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Jewelry Tree Giveaway!

Feb 24, 2014
[GIVEAWAY CLOSED - Congratulations to Glo for winning the Jewelry Tree!]

I love jewelry because it's like the frosting on top of a cake, or the exclamation mark at the end of a sentence, but like anything it can contribute to clutter, often becoming a tangled mess.

To keep jewelry organized, I prefer a method that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing like this wooden jewelry tree from Etsy shop, Stuff About Things.


Necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings can be hung from the branches.

It's laser cut and made out of plantation grown Poplar Ply.

It comes ready to assemble!

Sara the shop owner, is from Australia and she sells a variety of laser cut, handcrafted items (custom requests are welcome) that would make great gifts too!

This week, Sara is giving away one of her beautiful jewelry trees to one lucky winner!

To enter the giveaway, please visit Stuff About Things and leave a comment below with a link to your favorite item from her shop.

This giveaway will be open for one week from February 24 - March 3, 2014. One winner will be chosen at random and announced on Tuesday, March 4, 2014. This giveaway is open worldwide!

Enjoy!!
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Purse Organizer Giveaway!

Feb 17, 2014
[GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED -- Congratulations to Katy (thecountryblossom at hotmail dot com)
for winning the purse organizer!]

We all know that Etsy is a great place to find amazing handmade products and that includes things for getting organized! Priya is from India and runs an Etsy shop called Daffysdream, where she sells her beautiful handmade purse organizers. She has generously offered to give away a large purse organizer in a beautiful merlot color that you can see in the photos below:



The exterior of the organizer has six pockets in various sizes.


The inside has eight pockets plus a zipper compartment. 


There's even a key holder for keeping your keys within easy reach!


For a chance to win, please visit Daffysdream and leave a comment below letting us know your favorite item from the shop.

To simply learn more about Priya and her creative process, please see her About page on Etsy.

This giveaway will be open for one week from February 17 to February 24, 2014. One winner will be chosen at random and announced on Tuesday, February 25, 2014. This giveaway is open to anyone worldwide!

Good luck! :)
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How to Make a Money Management Notebook

Jan 8, 2014
Happy 2014!

At the end or beginning of each new year, I like to take the time to get my files and folders organized.

For 2013 I created a Financial Binder as a place to keep all our financial documents and I used it to create a budget and bill management system for our household. This worked out really well and I liked how useful it was for keeping all our important papers in one place.

This year, I still plan to use the binder for filing and storage, but since binders are big, clunky, and not very portable, I decided to make a Money Management notebook to complement our Financial Binder.




First I planned how I wanted to organize the notebook. I decided that I wanted to have different sections for Bills, Important Info, Budgeting, Expenses, and Debts, in that order.

Then I printed out my Half Letter Size Money Management forms as follows:

  • Bill Payment Checklist printable - double sided (I really only need 1 of these as they are good for the whole year, but I wanted to print something on the other side of the page too, so I did!)
  • Bill Payment Checklist printable in another style - Page one one side and page 2 on the other side.  (I included both styles of checklists in my notebook as I couldn't decide which one I wanted to use.) 
  • Bank Account Information printable - double sided
  • Credit Card Information printable - double sided
  • 12 Budget Planner printables for each month of the year - page 1 on one side and page 2 on the other side.
  • 52 Daily Expense trackers - double sided which equals 26 pages (It's only me and my husband so I figure we only need two pages of expense tracking for each week of the year.)
  • 1 Debt Payment Tracker - Page 1 on one side and page 2 on the other side.

I made a simple cover for my notebook and since I don't have a borderless printer, I brought my USB key containing the PDF of the cover to a copy shop and had the cover printed on thick, glossy paper.




Then I arranged all my printables in the order described above and had the notebook spiral bound at the same copy shop. They even provided a thin plastic layer to protect the printed cover!

When I brought the notebook home, I wanted to make it easy to find each section so I used self-adhesive divider tabs and used my label maker to label them. In hindsight it would have been great to have half-letter size dividers before I had the notebook bound, but I didn't have any so I made use of what I had at home.




I love how I can just take this with me wherever I go which is especially helpful for keeping track of our daily expenses. It's a little too early to tell for sure, but so far I'm really happy with how the Money Management Notebook is working out! 


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The 52 - Week Money Saving Challenge

Dec 31, 2013
It's almost New Year's Eve, and resolutions are in the air!

One of my friends posted a link to a 52 Week Money Challenge on Facebook, and I thought it would be a fun way to save some money in 2014.

If you haven't heard of this challenge that's circulating on the web (someone even created a Facebook Page for it!), how it works is that for every week of the year, you would save an amount corresponding to the number of the week. For example, in Week 1, you'd save $1, Week 2, $2, Week 3, $3 until you've reached 52 weeks. If you can complete the challenge, you'll have saved $1378 by the end of it.

Now I still think it's a good idea to set aside a regular budget for savings but that would depend on your financial circumstances.  If one of your goals for the New Year is to save money, then this 52-Week Money Challenge seems like a great way to get started!

To help visualize the amount of money you'll be saving and to keep you on track, there are a lot of different charts online, but I thought I'd make my own!

Click to Download This Free Printable!

I added checkboxes, a space for the date of "deposit" each week, and my 'Money Saving Goal.'  Whether your goal is to save for Christmas gifts, a trip, or just to put money in your bank account at the end of the year, the challenge is a good way to teach young people the value of saving and is something that families can do together.

And speaking of deposits, I'm just going to use a simple glass container that I already had from Ikea, but you can use anything from a shoebox, to a piggy bank, to a an empty jar.

If you'd like to take part in this challenge, just click the link under the photo above to download the PDF for free.

If you don't live in the U.S., you can still take part in this challenge using the blank 52-Week Money challenge chart I made below. You can just write in whatever amount and in any currency that you want to save per week.

Click to Download This Free Printable!

Enjoy and good luck!! :)

* If anyone knows where this challenge originated from, please let me know so I can give proper credit.
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