14 January 2011
28 December 2010
14 December 2010
Have you ever bought something and then regretted it?
Did you know that if you walk in to a store and try on a shirt that costs $80 - if you put it on and don't like you will take it off and put it back on the rack. Now if that exact same shirt is on sale and now say $40 dollars - a whole different set of things happen.
You will look in the mirror, turn around a few times, stand on your toes to see how it looks and there is a very good chance you will buy the shirt! This is a proven fact.
You will second guess your own judgement - to not miss out on what appears to be a good deal.
Then you will probably never or very rarely wear it.
Here is how I shop. Nothing is ever on sale. (even if it is). Either I love it or I don't. No one is going to mess with my judgement ever again!!!
23 November 2010
Not too many generations ago, the idea of making a purchase when money wasn't readily available was practically unheard of. If something was wanted or needed, it was saved for and it wasn't purchased until it could be paid in cash. In our society of instant gratification, it's almost a laughable concept. I want it now, can't pay for it now, so I'll charge it.
Much can be learned from the wisdom of those long ago years. Once things were obtained, they were more appreciated. They were cared for and valued in a way that our instant gratification way of thinking doesn't readily allow. Back then, if it was broken, it wasn't immediately replaced.
Think about your computer. If it suddenly crashed, finding the money to buy a new one would probably be a priority for most of us. And it's understandable as many of us make a living or go to school on our computers. It's not easy to just go without Internet access now when we have so much of our lives wrapped up in cyberspace. So we'll concede on this one… maybe this waiting-to-purchase philosophy isn't so great for every aspect of our lives. But are there other areas to which we can apply it?
New shoes, new coat, new cell phone, new car, new clothes, new iTunes downloads… Are these purchases that HAVE to be made immediately? Maybe. Something spills down your shirt on your way to an important meeting, you may have to stop and buy a new shirt. But pausing before purchase…many, possibly most of your wants might be delayed, at least until you've saved enough to pay cash.
What do you think?
18 November 2010
With our discussions about holidays on a budget – we thought this was a great article about saving during a meal traditionally noted for excess…
Thanksgiving Dinner on a Budget 101
Your Thanksgiving dinner doesn't have to be bare bones just because you're on a budget.
The holiday season is all about excess. But in this financial climate, simple meals and décor can seem tastefully elegant instead of Dickensian. This year, it's de rigueur to forgo the fancy spread and get back to basics. Here's how:
Plan Ahead -- Open your day planner and circle Nov. 1 with a red pen. This is when you should start planning your menu. The turkey will account for nearly 40 percent of the cost of Thanksgiving dinner. Buy it early, and get a frozen bird -- it'll store easier, defrost better and roast up juicier. A week before Thanksgiving, commit an afternoon to prep work. Tear up bread for stuffing, mix dough for pie crusts and dinner rolls, and simmer chicken to make stock. Plan your shopping excursion on double-coupon day, and take careful inventory of your pantry so you don't buy unnecessary items.
Stick to the Classics -- Thanksgiving is no time to experiment with unusual dishes or recipes that exceed your skill level. You've got a hungry crowd waiting, and they'll expect traditional dishes. When that clove-studded, orange-infused turkey falls flat, you'll have to tack on another $20 to your budget to cover Chinese takeout for your hungry guests. You really can't go wrong with a classic menu of roast turkey, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. As a rule of thumb, choose recipes with the fewest ingredients and steps to save money and time.
Deviate from the Classics – An untraditional Thanksgiving dinner can make a chic culinary statement and cost less than the storybook spread. Instead of roasting a turkey, grill turkey burgers. Knead fresh tarragon into the patties, and finish them off with a Gwyneth Paltrow-approved condiment: cranberry ketchup, a combination of cranberry chutney and tomato ketchup. Instead of Champagne, serve cranberry-sparkling water spritzers, or make a root beer float with pumpkin-flavored ice-cream.
Add More Décor -- Nothing sets the occasion quite like an enchanting dinner table. You don't have to spend a fortune at the florist to create an autumnal wonderland; rather, collect natural elements from your backyard for free, fresh décor. For the centerpiece, fill a vase halfway with acorns, then arrange willow branches, sturdy sticks and gold and red leaves to cascade over the top. Make place cards with tiny squares of ivory card stock secured to pinecones. Light a few taper candles, and the dining room will be aglow with the magic of the holidays.
Tell Guests It's BYOS (Bring Your Own Side) -- As long as you let guests know well in advance, they won't mind bringing something to dinner. You can focus on the bird and assign the starches, vegetables, cranberries and dessert to friends and family. This way, you can put a little extra toward your wine budget. Be a Discerning Host -- If money is tight, you don't have to be the hostess with the mostest -- it's better to be a discerning host. Make thoughtful, smart choices about your dinner spread while keeping your guests' tastes and your financial means in mind. For instance, if your crowd prefers white meat, purchase a smaller, less expensive turkey breast. Perhaps a full dinner isn't an option this year. You could always host a morning brunch. A few pastries, quiches and mimosas will hold over your friends and family until they're off to their dinner celebrations. Or, throw an after-dinner soiree: Put on a pot of coffee, mix up a signature cocktail and arrange petit fours, fresh fruit and cheese on a tray. You'll close out turkey day with style and panache!
Be a Discerning Host -- If money is tight, you don't have to be the hostess with the mostest -- it's better to be a discerning host. Make thoughtful, smart choices about your dinner spread while keeping your guests' tastes and your financial means in mind. For instance, if your crowd prefers white meat, purchase a smaller, less expensive turkey breast. Perhaps a full dinner isn't an option this year. You could always host a morning brunch. A few pastries, quiches and mimosas will hold over your friends and family until they're off to their dinner celebrations. Or, throw an after-dinner soiree: Put on a pot of coffee, mix up a signature cocktail and arrange petit fours, fresh fruit and cheese on a tray. You'll close out turkey day with style and panache!
15 November 2010
Thank you UALR for a great Wednesday, November 10, 2010. I enjoyed meeting and presenting to your student body. Where do I invest my small amounts of money I am saving?
For young adults this couldn't be a better time. The market is low and you have time. All you have to do is ACT! What are you waiting for? T Rowe Price has an account you can start for $50 a month or $1000. If you go with the automatic account builder it will help you make small changes so you can continue to contribute every month. We are talking $12.50 a week. One less fast food meal and speciality coffee a week - will start to build you wealth and security.
Basic Rules for Investing in an IRA
1 Need earned income
2. 2009 limit $5000, if over age 50 $6000
3. Can not contribute more that you earn
4. Roth IRA is normally the best choice for young investors
5. Investment - research all in one funds/target retirement date
T. Rowe Price gives an excellent data sheet on the differences and eligibility for IRA investing. If you have concerns feel free to comment on the blog and I will be happy to answer your questions. After much research T Rowe Price had the lowest minimum to get a new investor started. Other discount firms such as Fidelity Investments had a minimum of $200 amount on an automatic account builder and Vanguard had a $3000 minimum.
All the above companies have licensed representatives available to answer your questions and assist you. They are all salaried and not on commission. This keeps fees low and the representative from pressuring you into a product you don't need. Minimums may change so be sure to ask when you are calling to discuss your options.
As always check with a financial professional prior to making any investment decisions.
Happy Investing... Stay tuned................
11 November 2010
10 November 2010
We had another post planned for today, but when we saw this article – we decided to repost it and hold ours for Thursday. Great article for the 20-somethings out there!
20-somethings -- get ready for a 'thrisis'
By Andrea Lavinthal and Jessica Rozler, Special to CNN
Editor's note: Andrea Lavinthal and Jessica Rozler are authors of "The Hookup Handbook" and "Friend or Frenemy?" Their latest book "Your So-Called Life" mixes humor with advice for women headed for their 30s.
(CNN) -- Despite lackluster reviews and declining ratings we're holding out hope for "$#*! My Dad Says," the new CBS comedy starring William Shatner. No, we're not particularly big fans of the 79-year-old actor, but we do appreciate the prime-time sitcom's realistic portrayal of adulthood.
For those who don't know, the show is based on the wildly popular Twitter feed of Justin Halpern, a comedy writer who moved back into his parents' house in his late 20s and started documenting the hilarious -- and profanity-laced -- musings of his father.
With more and more adults living under the same roof as their parents -- 85 percent of college seniors planned to return home after graduation, according to a recent poll) -- one thing is for certain: For most 20-somethings, and a lot of 30-somethings, the road to becoming a genuine grown-up, minus the air quotes, is an increasingly long one.
Sure, delaying the onset of adulthood isn't exactly breaking news, but here's what is: People are finally paying attention to the late 20s and early 30s, that gray zone when you're not young enough to be young and not old enough to be old.
Forget the quarterlife crisis -- that post-college moment of clarity when you realize that working at a job actually requires -- you know -- work.
This is a "thrisis" -- an uneasiness people experience as they hit the big 3-0. Or the big 3-uh-oh, as we like to call it.
These feelings of anxiety crept into our own lives as we left our 20s. Our peers -- whether single or married, with or without children, unemployed or climbing the corporate ladder -- had to two primary questions as they neared 30:
• Is this what it feels like to be an adult?
• And am I normal?
(Spoiler: The answer to both questions is most likely "yes.")
While a discussion of 20-somethings inevitably turns into a lament about the younger generation, with their buffet-of-life choices, lack of responsibility, and refusal to grow up, here's the truth: This isn't your mother's 30.
These choices come with the pressure to not only have it all, but to make it perfect -- the HGTV-worthy house, gifted children, high-powered career, and soul mate. A tough current economic climate has made it difficult for people of all ages to mark the "traditional" adult milestones, making adulthood even more complicated.
In addition to the pressure for perfection, today, we also have the added anxiety of living our lives more publicly than ever before. Thanks to social networking and other forms of digital dishing, not only can we spend hours navel-gazing online, but we can also gaze at each other's navels via social networking sites.
Now you can log onto Facebook or Twitter and find out that your younger cousin is pregnant (again), your best friend got a promotion, and your college roommate is engaged. It's easier to compare and contrast our friends' life trajectories to our own and then blog, tweet, text, and instant message about it.
While the thrisis isn't exactly fun, there is some good news: You'll realize that part of being an adult is understanding that "figuring it all out" is a lifelong task even for the biggest grown-ups among us, not a goal that must be reached by an arbitrary birthday. You'll also gain a lot a more out of a thrisis than you'll lose -- good stuff like maturity, self-awareness, and perspective.
Speaking of perspective, let's step back for a moment and not forget that 30 isn't exactly geriatric, for gosh sakes. Plus, more research shows we actually get happier as we get older. We should all be so lucky to have a life re-evaluation at age 100, although "century-is" or "hundred-is" just doesn't have the same ring to it as thrisis does.
04 November 2010
02 November 2010
Today's blog is a repost from Reader's Digest and is a great resource for taking care of clothes. The longer they last - the less you have to spend!
Super Saves for Stained Clothing
Did you spill red wine all over your shirt? Is that lipstick smear hanging around? These secret stain removal tips will help you save your favorite clothes.
Wash out make-up spills with baking soda
If you've spilled liquid foundation onto a blouse, go to the kitchen and get some baking soda. Sprinkle the powder onto the stain until it's completely covered and press it gently into the fabric. Wet a nailbrush or a toothbrush and lightly brush the spot. If any make-up remains, repeat the process until all traces have disappeared.
Foundation shaker #2: Bread
Blot up liquid foundation make-up spills on washable fabrics using a piece of fresh white bread kneaded into a ball. The bread treatment should also erase pencil marks on wool and washable clothing. Resist the temptation to use a pencil rubber to erase pencil marks; in most cases it will only make them look worse.
Lipstick smear remover #1: Petroleum jelly
Dabbing petroleum jelly onto lipstick marks before washing a garment is a removal method used by stain specialists. If it's good enough for pros, it should be good enough for you.
Lipstick smear remover #2: Bread
Tear out the doughy center of white bread and knead it into a ball, then blot the smear repeatedly with the dough until the stain lifts from the fabric. Now wash the garment. The dough ball is also safe to use on lipstick marks on dry-clean only wool clothing.
Soak out tomato sauce stains
You have to be brave to eat pasta while wearing a white shirt without a napkin tucked into the front collar. For an effective tomato-sauce spot eradicator, combine 1/2 cup (125ml) 3 per cent hydrogen peroxide and 3 cups (750ml) water in a bowl or clean sink. Soak the stain in the solution for 30 minutes before washing the shirt.
Shaving cream tomato-sauce remover
Take a can of non-gel shaving cream and spray it onto the stain, rub it in gently and let it dry before washing as normal.
Milk an ink stain
To get rid of a nasty ink blot on a shirt, put 2-3 tablespoons cornstarch into a bowl and then stir into full-fat milk until you have made a thick paste. Cover the stain with the paste and let it sit for 3-4 hours. Then brush off the paste and wash the shirt. Another paste to try is 2 tablespoons cream of tartar mixed with 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
Remove red wine stains
Although the wine tasted terrific, the drops left on your pants don't look all that great the next morning. Soda water is a common antidote for red wine stains, but if that doesn't work, try one of these treatments:
Dissolve 1 tablespoon borax in 2 cups (500ml) warm water. Submerge the stained part of the garment in the solution and soak for 1 minute, then put the item in the washing machine.
- Liquid hand soap and vinegar
Dilute liquid hand soap and gently scrub it into the stain; rinse gently with water, then apply a drop of white vinegar. Pat dry and rinse again with water.
- Salt and boiling water
Pour a generous amount of salt onto a still-wet stain and see if the salt turns pink as it soaks up the wine. If it doesn't, pour boiling water over the salt. In either case, wash the stained garment as soon as possible.
- Baking soda
Heap baking soda on the stain and let it sit for an hour or more to absorb the stain. Then shake off the baking soda and wash the garment.
Prevent perspiration stains
Spread baby powder or talcum powder along the collar and underarms of soiled clothing and press gently with a warm iron. The powder should absorb the sweat and make it easier for the rest to come out in the wash.
Pop out bloodstains
It can all-too-easily happen: you're near the end of a bike ride when your front wheel hits a pothole, sending you and the bike clattering to the ground. Hopefully, all that's hurt is your pride and a bleeding elbow, which manages to leave bloodstains all over your clothes. It seems ridiculous, but soaking bloodstains overnight in cola removes them. Try it, it may sound insane, but it actually works!
A toast to club soda
The most successful way to get rid of stains is to treat them before they dry and become set in the fabric. If you spill food onto your clothes at a dinner party or in a restaurant, ask for a glass of club soda and a lint-free cloth napkin. Retire to the bathroom with the soda water and apply as much as you can. Wait 1 minute, then blot the stain gently with the towel.