Jul 14

Money Mamba shared why if you’re Bad at Math? You’re Screwed. As JT offers, this may be stating the obvious, but a study recently was published showing that math skills correlate to sound financial decisions.

At Bargaineering, How Financially Literate are You? 5 simple questions, can you get a passing score or maybe all 5 correct?


Abigail asked if anyone else feels guilty using Groupons? She’s specifically referencing the local deals, restaurants or services that are available on Groupon deals. She has a kind heart to worry that she may be causing a loss for the seller of such deals. If I use a service and it’s a good experience, I’d plan to use that service again. For a restaurant, I’m careful to tip on the pre-Groupon cost. When you add drinks and maybe dessert, the restaurant made its money. A number of restaurants in my area seem to offer these deals again and again. I doubt they’d do this if they lose money on these deals.

At The Big Picture, Barry Ritholtz asked Is Gold Overdue for a Bounce? In one of the comments to this article, Barry quotes my gold article from last week. Honoured to be quoted by this financial author and frequent CNBC guest.

Next, The Main Reasons Why People Want To Quit Their Jobs. Sam explains, it’s not always about the money, and offers the real reasons people leave.

We’ll close this week with Darwin’s How Inflation Screws the Poor the Most a look at how inflation may help the well off, but the poor, not so much.

Have a great week.

written by Joe \\ tags: ,

Oct 12

In general, I like coupons. I’m sitting with coffee on a Sunday morning, first one up, and not ready to think to much. I flip through the coupon insert and find our brands of toothpaste, soap, bathroom tissue, etc. A few minutes time when I’m not ready to turn on the higher functions required to write or go into my workshop where a groggy Joe might just lose a finger. The key thing is to not let the coupon tail wag the purchasing decision.

I’ve known about Groupon for some time and a friend of ours was often mentioning dinners she and her husband had just had at some restaurant not too far away. Soon after, I started looking at the deals Groupon offered. Restaurants, jewelry, electronics, services. Lots of companies trying to sell me stuff. I thought about the things that were on my wish list. I am near the end of a long project finishing my basement and have a TV on a stand, but have wanted to wall-mount it for some time. No rush, so I added that to the list along with a few restaurants we’d been to already, and wouldn’t mind a return visit.

About 3 months went by and there was a wall mounting bracket for $25 including shipping. A week later, my TV was on the wall, and the stand was retired.

The restaurant? One of them offered a Groupon which I bought. For $74, a dinner for 4 which included 2 appetizers, 4 main courses, and 2 deserts. The check showed the bill started at $175, and a credit of $130 for the Groupon value, I tipped on the full bill, so another $35 there or a total paid at the table of $80.I spent $154 total for what I’d have paid $210 without the deal. The extra on the bill was for adult drinks, we could have just gotten water or a soda and that would have been less. As I mentioned, we had been to this restaurant before, and had planned to go another time.

I can see how when these deals come to your mailbox there’s a bit of impulse control required. Part of what’s happening for most people is that you see a “buy now, expires soon” warning and you don’t want to miss a good deal. For the gadgets, I’d first decide if you actually need them to separate the impulse factor. I had already looked around and saw wall mounts for TVs, all well over $50, so it was on my list, but I was ready to wait. For restaurants, I see many that offer “$15 for $30 voucher” or similar. Ask yourself – would you grab a “$15 off dinner” coupon and run to this restaurant with it? That $30 may be a small part of the bill and when the check comes, the $15 saved off a $100 bill may not feel like a deal. If you know the restaurant the deal is for, you have an advantage and can decide if a small savings is worth it. Also, the restaurant offers will lead you to the restaurant web site where you can see a menu, usually with the prices listed. If you’re following a budget, strategically using these deals may help stretch the restaurant money a bit further and get you that extra night away from the kitchen.

Now, I have to ask – Are these pendants pretty? I’ve seen Swarovski pieces, but not jewelry, usually it’s vases and drinking glasses. Whatever the case, they’re on sale for 5 more days, and Groupon will bonus me if you sign up through the link above (the ad image). That was my disclaimer, FTC.

written by Joe \\ tags: , ,