Tag Archives: shopping

Top Seven Excuses (From a Man’s Perspective)

If you enjoyed my article Why Women Lie About Shopping, you might as well enjoy this guest post by Benjamin Miller about shopping debacles … from a man’s point of view.

As Christmas nears, and the love for humans and family alike grow, we have decided to help all of those people out there who seem to have spent a little too much money – on themselves! Our handy dandy Christmas list is sure to be on everybody’s wish list! With no further ado we list the “Top Seven excuses to use when you made a huge purchase without your partners consent and are tying to make up for it by making an awesome excuse so you don’t have to sleep on the couch!”

7) Buying this will help our relationship! True for about the first three seconds until it hits them that you just spent the entire Christmas money on a Play Station, WII and a flat screen TV all in one day. Try to come up with a nice explanation as to how you can spend more time together, or better yet, have less time together!

6) You will use it as well! About 90% of the time your spouse will hound you for buying the (insert large item here) only to use it themselves! Explain this simple rule from the get go and you can throw it in their faces every time they bring it up.

5) I asked you weeks ago! In all honesty, you didn’t ask them weeks ago, and you probably decided to buy it once you walked into the store. However, good news for you, they probably don’t even remember what you told them a day ago let alone a few weeks. For better effect, use an exact date like October 12th.

4) What purchase, I don’t see any (insert large object here). This is the obvious bluff move here. Pretend you don’t see it, buy it, or have used it, all at the same time asking your significant other to move so that you can play with the (insert large object here).

3) But it was only (reduce actual price by 43%)! This will only work if you draw a big 43% off sign and place it in a very conspicuous place on the (insert large object here). If they believe you then you deserve to have bought it in the first place!

2) Because I wanted it! Before ducking from the obvious oncoming slap from your partner, enjoy in solace the fact that you stood up for yourself. The best news is that you can make a little fort out of the couch pillow for the next week.

1) I love you sweetie pie! Could be combined with flowers, chocolate or other affectionate items. This will only work for a short period of time, so make sure you get as much use out of the item as possible. By that time you won’t care if you have to sleep on the couch because you have already got copious amounts of joy out of your item!

BONUSDon’t tell them – This is the obvious choice for anybody. Just don’t tell your significant other and if they ask about it, simply change the subject. I recommend complimenting them on their hair or how well they look. This only works if they have cut their hair, but for most men their spouses will notice that they tried and forgive them for not noticing for the past 4 months.

There you have it, our awesome “Top Seven excuses to use when you made a huge purchase without your partners consent and are tying to make up for it by making an awesome excuse so you don’t have to sleep on the couch!” for 2010!

You can find more interesting, funny and informative articles, top seven lists, survival guides and much more over at www.garbagefilter.com.

Store Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping?

This is a guest post by Tim Chen who is founder and CEO of NerdWallet.com, a website that helps consumers to find rewards credit cards.  Tim also educates consumers about credit cards and debt management at the Forbes Moneybuilder Blog, the Huffington Post, and the Christian Science Monitor.

Between overly aggressive sales clerks and cryptic PA announcements, shoppers could be led to believe that store credit cards are hotter than $499 HDTVs this holiday season.

Store cards have high interest rates, lousy credit card rewards, and none of the benefits of your average card, but all too often customers will look right past these issues and only see the initial discounts. So for those who can’t be talked out ofapplying for store credit cards this holiday season, know that using them wisely can still save you money and raise your credit score. Here’s what you need to know to get the most out of store cards, and avoid getting taken to the woodshed.

Do Your Research
Don’t give into pressure to apply for a card where you rarely shop. Just because it offers you 10% off your first purchase doesn’t mean its actually going to save you money in the long term. On the other hand, if you’ve been considering a card for one of your favorite stores, do a little research. Which cards offer the best rewards?

For instance, Kohl’s sends 15 to 30% off discount coupons 12 times a year, plus pick-a-day savings six times a year if you spend $600 within 12 months. Best Buy offers 0% interest offers for big-ticket items and, when you use your Best Buy rewards card with your Best Buy credit card, you’ll earn extra bonus points. These are two of the best offers for frequent customers.

If you make the decision to open a card for a store you know you’ll shop at frequently, pick your day appropriately. Don’t open your new JC Penney’s card on a transaction where you’ll only be spending a few bucks. Save your 10% bonus savings for a day when your total is high and you can maximize the rebate, but don’t go so high that you won’t be able to pay the bill at the end of the month because the interest charges will mitigate the benefit.

The Macy’s credit card offers two consecutive days of savings – so apply for the card on a day when you know you can shop both days, preferably the day before a new, big sale.

Pay at the Register
Worried about getting into trouble with your store credit card and its 22% or higher interest rate? Carry cash and make a payment – in the same amount as your purchase – immediately. The clerk may roll her eyes and the credit card issuer won’t be thrilled, but you won’t have to worry about remembering due dates, keeping track of grace periods or setting aside the cash for the bill.

Keep a Budget
Those zero percent interest credit card offers from stores like Home Depot are very appealing for big-ticket items. But if you don’t pay off the balance before the introductory rate expires, you’ll get jammed with even more interest than you though.  The way these work is that you get charged interest retroactively for those months where you thought you were paying 0%, which won’t save you any money.

Set a budget for your purchase. If you just bought a home theatre system for $2400, including taxes, warranties and installation, with no interest for 12 months, make sure you can afford to pay $200 per month on the card. Also understand the difference between no interest/no payments and simply “no interest” offers. If you have “no payments,” keep that money in the bank, but make sure you set it aside where you won’t be tempted to touch it, since the payments will come due in the end.

Use Store Cards to Improve Your Credit Score
Your FICO credit score will take a few dings (3 to 5 points) whenever you apply for a new credit card, since recent credit checks count against you. And it’ll take another hit (up to 10 points) when you open a new account. But like any credit card, a store credit card can help your credit if you play it right:

– FICO counts retail and gas cards as “diverse” revolving credit, and a better mix of available credit aids in 10% of your credit score calculation.

– Since you won’t be keeping a balance on the card, you lower your credit utilization ratio, which makes up about 30% of your credit score.

– And paying your bills on time and in full also helps your payment history, or 35% of your score.

– The longer you keep the account open, the better it reflects on your credit score, since length of credit history makes up about 15% of your score.

Don’t give in to those impulses to get a store credit card just because you’ll save 10% on your $10 purchase in a store you visit once a year. Just tell the salesperson something like, “I just bought a house/car,” or – in the case of a really aggressive clerk – “I’m in bankruptcy.”  That’ll shut them up pretty quick.

Why Women Lie About Shopping

This article is not a generalization. It represents my observations only.

One of my married friends always goes shopping alone. She always pays cash. Why? Because there will be no monthly credit card statements and no paper trail. There will be no questions from her husband about what she bought while shopping because she won’t show him her purchases that are tucked away in the trunk of her car.

Her husband will never know about the three pairs of shoes that will later be put into her closet. Or the new pair of jeans that she will wear when they go to the movies. Or the new skirt she will put on for a day at her office. He won’t know, he won’t ask questions and he won’t suspect how much was spent.

If we don’t point out to our husbands or boyfriends a new wardrobe piece that we are wearing, would they eventually notice? The majority of men don’t notice which also means that they don’t ask “Is that something new?” Even if they do ask us, those of us who don’t want to admit that a piece is new, indeed can always say “Oh no, I’ve had this forever.”

Even if we do show what we bought while shopping for new clothes, we still might omit or alter one very important fact such as … the price. We might tell a partial truth about an item that we have just purchased.

Why do some of us keep our wardrobe price tags a secret in spite of the fact that we work, earn money and want to look good?

Maybe because we are feeling guilty about spending money on ourselves when we can be spending on our kids, or paying off debt, or putting it into savings, or investing it into our future.

Maybe we think that we overpaid for a great looking dress. Sometimes we do overpay but we don’t want to admit it, even to ourselves.

Maybe we think that the price is irrelevant. Receipts are shredded, price tags are destroyed. We lie about it … well… because those damn shoes are worth it.

Maybe when we come back from a store, we don’t want to be interrogated: “Why did you buy it? How much did you spend? Couldn’t you get anything cheaper?” Or even better “How many shoes (skirts, bags, jeans) do you need?”

And the final Maybe:

Maybe being financially honest and having full disclosure means having similar goals, workable budgets, understanding and most importantly accepting each other’s spending habits.