Archive for December 31, 2020

Fugal Tips to Start Your Year Off Right in the Month of January

January is practically here, and many people are trying to do everything in their power to make the right choices. With 2020 being such a nightmare for most, starting 2021 on the right foot seems the only way to go. One of the best ways to help the year go well is to make some financial decisions that will benefit your life. There are many things you can do in January that will help you to save money right away and make the changes necessary to save even more money throughout the year. These ten ideas are only scratching the surface but can help you to make the decisions you need to feel confident in the New Year.

1. After Holiday Sales
You might not think that shopping is a great way to start the year. However, if you can check out the right holiday sales then you’re going to be able to spend less money now for items you will need later on. For starters, you might start out in the food department. Often, you will find turkeys and hams at a discounted price. These can be frozen to help you prepare a meal or several later on down the line. You can also stock up on boxed and canned foods that might be cleared out as overstock. Apart from food, clothing is another major item you should shop for. You might consider looking for winter clothes like jackets and sweaters. You may even be able to find some jeans and boots to help keep you warm for the rest of the season. If you’re low on décor and want to invest in this then now is the perfect time to shop too as everything will be down in price.

2. Readjust Your Budget
If there is one thing you should consider doing in January, it is readjusting your budget. Even if your finances haven’t changed at all, you can easily look at your budget from the following year to determine whether or not it is working for you. If you’re struggling with finances, then you might begin your journey by seeing what items you can be cut from your budget. A lot of entertainment and subscription services often go unused, which makes them an easy item to cut. You might also consider ditching some of your clothes budget and cutting down on eating out or purchasing incredibly expensive foods. If you are making your budget with ease each month, then you might consider adding some more savings into your budget which will help you in the future.

3. White Sales
January is known for its white sales, which can help save you money throughout the year. The white sales are a period in time which linens and towels tend to be on sale. So, if you’re facing low stock on these items then there is no better time than January to make those purchases. These days, white sales tend to encompass a bit more though. For instance, you will find small appliances on sale too. This can help you with cooking throughout the year, so you won’t feel the need to spend money on fast food. If you know you’re going to have weddings to go to in the upcoming months, then you may also want to shop ahead for some gifts that can help you out in the future.

4. Buy an Air Conditioner
Purchasing an air conditioner is a big deal. These items definitely aren’t inexpensive. However, if you think your air conditioner isn’t going to make it through the summer or you currently don’t have one then now is the time to invest. In January, air conditioner sales will be at their lowest. If you’re lucky, you might also be able to get a good deal on installation since most other people won’t be worried about their air conditioner in the middle of winter. Of course, before you purchase an air conditioner, you should check into different options to make sure you’re going to get something that will cool your home efficiently without spiking the costs of your home’s bills. Some homes work better with specific types of coolers, so don’t be afraid to ask for professional advice if you’re just not sure which direction to go in.

5. Electronics
When it comes to electronics, you may want to shop in January as opposed to waiting around for the sales to begin again around Labor Day. In January, lots of stores will try to get rid of the excess stock that they have from holiday sales. They will also try to get rid of older models, especially since most brands have come out with new items over the last few months. So, everything from phones and computers to gaming consoles and gadgets, you will find the perfect items for your household at a price that will work wonders throughout the year.

6. Put Extra on Credit Cards
Holiday spending isn’t a joke when it comes to your finances. If you feel like you may have gone a little overboard this holiday season then it is important to put more money on your cards in January. Paying more than your minimum payments on your cards will do you more than one favor. To begin with, it will allow you to easily cut down on the amount of money that is on your balance. With the balance dropping, you are also cutting down on the interest you will be charged, which will allow you to easily save more money. Best of all, it will also help your credit score, which can allow you to save money in so many different facets of your life.

7. Turn Down the Heat
January is one of the coldest months of the year, which isn’t great for your heating costs. By turning down the heat, you can save quite a bit on heating costs. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to freeze though. There are many ways that you can stay warm that costs next to nothing. One easy way is to use a hot water bottle to stay warm. This can be placed under the blankets, so your sheets won’t feel like icicles. Extra blankets are also a must. In fact, this might also help reduce your anxiety, especially if you choose heavier blankets. Making sure your home is free of drafts is also imperative when it comes to staying warm.

8. Check Rewards
One of the most important things you can do in January is to check the rewards available on your accounts. If you have a credit card, then chances are you might have some rewards to cash in even if you don’t know it. You might check with your credit card company to see if this is an option for your account and if it isn’t then you might also see if this an option that is available to you. Sometimes, you may have a hundred dollars or more just waiting to be cashed in. Other options that you should check out are your rewards from stores. These stores rarely offer just money, but you might find discount codes or free shipping that will suit your needs. Sometimes these rewards expire which is why you should check on them and keep up with them throughout the year.

9. Swap Billing Companies
More often than not, switching billing companies can be a wise move when it comes to saving money. This is largely because most billing companies will offer you a sign-on bonus that will greatly decrease the price of your monthly bill. However, after this initial period is over, most companies go back to their normal rates, which might leave you feeling unhappy with what you’re paying. So, if you’ve been using a company for a while, use January to branch out and see what you find. You can do this for your insurance, utility bills, and so much more. You can even get a new credit card and transfer balances to help you save even more money.

10. Invest in a Bike
We’re always looking for the best possible way to shed weight and stay healthy. However, one of the best options is actually a bike. A bike can help you cut down on a gym membership as it will allow you to exercise as you enjoy fun trails or simply get around town. This will also cut down on your transit costs because you can ride to nearby places instead of wasting money on gas or taking public transit. With a bike, you’ll be exercising a greener life too, which will help you feel better than ever. Of course, you should first do a little research on the type of bike that is going to be best for you, as this will ensure you will love your bike of choice.

January is a great time for saving money and enjoying life. This month offers so many ways to save and prepare to save that you will truly be able to get off on the right foot when it comes to 2021. With these suggestions, you should be able to find a financial groove that will suit your personal needs and more.

Ten Winter Fashions That Won’t Kill Your Budget

It’s finally winter and many people are getting hit by some early snowstorms. If you’re still not sure what winter fashions you should invest in, there’s still time to alter your style to suit the season before you freeze. These ten tips will give you simple guidelines to follow, so you can plan or make your own clothing. Luckily, this year seems to have some repeat fashion trends so you might not have to do much to be the biggest trendsetter in your neighborhood.

1. Go 70s Vintage
This season, we’re going back in time to showcase some of the chic trends from the 70s. Although some of this season’s 70 trends like argyle and paisley aren’t too far from the trends in the past few years, there are some other items that may not currently be in your wardrobe. One of these items is bellbottoms. These pants have been featured off and on over the past couple of decades, but this year they are going to be one of the top trends. You’ll also want to look at color schemes like browns, greens, yellows, blues, and other stereotypical colors from this decade.

2. Weatherproof Leather
Leather is big this year and can help you feel on the edgy side of life. However, this season’s leather goes the extra mile to suit your style and your budget. This year’s trends are designed to be weatherproof, so the leather you buy this year will actually hold up to the winter months. From leather boots to leather jackets, getting your items weatherproofed will not only show that you’re conscious of your money but will also help you to be a trendsetter. If you don’t want to go out and buy weatherproof clothing, then you can always weatherproof yourself. There are lots of tutorials to help you along the way.

3. Velvet
If you love soft fabrics, then this is definitely going to be a great fashion choice for you. This trend plays into the 70s vibes again, which will make it easier for you to enjoy two trends at once. Velvet can be used in many different ways, which can leave you feeling amazing about your own sense of style. One way to utilize velvet is to make it into a blazer. This is fairly easy to do with a pattern and can leave you with a regal style that you won’t want to miss out on. Another option is to purchase velvet pants. Velvet accents, such as a vest or even elbow patches on a jacket can also add a touch of fun to your personal style.

4. Quilting
When it comes to DIY fashion, this is going to be a great season. One of the biggest trends is quilting on clothing. You can quilt on just about anything you choose, which will bring a lot of fun to the fashion world. Quilting will provide you with a simple way to add colors to clothing while bringing old and worn-out clothes a whole new life. If you’re new to quilting, now is the perfect time to start. You can also purchase premade patches to simply sew onto items. Your imagination is the limit here, so make sure to have some fun with your style and your craft.

5. Muted Colors
Another trend this season is going to be muted colors. In most cases, you will already have a lot of these items in your closet, which will allow you to thrive throughout the season. Muted colors are easy to find in stores too, so if you find yourself lacking in this department, you won’t have to spend a small fortune on new clothes. Minimalistic styles are also important, so make sure you shop around until you find something that you like and that brings a touch of tranquility to your clothes.

6. Denim
When it comes to style, one of the easiest ways to keep up with trends is to just invest in denim. Denim has always been an acceptable fashion piece and tends to last for quite some time. This season, as in previous seasons, you won’t go wrong with denim. Rather, you’ll find a huge selection that will help keep you dressed from head to toe. When it comes to denim, you might shop bellbottoms this winter, but denim jackets are also a great option to make you feel snug and comfortable. If you really want to show off your fashion sense, then you can always add patches to your look.

7. Puffer Jackets
There’s a good chance that you might have a puffer jacket in your wardrobe too. These jackets were really big in the 90s but have maintained popularity when it comes to the winter coat market. Puffer jackets come in all sizes, colors, and prints which will allow you to show off your own personal style. This season you might want to consider going big, which will allow you to truly let your style shine. Apart from that, you may want to go bold with colors and prints. This will help to keep you trendy while allowing you to be nice and warm when you go out on the town.

8. Cardigans
Channel your inner prep school style when you add some cardigans to your look. These classic sweaters will help to provide you with a look that is perfect for the office or casual outings. Cardigans can be worn with anything too which can help you take your favorite styles to a whole new look. Of course, you don’t have to keep the look professional. There are many cardigans on the market that can help you show off your edgy style with ease. You can even channel your inner 90s fan, which can definitely help you suit other trends too.

9. Slip Dresses
Whether you love the style of a slinky dress or you favor the bedhead look, then this trend is going to make you happy. The slip dress is a simple look that can be paired with any type of shoe or accessory. Best of all, it shows off a unique cut that can be worn by any body shape. These dresses offer a soft fabric that will help you to feel confident too. If you’re not satisfied with the simple look of the dress, then you can always take it to the next level by adding accents to the neckline or trim. Lace is one of the easiest add-ons, which will make it perfect for a date night or evening out with the girls.

10. Trimmed Jackets
If you love to make your favorite clothes pop, then adding trim to a jacket is one of the best things you can do. Trim on jackets creates a bomber inspired look that never seems to go out of style. You can add almost anything to your jacket to give it a new and exciting trim, as well. There should be lots of jackets on the market with trim, but if you prefer to utilize your own skills then the task is easily done. You can even find some tutorials to help guide you through the process.

Looking your best this winter can be easier than ever. These ten tips will allow you to create the perfect style for you without forcing you to spend a whole lot of money. With these ideas, you should be able to have fun playing with your look while ensuring your budget doesn’t take a dive.

Frugal Ways to Meet Your Travel Goals from the Comfort of Home

With New Year’s approaching, many people are making the resolution to travel more. Since most people have been homebound for quite some time, the idea of getting out seems all too amazing. Unfortunately, despite vaccines and other breakthroughs, we may be looking at another year where travel has to be put on the backburner. Luckily, there are numerous ways to travel from the safety of your own home. Best of all, these methods won’t cost you a fortune, so you can actually save up for the trip of your dreams when things begin to look up.

1. Read
Reading is your ticket to anywhere. You can travel abroad, to a magical realm, or even throughout the galaxy. The best thing about reading is you can pick up books for free from the library. With the pandemic upon us, many libraries even have a digital book library, so you won’t even have to put yourself at risk in this way. Of course, you can also purchase new books for about a penny plus shipping on websites like Amazon. That is only the beginning though, as you can find many books for free online, especially if they are older. You can immerse yourself in fiction, history, travel guides, and more. No matter what you choose to do, you’ll be traveling in one way or another.

2. Try Cuisine
One of the best ways to connect with a culture is to try out their food. If you’re stuck at home but you want to travel, then consider ordering some food from a restaurant that specializes in the region’s cuisine. This will not only allow you to have some fun, but it will also help you keep a local business going in the face of the pandemic. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on cuisine, then you can always check out a tutorial video or try to work from a recipe. This will help you to give the food a try while getting a taste for the cooking experience.

3. Virtual Tour
Technology is a huge asset when it comes to travel. Over the years, many people have taken up the challenge of documenting some of the greatest wonders of the world. These places are now available to you online, so you can enjoy them from the comfort of your own home. You can explore the greatest wonders, virtually walk down iconic streets, and explore the countryside of your favorite places. You can even take tours of iconic museums and galleries, which can truly change the way you feel about life. Most of these tours are totally free too, so you can travel the entire world in no time at all.

4. Foreign Films
Another way to travel abroad is to check out films from the country that you’re interested in. Movies can give a lot of insight into the world, which is why so many people connect to them. If you check out foreign films, then you’re definitely going to be able to understand more about the culture of a specific region. You should also be able to watch most films with subtitles so that you can enjoy the language as if you were traveling abroad. Foreign films can give you a taste of a country too, so you can choose if it is somewhere you might want to explore at a later date.

5. Explore Travel Writing
Travel writing is a wonderful way to explore new places. You can check out everything from blogs to books in order to connect yourself with new places. Travel writing is different than your typical stories as it highlights the aspect of travel rather than the person itself. Through travel writing, you can learn about food, music, art, culture, traditions, mentality, and so much more. You can even find writing based on the things you are interested in. After exploring travel writers, you may actually find that you are inspired to write about travel too. You can even start with talking about the places you hope to go, which can offer a deeper emotional connection to your trips.

6. Travel Podcast
If reading isn’t something you like to do or something you have time for, then you might want to swap things up with a travel podcast. More people are turning to podcasts to express themselves to a greater audience, so you will have many options to choose from. Once you find a podcast that suits your needs then you may consider following along through virtual travel. It will give you the chance to explore the world while listening to some amazing experiences. These podcasts might actually help you plan more accordingly when it comes to traveling in the future, too.

7. Decorate
Simply reading and enjoying media might not give you the effect of traveling that you want. So, if you’re looking to have a little extra fun then you might consider decorating to suit the destination of your choice. You might start by showing off some pictures of the destination you like. This will allow you to immerse yourself in the world. You can also display art, artifacts, and anything else that you think will bring you closer to the location. If you really like to craft, then you can make fun items to decorate with which will save you money while also occupying your time.

8. Video games
Believe it or not, but video games can actually help you to travel. Although most video games are going to give you fictitious worlds to explore, there are some that are based around real locations. You may find that these help you to explore areas that you may have always been interested in or places that may no longer exist. If you want to take things to a new level, then you can even look for VR games that will help transform your free time while giving you the opportunity to explore the world.

9. Study Language
Language is going to be one of the biggest keys to travel. You won’t get a chance to be immersed in the language from home, but you can begin the process of learning the language. For instance, you might download software that will help you learn with ease. You can also use apps that will give you little tasks each day. If you’re really feeling dedicated, then you can work with an online tutor or make virtual pals that you can speak the language with. Although this might not be as fun as traveling, it can actually help you to enjoy your travels more in the future.

10. Plan it Out
While you’re exploring the world through books, movies, and more, then you might find inspiration to plan out your own holiday. As you learn about the sights, you’ll find that some appeal to you more than others. You can easily plan around these things to help make your trip all the more memorable. You can even plan out restaurants that you would enjoy trying. This will not only take up some time while offering a touch of fulfillment for your traveling needs, but it will help you plan the trip efficiently. This will allow you to save up the correct amount of money for you to make your dream trip possible.

Just because you’re stuck at home, doesn’t mean you don’t have an opportunity to travel. It might not be traveling in a traditional sense, but it will allow you to broaden your horizons while you are at home. This can offer a form of fulfillment while allowing you to know more about your travel needs and desires for the future.

Ten Products You’ll Need to Make 2021 a Breeze

The New Year is mere days away, which might leave you wondering what can help you save money and improve in the year 2021. If you’re looking for a few products that will help you get more out of your year, then you’re definitely in luck. These ten items are bound to make your upcoming year amazing without forcing you to spend a whole lot of money. This should give you something to look forward to, especially as you work hard to make the new year exceptional.

1. Dryer Balls
If you find yourself looking for new and innovative ways to save money on the laundry, then dryer balls are going to be right up your alley. Dryer balls are an easy way to save money. These balls are typically made of wool and are used to function as dryer sheets. So, you won’t have to keep purchasing boxes after boxes of dryer sheets. The dryer balls will last you for quite some time too, which will make them worth every penny. Apart from getting rid of static and softening clothes, dryer balls will actually help cut down on the cycle of your dryer. This will save on energy costs as well.

2. Reusable Water Bottle
A lot of people make the resolution to drink more water, which can be an expensive thing if you’re not careful. Drinking water should never leave you in a financial bind, but if you’re drinking water bottle after water bottle then you’re going to find yourself spending quite a bit. On top of that, you’ll find yourself creating a whole lot of waste. So, if you’re looking to save money then a reusable water bottle is the perfect gift for you. This will allow you to easily keep hydrated and keep track of your water intake, while also cutting down on wastes since you’ll wash the bottle and reuse it again and again.

3. Makeup Remover Cloth
If you love to wear makeup, then you’re probably going through a lot of cleaning products and disposable pads and cotton to get the product off of your face. There is a quick solution to your problem though. On the market now, there are numerous makeup removal cloths, which can help you get rid of the product on your face without forcing you to use cleaning products. In most cases, the clothes will remove all of the makeup from your face, but you might sometimes need a little extra help from a cleaner. When you’re done cleaning, all you have to do is pop the cloth in the wash and you’re good to go.

4. Low-Flow Showerhead
A lot of people are guilty of spending a little too long in the shower, especially when it is cold out. This can cause you to waste gallons of water every time that you shower. There is a solution to help you waste a whole lot less though. That is a low-flow showerhead. There are a few of these on the market, which will help you to choose the right style and look for your home. Once you install the showerhead, you will be surprised by how much it can actually help you save, even if you do tend to spend too much time with the water going.

5. Draft Stopper
Although most of us try to keep weatherproofing up to date, some doors just let us down. If you’re stilling feeling a draft in your home, then you’re at risk of losing a lot of money in cooling and heating costs. One way to stop part of the problem is to add a draft stopper to the door. This will actually help cut back on the amount of airflow coming into the home and flowing out. The door stopper is easy to attach to, which will allow you to easily feel more comfortable in your surroundings all year long.

6. Airtight Storage Containers
No one wants to bite into stale cereal or find something living in their sugar. So, one of the best things you can do for your pantry is to purchase some airtight containers. These containers will help to keep your food nice and fresh. Of course, it will also help to organize your pantry. The containers help to condense all of the boxes you might have, which will give you more space to work with. When shopping for containers, you should definitely check out reviews before you buy as not every container is made to last. You should also look for bulk deals to help you save a little money while you reorganize your pantry.

7. Smart Plug
Most homes are filled with energy vampires, which can cause you to have to pay more than you’re using in power each month. A smart plug is a simple way to help cut back on costs while living an eco-friendlier lifestyle. These plugs simply plug into an outlet so you can plug in your other gadgets. Then, when you’re finished using it, you can disable it via an app. Some of the plugs even allow you to set a timer so they can easily turn on and off at a specific time, which makes it very convenient for programming your morning coffee.

8. Pro Air Oven
If you love your air fryer, then the pro air oven is bound to bring you even more joy. This special oven is designed to offer more options than just air frying. Most of these ovens will work as a toaster, fryer, and overall oven. This can help save you so much time and space in your home. Apart from that, it will give you healthier meals that will still taste amazing. There are many brands offering these ovens now, so you might want to shop around to figure out which one is best for you.

9. Dry Shampoo
When it comes to washing your hair, there isn’t always the time. So, if you like to keep your look fresh without having to do all of the work then dry shampoo is the way to go. This will allow you to easily look your best without forcing you to always go through your full hair routine. Dry shampoo can also help keep your hair healthier as it won’t strip your hair from the oils that your hair needs to be healthy. Dry shampoo is great for when you don’t plan on going out but suddenly have a change of plans.

10. Programmable Thermostat
If you have trouble keeping up with your thermostat, then a programmable thermostat is going to be a great gift for you. This thermostat is perfect for keeping the home feeling comfortable without sending your energy costs through the roof. Most of these thermostats are controlled by the app, which allows you to control your home’s temperature even when you’re not at home. Many of these thermostats can even offer recommendations that will give you more knowledge on how to save. Of course, you should definitely do some research before you purchase an item such as this.

These ten items are bound to bring you a touch of convenience that will help make 2021 seem even brighter. With all of the new ways to make your life better, you’ll be able to concentrate on your goals and so much more. So, if you’re looking to add some upgrades to your home then this is a great way to begin your journey.

Ten Ways to Keep New Year’s Fun Even Though You’ll Be Stuck At Home

New Year’s tends to be a time in which everyone goes out and has some fun while saying goodbye to the old year. Although everyone is probably ready to say their farewells to 2020, going out to do so might not be an option. You can still have fun on New Year’s Eve without leaving the house or enjoying a social gathering. So, don’t let the New Year fun pass you by due to self-isolation orders. These ten ideas will leave you feeling relaxed and ready to start fresh as 2021 hopefully brings new and exciting things for everyone.

1. Movie Marathon
If you’re looking for a fun idea for the whole family or just something to occupy your time while you’re alone, then a movie marathon is an easy way to have some fun. You can have everyone in the family choose a movie so that everyone gets a say in how they end the year. You can also choose holiday movies or even those surrounding New Years’. If you’re not sure what movies are New Year’s themed, there is a lot of lists online that you can choose from, including those that are kid-friendly. Of course, if you’re doing a movie marathon, don’t forget to order your favorite snack foods and enjoy one another’s company.

2. Make Resolutions
This year, you’ve probably thought a lot about the things you want to change about life when all of the self-isolation orders are over. However, so many of us have put off making a resolution because we simply don’t know what the world will be like in 2021. On New Year’s Eve, you might want to take some time out of your day to chat about the future and where you would like to be this time next year. Once you’ve talked it out or even just worked it out with yourself commit to your resolution. If there is ever a time to make a change, now is it.

3. Have a Cook-Off
One way to add some skill to the holiday is to have a cook-off. Ask everyone what they would like to make or simply create a theme where everyone has to make the same items. Then, on New Year’s Eve let your competition begin. If you don’t have a lot of space, then people can take turns cooking to ensure everyone is able to work to their best ability. When everyone is finished, the people not participating can act as judges to help improve the competition. Apart from having fun and keeping your family busy, this activity will provide you with plenty of things to eat as you wait to welcome 2021. If you’re looking to save money on this activity, then you might consider making appetizers or some of your favorite cheaper dishes.

4. Dress Up
Getting up and dressed is an important thing to do no matter where your day is going. On New Year’s Eve, a lot of people tend to dress up for fancy parties, dinners, and get-togethers. However, with everyone staying at home, you might not feel like you should dress up. This shouldn’t be the case though. Dressing up can actually help you feel better even though you’re stuck at home. It will also allow you to bring in a New Year with you feeling and looking your best. You don’t have to go formal here though. Your family can have fun dressing up like superheroes, your favorite book characters, crazy pajamas and so much more.

5. Create a Signature Drink
A lot of people spend New Year’s enjoying some of their favorite beverages. Although you might not have a bartender this year, you can still have a little fun with your drinks. You might look up recipes online to help you find the perfect New Year drink for you. Of course, you can also play around to create a totally original drink. Your drink doesn’t have to be all about the alcohol though. In fact, you can make a signature drink that is totally family-friendly. Try adding juices to carbonated water, mix up fruits for a smoothie, and so much more.

6. Dick Clark’s Rockin New Year’s Eve
Chances are, if you’ve ever stayed home on New Year’s Eve then you have probably seen bits and pieces of Dick Clark’s Rocking New Year’s Eve. This special event comes on every year and the pandemic won’t be putting a halt to it. However, things will be a little different this year, as the live audience won’t be a part of the show. That doesn’t mean you won’t get to see some awesome musical numbers while enjoying the special occasion with the hosts. This can keep everyone in the house entertained for hours because it is generally family-friendly and filled with fun. Watching the show might also give you a sense of normalcy, which will help you enjoy the holiday a bit more.

7. Online Celebrations
Most of the world will probably be celebrating New Year’s in a new way. However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be celebrations for you to enjoy. Since most people will be watching celebrations online or on the TV, you will have more variety to choose from. For starters, you check out what other countries are doing as New Year’s strikes in their region. You can even watch a variety of different shows throughout the United States. Apart from Dick’s Rockin New Year’s Eve, you will find that Nashville is doing a huge music celebration. Many other cities will also be following suit and showing off a taste of their region’s personality.

8. Clean House
Since you’re already home, you might as well get a head start on some cleaning. In many cultures, it is actually said to bring good luck if you begin a New Year with a clean house. So, take some time to go over all of your surfaces, clean up your bathrooms, and wash your bedding. You might also utilize this day to put away your Christmas décor so you can start the New Year on a totally fresh note. This time is also perfect for getting rid of clutter, so you can find a sense of peace as 2020 disappears and 2021 greets us.

9. Virtual Party
It can be hard celebrating any occasion without those that you love. So, if you’re craving some time with your friends then you might want to host a virtual party. There are many options available to you, so you don’t have to spend money on your video call. This can help you still enjoy a special occasion with those that mean the world to you, which will definitely make the world and the new year feel like a much better place. It might also help out those that have been coping with depression through the holiday season.

10. Make Peace with 2020
There is no doubt about it, 2020 was a tough year. Most people have had to face some form of challenge during this year, which might leave it tough to put the year behind you. Instead of leaving 2020 with anger, you might try to make some peace with the year. For instance, you might grieve what you need to grieve so you can move forward in the new year. You might also try to think about the good things that you discovered during the year. Another way to find some peace is to enjoy some good luck traditions that can keep you feeling hopeful for the future.

Overall, you can still have some fun this New Year’s. It might not be what you expect, but these ideas should help you take your mind off of what you’re missing out so you can make the most of the occasion. It may even help you appreciate all that you have to begin the New Year on the right foot.

Boxing Day Traditions to End the Year Frugally

Boxing day is a great way to extend the holiday experience while helping you to make some changes that could actually save you some money. If you’re not familiar with Boxing Day, then this is a great year to give the holiday a try. It isn’t necessary spending money on this holiday, which can make it all the more enjoyable for you and your family. On top of that, it can help you put your heart and your home in the right place before the New Year begins. So, get ready to have even more fun when the Christmas festivities are over because Boxing Day is going to add a great tradition to your end of the year fun.

1. Ditch the Old
Traditionally, Boxing Day was a day in which the upper class would box up the things they didn’t want from Christmas and pass them down to their servants. Although this isn’t the practice anymore, you might consider following the tradition of getting rid of the things you don’t want after Christmas. You may have received gifts that just aren’t up your alley, or you might want to make room for your new items by getting rid of some of the old. No matter the story, this is a great time to try to sell the items online, in a yard sale or simply donate them. You never know, your old items might make someone incredibly happy.

2. Donate Leftovers
If your family has way too much to contend with, don’t let it go to waste. A lot of people and organizations will take food plates as donations. You might have to ask around to see who is doing this, but if you contact a local church or community center, you should be steered in the right direction in no time. If you don’t want to go through an organization then you might make up plates and hand them out to those in need. However, you should be very careful during this time. You do not want to pass on Covid if you unknowingly have it, nor do you want to catch it.

3. Join a Volunteer Program
After a day of getting things, you might feel the need to give back to others. Since many people also have Boxing Day off of work, you might take the extra time to help out others. You can hand out food at a local pantry, cook in a soup kitchen, help clean up your community, and on. Around the holidays, there are so many things to do for volunteer work that it might be tough for you to decide what task you want to do. Of course, you might need to get in touch with the volunteer program well before Christmas arrives to ensure there is space for you to help out or to make sure you don’t need any special qualifications.

4. Plan to Join a Sporting Event
Nothing says preparing for a healthier new year like joining a sporting event. This is a pretty common practice in many places, so if you want to celebrate like most of the world does then this is one way to do it. You can start out by simply watching a sporting event. Usually, people will attend an event in person or go somewhere to watch the game with others. However, this year might be a little different. You can still consider joining an online watch party if this sounds fun to you. Another option is to join an actual sport to help you burn some of those holiday calories without joining a gym. This can help you enjoy working out instead of making it part of a routine that you aren’t happy to do.

5. Enjoy Clearance Deals
The day after Christmas means there are going to be some amazing deals on holiday items. As soon as the big day is over, things start to hit the clearance shelves, which means you will be able to deck the halls with ease in the upcoming year. You can easily find replacements for items that aren’t working and so on, which will help keep next year frugal as you won’t have to replace items when they are full-priced. You may even consider buying extra lights, so you don’t have to worry about lights not working during next year’s holiday rush.

6. Get Crafty with Leftovers
Just because you have a ton of leftovers doesn’t mean you have to eat the same meal that you had for Christmas day. Boxing Day might be the perfect time for you to learn how to transform some of your leftovers into something else spectacular. You might fry up your vegetables in a pan with the mashed potatoes, add some items to a large soup, or come up with something that is entirely out of the box. You can find a number of recipes online too if you’re not certain where to start.

7. Leave Gifts for Postal Workers
With the holiday season finally over, your postal worker deserves a round of applause for all that he or she has done to make the magic of Christmas happen. So, this year, you might consider leaving something in your mailbox to say how much you appreciate their service. Of course, you should look and see what you are legally allowed to leave, as someplace does have rules about gifts. You don’t have to stop at postal workers either. You can leave a gift for almost anyone that provides a service for you. So, share some extra joy on Boxing Day with small tokens of appreciation.

8. Watch Polar Bear Plunge
For some time now, the Polar Bear Plunge has been a big part of Boxing Day. People gather on icy beaches and plunge into the water for the experience of a lifetime. If you’ve never experienced the Polar Bear Plunge before, then you might look online to check out. You will probably have to check out old plunges though, as Covid will most likely have all of these events canceled. If you like what you see then this might be something you plan on doing in the future, but you should make sure you know the cautions before you choose to add it to your Boxing Day schedule.

9. Reconnect with Friends
Since Christmas is all about family time, you might consider making Boxing Day all about your friends. This holiday is the perfect time to reconnect with the people that are your chosen family. With coronavirus this year, you might find yourself stuck catching up with people online. You can still make things fun though by playing trivia, board games, and so on. You can also have meals together online. There are lots of other ways to reconnect with those that you care about on Boxing Day since you probably didn’t have a lot of time to chat with them during the Christmas holiday.

10. Clear Up Christmas
In many cultures, it is a tradition to clean the house before the new year begins. So, if you’re ready to call it quits on Christmas, you might clear up all of your Christmas goodies on Boxing Day. This will make it a lot easier for you to clean up the rest of the house before New Year’s Eve arrives. This will definitely allow you to have more fun when the holiday is here and can even bring you good luck. Of course, it might also just help you to save time in getting your items up before everyone has to return to school or work. Before you pack everything away, you might go ahead and look to see if there are any things that you might no longer want. This will allow you to get rid of them, so you don’t have to worry about dealing with them next year.

Boxing Day can be a great way to help you find a frugal end to the year. Between the remarkably cheap clearance items to getting rid of old items you’ve been hanging on to, you might find this holiday to be one of bliss. So, don’t let Boxing Day pass you by as there are traditions you can implement to help you bring more enjoyment to the end of the holiday season.

Ten of the Cheapest Dishes to Make for Christmas Dinner

It’s almost time to plan your holiday meal, which might leave some people worrying about how they can fit it into the budget. You might be surprised by how many items you can fit into your budget if you shop carefully though. Of course, many of the options you might plan for your meal truly do depend on how many people you’re feeding. So, if you want to save big on your holiday meal, these ten items might be something you consider to help keep your family fed and happy for the holiday.

1. Ham
One of the best things you can make for a large number of people is ham. You can buy ham still in the bone for a very cheap price, which is simple to cook in a wide variety of ways. If you’re not feeding a lot of people, then you might consider ham steaks, which are still incredibly cheap and can be cooked in just about the same way that you would cook any other ham. There are lots of recipes online for ham too, so if you’re not feeling it then you might consider trying something new. You never know, you might find something that you like more than the traditional items you tend to gravitate to. It is also incredibly easy to use ham for leftovers, may it be in casseroles or simple sandwiches.

2. Roasted Chicken
You can skip out on the pricey meats when it comes to Christmas. One of the best things you can do for your family is to roast a whole chicken. This will be fairly inexpensive and will allow you to enjoy a wide variety of flavors. For instance, you can roast your chicken with a glaze, or you can cook it with herbs and vegetables. You can also use the leftovers for sandwiches, stir-fries, and more. Chicken makes it incredibly easy for you to enjoy a number of side dishes too. Best of all, there is very little cleanup. This season, you might want to explore a variety of chicken recipes so you can take your holiday meal to the next level. There are so many to choose from when it comes to chicken that you might decide to make two instead, which still won’t cost you a fortune.

3. Pork Tenderloin
If you’re looking for new meat to try for the holiday season, then you might give pork tenderloin a try. This meat is still going to be cheaper than some of your classic holiday options and will allow you a lot of options to try out. For instance, you can stuff the tenderloin with stuffing, cheeses, herbs, or any other mix that you can think of. The tenderloin will generally come out moist and will be willing to help satisfy your family on the holiday. This meat is very easy to cook too and won’t take up a lot of room in the oven, so you’ll have plenty of space for sides.

4. Potatoes
When it comes to sides, potatoes are one of the best and cheapest ways to go. You can transform potatoes into a wide assortment of dishes, which will help satisfy everyone’s hunger. Of course, one of the more common options is mashed potatoes. You don’t have to keep it strict to this though. You can easily add ingredients to your potatoes to make them more appetizing and holiday-friendly. There are loads of other potatoes to try out though. For instance, you can work with new recipes, take on a family recipe, or change a recipe that is in need of some spicing up.

5. Carrots
Carrots make another great side dish that won’t cost you a small fortune. Carrots can be added to just about any dish, but you can also transform them into a dish of their own. There are lots of vegetable bakes you can try, with an assortment of glazes that may even turn carrots into the star of the show. Apart from that, you can steam carrots for a low-calorie dish that will appease those hoping to stay away from holiday weight gain. Other than that, you will find carrots can be added to stuffing, salads, soups, and more to elevate the flavor to a whole new level. So, you definitely don’t want to disregard this root vegetable when you plan your budget-friendly meal.

6. Green Bean Casserole
This holiday classic won’t let you down when it comes to your taste buds and your budget. Green bean casserole offers the creamy flavor you desire without forcing you to purchase creams and cheeses. The best thing about green bean casserole is it allows you to try out a wide assortment of different cooking methods too. For instance, you can try mixing spicy peppers into your casserole, or you can use an alternative for the fried onion tops. This casserole is pretty inexpensive whether you choose to use fresh or canned ingredients too, which will make everyone happy.

7. Quiche
If you’re looking for something unique to make for the holiday that can serve as the entire meal or a side dish, then a quiche is the way to go. A quiche uses very simple ingredients for the base, but you can spice it up in any way you choose. For instance, if you prefer broccoli and cheese then this is very simple and cheap to make. Plus, it’s a great way to sneak in those veggies. You can toss in ham from the main course, add in vegetables, or even make a breakfast quiche. If you’re not sure how to make a quiche there are tutorials online that will suit any appetite. Best of all, once you figure it out, you can begin making the recipe on your own. You might even feel more comfortable with playing with ingredients to create a combination that is unique to your family.

8. Homemade Bread
Rolls and bread are one of the staples for most holiday meals. You can easily find an assortment of rolls in the supermarket, but they lack the flavor that homemade bread has. Luckily, homemade rolls are one of the easiest things to make at home and they’re pretty cheap too. You don’t have to stop at just rolls though, as there are numerous recipes to choose from. You might even try stuffed bread to help create more of a side dish than a filler. If you’re really feeling ambitious, then you might consider making some breakfast inspired bread. These can include classic breakfast foods like eggs and bacon, or more classic breakfast items like cinnamon rolls.

9. Pie
When it comes to desserts, one of the best things you can make on a budget is pie. You can purchase pie crust for cheap in grocery stores, but you can also enjoy making your own pie for next to nothing. However, one trick that you will have to use to make pie inexpensive is to use canned or frozen fruits. This will come out cheaper than buying and slicing your own fruits. That is unless you have the items growing in your home garden. Some canned fruits will already be ready to go anyway, so all you will have to do is pour the filling into the crust and you’re ready to go. You can have a lot of fun with pie too, which will make it simple to create holiday-inspired dishes the family will request again and again.

10. Cookies
Since you’re already working on cookies for Santa, you might as well make enough to last for dessert. Cookies are a great way to have some fun with dessert without forcing you to spend a whole lot of money. The great thing about cookies is most have the same base, so you can start there and work your way up to create more intricate cookies or even just your favorite recipes. You can even work with items that you already have in your pantry. If you’re low on supplies, then a simple sugar cookie is always a great way to add to the fun of the holiday season. Kids can even decorate the cookies to bring even more joy to the dessert.

Your Christmas dinner doesn’t have to leave you struggling for the rest of the month. These dishes will help you save money while giving you plenty of leftovers to help make the meal last even longer. Best of all, they will satisfy your appetite while allowing you to enjoy the holiday with less worry.

Ten Ways to Celebrate Your First Ever Festivus on a Budget

This year, a lot of people are looking for any reason imaginable to celebrate. With 2020 zapping so much out of people, another celebration isn’t going to do any harm. That is why so many are turning to Festivus. This holiday doesn’t require you to have any form of religion or belief. Rather it is stemmed from the TV show Seinfeld and sort of branched out from there. So, if December 23rd rolls around and you’re looking for something to do, then a Festivus celebration might be the way to go. Best of all, the holiday is so opened ended at this point that you can enjoy it by celebrating almost any way that you please.

1. Festivus Pole
One of the elements of the celebration is a pole. Yep, a simple metal pole. You might want to reference Seinfeld to understand it more, but it is the primary form of decoration for the holiday. You can make your own pole or buy one to suit the holiday. If you choose to put up a poll you can decorate if you want to or not. There are tutorials online to help you get a more authentic pole off the ground, but you can also come up with your own idea to suit your needs. Of course, the pole isn’t necessary, so if you’re not feeling festive like that then you can skip it altogether.

2. Air Your Grievances
When it comes to Festivus, one of the best things you can do is air your grievances. In Seinfeld, this festivity is accomplished by saying things to other people’s faces, but you don’t have to do this if it makes you uncomfortable or you’re simply not ready to go down that path with someone. Instead of doing this directly to someone, you might consider talking into a recorder or just saying it out loud in front of a mirror. This also might be the perfect time to treat yourself to a new journal so you can air your grievances there. You never know, this simple aspect of the holiday might be one of the best things you can do for your mental health.

3. Make Something Tasty
When it comes to Festivus, you can go traditional or you can do whatever you want because the holiday is yours for the making. Traditionally speaking, meatloaf is the way to go for this meal. You can keep it simple, serve your typical sides, and so on. You can also use the holiday to bake something special. You might try a fancy recipe that you’ve been wanting to try out. You can also switch things up and eat something that you know you’re going to miss during the holidays or you can go totally simple and order a pizza from your favorite restaurant.

4. Celebrate the Small Miracles
One of the big things about Festivus is simply celebrating the small miracles that happen in everyday life. Small miracles can be anything from waking up healthy to carrying all of the groceries in one trip without anything breaking on you. Looking at the small miracles in life will allow you to find a lot more happiness than you can possibly imagine. This can be one of the best gifts to yourself and will help you see the true meaning in celebrating everything that you typically would during other holidays. This mentality might even stick with you throughout everyday life, which will certainly do you a lot of good.

5. Embrace Wrestling
If you’ve ever watched the Festivus episode of Seinfeld, then you’ll probably remember that wrestling seems to be a part of the holiday. Obviously, this doesn’t have to be the case, but you can definitely add some fun to the day by partaking in the activities. Wrestling can simply be roughhousing if you have younger kids and will allow you to bond as a family as you have fun together. Of course, wrestling is also a great way to enjoy exercise without making it feel like work. This activity can even help burn off some calories from all of the other holiday fun. Of course, if wrestling isn’t your thing then you can replace wrestling with relay races or other games to keep everyone moving.

6. Talk it Out
This holiday is a great time to talk things out with those that you have issues with. If you’re holding a grudge or you simply don’t like the way someone is treating you, then you might use this holiday to fix the issue. Talking things out can be a great way to begin the holiday season with forgiveness in mind while also ensuring you don’t have anything holding you back from entering the New Year feeling amazing. This tactic can actually help with your mental health while allowing you to feel more at peace with others. It might even mend some problems with family and friends that have been weighing heavy on you for so long.

7. Binge TV
If you don’t want to do anything for the holidays, but you still want to consider the day a celebration, then binging TV is a great option. It is also the perfect way to take time out and do something that you want to do. May it be catching up on a movie you’ve been wanting to see or watching a new TV series. You may even consider binging some Seinfeld so you can get a better taste of the holiday. However, this isn’t necessary as you can truly skip out on the Seinfeld element and make the holiday completely your own. You may even start a tradition that the whole family will love.

8. Make Gifts
Festivus is a great holiday to fight back against commercialism by making your own gifts. You can make themed gifts for the upcoming holiday or come up with fun items that you think others will like. It can be anything from something tangible to a nice poem, too, which will allow you to use the holiday to exercise your creativity. To save money, you should also consider using items that you have around the house to make your goodies. You might find that recyclables are pretty amazing when exercising your creativity. Making gifts can be a great way to reduce stress as well, which is a great thing to celebrate.

9. Reconnect with Friends
Nothing says celebration quite like reconnecting with your friends. If you have people that you haven’t seen in some time, then now is a great time to reconnect. Of course, you’ll mostly have to do this via video chat or text messaging, but it could be nice to have a chat with those that you once spent a lot of time with. You might also consider reaching out to people because it has been such a tough year. It is hard to know where people stand in regard to their mental state, so reaching out could actually save a life.

10. Relax
This year has been stressful. The holidays can be stressful. So, what you might use Festivus for is the time you need to relax. Take in some time alone. Read a good book. Write in your journal. Take a really long bubble bath. Whatever you choose to do, just make the time to relax. In this crazy world, no one seems to have the time to do that because there are so many things to stress about. Taking this time to unwind and find your center can empower you to move into the holidays and New Year feeling more confident about everything.

Festivus might not be a major event and it might not be something commonly practiced, but it is a great way for you to find something to celebrate as 2020 winds down. This holiday doesn’t have to be a big budget or all for show either. In fact, you don’t even have to tell anyone you’re celebrating!

Ten Magical Ways to Being Santa Claus to Life During the Pandemic

With kids being pulled back out of school and more shutdowns happening around the nation, and the world, it might be hard to think of ways to bring the magic of Christmas to your child. Even visiting Santa Claus is out of the question in most areas because it might be too dangerous for both Santa and the children. Luckily, there are still ways to bring some magic to your children, which will allow them to enjoy the holiday spirit even if they are stuck in the house. So, don’t exclude all of the Santa fun this year, because it might be one of the most normal aspects of the holiday for your children.

1. Video Chat
Visiting Santa Claus isn’t safe often this year, but there are many Santas that are willing to come to you virtually. So, instead of going to see the big man, bring him to a screen in your home. This actually might be one of the more comfortable ways for your children to see Santa, as well. You might not get the picture you wanted, but kids can still enjoy telling Santa what they want. Some of these virtual chat programs will even send an edited picture of your child with Santa, so you still have the keepsake to add to your holiday treasures.

2. Santa Letter
The Santa Letter is one of the most reassuring things for kids. Every year, kids can sit down and make out a letter to let Santa know what they want. So, don’t take this element away from them. You should still have your child create a letter and go to great efforts to mail it out. You can even send it to a special address if you truly want to add to the magic. You might also consider mailing your child a letter in response. There are lots of great templates online that will help make the letter look and feel authentic. This simple work of magic might even help give your child a little more reassurance about the holiday season.

3. Elf on a Shelf
If you don’t already have an elf on a shelf, then this year might be the best time to try it out. This fun aspect of the holidays can make up for your child not getting the chance to visit Santa. Rather, kids can let the elf know what they want while the elf can report to Santa. Elf on the Shelf can be a lot of fun because it allows you to set up fun scenes that will help your child truly feel the holiday spirit. You can keep it simple or go wild when you set up the elf. There are even fun ideas online to truly help you take your Elf on the Shelf to a whole new level. Now, there are also books and movies to help make the elf seem even more fun for your child.

4. Story Time with Santa
Stories with Santa are also a great way to bring some joy to your kids. One Santa has already come up with this idea and began streaming stories when quarantine began back in March. You can easily tune into these storytimes for free each Wednesday at 7 PM EST. This Santa also offers other deals too, which might pique your interest. Of course, there is more than one option here as you might also have local Santas that are doing the same thing. If you’re not sure, you might call your local library as this facility should be able to steer you in the right direction. The library itself might also stream some of these activities for kids.

5. Window Visits
If you know someone that looks good in a Santa suit then you might be want to go this route. Basically, have someone dress up and show up at your home at a specific time. From there, the kids can greet Santa and talk through the window to share what they want with Santa. Children can even pose for a picture in this way. This will help kids to see that Santa is going the extra mile this season to make magic happen. It will also make some of the changes feel a little less weird, as children will see Santa and know he is being cautious but is still working hard to make Christmas happen.

6. Make Snacks
One of the best aspects of the holiday is making lots of amazing treats. This is a wonderful family bonding moment that can allow everyone to feel the warmth of the season and one another’s love. Of course, nothing beats making cookies for Santa. Your family can go with premade options, or you can make them entirely from scratch. Once your cookies have baked and cooled, kids can even decorate them to add that extra holiday flare. Of course, you might let each child pick out which cookie they want Santa to have. Don’t stop at just people’s snacks though. You can also add in some treats for reindeers, may it be vegetables or fun treats like puppy chow that have been repurposed with a holiday-inspired name.

7. Utilize Apps
When it comes to Santa magic, apps are here to help make things even more spectacular. You can find so many amazing things to bring fun to the kids. For instance, there is a Santa tracker that will reassure kids where Santa is when it comes to packing his sleigh, managing his list, and so on. On Christmas Eve, the tracker will let you know where Santa is in the world, which will inspire kids to get into bed faster. Apart from that, there is a North Pole app that will send your child personalized videos from Santa. If you want the kids to think you caught Santa delivering gifts you can even use an app to put him in a picture in your living room.

8. Fulfil the Belief Meter
If your kids have watched the movie Elf or other Christmas movies with the concept, they will know all about the belief meter. If not, then the belief meter is what powers Santa’s sleigh. This amazing invention can be recreated at home with a poster board or a white chalkboard. If you’re tech-savvy then you can utilize your mobile phone to do the trick too. With everything grim going on in the world, you might concoct a plan to ask the children to help restore some of the beliefs by starting in your household. Kids can do acts of kindness, read holiday stories, or behave nicely to receive points towards their meter. If kids can fulfill their meter, then Santa can leave a special certificate of gratitude to help make them feel proud of what they have accomplished.

9. Improve on the Details
This year is going to take a lot more work to bring some magic to the kids. So, you might step up your game when it comes to the small details. For instance, on Christmas Eve night, you might work at getting a little crafty. To begin with, add some Santa boots covered in snow. Even if there isn’t snow outside, it will just reiterate the fact that Santa travels fast and goes all over the world. Another small step might be to leave a bell on the ground as if it fell from Santa’s hat. Of course, you should take a bit out of the cookies and drink some milk too to make sure you show that Santa enjoyed his treat. Apart from that, you can recreate a clatter or use the sound of sleigh bells as kids get into bed. Any little detail that proves Santa was here will allow you to enjoy the fun as much as your children.

10. Chat About Covid-19
With the coronavirus here, a lot of children just aren’t sure if they are safe. Some will have concerns that Santa might bring coronavirus into their homes while others might worry that Santa will catch it while he is delivering gifts. These concerns are only natural. Luckily, Dr. Fauci, who will probably be familiar to your family from news broadcasts, has already come forward to let children know that Santa’s magic allows him to be immune to the virus. So, he can deliver gifts to boys and girls around the world without catching or spreading Covid-19. This news should take many of your children’s worries away, which will allow you to focus on the joy of the season.

This Christmas can still be magical even with the world in such turmoil. These ten tips are only the beginning to help your family get even more out of the holiday season. So, don’t forget it is the small details and family time that truly make the holiday amazing.