Budget Living
Page 17
Real Life Design: Adventurous Yet Affordable Decor Choices
Even if you don’t have a lot of money in your budget, you can fit a lot of bold into your home. We’ve gathered up examples of real life decor choices from our tours that prove our point; they are are wallet friendly and made a big impact on the space. Mixing patterns can be an affordable way to get really bold in your home. Because different patterns interact with one another dynamically, you can mix high- and low-priced pieces (even all-low pieces) to create a bold composition.
May 27, 2016
Stylish Solutions: How To Use (Awesomely Affordable!) Clamp Lights All Over the House
Clamp lamps are a brilliant, doable, and budget-friendly boon for renters. It’s on demand task lighting that moves with you —and often costs under $10. Flexibility is their best feature: stick them in your home’s shadow zones, and angle them to direct the light just where you need it. Above, Joe and Keith forgo a floor lamp in favor of a clamp light attached to adjacent shelving. They get light while on the sofa, but don’t have to sacrifice space in their small studio.
May 22, 2016
8 Easy DIY Ways To Power Up Your Home’s Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is about your home’s first impression—the face it presents to the world (and to you, when you come home every day). And while you may think of your home’s exterior as something that’s difficult to change without investing a lot of money and time, there are actually quite a few (really simple, DIY) things you can do to enhance your home’s curb appeal—many of them without even picking up a hammer.
May 19, 2016
9 Easy Ways to Transform Your Furniture with Washi Tape
Want to add a little pizazz to your furniture without the trouble of painting? Washi tape is a fun (and inexpensive!) way to dress up boring furniture — and if you ever get tired of your new look, you can just peel it off and start again. Above: Washi tape makes for a colorful (and super quick) chair makeover, as seen on Lonny. The folks at Brit + Co. used washi tape to add kicky stripes to a plain white dresser.
May 18, 2016
Can You Guess the Biggest Barriers to Eating Dinner at Home?
Without a doubt, my largest expense every month (outside of rent) is eating out. I realized this only recently, when I sat down to get serious about my monthly budget and answer the question “Where the hell does all my money go all the time?” It’s restaurants. Several times a week. A challenge that many families struggle with, and thanks to a recent study, we are starting to understand why. An article in the January edition of the Appetite journal by Shannon M. Robson, Lori E.
May 18, 2016
Choose a Challenge: 5 Ways to Trick Yourself Into Saving Money
There’s a lot of power in the concept of the personal challenge. Even those who self-describe as the ‘laziest’ among us can find the motivation and willpower to cut their spending or pad their savings when you turn something boring like budgeting into a game. Here are a handful of trick-yourself challenges to do just that. There are two ways to make money: Earn more or spend less.
May 16, 2016
Wall-Mounted Shelving Systems You Can DIY
One of my favorite small space hacks is swapping your bookcases for wall-mounted shelving. We’ve created roundups of wall mounted shelving systems before, but for those of you who are especially crafty there are also plenty of DIY options. Here are eight different DIY ways to turn a blank wall into a storage mecca. Above: Dabito from Old Brand New used components available at the hardware store to create this wall-mounted shelving system, which includes a desk.
May 13, 2016
Super Stylish Finds from Kids’ Stores: All for Under $100
Last week I shared one of my favorite tips for saving money on decor: shopping in the kids’ section. As proof, I created a roundup of ten items from kids’ stores that are perfect for your grown-up home, all for less than $50. I found so many good things that I couldn’t resist creating a second roundup, this one at a slightly higher price point. Here are twelve kids’ store finds that adults will covet too, all for less than $100.
May 10, 2016
5 Things You Can Do Every Month to Move Your Net Worth Needle
Net worth is defined as your assets – such as cash, investments and property – minus your liabilities and debts. In other words, it’s how much you own versus how much you owe. Net worth is the main metric personal finance experts like to use when measuring their financial picture from month to month and year to year, and to no surprise, the goal is usually “higher.
May 8, 2016
25 Stylish DIYs for a Beautiful Bedroom on a Budget
Feeling crafty? These 25 super-stylish DIYs will have your bedroom looking like a million bucks — without you having to shell out a ton of cash. Above: Geometric painted door DIY from One Kings Lane. Dyed IKEA duvet cover from Livet Hemma. Colorful shag rug DIY from eHow. A DIY way to upgrade IKEA frames (or any frames), from Livet Hemma via Poppytalk. DIY jewelry block from Emily Henderson. DIY painted plywood headboard from A Bubbly Life.
May 3, 2016
DIY Ideas for Making a Home on a New Grad’s Budget
Living the budget life is not easy and college grads know this more than anyone! During this exciting (read: stressful) phase of your life, having a cozy home that feels like your own space is so essential! After all, you need somewhere to kick up your feet after a busy day of chasing your dreams. If you’re on a budget, how can you create a beautiful home that’s not a mishmash of hand-me-down furniture? Here are some DIY ideas to help you stay on budget AND create a home you love.
May 2, 2016
5 Simple Steps to the Perfect Staycation
When you’re low on funds or time or both, vacationing in your own city starts to sound like a really sensible way to scratch the summer vacation itch. “Sensible,” of course, is not the word most people want to use to describe their travel plans. So we’re here with five tips to help you turn your sensible staycation into something that’s also spontaneous, stimulating, relaxing and rejuvenating.
Apr 30, 2016
Goodbye Dorm: Money Saving Tips for Your First Apartment
You’ve done it. You’ve finally moved out of mom and dad’s house, and you have your very own apartment. And of course you want it to look like all those beautiful spaces you see on the design blogs you love, but there’s one problem —you don’t have any money. Here are a few tips for getting the look that you crave, without blowing your budget. Be patient! No one has a perfect home two weeks after moving in.
Apr 29, 2016
Pieces of Financial Advice I Wish I’d Heard Sooner
This spring will mark ten years since I graduated from university, and once I pick myself up off the floor where I have fallen due the shock of realizing that, I will tell you all about what I’ve learned during that time. Between moving to a new country, getting my first real job, changing careers, moving apartments, and dealing with a host of other Life Stuff, I’ve learned a lot about financial health in the past decade.
Apr 27, 2016
DIY Rug Ideas to Dress Up Your Space
The right rug can really make a room, but it can also be really pricey. Fortunately there are plenty of DIY options for either making your own rugs, or sprucing up less expensive ones. Here are seven projects to get your creative juices flowing. Above: Colorful shag rug DIY from eHow. DIY hand-printed rug from Poppytalk. DIY painted canvas rug from Style Me Pretty. Overdyed rug DIY from Sweet Paul. Woven rug DIY from A Beautiful Mess. Dyed sheepskin rug DIY from Paper & Stitch.
Apr 27, 2016
I Did My Own Wedding Flowers for $500 Without a Meltdown, Here’s How
DIY weddings are not for the faint of heart. It’s one thing to take on a craft or two in the process of making your wedding more personal. It’s quite another to cut out an entire line item in the budget on a (potentially misguided) quest to save money, replacing the role of a talented, qualified professional with… yourself. This is exactly what happened when I, girl-who-kills-succulents, decided to become my own wedding florist. I’m happy to report that things went well!
Apr 18, 2016
10 DIY Projects to Transform Your Outdoor Space This Weekend
This is beautiful time of year. It’s bearable to be outside, and, so, suddenly, all you want to do is be outside. If the unusually temperate weather has got you thinking about improving your outdoor space, we’ve got ten projects that will help you make the most of your patio, balcony, or backyard. Above: DIY hanging swing chair from The Merrythought. DIY painted porch floor from Little Green Notebook. DIY rope ottomans (made from old tires!) from Style Me Pretty.
Apr 15, 2016
Little Life Savers: Clever IKEA Hacks for Small Spaces
We love good IKEA hacks and even more so when they solve small space problems.
Apr 13, 2016
7 Ways to Upgrade IKEA Picture Frames
Want to give those plain old IKEA frames a little extra bit of pizazz? Of course you do! Here are seven creative (and very inexpensive!) ways to dress them up using paint, tape, and a variety of creative techniques. Above: All it takes is a little spray paint to add gold corners, and a little touch of glam, to a RIBBA frame. DIY from Repolished.
Apr 13, 2016
Get Creative: 9 DIY Ways to Create a Stylish Inspiration Board
Creating boards on Pinterest is easy (and definitely fun), but sometimes you want inspiration of a more tangible kind. Having a mood board covered with memories and favorite clips can be a great way to make your workspace more stylish and more inspiring. Above: This inspiration board from Mother Mag doesn’t involve a board at all — it’s just a series of favorite cutouts hung on the wall with colorful washi tape.
Apr 12, 2016
Is It My Imagination, Or Is My Rent Really High?
If the concept of rent being no more than 30% of your take-home (after tax) pay seems about as realistic as purple unicorns, you might be wondering why rent is so high anyway. In 2015, 11.8 million U.S. households spent half or more of their income on rent, and this figure is projected to increase, according to the Enterprise Resource Center and the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.
Apr 12, 2016
The Master Hack List: 100+ Ways to Use Your Favorite IKEA Products
The biggest benefit to buying IKEA isn’t to your wallet, it’s to your creativity. The fact that IKEA stocks so many affordable lines means that you can feel free to hack, adapt and remix the different pieces to suit your needs. But because we all know that the secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources, here are some ideas to get you started (don’t tell anyone!).
Apr 11, 2016
How To Save Money Even While You Are on Vacation
So, you’ve scrimped and saved, and you can finally afford to take that dream vacation to Europe. Or maybe you’re staying closer to home and taking a long weekend in a neighboring city. Either way, and no matter how carefully you’ve saved, holidays have a way of getting real expensive, real quick. Luckily, it’s possible to save money while on vacation, too, without limiting your enjoyment one bit. Read on for my personal pointers on how to travel well on a budget.
Apr 11, 2016
The Money Menu: A Pick-and-Choose Three-Course Plan to Getting Your Finances in Order
Have you ever heard of the paradox of choice? It’s an idea that suggests we have an easier time making decisions and taking action when there are fewer options to choose from. You may have experienced it sitting in front of a particularly expansive restaurant menu—fewer choices are almost always better. It applies to restaurant menus and toothpaste aisles, but also to you–sitting down with your laptop and trying to research ways to get your household budget back on track.
Apr 10, 2016
Easy, Affordable & Surprisingly Chic IKEA Hacks for Your Patio or Balcony
It’s finally spring! Time to dust off the door handle, step outside to your apartment balcony and start enjoying the great weather. While you’re out there, take stock at what you might need for the outdoor season ahead. A small table? Stools? A vertical garden? Planters? Whatever you need, you can source it affordably from IKEA–with just a little bit of crafty hack action to make your patio super chic.
Apr 1, 2016
A Simple & Painless Money Habit That’ll Make Your Life a Whole Lot Better
Timing is so, so important. Even though your monthly household budget is essentially just an amalgam of addition and subtraction, there’s a mental difference between pulling out your money for saving at the start of the month versus the end. And there’s one simple thing you can do to make that saving easy and painless… If you’re part of the 75 percent of consumers who receive their paycheck via direct deposit, there’s a simple way to speed up your savings.
Apr 1, 2016
Proven Ways to Distract Yourself From Buying Something New
All of us, at one time or another, find ourselves in that state of Trying Not to Buy Stuff. You might be saving for a big goal or maybe you’ve KonMari’d your home to bits and don’t want to mess it up. But Stuff has a way of just wanting to be bought, doesn’t it? Boredom can somehow convince us that a new chair or pair of shoes will improve our lives, and our resolve can melt in the face of a good sale.
Mar 31, 2016
DIY Your Way to Your Most Inspiring Workspace Yet
Whether you use your desk for homework, writing the great American novel, or just paying a few bills, you’re a lot more likely to get things done if your workspace is organized and beautiful. And the good news is that having an attractive workspace doesn’t have to mean spending a ton of money. Check out these nine stylish DIYs for your desk.
Mar 30, 2016
Nine Creative Ways to Use String Lights in the Bedroom
There’s a lot to love about string lights: they’re inexpensive, they’re versatile, and they add a soft, warm glow to any room. If you want to add a bit of a romantic touch to your bedroom, or just shake up your style a little, try out one of these nine creative ways to use those little twinkly lights. Above: Attach a sheer curtain to the ceiling and drape string lights above for a dreamy, romantic DIY canopy. Spotted on Homeedit.
Mar 29, 2016
Savings Stretchers: 8 Times Inexpensive Materials Looked Really Great in the Kitchen
Of course it’s possible to create an amazing-looking kitchen if you have massive amounts of cash: what’s really remarkable is doing the same thing on a limited budget. But the good news is that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get a countertop or cabinets or a backsplash or a floor that looks great. Here are eight examples of humble, inexpensive materials looking really great in the kitchen.
Mar 25, 2016
Strategies that Helped 9 Real People Smash $475,000 of Collective Debt
If you’re facing a mountain of debt–credit cards, car loans, student loans–it can be impossible to see to the other side. But you can be debt-free one day. You just need diligence, hard work and a motivational tale to keep you going. Below are four real stories of people who’ve paid off big amounts of debt (of all sorts), and it didn’t take them the rest of their lives to do it. So what did it take?
Mar 23, 2016
How To Create a Dream Bedroom on a Budget
If you're looking to add a little style to your bedroom but you don't have a ton of cash, look no further than this list of 13 affordable ideas.
Mar 23, 2016
How to Build a House for Only $20,000 (Spoiler: It’s Not Easy)
For many years, architecture students at Auburn University’s Rural School have been working to create a home that can be built for only $20,000. That’s less than a lot of people spend on their kitchen remodel. But once the students finished designing the budget-friendly house, getting it built was even harder than they thought. After years of experimenting, the students and their advisors created a one-bedroom house whose materials would only cost $14,000.
Mar 21, 2016
Initially Cheap Products That Are Actually Quite Expensive Over Time
This is a “get off my lawn” type of post, when I curmudgeonly grouse about how much things cost, and how we’re being swindled by young punks who don’t know how easy they’ve got it in today’s world. My pet peeve of the day is products that are very inexpensive (or in some cases free) at the outset, but require expensive refills or supplies to keep them item working. Don’t get me wrong: I love some of these things.
Mar 18, 2016
Need to Find Some Extra Money this Month? 8 Things You Can Stop Buying Today
As you run a household for a decent length of time, there are certain things that become automatic. Like the shopping list—stuff runs out, you buy it again. But what if you didn’t? Could life go on just fine without a few of those things you’re always buying at the store? And could you save a little money in the meantime?
Mar 17, 2016
Shop the Rest of Your Home to Save a Sad Bathroom
No time or extra funds to spend on decorating your plain bathroom? You are not stuck with a sad space. You can shop the rest of your space to decorate a boring bathroom—create a more cheery room without leaving the house or spending any money. Peruse this “shopping list” of items you may already have at home to transform any bathroom into a brighter, bolder space.
Mar 16, 2016
7 Ways to Avoid an Awkward Project Question: How Much Will It Cost?
It’s almost inevitable that when you’re discussing a project—be it a remodel, a new build, an extension, or even a coat of paint—someone will ask what it costs. Whether it’s family, friends, neighbors, or colleagues, you can bet there will be someone who won’t mind asking what you’ve tried to keep quiet.
Mar 15, 2016
15 DIY Bedroom Upgrades for Under $25
Did you say under $25? We'll take all the upgrades we can get!
Mar 15, 2016
No DIY Degree Needed: Useful Things Anyone Can Make From Scratch
You don’t have to be some DIY genius or have a ton of supplies or tools to save money by making your own things. This list of easy-to-make projects is accessible to just about anyone (well, maybe not cats), no matter your skill level or the state of your tool box. You can make your own cleaners to save money and make your home a little more healthier, too. → 25 DIY Green Cleaning Recipes For the Whole House! Actually, you can do a lot of sewing easier than you probably realize.
Mar 8, 2016
7 Creative Ways To Use the $3.99 IKEA SIGNE Rug
IKEA’s SIGNE rugs are a bargain at $3.99 each, and are a durable (and washable) material that’s handy for tons of DIY projects. See how easy it is to take one of these simple striped flat-weave rugs and turn it into something else entirely. If you need something long, try stitching a few together to make an elongated runner. Clara (in the lead image above) also embellished hers with some felt leaves. IKEA itself suggests turning their striped goodies into floor pillows.
Mar 7, 2016
The Most Design-Forward Sofa at IKEA (We’ve Been Spotting It Everywhere)
Clean lines keep it chic, and deep seats and comfy cushions make it a really livable sofa for real people’s real homes. Oh, and the affordable price tag is a pretty great feature, too. The IKEA SÖDERHAMN sofa line has been on the market for a couple years now, and that means designers and dwellers have had ample time to take the piece home and show us myriad ways to style it.
Mar 2, 2016
Budget-Friendly Ways to Say Goodbye to a Big Blank Wall
Big walls call for big art. Nothing looks stranger than seeing a small, lonely painting floating in a giant expanse of wall. The difficulty, of course, is that big pieces of art often come with big price tags. So we’ve rounded up a list of nine different ways to fill up a big wall on a little budget. Above: The hanging panels in this space from Little Green Notebook are actually wallpaper panels sandwiched between pieces of acrylic. Get the DIY here.
Feb 20, 2016
Save Money, Save Space: 8 Things to Borrow Instead of Buy
When you’re trying something new, often your first instinct is to rush out and buy all the things you need for whatever activity you’ve taken on, be it camping or traveling or hosting overnight guests. But often these things, bought with the best of intentions, end up getting used only very infrequently — and taking up a lot space in your home in the meantime.
Feb 19, 2016
Sometimes You Really Do Get What You Pay For: Nine Times More is More
Sometimes, saving means spending money. Most of the time, this is because buying a quality product will greatly reduce or even eliminate the need for replacement. Other times, we spend money but save on other valuable assets, such as our health or sanity. Here are nine items or categories that you should splurge on, not because you’re reckless with money, but because you’re wise, purchases that underscore that beloved aphorism: you get what you pay for.
Feb 17, 2016
Easy Green: 3 Money-Saving (& Eco-Friendly) Habits To Start Today
Finding the resolve to break out of a wasteful routine is generally not easy. But it can be. These three eco-friendly practices seem tough to take on at the start, but there are simple tricks you can employ to make them stick at home. And trust me, it’ll be worth your while if you do–they’re bad for the environment and bad for your wallet. It’s time for a shift of habit.
Feb 11, 2016
See How Much You Can Save: 25 Creative Ways to Save Money This Year
I have a friend who swears that, when she was in college, she saved money by only going to the bathroom at work. Never fear—there is nothing that crazy here. Just simple, creative ways in which to save a few dollars here and there, which, as we all know, will surely add up over time. How many of these could you implement in your life starting today? And how much will you save by the end of the year? 1. Limit your trips to the ATM to one a week.
Feb 9, 2016
High & Low: A Modern Boho Dining Room
If you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated dining room or enough space for a big open concept dining area, you want to show it off and make a statement. The kitchen is where you have the pre-show, but the dining area is where the real magic happens. There is nothing better than sitting down around a table full of good food and good friends—sometimes late into the night—so it’s nice to put some real thought into making the space both stylish and functional.
Feb 5, 2016
What Everybody Ought to Know About Splurging on Investment Pieces
What’s an investment piece? It’s anything you want to buy that’s entirely out of your normal budget for such a thing, but that you’re trying to rationalize buying by allocating its value over its entire useful life. In short: An investment piece is something kind of expensive you expect to last a long, long time. That makes me sound like I’m down on investment pieces in general. I’m not.
Feb 4, 2016
Bargain Buys for the Bedroom
Humans, unfortunately, do not hibernate, but this time of the year it’s so cold and forbidding that chances are good that you’re spending a lot of time in your bedroom anyway. Which might have gotten you thinking about wanting to make this space the best it can possibly be.
Feb 4, 2016
The Best Kitchen Carts & Islands for Every Budget
You don’t have to remodel to add a lot of extra counter space and storage space to your kitchen — all it takes is a kitchen cart. These little workhorses are a great way to make a small kitchen more workable, or just help you get the most of your space no matter what size it is. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite kitchen carts (and islands), in a range of prices to suit pretty much any budget. This hardworking IKEA cart is perfect for smaller kitchens.
Feb 2, 2016
The Tips That Will Absolutely, No Question About It, Most Definitely Build Up Your Savings This Year
We’ve all tried the money-in-a-jar thing—but it doesn’t work that well. Or maybe you’ve tried the envelope system like I did, and found the envelopes soon wore out and were abandoned. How does one really save money? Like, real, serious amounts of money? Here are the tips that really do make a difference. 1. Prioritize paying down debts. If you have a debt that is accruing interest, and you’re not paying it back as quickly as you can, you are wasting money.
Jan 31, 2016
Lessons Learned: I Figured Out Everything I Bought for My Home Last Year
Inspired by some of the popular content that floats around the internet at the end of every year, this month I found myself inspired to think about all the objects I brought into my home to help decorate and furnish it in 2015. Being someone who has not yet mastered budgeting (or any real future financial planning) and having moved into a new apartment this year, I was curious to know what the final tally was.
Jan 29, 2016
No Frames Needed: Two Really Simple Ways to Fill an Empty Wall
Let’s banish bare walls. Because after seeing professional organizer Fay Wolf’s Silver Lake apartment, there’s no excuse for leaving a naked wall anywhere in your space. Instead, fill your big wall up with lots of little pieces that you love. You don’t even need frames, just grab some binder clips and tape and let’s go. The expanse above the sofa is a tough place to fill for a lot of home decorators.
Jan 29, 2016
Lovely Little Indulgences for Under $10
Today I swung by & Other Stories, the H&M affiliated shop that’s bringing minimal European style to the States at (somewhat) reasonable prices, to buy some more hand soap for my bathroom. On the way back to the office, it occurred to me that my mother, if she were to know, would be absolutely horrified at my paying eight dollars for soap, because I’m pretty sure all the soap in her house is like, Ivory soap that costs ten cents a bar.
Jan 27, 2016
A Versatile Workhorse: Ideas for Using the $40 Molger Bench All Around the House
It's a versatile workhorse you can use almost anywhere.
Jan 26, 2016
The 10 Commandments of Saving: Smart Money Habits to Take to Heart This Year
Whether it’s 20 minutes of exercise a day leading to a healthy body or picking up the living room every day giving you a perpetually clutter-free space, good daily habits add up to big rewards. Money, of course, is no exception. A few tweaks to our behavior can lead to hundreds of dollars in savings each year. And when these behaviors become habits, the savings are automatic. 1) Budget. This can’t be emphasized enough.
Jan 25, 2016
Real Life Decorating: Ideas From Our House Tours That Cost Next to Nothing
Apartment Therapy house tours are a treasure trove of inspiration and decorating ideas. They are real-life examples of what people do with their spaces—often without a lot of money, but with tons of creativity. Here are some of our favorites from years past…. Above, Jove’s dining room walls are covered in pages from art books. The art is displayed in chronological order, so it starts on one side with primitive cave drawings and concludes with modern art.
Jan 23, 2016
Making the Most of Your Tax Refund in 2016: Ideas for Saving & Spending
You paid your dues to Uncle Sam all year long, plus maybe a little extra that you’ll get back as a refund soon. Financial experts recommend making sure your refund is as small as possible each year (after all, a big refund means the government’s been borrowing your money), but the average tax refund last year was $2,800, and that’s no small chunk of change. So it’s smart to think about what you want to do with your refund when it comes.
Jan 20, 2016
Top Ten: Best Modern Chandeliers Under $500
I’ve recently been given the enviable task of picking out a chandelier, and I have to say—chandelier shopping is the next best thing to tiara shopping. Here are my top 10 finds, each of them sparkly, fun, pretty, and far more affordable than most respectable tiaras… I’m not sure why I love chandeliers with adjustable arms so much, but I do.
Jan 18, 2016
Easy Ways to Save Money That Won’t Make You Feel Like You’re Doing Without
Picture this: looking at your bank account and seeing a big number earmarked for spending on something that you’ve been working toward for a long time. Ca-ching! So great! But the working toward part (scrimping and counting pennies and the like) isn’t all that much fun for most of us. Luckily there are some proven ways you can save money that won’t make you feel like you’re living without.
Jan 14, 2016
Start Saving Money: The Three Biggest Budget Basics You Still Don’t Have Down
If you’ve resolved to get out of debt or save for a big purchase this year, you’re likely just a little overwhelmed at the colossal goal in front of you. But here’s good news: Chipping away at a financial target is really simple, at the heart of it, and boils down to this: Make tomorrow better than today. How do you do that? Step one is to get familiar with these budget basics. Step two is to live them. Everyday.
Jan 11, 2016
New Year, New Space: Easy Ways to Make Big Changes on a Small Budget
Of course it’s fun to make little changes to your home, but it’s even more fun to make just one change that has a huge impact — a single upgrade that suddenly makes you feel completely differently about your space. And the good news is that it’s not necessary to spend a lot of money to get a big payoff. Here are four upgrades that will have your space looking like a million bucks — for slightly less than a million bucks. Paint.
Jan 11, 2016
Good Try, Santa: 5 Tips for Returning Gifts
It’s almost impossible to get through a Christmas without receiving at least one present that you don’t love (or even totally hate). Unless you are a regifter, this triggers the yearly ritual of heading back to the stores after the holidays— stores that are just as crowded as before December 25th — and waiting in line to return or exchange your unwanted gift.
Jan 1, 2016
Before & After: A Year of IKEA Hacks
We love seeing the ingenious things our readers do with simple pieces — and there’s nothing quite like a good IKEA hack. This year pieces from that Swedish retailer provided the foundation for all kinds of projects, from a coffee table that got a new coat of paint to a set of bookcases that was almost unrecognizable after getting the built-in treatment. Here are 12 of the top IKEA hacks of 2015. To learn more about each project, click the links below the photos.
Dec 28, 2015
Dollars & Sense: Our Best Money Saving Tips & Advice
Raise your hand if you could use a little more money in your life. Yep, that’s what I thought: Every one of us is looking for little ways to save every day. And since maintaining and decorating a home can be a potentially expensive endeavor, it’s likely to be the one area of your life that’s ripe with ways to cut corners and squeeze out a little extra cash. Just check out these budget-boosting tips and posts from the last year.
Dec 21, 2015
How to Avoid a Major Financial Hangover After The Holidays
It’s not too late to ensure you make it through the holidays without going into serious debt. Even if you waded through the 5am crowds on Black Friday, the gift-buying season is in full swing, with plenty of time to say to yourself, “Oh, I just know Dabney would love that [insert item here]. I should just get it for her.” While I appreciate the thought, I’d much rather see you be free and clear of financial worry and set yourself up for budget-happy 2016.
Dec 9, 2015
The Psychology of Why We Prefer Expensive Things
It’s hard to ignore the stigma of what’s cheap. We’ve been trained over the years to equate price with value. When faced with two options–for a chair or maybe a picture frame–our minds are hard-wired to think of the more expensive option as being of better quality or more beautifully designed. That is, of course, not always the case.
Nov 30, 2015
9 Inexpensive DIY Gift Wrapping Ideas
It’s hard to deny that a beautifully wrapped gift, sitting under the tree or anywhere else, brings a certain pleasure. But it’s also hard to justify spending a lot of money on gift wrap when you know it’s just going to get torn up and thrown away (or recycled!) in a few days. That’s why we’ve rounded up these 9 inexpensive DIY gift wrapping ideas — ways you can make your packages look like a million bucks without spending, well, a million bucks.
Nov 24, 2015
The Types of Friends You Should Bring Shopping
Admittedly, most of the time I prefer to shop alone. But I do recognize that there are huge perks to bringing a friend along for the ride. And who you bring on a shopping trip really depends on what you’re looking for. This is the friend whose home and wardrobe are always put together, because she just has a gift for great style. If you’re lucky, she’s also got a great grip on your taste, too. Great for: When you’re shopping leisurely for something new.
Nov 23, 2015
One Shelf, 5 Ways: The Endlessly Versatile LACK Wall Shelf Unit
The LACK wall shelf is a much more versatile piece than you might think. By twisting and turning and stacking it, you can put this $49 shelf to work in your home in myriad ways.
Nov 19, 2015
5 Simple Ways to Achieve Your Money Goals
What do you dream about? The perfect house? Filling your tiny closet with a massive wardrobe of designer goods? No matter what you’re working towards, there are five things you can sit down and start right now to whip your finances into shape and get you on your way to achieving your dreamiest of dream goals. I see you rolling your eyes through the screen. “Daily?!” Yes, daily.
Nov 18, 2015
Starting Out/Starting Over: A Smartly Shopped $1200 Bedroom
Whether you’re starting out or starting over, furnishing a stylish home from scratch can seem impossible when you don’t have a lot of money. One of our 5 Strategies for Outfitting Your First Apartment is savvy shopping and today I have an example of a bedroom, sourced from wallet-friendly stores, to illustrate what’s possible for a little over a thousand dollars.
Nov 17, 2015