Entries Tagged as 'General'

Shopping Then and Shopping Now

Remember how grandma shopped? Well you probably don’t, but never mind that – she took a shopping bag, trudged to the store, looked at her shopping list and bought what they had. She also kept an eye on the clothing store to see when it announced a sale and then if she was lucky she would get her hands on that dress that she had her eye on. Not so now. Consider how you and I shop now.

We have the benefit of shopping online – literally millions on products are within arm’s reach. We don’t have to go to stores unless we want to – practically everything can get delivered to our doorsteps. The choice is vast, you have access to so much more information and sellers fall over themselves to get your custom.

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Amusement or Addiction? Recognizing Signs of Shopping Addiction

I write about shopping all the time, and thought that it would be irresponsible of me not to touch upon the subject of shopping addiction from time to time. If you find yourself being unable to resist buying things you may wonder if you’re actually addicted.

It is actually a recognized disorder called Oniomania or Compulsive Buying Disorder – and I sometimes wonder if I have it. So I did some research to find out the symptoms of shopping addiction. According to the experts, some of the warning signs of this shopping problem could be: (I was quite relieved to find that I display none of the worrying signs, except being a woman that is)   [Read more →]

Tips for Guilt Free Shopping

Shopping is an enjoyable pass-time; the person that named it retail therapy wasn’t far wrong. Shopping and window shopping are leisure activities for me; great ways for me to relax and have a good time. However sometimes the self indulgence can make you feel guilty as well. Is it possible to shop and feel good about it? Well here are some ways to enjoy guilt free shopping:

Cruelty free products

Pick products that are made without harming any animals; products that have no animal hides, skins, or any animal products at all. Pay particular attention to this when you buy shoes, bags, jackets and so on. Eschew all products that use fur, leather, animal skins, silk, honey or other animal products if at all possible.

Ethical products

How much do you know about any product that you’re using? Do you know where it was made, the conditions under which the workers made it, their age, how much they were paid and so on? Ethical products are made without using sweat shop labor or child labor and by giving fair remuneration to the workers who made it.

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Find the Right Bank Deals

Gone are the days that a bank would offer you a free toaster for opening a new checking account. These days, banks have been offering more practical incentives. Sometimes with free airline miles, electronics, or cash. Although these deals can be enticing, it’s important to do your homework before taking advantage of one, and consider if it’s really worth it.

What’s the catch?

The most typical reward a bank will offer for opening a new account is money, and usually around $100 to $200. The extra money can be great if you’re looking to open a new bank account anyway, but it’s not a smart move to just open an account to get some free cash. Every bank promotion will come with requirements that you have to meet in order to get your reward. If you find one that doesn’t, you’re extremely lucky. The bank may require you to have a minimum balance. Some minimum balances can be fairly high, and if you fall below it even for one day, you may be charged a fee for the whole month. Other requirements could include making a certain number of ATM withdrawals a month, or signing up for direct deposit. If you don’t meet these requirements, your free prize will vanish, and you may be stuck in a bank agreement that is more harmful than helpful.

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Online Prices v/s In-Store Retail

retail or online purchaseThe Internet has introduced many things to modern society, but nothing has had more of an impact than the ability to shop online. With just a few keystrokes, a person can enter into a shopper’s paradise, purchasing things that they need or want, at any time of day. The convenience of online shopping has made it very desirable. This convenience has also made it very easy to make larger purchases.

The question of the day, however, is purchasing online always the best deal? The answer is yes and no.

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Self Help for a Shopaholic

ShopaholicIt is common to think of addiction as something to do with cigarettes, alcohol and drugs, but shopping can be an addiction as well. Many people find that just as with any other addiction, their spending habits are starting to have a negative effect on their lives. But if you are a shopaholic, it’s possible to help yourself.

What is it really about?

A shopping addiction isn’t really about shopping or about the things you buy. It’s about something else, and key in overcoming the addiction is identifying what that something else is, so keeping a journal can be a good way to identify patterns. How are you feeling when you want to shop? Are you angry, sad or lonely?

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Get the Best Out of Your Credit Card

Regular readers know that I am wary of plastic and usually go around telling people (and readers) to eschew buying stuff on credit. While I stick to my position and reiterate that credit cards are just a way for financial institutions to make money, they can be quite useful if used the right way.

credit card safe useVery often, credit cards are just too convenient to avoid especially now during the shopping holiday season – for instance there is a really good deal you’re getting but you don’t have ready cash at that very time. And I have to grudgingly admit; credit cards can also mean savings in some cases. So here’s what you can do to get the best out of your credit card:

  1. Credit card companies offer many blandishments to lure you into using plastic. Find out about and utilize reward points, frequent flyer miles, sign up bonuses, and cash-backs that are offered by your credit card company. Sign up bonuses can offer between $50 and $250 and you can get between 1 and 5% cash back on purchases. [Read more →]

Budgeting

It’s no more a hidden fact that times are tough and everybody is struggling financially. Sometimes, you may have to take tough decisions, but critical times call for critical measures. Some of the most important issues of life are maintaining your home, making your bill payments, and protecting your credit score. If you pay your bills on time, it will help you steer clear of late fees and interest charges. When you’re having too many bills on hand, a bill consolidation program may prove to be quite useful. While people often look for financial assistance from friends and family to pay off their bills, they often ignore the importance of budgeting. Budgeting is the very foundation of any fiscal plan. Whether you’re having a huge annual income or living paycheck to paycheck, you need to have a clear idea regarding where your income is flowing in order to get a clear idea about your finances.

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5 Online Shopping Tips

Today we have an inforgraphic for you by the team at PriceCollate. It’s a beautiful depiction of the online shopping journey, and where you need to be wary, careful and ask the right questions!

5 tips for online shopping

 

When Bulk Buying Doesn’t Make Sense

I have spoken before about the wisdom of bulk buying and I maintain that in a lot of cases bulk buying is a terrific way to economize and get good deals. However there are several reasons not to buy in bulk as well. There are many cases where bulk buying is not worth the while – let’s look at some of those reasons:

  1. Food that has a use by date is a bad idea to buy in bulk. After a while you may just get tired of having the same flavor ice cream or the same brand of sardines. And if its fresh produce like veggies and fruits, these are best bought only in small quantities. They spoil easily and you really don’t want to have anything that’s had a chance to spoil.
  2. Don’t buy things simply because they seem to be a great deal. Are you really going to use those massive bottles of cleaning liquid and do you really need a thousand Styrofoam plates (no matter how cheap you got them)? And remember the pricing is a marketing gimmick that is created to seem so attractive that you want to buy no matter that you don’t really need something. [Read more →]