shopping tips https://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7/all en-US How to Safely Test Makeup Before You Buy https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-safely-test-makeup-before-you-buy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-safely-test-makeup-before-you-buy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_cosmetics_shopper.jpg" alt="Happy cosmetics shopper" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How many times have you bought new lipstick, only to find the color is less than flattering on you? Or maybe you accidentally purchased the wrong shade of blush, making it look like you stepped right out of a bad '80s movie. We've all been there.</p> <p>Makeup can be quite expensive, and you'd hate to purchase something that doesn't work for you. Testing makeup before you buy can solve many of your beauty woes, but it can lead to a slew of other problems. When everyone uses the same samples, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and other icky germs, which can lead to rashes, breakouts, or even worse: infections.</p> <p>The good news is it's possible to safely test makeup before you splurge. With these five tips, you can rest easy knowing you're reducing the risk of contracting any scary diseases when testing makeup. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/12-makeup-hacks-from-the-pros?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Makeup Hacks From the Pros</a>)</p> <h2>1. Ask for a prepped tester</h2> <p>The first order of business is to ensure the tester is freshly prepped. You can do this by asking a sales associate for assistance. This step is integral because most samples contain some level of contamination. In fact, in a 2004 study conducted by Rowan University, researchers found that after testing makeup samples taken from different companies over the span of two years, 67 to 100 percent of makeup samples contained bacteria. Yuck!</p> <p>To ensure that you're getting a safe and prepped tester, watch the sales associate as they prep the sample. Every type of makeup is prepped slightly differently. For lipsticks, the salesperson should scrape off the top layer of product, then spray or dip it in alcohol, and wipe it off with a tissue. To apply, use a fresh, disposable applicator or brush provided by the salesperson. Don't use your finger or unsanitary brushes to apply a lipstick sample, as you will just contaminate the product further.</p> <p>Since the contamination is just on the outside, lip liners and eyeliner pencils are easy to prep. You simply have to sharpen them. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-long-your-beauty-products-really-last?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Long Your Beauty Products Really Last</a>)</p> <h2>2. Test on your wrist</h2> <p>Even with a prepped tester, you should proceed with caution. With many beauty products, contamination can run deeper than just the surface layer, and it's just not worth the risk.</p> <p>Avoid putting any product directly on your eyes or lips since that is where you are most susceptible to contracting diseases. Instead of testing a product on your eyes or lips, try it out on your wrist or the back of your hand. You'll get an idea of what the product will look like on your face while sidestepping the risk.</p> <p>Generally, it's safe to test products on your cheek or neck, since the worst thing that could happen is a rash or breakout. Neither are exactly pleasant, but they aren't potentially life-threatening either. To be extra cautious, wash your face thoroughly when you go home. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/15-frugal-and-natural-ways-to-fight-acne?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Frugal and Natural Ways to Fight Acne</a>)</p> <h2>3. What to avoid entirely</h2> <p>While testing out products before you buy is certainly helpful, there are some products you should avoid testing altogether.</p> <h3>Mascara</h3> <p>Mascara is nearly impossible to prep safely. Bacteria can stick to the wand fibers, making it dangerous to put near your eyes. You can ask for a tester wand, but that doesn't mean someone before you didn't double dip. Plus, if you use a tester wand, you won't have the opportunity to test the wand that belongs to the mascara, which is part of the product.</p> <h3>Eyeliner</h3> <p>Eyeliner, although generally safe if you sharpen it, can also be dangerous to put near your eyes. Instead of testing out eyeliner on your eyes, try drawing with it on your hand or wrist. This will give you an idea of how the product may look.</p> <h3>Powder products</h3> <p>Any powder makeup, or makeup in pots or small jars should be avoided entirely. Any bit of contamination can affect the whole product by going beneath the surface layer or sticking to the edges of the container, so it's risky even if it's properly prepped.</p> <h2>4. Ask for a fresh sample</h2> <p>While not every store does this, many are happy to provide you a fresh sample upon request. From my experience, stores like Ulta and Sephora keep small samples on hand in the event that customers want a clean test product. Of course, out of courtesy for the store, try to limit the number of fresh samples you are requesting to one or two.</p> <h2>5. Order samples online</h2> <p>Instead of using potentially germy samples in the store, have fresh samples delivered to your door. Many cosmetic stores, like MAC and Sephora, allow you to choose free samples with every online purchase. These mini-makeup products are packaged for individual use, so you can trust that they have not been touched by anyone else.</p> <p>If you're an Amazon Prime member, you have access to the Prime Samples program. You can purchase individual samples of beauty products for $2-$4 each. When you purchase a sample, you receive a credit of equivalent value, which you can redeem on a future purchase of the full-size product if you find something you like. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-online-stores-that-let-you-try-before-you-buy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Online Stores That Let You Try Before You Buy</a>)</p> <p>Or you can try a beauty subscription service like Ipsy or <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=549588.249&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0" target="_blank">Birchbox</a>. For $10 a month, you receive several samples of beauty products. You can choose the types of products you want in your box, making it an easy and affordable way to sample new makeup. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-beauty-subscription-boxes-are-worth-the-cost?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which Beauty Subscription Boxes Are Worth the Cost?</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-safely-test-makeup-before-you-buy&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Safely%2520Test%2520Makeup%2520Before%2520You%2520Buy.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Safely%20Test%20Makeup%20Before%20You%20Buy"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Safely%20Test%20Makeup%20Before%20You%20Buy.jpg" alt="How to Safely Test Makeup Before You Buy" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/rachel-slifka">Rachel Slifka</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-safely-test-makeup-before-you-buy">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="https://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-blushes">The 5 Best Blushes</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="https://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pencil-eyeliners">The 5 Best Pencil Eyeliners</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="https://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-lip-liners">The 5 Best Lip Liners</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="https://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-false-eyelashes">The 5 Best False Eyelashes</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="https://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-gel-eyeliners">The 5 Best Gel Eyeliners</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Shopping beauty sample beauty tester buying makeup makeup shopping tips test makeup Fri, 20 Jul 2018 08:00:10 +0000 Rachel Slifka 2156333 at https://www.wisebread.com 28 Ways to Never Pay Full Price for Anything https://www.wisebread.com/28-ways-to-never-pay-full-price-for-anything <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/28-ways-to-never-pay-full-price-for-anything" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_young_woman_with_shopping_bags.jpg" alt="Happy young woman with shopping bags" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So, you don't want to pay full price for anything you buy? That's smart. And why should you? These days, you have so many ways to get around that pesky price on the tag, and with the latest apps and websites on your side, you can save big with very little effort. Here are 28 ways to get out of paying what's on the sticker. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-master-these-10-shopping-skills-before-you-hit-30?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Master These 10 Shopping Skills Before You Hit 30</a>)</p> <h2>1. Comparison shop</h2> <p>You might find the cost of the item you want varies significantly from store to store. Never buy anything without first doing a little research. Google will show you multiple prices from different stores, and an app like ShopSavvy makes it easy on the go.</p> <h2>2. Get price-drop refunds</h2> <p>Many credit cards now offer price protection. That means if the price you pay for something drops in the 90 days after you bought it, you can get the difference back. An app like Earny automates the whole process for you. Just wait and cash in. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <h2>3. Use cash-back credit cards</h2> <p>Many <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit cards offer cash-back</a> incentives. You'll find that 1-2 percent cash back is standard, although sometimes it's higher on items like gas and airfare. As long as you pay off the balance in full each month, you're instantly cashing in every time you swipe.</p> <h2>4. Subscribe to deal newsletters and apps</h2> <p>Sites and apps like DealNews and SlickDeals make it easy to find the items you want for less. Just do a search for what you need, and you'll be given a range of items that are currently on sale or clearance, and which retailers are offering the lowest price. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/these-apps-and-extensions-find-online-deals-for-you-automatically?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These Apps and Extensions Find Online Deals for You &mdash; Automatically</a>)</p> <h2>5. Clip coupons</h2> <p>With many coupons going digital, there's not a pressing need to actually 'clip' anything, but get into the habit of looking through coupon apps and circulars before you shop. You may find that you can use the coupons so effectively you're barely paying for anything in your shopping cart. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a>)</p> <h2>6. Abandon your online cart</h2> <p>Pick out everything you want, put it in your cart, and then skip the final process. Many sites will encourage you to come back and check out with a discount. Just check your email (you may even get an offer code as you attempt to leave the site). After all, offering you 10 percent off is better for them than you not spending any money at all.</p> <h2>7. Look for refurbished items</h2> <p>Most manufacturer refurbished items are as close to new as you can get without actually being brand-new, and they are significantly cheaper. They've also been rigorously tested. And if you see &quot;new (other)&quot; in the item's description, it's probably just missing a price tag or a small accessory, but the lower price is well worth it. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-secret-to-buying-electronics-for-cheap?ref=seealso" target="_blank">This Is the Secret to Buying Electronics for Cheap</a>)</p> <h2>8. Buy offseason</h2> <p>Shopping offseason can save you big bucks. Base all your shopping on the sales cycles of the stores you frequent. Plan ahead. Buy a winter coat when the warm weather hits. Buy swimsuits as the winter draws in. You'll pay way less for everything. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These 6 Shopping Challenges Will Keep You Stylish Without Breaking Your Budget</a>)</p> <h2>9. Shop warehouses and outlets</h2> <p>Warehouse clubs. Outlet and factory stores. These are places where the emphasis is on getting the most value for your money &mdash; not paying the full retail price. You'll be getting the same items, only in bulk or off season. It's great if you don't care about wearing the very latest fashions.</p> <h2>10. Shop in thrift stores</h2> <p>There's no shame in buying secondhand items or donated goods. Often, you can find items in excellent condition at 75 percent less than the retail price. In some cases, you can get clothing for just $1, including jackets and jeans &mdash; just wash and wear. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-money-lessons-i-learned-from-thrift-shopping?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Money Lessons I Learned From Thrift-Shopping</a>)</p> <h2>11. Set up automatic shipments</h2> <p>Amazon has a feature called &quot;subscribe and save&quot; that gives you big discounts when you get items delivered regularly, but they aren't the only retailer that offers this service. Magazines and newspapers also offer massive savings if you subscribe, knocking up to 95 percent off the cover price. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Amazon Prime Perks You've Forgotten to Use</a>)</p> <h2>12. Learn to haggle</h2> <p>Haggling has become a lost art in America, but it can still work wonders for your budget. Polish your silver tongue and start asking how low merchants can go on the price of something you want. Or, ask them to throw in something else for free, which you could always sell later to save even more.</p> <h2>13. Look for price-matching</h2> <p>When you're shopping in a brick and mortar store, do a quick check online to see if another store (online or retail) has the same item for less. Then talk to customer service about a price-match offer. Most of the time, they'll match the price because they still make a profit if you buy the item from them. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-get-a-sale-price-match-at-16-popular-stores?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How to Get a Sale Price-Match at 16 Popular Stores</a>)</p> <h2>14. Use cash for bigger items</h2> <p>Don't listen to anyone that says cash is dead. You may not carry as much of it in your wallet as you used to, put the prospect of a huge wad of cash in hand is very appealing to car dealerships, homebuilders, and anyone selling high-end retail. They'll offer a cash discount in most cases.</p> <h2>15. Buy when they're desperate to sell</h2> <p>There are certain times of the month, and the year, that are great for savvy consumers. For example, a car salesperson may have a monthly quota to fill, and you're more likely to get a great deal on the last day of the month. Same goes for airline tickets, items going out of season, and even gym memberships. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/now-or-later-how-to-decide-the-right-time-to-buy-almost-anything?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Decide the Right Time to Buy Almost Anything</a>)</p> <h2>16. Use loyalty programs and cards</h2> <p>There are loyalty programs that offer discounts and points at virtually every store you shop at. Use them and save. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/9-store-loyalty-programs-that-are-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Store Loyalty Programs That Are Worth It</a>)</p> <h2>17. Shop at unusual hours</h2> <p>Have you ever been grocery shopping at night? You'll find all sorts of markdowns that were full price just a few hours earlier. You could also try going early in the morning, when items that didn't sell get one final markdown before leaving the shop floor.</p> <h2>18. When shopping online, go incognito</h2> <p>This has nothing to do with hiding &quot;delicate&quot; purchases. By going incognito, you aren't saving cookies during your searches. Dynamic pricing uses these cookies to monitor your searches and spending habits, meaning you could be paying more for certain items like airline tickets and hotel rooms based on your search history. Stop the cookies, and you'll see the prices drop. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-avoid-sneaky-online-price-changes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways to Avoid Sneaky Online Price Changes</a>)</p> <h2>19. Don't worry about the cosmetic condition of anything</h2> <p>Score major discounts for buying dented, scratched, bruised, and otherwise imperfect items. Does it matter that the fridge has a small ding in the corner? It certainly doesn't stop it from being a working fridge, and it's 25 percent off. Same goes for fruit, electronics, and almost anything else.</p> <h2>20. Be nice</h2> <p>Sometimes, kindness is all it takes. Mark Ellwood, author of <a href="https://amzn.to/2tFozIa" target="_blank">Bargain Fever</a>, says that &quot;Just being a friendly, nice shopper gets you free stuff,&quot; adding that most sales staff can knock 10 percent off the price instantly if you are polite, helpful, and ask nicely about flexibility on price.</p> <h2>21. Wait for sales</h2> <p>Shopping is just a waiting game that you have to play sometimes. Clothing will go on sale as the season starts to close out. Electronics go on sale when new models come in. Books and blu-rays get discounted once they're no longer new releases. If you're prepared to wait, you never have to pay full price.</p> <p>Many different sites, Google being the main one, offer the option of setting a price alert. Basically, you input the exact item you want, and the lowest price (within reason, of course) that you want to pay. When it drops to that price or lower, you get alerted to buy it.</p> <h2>22. Practice the &quot;Pantry Principle&quot;</h2> <p>Blogger Amanda Brackney coined the term &quot;<a href="https://www.stewardshipathome.com/the-pantry-principle/" target="_blank">pantry principle</a>,&quot; and it's an excellent way to save. The basic premise is to stock up on items you use regularly whenever they go on sale. We all need toilet paper and soap, so when they drop to their lowest price, buy in bulk and save. This way, you'll never pay full price on items you'll always need.</p> <h2>23. Use group purchasing power</h2> <p>One of the biggest examples of getting discounts for a group is health insurance. However, that idea spreads way beyond health care. Groupon was founded on this very idea, and you can find multiple sites out there offering discounts when multiple people buy the same item.</p> <h2>24. Use first-time customer offers</h2> <p>Almost every online retailer will lure you in with a first-time customer offer. These savings can range from as little as free shipping, to a whopping 50 percent off. Just register your email, wait for the offer code, and then shop with your discount.</p> <h2>25. Buy gift cards</h2> <p>You can purchase discount gift cards for almost any store. Before you shop, drop by a site like CardPool or GiftCardGranny, and search for the store you want. Discounts range anywhere from 2 percent to 30 percent off. Just remember to check the terms and conditions on each card first for expiration dates and purchase restrictions.</p> <h2>26. When shopping online, sort prices &quot;low to high&quot;</h2> <p>The easiest way to check for deals is to switch from the default sorting (which is usually relevance) to the &quot;low to high&quot; price option when you're shopping online. You will have to dig through the selection to find what you're looking for, but apply filters, including four-star reviews on Amazon, and you'll find some killer discounts.</p> <h2>27. Take advantage of cashback sites</h2> <p>There are a lot of cash-back sites out there to choose from, including Ebates and iBotta. Just do your online shopping as usual, but get paid in cash, credits, or points that you can redeem later for awards and products. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year?ref=seealso" target="_blank">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</a>)</p> <h2>28. Use your birthday</h2> <p>Hey, getting one year older doesn't have to be all bad. A lot of places, including restaurants, salons, and retailers, will give you a discount or freebie on your birthday. Just be ready for a really annoying song in a restaurant.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F28-ways-to-never-pay-full-price-for-anything&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F28%2520Ways%2520to%2520Never%2520Pay%2520Full%2520Price%2520for%2520Anything.jpg&amp;description=28%20Ways%20to%20Never%20Pay%20Full%20Price%20for%20Anything"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/28%20Ways%20to%20Never%20Pay%20Full%20Price%20for%20Anything.jpg" alt="28 Ways to Never Pay Full Price for Anything" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/28-ways-to-never-pay-full-price-for-anything">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget">These 6 Shopping Challenges Will Keep You Stylish Without Breaking Your Budget</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="https://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-your-lazy-habits-are-costing-you">9 Ways Your Lazy Habits Are Costing You</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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-guilty-pleasures-that-are-killing-your-budget">6 Guilty Pleasures That Are Killing Your Budget</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-a-simple-do-not-buy-list-keeps-money-in-your-pocket">How a Simple &quot;Do Not Buy&quot; List Keeps Money in Your Pocket</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="https://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys">7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping buying bulk couponing saving money shopping discounts shopping habits shopping tips Wed, 04 Jul 2018 09:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 2153732 at https://www.wisebread.com 10 Reasons You Probably Overpaid at the Store https://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-you-probably-overpaid-at-the-store <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-reasons-you-probably-overpaid-at-the-store" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_accountant_working.jpg" alt="Young accountant working" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even if you're a smart shopper, there are still some psychological factors that can cause you to pay too much at the store. After all, stores are set up to convince you to buy things you don't need. But being aware of the following spending traps can help you avoid emptying your wallet on your next shopping trip.</p> <h2>1. Peer pressure</h2> <p>If you go shopping with a group of friends and they're all buying things, you might get swept up and join in on the action, even if it means buying things you don't really need. A friend saying, &quot;This would look so great on you!&quot; is hard to resist. It also removes the opportunity for you to spend time comparison shopping before making a purchase, like you would on your own. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-friend-types-that-can-hurt-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Friend Types That Can Hurt Your Finances</a>)</p> <h2>2. Fear of looking cheap</h2> <p>In the eyes of some, comparison shopping, bargaining on prices, and using coupons makes it seem like you don't have much money and can't afford to buy things. But even the wealthiest people among us know how important it is to get a good deal. In an effort to protect their pride, some people skip these frugal strategies to avoid appearing broke or cheap. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-pride-is-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways Pride Is Keeping You Poor</a>)</p> <h2>3. You touched the merchandise</h2> <p>There's a reason stores put out neat displays of merchandise within easy reach &mdash; they want you to touch the products. Not only does holding a product make it more likely that you'll buy it, but it makes you willing to pay more for it as well.</p> <h2>4. Convenience</h2> <p>When you're at the store and the item you want is right there, it is a lot easier to simply buy it instead of going to other stores and websites to check for lower prices. For example, when you're thirsty, are you going to grab the closest water or soda? Or are you going to hit a couple stores to find the best deal for your dollar? Probably the former. Sometimes saving money takes more work than you're willing or able to put in. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-much-more-youre-paying-for-these-6-convenience-buys?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Much More You're Paying for These 6 Convenience Buys</a>)</p> <h2>5. Force of habit</h2> <p>People can establish shopping habits that result in overpaying at the store on a regular basis. For example, you might have a routine of buying your coffee at a particular coffee shop, and your groceries at your favorite grocery store without even looking anywhere else for better deals. Routines are hard to break, as we are creatures of comfort. And that comfort can come at a price.</p> <h2>6. You're being upsold</h2> <p>Store displays can prompt you to buy a more expensive product than you originally intended. Picture this: You go into the store looking to buy a basic TV and come out with one of the nicer models with some advanced features (and an advanced price tag to match). When you see a range of products side-by-side, you tend to increase your expectations for the level of product that will meet your needs.</p> <p>You might also have a salesperson approach you and show you some product options. You might feel pressured into making a purchase before you have finished your research or comparison shopping, and the salesperson might get you interested in a more expensive item than you would select on your own. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-sneaky-ways-youre-being-upsold?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Sneaky Ways You're Being Upsold</a>)</p> <h2>7. Impulse buying</h2> <p>While shopping at the store, some impulse items might find their way into your cart without any comparison shopping or careful thought about whether you really need the items. Shopping while hungry, tired, distracted, or in physical discomfort tends to lower your impulse control and increases the tendency to reward yourself with immediate gratification through purchases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys</a>)</p> <h2>8. Store design and ambience</h2> <p>Some stores are designed to get you in the mood to spend money. These stores have high quality furnishings, good lighting, and even use scents to get shoppers in the buying mood for certain products. High prices seem more reasonable when all of your senses are being manipulated, so you are willing to spend more in that atmosphere.</p> <p>An example of this is when best-selling author and branding expert Martin Lindstrom found that when an appliance store was filled with the scent of apple pie, sales on ovens and fridges went up 23 percent.</p> <h2>9. You're stubborn</h2> <p>You decide what you want to buy before you even know the price, and no matter what it costs, you know you're going to buy it. For example, you have your mind set on your favorite brand and don't even consider other options that might cost less. Stores facilitate this behavior by promoting popular (and more expensive) brands, making it easy to overlook less expensive choices.</p> <h2>10. Payday shopping</h2> <p>The psychological effect of having more money in your bank account after a payday makes you more likely to spend money. Even if you have funds available throughout the month, knowing that there is more in your account after getting paid can change your spending behavior, reducing your motivation to avoid overspending. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-7-common-spring-spending-traps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Avoid 7 Common Spring Spending Traps</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-reasons-you-probably-overpaid-at-the-store&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Reasons%2520You%2520Probably%2520Overpaid%2520at%2520the%2520Store.jpg&amp;description=10%20Reasons%20You%20Probably%20Overpaid%20at%20the%20Store"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Reasons%20You%20Probably%20Overpaid%20at%20the%20Store.jpg" alt="10 Reasons You Probably Overpaid at the Store" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-you-probably-overpaid-at-the-store">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-things-its-better-to-buy-at-the-last-minute">6 Things It&#039;s Better to Buy at the Last Minute</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase">The One Question You Should Ask Before Every Major Purchase</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/now-or-later-how-to-decide-the-right-time-to-buy-almost-anything">Now or Later: How to Decide the Right Time to Buy Almost Anything</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-small-monthly-bills-slowly-wreck-your-annual-budget">How Small Monthly Bills Slowly Wreck Your Annual Budget</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="https://www.wisebread.com/when-self-care-actually-harms-your-budget">When Self-Care Actually Harms Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping budgeting tips overpaid saving money shopping tips Spending Money stop overpaying Wed, 20 Jun 2018 08:00:22 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2150091 at https://www.wisebread.com These 6 Shopping Challenges Will Keep You Stylish Without Breaking Your Budget https://www.wisebread.com/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/the_perfect_dress_for_me.jpg" alt="The perfect dress for me" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a passionate yet frugal fashion connoisseur, I'm always looking for ways to keep the peace between my inner Chic Chandra and Frugal Fran. It isn't easy. One of my favorite ways to pacify both sides and exercise a bit of creativity is by engaging in shopping challenges. Some challenges I've found through social media, fashion blogs, and some my fellow spendthrift friends and I create ourselves.</p> <p>No matter what you're trying to do &mdash; be &quot;bougie on a budget,&quot; upgrade your wardrobe, try out different styles, or give yourself a complete makeover &mdash; shopping challenges help you simultaneously accomplish your fashion and finance goals. Below are a few of my favorites, but I challenge you to be creative and mix and modify these, or create your own.</p> <h2>1. No Shopping Challenge</h2> <p>The No Shopping Challenge is exactly like it sounds. You don't shop for a specific amount of time. It's one of my favorites. During the challenge, you don't buy clothes, shoes, or accessories of any kind. This challenge forces you to use what you have and re-envision your wardrobe. It stretches you past your comfort zone and it helps break your normal fashion thought pattern. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-simple-do-not-buy-list-keeps-money-in-your-pocket?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How a Simple &quot;Do Not Buy&quot; List Keeps Money in Your Pocket</a>)</p> <p>I always institute this challenge during a spending fast, but it usually extends far beyond the end of the fast. My shopping fasts usually last anywhere from four to eight months. However, some people stretch the challenge a full year.</p> <p>During my most recent fast, I noticed the most fascinating thing. Not once, during the entire six months, did I ever say to myself, &quot;I have nothing to wear.&quot; The shopping fast actually keeps my Frugal Fran happy and Chic Chandra satisfied.</p> <h2>2. Adding Accessories Challenge</h2> <p>In the Adding Accessory Challenge, you set a very small budget and buy nothing but accessories for a set period of time. This challenge came about during a time, several years ago, when money was tight because I was aggressively saving for a big-ticket item. I had $25 per month allocated for shopping, entertainment, and miscellaneous items. I wanted to revamp my outfits a bit without going over budget. And I found a way to do just that by accessorizing. Even though I had very little money to spend, during the initial challenge, I was able to amass quite a collection of eclectic accessories. The trick is to pair an interesting and eccentric piece of jewelry or a great hat with a basic outfit, allowing the accessories to take center stage.</p> <p>Accessories can be super cheap &mdash; if you have a keen eye and a bit of imagination. You can pick up scarves, hats, socks, jewelry, and even purses for very little money. I've paid as little as $.50 for some really great pieces. What you spend instead of money is time. Shop yard sales, thrift stores, sample sales, and keep an eye out for seasonal sales from your favorite brands, and you're sure to find some killer deals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-ways-to-save-money-on-clothes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">101 Ways to Save Money on Clothes</a>)</p> <h2>3. One In, One Out Challenge</h2> <p>The One In, One Out Challenge is all about spending money strategically and combating excess and wastefulness. The object of this challenge is that for every item you purchase, you must get rid of a similar item, sell it, or donate it to charity. For example, if you buy a pair of black pumps, you must get rid of a pair of dress shoes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-make-800-on-month-on-ebay-selling-used-clothes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How I Make $800 on Month on eBay Selling Used Clothes</a>)</p> <p>This challenge can be extremely difficult, because when you pick something up, you have to choose to let go of something else. It combats hoarding tendencies, making you regularly take stock of what you already have, and only purchasing things you need. It also helps you break your attachment to material things and become a more mindful shopper.</p> <h2>4. A Week Without Challenge</h2> <p>The Week Without Challenge is truly a challenge. The purpose of this challenge is to assess the clothing items you love and chose one or two of those items to go without for the week. For example, if you're always wearing black shoes, you would go an entire seven days without wearing black shoes. This really shakes up your wardrobe and makes you think outside the box.</p> <p>This challenge is especially helpful for people who have a very specific style and wear the same few items incessantly. If a T-shirt and jeans is your go-to outfit, you would go a week without wearing either one of those items. It's also a great challenge to do with a friend. Instead of you choosing the items to go without, you allow your friend to choose for you. It keeps you honest and it will provide you with a more objective perspective on your style. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-master-these-10-shopping-skills-before-you-hit-30?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Master These 10 Shopping Skills Before You Hit 30</a>)</p> <h2>5. The 10x10 Challenge</h2> <p><a href="http://www.stylebee.ca/10-x-10-challenge/" target="_blank">The 10x10 Challenge</a> is when you select 10 clothing items and style those items into different outfits for the same number of days. The catch is you wear <em>only </em>those 10 items for the entire 10 days. Chic Chandra just had a mild panic attack.</p> <p>This challenge really gets your creative juices flowing, and essentially helps you create a micro capsule closet. It will also highlight the fact that you can do a lot with very little. A boyfriend button down triples as a shirt, a dress, and a jacket. Tie it around your waste and you've got another look. It teaches you how to look at your clothes in a new way in lieu of always looking for new clothes. Some people do the challenge for 30 or even 60 days. Of course, the longer the time frame, the less challenging it becomes.</p> <h2>6. $30 Outfit Challenge</h2> <p>The $30 outfit challenge is all about learning how to shop on a budget. It makes you visit shops you may not otherwise visit. You are given a budget $30, and you must purchase an entire outfit &mdash; including shoes &mdash; without going over. I know you're reading this saying, &quot;There's no way.&quot; It's not only possible, it's actually pretty easy once you learn where to look and how to shop.</p> <p>If you're like most people, you have a handful of stores you frequent regularly. They are your tried and true. You know exactly how the clothes fit. You know the style, and you know the price range. This challenge pushes you to look beyond your traditional go-tos and visit stores and websites that may be outside your comfort zone. The best part about this challenge is that once you try it and succeed, you'll be hooked. And your inner Frugal Fran will rise to her feet and begin the slow clap that crescendos into thunderous applause.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthese-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThese%25206%2520Shopping%2520Challenges%2520Will%2520Keep%2520You%2520Stylish%2520Without%2520Breaking%2520Your%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=These%206%20Shopping%20Challenges%20Will%20Keep%20You%20Stylish%20Without%20Breaking%20Your%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/These%206%20Shopping%20Challenges%20Will%20Keep%20You%20Stylish%20Without%20Breaking%20Your%20Budget.jpg" alt="These 6 Shopping Challenges Will Keep You Stylish Without Breaking Your Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/denise-hill">Denise Hill</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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="https://www.wisebread.com/28-ways-to-never-pay-full-price-for-anything">28 Ways to Never Pay Full Price for Anything</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="https://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys">7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shop-with-purpose-and-save-more-money">How to Shop With Purpose — And Save More Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-your-lazy-habits-are-costing-you">9 Ways Your Lazy Habits Are Costing You</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="https://www.wisebread.com/10-classic-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-falling-for">10 Classic Impulse Buys We Need to Stop Falling For</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping impulse buys new clothes no shopping challenge saving money shopping habits shopping tips style challenges Mon, 14 May 2018 09:01:08 +0000 Denise Hill 2140341 at https://www.wisebread.com 5 Online Stores That Let You Try Before You Buy https://www.wisebread.com/5-online-stores-that-let-you-try-before-you-buy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-online-stores-that-let-you-try-before-you-buy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_woman_smiling_with_shopping_bags_outside.jpg" alt="Young woman smiling with shopping bags outside" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Shopping online is always a fun way to pass the time, but when your order arrives and it doesn't fit right or isn't how you pictured it, going through the return process can be a headache. Lots of online retailers are consistently updating their returns protocols to be as easy as possible, but it doesn't change the fact that your money has already been spent and you aren't happy.</p> <p>Luckily, there are brands that now offer a 'try before you buy' option, that gives you access to samples before buying full sizes, or shipping the items to you for $0 and giving you a trial period before charging you for the item. Here are a few you should check out.</p> <h2>1. Amazon Prime Samples and Prime Wardrobe</h2> <p>Exclusively for Prime members, <a href="https://amzn.to/2rfsQjM" target="_blank">Prime Samples</a> lets you try samples of food, baby items, beauty products, personal items, and household supplies. You can pick individual samples from their large selection, or you can select a box of pre-chosen samples in a specific product category. And when you buy samples, all are $2&ndash;$4 each, you get a credit of equivalent value to redeem on a future purchase of the full-size product if you decide to buy it.</p> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2JIrntx" target="_blank">Prime Wardrobe</a> offers a similar concept but with clothing, shoes, and accessories. Fill your box, try them for seven days, and you can either keep them and get charged for only the items you wish to keep, or return them all for free in the box and with the return label provided. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Amazon Prime Perks You've Forgotten to Use</a>)</p> <h2>2. Warby Parker</h2> <p>Choosing the right eyeglasses is a process that takes time. When the founders of <a href="https://www.warbyparker.com/home-try-on" target="_blank">Warby Parker</a> were tackling the challenge of an online store for glasses, they decided to try the sampling idea for customers, and it stuck. You can select five frames to test for five days and they'll ship them to you &mdash; for free! Send back the ones you don't want and only pay for the glasses that you wish to keep.</p> <h2>3. ThirdLove</h2> <p><a href="https://www.thirdlove.com/pages/try-before-buying#/" target="_blank">ThirdLove</a> has been making quite a splash with women. Because their bras are on the expensive side (about $68 each), the try-before-you-buy idea has helped them expand their customer base. Order your bra with the help of their online guide in finding your exact size (they have half sizes, too!), receive it in the mail, and then &quot;wear it, wash it, live in it&quot; for 30 days. If you love it, it's yours for $68. Don't love it? Return it for free, and they will donate it to their charity, <a href="https://www.thirdlove.com/blogs/unhooked/thirdlove-difference-importance-of-giving-back" target="_blank">Bras for All</a>.</p> <h2>4. Casper</h2> <p>Mattress purchases are challenging, and doubly so if you're buying them online. So <a href="https://casper.com/" target="_blank">Casper</a> makes it easy for you to give it a go. Buy your mattress, have it shipped right to your door, and then sleep on it for 100 days. Don't like it? No problem. They'll come pick it up with no additional cost to you, and they'll give you a full refund. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-a-mattress-in-10-minutes-or-less?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Buy a Mattress in 10 Minutes or Less</a>)</p> <h2>5. Sephora</h2> <p>Making a purchase online or in-store with <a href="https://www.sephora.com/free-beauty-samples" target="_blank">Sephora</a>? Make sure you take advantage of their generous free sample program to try some new products. When you place an order online, you can add three samples free of charge. In-store, you can ask for a sample of just about anything and they will accommodate you whether you're buying something or not.</p> <p>I have a Sephora in my neighborhood and every time I've visited, they are more than willing to whip up a sample of anything that interests me. And whenever I do make an in-store purchase, they always toss some samples into my bag as a little surprise. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-smartest-ways-to-save-at-sephora?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Smartest Ways to Save at Sephora</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-online-stores-that-let-you-try-before-you-buy&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Online%2520Stores%2520That%2520Let%2520You%2520Try%2520Before%2520You%2520Buy.jpg&amp;description=5%20Online%20Stores%20That%20Let%20You%20Try%20Before%20You%20Buy"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Online%20Stores%20That%20Let%20You%20Try%20Before%20You%20Buy.jpg" alt="5 Online Stores That Let You Try Before You Buy" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-online-stores-that-let-you-try-before-you-buy">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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-amazon-prime-day-actually-worth-it-this-year">How to Make Amazon Prime Day Actually Worth It This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-little-known-amazon-shopping-hacks">5 Little Known Amazon Shopping Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget">These 6 Shopping Challenges Will Keep You Stylish Without Breaking Your Budget</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="https://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys">7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-49-smartest-amazon-hacks-that-will-save-you-big">Flashback Friday: 49 Smartest Amazon Hacks That Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping Amazon amazon prime casper free samples samples sephora shopping tips thirdlove warby parker Fri, 11 May 2018 08:30:15 +0000 Christa Avampato 2138950 at https://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Spot a Knockoff https://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-spot-a-knockoff <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-spot-a-knockoff" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_with_little_black_bag_in_stylish_outfit.jpg" alt="Woman with little black bag in stylish outfit" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The counterfeit goods business is a big problem, so big that it's valued at <a href="http://www.oecd.org/gov/risk/trade-in-counterfeit-and-pirated-goods-9789264252653-en.htm" target="_blank">$461 billion as of 2013</a>. Knockoffs are everywhere, and can be found in almost every product line. It's not just watches and purses, but razor blades, laundry detergent, cosmetics, toys, medications, and even fish, wine, and milk. And counterfeiters are getting more sophisticated with their copies. So, how do you protect yourself? Here are 10 ways to avoid getting taken.</p> <h2>1. The price is too good to be true</h2> <p>You can argue that some brands are way overpriced (Kanye West really does sell a plain white T-shirt for $120). The price of any legitimate product you purchase goes way beyond the cost of materials. You're paying for fancy ad campaigns, design and research costs, quality materials, and many other factors. Knockoff brands don't have to incorporate any of that, so although they look almost identical, they can be priced at 75 percent less than the original, and that should be an immediate red flag. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-cheap-clothes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The High Cost of Cheap Clothes</a>)</p> <h2>2. It's not available from the original retailers</h2> <p>Retail stores and trusted online sites go to great lengths to keep fakes out of the system. They also have the power to help authorities track down the suppliers of knockoffs. If you see incredible prices online for brands you know to be much more expensive, they will be on unfamiliar, sketchy-looking sites.</p> <p>If someone is selling these items on the streets of your town or city, that's also a major warning sign. Not only will you be risking more than just the purchase of a fake brand, but you have no way to return the illegal purchase. Even eBay has had trouble with knockoffs, and will often have to remove sellers when they find out the items are counterfeit.</p> <h2>3. You find mistakes and typos</h2> <p>Knockoff products do not go through the rigorous quality controls that legal items must endure. It's extremely rare to find errors on legitimate products, and those that do have them are usually marked down and sold in outlets. If you see spelling errors, especially in logos, then it's a fake. If you see highly visible typos (not something buried in legal verbiage), then it's almost certainly fake. If you notice that the color combinations are way out of character for the brand, then it's most likely a knockoff.</p> <h2>4. The materials look and feel wrong</h2> <p>If you examine the product and it feels off, it's good to trust your gut. It could be way lighter than you expect it to be, or not as smooth and luxurious as you'd hoped. Knockoff brands cut corners, using man-made materials in place of leather or suede, steel instead of silver and gold, and cheap alternatives to quality supplies. If it just feels wrong when you handle it, you should walk away. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-spot-and-avoid-a-fake-sale?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Ways to Spot and Avoid a Fake Sale</a>)</p> <h2>5. The workmanship is way below par</h2> <p>From a distance, fakes can be difficult to spot. However, if you get up close, you should be able to see some of the poor quality workmanship. For example, on clothing and bags, you will come across inferior stitching, misaligned labels, overprinting, collar tags instead of tagless labels, and uneven embossing. Authentic products are well-made because a brand's reputation is everything. With knockoffs, it's just about profit margins.</p> <h2>6. The description goes overboard on &quot;authenticity&quot;</h2> <p>Real products don't usually have to point out that they're authentic. Fake products, on the other hand, are promoted with language that sounds desperate to convince you that they're the real deal. You'll see phrases like &quot;100 percent authentic,&quot; &quot;no cheap knockoffs,&quot; and &quot;verified genuine.&quot; Any kind of description littered with these words is akin to a serial cheater telling you they are totally, completely, 100 percent trustworthy. Yeah, sure.</p> <h2>7. Smell and color can be major red flags</h2> <p>You may think, <em>what's the harm?</em> when buying a knockoff perfume, if it looks and smells the same. Well, keep in mind that shortcuts to make the product cheaper might include using ingredients like antifreeze and urine. Yes, pee has been used in the production of counterfeit perfume. Imagine what that could do to your skin.</p> <p>The other biggest indicator, other than price and smell, is color. Genuine perfumes do not use a lot of dye in the formulation. Also, the bottle will be a little misshapen, or the glass could be cloudy.</p> <h2>8. The packaging is off</h2> <p>Sneakers, for example, can go for thousands of dollars, especially the limited editions. If you spy a pair that you really want, carefully inspect the box first. Look up genuine sneaker box packaging on your phone and look for shoe size placement, logos, and the color of the box. The fakes will be a little off, and the printing won't be as sharp. Look inside for the correct labels. Everything should match with the box. Look at the stitching. It will be perfect on a genuine sneaker.</p> <p>Take a whiff, too. It should smell fresh and new, not like chemicals or &quot;gluey.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Use magnets and your breath to check jewelry</h2> <p>When it comes to precious metals, your secret weapon here is a magnet. Gold and silver are not magnetic, so if the solid gold chain sticks to the magnet, it's either gold plated or simply gold colored metal.</p> <p>With diamonds, breathe on them. A genuine diamond does not retain heat so it will not fog up. A fake one will go cloudy. Also, look for hallmarks on jewelry. Most counterfeiters cannot be bothered to stamp them.</p> <h2>10. Test out electronics before buying</h2> <p>Fake electronics can look identical to the real deal, but the internal components are miles away from the quality of the originals. First, turn it on (if you can). When you fire up a new tech gadget, it should work perfectly. You shouldn't have issues with flickering, loading, or anything else.</p> <p>Look for misspellings, especially in the places most people don't look (the serial number panels, inside the battery compartment, and so on). Also, make sure the packaging and the item are on-brand. Apple is very clean, sleek, and simple. If your packaging is busy, it's not Apple. Most genuine electronics have a certification mark and a hologram &mdash; these are almost impossible to fake. And again, look at the price. An offer of $250 for a new iPhone? Yeah, that's clearly counterfeit.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-ways-to-spot-a-knockoff&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Ways%2520to%2520Spot%2520a%2520Knockoff.jpg&amp;description=10%20Ways%20to%20Spot%20a%20Knockoff"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Ways%20to%20Spot%20a%20Knockoff.jpg" alt="10 Ways to Spot a Knockoff" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-spot-a-knockoff">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="https://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-you-probably-overpaid-at-the-store">10 Reasons You Probably Overpaid at the Store</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-small-monthly-bills-slowly-wreck-your-annual-budget">How Small Monthly Bills Slowly Wreck Your Annual Budget</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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-guilty-pleasures-that-are-killing-your-budget">6 Guilty Pleasures That Are Killing Your Budget</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="https://www.wisebread.com/8-items-you-should-never-buy-online">8 Items You Should Never Buy Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/11-things-that-should-never-cost-more-than-99">11 Things That Should Never Cost More Than $99</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping knockoff handbags knockoffs luxury items rip off shopping tips Spending Money Tue, 01 May 2018 09:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 2135303 at https://www.wisebread.com 6 Guilty Pleasures That Are Killing Your Budget https://www.wisebread.com/6-guilty-pleasures-that-are-killing-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-guilty-pleasures-that-are-killing-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coffee_to_go.jpg" alt="Coffee to go" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to guilty pleasures, we all have a few. Some vices are fine to indulge in every once in a while &mdash; like that weekly caramel latte. However, splurging too much on these vices can rob our budget, and in some cases, our health. Here are six guilty pleasures that are destroying your budget.</p> <h2>1. Smoking</h2> <p>Smoking is famously detrimental to your health, of that we are all aware. But it's also a nightmare for your budget. The average cost of a pack of cigarettes is $6.16, with most states charging between $5-$10 a pack. Smoke five packs a week, and you are looking at spending more than $1,600 a year on cigarettes.</p> <p>Even if you label yourself a social smoker, and only smoke the occasional cigarette, you're risking getting addicted, or resurrecting a smoking addiction you've previously kicked. Your financial and physical health will both prosper by dropping this habit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-smoking?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Rich You'd Be If You Stopped Smoking</a>)</p> <h2>2. Eating out for lunch</h2> <p>When you're rushing around in the morning, it seems easier to just buy lunch near your place of business. But shelling out your hard-earned cash every day of the workweek can quickly add up. According to a Visa survey, the average American spends $11.14 twice per week on eating lunch out. And that works out to be over $1,000 annually that you could be putting into an emergency fund, your 401(k), or your child's college fund while bringing a bag lunch to work instead.</p> <h2>3. Monthly subscriptions</h2> <p>How many subscriptions do you currently pay for each month that you can live without? Add up your magazine subscriptions, radio, books, TV subscriptions, meal deliveries, and any fun monthly boxes you receive each month. If you aren't using these subscriptions or can do without them, now is the time to cancel.</p> <p>Canceling $150 worth of subscriptions and memberships a month will allow you to save $1,800 a year. Think about how far that $1,800 could go in your debt repayment quest. You could even plan a European vacation with your spouse with that money. Is a monthly box of makeup samples or dog treats really worth it? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-on-a-european-getaway-with-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Save on a European Getaway With Kids</a>.)</p> <h2>4. Buying lottery tickets</h2> <p>Whether you drop a few hundred dollars playing poker with friends or buy $10 worth of lottery tickets each week, this guilty pleasure adds up quickly. Even if your casual gambling habits only cost you $200 a year, think about how much more likely your $200 can yield a return if you invested it into the stock market or an ETF. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-safeguard-your-financial-future-with-just-200?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Safeguard Your Financial Future With Just $200</a>)</p> <h2>5. Retail therapy</h2> <p>Retail therapy is a quick way to turn a frown upside down, for many people. It's also a quick way to spend tons of money. Even if you stick to seasonal sales and the clearance rack, it's easy to spend $100 on unneeded items in a single shopping spree. Feeling the need to shop like this once a month will drain you $1,200 a year, and you will probably be struggling with extra clutter, too.</p> <p>Invest this $1,200 in your retirement account each year instead and that'll be one less thing (and a big one) causing you stress &mdash; that often leads you to retail therapy in the first place &mdash; effectively breaking this cycle and improving your financial health.</p> <h2>6. Daily lattes</h2> <p>Five-dollar lattes or blended coffee drinks seem like a drop of change in the bucket. Buy one 300 days out of the year, however, and your coffee habit runs up a $1,500 tab. Brew from home and in five years you'll have enough for a $7,500 down payment on a home instead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking-expensive-coffee?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Rich You'd Be if You Stopped Drinking Expensive Coffee</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-guilty-pleasures-that-are-killing-your-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Guilty%2520Pleasures%2520That%2520Are%2520Killing%2520Your%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=6%20Guilty%20Pleasures%20That%20Are%20Killing%20Your%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Guilty%20Pleasures%20That%20Are%20Killing%20Your%20Budget.jpg" alt="6 Guilty Pleasures That Are Killing Your Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-guilty-pleasures-that-are-killing-your-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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="https://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys">7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/11-things-that-should-never-cost-more-than-99">11 Things That Should Never Cost More Than $99</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/28-ways-to-never-pay-full-price-for-anything">28 Ways to Never Pay Full Price for Anything</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="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-too-many-decisions-costs-you-money">Here&#039;s How Too Many Decisions Costs You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-your-lazy-habits-are-costing-you">9 Ways Your Lazy Habits Are Costing You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping bad habits budget tips Guilty Pleasures shopping habits shopping tips Spending Money Fri, 27 Apr 2018 09:00:09 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 2133484 at https://www.wisebread.com How Small Monthly Bills Slowly Wreck Your Annual Budget https://www.wisebread.com/how-small-monthly-bills-slowly-wreck-your-annual-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-small-monthly-bills-slowly-wreck-your-annual-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/problem_with_documents.jpg" alt="Problem with documents" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you ever noticed that we look at most of our expenses in terms of monthly payments? We often justify these expenses by saying, &quot;It's just a few dollars a month.&quot; Sometimes, we even break costs down into weeks or days. But this type of thinking can be dangerous to our finances. Looking only at monthly expenses can mask the total impact of what you're spending. And when we view our expenses in isolation, we don't always see our full financial picture.</p> <p>Here are some things to think about when you tell yourself, &quot;It's just a few dollars per month.&quot;</p> <h2>It all adds up</h2> <p>When you think of your expenses as individual costs that you pay on a monthly basis, you're seeing only a very small part of your finances at any given time. Combine these monthly costs, however, and you'll see how quickly they can add up and make it hard for you to save. This is especially true with subscription-type services, in which you may pay a seemingly low monthly fee for a product or service.</p> <p>Netflix is just $9.99-$11.99 per month. Your news subscription may be $7. You have subscriptions for meal planning services like Blue Apron, and clothing delivery services like Stitch Fix. None of these subscriptions may seem costly in and of themselves, but when you add them up, they could comprise hundreds of dollars in monthly expenses and leave you with very little left over. And because they're subscriptions, they may be automatically deducted from your checking account or credit card, so you may not even be fully aware that money is leaving or when. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-meal-prep-subscription-boxes-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are Meal Prep Subscription Boxes Worth It?</a>)</p> <h2>You're being manipulated</h2> <p>How did we get into the habit of thinking of expenses in the context of a month or less? Because the people who seek our money want it that way. If a company can get us thinking about costs in smaller chunks, we're more likely to spend money. A gym could easily charge you $480 a year to join, but instead, they charge $40 a month and advertise that monthly amount because it seems like less. Your cellphone company could just ask for $1,200 upfront when you sign a two-year contract, but it's less scary to charge you $50 a month.</p> <p>Granted, most of us would prefer to pay in monthly amounts because we may not have tons of cash on hand, but most companies don't even offer us the option to pay in bulk amounts if we want to, because they don't even want us thinking about how much they take out of our accounts each year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-scarcity-marketing-tricks-you-to-spend-more?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Scarcity Marketing Tricks You to Spend More</a>)</p> <h2>Resist the coffee analogy</h2> <p>Every once in a while, someone will encourage you to donate money or buy a product, arguing that it will cost you &quot;less than a cup of coffee&quot; each day. The suggestion is that coffee is a fairly low and everyday expense, and it's a compelling sales tactic. But the next time someone comes at you with this pitch, consider examining it in a different way.</p> <p>First, ask yourself if you'd be willing to cut out your daily coffee in order to buy this new product or service. If not, then accept that your expenses will definitely rise. Second, recognize how much that cup of coffee each day actually is costing you. Maybe it's just $2 every time, but that's $10 during a workweek, $40 monthly, and nearly $500 a year. Suddenly, you realize that the &quot;cost of a cup of coffee&quot; isn't mere pocket change. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking-expensive-coffee?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Rich You'd Be if You Stopped Drinking Expensive Coffee</a>)</p> <h2>A higher monthly payment is always a big deal</h2> <p>Have you ever financed a car? The goal of the car salesman is to get you comfortable with a monthly payment and ignore the total costs over time. If you're paying for the car in full with cash, there's not much a seller can do to mask the cost. But when breaking out the total into payments, the seller can convince you that a few extra dollars are no big deal.</p> <p>For example, let's say you're looking to have payments of no more than $200 per month. The seller may say &quot;Well, I can get you down to $230, which is in the ballpark. Deal?&quot; That extra $30 may not seem like a lot. But if you have a 60-month loan, that adds up to $1,800! If you were paying for the car with cash in full, you'd never think that paying an extra $1,800 was reasonable.</p> <h2>Monthly payments can mask interest</h2> <p>If you purchase a home, you will likely have a mortgage with interest payments. You may also have interest payments if you finance a car. When this happens, the total cost of your purchase is higher, even though you don't think of it that way.</p> <p>Consider that if you purchase a house with a sale price of $400,000, you may pay $2,000 per month over the course of 30 years, bringing the actual money paid to $720,000. Monthly payments can make large purchases feel more digestible and manageable, but they can also cover up the total cost of big-ticket items over time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-paying-too-much-for-your-mortgage?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Signs You're Paying Too Much for Your Mortgage</a>)</p> <h2>Consider the lifetime costs</h2> <p>Once, while in the process of paying some bills, I tried to calculate how much I had spent over my lifetime toward cellphone, internet, and cable TV services to one particular company. I determined that I had paid this company each month for about 18 years. The math was eye-popping. In my life, I had directed more than $30,000 to one company just so I could stay connected.</p> <p>Granted, I'm not sure what I'd do without my phone or high-speed internet. But it did make me wonder whether I was always getting the best deal. Imagine if I had found a way to cut these bills by 10 percent each month. That would be $3,000 more in my pocket today! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-driving?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Rich You'd Be If You Stopped Driving</a>)</p> <h2>We don't think of income this way</h2> <p>If someone asks you how much money you make, do you tell them what you take in on a weekly or monthly basis? If you are a salaried employee, probably not. Usually, we think of our income in terms of annual salary, and we rarely stop to think about how much we bring in each month, each week, or each day. Unless you're an hourly employee, you don't say &quot;I make just $24 in an hour.&quot; You say, &quot;I make $50,000 a year.&quot;</p> <p>Think of expenses the same way. You might change your behavior as a result. &quot;I spend $1,200 a year on cable so I can watch Portland Trail Blazers games.&quot; &quot;I spend $940 a year on Americanos from Peet's Coffee.&quot; Yikes! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-get-your-morning-coffee-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Get Your Morning Coffee for Free</a>)</p> <h2>Saving is a long-term goal</h2> <p>It's important to remember that building wealth and achieving financial freedom is a very long process. It's the relatively small amount of money you save each day that piles up over time and becomes something substantial. It's very easy to be dismissive of a small weekly or monthly expense, but it's those very expenses that can make the difference between accumulating wealth or accumulating debt.</p> <p>When analyzing spending, it's helpful to examine all money as potentially helpful in your quest to build wealth. One hundred dollars now, if saved, could represent much more in the future. If spent, it's gone forever. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-safeguard-your-financial-future-with-just-200?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Safeguard Your Financial Future With Just $200</a>)</p> <h2>Take your usage into account</h2> <p>It's easier to defend the &quot;it's only a few dollars a month&quot; attitude if you regularly use the product or service in question. One could argue that a high-speed internet subscription, while costly, is worthwhile if you use it for several hours a day to run a business. But what about all those things you pay for that you never use?</p> <p>Your gym membership may only be $10 a month, yet you haven't worked out in months. Netflix may seem inexpensive, but you rarely stream any movies or shows. These monthly costs can really add up, and they are made worse if you are spending money on things you never use.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20Small%20Monthly%20Bills%20Slowly%20Wreck%20Your%20Annual%20Budget.jpg" alt="How Small Monthly Bills Slowly Wreck Your Annual Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-small-monthly-bills-slowly-wreck-your-annual-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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="https://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-you-probably-overpaid-at-the-store">10 Reasons You Probably Overpaid at the Store</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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-things-its-better-to-buy-at-the-last-minute">6 Things It&#039;s Better to Buy at the Last Minute</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/now-or-later-how-to-decide-the-right-time-to-buy-almost-anything">Now or Later: How to Decide the Right Time to Buy Almost Anything</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="https://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase">The One Question You Should Ask Before Every Major Purchase</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-food-waste-from-spoiling-your-budget">How to Keep Food Waste From Spoiling Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Shopping monthly boxes monthly costs saving money shopping tips Spending Money subscriptions Fri, 13 Apr 2018 08:30:10 +0000 Tim Lemke 2129347 at https://www.wisebread.com Why You Should Sign Up for Airline Rewards Even If You Don't Travel Much https://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-sign-up-for-airline-rewards-even-if-you-dont-travel-much <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-you-should-sign-up-for-airline-rewards-even-if-you-dont-travel-much" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/she_is_a_self_starter.jpg" alt="She is a self-starter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So you've got a busy job that never sends you on trips. Or you're terrified of flying. Or you have small kids whom you dread dragging onto an airplane. Sign up for some frequent flyer accounts anyway. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>Why bother if you're not going to be earning miles by buying airplane tickets? Because there are a lot of ways you can accumulate miles besides flying. Once you have all those miles, you can save up for a dream trip or one amazing vacation per year. And if you truly plan to never fly, you can even spend your miles on stuff other than flights.</p> <h2>How to earn miles without flying</h2> <p>My friends say they can't understand how I travel for free through frequent flyer miles, when they have never flown enough times to earn a single free flight. My answer is that I haven't bought enough plane tickets to earn free flights either. I earn the bulk of my miles right here on the ground. There are so many ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-tons-of-frequent-flyer-miles-without-flying?ref=internal" target="_blank">earn frequent flyer miles without flying</a>.</p> <h3>Credit cards</h3> <p>The fastest and easiest way to accumulate frequent flyer miles is by getting a new credit card. Just today, I signed up for a card that will pay me 40,000 miles after my first purchase of any amount. Typically, a new card will pay a similar or larger bonus after you meet a required minimum spend in the range of $1,000 to $5,000.</p> <p>These cards will also pay you one or more mile per dollar you spend. If you are responsible for running a household of multiple people, like I am, you may find it easy to accumulate 3,000 or more miles per month paying for things such as groceries, kids' day care or activities, gas, etc. Even without the sign-up bonus, that would amount to more than 30,000 miles per year &mdash; enough for a round-trip domestic flight on most airlines or a one-way ticket to Europe. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips</a>)</p> <p>By combining bonuses and points for my monthly spend, I've been able to get my whole family to Australia and back, among other trips &mdash; with few of those points coming from actual flights.</p> <h3>Online shopping</h3> <p>You may find it more rewarding to use an airline shopping portal than a rebate site, such as eBates, when making online purchases. During the past two years, I earned about 5,000 miles each year through online purchases, and I am not a big shopper.</p> <h3>Other partner purchases</h3> <p>Rental cars and hotel stays are also good ways to accumulate frequent flyer miles without flying. Don't forget to put down your frequent flyer number at check-in.</p> <p>Also, you can often get a mileage bonus for switching cable companies or signing up for a new phone plan. I currently get just over 400 miles after I pay my bill every month, which will net me another 5,000 miles this year.</p> <p>Finally, don't forget to register all your credit cards with airline dining programs, so that you can get miles for eating out at participating restaurants without even thinking about it.</p> <h2>What to do with the miles</h2> <p>The best value for miles is generally flying &mdash; especially international flights in business or first class. So if you don't travel much, but you would like to take a trip one of these days, saving up for a really great one is a smart move. Don't worry too much about the miles expiring, because most programs <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-frequent-flyer-miles-that-are-about-to-expire?ref=internal" target="_blank">push the expiration date back</a> every time you make a transaction, including earning more miles. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Expert Tips for Redeeming Miles for Free Travel</a>)</p> <p>If you abhor flying and never plan to redeem your miles by taking a flight, you're probably better off choosing a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash-back credit card</a> as your main card. But that doesn't mean you have to pass when the only rewards offered for signing up for a new service or making a transaction are miles. There are lots of ways to spend those miles other than flying. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tricks-to-making-the-most-of-your-reward-miles?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Tricks to Making the Most of Your Reward Miles</a>)</p> <h3>1. Book travel that doesn't involve an airplane</h3> <p>On <a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-11373616" target="_blank">Points.com</a>, you can transfer miles from some frequent flyer programs into an Amtrak account. Just note the exchange rate. For instance, if you want to convert Hawaiian Air miles to Amtrak, you will end up with only one Amtrak point for every five Hawaiian points you cash in.</p> <p>You can book a car/hotel package, including activities, with miles on American Airlines Vacations, or pay for a cruise with miles through United.</p> <h3>2. Subscribe to a magazine</h3> <p>If you are the kind of person who still likes having paper magazines on your coffee table, the site MagsforMiles.com can be an affordable way to subscribe. For example, to get a year of my favorite, Sunset, would cost me only 600 Hawaiian Air miles. Since these miles are worth about 1.2 cents each, that's a year of the magazine for about $7, which is not a bad price, especially if you're looking to spend a few &quot;pocket change&quot; miles that will never amount to a larger transaction.</p> <h3>3. Go shopping</h3> <p>Delta allows members to <a href="https://marketplace.delta.com/" target="_blank">exchange miles for retail items</a> such as Tumi bags as well as vouchers for the $100 Global Entry fee, or even gift cards for the airline. United allows you to redeem miles for <a href="https://partner.audiencerewards.com/mileageplus/index.cfm" target="_blank">tickets to Broadway shows</a>, among other things.</p> <h3>4. Get gift cards</h3> <p>Points.com will exchange many kinds of airline miles for gift cards, which could be helpful if you need to get a birthday gift for someone and are short on cash. The individual airline sites may also have information about trading miles for gift cards. However, be sure to check the rates and make sure you're not throwing away large amounts of miles for small value cards.</p> <h3>5. Donate to charity</h3> <p>Each airline has its own list of charities to which you can donate miles. If you were going to give cash anyway, this can be an efficient way to get the miles off your hands while helping the organization. The only drawback is that, unlike a cash gift, a miles donation is not tax deductible.</p> <h3>6. Send a loved one on a flight</h3> <p>Many airlines will charge you a fee to transfer your miles to another person, but there's a way around that: You can use your miles to book a flight for someone else just as you would book it for yourself. So even if you plan to never set foot onboard a plane, you can send your niece on a graduation trip or pay for your mom to come visit you.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhy-you-should-sign-up-for-airline-rewards-even-if-you-dont-travel-much&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhy%2520You%2520Should%2520Sign%2520Up%2520for%2520Airline%2520Rewards%2520Even%2520If%2520You%2520Don%2527t%2520Travel%2520Much.jpg&amp;description=Why%20You%20Should%20Sign%20Up%20for%20Airline%20Rewards%20Even%20If%20You%20Don't%20Travel%20Much"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Why%20You%20Should%20Sign%20Up%20for%20Airline%20Rewards%20Even%20If%20You%20Don%27t%20Travel%20Much.jpg" alt="Why You Should Sign Up for Airline Rewards Even If You Don't Travel Much" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-sign-up-for-airline-rewards-even-if-you-dont-travel-much">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-airline-miles-while-you-shop">How to Earn Airline Miles While You Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/3-flexible-ways-to-cash-in-your-miles-and-points">3 Flexible Ways to Cash In Your Miles and Points</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/which-airlines-frequent-flyer-miles-have-the-best-value">Which Airline&#039;s Frequent Flyer Miles Have the Best Value?</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-more-value-out-of-american-airlines-miles">How to Get More Value Out of American Airlines Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-understanding-airline-flight-routes-can-score-you-better-rewards">How Understanding Airline Flight Routes Can Score You Better Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Travel airline miles airline rewards rewards points shopping tips travel miles travel tips Wed, 04 Apr 2018 08:30:09 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2127517 at https://www.wisebread.com 6 Things to Consider Before Making a Big Purchase for Rewards Points https://www.wisebread.com/6-things-to-consider-before-making-a-big-purchase-for-rewards-points <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-things-to-consider-before-making-a-big-purchase-for-rewards-points" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/smiling_woman_with_credit_card_and_laptop.jpg" alt="Smiling woman with credit card and laptop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It can be thrilling to chase credit card rewards. When you use a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards credit card</a>, you earn points and miles that you can redeem for a free trip. And when you use <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash back cards</a>, you're essentially earning a nice little refund on your purchases.</p> <p>Making big purchases on your credit card is one way to rack up points quickly. A home remodel or wedding can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and as long as you're not spending extra just to rack up rewards, using a rewards credit card can be a way to defray those large costs.</p> <p>This strategy can be more complex than you think, however. Here are six things to think about before making a large purchase for rewards.</p> <h2>1. Will the merchant accept credit cards?</h2> <p>Before you can even consider using your credit card to make a large purchase, you have to find out if the store or vendor will even accept them. Every time a merchant accepts a credit card, it must pay the processor a merchant fee of about 2% to 3% of the transaction. Understandably, this makes many companies hesitant to accept credit cards, especially for their largest sales.</p> <p>For example, home improvement contractors often won't accept credit cards because they know that the merchant fees will directly impact their bottom line. You may, however, be able to work out a deal where you can, for instance, buy some of the project supplies with your credit card from a home improvement store. It never hurts to ask. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-to-use-for-a-home-renovation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for a Home Renovation</a>)</p> <p>Some car dealers might also have policies preventing you from using your credit card to pay for a vehicle, while others may allow you to use your credit card for a certain percentage of the transaction and use cash or other financing for the rest of the sale. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-buy-a-car-with-a-credit-card?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Should You Buy a Car With a Credit Card?</a>)</p> <p>Finally, double check that the merchant is part of your rewards card's payment network. For example, some merchants don't accept <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/american-express-credit-card-offers-applications-reviews?ref=internal" target="_blank">American Express</a>.</p> <h2>2. Will the company impose a surcharge to use your credit card?</h2> <p>Some companies are happy to accept credit cards for large transactions, but they will impose a surcharge that will cost you more than any rewards that you might earn. For example, it's not uncommon for companies to impose a 3% to 5% surcharge on credit card transactions, and bury that information in the fine print of the agreement. And conveniently for the companies that do this, their surcharges are often in excess of their credit card processing fees, allowing them to make a profit.</p> <p>Thankfully, there are 10 states where it's actually illegal to add a surcharge to a credit card transaction. If you are doing business in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, or Texas, and a merchant is adding a surcharge to credit card transactions, you might want to inform them that the practice is illegal. If you are polite about it, the merchant may reconsider its surcharge and let you pay for your purchase with a credit card at no additional cost. Just be aware that the government and publicly regulated utilities are often exempt from the laws prohibiting credit card surcharges.</p> <h2>3. Does the company offer a cash discount?</h2> <p>Most states allow merchants to offer a cash discount on the advertised price instead of imposing a credit card surcharge. And even if a cash discount is not expressly advertised, you might be able to negotiate one before using your credit card, especially if it's for a large purchase. If the value of your discount is greater than the rewards you could earn, then it can be better to use cash.</p> <h2>4. Will the card issuer approve the charge?</h2> <p>Once you've figured out that the merchant will accept your credit card, you should double check that your card issuer will authorize the charge. Not only do you need to have a large enough line of available credit, but even if you do, a card issuer might flag an unusually large purchase as potentially fraudulent. For these reasons, it's a good idea to inform your card issuer in advance of a large charge, so they can make a note in their systems to expect it.</p> <p>And if you would like to make a purchase in excess of your current credit limit, you may be able to do so if you call your card issuer. It may grant you a credit limit increase, or, if you've got more than one credit card from that issuer, it may be willing to move a portion of your credit limit from one card to another.</p> <h2>5. Will you be able to avoid interest by paying your balance in full?</h2> <p>Whether your purchase is large or small, it only makes sense to chase rewards when you can avoid interest charges by paying your entire statement balance in full. When you're incurring interest on your debts, then your first priority should be to save money while paying it off.</p> <p>Rewards cards tend to impose higher interest rates than cards that don't offer rewards. So if you know you'll need to run a balance to pay off your large purchase, your best strategy is to use a card with a low interest rate or a card with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-0-apr-for-purchases?ref=internal" target="_blank">0% APR on new purchases</a> for a promotional period. These cards tend to offer skimpier rewards, if any, but the interest you'll save should more than make up for the lack of rewards. Forget about rewards until you're in a place to pay off your balance in full every month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <p>Other options are to delay the purchase until you have saved up enough money to pay for it without incurring debt, or seek other low-interest forms of finance.</p> <h2>6. How will this purchase affect your credit?</h2> <p>A large portion of your credit score is determined by your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit utilization ratio</a> &mdash; the amount of debt you have compared to how much credit you have available. Even when you pay off your statement balance in full, that balance is reported to the major consumer credit bureaus as debt for the month, and that can have a temporary impact on your credit score.</p> <p>If you have an excellent credit score and a large amount of available credit, then you shouldn't expect much of an impact. But if you have a limited amount of credit, then consuming it with a large purchase could cause your credit score to drop dramatically. One way to avoid this is to make a large payment before your statement period ends. Doing this will reduce your statement balance and its impact on your credit score.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-things-to-consider-before-making-a-big-purchase-for-rewards-points&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Things%2520to%2520Consider%2520Before%2520Making%2520a%2520Big%2520Purchase%2520for%2520Rewards%2520Points.jpg&amp;description=6%20Things%20to%20Consider%20Before%20Making%20a%20Big%20Purchase%20for%20Rewards%20Points"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Things%20to%20Consider%20Before%20Making%20a%20Big%20Purchase%20for%20Rewards%20Points.jpg" alt="6 Things to Consider Before Making a Big Purchase for Rewards Points" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-things-to-consider-before-making-a-big-purchase-for-rewards-points">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-store-card-pitfalls-to-watch-out-for">5 Store Card Pitfalls to Watch Out for</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="https://www.wisebread.com/why-the-best-credit-card-rewards-strategy-is-a-slow-one">Why the Best Credit Card Rewards Strategy Is a Slow One</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="https://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-credit-card-perks-thatll-make-your-summer-travels-easier">Use These 8 Credit Card Perks to Save Big and Have More Fun on Your Summer Vacation</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="https://www.wisebread.com/2-minute-guide-how-to-use-balance-transfers-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt">2-Minute Guide: How to Use Balance Transfers to Pay Off Credit Card Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Shopping credit card debt credit card rewards credit card tips earning points and rewards shopping tips Thu, 29 Mar 2018 09:30:21 +0000 Jason Steele 2123634 at https://www.wisebread.com How Scarcity Marketing Tricks You to Spend More https://www.wisebread.com/how-scarcity-marketing-tricks-you-to-spend-more <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-scarcity-marketing-tricks-you-to-spend-more" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_can_not_choose_stylish_pumps.jpg" alt="Woman cannot choose stylish pumps" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was four years old, Xavier Roberts took the toy world by storm by launching the Cabbage Patch Kids. These dolls seemed to be everywhere, except on store shelves. This was back in 1983, when shopping meant showing up at a brick-and-mortar store. Most stores at the time only stocked between 200 and 500 of the dolls, which did not meet demand of the thousands of parents desperate to get their hands on the must-have toy of the year. Fights sometimes broke out between shoppers, and these reactions were dubbed the Cabbage Patch riots.</p> <p>It was unclear whether scarcity was an intentional tactic to help sell Cabbage Patch Kids, but many believed it was a marketing strategy &mdash; including the Consumer Affairs Department of New York's Nassau County, which accused the company of &quot;harassing&quot; children with advertisements for unavailable dolls. Meaning that Roberts was offering goods without the intent to supply them. This false-advertising charge, along with the news reports of violent altercations in toy stores, added even more truth to the idea that Cabbage Patch Kids were so scarce that kids would be lucky to ever get their hands on one.</p> <p>The Cabbage Patch craze was a textbook example of how scarcity marketing (whether fully intentional or not) can trick people into spending money. Looking back, a Cabbage Patch doll was hardly worth the time, effort, and money necessary to buy one in 1983. They were kind of funny looking, and children moved on to the next hot toy by the following year.</p> <p>But that sense of scarcity has a way of making us forget how to think rationally, and marketers are well aware of this. It's important to understand how scarcity marketing tricks you into spending more money, and what you can do to fight it.</p> <h2>Understanding scarcity marketing</h2> <p>The point of scarcity marketing is to make you fear that you'll lose out on something you want. In effect, scarcity marketing is triggering your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-loss-aversion-is-costing-you-more-than-your-fomo?ref=internal" target="_blank">sense of loss aversion</a>. This is the cognitive bias that causes us to more acutely feel a <em>loss </em>than we do a <em>gain</em>. When our loss aversion is triggered, we'll work harder to avoid kicking ourselves for losing something than we would work to gain something we want.</p> <p>This is what makes scarcity marketing so pernicious, because it's pairing a gain (whatever it is we want to buy) with the fear of losing that gain. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-your-brain-tricks-you-into-spending?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Ways Your Brain Tricks You Into Spending</a>)</p> <p>There are three main strategies retailers use scarcity marketing to make you keenly feel loss aversion.</p> <h3>Having a small amount of inventory</h3> <p>This was what happened in the great Cabbage Patch shortage of 1983, and is also something you will often see with Black Friday sales. Black Friday sale flyers will promise some really great deals, but they will all sport the caveat, &quot;supplies are limited!&quot;</p> <p>This also happens with online purchases. You might notice that Amazon will helpfully let you know that only four hard copies of the book you are about to order are left, so you should hurry and make that purchase. Never mind the fact that Amazon is literally open 24/7. Similarly, if you are searching for anything from concert tickets to vacation rentals, the website will share with you just how many other people are interested in the tickets or weekend getaway &mdash; thereby making you fear missing out.</p> <h3>Putting an expiration date on a purchase</h3> <p>Parents of Disney-loving children understand the frustration of learning that a beloved movie is &quot;in the vault.&quot; This savvy scarcity marketing strategy from the House of Mouse limits how often and for how long different Disney movies are available for purchase before they are &quot;returned to the vault&quot; for another seven years. If you miss out on purchasing a replacement DVD of <a href="http://amzn.to/2FO2oVg" target="_blank">Beauty and the Beast</a> or <a href="http://amzn.to/2tgqup4" target="_blank">Fantasia</a>, then you are out of luck until after your toddler has become a preteen. (This strategy worked best for Disney before eBay was invented, but it's still a smart marketing move.)</p> <p>You'll also see these kinds of expiration date strategies on everything from Groupon offers to &quot;One day only&quot; sales. They make you feel like you must grab the purchase now before it goes away, possibly forever &mdash; which is what seven years feels like if you can't find a copy of <em>101 Dalmatians</em> and it's all your child wants.</p> <h3>Adding a timer to your purchase</h3> <p>Have you ever noticed that Ticketmaster.com asks you to finalize your purchase in two minutes? The site even provides you with a countdown clock of that two-minute time frame before &quot;your tickets are released for others to buy.&quot;</p> <p>While Ticketmaster (reasonably) claims that it offers a countdown in order to make it fair for all fans to be able to purchase tickets, the extremely short two-minute time frame (which assumes you haven't left your wallet in another room) plus the reference to &quot;your tickets&quot; are all set up to maximize your sense of loss aversion.</p> <p>Ticketmaster and other companies that provide a timer for your purchase are counting on your inability to think rationally about a purchase when you feel as if time is ticking away. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-mental-biases-that-are-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Mental Biases That Are Keeping You Poor</a>)</p> <h2>Outsmarting scarcity marketing</h2> <p>Just because salespeople and marketing departments know how to manipulate your sense of loss aversion doesn't mean you have to fall it. Here are some tricks for keeping scarcity marketing from removing money from your wallet.</p> <h3>Buy gifts early</h3> <p>Part of the reason why Cabbage Patch Kids were so insanely popular was because of the timing of their release &mdash; just in time for Christmas in 1983. Many of the parents who found themselves in shouting matches in the aisles of the local Toys 'R Us felt like they had to get one of these dolls in time for Christmas Day.</p> <p>But parents who plan and purchase Christmas gifts early do not feel the same kind of desperation for the season's hottest toy, because they know they already have plenty of great things to wrap and put under the tree. Being deliberate about choosing and paying for gifts well before the gift-giving season frees you from the frenzied thinking that <em>this particular toy</em> is what will make this a memorable and happy holiday for your child.</p> <h3>Imagine throwing the item away</h3> <p>In many cases, the items sold to you via scarcity marketing are things that you simply don't need &mdash; and you can probably remember the short life cycles of various items in your life that went from cute product offered for a limited time, to something collecting dust on a shelf, to a Goodwill donation within a few short years.</p> <p>So when you're tempted to buy something because it's on sale for one day only or may otherwise soon be out of your reach, imagine how it will feel to donate or throw that item away in a relatively short time frame. Wouldn't you rather save your money and avoid the clutter?</p> <h3>Institute a 24-hour purchase rule</h3> <p>When we're in the grips of loss aversion, whatever it is we feel like we need to buy seems urgent. The best way to release yourself from that artificial urgency is to institute a 24-hour rule. If you're not sure if you should buy something, then wait 24 hours to see if you still want it as badly after a full day has passed.</p> <p>Waiting 24 hours to make a decision to buy is not going to make a difference in the majority of purchases, and as Mikelann Valterra of Forbes puts it, &quot;in the space between thought and action resides judgment. Give yourself some space to consciously think.&quot;</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-scarcity-marketing-tricks-you-to-spend-more&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520Scarcity%2520Marketing%2520Tricks%2520You%2520to%2520Spend%2520More.jpg&amp;description=How%20Scarcity%20Marketing%20Tricks%20You%20to%20Spend%20More"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20Scarcity%20Marketing%20Tricks%20You%20to%20Spend%20More.jpg" alt="How Scarcity Marketing Tricks You to Spend More" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-scarcity-marketing-tricks-you-to-spend-more">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="https://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase">The One Question You Should Ask Before Every Major Purchase</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/9-unusual-stores-where-you-can-find-great-bargains">9 Unusual Stores Where You Can Find Great Bargains</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="https://www.wisebread.com/8-items-you-should-never-buy-online">8 Items You Should Never Buy Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-things-its-better-to-buy-at-the-last-minute">6 Things It&#039;s Better to Buy at the Last Minute</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-college-perks-you-might-be-missing-out-on">8 College Perks You Might Be Missing Out On</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping marketing tactics mental bias shopping tips Shopping Tricks spending more Fri, 09 Mar 2018 10:00:06 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2113552 at https://www.wisebread.com How to Rack Up Extra Rewards Points by Buying Gift Cards https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-rack-up-extra-rewards-points-by-buying-gift-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-rack-up-extra-rewards-points-by-buying-gift-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businesspeople_exchanging_visiting_card.jpg" alt="Businesspeople Exchanging Visiting Card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you're out of ideas for buying a present, a gift card can be an easy way out. Not only are gift cards available for use at most major retailers, but they're easy to find. You can buy gift cards while doing your other shopping at supermarkets, office supply stores, and drugstores. And if you're trying to maximize the amount of credit card rewards you earn, buying gift cards can be an important tool in your arsenal.</p> <h2>Buying gift cards at the right store</h2> <p>Since many different stores sell gift cards, buying a gift card can be an opportunity to earn additional rewards for your purchase. For example, some credit cards offer bonus rewards at grocery stores, which typically have large racks full of gift cards. Also, there are small-business credit cards that offer as many as five points per dollar spent at office supply stores, which can have a vast selection of gift cards.</p> <p>In fact, some credit card rewards enthusiasts will often buy gift cards for their own personal consumption, in order to earn bonus rewards for their purchases. For example, if you have a large home improvement project, you might choose to purchase Home Depot gift cards at an office supply store using a small-business credit card that offers you 5x points there.</p> <h2>Purchasing gift cards to meet a minimum spending requirement</h2> <p>Many credit cards offer extremely valuable welcome bonuses of points, miles, or cash back to new applicants. However, these offers usually require you to spend a specific amount, often several thousand dollars, within a limited time period &mdash; typically three months. If you are unable to meet that requirement through your normal spending, you could consider purchasing gift cards that you can use later. Of course, you shouldn't consider doing so unless you are able to avoid interest charges by paying off your entire statement balance in full.</p> <h2>Retail versus general purpose gift cards</h2> <p>When purchasing gift cards, you have two options. The first is to purchase a gift card for a specific retailer. These are sometimes called &quot;closed loop cards,&quot; because you can only use them at that retailer. Closed loop cards will not carry any additional fees, so a $100 gift card will only cost $100.00. On the other hand, these cards can only be used for purchases at a single store or restaurant.</p> <p>The other option is to purchase a general purpose gift card that allows you to make purchases at any retailer that participates in a payment network such as Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. These are known as &quot;open loop gift cards.&quot; While they offer additional flexibility, you'll have to pay fees to activate and use them, which can be as high as $8.95 per card. Furthermore, there are some retailers that won't allow you to purchase generic gift cards with your credit card.</p> <h2>Earning additional rewards from your gift card purchases</h2> <p>Beyond the rewards offered by your credit card issuer, it's also possible to earn additional rewards directly from a store. For example, some supermarkets will give you fuel points for all purchases including gift cards. These points will allow you to save money when purchasing gas from their fuel centers. And wholesale stores often give their members some amount of cash back for their annual purchases, which can include gift cards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-to-use-at-costco?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards to Use at Costco</a>)</p> <h2>Gift card reselling</h2> <p>Some hobbyists have found a way to earn credit card rewards by buying discounted gift cards and then reselling them. With these transactions, the buyer might take a small monetary loss, break even, or even make a very small profit, all while earning enough points, miles, or cash back from their credit cards to justify the purchase.</p> <p>However, this isn't an easy way to generate reward points or to earn money. Anyone who gets into this hobby should be extremely organized with their finances, and should never incur credit card debt in the process. The debt will negate any small value you gain from the rewards you earn. Also, there's no guarantee you can offload the gift cards, or that selling fees won't eat up any of those gains, either.</p> <p>Gift cards can make for good gifts, but there are a lot of other uses for them. By buying the right gift cards from the right retailer, you can possibly earn valuable rewards for your purchases.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-rack-up-extra-rewards-points-by-buying-gift-cards&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Rack%2520Up%2520Extra%2520Rewards%2520Points%2520by%2520Buying%2520Gift%2520Cards.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Rack%20Up%20Extra%20Rewards%20Points%20by%20Buying%20Gift%20Cards"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Rack%20Up%20Extra%20Rewards%20Points%20by%20Buying%20Gift%20Cards.jpg" alt="How to Rack Up Extra Rewards Points by Buying Gift Cards" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-rack-up-extra-rewards-points-by-buying-gift-cards">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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-use-technology-to-save-on-christmas-shopping">6 Easy Ways to Use Technology to Save on Christmas Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-sign-up-for-airline-rewards-even-if-you-dont-travel-much">Why You Should Sign Up for Airline Rewards Even If You Don&#039;t Travel Much</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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-things-to-consider-before-making-a-big-purchase-for-rewards-points">6 Things to Consider Before Making a Big Purchase for Rewards Points</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-up-remaining-balances-on-prepaid-gift-cards">How to Use Up Remaining Balances on Prepaid Gift Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping credit card rewards gift buying gift card tips gift cards rewards points shopping tips Thu, 01 Mar 2018 09:30:09 +0000 Jason Steele 2108840 at https://www.wisebread.com How to Dress for Success Before You're Successful https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-dress-for-success-before-youre-successful <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-dress-for-success-before-youre-successful" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_trying_new_cloth.jpg" alt="Woman trying new cloth" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Designer suits, handbags, shoes, and accessories &mdash; these are often visual displays of wealth and success. Unfortunately, when looking for our next big opportunity, interviewers expect us to dress the part before we're actually making the kind of money required to do so.</p> <p>Luckily, you don't have to make mega bucks in order to <em>look</em> successful. There are plenty of ways you can dress the part without emptying your wallet. Here are a few tips on how you can dress for success before you're successful.</p> <h2>1. Rent your outfits</h2> <p>Can't afford to buy a new suit or dress? Rent it instead.</p> <p><a href="https://www.renttherunway.com/" target="_blank">Rent the Runway</a> is perfect for finding trendy and special-occasion pieces at a fraction of the cost. Essentially, with Rent the Runway you pay to rent a designer piece for a few days or weeks. So instead of paying thousands of dollars, you can rent a designer suit, for instance, for around $100. Rent the Runway is ideal for anyone who is looking to make a big impression, but isn't quite ready to buy designer clothing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-save-money-on-clothing?ref=seealso" target="_blank">50 Ways to Update Your Wardrobe for Cheap</a>)</p> <h2>2. Go thrifting</h2> <p>You may be surprised at what you can find while thrifting. Goodwill, local thrift shops, and consignment stores are all great places to find designer clothing at a discount. You never know what kinds of quality gems are hidden on thrift shop racks. Thrift shops are particularly useful for finding basic pieces, such as professional blouses and skirts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thrifting-the-perfect-designer-wardrobe?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Thrifting the Perfect Designer Wardrobe</a>)</p> <h2>3. Online consignment shops</h2> <p>If you aren't having luck with local thrift shops, you can always try consignment clothing websites and apps, such as <a href="https://www.thredup.com/" target="_blank">ThredUp</a> and <a href="https://poshmark.com/" target="_blank">Poshmark</a>. With these sites, you can score many gently used designer pieces for under $50. Many items sell quickly, so be sure to act fast if you see a piece you really want. You can also sell your unwanted items for credit on these sites, and spend $0 out of pocket shopping for the work attire you need. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-old-clothes-into-money-with-these-4-tools-and-apps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Turn Old Clothes Into Money With These 4 Tools and Apps</a>)</p> <h2>4. Shop your friends' closets</h2> <p>Think you're too old to share clothes with your siblings or friends? Think again. Many of your peers are likely in the same boat as you. They may be looking for the next step in their career, but don't have a lot of extra money to spend on a new wardrobe. Help a sister (or brother) out when they're interviewing for a new job by lending them some of your clothes, and they'll likely to return the favor someday.</p> <h2>5. Keep it neat</h2> <p>Your clothes can play in an important part in your overall look, but what's even more important is the impression you leave. Simple things, like making sure you're practicing good posture, smile, and keeping your hair and makeup tidy can make a world of a difference in how others view you.</p> <h2>6. Check out department stores</h2> <p>When considering where to find clothes for cheap, department stores may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But often, they run super sales on clothing you can wear to work, such as suits, bags, and other basics. Keep your eye out to see if you can score some classic pieces for cheap.</p> <h2>7. Befriend the local cobbler</h2> <p>Cobblers might seem slightly old school, but they can miraculously make your old shoes look (and feel) brand-new again. Instead of spending your last dollars to purchase a new pair of shoes, talk to your cobbler to see if he or she can resuscitate what you already have.</p> <h2>8. Skip the dry cleaning</h2> <p>Most dress clothes shouldn't actually be sent to the cleaners after each wear. For delicates, such as silk or cashmere, dry cleaning can actually damage the fabric. So what can you do?</p> <p>Silk and cashmere should be hand-washed in most cases in order to extend the life of the piece. Wool suits need to be steamed and cleaned only when necessary. You can purchase a bottle of <a href="http://amzn.to/2Hj31Xh" target="_blank">wool or cashmere cleaner</a> and spot treat any minor stains. To freshen up your suit, you can always wash down the lining or spray with nonirritating fabric freshener.</p> <h2>9. Accessorize</h2> <p>If you have a few quality clothing pieces already, but are looking to make each outfit more your style, you can always accessorize. Accessories, such as jewelry, purses, pocket squares, or ties don't have to cost much, but they can update an outfit in an instant. Plus, accessories are easy to store and won't take up as much space in your closet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-find-inexpensive-accessories?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Places to Find Inexpensive Accessories</a>)</p> <h2>10. Keep it simple</h2> <p>When choosing professional pieces, it's a good idea to choose classic designs with simple, neutral colors. That way, you can mix and match everything in your closet, making it look like you have more clothing options than you really do. And by sticking with the classics, you'll be able to wear each piece for years to come, which saves you money in the long run. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-wardrobe-basics-for-women-that-are-worth-investing-in?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Wardrobe Basics for Women That Are Worth Investing In</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-dress-for-success-before-youre-successful&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Dress%2520for%2520Success%2520Before%2520Youre%2520Successful.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Dress%20for%20Success%20Before%20Youre%20Successful"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Dress%20for%20Success%20Before%20Youre%20Successful.jpg" alt="How to Dress for Success Before You're Successful" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/rachel-slifka">Rachel Slifka</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-dress-for-success-before-youre-successful">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="https://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-gel-nail-polishes">The 5 Best Gel Nail Polishes</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-master-these-10-shopping-skills-before-you-hit-30">How to Master These 10 Shopping Skills Before You Hit 30</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="https://www.wisebread.com/affordable-accessories-to-kickstart-your-style">Affordable Accessories to Kickstart Your Style</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-your-money-back-when-you-re-denied-a-refund">How to Get Your Money Back When You’re Denied a Refund</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="https://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Style career tips Dress for Success professional attire saving money on clothes shopping tips work clothes Fri, 23 Feb 2018 09:00:07 +0000 Rachel Slifka 2106616 at https://www.wisebread.com 8 Things That Are Cheaper to Replace Than to Fix https://www.wisebread.com/8-things-that-are-cheaper-to-replace-than-to-fix <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-things-that-are-cheaper-to-replace-than-to-fix" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/broken_fridge_902703032.jpg" alt="Finding things that are cheaper to replace than to fix" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before you hire a handyperson to fix what's broken, consider the cost. The truth is, some things are cheaper to send to the scrap heap and replace with new or refurbished models, than to repair. From wonky TVs to cordless vacuum cleaners (and a few other everyday items), here are eight things you're better off parting with before it becomes a money pit.</p> <h2>1. Most appliances</h2> <p>On average, appliance repair services charge between&nbsp;<a href="https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/kitchens/repair-an-appliance/" target="_blank">$100 and $250 an hour for labor on major appliances</a>, according to HomeAdvisor, and that's before you factor in the price of parts and other service fees and taxes. Smaller appliances, like microwaves, can be repaired for around $70 an hour (plus the cost of parts), but when you consider the cost of a <a href="http://amzn.to/2Hhh6nI" target="_blank">new microwave</a> &mdash; most decent models of which fall in the $50 to $100 range &mdash; you'd be silly not to just update the broken machine. HouseLogic.com provides a tip on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/home-maintenance-tips/when-to-repair-or-replace-large-appliances/" target="_blank">how to decide to repair or replace</a>. It's called the 50-percent rule, and it suggests that if an appliance is more than 50 percent through its life span, and if the cost of one repair is more than 50 percent of the cost of buying new, then you should replace rather than repair.</p> <p>You could, of course, try to DIY the fix, like I did with a dishwasher that stopped draining water efficiently. I went online to research the problem, and I found a helpful YouTube video that walked me through how to remove the parts. Working through it, I discovered a rogue screw in the chopper element of the dishwasher, which was clogging it up. The 20-minute project from start to finish saved me a few hundred dollars.</p> <p>Before you take drastic measures, however, check to make sure the appliance is actually broken. Is it plugged in? Have circuit breakers tripped? Has flooring become uneven? (This can stop some appliances from turning on.) Are the vents and filters clear of lint, dust, and debris? Once you've assessed the situation appropriately, make your next move. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-help-your-appliances-retain-their-value?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Smart Ways to Help Your Appliances Retain Their Value</a>)</p> <h2>2. Car parts</h2> <p>Across the board, it's almost always cheaper to replace a broken car part than repair it.</p> <p>&quot;Unless you're driving a much older car whose replacement parts are very hard to come by, parts are abundant for modern vehicles,&quot; says Richard Reina, product training director of CARiD.com, an online aftermarket auto retailer. &quot;In addition to being more readily available, new, mass-produced parts tend to cost less than more custom replacement parts of the past. Finally, repairing a broken element of your vehicle, no matter how simple, can come with incredibly high labor costs. It is not cost-efficient to pay a technician $40 an hour or more to spend four hours removing a component and rebuilding it, when the total cost of replacement is less. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-diy-car-repairs-to-save-big?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Easy DIY Car Repairs to Save Big</a>)</p> <h2>3. TVs</h2> <p>I never buy the warranty when I get a new television, because reliable brand-name TVs are relatively inexpensive these days, especially when they're on sale. I've never owned a TV that has malfunctioned in any way. That's probably because I tend to upgrade every five years or so (picture quality, sound, and size changes so drastically over that time that I can't help myself), but even if the TV did break somehow and it was out of warranty, I'd just replace it.</p> <h2>4. Coffee machines</h2> <p>At the high end of home or office coffee machines, you're looking at a $200 to $250 investment, but most in-the-middle models cost around $150. However, you can definitely get a perfectly fine coffee machine for around $20, which is why replacement over repair makes sense here.</p> <p>A friend told me a story of her work coffee machine breaking down, and since it was a crucial part of the office, they wanted it fixed ASAP. Initially, they researched if they could fix it themselves, but it became clear how expensive it would be. Since it was out of warranty, they would've had to buy replacement parts to try to fix it. After hopping on eBay and other local suppliers, they noticed that the prices were ridiculously high to buy new parts. There were also no guarantees that the machine would work after buying them. To save time and money, they decided to buy a brand-new coffee machine, which was cheaper than the individual parts collectively, plus it came with a brand-new two-year warranty &mdash; an added value you should always consider when contemplating a repair versus replacement.</p> <h2>5. Cordless vacuum cleaners</h2> <p>ModernCastle.com, a site dedicated to reviewing vacuum cleaners, recently did a test of cordless vacuums that it identified as more expensive to repair than replace. The most common issue is a dying battery, because most of the batteries are lithium ion, which only last two to three years.</p> <p>Editor-in-chief Derek Hales provided a few examples of the research.</p> <p>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2EF4c4G" target="_blank">Shark Pet Perfect 2</a> has a replacement battery that costs as much as a brand-new unit (about $50). The <a href="http://amzn.to/2HgzMUH" target="_blank">Black &amp; Decker V16 Cordless</a> and <a href="http://amzn.to/2CjjuXr" target="_blank">Bissell Pet Hair Cordless</a>, on the other hand, don't have replacement batteries available, forcing you to buy a new model every couple of years. Repair isn't even an option, and that's problematic for an appliance with such a short life span. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-long-these-6-appliances-should-last?ref=seealso" target="_blank">This Is How Long These 6 Appliances Should Last</a>)</p> <p>It's worth noting that some companies that sell battery-operated appliances will replace the battery for free if you reach out to customer service and explain your issue.</p> <h2>6. Clothing</h2> <p>If you have expensive designer pieces, especially handbags or shoes, repair is probably worth the investment, mostly because these accessories have a respectable resale value. Otherwise, the only thing I consider is how much I love a piece, which isn't much since I don't have any attachment to specific items in my closet, and I welcome the chance to buy new ones. For example, I had a few sweaters taken in a few years ago after I lost a bit of weight, and the bill was up there. Almost as much as buying the sweaters brand-new, and I would have if they were available in a smaller size, but they weren't. Everything else, I just toss, donate, or learn to love with its new imperfection. I buy everything on super sale anyway, so repair isn't worth the consideration.</p> <h2>7. Hot water heaters or boilers</h2> <p>Boilers pose a dilemma when it comes to replacing or repairing. It ultimately comes down to what the problem is (which will likely only be solved with a service call) and how badly the unit is affected.</p> <p>Older boilers that haven't had many issues are prime candidates for the scrap yard, especially if they haven't been serviced regularly. Older models also are likely to cost more to repair than their newer counterparts; newer models eventually become the standard to consider, as well as the age and pressure through the years.</p> <p>The initial costs of a repair won't match new installation. But while it may seem cheaper now, additional damages and inefficient running costs should be a consideration for boilers that are more than 10 years old.</p> <h2>8. Gaming consoles</h2> <p>You're more likely to spend more on repairing a PS4 or Xbox One than replacing. Repairs to these systems can take some time, and when you factor in shipping costs (because have you experienced shipping costs lately?), you're probably better off buying a new console altogether.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-things-that-are-cheaper-to-replace-than-to-fix&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Things%2520That%2520Are%2520Cheaper%2520to%2520Replace%2520Than%2520to%2520Fix.jpg&amp;description=8%20Things%20That%20Are%20Cheaper%20to%20Replace%20Than%20to%20Fix"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Things%20That%20Are%20Cheaper%20to%20Replace%20Than%20to%20Fix.jpg" alt="8 Things That Are Cheaper to Replace Than to Fix" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-things-that-are-cheaper-to-replace-than-to-fix">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-big-on-appliances">7 Ways to Save Big on Appliances</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="https://www.wisebread.com/5-household-fixes-you-should-stop-paying-others-for">5 Household Fixes You Should Stop Paying Others For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-genius-ways-to-stock-up-on-school-supplies">6 Genius Ways to Stock Up on School Supplies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-college-perks-you-might-be-missing-out-on">8 College Perks You Might Be Missing Out On</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="https://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase">The One Question You Should Ask Before Every Major Purchase</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping broken appliance car repair Home repair saving money shopping tips Mon, 19 Feb 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Mikey Rox 2105464 at https://www.wisebread.com 15 Winter Must-Haves to Keep in Your Car https://www.wisebread.com/15-winter-must-haves-to-keep-in-your-car <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-winter-must-haves-to-keep-in-your-car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_scraping_and_cleans_snow_off_car.jpg" alt="Woman scraping and cleans snow off car" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having your car break down in the winter sucks, but not as much as breaking down and being stranded without the proper supplies. You never know how long you'll be stuck on the side of the road, and without the right tools and survival supplies, you could be in serious danger. Avoid adding insult to injury (hopefully not literally) with these items that you should have in your car when winter weather is a threat to driving safety.</p> <h2>1. Ice scraper</h2> <p>Take it from someone who used to use debit cards to chip away at ice on my windshield, an <a href="http://amzn.to/2DOovJ8" target="_blank">ice scraper</a> is worth the investment &mdash; if only so you don't have to keep calling your bank to request new cards.</p> <h2>2. Jumper cables</h2> <p>You can't go anywhere if your battery is dead, which means you could be stuck for a long time if you're in a secluded area with no cell service or a dead phone. Keep <a href="http://amzn.to/2Gx5HAa" target="_blank">jumper cables</a> in your car (at all times!) to avoid this precarious predicament.</p> <p>Adds CARiD.com's product training director Richard Reina, &quot;Another, lesser-known item that might be helpful during the winter is a battery blanket. Batteries lose their starting power in the cold and these blankets can help extend the life of your battery and help it start during cold conditions.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-car-battery-warmers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Car Battery Warmers</a>)</p> <h2>3. Foldable shovel</h2> <p>You can find relatively inexpensive, <a href="http://amzn.to/2DNIAiQ" target="_blank">foldable snow shovels</a> that can slide under seats and in the trunks of even the smallest cars. These are essential if you encounter an unexpected snowstorm that leaves your car buried.</p> <h2>4. Extra vehicle fluids</h2> <p>Having small amounts of vital vehicle fluids, like de-icing and wiper fluids, will help you avoid the very dangerous situation of running out and therefore not being able to see through your windows properly. Add wintry precipitation into the mix and you have a recipe for disaster.</p> <p>&quot;Many brands of de-icing fluid suggest using a 50/50 mix of fluid and water,&quot; adds Reina. &quot;In the winter, particularly if you live somewhere that gets very cold, you may want to switch to using 100 percent fluid in your vehicle.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Snow salt</h2> <p>Keep a small amount of <a href="http://amzn.to/2DQ6oTj" target="_blank">snow salt</a> in the car to help with traction and melting if you encounter a slippery situation. It could mean the difference between working your car free from the snow and ice or not being to get out until someone arrives to help.</p> <h2>6. Flashlight</h2> <p>A lot of people rely on their phones as a flashlight, but you can't put all your eggs in that basket when it comes to car safety, because the phone could die, and you will need to preserve the battery until help arrives. Instead, keep a battery-operated or crank <a href="http://amzn.to/2rV2kjb" target="_blank">flashlight</a> in your car. It's much more reliable and likely brighter.</p> <h2>7. Blankets</h2> <p>If your car's stuck in the cold winter weather, it may take a while for help to arrive. Blankets, particularly made of wool, will help you stay warm if your car is dead and without heat. I also like to carry those hand-warming packets to put in my gloves and shoes; they help me stay toasty out in the cold, and they'll make you more comfortable if you're stranded. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-on-12-winter-essentials?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Save on 12 Winter Essentials</a>)</p> <h2>8. First-aid kit</h2> <p>I keep a first-aid kit in my car at all times, because you never know when you'll need a bandage or other quick-fix medical supplies. Exposed cuts and scrapes can get infected quickly, so it's better to be safe than sorry. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-first-aid-kits?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best First Aid Kits</a>)</p> <h2>9. Tow Rope</h2> <p>A <a href="http://amzn.to/2DMgN2q" target="_blank">tow rope</a> can get you out of those annoying snow ditches, but you also can help others when they're in the same situations. Sharing is caring.</p> <h2>10. An extra pair of clothes</h2> <p>If you're out in the snow, even for a short amount of time, you're going to get wet. Your shoes and gloves will be affected the most, and your hands and feet are extremities you want to keep the warmest. Keep an extra pair of clothing, including socks and shoes, in your trunk so you can change and warm up promptly. You don't want to run the risk of frostbite or hypothermia.</p> <h2>11. Water</h2> <p>You can live at least three weeks without food, but you'll be in pretty bad shape just a few days after your last sip of water. The upside to winter weather, of course, is that if there's snow on the ground, you can eat it to stay hydrated. Just stay away from the yellow patches.</p> <h2>12. Matches and lighters</h2> <p>I keep lighters and matches in a plastic bag in my car just in case I need to start a fire, whether for warmth or a smoke signal. The adventurer in me kind of looks forward to the opportunity, but not when it's teeth-chattering degrees outside.</p> <h2>13. Whistle</h2> <p>It may be hard for your cries for help to cut through wind and precipitation on a particularly stormy winter day. A whistle will do a much better job of that, and could lead potential rescuers to your location.</p> <h2>14. Gloves</h2> <p>You can't do anything helpful for yourself in the event your car breaks down if your hands are frozen.</p> <p>Winter-preparedness advocate Paul Grattan, a sergeant with the NYPD's Transit Bureau, suggests carrying appropriate <a href="http://amzn.to/2DLAIhN" target="_blank">winter gloves</a> or mittens.</p> <p>&quot;They'll help you during snow removal, towing, minor repairs, or tire changes, and they can help you recover and conserve body heat when you're stranded or returning to your vehicle from the cold. I don't rely on the pair I wear during the winter alone; I always carry an extra pair in the car.&quot;</p> <h2>15. Nonperishable snacks</h2> <p>Yeah, you can survive for a while without food, but you don't have to if you pack a few nonperishable snacks in your vehicle.</p> <p>&quot;Dried foods, such as jerky and fruit, as well as nuts, nut butters, and snack bars are great because they are energy-dense,&quot; says Emily Patterson, safety and security expert at ASecureLife.com. &quot;They can keep you going if you're stuck in a storm or with a mechanical issue &mdash; or even just on a road trip with a significant distance between stops.&quot;</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F15-winter-must-haves-to-keep-in-your-car&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F15%2520Winter%2520Must-Haves%2520to%2520Keep%2520in%2520Your%2520Car.jpg&amp;description=15%20Winter%20Must-Haves%20to%20Keep%20in%20Your%20Car"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/15%20Winter%20Must-Haves%20to%20Keep%20in%20Your%20Car.jpg" alt="15 Winter Must-Haves to Keep in Your Car" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/15-winter-must-haves-to-keep-in-your-car">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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