coach's Hack)</a> &mdash; Is your sweet tooth getting in the way of your weight loss goal? The Teassert Technique can mute your sugar cravings instantly. [Lifehack.org]</p> <p><a href="https://clutterfreenow.com/blog/organizing/creative-bathroom-storage-solutions-ideas/">Creative Small Bathroom Storage Ideas</a> &mdash; Create more room to hang towels by installing an extra rod over your shower or bathtub. [Mindful Decluttering &amp; Organizing]</p> <p><a href="https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2018/0405/Hawaii-s-low-unemployment-presents-unique-challenges">Hawaii's low unemployment presents unique challenges</a> &mdash; In Hawaii, the unemployment rate is down to 2.1%, and employers are having a really hard time filling jobs. Unfilled jobs may be slowing the state's economic growth. [The Christian Science Monitor]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-5-things-every-frugal-person-should-spend-money-on">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="https://www.wisebread.com/25-money-saving-strategies-that-are-actually-hurting-you">25 Money-Saving Strategies That Are Actually Hurting You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-keep-boredom-from-destroying-your-budget">8 Ways to Keep Boredom from Destroying Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/afraid-of-spending-money-here-are-5-perks-of-your-phobia">Afraid of Spending Money? Here Are 5 Perks of Your Phobia</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-dirty-is-your-money-really">Do You Know How Dirty Your Money Is?</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="https://www.wisebread.com/5-when-youre-rich-dream-buys-that-arent-that-great">5 &quot;When You&#039;re Rich&quot; Dream Buys That Aren&#039;t That Great</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living best money tips Spending Money Mon, 09 Apr 2018 08:30:14 +0000 Amy Lu 2129398 at https://www.wisebread.com How to Avoid 7 Common Spring Spending Traps https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-7-common-spring-spending-traps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-avoid-7-common-spring-spending-traps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_women_in_the_shopping_mall.jpg" alt="Young women in the shopping mall" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Spring is here, and along with a much-needed change in the weather comes something we could all do without &mdash; spring-themed retail offer overload. You're going to be bombarded with deals and steals from every industry now that the snow is starting to melt, and you need to shut out the noise. Most consumers fall for the following seven spending traps year after year, but this year, you don't have to.</p> <h2>1. Spring cleaning mania</h2> <p>There's nothing advertisers love more than a seasonal term that can be branded. At the top of the list for this time of year is &quot;spring cleaning,&quot; and retailers use every angle they can to get you to buy things you don't really need. First, they're going to tell you it's time to throw out the stuff that's cluttering up your home and garden. Get rid of it. Then, they're going to convince you to stock up on cleaning supplies and storage options (more on the latter in a second). Putting these items on sale makes the temptation even greater, and before you know it, you've filled your cart with cleaning products and shelving units. Don't fall for any of it.</p> <p>Sure, if your house is packed with clutter, see what you can sell, what you really don't need any more, and what you can donate. Don't buy new cleaning supplies until you've used up the ones you already have. And if you're getting rid of things you don't need, then you probably don't need extra storage, either. At the end of spring cleaning, you should be left with more space, less junk, and maybe even a little cash. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spring-clean-your-whole-life-one-step-at-a-time?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Spring Clean Your Whole Life &mdash; One Step at a Time</a>)</p> <h2>2. Spend your tax refund!</h2> <p>Why would you want to let that refund sit in a bank account or pay off debt when you can blow it all on the latest tech gadgets? That's the mentality of almost every brand out there, and they are going to dangle offers in front of you that make spending your refund very enticing. Big screen TVs, home improvements, vacations, clothing, jewelry, carpet cleaning, and anything else you can think of will be thrown into the mighty &quot;tax refund savings event.&quot;</p> <p>Again, this is just a basic marketing trick to get to your money. And it's money that you are owed, and that should be spent wisely. Steer clear of spending your refund on anything you don't truly need, and put it toward paying down debt or saving more money for retirement. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/most-popular-ways-americans-spend-their-tax-refunds?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Most Popular Ways Americans Spend Their Tax Refunds</a>)</p> <h2>3. New season? Time for a new wardrobe!</h2> <p>A new season means new clothing trends, and here's the pitch you'll be given by brands looking to sell you clothing, shoes, and accessories: &quot;Forget all the spring clothes you bought last year. Let's be honest &hellip; they are sooooooo last year. Instead, donate them and get a new wardrobe full of the latest, greatest spring fashions!&quot;</p> <p>Yes, clothing trends change all the time, but do you <em>really</em> need new clothes that will be on sale in a few months' time? Is it crucial you get the same shirt you already own in the &quot;hot new Pantone color?&quot; And is it important to get it now, whatever the cost? You no doubt have a lot of garments from last year that are still in good condition. Wear those until they no longer fit or fall apart, and save your money for the more important things on your &quot;to buy&quot; list. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-clothes-looking-new?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Clothes Looking New</a>)</p> <h2>4. Spring break vacations</h2> <p>Vacation sites are pushing hard this time of year for spring break getaways, and with the kids out of school and the winter blues getting a lot of people down, it seems like a good time to indulge. However, it's also a peak time to indulge, and that means the vacation you book over spring break is going to set you back a lot more money than if you wait a few weeks later to book your getaway.</p> <p>True, the kids won't be off school, and that can put a wrench in the works. But if kids aren't a consideration for you, or you ask the school to supply them with homework for the trip, you can save big bucks by avoiding the spring break craze. Also, spring break is associated with older teenagers and twenty-somethings going bonkers, and many of the popular destinations spots will be overrun by rowdy partyers looking to throw caution to the wind. If you don't want to be in the center of a booze tornado, avoid this time of year to travel. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-timing-is-everything-when-saving-money-on-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why Timing Is Everything When Saving Money on Travel</a>)</p> <h2>5. Trade in your old wheels for new</h2> <p>There's something to be said for getting a new car around springtime. Traditionally, it's when car dealerships start to discount some of the older models to make way for the new models coming to the lot. But like any deal, it's only a bargain if you need it. It can be hard to resist the discounts, with zero percent financing and 15 to 20 percent discounts on many models.</p> <p>However, do you need a new set of wheels? How old is your car? How reliable is it? Don't fall for those circulars and direct mail pieces that dealers send out saying &quot;we desperately need your trade.&quot; Well, of course they do. Dealerships make way more money on trade-ins than new models, and you will make their day by turning in a perfectly good car for a new model you don't need. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-why-you-should-never-buy-a-new-car?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy a New Car</a>)</p> <h2>6. Outdoor deals aplenty</h2> <p>Camping gear. Backyard furniture. Grills. Fishing rods. Sports equipment. You're about to be presented with a buffet of outdoor deals that will get you ready for the warmer months ahead. Right now there is a desperate desire to get outside again after the cold winter season. But even though spring has sprung, the warmer weather can take a while to get here. In fact, many states will still see the occasional snowfall for the next couple months. All that new gear will be waiting to be used.</p> <p>Instead of buying new outdoor gear, take advantage of the people who fall for the offers and sell their barely-used gear for cheap on Craigslist and eBay. Or just wait until the prices really dive toward the end of summer and stock up for next year.</p> <h2>7. 'Tis the gifting season &hellip; again</h2> <p>With St. Patrick's Day behind us, you'll see cards and gifts on display for Easter, Mother's Day, graduation, and even &quot;spring greetings,&quot; whatever that is. The next few months are going to trick you into spending major moola if you're not careful. For starters, store-bought cards are incredibly overpriced and impersonal. These days, with superb home printers and free design software and templates, you can easily make a card for pennies that will be just as loved by the recipient. Homemade presents and baked goods are always loved, and spending quality time with mothers and grads is more valuable than buying fancy gifts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-diy-mothers-day-gifts-moms-will-love?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 DIY Mother's Day Gifts Moms Will Love</a>)</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%2Fwhat-happens-to-debt-after-divorce&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Avoid%25207%2520Common%2520Spring%2520Spending%2520Traps.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Avoid%207%20Common%20Spring%20Spending%20Traps"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Avoid%207%20Common%20Spring%20Spending%20Traps.jpg" alt="How to Avoid 7 Common Spring Spending Traps" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-7-common-spring-spending-traps">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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-cutting-your-losses-can-save-you-more-than-money">How Cutting Your Losses Can Save You More Than Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-social-media-tricks-you-into-spending-more">8 Ways Social Media Tricks You Into Spending More</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="https://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase">The One Question You Should Ask Before Every Major Purchase</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="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-too-many-decisions-costs-you-money">Here&#039;s How Too Many Decisions Costs You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping mental bias saving money spending habits Spending Money spring break spring cleaning springtime Fri, 30 Mar 2018 09:30:15 +0000 Paul Michael 2126384 at https://www.wisebread.com 5 Financial Risks Worth Taking https://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-risks-worth-taking <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-financial-risks-worth-taking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/each_diploma_is_a_lighted_match.jpg" alt="Each diploma is a lighted match" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>They say no big reward comes without risk. That can be a hard pill to swallow, especially when it comes to our money.</p> <p>Most of us would rather not put our hard earned cash at risk. With the tough economic times of 2008 in recent memory, people are still on edge when it comes to taking financial risks.</p> <p>On the other hand, leaving your cash in a savings account isn't going to get you ahead of the game. In order to be successful financially, you will eventually have to face some risk. In fact, being too complacent with your cash can be one of the biggest financial risks of all.</p> <p>Here are the financial risks that can be hugely beneficial.</p> <h2>1. Moving to a new city</h2> <p>Do you feel like your current location is lacking in career opportunities? Or perhaps rent is atrocious and you're finding it hard to get by? A move may be a solution.</p> <p>There's no doubt about it &mdash; moving is expensive. You may have to break a lease and sign a new one, complete with security deposit. You'll probably have to pay for a moving truck, movers, new furniture, and more. Not to mention, your new city could come with a much higher cost of living. But, for some people, moving could be well worth it.</p> <p>When I moved cities, even though I tried to make it as cheap as possible, I still incurred quite a few expenses. But financially and personally, it was worth it to me. My hometown is small with very few opportunities, so I knew I would have a better shot at earning a bigger income in a larger city. Fortunately, that turned out to be true. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-much-life-in-the-big-city-will-cost-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Much Life in the Big City Will Cost You</a>)</p> <h2>2. Investing in graduate school</h2> <p>Graduate school is a big investment, so it's important to weigh whether or not the expense is worth it in the long run. Tuition costs are ever increasing, books are expensive, and if you choose a full-time program, you are losing out on income you could have earned while working instead.</p> <p>While it is a big investment, a graduate degree can help you find a higher paying job with more opportunity for growth. And some high paying careers cannot be achieved without some sort of degree in higher education.</p> <p>Before you sign up for graduate school, take time to truly consider what you want to do and whether it will benefit you financially. Be sure to consider how you can market yourself, even without an advanced degree. While a graduate degree can certainly help in the job process, there are many other factors that determine whether or not you receive a job offer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-to-consider-before-paying-for-an-mba?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Things to Consider Before Paying for an MBA</a>)</p> <h2>3. Starting a business</h2> <p>Starting a business is outside many people's comfort zone. It can cost significant cash to start and to grow a business from scratch. There is also uncertainty in working for yourself if you've only ever worked with for a traditional 9-to-5 employer.</p> <p>But starting a business can come with many personal and financial benefits. For one, you keep all of your own profit. If the business is successful, you are the one who gets the big payout. For many people, owning and operating their own business is a personal and career preference as well. If you've been dreaming about starting your own business, develop a financial plan before you dive in head first. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/starting-your-dream-business-is-easier-than-you-think-heres-how?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Starting Your Dream Business Is Easier Than You Think &mdash; Here's How</a>)</p> <h2>4. Investing</h2> <p>The stock markets are full of ups and downs and uncertainty, but the payoff can be huge. Most, if not all, experts would agree that failing to invest is riskier than not investing. While leaving your money in a savings account might ensure it doesn't lose much value in the short term, it won't gain much value, either. In fact, due to inflation, you are likely to lose value over time.</p> <p>Investing thoughtfully, however, can give you the opportunity to grow your money at a much faster rate. Investing certainly isn't a get-rich-quick scheme, but overall, it can pay off big time with smart decisions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-risk-averse-can-get-into-the-stock-market?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How the Risk Averse Can Get Into the Stock Market</a>)</p> <h2>5. Buying a home</h2> <p>The housing market isn't necessarily as stable as it used to be, and a home is a major cost. But can it be worth the risk?</p> <p>There are many factors to consider when deciding if purchasing a home is worth the risk. You'll want to consider resale value, in the event that you need to move. Location, school district, quality of home, and neighborhood are all other important factors to consider. If you are planning to stay in a location long-term, a house may be a smart investment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-worst-reasons-not-to-buy-a-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Worst Reasons NOT to Buy a House</a>)</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%2F5-financial-risks-worth-taking&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Financial%2520Risks%2520Worth%2520Taking.jpg&amp;description=5%20Financial%20Risks%20Worth%20Taking"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Financial%20Risks%20Worth%20Taking.jpg" alt="5 Financial Risks Worth Taking" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/rachel-slifka">Rachel Slifka</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-risks-worth-taking">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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far">6 Ways Millennials Have Changed Money (So Far)</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="https://www.wisebread.com/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th">It&#039;s the 21st Century — Why Is Your Money Stuck in the 20th?</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="https://www.wisebread.com/9-online-forums-thatll-help-you-reach-your-financial-goals">9 Online Forums That&#039;ll Help You Reach Your Financial Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-your-house-is-holding-you-back">8 Signs Your House Is Holding You Back</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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meditation-can-make-you-a-money-master">6 Ways Meditation Can Make You a Money Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle business ownership education entrepreneurship homeownership investing master's degree moving risks Spending Money Wed, 28 Mar 2018 10:00:07 +0000 Rachel Slifka 2111742 at https://www.wisebread.com Financial Experts Share Their Biggest Credit Mistakes https://www.wisebread.com/financial-experts-share-their-biggest-credit-mistakes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/financial-experts-share-their-biggest-credit-mistakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mature_man_shopping_with_credit_card.jpg" alt="Mature man shopping with credit card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Credit mistakes don't have to leave you with poor credit for the rest of your life. Other people have overcome their credit problems, and so have I. You can do the same, with a little bit of time and patience.</p> <p>When I was in my early 20s, I made a lot of unfortunate financial decisions that cost me both time and money. One of those decisions, which I still regret to this day, was the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-why-you-should-never-buy-a-new-car?ref=internal" target="_blank">purchase of a new (read: expensive) car</a> when I made less than $10 per hour.</p> <p>I'm not sure why I thought I could swing the car's ridiculous monthly payments, or if I even cared how the purchase might impact my other financial goals. Heck, I'm not even sure I had financial goals. I wanted a new Mitsubishi Galant, apparently at all costs, so I did what I had to do. And boy, did I pay for it.</p> <p>Over the years, that car held me back in a huge way. While I kept up with the $500+ payments because I always had a job, I ultimately had to move back in with my parents to focus on repaying my car loan.</p> <p>I eventually paid off that car and vowed <em>never</em> to take out a car loan again. The entire experience was painful, but it also taught me something I probably needed to learn the hard way: Mistakes can be overcome if you don't let them take over your life. I bought an overly expensive car for sure, but I didn't let that ruin my credit for good. Instead, I fixed my mistake, slowly but surely, by doing the right thing.</p> <h2>More proof that credit mistakes can be overcome</h2> <p>I'm not the only one. Over time, many financial experts have made credit mistakes they've had to mend one way or another. Fortunately, this means that you, too, can fix your credit snafus if you apply logic to your mistakes and take actionable steps to remedy them.</p> <p>If your credit is suffering for any reason, it's possible to get on the right track to fix it this year. Here are some of the mistakes you may have made, plus the best ways to move forward.</p> <h3>Paying interest on a rewards credit card</h3> <p>Earning credit card rewards can be advantageous if you are able to use credit cards without getting into debt. But what happens when you pursue rewards without a plan to pay off your balance immediately?</p> <p>Deacon Hayes, founder of the Well Kept Wallet blog, found out exactly what happens the hard way. When he and his wife were married, they put their honeymoon on a credit card in order to rack up cash-back rewards. They had a great trip, he says, but they ended up paying a lot more in interest than the paltry 1%-2% cash back they earned. Why? Because it took them months to pay off their honeymoon bill, and all of that was at their credit card's 15% APR. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Fastest Method to Eliminate Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <p>Rewards credit cards typically have higher interest rates than other types of cards. People who carry balances would be better off forgetting about rewards and getting a card with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">low interest rate</a> or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-0-apr-for-purchases?ref=internal" target="_blank">0% purchase APR</a>.</p> <p>From that point forward, Hayes says he and his wife became determined not to repeat this mistake. &quot;We learned the hard way to pay off our credit card in full each month to keep from paying hundreds of dollars in interest to the lenders,&quot; he says.</p> <p>The bottom line: If you've earned rewards but wound up carrying a balance, there's not a lot you can do now other than pay it off. But in the future, stick to low- or no-interest credit cards if you know you can't pay off your balance right away.</p> <h3>Being too scared to build credit</h3> <p>Growing up, money blogger Caroline Vencil was told by family members that credit cards were &quot;the devil.&quot; As a result, she never bothered to get a credit card or build her credit in any way.</p> <p>This strategy worked fine until Vencil graduated college and wanted to finance a vehicle. Because she had no credit history, she was unable to get a car loan. Things got worse for Vencil when she followed the advice of the car dealership and got four new credit cards right away to &quot;build her credit.&quot; Because too much new credit can hurt your credit score, Vencil's FICO score quickly tumbled. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-things-with-the-biggest-impact-on-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Things With the Biggest Impact on Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <p>Vencil did end up getting a car loan, but not from that dealer, and she paid a high interest rate on it. She eventually worked to build her credit by using her new credit cards responsibly, making her payments on time, and not carrying a balance. However, she learned a huge lesson from the ordeal: Learn about credit and credit cards from experts and not necessarily from well-meaning but ill-informed relatives. Just because your parents think credit is dangerous doesn't mean you won't need a credit score, so make sure to build credit slowly and responsibly &mdash; or else, risk not having credit when you need it.</p> <p>And never jump to sign up for four new credit cards just because a car dealership says so. Most of the time, you'll be a lot better off if you build credit slowly over time.</p> <h3>Using a cash advance to invest</h3> <p>Joseph Hogue, a chartered financial analyst and founder of Peer Loans Online blog, says one of his biggest credit mistakes was using a cash advance from his credit card to borrow $3,000 to invest in stocks. Hogue says the year was 1999 and the stock market was hot, so he figured he could easily gain at least 14 percent annually on his investment. Unfortunately, his hopes were dashed when, around a year later, he wound up losing $800 of the money he borrowed.</p> <p>But things were even messier than that since Hogue was also paying interest on the money he charged. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-credit-card-cash-advance-costs-you-more-than-a-purchase?ref=internal" target="_blank">Credit card cash advances</a> are a notoriously expensive way to borrow. They come with cash advance fees, and interest rates tend to be higher than the card's regular purchase APR. Hogue says the moral of the story is this: &quot;Never invest on borrowed money and be careful how you use your credit cards.&quot;</p> <p>These days, Hogue says he only uses credit for purchases he can pay off right away, and he is much better off for it.</p> <h3>Charging a huge purchase without a concrete plan to pay it back</h3> <p>Chris Peach, who blogs at MoneyPeach.com, says his biggest credit mistake was one that seemed super smart at the time. When he and his wife were married in 2008, Peach says they saved up $10,000 for a $20,000 wedding and charged the rest. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <p>They pretended they were making sophisticated financial decisions by promising themselves they would pay off the balance as soon as possible. Unfortunately, life happened and that wasn't as easy as they thought. &quot;The wedding lasted less than six hours and it took us almost four years to pay off the balance,&quot; he says.</p> <p>Looking back, the blogger says it was the dumbest financial decision they have ever made. They charged $10,000 without any sort of plan to pay it back, and even convinced themselves they were making a financially savvy decision.</p> <p>Today, Peach says they no longer mess around with debt or credit cards for that matter. Instead, they use a simple method to pay for groceries, shopping, and travel: cash. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-an-all-cash-diet-right-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is an All-Cash Diet Right for You?</a>)</p> <p>This story, like the others on this list, shows that it's possible to make poor decisions with your credit and still go on to live a financially fruitful life. We all make mistakes, but it's how we handle them that sets the tone for the rest of our lives.</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%2Ffinancial-experts-share-their-biggest-credit-mistakes&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FFinancial%2520Experts%2520Share%2520Their%2520Biggest%2520Credit%2520Mistakes.jpg&amp;description=Financial%20Experts%20Share%20Their%20Biggest%20Credit%20Mistakes"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Financial%20Experts%20Share%20Their%20Biggest%20Credit%20Mistakes.jpg" alt="Financial Experts Share Their Biggest Credit Mistakes" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/financial-experts-share-their-biggest-credit-mistakes">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="https://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">The Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit 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="https://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt">The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</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="https://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-negotiate-credit-card-debt">4 Ways to Negotiate Credit Card Debt</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="https://www.wisebread.com/2-minute-guide-how-to-use-balance-transfers-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt">2-Minute Guide: How to Use Balance Transfers to Pay Off Credit Card Debt</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="https://www.wisebread.com/dealing-with-post-holiday-credit-card-debt">Dealing with Post-Holiday Credit Card Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Debt Management credit card debt credit card mistakes credit mistakes financial experts Spending Money Wed, 21 Mar 2018 09:30:19 +0000 Holly Johnson 2121235 at https://www.wisebread.com How to Simplify Your Life to Avoid Decision Fatigue https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-simplify-your-life-to-avoid-decision-fatigue <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-simplify-your-life-to-avoid-decision-fatigue" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/smiling_woman_with_crossed_hands.jpg" alt="Smiling woman with crossed hands" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm having some remodeling done at my house, and you'd think the hardest part of that would be the volume of the hammering and drilling. But in fact, the worst part is the volume of the decisions I'm called upon to make &mdash; from the contractor stopping by to ask where I want the plumbing for the future sink, to the designer emailing me about tile choices. It feels like, if I'm interrupted enough times with these small decisions, I have no energy left for work or budgeting or for my family.</p> <p>I'm not alone. Decision fatigue is a very real phenomenon. The theory is that the brain only has so much decision-making juice each day, and once we've used it up, we're less able to make good choices.</p> <p>For me and my project, one way to avoid decision fatigue has been to outsource as many of the choices as possible to a designer. Whenever she presents me with a few choices, if one doesn't stand out immediately, I ask her, &quot;What do you think?&quot; Being a designer with an eye for that kind of thing, she usually has an answer and I feel confident that the new bathroom will look great.</p> <p>There are other ways to simplify your life to fight decision fatigue. Let's look at some tactics.</p> <h2>1. Wear a uniform</h2> <p>Steve Jobs did it with his famous closet full of black mock turtlenecks. To an extent, so did President Barack Obama; he told <a href="https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2012/10/michael-lewis-profile-barack-obama" target="_blank">Vanity Fair</a> that he only wore blue or gray suits, saying, &quot;I don't want to make decisions about what I'm eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.&quot;</p> <p>Sure, a uniform works for an iconic leader, but will it work in an ordinary office, where the same people see you day in and day out? Many workers are saying yes; wearing the same thing &mdash; or a variation on the same outfit &mdash; every day is becoming a trend. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-everyday-routines-of-wealthy-people?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Everyday Habits of Wealthy People</a>)</p> <h2>2. Preplan your menu</h2> <p>How many times have you dropped by a co-worker's desk to ask if they wanted to go to lunch, and ended up wasting 20 minutes discussing <em>where </em>to go? Or stood in front of the refrigerator 30 minutes before dinner trying to figure out what to make?</p> <p>Whether you're a takeout person or a home cook who packs every lunch, planning meals in advance can make the day easier. During a difficult stretch when my three kids were small and my husband had to move to California ahead of the rest of the family, I instituted a rotating schedule that called for Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Whole Wheat Wednesday, Thoughtless Thursday, and Frozen Pizza Friday. Having a rough idea of what I'd be cooking each evening saved my mental energy for the decision-heavy online househunting I did each night after the kids were in bed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-and-eat-better-with-these-6-online-meal-planners?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Save Money and Eat Better With These 6 Online Meal Planners</a>)</p> <h2>3. Set investments on autopilot</h2> <p>How to invest retirement savings is one of the most irksome decisions many of us face. There are a few ways to avoid having to make constant decisions on this, such as putting your account in the hands of a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-to-hire-a-financial-planner-or-a-financial-adviser?ref=internal" target="_blank">professional adviser</a>, using one of the newer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-trust-your-money-with-these-4-popular-financial-robo-advisers?ref=internal" target="_blank">robo investing services</a>, or putting your money into <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-easiest-way-to-save-for-retirement?ref=internal" target="_blank">target date mutual funds</a>. I met with an hourly financial adviser who recommended the last solution, and it suits me fine, since rebalancing and choosing investments with the appropriate level of risk for my timeline are done for me.</p> <h2>4. Put staples on automatic delivery</h2> <p>I used to be a coupon lady, spending hours each week hunting for the absolute cheapest price for laundry detergent or cereal. Although I still enjoy a deal &mdash; as funds have become less tight but time has gotten scarcer for me &mdash; I have shifted a lot of my regular purchases to Amazon Subscribe and Save. This is an especially powerful brain saver for products that we might regret forgetting, such as flea drops for the pets, and toilet paper.</p> <h2>5. Delegate decisions</h2> <p>Whether at work or at home, it's tempting to reign supreme over your domain. Let it go. Not only will you be more effective and less drained if you bestow some decision making power on assistants, children, and husbands, but you'll be helping them develop their own skills and abilities.</p> <p>The most important thing when delegating, in my experience, is to accept the outcome, even if it isn't what you would have chosen. For instance, if you let your spouse plan the vacation because you're too busy, you don't get to complain that you're visiting too many art museums once you get there.</p> <h2>6. Do less</h2> <p>It may seem counterintuitive in the scope of productivity, but some of the little tasks and decisions that sap our brainpower aren't all that important. Skip joining that task force at work, don't schedule a getaway for every single three-day weekend, and reduce shopping trips. Having fewer tasks and activities naturally leads to having fewer decisions to make.</p> <h2>7. Have a go-to gift</h2> <p>Your kid has two birthday parties coming up this weekend, and you're in the toy store discussing with your child whether they'd rather give their friends a Lego set or a board game. Or, you need a hostess present for a dinner party you're going to, but you have no time to even think about what to bring. While it's lovely to give gifts that show how well you know the recipient, a high quality gift that works for almost everyone, such as a little-known-but-fun game for all your kid's friends, or a gourmet food item from your region for adults, can be a godsend. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-kids-gifts-that-wont-rot-their-brains?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Affordable Kids' Gifts That Won't Rot Their Brains</a>)</p> <h2>8. Make a schedule</h2> <p>I work from home, and this means I sometimes find myself wandering from task to task, from laundry to bookkeeping to writing to making a grocery list, without finishing anything. I haven't mastered this myself, but organized people who sit down and sketch out their workday and/or personal time say it helps them feel calmer, get more done, and avoid shirking things they're tempted to skip, such as exercising or cleaning out their inbox. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/organize-8-key-areas-of-your-life-with-these-17-smart-apps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Organize 8 Key Areas of Your Life With These 17 Smart Apps</a>)</p> <h2>9. Take public transit</h2> <p>Have you ever thought of how many little decisions you have to make while driving, especially if traffic is heavy? If you change lanes, will you be able to get around the slow truck a few cars up? Should you take the toll road or the country road? Can you make it to your destination without gassing up? Where will you park?</p> <p>Riding the bus or train might be less comfortable than sitting in your own car, but it can offer a wonderful lack of responsibility as you get on, sit down, and put on your headphones, knowing that the trip is now out of your hands.</p> <h2>10. Cut yourself some slack</h2> <p>Let yourself read a good novel on your lunch break, put off answering those last few emails, or even cave in and get the jelly doughnut you're trying not to think about. Decision fatigue can also be seen as self control fatigue, as we only have so many mental resources to constantly make those good choices. And if you let yourself make a &quot;less good&quot; choice once in awhile when it comes to having fun or indulging yourself, maybe you'll still have enough brainpower left after work to stick to your grocery budget or pay the bills on time.</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%2Fhow-to-simplify-your-life-to-avoid-decision-fatigue&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Simplify%2520Your%2520Life%2520to%2520Avoid%2520Decision%2520Fatigue.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Simplify%20Your%20Life%20to%20Avoid%20Decision%20Fatigue"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Simplify%20Your%20Life%20to%20Avoid%20Decision%20Fatigue.jpg" alt="How to Simplify Your Life to Avoid Decision Fatigue" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-simplify-your-life-to-avoid-decision-fatigue">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="https://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-self-care-can-actually-save-you-money">5 Ways Self Care Can Actually Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-too-many-decisions-costs-you-money">Here&#039;s How Too Many Decisions Costs You Money</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="https://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-stealth-wealth-is-the-best-wealth">5 Reasons Stealth Wealth Is the Best Wealth</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="https://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-millennials-are-changing-marriage">4 Ways Millennials Are Changing Marriage</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="https://www.wisebread.com/its-time-to-drop-these-6-rules-of-money-etiquette">It&#039;s Time to Drop These 6 Rules of Money Etiquette</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Lifestyle daily habits daily routines decision fatigue eliminate choices personal wardrobe saving money Spending Money Thu, 22 Feb 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2105465 at https://www.wisebread.com 8 Common Causes of Debt — And How to Avoid them https://www.wisebread.com/8-common-causes-of-debt-and-how-to-avoid-them <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-common-causes-of-debt-and-how-to-avoid-them" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/the_word_of_debt_finance_concept.jpg" alt="The word of Debt, Finance concept" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Debt plagues millions of Americans every day. It is such a common problem that many of us don't even think twice about what we owe, or how we landed in such a predicament.</p> <p>The simplest explanation is that debt happens when you spend more than you earn. But it's not actually that simple when real life steps in. Unexpected events, bad planning, and even a decision to pursue an education can leave you facing big debt that may take years to pay off.</p> <p>By understanding some of the main causes of debt, we can make better financial decisions in avoiding it. Let's take a look at some of the worst offenders.</p> <h2>1. Medical expenses</h2> <p>Medical costs have long been one of the leading causes of bankruptcy in the United States. Even those with health insurance are not immune to medical debt. An illness, injury, or health condition can cause bills to quickly accumulate.</p> <p>The Kaiser Family Foundation found that three in 10 Americans report that they or a household member have had trouble paying medical bills in the past year &mdash; 58 percent of which were affected in a way that had a major impact on their life. More than 60 percent of respondents claim their savings were wiped out. Another 37 percent turned to credit cards.</p> <p>It's not easy to predict how your health could change in the future. Actually, it's almost impossible. But putting certain safeguards in place can help mitigate the risk of financial ruin. Health insurance is the first step. And while premiums can be expensive, facing an illness or injury without that coverage would be infinitely more devastating. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-need-to-answer-to-choose-the-best-health-care-plan?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The One Question You Need to Answer to Choose the Best Health Care Plan</a>)</p> <p>It's also critical that you build an emergency fund. This savings cushion should ideally cover six months' to a year's worth of your living expenses. If the worst happens, you'll at least have something to fall back on. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund-from-0?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Easy Ways to Build an Emergency Fund From $0</a>)</p> <h2>2. Loss of income</h2> <p>Losing a primary source of income can severely hurt your bottom line. Maybe you were laid off or fired, or had a sudden decline in revenue for your business. Maybe you needed to stop working to care for a child or older relative. Or perhaps your health took a turn, and you were forced to retire early or drop to part-time employment. When something like this happens, it's easy to find yourself overwhelmed by bills and expenses. Debt can quickly follow.</p> <p>One of the biggest safeguards you can establish for yourself, again, is an emergency fund. Ideally, this fund can sustain you while you try to replace your lost income. Is your emergency fund as big as it should be?</p> <p>It's also key that you try to live well below your means at all times, even when money is good. This means spending more on &quot;needs&quot; and less on &quot;wants.&quot; This way, even if your income drops unexpectedly, you'll find it easier to get by at your current lifestyle without dipping into that emergency fund or creating new debt.</p> <h2>3. College costs</h2> <p>Going to college can be very expensive, and many young people find themselves saddled with debt early on in their lives. The average class of 2016 graduate left school with $37,172 in student loan debt. Those student loans can force a new graduate into even more borrowing, which only furthers the debt cycle.</p> <p>Parents can help young people with college costs by saving up, often with the help of 529 college savings plans and similar programs that offer tax advantages. If you are a student who is not fortunate enough to get help from family, you can reduce or even eliminate your student loan burden up front in a number of ways.</p> <p>It helps to select schools based on overall value, rather than prestige. It's generally cheaper to go to school in state, and public schools are often less expensive than private ones. Spending two years at a community college and transferring to a four-year college is often a great way to save. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-employers-care-about-more-than-your-degree?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Things Employers Care About More Than Your Degree</a>)</p> <p>Working while in school can help offset costs. Many schools will help students find on-campus jobs. And there's usually no harm in deferring the start of college for a year or two while you save money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-saving-hacks-every-college-student-should-try?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Money-Saving Hacks Every College Student Should Try</a>)</p> <p>There is also new information being published about the &quot;return on investment&quot; of college degrees that can guide students to available and well-paying jobs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-jobs-for-the-next-10-years?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Great Jobs for the Next 10 Years</a>)</p> <p>Avoiding college debt may force students and their families to make difficult choices, but they are choices that will help a young person start their adult lives off on the right financial foot.</p> <h2>4. An unexpected emergency</h2> <p>Many people find themselves in debt because they aren't prepared when big, bad, expensive things happened to them. Your entire HVAC system may go haywire and need to be replaced. You may crash your car. Or you may get really sick, and find your insurance will only cover a portion of your bills. To keep these scenarios from wiping out your savings and leading to debt, you once again need to bolster that emergency fund. A sizable emergency fund can help cover big one-time expenses so you're not tapping into credit cards or taking out loans.</p> <p>You may have to anticipate possible big expenses to some degree. How old is the roof on your house? How old is your car? How's your health, in general? It's impossible to know the future, but you can prepare yourself for certain outcomes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-new-reasons-you-need-an-emergency-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 New Reasons You Need an Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <h2>5. Being poorly insured</h2> <p>Insurance is a funny thing. It can seem like a waste of money &hellip; until you need it. Many people find themselves in serious debt or even bankruptcy when a bad event hits and they are uninsured or underinsured. Imagine having your house burn down without homeowners insurance. Imagine purchasing a bare-bones health insurance plan and getting into a serious car accident requiring a lengthy hospital stay.</p> <p>Insurance is a very important part of financial planning. Every person should periodically conduct a thorough review of their insurance policies to ensure they have plans that cover them in case of a bad event. No one wants to think about bad things happening to them, but without insurance, those bad things can really sting you financially. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Reasons Why Life Insurance Isn't Just for Old People</a>)</p> <h2>6. Keeping up with the Joneses</h2> <p>Your neighbor just bought a new sports car. Your Facebook friends are sharing photos of their latest tropical vacation. Your brother-in-law just purchased a home twice the size of yours. It can really sting when you feel like you have to go without. And like many people, you may feel pressure to &quot;keep up&quot; with your friends' lavish lifestyles.</p> <p>This is a recipe for financial disaster.</p> <p>Chasing a lifestyle you can't afford will have you turning to credit cards to fund your frivolous buys. The spiral into debt can be quick and overwhelming. Showing off isn't worth your financial wellbeing. No one is implying you don't deserve to treat yourself to nice things or vacations once in a while; but if you can't actually afford those things, what favors are you doing yourself?</p> <p>Keeping up with the Joneses is an effort in vain, and chances are, many of your flashy familiars aren't living as fun and fancy free as they'd have you believe. Not only do they have their own Joneses they're trying to keep up with, but odds are that many of them are also in debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-the-joneses?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Money Lessons You Can Learn From the Joneses</a>)</p> <h2>7. Divorce</h2> <p>When a marriage ends, it can be financially disastrous for both people. Divorce often means that each person is going from two combined incomes to one, and it's even worse for the person who earns less. One person may end up responsible for child support or alimony payments. A divorce might mean you have to sell a home or other assets at an inopportune time. Plus, there can be massive legal costs.</p> <p>Sometimes divorce is necessary. But couples who are separating can reduce the financial impact by continuing to offer financial support for each other, if they are willing. They can also keep legal costs low by keeping the divorce proceedings as amicable as possible, and by using a mediator or arbitrator instead of going through the court system. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation</a>)</p> <h2>8. Gambling</h2> <p>As many as 4 million people in the U.S. have a gambling disorder, according to industry groups. And Debt.org reports that 23 million people in the U.S. have gone into debt due to gambling, with an average loss of $55,000. If you have a gambling disorder &mdash; or even if you only gamble casually &mdash; you may be putting yourself at great financial risk.</p> <p>There are a number of ways to tell if you have a gambling disorder. The American Psychiatric Association lists the following indicators: lying about gambling to friends and family; following up losses with immediate new bets; and turning to others for financial help due to gambling losses.</p> <p>A gambling addiction is treatable through counseling, and even some medication. If you are finding yourself facing debt caused by gambling, seek help before your financial problems worsen.</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%2F8-common-causes-of-debt-and-how-to-avoid-them&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Common%2520Causes%2520of%2520Debt%2520%25E2%2580%2594%2520And%2520How%2520to%2520Avoid%2520them.jpg&amp;description=8%20Common%20Causes%20of%20Debt%20%E2%80%94%20And%20How%20to%20Avoid%20them"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Common%20Causes%20of%20Debt%20%E2%80%94%20And%20How%20to%20Avoid%20them.jpg" alt="8 Common Causes of Debt &mdash; And How to Avoid them" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-common-causes-of-debt-and-how-to-avoid-them">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="https://www.wisebread.com/5-surefire-signs-you-have-too-much-debt">5 Surefire Signs You Have Too Much Debt</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-escape-the-paycheck-to-paycheck-cycle">How to Escape the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle</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="https://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-first-steps-to-paying-off-debt">7 Easy First Steps to Paying Off Debt</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="https://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-youre-retiring-with-debt">What to Do If You&#039;re Retiring With Debt</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-student-loan-debt-can-derail-your-future">How Student Loan Debt Can Derail Your Future</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management communication divorce emergency funds financial literacy gambling income personal finance Spending Money student loans Thu, 15 Feb 2018 10:00:06 +0000 Tim Lemke 2103697 at https://www.wisebread.com