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Archive for December, 2009

Three huge tips for getting your money’s worth is (an exercise in not being an idiot)

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Have you ever been to one of those really fancy restaurants where they sit you at a table next to each other and the entire room seems like one big awkwardly staged scene?  I had a dream last night about one such place, called picasso in Vegas that Lauren and I went to once.  I think it was about $300 for the meal when it was all said and done.  I should mention that it was so little food that when we were done eating there, we had to go re-eat at a burger joint that I think cost a total of about $10.   Not only that, but we were miserable the entire time we ate at picasso because we felt out of place, and they seated us in an awkward place next to each other where the entire restaurant could stare at us.  On top of that, the wait staff was pretentious and rude (at least those that served us were).  When I emailed the Bellagio about my experience, the ‘helpful’ person sent me back not a response, but instead a MENU OF PICASSO.  Nice customer service Bellagio.  I guess they don’t care about the average Joe.  In any case, it seemed like a good idea at the time but it ended up in my top 10 of dumbest money mistakes.  It certainly wasnt the largest in amount, but in value it was right toward the top.

Instead, here are some ways to actually get your money’s worth.

1) Know what you want and actively look for it ahead of time
I did this with Christmas presents this year on some sites such as Slickdeals.com and it worked out wonderfully.  Yes it gets rid of the instant gratification but it will save you a ton of money in the long run.

2) Dont buy things you dont need
I know this seems simple but I know we all do it.  Or at least most of us do it.  Or at least I do it.  This equates directly to the topic.  Its hard to get your money’s worth if it is something you dont even need (or want that badly).

3) Use discounts
When you do have to make big purchases there is always a way to get a discount.  We had to buy new car seats since our son grew out of his rear facing one so we waited until we had 15% off coupons and then used them.  When you are buying 2x $150, suddenly 15% off is a decent chunk of change.

4,5,6,7,8) Price compare.  I dont know how many times I have bought something only to see it cheaper somewhere else.  And hey, if you see something advertised for a certain price, Walmart will always price match.  I know, I know some of you hate Walmart.  I get “Dont talk about Walmart” emails all the time.  Since Im not a hippy and I dont like unions, Ill keep talking about big-box-mart with the caviat of: there are other places that price match, find em.

Merry Christmas from TPS

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and came out of it financially unscathed!  Here are my random Christmas wishes for you, my readers:

1) Get out of debt this year
I know this isnt within reach for some of you, but for some of you, it is.  For those that can; do.  For those that can’t; make progress.

2) Save
I know that trying to get on top of #1 might make #2 seem like less of a priority, but its a good idea to still try and put some away for an emergency fund.

3) Spend on something worthwhile
Take a vacation with your wife/husband/Significant other.  Buy something you need.  This also conflicts with #1 and #2 but it is also important.   Life should be enjoyed, even if it is in moderation.

4) Take up/rediscover a hobby
My wife has gotten back into photography and it has been a lot of fun seeing her enjoy it.  I want to get back into writing, despite my ridiculously busy schedule.  I also want to get back into lifting, and find time to play some sports.  We all have things we love but have forgotten.  Do your best to find time to get back into whatever you love.

5) Read TPS more
If I promise more articles, hopefully you read more.

Merry Christmas everyone!