Why You Should Christmas Shop All Year Long

For today’s guest post on Christmas shopping all year long, please welcome back fellow blogger Anum Yoon.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—unless you leave all your Christmas shopping until November and December. The long lines, the rush to get to the mall on Black Friday, the stampede to pick up this year’s hottest toy—it’s all part of the game, and it’s a game that can make you very, very tired.

Black Friday to Christmas Eve may be prime shopping time, but it's better for you & your wallet if you do your Christmas shopping all year long. Here's why.

What happens when you don’t put off your Christmas shopping until November? Does it matter? It actually does, and you’ll be a lot less likely to encounter the emotional dumpster fire that ignites as the clock steadily marches closer to Christmas. Not convinced? If you need more reasons than that alone to start shopping sooner, here are five more reasons to start picking up presents year-round. Continue reading

How “Bargain Brain” Can Tank Your Finances

Bargain hunting can save you money, and who doesn’t love a bargain? Of course, we all do. But for some people, looking for the next “great deal” becomes an addiction. The call of the clearance rack wins out over practical matters like common sense and whether you need or want what you found. You may not even have a place to put it. I’m almost positive you have some things hanging in your closet right now that still have the tags on them from way back when you got “that great bargain”.

If you're addicted to bargain hunting, you may have what is known as Bargain Brain. Endlessly shopping for bargains you don't need will ruin your finances.

 

Getting a “bargain” on something that you will never need or use is a complete waste of your time and money! Continue reading

Retail Tricks That Make You Spend More Money

Happy Halloween! Today’s a day for tricks and treats, but no one likes getting tricked by retailers who make you spend more money! I’ve spent most of my working life inside retail stores starting way back in 1972. That’s when I began a job as an assistant buyer at R.H. Macy’s, a real learning experience for me as to exactly how a retail business is run and how it makes lots of money. Some of that knowledge was valuable then and is still just as valuable today. There’s an old saying “the more things change the more they stay the same”, and that couldn’t be more true in the world of retail.

It may be difficult to go out shopping and not spend a lot of money, but these retail tricks are making it even harder. Here's what to look out for.

Retailers, marketers, sales professionals, and CEOs are determined to make you buy more than you planned when you shop. In addition, retailers have an arsenal of sales tactics that may seem silly, but serve as heavy-duty artillery when it comes to persuading you to part ways with your cash. Remember the phrase accredited to P.T. Barnum when he said “a sucker is born every minute”? That’s where the tricks come into play. Continue reading

Save Money with Back to School Sales and Summer Clearances

I know it seems hard to believe but summer has passed the mid-way point (that was August 5th) and it’s time to start looking towards fall. That means getting ready by shopping the two big events that occur at this time every shopping year: Back to School Sales and Summer Clearances.

You're still enjoying summer, but August is the time for Back to School sales and summer clearances. Here's how to save money while getting ready for fall.

Despite my spending over 30 years in the retail business (most of those in malls when they were the kings of retail), I still feel like you do and shake my head when I realize that in August we are already talking about the fall. I remember those “fun days” shopping for my kids at the back to school and summer clearances and although it wasn’t the highlight of my summers back then, it was worth the time and prep to save some real money. Continue reading

What Dad Really Wants for Father’s Day

Last year I wrote a post about my thoughts on Father’s Day and it came from my heart. I think the message in it says what every Dad (and Mom too) thinks and feels about a day like this, even though the environment we live in makes us feel like honoring our Dads and Moms is only about buying gifts and making a big deal out of just one single day a year in our lives. I can tell you from personal experience, that’s not what Dads (and Moms) really want from their kids.

So today, in anticipation of Father’s Day 2017, I am republishing last year’s post. If you didn’t see it last time, I hope it says what you are feeling like it does for me. Here’s hoping all the “kids” of any age out there read and get the message I am conveying. Have a great Father’s Day all year long!

It’s just around the corner: another Father’s Day arrives on Sunday, June 18th.  If you’re like most people, you’ve already begun thinking about what you’re looking to give Dad this year—checking the Sunday papers, looking online, and talking to Mom and your siblings about what Dad really wants this year.

Father's Day is coming on June 18th. I'll share with you the secret of what Dad really wants for his special day and you won't need to spend the big bucks.

I’m a Dad of two (they’re grown now and out on their own) and I’m sure they are thinking those same thoughts and hoping to surprise me with something I’m just dying for but would never go out and buy for myself. That’s probably how they think. Continue reading

627+ Absolutely Free Things for You & Your Family!

I have to confess it, “free” is just about my favorite word. I just love free things and I don’t think there’s ever a time when I can have enough of them. You are probably saying to yourself, well if it’s free just how good can it really be? After all, who would give away free valuable stuff in this day and age?

There are many free things for you and your family to enjoy if you know where to look. Check out my list of everything from birthday deals to free events.

As hard to believe as it might be, there are literally hundreds of things you can get for absolutely nothing these days, and they are all a real value to you or to someone you know. The trick is in knowing where they are and what if anything you need to do to take advantage of these treats! Continue reading

The Death Knell for Sears, K-Mart, and Shop Your Way?

I have been a customer of Sears all of my life, and now that relationship could be ending as Sears fights to stay in business. Please don’t laugh; there are real reasons why Sears has been sentimental for me. First of all, my mother worked there for over 20 years from when I was a kid all the way though my college years. I too worked there the summer between high school and my first year in college in their warehouse. Mom helped me get the job.

Is Sears going out of business? Here's my thoughts on the history and current status of Sears and K-Mart, and why the Shop Your Way program is doomed.

We weren’t a wealthy family, as I have written previously, and many of my clothes were handed down to me from my Dad’s boss’s son when I was growing up. The only other clothes I ever had until I was about 18 came from Sears & Roebuck. Continue reading

Celebrating St. Frugaltine’s Day Without Spending a Fortune

He’s baaaaaaack! Saint Frugaltine—the patron saint of all that’s frugal and yet still a romantic at heart—is about to take center stage again. With just about 3 weeks to go, the planning is probably already in your mind for Valentine’s day ideas. Even if I was ever to forget about it, I have a built-in reminder right here where I live. Her name is Suzanne, my wonderful wife, and she is an avid Saint Frugaltine fan in every way.

If you're looking for Valentine's day ideas, think of St. Frugaltine and don't spend a ton of money. Here's how I'll be celebrating without spending a lot.Now I don’t want to appear like someone who doesn’t believe in the celebration. I do, really. I have to admit that I like being romantic and letting my dear wife know that I adore her, but I also realize that it’s not in our best interest financially to spend all kinds of money on all the many varieties of gifts, jewelry, clothes and the like that the brilliant merchandising minds of our time come up with every year to entice us. Even just a nice dinner out can be a budget buster on a special day like this one. It’s not too far behind the biggies like Mother’s Day and New Year’s Eve as far as pricing and reservations go. So what can one do? I want to mark the day as special, and I want it to be romantic and memorable, but I don’t like the idea that if I spend a fortune on Saint Valentine’s Day, I won’t be able to fulfill all of my financial obligations in February! Continue reading

How I Bought Affordable Glasses Online at Zenni Optical

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I have needed my eyeglasses replaced for a long time now. I got my first pair way back when I turned age 40 in 1989. It seems a lot of people start having vision problem as they age and 40, despite being “the new 20”, is a time that it seems to hit us in big numbers. Now I’m not a doctor (nor do I play one on TV), but I was having some trouble with distances like watching a movie or seeing the scoreboard clearly at the baseball games. The latter reason being a significant enough crisis for me to go to my optometrist and check it out!

If you're in the habit of buying your glasses in a store, check out my experience of buying affordable glasses online at Zenni Optical.The Old Fashioned Way

I have to admit it was not an easy thing to do. I went through the whole examination and not too surprisingly I was diagnosed with being near-sighted, making glasses a necessity. It wasn’t that much of a surprise but more of an adjustment for me both physically and of course, mentally. I just didn’t think I would look too good in a pair, having all my life been free of dealing with them. And God only knows how many pairs of sunglasses I have lost or broken (can you say “sat on them”?) in my life up until that point. So what was I to do? I did what everyone did before the internet was in widespread use.  I went looking for a retailer near my home. Continue reading

How to Take Advantage of Digital Wallets

Today’s guest post on digital wallets is sponsored by CO-OP Financial Services.

Here are the basics on a digital wallet and how you can take advantage of its awesome features to help you stay on top of your finances.

Digital wallets provide many benefits when you're out shopping. Here are some of the important reasons you should consider them for your payment method.

What is it?

A digital or virtual wallet is essentially an app that enables you to make electronic commerce payments from your smartphone. With a digital wallet, you can store the info from all your credit cards into one convenient place. Types of digital wallets include Apple Pay, PayPal and Sprig. With a couple swipes on your phone, you can make purchases and payments easily and quickly, no matter your location. Here are some of the benefits of using this type of payment: Continue reading