The Corey Story

My random wanderings and things I find entertaining

Posts Tagged ‘Shopping’

Your ka-ching newsletter from $ensible Coaching – Money’s Wish List

Posted by Corey Kaster on December 11, 2009

Bringing the Ka-ching: Money’s Wish List

December, 2009

I don’t usually do a Money Knot or a teleclass in December because everyone is busy, busy, busy with holidays. And I was going to again take this year’s December off when it struck me. What is that saying to Money? Wouldn’t I be doing what we all do, skip it for the season? Now there’s something to talk about.

So, what do we do with Money over the Holidays? Most of us use it and ignore it at the same time. We spend it with the idea that we will catch up with it in January. Actually it’s more like April, because it takes that long for many people to catch up with, or recover from, their holiday spending.

At the very least it seems we put our money thinking on hold. And yet, what do we expect from Money during December? We expect it to be there. We expect it to stretch to meet our needs and desires. We expect it to magically appear. And we expect it to do all this cheerfully. Hmmm.

Remember that thing about how we are going to be in relationship with Money all our lives? Remember the question of: “If we knew we were going to be in relationship with a person forever, how would we want that relationship to be?” I’m guessing that we wouldn’t expect anyone we were in relationship with to do what we expect of Money over the Holidays.

So, what might Money want? What’s on Money’s wish list? You’ll have to ask your Money to find out. (Yes, talking to your Money is a good thing.)

Here’s what I think Money will say to you. I think it wants what everyone really and truly wants. It wants your time and attention. It wants to have a shared experience of deep caring with you. Well, isn’t that what we want from our loved ones? Stuff comes and stuff goes, and, frankly, it’s very few presents that make a lasting impression. What we want is positive time together. Money wants some of your time and attention. It might even want your acknowledgment and appreciation for the frenzy you put it through during the holidays.

Wait! Money as a loved one? That may be throwing your off, but think about it. Money is there, in your life, day in and day out, just like family. Sometimes Money doesn’t give us everything we want, but then, neither does family. Sometimes we have to work really hard to keep things going with Money, the same as with family. Sometimes Money seems to let us down, just as family does. And sometimes, Money really comes through and helps us, just like family.

Money will be with you longer than family. You will interact with Money every day. What’s the relationship you want? What’s the relationship Money is asking you for?

Oh, and again, just like family, Money has some obstacles in communicating with you, doesn’t it? It can’t talk to you; it has to get your attention in other ways. What if you tried to notice what it might be trying to say? What might that bounced check be saying? What might the pile of unopened bills be saying? And what might the money that unexpectedly lands in your lap be saying to you?

So check in with your Money and see what its wish list looks like for this holiday season. Can you possibly fit in giving Money a bit of what it wants now, and during the coming year?

From the crunch of snow to the ka-ching of sleigh bells, happy holidays to you.


Nope, there is no teleclass for December. The teleclasses will resume in January, 2010.

Meanwhile, if you would like a recording of the last teleclass,

Money, Double-Talk and You go to

Have a Holly Hippoday!


The Money Knot Story:

In case you are wondering why this is called The Money Knot, here’s the story. I’ve always been fond of Celtic knots, and you notice I use one as my logo. From my perspective, there are several things about these knots that relate to our money journey. One, you can see the whole knot; nothing is hidden, it’s all revealed. Two, the knot has no beginning and no end; it’s an ongoing, dynamic process. Three, the knot that I have chosen is a bit askew; our maneuvering is often out of the box.

Our money lives are like this knot. They are a visible maze that is intricate and sometimes challenging. Sometimes we get stuck in a corner; sometimes money is confusing, embarrassing or even scary. And yet the knot is always there. It’s a never ending relationship.

Together we go into your knot, and I help you to understand and maneuver through the knot. You will get familiar with the territory, know your way around, understand the twists and turns. Together we will make sense of where you are on your own personal money path and help you get to where you want to be.

Quick Links…

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Black Friday Sales Were Encouraging, Retailers Say

Posted by Corey Kaster on December 2, 2009

A crowd of shoppers seeking bargains at Target in Cool Springs, Tennessee, bought electronics, apparel and toys on Friday, November 27, 2009

John Partipilo / The Tennessean / AP


Preliminary data indicates Black Friday sales got off to a roaring start this year, with consumers shopping earlier and online sales increasing significantly over last year.

Retailers across the board reported strong crowds early Friday, with high-definition televisions, laptops, winter coats and the popular toy Zhu-Zhu pets among the hottest items. “There were bargain-hungry shoppers out there, and retailers really did pull out all the stops for people,” says Kathy Grannis, a spokesperson for the National Retail Federation, noting that many of the day’s hot item carried the steepest discounts.(See TIME’s 2009 holiday gift guide.)

Some of the sales bump is likely resulting from an expansion of the Black Friday sales hours. Many brick-and-mortar retailers opened their doors as early as midnight — rather than the traditional 6 a.m. shotgun start, and some offered their door-crasher deals online even earlier — on Thanksgiving day. “Many retailers took their Black Friday sale items and put them online on Thursday starting just after midnight on Wednesday,” says Fiona Dias, executive vice president of strategy and marketing for GSI Commerce, a company that runs about 80 e-commerce websites for retailers and fashion designers. “This was a major shift this year.”

One sign of this trend: PayPal reported a 25% increase in the dollar volume of sales on Thanksgiving Day from the same day a year ago, according to Amanda Pires, senior director at PayPal. The online pay site is used by consumers to make purchases at online retailers and at its sister site, eBay.(See the best tech gifts of 2009.)

Still, Friday had its own energy — early data indicates traffic for the day to both brick-and-mortar retailers and online retail sites was up.

“It’s like night and day,” says Matthew Katz, managing director at consultancy AlixPartners’ retail practice, whose team traveled to about 30 malls, big box retailers and strip-mall centers to monitor activity today in different parts of the country. “I purposely went to the same mall in Short Hills, N.J. at 9 a.m. as I went to last year, he says. “Last year [on Black Friday] I parked in the front row, and this year it took me about 20 minutes to get a spot.”(See pictures of expensive things money can buy.)

Katz says the busiest stores, from a traffic perspective, were Apple, GameStop, Toys R Us and Best Buy, although the retailers with the most people carrying shopping bags were department stores.

Online retailers were busy too. GSI’s flock of web retailers averaged 520 orders in their peak minute of sales on Black Friday, up from 430 orders during the peak minute a year ago. “It was about 20% higher orders per minute than it was last year,’ says Dias. However, she speculates it’s possible orders will drop off on Saturday and Sunday if shoppers were only seeking time-limited door-crash specials.

Cyber Monday will be another big day for online retailers, though here, too, the calendar boundaries have been blurred. Online retailer Amazon, for example, is offering a constantly updated list of special discounts and calling it “Black Friday Deals Week.”

The biggest insight to come from Black Friday sales data will be changes in shopper behavior. People may be getting more time to find deals this year, but there are fewer big deals to find — the 75% to 80% markdowns seen during last year’s holiday season are now rare. Retailers purchased up to 20% less inventory this year in anticipation of slower sales, so they’re not under the gun to slash prices to clear inventory — at least not yet.

The really big markdowns were on specific items, not across the store as they were last year, says Katz. “They were price-point driven, not percent-off driven,” he says. “You saw a lot of gifts under $50 or gifts under $100 — you didn’t see 50% off.”

“From a traffic perspective, there were more people in the malls than in years past,” he says. However, it’s not yet known if traffic translated into big sales, as this data will not be available until later this weekend.

Even if the final tally indicates sales surpassed last year’s numbers, it’s not necessarily clear sailing for retailers through the holiday season. The average shopper spent $372 over the Black Friday weekend last year, which was up from $347 the previous year, says Grannis. Yet, holiday sales, which tracks total sales through November and December, fell 3.4% — the first decline since the NRF started tracking sales in the mid-1990s, she says.

Says retail consultant Katz: “There’s a lot of positive momentum, but we’re not out of the woods.”

Read a brief history of Black Friday.
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