Archive for July 31, 2012

Hidden Maintenance Costs When Owning A House

I couldn’t tell you if now is a good time to buy a house, actually nobody can, – if someone can really predict the housing market, he/she wouldn’t tell anyone about it. But before buying ahouse, you should make sure if you are ready or not. Most people will use a mortgage calculator to esmiate the monthly payment, and find their credit score for free in order to get the best loan. But if you are a first time home owner, there are many hidden costs you may not be aware of.

Home Insurance
Home insurance isn’t cheap, no insurance is cheap. It would cost $1000 to $2000 a year, depening on your coverage and value of your house. And the cost is increasing every year!

Real Estate Tax
Depending on the state and city you are living in, the tax is usually 1% to 2% of your house value every year. Yes, your Uncle Sam is making a lot of money out of you!

Water Bills
I had never worried about water bills when I lived in an apartment, which was only $10 to $20 a month. Now with watering your lawn every day in spring and summer, the water bill can come up to $100 to $200 a month.

Eletricity
I live in Texas, the electricity will cost me $300 to $400 every month, mostly for air conditioner.

Gas
Texas is also cold in winter, and snows sometimes. The heater is on all day and all night. My gas bill was less than $50 in summer, but in winter it could be more than $100 a month.

Mowing Lawn
You don’t want to expose yourself in the sun in summer of Texas. $30 a week, that is the lowest I could find.

Fertilizing Lawn
If you decided to do it yourself, that is minimum twice a year, and each time cost $30 to $50 depending on how big is your lawn. If you hire companies like Tru Greens or Scott to do the job for you, that is about $50 each time, and usually 8 to 12 times a year!

Gardening
Do you like to plant some flowers in your garden? Well, it is costly too.

Trimming Shrub and Trees
You should at least trim your shrub once a quater, and your trees once a year. The costs vary depending on how many of them you have in your yard.

Repairing A/C
Air conditioner is as reliable as you expect. Every year I spent a few hundreds on them. It could be coolant refill, water leak, themostats, etc..

Plumbing
Faucet, showhead, toilet flush flapper, light bulbs, smoke detector, clogs remover… You will never know what is the next you’re going to need. And they all cost money!

Clean Carpet
I had it done once a year at cost of $30 per room.

TVs in Multiple Rooms
When you live in an apartment, you probably only need one TV in the living room. Now you want an extra one in your master bedroom, and maybe another one upstairs. Each additional TV set box could cost $10 to $15 every month.

Am I scaring you? Don’t be. But be prepared.

Be Productive In Your Life – Dos and DON’Ts of Multitasking

Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!

– Anthony Robbins

One of the easiest definitions of multitasking is performing of multiple tasks at one time. Basically, multitasking helps in saving time for more valuable tasks. Unfortunately, with the many benefits of multitasking, it also has few drawbacks. For instance, multitasking divides the focus on any one work, which affects the quality of the work. Multitasking is a controversial subject as some people believe that doing tasks at one time means doing nothing at all.

In addition, sometimes multitasking all the time turns the person into a workaholic. But, there is no doubt that performing multiple tasks at one time will help you to increase the productivity in business, office and home. To reap the benefits of multitasking without any drawbacks, you must split the tasks into smaller jobs. It is also important to understand how to prioritize the tasks as per the importance and time required to complete. Here are the few profitable multitasking Dos and Don’ts that help in improving the productivity of life.

Dos:

Clips Coupons from Sunday Newspaper While Watching TV

Many people clip coupons from the Sunday newspaper to save money on grocery, electronic items and home décor. But, clipping coupons often take much of the time. But, if you clip coupons while watching the TV, then you can certainly save time. Since, clipping coupons and watching TV doesn’t require much attention, which eliminates the chances of any drawbacks. You can spend the saved time with your family to improve and strengthen the relationship with family members or do the household work.

Make Phone Calls While Running Outdoors

Making phone calls while running outdoors is a best way to save the time as you will be multitasking by talking on the phone and running at the same time. In addition, making phone calls while running outdoors also help in saving money. Since, when most people are running outdoors, they usually talk about the important things only. Thus, next time, when you are running outdoors, make use of your time by calling your clients or friends while running.

Plan Next Day’s Meal When Cooking

Planning a day ahead is certainly the best way to save time to do the productive things in the spared time. One of the best ways to save time by multitasking is to plan your next day’s meal when cooking. By planning the next day’s meal, you will easily save time on last minute thinking about the groceries or items you need for the next day’s meal. In addition, after determining the things you need for your next day’s meal, you can get them while you are returning from office or outdoors.

Make Plans While Taking A Bubble Bath

Taking a bubble bath is often considered as the best method to relax the body and mind. In the peaceful state of mind, you can certainly think positive and productive things. In the calm state of mind and body, you can easily set the priorities of work you have to do in the coming week or the next day as per their importance. So, making plans for tomorrow or the next week while taking a bubble bath will save time and improve the productivity of time.

Organize Your Room While Reading A Book

Another efficient multitasking is organizing your room while reading a book. Organizing a room and reading a book involves mind and hand. To organize your room you don’t need to think much as you already know where your things should be placed. Similarly, while reading a book, you can focus on the reading as organizing your room doesn’t include mind exercise, which could cause any hindrance in your reading. Thus, this type of multitasking has maximum benefits and no drawbacks.

Don’ts:

Watch TV While Running On A Treadmill

Multitasking is a recommended method to be productive in life. However, performing the multiple tasks such as watching TV while running on the treadmill has drawbacks. Since, watching TV and running on the treadmill requires concentration of your mind. So, watching TV while running on Treadmill will cause distraction, which will lead to falling off a treadmill. Therefore, for multitasking, you must precisely choose the tasks that do not involve concentration of your mind at the same time.

Reading On Toilet

Reading on the toilet is preferred by many people as they feel that it saves time. However, from the medical standpoint, reading on the toilet can cause hemorrhoids. Since, toilets are designed specifically to improve the bowel movement. But, when you sit on the toilet for the longer time, then it causes pressure on the rectal veins, which causes hemorrhoids. In addition, if you share the restroom, then keeping it occupied for the longer time is a bad manner.

Watching TV When Having Dinner

It is certainly a bad idea to watch TV when having dinner as it has many drawbacks. The foremost drawback of watching TV when having dinner is that you eventually end up eating more. Since, you will be focusing on the television and not on your food, which will lead to overeating. While some people eat very slow while watching TV, which will definitely waste your time. Thus, you must avoid eating dinner while watching TV.

Thinking Of Something Else When Having Sex

To enjoy the lovemaking session with your partner, it is important that you must appreciate every moment and feeling. Some of the people think that thinking of something else when having sex helps them to last longer. But, when you are thinking of something else when having sex, you may lose the sexual sensation that will lead to dissatisfaction for you and your partner. Thus, you must not think of something else when having sex with your partner.

Thinking Of Something Else When Listening To Your Kids

Do you feel you have to yell to your kid to get their attention? But there is worse: thinking of something else when listening to your kids is a ridiculous idea to be productive in life. A good parent always listens carefully to their kids. Communication is a key element of a strong and healthy relationship. Active listening with your kid shows that you are interested in whatever your kid has to say. It also denotes that you genuinely care about your kid’s thoughts and feelings. Thus, you must always concentrate on what your kid is saying rather than thinking about something else.

What dress can you buy with $60?

Kate Middleton wore a $60 dress from a department store to attend pre-Olympics launch of a school program yesterday. Jounalists reported the story, but all focused attention on the $60 dress. It proves that you don’t need to spend hundreds or even thousands on a dress to get a designer look. But, in fact, you really don’t need $60 to get a dress like that. See the dresses we have found for you:

Shopbop
Shopbop is used to be my number choice to shop all my clothing online. But since July 1 this year, it started to collect state tax in Texas, because it is part of Amazon. Other than that, it is still a good place to shop, because it offers free shipping and free return on any order. At shopbop you can hundreds of dresses under $60! This Good Girl Gone Bad Dress by Free People (Style #:FREEP40317) is final sale for only $32.40. You don’t any Free People dress at such a low price anywhre else.

Yoox
Yoox did not offer free shipping nor free return. But so far it has the largest designer’s collection. This FORNARINA short dress is only $30! It is a lightweight sheer dress, which can give you a more feminine look.

Gap
Gap is famous for its kids clothing. But they also have many women’s dress for under $60. This embroidered babydoll dress is made of 100% cotton, now $59.95. It is not cheap at all, and besides, the cotton fabic may shrink a lot after the first wash.

Urban Outfitters
Coincidence & Chance Gaucho Jumper is only $49.00. It is a see though jumper, makes you sexier and taller than you are. Wear nude color pantyhose or shapewear under it.

Bloomingdales
The New Wave: Volcom Dress – Eazy Tripper Maxi Dress is only $16.68! Yes, that’s right, it is $16.68! But only size XL available now.

bebe
Classic bebe designs, with bold stripes. This stripe bodycon tank dress is only $47. Also available in blue/black color.

BlueFly
BlueFly only offers high end designer’s apparel, but that doesn’t the prices are very high. This lollipop stretch chevron knit tank dress by BCBGeneration is only $37.40. Also available in black color. It is a formal dress with mid-weight ribbed chevron knit.

GoJane
Are you bold enough? Get this lace tube maxi dress! And it is only $36.30! It is 100% Nylon, and very easy to take care of.

Guess
This MINDY HIGH-LOW DRESS is on sale at $59.99, perfect for a night dress.

Nordstrom
Need I say anything about Nordstrom? You get the quality guaranteed by Nordstrom. This Calvin Klein One Shoulder Jersey Sheath Dress is on sale at $43, was $98.

Do Women Pay More? No, Not Me!

If you have read the recent article on Marie Claire, you must have asked yourself: did I pay more on the same products than man did? The article stated that the female usually pay more for mortgages, health insurance, cars, car repairs, which is not surprising at all. But for everyday items like deodorant, disposable razors, shampoos, women’s products are also priced higher than men’s, even if they have the same composition but with different scents.

Did you ever expenrience paying more than you should only because you are a woman? Probably you did not realize it. Here are some tips to avoid paying more.

Auto Insurance
It is a fact that women tend to have more car accidents than men do, especially true for young women. This may be debatable, but it is true that women have on average 5.7 accidents per million miles driven while men have 5.2 accidents per million miles driven. That is why all insurance policies are gender rating. Here is the solution: if you are married, have your husband as your main driver, and yourself as second driver. If you are single, ask your father or your boyfriend to be the main driver.

New Cars and Used Cars
Think you knew cars very well? The car deals don’t think so. If you are buing a new car, it is very simple. MSRP is fixed, if not sure, check the Internet for new car prices. The total new car cost will be MSRP, plus the destination fee, plus cost for extra features. If you are not 100% sure the extra features, don’t buy any. But here comes the tricky part: when you are ready to pay, you will asked if you the extra warranty, extra protection, extra accessories. Remember, don’t buy any of them. They don’t worth the money. If you think you need them, ask other auto garages for a second opinion, you will get a much lower price than the auto dealer can offer.

If you are buying a used car, prepare yourself by researching online. But that is not enough. You’d better ask your husband or boyfriend to come with you, and let them do the talk, if even you knew better he does.

Auto Repairs
If you are worried that you may be paying more, ask your man to take the car to the garage. And most importantly, refuse everything the service man asked you to do!

Health Insurance
For women under 50, they often pay 30% to 50% more than men on home insurance premiums. Feeling unfair? But there is nothing you can do about it. To get a better health insurance, you should compare the policies online, and find the the one that best that fits your need.

Mortgages
Banks do not apply higher interest rates on you just because you a woman. Woman paying more on mortgages is because that they did not do enough homework and find the best deal on mortages. Don’t just go for the bank your real estate agent or title company recommeded to you. Find one online, I am sure you will get a better deal online than any local agent.

Buying Everyday Items
Do you realize that you are paying more on women’s deodorants, disposable razors, shampoos? Probably not. Compare them with those for men. If you don’t mind the scents, choose the one for men. If possible, buy them online and save! If you have an iPhone, download Quick Sacn for free. Scan the barcode, and the free app will compare the prices online (including Amazon), and find the best prices for you.

Back To School Deals Match-Up

Mom, have you started shopping for back to school supplies yet? You probably didn’t realize it is time already, or did you? You don’t want to wait until the last week, and rush to stores and pick up the items without looking at the price tags. Make a plan now, – start with your budget and list the items you need, cut off some items if not absolutely necessory. You still have plenty of time to shop around, but now is the best time watching for back to school coupons and deals.

Kids Clothing
OldNavy is the best place for low price kids clothing. You can save 35% with promo code SURPRISE35 – limitations unknown, or save 25% with code SURPRISE25 on any purchase – just verified.
Gap is more expensive than Old Navy, but offers more fashionable kids clothing. I like their uniform polos for boys, with prices from $16.95 to $19.95. Now with promo code GAPSHOP you can save 25%!
ChildrensPlace.com is running 30% off back-to-school sale – no coupon code needed! Tees started from $5 – you don’t get that price anywhere else. If price is sensitive to you, this is the place for you.

School Uniforms
FrenchToast.com: 20% off Polos & 25% off Accessories with code QELGW4. If your school has a dress code, enter it here. You will find what you need immediately. The best part is that you can add your school’s logo to the uniform!
CookiesKids.com: has the lowest prices on school uniforms: polos start from $4.99, shirts start from $5.99! It has no dollar off or percentage off coupon as of today, – you could expect a 10% off coupon pretty soon. But now there is valid free shipping coupon code: FSINF.

Backpacks
eBags.com: You will see a 20% off coupon on their website, but they have 25% secret coupons all the time. Try code EMB2C during check out to receive 25% off instead of 20% off. If you an extra budget on backpacks, I highly recommend the SwissGear ScanSmart Backpack, the black one is only $55.99! It will last for years and save you money in long run.
Altrec: Click through this link to see the 148 school backpacks! Many of them are 25% to 50% off their original prices. You save extra 10% with coupon code TER12SAY!

School Supplies
Walmart.com: Click through this link to see all the back to school needs, including school supplies, uniforms, backpacks, and electronics. Specially I want to recommend the school supplies value bundles here, prices started from $15.

Top 10 Products Kids Most Wanted

What are products that most kids want? Believe it or not, today’s kids are more knowledgeable and tech-savvy than they used to be. Nowadays, kids are following the latest trends and technologies at the younger ages. As per a recent study, it has been concluded that most of the kids start independent purchases by the age of eight. Also, most of the kids can easily operate latest programs and software in compared to their parents. Moreover, today’s kids have more spending power than their previous generations. Thus, the kids market has grown bigger and bigger with the innovative products due to the demands.

In addition, kids often prefer and demand the latest electronic products that offer multiple benefits. So, if you are considering buying any product to give as a gift to your kid, then you might want to look at the list of top ten products that most of the kids want.

1. iPad

Gone are the days when traditional Nintendo game consoles were the favorites of kids. Today, most of the kids of age six to twelve prefer to buy an iPad or receive it as a gift for the entertainment and fun. Moreover, an iPad is not merely used for the entertainment and fun, but it provides the facility to stay connected with the friends on social-networking websites. It also provides the facility to watch videos and listen to the music online at any time. It can also be used for the educational purposes to read the e-books or search on the internet for study materials.

2. iPod

The iPod is another most wanted product among the kids. The latest iPod touch offers all the facilities of an iPhone except the abilities of a mobile phone communication. It provides the facility to store thousands of songs, videos and pictures as it is available in 8, 16 and 32 GB flash memory. It also has Wi-Fi features, which enables the wireless internet connectivity to check emails, watch online videos or connect to the social-networking website. You can also download various applications online for various purposes. You can also use the iPod as a pen drive for the data storage.

3. PS3

The Sony’s PlayStation 3, which is also commonly known as PS3 is one of the most popular products among the kids and adults. The PS3 can easily provide high-definition audio quality with the high-definition graphics output for the superior gaming experience. It also features various networking options for playing multi-player games. In addition, the PlayStation 3 is the only game console that can easily play CD, DVD and Blu-ray discs to watch movies. It also provides the facility to store, share or watch the music, videos, photos and games.

4. Trampoline

The trampoline is one of the all-time favorite products for all the kids. Since, the joy of jumping higher is almost similar to flying, which certainly is entertaining and interesting. Also, it is believed that jumping on the trampoline for ten minutes is similar to walking for thirty minutes. Thus, it can easily ensure the proper body growth and health of your kid. In addition, exhilarating experience of jumping on a trampoline will surely keep your kids out of the couches. The trampoline is available in various sizes and shapes. Therefore, it can be used outdoor or indoor as per the preferences.

5. Teeter Totter

Every person has experienced the joy of riding on the teeter totter. It certainly is one of the most wanted products of the kids as playing on the unbalanced platform of the teeter totter can be lots of fun. The teeter totter is available in various styles and shapes to provide thrilling fun. There are many companies that manufacture teeter totter for the backyard or garden that also spins with seesaw movement for the superior fun for kids. The teeter totter is also an ideal gift for the twins and siblings. Since, the teeter totter can encourage the cooperation with lots of fun between the twins or siblings.

6. Water Toys

In summer, there is nothing better than playing water games in the cool water of the pool. There are many water games such as sprinkler “freeze” game, diving for pennies and ice cube hunt. Moreover, for the maximum entertainment of your child, you can get some water toys. Some of the most popular water toys are squirt gun, which is used to spray cold water on other kids or family members. Another popular water toy is water trampolines, which is ideal for the bigger pools. Kids swim floats are also the best water toy as it helps younger kids to enjoy the cool water on their own.

7. Lego

Since 1949, Lego games have been one of the most favorite entertainment products for kids. Moreover, Lego toys are loved by kids of all ages as the quest of creating objects, buildings or vehicles from the plastic bricks is certainly an interesting and entertaining experience. For many kids who love building with Lego will love the Lego game kits. With the Lego bricks, the kids can use their imagination to design new objects. In addition, the Lego kits such as preschool and creative games are helpful in teaching kids in the most entertaining way.

8. Bicycle

The bicycle is undoubtedly one of the most wanted products among kids of all ages. No matter how old your kid is, he or she will definitely love to ride his or her first or new bicycle as it gives them the sense of freedom and speed. Moreover, bicycle will help your kid to stay active, which will definitely aid in the healthy body growth of your kid. Since, bicycling helps in burning calories and strengthening the bones. For the toddlers, the toddler bicycle is a fine way to teach coordination and balance.

9. Scooter

Most of the kids of around six to eight prefer to cruise around the block with the neighborhood kids on a scooter. Riding a scooter is certainly fun for the kids as it gives them freedom to roam around the home and gain health benefits. Riding scooter also helps in improving the motor skills and balance coordination in the kids. Nowadays, various types of scooters are available such as stand-up scooter, electric scooter and sit-down electric scooter for the kids of all ages.

10. Dollhouse

Kids of all ages love to play with the dollhouses. It gives them pleasure and freedom to utilize their creative mind to decorate the dollhouse. However, dollhouses are often considered as the favorite product of girls only. But, most of the boys love dollhouses as much as girls. Due to the popularity of dollhouses among the boys, many manufacturers have introduced fire station play set and airport play set, which are also called dollhouses for some reason.

They Are Not The Right Ways To Save Energy

With weather being so hot this year, your energy bill will reach the highest among the year. You must have been reading articles on how to conserve energy here or there. Do you know the truth behind these energy conservation myths? They may be costing you instead of saving you money.

1. Set The Thermostat at Same Temperature Will Save Energy
–Not true. Many people thought the air conditioner will consume a lot more energy when it cools down or warms up the room. The truth is that it uses more energy to maintain the same temperature. The best way to save energy is to program your thermostat so that it is set to higher temperature in summer or set to lower temperature in winter at night or when you leave for work.

2. Leave Lights On Will Consume Less Engergy
–Not True. It may be true before, bit not any more. You should have the habbit to turn off the lights anytime when not in use.


3. Switch Computer To Sleep Mode Is Enough To Save Energy
–Not True. It uses less power when in sleep mode, but it is still a significant amount of energy. You should turn it off completely whenever you can.


4. Eletronics and Appliances Do Not Use Power When They Are Off
–Not True. They are not 100% off when you pressed the off button. They are are still sucking powers slowly and with time the cost will add up fast. The best way is to unplug the power.


5 Free iPhone Apps That Can Save Your Money

If you are an iPhone user, there are many free apps that can help you find the cheapest prices, local restaurant coupons, cheapest gas price, etc, which can save you lots of money in your daily life!

RedLaser Barcode Scanner
When you shop in a store, you must be wondering if you can find a better price online. Now with RedLaser, you can easily take a photo of the product’s barcode and then compare the prices online automatically. Now it is your call to buy it in store or buy it online.

Key Ring Reward Cards
Loyalty cards can help you save some money and get points for later use. But when you have too many of them, you don’t want to carry all of them in your wallet or in your key ring. This free app is here to help. It will take a photo of the reward card and store them in one place. When you check out in stores, all you need is to present your iPhone to the clerk.

Cheap Gas!
The app will get your current location and find all the gas prices nearby. It also tells you the distances from the gas stations. You decide if it worth to drive there and save a few cents.

Coupon Clipper
They collect all the in-store coupons for your location, including retaurants, spas, auto shops, retail stores, or even dentists. But I mainly use it to find restaurant coupons in my location. It works pretty well for me.

GrocerySaver
When you shop groceries, you must be trying to find the cheapest prices. But with differnt units, such as pound, kg, oz, it is very hard to compare prices. GrocerySaver will help you convert them into one unit price.

4 Signs That You Need A New Bra

We need to work, as well as take a break. So is our breast. It need exercise, and also need to get freed some times. A good bra is needed when you work and do exercise. But it will only last 10 months at most even if you take good care of it. Here are the signs that you should get a new bra before its life span:

1.The bra straps slide off your shoulder very often
The straps will be loose after wearing many times. When this happens, your bra will no long give enough support to your breast.

2.The cups move up very often
Cups can change their shapes with time. It is very common that they move up often, especially when you are walking.

3.There are red marks on your back
The straps will become tighter and tighter after each washes, which is the cause of read marks on your back.

4.There are red marks below your breast
The shape of the underwire can change too, even if it is made of metal. Use bra washing ball every time you wash your bras to protect the underwire.

Is More Expensive One Worth It?

Weather you shop in stores or online you will find many similar products with different prices. You must have wondered if they worth the money or not. For electronics or computers you can probably find many product reviews online and find the one right for you. But what about shampoos and conditioners, bananas and pizzas? Should you buy the more expensive or go for the cheaptest one?

Shampoos and Conditioners
Go for the more expensive ones in Sam’s Club or Costco. The cheap ones at Walmart are usually diluted with more water.

Bananas
Get the cheapest one! The organic bananas will taste same as the conventional one. And the peel is thick enough to prevent the contamination of synthetic fertilizers and insecticides.

Bottle Waters
Get the cheapest one! Don’t expect the more expensive ones will taste better or better for your health. They are basically the same H2O in different bottles.

Pizzas
Get the expensive one! The frozon pizzas in grocery stores may be as cheap as $2.99 each, or as much as $8.99 each. The more expensive ones are thinker and have a lot more meat in it.

Inkjet Cartridges
Get the cheapest compatible inks if you do not use them to print photoes. The prices of compatible ones are usually a fraction of the OEM ones. To print both text and images from a document or website, the compatible inks are good enough. To even lower the price, buy ink refills online!

Toys
Get the cheapest one online! More than 80% of toys are made in China. For the same or similar toys, don’t expect the more expensive ones are less harmful to kids. They are just tagged with different prices from stores to stores. Take a picture of the toy you have seen in Toys R Us and purchase it later online from stores such as Wayfair, you will usually save 30 to 50%!

Books
Get the cheapest one with paperback online! If you find a hardcover copy, search the paperback version, it is at least 50% cheaper. And sometimes at Amazon Marketplace you will find the book a little bit cheaper. But make sure the merchant is located within United States. Or ignore it if you don’t mind receiving the book a few weeks later. Buy.com is actually my favorite place to shop for books, because their prices are marked lower than those at Amazon. It offers price match on all books (excluding free shipping books), but it is too hard to use the feature – you have to contact their customer service in order to get a few cents off! Half.com has the largest inventory of used books, – for people really wanted to save some bucks and protect our earth as well, this is the best choice.

Car Parts
Get the expensive one! There are many brands that are unfamiliar for most people. And their prices vary greatly. For you own safety, you should go for the more expensive one, which will also last much longer than the cheap parts and save you money in long run.

10 Signs That You Are Addicted To Shopping

Who doesn’t like shopping? But, if shopping has become your hobby, then you are probably heading towards a big trouble, which is commonly known as Shopping Addiction.

Lately, shopping addiction or compulsive shopping has been shaping up as a world-wide pandemic. In medical terms, shopping addiction is a type of impulse control disorder, which causes senseless and irresistible desire to shop. The compulsive shopping is also linked with the drug addiction and gambling addiction by some researchers because it includes similar traits.

A study suggests that compulsive shopping is a method for many people to escape from negative feelings such as boredom, depression, anger and anxiety. But, compulsive shopping to escaping the negative feelings is short-lived as it leads to the debts, which further leads to the depression and regrets due to the overwhelming debts. In simple words, a Shopaholic often traps himself or herself in a vicious cycle of debt, which results in financial, family and psychological problems. Often, a Shopaholic has been unaware of the addiction until financial problems arise. Thus, before compulsive shopping becomes uncontrollable, know the signs.

1. You Go To Store Without A Goal
The most common difference between a normal shopper and a Shopaholic is the purpose of shopping. A normal shopper usually decides what he or she has to buy before visiting any store. In addition, a normal shopper also thinks whether he or she can afford buying any particular item. But, for a Shopaholic, it’s always about the love at a first sight to buy goods or products. Since, a Shopaholic never thinks of the productivity or profitability of any product before buying.

2. You Stay Online Watching For Sales And Deals
Nowadays, the internet has become a main medium for gathering information, data and communication. But, if sales and deals have become your main motive to be online, then you are definitely addicted to shopping. Since, good deals and sales are some of the good excuses used by the Shopaholics to spend more money on unnecessary goods. Moreover, a Shopaholic often keeps tab on sales and deals by maintaining a calendar or a note on their to-do-list.

3. You Regret It The Next Day
If you are shopping fanatically without any motive or purpose, then you will definitely regret it the next day. Since, you will find a pile of unnecessary items or goods that have cost you hefty bill. Most of the people who are addicted to shopping use their Credit Cards or Bill Me Later services to pay for the products or goods they have purchased. But, when it comes to paying for the credits given by the bank or bill me later service providers, Shopaholics always regret because they have spent much more money than they actually have.

4. You Borrow Money From The Credit Card Company
The people who are addicted to shopping always consider credit card as their best friend as they can shop as much as they want without worrying about the instant payment. Using a credit card to shop is similar to spending the money that you don’t have. Therefore, access to the credit card for a Shopaholic could be disastrous. Moreover, most of the Shopaholics carry multiple credit cards just for shopping purposes. So, if you are dependent on the credits offered by credit card to shop because you actually can’t afford to pay the bill at once, then you are addicted to shopping.

5. You Use Bill Me Later
Bill Me Later is a credit service provided to the customers to pay for the products or goods in easy installments. Bill Me Later services often seems lucrative offer to a Shopaholic. Most of the Shopaholic, who have do not have access to much money or credit card, quenches their thirst of shopping by using the credit services such as Bill Me Later. But, when the time arrives to pay the Bill Me Later dues, a Shopaholic always faces financial trouble because they have overspent on shopping.

6. You Don’t Have A Saving Account
Most of the people choose to open a saving account to save the money for emergencies or to buy essential things such as home, vehicle or furniture. But, a Shopaholic can never save money because he or she can’t resist the urge to shop. Thus, a person who is addicted to shopping will never consider opening or maintaining a saving account. Moreover, a Shopaholic will prefer to use the saved money to spend on shopping unnecessary items or goods.

7. You Buy Because Of Price Drop
Buying useful and required products or goods on sale or at a discounted price is certainly a good method to save money. But, for a Shopaholic, knowing the price drop on products or goods is like experiencing an adrenaline rush to shop. Moreover, a person having a shopping addiction will always end up buying a bunch of similar items because they are available at discounted price.

8. You Don’t Tell Your Spouse What You Have Bought
Most of the people addicted to shopping often hate to confront that they are overspending money on shopping. Thus, a Shopaholic will start hiding bills and goods from the spouse to avoid the confronting situation. In addition, the person addicted to shopping will often lie about shopping because he or she will feel embraced when other people will be shocked to find out that he or she own 100 pairs of sandals or shoes. Lying or hiding things from your husband or spouse often leads to suspicion, which could cause divorce or break-up.

9. You Go To Black Friday Sale Every Year
Holiday buying season such as black Friday is a good excuse for the American consumers to buy the products and goods because they are available at the discounted rate. For Shopaholics, the holiday buying season is an open invitation to spend as much as you can on shopping by giving the discount excuse. On Black Friday, most of the people addicted to shopping will max out their credit cards to buy things that they fell in love at the first sight.

10. You Shop When You Are Traveling
The people addicted to shopping often shop wherever they go. Thus, it doesn’t matter whether they are on a business trip or a holiday trip, they will always end up shopping. In addition, for most of the Shopaholic, the duty-free store at the airport is also the best excuse to buy goods or products. Moreover, the Shopaholics always consider shopping as a medium to relax after an exhausting trip. Some of the Shopaholics often plan their trip just to satisfy their shopping addiction.

How not to get ripped off when shopping online

Nowasays internet shopping has been adopted by most of people. People are realizing that it is more convenient and could save your money and energy. But there are also more scams than shopping in local stores. Here are some tips avoid the online shopping scams.

1.Don’t buy any accessories recommended by the website
If you are not sure if you need the assessory or not, don’t buy it. You will find out later when you receive your item. Compare prices again and accesories from other web stores could be much cheaper.

2.Don’t listen to the customer service
After you have checked out online, some merchants will call you to confirm the order, while some will call you to sell you more stuff or warranties you don’t need. Don’t listen to them and and don’t buy anything from them. When you shop at brand name stores such as Amazon and Buy.com, you are assured this won’t happen to you. But there are many small electronic stores that are living on the profits from the extra accessories they sell.

3.Don’t shop at Groupon
Don’t believe any deal-of-the-day website, inclucing the big names such as Groupon or LivingSocial. The prices are definitely attractive, but most people are not satisfied with what they have purchased from these sites, unless all you care is the price.

4.Don’t shop at eBay
I am saying you won’t get a good deal from eBay. But you are more likely to get something different from you expected. Most of the online scam came from eBay. To be 100% safe, my advice is to stay away from eBay.

5.Don’t shop at Amazon Marketplace
You can trust Amazon, but you shouldn’t trust Amazon’s Marketplace. They are thousands of small retailers who uses Amazon’s interface to sell their own products and they have nothing to do with Amazon.

6.Don’t buy any final sales
Final sales are usually much cheaper than regular prices, but it also means you can’t return the product. If you are not 100% sure, don’t buy any final sale product.

7.Don’t buy anything shipped from foreign countries
This is tricky, because it is very hard to tell that the items are shipped from abroad. When the prices are extremely, you should be alerted. Try to find their contact and read their “About” information.

8.Don’t believe you are the lucky one
If you received an email or short message, or read it from a popup window that you are the lucky one – either you get a huge discount or tell you today is the final sale, don’t be so naive to believe that.

9.Don’t buy any luxuries from the stores you don’t know
Most luxuries only sell their products from their own websites, or at most a few other stores such as Saks 5th Avenue or Neiman Marcus. If not, they are fakes ones. Some websites may tell you they are selling replicas at very low prices, while some will sell replicas at original prices!

10.Don’t buy from any new website
If you start your shopping from price compare engine, be aware of those low prices. They are usually new websites that have no ratings or very few ratings (possiblly fakes ones). Don’t buy from them, it is very possible that you will receive refurbished or open-box item without knowing it.

How to Get Teen Clothing Online At Discounted Prices

When little girls grow up into teen girls, they want to be different from their parents. I don’t want to call it the rebelious phase in puberty, because I think they are now realizing that they are not part of their parents, but themselves. And thet want to be different from their friends and classmates too. But there is at least one thing in common for all teen girls. They always want new clothes. If possible, they would rather wear new clothes everyday!

Ask Them Before You Buy
Buying clothes for kids used to be easy, isn’t it? I used to get a few for my kids when I shop for my own clothes or even goceries. But when they grew up, one day you will find out that they don’t like your picks any more. They will probably thank you any way, but never wear them. Even if you knew it for sure that this is what she wanted, you have to ask them first! Be polite and respectful, and treat them like adults.

Be A Trendy Girl Yourself
Find out what styles are popular among girls. Listen to her when your daughter are talking about her favorite movie stars, movies, and magazines. Talk about them and discuss them with your daughter if you can. If not, at least listen to her and try to memorize them and do some research afterwards. InStyle magazine will cover all the hot topics that teen girls are talking about. Read it in a bookstore if you have not subscribed it.

Brands That Are Popular Among Girls
Following are the brands that all girls know about and are talk about. They can all be found in the shopping mall or online at their official websites.
Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Buckle, dELiAs,Gap, Justice, Pac Sun – are the ones for you if you have a tighter budget. The prices for tees and tanks are usually priced from $10 to $30 each, while jeans are from $30 to $50.
Abercrombie & Fitch, Juicy Couture, Roxy, Urban Outfitters, Baby Phat, Guess, Lucky Brand Jeans, All Man Kind – are tagged with higher prices, and are usually made of more expensive fabrics.

Shop Online for Discounts
Shopping online saves you costs of feul, saves your time, and more importantly, saves your money. If you ever found a store is on sale, you should expect a same sale is going online too. Besides, you will find many coupons available for online shopping only.
Official Web Stores That Offer Coupons – Aeropostale.com, dELiAs.com,Gap.com, Justice.com, PacSun.com, UrbanOutfitters.com, BabyPhat.com are the ones that offer online coupons very often. You can find many of their coupons in one page.
Online Only Clothing Stores That Offer Coupons – Endless.com and Bluefly.com are my favorite places to shop teen clothing online. And they offer 10% to 20% off coupons from time to time. Some of their clearance items are already at their lowest prices. Ask the young lady to browse with you and teach them how to use online coupons to save!

Bra or Bra-Less? It Is My Own Choice!

Yesterday was National No Bra Day. I didn’t know about it and had never heard about it before, until I got many retweets from my friends and co-works – femaile of course. Most of the tweets started with “Dare you” or “Dare you not” and ended with “LOL”. I wondered how many of these people are really serious about freeing their breasts for one day.

It is not a science
No-Bra supporters claims that your breast need to breath and related breast cancer to wearing bras. But after hours of research online, I haven’t found any solid evidence provided by professionals that they are true. If I am wrong, tell me about it. My Ob-gyn told me nobody can tell if breast cancer is related to bras or not, but it is true that wearing bras are better to your health than not-wearing.

It is my own choice!
Other supporters think bra-less is sexy. I agree with it in some extend, – it depends on what clothing you are wearing and what size and shapes your boobs are. If your size is full C or D cup or above, don’t ever try. Wear adheresives if you are wearing silk or sheer dresses. But, this is completely your own choice: some think it is sexy to show the beauty of their breasts, while some think it is embrassing. There is no right or wrong, nor dare or dare not. Do what ever you feel comfortable with.

How to wear a right bra to work?
If you are a work lady, especially if you are young and single, not wearing a bra gives a bad signal to some males. Like all workwear, you should pick a work-bra, if there is such a term. It should cover at least 2/3 of your breasts, and should not be made of silk or lightweight fabrics.

Bra or bra-Less at home?
For full time moms, wearing bras in the day time and taking them off at night is my suggestion, – actually suggested by many doctors.

How to be bra-less in public?
Not wearing bras in a beach resort is OK with everybody, unless you are not feeling comfortable. And in summer 2012, sheer dresses are celebrities’ top picks. You can find many of them not wearing bras in all occassions. If you are such a trendy girl, try bra-less or start with adheresives.

Where to get bras online?
If you are used to visit Victoria’s Secret to buy bras, there is no need to change your habbit. I wouldn’t buy any bras lower than $30 at Victoria’s Secret, because those are made of cheap fabrics and do not give you enough support. If you are OK with shopping bras online, HerRoom.com and BareNecessities.com are my recommendations. 20% to 30% off coupons are very common at Bare Necessities

Black Friday In July? Christmas in July? What are they anyway?

Being the fact that Black Friday after Thanksgiving is the biggest day for most retailers, they started to create another sale event in July. Early July is all Independence Day sale, but in the mid of July there will be many merchants offering another round of sale. They are either called Black Friday in July sale, or Christmas in July sale, – they are basically the same thing.

Warning
Don’t be fooled by the slogan! There is no comparison with the real Black Friday sale or Christmas sale. If you saw a weekend sale, or a Friday sale, you wouldn’t get excited, would you? You don’t get too excited about this one either. This is more like a weekend sale or a Friday sale that are running every week.

Who is Running Such a Sale
Target – 2012/7/20 to 2012/7/21
Be a Black Friday insider to get a sneak peak at the deals here. Some digital cameras and personal care products are on sale.

KMart – 2012/7/14 to 2012/7/15
Online Only Family & Friends sale: EXTRA 5-10% off Almost Everything plus FREE Shipping on orders $59 or more with coupon code: FRIENDS.

HomeDepot.com
Had a “Black Friday Is Back” Sale In April. Many appliances are priced $50 to $100 off.

Sears.com – 2012/7/13 to 2012/7/14
You will get EXTRA 10% off Thousands of Items, but may not be valid on appliances. Use coupon code SUMMER10 to redeem the discount.

FamousFootwear.com – 2012/7/15 to N/A
Backpacks on Sale starting at $24.99

SportsmansGuide.com – 2012/7/19 only
Flash Sale One Day Only.

Macys.com – 2012/7/13 and 2012/7/14 only
One Day Sale – shouldn’t it be two day sale? Discounts not disclosed yet.

Shoes.com – 2012/7/12 to 2012/7/16
25% off any sale item with coupon code 25SALE.

Free Activies for Kids in Summer

It has been a month since two of my older kids started their summer breaks. I felt like it has been forever. I have to plan activities for them everyday, otherwise they will either watch TV or play video games for the whole day. Here are some free adventures I will do to kill some time. You don’t have to spend a dime, and you don’t have to travel. All you need is your time to take part into the activities along with the kids.

Libraries
My kids and I will spend at least one hour at the library every day. I am happy it is only 5 minutes from where I live. They read novels and magazines. And once in a while I allow them to use Internet for a few minutes.

Book Stores
Book store is even better than a library. There are new books and new magazines to read. And my oldest son will try different music CDs for hours.

Shopping Mall
There is no other better places than a shopping mall in summer. Enjoy the cool air while you can save some money on your own AC by turning it off before you go out. The boys love Lego store and try some new gadgets at Brookstone. Every week I will take them to watch a movie. But with popcorns and drinks, it is actually quite costly.

Community Pool
I am glad there is a swiming pool in my community, free of charge. All the kids from the neighborhood gather there in the late afternoon. It is like a pool party everyday!

Cook with Kids
I will pick one day in a week and let the kids take full control the kitchen. I take them to grocery store in the morning and pick up the stuff they wanted to cook. They will know it is not easy being a full time mom and will appreciate your work, – at least I hope so…

Volunteering
Seach your city’s website. And you will find many volunteering job for kids, such as visiting the old, walking dogs in the shelter.

BBQ Grills Buying Guide and Money Saving Tips

Are you planing a BBQ part for this Independence Day? To be honest with you, I hate BBQ myself. It is not just because BBQ is not healthy for your body, but mostly because it is hard to clean. My man and kids love them very much. The parties in the summer have to be BBQ + Swim parties no matter what I say. Summer time is also a good time to shop for BBQ grills, especially this July 4th. If you have time shop around, you will find many grills are on sale, either at Sears or Target.

I highly recommend you to buy grills online. You can find the model that fit your need at the lowest price, and you can learn the pros and cons from other buyer’s reviews – which is the best part about online shopping. The first question one may have is: should I buy a charcoal grill or a gas grill? Most people will choose gas grill because it is easy to clean and maintain. And overall cost on gas is lower than that of charcoal. But charcoal grill is usually a lot cheaper, and some people prefer the taste from a charcoal grill. If you are still not sure, read the complete guide from this article.

Today our staff picked three most popular grills for different needs. They are reviewed by hundreds of happy buyers, – you can buy any of them with no worries.

Portable BBQ Grill

Foldable and light weighted (47 lb), this Coleman 2000005493 Road Trip Grill is the best companion for your camping. The best place to buy is Amazon at only $159.99, with no sales tax and free shipping. With one propane cylinder, the grill operates for 2.1 hours – should be enough for dinner for a family with up to 4 people. You can also use it as a camp stove in case you need to cook a chicken noodle soup.

Home Use Gas Grill

The best place to buy this Weber Genesis E-330 is at Sears priced at $799. With coupon code SAVETEN at Sears.com you can save 10% before July 15, which drops the price to $719.1! It has a 637 square inch total cooking area, which is big enough for medium size party. Stainless, electronic ignition system, it has the basic features you need. Why watse money on extra storage spaces when you only use it in your back yard?

Home Use Charcoal Grill

Some people like the smoker flavor. If so you have to get this Char-Griller 2137 Outlaw Charcoal Grill Smoker. It has a 1038 square inch cooking area,
while the price is only $184.99 at Bass Pro Shop, compared with the price of $196.77 at Sam’s Club. target also carries the same model, which costs $229.19!

Free Toys For Toddlers – You Could Have Saved Hundreds of Dollars

Toys aren’t cheap, especially toys for little ones. They may cry for a new toy, but throw it away the next day. I used to get many second hand toys from my friends and neighbors. But after I moved to a new town, I have found a way to create new toys everyday, and best part is thet they are absolutely free! Let’s do the math: I used to buy at least one toy every month, which is usually from $10 to $30. That is about $20×12=$240 every year!

Flour

If you don’t mind getting into a mess, this is the best game for every kid. Mix it water and play as playdough – Make a ball or noodles as making a doll is too hard for them. You probably don’t need to make anything. The mixing part is already fun enough – toddlers can play it for hours.

Scotch Tape

Build a race track with scotch tape. My older son told me this is best game he played with his dad! They had played it for few years and every time is a new track or even new cars. I have video that they were playing two tomatoes tracing each other – one of my best family video ever.

Ice
The fun game in summer. Hold one and feel the cold. Count 1, 2, 3. Watch them melting. I bet you can be more creative than me.

Rocks
Line up the rocks as soldiers. Draw a circle and throw rocks into it.

Paper
Tearing, folding, cutting and pasting all could be fun. Cut a magazine cover into pieces and make it a puzzle. Cut it into shapes and teach kid to learn shapes. There could be thousands of activities with papers.

Water Bottles
Roll the water bottles. Drum the water bottles. Fill them with water. Match the lids. Stack them into a tower…

Used Baby Clothes
If you have some used baby clothes left, they are fun to dress your dolls. Or use them to make your own doll!