‘Letty’ Posts

How To Manage Your Family’s Christmas Gift Expectations
Christmas is right around the corner and it is that time of year again when everyone is busy creating Christmas list and making sure to get everything that is listed on the list. Fortunately, Christmas is also the time of bonuses and incentives at work, which only means anyone who set out to surprise the special people in their lives with wonderful gifts come Christmas morning can easily do exactly that. Not most people have a regular, high-paying jobs that can afford to give them bonuses during the Christmas season, though, and it will really be quite disheartening for someone to think that he cannot afford to buy gifts for his children or his loved one on this very special holiday because his pocket will not allow it.
Although one may be hard up on the budget as the most festive of season approaches, no one is ever hard up on the spirit of giving and surprising the special people in his life. The lavish and luxurious gifts may have to wait for another year or two, but one can always surprise a parent, a partner or a friend with something special that is sure to bring a smile on their faces come Christmas day. Even you cannot afford to play the most generous Santa, you can always play Santa, nonetheless.
Here are a few ways on how you can manage your family’s Christmas gift expectations:
If you cannot afford to get everyone a gift, the best way to go about it is to have an exchange gift for everyone to join, that way you can be sure that everyone will get something special on Christmas and you do not have to pay for each of them.
You may be lacking in finances but you can never run out of creative stuff to gift your family with. Personalized gift items will always make every receiver feel a little bit more special and all you will need is a printer and a piece of colored papers. DIY your own personalized mini organizers and memo pads, instead of ordering them somewhere else. For those who are fond of spa treatments, you can always make your own DIY spa gift basket and fill it with lovely yet affordable items like loofah, bedroom slippers, and your very own concoction of bath salt or homemade body scrub.
Although children may always ask for expensive and modern toys, you can always substitute that with arts and crafts kits that will surely pique their interest but comes with a cheaper price tag.

Familie an Heiligabend mit WeihnachtsgeschenkenChristmas is right around the corner and it is that time of year again when everyone is busy creating Christmas list and making sure to get everything that is listed on the list. Fortunately, Christmas is also the time of bonuses and incentives at work, which only means anyone who set out to surprise the special people in their lives with wonderful gifts come Christmas morning can easily do exactly that. Not most people have a regular, high-paying jobs that can afford to give them bonuses during the Christmas season, though, and it will really be quite disheartening for someone to think that he cannot afford to buy gifts for his children or his loved one on this very special holiday because his pocket will not allow it.

Read the full post

Little Moves You can Do to Improve your Financial Situation and Save Money
These days, saving money is a challenge. When you go out, there are many temptations to spend money even on unimportant things. We think these things could buy us happiness only to find that such kind of happiness is only temporary. Then, we only want and crave for more.
The never ending cycle of making and spending money goes on and on in our lives, until we make a decision to stop. When we learn to evaluate our spending habits and our attitude towards money and how the little expenses adds up, we begin to realize that there’s so much more we can do to keep our hard earned money.
1. Do the math – Before spending money on anything, you must know how many hours, days, weeks and months you need to work in order to be able to afford buying it. Let’s say you’re earning $15 per hour and work 5 hours a day. And let’s say you wanna buy an expensive scarf that costs $2,500. Before you let your impulsiveness take you, calculate how many days you would need to work to come up with the $2,500. That means that if you decide to buy it, you would need to work around 33 days. Do you really think its a good idea to spend all your month’s worth of paycheck for that expensive scarf that you think would give you a fashion edge over your friends? Is it all worth it? Doing the math and doing your calculations will help you put things into perspective and help you spend your money only on things you can afford.
2. Watch less television – Now, television can be very time consuming. You sit there and don’t realize that your time is drifting. Before you know it, you have spent 2 hours just sitting there, gazing your eyes on the television show and doing nothing. Watching television is not only unproductive but its also a waste of previous time you can spend doing more important things, or making money. Watching less tv also helps you cut back on electrical bills.
3. Do not buy your gifts – Yes, you heard it! You’ll most likely save more by making your own gifts instead of just buying them from the store. If you are good with arts and crafts and have plenty of time, it is really better to personalize and make your own gifts for your friends and loved ones, especially in important holidays like Christmas. Instead of buying and giving expensive gifts, give less expensive items such as cookies, candles, candies, soaps etc.
4. Sew your own clothes – If you know how to sew, it is certainly a perfect idea to make use of it by making your own clothes. You only have to buy the fabric and you can buy inexpensive ones from the shop then make your own designs. This is a great idea especially if you have small kids. Children’s clothes can be very expensive these days and there’s no better way to save on them but to make your own. If you don’t know how to sew yet, you can attend sewing classes to learn the basics then you can set out on your own. Who knows this even have the possibility of turning into a homebased business?
5. Stop spending huge for the sake of entertaining your kids – Too many parents these days spend so little time with their children and to make up for the guilt spend tons of money entertaining them. This can be in the form of buying them expensive toys, clothing and experiences. You have to stop. This is a surefire way to waste your money as children will never find contentment and satisfaction in things. All they want the most is your time and you need to give them exactly what they want.
6. Never go out to the store without a list of things to buy – In other words, don’t go shopping without a clear idea of what you will be buying. Most people go out window shopping and then just make the decision of what to buy when they are already in the store. This will not help you save on cash. Instead, you’ll end up buying more unnecessary items and paying for more. So, make sure you have a list and most of all, be sure to follow through and stick to that list as much as possible. Never buy something that’s not on the list, unless you have forgotten something which is extremely important.
7. Put things you want to buy in a 30 day waiting list before deciding to buy it – You might have heard of this money saving technique many times but more often than not, very few of you actually do it. This technique is my favorite because it helps me clear my mind and rethink things instead of giving in to my buying impulses. In many instances, you’ll end up not buying these things because you have had enough time to think things through and in most cases, you don’t really need the thing.
8. Pay attention to your health – Most people wake up in the hospital one day without realizing what they’ve done to become ill. But we all know that disease do not just happen in one day, in most instances. They are an accumulation of unhealthy habits that we fail to pay attention to. Most of us, don’t take charge of our health until we are sick. Paying attention to our health is very important. Health is wealth. If you don’t have it, you won’t have the ability to enjoy life and to make more money. So, take care of your health. Medical expenses can affect your budget and financial situation greatly.
9. Buy items in bulk and wait for store sale events – Buying things on sale will really help you save tons of cash. Malls and shops have their regular sale events. This happens on holidays, occassions and instances like Black Friday. Also, buying items in bulk will help you save money. This is great especially if you have a huge family. Buying household items such as cleaning soaps, detergents, shampoos in bulk can give you lots of savings as compared to buying them per piece.
10. Shop online – Shopping online has become tremendously popular over the years for a reason. Shopping online can help you save on gas, because you no longer have to drive to the store to buy your items. Also, many online shopping sites have free shipping service that you can take advantage so you don’t have to pay extra to have your items shipped at your doorsteps.
These days, saving money is a challenge. When you go out, there are many temptations to spend money even on unimportant things. We think these things could buy us happiness only to find that such kind of happiness is only temporary. Then, we only want and crave for more.
The never ending cycle of making and spending money goes on and on in our lives, until we make a decision to stop. When we learn to evaluate our spending habits and our attitude towards money and how the little expenses adds up, we begin to realize that there’s so much more we can do to keep our hard earned money.
1. Do the math – Before spending money on anything, you must know how many hours, days, weeks and months you need to work in order to be able to afford buying it. Let’s say you’re earning $15 per hour and work 5 hours a day. And let’s say you wanna buy an expensive scarf that costs $2,500. Before you let your impulsiveness take you, calculate how many days you would need to work to come up with the $2,500. That means that if you decide to buy it, you would need to work around 33 days. Do you really think its a good idea to spend all your month’s worth of paycheck for that expensive scarf that you think would give you a fashion edge over your friends? Is it all worth it? Doing the math and doing your calculations will help you put things into perspective and help you spend your money only on things you can afford.
2. Watch less television – Now, television can be very time consuming. You sit there and don’t realize that your time is drifting. Before you know it, you have spent 2 hours just sitting there, gazing your eyes on the television show and doing nothing. Watching television is not only unproductive but its also a waste of previous time you can spend doing more important things, or making money. Watching less tv also helps you cut back on electrical bills.
3. Do not buy your gifts – Yes, you heard it! You’ll most likely save more by making your own gifts instead of just buying them from the store. If you are good with arts and crafts and have plenty of time, it is really better to personalize and make your own gifts for your friends and loved ones, especially in important holidays like Christmas. Instead of buying and giving expensive gifts, give less expensive items such as cookies, candles, candies, soaps etc.
4. Sew your own clothes – If you know how to sew, it is certainly a perfect idea to make use of it by making your own clothes. You only have to buy the fabric and you can buy inexpensive ones from the shop then make your own designs. This is a great idea especially if you have small kids. Children’s clothes can be very expensive these days and there’s no better way to save on them but to make your own. If you don’t know how to sew yet, you can attend sewing classes to learn the basics then you can set out on your own. Who knows this even have the possibility of turning into a homebased business?
5. Stop spending huge for the sake of entertaining your kids – Too many parents these days spend so little time with their children and to make up for the guilt spend tons of money entertaining them. This can be in the form of buying them expensive toys, clothing and experiences. You have to stop. This is a surefire way to waste your money as children will never find contentment and satisfaction in things. All they want the most is your time and you need to give them exactly what they want.
6. Never go out to the store without a list of things to buy – In other words, don’t go shopping without a clear idea of what you will be buying. Most people go out window shopping and then just make the decision of what to buy when they are already in the store. This will not help you save on cash. Instead, you’ll end up buying more unnecessary items and paying for more. So, make sure you have a list and most of all, be sure to follow through and stick to that list as much as possible. Never buy something that’s not on the list, unless you have forgotten something which is extremely important.
7. Put things you want to buy in a 30 day waiting list before deciding to buy it – You might have heard of this money saving technique many times but more often than not, very few of you actually do it. This technique is my favorite because it helps me clear my mind and rethink things instead of giving in to my buying impulses. In many instances, you’ll end up not buying these things because you have had enough time to think things through and in most cases, you don’t really need the thing.
8. Pay attention to your health – Most people wake up in the hospital one day without realizing what they’ve done to become ill. But we all know that disease do not just happen in one day, in most instances. They are an accumulation of unhealthy habits that we fail to pay attention to. Most of us, don’t take charge of our health until we are sick. Paying attention to our health is very important. Health is wealth. If you don’t have it, you won’t have the ability to enjoy life and to make more money. So, take care of your health. Medical expenses can affect your budget and financial situation greatly.
9. Buy items in bulk and wait for store sale events – Buying things on sale will really help you save tons of cash. Malls and shops have their regular sale events. This happens on holidays, occassions and instances like Black Friday. Also, buying items in bulk will help you save money. This is great especially if you have a huge family. Buying household items such as cleaning soaps, detergents, shampoos in bulk can give you lots of savings as compared to buying them per piece.
10. Shop online – Shopping online has become tremendously popular over the years for a reason. Shopping online can help you save on gas, because you no longer have to drive to the store to buy your items. Also, many online shopping sites have free shipping service that you can take advantage so you don’t have to pay extra to have your items shipped at your doorsteps.
We’ll give you more tips on a part 2 article of the same topic. So watch out for more money saving tips from us!

Little boy saving money in piggy bankThese days, saving money is a challenge. When you go out, there are many temptations to spend money even on unimportant things. We think these things could buy us happiness only to find that such kind of happiness is only temporary. Then, we only want and crave for more.

Read the full post

Celebrate Family with Photos

sheena Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

easterfamly 300x219 Celebrate Family with PhotosWith Easter comes spring, bunnies, chicks, candy, treasure hunts, and . . .family pictures! In my family, we all dress up in our new Easter best and get our annual portraits. Sometimes dad is feeling especially frugal and so he’ll try to rig the camera for a nice family photo, other times we’ll chip in for a professional to take the shots, but either way we always need photo copies.

Our Christmas cards, birthday cards, photos for grandparents all come from our Easter prints and during this season there are lots of deals going on.

Read the full post

Through the long winter months I have been increasingly exasperated with how little light there is in my kitchen!  Somehow, regardless of how many high-powered light bulbs I screw into the overhead fixture, the room remains shady and ill-lit, allowing who knows what germ accumulations to lurk undetected.  Our home came with some under-cabinet lighting, which, when I remember to switch it on, takes care of lighting the sink and most counter areas. Under-cabinet lighting is usually not that difficult to install, so if you don’t have it already, check out someplace like Lowes or Home Depot.  However, there are numerous places where under-cabinet lighting is just not feasible. For example, we have a little dining nook at the end of the kitchen with small leafed table that stubbornly resists all attempts at illumination.

Read the full post

Lint Remover Balls-a Gal’s Best Friend

LettyP Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

One of my biggest laundry pet-peeves is pulling clothes out of your washer that are covered in lint from towels or rugs or anything else ill-advisedly tossed in the batch with them! The most irritating aspect of it is that it is nearly impossible to remove, without lint-brushing ALL of the items ran in the same washer or dryer batch.  But who has the time to do 2-3 extra batches of laundry each week just to wash all your ‘might-shed-lint’ items separately?!  I had resigned myself to the frustrating inevitability of this housewives dilemma (and invested in a stock of lint brushes), when I stumbled across these darling little fixits at WhateverWorks.com.  Of course, I added them as a promotion on my Coupon Buzz Page:  Lint Remover Balls

Read the full post

My husband and I just bought a new house last summer.  By the time the dust cleared from all the unpacking, the detached oversized garage was a disaster area.  Gradually throughout the fall and winter we have been able to sort, organize, line the walls with tubs, and clear a nice open space for him to have a workbench and to accomplish all his mysterious ‘man-projects.’ Unfortunately, we live in the Midwest, and the summer heat and humidity in an enclosed space becomes gosh-awful unbearable.  Not to mention the difficulty of lighting.  One helpful friend suggested cutting a hole in the back of the garage to install a fan and/or window.  Not being to terribly enthusiastic about sawing into the siding, I have been busily searching for other solutions.  Leaving the door up was an option for more light and air, but left the problem of flies and bugs and neighborhood cats slipping in.  Oh, and squirrels and bunny rabbits too.

Read the full post

How to locate a fabulous reception venue!

LettyP Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

So I’ve finally managed to choose the location for the reception-which is a HUGE relief! Going into it I had no idea how in-depth the process can be! I just figured, see a pretty building, have a big party there. End of story. Well, all brides-to-be get a short ride on the delusional train-just make sure you don’t stay on too long! The whistle blew for me when I realized that most reception venues come with their own catering company, or at the very least a list of preferred or accepted caterers. The cheapest way is always to do your own food and drinks, but is extremely unlikely that you will find a place with a low enough rent that will let you do so without a catering license. Assuming that you can’t find that set-up, the following ideas can save you time and money. And of course, it is always nice to have someone doing the work for you on your wedding day. Visit www.theknot.com for a detailed list of wedding reception venues in your area, and some preliminary information on how much you should expect to pay there.

Read the full post

Fairy Tale Weddings On a Budget

LettyP Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009
Okay, so I may not be moving into the castle, but I still want my wedding to seem like a fairytale.

Okay, so I may not be moving into the castle, but I still want my wedding to seem like a fairytale.

Read the full post

Who knew that choosing a wedding party would be such a convoluted process?? My fiance and I have been consistently surprised at the people to whom our wedding is a big deal, and the one’s who couldn’t seem to care less.   We are constantly running into reactions that surprise us.  For example, imagine our consternation when, after selecting our bridesmaids and groomsmen, we had one of them tell us that they’d have to wait and see how our wedding month went for them!  On the other end of the spectrum, a friend we hadn’t seen in years informed us they would fly in from overseas for the event, and a casual coworker booked a return flight from their new position in a different city.  The unpredictability of people’s reaction to your wedding is just one of the things that makes choosing your wedding party difficult.

Read the full post

Negotiating the Wedding Date Minefield

LettyP Saturday, January 31st, 2009
Choosing the wedding date requires equal parts finesse and stubborness.

Choosing the wedding date requires equal parts finesse and stubborness.

Soon after I got engaged I started calling reception venues and trying to get the location for my wedding reception set. I got engaged right before Christmas, and I wanted to be able to choose the venue when my sister was in town over the holidays to look at them too. Unfortunately, I had skipped the essential step of finalizing a wedding date! Because my fiancé and I had not done our homework properly before I started looking at venues, I wound up wasting a lot of time. So, step one, before you start browsing through wedding gowns, picking out invitations OR looking for a reception venue, you have to decide when you are getting married.

Read the full post