Hello to the new month of May. The rains last month have brought about lots of colorful blooms in the gardens around the states. Along with the beauty of May, it's always nice to give your budget a review to see how well you are saving. The brown bag lunches might be taking their toll, but with the high food and gas prices, you may want to keep packing them. I hope the start of a new week is off and running in a good direction.
The day can only be described as Super Sunny Sunday in Atlanta, say that 3 times fast :-) I am hoping you are experiencing the same weather today and for the entire weekend. I'm just basking in all the glorious sun as I prepare to plant a few begonias I bought yesterday at a really good price at Home Depot. The place was crowded with lots of shoppers in the garden center. It was delightful to walk around and peek at the shopping carts of items people were buying. One lady had two small trees with yellow flowers on them. I should have stopped and asked the name of them, Bummer. I have one planter that is empty and I'm glad to finally get my fave flowers to fill it up. My neighbor has a big gardening project going on right now. We chatted a few minutes ago before I started this blog post and she mentioned all she plans to do. I can't wait to step back out later to see how it's coming along. I hope everyone is enjoying the day with family and friends. I cannot think of a better way for fellowship, good eats, and laughter than with loved ones. After last week's devastating tornadoes and the lives lost, it's even more important to spend time with others. If you are not able to be there in person, a phone call is just as nice. Be Blessed!
I'm sure many of you watched the Royal Wedding today. It was truly a spectacular event not only for London, but everyone around the world. Her dress was beautiful and I especially like the lace touches and train. I thought Prince William looked dapper in his military uniform and the bright red color added a definite pop. I like Kate's new royal title, The Duchess of Cambridge. From the carriage ride to the two kisses on the Buckingham Palace balcony, the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton has made this TGIF royal indeed. Here's wishing them all the best as they begin their life as husband and wife.
We all know that food prices are up in the grocery stores especially in the fresh produce aisle. From high prices on lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers, it's enough to make you want to ditch the whole healthy eating thing altogether. Not so fast! Try to find other cutbacks on snacks and sweets so you can still put fresh produce into the shopping cart.
I read a story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution yesterday about a couple who climbed their way out of $83,000 worth of credit card debt. By the way, that's no typo on the dollar figure of their debt. I was amazed and thought to myself how anyone could get themselves into that much debt. I applaud their efforts in shaving down their debt and are now spending with cash. I know some people who use their credit cards and pay the balance off each month and this is smart. But, not everyone can and it doesn't take long for the balance to creep up with interest to where the minimum monthly payment is all that can be paid each month. By using cash, you're more aware of just how much money you have for purchases. Simply knowing that you can reach into your wallet and use a credit card is an easy way to begin the cycle of debt. Don't fall into that trap, use cash instead. You don't need to carry around wads of cash in your wallet, that's not safe anyway. I suggest carrying enough to pay for the purchases on your list. If you see a 'must-have' while shopping and don't have enough cash to buy it, think about it a day or two before heading back to the store to buy it. By then, you may not even bother.
The temperatures may be rising around the states like Atlanta where I live. I enjoy this time of the year because to me it's not quite hot enough to turn on the air conditioning. For now, I have opened several windows to let in some natural air and give the house a chance to air out from being shut up during the winter months. The cool mornings add a touch of fresh air from the open windows which is delightful. I know the pollen has been a big factor for allergies and open windows will blow that pesky stuff right inside. If the pollen has subsided, give your electric bill a break until it really gets hot enough to turn on the A/C. I know two-story homes are usually a few degrees warmer upstairs, but opening a few windows will bring comfortable relief especially at night. Save some bucks!
A nice day in Atlanta for celebrating Earth Day and Good Friday. It's also Easter weekend and I bet it will be a busy time for everyone. My neighbor was just saying yesterday about all the cooking she will be doing for their family get-together. Also, get ready for the malls to be bustling with shoppers looking for that outfit not only for themselves, but the kids. I can truly say that the Easter outfits for the children are simply the best. The girls in their dresses and the boys in their suits is nothing short of cuteness. As we celebrate Earth Day, let's all continue to do our part for the environment. Don't forget to take your travel mug to Starbucks to get a free coffee in celebration of Earth Day. Call your pals and have a meet up there. Now that will be a nice way to spend Good Friday.
I know many of you have heard the saying "An apple a day, keeps the doctor away." It's a saying that is pretty right on when it comes to healthy eating. It's the perfect fruit for a mid-morning snack when lunch is a few hours away or when that 3pm drag starts to creep into the afternoon. Be ready to give it the boot by eating a crunchy apple. It's a great snack that is filling and fiber-rich. If you don't want to eat an apple everyday, have one over several days during the week. Buy several apples on your next grocery run in varieties like golden delicious, gala, or red delicious. The old saying just might keep the doctor away and have us all feeling healthier. Enjoy Healthy Eats!
I have joked with my family and friends saying that if I ever won the lottery and become super rich, I would still be just as frugal as I am today with my money. Of course, I would make sure my family is well-taken care of and I would help lots of charities especially animal rescue groups and shelters. I read a story under the sports section over at CNN where several NFL players may already be seeking short-term loans with high interest rates and fees due to the players lockout with the league. I am pretty sure a lot of these players make millions and probably live high lifestyles in the way of mansions, cars, clothes, jewelry, etc. I am not knocking their lifestyles and believe some players do save, but maybe not enough. We all have to plan for the unexpected where our livelihoods can change instantly.
The takeaway is to be frugal with your money no matter how much you are making even millions. I see nothing wrong with buying the finer things in life that you can clearly afford. At the same time, I encourage saving to cover several months of expenses in case your finances take a nose dive and the cash flow comes to a screeching halt. Frugal Rocks!
It's a beautiful Saturday in my neighborhood, but very soggy from the storms last night. I mentioned in my blog post yesterday that stormy weather was expected and it came through with intensity. The storms began early and caught a lot of people out and about with evening activities. The local forecasters were busy tracking the storms and keeping the viewers up-to-date. I say they did a fine job too. I could hear hail hitting my front door at one point in the storm. The Atlanta Braves series opener against the New York Mets was on a rain delay at Turner Field, but they never got the chance to play. The fans will get a chance to watch a doubleheader today so that's pretty cool. There are lots of events in Atlanta this weekend including the annual Dogwood Festival at Piedmont Park. I'm so glad the weather is nice for the attendees to walk around the artist's market and see the blooming dogwood trees that line the park. One thing we will all need today and that's a light jacket, it's cool and windy. Overall, the weekend is off to a happy start and I plan to get out and enjoy it. You Too!
It looks like a cool and breezy day is on tap in Atlanta. I know storms are heading this way later tonight, but glad they will hold off so that TGIF can be more enjoyable. The sun is trying ever so hard to break through the clouds. I've enjoyed a couple of nice hot cups of coffee this morning and the sound of chirping birds too. They won't let dreary clouds spoil their chance to sing. My backyard draws many birds and I don't mind that they perch on the fence and sing their lovely hearts out in the mornings and evenings. It's a sound that will brighten any day especially one that's cloudy. Chirp Chirp!
A good way to make some extra money is to have a garage sale. These type of sales can generate extra cash to help cover all types of expenses like gas for the car, upcoming summer travel and camp fees, etc. As the temperatures become more seasonable, people are getting out and about on the weekends and looking to snag bargains. You can plan the garage sale for just one day or over two days to give people more opportunity to stop and buy. I favor planning one with a neighbor or friend in order to take the stress of doing it all yourself. Plus, it's much more fun! Another way to earn extra money during the garage sale is to bake cookies, place them in baggies and sell them 3 for a $1. I'm sure the cookies will be a hit as people who start out early might need a pick-me-up as they hunt for the next garage sale sign.
Everyone is starting their spring cleaning these days now that the temperatures are finally warming. It's nice to open the windows and let in some fresh air. Here are 3 easy spring cleaning tasks for your list:
1. Clear any cobwebs along the top of the walls around the house. Plus, brush away dust from the heating vents. Grab the broom or feather duster to swipe them away. 2. Don't forget to wipe the dust and grime from all those neat items on the top of the cabinets in the kitchen. We tend to forget this area once we put things up there such as dried flowers and other stuff. Use a step ladder to reach them for a fresh clean look. 3. If you have a small window in the kitchen at the sink, there is probably grease that has accumulated on the shades over time from everyday cooking. Take some soapy water and wipe them down.
Don't let yourself get overwhelmed with spring cleaning and organizing. You can easily do one thing after dinner if you feel so inclined. Happy Spring!
Happy Weekend Everybody! I've got bargain shopping on my mind today. There is something about Saturdays for one and the weekend in general where you want to get out and about looking for bargains. Or is it just me? I think we all have a little of those thoughts. I like to stumble upon a street sign with an arrow pointing to a nearby garage sale. It's fun to follow the signs and see what bargains you might find. I am on the lookout for a birdbath. I saw a plastic one in a store, but I hope to find an old stone one for a bargain price. One of my neighbors has a small birdbath in their front yard and I can imagine the birds that stop by to take a dip. I bet the fluttering of their wings is an awesome sight. A friend had a garage sale last month and the flow of people stopping by was constant. They did very well and had items priced to sell which is the key to a good garage sale. In these economic times, people are out looking for bargains and sellers are looking to earn some extra cash. It's a win-win for everyone. It's time to grab the sunglasses, see ya!
I sure was looking to open the blinds to lots of sunshine, but it's pretty cloudy this morning. The day is still young and I'm thinking these clouds will give way to brighter skies. I bought a mango the other day which is one of my fave fruits, but it's still not ripe enough to cut and eat...Bummer! I can't believe my to-do list has only a few items on it, could this be right? I'm not going to sweat it because it's nice to have a day where your to-do list is Short. If that day falls on Friday, now that's Sweet.
My favorite thing to do when the contents in a plastic bottle is just about empty is flip the bottle over on to the cap side and let the remaining contents float down to the top. I do this often especially with creamy salad dressings that still have some dressing left. There is usually just enough to pour out and then it's ready to toss. This tip can be used with ketchup bottles or any item that can stand steadily on it's cap. Yep, I'm frugal, but waste not!
Yesterday a fire broke out at my neighbor's town home. A brush fire somehow started and the home sustained heavy damage to the siding and to the one next door that's empty and for sale. The young couple and their three children made it out safely and they will be able to stay there which is good news. They are renting the town home and she mentioned that they do not have renter's insurance.
As a homeowner, I have to have insurance. A renter's insurance policy is optional and many people just aren't covered. Although, I am hearing that some apartment complexes are requiring tenants to have renter's insurance and I suspect private landlords may be too. Don't be left uncovered even though you are just renting. Determine how much it will cost to replace your items and get a renter's policy that will cover any losses. Check with the insurance company that covers your car because you can usually get a discount if you have multiple coverages with the same company. It's so worth it!
In an effort to protect my identity, I have a shredder that I use a lot to shred important documents, credit card offers, junk mail, etc. We have to be careful with our personal information these days with identity theft on the rise. Place a box near the shredder and toss items that need to be shredded in it. This helps to keep your desk top clutter free too. Mark the box with the word "Shred" on it so that everyone knows what to do with the contents. Try not to let too many documents accumulate in the box so that you're not overwhelmed and neither is the shredder. Stay Protected!
It's simplygorgeous today with lots of sunshine and finally temps to hit mid-70's. I was out on my patio awhile ago just taking in the sights of birds, butterflies, and my plants. I was finishing off my last cup of coffee which was well past my noon cutoff, but that was fine. I began to smell the scent of cooking in the air and wondered who was about to enjoy a yummy Sunday meal. I think it's so nice when families gather on Sundays for a big meal and fellowship. It's hard these days for everyone with the many schedules and distances, but a Sunday phone call can be just as fun and engaging when you can't be there in person. It's joyous to hand the phone around to chat with family and friends gathered together. Enjoy your day and make it a gorgeous one everyone!