Super Bowl by the Numbers (2015)

superbowlconsumeAs I say every year, it’s fun to see which companies have paid the NFL millions of dollars to be allowed to use the words “Super” and “Bowl” next to each other, and which ones have to settle for “the big game” in their TV commercials!

Anyhoozle, who ya got? Seahawks or Patriots? As a perpetually disappointed Cincinnati fan, I don’t have any skin in the game. But it’s still fun. I don’t do the whole party preparations thing (that would require having friends) but a LOT of people do. And they spend a LOT of money!

Here, courtesy of the National Retail Federation, is your “Super Bowl 2015 by the Numbers!”

  • 184 million: number of US television viewers
  • $14.3 billion: total spending for food, party supplies, team wear, etc. (oh, and BEER.)
  • $77.88: the average spent per person
  • 9%: people who will buy a new TV for “the big game”
  • 43 million: will host a Super Bowl party
  • 13 million: will watch at a bar

Interesting, the press release is full of the “renewed consumer confidence” angle, and that is how they are basing their predictions. We shall see…

So what are your plans for Super Bowl? Having friends over? How much will you spend on snacks (and BEER!)? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great Super Bowl weekend!

February Best Buys

feb dealsThey say that January is the best of the “best-buy” months, but a certain amount of the “warm, glowing, warming glow” (Homer Simpson) carries over into February. The post-holiday “everything must go” still lingers. The big Consumer Electronics Show has transpired in Vegas, which immediately determines what’s hot (and not) for the gearheads. And, of course, the price of anything romantic will plummet after V-day.

So, what’s hot in February? If you click HERE, HERE and HERE, you will find out! But here are highlights…

February Good Deals:

  • Boats
  • Computer Monitors
  • Gas Grills & Air Conditioners
  • Wedding Supplies
  • Winter Coats & Clothing
  • Broadway Tickets
  • Cellphones
  • Tax Software
  • Presidents’ Day Sales: apparel, home items, and furniture
  • Jewelry, Flowers, Perfume (AFTER Valentines Day, of course!)
  • Video Games
  • Electronics

Again, much more info at the original pieces. Are you planning to buy any of these items in February? Did they miss any hot deals? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Jobs Without College Degrees

help wantedDo you NEED a college degree to make a good living? I just don’t know. The economy may be… “improving” (sarcastic quotes added) but there MILLIONS of college grads living in the parents’ basements, waiting for the answer to that question!

I saw a piece entitled “10 high-paying jobs for college dropouts,” and immediately hated the title. Some people never get the opportunity to attend. As Charlie Daniels once said in Longhaired Country Boy, “The rich man goes to college and the poor man goes to work.”

Setting that aside, the piece offers some encouragement, though some seem a little farfetched. Here are the bullets:

  • Waste disposal personnel
  • Sommelier – Summa WHAT now? (It’s a wine expert.)
  • Bingo manager
  • Lodging manager
  • Massage therapist
  • Insurance agent
  • Equipment operator
  • Claims adjuster
  • Real estate broker
  • Telecom technician

Of course, they lead off with “waste disposal” but, hey…that’s $25 an hour! The whole list is scattered with salaries of $40-50-60K. SO READ IT. And have a GREAT weekend!

Americans Wasting Money

I hate it when I get to the counter and I only have swirls in my wallet.
I hate it when I get to the counter and I only have swirls in my wallet.

In a piece entitled “10 More Things Americans Waste Money On,” money guru Dave Ramsey suggests that there are 10 things Americans waste money on. Actually, he says 10 MORE, bringing the list to 20 because we are bad people. Here are some highlights, with bonus dumb commentary®!

  • Purebred Dogs: Sure, because “get my DOG BUDGET under control” was my #1 resolution this year.
  • Lottery Tickets… I always thought the phrase “a tax on stupidity” was a bit harsh. Not wrong, but harsh!
  • Brand-Name Medicine: You hold the brand name in one hand, and the generic in the other, and the difference is $3? Sold.
  • At-Home Parties: Some ladies aren’t going to like this advice. Others will be relieved to be able to say, “Sorry, Dave Ramsey told me to stay home!”
  • Singing Birthday Cards: Mom will enjoy it, but will she enjoy it $7 worth?
  • Up-Sizing Your Order: But, if I get the 72-oz Sprite, the girl behind the counter will like me better. I’m not popular enough to “be different!”

I think the important thing to remember is that Dave Ramsey isn’t against you having nice things (a private education, a new car, etc.) He just doesn’t want you to go into debt for them. Anyway, there are more things on the list, and much more detail at the original piece, so check it out!

How about YOU? Do you agree with the list? Are you “wasting” money on them? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Consumer Confidence?

confidenceHow would you rate YOUR consumer confidence? Apparently, according to the people who keep track of these things…

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s final reading on the overall index of consumer sentiment came in at 93.6 in December, slightly down from a preliminary reading of 93.8 but up from 88.8 in November. It is the highest reading in nearly eight years as lower gasoline prices drove expectations up.

Highest reading in 8 years… They say that gas prices are a factor. I am certainly in a better mood at the pump these days, paying $1.75 (in South Carolina) rather than $3.50… dang, that’s like HALF price!

As a freelance writer, I look out on the horizon and see more POTENTIAL jobs this year. So far, though, they are still POTENTIAL. I always say, if the year turned out like my rosy January predictions, I could RETIRE. Hasn’t happened yet. But, sure, I  guess I feel a little more optimistic now than in the past few years.

How about YOU? What’s your “consumer confidence” level? Better, worse, the same? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!


Cable Cutting Just Got Interesting

cutcableI have mentioned it a few times…I cancelled cable TV, did the Roku/Hulu/Netflix thing, and have been pretty happy. But that’s just ME. I can tell you that I am not a huge sports fan and, if you are a cable cutter, that’s something you have to deal with. Lack of ESPN has been a sticking point for many folks who consider cutting the cable.

Until now.

This is not an endorsement – heck, it’s not even available yet – but something called SlingTV is promising a decent range of cable content (TBS, TNT, Food, Travel, HGTV, etc.) as well as ESPN and ESPN2 for $20 a month, streaming thru your Roku or other device.

Is it (cable cutting) for you? Here’s a way to find out… has published a “cable calculator” that illustrates the ways you might save on your cable bill.

Trust me, I have nothing against cable TV…I just realized I was only watching about 10 of the 200 channels and paying $150 a month (including hi-speed internet, which I kept.) Cutting just made sense for ME. How about YOU?

Rising Prices in 2015

We talked last time about the variety of items and services that will cost less in 2015, from falling gas prices to just about everything affected by gas prices, which is a BUNCH.

Unfortunately, there’s always another side to the equation, and other factors that affect prices. According to, weather, livestock diseases, rising demand, poor planning among suppliers, and government regulation all play a part.

So which items will hit you pocketbook a little harder this year? Here are the bullet points:

  • Bourbon
  • Beef and pork
  • Avocados
  • Chocolate
  • Air travel
  • Hotels
  • FedEx and UPS fees
  • Coffee
  • Olive oil
  • Some sports cars
  • Redbox rentals
  • Girl Scout Cookies
  • Health care

For all the hows and whys, check out the original article. Which of these will affect you most? How will it affect you spending behavior? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend before the prices go up!

(And don’t forget about the Valentine’s Day Makin’ it Rain giveaway!)

Watch Out for Falling Prices

fallingDidn’t Walmart used to say that? Anyway, it’s coming true across our economy, for a few reasons. Gas prices are a big one. We blogged back in November, amazed about gas prices that were around $3.40 in June had fallen to $2.62. Well, today they are $1.89 in my town. This affects transportation costs of just about everything we buy.

So, which items will are likely to cost less in 2015? has the 411, and here are some bullet points…

  • Gas Prices
  • TV Content Packages: folks, the “cable cutters” have won.
  • Cloud Storage: I don’t understand the cloud, either. But I like paying less for it!
  • 4K TVs: I just now bought a flatscreen – don’t rush me!
  • Smartphones: Now that everybody already has one, the price drops. Shocking!
  • Video Game Consoles: To quote Grandpa Simpson, “I got down on the floor for THIS?”
  • Kia Forte: Now officially the cheapest car in the US

As usual, these are just the highlights. Much more info at the original piece. So, are you noticing prices dropping. Gas, certainly, but anywhere else. If you started saving on daily stuff, what would you do with the money? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

January’s Best Bargains

jan 1The holiday shopping orgy may be over, but that doesn’t mean that day-to-day household spending comes to an end. Heck, MY holiday shopping included a brand-new oven, which was on NOBODY’s wish list! Life goes on, and all that, and so do your purchases. So, what are the bargains you might find in January? The list of deals includes:

  • Fitness Equipment
  • Winter Clothes
  • Furniture
  • Tax Software
  • Anything Christmas
  • Most Electronics EXCEPT TVs
  • Linens (White Sales!)

Here are a few links with much more detail on January Savings. Enjoy, spend wisely, and have a great weekend from MindField Online!