Prime Day 2018: We Spent More At Target Than Amazon

Prime Day 2018 is in the books.  Hopefully you scored any deals that you might have been looking for.  At our house, we had no plans, so it was pretty low key.  As mentioned in the title, Target actually won in terms of spending!

Two Items Purchased At Amazon

  • Tablet – We actually had no plans to do any shopping.  Then, as luck would have it, one of our kids Fire Tablets broke on Monday evening.  It was dropped, and although it gets dropped often, this one cracked the screen.  As luck would have it, the warranty had run out, so we couldn’t get a free replacement.  We were able to purchase a basic tablet for $29.99, saving us $15.  Good timing for bad luck, I suppose!
  • Gift Card – I saw on Slickdeals that you could get a $5 credit after purchasing a $25 gift card.  I knew we’d spend $25 at some point, so I nabbed it.

That was it for Prime Day at Amazon

A Bunch Of Items At Target

As would be expected, many stores offered their own deals on Prime Day.  One of these was Target.  They offered 25% off basically all bath and body products.  This also included sunscreen.  So, we stocked up!  We bought things from toothpaste to shampoo.  It was all stuff that we would buy in the next couple of months, anyway.  It saved a bundle.

We also bought a new set of sheets for one of the beds in our camper.  The current set is old, scratchy, and pilly.  Again, with 25% off bedding, it was the perfect time.

It was interesting how Amazon goes for the gadgets as their sell.  It seemed tablets, fitness trackers, household management, and such were there items.  Target went totally opposite.  They went for the everyday items.  I didn’t see much crossover.

For us, since we had no desire to purchase anything, Amazon really didn’t have much to offer.  Even though they had good deals, the best deal for us was buying nothing.  Or, as close as we could realistically come to it.

Readers, how did Prime Day work out for you? Did you buy anything extra that day?  What about at other stores looking to compete?  


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Midyear Checkup On 2018 Goals

It’s hard to believe that over half of the year has gone by.  I put together a list of 20 goals earlier this year.  It’s time to check on how things are going.  This is my checkup on 2018 goals.  Click here to read the full detail of every goal.


  • Be protective of my den.  In progress.  This is hard to judge but I think it’s going well.
  • Be more of the husband and dad I want my wife and kids to remember.  In progress.
  • Look out for my/our parents.  In progress.  Some of these are rather subjective, as I now see.  I guess I’d say I’m trying but ultimately would have to ask our parents how it’s going!
  • Be there when there.  Sometimes.  This is about staying away from a screen when around family.  I try but often find myself lacking.


  • Be stable. Pass.  Things are pretty, well, stable.
  • Spend with purpose.  Pass, for the most part.  Especially with major purchases, we make sure to look at every dollar.
  • Be wiser.  Fail.  Still lessons to be learned!
  • Setup a trust/will.  Fail.  Have not gotten started.  I know, I know…


  • Exercise.  Pass.  I’ve kept up a steady routine of running and walking.  I’m happy with this.
  • Moderate.  Fail.  I still grab too much from the candy dish or junk food shelf.  I can do better!


  • Figure out Pinterest.  Fail.  I’ve been reading up on the success and fail stories of others.  But I need to apply it and get started.
  • Comment.  Sometimes.  I go through cycles where I comment a lot on other blogs, and then I don’t.  I definitely could be more consistent.
  • Facebook.  Sometimes.  I’m trying to be more engaging on Facebook, but this isn’t that important anymore.  Unless you’ve got thousands of followers, it seems you’re not going to get anywhere.  Their algorithms definitely don’t do the little guys any favors.
  • Really be part of the personal financial community.  Fail.  I wish I could say I do better, but at this point, I feel like I could vanish and very few would miss me.  That’s not me being an integral part of the community.
  • Redesign.  Fail.  I’ve looked at some ideas but haven’t done anything to refresh the look.


  • Look for internal opportunities.  Success.  I read through our opportunities list but none have really struck me as interesting.
  • Review other options.  Success.  Same as above.  I’ve seriously looked at other options for me, but none have been appealing enough to consider leaving.


  • Appreciate beauty.  Success.  Every now and then I just stop and take a look at what’s in front of me.  Mental snapshots of great moments are key.
  • Live for today and tomorrow.  In progress.  This is always something you can do more of, right?  I will probably never say I’m ‘done’ here.
  • Take risks.  Fail.  There’s still time to jump out of that proverbial plane!

So far, it’s been a pretty good year.  I would like to spend the rest of the year touching up on some of the more important goals above.  As I look now through this, I think the central theme is to be more content.  That I definitely need to continue to work towards.

Readers, how are your goals going so far this year?  

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Build-A-Bear Did Literally Everything Wrong

By now, any parent has likely heard about the Build-A-Bear fiasco that unfolded earlier today. They were offering a Pay Your Age day where any kid up to the age of 14 could build a bear and would only pay their age.  Pretty cool!   Except the whole thing went belly up before it even started.

My wife told me about it because she went.  As did, it seems, half the entire world.  My kids didn’t get bears.  As was the case for a majority of the people that showed up.  You had a lot of angry parents, disappointed kids, and overwhelmed workers.  It’s all over the news.  Social media coverage is everywhere, and most is very negative.

So, what went wrong? Well, it was really everything, but here’s a few highlights.

Too Good Of A Deal

Build-A-Bear is pretty expensive.  You can pay upwards of $100 for a fully outfitted customized bear.  So, the Pay Your Age is a fantastic deal.  You’re getting probably anywhere between 50-95% off the base price.  It’s a fantastic deal.

But that’s the problem, it was too fantastic of a deal.  When you offer that great of a deal, everyone wants to come.  My wife talked to people that had driven 90 minutes from their home.  The deal was that good.

Way Overpublicized

I’ve been seeing this deal all over the place for the last few days.  I saw it on Facebook.  News articles promoted it.  The deal was on the local news.  It was literally everywhere.

Normally, getting the word out is a great move except when it cause chaos.  Like what happened at every mall that has a Build-A-Bear location hours ago.

Misunderstanding Their Own Product

Here’s the thing.  These promos can sometimes work.  Deals like this come up on Black Friday at every store everywhere.  And, rarely do they lead to the chaos that you had today.  But this deal was doomed from the start at Build-A-Bear.  Why?  Because the product itself can’t support it.

Have you ever gone in and built one of these bears?  They take time.  It’s not like when a customer wants a TV that’s half off and can just grab one, pay for it, and leave, even if they have to wait in line.  This promo involved kids having to stay there and build the bear.  This process can take a long time.

Now, they did seem to anticipate this and offered that people could buy an unstuffed bear, and come back and do the rest later.  But, this was not a well thought out alternative.  Kids want things now.  It’s just how kids are.  So, I’m sure most kids wanted to build their bears today.  Plus, remember all those people that drove 90 minutes.  Do you think they wanted to trek out another time to stuff the bear?  Probably not.

The head honchos that planned this seemed to ignore the intricacies of their own product.

Big miss.

Long Term Fallout

It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Build-A-Bear.  When promotions with good intentions go wrong, it can hurt a company long term.  This promotion looks like it was an utter fiasco.  Their Public Relations staff will likely be putting in some long hours over the next few days.  It’ll be interesting to see what they come up with.

Readers, did you stand in line for the Build-A-Bear promo?  What was your experience?  Do you think that Build-A-Bear can just shrug it off? Or will they have to deal with long term fallout?  Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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You Should Pay More To Shop At A Small Hardware Store

Lately, I’ve been going to a small hardware store on the way home from work when need arises.  It’s convenient and the service is great.  Still, they’re a bit higher priced.  The other morning I was going to meet my dad for breakfast.  Across from the restaurant is a Lowe’s.  I figured I’d stop in and get a few things to save some money.  What a big mistake.

I had a pretty small list:

  • Screws to mount a small TV
  • Pesticide for our rose bushes
  • Globe light bulbs for the bathrooms
  • Rubber gloves

It was a pretty small list, so I figured the extra 25 minutes I allowed myself would be plenty of time.  Turns out I was horribly wrong.


We bought a small TV for the camper after the old one gave out.  The new one fits the old mount, but it’s lighter and skinnier than the old one.  So the screw holes are a bit smaller.  I took the old screws in, just needing some a bit shorter.

I looked all through the aisle but of course wasn’t finding anything.  Giving up, I wandered around a few aisles looking for someone.  Finally in the section where they sell wood flooring I found someone.  I asked for help, and instead of paging someone from that department, she came over to help.

Fifteen frustrating minutes later, she happened across a section of screws and I located the ones I needed.  She clearly was as lost as I was.  At one point she did try paging Gary from Hardware.  Gary never actually did arrive.


With only ten minutes to go, I walked over to find the pesticide that I needed.  I knew the bugs that are eating the leaves.  It took me about 3-4 minutes to look for them.  This was probably the least hassle item I had.


I needed a new box of disposable gloves.  We keep a box in the camper for when it’s time to empty the waste tanks.  I figured they’d be around the cleaning area. Nope.  I figured the next best place would be in the paint section.  Turns out I was right, though it took a couple minutes to get someone’s attention to tell me where exactly they were.

And, as far as being cheaper, these definitely are not.  Next time, I’ll order them from Amazon in advance.  Still, I needed them so away we go.

Light Bulbs

All three of our bathrooms have decorative globe bulbs.  I had a good stash of them, but it started to get depleted.  I wandered over to the light bulb section and looked.  And looked.

Finally, I found the shelf where they would be.  If they would have even had a single bulb.  They were completely out.  Literally three empty shelves, out of stock on every variety from every manufacturer.


Long Story Short

I was late meeting my dad.  The store didn’t have everything I needed.  And, I didn’t feel like I saved any money.  I left feeling annoyed and unsatisfied.  Unfortunately, this is more common than not at these big box stores.

Our little hardware is about one-tenth the size of Lowes.  Yet, I’ve never been let down.  If I would have walked in, someone would have helped me in five minutes.  I could have handed someone the screw, explained what I needed, and would have had the right ones in my hand in probably three minutes.  I know they sell gloves.  They definitely sell light bulbs, and I’d imagine rose pesticide would be there as well.

The small hardware store seems to be fading.  I’d imagine that one day mine will close, as well.  This will be a sad day.  But until then, they’re going to get my business.  If you have the opportunity to support a small hardware store in your area, please do. It’s worth it.  I promise you.

Readers, do you frequent a small hardware store?  Or is it a big box store for you?

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.