Enemy of Debt http://www.enemyofdebt.com Motivational Money Management Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:38:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Best Mystery Shop EVER http://www.enemyofdebt.com/the-best-mystery-shop-ever/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/the-best-mystery-shop-ever/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 11:53:36 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=15205 Enemy of Debt - The Best Mystery Shop EVER

I had heard about mystery shop jobs paying hundreds of dollars, but I had never seen one. Not until last week. I got into mystery shopping as a way to put a little extra breathing room into our budget while my wife and I fought our way through a debt management program paying off $109,000 of credit card debt. The average shop I pick up pays around $15. Nothing spectacular, but if I do three or four of them a month, the extra money is always appreciated. However, the low pay per job is one thing that prevents people from […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - The Best Mystery Shop EVER

mysteryshopper

Image courtesy of 1shot at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I had heard about mystery shop jobs paying hundreds of dollars, but I had never seen one. Not until last week.

I got into mystery shopping as a way to put a little extra breathing room into our budget while my wife and I fought our way through a debt management program paying off $109,000 of credit card debt. The average shop I pick up pays around $15. Nothing spectacular, but if I do three or four of them a month, the extra money is always appreciated. However, the low pay per job is one thing that prevents people from doing mystery shopping as it doesn’t seem worth their time. There is the occasional visit to a bank to get my credit score that pays $40, or the one time a trip to my local wing place that paid $55 (including a bonus for picking up a shop that had to be done quickly), but those are exceptions.

So when I saw the email that advertised a value of nearly $300 my eyes just about popped out of my head.

The shop was for an optical retailer, and the shopper that performed the job would receive $35 payment plus up to $250 reimbursement for ordering glasses. No optical exam was required, only a optical prescription that was less than a year old. I shook my head at the freak coincidence of the timing of the shop. My optical insurance pays for either contacts or glasses each calendar year. I had used our 2014 insurance coverage for contacts, and was just thinking how nice it would be to give the eyes a rest and wear glasses sometimes when staring at the computer screen.

I quickly applied for the shop, and received confirmation of assignment the next day.

Once assigned the shop, I could see additional details. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was to play the part of a budget conscious shopper in order to prompt the retail representative to give me options as to how to get the best glasses possible for the least amount of money.

The shop was perfect for me.

I had not ever been to this particular optical retailer before, but it seemed a little more upscale than where my family usually goes to take care of our optical needs. I spent a little over half an hour in the care of one of the retail assistants trying on frames and discussing options. When it was all said and done, I went a little over the total $285 shop payment. That will come out of my pocket, but I’m getting a pair of glasses of exceptional quality for close to nothing.

I spent thirty minutes preparing for the shop by reading the instructions carefully several times. I spent another 35 minutes in the store, and 30 minutes entering my report online. In total, that’s just over an hour and a half of my time for $285 of total value.

It was by far the largest value mystery shop I’ve ever done.

Most mystery shops don’t pay much. But sometimes a shop comes along that not only pays more, but also fulfils a need in your life. Maybe it’s a meal at our favorite pizza place, getting my credit report for free, or a visit to an optical retailer. It’s those kinds of shops that make me keep checking those emails, and proudly telling my kids that I’ll be back later as I walk out the door.

Dad’s got a mystery shop to do.

Do you do mystery shopping? What’s your most memorable, or most valuable shop?

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/the-best-mystery-shop-ever/feed/ 32
I Love you Like A Blogger Roundup – 9/12 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-912/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-912/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 12:31:40 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=15201 Enemy of Debt - I Love you Like A Blogger Roundup – 9/12

We’ve had some house guests this week, my parents on Tuesday night, and some friends of ours from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area Wednesday and Thursday night.  Since my city, Rochester, MN, is the home of the Mayo Clinic we offer up our home as a place to stay when friends and family are referred there for tests.  While the circumstances for seeing people isn’t always the best, we’re always happy to spend time with loved ones, and take a bit of stress off of their need to come to town. I’ve been enjoying the heck out of the cooler temps […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - I Love you Like A Blogger Roundup – 9/12

We’ve had some house guests this week, my parents on Tuesday night, and some friends of ours from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area Wednesday and Thursday night.  Since my city, Rochester, MN, is the home of the Mayo Clinic we offer up our home as a place to stay when friends and family are referred there for tests.  While the circumstances for seeing people isn’t always the best, we’re always happy to spend time with loved ones, and take a bit of stress off of their need to come to town.

I’ve been enjoying the heck out of the cooler temps this week, great running weather.  My weekend long runs are becoming a bit intimidating…..tomorrow I’ll be heading out on a 19 mile run which will take me right around 3 hours.  Only three weeks until Marathon Day!!!

Speaking of marathon day, my runner’s guide came in the mail this week, which had me fist pumping hard!  What’s got your fist in the air this week??

Posts That Make Me Fist Pump

Shameless Self Promotion

Other fist-pumping posts I wrote, or appeared in this week from around the personal finance blogosphere:

TeamEOD Was Recently Included In The Following Carnivals

Carnival of Retirement hosted by The Investing Monk
Carnival of Financial Camaraderie hosted by Broke Girl Rich
Carnival of Money hosted by Carnival of Money
Yakezie Carnival hosted by Mom Makes Cents

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-912/feed/ 12
Playing with fire: is life insurance a main course or luxury dessert for you? http://www.enemyofdebt.com/playing-with-fire-is-life-insurance-a-main-course-or-luxury-dessert-for-you/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/playing-with-fire-is-life-insurance-a-main-course-or-luxury-dessert-for-you/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 09:04:56 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=15193 Enemy of Debt - Playing with fire: is life insurance a main course or luxury dessert for you?

Do you have life insurance? I do. I have so much life insurance, I joke that if something were to happen to me, John will be a very wealthy man. It is a bad joke, I know. John’s been telling me that since the very first time I mentioned it. It may be a bad joke, but it is the truth. My life is insured for close to $800,000 in two different policies; one of these is part of my pension plan. This is quite a bit less than the amount for which David Beckham’s legs were (are?) insured but […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - Playing with fire: is life insurance a main course or luxury dessert for you?

life insurance

Do you have life insurance?

I do. I have so much life insurance, I joke that if something were to happen to me, John will be a very wealthy man.

It is a bad joke, I know. John’s been telling me that since the very first time I mentioned it.

It may be a bad joke, but it is the truth. My life is insured for close to $800,000 in two different policies; one of these is part of my pension plan.

This is quite a bit less than the amount for which David Beckham’s legs were (are?) insured but still it’s a decent amount. The way I see it, I’d rather John concentrates on looking after our son if I die in an accident, than worry about money.

And you know what? When we were in $160,000 worth of consumer debt and I was trimming our budget like you trim your roses for the winter – almost to the root – my life insurance was one item I never felt tempted to cut out.

Because, if my labour (my pay-check) was essential for the financial survival of the family I felt it is absolutely vital to ensure my family would be okay if something were to happen to me.

Similarly, we worked out the level of insurance I carry to take into account that we have a young child, that I’m the main breadwinner and that we have some liabilities.

For us, having life insurance was, and still is, as important as having a nutritious, healthy meal – it was absolutely central to our financial survival in case of unexpected and severe crisis.

A recent survey conducted on behalf of State Farm found that 34 percent of Americans think like us and when asked to compare life insurance to parts of a family meal, said it was the “main course” in their financial plan.

Almost one in five, 18 percent, likened it to a nice-to-have dessert that they cannot afford; 16 percent thought of it as an appetizer for when you’re starting out; and 8 percent considered it a good-for-me-but-I’ll-pass vegetable side dish.

These results are interesting in their own right. What they made me think about, however, is that they are even more interesting if seen not as a snapshot of a situation but as a dynamic way to see life insurance.

After all, whether you have life insurance – and how much – depends on your personal circumstances. Hence, any decision in this respect depends on asking – and finding the answers to – the following five questions, I believe.

Q1: Do you have dependents?

Q2: Are you the main breadwinner?

Q3: How much are you worth?

Q4: What are your liabilities?

Q5: What is your pension plan?

 

Whether life insurance is a main meal for you, or a tempting dessert you skip on because you can’t afford it depends on your answers.

 

Life insurance as a main course

I believe, that life insurance is – and should be – a main meal in the context of your financial hedging if you:

  • Have dependents. These can be children but equally it can be your elderly parents or you spouse. If you are likely to leave behind someone who will have a problem looking after them-selves without your income you need to carry life insurance.
  • Are the main breadwinner. If you are the main breadwinner you should carry life insurance and a generous one at that. See the point about dependents above.
  • Have net-worth that is low to average. This means that if something happens to you your dependents won’t be able to replace your income.
  • Have liabilities. This is an important point in the decision-making process regarding life insurance and its size. When I was deciding how much insurance to carry I factored in the calculation the debt and the mortgage. After all, you really don’t want your loved ones to have to pay your debt and to find them-selves homeless.
  • Have a pension plan that doesn’t include life insurance and has no provision for pension to dependents. Strange as this may sound today, I have a pension plan that will pay off a generous lump sum to John and my son in the case of my death while employed and will pay pension to my son while he is in full time education. Lucky, I know.

 

Life insurance as a side dish

 

You can see life insurance as a bit of ‘security on the side’ you can take or leave under the following conditions:

  • When you have dependents but are not the main breadwinner, have considerable net-worth and low liabilities and have managed to build (are building) good retirement income (passive income)
  • Another set of conditions under which life insurance can be seen as optional is if you have no dependents and are not the main breadwinner. It matters little how much is your net-worth, whether you have liabilities and what is your pension plan.

 

Life insurance as an appetizer

 

Life insurance can be an appetizer, or worth it when you are starting out, only if you have dependents (children). Otherwise, I believe, it is not very important.

 

Life insurance as a luxury dessert

 

I don’t believe that life insurance is ever a luxury dessert.

 

Finally…

When paying off debt it is tempting to see life insurance as a side dish that you can skip on or as a luxury dessert that you cannot afford.

This is a mistake. When coping with debt (and dealing with debt) life insurance can provide an island of stability in an otherwise turbulent financial time.

 

How do you view life insurance?

 

Disclosure: This blog post was written as part of a sponsored program for State Farm to raise awareness about the importance of life insurance. All views expressed are entirely my own, and were not influenced or directed by State Farm. You can learn more about this blogger program and life insurance at GoodNeighbors.com, PlantingMoneySeeds.com, and by following #StartLiving on Twitter.

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/playing-with-fire-is-life-insurance-a-main-course-or-luxury-dessert-for-you/feed/ 11
Are You As Financially Savvy As A 7th Grader? http://www.enemyofdebt.com/are-you-as-financially-savvy-than-a-7th-grader/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/are-you-as-financially-savvy-than-a-7th-grader/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 11:18:06 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=15182 Enemy of Debt - Are You As Financially Savvy As A 7th Grader?

My daughter and I always have a good time together. We have similar personalities, interests and senses of humor. She was aware of our situation as we fought to pay off over $109,000 of credit card debt, and even shared her perspective on our journey in a guest post here on Enemy of Debt. She apparently also paid close attention to how our view on money and what is important in life changed over the last few years have changed. I found this out through a conversation we had last weekend. We had gone to the mall to buy a […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - Are You As Financially Savvy As A 7th Grader?

Student

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My daughter and I always have a good time together. We have similar personalities, interests and senses of humor. She was aware of our situation as we fought to pay off over $109,000 of credit card debt, and even shared her perspective on our journey in a guest post here on Enemy of Debt. She apparently also paid close attention to how our view on money and what is important in life changed over the last few years have changed.

I found this out through a conversation we had last weekend.

We had gone to the mall to buy a birthday present for her friend. She knew exactly what she wanted to get her friend as we headed directly to a store where she had seen canvas signs with inspirational phrases she thought would be perfect for her friend. She picked out the one she liked the best, as well as some hair ribbons. Exiting the store, she was excited about what she had picked out. She made a comment regarding how it didn’t matter that her gift wasn’t very expensive, because it was a very personal gift she picked out for her friend without even asking her what she wanted for her birthday. She was glad she wasn’t, “That person,” that just gave a gift card.

I smiled, as I remember using this exact reasoning with my wife when we were shopping for holiday gifts last year.

As we were driving out of the mall parking lot, I pointed at a brand new, bright yellow Camaro in the car dealership parking lot across the street and said, “I like that car.” Without looking up from her phone she dropped this on me:

“I don’t understand why people make a big deal about cars. I’m not the kind of person that would spend a whole bunch of money on a car because all it does it get me to places I want to go.”

Not wanting to miss an opportunity to emphasize a couple of important financial concepts, I causally made a couple of points:

  • I commended her for her view point on vehicles. I had her remember the excitement our family had when we purchased a new van a few months ago. Then I asked her if she was still excited about our van. She shook her head and said, “It’s still a nice van, but no, not really.” I told her to remember that the thrill of a new vehicle wears off very quickly.
  • I stated that I would much rather spend my money on great experiences such as family vacations, or running marathons which create memories that will last forever. Memories last a lifetime, while things like a new car will eventually wear out. I went on to tell her that I have great memories from all three marathon’s I’ve run. Testing me a little, she asked me to tell her some of my memories from my very first marathon. Which, of course, I was able to do easily.

Driving the rest of the way home in mostly silence, I summarized to myself the different life lessons my daughter and I talked about:

  • Personalized gifts mean more than expensive gifts
  • Expensive cars are a waste of money because the thrill of a new car is gone quickly
  • Life experiences and memories are better than material things

Those are some fairly advanced, yet important topics to be discussing with my seventh grade daughter. I hope they sink in.

How about you, EOD Nation, have YOU learned these lessons? Are you as financially savvy as a 7th grader?

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/are-you-as-financially-savvy-than-a-7th-grader/feed/ 38
I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 9/5 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-95/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-95/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 12:20:52 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=15177 Enemy of Debt - I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 9/5

Yesterday’s high in Rochester, MN was close to 90.  Today it will struggle to get our of the 60’s.  Guess what peoples,  Fall is officially on it’s way.  While I LOVE summer, Fall’s cooler temperatures and lowered humidity makes for great running weather.  There’s also the start of the NFL season (first game kicked off last night!) to soften the transition away from summer. Along with those cooler temperatures comes the turning off of the AC, the opening of windows, and MUCH lower utility bills.   My electric bill literally gets cut in half for the next couple of months, and […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 9/5

Yesterday’s high in Rochester, MN was close to 90.  Today it will struggle to get our of the 60’s.  Guess what peoples,  Fall is officially on it’s way.  While I LOVE summer, Fall’s cooler temperatures and lowered humidity makes for great running weather.  There’s also the start of the NFL season (first game kicked off last night!) to soften the transition away from summer.

Along with those cooler temperatures comes the turning off of the AC, the opening of windows, and MUCH lower utility bills.   My electric bill literally gets cut in half for the next couple of months, and that makes me wanna FIST PUMP!

Posts That Make Me Fist Pump

Shameless Self Promotion

Other fist-pumping posts I wrote, or appeared in this week from around the personal finance blogosphere:

TeamEOD Was Recently Included In The Following Carnivals

Finance Carnival For Young Adults hosted by The Investing Monk
Carnival of Financial Independence hosted by The Smaller Dollar
Carnival of Money hosted by Carnival of Money
Yakezie Carnival hosted by Wealth Gospel

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-95/feed/ 14
Are You Taking Care Of Your Money? http://www.enemyofdebt.com/are-you-taking-care-of-your-money/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/are-you-taking-care-of-your-money/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 14:19:42 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=15168 Enemy of Debt - Are You Taking Care Of Your Money?

Do you take good care of your money? Think about that question for a few minutes while I tell you a story. My daughter went to an outdoor swimming pool over the weekend with a friend’s family. The weather was hot making it a perfect day to go swimming. Even though the pool was crowded, my daughter had a fantastic time. Until she discovered that the $20 she brought with her was missing from her swim bag. She wasn’t the only one that had lost money, either. Her friend’s mother had $40 stolen from her purse as well. Apparently, the […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - Are You Taking Care Of Your Money?

Money Safe

Image courtesy of cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Do you take good care of your money? Think about that question for a few minutes while I tell you a story.

My daughter went to an outdoor swimming pool over the weekend with a friend’s family. The weather was hot making it a perfect day to go swimming. Even though the pool was crowded, my daughter had a fantastic time.

Until she discovered that the $20 she brought with her was missing from her swim bag.

She wasn’t the only one that had lost money, either. Her friend’s mother had $40 stolen from her purse as well. Apparently, the group left all their belongings unattended at a table while everyone was in the pool for a period of time. My daughter was extremely lucky the $20 was all that was taken as her iPhone was also in that bag.

She had called us from the pool to tell us what had happened. When she returned home we had a discussion regarding never leaving your valuables unattended. We reminded her of our recent trip to Wisconsin Dells, and  how we always had someone in our group sitting by our possessions or we got a locker to secure our stuff.   By not caring for her possessions properly, the end result was her money being unnecessarily taken away from her.

On that day, my daughter did not take very good care of her money.

So, back to my question.  Do YOU take good care of your money? By lack of taking action, would you ever allow someone to just take your money?

Do you not clip coupons to save money on groceries or household goods because you feel like it’s an inconvenience or not worth your time? You’re just letting retailers take more of your money for no reason.

Do you not adjust your thermostat to save energy costs when you’re leaving home for the day because it’s too much of a hassle to remember to press a few buttons? You could just as well visit the office of your local utility company each month, drop a couple of twenties on the floor, and walk out.

Do you not price compare when shopping for a major item just because you can afford it? Not shopping for a better price just because you have the financial means to pay a higher price doesn’t make any sense.

Do you have the biggest cable package but only watch House Hunters marathons on HGTV? Do you even know if you utilize your entire cable package? Your cable provider doesn’t care, as long as you keep sending them a payment each month.

Do you refuse to use generic or store brand products because it’s just not cool? I hope you’re enjoying that fancy packaging, because in many cases that’s the only difference.

When was the last time you called your cell phone carrier to inquire about any plan packages you could take advantage of? Mobile phone providers change their pricing structure frequently, but they don’t necessarily tell you.

If any of the above, or anything similar, sound familiar to you then you are not taking good care of your money. Look, we all leave our money unattended at a crowded swimming pool every now and then. But we need to learn from our mistakes, and treat our hard earned money with the respect it deserves.

Don’t just give it away for no reason. Unless you want to give it to me, I promise to take great care of it for you. (wink, wink)

Have you witnessed someone seemingly just giving their money away for no reason? Have YOU done it?

I ask again, are you taking good care of your money?

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/are-you-taking-care-of-your-money/feed/ 32
I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 8/29 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-829/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-829/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:00:39 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=15164 Enemy of Debt - I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 8/29

Here we are, the last weekend of Summer.  I have to do a 17 mile run,  a fantasy football draft, some last minute school shopping, and our neighbor is having a neighborhood party.  We’ll be throwing back a few cold ones, grilling some food, and putting together the 200 foot slip-n-slide down the hill of the park that extends from our backyards.  It’ll be a busy but fun weekend, and except for the school shopping part. relatively tame on the checkbook.  Then, next week it’s back to school for the kids, and back to her job at the school district […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 8/29

Here we are, the last weekend of Summer.  I have to do a 17 mile run,  a fantasy football draft, some last minute school shopping, and our neighbor is having a neighborhood party.  We’ll be throwing back a few cold ones, grilling some food, and putting together the 200 foot slip-n-slide down the hill of the park that extends from our backyards.  It’ll be a busy but fun weekend, and except for the school shopping part. relatively tame on the checkbook.  Then, next week it’s back to school for the kids, and back to her job at the school district for my wife.  Order and routine will return to the Pizel household.  While I’m sad to see summer wind down, I’m very excited for order and routine.

If that’s not enough to make you fist pump, here’s my top six personal finance articles of the week!

Posts That Make Me Fist Pump

Shameless Self Promotion

Other fist-pumping posts I wrote, or appeared in this week from around the personal finance blogosphere:

TeamEOD Was Recently Included In The Following Carnivals

Yakezie Carnival hosted by 2 Copper Coins
Finance Carnival For Young Adults hosted by Smart Budgeting
Carnival of Money hosted by Carnival of Money

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-829/feed/ 20
Coupon Smarts at Toys R Us: A Guide http://www.enemyofdebt.com/coupon-smarts-at-toys-r-us-a-guide/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/coupon-smarts-at-toys-r-us-a-guide/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:02:32 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=15159 Enemy of Debt - Coupon Smarts at Toys R Us: A Guide

Couponing is becoming more and more popular among people today as a means of saving money at the store. In fact, over 300 billion coupons were circulated last year alone. Just about anything can be purchased at a discount, with the help of a coupon, promotional code or other form of rewards card. Toys are not left out of the coupon craze; many couponers have a great deal of success collecting and redeeming Toys R Us coupons. Those who are new to couponing may feel a little intimidated by the number of coupons available and the different strategies, organization techniques, […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - Coupon Smarts at Toys R Us: A Guide

kids toy balls

Couponing is becoming more and more popular among people today as a means of saving money at the store. In fact, over 300 billion coupons were circulated last year alone. Just about anything can be purchased at a discount, with the help of a coupon, promotional code or other form of rewards card.

Toys are not left out of the coupon craze; many couponers have a great deal of success collecting and redeeming Toys R Us coupons. Those who are new to couponing may feel a little intimidated by the number of coupons available and the different strategies, organization techniques, and strategies involved. However, fears aside, couponing is a relatively easy skill to pick up – not to mention a great way to save money. To learn how to most effectively use coupons and other discount techniques at stores like Toys R Us, review the information found below.

In-Store Coupons

Finding coupons that are generated and published by stores themselves is one of the best couponing strategies out there. Most stores allow customers to have free access to the latest “steals” by publishing pamphlets or small inserts for newspapers. For example, Toys R Us coupons are often potentially located in local newspapers or magazines. Even though the newspaper is a great resource, though, it is not the only treasure trove of coupons available to avid couponers. Stores often set out shelves of deal brochures right by the entrance and even mark some deals on posters and windows.

Online Coupons

Online couponing is a relatively new couponing technique, but the method is rapidly gaining popularity among couponers around the country. Why? Ease of access and overall efficiency. Toys R Us may publish a wide variety of different coupons and promotions on the website itself pretty consistently. Obviously, this is a wonderful way for people with busy schedules to get in on the couponing action. Sitting down at the computer, scrolling, clicking, and printing takes far less effort than other methods of couponing such as those listed on websites such as Retailmenot and Krazycouponlady.com.

Online couponing is quick, easy, and efficient – providing a way for customers to enjoy savings without the hassle of spending an overabundance of time and energy during “the hunt.” It is important to be careful when seeking online coupons because many sites may be comprised of fraudulent coupons. A good way to avoid fraudulent coupons is to find a reputable coupon provider such as Toys R Us coupons and cashback by Ebates.com.

kid toys legos

Coupons Via Mobile

Accessing coupons from a telephone would have sounded like a science fiction movie scene several decades ago; however, mobile couponing really is a reality in the 21st century. Research indicates that over 5 billion people will be regularly using a mobile phone by the year 2017. Since phones are in the hand of just about everyone on the street, mobile couponing is even more convenient than online couponing; busy people can present coupons without the hassle of organizing and classifying.

Toys R Us coupons are usually sent out to those signed up for mobile coupon updates on a regular basis. The situation is a win-win, and most stores only require an email address or sometimes a phone number. Mobile coupons continue to gain popularity due to their affordability and quick access. There is no need to pay for paper and ink when presenting a mobile coupon; just let the cashier scan the barcode located on the mobile coupon screen. Phones become, in essence, coupons when used in this fashion. Pretty nifty, right?

There Are Always Rules

The couponing experience is a pretty freeing one; however, there are several important rules to keep in mind when presenting coupons for redemption – yes, even Toys R Us coupons. Ignorance is not typically tolerated by cashiers and other store officials and can lead to embarrassing situations, so take a moment to learn the “no-nos” of couponing:

  • Bringing online coupons to stores for “free” items is not usually accepted by cashiers. Typically, “free” items are only given when multiple purchases have been made during the same transaction.
  • Trying to use two coupons at once is almost never a good idea; cashiers are tired of seeing couponers attempt to use “buy one get one” coupons as a means to getting a free item.
  • Making coupons is wrong. Many places consider the creation of coupons in the same category as money counterfeiting.
  • Using coupons for any other item than the item indicated is considered underhanded.

In order to fully enjoy couponing as a successful experience, try jotting down a few of the points listed above. Most people are surprised at how much a little “common sense” information can aid in successful couponing. To learn more about how couponing works or to pick up more tips, try looking into other resources such as libraries or bookstores. There are a great many resources out there for beginning couponers, and it really does not take very long to get into the couponing groove. Start enjoying discounts today by embarking on a coupon journey that is sure to be overflowing with discounts.

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/coupon-smarts-at-toys-r-us-a-guide/feed/ 0
Club Stores are NOT Always Cheaper http://www.enemyofdebt.com/club-stores-are-not-always-cheaper/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/club-stores-are-not-always-cheaper/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 13:25:45 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=15146 Enemy of Debt - Club Stores are NOT Always Cheaper

In an effort to take advantage of our 2% cash back perk of our executive membership, I’ve been trying to get in the habit of making bulk buying run to Costco once a month. By purchasing products that we always need and use in bulk once a month I figured I’d save time and money. One thing consumers have to be very careful about is whether what we’re buying is actually cheaper at a club store. The perception many consumers have is that if you buy gigantic packages at a club store, it MUST be a good deal. But I […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - Club Stores are NOT Always Cheaper

price compare

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In an effort to take advantage of our 2% cash back perk of our executive membership, I’ve been trying to get in the habit of making bulk buying run to Costco once a month. By purchasing products that we always need and use in bulk once a month I figured I’d save time and money. One thing consumers have to be very careful about is whether what we’re buying is actually cheaper at a club store. The perception many consumers have is that if you buy gigantic packages at a club store, it MUST be a good deal. But I wasn’t so sure that was always true.

One item in particular that I questioned recently is paper towels.

I’m not afraid to profess my love for paper towels. I use them in countless situations including:

  • Soaking up excess bacon grease from my favorite breakfast meat
  • Drying off dishes after remembering that even after 23 minutes of scrubbing and rinsing the frying pan used to make taco meat I STILL stained my kitchen towel orange from left over taco seasoning. The struggle is real.
  • Cleaning up cat hurl that I may or may not have stepped in at 5am while walking down the hallway.
  • Spot cleaning the kitchen floor  because according to my wife if I use a dish cloth, I need to throw it in the next load of laundry and get out a clean one.
  • Used as a snack plate when I just started the dishwasher and don’t want to put a dirty plate into an empty sink.

I love my paper towels, but I don’t love them enough to overpay for them. I decided to do a cost comparison between a package of Bounty paper towels at Costco vs Walmart, where I do the bulk of my grocery shopping.

Costco:

  • Package of 12 Rolls (that are supposed to equal 23 “normal” rolls)
  • Total of 806 square feet of product
  • Regularly priced at $19.99

2.5 cents per square foot

Walmart:

  • Package of 12 Rolls (that are supposed to equal 16 “normal” rolls)
  • Total of 561 square feet of product
  • Regularly priced at $12.97

2.3 cents per square foot

At regular price, the package at Walmart is actually a better buy. However, at the time I was comparing prices Costco was offering a $4 instant manufacturer’s rebate, bringing the price down to $15.99. That makes the Costco package a miserly 2 cents per square foot.

One may think this is the end of the story, but it’s not.

Bounty is not my favorite brand of paper towel. I prefer Walmart’s Great Value paper towel over Bounty, or any other brand of paper towel. I decided to see how my preferred brand stacked up against Bounty.

  • Package of 4 rolls (that are supposed to be equal to 8 “normal” rolls)
  • Total of 308 square feet of product
  • Regular priced at $6.44

2.1 cents per square foot

The Walmart store brand paper towels are, in my opinion, softer and just as absorbent, but is cheaper than Bounty both at Walmart AND Costco baring a sale.

This comparison illustrates several important things when doing price comparisons:

  • There are almost endless different product package comparisons that can be done. I tried to pick two Bounty packages that were similar in size, but there were many others to choose from. Pick the size of package you are most likely to buy.
  • Make sure that you also include the product and size of package you already use. If it’s cheaper, OR if there isn’t a significant price difference it may not be worth switching to a new brand.
  • Always use a standard of measurement that is consistent. In my comparison I used square feet of product as it was listed on each package. Using something like a “roll” isn’t a good idea because the definition of a roll can differ between manufacturers.

Products are not always cheaper just because they came from a club store in a ginormous package. Before switching your purchasing routine, do the work to find out which really is the best buy for your money. You just might be surprised.

Have you ever found that a product you purchase often is actually MORE expensive at a club store?

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/club-stores-are-not-always-cheaper/feed/ 26
I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 8/22 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-822/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-822/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 10:20:16 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=15140 Enemy of Debt - I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 8/22

Happy Friday, EOD Nation! Bob from Christian PF had an article over at the Huff Post this week that listed some great budget spreadsheet resources for readers…….and the EOD zero based budget spreadsheet was among those listed!  What an honor and privilege – thanks Bob, that gets me in the mood to fist pump! Check out that article and the rest of the best that had my fist flying this week below! Posts That Make Me Fist Pump 4 Reasons Your Budget Isn’t Working from Luke 1428 A Lesson in Extreme Couponing From the Checkout Lane from Frugal Rules Summer […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup – 8/22

Happy Friday, EOD Nation!

Bob from Christian PF had an article over at the Huff Post this week that listed some great budget spreadsheet resources for readers…….and the EOD zero based budget spreadsheet was among those listed!  What an honor and privilege – thanks Bob, that gets me in the mood to fist pump!

Check out that article and the rest of the best that had my fist flying this week below!

Posts That Make Me Fist Pump

Shameless Self Promotion

Other fist-pumping posts I wrote, or appeared in this week from around the personal finance blogosphere:

TeamEOD Was Recently Included In The Following Carnivals

Carnival of Retirement hosted by Home Money Easy
Carnival of Financial Camaraderie hosted by His Finance
Carnival of Financial Planning hosted by Frugal Students
Carnival of Money hosted by Carnival of Money

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-822/feed/ 6