T and A

T and A
T & A stands for Tips and Advice, so get your minds out of the gutter.  

Our first category is Shopping and includes a collection of money and time saving shortcuts that I have learned throughout my life and wish I had known years ago. But of course, when I was younger I knew everything and so had no need or desire to listen to someone else’s self-superior drivel, advice about how to save time and/or money.  Besides, saving money and following a budget was not high on my priority list when I was single.  If I wanted something I just bought it.  If it was really expensive, then I bought it on credit and then paid it off for months.  Once you get married, buy a house and/or have kids, everything changes.  Basic necessities no longer include weekly manicures/pedicures, massages or that must-have electronic upgrade.  Suddenly, and without warning, they morph into horrid, money-sucking necessities like property taxes, multiple kinds of insurance that you’ve never even heard of (who needs insurance for an umbrella?) and the grocery bill starts growing like mold on last week’s Chinese takeout.  That’s when it hits you…things that were once necessities are now frivolous expenses and unless you figure out a way to cut back they are also nothing more than a distant memory.         

In T & A I will cover everything from quick and easy meals to saving money with coupons, things to look for when comparing brands, shopping the wonderful world of thrift stores, simple household budgeting and how to actually MAKE money with your credit cards (Yes, seriously!). Like, when is a bargain really a bargain?  If you buy something that’s on sale, even an OMG sale where you get it for say 90% off original price, and you never use it because it’s a really fugly color or you already have several then it’s definitely not a bargain.  That, my friends, is what is called retail therapy.  You buy it because you got it at a bragging rights price and you always get a rush from going home with something new.  All you have to do to make sure you’re truly getting a bargain is one simple thing.  Ask yourself, ‘Will I use/wear/ride/shoot this?’  If the answer is ‘Yes’ then congratulations, you have a bargain!  If the answer is ‘No’ then put it down and move on to the next SALE sign.  Otherwise, you are wasting your money on something that will take up space (which is typically at a premium) and provide a pretty surface for dust bunnies to breed as well as yet another item that you will have to throw out or sell at a loss in a fit of Spring Cleaning. 

Shopping is meant to help you maximize your time and savings, minimize waste as well as your unnecessary and impulse spending and keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket.  Let’s face it, the economy doesn’t look like it’s planning on perking up anytime soon and I believe unless you’re lucky enough to have money coming out your wazoo then you need to start cutting a few corners and tightening your belt here and there.

Our second category in T & A is Outdoors.  This is a topic that everyone can relate to, albeit in vastly varied degrees, whether your exposure is limited to going from your car to the store or you spend all of your hard-earned vacation time in the great outdoors.  This topic will cover everything from planting a garden, outdoor grilling, travel and vacation spots, maintaining your backyard playset or even raising chickens or your kids 4-H calf.  If you don’t see the topic you’d like to discuss, bring it up and we’ll do the best we can to cover it in detail. 

To get started click on one of these categories: Outdoors   Shopping