Top 10 Worst Retail Store Company Policies To Be Aware Of When Shopping

Shopping When caught up in the rush of holiday shopping, it’s easy to make quick decisions about gifts or travel without the normal amount of thought. Whether you have a lot to do, you want to finish fast, or you just love to give the perfect gift, there’s something about this time of year that makes us all a little less responsible with our purchases.

Since most of us will do a great deal of shopping in the coming days, I’ve decided to list some not-so-consumer-friendly retail policies. In my opinion, this list is comprised of the ten worst-of-the-worst when it comes to your holiday retail nightmares. If you haven’t done your due diligence for holiday purchases, hopefully this will recommend some second thought.

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15 Unique & Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas That Are Frugal and Fun

Frugal and Fun GiftIt’s hard to believe Christmas is now less than a week away. At this point, many of us are starting to think about wrapping gifts for family and friends.

The problem with wrapping paper is that it’s pretty bad for the environment. According to Earth911, we go through 4 million tons of wrapping paper each year. And that’s just here in the United States. Plus, due to the additives and coloring in most commercial wrapping paper, it can’t be recycled after use. If every American family wrapped just three presents in reusable material, we would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. That’s pretty amazing.

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Personal Finance Round-Up: Thinking Beyond Christmas

It’s less than one week from Christmas and the anticipation is mounting; we are getting all the last-minute preparations in order, planning out the meal, and continually fending off the kids’ final efforts to figure out what will be waiting for them under the tree on Christmas day. But when all is said and done, gifts are opened, and food is eaten, life goes on after Christmas.

Life after Christmas is a blur especially as New Years hoopla takes over only a week later and we start making our New Years Resolutions.

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4 Financial Norms to Challenge During the Current Economic Crisis – When Heroes Become Villains

hero villain moneyThe past 3 years have been rife with changes – economically, financially, and socially. We’ve seen a lot of cultural and financial icons go very quickly from hero to villain. Many pop stars and sports heroes of the past decade have spent more time in tabloids than pursuing their chosen careers. Even President Barack Obama, once heralded as an instrument of change himself, has recently suffered a fall from grace.

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Checking Influence Review – See How Your Spending is Wielding Political Influence

When it comes to deciding exactly where we spend our money, there are two types of people: those who care about the political affiliations of companies they do business with, and those who don’t.

If you’re in the first category and want to be aware of the political activity of various companies, there’s a great new tool that can help you easily find this information. And even if you didn’t care to know previously, try it out. It could give you some interesting insights that I’m sure you didn’t know about before.

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What is iTunes U? Free College Courses From Top Universities

itunes uI don’t know about you, but I’m a big time trivia nerd. I suppose that comes from my dad, who has been playing trivia with his buddies for as long as I can remember.

Because of my quest for knowledge, I am always looking for ways to educate myself, whether it’s through traditional methods like going to college and reading books or more random ways like perusing the back of a cereal box at breakfast. Formal schooling is great for conventional learning, especially if you’re looking to find a job in one of the best career fields for the future, but education programs and books (even used college text books) can get very pricey.

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What is Dynamic Pricing? How to Avoid Paying Higher Prices While Shopping Online

price tagsAmericans aren’t just strapped for money. They’re strapped for time. In this down economy, many people are getting a second job or starting a small business to earn some extra cash and make ends meet. This usually leaves very little time for holiday shopping and could be one of the reasons why e-commerce sales are expected to increase by 11% this holiday shopping season while in-store sales are only predicted to  increase 3%.

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5 Ways to Say No to Friends and Stay Within Your Budget

say no guyIt has always been a challenge for me to stick to my budget in December. Not because of Christmas and presents and holiday travel, but because everyone I know seems to want to get together this time of year. And when people want to get together, it usually means spending money to go out to eat.

I’m planning on traveling to visit my family in Florida, and I already have dinner plans for several nights in my 10-day trip. As much as I hate to do it, if I want to stay on budget, I simply cannot accept any more invitations to meet up for dinner this month.

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The Best Homemade Chili Recipe – Easy, Healthy & Cheap – Under $15 For the Whole Family

chili bowlA lot of people underestimate the number of guys who can cook and do it well.  Popular reality TV shows like Top Chef and Iron Chef have helped change that image a bit for the better, but I think the general consensus is still that guys can’t cook. I admit that I’m not the best myself, but I do have a small portfolio of fantastic dishes that I’ve managed to create on my own. My wife and I usually split the cooking duties throughout the week.  If one person cooks, the other cleans up.  We sometimes fight to cook, because both of us would rather cook than clean! I’ve got in quite a bit of practice as a result.

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How to Develop Your Personal Investment Portfolio Asset Allocation and Strategy

As you may know, asset allocation is the number one factor to consider when structuring a successful investment portfolio. The goal of most investors should be to build a diversified portfolio that will allow them to weather the ups and downs of the market.

However, you cannot properly construct your portfolio until you know exactly what kind of investor you are. This requires looking at a number of different factors and answering some important questions so that you can find the optimal mix for your investment portfolio.

Below are the 3 most important factors that you need to consider in order to properly structure your portfolio:

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