Spending

My Credit Card Travels More Than I Do

The first time I experienced credit card fraud was in 1982.  I opened my bill to discover that I had charged $1,100 at Pit Number One in Atlantic City.  The trouble is that I had never been to Atlantic City. This was back in the days before the Internet (yes, children, there was such a time) and way before we did on-line shopping.  Maybe that’s why I’m not fearful about using my credit card number on-line.  I know that these kinds…

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Gems Among the Stocking Stuffers

As a Professional Organizer, I find the holiday season agonizing.  So much emphasis on shopping — buying things that will be given to people who probably don’t even want them. I love getting my weekly e-mails from the Container Store, but when they sent me one about this year’s collection of “Stocking Stuffers”, I got nervous. Stocking stuffers are the ultimate junky gift — emphasizing quantity and low price over quality.  The Container Store offers free shipping if you order $100 worth…

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In Praise of Automatic Bill Pay

Have you ever felt stressed because you knew you had bills due but weren’t sure where the bills were or if you had missed the deadline?  Have you ever been charged a late fee?  Have you ever spent hours on the phone trying to straighten out a bill payment that was never received? If these sound like common occurrences in your life, I have three words for you: automatic bill pay.

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Better Ways to Spend

I was intrigued by a book review in the weekly magazine The Economist, since the book in question delivers the same message that I have been telling my clients: spend your money on experiences, not things. According to “Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending”, by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton, behavioral research indicates that the excitement brought on by material purchases wears off quickly.  A much better strategy, the review states, is “to spend money on experiences, like interesting trips, unique meals, or even going…

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Receipts, receipts, receipts!

The last time I wrote about receipts was last year in “Making Sense of Receipts.”  In that post, I talked about how to track and analyze your spending, as this was what my clients were saying was the reason why they were accumulating receipts. Since then, I have continued to encounter stacks and stacks of receipts at my clients’ homes, some of them years old.  These clients haven’t claimed they were saving them for tracking.  They were saving them because they…

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