support http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/969/all en-US How to Get Through a Tough Financial Emergency http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-through-a-tough-financial-emergency <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-through-a-tough-financial-emergency" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stressed_man_employee_000053925904.jpg" alt="Man trying to get through a tough financial emergency" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We're all forced to deal with financial and other emergencies from time to time. It's not fun to think about, and we usually put off planning for it until it's too late. My husband and I recently experienced a family medical emergency and encountered a tough situation. We're both self-employed so this made everything even more financially stressful.</p> <p>We quickly learned that we were not prepared to weather a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-emergency-fund-big-enough-to-keep-you-afloat">financial emergency</a>, but we have since begun taking steps to prepare. Here's how to get through a tough financial time without losing everything, and keeping your sanity and confidence intact.</p> <h2>1. Keep Things in Perspective</h2> <p>When you're going through a tough financial time it's important to stay positive and know that things will get better. Give yourself time to be frustrated, cry, scream, and then remain hopeful that the situation can only improve.</p> <p>Hope is the motivating force that will keep you in the right mindset, so you can successfully handle this situation. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stay-focused-300-tips-for-staying-focused">Focus on the positives</a> and view each day as a new chance to make everything better.</p> <h2>2. Surround Yourself With Positive Support</h2> <p>One of the best ways to keep a positive approach to life when you're having a tough time is to surround yourself with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-build-a-frugal-community-and-how-to-do-it">supportive community</a>. When you're struggling, you can reach out to your supporters for guidance and advice. They can also help you keep the situation in perspective, so it doesn't get blown out of proportion.</p> <p>Make sure your positive group of supporters are people you can trust and who have your back no matter what. Community organizations, religious groups or churches, and other social support mechanisms can also lend a financial hand during difficulties. Map out the community resources you can rely on to help you during lean times.</p> <h2>3. Create an Emergency Backup Plan</h2> <p>The best way to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-emergency-situations-you-must-prepare-for-and-5-you-can-ignore">conquer an emergency situation</a> is to have a backup emergency plan in place. In case you don't have one already, now's the perfect time to create it.</p> <p>What's your process for an emergency situation? Will you rely on savings, take out a loan, or get a second job? Do you understand the exact resources at your disposal? By understanding the options available, you can more readily navigate a financial emergency.</p> <h2>4. Make Saving Money a Priority</h2> <p>It's no surprise that the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-life-is-amazing-with-an-emergency-fund">more money you save</a> the less stressful a financial emergency will be. Aim to make saving money your number one priority until you feel you have enough saved up that you can successfully weather an emergency.</p> <p>And don't worry, saving money doesn't have to be difficult. There are some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-microsaving-tools-to-help-you-start-saving-now">new microsavings tools</a> that make putting away money for goals and emergencies, super simple. In fact, you may not even realize the money is missing. Get started with just $10 or $20 a week and then increase your savings as often as you can. Your bank account will be able to pay you back when you need it most.</p> <h2>5. Don't Stress Over What You Can't Control</h2> <p>If you can change it, take action. If you can't change it, stop stressing about it and let it go. This rule is a good one to live by when you're dealing with a tough financial time. Don't put yourself through the hell of endless worrying if you can't change the outcome.</p> <p>Deal with the results as best as you can, prepare for the worst case scenario, and then let it go. You can't control the job market, the economy, or when it will rain, so stop trying. You'll be much more successful (and at peace) if you learn to deal with what you can and stop stressing out over what you can't control.</p> <p>If you're facing a tough financial emergency, use these tips to build confidence and get back on track with your goals. Vow to make a plan for the future and remember to keep a positive outlook. With a positive attitude, the right kind of support, and a solid plan, you can get through any kind of tough financial spot.</p> <p><em>What financial setback have you experienced recently? How did you overcome it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-smith">Carrie Smith</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-through-a-tough-financial-emergency">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/6-celebrities-with-shockingly-low-net-worths">6 Celebrities With Shockingly Low Net Worths</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-turn-your-stress-into-money">8 Ways to Turn Your Stress Into Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-money-savvy-rap-stars">The 5 Most Money-Savvy Rap Stars</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-finance-tips-you-wish-you-could-tell-your-younger-self">11 Finance Tips You Wish You Could Tell Your Younger Self</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-youre-bad-at-money-and-how-to-fix-it-asap">8 Reasons You&#039;re Bad at Money — And How to Fix It ASAP</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance anxiety emergencies money stress support Wed, 22 Jul 2015 15:00:10 +0000 Carrie Smith 1493734 at http://www.wisebread.com Life Is Like Investing in the Stock Market http://www.wisebread.com/life-is-like-investing-in-the-stock-market <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/life-is-like-investing-in-the-stock-market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3573894263_1fafd0afa1_z.jpg" alt="stock market" title="stock market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Remember that famous quote in &quot;Forrest Gump&quot;? Forrest said, &quot;My momma always said, 'Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.'&quot;</p> <p>While I believe there's lots of truth to that statement, I'm going to modify that quote to try and get you to think differently. Here's my version &mdash; &quot;Life is like investing in the stock market. You'll go through your share of ups and downs. But as long as you're able to persevere through them, in the long run you'll come out on top.&quot; (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-invest-in-the-stock-market">Why&nbsp;Invest in the Stock Market?</a>)</p> <p>Let's review some stock market history. There's no doubt that investing in the stock market is risky. To illustrate, take a look at the returns from the <a href="http://www.moneychimp.com/features/market_cagr.htm">S&amp;P 500</a> over the past 15 years:</p> <ul> <li>2011: 2.05%</li> <li>2010: 14.87%</li> <li>2009: 27.11%</li> <li>2008:&nbsp;-37.22%</li> <li>2007: 5.46%</li> <li>2006: 15.74%</li> <li>2005: 4.79%</li> <li>2004: 10.82%</li> <li>2003: 28.72%</li> <li>2002:&nbsp;-22.27%</li> <li>2001:&nbsp;-11.98%</li> <li>2000: -9.11%</li> <li>1999: 21.11%</li> <li>1998: 28.73%</li> <li>1997: 33.67</li> </ul> <p>As you can see, in some years the stock market did really well. But in others, it performed horribly. How does this relate to life?</p> <p>I'm sure that in your own life, you've had your good days when everything seems to go right. But you've also had your bad days, where a lot of things seem to go wrong.</p> <p>How do you get through the hard times? Before I try to answer that, let's take a look at the stock market's approach.</p> <h2>Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Basket</h2> <p>The S&amp;P 500 is named as such because the list includes 500 of the biggest companies in the U.S. As we invest in the index, all of the companies work together to provide us with the wealth we seek.</p> <p>But not all companies perform at the same level. Companies that do well help carry the weight for other companies that perform poorly, so that the overall value of the index has increased over time.</p> <p>For instance, in 2009, MetroPCS opened at a price of $14.86 per share, but closed the year by dropping all the way down to $7.63. Amazon, however, opened the year at $54.36, and closed the year at an astounding price of $134.52 per share. Yet as a result of the contributions of all 500 companies, the S&amp;P 500 grew by an amazing 27.11 percent in 2009.</p> <h2>What's the Point?</h2> <p>Don't go through life alone. Just as the S&amp;P 500 can be seen as a community of 500 companies, you need to be a part of a larger community as well.</p> <p>Life can get hard. When it does, sometimes we need someone to cry with us when we cry. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-practically-free-ways-to-make-new-friends">We need friends</a> to help bear our burdens.</p> <p>Other times, when life is good, we want others to celebrate with us in our victories. We want our friends by our side to thank them for sticking with us through thick and thin.</p> <p>Let's get back to the stock market. Looking at stock market returns year-by-year may cause you to lose sleep at night. But if you invested for the long haul, you'd end up a winner.</p> <p>Over the past 40 years, from 1972 to 2011, the S&amp;P 500 had an annual growth rate of 9.86%. This means that if you started investing back in January 1972 with just $1,000, by December 2011, you'd have $42,990!</p> <p>This shows the power investing through thick and thin, and having a long-term perspective.</p> <h2>Your Own Growth</h2> <p>Similarly, you can experience tremendous growth in your own life. If you're at a low point in life right now, you can position yourself for a brighter future. How?</p> <p>Seek the help of friends and mentors. There are lots of people who have been further along on the road of life than you. They've faced the same challenges you're facing. And the good news is that many of them are willing to offer guidance and help you get out of your rut.</p> <p>I'm also a big advocate of reading good books and learning valuable skills. The <a href="http://personalmba.com/best-business-books/">Personal MBA reading list</a> is a great place to start. If cost is a concern, you can always borrow these books for free from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-why-you-should-support-your-local-library">your local library</a>.</p> <p>If you take action now, I'm sure that good things will come to you later.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/darren-wu">Darren Wu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/life-is-like-investing-in-the-stock-market">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/7-money-moves-to-make-as-soon-as-you-conquer-debt">7 Money Moves to Make as Soon as You Conquer Debt</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-reasons-to-stay-away-from-penny-stocks">5 Reasons to Stay Away From Penny Stocks</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/learn-how-to-invest-with-these-5-stock-market-games">Learn How to Invest With These 5 Stock Market Games</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-food-and-beverage-stocks-that-are-having-a-good-year">11 Food and Beverage Stocks That Are Having a Good Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-making-the-biggest-investment-risk-of-all">Are You Making the Biggest Investment Risk of All?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Personal Development build community stock market support Tue, 09 Oct 2012 10:24:41 +0000 Darren Wu 954801 at http://www.wisebread.com Make Friends and Be Happy: Why Cultivating Relationships Is Good for You http://www.wisebread.com/make-friends-and-be-happy-why-cultivating-relationships-is-good-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-friends-and-be-happy-why-cultivating-relationships-is-good-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/982355_99732576.jpg" alt="Good friends" title="Good friends" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have that &quot;one person&quot; that we can call anytime &mdash; day or night &mdash; for just about any reason. I'm lucky enough to have several &mdash; friends and family who are just as willing to listen to my woes as they are to share in my triumphs.</p> <p>These are the people who know to just gasp and nod when you need to vent, they pretend that they're interested in all the stories about your children, and they tell you how wonderful you are when you're feeling down. A few will even offer to help you move, an act that in itself makes these relationships worth cherishing.</p> <p>But the willingness to transport boxes isn't the only reason you should work harder to build a social circle. In fact, there's several good reasons for cultivating relationships, all of which help make your life infinitely better. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-lend-to-friends-and-family">Should You Lend to Friends and Family?</a>)</p> <h2>1. Support</h2> <p>When we first moved out to the country, we immediately embraced our new lifestyle by buying horses. In the process, we made several new friends with equine interests and as a result, discovered all sorts of wonderful riding trails we never knew existed. But it wasn't until one of our horses got sick that I realized just how strong that circle of friends had become.</p> <p>Within minutes, we had five different neighbors standing in our pasture, taking turns walking the horse to keep him from going down. One of the neighbors called a veterinarian friend who promptly showed up with a concoction that would give the horse a fighting chance...no charge.</p> <p>And then they all stayed, until the wee hours of the morning, refusing to leave until they knew the horse would be okay.</p> <p>Having a strong support network is like having a safety net to catch you when you fall off the high wire. Good friends will support you when you try something new, and they'll help you pick up the pieces when your venture doesn't work out. They let you rant when you need to and pull you back on track when you've lost your way. They'll loan you money, drive you home, and bring you chicken soup when you're sick...and they'll have your back no matter what, even if it means standing in your pasture all night to tend to a sick horse.</p> <h2>2. Health</h2> <p>I mentioned chicken soup earlier, but the health benefits of good friends actually goes much deeper than that &mdash; having good friends can actually help you ward off disease before it ever strikes.</p> <p>Research shows that people with a happy social life tend to be less stressed than their non-social counterparts &mdash; a nice side benefit of having someone to talk to when life isn't going your way. Friends also have the ability to impact our mood and boost our self-esteem, two important factors that affect our perspective on life and the world around us.</p> <p>As a result, strong relationships actually help us stay healthier and live longer, a perk I'm sure we'd all like to take advantage of.</p> <h2>3. Personal Advancement</h2> <p>My husband has a natural social charm that allows him to connect with just about anyone, anywhere, anytime, and because of this, we've enjoyed a continuous stream of free stuff, cheap stuff, and amazing opportunities we wouldn't of had otherwise. In addition to our horse friends I mentioned earlier, for example, he also has friends that work on air conditioning units and friends who work on cars. Once or twice a year, we have a friend who sends over enough fresh beef to fill a freezer, another friend that sends chicken, and yet another friend who supplies us with pork.</p> <p>If we need a trailer, there's about three friends we can borrow from, and if we need work done on our house, well, there's about three more friends that can help us there.</p> <p>We've enjoyed weekends at a private retreat at no charge, and we have access to boats and jet skis whenever we want to use them.</p> <p>In short, our circle of friends has enriched our lives in every way imaginable. Not that we purposely seek out these social connections with that strategy in mind, and I'm certainly not advocating that you make friends based on what those friends can offer. All of these relationships have an unspoken tit for tat, so rest assured that we do for them just as they do for us.</p> <p>But there's a reason that people say &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-simple-networking-tricks">it's all in who you know</a>.&quot; And the more people you know, the more enrichment you'll enjoy.</p> <h2>4. Accountability</h2> <p>Just as friends are willing to listen when we rant, they're also willing to say when enough's enough. And sometimes, that's exactly what we need.</p> <p>Having someone who's not afraid to tell you the truth will help you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-be-a-better-person-today">become a better person</a>. It keeps us honest and helps us avoid the trap of self-pity. Yes, it's nice to have someone who will sing your praises no matter what, but it's also useful to have a friend who doesn't pull any punches.</p> <p>Those are the friends that drag you out of bed when you're feeling sorry for yourself; they hold you to your promises and call you on your bull instead of just letting it slide. They tell you when you've messed up, when you're being ridiculous, and when you're headed in the wrong direction.</p> <p>And because they're willing to call like it is, you'll always have an honest opinion about the person you're becoming and the life you're creating.</p> <p>Now, making and keeping these friends isn't always easy, and I'll be the first to admit that I'm not always as diligent as I should be. But if there's one thing I've learned from my relationships, its that each has its own rhythm.</p> <p>Some friendships require daily connections, while others work just as well with less frequency. I have a friend who lives in Chicago, for example, and we talk on the phone once a month. But when we have that phone call, it's like we haven't missed a day...that sisterly bond is still just as strong, and the affection we share for each other hasn't waned a bit. And I know without a doubt that I'll never be truly alone.</p> <p>And that, I believe, is the real benefit of friendship.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-luther">Kate Luther</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-friends-and-be-happy-why-cultivating-relationships-is-good-for-you">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/12-things-you-need-to-stop-doing-today-to-be-a-better-friend">12 Things You Need to Stop Doing Today to Be a Better Friend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-everyday-situations-that-introverts-ace">7 Everyday Situations That Introverts Ace</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-jobs-proven-to-make-you-live-longer">5 Jobs Proven to Make You Live Longer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-basic-manners-you-must-teach-your-kids">10 Basic Manners You Must Teach Your Kids</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/10-ways-to-repair-a-burned-bridge">10 Ways to Repair a Burned Bridge</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Personal Development friendship support well-being Thu, 01 Mar 2012 11:24:26 +0000 Kate Luther 909640 at http://www.wisebread.com How to be the best customer http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-the-best-customer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-be-the-best-customer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/customer_servicetempx.jpg" alt="" title="Customer service" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="240" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We've no shortage of &quot;How to do good customer service&quot; articles designed to be applied from the company's side. But <strong>what about customers?</strong> We need each other to thrive, and whether you're in front of the sales desk or behind, we're all humans. An obvious point worth remembering because just about anyone who's worked in customer relations has tales of customers who weren't just dissatisfied, they were abusive jerks. And there's <strong><em>never, ever</em> a good reason to heap hurt on someone else</strong> &mdash; such wasteful emotions clog reasonable complaints.</p> <p>As someone who's both answered thousands of issues in varying roles (and created documentation to support it) and has bought products from a variety of companies ranging from the monolithic to 1-person operations, here's what I've learned. It's biased towards smaller companies since it's easier to enact change with them, but can apply wherever you'll be listened to.</p> <h2>Document everything</h2> <p>If a frontline agent isn't doing a service to their company by being rude to you, get their name. Consider recording your calls (be aware of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_recording_laws">obtaining consent</a>; companies will often say on the line they're recording <em>you</em> for training purposes!). Tagging the emails they send you. And so on. Create a history if you're routinely being wronged.</p> <p>If you need to bring bad behavior to a supervisor's attention, <em>don't</em> present your case as &quot;I hate ALL OF YOU IN THIS COMPANY&quot;. Rather, if it's a specific problem with an individual, you're willing to go beyond and point out <strong>you generally like doing business with people who work here, with an <em>exception</em></strong>. It'll be their word against this troublesome employee's, but if you have evidence, they can't cover it up. (And if it's numerous people or the general mindset of a company that has you irked, yeah, you should take your business elsewhere.)</p> <p>In an age of electronic surveillance, taped support calls gone wrong have become a way to escalate problems when a company doesn't listen and a consumer feels helpless, so they amplify it through The Consumerist or one of many comedy sites.</p> <p><object height="385" width="480"> <param value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Ryas9OANw-E&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0&amp;color1=0xcc2550&amp;color2=0xe87a9f&amp;hd=1" name="movie" /> <param value="true" name="allowFullScreen" /> <param value="always" name="allowscriptaccess" /><embed height="385" width="480" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Ryas9OANw-E&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0&amp;color1=0xcc2550&amp;color2=0xe87a9f&amp;hd=1"></embed></object></p> <p>Related, <strong><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/personal-finance/consumer-affairs">Wise Bread has a Consumer Affairs category</a></strong> you'll want to check out, including <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-just-things-should-work-properly-too-mr-dyson">Paul Michael's sucky experience with a Dyson vacuum cleaner</a>.</p> <p>I don't recommend going out of your way to destroy a company, but use documented proof to substantiate the poor treatment you've gotten, which will hopefully <strong>help management solve the problem</strong>, and possibly thank you for getting their attention, as a result.</p> <h2>Learn to file effective bug reports</h2> <p>A surprising second point? Not so much when you realize it's a finer level of documentation. Observe the connections: while &quot;bug report&quot; is most commonly associated with computer software and electronics, the <strong>key importance is being able to show someone else how you arrived at a problem via a series of steps they can follow</strong>. If it sounds similar to giving driving directions, that's exactly true. And it's important in <em>any</em> sort of conflict resolution.</p> <p>If you buy an app and discover bugs, sending bug reports (via the developer's preferred channel) will help them make it more stable, and hence, better. Bug reports don't have to be boring text instructions. Especially when you need to show visual elements, consider using a video recording tool like <strong><a href="http://www.jingproject.com/">TechSmith's Jing</a></strong> (free basic version, I love it) to make video bug reports and narrate what's happening &mdash; show stuff as-it-is!</p> <p><em>Don't</em> assume a company's quality assurance will find all bugs. It's true they should do rigorous testing to deliver a robust end result, but the fact is <strong>there are far more variations of possible computer systems than they'll ever be able to try inhouse</strong>. Customers who whine about problems they're aware of instead of spending the same time to step up and communicate aren't useful.</p> <p>Many companies give discounts and free products for being an exceptional bug reporter, including <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_test#Beta">beta tests</a>. Don't expect entitlement and be familiar with the company's culture beforehand &mdash; some, like <a href="http://torley.com/picnik-is-beautiful-convenient-and-a-lot-of-fun">Picnik</a> who I'm helping test their Show feature, are much more amendable to personal contact with customers than others. After all, continue <strong>to communicate. Loyalty never gets old</strong>, and if a product is going to serve you for months and years, having a close bond means you'll be taken seriously. Not all customers are the same and you <em>do</em> want to be the best, yes?</p> <p>Plus, after you've gained an understanding, you can teach other customers how to file bug reports, too, empowering their experiences.</p> <h2>Don't bitch about what's out of an employee or company's control</h2> <p><strong>Focus on actionables.</strong> What <em>can</em> be done.</p> <p>For instance, if your Internet Service Provider goes offline because someone drove their car into a tree, knocking down power lines and cutting off your connection, it's uncalled for to ring the ISP up on a cellphone and scream &quot;FIX IT NOW YOU @#$%ING IDIOTS!&quot; They can't &mdash; that's likely the electric company's responsibility. All your insults serve is demonstrate is what a jerk you are. Better approach: <strong>call and ask for a status update</strong>: &quot;What's going on and when can you expect it to be fixed?&quot; <strong>Learn instead of accuse.</strong>&nbsp;<em>Simple.</em></p> <p>Yes, professionals should have backups and contingency plans. But notice how there's no such guarantee as 100% uptime in the industry. Be forgiving of occasional mistakes, and they will be forgiving of yours. <strong>Continue to make suggestions where a company can improve their service</strong>: you may not get a personal response depending on volume, but if I really enjoyed my stay at a hotel, I send in the comment card.</p> <p>Another example of fruitless bitching: you're calling a human in billing about technical issues you have with a website. They cheerfully mention they'll escalate your details to the engineers (who aren't on the phones since they're heads-down programming) and suggest you take the initiative by posting on the company's forums. But you continue to gripe to the billing agent about it. They can be sympathetic, but your words are being wasted and you're tying up time that could be spent on another customer's actionable problems. <strong>Make it a priority to learn about <em>what</em> goes <em>where</em></strong> so urges you have to connect will be effective.</p> <p>When in doubt, ask questions &mdash; for emphasis, <strong>learn instead of accuse</strong>. You have every right to remind a company if they haven't been responsive (<a href="http://torley.com/acronis-true-image-2009-awful-customer-experience">like I did for Acronis True Image 2009</a>). But don't point fingers. The blame game is played by losing attitudes which are too much talk, not enough walk. <strong>If someone is just, they'll admit fault.</strong> And for all you CS reps reading this: unfortunately, while a rare minority, there are customers who have mental illness and need to see a professional. Don't be their doctor. And <em>never, ever</em> tolerate abuse. It works both ways.</p> <h2>When you're treated right, be vocally appreciative</h2> <p>Perhaps this should've been #1. But I wanted to see if you noticed.</p> <p>Customer service reps endure more abuse than they should have to. Like I said, no one deserves abuse. On the flipside, <strong>I've hardly ever felt productive, friendly workers get sufficient customer praise to inspire them each day and keep going!</strong></p> <p>This is why I'm doing my part: <strong>every time I believe I've been treated exceptionally, I directly send a testimonial</strong>. I also often use <a href="http://twitter.com/torley"><strong>Twitter</strong></a> and <a href="http://torley.com/"><strong>my personal blog</strong></a> to get the word out about awesome products that are made by awesome people. Word-of-mouth is especially important to small companies that can use all the earnest marketing they can get to thrive. Like what I wrote about bug reporting earlier, some savvy companies keep track of &quot;key influencers&quot; and may offer you goodies. These are mutually beneficial: <strong>the company's product adds value to your life, you help support them in ways beyond paying money</strong>.</p> <p>In the service industry, this also applies to eating out. You're a restaurant's customer. Received lovely, attentive service? Then <a href="http://www.oprah.com/media/20080909_tows_waiter">generously tip waitstaff</a> who've given you consistently excellent treatment. <strong>Actions have consequences and you're frugal, not chintzy.</strong></p> <p><strong>Customer service is an ecosystem</strong>: an honest, friendly worker who gets berated and hears no good words is going to be very confused, and even frustrated about why they even bother to go above and beyond. So pay attention to what makes you smile.</p> <h2>What is a supercustomer?</h2> <p>A supercustomer is not necessarily someone who throws a lot of cash at a company, although that can be part of their makeup. I use &quot;supercustomer&quot; to describe those &mdash; <em>the best!</em> &mdash; who <strong>go beyond the call of customer duty</strong> (intriguing way of looking at it, hmm?) and don't just routinely consume, they <strong>actively participate in improving the people &amp; products of the businesses they enjoy</strong>.</p> <p>The Internet has opened up many opportunities, from the trusted reviews of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/vine/help">Amazon Vine</a> to the &quot;People-Powered Customer Service&quot; (as redundant as that may seem, we need to be reminded in an era of voice mail and faceless megacorps) of <a href="http://getsatisfaction.com/">Get Satisfaction</a>.</p> <p>Old ways of putting a wall between the people who use the products and those who make them are stupid and dying, because in the end, <strong>we're all humans who want to be happy</strong>.</p> <p><strong><em>So be the best customer you can be!</em></strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/torley-wong">Torley Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-the-best-customer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-youre-being-a-terrible-customer">8 Ways You&#039;re Being a Terrible Customer</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-ways-to-be-the-perfect-customer">10 Ways to Be the Perfect Customer</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/can-cheap-applecare-on-ebay-be-trusted">Can cheap AppleCare on eBay be trusted?</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/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</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/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service">7 Retailers With the Absolute Best Customer Service</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping abuse bug company customer Help product service support twitter Fri, 03 Jul 2009 18:26:18 +0000 Torley Wong 3349 at http://www.wisebread.com Can cheap AppleCare on eBay be trusted? http://www.wisebread.com/can-cheap-applecare-on-ebay-be-trusted <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/can-cheap-applecare-on-ebay-be-trusted" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/applecare.jpg" alt="AppleCare" title="AppleCare" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After my previous article about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/inside-the-shady-world-of-cheap-itunes-gift-cards" target="_blank">too-good-to-be-true iTunes gift cards</a>, I turned my attention to another discounted Apple item: <a href="http://www.apple.com/support/applecare/" target="_blank"><strong>AppleCare</strong></a><strong>, essentially an extended warranty for your Apple products</strong>, including Mac computers and those omnipresent iPods. Like so much insurance, it promises &quot;peace of mind&quot;. There's just one problem for many: <em>the price</em>.</p> <p>Especially in today's recessed times, having to pony up to $350 (for the MacBook Pro) for 3 total years of tech support and phone coverage can be hard. That's why a lot of sellers are selling cheap AppleCare.</p> <h2>My AppleCare adventure</h2> <p>In my ongoing tradition to <strong>not recommend something unless I've done it first</strong> &mdash; helping you mitigate risks by diving through that unexplored portal beforehand! &mdash; I landed on <a href="http://ebay.com/" target="_blank">eBay</a>, and easily found numerous listings for discount AppleCare. I have a Mac Pro, and AppleCare normally costs $250, but I spotted it for $92 &mdash; that's <strong>$158 saved!</strong></p> <p>After some scanning, I paid <a href="http://shop.ebay.com/merchant/480sherry_W0QQ_nkwZQQ_armrsZ1QQ_fromZQQ_mdoZ" target="_blank">480sherry</a>, who has a 99.9% feedback rating, and as of this writing is continuing to sell AppleCare. Surely those 2,200 buyers can't be wrong, right? In my own experience, I was pleased to receive a code less than a day afterwards.</p> <p>That's right, <strong>just a code you <a href="http://www.apple.com/support/applecare/overview/" target="_blank">enter at Apple's site along</a> with your product serial number</strong>. I did so, then received an email &quot;certificate&quot; confirming its validity from Apple. No actual box, as is often the case &mdash; but I encourage you to scrutinize each seller, for some offer this option at a higher cost.</p> <p>Does this mean you miss out on anything? Not really, since the TechTool Deluxe diagnostic suite, which would normally be bundled in the physical package, is a free download at Apple's site. You still need to burn it to DVD, which might be a problem if you're really not tech-savvy, but the software itself is included.</p> <h2>What's the real story here?</h2> <p>Unlike the distinctly more dubious world of iTunes gift cards, AppleCare is morally relaxed. I asked over a dozen discount AppleCare sellers how they managed to do it, the answers were consistent in most cases: they bought it in bulk and are passing the savings on. One fellow said:</p> <blockquote><p>We buy from dealers and other sources, some going out of business, some trying to reduce excessive inventories. Everything is 100% Apple, so no risk to you. We sell hundreds of these each month</p> </blockquote> <p>Another reinforced:</p> <blockquote><p>I buy in bulk so I recieve a better price that the average person. There are no limitations. Thanks for looking.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=8573481" target="_blank">Further research</a> also substantiates this, altho as is par for the course, there's the usual skepticism. There've also been <a href="http://forums.mactalk.com.au/21/34657-cheap-applecare.html" target="_blank">academic situations</a> where teacher/student discounts are used. Outside of eBay, there are some strange sights, such as <a href="http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/showthread.php?t=1933301" target="_blank">this guy hawking bulk AppleCare from Singapore</a>, with the most thread self-bumps I've ever seen.</p> <h2>Conclusion</h2> <p>I've had <strong>no problems with my cheap AppleCare coverage so far</strong>: I haven't had a troublesome incident to put it to the test, but I haven't received a notification from Apple nullifying my cert either.</p> <p>Provided that the eBay seller is backed by an excellent reputation as in my example, <strong>you could easily get AppleCare at a much lower price than face value</strong>. I only wish the same could be applied to the cost of Macs themselves. ;)</p> <p><em>Have you had an adventure in cheap AppleCare? Do share!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/torley-wong">Torley Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-cheap-applecare-on-ebay-be-trusted">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/how-to-be-the-best-customer">How to be the best customer</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/new-mac-minis-beware-small-gains-at-a-big-price">New Mac minis: Beware small gains at a big price!</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/craigslist-vs-ebay-where-to-sell-10-common-items">Craigslist vs. eBay: Where to Sell 10 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/6-ways-to-save-money-on-ipads-iphones-and-macs">6 Ways to Save Money on iPads, iPhones, and Macs</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/10-things-you-should-always-buy-and-sell-on-ebay">10 Things You Should Always Buy and Sell on eBay</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Shopping apple applecare eBay ipod Mac service support Warranty Sun, 08 Feb 2009 13:39:43 +0000 Torley Wong 2818 at http://www.wisebread.com Know a homeless veteran who needs a job? Call Bill O'Reilly. http://www.wisebread.com/know-a-homeless-veteran-who-needs-a-job-call-bill-oreilly <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/know-a-homeless-veteran-who-needs-a-job-call-bill-oreilly" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/1486028118_ce2d098113.jpg" alt="O&#039;Reilly" title="O&#039;Reilly" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="200" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Last night, quite by accident, I found myself listening to Bill O'Reilly's &quot;The Radio Factor.&quot; This is not a habit of mine, I left work late and don't usually catch talk shows after 6pm. Anyway, I became quite engrossed as I heard Bill O'Reilly make a rather generous offer to homeless veterans. And I'd like everyone to help spread the word.</p> <p>As some of you may be aware, O'Reilly is currently involved in a feud with Presidential hopeful (very hopeful to be honest) John Edwards, over the plight of homeless veterans in America. I'm not about to get into the grizzly details of the whole fight, I have neither the time nor the research to back either side. But the basic argument is this. Edwards claims that the 200,000 homeless veterans sleeping on America's streets every night are there because of our ever-declining economy.</p> <p>Bill O'Reilly calls BS. He says that most of the 200,000 homeless vets (if indeed there are 200,000...that figure is also disputed by O'Reilly) are there not because of the economy but due to drug and/or alcohol problems, mental illness and possibly a desire to stay on the streets and avoid the 9-5 daily routine. I'm paraphrasing here, but you get the picture.</p> <p>Who's right? That's not actually the point of the article, although the <a href="http://www.nchv.org/background.cfm">National Coalition for Homeless Veterans </a> has a website with some very alarming figures. No, this article is about an offer that O'Reilly made on the air last night, 1/23/08, that I think needs to get out to the people it was intended for.</p> <p>In a moment of supreme selflessness, Mr. O'Reilly offered to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lost-my-job-tips-for-the-recently-laid-off" title="tips for getting a job">get a job</a> for any homeless veteran who wants one. Now, that's quite an offer, especially in this current economic climate. But I got to thinking...&quot;hmm, how on Earth are any homeless veterans going to hear about the offer?&quot; After all, it's not like they make up any real portion of Bill's regular audience. Would they even have a radio?</p> <p>I wasn't the only one who thought that way. Someone called in with that question but Bill, sticking by his offer, said that the homeless vets could get this information through the various organizations set up to help them out.<a title="jump" name="jump"></a></p> <p><img height="379" width="500" title="Bill offer" alt="Bill offer" src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/billoffer.gif" /></p> <p><a href="http://laurenstephens.net/uploads/856d100bcf.pdf">Full-size printable flyer available here to download </a></p> <p>Wisebread.com is obviously not one of those organizations, but I have a platform to get information out to people and I think this is an extremely important piece of news that homeless vets need to hear. So, I've done something about it. Print out as many copies as you want of the flyer above and do what you can with it. Post it in store windows, on bulletin boards, lamp posts, and give it to any homeless veteran you see collecting change. The numbers on it are toll-free, so they won't need to use any of their money (if they have any) to make the call.</p> <p>Am I doing this to spite Mr. O'Reilly? Absolutely not. I'm doing it because he made the offer and I think it's an offer worth promoting and supporting. It could give hope and a new life to many of these fallen heroes. Let's help O'Reilly stick by his word and give a whole bunch of worthy people a genuine break.</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/know-a-homeless-veteran-who-needs-a-job-call-bill-oreilly">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-the-best-customer">How to be the best customer</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/jar-of-nothing-the-perfect-present-for-the-picky-prick-in-your-life">Jar of Nothing: the perfect present for the picky prick in your life</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-ways-outsourcing-chores-can-save-you-time-and-money">4 Ways Outsourcing Chores Can Save You Time and 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/i-lost-my-tax-documents-now-what">I Lost My Tax Documents… Now What?</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-secret-to-larger-breasts">The Secret to Larger Breasts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Commentary Bill O'Reilly Help homeless veterans support The Radio Factor Thu, 24 Jan 2008 22:20:44 +0000 Paul Michael 1675 at http://www.wisebread.com Givin' 'em the Slip - Look Rich for Very Little http://www.wisebread.com/givin-em-the-slip-look-rich-for-very-little <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/givin-em-the-slip-look-rich-for-very-little" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000016126733_Large.jpg" alt="woman wearing slip" title="woman wearing slip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So I was watching Mr. and Mrs. Smith the other day, and there's one delicious scene in which Angelina, I mean, <em>Jane</em>, is getting dressed in an insanely large walk-in closet. And she's wearing a slip set.&nbsp;I realized how long it's been since I saw anyone wearing a slip. Maybe when I watched/slept through A Streetcar Named Desire? Cat on a Hot Tin Roof? I can't recall, but slips seem to have gone the way of the giant powder puff and embroidered handkerchiefs &mdash; and that's a shame.</p> <p>So, I'm starting a campaign to bring back the slip.&nbsp;</p> <p>Like our clothes, the slip (and the body shaper, and everything else) has become more techy, more stretchy, more comfy, and easier to tolerate. Some slips are pricey, others are cheap. This is one of the few items of clothing that I believe should be invested in &mdash; so buy the good stuff, because it will not only look the best, but will last a long time.</p> <h2>Buying</h2> <p>When purchasing your first dressy undergarments, like other lingerie, it can be helpful to get fitted for one by a professional. If you don't live in an area with a good department store that can tell you what size will work best with your body and wardrobe, you can find tons of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.herroom.com/slip-fitting,228,30.html">slip-sizing information</a>&nbsp;online.</p> <h3>1. Half Slip</h3> <p>The classic under-skirt slip. Traditional versions start at the waist or hips, and end somewhere around the knee. I don't think that a knee-length slip is worth it &mdash; almost no business skirts reach the knee these days. A 14-17&quot; slip will really do the trick if you want to maintain a professional image. Having a slip peeking out the bottom of your skirt or dress is kind of uncouth. I'm shocked at how many truly useless, bunchy slips are on the market. Avoid anything that is made of really cheap material, which can be prone to static.</p> <h3>2. Full Slip</h3> <p>I love wearing dresses, so a full slip is often a very important part of my everyday wear. I like the ones by <a href="http://amzn.to/1OcXufm">Spanx</a>, but they are a tad pricey. There are many cheaper options that do the job just as well. You can even buy vintage slips, should you like that look.</p> <h3>3. Body Shapers</h3> <p>Spanx makes an incredible line of undergarments that will gently squish and squeeze you into a largely unlumpy state. I've used their body shapers for every wedding I've attended in the past six years. I don't like Spanx's bras, which they push on you at Nordstrom, because they offer zero support for anything more than a size-A cup. But smaller gals may appreciate how comfy they are. Target has their own line of imitation Spanx, called Assets (har!).</p> <h3>4. Camisoles</h3> <p>Although pretty much every tank top sold these days is a modified cami, these can actually be worn under your clothing as well. Camis are a great way to <em>prevent anyone from realizing that it's chilly in the conference room</em>, if you catch my drift. Camis can range from very plain to super-sexy. But they should never bunch up.</p> <h3>5. Care</h3> <p>As a fan of Spanx, I have been sorely disappointed with how quickly the material disintegrates after I throw them through the wash. Saleswomen at department stores will often try to sell you special detergents for your undies. You can buy them, or just buy some Woolite and use that. Although it's difficult to do, ALWAYS wash your expensive undergarments either by hand, or in a <a href="http://amzn.to/1PeoH6G">zippered mesh net</a> in cold water. Do not throw any of these items through the dryer. Hang them up to dry.</p> <h3>6. Fun and Glamour</h3> <p>Aside from looking better with little effort, the great thing about slips and camis is that they can be kind of fun to wear. I like getting dressed in the morning, and prancing around in my half slip, feeling all feminine and pretty while I select my outfit for the day. It doesn't matter that my dogs don't appreciate the movie-star classiness of my morning routine as I sit at my vanity and practice raising my eyebrows like Vivian Leigh while spritzing with my favorite perfume. What matters is that I enjoy it, and the difference shows in my countenance all day long.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/givin-em-the-slip-look-rich-for-very-little">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/4-easy-steps-to-buying-lingerie-for-your-wife-girlfriend-or-significant-other">4 Easy Steps to Buying Lingerie for Your Wife, Girlfriend, or Significant Other</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-home-hair-dyes">The 5 Best Home Hair Dyes</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-shampoos-for-frizzy-hair">The 5 Best Shampoos for Frizzy Hair</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-leave-in-conditioners">The 5 Best Leave-In Conditioners</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-tweezers">The 5 Best Tweezers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Shopping body shaper bra lingerie pantyhose slip spanx support underwear Thu, 08 Feb 2007 20:14:06 +0000 Andrea Karim 259 at http://www.wisebread.com