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Lessons I learned at the Old Navy Sale

FLIPFLOPS

Good morning Loves.  With summer upon us and the 4th of July weekend just passed I’ve noticed that several major retailers are having sales.  Macy’s wants to sell us patio furniture or our backyard barbecues, TJ Maxx wants to sell us summer essentials at a discount and Old Navy wants to sell us flip flops for $1.  Trust me if you need something for summer you will most likely find it on sale.

Or so I thought.  I have been shopping for a white cardigan since May and I just can’t find one that is reasonably priced.  After seeing the Old Navy ad on TV I decided to go and have a look.  I don’t usually shop at Old Navy for all the reasons I’m about to tell you but I thought I’d give it a try.

Cheaper isn’t always better

To make a long story short I went to Old Navy, found a white cardigan and bought it.  When I got home I decided that the quality wasn’t worth the price (reason number 1) so I went back the next day to return it for a full refund.  Did you know that you can return items and get a refund up to 90 days after your purchase?  That seems like a long time to me, but that’s the policy.

As I stood in the extremely long line (reason number 2) waiting to return my cardigan and listening to the conversations around me I realized several things about people, money and shopping habits.

3 lessons I learned from Old Navy:

People love a good deal.   The woman standing in front of me had three pairs of jeans in her hand.  She explained to her boyfriend that they were the same model of jeans she was wearing and because they were on sale she was buying them in every color the store had in her size.  It’s kind of hot to wear jeans in the summer but I guess they will be handy come fall.  There were signs all throughout the store advertising cheap prices on summer must haves such as $1 flip flops, $5 tank tops and $10 summer dresses.  Big flashy signs in bright colors attract shoppers and Old Navy does this well.

The impatient become patient when it comes to money.  The lineup was huge and I mean 20 plus people.  I HAD to wait in line because I was getting money back from returning my cardigan.  I am not sure if I would wait in the same long line to spend money.  I love a great deal just as much as the next girl but I have a breaking point when it comes to waiting.  I was truly shocked at just how long people would wait just to get a good deal.

People will buy anything if it’s cheap.  If you are in the mood to shop you will buy anything and everything that’s on sale.  I know this to be true from my past life.  I am a reformed spend-a-holic and I would love spending money even if I didn’t need the item.  If it was on sale then I was buying it.  It’s an extremely bad habit that’ I’m glad I broke.

Photo from Flickr

Friday Faves: Happy July 4th

Fireworks

Happy July 4th loves.  I hope you are all getting outside to enjoy the sun, walk around without your shoes on and eat some good cookout food.  That’s the one thing I miss about living in a small town – the feeling of fresh cut grass on my feet and the feeling of sand between my toes.  I come from a town close to the five great lakes and the beaches were never in shortage.  Now I live in a big city and unfortunately fresh cut grass is hard to come by.

Have a great Independence Day and enjoy these posts from our personal finance friends:

Wise Bread – Healthy People Have These 10 Things in Their Homes – Do You?

Get Rich Slowly – Are these good enough reasons to buy life insurance?

Broke Millennial – How to Tell a Bride “No”

Club Thrifty – My Worst Money Mistakes

Smart Money Chicks – How We Had A Dream Honeymoon Without Depleting Our Savings

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4 money signs you shouldn’t date him

Bad DateGood morning loves.  Yesterday I spent the afternoon at Starbucks sipping mojito green teas with my friend Anna.  Anna is one of my new friends, we met back in October at a mutual friends birthday party and we immediately bonded over our mutual dislike for young children in public places.

When Anna asked why our mutual friend brought her four month old baby to her 34th birthday party because she thought it was just going to be a nice adult night out, I knew we would become instant friends. Over the last few months I have sat in Starbucks every other Sunday listening to Anna talk about her boy troubles.

For all you lovely married people out there let me tell you that listening to single girl problems in your 30s is very different than when we were in our 20s.  As I listened to Anna tell me about men who are interested in her, how she meets these men and all her awful dates I couldn’t help but think “You should know better”.

What are you looking for in a soul mate?

I am admittedly not single, but I’m not married either.  I live with my long-time boyfriend in our apartment and that’s OK with me.  I know that I haven’t been on a date in a long time but I like to think that I would know what I was looking for if I did.  In my 20s I went on a lot of bad dates and back then I didn’t know what I looking for in a mate, probably because I didn’t even know myself.

However now that I’m in my 30s I know that if I were to start dating again I would want a career man, not necessarily a business man, who managed his money wisely and liked to travel.  As a financial planner I can tell you that you can learn a lot about a person’s personality by how they manage their money.

4 money red flags that you shouldn’t date him:

Not spending any money.  If you go out with a guy and he never spends money or always picks free date spots because he conveniently leaves his credit and debit cards at home it may be a sign to walk away.

Always buying lavish gifts.  Just like nickel and diming it is a red flag so is spending big bucks whenever he can.  There is nothing worse than a guy who likes to show off and spend money carelessly.  I know firsthand that money won’t always be here so I couldn’t date a guy who didn’t budget wisely.

If he always pays with a credit card.  Men who live on credit is a big red flag for me.  I did that back in my 20s and I wouldn’t want to go through that again.  I definitely wouldn’t want to start a relationship with someone who lived off credit and was paying off thousands of dollars in debt.

A man who never makes plans.  I am a huge planner.  I love making lists and I love being organized.  I live my entire life that way, including my money.  I couldn’t date a man who never makes plans, or worse, a man who makes plans and doesn’t stick to them.  People’s lifestyle is made up of personality traits and if he is unorganized in life he probably also mismanages his money.

Would you add anything to the list?

  Photo by Flickr

3 joint credit card myths

joint credit card myths

Good morning loves.  Today we are chit chatting about love and credit cards.  I have a friend named Julie who just got engaged. Yep another 30 something year old woman is getting engaged and it’s not me.  As I sat across from her at lunch at our favourite Japanese restaurant she told me all about how her husband-to-be asked for her hand in marriage in a botanical garden.

They spent the day walking hand in hand through romantic gardens, Julie loves flowers. They stopped to grab some cold lemonade when her fiancé dropped his money while he was paying for their drinks.  As he got up instead of having change in his hand he had a diamond ring.  I swear that’s what happened…I couldn’t make this up if I tried.

What to do about joint credit cards when you get married

After I listened to Julie talk about what a surprise her engagement was and how excited she is to get married her tone suddenly changed.  Her face lost the smile and she asked “Now what do I do about money?”

This is a common conversation among my circle of friends.  As a financial planner I am the one my friends turn to for financial advice.  However I rarely give my opinion because I don’t like to mix family and friends with money.  But that doesn’t stop them from asking.  All I can do is tell them the pros and cons of joint credit cards and let them make their own conclusions.

Don’t get fooled by these 3 joint credit card myths:

1. Only one person is responsible for the debt.  When it comes to joint credit cards many people think only the primary cardholder is responsible for repaying the debt.  This is not true.  A joint credit card means that each person is individually responsible to repay the debt in full.  Some people also think that each person is only responsible to repay half of the outstanding balance, once again this is not true.  At any time the credit card company can ask either credit card holder to repay the balance owing in full.

2. You don’t need to manage it together.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  Joint credit cards have credit limits and it’s important to manage your spending wisely so each person in a couple is aware of what purchases are being charged on the credit card.  This helps avoid overspending and makes sure the monthly payments are manageable.  Could you think of anything more awful than having your credit card declined because your spouse is overspending? How embarrassing.

3. All purchases have to be used by both people. I know some couples who only use their joint credit cards to buy things that are used by both people in the couple.  But this doesn’t have to be the case. As long as both people understand they are responsible for the debt and you manage the spending together to make sure you can afford to pay off the balance each month it shouldn’t matter who is spending what on the joint credit card.  The key to merging your finances is to be open and honest about your spending.

 

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