[caption id="attachment_66234" align="aligncenter" width="607"] If you've got some cash coming your way courtesy of the government, invest it wisely to benefit yourself the most.[/caption] Ready to blow that income tax refund before it even hits your bank account? Before you spend it, think first about all the smart things you can do with that money. Financial professionals at LearnVest say when you receive a windfall, you should pay yourself 20 percent and put the rest somewhere that will better your financial situation, such as paying down debt, padding an emergency fund or investing for your retirement. So after you’ve purchased a pair of shoes or gone out for a nice dinner, use the rest toward one of the options below, and set yourself up for a great year.
[caption id="attachment_35833" align="alignleft" width="360"] Save money on produce by purchasing it in season, and read the fine print when you see grocery store deals.[/caption] You could become an extreme couponer and purchase 72 bottles of yellow mustard that you don’t need, or you could save money while grocery shopping anytime by planning ahead. The latter involves careful study of the grocery stores you frequent and possible store-hopping, but in the end, you can outsmart ever-growing food prices by following the tips below. Plan around sales. Scour your local grocery stores’ sale papers on their websites, paying attention to their dates, and plan meals around what’s on sale. For instance, if you were planning on making a baked chicken dish, utilize on-sale chicken thighs instead of more expensive chicken breasts, and look up recipes for budget-friendly flank steak instead of ribeye. While you’re on those grocery store sites, look for printable coupons.
[caption id="attachment_63621" align="aligncenter" width="880"] Summit Square Apartments in Rochester, MN[/caption] Most people don’t have a lot of spare rooms lying around, but you can create a kid’s playroom in space as small as a corner of your living room or as large as a guest bedroom. If an older child moved out of the house recently or you’re going back to an office setting after working at home, consider making the formerly used room a playroom for a younger child. The child will feel like the space is his own, all of his toys will be in one place and you’ll feel a sense of calm if he can do what he wants in just one area of the house. Ideally, you’ll leave electronics, such as tablets, televisions and DVD players, out of this room so children can use their imagination, but you may opt to make the room a place where they can also watch movies, especially if you have an extra room to use as a playroom.
[caption id="attachment_76663" align="aligncenter" width="607"] A staycation on New Year's Eve involves snuggling up in your warm apartment and watching the festivities on TV. Sounds good to us![/caption] While friends are out party-hopping, spending $100 per ticket to see a ball, peach or other object drop and trying to find a taxi on New Year’s Eve, you’ll be at home, watching all the action on television. Maybe you don’t feel like fighting the crowds, spending too much money or freezing while standing in long lines, but whatever the reason, the warmth of your living room and comfort of your fleece socks sounds more enticing. Whether you have no parties to go to or just don’t want to leave your house, you can still have an amazing time staying in for the night with our tips below.
[caption id="attachment_34994" align="alignleft" width="399"] Keep your holiday neat and tidy with five organization tips that will keep your home clutter-free.[/caption] Since Christmas is such a sentimental holiday, it can also be a time of high emotion, particularly if you’ve overspent on gifts, your family is staying with you and your pets are getting into all of the shiny holiday décor. Lighten up this holiday season by getting rid of all unnecessary clutter before it begins, which will make you feel organized and leave more room for guests, gifts and all of their… baggage. Here are five secrets for making this one a clutter-free holiday.
The rumor is that women are hard to shop for, but as long as the gift is sparkly, vintage, stylish, pleasantly fragranced or practical, the lady in your life is bound to love it. Easy, right? Don’t worry; we’ve selected…
[caption id="attachment_175" align="alignnone" width="300"] Don't forget a sewing kit when you move into your first place.[/caption] As you prepare to move out of the house or dorm and into your first real apartment, you will have a long list of items you need to buy, borrow or steal. For starters, there is the furniture: a bed frame and mattress, dressers or drawers, a couch and other seating and a table. Then you’ll need staples like dishes and cookware and cleaning supplies. In the midst of all this shopping and packing, a few things are bound to slip your mind. So before you move, make sure you have these five essential items often left out of a first apartment.
[caption id="attachment_34916" align="alignleft" width="425"] Planning on racking up the gifts this holiday season? In case of emergency, inventory them and the rest of your belongings with an app on your phone.[/caption] Will you be receiving new electronics, jewelry or other big-ticket items as gifts this holiday season? And (hint, hint), will you also be getting the receipts? The holidays are an ideal time to take a home inventory and make sure all your pricey new gifts will be protected in the event of a loss: a fire, a burst pipe due to freezing, a natural disaster or even theft.
Few things make us feel the holiday season is upon us like seeing our favorite holiday movies, coupled with decorating the tree and sipping on hot chocolate or egg nog. These movies invoke a sense of tradition, calm us and…
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