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.
Whether 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.
My mother recently gifted me a locket that once belonged to my grandmother, and it is one of my prized possessions. It is an heirloom I plan to someday pass along to my own daughter, and in addition to holding great sentimental value, the quality and durability of the item is great. Plus, it’s gorgeous to boot.
There are many reasons to love antique jewelry. However, what often looks like antique jewelry is actually a clever reproduction of the real thing. So if you love older pieces, it’s important to know what to look for so you don’t end up paying top dollar for something manufactured on an assembly line last year.
Let’s face it: Shopping for shoes and clothes online can be a gamble. Sizes vary widely across different stores and brands, and sometimes, sending back the wrong size can be a major hassle. I’m notoriously bad at shipping back stuff that doesn’t fit me – I usually forget about it and eventually donate clothes it to a local thrift shop. But unfortunately, that means less money in my wallet and fewer clothes in my closet.
I was completely glued to my TV during the broadcast of the most recent Oscars. No, I don’t really care who won “Best Makeup” or “Best Cinematography.” I was actually watching to see what everyone would wear. My favorite frock of the night was worn by Natalie Portman, who donned a vintage Christian Dior. Later, the dress sold for $50,000 on an online luxury goods site.
All of my friends know me as the “shoe addict” of the group. I have three pairs of blue heels for reasons even I don’t understand. But what can I say? I love the way shoes add to an outfit.
However, I don’t love when my pricey shoes end up with broken heels, scuff marks, floppy soles, or broken straps and I have to take them out of rotation. But since I never discard shoes, I’ve created a little DIY repair kit to clean up and do minor repairs at home.
I’ll admit it: I’m a bit of a makeup junkie. The makeup counters at Sephora are my own special type of Mecca. I have old standbys that I’ve used for years – foundation, eyeliner, mascara – but when it comes to trying new colors and shades, I am all about pushing the limits.
Of course, while this attitude has helped me discover awesome new products that make it into my regular rotation, it’s also meant money wasted on products that aren’t great – like the orange lipstick debacle of 2011.
When my husband and I were married in 2003, we transitioned to a joint bank account. It seemed like something we were supposed to do; plus, we had received a bunch of money as wedding gifts.
As it turns out, my husband and I have completely different spending and saving habits – something we neglected to realize during our long-distance dating relationship. Money become a huge sore spot, and it resulted in shenanigans like me hiding shopping bags, and him tucking away freelance income so I couldn’t get to it.
I’m not a neat person. Seriously, you should see my bathroom vanity – it’s a sea of abandoned beauty products, brushes, and blotting tissues that I’ve hurriedly cast aside. In general, I’m way too busy to fiddle with putting things away when I’m done – much to my husband’s chagrin.
But for what I lack in general tidiness, I more than make up for in organizational skills. My clothes closet is impeccably organized at all times. My entire room could look like it’s been through a tornado, but my closet is the calm eye within the storm.
I live in Utah, but my parents and brothers still live in Toronto, Canada, where I’m from. This makes for a lot of flight time each year.
When I was a newlywed, flying back and forth to see my family was more boring than anything. I’d kick back, read my book, and even have a nap before a hit home. But fast forward a few years, and I now have a six-year-old and a three-year-old tagging along. In other words, my days of napping on the plane are over.
For me, heading to the hairstylist is practically a form of therapy. My stylist lives in my neighborhood, so it means a couple of hours in the chair, dishing about our friends and talking about life in general. Since it saves me money on a real therapist, I consider our regular appointments a fantastic investment. But when funds are low, some of the first things to go are little luxuries, such as hairstyling and manicures.
Have you ever looked at another person’s life and wished that their clothes, their cars, and their vacations could be yours? It’s not uncommon, and I’ll admit that I’ve fallen prey to money envy.
When my husband and I first got married, we had great jobs and a couple thousand bucks from wedding presents, but we didn’t spend much money. Seeing our friends blow cash on romantic trips and new cars was somewhat depressing, and even though I knew we were saving for a new house, I still had major jealousy issues when they showed up with new cars and I was still driving my beat-up Jeep Wrangler.
Ah, to be a teen again. I turned 16 sometime in the ’90s, so I hit my teen years back when butterfly hair clips, the Backstreet Boys, and the show “Boy Meets World” were cool. While I definitely wouldn’t want to go back to wearing casual overalls and plaid shirts, I yearn for the heart-pounding, sweaty-palmed dates I went on when I was 17 and 18.
Part of what makes a great wardrobe is having lots of choices and plenty of variety. Even a person with the most extensive closet in the world probably gets sick of wearing the same outfits over and over again, which is why you should build your wardrobe on well-made staples and supplement them with cheap accessories, shoes, and other trendy items. That way, you can change your wardrobe each season without abusing your bank account.
Any parent knows that the “terrible twos” can start a lot earlier than 24 months, and may last well into your child’s third year. I knew I was in trouble when my two-year-old learned to get the toilet paper off its roll. He would hold one end of the paper and toss the entire roll down the stairs, then drag it back up slowly. Antics like these can quickly become tiring, but you can bet your toddler isn’t going to care or notice.
Sure, the recession has brought back the era of bargain hunting and thrift store shopping, but it’s also welcomed back the return of consignment stores. Consignment shops work in several ways, and each allows you to earn money or store credit for your old, outdated gear. From maternity clothes, to shoes, to sports equipment, to purses, there are consignment stores for just about any of your stuff that is still in good condition.
While donating all of your old clothes, furniture, books, or other items to charity is definitely a noble route, if you’re strapped for cash, it simply might not be the best option. Learn how consignment stores work and whether they present a viable money making opportunity for you.
The content on MoneyCrashers.com is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor. References to products, offers, and rates from third party sites often change. While we do our best to keep these updated, numbers stated on this site may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with some of the companies mentioned on this website. Among other things, we may receive free products, services, and/or monetary compensation in exchange for featured placement of sponsored products or services. We strive to write accurate and genuine reviews and articles, and all views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors.
Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which MoneyCrashers.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they appear on category pages. MoneyCrashers.com does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers, although best efforts are made to include a comprehensive list of offers regardless of compensation. Advertiser partners include American Express, U.S. Bank, and Barclaycard, among others.