Monday, April 19, 2010

Use Lunch Hour to Refresh

Have you been working at your desk during your lunch hour trying to stay one step ahead of your assignments? It's time to breakaway and get refreshed and focused during your lunch hour.

Grab the lunch you brought from home and head to a nearby park or just right outside your workplace to eat lunch. Check with your co-workers to see if they would like to join you, but don't chat about work-related stuff. Chat up what you did over the weekend or their upcoming summer vacation plans. Enjoy the flowers and trees in bloom or just people watch.

The walk back to your office will also add some exercise too. Once you get back to your desk, I bet you will feel more refreshed and ready to get back to working on that project with a more positive attitude. Try it!

Friday, April 16, 2010

3 Ways to Use Your Tax Refund

If you are going to be receiving a tax refund this year, here are 3 ways to use it.

1. Pay off/down credit cards: Take a look at your credit card statements especially those with high interest rates and plan to either pay off the card or at least pay down the balance. With the new credit card laws, some interest rates are much higher. This may make paying off the cards even longer so put your refund to work on the balances.

2. Home improvements: Use the refund to make home improvements that you may have been putting off because of a tight budget. Give your A/C unit a checkup before the summer heat take holds. Update your bed and bath with new accessories. Add some curb appeal to your home with fresh mulch, pine straw, flowers, and shrubs.

3. Simply Save It: Another good idea is to simply save your refund. Go ahead and deposit the refund into your savings account to shore up your emergency fund. You will be glad you did especially if an unexpected car repair is needed or an out-of-pocket medical expense arises.

These are just a few ways to use your tax refund when it arrives in the mail or is deposited to your bank account. As the saying goes, don't spend it all in one place.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gallery | Pet apparel fashion show | accessatlanta.com

Gallery | Pet apparel fashion show | accessatlanta.com

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Healthy Eating Tip

Keep a bowl of fruit in your refrigerator to eat as a healthy snack throughout the day. Slice and peel the fruit so that it's readily available to just grab and go. Add fruits like apples, oranges, mangoes, and strawberries to the bowl. You are on your way to healthier eating, Enjoy!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Frugal Tip of the Day

Carry your lunch to work all this week. Think of the money you will save. Keep your wallet fat with cash!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Weekend Fun the Frugal Way

It's the weekend and time to plan some fun activities. Here are some frugal, yet cool ideas.

1. Picnic in the Park: Pack a picnic basket with non-perishable sandwiches, snacks and head to your local park. Find a great spot under the tree for shade and spread out the blanket. Bring along a good book or just people watch. Enjoy the lovely spring blooms too. Don't forget to bring water to stay hydrated!

2. Walking Tour of your City/Town: Take a day out of the weekend and take in the sights and sounds of your city or town. Check out new places that have opened or some that you have not visited in a long time. I bet there may be some new additions there. Park the car and walk along the streets and stop into some sites especially those with free admission. Sit outside a cafe' and sip on a good cup of coffee. How relaxing and laid-back you will feel. Of course, wear some comfortable shoes and bring along your digital camera to post photos!

3. Dinner at home: I know most people eat out more on the weekends, but how about having Saturday dinner at home. Raid the refrigerator and pantry to whip up a fun and delicious meal with whatever you find. Get the kids involved with ideas on what to cook and let them help out. Top the night off with a DVD movie you checked out from the local library which was free.

These are just a few ideas and I am sure you can add to the fun in your own way. As families and couples cutback expenses, we still can find ways to enjoy ourselves. We're just doing it more economically.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Gallery | Atlanta chef's home a recipe for refinement | ajchomefinder.com

Gallery | Atlanta chef's home a recipe for refinement | ajchomefinder.com

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Easy Ways to Get A Handle on Clutter

It seems clutter can take over our lives and we start to think we'll never get it under control. Here are some easy ways to get a handle on all that stuff:

1. Paperwork: Use manila folders with tabs and place paperwork in each folder. Label the tab with a Sharpie pen of the contents inside. For instance, car repair receipts, home insurance policies, etc. This makes for an easy way to go right to that folder that is clearly marked when you are looking for information.

2. Donate It: Take a look around your closet and ask yourself "how long has it been since I wore that piece?" If you answer, a year ago or longer, it's time to take it off the rack and donate it. With the economy being tough these days, more people are shopping at the Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other places where they can find inexpensive clothing.

3. Garage Space: The garage is a great place for storing things, but I have always enjoyed being able to park my car inside it. Now is the time to organize this space by investing in shelving, bins, and hooks. Use the hooks to place bikes, lawn rakes, etc. on the wall. Use that Sharpie pen to label the bins so that you will know what's inside when looking for an item later. I just love the five shelf storage units that you can purchase from your local home improvement store at reasonable costs. Schedule the garage clean over the weekend when you have time to devote several hours each day. Just think how nice it will be to pull up to your garage door, hit the opener, and drive your car inside especially if it's raining. The paint job on your car will last longer too!

4. The Refrigerator: You might wonder why the refrigerator is part of clutter. Well, a lot of food like leftovers, takeout can get pushed back in the refrigerator when new food is added. All of a sudden, you find the frig is full of stuff that is no longer being eaten. Furthermore, you may not remember when it was prepared. To keep a clean and fresh refrigerator, purge food after a few days especially when it's close to trash pickup day. Also, add a box of baking soda in the frig to help keep smells at bay. The same purge should be applied to the freezer section as well.

I hope this was helpful and that you will get a jump start on living a clutter-less life!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Blog Launch

Just launched my new blog today! Please take a look around and read some of my blog posts so far. More importantly, I look forward to your comments and feedback. This is all new for me and I am very excited. Enjoy Simply Positive!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tip of the Day

It's Monday and a new start to the week. For easy meal ideas that will last a few days, pick up a rotisserie chicken and plan various meals around it. This is a quick way to avoid having to cook for the next several days. Happy mealtime!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My Early Days of Savings

Here is a lesson story I think you will enjoy about my early days of saving and the beginnings of a frugal lifestyle. I imagine it dates back to my childhood. Isn't that where it all begins in a person's life. Seriously, I know my parents had a lot to do with my saving habits. I enjoyed a very nice upbringing growing up in the Midwest. I would come home from school and get started on my homework along with watching my favorite program, Gilligan's Island. I remember my dad would arrive home and ask, "have you finished your homework" because he knew how much I enjoyed this show and might be putting it off.

One day while my mom and I were out shopping, I saw a pink and white bike with a basket attached to the handle bars in the store. My eyes lit up and I just had to have that bike. My mom was ready to buy it, but I said, let's go home and ask dad first. When we did, he said I would need to save for half the bike and they would pay the rest. I thought for sure we could head right back to the store and buy the bike straightaway. The challenge was on and I started saving my allowance to come up with my half. My Barbie doll collection took a hit because I did not buy anymore outfits or anything else with my allowance. I would count my money as I added to my savings and just smile because I was getting closer to my half. I recall that my mom and I went back to the store several times and I would always go to the bike section to see if it was still there, and it was just waiting on me to buy it.

Long story short, I saved the money and got the bike. I wish I could remember just how much the bike costs, but keep in mind this was the 1970's so it probably was not that expensive. I appreciated the lesson on saving for what you want and how much more you appreciate it in the end. At least this was my takeaway.

I am still that girl who saves money in order to buy things I want and will forgo what's not necessary. Cash is King, or maybe that should read Queen.




Sunday, March 28, 2010

Walk into Spring

I have been looking forward to spring and now that it's officially here, I am excited about starting up my walking program. The winter season has kept us inside, but now is the time to get back to exercising. I enjoy walking because you can pace yourself for a slow or fast walk. A new set of walking shoes would be good so that your feet are comfortable for the impact.

Now that daylight savings time has changed over, it is now staying lighter during the evening hours. This is good because you don't have to hurry because it was getting darker early. Also, makes for no excuses, right! A good morning walk is also a fresh way to start the day.

A walking program can be done right in your neighborhood. Some people think they have to go to the gym or track to get in their walking, but you can lace up your shoes and step right out your front door. One thing I plan to do this year is check with some of my neighbors especially other ladies who may want to join me. I have been approached while walking in my neighborhood from neighbors who say they would like to join me, but they don't. This can be for various reasons, but it would be nice to have a walking partner or two. I am sure the conversation would be plentiful.

I am all about challenges and here is mine to you. Start your walking routine today and I am confident you will not want to miss a day of exercise. Good luck!

Friday, March 26, 2010

TGIF Tips

  • For portion control during mealtime, use salad size plates for meals. This will help filling the plate with too much food.
  • Don't forget to wipe down the leaves on artificial trees and flowers during spring cleaning. The winter heat causes lots of dust to settle.
  • Planning day of errands ->take a few minutes to map out where you will shop so that you can determine which stores are near each other. Saves on gas!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tip of the Day

Write out a to-list daily to keep track of your tasks for the day. Our lives are so busy and trying to keep it all in our head can be a bit much. Keep pen and paper handy to add and/or check off all that you complete in your day. Good Luck!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Obama on the brink of a health care reinvention  | ajc.com

Obama on the brink of a health care reinvention  | ajc.com

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Fonda organizes 1st World Fitness Day event  | ajc.com

Fonda organizes 1st World Fitness Day event  | ajc.com

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Getting Organized

I bet the new year brought on the quest to get organized and I applaud any efforts to so. This is a subject I enjoy talking about and sharing ideas. I have always been pretty organized around the house and workplace. A former boss once said to only handle a piece of paper once. The notion was to do something with that piece of paper and be done with it. Sometimes we can keep shuffling the same thing around, but never make it a completed task.

Here are some organizing tips that will help get you on track:

1. Open your mail daily. This will help to not let the mail pile up and become overwhelming. Even if you browse through the mail and see that it's all junk, open it anyway and throw it away. Of course, don't forget to shred any credit card offers that you receive.
2. Paying Bills. This is a no-brainer especially when most people are paying their bills online. But, if you are still writing out bills, schedule a day to work on them. Mark the day on your calendar and set aside the time to pay your bills. I find that scheduling a task makes it easier to stick to it.
3. Mid-Week Chores. Plan to do some chores that you normally save for the weekend during the middle of the week. This will cut down having to spend your entire weekend doing household chores and free up fun time to spend with family and friends.
4. Color-Coded Closet. A simple way to organize your closet is to arrange clothes of the same color in the one place. This eases having to look around the closet for those navy slacks that might be mixed in with the browns. Try organizing suits, sweaters, blouses, t-shirts by color the same way. How easy will it be when getting dressed in the morning for work or day out to just scan the closet and pull from one color-coded section to another.

I feel a sense of accomplishment when I set out to work on a task and complete it. I am confident you will find that same sense as you work towards a more organized life. Get started and good luck!