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Valentine’s Day on a Budget

Posted in Blog, Money

This year the hubs and I decided that we needed to have a low key Valentine’s Day. Which is hard for me because I’m the type of person who celebrates every holiday with a Bang! I love the fancy 3 course romantic dinner with candles and roses and a violin player at our table (ok, never had the last part). But, with money right this year, that means dinner at home, and honestly I’m tired and fighting a cold so that might mean pizza. Then I got to thinking and my hubby and I decided to still make it special.

So here’s how we decided to do Valentine’s Day on a Budget.

1. Homemade cards

Do not go to the store and buy a $9.99 card. Please. We agreed to make each other a card from materials at home. So, I got some construction paper from the play room and made a little pop-up valentine. FREE.

2. Pick your own flowers

Flowers are ridiculously priced on Valentine’s Day. It’s absurd! So we agreed that we would pick each other flowers from our garden. Only one problem. It’s winter and there aren’t any flowers in our garden. So, I challenged him to pick me a rose from the neighbor’s house. Let’s see if he does it!

3. Dinner at home

Instead of paying $200 for a fancy meal out, we decided to eat at home. My hubby requested heart shaped burgers so I’m going to have to see if I can actually put that together. Also, drink the wine that’s been sitting in your pantry for a year! It’s time to take it out and try it.

4. Movie night

Ok, I love staying in and having popcorn and watching a good movie. Rent one on your tv and cuddle up on the couch after the kiddies go to bed. It’s almost like a movie theater, right?

5. Girl Scout cookies

Every girl loves chocolate on Valentine’s Day, so why not give back to a good cause? I treated myself to some Thin Mints a couple days ago and that’ll be perfect for a Valentine’s Day dessert!

6. Coupons

Instead of jewels or watches, give each other coupons. You can make them that day and they can say things like “Good for one back massage” or “Good for one night out with the boys”. Think of things that are creative that your hubby would really appreciate, not just “Good for one free hug” (lame).

7. Put the phones down!

Oh man, this is a big pet peeve of mine. My hubby and I are both so attached to our phones it’s ridiculous. Please, do yourselves both a favor and put the electronics away. Instead, look at each other (what?! You be crazy!!) and have a real conversation. Talk about the first time you eat or your first Valentine’s Day together. Tell each other “I love you”. Be romantic. All of that is free.

There you go. 7 free or easy ways you can celebrate Valentine’s Day on a Budget. You don’t have to be rich in money. Just remember you are rich in love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Keeping Up with the Joneses is Ridiculous

Day 7-9:25 pm: I love my friends. We have a really great group of people we have known for a long time. We feel very lucky to have good friends around us as I’m sure you do too. But, sometimes you can’t help but compare yourselves to them. You look at their house, their lifestyle, and even their kid’s clothes. Then you look at your own. It’s called keeping up with the Joneses.

But keeping up with the Jonses is ridiculous.

No matter who you are or what you have, you always are trying to keep up with the “Joneses”. The Joneses are people who appear to have it all. They have a huge house, lots of money, the perfect family, and everything you aspire to have. You look up to them, admire them, and are constantly comparing yourself to them.

We went to our friend’s house this afternoon, and we hadn’t been there before. They live only a few minutes from su, but we hadn’t gotten around to going there. I always knew they made more then us, financially, so I expected them to have a nice house. when we pulled up I thought, “Is there house the gorgeous, huge house over there?” and sure enough it was. It was down a quiet street, across from a school, with a perfectly landscaped yard, a gorgeous outdoor seating area, and two stories of perfection. Inside the house looked like thie inside of a Pottery Barn catalouge, and they had a huge TV that was enviable. And the kitchen , wow. White cabinets and dark counter tops with a huge island. Beautiful. The house was amazing. And, it was quite literally the size of three of our houses.

I couldn’t help to start comparing our house to theirs.

Then I had to shake myself. Slap myself across the face. Wake myself up. I had to remind myself that even though our house isn’t picture perfect, magazine, ready, and huge, that it is still our cozy little house, and I am proud of it. Even though there’s a pile of dishes in the sink, and our lawn needs to be mowed, and parts of our fence are falling down, we still have a beautiful kitchen I’m proud of, nice hardwood floors, and a big yard with a playhouse. I love our house, and we worked hard to get it.

I had to realize that they also worked hard to get where they are, they had to make sacrifices, and everything isn’t always rainbows and puppies for them either.

Keeping up with the Jonses is ridiculous because even if you are the Jonses, there are Joneses that you look up to also. So, please, stop comparing yourself to other people, and look at all the things that you have. Be grateful for all of the wonderful things that make you special, and amazing.

Even if their kids are dresses perfectly, without any food on their faces, and their hair perfectly brushed and bowed, just know that it takes work, and they are kids, just like yours. And, I’ll bet that your stained clothed kids have just as much fun as theirs.

Your house if perfect for you. Your family is perfect to you. And you are perfect, too.

Always remember that.

Love you guys!

 

 

How Do You Invest In Your Business When You Have No Money?

Day 6-10:19 pm: Ok, I’m going to admit something to you. I didn’t focus on my job hunt today. I worked at the Preschool (where my toddler goes) and then got caught up in a webinar about launching a product. It’s one of those that promises you’ll make an obscene about of money in only a few months. I usually watch all of the free versions of these webinars on how to grow my blog and business, because, quite frankly I can’t afford “Only 15 easy payments of $97”. Really?? But, after watching the webinar came the pitch, and it actually caught my attention. It offered a program that instantly lays out the exact launch schedule for your product and walks you through it every step of the way. I thought that was pretty cool! And, it wasn’t $997, it was only $97. Obviously, the person did a good job of creating “urgency and confidence”, because I wanted to buy it. So it got me thinking.

How do you invest in your business when you have no money?

My sister-in-law started an online business a year ago. It has a physical product that she sells (a subscription box service) that is really wonderful, and she started a blog to go along with it. She quit her financial, well-paying corporate job to start this business so that she could be home with her kids. Sound familiar? So many women I know are doing this more and more , and I think it’s really wonderful. These mompreneurs are reshaping the business world and creating harmony between their business and their family. But, these moms invest money into their business.

One mom I know has invested over $10,000 to start her online business. Then there’s the upkeep costs of a web designer, social media manager, etc. It’s a big investment, and you don’t even know if it’ll make you any money.

There is the potential to make a lot of money, work from home, and spemd more time with your family. That is why moms do it.

But, what about those of us that don’t have $10,000 to spare? 

So far, I have invested about $250 into my blog and business. That includes web domain, training, WordPress theme, and logo. I think compared to $10,000 that’s not bad. And you can do that too.

But, the thing with that is I’ve had to do everything on my own. I’ve taught myself web design, social media marketing, SEO, and blogging. Would it have been nice to have some help at times? Yes. Though I do enjoy figuring it out on my own.

However, when thinking about investing in your business, you have to think about the return. Will this investment same me time and make me money? Will it help me reach my goals quicker? Will it help me make more money?

The money part is hard to determine. There are so many factors that go into making money. Market, timing, product, etc.

So really you have to think about the time you will save and meeting your goals quicker. At least, that is what I’m telling myself.

When you have no money to invest, you really have to weigh if this is going to be a good investment. And weigh all your options.

I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Life by Design by Allison Hardy (AllisonHardy.com). She was saying that when she first started her business, she and her husband were broke. They had no money and her business just wasn’t working. She tried everything, but wasn’t making any money. So, one day she called her husband and asked if she could invest in a business coach. It was going to be a lot of money and she was scared. But, without questions, he said go for it. So she opened a credit card and paid for the coaching service on the credit card.

You know what? She has since paid it all back and her business is thriving. It was definitely worth the investment.

So, sometimes it’s ok to take a leap of faith and invest in yourself. Just make sure you weigh all your options and make a smart investment that will be good for your family, and your business.

I’ll let you know if I make this purchase and if I think it’s worth it!

Alright, my hubby wants to watch some Grand Tour with me. Gotta go!

Easy, Cheap, and Beautiful DIY Holiday Gifts

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small percentage, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for helping keep Millennial Housewife up and running!

DIY gifts are all the rage. More and more Millennials are choosing to make gifts from the heart instead of shopping at crowded and expensive department stores. Making your own gifts is personal, heartfelt, and the receiver feels the love that was put into it. Also, it can save you a lot of money. That is why I chose to make all of my gifts this year. But DIY isn’t always easy, I should know! I am not good at DIY!

Are you like me? Does the thought of DIY make you think you have to spend hours and hours surrounded by crafts that never will get completed?

Making presents this year is more of a necessity for me and my family. We don’t have a lot of extra cash to spend on expensive gifts. While I wish I could give people the world, we just can’t. And, I have a feeling a lot of Millennial Housewives are in the same boat. And, since we are also busy watching the kids, cleaning the house, cooking the food, and side-hustling, we don’t have much extra time to spare.

If I’m going to make my presents this year, I have to find something that is easy, cheap, and beautiful. I absolutely can NOT spend a ton of money on supplies, I have a toddler so I can NOT spend a lot of time, and I will NOT give somebody a cheap, thrown together macaroni necklace. Nope. So I’ve scoured Pinterest for the best easy, cheap, and beautiful DIY holiday gifts that even a craft-phobic person like myself can do.

1. Monogrammed Mug

 

This adorable mug gift comes from tinselbox.com. I absolutely love this website for amazing DIY holiday ideas! They even have a great holiday subscription box they will send to your door each month. I’ll post more about them later but check out this mug! It’s definitely easy, cheap, and beautiful!

All you need is a white mug, a letter sticker (for the person’s first or last name), and an oil-based sharpie!

First, clean the mug and make sure it’s dry. Put the sticker on the mug, and put dots around it or decorate how you like. Then peel the sticker off and bake it at 250 degrees for 2 hours. Voila! For a twist, try it with a black mug and a white sharpie! Ooooh!

And, if you want to go the extra mile, put something in it like a plant, coffee, or a Starbucks gift certificate.

Check out the directions and more great ideas here.

2. Tea Cup Bird Feeder

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Ok, I love anything to do with tea, and I have a feeling you know a few tea lovers yourself. Or perhaps bird lovers? Maybe both! So give them the gift of this adorable teacup bird feeder from asyouwishpottery.com. This is the easiest and cutest gift you can make.

All you need is E6000 glue, a tea cup (I’d look at a local antique store), scissors, and twine.

Glue the teacup on its side to the plate. Let it dry overnight. Then cut some twine and tie the twine around the handle. Add some bird feed and that’s it!

Check out the video here.

3. Melted Snowmen Hot Chocolate

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Something else I love, hot chocolate! This adorable gift is perfect for the chocolate lover you know and it’s so simple to make!

You need powdered hot chocolate, large marshmallows, sharpies, and a 1/2 pint mason jar.

Wash and dry the mason jar thoroughly. Fill the mason jar half way with the powdered hot chocolate, then add 3-4 marshmallows on top. Close up the mason jar and draw a cute snowman face on the outside of the mason jar with the sharpies. You can put a gift tag on top too!

Thanks growingupgabel.com for the inspiration!

4. Chalk Board Serving Tray

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This beautiful chalkboard serving tray comes curtesy of shanty-2-chic.com. It’s so easy to do and costs so little. You may have to make a trip to your local Home Depot, though, but I know you can do it!

You need a 2×12 framing board (have your local hardware store cut it to be 24″ long), wood stain (color of your choice), chalkboard spray paint, painters tape, power screwdriver, and 2 handles (they should come with screws but double check).

First, go to the hardware store and have them cut your board to be around 24″. Then apply the stain using gloves and a rag. After the stain dries, apply the painters tape to the edges. Then spray the chalkboard paint onto the uncovered area. After that dries, remove the tape and place the handles on either side. Screw them in with a power screwdriver. That’s it!

Here’s an easy to follow video tutorial.

5. Christmas Tea Tree

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Once again I have found an amazing gift for a tea lover. Thirstyfortea.com has come up with this cute gift that is so easy, even I can do it!

You’ll need a styrofoam cone, individually wrapped tea bags, glue gun with glue sticks, small paper mache boxes or some kind of short, round cylinder to use as the “stump”, wooden star, rice (for weighing down the tree).

First you want to place a small line of glue on the top of the tea bag, then place it on the bottom of the styrofoam cone until it sticks. Repeat this all around the bottom, then work your way up the top. Then glue the top of the paper mache box to the very bottom of the styrofoam cone. Fill the box with rice for more stability, then glue it to the top, creating the “stump” of the tree. Use the hot glue to place the star on top and you have yourself a Christmas tree!

For step-by-step instructions go here.

(Psst….maybe you can give this with the teacup bird feeder!)

So, when you have a few extra minutes to make your gifts, make sure you take the time to think about the person you are making it for, and really put love into it. I promise it will show. I want you to find a quiet spot, light a candle, put on some relaxing music, brew a cup of tea, and use the time to get into your work. Then you will truly be able to create your best work and enjoy doing it too.

Or, if you’d like to include your kids, I’ve found it best to get all the materials together first and make sure you do it in small increments. Kids sometimes don’t want to sit and make 10 handprints, they have better things to do like writing upon the wall! Give them a little to do each day and they will find as much joy in it as the person you are gifting it to.

So, enjoy making these beautiful DIY holiday gifts!

What are some of your favorite DIY gifts? Have you tried any of these? Let me know if the comments below or join our private Facebook Group here and let us know!