Footloose, Blue Light Specials and Layaway

KMart and Sears Layaway commercials are some of the most unintentionally hilarious advertisements on television right now. They are always met with smirks and sarcasm by Mrs. Stew and I. Layaway? Seriously?

Sears and KMart are in the midst of conducting a full-court press on behalf of their layaway programs without seeming to realize that layaway is actually a worse deal than just buying an item with a credit card. Layaway might be Kmart Smart, but it sure is not frugal money smart.

I am a little late to the party:

Okay, I have always thought that I was pretty close to the cutting edge of technology, the internet and all the rest. Yes, I do not have an iPod, but that has more to do with the fact that I do not really listen to music much, not that I do not know how to use one. I bank online, I book flights and hotels online I get my news online . . . Hello! I am a blogger, for crying out loud! Of course, I buy stuff and sell stuff on the world wide web through sites like Ebay, Craigslist and shopping portals like Fatwallet and Ebates.  I use internet tools such as Gmail, social sites, Google documents, Mapquest and more. I feel like I have a pretty good handle on this thing that one recent president called “the internets”.

Do you go to pawn shops?

A year and a half ago, someone gave me a 50cc scooter. It was of uncertain foreign brand and I could not figure out how to even change the oil. None of the shops in my area would even work on it because they did not know where to get parts for it. People mocked me for driving that scooter, but it sure was convenient since we only have one family vehicle and in our state, scooters under 51cc do not have to be licensed, registered or insured. Between adding a little oil now and then and buying gas, I drove it for about $3 a week. Anyway, I drove it to work most days of the week all until it was stolen about six months ago. I think someone just picked it up and threw it in the back of a pickup truck and that was the end of it.

Black Friday Gathering (Wednesday Edition)


Here are some articles about the day that has come to be known as Black Friday. The name comes from the fact that many retailers stay in the “red” or operate at a deficit all year until the Christmas shopping season. The Friday after Thanksgiving is the first time of the year that they move over into profitability or “into the black”.

Trent at The Simple Dollar recommends restraint . . . makes sense.

PF Firewall lists a few tips, tricks and a caution or two for getting the best deal. He has a great list of Black Friday websites.

Buying in bulk pitfalls


Mrs. Stew does the majority of the grocery shopping in our home. She knows where to find the deals, which coupons are best and what we need. She does a nice job of feeding our family of five for as little money as possible. Every once in a while, she asks me to pick up one or two items on the way home . . . usually a mistake. ; The Place Where I Bought My Laptop Messenger Bag

messenger laptop bagI have been looking for a laptop bag for a while now. Since I ride a bus every morning and evening (35 minutes each way), I write most of my articles there. It is a nice way to be productive instead of just watching the cars stuck in the traffic on the bridge ;-)

I used to have a full leather bag for my laptop but I didn’t really like it for 2 reasons.

#1 It was too big. This was really convenient when I was going to school but now I am drained by its weight and am constantly bumping into stuff while walking.

Purchase with or without a credit card?


Last week, Mike wrote about some ways to use a day-to-day credit card. Most Gather Little by Little readers might have been a little surprised by the topic and the point of view because glblguy has always been completely averse to credit cards – and for good reason.

Barter, bargain, haggle


As our economy continues to sputter along, wise people will do everything possible to reduce debt and hold down costs. If you happen to be someone who is or lives in a household that is subject to very little debt, you have an opportunity to take advantage of some of the bargains that are out there. This is a great time to be in the market for a car, a house, clothes, food or almost anything else.

Deals of the day sites – Avoiding impulse shopping


I received an interesting comment on my Deals of the day sites article I wrote that said:

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to clear my box of these tantalizing offers.

The comment made me wonder how many people buy items from deals of the day sites on impulse…probably a bunch. I’m not much of an impulse shopper anymore, but I certainly used to be. I thought I’d share a few tips on how to use these sites to your advantage without wasting money on items you don’t need.

Avoid debt this holiday season

As the holiday season approaches, I begin to think about wonderful music, good food, colorful lights, family and friends, and debt. Yes debt. The holiday season was one of the times in the past where I unfortunately had a tendency to significantly increase the balance on my credit cards.

I would never plan ahead for Christmas and buy my presents all at the last minute and using a credit card. Each year I would thoroughly convince myself that I would just pay it off quickly after the first the year. Each year I would never due that. I would pay the minimum payments and always find some excuse on how to spend the extra money. As a consequence, each month my debt would grow significantly due to the interest and continued use of the cards.

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