winter homeowners tips

If you are a homeowner or about to become one, you will need to get familiar with a lot of maintenance tasks. Owning a home can be one of the most fulfilling accomplishments you ever make, but it also requires effort and attention to detail to keep it in good shape. Some things you will need to keep in mind are taking care of the lawn, shoveling snow in the driveway and any walk ways, keeping your gutters clear and much more.

You might not learn everything you need to know at once but the more knowledge you can put under your belt now the better off you will be in the future. The end goal is to keep your home safe, stable and in good shape for years to come.

Some things you will want to familiarize yourself with are your furnace and how to maintain it, paying attention to windows and your attic for ice and frost and keeping any exhaust vents clear from debris.

See all 12 tips here…

savings challenge

The year is almost over! With January 1st almost here it’s important to get those New Year’s resolutions in order. I have the perfect one! Save $1,378.00 by next year’s end. And no it isn’t hard and it isn’t by grabbing change out the car and from the couch cushions (although that does help). How does this simple ingenious idea work? Each week of the year, you save that much in dollars. So week one you save $1.00 and week 52 you save $52.00. Simple, right?!

I tried this last year and didn’t quite make it. Shame shame shame. We popped a tire around week 31. But this year I’m determined to make it all the way. $1378.00…here I come! It’s so important to get into the habit of saving. If you need to start simpler do that; there is a plan for saving in .25 increments too. Check out the printable template. It really is amazing!

Whatever you decide, any extra money in the ‘bank’ will be helpful come next Christmas and if you’re looking for more ways to save money be sure to check out America Saves.

Find the full article from Life As You Live It here…

Life As You Live It: 52 Week Money Savings Challenge

disney money saving challenge

On January 1st we featured a 52 week money saving challenge that easily was our all time most popular post. So, when I saw this unique twist on that idea to save $5,000 for a Disney vacation I just had to share it with you. There’s so many great tips and printables on the site to help you along the way over at Passporter Boards. Have fun!

Here’s the link to the challenge details…

PassporterBoards – How To Save $5,000 For A Disney Vacation

Image Credit: passporterboards.com

save money checklist

Our 52 week money saving challenge post did so well and I think will end up being our most popular feature of all time… I figured I better dig up some more ways for you guys to save! So, while I was surfing the world wide web I came across this awesome checklist that gives you a ton of ways to save money each month with the goal of reaching at least $400.

Combine this with the money saving challenge and you’ll be able to triple your savings this year!

Here’s the link to the checklist…

TheBudgetDiet – Cut Your Spending Checklist

Image Credit: pinimg.com

Everyone works very hard for their money, and so it’s only natural that you want it to go as far as possible. Saving money can be difficult because it normally involves going without something that you would actually want. This guide will look at some very easy ways to save money, so that you can save up for that big purchase, or just for a rainy day.

Areas you can Save money:

– Entertainment
– Cars
– Food Shopping
– Energy Bills

Entertainment

You probably have a couple of memberships or subscriptions that you don’t use and are actually wasting money on. If you have stacks of magazines that you never get the time to read, then call up and cancel the subscriptions. The same can be said for any DVD subscriptions or gym membership.

There are things that you will want to spend your money on, including clothing, food and going to concerts. However, try to only make purchases that you either really need or will be memorable.

Cars

If you are looking at changing your car then you might not want to get a brand new model. Most new cars will lose at least a quarter of its value in the first two years. By buying a second hand vehicle you can loose less money.

Also make sure that your car is maintained regularly as this will reduce the risk of expensive repair bills. Check your tires are inflated correctly to improve fuel consumption.

Food Shopping

A great deal of your monthly budget probably goes on food shopping. If you regularly buy food out at work then you will be spending hundreds of dollars a year. Instead, make yourself food and take a packed lunch to work.

Also drink tap water instead of buying bottled water. Instead of going out for coffee, make some in the morning and take it in a insulated mug.

Energy Bills

Another area of your budget which will normally be quite large is the energy bills. Make sure that you buy energy efficient appliances if anything needs replacing.

Also ensure that the television and computer are turned off and not left on standby. Leaving devices on standby wastes huge amounts of electricity which will cost money.

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8 ways to save big at target

I just found this really great post over at Holistic Homemaking that outlines 8 ways to save big at Target. I got a little giddy when I found this because Target is my absolute favorite place to shop. I am not quite sure why, but give me an evening of free time with hubby watching the kids and you’ll know where to find me!

The very best tip from the list that I had never seen laid out before is the markdown schedule. It’s no longer a mystery LOL… Thanks April for outlining this!

Weekly Markdown Schedule
 
Monday – clothing {children’s}, electronics, stationery, office supplies, gift wrap
 
Tuesday – clothing {women’s}, domestics, food, pets
 
Wednesday – clothing {men’s}, health & beauty, lawn & garden
 
Thursday – shoes, toy, lingerie, housewares, decor, luggage, sporting goods, music, movies, books
 
Friday – cosmetics, jewelry, auto, hardware
 
** Target is widely popular and their clearance items go FAST. Going the day the clearance starts is going to give you the best shot at finding the right size, color, etc of the item you are looking for. **
 
Semi-Annual Markdown Schedule
 
These clearance events occur over the span of a month’s time. Prices start at 30% then move to 50%, 75% and 90% in weekly intervals. Shopping as the month progresses means you will see deeper discounts, but the inventory might not be that great. If you have your eye on something you will probably need to snag it sooner rather than later.
 
January & July – Baby Items.
 
January, July & October – Toys.
 
Holiday Markdown Schedule
 
markdowns are taken every 2-3 days
 
Days 1-3 after holiday = 50% off
 
Days 4-6 after holiday = 75% off
 
Days 7-9 after holiday = 90% off

Make sure to check out all the other ways to save big at Target. Holistic Homemaking is one of my favorite blogs too, so make sure to check out the rest of the site when you have time too!

Here’s the link…

Holistic Homemaking: Target’s Best Kept Secrets

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personal finance 7 bank accounts every family should have

I believe this is the first post I have ever done on personal finance. Household finances is that subject everyone is always thinking about but never wants to talk about. If you are like me, you are always looking for deals and cheaper ways of doing things but probably avoiding the hard topics like… budgeting, knowing your numbers every month and being organized for taxes, insurance, autos etc.

It can be overwhelming and sometimes it’s easy to just ignore and sweep under the rug. But trust me, you’ll feel so much more empowered when you take control of your finances instead of letting them control you. If you are reactionary when it comes to money instead of proactive then this is for you!

I found this super great, prolly the best practical personal finance advice article ever over at the Fun Cheap or Free blog. If you are struggling with keeping your monthly finances under control. This guide could be the answer to your prayers.

Take a look here…

Fun Cheap or Free: 7 Bank Accounts Every Family Should Have

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