dream home on a budget

The same walls.
The same floor.
The same stinking everything!

You’re sick of looking at it. You want out. Now.

But moving to your dream home isn’t an option.

So what do you do? You can’t stay miserable, but you CAN change your perspective. That doesn’t mean accepting where you are; it means accepting that you can change things for the better immediately.

Though your budget is limited, with a little research and elbow grease, you can still afford to make the changes you’d love to see in your current space. [ continue reading… ]

I’m a sucker for a good deal and feel proud when I avoid spending money I don’t have to. More than once, I’ve let eagerness to save money lead me to do things that eat up any perceived savings, and then some. I learn from my mistakes, but it’s even better to avoid these pitfalls in the first place. I’d like to help you do the same. Here are a few ways we might think we’re saving money that actually cost us more.

Taking Advantage of Deals Without A Plan

  • Store Credit Card Sign-Up Offers

Almost every time I visit a retail store, I’m asked if I’d like to sign up for their store credit card and save 30% (or more) today. My personal aversion to credit cards has helped me avoid this one, but it’s easy to see how people fall for the pitch. Sure, it’s a deal… if you plan to pay the balance off immediately. If not, that 30% you ‘saved’ translates into the additional expense of interest (and store credit cards average rates of 15% or more).
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Have you looked at your budget lately? I took a peek at my friend’s expense tracker, and it’s scary how many items on there are totally unnecessary. Unused gym membership? Check. Triple play cable TV package? Double check. There are so many ways my friend is overspending I could run out of ink if I needed to cross out each line item on the budget with a pen.

How about your budget? Everyone overspends at least some of the time. Here are a few favorite ways people like paying more than they should.

Overpaying for Convenience

Amazon prime anybody? I’m just about the last person on planet earth to not pay for a membership, but the convenience of ordering anything whenever I want and having the product shipped to me quickly is very tempting. Then again, why do I have to pay the retailer to give my trigger happy brain an easy way to spend more money with them? Plus, shipping is still free as long as I plan a bit and group the items together to qualify for free shipping and I order ahead of time so the shipping time isn’t a concern.
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cheap decorating tips

With the growing popularity of Pinterest and shabby-chic decorating, consumers are finding out that unconventional decorating is fun and money-saving.

Pottery Barn is a big source of inspiration for recycling old worktables and mason jars into useful parts of your home. An old wine bottle collection can become your new chandelier, or an antique baby bed can serve as a desk for your toddler.

When it comes to unconventional decor, the best approach is to start with what you can find and use your creativity to craft something useful. Estate sales, flea markets, and yard sales are great sources of fodder for your redecorating project. And if you have the ability to sandblast or weld your treasures, you can also shop around at the local junkyard.

Here are twenty ideas for unconventional decorating:

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Have you ever read an article on how to save money on groceries only to find out that most of the tips are based around making all of your meals from scratch?

Yes, I totally agree that the best way to have a low grocery budget is to make all of your bread, yogurt, and more from scratch, while eating more bean-based meals. However, this advice is hard to follow if you don’t particularly like spending time in the kitchen.

I don’t hate cooking, but it’s something I would prefer to not to spend a lot of time doing, while still providing healthy meals for my family.

Here are a two tips to save money on groceries, even if you hate cooking.

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wedding finances

Thirty thousand dollars. I heard that figure and my jaw dropped. That’s the amount that a couple of my friends are spending on their upcoming wedding.

Every time I hear about some new detail of the plans for the wedding, there’s a little voice in my head that starts commenting on the bottom line. But here’s the thing — it’s not my wedding. I’m not going to say a word because my friends are adults and seem to be pretty pleased with what they’re getting for their money.
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