Tosetti Family Adventures
By Melissa Tosetti
In November, Paul, Dante and I are going to Italy! 
We chose to go in November rather than during the summer because Paul and I hate crowds.  We also hate the heat and in keeping with the savvy theme of our lives, Italy is so much more affordable in the off season. 
I booked our trip via Groupon and am looking forward to writing about the experience on when we return.  But to give you a teaser, I managed to get everything listed below, for all three of us, for $5,300.
  • Airfare flying out of San Francisco
  • 3 and 4 star hotels in Venice, Florence and Rome
  • Train transportation to get us from one city to the next
  • Breakfast every morning
  • Insurance for the trip
Once there, all we will have to pay for will be meals, museum admissions, a rental car for two side trips we’re taking to Bologna and San Gimignano, souvenirs and gelato every day because we promised Dante.
With such a big trip coming up in 4 ½ months, we’ve decided to keep our summer entertainment spending to a minimum.
We have an extraordinarily light calendar this summer and plan to take full advantage of the time to take care of a handful of large projects around the house including redoing our backyard and building Dante a fort, well, actually, it’s a castle.  We’ve been saving for these projects so the money has already been set aside for them.
We don’t want to be complete homebodies this summer so we plan on visiting family including Paul’s dad who lives in Healdsburg, literally on the Russian River.  It’s all kinds of awesome when your family members live in resort towns!
We also want to take Dante to a few local destinations that we never seem to have time to visit including the California Academy of Science that reopened a few years ago after a long renovation.  With the admission price of $29.95 for adults and $24.95 for kids, that will be one of the more costly outings we take on this summer.
Dante and I made a great discovery last night that will impact our summer activities.  During our visit to the library, we saw a postcard about free museum passes that you can get with your library card.  The program is called Discover and Go.  There are over 30 museums listed that you can get free or greatly discounted admission to including the Asian Art Museum and the Tech Museum of Innovation. 
It’s likely that your library has a similar program.  It’s worth asking about! 
Summer Clothes - Peak Season Sales
By Suzanne Haze
We’re all familiar with the seasons of the fashion industry… winter, spring, summer and fall.
But, did you know there’s a sales cycle within each season?
  • Introductory Sales
  • Peak Season Sales
  • Clearance Sales
Over Memorial Day weekend, retailers offered sales averaging 15% - 25%.
The 4th of July marks the peak of summer sales and you’ll see tags offering 20% - 50% off the regular price. 
According to the retail industry, summer is officially over as of July 5th and they begin their clearance sales.  Back-to-school season is one of the most profitable for retailers so they want to clear space for those items meaning the summer clothes have to go!
One of my favorite times to shop is at peak season.  The sales prices are really good and there’s plenty of inventory.  While you can pick up even better deals in the following weeks, the inventory will begin dwindling and you’ll have fewer choices.  But if you enjoy the hunt, you can reap big rewards!
Just remember, no matter how great the sale, only purchase and bring home those items that made you fall madly in love.
What Is Savvy Living?
Like it or not, money affects everything. 

It affects where you live, what you eat, what you wear and how you spend your free time.  What you spend in one area directly impacts what you have available to spend in other areas. 

That's why The Savvy Life focuses on personal finance from a lifestyle perspective, helping people create a strong financial foundation through savvy day-to-day money habits, and also teaching smart spending for your Home, Food, Wardrobe, Travel and Entertainment - because these are the areas where we most often overspend, but with the least amount of satisfaction. 

Savvy Living isn't about frugality. It's about:
  • Knowing where you stand financially on a daily basis so you can make smart money decisions.
  • Choosing to purchase only things you love and that make you happy.
  • When you go out to eat it's because you want to go to that restaurant, not because there are no groceries in the house.
  • Building a wardrobe of clothes that fit and look great on you, rather than having a closet overflowing with clothes and feeling like you have nothing to wear.
  • Turning your home into your own personal sanctuary.  When you're not comfortable in your own home, you don't want to be there which often leads to unnecessary spending.
  • Enjoying your time off so much more because you've planned for it and know you can afford it.
Through Savvy Living you can do the things you want to do, buy the things you want to buy and visit the places you want to visit and still have a strong financial foundation in place. Whatever your financial dream, it's within your reach.
Simple Summer Hair & Skin Care
Looking for easy and affordable ways to keep your hair and skin in good condition during the summer months?  The rule of thumb is to keep it simple.

A water resistant sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher is a summer given. Sunscreens should be applied to dry skin at least 15 minutes before going outdoors and should be reapplied after swimming or perspiring.

Spray-On Sunscreen for Hair 
Protect your hair and scalp from sun damage by using a spray-on sunscreen.

Keep your lips hydrated and safe from the sun with a lip balm containing SPF.

Sunglasses are more than just a fashion statement. They protect the thin skin around your eyes from UV rays. They also keep you from squinting which goes a long way in preventing wrinkles.

Wide-Brimmed Hat

Hats are one of the best ways to save your eyes, lips, scalp and hair from sun damage. They are also a fun summer accessory.

In hot weather, wash your face three times a day with a gentle, moisturizing cleanser. Use a toner to unclog pores and rejuvenate skin.

After showering, apply body lotion concentrating on hands, elbows, knees and lower legs. Don’t forget to moisturize your feet.

Switch from oil-based to water-based cosmetics. Water-based makeup is lighter on your skin, with less likelihood of clogging pores.

Drink plenty of water to replenish moisture lost to heat and sweat. It also flushes toxins from the body and keeps your skin looking clear and lustrous.

Deep Condition
Chlorine, salt water and the sun can leave hair dry and brittle. Regularly deep condition your tresses by wrapping conditioned hair in a towel and leaving it on for 30-60 minutes. Then rinse.

Get plenty of rest. You will look great and feel even better.
The Permanent Vacation



Webinar: The Savvy Kitchen
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
12:00 - 1:00 pm PST
In this online webinar, Melissa Tosetti, founder of The Savvy Life, will teach you how to make grocery shopping and cooking affordable and easy.  You will also learn:
  • How to plan a week's worth of meals in 10 minutes or less.
  • How to buy ingredients and not just groceries.
  • Techniques for quick and affordable grocery shopping.
  • How to systematically shave 20% or more off your grocery bill without clipping coupons.
  • Discover how to get in and out of Costco for less than your car payment.
  • Hate cooking? Learn how to assemble your meals instead. 
The Savvy Kitchen webinar is sponsored By: Emilie R. Goldman, CFA, CFP® of Tamarind Financial Planning
 To register for this free event click here.
The Price of Trash
By Melissa Tosetti
Last Wednesday, I was in the middle of a video meeting with a client when my laptop shut down.  When I reached to turn it back on, the keyboard was hot enough to roast marshmallows.  It had been running hot for a few months so I decided to take it to the Geek Squad at Best Buy to have them take a look at it.  
Happily, we have a desktop computer that we upgraded last summer, with this scenario in mind. When I got back to my office, I turned it on and prepared for my next client meeting. Exactly one minute before that meeting was to start, my desktop caught a virus and I couldn't get it to work.  Within two hours of dropping off my laptop, I was back at Best Buy dropping off the desktop.  
Due to an unusually high volume of customers, I didn't get my desktop back until Sunday night. I decided to take it as a sign to focus on some of our summer projects around the house.  So, Paul and I spent two days cleaning out and organizing our attic.  
We ended up taking two car loads of items to Savers for donation.  We then headed to the dump to drop off two largish pieces of Styrofoam and three boxes of “stuff” that had no resale value for Savers.  We were shocked to find out the price of dumping those five items was $35!
Instead of getting frustrated by the unexpected financial layout – just to throw something away - I decided to take a lesson from the experience.   
I appreciate the impact of trashing an item and as a family, we try to be environmentally conscious of our purchases.  However, the lesson I walked away with is that when making a purchase, I need to consider the life span of the item and that there may be a cost of getting rid of it once it's no longer needed. 
Make Your Weekends Longer
By Melissa Tosetti
What are your plans for this weekend?  Do you have a big project to do on the house?  Are you going to spend the weekend baking in the kitchen?  Are you going to start that new craft project?
Weekends are a precious time to relax, rejuvenate and do the things we want.  Why not give yourself even more time to enjoy being away from work?  Instead of waiting until Saturday morning to go to the craft store to get your supplies, do it on your way home from work on Friday.  You just added an extra 30 minutes to your weekend!
That big baking project?  Pick up what you need during the week so you can immediately roll up your sleeves and start baking on Saturday morning instead of having to trek to the grocery store first.  By the time you get home from the store you'll be tired from fighting the crowds and will likely need to relax for awhile before you get in the kitchen.
The last place anyone wants to be on a weekend is at the home improvement store because EVERYONE is there.  Pick up what you need during the week so you can focus your time, energy and effort on actually doing your project.
In addition to saving time, by planning what you need for your weekend in advance, you will also be able to do a little research to find the best price for your supplies. 

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