Archive for the ‘Money matters’ category

Free MAC lipstick

July 15th, 2009

Free lipstick??

You are not dreaming.


Return six empty containers of MAC products to a MAC counter or to the company and receive a free lipstick of your choice. For information, go to free MAC lipstick and click on Giving Back.

Cash vs credit cards

July 15th, 2009


If paying for goods causes pain in the brain, credit cards are aspirin. Unfortunately, cards also create bigger headaches later on.

When you pay in cash, you see your wallet getting thinner. But when you use a credit card, the spending is abstract and that makes you trigger happy.

In one experiment at MIT, subjects were asked to bid on tickets to a sold-out Bolton Celtics game. Half were told to pay with cash, the other half could use credit cards. Shockingly, they found that bids were twice as high among the group that thought they would use credit cards.

Using cash is the number one antidote to overspending, according to experts. If you do pay with a credit card, beware of the trap I’ve already got this debt, so it won’t matter if I pile on more. Prelec compares it to the diet blowing excuse I ate one piece, so I may as well eat the whole cake.

You better shop around

July 15th, 2009


The image of an angel and a devil sitting on a person’s shoulders is not a bad metaphor for shopping.

Using brain scans, researchers have shown that the nucleus accumbens, an area associated with pleasure and reward, lightens up as people consider a purchase, while the insula, a structure that plays an important role in pain, is activated when they think about the cost.

Two brain areas compete with each other to determine whether you will buy something. Your typical tightwad feels the pain of paying for things more acutely. Spendthrifts may not register it enough.

Buying a lot in one store can decrease your sensitivity to the pain of cost. You hit the what-the-heck-effect. For example, you’ve spent $200; what’s another $20 for a T-shirt? Perhaps, the best way is going to various stores for different purchases.