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Jacqueline Curtis
Jacqueline Curtis is an experienced style expert, and she focuses on getting high fashion on a tight budget. She writes for several online publications, including her own fashion blog, How Not to Dress Like a Mom, and specializes in fashion, finance, health and fitness, and parenting. Jae grew up in Toronto, Canada, but now resides in Utah with her husband, two kids, and prized shoe collection.

7 Affordable Spring Clothes & Accessories for Women

By Jacqueline Curtis

springtimeI grew up in Toronto, Ontario, and I can vouch that whatever you’ve heard about Canadian winters is absolutely true. They’re harsh, cold, and can feel never-ending. And of course, there’s always that one gorgeous day in March that makes you uncharacteristically optimistic about the arrival of spring, only to collapse back into winter the very next day.

Whether you need to dress professionally or casually, trying to match your style to the unpredictable mood swings of Mother Nature can leave you feeling frustrated. Learning to transition your wardrobe to warmer weather when the seasons are slow to change is essential.

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9 Financial Lessons to Learn from “Downton Abbey” (Spoiler Alert)

By Jacqueline Curtis

downton abbeyIf you were one of the 8.5 million viewers who sighed when the latest season of “Downton Abbey” came to an end, join the club – I’m a diehard fan. Blame it on my love for all things British and the amazing costumes – and, of course, the juicy storyline and gasp-inducing plot twists as well.

But while “Downton Abbey” might simply be seen as a bit of fun for a Sunday night, I’ve noticed a recurring theme that colors literally every part of the show, characters, and plot: money. After all, the entire premise of the show is to prove that between the “have” and the “have nots,” everyone has their own challenges. With this in mind, I started watching the show with renewed interest in the theme of money and financial security.

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How to Use a 21-Day Financial Fast to Improve Spending Habits

By Jacqueline Curtis

saving moneyIn “The 21-Day Financial Fast: Your Path to Financial Peace and Freedom,”¬†financial advisor and Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary outlines the “financial fast,” a sort of money diet that promises to break bad spending habits, create a plan to become debt free, and set yourself on a better financial course for the future. While on a financial fast, you can’t spend any unnecessary money – at all. Unless it’s food, shelter, or something else essential to survival, you’re committing to making do with what you already have.

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8 Best Mobile Coupon Apps to Save Money Shopping With Your Smartphone

By Jacqueline Curtis

using a smartphone while shoppingExtreme couponing can save you a lot of money, but it can also take a lot of energy. Fumbling through newspapers, clipping the best deals, and waiting for them to scan at checkout can make any quick supermarket trip an epic errand. People with kids or full-time jobs typically don’t have the time to scour the Internet and print out, organize, and use anything more than the occasional coupon.

That’s where couponing apps can come to the rescue. The ability to upload, “clip,” and scan coupons directly on your smartphone can make the process a lot more efficient.

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10 Affordable Travel Tips to Stay Within Your Vacation Budget

By Jacqueline Curtis

travelIt seems like every time I log into Facebook or Instagram, I’m hit with a barrage of pictures from friends traveling the world. Whether they’re backpacking across Europe, sightseeing in Asia, or exploring South American jungles, it’s hard for me not to get a little travel envy. With two kids and a mortgage, though, dropping everything to jet set around the world just isn’t in the cards – or in our budget.

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14 Tips to Increase Productivity & Avoid Distractions When Working at Home

By Jacqueline Curtis

work at homeAccording to the U.S. Census, nearly six million Americans work primarily from home. If you’re looking to become one of them, it’s crucial to watch out for the pitfalls.

I’ve been working from home for the past eight years. And while I definitely am now comfortable doing so, there were a lot of growing pains early on. I once locked myself in the bathroom to have an uninterrupted conference call with a client – not quite the epitome of professionalism. However, if you take the time to prepare to work from home and create an atmosphere conducive to professionalism and productivity, it’s more than possible to build a thriving career.

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10 Ways to Take Care of Your Clothes and Make Them Last Longer

By Jacqueline Curtis

clothesWhether you’re a total fashionista or you avoid the mall at all costs, you probably spend a lot more than you think on clothing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American family spent $1,736 on clothes in 2012. Although kids outgrow their clothing fairly quickly, adults can hang onto theirs for years – as long as it doesn’t wear out.

Since longer-lasting clothing means more money in your pocket, be sure you do all you can to preserve your wardrobe. Of course, it may require changing a few habits. Luckily, you don’t need special products to keep your whites sparkling and your dark garments looking sharp.

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9 Money-Saving Tips From TLC’s “Extreme Cheapskates” – Savvy or Risky?

By Jacqueline Curtis

extreme cheapskatesIf you’ve never seen an episode of TLC’s “Extreme Cheapskates,” here’s a quick rundown: Each episode features two self-described “cheapskates” who demonstrate their cheap ways throughout the episode. From dumpster diving, to foraging for vegetables, it seems like there’s no money-saving method too extreme for these beacons of money-saving savvy.

But here’s the thing: While the cheapskates on the show cheerfully boast about all the money they’re saving, not all of their behavior is safe. In fact, the series starts with a warning: “Don’t try this at home.”

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15 Ways to Improve Your Career Prospects and Reach Work-Related Goals

By Jacqueline Curtis

workerAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person spends 8.8 hours per day at work – that’s a little over 9,000 hours per year, essentially one-third of your life. It stands to reason, then, that you’re going to want to choose a job that you truly love.

Unfortunately, economic conditions, necessity, and the simple twists and turns of life can lead you down a career path you’re not necessarily passionate about. Whether you’re stuck in a dead-end job, earning less than you want, or you simply aren’t appreciated, a negative perception of your career can be discouraging.

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Daycare Costs – 9 Ways to Save Money on Childcare Services

By Jacqueline Curtis

daycareMy husband and I were overjoyed to have our first baby back in 2006. We were both employed at the time, and after a short maternity leave I was more than ready to head back to work.

The problem, however, was childcare.¬†While it’s a blessing that provides parents the opportunity to return to work, it can also take an impressive chunk out of your paycheck. Before you return to work, consider the costs of care in your area, the alternatives, and how much help you really need.

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How to Find the Perfect Apartment for Rent – 10-Step Process

By Jacqueline Curtis

apt-search1Whether you’re a young adult about to live on your own for the first time or you’re going from a mortgage to a month-to-month rental in a new area, you need to be prepared before starting your apartment hunt. Finding the right place at the right price is no easy task, but it doesn’t have to be too overwhelming. After you figure out what you can afford, it’s simply a matter of finding the right apartment, agreeing to lease terms, and then signing on the dotted line.

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How Money Can Change People and Affect Their Behavior

By Jacqueline Curtis

moneyGoing from rags to riches is essentially the American Dream. Whether it happens by way of a better-paying job or winning the lottery, some studies suggest that money can change your behavior – and not always for the better. Of course, there are plenty of charitable, helpful, and giving wealthy people. However, results from some studies have proven that they may be the exception, rather than the rule.

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How to Preserve Friendships When Your Financial Status Changes

By Jacqueline Curtis

lunch with friendsIt was one of those awkward moments I’d love to forget. I had flown to visit a friend after she had her first baby. As we shopped for clothes for her bundle of joy, I asked if we could go to lunch – my treat. My friend immediately bristled at the idea, and suggested we just head home to eat at her house. I kept pressing the issue – in my mind, I was crashing in her guest room, so buying her lunch was the least I could do. She continued to refuse and it turned into a cloud over our day.

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9 Money Myths & Mistakes That Could Cost You

By Jacqueline Curtis

burning moneyLearning about money can be a bit of a trial by fire. Some were taught flawless finances by their parents, while others take courses in school. But for the rest of us, finance books, articles, and advice from friends and family make up most of our financial education. And while there are definitely nuggets of wisdom to be found, there’s also a ton of bad advice out there.

So how do you tell the difference between the solid financial truths and the money myths? It’s all about your individual situation. By applying the advice to your particular set of circumstances, you can see where it works – and where it doesn’t.

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9 Travel & Vacation Planning Mistakes That Can Cost You Money

By Jacqueline Curtis

vacationWhen it comes to travel planning, the Internet is an incredible resource – but, let’s face it, there is a lot of conflicting information out there. I love going on vacation, but organizing my trips is enough to give me some serious anxiety. From timing plane ticket purchases for the best possible deal, to waffling over hundreds of hotel options, getting the most bang for your travel bucks can be overwhelming.

Whether it’s the curse of indecision or inflexible dates, you can sabotage your ability to snag the best vacation deals before you even hop on a plane or gas up your car. By educating yourself about common spending traps, you can better allocate your money and set priorities before starting your search for vacation deals.

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