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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.

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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Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime Comparison

By Jacqueline Curtis

watching streaming mediaRemember back in the Dark Ages when people actually had to leave their homes to rent a movie? Before we were able to stream films and TV shows online, video rental outlets were extremely common – but so were late fees. Digital streaming media services have eliminated the risk of such fees, and have exploded in popularity. Many available services are inexpensive, simple, and extremely convenient.

Of course, though they share many common benefits and characteristics, you may still wonder what the differences are between each service. Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime all advertise a huge selection of streaming movies and shows – but which gives you the best bang for your buck?

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15 Ways to Save on Movie Theater Ticket Prices & Concessions

By Jacqueline Curtis

at the moviesI love going to the movies. It’s not even the idea of seeing the latest blockbuster that I enjoy so much – it’s the two hours of mindless entertainment paired with a tub of buttery popcorn and a diet soda. It’s pretty much heaven for a mom of two like me.

What I’m not in love with, however, is the cost. Every year, box office prices go up, and the price of snacks and beverages is absolutely ridiculous. At the end of the night, it’s easy to spend $50 just to catch a flick.

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8 Ways to Save Money on Cheap Kids’ Clothes

By Jacqueline Curtis

kids clothesWith one boy and one girl, I don’t have the luxury of using hand-me-down clothes for my children. When my youngest grows out of his jeans, I have to hit the store because he simply won’t wear his older sister’s pants with the embroidered flowers. It’s understandable.

But what I don’t understand is how a pair of jeans roughly a quarter of the size of an adult pair costs the same amount. Pondering this as I wrestled my kids through The Children’s Place, I decided that I would quit paying full price on all of my kids’ clothes once and for all.

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5 Unique “Financial” Baby Shower Themes to Help New Parents

By Jacqueline Curtis

baby showerWhen I announced my first pregnancy, my friends and family showed a huge amount of excitement and support. So much, in fact, that I ended up having not one, but three baby showers. My excitement from all of the cute clothes, tiny shoes, and baby items quickly turned to panic when I realized that our small one-bedroom apartment couldn’t possibly hold all of our new items.

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How Much to Pay a Babysitter – Determining Average Per Hour Rates

By Jacqueline Curtis

mother explaining duties to a babysitterI consider myself to be incredibly lucky that I live just two doors away from my in-laws. In other words, I’m two doors away from free babysitting – most of the time. But when I do need to bring in a neighborhood sitter, I often forget the logistics of payment. Do I pay per kid? Does the age of the babysitter matter?

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6 Ways to Lower the Cost of Owning a Smartphone

By Jacqueline Curtis

save money on your smartphone planI upgraded to an iPhone a little more than a year ago – I ditched my ancient flip-phone and couldn’t believe the difference. Now you’d be hard-pressed to find me without my iPhone securely in-hand. I’m addicted to social networking, surfing the Internet, checking my email, and playing Words With Friends just about every waking hour of the day.

The tradeoff? I pay dearly for those privileges. Sure, my smartphone can tell me the temperature in Beijing, but it also costs me about $100 bucks a month to pay for my pricey unlimited plan.

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Where to Buy Cheap Books and Save Money

By Jacqueline Curtis

woman reading bookI’m always getting in trouble at home because my book collection has slowly outgrown its designated bookshelf, and now also resides in my office, beside my bed, and tucked away in just about every nook and cranny. It’s an addiction I can’t curb, as reading is my favorite way to relax after a stressful day. And because I’m an avid reader, I want to foster a love of books in my children. They have a bookcase packed with all of my favorite childhood authors, and we read together every night.

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Budget Fashion Bridge Lines – Worth the Hype?

By Jacqueline Curtis

shopping for bargain fashionIf you’ve paid attention to the fashion industry in the last decade, you might have noticed something new in the world of couture: budget fashion lines. Budget fashion lines, which are referred to as “bridge lines” in the industry, offer you a chance to score high-end goods on a low-end budget. By teaming designers up with a mass-market retailer, you can now get the coveted name brand at an affordable price.

But are budget fashion lines worth the hype? Like any purchase, common sense and personal budgets must be taken into consideration.

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How to Score High Fashion on a Low Budget

By Jacqueline Curtis

shopping on a budgetAs a fashion blogger, readers expect me to showcase new threads when I do outfit posts, and they’ve told me they love reading about my shopping adventures. However, due to some recent cutbacks at work due to the slumping economy, my fashion budget was trimmed significantly. What’s a girl to do when she suddenly can’t shop as much anymore?

Instead of whipping out my credit card and overspending, I decided to learn how to look the absolute best I could while spending the least amount possible. The shoes in the window at Nordstrom still totally tempt me, but now I save up if I want something special instead of splurging on a whim. The rest of my purchases help me keep my shopping budget low, my closet fresh, and my outfits on-trend.

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5 Ways to Save at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Theme Parks

By Jacqueline Curtis

disney hollywood studios in orlando, floridaWhether you’re headed to Disneyland or Walt Disney World, you’ve already shelled out big bucks for accommodations and park tickets. It might be the happiest place on Earth, but a Disney theme park is also a business designed to separate you from your money. When it comes to drinks, snacks, souvenirs, meals, and even strollers, you could easily end up doubling the cost of your trip.

Still, everyone should get the Disney experience at least once in their lifetime, and it is still possible to have a great vacation without spending a fortune.

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