Archive for January, 2011

Wes Moss: Dangers of too much financial information

Wes_Moss-for-Web-smaller-fiCertified financial planner Wes Moss provides personal finance advice and accessible investment strategies. His guest post appears here weekly.

America has a diet problem. We consume too much junk, don’t exercise enough and seem to have lost our will to do the hard work necessary to get in shape and meet our goals. Another lecture on our national obesity problem? Oh, no. I’m talking about personal finance.

In this age of information abundance, we are offered a never ending buffet of financial news, advice, opinion and fear-mongering from an endless line of caterers – the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Yahoo Finance, Fox Business News, Google Finance, MarketWatch, Jim Cramer, Suze Orman, Dave Ramsey. The heaping platter is constantly being passed on radio, TV, the Internet, bookstores, our mailboxes – everywhere! It’s all carefully prepared and portioned to go down nice and easy. While most of this information has nutritional value, a lot of it is mental junk food that will …

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50% off ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’ | 50% off Pike Nurseries | Lux Salon discounts

50 percent off ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’ritz

Combine your pizazz and altruistic side at the 3rd annual gala benefit “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” The event revives the glitz and glam of early Hollywood while supporting the Humane Society of Cobb County. The stage show starts at 8 p.m. Feb. 12 and features Ron Carter, Dance Stop Studios, Pebblebrook School for the Performing Arts and Atlanta Lyric Theatre. This black tie optional affair will offer heavy hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. The tickets are generally $75, but you can get them for $37.50 from Goldstar this week. Earl Smith Strand Theatre. 117 North Park Square, Marietta. 770-293-0080.

50 percent off Pike Nurseries

If the beautiful weather this weekend got you back in a gardening mood, you should take advantage of Pike Nurseries‘ current red tag sale. Plants with a red tag (including various trees, shrubs, house plants and more) are 50 percent off. Sale continues through tomorrow. Multiple locations in the Atlanta area.

Lux Salon …

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50% off Flying Biscuit Cafe | $10 kids’ motocross tickets | 20% off West Elm

50 percent off Flying Biscuit Cafe

The adjectives “healthy” and “mouth-watering” usually don’t describe the same restaurant, but they do in the case of The Flying Biscuit Cafe. Load up on organic greens, oven-fried chicken or orange-scented french toast. And don’t forget their famous biscuits, of course. Get a $30 voucher for Flying Biscuit in Dunwoody for only $15. The deal is available from Double Take Deals and is valid from purchase date through Feb. 11. 5975 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. 404-252-1184.

Nuclear Cowboyz Freestyle Motocross children’s tickets for $10

Forget the trapeze. You can view some of the most amazing acrobatic stunts at the Nuclear Cowboyz Freestyle Motocross show next week. Nuclear Cowboyz Freestyle Chaos is the legend of two powerful motocross tribes, the Soldiers of Havoc and the Metal Mulisha™, whose survival in their post-apocalyptic world is told through gravity defying and fearless freestyle aerial feats. Bring it. And bring your kids for only …

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Don’t get sucked into a travel scam

A story from the New York Times this week reminded me that sometimes even the most experienced travelers looking for deals are susceptible to scams.

Their “Frugal Traveler” actually got suckered into an online scam for a rental apartment in London. Here’s more from the story.

I filled out the online form and an agent wrote me back almost instantly. Yes, the apartment was available. Just prepay and it’s yours — five nights plus a security deposit of £200. Sorry, no credit cards. No PayPal, either. I should wire money, including a security deposit, to the owner’s British bank account.

At this point, I suppose I should have known I was being scammed. A bank transfer? Who pays by bank transfer?

Method of payment should always raise your “Spidey” sense if they’re a large company that doesn’t take credit cards. Farmer’s market, maybe. Apartment rental business, no.

A friend of my roommates came to stay with us for a weekend while she apartment-hunted in Atlanta. We thought she was …

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20% off Macy’s | $20 student tickets for West Side Story | Discounted pet care

20 percent off at Macy’s “Wear Red Sale”

In honor of American Heart Month and National Wear Red Day, customers wearing anything red — an entire ensemble, lipstick, or a signature Red Dress pin — will receive a 20 percent discount on an array of merchandise (or a 10 percent discount on sale and clearance watches and jewelry) at Macy’s as part of the retailer’s “Wear Red Sale.” Customers not wearing red can support Go Red For Women and receive the discount by purchasing a Go Red For Women red dress pin for $2. Proceeds from the sale of the pin will go to the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement. The sale lasts Feb. 2-6.

$20 student tickets to West Side Story

College students, it’s time to take time off from your studies and go experience a little culture. Broadway Across America – Atlanta will treat local students to a $20 “Student Rush Ticket” price for West Side Story at The Fox Theatre this week. Students need to bring a valid student ID with them to The Fox …

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DIY: Pottery Barn jewelry holder

My mother is the kind of woman who keeps everything craft-related. It’s all very organized, very cleanly packed away, but if you want it — she’s got it. Ribbons, sewing tools, glue, paper, lace, paint — it’s all upstairs at my parents’ house.

So she frequently becomes inspired by something like these jewelry display frames from the Pottery Barn catalog and decides to make it herself. Such was the case when I visited this weekend and we sat down to make our own wall art.

At $19-$39 (on sale), these aren’t the most expensive wall decorations I’ve ever seen, but if you already have the materials, you can make them for free. 

Consider making an alternate version of these for your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day. You can use clothespins or other clips to attach photos, love notes and other memories from your relationship, like this.

What you’ll need

  • picture frames (Look in thrift stores or at estate sales if you don’t already have frames you like. The older-looking they are, the …

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Clark Howard: There’s always a newer gadget

Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

ClarkHowardI’ve recently got a brand-new gadget and it became almost obsolete the second I opened the box.

One big problem with electronics is that no matter when you buy, they’re already obsolete. My soon-to-be-obsolete device is an Android tablet called the Archos 5. It surfs the Web very well, renders newspapers beautifully, does all the apps stuff, has a built-in GPS, a wonderful movie viewer and all the rest. I paid $150 for it, but a year from now it might not be worth a dollar!

Technology marches on that fast.

Likewise, my senior radio producer Kimberly recently paid $200 for the Epic 4G cell phone from Sprint (with a slide-out keyboard). But now there’s a new 4G phone with a slide-out that’s supposedly the latest and greatest thing … for $149.

Technology just keeps marching on as devices get faster, cheaper and better.

Last …

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Free Moe’s burrito | $34 Medieval Times tickets | Orbitz “winter savecations”

Free burritos from Moe’s

Who says you can’t get anything for free? How about a free burrito from Moe’s in North Alpharetta? Visit their Facebook page, print out the coupon and bring it in for your free bundle of yummy-ness. The deal is available through Friday. It doesn’t get easier than that. 5620 Commerce Blvd., Alpharetta. 770-521-6637.

You can also get $3 burritos in Brookhaven today through Friday.

$34 Medieval Times tickets

Bring the group-buying mentality back to the 11th century with Medieval Times. Round up friends and family to buy two tickets for $80 ($40 each), three tickets for $111 ($37 each), or four tickets for $136 ($34 each). That’s a little bit of money for a lot of jousting, cheering and family fun. 5900 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville. 1-888-935-6878.

Orbitz “savecations”

If Snowpocalypse 2011 made you stir-crazy, here’s a chance to get out of town. Orbitz is advertising its “winter savecation” packages at 30 percent off when you book hotel and travel …

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Finances: Winning against yourself

Sometimes the most difficult thing about getting your finances in order is battling your own presets. If you don’t budget your money (you should start now), overcoming that hurdle can feel tremendous. If you don’t have any savings, putting money in a new account might feel like you’re stealing from yourself.

Ramit Sethi, blogger and author of “I will teach you to be rich,” deals with the psychology of money — not just how to get it, how to save it and how to manage it, although he gives advice in those areas as well. But what really intrigues me is that he tries to challenge you about why you think the way you do and to correct those erroneous assumptions.

Here’s a snippet from Sethi’s post on automating finances (via Tim Ferriss’ blog).

Why do so many people believe that personal finance is only about willpower? The idea goes like this: “If I just try harder, I’ll start saving more, pay off my debt, stop spending all that money, keep a budget, learn about investing, start …

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Food deals: Davio’s steakhouse, CPK and Papa John’s

20 percent off California Pizza Kitchen

Are you a true California Pizza Kitchen fan? Would you dine at CPK once a week? Starting today, at the bottom of every guest check, CPK will give guests a 20 percent discount (not including alcohol) valid for the next dine-in visit within 7 days. If you’re bored of pizza, you can always try their Korean barbecue steak tacos, spicy chicken tinga quesadilla or miso shrimp salad, in addition to many, many other non-pizza menu items. Locations available in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Marietta and Norcross.

Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse specials

If you’re in the mood for Italian food and looking for a deal, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse is the place to go next week. The menu ranges from spagettini with shrimp, smoked bacon, asparagus, and garlic olive oil to homemade duck sausage with cannellini beans and oven roasted tomatoes. And don’t forget the steaks, of course! On Sunday, Davio’s is offering a $20 three-course menu served …

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