Facebook’s announcement that it will sell goods through its own virtual currency called Credits – 10 of them equal $1 – seems an elaborate way to make you pay for everyday items such as DVDs.
Then there are video games that encourage you to spend real money on virtual items. Yes, really. The bottom line is both can make you part with more dollars than you mean to.
The stock market is proving so difficult to predict right now, it’s almost enough to make you want to turn to drink. Literally. The Wine Spectator Auction Index is at an all-time high and returns can be plentiful if you know what to invest in. Perhaps it’s time to put the cork back in the bottle and turn your hobby into a worthwhile investment.
Scenting the market
First things first, unless you know your Premier Cru from your Grand Cru, don’t jump right in. Like most niche investments, by the time most of us have heard about them, competition is already rife. The wine market is much more crowded than it was ten years ago.
Summoning the energy to traipse to the gym and often paying upwards of $50 a month for the privilege can sometimes seem like a punishment too far.
Step forward, exercise video games. These so-called “exergames” are designed to let your body feel the burn without leaving your living room. EA Sports Active 2 is one of the latest games that promises to act as your digitized personal trainer. So is it time to throw that gym membership away?
Emily Smith, 28, a writer in Gainesville, Florida, canceled her cable subscription in favor of Internet-only streaming two years ago. “I was hooked on a ton of TV, so it was a big change,” she says. An even bigger one was the $70 fall in monthly bills.
With this week’s announcement that Warner Bros is to offer movies through Facebook, it is clear watching online is no longer the time-consuming, jittery method it once was. Here’s how you could be saving.
Dennis Lee, 26, is a model first-time homebuyer. Recently married, he and his wife, Dana, have financially secure jobs as a youth minister and accountant, respectively. They have good credit scores, and have been studying property price graphs and charts in their local San Francisco Bay Area for months.
With enough cash for a 20 percent down payment, and ample time to look, you would think Lee would be excited to take advantage of a probable bottoming of the market in 2011. Not exactly. “It’s a little overwhelming,” he says.
Shopping at your local grocery store can be tiring: the lines, heavy bags, travel there and back. That’s why so many Americans are clicking a button to have it delivered fresh to their door.
More than 13 million U.S. consumers visited an online grocery site in July 2009, according to Nielsen. The same report predicted the percentage of online U.S. food and beverage sales would at least double by 2013. Big-name retailers are now getting in on the act. So is it time to throw away the grocery cart?
Political turmoil abounds on our TV screens. But hands up: Who adjusted portfolio positions before the unrest in each country began?
Probably very few. You may or may not have been burned as a result, but one thing’s for sure: managing political risk in your portfolio is a must. Here’s a primer.
Tom Stuker, 57, is United Airlines’ top flyer. This summer, he’ll have racked up 10 million miles. Whenever he flies, his every need is taken care of – from check-in to lounge service to first-class cabin luxury. “I am treated like a king,” he says.
Airport lines for Stuker, an auto industry training consultant who flies weekly, just don’t exist. Such is his elite status, he has even had a Boeing 777 adorned with his name.
If you thought the U.S. foreclosure crisis was ebbing, think again. Every passing week brings with it new tales of mortgage loan defaults, and allegations of foreclosure malfeasance on the part of some banks.
Mortgage loan defaults are actually on the rise once more, which begs the question: is there are better way to structure their financing?
Whichever way you turn, many items will cost you more in 2011. From groceries to gas, travel to college tuition, there’s more pressure on your dollars and dimes.
Which is why it’s good to know you can always rely on the tech industry to provide some welcome respite from the budget blues.