Casey Slide Casey Slide lives with her husband and baby in Atlanta, GA. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and worked for a prominent hospital in Atlanta. With the birth of Casey’s son in February 2010, she decided to become a stay-at-home mom. Casey’s interests include reading, running, living green, and saving money.
Many goods are slated to increase in price in 2011, such as gasoline, grains, chocolate, and even fast food! It has been frustrating and a little depressing to read these economic predictions.
However, there is good news: some things are actually expected to decrease in price. This is especially useful if you are one of the many people who made the New Year’s resolutions to spend less and save in 2011.
My husband and I were joking around the other day that we could save money on our water bill by letting our dogs lick our plates clean when we were done eating. While I certainly do not want my dogs finishing my dinner, it got me thinking about the many ways that our dogs do save us money.
I can’t say that we definitely save more than we spend, because dogs are expensive (although there are still ways to save money on pets). For instance, there’s the cost of buying or adopting a pet, feeding healthy dog food, grooming, toys and health care fees at the vet, just for starters. However, the potential for savings is more than meets the eye.
If you could only have one small kitchen appliance, which one would you choose? Perhaps it would be the toaster oven, an electric can opener, or maybe a microwave? There are probably some appliances you could live without.
What about a Crock-Pot? I don’t know what I’d do without mine. Honestly, some days I feel as though my family wouldn’t eat if it weren’t for the Crock-Pot. It’s truly a lifesaver.
My parents live in Florida, and whenever I visit, my dad always asks me if I have any cash on me. It’s not that he needs to borrow some; it’s quite the opposite. My dad firmly believes in carrying cash in case of the unexpected. In response, 9 times out of 10, I tell my dad that I do not have any cash. He usually slips me a twenty dollar bill.
When I moved to Atlanta and started going to my current church, I wanted to get involved by joining a ministry. As it so happened, they were holding a ministry fair, and I decided to check it out. I walked around and looked at all the booths to see where I would best fit. I passed the choir booth, but I couldn’t sing. I passed the quilting booth, but I couldn’t sew. Around and around I went, but I didn’t really feel like there was a place for me.
When I went to college at the University of Florida, it was super trendy to go jogging. It seemed to be the standard hobby of everyone I knew, except for myself. At the time, I didn’t exercise, with the exception of walking to class. But because I constantly saw runners around me, the wheels in my head began to turn, and I realized that I really was not in shape. I desired to be healthy, and I wanted to participate in the campus culture. So for my 2002 New Year’s resolution, I decided to start running.
Every family has special holiday traditions. When I was growing up, we always had a lot of family around, so our Christmas holidays were very busy. My husband’s family was very different because they did not spend the holiday with extended family. My mother-in-law has told me that it was important for her to come up with ways to keep her kids occupied on Christmas day. She stretched meals and other activities in order to create a special Christmas day for her family.
Whether your holiday is almost fully planned, or you are still working to develop some of your own family traditions, here are 10 fun activities for Christmas day.
It has always been a challenge for me to stick to my budget in December. Not because of Christmas and presents and holiday travel, but because everyone I know seems to want to get together this time of year. And when people want to get together, it usually means spending money to go out to eat.
I’m planning on traveling to visit my family in Florida, and I already have dinner plans for several nights in my 10-day trip. As much as I hate to do it, if I want to stay on budget, I simply cannot accept any more invitations to meet up for dinner this month.
Along with the joy and festivities of the Christmas season comes much holiday stress, especially when holiday travel is involved. Whether you’re flying, driving, or traveling by bus or train, there is a lot of prep work that goes into your trip. And on top of that, there’s the worry of leaving your home unattended while you are away and the concern for your safety while you’re traveling.
To make your holiday travel preparations smoother and less stressful, use this checklist to ensure that you have made all the necessary arrangements for yourself, your home, and your family before taking off. That way you can have a pleasant, less nerve-racking trip.
A few weeks ago, I had some friends over for lunch. I hadn’t cleaned my house in weeks so before they arrived, I had to go into mad dash cleaning mode. For about three hours my husband and I were running around like chickens with our heads cut off dusting everything in sight. Our friends wouldn’t have judged us on the cleanliness of our home (they may not even have noticed), but you don’t want guests to have to experience – or witness – your messiness.
For me, this was the last straw. Tired of playing catch-up with my cleaning, I decided to make a proper cleaning schedule.
I remember when I was in my early teen years getting a phone call from a “credit card company.” They told me that my mom had told them that she wanted me to open a credit card account and that I was to give them my Social Security number. My first thought was that it seemed strange that my mom would want me to get a credit card, but I was young and impressionable so I bought it hook, line, and sinker. Lucky for me, I had no clue what my Social Security number was so I said that they would have to call my mom and get it from her.
My husband and I really enjoy learning new ways to reuse things around the house. We try to be creative and innovative in our ongoing efforts to reuse, and also have fun with it.
Here’s why we do it, and 10 easy ways you too can start using less, and reusing more:
This is obvious, but keep in mind that how much you save depends on what you are reusing, and how consistent you are with it. Some projects may only save you a few dollars a month. The key to more substantial savings is to reuse several things and stick with it. The savings will add up.
My child has not turned one yet, but my husband and I say it is never too early to start thinking about his education. This includes everything from his primary schooling to budgeting for a 529 college savings plan. One option that we have been considering is homeschooling. The main reason it appeals to us is because it puts us, and not the government, in control of our child’s education. However, one of our concerns is how much it costs to homeschool. Homeschool supplies and curriculum costs are just the beginning, and we have discovered hidden costs as well.
Time flies when you are having fun – and when you are with the one you love. As the years go by, perhaps your anniversaries begin to sneak up on you, with you and your loved one seemingly always ending up going out to dinner again. Or perhaps the big day comes and goes, and you don’t do anything at all because you are on a tight budget and can’t think of something to do that is celebratory, memorable, and won’t cost a fortune. (Sure, a trip to the wine country sounds perfect; but is it worth refinancing your home and mortgage to finance this?) Well, luckily, you can be both romantic and financially smart.
The content on MoneyCrashers.com is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor. References to products, offers, and rates from third party sites often change. While we do our best to keep these updated, numbers stated on this site may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with some of the companies mentioned on this website. Among other things, we may receive free products, services, and/or monetary compensation in exchange for featured placement of sponsored products or services. We strive to write accurate and genuine reviews and articles, and all views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors.
Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which MoneyCrashers.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they appear on category pages. MoneyCrashers.com does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers, although best efforts are made to include a comprehensive list of offers regardless of compensation. Advertiser partners include American Express, U.S. Bank, and Barclaycard, among others.