Tag: shopping tips
“I need to go shopping!” said every woman, ever. We’ve all said or heard it, and we all know that when it comes to clothes, the word ‘need’ is grossly overused.
So how to tell the difference between wanting to treat yourself to something cute and an actual need for new clothing? Let’s visit a few scenarios where ‘need’ might actually be used in the literal sense.
1. It’s Easier to Dress for Halloween
Go-go boots? No problem. Sequins and feathers? You’ve got plenty. While your Halloween game may be as strong as Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 90’s, you’ve still got 364 other days to worry about. It’s totally fine to keep some stellar statement pieces tucked away in your closet, but try relegating them to under 1/10th of your sartorial collection. Once you’ve cleared away the baubles, it’s time to work in some new goodies for those days that don’t require a costume.
2. Your Friends Won’t Borrow Your Clothes
Let’s try a little test, shall we? Invite your most stylish friend over and offer her full access to your closet. If she politely declines or tries to change the subject, it’s time to upgrade. The more uncomfortable she is, the faster you should run, don’t walk, to the nearest mall. If you’re not quite sure where to start, bribe your friend with churros to come with you. Works every time.
3. You’re Twinning With Your Pre-Teen Niece
Sure, twinning is in, but dressing identically to someone who has yet to pass her driving test? Not so much. While keeping a youthful attitude is something to be applauded, your wardrobe should reflect a general age range – yours! If you can spot every piece you own at a One Direction concert, you might be ready to work in a few new items.
4. Your Shirt Has Its Own Twitter Account
If you wear the same article of clothing too often, there’s a chance people might end up knowing you more by your shirt than anything else. And when your shirt is more famous than you are, that means it’s time to expand your regular outfit rotation. Here’s a great rule of thumb: if your shirt is in more than three of your social media profile photos, it’s time to swap in a few new options.
5. Climbing Kilimanjaro Is Easier Than Getting Dressed
If getting dressed in the morning feels like climbing a mountain, it’s time to rethink the process. Aside from lack of coffee, the culprit to sartorial stuckness can often be not having the right items for your everyday routines. Work at an office? A new blazer can suddenly make a camisole work-appropriate. Meeting friends for brunch? Pair that cami with a new maxi skirt, and you’ve got a totally different outfit. Bring on Kilimanjaro, you’ve now got the outfit for it!
6. You Wore Your Nicest Dress to Prom
While that pink one-shoulder tulle gown may have scored you a slow dance with the cutest boy in school, it might not work the same magic at a wedding or cocktail party. Say sayonara to ‘Prom Queen’ and hello to ‘Best Dressed’ by kissing that prom dress goodbye and scoping out a sizzling LBD. Not only are you set for any last minute events, but the jaws will hit the floor at your next high school reunion.
7. You Have Nothing to Wear
Your bedroom looks like an atomic bomb went off, with garments strewn across the floor in a fit of desperation. You’re sitting in the middle of a large pile of clothes, lamenting that you have nothing to wear. Sound familiar? You’re not alone! While you obviously have the ability to clothe yourself from the piles of despair that surround you, they’re just not the right clothes. So what do you do? Ditch those suckers for some snazzy basics you’ll want to wear over and over again.
8. People Think You Own One Pair of Pants
Keeping a uniform a la Steve Jobs is definitely efficient. Having to explain to everyone that no, you don’t just own one pair of pants but several pairs in the same style and color, is not quite as efficient. Adding a few new pairs to your wardrobe should help keep those rumors at bay. Which means you can get back to being the visionary you truly are.
Saving and spending are the two most important elements of your life and your money. Unfortunately, money does not control many factors in life. It controls where you live, what foods you can buy, and many other things. For those who spend more than they earn, they can “look comfortable” but those looks can certainly be very misleading. We call these types of people “keep with the neighbors,” because they are deep in the debt and buy things that may be out of their price range so they can have as many cars as nice a house as his neighbor in the street. This can get you far in debt you may have to declare bankruptcy. Of course, this is not what the goal is.
Save your money, even if you are only 10 dollars an hour, it’s very doable. Ot just a small bit of your weekly income and put it in a savings account. A great way to make sure you save is to create an “allowance” that takes money directly from your paycheck or direct deposit and put it in the savings account and you never need to touch the money. Do not know what it is in the savings account. Some people literally can not save money is in their hands. The temptation is too great. Therefore the allocation of savings to the idea is great. Even if only $ 5 a week, saving something is the key here.
When it comes to spending money, you simply need to evaluate your budget. Of course, you want to subtract all your needs such as electricity, water payments, rent or mortgage payments to pay car loan, or credit card payments, and any other important projects of the total money available. You also have removed everything you put in savings and just pretend that this is not if you have never tried to touch him. Simple as that, you can skip all that is excluded from this number when you subtract your total cost of your total cash.
However, a great thing to do is to spend only what you need and maybe a few luxuries you can afford. If you have something left after spending some money, you can put in your savings account to accumulate leave. Some people have a hard time doing this, but it is very important. You can save this much more than you ever expected when you can just control your spending. It is obviously easier said than done, as many people spend every penny they have available, and a few cents, even they are not spending and borrowing from creditors and the interests of payable on these things and sometimes to pay 20 percent more than what you paid for it because of that interest.
Saving and spending are simple but what is really important is self-control and discipline. If you can control your spending and at least put some in savings and not to plunge into it, you are really great! You do not have to be rich. Sometimes being rich means being debt and buying things you can not afford. So you buy a smaller house, but at least you have money in your poche.
These tricks could raise your income or reduce expenses without affecting your quality of life.
It’s painfully clear Americans are still hurting financially. Jobless claims are far too high if we’re actually in any kind of meaningful recovery. Penalty withdrawals from 401(k) plans have been increasing, not shrinking. Mortgage rates are hitting 40-year lows with regularity and we still can’t find a pulse in the housing industry.
If there was a magic wand that would sharply raise incomes or reduce expenses, we’d be out there waving like mad. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to cut and stretch. If you can afford it, give yourself some transition time to get used to spending cuts. Some will come at too steep a price in terms of your quality of life. But others may be painless, and you’ll never look back.
1. Know where your money goes.
This is Number One Obvious Idea that many people don’t follow. How can you possibly know how to save money if you don’t know what you spend it on? There are a growing number of online budgeting sites to help you. Use one, or do this yourself. Whatever you’ve been spending each month, try cutting it by 5 percent. Then cut it by another 5 percent the following month. Keep it up if you can, and put the savings in the bank or pay down debts.
2. Make a grocery list and don’t stray.
Once you’ve tracked household spending, you will see how much you spend at the supermarket. What’s less clear is that you also probably spend a lot of money on stuff you don’t need. In our house, we began downsizing our grocery spending by seeing what we were throwing out and the items that had freezer burn and should have been tossed. This helped sensitize us to unnecessary purchases. (My mom passed away nearly 30 years ago and I can still remember her hollering at me about wasting food.) We also save money by making fewer runs to the store. Our greatest savings come when we make a weekly meal plan, create a shopping list for that plan, and then buy nothing but what’s on that list.
3. Mothball a car.
If your household has two cars, try leaving one in the garage for a month. See how it affects your life. With a modest amount of planning, a lot of households might be able to make do with a single car. Once you’ve determined that you can do likewise, sell the second car, bank the money, and also begin enjoying lower bills for auto insurance, gasoline, and maintenance.
4. Try free phone service.
I’ve bought and used the MagicJack service, which is the most popular of its type. You order a small device — perhaps an inch and a half by three inches and about an inch thick — and it connects to your home computer. The software that launches when you connect the device provides easy-to-follow instructions. MagicJack also links from the computer to your existing phone set. So, you are making your phone calls over the Internet but using a regular telephone to do so.
I’ve found the audio quality higher than with products that require separate headphones and microphones. And picking up the phone is such a long-ingrained habit that there didn’t seem to be much to learn. You do need to get a new local phone number, which Magic Jack will provide at no extra charge. After the initial fee, there is no charge for domestic phone calls. This switch can easily save you hundreds of dollars a year. Think about keeping your existing phone line for a transition period in case MagicJack or a similar device doesn’t meet your needs. If you like the MagicJack and also have a cell phone, if could make sense to cancel your home land line and switch your home phone number to your cell. You’d lose your existing cell number but you’d at least be able to keep your old home number.
5. Trim television services.
Hey, I love my cable, and millions others love their satellite dishes. But if the times demanded, I would wave goodbye to a bundle of monthly cable charges. I’d also be in mourning during football season but I’d survive. I would install a digital antenna. And I’d begin making much heavier use of free online video sites that the networks and other providers offer.
6. Recheck insurance rates.
A year ago, I went out shopping to explore replacing all my insurance coverages. I wound up saving a bundle. When you’ve had your auto, home, life, and other insurance policies in place for several years, it’s easy to forget what I call “creepage” — those annual bump-ups in premiums. They really add up after a while. And while constantly rising health insurance rates may make it seem like premiums can only move in an upward direction, that’s not true. When you do shop around, you also may discover that your coverage needs have changed. If your cars are the same ones you had five years ago, for example, you probably don’t need as much collision insurance as you once did.
7. Forget about green; go brown!
The summer has been brutal where I live. But with dollars at stake, I am becoming very environmentally responsible. So what if even the goats pass by my yard?
Gas station payment terminals have many characteristics fraudsters love.
Would you give a thief direct access to your checking account? No? Unfortunately, you may be doing just that by regularly using your debit card. Debit cards may look identical to credit cards, but there’s one key difference. With credit cards, users who spot fraudulent charges on their bill can simply decline the charges and not pay the bill. On the other hand, debit cards draw money directly from your checking account, rather than from an intermediary such as a credit card company.
Because of that, even clear-cut cases of fraud where victims are protected from liability by consumer protection laws can cause significant hardship, says Frank Abagnale, a secure-document consultant in Washington, D.C.
He cites the example of the The TJX Companies Inc.’s T.J. Maxx data breach that exposed the payment information of thousands of customers in 2007. The incident resulted in $150 million in fraud losses, and much of it was pulled directly from customers’ bank accounts. While credit card users got their accounts straightened out and new cards in the mail within a few days, the case created major problems for debit card holders who waited an average of two to three months to get reimbursed, Abagnale says.
While debit card fraud is always a possibility, being careful where you use it can help keep your checking account balance out of the hands of criminals.
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Black Friday is coming early! Starting this weekend of November 5th, major retailers will begin offering “Super Saturday” sales as they count down to Black Friday weekend.
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A surprise jump in wholesale food prices in September is bad news for producers and retailers, but you won’t feel it in your wallet. Yet.
Producer prices — the amount farmers receive for their goods from manufacturers — rose by 6.9% compared to September 2010 or 0.8% on the month, the U.S. Labor Department said Tuesday. Wholesale prices — those paid by retailers — increased by an annual 2.5%; the biggest rise since June 2009. Worse, higher food prices aren’t limited to a particular food group. U.S. wholesale prices rose across the board due to the rise in energy costs and commodities like grain and coffee. Fresh and dry vegetable prices soared by 10% on the year last month; beef and veal prices rose by 5.4%.
Analysts say supermarkets will start passing price increases onto consumers slowly and quietly. “Most retailers have been reluctant to raise prices up until now and have eaten up the higher raw material costs,” says Michael Keara, an equity analyst for Morningstar. “But they will start.” Although food commodity prices have been climbing steadily this year, grocery stores have held off because they don’t want to scare price-sensitive customers. However, expect to see supermarket prices edging up in six to nine months, he says.
Consumers watching their wallets may also want to keep a closer eye on package sizes for their favorite foods. Keara says the jumps in wholesale and producer costs are so high that manufacturers are likely to cut quantity as a way of disguising price hikes. In other words, start making a note of how many ounces you get in your six-pack of your favorite granola bars. “They don’t want to shock consumers,” he says, noting that increases over 5% hurts sales volumes.
Shopping experts are already advising consumers to stock up, track expiration dates and freeze perishables. “Shoppers are shopping less frequently, twice per month,” says Nick Dellis, a spokesman for online grocery list site Ziplist.com. Stephanie Nelson, founder of CouponMom.com, which advises consumers on the best coupon-clipping strategies and deals, suggests buying chicken at the end of its two-week sale cycle and freezes it. Buying chicken at $2 a pound or half price saves her $450 a year.
Get the best negotiator in your house to pick up the phone and lower some of your bills.
Shopping online is undoubtedly convenient, but there are times when picking up the phone can save you some cash or, at the very least, score you a nice upgrade.
“Having that human element really helps,” says Laura Oliver, a deal expert who has scored plenty of deals just by making a phone call. “If you call and it’s not working, hang up and call right back,” she advises. “The phone lines are on a queue. You’ve got 15 to 20 other people you can try.”
She also points out it doesn’t have to be you who does the haggling for a better price. “You probably have someone in your house that’s your best negotiator,” Oliver says, advising consumers to let that person make the call.
Negotiate a Lower Credit Card APR
For people with average-to-good credit, the annual percentage rates associated with a credit card aren’t necessarily set in stone.
“Call your credit card company and say “Card X just sent me an offer for a card with 0% APR for a year and then a fixed rate of only 12%, which is much lower than the rate I’m currently paying you,” says Derrick Kinney, a financial adviser who specializes in helping families.
He says you should ask your current issuer if they can match the competing rate and, if not, it makes financial switch to transfer your current balance to take advantage of their competitor’s better offer.
“The fear of losing your business will usually make them match the offer,” Kinney says.
Expect to pay more for groceries these popular because of shortages in the world.
Prices are up in grocery stores across the country. You may not notice changes right away, that bread can be only one cent more expensive than last year. Soda that you buy may be the same price but it is now 1.5 liters instead of two. Many major cereal manufacturers such as General Mills, warned of impending price increases.
Why Grocery Prices Going Up ?
While nearly all grocery aisles is affected by rising prices, a large part of the reason all comes down to two commodities: wheat and corn. The two staples have been hit hard over the last two years – a combination of climate change, natural disasters and crop diseases. Russia experienced a severe drought for two years and had stopped completely wheat exports to ensure sufficient domestic supply. They resumed limited exports of July 2011, but supplies are still far away. A disease called Ug99 wheat rust destroyed crops across Africa and spread to other wheat producing countries at a rapid pace.
There was a lot of bad harvests corn in North America as well, but the real culprit for corn is that it is used to make ethanol, a fuel probably sustainable. Hundreds of thousands of acres that once grew corn for the people now grow it to fuel our cars.
At first glance it may seem that these increases does not mean you will pay more for a few grocery items such as bread and popcorn, but wheat and corn are included in the vast majority of food you can eat every day. Here are four areas where you will see higher prices.
1. Cereals, breads and pasta products
Most cereals are made from corn and they will be hit hard by price increases in the coming year. The commodity price of corn has nearly doubled since 2010 and is rising again due to the massive drought in Texas is facing. Bread, rolls, cakes and biscuits will all rise in prices of steep jump in the price of wheat. According to food manufacturers, the industry has been holding the increase in retail prices, but can not absorb the costs any longer.
Most treaties “candy” soda biscuits with jam, are made with corn syrup, high fructose. The lack of corn supply is causing prices to increase in these areas regularly. Beware of packages decreases, as well. Many companies will keep the same price but lower the amount you get.
3. Beef, pork and chicken
Almost all industrialized meat fed with corn, mainly because it was the cheapest food available. As the price of corn increases, there is still no cheaper alternative, so the price of meat increases due to the rising price of entry.
4. Cat and Dog Food
Pet food contains grains in one of two ways: treatment of dry foods often contain corn as one of its primary ingredients and canned food contains pieces of meat or wheat-based thickeners. It’s not just the cost of food will rise.
Related Link: View more smart shopping advices
The right specs can be your best beauty asset. See how to pick the best glasses for your face shape.
Widen an Oval Face
Skinny rims can make a narrow mug seem stern. To soften things up, choose glasses with extra deep rims, so they cover more real estate. “Opt for frames that go just beyond temples. The added width will help fill out a sharp face,” says Larry Leight, founder and creative director of Oliver Peoples in Los Angeles.
Downplay a High Forehead
An elongated upper deck can look stark, especially if you want to wear a slicked-back ‘do. Rather than resigning yourself to a lifetime of bangs, try frames that sit high up on your face and cover your eyebrows, Leight suggests. They will help close the distance between the top of the frames and your hairline.
Soften a Strong Jaw
If a prominent chin is drawing focus away from your brilliant baby blues, browns or greens, pick up frames with rounded curves or embellished rims, preferably accented with a bright color or detail along the brow line. Steer clear of spectacles with hard 90-degree angles; they’ll emphasize the pointiness of a chiseled jawbone.
Beef Up Disappearing Brows
Fake fuller brows and direct all eyes to your face by getting brow-line-style frames. The specs feature a thick plastic top line or have gradient shading. (The color of the rims fades from dark at the top to light on the bottom.) Choose frames that mimic the contours of your brow bone to bring even more attention to your peepers.
Several states have sales-tax holidays in July and August for back-to-school shoppers.
In many states, the first weekend of August will be a great time for families to do their back-to-school shopping. That’s because many items will be exempt from sales tax.
Sixteen states will have sales-tax holidays this year — and 11 will fall on the first weekend of August, according to the Federation of Tax Administrators. Arkansas joins the list of states exempting back-to-school purchases such as clothing, computers and school supplies from sales taxes this year (Illinois drops off the list).
See the list below to find out which states will have sales-tax holidays and when. Even if your state isn’t on the list, you might be able to take advantage of a sales-tax holiday by crossing state lines (as long as all your savings aren’t blown on travel costs).
Mississippi: July 29-30. Clothing and footwear $100 or less exempt.
Alabama: August 5-7. Clothing, computers, school supplies and books exempt (up to a certain dollar amount).
Arkansas: August 6-7. Clothing purchases of $100 or less and school supplies are exempt.
Connecticut: August 21-27. Clothing and footwear less than $300 exempt.
Florida: August 12-14. Clothing, books and school supplies exempt (up to certain dollar amounts).
Iowa: August 5-6. Clothing and footwear $100 or less exempt.
Louisiana: August 5-6. Most items less than $2,500 exempt.
Maryland: August 14-20. Clothing and footwear $100 or less exempt.
Missouri: August 5-7. Clothing, computers and school supplies exempt (up to certain dollar amounts).
New Mexico: August 5-7. Clothing, computers and school supplies exempt (up to certain dollar amounts).
North Carolina: August 6-8. Clothing, computers, school supplies and sports equipment (up to certain dollar amounts).
Oklahoma: August 5-7. Clothing and footwear less than $100 exempt.
See a list of tax-exempt items.
South Carolina: August 5-7. Clothing, computers and school supplies exempt.
Tennessee: August 5-7. Clothing, computers and school supplies exempt (up to certain dollar amounts).
Texas: August 19-20. Clothing, footwear, backpacks and school supplies less than $100.
Virginia: August 5-7. Clothing, footwear and school supplies (up to certain dollar amounts).