Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy Holidays! (Already?)

Let’s be honest, you make the promise to yourself every year that you’re going to get out there and start your shopping early – and yet somehow, time slips away. This year, save yourself the stress. Make each day leading up to the Holidays truly enjoyable, with some “Early Bird” Holiday tips that will send you merrily on your way into a stress-free Holiday season.

Make a plan!
Start by putting together an organized list, to outline the major things that you need to spend money on from now until December 25th.  Start with the basics like:


…And then break all the major categories down into more detail.

Shop Now!
Believe it or not, October is your best time to start your shopping. This month, most stores are beginning to stock their freshest holiday shipments, so you really do have the best selection to choose from.  Plus, starting this early eases the pressure and gives you the time to really put thought into each gift.

Shop Smart!
Make a budget and stick to it. Take the time to scour the internet for exclusive online deals – it really is worth the time. When the rush of the Holiday season is over and you aren’t paying off credit card debt until April, you’ll be glad you put your savvy shopping hat on from the get-go.

This year, don’t just say you’re going to get ahead and start early – get out there and get it done! When all the busy work has been checked off your list, you’ll be floating in Holiday bliss – enjoying some quiet time in front of the fire or the company of great family and friends.

Here’s to the most successful Holiday season yet!

Get In On It

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Get the Most Out of Your Holiday Gift Giving

As the Holidays get closer, the thought of funding all the festivities and gift-giving can be overwhelming. We’ve gone ahead and compiled some quick tips to get the most for your money during the Holiday season.

Facebook: If you’re an avid Facebook junkie, you may already have seen how your favorite retail brands provide sale information and special Facebook discounts.

Online Coupons: These days, online coupons are hotter than ever. Be sure to check out sites like,,, and where you can actually sign up to be the first to receive promotions and coupons, via email, from retailers of your choice.

Off-Price Retail Shopping: What’s better than finding your favorite designer styles at nearly half the price?  Shopping stores like Homegoods and Nordstrom Rack let you get some classy gifts for a nice price.

The Sale Rack: Shopping the sale rack doesn’t make you a thrifty gift giver – it makes you a smart one. So, before dropping a pretty penny on an item that will likely drop up to 70% off its price in just a few days, check out the clearance and sale racks first!

There are all kinds of ways to get the most for your money and be the best gift-giver, party thrower, and decorator around – all you have to do is take a little time to dig the savings out of the red and green clutter.

Happy (early) Holiday planning!

Jensen Communities

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It’s Budget Plannin’ Time

It’s been a busy few weeks getting everything moved in and set-up in the new place, but already things are looking up. I feel really at home in this house. Selling my old home and moving into a community was a huge home run for me financially. I’ve streamlined my expenses and now, to continue moving along on the right track, it’s time to get how I use my income in order. It’s time to get a plan going, to reassess where I stand and where I want to be, to ensure I’m in a solid place for my future.

As far as my current financial situation goes, I’m doing okay right now. I’m lucky to have a steady income, but I know that you can never tell with full certainty what the future will bring. Especially after I stop working, I want to be able to take care of what I need to take care of and still be able to do the things I love – without being strapped for cash. 

Really, the goal of my plan is to help me be a little more in-tuned to what I’m dropping money on these days. Instead of spending $400 on a new fishing pole, I’m going to hang onto the ones I have longer. The newest technology is not as important as being able to spend time with a line in the water. Instead of getting lunch out every day, I’m actually buying groceries and enjoying fixing some meals in my new home. The way I see it is, if I can cut back in small ways, I’ll have that much more in my pocket for when I really need it or really want to spend it.  The more I can sock away now – the more relaxed I’ll feel a few years down the line, down by the lake, with a pole in my hand. 

Does anyone have any tips on how to stick to a plan like this?

Flyin’ Free