Category Archives: Money

Save Money Automatically With Browser Add-Ons

I am not a coupon clipper, but I do like to save money before making a purchase. I recently bought tickets for a flight to and from Boston for a wedding. I checked prices regularly until prices dropped to what I was looking for, and bought. I didn’t spend too much time on it, just checked a few times a day for a week. I ended up saving over $200 (a mix of money and points earned from credit card rewards) by waiting for the price to drop, and spend well under an hour total searching, so it was well worth it to keep tabs on the prices.

Before I buy anything online, I always look for a discount. I just search the store name and the word ‘coupon’ to see what’s out there. I spend a minute, and if I can find something, then I just saved some money, and if I don’t see anything available, I go ahead and make the purchase. I’m looking for real savings, not a way to convince myself to buy.

Of course, technology again makes our lives easier. Now, there are two (and I’m sure there are others) browser add-ons that you can use to (nearly) automatically save money when checking out.

Honey

Instead of searching for a coupon code, the add-ons do all the work for you, and probably do it better. Before checking out, just click the honey button (next to where you would normally enter coupon codes) and honey looks at popular coupon code sites and goes through about 25 codes for you, one by one. It takes the one with the biggest savings for you, and voila! You’ve saved money (or not, if there’s nothing available, no harm done).

I did some testing with this and it found the same discounts I found myself, but with none of the effort. While it cycled through the codes, I went to another tab, and when I came back, it had the code entered for me. It was very easy:

Drawbacks: There were no drawbacks, but one time I found a better coupon code than it did. Maybe that was because it only tries 25 options and I had gone to the very bottom of the page to find mine, but the success rate was pretty good, I have no complaints about Honey and I highly recommend it.

Coupons at Checkout

Created by CouponFollow, Coupons at Checkout is similar to honey, but instead of cycling through the codes it can find, it highlights the promo code box and then presents a few codes for you to use. I tried it out at a few sites and it worked perfectly. Again, it didn’t find any special savings that I couldn’t find myself, but it took all of the hassle house of searching online and I had the best price within seconds.

Drawbacks: It takes a few extra moments to try the coupon code, but overall it’s a big time saver. Since there are only a few options, I was worried that maybe there were obscure coupons out there that it didn’t know about, but in my limited testing, it did seem to give the best price available.

Test Them For Yourself

You don’t need to rely solely on these add-ons yet. Just give them a chance and see how they compare to your current system, and if it consistently beats what you can find, make the switch. You’ll save a little time and you’ll know you’re getting the best discount possible, without any of the work. That’s about as automatic as it gets. These add-ons make the great experience of online shopping even better!

Beware of Macy’s and Other Store Credit Card Offers

While purchasing a new pair of pants at Macy’s, I stood next to a few teenagers, one of whom was buying a couple of t-shirts and a pair of shorts. The salesperson asked if he wanted to open a Macy’s card. He asked if it was free and she said yes. In fact, she followed up by saying he would save about 15% on the day’s purchase and that she just needed his ID and some basic information. Sounds like a pretty good deal, right? Get 15% off your purchase for free?

Too Good To Be True

Of course, the kid didn’t have all the information. He only had a part of truth, the part the salesperson gave him that would help her close the deal. It was too painful to watch, so I quickly sprung into action, helping this clueless kid avoid unknowingly make a mistake. I clarified with the saleswoman that they’d need to run his credit, and she smiled and agreed. He almost signed up for a credit card without realizing it. It seemed that he thought he was going to sign up for a store discount card, similar to ones offered at supermarkets that give rewards without having to give up anything (besides your buying habits).

He asked me if it was a bad idea to do it, and while I didn’t want to get into a whole discussion about credit and teach him everything, I very briefly explained that there are some good uses for credit, but this likely wasn’t one of them. I let him know that there are some great signup bonuses out there that may be worth hundreds of dollars, but saving 15% on a small purchase (in this case, maybe $9) probably wasn’t worth it.

We Need More Consumer Advocates

I’m not sure if it was my place to prevent the store from opening another credit card from one of their customers, but I like to be a consumer advocate and this kid clearly had no idea what he was doing and the salesperson did nothing to help clarify what was happening. I didn’t push the issue and walked away once I said my piece, but it was nice to hear, as I was walking away, that he was just going to pay for the items and pass on the offer at this time. I cracked a bit of smile when I heard that.

This teenager was lucky that I gave him some advice and not to waste his credit on a very small discount. Others are not as lucky, and the stores clearly aren’t doing enough to educate their customers (in this case, the salesperson only gave the customer part of the full picture). It’s up to us to educate each other so we make the best financial decisions for ourselves instead of doing whatever is presented to us by the stores where we shop.

6 Signs You Should Look For A New Job

One thing you never hear people say is, “I wish I had waited longer to leave my job.” People often stay too long at a job that isn’t a good fit, usually because it’s hard to turn down a paycheck and the alternative is unemployment. There are several signs that it’s time to seek new employment. If any of these happen to you, start your job search so that you don’t work to long for an employer

The Company Doesn’t Care About You as Much as You Care About Them

If you put in long hours for your job and don’t get the recognition you deserve, you should consider looking for a new position. Even if you really enjoy what you do and check in from home to make sure your work is being taken care of properly, there needs to be an equal caring done by the company about you. Whether it’s in salary or simply a “good job” from your boss, it’s important to know that there is a level of appreciation from your company for the hard work you are doing. If you’re not getting the feedback you deserve, it’s time to find a company that appreciates all that you do.

You Are Not Receiving Regular Feedback

If you don’t get feedback from your supervisor, consider the reason the company has you there. Is it so that you can work for them short-term, or are they grooming you to take on more responsibility in the future? If you are there to do a job rather than for a career, you should look for something sustainable where you can really grow and be appreciated the way you deserve.

You’re Not Learning Anymore

If every day is the same as the last one and you’re no longer learning or growing professionally, it’s likely time to look for a new position. You’re bored at work and while it’s very easy to be complacent and accept your paycheck every two weeks for doing a job that’s pretty easy, the repetition is going to make the days go by more slowly. It’s really important to keep learning and acquiring new skills to help you further your career.

There’s No Opportunity For Growth

If you’re at the top of the food chain and there’s nowhere for you to go, it’s time to find a position where you can grow. This often happens at small companies where employees find themselves at the top of small departments and realize that there are few, if any positions left between them and the CEO. If this is the case, it’s going to be hard to take on new responsibilities and move up the ladder.

You Dislike Your Coworkers or Boss

If coming into work every day puts you in a bad mood and your interactions with your boss or coworkers is a struggle, you should probably be on the lookout for the next opportunity. Company culture and fit is an important part of your career and if you can find a company that you enjoy working for, it may even be worth taking a pay cut to go there. Lowering your stressors is very important to living a happy life!

Your Coworkers Are Leaving

If your company is experiencing high turnover (or worse, people are leaving and not being replaced), it might be time to start looking for a new job. Employees who aren’t being retained are likely able to command a higher salary elsewhere, and it might be a sign that the company is not doing well financially.

There are lots of factors that determine whether your company is a fit for you and if you should stick it out for the long-term. But if you are experiencing one or more of these at your job, take a step back and evaluate your situation and ask yourself: should I stay or should I go?