All posts by mindfieldonlineadmin

Money and a Happy Marriage

"OK, kids, scootch in a little closer to the dollar sign..."
“OK, kids, scootch in a little closer to the dollar sign…”

How intertwined are they? Well, researchers at Emory University took a look. According to The Atlantic, they…

…studied 3,000 married couples in the U.S. to determine the factors that predicted divorce. They analyzed income, religious attendance, how important attractiveness was to each partner, wedding attendance, and other metrics to determine the aspects associated with eventual marital dissolution.

When you add in those “other metrics”, the list looks like this…

  1. Time spent dating before engagement
  2. Household income
  3. Church attendance
  4. Attitude about wealth
  5. Attitude about physical appearance
  6. Number of people attending wedding
  7. Total wedding expenses
  8. Took honeymoon/size of honeymoon

So, of 8 categories, 5 are directly (or thereabouts) related to money. According to the study, couples that earn $125K+ are half as likely to divorce as those earning $25K.

When one partner cares deeply about the other’s wealth (usually the wife –the husband cares more about the wife’s looks) they are 20% more likely to divorce.

The cost of the wedding seems to be a big one. Using $5-10K as a reference point, they say that those significantly lower ($0-1K) are half as likely to split up, while those much higher ($20K and up) are twice as likely.

I don’t know what to think. I can point to real-life examples that do and don’t add up, and I am sure you can, too. As Homer Simpson once said “You can make statistics say anything you want them to. 34 per cent of people know that.”

What do YOU think? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

Source, source, source

McDonald’s Lifts the Curtain

mcd Qs“I think it’s disgusting… does McDonald’s even sell real food?” Actual McDonald’s customers in an actual McDonald’s commercial that premiered yesterday.

Well, that’s bound to get your attention – and that’s the point. McDonald’s has begun a charm offensive designed to convince us that their food isn’t “pink slime,” but rather, actual food with nutritional value.

They say the campaign, entitled “Our Food. Your Questions.” has nothing to do with current business performance, though times have definitely been better for the mega-chain. These days, the dining-out bus is being driven by Millennials and, increasingly, that bus doesn’t stop at McDonald’s!

So McD is hitting Millennials where they live – on Facebook and Twitter. They invite you to visit them and ask any question you can think of about their food. And they even hired former Mythbuster Grant Imahara to make their case!

So, what would you like to ask McDonald’s? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Source, source, source, source

Maybe Red Bull DOESN’T Give You Wings?

635484393718544707-d-out-energy-drink-30The news this week is about energy drink Red Bull, which has been sued for false advertising. No, someone didn’t believe that Red Bull actually “gives you wings,” but, according to the lawsuit, they do give the impression that Red Bull delivers “increased performance, concentration and reaction speed.”

“Even though there is a lack of genuine scientific support for a claim that Red Bull branded energy drinks provide any more benefit to a consumer than a cup of coffee, the Red Bull defendants persistently and pervasively market their product as a superior source of ‘energy’ worthy of a premium price over a cup of coffee or other sources of caffeine,” the suit says. The Consumerist

As for Red Bull, they said “whatever,” and have offered up $13 million to be shared by anyone in the class action lawsuit who can prove they bought a Red Bull in the past ten years. You’re eligible for ten dollars or two free Red Bulls.

Lawsuits: They Give You Wings!

Are YOU a Red Bull fan? Are you happy or unhappy about this news? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

Black Friday Predictions 2014

ID-100198089Black Friday conjures up widely differing images in people, from absolute dread to necessary evil to a whole lot of fun. (I never tire of hearing about my sister-in-law, who drags her mother and sisters along in the family camper and sleeps overnight in the Kohl’s parking lot!)

But it seems that too many people are giving up on the Black Friday tradition, despite the deals that can be had. So the retailers are responding in a number of ways. According to, retailers have a bag of 13 or so tricks to keep the madness fresh this year. Here are some highlights:

  • More Black Friday Ad Sneak Peeks
  • More Stores Will Offer Guaranteed Doorbusters
  • Stores Will Be Better Staffed
  • Credit Card Info Will be Guarded Like Never Before
  • More Stores Will Offer Discounted Shipping
  • Mainstream Laptops Will Pack Better Hardware at Lower Prices
  • To Compete With Amazon, More Retailers Will Price Match
  • You’ll See More Tablet Deals Than Ever Before
  • Black Friday Will See Excellent Toy Deals

Again, just some bullets. Lots more info at the original piece.

More powerful, cheaper laptops appeal to me, as I attempt to drag my wheezing machine across the finish line (which is 52 days away!!) What deals are you looking for on Black Friday? Do these changes sound good? Have any other ideas? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook Page!

How Teens Shop

teenshopAmong some of our youngest consumers, today’s 13-17 year olds have some shopping attitudes and habits that may or may not surprise you. Somebody did a recent study of 1000 13-24 year olds. I am splitting off the youngsters because I think it’s interesting to see what their preferences are while their parents still have some influence over them. See if any of these findings surprise you…

Teens age 13-17:

  •  46% say that shopping is their favorite activity
  • Prefer the mall to online shopping (the group that feels most strongly about this)
  • Make 71% of their monthly purchases at the mall
  • Their purchase decisions are most influenced by friends, four times more than by social media.
  • They less brand-obsessed and more price-sensitive
  • See “personalization” as an important feature in the things they buy
  • They don’t want to shop online (can you DO that at age 15?) But they do like receiving coupons and promotions on their phones, particularly by email.

What I take from this is that, first, they get to be somewhere without mom and dad for the first time (someplace FUN, as opposed to SCHOOL.) That place is the mall, and they want to hang out there. Second, all income is coming from the parental units, so they want make it last.

Reminds me of the time I gave my 14-year-old niece 20 bucks for some clothes, and said I would take her anywhere she wanted. I assumed she would choose the Super Rad Teenz store (that’s a place, right?) Instead, it was Kohl’s 70% clearance rack, where she got THREE shirts. I was impressed!

There are more stats and depth at the original piece. So, what do you think? Do any of these habits surprise you? Do they sound like YOUR teen? Let us know over at the MindField Live Facebook page!

More on Data Security

ID-100288994You can be forgiven if you read that title as “moron data security,” given recent events. Anyhoo…

You know the old UPS slogan, “What can Brown do for you?” I would answer, “How about protecting my data!?”

Yep, the UPS Store is one of the latest businesses to be data-hacked (by data-hackers!) 51 stores in 24 states, apparently. You can check out the locations at the UPS site.

And just a few days ago, it was Jimmy John’s sandwich shops. I actually went there a while back. Thankfully, I used cash. You can read all about it on their site, as well.

So, that’s UPS, Michael’s, Target, PF Chang’s, Goodwill, the entire  South Carolina Social Security system…the list goes on and on.

Two weeks ago, they had the “Biggest Hack in History,” in which Russian hackers stole over ONE BILLION user names and passwords. People downplayed it, saying that Usernames and PWs are not as bad as credit card information.

BUT… the problem is that we are lazy. We tend to use the same Usernames and PWs across many accounts. So, as soon as the hacker punks crack your Bi-Lo Savers Club account, it’s a short walk to hacking your Discover Card.

So, CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS. Today. Don’t use the same User and PW for every account. While you’re at it maybe look at fraud protection. Soon, it’s going to be as necessary as homeowners insurance.

And, for more info on protecting your data, visit the Federal Trade Commission site, or check out this review site for data protection services. And have a great weekend!

PS… remember when we were all supposedly marching toward a “cashless society” where it would be all plastic, all the time? THIS is the reason that will never happen – not for me anyway!

October Surprise (deals!)

ID-100246553Time for a look at your best deals of the month! October is an in-between month, stuck in the dead zone between back-to-school and Black Friday. It can be difficult to spot a bargain – and the right time to snag it – without professional consultation! So, what do the experts say are good buys in October? Hot items include Cars, Costumes, Vacations, Thanksgiving travel, Music, School Supplies (whatever’s left!) Cruises, Camping gear (the warmer-weather stuff,) Jeans, Cookware and Whatever Apple thing that is about to be replaced.

In general, there are many items that you don’t have to wait until Black Friday to buy, but also a bunch of things that you SHOULD wait for. (Helpful!)

Here are some links for ye:

How about you? What savings tricks do you use during October? Let us know over at the blog!