Sunday, May 13, 2012

5 Things you should never spend money on

I'm no financial expert and I don't spend time couponing yet. For now I'm just learning everyday how to be more frugal. Here's a list of things that, in my opinion, you shouldn't spend money on.

1. Hair cuts. Get a good pair of scissors and someone to help you make sure it's even where it needs to be, and you're on your way. I used to watch the lady that cut my hair to see how she did the layers and bangs. Then I practiced on my sister and now I always do my own. There are plenty of YouTube videos out there that can show you as well. Men who keep their hair fairly short need a haircut ever 6 weeks or so. Buy one of those men's haircutting buzzers and read the little instruction booklet and there you go. That could save you $64 per year. If you normally get your hair cut every three months as a woman, then that's $200 saved (on average, according to me).

2. Regular movie theater (unless it's opening night for Hunger Games) but nothing else. It varies depending on the theater and where you live but an the average cost for a movie ticket in 2011 (according to an article in the LA Times) was $7.93. That's $15.86 for a date and way more if you have kids. Compare that to our $2 theater where we spend a grand total of $4. Or, better yet, run to the $5 bin at Walmart and now you OWN a new movie. OR go to Redbox.

3. Cable - Hulu,, etc. Actually, why not just do something active instead??

4. New furniture (besides a mattress. I don't think I'd ever go used on that. The bed bug drama in my student apartment was enough for a lifetime). For couches, tables, chairs, vanities, and everything else, check the following: garage sales, Craigslist, thrift stores, Facebook community garage sales.

5. Laundry soap. My mom gave me this amazing recipe for homemade laundry soap that everyone should try. It's actually on this blog here . Something like $11 upfront (including a $4 10-gallon container, which is a one-time purchase) and you get over 600 loads out of it! I'm never purchasing laundry soap again. Oh, and it smells great too!

Happy Mothers Day!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

15 Fun (Different) Date Ideas!

I always see lists online for fun date ideas. (And I always read them!) They are usually great lists but often they're the same: Go to a movie, watch the stars, take a dance class, go on a hike. All really fun and enjoyable, but I keep noticing that most of me and Brad's all-time favorite dates are not on those lists. So I decided to come up with my own. Here are some of our favorite dates we've done:

1. Play Hide N' Seek in the Dark (turn off all lights - obviously - and cover all windows so the moonlight doesn't shine through). Then set the timer. If you don't find the other person in your allotted time, they jump out and scare you. Super fun, especially for a dark-a-phobic like me!

2. Make treats for friends and then go doorbell ditching. Service and running a fast dash equals an adrenaline rush!

3. Go to the local animal shelter, pick two dogs and take them on a walk!

4. Go to a thrift store and pick something you can fix up for your house - maybe a vase, an old chair, a coat rack, etc. Pinterest has some great ideas.

5. Have a sleepover! Bring your mattress into the family room, make popcorn and watch a movie. Sleep out in the family room.

6. Make homemade pizza. Put whatever toppings you want on your own half!

7. Go to the gym and take turns being the personal trainer and deciding what sets to do.

8. Have an "un-birthday" party. Go to an arcade, play games and use the tickets you earned to "buy" each other birthday trinkets. Bring wrapping paper and birthday hats. Then exchange your gifts as you eat cake and ice cream.

9. Host a carnival for two. Games could include obstacle courses, sword fighting, egg races, etc. Keep track of who wins each game and the ultimate winner gets a prize. (In my case this was a huge inflatable whale for the pool. Haha Brad's funny!)

10. Carve your names in a tree but don't get caught!

11. Watch funny YouTube videos and then make your own versions of them. My personal favorites: this, this and this

12. Design an annual photobook online for each year you've been together.

13. Do some family history research. Talk to grandparents, or research online to find out information on your ancestors. Family Search is a good place to start.

14. Run a race together - a mud run, midnight 5K or maybe even a half marathon!

15. Play Battleship but sit in different rooms on on different stories of the house. Use Walkie-Talkies to communicate.

There you have it! If anyone has any other fun date ideas, I'd love to hear them.