So, you may have noticed that I’ve been absent a few weeks. I’ve been very busy, both at work and in my personal life. However, that’s given me plenty of time to get stabby about a whole bunch of things!

Magazines.com Auto-Renew
Last year we bought a magazine subscription as a Christmas gift. I received noticed earlier this week that it had been automatically renewed, even though I specifically opted out of auto-renewal when I placed the order last year. We decided to let it ride, but I called to have auto-renew removed from the account for next year. They were nice about it, but it shouldn’t have happened in the first place. If a customer opts out, then that’s that!

McDonald’s Happy Meal Toy Ban
These nanny state tactics have gone too far, San Francisco. Sure, happy meals are bad for kids and most kids want them just for the toy, but guess what? Buying a happy meal is the parent’s choice, not yours. If you don’t like them, don’t buy them for your kids. Sometimes a parent opts to reward their child with a Happy Meal and toy, sometimes they say no. If parents can’t say no to their children, that’s a parenting issue, not a McDonald’s issue. Stay out of it, city council!

When Exactly Does Black Friday Start Now?
I’ve seriously been seeing Black Friday ads since late October. No, scratch that, they started in July. It’s gotten ridiculous. Retailers, just admit your desperate and stop calling every damn sale leading up to Christmas a “black Friday” special. If it’s a Tuesday in October, it’s not Black Friday.

The funny thing is, the deals weren’t even that awesome, including those offered on the official Black Friday. My husband and I were already planning to buy a new TV during a Black Friday sale, especially given our awesome laptop score last Thanksgiving. So, I started doing my research about a week beforehand. We wound up at Costco the Saturday before Black Friday buying a better TV at almost the same price as one of the lesser Black Friday models that would have required us to get to the store at 4AM. Sorry, I’ll pay the extra $50 for the convenience and free extended warranty. (Costco extends electronics warranties to two years, so take that into consideration when shopping.)

When Will the Politicians Stop Fighting?
The election blessedly ended a month ago, and the Democrats and Republicans are still bickering out of one side of their mouths while vowing to work together out the other. STOP! Clearly the people aren’t happy, but continuing to fight and get nothing done isn’t going to solve that. Start working together. Preschoolers cooperate better than Congresspeople these days!

Claims about Frugal Fatigue
This fall’s news stories are all about people getting “frugal fatigue” and starting to spend big again. They were spouting the same stories last fall. It wasn’t true then, and it’s not true now. Sure, people are buying more now. They’re a little more comfortable spending, but they’re not buying just for the sake of buying and they’re not mortgaging their homes to do it. Most people aren’t so burned out on being frugal that they’re rushing out to buy fur coats and diamond rings! Instead, they’ve learned how to save money and shop based on value – that’s pretty frugal!

You could say that my husband and I went on a buying spree the last half of this year. We bought six dining chairs, one dining table, three sofas, two club chairs, and one TV. We had the cash to cover all of it because we saved up and shopped carefully to ensure we got a good deal. And even though we were planning to buy a new TV anyway, it just so happens that the sound on our old TV started to go out just three weeks before our target date, so we hit the replacement schedule right on the head!

Chase Airport Commercial
This commercial ticks me off every time I see it. In case you’re not familiar, it depicts a family going to the airport. The husband hands the wife his credit card and tells her to visit the shops while he parks. Then there is a montage of her going on a shopping spree while he’s held up at security. Is this the 1950s again? First of all, why does he have to give her a credit card? Is she not responsible enough to have one of her own? Second, who goes on a shopping spree at an airport? Third, why does he have to give her permission to go shopping? This whole commercial is so 1950s “aw, that little woman” that it makes me glad I don’t have a Chase card anymore.

So there you go, six things that make me stabby. I’ll try not to be absent again for three weeks!

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