WHOSE House? MY House!

So the reality is that I come from a background of working for a University as does my husband. What this means is many years of living in dorm apartments and currently we still reside in a University-owned house (as part of my husband’s position) even though our combined age is over 80. We live in a great neighborhood, don’t have to deal with the realities of home ownership but I do dream of owning/creating my own space one day – and having a second bathroom!

As with every dream of mine, this includes ripping out and saving hundreds of home “ideas” and “dreams” over the years.  I have used file folders, binders and even an “intention board”.  But all that has just changed! Houzz – Home Design is “like the Flickr of design idea sites” according to The Washington Post and I couldn’t agree more. You are able to browse by style, space or even metro, continually adding ideas or showing off your own space in “My Houzz”!

Real Simple explains it best, “”The online equivalent of clipping decor inspiration from magazines… browse more than 40,000 images submitted by interior decorators, architects and design-minded users (filter by space, style and more), then save them in your virtual idea book”.  And just when you thought it could’t get any better, Houzz has a fantastic app for your iPhone or iPad!

WARNING– You may lose complete hours or days while perusing  Houzz but it’s worth every minute!

Lighten your Load

If you are tired of carrying multiple reward/loyalty cards around in your wallet or on your key chain, there are a few new apps around that can lighten your load… and save you money.  The CardStar App lets you easily store, manage and quickly retrieve your reward, club, and loyalty cards on your Smartphone, where they can be scanned directly from your screen at most merchants. If you are like me and have yet to upgrade to a Smartphone, get the CardStar Card which enables you to combine up to six cardmobilimembership and reward cards on one printed card. Also, receive coupons and deals to all your local and national merchants, at no cost to you!

Key Ring uses also bar code scanner technology to create a digital copy of all your loyalty cards and stores them on your phone; retailers simply scan the bar code from the screen. Key Ring also provides and easy way to collect and redeem special offers from your favorite retailers. Last but not least is Cardmobili which does everything these two do and has gotten some of the strongest reviews.

Click You Tube Key Ring App to see the app in action!

Do you know how hard it is to find a mint quote? This one if from Evan Esar and it sort of fits for the article but I got tired of looking for the perfect one.  I could really call it, “Want help mananging your money” but that’s not very creative. Anyway, my friend Lisa turned me onto this wonderful site called mint.com and for the first time in my life I am working with an actual budget.

As it states on mint.com, they download and categorize your balances and transactions automatically every day— making it effortless to see graphs of your spending, income, balances, and net worth. I already use online banking for everything from my checking, debit, credit cards, and paying most of my utilities but Mint.com puts all my accounting in one place so I constantly have a quick overview of everything.  Money and Kiplinger’s magazines both rave about this site and it is safe & secure. Read the rest of this entry