Help! My Wallet is Destroying my Credit Cards

tcwalI have 7 cards in the 4 slot of my wallet in this exact order:
Driver’s License – Used frequently to get into bars.
Business Amex – Used when I want to charge a business expense. Used 2x a month.
JP Morgan Chase Card – My most commonly used credit card. Recently switched from Mastercard to Visa and the cause of this post
Amazon Visa Card – Used for Amazon purchases and stores that don’t take Mastercard
US Air Barclay Mastercard – $89 per year and that got 40,000 frequent flyer miles. I rarely use this card for purchases outside of flights.
Bank of America Visa Card – One of the first credit cards I ever opened and I use it strictly to deposit into Bovada.
PNC Bank ATM Card – Frequently used to withdraw money from ATM’s. Kept in the very back for reasons to be mentioned.

On the other side of my wallet I have a Sam’s club card, Macy’s, Best Buy, 2x Golf cards, 5x Casino cards, IBX card, and a Home Depot card. These are all rarely used.

Why would I spend the time dissecting my wallet? I had a traumatic experience checking out at Sam’s Club and it’s imperative you know all the details to why it happened.

samsclublineSam’s Club moronically only accepts Mastercard. Previous to this and if you read above, my JP Morgan Chase card was a Mastercard so I never had an issue paying at Sam’s. For the first time today I noticed that it had switched to a Visa card. As I was getting ready to pay, I realized I wouldn’t be able to pay like I usually do and fumbled for my USAir Mastercard. This card wouldn’t swipe.  I started sweating bullets because I knew that this card was my only hope.

hqdefaultSo I’m standing in line feeling like an asshole and a deadbeat because I have no means of payment. She tried running the card manually but was failing for lord knows what reason but she didn’t give a shit.  The people behind me were about 4 deep now and I was getting this feeling of “fuck it”, I’m just going to sprint out of the store.  Probably not a great move but now I’m a shithead standing in line having to leave the cart with all the items because I can’t pay. I eventually realized I had $110 dollars in cash in my wallet and had to return 2 lightbulbs so I could pay in cash. This little story comes with a bigger problem.

With the 7 cards I have in my wallet, when I pull them out, the raised numbers scratch the back of other cards. This causes the magnetic strip to become damaged and thus not working. For this reason, my USAir card doesn’t work, my ATM card works about 25% of the time, and my Amex card has been replaced 3 times within the last year and after writing this post I’m finally aware of why it happens. There are too many cards in the one side. If there were only 4 cards, there wouldn’t be as much pressure. I’m not sure if my wallet situation is similar to yours but I believe it’s smart to have many credit cards all paid off. Now I have two options, 1) get a bigger wallet 2) carry less cards. I’m not sure what I’ll do but I think I’ve pinpointed the problem.

By |2016-10-29T12:45:26-04:00November 13th, 2014|My Life|3 Comments

The Incredible Bulk Shopping

samsclubBulk shopping makes a lot of sense.  I’ve been shopping at Sam’s club for well over 5 years for my Supermarket needs.  It seems to be the most economical way to purchase even with the nominal yearly membership.  You buy things in larger quantities for cheaper individual prices.  On the surface, this works out well in many situations but not all.  This post will describe the good and bad of purchasing at Sam’s Club.

 

The Good

Water & Gatorade – The pricing is always the cheapest and the liquid never goes bad.  I also never get tired of drinking water or the 3x flavors that the 24 pack of Gatorade comes in.  Even if I do get sick of one of the Gatorade flavors, there are even more selections to exhaust.

Paper Towels & TP – These items make the most sense because they are always in need.  It’s not a product that sits in the pantry forever because they are used on a daily occurrence.   I’m not too brand preferential on these, the lowest price usually earns my business.

Bathroom Products – This may seem like a weird one but buying a huge amount of shampoo and conditioner saves money.  Not only does it save money, but I never have to worry about running out.  This goes the same with body gel, toothpaste, mouth wash, dental floss, and contact solution.  The money savings is great but always having it is where the real savings comes in.

Frozen Food – I’m not much of a cook so I tend to eat a lot of frozen meals.  Buying frozen food means that you get a lot of it and it won’t spoil.  It’s usually easier and cheaper than fast food so it has its merits.  One downside though is that you can get sick of the meal because there is just too much of it.  A 3 pack of a frozen pizza is ok but 65 ravioli’s won’t taste the same after a while.

 

The Bad

Bread and Lunch Meat – Sam’s makes you buy 2 loaves of bread and large portions of lunch meat.  This works great if you are feeding a baseball team but for an individual, it almost always goes bad for me.  I’ve resorted to buying smaller quantities at the super market if I want to make a sandwich.

Fresh Fruit – I just bought 3 lbs of grapes and I have a hard time believing I will finish them before expiration.  It’s not that there are too many as much of you just get tired of eating them.  Obviously the bad items tend to be the ones that go bad.

Cookies and Snacks – This is a weird one but huge quantities of junk food is overwhelming.  3 packs of Chips Ahoy will make anyone sick of a cookie.  This works the same way with Cheetos and those types of chip products.  There is just not enough variety for me in those huge bags.  I can’t understand why the package 2 salsa’s with 1 queso.  At least put the spinach dip back!

 

 

 

By |2014-03-18T10:15:34-04:00March 18th, 2014|My Brain|1 Comment

Water Pricing Evaluation at Sam’s club

At Sam’s Club yesterday I was doing an experiment that involved people’s preferences about water. I didn’t set out to do it but I did it after realizing what was happening if you were wondering. What I deduced is that people are willing to pay more for water than they should and are too stupid to realize it.

Unless I’m wrong about this thought, water is water. I’m not sure if there are different levels of water pureness but my overall feeling from drinking thousands of bottles over the course of my life is that bottled water all taste the same . I can’t tell a difference from one producer to the next. With this thought in mind, I want to pay as little as possible for my water. I would think that this thought process would hold true for the masses but I’m wrong because people don’t care about nominal sums of money. Let’s take a look at the following examples and notice the selling/bullet points which all describe the same thing.

Member’s Mark
Let’s start with the smartest option and the buyers choice. 40 bottles for $3.56 equals out to about 9 cents per bottle. This is our benchmark for water.

40 bottles for $3.56 = $.089 per bottle

40 bottles for $3.56 = $.089 per bottle

Nestle
Will you pay 3.5 cents more per bottle for Kosher (aren’t they all?) and a 14 step purification process? 8 less bottles and 42 cents more compared to Member’s.

32 bottles for $3.98 = $.124 cents per bottle

32 bottles for $3.98 = $.124 cents per bottle

Aquafina
I get sticker shock by $4.48. 8 less bottles and 92 more cents compared to Member’s Mark. Why on Earth would you choose Aquafina? The 3 bullet points are sodium, gluten, and fat free.

32 Bottles for $4.48 = $.14 per bottle

32 Bottles for $4.48 = $.14 per bottle

Deer Park
5 less bottles and $1.02 more dollars when compared to our leader. I suppose 100% spring water isn’t a great selling point. This pallet had the most cases on it when I went there.

35 bottles for $4.58 = $.131 per bottle

35 bottles for $4.58 = $.131 per bottle

What I found though after observing the scene is that people don’t even bother to look at the price and compare items that are right next to each other. Obviously we are talking peanuts here and the right decision won’t make or break anyone. I found it fascinating though that people don’t even bother to shop. I believe with a purchase of this magnitude, people justify a small sum of money as something they can afford whether or not it’s the best buying decision. Water experiment closed.

By |2013-12-06T11:36:45-05:00December 6th, 2013|My Brain|4 Comments

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