Friday Round-Up: The Best in Personal Finance Blogs

I think I need to practice saying no more often. Especially to vacuum salespeople.

Here’s why: I have become the Kirby vacuum target in my area, ever since my first experience with a vacuum sales guy almost a year ago. As you may remember, I fell for a sales tactic that left me really, truly, honestly considering a $2000 vacuum purchase. All because they would give me a $50 gift card for allowing a “green sales guy” to practice his pitch in front of me (read the whole story here).

Anywho, the outcome of the whole experience was that I wasted an entire afternoon listening to a not-so-green pitch and turning down deal after fabulous deal from the high-pressure salesperson. And I never did get that $50 gift card.

Well, Kirby left me alone for a full year before unleashing a new sales guy on me the other day. This guy politely knocked on my door, handed me a coupon for a free deep cleaning, and asked me if I’d ever consider dry shampooing my carpets. And wouldn’t you know it; I had commented to my husband the other day that we should have the carpets cleaned sometime.

But then I caught the Kirby name on the card. Immediately suspicious, I asked the sales guy how much the service would cost. “$2000 for an entire vacuum system with which you can deep clean your entire house as many times as you wish for a lifetime.” Um, yeah.

I told him no and explained my bad experience with the previous Kirby sales guy. And even though I said no, he kept pushing. Thankfully, at that exact moment, my indoor-only cat darted across the threshold and leapt into my neighbor’s bushes, leaving me no choice but to shout out “No!” once again to the sales guy and run-waddle after my cat.

Saved by the kitty...

Despite another 15 minutes wasted talking to a door-to-door salesperson this week, I was able to find some interesting reads on the Net. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

  • Over 40 with retirement looming…but little to show for it in your 401(k)? Check in with Prairie EcoThrifter for a personal reader story about how it’s never too late to start planning for retirement.
  • Life doesn’t always come with a set rulebook, so Corey at 20s Finances delves into the differences between real life and the Game of Life. Since the game teaches our kids some of the “set rules” of life and finances, it’s an interesting post to peruse: “Financial Lessons and Myths from the Game of Life.”
  • How does a sweaty workout compare to our finance journeys? Jana at Daily Money Shot shows us how “Exercising Your Finances (or Something Like That)” can help you gain control of finance emotions and fear.
  • When working to pay down debts, it can be easy to get distracted, especially when a baby’s thrown into the mix (I sure know how that goes!). Join $12 a Day for a look at babies, cash flow…and ”Squirrel!” moments.
  • Elaine at Mortgage Free in Three takes us on a hilarious journey through all things frugalistic. Join her for a run-down of the best ways to be thrifty.

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Anonymous's picture

Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter wrote:

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 13:42 Comment #: 1

I got suckered into one of these things previously too and it was a total waste of time. I am glad to hear you didn't end up spending any money.

Thanks for including my reader question this week. I really appreciate all the solutions everyone gave.

Anonymous's picture

femmefrugality wrote:

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 17:08 Comment #: 2

Ohhhhh I remember that! Ironically enough my vacuum just died the other day. Shhhh don't tell Kirby....

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Mon, 05/21/2012 - 13:30 Comment #: 3

Miss T, I was glad that I resisted buying the vacuum, but I was still amazed that during the spiel I actually was a little interested -- I can see how those salespeople can get to others if they can get an extreme frugalista like me to consider a purchase!

FemmeFrugality, the salesperson said if I could refer someone I'd get a free steak dinner...hmmm...

Anonymous's picture

Jana @ Daily Money Shot wrote:

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 13:44 Comment #: 4

I'm kind of mean to those salespeople. Most of the time, I don't even answer the door and I just let my dogs bark at them until they leave.

Thanks for including my post!

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 16:47 Comment #: 5

Jana, I usually do the same thing, but this time, I walked in front of the window right as he was walking by -- he definitely saw me and the dog wasn't home to scare him off. Grrr!

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