Blog Posts by POPSUGAR Smart Living

  • 5 Simple Tips to Trim Your Wedding Guest List

    Source: 5 Simple Tips to Trim Your Wedding Guest List

    From long-lost aunts and uncles to your father-in-law's best friend's cousin, it's easy to let your wedding guest list spin out of control. It's tough to pick and choose who to invite - where do you draw the line? Still, when it comes to watching expenses, cutting the guest list can be one of the quickest ways to keep costs low. Whether you're narrowing it down in hopes of a more intimate ceremony or simply doing your best to save money, here are five stress-free steps to help you trim your wedding guest list:

    • Consider your budget and venue. Before you analyze your guest list, take a step back and talk to your fiancé about your highest priorities as a couple. Are you hoping for a specific venue? Worried about staying under budget? Those guidelines will help you decide how long your list can be and whether you need to cut back in other areas.
    • Agree on a fair split point. Keep things equal by compromising on a guest
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  • 13 Different Ways to Get Free Books

    Source: 13 Different Ways to Get Free Books

    Are books one of your biggest spending vices? You may think that great literature is worth any price, but buying books here and there can quickly add up. If you're a voracious reader, try to save money by getting some of your books for free through these means:

    • Library: You won't need to spend a cent on books when you borrow from the library. And if you can't find a book you want in your local branch, you can put in a request for a book that's available in other branches to be sent to a library near you. And if ebooks are your favored way of reading, you can borrow ebooks for free from most libraries. Check out the other freebies from the library.
    • Become a well-known reviewer: You can get free books from authors, even the acclaimed and famous ones, if you try this trick. A lot of times, you can even get the book ahead of its release. All you have to do is start building up a nice repertoire of really solid and detailed book reviews on
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  • 10 Fun and Frugal Bachelorette Party Destinations

    Source: 10 Fun and Frugal Bachelorette Party Destinations

    It's time for some wild revelry with your gal pals! The bachelorette party is one of the many fun traditions that the bride-to-be generally partakes in. It's always a bundle of fun to get together with some of your girlfriends and spend some quality time.

    Although we offered you great budget tips for a local bachelorette party, I know some of you are itching to travel. Heather Dickson, Associate Publisher of Lonely Planet, weighs in on the hottest vacay spots that will give you a bang for your bachelorette bucks.

    • Washington DC: "All the best things to do in DC during the day, except shop, are basically free - including botanical gardens, art galleries and museums. At night hit happy hour at bars like Madam's Organ in Adam's Morgan or try free beginner's swing dancing at The Jam Cellar."
    • New York: "Your wallet might not be able to meet all the expectations of your Empire State of mind but budget NYC can
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  • 7 Tips to Cut the Costs of Your Wedding Video

    Source: 7 Tips to Cut the Costs of Your Wedding Video

    If your special day is going to be memorialized in beautiful pictures, you might want to capture it on video, too. After all, decades down the line, when you're celebrating your 30th wedding anniversary, wouldn't it be nice to reminisce and view your wedding highlights on video? If you decide to record your wedding, try not to skimp on the quality by having an amateur shoot it. Instead, here are some other ways you can save on the wedding videographer:

    Wedding fair prices
    : Go attend a wedding fair and try to negotiate a better rate with the videographers you meet there. My friend managed to get 10 percent off the usual rate, just by haggling with the videographer in person at the fair.

    Package deal
    : Find out if you can get a better deal if you hire the photographer and videographer together. This means that they will also be working together vs. clashing, which is also a bonus for you.

    Watch the clock
    : Many videographers will

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  • 10 Unexpected Careers for Creative Types

    Source: 10 Unexpected Careers For Creative Types

    When you think of jobs suited for creative people, does consultant come to mind? Probably not. But there are plenty of reasons why this - and other unexpected careers - should make the list. We've gathered some opportunities that will let you flex your creative muscle in the classroom, on the computer, and more, as well as their average salaries (all estimates courtesy of Simply Hired or Glassdoor). Have a look, and put that imaginative brain power to good use.

    • Photo Stylist: Setting the mood or scene for a shoot is one of the most important jobs in commercial photography. Whether you work on a freelance basis or as part of a staff, using props and lighting to see your vision come to life is an accomplishment that's both innovative and gratifying.
      Average salary: $32,000
    • Chef : A pinch of this, a dash of that. Cooking up a delicious meal requires serious know-how and improvisation. By testing out different
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  • 10 Wacky and Unexpected Job Interview Questions

    Source: 10 Wacky and Unexpected Job Interview Questions

    Would you rather be a fork, a spoon, or a knife? Is that job interview question more or less nerve-racking than "what's your weakness?"

    Most of us carefully consider our answers to typical interview questions, but some of the nation's top companies are known for throwing curveballs at interviewees that require fast thinking. We've rounded up some of the craziest interview questions that would catch anyone off guard without the proper preparation. Some are actually fun, while others have a major stump factor - read on to ensure you're prepared for anything that comes your way.

    Glassdoor sifted through tens of thousands of interview questions submitted by job candidates over the past year to come up with a list of the top 25 oddball Interview questions for 2013. Here are a few:

    • "If you were to get rid of one state in the US, which would it be and why?"
    • "What do you think about when you're alone in your car?"
    • "A penguin
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  • 6 Ways to Reduce Your Energy Bill While Cleaning

    Source: 6 Ways to Reduce Your Energy Bill While Cleaning

    Cleaning your home takes up time and energy, and it also leaves you with a bigger energy bill and carbon footprint. There are plenty of ways to reduce the cost to the environment and your wallet when you're doing your chores. Here are some tips:

    • Use the cold water setting. Opt for the cold water setting when doing laundry to save money and energy. Ninety percent of the energy used in the washer is utilized to heat up the water, so by skipping the hot water, you'll be saving a lot of energy.
    • Hang clothes to dry Hang your clothes to dry whenever you can, instead of throwing them in the dryer.
    • Run full loads. When you do use your dryer, run full loads and use the moisture-sensing setting.
    • Clean the lint trap. Make sure you always clean the lint filter after use so the machine runs efficiently. Every six months, take the trap out and wash it with soap and water. While your clothes are drying, the lint in the trap
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  • 11 Ways to Have a Clean Place Without Cleaning

    Source: 11 Ways to Have a Clean Place Without Cleaning

    If you don't enjoy cleaning, tidying up your place may feel like a time-consuming and mind-numbing task. However, there are little tricks you can do to lessen your load and expend less effort toward cleaning yet still have a sparkling clean residence. Here are some ways to have a clean place without cleaning:

    • Everything has its place: Remember that every item has its place in your home, and if they don't, find spots for them. Organize your things and make sure that every time you take something from its rightful place, you're always returning it to where it belongs when you're done using it. You'll prevent clutter from building.
    • Reduce your stuff: If you have less possessions, you'll have less clutter to deal with. Check out our recommendations of things you should throw away today. Be mindful when shopping and don't buy things you don't need, even if you're tempted to.
    • Take off your shoes: Taking off your shoes
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  • 9 Eco-Unfriendly Moves that Are Costing You

    Source: 9 Eco-Unfriendly Moves That Are Costing You

    We usually tell you what you should do to save the earth, but sometimes it's easier to listen to advice on what you shouldn't do. Not being environmentally friendly adds a huge cost to your wallet and your environment.

    Here are a couple of eco-unfriendly moves you should avoid doing:

    • Not using public transportation: Even if you do have a car, try to switch off with public transportation intermittently. The less cars out there, the less pollution and greenhouse gas emissions are generated. You'll be saving the environment and money on gas as well. Further, taking public transportation is even known to help you lose weight as well.
    • Not unplugging your electronics: Leaving your electronics plugged in when you're not using them means that the gadgets will keep sucking up the energy when not in use. The average household actually loses about $200 a year from vampire energy usage, so make sure you're unplugging your
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  • 6 Good Spending Habits to Start for Lent

    Source: 6 Good Spending Habits to Start For Lent

    This time of year might be known for giving up bad habits thanks to Lent, but we're advocating for picking up good habits instead. When it comes to spending, we could all use some tips to better our practices. Here are some that we hope will last well beyond 40 days.

    • Buy for quality, not cost: If you're someone who frequently shops lesser-quality items because of the cheaper price tag, then consider how much you're actually saving in the long run. An expensive pair of boots might last you a lifetime, whereas you might have to keep replacing the more affordable pair that is poorly made.
    • Keep detailed track of your expenses: For some people, checking bank statements from time to time is how they track finances. But keeping tabs on where money goes - how much do you really spend on eating out per week? - is key to understanding the bigger picture of how to save up. Download apps like Ace Budget 2 ($1) to help with the budgeting
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