Archives for March 2012

Searching High and Low for a Deal

Which of these three animals pays more for his groceries?

A) The beaver
B) The moose
C) The giraffe

If you guessed the moose, you are right. But do you know why?

Manufacturers fight hard for eye-level space in grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores and other retail outlets. They often pay for the space. Retailers, for their part, want to place those items that earn them the biggest profits (the highest mark-up) at eye level. This is because of: “The Rule of Lazy”. Which states that people will look where it is easiest to look, in other words, at eye level.

READ ALSO: Get a $1000 Raise With Your Personal Fast Food Outlet

What this means is that anything at eye level has the highest mark-up. And guess who pays that markup? Poor Mr. Moose. The can of beans that the giraffe buys from the top shelf and the can of beans that the beaver buys from the bottom shelf will have less of a marketing fee tacked onto the price than the can of beans that the poor moose will end up buying.

You can look high and low and never find the meaning of life. But you will find a cheaper can of beans.

This post was featured at Managing Your Personal Finances List #3.

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Nap Power

A power nap a couple times a day works wonders for the body and the mind.

Naps give you a break.  While napping, your mind can go blank.  Take a break.  Have a rest.

When you nap, your brain can regenerate, file away information, built links between the thoughts you’ve had.  Make some sort of order and sense of it all.

A nap allows your body also to rest.  If you work a highly physical job, the muscles will love you for it.  If you work a stressful job, a nap is the ideal way to relieve the stress.  Yes, mental stress leads to physical stress, and a nap releases that stress.

When you return to the land of the living, you will be more productive.  Power naps are a productivity tool!  Just be careful not to fall asleep for too long – then you might be sluggish for the rest of the day – hardly productive at all.

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Five Options for UK Divorce

If you feel that your marriage might be headed for a divorce, it is a wise idea to consult with a lawyer to find out what a divorce entails. UK attorney Irwin Mitchell (our guest blogger today) provides a variety of expertise in this area.

Unlike in America, a divorce can only be obtained in either England or Wales if you can prove your marriage has ended and cannot be repaired. A divorce petition can be filed through the court system. A couple must be married for at least one year and provide grounds for seeking the divorce. Your legal counsel can provide you with more specific information but there are generally five different grounds for divorce.

  1. Adultery can be grounds for divorce if you discover that your spouse has had an extramarital affair. The petition must be made within six months of learning about the affair for it to be valid.   In the UK, ancient history is, well, ancient history. The adultery must be proven or admitted to by the cheating party – so good luck if you have a stubborn spouse.
  2. A second ground for divorce would be unreasonable behaviour. This is typically the most used grounds for divorce. A lot of reasons fall into this category. Let’s face it, if you are prepared to divorce your spouse, chances are there has been behaviour that you find unreasonable.  Plus, this is the only one of the five grounds not encumbered by a time limitation that many people find challenging.  But best seek legal advice as to what the courts consider unreasonable..
  3. Desertion is another reason for divorce. While it’s not commonly used, your spouse must have abandoned you for at least two years. After this time period elapses, the deserted party can file for divorce.  Unlike with adultery, you have no choice but to wait on this one.  If your spouse returns after a year and a half, you cannot use this option (maybe try “unreasonable behaviour” above?)
  4. Separation is another reason that one can file for divorce. If the separation occurred for a minimum of two years, then this is known as an uncontested divorce.   Yes, more waiting, but that is the law.
  5. On the other hand, if your spouse does not want the divorce, you can file for divorce if you’ve lived apart for at least five years. This is referred to as a contested divorce.  And this obviously is likely to be a messy option – not to mention one that requires a lot of patience.

The legal ramifications of divorce are many. Legal advice can help guide someone through this difficult process.

This guest post was written by Irwin Mitchell, who also handles personal injury cases and many other services. Get in touch with them if you happen to live in England or Wales.  And remember that the rules are vastly different in different countries.

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This Blog Post Is Fun!

Don’t you love that title? Sure you do. And do you know why? Because it’s fun. And no matter how dour a person might be, everybody loves fun.

You might be involved in a local community group, such as a neighborhood association, a charity group or a service club. If you are, you might also be familiar with the challenge of fundraising. But what about “fun”raising? Would your group not benefit from a little more fun?

Your bowling team might already have fun, but your service club might be missing that element.

Fun builds a community and lets people relate to each other beyond just the parameters of the group’s stated goals. Yes, even the most serious of causes can benefit from a little fun.

Why not hold a fun-raising night some time soon?

READ ALSO: Make a Silly Face

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How Do You Fill Your Time?

Did you play with your kids yesterday? True, it was the middle of the week, and you did get home late from work, and there were so many things to do around the house.

It is so easy to get caught up in the little things we feel we ought to do, without thinking about what is more important. If we actually stop to think about what we want in life, we might rearrange our entire schedules.

What comes first playing with your kids, or washing dishes? Playing with your kids, or painting the window sill? Playing with your kids, or finishing an important e-mail?

But it is not just about kids. It is about what you want put of life. It is easy to get distracted by a thousand little things close at hand. But that often blinds us to what really matters. So what does really matter in your life? And are you making time for it, or are you filling your time with a thousand less-important matters?


“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”
by Dr. Seuss

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Does it make Financial Sense to Trade in your Car?

There is nothing better than the new car smell. The thought of this alone attracts many people into a car dealership. While there is nothing wrong with buying a new car, you have to consider your current situation before moving forward. For example, what are you going to do with the vehicle that you have right now? You may think that it makes financial sense to trade in your car and upgrade to a new one, but until you focus on the finer details you will never really know for sure.

Are you Upside Down?

If you own your current car outright, you are in good position to trade it in if necessary. This means that any money you receive on your trade in can be put towards the down payment of your new vehicle.

On the other hand, you may still owe money on your car loan. If so, you have to decide if you are really in position to upgrade. If you owe more than the car is worth, you are going to “take a hit” when you trade it in. In turn, you will have to roll this amount into your new loan.

Does your Car have any Life Left?

If your car is paid off you may be tempted to trade it in. After all, you can receive money for your trade that can be used to lower the cost of your new vehicle. But remember one thing: you are going to be spending additional money. In most cases, this means another car payment. And most likely a higher car insurance premium, as well.

Although buying a new car may be exciting, you don’t want to jump the gun if it is not going to benefit you financially. If your car is doing its job without showing any signs of breaking down, you may want to hold onto it a bit longer. With each month that goes by, you can save the cost of a car payment.

READ ALSO: Quirky ways to save money on your car  

Should I Keep my Trade In and Buy a New Car?

In some cases, it may make sense to keep your current car and buy a new one. Of course, this is based on a case-by-case situation. For example, maybe you have a child who just received his/her driver’s license. At this point, you may want to give your child your old vehicle and buy a new one for yourself. This gives you access to enough cars, without having to buy two new ones.

Some people decide to keep their old car and buy a new one, even though they don’t need both vehicles. Even if your car is paid off, there are other financial considerations such as the cost of insurance and maintenance.

Sometimes it makes sense to trade in your vehicle. Other times you are better off keeping it. In the end, you need to make the decision that is going to best benefit you from a financial point of view.

Does it make Financial Sense to Trade in your Car? is a guest post by Chris at

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