Cash In: Start Now to Save Money for Christmas

Think Christmas ... when it's summertime? Sure--if you want to be prepared for a stress-free holiday season.

Starting holiday planning now makes sense ... and cents! Saving ahead for holiday expenses spreads the financial demands of the Christmas season over several months--and being prepared with a cash budget means you'll be less tempted to put holiday spending on credit cards.

Sister site Organized Christmas has some clever ways to start now to save money for a debt-free Christmas celebration:

Clever checkbook management can lead to a Christmas stash. When paying bills each month, "round down" the bank balance to the next even amount--say, from $967 to $900--by writing a dummy check for $67 and deducting it from the register. Don't cash it, but hold it for Christmas. Over a few months, those "round it down" amounts will add up to holiday funds.

 

Cash In! Do-It-Now Ways To Save Money For Christmas

Declutter 101: Strategies To Cut Clutter

Taking aim on the household clutter problem, you've resolved to work slowly and steadily, and you've carved out blocks of time to declutter.

Now what? And how?

Time to consider weigh in with specific methods and strategies for decluttering.

These tried-and-tested methods bring different strengths to the fight against clutter. Choose the one that's right for you and your family.   Read More >>

Pardon Our Dust! Site Updates Underway

Looking for Cynthia? Hang in there! I'm under the hood and working hard. With back-to-school on the horizon--and autumn holidays close behind--it's time for site updates.

Please pardon our dust! As we work behind the scenes, there may be periods when the site is offline, or when certain features don't work correctly.

We appreciate your patience while we create a new, more organized home on the Web.   Read More >>

Paper Chase: The ABCs of Household Paper Management

organize household paperwork

The tax man cometh ... and you need to respond! Do you know where your tax records are?

Chances are, they're swimming in a stack of paper ... somewhere.

Rafts of paper flood into the average home each day. The mailbox discharges letters and bills and bank statements. Briefcases explode with professional journals, pay stubs and calendars. School backpacks unload children's artwork, meeting notices and sports schedules.   Read More >>

Summer Cooking Tips: Cool Off in the Kitchen!

Who can imagine summer without summer food?

Steaming corn-on-the-cob, each kernel bursting with sweet flavor.

Burgers and barbecue. Ice cream sundaes.

The crisp red smile of a watermelon wedge, dripping with sweet juice.

There's a darker side to summer meals. Food budgets groan under the strain of substituting quick-cook steaks and chicken breasts for thrifty stove-top casseroles.   Read More >>

Cut Clutter in the Kitchen

cut clutter in the kitchen

Open the kitchen cabinets ... and you can tell it's time for a kitchen declutter!

Pudding mixes perch on top of the cereal, showering down onto the head of a sleepy, squawking teen each morning. To reach the oatmeal pan, you must shove aside a stack of pizza coupons, the bread machine pan and a glass jar of pickles.The top of the refrigerator is a greasy, dusty jumble of unfinished crafts projects, the dog's leash, empty prescription bottles, broken toys and fast-food drink cups.

Time to declutter the kitchen! Here are our best tips for streamlining and sorting kitchen clutter.   Read More >>

What's Your Clutter Personality Type?

clutter personality test

It's silent. It's sneaky. It creeps about in corners: clutter! When the state of the house aggravates you to your last nerve, it's tempting to launch an all-out battle in the war against clutter.

First, though, know your enemy!

There are as many reasons for household clutter as there are clutterers. As Pogo says, "We have seen the enemy, and he is us!"   Read More >>

School's Out! Summer Survival for Busy Moms

summer vacation tips

They're here! Tumbling from the school bus, fresh from Field Day, with papers and projects and petrified sandwiches spilling in their wake: your children.

Summer vacation is wonderful, no doubt about it.

Damp heads and wet bathing suits, backyard tents and fireflies in canning jars.

"Look, Mom!" rings out a hundred times a day, from the top of the pool slide to the bug-dotted bottom of an upturned rock.   Read More >>

Summer Cleaning Chore Checklist

summer cleaning checklist

Summer's here, hot, high and sweaty. Vacations beckon. The garden takes on a life of its own.

Busy families don't have much time for home chores these months. School's out, travel's in and it's easy to let life slide on the home front.

Still, summer will run more smoothly if you keep tabs on these important areas in the Summer Cleaning Chore Checklist.   Read More >>

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