Category Archives: Money

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?

When To Consider Quitting Your Side Job

A side jobs can be great, especially when you’re making over $110,000 and don’t need to pay self-employment taxes on that income. They can help you get a jumpstart on your savings, make up for lost time, or help provide a backup plan if the day job doesn’t work out (or better yet, it can turn into your day job).

However, there are times when it might be time to say goodbye to the side gig. Here are a few times when it makes sense to move on:

When The Money No Longer Outweighs The Time Commitment

If your side gig is taking up too much time, it might be time to reconsider. You might still be earning money, but it’s possible that whatever you’re earning isn’t worth your time anymore. Maybe it takes longer now to earn the same amount you did at the beginning, or maybe you simply earn more at your day job now and your your time is worth more these days. As we age, we tend to make more at work, and if we have our expenses covered, the trade-off of time for money might have swung in balance. Whatever the reason, if you aren’t making more hourly than your free time is worth, consider putting the side job to rest.

When Your Side Job Holds You Back From Moving Up The Corporate Ladder

Side jobs are fantastic when you can do them in addition to your day job. They give you more flexibility and the extra income can really help boost short and long-term savings, but if your side project is affecting your performance at work, it’s time to make a decision. In the long-term, which is going to help more: putting in maximum effort at work or spending more time building up the side business? If you’re risking your main income to build something on the side, you should probably take a close look at whether the trade-off is truly worth it.

When Your Fun Hobby Turns Into “Work”

New things are often really exciting. But after awhile, what was once a hobby could turn into just another commitment that is hanging over your head. If your passion has turned into a job, it might be time to take a step back. You know why you started the passion project to begin with, and if those reasons don’t hold true anymore, is it worth continuing if it’s just another stressor?

When Your Sie Job Hurts Your Social Commitments

If you’re spending so much time building up a side business that it is affecting other aspects of your life, it’s likely time to reevaluate things. If you’re skipping out on time with family and friends or putting off important activities because you’ve become obsessed with growing your side job so much, you might want to take a breather.

Quitting Doesn’t Have To Mean The End To Side Income

Side gigs are awesome and I have one (you’re reading it now). But hobbies can be fun too, with a much smaller time commitment. Be aware when it’s time to move on from the side project and don’t hold on too long if it is going to cost you in other areas of your life. Of course, you don’t simply have to quit your side job. You can potentially sell it to someone who is looking for a side income, and a lump-sum cashout is something that might be very appealing to some who can’t keep up the side job anymore.