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Dec 11, 2019

Six Simple and Easy Ways to Save More Money

Did you know that almost one-third of people didn’t save any money in the last twelve months because they had no spare money to actually put into a savings account? Saving money is something that most of us want to do, but when it feels like all your earnings are quickly disappearing on monthly expenses, you’re not in a good place. The good news is that there are several money-saving methods that you may want to try that can be changed to suit various budgets. And, don’t forget that even saving small amounts can add up to more than you realize.
Photo by Lukas from Pexels

The 1-cent saving challenge:

You might have already heard about a $1 per week saving challenge - the idea is that over the fifty-two weeks of the year, you boost the amount that you save each week by just one dollar. So, you save $1 in week one, $2 in week two, and so on. This can be a great way to save, but since you have to save more as the year goes on, it’s not suitable for all budgets. So, here’s an alternative - the 1c savings challenge. Rather than saving $1 per week, save just 1 cent a day and increase it by 1 cent as the days go on. If you stick to the plan for the full year, you’ll end up with over $650, and the most you’ll have to save in one go is just $3.65.
Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

Get a money box or piggy bank:

A piggy bank is a tried-and-tested money-saving technique. You might have had one as a child, so why not carry this on as an adult! You could use a jar instead of a proper piggy bank, or if you’re tempted to dip into your savings you can get jars and money tins that you need to open with a tin opener or even smash open quite cheaply in pound shops. Over time, you can save more than you realize from just popping your loose change into a jar.

Round your bank account balance down:

Rounding down the balance in your bank account is an easy way to save some money here and there. Log into your bank account online daily or weekly and round the money down, then transfer the money into a different savings account. For example, if you have $251.45 in your account, you’d transfer $1.45, leaving you with $250. Although there might not always be a lot of money to round down, it also comes with the added bonus of encouraging you to keep a watchful eye on your bank balance.

Use cashback sites:

Did you know that you can get money just for spending on websites that you were going to use anyway? Cashback sites and apps like TopCashBack or Quidco are a great method of saving money on the things that you were already going to buy, especially when it comes to essentials like switching utilities, broadband or insurance. Whenever you need to buy something online, take some time to visit a cashback site first and search for the site that you need. If it’s listed, visiting through the cashback site instead of going directly could earn you some money.

Consolidate your debts:

Using a loan to consolidate your debts is a great way to spend less on repaying credit, if you’re struggling to pay them off otherwise. Taking out a personal loan that provides you with enough money to pay off everything else that you owe often means that you can save money as you’ll switch to having just one easy to manage monthly payment rather than several. If you only have one debt to pay off at the moment, then consider using any money that you save using the above methods to put towards the debt and get it paid off faster.

Use cash more often:

Finally, getting into the habit of spending cash rather than using your debit or credit card can be a great way to help you get a better handle on your expenditures. Make sure that you have enough money in your bank account to cover monthly expenses like your rent and bills and take out cash at the beginning of the week or month for everything else. Having the cash there will make it easier for you to not go over your budget - you could even sort the cash into different envelopes for different things like food, socializing, etc.

Did you find these tips helpful? Let us know in the comments.
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Dec 8, 2019

Create A Family Photo Wall With CanvasDiscount [Giveaway]

Do you ever look around your home and think about the things you have been meaning to do for a long time? One of those things for me is to get some pictures, art or really anything up on my bare walls. We have lived in our home for almost 2 decades and still have so many bare walls. We tend to have more minimalist taste when it comes to decorating our home, but I do love displaying family photos.

I have been wanting to have a family gallery-style wall, and finally started it this year. I still have a little way to go, but feel like it is coming along pretty well so far. We have pictures that have been taken over the years that are very much worthy of being displayed. One of my favorite styles of photos is canvas prints. I really do love the look of a photo that almost looks like a painting when it is printed on a canvas. I knew I need to add a couple more family photos so I used to order exactly what I needed. offers a huge variety of sizes and styles of canvas prints to fit your budget. Since I had tighter areas that I needed canvas prints for, I went with a vertical prints in sizes 12" x 16". They were the perfect size, and the prices were so good at just $25 each. The website is user-friendly, and I was able to upload my photos and create my whole order from start to finish in about 10 minutes. It does help a lot when you already know which photos you want to use. Check out these gorgeous canvas prints we had made.

The quality is excellent, and the colors are rich and vibrant. Also, the shipping time was super fast. Right now, you can get up to 5 FREE MIXPIX® plates from just by going through this link: I absolutely love the idea of an entire collage of canvas prints on a wall. Speaking of which, look at how nice our two canvas prints look with the existing photos we have on the wall above our couch. All I need to do now is add some decorative signs and plaques to finish it off. By the way, canvas prints make nice gifts for the holidays!

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This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only and ends on December 19, 2019. Must follow rules in Rafflecopter. One winner will be chosen randomly. Mom Files is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!

Thank you so much for providing us with a code for complimentary canvas prints. All opinions are our own. 
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Dec 4, 2019

Projects We Tackled In 2019

This past year seems to have gone by so quickly and makes me take time to reflect on things that we accomplished in our household, as well as plan for the upcoming new year. We decided on buying a lot less stuff in 2019, and donated a lot of things that were no longer serving us in a positive way. We made a list of household projects that we wanted to get done, and thankfully we were able to check off those boxes!

Photo by Camille Brodard on Unsplash
We started out with some plumbing repairs which we still have another part to complete. Thankfully we replaced our ancient water heater with a brand new one and got some re-piping done. The plumbing job then led to a bathroom remodel in our hallway bath. We experienced some mishaps during the process, but it’s done and we are planning on the downstairs bathroom remodel. We will take all of the lessons we learned from the first one into the second project.
Rocco is enjoying our cozy new carpet
Another big project that we got done was having our upstairs carpeting replaced. We did our research at a local place that was highly recommended and we couldn’t be happier! It was so nice entertaining over the Thanksgiving holiday with a refreshed-looking home. I really think we will get a new dining room set early next year to replace our 15-year-old set. I was reading an article earlier this year that talked about having a custom table made or refurbished, and then purchasing chairs for your dining table. That might not be a bad idea since our actual table isn’t in bad condition. The chairs aren’t the most comfortable to sit on for extended periods of time. It might look nice if we got our table professionally refinished. Then we can spend our time looking for chairs that will suit our taste and needs.

Speaking of dining room, we got a quote for new flooring for the kitchen and dining areas. We just have to come up with what type and finish of flooring we want to go with. I am leaning towards the higher quality vinyl that looks like hardwoods. We have old vinyl now and the thing I like about it is that it’s easy to clean, and if you accidentally drop a cup or plate, it doesn't always break like it would on a hard tile floor. Decisions, decisions.

A couple more things that we also got done was getting our landing replaced at our front door. The wooden planks were getting rickety, so we had them all ripped out and replaced. We just have to get the wood stained once the weather gets warmer. For now we have to look at a two-toned deck, but that's okay. I also got a brand new washing machine to replace my 23-year-old one. Yes, we had it for 23 YEARS! Although my new machine is pretty and modern, I actually miss how the old school type works. Go figure!

I think that we will focus on one new project per quarter as our budget allows. Planning everything out ahead of time has really made it so much easier to get the projects set up and completed. We were super lucky to find good people who offer reasonable prices. Hopefully they will be able to get us on their schedule. Do you have any big home renovations or projects planned for the new year?

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Ways To Unplug And Go Outdoors

The world is more connected than ever before, for better or worse. Although the Internet and improved telecommunications technology allow us to be in contact with almost anyone around the globe immediately, this can be useful and harmful. A recent study revealed that Americans spend up to 10 hours a day staring at screens watching television and surfing the Internet. While there are loads of benefits that come with our current dependence on technology, it also puts us in danger of missing some helpful experiences.

Even if we’re watching our DVRs from a park bench or scrolling through social media feeds poolside, we miss something when we make technology the primary focus of our lives. Too much screen usage means we’re most prone to sitting for too long, and probably indoors. There’s something to be said about the benefits of fresh air and sunlight, not to mention good old-fashioned exercise. That’s why it’s important to remember to unplug ourselves from technology often and get some face time with the real world.
Photo by Devon Janse van Rensburg on Unsplash
The perks of unplugging are numerous, especially if you spend that time outdoors. Studies have found that frequent exposure to social media can intensify feelings of depression and anxiety, not to mention the health issues that arise when we waste too much time sitting and consuming electronic media. Spending all your time indoors gawking at your screens also opens you to a lot of recycled air and artificial lighting, neither of which benefits you in terms of health.

Going outside and staying active, even if it’s simply relaxing in a nature preserve drawing a landscape, can do you a lot of good. You don’t have to become a rough outdoorsy type to get the benefits of the outdoors, either. There are plenty of simple ways you can unplug from technology and benefit from the outdoors. For example, you can take a walk throughout your local park or around your neighborhood. You can take up landscape painting or nature photography to utilize your artistic side while taking in some fresh air. Fishing and bird watching also are great ways to take up a hobby that doesn’t demand being plugged into a wall outlet. Or, taking a boat out onto the water can be relaxing as well as exhilarating.

Putting some limitations on your technology use also can lead to meaningful perks. You could think about trading in your smartphone for a simpler cellphone that is unable to connect to email or the Internet. You might consider putting a limit on your screen time the same way you would restrict your calorie intake on a diet. Reading a book instead of staring at your phone during your commute also can work wonders for your mood as a way to unplug.

As pleasant as it is that we’re all connected these days, it’s also necessary to remember to unplug. If you’re looking for ways to de-stress, the checklist accompanying this post can provide you with some basic tips. Use the unplugging checklist, and you may see some benefits right away in terms of your mood and well-being.

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Nov 20, 2019

Best Places in Canada for Skiing

As USA Today notes, Whistler Blackcomb is visited by more skiers and boarders than any other resort in North America. If you want to enjoy easy access to some of the world's best slopes, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better place to purchase a vacation home or permanent residence among the Whistler homes for sale.
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This huge resort offers everything from beginner to expert terrain across nearly 8,200 acres with over 200 marked trails, bowl, and glade zones. There are three dozen lifts, including a 10-passenger gondola that has the greatest capacity of any lift on the continent bringing 4,000 skiers from the bottom to the top of Blackcomb every hour. Plus, the resort's village is like its own city, with an outdoor skating rink, tube park, and cinema along with countless dining and shopping options.

Sunshine Village, Banff National Park

Banff National Park hosts three ski resorts along the continental divide, with Sunshine Village Canada's highest elevation resort resulting in some of the highest above-the-treeline terrains in the country. Expect spectacular vistas of the dramatic Rocky Mountains in every direction along with challenging, rugged slopes for experts like Delirium Dive, voted as one of the most extreme runs in the world by CNN Travel. It even requires avalanche gear and a buddy. If you aren't up for that much of a heart-pounding thrill, among the 3,300 acres of ski terrain there's everything from groomed cruisers to big bowls too.

Mont Tremblant, Quebec

Mont Tremblant is easily accessible for epic skiing, located 80 miles north of Montreal. Especially picturesque with its storybook feel, it's often compared to Europe's ski towns with a unique Quebecois culture. The walkable village hosts a wide range of international eateries and one of the most vibrant apr├Ęs-ski scenes in the region. But it isn't just about the scenery and after-skiing fun - this is eastern Canada's premier resort with 665 acres of skiable terrain across four mountains with over 2,000 feet of vertical drop. It boasts the province's steepest run with a pitch of 42 degrees providing something for the experts too.

For those that want to switch things up every once in a while, Mont Tremblant also offers ice climbing, snowmobiling, and dog sledding.

Sun Peaks Resort, British Columbia

Sun Peaks, Canada's second-largest resort, is a town of its own, 45 minutes from Kamloops in the British Columbia interior. It has three mountains that are linked, spanning nearly 4,300 acres of diverse terrain - all without the crowds that you'll find in the more popular resorts. There's truly something for everyone from beginners to the advanced, plus the grooming is impeccable. After a day out on the slopes, you'll find a long list of dining options to feed your appetite, from cheap eats to upscale restaurants serving seafood and steaks.

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