Take someone’s trash and turn it into treasure

#Shameless dumpster diver by choice

Before we get to gist of what I enjoy about other people’s junk, let me give you some background about myself. I have a passion for buying things that I find value in when others have spurned them. Continue reading

Live a little life, save a lot

A smaller footprint can make for a bigger bank account

Sometimes bigger isn’t always better and that can include the scale of your life. This is true for me personally as my husband and just downsized from a three bedroom, two bathroom ranch to a two bed, one bath bungalow (it’s super cute BTW).

By society’s standards the location is less desirable and the size is worth snubbing—but who cares? For us it’s an improvement. For one—the character has me smiling ear to ear. From archways to 1900’s glass doorknobs and a large Jack and Jill bathroom—this property has everything we’ve ever wanted.

So, while it might be small to some, it’s a castle to us… and I can see our quality of life improving before my eyes.

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Side hustling for a cause

How picking up extra hours can be your path to financial freedom

In 2012 I left the comforts of a steady paycheck and job some journalists would kill for to return home 900 plus miles away to be closer to family and my roots. What I hadn’t anticipated was that the risks I was taking at the time would be greater than the ones I took to take the job in the first place.

Back home I soon learned that life was much tougher without having a 40 hour work week to keep the cash flowing and worries at bay.

As you can likely guess, my optimism faded within a few weeks of being home. The grass really wasn’t any greener on the other side.

Waiter is serving a coffee to a customer

Ain’t no shame in serving others. This guy is probably making it work as a barista while also freelancing on the side. Make dreams come true with #sidehustles.

My bills and expenses didn’t go away just because I didn’t have a job. On top of that, the family dynamics had shifted while I was away. There really was no “returning home” for me because it wasn’t the same as it was before, I was treated differently. People didn’t get as excited to see me either… as I was “back.”

It was around this time that I set a different goal for my life—to live simply and debt free. I decided to start by paying off my student loans. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy considering I was jobless, but once I started toward that dream, I didn’t back down. I did anything and everything I could to get closer to accomplishing the goal—enter the side hustle—or hustles(sss) I should say.

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Pick your poison

How consumerism could be the cause of your money ailments

For some it’s neck ties and blu-rays. For others it’s a barrage of pricey hair products, “As Seen on TV,” gadgets and more. I once dated a guy who didn’t seem to have the discipline to resist anything. It was as if his interest and aims had no limit. He had multiple obsessions and weak spots for spending and it put my stomach in knots.

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This year’s life lesson = gratitude

Throughout the hustle and bustle of this year’s holiday season, I’ve sat silently and observantly, watching the attitudes and spending behaviors of others and then looking inwards at my own life. Measuring my performance in some ways.

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Don’t underestimate the value of used

Simple savings can yield BIG benefits

For years I’ve donated or tossed out my old, used and no longer wanted clothing items. I would ask myself… “Would anyone really pay for this or should I just give it away?” Much of the time I would just give in to the convenience of donation centers and throw bits and pieces out at a time. Over the years I’ve gotten rid of gently worn dresses, skirts and other wardrobe pieces I no longer wore or wanted without thinking much about the costs that were lost. And what lends to an event worse feeling is that stores like PLATO’S CLOSET and Buffalo Exchange weren’t that much of a help either. I always felt scammed when I left those stores with little cash in hand and knowing how much money was likely left on the table. They’re out for profit after all.

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Pack, pack, pack it up (as in your lunch)

How brown bagging can put better food in your belly and leave more wiggle room in your wallet

You don’t have to be back to school or starting a new job to consider packing a lunch. Maybe you’re looking to tighten your belt in more ways than one and need cheaper, more nutritional options to get there. If that’s the case then toting along your lunch everyday can really benefit you.

Pack, pack, pack it up! Brown bagging - not so bad when you're saving some cash!

Pack, pack, pack it up! Brown bagging – not so bad when you’re saving some cash.

Let’s talk costs

Most everyone knows dining out can cost big bucks. Just think about the costs of doing that every day over the life or your career. A simple $7 lunch eaten out every week day, plus or minus a $2 tip depending on where you go, could mean as much as $45 a week spent on a mere five meals.

Now take that times 12 months and wow! That’s just over $2,300 spent in a year on lunches alone…and you still have to eat at other times of the day – breakfast, dinner, coffee breaks anyone?

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