Black Friday & Beyond Beauty Deals
Here are some great online beauty deals that one of my favorite sites compiled - thank you SavvySugar!
Note: please check with retailers prior to shopping to verify deals listed above.
Happy Frugal Friday! Today's blog will focus on ways anyone can make their lives a little less complicated and a lot more stress-free.
I've listed some ways that I've personally done to simplify my life and in the process either saved money or even made some money!
Here are my top 10 tips on simplifying your life:
1. Declutter & Purge - We all tend to accumulate "stuff". When it becomes a bit overwhelming, it's time to declutter your home, your car, your closet, your purse/wallet and your office. I allow myself to purchase one new (or vintage) item as long as I've purged one item out aka the "one in, one out" rule. I usually have a garage sale (extra money, yay!) or donate it to charity once I've edited things I no longer need or want.
2. Organize - Now that you've gotten rid of unnecessary clutter, it's time to get organized! I've found that baskets are a great way to keep things neat and tidy. I use baskets for towels in the linen closet, for office supplies, I even use baskets in my refrigerator. Keep paperwork, bills, invoices, etc.. labeled and filed in folders. You can also save a lot of time by organizing your closet so that you can see everything at a glance. By having a place for everything it will make it easier and simpler to find things when you need them.
3. Consolidate Finances - Although I believe in having a diversified investment portfolio, I think having one or two banking institutions has made my life a little more simple. I only use one credit card (linked to my checking account) which I always pay off each month. Plus it's a cash-back rewards credit card. I keep track of all of my expenses daily, so there are no surprises (like fraudulent charges). I have my savings and CD's with Ally Bank, which is a great online bank that offers one of the best interest rates.
4. Make a List - I'm a big believer of writing things down. Whether it's a grocery list, an errands list, a 5 year goal list, etc.. I think it's important to visualize your tasks or goals. For example, by having a list when I go food shopping, I tend to stick to the list and in turn save money along the way. It's a great feeling to cross something off my list once I've accomplished said item on list.
5. Eliminate Cable & Landline - I eliminated both my cable/satellite and home phone line years ago. It's so freeing to not waste time flipping channels looking for shows I don't really care about. I now only watch my favorite shows (queued on Hulu) online for free when I want to. I got rid of my landline and only use my cell phone, because my cell plan is unlimited everything (click on Solavei banner below), this saves me a lot of money! My only home technology expense is internet, which is less than $40 a month.
6. Plan Errands Efficiently - When I run errands or go shopping, I try to do it all in one trip. Not only does this save me time and effort, but it saves on gasoline as well. If there's a coupon that's about to expire and it's something I am actually going to use, I plan my trip around that day.
7. Automate Payments - Most people already do this - by automating your bill paying online, you will never miss a payment, which means you avoid late fees plus you save money on postage. Set up auto payments for your mortgage, credit card, utilities, etc.. online. Make sure to keep track of your recurring expenses so that you know you're within your monthly budget. You should also automatically deposit a recurring amount to your savings account.
8. Don't Let Things Pile Up - The most overwhelming part of tidying up is when it's a big pile of mess! Don't let things get to a point where it seems too much to take on. For example, when the mail arrives, designate whether it's something to keep or toss in recycle bin. Also, when you have enough dirty clothes for a large load (in cold water to save energy) then it's time to do laundry. Rather than waiting till there's a pile of dirty dishes in the sink, wash them after each meal. By doing chores when they need to be done will seem less daunting.
9. Pay Off Your Debt - This is easier said than done, but once you've eliminated or at least reduced your debt, you will feel a sense of freedom that's priceless! One tip I've already shared is to pay off your credit card balance at the end of each month, which means you don't incur interest charges. I have a set amount each month that I try to not go over (barring emergencies of course). Tackle your lower balanced loans or debts first and try to pay those off right away. If possible, use cash as much as possible and only spend what you can afford to pay off.
10. Eat Leftovers - I think it's a shame when perfectly good food goes to waste. Often times when we go out to eat, I or some of my friends have food they couldn't finish - I'm always the one packing it up to take home. By eating leftovers, it's just one more meal I don't have to worry about cooking, plus it's über frugal. Another simple tip that goes a long way is to make chicken soup in a slow cooker, this can make several cups of soup and clean up is easy!
Happy Frugal Friday! I'm sharing a guest post by Christina Jones, a financial content writer. She has also been contributing to many personal finance blogs as a guest columnist. Read on...
Are you under the notion that frugal living is all about leading a colorless and wretched life? Then the answer is surely no, as you are harboring the wrong notion. Frugal living helps you save a considerable amount of money by trimming your budget smartly.
You can enjoy your life by practicing good spending habits and staying within your means. Avoid getting into debt by exercising financial discipline with a realistic frugal budget. However, if you have already incurred overwhelming debt, then enroll in a debt reduction program to regain control over the situation. Once you get out from the trap of debt, then you can have that frugal lifestyle to avoid debt in the future. Remember that frugality can help you manage your finances.
What are the frugal strategies to avoid getting into the trap of debt? Here are 5 helpful recommendations.
1. You can avoid splurging your hard earned money by trying out frugal fashion. Make sure that you avoid designer branded clothes if you are planning a frugal lifestyle. You can look for fashionable clothes at discounted prices. You need to change your way of expenditure to manage your finances. Look for offers on stores and buy clothes when the stores offer sales.
2. Whenever you go shopping, make sure that you take coupons. Coupons can help you lead a frugal life so it is considered to be an important item when you are planning to save money. You can save a considerable amount of money when you use coupons especially when shopping for groceries.
3. You can also buy items at wholesale prices and try to get things in bulk at a discount. You can prepare a list of the items that you need every month. If you purchase things in bulk, you can save a considerable amount of money. It’ll also help you save money on gasoline as you are not required to shop as often.
4. When you use a credit card, you tend to spend a little more than you’ll be able to afford. Make sure that you try using cash more often than credit cards, unless you know you can pay off the balance each month. If you always use a credit card, you might incur more debt if your expenses exceed your income.
5. You can save a lot of money on food and entertainment. Avoid going out for dinners in posh restaurants, instead prepare your meals at home. Instead of going out to movies, make some popcorn at home and watch films on DVDs.
You can adopt the practice of frugal living by learning the process of spending wisely everyday.
Happy November Tuesday! It's been a very busy last couple of weeks, sorry I haven't posted a blog in a while. We have been moving stuff all week long because we just sold our beach cottage!
When Jim and I purchased the beach cottage, the goal was to renovate it, live there for three years, enjoy living close to the ocean, then sell it. We even entertained the idea of moving there full time, since it's much bigger than the house we currently live in.
Well, four years later, the timing seemed right to put it up for sale. Even though the real estate market has bounced back, there was still that risk that you are not going to make a profit when it's time to sell. I'm happy to say that all our hard work paid off, this investment proved to be a savvy decision after all.
One of the most enjoyable and rewarding part for me was designing each room's color scheme and shopping for the perfect furnishings & accessories to decorate the beach cottage. I believe that by presenting the house as a place someone can see themselves living in helped sell the beach cottage. One of the rooms that was a big selling point is the large sunroom, which is my favorite room (see before and after photos). Not only was the sunroom a hit, I was able to negotiate the furniture and accessories to make the deal happen. I also did some savvy negotiating with other furniture and accessories towards the sale of the home.
We will miss the beach cottage, but what is even more rewarding than decorating the place is that a wonderful family will now get to enjoy it and make new memories in their new home. To my gleeful surprise, the family that purchased the home has a beautiful English Bulldog, which just proves that they were meant to live in the home that we lovingly worked on.
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