Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Hurt By A Defective Product? Here's What To Do

I ordered makeup for my daughter for her birthday and it arrived all broken, with powder everywhere. We ordered a replacement set and it, too, arrived broken. But as frustrating as it is when something you want arrives broken (and twice is that much worse), sometimes products you get are defective but not necessarily obvious at first and they can hurt you. If that happens to you, here's what you will need to do.

We’re approaching a part of the year where we’ll be getting a lot of gifts and products coming into our homes. While we want to ensure that we have a safe and happy holiday, and the likelihood of you coming across a defective product may seem small, it’s still important that you keep vigilant in case it happens to you.

From Christmas decorations to the gift you give and receive, there are a lot of new items that could cause significant harm to you or your family. One of the most common types of defective products that consumers receive is toys. Unfortunately, consumer electronics are also quite common, especially these days because technology is evolving so fast.

While retailer stores try their best to pull any defective items from their shelves, sometimes these products slip through the net, so awareness is often made to ensure that shoppers have a safe Christmas. However, accidents do happen, so what do you do if you have an injury caused by a defective product? Here are a few things you can do.

Monday, November 29, 2021

How to be Frugal Without Being Cheap

People think often that being frugal means being a cheapskate, but those are, by far, not synonymous. I wrote a blog post on the topic once that I'd love to link you to but I can't find it. Oh well. Here are some ideas from a reader on how you can save money without being cheap.

Frugality is something that’s often given a bad reputation. In fact, some people automatically associate being frugal with someone who doesn’t want to spend a cent. While some people do take things a little too far, being thrifty doesn’t need to equate with being cheap. Saving money and still being able to live well is a must, especially if you have children. Living a more frugal life is more along the lines of being extra resourceful, which is important when your family is growing. Even if you already are cutting corners, raising children can be expensive. For this reason, knowing how to save money can go a long way. Below are four ways to save money and still live well.

When "Drugs" Are Actually Good; How Narcotics Are Now Being Used Medicinally

Don't do drugs. 

Don't do drugs.

Don't do drugs.

Did you grow up with that message repeated to you until you could repeat it in your sleep as I did? Drugs are bad, people who do drugs are bad, stay away from drugs, etc...

The thing is, as there has been more education on the topic, people are starting to realize that the topic of "drugs" is complicated indeed.

There is a reason why there have been legalization and decriminalization of marijuana and other drugs in many places in the world- there has been more and more awareness on the beneficial medicinal uses of some of these drugs. Yes, some drugs are bad, bad, bad, and can permanently destroy your brain. However, other so-called drugs are not only not harmful but are actually beneficial for many people. This isn't nearly as black and white as we were led to believe.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

How to Personalize Your Home Warranty Plan Affordably?

Have you considered getting a warranty on your home but aren't sure how to do it without it costing a fortune? Here are some suggestions from a reader on how you can do just that.

Are you thinking of purchasing a home warranty? When doing so, consider purchasing optional coverage for various systems in the home. This is your residence and your most costly asset. Any protection you purchase is beneficial, but you can never have too much protection. What types of additional coverage should you consider?

Be Alert and Vigilant - How to Protect Your Children From Offenders

Keeping your children safe from people who may want to hurt them can seem like a full time task for a parent. There are some things we parents can do to try to do our best to protect them. Here are some of them from a reader.

As frightening and unpleasant as it may sound for parents to even think about the likelihood of their child being abducted. Parents must have a discussion with their children about personal safety.

Educating your kids about how to protect themselves against child predators is crucial as any other measure you take daily to keep them protected.

By teaching your kids how to stay away from possible dangers and how they should react if they find themselves in a threatening circumstance, will empower them to be aware of what they should do to protect themselves and keep themselves from harm.

Fed Up With Government Sanctioned Ableism

I have had it up to here with ableism. Ableism is discrimination in favor of able-bodied people. This means when people with disabilities (of any sort) are treated like second class citizens, or worse. I must admit that I used to be completely oblivious to this, but once I came to terms with having mental health issues, I noticed more and more how prevalent this mistreatment of disabled people is, whether overt or covert. 

This topic came to the forefront of my mind when I tried applying for a drivers' license in my country. If you remember when I wrote about it before, I had an American drivers' license before I moved abroad, but let it lapse, unfortunately. I never converted my American license to a local one, because it cost more money to do so than I had available at the time, and then I lost the opportunity. When I traveled to the US in 2019, I decided to get my drivers' license again, first taking a few lessons locally to refresh my memory (since it had been years since I drove) and then in the US within my first few days there, I got my drivers' permit and license.

Great, now I came back locally and wanted to convert my license here. Except it wasn't so simple. Ok, first I was just lazy about it, and drove with my American license, even though I wasn't supposed to. I got into a minor car accident and insurance wouldn't cover it because I didn't have a local license, so I had to pay $2500 for the repair. That gave me a push to actually do the right thing and convert my license.

No biggie, right? 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

4 Vegetarian Dishes That You Can Make at Home

Vegetarian dishes are often cheaper than meaty dishes. They are staples in my house because having meat every day gets quite expensive. Here are some vegetarian recipe suggestions from one of our readers.

Whether you are a fresh vegetarian or have been looking for new recipes for a long time, we promise you that it is possible to enjoy a delicious meat-free meal that is healthy and significantly affordable. Here are a few vegetarian recipes to try, ranging from 15-minute fried rice to almost anything in between.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

6 Benefits To Having A College Degree

Honestly, one of my biggest regrets in life is not getting a college degree. I literally had the possibility handed to me on a silver platter, with a full scholarship to the honors program of a college that would custom make a degree in the field I wanted (gifted education), whose scholarship would also give a stipend for living expenses. And I turned it down to move abroad and get married. Who knows how my life would have been different had I gotten that college degree. I suspect that this blog never would have been started, to be honest, because I wouldn't have started out my adult life totally broke as I was when I started this. 

Here are some reasons why having a college degree is beneficial.

What do you think when you hear the words ‘college degree’? Are you filled with excitement? Fear? Or do you simply not think that it’s relevant to you, so you don’t research any further, and you don’t want to know more because you’re fairly certain having a degree will not benefit you in your life?

For some people, this is true, at least in terms of their careers. However, a degree isn’t just about your career, although that’s what its main function is. There are plenty of reasons to take a degree even if you don’t intend to use it to get a job or move further along your career path, and since you can choose online learning, even if you already have a job or responsibilities, you can still achieve a degree no matter what you’re doing in your life. The question remains, why would you? Why should you? Read on to find out; some of the benefits to having a college degree will probably surprise you.

Cranberry Almond Rice Pilaf Recipe -- Vegan, Gluten Free, and Allergy Friendly

I made this dish for the first time quite a few years ago, I think for a potluck Thanksgiving dinner, but I could be wrong. Ever since I made it the first time, I had a decent recollection of certain steps in the recipe, and fond memories of just how good it tasted, but never really made it again. Recently, though, I was craving something like it, but since it had been so long, I searched google for recipes for craisin almond rice, and came up with a bunch of recipes with the name pilaf in them, but all those recipes seemed wrong. You see, I very clearly remembered adding sugar to my onions and craisins, but all the recipes I saw were savory. And so, I put together this dish again, from memory, and it was just as good as I remembered. But I'm just going to stick the word pilaf in the title because that is what people seem to be using and I want this to come up when people search google. But I hope you'll forgive me because this doesn't strictly follow the definition of pilaf (though it does have a decent amount of similarity to the Afghan national dish, kabuli palaw, which is considered a pilaf). This is reminiscent of a dish they generally serve locally at weddings and other catered affairs.

I brought this craisin almond rice dish to a potluck Thanksgiving meal this year and it was devoured. Though it has sugar in it, it isn't very sweet, it is just the right combination of sweet with the rest being savory. The onions and craisins get carmelized, almost candied. I maybe am being a bit extreme, but I would happily say that this is one of my favorite rice dishes ever. My daughters aren't the hugest fans, unfortunately, so I don't know how often I'll be making it. But I definitely suggest giving this one a try. It is worth it.

Unlike most of the recipes I saw when googling to refresh my memory of how I made this dish, this one doesn't use any broth or stock in it, so it is completely vegetarian and vegan. Other than the almonds this is also free from the most common allergens, such as gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, etc... If you are nut free feel free to leave out the almonds, and maybe replace them with pumpkin seeds, if not totally leaving them out.

This is also a great way to use up leftover rice, but if you don't have leftovers, it is worth it to cook up some for this recipe.  

Cranberry Almond Rice Pilaf Recipe -- Vegan, Gluten Free, and Allergy Friendly

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

How To Design A Modern Nursery Room With A Small Budget

If you are having a new baby and need to put together a room for the baby, you might think that this would cost a lot of money. Fortunately, there are many ways to do it on a tight budget. A reader explains how.

Your new bundle of joy deserves all the best things in life. And by the best, it doesn’t mean that it should cost you an arm and a leg to decorate the living space. It may sound challenging, but it’s not impossible to design a modern nursery with a meager budget. Whether it’s a crib, a rocking chair, diaper holders, or other nursery essentials, you don’t have to buy everything brand new.

The key to a low-priced and functional baby room is to be resourceful. This article would discuss some helpful tips in making a nursery room without breaking the bank.

Learning About How Toilets Work

If you like DIYing as much as I do, you probably have learned about different things and their functions so you could learn to fix them. I've never actually fixed my own toilet, but have the most rudimentary knowledge of how I might. But to know how to actually repair it, you need to know how it works. Here's more to teach you about this important thing we all have in our homes.

Every household in the world nowadays has at least one toilet and you have probably used it thousands of times. However, have you ever wondered how toilets actually work? To fully understand how toilets operate you need to know what they consist of.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Dishwasher- Want or Need?

Way back when, when I was living an extremely extremely extremely frugal lifestyle and not by choice, I had a series here on this blog called "Needs vs Wants?" I cringe looking back at it and feel bad for myself that I legit was talking about things like whether or not running water, electricity, a fridge, or a cell phone were a need or a want, as well as what the bare minimum furniture and baby supplies someone might need would be. My life has come a long way since then, and I have many things today that past me would have considered a nice extra, but for me are non negotiable. 

However, while I don't usually ask myself whether something is a want or a need, especially since that question is a very triggering one for me, when it comes to large expenses, that is something that I consider. Like there are a few things that I'd like to do that would cost me money but since I can make do without them, I'm waiting on them until I have money saved up to pay for them and still have wiggle room in my finances. This is, from least expensive to more, things like a gluten free toaster (to go along with our current gluten one), a new microwave, a replacement blender since mine is finally on its last legs, building a loft room for my son, and hopefully getting a car. Plus a dishwasher, which I will get to in a second. And since things on the higher end of the price range are more important than the cheaper things, I'd rather the money go to a sinking fund for the more expensive thing than spend it on the cheaper but less important thing.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

5 Benefits of Sending Your Child to Private School

There's no question about it, private school is much more expensive than public school. If you're a frugal minded person, then, why would you send your children to private school? Are there any benefits that your children can get there that make it worth the extra expense? As a private school student myself, it was interesting to read this post from a reader on that topic. One thing that this does not talk about, though, is that many people send their children to religious private schools, that provide an education on your religion that public school won't do (and for good reason).

We all want to do our best for our children and give them the best life we possibly can. Education is a huge factor in a child's life as it can mold them into the adult they will become and, to an extent, determine the path they will follow in life. So choosing the right school for them is an important decision. Should you send them to a state school or go private? Many of us don't know the exact ins and outs of private education and what it has to offer. To assist you with your thoughts, here are 5 benefits of sending your child to private school.

Steps to Take When Protecting Your Garden from Pests

If you have a garden, you know how irritating pests can be! I had two giant basil plants entirely devoured by slugs. (I hate slugs.) Here are some suggestions on how to protect your garden from pests.

Growing a garden is a rewarding experience. Home gardeners often spend hours upon hours planting seeds, fertilizing the ground, and picking their crops. After all, nothing tastes as good as fresh fruits and vegetables. However, some annoying pests may try to eat the harvest first.

Thankfully, there are several ways to protect your garden from these unwelcome guests. Follow these steps.

I Fell Off The Budgeting Wagon

I had this post on my mind already for a long time, but something was holding me back. Originally, it was going to be titled "Help! I Fell Off the Wagon!" because I needed help. What wagon, that is? The budgeting one. Keeping track of my income and expenses via my YNAB app. The wagon that I need to be on to make sure that my life works out properly, that I have money for what I need and don't spend money on things I don't have. And I can't say it's not still an issue. Because right now it's not a total cry for help, because I've gotten back on, but I do need advice on how to not get off it again.

You see, it started about half a year or so back. I was overwhelmed with life, and inputting all my expenses, every time I made them, just felt too overwhelming. So I'd spend. Tried not to spend too much, still stuck to my frugal lifestyle, and I made certain spluges that I perhaps shouldn't have and wouldn't have if I knew the exact state of my finances. I mean I wasn't altogether terrible- I looked at my bank account and knew where it was holding, but that by far is not the whole picture. Because my goal isn't to get down to zero each month and build my way back, because my bank account also includes my emergency fund, plus money I'm holding for different things (such as my tenant's rental deposit), and without actually looking at my budget, I am not able to see how much money I actually have available to be used without needing to dip into my emergency fund. 

Every month or so I'd reconcile my money in my budgeting app with what is actually in my accounts, and I would be stressed out! I was spending more than I should! And then every time that would happen I'd beat myself up for this. And feel bad about myself. And stress some more.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

5 Things to Consider When Buying Home Batteries

Have you thought of turning your home into a solar powered one? If you live in a sunny place, this might be a worthwhile option. When doing so, something you generally need to consider is getting a battery to store this solar energy. Here's what you need to know about when buying such batteries.

People are moving towards greener alternatives of power supply. Yes, this is true. The early consequences of pollution, global warming, and exhaustion of non-renewable resources have made people concerned about nature and survival. Most of the population concerned about using solar energy is the young population of the age group 23-35 years.

This age group is just experiencing the initial days of settling down. They are the ones who are buying houses to start their independent life. Their love for nature is reflected in every choice they make. That is why many of the youngsters prefer solar-powered energy systems in their houses. If you are one of them and want to buy a perfect battery with solar PV system protection, you are in the right place.

The things listed below are the points to remember while buying a battery:

How To Choose A Bathroom Sink

When we were deciding on how to design our kitchen in our new house, one of the things we decided right away is to not have a porcelain sink. We had had porcelain before and hated it, and knew we wanted to go with stainless steel, but originally we had also considered stone. However, in our bathroom, we went with porcelain. If you are looking into designing your home, either for a new home or if you are doing a renovation, here are some different types of sink options to help you figure out what type would work best for you.  

Sink considers special attention when thinking of the design of the bathroom. Each of us comes to it several times a day: to wash our face and hands, to brush our teeth. Of course, everyone wants the washbasin to be beautiful and comfortable, and also to effectively complement the design of the bathroom. What to know before buying a sink? There are several criteria that you should definitely pay attention to. Let's take a closer look.

An Exciting Scratch and Dent Grocery Store Discovery!

Yesterday I went to the scratch and dent store. As I went to pay the manager tells me that he hasn't seen me in a while. Ya, they know me at these types of stores. I'm one of the regulars and I buy stuff in bulk there. But the thing is, he's right. I haven't been there lately. I have all sorts of excuses why I haven't taken advantage of this option for cheap grocery shopping, like no time or energy to go out of my way especially with no car. But that simply isn't true and is just that, excuses.

I finally decided enough with the rationalizations, because as of now I go to the nearby city four days a week for various therapies (Yay life!) and one of those days I'm so close to one of these stores, like a 5 minute walk or less. So two days ago, when I was nearby, I made the short trek to the scratch and dent shop.

What I saw there delighted me and I knew would delight the kids.

Monday, November 15, 2021

3 Ways to Reduce Your Mortgage Payments as a New Parent (With Actionable Examples)

Mortgages are annoying. They can eat up a big chunk of your income each month. But at least with a mortgage every month when you pay it you are owning more and more of your house, as opposed to rent which doesn't give you any assets in the long run. Here are some ways that you can make your mortgage payments lower, to help lower your monthly expenses.
As a new parent, you may be feeling the weight of your monthly mortgage repayments. If this is the case, then there are some steps that you can take to help reduce these payments. These 3 mortgage reduction strategies will not only make it easier for you financially, but they will also provide peace of mind at a time where stress levels are likely high!

How To Choose The Best Day Care For Your Little Loved Ones

When it's time to hand your kid over to someone else to watch, it can be nerve-wracking. How do you know you're putting your kid in the right place? Here are some suggestions from a reader on things to look for when choosing a day care for your children.

Your child is your pride and joy, the love of your life, a special part of you. The idea of someone else caring for them can be a bit scary at first. But it's important to understand that daycare is no longer the "old school" place it used to be years ago.

Choosing a daycare can be a very tough decision. There are many things to consider when finding the best one for your child, including location, hours, environment, and cost. Here are some tips to help your family find the best daycare center for your little loved ones.

Teaching Kids to Be Money Smart, Including an Interview With My Son

I have had many posts over the years where I talked about teaching kids how to be financially savvy, but, like with all things, how I've done things has evolved, and in this case, quite tremendously.

I used to include my kids a lot in discussions about finances, thinking that it would help them understand money and be smart spenders. I was told by a family therapist, though, when I started seeing her as part of the divorce process, that people talking to their kids about their family's finances, period, even without exact details and even without sharing monetary stresses with them still is a stress. That thinking about their family's finances puts too big a worry on young heads and can be detrimental to them in both the short and long run. That talking to them about finding the best deal and how I'm saving money is not good for them. This was really frustrating for me to hear, because I thought that I was doing the right thing, teaching them important lessons already from a young age. I've seen what happens to people who grow up in homes where their families had no money sense and they repeat their families' issues and I wanted to make sure that would not happen to my children.

So how exactly am I supposed to teach my kids smart financial habits? With their own money, is what I was told. Teach kids how to budget their own money. Give them ways to earn it. Let them see that if they spend more money now they won't have it later. Let them learn to check prices to see what they can get for their budget. Show them that they can get more for their money when they look for good deals.

And so this has been what I've tried to do for the last three years. 

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Body Vision Cameras: Important Things to Know About Bronchoscopy

 As someone dealing with a bunch of different and still as yet mostly unexplained medical issues, I've been doing a lot different tests and procedures and have more still to do. Each time I have one scheduled I've been googling them to find out details to help me not freak out (or at least not too much), so when I was asked to post this about a procedure called a bronchoscopy I was happy to, if only to have this information out there so that when jittery people like myself need to know this, it will be available. Fortunately, I'm at least not dealing with lung issues (knock on wood) so this isn't relevant to me, but if any of you are, hopefully this will be helpful for you. Just a note, after the break there is medical information and a picture that might make people queasy; you have been warned. If you're squeamish, you might want to scroll on by instead of clicking to expand this.

Airways can get blocked, or your healthcare provider may simply need to get a mucus sample. Sadly, lung diseases also happen.

You can visit here to learn more about lung diseases and their various types. Whatever the case is, getting told you need to get a bronchoscopy done can be intimidating. You may be scared out of your wits if you hadn’t heard the word before then.

However, the procedure isn’t as scary as the term that describes it. Knowing some basic things about the procedure can help you feel a lot better about it. Hence, in this read, we will be discussing some of the important things you need to know about bronchoscopy.

Monday, November 8, 2021

5 Tips On How To Furnish Your New Home

If you recently moved into a new home, figuring out how to furnish it can be extremely overwhelming. This is especially so if you've moved to a larger home and you don't have enough furniture to fill your rooms. Here are some tops from a reader on how to go about this task.

Moving into a new house is an achievement that one should be proud of. It signifies growth, both financially and mentally as it comes with challenges. It is a courageous step as you will probably be moving into a new neighborhood, you will have to make acquaintances with new neighbors and make new friends.

But let's look at the brighter side of things, your new home is bigger and needs to be furnished. You presumably have fascinating decor ideas as you have been planning and looking forward to the move for a while now. This article guides you on how to solve the challenges of furnishing your new home and achieving your desired home look.

Understanding How Medical Alert Systems Work

As our loved ones get older, we need to start thinking about how to take care of them should something happen. A good way to help keep them safe, as well as keep your mind at ease because you know they'll be able to get help easily is to set up a medical alert system. But how do these work? A reader explains here.

Medical alert systems can give emergency surveillance outside and inside your home. They can help ensure your safety and the well-being of your loved ones. They are engineered to alert an emergency that needs quick attention and to inform emergency medical personal of your predicament.

They are also designed to signal help to caregivers and family members. Once a medical alert system is triggered communication is sent to an alarm monitoring system. The event is then analyzed and if medical experts are needed they are sent through or members of the family are contacted. 

An injury or fall can wreak havoc for an older family member or a vulnerable person you love. Making sure that someone you care about or a family member gets help as soon as possible usually leads to them getting the best possible treatment. Giving your loved one the best medical alert systems must be topical on anyone's home safety checklist. 

How I Clothe My Kids, Attempting to Be Frugal While Respecting Their Feelings

When my kids were younger, clothing them was easy enough. I started off their babyhood with a huge amount of clothing as hand me downs from my then sister in law, both girls' clothes and boys' clothes. This stash of clothing, more or less, lasted me until my kids were nearly 2. What I didn't have I supplemented with clothes from a very cheap used clothing store. My criteria for clothes were basically that they fit, that they were the right gender's clothes (or neutrals), and that they were seasonally appropriate. I spent very little on clothing for them, mostly just warm undershirts and tights.

By the time my kids were around 2 my kids' clothing stash from my sister in law ran out, and I started getting hand me downs from other friends, but that wasn't enough. I supplemented it quite a lot with clothes from the second hand store, but since the local second hand store had items for 25-50 cents each, it really wasn't a big deal. My boys were still too young to care much about what they wore, so I bought whatever was on sale, as long as I thought it looked presentable and nice. 

This continued on until my kids were nearly elementary school aged. Some hand me downs, but very few things from second hand clothes, because boys at that age are really rough on their clothes, and nothing lasted long enough to reach second hand clothing stores. So in addition to the few second hand things we could buy, I also shopped for them at cheap clothing stores, and bought cheap clothes from Nextdirect.com (specifically the boys' uniform pants).

Friday, November 5, 2021

Smart And Easy Ways To Pay Off Your Debt Faster

Ahhh! Debt is my least favorite four letter word. It makes so many people's lives difficult, haunting them for so long and never letting up. Here are some ways that you can hopefully pay off your debt faster.

Being in debt can be a major cause of constant worry and stress, no matter if you're dealing with a student loan, a mortgage, or credit card debt. According to a recent survey of more than 19,000 American adults, 60 percent said that they feel anxious when thinking about their personal finances. Moreover, the poll reveals that women, young adults, and parents with young children are the most financially anxious among all the participants. Given the connection between debt and stress, it is important to improve money management skills to ward off future financial shocks and have peace of mind. One way to reduce anxiety and stress over money matters is to actively seek ways to pay off your debt as quickly as you can. Here are some smart and easy ways to pay off your debt faster.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Everything You Should Know About Kids And Electrical Safety

We need to use electricity in our lives. But there's no doubt that the usage of electricity poses risks. Especially to little ones. Children are exploratory creatures. They want to learn and discover and see what things are and what happens when I drop something from high up, will it always go down? They learn about the world via playing and that is good, but there are some things we don't want them to play with, because learning lessons with them can be dangerous. Babyproofing and childproofing your house is really important with little kids because of this. (And even sometimes older kids do things with electricity that make you do a double take... )

Electricity is a basic need for survival in the modern world. It gets everything done with a click. From switching on the light to charging your phone, electricity does it all. But one can never foresee the dangers that it brings.

Yes, electricity can be very harmful to you and your loved ones if not used with caution. From your living room to your bedroom to your bathroom, everywhere you have electricity. And when you have kids at home, then you should be even more responsible.

Kids tend to get excited about new things. They want everything regardless of what it is used for. There are times when your kid starts chewing an electric cord or plays with a plug. Thus, you need to be aware of what your child is playing with.

Here are some ways through which you can ensure your kid’s safety from electrical hazards even when you are not around:

5 Common Money Traps and How to Get Out Of Them

We were all young and stupid once. Ok, some people take longer to grow out of it than others, but generally as more mature adults we can look back at things we did in earlier adulthood and wring our hands and say "why did we do that?" If we are lucky, we can just remember and move on, but often when we make mistakes with money, they continue to haunt us, because they can keep us financially trapped.

It really sucks, because we might feel disgruntled that we have to suffer for things we would never do now, but in some ways, making such mistakes helps us in the future, and teaches us important money lessons that we might not have learned otherwise. But still, once we learn our lesson, can't we move on? Why are we still trapped?

Fortunately, despite how upsetting it is to deal with money traps we got into in the past, there are ways to get out of some of them. Here are five common money traps that people fall into, and how you can get out of them.

Monday, November 1, 2021

What To Do If You're Having An Emergency and You Need Immediate Funding

Please have an emergency fund. Please, please, please have an emergency fund. This is one of the most important things in order to be frugal, because without an emergency fund you can get into big financial trouble if you don't have a financial cushion for that. But let's say you don't have an emergency fund, what do you do if you have an emergency and need immediate funding? Here are some things you can do.

Are you facing an emergency and don’t know how to find funding? Maybe something has come up, and you need cash to pay for it? Life can throw a lot of things at us, and emergencies are bound to happen. If you are facing an emergency use the tips below to help you find the money you need.

Need To Update Your Home? A Quick Guide To Do It On The Cheap

If your home needs a bit of a makeover, because things are starting to look problematic, in your opinion, and freshening things up a bit would make your life more enjoyable, there are ways to do it without spending too much money. I did that quite a few years ago, when we were living in our tiny home that I hated, but needed a way for it to make me resent it less. Here are some ways you can do that too.

There comes a time when you look at your home and just want to rip it down and start fresh. But, unfortunately, it is not possible to do this if you have a budget to stick to. If you feel it is time to make some changes to your home, here are some ideas on how to make some upgrades on a budget.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Top 3 Finest French Cheeses in the World

I love cheese. Cheeses are some of my favorite foods in the world, and when someone asked if they could share a post about cheeses here, I was thrilled by it, and then I saw that they were writing about my three favorite cheeses and it was awesome! These cheeses not only taste wonderful, they also, being moldy cheeses, have their sugars and other things broken down via the cheese making process, making them much easier on the stomach than standard cheeses. 

France is the land of cheese. If you are one of those people who think mozzarella pizzas are heavenly, then trust us, you haven't actually seen what heaven really looks like. There are around eight categories of cheese in France, and there are approximately fifty six out of a total of thousand cheeses which are protected by the French government under its Food Laws. In this article, we will be talking about the top 3 cheeses orignating in France.

1. Camembert

An Unexpected "Save"

I had a really hard day last week. Everything seemed to be going wrong, one after another. I was already in a bad mood when my son asked me if I could go clothes shopping with him since he's outgrown most of his clothes and the ones he had were getting worn out and he anyhow was with me. (We had made a clothes shopping date two days later, but he had a point, so I was willing to give it a shot, despite being already emotionally wrung out.)

There's a clothing company that my kids and I have had good luck with when it comes to good quality on a low budget, so I headed to one of their clothing store branches. My boys are in that in-between stage when they can fit into both adult and kids clothes- extra small adult or extra-large kids, so I checked to see what was available and decided to go with the adult store.  

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Fixing Your Refrigerator – A Few Tips

I'm an old pro at fixing my fridge already. Of course, even sometimes I can't manage to fix it on my own and have been stuck fridge free. If you're having fridge problems and are thinking of fixing it on your own, here are some tips that you might want to consider.

Some appliances are more important than others. Most people can manage for a couple of weeks without a vacuum cleaner but could not do so if their refrigerator were to break down. The problem is that when you are living on a tight budget you sometimes find yourself without enough cash to be able to call in a repairer. In that situation, you have little choice but to have a go repairing your refrigerator yourself. Fortunately, often, that turns out to be a lot easier than you think.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Revealed: How To Save Money For A Down Payment On A House

I was talking to someone today about the fact that the only way we were able to buy a home was getting the down payment as an early inheritance from my mother. But this wasn't due to lack of trying. I just live in a place with ridiculously high housing, both for rental and for buying (and that is with living further out and not in an expensive area), and down payments need to be 40% of the total price of the property, which makes it extremely difficult to save up money for a down payment unless you have two people earning decent salaries and live on a tight budget for quite a few years. However, in most of the world, saving up for a down payment isn't quite as ridiculous as it is locally. Here is how you can do this in other more normal parts of the world.

If you want to buy a house, there's a slim chance you can do so without getting a mortgage home loan. In some circumstances, you might have the capital to pay for the full price of the property in one go. To be honest, this usually only happens if you're incredibly rich, have just won some money, or have run into an inheritance. For the majority of us, mortgages are the only way to buy a home.

How a Car Accident Can Affect Your Loved Ones

Content warning: This post contains things that may be triggering to people reading it. Read at your own discretion.

I've lived without a car for my entire adult life but have wanted to get a car of my own. I did, however, get into a car accident during the few times that I did drive though, and it only cost me money (a few thousand dollars) but no one else was affected. Unfortunately, when someone gets into a car accident, it can have repercussions on one's loved ones. Here is more on that from a reader.

When a car accident occurs, the immediate effects are felt most by the persons who were in the vehicles involved. Things such as physical pain and suffering, property damage, and the emotional distress that comes with being involved in such a traumatic event can take a toll on accident victims.

However, as time passes, these effects can have both direct and indirect impacts on the people close to you as well. This can strain relationships and leave victims feeling guilty and more lonely than ever.

Learn how a car accident can affect your loved ones so you are better prepared.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

A Good Frosting Hack to Save Frosting


Buttercream frosting is delicious. Its sweet creamy richness on top of a good slice of cake can be the perfect amount of decadence for a wonderful treat. But it can be a bit tricky to make it, since you have to figure out the right balance of butter, sugar, and liquid. If one of them is off, then you won't have a good buttercream- it will have the wrong texture and look.

My friend Babs made a cake for her daughter's birthday, but as she was making the frosting something went off. The frosting probably got too much liquid in it, and it separated into little clumps of solids with bits of liquid in between. This has happened to me before and it sucks.

When your kid has a birthday party and the grocery store is closed and you can't buy all new ingredients to make new frosting, or you don't want to waste all the money you already spent on the frosting, it's kind of sucky. In the past, I just used it as is and said oh well (and embarrassingly I even posted pictures here on my blog, but since I refused to pay for hosting for these pics when the free site started charging a hosting fee the pictures all have a watermark, oh well...)

But this time when Bab's frosting flopped, I had the perfect idea. (And I looked on the internet to see if I could find other people posting about this idea, but in my quick search I didn't see.) 

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Top Tips for Moving Cross Country

Moving can be challenging at any time, but moving cross country can be much more daunting than moving within city limits. Here are some tips to help you with your cross-country move.

A smooth house move process is all about choosing good cross country moving companies. This article deals with some frequently asked questions about choosing your movers to get the best possible experience.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Five Challenges You May Face as an Expat and Their Solutions

I have been an expat for the past 15 years in a non English speaking country. It hasn't always been easy, but after this much time here I've more or less gotten into the groove. However, my grasp of the language is far from perfect, even though I grew up in a household that spoke that language to some extent. I just joined a local whatsapp group where locals get to practice their English with English speakers correcting them and visa versa. 

When you move to a new country, I've heard it said, that the first year it's pretty easy since it's new and exciting so even though there are challenges you are able to navigate them because you are really motivated and excited. But the novelty wears off and the second and third year abroad can be really difficult and test your fortitude. However they say that people that are still around at the 5 year mark finally have things easy enough, figured out everything that they need, and are content with life abroad. But many understandably give up before then because of the challenges.

Here is a post from a reader elaborating on some issues that you may deal with as an expat and some solutions for these problems.

Living abroad is one of the most enriching experiences you can have in life. It can give you access to unique opportunities for professional and personal development. It can teach you resilience and adaptability. It can help you experience things that at home were unattainable. However, being an expat can be challenging. You may be dealing with a language barrier, a different healthcare system, unfamiliar social customs, and different climate.

Are you considering moving abroad? Or are you already an expat making your first steps in a foreign country? Read on to discover five challenges you may face and some possible solutions.

How Far Will You Go For Free Things?

I had a busy day recently, going to the city for a few appointments, and on the way home I stopped at the grocery store to get some much needed groceries. I did a delivery of most of what I bought, but since I didn't know when I'd be getting the delivery, I brought home the food I'd need for supper on the bus with me.

On the bus halfway between the grocery store and my house and with my phone on two percent battery I saw that a friend from my neighborhood messaged me. There was a giveaway of foodstuffs via an organization to people in need, and after they finish giving out to the needy, any extras are a free-for-all for anyone to take. This friend told me that there were a bunch of packages of gluten free tortillas available for the taking.

By the time I checked this, my phone was down to one percent. The bus I was on continued one stop further to where they were giving out the tortillas. I knew myself and if I didn't go straight there I wouldn't actually get the energy to leave the house and get them, but it was an opportunity I didn't want to miss. But the kids needed stuff for supper (they were with my neighbor) and I had them, so I thought quickly.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Save Money on Your Next Family Vacation with These Tips

I love vacationing and taking trips, all while doing it on a careful budget, and write about that a lot here on this blog. Here are some more tips from a reader on how you can save money on your trips.

Some of the best family memories are made while on vacation. With everyone’s little league schedules, dance recitals, work obligations and social engagements, it can be challenging to find the time and money you need to pull off the vacation of your dreams. 

Fortunately, family vacations don’t always have to break the bank. Read on for handy tips to help you save some serious money on your family’s next big adventure. 

What Have You Not Considered When It Comes To Your Business

Are you a small business owner? Or a big business owner? Sometimes in order to make more money or have your business work better for you, it is worthwhile to change the structure of your business. Here are some thoughts from a reader on some things you should consider.

What have you not considered when it comes to your business? The simple answer is that you probably don’t know. There are so many things that can be done with business, and when you are the one who is tasked with making decisions, it can be hard to see the big picture. We all have ideas, and we all have things that we think are right, but don’t forget that our perception is limited by what we can see. When you own a business, yours is limited further because you might have been looking for too long. In this article, we’re going to be looking at some of the things that you might not have considered for your business, so keep reading if you would like to find out more.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

A Post About Rice

Confession. I've been struggling somewhat to write lately. 

I have a whole list of ideas that I want to write about, including many bullet points on each topic with the information I want to cover, and yet when I go to write the post, it doesn't flow well. Or I have to pull teeth to get myself to even open up the page, let alone to actually write. And part of the issue is my pressuring myself that it has to be perfect, that whatever I write and share here has to be Quality with a capital Q, because that is what you come here to read, and I can't write anything less than perfect. Which, quite obviously, puts a lot of pressure and stress on myself, and I don't do well under stress. I run away from stress or have my brain get fuzzy, or like I'm seeing, hearing, and experiencing the world from under water. And, honestly, is happening now as I write this. But I'm trying to not let this overtake me and have me minimize the screen and go move on to something else as my brain is telling me. "You're not good enough, no one wants to read what you have to say unless you elucidate something extremely profound that no one ever did until now, and even then maybe not." Yea, that self-doubt voice that I'm dealing with all the time. (Yay depression and anxiety).

But I decided to go ahead anyhow and tell the haters (in my brain) that they can just shut up and go away, and I'll write this post even if it isn't the most perfect, sublime, original post I ever wrote.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Taking Care of Your Family on a Budget: 4 Swaps to Make

Some frugal strategies don't work for families. Here are some tips from a reader to save money that work for families, not just for single folk.

For many of us, providing for our families is our greatest priority and our greatest joy in life. However, times have been tough for the past few months and we all know that giving our families everything they need can be hard financially.

If you’re on a tighter budget than before and unsure of how to still take good care of those you love, here are a few places you can look towards reducing your expenses to help you make sure you’ve got it all together.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Make It Meaningful: Gift Ideas for the Groom on His Wedding Day

I love gift giving. But not just any gift giving. I like giving meaningful gifts that will be appreciated, even if it means sometimes costing a little more. Getting more value for your money can mean getting something that will last a long time and be exactly what the other person would enjoy, instead of a gift that is cheaper and won't be used or appreciated. Here are some ideas for meaningful gifts for a groom on his wedding day, that aren't too expensive and will hit the spot.

The wedding day has always been synonymous with the bride, but it is an equally big and special day for the groom. Most weddings include a gift-giving ceremony between the bride and the groom. The groom will also receive many gifts from those who attend the party.

Choosing gifts for the groom is quite a challenge, especially if you don't want to spend too much on gifts. The main thing should be to make the gift meaningful, not exuberant. Therefore, even a small gift can have plenty of sentimental value to the groom.

How to Manage Your Home Maintenance Budget

There are some nice things about being a renter. You aren't responsible for much of the maintenance in your home, because that is the landlord's responsibility. But if you're an owner these can be an expensive part of your budget, and even renters may need to spend money on some repairs such as appliances. Here are some tips from a reader on how to make sure that these expenses stay manageable and within your budget.

Home maintenance is an expected part of being a homeowner. You need to take care of your property to keep it in good condition and prevent it from deteriorating. To be prepared to take care of your home, you need to have a home maintenance budget to ensure you can afford it. You should expect various home maintenance expenses, so you can plan for anything that you might need to pay for. There are also many ways you could save money on home maintenance, making it easier for you to manage your budget. If you want to be prepared and make sure that you don't spend too much, here's how you can manage your budget more smartly.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Recent Frugal Accomplishments

Every time I start to think that I'm not accomplishing much frugally in the past while, I decide to make a list of frugal things I've done, thinking that, maybe, the three or four things on my list will make me feel better about myself, but then the list expands and expands until I get something like this and I realize I'm not giving myself the credit I deserve. So here are the recent frugal things I did -- maybe some of them can give you ideas, and maybe you can make yourself such a list and feel proud of yourself.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

How to Save Money Shaving

First off, I want to start off by saying that no one should ever tell you what to do with your body, including body hair. Even if something is a cultural norm, if you want to keep body hair somewhere, that is your choice. And you can change your choice at any time. I, personally, prefer to shave my underarm hair, and occasionally my legs, but it is fine to not do that either. My preferred tool is an epilator, but many people prefer to not use something that pulls out hairs, as that can be painful. If you're someone that shaves, here is how you can save money shaving, while helping the environment at the same time.

Since the early 1900s our grooming routines have changed dramatically, shifting from high-quality straight razors, balms and creams to disposable cartridge razors and shaving foam in a can! Razor companies such as Gillette would have us believe that using disposable razors not only provides a smoother shave, but it’s also cheaper. But is this actually true or can we save money and still keep our faces and legs hair-free using a more traditional method of shaving?

Monday, October 4, 2021

6 Tips for Making the Most of Your Child's Education

As parents, we can just hand our kids over to their teachers and let them do the work. But to have your child succeed there, your involvement helps. Do you want to be involved in your children's education to make sure that they have the best chance at being successful there? Here are some tips from a reader on how you can do that.

The best way to make sure that your child gets the most out of their education is to be involved. Parents play a huge role in making sure that children are challenged and encouraged, so they will want to learn more! It’s also important to set your child up with good routines which will help them to focus better and enjoy learning. These six tips for parents will help you get started:

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Lemon Garlic Green Beans Recipe- Gluten Free, Vegan, Paleo and Easy

Sometimes the simplest dishes are the tastiest. If you want a delicious and easy side dish recipe, these lemon garlic green beans are the perfect answer. The entire time from start to finish making them is 20 minutes.

This recipe is both vegan, gluten free, and paleo. It is free of the top 8 allergies. My kids loved this and asked me to make this repeatedly.

Lemon Garlic Green Beans Recipe- Gluten Free, Vegan, Paleo and Easy

Thursday, September 30, 2021

7 Things To Consider Before Setting Up Your New House

Moving into a new home, especially one you bought, is both exciting and difficult. There are some things you should do when moving in. Here's a to do list from a reader; most of this list is relevant to buying a home but some are also relevant to renters.

Buying a new house can be exhilarating and overwhelming at the same time. A lifetime of planning and preparation can still make you feel like you are behind. From furniture to kitchenware, the list goes on and on. Therefore, before moving to a new place, you must take care of certain things that require immediate attention before setting everything up. Now let us get your checklist in place:

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