Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Make Postcards From Your Photos

When we travel I like to pick up postcards for our sponsored children in Central and South America. They get so excited about them. On the last trip I noticed postcards are getting expensive and the thought crossed my mind that I could create a postcard from one of my photos ... surely somebody had such a service? I don't print my photos unless I'm sending pictures to them, so I wondered what the options were to do this.

Good 'ole Google. I found a great article with helpful links that gives you three different ways to do this. There's even an online service that you can use to upload a photo, key in your message and address and the Post Office will send it off for you. I decided to go with the peel-off backings to put on the photo. Read the article.

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How to Encourage Your Spouse to Save Money

Money differences in marriage can be quite common. You might find that your spouse isn’t as interested in saving money as you are. When this happens, it can lead to difficulties as you become somewhat resentful that your spouse isn’t interested in saving money. If you want to get your spouse on board with saving, you are going to need to take a more subtle approach — one that allows your spouse to catch the vision as well. Check out PTMoney's solution to this problem.

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Easy Way to Teach Parents Technology

Tech-savvy young people come home to parents only to arrive to a long list of tech support issues that their parents need help with. A few at Google thought there had to be a better way that would save us all a few hours. And here it is:

The result was TeachParentsTech.org, a site that allows you to select any number of simple tech support videos to send to mom, dad or uncle Vinnie. The site is not perfect and hardly covers all the tech support questions you may be asked, but hopefully it’s a start! Check it out!

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Power of Patience

Many young adults graduate from college or leave home, and suddenly find themselves in reduced circumstances. They’re used to the standard of living they enjoyed at home with their parents. Rather than wait until they can afford similar luxuries, they buy them on credit. They forget that their parents had to work twenty or thirty years to be able to afford the things they have.

This impatience is costly. It leads to debt, and it starts a cycle of excessive consumption and lifestyle inflation. Read the entire article by J.D. Roth.

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10 Best Home-Based Businesses

In this day and age, finding employment can be tough. For some, it may be all but impossible, especially if a long stretch of unemployment has left you without child care or a car.

But, the good news is, there are more and more employment opportunities for people who are looking for work that can be performed at home, especially those looking to create their own business opportunities.

For those of you who are looking to exercise your entrepreneurial muscles, check out this list of the ten best home based businesses for 2011, many of which can be started with no money.

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My Kids Want It All

Question: How do I convince my kids that they don’t need to have everything that their friends have?

Answer: This is a tough issue to work through. The younger you start to train your children, the easier it will be as they get older. First, remember that you can’t expect attitudes or behaviors from your kids that you aren’t willing to model.

Our culture puts so much pressure on us to conform to trends that being different can be difficult. Here’s how America's Cheapest Family dealt with it.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Inexpensive Container Gardening Ideas

Do you love the idea of a garden but the actual process of getting one started is another story? Maybe you want flowers or a small herb garden but you want to keep your maintenance to a minimum. Maybe you don’t have a yard and need to work out your gardening passion on a porch or balcony.

Whatever your reason for choosing to keep your garden contained, it is possible for your garden to flourish without major expense or care. Here are some ideas for budget friendly container gardening.

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Save on Magazines, Books and Newspapers

Anyone looking around our house would think that we pay a fortune for magazines (and books). I'm continually working on paring down the number of magazines that come and stay in our house. Most of us are great readers and will resort to reading toothpaste tubes if we must, so this isn't easy, but that is a subject for this Families.com home blog article.

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Paying For College Without Debt

Question: My daughter is a senior in high school and is preparing to head off to college. We have no money saved for her college expenses and feel like loans are the only option we have. What should we do?


Answer: You have more options than you realize. Read the entire article.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Save Money on Theme Park Visits

Now that it's warming up, are you already thinking about the family vacation this year? For many families theme parks are a popular choice, if not for a vacation, maybe for an overnight excursion if you live in nearby Florida. If you're checking out prices for a Florida trip with this venue, Not Made of Money has a great article. View article.

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Turn a Dead Blender Into a Lamp

If your kitchen blender refuses to blend any more, give it another life as a lamp. Use your DIY skills with the instructions on this website to make a very unique lamp.

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Create a Living Wall in the Garden

DIY Backyard: Create a living wall - Turn a pair of salvaged shutters into an instant planter for your garden.
by Alison Auth

I’ve been recycling materials for years. I enjoy seeing everyday things differently and love alley treasures and architectural salvage. For this project, I revamped a pair of old shutters into a new home for plants. This living wall makes a striking focal point in the backyard, and it barely costs a thing! Here’s how to make your own.

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Friday, March 4, 2011

Promotional Codes

Ever wonder where you can get those promo codes that are often at the place where you are about to put in your credit card for your latest online purchase?

There are several websites that keep track of them for you and they are as follows:

www.retailmenot.com
www.couponchief.com
www.currentcodes.com
www.freeshipping.org

Often you can get discounts of up to 50% when you use these coupons before you checkout. With that kind of potential savings it is well worth it to check them out.

For even more ways to shop smart on the web visit shopwebsmart.com

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See Plays for Free

You can see plays for free by volunteering as an usher. Many theaters, throughout the US, will let you see plays for free if you help with the paying patrons.

Check your local theaters. Be prepared with comfortable shoes because you may be required to stand up during the performance.

Personal note: My wife and I have done this many times and we have never had to stand during the performance. We were only asked to seat the theater goers and then we took a chair to see the performance.

Source: AARP July / August 2010

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Save Cell-Phone Minutes

You can save cell-phone minutes by skipping those long-winded voice-mail greetings.

Verizon - press the * when calling Verizon customers
Sprint - press the 1 when calling Sprint customers
AT&T - press the # when calling AT&T customers
T-Mobile - press the # when calling AT&T customers

What if you don't know? Then just press the 1, * and then # if not sure. When you hear the message shut off and a beep, then you have the correct one.

Source: AARP July - August 2010

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"Simplicity of living, if deliberately chosen, implies a compassionate approach to life. It means that we are choosing to live our daily lives with some degree of conscious appreciation of the condition of the rest of the world." Duane Elgin

"Do what is good with your own hands, so that you might earn something to give to the needy." Ephesians 4:28