I’m continuing my foray into some of the more interesting internet subscription service options and whether or not they’re actually worth that monthly fee.
Mavens by Julep
The Premise: Nail polish brand Julep provides a monthly themed box of high-end nail polish and cosmetics for a fee of $24.99. Users pick from a style profile, with names like “It Girl” or “Boho Glam,” and are sent selections for that month’s theme. While you’re given a box that matches your style profile by default, you can opt to choose a box from a different style profile.
The Experience: I spoke with Meredith, a User Experience Expert in Southern California who is a big fan of the service. A self-described nail polish addict, Meredith finds that the subscription service has really helped her curb her spending without sacrificing her nails. “Last year my New Years resolution was to stop impulse buying nail polish, so I got the [Mavens subscription]. It keeps me on budget and they have enough different “packages” each month that I never feel like there’s nothing I don’t want.”
One of the things I love most about shopping on Amazon is they have everything I need. But they also have lots of things that nobody needs. I decided to investigate further and bought the 3 most useless or obnoxious items I could find on Amazon – the Girlfriend Body Pillow, BIC For Her Pens, and a Banana Slicer.
Were any of them worthwhile in any way or was it just a pit of despair? Find out in the video:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqBaqkF_qxA]
Deals are everywhere on these Interwebs of ours, but you know the old saying: If it looks too good to be true, Google it.
Better still, read this. Below I’ve spotlighted three common tech deals that aren’t worth your time–and definitely not your money. Got a difference of opinion? Tough luck! Er, I mean, share your thoughts in the comments below.
iPads are crazy-expensive, so when you see one selling for as little as $120 (which you can, today only, at 1Sale.com), there’s considerable temptation to grab the deal. Sure, it’s a first-generation model, but so what? That just means it’s a little thicker and heavier than newer iPads, right?
As a child I learned to respect my elders, but it’s awfully hard to do that when they can’t grasp a concept as simple as cut and paste!
Seriously, at the risk of sounding like a jerk, most of the people I know over the age of 60 have trouble with computers. It’s not their fault; they didn’t have the luxury of growing up with them. And even in 2014, PCs remain annoyingly unintuitive. Shutting down Windows 8 is a four-step process, for crying out loud.
So here’s my dilemma: My parents (who are in their late 70s and early 80s) have had it with their current laptops, which take forever to boot and often end up infested with malware. And I’ve about had it with troubleshooting these and other problems.
Fortunately, there’s a terrific solution, one I’m increasingly recommending to older users: switch to a tablet.
So you got the Facebook message from your home-town pal that we all dread – ‘I’m coming to LA! Can’t wait to hang out with you! HOLLYWOOD BABY!’, and you immediately begin to rig up an elaborate lie about how you are ‘so happy they’re coming out but you will probably be super busy that weekend’ because you don’t have the heart to show them your glamorous lifestyle involves attaching a pink mustache to your car to make money before you go home to your sad studio apartment in Glendale above an Armenian bakery. Fear not, we’re here to give you some insider tips into tricking your friends into thinking you are way cooler than you actually are while they’re here on their trip.
1. Lay Out Poolside As You Overlook The City
The Standard downtown is one of LA’s hottest hotels and night spots, and is also home to a rooftop pool which, for some inexplicable reason, is open to the public. That’s right, for no money at all you too can feel self conscious about your Midwest body type while some of the cities most attractive and unemployed people lay out and drink cocktails nearby. Get there early to snag a bodega, which will not only shield you from the sun’s harsh rays, but give you a chance to lay on a waterbed just like weekends at your old Uncle Jack’s place. Bring along your own picnic and make a day of it, or splurge on the delicious brats in their Biergarden.
I have been menstruating for over half my life. I’m used to it. I’m, dare I say, pretty good at it. The monthly act of going to the drug store and buying my tampons, cramp meds and assorted accouterments that no longer faze me like it did when I was fifteen. I don’t think there’s anything unusual about the ease with which I deal with the emotional terrorist that is Aunt Flo.
But if I were the sort of woman who, let’s say, wasn’t comfortable getting their Tampax rung up by a bored-looking teenage clerk in a primary colored vest, I could get a period subscription box, filled with a combination of feminine protection products and sweets, delivered to me in a plain, unmarked receptacle once a month. That’s right—the subscription box trend has expanded to the realm of reproduction. But are they worth it? I sent away for a few of them to find out.
Ever since phone makers started building front-facing cameras into their handsets, people have been snapping “selfies.” But only when some yutz coined that term last year did the selfie backlash begin.
Frankly, I don’t think the picture itself is the problem. It’s the process of taking them that needs work.
Think about it: Using just one hand, you have to hold your phone at arm’s length, then tap the screen or a button to trigger the shutter. That seemingly simple action often results in a slight jarring of the phone, which can lead to a blurry image. And how often do you screw up your carefully staged camera angle at the same time?
As internet subscription services begin to outnumber websites featuring quizzes about things like ‘Which Caroline in the City character are you?” I find myself wondering which of them are actually worth my monthly fee and which have a press release that just fit nicely into a click-through blurb?
I decided to test a few of them out to get a feel for how they actually benefit a user, and how much they live up to their promising allure.
It’s about time!
Earlier this week, HP quietly unveiled a new addition to its tablet lineup: the HP 7 Plus. Price: $99.99. Cheapskates of the world, rejoice!
Indeed, that’s the cheapest name-brand tablet to date. The closest competitor is Amazon’s $139 Kindle Fire HD. I’ve seen other models priced at $100 or less, but they were all from companies with names like Azpen and Hisense. What’s in a name? Hey, Shakespeare didn’t know from tablets.
The big question is whether a sub-$100 tablet could possibly be any good, even with the HP logo stamped on. Ultimately, that depends on what you want from a tablet. On paper, the HP 7 Plus looks pretty good, albeit with some mixed specs.
Earlier today, Microsoft took the wraps off the Surface Pro 3, the company’s third attempt at crafting the ultimate laptop replacement. And that’s exactly how they’re positioning it: a solution for the “conflict” that exists between laptops and tablets. (Somewhere in Hollywood, some hack is outlining a Freaky Friday remake.)
This is an intriguing product for a number of reasons, starting with price: the Pro 3 starts at $799, which is actually less than the Pro 2. But the top-end model costs a jaw-dropping $1,949 (not including a couple must-have accessories), a price point normally reserved for flagship MacBooks. And rich people.
Another big deal: the big screen. The Pro 3 measures 12 inches diagonally, which puts it closer to laptop territory. (The previous Pro had a 10.6-inch display.) Just as important, it allows for a larger, less-cramped keyboard. All told, it should make work chores more comfortable. Size does matter, especially where your fingers are involved. (Wait, that came out wrong.)
I consider myself an avid traveler (or at least, I love to travel, so that must count for something!). As such, it’s important for me to get a bit creative when it comes to cutting back on the travel spending. Especially during the peak travel season of summer, rising prices can sometimes threaten to hold me back from the awesome destinations I hope to visit.
This season, I’m taking a stand. I’ve consulted with some of the most seasoned travel experts in the business and asked them for their failsafe ways to save a bit of cash when it comes to summer travel.
I plan on putting many of these into effect immediately … see ya on the beaches!
I know it’s en vogue right now to accept boredom, embrace boredom, even seek out boredom. (If you love boredom so much, pundits, why don’t you marry it!) But you know what? Boredom sucks! And it sucks the most when you’re behind the wheel, with nothing to do except fight the road rage that’s building inside you because you’re so insanely bored.
Audiobooks to the rescue! For long commutes and road trips alike, there’s nothing better than a book–especially when it’s a free book.
For a limited time, LivingSocial is offering a free two-month subscription to Audible, the Amazon-owned audiobook service. And within that subscription you’re entitled to two totally free books–one per month.
It’s that time of year again! It’s time for our annual Save Up conference, and this year we’re thrilled to host our seventh edition of the conference in the lovely and quirky city of Austin, Texas. America’s savviest money-saving bloggers, the Savings.com DealPros, will be descending upon Austin from July 31st through August 2nd for a couple days of learning, networking and fun!
When I think about the old way of buying a smartphone, I want to throw up.
Traditionally you’d have to spend a couple hundred bucks on the hardware, then spend the next two years locked into a contract that could easily cost you $80, $90, even $100 per month.
Thankfully, the days of the contract are nearly over. But if you want a decent unlocked, unsubsidized smartphone–I’m looking at you, iPhone 5S and Galaxy S5–plan on paying anywhere from $500-700. Ouch.
But guess what? Motorola just took the definition of “decent unlocked, unsubsidized smartphone,” put it in the blender, and pressed Screw It. The company’s new Moto G is the single best deal in the history of smartphones.
I fly a lot.
In the past seven months I’ve flown Qantas to Australia, Icelandair to Iceland, JetBlue to Florida and … drum roll, please …Spirit to Denver.
In case you’ve missed the news recently, Spirit isn’t exactly a luxury airliner — nor are they No. 1 in customer service. In fact, they’re dead last — drawing complaint rates that were more than three times higher than the second-place airlines from 2009 to 2013.
Here’s the thing though: The price was right. The available times worked out … and I had yet to read all the awful reviews the company consistently racks up. (And, for the record, has chalked up to simple misunderstandings.)
So, was it worth it? In my own personal opinion — yes, and here’s why.