Friday, April 30, 2010
*Last chance for FREE fries at McDonald's. Make sure you bring this coupon with you.
*FREE sample of Eucerin lotion while supplies last!
*Um, New York and Company is having a half off EVERYTHING sale. What the what? Yep! Lasts until Sunday, but hurry because stuff is moving quick!
*Not quite as good of a deal but still nice, The Limited has a coupon for 25% off (use code 300 if you're online). Good through Sunday.
*Macy's is having their Friends and Family discount right now - save 25% off of purchases and get FREE shipping for orders over $99. Enter code MACYSFFS online. Ends Monday.
*Old Navy is having a 30% off "select seasonal styles" (whatever that means) - enter ONBIG30 at checkout. Ends Sunday.
*And this is a deal that's good any time - head to Origins to get a FREE mini-facial! Just make an appointment! I'm getting mine this weekend!
Happy Friday and a wishing you all a good weekend!
Monday, April 26, 2010
Store credit cards are not free money.
When a store employee tells you that you can save 10% by just signing some thing and then you get such a convenient way to spend money at their store, Do. Not. Do. It. Don't get them for 5 stores. Each time you open a store credit card, your credit score (the number that all lenders judge you on) will take a hit. You'll be more of a credit risk. You'll spend money you don't have on things you don't need.
30-60-90 is not a suggestion.
Companies are not telling you it might be a good idea to pay within 90 days, or saying you really should think about it. They are telling you that they will take you to collections if you don't pay up within 3 months. This will affect your credit score. Don't pay late. You open yourself up to paying more money (at a minimum) and even not being able to qualify for loans because your credit score will be worse.
Opening a credit card to get a free t-shirt is a huge mistake.
There are lots of schemes to get people signed up for a credit card. Free shirts, free flashlight/bottle opener/mp3 player... but no one ever looks at the fine print. The interest rate is ridiculous, there are insane charges for cash advances (don't do that anyway), and fines for being late, leaving a balance on your card, etc. If you're seriously in the market for a credit card, do some research and figure out what card makes the most sense and offers what you're looking for.
Try to save, even a little bit.
It's hard when you're young and/or you don't have any money. You feel like there's nothing you can save. But dig deep. What if something bad happens and you have no cushion? Try saving $1 a day. That's around $30 a month and almost $360 a year. That would be a huge help if an emergency comes up.
Don't spend money on things that won't matter.
It's hard when you're under the influence....of peers. They're getting designer bags. Or new cars. Or fancy jewelry. But stick to your guns. Spend money on memories, not items. That Tiffany bracelet that everyone wears will pay for a weekend trip. The friends that you'll be grateful to have later won't care what your car looks like or what new item you added to your closet. You'll look back on pictures and fond memories for years to come instead of cleaning out your closet a few years later.
What about you? What's something you would have told yourself to do (or not do) 10 years ago?
Friday, April 23, 2010
*FREE bagel before 11 AM at Noah's Bagels on Fridays! YUM! Use this coupon over and over until Friday, May 22nd. Drooling thinking about an everything bagel and schmear....
*Next Wednesday, April 28th is Baskin Robbins' 31-cent scoop night! Get a scoop of ice cream for 31 cents! Baskin Robbins is giving $100,000 to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, so it'll be a time to honor and celebrate that, as well.
*30% off shorts for men and women at Gap. I love these Bermudas, but it has to be above 60 on a regular basis for me to start wearing them! C'mon sun!
*Take an additional 30% off clearance items at Express!
That's all for now! Have a great weekend!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
I wanted to share my story because I think it's important for people to know that they are not alone, but to also know at some point you have to stop making excuses and recognize the damage you are doing.
Shopping was always a fun activity for me and I'd always loved clothes. But it really spiraled out of control when I went to college and discovered I could apply for and get approved for a credit card all on my own. And I did. At one point I had about 10 store credit cards plus a Visa.
And trust me, they all got a lot of use. At first it started out innocently enough. I shopped occasionally to get a new dress for a formal or some sweaters I needed. But as I began to encounter and struggle with anxiety issues and depression, my shopping addiction really took hold.
To most observers I probably looked like the happiest person alive. I was getting a new outfit for every party I went to, getting a new designer purse just because. But inside I was not a happy person. I started to find that shopping was like a drug. I would physically get a high walking in the mall. My heart would race, there would be a feeling of euphoria, my anxiety and depression were gone and I was in the moment.
My shopping "fix" could be anywhere from several hours to a few minutes. But I would always convince myself I "needed" these things. And this happened almost everyday. I'd probably say I averaged $75 per shopping trip. Sometimes I might only buy a necklace for $10, other times it was $450. And I didn't blink an eye. I remember one month I spent $1000 on incidentals and couldn't even tell you that I knew what exactly I had purchased.
Even when the mall was closed, my cards didn't get rest. I remember being at the 24-hour Wal-Mart buying shampoo and scented candles at 2am, because you know, they were essentials that I needed. Needless to say I wasn't even out of shampoo. Oh and Internet. I was constantly ordering online.
I was thousands of dollars in debt and that was with my parents sending me money to support my habit. I don't think they realized how bad it was and just thought oh Lacy likes to shop. I felt like if I didn't have new things people would think less of me. I wouldn't be considered stylish. I did anything to prevent people from having to judge me on heaven forbid, my personality.
After finally going into therapy, my therapist and I determined that I did in fact have a shopping addiction. She as a wonderful woman who helped me work through the underlying issues, and suddenly the urge to shop was not as prevalent.
That's not to say it disappeared completely. And I still struggle with this a lot. I go through times where I obsess about shopping and going after the new shiny thing. If I'm stressed, I want to shop, knowing that high will still be there. I have to fight it.
That's not to say I don't have relapses. They still happen. But it's pretty rare.
Now I focus on really thinking about my purchases and talking myself through them. I select clothes that make me feel good. Nice fabrics, great cuts. And I wear those things over and over. They enhance my personality and mood, but I no longer need a closet full of clothes to feel confident or satisfied. It's taken a long to get here and an ongoing process. If you find yourself experiences the symptoms I did, don't be ashamed. Get help. I promise it will make your life so much more fulfilling.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
We're slowly working on some steps and solutions that will help us tackle the budget issue, yet still be satisfied with our meals. As we work toward this process I will be sharing a weekly update about what has worked or not worked for us each week in an attempt to help others who struggle with this same issue.
This week and last week we implemented a cupboard challenge. Similar to cupboard clean-out, but with an element of competition added in. Each weekend my husband and I challenge each other to see who can come up with the most meals based on what we already have existing with some fresh purchases. Being a game it makes it more of an activity instead of a chore. And playing off of each others creativity makes for some more interesting and delicious creations.
The one thing to be careful of is to not deplete your stockpile. For instance if you have a lot of frozen chicken, don't make 5 chicken dishes. It's boring and you won't have ingredients on hand when you need to whip up something quick.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Happy weekend everyone!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
*Taco Del Mar will be giving away FREE tacos! Just fill out your Taco 1099 and bring to a participating location!
*Cinnabon is trying to make Tax Day less taxing, so they're offering 2 FREE cupcake bites from 6-8 PM!
*McCormick and Schmick's is offering a FREE $10.40 gift certificate to every customer on Tax Day (good for your next visit), plus a $10.40 dinner and drink specials! Oh, and if you are a tax preparer, go celebrate there on the 16th - you get a FREE dessert when you present your business card.
*P.F. Chang's is offering 15% off your bill (not including alcohol - I thought that might be important to add).
*Whole Foods will not be charging sales tax on Tax Day.
*Maggie Moo's Ice Cream and Treatery will be giving out FREE slices of their ice cream pizza (uh huh - ice cream pizza) from 3-7 PM. Check here for the participating locations.
*And while I think it's more Earth Day than Tax Day, Starbucks is giving you a FREE coffee if you plan to drink it in a reusable mug.
*File this in the Earth Day more than Tax Day category, too: iTunes is giving away FREE downloads of the BBC's Planet Earth Episode 1.
That should make filing your taxes a little less stressful and a lot more appetizing! If you know of any more deals, feel free to post them in the comments or on our Facebook page!
Friday, April 9, 2010
*FREE knife sharpening at Sur La Table for their annual cutlery event! Goes through April 30th. ALSO, demos on homemade donuts and ice cream/brownies on Saturdays. Can you say yum!? All free, just show up! I'm hoping that samples are involved...
*Are you a wing fan? At participating Buffalo Wild Wings, you can get 6 wings FREE when you buy six wings. Here's the coupon you'll need.
*And a Borders coupon to round things out - 30% off for you and 30% off for a friend!
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Although I'm glad there is some sort of a national movement to learn about money, many people learn when it's too late. Why isn't financial literacy a mandatory topic in schools? I would argue it's just as important as algebra (do you use algebraic equations on a daily basis?) or Shakespeare (iambic pentameter anyone?).
So do your part and celebrate Financial Literacy Month by learning more about your relationship with money! I'm going to start researching a Roth IRA - what's a financial topic you're going to take time to explore?