Personal Finance http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/6/all en-US Capital One 360 Black Friday Sale: Get $100 When You Open an Account http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-360-review <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/capital-one-360-review" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-using-laptop-iStock_000018816191Small.jpg" alt="couple using laptop" title="couple using laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="171" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><strong>4 Days Only (November 28-December 1)</strong>: For their Black Friday Special, get $100 when you open a fee-free 360 Checking Account (with a $250 minimum deposit) and make 5 Debit Card purchases or 5 CheckMate deposits or any combination of the two within 45 days. This is an interest bearing checking account! </p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-12034567" rel="nofollow" >Go here to learn more and sign up for a 360 Checking Account.</a></p> <p> You can also grab $100 when you open a 360 Savings Account with a $1000 minimum deposit. The bonus starts earning interest on day 1, but you can’t take it out for at least 30 days. </p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-12034566" rel="nofollow" >Go here to learn more and sign up for a 360 Savings Account.</a></p> <p><strong> Sales ends 12/1!</strong> </p> <p>It's been a few years since <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-12034567?sid=mmarquit-959668">Capital One</a> bought ING DIRECT</a>, the popular bank that conducted most of its operations online. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-banks-still-offering-free-checking-and-great-interest-rates">7 Banks Still Offering Free Interest-Bearing Checking Accounts</a>)</p> <p>For most people looking to centralize their banking and find competitive rates, <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-12034567?sid=mmarquit-959668">Capital One 360</a> is a viable option. Capital One 360 makes it easy to access all of your accounts, including your investment accounts, from your account summary.</p> <h2>Features and Benefits of Capital One 360</h2> <p>Capital One 360 offers a variety of banking products and services.</p> <h3>360 Savings</h3> <p>This is the classic account that started it all. There are no fees, no minimum requirements, and no catches. Right now, the yield is <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-12034566?sid=mmarquit-959668" rel="nofollow" target="_top"><script src="https://home.capitalone360.com/js/accounttype.js"></script> <script>document.write(type_3000_apy);</script></a>% APY<img src="http://www.lduhtrp.net/image-2822544-11665596" width="1" height="1" border="0"/>, which is reasonably competitive, especially when you consider that there are no minimums and no fees. It&rsquo;s easy to link your account to other banks and set up automatic transfers to make saving easy.</p> <h3>Kids Savings Account</h3> <p>My son&rsquo;s savings account at Capital One 360 offers the <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-11678003?sid=mmarquit-959668" rel="nofollow" target="_top"><script src="https://home.capitalone360.com/js/accounttype.js"></script> <script>document.write(type_3010_apy);</script></a>% APY <img src="http://www.awltovhc.com/image-2822544-11678003?sid=mmarquit-959668" width="1" height="1" border="0"/> yield that kicks the crap out of the 0.20% he was getting at the local credit union. It&rsquo;s easy to monitor the account from your own dashboard and to teach your child the value of saving early on.</p> <h3>360 Checking</h3> <p>You can open a checking account with Capital One 360 and earn a yield on the balance. Current yields range from 0.20% to 0.80%, depending on how much money is in the account. There are 2,000 Capital One ATMs in addition to 38,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs account holders can use.</p> <ul> <li>This account has no fees and no minimums, and you can use P2P Payments to send money to family and friends for free.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Bill pay is free, even when you have paper checks sent.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can use CheckMate to deposit checks remotely, and the account comes with overdraft protection.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you overdraw your account, you won&rsquo;t end up paying a fee. Instead, you are just charged an interest fee (currently 11.25%) on the overdraft until it&rsquo;s paid off.</li> </ul> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-12034567?sid=mmarquit-959668"><strong>Click here to apply for a Capital One 360 account now.</strong></a></p> <h3>MONEY (Teen Checking)</h3> MONEY is an account created specifically for the teen user. Teach your teen to manage her money with this no fee and no minimum account that earns <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-11677999?sid=mmarquit-959668" target="_top"><script src="https://home.capitalone360.com/js/accounttype.js"></script> <script>document.write(type_4300_0_apy);</script></a>% APY <img src="http://www.lduhtrp.net/image-2822544-11677999" width="1" height="1" border="0"/> interest. </p> <h3>CDs</h3> <p>The yields on the CDs from Capital One 360 are not as competitive as they could be, ranging from 0.40% to 0.90%. You can choose your term, and you can also choose when you want to receive your interest payments.</p> <h3>Mortgages</h3> <p>The Capital One 360 mortgage offers fixed and variable rate options for a new purchase or a refinance. The closing costs are very straightforward, and right now the rates are still quite low. You can also get a home equity loan with a variable rate starting at 4.0%, or lock in a slightly higher rate for 15 years.</p> <h3>ShareBuilder</h3> <p>With ShareBuilder you can invest in stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs, as well as trade options. There is no account minimum, and you can choose between paying a $12 monthly fee and getting a lower price on trades, or just opening the account with the Basic version. I have this version, in which regular purchases are $9.95 a transaction. However, since I have an automatic investment plan set up, I only pay $4 a transaction. It&rsquo;s easy, straightforward, and the pricing is competitive with the automatic investing.</p> <h3>IRAs</h3> <p>You can choose to open a savings IRA, or you can use ShareBuilder to open an investment IRA. With the savings IRA, you have all the money in CDs and savings accounts; you need to go the ShareBuilder route if you want to invest in stocks, mutual funds, or ETFs. You can also rollover your 401(k) into an IRA from Capital One 360.</p> <h3>Business Account</h3> <p>Capital One 360 also offers business banking products. You can open a business savings account, or a business CD. The current yield on the business savings account is lower than what you get with personal savings, though.</p> <p>You can also use the ShareBuilder 401(k) to set up a retirement plan for your small business. It&rsquo;s fairly easy to set up, and you can offer this benefit to your employees.</p> <h3>Bottom Line</h3> <p>Overall, <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-12034567?sid=mmarquit-959668" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Capital One 360</a> is a viable competitor. The products offered remain fairly competitive. Additionally, the low-fee, low-hassle structure of the bank makes it easy to open accounts, and avoid watching your wealth erode due to hidden fees and complicated requirements.</p> <p><a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-12034567?sid=mmarquit-959668" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Click here to apply now</strong></a></p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-360-review" class="sharethis-link" title="Capital One 360 Black Friday Sale: Get $100 When You Open an Account" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/miranda-marquit">Miranda Marquit</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-360-review">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-unions-vs-banks-whats-the-difference">Credit Unions vs. Banks: What&#039;s the Difference?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-and-drawbacks-of-credit-unions">The Benefits and Drawbacks of Credit Unions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-places-to-keep-your-money-safe-and-growing">12 Places to Keep Your Money Safe — And Growing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-good-reasons-to-choose-a-credit-union-instead-of-a-bank">9 Good Reasons to Choose a Credit Union Instead of a Bank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-paying-these-6-unfair-banking-fees">Are You Paying These 6 Unfair Banking Fees?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Banking banking banks Capital One ing direct Fri, 28 Nov 2014 08:35:15 +0000 Miranda Marquit 959668 at http://www.wisebread.com Turn Your Home Into a Rental in 9 Easy Steps http://www.wisebread.com/turn-your-home-into-a-rental-in-9-easy-steps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/turn-your-home-into-a-rental-in-9-easy-steps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-renting-home-178110017-small.jpg" alt="man renting home" title="man renting home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As an early adopter of the micro-subletting culture &mdash; the founders of Airbnb invited me to join the service as it was just starting up back in 2008 &mdash; I fancy myself somewhat of an expert in successfully turning a home into a rental property. Six years in, I've not only made one home a major profit center by sharing my rooms with travelers, but now two &mdash; the latter of which is a direct result of the success of the first. My husband and I were able to purchase a second property with the income we've earned from renting our primary residence.</p> <p>Based on my own experience, here are nine essential line items you should check off if you plan to make a go of the incredible money-making and life-enhancing opportunity of turning your home into a rental property.</p> <h2>1. Research Your Market</h2> <p>My primary residence is in Manhattan, and the never-ending influx of tourists is what gave me the idea to market my guest bedroom as a hotel alternative many years ago. I didn't have to do much research to realize that there was a built-in business in my area for what I wanted to do, but as you can imagine that doesn't apply to all areas.</p> <p>Most areas, in fact, don't have the attractiveness to tourists that New York City does. That doesn't mean, however, that you can't become a homegrown entrepreneur in the comfort of your own living room. Because of the popularity of Airbnb, Roomorama, HomeAway, and other short-term rental sites, an increasing number of rooms are now available to budget travelers nearly everywhere. Thus, your first step in turning your home into a rental property is digging into these sites to see who in your area is listing their property, how full their calendars are with bookings, and to generally peruse their listings to see how they're managing their own burgeoning businesses. You'll get a good sense of what you can expect in terms of traffic to your listing and potential bookings.</p> <p>On another note, if there are currently no listings in your area, don't get discouraged. That could mean that you're getting in on the ground level of an untapped market &mdash; and you'll never know its potential if you don't test the waters.</p> <h2>2. Talk to Friends/Neighbors Who Are Renting Their Property</h2> <p>I didn't have any idea what I was doing when I first started renting my property &mdash; this was a brand new venture for me &mdash; so my first year or so was completely trial and error. You have an advantage, however, because micro-subletting has and continues to increase in popularity, so you're bound to know at least one person who's tried their hand at it. You don't have to stick to micro-subletters though; reach out to anyone who's in the rental-income game and ask to pick their brain about the ins and outs, highs and lows of their business. You'll gain valuable knowledge that can positively influence your own new endeavor, and you may even be able to avoid some roadblocks along the way by learning from their mistakes.</p> <h2>3. Transform Your Property Into a Visually Stunning Destination</h2> <p>One of the biggest factors in a potential guest's decision on whether to stay at your property will be how it looks. It's a decision-making process as old as time &mdash; we pick out food, cars, and romantic partners based on their physical attractiveness &mdash; so it only makes sense that that theory applies to where people want to lie their heads at night. Especially in a stranger's home. Considering this superficial factor then, it's important that your rental listing images stand out from the crowd. Photos should show a space that is inviting, comfortable, and clean &mdash; all critical components to ensuring that your room or home is near the top of the list when potential guests are choosing where to stay.</p> <p>If you use Airbnb, consider using its free photography to enhance your listing, which, I can tell you from experience, will truly take yours to the next level &mdash; considering that your home is already someplace that looks visitor-friendly, of course.</p> <h2>4. Eliminate the Clutter</h2> <p>If your home isn't immediately traveler-friendly, that's okay; you can change that. The first plan of attack in this instance is to do a deep clean (which, by the way, is beneficial in more ways than just preparing it to be a rental property &mdash; there's money to be made in selling your clutter!) to get rid of anything that's unnecessary, safely store away items of sentiment or extreme value, and otherwise organize your belongings in an aesthetically pleasing and unobtrusive fashion. Having a well-kept and well-organized home will be easier on you when it comes time to clean between tenants, and the results will show in photos and the reviews your guests will leave you.</p> <h2>5. Load Up on Value-Centric Amenities</h2> <p>Another critical part of making your listing a major contender among potential guests' choices is the amenities you offer. It's all wrapped into the per-night fee that I'm charging, of course, but to them it looks like they're getting something extra for free &mdash; and often that means that they're choosing my place over someone else's. While I don't recommend that you run your business like a hotel &mdash; a more personal touch is always required in this person-to-person rental situation &mdash; I do suggest that you take your cue on what you're offering guests as a value proposition from hotels. In my guest bedrooms, I include fresh linens and towels, high-def flat-screen HDTVs, mini-fridges, and coffee makers, and I provide the guests will free cereal, fruit, coffee, and tea. These are little things that go a long way in a guest's decision on where to stay, especially if they're budget minded.</p> <h2>6. Explore New Options to Market Your Property Online</h2> <p>I've already alluded to this aspect of successfully turning your home into a rental property, but in case you've missed it, listing your property online is the best way to drive a lot of traffic to your property. <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/">Airbnb</a>, <a href="https://www.roomorama.com/">Roomorama</a>, and <a href="http://www.homeaway.com/">HomeAway</a> are the major players in this game, but there are other sites on which you can list to really corner the market.</p> <p>If you want to go all out, look into similar sites like <a href="http://www.vrbo.com/">VRBO</a>, <a href="http://www.misterbnb.com/">Misterbnb</a>, <a href="http://www.furnishedquarters.com/">Furnished Quarters</a>, and <a href="http://www.sublet.com/">Sublet.com</a>.</p> <p>For the most part, your listings will market themselves on these sites, but you need to stay on top of your inquiries, keep your listings up to date, and promote them on social media and offline to maximize their efficacy.</p> <h2>7. Undercut the Competition</h2> <p>I didn't go to business school, but I've learned a thing or two about good business by being an accidental entrepreneur: If you want to make money, you have to offer the best product at the most reasonable price. That business model has never failed. That's how I've run my rental-property business since the beginning, and that's one of the main reasons why I'm booked nearly 365 days a year. My strategy is to research the comparable listings in my area on the sites on which I'm listed and set my price for my more attractive listing below their nightly fee. As a result, my calendar is consistently full while theirs has gaping holes.</p> <p>I wonder if that qualifies for an honorary business degree? I should call my alma mater.</p> <h2>8. Streamline Your Organization</h2> <p>When your bookings start to pile up, it's easy to get overwhelmed &mdash; which is why you need to set up organizational procedures to ensure that your business is streamlined and runs efficiently. Keeping your calendar up-to-date is number one on this checklist &mdash; you don't want to overbook guests who will have no place to go if you can't accommodate them because of your error. Organizing your cleaning protocol so you can breeze through the house and prepare for new guests quickly is a close second to an organized calendar. You should not be lax about either one of these organizational aspects for many reasons, the most important of which is that you owe it to your <em>paying</em> guests to be professional and prepared at all times.</p> <h2>9. Stay Up-to-Date With Rental Trends</h2> <p>In order for any business to succeed for the long term, it must evolve and keep up with industry and social trends &mdash; and your small rental-property business is no different. Because micro-subletting is a relatively new concept, local laws are changing rapidly to ensure that taxes are being paid and safety measures are put in place. Cities like San Francisco have made micro-subletting legal while New York City is still entrenched in litigation to determine how best to manage the growing trend. Newsletters and other correspondences from the services on which you list are great resources as is talking to your fellow rental-property entrepreneurs about their experiences. I also can personally recommend the <a href="http://www.internationalrealestatelistings.com/podcast/">Overseas Property Insider Podcast</a> from my buddy Taylor White, which offers insider information into the vacation rental industry on a regular basis.</p> <p><em>Do you have a rental income property? Do you have tips to share with us on how others can turn their homes into profit centers? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-your-home-into-a-rental-in-9-easy-steps" class="sharethis-link" title="Turn Your Home Into a Rental in 9 Easy Steps" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-your-home-into-a-rental-in-9-easy-steps">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/got-extra-space-make-money-and-meet-travelers-with-short-term-rentals">Got Extra Space? Make Money and Meet Travelers With Short-Term Rentals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-mistake-could-delay-your-retirement-by-10-years">This One Mistake Could Delay Your Retirement by 10 Years</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/istopover-earn-extra-income-or-travel-on-the-cheap-and-a-special-promotion-for-wise-bread-readers">iStopOver: Earn Extra Income or Travel on the Cheap, and a Special Promotion for Wise Bread Readers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed">This Is How You Rent Your Place on Airbnb — and Succeed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-truths-from-a-mystery-shopper-you-must-read-before-you-get-started">8 Truths From a Mystery Shopper You Must Read Before You Get Started</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Extra Income Real Estate and Housing AirBnb microsubletting rental income sublet Wed, 26 Nov 2014 19:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1260447 at http://www.wisebread.com The Five Types of People Who Never Retire (Are You One of Them?) http://www.wisebread.com/the-five-types-of-people-who-never-retire-are-you-one-of-them <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-five-types-of-people-who-never-retire-are-you-one-of-them" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-busy-office-166114539-small.jpg" alt="man busy office" title="man busy office" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">&quot;I actually think the whole concept of retirement is a bit stupid, so yes, I do want to do something else. There is this strange thing that just because chronologically on a Friday night you have reached a certain age&hellip; with all that experience, how can it be that on a Monday morning, you are useless?&quot; &mdash; Stuart Rose</p> <p>What springs to mind when you think about retirement? I wistfully think about sleeping in, and not using a time clock (which I despise). But for other people, the word &quot;retirement&quot; causes shudders. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-you-ever-be-able-to-retire?ref=seealso">Will You Ever Be Able to Retire?</a>)</p> <p>Consider these five categories of people who will never retire. Are you among them?</p> <h2>1. The Broke Non-Retiree</h2> <p>Personally, I find this the most unsettling scenario. Whether due to poor financial planning or heavier-than-anticipated financial needs, more and more older workers continue to find themselves in the labor pool. According to the Center for Public Affairs Research, a 2013 survey revealed that a startling 47% now <a href="http://www.apnorc.org/PDFs/Working%20Longer/NORC-AP-NORC-Working-longer.pdf">plan to retire at a later age</a> than they expected when they were 40. The survey also found that 39% of workers age 50 and older report having $100,000 or less saved for retirement, not including pensions or homes; 24% have less than 10,000.</p> <p>Maybe it's time to take stock of your financial future by <a href="http://moneyover55.about.com/od/preretirementplanning/a/estimate_expenses_in_retirement.htm">estimating your retirement expenses</a>.</p> <h2>2. The Workaholic</h2> <p>There is a difference between the person who enjoys work, and does so with enthusiasm, and the person whose life is out of balance and cannot stop working. Perhaps you have run across some of these in your work, too. As the Wall Street Journal explains, workaholics have<a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/for-some-retirement-brings-grief-1414886644?mod=e2tw"> difficulty transitioning from work to retirement life</a>, because so much of their identity, social network, and purpose is tied to their career. They can feel adrift in retirement without the structure work provides.</p> <p>When working is almost an addiction, it can be devastating to face retirement. One of my former co-workers springs to mind. Although qualified to retire for years, she fought it tooth and nail, taking work home and working weekends. Even when finally convinced by management that it was time for her to step down, she would find excuses to drop by the office, or call people to have lunch. If you recognize yourself in this description, there is help available. Consider support groups, such as <a href="http://www.workaholics-anonymous.org/page.php?page=home">Workaholics Anonymous</a>, which aim to help workaholics develop coping skills and the ability to relax during downtime.</p> <h2>3. The Successful Investor</h2> <p>You may know some people in this category. They bought rentals, years ago, and now are landlords. Or perhaps they bought silver or gold, or learned how to effectively invest in the stock market. There is a common thread here: They got moving, educated themselves, and by their 50s, were enjoying a leisurely lifestyle. But that doesn't mean they want to (or can) stop. Many keep at it, repairing their rentals, or checking their investments every day. They've made being a successful investor their life's work, and they have no need to &quot;retire&quot; from it.</p> <h2>4. The Life Re-Inventor</h2> <p>Starting a new career later in life can be an invigorating way to re-invent yourself. My friend Nancy, a former school art teacher, began working with the mentally ill, eventually started teaching classes, and is now co-authoring a book about art therapy. She finds it tremendously rewarding and has learned a lot of new things. Her husband, an engineer, always wanted to be a teacher, so he started volunteering at a school. He was so successful at tutoring, he was shortly offered a paying position.</p> <p>For my friends, the career switch was fairly easy. However, you certainly wouldn't want to quit your present job and jump into something new without doing some research and soul-searching. Will your new career help fulfill life ambitions? Will it offer a large enough paycheck to make the switch and time investment worthwhile? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-avoid-running-out-of-money-in-retirement?ref=seealso">6 Ways to Avoid Running Out of Money in Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>5. The Mega-Successful Lifers</h2> <p>Consider the lives of the truly, astoundingly successful. For a mega-successful CEO or famous actor, the demand for their talents are so high, that there's less incentive to quit working. According to a study by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, the <a href="http://nbr.com/2014/07/22/millionaires-never-retire/">desire to keep working</a> until the last day is common to over 60% of the wealthy. But you don't have to be filthy rich or famous for this to be true of you, too. Evidence also suggests that many people who are successful in more realistic endeavors &mdash; such as artists, small business owners or physicians &mdash; also feel the incentive to continue using their talents until the very last day. Will you?</p> <p><em>What are your retirement plans? Do you see yourself in one of these categories? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-five-types-of-people-who-never-retire-are-you-one-of-them" class="sharethis-link" title="The Five Types of People Who Never Retire (Are You One of Them?)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-five-types-of-people-who-never-retire-are-you-one-of-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-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-retire-on-less-than-you-think">Book review: Retire on Less Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-cash-rich-retirement">Book review: Cash-Rich Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-keep-your-retirement-funds-from-disappearing">7 Ways to Keep Your Retirement Funds From Disappearing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-retirement-savings-avoid-401k-fees">Boost Your Retirement Savings: Avoid 401(k) Fees</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-thoughts-everyone-has-their-first-day-of-retirement">6 Thoughts Everyone Has Their First Day of Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Retirement retire retirement planning Wed, 26 Nov 2014 16:30:17 +0000 Marla Walters 1260444 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways Your Credit Card Benefits Will Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-your-credit-card-benefits-will-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-your-credit-card-benefits-will-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-credit-card-shopping-505623027-small.jpg" alt="woman credit card shopping" title="woman credit card shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the words of Anna from Frozen, &quot;Wait! What?&quot; Credit cards can actually save you money? Yes, they can if you know how to use them correctly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso">13 Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <p>Here are seven ways your credit card can save you money.</p> <h2>1. Travel Benefits</h2> <p>You know how little travel expenses add up and how much can go wrong in the course of travel. When you book your trip and while you travel, your credit card can do a lot of heavy lifting to make sure you get the most out of your travel dollars. Some cards carry airport lounge and destination lounge benefits. For example, while I was visiting Disney World, my credit card gave me access to a lounge at Epcot that was well-stocked with drinks, snacks, pumping air-conditioning, and comfortable seating that saved me money and made my 95-degree day at Epcot much more enjoyable.</p> <p>Other travel benefits many cards offer include free checked baggage, priority boarding, zero foreign transactions fees, travel and luggage protection, and more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>2. Purchasing Benefits</h2> <p>Ever buy an item and accidentally break it shortly thereafter? Many cards provide <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-your-credit-card-will-save-you-money-while-holiday-shopping">purchase protection</a> that will reimburse the cost of a broken or stolen item. They may also have return protection, so if a retailer rejects a return I attempt to make, my card issuer will refund the purchase price directly to my card. Of course, there's also the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-free-extended-warranty-from-your-credit-card-issuer">extended warranty benefit</a>, which doubles the manufacturer warranty. There are restrictions and limitations, of course, but I've found these benefits to be extremely generous and they've saved me hundreds of dollars a year.</p> <h2>3. Rewards Programs</h2> <p>If you regularly shop at a specific retailer or in a particular category, it's worth investigating cards that offer rewards for those purchases. Whether it's a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/store-credit-cards-that-dont-suck">store-branded credit card</a> or cards that offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards">extra rewards for gas</a>, you might find that you can rack up savings without doing anything extra besides swiping the right card at checkout. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a>)</p> <h2>4. Fraud Protection</h2> <p>Unfortunately not all the purchases we make live up to their hype. Even the smartest shoppers can occasionally get stuck with a lemon or be a victim of this type of fraud. For example, when I left D.C. for Virginia to go to business school, I hired movers. When they had moved all of my stuff out of my apartment, they threatened to leave it all in the middle of the street unless I authorized an additional $300 charge that wasn't in the contract. I immediately phoned my card issuer's customer service. The service agent advised me to give them my card number and then dispute the charge. I followed the agent's instructions and my credit card fought the moving company on my behalf. The charge was completely refunded to my card.</p> <h2>5. Cash Back Benefits</h2> <p>Many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=inarticle">cash back rewards programs</a> have a tiered system. For example, some offer double or triple points for spending in categories such as groceries or gas. If a lot of your spending occurs in these categories, these cash back programs are an excellent value for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work?ref=seealso">How Rewards Cards Really Work</a>)</p> <h2>6. Tax Time Organization</h2> <p>No one enjoys sorting receipts during tax time, especially business owners and freelancers. To make it easy on myself, I put as much business spend as possible on a credit card. At the end of the year, I get an itemized annual statement that I turn over to my accountant who does my tax return. My year-end statement also gives me a lot of information that shows me an annual view of my spend by purchase category. I use this information to figure out areas where I can cut spending the following year.</p> <h2>7. Special Offer Benefits</h2> <p>Credit card companies occasionally have special offers just for cardmembers. This could include presale tickets for special events like theater and concert tickets, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-discover-it-card-attractive-cash-back-awards-for-shoppers">shopping bonuses or discounts at specific retailers</a>, and members only sales and coupons. Sometimes these are ongoing benefits on the card and sometimes they're limited time offers. You will typically receive an email blast or a notification in your monthly statement so make sure to stay alert to those so you don't miss these opportunities.</p> <p>Credit cards get a bad rap by many consumer advocates. If used wisely, they can protect you and your budget. Have your credit card benefits ever saved you money? Please share your stories in the comments below.</p> <p><em>Does your credit card save you money? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-your-credit-card-benefits-will-save-you-money" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Ways Your Credit Card Benefits Will Save You Money" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-your-credit-card-benefits-will-save-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-tip-do-not-spend-when-you-are-sad">Frugal Tip: Do Not Spend When You Are Sad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-use-cash-for-these-11-things">Never Use Cash for These 11 Things</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-your-credit-card-will-save-you-money-while-holiday-shopping">11 Ways Your Credit Card Will Save You Money While Holiday Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-places-to-get-coupons-online">The Best Places to Get Coupons Online</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Credit Cards credit card benefits saving shopping spending Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:00:09 +0000 Christa Avampato 1260295 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways Auto-Payments Can Screw You http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-auto-payments-can-screw-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-auto-payments-can-screw-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shocked-woman-bill-121285155-small.jpg" alt="shocked woman bill" title="shocked woman bill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Setting up automatic bill payments can be a great way to avoid late fees and save time. But if your attitude is &quot;set it and forget it,&quot; auto-payments can also come back and bite you in the butt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-automate-your-finances?ref=seealso">5 Ways to Automate Your Finances</a>)</p> <p>Watch out for these seven auto-pay betrayals.</p> <h2>1. Overdraft Fees</h2> <p>Personally, I only set up automatic payments using my credit cards, not my checking account. The reason is that if my account is ever on the low side, I don't want to risk having an automatic payment sink me down into the red, triggering an overdraft charge. Consider setting up account alerts to notify you of low balances in order to avoid this snafu.</p> <h2>2. Account Closure</h2> <p>A good friend was recently prey to the all-too-frequent scourge of credit card fraud. Her card issuer assured her she was not responsible for the fraudulent charges, so she wasn't worried about that. Her worry was that if she closed the account, she would have to call all her recurring billers &mdash; the gym, the cable company, etc. &mdash; to give them the new number. What's worse, if any of the billers mess up and don't switch to the new card number, you could end up with late fees on those accounts. And if you're me, you'll probably forget to notify at least one biller, and end up missing several payments before you realize your oversight.</p> <h2>3. Fraud</h2> <p>I had a stored-value card for our local public transit system, set to automatically replenish its funds from my credit card account. This is very convenient &mdash; for people who are good at keeping track of their card. I lost mine, and since I don't take public transit daily, it was a couple of months before I realized it was missing.</p> <p>It was only after I noticed one month that our credit card had been billed for over $100 for transit card refills that I realized something was going on. Once I looked into it, I realized that my card had been used by someone else for several months and I had been defrauded by more than $300. I have an investigation pending with the system, and I have a new card &mdash; which is not on auto-pay.</p> <h2>4. Vendor Errors or Vendor Fraud</h2> <p>Once you have given a vendor your credit card or checking account number, they can, in some cases, continue billing your account &mdash; even more than you agreed to. Check out this <a href="https://customer.uscellular.com/myaccount/autopay-faq.html">Q&amp;A cell phone company US Cellular</a> had to publish last year to deal with the fallout after their auto-pay system went haywire and billed people for two months' service at once. Then there are disreputable companies that might sign you up for one service and then start billing you for things you didn't order. Read the fine print and double-check that no additional charges will be forthcoming without your express permission</p> <h2>5. Cancellation Difficulties</h2> <p>This one happened to me with the phone company. I moved and canceled service, but they just kept right on charging my credit card every month. At first, the charges went unnoticed in the chaos of a cross-country family move, but by the time I noticed it, I had to call customer service again and again before it stopped. Each month, the agent would say the problem was taken care of and that a refund was being processed. But the the next month, lo and behold &mdash; I was billed again. Consider getting confirmation in writing of cancellations.</p> <h2>6. Forgetting to Cancel</h2> <p>The flip side of the above is when you put a service on auto-pay, then completely forget you are paying for it. If you don't study your credit card bill or bank statement carefully each month, you might pay for years of that music streaming service or beer of the month club without remembering that you never listened to it or you stopped drinking beer.</p> <h2>7. Lack of Vigilance</h2> <p>When you have to manually pay a bill each month, you tend to look at the amount you're paying and the statement. When I pay my electric bill, I compare it to the past month and the year-before's bills, and if it went up, I think about what we might have been doing differently to use more electricity. But I tend to slide on watching bills that get paid automatically, like our phone bill. Even if we still receive a paper statement, if I know the bill is paid it's too tempting to just recycle the bill without opening it. This could lead to unpleasant surprises if your bill goes up or fluctuates. Fight the temptation to ignore the amounts billed, and pore over your statements on occasion. You might be glad you did.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been burned by auto-pay? Tells us your story in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-auto-payments-can-screw-you" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Ways Auto-Payments Can Screw You" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-auto-payments-can-screw-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-private-financial-information-you-must-share">The Private Financial Information You Must Share</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-people-in-your-life-who-are-keeping-you-poor">The 9 People in Your Life Who Are Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-automate-your-finances">5 Ways to Automate Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-use-cash-for-these-11-things">Never Use Cash for These 11 Things</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Personal Finance auto-pay banking budgeting credit cards money management Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:30:16 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1260292 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Credit Cards With No Annual Fees http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-no-annual-fees <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-no-annual-fees" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-credit-card-tablet-478208705-small.jpg" alt="woman credit card" title="woman credit card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are still many credit card users who refuse to pay an annual fee. Some find that cards with annual fees fail to offer benefits that are valuable enough, while others just refuse to pay to use a credit card on principle.</p> <p>Choosing a card without an annual fee is much like picking any other card &mdash; you need to find the one that offers the features and benefits that are best suited to how you are going to use the card. Here are the cards I would recommend to anyone looking for a credit card without an annual fee.</p> <h2>Citi Double Cash &mdash; Simple Cash Back</h2> <p><a title="Citi&reg; Double Cash Card " alt="Citi&reg; Double Cash Card " rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=23007783&amp;fot=1162&amp;foc=2&amp;foc2=602417" target="_blank"><img border="0" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" src="http://content.linkoffers.net/SharedImages/Products/220264/602417.png" alt="" /></a>The <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=23007783&amp;fot=1162&amp;foc=1">Citi&reg; Double Cash Card</a> is the no fee card for those who want to maximize the amount of cash back rewards they receive from their regular spending. Cardholders receive 1% cash back when they make a purchase, and another 1% cash back when they make a payment. For a straight cash rewards credit card, it's one of the best available when it comes to getting cash back for all your purchases (not just the ones in bonus categories). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=23007783&amp;fot=1162&amp;foc=1"><strong>Click here to apply for the Citi&reg; Double Cash Card today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Chase Slate &mdash; Cheap Balance Transfer</h2> <p>If there is a credit card designed to help people to pay off their debt, this is it. Slate offers 15 months of interest free financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, and is the only 0% APR offer with no balance transfer fee. So cardholders in debt can transfer their existing balances to this card and avoid interest without paying the 3% balance transfer fee imposed by all other credit cards with interest free promotional financing offers.</p> <p>Slate also features Chase's innovative Blueprint program that allows cardholders to avoid interest by paying some charges in full, while carrying a balance on others. Blueprint also includes powerful budgeting and goal setting tools to help cardholders avoid getting into debt in the first place. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=see%20also">The Best Credit Cards With 0% Balance Transfer</a>)</p> <h2>Amex EveryDay &mdash; Easy Travel Rewards</h2> <p><a title="The Amex EveryDay&lt;sup&gt;SM&lt;/sup&gt; Credit Card from American Express" alt="The Amex EveryDay&lt;sup&gt;SM&lt;/sup&gt; Credit Card from American Express" rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=23007525&amp;fot=1162&amp;foc=2&amp;foc2=601821" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="http://content.linkoffers.net/SharedImages/Products/220217/601821.png" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" alt="" /></a>The <a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=23007525&amp;fot=1162&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Amex EveryDay<sup>SM</sup> Card</a> is great for those who want to earn rewards points that can be transferred to airline miles and hotel points. Cardholders earn double points at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 each year (then 1x), and 20% more points when they use their card at least 20 times in a billing cycle. Other purchases earn 1x points. Terms and limitations apply.</p> <p>Points can then be transferred to miles with frequent flyer programs or points with hotel programs that are partnered with American Express. Or cardholders can use points to pay for all or part of flights and hotels booked and paid through the American Express Travel site. As an American Express card, it also includes several <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-your-credit-card-will-save-you-money-while-holiday-shopping">purchase protection</a> and travel insurance policies.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=23007525&amp;fot=1162&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow"><strong>Click here to apply for the Amex EveryDay<sup>SM</sup> Card today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Simmons Bank Visa&reg; Platinum &mdash; Low Interest Rate</h2> <p><a href="http://oc.cardsynergy.com/t/?cr=2344&amp;c=22524699&amp;aid=128445&amp;sid=18142&amp;tid=noanfee-1260193&amp;last_updated=1245258957" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/product_creatives/100637a1-f86e-4bc9-977b-eec4bb3f155a.jpg?128445&amp;18142" width="147" height="98" alt="Simmons Bank Visa&reg; Platinum" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" /></a>If you need to carry a credit card balance, you need a card with the lowest interest rate you can get. And if you have excellent credit, you need to get the <a href="http://oc.cardsynergy.com/t/?cr=2344&amp;c=22524699&amp;aid=128445&amp;sid=18142&amp;tid=noanfee-1260193&amp;last_updated=1245258957" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Simmons Bank Visa&reg; Platinum</a>, with its current variable rate of 7.25%. This card doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles (besides travel accident and car rental insurance), but it does have the best interest rate available, as well as zero balance transfer fees. There is no annual fee for this card.</p> <p><a href="http://oc.cardsynergy.com/t/?cr=2344&amp;c=22524699&amp;aid=128445&amp;sid=18142&amp;tid=noanfee-1260193&amp;last_updated=1245258957" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Click here to apply for the Simmons Bank Visa&reg; Platinum</strong></a></p> <h2>Bank Americard Travel Rewards &mdash; Better Security</h2> <p>When traveling internationally, credit cards can be the most secure and convenient method of payment. Unfortunately, many cards are incompatible with the latest generation of credit card readers in use around the world that require an EMV smart chip. And many of the cards that do have an EMV chip also have a 3% foreign transaction fee, an annual fee, or both. The Bank Americard Travel Rewards Visa is one of the only rewards cards that offers both an EMV smart chip along with no foreign transaction fees or annual fees. Cardholders also receive a competitive rewards program that features 1.5 points per dollar spent, and each point is worth one cent towards <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso">travel rewards</a>.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-no-annual-fees" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Credit Cards With No Annual Fees" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-no-annual-fees">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-credit-card-reward-tips-many-people-dont-follow">7 Credit Card Reward Tips Many People Don&#039;t Follow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-fees-hidden-and-otherwise">Credit Card Fees: Hidden and Otherwise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-your-credit-card-benefits-will-save-you-money">7 Ways Your Credit Card Benefits Will Save You 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="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-secured-credit-cards">The 5 Best Secured Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">The Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Credit Cards annual fees no fee credit cards Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:00:07 +0000 Jason Steele 1260193 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Cheap, Easy Ways to Invest Your First $1000 http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-easy-ways-to-invest-your-first-1000 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-cheap-easy-ways-to-invest-your-first-1000" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stock-investment-86516561-small.jpg" alt="stock investment" title="stock investment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting started in investing can be daunting &mdash; and even more so if you're starting with modest funds. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-4-things-you-need-to-do-to-start-investing?ref=seealso">The Only 4 Things You Need to Do to Start Investing</a>)</p> <p>For starters, finding good investments with a low minimum is challenging. And costs such as sales or transaction charges and annual maintenance fees can easily erode returns on relatively small investments. For example, while $10 in annual charges associated with a $10,000 investment makes an impact of just .01%, a similar transaction or maintenance fee on a $1,000 investment lowers your return by a full 1%.</p> <p>Fortunately, though, you can invest relatively small amounts of money without paying transaction or maintenance fees &mdash; and it's easy to get started.</p> <h2>1. Buy Shares of Your Favorite Stock Through Loyal3</h2> <p><a href="https://www.loyal3.com/">Loyal3</a> offers a way for you to invest as little as $10 in certain well-known companies at <a href="https://loyal3.secure.force.com/support/articles/FAQ/What-are-the-fees/?l=en_US&amp;c=Categories%3ANew_to_LOYAL3&amp;fs=Search&amp;pn=1">no charge</a>. Rather than buying a certain number of shares, you specify the amount of money you want to invest in a particular company's stock, and Loyal3 completes the transaction on your behalf.</p> <p>If you are investing small amounts of money, it's likely that you will purchase a portion of a share (aka <a href="https://loyal3.secure.force.com/support/articles/FAQ/What-is-a-fractional-share/?q=fractional&amp;l=en_US&amp;fs=Search&amp;pn=1">fractional shares</a>). For example, if you buy $100 worth of Google when the shares are trading at $500 each, then you'll own .20 of a share. Over time, however, you could accumulate full shares if you regularly invest $50-100 monthly in a certain stock.</p> <p>Typically, you can't buy a fractional share through a traditional brokerage firm, and, even if you could, stock trading costs of $4.95 to $9.95 would ruin your returns. So Loyal3 offers an unusual service by combining customer orders and <a href="https://loyal3.secure.force.com/support/articles/FAQ/What-is-Batch-Trading/">trading in batches</a>. This method permits partial-share purchases and keeps costs down but does prevent you from buying or selling at a specific price.</p> <p>Investing at Loyal3 is most suited for those who want to accumulate shares of their favorite companies. For example, you can buy shares of Electronic Arts, GoPro, Starbucks, Facebook, Kohl's, and more. For a complete listing, visit the <a href="https://www.loyal3.com/stocks">firm's website</a>.</p> <h2>2. Buy a Horizon Motif at Motif Investing</h2> <p><a href="https://www.motifinvesting.com/how-it-works/overview">Motif Investing</a> allows you to purchase specially designed portfolios comprised of up to 30 stocks or ETFs that adhere to a theme or <em>motif</em>. The firm offers a catalog of professionally developed motifs along with ones created by individual investors from its community. Examples of motifs are stocks of companies engaged in producing wearable technology, businesses with high levels of cash flow, and firms that offer software as a service.</p> <p>The company recently introduced a line-up of no-fee motifs consisting of ETF model portfolios, which are designed according to <a href="https://www.motifinvesting.com/horizon">principles of asset allocation</a>. These Horizon motifs represent various time horizons and risk tolerances. For example, you can invest in a <a href="https://www.motifinvesting.com/motifs/horizon-model-15-year-moderate#/overview">Horizon Motif: 15-Year Moderate</a> indicating an investing time horizon of 15 years and moderate tolerance for risk.</p> <p>Typically, the minimum investment in any motif is $250 and <a href="https://www.motifinvesting.com/how-it-works/cost-efficient">the cost to buy and rebalance the portfolio is $9.95</a>. However, you can purchase shares of asset allocation model motifs at no cost; rebalancing is also free. Note that you must buy the motifs as designed; any changes, such as the elimination of one of the ETFs or a change in weighting, will generate a fee when the motif is purchased or rebalanced.</p> <h2>3. Buy Shares of Commission-Free ETFs at an Online Broker</h2> <p>ETFs or exchange-traded funds are comprised of a basket of securities such as stocks and bonds. They may be market-index ETFs that contain shares of all broadly traded U.S. stocks, sector ETFs focusing on an economic sector such as finance or healthcare, or another combination created by fund companies.</p> <p>Similar to a stock, the price of an ETF fluctuates based on the underlying value of its securities and market demand. Shares of an ETF may be purchased or sold at your brokerage firm, generally for the cost of a stock transaction. For example, you can trade stocks and ETFs at Schwab for $8.95. However, certain ETFs are available commission-free at Schwab and other brokerages.</p> <p>Most online brokerage firms publish a list of commission-free ETFs and allow you to search for commission-free ETFs when building a portfolio. For example, you can find offerings through <a href="http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/investing/accounts_products/investment/etfs/schwab_etf_onesource">Schwab ETF OneSource</a> and <a href="https://www.fidelity.com/etfs/ishares">Fidelity's Commission-Free iShares ETFs</a>; or specify &quot;commission-free&quot; when filtering selections on ETF screeners like this one at <a href="https://research.tdameritrade.com/grid/public/screener/etfs/screener.asp?method=new">TD Ameritrade</a>. Note that these lists are subject to change and you may be charged an early-redemption fee if you sell shares of certain ETFs soon after buying them.</p> <p>To invest, place an order for the number of shares you can afford based on current pricing. For example, if you have $1,000 to invest, you could buy 22 shares of a <a href="https://www.schwabetfs.com/summary.asp?symbol=SCHB">Schwab U.S. Broad Market ETF (SCHB)</a> when this ETF sells for $45.00 (22 x $45 = $990).</p> <h2>Purchase No-Transaction-Fee, No-Load Mutual Funds</h2> <p>No-transaction-fee, no-load mutual funds with initial investment minimums of $1,000 or less are available at many online brokerage firms. Find such mutual funds using screening tools with advanced search functions.</p> <p>For example, Schwab's screener allows you to choose &quot;minimum investment&quot; as a screening criteria (under Portfolio Management &amp; Fees) and specify a range of $0 to $1,000 for Basic, IRA, or Custodial accounts. Using this method, you'll find many of the firm's proprietary funds, such as <a href="http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/investing/investment_help/investment_research/mutual_fund_research/mutual_funds.html?&amp;&amp;path=%2FProspect%2FResearch%2Fmutualfunds%2Fsummary.asp%3Fsymbol%3DSWPPX">Schwab S&amp;P 500 Index Fund (SWPPX)</a>, available for a starting investment of just $100.</p> <p>Similarly, <a href="https://us.etrade.com/investing-trading/investment-choices/mutual-funds?ploc=it-nav">E*Trade's mutual fund screening tool</a> allows you to choose funds with no-load and no-transaction fees as well as account minimums of $0 - $500 and $501 - $1000 for initial investment amounts. Search results indicate that <a href="https://www.etrade.wallst.com/v1/stocks/snapshot/snapshot.asp?symbol=MDIIX">Blackrock International Index (MDIIX)</a> is among its no-load, no-transaction-fee funds and is available for a $1,000 initial investment and $50 additional investment.</p> <p>Note that many mutual funds have lower minimums for investors who automatically purchase a minimum of $100 worth of shares on a monthly basis or hold investments in IRAs and custodial accounts. Check fund details for fees and minimums.</p> <p>You can easily get started in investing at no cost with as little as $10 per month with Loyal3, $250 with Motif Investing, $40 or so in commission-free ETFs, and $100 - $1,000 in no-transaction-fee/no-load mutual funds. Don't let having modest amounts of money keep you from building wealth right now.</p> <p><em>Have you invested a modest sum? How'd you do?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-easy-ways-to-invest-your-first-1000" class="sharethis-link" title="4 Cheap, Easy Ways to Invest Your First $1000" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-easy-ways-to-invest-your-first-1000">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-silly-reasons-people-dont-invest-but-should">9 Silly Reasons People Don&#039;t Invest (But Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/real-estate-investing-is-cheaper-and-easier-than-you-think">Real Estate Investing Is Cheaper and Easier Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/exchange-traded-funds-the-low-fee-investment-option-you-dont-know-about">Exchange Traded Funds: The Low-Fee Investment Option You Don&#039;t Know About</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-occasions-when-you-should-definitely-hire-a-financial-advisor">7 Occasions When You Should Definitely Hire a Financial Advisor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smart-investors-have-these-6-traits-do-you">Smart Investors Have These 6 Traits — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Investment cheap investments investing investing newbs starting investing Mon, 24 Nov 2014 15:00:15 +0000 Julie Rains 1257854 at http://www.wisebread.com Read This to Maximize Your Rewards and Cash Back This Holiday Season http://www.wisebread.com/read-this-to-maximize-your-rewards-and-cash-back-this-holiday-season <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/read-this-to-maximize-your-rewards-and-cash-back-this-holiday-season" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-christmas-credit-card-453313301-small_0.jpg" alt="christmas credit card" title="christmas credit card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Tis the season for shopping, and for most of us that means swiping some plastic. Did you know that choosing the right credit card for your purchases is more important than ever during the holiday season? This is when you spend more than you usually do, which means that you can rack up more rewards than you normally would. Does your go-to credit card offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">bonus points for grocery shopping</a>? At department stores? For gas? It's time to find out!</p> <p>Here's a step to step guide on organizing your credit cards so you are armed with the one that will help carry the budget burden. (See our picks for the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-the-holidays">best credit cards for the holidays</a>)</p> <h2>1. Review Your Credit Card Terms</h2> <p>Do you even know which credit card offers cash back and which one only offers points for travel redemption? Take out your credit cards, and go into your card's rewards terms. Write down what each card offers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-5-cash-back-on-holiday-purchases?ref=seealso">How to Get 5% Cash Back on Holiday Purchases</a>)</p> <h2>2. Compare Against Your Gift List</h2> <p>Now that you know which cards offer what rewards, look at your gift list to see if your cards offer rewards for the purchases you are planning to make. Consider other purchases you might need to make, too, like travel arrangements or extra grocery shopping for all the people staying at your place for a week.</p> <h2>3. Choose Cards Based on Bonus Rewards</h2> <p>Use the credit card that offers bonus rewards on purchases. For example, use the 3% cash back on groceries credit card when you buy groceries. Use the card that gives you double points on travel purchases when you reserve your flight to your in-laws'. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso">5 Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>4. Use Their Shopping Portals</h2> <p>Look at your list again. Are there any stores that you can buy your gifts at that are partnered with your credit card's shopping portal? Many card issuers have their own shopping portals where they give bonus rewards if you shop through there. The shopping experience is the same &mdash; you just have to go to their portal first, then click through to the store you want. Some cards offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-discover-it-card-attractive-cash-back-awards-for-shoppers">up to 20% cash back</a> if you shop via their portal (and use their card).</p> <h2>5. Look for Bonuses</h2> <p>After you've figured out which cards offer bonus rewards for the purchases you need, it's time to decide which card to use for the rest of the purchases. Most cards offer 1% cash back or 1 point for other purchases, and you might think that means it doesn't matter which card you use for them, but you'd be wrong. Some cards offer bonus rewards <em>on your rewards</em>. So if you racked up 5000 points in a year, a card might offer an extra 10% on top of that, so you'd get an additional 500 points. You'd want to use that card for all your other purchases.</p> <h2>6. Get Protection for Your Purchases</h2> <p>One final thing to consider when choosing the credit card for your holiday purchases are the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about">additional benefits a credit card may offer</a>. These benefits often include <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-free-extended-warranty-from-your-credit-card-issuer">extended warranty</a>, price protection, purchase protection, and return protection. When it comes to holiday shopping, these perks may be worth more than any extra rewards or cash back. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-your-credit-card-will-save-you-money-while-holiday-shopping?ref=seealso">11 Ways Your Credit Card Will Save You Money While Holiday Shopping</a>)</p> <p><em>Do you try to maximize your rewards during holiday shopping? Please share your tips and tricks in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/read-this-to-maximize-your-rewards-and-cash-back-this-holiday-season" class="sharethis-link" title="Read This to Maximize Your Rewards and Cash Back This Holiday Season" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lynn-truong">Lynn Truong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/read-this-to-maximize-your-rewards-and-cash-back-this-holiday-season">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work">How Cash Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-why-i-prefer-credit-cards-over-cash">10 Reasons Why I Prefer Credit Cards Over Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-all-of-the-benefits-of-your-credit-cards-and-none-of-the-costs">How to Get All of the Benefits of Your Credit Cards — and None of the Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-many-credit-cards-should-you-carry">How Many Credit Cards Should You Carry?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">5 Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Credit Cards credit cards holiday shopping maximum rewards rewards cards Fri, 21 Nov 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Lynn Truong 1257853 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Use Human Nature to Help Your Finances http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-use-human-nature-to-help-your-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-use-human-nature-to-help-your-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl-thinking-list-177392970-small.jpg" alt="girl thinking list" title="girl thinking list" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on using human nature to help your finances, ways to save on apartment utilities, and how to find your passion.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/advisorvoices/human-nature-finances-hinder/">Use Human Nature to Help Your Finances, Not Hinder Them</a> &mdash; Humans tend to want to follow through on their commitments. If you have a goal, just write it down along with the steps you intend to take, and you'll be more inclined to take action. [NerdWallet]</p> <p><a href="http://savingmoneytoday.net/4-ways-to-save-on-apartment-utilities/">4 Ways to Save on Apartment Utilities</a> &mdash; If you're OK with slower Internet speeds, sharing WiFi with your nearby neighbors can save you a bundle. [Saving Money Today]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneycrush.com/find-your-passion-right-in-front-of-you/">Find Your Passion (It's Probably Right in Front of You)</a> &mdash; Remember that your passion doesn't need to be an income opportunity or even something especially exciting. You just need to truly believe in it and enjoy doing it so much that it doesn't matter if you don't make money from it. [Money Crush]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Savings-Jar-Tips-21412506">A Simple Way to Save: The $5 Savings Jar</a> &mdash; Got a $5 bill? Don't spend it! Take it home, put it in a jar, and watch your savings grow. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://gradmoneymatters.com/money-making-ideas/five-blogging-mistakes-that-may-be-ruining-your-blogging-career.html">Five Blogging Mistakes That May Be Ruining Your Blogging Career</a> &mdash; Make sure the spam plugin you use for your comments isn't too complicated. Readers who have to jump through hoops to engage in your blog will get frustrated and leave. [Grad Money Matters]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://christianpf.com/college-student-financial-tasks/">5 Things Every College Student Should Know How to Do</a> &mdash; Even if you don't have much to invest as a poor college student, you still need to learn the basics of investing so you can start as soon as you're able to. [Christian PF]</p> <p><a href="http://money.cnn.com/gallery/pf/college/2014/11/16/most-expensive-colleges/index.html">10 Most Expensive Colleges</a> &mdash; The total annual cost of New York University, including room and board, is $62,930. [CNN Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/ultimate-guide-working-professional-santa-claus">The Ultimate Guide to Working as a Professional Santa Claus</a> &mdash; You can make your start as a professional Santa by finding a local Santa with too much work and offering to take the extra gigs he doesn't want while giving a percentage of your earnings. [Penny Hoarder]</p> <p><a href="http://wealthyturtle.com/attract-renters-home/">How to Attract Renters to a Home</a> &mdash; Renters tend to prefer move-in ready homes, so make sure your property looks bright and modern. [Wealthy Turtle]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/the-great-american-smokeout-and-10-tips-on-quitting">The Great American Smokeout and 10 Tips on Quitting</a> &mdash; Smoking cigarettes harms your health and others', but if you try to quit cold turkey, you'll probably fail. Take it slowly, and seek out medical and moral support. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-use-human-nature-to-help-your-finances" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Use Human Nature to Help Your Finances" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-use-human-nature-to-help-your-finances">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-41-financial-calculators-for-major-life-decisions">Best Money Tip: 41 Financial Calculators for Major Life Decisions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-lessons-i-learned-from-watching-wheel-of-fortune">5 Money Lessons I Learned From Watching Wheel of Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-auto-payments-can-screw-you">7 Ways Auto-Payments Can Screw You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/64-funny-inspiring-and-stupid-money-quotes-from-famous-people">64 Funny, Inspiring and Stupid Money Quotes From Famous People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/always-use-cash-for-these-5-things">Always Use Cash for These 5 Things</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Personal Finance best money tips financial management Thu, 20 Nov 2014 20:00:08 +0000 Amy Lu 1257852 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Automate Your Finances http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-automate-your-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-automate-your-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-paying-bills-computer-519456677-small.jpg" alt="woman paying bills" title="woman paying bills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>No matter how hectic your schedule, it's important to keep your personal finances on track. Let them fall by the wayside, and you could face late fees or a damaged credit score. Automating your personal finances, however, is one easy way to simplify and maintain control of your money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/money-management-in-5-minutes-a-day?ref=seealso">Money Management in 5 Minutes a Day</a>)</p> <p>Consider these simple options for getting your finances on the right path and avoiding costly mistakes.</p> <h2>1. Let Your Online Purchases Pay Off Your Debt Automatically</h2> <p>Many of us enjoy the benefits of rewards credit cards that give us cash back or points for regular purchases. You can go one step further by enrolling in services such as <a href="http://www.upromise.com/welcome">Upromise</a> and <a href="https://shopperfund.com/">ShopperFund</a> which enable you to automatically pay off debt from cash back earned by shopping at participating retailers. Upromise lets you earn cash back to be automatically applied toward student loan debt, while services like ShopperFund let you pay off other types of debt.</p> <h2>2. Enroll in Your Employer's 401(k) Plan</h2> <p>Saving for retirement on your own takes discipline and dedication. Fortunately, you can automate much of your retirement investing by enrolling in your employer's 401(k) plan.You choose how much of your pre-tax paycheck to contribute (such as 2%, 3%, or up to the maximum percentage allowed by your employer), and the plan automatically deducts this percentage from your check and deposits the funds into your retirement account. And if the company offers a matching program, they'll match a percentage of your contributions, helping to grow your retirement funds at a faster rate. Since 401(k) contributions are taken directly out of your paycheck, you won't miss the money.</p> <h2>3. Set Up Automatic Transfers to Savings and Investment Accounts</h2> <p>If you have trouble remembering to feed your savings account, consider scheduling automatic transfers from checking into your personal savings account. You can decide what amount or fixed percentage of each paycheck to transfer from checking into savings each pay period. The same also applies for investment accounts; many online brokerages, such as <a href="http://www.sharebuilder.com/">Sharebuilder</a> also enable automatic funds transfers from checking accounts to fund regular purchases of stocks or mutual funds. It's a foolproof way to make sure you always pay yourself first.</p> <h2>4. Set Up Online Automatic Bill Pay</h2> <p>You can also automatically pay monthly bills, such as rent, mortgage, utilities, and credit card payments by selecting a monthly withdrawal date and allowing your providers to directly deduct from your checking account. Many providers offer extra benefits or discounts for auto-pay customers; student loan borrowers, for example, can often benefit from interest rate reductions. Online bill payment also helps organize your financial records, since any payments can be easily tracked in your web account.</p> <h2>5. Transfer Discretionary Funds to a Prepaid Debit Card</h2> <p>I got this idea from a friend about two years ago, and so far it's been an effortless way to manage our discretionary funds. It's basically a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-envelope-system">modern-day version of the envelope system</a>. But instead of separate envelopes for different spending categories, we use a prepaid debit card to hold funds set aside for groceries and entertainment. That way, we don't have to use our bank debit card so much throughout the month.</p> <p>Since we're committed to only spending what we deposit on the card, this method keeps our grocery and recreational budget on track. And one of the best features of some prepaid debit cards is the ability to set up automatic transfers from a bank account. Not all prepaid debit cards offer direct deposit or automatic transfers, so you'll need to research different cards.</p> <p><em>Do you have other easy ways that you automate your finances that you'd like to share? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-automate-your-finances" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Ways to Automate Your Finances" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-automate-your-finances">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/37-savings-changes-you-can-make-today">37 Savings Changes You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-auto-payments-can-screw-you">7 Ways Auto-Payments Can Screw You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-young-entrepreneur-paid-off-40000-in-student-debt-by-age-24">How One Young Entrepreneur Paid Off $40,000 in Student Debt By Age 24</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-often-do-you-get-your-paycheck">How often do you get your paycheck?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-1-losing-a-job">Getting by without a job, part 1--losing a job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Personal Finance Budgeting automatic money management bill pay easy money management money management Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:00:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 1257138 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Use Credit Cards to Improve Your Credit Score http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-woman-credit-card-186439794-small.jpg" alt="credit card" title="credit card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are a lot of myths racing around online about how your credit cards impact your credit score. It can be confusing because the way credit scores are computed doesn't always match with actual credit-worthy behavior. So you might think that canceling all but one of your credit cards is a smart financial move for you, but it would actually hurt your credit score a lot. So here's the skinny on how to properly use your cards to help, not harm, your credit score. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-rebuild-your-credit-in-8-simple-steps?ref=seealso">Rebuild Your Credit in 8 Steps</a>)</p> <h2>Pay on Time</h2> <p>Your payment history is <a href="http://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/debt-management/credit-score1.htm">35% of your credit score</a>. That's the largest impact any single factor is going to have on your score. Set up alerts or auto payments. Do whatever you have to do to make those payments on time, every time. It's not the late fee that's going to hurt you the most.</p> <h2>Pay It Off</h2> <p>The next biggest factor contributing to your score is your <em>credit utilization ratio</em>. That's how much you owe versus how much credit you have. The lower the ratio, the better your score. Paying down your debts will definitely lower the ratio. This is also something to watch out for when you apply for a loan. To get a good interest rate, you want the highest credit score possible, and that means lowering your debt and no splurges on credit (even if you have the cash to pay it off). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score?ref=seealso">This One Ratio Is the Key to a Good Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2>Ask for Credit Limit Increases</h2> <p>If paying down your debt isn't possible immediately, you can lower your credit utilization ratio another way: Get more credit. Call your credit cards and ask for a credit limit increase. If you've been a good customer (which basically means you've been paying on time), you can probably get an increase immediately. (You can also apply for a new credit card but that temporarily lowers your score due to it being a new account.) However, if you raise your credit limit and then raise your debt by the same amount or more, you're dinging your score. Keep your eye on the ball.</p> <h2>Keep Your Accounts Open</h2> <p>When you close a credit card account, it lowers the amount of credit you have, so it raises your credit utilization ratio, which then dings your credit. If you really must cancel some cards, choose cards with a lower available credit. If you have several cards with the same bank issuer, you may be able to transfer the available credit from the card you want to cancel to the card you want to keep. That way, you are able to close an account without impacting your ratio as much. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-negatively-affect-your-credit-score?ref=seealso">Surprising Ways to Hurt Your Credit</a>)</p> <h2>Keep Your Oldest Accounts</h2> <p>How long you've had credit makes up 15% of your score. If you applied for a credit card when you were in college, whether you use it or not, keep that account open. You can sign up for better credit cards that offer rewards and use those, but don't cancel your oldest one.</p> <p>Follow these basic tenets to help keep your score as high as possible. I always recommend checking your credit history once per year to make sure that all of the information is accurate. You can do this <a href="https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action">free of charge</a> with each of the credit bureaus and it won't affect your credit score.</p> <p><em>How do you maintain a good credit score? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Use Credit Cards to Improve Your Credit Score" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-reasons-your-credit-card-application-was-denied-and-what-you-can-do-about-it">11 Reasons Your Credit Card Application Was Denied — And What You Can Do About It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-credit-card-when-you-have-bad-credit">How to Get a Credit Card When You Have Bad Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/need-a-game-to-learn-to-manage-your-credit">Need a game to learn to manage your credit?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-credit-score-suffering-without-your-knowledge">Is your credit score suffering without your knowledge?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-70000-or-more-with-4-simple-credit-score-boosts">Save $70,000 (or More!) With 4 Simple Credit Score Boosts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Credit Cards bad credit credit card credit report credit score good credit Thu, 20 Nov 2014 10:00:07 +0000 Christa Avampato 1257157 at http://www.wisebread.com The 9 People in Your Life Who Are Keeping You Poor http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-people-in-your-life-who-are-keeping-you-poor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-9-people-in-your-life-who-are-keeping-you-poor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-man-family-118427363-small.jpg" alt="happy man family" title="happy man family" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You don't always need any help making dumb financial choices&hellip; but these nine people might be inadvertently rooting you on. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-peer-pressure-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso">Is Peer Pressure Keeping You Poor?</a>)</p> <h2>1. Your Spouse</h2> <p>There are many ways your spouse can hurt your finances, even if she has good spending habits. For example, your spouse has no credit history because she got a full-ride scholarship to college and paid cash for her car. When you jointly apply for a home mortgage, you might be rejected for the loan or charged a higher interest rate for a joint loan due to her lack of credit history, even if your own credit is spectacular.</p> <p>The shopaholic wife driving a couple into poverty is a tired and stupid trope. In fact, hardworking spouses are often the accidental cause of financial mayhem. If a couple with kids is paying more in taxes because their double income is putting them into a higher tax bracket, they should do the math to see if it's financially more profitable for one spouse to be the stay-at-home parent. Fair warning: discovering that you're worth more to the family budget as a dependent on your husband's tax return than as a respected professional is an ego-crushing experience for wives who love their work but make less money than their husbands.</p> <p>Regardless of who stays home with the kids, it's worth running the numbers to see if a double income actually makes financial sense. My friends Katie and Marc discovered a few years ago that they were spending the equivalent of Marc's entire salary on childcare, gasoline, and other related work costs. Marc, who made less than Katie, decided to quit his job and stay home with the kids. With Katie as the sole breadwinner, they fell into a lower tax bracket, no longer needed the help of a nanny, saved on gas money, and put less wear and tear on Marc's car. As a full-time worker outside of the home, Marc was only adding $2000 a year to the family's savings. As a stay at home dad, Marc adds $17,000 to the family's budget.</p> <h2>2. Your Kid</h2> <p>Based on a survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the <a href="http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/tools/CRC_Calculator/default.aspx">cost to raise a child born in 2013</a> to the age of 18 is just over $245,000. Depending on your income and where you live, this number could be higher or lower, but the fact remains: having a child is the single most costly thing that most people will do in their entire lives.</p> <p>Although the high cost of having children is common knowledge to just about everyone, according to the <a href="http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/FB-Unintended-Pregnancy-US.html">Guttmacher Institute</a>, 51% of pregnancies in the United States are unintended. Although many accidental parents are happy with their unintended offspring, what this statistic says is that over 50% of American families are just winging it with their finances, and that's kind of crazy. Would these same people accidentally buy a house for $245,000?</p> <p>Okay, okay. Comparing the pleasure of parenthood to the pleasure of homeownership is like comparing apples to oranges, but I'm hard pressed to think of another $245,000 investment that more than 6.6 million families would fall into without foresight each year.</p> <p>The best thing that parents can do to ensure the financial well-being of their family is to plan their parenthood. When you have children, how many children you have, and where you raise your children all have a direct impact on family finances.</p> <h2>3. Your Parents</h2> <p>While growing up with my parents' near pathological, Scrooge-like tight-waddery was no fun, I'm grateful as an adult to have parents who saved enough for retirement. Even though the financial downturn of 2007 knocked my parents' retirement fund down by 45%, they still have enough money to live comfortably for the next 25 years. Alas, my parents are the outliers in this scenario. Many of my friends are now faced with the financial double-whammy of supporting both their kids <em>and</em> their newly poor parents.</p> <p>What I find shocking is the number of young people forced into supporting their <a href="http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/forum/f35/financially-irresponsible-parents-borrowing-my-money-and-pissing-me-off-231738/">financially</a> <a href="http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/dealing-with-a-financially-irresponsible-parent/">irresponsible</a> <a href="http://eldercare.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/1196030151/m/454101482">parents</a> who live extravagantly with no thought to how they will pay the bills once they leave the job market.</p> <p>Even if you hate your parents, in <a href="http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/health/NOA/30states.pdf">30 states</a> there are filial responsibility laws on the books that your mom and dad can use to force you to pay for their basic life needs, so just as it's important to have frank discussions about money with your children, it's also important to discuss financial boundaries and expectations with your parents. Instead of enabling your parents' poor spending choices by bailing them out with your hard-earned cash, you should consider asking them to meet with a financial counselor. (You can get referrals to non-profit credit counseling agencies at the <a href="http://www.nfcc.org/">National Foundation for Credit Counseling</a>).</p> <h2>4. Your Cat (or Your Dog)</h2> <p>That FREE KITTENS sign is false advertisement. Although cheaper to own than dogs, cat ownership costs <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/business/8199165-420/dogs-vs-cats-both-cost-hundreds-even-thousands-a-year-to-own.html#.VGA6xlPF8_k">between $7,760 to $15,260 per lifetime</a>, (and even more if you married my soft-hearted husband, who spends more on <a href="http://www.myromanapartment.com/words-sound-terrible-cat-abscess-butt-comforter-cover/">pet</a> <a href="http://www.myromanapartment.com/pannonica-cat-baroness/">health care</a> than his own health care every year). As with human children, if you even think there's a chance you'll end up with a pet in the near future, do your research on the real costs of owning an animal. Even &quot;budget&quot; pets like turtles cost <a href="http://www.myromanapartment.com/turtle-survives-raccoon-mauling-double-amputationa-bittersweet-birthday-story/">way more</a> than you might think. Making our indoor/outdoor cats into indoor only cats was one of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-30000-and-helped-the-earth-at-the-same-time">best things</a> I've done for the household budget and for the health of my kitties.</p> <h2>5. Your Cleaning Lady</h2> <p>Oh, I know. The day after my cleaning lady comes is my favorite day of the week, too. But do you have support staff because you work long hours or do you have to work extra hard to pay for the entourage that cleans your house, washes your clothes, manages your money, etc&hellip; Do the math. The convenience of household help may be your golden handcuffs. My job pays $20 an hour, which means I have to work three hours to afford my cleaning lady. For me, this is a fine trade. Not only do I hate to clean my house and love my work, I couldn't clean my house as well as my cleaning lady does in three hours. That said, I would have to work 24/7 to afford the pet-sitter, the gardener, and the dry cleaner that would give me the &quot;free time&quot;&hellip; to work extra hours.</p> <h2>6. Your Employer</h2> <p>I was loyal to my old boss for way too long. He underpaid me and I let this happen because he gave me plenty of autonomy and empowered me to be the best I could be at my job. I loved my work and basked in the adulation of others who were impressed by how much I'd made out of my position. Also, I was good at living on a budget, so my quality of life outside of work was good, too.</p> <p>My freedom at work cost me plenty. Had I been paid market value, I could still have lived on a budget and socked away the extra cash in my retirement fund. Don't be afraid to ask for a raise. When I left that company, my replacement negotiated a salary that was <em>twice</em> what I had been paid for the same job. He also loved the job, but his quality of life outside of work was considerably better than mine.</p> <p>Don't be me.</p> <h2>7. Your Real Estate Agent</h2> <p>Real estate brokers are legally obligated to give information to their sellers that will help them get the best price for their home. Alas, buyers often forget that they are not their broker's only clients. In my neighborhood, the real estate market is so hot that buyers have to get pre-approval from banks. Pre-approval tells agents that a buyer who is haggling for a $420,000 price can really afford $575,000. Obviously, this can really undercut a buyer's ability to negotiate, even with the most honest of brokers.</p> <p>To get around this conflict of interest, a lot of buyers hire buyer brokers, real estate agents who supposedly work only for the best interests of the buyer. Unfortunately, buyer brokers usually get the same 3% commission cut that any other broker gets when he or she gets involved in another agent's listing, so they might encourage you to pay a higher price or close a sale quickly, moves that will benefit everyone but you, the buyer.</p> <p>If you are new to an area and don't have friends or co-workers to recommend a good agent, the <a href="http://naeba.org/">National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents</a> is a good place to find a broker who can work independently from seller's agents.</p> <p>If you are selling your home, make sure that you find a seller who specializes in your area and is willing to work to get you the best deal. I bought my first house for its sky-high asking price, before the home even went on the market, an hour after I'd toured it. The sellers were excited by the quick and pricey sale for exactly two hours. The ink wasn't even dry on my accepted offer when friends of mine offered $6000 above the asking price, unaware that the house was already off the market. Who knows how much money the house would have sold for had the seller's agent put the house on the market. Definitely more than I'd bought it for.</p> <h2>8. Your Accountant</h2> <p>My accountant specializes in creative industries. She is an expert on what tax loopholes exist for video game designers, and what screenwriters should never write off unless they really want to be audited. When my husband sold the house he co-owned with his ex-wife, I hired my accountant to advise my husband on the best way to invest the money from the sale to avoid taxes. As a fan of the Big Picture, my accountant asked to look at his old tax returns. She discovered $8000 in tax write-offs from earlier years that his old accountant had missed.</p> <p>My accountant is on the expensive side, but she's worth the money. The year before I hired her, I went to a nationally known tax accounting chain for tax help and received exactly half the return I get with my pricey accountant. It literally pays to shop around for tax help.</p> <h2>9. Your Rich Friend</h2> <p>I credit two wealthy friends for pulling me into the middle class by giving me all their nice hand-me-downs. Thank God there are still people in my life who can afford to shop retail as a hobby. While there are obvious financial benefits to having rich friends who are happy raise your standard of living, just by cleaning their house, your rich friends can also make living on a budget that much harder.</p> <p>Many <a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10000872396390444032404578008322908926476?mod=rss_PJ_Main&amp;mg=reno64-wsj&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10000872396390444032404578008322908926476.html%3Fmod%3Drss_PJ_Main">people would rather struggle with credit card debt</a>, than admit that they can't afford something. Peer pressure keeps people poor. It's why &quot;Keeping Up With the Joneses&quot; is still a thing. Don't be the Joneses' neighbor, and avoid rich people who care that you don't know that &quot;summer&quot; and &quot;winter&quot; are verbs.</p> <p><em>Is there someone in your life who keeps you poor? Who is it? Please share your experience in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-people-in-your-life-who-are-keeping-you-poor" class="sharethis-link" title="The 9 People in Your Life Who Are Keeping You Poor" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-people-in-your-life-who-are-keeping-you-poor">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-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/73-easy-ways-to-save-money-today">73 Easy Ways to Save Money Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-low-effort-ways-to-save-money-ever">The 10 Most Low Effort Ways to Save Money Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/recession-journal-part-i-fast-money-in-the-09">Recession Journal Part I: &#039;Fast&#039; Money in the &#039;09</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/join-america-saves-week-february-24-to-march-2nd">Join America Saves Week February 24 to March 2nd</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-am-doing-well-financially-now-what">I Am Doing Well Financially. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Personal Finance budgeting debt lifestyle spending Tue, 18 Nov 2014 14:00:09 +0000 Max Wong 1255272 at http://www.wisebread.com How Cash Rewards Credit Cards Really Work http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-shopping-bakery-credit-card-492527833-small.jpg" alt="woman shopping credit card" title="woman shopping credit card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Anymore, it doesn't make a lot of sense to get a credit card if you aren't receiving some sort of rewards benefit. If you are going to use credit to make purchases, then you might as well recoup some of that. However, there are hundreds of these types of rewards and cash back credit cards. They may all sound similar, but depending on your spending habits, you would see very different levels of rewards with different cards.</p> <p>Cash back cards allow you to get &quot;cash back&quot; for your purchases. Rather than getting points for your purchases and then using those points to get various merchandise or travel rewards, you get actual money back (most of the time in the form of a statement credit). What varies from card to card is the amount of cash you get back, in what categories, and how you redeem them.</p> <p>You want the best possible cash reward card for your individual financial situation. Here's what to consider as you look for a cash rewards credit card. (See our picks for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" style="text-decoration:none;">best cash back credit cards</a>)</p> <h2>How You Earn Cash&nbsp;</h2> <p>Not all cash back cards have the same mechanism for accumulating rewards. There are cards that work by giving you cash back on a percentage of your purchases, and some that work on a points system.</p> <h3>Earning Cash through Points</h3> <p>In most cases, cash rewards cards that offer points are pretty straightforward. You get one point for each dollar that you spend. Some cards will offer extra points by shopping at a specific store, or by spending in certain categories.</p> <p>For example, Credit Card XYZ offers 3x points for supermarkets, 2x points for gas, and 1 point for other purchases. Your points would looking something like this:</p> <ul> <li>Shopping at Whole Foods Market: $87; Points: 261 (87*3)</li> <li>Getting gas: $43; Points: 86 (43*2)</li> <li>Shopping at Home Depot: $60; Points: 60</li> </ul> <p>It's important to realize that one point does not translate into a dollar of cash back. In most cases, each point is akin to earning 1% cash back. So for the purchases above, those points are worth about $4.</p> <p>You can see, though, how the extra multiplier help rack up rewards points quickly.</p> <h3>Earning Cash through % Back</h3> <p>Cars that offer a percentage of cash back on your purchases work the same way as the points above. But instead of going through the extra step of translating the points into cash, the calculation is done directly.</p> <p>For example, if Credit Card ABC offers 3% back for supermarkets, 2% for gas, and 1% for other purchases, the breakdown would look like this:</p> <ul> <li>Shopping at Whole Foods Market: $87; Cash back: $2.61 (3% of $87)</li> <li>Getting gas: $43; Cash Back: $0.86 (2% of $43)</li> <li>Shopping at Home Depot: $60; Cash Back: $0.60 (1% of $60)</li> </ul> <p>The total cash back comes out to $4.07, pretty much the same as Credit Card XYZ that uses a points system.</p> <h2>How Purchases Earn Cash Rewards</h2> <p>There are three main ways that credit cards offer rewards on purchases.</p> <h3>Rotating Categories</h3> <p>In recent years, it's become popular to offer a higher percentage on categories that rotate each quarter. So, for three months, you might get 5% back for groceries, restaurants, and gas (1% on other purchases), but next quarter, it might be something different, like department stores and home improvement stores.</p> <p>Not only does this make it difficult to really evaluate whether a credit card will be beneficial for you, there are also hoops to jump through in order to get these extra rewards. Many credit card issuers require that you sign up for the higher cash back each quarter. So, if you don't remember to go in and sign up for that 5% cash back on the quarterly category, you'll miss out, <em>even if you spent in those categories</em>.</p> <h3>Tiered Categories</h3> <p>In many cases, depending on your spending habits, you can do better with a tiered category card. These are cards that don't rotate categories. Instead, they offer different cash rewards for different categories. You might receive 3% back on groceries, 2% back on gas, and 1% back on other purchases. If you are willing to pay an annual fee, you might be able to get 6%, 3% and 2% cash rewards in those categories.</p> <p>If you plan your spending so that you use your card for all of your common expenses, these tiered cards can be more effective than a rotating category card, since the cash back can offset your annual fee, and help you come out ahead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=seealso" style="text-decoration:none;">Top 5 Credit Cards for Groceries</a>)</p> <h3>Flat Rate</h3> <p>Flat rate cash rewards cards are making a bit of comeback right now. These are cards that might offer 2% or 1.5% on all purchases made throughout the year, no matter the category. If you don't use your card often, and you don't like the idea of keeping track of which card to use for different purchases, this type of cash rewards card can make a lot of sense. In many cases, when you average out what you're getting from a rotating category card, you are likely to average out to 1.5% to 2% overall anyway.</p> <h2>Redeeming Your Cash Rewards</h2> <p>Cards offer different options for redeeming your cash rewards. Many issuers have a threshold before you can redeem, so you need to build up your rewards. If your card operates on a points system, you might need to reach a minimum of 1,000 points ($10) for example, before you can cash out.</p> <p>Here are some of the common ways that you can usually redeem your cash rewards.</p> <h3>Statement Credit</h3> <p>Your cash back is applied to your balance. You can apply the amount to your balance before you make your credit card payment. If you have a points-based rewards card, there will be a system for converting your points to cash. Usually it's a simple process if you access your account online.</p> <h3>Cash or Check</h3> <p>In some cases, you can choose to have cash deposited into the bank account of your choice. Some consumers use this option to boost their emergency savings. You might also be able to receive a paper check that you can deposit wherever you want.</p> <h3>Gift Cards</h3> <p>An increasingly popular way to redeem cash is via gift cards. In some cases, you might be able to redeem cash or points for a gift card with a face value that does more good than a statement credit or cash back. For example, if you have earned $20 in cash back, you might be able to get a $25 gift card to your favorite store. Or you might need 5,000 points for a $50 statement credit, but you might be able to get a $50 gift card for 4,500 points. As long as the store you prefer is available, it can be a better choice to redeem for a discounted gift card.</p> <h3>Merchandise</h3> <p>In some cases, you can convert your cash rewards into merchandise. This is often the least effective way to redeem your rewards, since the value of the merchandise rarely compares to the cash or cash equivalent you receive. With merchandise, there is a good chance that you are basically paying $25 for something that you could buy from the store or online for $15 or $20. It's not usually a good deal.</p> <h2>Important Note on Rewards Caps and Annual Fees</h2> <p>Make sure that you understand all the terms and conditions of your rewards credit card. Don't miss out on getting all the cash back you can by skipping over the fine print.</p> <h3>Reward Caps</h3> <p>Due to the overwhelming popularity of credit card users trying to capitalize on rewards, credit card issuers have started placing caps on the amount of cash back you can earn. For cards with rotating categories, they may have a condition that the cash back bonus rate only applies to the first $1,500 (on all the categories combined). After that, you'd get only 1% back. For tiered categories, there might be an annual limit. Once you hit that, it goes back to the standard 1% cash back until the next year.</p> <h3>Annual Fees</h3> <p>The most attractive cards with the higher rewards are usually cards with an annual fee. Run the numbers to see which card makes sense for you. Even if you think you'll earn back enough to pay for the annual fee, see if choosing the no fee card would get you more cash back.</p> <p>For example, If you earn $100 a year in cash back, but have to pay $75 for the annual fee, you're getting $25 back per year. It's a net positive, however, you might be able to get $50 back on a no-fee card. Sure your rewards are lower, by half, but you're still ahead because you didn't have to pay the fee. Cards with annual fees only make sense if you can really maximize the bonus categories.</p> <p>Ready to sign up for a great cash rewards credit card? We've picked out the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal">5 Best Cash Rewards Credit Cards</a>!</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work" class="sharethis-link" title="How Cash Rewards Credit Cards Really Work" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/miranda-marquit">Miranda Marquit</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work">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-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/read-this-to-maximize-your-rewards-and-cash-back-this-holiday-season">Read This to Maximize Your Rewards and Cash Back This Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-why-i-prefer-credit-cards-over-cash">10 Reasons Why I Prefer Credit Cards Over Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-all-of-the-benefits-of-your-credit-cards-and-none-of-the-costs">How to Get All of the Benefits of Your Credit Cards — and None of the Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-many-credit-cards-should-you-carry">How Many Credit Cards Should You Carry?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">5 Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Credit Cards credit cards redeeming rewards rewards cards Tue, 18 Nov 2014 10:00:08 +0000 Miranda Marquit 1256481 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Drive More Efficiently http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-drive-more-efficiently <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-drive-more-efficiently" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-driving-car-thumbs-up-186331725-small.jpg" alt="man driving car" title="man driving car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on ways to drive more efficiently, how to follow up without being pushy, and why positive thinking sucks.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/eight-strategies-for-fuel-efficient-driving">Eight Strategies for Fuel Efficient Driving</a> &mdash; Don't accelerate hard after a stop &mdash; acceleration devours gasoline. Instead, get up to full speed at a gentle pace. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.carefulcents.com/art-of-the-follow-up/">How to Follow-Up and Get a &quot;Yes&quot; Without Being Pushy or Annoying</a> &mdash; Give the other person a week to respond before you send a short and to-the-point follow-up message. This shows you're committed to the request and increases your chances of getting a response. [Careful Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://www.adaringadventure.com/life-coaching/positive-thinking-sucks">Why Positive Thinking Sucks</a> &mdash; If all you have is positive thinking, there's nowhere else to turn when things go south. Reframing events to help you deal with them while remaining optimistic is a healthier option. [A Daring Adventure]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Sleep-Facts-Tips-Insomnia-35132314">16 Solutions for Your Best Sleep Ever</a> &mdash; Warming up your hands and feet will help you fall asleep faster, so pull on those wool socks! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/ultimate-productivity-hacks-you-need-try.html">Ultimate Productivity Hacks You Need to Try</a> &mdash; Do something useful on your commute, whether it's listening to a podcast while you drive or walking to work for the exercise. [Lifehack]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thousandaire.com/how-to-break-up-with-your-cable-provider/">How to Break Up With Your Cable Provider</a> &mdash; These days, all you need to satisfy almost all your entertainment needs are a streaming service and a device to play your shows and movies. [Thousandaire]</p> <p><a href="http://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/11/10/reviving-blue-collar-4-myths-about-the-skilled-trades/">Reviving Blue Collar Work: 4 Myths About the Skilled Trades</a> &mdash; Who says blue-collar work isn't creative or intellectually stimulating? The skilled trades simply offer a different kind of creative outlet than a trendy office job might. [The Art of Manliness]</p> <p><a href="http://www.shebudgets.com/health/nutrition/order-get-best-possible-nutrition-chipotle">What to Order to Get the Best Possible Nutrition at Chipotle</a> &mdash; Some extras are better for you than others. Go for some salsa or salad (no dressing), but skip the cream, cheese, and chips. [SheBudgets]</p> <p><a href="http://rhondasherwood.com/9-questions-think-planning-retirement/">9 Questions to Think About When Planning Your Retirement</a> &mdash; It's important to plan for medical and home care costs, as they will likely increase dramatically in the next 10-15 years. [Rhonda Sherwood]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-treat-a-stomach-virus">How to Treat a Stomach Virus</a> &mdash; It's important to stay hydrated, but don't only drink water. Drink clear broths or oral rehydration solutions, too, to replenish the electrolytes that you lose when you're sick. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-drive-more-efficiently" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: How to Drive More Efficiently" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-drive-more-efficiently">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-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/remove-car-dents-quickly-and-cheaply">Remove Car Dents Quickly and Cheaply</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-used-car-salesman-reveals-dirty-tricks-and-how-to-beat-them">A Used Car Salesman Reveals Dirty Tricks (and How to Beat Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-things-car-salesmen-dont-want-you-to-know">17 Things Car Salesmen Don&#039;t Want You to 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="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards">5 Best Gas Rewards Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Cars and Transportation best money tips efficient driving Fri, 14 Nov 2014 20:00:07 +0000 Amy Lu 1255177 at http://www.wisebread.com How One Couple Paid Off $147k of Debt (Even While Unemployed) http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-couple-paid-off-147k-of-debt-even-while-unemployed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-one-couple-paid-off-147k-of-debt-even-while-unemployed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-happy-snow-travel-178492223-small.jpg" alt="happy couple snow" title="happy couple snow" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Jackie Beck and her husband once &quot;owned&quot; a six figure debt. They'd borrowed for their mortgage, credit cards, education, autos, and home improvement projects. Like most of us do, they'd borrowed over time, barely noticing as their balances grew and interest accrued.</p> <p>Beck is not alone. The <a href="http://investorplace.com/2013/09/report-average-american-in-debt-hundreds-of-thousands/#.VGJM1vnF98E">average American borrower owes</a> $225,238 in consumer debt, including $15,263 for credit cards, $147,591 in mortgage debt, $31,646 for student loans, and $30,738 for auto financing.</p> <p>What set Beck and her partner apart, however, is that they set out to pay off that debt, and after a 10-year journey, they succeeded. Today neither holds a traditional job, they maintain collective annual expenses of less than $12,000, and they're free to pursue their passions. &quot;Anyone can do it, too,&quot; says Beck. &quot;You don't have to have debt. Life is a lot easier without it.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-inspiring-saver-found-true-love-shook-off-debt-denial-and-paid-off-123000?ref=seealso">How One Inspiring Saver Found True Love, Shook Off Debt Denial, and Paid Off $123,000</a>)</p> <h2>Getting Started</h2> <p>The Beck's get-out-of-debt journey began when they decided to tackle their credit card balances. &quot;We were just really sick of being in debt and feeling like all our money went toward the credit cards and interest,&quot; says Beck. Paying off the balance on their cards took a full three years and Beck was unemployed for a lot of that time. &quot;In the beginning, it took us a long time to pay things off,&quot; says Beck. &quot;Then we figured things out and we had more money because we had paid more off. You get better at it and it gets faster.&quot;</p> <p>She'd been deferring her student loan payments but, once the credit card bills were paid, that freed up some extra cash. &quot;I'd been living for many years on very little money. I never would have been able to start paying on my student loans if I'd still had those credit card payments,&quot; she says.</p> <p>Beck viewed her student debt as a burden and she couldn't wait to get rid of it. When finally she landed a job, she was able to speed her repayment schedule. &quot;I continued to live on nothing. I put all my money toward my student loans,&quot; she says. &quot;Then it went super fast.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-college-graduate-paid-off-28000-in-three-years-on-a-30k-salary?ref=seealso">How One College Graduate Paid Off $28,000 in Three Years on a $30k Salary</a>)</p> <h2>Maintaining Momentum</h2> <p>Beck's husband was inspired by her student loan success and together they worked to amp up their efforts. They started paying for most of their purchases in cash, foregoing credit cards altogether. Then they decided to tackle their car loan. &quot;After he saw what I did with my student loan,&quot; says Beck, &quot;he thought it would be nice to live without the car payment.&quot;</p> <p>Even with successful milestones along the way, the Becks repaid their debt at a measured pace. &quot;We spent a lot of time getting out of the debt we had gotten into,&quot; says Beck. &quot;You don't have to live like a monk the whole time. We had more money coming in and it didn't all go toward our debt. We spent some.&quot;</p> <p>The Becks increased spending somewhat over time but even so, they began to view their mission as preparation for an emergency. In the previous years they'd taken turns being unemployed, had undergone surgeries, paid expensive veterinarian bills for their pets, and even totaled a car. They'd taken out a $10,000 home improvement loan around this time, but even though the loan came with a 0% introductory rate for the first 12 months, they realized their attitude toward borrowing had shifted. They were no longer comfortable taking on new debt. &quot;Gradually we realized that debt is dangerous and that something could go wrong,&quot; says Beck.</p> <p>Ultimately, the Beck's took the remaining balance from their savings account and paid off the loan. &quot;Life doesn't work out perfectly and, when you don't have debt, it really changes what you're able to do,&quot; she says.</p> <p>By the time they were able to start tackling their mortgage, their journey had become about more than just safety. They started to view it a road to freedom. According to Beck, &quot;The fewer expenses you have, the longer you can go without a job.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-freedom-of-a-debt-free-life?ref=seealso">The Freedom of a Debt-Free Life</a>)</p> <h2>Rewarding Yourself</h2> <p>For the Becks, freedom was defined by the rewards they chose for themselves after they paid off their mortgage. Beck had wanted to travel to Antarctica since she was eight years old and her husband had his eye on a new car. &quot;After the house was paid off, we spent another year saving up for those things,&quot; says Beck, &quot;and then we went and did them.&quot;</p> <p>Beck also started developing other streams of income and eventually left her day job. &quot;I created the app <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pay-off-debt/id308554006?mt=8&amp;ign-mpt=uo=4">Pay Off Debt</a> after I paid off my student loan,&quot; she says. &quot;I thought other people might want to obsess about debt as much as I do.&quot; She also started to blog about her journey at <a href="http://www.thedebtmyth.com">TheDebtMyth.com</a>, and even bought a couple of rental properties, paying for them in cash.</p> <p>As a couple, they'd also learned to keep their collective expenses low.</p> <p>&quot;We can live on $12,000 a year if we need to,&quot; says Beck. &quot;We basically have no required bills and we're not eating ramen,&quot; she laughs. &quot;My husband got laid off a week after I quit my job. Neither of us has a [traditional] job now. People who owe a lot of money don't do things like that,&quot; says Beck, &quot;because they can't.&quot;</p> <p>The Beck's get-out-of-debt journey has changed the way they think about money altogether. Now it's common practice for them to make their purchases &mdash; even big ones &mdash; in cash. They don't carry debt and they can live their lives freely, without the burden of owing money to anyone. Beck is even thinking about a second trip to her dream destination, Antarctica. &quot;I'm totally going back,&quot; she says.</p> <p>Because she can.</p> <p><em>Are you paying off your consumer loans? What strategies work best for you? How do you stay motivated and on track? We want to hear about it in the comments below!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-couple-paid-off-147k-of-debt-even-while-unemployed" class="sharethis-link" title="How One Couple Paid Off $147k of Debt (Even While Unemployed)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alaina-tweddale">Alaina Tweddale</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-couple-paid-off-147k-of-debt-even-while-unemployed">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-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-college-graduate-paid-off-28000-in-three-years-on-a-30k-salary">How One College Graduate Paid Off $28,000 in Three Years on a $30K Salary</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-young-entrepreneur-paid-off-40000-in-student-debt-by-age-24">How One Young Entrepreneur Paid Off $40,000 in Student Debt By Age 24</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/our-worst-financial-mistakes-and-what-you-can-learn-from-them">Our Worst Financial Mistakes and What You Can Learn From Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/coming-to-terms-with-your-long-term-debt">Coming to Terms With Your Long-Term 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="http://www.wisebread.com/depressed-it-could-be-your-debt">Depressed? It Could Be Your Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Debt Management auto loan credit card debt debt repayment debt stories life hacks mortgage student loans Fri, 14 Nov 2014 14:00:05 +0000 Alaina Tweddale 1254112 at http://www.wisebread.com