Archives for September 2020

Professor Dad Teaches College Class from Stuck Elevator with His Kids

Working parents really can do anything.

A professor was forced to give a lecture from an elevator with his two kids—and if there isn’t a better metaphor for this pandemic, we don’t know what it is.

How to Stop Impulse Buying And Keep More Money in Your Wallet

Your day starts innocently enough.

You normally brew a cup of coffee at home, but you’re running late. So you swing by Starbucks for a $5 morning pick-me-up.

After a tiring day at work, you stop by a store to get a replacement for your cell phone, which has been on the fritz for weeks. The new phone is an anticipated purchase you budgeted for, but you weren’t planning on the $40 stylish case you just had to have.

On the way to your car, you run into a group of Girl Scouts selling cookies. Their cute, persuasive ways have you digging in your wallet to buy a $4 box of Thin Mints.

You hit a block of traffic on the way home, doubling your 20-minute commute. At this point, you’re tired and hungry, and the three fast food restaurants you passed are calling your name. You have groceries at home but no energy to cook, and eating Thin Mints for dinner won’t cut it. You steer into the next drive-through and order a $7 meal.

Without realizing it, you’ve spent $56 over the course of the day on impulse buys.

Impulse buys are those random, unplanned, unnecessary purchases that eat into your potential savings. You do it without thinking, which is why you can’t seem to recall what happened to that $20 bill in your wallet or how your budget got so off balance.

It happens to the best of us.

Retail marketers are trained in sneaky tactics that influence our urge to buy. Our personalities and moods can also lead to impulse shopping. In an article in Psychology Today, psychologist Ian Zimmerman said impulse buying is often connected to anxiety, unhappiness and the desire for social acceptance.

No matter your trigger, it’s important to become more conscious of your spending habits. Imagine how much better off your finances would be if you saved every penny you mindlessly spent on stuff you don’t really need.

How to Stop Impulse Buying

Find yourself getting sucked into frivolous spending? Here is some practical advice you can put into action to keep more money in your wallet.

Change Your Mindset About Spending

Shifting your way of thinking can snap you out of the habit of mindlessly buying stuff you don’t need. Take a moment to consider what you’re spending money on and why.

1. Avoid shopping for fun.

Many people treat shopping like a hobby or something to do to pass time on the weekends. Others use shopping as a cure for a bad mood. But turning to retail therapy to bring you joy makes you more vulnerable to impulse spending. Instead, find activities to fill that void. Have a picnic in the park. Take a walk. Call a friend. Work out or meditate. You don’t have to spend money to feel good.

2. Ask yourself if it’s worth it.

Before you reach for your debit card (or hit the purchase button if you’re shopping online), ask yourself a little question: Is this worth it? You can even attach a sticky note attached to your credit card with that question. If it’s a $3 magazine that’ll keep you from being bored to death on a flight, then maybe that answer is yes. If it’s a pair of shoes that cost the equivalent of an entire day’s pay and you’re already stressed about debt, then take a hard pass.

3. Keep your goals on the forefront.

Staying aware of your goals can steer you away from unnecessary purchases. If you’ve got it on your mind that you want to get out of debt in 12 months, you may not be as inclined to buy that $15 graphic T-shirt.

Avoid Impulse Buying at Your Favorite Store

Those shops you frequent have entire teams working to entice you to buy through marketing, product placement and other clever strategies. If you’re trying to save money, fight against the temptation.

4. Shop with your financial accountability buddy.

A friend or family member who’s aware of your financial struggles and goals is the perfect person to bring along on shopping trips. Your accountability buddy can reign in your tendency to overspend on the unnecessary. Just make sure it’s someone who’s not afraid to speak up on your budget’s behalf.

5. Only carry a limited amount of cash.

Using the cash envelope system is great, but carrying around a big wad of cash in lieu of using plastic won’t prevent you from giving into the impulse to buy whatever catches your eye. If you’re sticking with cash only, plan your purchases in advance and just take the amount of money you’ll need for that one shopping trip.

6. Keep credit cards out of reach.

Using your credit card for impulse purchases only adds extra cost — in the form of interest — to something you didn’t need to buy in the first place. You could literally freeze your cards in a block of ice, shred them to pieces or simply keep them hidden away at home. Don’t shop with credit cards in your wallet to avoid easy access to impulse buying.

Nix Online Impulse Purchases

Don’t let the convenience of online shopping get the best of you. Ignore the allure.

7. Take your ordering info off retail websites.

Online retailers want buying to be as simple as the click of a button. They offer to save your debit or credit card information so you don’t have to pull out your card and type in a bunch of numbers each time. If you’re trying to fight impulse shopping, however, having to take that additional step gives you more time to reconsider your purchases. Remove your financial information from online sites to prevent making impulse buying so effortless.

8. Set parental controls on your devices.

You don’t have to have kids to find the benefit in parental control settings. Block your favorite retail sites or set up purchase restrictions for the App Store or Google Play. Sure, you’ll know the code to circumvent the parental controls, but having that extra layer to get around might deter you from buying on impulse.

9. Unsubscribe from emails or text alerts.

Oh, the temptation of all the deals. That email for 30% off all footwear that just popped up in your inbox has you dreaming about getting new sandals, even though you already own several pairs. Did someone tell them shoes are your weakness? Avoid the trap by unsubscribing from the email lists or text alerts from shops, restaurants or businesses you know will be hard to resist. There will always be another sale.

Take advantage of deals when the purchase makes sense for your budget, not just due to fear of missing out.

Additional Tips to Curb Impulse Spending

A family eats ice cream together on a park bench with their dog.

When you spend your money intentionally and not impulsively, you’ll likely have more money left over to save. Here’s more help to avoid impulse purchases.

10. Give yourself time before deciding to buy.

That gotta-have-it-now feeling is what leads so many of us to buy things on impulse. But pressing pause on buying is often all it takes to realize what we’re craving isn’t something we really have to have. Some people implement a 30-day rule — delaying a purchase for about a month — but you can really give yourself any length of time.

When shopping online, use the Google Chrome extension Icebox, which prevents you from making immediate online purchases, giving you time to reconsider how you’re spending your money.

11. Track your daily spending.

Don’t wait until the end of the month to analyze your spending and see if everything matches up to how much you said you’d spend in your budget. When you take note of what you spend each day, those unnecessary impulse purchases stick out like a sore thumb.

12. Don’t make your budget too restrictive.

Unless you have the self-discipline of a monk, there are going to be times when you want to indulge just a little bit. A budget that only covers basic life essentials? Not fun. Add room in your budget for discretionary spending. That way you can make those random purchases without feeling guilty.

13. Take inventory of what you have.

You know that coffee mug with the witty saying you just had to buy? It’ll end up in the kitchen cabinet along with a dozen similar ones you already own. Coffee is life, but when you can fill up an entire dishwasher with mugs alone, you gotta start saying “no” to more. Taking stock of what you already own at home — whether it’s clothes, shoes, books or dishware — can help you put things in the right perspective when something attractive catches your eye while shopping.

When Impulsive Buying Become A Bigger Issue

As Penny Hoarders, we hate losing potential savings to frivolous impulse spending, but a few spur-of-the-moment purchases every now and then aren’t the end of the world.

If poor shopping habits, however, seem beyond your control or are becoming detrimental to your financial life, relationships or general feeling of well being, then you should seek professional help.

A licensed therapist could help you manage impulsive behavior. Debtors Anonymous also offers support to those whose shopping habits lead them to unmanageable debt.

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She no longer buys candy at the grocery store registers.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

15 Tweets that Prove the Presidential Debate Really Needed a Working Mom

You know who’s good at reigning in chaos, at work and at home? We are.

We’re tough. Disciplined. Organized. Focused.

The 8 Best Drugstore Eyeliners, According to Beauty Gurus

There’s absolutely no reason to spend a fortune on eyeliner when some of the best, boldest and smudge-free products are available at your local drugstore for less than $12

There’s everything from shimmery to matte in just about every color imaginable . . . lining your drugstore shelves. (See what we did there?)

Note: Prices are accurate as of Sept. 23, 2020.

8 Best Drugstore Eyeliners That Cost Less Than $12

Revlon ColorStay Liquid Liner

Cost: $5.39 at Target

Best for: Liquid liner that doesn’t smudge

Why we like it: The brush allows for precise application, which is key when using liquid liner. The colors are pigmented and last all day without flaking or smudging, yet are still easy to remove with makeup remover, says Jarry Lee, a New York-based beauty influencer and professional model.

Cruelty free? No

Pixi by Petra Endless Silky Waterproof Pencil Eyeliner

Cost: $12 at Target

Best for: Waterproof eyeliner

Why we like it: Pixi makes a quality liner that glides on easily, doesn’t smudge and offers beautiful color selections ranging from soft mattes to bold metallics, says Tam Lamarre, an aesthetic nurse.

It should be noted that the pencil has a hard cover that makes sharpening difficult, which has inspired some complaints. However, if you can figure out how to do it, you may end up loving this liner for life.

Cruelty free? Yes

CoverGirl Get In Line LIquid Eyeliner

Cost: $11.49 at CVS

Best for: A dramatic eye

Why we like it: This is a quick-drying, long-lasting liner that completes any look ranging from simple to dramatic, says Kay Elle, a beauty influencer.

“If you are like me and don’t have a steady hand, don’t worry because this product has an easy contour grip-handle to help with precision,” Elle says.

It lasts all day, and is easy to apply.

Cruelty free? Yes

Maybelline Define-A-Line Eyeliner

Cost: $4.66 at Amazon

Best for: For a perfect, simple wing

Why we like it: It goes on milky smooth, and creates the perfect wing-liner, says Jasmine Lewis, founder of Vie Beauty in Atlanta.

The applicator is a soft pencil, and the eyeliner is designed to smudge easily for blending and softening hard lines. A sponge on the bottom tip can be used to create shadow lines and shading.

Cruelty free? No

Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Liner

Cost: $3.99 at Target

Best for: An “awake” eye look

Why we like it: Joanna Williams, a beauty and style content creator in New York, says she loves the “nude” shade of this drugstore eyeliner, as it brightens her eyes without being as stark as a white eyeliner.  

To get a smoky look, Williams smudges a darker shade of eyeshadow below her water line. “But the light shade of my actual eyeliner keeps my eyes wide and bright,” Williams said. “Having it in the nude color is the perfect hack to help eyes look more awake, no matter what I choose to do with the rest of my eye makeup.”

Cruelty free? No

e.l.f. Cream Eyeliner

Cost: $8.36 at Walmart

Best for: A multi-tasking eyeliner

Why we like it: “I have yet to find another gel eyeliner that comes with this much product, doesn’t dry up or get crusty, is pitch black and has the same amount of staying power that I can always rely on,” Williams said.

She uses it daily on her upper lid with a small angled brush to give it a bit of a flick at the end before throwing on false lashes. “I’ve worn this product to school, work, brand events, red carpets, magazine parties, you name it,” Williams said.

Cruelty free? Yes

L’Oreal Paris Infallible Super Slim Liner

Cost: $6.99 at Target.com

Best for: Precision

Why we like it: This provides a seamless, buildable line with its coveted felt tip, says Andrea Claire, a Canadian hair and makeup artist based in Singapore. You can choose a thin line for definition or a thicker line that angles out to a precise wing-tip.

“Multiple looks with one multi-tasking liner: perfection,” Claire said.

Cruelty free? No

Milani Fruit Fetish Stay Put Bright Eyeliner

Cost: $8 at Milanicosmetics.com

Best for: A bold look

Why we like it: It’s a powerful pigment to pair with sunkissed skin, Claire says.

This liner lets you experiment with vibrant colors, whether you’re doing a simple winged eye or a lace-inspired pattern that can glamorously peek out over your mask.

Cruelty free? Yes

Danielle Braff is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

9 Places To Find Flexible Home-Based Virtual Assistant Jobs

There are so many small companies and entrepreneurs wanting to outsource various tasks especially during this current climate that it is quite easy to find flexible home-based work for virtual assistants. I have done a number of virtual assistant jobs in the past and tasks such as replying to emails, booking and managing appointments, and […]

The post 9 Places To Find Flexible Home-Based Virtual Assistant Jobs appeared first on Dream Home Based Work.

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