online shopping http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/373/all en-US 8 Items You Should Never Buy Online http://www.wisebread.com/8-items-you-should-never-buy-online <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-items-you-should-never-buy-online" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/problems_buying_online_with_credit_card.jpg" alt="Problems buying online with credit card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Online shopping makes life easier. There's no doubt about that. But what about when it doesn't? Depending on the retailer, returns can be a huge hassle, and some make it difficult for you to prove that an item was received in poor condition or wasn't what you ordered.</p> <p>With most purchases, the reward outweighs the risk. However, when online shopping, just because you can buy an item without leaving your home, doesn't mean you should. Here are a few things that aren't worth buying online.</p> <h2>1. Cars</h2> <p>There's no way to tell if a car, or any vehicle, actually works unless you drive it. Since you can't test drive a vehicle online, purchasing that way is risky. Also, most used car-buying advice tells you to have a mechanic look at the car before you buy it. There's no way you can do that without having access to the car in-person.</p> <p>Besides, what's more fun than a test drive? How else will you know that you enjoy driving the car, that it is comfortable, and has the features you want? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-you-can-score-a-great-deal-on-a-new-car?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Times You Can Score a Great Deal on a New Car</a>)</p> <h2>2. Pets</h2> <p>With all of the places out there that treat animals terribly &mdash; think puppy mills and unlicensed breeders &mdash; buying online is a huge gamble. After all, if you don't see where the animals were raised and get a clue as to how they were cared for, your sweet ball of fluff could arrive with a terrible and costly disease.</p> <p>Plus, meeting a pet in-person helps you determine if their personality is a good fit for you and your family. The only way to find out about that is to see the animal before you buy or adopt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-pets-for-frugal-animal-lovers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 8 Best Pets for Frugal Animal Lovers</a>)</p> <h2>3. Real estate</h2> <p>Buying any sort of property should be done in-person, even if you have to travel to see it. Unless you view the property, you'll have no real idea of its condition. If you've seen any real estate photographs lately, you know that they can make a home or a piece of property look drastically better than it actually is.</p> <p>Looking at property in-person also gives you a much better idea of its size, shape, and suitability for your life than you'll get if you just look at it online.</p> <h2>4. Prescription medication</h2> <p>There are many reputable pharmacies that sell prescriptions at discounted rates, but there are also many that aren&rsquo;t. While these may make some effort to get you the right drug at the right time, you won't really know what you're getting. And you won't know if the place is inspected and regulated, either.</p> <p>The only exception to this would be purchasing from an online pharmacy that you have access to through your doctor or insurance company. These are much more likely to be reputable, because they have to prove themselves to get that sort of professional affiliation.</p> <h2>5. Name brand knockoffs</h2> <p>It's tempting to buy designer knockoffs online, but the truth is that it's not worth it. Many of the sites that sell these items are not secure, or are located in countries where online security, overall, is lax. You can never know what might happen to your credit card information once it's out there.</p> <h2>6. Large appliances</h2> <p>There are great deals on large appliances online, but what happens if it doesn't work out? They can be impossible to repackage, and then you have to arrange (and sometimes pay for!) the item to be picked up again. Besides, who can tell if the color is actually going to match and be perfect for your home unless you see the item in-person first. Save yourself a massive potential headache and buy these in the store. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-to-ask-before-buying-refurbished-appliances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Questions to Ask Before Buying Refurbished Appliances</a>)</p> <h2>7. Furniture</h2> <p>This is similar to the discussion of large appliances, above. While it's possible to get a great deal on an item when you purchase online, the potential return process makes the whole thing less desirable.</p> <p>In addition, you need to make sure that your furniture is comfortable and that you like the materials. Unless you can sit on that couch or open and close the drawers on the dresser, you won't know that until the item is delivered.</p> <h2>8. Mattresses</h2> <p>There are some mattress companies that only sell online. While some people swear by these products, it seems dubious to me. After all, we spend about ⅓ of our lives asleep! You need to know that you'll be comfortable, and the best way to do that is to try out a mattress in a store, and then to check that it comes with a warranty. Most companies will take your mattress back for a certain number of days, so you can try it out first. If you do purchase a mattress online, confirm that it comes with a reasonable trial period.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-items-you-should-never-buy-online">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-prevent-a-drunken-online-shopping-spree">How to Prevent a Drunken Online Shopping Spree</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase">The One Question You Should Ask Before Every Major Purchase</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-its-better-to-buy-at-the-last-minute">6 Things It&#039;s Better to Buy at the Last Minute</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-things-that-should-never-cost-more-than-99">11 Things That Should Never Cost More Than $99</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-common-shopping-myths-debunked">6 Common Shopping Myths, Debunked</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping internet scam never buy online online shopping shopping tips Shopping Tricks Spending Money Mon, 19 Jun 2017 09:00:09 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1966172 at http://www.wisebread.com Boost Your Savings by Making Your Money Harder to Spend http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-savings-by-making-your-money-harder-to-spend <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/boost-your-savings-by-making-your-money-harder-to-spend" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/protect_your_saving.jpg" alt="Protect your saving" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I left for my freshman year of college, I brought the graduation gift money I'd received with me. It was about $1,000, and I was carrying it in cash, intending to open a checking account. The cash never made it to the bank, however.</p> <p>It wasn't stolen, nor did I lose it. In fact, I tucked the envelope of twenties away in a secure location in my dorm room &mdash; but I neglected to protect the money from myself.</p> <p>From trips to the coffee shop to late night pizza delivery, I let that money flow through my fingers without paying any attention to where it was going or how quickly I was spending it. By the time I finally decided to open an account, there was less than $100 left.</p> <p>My experience is hardly unique. Most people have a similar story of squandering money because it was too easy to access the cash.</p> <p>The trick to being more careful with money is finding ways to make it harder to spend. If I had placed that cash in a checking account as soon as I got to campus, I would have had to walk to the ATM to make my unnecessary purchases &mdash; which would have been more than enough to prevent most of my spending.</p> <p>These days, simply depositing cash in the bank is not enough to make money harder to spend. The availability of mobile banking, debit and credit cards, and one-click online shopping makes money even easier to spend than it was when I was a first-year college student. That's why it is so important to productively reduce access to your money. Here are five ways you can protect your money from your own worst spending impulses. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-bizarre-ways-to-stay-on-budget-that-actually-work?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Bizarre Ways to Stay on Budget (That Actually Work)</a>)</p> <h2>1. Stop carrying credit or debit cards</h2> <p>Going out sans credit or debit card can feel weirder than going about your day naked, but it can be a very effective way to curb your spending. On most days, you probably don't actually need to have a card with you &mdash; it's just there in case you need it. Unfortunately, we then often &quot;need&quot; to stop for lunch, or in a favorite store, or meet everyone after work for happy hour rather than save the card for a legitimate need.</p> <p>To make sure you are covered in case you need to fill up your tank on the way to work, or you encounter another true spending need, get in the habit of carrying $20 or so while leaving your plastic at home. This helps limit your ability to buy things while still giving you access to a little money in case you need it.</p> <h2>2. Move your savings to another bank</h2> <p>Trying to build an emergency fund or reach another savings goal can be difficult if access to your money is too easy. Having a savings account linked to your checking account in the same bank can often be too much of a temptation. It's so easy to dip into that savings account whenever your checking account is running dry or there is an incredible sale.</p> <p>For many people, just making it <em>slightly </em>more difficult to access savings can be enough to stop this behavior. For instance, you can move your savings account to a different bank and establish a link between the two banks. While it's possible to move money between accounts in different banks, it generally takes two to three business days for the money to transfer, which can be inconvenient enough to foil your spending impulses.</p> <h2>3. Put your money in a restrictive savings vehicle</h2> <p>For some people, the inconvenience of separate banking institutions is not quite enough to stop them from accessing their savings when they shouldn't. Restrictive savings vehicles &mdash; accounts or assets that penalize you for early access &mdash; can be a great way to protect your money from yourself in that case.</p> <p>Depending on your time frame, there are a couple of different types of savings vehicles you might choose.</p> <h3>Certificate of deposit (CD)</h3> <p>This is a savings vehicle that requires you to commit to keeping your money in the account for a set period of time. If you withdraw the funds earlier, then you will be penalized. You can generally expect to pay three-to-six months' worth of accrued interest if you access the money early, although some CDs also take a percentage of the principal.</p> <h3>Traditional individual retirement accounts (IRAs)</h3> <p>Traditional IRAs offer tax advantages, which means there are penalties for dipping into them before you reach age 59 &frac12;. Specifically, you will have to pay taxes on both the distribution, as well as 10 percent of the amount of the distribution, to Uncle Sam.</p> <h2>4. Enlist an accountability partner</h2> <p>While it's pretty easy to break a promise to yourself, it's harder to break one you have made to another person. One method of making your money harder to spend is to enlist a friend or loved one as your accountability partner, to whom you will set up a credit card or bank statement alert. Many banks offer automated alert systems that will email or text you when your available credit dips below a certain amount or when a large transaction clears.</p> <p>This information is useful to the cardholder, but it can be a great way to keep you from spending money if you send that information to your accountability partner. Knowing that your partner will immediately know that you have broken your promise can be enough to keep you from whipping out your wallet.</p> <h2>5. Remove your payment information from online retailers</h2> <p>It is far too easy to buy something without really thinking about it when online retailers &quot;helpfully&quot; store our credit card or bank information for us. The minor inconvenience of having to get up and find your wallet is generally enough time for you to reconsider your purchase.</p> <p>When you can go from not knowing an item exists, to coveting it, to buying it in under 30 seconds, having just a little bit of time for a gut check on whether or not you need this purchase is crucial. Because if you want to buy something, but getting up to find your wallet doesn't feel worth it, then it's probably not a great use of your money.</p> <h2>Save your money from yourself</h2> <p>You are not the same person at every hour of the day. You contain multitudes, and often your goals and your impulses cause you to contradict yourself. Making your money harder to spend will ensure that the high-roller part of yourself doesn't bankrupt the saver part of yourself. You'll thank yourself later. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-stop-impulse-buying?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Simple Ways to Stop Impulse Buying</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-savings-by-making-your-money-harder-to-spend">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/forget-saving25-place-to-look-for-spare-change">Forget Saving...25 Places to Look for Spare Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youve-been-saving-money-all-wrong-heres-why">You&#039;ve Been Saving Money All Wrong. Here&#039;s Why</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-an-all-cash-diet-right-for-you">Is an All-Cash Diet Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-your-net-worth-even-matter">Does Your Net Worth Even Matter?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moments-that-should-be-on-everyones-bucket-list">8 Money Moments That Should Be On Everyone&#039;s Bucket List</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance accountability banking cash impulse buys online shopping overspending protecting money saving money Mon, 19 Jun 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1965738 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Credit Card Transactions That Don't Earn Rewards http://www.wisebread.com/4-credit-card-transactions-that-dont-earn-rewards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-credit-card-transactions-that-dont-earn-rewards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/internet_banking.jpg" alt="Internet banking" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Rewards credit cards can be a great way of earning a little something extra for the purchases you make every day. Most rewards cards dole out 1&ndash;5 points for each dollar you spend. But there are a few transactions that <em>never </em>earn rewards. Keep these in mind so you don't end up disappointed when you look at your rewards statement later on (and instead try the strategies that follow to boost your rewards earnings).</p> <h2>1. Cash advances at an ATM</h2> <p>If you use your credit card for a cash advance at an ATM, you are running up a balance on your credit card. Unfortunately, that balance won't earn you any rewards points &mdash; or any love from your card issuer. Whenever you take out a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-credit-card-cash-advance-costs-you-more-than-a-purchase?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash advance from an ATM</a>, you should plan on paying a higher interest rate immediately on the advance amount, as well as a cash advance fee of 2&ndash;5 percent and any fees that the individual ATM charges.</p> <h2>2. Cash advance checks you receive in the mail</h2> <p>Those cash advance checks you receive in the mail might seem like an awesome deal. You write the check out to yourself, cash it, and the money is yours. Unfortunately, that money will need to be paid back, along with fees, of course.</p> <p>You can expect to pay the same fees as you pay for withdrawing cash from an ATM, except for the ATM fee. You'll still pay a transaction fee and a higher interest rate on your cash advance, though. There will be no grace period before interest starts accruing on the cash advance, either. And just like a cash advance from an ATM, you won't earn any rewards for the privilege.</p> <h2>3. Balance transfers</h2> <p>In a perfect world, we could all earn millions of credit card points by endlessly transferring balances. We could transfer the same balance back and forth for years, earning oodles of welcome bonuses and points for our spending.</p> <p>But in this world,&nbsp;you never earn rewards on balance transfers.&nbsp;Banks would simply lose too much money if they offered this option, so they don't.</p> <p>While you don't earn rewards with balance transfers, that doesn't mean they're not valuable. Many of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">best 0 percent APR cards</a> charge no interest on the amount transferred for 12&ndash;21 months. You can gain huge savings on interest while you pay off your debt.</p> <p>And while it's usually best not to use a balance transfer card to make new purchases, if you do have to do that, some balance transfer cards offer rewards on purchases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-hidden-dangers-of-credit-card-balance-transfers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Hidden Dangers of Balance Transfers</a>)</p> <h2>4. Purchases made with points</h2> <p>When your credit card has a rewards program, it's easy to conflate your cash spending with rewards purchases. But if you use points for a purchase (instead of cash), you won't earn any points when you buy. The bank only wants to reward you for spending actual money on the card.</p> <p>Here's an example. Imagine you have a travel credit card and you decide to book an excursion through the card's travel portal. You set your sights on a snorkeling tour in Grand Cayman, and find you have the option to pay with points or to fork over $70 per person.</p> <p>If you pay with cash, you'll absolutely earn rewards for the purchase. But if you turn in your points instead, you'll be out of luck. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I've Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a>)</p> <h2>How to boost your rewards over time</h2> <p>Fortunately, there are plenty of safe, reliable methods to beef up your point balances on your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">favorite rewards credit card</a>. Best of all, nothing we're about to suggest involves paying interest or upfront fees at all.</p> <p>Here are four ways to earn more rewards over time.</p> <h3>1. Use your rewards credit card for everyday purchases</h3> <p>The best way to earn more rewards isn't complicated. By simply <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-everyday-purchases?ref=internal" target="_blank">using your card for all your regular purchases</a> (think gas, groceries, and miscellaneous), you can earn a ton of points over time. If you spend $1,000 on your card every month and earn an average 2 percent back, for example, you'll rack up $20 per month in rewards &mdash; or $240 per year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-an-extra-109486-a-year?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Save an Extra $1,094.86 a Year</a>)</p> <h3>2. Pay all your bills on credit</h3> <p>Another strategy to boost your rewards is to put your regularly occurring expenses on your credit card. Think of anything you have on automatic payments &mdash; life insurance, cellphone bill, utility payments. If they're currently set up to be paid via debit automatically, you could earn more rewards by setting them up on your favorite credit card instead. Just be sure to check with the provider to make sure you won't have to pay a fee for using credit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-pay-your-bills-with-a-credit-card?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Paying Your Bills With a Credit Card</a>)</p> <h3>3. Shop through online portals when possible</h3> <p>Many rewards card issuers offer their own online shopping portals that make earning rewards even easier. You'll need to log in to the portal, then you can click through to major retailers to earn extra points for every dollar you spend. Options vary and deals change often, but you can usually earn at least one or two bonus points for every dollar you spend on that card.</p> <p>Sometimes you'll see deals for as many as 30 bonus points. Merchants include online stores like Kohls, Best Buy, Macy's, and many others. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-earn-cashback-rewards-without-extra-spending?ref=internal" target="_blank">5 Ways to Earn Cashback Rewards Without Extra Spending</a>)</p> <p>Of course, if you want to make your rewards card work for you, avoid running a balance. While earning 1&ndash;5 percent back on your purchases is certainly appealing, those rewards will disappear quickly if you're forking over the average credit card interest rate.</p> <p>When it comes to credit, tread carefully and only charge what you can afford to repay. If you wind up in debt in pursuit of rewards, you'll regret it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-credit-card-transactions-that-dont-earn-rewards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips">How to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-with-your-travel-rewards-credit-cards">7 Things You Should Never Do With Your Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-turn-credit-card-rewards-into-real-wealth">5 Ways to Turn Credit Card Rewards Into Real Wealth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-ways-to-meet-a-rewards-card-minimum-spending-requirement">5 Smart Ways to Meet a Rewards Card Minimum Spending Requirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-double-cash-rewards-card-pays-you-to-pay-off-your-debt-or-does-it">Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 Month BT Offer Pays You to Pay Off Your Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards ATM balance transfers cash advances cash back online shopping points rewards Wed, 14 Jun 2017 08:31:17 +0000 Holly Johnson 1965247 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Prevent a Drunken Online Shopping Spree http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-prevent-a-drunken-online-shopping-spree <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-prevent-a-drunken-online-shopping-spree" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/guy_at_home.jpg" alt="Guy at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It used to be that drinking and shopping took some effort on your part, since you had to get yourself to a brick-and-mortar store in order to actually make purchases. It wasn't really a situation many of us would find ourselves in. But online shopping has made it possible to shop while buzzed.</p> <p>Browsing Amazon or eBay after a night of drinking may not seem like a terrible habit to indulge in. You're safe at home, after all, and you can crash in bed after your wine and shopping binge &mdash; and there's always that hilarious moment several days later when your purchase finally arrives and you get to open the mystery box. But drunken shopping sprees aren't cheap. According to a Finder.com survey, the <a href="https://www.finder.com/how-much-do-americans-spend-after-having-a-few-drinks" target="_blank">average amount of money that drunk shoppers spend</a> in a single evening of tipsy debauchery is $206.</p> <p>While having a funny souvenir of a memorable night may be a justifiable use of your money the first time it happens, making a habit of drunk shopping can throw a major wrench in your financial plans. Here are six ways you can keep your wallet safe from your worst shopping impulses when you are tempted to drink and shop.</p> <h2>1. Carry cash</h2> <p>While most drunken shopping sprees are now happening online, in-person tipsy shopping is still a problem. This tends to be more of an issue when your drinking venue is close to a shopping destination &mdash; like when you are on vacation and can drift from the bar to the cute boutiques without having to set foot in a vehicle. There are also plenty of opportunities for you to spend your money in person after a few drinks have loosened your purse strings, including &quot;Sip and Shop&quot; events set up specifically to encourage that behavior.</p> <p>The easiest way to thwart yourself from making unnecessary purchases is by carrying cash for the evening. That helps you to reduce the potential damage you can do to your finances by limiting the amount of money you can spend in one evening. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-an-all-cash-diet-right-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is an All-Cash Diet Right for You?</a>)</p> <h2>2. Post sticky notes everywhere</h2> <p>Believe it or not, sticky notes can be a form of time travel. Your past self can use the sticky note to remind your future drunk self why you don't want to waste your money on more iTunes purchases or cute shoes. If you know you're likely to shop under the influence, write out notes to yourself about why drunk shopping is a bad idea. Go ahead and list the reasons why you are going to regret your purchase in the morning.</p> <p>While a single sticky note can get this across, putting additional notes so that your computer screen is covered with them will really force your future self to remember that your past self is serious about this issue.</p> <h2>3. Turn off one-click ordering</h2> <p>One-click ordering means you can go from being unaware an item exists, to coveting it, to buying it, all within seconds. Add some beer to that equation, and it's even more likely that you'll be scratching your head over a delivery in a few days while lamenting your lighter wallet.</p> <p>Removing your credit card information from your favorite retail sites can help to curb your drunken shopping habits, since you will have to get up to get your wallet and enter in your credit card information in order to complete your sale. The work necessary to enter in your information will either sober you up enough to make you question your need for cardboard cutouts of the Golden Girls, or will be more typing than you can handle in your inebriated state.</p> <p>This is also a good reason to remove your account information on any shopping sites, so that you are forced to type in your mailing address every time you shop. That can be enough of a barrier to keep you from recklessly drinking and buying. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life?ref=seealso" target="_blank">39 Mindless Ways You're Wasting Money in Every Part of Your Life</a>)</p> <h2>4. Block retail sites when you know you will be drinking</h2> <p>There are many apps and browser extensions out there to help force you to be productive when you are feeling the siren's song of your Twitter or Facebook feed. But these tools can also help you to manage your drunk purchasing behavior. Simply set your app or browser extension to block you out of shopping sites anytime you are likely to be drinking &mdash; such as on Friday evenings or after your weekly happy hour with friends.</p> <h2>5. Remove shopping apps from your phone</h2> <p>It's entirely possible to spend your rent money without leaving your house or even booting up your laptop, which means you will need to cut off this additional source of temptation: shopping apps on your phone. Not only do these apps make it far too easy to shop after you've had a few, they don't do you any favors while you are sober, either. These apps allow you to spend money without feeling any pain of payment, which makes them especially dangerous when you are drunk.</p> <p>Remove those apps from your phone, and consider replacing them with apps that will also be fun to surf without spurring you to spend money. For instance, the Pinterest app can give you the feeling of virtual window shopping.</p> <h2>6. Be prepared to make returns</h2> <p>While opening up the mystery box you receive after a night of drunk shopping can be exciting, it's a much better policy to simply return your purchases without opening them. Go ahead and send it back rather than clutter up your home with a purchase that only seemed like a good idea when you were at the bottom of a glass of wine.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-prevent-a-drunken-online-shopping-spree">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-items-you-should-never-buy-online">8 Items You Should Never Buy Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-problems-you-can-solve-with-20">8 Problems You Can Solve With $20</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-resist-the-expensive-once-in-a-lifetime-mentality">How to Resist the Expensive &quot;Once in a Lifetime&quot; Mentality</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase">The One Question You Should Ask Before Every Major Purchase</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-checkout-line-tricks-to-finish-shopping-faster">5 Checkout Line Tricks to Finish Shopping Faster</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping drinking drinking habits drunk shopping online shopping shopping spree Shopping Tricks shopping while drunk Spending Money Mon, 12 Jun 2017 09:00:10 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1963764 at http://www.wisebread.com Save on Christmas Shopping With This Clever Gift Card Strategy http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_christmas_gift_46067724.jpg" alt="Woman saving on Christmas shopping with gift cards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Last year, the average American <a href="http://americanresearchgroup.com/holiday/">spent $882 on holiday gifts</a> &mdash; and that amount does not include money spent on décor, meals, or clothes. Many people rack up credit card debt, and with high interest rates, that can make payments on their Christmas purchases for months after the holiday.</p> <p>However, it doesn&rsquo;t have to be that way. You can still celebrate Christmas with gifts and decorations without going into debt. Using discounted gift cards is an ingenious way to stretch your budget further and minimize debt.</p> <h2>Why So Many Gift Cards Are Available at a Discount</h2> <p>There&rsquo;s a reason stores love selling gift cards. Each year, you likely receive gift certificates or cards for your birthday or other holidays. And while it&rsquo;s the thought that counts, you probably tucked one or two away in a drawer and forgot about them. The average person has <a href="https://www.giftcardgranny.com/statistics/">$300 in gift cards</a> going unused, and over $41 billion in cards went unredeemed from 2011 to 2015.</p> <p>Most of the time, cards are stagnant because the gift recipient does not shop at the selected store, or items at the location are too expensive to be covered by the balance of the card. Rather than let the card just sit in a drawer gathering dust, many people opt to get money back in their pockets by selling them.</p> <p>Cheap cards are available through online sites that are 3% to 30% less than their value. From Sephora to Target, you can get a gift card at a significant discount, allowing you to buy more with your money.</p> <h2>Using a Discounted Gift Card</h2> <p>Purchasing a gift card at a reduced price is like giving yourself a huge coupon. For example, you can get a $250<a href="https://www.giftcardgranny.com/buy-gift-cards/h-and-m/">H&amp;M gift card</a> for just $169.62, saving you $80.38. That means you can buy $250 worth of merchandise at a 32% discount. With that savings, you can buy more items within your budget &mdash; or save it.</p> <p>Alternatively, you can gift loves ones a discounted gift card and let them go shopping themselves. Buying a gift card at a reduced price allows you to give a more generous holiday present without breaking the bank.</p> <h2>Where to Buy Cards</h2> <p>There are many sites that sell a wide range of discounted cards. These are three of the most popular.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.giftcardgranny.com/">Gift Card Granny</a> offers discounted cards from hundreds of retailers, from large big box stores to niche chains. Discounts change each day, and you can find cards marked 50% under their actual value.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.cardpool.com/">Cardpoo</a>l sells cards up to 35% under value. They offer gift cards to stores like Lowe&rsquo;s, Best Buy, Target, and more.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://giftcardzen.com/buy">Gift card Zen</a> is part of coupon site RetailMeNot. You can find cards for hundreds of retailers, including AMC Theatres, American Girl, and Macy&rsquo;s.</li> </ul> <p>Purchasing gift cards and using them for your Christmas shopping is an easy way to get more from your money. You can get a significant discount on your purchases, letting you celebrate the holiday without going broke.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-financial-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season">13 Financial Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-common-holiday-budget-pitfalls">Avoid These 5 Common Holiday Budget Pitfalls</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-big-list-of-money-saving-coupon-codes-for-halloween-2016">The Big List of Money-Saving Coupon Codes for Halloween 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-holiday-season-costs-everyone-always-forgets-about">13 Holiday-Season Costs Everyone Always Forgets About</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Christmas discounts gift cards gifts Holidays online shopping saving money Wed, 23 Nov 2016 11:00:08 +0000 Kat Tretina 1812050 at http://www.wisebread.com The Big List of Money-Saving Coupon Codes for Halloween 2016 http://www.wisebread.com/the-big-list-of-money-saving-coupon-codes-for-halloween-2016 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-big-list-of-money-saving-coupon-codes-for-halloween-2016" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/boys_halloween_costumes_75169753.jpg" alt="Kids using big list of coupon codes for Halloween 2016" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Halloween spending will hit an all-time high this year. The National Retail Federation's annual survey reveals that consumers will <a href="https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/halloween-spending-reach-84-billion-highest-survey-history">spend $8.4 billion</a> on Halloween purchases this year. That's a lot of pumpkins!</p> <p>While Halloween is fun to celebrate, it shouldn't blow your budget, especially since the pricier holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, happen shortly after. Coupon codes are a great way to save money on Halloween purchases. Don't forget to shop through a cash back site, such as <a href="https://www.ebates.com/">eBates</a>, if you are shopping online. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year?ref=seealso">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</a>)</p> <p>All codes have been checked to ensure they work. Check back all month for updated coupons to your favorite Halloween stores.</p> <h2>Carter's</h2> <p><a href="http://www.carters.com/">Carter's</a> has incredibly cute costumes for babies and young toddlers. You can also score some Halloween festive wear for babies and kids up to size 8.</p> <ul> <li>20% off $40 coupon online or in-store when you sign up for Carter's email notifications.</li> <li>20% off $40: CART1016<strong> </strong>(expires 10/31)</li> <li>15% off your whole order: CART3230 (expires 12/31)</li> <li>20% off $50: CAROCT20 (expires 10/31)</li> </ul> <h2>Spirit Halloween</h2> <p><a href="https://www.spirithalloween.com/">Spirit Halloween</a> offers 20% off one item when you sign up for their email notifications. Be sure to check Spirit's social media accounts for more online and printable coupons.</p> <ul> <li>20% off one item: SPEN16 (expires 10/31)</li> <li>20% off one item and free shipping: SPHN1629 (expires 10/31)</li> <li>25% off one item: DONTLEAVE25 (expires 11/02)</li> <li>$5 off orders $30+, $10 off $50+, or $25 off $100+: TIER2016A (expires 11/1)</li> <li>$10 off orders $65+, $20 off $100+, $30 off $150+, or $50 off $200+: HIGHTIER (expires 11/02)</li> <li>Free shipping on orders over $30: SHIP30 (expires 11/1)</li> <li>25% off already reduced sale items: CLEAR25 (expires 11/1)</li> </ul> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-best-deals-coupons-sites?ref=seealso">50 Best Deals and Coupon Sites</a></p> <h2>Halloween Costumes</h2> <p><a href="http://www.halloweencostumes.com/">Halloween Costumes</a> offers price match and costume rentals. On select costumes, you can save 50% off the price by renting. Return shipping on rentals is free. They even have pre-owned costumes for sale and pay for trade-ins on certain styles.</p> <ul> <li>Sign up for their email notifications and receive 20% off your first order.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Like them on Facebook for a <a href="http://www.halloweencostumes.com/coupon-code-discounts.html">$10 off $60 coupon</a>.</li> </ul> <h2>Halloween Express</h2> <p>Halloween Express offers a <a href="http://www.halloweenexpress.com/price-guarantee.php">110% price match guarantee</a>. If within 14 days of purchasing an eligible item from them online and then find a lower price for the same item on a direct competitor's U.S. website, they will refund the difference plus 10%. However, be sure to read all of the exclusions.</p> <ul> <li>15% off when you sign up for Halloween Express' email notifications.</li> <li>20% off your order: CYQJ328MZTE</li> <li>25% off any order: SAVE25CJ</li> <li>Free shipping on orders of $29 or more: FS2016ZLA</li> <li>Get $10 off $65 or more, $25 off $125 or more, $50 off $199, or more: BIGSAVINGS2016</li> </ul> <h2>Costume Discounters</h2> <p><a href="https://www.costumediscounters.com/">Costume Discounters</a> currently has a 10% cash back offer through <a href="https://www.ebates.com/coupons/costume-discounters/index.htm?query=costume&amp;position=3&amp;type=suggest&amp;store=10706&amp;navigation_id=23078">eBates</a>.</p> <ul> <li>25% off an order over $20: SAVE25 (expires 11/01)</li> </ul> <h2>Anytime Costumes</h2> <p><a href="https://www.anytimecostumes.com/">Anytime Costumes</a> currently has an 11% cash back offer through <a href="https://www.ebates.com/coupons/anytime-costumes/index.htm?query=anytime&amp;position=1&amp;type=suggest&amp;store=9606&amp;navigation_id=23078">eBates</a>.</p> <ul> <li>15% off an order over $25 and free shipping: SHOP15</li> </ul> <h2>Wholesale Halloween Costumes</h2> <p><a href="https://www.wholesalehalloweencostumes.com/">Wholesale Halloween Costumes</a> has a 9% cash back offer through <a href="https://www.ebates.com/coupons/wholesale-halloween-costumes/index.htm?query=wholes&amp;position=1&amp;type=suggest&amp;store=11432&amp;navigation_id=23078">eBates</a> for a limited time.</p> <ul> <li>Save 5% off your order: SAVE5</li> <li>$10 off an order over $80: PTEN80</li> <li>20% off of clearance: CLEAR20</li> <li>Free shipping on orders over $75: SUMMER75 (expires 12/30)</li> <li>Free shipping on orders over $40: FBLIKE</li> </ul> <h2>Party City</h2> <ul> <li>20% off all Halloween orders over $50 and free shipping: TRICK39M</li> </ul> <h2>Joann&rsquo;s</h2> <p>For those who are ambitious enough to craft your costumes this year, here are coupons for you. Don&rsquo;t forget to check out <a href="http://www.joann.com/">Joann&rsquo;s</a> fun Halloween décor.</p> <ul> <li>40% off one online item: GFHV303 (expires 10/08)</li> </ul> <h2>More Ideas on How to Save This Halloween</h2> <p>The coupon codes above will help you get a discount on Halloween costumes, décor, and party supplies. For those looking for more money-saving advice, try these five Halloween saving's tricks.</p> <h3>1. Swap Costumes With a Friend</h3> <p>If you have kids that are similar ages/sizes, then you can trade costumes. Even if your children are different sizes, borrow the accessories and save.</p> <h3>2. Don't Skip the Dollar Store</h3> <p>Your local dollar store and .99-Cent Only Store can be great shops for affordable Halloween décor and costume props. Just be advised before buying candy there. It might cost you more than buying candy at a warehouse.</p> <h3>3. Wait to Buy Pumpkins</h3> <p>If you wait until the 30th to buy your Halloween pumpkin, you can save almost half the cost, depending on the seller. One year, at Trader Joes, I received a free pumpkin on the 31st.</p> <h3>4. Look for Free Activities</h3> <p>Most communities offer free fall activities to the public. Check with your city's parks, churches, and mall to see what is being offered.</p> <h3>5. DIY Fall Decorations</h3> <p>Pinterest is a well of good ideas for inexpensive DIY décor ideas. Also, check out <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-scariest-halloween-frights-you-can-make-from-trash?ref=seealso">13 Scariest Halloween Frights You Can Make From Trash</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-big-list-of-money-saving-coupon-codes-for-halloween-2016">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-spending-too-much-on-halloween-this-year">Are You Spending Too Much on Halloween This Year?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-online-retailers-who-let-you-stack-coupons">9 Online Retailers Who Let You Stack Coupons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-genius-ways-to-save-on-cyber-monday">6 Genius Ways to Save on Cyber Monday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-85-best-ways-to-save-on-halloween-this-year">Flashback Friday: 85 Best Ways to Save on Halloween This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">Save on Christmas Shopping With This Clever Gift Card Strategy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping costumes coupon codes decorations discounts Halloween Holidays kids online shopping sales Thu, 06 Oct 2016 10:30:14 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1805690 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Strange Ways Online Shopping Has Changed the World http://www.wisebread.com/6-strange-ways-online-shopping-has-changed-the-world <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-strange-ways-online-shopping-has-changed-the-world" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_online_36991010.jpg" alt="Woman learning strange ways online shopping changed the world" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you prefer online shopping to in-store purchases, you're not alone. According to Business Insider, about&nbsp;<a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/the-surprising-demographics-of-who-shops-online-and-on-mobile-2014-6">78% of the U.S. population age 15 and older</a> fancies themselves a few clicks and a quick checkout when buying something new. While that's all well and good &mdash; and incredibly convenient &mdash; this new American pastime does have its downsides. Check out a few of these strange ways online shopping has changed the world &mdash; not necessarily for the better. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-retailers-use-big-data-to-track-you">8 Ways Retailers Use Big Data to Track You</a>)</p> <h2>1. Consumer Reviews Can Make or Break a Product</h2> <p>Before online shopping became commonplace, consumers had few ways to learn about the pros and cons of a product. They could rely on word-of-mouth if someone they knew had purchased the same item, or they could listen to what the media said about it, perhaps on consumer-related nightly news piece or in magazines, like <em>Good Housekeeping</em>. Because information on how well &mdash; or not well &mdash; a product worked was sparse, consumer unhappiness was limited. Retailers were relatively safe from gaining a poor reputation unless its products were outright duds that caught attention en masse. But that all changed with online shopping, which gave consumers the voice they had been looking for. Today, reviews of a product are trusted more than personal recommendations, according to research. In fact, a whopping&nbsp;<a href="https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey/">92% of consumers trust online reviews</a> as much as they would a friend or family member, or perhaps even more.</p> <h2>2. There Are No True Holidays Anymore</h2> <p>Remember when we were kids and holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas meant that virtually no retail stores would be open? We'd drive through town on the way to our relatives' house for supper and there was nary a car in any of the stores' parking lots. That's all changed thanks to online shopping, much to many people's dismay. Each year, it seems, Black Friday hours are pushed earlier and earlier, creeping into Thanksgiving, with some stores opening on Thanksgiving Day even. Last year, Kmart said to hell with the entire holiday and opened at 6 a.m. the fourth Thursday of November, the earliest among major retailers. It was beat out by one other chain, however, though not a competitor: Victoria's Secret opened its doors from 12 a.m. to 12 a.m. Thanksgiving Day (a full 24 hours!), because, ya know, who isn't in the mood for sexy lingerie after stuffing themselves silly with turkey and mashed potatoes?</p> <h2>3. Shopping Malls Are Becoming Ruins</h2> <p>Shopping malls were huge in the 1980s and '90s, so much so that they defined an entire generation. But by the 2000s, attendance at malls around the country started to dwindle. Many factors have contributed to the decline (not the least of which was that&nbsp;<a href="http://www.salon.com/2013/10/26/why_so_much_violence_happens_at_the_mall_partner/">they had become locales of violence</a>), including the rise of online shopping. Bustling hubs of commerce and social activity that once stood proud are now in ruin, relics of the past that serve as a stark reminder that American life isn't what it used to be.</p> <p>&quot;Dozens of malls have shuttered since 2010, with hundreds more on the brink,&quot; says Benjamin Glaser, features editor with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dealnews.com">DealNews</a>. The few shopping centers that have been built in the last decade usually aren't traditional, enclosed malls, but larger complexes with a wider dining and entertainment options, and often open-air areas. To compete with online shopping, brick-and-mortar retailers are trying to create experiences.</p> <p>This fate doesn't paint a pretty picture of what was left in the wake of the downturn or for current mall owners. Those that have already heard its final cash register cha-ching now&nbsp;<a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/completely-surreal-pictures-of-americas-abandoned-malls?utm_term=.vmGR1doAG#.dq8X0xRoy">look like sets for <em>The Walking Dead</em></a>, and those that still exist are being&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-16/day-of-reckoning-comes-for-u-s-shopping-malls-laden-with-debt">murdered by debt</a>.</p> <h2>4. Dog Bites Have Increased</h2> <p>Family dogs and mail carriers have had a rocky relationship for decades, but recently our friendly canines have been acting out in droves &mdash; all because that pesky USPS employee is stopping by more often with your online packages.</p> <p>According to <em>AdAge</em>,&nbsp;<a href="http://adage.com/article/digital/online-shopping-causing-a-rise-dog-attacks/305366/">dog bites were up 14% last year</a>, reaching a total of 6,549 incidents. The most attacks were in Houston, which had 77, while San Diego and Cleveland clocked in at 58 each.</p> <h2>5. Identity Theft Is Out of Control</h2> <p>Before online shopping became everybody's go-to method of buying everything from clothing to groceries, it was difficult for an identity thief to target a large amount of data. Sure, your credit card could be stolen by a single thief and charged up until the bank caught wind of suspicious activity, but the consequences pale in comparison to a million-accounts data breach that could throw your entire life out of whack.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2013/04/14/identity-theft-growing/2082179/"><em>USA Today</em> reports that credit-card data theft has increased 50%</a> from 2005 to 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Likewise, because your credit card numbers can be worth hundreds of dollar a piece to resellers &mdash; the number of malicious programs written to steal your information has grown from about 1 million in 2007 to an estimated 130 million today. So basically, no one is safe, and you should take even more precautions &mdash; like not storing your credit cards with retailers online &mdash; to avoid becoming a victim.</p> <h2>6. Some Online Orders Are Now Being Delivered by Drones</h2> <p>Future moving too fast for you? Then you won't be elated to hear the news that drones may start arriving at your home or office to deliver your online shopping orders. Yep, flying robots are entering the friendly skies all over the world, and they could be landing in your front yard soon if Amazon has its way. Its PrimeAir program is gearing up for its first consumer flights that promise to deliver packages in 30 minutes or less.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wsj.com/video/china-mail-drone-makes-first-delivery/A3EA877F-AF8E-4E43-AF27-BFE5EF8F15C5.html">China</a> and Australia have already implemented similar services, which has its benefits, especially to those in hard-to-reach rural areas, or for medical purposes, but we can all probably agree that&nbsp;<a href="https://www.pddnet.com/news/2016/09/chipotle-drone-delivery-pilot-program-runs-virginia-tech">nobody needs their piping-hot burrito dropped from the sky</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-strange-ways-online-shopping-has-changed-the-world">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-secrets-of-amazons-pricing-strategy-will-help-you-find-the-best-buys">These Secrets of Amazon&#039;s Pricing Strategy Will Help You Find the Best Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-little-known-amazon-shopping-hacks">5 Little Known Amazon Shopping Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-surprising-things-you-can-have-delivered">12 Surprising Things You Can Have Delivered</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/filler-strategies-for-amazon-s-free-super-saver-shipping">Filler Strategies for Amazon’s Free Super Saver Shipping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-items-you-should-never-buy-online">8 Items You Should Never Buy Online</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping Amazon delivery online shopping shipping shoppers shopping shopping habits Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:30:06 +0000 Mikey Rox 1800743 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Secrets to Saving on Eyewear http://www.wisebread.com/14-secrets-to-saving-on-eyewear <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-secrets-to-saving-on-eyewear" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_wearing_glasses_86229369.jpg" alt="Woman learning secret ways to save on eyewear" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Eyeglasses and contact lenses are a necessity for more than 150 million Americans. Unfortunately, eyewear is not a cheap purchase &mdash; so we've compiled some tips to help save you money on the cost of glasses and contacts.</p> <h2>1. Purchase Your Glasses Online</h2> <p>Along with enjoying huge savings on your new set of glasses, you can also take advantage of online services to ensure that the glasses look right with your style. This will allow you to casually try the glasses on at home so you can take your time choosing the right ones. Once you find the right pair, they will likely be shipped in no time (even faster than you would get them at the optician's office.)</p> <p>If you have issues like astigmatism, you may not be able to shop online and it might more prudent to have your doctor custom fit you for the right pair of glasses. You may also want to have a professional help you at an optical store and once you find the glasses you like, you can search for the frames online for the best deal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-ever-buy-eyeglasses-online?ref=seealso">Should You Ever Buy Eyeglasses Online?</a>)</p> <h2>2. Purchase Your Contact Lenses Online</h2> <p>Websites like <a href="http://1800contacts.com">1-800 Contacts</a> can save you money on your contacts, compared to what you would pay at your optician's office. You can also often get discounts if you purchase more than one box of contacts at a time. Buying in bulk will also save you money on shipping and allow you to lock in today's rate.</p> <h2>3. Find Trial Offers</h2> <p>Certain contact lens providers, like Acuvue and Dailies, will offer free trial lenses, so you can try them before you buy them. This will help ensure that the contacts fit comfortably, so you know you'll get your money's worth.</p> <h2>4. Look for Online Deals</h2> <p>Take advantage of online coupons and deals from services like Groupon. This can save you quite a bit of money on glasses, contacts, and even your eye exam. Just make sure to read the details thoroughly as some coupons only cover the cost of the frames, and you will have to pay for the lenses out-of-pocket.</p> <h2>5. Ask for a Price Match</h2> <p>Many optical shops will offer a price match, if you ask. Some shops will even offer a price match and a rebate, so you'll actually spend less than you would online.</p> <h2>6. Keep the Same Lenses or Frames</h2> <p>If your lenses are still in good shape and you still have the same prescription, consider reusing them in a new frame. Many optical shops will help you find a similar style frame and can apply your old lenses so it looks like a new pair of glasses.</p> <p>The same rule holds for your frames. If you like your frames, but your prescription has changed, take advantage of a <a href="http://www.replacementlensexpress.com/">prescription eyeglass lens replacement service</a> that will replace the lenses in your existing frames.</p> <h2>7. Opt for Cheaper Glasses</h2> <p>If you tend to wear contacts and only reach for your glasses when you're home, then you don't need to spend a lot on designer glasses. Instead, opt for the cheaper glasses since no one will see them anyway.</p> <h2>8. Don't Replace Your Glasses Every Year</h2> <p>If you don't need to replace your glasses, then it's best to just keep the same pair for as long as you can. After all, it can take a lot of time and energy to find the perfect glasses, so why replace them after only a year?</p> <h2>9. Skip the Add-Ons</h2> <p>Unless your prescription is above +/- 3.00, professionals recommend skipping the add-ons like antireflective coating, light adjusting lenses, or high index or ultrahigh index lenses. Skipping these add-ons can save you quite a bit of money and won't really make a difference in the long run.</p> <h2>10. Shop at Costco</h2> <p>According to Consumer Reports, Costco received the <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/eyeglass-stores/buying-guide.htm">highest overall satisfaction rating</a> of any eyeglass retailer. Not only do they offer better service, but you can also save money on your favorite pair of glasses.</p> <h2>11. Take Advantage of Free Repairs and Adjustments</h2> <p>If you choose to purchase your glasses in-office, then take advantage of free adjustments to ensure your glasses fit perfectly. Inquire with your optician's office about whether they offer any free replacements or repairs.</p> <h2>12. Take Advantage of Insurance</h2> <p>Before you get started, it's important to find out if you're covered by insurance. Even if you don't have a separate vision insurance plan, you may be covered under your regular medical insurance plan. Many insurance plans include a basic eye or dental care plan, so you may be covered without even realizing it.</p> <p>Before visiting your eyeglass store, first find out if they accept your vision insurance. If they accept it, find out what your insurance covers. Take advantage of whatever you can so that you get your money's worth every year. If they do not accept your insurance plan, inquire from your plan's administrator about whether they will offer reimbursement if you decide to pay out-of-pocket.</p> <h2>13. Use FSA Funds</h2> <p>If you have an FSA (or flexible spending account), take advantage of this pretax money to pay for eligible medical expenses such as prescription glasses and contact lenses. Keep in mind that FSA funds might not pay for extras like extended warranties. The goal is to use up all of your FSA funds before the end of the year, but it's important that you don't wait until the last minute to use it or you may rush to pick your new glasses, even if they aren't the most flattering option or don't offer the best deal.</p> <h2>14. Do Your Research</h2> <p>Before scheduling your eye test, research the options available to you so you can determine where you'll get the best deal for your money. Call your eyeglass store of choice to inquire about whether they currently have any coupons or deals to cut the cost of your new glasses. If you know the glasses that you want, you can search online for the brand and model number to compare prices.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-secrets-to-saving-on-eyewear">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-foolproof-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill">31 Foolproof Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-buy-on-groupon-or-livingsocial">5 Things You Should Never Buy on Groupon or LivingSocial</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping contacts deals eye doctor flexible spending accounts glasses insurance online shopping optician saving money trials Thu, 15 Sep 2016 09:30:29 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1792246 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Avoid Credit Card Fraud While Traveling http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-avoid-credit-card-fraud-while-traveling <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-avoid-credit-card-fraud-while-traveling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/credit_card_fraud_56707570.jpg" alt="Learning ways to avoid credit card fraud while traveling" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Credit card fraud is more than just a mild annoyance and risk when you're on the road &mdash; it can bring your travel plans to a halt. But you can outsmart thieves. By using one of these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">best travel rewards credit cards</a> and following these seven tips, you can minimize the risk of fraud and better enjoy travel!</p> <h2>1. Get an RFID Blocked Wallet</h2> <p>Did you know that credit card thieves don't actually have to touch your wallet in order to steal your credit card? They never even have to see your card or your wallet. All they have to do is brush up against you with an RFID scanner and they'll have your full name, credit card number, expiration date, and even your passport information.</p> <p>To easily avoid this, you can pick up an <a href="http://amzn.to/2aOhoUD">RFID Blocked wallet</a> and <a href="http://amzn.to/2anT8up">passport case</a> on Amazon for around $15. They look like normal wallets but they protect your cards and your personal information from would be identity thieves and credit card hackers.</p> <h2>2. Beware of Insecure Internet Connections</h2> <p>It's inevitable when you're traveling that you'll see this message on your screen at some point:</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Screen%20Shot%202016-08-05%20at%207.00.36%20PM.png" width="605" height="408" alt="" /></p> <p>When you're using unsecured Wi-Fi connections at hotels, Internet cafes, restaurants, bars, and public parks, everything you type into your browser could potentially be monitored and stolen from you.</p> <p>Whenever you see this warning before browsing, try your best to avoid entering passwords, especially those on your banking and credit card sites. Most banking sites will allow you to access their secure page. Make sure any URL is preceded by <strong>https://</strong> rather than <strong>http://</strong>.</p> <p>You can also get a plug-in for your browser like HTTPS Everywhere (available on <a href="https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/https-everywhere/">Firefox</a>, <a href="https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/https-everywhere/gcbommkclmclpchllfjekcdonpmejbdp?hl=en">Chrome</a>, and <a href="https://addons.opera.com/en/extensions/details/https-everywhere/">Opera</a>), which will do this automatically. Another solution is SurfEasy VPN, which helps encrypt your data when you're using a public connection.</p> <h2>3. Clear Cookies, Passwords, and Browsing History</h2> <p>Make sure you log out of everything, delete your history whenever you access your email or other password-sensitive web pages from a computer other than your own, and clear cookies and caches on the browser. You want to leave no traces of your personal identification or password information on public computers. To prevent ever having to clear the cache, you can also browse &quot;incognito&quot; in Chrome or &ldquo;private&rdquo; in Firefox.</p> <h2>4. Never Let Your Card Out of Sight</h2> <p>In some places, it's very common to have your credit card information stolen by wait staff at restaurants when you give them your card to pay. If you can, always keep an eye on your card and never let it out of your sight. Consider going up to the counter to pay, rather than leaving it in the bill slip for the waiter to deal with.</p> <h2>5. Memorize (or Write Down) the Theft Hotline Number</h2> <p>The minute you notice that your card has been lost or stolen, you should report it. The sooner you can submit a claim to the lost or stolen card office, the more likely you will be protected against unauthorized charges.</p> <h2>6. Set an Alert</h2> <p>Many credit card providers offer email and SMS alerts that will beep at you when your balance goes over a certain amount. If someone does end up stealing your card and spends a bunch of money all at once, you'll be notified.</p> <p>You may be surprised at how long it takes for people to realize that they've had their card stolen. It can be weeks or even months, depending on how many cards are in the wallet and how often the stolen card is used.</p> <h2>7. Monitor Spending Even After You Return Home</h2> <p>It's always a good idea to do a quick follow-up on your credit card history even after you return home. Smart credit card thieves will steal your credit card information, and wait until you&rsquo;re not so on guard to use it.</p> <p>For a couple of months after returning home, go online and check your statements to make sure that you can account for every single purchase. If there is one that you don't recognize, contact your credit card provider right away and start an investigation.</p> <h2>Be Smart... Not Scared</h2> <p>Credit card fraud is a legitimate worry while traveling, but with increasingly effective fraud protection programs and great credit card customer service lines, you really aren't at too much risk of personal loss, as long as you quickly claim any unauthorized purchases on your account. Travel safe, keep your card close, and be aware of your charges.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been a victim of credit card fraud?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-ways-to-avoid-credit-card-fraud-while-traveling&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%20Ways%20to%20Avoid%20Credit%20Card%20Fraud%20While%20Traveling.jpg&amp;description=7%20Ways%20to%20Avoid%20Credit%20Card%20Fraud%20While%20Traveling" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Ways%20to%20Avoid%20Credit%20Card%20Fraud%20While%20Traveling.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-avoid-credit-card-fraud-while-traveling">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/follow-these-5-credit-card-rules-when-traveling-abroad">Follow These 5 Credit Card Rules When Traveling Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">The Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards">The Best Co-Branded Airline Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel computers fraud protection online shopping passports passwords stealing theft unsecure wi-fi Wed, 10 Aug 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Nick Wharton 1767287 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Surprising Things You Still Can't Do Online in 2016 http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-things-you-still-cant-do-online-in-2016 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-surprising-things-you-still-cant-do-online-in-2016" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_20643848_LARGE.jpg" alt="you still can&#039;t do these things online" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's 2016. The digital age, right?</p> <p>Well, that's mostly true. There are more and more things that we can do online. And it's nice. Who wants to spend time standing in line when you can take care of business from the comfort and privacy of your own home?</p> <p>Still, every once in awhile, you run into something you can't actually do on the Internet. Here are the things I've found that you still have to do in-person.</p> <h2>1. Use Food Stamps</h2> <p>It has recently come to light that people using food stamps <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/07/15/the-simple-change-that-could-get-affordable-food-to-the-poor-people-who-need-it/">cannot purchase groceries online</a>. This can keep those who live in food deserts from obtaining healthy, unprocessed food. There are some movements online to change this but, for the moment, you have to show up in-person to buy groceries via a government program. While it might be harder to eliminate food stamp fraud, allowing food stamp use online would allow many Americans to eat healthier.</p> <h2>2. Make DMV Changes</h2> <p>This can vary a bit from state-to-state, but many places will not allow you to do things like <a href="http://www.carsdirect.com/dmv/dmv-online-what-you-can-and-cant-do-online">change your address online</a>. While some states will let you fill out an online form to make the change, you will still have to print it out and either send it in or take it to the DMV to get the change into the system.</p> <p>Since you can't usually change your address online, I suppose it follows that you can't take the written driver's test online. While this makes sense in terms of eliminating test fraud and cheating, it means that every single person who wants to take the driving test needs to make an appointment, making for crowded DMVs in many states.</p> <h2>3. Apply for a U.S. Passport</h2> <p>Similarly, you can input all of the information you need to get a U.S. passport online, but you can't actually submit the form. For that matter, you can't pay for it online, either.</p> <p>When it comes to passports, you have to submit your old passport when you apply for a new one. This helps eliminate fraud and helps the government track the different passports you have had. Since you can't send your passport through the computer, the government asks you to send your whole application packet together, by old fashioned mail.</p> <h2>4. Vote</h2> <p>While you can register to vote online, you can't actually cast your vote that way. It seems like <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/when-will-we-be-able-to-vote-online/">it would be a positive move</a>: more people would participate in elections, and the overall cost of having an election would go down.</p> <p>However, voter fraud is a real thing. While there are probably some ways to implement online voting that would at least make fraud hard, the government hasn't invested itself there yet. Some states, like Colorado, are starting to send every registered voter an absentee ballot, though. That way, you can vote from the privacy of your own home, even if you have to send the ballot through the mail instead of the wires.</p> <h2>5. Pay Some Utility Bills</h2> <p>I don't know about you, but I still have a couple of utility bills that I can't pay online. Instead, I have to either send a check or pay by phone. You would think that even small companies would permit online payment, but there are still those that don't.</p> <p>It seems like this is more common with small utility companies, like the family-owned trash company that services my area, or rural ones. If you can't pay online, try giving them a call. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-monthly-telecom-bills-you-can-negotiate">Paying by phone</a> is almost as easy, and many companies are more than happy to let you use your credit card that way, so you don't have to have checks in order to pay your bills.</p> <h2>6. Register a Birth Or a Death</h2> <p>While you can often request documentation of a birth or a death via the Internet, you can't actually register either online. Even U.S. citizens born in other countries have to visit an embassy (or have parents do so) before they can get an official U.S. birth certificate or passport. For children born in the U.S., it's usually enough to have a hospital verify the birth and submit the proper paperwork, so the family doesn't have to actually present the baby anywhere.</p> <p>When it comes to birth and death, the chances for fraud are very high. Even with all of the cyber security that's possible these days, more birth and death certificates would be fraudulently issued if the process was available online. When someone is held accountable for issuing these certificates, fraud is less likely.</p> <p><em>Have you run into anything you can't do online? Do you think that's a good decision or not?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-things-you-still-cant-do-online-in-2016">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-usb-powered-fans">The 5 Best USB-Powered Fans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-favorite-mail-order-websites">10 Favorite Mail-Order Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-a-deal-every-time-you-shop-with-these-tools">Get a Deal Every Time You Shop with These Tools</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-the-nasty-secret-of-the-craigslist-free-section">Beware, The Nasty Secret Of The Craigslist Free Section</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology computer convenience dmv laptop online online shopping tech obsessed vote work from home Wed, 10 Aug 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1769233 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Avoid These Online Shopping Mistakes http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-avoid-these-online-shopping-mistakes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-avoid-these-online-shopping-mistakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shocked_laptop_78703515.jpg" alt="Woman trying to avoid online shopping mistakes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on online shopping mistakes to avoid, the secrets behind a tidy home, and bobby pin hacks that will change your life.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2016/0731/Avoid-these-five-online-shopping-mistakes">Avoid these five online shopping mistakes</a> &mdash; Take advantage of free trial offers &mdash; the savings can really add up! Set a calendar notification or alarm on your phone to remind you to cancel when the trial period is about to end. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.adebtfreestressfreelife.com/7-secrets-behind-tidy-home/">The 7 Secrets Behind A Tidy Home</a> &mdash; If you're already in room doing something else, take a couple minutes to do some cleaning or organizing. [A Debt Free Mess Free Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Bobby-Pin-Uses-42115341">These 10 Bobby Pin Hacks Will Change Your Whole Life</a> &mdash; A bobby pin works great as a bookmark! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.experian.com/blogs/news/about/ways-to-save-school/">Back-to-School Budgeting: How to Save Money on School Shopping</a> &mdash; Back-to-school spending is expected to increase from last year, but there are steps you can take to keep it affordable. Join Experian's #CreditChat tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET for a discussion on back-to-school shopping do's and don'ts. [Experian]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cultofmoney.com/2016/07/27/5-unique-apps-will-save-money/">5 Unique Apps that Will Save Money for You</a> &mdash; Whenever you feel like you deserve a reward, use Tip Yourself to transfer any amount into your &quot;tip jar&quot;. [Cult of Money]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.shebudgets.com/personal-finance/insurance/health-insurance/medical-tips-help-save-big-bucks-medical-costs/70418">Medical Tips that Help You Save Big Bucks on Medical Costs</a> &mdash; Medical billing mistakes are not uncommon, so double check yours when you get it. [SheBudgets]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/replacing-hvac-system.html">Replacing your HVAC system can be expensive &hellip; here&rsquo;s how to get the best value</a> &mdash; It's best to buy the same brand for your AC and furnace if you want an efficient system. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="https://blog.mint.com/trends/best-ways-get-healthy-budget-080116/">Best Ways to Get Healthy on a Budget</a> &mdash; If you travel a lot or if you don't want bulky weights to take up space in your living room, consider investing in a good set of resistance bands. [mintLife]</p> <p><a href="http://fitzvillafuerte.com/start-business-quit-job.html">How To Start a Business and Quit Your Job</a> &mdash; Let go of the employee mindset. Continue doing the necessary work at your day job, but put your best efforts into building your business. [Ready To Be Rich]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/why-you-should-conisder-letting-your-kids-share-a-room">Why You Should Consider Letting Your Kids Share a Room</a> &mdash; Kids who share a room are forced to learn how to compromise and communicate. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-avoid-these-online-shopping-mistakes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-prevent-a-drunken-online-shopping-spree">How to Prevent a Drunken Online Shopping Spree</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use">7 Amazon Prime Perks You&#039;ve Forgotten to Use</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discount-designer-clothing-17-places-to-get-name-brands-for-less">Discount Designer Clothing: 17 Places to Get Name Brands for Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping best money tips online shopping Tue, 02 Aug 2016 09:30:34 +0000 Amy Lu 1763917 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Online Retailers Who Let You Stack Coupons http://www.wisebread.com/9-online-retailers-who-let-you-stack-coupons <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-online-retailers-who-let-you-stack-coupons" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_computer_shopping_71387301.jpg" alt="Couple using online retailers who let them stack coupons" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The idea of walking into a store and stacking coupons of different varieties is not a new concept to most savvy shoppers. Perhaps it's a manufacturer's coupon, stacked with a store-branded coupon, to essentially double your savings. But what about stacking coupon codes when shopping online? I'm here to tell you that it absolutely can be done and it's an amazing way to score a fantastic online deal. Here are the nine &quot;stacking&quot; websites worth knowing about.</p> <h2>1-3. Banana Republic, Gap, and Old Navy</h2> <p>While all three of these stores generally don't allow coupon stacking in-store, their websites happily let you stack up to five coupon codes on a single purchase. Your best option for success is to stack a percentage-off coupon with a dollar-off coupon, although two percentage-off coupons will sometimes work. To maximize your savings, add the percentage-off coupon to your online order first, followed by the dollar-off coupon. Sign up for their newsletters and keep an eye on<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-best-deals-coupons-sites"> coupon websites</a> in order to find multiple coupon codes worth stacking.</p> <h2>4. CVS Drugstore</h2> <p>CVS has a legendary in-store coupon stacking policy that lets you stack a manufacturer coupon, store coupon, and CVS Extra Care Bucks for maximum savings. While shopping online via their website doesn't provide the same amazing stacking ability, it's still worth mentioning. They'll let you stack two coupons per online order, one for a site-wide percentage off, and one coupon good for a specific item you're purchasing.</p> <h2>5. DSW</h2> <p>DSW, also known as Designer Shoe Warehouse, is known for their liberal coupon policy which lets you stack three different coupon codes on your online order. It should also be noted that a coupon code is only good once per account, so once you redeem it, it's gone. Be sure to sign up for the <a href="https://www.dsw.com/dsw_shoes/user/loginAccount.jsp?cm_re=010509%2520Flats-_-Sub3-_-DSW%2520Rewards">DSW Rewards program</a>, as they'll send you monthly coupons that you can stack for things like free shipping or up to 20% off your order.</p> <h2>6. Kohl's</h2> <p>Kohl's just might be the king of coupons when it comes to the ability to stack them. As a matter of fact, you can stack up to four coupons per online purchase. Your best strategy is to start by adding a site-wide percentage off coupon to your virtual shopping cart; you can typically find 15% or 20% off coupons by doing a quick Google search for &quot;Kohl's coupons.&quot; Next, if available, add a couple department specific coupon codes to your purchase. Lastly, for good measure, add a free shipping coupon code to the mix so you get your purchase delivered to your doorstep for no extra charge.</p> <h2>7. NewEgg</h2> <p>Stacking coupon codes at NewEgg works a little different than the other stores mentioned. They allow you to stack more than one coupon per order, but you can only use a single coupon on each item in your purchase. Because they rarely release site-wide coupons, this is not a big issue. But they do release many coupons for specific items, especially for computers and accessories like external hard drives, flash drives, and SSD drives. So if you're not brand or model specific, and simply have a few &quot;must-have&quot; specs in mind, you can very likely buy three items and apply a coupon code to each. Check out their <a href="http://promotions.newegg.com/NEemail/latest/index-landing.aspx">promo codes page</a> for a updated list of current coupons. It's also worth your time to sign up for coupons via email while you're there.</p> <h2>8. Target</h2> <p>According to the <a href="http://help.target.com/help/subcategoryarticle?childcat=How+to+use+promo+codes&amp;parentcat=Promotions+%26+Coupons">Target website</a>, you can apply multiple promo codes to your online purchase. While they aren't specific as to the number of codes you can stack, all you need to do is enter each one and click apply until they say &quot;no mas.&quot; Also, according to their website, it should also be noted that &quot;some offers require that only one promo code be applied.&quot; When this happens, you'll automatically get credit for the coupon that nets you the greatest savings. Always start your search for stackable Target promo codes directly on <a href="http://help.target.com/help/subcategoryarticle?childcat=Current+promotions&amp;parentcat=Promotions+%26+Coupons">their &quot;Current Promotions&quot; page</a>.</p> <h2>9. Victoria's Secret</h2> <p>Victoria's Secret will accept three offer codes on a single online purchase. When checking out from their website, look for the offer codes section and enter up to three. You'll find these codes through their catalog, website, emails, and in promotional mailings. If all of these options fail to score you a code, simply type &quot;Victoria's Secret coupons&quot; into Google and you're bound to find something you can use to save.</p> <p>Not only will Victoria's Secret accept multiple coupon codes on your online purchase, but they'll even <a href="https://customerservice.victoriassecret.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/309/~/i-forgot-my-offer-code-when-i-placed-my-order,-what-do-i-do%3F">retroactively add a code</a> if you forget to add it during checkout, or maybe found one after you finalized your order. You can call them directly at (800) 568-4288 to get your coupon code added to your online purchase. The sooner you can call them after finalizing your purchase, the better, as it gives them ample to time to adjust your order total before shipping your purchase.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been able to successfully stack coupons to save some extra money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-online-retailers-who-let-you-stack-coupons">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stores-with-the-best-price-matching">10 Stores With the Best Price Matching</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-big-list-of-money-saving-coupon-codes-for-halloween-2016">The Big List of Money-Saving Coupon Codes for Halloween 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-genius-ways-to-save-on-cyber-monday">6 Genius Ways to Save on Cyber Monday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping coupon codes deals discounts online shopping retail stacking websites Mon, 11 Jul 2016 10:00:14 +0000 Kyle James 1748329 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get Even More Freebies in Exchange for a Review http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-even-more-freebies-in-exchange-for-a-review <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-even-more-freebies-in-exchange-for-a-review" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_lipstick_selfie_000078747697.jpg" alt="Woman getting freebies in exchange for a review" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Who doesn't like to get free stuff? It's even better when the free stuff is actually stuff you want and like. Through the help of a small personal website and my Amazon review account, I have been able to review &mdash; and keep &mdash; over $1,000 worth of goods for free.</p> <p>Here are my simple tips to increase how many freebies you can score each year.</p> <h2>It All Starts With a Good Amazon Account</h2> <p>If you want to be approached by companies, you have to have an Amazon review account that is full of reviews. Not all of my reviews are great, but if you can take the time to write some helpful and detailed reviews for products you already own and love, then you will increase your chances of being seen by a company. Companies will go based off of reviewer ranking and helpful vote counts.</p> <p>I also highly recommend updating your Amazon reviewer profile to include a little about yourself, your email address, and your picture. My profile says something like, &quot;Yes, I will review your product. Just email me.&quot; A few companies have reached out to me through my profile to offer me a product to review.</p> <h2>Have a Small Website</h2> <p>A small website, even one that is on a free WordPress or Blogger platform, can help you get stuff for free to review. Some review sites will have specific requirements, such as X number of Facebook followers or X number of pageviews each month. I have found that most of the Christian publishers I review books for have very easy restrictions, since Amazon reviews tend to be the gold that most publishers are going for.</p> <h2>Try Reaching Out to Companies Directly</h2> <p>Maybe you don't have a website but instead a social media account or YouTube channel with quite a few subscribers. If you are not approached by companies already, try reaching out to them.</p> <p>A few years ago, I ran a site called<em> The Thrifty Wife</em>, which was not popular, but it had about 1,000 views a week. I looked at other sites that were comparable to mine and saw what they reviewed. I then would reach out to those companies asking if they were interested in exchanging their product for a review. This might be out of your comfort zone, but it worked for a few products.</p> <p>Companies usually have a PR or marketing department, and those individuals most likely do not have time to research every social media account. Most of the extremely popular websites and social media accounts are hard to get a hold of or charge companies to review products. This is where individuals with a decent following come into play.</p> <h2>Book Publishers That Offer Review Copies</h2> <p>I review Christian books as a part of Tyndale, Moody, and HarperCollins' book reviewing programs. However, there are several programs available for both Christian and non-Christian books. Check publisher's websites to see if they have a reviewer program or a first look newsletter. Many indie authors are usually more than happy to provide free digital copies for reviews, so don't be afraid to reach out.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/bethanyhouse/bookreviewers">Bethany House</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.tyndaleblognetwork.com/">Tyndale Blog Network</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.hayhousebooknook.com/">Hay House</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.waterbrookmultnomah.com/bloggingforbooks/">Blogging for Books</a></li> <li><a href="http://tywebbinvirtualevents.com/authors-on-tour/join/">Tywebbin</a></li> <li><a href="http://mpnewsroom.com/">Moody Publishers</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.bookbrowse.com/arc/">BookBrowse</a></li> <li><a href="http://radiantlit.com/">Radiant Lit</a></li> <li><a href="http://vesselproject.com/">The Vessel Project</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.springer.com/book+reviews?SGWID=0-108-12-690404-0">Springer</a></li> </ul> <h2>Other Product Review Sites</h2> <p>Right now, I am a part of <a href="http://www.blueribbonsreview.com/">Blue Ribbon Reviews</a>, which offers free and heavily discounted items to review. I have received a backseat car organizer, reusable baby food pouches, and food containers for less than a $1 a piece, and they were things I could use anyways. So far, their free items I have seen offered have been for sleep-inducing syrup and wallets.</p> <p>The other company I review for is <a href="http://allstarreviewers.com/">All Star Review</a>. The site has offered 100% free items, but you are alerted of the free item a day before it launches, and then it is a first come, first serve basis the day the freebie is live.</p> <p>Obviously <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/vine/help">Amazon's Vine program</a> would be ideal, but I am still waiting for my invite. You can check out these other sites, too. Some are for free products, and others are for deeply discounted items.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.lucky21.com">Lucky21</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.amz.one/#a_aid=trc">AMZ.one </a></li> <li><a href="http://www.therevieweffect.com">The Review Effect </a></li> <li><a href="https://homeproducttesting.org/">Home Product Testing </a></li> <li><a href="http://productelf.com/">Product Elf </a></li> <li><a href="https://www.snagshout.com/">Snagshout </a></li> <li><a href="https://www.giveawayservice.com/">Giveaway Service</a></li> </ul> <p>I have received several great things for free that have been very useful to me, including many organic food items and books that were on my &quot;to read&quot; wish list. However, there have been times I have been asked to review random things, such as a TV antenna or a refrigerator filter that didn't go with my fridge model. To avoid bringing clutter into my home, I only review products I want or know that I will use.</p> <p><em>What have you been able to review for free?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-even-more-freebies-in-exchange-for-a-review">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-little-known-amazon-shopping-hacks">5 Little Known Amazon Shopping Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-big-list-of-money-saving-coupon-codes-for-halloween-2016">The Big List of Money-Saving Coupon Codes for Halloween 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stores-with-the-best-price-matching">10 Stores With the Best Price Matching</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-avoid-sneaky-online-price-changes">6 Ways to Avoid Sneaky Online Price Changes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping Amazon books discounts freebies online shopping reviews Tue, 07 Jun 2016 09:00:12 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1725690 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Questions to Always Ask Yourself Before Making a Big Purchase http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-always-ask-yourself-before-making-a-big-purchase <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-questions-to-always-ask-yourself-before-making-a-big-purchase" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_credit_Card_000077386097.jpg" alt="Woman asking questions before making big purchase" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I say &quot;big&quot; purchase, I mean anything that shows up on your credit card statement and the dollar amount catches your attention. That number will be different for everyone &mdash; could be $50, or it could be triple digits. In any case, if you get in the habit of asking yourself a few of the following questions before making a &quot;big&quot; purchase, you can easily remove some spending on items that don't add to your long term happiness and financial goals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-stop-impulse-buying?ref=seealso">9 Simple Ways to Stop Impulse Buying</a>)</p> <h2>1. Will I Need the Item in the Future?</h2> <p>When making a significant purchase, get in the habit of talking to yourself a little bit. Ask if this item is something you'll need in a week? In a month? Six months from now? Once you have your answers, then make the decision. By asking yourself the question, you can often quickly determine if it's an impulse purchase, which you'll never use regularly, or something you actually need and has long-term value.</p> <h2>2. Does Amazon Really Have the Best Price?</h2> <p>The biggest problem with Amazon is they make it so darn easy to make purchases and overspend. This is especially true if you have a Prime membership and with a single click you can have an item sitting on your doorstep in two days. It often turns consumers into impulse shoppers who rarely do price comparisons and rely on the convenience factor that Amazon provides. But in the long-run, there's no doubt you're going to overpay on many items, and at the end of the year, that money will be significant, especially if you shop at Amazon on a weekly basis. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-stop-online-impulse-spending?ref=seealso">This Is How You Stop Online Impulse Spending</a>)</p> <p>I recommend disabling the &quot;1-click&quot; feature and disconnecting your credit card from your account, which makes it harder to complete an order. You'll be much less likely to shop, click, buy, and overspend. Also, before completing your next significant Amazon purchase, I encourage you to pull up a separate browser tab and do a quick price comparison on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.google.com/shopping">Google Shopping</a>. See if the price you're about to pay really is a good deal, and then proceed accordingly.</p> <h2>3. What Is the Return Policy?</h2> <p>How familiar are you with any given store's return policy? If you're like most, unless it's a store you frequent often, you probably have no idea what the policy details are. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the policy, especially if you're on the fence about the purchase to begin with, or don't know if it's the right size, color, or variation. Will you be able to return it? What about if you open the box? How long do you have to bring it back? These are all things you need to know, so be sure to ask before you make the purchase. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-refund-when-something-is-non-refundable?ref=seealso">How to Get a Refund When Something Is Non-Refundable</a>)</p> <p>Also, be aware of the return policy of &quot;liquidation&quot; or &quot;going out of business&quot; sales. Often these type of sales have a <em>no </em>return policy and all sales are considered final. With the recent news of Sports Authority going out of business, and selling their merchandise to a group of liquidators, it has many shoppers anticipating a plethora of sporting good deals. Be aware that more than likely, whatever you buy you won't be able to return. So be sure that ping-pong table will fit on your patio before handing them your credit card.</p> <h2>4. Is a Coupon Available?</h2> <p>Despite a plethora of coupon apps and coupon websites available, it still amazes me how many shoppers I see pay full-price in front of me in line, while I pull out my smartphone to access a discount. Get in the habit of always asking yourself if a coupon might be available, and then go find one. Then if you can't find one, politely ask the cashier if they have one you can use. Stores like Michaels, Bed Bath &amp; Beyond, Pier 1 Imports, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Joann Fabrics are notorious for handing them out to those who simply ask. After all, the worst they can say is, &quot;No, sorry, we don't have any coupons right now.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-last-minute-coupon?ref=seealso">6 Ways to Score a Last-Minute Coupon</a>)</p> <h2>5. Can I Find a Cheaper Alternative?</h2> <p>Some items have&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-cheaper-versions-of-your-favorite-products">cheaper alternatives</a> that do the job just as well, and the only difference is the price tag. Things like a KitchenAid mixer, Dyson vacuum, and Beats headphones immediately come to mind. To figure out if the &quot;big&quot; purchase I'm about to make has a cheaper alternative, I love using the Amazon product carousels found on the individual product page. The two Amazon carousels worth scouring for deals are titled &quot;Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought&quot; and &quot;Sponsored Products Related to This Item.&quot;</p> <p>For example, the Beats Solo2 Wireless Headphones currently sell for&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/1XWINFQ">$199.99&ndash;$299.99 on Amazon</a>, but if you scroll down the product page you'll find some hidden gems in the above mentioned product carousels. In particular, the $44&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/1XWsXLm">Status Audio HD One Headphones</a> caught my eye with their 526 reviews and an average review of 4.5 out of 5 stars, the exact same rating as the Beats variety. Then when you scroll down to the Status Audio reviews, the first review,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/review/R3BYS6LWBH0TNW/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&amp;ASIN=B00SWDHUXW&amp;channel=detail-glance&amp;nodeID=172282&amp;store=electronics">by Michael M</a> nails my point:</p> <p>&quot;It's interesting that the Beats headphones are such sellers and that they are making a ton of money on those because they are horrible headphones with cheap parts and are selling you on their name and as a fashion accessory. If that's your thing then that's fine. But if it's music you want to listen to clearly and accurately then buy these.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Is This a Replacement Item or Something New?</h2> <p>Ask yourself if the significant purchase you're about to make is for an item that's replacing something you own, or simply something new and shiny that you figured you couldn't live without. If it's the latter, do you really need to buy it right now? Odds are if you tell yourself &quot;No,&quot; the must-have feeling will go away shortly as your brain moves on to more pressing things. If the item is replacing something you own that broke, are you sure you can't do a YouTube search and figure out how to fix it? Or maybe it's being sold used on eBay for a fraction of the price.</p> <h2>7. Should I Buy a Higher Quality Item?</h2> <p>Sometimes it's just plain smart to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/quality-over-price-15-items-to-spend-more-on">spend more money on a quality product</a> that will last and not accrue quick replacement costs. The problem is knowing when spending more for quality makes the most sense so you don't overspend unnecessarily. A good rule of thumb is to consider how often the item will be used. If it will be used daily, or several times per day, and you plan on keeping it for years to come, then you'll want to consider the quality of the item along with the price and determine if spending more makes sense. Things like tools, mattresses, shoes, kitchen knives, cold-weather jackets, and baby gear are all items worth spending more for higher quality.</p> <h2>8. Have I Considered the Long Term Costs?</h2> <p>Stores like Petco and PetSmart make a killing on the long-term costs of their products. As a matter of fact, they wouldn't exist without them. While that cute hamster seems like a bargain at only $10, the real cost is actually in the hundreds when you consider a cage, food, bedding, and accessories. I recently ran into this issue with my 11-year-old daughter who saved up to buy her own hamster and supplies only to lose interest in the cute furball a couple months later.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the long term costs of the hamster remain the same even though nobody pays attention to it. While we will be giving it away to a friend, I would have been much better off doing a test run with an animal with lower long term costs in the beginning. Perhaps if she could have cared for a goldfish for several months, she could have moved up to the hamster. Lesson learned.</p> <p><em>How do you noodle through big purchases and whether they're smart buys or not?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-always-ask-yourself-before-making-a-big-purchase">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-avoid-sneaky-online-price-changes">6 Ways to Avoid Sneaky Online Price Changes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-shopping-apps-thatll-actually-save-you-money-in-2016">The 8 Shopping Apps That&#039;ll Actually Save You Money in 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-get-the-best-deals-on-groupon">7 Ways to Get the Best Deals on Groupon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Amazon coupons deals google shopping online shopping price comparisons quality Mon, 06 Jun 2016 10:00:13 +0000 Kyle James 1723973 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_phone_shopping_000086939113.jpg" alt="Woman using apps that pay her to shop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know &quot;there's an app for that.&quot; Usually we're referring to apps that make our lives a little bit easier somehow. But what if there were a bunch of apps out there that'll actually <em>pay </em>you to shop? Whether it be through earning cash back by purchasing stuff we'd be buying anyways, or simply paying you to snap a pic of your receipt, these apps all have the potential to help you earn some significant money. What's more helpful than that?</p> <h2>1. Swagbucks</h2> <p><a href="http://swagbucks.7eer.net/c/27771/19503/799">Swagbucks</a> is a cash back app with a twist &mdash; namely it focuses on surveys as its primary business model. You download the app, pick a survey to complete, and earn &quot;Swagbucks&quot; when you complete it. The cool thing about the surveys is they tell you exactly how long they will take to complete, and the number of Swagbucks you'll earn. For example, a six-minute survey will give you 50 Swagbucks and the questions are very simple, opinion-based questions. Earn 500 Swagbucks and you'll be eligible for a $5 gift card from Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart or Target. Sitting in the doctor's office waiting room, or maybe at the DMV, complete a Swagbucks survey or two, and before you know it, you'll be treating yourself to a free Venti Frappuccino.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cool-convenient-cash-11-easy-ways-to-make-money-online?utm_source=wisebraed&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=article">How to Make Money Online Without Even Trying</a></p> <h2>2. iBotta</h2> <p>While already on the radar screen of most frugal shoppers,&nbsp;<a href="https://ibotta.com/r/jcsgjbv">iBotta</a> is a terrific way to earn cash at the grocery store. Cash back takes the form of &quot;rebates,&quot; and you simply unlock rebates on specific items before you head to the grocery store. Items that often have rebates available include such staples as milk, eggs, yogurt, and butter. Then when you return home, just scan the receipt with the iBotta app and your rebates, once verified, go straight to your account balance. When your iBotta account reaches $10, you can request payment via PayPal or Venmo. The app is terrific way to supplement traditional paper coupons and double your savings in many cases.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=article">Earn Thousands Per Year With These Cash Back Sites</a></p> <h2>3. ShopKick</h2> <p>The&nbsp;<a href="https://www.shopkick.com/">ShopKick</a> app rewards you with free gift cards for doing the shopping you'd be doing anyways. It works by giving you reward points, known as &quot;kicks,&quot; just for walking into stores like Walmart, Target, Starbucks, Best Buy, and even at your local grocery store. Then when you buy something from the store, you earn even more kicks. Earn enough kicks, and you'll get rewarded with free gift cards to the store of your choosing. Surprisingly, it doesn't take much to earn things like a $5 Starbucks gift card. You'll also be kept updated with new coupons and deals at your favorite stores so you can save even more. An insider tip to quickly add up kicks is to follow&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/SHOPkick">ShopKick on Facebook</a> as they update their feed with new ways to earn free kicks.</p> <h2>4. Mobee</h2> <p><a href="http://www.mobeeapp.com/">Mobee</a> touts themselves as a &quot;fun, new way to make money on your phone.&quot; Once downloaded to your smartphone, the app works by displaying &quot;missions&quot; in your local area that pay you money to complete. The missions are displayed on a map allowing you to quickly see which ones you can easily perform on your next shopping trip. The idea is that you're going to be there anyways, so why not earn a couple bucks in the process?</p> <p>For example, your local Starbucks might have a mission that requires you to answer a few questions about your visit. Most missions give you 250&ndash;750 points and a $5 Starbucks gift card is available after about 500 points. Earn 2,500 points at Walmart and trade your points in for a $25 gift card. I was happily surprised to see the points required to earn gift cards were very reasonable, making this app worth a look.</p> <h2>5. Receipt Hog</h2> <p><a href="http://receipthog.com/">Receipt Hog</a> allows you to cash-in on your shopping receipts. Unlike cash back apps like iBotta, Receipt Hog lets you earn rewards by scanning your receipt from ANY store and it doesn't matter what items you purchased. Once you earn 1,000 points, you'll be eligible for a $5 Amazon gift card or $5 sent directly to your PayPal account. You'll earn 50&ndash;100 points per receipt making a free $5 pretty easy to obtain. I've been using this app for a few months and have already earned $25 in Amazon gift cards with very little effort.</p> <h2>6. Loot!</h2> <p>The folks at&nbsp;<a href="http://earn.loot-app.com/">Loot!</a> have created an app that lets you earn rewards by sharing, typically via social media, recent experiences with a particular brand or retailer. These experiences often require you to snap a picture to share, but not always. For example, you might be asked to snap a picture of a movie you're viewing and share it on Facebook, or perhaps share a print advertisement for a particular product via Twitter. These tasks typically pay in the $0.50 to $1.75 range.</p> <p>You can also earn $0.05 for a Twitter and Facebook &quot;shout out&quot; on specific products and brands that Loot! is currently promoting. The app automatically links your social media accounts making it a simply process to perform a shout out.</p> <h2>7. Gigwalk</h2> <p>When you're out-and-about, on a shopping trip, or simply taking a stroll through town, use the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gigwalk.com/">Gigwalk app</a> to earn some extra cash by completing small tasks. A couple &quot;gig&quot; examples include $10 for taking a dog on a walk or $4 for taking a picture of a store display. The closer you live to a large metropolitan area, the more gigs will be available to you. While the app is appealing as a cool way to earn a few extra bucks, the negative reviews of the app revolve around not enough gigs available and a waiting period for approval that often exceeds a week. But it definitely has potential and is worth being on your radar screen.</p> <p>See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-a-side-gig-at-these-4-best-micro-jobs-sites?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=article">Find a Side Gig at These 4 Best Micro-Jobs Sites</a></p> <h2>8. Field Agent</h2> <p>Somewhat similar to Gigwalk,&nbsp;<a href="https://app.fieldagent.net/">Field Agent</a> pays you to do small jobs in your local area. The biggest difference between the two apps is that Field Agent is more shopping-focused and has &quot;jobs&quot; at locations like Costco, RiteAid, Safeway, and Marshalls. Jobs are first come first serve, pay between $2 and $15, and must be accomplished within two hours of accepting. An example of a past Costco job was an &quot;egg audit,&quot; which for $7, required you record the egg sizes, egg prices, and count the number of egg products in the warehouse. An easy $7 in your pocket if you're on your way to Costco anyways. Similar to Gigwalk, the closer you live to a metropolitan area, the more jobs will be available to you via the app.</p> <p>Free for&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/US/app/field-agent/id364946558">iOS</a> and&nbsp;<a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.fieldagent">Android</a>.</p> <p><em>How do you use your smartphone to earn a little extra money?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Falternative-wedding-ideas-for-big-savings&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Apps%2520That%2520Actually%2520Pay%2520You%2520to%2520Shop.jpg&amp;description=8%20Apps%20That%20Actually%20Pay%20You%20to%20Shop"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Apps%20That%20Actually%20Pay%20You%20to%20Shop.jpg" alt="8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-apps-turn-saving-money-into-a-game-are-they-worth-it">These Apps Turn Saving Money Into a Game — Are They Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-more-apps-that-pay-you-to-shop">6 More Apps That Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-shopping-apps-thatll-actually-save-you-money-in-2016">The 8 Shopping Apps That&#039;ll Actually Save You Money in 2016</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology apps gift cards groceries ibotta online shopping rewards smartphones swagbucks Fri, 27 May 2016 10:30:04 +0000 Kyle James 1717319 at http://www.wisebread.com