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The Drug Of Buying ‘Stuff’

The weather is warm and in the United States we are about to start enjoying some of the national pastimes of our country.   We love things like baseball, apple pie, the 4th of July, and grilling out in our backyards.    Oh yeah, and we also LOVE spending money.    In recent years, I’ve noticed that spending is more than just making a purchase here and there.  It’s almost a ‘crack’ like addiction, whether you wait for that Amazon package at the door or to take a photo of your tricked out new ride to post up on Facebook.   Like it or not, many Americans are addicted to the drug of buying ‘stuff’.    Why is this and how can you get your patterns changed on the home front? It seems pretty apparent that ease of access to drugs can make a user want more of them.  In our spending patterns, the ease of credit, access to our cash, and online transactions with ...

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Beef Jerky, CVS, and a Pop Math Quiz

Since we are peppered with advertisements today for coupon, deals, and once in a lifetime offers, we all have to become smarter consumers and shoppers to make the best financial decisions in our lives.   However, since the amount of time we have to get basic tasks done seems to be shrinking every day, we can get trapped in convenience stores by the way they position and market products to us.   This past week, I saw a great example that I thought would be interesting to illustrate my point. I’ve grown a small addiction to beef jerky, turkey jerky, and any spicy flavor that they come up with these days.   If you enjoy eating jerky, you may have noticed the recent spike in prices at grocery and convenience stores alike.    I had a hankering for some jerky on the way home the other evening, so I stopped off at CVS to see which package of tasty treats I was going to ...

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Will My Gift Cards Expire?

Now that the holiday season is over, I’m sure that everyone walked away with a few gift cards from family, friends, or co-workers. Whether it be an i-tunes card, store card, or just a good old debit card, each gift card should be closely examined so you make a smart money move and don’t lose any value of the gift. The Federal Credit Card Act of 2009 included provisions for gift cards that became effective August 22, 2010 and applies to cards sold after that date.  Under the Act, many types of retail cards are prohibited from charging inactivity fees unless the card has been inactive for at least 12 months.  All terms and conditions for a card must be disclosed directly on the card.  Additionally, gift cards may not expire for at least five years after purchase. (source: federalreserve.gov) Gift cards may still have terms and conditions that can decrease the value of the gift card.  These include charging: ...

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Yugster.com

I am always searching for websites where I think you can get a deal or two during the year. Last year I talked a bunch about www.1saleaday.com, and hopefully you scored a deal or two on that website. One website to add to your favorites this year and check daily is www.yugster.com. Yugster offers a daily favorite deal, a watch deal, a yours until gone deal, and will offer other season deals. Every day a new product goes on at 6am EST and when it is gone, it is gone. Here is the trick, if you become a Yugster, you get that offer a day before everyone else. Just log in and you see today’s Daily Offer for the public and today’s Sneak Preview Offer (which is tomorrow’s public offer, assuming it doesn’t sell out). Once you are a registered Yugster, you can also receive several emails per week giving you a heads-up to what we are selling that day ...

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Spend Those Airline Miles Now!

In the past twelve months we have seen major mergers and takeovers in the airline business. We had low fare king Southwest buy another low cost carrier Air Tran. We also had the big merger between United Airlines and Continental Airlines. Like many industries, the airline business is shrinking down to just a handful of carriers. Will that mean higher prices for us?  Well, the airline industry has lost $50 billion in the past 10 years, including $11 billion of red ink in 2009 alone, according to the International Air Transport Association. So what changes can you expect? Most of the articles around this topic discuss higher ticket prices, more bag fees, and ancillary charges both in the air and on the ground. Like many mergers and acquisitions, when two businesses collide there is the initial phase of cost cutting to figure out where the big money saves may happen in the business.  After that comes the entire business transformation ...

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