All Articles Tagged "frugality"
(Wall Street Journal) — Retailers are coming to terms with a new reality: the consumer who traded down during the recession and never came back. Buffeted by high unemployment, heavy debt loads, falling home values and high food and gas prices, these shoppers have been whipped into a permanent state of consumer caution. They buy only what they need, avoid premium labels, clip coupons and scour sales. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Chief Executive Mike Duke told analysts in a recent conference call that paycheck-cycle shopping is more pronounced than ever, with shoppers stocking up shortly after getting paid, then moving to smaller product sizes toward the end of the month when they run short of money. “Consumers are fragile, fatigued and fed up,” said Chris Christopher, senior economist at IHS. Global Insight, citing wage stagnation, food inflation and high gas prices. Retailers and manufacturers are figuring out how to appeal to these new “forever frugal” consumers—rather than pin too much hope on economic rebound. Some are waiting longer to pass on higher costs, whether for food or cotton. Coca-Cola Co. and other companies have added new packages at small sizes and lower price tags. Some retailers are holding the line on hiring, even as they head into their busiest season of the year. Many stores are expanding their selection of cheaper private-label products and some are offering credit cards with across-the-board discounts. Layaway has made a comeback.
(Kiplinger) — If your number-one goal is to score deals, start by checking out sites that do the bargain hunting for you. Deal sites scour the Web for discounted items — saving you both time and money. Our favorite deal site still is dealnews, which has a team of deal hunters keeping their eyes on a million products at more than 2,000 online retailers. Plus merchants and the site’s visitors tip them off to bargains. The deal hunters hand pick the best deals among the thousands they get daily and update the site at least 200 times a day, says Dan de Grandpre, founder and chief executive of dealnews. The site also bans stores with poor customer service. Plus, you can sign up for e-mail or RSS alerts for products or stores you’re interested in and get gift ideas from the site. Dealnews also has added a local deals section to help you find discounts at brick-and-mortar stores near you.
(New York Times) — Think of the last 10 pieces of personal finance advice you’ve read. Do any of these sound familiar?
- Cut back on lattes!
- The world’s top 10 coupons
- Don’t go on vacation this year!
If you boil all the advice down, there are just two ways to improve your financial situation: earn more or cut costs. So why don’t more personal finance experts talk about earning more? Because most of them don’t know how.
(Bankrate) — People on a blind date and longtime married couples alike are finding ways to date for less. In fact, having a frugal mindset could save money while helping you make a positive impression. “They’re not (avoiding) dating anymore because of money; they’re just doing some clever and some inventive things,” says Whitney Casey, author of “The Man Plan” and a contributor to online dating site Match.com. “It’s cool to be frugal in a recession.” Cheap and even free dates can be just as memorable, without taking a big chunk out of your paycheck or creating credit card debt. There’s no evidence of a correlation between how much money you spend on a date and the kind of memory that’s created, says Jeff Yeager, an author based in Maryland whose books include “The Cheapskate Next Door.” “Never hide or be shy about your attitude toward money, even when you’re first dating,” he says.
(BankRate.com) — There’s nothing wrong with getting creative and going the extra mile to save money. But if you’re cheating yourself or others just to save a buck, you’re taking frugality too far. “Frugality that comes at the expense of someone else is not really frugality or thrift,” says Liz Weston, a personal finance columnist based in Los Angeles, and author of the upcoming book “The 10 Commandments of Money: Survive and Thrive in the New Economy.” Saving money should be a means, not an end, says Weston. You want to be balanced so you’re neither spending too much nor saving to the extreme. “You don’t want to be so thrifty that you miss living life today,” Weston says. “Life is not about all of the ways you can save money.”