Should You Give Your Children an Allowance? Two Experts Weigh In

pros-and-cons-of-youth-allowance

When it comes to giving children an allowance, you might believe that all experts agree it’s the right thing to do—but that’s not actually the case. Believe it or not, some experts believe that more damage can be done by giving allowance the wrong way than by not giving it at all.

To help you make the right choice when it comes to your own kids, we decided to ask one pro-allowance expert and one anti-allowance expert for their input.

Read their responses and see what you think.

The Stance: Pro-allowance

The Expert: Neale Godfrey, personal finance expert and author of 27 books and financial literacy lessons for kids

CREDIT.COM: For starters, what would you say the main goal of giving an allowance should be?

GODFREY: Kids need to learn the natural consequences of money and that the only way you get money is to earn it. So that’s the first part of why allowance is important—understanding that the way you get money is to earn it. The other part is about teaching them to budget.

CREDIT.COM: How do you suggest parents go about setting up an allowance system?

GODFREY: I recommend setting up two types of chores in your house: citizen-of-the-household chores and work-for-pay chores. Kids don’t get paid for citizen-of-the-household chores. These are just meant to teach your kids to be good citizens of the house, and hopefully later of their communities. For example, in our house we recycled and my kids kept their rooms clean, and they didn’t get paid for those. On the other hand, work-for-pay, to me, are things like setting the table, loading the dishwasher, dusting, vacuuming, and doing laundry. But you are the CEO of your household, so you decide what are citizen of the household chores and what are work-for-pay chores.

CREDIT.COM: Where does the budget part come into play?

GODFREY: Parents should make this very visual and give young kids four clear plastic envelopes or jars to divide their money into. They can teach them that 10% comes off the top for charity and then divide the rest into thirds. The first 1/3 is quick cash (so you teach that if you work hard, it’s okay to spend a little bit of your money on things you want), the next 1/3 is medium-term savings (help them pick something to save for), and the last 1/3 is long-term savings. Parents should go to a bank and open an account and teach their kids about how real money goes into that.

CREDIT.COM: Any final thoughts when it comes to allowance?

GODFREY: Talking to your kids about allowance and money is just as important as giving it. I don’t support an entitlement program, but I believe you should give a set amount each week for chores so you can begin to teach them how to use it.

The Stance: Anti-allowance (to a degree)

The Expert: Dr. Lewis Mandell, professor of finance and managerial economics and dean emeritus, State University of New York at Buffalo

CREDIT.COM: Where does your stance on allowance stem from?

MANDELL: In the 2001 National Jump$tart Survey of U.S. High School Seniors, students were asked to describe the allowance that they received when growing up. Those who received regular, unconditional allowance had the lowest score in the test of  financial literacy, scoring, on average, just 48.9%. Those who were given money by their parents as needed scored highest at 51.9%, followed closely by those who received their allowance upon completion of specified chores at 51.6%. To shed some light on the surprising results, students were also asked about the frequency with which they discussed money matters with their parents. Those who said “never” scored just 42.5% on the test, while others had scores that were about 10% higher.

CREDIT.COM: So it stands to reason that talking with your kids about money is maybe just as important as giving an allowance, then?

MANDELL: Prior studies on the subject of allowances showed that giving a regular, unconditional allowance allowed the parents to minimize the interaction with their children. However, it is just this interaction that appears to be the factor most closely related to the financial literacy of their children.

CREDIT.COM: What should a parent’s main takeaway be from your opinion on allowance?

MANDELL: As long as giving an allowance does not diminish the financial interaction between parent and child, there’s nothing wrong with it. However, that is why giving children money as requested seems to be better than an allowance—at least the parent gets to learn how the child intends to spend it and can intervene, where appropriate.

The Takeaway

In the end, deciding whether or not to give an allowance to a child is something each parent has to personally determine. If nothing else, though, both experts agree that keeping the lines of communication open when it comes to money and finances is a key factor in raising a financially independent child.

Teaching your kids good financial sense doesn’t end with allowance, though. Opening a savings account for your child is a great motivator for them to do well financially, too, as is modeling good financial habits. As your children grow, set an example for how to stick to a budget, know about your credit score (which you can check for free on Credit.com), and more. Remember, it’s never too early to instill good spending habits.

Image: PeopleImages

The post Should You Give Your Children an Allowance? Two Experts Weigh In appeared first on Credit.com.

Here’s Why You Need to Know Your Net Worth

When you know your net worth, your life can improve in major ways.

It’s perhaps one of the most important financial numbers you should know, but many people aren’t even sure exactly what it is. If someone were to ask, would you know your net worth? Would you even know what the question meant? If you’ve never heard the term until today, fear not. Here’s everything you need to know about that pesky little number that is one of the best indicators of your overall financial health.

What Is Net Worth?

In its simplest terms, the phrase net worth refers to the overall value of your goods and possessions minus what you owe. In broader terms, your net worth is the total value of all of your assets. Take your possessions — how much you have in savings, retirement accounts, your home value, checking accounts, etc. Then, subtract your overall debt — credit cards, student loans, debt, etc. Hopefully, when you subtract what you owe from your possessions you get a positive number. The higher the number, the better.

How Can I Build My Net Worth?

A high net worth is a good thing and there are a few different ways to focus on building your net worth.

1. Tackle Debt

The main thing you can do to increase your net worth is to pay off your debt. High-interest credit card debt is a great place to start. If you have multiple cards with balances, consider paying off the smallest balance first. This way you’ll receive a little boost early in your debt payoff schedule to help bolster you through what you need to do to pay off the rest. (Check out more methods for paying down credit card debt.)

The longer you hold on to debt, the more you’re likely to pay in interest rates. There are a lot of strategies to take that might make paying off debt easier. Consolidating your loans into one place might help make your loans more manageable if you have more than one. It might even be possible to refinance to a lower interest rate. Check out all your options before deciding which one is best for your situation.

2. Make More Money

This is easier said than done, but another way to work on your net worth is to simply bring in more cash. Whether that’s asking for a raise at your current job or taking on a side gig to bring in a little extra pocket money, the more you can pad your income, the better your net worth will be.

3. Invest in Retirement

If you have an employer offering to match your 401K policy and you aren’t taking them up on it, you’re lowering your net worth. If you’re taking part in a company match or contributing to a retirement plan but haven’t re-evaluated it in a while, it’s time to reconsider how much you’re putting away, and it might be time to increase it. Remember, you don’t need to have a retirement plan through work to invest in your future, there are other IRA options are available as well.

Image: Mikolette

The post Here’s Why You Need to Know Your Net Worth appeared first on Credit.com.

19 Ways to Save at buybuy Baby

There are plenty of ways to save at buybuy Baby without cutting your registry and wishlist short.

Anyone who’s ever attended a baby shower or had a baby is sure to know about buybuy Baby, the baby goods superstore alternative to Babies ‘R Us. If you aren’t quite convinced that buybuy Baby is the store for you, check out all these ways to save when shopping there — they just might change your mind.

1. Join the Mailing List

Submit your email to receive buybuy Baby newsletters with the most recent deals and offers. Plus, first-time subscribers immediately receive 20% off one single item in-store.

2. Explore Their Savings Center

The buybuy Baby savings center offers some pretty sweet deals — all you have to do is look. It’s definitely worth keeping an eye on this section from time to time to stock up on baby goods you might need now or in future.

3. Peruse the Clearance Options

Separate from the savings center, buybuy Baby also has a pretty extensive clearance section that’s worth checking out.

4. Get Organized

Never forget another coupon again when you use buybuy Baby’s “My Offers” organization system. Using your email address, My Offers organizes your print, email and text offers directly in the cloud so you have immediate access to them and can redeem them wherever and whenever.

5. Check for Rebates

From time to time, rebates might be offered on goods you purchase from buybuy Baby. The store makes it easy to redeem those offers by using their handy rebate center.

6. Ask for a Price Match

Be a smart shopper by doing a little research at buybuy Baby’s competitors. You can ask for a price match on identical items that meet their price match conditions. Price matches can be made in store, by phone or via email.

7. Ask for a Post-Purchase Price Match

Just because you already bought that high chair at buybuy Baby doesn’t mean you can’t get a discount on it if you find it somewhere else for a lower price. Buybuy Baby also allows you to request a price match after you make a purchase so keep that in mind when shopping.

8. Load up on Manufacturer’s Coupons

Buybuy Baby accepts manufacturer coupons at any time, even in conjunction with a price match. Remember, any coupon issued from a retailer or brand that also has retail stores is considered a competitor’s coupon, not a manufacturer’s coupon. In that case, buybuy Baby will only accept the coupon and the price match if the competitor would, as well.

9. Stock up on buybuy Baby Coupons

Check sites like Coupon Cabin, Retail Me Not and Groupon for buybuy Baby coupons.

10. Bring in Your Bed Bath & Beyond Coupons

Buybuy Baby will accept these as long as they aren’t expired.

11. Do More to Score Bed Bath & Beyond Coupons

Since they’re sister stores and buybuy Baby will accept Bed Bed & Beyond coupons, it’s wise to stock up on coupons from both stores. Check out this piece for ideas on how to score more Bed Bath & Beyond Coupons.

12. Don’t Pay for Shipping

Shipping is free on orders of $49 or more from the site, but if you don’t have that much to buy, you can always reserve your items online and then pick them up in the store. Your order will be ready within two business hours and held for two days. (A $1 authorization fee will appear on your card, but it will drop within 24 to 48 hours.)

13. Apply for the buybuy Baby Mastercard

Sign up for the buybuy Baby Mastercard and receive a special introductory offer of $25 off $100, plus earn 5% back in rewards for every $1 you spend at buybuy Baby, 2% back in rewards for every $1 you spend on gas and groceries and 1% back for every $1 you spend anywhere else Mastercard is accepted. You’ll also get a $10 reward certificate for every $10 you earn and pay no interest if your card is paid in full in six months on purchases between $250 and $500 or 12 months on purchases over $500. Your annual percentage rate for this card will be 24.49%, 18.49% or 14.49% based on your creditworthiness, so pay your card in full every time. (Not sure where your credit stands? You can check two of your scores free on Credit.com. Plus, check out these other credit cards perfect for preparing for a new baby.)

14. Use Your buybuy Baby Mastercard at Affiliate Stores

You’ll earn 5% back in rewards for every $1 you spend at affiliate stores including Bed Bath & Beyond, Christmas Tree Shops and That!, Cost Plus World Market and Harmon Face Values.

15. Shop More & Save More

If you’ve applied for the buybuy Baby Mastercard, it pays to use it for purchases outside of the store and its affiliates as much as possible. Besides the 1% back for every $1 you spend anywhere else Mastercard is accepted, you’ll earn a $25 gift certificate when you spend $1,000 in the first six months or a $75 gift certificate when you spend $6,000 in the first six months.

16. Follow the Store on Social Media

Catch all the latest sales and coupon offers on buybuy Baby’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

17. Score Used Gift Cards

Check out sites like Gift Card Granny and load up on gift cards for less than face value.

18. Create a Registry

There are a lot of freebies and goodies that come with registering at buybuy Baby. For starters, you’ll receive a goody bag filled with samples and coupons for registering. Plus, completion coupons are available on items that don’t get purchased from your registry. Register in the store and you’ll even receive complimentary announcement cards to let friends and family know you’ve registered there. Additionally, the free shipping rewards program lets you earn unlimited free shipping for your baby’s first year based on the value of the gifts purchased from your registry.

19. Refer a Friend

Refer a friend to either buybuy Baby or Bed Bath & Beyond and you’ll receive $25 off any in-store purchase of $100 or more when they create a registry.

Want more brand hacks? Check out our roundup of 17 Ways to Save at Amazon.

Image: Juanmonino

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

The post 19 Ways to Save at buybuy Baby appeared first on Credit.com.

14 Ways to Save at Anthropologie

It's possible to purchase the items you love from Anthropologie without breaking the bank.

If bohemian aesthetics, artistic patterns and funky designs are your thing, Anthropologie is bound to have what you’re looking for. From clothing, shoes and accessories to home goods and beauty items, Anthropologie has it all. If you’re worried about how much you spend here — prices tend to be on the higher side — you can stock up and still save when you use these tips.

1. Sign up for the Newsletter

The newsletter gives you access to all things Anthropologie — including special sales and discounts.

2. Shop the Sales

Anthropologie is known to have some pretty killer sale items, so be sure to check what’s available both online and in the store.

3. Join Their Loyalty Program

Sign up for Anthropologie’s loyalty program, Anthroperks, to get early access to new arrivals, special discount days, a birthday treat and more. The birthday treat alone is a major perk of this free program. If you sign up at least 30 days before your birthday you’ll receive a 15% off coupon to use, so sign up today! (Here are more places that give you free treats on your birthday.)

4. Score Coupon Codes

Check places like RetailMeNot and Coupon Cabin to stay up to date on any recent coupon codes you might be able to use.

5. Buy Discounted Gift Cards

Check sites like Raise.com, Gift Card Granny and CardCash for Anthropologie gift cards that you can purchase for less than face value.

6. Use the Wishlist Option to Your Advantage

Anthropologie has sales pretty regularly and can alert you of when items on your wishlist are on sale. So, if you can stand waiting, it’s worth putting the items you’d like on your wishlist (available once you sign up for an Anthropologie account) and waiting for the email alert to arrive.

7. Wait for Items to Return

Since Anthropologie has such a lenient return policy — all merchandise, except furniture and other oversized items, can be returned at any time — you’ll sometimes find items on your wishlist that were unavailable may suddenly become available again, and often for a discount. So wait before deleting items from your wishlist, and you just might be pleasantly surprised one day.

8. Get a Price Adjustment

Keep your Anthropologie receipts for 14 days. If the item you purchased goes on sale in that time the store will issue you a refund for the difference between what you paid and the sale price. This applies to online purchases, as well.

9. Ask About a Teacher Discount

Teachers and teacher’s assistants get discounts at Anthropologie, typically July through September. The dates vary but it’s always worth bringing your teacher ID along with you and giving it a try.

10. Follow Anthropologie on Social Media

Add Anthropologie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to catch any special deals they shout out to their followers.

11. Order Online & Pick up In-Store

Rather than paying a shipping fee, when you find what you like on Anthropologie.com, enter a location to check availability at nearby stores, then click “Buy Online & Pick Up in a Store” and add it to your basket. Once you check out, pickup details will appear next to applicable items in your cart and on the order review page. Orders are held for three days.

12. Read Blogs

Another way to stay in the loop on Anthropologie discounts and sales is to read fan blogs like Effortless Anthropologie and Breakfast at Anthropologie.

13. Follow Sales Cycles

If you’re diligent, you will likely find a pattern in the sales at Anthropologie. For example, on the website, items tend to go on sale around midnight on Sundays, so checking back early Monday morning is generally a good way of scoring deals.

14. Use a Cash Back Credit Card

While Anthropologie doesn’t offer its own credit card, you can still pay less for your items by using credit cards with solid rewards. There are plenty of credit cards perfect for shoppers. Most of them require a decent credit score so it’s smart to see where you stand before applying — you can check two credit scores for free with Credit.com.

Want more brand hacks? Check out 19 Ways to Save at Nordstrom.

Image: monkeybusinessimages

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

The post 14 Ways to Save at Anthropologie appeared first on Credit.com.

14 Ways to Save at World Market

It's easy to overspend at World Market but with these ways to save, you can breathe a sigh of relief when checking your receipt.

[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

Brightly colored throw pillows, exquisite area rugs, rugged outdoor furniture, international foods and eclectic jewelry are just a few of the options awaiting shoppers at World Market. While a trip here could rack up debt due to the sheer volume of goods you’re likely to come away with, save yourself some sticker shock by using these cost-cutting tricks.

1. Sign up for Emails

Visit the site and sign up for Cost Plus World Market emails to receive 10% off your next purchase. This deal only works for new customers.

2. Shop the Sales

Check the sales section for discounts on everything from furniture and décor to wine and beer.

3. View Your Local Ad

Insert your zip code on the website for access to discounts at the store closest to you through the local ad.

4. Join the World Market Explorer Rewards Program

Sign up for the World Market Explorer Rewards Program and get 15% off your next purchase just for completing your profile. After that, you’ll get a $10 reward for every $200 you spend, plus exclusive access to coupons and deals, special member pricing on wine, beer and other products and a special surprise on your birthday.

5. Have Rewards Sent to Your Phone

Never be without access to your member discounts when you get them sent to your phone. Check the website for registration details.

6. Apply for the World Market MasterCard

Customers who use the World Market MasterCard receive perks like no interest if paid in full within 6 months or 12 months, 5% back in rewards for every $1 spent at select partner stores, 2% back in rewards for every $1 spent on gas and groceries and 1% back for every $1 spent anywhere else MasterCard is accepted.

Plus, you’ll receive a $10 reward certificate for every $10 in rewards you earn automatically. Rewards you earn with the Cost Plus World Market MasterCard are separate from the World Market Explorer Rewards Program. (APR will be variable 24.74%, 18.74% or 14.74% based on your credit, so pay your card off in full each time you use it.)

Remember, opening a new credit card can impact your credit. Check your credit score to see where you stand before applying. You can check two credit scores for free on Credit.com.

7. Use Your Cost Plus World Market MasterCard at Affiliate Stores

Besides earning 5% back in rewards for every $1 you spend at Cost Plus World Market, you’ll earn those same rewards when you use it at Bed Bath & Beyond, buybuy BABY, Christmas Tree Shops, andThat! and Harmon Face Values.

8. Use Your Cost Plus World Market MasterCard for Big Purchases at Other Stores

You’ll earn 1% back for every $1 spent anywhere MasterCard is accepted at all times, but spend $1,000 in the first six months on your card outside of the affiliate stores and you’ll earn a $25 gift certificate, or $75 when you spend $6,000 in the first six months.

9. Get a Designer Discount

Professional designers receive a 10% discount at World Market Stores. Just show your proof of occupation (business card or state business license and photo ID) to a store manager to start using your World Market Designer Discount Card today.

10. Check out World Market Coupon Offers on the Website

The website offers World Market coupons, offers & promotions page, filled with deals to help save you money.

11. Search Sites for Additional Coupon Offers

Check out places like Offers.com for other potential coupon or promo codes.

12. Follow Them on Social Media

Add World Market as connections on both Facebook and Twitter to never miss another sale opportunity.

13. Don’t Forget Free Shipping

Ordering furniture online at World Market pays off, since orders of $150 and over receive free shipping. Just don’t forget to put in the code.

14. Buy Discounted Gift Cards

Check out the World Market section on sites like Gift Card Granny to purchase gift cards at discounted prices.

Want more helpful brand hacks? Check out these 15 Ways to Save at Crate & Barrel.

Image: Eva-Katalin

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

The post 14 Ways to Save at World Market appeared first on Credit.com.

13 Ways to Save at Pier 1

It's easy to spend your paycheck at Pier 1, but with all of these ways to save you can get the same great items for less.

[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

Whether you’re hoping to spruce up your bedroom, your living room rug is looking pretty shabby or a new Papasan is calling your name, Pier 1 will likely have the home item you’re looking for. If you want to save a little cash while you shop, try some of these tactics to get the same great Pier 1 products for less.

1. Sign up for Newsletter Emails

Visit the Pier 1 homepage and sign up to receive Pier 1 emails. You’ll immediately receive an email with a 10% off your next purchase code. Plus, during holidays and special sales, these emails can have deals or free shipping codes.

2. Sign up for Mailers

You can sign up to receive the Pier 1 mailer for advance notice on all the latest savings, offers and special events on the Pier 1 website.

3. Visit the Clearance & Sale Section

Start your Pier 1 search in the clearance and sale section. Items here are marked down drastically, and you never know what you might find.

4. Open a Pier 1 Rewards Card

Customers who open a Pearl Pier 1 Reward card will receive 15% off their first purchase when they use the card, as well as a birthday bonus of 10% off, invitations to store events and an extended return time on purchases. Remember to pay this card off in full – the APR is a variable 27.74% and that means those interest charges can add up fast.

5. Upgrade to the Cobalt Card

If you’d prefer more rewards, the Cobalt Pier 1 Reward card provides all the same benefits as the Pearl card, except the first-use bonus is 20%, plus users earn one point for $1 in new purchases and receive a $10 Reward Certificate for every 200 Rewards points earned. Adhere to the same payoff rules as above to avoid astronomical interest fees.

6. Go Platinum

The third and final tier of credit card offered by Pier 1 is the Platinum Pier1 Reward card. Apply for this card to get all the perks of the Cobalt version, plus an extra 10% off qualifying purchases on the first Tuesday of each month. Remember, opening a store credit card impacts your credit. Even though store credit cards are often seen as easier to get approved for, it is still a good idea to check your credit before applying. (You can check two credit scores for free at Credit.com.)

7. Check for Additional Seasonal Perks

Once you’re a Pier 1 Rewards member, check the Reward card perks page on the site for any additional offers. For example, during the month of February, card members earned three times the points on Wednesdays, among other things.

8. Shop Seasonal Sales

If you can, hold off on purchasing certain items until after a particular season ends. After each season, Pier 1 is bound to have a blowout sale to make room for new inventory. For example, their past Spring Makeover sale included 20% off select categories of spring goods. After Christmas is a good time to check the site for sales as well.

9. Try Coupon Hunting

Before making any purchases, be sure to always check out sites like Groupon, Coupons.com and RetailMeNot for promo or coupon codes you may have missed.

10. Follow Them on Social Media

Follow the store on Facebook and Twitter for really current information on the latest deals and discounts. This is also important for catching special flash sales.

11. Get Some Gift Cards

Sites like Gift Card Granny and Raise allow you to purchase Pier 1 gift cards at discounted rates.

12. Install Honey on Your Computer

Never miss another promo code when you install coupon aggregator Honey on your computer. The browser extension searches the web for you at checkout and applies all applicable coupons so you don’t have to waste time searching. (Before downloading, see how Honey and other money saving Chrome extensions add up.)

13. Wait for Free Shipping

If you can’t get to the store and you can wait a bit for your goods to arrive, it’s worth taking advantage of free shipping deals when they crop up. Check the site frequently and try placing group orders with friends if you need to order a certain amount in order to qualify.

Want more brand hacks? Check out these 15 ways to save at Bed Bath & Beyond and 14 ways to save at Wayfair.

Image: SolStock

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

The post 13 Ways to Save at Pier 1 appeared first on Credit.com.

13 Ways to Save at Michael Kors

Try these tactics the next time you simply must have the latest Michael Kors offering.

Sophisticated and chic shoppers delight in the fancy yet practical options that abound at Michael Kors. Unless you’re loaded, though, it helps to have a couple of ways to save on hand when shopping here. Try these tactics the next time you simply must have the latest Michael Kors offering.

1. Shop Sale Items

Check out the sales section of the Michael Kors site to score up to 50% off everything from handbags and wallets to watches, clothes and shoes.

2. Sign up for the Newsletter

Catch all the Michael Kors promotions, sales and in-store events when you sign up for the newsletter. Scroll to the bottom of the homepage and look left for a sign-up option.

3. Score Coupons Online

Check sites like Groupon, RetailMeNot and Coupons.com for promo codes you can use toward Michael Kors purchases.

4. Shop for Michael Kors Items at Discount Sites

Places like Overstock.com and Nordstrom Rack often have Michael Kors items for a fraction of what they might cost at an actual Michael Kors store or online.

5. Score Coupons for Discount Sites to Use Toward Michael Kors Purchases

Save even more on your Michael Kors purchase from a discount site by signing up for newsletters from those other sites that might send out special promo codes or coupon offers you can use as well.

6. Wait for a Major Sale

Like most retailers, Michael Kors tends to have sales in conjunction with the change of season — like a spring sale, for example — so if you can stand waiting, you might be able to score major deals on those items you covet. Be sure to check the site frequently for information on upcoming sales.

7. Follow Michael Kors on Social Media

Become a follower of the brand on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with sales and promotions as well.

8. Shop at a Michael Kors Outlet

It is possible to score great deals on luxury items at a Michael Kors outlet if you’re patient and know what to look for. Generally speaking, boutique items available at an outlet store will be in the same section (usually in clearance), and a sales rep should be able to help you find what you’re looking for.

9. Sign up for a Credit Card at a Department Store That Sells Michael Kors

You can usually find Michael Kors items at department stores like Macy’s and Bloomingdales, so save even more by signing up for a credit card from your department store of choice (just be sure they offer Michael Kors products, first) and using the points you earn to make your Michael Kors purchases. Do your research first to make sure points can be used on Michael Kors products, of course, and read the fine print before signing on the dotted line for any credit card. (Check your credit score to make sure you’ll qualify as well. You can see two of your scores for free on Credit.com.)

10. Use a Rewards Credit Card

This will let you earn points, miles or cash back on your purchases. So, whether you use the card to purchase Michael Kors and then benefit from the savings later, or use it to make your daily purchases and buy your next Michael Kors bag with the cash back you’ve earned, this can help you save in all kinds of ways. Just make sure to pay your balance in full each month so interest doesn’t eclipse your rewards. Here’s some help if you’re having trouble choosing a rewards card.

11. Buy Gift Cards at a Discount

Check out sites like Gift Card Granny and Cardpool.com for Michael Kors gift cards you can buy at less than face value.

12. Get a Price Adjustment

Michael Kors will offer a one-time price adjustment on any full-price item within seven days of the date of purchase, so keep your eyes peeled for things that go on sale after you purchase them.

13. Check out eBay

Michael Kors items abound on eBay. With a little patience you might be able to score a precious product for less than you would pay for it in the store.

Want more luxury brand hacks? Check out 14 ways to save at Ralph Lauren or these 11 ways to save at Louis Vuitton.

Image: labsas

The post 13 Ways to Save at Michael Kors appeared first on Credit.com.

14 Ways to Save at Wayfair

While it could be easy to spend a ton at Wayfair, there are many ways to save.

Online shoppers delight in Wayfair, the online home goods store with everything from furniture and decor to kitchen goods and everything your backyard needs to become a stress-free sanctuary. While it could be easy to spend a ton at Wayfair, there are many ways to save. Here are a few.

1. Wait for an Annual Event

A few times a year, Wayfair offers annual events with discounts on a particular type of home good. If you check back on the site regularly you might be lucky enough to catch sales of up to 70% off.

2. Provide Your Email Address

Scroll to the bottom of Wayfair.com and enter your email address for access to special discounts and up-to-the-minute information on the latest sales and promos via email newsletter.

3. Create a Wayfair Business Account

If you’ll be purchasing goods from Wayfair for your home office, create an account with the Wayfair Business program to receive a business discount. You’ll also have access to an assigned business account specialist to help you with any of your questions, and you’ll save $50 off your first order of $150.

4. Refer a Business Friend

Wayfair business members who refer a friend to join the business program get $50 in rewards points once they do so.

5. Refer a Regular Friend

Business members aren’t the only ones who earn rewards for referring friends. Regular customers earn $10 in Rewards Dollars when a friend they refer makes their first order of at least $50. The friend gets $10 off their first purchase, as well.

6. Leave a Review

Wayfair often offers a cash bonus on each item you review on the site. Check under the “My Account” tab to see if this offer is available to you. You are also entered to win up to $500 in Rewards Dollars or a gift card every time you leave a review.

7. Shop the Daily Sales Section

Wayfair loads new deals on the site every day. Check under the Sales tab for limited-time offers. If you provided your email to sign up for a Wayfair account you can also learn about these sales through email.

8. Check out Clearance Items

Browse hundreds of overstock and open-box items at bargain prices by searching the clearance section of the site.

9. Learn About Upcoming Sales

Wayfair makes it easy for you to plan your next purchase by loading their monthly sales under the Upcoming Sales tab of the site. Check it out frequently and mark your calendar for upcoming sales on goods you’re interested in purchasing. You can also click the “notify me” tab to get an email reminder.

10. Apply for the Wayfair Credit Card

Consumers who apply for the Wayfair card have access to more savings, like no interest on orders of more than $500 when they’re paid within 12 months, rewards dollars on every order and points on every order to redeem for rewards dollars. Often the card comes with another additional benefit that changes. For example as I write this, members who apply for the card are eligible for a 48-month finance option on all Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster and Sealy mattress purchases more than $2,498. Plan to pay this card off in full after every use, as the 27.49% annual percentage rate is hefty. Check the card terms for more details.

Wayfair shoppers may also want to use a credit card that rewards their purchases. Many cards allow frequent shoppers to earn points or cash back for their retail habit. (Be sure to check your credit score before applying for a new card to see if you’ll qualify. You can check two of your scores free on Credit.com)

11. Use Your Card at Sister Stores to Earn More Rewards

Your Wayfair card can be used at Wayfair, Joss & Main, AllModern, Birch Lane, DwellStudio and Wayfair Supply, as well. Use it at all of these places to really rack up points. Points and rewards can be cashed in at any of these stores, as well.

12. Find Online Coupons

Although they might be harder to come by than other sites, it’s always worth doing a quick search to try to find additional Wayfair coupon codes. Try all the staples (like RetailMeNot, Coupon Cabin, Groupon and Coupons.com), then try a random Google search for “Wayfair coupons” to see what you come up with.

13. Get Social

Use social media media to your advantage by following Wayfair on Facebook and Twitter. This way you’ll be sure to catch all their sales. Using social media is especially important for flash sales that end the same day or in a couple of days.

14. Get Cash Back Bonuses

Join a cash back site like ebates and you’ll earn a $10 welcome bonus to purchase goods at stores like Wayfair. Check back regularly for additional coupon codes and ways to earn more cash back on your purchases.

Want more brand hacks? You can find 17 ways to save at Michaels here and 13 ways to save at Shutterfly here.

Image: SelectStock

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

The post 14 Ways to Save at Wayfair appeared first on Credit.com.

17 Ways to Save at Michaels

Here are some crafty ways to save. (See what we did there?)

For the artist in all of us, Michaels is a craft-lover’s dream. While you’re bound to find great deals at the store already, there are still other ways to save even more cash when you shop.

Here are 17 ways to save at Michaels.

1. Visit the Website

Coupons abound directly on the home page of Michaels.com, so be sure to make that your first stop when a trip to the crafting superstore in is order.

2. Use the Store Locator

To find even more coupons usable at your local Michaels, visit the Coupons section of Michaels.com and input your zip code for up-to-date coupon offers at the stores nearest you.

3. Join the Michaels Rewards Program

If you haven’t already, signing up for the Michaels Rewards program will provide you with members-only offers directly to your inbox, as well as access to events, receipt-free returns and early alerts for sales.

4. Check Out the Weekly Ad

Search through Michaels weekly ad online for more deals that are usually good only through the week.

5. Take a Class

Looking for a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon with the family? Heading over to a crafting class at Michaels is bound to be a lot cheaper than anything else you’ll find. Check out the Classes & Events page to find an activity that everyone will love. Prices generally range from a couple dollars to the cost of your canvas, whatever that may be (as in you buy the birdhouse, supplies to decorate it are free).

6. Go Get Your Mail

You’re likely to find more Michaels coupons in your newspaper or in direct mailers, especially if you’ve given your address either in-store or at Michaels.com.

7. Search for Competitor Coupons

Don’t limit your coupon search to just Michaels coupons (although you’re sure to find plenty of those). The store also accepts competitor coupons from places like Jo-Ann Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, etc. Some restrictions apply, so be sure to check with the store.

8. Get More With Online Searches

Check out sites like Groupon, Coupon Cabin and Coupon Sherpa to scoop up any additional coupons you may have missed, or promo codes for online deals.

9. Bring in Multiple Coupons

Once you’ve found all your coupons, be sure to bring in as many as you can. The store limits you to one coupon of each type per day, but you can still use multiple different coupons on any given day. You can find the full coupon policy here.

10. Use a Rewards Credit Card

Get a little kickback on your crafting by using a rewards credit card at Michaels. Just don’t overcharge. Too much credit card debt can damage your credit scores. You can see where you stand by viewing two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com.

11. Follow Them on Facebook for Flash Sales

Be sure to follow Michael’s Facebook page to catch all coupon and sales deals, but especially ones that they share about last-minute discounts that are good for only one day or a couple days. (Follow them on Twitter to catch deals, as well!)

12. Do a Little Investigating

As stated on Michaels site, the company “will match any competitor’s advertised price on items identical in brand and size. Advertised product must be currently valid and not expired. Competitors allowed to match include AC Moore, Hobby Lobby and Jo-Ann’s.”

13. Shop the Front Aisle

As soon as you enter your local Michaels store you’re bound to pass an aisle of discounted items. While it might take some digging, you’ll often find some good items in there at rock-bottom prices, especially if you’re looking for craft ideas to keep curious kids busy or seasonal items for a season that just passed.

14. Take Advantage of Additional Discounts if You Can

Be sure to check out the discounts section of the site to see if you qualify for additional savings. For example, seniors, teachers and military servicemen and women all qualify.

15. Sign Up for Mobile Alerts

Get mobile text alerts from Michaels regarding coupons and extra deals by texting JOIN2 to CREATE (273283). Message and data rates will apply.

16. Buy Discounted Gift Cards

Check out Gift Card Granny (and other similar sites) to purchase Michaels gift cards at a discounted price.

17. Read the Bottom of Your Coupon

Michaels often offers additional ways to save that will be advertised on the bottom of your printed receipt, like coupons to complete a survey online, for example.

Want more brand hacks? We’ve got you covered. You can find 13 ways to save at Shutterfly here and 19 ways to save at Target here

Image: poba

The post 17 Ways to Save at Michaels appeared first on Credit.com.

6 Brand Loyalty Programs That Are Actually Worth Joining

These brand loyalty programs are worth the extra emails.

There are probably a lot of things that draw you to your favorite stores. The products, obviously, the sales and the friendly salespeople all might be part of it, but a seriously rocking loyalty or rewards program is probably not far behind. Whether a loyalty program is free or has a small fee, if the benefits are plenty, it can be worth all the extra mail and email you’ll likely receive — or even a small yearly charge. (If you tend to pay balances off in full and want to maximize your earning potential, you may want to consider a rewards credit card as well.)

Here are some of the best loyalty programs we’ve seen around.

1. CVS

If not all pharmacies are created equal, then not all pharmacy rewards programs are created equal either. CVS’ ExtraCare Rewards stands out, for starters, because it’s free. Customers earn 2% back in ExtraBuck Rewards every single time they use their ExtraCare card, and additional savings are easy to find through ExtraCare emails, the CVS Pharmacy app and the weekly ad or throughout the store. You can save paper by using the “send to card” option to send selected offers from online directly to your ExtraCare card rather than printing them off to bring to the store.

2. Barnes & Noble

Becoming a B&N member isn’t free — it’ll cost you $25 a year — but if you’re an avid reader, the fee will likely be worth it. For starters, new members receive $50 in bonus coupons for joining. (Use ‘em all and you’ve already made up your initiation fee!) Members also receive member-exclusive savings options, free express shipping online with no minimum purchase, plus 40% off the list prices of current hardcover bestsellers and 10% off the price of other eligible items.

3. PetSmart

Animal owners can join the PetSmart PetPerks rewards program to start saving more on their pet purchases. Membership is free, and members receive discounts on in-store purchases, as well as special coupons sent directly to them in the mail. For more ways to save on your furbabies, sign up for the brand’s auto-ship plan, which provides 20% off and free shipping on the first auto ship order, plus 5% off and free shipping every time after. (Some exclusions apply.)

4. Sephora

For product lovers, the Sephora Beauty Insider Program is a dream come true. Sign up for free on the Sephora site and every dollar you spend earns a point that can be put towards free beauty products. (The points you need to purchase certain products can be found online.) Members also get a birthday gift, access to free beauty classes, and for an extra $10/year members get access to flash two-day shipping on all online orders.

5. Bed Bath & Beyond

Home goods superstore BB&B doesn’t have a specific rewards program, per se, but creating a free account online and providing your home address at the store will supply you with endless coupon offers. The best part? The store usually accepts coupons even after they’ve expired — though you probably won’t need to bother since you’ll likely have a new one waiting for you in your mailbox or inbox by your next purchase, anyway.

6. Starbucks

Pricey as their drinks may be, Starbucks does have a smashing (and free) rewards program. Starbucks Rewards members earn two “stars” for every $1 spent with your registered card to put towards future drinks. There are four ways to enroll in the program (online, through the mobile app, directly from a retailer or through a business affiliate), and you can earn also stars by entering star codes found inside specially marked packaged of Starbucks products as well. Starbucks fans can find more ways to save on their daily cup of coffee (or two) here.

Remember, you don’t want the lure of rewards to lead you to overspend. High levels of debt can affect your bank account and credit score. You can see where your credit currently stands by viewing two of your scores for free on Credit.com.

Note: It’s important to remember that prices for products and services frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms cited in this article may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with the company directly.

Image: oneinchpunch

The post 6 Brand Loyalty Programs That Are Actually Worth Joining appeared first on Credit.com.