How to Eliminate Debt After the Holiday Season

It is not uncommon to have debt after the holiday season. Most people will charge gift purchases or put the cost of food or travel expenses on their credit cards and deal with the payments later. What can you do to eliminate your debt after the holiday season is over?

Determine How You Want to Eliminate Your Debt

The first question that you need to ask yourself is whether you would like to tackle the lowest balance first or the balance with the highest interest rate first. Taking care of the lowest balance first may allow you to see some sort of tangible progress in a short period of time. However, handling the debt with the higher interest rate first allows you to save more money in the long-term.

Put Down the Credit Card

When you are trying to get rid of debt, the last thing that you want to do is spend more money that you don’t have. Therefore, you may want to put your credit cards in a drawer or report them as lost or stolen. By reporting them lost or stolen, your current cards will be deactivated while you wait for your new ones to arrive. This provides you with about a week or two where you cannot charge any of your purchases.

Take a Second Job to Eliminate Your Debt Faster

To eliminate debt, you either have to cut back on your expenses or increase your income. Taking a part-time job can help you make more money that can go toward any outstanding credit card or other debt balances that you may have. In some cases, that second job could help you get experience in a field that you may want to work in full-time at some point.

Consolidate Your Debt and Lower Your Interest Rate

Interest fees and other charges can increase the amount that you actually pay to finance your holiday purchases. Consolidating your debt through a balance transfer or home equity line of credit may help you lower your monthly payments by lowering your interest rate. This allows you to put more of each month’s payment toward your principal balance as opposed to putting money into your lender’s pockets.

While you want to enjoy the holiday season, you also want to make sure that you don’t put yourself into a financial bind. Ideally, you won’t borrow more than you can afford to repay in a reasonable amount of time. If you do, be ready to make sacrifices to ensure that you get out of the financial hole that you have dug for yourself.


6 Ways to Keep Your Restored Furniture in Top Shape

Restored furniture is one of the most important elements in American homes. A restored furniture provides people with comfort and glowing warmth just like a new one. As a result, most people go out of their way to keep them glowing for years. Since we recognize the importance of restored furniture to most homeowners, we came up with a comprehensive and helpful article on how to keep them glowing and in top shape for years.

Clean Regularly

Cleaning your restored furniture with suitable detergents is the secret to creating a long-lasting life for them. Regular cleaning keeps at bay insects such as termites and carpet beetles. Make sure you use detergents that are recommended by the relevant authorities in your state. For a less costly cleaning, use warm water and mild dish soap to get good results. However, take care not to soak the furniture with water. If you cannot access some areas of the furniture with a cleaning towel, use a toothbrush.

Do Not Place the Furniture in Hot Areas

If you have wooden furniture, you need to be more careful with heat. Wood contains certain amounts of moisture in its natural state. You need to keep this moisture content at its optimum level to maintain the quality of the furniture. Place your furniture away from sources of heat such as vents and radiators. Also, avoid places with varying humidity and temperature.

Ensure the Furniture is Safe From Damages

Furniture is prone to occasional damages. The damages can be due to physical and chemical processes. For instance, the quality of wooden furniture depreciates rapidly when you regularly place sweating beverage glasses on them. Do not put beverage glasses directly on the wood finish. Instead, use felt coasters to guard the finish from constant changes in temperature caused by hot and cold glasses.

Use Quality Soft Paste Wax

After cleaning the furniture safely, apply a soft paste wax on it to protect the finish from scratching. Make sure you read the label on the paste before you use it. Apply the thin coat as directed, and wait for five minutes before you buff it with a soft brush.

Avoid Sunlight

Sunlight brings a lot of heat and unfavorable rays that cook the beautiful finishes on the furniture and destroy them. Some woods shrink and crack as a result of direct exposure to sunlight.

Use Appropriate Maintenance Tools

Use appropriate brush and polish when doing quick maintenance. Consult with a qualified dealer in your area to avoid problems associated with low-quality tools.

In conclusion, never ignore the importance of caring for your restored furniture. Caring will not only guarantee you seamless comfort in your house, but it will also save you a lot of money you spend on constant repairs.


3 Ways to Help Improve Your Childs Core Cognitive Skills

In order to develop properly, a child’s brain needs a stimulating environment. Children are able to learn through their senses, and continue to explore the world around them to satisfy their growing curiosities. Parents need to provide their children with a healthy and cognitively engaging environment for the child to properly develop. Children typically learn through play, so parents can provide fun experiences and opportunities for their children to develop mental sharpness. Here are three ways to improve your child’s core cognitive skills.

Provide a Loving Environment

Giving your child a loving environment is essential, because it reduces the amount of stress and childhood trauma, which, according to The National Childhood Stress Network, can negatively impact a child’s learning. An attentive home environment with verbal and physical expressions of safety and love will come together to create an ideal household for the cognitive development of your child, both emotionally and mentally. The emotional skills that you build with your child create a solid relationship within the family.

This bond boosts their self-confidence, presenting them with the chance to focus their attention on their cognitive development. Also, through affection, children learn how to successfully use body language as one of their means of communication.

Make Sure Your Child Gets Enough Sleep

According to Harvard Medical School, a good night’s sleep has a large positive impact on the cognitive skills of a child. Sleep lets the brain not only recharge, but also process the information that has been acquired throughout the day. A child needs at least eight hours of high quality, uninterrupted sleep in order to re-energize and regenerate. Leading up to bedtime, parents should talk to their children about the positive events that happened that day. This creates a sense of well-being, which will then result in positive dreams that leave a child feeling rested in the morning.

Healthy Food and Cognitive Function

Healthy cognitive development requires a well-fueled brain. By providing children with healthy food that is full of nutritional value, parents are giving their children a big advantage when it comes to mental health. Parents should give their children a variety of nutritious foods, including fresh produce, dairy, and meat. Foods that are rich in protein are important for growing brains as well, as they let the brain gain mass. Also, the Omega-3 fats that are found in fish, eggs, and nuts, help with a child’s concentration, logical thinking, and learning. Incorporating healthy foods into your child’s diet will benefit their cognitive development.

There are several ways to help your child embrace learning and boost their cognitive development. These three tips are some of the most important to follow, as if they are ignored, you risk the chance of the cognitive abilities of your child suffering.


7 Things that are cheaper when bought in Bulk


Having a well stocked pantry not only saves you money, but it also helps to
provide beer quality meals for a family because of all of the types of foods
that are readily available. For this reason, many people are starting to take a
look back in time into the way that families used to stock up on the key
ingredients that their family consumed a lot of. These same principles are
easily applied to modern times, especially if you start buying food in bulk.
Bulk food can be purchased for sometimes half of the price that a small
package of it would normally cost. The following items are the cheapest:
This food product has a very long shelf life. It is also a versatile ingredient to
cook with that satisfies even the biggest of appetites. There are many
varieties of rice, so store several different kinds and colors of it to keep your
dishes from feeling bland.
One of the biggest problems of cooking on a budget is trying to find sources
of protein that are inexpensive. Beans fill this need, and they cost just
pennies per serving of them, which makes them the perfect substitute for
meat in a meal.
Though it is more common to buy ready-made baked good mixes, baking
from scratch is healthier and more favorful. Bags of flour for baking are
sold in 25 pound bags at the grocery store. You can use them for making
biscuits, cakes, cookies, and even gravy.
Dried whole oats is the perfect breakfast food. It lasts for a really long time

when it is stored in an airtight container. Buy at least 15-20 pounds of it a time to save the most money. That might seem like a lot of oatmeal, but it goes fast when you eat some every day.


  • Buying spices in bulk is one of the best money saving things that the cook at
    home can do. Stock up on the spices that you use the most of, then seal
    them in small mason jars for easy dispensing.
    In addition to savings for your pantry, you can find savings for your medicine
    cabinet and beauty supplies by purchasing in bulk as well.
    Buying mouthwash in bulk is an easy place to start. Both name brands and
    generics come in larger sizes and even multi-packs that help you stock up,
    and will last you and your family for quite a while.
    Hair Products
    Shampoo, Conditioner, and 2-in-1 are sold in a variety of sizes for your hair
    care needs. Typically the larger sizes offer the better savings, and shampoo
    and conditioner type products tend to have a long shelf life.

6 Kid-Friendly Halloween Costumes involving a Sword

Halloween is a time when kids and adults like to dress up and enjoy pretending to be someone that they are not. Nothing is more disappointing for a child than being forced to dress as a ghost when they want to have a cool costume to show off to their friends. As a parent, you probably know that any costume that involves a sword fits into this category, so we have put together some of the best kid friendly costumes with swords that you should consider for your kids this Halloween.

1. Pirate

As a kid, pirates like Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Hook are pirate costumes that would be amazing to wear, but as long as it is stylish, any swashbuckling costume with a sword will do. The best part is that this costume is great for both boys and girls.

2. Ninja

The category of ninjas is vast, especially if you consider that you can include zombie ninjas into this genre of costume, but it is likely that your child will find being a talented ninja the perfect costume. As long as your kid has a katana and their face is partially covered with a mask, the outfit can be any choice of color.

3. Link

Any child would love dressing up as Link and carrying around the Master Sword for a day. An adventurous journey that involves keeping Hyrule safe will make this Halloween an unforgettable one. Since the sword can be forged and has different variations in many of the games, let your child choose the Master Sword that connects to their personality.

4. Leonardo

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were big when we were kids, but now they are back and Halloween costumes are much more advanced. Leonardo is a katana wielding turtle that will lead the group in their fight against Shredder. Don’t forget the blue bandana.

5. Medieval Knight

Defending the realm can be challenging, but with the right costume, your child can transform into an honorable knight that the King relies on for protection. A chain mail outfit, a solid sword, and a sturdy shield are all that are required to make this costume unbelievable.

6. Jedi Knight

Whether your child prefers to dress as Luke Skywalker, Ezra Bridger, Obi-Wan Kenobi, or Anakin Skywalker the outfit required to become a Jedi Knight is very similar. Once you find a Jedi robe and boots to match, then you can focus on finding the perfect lightsaber for their weapon. Blue is the most common for a Jedi, but green and yellow are also an option if it is fitting for the character of your child’s costume design.

These six Halloween costumes that involve swords are great for any kid, but let your child use their imagination and come up with a fitting costume together.


7 Simple Wood Gift Items for People on Your Christmas List

Items that are crafted from wood are beautiful, so if you are handy with your woodworking skills, you can make some simple items for your friends and family this Christmas. If you are not a skilled woodworker, then you can purchase these ideas as well. Let’s take a look at some simple wooden gifts that you can consider.

1. A Picture Frame

Creating a picture frame for a loved one allows you the opportunity to personalize it. You can make it specifically for your mom or dad and fill it with a picture of you that they would adore, or you can decorate it to remind your loved ones of a time you recently spent together on a vacation. No matter the theme, make sure to include a picture.

2. A Jewelry Box

A jewelry box is the perfect gift for any female, but especially for teenage girls who are known to enjoy expanding their jewelry collection. The box will be a solid place to secure their valuables for years, so consider if you want to keep the wood surface or cover it with beautifully designed paper.

3. A Bird House

If someone on your Christmas list has a garden or an outdoor area a bird house would be the perfect gift for them. Watching birds is a relaxing activity, and a bird house is the perfect way to encourage birds to come to your door. It is important to know what types of birds that frequent the area that your friend lives in so that the hole can accommodate them.

4. A Knife Block

A lot of individuals simply place their knives in a drawer in their kitchen, but this can be an unsafe practice, especially for someone who does not know that they are there. If you have noticed this in your friend’s home, surprise them with a beautiful wooden knife block to house all of their knives.

5. A Cutting Board

Cutting boards do not last forever, especially when they are used quite often during food preparation. A great gift for any friend or family member who enjoys cooking is a nice new cutting board, and if you are crafting the board yourself, you can even personalize it or give it a design that they will enjoy.

6. Wooden Serving Utensils

Items like wooden spoons, spatulas, and forks are extremely useful in the kitchen. If you are looking for a simple gift for a person who loves to cook, then these types of wooden utensils will be perfect.

7. A Paper Towel Holder

Paper towels are often needed in the kitchen while you are cooking, and a paper towel holder allows you to get a paper towel without touching the entire roll. Consider your friend’s kitchen and decide which type of wooden paper towel holder will work best for them.

Many things can be crafted from wood and painted or finished to look spectacular. What are some simple wooden gift ideas that you love?


5 Benefits of Balance Transfers for Credit Cards

One of the top advantages of credit cards is that you can transfer balances between cards or get a new card specifically to transfer debt there. Though there are disadvantages to doing credit card balance transfers,there are many advantages to often make it a good option. Here are five benefits of balance transfers for credit cards.

Easy way to do debt consolidation
If you want to consolidate debts and get one payment,
a balance transfer is one of the easiest ways to do that. If you have enough room on an existing card, you can simply transfer a balance there; however, many people choose to open a new card to do a balance transfer. Either way you choose to do it, a balance transfer is much easier and faster than applying for a home equity loan or personal loan to consolidate debt.

Lower interest rate
One of the main reasons people do balance transfers is to get a
lower interest rate. Credit card companies often offer low teaser rates on balance transfers — including no interest — to entice people to either add to the balance on their cards or to open a new one. If you are responsible with your payments, you can use those low rates to pay down your debt faster and with less in the way of finance charges. You typically have to have a good credit score to get such offers.

Flexible terms
Doing a balance transfer on a credit card is much more flexible than taking out a loan. With a loan, you have to make the same payment every month for a set period of time. When you do a balance transfer, you can pay as little as the minimum payment or as much as you want.

Lower fees than loans
Though balance transfers usually carry a fee, it often is lower than what you would pay to get a loan. Typical balance transfer fees are anywhere from 3 percent to five percent, with a minimum fee. If you are transferring a fairly small balance, say $1,000 or $2,000, the balance transfer fees are lower than the fees you would pay for a personal or home equity loan.

Simply your finances
Doing a credit card balance transfer can allow you to simplify your finances by eliminating multiple payments. If you get a high enough credit limit, you may be able to consolidate all your debt on one card, which will give you just one monthly payment to make. That reduces the chances of missing a payment, paying a penalty fee and hurting your credit card.

These are five benefits of a credit card balance transfer. There are several others that can make it a good deal.


5 Essential Clothing Items to Have in Your Closet this Fall

The fall season is a time when you swap out the shorts, short-sleeves and bright colors for clothing that is warmer, a little more comfortable and in colors that aren’t as vibrant. Each year brings new items that will be seen in the closet with the 2016 fall season being no different. There might be a few surprises, but once you see how the items work with the other clothing and accessories that you have, then you’ll want to add more to your wardrobe.

Salute To The Navy
In the past, a camouflage design has been seen on some of the pants and shirts that people wear in the fall. In 2016, you might want to change the branch of the military that you represent as many designers are getting their inspiration from the Navy. Sailor pants in navy blue and long coats with gold buttons will be among the items that are seen in stores for the fall.

A Walk On The Wild Side
If you like a bit of nature in your wardrobe, then you’ll be happy to know that leopard print will be one of the popular designs this fall. From long coats to leggings, you’ll find just about everything that can be worn in a leopard print of some color or pattern. Aside from brown and black, you’ll see a few different colors blending together in the pattern, such as blue and green.

The tier is coming back to skirts and dresses. It offers a full look to the clothing that you wear and brings back a sense of style that was seen decades ago. Many of the tiers that are seen will be flowing without flaring away from the body, but with the layers on the clothing, it will give a beautiful fullness that you won’t get with other items.

Flower Garden
Bring the flower garden indoors this fall with large floral prints on dresses and shirts. The days of small flowers that are delicate in appearance are gone. They have been replaced with flowers that repeat on the clothing and large images of flowers and greenery that extend from the top of the item to the bottom, such as on the side of a dress.

Green With Envy
There will be several shades of green in stores this fall as the color is making it’s presence known. Long dresses that are bright green and jackets that look like an emerald will grace the closets of women of all ages. You might even see shades of green in hair paint as this will be a popular theme in the fall as well.


4 Creative Ways to Record Life Events on Christmas Ornaments

When Christmas rolls around, one of the big things to do is decorate the Christmas tree. For many families, this is an entire affair. You might head out into the woods with an axe and a sleigh and chop down the perfect tree with your dad. Next, it’s time to prune the tree and get it ready to go in the living room or family room.

All of this is just the beginning, however. That’s because what comes next is the serious part of Christmas tree preparation. When you’re ready with the tree in its right place, you can start to decorate. And when it comes to decorating, you’ve got to have the right ornaments. The best types of ornaments are personal and special to the family that has them. They stay with you for years and even decades as hard and fast decorations on the tree.

For some families, however, personal and special ornaments are hard to come by. Maybe you never took the time to pick any out at the store, or you’re not creatively inclined when it comes to making hand-made ornaments. In either of these cases, there’s nothing to worry about. If you would like to have more familiarly important ornaments for your next Christmas, consider the following four ways to create awesome ornaments that record important life events in your family.

1. The Best Picture of Each Year for Each Family Member in a Frame

Each year, try to choose the best picture for each family member. As you take pictures throughout the year, keep a running idea of which picture is the best for each and every member of your family. And don’t forget the pets either! When you have the best picture for each family member, put them into a frame that’s unique to that person and hang the pictures on the tree.

2. Kids Hand and Foot Prints

This is an idea for small children. If you have little ones, you know how adorable their little hands and feet are, but remember that they’ll only be that cute for a little while, so it’s important remember those images. Put their little feet into some water soluble paint and push them gently onto a piece of paper. Cut the new print out once it dries and then put it in a nice frame so that you can always remember it.

3. The Best Quotes From Each Year in a Clear Ball

Try this with the coming year. Every time someone says something funny or nice, write it down and put it in a bowl. At the end of the year, put all of these slips of paper into a little clear ornament and label it with a ribbon and the date.

4. Achievement Photos

Finally, when someone makes a great achievement, take a photo! Put that photo in a special frame as an ornament for the year.


5 Clever Places to Buy Back to School Clothes

While it may be hard to believe that the new school year is right around the corner, parents across the country are now faced with the task of back to school clothes shopping for their kids. There are plenty of options to choose from, but these five places may not have been on your radar this year.

1. Outlet Shopping During Tax Incentive Weeks

Some states offer tax breaks during back to school season for parents shopping for clothes. If this is the case, many outlet centers in those states offer even greater discounts that week to entice shoppers to visit. These weeks are the best time to try your hand at outlet shopping for bargains.

2. Consignment Shops

Summer is the time when many people are cleaning out their closets and gearing up for their kids’ next school year. Many parents are passing down clothes that are in great condition but no longer fit their children. Scope out consignment shops in your area to see if there are some quality clothing options at a fraction of the cost you would pay in a retail store.

3. Online Consignment

There are also plenty of great options for online consignment if you do not have any stores in your area. Be careful when looking at the photos and reading descriptions so that you are not disappointed in the quality of the clothing when it arrives. You may also not be able to send items back for an exchange or refund so make sure that you ask for as much sizing information as possible before buying.

4. Yard Sales

While the weather is still nice this summer, many people are taking advantage of the opportunity to get rid of some clutter by hosting yard sales. If there are any close by, spend some time walking through to see if there are any great deals on kids’ clothing. You can also try to negotiate with the seller and see if you can get a deeper discount by buying more items at once. Be prepared to pay in cash.

5. Department Stores that Offer Special Discounts

If you are a member of the military or work for the school system, many stores offer substantial discounts for back to school shopping. Before making the trek to the store, try calling first to see if the advertised discounts are honored at that particular location. Also, be prepared to show your identification as proof of your employment.