cards http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8374/all en-US Best Money Tips: Saving on Gas http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-saving-on-gas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-saving-on-gas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3170964719_a9f7785eba_z-1.jpg" alt="Saving on Gas" title="Saving on Gas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on saving on gas, figuring out extreme couponing, and why you should love credit cards.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Save-Gas-14396850">Gas Prices Are Up! Here's What You Can Do To Save</a> &mdash; To save on gas, remember that car maintenance is key. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.americandebtproject.com/2012/02/do-i-need-a-masters-degree-to-figure-out-extreme-couponing/">Do I Need A Master's Degree to Figure Out Extreme Couponing?</a> &mdash; Make couponing simpler by opting for &quot;moderate couponing&quot; and browsing the store weeklies before recycling them. [American Debt Project]<a href="http://www.girlsjustwannahavefunds.com/free-credit-score"><br /> </a></p> <p><a href="http://www.girlsjustwannahavefunds.com/free-credit-score">Devil's Advocate: 5 Reasons Why You Should Love Credit Cards</a> &mdash; One good reason to love credit cards? They offer you fraud protection. [Girls Just Wanna Have Funds]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bucksomeboomer.com/how-to-find-financial-accord/">How to Find Financial Accord</a> &mdash; Find financial accord with your partner by creating a spending plan that works for both of you. [Bucksome Boomer]</p> <p><a href="http://fitzvillafuerte.com/be-extraordinary-8-steps-to-living-the-life-youve-always-wanted.html?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ReadyToBeRich+%28Ready+To+Be+Rich%29">Be Extraordinary: 8 Steps To Living The Life You've Always Wanted</a> &mdash; Want to live the life you've always wanted? Always remember to stretch your limits. [Ready To Be Rich]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.myinvestingblog.com/10-easy-tips-to-reduce-your-income-taxes/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MyInvestingBlog+%28-+MiB+Smarter+Money+-%29">10 Easy Tips to Reduce Your Income Taxes</a> &mdash; Reduce your income taxes by paying down your mortgage. [MiB Smarter Money]</p> <p><a href="http://barbarafriedbergpersonalfinance.com/personal-finance-tip-save-and-make-money-collaborative-consumption/">Personal Finance Tips; Save and Make Money with Collaborative Consumption</a> &mdash; Want to save money? Consider sharing your resources with others and participating in collaborative consumption. [Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.creditkarma.com/step-by-step/personal-finance/why-you-should-spend-valentines-day-alone/">Why You Should Spend Valentine's Day Alone</a> &mdash; Spending Valentine's Day alone means you save money and the pressure is off! [Credit Karma Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mainstreet.com/slideshow/career/employment/10-fastest-growing-jobs-us">The 10 Fastest-Growing Jobs in the U.S.</a> &mdash; The fastest growing job in the U.S. is personal health aides. [Mainstreet]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/7-reasons-to-feed-your-family-organicswholesome-foods">7 Reasons to Feed Your Family Wholesome, Organic Foods</a> &mdash; Feeding your family organic foods is not only good for their health but good for the environment as well! [Parenting Squad]</p> <h2>News &amp; Events</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/news/2012/01/wise-bread-tweetchat-wbchat-4">Wise Bread Tweetchat (#WBChat)</a> &mdash; Don't miss our weekly #WBChat at 12pm PST! We will be giving away $200 in prizes thanks to our sponsor, SpringCoin!</p> <p>Be sure to check out our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/news">News &amp; Events Calendar</a> to see all the awesome upcoming events in the personal finance world!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-saving-on-gas">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/fill-your-tank">Fill your tank</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-wisebread-helped-me-get-45mpg-out-of-my-28mpg-car">How Wisebread helped me get 45mpg out of my 28mpg car.</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/save-more-gas-by-safely-following-trucks">Save More Gas by Safely Following Trucks</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/are-you-wasting-68000-on-gas">Are You Wasting $68,000 on Gas?</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-bank-of-gasoline-0">The Bank of Gasoline</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living automobiles best money tips cards gas gasoline Thu, 09 Feb 2012 11:00:23 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 892355 at http://www.wisebread.com Last minute tips for quick and easy homemade Holiday cards. . http://www.wisebread.com/expert-tips-to-help-you-make-your-own-holiday-cards-and-save-a-small-fortune <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/expert-tips-to-help-you-make-your-own-holiday-cards-and-save-a-small-fortune" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3120007195_d072196029.jpg" alt="homemade holiday cards" title="homemade holiday cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It happens every year to my family. We think we have all of the Holiday cards done and in the post, and then we get one out of nowhere from someone completely unexpected. If you've ran out of cards, and want a cheaper alternative to those store bought cards, here are some quick tips from the card-making experts.</p> <p>Personally, I hate paying the exorbitant price charged for Holiday cards. A quick a look around Target today revealed some nice packs of cards for 10-20 people, all with the same design, averaging between $10 and $20. Not bad. But when you only need one or two, that's a waste. And as soon as you buy individual cards for that special someone, well that's a different story. The average shoots up to $4 per card. Some were as much as $7! That's not good news for a frugal shopper. You could do the ever popular photo card, but when you want something different and unique without dipping into your pocket, it's time for a little DIY.</p> <p>Now, anyone can make a card with bits and pieces from around the house. But it takes a little more effort to turn a folded piece of card into something that looks cool and says something about you, and of course, the person you're giving it to. I've made plenty of cards over the years using Photoshop, but not everyone has the software or the training to use it. So, what other tips and tricks are out there to turn that humble piece of card into a Holiday treasure? I found a bunch. Use one, use them all, and have fun with them. It's also a great way to get the whole family involved in something that can often be arduous.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.expertvillage.com/video/14035_rubber-stamps-bleach.htm"><strong>Use bleach for that winter effect (and a good second use for a bleach pen).</strong></a><strong><br /> </strong></p> <p><object height="360" width="425" id="ev_player" data="http://cdn-www.expertvillage.com/player-demandstudio.swf?cacheBuster=31967641&amp;flv=80517_rubber-stamps-bleach" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"> <param value="always" name="allowScriptAccess" /> <param value="true" name="allowFullScreen" /> <param value="http://cdn-www.expertvillage.com/player-demandstudio.swf?cacheBuster=31967641&amp;flv=80517_rubber-stamps-bleach" name="movie" /> <param value="transparent" name="wmode" /></object></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.expertvillage.com/video/14043_rubber-stamps-glitter.htm"><strong>Glue, a rubber stamp and a little glitter, Simple but effective.</strong></a></p> <p><object height="360" width="425" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" data="http://cdn-www.expertvillage.com/player-demandstudio.swf?cacheBuster=775650656&amp;flv=80553_rubber-stamps-glitter" id="ev_player"> <param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /> <param name="movie" value="http://cdn-www.expertvillage.com/player-demandstudio.swf?cacheBuster=775650656&amp;flv=80553_rubber-stamps-glitter" /> <param name="wmode" value="transparent" /></object></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.expertvillage.com/video/62134_holiday-spa-scented-cards.htm">Scented Holiday cards. Annoyingly easy. (Using your homemade card of course.)</a><br /> </strong></p> <p><object height="360" width="425" id="ev_player" data="http://cdn-www.expertvillage.com/player-demandstudio.swf?cacheBuster=776061031&amp;flv=4022_holiday-spa-scented-cards" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"> <param value="always" name="allowScriptAccess" /> <param value="true" name="allowFullScreen" /> <param value="http://cdn-www.expertvillage.com/player-demandstudio.swf?cacheBuster=776061031&amp;flv=4022_holiday-spa-scented-cards" name="movie" /> <param value="transparent" name="wmode" /></object></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.expertvillage.com/video/143524_make-christmas-tree-pop-up-card.htm" target="_blank"><strong>How to Make a Christmas Tree Pop-Up Card</strong></a>&nbsp;</p> <div><object height="350" width="425" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" data="http://cdn-www.expertvillage.com/player-demandstudio.swf?cacheBuster=771947172&amp;flv=143524_make-christmas-tree-pop-up-card" id="ev_player"> <param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /> <param name="movie" value="http://cdn-www.expertvillage.com/player-demandstudio.swf?cacheBuster=771947172&amp;flv=143524_make-christmas-tree-pop-up-card" /> <param name="wmode" value="transparent" /></object></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <p><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/yt-g1_JFV91bRU/origami_wow_christmas_tree_cards/"><strong>A more complex, but way more impressive, origami pop-out card.</strong></a></p> <p><embed height="360" width="425" src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/yt-g1_JFV91bRU/origami_wow_christmas_tree_cards.swf" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"></embed></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nf1l995NeV4">Another fun pop-out card. Get some plates.</a><br /> </strong></p> <p><object height="344" width="425"> <param value="http://www.youtube.com/v/nf1l995NeV4&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1" name="movie" /> <param value="true" name="allowFullScreen" /> <param value="always" name="allowscriptaccess" /><embed height="344" width="425" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/nf1l995NeV4&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1"></embed></object></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzfQ2TMDOp8"><strong>A quick way to turn a regular photo into a Holiday card.</strong></a></p> <p><object height="344" width="425"> <param value="http://www.youtube.com/v/JzfQ2TMDOp8&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1" name="movie" /> <param value="true" name="allowFullScreen" /> <param value="always" name="allowscriptaccess" /><embed height="344" width="425" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/JzfQ2TMDOp8&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1"></embed></object></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYTCUI9-t4c"><strong>A simple and unusual closure for this country Christmas card</strong></a></p> <p><object height="344" width="425"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/LYTCUI9-t4c&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1" /> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed height="344" width="425" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/LYTCUI9-t4c&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object></p> <p>Of course, you'll have to hand-deliver these cards now. But if you do have to make a last-minute card in a hurry, hopefully these tips will help. I love the bleach tip, I'll be using that one. Happy Holidays to all.</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/expert-tips-to-help-you-make-your-own-holiday-cards-and-save-a-small-fortune">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/blood-gore-and-hairy-warts-a-diy-halloween-makeup-guide">Blood, gore and hairy warts; a DIY Halloween makeup guide.</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-refill-an-ink-cartridge-with-a-small-piece-of-tape">How to refill an ink cartridge with a small piece of tape</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/search-online-for-a-fix-before-you-toss-that-broken-gadget">Search Online for a Fix before You Toss that Broken Gadget</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/revive-old-toys-for-extra-christmas-savings-and-sanity">Revive Old Toys for Extra Christmas Savings (and Sanity)</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-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Life Hacks Consumer Affairs DIY Art and Leisure bleach cards Christmas holiday paper techniques Mon, 22 Dec 2008 19:18:17 +0000 Paul Michael 2646 at http://www.wisebread.com An Inexpensive Diversion http://www.wisebread.com/a-cheap-diversion <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-cheap-diversion" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/boys playing cards.jpg" alt="boys playing cards" title="boys playing cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My digital era middle-school-aged son has adopted the use of a low-tech, low-cost entertainment device. I have put much effort into convincing him to balance his love of technology with quieter pursuits that don’t require electricity, batteries, or cash, so when he took a break from making Youtube videos (produced using <a href="http://www.hyperionics.com/" title="http://www.hyperionics.com/">hypercam</a> to record computer-screen action, then edited via PowerPoint), I was pleased. He loves the versatility of his newfound toy; I love the price tag. </p> <p>His turnaround came after a week at Boy Scout camp, where electronics are banned and card games are taught. Shortly after coming home, he begged for a deck of cards. I couldn’t find any at the house, so I went to the dollar store, where I purchased a pack for, oddly, 50 cents plus tax. (I paid using <a href="/making-change-count" title="http://www.wisebread.com/making-change-count">change</a>). </p> <p>Then, he told me that cards are superior to the typical board game because you could play lots of different games and weren’t tied down to one in particular. </p> <p>My scout taught our family his favorite game from camp, “Mao,” beginning with the rule that you can’t tell the rules, which the observant person will find is in violation of the rules. For more on Mao, see this <a href="http://www.bluepineapple.com/partygames/index.php?page=maofull" title="http://www.bluepineapple.com/partygames/index.php?page=maofull ">Party Games website</a> or <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mao_(game)" title="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mao_(game)">Wikipedia’s article on Mao</a>. </p> <p>My older son had a similar, though less dramatic, experience after several days at a youth retreat in the mountains. He spends less time tinkering with the computer and more time reading so playing cards didn’t make quite the impression on him. Still, he enjoyed playing El Presidente and then teaching us (my husband, his younger brother, a friend, and me) the card game on an overnight hiking trip. </p> <p>Here’s his version of the game: </p> <ul> <li>Equipment: full deck of cards</li> <li>Number of players: at least 3, better with 4-7</li> <li>Setup: all cards are dealt, as evenly as possible; everyone sits in a circle or somehow close enough to pick up and put down cards with ease, but not see others’ cards; the person who has the 4 of clubs starts the game</li> <li>Object: to get rid of all your cards and be named El Presidente</li> <li>Rules: <ul> <li>3 is the highest value card, then 2, Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, and 4.</li> <li>Each game usually involves multiple rounds; the person who starts the game or wins the most recent round, decides whether cards should be placed in singles, doubles, or triples (that is, if one 7 is placed at first, then that round is singles; two 7’s, doubles; three 7’s, triples); when the round is over, then the deck is cleared and a new round starts.</li> <li>If all 4 of the same face-value cards (such as all of the Queens) are used in a round, then the deck is cleared.</li> <li>If two cards with the same face value are played in sequence (such as a 5, followed by a 5), then the next player is skipped (this “skip” still counts as a turn). </li> <li>Game Play: after the first card is placed, then the next player (clockwise or counterclockwise depending on what the dealer decides) must place a higher value card of any suit or pass on the turn; a round is over and the deck is cleared when someone plays the highest value card (a 3 in this version); if a card can’t be topped and all players have had a turn (either skipped or passed) – the person who has placed the last card down wins the round. </li> <li>Order of winners: the first person who gets rid of all his/her cards is declared El Presidente and the second person is Vice Presidente; the last person is Bum 2 and second to last person is Bum 1; all others are Middle Men. </li> <li>For the next session, Bum 2 must give El Presidente his/her two best cards in exchange for any two cards; Bum 1 must give Vice President his/her best card in exchange for any one card. El Presidente starts the next round. </li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p>Rules for this card game or any others can vary depending on the inclinations of the players. The ability to make a game more or less complicated is yet another advantage of cards. </p> <p>A deck, with all its cards tucked away in a small box, is easy to transport in a backpack or duffle bag, providing ready entertainment at home, on camping trips, at off-the-grid lodges, and in airport waiting areas. Though I played cards some as a kid, I don’t think I recognized the value of a full deck as a highly portable, flexible, and inexpensive diversion, until now.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-cheap-diversion">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/magazines-for-free-or-cheap">Magazines for Free or Cheap</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/disneyland-on-the-sort-of-cheap">Disneyland on the (Sort of) Cheap</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/cheap-and-easy-halloween-costumes-for-kids">Cheap and Easy Halloween Costumes for Kids</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/read-for-free">Read for Free</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/expert-tips-to-help-you-make-your-own-holiday-cards-and-save-a-small-fortune">Last minute tips for quick and easy homemade Holiday cards. .</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Art and Leisure cards deck of cards El Presidente full deck games for kids Mao Sat, 19 Jul 2008 16:03:58 +0000 Julie Rains 2249 at http://www.wisebread.com Take back St. Valentine’s Day from Hallmark and Hershey’s. http://www.wisebread.com/take-back-st-valentine-s-day-from-hallmark-and-hershey-s <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/take-back-st-valentine-s-day-from-hallmark-and-hershey-s" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/98174687_9a5daf5c11.jpg" alt="Broken Heart" title="Broken Heart" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="187" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Today is St. Valentine’s Day. Delivery vans filled with flowers are passing each other on the highways; the supermarket aisles filled with pink and red cards are chock full of men and women, frantically buying that last-minute love note. And I have to wonder…why do we bother?</p> <p>I knew very little about St. Valentine’s Day so I did some digging around at the library and on the Internet. I won’t bore you with all of the details, so here’s a brief summary in spectacular bullet-point style:</p> <ul> <li>Many Christian martyrs were called Valentine.</li> <li>Up until around 40 years ago, there were 11 (yes 11) Valentine’s Days recognized by the Catholic Church.</li> <li>Prior to the works of Chaucer, no link between love and the Valentine Saints existed. </li> <li>St. Valentine’s Day has appeared in Shakespeare plays.</li> <li>The current day revolves around the legend of a priest named Valentine and Roman Emperor Claudius II. Claudius wanted young men to remain single, Valentine secretly performed marriages and was executed. A note he left to his beloved, the jailer’s daughter, read “From Your Valentine.”</li> </ul> <p>So, that’s the brief, brief history of the day. But now, as with most holidays in the world, corporate interests are heavily invested in capitalizing on this day. Expensive cards, flowers, chocolates, little teddy bears, lingerie, teddy bears wearing lingerie and holding chocolates, you name it, there’s a tacky gift with a heart on it. </p> <p>And that made me wonder, is this day at all necessary? After all, why do we need a special day to remind our true love that we do indeed love them? Listening to the radio this morning, I heard a caller say that men need this day to remind us to do something special for our partner, or we’d just not bother. Does that mean we’re paying the price for our laziness through cards and flowers? Can’t we do better?</p> <p><img src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/100261919_68b638140c.jpg" alt="Cards" title="Cards" width="335" height="251" /><br /><em>St. Valentine&#39;s Day cards for Mom, Dad, Sister, Cousin, Dog, Cat and backyard squirrel.</em></p> <p>What has also disturbed me is the vast number of people now eligible to receive a St. Valentine’s Day card or gift. Now, when I was in Britain seven years ago, St. Valentine’s Day was a celebration of romance. Couples and would-be lovers would send cards to each other. But now, you can wish your grandma, your niece or your best friend a Happy Valentine’s Day. Seriously, why? It was bad enough that large corporations had hijacked this holiday for lovers, but now they’ve expanded it to include everyone on the planet. </p> <p>However, being a realist I’m well aware that St. Valentine’s Day is here to stay. But, as the mighty consumer we have the power to take it back. Reject the card companies, forget the flowers, kiss goodbye to the Hershey’s kisses. Instead, do something that takes more thought and less money.</p> <p>One year, I found a small craft box for a few dollars. I painted it burgundy and filled it with small notes, each one endorsed with a small phrase about why I loved my wife. The notes were tied with ribbon, the whole cost of the project was around $6. And it’s one of my wife’s most treasured possessions, still taking pride of place on the dresser some 5 years later. </p> <p>The point is, I think this day allows us to be lazy. It’s easy to order flowers or gifts, it’s simple to sign your name at the bottom of a $5 card. But we can all do better if we try, giving more of our true love to our partners and a lot less of our hard-earned money to places like Hallmark and Hershey’s in the process. </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/take-back-st-valentine-s-day-from-hallmark-and-hershey-s">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/expert-tips-to-help-you-make-your-own-holiday-cards-and-save-a-small-fortune">Last minute tips for quick and easy homemade Holiday cards. .</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/couplehood-avoiding-the-valentine-cliches">Couplehood: Avoiding the Valentine Clichés</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/20-valentines-day-gifts-for-10-or-less">20 Valentine&#039;s Day Gifts for $10 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily">Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily</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/revive-old-toys-for-extra-christmas-savings-and-sanity">Revive Old Toys for Extra Christmas Savings (and Sanity)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Consumer Affairs candy cards flowers gifts Hallmark Hershey's lovers romance Thu, 14 Feb 2008 18:11:04 +0000 Paul Michael 1795 at http://www.wisebread.com Swipe envy http://www.wisebread.com/swipe-envy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/swipe-envy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/paid-value-card-poster.jpg" alt="Poster that says, &quot;Bad Credit? No Credit? Pay now so you can eat later&quot; with a picture of a paid-value card" title="Fast Food Poster" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="270" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>All the cool kids have credit cards. What if you don&#39;t? What if you are so young, so poor, so uncool that you can&#39;t get one? Do you have to stoop to paying for your food with actual money? Not any more! These guys have the cure for swipe envy!</p> <p>Look at the poster in the picture. This fast food company (name slightly obscured) is marketing their paid-value card to people who can&#39;t get a credit card, but wish they had one <strong>so bad</strong> that they&#39;ll settle for a paid-value card that kinda looks like a credit card.</p> <p>Of course, I understand the attraction <em>to the merchant</em> of a paid-value card. They&#39;ve already got your money, so they&#39;re pretty sure you&#39;re going to buy stuff from them. (And, if you don&#39;t, that&#39;s okay too--see above where they&#39;ve already got your money.)</p> <p>From the point of view of the purchaser, a paid-value card is a dead loser:</p> <ul> <li>You take perfectly good money that you can spend anywhere, and turn it into non-money that you can only spend at one place.</li> <li>You miss out on the chance to earn interest until you spend it.</li> <li>Most paid value cards charge &quot;inactivity&quot; fees (and other fees) to make it easy for them to keep the money that you&#39;ve given them without having to provide any goods or services.</li> <li>You have no protection in the event the company declares bankruptcy (or, for that matter, in the event the company just decides that they&#39;d rather keep your money and not give you anything).</li> </ul> <p>Now, the disadvantages of a paid-value card are pretty obvious. The <strong>only</strong> reason I can imagine wanting to get one is if I was paying for someone else&#39;s food, and worried that if I provided cash, the guy would blow it all on something like bus fare or laundry. (Of course, it doesn&#39;t really work even for that. The guy who would really rather spend the money on something frivolous like textbooks can always find someone who wants food to buy the paid-value card, perhaps at a small discount.)</p> <p>I feel sorry for the guy who&#39;s so ashamed of not having a credit card that he&#39;d fall for a marketing ploy like this. It also offends me to see companies behave this way--I couldn&#39;t patronize a company that ran an ad like this. I expect, though, as the credit squeeze makes credit a lot harder to come by (not just mortgages), we&#39;ll see more and more ads like this, marketing to the folks with swipe envy.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/swipe-envy">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/5-financial-holidays-id-like-to-see">5 Financial Holidays I&#039;d Like to See</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-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">12 Personal Finance Skills Everyone Should Master</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/could-you-save-money-by-subscribing-to-an-addictive-game">Could you save money by subscribing to an addictive game?</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/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</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/will-a-dental-discount-plan-save-you-money">Will A Dental Discount Plan Save You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living cards credit card gift cards paid-value cards Sun, 23 Dec 2007 20:37:53 +0000 Philip Brewer 1533 at http://www.wisebread.com