shopping tips http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7/all en-US 5 Store Card Pitfalls to Watch Out for http://www.wisebread.com/5-store-card-pitfalls-to-watch-out-for <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-store-card-pitfalls-to-watch-out-for" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/attractive_woman_with_credit_card_and_laptop.jpg" alt="Attractive woman with credit card and laptop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've ever visited a department store, you've probably seen how they use credit card promotions to rope you in. The first clue you're being scouted usually takes place at the register. As you check out and prepare to pay, the cashier hints that you could save 20% or 30% on today's purchase, but there's a catch. To score this amazing discount, you need to sign up for a store credit card.</p> <p>Store credit cards work similarly to traditional credit cards in that they let you charge purchases and pay them back over time. The biggest difference is, you can often only use your store card at one department store or a family of stores. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/store-credit-cards-that-dont-suck?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Store Credit Cards That Don&rsquo;t Suck</a>)</p> <p>While nothing is technically wrong with store credit cards &mdash; and they can absolutely help you score killer deals on in-store merchandise &mdash; that doesn't mean they're risk free. There are several features of store cards that set them apart from most other credit cards, and that can turn into pitfalls if you're not careful.</p> <p>Before you excitedly rush into applying for a store card to get the promotional deal, here are some downsides to be aware of.</p> <h2>1. High interest rates</h2> <p>One of the biggest pitfalls of store credit cards is the fact that they tend to charge higher interest rates than regular credit cards. Sure, cardholders may get coupons for 20% or 30% off purchases, but you'll pay heavily for those discounts if you dare to carry a balance.</p> <p>One popular clothing retailer advertises 30% off your first purchase and 12 extra discounts per year if you sign up as a cardholder, but the fine print reveals that the card's ongoing APR is 24.99%. If you ever plan to carry a balance, you'd be better off forgoing the store card and discounts and signing up for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">low interest credit card</a> instead.</p> <h2>2. Limited acceptance</h2> <p>Another big downside of store credit cards is the fact that most, but not all, can only be used at select stores. These are called &quot;closed-loop&quot; since you can only use them at that particular merchant.</p> <p>Still, some retail cards are also co-branded with Visa or MasterCard. This makes them useful if you need credit for an emergency purchase like a car repair. If you plan to get a credit card to score discounts or rewards, but also think you might use it for emergencies, look for a co-branded card. Some retailers offer both co-branded and closed-loop cards.</p> <h2>3. Narrow rewards redemptions options</h2> <p>Some store credit cards offer their own rewards programs, but these programs are typically limited in scope. For example, one department store card lets you earn 3-6 points per $1 spent at that store, depending on your purchase. But you have to spend 5,000 points to get a $25 gift card. That means you might have to make around $1,667 in purchases to get a $25 reward.</p> <p>That is a rate of return of around 1.5 points per $1 spent (or 1.5%), but your reward is only good for gift cards at that store, making its value severely limited. On the flip side, you could easily find a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash-back credit card</a> that offers 2% cash back or more. With that strategy, you could use your rewards however you want.</p> <h2>4. Deferred interest</h2> <p>Deferred interest is another gimmick department stores use to rope consumers into signing up for a store credit card. These offers are usually advertised similarly to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-0-apr-for-purchases?ref=internal" target="_blank">zero interest credit card</a> offers, but they&rsquo;re not the same thing. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the biggest telltale sign of a deferred interest offer is that the term &quot;if&quot; is used. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deferred-interest-credit-cards-dont-fall-for-this-trick-over-the-holidays?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Deferred Interest Credit Cards: Don't Fall For This Trick Over The Holidays</a>)</p> <p>For example, a 0% offer on a credit card may say something like, &quot;0% APR on purchases for 12 months,&quot; whereas a deferred interest offer will say, &quot;No interest if paid in full within 12 months.&quot;</p> <p>That &quot;if&quot; makes a big difference because, if you don't pay your balance in full as the offer specifies, you'll be hit with retroactive interest charges.</p> <p>&quot;Deferred interest means that if you do not pay off the entire balance of the promotional purchase you've made on your card, then interest going back to the date of the purchase will be added on top of the remaining balance,&quot; <a href="https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/how-understand-special-promotional-financing-offers-credit-cards/" target="_blank">writes the CFPB</a>. &quot;This promotion may also require you to meet other terms as well, such as making your minimum monthly payments on time.&quot;</p> <p>Here's how deferred interest works: Imagine you financed $400 in holiday shopping purchases on a store credit card that offered no interest if you paid your balance in full within 12 months. However, the card's interest rate is normally 25%.</p> <p>Your purchases would accrue $100 in interest charges during the first 12 months, even if they weren't charged right away. If, after 12 months, you hadn't paid down the entire $400 balance, you would immediately see $100 in interest charges added to your bill.</p> <h2>5. Store closures</h2> <p>Store closures are yet another pitfall to watch out for with store credit cards, and this issue really seems to be coming to a head. Major retail chains have closed as many as 5,000 stores in 2017.</p> <p>If you have a store credit card for a department store that closes, it's not the end of the world. Nothing will happen to your card other than the fact you'll no longer be able to use it. Obviously, you'll still owe your balance plus any interest charges. The worst part, however, is the fact that any rewards you've accrued will be worthless once the store is gone.</p> <p>In that respect, a traditional cash-back rewards card could leave you a lot better off since these cards aren't tied to a particular store. Before you sign up for a store credit card, make sure to consider the fact that the store you patronize now may not be around forever.</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-store-card-pitfalls-to-watch-out-for&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Store%2520Card%2520Pitfalls%2520to%2520Watch%2520Out%2520for.jpg&amp;description=5%20Store%20Card%20Pitfalls%20to%20Watch%20Out%20for"></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/u5180/5%20Store%20Card%20Pitfalls%20to%20Watch%20Out%20for.jpg" alt="5 Store Card Pitfalls to Watch Out for" 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/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-store-card-pitfalls-to-watch-out-for">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/make-these-6-credit-card-moves-now-to-prepare-for-holiday-shopping">Make These 6 Credit Card Moves Now to Prepare for Holiday Shopping</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/sick-of-rebate-credit-cards-read-this-to-get-cash">Sick of Rebate Credit Cards? Read This to Get Cash</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-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The Best Credit Cards for Groceries</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/how-to-use-up-remaining-balances-on-prepaid-gift-cards">How to Use Up Remaining Balances on Prepaid Gift 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/what-does-your-personal-guarantee-on-a-business-credit-card-mean">What Does Your Personal Guarantee On a Business Credit Card Mean?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Shopping credit card tips mistakes to avoid shopping pitfalls shopping tips store card store credit card Tue, 12 Dec 2017 09:30:14 +0000 Holly Johnson 2069777 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Better Ways to Spend $1,000 Than on the New iPhone http://www.wisebread.com/12-better-ways-to-spend-1000-than-on-the-new-iphone <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-better-ways-to-spend-1000-than-on-the-new-iphone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_choosing_a_new_mobile_phone_in_a_shop.jpg" alt="Woman choosing a new mobile phone in a shop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Recently I bought the iPhone X, and immediately had buyer's remorse. I'd reconciled the $1,000 price tag with my budget and bank account, but while purchasing the phone through my provider, the extra charges started to rack up. After the upgrade and other fees plus taxes and insurance, the bill came to over $1,400. The phone has since arrived, but it's still in the box because I can't decide whether or not I really want it (because I definitely don't <em>need</em> it) &mdash; especially after all the horror stories about how fragile it is and the very high costs to replace it.</p> <p>Meanwhile, I'm over here thinking about how I can better spend that money if I return the darn thing. If you're in the same boat, let me suggest a few ideas. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sites-that-will-pay-for-your-old-iphone?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Sites That Will Pay for Your Old iPhone</a>)</p> <h2>1. Buy an alpaca</h2> <p>You may have seen a meme on social media suggesting that you buy an alpaca instead of an iPhone X. It's cute, yeah, but it makes sense. For as low as $500, you can <a href="https://www.openherd.com/alpacas-for-sale/" target="_blank">purchase a darling alpaca</a> from livestock-auction site Openherd. This isn't just a pet, either; it's an investment. Savvy alpaca owners can turn a profit on sheared alpaca fleece, like the folks at Prairie Fields Farm in Columbus, Ohio, which sells its natural alpaca fiber to my fashion-designer pal Celeste Malvar-Stewart who, in turn, creates stunning couture dresses and other pieces from her studio, Hangar 31.</p> <p>Of course, you'll need to learn how to care for your alpaca properly (make sure you have the space, obviously), but because the internet has an answer to almost anything, you're in luck with this <a href="https://modernfarmer.com/2015/09/raising-alpacas/" target="_blank">how-to on raising alpacas</a> from Modern Farmer.</p> <h2>2. Fix whatever needs fixing</h2> <p>Does your vehicle need repairs? Washer and dryer on the fritz? Do you need dental work? Use the grand you planned to spend on the iPhone X to solve these problems that in the long run, will cost you even more money if not addressed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-simple-household-repairs-every-frugal-person-should-master?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Simple Household Repairs Every Frugal Person Should Master</a>)</p> <h2>3. Open or contribute to an IRA or 401(k)</h2> <p>If you don't already have an IRA, use the $1,000 to open one.</p> <p>&quot;Go straight to an investment banker,&quot; advises personal finance expert Brian Davis, co-founder of the real estate rental site SparkRental.com. &quot;I personally use Charles Schwab because they're easy and cheap, but use whoever you like.&quot; IRAs come with great tax benefits &mdash; contributions are tax-deductible &mdash; and they're extremely easy to set up.</p> <p>If you already have an IRA or a 401(k), get closer to maxing it out &mdash; hopefully with employer matching &mdash; so you're not leaving free money on the table. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/401k-or-ira-you-need-both?ref=seealso" target="_blank">401(k) or IRA? You Need Both</a>)</p> <p>Save yourself hassle and management fees by investing in a low-fee index fund or target date fund, advises Ian Atkins, managing editor of Small Business Finance section of Fit Small Business. &quot;Putting $1,000 in a tax-advantaged retirement account now can mean big value in 30 years,&quot; he says. &quot;Alternatively, a used iPhone X will be almost worthless in three years.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Cross off a bucket-list item</h2> <p>Is there something on your bucket list you've been dying to do? Sky-dive, maybe? Finally taking that trip to Europe? Cross these items off by forgoing the iPhone X. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-do-9-popular-bucket-list-items-on-a-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Where to Do 9 Popular Bucket List Items on a Budget</a>)</p> <h2>5. Spend it on your health and wellness</h2> <p>Your health and wellness should be worth more to you than a phone. It's priceless, actually.</p> <p>Schedule a spa day, invest in products that will provide a better night's sleep, hire a personal trainer to get your fitness back on track, or jet off on a relaxing retreat to nourish your mind, body, and soul.</p> <h2>6. Take a class to learn or enhance skills</h2> <p>If you're between jobs or just want to make a change, invest in yourself by learning new skills or enhancing skills you already have. Look into classes at your local community college or find a specialty online. For example, you might consider the <a href="https://hbx.hbs.edu/courses/entrepreneurship-essentials/" target="_blank">Entrepreneurial Essentials</a> course to advance your career with a certification from Harvard Business School's online program, <a href="https://hbx.hbs.edu/" target="_blank">HBX</a>. This particular option is only $950, leaving you $50 to celebrate your smart decision with cocktails. Holla!</p> <h2>7. Pay off a credit card that's compounding daily interest</h2> <p>I'm gonna be straight with you: If you have existing credit card debt that's compounding daily interest, you can't afford the iPhone X. No if, ands, or buts about that.</p> <p>M.A. Haley, author and founder of RichestMom.com, is with me on this, especially when it comes to cards with high interest rates. She points out that if you put the $1,000 iPhone on a credit card with an APR of 30 percent or more, then only pay the minimum balance every month, it will take you more than five years to clear the balance and will cost you more than $1,000 in interest payments.</p> <p>Bottom line: Don't go deeper into debt to keep up with the Joneses. You know better than that. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Pay It Off</a>)</p> <h2>8. Invest in artwork</h2> <p>I've invested in artwork for the past 10 years, but not because I want to make money off it. I enjoy looking at the pieces I've purchased from up-and-coming artists &mdash; like my buddy Julian Rapp; his Love Robot is the heart of my collection &mdash; but I do keep my fingers crossed that one day what's hanging on my walls will pay for my retirement. If you research what you're buying and make smart purchases, it may pay off for you, too &mdash; like the lucky ducks who bought an original Banksy without knowing it. No promises, but it's a path to pursue.</p> <h2>9. Put it aside for an emergency</h2> <p>Life throws us curve balls all the time, and sometimes (OK, <em>most</em> of the time) they're expensive. If you don't already have an emergency fund &mdash; which should be between six and nine months' of your usual expenses &mdash; walk straight out of the Apple Store and put your iPhone X money in a safe place for when you need it most. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund-from-0?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Easy Ways to Build an Emergency Fund From $0</a>)</p> <h2>10. Make home improvements</h2> <p>The great thing about home improvements is that they can add resale value to your home, well beyond the upfront cost of the actual improvements. Take a look around to identify areas that could use updating. This is especially timely if you're planning to sell in the near future. You'll attract buyers much more easily with a home that's clean, modern, and move-in ready without the new owners having to put in too much time or extra money on the back end. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-home-improvements-that-add-thousands-to-your-listing?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Easy Home Improvements That Add Thousands to Your Listing</a>)</p> <h2>11. Invest in blue chip stocks</h2> <p>Did you know that if you invested $1,000 in Amazon 20 years ago you'd be a millionaire by now? Shoulda, coulda, woulda, right? Still, it's not too late to invest in the <em>next </em>Amazon with blue chip stocks.</p> <p>&quot;Blue chip stocks are stocks of well-established companies that are most likely a household name,&quot; explains Ogechi Igbokwe, founder of the savings site OneSavvyDollar. &quot;Fortunately, new investors can download the <a href="https://www.robinhood.com/" target="_blank">Robinhood</a> [free stock trading] app, which charges 0 percent commissions for trades and has no minimum balance requirements to get started. This is an app I use, and so far so good.&quot;</p> <h2>12. Improve the life of someone less fortunate</h2> <p>If there's no part of your life that can benefit from saving $1,000 on a new phone, let your generosity shine. I'm not a proponent of donating to national charities &mdash; some of them seem like they are nothing more than profit-turning business with tax exemptions &mdash; but I've provided loans to <a href="https://www.kiva.org/" target="_blank">Kiva</a> borrowers in the past, which helps low-income entrepreneurs and students realize their dreams.</p> <p>If I do donate to charity, I usually focus on my local community, and even then I do my research. I want to make sure my money will help the person or people in need and not a CEO sitting behind his desk counting the cash. So if you'd like to make a donation to someone or an organization directly, you should do the same and get all the details before donating. Once you know where your money is going, you can rest easy knowing that you just made someone else's life easier, safer, or more comfortable, and that will provide way more joy than a phone ever could.</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F12-better-ways-to-spend-1000-than-on-the-new-iphone&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F12%2520Better%2520Ways%2520to%2520Spend%2520%25241%252C000%2520Than%2520on%2520the%2520New%2520iPhone.jpg&amp;description=12%20Better%20Ways%20to%20Spend%20%241%2C000%20Than%20on%20the%20New%20iPhone"></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/u5180/12%20Better%20Ways%20to%20Spend%20%241%2C000%20Than%20on%20the%20New%20iPhone.jpg" alt="12 Better Ways to Spend $1,000 Than on the New iPhone" 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/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-better-ways-to-spend-1000-than-on-the-new-iphone">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/10-innovative-but-obscure-sites-that-put-money-in-your-pocket">10 Innovative But Obscure Sites That Put Money In Your Pocket</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-classic-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-falling-for">10 Classic Impulse Buys We Need to Stop Falling For</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-sites-that-will-pay-for-your-old-iphone">5 Sites That Will Pay for Your Old iPhone</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-5-best-iphone-6-covers">The 5 Best iPhone 6 Covers</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-5-best-waterproof-phone-cases">The 5 Best Waterproof Phone Cases</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology apple products iPhone new phone saving money shopping tips the new iphone Thu, 07 Dec 2017 10:00:06 +0000 Mikey Rox 2068113 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Master These 10 Shopping Skills Before You Hit 30 http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-master-these-10-shopping-skills-before-you-hit-30 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-master-these-10-shopping-skills-before-you-hit-30" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_woman_with_shopping_bags.jpg" alt="Young woman with shopping bags" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your 20s are a time of making mistakes, and getting away with being irresponsible from time to time. By the time you hit 30, however, you should learn from those past mistakes, and have your life together, and that includes managing your finances. Part of that overarching concept includes being able to shop savvy so you can save more of your heard-earned cash. Not an easy skill to master, but these tips will give your budget a boost.</p> <h2>1. Comparing prices</h2> <p>Perhaps the most basic shopping skill you need to master is how to compare prices to score the best deals. This takes practice, of course &mdash; you need to know what you're looking for and where to look for it &mdash; but once you've got that down, you can save <em>thousands of dollars</em> a year.</p> <p>Everything from computers to cars, and groceries to getaways are ripe for comparison, and all of it is made much easier by the internet. Spend some time digging to compare the prices across multiple sites. You may be surprised at the disparity in prices across retailers, but that's how our economy works. In this proverbial money-spending competition, only the smartest buyers survive. Invoke your inner Darwinism to always come out on top.</p> <h2>2. Negotiating major purchases</h2> <p>Despite the popularity of online shopping, there are still some things you have to buy in person, and that involves negotiating on price. From haggling with the local flea market vendor to shaking down the car salesman, negotiating skills are essential to getting the fairest and sometimes lowest price available. This can be an intimidating process &mdash; who will buckle first in this financial faceoff? &mdash; but a lack of confidence where your money is concerned will only put a deeper dent in your wallet than is necessary. A big mistake in this area is strictly thinking in dollars and cents. There are other ways to enhance your purchase's value without straight cash back.</p> <p>Mike Catania, chief technology officer of the money-saving site PromotionCode, offers a pro-tip on the back-and-forth of the best deals.</p> <p>&quot;Understand that salespeople get paid on commission, typically X percent over a certain amount,&quot; he explains. &quot;Rather than attacking the commissionable price, make offers around it. Ask for a $200 gift card on top of the appliance or the washer/dryer stands to be included and delivered the same day for free. Your job isn't to punish the salesperson, but to extract the most value that you can from the transaction, and that means thinking outside the box and genuinely understanding the position of the salesperson.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Negotiating Skills Everyone Should Master</a>)</p> <h2>3. Evaluating competing products</h2> <p>It's not just comparing MSRP pricing that will help you determine the best deal or value. Often you have to consider other factors, like consumer reviews, available promos or discounts, add-ons and freebies, warranties, and overall brand quality. I also like to rely on recommendations from family and friends and try things in person so I can get a good look and feel for the product. I don't know how many times I've thought an item looked great online just to get it in my home and hate it. Photos alone can be deceiving, which is why it's essential to do more diligent research on what you're buying, especially if the cost is considerable. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-fake-review?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Spot a Fake Review</a>)</p> <h2>4. Separating quality from quantity when clothes shopping</h2> <p>I've always been a clothing junkie, but as I've gotten older, I focus more on the <em>quality </em>of my clothing (because the clothing I like to wear isn't cheap), rather than quantity of having <em>more</em> things to wear. The issue sort of works itself out, though, since quality clothing lasts longer than the cheap stuff I'd pick up. My closet is full of variety as a result of the durable, stylish, classic clothing that I've amassed over the years.</p> <p>Lindsay Sakraida, director of content marketing with DealNews, agrees.</p> <p>&quot;Shopping maturity often means learning the value of spending more on fewer items, so you can shop less in the long run,&quot; she says. &quot;When it comes to clothing and accessories, it can be tempting to keep adding more to your closet, especially when you're looking at cheap, fast fashion. This desire is sometimes present because we want more variety, but often it's because what we're buying isn't satisfying. But if you find a high-quality item that fits like a glove and flatters your body so much that it looks like you've lost weight, you're unlikely to feel the same drive to buy more. You'll feel satisfied with what you've got because you feel good every time you wear it. Often these items cost more, which can be a difficult pill to swallow, but when you take the plunge and see how it affects your other purchases, you may realize that you spend less in the long run.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-qualities-to-look-for-in-well-made-clothing?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Qualities to Look for in Well-Made Clothing</a>)</p> <h2>5. Determining want versus need</h2> <p>I like shopping alone because nobody gets in my head about what I'm buying or judges my purchases, but sometimes it's helpful to employ the buddy system when I've got money to burn so I don't make stupid spending decisions. A good friend will be that little voice on your shoulder helping you decide whether you want or need something, and almost always it's just a want, and not a need. You'll curl your lip at the friend in the moment &mdash; because who asked you, Rachel? &mdash; but you should know the difference by the time you turn 30 unless you want to live in your parents' basement forever surrounded by all your expensive impulse-buys. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys</a>)</p> <h2>6. Learning how to just say no</h2> <p>Saying &quot;no&quot; is another shopping skill that sometimes only comes with age.</p> <p>&quot;It's so easy to consider an item on sale and think 'It's so cheap, why not buy it?'&quot; Sakraida says. &quot;But instead, you have to learn to force yourself to consider, <em>Why</em> <em>should</em> <em>I buy it?</em>, regardless of how reasonable the price tag is. A cheap buy is still worthless if it doesn't fit a need or improve your life in a tangible, consistent way.</p> <h2>7. Identifying the right times to buy things</h2> <p>Timing can be everything when it comes to saving money when you shop, like keeping an eye on deals around the holidays or waiting until your birthday to scoop up loyalty or email marketing deals that are coming your way. In addition, there are actually certain times of the week that are best to make various purchases, like airline tickets and appliances.</p> <p>Adds Sakraida, &quot;These days, it doesn't take long for a store to offer a promotion of some kind, so it's easy to save at least 20 percent on new merchandise. Wait even longer to about midseason, and you could save closer to 40 percent, and waiting until the end-of-season clearance will nab you up to 75 percent off.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Seeing the value in used goods</h2> <p>I've always loved saving money, so thrift shopping, secondhand buys, and used merch is right up my alley. But not everyone is on board. I can't make you feel OK about it &mdash; some people just don't like the idea of having or wearing something somebody else owned &mdash; but if you can get over this aversion, you'll save a heck-ton of cash.</p> <p>&quot;In your 20s you're probably furnishing your first home or apartment, which can be expensive,&quot; says Anna Brockway, co-founder of Chairish, an online marketplace for used home décor. &quot;My number one shopping tip is to buy vintage furniture instead of buying new. In most cases, vintage furniture costs 70 to 80 percent less, and it's much better made and has more character and style than mass-produced stuff. Vintage is great way to stylishly communicate your personal style and point of view, which is another skill you'll want to master by 30.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-should-always-buy-used?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Things You Should Always Buy Used</a>)</p> <h2>9. Avoiding shopping hungry, emotional, or drunk</h2> <p>I was recently home alone on a Friday night getting to know a bottle of wine when I flipped to the Evine home-shopping channel to get a few holiday gift ideas. A cookie jar, beauty box, and bakeware set later, I was $140 poorer. I'm 36 years old and I know better than to drink and shop. We all make mistakes, but try your best to avoid shopping when you're hungry, emotional, or tipsy. You're not in the right head space during these times, and your lack of judgment will cost you, at any age. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-prevent-a-drunken-online-shopping-spree?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Prevent a Drunken Online Shopping Spree</a>)</p> <h2>10. Knowing your shopping triggers and staying away from them</h2> <p>What triggers you to open your wallet? Clothing? Cosmetics? Caramel macchiatos?</p> <p>It's OK to treat yourself every now and again, but if you know that your will power is severely challenged by one thing or another, avoid that thing. Don't go to the mall or the makeup counter or your local coffee shop. You can satisfy these urges in other, cheaper ways. Plus, by the time you're 30, you should be better at practicing self-discipline. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-youve-become-a-financial-grownup?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Tell You've Become a Financial Grown-up</a>)</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-master-these-10-shopping-skills-before-you-hit-30&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Master%2520These%252010%2520Shopping%2520Skills%2520Before%2520You%2520Hit%252030.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Master%20These%2010%20Shopping%20Skills%20Before%20You%20Hit%2030"></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/How%20to%20Master%20These%2010%20Shopping%20Skills%20Before%20You%20Hit%2030.jpg" alt="How to Master These 10 Shopping Skills Before You Hit 30" 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/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-master-these-10-shopping-skills-before-you-hit-30">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/gift-giving-etiquette-to-get-you-through-the-holidays">Gift Giving Etiquette to Get You Through the Holidays</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/simplify-your-life-with-these-27-monthly-subscription-services">Simplify Your Life With These 27 Monthly Subscription Services</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-5-best-fishing-rods">The 5 Best Fishing Rods</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-5-best-camera-bags">The 5 Best Camera Bags</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-5-best-pocket-knives">The 5 Best Pocket Knives</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping 30-something life skills shopping skills shopping tips turning 30 Mon, 04 Dec 2017 09:30:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 2065228 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Flexible Ways to Cash In Your Miles and Points http://www.wisebread.com/3-flexible-ways-to-cash-in-your-miles-and-points <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-flexible-ways-to-cash-in-your-miles-and-points" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/i_can_not_wait_to_get_on_that_plane.jpg" alt="I can&#039;t wait to get on that plane" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you're a beginner at traveling for free using miles and points, it makes sense to think of each program as a separate entity. Want to fly for free on American Airlines? Get some American AAdvantage miles. Want to stay at a Hilton for free? Start saving up Hilton Honors points.</p> <p>But once you've mastered the basics, you'll find that limitless opportunities arise when you start mixing and matching your programs, and adding in points from banks or credit card issuers, which can be traded for a variety of point types. When you start doing this, you not only gain more flexibility, but sometimes you're able to take advantage of deals and bargains that help you wring more value out of the points you have. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-cards-have-the-best-travel-redemption-value?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which Credit Cards Have the Best Travel Redemption Value?</a>)</p> <p>For example, I will soon be using British Airways' Avios points to fly from California to Hawaii. Does British Airways fly from California to Hawaii? Nope. I'll be flying on Alaska Air. Alaska is a partner of British Airways, and accepts Avios for flights. Why use Avios? Because each airline has its own ways of calculating how many points different flights cost, and British Airways' system makes flights from the West Coast to Hawaii a better deal than I would get using Alaska Miles or other domestic carrier programs. Generally, booking a flight from the West Coast to Hawaii costs 12,500 Avios points each way, compared to 17,500 to 30,000 Alaska Airlines miles each way. Also, I happen to have plenty of Avios, but no Alaska Airlines miles. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Secret to Redeeming Travel Rewards With Airline Partners</a>)</p> <p>Here are the three main ways you can travel using points from different companies to get the best deal possible.</p> <h2>Use miles on a partner airline</h2> <p>The major airlines belong to large partnership programs. For example, United Airlines belongs to the <a href="https://www.united.com/CMS/en-US/Marketing/CustComm/Promotions/Pages/AirlinePartners.aspx" target="_blank">Star Alliance</a>, allowing its MileagePlus members to use or earn United miles on 26 other airlines, including Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines.</p> <p>Sometimes these mileage partners show up when you search for flights to book on an airline site, so you might not even notice that you're flying a partner airline until you get to the airport. Other times, you need to work a little harder. For my flight to Hawaii, for example, I will have to make the reservation by phone, because Alaska Airlines flights don't show up on the British Airlines booking site.</p> <p>Besides helping you get a good deal, this method can help you use your miles to access routes or destinations that aren't served by the airline with which you hold the miles. For example, last year I wanted to fly direct from San Francisco to Sydney, Australia. I had accumulated a lot of American AAdvantage miles, so that's the &quot;currency&quot; I wanted to pay with. American doesn't fly to Sydney from San Francisco, but its partner Qantas does, so I used my AAdvantage miles to fly Qantas. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/comparing-miles-which-airline-loyalty-program-is-better?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which Airline Loyalty Program Has the Best Value for Their Miles?</a>)</p> <h2>Transfer points from one program to another</h2> <p>You can't generally transfer miles from one airline to another, but you can often transfer points from a hotel loyalty program to an airline or from a credit card travel rewards program to an airline or hotel. These companies all have exchange agreements with select partners &mdash; and sometimes you can actually gain value by moving your points from one program to another. But beware, in some cases you lose value in the transaction.</p> <p>Before you start converting points, check the conversion rate carefully. Most of the time it'll be 1:1, meaning one credit card reward point can be converted to one airline mile. But other times, it might take two credit card rewards point to get one airline mile. Sometimes this is still going to be worth it to you, because that airline is the only one that will get you to your destination. But other times, it's better to consider another option that does give you a 1:1 ratio.</p> <p>However, another scenario is when you get a <em>better</em> value than 1:1. Some programs will give you a bonus for transferring your points. That's why it pays to shop around when <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choose-the-best-travel-rewards-credit-card-with-this-guide?ref=internal" target="_blank">choosing a travel rewards credit card</a>.</p> <p>What if the airline you want to fly doesn't have a partnership with the points program you want to use? All's not lost. You can arrange a double transfer. A what now? Well, imagine you have a bunch of rewards points, but it doesn't transfer to the airline miles you want. But do a little digging and you notice that the credit card rewards program allows you to convert to a certain hotel program, which allows you to transfer those hotel points to its partner airline program, the very airline you want to fly. Unfortunately, many times this sort of double transfer will cause you to lose lots of value in your initial points. Especially since hotel loyalty programs generally have poor exchange rates. So consider the double exchange a last resort in most cases.</p> <p>It's always a good idea to search for a more direct strategy before resorting to a double transfer. Or if that sounds too complicated, try method three, below.</p> <h2>Spend points like cash on a travel portal</h2> <p>Credit card rewards programs have portals through which you can book flights on a variety of airlines (and hotels) using points. Usually, when going this route, your points will be converted to a discount on the cash price of the flight, and if you don't have enough points, you can pay the remainder in cash.</p> <p>The value per mile you get when shopping through the airline portals is often a little less than you would get by redeeming miles directly through an airline, but there is also an advantage to doing it this way: The airlines see your booking as a cash purchase, not a miles redemption. This means that you're not limited to the sometimes small number of award seats made available by the airlines, or by holiday blackout dates. Even better, when you book this way, you can earn miles on the flight. And some flights booked this way may be eligible for upgrades.</p> <p>Sometimes, the credit card portals sweeten the deal. Because I hold a premium card, for instance, I got a points rebate for my flight purchase, reducing the total cost of the trip. My card also gives me five points for every dollar I spend on the portal, so between getting miles for flying, a points rebate on some of the points I spent, plus five points for every dollar cash I paid, I considered this a win/win/win.</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F3-flexible-ways-to-cash-in-your-miles-and-points&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F3%2520Flexible%2520Ways%2520to%2520Cash%2520In%2520Your%2520Miles%2520and%2520Points.jpg&amp;description=3%20Flexible%20Ways%20to%20Cash%20In%20Your%20Miles%20and%20Points"></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/u5180/3%20Flexible%20Ways%20to%20Cash%20In%20Your%20Miles%20and%20Points.jpg" alt="3 Flexible Ways to Cash In Your Miles and Points" 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/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-flexible-ways-to-cash-in-your-miles-and-points">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/how-to-earn-airline-miles-while-you-shop">How to Earn Airline Miles While You 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/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</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-get-more-value-out-of-american-airlines-miles">How to Get More Value Out of American Airlines Miles</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-questions-to-ask-before-you-book-a-discount-airfare-deal">6 Questions to Ask Before You Book a Discount Airfare Deal</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-easy-ways-to-get-free-travel">6 Easy Ways to Get Free Travel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Shopping Travel airline miles airline points free travel frequent flyer miles shopping tips travel tips Wed, 29 Nov 2017 09:30:10 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2062562 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Self-Care Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday Season http://www.wisebread.com/6-self-care-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-self-care-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cheerful_young_woman_smiling.jpg" alt="Cheerful young woman smiling" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's the holiday season, and while you might be busy buying gifts for others, you should also carve out some time (and maybe some goodies) for yourself, too. Self-care should be a priority for you, and it doesn't even have to cost you anything. Here are six ways to take good care of yourself so that you're able to take care of others during the most wonderful time of the year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-smartphone-apps-that-make-self-care-a-snap?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Smartphone Apps That Make Self-Care a Snap</a>)</p> <h2>1. A better night's sleep</h2> <p>A good night's sleep gives you a strong start to the day, and while there are loads of pricey high-tech sleep gadgets, there are plenty of inexpensive, yet luxurious ways to ease you into slumber, too. <a href="http://amzn.to/2hDYLpA" target="_blank">Cozy pajamas</a>, a <a href="http://amzn.to/2zWAVQl" target="_blank">fluffy robe</a>, toasty <a href="http://amzn.to/2jdmRaO" target="_blank">slippers</a>, and a <a href="http://amzn.to/2jG4G1t" target="_blank">weighted blanket</a>, are just a few budget-friendly gifts that you totally deserve.</p> <p>You can also spritz your pillows with homemade lavender water. Just add 10 drops of lavender essential oil to two ounces of water in a small spray bottle. Ask Alexa, or other home device to play nature sounds for you, or download one of the many free apps on your phone that has soothing sounds to lull you to sleep. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-gifts-for-the-person-who-needs-a-nap?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Frugal Gifts for the Person Who Needs a Nap</a>)</p> <h2>2. Coffee and other warm beverages</h2> <p>Grabbing a no-frills coffee at a cafe, to say nothing of a fancier drink, costs much more than buying gourmet grounds to brew at home. That also goes for tea, hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and any other warm winter drink. And what's better than grabbing a hot cup of your favorite drink and curling up in front of the fire or classic holiday movie? During this magical time of year, there are plenty of options for gourmet coffee to buy and make at home for pennies on the dollar of what you'd pay at a restaurant or coffee shop. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking-expensive-coffee?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Rich You'd Be if You Stopped Drinking Expensive Coffee</a>)</p> <h2>3. Time outdoors</h2> <p>Even though the temperatures are dropping, getting some fresh air helps reduce stress, and provide an energy boost. Bundle up and go for a walk before work, at lunch, or on your way home. It doesn't have to be for a set amount of time, either. Just go until you feel like you're ready to head back inside. And any time spent out in nature won't cost you a thing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-outdoor-adventures-that-dont-cost-a-dime?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Outdoor Adventures That Don't Cost a Dime</a>)</p> <h2>4. The gift of giving</h2> <p>Many organizations are having special volunteer events to prepare Christmas baskets, wrap presents for kids, and perform numerous other services for those who need our help. Put aside some time or a bit of your holiday budget to give back. I have some relatives who prefer to receive donations to their favorite charities in lieu of Christmas gifts, and I'm always happy to oblige. The feeling you get from helping those less fortunate is better than most tangible gifts you will ever receive. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-charities-you-can-trust-with-your-holiday-donations?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Charities You Can Trust With Your Holiday Donations</a>)</p> <h2>5. Plenty of healthy foods</h2> <p>Those holiday parties and traditional meals are coming. In these weeks leading up to them, do a little pretox with plenty of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and lean proteins. One friend of mine takes &quot;pretox&quot; so seriously that she goes vegan before the holidays are in full swing. She finds that she loses a little bit of weight before the holidays and then can enjoy all of her favorite foods without feeling guilty. Pack your meals with healthy ingredients and reap the benefits of enjoying a well-balanced diet, at least until the candy canes get handed out. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-fantastic-lettuce-free-salads?ref=seealso" target="_blank">13 Fantastic Lettuce-Free Salads</a>)</p> <h2>6. A motivated new year</h2> <p>In the past, I've made long lists of things I was resolved to do in the new year. This year, I chose one big goal &mdash; to get my novel published &mdash; and I focused my creative energy to make that happen. With that success of a focused goal for this year, I've started to think about the one thing I'd like to accomplish for 2018. I'm using these last months of the year to form a plan one small piece at a time.</p> <p>Focusing your time on setting goals for the new year will keep you in a hopeful, positive mindset to end the current year with. And it costs you absolutely nothing to motivate yourself!</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-self-care-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Self-Care%2520Gifts%2520to%2520Give%2520Yourself%2520This%2520Holiday%2520Season.jpg&amp;description=6%20Self-Care%20Gifts%20to%20Give%20Yourself%20This%20Holiday%20Season"></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/u5180/6%20Self-Care%20Gifts%20to%20Give%20Yourself%20This%20Holiday%20Season.jpg" alt="6 Self-Care Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday Season" 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/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-self-care-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season">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/gift-giving-etiquette-to-get-you-through-the-holidays">Gift Giving Etiquette to Get You Through the Holidays</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-these-6-credit-card-moves-now-to-prepare-for-holiday-shopping">Make These 6 Credit Card Moves Now to Prepare for Holiday Shopping</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/cheat-sheet-retail-markup-on-common-items">Cheat Sheet: Retail Markup on Common Items</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/8-ways-to-actually-relax-over-the-holidays">8 Ways to Actually Relax Over the Holidays</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/wise-bread-gift-guide-gifts-that-save-money">25 Gifts That Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Shopping christmas shopping gift guide holiday shopping mental health self-care shopping tips Mon, 27 Nov 2017 09:30:10 +0000 Christa Avampato 2058942 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Earn Airline Miles While You Shop http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-airline-miles-while-you-shop <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-earn-airline-miles-while-you-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_with_shopping_bags.jpg" alt="Woman with shopping bags" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the early 2000s, taking inspiration from David Phillips, the guy who got more than a million airline miles by buying Healthy Choice pudding, I participated in a shopping promotion run by American Airlines. I had to make purchases through 25 different partners in order to receive 25,000 miles.</p> <p>In those days, that was hard to do because American just didn't have that many partners I could shop through, and many of the partners they had were specialty stores I wouldn't have otherwise visited, such as a fly fishing shop. More than 15 years later, it's a different story: Airlines have struck deals with so many retailers that you can purchase nearly everything you need through an airline shopping portal. Other programs, such as hotel loyalty programs, have shopping portals too.</p> <p>The mileage isn't a pittance, either. In fact, with minimal effort, I earned more than 3,000 American AAdvantage miles in the past month alone by shopping through the airline portal, and I could have done the same with almost any other airline or loyalty program. I didn't pay any more for my purchases than I would have otherwise. It's simply a process of clicking through to the shopping site you were planning on buying from anyway, from the shopping portal site first. This works the same way as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash back sites</a>, like Ebates, but I am currently in a hurry to amass miles for a trip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Airline Miles Secrets Only Frequent Flyers Know</a>)</p> <p>Here's how to make airline shopping portals work for you.</p> <h2>1. Locate the portal for the loyalty points you want to earn</h2> <p>All the major airlines and programs have shopping portals, such as <a href="https://rapidrewardsshopping.southwest.com/button/" target="_blank">Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping</a>, <a href="https://shopping.mileageplus.com/" target="_blank">United MileagePlus Shopping</a>, <a href="https://www.aadvantageeshopping.com/" target="_blank">AAdvantage eShopping Mall</a>, <a href="https://www.skymilesshopping.com/" target="_blank">Delta SkyMiles Shopping</a>, and <a href="https://shoptoearn.hiltonhonors.com/loyrewards/earnmall/us/earnmallhome?" target="_blank">Hilton Honors Shop-to-Earn Mall</a>.</p> <h2>2. Sign up</h2> <p>It may not be enough just to have a frequent flyer number with an airline. For instance, to get miles for shopping Delta's portal, you have to enter your frequent flyer number and other personal information first.</p> <h2>3. Check out the shops</h2> <p>Peruse the portal's offerings and figure out if you can use it to do any of the shopping you were going to do anyway. For instance, I needed to replace a headlight on my car. I could have driven to an automotive supply store, or ordered it on Amazon, but because I was trying to collect miles, I clicked through an airline portal and purchased the bulb through AutoZone instead.</p> <p>With general purpose stores such as Walgreens, Walmart, Kohl's, and Target, these portals now allow to do almost all your shopping this way if you want.</p> <h2>4. Read offers carefully</h2> <p>One thing you need to keep in mind when using an online shopping portal is that the company offering the reward (in this case the airline) will be tracking your clicks when you move from the shopping portal to the retailer site. Because of this, most miles malls will warn in their fine print that the service won't work if your browser cookies are turned off or if you use ad-blocking software.</p> <p>More rules may pop up when you select a store or specific offer. For example, certain products or brands may be excluded from the offer, or you may not earn miles if you use a coupon code.</p> <p>Some vendors on these malls are selling services or subscriptions, not actual products. These offers can be great because they might offer a larger amount of miles as a sign-up bonus, but pay particular attention to these offers to make sure you know how long you have to keep the subscription going in order to qualify for miles. For instance, I signed up for a wine club membership, but, failing to read the fine print, I canceled too soon and didn't get any miles. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>5. Make the purchase and check your account</h2> <p>The great thing about this step is that you're probably using a credit card that also pays you a mile or more for every dollar you spend. When shopping through a miles portal, you get <em>both</em> the credit card rewards and the shopping rewards. A true double whammy!</p> <p>Although the terms of service may say you'll get your miles in a month or more, in my experience, miles showed up on my airline account just two days after making a purchase. This helps if you are close to booking an award flight and you just need a few more miles to make it happen. By contrast, if you are trying to get the extra miles through credit card spending, you'll have to wait for the month's billing cycle to end before the miles are credited. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amazing-destinations-you-can-go-to-with-rewards-points-and-miles?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Amazing Destinations You Can Go to With Rewards Points and Miles</a>)</p> <h2>6. If you don't get the miles, complain</h2> <p>Sometimes the miles you earned aren't credited to your account. Many of the portals have an email form just for reporting this. You should probably start by contacting the merchant, and then if they don't help you, contact the airline.</p> <h2>7. Remember that if you return the item, you could lose the miles</h2> <p>To be honest, so far I haven't had miles deducted from my account after having to return something, but the terms of service of the miles mall I was shopping warned that it could happen. Just make sure you return any items you are planning to, before you use the miles.</p> <h2>8. Check back for special offers</h2> <p>Either subscribe to email alerts or check the site regularly, because merchants offer special deals that might even make it worth it to try a product or service you wouldn't have otherwise bought. For example, I recently saw an offer for 1,500 AAdvantage miles for buying a $12 magazine subscription. Since 1,500 AAdvantage miles are worth about $22.50 at 1.5 cents a mile, and since it costs $29.50 to <em>buy</em> 1,000 miles directly from American, this deal would be a no-brainer if you just needed a few more miles to make an award &mdash; even if you never read the magazine.</p> <p>Even better, to encourage people to shop there, the portals sometimes offer bonus miles or sweepstakes if you shop at a certain number of stores during a specific time frame. For instance, I recently participated in a promo in which every $50 purchase I made got me an entry into a drawing to win 1 million miles. (I didn't win, as far as I've heard.)</p> <p>Southwest Airlines even has an extension you can install so that a button shows up on your browser when you're shopping to remind you to click through their portal.</p> <h2>9. Consider purchasing gift cards</h2> <p>If you don't have a specific purchase in mind at the moment, but you urgently need a few extra miles, you can take advantage of a rewards shopping portal by buying a gift card to use later. The beautiful thing about this is that when you spend your gift card, you can shop through the rewards portal again, getting rewarded twice for the same purchase. (Actually, three times, if you're using a credit card that rewards you per dollar spent on the gift card purchase.)</p> <p>However, you'll have to check the fine print again, because some stores don't pay miles on gift card purchases.</p> <h2>10. Compare deals before shopping</h2> <p>If you are racing to accrue just a few more United miles before booking a flight, stick to the United shopping portal. However, if you have a lot of loyalty programs and just want to maximize your earn, the site <a href="http://evreward.com/" target="_blank">ev'reward</a> will tell you who's offering the best deal at the moment. To use it, type in the name of the retailer you plan to shop, and ev'reward will give you a list of different portals and the reward rate each is currently offering. You can also browse by category, which is great if you know you want to order some coffee, for instance, and you're willing to buy it from any store offering the best reward.</p> <h2>11. Remember this trick if your miles are about to expire</h2> <p>Some programs will take away your miles if you don't earn or spend any of them for awhile. You can usually reset the clock if you make any transaction using your frequent flyer number, including an online shopping portal purchase. So if your miles are about to expire, just click through that airline's shopping portal and buy any little thing. Check your airline policy to make sure they use this rule. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-frequent-flyer-miles-that-are-about-to-expire?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Save Frequent Flyer Miles That Are About to Expire</a>)</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-earn-airline-miles-while-you-shop&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Earn%2520Airline%2520Miles%2520While%2520You%2520Shop.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Earn%20Airline%20Miles%20While%20You%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/How%20to%20Earn%20Airline%20Miles%20While%20You%20Shop.jpg" alt="How to Earn Airline Miles While You 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/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-airline-miles-while-you-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-6"> <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/3-flexible-ways-to-cash-in-your-miles-and-points">3 Flexible Ways to Cash In Your Miles and Points</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/how-to-get-more-value-out-of-american-airlines-miles">How to Get More Value Out of American Airlines Miles</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-questions-to-ask-before-you-book-a-discount-airfare-deal">6 Questions to Ask Before You Book a Discount Airfare Deal</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/9-ways-to-protect-your-luggage-on-your-next-trip">9 Ways to Protect Your Luggage on Your Next Trip</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-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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Travel airline miles earn miles flight miles miles and points save money on travel shopping tips travel tips Tue, 21 Nov 2017 10:01:05 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2057008 at http://www.wisebread.com Gift Giving Etiquette to Get You Through the Holidays http://www.wisebread.com/gift-giving-etiquette-to-get-you-through-the-holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/gift-giving-etiquette-to-get-you-through-the-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_presenting_gifts_each_other_in_bedroom.jpg" alt="Friends presenting gifts each other in bedroom" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The most wonderful time of the year is approaching. And with it come numerous gift exchanges. Who do you get gifts for? Do you include receipts? Is it ever OK to regift something that you really don't need? Oh, the pressure!</p> <p>Well, fear not. If you are going into the holiday season with trepidation, here's a gift-giving etiquette guide to get you through it unscathed.</p> <h2>1. Regift with extreme caution</h2> <p>Regifting can be a tough minefield to navigate. You don't want to be sitting around opening presents and hear a ticked-off aunt or uncle shout &quot;Hey, didn't I give you this last year?!&quot;</p> <p>However, regifting is a good option if the item itself has never been opened, doesn't have a sell-by date, and will benefit someone else far more than it benefits you. Ideally, a regift should go to someone who doesn't know the person who gave it to you, and vice versa.</p> <p>If you're attending a white elephant gift exchange, that can be the perfect place to unload an item you don't want, or to pick up an item you can then give to a friend or loved one. Regifting will always be tricky, but if you exercise caution, you should come out fine. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-totally-regift-and-7-things-you-shouldnt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Things You Can Totally Regift &mdash; And 7 Things You Shouldn't</a>)</p> <h2>2. Don't get guilted into giving expensive gifts</h2> <p>We all have those friends, coworkers, or family members that just love to go overboard this time of year. When you combine that with someone who has a lot of disposable income, you can find yourself on the receiving end of some lavish gifts.</p> <p>Then the guilt sets in. The gift you got for that person is pretty small in comparison. Should you go out and get something bigger, and blow your holiday budget? Honestly, no you shouldn't.</p> <p>Giving a gift is not about seeing who can spend the most, or get the biggest reaction. The real joy of gift-giving is finding something you think the other person will truly like and appreciate, regardless of the dollar amount behind it.</p> <p>If you received a top of the line coffee maker from a friend, you should never feel the need to rush out and buy something of similar value. If you give a gift and someone feels like they were shortchanged, then that person doesn't really understand the spirit of the season at all. And remember, homemade gifts are some of the most well-received, and they can't really have a value placed upon them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-easy-delicious-and-homemade-holiday-gifts?ref=seealso" target="_blank">16 Easy, Delicious and Homemade Holiday Gifts</a>)</p> <h2>3. Consider a gift pool</h2> <p>Big families come across this problem all the time. Getting gifts for all the aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, sisters, brothers, nephews, and nieces can become a financial strain, and a logistical nightmare. In this situation, a gift pool is an excellent solution.</p> <p>Simply put all the names into a hat, much like you would with a gift exchange at the office, and divide up the gift duties into a much more manageable amount. For example, this year, John gets gifts for Jack and Susie, and that's it. You can even turn it into a Secret Santa, so nobody knows which gifts came from which people. And if you want a little more help, a site like <a href="https://www.elfster.com/" target="_blank">Elfster</a> can take all the hard work out of the process.</p> <h2>4. Be careful about giving donation cards</h2> <p>Donating to charity during the season of giving is wonderful. However, if you decide that you're going to give a donation to a worthy cause in the gift recipient's name, make sure you know that person <em>very </em>well. It can be considered presumptuous, and even insulting, to give someone's gift to someone else, even if that someone else is a charity. What's more, the charity you donate to may not be something the recipient agrees with.</p> <p>Remember <em>Seinfeld's</em> classic Festivus episode, and George's &quot;Human Fund&quot; scam? It may have been comedy, but the reactions tell a story. &quot;I got you a gift&hellip;you gave mine away,&quot; is a common complaint. But if you find a charity that someone will be passionate about, and you are confident they will react well, go ahead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-charities-you-can-trust-with-your-holiday-donations?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Charities You Can Trust With Your Holiday Donations</a>)</p> <h2>5. Leave some people off your list</h2> <p>You have only so much money to go around, and not everyone is going to get something. How do you decide who to treat, and who to skip this year?</p> <p>Well, it doesn't have to be an issue full of headaches and heartache. Talk to some of your family and friends about gifts this year, and casually bring up the fact that you don't need to exchange gifts. &quot;How about we swap cookies, or cakes?&quot; Something like that can instantly take the pressure off both parties, because that's also one less person they need to go shopping for as well.</p> <p>Some of the more extended family members shouldn't really be getting gifts, either. You don't need to be buying gifts for the uncle of your partner or spouse, or the best friends of family members. All in all, the adults can step back and let the kids get the most out of this time of year. It's way more magical for them, just as it was for us when we were their age.</p> <h2>6. Give gift cards sparingly</h2> <p>The gift card section in stores keeps getting bigger and bigger, and they are very handy as last-minute gifts. The problem is, they really don't show a lot of thought, and they also have a specific value attached. &quot;Here, I spent $25 on you. What did you get me?&quot; And as several comedians have pointed out over the years, for that $25 you can only spend at one store, you could have given them 25 actual dollars they could spend anywhere. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-ways-to-wrap-the-gift-of-cash?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Fun Ways to Give the Gift of Cash</a>)</p> <p>Gift cards should be given when you want someone to spend money on something very specific. For example, a bookstore card for a college kid, or a grocery store card for an elderly relative who really needs that help. When you just throw gift cards at everyone, it can send the message that you didn't put much thought or effort into the gift, and that's not something you want people to associate with you.</p> <h2>7. Don't reciprocate for every unexpected gift</h2> <p>It's the last day of work before the holiday, and a coworker pops into your office and says, &quot;Hey, I got you this. Happy Holidays!&quot; and you don't quite know how to say, &quot;Arghhhhh, I didn't get you anything!&quot; in response.</p> <p>It can be tempting to drop everything and do a frantic run to the nearest store, but honestly, you don't have to. If you say, &quot;I have something great for you, I'll bring it over tomorrow,&quot; you're actually kind of stealing their thunder. And if you make an excuse for not having one for them, you are going to make them feel awkward. Instead, be very thankful for the gift, and let them know just how much it is appreciated. You can find ways to make them feel special later, even if it's buying them lunch one day.</p> <h2>8. Include a receipt</h2> <p>Gift receipts are great because they don't list the sale price of the gift. But you can't always get one.</p> <p>A lot of people don't know what to do in that case. They may think it's fine to provide a regular receipt at a kid's birthday party, but consider it a little tacky or even haughty for close friends and family.. &quot;Hey, here's how much I spent on you this year.&quot;</p> <p>Actually, people don't look at receipts that way. What it really says is that you tried your hardest to find something you think they would like, but you may not have nailed it. And now you have made it very easy for that person to exchange the gift for something they would much rather have.</p> <p>They will still think of you when they get it, and you come across as helpful, thoughtful, and mindful of how awkward it can be to ask for a receipt, or take something back without one. If you're worried about the receipt just being out there for all to see, pop it in a little envelope or fold it and tape it shut. That way, they will only see the price if they really want to take the item back.</p> <h2>9. Forgo the thank-you card</h2> <p>After a big, personal event like a wedding, anniversary party, or a birthday, it is customary to send out thank-you notes to the people who gave gifts. However, at this time of year, that act is optional, and usually unnecessary. Everyone is swapping gifts. The sheer volume of cards and letters that would be going back and forth in the mail would cripple the post office if everyone did it.</p> <p>If someone goes above and beyond with a gift and you feel the need to show your appreciation, then by all means send a thank you. But for the most part, you can simply send an email, give them a call, or say thank you in person when you get the gift or the next time you see them.</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fgift-giving-etiquette-to-get-you-through-the-holidays&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FGift%2520Giving%2520Etiquette%2520to%2520Get%2520You%2520Through%2520the%2520Holidays.jpg&amp;description=Gift%20Giving%20Etiquette%20to%20Get%20You%20Through%20the%20Holidays"></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/Gift%20Giving%20Etiquette%20to%20Get%20You%20Through%20the%20Holidays.jpg" alt="Gift Giving Etiquette to Get You Through the Holidays" 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/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gift-giving-etiquette-to-get-you-through-the-holidays">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-7"> <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/6-self-care-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season">6 Self-Care Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday Season</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-things-you-can-do-right-now-for-a-frugal-holiday-season">9 Things You Can Do Right Now for a Frugal 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/make-these-6-credit-card-moves-now-to-prepare-for-holiday-shopping">Make These 6 Credit Card Moves Now to Prepare for Holiday Shopping</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/cheat-sheet-retail-markup-on-common-items">Cheat Sheet: Retail Markup on Common Items</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/wise-bread-gift-guide-gifts-that-save-money">25 Gifts That Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping christmas shopping etiquette guide etiquette tips gift tips holiday season holiday shopping regift regifting shopping tips Mon, 20 Nov 2017 10:00:06 +0000 Paul Michael 2056046 at http://www.wisebread.com Make These 6 Credit Card Moves Now to Prepare for Holiday Shopping http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-6-credit-card-moves-now-to-prepare-for-holiday-shopping <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-these-6-credit-card-moves-now-to-prepare-for-holiday-shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_makes_christmas_shopping_online_with_laptop.jpg" alt="Woman makes Christmas shopping online with laptop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Traditionalists may debate the merits of putting up Christmas decorations well before Thanksgiving, as many retailers do these days. But the November displays are actually a good cue to start preparing your finances for holiday shopping. This includes considering your credit card options to earn the most possible rewards from your credit cards, and get the best benefits from your holiday purchases.</p> <p>Here are six things that you can do to get ready.</p> <h2>1. Sign up for a cash back card</h2> <p>Unless you're already heavily invested in a specific travel rewards program, you'll probably be better off using a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash back rewards card</a>. Some of the best cards for holiday shopping offer as much as 5 percent back at select department stores and retailers such as Walmart, Amazon, and Target. In addition to cash rewards on your purchases, many credit cards offer a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-bonus-cash-for-sign-up?ref=internal" target="_blank">bonus offer to their new cardholders</a>, which can net you a few hundred dollars just for meeting their spending requirement, which is easiest to do this time of year.</p> <p>Another option is to choose a card that offers you as much as 2 percent cash back on all of your purchases. With these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-flat-rate-rewards-for-all-spending?ref=internal" target="_blank">flat-rate rewards cards</a> you avoid having to keep up with category bonuses. However, you should only use reward credit cards if you can avoid interest charges by paying your monthly statement balances in full. Otherwise, it's better to find a card with the lowest interest rate.</p> <h2>2. Be sure to activate your bonus purchase opportunities</h2> <p>If you do choose to go with a card that features rotating bonus categories, check the terms. You may need to log in and activate the bonus categories each quarter. Thankfully, even if you activate after the quarter begins, you should receive your bonus points for the qualifying purchases you've already made during the quarter. Keep in mind that these bonus categories often come with limits on how much you can earn. Keep track of your purchases and switch cards once you've reached the limit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-rotating-reward-categories?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards With Rotating Reward Categories</a>)</p> <h2>3. Learn about shopping portals</h2> <p>Many credit cards and loyalty programs offer online shopping portals that allow you to earn extra points, miles, or cash back from your purchases. They usually feature top national retailers, and can usually pad your purchase rewards by one or two points per dollar spent, but occasionally you'll find deals for as much as 30 points per dollar spent. Also, most airline and hotel loyalty programs have their own rewards portals. When you use these websites, you can also earn rewards with your credit card, in effect stacking your rewards earning potential. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-your-credit-card-will-save-you-money-while-holiday-shopping?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Ways Your Credit Card Will Save You Money While Holiday Shopping</a>)</p> <h2>4. Examine your cardholder benefits</h2> <p>One of the best things about using your credit card for holiday shopping is the cardholder benefits that can apply to your purchases. For example, many credit cards include <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-credit-cards-protect-your-purchases-from-damage-or-theft?ref=internal" target="_blank">accidental damage and theft protection</a>, as well as an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-free-extended-warranties-work-on-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">extended warranty policy</a>. Other shopping benefits may include <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-price-match-through-your-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">price protection</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-return-items-through-your-credit-card-if-the-store-refuses?ref=internal" target="_blank">return protection</a>. Once you know which cards offer the best benefits, you may use that as a factor in determining which new card to apply for, or which card to pull from your wallet for a particular purchase. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-use-your-credit-card-for-holiday-purchases?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Reasons to Use Your Credit Card for Holiday Purchases</a>)</p> <h2>5. Decide if it's worth getting a store credit card</h2> <p>One thing is for sure, many of the stores you visit will offer you an application for their <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/store-credit-cards-that-dont-suck?ref=internal" target="_blank">co-branded credit card</a>. But rather than trying to make a quick decision at the cash register, find out in advance if it's worth considering.</p> <p>Many retail credit cards have a high interest rate. Look at the terms and conditions for the cards from your favorite retailers, and the quality of the rewards program offered. Then you can decide if it's worth getting the store card, or if you should simply decline the offer and complete your purchase. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-sign-up-for-that-store-credit-card?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Should You Sign Up for That Store Credit Card?</a>)</p> <h2>6. Consider an interest-free promotional financing offer</h2> <p>If you are unsure whether you'll be able to pay off all of your credit card balances during the holidays, think about opening a card with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-0-apr-for-purchases" target="_blank">0 percent APR offer for new purchases</a>. These offers allow you to avoid interest charges on your purchases for at least six months, and often 15 months or longer.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">Balance transfer cards</a> can also help you out after you've rung up more than you can immediately pay off, but it's better to use an interest-free financing offer on new purchases now. That's because nearly all 0 percent balance transfer offers have a 3&ndash;5 percent fee. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-to-wipe-out-holiday-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards to Wipe Out Holiday Debt</a>)</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fmake-these-6-credit-card-moves-now-to-prepare-for-holiday-shopping&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FMake%2520These%25206%2520Credit%2520Card%2520Moves%2520Now%2520to%2520Prepare%2520for%2520Holiday%2520Shopping.jpg&amp;description=Make%20These%206%20Credit%20Card%20Moves%20Now%20to%20Prepare%20for%20Holiday%20Shopping"></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/Make%20These%206%20Credit%20Card%20Moves%20Now%20to%20Prepare%20for%20Holiday%20Shopping.jpg" alt="Make These 6 Credit Card Moves Now to Prepare for Holiday Shopping" 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/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-6-credit-card-moves-now-to-prepare-for-holiday-shopping">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-8"> <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/gift-giving-etiquette-to-get-you-through-the-holidays">Gift Giving Etiquette to Get You Through the Holidays</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-ways-to-use-miles-and-points-for-holiday-gifts">9 Ways to Use Miles and Points for Holiday Gifts</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/deferred-interest-credit-cards-dont-fall-for-this-trick-over-the-holidays">Deferred Interest Credit Cards: Don&#039;t Fall For This Trick Over The Holidays</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-self-care-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season">6 Self-Care Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday Season</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/cheat-sheet-retail-markup-on-common-items">Cheat Sheet: Retail Markup on Common Items</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Shopping christmas shopping holiday shopping Holidays money moves shopping tips Spending Money Thu, 09 Nov 2017 08:30:13 +0000 Jason Steele 2050418 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get Your Money Back When You’re Denied a Refund http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-your-money-back-when-you-re-denied-a-refund <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-your-money-back-when-you-re-denied-a-refund" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/angry_student_talking_on_phone_with_customer_service.jpg" alt="Angry student talking on phone with customer service" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sometimes a credit card transaction just doesn't go well. You might receive an item that doesn't match the description. The item could arrive broken, or your item might never arrive at all.</p> <p>When there are problems with a transaction, most merchants will work with you to resolve your issue and make you a happy customer. But what can you do if they refuse to give you a refund?</p> <p>I recently called a merchant for help resolving an issue with a purchase I made. The customer service representative said they had done all they could do and they would not be able to resolve my issue. I asked to speak to a supervisor, and was told that there was no supervisor I could speak with. When a merchant denies your request for a refund, it may seem that there's nowhere else to turn. But if you used a credit card to pay, you have a powerful tool that you can use &mdash; the chargeback. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-return-items-through-your-credit-card-if-the-store-refuses?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Return Items Through Your Credit Card If the Store Refuses</a>)</p> <h2>What is a chargeback?</h2> <p>Your credit card company can remove a charge from your credit card statement if the charge is fraudulent, was made in error, or if you did not receive the item you were promised. A chargeback can be used to resolve issues with a transaction even if a merchant does not cooperate or respond to your complaint. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-awesome-credit-card-tricks-that-will-save-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Awesome Credit Card Tricks That Will Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2>What are the requirements to pursue a chargeback?</h2> <p>The legal basis for reversing credit card charges in disputed transactions is established by the <a href="https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/fcb.pdf" target="_blank">Fair Credit Billing Act</a>. Some of the basic requirements for disputing a credit card charge and getting a chargeback are:</p> <ul> <li> <p>A valid reason to reverse a credit charge such as billing error, fraudulent charge, incorrect item, or damaged item.</p> </li> <li> <p>The customer must dispute the charge within 60 days of when the statement was sent, although some credit card companies have policies that allow customers more time to file a complaint.</p> </li> <li> <p>The credit card company may request that the customer attempt to resolve an issue relating to goods with the merchant first before proceeding to dispute a credit charge.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>How long does it take to get your money back?</h2> <p>After you contact your credit card company to dispute a charge, a conditional refund may appear on your statement immediately while the issue is being investigated. If the investigation does not result in overturning your claim, the refund will stand. The investigation can take several weeks to complete while the merchant has the opportunity to produce documentation to substantiate the credit charge. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-refund-when-something-is-non-refundable?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Get a Refund When Something Is Non-Refundable</a>)</p> <h2>How to get a chargeback</h2> <h3>Step 1. Document it</h3> <p>Collecting documentation of your issue with a transaction will help you resolve it successfully. If you receive an item that is damaged, take pictures as you unbox it. If you receive the wrong item, take pictures of the item and save screen captures of the item description. Save any invoices and packing slips you received with the package or via email, as well.</p> <h3>Step 2. Contact the merchant</h3> <p>Call or email the merchant to describe your issue and state what you want the merchant to do to fix it. Document your communication with the merchant. Save copies of emails, and for phone calls note the date, time, phone number, name of the person you spoke with, and what the representative said.</p> <h3>Step 3. Initiate a credit dispute</h3> <p>If the merchant does not resolve your issue, contact your credit card company to dispute the credit charge and initiate the chargeback process. You may need to initiate the dispute within 60 days of the purchase, depending on your credit card company's policy.</p> <h3>Step 4. Document your complaint</h3> <p>Your credit card company may ask you to complete forms describing the reason you are disputing the credit charge and to provide copies of invoices and other documentation to support your complaint. Keep copies of all forms and documents that you provide.</p> <h2>What if the chargeback is rejected?</h2> <p>If the merchant provides evidence that the credit charge was legitimate, the chargeback may be rejected. At this point, the credit charge will reappear on your statement. If you want to take further measures to resolve your issue, you could request a &quot;Claims and Defenses&quot; chargeback if you have an issue with the quality of goods or services that you received on a credit charge.</p> <p>Depending on the nature of your claim, the next step after attempting a chargeback may be to seek legal advice and contact the merchant again to request resolution. The merchant may be motivated to resolve your issue to avoid a lawsuit if they think you have a strong case.</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-get-your-money-back-when-you-re-denied-a-refund&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Get%2520Your%2520Money%2520Back%2520When%2520You%25E2%2580%2599re%2520Denied%2520a%2520Refund.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Get%20Your%20Money%20Back%20When%20You%E2%80%99re%20Denied%20a%20Refund"></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/How%20to%20Get%20Your%20Money%20Back%20When%20You%E2%80%99re%20Denied%20a%20Refund.jpg" alt="How to Get Your Money Back When You&rsquo;re Denied a Refund" 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/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-your-money-back-when-you-re-denied-a-refund">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-9"> <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/cheat-sheet-retail-markup-on-common-items">Cheat Sheet: Retail Markup on Common Items</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-classic-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-falling-for">10 Classic Impulse Buys We Need to Stop Falling For</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/4-questions-to-ask-before-buying-refurbished-appliances">4 Questions to Ask Before Buying Refurbished Appliances</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/8-misleading-gadget-marketing-gimmicks">8 Misleading Gadget Marketing Gimmicks</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/how-to-get-a-groupon-refund-when-a-company-closes">How to Get a Groupon Refund When a Company Closes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping chargeback credit dispute getting a refund how to get a refund refund shopping tips transactions Mon, 30 Oct 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2041945 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 44 Ways to Effectively Resist Impulse Buys http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-44-ways-to-effectively-resist-impulse-buys <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-44-ways-to-effectively-resist-impulse-buys" 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_bags_610255602.jpg" alt="Woman effectively resisting impulse buys" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The impulse buy is sly. It is cunning. It can suck you into its wasteful clutches before you realize you don&rsquo;t actually need that gadget or geegaw or trifle in the first place. Impulse buys are also major budget busters, as they are often unplanned expenses that can add up quickly. If you're looking to resist the lure of the impulse buy, succumb to the charms of these 44 impulse buy busters.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_holding_cake_37433622.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-classic-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-falling-for?ref=fbf" target="_blank">10 Classic Impulse Buys We Need to Stop Falling For</a> &mdash; To defeat your enemy, you must first learn everything you can about them. So in terms of impulse buys, you need to know which products to avoid. These are the items we all fall for, so steer clear.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-having-your-groceries-delivered-can-save-you-money?ref=fbf" target="_blank">6 Ways Having Your Groceries Delivered Can Save You Money</a> &mdash; A big chunk of impulse buys include food. Whether it's candy at the checkout line, ice cream when you decide you've had a bad day and deserve it, or three extra frozen pizzas because you've had a bad week, if you get your groceries delivered to your doorstep, you can likely avoid all of these purchases. And save money while you're at it!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock-167399345.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/now-or-later-how-to-decide-the-right-time-to-buy-almost-anything?ref=fbf" target="_blank">Now or Later: How to Decide the Right Time to Buy Almost Anything</a> &mdash; Cutting out the classic impulse buys entirely from your budget isn't a good idea though, because it'll come to feel like deprivation, which can lead to even more reckless spending. So if you use this guide to determine when you should stock up on some of your favorite comfort buys, you will be victorious.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-stop-impulse-buying?ref=fbf" target="_blank">9 Simple Ways to Stop Impulse Buying</a> &mdash; Cutting back on impulse buys is a great idea, in theory. But so is eating right, getting eight hours of sleep, and exercising four or five times a week, and not many of us practice these healthy habits consistently. These tips will simplify the concept, though, so that in a moment of weakness, you'll make the right choice.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/online_shopping_from_home.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys?ref=fbf" target="_blank">7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys</a> &mdash; Sure, &quot;simple&quot; ways to prevent impulse buys sounds helpful, but you know what sounds even better? &quot;Effortless.&quot; These tips will make impulse buys seem as easy as breathing, well, almost.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-money-habits-that-make-you-look-financially-immature?ref=fbf" target="_blank">11 Money Habits That Make You Look Financially Immature</a> &mdash; Impulse buying is a bad habit. It's also a financially immature habit, because it screams, &quot;I want it <em>now</em>, so I will have it <em>now</em>!&quot; Once you accept that, and decide you want to avoid all immature financial habits, you'll be less likely to make these poor shopping choices.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-44-ways-to-effectively-resist-impulse-buys">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-11"> <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-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys">7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse 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/10-classic-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-falling-for">10 Classic Impulse Buys We Need to Stop Falling For</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/flashback-friday-43-genius-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-shopping">Flashback Friday: 43 Genius Ways to Save on Back-to-School Shopping</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-53-grocery-shopping-tricks-thatll-make-your-life-easier">Flashback Friday: 53 Grocery Shopping Tricks That&#039;ll Make Your Life Easier</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/flashback-friday-23-mental-tricks-thatll-help-you-save-money">Flashback Friday: 23 Mental Tricks That&#039;ll Help You Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping budget tips candy fbf flashback friday impulse buys shopping tips smart shopping Fri, 27 Oct 2017 08:30:12 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 2043436 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys http://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/online_shopping_from_home.jpg" alt="Online shopping from home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I can remember a time when <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-stop-impulse-buying?ref=internal" target="_blank">controlling impulse spending</a> was relatively easy &mdash; if you avoided going into stores, you missed the vast majority of spending opportunities. Yes, there were the As Seen On TV products you could buy over the phone, as well as the occasional door-to-door salesperson or girl scout giving you a chance to fall victim to a spending impulse &mdash; but in general, pre-internet consumers had much greater control over their shopping environments.</p> <p>Now that the majority of Americans have smartphones or tablets, you don't even have to get out of bed to have to spend money. That means you still have to avoid the types of impulse purchases that have been plaguing would-be savers for years &mdash; like the candy bars in the checkout at the grocery store &mdash; and beware of the more modern spending temptations &mdash; like shopping apps, targeted advertisements on social media, and freemium games.</p> <p>However, even though impulse spending is effortless in the modern age, avoiding impulse spending can be just as effortless. Here are seven ways you can control your impulse buys without ever breaking a sweat. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-classic-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-falling-for?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Classic Impulse Buys We Need to Stop Falling For</a>)</p> <h2>1. Remove your credit card information from online retailers</h2> <p>Every online merchant offers the same helpful &quot;service,&quot; which is remembering your payment information so you don't have to enter it every time you make a purchase. But that service is actually only helpful to the retailer, since it makes it possible to buy something with a single click without giving the purchase a second thought.</p> <p>It's a major bummer to have to get up and hunt down your wallet or purse to enter in your credit card information. But that &quot;major bummer&quot; of having to get up is the time that the angel on your shoulder needs to remind you that you probably shouldn't be spending any more money. And having time for such a mental reminder is a necessary part of keeping your spending in check. After all, retailers wouldn't remember your information for you if it weren't in their best interest. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-self-destructive-habits-that-keep-you-in-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Self-Destructive Habits That Keep You in Debt</a>)</p> <h2>2. Block internet access to your favorite retail sites</h2> <p>I removed my credit card information from all of the usual retail shopping sites, but since I have my credit card number memorized, it did not slow down my impulse purchases a great deal. An easier way to keep me from surfing my favorite online retail sites is to install a web-filtering software to automatically block them for me.</p> <p>For instance, programs like <a href="http://download.cnet.com/Optenet-Web-Filter-PC/3000-2132_4-10494320.html" target="_blank">Optenet Web Filter PC</a> completely block users from accessing entire genres of internet sites. You can pick what types of sites you want to block (such as shopping, games, social media, etc.), which you then password protect. Either let a friend choose your password to keep you from disabling the block, or choose a random string of letters and numbers for your password, and store the impossible-to-remember password someplace difficult to access. If you have to get a ladder to get the password down from the very top shelf of your guest room closet, you're less likely to disable the block when you're in the mood to shop.</p> <h2>3. Remove shopping apps from your phone</h2> <p>You may love scrolling through the apps for your favorite retailers, but they are just another path to impulse spending. There is no reason for you to invite these temptations into your life!</p> <h2>4. Unsubscribe from shopping emails</h2> <p>Along the same vein, it's a lot harder to succumb to the temptation to shop if you aren't reminded of the opportunity. Unsubscribe from any retailer emails you receive &mdash; or if going through the unsubscription process is too much of a hassle, then simply filter those emails to go straight into the trash. That way, you won't see them before they get trashed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-declutter-your-digital-life?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Easy Ways to Declutter Your Digital Life</a>)</p> <h2>5. Use gift cards for mobile purchases</h2> <p>Deciding to download your new favorite song from iTunes seems like a no-brainer, since it only costs 99 cents. But it's surprisingly easy to spend a small fortune on songs, apps, and in-game upgrades on your mobile devices, since each little purchase doesn't seem to be worth worrying about. Unfortunately, you might find yourself staring down the loss of big bucks if you let yourself click-to-buy any kind of mobile purchase that tickles your fancy.</p> <p>To protect yourself from wasting more money than you can afford on mobile device purchases, pick up a gift card to iTunes or Google Play each month. That works as a natural limit on how much you can spend on mobile purchases. Once you've reached your limit, you'll just have to wait until the following month before you can start buying again.</p> <h2>6. Make it easy to get entertainment for free</h2> <p>I'm an avid reader, and I'll often receive emails or ads that suggest books that I might be interested in reading. On the plus side, the algorithms that Amazon and Audible use to recommend books are top-notch, and I love the books I end up reading or listening to. However, it's very easy to spend more than I can afford on these books.</p> <p>That's why I have my local library's website bookmarked on my computer, and its app installed on my phone. When I learn of a book that I want to read, I immediately log onto the library and put a hold on the book. I feel the same sense of instant gratification I would experience by buying the book, without having to spend a penny.</p> <p>While it may take a little longer for me to receive the book than it would if I bought it, I'm putting holds on books at least once a week, so I consistently have a new book or audiobook waiting for me at the library through this system. This method could work just as easily for movies and music, or any other entertainment you can find at your local library. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easiest-ways-to-score-free-ebooks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Easiest Ways to Score Free eBooks</a>)</p> <h2>7. Have a snack</h2> <p>There is definitely something to the age-old advice about never going grocery shopping on an empty stomach: according to a <a href="http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2007-00654-010" target="_blank">2007 study by Matthew T. Gailliot and Roy F. Baumeister</a>, your ability to exert self-discipline depends partially on your blood-glucose levels.</p> <p>This is pretty obvious when you are hungry in the supermarket, since you're feeling tempted by the very thing you lack. However, the relationship between self-discipline and blood-glucose levels is also behind your struggle to avoid other types of temptations. That's because, according to the researchers, &quot;self-control requires a certain amount of glucose to operate unimpaired.&quot;</p> <p>This means that an easy way to control your impulse spending is to have a piece of fruit or other complex carbohydrate when you're feeling tempted to buy something you don't need.</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Effortless%2520Ways%2520to%2520Prevent%2520Budget-Busting%2520Impulse%2520Buys.jpg&amp;description=7%20Effortless%20Ways%20to%20Prevent%20Budget-Busting%20Impulse%20Buys"></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/u5180/7%20Effortless%20Ways%20to%20Prevent%20Budget-Busting%20Impulse%20Buys.jpg" alt="7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys" 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/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys">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-13"> <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/flashback-friday-44-ways-to-effectively-resist-impulse-buys">Flashback Friday: 44 Ways to Effectively Resist Impulse 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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-classic-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-falling-for">10 Classic Impulse Buys We Need to Stop Falling For</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/how-to-shop-with-purpose-and-save-more-money">How to Shop With Purpose — And Save More Money</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/9-ways-your-lazy-habits-are-costing-you">9 Ways Your Lazy Habits Are Costing You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping budget busters budget tips impulse buys online shopping shopping habits shopping tips Wed, 25 Oct 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2041943 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Keep Food Waste From Spoiling Your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-food-waste-from-spoiling-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-keep-food-waste-from-spoiling-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-459410387.jpg" alt="save money by tracking food waste" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How much food do wealthy nations waste? More than <a href="http://www.fao.org/save-food/resources/keyfindings/en/" target="_blank">all of Sub-Saharan Africa produces</a>, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. In the United States alone, from the farm to your kitchen, half of all produce ends up in the trash, according to a report by The Guardian.</p> <p>What does that waste mean for your household budget? If you're like the average family of four, you're literally <a href="https://www.nrdc.org/resources/wasted-how-america-losing-40-percent-its-food-farm-fork-landfill" target="_blank">throwing away $1,800 a year</a>, the National Resources Defense Council estimates.</p> <p>So a melon is a terrible thing to waste. We've heard it before. But what can we really do about it? Here are six ideas for taking action by quantifying food waste. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-wasting-13-of-the-food-you-buy-heres-how-to-stop?ref=seealso" target="_blank">You're Wasting 1/3 of the Food You Buy &mdash; Here's How to Stop</a>)</p> <h2>Weigh your waste</h2> <p>The Environmental Protection Agency suggests that households spend two weeks separating &quot;preventable food waste&quot; garbage from inedible scraps as part of its <a href="https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-02/documents/get_smart_ftgtw_2_1_2016_pubnumberadded_508.pdf" target="_blank">Food: Too Good to Waste Challenge</a>.</p> <p>At the end of each week, weigh and record the food you could have eaten but tossed instead. Then, spend three weeks using the EPA's tips to improve your planning, shopping, and storage practices. Finally, measure what you waste during the sixth week, and share the impressive progress you've (ideally) made on social media. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/waste-not-want-not-stop-throwing-away-your-food?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Waste Not, Want Not: Stop Throwing Away Your Food!</a>)</p> <h2>Get the app</h2> <p>So often in busy households food goes to waste because you forget it's there. The iOS app <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nowaste-food-inventory-list/id926211004?mt=8" target="_blank">No Waste</a> allows you to scan the barcodes of stuff in your fridge, enter expiration dates, and track everything you've got. If you don't mark a food item as &quot;eaten&quot; before its expiration date, the app marks that food as wasted. It keeps track of the percent of your food that you waste, and shows you a cute little tree that loses its green if your waste increases. It also allows you to compare your waste percentage with other app users, and gives you an estimate of how much money you're saving by eating the food you paid for.</p> <h2>Create a food diary</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.squawkfox.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Food-Waste-Diary.pdf" target="_blank">printable food waste diary</a> prompts you to record not just the amount of food wasted at each meal, but also the reason and estimated value. This should be helpful to put a weekly dollar figure on your waste and motivate you to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-uses-for-food-thats-about-to-go-bad" target="_blank">consume foods that are about to go bad</a>.</p> <h2>Impose consequences</h2> <p>Whether you used a printable from, a smartphone app, or simply scrawled the amounts and values of your waste on a scrap of paper stuck to the fridge, what do you do with this data? Why not use it to (gently) punish yourself? Take the total value of this week's waste, and deduct it from next week's grocery budget. Chances are, the pain of passing up buying the steak you wanted might help you remember to use up that meatloaf next week.</p> <h2>Track it publicly</h2> <p>Recording your food waste alone in your kitchen is OK, but wouldn't it be more fun to inspire others by planning a <a href="https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/food-waste/research/assignments/mission-no-waste-meal1" target="_blank">Watch Your Waste Meal</a>? In the days leading up to your event, you're supposed to track your waste and share photos of your discards, which a celebrity chef might use as inspiration for a new dish.</p> <h2>Take a picture, it'll last longer</h2> <p>Are you more of a visual learner? Then follow The Frugal Girl's example and photograph <a href="http://www.thefrugalgirl.com/category/food-waste/food-waste-photos/" target="_blank">every bit of food you waste</a>. If you really want to push yourself to improve, share it online like she does! But even a private gallery of moldy horrors should be enough to encourage yourself to save the kale.</p> <h2>Beyond your kitchen</h2> <p>Once you've got a handle on what you throw away at home, turn your attention to the millions of pounds of food that gets thrown away by businesses before you even get a crack at it.</p> <h3>Buy ugly</h3> <p>In California and Portland, <a href="https://www.imperfectproduce.com/" target="_blank">Imperfect Produce</a> delivers weekly boxes of vegetables and fruits that are not cosmetically perfect enough to be sold in stores but still fresh and wholesome.</p> <h3>Take-out the trash</h3> <p>Still in beta, the app <a href="https://foodforall.us/" target="_blank">Food for All</a> will allow you to purchase unsold food from restaurants at the end of the day, at discounts as steep as 80 percent. Lucky Bostonians get to try this super frugal service first.</p> <h3>Save a mint</h3> <p>If you work in or own a restaurant, try the app <a href="https://www.mintscraps.com/" target="_blank">MintScraps</a> to track and reduce food waste.</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%2Fhow-to-keep-food-waste-from-spoiling-your-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Keep%2520Food%2520Waste%2520From%2520Spoiling%2520Your%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Keep%20Food%20Waste%20From%20Spoiling%20Your%20Budget"></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/How%20to%20Keep%20Food%20Waste%20From%20Spoiling%20Your%20Budget.jpg" alt="How to Keep Food Waste From Spoiling Your Budget" 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/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-food-waste-from-spoiling-your-budget">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-10"> <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-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way">8 Hot New Food Trends — The Frugal Way</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/shop-the-salad-bar-and-other-ways-to-save-big-on-groceries">Shop the Salad Bar and Other Ways to Save Big on Groceries</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-smart-shoppers-will-save-at-amazons-whole-foods">How Smart Shoppers Will Save at Amazon&#039;s Whole Foods</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-53-grocery-shopping-tricks-thatll-make-your-life-easier">Flashback Friday: 53 Grocery Shopping Tricks That&#039;ll Make Your Life Easier</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/flashback-friday-122-no-fuss-dinner-ideas-thatll-save-you-money">Flashback Friday: 122 No-Fuss Dinner Ideas That&#039;ll Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink food shopping food waste green living groceries grocery bill grocery budget saving money shopping tips Spending Money Fri, 22 Sep 2017 08:00:06 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2024819 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 College Perks You Might Be Missing Out On http://www.wisebread.com/8-college-perks-you-might-be-missing-out-on <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-college-perks-you-might-be-missing-out-on" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/i_am_prepared_for_exam_very_well.jpg" alt="I am prepared for exam very well" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>College is expensive. Many students struggle to find the funds to attend college and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-avoid-student-loan-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">avoid massive student debt</a>. And while student debt is an ongoing issue, there are many ways a student ID can provide big savings elsewhere. Savvy college students can utilize free or discounted activities and products to maximize their college experience and minimize their expenses. Here are eight college perks that you might be missing out on.</p> <h2>1. Reduced or free museum admission</h2> <p>Many museums and art galleries offer free or reduced admission to college students. New York University, for example, has a program called <a href="https://www.nyu.edu/life/arts-culture-and-entertainment/free-museum-access.html" target="_blank">Museum Gateway</a> that grants free admission to nearly a dozen museums and art galleries in New York City.</p> <p>Even if the college doesn't have a direct partnership with the museum to provide free admission to students, the museum might still have a student discount. The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, for example, offers free admission with a valid student ID. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-freebies-for-college-students?ref=seealso" target="_blank">20+ Freebies for College Students</a>)</p> <h2>2. Student discounts on computers</h2> <p>Computers are a vital tool. While students can access computers at local and college libraries, it can be a tad inconvenient. Computer manufacturers have created student discount programs to lower the monetary burden of students who need a computer.</p> <ul> <li> <p><a href="http://hp.force.com/external/hpacademy?AOID=51289" target="_blank">HP Academy</a> offers students 20 percent off HP products.</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="http://www.dell.com/en-us/learn/purchaseprogram/university" target="_blank">Dell University</a> offers students 20 percent off Dell products.</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/b/sale" target="_blank">Microsoft</a> offers students up to 10 percent off Microsoft computers.</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="http://www3.lenovo.com/us/en/landingpage/students-and-teachers/" target="_blank">Lenovo</a> offers students 15 percent of Lenovo products.</p> </li> </ul> <p>If you get really lucky, the university might also offer additional savings or a free computer or tablet upon enrollment.</p> <h2>3. Discounted or free software</h2> <p>Software can be essential for a successful college career. Spreadsheets, word processing, presentation programs, and graphics editing programs are expensive. Thankfully, as a student, you are spared the high cost of the programs.</p> <ul> <li> <p>Office 365 is free to all students with a valid student ID. You can either download the programs from your college's website or from <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/education/products/office/default.aspx" target="_blank">Microsoft</a>.</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="http://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/buy/students.html" target="_blank">Adobe</a> offers students 60 percent off the price of their photography and design apps.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>4. Free access to gyms and rec centers</h2> <p>Most on-campus colleges tend to have a gym and rec center that are free for students to utilize. The perks offered in the gyms are highly dependent on the school. Perks range from workout equipment, one-on-one personal training, online, or on-site workout classes, lap pools, lazy rivers, hot tubs, rock climbing centers, and indoor recreation rooms for various intramural sports. Gym and rec center memberships are expensive, so it's definitely worth taking advantage of this perk.</p> <p>If you're an online student without access to your university's gym, private gyms often offer a student discount you can cash in on.</p> <h2>5. Free entertainment</h2> <p>Colleges often offer free admission to movie screenings, plays, guest speakers, sporting events, and concerts. These college-funded events can be great ways to fill your free time without dipping into your bank account.</p> <h2>6. Free mental health counseling and services</h2> <p>College life can be stressful. Students who are mentally and emotionally healthy have a slightly higher chance of succeeding at school. In order to help students maintain a good mental health, many colleges offer free individual, group, or couples therapy. The sessions are meant to help students deal with issues, manage their personal problems, and develop coping strategies. This is a free service that can, in many cases, save your educational career.</p> <h2>7. Discounted airfare and hotels</h2> <p>Whether it's for summer break, visiting the family, or returning to school, plane tickets and hotels can be horrendously expensive. The good news is that there are travel sites that offer discounted prices to students.</p> <ul> <li> <p><a href="https://www.studentuniverse.com/" target="_blank">Student Universe</a> lets students buy flights and hotels at a discounted rate. A student ID or class schedule will often be required to prove that you are a student.</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://www.cheapoair.com/deals/student-travel" target="_blank">CheapOAir</a> has a student travel page that offers discounted rates.</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="http://www.statravel.com/" target="_blank">STA Travel</a> offers an International Student Identity Card that provides discounts on flights and hotels.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>8. Clothing discounts</h2> <p>Students can receive special discounts at dozens of clothing retailers. This is especially true for students who need more formal clothing for internships or their first job after college.</p> <p>Once you have a little money to spend, go shopping for a few work-approved outfits before you graduate. Check out Banana Republic, J. Crew, Ann Taylor, Club Monaco, Sam's Club for student discounts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-sites-where-the-right-email-address-can-save-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Sites Where the Right Email Address Can Save You Money</a>)</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%2F8-college-perks-you-might-be-missing-out-on&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520College%2520Perks%2520You%2520Might%2520Be%2520Missing%2520Out%2520On.jpg&amp;description=8%20College%20Perks%20You%20Might%20Be%20Missing%20Out%20On"></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%20College%20Perks%20You%20Might%20Be%20Missing%20Out%20On.jpg" alt="8 College Perks You Might Be Missing Out On" 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/samantha-stauf">Samantha Stauf</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-college-perks-you-might-be-missing-out-on">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-11"> <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/6-genius-ways-to-stock-up-on-school-supplies">6 Genius Ways to Stock Up on School Supplies</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/12-better-ways-to-spend-1000-than-on-the-new-iphone">12 Better Ways to Spend $1,000 Than on the New iPhone</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-classic-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-falling-for">10 Classic Impulse Buys We Need to Stop Falling For</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/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs">9 Freshman Shopping Tips to Cut College Costs</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> Education & Training Shopping college perks college student discounts saving money shopping tips student discounts Wed, 20 Sep 2017 08:30:17 +0000 Samantha Stauf 2023006 at http://www.wisebread.com How Smart Shoppers Will Save at Amazon's Whole Foods http://www.wisebread.com/how-smart-shoppers-will-save-at-amazons-whole-foods <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-smart-shoppers-will-save-at-amazons-whole-foods" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-529131548.jpg" alt="whole foods just got cheaper" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Amazon is looking to repeat its e-commerce success in the grocery vertical. Its recent acquisition of Whole Foods brought sweeping and immediate changes to the notoriously pricey grocery chain by taking a page from Amazon's traditional playbook &mdash; slashing prices. Here are details on the price changes that were implemented, and how you can cash in while shopping.</p> <h2>Look for the signs</h2> <p>All over Whole Foods stores, you can now find tags and large signage that clearly explain the recent price drops that Amazon has implemented. The produce market of Whole Foods, opulent and historically expensive, is one of the hallmarks of the chain. It makes perfect sense that Amazon would begin there. Certain varieties of apples have dropped a full dollar per pound, from $2.99 to $1.99. Avocados, which have been extra pricey this summer due to crop shortages in California and Mexico, have dropped, too, from $2.50 a piece to $1.49. Bananas dropped from $0.79 to $0.49 per pound, and lean ground beef dropped from $10.99 per pound to $6.99.</p> <p>Overall, prices have dropped an average of 43 percent on the store's most popular items. To find the best deals in-store, be on the lookout for these signs and tags.</p> <h2>Lock it up</h2> <p>One of the signature benefits of being an Amazon shopper is a relatively easy return policy on many items. Amazon will start placing Amazon lockers in select Whole Foods locations where you can drop off your packages for easy returns, and also pick up packages that you order if you don't want them shipped to your home. This makes it more convenient for people to shop both brands in one, while having a single location where returns can be managed. (Lockers are ideal for people who aren't home during the day and don't have a doorman to collect their packages. With Amazon Lockers, there is less of a chance of packages being lost or stolen off of your doorstep.)</p> <h2>Shop Whole Foods products from Amazon</h2> <p>Amazon is in the process of adding Whole Foods private label brand items to the website for ordering through Prime Pantry, Prime Fresh, and Prime Now delivery programs. The Whole Foods private label brands include 365 Everyday Value and Whole Foods Market. They have long been touted as the best deals in the store. Now Amazon is elevating them even higher by making them available online.</p> <h2>Become a Prime member</h2> <p>Amazon is crafting big plans to integrate Amazon Prime into the Whole Foods shopping experience to further enrich the Prime program. Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, said in a recent statement that Amazon Prime will become the customer rewards program at Whole Foods and will trigger lower prices and other benefits for Prime members over time. Whole Foods created a pilot customer rewards program of its own in the Philadelphia and Dallas/Fort Worth areas, but it never took off nationwide. Amazon provides an opportunity to change that with a quick solution that already has a large and loyal user base. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Amazon Prime Perks You've Forgotten to Use</a>)</p> <p>We're in the early days of Amazon's ownership of Whole Foods. What's clear is that the two brands intend to continue co-inventing ways to improve the shopping experience, provide enhanced value to customers, and compete with innovation in a traditional market.</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%2Fhow-smart-shoppers-will-save-at-amazons-whole-foods&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520Smart%2520Shoppers%2520Will%2520Save%2520at%2520Amazons%2520Whole%2520Foods.jpg&amp;description=How%20Smart%20Shoppers%20Will%20Save%20at%20Amazons%20Whole%20Foods"></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/How%20Smart%20Shoppers%20Will%20Save%20at%20Amazons%20Whole%20Foods.jpg" alt="How Smart Shoppers Will Save at Amazon's Whole Foods" 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/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-smart-shoppers-will-save-at-amazons-whole-foods">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-11"> <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/shop-the-salad-bar-and-other-ways-to-save-big-on-groceries">Shop the Salad Bar and Other Ways to Save Big on Groceries</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-checkout-line-tricks-to-finish-shopping-faster">5 Checkout Line Tricks to Finish Shopping Faster</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-ways-having-your-groceries-delivered-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Having Your Groceries Delivered Can Save You 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/how-to-shop-for-food-once-a-month-and-save-big">How to Shop for Food Once a Month and Save Big</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/flashback-friday-53-grocery-shopping-tricks-thatll-make-your-life-easier">Flashback Friday: 53 Grocery Shopping Tricks That&#039;ll Make Your Life Easier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping Amazon food shopping grocery shopping saving money shopping tips smart shopping Whole Foods Mon, 11 Sep 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Christa Avampato 2018088 at http://www.wisebread.com Now or Later: How to Decide the Right Time to Buy Almost Anything http://www.wisebread.com/now-or-later-how-to-decide-the-right-time-to-buy-almost-anything <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/now-or-later-how-to-decide-the-right-time-to-buy-almost-anything" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-167399345.jpg" alt="when to buy almost everything" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are some things that make sense to buy right away, because spending a little money now can save you a lot of expense and hassle later. Other purchases are best deferred as long as possible, since there is little or no advantage to buying the item before you really need it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-never-succumb-to-impulse-spending-again?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Never Succumb to Impulse Spending Again</a>)</p> <p>Here's a handy guide to help you determine what you should buy now versus later.</p> <h2>Buy it now</h2> <p>You shouldn't wait to buy these items.</p> <h3>Tires</h3> <p>Check your tire tread depth by inserting a penny into the groove &mdash; if you can see all of Lincoln's head, your tires are considered bald. Replace worn out tires now instead of waiting for a flat, or even worse, an accident.</p> <h3>Car Battery</h3> <p>If your car shows signs of a weak battery, such as difficulty cranking the engine or dim lights, it is time to have the battery checked at the shop. Battery checks are often free, and allow you to replace your battery at a convenient time while you can still shop around for a good deal instead of when you are stranded somewhere with a car that won't start. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bookmark-this-save-money-with-an-easy-to-follow-car-maintenance-checklist?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Bookmark This: Save Money With an Easy to Follow Car Maintenance Checklist</a>)</p> <h3>Gas</h3> <p>It doesn't really save you money to run on fumes since you will end up buying the gas anyway. You might as well reduce your risk of running out of gas in traffic by filling up before the needle falls well below the &quot;E.&quot;</p> <h3>Oil change</h3> <p>You might feel like you should wait as long as possible between oil changes to save money, but the extra cost of changing the oil a little early is minimal. By staying ahead of schedule for oil changes, you avoid the risk that you will forget or get busy and push your motor oil beyond its life, ultimately damaging your engine.</p> <h3>Roof repair/replacement</h3> <p>Address roofing issues before leaks form by promptly repairing roof damage. Waiting until your roof starts leaking before taking action doesn't save money, since you'll have to repair or replace the roof anyway, plus the added expense to repair water damage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-simple-household-repairs-every-frugal-person-should-master?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Simple Household Repairs Every Frugal Person Should Master</a>)</p> <h3>Investments</h3> <p>Since investments tend to appreciate in value, you are better off buying them now for two reasons:</p> <ul> <li>Buying the investment will cost more if you wait.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you invest now, you will start gaining appreciation sooner.</li> </ul> <h3>Out-of-season clothing or gear</h3> <p>Clothing or gear that is out of season will often end up on the clearance racks, and these sales can be a cheap way to pick up things you know you'll need next year. Winter coats, swimwear, and sporting goods are some of the best clearance sale bargains.</p> <h3>Energy efficiency upgrades</h3> <p>Adding insulation, replacing leaky windows, or upgrading an inefficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system will save you money on utility bills every month. The sooner you make energy efficiency upgrades, the more money you'll save.</p> <h2>Buy it later</h2> <p>If you're trying to save money, these items can wait.</p> <h3>Tech gadgets</h3> <p>The longer you wait to upgrade tech products, the more capability you'll get for less money. Wait as long as you can before buying a new TV, smartphone, tablet, or computer.</p> <h3>New car (or newer used car)</h3> <p>Driving a car for as long as possible is one of the best things you can do to save money. Keep your current car in good working order to help suppress your desire to get a different car before you really need one. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-you-put-away-a-million-dollars-by-driving-a-used-car?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Could You Put Away a Million Dollars by Driving a Used Car?</a>)</p> <h3>In-season clothing</h3> <p>Styles can change, or your size could change. If your current clothes fit and don't have holes, there is no real advantage to buying brand new clothes until the situation changes.</p> <h3>A bigger house</h3> <p>Unless there's a disruptive ghost in your attic or a consistent flood in your basement, you should wait to upgrade to a bigger house. Delay ratcheting up your mortgage, property tax, utilities, and insurance payments to save money until you really need more space or to live in a different location.</p> <h3>Furniture</h3> <p>Try to get one more year of life from a piece of furniture before buying something new. You can repaint or reupholster it to give it a new look for much less than you'd spend on a brand new item. After the year of waiting is up, try to do the same thing again.</p> <h3>Aged or unsightly items</h3> <p>There are a lot of possessions that get &quot;uglied out&quot; before they get worn out to the point where they no longer function. For example, my garbage can is faded, has a cracked lid, and has some paint on it. But even though it is ugly, it still works perfectly well as a garbage can and there is no advantage to rushing to replace it. Things that tend to get ugly before they wear out include luggage, carpet, furniture, appliances, and tools. Keep those around until they break or you can afford to replace them.</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%2Fnow-or-later-how-to-decide-the-right-time-to-buy-almost-anything&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FNow%2520or%2520Later-%2520How%2520to%2520Decide%2520the%2520Right%2520Time%2520to%2520Buy%2520Almost%2520Anything.jpg&amp;description=Now%20or%20Later%3A%20How%20to%20Decide%20the%20Right%20Time%20to%20Buy%20Almost%20Anything"></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/Now%20or%20Later-%20How%20to%20Decide%20the%20Right%20Time%20to%20Buy%20Almost%20Anything.jpg" alt="Now or Later: How to Decide the Right Time to Buy Almost Anything" 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/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/now-or-later-how-to-decide-the-right-time-to-buy-almost-anything">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-12"> <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/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-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/12-better-ways-to-spend-1000-than-on-the-new-iphone">12 Better Ways to Spend $1,000 Than on the New iPhone</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-food-waste-from-spoiling-your-budget">How to Keep Food Waste From Spoiling Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buy it later Buy It Now saving money shopping guide shopping tips Spending Money when to shop Wed, 06 Sep 2017 08:00:07 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2016056 at http://www.wisebread.com