Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Functional Filing System: Part 2 of 2

Congratulations to Erin Lundell on winning our Budget Boot Camp Giveaway! Watch your email this week for an email containing a link to your $25 Amazon gift card. Thanks to everyone for participating!

In Part 1 of the Functional Filing System series, we talked about how to set up a physical filing system and inbox. In Part 2, we'll talk about what to keep for how long..

First, so that your files (especially your physical one) don't bulge beyond their bounds, you need to purge them occasionally and get rid of the stuff you don't need to keep anymore. Here's what you need to keep and for how long. You may need to adapt for your personal situation.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Investing Tutorial (AND $25 Amazon Giveaway--Ends Tomorrow!)

We've received a couple of requests to do a really basic overview of what investing is-- so here it is! First, we'll define investing and then some common types of investments.



Thursday, January 23, 2014

DIY Wall Art: State Map

Big, blank walls are always difficult to fill in a cost-effective way, but since I've discovered that you can buy large canvasses super cheaply online, my DIY art projects have taken our home walls from freshmen-boy-dorm drab to, well, whatever a step above that is. 

Dickblick.com is a great source for art supplies for your home projects (no, they didn't pay me to say that), but I will thoroughly endorse a company that sells these huge 30"x40" cotton-stretched canvasses for under $30 with cheap shipping. It's hard to get that kind of wall coverage that cheaply any other way (unless you go to IKEA and get some prints and frames there-- another wonderful and possibly more time-efficient way to decorate). 

I've done several projects over the years (I'll be featuring tutorials on all of them eventually, so subscribe or like our Facebook page to catch other project how-to's), but for now, I'm starting off with the state map.

Click here to pin for later.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Free (and Easy) Budget Bootcamp - Join Us!

Pin this here--> http://bit.ly/1mkKw1N
A lot of people have been asking for help with their budgets, so during 2014, we're determined to help you all become pros at the foundation of personal finance: BUDGETING! We decided to make a cool (and free!) once-a-month budgeting boot camp.
Basically, we're offering to be your FREE budget consultants. So if you've been wanting to get in the habit of budgeting, this is a great opportunity! Take advantage of our overzealousness. Both of our families have recently expanded, so who knows when we'll ever have the energy for an opportunity like this again. :)


How to join?

If you already subscribe to our blog through e-mail, Feedly, etc., don't do a thing. You'll already get the Budget Boot Camp as part of our blog. Otherwise...

Send us your e-mail (it will only be used for the once-a-month MHM Budget Boot Camp):

Sign me up for Budget Boot Camp!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cute (and Cheap!) DIY Valentine's Day Decorations

For the readers who asked:
- To make hearts similar to those pictured, check out this Martha Stewart Heart Crafts Punch.
- About my grey mirror: This particular one was from Tj Maxx Home Goods a few years ago.

Decorating for Valentine's Day is relatively new to me (unlike my college roommate Rachel, who is a pro). Since I wasn't willing to spend a lot of money, I decided to see what I could do with $10. I found the trick to seasonal decorating is to buy/make a few cheap items and supplement with versatile decor items from around my house (e.g. vases). I go through this same process for every holiday, which means all my decorations are cheap and match the overall theme of my house. (You'll notice a lot of these items are re-used from my Christmas Mantel, pictured at the bottom of my DIY Ornament Wreath post.) 


Here's how I decorated for Valentine's Day with $10:

Monday, January 13, 2014

Renters insurance: Do you really need it?

Sometimes it's hard to know what's smart to insure and what isn't. As Lisa reminded us in this great post, insure only what you cannot afford to lose. All of the stuff in your apartment collectively would probably fall into that category. Can you imagine a fire destroying your apartment and having to replace everything? That's why one of the kinds of insurance we recommend getting is renters insurance (if you're renting, of course. If you own your own home then you need homeowners' insurance, but that's a story for another post).


What is it?  Your landlords are responsible for insuring the actual residential property against fire, vandalism, etc. Your stuff is your responsibility (that only seems fair, right?), and you can cover this through renters insurance.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Our Top Posts of 2013

It seems like just yesterday, Lauren and I were joking about starting a blog. We've had so much fun these past few months (and learned a LOT--we promise MHM will keep getting better). We can't thank you enough for helping us by reading, pinning, and sharing. Our monthly views have grown 300% since we launched our blog in August. For 2014, we'll be providing more personal finance tips and fun projects. Keep the comments coming--we're always looking for feedback for topic ideas.

In case you missed any of our top posts for 2013, here they are. Even though our "fun stuff" posts are usually the most popular, we'll never abandon our goal to help everyone become more financially prepared and money savvy because it's something we're passionate about. We like to think of our "Fun Thursday" posts as the medicine that helps the "Money Monday" posts go down. :) Thanks for sticking with us!

1. DIY Upholstered Headboard
2. DIY Ornament Wreath
3. How to Host a My Favorite Things Party
4. Saving for Kids' College Education
5. 10 Money Making Jobs for the Stay-At-Home Mom
6. 3 Easy Ways to Make a Room Brighter
7. Best Birthday Freebies
8. How to Survive When Your Toddler Breaks His Leg

Any specific topics you want us to cover in 2014?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Your 2014 Financial Goal

In What About Bob, Richard Dreyfuss' character Dr. Marvin talks about BABY STEPS, "It means setting small, reasonable goals for yourself, one day at a time, one tiny step at a time."
Obviously, for people who've seen this movie, hilarity ensues ("I'm sailing!"), but the advice still works. What's the best way to become a financial rock star? By setting small, reasonable goals for yourself, one day at a time, one tiny step at a time.
A blurry picture of my first little guy's baby steps.

Do you think you're the only one who has need for improvement? Just since we started this blog, I've been reading Lauren's posts with interest and making improvements to my own finances. Specifically, just in the last few months since we started this blog, I

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Annual Photo Book Tradition

I will be the first to admit that I am horrible about sending the extended family pictures of our family. (Lisa is awesome at this.) But one thing I have done that I think works pretty well is our annual photo book. I do it online (at Shutterfly), and my favorite part about it is that I can order multiple, identical copies, even years later if I want. Every year, I order one copy for Aaron and I, one copy for his parents, one copy for my parents, and one copy for C (since, of course, this will be one of his prized possessions-- or maybe that is just my wishful thinking). And with each subsequent kid, I can go back and reorder "back issues" so that each child will have a complete set. It's one of my favorite family traditions in our pretty new family, and I hope to keep doing it for a really long time. At least until we're empty-nesters-- maybe until we die (but that would take a lot of shelf space).



Here's my process for making them.
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