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Showing posts from 2014

The Psychology of Holiday Shopping

11 Ways to Outsmart the Overspending Impulse
In addition to a festive time spent with family and friends, for most of us the Holidays mean a small fortune spent on gifts and other non-necessities. Leslie Greenman explains why we feel so compelled to shop till we drop during the Holidays-and how not to do it this year.
Were you tempted by the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales offers? Were some of the sales so good that you veered off your Christmas list a bit, buying items for yourself in addition to a few other holiday extras? Did you internally justify going over budget because, “Heck, it’s Christmas! I deserve to splurge a little!”? Were you careful to keep a “what I don’t know can’t hurt me” mentality about you and your spouse’s financials, staying in the gray to ward off any guilt that might come with overspending?
If you answered yes, yes, yes and (embarrassed blush) yes, Leslie Greenman says your brain has been hijacked by the psychology of overspending. She w…

Are you getting tired of doing without?

After months, and even years of working to pay down debts and not spending money on much else, a family can start to tire of the discipline required to stay on track month after month with no splurging or spending on "fun" things. Some families get used to the minimalist lifestyle without much effort, while other families constantly struggle under the strain of watching every dollar so carefully.
For many people, it's similar to trying to stay on a diet. Depriving oneself of favorite foods eventually can lead to binging. Eating one, seemingly innocent potato chip, can lead to eating an entire bag. The same thing can happen with spending deprivation. Every marketing channel around us, from TV to the Internet, is screaming for us to spend money. It's not easy to avoid the temptations for long. Many individuals and families destroy months of successful financial management and debt reduction with a few days or weeks of uncontrolled spending and borrowing o…

Living a Richer Lifestyle

Finding Summer Work

It's tough enough for adults to find work these days and it is expected that High School and College students will encounter another tough summer of trying to find work. But, here are a few suggestions of businesses where students might not normally think to apply for summer work:
Museums and Other Cultural Institutions
Summer is a busy time for Museums which are always looking for affordable help and don't require much in the way of previous experience. It is also a great way for a young student to enjoy some interesting and educational shows and exhibits for free. Golf Courses, Tennis and Recreation Centers
Golf courses are plentiful and usually need seasonal workers. Caddying, landscaping and working in the restaurant and pro shop are some jobs available to teens. Other than caddying, no special golf knowledge is needed for most jobs. While there are fewer Tennis and Recreation centers around, they offer a great opportunity for young people to stay active and ea…

Smart Moves when Moving

Nearly 40 million Americans move each year. If you are planning a move, it makes sense to avoid mistakes that can cost you money and time, and raise the stress level of the entire family.
Overspending and inadequate research are the two most common mistakes when moving to a new home, according to USAA and author Sandee Payne, who as a military spouse, has moved all over the world seven times in the first 10 years of her marriage, at times on her own and with children while her husband was deployed. Payne has learned many important lessons. Here are her seven most common mistakes families make when they move:
Spending beyond your budget. Be aware of the hidden costs when buying a home. Consider the financial obligations beyond a mortgage that add to the cost of homeownership, including: city taxes, utilities, insurance, and maintenance - not to mention the length of a commute, given the fluctuations in gas prices. And remember updating expenses such as granite counter tops, …

Are You An Impulsive or Compulsive Spender?

Jo Bittoff of, who has nearly four decades in the credit, collections, consultant and banking industries says, in truth, it's hard not to spend impulsively or compulsively. We live in a society that bombards us with ads, data and subliminal messaging that suggests we NEED to have more and more and more. Our appetite for possessions is never satisfied.  Believe me when I tell you that no matter how many material belongings you manage to accrue, odds are that for many, it will never be enough.
The messages we get (up to hundreds of times a day, by the way) play on our insecurities by suggesting that we NEED to be sexier, faster, have whiter teeth, wear a label on our butt, be stick thin, live in the right neighborhood, and drive the best car. It's never-ending. By listening to these messages we are indoctrinated into understanding that simply being who we are, living within our means and displaying an unlabeled butt flashes the …