Monday, April 27, 2009

Organizing Your Bills

Here are some ways to make bill paying a little bit easier (sorry, only a little bit...) and hopefully a bit more efficient at the same time.

Sort them...

Make piles, bins or folders and label them as to when they are due. When new bills come in the mail, sort them in the correct area. Also make sure to prioritize which bills should be paid first.

Pay on time...

Make sure that you put on your paper or electronic calendar when the send-by dates for your bills are; this way you will be on time and not get charged any penalties.

Set aside personal time...

Make sure that you have a day or time that you go through the bills each week. This way you can also sort your piles, bins or folders to keep everything current.

Save your old bills...

Make a folder for "paid bills". Keep 2 - 3 months worth, just in case a question ever comes up. Once you empty them out, shred them. Invest in a nice shredder.

Electronic payments...

For those who are techies, use your bank's automatic bill payment feature. This can certainly save time and energy.

Eliminating Credit Cards...

Credit cards are certainly an easy way to get in to debt, so I found this site that gives you information on getting the best credit cards. Although, really the best thing to do is to eliminate the cards themselves, most of us are not willing or just can't do that right now. So check out Card Ratings and hopefully it will find you a better rate than the one you have now.

However, for those who are ready to eliminate the cards, Bank Rate is a good starting point to figure out exactly how long it will take for you to pay down your current credit card debt.

I know you wish you didn't have any bills or debt, but this should hopefully make you a little more organized in the process and give you more time to daydream a little more about not having any bills and even winning the lottery....good luck!!


Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend Fun in the Maryland Area

Here are some fun things to do this weekend in the Maryland area.

Saturday, April 25, 10 am - 4 pm
A great time for everyone. This event is open to all ages with so many things to do and see on University of Maryland's College Park campus. Click on the link for more information on events taking place and specific times.
All Ages. Free
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Saturday, April 25
Flea Market
Bargain hunters get ready! Come and see what treasures can be found.
All ages welcome. FREE admission for shoppers
Vendor fee: $10/space (includes 1 table & 2 chairs)
Tucker Road Community Center
1771 Tucker Road, Fort Washington 20744
301-248-4404; TTY 301-203-6030

Saturday, April 25 & Sunday April 26, 8 am
Southern Maryland Horse Show Association Horse Show
Watch a regional hunter/jumper horse show in the outdoors.
FREE admission for spectators
Prince George’s Equestrian Center
14900 Pennsylvania Avenue, Upper Marlboro 20772
301-952-7999, 301-952-7900; TTY 301-952-7998

Saturday, April 25, 8 am-1 pm
Barely Used Sale
Shop for or sell children’s gently used items such as: toys, clothing, games, bikes, roller skates, cribs, etc. No food allowed. Reservations required for sellers. Space and table availability is limited. Sellers must take away all unsold items. This event will be held rain or shine.
All ages welcome. FREE admission
Sellers’ fee: Resident $10/space; Non-Resident $12/space; Table fee: $10/table
Vansville Community Center
6813 Ammendale Road, Beltsville 20705
301-937-6621; TTY 301-445-4512

Saturday, April 25, 9-11 am
Join a park naturalist to locate and identify woodland and water birds along the Anacostia River. Beginners and advanced birders are welcome. Binoculars provided.
All ages welcome. (An adult must accompany children 16 & under.)
Fee: Resident $2; Non-Resident $3
Bladensburg Waterfront Park
4601 Annapolis Road, Bladensburg 20710
301-779-0371; TTY 301-699-2544

Saturday, April 25, 10 am-1 pm
Wool Shearing Day
Enjoy a special event that showcases the use and harvest of natural fibers used for clothing and other textiles. Watch shearing demonstrations of sheep and llamas, llama wool shedding demonstrations, wool spinning, and more.
All Ages. FREE
Old Maryland Farm
301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro 20774
301-218-6770; TTY 301-699-2544

Saturday, April 25, 10 am-3 pm
Spring Health Fair
Learn about health concerns in your community and watch fitness demonstrations.
All Ages. FREE
Rollingcrest-Chillum Community Center
6120 Sargent Road, Chillum 20782
301-853-2005; TTY 301-445-4512

Saturday, April 25, 11 am-3 pm
Annual Electric Football Tournament
Go participate in a blast from the past - electric football. Games will be played in tournament fashion. Sign-in is from 11 am-12 noon. Select your favorite team and 'click' to the touchdown line. Prizes will be awarded to the winners. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Ages 6-16; FREE
Stephen Decatur Community Center
8200 Pinewood Drive, Clinton 20735
301-297-4648; TTY 301-203-6030

Saturday, April 25, 12 noon-4 pm
Flyer Sale!
This museum will be selling books, art, and aviation memorabilia at discounted prices.
All ages are welcome.
Fee: $4/adults, $3/seniors, $2/ages 18 & under
College Park Aviation Museum
1985 Cpl. Frank Scott Drive, College Park 20740
301-864-6029; TTY 301-864-4765

Saturday, April 25, 1 pm
The Great Ice Cream Sundae
Help them scoop ice cream, cut bananas and sprinkle toppings as they try to create the 2nd largest ice cream sundae. Reservations are required by April 22.
Ages 5-12
Fee: Resident $3; Non-Resident $4
North Brentwood Community Center
4012 Webster Street, North Brentwood 20722
301-864-0756; TTY 301-445-4512

Saturday, April 25, 8 pm
Stargazing: Community Observing Night
Bring a telescope or use what Anne Arundel Community College has to view planets and stars.
Starts at 8 p.m. On the Anne Arundel Community College Arnold Campus, Astronomy Lab behind lots A and B, 101 College Pkwy.
101 College Pkwy.Arnold, MD 21012
All Ages. FREE

Hopefully the rain will clear for a sunny weekend!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Decorating with Paper and Fabric

Have you ever come across a really nice card with words that you cherish, a picture in a magazine that makes you happy or a really great piece of fabric that you just don't want to throw away but you don't know what to do with it?

Well, here are some ways to preserve those items.
  • Cut the item that you want and put it in a frame to keep on display.

  • For a piece of fabric, you can turn it into a useful ribbon to tie around pillows, baskets, etc.

  • Use the item(s) and keep it in a scrapbook or photo album.

  • Use it for the cover of a photo album.

  • Cover books in the paper or fabric.

  • Use it as gift wrap to give what you enjoy back to others.

  • Create a greeting card out of it. If it is too thin, paste it on to thicker card stock.

  • Make envelopes out of it.

  • If you have a lot of different pieces of fabric, cut them into smaller ribbons to use as napkin rings. If you want something sturdier, you can cut paper towel or toilet paper holders (the cardboard piece) and put the fabric around it.

  • Make the pictures into a very personalize mobile.

  • Use as bookmark; put the item against a piece of cardboard or heavy paper stock.

  • Instead of throwing out old lamps, use a large piece of fabric, with some fabric glue or double-sided velcro, around a lamp shade to make it look new again.

  • Put fabric over old cans and use them as pots for flowers/plants or as pen holder.

Enjoy being creative today!


Monday, April 6, 2009

Car Storage Solutions

Tired of seeing your car a mess? Here are some storage ideas to keep your car clutter free!

Now that your car is clean, all the trash has been thrown out and miscellaneous items (toys, food containers, books, etc.) have been put back where they belong inside your it's time to start keeping your car looking nice and organized.

In order to keep your car clean and free of debris, hang this from the back of your seat. You can throw your trash in there or store other plastic trash bags for quick removal of items, as well as your trash. This particular item can also hold tissues in the bottom portion and a water or soda bottle on the side of it.

Back seat organizers are great. They don't take up much room and don't hinder any one's seating arrangement. This one can hold tissues, toys, books, movies, cd's, stuffed animals, maps, anything that you want to keep in the car.

Another handy back row organizer is great for daily use as well as long road trips. You can keep snacks, toys, movies, books, game controllers or even a small blanket in there.

For those who use car or booster seats, a nice item to have is a baby car seat organizer. This can make clean up easy or easier and gives you pockets to hold extra diapers, pacifiers, etc.

Shopping trips are great but sometimes they can be a hassle if you are only getting a few bags or have things that you don't want to fall out in your trunk while driving. These crates are really handy and will keep your items in place; they also collapse so that you can store them flat when not in use. They are also useful to keep your trunk organized for day to day items.

Also, for those with kids and/or pets, a back seat cover is essential to keep your seats clean.

Oh and here's a tip for Foggy Windshields - buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in your glove box. Whenever your windows fog up, rub it with the eraser. This works better than cloth.

Enjoy your week!


Whatever It Takes