Posts in "Finance"

Stripes are IN for Spring!

We’re loving stripes for spring, especially chevron stripes! What say you??

DbM tip: The trick to staying slim in stripes is to:
1. Wear narrow stripes on areas you want to minimize and wider stripes on areas you want to accentuate
2. Wear vertical or chevron stripes to prevent from looking wide
3. If you wear a stripe on top, wear a solid color below (and vice versa)!

 

Holiday Gifts for Jetsetters

If you’re looking for a gift for someone who’s always on the go, check out this great assortment of holiday gifts that’ll make any trip super chic and comfortable!

DKNY Crocodile-effect patent-leather iPad case
http://rstyle.me/bf4x3icypw ($62.50)

J.Crew Cece studded suede ballet flats
http://rstyle.me/f2xyb8cypw ($138)

Marc by Marc Jacobs Supersonic Snake Travel Wallet
http://rstyle.me/fmurt6cypw ($138)

White + Warren cashmere travel wrap
http://rstyle.me/fm5774cypw ($295)

MAJE Blackberry wide brim hat
http://rstyle.me/fnhdaycypw ($110)

Madewell Spotted snowfall Sleep Mask
http://rstyle.me/fnhe6ccypw ($26)

Diane Von Furstenberg Colletta 4 Piece Luggage Set
http://rstyle.me/zt2cypw ($353)

Persol Men’s 0PO2988S Round Polarized Sunglasses
http://rstyle.me/icfncypw ($202)

ETA Dreamer – Microbead Travel Pillow
http://rstyle.me/r63ncypw ($15)

Etienne Aigner Jacquard Duffle Bag
http://rstyle.me/e4ask2cypw ($80)

New Daily by Morin Logo!

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Finance, Lifestyle | November 17, 2011

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Hey Daily by Morin fans…we’ve gotten a facelift! Check out our new logo and redesigned website: http://dailybymorin.com/. If you like what you see, be sure to share with your friends! Xoxo

Check us out on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/DailybyMorin

6 outrageously overpriced products

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Finance | January 2, 2011

As crazy as it sounds, I’m more conscious of saving money on $6.99 lotion vs. on $500 pairs of shoes. Those shoes that may not necessary be worth even 1/2 that price. Just like most of these products below…

1. Movie popcorn

At the grocery store, microwave popcorn runs about $3 per box, and each box includes three 3.5-ounce bags. So why would consumers even consider paying a whopping $6 for a single medium-sized bag of popcorn at a movie theater? No one knows exactly why, but for some reason, moviegoers continue to drain their wallets to crunch on a bag full of those greasy little nuggets.

2. Greeting cards

Since when does a folded-up piece of paper cost $2.99? Since someone slaps a precious kitty picture and a cleverly written message on it and then stamps the back of it with a logo. That’s right — we’re talking about those pricey greeting cards.

Many consumers spend hours poring over the neatly arranged stacks in the greeting card aisle, searching for the perfect message for a sister’s birthday, their parents’ anniversary or “just because.”

The average greeting card costs between $2 and $4, and consumers don’t seem to think twice about paying that precipitous price. The markup is between 100% and 200%, which is not quite as shocking as movie theater popcorn, but it adds up. When you consider how many of those paper jewels you buy each year, it’s enough to send you running for the construction paper and markers. After all, it costs only a few cents to create a homemade card.

3. College textbooks

In 2010, the annual in-state cost for the typical state university soared to more than $15,000, and private colleges now charge an average of $35,600 a year. As if college kids (and their parents) aren’t financially drained enough, there’s yet another inflated price they face: college textbooks. College students spend an average of $900 a year on textbooks and other supplies.

College textbook prices have skyrocketed 186% since 1986, and these expensive volumes of knowledge now account for an increasing portion of the overall cost of college. Unfortunately, broke college students are required to purchase these costly books for their classes. At least they can try to sell their books back to a local bookstore at the end of the semester — for a few measly bucks.

4. Bottled water

You’ve probably heard that “Evian” is simply “naive” spelled backward. OK, so the well-known company probably did not choose its name for that reason, but many people believe that consumers who buy bottled water are certainly naive. After all, water is one of the most abundant resources in the world and is available for free from countless water fountains and sinks across the nation. Yet many consumers are still willing to pay $3 for a bottle of it.

In 2009, Congress revealed that about 45% of bottled water comes from municipal taps — and then the bottled water company may or may not do some additional filtering before pouring it in its logo-stamped bottles. Still, Americans continue to buy more than 500 million bottles every week, making it the second-most-popular purchased drink, after soda.

5. Printer ink

You may be able to buy a surprisingly affordable printer at your local office supply store, but don’t start celebrating just yet. The printer companies make their biggest bucks on ink.

Over the life of your printer, you’ll probably pay more than 500% of the total price of the printer itself on ink cartridges. At $30, a 42-milliliter cartridge of black printer ink comes out to 70 cents per milliliter. On the other hand, the Red Cross charges $200 for 500 milliliters of blood, which comes out to 40 cents per milliliter.

6. Brand-name fashion

How much did you pay for those True Religion jeans, that Burberry scarf and those towering Louboutin stilettos? Probably a small fortune. But they were worth every penny, right? Not so much. When it comes to designer clothes, it’s pretty obvious that you are paying for the label.

As a matter of fact, brand-name clothes are often marked up 500% to 1,000%. Yet, fashion-conscious consumers continue to drain their bank accounts and pile up massive amounts of debt to stay on the cutting edge of couture.

Referenced article HERE.

 

Websites That Save You Money

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Finance | January 2, 2011

As the web is now an integral part of daily life, you might as well rely on resources online to hep find the best deals and manage your finances. These sites below will help you find the best deals on everything from travel, to food, to gad and even credit card rates.

1. PriceGrabber.com is the granddaddy of the comparison-shopping sites: It searches millions of products — groceries, computer software, you name it — from hundreds of vendors to get you the best price.

2. StreetPrices.com charts price changes for popular items over time to help you determine if now is a good time to buy that new flat-screen TV. With one click you can check eBay or Craigslist as well as online retailers.

3. Bing.com/shopping offers up the best prices from tons of retailers — plus, it offers a rewards program that gives a percentage of cash back when you link through their site to online stores, such as Macy’s and Office Depot, to make a purchase.

4. Shopper.cnet.com specializes in all things electronic, with authoritative reviews from the editors at tech bible cnet.com.

5. Kayak.com rounds up the best travel deals from many sites, including Travelocity and Expedia, and shows you where to find the cheapest flights, hotels, and rental cars without having to hit each site separately.

6. Billshrink.com lets you compare credit card rates, gas prices, even savings-account or CD interest rates.

7. Google Shopper, ShopSavvy, and Save Benjis are great smartphone apps for comparison shopping on the go. Check out apple.com/iphone for downloads for the iPhone or handango.com for other smartphones.

Referenced article HERE.

 

11 Ways to Save Money on Clothes

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Fashion, Finance, Shopping | January 2, 2011

Like many women (men are not exempt either), I’m guilty of spending probably way too much on clothes. Before you pull out your credit card to buy that bag that you absolutely must have, take a peep at these tips that’lll help keep both your closet and your wallet full.

1. Ask and you might receive.

It won’t always work, but sometimes all you have to do is ask nicely for a discount to get one. Next time you hit up your favorite store, try to get on the checkout line with an employee your recognize behind the register (if you’re a frequent shopper there and you recognize them, there’s a bigger chance you’ll look familiar!). As they’re ringing you up, ask if it’s possible to get a discount on your purchase. This is more likely to go in your favor if you’re just buying one thing, so don’t be greedy — as when you’re replacing your favorite jeans or buying a new pair of running sneakers, not mid-shopping spree.

2. Take care of your clothes.

Dry-clean when the tag says to dry-clean, hand-wash nice lingerie, and don’t let your floor double as a closet. Your favorite items will last a lot longer if you take care of them, and you won’t have to replace them after a few months. This goes for shoes too. A $5 repair or touch-up on your favorite pair of heels every few months will go a long way in keeping them looking new.

3. Don’t let gift cards go to waste — you can swap it for someone else’s unwanted card on sites like cardavenue.com.

4. After an item lingers in stores a month or more, retailers start dropping its price to get it out the door, says Kathryn Finney, author of How to Be a Budget Fashionista. If you have the self-control, wait to grab it until six to eight weeks after an item hits the stores.

5. There’s no worse feeling than finding out that your latest splurge went on sale days after you bought it. Before you hand over your credit card on a big purchase, ask if the object of your fashion lust is going on sale soon. The salesgirl might clue you in that a sale is coming up, or might even ring up the sale price right then and there.

6. Take advantage of buy-one-get-one-half-off sales and similar discounts — not by buying all that you can carry out of the store, but by clueing in your fashion-forward friends. If you’re both craving a new pair of winter boots, hit the sales together and take advantage of the special deals.

7. Befriend the salesgirl at your favorite shopping hot spots.

You don’t have to friend her on Facebook, just make an effort to say hello to her when you’re shopping, ask for her opinion on something you’re trying on, and make sure you jump on her line when she’s at the register. Be a familiar and friendly face, and she might give you a heads-up on sales or ring up a discount code for you once in a while.

8. Hit the stores on a weekday to make sure you get a good selection.

Thursdays are ideal — you’ll likely be able to take advantage of weekend sales while still having a big selection to choose from. If you go later in the weekend, your favorite stores are more likely to be picked over.

9. Get the best deals by stocking up on seasonal clothing right as the season is ending. Scour sale racks for short sleeves in November, sweaters in April, and bikinis in September.

10. We all have that one store that impairs our shopping judgment.Force yourself to stick to your budget and prevent impulsive shopping sprees — load up a store gift card with how much you can spend and leave your credit cards at home.

11. Thrift shops can be just as expensive as pricey boutiques, if not more so. But your friends’ closets can be free. Organize a clothing swap with your chicest pals. Not the same dress or shoe size? Swap accessories — new scarves, headbands, bags, and costume jewelry are great ways to freshen up your style.

Referenced article HERE.

 

20 Lazy Ways To Save Money

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Finance | January 2, 2011

Sometimes people spend money just because they don’t have the time or patience to focus on cutting their expenses. If you’re not the proactive type, here’s how you can save money …while keeping your bum squarely on the couch.

1. Schedule Automatic Payments

Have (at least) your fixed monthly bills paid automatically to avoid missing a payment and having to fork over extra money for late fees and/or interest. You can set up auto-pay features through your bank’s online bill paying service or by arranging it directly with the company or service provider you owe.

2. Eat Your Groceries

Did you know that Americans regularly throw away nearly 15% of the food they buy at the grocery store each year? That can add up to hundreds or, depending on your supermarket budget, thousands of dollars each year. Save money by actually eating what you buy. Not sure how? Bypass the bookstore and borrow a cookbook from the library!

3. Bundle Services.

If you’re paying different vendors for similar services you may be overpaying. Call your communications providers to see what price you’ll be quoted if you switch and bundle your internet, phone and cable TV services.

4. Pay Off Your Credit Card

If you’re not paying off your credit card balance each month you’re paying interest and, for most Americans, it’s at a pretty steep rate. Pay this debt off and you could save a tidy sum by eliminating your interest charges.

5. Mark Your Calendar

Whenever you rent something – library books, videos, etc. – mark it on your calendar and save money by avoiding those quickly mounting late fees. Many stores and libraries also now offer email reminders to help the constantly harried, so sign up for the extra help!

6. File Your Taxes On Time

You should do everything you can to ensure that your taxes are paid in full and on time. However, if you need to file an extension, at least pay what you owe on the due date. You’ll avoid annoying notices from the IRS and, more importantly, save on penalties, fees and interest.

7. Roll It Over

If you’re switching jobs and you can’t leave your 401(k) invested with your current company, instead of withdrawing the money, roll it into either your new employer’s 401(k) or an IRA within the 60-day window. By doing so you’ll keep the money invested –  and earning interest – and avoid those nasty taxes as well as the additional 10% penalty.

8. Switch Credit Cards

If you’re carrying a balance on a high-interest-rate credit card, check out other card issuers to see if you could transfer your balance to one with a lower interest rate and fewer fees. Use sites like Creditcard.com or Bankrate.com to compare card rates, and pay careful attention to how long those terms last, so you don’t wind up paying a higher rate and erasing any potential savings.

9. Use Your Privileges

Are you an AAA member? Do you belong to the AARP? What about your local credit union? Check organizations you have memberships with to see if they offer buying privileges or discounts – you could save a ton!

10. Rent Instead Of Buy

You might be excited to expand your driveway, but don’t let your enthusiasm overtake good sense. Hold off on buying that jackhammer and think before you spend on big-ticket items or items that you’ll use once or infrequently (like movies and books). For things you’ll only use once, renting or borrowing is the way to go.

11. Buy Instead Of Rent

Renting can be a good option in many cases, but don’t pay the exorbitantly high prices charged by rent-a-center type stores for items you’ll use regularly and keep long-term like computers, furniture and appliances.

12. Speak Up

If you’d like to save money, just ask. Why not ask if you can get the interest rate lowered on your credit cards or loans? You could also ask for a discount on services like your wireless phone, trash removal or pet care instead of switching to another vendor. And do try to to haggle with salespeople on any big ticket purchases like cars, appliances and furniture. In a tight economy it might be worth the seller’s while to cut the price instead of losing the sale, and you’ll both benefit in the end!

13. Just Say No

To the extended warranty, that is. These hardly ever make financial sense. Weigh the repair or replacement cost (and if you would even need or want to repair or replace the item down the road) against the cost of the warranty and graciously pass when offered.

14. Have The Awkward Conversation

Americans average more than $750 yearly on holiday gifts and that’s probably much more than most would like to spend. If your gift-giving is costing you more than you can realistically afford, there’s a good chance it’s more than your relatives can afford (or would like to spend) as well. Take the plunge and broach the subject. Offer a more reasonable alternative (say, limit giving to children or put a dollar amount on gifts per person). More than likely, your relatives will be grateful SOMEONE finally raised the subject and you’ll save money in the process.

15. Balance Your Checkbook

It might take a few minutes, but it’s something you should be doing anyway and it can pay huge dividends by helping you avoid bouncing a check and incurring steep overdraft fees (not to mention a little embarrassment)!

16. Stick With Your Bank

When withdrawing cash, drive or walk the extra minute it takes to use your bank’s ATM and avoid the fee that could come with another bank’s machine. Better yet – switch to a bank that doesn’t charge fees at all!

17. Use Your TV

If you’re paying for cable why not use all of it – and save some money in the process? Cancel the video membership and watch movies through cable movie packages you’re already paying for or check out your free “on demand” shows. Drop the gym membership and work out at home to channels like FitTV, and bag the magazine subscriptions and watch the same shows (like Martha Stewart) on TV instead.

18. Snuff Out Expensive Habits

Smoking, overeating and drinking are costly habits to maintain. OK, this is the “lazy” way to save, not necessarily the easy way. But you can save boatloads of money by saying sayonara to your favorite vices. You’ll save money by cutting out on the regular spending it’s costing you, and you’ll probably save on insurance premiums and long-term health costs.

19. Forget The Doggie In Window

Sure it sounds heartless, but do you realize that welcoming home a little Fido can cost you an average of more than $1,500 a year – or $15,000 over 10 years? Feline fluffies are pricey too – just under $1,000 a year or approximately $9,000 for 10 years of care. Looking at the long-term picture, that’s a new car or the down payment on a home! Keep walking right past that pet store and put the money in your pocket instead.

20. Dine In

If the idea of cooking for yourself seems like too much work at least opt for take-out – you’ll save on the tip, the alcohol and most likely the cost for appetizers or dessert.

Referenced article HERE.

 

5 tips to Ballin' on a Budget

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Finance | January 2, 2011

We all want the lifestyle. Jim Jones made a hit single out of it. It’s both a game and a way of life. If the “green” isn’t flowing like you want it to, here’s how to live like it is.

5. Cut back on the excess.

Whether you like to buy up the bar when you go out, or a chain smoker every time drama happens, cutting back is essential.

4. Downgrade when possible.

Are you really watching all 32 HBO channels you are paying for? It may be time to take a look at where your money is going to right now. Start by listing on paper the most important bills you have coming in each month (usually your house, car, etc). You might be surprised what’s truly left over for play money.

3. Pay your bills first, on time, every time.

Plenty of people wind up getting their paycheck, and immediately start making plans for money that has already been accounted for. After they wind up spending it on things theywant, they don’t have enough left over for what they need to pay. If your bank offers it, set up online bill pay, which would take the ease of having to mail bills out, and keep you on a schedule of what is due when.

2. Save up instead of charging.

Next time you get the urge to make an impulse purchase, ask yourself, “Do I NEED this?” People with plastic who aren’t disciplined can be a dangerous combination. If you keep yourself in a budget on a daily basis, and then put aside money for the item you want, you will save over the interest you would spend on the credit card, but appreciate it a lot more.

1. Live the 80/20 Way.

Some things don’t go out of style. When/If you can, adapt the 80/20 rule to finance. Take 80 percent of your paycheck, and operate within that amount. 10 percent can go to your church(if you go), or in your 401K at work. The other 10 percent should go into a savings account, or to debt that you need to pay off. If you can’t live off the 80 percent of your check a month, then you need to re-evaluate your expenses, or potentially your job.

Referenced article HERE.

 

Savings 101: Buy This, Not That

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Finance | January 2, 2011

Money. It looks like a worthless piece of colored paper with numbers on it. When you think of what you can get for it, then things start getting interesting. In this first segment of this week’s money saving series, here are tips to help you buy what you need, not what you think you need:

1. Buy: Costume jewelry necklace at girls’ store

Instead of: Similar necklace at department store

Why: We paid $6.50 for one vs. department store’s $20 price tag

2. Buy: DVD rental at Redbox kiosk at stores, restaurants

Instead of: DVD rental at a video store

Why: Redbox charges $1/night vs. store’s $4.50 for 2-7 days

3. Buy: Filtered water pitcher

Instead of: Gallon jug of filtered water

Why: Pitcher is 23¢/gal. vs. $1/gal. in jug

4. Buy: Cetaphil drugstore facial cleanser

Instead of: Department store facial cleanser

Why: You’ll pay one-third the price

5. Buy: Bulk spices (like bay leaves) at natural-foods market

Instead of: $3.50 jar at grocery

Why: Same amount of leaves cost 12¢

6. Buy: Book at paperbackswap.com

Instead of: New $10 paperback at store or online

Why: Cost is only about $2, to cover shipping

7. Buy: 8-megapixel digital camera

Instead of: 12-megapixel digital camera

Why: May not need to pay for extra pixels

8. Buy: Compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs

Instead of: Incandescent bulbs

Why: CFLs cost more but use 75% less energy

9. Buy: Grocer’s dairy-case cheese

Instead of: Similar deli cheese

Why: Delis often charge twice as much

10. Buy: Store-label organic foods

Instead of: Brand-name organic foods

Why: Store brand may cost up to 50% less

Referenced article HERE.