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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 Reasons Why Your Personal Budget Is Failing and How to Fix It

By Jacqueline Curtis

budgetingI am a serial budget-maker. The number-crunching, the spreadsheets, the organization – I’m absolutely addicted. However, over the years, I’ve nursed a love-hate relationship with my budget. I love how it organizes my funds, but I hate actually having to adjust my spending to meet what a spreadsheet tells me.

So, what’s someone with the best intentions to do when a budget isn’t working? It’s usually human error that makes a budget fail, and by investigating for possible gaffes, you might find out where you’ve gone wrong. Don’t fear your budget – just be vigilant and triple-check it for accuracy to ensure it works with you, not against you. And always keep an eye out for the major reasons that most budgets fail.

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How to Make a Family Budget With Your Kids

By Jacqueline Curtis

save money as a familyWhen you and your spouse decide that you need to tighten the purse strings and start socking away money, how do you do it? Chances are, you rearrange your deposits so more cash goes into savings, you vow to be better about your household budget, and you work together to make your long-term financial goals possible. But what about your children?

If you don’t take the opportunity to sit down and teach your kids about saving money, you could be missing out on a chance to impart a valuable lesson and an experience that could bring your family closer together. By making saving a family affair, you can teach your kids about money while also making your efforts more effective.

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9 Ways to Save Money on Magazine Subscriptions

By Jacqueline Curtis

magazinesOkay, I’ll admit it: I’m addicted to magazines. I love mindless entertainment to decompress from my day – grab a magazine, flick on “The Bachelor,” and my night is pretty much set.

But unfortunately, magazines aren’t necessarily cheap, and the cost of one or two subscriptions can really add up. And while you might be tempted at the supermarket checkout to grab a pack of gum and the latest issue of “Vogue,” you shouldn’t ever pay newsstand prices for magazines. A typical magazine costs around $3.99 – if you’re grabbing one per week, you could spend well over $200 per year.

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4 Bridal Shower Decoration Ideas on the Cheap

By Jacqueline Curtis

bridal showerIt can be a challenge to keep the costs of bridal shower decor within reason. However, considering that you may spend a fortune on the bridal shower menu, it is also very important. Unfortunately, cliché cutouts, paper wedding bells, and other cheap, plain decorations can take an otherwise perfect shower and turn it into something that even the most tolerant bride could dislike.

Sure, fresh-cut flowers and a champagne fountain could really brighten up the room, but you don’t need to spend big for classy, quality ornamentation. Homemade and from-the-heart adornments can pack a big punch while being easy on the bank account. The bride never has to know that you skimped on spending, because everything is going to look perfect.

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How to Use the Best Flash Sale Sites to Score Deals – Pros & Cons

By Jacqueline Curtis

online shoppingWhat do sites like ideeli, Gilt, HauteLook, Fab, and NoMoreRack all have in common?

In addition to offering great deals, they’re all considered “flash sale” sites, which are often confused with group shopping sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial. Flash sale sites represent a new breed of consumerism, offering steep discounts on in-demand items, but with a catch: The sales only last for a few hours.

You might think flash sale sites are all geared toward female shoppers, but you’d be wrong. Fab.com caters to the indie crowd, while DoggyLoot targets pet owners. No matter who you are, chances are there’s a flash sale site for you.

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8 Sneaky Budget Busters and How to Avoid Them

By Jacqueline Curtis

budgetAh, that fresh new budget smell. You know the one – it’s laced with the good intentions of making a commitment to spend better. You might print it out and stick it to your fridge, or simply vow that you’ll live by it faithfully from now on.

Of course, after the honeymoon period, there’s a slip-up. Not a big one, but something that makes the importance of your budget diminish just a little. Over time, it slips your mind more and more, until soon, that well-intentioned budget is completely forgotten because it was just too hard to stick to.

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How to Start a Babysitting Co-op or Exchange

By Jacqueline Curtis

sittingHave you ever wanted to go on a date with your spouse but you couldn’t find a good babysitter? I love the summertime because all the teens in my neighborhood are home and ready to work. During the school year, however, it’s a lot more difficult to find someone at the last minute. Furthermore, it can be a drain on the wallet – in many cases, a night out can require $20 or more spent on babysitting before you even get your first appetizer.

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The Myths of TLC’s “Extreme Couponing” – How Couponing Really Works

By Jacqueline Curtis

couponingIf you’re a reality TV junkie like me, you’ve probably seen the TLC show “Extreme Couponing.” In the show, devout couponers score major deals, procuring items for as much as a full 100% discount. Some shoppers even work the system so they’re essentially paid to take the items from the store, receiving credits, points, and vouchers that exceed the value of the items they’ve purchased.

It sounds like these are pretty amazing deals, right?

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5 Unique & Creative Baby Shower Gift Ideas on the Cheap

By Jacqueline Curtis

baby showerBabies are always something to celebrate, but if your bank account is running low or you have a ton of friends all having bundles of joy at the same time, buying gifts can really put a dent in your wallet. Since most baby registries boast high-ticket items like strollers, cribs, and high chairs, your excitement can easily turn into the baby blues.

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7 Common Job Interview Mistakes to Avoid & How to Handle Them

By Jacqueline Curtis

job interviewAs the daughter of a career counselor, the importance of the perfect job interview was pounded into my head since I was 15 and applied for my first job as a night receptionist. We’ve seen a lot of bad interviewers in the family biz, and more often than not, the best advice provided wasn’t a list of things to do or say, but rather a list of faux pas to avoid.

However, today’s job landscape barely resembles the one of 10 and even 5 years ago. With unemployment still hovering at 7.8%, the market is literally packed with highly qualified job seekers – i.e., your competition. To stand out from the pack, you must focus on being the best interviewee possible.

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6 Ways to Save on Your Girls’ Weekend Spa Getaway

By Jacqueline Curtis

spa treatmentLast spring, my friends and I had a dream of treating ourselves to a weekend away. Unfortunately, we had a very limited budget, a huge group of 10, and did not want to sacrifice on lodging, services, or food. But in spite of these obstacles, we had a fantastic weekend and only spent around $100 per person for top-notch lodging and food.

Going away for the weekend doesn’t have to be a huge budget-buster. If you’re planning a spa getaway for the girls, a little creativity and planning can save you major cash without sacrificing any part of the experience.

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8 Money Lies That Damage Your Finances & Hurt Your Marriage

By Jacqueline Curtis

having a money argumentThey say that what someone doesn’t know won’t hurt them. Unfortunately, when it comes to money, this sentiment doesn’t apply.

I remember when my husband and I were newlyweds. I continued my habit of shopping, but would nest the shopping bags, each one into another, so it only looked like I brought home a single bag. One day, my husband wanted to see what I had purchased – and watched in horror as I started pulling out bag after bag. Not only was he annoyed that I’d tried to hide my shopping from him, he was even more perturbed when he realized that I’d been doing it for months.

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5 Questions to Ask Before Buying From Daily Deal Websites

By Jacqueline Curtis

online shoppingIt seems like every day there’s a new daily deal website devoted to getting you deep discounts on products and services. From Groupon to LivingSocial, daily deal websites can flood your inbox with deal notifications every morning. Since the deals are constantly changing, it’s exciting to see what’s up for grabs – but is all of that wheeling and dealing really worth it?

While group deal and daily sale companies can help you save money on the essentials, if you’re not careful, you could end up spending more on the products and services you don’t need. While weighing the pros of getting a good deal against the cons, there are five questions you must ask yourself.

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10 Fun & Cheap Things to Do With Your Kids

By Jacqueline Curtis

bowlingI like to think that I’m a pretty fun mom. I regularly plan field trips around town, and I’m totally fine with jumping on the bed. But every parent hits the end of the rope every now and then, and it’s at such times that I find myself shelling out money for kids’ activities that will keep mine busy for a few hours. However, a trip to Chuck E. Cheese can seriously drain the bank account.

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5 Creative Homemade Bridal Shower Gift Ideas

By Jacqueline Curtis

bridal showerIf you’ve volunteered to plan a bridal shower, you know how pricey it can be. Considering the cost of food, games, and decor, you might be out of money before you even purchase a present.

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.

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