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Your lifestyle, your quirk
All right, like any Style Quirker out there, I am a huge shopper. Huge. I love to buy. Not to say that I’m a big spender...I would never be caught dead in place like Gucci or Armani. I like to be frugal, so I can buy more! I am not too proud to rock a cute ensemble from Target, and I’m also not afraid to spend an entire Saturday rummaging through garage sales or thrift stores to find the perfect retro jean jacket.
Anyway, if there’s anything I’ve learned in my life as the ultra-consumer, it’s that you have to be smart. Yes, that means practicing restraint, but it also means making the system work for you. Would you rather deprive yourself of earthly pleasures or simply make sure you get paid back down the road for some basic tasks? I think you’ll make the right decision.
The best way to do so is to shop well and only reward those vendors that reward you in turn. For instance, all my friends are always harping on me for having a Discover card. They think it’s just another one of my quirks – who has Discover anymore?! Well, my answer is always the same thing. Smart shoppers do! Discover may be a smaller card that’s not accepted everywhere, but because of this, they have rewards galore. During certain times of the year, you virtually make money for free by simply purchasing goods for travel, gifts, food, clothes, basically anything! As long as you remember to pay off your balance immediately (you usually have to wait 48 hours for it to be on your statement, but you can always overpay the balance, and it’ll simply debit it when it does appear), there’s no reason you shouldn’t use that card every day!
Similarly, shop at stores that offer great rewards programs. For example, Express has an amazing rewards program. Virtually any purchase you make on that card will yield huge savings, and simply opening a card will give you 10-20 percent off your initial purchase. Conversely, Banana Republic is stingy with theirs, and even though they might entice you with a promise of generous rewards, they expire after a few months!
Another customer-friendly franchise to reward with business is Panera Bread. Have you ever been asked if you want a My Panera card? The answer is YES. Thanks to my card, I get a classy, nutritious, and now affordable meal anytime I walk into that place! Whether I get $2 off, a free drink or a free snack for later, it’s well worth the effort of simply signing up!
So what are you waiting for? Discover your inner quirk by seeking out the best deals out there!