fruit of their labor http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/6311/all en-US Throwing out your own trash http://www.wisebread.com/throwing-out-your-own-trash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/throwing-out-your-own-trash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/urbana-street.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="182" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Businesses, especially big businesses, try constantly to shift work from their paid staff to their customers. It&#39;s one of the major trends in business today. </p> <p>Customers are willing to do the work when it saves them money or saves them time. They&#39;re delighted to do the work when it makes it easier for them to get exactly what they want--selecting their own fruit at the grocery store versus having a clerk give them a bag that includes one bruised piece that otherwise wouldn&#39;t sell.</p> <p>Business will go to great lengths to get you to do unpaid work (same as to get you to buy stuff in the first place). They&#39;ll gladly pretend that it&#39;s an &quot;improvement&quot; in service for you to do the work yourself--a claim that&#39;s even true sometimes, as when you can look to see if a check has cleared on your bank&#39;s website, rather than having to get an employee to look for you. They&#39;ll pretend it&#39;s more convenient to do it yourself than to wait in line (and then they&#39;ll get rid of some employees to make sure that the lines don&#39;t get shorter). They&#39;ll even try to convince you that doing unpaid work for them is a moral issue. </p> <p>When I was in sixth grade my elementary school class took a bus trip to Chicago to visit some museums. We brought brown-bag lunches to eat on the way, and before we went our teacher carefully coached us about gathering up our litter and throwing it away, so as not to leave a mess on the bus. When we reached that point, though, the driver used the PA system on the bus to give us alternate instructions.</p> <blockquote><p>Finished with your lunch? Put your trash back in your bag. Now, stuff the bag underneath your seat. I know the guy who cleans this bus. He&#39;s got a family to support and he needs the work.</p> </blockquote> <p>That made a huge impression on me, and not just because I&#39;m the sort of lazy person who will seize on any excuse to avoid cleaning up after myself.</p> <p>When I&#39;m hiking in the wilderness, I&#39;m scrupulous about packing out my own trash. When I&#39;m in a genuine public space--walking on the street or in a park--I use the trash containers provided. But I&#39;m much more dubious about the matter when I&#39;m in an establishment that hires someone to keep the place clean. When I leave my empty popcorn bag on the floor of a movie theater, I figure I&#39;m helping save someone&#39;s job.</p> <p>The general trend is probably unstoppable. There are so many cases where it actually is more convenient to be able to do the work yourself, that the cases where it isn&#39;t get a little hard to spot and a little hard to resist.</p> <p>Economists would have you believe that the free market will take care of the matter: Customers will give their business to whoever provides the best service at the best price. Keep that in mind, when you decide whether to do unpaid labor for the convenience of businesses.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/throwing-out-your-own-trash">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/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service">7 Retailers With the Absolute Best Customer Service</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-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money</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-effectively-complain-to-the-manager">How to Effectively Complain to the Manager</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-brands-with-the-best-warranties">6 Brands With the Best Warranties</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/sams-club-or-costco-which-warehouse-club-is-right-for-you">Sam&#039;s Club or Costco: Which Warehouse Club Is Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping business customer service fruit of their labor labor issues self-service work Fri, 17 Aug 2007 11:05:27 +0000 Philip Brewer 1014 at http://www.wisebread.com Mom and Dad, Your Financial Decisions Matter http://www.wisebread.com/mom-and-dad-your-financial-decisions-matter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/mom-and-dad-your-financial-decisions-matter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/someone_s_parents.jpg" alt="old couple kissing" title="old couple parents" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="234" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With Mother&#39;s Day in the recent past and Father&#39;s Day two days ago, I wanted to give credit where credit is due and encourage all the parents out there who are trying to teach their kids about money. Those things you&#39;re doing at home? They&#39;re working. Your kids are hearing it! Read below for some more suggestions as to what you can do to teach your kids about money. They worked on me! </p> <p>I don&#39;t know why you care about money (though I&#39;d love to hear it in the comments), but I care about money because my parents cared about money.</p> <p>Really, it&#39;s that simple. When I was growing up, my parents both showed me and taught me that my money and how I chose to spend it was important. They gave me an allowance, but they both encouraged and reminded me to save some. They helped me choose toys that I wanted (and could eventually get) to save towards. When I was old enough, they got me a savings account so that I could get my bank statement in the mail each month and see my money making money (and so I could feel like a big person, and associate that &quot;grown up&quot; feeling with &quot;saving,&quot; I suppose). Later on, they co-signed so I could open a checking account and taught me how to write a check, use my ATM card, and balance my checkbook every month.</p> <p>Beyond all of these things, though, I saw my parents value their money. I saw my dad (and later my mom) go to work every morning so that we would be able to have the things we needed and wanted. I saw dad sit down with his checkbook every month and balance it. I saw him write checks to pay the bills and I saw the little stamped envelopes go out in the mail. I heard him on the phone with different financial planners over the years, sorting out investments and retirement funds. </p> <p>I saw my mom buy things that were a good deal and skip the things that weren&#39;t, even when she wanted them. I helped her fill produce bags and weigh them, and then I helped her calculate what she&#39;d pay. I sat down with her to learn how to write a check and I saw her resolve the discrepancies in my checkbook that I didn&#39;t understand.</p> <p>I also saw the fruits of their labors. I watched them buy a car with cash. I went on vacations that we couldn&#39;t have taken without their careful saving. I saw the things that they could buy for each other and for us that wouldn&#39;t have been an option if they didn&#39;t have a financial plan.</p> <p>So to Mom and Dad (and to all the moms and dads out there who care about money and who are trying to teach their children to do the same), thank you. Thank you for showing me not only that making wise decisions about my money was important, but how to make those and what the results could be.</p> <p>Now it&#39;s your turn. Why do you care about money? Did your parents do anything that helped or hindered your relationship with money later in life? Please share: I&#39;d love to hear!</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/mom-and-dad-your-financial-decisions-matter">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/balancing-act-the-perils-of-budgeting">Balancing Act: The Perils of Budgeting</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/make-your-dvd-player-region-free-in-seconds">Make Your DVD Player Region-Free in Seconds</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-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</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/remove-car-dents-quickly-and-cheaply">Remove Car Dents Quickly and Cheaply</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/a-simple-guide-to-planning-for-a-loved-ones-long-term-care">A Simple Guide to Planning For a Loved One&#039;s Long-Term Care</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY balance a checkbook checkbook fruit of their labor mom and dad parenting parents Tue, 19 Jun 2007 17:09:40 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 757 at http://www.wisebread.com