Redecorating on A Dime . . . maybe more, maybe less

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I recently moved and the experience opened my eyes, and my heart, to new opportunities.  Since I am on a tight budget I needed to find ways to be frugal with decorating.  I will share a few of my insights.

Reinvent – did you know that it’s stylish to combine vintage and chic?  I think it actually has a name, it’s called transitional!  I find this quite comforting since that’s why I am experiencing this move.  What a great time to rediscover myself and revitalize some furniture pieces. 

With little to no cost you can revamp a room.  Start by looking around a room and deciding what the purpose is and what major pieces are needed.  Remove the pieces not being used.  Simplicity is good.

Recover or Replace?  A slip cover for the sofa might be just the update your room needs.  Other considerations to look into are craigslist or thrift stores.  Look for quality pieces that need a new home.  Be patient and use what you have until you find the best fit. 

If your budget allows you to buy new take time to research quality not just price.  Shop for functionality based on your lifestyle and stage of family.  Balance being frugal with how long the piece will withstand every day wear and tear.

A new lamp shade, throw pillows and a blanket can give a room a fresh feel.  My frugal tip here is to look for clearance items AND coupons!  For example, I found nice pillows at Gordmans and Kohls, both stores always have at least a 15% off coupon available with proper planning.

Research – magazines, internet, friends all have ideas to offer!  Know thyself and honor your style.  Your home tells a story.  Your personal photos can become a framed work of art, your child is an artist and that piece can set the stage for a wall, whenever you can bring in a personal touch.  Word of caution here is too much of a good thing can quickly become overwhelming.

Simplicity balanced with function is key.  Keeping your living space relaxed and stylish can give you a sense of calm and make the home an oasis.  Use your rooms to live not just be a showpiece.  However, too many of us keep underutilized items around taking up space.  Think of each square foot as precious real estate.  How do you want to market it?  I like the concept of cozy yet minimized clutter.

Repaint – Fresh color can have a huge impact on a room.  Splurge on good rollers and brushes but most store brand paints do a quality job.  Create a soothing cohesive space by sticking to a color scheme.

Pulling the home together with a few of these redecorating tips is fun and can be done frugally.  My final parting thoughts this week are this: redecorating a room is much like rediscovering yourself, it requires patience and a plan.  Once you make the time to declutter practice restraint with what you put back in your space. 

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How Can Organization Save Money?

Have you heard the expression time is money? If you have ever spent endless hours of frustration looking for that “something” than you might want to consider implementing these tips.

Getting organized doesn’t require that you go out and purchase products it’s about creating a process that works for you and your family. To start assess your current situation, then create a plan and finally reward yourself for starting the new year off right!

Three Easy Steps to Declutter, Clean and Organize

Step 1: Declutter – Begin with an area that is used the most. Remove and sort everything into one of these piles: Keep, Pitch, Donate/Sell. Touch it ONCE and make a decision!

Step 2: Clean – Remove drawers and wipe them out, dust off the shelves and electronics, disinfect and clean surfaces. Using any cleaner and a magic eraser can make an area shine!

Step 3: Organize – Intentionally pick a place for each item going back in the area. Use trays, bins and boxes to keep small items in order. Shelving units and hanging organizers can help create order in larger spaces.

Getting the family involved and keeping this practice up daily or weekly will help keep order. Organization can help reduce stress, anxiety and chaos.

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Welcome Back . . . let’s prepare for 2013!

I took the week off to enjoy friends and family, a very important gift I treasure during the holidays! Even in the chaos and sometimes dysfunction of family I pray for God’s love to be revealed in me and around those I encounter. I hope you felt the spirit of the season too.

As we begin to think of the New Year many of us will establish a personal resolution or goal. It might be centered around wellness such as to stop smoking, lose weight, or begin an exercise routine or perhaps you’re considering improvements such as organization, debt reduction, or establishing a daily time of devotion. My word of encouragement is this, remember IMPROVEMENT over perfection!!

Think of small incremental changes that will help you achieve your goal(s). Seek to challenge yourself but not overwhelm yourself. Establish a written goal that motivates you, it should be written with clear direction and purpose, this will help you with focus and decision making.

I am going to provide a sample goal and a target budget that I find very helpful to keep balance in my life. As a frugal gal I want to enjoy life but be responsible at the same time.

By December 31st of 2013 I will have a personal financial statement reflecting the following spending goals:
Housing expenses will not exceed more than 35% of my net income (this is mortgage/rent, utilities, insurance, taxes)
Transportation will be no more than 20% and this includes car payments, insurance, license fees, gas and maintenance
Debt will not exceed 15% of my income (this is credit cards, personal loans, medical debts and student loans)
I will tithe 10% of my income and I will save 10% of my income
I will spend no more than 10% on other expenses such as food, clothing, entertainment, etc

Recognize you have control over saving and spending, much like eating and weight loss! It must begin with an inventory and personal responsibility over the choices we have made and will make in the future. Budgeting doesn’t mean having less, it means having a plan and working the plan. I hope this has inspired you to consider what your 2013 goals will be.

Please feel free to send me suggestions or questions and I will be happy to reply. God’s blessings to you and yours!

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Is Fitness a Goal for 2013?

Maximum Performance Training in Roscoe is offering a 3 week or 6 week boot camp special!

Visit http://www.groupon.com to take advantage of this deep discount

Only $39 for the 3 weeks or $62 for the 6 weeks

Remember, your body is a temple and we are to take care of it!

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Five Steps to Manage Money Worries

Today I would like to take a break from promoting purchasing deals and offer a few practical steps you can take to reduce your money worries.

#1 Take a worry inventory – much like a time study. Estimate how much time you spend worrying and determine if it is affecting your health and well-being. If that’s you, seek help. Perhaps speaking with a counselor (financial advisor and/or mental health professional) to help you reduce worries with stress management techniques.

#2 If you are drowning in debt, create a debt reduction plan. In the coming weeks I will offer more tips on this but I would also suggest searching the internet or contacting the local Family Credit Management. NEVER pay for assistance until you’ve researched free agencies and services.

#3 If you are worried about how to meet monthly bills, come up with an immediate plan. Take a serious look at what is going out on a monthy basis and cut back spending in areas such as groceries, entertainment, cell phones bills, etc. Also, contact your lenders or bill collectors, make agreements and keep them. Do not try to avoid the tough conversations!

#4 If you have fallen behind on your credit cards, take corrective steps. Again it’s important to contact them, ask if the will lower your rate, you don’t know until you ask. This is where a credit counselor can help negotiate a plan if necessary.

#5 If you are worried about retirement, find ways to save more. Put you retirement savings at the top of the list, pay yourself first! Be sure you are taking full advantage of any employer match.

Worrying may seem unavoidable but if you take steps to research where you are and make a plan to get where you want to be you will be less overwhelmed.

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Toys for Tots . . . great prices for your own gift giving or donations!

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/>FOR THE BOYS: Walmart offers the Marvel Avengers Action Figures 8-Pack for $15. Opt for free Site-to-Store pickup to dodge the $1.97 shipping fee. That’s less than $2/action figure, $27 under the lowest shipped price we could find for a similar quantity elsewhere. Sales tax is added where applicable. Each set contains a random assortment of eight figures. http://dealnews.com/Marvel-Avengers-Action-Figures-8-Pack-for-15-pickup-at-Walmart/648337.html

FOR THE GIRLS: Target offers the Disney Princess Ultimate Doll Collection (seven dolls total) for $39.99 with free shipping. That’s $5.71/princess, tied with last month’s mention of a similar set, and $20 under the lowest total price we could find for a comparable set elsewhere now. Sales tax is added where applicable. It includes Cinderella, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Snow White, Merida, and Tiana. http://dealnews.com/Disney-Princess-Ultimate-Doll-Collection-for-40-free-shipping/648201.html

And for a fun game ANYONE can enjoy consider this: FOUR (4) Bananagrams Word Games for $28 + free shipping
Walgreens offers four Bananagrams Word Games for $28.02 with free shipping via the directions below. That’s $7 per set and the lowest total per-unit price we could find by $8. (For further comparison, that’s $32 under the lowest total price we could find for a similar quantity elsewhere.) Sales tax is added where applicable. Coupon expires December 23.
1.View Bananagrams for $10.99
2.add four to your cart for $32.96
3.apply coupon code “15HOLIDAY” for the final price of $28.02 with free shipping

Place your orders before December 19 to ensure it arrives before Christmas.

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Act fast for this deal on a 19″ television

1097602-medium I have seen some serious bargains on TV’s this holiday season! Today’s feature is a 19″ (great for the kitchen, office, or bedroom) And it’s from Target!

The reason I like to purchase from local stores is then if I am not satisfied with the product I can take it back and not have to deal with returning it via shipping.

Target offers the Haier 19″ 720p Widescreen LED-Backlit LCD HD Television, model no. HL19SL2, for $100 with free shipping. It features a 1366×768 (720p) resolution, edge-lit LED backlight, 600,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 250 cd/m² brightness, 5ms response time, USB Time Shift for DVR-like functions, one HDMI input, and other video inputs. Deal ends today.

http://www.target.com/p/haier-19-class-720p-60hz-led-hdtv-black-hl19sl2/-/A-11912296#prodSlot=medium_1_2
http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,648126,2520837

TIP: if you have a Target Red Card you can save an additional 5%. Also, if you use the pharmacy they have a reward program and often will send out a 5% off coupon.

PS – I happen to have both and do not need to purchase a TV so if any of my friends and family wish to take advantage of this deal let me know and I would be happy to share my additional savings 🙂

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