Month : September 2015

Mind Over Money

How To Solve An Uncomfortable Christmas

So you’re tackling your debt to achieve financial freedom but it’s time for Christmas and gifts, what do you do? It’s sometime uncomfortable if people shower you with gifts and you can’t reciprocate. They want to show you that they love you but it makes you feel bad. Here are 3 things you can do to get them to listen to you

Make a plan

Me and my fiancé are asking our relatives what they want that is inexpensive. This has been greatly received and gives the hint that you aren’t giving much and you don’t want much in return. You can also mention this in the conversation. If people know your intentions and know what to expect they usually follow the lead.

Return

Let them know that you are just going to return the gifts if they give you more than 1 gift (or whatever you are comfortable with keeping). This will get the point across that you are serious and you appreciate their love but it makes you feel bad. True, you still get the value of the gift but it’s the principle that counts :)

Just Say “No”

After you told them how you feel and they insist on giving anyway , just say no and don’t take the gifts. You don’t have to be mean about it, just say “No thank you”. This is the most confrontational way but it will get the job done.

Just remember that you can’t control what other people do and you have to accept it. As long as you’ve expressed what you can do, then they can react however they want. They can get you a bunch of gifts because they want to, or getting you an inexpensive gift because they understand you. This economy has really brought the holidays to their roots and price doesn’t mean you love someone more than someone else. The thought really does count.

Are you uncomfortable when someone gives you something and you can’t reciprocate?

How would you handle the situation?

Frugality

Do Black Friday Deals Still Matter?

Black Friday DealsOne of the biggest shopping traditions of the American holiday season is Black Friday. This day has most likely been the time to get incredible deals on holiday shopping since the late 19th century. For over a century, retailers have been capitalizing on this official start day of the holiday shopping day to draw in customers, move merchandise, and help increase their profits. For the past few decades, retailers have been providing more and more incentives to draw customers to their doors on Black Friday, especially with the rise of Internet shopping.

More and more retailers now have Black Friday deals all month long. Plus, Cyber Monday has become a major shopping day with similar deals found on Black Friday, but from the comfort of one’s home. With so many changes to this traditional shopping day, many wonder whether the Black Friday deals still matter. However, evidence shows that not only does it still play a major role in jump starting the holiday shopping season, most retailers still capitalize on this day to draw in customers with incredibly low discounts and deals.

Black Friday in Numbers

According to the National Retailer Federation’s (NRF) Holiday Consumer Spending Survey, the average person spends about $804.42 on the holidays, including purchasing gifts, food, decorations, and other items. In 2013, consumers spent over $57 billion on Black Friday, according to NRF. This is a decrease of about 2 percent from 2012. However, according to US News and World Report, this discount was not because people did not advantage of the discounts. Instead, it was because more people took advantage of the Thanksgiving Day shopping. Additionally, many people took advantage of Cyber Monday. About 141 million people shopped over Thanksgiving weekend, and there was an increase in eCommerce sells over the weekend as well. With so many people taking advantage of the deals in person, this shopping weekend still packs a punch for brick and mortar retailers.

The Rise of Online Shopping

Online and mobile shopping has become increasingly popular in the past decade or two. About 56 percent of consumers plan to do holiday shopping online according to the NRF, which is an increase from 2013’s 51.5 percent. They also plan on doing about 44.4 percent of their shopping online, which is the highest amount since the NRF’s survey began in 2006. According to predictions by USA Today, Cyber Monday is expected to crush Black Friday. Last year, about 131 million people shopped on Cyber Monday, which was only 10 million fewer than those who went to the stores over the weekend. The increase in Internet shopping is not just about the ease of shopping from home instead of dealing with other customers. For the majority of customers, savings and deals played the biggest role in deciding when and where to shop.

The Importance of Savings and Deals

Although more and more shoppers are beginning to take advantage of the many deals offered by retailers online, the most important aspects of shopping remains the deals. When shopping, deals and discounts play a significant factor in the decision making process of savvy shoppers. According to the NRF survey, sales or price discounts account for 74.7 percent of the decision to shop at a particular store.

Stores utilize large portions of their marketing and advertising budgets to draw customers into the stores to take advantage of the tradition of sales and deals on this day. However, it is changing and expanding, including stores adding deals online, in the days or weeks beforehand, and creating special deals throughout the whole weekend and even the entire week after Thanksgiving.

Why Black Friday Remains Important

With so many changes in shopping habits, stores are altering their traditions of Black Friday. However, it will still most likely bring in over $50 billion, as it has for the past few years. Some of the shopping may be on different days or online, but for retailers it still comes down to their Black Friday deals. Additionally, many stores will offer Door Busters to incentive customers coming to their storefronts. Some stores also will be open Thanksgiving night to draw customers into the stores to take advantage of the deals.

The face of Black Friday may be changing, but the tradition remains. The Black Friday 2014 deals, which you can find at BFads, will continue to draw in customers and crowds, keeping the day relevant. People will still take advantage of the major discounts and deals offered by the companies. Like many traditions, Black Friday is changing to keep up with the times. However, it remains a relevant event for stores to entice customers to purchase items, both those on sale and others. Although it is no longer necessarily the busiest shopping day of the year, it remains a significant time period for retailers to increase their profits.

Money Management

How Does a Car Leasing Plan Work?

It is no surprise for many that there are many companies out there that offers a car lease plan. Perhaps the bigger surprise lies in the fact that most people have already made a pre-judgment of the concept of leasing a car even without possessing enough knowledge to make an informed decision. Ask 10 people how a car leasing plan works and it is likely that not even half can answer your question in an informed and deliberate manner. 

At its most basic, a car leasing plan is essentially a long-term rental agreement with some accompanying terms. The term depends on the user’s preferences but most fall in the 2 to 3 year window. After the lease contract expires, the lessee is required to surrender the car back or get another lease to continue keeping the car in their possession. 

From the perspective of the lessee, a car leasing plan offers multiple advantages. First, it gives the users the opportunity to drive multiple cars, and news ones at that, ever so often without having to buy the car each time. The lessee is also spared from shouldering the high depreciation costs for the car, which is a common problem for car owners. It is often said that a car’s book value plummets faster than you can say “hi” so much so that a car never really retains its highest value the moment you drive it out of the dealership. 

Another advantage of a car leasing plan is that there are multiple options to help the lessee maximize the opportunities without taking in all the hassles. Most lease plans have provisions for maintenance work that will be shouldered by the leaser for a little extra cost. This means that you can essentially use the car as if it were your own without having to absorb all the responsibilities and obligations that accompany car ownership. 

Last but certainly not least, a car leasing plan affords the lessee the flexibility to use a car for a markedly lower financial obligation. Lease plans essentially require the lessee to shoulder only a fraction of the car’s total cost for the period that it was being used. As a lessee, this means that you will only need to get financing for that specific fraction and not for the totality of the car’s price, which would have been the case had you bought the car on your own. 

The many advantages of a car leasing plan make it a favorite among many savvy car users. Check it out today so you can save up on costs without trading down on your preferred car. 

Money Management

How I Got My Girlfriend To Spend Less Money

saving

When I started to create a budget I included some spending money for her because she likes to buy things. I didn’t mind it as long as she limited her spending.

We decided that $80 was a good amount for her to have to spend on what ever she wanted every month. As the days went on she would spend money for breakfast on the way to work and also for lunch, whenever she forgot to bring it with her. This wasn’t an everyday thing but it was 2-3 days a week. It added up to around $100 a month. Our eating out budget was set to $60 per month and I wasn’t even counting those expenses to that category. This caused us to go over budget a lot.

What I decided to do was give her a reason to spend less money. I created a category in our budget called Fast food. This was for all of her expenses of breakfast and lunch. I put the amount to $40 a month and any money that wasn’t spent she would get towards her next month’s spending money. That definitely got her attention and has caused her to spend significantly less than she has in the previous months on breakfast and lunch.

Having that incentive of keeping the extra money helped.How have you been able to get your significant other to help save money?