For many brides, the shower host has already done her share, and that’s enough of a present. But if you still want to present a gift to the bride-to-be, there are plenty of creative ways to show you care in spite of a small or depleted budget.
Sometimes, it can be hard to gauge what’s appropriate for bridal shower games. If the attendees are younger and more rowdy, you might be tempted to try raunchier games. Of course, that might totally shock and appall Great Aunt Martha. When planning bridal shower games, it’s important to remember that bridal showers aren’t meant to be crazy, rowdy affairs – that’s what the bachelorette party is for. Instead, games should be pretty tame in comparison so that everyone at the shower feels comfortable.
I love working out in the morning. Not only is it the best way to start my day, but I don’t have to deal with fixing my hair or makeup at the crack of dawn. Bare-faced and ponytailed is more my style. Sometimes, however, I don’t get the chance to exercise first thing in the morning, and I have to head to the gym after I’ve already gotten ready for the day. That often means I have full makeup and “done” hair.
By Jacqueline Curtis
Just turning the pages of a fashion magazine can inspire you to blow your entire budget on the latest must-haves, trends, and accessories. That’s because magazines, commercials, and even posters are intelligently designed to make you crave the next big thing, whether it’s a new style of shoe or the latest in handbag chic.
On the other hand, you don’t want to look like you haven’t been shopping since 1987. But striking a balance between chasing every trend and being hopelessly out of fashion can be like walking a fine line. Walking it successfully, however, has more to do with your personal tastes than what’s hot in the latest fashion mag or on the runway. Most trends are fleeting, while your own personal style is timeless.
By Jacqueline Curtis
It’s no secret that the bride, groom, and their respective families often pay big money on the betrothed’s nuptials. Even small, intimate weddings can cost thousands of dollars, thanks to the wedding reception food, the venue, the all-important wedding dress, and other special touches. Though expensive, the bride and groom have the advantage of time to plan their wedding according to their collective budget. Their guests, however, aren’t always so fortunate.
Let’s face it – going to the grocery store is a major time drain. When you add it all up, a trip to the store can easily take an hour or two out of your day. But we all need to eat, right?
Have you ever thought about using a grocery delivery service like Peapod? It may sound like a perfect solution and time-saver: You do your shopping online, pay with your credit card, and voila! Your groceries appear at your door. But before you start filling up your virtual grocery cart, make sure you know the true costs of the service as opposed to shopping yourself. When compared side-by-side, you might be surprised at the results.
By Jacqueline Curtis
I love my daughter’s school, but I can’t help but groan inwardly when I receive a note about an upcoming science fair. We all know it’s usually the parents who are up at late hours tracking down poster board and markers for a last-minute masterpiece. I’ve exchanged many weary glances with fellow parents at Home Depot, buying plywood and paint for a diorama.
After my child’s last school project, which involved a lot of spray paint and craft knives, I decided enough was enough. Instead of being a science fair for kids, it was turning into a competition to see whose parents would win the blue ribbon. I made a promise that from then on, my daughter would be in charge of her own project.
You probably expect to pay for some parts of your child’s education, even if your child goes to public school. At the beginning of the school year, there’s the obligatory back-to-school shopping trip, PTA fees, and monthly lunch money.
But it’s the unexpected little fees and donations for class trips, fundraisers, parties, and the like that really add up over time. The question is: How much is too much? And how do you rein in school spending so that it doesn’t completely break your budget?
While it seems unconscionable to most, unscrupulous men and women often target senior citizens for devious scams to rob them of their money or identities. When scammers know how to confuse and gain the trust of the elderly, they have virtual free reign of bank accounts, personal information, and even assets.
If you’re concerned about the well-being of a senior in your life, or if you’re a senior who wants to protect yourself, learn about common risks and scams. Then, if someone approaches you or your loved one with a potential investment or opportunity, it will be easier to determine the legitimacy of the offer.
By Jacqueline Curtis
When you hurry into the grocery store for milk and bread, do you ever find yourself forking over $50 at the checkout for unplanned purchases? Do you stop by the mall for a new pair of shoes, only to end up blowing your budget on something completely different?
If so, don’t beat yourself up. While your resolve and shopping skills certainly might be called into question, the supermarket, the mall, and even the home improvement store are situated to make you spend.
Food can be the biggest source of stress for anyone throwing a party, but this is especially true when the party is a bridal shower. The edibles can be expensive if you don’t closely watch your budget. Still, you can reconfigure your shower plans by choosing a menu that helps cut down on your party planning costs and still impresses the guests and the bride-to-be. You’ve already spent money on decor, games, and gifts – you don’t need to completely break your bank by serving up a pricey feast.
Oh, how times have changed. When I was a kid, I was happy with my Garanimals and a secondhand tape player. Today, it’s all about brand-name labels and personal MP3 players. Kids definitely have more material goods at their disposal today than in past years. The constant pressure to fit in at school and to “keep up with the Joneses” could have you searching for pricier duds for your child to make sure that she or he fits in.
There’s nothing I love more than checking out local events, and farmers’ markets are some of my favorites. Where else can you pick up fresh fruits and vegetables, look through local artists’ work, sample amazing food, and hear live music all at once? It’s among the best forms of entertainment during the warm summer months.
One of the best thing about farmers’ markets is that they’re populated by local farmers, vendors, and artists, which means that not only are you scoring great deals on fresh foods, but you’re also doing your part to help your local economy. That said, shopping at farmers’ markets is nothing like shopping at a grocery store, and for the uninitiated it can be intimidating. Here’s what you need to know to have a great experience.
By Jacqueline Curtis
Lending money to loved ones is often a bad idea because it puts your relationship in jeopardy. But when someone you love is in a serious bind and you have the means to help, it can be impossible to say no. So what do you do?
What you don’t do is lend money on good faith and expect to be paid back. Just as if you were loaning to a complete stranger, you need to be smart about setting up the terms and a schedule for repayment with your friends and family. But as long as you and your money stay protected, lending to someone you love is doable – even if it isn’t necessarily advisable.
I love it when I go shopping and find that my favorite store is having a huge sale. Gearing myself up to spend a certain amount and then learning that I’m getting way more bang for my buck is one of the best feelings in the world. However, it took me years before I realized that the feeling of snagging a huge score while shopping didn’t have to be completely random. In fact, you can track a store’s sale cycle so you always get the best price for whatever clothing and accessories you want.