All posts by Kim

How do I get a good deal on clothing?

Clothes barn by net_efekt

Clothes barn by net_efekt

Clothing is a basic necessity, but it is important to be frugal, as well as stylish. Trends in the fashion world come and go, so it may be expensive to stay up to date. Fortunately, there are a lot of different ways to be stylish and frugal at the same time.

Sign up for free mailing lists and memberships
Your favorite store most likely has a newsletter, either in email or mail form. Sign up for these mailing lists, since they are free. They will alert you of any upcoming sales and promotions they’re having, and may send you coupons. Some stores have free memberships or frequent buyer cards where if you spend a certain amount of money, you are rewarded with a gift or additional discount. Getting promotional information straight from the store is the best way to stay updated with savings.

Shop during the holiday season
A lot of stores offer sales and promotions closer to holidays, like Christmas and Labor Day. If a store is open on an actual holiday, chances are there is some sort of sale going on. The most popular day for sales is Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. This day marks the beginning of the winter holiday season, like Christmas and Hanukkah. Some stores will be open on Friday at midnight, and people will camp out just to redeem the good deals.

Shop online
If you shopping for an item with a specific description, the internet may be your best bet. Stores like Amazon and eBay offer an array of items, arguably at a lower price. Search engines like ShopStyle and Google Shopping can lay out the selection of the item you’re looking for, making it easy to find it at a good price.

If you feel comfortable buy second hand clothing, do so–stores like Goodwill and Buffalo Exchange have trendy and name brand clothing at an affordable price.

How do I save money?

Money by Tax Credits

Money by Tax Credits

Once you start earning an income for yourself, it made be hard to control yourself when it comes to spending money. If you need help on managing your bank account, check out our article here.

This article is here to help you spend and save your money wisely. Here are some tips to help you ration your savings and spendings.

Pay for important things
Make sure to pay for any bills or debts you owe. After you finish clearing your name, spend money on any necessities, like groceries or toiletries. It is important to pay for essentials first while you can afford it.

Put money in savings account
A good way to limit your spending habits and increase your saving habits is by putting a large amount of your money in your savings account instead of your checking. The money you put in your savings account will accumulate interest, meaning more money for you to spend! But actually, it’ll be more money for you to save, because that’s the responsible thing to do.

Make a wishlist
If you still have some left over money after clearing your bills and debts, feel free to treat yourself to something nice. The best way to do this is by making a wishlist of things you want. On this list, write down what you want, how badly you want, and how much it will cost you.

Choose wisely from wishlist
To choose from your wishlist, pick the item you would use the most, not necessarily the item for the best deal. For example, if you want a new pair of sneakers that cost $50, but you are going to wear these sneakers everyday, the sneakers will eventually pay for themselves due to the amount of use. If you want a leather jacket, but you only plan on wearing it during wintertime, the jacket is probably not the most lucrative purchase. Focus on buying items you are going to use often, and save the other items on your wishlist for special occasions or holidays.

Try not to use a credit card
It is probably in your best interest to not get a credit card if you cannot pay your bill off in time. Do not use credit cards for big purchases you will not be able to pay off, because you will suffer from the consequences in the end. It’s wise to use a debit card for purchases because the money is spent right then and there. This will help keep your spending in check.

Escaping The Windows 8 Default Full Screen Photo App

Windows 8 Launch by Dell Inc.

Windows 8 Launch by Dell Inc.

By now you’ve probably realized that Windows 8 does its best to make seemingly every basic task a difficult one, and viewing an image file is no different.

By default, Windows 8 is set up to open images through its full screen photo viewing app, as if we want to give up our multitasking abilities and stare at a single image as long as time lets us. For normal people’s sake, here is a quick fix to the annoying ‘feature’ Windows 8 has blessed us with.

First, go to ‘Control Panel’ in your ‘Start’ menu, and open up Programs -> Default Programs and from there, select ‘Set your default programs’.

From there, scroll down to ‘Windows Photo Viewer’ in the ‘Programs’ list on the side.
Once ‘Windows Photo Viewer’ is selected, click ‘Set this program as default’, and you’ll never have to experience Microsoft Reader again.

You can do the same for other full screen apps as well.

How do I work through my busy schedule?

Aimee's "HoneyDo" List by mccready

Aimee’s “HoneyDo” List by mccready

In this day and age, the modern adult is swamped with tasks in the form of work and errands. It may be hard to remember things, or to balance out your schedule in a healthy way.

Here are some tips to help you work through your busy schedule to make sure that you get all that you need done for the day.

Make lists

Create a list of things you need to do and put it in your phone, on the fridge, by your bedside, or any other place where you’ll need to see it in order to reference it. If you’re going about your day and you receive or remember a new task, write it down immediately so that you don’t forget. As you go through the list, cross things off as you complete them, or make important notes next to the tasks that need them. Update your to-do list as often as you can. When you cross off everything off your to-do list, think about if there are any new tasks you need to accomplish.

Use a calendar

We have calendars hanging on our walls and implemented in our phones, so let’s use them! For the calendars hanging on your wall, scribble in events and include the time and location. If you have something due, put a note on the due date and keep a reminder handy. For calendars in your phone, input any important dates. Phones have the ability to remind you of any important events by setting off an alarm. This alarm is super handy for appointments or due dates.

Don’t pack your schedule too tightly

When you look at your schedule and calendar, do not try to fit so many things into one day, week, or month! You don’t want to overwork yourself to the point where you need to be in two places at once. If you’re scheduling two things back-to-back, make sure there is adequate time between the events to account for travel time. If you’re late for one appointment, you’ll most likely be late to the next one you have booked after that. Keep time in mind when creating your schedule, and leave time to give yourself a breather.

How To Buy A Good Present

Presents! by Wendy

Presents! by Wendy

There’s no better way to show your appreciation for someone than by giving them a gift on a special day. Whether that occasion is a birthday, wedding, or national holiday like Christmas, it’s important to find out how to give a gift for any  event.

Birthday

Giving someone a gift on their birthday is a standard tradition. If you’re invited to an event, it’s only polite to gift the birthday celebrant with something, even if it is not that extravagant. A great birthday present for someone you do not know very well, like a coworker or acquaintance or friend of a friend, is a food or beverage gift. If you’re attending a party, bringing a dish, baked good, or wine (soda or juice for the youngsters!) to a party would be very appreciated. An alternative present would be something small, like a card or a candy bar.

When it comes to celebrating birthdays of your friends or family, ask them what they want to be gifted with. If they give you an exact answer, try your best to gift them with that present because you know it is exactly what they want. If the gift is too expensive or hard to obtain, gift them with the closest thing you can find. If you’re not sure what to get for the celebrant, gift them with a gift card to their favorite store or with a birthday party. Flowers make great gifts too!

Wedding

If you’re invited to someone’s wedding, it’s only polite to give the newlyweds a gift. The happy couple will usually inform guests of what stores they are registered at. At those stores, you can approach the front desk and tell them that someone you know is registered there. They can print out a list for you of gifts found in the store that the couple said they would be happy receiving. This is the easiest and most fool-proof way to buy a gift for a wedding.

If the couple does not have a gift registry available, buy home goods for them. Think silverware, kitchen supplies, bathroom toiletries, or tasteful decorations. If you know the couple well enough, feel free to buy them a unique gift you think they will like. Although it is appropriate to give a gift to a couple within the first year they are married, try to give them a gift within the first two months of their marriage.

Graduation

For an occasion like graduation, think of what would be most beneficial to the celebrant. If a child is graduating elementary school, a card or candy bar would suffice as an appropriate graduation present. For middle school graduations, a small amount of money would be an appropriate present. For high school graduations, think of buying the celebrant something they will find useful on their path towards the start of college. This may be a gift card, college memorabilia, school or dorm supplies, or electronic accessories. Parents will find that giving their high school graduate a laptop is the most appreciated and useful gift.

Adults graduating from college and graduate school deserve a greater present for all of their hard work. Gifting a college graduate with a decent sized check–it will help them with any bills or student loans they’ve accumulated throughout college. I think we can all agree when we say that the best present for a college graduate would be a full-time job!

How do I concentrate on my work?

Day 139 - Work! by Phil and Pam Gradwell (to be)

Day 139 – Work! by Phil and Pam Gradwell (to be)

Whether you’re a college student or a working adult, it’s hard to stay focused sometimes, especially when you’ve got a lot long hours or a lot of work on your plate.

However, it’s important to be productive in the office, because that’s what you were hired to do! When you excel in your work, your superiors definitely notice and appreciate it.

Here are some tips to keep you focused when you’ve got work to do. Remember: the more productive you are, the more work you can finish in time!

Organize and prioritize your work

If you’ve got a bunch of assignments you need to complete, organize them in a way that prioritizes the most important of those assignments, by due date and importance. Set aside other assignments and try not to juggle multiple tasks at the same time, unless you’ve been asked to do so by your superior. Taking on too many assignments at one time can stress you out and drive you to find ways to relax–aka, lose concentration and focus on what you’re supposed to do.

Choose a comfortable (but not too comfortable!) spot to work in

When you get settled into work mode, choose a spot and position that would be comfortable for you to work in. The best spot is in a chair at a desk in a quiet room with minimal distractions. Sit up straight with your feet on the ground to maintain a good, working posture. If your assignment is to read material, feel free to sit a little more informally. However, do NOT under any circumstances lay down to read! You may get too comfortable and end up getting extremely distracted. Students who don’t have a desk opt to work on their bed, and find that it is actually too comfortable to do any work. If this is the case, head to the library–the formal setting will pressure you to work and stay focused, and also motivate you to work hard so that you can go home sooner.

Listen to your body

If you’re working hard and all of a sudden your stomach starts grumbling, don’t ignore it. Being hungry and choosing not to eat as a means to focus on your work will not help you concentrate on your tasks. Take a mini break and eat a snack, and then get straight back to work. If you’re feeling sleepy or tired when you’re working, get up and walk around the office, or take a short walk outside. Ignoring your fatigue will cause you to lose focus from work.

Best Capoeira Movies

Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art “danced” to traditional berimbau music. Opponents “play” in a beautiful and deadly interaction. The art is hundreds of years old and was developed by decedents of slaves taken to Brazil. Slaves could be severely punished for learning to defend themselves, so the art developed as a dance, featuring powerful kicks and acrobatics.

  • Cordão de Ouro (1977): Set in a futuristic time period in Brazil, where Capoeira is central to the movie’s plot
  • Only the Strong (1993): First US movie to showcase Capoeira.
  • Pastinha! Uma Vida Pela Capoeira (1998): Documentary about Vicente Ferreira Pastinha aka Mestre Pastinha
  • Madame Sata (2002): Set in 1930s Rio de Janiero following a capoeirista street-fighter
  • Ginga: A capoeira documentary (2004)
  • Mestre Bimba, A Capoeira Illuminada (2005): Documentary of Mestre Pastinha
  • Maré Capoeira (2006): Short film about Capoeira
  • Capoeira: Finding a Center in the Ring (2008): Documentary about the challenges and rewards of the art
  • Besouro (The Assailant) (2009): Story of a legendary Capoeira fighter Beetle
  • Slums, Drums and Capoeira (2010): Documentary tracing Capoeira’s story from Salvador to today
  • Capoeira: Fly Away Beetle (2011): Story of three fighters in the early days after slavery