Happy Leap Year! What are you doing with your extra day this year?
Retailers and restaurants hope the answer will be spending, and they are pulling out the stops to coax you through their doors.
If your email box is like mine, no doubt it was filled with a slew of promotional offers.
"Leap for Joy," said Wolferman's, a unit of Harry & David's that sells muffins, scones and other baked goods, as it offered 20 percent off products across its entire website. "Shop now or wait another 4 years."
Kohl's and Ascena Retail Group's Dress Barnwere among the many retailers offering shoppers free shipping on all online purchases above $29 Wednesday. Kohl's also was throwing in an extra 20 percent off of online purchases.
"Leap into Spring!" or "Leap into Savings" were familiar refrains, especially among clothing chains that were taking advantage of the occasion to tout the recent arrival of spring apparel into stores.
And at CafePress, it was 29 percent off orders of customized items such as mugs and T-shirts to shoppers who use the coupon code "LEAP."
Restaurants were getting in on the act too. Subway is offering customers a free cookie with any purchase on February 29, and McDonald's locations are offering a variety of deals, including one promotional the offers a 10-piece order of chicken nuggets for 29 cents with the purchase of a full-price order of 10-piece nuggets.
It's no wonder these companies are vying for your dollars. The Wall Street Journal reported that last time leap year occurred in 2008, the additional day helped fuel a 5.2 percent gain in Walgreen's second-quarter profit.
However, others suggest the day saves consumers money as it technically means a free day of cable, rent, car insurance and other items consumers pay for on a monthly basis. But salaried workers can argue they earn a little bit less per day.
Some personal finance experts advocate you take the extra day to sort out your personal finances. Sift through those receipts that are piling up in your house, review your insurance policies, or consider boosting your retirement contributions or rebalance your 401(k).