The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Boston Edition

My thoughts and condolences go out to the people of Boston this week, who are facing the type of situation that every city dreads.

My wife and I had already chosen Boston as our place to visit for our tenth anniversary, and we’re more adamant about those plans than ever. The small amount we can contribute to the local economy in Boston won’t mean much, but it will surely help. (Does anyone have any frugal travel advice for the Boston area?)

Sometimes, We Want Prices to Fool Us This is mostly an article about Ron Johnson’s stint as the head of JC Penney, but it actually includes a lot of interesting perspectives on shopping, including how many people psychologically treat it as a game in which they have to “win” – and that “winning” provides an emotional boost. I think any time a customer ties any sort of positive emotion to spending, they’re entering a potentially dangerous area. (@ nytimes)

Willing to Play “The Dating Game” with Your Food? Try a Grocery Auction This is an older story from NPR’s “All Things Considered” that I intended to share when it aired, but I bookmarked it and just recently rediscovered it. The idea of a “food auction,” where grocers auction off unsold food products that would otherwise be returned to the manufacturer, is a really interesting one. I think bargains could be found, but it would take a savvy shopper. (@ )

Ever Taken Advantage of a Satisfaction Guarantee Offer? I don’t think a lot of people do this, which is why companies offer it. I’ve actually done this once (with a hotel visit) and I was promptly refunded. (@ your pf pro)

Proposal to Limit Retirement Account Balances – Good or Bad? This is a great discussion of the pros and cons of a recent proposal to limit total retirement account balances to $3 million. (@ money life and more)

Conservation of energy in conversation If you want to have a positive interaction with someone, try adding positive energy to the conversation, not negative energy. (@ seth godin)

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