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Joanna Greenberg

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Simple tips to help get your family finances in order 2017

Getting your family finances in order is a great thing but most of us do not do it until we are forced to by a life event such as the birth of a baby, an upcoming wedding, financial audit, divorce or a natural disaster. You can see our family is productive because of tips like these. Fortunately, getting your family finances in order in 2017 is not a difficult task.

Here are simple tips to help you.

  • Commit yourself

The first thing that you should do is commit yourself to get your finances in order and follow through.

  • Request for a credit report

Most people are not concerned with their credit report until they are denied credit. Since your credit history plays a major role in so many areas, you should review your credit report at least once a year.

Upon receiving the report, thoroughly look for any mistakes and if there are contains any, contact the credit bureau to have them corrected. This way, you will qualify for a high limit when need be.

  • Create a budget and stick to it

Though difficult to stick to, having a budget is a vital step into getting your finances in order. In notebook, write down all your fixed monthly expenses as well as the non fixed expenses such as entertainment, meals out, clothing and other flexible purchases. This helps you to understand where your money goes and where you can cut back.

After making the budget, be sure to stick to it. Every time you purchase something, write it down including the cost then at the end of the month, compare your actual spending with your budget and see where you may have gotten off track.

  • Reduce your debt

Another difficult yet important step to getting your family finances in order is consolidating your debts and paying them. Transfer the balances to a single card with low annual percentage rate (APRs) to make it easy to track the debt. Destroy the other credit cards to prevent the temptation of using them and try to pay at least double the minimum amount plus the finances charge every month.

Use debit cards or cash to make all purchases and if you do not have money, then do not buy it.

  • Set Up an Emergency Fund

Before you begin worrying about investments and retirement plans, you should first have an emergency fund. The rule of thumb for savings is to have at least three months’ worth of cash for an emergency fund but with the tight economic times, it can be hard to do.

If you are short on cash, try setting aside every five dollar you get into box or even emptying all the change in ajar at the end of the day. Better yet, open a special account and write yourself a check of about $50 every time you get paid. The money will add up over time and will come in handy during emergencies.

  • Analyze your insurance coverage

Disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and fires can strike any time. Therefore, it is important to ensure you have renters insurance if you rent or homeowners insurance if you own a home.

Life insurance is also great as it ensures your debts are covered in case anything happens to you.

  • Find a financial mentor

Money management is challenging but a good financial mentor will guide you and help you make smart financial decisions.

He or she will analyse your budget and spot leaks where you are spending more money than you should, suggest the right financial steps to take such as how much of your income to invest, how to save for your child’s college education and how much you will need for retirement as well as inspire you.

A financial mentor should be doing well financially. Therefore, by looking at his finances, you will feel inspired and with his guidance, some day, you will be doing well financially as well.

  • Make a Will

Making a will is especially important if you have children. It helps to distribute your assets as well as prevent dispute if you pass on.

If not a will, you can draw up a list of all your physical properties including cars, home, jewelry and the non physical assets such as policies and bank accounts as well as debts then select a responsible administrator who will make all decisions on your behalf after you pass on.

McCalls 6948 modified.

My middle daughter was in need of a new Summer dress, and I jumped at the chance to sew one for her. She had a very specific picture in mind of what she wanted – a simple sundress with contrast yoke, waistband and hem.


She picked out the fabrics from our local fabric store, can you tell her favourite colour is blue?  The pattern I used is McCall’s 6948 – my modifications included piecing the bodice with the two fabrics, lining the bodice instead of using bias tape, made the skirt shorter, added the waistband, and added the contrast hem.  It was a quick sew and she’s excited that her design turned into a finished dress.

Rebecca

MODKID Quilted Sun and Surf Totes

AUGUST 05, 2014

MODKID is a brand created by Patty Young. Her fabrics are bright and her patterns are fun. She has been hosting a sewalong on her blog for her Sun and Surf Tote, and since I love making bags, and could use a new beach tote – I jumped right in.  I ended up making two totes, and just cut out a third one today. This was a quick pattern, and I’m loving the results.

MODKID Quilted Sun and Surf Totes
MODKID Quilted Sun and Surf Totes
For my first tote, I used up two orphan herringbone quilt blocks. I sashed and quilted them, and made them into the main panels.  The little floral fabric for the sides, trim, and lining is from Wholeport.com. The ribbon on the strap is from MODKID.
MODKID Quilted Sun and Surf Totes
MODKID Quilted Sun and Surf Totes
MODKID Quilted Sun and Surf Totes
MODKID Quilted Sun and Surf Totes
The second tote used up some flowers from a panel I had in my craft room. I sashed it with one of Patty’s fabrics, quilted it, and found some other coordinating prints in my stash. This tote is being donated to a local charity auction.
MODKID Quilted Sun and Surf Totes
MODKID Quilted Sun and Surf Totes
MODKID Quilted Sun and Surf Totes
MODKID Quilted Sun and Surf Totes
The grommets were super-easy to install (they just snap together), and the buttons are fun. Both can be purchased from the MODKID Etsy shop.

Laptop Bag Tutorial…

SO excited that I get to share this now!  I was asked to do a tutorial for the Bear Creek Quilting Company blog, and they just posted it!

Laptop Bag Tutorial...

This laptop bag has a top zipper that opens up nice and wide, a zippered front pocket for your charger, back slip pocket with a hidden bottom zipper which allows it to be slipped onto the handle of your luggage, an interior slip pocket that can fit papers and files, a one-piece handle which makes it extra strong and secure and extra padding to protect your laptop.

Laptop Bag Tutorial...

Laptop Bag Tutorial…

The fabrics I used are from the Sweet Harmony and Joyful Blooms lines – and can be found in their shop.  If you’d like to check out the tutorial, you can find it here.

 

Laptop Bag Tutorial...

Life this week and doll sewing…

Life this week and doll sewing...
Life this week and doll sewing…

Things have been busy with the end of the school year approaching – Sports Day, fieldtrips, my baby going to kindergarten day, and lots of sunshine to enjoy. I did sew up a quick raincoat for one of my girls’ 18″ dolls and need to order some more laminate prints to make some for my other girls still.

Life this week and doll sewing...

I’ve also been working on a sewing tutorial for the Bear Creek Quilting Company blog with these two beautiful fabric collections, can’t wait to share it!

Life this week and doll sewing...

Serendipity Studio Tara Tank Dress…

A few weeks ago, I came across a post from Kay Whitt announcing the first dress in her new Spring sewing patterns collection, the Tara Tank Dress. It really appealed to me, and Kay generously sent me a copy of the pattern to sew one up for myself!

Serendipity Studio Tara Tank Dress...
Serendipity Studio Tara Tank Dress…

All of her patterns are hard copies, which I prefer when it comes to sewing clothing. She does a great job with detail in her explanations, and the pattern was easy to follow. This dress in particular is a really quick sew because there are no buttons or zippers, just a drawstring tie in the waistband that cinches up. There are a bunch of different length and hem options included in the pattern, a pleated bodice, high waist, and you can choose to go with a full skirt or narrow (I chose narrow).

Serendipity Studio Tara Tank Dress...
Serendipity Studio Tara Tank Dress…

The fabric I used is a cotton blend from my local fabric store. It appealed to me because of the border print, and it’s super light, but not thin enough that it needed lining. I’m looking forward to our rain being replaced with some sunshine so I can sew up a few more of these for the Summer months.

Serendipity Studio Tara Tank Dress...
Serendipity Studio Tara Tank Dress…

If you’d like to purchase this pattern, you can find it here.

 

Some winners to announce . . .

The winner of the Peas & Corn lunch bag pattern and fabric to make it with from Fabri-Quilt is Faye!  I’ve emailed her and the prize is already on its’ way.

Some winners to announce . . .
Some winners to announce . . .

The winner of the fat quarter stack of PUL and cottons from Fabri-Quilt is Darylene! I will be emailing you today.

Some winners to announce . . .
Some winners to announce . . .

And don’t forget about the discount code from ModKid – good for 15% off anything in their Etsy shop.  Just use code BUNCH15 at checkout – code expires at midnight CST tonight.

Some winners to announce . . .

Modkid Review and Discount Code . . .

Modkid Review and Discount Code . . .

Patty Young is the designer behind Modkid patterns and fabrics, and she recently had two new pattern releases. I was the lucky recipient of her new Breeanne pattern and some of her knit prints to make it with.

Modkid Review and Discount Code . . .

Modkid Review and Discount Code . . .

My girls LOVE their finished Breeanne tops!  The pattern was super simple to follow, and very professionally written.  There were also lots of great tips for working with knits.   I haven’t sewn much with knits, but I now feel a lot more confident working with it again. I even picked up some more knit fabrics today to make more Breeanne tops for my girls!Modkid Review and Discount Code . . .

Patty Young has generously offered a 15% discount code to my readers – good for anything in her shop!

Just use  BUNCH15  at checkout.
Code expires midnight CST on Friday, Sept 6th.

Sew Sweetness pattern and Fabri-Quilt fabric Giveaway!

Today I have a special giveaway for you – Sew Sweetness is offering up their new Peas & Corn Lunch Bag pattern and Fabri-Quilt is giving you the fabric to make one!

I sewed one of these up myself, and it comes together quickly.  The fabrics I used are from Fabri-Quilt’s Mystic Forest line, a  laminate for the exterior and PUL for the interior.  I used my walking foot and had no problem sewing with these fabrics, but a cotton fabric also works great for the exterior.

Just use the rafflecopter below, and I’ll pick a winner next week.  Good luck!