Audio Fest NOW and Best Buy!

~Written in a partnership with Best Buy and their Audio Fest. All opinions are my own.Did you know Audio Fest is happening right now at Best Buy stores across the country? It goes from March 2nd to April 4th, 2014, and is filled with specials, deals, and events for all things audio–making Best Buy the place to be! I just went this weekend We’re big music fans and especially since having kids because there’s nothing better to cure a bad day or a sad mood than a DANCE PARTY!Maybe you h ave a home entertainment area? Ours is in our basement and our 4-year-old calls it the movie theater. It makes family movie nights extra special! Best Buy can enhance your experience and upgrade your …

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Why shopaholics overspend? Poor credit management, buying to boost mood, study says

Aug. 1, 2013 — Why do shopping addicts keep spending even in the face of harmful financial, emotional and social consequences? A new study suggests poor credit management and a belief that new purchases will create a happier life fuel compulsive buying.Approximately 10 percent of adults in Western countries are believed to have a compulsive spending disorder that leads them to lose control over their buying behavior, and the trend is on the rise. These shopaholics are addicted to buying things, regardless of whether they want or need them.In a new study due to be published in the Journal of Economic Psychology, San Francisco State University researchers have identified specific behaviors that lead to such compulsive buying.”Compulsive shoppers tend to be people who bury their head in the sand and ignore the credit card bill,” said Ryan Howell, associate professor of psychology at SF State. “We also found that these individuals keep on buying because they are looking for that ‘buy high,’ hoping their purchases will lift their mood and transform them as a person.””A lot of research has shown that shopaholics tend to have materialistic values,” Howell said. “Our results explain why materialistic people shop compulsively.”Howell and colleagues surveyed more than 1,600 participants who answered questions about their money management, shopping habits and how much they value material possessions.The researchers’ analysis found that lack of money management predicted individuals’ compulsive spending, regardless of their personality, gender, age and income. In particular, out-of-control-shopping was primarily driven by poor credit management, such as not paying attention to credit card statements, not paying credit card bills on time and exceeding credit limits.The authors suggest that one possible reason why credit cards may facilitate compulsive shopping is because they allow consumers to separate the pleasure of buying from the pain of paying.In the study, compulsive shoppers reported that they bought items to get a buzz or put themselves in a better mood. They also believed the purchases could change their life, for example by transforming their appearance, self-confidence, reputation and relationships.”We know that a person’s values impact their shopping habits, but values aren’t the easiest thing to change” Howell said. “Even if you are still materialistic and you have the desire to acquire more possessions, it’s how you manage your behavior that counts. Our findings suggest that you can keep your shopping under control by paying attention to your credit card and checking in with yourself about whether you are shopping for emotional reasons.”

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Make it yourself with a 3-D printer and save big time

July 29, 2013 — It may seem like a stretch to envision a 3D printer in every home. However, a Michigan Technological University researcher is predicting that personal manufacturing, like personal computing before it, is about to enter the mainstream in a big way.”For the average American consumer, 3D printing is ready for showtime,” said Associate Professor Joshua Pearce.3D printers deposit multiple layers of plastic or other materials to make almost anything, from toys to tools to kitchen gadgets. Free designs that direct the printers are available by the tens of thousands on websites like Thingiverse. Visitors can download designs to make their own products using open-source 3D printers, like the RepRap, which you build yourself from printed parts, or those that come in a box ready to print, from companies like Type-A Machines.3D printers have been the purview of a relative few aficionados, but that is changing fast, Pearce said. The reason is financial: the typical family can already save a great deal of money by making things with a 3D printer instead of buying them off the shelf.Pearce drew that conclusion after conducting a lifecycle economic analysis on 3D printing in an average American household.In the study, Pearce and his team chose 20 common household items listed on Thingiverse. Then they used Google Shopping to determine the maximum and minimum cost of buying those 20 items online, shipping charges not included.Next, they calculated the cost of making them with 3D printers. The conclusion: it would cost the typical consumer from $312 to $1,944 to buy those 20 things compared to $18 to make them in a weekend.Open-source 3D printers for home use have price tags ranging from about $350 to $2,000. Making the very conservative assumption a family would only make 20 items a year, Pearce’s group calculated that the printers would pay for themselves quickly, in a few months to a few years.The group chose relatively inexpensive items for their study: cellphone accessories, a garlic press, a showerhead, a spoon holder, and the like. 3D printers can save consumers even more money on high-end items like customized orthotics and photographic equipment.3D printing isn’t quite as simple as 2D printing a document from your home computer — yet. “But you don’t need to be an engineer or a professional technician to set up a 3D printer,” Pearce said. …

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