Monthly Archives: December 2008

Holiday Humbug

Working in retail I have had my fair share of unpleasant customers.  Sometimes justified, other times not it is something that comes with the territory.   But never before have I experienced the unpleasantness that comes with the upcoming holidays.  Holidays are meant to be a time of happiness and family, but from a retail manager’s perspective it is a time filled with unpleasant people I like to call “Holiday Humbugs.”

Although it may sound strange I was excited to work my first holiday retail season.  The busy stores, present buying and gift wrapping, it all sounded like a fun and wonderful way to work through the holidays.  What I have found instead is that the holidays bring out the worst is shoppers and workers alike.  I have yet to decide why but rather than focus the meaning behind the holiday season people focus on the negatives.  Long lines become personal attacks on customers, messy stores show disregard for our workplace and tired looks are taken for scowls.  Especially with the financial squeeze we are all feeling, now more than ever seems like a time to show common courtesy towards yourself and others.  I hate the lines and the hassles as much as the next person, but I think we all could benefit from stepping back, taking a deep breath and remembering our holiday cheer.  It may sound corny but if the holiday humbugs went away, shoppers and workers alike would experience a much more rewarding and positive holiday season.

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I’m feeling minty fresh

There is no doubt that living at home after college has its benefits.  Although it is not the exciting jump into financial independence that we all look forward to, it does give you the ability to save up money to eventually move and live the life you would hope.  Or so the story goes….  I have been living at home for 7 months now and have found that saving money is not as easy as it sounds.  When you have little to no expenses and a steady paycheck coming in it can feel like you can spend and save whatever you want all at the same time.  But sadly this is not exactly the case.  That is way I decided to get minty.

Mint.com is a free online personal finance service.   What Mint does is it uploads all of your credit card accounts, savings accounts, loans etc to one program and then looks at all of your transactions to see where your money is being spent.  It shows you where your money is being spent, your trends in spending, and how you can save more money.  It also lets you set personal budgets for different categories of spending and then will inform you if you go over any of your budgets or have unusual spending in any of your categories.

I am new to mint.com, but I can already feel the benefits of tracking my spending and helping my budgeting.  I am not a person who would write down and analyze their finances, but with mint.com doing it for me I am able to see where I overspend and how to improve my spending habits.  And the best part is I enjoy going on mint and working with my finances.  Mint.com makes it fun to budget your money and I now confidently feel that I will be able to save more and understanding my spending habits better thanks to mint.

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