Labor Day By the Numbers!

10425650-illustrated-labor-day-text-designIt’s By the Numbers time again (…yay?) This time, we celebrate the worker on Labor Day. And, if you somehow manage to HAVE a job these days, the celebration should be non-stop!

Anyway, the US Census Bureau has a stack of Fun Facts to share, so let’s take a look!

Today’s Top 10 Occupations!

  1. Retail salespeople
  2. Cashiers
  3. Food prep, including fast food
  4. Office clerks, general
  5. Registered nurses
  6. Waiters and waitresses
  7. Customer service representatives
  8. Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers
  9. Janitors and cleaners
  10. Secretaries and administrative assistants

Wow. Talk about your “service economy!”

By the way, the top 3 occupations in 1910 were farm owners, farm laborers (paid) and farm laborers (unpaid family members.)

Median income:

  • Men $48,202
  • Women $37,118

Fastest Growing Jobs, 2010-2020:

  • By percentage: Personal Care Aides
  • By number of jobs: Registered Nurses

Labor Day Retail!

How many retail sores are out there for your Back-to-school and Labor Day consumption? THIS MANY!

  • 28,128 family clothing stores
  • 25,448 shoe stores
  • 21,227 sporting goods stores
  • 8,407 bookstores
  • 8,144 office supply and stationery stores
  • 7,093 children and infants clothing stores

So, now that we know what we are doing the other 364 days of the year, what are YOUR plans for Labor Day? I’m going to the beach! Whatever you get up to, be safe, and happy Labor Day!

Remember When?

In this Mental Well Being Moment, Reader’s Digest cites a number of studies that suggest reminiscing about past good times can be healthy for you.

Nostalgia has been shown to counteract loneliness, boredom, and anxiety,” John Tierney wrote in a recent New York Times article. “It makes people more generous to strangers and tolerant of outsiders. Couples feel closer and look happier when they’re sharing nostalgic memories.  Reader’

Some Suggestions?

  • Take Time to Make Time: Almost 80% of us spontaneously reminisce one a week. But why wait? 20 minutes a day might do a world of good, says Psychology Today.
  • Just remember, don’t write: One study says that Thinkers are happier than Writers. I know when I write them down, I am always trying to make them clever and perfect and more awesome. Takes the fun out.
  • Sounds and Smells can Lead the Way: Ever have a song come on and immediately remember the first time you ever heard it? Again, why wait for it to happen? Also, smells. I must have said this before, but the smell of freshly cut grass always takes me back to the first day of kindergarten – though that’s not necessarily a nice memory!
  • Don’t Compare the Present to the Past: Yeah, especially if you are thinking about the economy!
  • Think back with others: Others that share the memories, I guess. Chatting on Facebook with your high school friends about all the various kinds of trouble you got into can be fun. Just remember, your kids are watching!
  • Have Memorable Experiences Now: As Kate Gosselin used to shriek so charmingly, “WE’RE MAKING MEMORIES!” So do that. I mean, make memories…don’t shriek.

So, is this a healthy habit? Have you tried it? What do you think? Let us know at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Social Media Done Right

Listen-Up-Consumers-Social-Media-Matters-More-Than-You-Might-ThinkYou may be hearing from friends and family about “social media fatigue.” It’s a vague term, but I think it has a few causes. First, the technology; it’s hard to keep up with the latest and greatest platform. It used to be just MySpace and Twitter, now there are a million of them. Second, human nature. I don’t know why, but people seem to bare their deepest selves, from the sugary-sweet (I know a girl who posts “I love my husband!!!” EVERY SINGLE DAY) …to the inane (“hit LIKE and we can end poverty!”) Finally, corporate intrusion: about half of my Facebook news feed these days consists of advertisements!

It’s enough to make you want to log off permanently. But wait…

Consumers say they’re tired of receiving useless information through the latest and greatest social network and wary of giving up their personal data. But here’s one good reason you shouldn’t delete your social media accounts just yet: Companies are paying close attention to what you say. Closer than you can imagine. consumer Blog

Because it’s SO public and SO immediate, companies are doing everything they can to keep up with social media. A complaint that used to sit for days in the email IN box is addressed tout-suite (that means NOW) on a Facebook page.

So, who is doing social media right? Here’s a partial list, courtesy of

  1. Google
  2. Starbucks
  3. Coke
  4. Disney
  5. Intel
  6. Nike
  7. Lowe’s
  8. H-P
  9. Ford
  10. Target

…and 40 more!

So, do you visit a lot of corporate social media sites? Which ones? Who do YOU think does it well? Let us know at the MindField Online Facebook page! And have a great weekend!

A Time to Spend, A Time to Save

6870888815_24c39c51f3It’s an age-old consumer dilemma: price vs. value. Should you spend more for better stuff, or Just Save? The answer is Yes. It depends on the item. Some, you shouldn’t fear paying more for. Others, you shouldn’t bother. Here, consumer warriors sorts things out!

Don’t Fear…

  • Furniture. Built well, it will eventually pay for itself in comfort – and in not having to go back to the furniture store for a long, long time!
  • Electronics. Just because you CAN buy a DVD player for $30 doesn’t mean you should!
  • Paper towels. This makes sense. When you use the good ones, you use fewer of them and get the job done faster!
  • Shoes. As with all things shoe-value related, it might help to be a person who is not shoe-obsessed, i.e., a dude. Anyhoo…I have a $95 pair of shoes I bought in 2005 that are still going strong. You just have to maintain them.
  • Swimsuits. Buy 3 cheapies at the beach store, and 2 will be dead by Labor Day. Or, spend a little for value!

Don’t Bother…

  • Food staples. There are all kinds of foods people just feel better spending more for. Milk, sugar and flour shouldn’t be on that list. Just get the cheapest, and use your coupons!
  • Basic clothing. I had this weird epiphany when I was walking into Walmart and I realized that everything I was wearing came from there. Then, I got over it.
  • Books. Remember these? Even though I like books, I have never in my life paid $30 for a new hardback. Garage sales baby!
  • HDMI cables. I made this mistake. This is the cable that connects things like Xbox and Roku to your HDTV. They WANT you to get the $25 cable, but the $7 one will usually suffice.

There is a lot more rationale at the original article, so check it out. How about you? Will you spend for some things and not for others? Let us know at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Conspiracy at the Return Desk?

2391.mdaThe next time you return something to the store, just know that the all-seeing Eye of Sauron is watching you! It’s up to you to decide if that’s a bad thing or not.

Returns account for almost 10% of all retail items purchased each year, over a quarter-trillion dollars a year in the US! And while the majority of people doing the returning are average upstanding Joes and Janes like us, there are some whose practices aren’t so wholesome, and the retailers are pushing back.

Many retailers are tracking you, too — or at least your merchandise returns. The companies say it’s all in the name of security and fighting fraud. They want to be able to identify chronic returners or gangs of thieves trying to make off with high-end products that are returned later for store credit.  Salt Lake Tribune

They pass this info along (mostly in secret) to companies, almost like credit agencies, who collect your return information and create “profiles” of your habits.  Naturally, the retailers say they are trying to protect the bottom line and prevent fraud. Just as naturally, shoppers are getting worked up about profiling and transparency.

What do you think? Necessary evil in the name of Low Prices, or one more intrusion in a life that already has too many? Read the original article, and tell us your opinion over at the MindField Online Facebook page. And have a great weekend!

Online Privacy?

online-privacyDoes it seem like we all know at least one person who has been hacked or had identity-theft problems? Heck, in South Carolina (where I live) the entire Social Security Department got hacked. Hundreds of thousands of SS numbers were exposed. They had to give free privacy software to EVERYONE in the state!

Now, with that guy running around in exile in Russia, hacker “vigilante” groups like Anonymous, and growing questions about what the government does with the info it collects, people are getting more interested in online privacy. WAY more interested.

In recent days, American Consumer News reports:

  1. Online privacy firm Abine said that downloads of its free DoNotTrackMe browser add-on, which blocks commercial web tracking, increased by 42 percent.
  1. DuckDuckGo is a search engine that, unlike Google, Yahoo and Bing, doesn’t collect or store the data of its users. They got a mention on CNN and Bloomberg, and business went through the roof. Four days in a row of record-breaking traffic, up 33% over the previous week.

Why the focus on commercial web traffic? Because, regardless where the information ends up, commercial traffic is where info-gathering begins.

So, how about you? Are you being more careful? What are you doing? Do you feel safer? Let us know at the MindField Online Facebook page!

BTW, be sure to check out the privacy section of the MindField Online official website!

Facebook Fans Speak (August 2013)

megaphone-kid-croppedIt’s time once again to feature comments from satisfied MindField Online panelists, collected from our over 36,000 Facebook fans.  You will find them at our “Panelist Feedback” page. Here’s a sample from Lorna Marie …

Just want to say hello to everyone! Love MindField! I look forward to each survey opportunity! It is FUN and it makes me feel like I am making a difference in helping Companies provide quality products to American consumers.

Thanks Lorna Marie! So take a look, and have a great weekend!


The MindField Online Nickel Tour – Revisted Again!

200141357-001Over at the MindField Online Facebook page, we commonly hear, “I’m new—how does this whole thing work?”  That’s a pretty broad question, so we usually answer, “There’s plenty of info to be found at our website, -check it out!”

But exactly what you will find has been a mystery, wrapped in a riddle, wrapped in an internet – until now!  So, keep your hands and feet inside the tram as we take an informative, exciting (but mostly informative) tour of the MindField Online Internet Panels website. And please, no flash photography!

Member Home

A really useful portal that gives you a quick look at announcements, surveys available (“Live Now!”), membership details, payout options, referrals, member profile survey status, payout balance progress… and more!

Account Settings

Here is where you can update or change your user preferences, email or street address and your password.


This is a detailed list of your survey activity, with a link to your payout activity, as well.


How do you register? Who is eligible? What are the rules? Here is where you find out!


Check out the answers to some frequently asked questions HERE. Then, take a moment to realize “So THAT’S what FAQ stands for!”


Other than farm fresh ingredients, what steps does MindField Online Internet Panels take to ensure the quality of our data? Find out HERE.


Because corporate histories are so darn exciting, click HERE to learn more about MindField Online and parent company McMillion Research.


Much of the news you will have seen on our Facebook page, but you will get more detail here.


MindField Online has regular cash drawings and sweepstakes. Here is where you can see the winners.

Wireless Savings!

Mobile phone and dollar bank notesMy first mobile phone plan (they didn’t call it wireless then) was 15 minutes a month for $8. I kept the phone in the glove box in case of emergency. I mean, who was there to call in 1993?

It’s been a long road from there to today’s “$79 a month 200 meg unlimited text 450 anytime minute nights 4G mocha caramel latte weekend rollover” plans. One thing that hasn’t changed is that the carriers never stop trying to sell you 10% better service for 20% more money!

However, there are savings to be had, according to financial guru Dave Ramsey. Here are some tips from his newsletter:

  • Use Wi-Fi: For email, surfing and texting. I do this every chance I get, it’s free vs. 3G or 4G
  • Skip the insurance: Dave logic – if you can’t afford to replace your phone, you can’t afford the phone to begin with.
  • Negotiate: If you have the patience, fine. I find the phone store too depressing to stretch out the experience by haggling.
  • No contracts: I have done this twice, and it truly is the way to go. If you know somebody who is ditching their iPhone4 for a 5…buy the 4 from him. Used phone = no contract!
  • Read the menu: That is, your phone bill. If you see something that costs money and you never use, get rid of it!

There are more tips at the newsletter (and many other kinds of financial common sense) so check it out.

How about you? Are you happy with your wireless bills? Have any other savings tips? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page. And have a great weekend!