Why Gift Cards May Suck and Why They Don’t!

For decades now, gift cards have become a “basic” for most of us as just another way to shop and give as gifts to our family and friends. I can remember my days as an executive with the Macy Corporation when they became first an idea and then ultimately a real money maker for the company. That was then and the profit motive was in my brain and blood. But when it comes to the reality of gift cards, are there cons to them? I mean, for you, do they actually suck?

Hand holding gift card representing why gift cards may suck

Remember Gift Certificates? (Yes, They Still Exist)

I once had to make a presentation to the Board of Directors about expanding the sale of gift certificates at the chain of department stores I worked for back in (as Adam F. Goldberg would say) 1970-something.

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Summer Retail Sales Mean Big Savings If You Know Where to Look

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We are just a few days away from the “official” beginning of summer and that is despite the fact that the pools are already open, the beaches are ready, and the temperatures in many places have already hit 90 degrees and higher! But trips to the beach, backyard barbecues, and those lazy vacation days ahead aren’t the only hallmarks of summer. There’s the great shopping and summer retail sales to look forward to, and consumers this year can add even bigger bargains to their lists.

Young woman with shopping bags representing summer retail sales

No surprises here, but guess what? Thanks to the 41-year high in inflation, there are even more reasons right now to shop and save. Summer retail sales 2022, here we come!

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Why We Overspend and How to Stop Spending So Much

We see a slew of advertisements and sales all the time—on TV, in magazines, on radio and online, just to name a few. Stores use their best tricks to attract you, the shopper, and to persuade you to spend more freely with surprise sales, “rush” or “limited time” deals, and other enticing offers. They’re really good at what they do and I know because I was one of those guys doing it for decades when I worked for some giant retailers and helped accomplish those goals!

Woman on bench with shopping bags representing overspending and how to stop spending

So how is the average shopper ever supposed to push back and save their budget during all of the bargains they push at you?

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The Best Way to Shop the Presidents Day Sales in 2022

It’s been quite a while since any kind of good feeling about shopping arrived on your doorstep, hasn’t it? The big “I”—inflation—has made shopping a lot less fun and getting out to do it even less with COVID-19. But things are lightening up when it comes to that right now. While it’s true that prices are a big deal when you are trying to shop and make ends meet, Presidents Day sales in 2022 have a few bargains that still look like deals, so here’s a short list of the things and places that you can still make a killing on right now. Are you in the mood to save big?

Mount Rushmore representing Presidents Day sales

Presidents Day is Monday, February 21st

You’re in luck! Presidents Day is a few days away, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until February 21st to save big. Right now, loads of your favorite go-to and online stores have already started to mark down tons of must-have items, from best-selling air fryers to tech deals on smartwatches and more.

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Check Your Receipts to Save Money When You’re Checking Out

It’s so important to check your receipts every time you check out. Why? It’s shopping day and you’ve diligently planned your meals, scanned the weekly ads, carefully checked prices, crafted your shopping list, clipped and printed coupons or loaded them to your card, and checked your budget. You arrive at the store (not hungry, of course), efficiently navigate the aisles, avoid impulse buys, and check out. But when you get home and unpack, you look over the receipt and wham! all your diligence is undone by an error on your receipt. It’s so aggravating. Who wants to bother wasting the gas and time to go back to the store?

A grocery shopping receipt because you should always check your receipts

Mistakes on receipts are so very common. In fact, I find at least one mistake on almost every shopping trip! By catching them at the store, you have the opportunity to get it fixed quickly and easily without wasting your savings.

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Why Do We Spend Money on All Those Things We Don’t Need?

As someone who worked in retailing for decades, I can tell you that business is responsible for creating an awful lot of need. Or is it that we just think we need them? There are some things in life that we actually do need, like food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and so on. But even within those basic necessities, needs are always being created for things that do us no good at all or even cause us harm to our finances and there’s the problem. So when you really think about it, you have to ask the question, “Why do we spend so willingly on things we don’t need?”

Young woman with shopping bags after buying things we don't need

The “Brand Name” Thing

No one needs Adidas or Nike sneakers. No one needs a Big Mac. No one needs a Lexus or a Range Rover (especially here in NJ where the ranges are few and far between!). And the list of branded items that we don’t really need goes on and on.

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How to Score 24 Birthday Freebies

For today’s guest post on birthday freebies, please welcome Marjolein from Radical FIRE.

They say it’s your birthday? It’s my birthday, too! Let’s Celebrate!

Celebrating your birthday should be a fun and exciting day each year. An opportunity to indulge, to let time slow down, and to receive gifts and affection. It’s one of the days of the year where you need to feel special and loved. One thing birthdays should not be? Expensive!

Woman blowing out candles on a birthday cake and thinking about birthday freebies

Spending money on your birthday isn’t necessary to have a good time. In fact, wouldn’t the ideal birthday be one in which you spend no money at all? We definitely think so. That’s why we investigated some of the best birthday freebies. With some planning, you can have a fantastic birthday filled with free treats, gifts, free perfume samples, and some major discounts. Now, this is something that is worth reading, isn’t it?

Keep reading to find out the 24 best birthday freebies that we found for you!

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Saving Money With a Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday

It’s not too early to get ready for back-to-school time across the USA. The majority of schools across the country are planning on reopening for full-time, in-person instruction in the fall. Yes, some will also offer remote learning options for families who wish to keep students home, but for a huge number, returning to a regular classroom is a big part of restoring life to normal once again.

Teacher with student at laptop bought during back-to-school sales tax holiday

That return means shopping around to get the clothing and supplies that your children will need for the upcoming school year. It’s always a big expense to get kids ready, especially if you have more than one. So knowing what, when, and where to shop for what you need is definitely necessary and that actually begins right now! Especially if you can take advantage of a back-to-school sales tax holiday.

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