Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Finds January 29th 2010

Create studio has a great post on Making a wreath from book pages

Joys Hope has a tutorial on making a crinkle square for babies. This involves scrap fabric, ribbon, and an empty wipe wrapper. I've made these squares before but without the crinkle effect. I might have to try this one out.

I love Get Rich Slowly he always has great articles and this week is no different. Stop by to read How to talk to your spouse about money. Getting both parties on the same page financially is the first step to reaching financial freedom.

The Simple Dollar (another favorite) has some great information on what it takes to be a Census Worker

Did I miss anything great out there this week? Let me know and I'll make sure we get it added in the future.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Friday Reads - January 22nd 2009

Ok so this post is a day late, but there are still some great reads

Sign up for free subscriptions of Lowe's Creative Ideas for Home and Garden and/or Lowe's Creative Ideas for Woodworkers. Use the Following Link

Poppytalk has a tutorial on how to make polymer gift tags. I love these and you could use the directions for any and all holiday tags. Wouldn't they be cute on Christmas gifts and then you could hang them on the tree.

Wikihow has an article on creating homemade cough drops

Frugal Home Ideas posted this mirror project back in October but I've just stumbled upon it and love it so I wanted to share. Also check out her tutorial on faux wainscoting

Soft Scrub coupons for you to download.

love this Valentines day Kissing Ball from the Domestic Fashionista.

How to make your own homemade gummi candies from craftzine.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

House – Book Review

Wow – I really did not know what I was getting into when I picked up House: The Only Way Out is In by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker. I read the product description on and the dust jacket when it came so I was expecting something scary and suspenseful. And really it was, but there is a big twist which takes the book to a whole different level. (a religious level).

The new direction for the book isn’t a bad one it just caught me off guard. Overall, it was a good read but know that I’m warning you to: Read at your own risk. I don’t want anyone coming back here and complaining that the book goes in a totally different direction and I didn’t warn them.

Books Read in 2010: 1
Books to Read in 2010: 49

Monday, January 18, 2010

Your Money or Your Life – Book Review

Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin is the last book I read in 2009. I had heard such amazing reviews of this book I knew I had to read it. Yet, I’m unsatisfied with the book as a whole. I didn’t find anything life changing about it.

The book is packed full of advice and money tips but its all stuff we’ve heard over and over. Maybe I’ve just become desensitized to finance books since I’ve read my fair share at this point, but this isn’t one I’ll have dreams over. If you’re looking to read your first finance book you should put this one on your “to read list”.

I went ahead and saved the room on our bookshelf by putting it up for swap on PBS.

Books read in 2009: 33

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bright Lights, Big Ass – Book Review

Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster is another book I read in 2009 but wanted to share the review with you anyway. Bright Light is about the day to day life of Jen Lancaster, a writer living in Chicago trying to write a book. Throughout the book Jen deals with temp jobs, the dreaded annual Dr. visit and searching the city for a new place to live.

None of these events seem overly interesting but Lancaster is able to put her own comic light on things and you’ll be laughing all the way through. If you’re looking for a good laugh I suggest this one.

Books Read in 2009: 32

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Yankee Candle - Final Sale!

In case you haven't heard Yankee Candle reduced their prices even more today.

Gift sets are now 75% off
Large Candles $12
Medium jars $10
Small Jars 3/$10

and shipping is only $5 for all orders under $100

But hurry the sale ends Monday and products are going fast!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Lost Symbol - Book Review

I read Dan Brown’s new book The Lost Symbol in December so it counts for 2009 counts even if I didn’t get it posted right away.

I really don’t have a lot to say about the book that won’t give most of the plot away. It was a really good read, but very familiar in the sense almost identical to his other books in layout. Robert is thrown into a mystery against his will, meets a cute girl, goes through puzzles and old myths to solve said mystery, escapes death a lot, and of course a Brown twist. There I don’t think that should give away anything since we’ve all read it before : )

Worth the read but don’t have overly high expectations.

Books Read in 2009: 31

Saturday, January 9, 2010

2010 Entertainment Book

I just received my 2010 Entertainment Book last month. There are a ton of coupons and I can see how this book could help families save a lot of money – if you live in the right area. Unfortunately, Matt and I don’t live in the right area. We are located in Lansing, Michigan – there are books for the Grand Rapids and Saginaw areas, both of which are over an hour away from us.

Lansing is a larger city so I’m no sure why we don’t have a book (we are the capital city after all), but I suppose they left out Detroit as well. Anyway, driving over an hour to use a coupon reduces how much we’re actually savings. Even the coupons for major food franchises can only be used at select locations none of which are near us.

Because of this I’ll be giving away all of the local food/shop coupons or trying to sell them on ebay. There are a few national retailer with coupons listed and I do plan to make use of those throughout the year.

And I would suggest if you have a book for your actual area it might be worth looking into.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Military coupon reminder

Just a quick reminder to send out your expired coupons.

This month I'm sending mine to

Ramstein, Germany

Ramstein Air Base
Attn: Family Services
Bldg. 1200, Flugplatz Ramstein
APO AE 09094 Germany

Make it easy on yourself and just copy address

Have no idea what I'm talking about? You can read up on the military coupon program in my Original post here

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2009 Goal Update

So I’m a year late but I wanted to do a quick run down of our 2009 goals. We hit some and fell short on others, but I think analyzing what did and didn’t work for us is important to deciding how we’ll conquer our goals in 2010.

Last year Matt and I set a few optimistic financial goals.

~ Reduce our monthly spending by 5% ($250)
We were able to reduce our spending but I’m not quite sure by how much. We have more defined goals for 2010 to help track this.

~ Save $4,000 for a car
This goal we hit and actually exceeded. To date we have $4,724 in our car fund. After we reached our $4,000 goal we continued to put an extra 5% of our savings into the fund

~ Save $5,000 in an emergency fund
This is another goal we were able to hit and then some. We have $5,218 in our emergency fund.

~ Save $12,500 for our retirement
This goal we fell very short on with only $1,014 in savings. But this is where the analysis kicks in.

Once Matt and I fully funded our car and emergency fund we just said “let’s put everything extra into our retirement fund” so of course there was never anything extra. We did purchase a new home with some of the money as a down payment and basically refinished most of the home before moving in. I’d say in totally we spent about $7,000 + on all of that, which means we were actually able to save a lot but put it to good use in other ways.

One of our goals was to purchase a long term home which we were obviously able to do, I plan for us to live here at least ten to fifteen years hopefully longer. Having a stable place and reasonable home payment will help us reach our other financial goals.

Along with our financial goals I also set some personal and health ones as well.

~ Read 50 Books in 2009
I didn’t hit this goal either but made some great improvements in my overall book reading. So far I’ve reviewed 30 books for OnOurWay but have actually read 33. While I didn’t hit the goal of 50 I read more books in 2009 than if I hadn’t set the goal at all so I’m counting it as a win.

~ Reduce our material possessions by 30%
Matt and I did a really good job of this while we moved but I want to step it up even more and reduce reduce reduce in 2010

And we didn’t do so well in the health side of goals as I didn’t hit any of them. I think they were just too ambitious to start with right away.

So one Lesson Learned in 2009: Set defined and track able goals in order to help us stay on course I hope to take this new knowledge about how Matt and I handle goal accomplishment and use it to set even better goals in 2010.

What goals did you hit or miss in 2009 and how to you plan to use that information to kick butt in 2010?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Friday Januar 1st 2010

Wise Bread has a post on how to uglify your stuff to keep it safe

The Dollar stretcher has a post ways to make the best new years resolutions

CNN Money has a list of Ten ten places that will get raises in 2010 and the 10 best places for employment

The Dollar Stretcher also has 8 ways to make money without any extra work