Jaimie Paynter's Articles

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Managing Brand Creep in Grocery Shopping

by Jaimie Paynter on July 21, 2009

When I read the original title of this article (How to Shop Sensibly for Groceries When Someone in Your Family is a Brand Loyalist) to my husband, he immediately chuckled and said “I don’t know how you do it but somehow, you do.” There is no question in our house about who has the specific brand “preferences” – he’s the one who has brand loyalty and it has been difficult for him to embrace generics.

I try to convince him that in most cases, generics are basically the same exact thing without marketing, which equals a lower price for the consumer, but he won’t believe me. And, I think he still doesn’t, but he does grumble a little less most of the time.

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How to Save on Primary Education

by Jaimie Paynter on May 06, 2009

There’s a lot of discussion and talk about public versus private universities and how to get the most bang for your buck in the arena of college, but often overlooked is options for primary (ie. K-12) education. Some people believe in using the public schools while others believe in sending their kids to a private school, but there is lots of middle ground.

We spent a lot of time this year looking for that middle ground. My oldest child will be starting kindergarten this fall, and although I find a lot of positives in our school district as a whole, my particular local option falls short in our eyes. While our particular neighborhood local public option leaves a lot to be desired, yet we couldn’t fathom how we would be able to afford the private options in our area. We felt there had to be some compromise we could find, and we were right, we just had to know where to look.

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Do You Need An Adult Allowance?

by Jaimie Paynter on April 14, 2009

When you hear the word budget – how does it make you feel? For some of us, budgeting is a welcome concept we employ with great success in our financial lives. But what about you? Do you feel constrained by the idea of budgeting – like it does not allow you to have any fun? Do you hear the word budget and inwardly cringe, and feel sorry for those who live by their budget? Is budgeting a four letter word in your life? If so, an adult allowance might be the answer for you.

The idea of an allowance is one that most of us have been familiar with since childhood, but not in a necessarily positive way. An allowance is the way that someone else in authority exercised control over us and our spending, by allowing us (hence, allowance) a sum of money per week or month from their coffers that we could use as we wished.

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How to Battle the “I Want” Syndrome

by Jaimie Paynter on April 02, 2009

Sesame Street Toy StoreMy son is four and has been attending preschool for the past two years. When my husband and I were the sole caregivers, it was much easier to shelter him from consumer influences and keep his desire for endless amounts of stuff at bay. However, as he becomes more immersed in the school “culture” and makes more friends, he has started to notice more and more what other people have. And sometimes, this results in his yearning to have what they have.

In short, the “I Wants” have hit our house hard over the past year, and will most likely continue until we boot him out of our house after high school (and maybe even longer than that…). So I’ve had to think creatively about how to counter the constant “I Want…” reasonably and without resorting to “Because I Said So” every time!. Out of necessity and the preservation of my sanity, I’ve developed a few techniques I use when explaining that we can’t always get what we want, in four year old terms.

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How to Battle A Brand Whore

by Jaimie Paynter on March 10, 2009

Louis Vuitton SignOr, “Tips to Keep the Clothing Budget in Check When Someone in Your Family is a Brand Whore.”

Just as some people have specific preferences for food, others have preferences for specific brands of clothing. In your family, this person may or may not be the same person. In ours, my husband is the guilty party on both charges – he’s just not that adventurous of a person. He has specific stores he will shop at for clothing, and specific brands clothing he will buy for himself if left to his own devices. He’s worn the same exact style and brand of jeans for all his adult life – he just buys more of the same exact one when one wears out. All his dress clothes for work are from the same exact store, and they are specific cuts and styles he prefers, all of the same brand.

Is this by definition a bad thing? Not necessarily – if you find what looks good on you, you may want to stick to that style, color, or type. But taken to an extreme, or buying brands simply because they are a specific brand, and you fall prey to spending top dollar on your items when middle or low dollar may work just as well. Slowly but surely, I’ve been expanding his wardrobe specificities, and here’s how.

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Are You A Snowflaker?

by Jaimie Paynter on March 17, 2008

Do you pay attention to the little things? Is your brain fascinated, daresay obsessed, with details? If you believe the small things count as much as the big things, you might already be a snowflaker and not know it, or at least, are well on your way to becoming one.

The idea of snowflaking is simple – put forth effort to either save small extra amounts of money or earn small extra amounts of money above and beyond your normal earnings, and then put that money to work for you in a systematic fashion. What you decide to do with the money is up to you – in my life, our goal is to get out of debt so I snowflake to debt reduction, but you can snowflake to savings, investments, or any other endeavor that is in line with your financial values. The key is to create opportunities to snowflake above and beyond your normal spending, saving, or debt reduction plan.

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