Author Archives: femmefrugality

Investing in Good Cotton Bedding

I received product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.

Dang. This looks like such a comfortable bed to sleep in...

You guys know I’m not prone to spend inordinate amounts of money on everyday items. My value-based spending just doesn’t lend itself to the materialistic. I’ll spend on travel, even while finding ways to make it super cheap, because I know the memories and the expansion of my worldview are worth it to me.

On the other hand, I have been known to seriously skimp on things like clothes, shoes, toothbrushes, entertainment, etc. One time my frugality got so bad that I did something totally inappropriate that could have been solved with wrapping paper.

Not spending money is kind of my thing. But there is one area of home decor where I’m decidedly unfrugal. And that, my friends, is my bed sheets.

Heavenly Cotton

In the past, I’ve started my sheet shopping sojourns at the place all frugal shopping trips begin: Walmart. I begin my lament by asking why all the dang sheets are polyester. I scour the shelves to find the only Better Homes and Garden set that is actually 100% cotton.

I get it home and am proud of myself. No sweating in a pool of polyester nightmares. Just cotton goodness. I grab the same pillow I’ve been clinging to for years and drift off into dreamland.

Then a month later a kid is scooching onto or off of my bed and the fitted sheet rips. Or I’ll find the tear when I’m pulling it out of the dryer. And the whole process starts over again.

Enter Lofton Sheets by Saatva

300 thread count white cotton

I was recently approached by Saatva–a brand that does bedding well. The do mattresses, pillows and sheets. So when they asked if I’d like to try their 100% fair-trade cotton sheets, I of course said yes. Maybe this would be the solution to my problems!

So far it has been. I’ve been sleeping on my new ivory, 300-thread-count, organic cotton sheets for over a month now, and not only are they 5,000 times more luxurious than their thrifty predecessors, but they’re also not ripped. They’re high enough quality that I don’t anticipate that happening ever, which is a nice change of pace.

This is actually a purposeful act by Saatva. They make their sheets with long organic cotton fibers so they’re way more durable while remaining way more breathable.

I’m also loving how good I feel about using them. They’re fair-trade. Global Organic Textile Standard certified. So what I’m sleeping in isn’t just good for my comfort. It’s good for the environment and all the people who take part in making these sheets a reality.

I also have pillow problems.

When I had my last child, they sat on a nerve that made it really difficult to walk. When I first woke up in the mornings, I couldn’t move anything from my hips down for tens of minutes. It was too painful.

After my baby came into the world and I went through some serious physical therapy, I was mostly better. But if I sleep with anything but the pillow I’ve had for an embarrassing amount of years, my back still hurts in the morning. It’s enough to mess up my whole day.

Guys, that pillow is gross. It’s been time for an upgrade for a while, but every pillow I’ve tried has left me regretting it in the morning.

So when the good folks at Saatva said they’d send me pillows, too, I was more than keen on it. Maybe it would work. Maybe it wouldn’t. But it was worth a shot.

Then I slept on these new pillows and realized they were the best  ever. Better even than that one I should have gotten rid of  years ago. The loft is a bit higher than what I’m used to, so I was a little concerned the first night. But it molded to my head, and I woke up in the morning with zero pain.

Also, these pillows stay cold so you don’t even have to flip them.

supportive plush saatva pillow

Investing in Good Cotton Bedding

I’m not going to lie: The prices with Saatva are higher than those I found in the aisles of Walmart. But I don’t spend that much money on clothes, toothbrushes, concerts or even my beloved travel.

So I’m going to spend money on Saatva bedding guilt-free. As I need future pillows, I’ll dole out the cash for a good night’s sleep.

I’ll spend the extra money to ensure my sheets last more than a month, saving me money in the long-run.

I’m a huge believer in value-based spending, and as this millennial gets older, I value my sleep more and more.

 

 

The Road to Good Credit

The following post is brought to you and contributed by an outside writer.

When it comes to the two biggest financial commitments you’ll ever make in your life,
unless you have an absolute ton of cash to splash, your credit score is going to come into
play. Of course, I’m talking about buying a car and taking out a mortgage (not necessarily in that order).

The thing is, despite the fact that your credit score is very important, it’s not something
you’re often taught about at school which is surprising. Naturally, understanding what your
credit profile is and how it’s influenced is a pretty important life skill. Having a good score
will open you up to the best deals and interest rates the next time you want that mortgage or new car, so it can make life’s challenges that little bit easier. Really, it’s not unusual to feel a little lost when it comes to your personal credit circumstances.

Credit reference agencies keep a record of your credit history on file and this information is
accessed by lenders whenever you apply for finance. Your report will contain your score,
address and any details of missed payments. In terms of the score itself, there’s no universal
number as it changes depending on the company you use. For example, Experian scores out
of 999. If you have a history of missed payments then this will work against you as lenders
will view you as more of a risk. This increased risk will usually result in a higher interest rate.
However, bad credit doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get finance. You can read a little
more on the subject of bad credit by checking out the following bad credit car finance guide.

Understanding what makes a good credit score, and taking steps to improve it if required
will put you in a good position financially. Even simple things such as registering on the Electoral Roll and meeting your payments on time will help.

Check out the infographic below for a visual representation and stay on the road to good credit in the UK.

Here's how to up your credit.

4 Tips for Women Running a Small Business

This post, which is contributed by an outside writer, is in collaboration with Redfin.

Tips for when you're starting a new business as an entrepreneur.

The number of women-owned small businesses has tripled since 2011. according to the 2014 American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Business report, four in 10 new firms are started by women.

These latest numbers regarding women in business can’t be ignored. There are 9.1 million woman-owned businesses nationwide, employing 7.9 million employees and generating $1.4 trillion in sales, according to the National Association of Women Business Owners.

They’re running businesses out of their homes, out of makeshift offices or while working full time. The famous Lillian Vernon catalog was started at her kitchen table. If you’re interested in starting your own business, either home-based or otherwise, look at the next steps towards making your dream a reality.

One note: if you are going to run a  business out of your home, you may need to check with your homeowners to ensure you have proper coverage to protect yourself. You may also find yourself asking what is my home worth? Some funding sources require a home valuation if you will be using it as your headquarters.

With so many women opting for career changes and deciding to open their own businesses, it’s important that they’re as prepared as possible. If you’re a woman considering your next big move, keep these four tips in mind.

Define your niche

It can be easy to fall into the trap of doing too much and being too broad. Define the specifics of your business and focus on those. Too many business owners get caught up in the bigger picture to care about the details.

Identify your target audience

Identifying your target audience is perhaps one of the most critical tasks for any business owner. This will help with outreach and marketing efforts to ensure your message is being received by the right people.

Build a successful network

Finding other like-minded individuals can help your business thrive. Use them as mentors, investors, employees. Your network will help you grow and thrive.

Build a robust online presence

In a digital world, your online presence can say absolutely everything about your brand. Establishing your digital presence across as many digital networks as possible helps drive visibility and create coherence for your small business.  Without a strong online presence, potential customers will go to your competitors. Share content, but not too much, and ensure the information you post is accurate.

Women-Led Companies are Thriving in 2018

Employees with female CEO’s experience greater levels of employee-satisfaction as well as fewer layoffs. A recent study showed that women-owned companies experienced a 12 percent increase in year-over-year revenue in 2018. The numbers speak for themselves–women continue to be successful entrepreneurs. More women continue to pursue their own business endeavors and are experiencing great success.

 

 

Your Alien Ticket #Giveaway for #Pittsburgh Families

This post is brought to you in partnership with The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Hoping I win these four free tickets to this show! My kids love this book.

So, if you didn’t wake up this morning to a super happy email telling you that you won tickets to the Hip Hop Nutcracker, I’ve got something that will add a little bit of sunshine to your day.

We’ve got another giveaway from The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust!

Your Alien

January 6-14, 2019
Get tickets here.

This time it’s for a show called Your Alien. When I first started this partnership with The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, this was the number one show one of my kiddos wanted to see. So we’re very excited for it!

If you’d like to get a feel for it, here’s the story the play is based on:

If you’re super loving it, you can also buy the book.

If you haven’t gotten enough of this adorable story yet, here’s what you need to know about the performance itself:

One day, you’ll be looking out your window when something wonderful comes your way… and you will want to keep him. Your Alien touches down with a stranded alien who strikes up a fabulous friendship with a boy who finds him. They go to school and have loads of fun together. As evening approaches, the alien grows homesick. Will the boy be able to figure out how to help his new friend? This funny and uplifting new musical shows how the power of true friendship can last a lifetime. Based on the book by Tammy Sauer.

Content Information: This event is designated for younger audiences and is recommended for children and adults ages 3+. This show features acting, music and movement. The theater will be darkened with light coming from the stage.

The Giveaway

We’ve had a couple of giveaways with a really quick turnaround time, which has been fun and exciting. But this time around I want to do something a little different–especially because of the holidays.

This giveaway will be open longer: through December 23rd. The notification email will go out to the winner on Christmas Eve. That way, if you want to wrap up a picture of the performance or print out the email or whatever, you’ll be able to put this prize under the tree as a last-minute gift.

The fact that it’s open longer this time will also give you an opportunity for more entries. There are many opportunities to win entries everyday simply by sharing this giveaway on social media.

I know some of you have entered all three of these giveaways to date. I want you to know I see you! I know you share and appreciate it, so I wanted to give you a longer window to be able to earn more chances to bring home those tickets.

Depending on how this goes, I might extend more of our giveaway entry periods in the future. What do you think? Let me know in the comments, and best of luck! I hope you’ll all be able to see this play with your littles!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Children's Theater Pittsburgh

Tech I Can’t Believe I Can Afford

This post is in collaboration with Mention Me.

This is an interesting thought. I've definitely seen prices for technology drop over my lifetime!

Recently, I took a trip down to Florida. I drove. I got a heck of a deal by using Auto Europe to book my car rental, and ended up with an SUV.

This thing had heated seats in the front. I was able to hook up my phone via bluetooth to listen to Google Maps and podcasts. And then there was the luxury I wasn’t quite prepared for: the backup camera.

I could parallel park with a new sense of confidence. It wasn’t a big deal that I had bags packed up to the ceiling in the trunk because I didn’t need to see out that window to back up. I was entering the 21st century, and it felt glorious.

That led me down the road of looking at backup cameras. Just for funsies. To my surprise, they’re an affordable add-on. Like super affordable. Like you can get one for under $150 at TadiBrothers.

As I was reflecting on my newfound ability to afford fancy tech, it got me to thinking about what other things I have thought were out of reach over the course of my life, only to have them be made available both by an increased income and the lowering of prices as technology becomes more accessible.

Smartphones

I was not on the smartphone bandwagon at first. I didn’t graduate out of my old flip phone until 2012. I didn’t want to carry my email with me everywhere, I didn’t need to be able to surf the web with my thumbs and I wasn’t into paying big bucks for data.

Then we were offered an unlimited data plan with phones whose prices had been reduced down to $10 or something ridiculous. And now I’m addicted to the dang thing, for better or worse.

Laptops

A couple years ago, I was seriously stressing about having two laptops in one house. I remember saving my pennies back in the day to contribute towards getting an internet-capable desktop with my parents. It was expensive as all get out.

What I failed to realize, and you all were kind enough to point out to me, is that computer prices have gone down dramatically since the turn of the millennium, and that having more than one per household is pretty darn normal.

What tech can you afford?

Are there any tech items you’re surprised you can afford? Was it an increase in income, a lowering of tech prices or both?