How do you decorate for Valentine's Day?
One of the ways that I love to decorate for monthly themes like Valentine's Day is by making a wreath for my front door.
How do you do it on a budget?
Here are the steps.
First, go to your local dollar store. What I bought (not that you need to buy the same things) was the following:
1 Wreath Base
1 Raffia Package
3 Rose Bunches
3 Baby's Breath Bunches
2 Glitter Tulle
1 Red Tulle
2 Valentines Ribbon
1 Valentines Day Plaque (clearance)
I already had the glue gun, but the glue gun and glue sticks would only be another $2.
Here are the steps I took to create this wreath.
1. Lay everything out and make a plan of how you would like to arrange your wreath.
2. If you have something that is the focal point, secure that first. For me, I got an imperfect Valentine's plaque that was 1/2 off.
3. Cut the bunches of lowers apart and cut the stems shorter so that it will be easier to secure them and to place them around the wreath.
4. Cut strips of tulle. I used about one foot-ish.
5. Cut Strips of ribbon.
6. Cut strips of raffia.
7. Alternate tying them around the wreath. This will make the wreath look nice from any angle, allowing these details to peak through when you are done, and keep the stems from peaking through.
8. Now for placing the flowers. To create the heart shape illusion, I decided to put a heavier detail at the bottom of the wreath. To secure the flowers, I stuck the stems into the wreath base at an angle, and then hot glued them in (once they were laid out the way I wanted them to look).
9. Next, add the baby's breath, scattering it throughout to fill it in. I placed this where I wanted it and then secured it with my hot glue gun.
10. I wanted the bottom to have some of the rough raffia hanging down for interest. So, once the flowers dried, I added some straightened strands of raffia to the back, bottom of the wreath.
Your finished product is something special to hang on your front door or inside your home to be festive for Valentine's Day. Since this is something that you will use only for a few weeks (at most), I find that this budget beauty is one that works awesome as something special. Next year, I may add more detail to the wreath, but for now, it's kinda fun.
Instead of hiring someone else to do your Instagram Story Highlight Icons,
Here's your step-by-step on how to create your icons using Microsoft Publisher.
Use "Blank" landscape
This is the home page of your new document.
Click on the Insert tab
Click on "Shapes".
Click on "Rectangle".
Click on the blank page
Drag corner of shape
Up in the Drawing Tools menu, click on "Shape Fill".
Select the color you would like for the shape fill.
Still in the Drawing Tools menu, click on "Shape Outline".
Select "No Outline".
Still in the Drawing Tools menu, at the far right, find the measurement for your square.
Manually type in 6" for both the height and the width. Now your square is actually square.
Go back to the Insert menu. Go to "Online Pictures" in that menu.
Click on "Online Pictures". Above is the search bar that will pop up.
Type in the search bar keywords for the type of picture you want on your tag. Be sure to add "with transparent background" so that your background color will show on your tag. Be sure to choose a picture that is as simple as possible due to the very small space it will occupy. My example is for a "Tech" tag.
Choose your picture. Click on that picture. Click on "Insert".
Center your picture on your square.
Inserting the picture will prompt the "Picture Tools" menu to appear. Click on this menu. At the right, click on "Crop".
Adjust the picture so that there isn't extra blank space around it (if there is any).
Make the picture smaller (about 1/3 the size of the square) by clicking on it and dragging the dots at the corner towards the center.
Move the picture back to the center of your square.
With the picture still selected, go to the Picture Tools menu.
Click on "Recolor".
Select the color you want. I like the neutrals so that my tags look cohesive.
Select both the square and the picture.
Go to "Format" on either the Drawing Tools or the Picture Tools menus. Next to "Bring Forward" are two squares. Click on that to Group the picture with the square.
Right click on the group. A new menu pops up next to the group.
Click on "Save as Picture".
Name your picture and click "Save".
Now, email yourself your new creation as an attachment. Add it to your stories like you would any other story. Make it your highlight cover.
Voila. Cohesive and sophisticated icons for your Instagram Story Highlights.
A lot of us are experiencing tight budgets, if not having a hard time making ends meet. How do we add to our budgets, other than coupon clipping?
Here are 20 money makers to help you with solutions to your budget dilemma.
1. Start a blog
Once you start a blog with a subject you have honed in on, you can add ads to it, making some money, depending on the number of subscribers. You must write regularly and give value with every post.
2. Become a social media influencer
This will take some time. You will need to grow your social media follower count. To make money (not just receive free products), you will need to get to around 50K followers. You will need to hone in on a niche and post on that subject matter on a regular basis, likely once a day.
3. Sell old books
Sell Back Your Book
4. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is marketing done online, where the marketer receives compensation in the form of commission from items sold.
5. Use rebates
Top Cash Back
6. Become a virtual assistant
7. Run a virtual storefront
There are opportunities in virtual storefronts where you can sell your products, or other products that you curate. You don't have to necessarily create products or keep them in stock and ship them out yourself. Opportunities like this can start and be run in a variety of ways.
8. Drive for Lyft or Ubber
10. Mow lawns/shovel snow
Check Into Cash
13. Sell your used clothing
Poshmark (use code NTASHACALL and get $5)
14. Scan your receipts
Fetch Rewards (use code K8XTX)
15. Become and expert
Study study study. What subject matter are you passionate about? Learn more about that, so much that you become an expert. How can you use this knowledge?
HERE's more on what you can do after you become an expert.
16. Review on Amazon
There is an option to become an influencer on Amazon. You can network on Facebook groups that cater towards influencers and watch for those Amazon sellers that request influencers to review their products.
17. Become a mystery shopper
18. Data entry from home
19. Create an online course
20. Walk dogs/pet sit
Most of us have been in the position of having a tight budget. Whether it's medical bills, student loans, or home repairs, we all have money challenges in this life...or at least most of us do.
What are steps we can take to save money and get back on track?
Even if you are not tight on money, these money hacks are great to use to keep you on track.
These are habits, right!? I mean, if you have good money habits, you may be able to keep on track and have money to prepare for those out of the ordinary things.
Over the years, we have experienced life changing experiences that involved our bank account.
We have experienced loss of employment on multiple occasions due to layoff from the economy. We have experienced medical bills from searching for what illness I had and then treating it when they found out I had Lyme Disease. We have experienced educational expenses, vehicle break downs, appliance break down, home repair expense, and more. This is life.
These are money hacks that have become habit. We are still climbing our way out of the depths of money challenges, and could not do so without these hacks.
Yes, they take work, they take practice. But soon, like other actions, they grown into habits and then a way of life...a lifestyle.
Because we have used these and they work, I highly recommend them and have put this list out there so that you can have a much better bottom line, enjoying the things that you need and the funds for them.
Take action. Your bottom line, your bank account, your family finances, your budget...they are important. The time to take action is now. Enjoy the future.
So you spent a lot of money over the last few months. You are not alone. The majority of people spend a lot of money (a lot that they don't even actually have) over the holidays.
How do you get your budget under control? A good way to start is by cutting back on food costs. Here's a few meal ideas that will help you do just that...and feed the whole family at the same time. Another plus...they are super easy.
Dice onion. Brown meat with onion. Add salt and pepper. While browning meat and onion, heat up enough water to boil noodles. Add sauce to meat and onion. Cook noodles. Heat bread. Serve.
1 Bottle of spaghetti sauce $2.00
1 Package thin spaghetti noodles $1.25
1/2 lb ground beef $2.00
1/2 yellow onion $.20
Loaf French bread $1.00
French Toast & Scrambled Eggs
Slice French bread. use 1 cup of milk per one egg and mix in bowl wide enough to soak bread in. Add cinnamon to mixture. Mix well. Add butter to pan. Soak bread in mixture until the mixture is throughout. Fry in pan until brown on both sides and egg mixture is cooked thoroughly. Warm syrup. Scramble eggs and cook. Serve.
Loaf French bread $1.00
Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
Open can of soup. Pour into pot. Pour milk into can to top. Pour into pan. Mix. Turn on medium. Stir frequently. Slice cheese. Butter outside of slices of bread. Lay buttered side in warmed pan on medium. Add slices of cheese. Add other slice of bread, buttered side up. Put lid on the pan. Should take around 2 minutes each side. Serve.
Loaf white bread $1.00
Cheddar cheese $2.00
Canned tomato soup $.50
Mac 'N Cheese
Cook macaroni noodles as directed. Grate cheddar and mozzarella cheese and add with a pat of butter, and enough milk to make it creamy. The amounts will depend on the amount of mac you are cooking. Stir until creamy and melted. Serve with side of canned (heated) or fresh veggies.
Small macaroni noodles $1.50
Cheddar cheese $2.00
Mozzarella cheese $1.00
Side of canned veggies $.60 (we prefer corn with mac 'n cheese)
Chili & Cornbread Muffins
You can make the chili in the crock pot or stove top. Dice the onion, Brown the meat with the onion. Open the cans of chili beans and tomato soup and pour the contents into pot. Add browned beef and onion. Add chili powder. Add water. Simmer over low for 20-30 minutes. Follow instructions on cornbread mix. Serve.
1 15.5 oz can chili beans $1.00
1 can tomato soup $.50
1/2 lb ground beef $2.00
1 yellow onion $.40
2 tbs chili powder $.10
2/4 cup water
Cornbread mix $2.00
What are some budget hacks you can use to move your financial life to the next level during this upcoming year? Here is a list of 30 things you can take action on right now to get a jump start.
1. Purchase used and new decor items on Mercari. (get $10 off your first purchase by clicking on this link HERE)
2. Selling/consignment of your lightly used clothing.on places like Poshmark. (Use code NTASHACALL and get $5)
3. Buy new and used clothing from sites like Poshmark. (Use code NTASHACALL and get $5)
4. Don't buy things full price. Always use a coupon or coupon code.
5. Use sites to get money back on each purchase.
The best are
Ebates (click HERE)
Top Cash Back (click HERE)
Be Frugal (click HERE)
iBotta (click HERE)
6. Scan your grocery receipts for cash and rewards
Fetch Rewards (use code K8XTX)
7. Scan ALL of your receipts for cash and rewards
8. Don't purchase DRY CLEAN ONLY clothes.
9. Include birthdays and holidays in your budgeting.
10. Ditch cable and replace it with Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
11. Use Pick Your Own to find fresh produce near you for less because you pick it.
12. Experience a stay-cation, staying at home and doing things locally. You'll save money, and you will see things and do things that you have not seen or done before.
13. Refinish old furniture, instead of buying new.
14. If you are not using it, unplug it.
15. Make meals that you can make extras of, that can be frozen and quickly pulled out and heated instead of going out to eat.
16. Use your cell phone until it is worn out, instead of getting a new one each year. This will save you a lot of money.
17. Trade in your old cell phone for credit, or sell it prior to getting a new one.
18. Use the library for new books to read and movies to watch.
19. Sell your used books at Sell Back Your Book.
20. Trade your used books at Amazon, Paperback Swap, Book Mooch
21. Swap babysitting with other parents you trust in your area so that you don't have to spend money on babysitting.
22. Check your local classifieds for used furniture, decor, clothing, Halloween costumes, and other seasonal items. You may even find some items for free so always check those listings.
23. Get a free energy kit that will save money on electricity.
24. Trade in your electronics at Best Buy.
25. Borrow other people's ladders, rakes, and other things instead of buying those things. Be ready to return the favor.
26. Reuse, repurpose, wear out.
27. Buy a used vehicle instead of new. The new cars value drops after it leaves the lot.
28. Avoid getting a gym membership. Exercise at home with affordable weights, treadmill, YouTube videos, and getting outside for walks.
29. Stay clear of credit cards if possible. This will lessen the temptation to purchase.
30. Find free online courses, instead of paying for ongoing education or for something new.
How much money have you gotten back from your Christmas purchases? If you haven't gotten any back, now's your chance. It's double cash back time. It's also time to use promo codes to get your purchases so that they are even lower. CLICK HERE
There's nothing wrong with using a coupon code for gifts. In fact, it's going to give you money towards the things you need this upcoming year, birthdays, anniversaries, and other such events. It will give you money for your car payment or your mortgage. Or, it will give you money for date night.
Here are some of the stores where double cash back is happening right now. Click on the picture for a direct link to Ebates.
Here are some deals and steals for you to get RIGHT NOW for your holiday gifting....or at least, here are some places you can peruse to get gifting ideas.
Black Friday deals are live. + 9.0% Cash Back
Cyber Monday seems to be everywhere today. This is the time of year that spending can get out of control. To help you reign it in, I have compiled a list of stores where you can save a little more, or at least get a bit of your money back.
Are you a black Friday shopper?
Do you prefer to order from home, or go to the store?
Here are some helpful BLACK FRIDAY portals to make the magic happen.
Here are some of the best Black Friday portals. They are so easy to use and give you cash back, promo codes to get money off, and browse all of the Black Friday deals in one spot.
Here's the list in the form of images. Just click on the picture to enter the portal.
Don't forget to scan ALL of your receipts with both of the following.
Now get out there and make magic happen.
The best way to get the most out of Christmas shopping is to play a little game. Search and research to find the best deals. Incorporate getting money back and rewards for simply scanning your receipts and voila. The magic happens.