Courtesy of Jeff Tidswell


Budgeting your monthly expenses isn't a new concept. Most people have some form of budgeting that works for them. With costs on the rise, some people are turning to a popular budgeting solution that uses money envelopes to track spending. It allows users to stay accountable to their budget and prevent overspending because once the money from the envelope is spent, it is not replaced until the next envelope filling day. Here are the basics: 1. Create an envelope for each expense category in your life, for example: groceries, entertainment, eating out, gas, savings, debt, etc. 2. Determine how much you typically spend in each category taking the past few months into account. If you find you overspend in one category, determine how much you want to spend and start there. 3. When you get paid, fill each envelope with the

appropriate amount of cash. If you get paid twice a month, put in half each payday. The money in the envelope can ONLY be used on what it is allocated for. Take the envelopes with you on your shopping trips and errands. If a purchase is overbudget, reconsider the purchase. 4. Remember, no borrowing from one

envelope to fill another. If you find that is happening frequently, go back to step two and see if you need to adjust your amounts in the envelopes.

5. If you pay your bills online or tend to shop online, keep track of money spent on the envelope and stick to the budget you allotted. It's tricky to not overspend, but it is possible. Over time, you may find you're able to save more by being more aware of what you're spending your hard-earned money on.


Hanging artwork, family photos and images of other special memories can help a homeowner make their living spaces positive, joyful environments. Most times, items are hung on the wall above furniture or in a grouping on an empty wall space with the center of the piece (or grouping) about 60” above the floor to provide an optimal viewing experience. To make the photos or artwork stand out more, designers suggest creating a gallery like wall that draws even more attention to the frames. Wooden trim can be used to make a frame which surrounds a grouping of photos. This is effective in a long hallway or wall. Another option is painting the section of wall behind the artwork a different colour and then arranging the pieces over the painted section. This works great in smaller areas like over a desk, in corners or on narrow walls. Be creative and place frames so they overlap the outside edge of the painted area and add other wall décor like mirrors and baskets to complete the look. The options are vast when creating a statement gallery wall and there are many suggestions and samples available on design websites.

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