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Monthly Archives

November 2014

Airlines Prices Up Despite Costs Dropping

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airfare-increasesAs the holiday season swings into full motion this week, travelers from across the globe will take flight to visit family and friends. If you’re looking for discounts on airline prices to make the trip, you’ll be looking for a long time as airlines have decided to raise airfare despite dropping costs.

Any airlines biggest expenditure is fuel. With the price of jet fuel down a whopping 18 percent since the summer, many are scratching their heads at the 3 percent airfare increase seen in many of the major airlines across the country. The increase puts the average cost of a domestic flight at $396, which is 2.5 percent higher than the 2013 holiday season.

Even with the questionable hike in flight costs, planes are more packed than ever. A record high 85 percent of seats have been booked so far this year. “If people keep coming and filling the airplanes at this price point, why would they lower the prices,” CEO of BestFares.com Tom Parsons said.

Supply and demand is a clear factor in current fare rates. In the last 10 years, there have been several airline mergers, general unrest in the industry and there are simply fewer airlines and seats on flights for the two million Americans who fly.

In the simplest terms, airlines have no compelling reason to offer lowered airfare rates. Plans will continue to be full, investors want their returns and new planes are on order.

Airlines representatives insist the record profits made from rising airfare go towards improving the customer experience seen in upgraded airport terminals, WiFi systems and new planes. Hard to believe when you’re sitting in seats that seem to be getting smaller on planes that seem even more cramped than ever.

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Shoppers Skipping Black Friday

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Many stores will open their doors early for Black Friday, but that doesn’t mean people are willing to take the bait this year.shoppers-skip-black-friday

A report done by Bankrate.com released Wednesday shows that most Americans are taking a pass on shopping during Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year. According to the report, only 40 percent of Americans are planning to shop on Black Friday while only 28 percent plan do brave the crowds and do their shopping in store. The remainder plan to do their shopping via the Internet.

What’s behind the decision to not show up for what is typically considered the best day of the year for huge discounts on big dollar items and holiday deals? The option to get deals even earlier.

“Traditional Black Friday has a bit of a bad rap to the casual shopper” Bankrate analyst Jeanine Skowronksi explains. She cites the several horror stories that have surfaced in the news and online over the last several years as a likely deterrent “that’s making them inclined to stay away on that particular day.”

Beyond the risk of being trampled by a mob in a Wal-Mart, the extended length of the holiday shopping season also play a large role in consumers avoiding Black Friday. Many retailers have begun offering Black Friday deals as early as November 1st, relieving consumers of the urgency to travel to stores the day after Thanksgiving.

“People have become conditioned to looking for deals and discounts before Black Friday and right after Christmas,” Skowronksi said. “It’s more like the deal will come to them, than they need to be aggressive and get the deal.”

Out of those who plan on spending on Black Friday, Bankrate.com anticipates that 54 percent of Millennials will venture to stores, while only 45 percent of 30 to 49 year olds and 35 percent of 50 to 60 year olds are planning on shopping either in stores or online.

Like this blog? Share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.  Also, be sure to sign up for my bi-weekly newsletter Financial Consciousness. And join the conversation on Facebook where we’ve grown together and act as a community to promote financial healing.

Let Go of Disappointment

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Every season of your life brings in new adventures that are exciting but can often be a time of uncertainty. Moving away from your hometown, changing careers, getting married or other exciting life milestones feel like they should be filled with unbridled happiness, but many times end up less than the perfect scenario we envisioned on our journey.

Each time we set out to achieve a new goal or realize our dreams, we’re met with disappointment at various points on our path. Just because things don’t always go as planned doesn’t mean you should abandon your hopes of ever being sucessful. Learning how to deal with disappointment along the way is just as important as the accomplishments you seek.

The things that are most worth it in life – whether it be love, a dream career or being parents – rarely come easy. There will always be struggles, no matter how good you may have it. But those that are most successful know how to keep those struggles, both the everyday annoyances and more significant disappointments, in their place. Read More

Own Your Personal Power

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Do you realize how powerful you are? How your every breath, thought, step, emotion, idea and word changes the course of the universe?

Don’t believe me? Go an hour without speaking. Or a day without responding to phone calls and text messages from friends. Take a night off from tinkering with that thing you’d rather be doing than working all day.

We get too caught up in the dollars and cents of life. It’s all a numbers game. The rush of receiving a paycheck is quickly diluted by the crush of bills and debt. The promotion we so desperately need at work comes, but it’s not nearly enough to cover the lifestyle we’ve created. And our champagne tastes with our beer budget doesn’t even take into account the student loans, car note and maxed out credit cards we’ve accrued over the years.

What does this all have to do with your power? Read More