The TLC show 'Extreme Couponing' has frugal bloggers debating when smart stockpiling becomes obsessive hoarding.
Like many people interested in saving money, we watched the new TLC show "Extreme Couponing."
We agree that the four people profiled are pretty extreme in their coupon practices, from spending six hours on one grocery trip, to dumpster diving for coupons, to filling multiple rooms of their homes with a stockpile of products.
We did like the retired nurse who walked seven miles each morning collecting coupons from her neighbors. (Her fitness may save her as much money as her coupons do.)
The question many people are asking after watching the show is, do these couponers go too far?
Sure, it's illegal, but it's also not very profitable.
Have you ever been tempted to cheat on your taxes? asks a recent post on The New York Times' You're the Boss blog. Like almost everyone else, I've been tempted (everyone has been tempted or thought about it -- if you haven't, then you're a much better person than the majority) but I've never cheated on my taxes.
Here are just three reasons why:
The makeup industry is sitting pretty, raking in about $7 billion a year in sales.
Everybody wants to look their best. But at what cost?
According to a 2008 study by the nonprofit YWCA, U.S. women spend $7 billion a year on cosmetics (.pdf file). Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (.pdf file) says Americans -- so this figure is averaged across men and women -- spent about $600 each in 2009 on "personal care."
But that doesn't mean they will, especially if their longer-living parents blow through it in their final years.
On the face of it, this looks like a huge windfall for baby boomers: MetLife commissioned a study (.pdf file) from Boston College's Center for Retirement Research that says some 78 million American baby boomers will share in an estimated intergenerational transfer of wealth totaling $11.6 trillion. That reportedly includes some $2.4 trillion that has already been gifted.
But when you break it down, the study says that basically comes out to about $64,000 as the median amount, and that two out of three boomers should get something.
Consumer spending on average increased to about $100 a day just before Christmas.
If your December credit card bill is a bit more bloated than usual, you're not alone: Gifts, holiday travel, and other end-of-the-year expenses mean that many of us spend more during the last month of the year than at other times.
According to a recent Gallup poll, consumer spending at retailers, restaurants and gas stations jumped from an average of about $65 a day to almost $100 a day just before Christmas.
But just as a diet of fresh fruit and vegetables can counter the effects of too much ham and pumpkin pie, a spending diet can give your budget a fresh start in the new year. Here's a quick and easy five-step plan to a new and improved bank account:
A top strategy for 2011 includes allowing shopping carts across different brands to be combined online.
If you've ever felt as if your suggestions or complaints about stores were ignored, changes coming in 2011 might actually make you a believer. You want convenience, lots of choice and lower prices, right? It's on the agenda.
We've tracked down five big improvements coming up in retail, based on reports from Retail Customer Experience and from talking to other retail experts. Here's what you can expect:
Statistics show that women aren't as flighty with their spending habits as is commonly believed.
Do women need specialized personal-finance resources specific to our gender? That's what some financial advice books seem to imply. Slate writer Hannah Seligson points out that bookseller Amazon.com has a "money management for women" category, but no category specifically for men.
Some of the cheekier titles in the category include:
- "Shoo, Jimmy Choo!: The Modern Girl's Guide to Spending Less and Saving More"
- "Does This Make My Assets Look Fat?: A Woman's Guide to Finding Financial Empowerment and Success"
- "Addicted to Shopping and Other Issues Women Have with Money"
- "Divanomics: How to Still Be Fabulous When You're Broke"
- "How to Shop for Free: Shopping Secrets for Smart Women Who Love to Get Something for Nothing"
There seems to be a general theme around spending. Even as I was writing this post, I saw an episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond" where, to cover up his own overspending, Raymond blames his wife, Debra, for compulsive spending.
Compromise, and make a list of house rules if you have to. Just don't fight.
With the economy as it is, more and more people are moving in together out of necessity. I've been in similar situations myself. Some of them worked out and others did not.
This is one of the ways that homeless people can find themselves completely homeless. When friends or family become completely aggravated with the close quarters or dueling personalities, tempers flare and agreements erode.
Now that I am older, I have become the host. My youngest daughter stays with me occasionally and my son stayed for a while. I just learned that my eldest daughter is 99% sure that she wants to move in for a while.
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