Financial Advice for the Young

Read a blog post on that brought back a lot of memories.

I spent my money in countless foolish ways when I was first starting out. I don’t even want to calculate the money I lost to that first car, those poor grocery buying habits, those first stupid credit cards, and many other dumb moves that I could have easily avoided without giving up much of anything enjoyable in my life. Personal Finance Blogger, Speaking for ALL of us!

Sound familiar? For me, it was getting married too young, immediately jetting off to live in a cool city, in the coolest ($$$) part of the city, a just-starting-out salary, credit card debt, the whole dumb story. So this 30-something writer’s cautionary tips bear repeating. Here are the bullets from “Eleven Things I Wish I Understood About Personal Finance Before Starting Out.”

  • Other People Don’t Really Care What You Own, Wear, Drive, Etc.
  • The First Possible Moment Is the Best Possible Moment to Save for Retirement
  • The Smaller Your Living Space, The Better
  • The Less Stuff You Have, The Better
  • In Cities, Public Transportation Means Not Having to Buy a Car
  • Making Meals in Your Own Kitchen Is One of the Smartest Things You Can Do
  • The Best Thing You Can Do for Career Security Is Build More Income Streams
  • Shopping at Goodwill, Aldi, Etc. First Saves a Ton of Money
  • Renters Insurance Will Likely Save Your Cookie at Least Once
  • There Are More Free Things To Do Than You Can Possibly Imagine
  • Carrying a Credit Card Balance Doubles the Cost of Whatever You Buy (or More!)

Again, just the highlights. Lots more knowledge at the original piece. The BIG QUESTION: would I have listened to this advice at age 22? Would YOU? Would your kids? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Outlet Mall Savings Online!

Outlet Malls… it’s a love/hate relationship for me. OK, mostly a hate thing because I am not a good enough shopper to recognize a good deal. As far as I can tell, the name “Outlet” screams savings, but does not deliver. Plus, I had to drive two towns over to NOT save!

Well, now you can maybe almost save from the comfort of your own home, because (as puts it) you can find outlet savings on your computer!

What kinds of items are ripe for savings?

  • Footwear, apparel, bags and accessories
  • Marked-down, clearance, and overstocked everything
  • Designer clothing, shoes, accessories and home décor
  • Clearance, open-box and refurbished items
  • Discontinued and past-season products, furniture and housewares
  • Refurbished computers, printers, and peripherals; new systems ordered but not paid for; and scratched or dented products
  • Overstock, seconds and discontinued outdoor clothing and gear
  • Appliances, home items, apparel, and tools discontinued, customized, new but returned, new from liquidators, unboxed, used or scratched and dented.


Where will you find these savings? Well, you will have to visit the original article to find out!

Do you have a trusted online savings source? Tell us about it at the MindField Online Facebook page – and have a great weekend!

Back to School by the Numbers, 2014

According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey

Retailers should get a bigger boost from back-to-school shoppers this year, as a longer list of school supplies and larger demand for electronics are expected to drive spending higher during the second-biggest selling season of the year.

Total spending on BtS for 2014: $75 billion, up 3% from last year

  • Per family (K-12): $669 total, up 5%
  • School supplies: $101 per kid, up 12%
  • Number of items on school supply list: 18, up 30%
  • Spending on electronics: $212, up 7%
  • Per college student: $916, up 10%

I guess the takeaway here is that in every example, BtS spending will go up. Great for the economy, but not so great for your individual wallet!

So what can you do about it? Surf the web for savings tips!

Any savings tips to share? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook Page!

Cloud-y with a Chance of Earnings!

cloudIn the past week, you will have probably received an email or two listing a random selection of studies currently available to you on the MindField Online SurveyCloud™. In addition, you will also find a larger list of available surveys when you log into your MindField Online home page.

BUT, coming soon, you can enjoy all of these opportunities on the new MindField SurveyCloud mobile app! As the notification says:

We realize our panelists are on the go more than ever. Use the (Apple or Android) links below to download the SurveyCloud™ app powered By MindField Online that will allow you on-the-go access to all of your account information, surveys, and much more.

Mind you, this is only a sneak peek of the many features and benefits the SurveyCloud™ will offer you in the future. The entire point is to get you accustomed to seeking out your own opportunities, instead of waiting for an email invitation. So, get proactive, folks – opportunity awaits!

So, what do you think? Will you “go mobile” with MindField? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

Jobs of the Future

the-futureI have a nephew in his 20s who suddenly realized that he didn’t want to work at the sandwich shop his whole life. He enrolls in junior college and picks (out of a hat, I think) Environmental Studies. “Helping companies conserve water and energy, and managing waste,” as he describes it. We were all pleased at the news. I mean, it sounds like the kind of thing companies need, right?

Little did we know that it will be one of the Top 10 Jobs of 2022! There will be 103,000 jobs in that field, with an average salary of $63,570 (today’s money). That’s a lot of sub sandwiches, kid!

So let’s take a look at that list, as compiled by

  • Market Research Analysts
  • Counselors and Therapists
  • Scientific Researchers
  • Computer Systems Analysts
  • Veterinarians
  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists
  • Accountants and Auditors
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Registered Nurses
  • General and Operations Managers

Check out the list, including number of jobs, salaries and descriptions at the original piece.

So, if you’ve got a kid searching for direction, or maybe you are searching yourself, this might be a good start. If you could pick one, what would it be? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Tax-Free Weekend 2014

taxfreeIf there’s one thing that takes the sting out of Back to School shopping, it’s saving money. Fortunately, this is the time of year when many states have tax free weekends for shoppers, typically good for clothes, shoes and school supplies and computers. The Single Parents page at has compiled a list for 2014. The list is smaller this year because several of the Gulf Coast and Atlantic states cancelled their Back to School weekends in favor of Hurricane Preparedness. Also, a few states have outright repealed it, because they want that sweet, sweet tax money!

Here are the Confirmed dates for Tax Free Back to School shopping:

  • Alabama: August 1-3
  • Connecticut: August 17-23
  • Florida: Cancelled in favor of tax-free Hurricane Preparedness  
  • Georgia: August 9-10, 2014.
  • Iowa: August 1-2
  • Louisiana: August 1-2
  • Maryland: August 10-16
  • Mississippi: Whoops! We missed it! July 25-26
  • Missouri: August 1-3
  • New Mexico: August 1-3
  • North Carolina: CANCELLED! Try South Carolina or Tennessee!
  • Oklahoma: August 1-3
  • South Carolina: August 1-3
  • Tennessee: August 1-3
  • Texas: August 8-10. (They also have LAYAWAY!)
  • Virginia: Aug. 1-3

Did we miss any? Anyway, there’s MUCH more detail at the original article! There’s also a nice graphic boildown HERE. Also, you can check with your state Department of Revenue for details.

Have you done the tax holiday for back to school? Have any tales of big savings? Leave a comment at the MindField Online Facebook page. And have a great weekend!