Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Life Skills for Teens


Today is July 31 and I have completed my goal of writing a post each day of the month with financial or money saving tips.  I hope you have found the tips helpful.

Today I am sharing 10 life skills teens should learn before they leave home.

1)      Paying bills – know to check statements for errors, pay attention to due dates so they are not charged late fees.  Now with auto banking it may be easier to pay bills but you need to make sure you have enough in your bank account to cover them.

2)      Budgeting – It is important to know how much income you have coming and how much you need for expenses.

3)      Scheduling – As it is important to budget your money, it’s also important to manage your time.

4)      Meal planning – If you have something planned it may be less tempting to stop for takeout.

5)      Grocery shopping -  

6)      Cooking – With the convenience of dining out I believe cooking is becoming a lost art.  But when you consider the cost of dining out you can save a lot of money by cooking at home.  Many grocery stores have items available that are partially ready to make meal preparation easier (i.e. rotisserie chicken).

7)      Laundry -

8)      Car Care

9)      Computer skills

10)  Voting

Click here for previous posts.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Organizing with Shoe Organizers


One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

Here are some ideas of using the over door shoe organizers for things besides shoes.


2)      School and craft supplies.  I use one to keep craft ribbon in.

3)      Grow plants and herbs

4)      Bathroom supplies such as medication and toiletries.

5)      Office supplies

6)      Car organizer

7)      Pantry items such as seasoning packets, fruit snacks, etc.

8)      Pegboard storage for tools, etc.

9)      Barbie doll holder for Barbies, clothing and accessories

10)   Toy storage

Click here for previous posts.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Kitchen Substitutions


One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

Cooking at home can save money, but if you end up buying ingredients for certain recipes that you will not use often may end up costing you money.  You may be able to find substitute ingredients.  Also, if you can find substitute ingredients if you run out of items it will save you time and money from needing to make an emergency run to the store.

Here are some ideas of kitchen substitution ideas. 

1)      http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/03/soup-or-sauce-sos-mix.html?showComment=1332880493592#c6315300430037895231>Cream soup mix can be made up and kept on hand.  It may cost less than buying cream soup by the can.

2)      If need an egg for baking you can substitute 1 tsp of cornstarch plus ¼ cup of water.

3)      If a recipe calls for buttermilk you can mix 1 Tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar with milk (enough to make 1 cup).  I have used lemon juice to do this several times.  I have also seen the idea that if you buy buttermilk and don’t use the entire carton, freeze the remaining milk in ice cube trays and keep in freezer bags to use at a future time.

4)      For tomato soup use 1 cup tomato sauce and ¼ cup water.

5)      For 1 cup of cream use 1/3 cup melted butter and ¾ cup milk

6)      For 1 cup corn syrup use 2/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water

7)      For 1 cup honey, use 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup water

8)      In salad dressings mayonnaise can be replaced by sour cream, plain yogurt or pureed cottage cheese.

9)      In place of sour cream use plain yogurt.

10)  To make tomato juice combine ½ cup tomato sauce and ½ cup water.

 Click here for previous posts.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

DIY Gift Ideas


One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

Here are some ideas for DIY gift ideas.

1)      Make Personalized Cake Carriers and Platter



4)      Here are 37 ideas for Gifts in a Jar


6)     

7)      Spa Cupcakes

8)        Baby shower gifts

9)      A list of DIY Gifts


Click here for previous posts.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympic Activities


One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

Since the Summer Olympics start today, I am sharing some activities to get in the Olympic spirit.

1)  Activities at Activity Village

2)    MoneySavingMom.com has a post with activities




6)      Olympics Books and activities.  You may be able to find books about the Olympics at your public library.

7)      Make the Olympic logo using paper plates

8)      Make Olympic ring cookies

9)      Make am Olympic Ring pizza

10)  Olympic Rings can be made from milk jug rings and yarn


Click here for previous posts.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

DIY Wall Art

One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.


1)      You can make wall art with
scrapbook paper or fabric on boards.  I made a few like this with scrapbook paper and covers of cardboard boxes.

2)      Paint ceiling medallions and hang on your wall.

3)      Here is another idea with scrapbook paper or fabric in a frame

4)      Use spray paint and doilies to make a masterpiece

5)      Make button art

6)      Make art with wooden letters and a canvas

7)      Put ornaments in a shadowbox

8)      Paint cardboard or wooden letters.

9)      Drawers as hangers

10)  Art using frames

Click
here for previous posts.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Christmas in July E books


Today is July 25, which means it is 5 months until Christmas.  A couple blogs are offering e books with ideas to get ready for the holidays.

Lynn from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures is offering a free holiday e book.

Jessica from Life as Mom has a holiday e book for sale.  There is special pricing through July 31.  She is also hosting several giveaways that you can enter through the weekend.




DIY Doormat Ideas


One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

Here are 10 ideas I found to make DIY doormats and also to use them as wall art,

1) You can use dollar store doormats and paint to make doormat art and another example of doormat art

2)  You can use doormats forDoormat stencils









Click here for previous posts.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gluten-free and Allergy free Resources


One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

Below are 10 blogs and other resources with information and resources for Gluten-free and allergy free diets.

1)      Erin Chase from $5 Dinners has a started a blog relating to Food Allergies on a Budget

2)      Jungles Deals and Steals recaps  deals each day that are on Amazon.com.

3)      Two of the gluten free and allergen free shopping options in the Fargo Moorhead area are Syndey’s Health Market and Simply Savory.

4)      Gluten Freely is a resource for gluten free recipes and information.



7)      Gluten Free Goddess



10)  Shop at local establishments, farmers markets and CSA (Community Support Agriculture).  This is the second year I have been a member of a CSA and have really enjoyed it.  We get a weekly box of vegetables from June through October.

 Click here for previous posts.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Money Quotes


One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

Today I am sharing quotes about money.

“The art is not in making money but in keeping it”  Proverbs quotes

“A penny saved is a penny earned.”  Benjamin Franklin

“If you don’t put a value on money and seek wealth, you most probably won’t receive it.  You must seek wealth for it to seek you.  If no burning desire for wealth arise within you, no wealth will arise around you.  Having definiteness of purpose for acquiring wealth is essential for its acquisition.”  Dr. John Demartini

“The number one problem in today’s generation and economy is the lack of financial literacy.” Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board

“The indisposable first step to getting the things you want out of life is decide what you want.” Ben Stein, Actor and Author

“The best thing to spend on your children is your time.”  Louise Hay

“Nothing will work unless you do.”  John Wooden

“Yesterday is a cancelled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only cash you have so spend it wisely.”  Ken Lyons

“Time is more valuable than money.  You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.”  Jim Rohn

“Remember that credit is money.”  Benjamin Franklin

Click here for previous posts.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Back to School Shopping Tips


One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

Yes, I know it’s early to be talking about school starting but you may be able to save money and some stress by starting to plan back to school shopping now. 

Here are some articles and blog posts I found with back to school shopping tips.


2) Office Max Back to School specials for July 22-28



5)            Saving on Clothes

6)      Saving on School Supplies

 7)      The 14th Annual United Way of Cass-Clay School Supply Drive 2012 is accepting donations of new backpacks and school supplies and monetary donations through August 1st.   

8)      Office Depot Back to School Shopping

9)      Clothes shopping tips

10)  Back to School clothes shopping

Click here for previous posts.






Saturday, July 21, 2012

Costs of Owning a Car


One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

Buying and owning a car is one of the larger expenses in most peoples financial lives.  Here are 10 expenses that come with owning a car and things to consider when buying a car.

1)      Monthly payments – If you are financing consider what the payment will be including interest charges.  Some people suggest not borrowing more than you can repay within 3 years.  The payment may not seem like a lot, but if you have monthly payments on multiple items make sure you don’t over extend yourself.

2)      Insurance – get an idea of how much the insurance will be for the car you are looking at. 

3)      Deductible- when researching insurance consider the different deductibles and amounts of coverage.

4)      Car registration tags – when you buy a car you will need to pay registration fee and renew it each year. 

5)      Gas expenses – consider the gas mileage of the vehicle and how much you usually drive.

6)      Oil changes and maintenance – the more you drive, the more often you will need to change the oil.  It will be helpful to have money saved in case repairs are needed.  Another expense is new tires, the more you drive the more often you will need to replace the tires.

7)      Depreciation – when you buy a brand new car you lose a lot of value right away.  here is a calculator to figure the true cost of owning a car.

8)      Where you live – extreme weather conditions can affect the life of your tires, batteries, etc.

9)      How much you drive – can affect your gas mileage and can also affect your insurance premiums

10)  Try not to owe more on a car than it is worth if it is totaled in an accident.  Also, it is recommend not to trade in a car that you still owe on.  Some dealerships will wrap the balance of the old loan into the new one.  Then you will probably owe more on your new car than it is worth.

Click here for previous posts.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Rising Grocery Prices


Here are a couple of articles about grocery prices to continue increasing.  An article about http://blogs.smartmoney.com/advice/2012/07/18/rising-corn-prices-and-your-grocery-bill>corn prices affecting grocery prices and http://money.msn.com/saving-money-tips/post.aspx?post=df42bc46-2d04-4c5c-aaa1-6f3627613e35>the heat wave could mean higher prices.

So it might be a wise decision to stock up on non perishable items now if it fit into your budget.

Photo Gifts


One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

If you are looking for gift ideas, take a look at some photo gifts.  There are a variety of items you can get with photos on them, such as mugs, throws, photo books and more.

Following are 10 of the many companies that offer photo gifts.  Most of them run specials regularly.  I have been able to get several free collage prints and other items free or almost free with some of these specials.

1)      At Canvas People you can have your favorite photos put onto canvas.  There are also other companies that offer this service.  I have used Canvas People a few times.

2)      York Photo offers a variety of different items.  I ordered a fleece blanket with a collage of photos on it.

3)      Walgreens.  I have been able to get several free collage prints by specials they have. 

4)      CVS

5)      Snapfish

6)      Shutterfly

7)      Picaboo is one of the many companies that you can use to make photo books.

8)      Walmart

9)      Tiny Prints


 Click here for previous posts.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pays to Have Cash on Hand

This is a Facebook post from Mary Hunt from Debt Proof Living.

Last evening we stopped by Home Depot to pick up a couple of items. Got to the check out area only to see a complete standstill--customers pacing and employees completely befuddled. Turns out that store's entire electronic payment system went down.

They made an announcement that they could only accept cash payments until it could be fixed. Yep, you guessed it. We were the only customers out of the pretty big group who could make a purchase and get out of there.

Couldn't help but think about the kind of chaos that would result if such an outage were more widespread
.
Cash rules.

Homeowner Costs


One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

For many, the “American Dream” is to own a home of their own.  For others renting is a better fit.  Here are 10 expenses to keep in mind when shopping for a house.  When determining how much you can afford to pay each month it is important to keep these things in mind.  Some think if they can afford a certain amount of rent, they can afford that much in mortgage payments.  As you can see below there are additional expenses besides the mortgage payment.

1)      Mortgage payment – will include payment towards the principal, interest, and in many cases insurance costs and taxes.

2)      In most cases you will need a down payment and will need money at the time of closing for closing costs such as appraisal fee and other mortgage costs.

3)      Before you start looking for a home, consider how much you can afford.  Even if your are preapproved for a certain amount, decide if you are comfortable spending that much.

4)      Homeowners insurance – if you were renting, you probably had renters insurance to cover your personal possessions but now you will need to have homeowners insurance to also cover the structure.

5)      Utilities – when you were renting you may have had some utilities covered in your rent.  Now you will have electric/gas, water, garbage service, etc.  It is important to keep in mind your utility expenses may vary from month to month depending on heating and air conditioning costs.

6)      Repairs  – If something breaks instead of calling the landlord you will either need to fix it or hire someone to fix it.

7)      Updates - You may also need money for updates or to replace appliances.

8)      Lawn care and snow removal – you will either need to buy a lawnmower, snow blower, etc or hire someone.

9)      If you are moving into a larger home you may need to buy more furniture.  Or as in many cases, think you need new furniture for your new home

10)  If you purchase a condominium or a home in a development you may have monthly condo or Homeowners Association fees.  These may cover lawn care, snow removal and other items.

Click here for previous posts.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Other Uses for Crockpots


One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

Crockpots are a great way to save time and money on meals.  Now with the heat wave we are having, they are also a great way to cook meals without heating up your house more by using the oven.  There are numerous cookbooks and blogs with recipes for crockpot meals.  One of which is 365 days of crockpot.

Besides cooking meals there are other uses for crockpots.  Here are 10 ideas of other ways to use crockpots. 

1) You can make yogurt in a crockpot.


3) Crockpot Caramel can be made with just a can of sweetened condensed milk

4) You can put ingredients in a small crockpot as an air freshener

5) Shrinky dinks can be made in a crockpot instead of the oven.


7)
Dried beans. By cooking dried beans and keeping in the freezer, you may be able to save money compared to buying canned beans.




Click here for previous posts.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Student Loan Websites


One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

On a recent airing of the Suze Orman Show, Suze stated that student loan debt in America has topped $1 trillion.  In many cases, it may be necessary to go to college and obtain student loans.  One guideline she suggests is not to take out more in loans than the amount you think you will earn in salary your first year of employment.

Following are  10 websites with information on student loans.

1)      FAFSA is the site to apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and information on it.

2)      FinAid is the Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid.

3)      Saving For College is a guide to 529 plans.

4)      Staffordloan.com has information about Stafford loans and other student debt.

5)      Department of Education Direct Loan homepage has information about Direct Loans.

6)      Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a guide of what to know before borrowing money.

7)      Loan Consolidation has information if you need to consolidate your federal loans.

8)      Federal Student Aid has information to help you resolve your loan dispute.

9)      Student Loan Network has resources about student loans.

10)  FinAid Calculator estimates how much your monthly payments will be and what salary you should have to be able to make payments on your student loan.

Click here for previous posts.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Money Lessons in Everyday Life


One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

Use real world experiences to teach your kids about money, such as trips to the bank, store and dining out.

1)      At the bank explain to your children how to make a deposit, set up a savings account and checking account and explain about interest rates.

2)      At a store, explain that when using a check or debit card, you need to have the money in your bank account to cover the expenses.

3)      At store or restaurant explain that taxes and tips are added to the cost of the item

4)      For teenagers, determine how much you are planning on spending on clothes and other items and give them that amount of money once or twice a year.  Let them make decisions and see how far the money will go.They will see that they will need to make decisions on what they can afford to buy.

5)      Explain how credit cards work and that you are charged interest each month on the amount that is owed.  On a recent TV show an 18 year old had $15,000 of credit card debt.  She said she thought it was “free” money and could be paid back any time she wanted to.

6)      Explain taxes that are withheld from paychecks.  Some think they will have the amount of their salary to spend.

7)      Tell them what activities they want to participate in cost and determine if you need to cut some out. 

8)      Make savings goals for things they want to buy.

9)      Determine the differences between wants and needs.  Encourage them to think about spending decisions and to avoid making impulse purchases.

10)   Have them separate the money they receive into different categories for saving, spending and giving.

 Click here for previous posts.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Thrift Store Finds


One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.



Yesterday, I discussed things you can find at Dollar stores, today I will list some things you can find at thrift stores.

When you hear the word thrift store or second hand store, the first thing you probably think of is used clothes.  Most thrift stores have many more things than just clothes.

Here are 10 things you may be able to find at thrift stores.  Part of the fun of thrift store shopping is discovering what surprises you can find.

1)      Books

2)      Frames and mirrors

3)      Home d├ęcor (I have found items such as Mikasa candle holders and Partylite items still new in the box for only a few dollars each)

4)      Kitchen gadgets (it is a great way to try out items for less than paying retail price for them)  The last time I was in one store there were at least 10 bread machines for about $10 to $15 each and they looked brand new.

5)      Kitchen items – especially for stocking a college apartment.  Also, items that you will not use a lot.  I purchased my angel food cake pan and bundt cake pan at thrift stores several years ago.

6)      Party supplies – if you need serving bowls, trays and other items.

7)      Glass ware and silverware – you can usually find glasses and silverware for very little if you need to replace broken and lost pieces.

8)      Fabric and craft supplies

9)      Toys and games

10)  Clothing and shoes – Some retailers donate brand new items to thrift stores

Here are some ideas I found online to use items you may find at a thrift store.

Some stores run bag sales where you can fill a bag of clothing for a certain price.  The Fargo/Moorhead area Dakota Boys Ranch stores and holding bag sales in the upcoming weeks.

 Click here for previous posts.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Dollar Store Finds


One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

With the rising cost of items and the state of the economy, dollar stores are increasing in business.  Some things are not worth the dollar, but there are some things that may be a  better deal than buying at other stores.

10 of things you can find at a dollar store are (Some of these I regularly purchase and some are referenced in this post :

1) Greeting cards

2) Gift wrap and gift bags

3) Party supplies such as tablecloths, colored plates, cups, serving platter, bowls  and silverware.

4) Storage bags

5) Helium balloons

6) Health and beauty items (I don’t usually buy them here but have heard of others having good results)

7) Party favors and toys

8) Kids books and activity books

9) Craft items

10) Beach toys and pool floats

Here is a blog post I found with tips on what to buy and what not to buy at dollar stores.

As with other stores, you need to consider if you really need something before buying it.  With everything being a dollar, they can add up quick.  It may not seem like a big deal since it is a dollar but the total can add up.

A couple of websites with ideas to do with items from dollar stores are Dollar Store Crafts and Dollar Store Mom.

Click here for previous posts.

Weekend Activities


One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.



If you are still looking for things to do over the weekend, here are 10 local activities.  If you are not in the Fargo/Moorhead area, check your area for similar activities.  Many public libraries and other attractions have summer activities.  Check out fairs and festivals in your area.

1)      The Red River Valley Fair runs thru Sunday, 7/15

2)      Free Movie at the West Fargo Library, Friday 7/13 at 10:30 am.  The movie is Good Troop. Fargo Library Free Movie is WALL-E at both the downtown and Carlson locations at 1:00 on Friday, 7/13 and

3)       
RedHawks games Friday at 7:00, Saturday at 6:00 and Sunday at 1:00.

4)      < a href=http://www.fargostuff.com/store.php?seller=fargostuff.com&navt1=17077&pd=4712926>Trollwood Legally Blond: The Musical is at 8:30 pm Friday and Saturday.  It will also be presented July 18-21 and 24-28.

5)      Horese races Saturday and Sunday.  Gates open at 11:00 and first race is at 1:00.

6)      SodBuster Days at Fort Ransom State Park on Saturday and Sunday.

7)      S.S. Ruby Sunday Rambles Tour.  Each Sunday of July and August they will have a special guest on the SS Ruby.  This Sunday the guest speaker will be Cat fishing Guide Jay Leitch. 

8)      Streets Alive will be Sunday from 12-5:00.  Three miles of streets through Fargo and Moorhead will be closed to motorized vehicles to promote walking, rollerblading and other human movement.  There will be special events and vendor booths.

9)      Metamorphosis at Theatre B on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 and Sunday at 2:00.

10)   Barnes and Noble Storytime is each Saturday at 11:00 at all Barnes and Noble locations.

 Click here for previous posts.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Grocery Deals at Drugstores


One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

In recent many retailers have been adding grocery items to their stores.  I have been buying more and more grocery items at area drugstores.  Walgreens and CVS has been having deals on grocery items.  By purchasing these items at CVS I can use Extra Care Bucks I have earned and it also adds to my quarterly spending.  If you have an Extra Care Card you can earn 2% of your spending quarterly to use on future purchases.  I recently earned $23.50 for the quarter to use on future purchases. 

Many times, the coupon inserts in the Sunday newspaper corresponds with items on sale at these stores.

Each week, Erin Chase from $5 Dinners puts together a list of deals on grocery items available at major drugstores.

Following are 10 of the grocery items I have purchased at Walgreens or CVS over the past few months.

1)      Flour

2)      Sugar

3)      Milk

4)      Pasta sauce

5)      Vegetable oil

6)      Honey

7)      Peanut Butter

8)      Ketchup

9)      Miracle Whip

10)  Eggs


Click here for previous posts.