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.

Summer Cooking Tips: Cool Off in the Kitchen!

Who can imagine summer without summer food?

Steaming corn-on-the-cob, each kernel bursting with sweet flavor.

Burgers and barbecue. Ice cream sundaes.

The crisp red smile of a watermelon wedge, dripping with sweet juice.

There's a darker side to summer meals. Food budgets groan under the strain of substituting quick-cook steaks and chicken breasts for thrifty stove-top casseroles.

School's Out! Summer Survival for Busy Moms

summer vacation tips

They're here! Tumbling from the school bus, fresh from Field Day, with papers and projects and petrified sandwiches spilling in their wake: your children.

Summer vacation is wonderful, no doubt about it.

Damp heads and wet bathing suits, backyard tents and fireflies in canning jars.

"Look, Mom!" rings out a hundred times a day, from the top of the pool slide to the bug-dotted bottom of an upturned rock.

Moving On: Tips For An Organized Move

get organized for moving

Every year, one in five American families makes a move --- and this year, it'll be your family on the road.

No doubt about it, moving can present the organizational challenge of a lifetime.

Every habit, every routine, every tiny piece of the mosaic of your life is tossed at random into a huge, cluttered van, to be shaken out and reassembled at the other end. 

It's a daunting task--but you can get organized and cut stress when the moving van arrives.

Moving on? Try these road-tested tips for an organized move.

Spring Forward: Safety Checklist for Time Change Sunday

Ready to Spring forward? Time Change Sunday is on the way!

On Sunday, March 12, Daylight Savings Time will begin in most of the United States.

Setting the clock forward means it's time for a seasonal safety check!

As you circle the house, setting clocks ahead, make time for this short safety checklist. It'll see you into Spring from a safe--and organized--home.

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.

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