How to Control Your Emotions When Shopping

When I was a teenager, I went back-to-school shopping with my best friend and got suckered into buying more clothing than I needed or had money for. 

The saleswoman was smooth and knew all of the right things to tell a 16 year old girl who was nervous about going back to school and looking just right.  That saleslady upsold me on everything—I even bought the matching socks and earrings at her suggestion.

An hour later, embarrassed and a bit angry, I returned everything.

I bought my clothes with my own money from my part-time job, and I simply didn’t have the money to buy that much.

My experience was not unique, but unfortunately, many people now don’t return the items or better yet, stop themselves from buying them in the first place.

We don’t think of shopping as walking through an emotional minefield, but many times that is just what the experience is like.

One of the best ways to combat this minefield is to take your emotions out of shopping, which is easier said than done.  However, knowing why your emotions come into play when shopping can help you better control them.

How to Control Your Emotions When Shopping

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Paying for a Good Education in the Beginning or the End?

When I was in graduate school, I met a man who was Puerto Rican and spoke Spanish. 

His wife was Korean and spoke Korean.  When they had a daughter, they made the conscious decision to only speak English to her so that she wouldn’t be confused by the languages.

I still look at that situation and mourn the tremendous opportunity to learn three languages that this child missed.

Imagine the job opportunities for a trilingual speaker who speaks Spanish, Korean and English!

My husband is Japanese, and while I speak a bit of Japanese, I am by no means conversational.  (Just ask my husband’s mother; I still panic when she calls because I only know a few conversational phrases.)

We determined when we married that we wanted to raise our children to be bilingual; however, that is difficult when mom doesn’t speak the language and dad is at work 10 hours of the day.

We decided to pay tuition to send our children to a private Montessori Japanese language school.  We resolved to invest money in our children’s education upfront, fully aware that the money we spend now is money we won’t have available when they go to college.

Why Invest in Education Upfront?

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The Many Ways the Internet Saves (and Makes) You Money

Ten years ago the Internet used to be a luxury that wealthy families could afford, but now most have it. 

According to Nielsen, of the 80% of American homes that have a computer, 92% of them have Internet access.

With this access, they also have a powerful tool to save money.

Sure, we have to pay monthly for our Internet service, but my guess is that people who use the Internet wisely save at least as much as they spend for Internet access, if not more.

Have you given thought lately to all of the ways the Internet saves you money?

Here are just a few I came up with:

Ways the Internet Saves You Money

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Swagbucks Review: Join to Receive Free Gift Cards and Other Prizes

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We are in gazelle intensity mode paying down our debt, and one of the ways that we can still give our kids a nice Christmas without spending a lot of money is through Swagbucks.

I simply search the Internet as usual using Swagbucks as my search engine instead of Yahoo! or Google; occasionally I will be rewarded with Swagbucks (usually ranging from 7 to 79 points per time).

What Is Swagbucks?

Swagbucks is an Internet search engine.

You can use it much the same way you use Google or Yahoo.  However, as you are searching, you are sometimes rewarded with Swagbucks.  These Swagbucks can be redeemed for gift cards or other prizes.

I have won anywhere from 7 to 79 Swagbucks at a time, and because I frequently need to search the Internet as a freelance writer and blogger, I usually win Swagbucks several times a day.  All of the Swagbucks I win accrue until I decide to redeem them for a prize.

What I like is that I am getting rewards for doing something I would do during my day anyway—search the Internet.

How to Sign Up With Swagbucks

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Did You Know Your Debt Can Hurt Your Health?

My husband and I recently met with a financial planner to discuss rolling over my retirement savings account from my former employer. 

How we finally found a planner we felt we could trust is a different story, but this planner, I’ll call Mr. Smith, is a Dave Ramsey endorsed local provider, and as expected, much of his advice was on par with Dave Ramsey’s teachings.

In addition to discussing the rollover, we also discussed our finances in general and that we are paying off what seems like insurmountable debt, the majority of which now is student loan debt.  We also spoke about our income, which is lower than we would like because my husband is working at an entry level post doc position and I am freelancing part-time while caring for our young children during the day.

Mr. Smith assured us, “Your income will grow more than you can believe once you pay off that debt because debt takes so much of your energy.  Get rid of that debt completely, and all of your energy can go toward building your careers.”

While I found the entire conversation beneficial, that piece of information is the one that I keep returning to.

Debt is Mentally and Physically Exhausting

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Are Online College Classes Right for You?

Universities and colleges have offered online courses for several years now as a way to offer students a more flexible schedule. 

A nice bonus is that online courses often cost less than courses in the traditional classroom, and you also save on transportation costs because you do not have to drive to campus.

In light of the financial benefits and the flexibility online courses offer, these types of courses seem like they should be a great fit for most students, but often they are not.

If you are considering taking an online course, there are several things you must know.

Reasons You Should Not Take an Online Course

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How to Create a Low-Cost Will

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Most adults, especially parents, know how important a will is. 

This one document can help determine who will raise your children in the event of your untimely death.  Die without a will and the state determines who will raise your children.  If your children are grown, a will keeps your estate out of probate and retains the inheritance for your inheritors, not the court fees probate generators.  A will can also curb fights over who gets what; your wishes are clearly written in the will.

Even though we all know wills are important, “a staggering 65% of adults do not have wills.”   When asked why, “a large number of people said that a will is too expensive and too complicated” (Mellert Law).

You may likely feel this way, too.  However, there are plenty of ways you can create your will without spending a lot of money.

Consider the following ways to create a low-cost will:

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