Thursday, September 29, 2016

Stick to YOUR Budget this Holiday Season!

The holidays are right around the corner and the stores already have Christmas decorations out! This year, more than ever, I need to make a budget and stick to it. I love gift gifting! My wallet- not so much. I can easily go overboard when I find the "perfect" gift for a family member or friend. Budgeting is nothing new, but I never considered how much to allocate for each present before. This worksheet helped me estimate how much I can afford and will help me ensure I don't go over.

If I get a gift on sale and save money on one individual, then I am able to reallocate that money for an additional gift or individual. Maybe yours looks a little different if you buy for kids, cousins, nieces, neighbors, etc. I grouped my friends and coworkers together and will spend no more that the calculated amount for the whole group. Making gifts, baking cookies, or small items is the perfect way to give without spending more than what you're comfortable with. Writing cards is a perfect way to show appreciation to individuals you might not be able to buy a gift for.

I use Pinterest to save ideas so I'm less likely to make an impulse decision at the store. Etsy is a great website to find unique items at your price-point; you can search for an item and filter by price. I have even purchased great gifts from eBay and Groupon. It's a great way to save but be aware who you're buying from. Read reviews, and if they are international sellers, be aware of long shipping times. If you're up for it, DIY! I made blankets one year and my only cost was fabric (check out the tutorial here). Happy gifting!

The Google Sheet can be viewed here!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Weekend Project: Bathroom Update

As a renter, there isn't much to be done in terms of updates to the property. However, there is still room for improvement! With a few nail holes, you can transform an entire space! Our downstairs half-bath faces the family room so it's all too easy to see into the plain space. I used the wooden floating shelf as inspiration for this update (check it out here). The wooden boards were very inexpensive, and not the best quality :). I made sure any marks or bumps would be on the bottom or against the wall. It took two coats of black spray paint to get the look I wanted. I also accidentally used black metallic on the first coat, oops! 

After letting both boards dry, I eye-balled where I wanted the shelves to be, and screwed in the L brackets (aka corner braces); first to the boards, and then onto the wall. There is about 2 inches of space on either end. From far away, it gives the illusion that the boards are flush with the wall. You can find those in the hinge and fasteners section of any hardware store. Because I am not placing anything heavy or valuable on the shelf, the two L brackets will hold it easily. If you are using heavier wood or heavy objects, check out some tutorials below. I used decorations I already had around the house and incorporated them into the design. This project took me less than an hour and makes a huge difference! I really feel that it gives it a more home-y feel and it doesn't look all that stark and bland anymore!

Here are a few more DIY floating shelves to inspire your next project!

Chunky Shelves by Desert Domicle
Corner Shelves by 4 Men 1 Lady
White Shelves by BlogLovin