Cash In: Start Now to Save Money for Christmas

Think Christmas ... when it's summertime? Sure--if you want to be prepared for a stress-free holiday season.

Starting holiday planning now makes sense ... and cents! Saving ahead for holiday expenses spreads the financial demands of the Christmas season over several months--and being prepared with a cash budget means you'll be less tempted to put holiday spending on credit cards.

Sister site Organized Christmas has some clever ways to start now to save money for a debt-free Christmas celebration:

Clever checkbook management can lead to a Christmas stash. When paying bills each month, "round down" the bank balance to the next even amount--say, from $967 to $900--by writing a dummy check for $67 and deducting it from the register. Don't cash it, but hold it for Christmas. Over a few months, those "round it down" amounts will add up to holiday funds.

Cash In! Do-It-Now Ways To Save Money For Christmas

Summer Cleaning Chore Checklist

summer cleaning checklist

Summer's here, hot, high and sweaty. Vacations beckon. The garden takes on a life of its own.

Busy families don't have much time for home chores these months.

School's out, travel's in and it's easy to let life slide on the home front.

Still, summer will run more smoothly if you keep tabs on these important areas in the Summer Cleaning Chore Checklist.

Our summer cleaning chore checklist list tackles hot-weather issues, summer health and safety.

Chill Out! Cut Energy Use In Refrigerator And Freezer

With spring flowers blooming and warm weather on the way, it's time for an energy-saving tune up for your refrigerator and freezer.

Keeping food fresh--while conserving energy--can bring a helpful boost to the strained food budget.

Try these tips to minimize energy use and save money on groceries:

Fill the freezer, but give the fridge some air

The freezer works most efficiently when packed as full as possible. Need to fill in some space? Tuck extra ice for cold drinks or cold-packs for summer picnics into any empty space in the freezer.

Five Tips For Spring Cleaning With Kids

kids and chores

Spring cleaning is on the horizon, and you could use some help. It's time to try a team approach to seasonal cleaning.

Many hands make light work ... so how do you get the kids to pitch in when it's time to spring-clean the house?

Try these five tips to involve children with housecleaning chores.

Swing into Spring: Five Easy Ways to Welcome Warm Weather

spring cleaning

Blooming bulbs and Spring breezes signal that warmer weather is on the way.

Sure, many of us will do an all-out session of Spring cleaning, but even small, simple jobs can bring the season's freshness inside.

Shake the winter doldrums out of your organized home with these five easy ideas to swing into Spring.

Spring Cleaning Chore Checklist

spring cleaning checklist

March winds blow, telling us that Spring is here!

Warming breezes scour the last of winter from house and garden. Spring rain awakens the earth and calls forth new life.

Meet the rising sap with a new broom. Spring clean indoors and out to prepare home and hearth for the return of warm weather.

Our Spring cleaning chore checklist will help you take care of important seasonal chores and welcome Spring to an organized home.

Garage Sale Tips: Clear Clutter With A Yard Sale

garage sale yard sale

Garage sale, tag sale, yard sale--whatever you call it, the garage or yard sale is part and parcel of the American way of life.

On sunny weekend mornings, slow-moving cars ("I brake for yard sales!") circle suburban neighborhoods as their occupants hunt baby toys and panini makers, auto parts and cocktail shakers.

If you're in active declutter mode, the next stop is your house!

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