money management https://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/60/all en-US 6 Tools That Can Help You Boost Your Credit Score This Year https://www.wisebread.com/6-tools-that-can-help-you-boost-your-credit-score-this-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-tools-that-can-help-you-boost-your-credit-score-this-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_rejoicing_her_finished_work_with_raised_fists.jpg" alt="Woman rejoicing her finished work with raised fists" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Building credit takes time and vigilance, and that's especially true if you need to repair credit problems from the past. If you have a history of late payments, debts in collections, or a bankruptcy, for example, you can't expect your credit score to fix itself.</p> <p>Once the dust has settled and you're ready to get on the right track, you need to take the appropriate steps to rebuild trust and boost your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/2-minute-read-what-you-need-to-know-about-fico-scores?ref=internal" target="_blank">FICO score</a> month by month. Some of the best steps to take whether you're building credit from scratch or trying to fix poor credit include getting a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-secured-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">secured credit card</a>, making sure you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-never-make-a-late-credit-card-payment?ref=internal" target="_blank">pay all your bills on time</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-first-steps-to-paying-off-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">paying down your debts</a>, and keeping your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit utilization ratio</a> low.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are some apps and online tools that can make <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-improve-your-credit-score-fast?ref=internal" target="_blank">improving your credit score</a> easier. Some of these tools are free and easy to use, while others require a bigger commitment. If you know your credit score needs help but you need help to move it along, consider these apps and strategies.</p> <h2>1. Self Lender</h2> <p>If you need to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-need-credit-and-how-to-build-it-from-scratch?ref=internal" target="_blank">build credit from scratch</a> but can't yet qualify for a credit card or loan on your own, you may want to consider a &quot;credit builder loan.&quot; To understand how these work, you need to forget about the usual notions of why you borrow money. In this case, you're only taking out a loan in order to build credit.</p> <p>With a credit builder loan from <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=562265.4&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;LSNSUBSITE=LSNSUBSITE" target="_blank">Self Lender</a>, the amount you borrow is held in an interest-bearing CD and you don't see it until the end of the loan term, which is 12&mdash;24 months. You make regular monthly payments, which are reported to the three credit reporting agencies &mdash; Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Once the term is complete, you'll get the funds back you paid in. In that sense, a credit builder loan is like a forced savings account.</p> <p>In addition to a small administrative fee, you'll also pay interest on your loan. As an example, if you take out $1000, you'll pay $89 per month for 12 months. After 12 months you get $1000 back. That ends up being an additional $68 in interest that was paid out over the course of 12 months, plus a $12 administrative fee. That's a total cost of $80.</p> <h2>2. Credit Karma</h2> <p>If you want to improve your credit score, you need to find out what it is &mdash; and be able to track it regularly. One of the best ways to do this is by signing up for a program that offers a free estimate of your credit score every month.</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditkarma.com/" target="_blank">Credit Karma</a> is a service that does just that. Once you sign up for a free account, you can check your credit score whenever you want, see all your debts in one place, and monitor hard inquiries on your credit reports. You can also get information on reasons your credit score has gone up or down, and steps you can take to fix problems or avoid having your credit score drop in the future. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-things-with-the-biggest-impact-on-your-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">The 5 Things With the Biggest Impact on Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <p>Finally, you can sign up for alerts that will let you know any time a new account is opened in your name. This can be helpful for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-surprising-ways-your-identity-can-be-stolen?ref=internal" target="_blank">avoiding identity theft</a>.</p> <h2>3. Mint</h2> <p>Mint is a service that offers to help you manage your money so you can &quot;get more out of your life.&quot; The website does this by offering a free credit score along with budgeting and bill-paying tools.</p> <p>Once you sign up for a free account with <a href="https://www.mint.com/" target="_blank">Mint</a>, you can see all your finances in one place, including your debts, your spending transactions, and your bills. You can also monitor your investments and use the app's tools to set budgets and find creative ways to spend less.</p> <p>While many of these features are aimed at helping you control your finances and boost your net worth, having a place to monitor your debts and keep track of bills should inevitably help you improve your credit score over time.</p> <h2>4. Debt Snowball Calculator</h2> <p>If you're deep in debt and ready to dig your way out, one popular method to consider is the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-secrets-to-mastering-the-debt-snowball?ref-internal" target="_blank">debt snowball method</a>. This debt repayment scheme recommends you to first throw as much money as you can toward your smallest debt while making minimum payments on your other debts. Once you pay off the smallest debt, you move on to the next-smallest debt until all your debts are gone.</p> <p>This sounds simple enough, but it's hard to map out a debt snowball plan and know how long it will take you to become debt-free without any tools. The most helpful debt snowball calculator we've found is offered via Financial Mentor. <a href="https://financialmentor.com/calculator/debt-snowball-calculator" target="_blank">This calculator</a> lets you enter all your debts and respective interest rates, then offers a comprehensive month-by-month plan showing exactly how much you'll pay on each debt every month.</p> <p>As your debt is paid off and you continue making on-time monthly payments, your credit score should slowly rise.</p> <h2>5. Debitize</h2> <p><a href="https://debitize.com/" target="_blank">Debitize</a> is an app that links your credit card with your banking account. Every time you make a credit card purchase, the service withdraws that amount from your checking account and holds it in an FDIC-insured bank account. At the end of your billing cycle, the funds are used to pay your credit card bill in full. The result is that you can use credit as if it were debit. This lets you earn <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card rewards</a> without risking you'll charge more than you can pay off.</p> <p>One of the most important factors that dictates your credit score is your credit utilization ratio &mdash; how much you owe in relation to your credit limits. Eliminating debt from your life can have a marked impact on your credit score due to the fact it will lower your utilization to zero.</p> <p>With Debitize, you can avoid debt, earn rewards, and take advantage of important consumer protections offered by credit cards. Best of all, the basic version of this app is free.</p> <h2>6. YNAB</h2> <p><a href="https://www.youneedabudget.com/pricing/" target="_blank">YNAB (You Need a Budget)</a> is a comprehensive budgeting app that can help you pay down debt, improve your credit, and build wealth. This tool helps users create their own &quot;zero-sum budget,&quot; which is a type of budget that requires you to give each dollar you earn a job and live off your last month's income.</p> <p>This app comes with comprehensive budgeting software and tracking tools that can help you stay on top of your expenses and manage your bills. Ideally, you will use the app to become more intentional with your spending and pay down debt. As your debt decreases and your credit utilization ratio drops, you may also see an improvement to your credit score.</p> <p>While you can try YNAB free for 34 days, you'll pay $6.99 per month to use the app thereafter. In exchange for the fee, you'll get automatic bank syncing, free online money workshops, support seven days a week, and debt paydown tools that can help you reach your goals faster.</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-tools-that-can-help-you-boost-your-credit-score-this-year&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Tools%2520That%2520Can%2520Help%2520You%2520Boost%2520Your%2520Credit%2520Score%2520This%2520Year.jpg&amp;description=6%20Tools%20That%20Can%20Help%20You%20Boost%20Your%20Credit%20Score%20This%20Year"></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%20Tools%20That%20Can%20Help%20You%20Boost%20Your%20Credit%20Score%20This%20Year.jpg" alt="6 Tools That Can Help You Boost Your Credit Score This Year" 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/6-tools-that-can-help-you-boost-your-credit-score-this-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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-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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/someone-took-out-a-loan-in-your-name-now-what">Someone Took Out a Loan in Your Name. Now What?</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-to-rebuild-your-credit-in-8-simple-steps">How to Rebuild Your Credit in 8 Simple Steps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score">How to Use Credit Cards to Improve Your Credit Score</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/8-organizations-that-really-can-help-you-with-your-debt">8 Organizations That REALLY Can Help You With Your Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management credit card payments credit report credit score debt repayment debt tips money management Mon, 25 Jun 2018 08:30:20 +0000 Holly Johnson 2150390 at https://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Moves to Make Before Applying For a Credit Card https://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-before-applying-for-a-credit-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-moves-to-make-before-applying-for-a-credit-card" 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_credit_card_and_laptop_0.jpg" alt="Woman with credit card and laptop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You're ready to apply for your first credit card. Or, maybe you simply want to add another card to the rotating deck of plastic in your wallet. Whatever the case, there are certain money moves you must make before filling out an application.</p> <p>Adding a credit card to your name might seem like a small thing, but a credit card carries tremendous weight. It can be either a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">useful tool for building credit</a> &mdash; or, if misused, it can lead you straight toward high-interest debt. It all depends on how you use that card and if you're financially prepared for it.</p> <p>To get yourself off on the right foot, here are some important money moves smart consumers must make before applying for a credit card &mdash; whether it's their first or their fifth.</p> <h2>1. Do some budgeting</h2> <p>Don't have a household budget? It's time to make one. Have one? It's time to review it to make sure that it accurately reflects the money you are earning each month and the dollars you are spending.</p> <p>Getting a new credit card could tempt you to make purchases that you can't afford to pay off in full each month. This will lead to you carrying a balance on your cards from month to month. With interest rates on credit cards being so high, this balance can grow out of control quickly.</p> <p>Make a household budget listing the income you earn each month and the expenses you face. Expenses should include fixed costs that never change, such as your car bill, mortgage payment, and student loan costs. It should also include estimates for expenses that aren't the same each month, such as your utility bill or grocery bills. And don't forget to budget for discretionary expenses such as restaurant meals and entertainment.</p> <p>If you have a budget, study it to make sure that it accurately reflects how much you spend and earn each month. If you rarely meet your budget, adjust it. Once you have an accurate budget in place, you'll know how much you can charge on a new card and still be able to pay it off each billing cycle. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Build Your First Budget in 5 Easy Steps</a>)</p> <h2>2. Check your credit reports</h2> <p>If you want to qualify for the best cards &mdash; with generous rewards programs and low interest rates &mdash; you'll need a solid credit score. Before you apply for a new card, do some research on your credit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-for-people-with-excellent-credit?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Excellent Credit</a>)</p> <p>You are entitled to one free copy of your three credit reports &mdash; one each maintained by Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion &mdash; every year. You can order these reports at AnnualCreditReport.com. Once you've done this, review them carefully. They will list how much you already owe on your credit card accounts, car loans, student loans, mortgage loans, and other forms of revolving credit.</p> <p>They'll also list any late or missed payments up to seven years old. Other financial missteps, such as bankruptcy filings or foreclosures, will also be listed on your reports if they are not older than seven or 10 years.</p> <p>If there are mistakes on your reports, contact the credit bureaus to let them know. And if your credit report is filled with late payments and high balances, you might want to take some time to pay down your other debts and build a history of on-time payments before applying for a new credit card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-read-a-credit-report?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Read a Credit Report</a>)</p> <h2>3. Order your credit score</h2> <p>Your credit score is another important number to know when applying for a credit card. This number gives financial institutions an instant look at how you've handled your credit in the past. A low score indicates that you have missed payments or other negatives on your record. A high score indicates that you have a history of paying your bills on time and keeping your debt under control.</p> <p>You can order your credit score from any of the national credit bureaus. Expect to pay about $15 or so for your score. You might even have a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-free-credit-scores?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card that shows your credit score</a> in your monthly statement.</p> <p>If your score comes in low, it again might be a good idea to pause your search for a new credit card. Build that score up by making on-time payments and paying off your existing credit card debt. This will boost your odds of qualifying for the best credit cards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-worth-paying-for-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">I Checked My Credit Score in 11 Places &mdash; Here's What I Learned</a>)</p> <h2>4. Pay off your existing credit card debt</h2> <p>You shouldn't be adding a credit card to your collection simply because you're running out of available credit on your other cards. This will only tempt you to make more purchases that you can't afford and lead you deeper into a cycle of debt.</p> <p>Instead, work on paying off the credit card debt you already have. Don't apply for a new card until you've gotten your existing credit card debt under control. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-credit-card-debt-elimination-strategies?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 7 Best Credit Card Debt Elimination Strategies</a>)</p> <h2>5. Build your savings</h2> <p>Financial experts recommend that everyone have an emergency fund of cash to help them pay for life's unexpected expenses &mdash; everything from a furnace on the fritz to a car that needs a new transmission. If you don't have an emergency fund, you might find yourself needing to turn to credit cards to pay for such emergencies. And that will only make your debt grow.</p> <p>Before you apply for a new credit card, build an emergency fund. That way, you'll be less tempted to use your new card to pay for urgent big-ticket items such as a new water heater or an emergency brake repair for your car.</p> <p>How much should you have in this emergency fund? It's generally recommended that you have enough to cover six months' to a year's worth of daily living expenses, though you may need more or less depending on your unique circumstances. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-minute-finance-start-an-emergency-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Minute Finance: Start an Emergency Fund</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-money-moves-to-make-before-applying-for-a-credit-card&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Money%2520Moves%2520to%2520Make%2520Before%2520Applying%2520For%2520a%2520Credit%2520Card.jpg&amp;description=5%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20Before%20Applying%20For%20a%20Credit%20Card"></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%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20Before%20Applying%20For%20a%20Credit%20Card.jpg" alt="5 Money Moves to Make Before Applying For a Credit Card" 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/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-before-applying-for-a-credit-card">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/10-signs-youre-no-longer-a-personal-finance-rookie">10 Signs You&#039;re No Longer a Personal Finance Rookie</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-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change">10 Money Moves to Make Before the Leaves Change</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/73-easy-ways-to-save-money-today">73 Easy Ways to Save Money Today</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-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-money-moves">6 Signs You&#039;re Making All the Right Money Moves</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/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance budgeting credit cards credit reports credit score debt missed payments money management money moves paying bills Mon, 04 Jun 2018 09:00:16 +0000 Dan Rafter 2145008 at https://www.wisebread.com How to Spring-Clean Your Debt https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spring-clean-your-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-spring-clean-your-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coin_piggy_bank_and_green_plant_in_wood.jpg" alt="Coin piggy bank and green plant in wood" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Spring is in the air. Most people use the first blooms of the season as a signal to begin the process of spring cleaning; out with the old to make room for the new.</p> <p>The same thought process should be applied to your finances. While you are in the mindset of minimizing, organizing, and cleaning out the old, you should capitalize on this mood as it pertains to your debt. Take the time to give yourself a money makeover and tidy up your financial life by shedding lingering debt. Here are the steps you can take to do it.</p> <h2>Take stock</h2> <p>An important part of getting and keeping your finances in shape and eliminating debt is organizing them. Start by taking a realistic look at where you are financially and exactly what you owe.</p> <p>First, evaluate your debts.</p> <ul> <li> <p>Make a list of outstanding consumer debts, not including your mortgage (credit cards, car loan, student loans, personal loans, etc).</p> </li> <li> <p>Write down the total amount due for each debt and the interest rate.</p> </li> <li> <p>Add up your total consumer debts (with the exception of the mortgage).</p> </li> <li> <p>Write down the minimum payment for each debt and calculate how long it would take you to pay off the debt making only the minimum payment.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Once you have your debts organized, it's time to evaluate your budget.</p> <ul> <li> <p>Make a list of all of your non-consumer bills for the month (utilities, cable, groceries, pet expenses, gas and transportation, internet, cellphone, gym membership, Netflix, etc.).</p> </li> <li> <p>Using the figures from three months' worth of bank or credit card statements, tally up how much you spend eating out, on snacks, clothes, entertainment, and other miscellaneous items. Don't forget happy hours, movies, trips, salon visits, and hobbies.</p> </li> <li> <p>Create categories of nonessential bills based on how you spent your money. For example, your categories could be dining out, grooming, clothes, entertainment, hobbies, etc.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Once you everything written down and sorted out, it's time to play a game of <em>what if</em>. Look at the total of what you owe and figure out how much of your budget is being consumed by consumer debt. If it's over 30 percent, you need to seriously commit to bringing that percentage down.</p> <p>Next, calculate how much you could save in six months if you had no consumer debt. What if you had half your current debt? How would it change your life if your total consumer debt was zero?</p> <p>Lastly, look at all of the nonessential things that are eating away at your money, such as dining out, grooming, or needless shopping. Pick one or two of those categories and see how much you could save if you eliminated that expense. For example, what if you stopped eating out for a month and maybe cut your own hair or gave yourself a manicure in lieu of paying for it? How much cash could you free up?</p> <p>The goal of this exercise is for you to see where your money is going and take responsibility for it. It is also to show you the opportunity costs. If you changed just a few key things, you could eliminate your debt in no time and change your financial future. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-common-debt-reduction-roadblocks-and-how-to-beat-them?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Common Debt Reduction Roadblocks &mdash; And How to Beat Them</a>)</p> <h2>Create a debt reduction plan</h2> <p>Now that you've gone through sorting through your finances and playing <em>what if</em>, it's time to start ridding yourself of the unnecessary financial weight. The easiest way to do this is by using the debt snowball method. With the debt snowball, you simply list your debts from largest to smallest. You then aggressively work to pay off the debt with the lowest balance first, while paying the minimum payments on the others. Once you've paid off the first debt, you move to the next smallest debt. Rinse and repeat. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-secrets-to-mastering-the-debt-snowball?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Secrets to Mastering the Debt Snowball</a>)</p> <p>The plan itself and the logic behind it is pretty basic. You begin with the lowest balance instead of the highest interest rate in order to help you build momentum and get a quick win. Winning is motivating. Losing sucks. Pretty simple stuff, right?</p> <p>The tricky part of expedited debt repayment is finding the extra money in your budget to apply to your debt. And that can be tough to do when you're living paycheck-to-paycheck. Go back to the list of expenses you made and figure out what you can cut and where you can scale back.</p> <p>From there you need to create a realistic <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/making-every-penny-count-with-a-zero-based-budget?ref=internal" target="_blank">zero-based budget</a> that reflects your true spending habits. With a zero-based budget, you give every single expenditure a name, subtract them all from your income, and if you end up with more than $0, every extra dollar goes to your debt elimination plan. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Pay It Off</a>)</p> <h2>Plan something fun</h2> <p>If you have committed to doing the things outlined above, it is imperative that you also plan to do something fun. You need to pause from time to time during the debt repayment process to celebrate how far you've come. It should be something you enjoy and can pay for with cash.</p> <p>Take a day trip somewhere. Treat yourself to a nice, modestly priced pair of shoes. Get your hair done or spend the day at a reasonably priced spa. Try not to look at this pause as a waste of money. The goal is to practice spending in a controlled manner on things that have meaning to you, and most importantly, that you can afford.</p> <p>These pauses will help you to establish a healthy and productive relationship with your cash. Money is a tool and it should be respected and handled wisely. You should use your purchasing power to provide for your needs and a few of your wants. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-need-fun-money-in-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Yes, You Need &quot;Fun Money&quot; in Your Budget</a>)</p> <p>Handling finances is a mental and emotional activity. By going through these steps, you are forced to face your spending choices while addressing your connection to material possessions. This process will help you hold yourself accountable and set you up for a successful jump-start to your debt reduction plan.</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-spring-clean-your-debt&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Spring-Clean%2520Your%2520Debt.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Spring-Clean%20Your%20Debt"></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%20Spring-Clean%20Your%20Debt.jpg" alt="How to Spring-Clean Your Debt" 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/denise-hill">Denise Hill</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spring-clean-your-debt">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-common-debt-reduction-roadblocks-and-how-to-beat-them">6 Common Debt Reduction Roadblocks — And How to Beat Them</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/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Pay It Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-prevent-a-debt-spiral">5 Ways to Prevent a Debt Spiral</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/6-secrets-to-mastering-the-debt-snowball">6 Secrets to Mastering the Debt Snowball</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management budgeting clutter debt reduction plans money management saving money snowball method spring cleaning Mon, 02 Apr 2018 08:00:07 +0000 Denise Hill 2122918 at https://www.wisebread.com How to Manage Money When You Hate Thinking About It https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-money-when-you-hate-thinking-about-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-manage-money-when-you-hate-thinking-about-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_reading_mail_at_table.jpg" alt="Woman reading mail at table" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Love it or hate it, money matters. I've found that many people with consistent financial issues actually fear money and hate thinking about how to manage it. They don't know what to do with it, how to spend smartly, how to save wisely, or how to set financial goals that help hold them accountable to themselves.</p> <p>If you fall into that category, help is here. Start picking up the pieces of your broken-down budget with these tips on how to get your dollars and cents in order &mdash; even when you dread it.</p> <h2>1. Automate everything</h2> <p>The more bills you put on autopilot, the less you'll have to think about what needs to go out and when. The key to this system working properly is keeping the required amount of money in your account so it's there on the due date. If you don't have the funds, you'll overdraft, which not only defeats the purpose of this simplification, but also puts you in an avoidable debt situation.</p> <p>Almost all your bills can be automated these days. Christy Rakoczy, personal finance expert with Student Loan Hero, details how.</p> <p>&quot;Set up automatic bill pay to pay off your credit cards each month, and to pay utility bills, mortgage, rent, and other fixed expenditures. Other than checking your account balances once in a while, once you've automated everything, you should never need to think about money again. All your money will go exactly where it needs to and you'll know the cash left over in your checking account is for spending.&quot;</p> <p>And bills aren't the only things you can automate. If you dread facing your retirement accounts dead-on, automate those, too.</p> <p>&quot;If you have a workplace 401(k) plan, talk to HR about setting up automatic contributions if you aren't already contributing,&quot; Rakoczy says. &quot;You should contribute at least enough to get your employer match, but ideally as much as 10 to 15 percent of your income. If you don't have access to a 401(k), you can set up an IRA and make automatic contributions to that account as soon as your paycheck hits your bank account.&quot;</p> <p>Once you've got your retirement accounts and bills automated, set up automatic transfers to other savings, such as an emergency fund, a vacation account, or an account to save for a house down payment. Whatever your goals are, have a dedicated account to save for them and move money automatically into that account each month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-bucket-budgeting-to-overhaul-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use &quot;Bucket Budgeting&quot; to Overhaul Your Finances</a>)</p> <h2>2. Enlist the help of apps</h2> <p>There's no shortage of personal finance and money management apps available to you &mdash; some more user-friendly than others. If you're having trouble tracking your cash flow, maybe it's time to give one a shot.</p> <p>Mint, Personal Capital, and Intuit Turbo are just a few of many available tools that can help you track and manage things like upcoming bills, low balances, or unusual spending so you never miss a payment or spend more than you have. If you aren't someone who checks their bank account regularly, these reminders can help you stay on budget and know exactly where your money is going and where you need to cut back. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These 5 Apps Will Help You Finally Organize Your Money</a>)</p> <h2>3. Establish a &quot;same place, same time&quot; schedule</h2> <p>I'm a creature of habit, and if something isn't on my daily schedule or logged in my calendar, it probably won't be accomplished. Same goes for you, I bet. Rather than trying to manage your money and expenses as they come in, consider setting up a time when you know you'll be free and clear to &quot;meet with your money&quot; on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis.</p> <p>Student Loan Hero personal finance expert Miranda Marquit sticks to this strategy to stay on top of her finances.</p> <p>&quot;Once a week, on Sunday evening, I take 15 minutes to scan my accounts and make sure everything is in line,&quot; she says. &quot;Also, on the last Sunday of the month, I take an hour to reconcile my accounts. Because I have my bills and savings goals automated, all I have to do is check in. In total, I spend less than two hours a month managing my money. As long as my priorities are covered with automatic means, and I verify everything's where it should be, there's no real need to think about it a whole lot.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Stick to an all-cash system</h2> <p>I racked up a decent amount of credit card debt as soon as I turned 18 because I had no idea what I was doing. Happens to the best of us. But what I took away from that experience is that if I didn't have the money in my bank account for something nonessential, I had to live without it. That was the only way I was able to dig myself out of debt &mdash; sticking to an all-cash system and just saying no.</p> <p>This could work for you, too. Once all your bills are paid, take out a budgeted amount of cash for what you might want and guide your spending based on those limitations. This tactic will also allow you to see money physically leave your hands, which is a proven deterrent to spending versus debit and credit cards where swipes mean nothing and can get out of hand before you know it. (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> <h2>5. Adopt the 50/20/30 rule</h2> <p>Even if you despise managing money, it's important to implement spending parameters to keep yourself on track and avoid overspending. If you don't like the all-cash method, try a different approach, like the 50/20/30 rule.</p> <p>&quot;Spend only up to 50 percent of your after-tax income on essentials, such as housing; 20 percent on financial priorities, such as debt repayments and savings; and 30 percent on wants or lifestyle choices, such as dining or entertainment,&quot; advises Natasha Rachel Smith, personal finance expert at TopCashback.com. &quot;By adopting a simple yet powerful rule, you can manage your money more effectively.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-no-budgeting-required?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Manage Your Money &mdash; No Budgeting Required</a>)</p> <h2>6. Set a 10 percent total-income savings goal</h2> <p>If you regularly save 10 percent of your income, no matter how much you earn, you will always have the confidence of knowing you are living within your means. It will also pave the way for other financial milestones, such as saving for the down payment on a house or starting a college fund for your kids.</p> <p>This may sound like an intimidating process, but it doesn't have to be. Carla Dearing, CEO of online financial wellness service Sum180, breaks it down further.</p> <p>&quot;Think of saving 10 percent as the way you empower yourself to make ongoing investments in your financial health, year after year,&quot; she says. &quot;This is more easily achieved than you might think. Simply set up automatic bank transfers for the beginning of every month. By doing this, money you have earmarked to save is transferred from your checking to your savings account without you having to lift a finger and before you have a chance to spend it on something else.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Hire a financial planner</h2> <p>If you're someone who balks at the mention of money management, but also has enough disposable income to farm out the task, consider hiring a financial planner. They'll take the dirty work off your hands &mdash; for a fee &mdash; and provide advice on how you can make the most with what you have. Certainly you shouldn't spread yourself too thin by bringing a planner on board, but if you have extra money to invest in yourself, this is a good start. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-to-be-picky-when-hiring-a-financial-planner?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Reasons to Be Picky When Hiring a Financial Planner</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%2Fhow-to-manage-money-when-you-hate-thinking-about-it&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Manage%2520Money%2520When%2520You%2520Hate%2520Thinking%2520About%2520It.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Manage%20Money%20When%20You%20Hate%20Thinking%20About%20It"></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%20Manage%20Money%20When%20You%20Hate%20Thinking%20About%20It.jpg" alt="How to Manage Money When You Hate Thinking About It" 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/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-money-when-you-hate-thinking-about-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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-to-manage-your-money-no-budgeting-required">How to Manage Your Money — No Budgeting Required</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/6-money-moves-you-can-make-while-stuck-in-an-endless-tsa-line">6 Money Moves You Can Make While Stuck in an Endless TSA Line</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-money-moves-to-make-on-a-rainy-day">7 Easy Money Moves to Make on a Rainy Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-youre-still-struggling-to-pay-bills">6 Reasons You&#039;re Still Struggling to Pay Bills</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance 50/20/30 rule apps automating autopay bills budgeting cash system hate money money management retirement savings Tue, 27 Mar 2018 09:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 2117455 at https://www.wisebread.com 4 Money Fights Married Couples Have (And How to Avoid Them) https://www.wisebread.com/4-money-fights-married-couples-have-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="/4-money-fights-married-couples-have-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/could_this_be_the_final_straw_for_our_relationship.jpg" alt="Could this be the final straw for our relationship?" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When a couple first gets married, while the newlywed glow is still bright enough for strangers to see, it can seem as if nothing can ever get in the way of true love.</p> <p>But if you fast forward a few years, many couples will find that money has a seriously unpleasant effect on that love. Whether you are shouting at each other over a credit card bill, or living in chilly silence because of one spouse's financial decision, you may wonder why your love for each other is not enough to smooth over the jagged edges of your money disagreements. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-steps-to-a-blissful-matri-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Steps to a Blissful Matri-Money</a>)</p> <p>According to a 2014 poll by Money Magazine, money is the most common reason married couples fight, ahead of household chores, togetherness, sex, snoring, and what's for dinner. These financial fights often seem to follow similar patterns, no matter who the spouses are, how much they make, or where they live.</p> <p>That means it's possible for married couples to anticipate common money fights, and avoid them altogether. Here's what you need to know about four of the most frequent money arguments, and how you and your sweetheart can avoid them.</p> <h2>1. Disagreements over spending</h2> <p>It's a tale as old as time. One of you is a spender, and the other one is a natural born saver. When the spender comes home with brand-new gadgets and gizmos galore, the saver is likely to blow a gasket. What ensues is an argument about who is a buzzkill and who is irresponsible.</p> <h3>How to avoid this argument</h3> <p>Many individuals make the mistake of avoiding this argument by simply not telling their spouses about their spending. Money Magazine's poll found that a full 22 percent of spouses have spent money that their partner doesn't know about. But while keeping your spending secret might keep the peace for the moment, such secrecy causes much bigger problems down the road.</p> <p>Instead, couples should commit to having separate fun money funds. This is a great way for each of you to make purchases the other might see as unnecessary, without it becoming an issue.</p> <p>As long as you and your partner can agree on a budget amount for important-to-me purchases, this strategy will allow you to buy stuff that matters to you without having to fight about it with your spouse. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-conversations-every-couple-should-have?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Money Conversations Every Couple Should Have</a>)</p> <h2>2. Power struggles over money</h2> <p>In many relationships, one partner will believe he or she has the last say on financial decisions. Often, this comes about because of who is the higher earner, although these types of power struggles can also be rooted in beliefs about who is better with money &mdash; either because of gender stereotypes or the couple's specific relationship history.</p> <p>Unfortunately, these sorts of power struggles can really undermine the love between a married couple. When one partner wants to be the ultimate financial authority in the relationship, his or her actions can negate the equality between spouses, which can foster resentment and anger.</p> <h3>How to avoid this argument</h3> <p>It's important for spouses to recognize they are both on the same team when it comes to their money. To do that, they need to start viewing all income as &quot;our money&quot; and all decisions as &quot;our decisions.&quot;</p> <p>If the power struggle stems from the fact that one spouse brings in more money, one way to view things more equally is to sit down together and make a list of what you each do for the overall health of the relationship.</p> <p>This is a peacekeeping tactic that many marriage counselors advise for dealing with housework squabbles, but it works just as well for dealing with money imbalances. Once the higher-earner sees that the other partner does all the grocery shopping or laundry or airport drop-offs, it can help to put the high income in perspective. The high-earner would be keeping less of their income if each of those nonfinancial contributions by the low-earner had to be contracted out.</p> <p>If power struggles are rooted in a belief that one person is better with money, consider what would happen if either one of you died. If only one spouse takes care of the marital coffers, the other one will be vulnerable in the event of widowhood. Thinking through these kinds of worst-case scenarios can help spouses recognize the importance of each partner having financial responsibility and buy-in on financial decisions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-worst-money-mistakes-married-people-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 7 Worst Money Mistakes Married People Make</a>)</p> <h2>3. Reactions to risk</h2> <p>Opposites often attract, particularly when it comes to risk tolerance. Often, the risk-averse, better-safe-than-sorry type and the risk-loving adrenaline junkie fall for each other, because Mr. Safety grounds Ms. Risky while she helps him expand his horizons. Unfortunately, these love matches can cause friction when it comes to financial decisions.</p> <p>For instance, one spouse may want to invest their savings into the business she is trying to get off the ground, while her husband would prefer to keep that money safe in the bank in case the business fails to launch. Such a couple might find themselves arguing over whether or not he believes in her, and whether or not she cares about his financial anxiety.</p> <p>Even couples who are both on the same page when it comes to the relative importance of a steady paycheck can strongly disagree about how much risk they are willing to accept in their investments. If he wants to chase returns with every no-fail promise of a tin mine in Bolivia, while she is happier to leave it all in CDs, savings accounts, and maybe a bond or two, there will be some serious fights about the future of their money.</p> <h3>How to avoid this argument</h3> <p>The best way to calm the fears of a risk-averse spouse is to make sure there is an upper limit to the amount of money that will be &quot;risked.&quot; For instance, an entrepreneurial spouse might promise to invest no more than 20 to 25 percent of their savings into the new business, which will give some room for growth while also providing the cushion that the other spouse needs to keep from breathing into a paper bag.</p> <p>Similarly, having a plan of action for investments can help a couple navigate their differing risk tolerances. Such a plan could design asset allocation that will mitigate risk and encourage growth &mdash; and potentially leave a small percentage available for the more speculative investments that will please the risk-taker in the couple. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-painless-ways-to-manage-money-with-your-partner?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Painless Ways to Manage Money With Your Partner</a>)</p> <h2>4. Disagreements over helping family</h2> <p>One of the toughest arguments between couples happens when a family member asks for money. Whether it's a one-time request because of a truly difficult situation, or it's a family member who regularly wants to borrow money from you, this can cause major stress for a couple.</p> <p>Often, these types of fights go further than just disagreements about the money &mdash; they can become arguments about each other's families and each spouse's expectations of dealing with them. Many a spouse has spent a few nights on the couch because of a loan to a family member.</p> <h3>How to avoid this argument</h3> <p>The best way to avoid this kind of disagreement is to talk about it ahead of time. After you have been asked for money or have already given money to a family member is a bad time to hash out how you each feel about family loans. In particular, the issues you need to agree on are these:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Can you consider any money you give to family in need as a gift rather than a loan?</p> </li> <li> <p>If it has to be a loan, can you agree to have a legal loan document written up to make sure you are reimbursed?</p> </li> <li> <p>What is the maximum amount of money you are willing to give or loan to family in an emergency?</p> </li> <li> <p>Is there a maximum number of times you are willing to help the same family member?</p> </li> <li> <p>Are there nonfinancial ways you can offer to help if giving or loaning money is not in the cards?</p> </li> </ul> <p>Getting on the same page on these issues before a relative asks for money can help ensure that your bond with your spouse stays strong, no matter how often your shiftless cousin Lenny asks for a couple hundred dollars. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-16-cardinal-rules-of-loaning-money-to-friends-and-family?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 16 Cardinal Rules of Loaning Money to Friends and Family</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%2F4-money-fights-married-couples-have-and-how-to-avoid-them&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Money%2520Fights%2520Married%2520Couples%2520Have%2520%2528And%2520How%2520to%2520Avoid%2520Them%2529.jpg&amp;description=4%20Money%20Fights%20Married%20Couples%20Have%20(And%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/u5180/4%20Money%20Fights%20Married%20Couples%20Have%20%28And%20How%20to%20Avoid%20Them%29.jpg" alt="4 Money Fights Married Couples Have (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/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/4-money-fights-married-couples-have-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-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-put-your-spouse-on-a-budget-without-ruining-your-marriage">How to Put Your Spouse on a Budget Without Ruining Your Marriage</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/3-reasons-taking-a-loan-for-your-wedding-is-a-bad-idea">3 Reasons Taking a Loan For Your Wedding Is a Bad Idea</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/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-average-people-should-consider-a-prenup">6 Reasons Average People Should Consider a Prenup</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/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family couples fights income disparity loaning money marriage money management power struggles spending spouses Tue, 13 Feb 2018 09:30:08 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2103142 at https://www.wisebread.com 6 Financial Skills to Master Before You Graduate https://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-skills-to-master-before-you-graduate <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-financial-skills-to-master-before-you-graduate" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/graduation_college_school_degree_successful_concept.jpg" alt="Graduation College School Degree Successful Concept" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With graduation only months away, you can finally see light at the end of the tunnel. After four (or more) long years of study, you're well-prepared to embrace adulthood, independence, and professional success.</p> <p>But are you <em>really</em>? Before you don that cap and gown, make sure you know the ABCs of personal money management. It could be the most important course you'll ever take. Here are the financial skills to master before you graduate.</p> <h2>1. Basic budgeting</h2> <p>If you can't build and stick to a basic budget, you risk having your life divided into a series of stressful 30-day cycles. Bills may be late, savings an afterthought, and credit cards could become an absolute necessity. Avoid this bleak fate. Set up a practice budget using <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-envelope-system" target="_blank">the envelope system</a> or get acquainted with online money management tools like Mint. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Build Your First Budget in 5 Easy Steps</a>)</p> <h2>2. Living within your means</h2> <p>Consistently spending more than you make is the cornerstone of bad financial decision-making. You'll have no surplus money to invest. You'll rack up credit card debt (harming your credit scores in the process). And, you'll live in a constant state of stress. Create a realistic budget, stick to it, and don't pad your lifestyle with easy credit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-escape-the-paycheck-to-paycheck-cycle?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Escape the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle</a>)</p> <h2>3. Paying your bills on time</h2> <p>Credit scores affect everything from interest and insurance rates to employment. And once your score is damaged, it can take years for it to recover. Protect your credit scores, avoid late fees and penalties, and keep the bill collectors away by paying your bills on time, every time. It's a fundamental part of being an adult. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-to-do-if-you-cant-pay-your-bills-on-time?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's What to Do if You Can't Pay Your Bills On Time</a>)</p> <h2>4. Using credit responsibly</h2> <p>Ready for my best Dad impression? &quot;Credit is a tool, not a toy.&quot; But Dad is right. Using credit responsibly means controlling impulses, only charging what you can pay off at the end of <em>every</em> month, and not confusing your credit limit with your budget. Seriously &mdash; credit abuse destroys the financial lives of countless families every year. Choose to be different. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-habits-of-highly-responsible-credit-card-users?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Habits of Highly Responsible Credit Card Users</a>)</p> <h2>5. Negotiating</h2> <p>The unsung hero of personal finance, negotiating is a skill that can save you thousands of dollars over your lifetime. Imagine paying full price for every car and every house you buy. Or worse, imagine not knowing how to respectfully push back on the first salary offer a potential employer makes. Launch into adulthood from a position of power; know <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-negotiate-with-confidence-and-strike-the-best-deal?ref=internal" target="_blank">how to negotiate with confidence</a>.</p> <h2>6. Setting goals and saving for the future</h2> <p>Financial skills are a means to an end. Determine what kind of relationship you want to have with money, exactly what you want to achieve financially, and what level of discipline and attention it will take to turn your goals into your reality. Save with that plan in mind &mdash; and save without interruption. In short, apply the same level of dogged determination to your financial life as you applied to your education. The rewards will be just as great. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-graduate?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Graduate</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-financial-skills-to-master-before-you-graduate&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Financial%2520Skills%2520to%2520Master%2520Before%2520You%2520Graduate.jpg&amp;description=6%20Financial%20Skills%20to%20Master%20Before%20You%20Graduate"></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%20Financial%20Skills%20to%20Master%20Before%20You%20Graduate.jpg" alt="6 Financial Skills to Master Before You Graduate" 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/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-skills-to-master-before-you-graduate">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/4-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-student-loan-grace-period">4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Student Loan Grace Period</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-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> <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-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make">7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make</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-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</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-reasons-building-credit-in-college-helps-you-win-at-life">5 Reasons Building Credit in College Helps You Win at Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training budgeting college credit graduation money management negotiating paying bills personal finance skills students young adults Mon, 12 Feb 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Kentin Waits 2090877 at https://www.wisebread.com These Are the Best Credit Card Strategies for Married Couples https://www.wisebread.com/these-are-the-best-credit-card-strategies-for-married-couples <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-are-the-best-credit-card-strategies-for-married-couples" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/spending_money_is_fun.jpg" alt="Spending money is fun" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every couple has to come up with a way to manage their money. Some merge their personal finances and manage them as a single household, while others choose to have separate accounts. Either way, couples need to find with the best way to manage their credit cards.</p> <h2>The basics of credit cards and marriage</h2> <p>A credit card issuer doesn&rsquo;t care that you are married. It will look at your personal credit report and credit score when making the decision to approve your application for a new credit card or to increase your line of credit. In fact, you are able to report your household income when applying for a line of credit. This allows nonworking spouses to apply for credit card accounts in their own name, so long as they have a reasonable expectation of access to their spouse&rsquo;s income for the purpose of repaying the debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-credit-card-application-tips-for-the-best-chance-of-approval?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Credit Card Application Tips for Getting Approved</a>)</p> <h2>Managing finances separately</h2> <p>If you and your spouse are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-keep-your-money-separated-after-marriage?ref=internal" target="_blank">managing your finances separately</a>, there are still several strategies you can take to get the most from your credit cards. First, it&rsquo;s a good idea for each of you to have credit cards in your own name, and pay for them with funds from your individual accounts. This will allow each to enjoy the convenience and security of a credit card, while building your own credit history and credit score.</p> <p>If a couple is managing their finances separately, and one spouse occasionally needs to make purchases on behalf of the other, then they should each <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-adding-another-user-to-your-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">make the other spouse an authorized user</a> on at least one credit card they each hold. Authorized cardholders can make purchases with their credit card, but are unable to redeem rewards or make changes to the account. And the primary account holder will always be responsible for repayment of any charges made by any authorized cardholders, including a spouse.</p> <h2>Managing your finances together</h2> <p>When a couple manages finances together, it offers them opportunities to achieve their goals more efficiently. For example, if a couple is trying to pay down their credit card debt, then they can transfer their balance to the credit card that has the lowest interest rate, regardless of which spouse is the primary cardholder. This is especially helpful if one of the credit cards has a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">0% APR balance transfer offer</a>. Let&rsquo;s say, for instance, that Margie has a high credit score and a card with a 0% APR offer. Her husband Bernie has a low credit score and his only credit card has a $5,000 balance that he&rsquo;s paying off at 20% interest. It makes sense for Bernie to transfer his balance to Margie&rsquo;s card and then pay off the balance before the promotional period ends.</p> <p>When a couple has no long-term credit card debt, they will probably be interested in maximizing the rewards they earn from their credit cards. In this case, couples can use several strategies to earn the most points, miles, and cash back from their credit cards. First, both spouses can apply for the same credit card when it offers an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">exceptional sign-up bonus</a>. Even if the card charges an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-annual-fees?ref=internal" target="_blank">annual fee the first year</a>, it may be worth paying to get the bonus.</p> <p>Alternatively, you may decide the fee is not worth paying twice. In this case, you could still get some of the same benefits that two separate account holders get by making one person the primary cardholder and the other an authorized user on that account. This allows both to receive the additional rewards offered by a premium credit card, without having to pay the annual fees twice. Why pay for two of the same cards that offer, for example, three points per dollar spent on restaurants, when you can just pay for one account that both spouses can use?</p> <p>Another reason this is a good strategy is that spouses can often share the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-your-credit-card-benefits-will-save-you-money?ref=internal" target="_blank">extra perks of a single credit card account</a>. For instance, if an airline credit card offers a free checked bag, it usually applies to several traveling companions on the same reservations. So there would be no reason for both spouses to have the airline credit card for use when traveling together. Also, some cards that offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access?ref=internal" target="_blank">airport lounge access</a> extend it to the cardholder and any traveling companions.</p> <h2>Managing credit card accounts</h2> <p>One way that couples can keep track of their credit card accounts more efficiently is to have just one person manage the accounts. Whichever spouse takes over that duty can pay the bills, track rewards, and make decisions about opening and closing new accounts. This avoids the possibility of failing to pay a bill that they thought the other was taking care of, or paying the same bill twice.</p> <p>One of the benefits of marriage is the efficiencies inherent in living together, sharing resources, and dividing responsibilities. By employing the best credit card strategies, couples can get more out of their credit cards than they ever might have been able to on their own.</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%2Fthese-are-the-best-credit-card-strategies-for-married-couples&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThese%2520Are%2520the%2520Best%2520Credit%2520Card%2520Strategies%2520for%2520Married%2520Couples.jpg&amp;description=These%20Are%20the%20Best%20Credit%20Card%20Strategies%20for%20Married%20Couples"></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/These%20Are%20the%20Best%20Credit%20Card%20Strategies%20for%20Married%20Couples.jpg" alt="These Are the Best Credit Card Strategies for Married Couples" 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/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/these-are-the-best-credit-card-strategies-for-married-couples">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/top-6-reasons-why-using-cash-only-rocks">Top 6 Reasons Why Using Cash-Only Rocks</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-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">The Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-prepare-for-unpaid-maternity-leave">How to Prepare for Unpaid Maternity Leave</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-a-family-members-finances-long-distance">How to Manage a Family Member&#039;s Finances Long Distance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Family credit card debt credit card strategies managing finances money management saving money Fri, 05 Jan 2018 09:30:10 +0000 Jason Steele 2083206 at https://www.wisebread.com How to Pull Your Small Business Out of a Cash Crunch https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-pull-your-small-business-out-of-a-cash-crunch <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-pull-your-small-business-out-of-a-cash-crunch" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/freelance_calculating_a_budget.jpg" alt="Freelance calculating a budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You're working around the clock. So why are you short of cash? For a lot of self-employed people and small business owners, the answer is poor cash flow. Even if you're making a great living on an annual basis, there may be periods where the money flowing into your business slows to a trickle.</p> <p>Fortunately, there's a lot you can do to prevent a cash crunch and get out of one if you're short of funds. Here are the steps you can take.</p> <h2>Vet clients carefully</h2> <p>We all love making sales, but closing a deal is only helpful to your business if you can collect the money you've earned in a reasonable period. If someone wants to hire you for a big project, suggest working on a small project together first and then build from there.</p> <p>Use the small project to test how quickly the client pays you. If someone takes 90 or 120 days to close a $500 invoice, imagine how long it will take to get paid for a $10,000 gig. You may be better off working for another client, instead. Your bills are generally going to be due monthly and there's no way around that. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-freelancers-can-make-sure-they-get-paid-on-time?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways Freelancers Can Make Sure They Get Paid on Time</a>)</p> <h2>Diversify your client base</h2> <p>If you are a contractor dependent on just one client, you're very vulnerable to a cash crunch if something goes wrong in the payment process. Should that client hit a slump and postpone paying you, it will be easy to run out of money. &quot;If you want them to pay you on time, you're at their mercy,&quot; says Bob Shoyet, CFO of Melillo Consulting in Somerset, New Jersey.</p> <p>Although you don't want to spread yourself too thin, adding just a few more clients will give you income security you don't have with just one or two.</p> <h2>Let a third party handle client payments</h2> <p>Another way to reduce the risk of late payments is to onboard some of your clients to a freelance platform such as Upwork. Although Upwork will take a cut in your pay, it offers options for you to get paid for completed projects every Wednesday, twice a month, monthly, or quarterly &mdash; and takes on the task of collecting the payments from your clients.</p> <p>Another option is Freelancer.com, which offers a feature called the Milestone Payment System. It requires clients to pay you at predetermined points as you hit certain project goals. Payments are made securely within the site, which can be a benefit too if you're worried about checks getting lost in the mail.</p> <h2>Negotiate contracts carefully</h2> <p>Ask for a substantial deposit on projects upfront with progress payments along the way if this is customary in your industry &mdash; rather than billing for the whole project on the back end. If you do retainer work, invoice for payment at the beginning of the month, rather than at the end, with a due date of a week or 10 days after that. Very small businesses really aren't in the position to finance projects for their clients, so make sure you're doing that as little as possible.</p> <p>If you work in a field where it's not common to ask for a deposit and clients tend to take more than 30 days to pay &mdash; as is often the case with big companies &mdash; consider offering them a discount if they pay you early. &quot;Companies do take that into consideration,&quot; says Shoyet.</p> <p>Some of my own freelance clients require vendors to use an electronic payment system called Coupa to submit invoices. They have set up their accounts so vendors can access a pulldown menu that includes an option to offer a discount if the client pays earlier than the standard 60 days.</p> <p>If you do offer a discount, make sure to record the dollar amount of the discount as an expense in your accounting software, Shoyet says. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-build-business-credit-when-youre-self-employed?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Build Business Credit When You're Self-Employed</a>)</p> <h2>Finish projects on time</h2> <p>Getting into a situation where you have a lot of projects that are in the middle of the completion process and not many that are finished can lead to long periods where you can't submit many invoices &mdash; and have little money coming in later. When you're planning your weekly schedule, look for ways to bring as many projects as possible to the finish line while still doing a great job. Even finishing a few small projects can give you a lifeline. The more quickly you finish a project, the sooner you can send an invoice.</p> <h2>Stay on top of invoicing</h2> <p>When you offer 30-day payment terms to a client, the 30 days start when you send the invoice. If you're routinely waiting a week or two after completing a project to invoice, you'll be postponing the day you get paid.</p> <p>No matter how busy you are, set aside at least an hour or two a week to submit invoices so you don't fall behind. If you just can't find the time, consider hiring a bookkeeper to help you keep your books and submit invoices for you. A very small business should not require more than a few hours of help a month, and this modest investment could save you from having to borrow later. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-free-accounting-tools-for-freelancers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Free Accounting Tools for Freelancers</a>)</p> <p>If your clients are willing to pay you electronically, that can speed up payments. The popular accounting software programs QuickBooks and FreshBooks let you accept both ACH payments and credit card payments. I prefer to use ACH to avoid credit card processing fees, which can add up on large projects. But if you're working with a client who may have cash flow issues, paying the credit card fee may be a good investment in protection against receiving a seriously late project payment.</p> <h2>Follow up</h2> <p>Sometimes, when I've checked on an unpaid invoice, I find out it has been lost in a client's inbox. The sooner you figure out that this happened &mdash; and follow up in a cheerful manner &mdash; the better.</p> <p>If you send your invoice as a link from QuickBooks or FreshBooks, you can see whether an invoice was &quot;viewed.&quot; Sent it as a PDF? Use your email functions to see if the email was read. If an invoice was not viewed, mention to your client that it's showing up as &quot;unread&quot; and ask if he or she would prefer that you send it in another format. There might be an issue that is causing it to get lost in Inboxland and hold up your payment.</p> <h2>Put a safety net in place</h2> <p>Make sure you have at least one <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card for your business</a> and, ideally, a line of credit with your bank, too. You don't have to use them, but it's good to have them set up for an emergency &mdash; particularly if have a payroll for your business. If your credit is good and you are not maxed out on debt, many banks can help you get a business credit card quickly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a>)</p> <h2>Know where to turn for quick cash</h2> <p>What if you're in a crunch now? Make one last attempt to collect seriously late invoices that you've just about given up on. Try reaching out to the company's accounts payable team, instead of your original contact.</p> <p>Also consider putting your receivables to work for you. <a href="http://www.fundbox.com" target="_blank">Fundbox</a>, one service that has been picking up traction, will allow you to borrow up to $100,000 against your receivables and repay the loan over 12 or 24 weeks. To work with Fundbox, you need to use one of the invoicing platforms the company works with &mdash; Clio, eBillity, FreshBooks, Harvest, InvoiceASAP, Kashoo, Jobber, PayPal, QuickBooks, Sage One, Xero, and Zoho.</p> <p>Borrowing this way isn't cheap, but if you have urgent bills to pay or need to make payroll, it may be necessary. Then, once you're out of your crisis, take some time to put better systems in place so the cash starts flowing more evenly. You'll enjoy your business a lot more that way.</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-pull-your-small-business-out-of-a-cash-crunch&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Pull%2520Your%2520Small%2520Business%2520Out%2520of%2520a%2520Cash%2520Crunch.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Pull%20Your%20Small%20Business%20Out%20of%20a%20Cash%20Crunch"></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%20Pull%20Your%20Small%20Business%20Out%20of%20a%20Cash%20Crunch.jpg" alt="How to Pull Your Small Business Out of a Cash Crunch" 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/elaine-pofeldt">Elaine Pofeldt</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-pull-your-small-business-out-of-a-cash-crunch">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-to-budget-consistently-without-a-steady-paycheck">How to Budget Consistently Without a Steady Paycheck</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-make-budgeting-fun-no-really">7 Apps That Make Budgeting Fun — No Really!</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-personal-finance-skill-you-must-master-before-all-the-others">The One Personal Finance Skill You Must Master Before All the Others</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-strategies-for-paying-off-debt-when-living-on-a-variable-income">7 Strategies for Paying Off Debt When Living on a Variable Income</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-japanese-budgeting-system-could-be-the-key-to-saving-big-bucks">This Japanese Budgeting System Could Be the Key to Saving Big Bucks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Entrepreneurship cash crunch cash flow freelancer freelancing tips money management saving money small business owner Thu, 28 Dec 2017 09:31:05 +0000 Elaine Pofeldt 2077708 at https://www.wisebread.com The Secret to Better Money Management May Be in Your Past https://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-better-money-management-may-be-in-your-past <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-secret-to-better-money-management-may-be-in-your-past" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_enjoying_photos_from_the_vacation.jpg" alt="Girl enjoying photos from the vacation" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's easy to feel out of control with your money. It happens to the best of us. But whatever the reason you're feeling this way, it's important that you regain your footing and, maybe even more importantly, that you regain your feeling of control. After all, if you don't think you can fix the problem, you probably won't even try.</p> <p>Your first line of defense is financial education. It will help you understand what actions you need to take to get back on track. But there's another tool that could boost your motivation to carry out those actions. A recent study by scientists at Creighton University shows that harnessing nostalgia can help you get in touch with your feelings, which you can use to regain control over your finances.</p> <h2>The power of nostalgia</h2> <p>The Creighton team carried out an experiment. Dr. Brad Klontz, along with his fellow researchers, divided study volunteers into two groups. One half attended a standard financial literacy presentation where they learned about saving money. The other half was told to bring an item (or a picture of an item) that they considered nostalgic.</p> <p>The latter group was led through exercises to help them come up with positive feelings and memories tied to their objects or photos. They were asked to name these emotions, identify the values that went along with these emotions, and understand how these same values formed the basis for their future savings goals.</p> <p>Over the next few weeks, the &quot;financial literacy&quot; group saved 22 percent more than they had saved before. That, in and of itself, is a significant number. But the &quot;nostalgia&quot; group saved 67 percent more &mdash; three times more than the control group. It would seem nostalgia and the emotions that go along with it have a lot of power when it comes to how we handle our money! The researchers theorized that the powerful emotions associated with the nostalgic object provided a deep, positive incentive for saving. Participants were able to make direct connections between saving money and the things they value most in life.</p> <h2>Harnessing nostalgia for yourself</h2> <p>If you are feeling out of control with your money, here are some steps you can take to engage your emotions via nostalgia and get back on track.</p> <h3>1. Find an item that has nostalgic value to you</h3> <p>This can be anything, as long as it is important to you. It can be an item from childhood, something passed down from a family member, something you found, or maybe something you purchased on vacation. If you don't have an item that fits the bill, go through old photographs until you find one that is especially meaningful.</p> <h3>2. Think about how you got that item and why it's important to you</h3> <p>Remember the moment you found or received the item (or took the photograph). Think about the people you were with or the poignancy of the moment. To the best of your ability, take the time to actually relive the moments in your life that have made this object or photo so important to you.</p> <h3>3. Name the feelings that go along with that item and your memories of it</h3> <p>Giving your feelings names can help them feel more concrete, rather than abstract and ethereal. When they are concrete, they are more useful to you as you continue this exercise. It is perfectly fine to have multiple feelings about your object. For instance, something your grandfather passed down to you may make you feel excited, because he chose you for this item, but also loving because of the relationship you had with him.</p> <h3>4. Identify the values that underlie these feelings</h3> <p>Once you pinpoint your feelings, you can identify the values that provide their foundation. If something came from a grandparent, it may be tapping into your value of close family ties. Something that reminds you of childhood could be important to you because you value wonder and joy and you haven't felt those things in a long time. An item from a trip could be important because it reminds you that you value excitement and adventure.</p> <h3>5. Connect these values to a financial game plan</h3> <p>When our finances are out of control, most of us know what we need to do to get them in line again. However, it's hard to find the motivation to do that when we feel hopeless and helpless in the face of financial stress. Connecting our values to the actions we know we need to take can help us find the motivation to actually tackle them.</p> <p>Think about those values you identified. If you value the safety and security of a stable home, that can motivate you to do what is necessary to provide financial safety and security in your own home. If you value adventure, it can motivate you to make the changes necessary to get your money under control now, so you can afford more adventures later. If you value joy, spend some time thinking about how you will feel when you are out of your financial hole.</p> <p>It's never too late to take control of your money. When you harness the power of nostalgia and emotion, you may find yourself making and sticking with financial decisions that you have struggled with before. This, in turn, will help you make even stronger decisions until your money is completely under your control again.</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%2Fthe-secret-to-better-money-management-may-be-in-your-past&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%2520Secret%2520to%2520Better%2520Money%2520Management%2520May%2520Be%2520in%2520Your%2520Past.jpg&amp;description=The%20Secret%20to%20Better%20Money%20Management%20May%20Be%20in%20Your%20Past"></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/The%20Secret%20to%20Better%20Money%20Management%20May%20Be%20in%20Your%20Past.jpg" alt="The Secret to Better Money Management May Be in Your Past" 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/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-better-money-management-may-be-in-your-past">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/4-ways-science-says-money-affects-your-mind">4 Ways Science Says Money Affects Your Mind</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-youve-become-a-financial-grownup">How to Tell You&#039;ve Become a Financial Grownup</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-to-find-the-savings-strategy-that-works-for-you">How to Find the Savings Strategy That Works For You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-mental-habits-that-make-the-rich-richer">5 Mental Habits That Make the Rich Richer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance emotions memories money management nostalgia psychology research saving money values Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:30:10 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 2056086 at https://www.wisebread.com How to Manage a Family Member's Finances Long Distance https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-a-family-members-finances-long-distance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-manage-a-family-members-finances-long-distance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/social_worker_is_visiting_a_senior_woman_1.jpg" alt="Social worker is visiting a senior woman" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I lived in Chicago, an elderly relative who lived nearby named me as her financial power of attorney. By the time she needed my help, I had moved to California. But I didn't have to pass the responsibility on to her second choice. I was able to help my loved one from across the country with only a few obstacles.</p> <p>With online banking, a change of address form, e-sign software, a telephone, and the occasional help of a local notary or banker, you should be able to do everything needed from a distance to keep an ill or elderly person's financial life rolling. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-youll-encounter-when-taking-over-a-loved-ones-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Things You'll Encounter When Taking Over a Loved One's Finances</a>)</p> <p>Here are some of the things that helped.</p> <h2>Advanced preparation</h2> <p>In my case, the relative had named me both financial power of attorney in case she became incapacitated, and as successor trustee for her revocable living trust. (A revocable living trust is an estate planning tool that people can set up to make this transfer of responsibility seamless both in incapacity or after death.) These two provisions were extremely helpful, when the time came, in allowing me to access and manage her accounts.</p> <p>Another thing you could encourage a relative to do to get their financial life in order would be to gather any stock certificates they own and transfer them to a brokerage firm, preferably one that offers online access. And if they have records of the date they purchased investments, they should show you where they keep those records or send you copies. If you have to sell the investments on their behalf, you will need this information to establish the cost basis.</p> <h2>An ally that lives close to the relative</h2> <p>Although I lived far away, my parents lived in the same town as our relative. Because of this, they were the ones who physically went through our relative's papers, with her permission, when she needed to move into an assisted living home. My parents provided me with all her paperwork so I could find out what accounts she had and what bills were coming in. Their status as locals also helped them gather recommendations for an estate sale company to dispose of possessions she'd no longer need and a real estate agent to sell her home.</p> <h2>An open relationship with the relative before they become incapacitated</h2> <p>At first, I wasn't acting on behalf of my relative in an official capacity, but just helping her out. For instance, when a CD matured, I would arrange for her banker to call her at her assisted living home to get her verbal permission to roll it over or buy a different CD. I helped her set up online accounts for her banks, and then together we used the bill pay function to get her phone bill and rent set up on autopay so she wouldn't have to write checks anymore. This period allowed me to ask her questions and make sure I knew about all her investment accounts, her assets, and how she liked to manage them.</p> <h2>If you have to take over, an in-person visit helps get things started</h2> <p>When she did become incapacitated, I was able to visit the town where she lived and go to her local banks in person to show the bankers her trust naming me as successor trustee, the power of attorney, and my own identification. The banks then put my name on her accounts, so from that point on, I could call them with questions or move her money as needed without her permission. Also, an attorney informed me that as her trustee, I could reimburse myself for my travel expenses from her account when I had to do business on her behalf.</p> <p>One great thing about visiting in person at this stage is that the local bankers gave me their cards, and henceforth if I ever had a problem, I could call them directly instead of going through the phone tree. They remembered me, and some of them even remembered my relative, which I think improved the service I got.</p> <p>Talking to hometown bankers in person also helped me understand the process better. When I needed to get my name on her brokerage accounts without local offices, I had a better idea of how to make it happen. When you can't go to the financial institution in person, you may have to go to a local bank to get a stamp called a medallion on an application to change the account ownership. This is like visiting a notary, in that the medallion holder is indicating that they checked your identification and you are who you say you are. However, a notary can't give you a medallion stamp &mdash; it has to come from a medallion holder. Call any local bank to see if they have one who can help you.</p> <h2>Stay in communication with caregivers</h2> <p>It's easy to put bills on autopay, but it's also important to verify that purchases you make on your relative's behalf are really reaching them and are needed. For example, I set up a standing order on Amazon for supplies my relative needed at assisted living. But sometimes when conditions changed, no one would tell me, and I'd end up wasting money on a product she hadn't used in months. In retrospect, I would have kept in closer communication with staff at her assisted living facility to keep abreast of her product needs.</p> <h2>Work with real estate agents and other professionals who use online documents</h2> <p>It's certainly possible to sell property from across the country by signing paper documents and faxing them, but it's a lot easier if the agent you work with simply sends you a link that you can e-sign on your computer.</p> <h2>Keep an eye on statements, especially if your relative still has a checkbook</h2> <p>For awhile after I took over her finances, my loved one still wrote the occasional check, usually to her church. Although I asked her to let me know when she wrote one, she always forgot. Knowing this, I made sure to keep a buffer of cash in her checking account to prevent overdrafts. If your loved one's check writing habits change suddenly, or you're worried they could be taken advantage of, it's probably time to get the checkbook out of their hands. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-elderly-loved-ones-from-financial-scams?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Protect Elderly Loved Ones From Financial Scams</a>)</p> <h2>Check your relative's credit report regularly</h2> <p>This is something you should do when you first start handling a loved one's finances, and periodically after that, especially if you live far away and wouldn't know if someone shady has been calling or visiting your relative. If you have been named power of attorney, you can request the credit report by writing to a credit bureau and including a copy of the power of attorney.</p> <h2>Take care when sharing account information among family members</h2> <p>In a lot of families, more than one person might share the responsibility for handling a loved one's finances. In my case, my parents received her mail and deposited checks at her local banks until I set up all her accounts as direct deposit.</p> <p>Because of this shared responsibility, we sometimes had to share account numbers or her Social Security number with one another. We made sure not to transmit this information in an insecure way, such as email, but instead would call one another to read an account number over the phone.</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-manage-a-family-members-finances-long-distance&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Manage%2520a%2520Family%2520Member%2527s%2520Finances%2520Long%2520Distance.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Manage%20a%20Family%20Member's%20Finances%20Long%20Distance"></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%20Manage%20a%20Family%20Member%27s%20Finances%20Long%20Distance.jpg" alt="How to Manage a Family Member's Finances Long Distance" 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-manage-a-family-members-finances-long-distance">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/a-simple-guide-to-planning-for-a-loved-ones-long-term-care">A Simple Guide to Planning For a Loved One&#039;s Long-Term Care</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/5-ways-to-make-long-term-care-more-affordable">5 Ways to Make Long-Term Care More Affordable</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-to-ease-your-parents-into-assisted-living">6 Ways to Ease Your Parents Into Assisted Living</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-best-age-to-buy-long-term-care-insurance">The Best Age to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance</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/ow-do-you-deal-with-family-members-who-are-bad-at-managing-money">How Do You Deal With Family Members Who Are Bad At Managing Money?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family assisted living caregivers credit reports elderly long distance money management nursing homes out of town power of attorney relatives revocable living trust Wed, 08 Nov 2017 08:30:18 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2048696 at https://www.wisebread.com Get Smart About Money With These 18 Free Online Courses https://www.wisebread.com/get-smart-about-money-with-these-18-free-online-courses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-smart-about-money-with-these-18-free-online-courses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_man_using_laptop.jpg" alt="Young man using laptop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A growing number of leading business schools and universities are offering free personal finance courses online. Why not take advantage of these sophisticated resources to grow your knowledge and take your finances to the next level? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-get-free-personal-finance-classes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Places to Get Free Personal Finance Classes</a>)</p> <p>These free online courses are sometimes known as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Many are either based on university courses, or actually are the same university courses that have been offered to paying students on campus. Although you will not get credit toward a degree for taking a free class, you can certainly learn a thing or two that will help you manage your finances and become a better negotiator, entrepreneur, and investor. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-continue-your-education-without-going-back-to-school?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Cheap Ways to Continue Your Education Without Going Back to School</a>)</p> <h2>1. Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making</h2> <p>This <a href="https://www.edx.org/course/finance-everyone-smart-tools-decision-michiganx-fin101x-1#" target="_blank">introductory personal finance course</a> through the University of Michigan covers the basics of personal finance, teaching frameworks and methods that will better equip you to make sound everyday financial decisions.</p> <p>Time commitment: 6 weeks, 5&ndash;6 hours per week.</p> <h2>2. Behavioral Economics in Action</h2> <p>Offered through the University of Toronto, <a href="https://www.edx.org/course/behavioral-economics-action-university-torontox-be101x-0#" target="_blank">Behavioral Economics in Action</a> teaches students how economics drives consumer decisions and how to develop tools that lead to better financial decisions.</p> <p>Time commitment: 6 weeks, 4&ndash;5 hours per week.</p> <h2>3. Personal Finance</h2> <p>Purdue University offers <a href="https://www.edx.org/course/personal-finance-purduex-pn-17-2" target="_blank">Personal Finance</a>; Improve your money management by improving your understanding of key personal finance concepts such as investments, credit, and insurance.</p> <p>Time commitment: 5 weeks, 3&ndash;4 hours per week.</p> <h2>4. Analyzing Global Trends for Business and Society</h2> <p>The Wharton University of Pennsylvania offers an online course on <a href="https://www.edx.org/course/analyzing-global-trends-business-society-wharton-trends1x?source=aw&amp;awc=6798_1502742497_0d3411ef1fd94a7d7eb647004262589a&amp;utm_source=aw&amp;utm_medium=affiliate_partner&amp;utm_content=text-link&amp;utm_term=301045_https://www.class-central.com/" target="_blank">learning to understand global trends</a>, including how you can use that knowledge to make better financial decisions and investments.</p> <p>Time commitment: 7 weeks, 3&ndash;4 hours per week.</p> <h2>5. How to Start a Startup</h2> <p>With Stanford University's video course <a href="https://www.class-central.com/mooc/2572/how-to-start-a-startup" target="_blank">How to Start a Startup</a>, you'll learn the fundamentals of launching a new business; including how to develop product ideas, make sales, market products, and hire your first employees.</p> <p>Time commitment: 1,000 minutes of video.</p> <h2>6. Stocks and Bonds: Risks and Returns</h2> <p>Another Stanford video course, <a href="https://www.class-central.com/mooc/2453/stanford-openedx-stocks-and-bonds-risks-and-returns" target="_blank">Stocks and Bonds: Risks and Returns</a> covers the basics of stocks and bonds, including how value is established, what affects market prices, and what you actually get when you buy a stock or a bond.</p> <p>Time commitment: Self-paced.</p> <h2>7. Finance Theory I</h2> <p><a href="https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/sloan-school-of-management/15-401-finance-theory-i-fall-2008/" target="_blank">Finance Theory I</a>, offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, teaches you how the economy and capital markets work, including an introduction to complex investment instruments such as derivatives and options.</p> <p>Time commitment: Semester-length course.</p> <h2>8. Retail Fundamentals</h2> <p>Learning <a href="https://www.edx.org/course/retail-fundamentals-dartmouthx-rfundx-0" target="_blank">how retail works</a> can give you an advantage as a consumer. This course from Dartmouth covers the basics of how businesses select inventory and set prices to maximize profit.</p> <p>Time commitment: 4 weeks, 3&ndash;4 hours per week.</p> <h2>9. Economics of Money and Banking</h2> <p>This course from Columbia University teaches the <a href="https://www.coursera.org/learn/money-banking" target="_blank">basics of banking and monetary policy</a> and offers insight into the financial crisis of 2007&ndash;2009 from the perspective of financial institutions.</p> <p>Time commitment: 13 weeks, 5 hours per week.</p> <h2>10. Introduction to Negotiation: A Strategic Playbook for Becoming a Principled and Persuasive Negotiator</h2> <p>Negotiating effectively is one of the most effective ways to get ahead financially. This course from Yale promises to &quot;<a href="https://www.class-central.com/mooc/4336/coursera-introduction-to-negotiation-a-strategic-playbook-for-becoming-a-principled-and-persuasive-negotiator" target="_blank">help you be a better negotiator</a>&quot; by teaching tactics and tools to reach a better deal.</p> <p>Time commitment: 9-week course.</p> <h2>11. Personal &amp; Family Financial Planning</h2> <p><a href="https://www.coursera.org/learn/family-planning" target="_blank">Personal &amp; Family Financial Planning</a> from the University of Florida teaches the fundamentals of personal finance and money management including budgeting, credit, and taxes.</p> <p>Time commitment: 9-week course.</p> <h2>12. Investment Vehicles, Insurance, and Retirement</h2> <p>Khan University's <a href="https://www.khanacademy.org/economics-finance-domain/core-finance/investment-vehicles-tutorial" target="_blank">Investment Vehicles, Insurance, and Retirement</a> course teaches the basic principles that will allow you to grow your money through investments and protect your money through insurance.</p> <p>Time commitment: Self-paced.</p> <h2>13. Securing Investment Returns in the Long Run</h2> <p>In the course <a href="https://www.coursera.org/learn/investment-returns-long-run" target="_blank">Securing Investment Returns in the Long Run</a> through the University of Geneva, you'll learn about active vs. passive investing and how to evaluate the performance of your investments to achieve good long-term returns.</p> <p>Time commitment: 4 weeks, 1&ndash;3 hours per week.</p> <h2>14. Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning</h2> <p><a href="http://cat.ocw.uci.edu/oo/getPage.php?course=AR0102092&amp;lesson=001&amp;topic=1&amp;page=1" target="_blank">Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning</a> from UC Irvine aims to teach you how to set and reach your financial goals by improving your knowledge of personal finance.</p> <p>Time commitment: 30 hours.</p> <h2>15. Free Online Personal Finance Course</h2> <p>This <a href="https://cals.arizona.edu/sfcs/personalfinance/introduction.html" target="_blank">personal finance primer</a> from the University of Arizona will teach you how to navigate the perils of today's consumer economy by mastering personal finance principles.</p> <p>Time commitment: 15 hours.</p> <h2>16. Econ 252: Financial Markets</h2> <p>Become a smarter investor with this <a href="http://oyc.yale.edu/economics/econ-252-08" target="_blank">economics course</a> from Yale, which aims to help you understand the inner workings of financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies, and securities markets.</p> <p>Time commitment: Semester-length course.</p> <h2>17. New Venture Finance: Startup Funding for Entrepreneurs</h2> <p>If you are thinking about starting a business, <a href="https://www.coursera.org/learn/startup-funding" target="_blank">New Venture Finance: Startup Funding for Entrepreneurs</a> from the University of Maryland will help you figure out how to fund your venture.</p> <p>Time commitment: 3&ndash;5 hours per week.</p> <h2>18. Marketing in a Digital World</h2> <p><a href="https://www.coursera.org/learn/marketing-digital" target="_blank">Marketing in a Digital World</a>, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will teach you how digital tools are revolutionizing the way products are bought and sold, and how this is providing unprecedented advantages for consumers.</p> <p>Time commitment: 4 weeks, 6&ndash;8 hours per 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%2Fget-smart-about-money-with-these-18-free-online-courses&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FGet%2520Smart%2520About%2520Money%2520With%2520These%252018%2520Free%2520Online%2520Courses.jpg&amp;description=Get%20Smart%20About%20Money%20With%20These%2018%20Free%20Online%20Courses"></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/Get%20Smart%20About%20Money%20With%20These%2018%20Free%20Online%20Courses.jpg" alt="Get Smart About Money With These 18 Free Online Courses" 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/get-smart-about-money-with-these-18-free-online-courses">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-online-tools-to-manage-your-money-in-under-10-minutes-a-week">5 Online Tools to Manage Your Money in Under 10 Minutes a Week</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-financial-skills-to-master-before-you-graduate">6 Financial Skills to Master Before You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training entrepreneurship freebies investing learning massive open online courses money management online courses resources Tue, 03 Oct 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2028482 at https://www.wisebread.com 10 New Podcasts That'll Improve Your Money Mindset https://www.wisebread.com/10-new-podcasts-thatll-improve-your-money-mindset <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-new-podcasts-thatll-improve-your-money-mindset" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/enjoying_great_music.jpg" alt="Enjoying great music" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Podcasts are all the rage right now. We even have podcasts that review and recommend other podcasts! I'm proud to say that I'm a podcast junkie, as is most everyone I know. But did you know that your podcast addiction could actually help you manage your personal finances? Here are 10 that will improve your money mindset.</p> <h2>1. Listen, Money Matters</h2> <p><a href="https://www.listenmoneymatters.com/show/" target="_blank">Listen, Money Matters</a> lives up to the promise of its tagline, &quot;Manage your money like a badass.&quot; If you think personal finance is dull, Andrew Fiebert (a self-professed personal finance nerd) and Thomas Frank (a productivity expert) are here to dispel that myth. They'll help you work smarter so that your money works harder for you. They break down complex terms and host some of the smartest minds in the personal finance field. Topics range from investing to debt reduction, and everything in between.</p> <h2>2. Planet Money</h2> <p>This superb NPR podcast is the gold standard when it comes to personal finance programs. Think breaking financial news meets the nuts and bolts of how our economy actually works told to you by your best friend. At almost 800 episodes, <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/money/" target="_blank">Planet Money</a> has clearly found the secret recipe to making personal finance fascinating.</p> <h2>3. Stacking Benjamins</h2> <p>Endlessly action-oriented and infinitely original, <a href="https://www.stackingbenjamins.com/listen/" target="_blank">Stacking Benjamins</a> is all about taking personal finance advice and putting it to work for you immediately. With episode titles such as &quot;Where Financial Planning Goes Wrong&quot; and &quot;69 Things That GO BUMP in Your Portfolio,&quot; this podcast is so much more than tips on how to save money. It's actually changing your mind about how you view money and its place in your life.</p> <h2>4. The Money Tree</h2> <p>If investing is an area of personal finance you haven't delved into until now, <a href="http://moneytreepodcast.com/" target="_blank">The Money Tree</a> is the place to grow your knowledge and personal wealth. From choosing the right investments, to making career choices, to answering your questions about pensions and Social Security, the hosts and their guest panelists for each episode will help you invest like the best.</p> <h2>5. Money Box</h2> <p>This gem from the BBC combines the latest personal finance news with brief guides on topics such as compound interest. It also offers societal commentary on topics like the future of retirement. What I like best about <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qjnv" target="_blank">Money Box</a> is that it serves up full episodes plus very short clips that tightly focus on one concept, such as energy savings and the return of the 100 percent mortgage.</p> <h2>6. HerMoney with Jean Chatzky</h2> <p>A personal finance expert, award-winning journalist, and best-selling author, <a href="https://www.jeanchatzky.com/podcast/" target="_blank">Jean Chatzky</a> is masterful at breaking down personal finance advice and combining that advice with what's happening in the lives of women. This mindfulness includes acknowledging finance challenges women face, such as saving for our own retirement while caring for our older loved ones, and providing timely advice based on big calendar events like back-to-school and tax prep time. Though it's geared toward women, this podcast is a winner for male listeners, too.</p> <h2>7. Freakonomics Radio</h2> <p>If you're looking to expand your mind and your thinking around money, <a href="http://freakonomics.com/" target="_blank">Freakonomics Radio</a> is for you. In the tradition of their wildly successful books <em>Freakonomics</em>, <em>SuperFreakonomics</em>, and <em>Think Like a Freak</em>, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner bring together masterful storytelling with human psychology. From supply and demand through the lens of line standing, to explaining the stupidest thing you can do with your money, this highly-provocative, well-researched gem is perfect for intellectually curious listeners.</p> <h2>8. The Dave Ramsey Show</h2> <p><a href="https://www.daveramsey.com/show" target="_blank">Dave Ramsey</a> approaches the management of money from a Zen place &mdash; he wants you to make peace with it so you can focus on doing what you love and spending time with people who matter to you. He recognizes the stress that money can place on your relationships and happiness, and his goal is to help you mitigate that stress with knowledge and a game plan. That perspective and motivation make the content about wealth building, reducing debt, and budgeting easy to digest. His message resonates with a wide listener base &mdash; this year he's celebrating his 25th anniversary on the air.</p> <h2>9. The Dough Roller Money Podcast</h2> <p>Interviews, Q&amp;As, deep dives into individual money topics, and career advice from a financial perspective make <a href="http://www.doughroller.net/thepodcast/" target="_blank">The Dough Roller Money Podcast</a> one of the most well-rounded personal finance podcasts. The variety of content and format has helped Rob Berger and his 14-member team become one of the highest rated personal finance podcasts with 75,000 downloads per month.</p> <h2>10. Money for the Rest of Us</h2> <p>For everyone who needs their personal finance advice beautifully wrapped in a compelling story that has nothing to do with personal finance, <a href="https://moneyfortherestofus.com/episodes/" target="_blank">Money for the Rest of Us</a> is tailor-made for you. You're going to get the knowledge and lessons you need to create a money mindset, but they'll be delivered with such an immersive and entertaining narrative that you won't even realize you're learning. Some of my recent favorite episodes are &quot;Do Homeowner Tax Breaks Cause Homelessness?&quot; and &quot;Is Infrastructure a Good Investment?&quot; Combining personal finance education with social justice and impact gets people to pay attention and take action.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-new-podcasts-thatll-improve-your-money-mindset&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520New%2520Podcasts%2520That%2527ll%2520Improve%2520Your%2520Money%2520Mindset.jpg&amp;description=10%20New%20Podcasts%20That'll%20Improve%20Your%20Money%20Mindset"></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%20New%20Podcasts%20That%27ll%20Improve%20Your%20Money%20Mindset.jpg" alt="10 New Podcasts That'll Improve Your Money Mindset" 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/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-new-podcasts-thatll-improve-your-money-mindset">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/these-10-money-podcasts-will-help-you-save-tons">These 10 Money Podcasts Will Help You Save Tons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/4-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-jk-rowling">4 Money Lessons We Can Learn From J.K. Rowling</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/ow-do-you-deal-with-family-members-who-are-bad-at-managing-money">How Do You Deal With Family Members Who Are Bad At Managing Money?</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/6-inspiring-quotes-about-money-from-successful-women">6 Inspiring Quotes About Money From Successful Women</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Entertainment advice Help insight listening money management money mindset podcasts radio Wed, 20 Sep 2017 08:00:06 +0000 Christa Avampato 2020342 at https://www.wisebread.com 5 Times It's OK to Pause Saving and Investing https://www.wisebread.com/5-times-its-ok-to-pause-saving-and-investing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-times-its-ok-to-pause-saving-and-investing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/paper_boat_with_1_dollar_bill_sail_is_blown_onshore.jpg" alt="Paper boat with $1 bill sail is blown onshore" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In most circumstances, saving and investing should be a priority &mdash; one of your highest priorities, in fact. And we'd never advise you let short-term situations derail your long-term financial goals. However, there are a few particular times in life when investing shouldn't be at the top of your to-do list.</p> <p>That's not to say you shouldn't invest; just that you should focus on the particular situation, and how to handle it, before you turn your attention back to investing.</p> <h2>1. You don't have an emergency fund</h2> <p>If you haven't yet <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-jars-and-8-other-clever-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund" target="_blank">built up an emergency fund</a>, your savings should go toward doing so before they go to investments or long-term savings plans. An emergency fund is a form of defense, a buffer that keeps a singular financial issue from becoming a big, ongoing financial crisis.</p> <p>With an emergency fund in place, you can handle unexpected expenses &mdash; like that dental work, or car repair, or emergency trip to help a family member &mdash; without depleting your long-term savings or accruing high-interest debt. Before you start investing, save as much as you can each month until you've built up an emergency fund to carry you through those unpredictable times in life. Experts recommend stashing three to six months' worth of salary &mdash; the higher your monthly expenses, the more you should save.</p> <h2>2. You have too much unsecured debt</h2> <p>If you are paying off high-interest, unsecured debt and struggling to make the minimum payments, now is not the time to start investing. Instead, you need to get your debt reduced to a manageable size so you can reduce the amount of interest you're paying. Otherwise you may end up losing money; if you're investing money in something with a 10 percent return, but you're paying a 21 percent interest rate on an equal amount of money, you're losing 11 percent each year.</p> <p>Focus your savings efforts on a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-credit-card-debt-elimination-strategies" target="_blank">credit card debt reduction plan</a>, such as the snowball or debt ladder method. If you feel that your debt is at crisis level, consider debt consolidation (but <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-of-these-common-debt-consolidation-traps" target="_blank">use caution</a> when considering your consolidation options) to get it under control.</p> <h2>3. You don't have a dependable income</h2> <p>Perhaps you're starting your own business, just starting your career, or you're self-employed and struggling to keep the monthly income steady. If you're unable to predict what your income will be from one month to the next, you may need to wait on those long-term investments.</p> <p>Instead, focus on regulating your income or using some smart strategies &mdash; such as setting up a slush fund, and having a minimum income budget &mdash; to establish stability on a fluctuating income. Once you feel that you have a good financial strategy in place, and can predict the amount you'll be able to save each month, start looking at your investment options.</p> <h2>4. You're in the midst of a financial crisis</h2> <p>It's always better to take a long-term view of the situation, when it comes to finances. However, when you're handling a financial crisis, the most immediate steps are the most important. You need to stop the financial bleeding, so to speak, before you turn your attention to long-term investments. Otherwise, you'll bleed out your financial resources and end up cashing out your investments early, before they can offer you any return.</p> <p>Therefore, if you're facing a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-a-sudden-loss-of-income" target="_blank">sudden income loss</a>, a potential layoff, a medical or family crisis, or other life emergency that has triggered a financial crisis, deal with the crisis and focus on stabilizing your day-to-day finances first.</p> <h2>5. You don't have enough information</h2> <p>The final reason to avoid investing is less about your financial situation and more about the investment opportunity itself. If you don't have adequate information, don't invest. Instead, take the time to do your due diligence: examine the risks, the potential return, and what the experts say about each investment opportunity.</p> <p>If it seems like a sure thing, and you're tempted to dump the entire contents of your savings account in, take a step back. Hold a counsel meeting with your financial planner and go over the questions they provide, questions you might not have thought to ask. Once you're confident that you have accurate information and understand the big picture of each potential investment, you're in a position to decide which ones are right for you.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-times-its-ok-to-pause-saving-and-investing&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Times%2520It%2527s%2520OK%2520to%2520Pause%2520Saving%2520and%2520Investing.jpg&amp;description=5%20Times%20It's%20OK%20to%20Pause%20Saving%20and%20Investing"></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%20Times%20It%27s%20OK%20to%20Pause%20Saving%20and%20Investing.jpg" alt="5 Times It's OK to Pause Saving and Investing" 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/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-times-its-ok-to-pause-saving-and-investing">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/9-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-your-credit-cards-are-paid-off">9 Money Moves to Make the Moment Your Credit Cards Are Paid Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-for-retirement-when-you-are-unemployed">How to Save for Retirement When You Are Unemployed</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/heres-what-i-learned-about-money-after-using-acorns">Here&#039;s What I Learned About Money After Using Acorns</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-secret-to-better-money-management-may-be-in-your-past">The Secret to Better Money Management May Be in Your Past</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/7-apps-that-make-budgeting-fun-no-really">7 Apps That Make Budgeting Fun — No Really!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment emergency fund financial crisis high interest debt loss of income money management saving money unsecured debt Wed, 06 Sep 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Annie Mueller 2012631 at https://www.wisebread.com The Financial Basics Every New Grad Should Know https://www.wisebread.com/the-financial-basics-every-new-grad-should-know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-financial-basics-every-new-grad-should-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/thoughtful_graduate_student_woman_looking_at_light_bulb.jpg" alt="Thoughtful graduate student woman looking at light bulb" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're a recent college grad, congratulations. As you settle into your first job, you'll probably have more money flowing through your life than ever before.</p> <p>Take a minute to think of your financial potential. Let's say your starting salary is $45,000. If you're 21 years old, earn a 3 percent raise each year, and work until you're 70, you will have made nearly $5 million by the time you retire! (To use your actual salary and change other assumptions, use <a href="https://www.calcxml.com/calculators/ins07" target="_blank">this lifetime earnings calculator</a>.)</p> <p>Here are seven ideas for making the most of your financial potential.</p> <h2>Plan to succeed</h2> <p>To be intentional about your use of money, you need a plan. That's right, you need a budget &mdash; or as I prefer to call it, a cash flow plan. Today, free tools such as Mint.com make the process relatively painless.</p> <p>There are three key activities involved in using a budget: planning, tracking, and adjusting. First, figure out how much of your income you need to allocate to housing, food, clothing, and all the rest of your expenses. Your income will determine how much you have for discretionary spending on, say, entertainment.</p> <p>Then, keep track of your expenses. You can jot them in a notebook or spreadsheet, or link a tool like Mint to your checking account and credit cards, so it can do much of the tracking for you.</p> <p>Don't be discouraged if you don't hit your numbers each and every month. Your assumptions may have been unrealistic. Plus, your goals and circumstances will change, so the amounts you allocate for various categories will need to be adjusted over time as well.</p> <h2>Put some away</h2> <p>The key to building wealth is to set aside a portion of every dollar you earn for saving and investing. There are two separate types of savings that are important.</p> <p>First, there's an emergency fund. In life, stuff happens. An important way to avoid going into debt for that stuff is to have some money set aside in savings. Financial advisers often recommend your emergency fund have enough to cover three to six months' worth of essential living expenses.</p> <p>But when you're just starting out, you probably have relatively few breakable moving parts in your life. For example, renting an apartment is less financially risky than owning a home. If that's you, having three months' worth of expenses in savings is probably enough.</p> <p>The second type of savings is for periodic expenses. These are expenses that occur every year, but not every month &mdash; things like a semiannual car insurance premium, end-of-year holiday gifts, or a vacation. Take the annual total of each of these items, divide by 12, and then put that much in savings each month. That way, when the expense comes due, you'll have the money already set aside.</p> <h2>Invest for your future</h2> <p>A little bit of money invested each month for a long time and at a decent rate of return will eventually turn into a lot of money you can use for retirement. Using our earlier assumptions (age 21, starting salary of $45,000, and a 3 percent annual raise), if you invest 10 percent of your salary (a good target) and generate an average annual return of 7 percent, by the time you're 70, you will have built a retirement nest egg of $2.7 million!</p> <p>Bottom line? If your employer offers a workplace retirement plan, such as a 401(k), sign up as soon as possible. And don't miss out on any matching money.</p> <h2>Keep your biggest expense under control</h2> <p>Aim to spend no more than 25 percent of your monthly gross income on housing &mdash; even better if you can keep it to no more than 20 percent. If you own, that's the combination of your mortgage, insurance, and property taxes. If you rent, that's the combination of your rent, insurance, and utilities.</p> <p>Keeping your housing costs within that range will give you the margin you need to save, invest, and enjoy financial peace of mind.</p> <h2>Avoid a car payment</h2> <p>Vehicles depreciate in value quickly, so avoid financing them. If you can't pay cash right away, see if you can go without a car, at least while you save up for one. That may be viable if you live in a city with good public transportation. If not, get the least expensive used car that's highly rated by Consumer Reports.</p> <p>You're not looking for something flashy. You're looking for a car you can pay off quickly and keep for a long time. By the time you need to replace it, the combination of your savings and the value you'll still be able to get when trading in your current car should enable you to afford a nicer car.</p> <h2>Choose your bank or credit union carefully</h2> <p>Too often, people choose where to open a checking account based on which bank has the best promotion. Once you go to the trouble of setting up online bill-pay with your utilities, insurance providers, and others, the hassle factor involved in changing banks goes up a lot. So, choose carefully.</p> <p>If you use an ATM frequently, you'll want a bank with lots of ATM locations. And you'll probably want a bank that doesn't charge a fee for a low balance.</p> <h2>Get a credit card</h2> <p>Having a credit card in your own name will help you start building a credit score, which is beneficial for everything from getting a job to paying the least for insurance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use Credit Cards to Improve Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <p>If you don't have a credit card already, see if you could get one through your bank. If not, a retailer may be more willing to approve you &mdash; but retail cards are notorious for having high interest rates, so make sure you pay off your bills quickly. If you still have trouble, look into getting a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-secured-credit-cards" target="_blank">secured card</a>. With a secured card, you'll have to put down a deposit, which will usually be equal to your credit limit.</p> <p>Just be sure to be responsible. That means using your credit card only for preplanned, budgeted expenses, recording any charges in your budget right away, and paying the balance on time and in full each month.</p> <p>If you take the steps and build the habits described above, you'll give yourself the best possible chance of making the most of your financial potential.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-financial-basics-every-new-grad-should-know&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%2520Financial%2520Basics%2520Every%2520New%2520Grad%2520Should%2520Know.jpg&amp;description=The%20Financial%20Basics%20Every%20New%20Grad%20Should%20Know"></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/The%20Financial%20Basics%20Every%20New%20Grad%20Should%20Know.jpg" alt="The Financial Basics Every New Grad Should Know" 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/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-financial-basics-every-new-grad-should-know">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-reasons-why-financial-planning-isnt-just-for-the-wealthy">6 Reasons Why Financial Planning Isn&#039;t Just for the Wealthy</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-12-month-get-richer-plan">The 12-Month Get-Richer Plan</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-essential-personal-finance-skills-to-teach-your-kid-before-they-move-out">9 Essential Personal Finance Skills to Teach Your Kid Before They Move Out</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/12-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">12 Personal Finance Skills Everyone Should Master</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/the-5-worst-money-mistakes-new-grads-make">The 5 Worst Money Mistakes New Grads Make</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance advice budgeting college graduates expenses financial planning grads investing money management retirement saving money tips Fri, 21 Jul 2017 08:00:11 +0000 Matt Bell 1988263 at https://www.wisebread.com How to Tell You've Become a Financial Grownup https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-youve-become-a-financial-grownup <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-tell-youve-become-a-financial-grownup" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/saving_money.jpg" alt="Saving money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was 22 years old, I thought I had it all figured out. I had landed a job, leased an apartment, and even opened a savings account, all while living 400 miles away from my parents.</p> <p>Of course, feeling like I had achieved financial adulthood did not stop me from some immature money moves &mdash; like asking my parents for money when I couldn't pay my bills, carrying credit card debt, and neglecting to save for retirement. Just because I felt like a financial grownup did not mean I had actually become one.</p> <p>It can be hard to tell if you have reached financial maturity. But financial grownups all tend to do the following five things.</p> <h2>Understand that the time to save is now</h2> <p>We all fall into the trap of believing that it will be easier to save money tomorrow. By then, the credit card will be paid off, that raise will finally come, and it will be much easier to find money to funnel into savings or a retirement fund.</p> <p>It takes a certain level of maturity to recognize that the &quot;right time&quot; to save money will never come, and that you need to be putting money away <em>right now</em>. Waiting for a perfect moment to start saving is a good way to never save at all.</p> <p>You've reached financial adulthood if you make saving an important part of your monthly money management, without telling yourself you'll do it &quot;later.&quot;</p> <h2>Know how much money is coming in and going out each month</h2> <p>Budgeting tends to be a four-letter word among most Americans, which helps explain why only one in three Americans actually prepares a detailed household budget, according to a 2013 Gallup poll.</p> <p>But just because you don't have a formal budget doesn't mean you're not doing the necessary work. All any budget does is keep track of how much money you have coming in, and how much of (and where) your money is flowing out. Whether you maintain a color-coded spreadsheet tracking the progress of every penny, or you have found a productive way to manage your money <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-no-budgeting-required?ref=internal" target="_blank">without creating a formal budget</a>, you are doing the necessary work of budgeting as a financial grownup.</p> <p>Because no matter how you accomplish the tracking of your income and outflow, the important thing is knowing where you stand financially so you can live beneath your means &mdash; which is the entire point of crafting and adhering to a budget.</p> <h2>Know exactly how to pay for an emergency</h2> <p>Before you've reached financial adulthood, money emergencies feel overwhelming and nearly impossible to deal with. If you are lucky enough to have parents who can help out, you might make a withdrawal from the Bank of Mom and Dad to pay for your emergency. Otherwise, you might find yourself using credit to solve the problem, selling or pawning something to raise money, or even visiting a payday lender to get out of your financial pickle.</p> <p>An important part of being a financial grownup is recognizing that emergencies are an inevitable part of your financial life, and so is planning ahead for them. In most cases, that means you've set aside money in an emergency fund. However, there are other ways to prepare for an emergency &mdash; such as knowing exactly what you can trim from your budget, what items you could sell quickly to raise money, or what side hustles you could take on to raise funds.</p> <p>Even if you are not currently in a financial position to have a comfortable emergency fund, you can still prove your financial grownup bona fides by having an actionable and responsible plan in place for a financial emergency. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-step-by-step-guide-to-creating-your-emergency-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <h2>Understand the difference between wants and needs</h2> <p>Distinguishing between something you truly need and something you merely want can be remarkably difficult. This is especially true when something you need (like transportation or clothing) could be nicer, more comfortable, newer than the most basic level. In that case, it's possible to convince yourself that you &quot;need&quot; the nicer version. For instance, the old beater car that will reliably get you to work may be all you actually need, but it's very easy to tell yourself that you &quot;need&quot; a nice car in order to do well in your career.</p> <p>The first step toward financial maturity is simply recognizing the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-vs-what-you-want-and-how-to-tell-the-difference?ref=internal" target="_blank">difference between wants and needs</a> and curbing the impulse to buy things just because you want them. True financial grownups are also able to determine when they are imposing their wants onto their needs. They will recognize that meeting their needs is not an opportunity to indulge their wants. They know that needing new professional clothes does not mean they &quot;need&quot; those clothes to follow the latest fashion trends.</p> <h2>Know the buck stops with you for financial decisions</h2> <p>It takes a level of money maturity to recognize when you need to consult with a financial professional. Understanding when you need advice from a pro &mdash; whether that's a financial planner, a mortgage broker, an accountant, or an insurance professional &mdash; is a big step in reaching financial maturity.</p> <p>But there is a further step that you must take to become a full financial grownup &mdash; keeping your own counsel.</p> <p>Asking for advice from a financial professional is a good idea, but blindly following that advice is not. To begin with, the professional's agenda may not be good for your bottom line. For instance, your mortgage broker may tell you that you can &quot;afford&quot; much more house than you plan on buying, because a bank's definition of affordable is the highest possible loan payments you could possibly pay, based on your income, assets, and debt, rather than the amount you can responsibly afford.</p> <p>In addition, no matter how good an expert may be, he or she does not have to live with your money decisions. You have the ultimate responsibility to understand and decide what is happening with your money, and embracing that responsibility is one of the hallmarks of financial maturity.</p> <h2>Welcome to adulthood!</h2> <p>Despite what we might have thought when we were kids, being a financial grownup is not about being able to order pizza for dinner every night and buying whatever you want. The true mark of financial adulthood is accepting that you will be the one dealing with the consequences of your money choices, and making the best choices for your own future financial stability.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Tell%2520You%2527ve%2520Become%2520a%2520Financial%2520Grownup.jpg&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Tell%2520You%2527ve%2520Become%2520a%2520Financial%2520Grownup.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Tell%20You've%20Become%20a%20Financial%20Grownup"></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%20Tell%20You%27ve%20Become%20a%20Financial%20Grownup.jpg" alt="How to Tell You've Become a Financial Grownup" 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/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-youve-become-a-financial-grownup">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-fast-ways-to-restock-an-emergency-fund-after-an-emergency">6 Fast Ways to Restock an Emergency Fund After an Emergency</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/where-to-find-emergency-funds-when-you-dont-have-an-emergency-fund">Where to Find Emergency Funds When You Don&#039;t Have an Emergency Fund</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/money-a-mess-try-this-personal-finance-starter-kit">Money a Mess? 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