Tag Archives: referral program

Yard Sale Season!

garage saleRejoice! Yard Sale season is upon us! (Of course, if you’re in South Carolina like me, it’s been yard sale season since about February.) If you are thinking about having a sale this year to, you know, sell all the stuff you bought at last year’s sales, it would be helpful to know what items are currently in demand. It’s a drag taking the time to price and display a bunch of stuff nobody wants (believe me, I have done it!) So, what’s en vogue at garage sales this year? AARP.com has some clues, and here are the highlights:

  • Costume Jewelry
  • Like-New Items
  • Clothing by the Bag
  • Vinyl Records
  • Tools
  • ‘Americana’ Home Décor
  • Books
  • Bottled Water and Soft Drinks
  • Beat-Up Wooden Furniture
  • Retro Toys and Dolls
  • Kid and Baby Clothing
  • Antiques
  • Seasonal Items

I didn’t see bicycles on the list. You know how many bicycles I have tried to sell over the years? No interest at all! Anyway, there’s more info at the original piece, including valuable info on pricing your items for quick sale, so check it out!

How about you? Is a yard sale or garage sale in your future? Do you have any success tips to share? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and happy hunting (and selling!)

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’sDigest.com

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!

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 MoneyTalksNews.com 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!

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, www.mindfieldonline.com -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.

The Ways We Save

Unfortunately, that penny was dropped from the roof of the Empire State Building
Unfortunately, that penny was dropped from the roof of the Empire State Building

Unless money truly is no object in your family, then you have cut back like the rest of us in the past 5 years. The things we do or buy and places we go are a little more modest.

It’s no surprise that in a thriving economy, consumers don’t watch their spending and budget as closely. They splurge on…getting their hair done frequently…vacations and redecorating their home. When the economy took a turn for the worst, consumers cut back on those extra expenses and became determined to save on daily expenses such as grocery shopping and gas. The JaneDough.com

So, how are we doing it?

  • Postponing (indefinitely!) that dream vacation, that elective surgical procedures (get used to the crow’s feet!) And, the oddest item: not getting divorced. (Staying together because it’s cheaper…yay?)
  • Investing in energy-efficient appliances and home upgrades, security systems and… get ready… pregnancy prevention products. (No comment – read the article.)

And last but not least:

  • Thievery. Ask my wife the commercial property manager about the relentless Copper Wars. On second thought, don’t get her started. Other popular items include feminine hygiene, toilet paper and dogs. (Again, read the piece.)

Of course, your mileage may vary. In our house, it’s not a matter of cutting OUT certain things; we seem to do the same NUMBER of things, but each thing is scaled back. Except for thieving. Don’t touch my thieving! Anyway…how are you getting by? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Location, Location, Location

Apartment-For-Rent-Sign1Are you a renter in the big city – or want to be? Is it hard to find a decent place you can actually afford?  Apparently, the credit crunch means there are too many renters and not enough square footage!

Although the average rent across the U.S. is $1,231 per month, in certain areas it can be triple that number. Landlords can afford to charge such daunting prices because there are so few apartments available in high-demand cities.  CBS MoneyWatch

MoneyWatch averaged the costs of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments across the USA, and came up with the ten most expensive cities for rentals. I hope you’re not on this list! Here are the averages…

10. San Diego: $1,670 per month

9. Seattle: $1,718

8. Miami: $1,742

7. Oakland, Calif.: $1,812

6. San Jose, Calif.: $2,165

5. Los Angeles: $2,177

4. Washington, D.C.: $2,699

3. Boston: $3,190

2. New York: $3,344

1. San Francisco: $3,396

Bet that’s the only time New Yorkers AREN’T upset about NOT being number 1! So, if your town is on the list, so sorry. The good news is that they also figured out the CHEAPEST places to live.  That list is HERE, but be warned: some of these towns have more cattle than people. You get what you pay for!

Back to School “Creep”?

Pictured: Me.

Does it seem like the Back to School sales are starting earlier and earlier each year? Apparently, you’re not imagining it, according to Ad Age magazine.

Instead of merely waiting until August and then hoping that shoppers spend a lot of money at once, stores are having sales now to sell certain items in June and July with the idea that they’ll come back in August and spend some more, most likely on apparel.  Ad Age

The phenomenon has a name: “Back to School Creep.” Sort of like how the stores start putting out their Christmas displays the week before Halloween! I didn’t know this, but Back to School is the second biggest retail time of the year, second only to Christmas, and accounts for $84 billion in sales.

When I was a kid, I had an odd mindset during the summer: gradually increasing dread. I saw the summer as a long weekend. The piece of June left after school let out was Friday night. July was Saturday. And August was Sunday, when I could really feel the last of the sand leaving the hourglass before school started again. (PS…I HATED school.)  And those obnoxious Back to School sales at the mall didn’t help my mood at all!  But at least they waited until August. Today’s kids have it rough!

How about you? How much do you spend on Back to School? How soon do you start shopping? Do you think the retailers start pushing it too early? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page. And have a great weekend!

4th of July Spending Revisited

See what I did there?
See what I did there?

So, fellow MindField-ers… having a good holiday weekend so far? Did you manage to get Friday off? I hope so! Last Friday, we did a post about 4th of July spending. I thought I would actually track my own this year, just for fun. First, the agenda…

Starting out from the suburbs of Charleston SC, it’s:

  • July 4: Cookout at in-laws
  • July 5: Antiquing in West Columbia SC
  • July 6: Going to the beach at Kiawah SC
  • July 7: Charleston Harbor tour and dining downtown

And here is my spending, real and projected:

  • Cookout: 4 bags of chips, sodas and my homemade guacamole… $21
  • Antiquing: Maybe $50, meals $25
  • Beach: Sodas, snack, parking fee…$12. Lunch after, $20
  • Harbor tour for 2: $20 (thanks Groupon!) Meals $40
  • Gas for the weekend: 450 miles, at 30 miles per gallon, times $3.15 per gallon (it’s CHEAP in SC)…$47

Total Independence Day 2013 spending: $235

How does that sound to you? High? Low? About right? We had talked about spending the weekend in Asheville NC, which probably would have brought it up to at least $500, which is more in line with the numbers we reported last week. Fortunately, I am a CHEAPO! Wife is too, so at least we’re compatible!

So, what are YOUR plans. Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page. And have a great weekend!

BONUS: If it’s been since 9th grade that you have read the Declaration of Independence, you really should revisit the old girl. Read it HERE.

Independence Day by the Numbers!

redwhiteyouBy this time next Friday, we will still be on the front end of the long Independence Day weekend – though, sadly, not as long as last year, when it fell on Wednesday! So, are you staying home (more of us are) ? Or taking a trip (fewer, and spending more) ? Either way, there’s a price tag on your “4th Fun” – because this is America, dang it!

Continuing a long MindFieldLive tradition, it’s Independence Day by the Numbers!

$300: Average spent on holiday parties

$39: Average spent on fireworks

40 million: Number of us taking a July 4th trip this year. Down 300K from last year

613: Average miles traveled per trip

$747: Average amount families spend per trip. Same as last year

3 million: Number of us flying – up 10%

84%: The percentage of travelers going by car, vs. plane

$3.60: Average price of a gallon of gas. Up 11% from last year

BTW, if you ARE entertaining at home, here’s an article that tells you how to save some bux!

What are YOUR plans this year? Hit us up on Facebook, and have a great weekend!

Source, Source, Source,

Bad Math, Bad Mortgages

4-out-of-3-people-are-bad-at-math.american-apparel-unisex-fitted-tee.silver.w760h760How are your math skills? Back in school, mine were fine until 10th grade when I started paying more attention to the girl sitting next to me than to my homework. I stalled out in Geometry and never caught up.

And I guess I am not alone. Supposedly, Americans are at the bottom of developed world in math skills. And one study suggests that this deficit may be one cause of all the mortgage problems.

Americans who have trouble dividing 300 by 2 are much more likely to end up in foreclosure than consumers with average math skills, a new study has found. The research is among the first to directly link mortgage trouble and financial literacy, according to its authors. NBC Redtape Blog

Can’t divide 300 by 2? And here I was embarrassed because I never learned quadratic equations!

Anyway, these science nerds gave a test to various mortgage-holders. And their scores directly related to their ability to maintain a healthy credit score. Here’s the test:

  1. In a sale, a shop is selling all items at half price. Before the sale, a sofa costs $300. How much will it cost in the sale?
  2. If the chance of getting a disease is 10 per cent, how many people out of 1,000 would be expected to get the disease?
  3. A second-hand car dealer is selling a car for $6,000. This is two-thirds of what it cost new. How much did the car cost new?
  4. If 5 people all have the winning numbers in the lottery and the prize is $2 million, how much will each of them get?
  5. Let’s say you have $200 in a savings account. The account earns 10 percent interest per year. How much will you have in the account at the end of two years?

It’s alarming, but a LOT of people can’t solve these problems. Number 5 is the hardest. (answers below)

The takeaway is FINANCIAL LITERACY or, I suppose, NUMERACY. Learn your financial ABCs and don’t back yourself into a corner. So lean on your kids to do well in math, because there is always hope. I may have ended up as an English major, but that girl sitting next to me in 10th grade is now the head of the math department at an East Coast university!

Read the article – it’s really interesting. And happy Tuesday!

Answers: 1) $150 2) 100 3) $9,000 4) $400,000 5) $242 (compounded annually)