Posts Tagged ‘how-to’

10 Tips for Shopping at a Thrift

One of the best ways to live a frugal lifestyle is to make shopping at a thrift store part of your regular shopping regimen. Thrift stores feature items that have been used before. This can include anything from dishes to clothing to books to furniture to toys. These used items are often in reasonably good condition, and can be found at very low prices. Shopping at a thrift store can be a great way to save money, while acquiring items that you need.

Here are 10 tips that can help you better shop at a thrift store:

  1. Show up on stocking days: Many thrift stores have a particular day of the week that they put out new merchandise. Find out what that day is, and show up then to get first pick of the latest deals.
  2. Search for quality: This is especially true with clothing. You might be surprised at the name brand, high quality items some people are happy to part with. Keep your eyes open for items you know are of good quality.
  3. Make a list: You want to be prepared with a list. Even though impulse buying at the thrift store is probably not as bad as when you are paying full price on an impulse purchase, those little surprises can add up. Be sure that you know what you want, and make a plan for what to buy.
  4. Return until you find what you want: Don’t assume that the thrift store is a bust if you don’t find what you are looking for on your first excursion. Check back over time, looking for what you want. Chances are that, eventually, you will find what you are looking for.
  5. Watch for sales: Even thrift stores have sales. Some offer “fill a bag” promotions, “clearance” sales at the end of the season and other sales. This is a great way find even deeper discounts on thrift store merchandise. And, while thrift store shopping works well without coupons, you can also look for thrift store coupons for bigger savings.
  6. Shop during the week: Weekend shoppers are out in force from Friday evening until Sunday evening. Avoid the crowds and avoid competition for the best finds by visiting the thrift store during the week.
  7. Ask about store credit: Some thrift stores only accept donations, but others also accept consignment items and will give you store credit for what you bring in. Find out about the policies at your local second hand store of choice. If you can get store credit for what you bring in, that can be a great way to save a little more.
  8. Be careful about overdoing it: It can be very tempting to go a little crazy at the thrift store, buying several things at once. Stick to your plan, though. If you only need three dress shirts, don’t go nuts and buy 10 or 11. Remember that a frugal lifestyle is about moderation.
  9. Plan to take awhile: A trip to the thrift store is likely to take awhile, since you will probably have to dig around a little. Be prepared to take around an hour — or more. This means that perhaps you leave the kids at home for a serious trip to the thrift store.
  10. Don’t forget to donate!: Finally, you want the thrift store to keep going. If if you don’t get store credit, you should still donate some of your unneeded items as well. Keep the cycle going, and provide great deals for others, just as they are providing them for you.

via 10 Tips for Shopping at a Thrift Store.

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Watch out for identity theft

Identity theft has become one of the fastest growing crimes in North America. There are a number of ways identity theft can happen:

  1. Card theft: theft of credit cards from wallets or purses or even newly issued cards from your mailbox.
  2. Shoulder surfing: looking over your shoulder for your Personal Identification Number and using a fake ATM device to read your debit card’s data.
  3. Skimming: using a special device to swipe your credit card at a restaurant or gas station which records the personal information from your card.
  4. Spoofing: creating fake websites or emails that ask for credit card information.
  5. Theft from databases: identity thieves stealing large databases of personal information.

There are steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • Sign all credit cards when you receive them and never lend them to anyone.
  • Cancel and destroy credit cards you do not use and keep a list of the ones you use regularly.
  • Carefully check each of your monthly credit card statements and your bank statements. Immediately report lost or stolen credit cards and any discrepancies in your monthly statements to the issuing credit card company or bank.
  • Shred or destroy paperwork you no longer need.
  • Do not give personal information out over the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you are the one who initiated the contact and know the person or organization with whom you are dealing.

If you are a victim of identity theft, immediately contact your bank or credit card company, your local police and the OPP/RCMP Phonebusters Unit at 1-888-495-8501, E-mail: info@phonebusters.com

http://www.dynamic.ca/eng/learning/Personal-Finances/Consumer-Watch-Out-For-Identity-Theft.asp

I found this article very helpful and informative. Tho I will admit, I have been guilty of some ‘broadcasting’, but I’m learning.

Twitter, Google+ And Facebook – 5 Reasons Why You Should Never, Ever Cross The Streams – AllTwitter.

https://i1.wp.com/www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/files/2011/07/twitter-facebook-google-thumb.pngSocial media comes with a ton of benefits, but to make it work you need to invest heavily, and the most important investment is your time.

For brands and marketers that are already overextended, syncing up your Twitter updates with Facebook, your Facebook updates with Twitter, and your Google+ updates with Twitter and Facebook – and vice versa – before mass-broadcasting your message seems like a smart idea on paper, but it’s actually the worst thing you can do.

Here are 5 reasons why you should never cross the streams.

1. Twitter Isn’t Facebook Isn’t Google+

Twitter, Facebook and new kid on the block Google+ are each very different social networks with different communities, expectations and norms.

To maximise the ROI on each platform you need to be sure to tailor your brand presence accordingly. While some things should stay the same – notably any logos and avatars you use, and the ‘voice’ of your brand – mass-repetition of your message is a sure-fire way to poison the well and diffuse the interest level of your community. If you have lots of the same people across each of your social channels, there are few quicker ways to irritate them than seeing the same robotic updates from you everywhere they go.

2. All Status Updates Are Equal (But Some Are More Equal Than Others)

Facebook status updates have a limit of 420 characters. On Twitter the limit is 140. Google+ has no limit whatsoever – you can publish messages of any size.

This means that unless you’re intentionally writing for Twitter on Google+ and Facebook and ensuring all your updates are 140 characters or less – and, really, who does that? – your longer synced messages will be cut short on Twitter, ending with ill-advised (and decidedly ugly) ellipses.

Syncing messages from Twitter to Facebook or Google+ is even worse, as functions such as @mentions and #hashtags that work brilliantly on Twitter don’t work (and look very out of place) everywhere else.

https://i2.wp.com/www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/files/2011/08/ghostbusters_streams_cross.jpgThe only time it’s okay to cross the streams. And even then you should probably think about it.

3. Put The Social Into ‘Social Media’

By adopting a ‘copy and paste’ approach to your message you quickly give the appearance of broadcasting (as opposed to engaging), which cheapens the experience for you and your audience.

It’s the equivalent of rotating 360 degrees on the very top of a skyscraper, using a megaphone to ‘connect’ with your customers.

Read the rest of this great article at AllTwitter, a great resource for all things Twitter. Twitter, Google+ And Facebook – 5 Reasons Why You Should Never, Ever Cross The Streams – AllTwitter.

  

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There is amazing site that VERY clearly explains twitter.  Being a techie, I learned a long time ago… To truly know a technology, app, machine, piece of software, etc….  Teach it to someone else, someone who isn’t a techie.  Along those lines (speaking from experience) To be a guru… teach it to your mother!

Here is a article/blog/site that does EXACT that!

Mom This is How Twitter Works

Twitter is an online social networking tool in which users post 140 character updates of what is going on in their lives along with links to things they think are interesting, funny, or useful to their followers (“following” being essentially what “friending” is on other sites). People use twitter in many ways, some as a newsfeed by following prominent people or networks, some as a pseudo-chatroom by limiting their followers and whom they follow to close friends and family, and some as a microblog for updating people about the work they are doing and their personal lives.

Read the whole article by Jessica Hische (@jessicahische) Great writing Jessica!

Mom This is How Twitter Works

  

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Tonight I was asked “Why do I hate microsoft so much?”Well it isn’t that I hate microsoft per say, it wasn’t all that long ago I was a MS shareholder. And for a long time I was a frequent attendee at any and all MS events I could get into. For the longest time I would always be using (and pushing the) the latest and greatest for MS.

Then three things came together to change everything! First, even with the latest and greatest from MS, I was having increasing computer problems….crashes, viruses, malware, popups, etc… And more and more I was discovering features would not work. Sometimes they weren’t even features, just the claimed (by MS) benefits that I (as a user) would reap and make my computer usage new and exciting!

In the end it didn’t happen. I would discover that some additional (and expensive) piece of software was needed. Like Exchange to use the best features of Outlook. Or the feature sounded great but would have little use to an individual. Like Document Collaboration in Word, best used in a Fortune 500 environment.

The second thing was programming. I tried very much to program and web development using MS technology and tools. However I kept finding they had overly complicated everything. Look at embedding an ActiveX component in a web page vs embedding flash. Or connecting a database in ASP vs PHP.

PHP and javascript opened my eyes to the world of open source…

The third thing. Once I took a look at the open source world I realized there is a better way. Not only have I found the software to be better. The philosophy of open source makes way more sense then the MS way.

No one ever buys MS software. You effectively rent it. And under VERY restrict terms. The way MS uses EULAs, copyrights, and patents just isn’t right.

Just image what the world would be like if we used the same model for applying intellectual property rights that we use for software to everything else. Taking in to consideration the statutory life of a patent relative to the life cycle of a piece of software.

Ford Motor Co. wouldn’t bother building cars, they’d just be licensing the assembly line. Only GM cars would have seat-belts. All telephones would be made by Bell.

Libraries couldn’t exist. How dare someone think of buying just one copy of a piece of copyrighted work. And then sharing amongst a community! And what about schools and their textbooks? Oh well! Schools and libraries haven’t contributed much to society! Who needs them as long as Bill Gates gets his royalties.

Just look at how MS treats users

The philosophy of open source, may be great from an academic view point, but what about the reality? Well the software is just simply better.

In the twenty or so machines I either own or am the sole tech support for… When all was MS based I had to deal with an average of 1000 infections per week! Most didn’t cause any damage because I religiously ran virus/malware/spyware scanners. It was happening with multiple firewalls in place. Then I made one small simple change…. I locked down two programs from being used, Internet Explorer and MSN Messanger. Replaced them with alternatives, Opera and Gaim. From that point on I have NEVER had to deal with more the two infections in one single week!

Most tech-savy computer users I know have half their task bar filled with notification icons for different security/virus scanning/firewall software. I saw one once were with no open/running apps, just the desktop… 18 out of 40 processes were security related! That’s a HUGE allotment of system resources allocated just to security!

It’s late, and this post is long. Another day I will rant why Vista is the best marketing Linux could have ever asked for. Cheers cheers

  

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