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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.

5 Elementary School Science Fair Project Ideas on a Budget

By Jacqueline Curtis

science fair projectI 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.

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5 Ways to Save Money on School Expenses for Kids

By Jacqueline Curtis

school childrenYou 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?

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7 Scams That Target Elderly Seniors – How to Protect Your Loved Ones

By Jacqueline Curtis

senior citizens are often targets of scamsWhile 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.

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How Retailers Encourage Impulse Buys – Store Layouts & Psychological Tactics

By Jacqueline Curtis

girl shopping bagsWhen 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.

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5 Affordable Bridal Shower Food & Menu Ideas

By Jacqueline Curtis

bridal shower foodFood 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.

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Designer Kids Clothes – Worth the High Price?

By Jacqueline Curtis

kids clothesOh, 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.

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10 Tips for Shopping at Local Farmers’ Markets

By Jacqueline Curtis

farmers marketThere’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.

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9 Tips for Lending Money to Family & Friends

By Jacqueline Curtis

money changing handsLending 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.

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6 Tips for Clothes Shopping During Store Clearance Sales

By Jacqueline Curtis

shopping clearanceI 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.

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7 Tips for Traveling & Flying With an Infant

By Jacqueline Curtis

babies on a planeIf you plan to fly with a child less than one year old, you’d better get prepared and gather your courage. Though you can’t entirely control what happens in-flight or at the airport, you can plan ahead. Most importantly, you need to put plenty of thought into your child’s temperament – what calms him or her? How can you best keep to your normal routine? Your first instinct is to keep your little one as comfortable as possible, but you should also take your neighbors into consideration.

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9 Money Saving Tips for Families & Households on a Budget

By Jacqueline Curtis

frugal familyLast year, CNN reported that the cost of raising a child has skyrocketed nearly 40% in the last 10 years. Parents can now expect to shell out about $227,000 on each child between birth and the age of 18. That’s a huge amount of money – but when you consider the clothing, food, shelter, education, and other aspects of raising a child, it’s easy to see how your bank account is often dry at the end of the month.

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How to Spot Fake Fashion, Designer Knock-Offs & Counterfeits

By Jacqueline Curtis

shopping for high fashionDid you know that knock-off fashion is a $600 billion industry? Fake fashion and knock-offs are products that are designed to look like they have a high-fashion brand, but are actually cheap, low quality fakes. Some people don’t mind carrying or wearing a replica item, but it’s not okay when you’re taken advantage of by someone selling a clever counterfeit.

The problem is that when you buy a bag, a pair of shoes, or other accessories online, you don’t actually get to handle the item and assess the quality prior to making your payment. This means you need to use good “detective skills” to find out whether the item you’re looking at is the real deal.

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5 Fashion Challenges to Mix Up Your Wardrobe & Save Money

By Jacqueline Curtis

fashion challengeHave you ever heard of a fashion challenge? They’re tasks that bloggers, fashionistas, or anyone sick and tired of their wardrobe can use to stretch new limits, try new trends, and make old items look new again.

When I first heard about fashion challenges, I loved the idea. It’s an amazing way to restyle the clothes you already have so you’re less likely to buy new ones. It’s perfect for those who are budget-conscious about fashion, and can help you rediscover old items in your wardrobe. In my case, a fashion challenge was the perfect way to clean out my closet.

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How to Stop Fighting About Money With Your Spouse

By Jacqueline Curtis

couple arguing over financesMoney is among the top reasons for martial strain and divorce, and those of us who are married understand why. Think about your single years: You had complete control over your finances and your bank account. Fast-forward to combining your finances with your spouse, and it’s easy to see why arguing about finances can put a serious damper on your relationship. Financial infidelity, different spending and saving habits, and lean times can make you feel stressed out and liable to take out your frustration on your spouse.

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5 Cheap & Unique Baby Shower Decoration Ideas

By Jacqueline Curtis

baby showerAre you planning to throw a shower for one of your expecting friends? Baby showers are big business, so you could easily go over budget by snapping up the cutest shower decor at party stores and online. However, you shouldn’t have to break the bank to dress up your abode for the festive occasion. By saving on decor, you’ll have more money to spend on celebrating your friend’s little one.

Luckily, if you have a dollar store and a craft store nearby, you can snag everything you need for a gorgeous shower on the cheap. Dressed up with the right ingredients, no one will ever guess you paid bargain basement prices for the shower decorations.

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