CNN Money has put together a slideshow (ugh) of nine of “America’s biggest rip-offs,” and I think we’ve covered all of them at one point or another on Consumerist.
A new study says that 26% of US consumers “have no plans to return to their free-spending ways,” which probably doesn’t sound like good news to retailers. Even worse (for retailers), about a third say they’ve become less loyal.
Sears and Toys R Us are among retailers who have brought back layaway programs to help boost sales, reports Eve Mitchell at the San Jose Mercury News. Not all stores think it’s worth the effort, so you won’t find it at JCPenney, Target, or Walmart. However, if you want to use layaway at retailers that don’t offer it, there are now websites that can help.
Gas prices have spiked in the last two weeks, reaching levels last seen during the peak of the summer driving season, says the AP. The increase in gas prices has retailers worried that consumers who are putting more money in their gas tanks will buy fewer gifts during the upcoming holiday season.
Because retailers plan their Christmas offerings so far in advance, most were too far along with trendy or ostentatious Christmas merchandise to change course last year, reports the Associated Press. This year they’re prepared to pursue the fiscally conservative consumer, which means everyone is selling the holiday decor equivalent of comfort food.
The San Jose Mercury News has compiled a list of financial tips for people just entering college. These are the sorts of things that will help you avoid racking up huge debts or wasting money you don’t have on fees and penalties—and of course they can apply to pretty much anyone, not just college students.
You already have a budget, you just probably haven’t seen it turned into a colorful graphic before. Here’s one that illustrates where all the money goes. Sadly, we spend about three times as much on tobacco as on reading, and yet almost nothing on strippers! (Unless that falls under “entertainment.”)
The deepest “employment slump of any recession in the last eight decades” has consumers convinced they’re about to lose their jobs — and that’s affecting consumer confidence, says Bloomberg.
Eiither the economy is improving somewhat or more parents are sacrificing to get their kids geared up for school this year, a survey by Deloitte & Touche LLP says.
Forbes wanted to know which states had the highest average balances per household in May, so they took the total amount of debt in 50 major metropolitan areas, divided that by the number of households, then divided that by the median household income for that area for May. Here are some of their results.
So you want to write a budget, but you’re not sure where to start? No Credit Needed has a list of ten simple but necessary steps to take before drafting your first spending plan. Most consumers will already have knocked off the basics like putting their checking and savings accounts in order, but everyone can take advantage of tips like tracking your spending for a full month and making sure you have a detailed list of your irregular expenses. Once you’ve done your homework, check out our guide to writing a beginner’s budget and start mapping out your financial future.
The more credulous you are, either because you’re new to the whole line-of-credit experience or because you’re uneducated, the more likely you are to mistake a high line of credit for an indication of your future earnings potential. You can see how this can lead to bad things, as noted by the researchers who studied this unfortunate problem earlier this decade. Luckily, the savvier you get about credit cards, the less influence your credit limit has on you, which is yet another great reason to make financial literacy education mandatory.
Money can ruin relationships, but by talking honestly about finances with your significant other, you just might emerge from this depressing recession as a couple. Even if your finances are deteriorating, there are a few ways to keep your money problems from rotting your relationship.