Blog Posts by POPSUGAR Smart Living

  • 6 Ways to Find Out What Your Peers Are Making

    SavvySugarSource: 6 Ways to Find Out What Your Peers Are Making

    More and more companies are revealing how much each employee is getting paid, according to the Wall Street Journal. Advocates say this helps employees "better understand their individual contribution to the whole group." This wage transparency is most often practiced by start-ups, but if you're keen to know how much your peers are making even though your company doesn't reveal the numbers, here are a couple of alternatives:

    • Glassdoor: If your company is big enough, you may be able to find out the pay of employees through anonymous salary quotes at Glassdoor.com. What's great about this tool is it gives you specific information on what someone in your position is doing at your company, so the numbers aren't too generalized.
    • College career center: Even if many years have passed since your graduation, you can approach your college career center and ask the counselors if they have any statistics of what your fellow
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  • Make Your Own: Amazingly Easy Homemade Fabric Softener

    Source: Make Your Own: Amazingly Easy Homemade Fabric Softener

    Made from all-natural ingredients, this eco-friendly fabric softener helps fluff and freshen your clothes without artificial fragrances or ingredients. Vinegar is a natural softening agent, making it the perfect base for this homemade DIY. The addition of an essential oil, such as lavender, orange, lemon, or mint, which are antibacterial, keeps your clothes wonderfully clean and smelling fantastic. And, what's even better, this laundry booster only costs a few dollars to make.

    What You'll Need:

    • Large jar or container with lid
    • 16 ounces distilled white vinegar
    • Essential oil
    • Fresh herbs

    Directions:

    • Simply measure and add four cups of vinegar to a jar and 10 to 12 drops of your favorite essential oil. Simply shake and add 1/4 cup to your washing machine's fabric softener dispenser per load of laundry. For an extra boost of scent, add a sprig of fresh rosemary, lavender, or mint.
    • To make in bulk,
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  • Ultimate Guide to Getting Rid of Stuff You Don't Need

    Source: Ultimate Guide to Getting Rid of Stuff You Don't Need

    Starting the New Year means clearing out the old. It's a good idea to get items you don't use out of the way because they will fill up valuable space in your home. Get ready to sell your stuff with these tips:

    • Electronics. If you're thinking about selling your electronics, consider Gazelle.com, buymytronics.com, and nextworth.com. These sites are great because they'll quote you a price for the item you wish to sell. You can always consider selling it back to the original retailer itself if you're wary about third-party sellers. For instance, Apple has a great recycling program.
    • Receipts and documents. Nip your pack rat tendencies in the bud and start sorting out documents to trash or stash. Throw away receipts for items that you aren't planning on returning, and ones that you won't need to use come tax time. If you're wary of throwing away receipts, you can make a digital copy of them with a basic scanner, a
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  • Unexpected Expenses to Keep in Mind (and Avoid) in 2013

    SavvySugarSource: Unexpected Expenses to Keep in Mind (and Avoid) in 2013

    Even after you've set your budget for the New Year, chances are you might overlook certain expenses: you know, the busted transmissions and extra fees that creep up, and before you realize it, you're out hundreds of dollars. While some experts say you should have nine months to a year of income saved for emergencies, we know that's not always possible. But you can still prepare by putting aside money each month for these incidents. Soon you'll end up with a flexible spending plan that will withstand even these unexpected expenses.

    • Gifts: If you're someone with a large extended family or big group of friends, it can feel like it's someone's birthday every other week. Curb costs by suggesting that everyone pitch in for one nice present.
    • Electronic repairs: A hard drive crashing or a phone screen cracking is never fun. But the way we rely on our electronics, we don't hesitate to shell out whatever it takes to get
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  • 9 Must-Have Household Items Every Savvy Woman Needs

    SavvySugarSource: 9 Must-Have Household Items Every Savvy Woman Needs

    We all love saving money, making these budget-friendly items must haves around the house. You might be surprised with the ways you can use these basic things to save you in a pinch while keeping a few dollars in your pocket at the same time. Plus, you probably already have a few of these savvy items already in your home. Click through for our favorite tools and more that will help you save time and money around your house.

    • Needle and Thread: Not only awesome for attaching buttons and mending clothes, a needle and thread comes in handy for fun DIYs and crafts. Having an assortment of needles and thread at your house is much cheaper than paying a tailor for quick hem touch-ups and tightening loose buttons.
    • Baking Soda: A box of baking soda only costs a few dollars and does much more than help your baked goods taste good and freshen your fridge. There are tons of money-saving ways to use baking soda. Instead of
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  • 10 Frugal Ways to Live Chemical-Free

    Source: 10 Frugal Ways to Live Chemical-Free

    Living chemical-free seems like a luxury - after all, those organic products tend to be pricier. But is it worth the cost? Beth Greer, an environmental health consultant and the author of Super Natural Home, warns that the chemicals can "act as endocrine disruptors - substances that interfere with our natural hormones." This may lead to the worsening of conditions like allergies and asthma and other symptoms like fatigue, nausea, and headaches. Prolonged exposure may even lead to more devastating health problems.

    For those who are resolving to start living a more chemical-free life this year, Greer has some budget-friendly tips on how to make the change:

    • Switch it up. "Start with the foods and products you use most often and switch out just one in each category. For example, if you drink milk, switch to organic milk (without pesticides and growth hormones); switch just one lipstick to a natural one; choose a natural deodorant."
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  • Savvy Resolutions You Should Make This Year

    SavvySugarSource: Savvy Resolutions You Should Make This Year

    The best way to stick to New Year's resolutions (or any type of resolution, for that matter) is to keep it simple. You may wonder how you can streamline such a complex process - there are so many possible resolutions to commit to! The answer is easy: just pick one resolution. Read on to see our suggestions and pick your favorite.

    • Drop Your Daily Deal Habit: This year, resolve to drop your daily deal habit. Buying coupons can be extremely addictive, because sometimes the deals are just too tempting. But oftentimes, you'll end up doing something that you never planned on doing in the first place and trying restaurants that you had no intention of trying to begin with. The problem with buying deal after deal is that you might forget about them if you're not carefully keeping track of them, and you may end up losing money when the coupon expires. Do yourself and your budget (not to mention your inbox!) a favor this year, and
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  • Super Savvy! 10 Totally Free Ways to Relax

    SavvySugarSource: Super Savvy! 10 Totally Free Ways to Relax

    Between the holidays and the start of a new year, there's a lot going on (what else is new?). That makes taking a moment to stop and relax sometimes challenging. Instead of tossing down a ton of cash for a day at the spa, treat yourself to a bit of free zen. You might be surprised at how easy it is to turn your frown upside down without spending any cash. Click through for a collection of savvy ways to treat yourself to some much-needed relaxation.

    • Read a Book: Head to your local library and get yourself a library card, which is free. Many libraries now have lending services for ebooks, too, making it even easier to sneak a few moments of quiet relaxing time. Even if you're not a big reader, you might be surprised by how calming it is to simply sit and get lost in a few pages.
    • Go For a Walk: Anytime you are feeling like you just can't take anymore, head outdoors for a brisk walk. Getting your body moving is a great way
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  • How to Use Christmas Decor into the New Year

    SavvySugarSavvySugarSource: How to Use Christmas Decor Into the New Year

    No one likes taking down Christmas decorations, because that means having to wait a whole year before they grace your home again. But there are ways to make them last until New Year's Eve, if not past that, and give them a thriving post-Christmas life.

    • Garland: Christmas garland in reds, golds, and silvers can go a long way once the holiday is over. Consider hanging it upside down for New Year's Eve streamers. Want to use it past Jan. 1? Upcycle it, and turn it into packing material for fragile objects.
    • Wrapping paper: If you get creative, there are many uses for gift wrap (including framing graphic patterns), but some of our favorites have to do with lining. Gather large-enough scraps, and line shelves and kitchen drawers that need some sprucing up, or use metallic paper to line drink trays for New Year's Eve.
    • Ornaments: Don't put ornaments back in the garage once Dec. 26 rolls around. All you have to do is place them
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  • 4 Ways to Budget Your Bucks

    SavvySugarSource: 4 Ways to Budget Your Bucks

    When your income and expenses are nearly the same, it's time to create a budget. Want to purchase something that you couldn't afford unless you charged it on a credit card? Budgeting would be the answer. Money is a personal thing, so there's not a one-budget-fits-all solution for those looking to make a plan. Discover four options for budgeting your bucks and be on your way to taking better control of your money.

    • Reverse Budgeting: Reverse budgeting can be appealing to anyone who just wants to save money and isn't too concerned about gaining insight into their spending habits. The system asks you to automatically transfer a certain amount of money to your savings each month, and whatever is left over is yours to spend however you choose.
    • Envelope Budgeting : Cash is king when it comes to envelope budgeting. Set spending goals for various categories and label envelopes accordingly. Then, distribute your budgeted amounts in cash into
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