Grocery Store Impulse Shopping Tips

The grocery store is where many people struggle when it comes to impulse shopping. Whether you are standing at the register in line and you grab a pack of gum or a magazine, or your kids are bugging you to get their favorite popsicles in the freezer aisle, impulse shopping happens when you buy something you weren’t planning on buying, no matter which budget it comes out of.

Marketing experts that work for the companies that stock the shelves of the grocery stores know how to get consumers. Product placement, packaging and pairings sucks shoppers in, making the grocery store a common impulse trap.

Here are a few ways you can avoid the impulse shopping trap at the grocery store:

Go With a List

file7981250180435 (1)Shopping without a list is like inviting impulse shopping into your life. How do you know what is an impulse purchase vs. a normal part of your grocery shopping if you don’t have a list?

If you shop with a list and only buy what is on the list, you’ll avoid those impulse traps.

Leave Your Kids at Home

If possible, avoid shopping with children. Marketers are great at focusing their efforts toward young, impressionable minds, knowing that kids have a huge influence on what their parents buy at the grocery store.

Plus, if you avoid taking children grocery shopping it’s a quicker, healthier process; they won’t bug you for processed, sugary food which is better on their health.

Meal Plan

If you meal plan, then there is no reason to buy anything that isn’t part of the meals. Plan out snacks too, so you don’t find yourself in the junk food aisle spending $5 on a tiny carton of candy that won’t give you any nutritional benefit.

Meal planning and then writing the ingredients you need down is the best way to save money and avoid impulse shopping at the store.

How do you avoid impulse shopping?

3 Ways to Save on Veterinary Care

via http://www.flickr.com/photos/snapped_up

via http://www.flickr.com/photos/snapped_up

Pets are part of the family, so when we see them suffer for any reason it hurts us, too. That’s why people spend so much money taking their fur friends to the vet for every nick and scrape.

Dogs especially are particularly prone to accident and incident, since they are active and often bred through unsavoury circumstances, such as puppy mills. These leave them prone to disease and pre-existing conditions that you may not have known about.

Here are a few ways to save on vet care so you aren’t breaking the bank every time your pet has an ailment:

Call and Ask

If your pet seems to be in pain for something (ie arthritis), call and ask your vet what they’d recommend instead of booking an expensive appointment. The vet may ask you to come in, but more often than not they will advise you what you can do to relieve your pets pain. Often, pet arthritis can be treated with baby aspirin or something similar.

Pet Insurance

You may want to look into getting pet insurance for your best friend if it makes fiscal sense to do so.¬†Sometimes it is worth it, and you’d be remiss to skip out on the extra coverage.

Especially if you are active with your pet, or it’s a high energy breed, this could make good sense.

Don’t Wait Until It’s a Bigger Problem

Waiting and seeing can be beneficial for some things but not for others. If you wait until the problem is big and an emergency, you’ll end up spending far more than you would have if you had treated the issue right away. Emergency vet services are super expensive, and plus, that can be awful for your pet as well.

 

Veterinary care does not have to be as expensive as you might expect.

Considerations Before Becoming a Landlord

houseReal estate investing is popular still, and many people enjoy it and want to engage in it more than other forms of investing because it’s concrete and actionable. Often, people will buy homes or condos, fix them up, and flip them. This is one way to invest in real estate. Another way is to buy the home, fix it up, and rent it out. That way, you are paying the mortgage with the rent, and still are able to hold the property while value (hopefully) goes up. When the mortgage is paid off, the money from the rent is passive income.

Before investing in this type of property, there are a few things to consider about becoming a landlord that are important considerations:

Free Time

Sounds like an easy thing to do, right? Renting out a home and collecting rent? It sure can be, but it can be time consuming as well. Between getting the place ready for renting, to responding to calls for repairs once you do have a tenant, and potentially even having to follow up with the tenant for rent payments, it’s not completely passive income. There is some work to be done and that is something you should be aware of before you do it.

Handy Skills

If you have to phone a repair company for every little thing, soon your investment may not be an investment – it might be a money pit. If you don’t have any handy skills such as the ability to unclog a drain, change locks, etc, then you may not be making a very sound investment by buying a home to rent out and become a landlord.

Patience

There is usually always a point in every landlords experience when they have bad tenants or a bad experience, and often there is far more than one bad tenant. To be a landlord you must have patience; you’ll find the right one, but it’s a journey.

3 Reasons Debt Is Not a Good Idea

Debt is rampant in North America. People finance everything from mattresses to cars, homes to televisions. People marry partners and start their new lives in debt, because they wanted a bigger wedding than they could afford. They go to school and graduate with tens of thousands of dollars worth of student loans.

Debt has become a social norm.

Debt is a bad word; it’s damaging to families, to individuals, and to our society as a whole.

If you aren’t convinced that taking on debt is not a good idea, here are a few downfalls of debt:

Debt is Emotionally Draining

Debt can make you feel like you are on a treadmill going in reverse. It’s emotionally damaging to feel like you aren’t making progress or getting anywhere. Often, people who are in debt will remain in debt because they are so emotionally drained; they can’t handle the constant cycle of debt payoff.

Debt Hinders Your Savings

Of course, debt hinders savings as well. How can you save money while you owe so much to different companies and institutions? Your savings are generally representative of goals (ie retirement, travel), and pushing back your goals, or even running the risk of perhaps being unable to meet them, is a sad thought.

If you are in debt for the majority of your life, how do you retire, start a business, or go on that trip you’ve always dreamed of?

Debt Hurts Relationships

Because of the stress of debt, it can put a huge strain on relationships, particularly between spouses. Money (more specifically, a lack thereof) is one of the biggest reasons people get divorced. Fights are started easily about money and debt makes these things even worse.

Debt can ruin a lot of lives, and at the very least, set people back substantially from meeting goals or reaching dreams.

3 Advantages of Real Estate Investing

houseReal estate has been a favorite investment for decades. Not only do people purchase homes for themselves and their families to live in, they also invest in homes, apartments, and townhouses to rent out.

Whether or not real estate investing is the best idea depends on where you live and the market in your area. The economy has a big influence on whether real estate is a good investment, so timing the market (which is very difficult) is something that many real estate investors attempt to do.

Despite these downfalls, there are a few ways that real estate can be a really good move:

Tangibility

Many people who rent out units as an investment do so instead of traditional investing (on the stock market) because they like the idea of having something tangible to touch. Real estate investing seems to be easier for most people to understand, to wrap their heads around. Stock market investing isn’t that easy to comprehend.

We all have homes and live in dwellings; we understand what it’s like to be tenants, so it’s not that huge of a leap to become a landlord.

Reliability

Unlike some companies on the stock market, real estate will always be there. People will always need places to live, and will always be buying and selling homes. Sure, the market ebbs and wanes, but demand for dwellings is ever present.

Historical Figures

If you look at the long term effects of real estate investing, you’ll notice that the value of homes always, always go up in the long term.

Sure, they may drop significantly in a short period of time, due to a recession or something of that nature, but if you are willing to buy when the timing is right, lock into a lower rate mortgage (or pay off the home) and sit it out, you’ll always see prices rebound eventually.

 

Investing in real estate isn’t for everyone, but it can be a good move for some!