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Taking Care... PDF Print E-mail
By Melissa Tosetti
A key component to savvy living is to appreciate and take care of what you already own.  If your goal is to purchase a new car, while you work to achieve it, keep the car you already own clean and ensure it receives proper maintenance. 

The same goes for your house.  You may not love where you're living, but keeping your home clean and well maintained will help you like it a little more while you work to purchase a new home.
Taking care of what you have applies to all things in your life - your clothes, appliances, computer, gadgets and furniture.  Care for and appreciate what you already have and set goals to achieve what you want. 

While it's important to set goals, don't fall into the trap of living for tomorrow.  Taking care of what you already own will help you appreciate today. 

Clutter = Your Next Vacation PDF Print E-mail
By Melissa Tosetti
I know many who’ve wanted to declutter their homes, but put it off for years. One major reason for putting it off is they’re overwhelmed by the project. They don’t know where to start.

Another reason is a lack of leverage. If there isn’t a big enough reason to declutter your home, it’s easy to be sidetracked by other “more important” things.

If you're willing to put a little extra time in, you can turn that clutter into your next weekend getaway through the use of garage sales, consignment shops and eBay. For me, a two-day paid vacation offers plenty of incentive to get to work!

As for being overwhelmed by the project, follow the suggestion of Flylady and don’t try to do it all at once. I’m a big fan of her process of cleaning and decluttering in 15 minute increments.
One of my favorite stories about decluttering to find money for a vacation is that of my friends Gina and Kathleen.  
In January 2000, Paul and I informed our loved ones that we would be getting married that September at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Gina and Kathleen started looking for ways to find money for the trip. 
Gina previously worked for Benefit Cosmetics and had a bathroom full of samples that she sold on eBay for a total of $400. 
Kathleen was a fan of Stila™ cosmetics and had a drawer full of their makeup. At the time, Stila was not available online. She was able to sell $200 of the product on eBay. 
With a little research, they found a hotel and flight package for Las Vegas that included four nights at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino and air travel for both of them for $400 - total! The money Kathleen made paid for her airfare and hotel. Gina made enough to pay for airfare, hotel and fun!
Whether selling your unwanted items on eBay, consignment shops or at a garage sale, the money for your next vacation could be hanging in your closet or sitting in your makeup drawer.
Money Isn't Just Cash PDF Print E-mail

By Melissa Tosetti

We tend to think of money in terms of cash, checking accounts, debit cards, credit cards and investments.  However, your money is still a commodity once it transitions from cash to a possession.  Whether it’s a can of corn on your pantry shelf, clothes in your closet or a knick knack on top of your bookshelf, it’s a component of your overall wealth.  As Loral Langemeier, one of my favorite financial gurus likes to say – you don’t want lazy assets hanging around. 

Your money/possessions need to be doing something for you. You don’t want to tie it up in a useless item or regret purchase.

In the case of the can of corn, it should be waiting to be used in an upcoming meal, not decorating your pantry shelf. 

In the case of your clothes, they should be in regular circulation, not sitting at the back of your closet, tags still on, making you feel guilty for the purchase. 

In the case of the knick knack, it should give you great pleasure because it is beautiful or reminds you of a wonderful memory – not just something you have to dust every week.

Take a look around your home with fresh eyes and decide whether or not the items you have on hand serve a purpose: 

  • Do you need it? 
  • Do you use it?
  • Do you love it?

One of the powerful outcomes of this process is the change in your way of thinking when purchasing new items.  You will look at everything through new eyes in how that purchase will enhance or detract from your Savvy Life.

The Impact of Your Home on Your Finances PDF Print E-mail

By Melissa Tosetti

Awhile back I received a message from a Twitter follower who replied to the post, “Is your home environment warm, comforting and expressive of who you are?”
The reader commented that he appreciated the sentiment, but asked how it relates to money management.  It’s a great question!  How does your home environment affect your personal finances? 
When your home is warm and inviting, you’re less likely to feel the urge to escape by going out.  Going out usually means shopping, dining and other forms of pay-for-entertainment which, are just distractions from the problem that you’re not comfortable in your own home. 
Too often, the reason people don’t want to be at home is clutter.  They’re overwhelmed by the piles and just want to get away.  Clutter is a manifestation of improperly spent money.  If the items purchased were truly wanted or needed, they would have a purpose and not be relegated to piles in the corner.    
If you find that you just can’t relax in your own home, and are looking for easy ways to declutter and keep it clean, RSVP for The Savvy Home Webinar. 
The webinar will focus on:
  • How to keep your home clean without giving up half your Saturday.
  • Simple ways to declutter without getting overwhelmed.
  • How to prioritize home projects and actually get them done.
Details for the webinar are below including how to RSVP. 
The Savvy Home Webinar
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
9am PST / 11 am CST / 12pm EST
Presented by: Melissa Tosetti
Hosted by: Financial Advisors, Karen McCanless, MBA and Meredith McCanless of Ameriprise Financial, Inc.
This is an information seminar.  There is no cost or obligation to attend.


Small Space Organizing PDF Print E-mail

A few years ago I reviewed the book Small Space Organizing.  I just found out that the publisher is doing a "spring cleaning" promotion for it, dropping the Kindle price down to just $2.99.  

Whether you live in a small or a large home, there's information in this book that can make staying organized so much easier!  It's well worth the original price, let alone the $2.99 sale price. 

I've pasted below my original review to give you a taste of the material.  To purchase the book, just click on the link above.  Happy organizing! 


Small Space Organizing
By Melissa Tosetti

I am a big fan of small houses and often write about the subject.  Just some of the benefits of small houses include: 

  • Small mortgages
  • Small utility bills
  • Less cleaning
  • Less opportunity for clutter which has a way of expanding to fit the size of its environment

Admittedly, living in a small home does have it's challenges - like a lack of storage space.  Although the goal is to keep the accumulation of "stuff" to a minimum, the vacuum cleaner still needs a proper home.  Small homes can easily look cluttered if there isn't a place for everything and everything isn't in its place.

Small Space Organizing by Kathryn Bechen is the answer to the storage issue.  Bechen takes you room-by-room and offers easy to implement solutions for maintaining a well organized home.

In addition to being filled with ideas, she also includes plenty of resources at the conclusion of each chapter.

Much of her advice goes beyond storage, creating unique decorating opportunities like: 

  • Remove front doors of one cabinet and create your own coffee bar by housing your coffeemaker, cups and coffee there.
  • If you have room, paint an old dresser and use it as a kitchen island.  The drawers can hold dishtowels and cloths and you can mount your own paper towel holder and hooks for cooking utensils on one end. 
  • Lean an old wooden ladder against a bathroom wall to hold towels and add a bit of architectural interest.

For many years I've been putting into practice one particular tip she offers for the kitchen:  Buy large clear glass jars with lids for storing things such as rice, beans and cereals.

I use Mason Jars in a variety of sizes.  I can easily see when I'm running low on an item and my beans, pasta and rice no longer have the opportunity to break out of their containers and spill everywhere.

Small Space Organizing is a book that will remain in my personal library and be referred to again and again.  Consider picking up a copy for yourself.  Implementing the tips will transform your home no matter what its size. 

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