Store Credit Cards Reviews

Normally, store credit cards tend to be bad deals with their high interest rates, low perks, and credit inquiries. If you plan to pay the balance off a credit card right away, then store credit cards might actually be considering. Here are the store credit cards that I use:

  • Pottery Barn Credit Card: I would recommend this card if you’re a big shopper at Pottery Barn and its sister stores.
    • Pros:
      • 10% Back in Rewards. For every $250 you spend, you get 10% back. Also, through out the year, Pottery Barn offers Double Rewards.  Also, purchase Pottery Barn gift cards. They’re accepted at Williams Sonoma, West Elm, etc…so you can still earn rewards while shopping at these stores.
      • 1 Year = No Interest. If you’re planning to buy a big piece of furniture or make a purchase over $750, you can do 1 year of no interest as long as you make the minimum monthly payments.
    • Cons:
      • Interest Rate: 26.99%: Only get this card if you can pay it off or do the special financing, as the interest rate will get you.
      • Card only works at Pottery Barn. If you want use it at any other store (ie: West Elm), you’ll have to purchase gift cards.
  • Target RedCard: If you shop at Target all the time, this card should be considered.
    • Pros:
      • 5% Off All In-Store Target Purchases: If you shop at Target all the time, for necessities, gifts, etc…, you get an automatic 5% discount, just for using it. It might not seem like a lot, but after a few purchases, it will add up.
      • Free Shipping Online: Since you don’t get 5% off online, Target kind of makes up for it with free shipping, no matter the amount.
      • If you don’t want to do a credit card, you can also apply for the debit card and reap the benefits too.
    • Cons:
    • Interest Rate: +/- 22%.
    • Card only works at Target. Target used to have a Visa card, but you can no longer apply for it.
    • No rewards.
  • Nordstrom Credit Card: If you’re looking for a Luxury store card, Nordstrom’s offers the best rewards compared to most of the others. You can purchase brands like Burberry, kate spade, Tory Burch, and more while earning rewards.
    • Pros:
      • For every 2000 points earned, you receive $20. You earn 2 points per $ spent, but Nordstrom has opportunities to earn triple or double points, that it’s a little easier than that to earn the rewards.
      • Card works at Nordstrom Rack and Haute Look too
      • Anniversary Sale Early Access: One of the best sales, it’s the latest collection and exclusive designer products at a bit of a 10% – 25% discount.
      • Free alterations on full price purchase.
      • You can do either a store card, debit card, or Visa card.
    • Cons:
      • Interest Rate: varies
      • Luxury Designer Selection: While there is a great selection, you might not always find the brand you’re looking for or pieces, as they don’t receive all of the pieces.
      • Low Rewards: $20 for every $1000. This is both a pro and a con, as the opportunities to earn double or triple points might not be at a good time, shopping-wise.

Do you have a store credit card?

As always, happy shopping!

-C

I love Mint.com

One of my goals this year is to budget my finances and maintain a monthly budget. I’ve been doing pretty well, and I owe it to Mint.com.

Mint.com is a FREE online financial management service. It allows you to connect all of your various bank accounts, credit cards, investments, auto payments, mortgage and more in to one place.This allows you to track when your payments are due, how much you’re spending, your debt, your net income, and more.

Not only that, you can create budgets and check them any time of the day to see if you’re staying on track or going over. By allowing me to see how much I’m actually spending in certain categories, I get a better idea of how to control my spending and see what I’m wasting money on like constantly eating out.

In addition, you can create goals such as saving for a vacation or emergency fund. I love this function, because it forces me to save this money that I would have previously spent on something unnecessary.

Sign-up for MINT.com! It’s free and safe!

Will you use Mint to help control your finances?

 
As always, Happy Shopping!

 

 

 

Goals for 2012

2011 was an interesting year for me. I started the year as new college graduate with no idea on what I wanted to do with my life, and ended it with a career in fashion. I’m super excited about what 2012 will hold for me.

Here are my goals for the year:

  • Create an Emergency Fund: I’m hoping that I can move-out by the end of this year, but before I can do that I want to save some money while I’m still living at home.
  • Take a Trip This Year With My Best Friends: Each year, we state that we should go to …., but we never do. Now that we’re all working , I hope we can actually achieve this goal!
  • Go to San Diego: My cousin is getting married this year in SD, so I hope I’ll have the funds to be able to go.
  • Complete my scrapbooks: I’m so bad at this. I have the supplies, I just don’t take the time to sit-down and actually finish them.
  • Get my own Apartment: This is going to be a big goal. I hope that I’ll be able to do it by the fall of this year! 
  • Budget my finances: The only way I can move out is if I take better control of my finances. I’m debt free and would love to stay that way even when I move out.

What are your goals/resolutions for 2012?

As always,

Happy Shopping!

DIY: Paint Your Own Masterpiece

A friend of mine suggested this really cool place called: Painting With A Twist. I’m glad they did, because it’s a ton of fun. The concept is that you paint a piece of art such as an original design from the company or a copy (not identical) of famous painters painting like Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

Here’s my painting:

Breakfast at Tiffany's

I picked this painting, because Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of my favorite movies and I love the black/white contrast. Plus, I love Tiffany & Co.!

The price ranges from $25- $45 depending on the painting and it does not include a frame. Check out the site to see if there’s one near you. If not, there’s a whole bunch of different chains with similar concepts. All you need is a group of friends, wine, munchies, and the store will provide everything else (canvas, paints, etc).

I love that you come out with your very own masterpiece and a new wall painting to decorate your home with.

Do you paint for fun?

As always, Happy Shopping!

DIY: Ribbon Holder

YI love using ribbons when I craft. They make scrapbook pages, presents, and more so pretty! What I hate about ribbons, is how they go all over the place when I store them. Luckily, Michaels posted a DIY to hold and store my ribbon collection. I’m not going to lie, but this DIY does take a fairly good amount of time.

Supplies:

  • Photo Box: You can purchase a box from either Hobby Lobby or Michaels. The boxes normally retails for $3.99, but every once in a while you can get them for under $2 or use a coupon to save an additional 40% off.
  • Wooden Dowel Rods (3/8″ x 12″): I purchased these from Michaels. They retail for $2.99, but I used a coupon to save more money!
  • Wooden Dowel Caps (1″): I purchased these from Michaels too and the retails for under $1 with a 40% off coupon.
  • Cardstock: Just pick any color card stock you want to use as dividers for your ribbons. I used purple for my box.
  • Ribbons: Michaels is having a great sale on their basic ribbons. Normally, the retail for $3.99, but their on sale for $1.99. Their spools of thin ribbons are also on sale for 4 for $1. I purchased an array of colors and designs such as Tiffany Blue to Sheer Black. I fit around 10 spools of ribbons in my box
  • Dritz Xtra Large Eyelets: I went off the directions of using the Making Memories Colored Grommets to using these eyelets because I didn’t want to buy the Making Memories Grommets sets. These eyelets can be found at Jo-Ann stores and retail for $10.99. I used a coupon to save 40% off this price.
  • Hammer: For use with the eyelets
  • X-acto Knife: To cut out the eyelet holes.
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Paint (optional): To paint the dowel rods/caps if you want to

Coupon Links For Craft Stores Mentioned: Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and Jo-Ann coupons can be found in store or there is a promo code online to use.

Instructions:

  • Measure one side of the box and evenly space the eyelets. Follow the instructions given about how to set the eyelets. I put 5 on top and 5 on the bottom. I trace the center of the eyelets with a pencil and use the X-acto knife to punch them out.
  • Paint the dowel rod/caps, if necessary.
  • Cut out the cardstock to fit as dividers for the ribbon and use a hole punch to punch out holes in the cardstock so that the dowels will fit through through.
  • Thread the ribbon spools through the dowels with divider in between each one.
  • Cap the ends of the dowels and thread the ribbon through the eyelet opening.
  • Close the lid and you’re ribbon box is ready for use. You can decorate the box however you like. I glued a ribbon across it and used stickers to write out ribbons on the lid.

You can find the original directions on the Michaels website.

How do you store your ribbons?

As always, Happy Shopping!

Resale Stores

I love resale stores! They’re simple ways to make money in a jiffy if you’re ever in a pickle. Resale stores able you to sell stuff that you no longer have use of it, but someone else might. As the saying goes, “One person’s junk is another person’s treasure”.

Here are my favorite resale places to go to:

  • Plato’s Closet: Every time I clean out my closet, I always create a pile of clothes that I can sell. Plato’s Closet buys gently used, trendy clothes. You don’t get much, but it’s better than nothing. I’ve made $30 for selling 5 pairs of old jeans.
  • Buffalo Exchange: I’ve never sold my clothes here before, but I have browse the store. There’s also cool vintage finds at my local store.
  • Half-Price BooksI usually receive about a $1 a book, but if it’s a recent best seller, you’ll receive more money. It’s a great way to get rid of old college books you don’t need anymore. You can also sell movies and old cds.
  • E-rewards: This isn’t a resale store, but a great way to get gift cards. This program is invitation only. All you do is take surveys and for each survey you take you receive different amounts of payment that can be redeemed for gift cards. It does take a while to receive a good amount, but if you have spare time, then why not take surveys for money. Stores include Express, Blockbuster, and more.

What do you do to make money quickly?

As always, Happy Shopping!

DIY: At Home Spa Day

Every once in a while, you just need a day of rest and relaxation. I wish I could go to a spa, but the price just isn’t worth it to me. Here’s how to bring the spa home to you:

Supplies:

  • Bath Bombs (if you plan to take a bath): My favorite is the Pink Bath Bomb from Lush.
  • Aromatherapy Oil (if you plan to take a shower)
  • Facial Cleanser: I use Cetaphil Facial Cleanser because it doesn’t irritate my skin & is only $8.49
  • Sugar Scrub: You can either make one with recipe this from Lauren Conrad: Lemon Scrub, or you can purchase one at The Body Shop on sale now for $10.
  • Hair Wrap: This is the band that I use.
  • Face Mask: My favorite mask to use is the Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque. The scent of mint is so nice and this makes my face feel super soft after and it’s only $3.99.
  • Gel-eye mask: At $5, I like that these are in the shape of cucumbers and can be reused.
  • Cozy Socks: I stock up on these socks from Bath & Body Works when the go on sale for under $4.
  • Spa Gloves At $6, these will help keep your hands soft
  • Body Cream: Pick a scent you like. You’ll be using this moisture your legs, hands, and body.
  • Ped Egg: I love it. It gets rid of my calluses & my feet are super smooth. It’s on sale for $6.

Steps:

  1. Clear your schedule for the day. Your spa day is for you to relax and pamper yourself. Turn off anything that could be a nuisance such as your cell phone or computer.
  2. Make sure your bathroom and living room are neat and clean for your spa day. If it’s messy, you’ll get frustrated trying to find everything that you need.
  3. Play some relaxing music
  4. Take a bath or a shower. If you’re taking a bath, add a bath bomb. If you’re taking a shower, spray a bit of aromatherapy oils against the shower wall and inhale the scent.
  5. Exfoliate your skin with a sugar scrub. It will make your dull skin come to life and super soft.
  6. After your shower/bath, moisture your body with a good body cream.
  7. Put your hair back using a spa wrap to keep the hair off your face.
  8. Wash your face with a facial cleanser.
  9. Apply the mask to your face
  10. While your mask is drying, you can add a gel eye masks. The coolness of the get will refresh your face and reduce the puffiness in your eyes. Just refrigerate an hour before use. 
  11. After the mask is off, use a Ped Egg to remove the calluses from your feet.
  12. Moisture your hands and feet. Use a rich body cream or butter.
  13. Add a pair of socks/gloves so your hands and feet can soak in the moisture. 
  14. Now sit back and relax. Enjoy a movie or curl up with a book you’ve been dying to read.

How do you relax?

As always, Happy Shopping!

Banking on Change

I used to hate spare change. It made my purse/pocket heavier, and I hated the fact that I had to count it out. My feelings for loose change have now done a complete 180. I watched the movie Journey to the Center of the Earth, and what caught my eye was the fact that Brendan Fraser’s character had so many jars of coins in house that it was enough money to buy a plane ticket to Iceland last minute.

After that, I bought a jar with my university’s logo during college and started to fill it with coins. My roommate did the same thing, and we were about to treat ourselves to a nice dinner at the end of the semester. Once I graduated, I received an adorable piggy bank from a friend. Everyday since then, I would empty my pockets/purse of the coins and feed it into the bank. I empty my piggy bank every three months and either deposit the money or buy myself something pretty. I recently used my spare change to purchase a jacket I’ve been wanting.

Here are 3 cute Piggy Banks so that you can start banking on your loose change:

  • Old Navy Piggy Banks: The store doesn’t sell piggy banks online, but you can check out the different designs in store. I believe they retail for $5-$6. I love the super cute hula piggy.
  • Chalk Fund Piggy Bank: Use this piggy bank and write your goal on it. Seeing it everyday will encourage you to save more money! This bank can be found at Target and retails for $9.99.
  • BUD Posh Piggy Bank: This bank has cute polka dots on it and is a beautiful blue color. It’s on sale at Amazon for $6.99

If you don’t want to buy a piggy bank, an easy solution to store your loose change is the jars that items like pasta sauce or jam come in. Just clean the jar, remove the wrapping, decorate it how you see fit like with a ribbon, and voila- a coin bank.

Also, if you don’t like to count coins, find a CoinStar near you to do it for you. It provides free coin counting, and if you redeem it there for a gift card such as Starbucks or Amazon, it doesn’t charge you a fee.

Do you save your loose change?
As always, Happy Shopping!