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Boredom & Spending

As the old saying goes: Familiarity breeds contempt (of people).  There is, however, a lesser known variation of this famous phrase (lesser known because I just made it up, feel free to spread it around):  Familiarity breeds boredom (of stuff).   

Boredom can have many negative side effects: dizziness, weight gain, whining, grumpiness, and, perhaps most disturbingly, unnecessary spending! 

Don’t get me wrong, change is good, I’m a huge fan of change.  Why, I change my underpants almost daily (joke, just a joke people).  Sometimes, however, boredom can lead to discontentment which can lead to the urge/desire/need to change EVERYTHING.   

Most likely, everything does not need to be changed (unless there is shag carpet involved).  Often times, something “new” doesn’t even need to be purchased.  When you can’t get no satisfaction, looking around and working with what you already have may actually turn out to be more rewarding and fulfilling than going on a shopping spree. 

What if instead you:

Rearranged – your desk, your living room, your bookshelves.

Purged – I’m always amazed by how different a room looks when stuff is taken out of it. 

Cleansed – just as your car drives smoother after the car wash, your house will run more efficiently when it’s clean.

Or Changed Something…

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Article publié pour la première fois le 14/09/2010

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Money Carnivals

Here are the carnivals where I was featured this week!


Editors Choice! Carinval of Personal Finance @ Provident Planning – 4 Bad Deals


Festival of Frugality @ Frugal for Life – The Problem With Easy Money


Carnival of Money Stories @ Intelligent Speculator – Take This Job and Shove It?



Enjoy!


Article publié pour la première fois le 27/08/2010

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The Non-Sale Sale

A couple of days ago I went to Kohl’s with Mom.  She wanted a pair of new earrings and I decided it was high time I bought a new pair of sunglasses since I sat on my last pair over 7 months ago (and, while I was at it, a new wallet – one that didn’t look like I found it in the garbage). 

I had every intention of saving the receipt to show y’all, but in the frenzy of cleaning my car yesterday I tossed it.  Luckily I have an excellent memory when it comes to receipts (not really, but it seemed like a good segue), here’s approximately how it looked (we paid together):

Kohl’s

Gold Earnings…………..$90

Sale Price………….$30

Wallet…………………….$40

Sale Price………….$20

Sunglasses………………$30

Sale Price………….$10

 

Total………………………$60

You Saved $100!

 

Take a short survey at Kohls.com

for a chance to win $5,000 and a

puppy!

 

In answer to the question I hear you asking in your head: No, I’m not one of those awesome sale-shoppers that can get $100 worth of groceries for a nickel.  We actually put almost zero effort into our $100 in savings; we did bring in the mailer 15% off coupon, but that didn’t require much thought. 

Not to sound like an ingrate, but I’m skeptical about the amount actually we saved.  The more I think about it, the more I realize that I’ve never actually bought anything at Kohl’s that wasn’t on sale; not because I’m trying mind you, but because there is always a sale at Kohl’s.  

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Article publié pour la première fois le 03/11/2010

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Around the Interwebs – Week of July 26

Could You Live Without Your TV @ SmartMoney


How to Work With Your Spouse on the Budget @ Christian PF


Wants that Morph Into Needs @ PF Advice


Article publié pour la première fois le 31/07/2010

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Debt be gone: Leaving Debt Behind Us

The following is a guest post by Lisa @ Frugal Living

Are you in debt?  Depending on your definition of “debt,” you may or may not be in the majority of the population.  At get paid each month – like a mortgage, or a car payment. Some consider “being in debt” as having normal everyday payments that are paid each month. Others, who are thousands of dollars in debt and accumulating late fees, know they are in debt because they are in over their heads and struggling to get out. For many, unfortunately, getting out of debt is no easy task – but a slow and steady effort is often the best and only course of action.

The Magic Diet Pill

Remember when diet pills were all the rage?  Well, “were” might not be the best term, as that industry will perhaps always be present.  And while it is likely impossible to quantify, we could all agree that the consumers who take diet pills could be great in number, at the very least.

We can quantify debt, however.  In statistics taken from EconomyWatch (via Moneyzine and Hoffman Brinker), consumer debt in the United States amounted to $2.4 trillion in 2010 – $7,800 per person.  1 in 10 consumers has more than 10 credit cards.  1 in 50 households have more than $20,000 in credit card debt.  The numbers go on and on, such as the 1 in 160 who have filed for bankruptcy across the country.

In the parallels between remedies – diet pills or wondrous ways out of debt – effectiveness may be questioned.  Sure, diet pills may work for some people in certain situations, just as bankruptcy and debt counseling may be right for others.  What about everyone else?  What if those “easy” ways are not right for you?

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

What is the solution?  If it isn’t bankruptcy or debt counseling, then what is it – another credit card with a 0% APR for 12 months (more debt), a personal loan (more debt), or a second job?

Well, maybe.  The truth is that each household is different.  While we can attach a number to account for the average household debt ($15,799, by the way, according to the Federal Reserve’s July 2011 report on consumer credit), there is no single best way to proceed.

Certainly, maybe a lower interest credit card might help you consolidate your outstanding debt, if only to rework all of your minimum payments into an equal amount – but with a better APR.  Maybe you could consider doing some freelance work or babysit in the neighborhood to enhance your income long-term solution, although definitely not a quick-fix, in terms of generating additional (immediate) income.

Once again, each household is different.  Your current debt is of an organically different makeup than someone else.  Thus, the correct decision can only be made by you or a qualified professional in relationship to these factors. Knowing how to create a budget and sticking to it are important skills, for children and adults of all ages.

In the end, a sound plan will navigate you through and hopefully out of debt permanently.  Most likely, it won’t be quick and/or easy.  You may have to budget carefully as you attack a credit card one by one.  Aligning yourself with others who value the “less is more” philosophy, and staying informed by interacting with knowledgeable individuals on personal finance blogs like Yakezie or Budgeting in the Fun Stuff can help support you on your journey to being debt-free.

Saving money along the way, you’ll be able to attack your debt with perseverance. In what ways have you made changes to your budget or life in order to pay off debt? Share them with us!

Article publié pour la première fois le 02/11/2011

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Our tech gadgets and devices become more advanced all the time. But one thing that doesn’t improve is their life expectancy. Laptops tend to last on average no more than 2-3 years. Nevertheless upgrading to a new computer is a costly expense.

If you’re a Mac user like I am and think your old machine is slowing down, here’s a look at my top signs for recognising that it’s time for an update.

What’s your operating system?

If your laptop isn’t able to run the latest operating system it will limit your access to apps and functions. Programmes like iCloud allow you to link up your mac with your Smartphone, but your Mac needs to have a an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 or Xeon processor in order to run Lion 10.7.2. If you’re not too bothered about being able to access iCloud, keep in mind that Apple has stopped releasing security updates for some older mac models.

Malfunctioning battery

One of the most common complaints with older machines is a battery that’s unable to hold its charge. It’s a pretty common symptom that your Mac might be reaching the end of its life. While Apple does offer a replacement battery option, it’s not the cheapest solution. Also if your battery is past its prime, other system components might be nearing their end also.

Functions running slowly

When your most used apps and functions start running slowly, it’s usually a pretty common way for your computer to explain that it’s struggling. If you have tried the usual methods of speeding the machine up – like running a defragmentation programme or clearing up your hard drive – it may demonstrate a more underlying lack of compatibility.

Finding the right resale price

Macs retain higher resale values than other PCs, meaning it’s important to pick the right time if you intend to sell. Selling too early and the temptation to buy the product new is too great, but sell too late and buyers are usually persuaded to check out the latest releases and their improved function. It’s a balance you need to strike in order to find the best rate. When I wanted to sell my Mac last year, I found it worthwhile looking online to compare prices. If you sell with an online auction it’s not always easy to guarantee you’ll find the best price.

When repair price isn’t worthwhile

Other than cases of extreme damage, generally speaking most problems with a Mac computer can be solved. The question of whether to repair usually comes down to cost. From minor problems like sticky keys to structural issues like a cracked screen, all repairs come with a price tag. You need to consider whether the damage is an isolated symptom, or If it’s part of a series of problems. In many cases the cost of repair can be better put towards the price of a new model.

I’m Debbie Conway – a Mac enthusiast. I love all things Apple related and wanted to share some tips that I learnt when I discovered it was time to sell my Mac last year. When not blogging and using my Mac to earn a living I love nothing more than walking along the beach in Brighton where I live.

Article publié pour la première fois le 19/03/2013

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