Showing posts with label Finances 101. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Finances 101. Show all posts

January 21, 2011

The search for a warm winter mitten

So I take the bus. I have to stand outside for around 10 minutes at both of my waits, and when the weather really sucks the buses are usually late and I have to wait even longer.

For some reason I can find everything else warm but not mittens. I asked all my friends on face book and I got a lot of different suggestions. I'm always hesitant to go out and spend a bunch of money but I was getting a lot more sick of having cold and frozen hands all the time... SO I decided that I was going to go out and buy all the different gloves suggested and find something that would finally work. I was tiered of always having cold hands! (Of course I made sure I bought them at places I could do returns..Having 5 pairs of gloves that didn't work wasn't part of this plan!)

So I thought I would share this all with you. It's a relativity boring post but I thought if you're like me and have tiny hands with no fat on them to keep you warm, and sort of bad circulation this might really be helpful!

I first tried these. They were $90 gloves so I thought for sure they would be pretty good. Nope. My fingers (at -20C) got cold within 5 minutes and freezing within 10 minutes. They were by far the nicest gloves but that doesn't matter when you have no fingers!

Next I tried some Hot Paws from Costco. They were $30 but I heard they were like having heaters on your hands. Nope. Again, no good. To be honest they were a little bit better then the North Face gloves, they lasted a couple minutes more but still not good enough.
Next a tried a pair of mittens from The Bay. I can't find an exact picture but they were similar to these but darker purple and they had fur around the cuffs. They were Thinsulate 40 Gram mitts which I was told is a great rating and those should for sure do the job. They were the cheapest of all the gloves I found (on sale too) at $20. I tried them out for a couple of day, same cold testing and same results; no good at all! They lasted about 3 minutes at -20C before my fingers were cold.

The four try was a pair of Dragon Fly Thinsulate mittens from Sports Check. They were 100 Gram gloves so I was sure they had to do better then the other gloves. Nope. About the same: after 5 minutes my fingers were cold and after about 8 minutes they were freezing. Even curling them up in a ball inside the mittens didn't do much at that point. When I brought them back "Is there anything wrong with them?", "They're not warm". The cashier wasn't too sure what to say, but at least I was honest right.

Ok, so my last effort? Go to MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) and try and find something there. I spent about 30 minutes trying on all the different gloves and trying to find something that seemed that it would work better then the rest (it's amazing how little labeling is on these things!). Finally I decided on a pair of Gordini mittens. By this time I had the other four pairs of gloves going through their tests so this pair was last and boy could I tell the difference when I got to these! No, they don't work for more then half an hour out standing in the cold in -30, but at that point, I find that not much does! They work well for the 10-20 minutes I'm standing outside in -20 to -30. My hands start go get cold at the 10 minute mark and at about 20 minutes (if I haven't moved my fingers around or tried anything to keep them warm) they start to really feel frozen. But you know, considering where I live and all the other tries I've had with gloves and how poorly they did I'm taking this as a success. $40 after tax, not too bad for toasty warm fingers.

December 19, 2010

Daily Worth: Social Econom-icks

As you know I get this daily financial email and I just loved this one and thought I would share it with you. You know me, I'm all about honestly and really saying it how it is (in the right context of course) and not covering up where you're really at and what you're really about. I think this article does a great job of showing that in the financial side of things.

Social Econom-icks

By Anna Post

Someone recently asked me whether it was rude to use an expensive vodka bottle and fill it with a cheaper brand, to “keep up appearances.”

I think this gets the Oscar for Most Ridiculous Question I've been asked.

First of all, you could pour the drinks in the kitchen with no one the wiser; or better yet, not worry about serving inexpensive vodka—it's your home.

The bigger issue is that it's
not always easy to be straightforward about a change in your financial circumstances—especially when it might impact how you socialize. Still, a part of good etiquette is being honest, and I advocate telling good friends the truth. If you fall off the social radar with no explanation, some may think it's a reflection on their company. It's better to say, “Dan and I are going to have to give up our Friday night dinners out, but maybe we could turn it into a movie night instead?”

Or, for the sake of privacy, don't explain: simply suggest cheaper get-togethers—
free museum days, babysitting swaps, etc.

In this economy, most people will take the hint, and I bet they'll be
grateful for your graciousness (and frugality). If you get the sense from a pal that a swanky restaurant meal—or expensive booze—means more than your friendship, then they're the ones who should examine their manners.

Uncork it. Is it hard to reveal to some friends that money is tight?

December 17, 2010

Daily Worth: Give Like a Celebrity

Another great email from Daily Worth that I just had to share with you guys! I think giving and donating is hugely important, even more so over the holidays and this post is full of all sorts of options!


Happy giving!!

It's that year-end tug-of-war: With so many priorities putting pressure on your cashflow—gifts! parties!
resisting the temptation to buy stuff for yourself!—how do you set aside money for causes you care about?

We have two answers for you:

Make It Fun. Crowdrise, the brainchild of Hollywood producer Shauna Robertson ("Super Bad") and her partner Ed Norton, is like

a philanthropic Facebook designed to help you get a charitable life.

Join Will Ferrell and others: Set up your own giving page, pick your charities—or
find your friends and join their causes—and use social networking to raise cash. (All the charities are 501(c)3 organizations; donations are processed through Network for Good.)

We like Millennium Promise and Invisible Children.

Think Small. There are more children living in poverty now, owing to the recession, new research shows—and the Tory

Burch Foundation aims to be part of the solution by providing microloans to working moms in the United States who want to start their own businesses.

You can donate directly or purchase one of Tory Burch's signature items; all profits benefit the foundation. And check out some of
the entrepreneurs TBF has helped (like Cousin & Co., a handbag company in Brooklyn).

August 29, 2010

Your Hand Shake

When I shake people's hands I often get comments like "You must be a business women" or "Wow, strong hand shake". A few years ago I heard about how important your hand shake is so even since then I've really be making an effort to have some personality in my hand shake. There's nothing worse then a limp hand shake. So here's another great email from Daily Worth on just that!

Happy reading!

Want to land that job? Start with the right handshake—it’s one of the first things a job interviewer will notice, and could set you up for success versus a scoot back to square one.

Researchers at University of Manchester in England

studied what makes a great—and not-so-great shake.

Here’s what they uncovered:

Great shakes

  1. Give a firm—but not too firm—squeeze using your right hand.
  2. Offer about three shakes using a medium level of vigor.
  3. Shake no longer than three seconds.
  4. Make sure your palms are cool and dry.
  5. Accompany the handshake with these actions: eye contact, a warm smile, and an appropriate verbal statement, such as your full name and, “Nice to meet you.”

“A soft handshake can indicate insecurity, whilst a quick-to-let-go handshake can suggest arrogance," added Dr. Geoffrey Beattie, a researcher on the study.

Don't sweat it
What are the biggest handshake “don’ts”?

  1. Sweaty palms
  2. Loose grip or limp wrist
  3. Gripping too hard
  4. Not making eye contact
  5. Shaking too vigorously
It's worth brushing up on your handiwork: 56% of people say they’ve been the recipient of an unpleasant handshake within the last month. Don't let a bum shake ruin your job prospects.

August 22, 2010

5 Ploys that Get You to Overspend

I've told you all before about the daily financial email that I get (Daily Worth) and I've also told you how great it is so I thought I would share one of the great emails. I know I have trouble falling for some of the industries tricks so these tips for sure helped me! Happy reading!

Have you ever popped into a shop to buy "a few things"—and left with a full bag?

Get hip to stores' spend-more ploys and you can save a bundle, says

Philip Graves, author of Consumer.ology:

  1. Watch out for labels
    Studies show that you're more likely to buy products labeled "sale" or "bargain price", says Dr. Lars Perner, assistant professor of clinical marketing at USC, without considering whether the item is truly a deal, and thus you end up spending more.
  1. Take your time
    Retailers use scarcity language like "one day only" or "for a limited time,” to play on your fear of losing out on something, Graves says. It's a powerful inducement to buy—but don't buy it.
  1. Beware of bundles
    Retailers often “bundle” products: For example, they’ll put buns, ketchup and charcoal by the hot dogs. You end up buying the related product because it's convenient—but not cost-effective.
  1. Listen closely
    Slower music encourages you to linger, which means you're likely to buy more. Higher-end stores often play classical music because it helps you associate a product with excellence, and thus pay more for it, Graves adds, so listen up before you buy.
  1. Look around
    Stores often place their most profitable products at eye-level, where you're more likely to see them—and more likely to buy them, Perner says. Stores also stock the shelves near checkout lines—where consumers are a captive audience—with tempting items. Look before you buy!

July 14, 2010

My Budget

I finally figured out how to get a picture of my budget (or at least the template I made!) up for you guys. I know I did my Master Budget Sheet post a while ago, but it has a lot of details and I’m totally a picture/visual person so I figured you guys would also appreciate this to go along with the details. (I know it's sort of small, but it at least gives you an idea of what I was talking about!)

Happy budgeting!