Enemy of Debt http://www.enemyofdebt.com Motivational Money Management Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:19:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 9/30 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-930/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-930/#comments Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:19:09 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=18038 Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 9/30

A few weeks ago, my son had his senior pictures taken.  We just got word from the photographer that the images are ready for us to look at.  From there we will be deciding what we want to buy.  She has a whole list of products and options and I’m a little scared to start adding things up.  I expect to spend some cash on these lifetime mementos, but I don’t have a feel for how much people “usually” spend on something like this?  Anyone out there in the EOD nation that can give some thoughts? In the meantime, get […]

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Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 9/30

fistpumpA few weeks ago, my son had his senior pictures taken.  We just got word from the photographer that the images are ready for us to look at.  From there we will be deciding what we want to buy.  She has a whole list of products and options and I’m a little scared to start adding things up.  I expect to spend some cash on these lifetime mementos, but I don’t have a feel for how much people “usually” spend on something like this?  Anyone out there in the EOD nation that can give some thoughts?

In the meantime, get those fists up for my favorite posts of the week!

Posts That Make Me Fist Pump

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Save Money With Outback Steakhouse’s Rewards Program http://www.enemyofdebt.com/save-money-with-outback-steakhouses-rewards-program/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/save-money-with-outback-steakhouses-rewards-program/#respond Wed, 28 Sep 2016 08:37:52 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=18024 Enemy of Debt - Save Money With Outback Steakhouse’s Rewards Program

  Friday night I found myself pulling into the parking lot of Outback Steakhouse. One teenager with a vehicle at work left another teenager (and her friends) in need of a ride to the high school football game. By the time that all got coordinated and executed, my wife and I were hungry and not willing to wait the time it would take to drive all the way across town back to our home and cook dinner. Thus Friday night was one of those times when I was actually OK with going out to eat. Even though I was voluntarily […]

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Enemy of Debt - Save Money With Outback Steakhouse’s Rewards Program

 

eod_outback_rewardsFriday night I found myself pulling into the parking lot of Outback Steakhouse. One teenager with a vehicle at work left another teenager (and her friends) in need of a ride to the high school football game. By the time that all got coordinated and executed, my wife and I were hungry and not willing to wait the time it would take to drive all the way across town back to our home and cook dinner. Thus Friday night was one of those times when I was actually OK with going out to eat.

Even though I was voluntarily dining out, I couldn’t help but have my, “I could make this for way less,” reaction to looking at the prices on the menu. It was then a small flyer on the table caught my eye. It was an advertisement for a rewards program by Outback’s parent company. It advertised that after three qualifying visits to Outback (or a handful of other restaurants), a member would get 50% off their fourth visit.

Here’s how it works:

  • Create an account at dine-rewards.com.
  • Download the Outback Steakhouse Ap on your mobile phone
  • As part of setting up the Ap, you’ll link your dine-rewards account with the Outback ap.
  • Pay your Outback Steakhouse bill with the ap by typing in the receipt code from your bill. The ap then records your visit as a qualifying visit if you purchased more than $20 in food and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • On your forth visit, you will receive 50% (up to $20) off your bill.

There are a couple of things that customers have to keep in mind with Outback’s rewards program:

Not Really 50% Off

I have to complain a little about the use of the term “50% off” given the maximum discount of $20 wouldn’t be 50% off a normal visit to Outback for my family, or potentially even my wife and I. But I’ll take the rewards program at face value, that they are willing to reward a certain frequency of eating there with a nice discount. You can bet on that 4th visit we’ll be making sure we get the full $20 discount.

Time Limitation

The other thing to take note of here is that your 3 qualifying visits have to occur within 6 months. Thus, you have to eat there on average once every two months to earn the discount.  You have to be very careful that the rewards program doesn’t make you eat out more often just to get the discount. If I would spend $70 on an extra dining out occasion to get a $20 discount, that’s not saving me money. That’s making me spend MORE on dining out. Now, maybe it would convince you to eat at Outback INSTEAD of somewhere else. That’s OK, as long as it simply increases the frequency of eating at that particular restaurant and not your overall dining out frequency.

Rewards programs are becoming increasingly more common. Airlines, gas stations, and coffee places all have them, so it shouldn’t be surprising that restaurants are wanting to get in the game as well. If you can be aware of and avoid the pitfalls, you can use them to your advantage to save some money.

Have you joined any restaurant rewards programs? Have they changed your dining out behavior?

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Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 9/23 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-923/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-923/#respond Fri, 23 Sep 2016 15:04:40 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=18021 Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 9/23

Welcome to the weekend, EOD Nation!  It’s race weekend again for me, with a 5K Saturday evening and a half marathon Sunday morning.   The good news is the races are in my city so there’s no travel, dining out, or hotel room expenses.  I just have to drive to the start line and have a good time running. Fist pump for inexpensive race weekends….AND my favorite post of the week! Posts That Make Me Fist Pump Credit Card Facts to Scare Your Straight from The Jenny Pincher 7 Powerful Money Rules You Usually Ignore from The Money Principle 17 Staggering […]

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Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 9/23

fistpumpWelcome to the weekend, EOD Nation!  It’s race weekend again for me, with a 5K Saturday evening and a half marathon Sunday morning.   The good news is the races are in my city so there’s no travel, dining out, or hotel room expenses.  I just have to drive to the start line and have a good time running.

Fist pump for inexpensive race weekends….AND my favorite post of the week!

Posts That Make Me Fist Pump

 

 

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Trouble Starting An Emergency Fund? Try A Change Jar! http://www.enemyofdebt.com/trouble-starting-an-emergency-fund-try-a-change-jar/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/trouble-starting-an-emergency-fund-try-a-change-jar/#comments Mon, 19 Sep 2016 15:46:33 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=18015 Enemy of Debt - Trouble Starting An Emergency Fund? Try A Change Jar!

The emergency fund is one of the fundamental tools needed for financial freedom. Without an emergency fund, any unexpected expense results in a financial crisis that could require some extreme measures to recover from. I know this from personal experience all too well. Once you have an emergency fund, keeping it going is easier because a person understands it’s true value. The problem is the initial startup of getting it going. It’s hard to change your spending habits to set aside money for those things that just pop up in life. It’s also hard to see money just sitting there […]

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Enemy of Debt - Trouble Starting An Emergency Fund? Try A Change Jar!

eod_changejarpicThe emergency fund is one of the fundamental tools needed for financial freedom. Without an emergency fund, any unexpected expense results in a financial crisis that could require some extreme measures to recover from. I know this from personal experience all too well.

Once you have an emergency fund, keeping it going is easier because a person understands it’s true value. The problem is the initial startup of getting it going. It’s hard to change your spending habits to set aside money for those things that just pop up in life. It’s also hard to see money just sitting there untouched while you daydream about purchasing some new widget.

If you don’t have an emergency fund and are having trouble getting one going, I’ve got an idea that may just do the trick. It’s something that you may already have had in your home for years. It’s that change jar that you throw the loose change from your pocket into every night.

A change jar is a great way to get an emergency fund started.

When using a change jar to start your emergency fund, here are some suggestions that can help you be successful:

Opaque Container

You want to select a container that you cannot see through. If you can’t see the money, you’ll be less tempted to spend it.

Size Matters

Pick a medium sized container that will take awhile to fill, but not too long. If you select something too small, it will get filled up too quickly and it won’t seem worth using for an emergency fund base. Pick something too large and it will not seem like you’re making any progress. Personally, I use a 48oz soda mug I got from a theme park.

Dollars Too

The point of the change jar is to throw all your loose change into it. Don’t be afraid to throw a dollar bill in there from time to time as well. If I’ve got an excess of singles in my wallet, I’ll one or two will make it’s way into the jar.

Don’t Raid The Jar

It’s easy to go digging for quarters when you need some change for road tolls and parking meters. Don’t. Do. It. Once money goes into the jar, it stays there.

Deposit When Full

When the jar gets full, or after a predetermined length of time, take it to the bank and have it counted and put into your emergency fund account.

I usually empty my change jar every 3-4 months and most times collect around $100. While you’ll want to continue building it up, and gradually add funding to it from your budget, your change jar can be used as a foundation to jump start your emergency fund.

How about you, EOD Nation, have you ever used a change jar to fund your emergency fund, or to save for something?

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2 Ways to Make Your Money Work for You in Time of Financial Volatility http://www.enemyofdebt.com/2-ways-to-make-your-money-work-for-you-in-time-of-financial-volatility/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/2-ways-to-make-your-money-work-for-you-in-time-of-financial-volatility/#respond Sat, 17 Sep 2016 16:34:56 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=18012 Enemy of Debt - 2 Ways to Make Your Money Work for You in Time of Financial Volatility

Have you noticed that your money is making much less money than it used to? I’ve been watching this get more and more serious over the last decade or so. Even if you have no direct experience of that – though I do hope that you all have some savings and investments – you couldn’t have missed the mainstream media headlines. Inevitably these are dressed in drama, fear and exaggeration though there is a kernel of truth in them. See for yourselves: ‘Devastating’ blow for prudent Brits as almost 300 accounts have interest rates slashed Interest rate massacre: scores of […]

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Enemy of Debt - 2 Ways to Make Your Money Work for You in Time of Financial Volatility

Have you noticed that your money is making much less money than it used to?

I’ve been watching this get more and more serious over the last decade or so. Even if you have no direct experience of that – though I do hope that you all have some savings and investments – you couldn’t have missed the mainstream media headlines. Inevitably these are dressed in drama, fear and exaggeration though there is a kernel of truth in them. See for yourselves:

‘Devastating’ blow for prudent Brits as almost 300 accounts have interest rates slashed

Interest rate massacre: scores of savings accounts and cash ISAs hammered

Low interest rates are a fact. Still any reader of Enemy of Debt who falls into financial gloom because of these headlines hasn’t been reading carefully; and needs to work on their personal finance management and investing education.

The way I see it, low interest rates are a problem only when people rely on savings and savings never in history made anyone wealthy – savings make people feel secure.

Making your money work for you, or savvy investing, is what could (please notice the conditional) make you wealthy.

To paraphrase Jay Z, ‘investing has 99 problems but low interest rate ain’t one’.

The single biggest problem for investing currently is financial volatility.

Wondering what I mean?

Have a look at the graph below. Ignore the 1940s – this was exceptional time of war and recovery. Focus on the new millennia – or the data starting in 2000.

financial volatility

What do you see?

I see large gains and large losses; and overall returns that are largely not worth it.

I see the last breath of the ‘compound interest’ miracle glorification in personal finance circles.

What can we do?

Cliché as this may sound, we ought to embrace volatility and learn to make our money work for us either despite it or because of it.

Making your money work for you despite the volatility would mean bypassing the stock market altogether or investing in it in a specialised way.

The latter would involve moving away from ‘low entry level’ index funds and investment baskets (ITFs etc.) and identifying great companies that are for one or other reason undervalued. Identifying such companies needs either building up personal competence very quickly or, as I did, selecting companies from a preselection – I’ve build an interesting stocks and shares portfolio using the Rule Breakers programme of the Motley Fool.

Bypassing the stock market altogether means investing in business directly. You can get the basics about how to choose businesses to invest from this account of my experience and experimentation.

Making your money work for you using the volatility is a different ball game entirely. This mainly means getting involved in some form of ‘contract for difference’ and Forex trading. One characteristic of this form of investing is that it is largely speculative but done properly it can return well.

Some level of speculation, that increases risk and unpredictability, is an inevitable part of contemporary investing. This can be managed however by educating yourself and following several very strict rules. Hence, were you to consider this, you can find some basic Forex trading lessons here.

Were you to decide to go even further back to the basics of Forex trading you may find these here.

As to the ‘absolute rules’ of Forex trading, these are:

Rule #1: Learn your stuff. Forex trading is not ‘low entry’ and it needs you to learn how to do it properly. There are many companies who offer training – in our experience some are outstanding and some are after a quick buck. Be careful when you choose and ignore all pitches that dangle unimaginable riches in front of you – Forex training is not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme.

Rule #2: Trade only with money you can afford to use. You see, we all suffer from ‘loss aversion’ and some more than others. This aside, don’t trade with money you need for your survival or you cannot replace with relative ease from other income streams.

Rule #3: Never ever trade currencies that are very exposed to politics. Remember the story of the Swiss franc? This is what I’m talking about.

Rule #4: Don’t risk too much of your money. This is about using only a very small proportion of the money in your FX account.

Finally…

We live in a world of volatility: economic, political and financial. In this world, you need to use ways to make your money work for you that are different from what we knew before.

Two ways to do that are: a) to invest in small businesses directly thus bypassing volatility of markets altogether; and b) investing in financial instruments that use volatility to make money like contract for difference and Forex trading.

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Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 9/16 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-916/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-916/#comments Fri, 16 Sep 2016 14:26:02 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=18006 Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 9/16

My family and I are headed out of town today for a family event tomorrow.  Family from various parts of the Midwest will be coming together and staying in the same hotel this evening.  As my wife was booking our room, she found that we had accumulated enough points through the hotel chain’s rewards program to get a free night’s stay.  BONUS!  We don’t stay in hotel’s often, but my wife is diligent in making sure we get our points.  This is the first time we’ve accumulated enough points for a free room.  We may be going out of town […]

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Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 9/16

fistpumpMy family and I are headed out of town today for a family event tomorrow.  Family from various parts of the Midwest will be coming together and staying in the same hotel this evening.  As my wife was booking our room, she found that we had accumulated enough points through the hotel chain’s rewards program to get a free night’s stay.  BONUS!  We don’t stay in hotel’s often, but my wife is diligent in making sure we get our points.  This is the first time we’ve accumulated enough points for a free room.  We may be going out of town and staying in a hotel, but it’s going to be easy on the budget!

Fist pump for hotel rewards programs, and for my favorite posts of the week!

Posts That Make Me Fist Pump

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Save Money On Snapple® Tea With Price Rollback at Walmart!!! http://www.enemyofdebt.com/save-money-on-snapple-with-price-rollback-at-walmart/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/save-money-on-snapple-with-price-rollback-at-walmart/#respond Thu, 15 Sep 2016 14:11:48 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17997 Enemy of Debt - Save Money On Snapple® Tea With Price Rollback at Walmart!!!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SnappleRollback #CollectiveBias Here at Enemy Of Debt, we help you get the most out of your hard earned money.  If you like Snapple, you’re going to LOVE this money saving opportunity at Walmart! Stock Up On Snapple 64 Oz. Peach, Diet Peach, and Kiwi Strawberry- Buy 2/$3 on Rollback at Walmart! Buy your favorite Snapple flavors for only $1.50/64 Oz. bottle (originally $1.98) from now until November 30th. Don’t miss out on your chance to enjoy more of your favorite Snapple drinks when […]

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Enemy of Debt - Save Money On Snapple® Tea With Price Rollback at Walmart!!!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SnappleRollback #CollectiveBias

collectivebias_snapplepic

Here at Enemy Of Debt, we help you get the most out of your hard earned money.  If you like Snapple, you’re going to LOVE this money saving opportunity at Walmart!

Stock Up On Snapple 64 Oz. Peach, Diet Peach, and Kiwi Strawberry- Buy 2/$3 on Rollback at Walmart!

Buy your favorite Snapple flavors for only $1.50/64 Oz. bottle (originally $1.98) from now until November 30th. Don’t miss out on your chance to enjoy more of your favorite Snapple drinks when you shop at Walmart! Make Time for Snapple!

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iPhone7: Worth the Hype, or Complete Waste Of Money? http://www.enemyofdebt.com/iphone7-worth-the-hype-or-complete-waste-of-money/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/iphone7-worth-the-hype-or-complete-waste-of-money/#comments Mon, 12 Sep 2016 20:41:46 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17991 Enemy of Debt - iPhone7: Worth the Hype, or Complete Waste Of Money?

Last week Apple officially unveiled the iPhone 7, causing much buzz among consumers. I know people that were watching the announcement live while they were at work. I witnessed unbounded praise on Facebook from friends that are fans of Apple. I’ve already seen iPhone 6 models up for sale as they’ve per-ordered their iPhone 7. With all of this, I figured I should at least familiarize myself with the wonders of this new phone and why people are getting ready to once again camp out in line to shell out a minimum of $649. I did some research and created […]

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Enemy of Debt - iPhone7: Worth the Hype, or Complete Waste Of Money?

eod_cellphonepicLast week Apple officially unveiled the iPhone 7, causing much buzz among consumers. I know people that were watching the announcement live while they were at work. I witnessed unbounded praise on Facebook from friends that are fans of Apple. I’ve already seen iPhone 6 models up for sale as they’ve per-ordered their iPhone 7. With all of this, I figured I should at least familiarize myself with the wonders of this new phone and why people are getting ready to once again camp out in line to shell out a minimum of $649.

I did some research and created a list of the “big ticket” items that have changed with the iPhone 7 over it’s predecessor. I’m a huge proponent of value and getting the most out of my hard earned cash so for each big ticket feature of the iPhone 7 I did some analysis as to what value it provides for me, and how it would make my life better or easier.

Brighter Screen

Apple says the screen of the iPhone 7 is 25% brighter than the previous model.

Analysis : I don’t have the brightness all the way up on my current phone.

Value : None

Static Home Button

The home button (that takes you instantly back to the main interface screen) is now solid state instead of a clickable button.

Analysis : I actually prefer clickable buttons, but every other button on the screen is already just a touch screen, so now they’re just all the same. This is a big don’t care for me.

Value: None

Water Resistant

The phone is now water resistant. If you get it wet, or momentarily drop it in water it may just survive.

Analysis : This is a good idea, as losing your data and shelling out another $650 for a new phone because you ran to your car in the rain would ruin a person’s day. However, notice it doesn’t say water proof. Again, this is a good idea, but I’ve never had a water incident with a phone.

Value : Good idea, but low value

Headphone Jack

This may be the most talked about change with the iPhone 7. Headphones now plug into the lightning jack, or you can use bluetooth headphones. The phone comes with an adapter if you want to continue using your old headphones.

Analysis : This change gives absolutely no performance or functional benefit. What it does do is preclude being able to charge your phone and use headphones at the same time. Unless you happen to have bluetooth headphones.

Value: Negative value, functional loss

Camera Improvements

The rear facing camera is still 12MP but is improved quality. The front facing camera is now 7MP upgraded from 5MP in the previous generation.

Analysis : Yay for better quality selfies! My current 12MP camera works great and I don’t take selfies.

Value: None

Stereo Speakers

The iPhone 7 now has integrated dual speakers for stereo sound.

Analysis: If I’m using my phone for listening to music, either I’ve got headphones plugged in, or I’ve got it connected via bluetooth to an external speaker that actually registers on the quality spectrum.

Value: None

Battery Life

Estimates are that the iPhone 7 will last through 12 hours of LTE browsing, about 2 hours more than previous generations.

Analysis : Never had a problem with battery life

Value: None

Faster Processor

The processor in the iPhone 7 is 40% faster than the previous model. I’ve seen this reviewed as a great thing for gaming on the iPhone.

Analysis : I have no complaints about how fast my phone opens aps. Gaming on a 4.7 inch screen? No thanks.

Value:  None, at the moment

Storage

The 16GB entry level phone has been eliminated. Choices now are 32GB, 128GB and 256GB.

Analysis: I currently have 32GB of storage on my phone. I back it up and clean it out regularly. I’ve never got anywhere near filling it to capacity. Don’t even get me started on asking why Apple doesn’t allow users to plug a microSD card into the phone for added storage….well, other than they want to charge hundreds of dollars for something I could buy pretty much anywhere for $20.

Value: None

Final Analysis

The bottom line is, while the increased water resistant design is a good idea, the only reason I’d ever need an iPhone 7 is to get the faster processor speed if aps keep getting larger and more complex (which they tend to do). Other than that, getting an iPhone 7 falls under the category of either a status symbol, or a toy.

Spending a minimum of $650 for a new toy adds absolutely zero value to my life.

In the coming days we’ll see stories of people camping outside stores, and going to extreme lengths to get their iPhone 7. Each time I see one of those stories, I’ll wonder if they had done an analysis like I had done (and found some value add for them), or if they’re just throwing their money away.

How about you, EOD Nation? What do you think of the new iPhone 7? Will you be buying one?

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Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 9/8 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-98/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-98/#comments Fri, 09 Sep 2016 13:42:18 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17985 Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 9/8

On Sunday, my son is having his senior pictures taken.  After shelling out some serious cash for my daughter’s homecoming dress, this is going to be another shot in the budget.  The good news is, the photographer has a menu of products, and we can pick and choose what we want to buy to fit within how much we want to spend.  We’ll see if we can get what we want, or if we’re going to have to squeeze our spending a bit to pay more.  One one hand, they’re just pictures….on the other hand he’ll only be a senior […]

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Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 9/8

fistpumpOn Sunday, my son is having his senior pictures taken.  After shelling out some serious cash for my daughter’s homecoming dress, this is going to be another shot in the budget.  The good news is, the photographer has a menu of products, and we can pick and choose what we want to buy to fit within how much we want to spend.  We’ll see if we can get what we want, or if we’re going to have to squeeze our spending a bit to pay more.  One one hand, they’re just pictures….on the other hand he’ll only be a senior in High School once.   What are your thoughts on senior pictures, worth it?

In the meantime, let’s fist pump!

Posts That Make Me Fist Pump

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Buy 1 Get 1 50% Off Sales: 3 Steps To Maximizing Savings http://www.enemyofdebt.com/buy-1-get-1-50-off-sales-3-steps-to-maximizing-savings/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/buy-1-get-1-50-off-sales-3-steps-to-maximizing-savings/#comments Thu, 08 Sep 2016 07:05:40 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17967 Enemy of Debt - Buy 1 Get 1 50% Off Sales: 3 Steps To Maximizing Savings

Buy One, Get One 50% off sales make me tingle all over. When this kind of sale is offered by retailers, I like to take full advantage as it has the opportunity to save me a significant amount of money. But, you have to be careful with your purchases or you won’t get as much of a benefit as possible. My daughter and I walked into a shoe store looking for footwear for the new school year. The windows of the retailer were plastered with signs advertising a buy one, get one 50% off sale. My daughter found a pair […]

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Enemy of Debt - Buy 1 Get 1 50% Off Sales: 3 Steps To Maximizing Savings

EOD_BuyOneGetOnePicBuy One, Get One 50% off sales make me tingle all over. When this kind of sale is offered by retailers, I like to take full advantage as it has the opportunity to save me a significant amount of money. But, you have to be careful with your purchases or you won’t get as much of a benefit as possible.

My daughter and I walked into a shoe store looking for footwear for the new school year. The windows of the retailer were plastered with signs advertising a buy one, get one 50% off sale. My daughter found a pair of shoes, and I selected a new pair of running shoes. Making our way to the checkout counter ready to get one pair half off, my daughter saw a rack of socks and asked if she could get some. I initially agreed to adding a large bag of socks to our purchase, but just short of the register, I stopped and put the socks back.

“We’ll get these some other time,” I said quietly.

“Why?” my daughter asked.

“I’ll explain in a minute,” I said shortly and put the shoes on the counter.

Here’s how the cash register receipt looked:

  • Running shoes: $160
  • Women’s boots: $35 (marked half off from $70)

Total: $195

After we exited the store, I turned to my daughter and explained why I put the socks back. The sale is a buy one item, get one item 50% off. The 50% discount is applied to the least expensive item. Had we purchased the socks, they would have been the cheapest item, and thus we would have not gotten much benefit from the sale.

Here’s what my receipt would have looked like had I purchased the socks:

  • Running shoes: $160
  • Women’s boots: $70
  • Socks: $9 (marked half off from $18)

Total: $239

I exited the store after paying $195 for running shoes and boots. When I go back and buy the socks, my total cost for the three items will be $213.

By purchasing the socks with a separate transaction, I will have $25 more than buying them all at the same time.

To maximize savings with Buy One Get One 50% sales follow these simple steps:

Buy Only What You Need

Do not buy extra items just to take advantage of the sale. In my case, we were looking for new shoes for my daughter AND new running shoes for me, thus we expected to take advantage of the sale. But, had we gone into the store looking only for shoes for my daughter, buying an extra pair of shoes just to take advantage of the sale would COST me money, NOT save money. If you weren’t going to buy the item anyway, you’re not saving money!

Multiple Transactions

If you’re buying several items, remember that sales like this typically apply the 50% discount to the least expensive item included in the transaction. Group your most expensive items together into one purchase, and have another member of your group purchase the less expensive items. This will maximize your savings with the sale.

Make Multiple Trips

In large stores it’s easy to send another member of your group through another checkout line. But, if the store is small and only has one register, OR if you’re shopping alone purchase the most expensive items first, then come back at a later time to buy the less expensive items. In my scenario, there was only one checkout line, and I didn’t feel comfortable having my daughter come through the line right after me to purchase the less expensive items. I decided to simply come back later as I pass by the store every day and could conveniently stop and pick up the socks later.

Buy one, get one 50% off sales can save you some big time cash. By following these three simple tips, you will maximize your savings, and keep more of your hard earned cash in your wallet.

Do you take advantage of buy one, get one 50% off sales? Do you follow these tips? Do you have any other tips to add?

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