What’s Your Sign, Valentine?

Stumped for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your sweetie? Maybe the answer is in the stars. A recent survey by the website Ebates.com suggests that a person’s astrological sign might give some guidance for what gift might make your honey swoon. For example, if you are buying for a Capricorn, Taurus or Virgo, consider the classic Valentine’s Day gifts like flowers and jewelry. If you are shopping for an Aries, Leo or Sagittarius, you could be a hit with …

Websites for Cyber Monday and Beyond

If you want to ease your holiday stress this year, join me by shopping online. Since sales occur daily, you can compare prices and visit multiple stores in your comfy clothes. Enjoy the experience at home or even on the beach using your computer or tablet. Here are some of my favorite websites to help you send gifts to everyone on your list – including yourself. For the Techie BuyVia – If you’re buying a tech or electronic item this …

Cyber (Crook) Monday: 8 Tips for Safer Online Shopping

Whether your online holiday shopping begins Bird Day, Black Friday or Cyber Monday – or is already history – here’s a refresher course on how to do it more safely. Use a credit card. Payments can be withheld if there’s a dispute with a store, and if the card is stolen, you won’t have to pay more than $50 of fraudulent charges. With a debit card, you can’t withhold payments – the store is paid directly from your bank account. And …

Black Friday Trends and Tips

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, seems to be starting earlier every year. First we saw stores opening to hordes of shoppers at 4 a.m. Friday, then at 3 a.m., a few years back. Now some big-box retailers aren’t even waiting that long. They’re opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day this year, hoping families will eat and run to the nearest mall. >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter So what …

Rent to Own? It Could Cost You Big Time

As the holiday shopping season gets under way, you may be tempted to buy that fancy flat-screen TV, a laptop with the latest technologies or a stylish sofa to replace the one your cat uses as a scratching post. (I’m talking to you, Indy). To pay for that big-ticket item, you may be tempted by rent-to-own deals in department stores that now offer them, like Kmart and Sears, according to a Bloomberg report. , rent-to-own deals usually take advantage of …

Holiday Shopping: Will You Spend Less?

This could very well be the year when the Grinch steals Christmas, at least in terms of the gift-giving intentions of some adults. According to a new poll from the personal finance website GoBankingRates.com, 40 percent of some 1,500 survey respondents say they won’t be buying any holiday gifts this year. Blame the economy and the shaky finances of many Americans. The holidays only add to their stress and here’s why: 63 percent of those polled admit they haven’t set …