According to a new report, JCPenney had to work fast to cut costs recently after sales were unexpectedly sluggish last month. Some of the drastic measures the department store took included telling managers to cut workers’ hours, freeze overtime, and ban store markdowns. [More]
New Year’s Eve nights out are recipes for big spending with little to show for it. Costs of cover charges, outfits and drinks quickly add up, closing out the year with financial fireworks that burn you out before you try to make a fresh start.
Kiplinger says that in the near future, if you’re driving down a rural or less-traveled road, you might find yourself driving on gravel. Road asphalt has doubled in price over the past three years and shows no signs of coming back down, so some states–Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Vermont, and Pennsylvania to begin with–are looking for ways to cut corners. Gravel costs $20 a ton compared to asphalt’s current $400/ton price.
The numbers are in for liquor sales in 2009, and last year had the smallest increase in sales since 2001, reports Bloomberg. What’s worse (if you own a high-end liquor company), sales shifted toward the products on the cheaper end of the spectrum, and people bought less at restaurants and other public places. But we’re not actually drinking less, it turns out–we’re just doing more entertaining at home.
A money-saving-themed blog called, well, “Money Saving Blog,” chooses not to gripe about the Christmas Creep and instead roll with it, putting together a well-crafted and seemingly comprehensive guide on how to avoid being hosed by the holidays by budgeting for trips and gifts and scaling down expenses as necessary due to economic circumstances.
The New York Times says a white roof on your house “can cost as little as 15 percent more than its dark counterpart” yet “reduce air-conditioning costs by 20 percent or more in hot, sunny weather.” This is because, scientifically speaking, the color white hates the stupid sun and won’t have anything to do with it.
Mattel’s revenues are down by 19%. Toy sales from summer movies and flagship product Barbie and Hot Wheels are down. However, the company reported today that profits are way up. So what explains the profits? Blame a visit from Price Hike Barbie.
RyanAir this week announced that they will soon eliminate all airport check-in counters and require passengers to carry-on their luggage. Starting early next year, passengers will need to schlep their bags through airport security and drop them at the steps of the plane for checking into plane’s cargo hold. Once aboard though, there will be gambling!
Henry Alford of the New York Times writes that sometimes he will “plop a can of chicken broth down on the checkout counter and think, ‘$2.19? For someone to boil chicken bones? I want that job,'” so he decided to try going a week with food from 99 cent stores in New York City.
That first trip to the college bookstore for textbooks is a transformative, and possibly scarring, event–for many people, it may be the first time you really understand the phrase “sticker shock.” But today’s students at least have some alternatives, the most popular of which (based on reader comments, articles, and personal recommendations) is abebooks.com. Our cousin, a junior this year, writes, “One book I’m buying this semester is 70 on Amazon, but like 25 or 35 on Abe.”
Cox has outsourced their 411 service to the Philippines, a frustrated San Diego consumer complains. “Bear” finds the operator’s accents difficult to understand and claims they, “don’t understand the intricacies of the English language.”