get free stuff

In this economic climate, everyone is trying to stretch a dollar as far as it will go. But what if you don’t have to spend anything at all to get the things you’d buy anyway? The following is a list of websites and services that can connect you to free items:
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Winter On a Budget

by Vered DeLeeuw · 7 comments

winter on a budget
Winter can get expensive! Whenever I feel the temperatures dropping, one of my first thoughts is, “Great! Back to seeing $500 each month on our utilities bill.” Heating is of course a major expense during the winter, but there are other expenses including buying new coats for kids who have outgrown their old coats, taking the family car to the car shop to make sure it’s winter-ready, engaging in snow sports (downhill skiing can get expensive!), and paying for indoor activities (since you can’t take the kids to the park).

With some advance planning, you CAN manage your costs during winter. These are the things that work for me as I try to keep my family’s winter-related expenses in check.
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capsule wardrobe
Capsule wardrobes have become yet another icon of simplicity in an overly-consumeristic culture. High-profile executives even like the concept because it frees their “creative energy” for more important decisions than what to wear every day. Downsizing your closet might sound appealing if you:

  • Hate deciding what to wear every day
  • Dislike having to shop every season
  • Wish you had less clothing to maintain
  • Want to spend less on clothing

Building a capsule wardrobe saves both time and money in the long run, but it does require an initial investment. For instance, one of the first steps ‘capsule experts’ suggest is eliminating anything in your closet that doesn’t fit, flatter, or you simply don’t love.

What does that leave?

If you do it right, not much! Unlike high-profile executives, not many of us can afford to go out and replace our entire wardrobe in one shot, regardless of how much it will save long-term. Is it possible to build an amazing capsule wardrobe on a budget? If you consider the following tips, I think so.
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thrifty couple

My wife and I figured it was a great time to try something we’d always wanted to do since starting my blog—live with very little money for a set period of time and see what I learn.

I think we did well, because we ended up using only $34.01 in a whole week. It was an interesting and eye-opening experience, but more importantly, I learned some invaluable personal finance lessons.

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I used to think that perfectionism could only be a positive trait. After all, it comes with a drive to achieve many things, and to do so with a high level of excellence. When it comes to academics or athletics, perfectionism can set you apart from the crowd; in the workplace, perfectionism impresses the boss and earns promotions.

But, as with any mostly-good trait, there are downsides to perfectionism — all of which stem from the reality that, in an imperfect world, it’s impossible to achieve (and therefore crazy to expect) absolute perfection in any area of life.

In academics, athletics, and careers, perfectionism can lead to self-created stress and burnout or procrastination and immobilization, not to mention what it can do to personal and professional relationships. The same dangers of perfectionism apply to the way we handle personal finances and other assets, as well.

Taking responsibility of your finances and seeking “perfection” is a noble mindset, but it can also lead to wasted money, lost earnings, and lost value. Here’s how.
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financial new year

Financial resolutions are as easy to stick to as diet resolutions. For most people, it’s easy enough to establish fresh saving and spending goals for the upcoming year, yet difficult — if not impossible  — to make it all the way to February with new habits intact.

In January, with your enthusiasm still fully intact, you loudly declare, “This is the year when I’m finally going to get out of debt!” But two weeks into the new year, you find that your plan is too tough. Too rigid. Not eating out for a year feels like an impossibility when your lifestyle has accustomed you to eating out every day.

This leads to a difficult struggle. You resist letting go, but no matter how hard you try, it’s almost impossible to follow through with your resolutions.

So, you slip a little.

Then, you slip a little more.

Eventually — and all too soon — you throw in the towel.

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