December 13, 2017

About Sherry Tingley

Owner of One Click LLC founded in 2007. Brigham Young University and Punahou school graduate. Recognized by Mint.com and Intuit.com for excellence in personal finance blog content.

Coping With Holiday Stress

holiday-stressStressed? Depressed? Here’s How To Cope

If you’re feeling Grinch-y, Scrooge-y and a bit more than bah hum-bugged, overwhelmed by the array of demands the holidays bring, there are ways to make things better, according to a Mayo Clinic release.

Among the stressors are too many – sometimes unwelcome – guests, selecting and then paying for gifts, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining. And the list goes on, depending on your own circumstances. Plenty to make for a no-good, no-fun, no-happy Noel.

The trick, if possible, is to recognize the potential and stop it at the pass. Especially if you’ve had problems in the past, anticipate an emotional toll and don’t let it happen.

The Clinic’s suggestions include:

1. Acknowledge your feelings. If you’ve had particular challenges recently, don’t expect them to be less emotionally draining just because it’s the holidays. It’s all right to cry or otherwise express your feelings.

2. Reach out to others. If loneliness or isolation get too big to bear alone, seek out community, religious or other opportunities to be with others. Volunteer to help others as a way to put your troubles into perspective and broaden friendships.

3. Be realistic. Nobody’s holidays are perfect. If things are different from last year, if your family structure has changed, traditions and rituals altered, don’t expect things to be the same. Hold onto some of your personal traditions and be open to new ones. For example, if your adult children can’t make it home, find new ways to share long-distance, through emails, pictures, chats or videos.

4. Set aside differences. Looking for the ideal in any normal family is an exercise in futility. Accept each other as is. If there are grievances, wait for a more opportune time to discuss them. If others get upset or distressed, be understanding. Avoid confrontation.

5. Stick to a budget. If your stress and depression are triggered by money matters, make them matter less. Plan a realistic holiday budget and then stick to it. Buying an avalanche of gifts that you can’t afford will only extend the pain beyond the holidays. Give homemade gifts, donate to a charity in another’s name, promote a family gift exchange.

6. Plan your time. Divide up the chores into manageable bits: a time for shopping, baking, parties and other activities. Avoid last-minute scrambling. Be sure you have the ingredients you need for cooking. Line up help for preparation and cleanup.

7. Learn to say No. If you overextend yourself, you end up feeling resentful and overwhelmed. If you can’t involve yourself in every possibility that comes your way, don’t feel the need to apologize. If you can’t avoid the added demands, for instance, if the boss says he needs you overtime, drop something else from your schedule if you can. The days during the holiday season are just 24 hours long, as usual. Don’t try to pack them too tightly.

8. Retain healthy habits. Have a snack before a party to avoid overeating. Get enough sleep. Make exercise part of every day.

9. Take a breather. Make time to relax and be by yourself. Just 15 minutes may be enough to refresh and help you handle what’s on the agenda. Take a nighttime walk. Listen to music, read a book, get a massage. Whatever it takes to relieve the tension and prepare you to jump back into the maelstrom.
Laugh out loud
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10. Get professional help if you need it. If you persistently feel sad or anxious, have recurring physical symptoms, can’t sleep, are irritable and feel hopeless and unable to face routine expectations, see a doctor or mental health professional.

When To Quit Your Day Job?

Constantly challenge yourself to distinguish between needs versus wants.

Constantly challenge yourself to distinguish between needs versus wants.

Many people have successfully started new businesses from their homes and have done so while still working a 40 hour work week. Although this may be time consuming, it is well worth the effort. So when does that second stream of income make it possible for you to quit your day job?

In a recent interview with the co-founder of MoneyCrashers.com, Andrew Schrage gives us some suggestions.

Tip #1 – Get Out Of Debt First

The most important debt to get to zero is your credit card debt. You don’t want to be making payments on past expenditures as well as unnecessary interests charges. This is a good rule of thumb to follow even if you aren’t considering quitting your day job. For other types of debt like auto loans, school loans and home loans, try to reduce those debts as much as possible. The least amount of any kind of debt is desirable.

The psychological pressures that debt causes will take away from your optimal performance in your work towards building your new business. There are so many challenges that come with starting a new business that you want to clear your slate of debt as much as you can. Stress can lead to making bad decisions that can cripple your company’s future.

Tip #2 – Reduce Your Monthly Expenses

Your focus needs to be on needs as opposed to wants. Self deception regarding differentiating between these two categories gets many people further into debt and hence further into stress. Getting back to basics really helps you build self confidence and your bank account at the same time. If you want to make a new year’s resolution out of this, your goal could look something like this: “Lose Weight. Gain Wealth.”

Tip #3 – Set A Goal

Your main goal should be creating a financial cushion for yourself. Have enough set aside to cover 3 to 6 months worth of living expenses. When your business is bringing in enough money to cover your monthly expenses and give yourself a little breathing space, you can consider quitting your day job. It’s all about minimizing your risks.

There are situations that will make following all these best practices difficult. You may have been laid off your job in which case you will have to rely on whatever resources you do have.

Tip #4 – Outsource As Much As Possible

One of the biggest mistakes new business owners make is thinking that they have to do all the work themselves because it saves money. Letting go of some of the jobs that other people can do may be a strategic move. Freeing up your time can to focus on overall business growth can be profitable in the long run.

Tip #5 – Have A Working Business Model

When you decide to quit your day job, you have to have a working business model that is bringing in money. Never jump ship before this is in place if you have any say in the situation at all. Future investment partners will be attracted to your business if you can show this model to them.

Any changes you make that affect your monthly income need to be taken seriously. Although you can’t plan for everything, sticking to these basic five tips, will at least help guide you in making better decisions for yourself and your new business.

10 Tips To Protect Against Identity Theft

"Identity theft leads the Federal Trade Commission's list of top consumer complaints, accounting for 14 percent of all complaints recorded by the government body in 2013." FTC

“Identity theft leads the Federal Trade Commission’s list of top consumer complaints, accounting for 14 percent of all complaints recorded by the government body in 2013.” FTC

Forget the bogey man, dragons and things that go bump in the night. Save the fear factor for the unscrupulous among us who steal our identities and leave us floundering, financially fractured and caught in a web of never-ending effort to prove who we are.

The stories are rampant. Every year, more than 16 million Americans are victimized by computer hackers, mailbox thieves and others who have made a science of cheating their fellowmen. The number probably is higher, because not all incidents are reported. The ill-gotten loot adds up to some $24.7 billion, topping all other property crime losses combined by $10 million.

It seems that everyone you talk to knows someone in their circle of family and friends that has suffered from the ill effects of this crime.

The crooks prefer older persons as targets. They have better credit and more accounts and they tend to be somewhat less tech savvy than today’s perpetrators. They are not as apt to monitor their financial resources as those who have grown up in a digital world.

The AARP conducted a poll among 2,250 older Americans and found that more than 12 percent had had unauthorized items purchased in their name in the past year. Law enforcement is overwhelmed, and few of the fraudulent cases are resolved. Among police agencies, the saying goes that “only the dumb ones get caught.”

How to protect yourself? Here are 10 hints:

1. Locking Mailbox

Get a locking mailbox or use a post office box. Almost 60 percent of Americans report they do not have a locked box, making them prime for the snoops who are looking for identify information.

2. Online Accounts

Get online accounts for all bank and credit cards so information does not go
by post. If you haven’t already gone online, you are part of the 50 percent of Americans who are vulnerable through this route.

3. Clean Car

Never leave personal information in your car. Some 20 percent of Americans in the age group 18 to 49 say they have left a wallet or purse in a locked car over the past week. Those over that age are more prone to be careful, with only 8 percent reporting having left personal items in a car.

4. Shred Documents

Shred documents that contain personal information, such as bank and credit card statements, tax forms and medical bills. Forty-one percent of those over age 50 shred at least once a week.

5. Lock Electronics

Lock devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets with pass codes to prevent unauthorized use. Some 44 percent of those over 50 say they haven’t set up pass codes on their smartphones.

6. Close Old Credit Accounts

Close out old credit card accounts if you no longer use them. They are tempting come-ons for thieves.

7. Leave Your Social Security Card At Home

Don’t carry your Social Security card. Even the last four digits can give a fraudster enough information to damage your security.

8. Check On Your Bank Account Activity

Regularly check bank account and credit card statements. About 75 percent of Americans who bank online take this precaution.

9. Open Online Accounts With Credit Bureaus

Establish online accounts with Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, the three credit reporting agencies. They may help you spot any irregularities in your accounts early. Sixty percent of the country’s citizens haven’t taken this precaution.

10. Set Fraud Alerts

Put fraud alerts on your accounts with the credit agencies and consider a credit freeze. Too many who receive a fraud alert, 84 percent, failed to follow through with fraud alerts on their credit files; fewer than 6 percent considered freezing credit.

Singles Day Sales Already At $9 Billion Dollars

November 11 is designated as Singles Day.

November 11 is designated as Singles Day.

If you thought Black Friday and Cyber Monday were the greatest shopping days on the planet, think again. In China, they have Singles Day, and it tops either of the U.S. shopping sprees by a long shot. Novemeber 11 – written as 11/11 is officially Singles Day.

This year sales have already hit the $9 billion dollar mark in sales from Alibaba, which puts it’s growth from 2013 at over $3 billion. Singles Day has now become the most profitable shopping holiday of the year. Over 43% of the sales came from mobile purchases.

In 2009, Alibaba founder Jack Ma chose Nov. 11 for the big day – 11-11 to celebrate being single. Kind of the opposite of Valentine’s day. Last year, Singles Day sales racked up $5.7 billion in sales on Alibaba’s shopping platforms, counted in U.S. dollars. Pre-orders for this big shopping day have been placed since mid-October. Even though only 25% of Chinese citizens shop online, this event could become bigger in the coming years. It is predicted that within 5 years, this will become a global holiday.

"If you don't give up, you still have a chance. And when you are small, you have to be very focused and rely on your brain, not your strength."

“If you don’t give up, you still have a chance. And when you are small, you have to be very focused and rely on your brain, not your strength.”

On Monday, Alibaba stock was given an outperform rating by Oppenheimer. Stock prices have reflected the recent news.

The number of sellers has jumped from about 10,000 last year to more than 27,000 this year. Two merchants that are new on the Tmall website (owned by Alibaba) are Costco and Telsa Motors.

So what does Jack Ma, owner of Alibaba worry about these days? Besides being the richest man in China, he worries that all the packages ordered on Singles Day – a staggering 260 million plus – will be delivered on time.

The introduction of Alibaba to the American stock market opened the door to the mega company’s cooperative agreements with other nations such as France, Italy, Germany and others. Providing a platform to market products made all over the world has changed the retail landscape forever. With the largest global IPO in history, this company has topped analysts expectations and is currently our favorite company to follow.

Check-Users Are Hoarding More

checking-accountsEchoes of the Great Recession are still resounding in the minds of many Americans. They are holding more cash in their checking accounts and for longer than at any time in the past 25 years.

The recession has had a different impact than expected, experts say. In earlier periods of low inflation and a slowly improving economy, there was less attention to becoming debt-free and solvent, they say.

Among the pertinent factors is a lack of inviting investment alternatives. Savings accounts pay next to nothing and the stock market already is at lofty heights, according to a report recently released by the bank consulting firm Moebs Services Inc. The report looked at average balances in U.S. checking accounts and compared them with the same data from 25 years ago. The current average was $4,436, more than double the $2,100 posted 25 years ago.

The average balance in checking accounts during good economic times, with unemployment and inflation low, is about $1,400, the report said. With less cheery economic times, consumers tend to be more wary of spending and checking balances rise to the neighborhood of $3,000 or more. In 2007, for instance, the average balance was $788. That was just before the Recession caused a near-meltdown of the country’s economy, the report noted.

On the downside, the reluctance to spend has slowed the recovery. Spending usually accounts for about two-thirds of economic growth, said Moebs economist G. Michael Moebs, who heads the company. The firm’s report on bank balances was based on data from Federal Reserve figures for 2,800 banks and credit unions.

The hoarding trend also affects financial institutions, who lose income from overdrafts. Financial gurus are advising those institutions to expect big funds withdrawals when consumers are convinced that the fallout from the recession is over and they are safe to take out their money for mortgage-reduction, vacations or big item purchasing.

An article on the Moebs report in the Los Angeles Times quotes UCLA economist Lee Ohanian as saying the country may still be plagued by troublesome leftovers from the recession. He notes that even though employment is up by some 200,000 jobs in each of the past five months, growth in production is at less than half its usual rate. He relates the figures to the fact that the employment-to-population ratio still is low.

The recession caused a lot of serious reflection about personal finances, Ohanian said. People who had racked up too much debt pre-recession and suffered the consequences now are being much more cautious about what they do with their money.

Even now, with a return to near-normal employment and better incomes for many Americans, it likely will take awhile before full confidence in the economy is restored. Most experts see this as a good thing over time. Adjustments for both consumers and financial institutions will take time, they say.

Many Opting To Become Landlords Rather Than Selling

Renting your property can increase your net worth.

Renting your property can increase your net worth.

Over the past few years, historically low mortgage interest rates, coupled with surging rents, has convinced some homeowners to hold onto the properties they bought, rather than selling them. Instead of becoming sellers, they become landlords. That is having an effect on the housing market, according to mortgage experts. The homes that become rental properties take a whack out of the homes available for sale. Low inventories and limited sales growth are being reported across the country.

In a CNN Money article, Glenn Kelman, CEO of the brokerage Redfin, reported that he gets the same story from people that might be expected to sell their homes, but are not going to based on the low interest and high rents. Some 19 percent of current homeowners bought or refinanced homes during the period from 2011 to 2013, when interest fell to below 3.4 percent. That represents a significant part of the potential pool of today’s home-sellers. Kelmlan interviewed several and got similar stories from them. The figures tell the tale in each instance.

Susan Young of Lawrence, Kansas, said she refinanced in 2013, obtaining a 3.25 interest rate on a 30-year fixed loan. She has since bought another home, but retains the first as a rental property. The $1,100 monthly rent she receives is several hundred dollars over expenses. She applies the profit to her mortgage.

“If the interest rate were high, I’d sell,” she said. ” But this is such a perfect loan package, I just can’t bring myself to give it up.”

The Chris Cannons of Mt. Lebanon, Pa., said they are looking at a move and anticipating starting a family. But they’re expecting to rent the Mt. Lebanon property to take advantage of the great deal they got when they bought it in November 2012. Interest was 3.4 percent on a 30-year loan and they paid a couple of points to reduce the interest further – to just 3 percent. They believe they can rent their home for $1,400 to $1,500 per month, which will meet their monthly mortgage and taxes, which amount to $1,100, with money left over.

The factor that is providing such favorable circumstances for landlords is the average 20 percent rise in rents nationwide since 2006. Even homeowners who found themselves underwater when the housing market went wacky may benefit from renting rather than selling at a loss.

On the other side of the scale is the fact that not everyone enjoys being a landlord. You are responsible for repairs to your property and must deal with sometimes-difficult tenants. You take a chance on the renters taking the same care of your property that you would yourself.

But for many, it is an attractive option if the numbers can be worked to their advantage.

Move Over, Magnetic Strip, The Chip Is Coming

Most credit cards in the United States feature a magnetic strip that is easily captured and copied. But in the rest of the world, the EMV chip has largely succeeded the magnetic strip as a method of making credit cards more secure. And the U. S. is fast making the switch.

American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa all have announced plans for joining the move to an EMV chip-based payment infrastructure, according to the Smart Card Alliance. In contrast, more than 84 percent of cards issued in Western Europe already have the chip-and-Pin technology.

The chip has been integrated into the merchant’s handling of sales. In restaurants, the waiter often brings the bill on a hand held card reader. The customer inserts a credit card into the reader, enters her PIN and the transaction is complete. The customer never loses control of the card and the chip technology has highly secure built-in safeguards against theft of the card’s information.

The chip embedded in a card has the same computing power as an X286 computer, according to Jack Jania, vice president for strategic alliances at Gemalto, which produces the chip-enabled cards and the infrastructure to support them. Each chip has an operating system and several apps, depending on the level of security, whether it works with signatures or with PINS.

The chips, not surprisingly, cost more – $1.25 to $2.50, compared with 25 cents for a traditional magnetic strip. But the added security is worth the cost. Fraud prevention has been the impetus behind the chips. American cardholders have been particularly vulnerable to fraud. The introduction of the chip, along with other anti-fraud measures over the next couple of years, is expected to make big inroads into the problem.

BMO’s Diners Club, which has headquarters in Canada, where the chip has been long entrenched, was the first to introduce the chip onto the American scene, followed by the United Nations, the U.S. State Department and Andrews Air Force Base, all of which have many international interactions. Other American companies, including popular national merchants, are rapidly adopting the technology.

Some American banks now offer chip-implanted cards to top corporate accounts, but don’t promote them below that level, to the chagrin of some travelers. The situation is aggravated for them because some merchants in foreign countries shun America’s traditional magnetic strip cards. As the complications multiply and more Americans find themselves in long lines waiting for a teller to process magnetic strip cards, the impetus for the switch will magnify, industry leaders predict.

Both for the convenience in travel and for the added benefit of more anti-fraud security, the chip is coming and it can’t come too soon for many Americans.

What’s New With The Target Security Breach?

target-breachThe biggest known corporate breach in U.S. history was perpetrated on Target in November, 2013. Hundreds of stories have been written about it in the news, on blogs and magazines. That comes as no surprise considering the current number of customers affected reaches upwards of 100 million.

The looming question in consumers minds remains. Who is responsible for the Target credit and debit card breach?  Brian Krebs,  and American journalist and investigative reporter who runs a computer security website has identified a likely suspect – Andrew Hodrievski of Odessa, Ukraine. Attempts to contact the suspect proved futile, but Krebs was able to email an associate of Hodrievski.  After exchanging emails with the associate, Krebs Security was offered $10,000 not to publish the incriminating information.  Hodrievski has not been arrested or questioned.

How Did They Do It?

The who question may have been answered, but the how question is still somewhat of a mystery to the public. Investigators have determined that the hackers were able to breach Target’s security through a third party vendor. Fazio Mechanical Service provided heating and air conditioning for the stores. After hacking into Fazio’s computer they gained the vendor’s username and password into Target. The hackers then used the same username and password to hack into the point of sale information where all customer information is stored.

Hackers then uploaded software to retrieve customer data for them. They tested the software on a handful of registers. Within two days they had access to a majority of Target’s cash registers and point of sale information. Thus the fraud began. Once they had customer data they sold the data on underground internet sites. The value of this data has gone down significantly as banks have purchased the same data, disabled cards and reissued new ones.

Investigators think the vulnerability was caused by the lack of two factor authentication for remote access, which is required by PCI Data Security Standards. PCI Standards help merchants to secure all Point Of Sale transactions.  Apparently Target used one network for most of their data while they should have been two different networks.  Isolating  3rd party remote access for vendors and customer data would have added another security measure needed and possibly helped prevent this type of security breach.

Latest News

Beth M. Jacob, chief information officer and executive vice president for Target’s technology services resigned from her position on Wednesday, March 5, 2013, just one week after Target posted their 4th quarter losses of $1.5 billion dollars compared to the previous year’s figures. More encouraging news in this case would have been that the criminal behind the attack was arrested.

Consumer Protection

For consumers who are now worried about their accounts being drained by complete strangers there is no magic bullet. The best thing to do at this point is to learn how to set up automatic alerts from your bank to your cell phone any time a transaction on your account occurs. You can then call the bank immediately when you discover any unauthorized transaction and prevent further loss.

10 Tips To Break Bad Banking Habits

burning-moneyYou may be losing money every month because you aren’t aware that some of your basic banking habits can be pricey. Some common mistakes that people keep making come to the attention of banking analysts and are shared with you in this guide to keeping more of your money in your pocket.

Tip #1 – Stay Current With Your Account Fees

bank-feesYou may have opened your bank account 20 years ago when there were no fees charged to you. Take the time to talk to your bank and ask them what fees they can charge your particular type of account. It may be time to change the type of account you currently have.

One woman was getting charged $27 a month and went into the bank to complain. Her account was designed to encourage savings and would charge a $1 per transaction fee each time she made a withdrawal or processed a transaction. Setting up a different type of account would save her $324 a year.

Tip #2 – List Dates Of Your Automatic Withdrawals

calendarNothing is as frustrating as checking your online balance, thinking you have money to spend and then not realizing that an automatic withdrawal is pending. Forgetting about the pending withdrawals can be draining your bank account.

Go online and download a month’s worth of activity. Filter out all the automatic withdrawal transactions and figure out exactly what dates the amounts are deducted. Keep the information in a spreadsheet or print it out and carry it with you.

Tip #3 – Discover The Location Of Approved ATM’s

When you withdraw money from ATM’s that are not associated with your bank, you can get charged fees in varying amounts. The fees might not be big, but they could easily put you into an overdrawn status. Now those fees can be large and will make you cringe.

Find the ATM’s that are near your work, where you dine out and near where you shop and use them. One customer had $50 worth of ATM fees in a month. When asked why he couldn’t find approved ATM’s his response was that he knew where they were, he just couldn’t be bothered with walking across the street. Walking across the street could potentially save him $600 a year.

Tip #4 – Save Loose Change

coin-banksIt may be annoying to carry loose change, but having a strategy to deal with it can really add up to some decent money. When you get home from work or shopping, just toss the loose change in a large jar. When the jar gets full, bring it into the bank and use their coin machine to count it and return you with paper currency. You’ll be surprised how much is really in that jar. Take care of the cents and the dollars will take care of you.

Tip #5 – Check Online Accounts Daily

Face it. Some people don’t even do this monthly. One customer went into her bank and was very upset. She had no money in her account. Upon investigation, it was discovered that she had a joint account with an ex-partner and she had never had his name removed from the account. For five years the partner had been stealing from her account in small increments. It was only when he decided to take it all that she even noticed.

Tip #6 – Reduce The Number Of Accounts

Some of us get creative with our savings or checking accounts, opening too many to even remember what they are for. Balancing and tracking all that information is very time consuming and for most people too much of a hassle to handle.

Then there are those people who are flattered when they get a sales pitch to open a new credit card. They think it is cool that someone else says they have great credit so they open another account. Having too many credit cards provides you with too many temptations.

Limit the number of accounts you have. Trim down the number of your credit cards to make them easier to manage. Trim down the number of checking and savings accounts if tracking and managing them becomes too easy to make costly mistakes.

Tip # 7 – Distinguish Between Wants and Needs

spendingThe difference between what we think we need and what we actually need, can be enormous. Overspending can lead us to overdrawn account fees, excessive credit card use and a feeling of being out of control.

Advertisers are relentless when they pitch us so we really have to be aware of our own needs. Designer clothes, handbags, eating out, multiple Ipads and cell phones may have their appeal, but they can’t be classified as needs. Spend money on your needs first.

Tip # 8 – Maintain Minimum Balances

If your bank requires you to have at least $300 in your account, find out what fees they can charge if you drop below that amount. If you have believe you are entitled to spend money if you see it in your account, take a new approach. Deposit the minimum balance and in your record keeping system don’t add that amount into your perceived balance. That way the money will always be there. Just leave it alone.

Tip #9 – Check Your Excess Withdrawal Fees

Some accounts will penalize you for withdrawing money. They are designed to encourage you to save and can charge per transaction. Ignoring the terms of the account incurs more expense than you will ever earn on the interest.

Tip – #10 – Set Up Mobile Alerts

text-bankingSome banks will let you set up text alerts that go directly to your mobile phone. You can text in requests to see your account balances, account activity, make transfers and find ATM locations near you.

Alerts can also be set up to send you a text under specific conditions that you choose. Remind yourself when your balance falls below a threshold or learn when a deposit has been made.

Use technology to make your life simpler, avoid bank fees and live a happier life.

What bad habits do you want to break?

2 Dozen Red Roses For Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day! You Gotta Love It!

ftd Every year, the February 14 love fest sets off a frenzy of rose-buying that is unparalleled throughout the rest of the year. Most of the time, a rose is a rose is a rose, but on Valentine’s Day, it’s the classic way to make your sentiments known, being the international symbol of passion and love.

proflowers Men are most inclined to put out their shekels for roses, mostly red, to tell the women of their dreams that they care. Sixty-six percent of them believe that ladies prefer red roses. In fact, according to ProFlowers, 76 percent of women would make another choice. Predictably, however, they will go into ecstasies when the red roses show up. Go figure.

teleflora Regardless of this classic mismatch in the statistics, a mostly-male customer pool will order millions of roses this year, at a cost of $70 to $120 or more per two-dozen bunch. And, being men, the great majority will wait until three days before Valentine’s to put in their orders. They are the ultimate procrastinators, sellers know.

Fortunately, ProFlowers expects the last-minute rush. Its customer service people can take more than 100,000 calls per day, and in short order, more than 14 million roses, mostly in bunches of two dozen, will be on their way to the women who inspired the choice. That represents some 20 percent of Pro-Flowers’ annual business.


1800flowers Although women want to be cherished every day of the year, the majority of them look forward to Valentine’s Day as the one on which declarations of love are expected and cherished. Julia Roberts, starring in the film “Valentine’s Day, has posted notice in advance that it will be a great day for herself and husband Danny Moder. “We’re just going to be making out for the full 24 hours,” she predicted.

flora2000 Ironically, Ashton Kutcher, one of the stars of the TV comedy “Two And A Half Men,” who also appeared in the movie, has very dissimilar feelings about the holiday itself. “I hate Valentine’s Day,” he stated emphatically. “I think every day should be a day of romance. Then, on Valentine’s Day, you should get to tell whomever you hate that you cannot stand them. There would be one day of hating and 364 days of love.”

proplants The most common sentiments expressed by women to men – We want you to take our breath away. It reinforces our choice of partner. We want to know we picked a guy who is proud to be ours and wants the whole world to know it. Really, it’s the ultimate bragging rite for our gender.”

Despite Kutcher’s Valentine bah-humbug, the annual rush for roses is waiting in the wings. To make the selection online, here are some sources. (These list only the roses. Each of these outlets also has many other selections to choose among.)

Proplants.com 2 Dozen $59.97
Proflowers.com 2 Dozen $69.96
1-800-flowers.com
2 Dozen $84.99
Flora2000.com 2 Dozen $99.99
FromYouFlowers 2 Dozen $118.99
FTD.com 2 Dozen $199.96
Teleflora.com 2 Dozen $199.96

Another Way To Say I Love You

Don’t forget about ordering your love checks not only for Valentine’s Day, but all year round!