Saturday, February 4, 2012

How to Make the Holidays Easier on the Pocketbook

Holiday time is often filled with stresses--for whom do you buy, what is it, and how much are you going to spend.

Wallstreet Journal provided " Seven Smart Money Moves for the Holidays" last year that bears repeating.

1. Set a gift budget in advance and stick to it. Only take cash to the mall.

2. Negotiate a gift truce among adults. Either no gifts or one gift to a random person. Specify an amount.

3. "If you get a choice, opt for time spent together building memories versus giving stuff that leaves you drained of your hard-earned cash." Go on a picnic. Give cooking lessons.

4. Set up funds for the children (grandchildren). Family and friends can contribute to a 529 college fund as their gift. Or help them open their first Roth IRA.

5. Forget the presents and give to charities. Join in on a hunt for organizations you want to support.

6. Give handmade items such as cookies, soups, pesto, flavored olive oil.

7. Research prices online to make sure you are getting a good deal.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Way to Go, Dianne: Fashion For the Older Woman

Ahhh. Just what I'm looking for, "12 Easy Tips to Update" my wardrobe and ZestNow, for women 55 and forward is just what the right site. Dianne Morris, also on Vibrant Nation, is my new go-to consultant:

1. Longer tops--about 8 inches or more below the waist.

2. Bolder necklaces, including multi-strand, to go along with longer tops. Beads are great. So are long chains or cords with medallions.

3. Small earrings for daytime. Go longer and larger at night.

4. Buy a belt, handbag, blouse or scarf in an animal print. Wear with solid color outfits. Handbags are getting more structured and tailored.

5. Black, dark gray, dark brown or navy opaque panty hose or tights. Sheer black hose are for evening.

6. Flats or low heels with decorative elements (bows, buckles, etc.) are in--Yay!!!! Also get good leather just-below-the-knee boots with opaque hose. Books go under pants and jeans.

7. Wear belts comfortable at your waist or a little looser below the waist. Thin ones for thinner fabrics. Wear with longer tops, over jackets.

8. Pants need to fit at the waist and hips and should reach at least the top of the heel or have a slight break in front.

9. Dark denim jeans.

10. Mid-knee or just past the knee skirts. Stay away from gathered or bunched. Go solid or tweed.

11. Mock turtlenecks. Good quality wool or cashmere sweaters.

12. Black is great for special occasions and can be added to new pieces for different looks.