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I Wish I Knew These Low-cost Christmas Tricks Earlier

I Wish I Knew These Low-cost Christmas Tricks Earlier

Ho, ho, ho—the jolly holiday season is upon us! Christmas is slowly nearing and everyone is getting excited about the biggest holiday of the year. Now, we’ve become a very consumer-oriented culture, one where everyone is expected to spend tons of money on everything from gifts and decorations, to Christmas cards and even specific types of candy, but not everyone can afford to spend lots of their hard-earned money. We all want to enjoy the holidays, prepare cool gifts for our family and bring about some of that Christmas spirit—it’s just that a lot of us need a more cost-effective way of doing these things. Well, being that it is the season of giving and sharing, let me share with you some great tricks for having the perfect Christmas experience on a very tight budget.

1. Have everyone help out with the cleaning and decorating.

Christmas decoration

    The best way to create a fun holiday atmosphere is to get the whole family involved in the preparation. Get the kids and parents involved, and if you’re living the single life and spending Christmas away from home you can have friends over to help you decorate. It is a fun bonding experience and it helps make things easier. Serve some snacks, cookies and drinks for the hard-working helpers and play some fun games when the work is done.

    1. Organize a fun photo session.

    In this day and age you don’t even really need a professional photographer to capture great family moments—everyone has a camera on their phone, and there’s at least one decent digital camera in most households. There are plenty of benefits to having regular family photo sessions about once a year around the holidays, and you can have tons of fun dressing up and snapping creative photos. You can later pick out the best ones, print them out and create some cheap, yet cool-looking decorations. There’s plenty of room for some creative photo editing and DIY frames, which will make the photos really stand out.

    2. Get creative with homemade Christmas cards and envelopes.

    You can get an assortment of different color envelopes and blank cards, or even just get plain white ones and spice them up yourself. You can color them, use markers, glue on small items like Christmas tree branches or colorful fabrics and ribbons, use snowflake cutouts, apply glitter, use buttons or pictures, and so on.

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    Make tree ornaments and decorations from everyday objects.

    pinecones

      When it comes to Christmas decorations, you can make some incredibly interesting things from simple everyday objects. All it takes is a few basic items, some creativity and a bit of work.

      1. Old t-shirt wreath

      Finally, there’s a use for those old shirts, t-shirts and assorted rags—cut them up into strips and you can braid a colorful wreath.

      2. Toilet paper roll crafts

      From calendars to figurines and lovely stars for your Christmas tree, with a bunch of toilet paper rolls and a few other materials you have lying around, you can create a variety of amazing crafts virtually for free.

      3. Unique homemade candle holders

      Some candlelight really helps set the mood during that holiest of nights, and what better way to enhance the atmosphere than with some great candle holders that are cheap and fairly easy to make.

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      4. Pinecone decorations

      You can color them green and set them upside down to create a mini-Christmas tree ornament, use them as window dressing, create wreaths out of them, and much more.

      5. DIY snow globe

      This will require a bit more skill and dedication, but it definitely pays off, as these can be used as either ornaments or cool gifts.

      Cheap and fun Christmas snacks

      Next up, you want to make sure that there are plenty of snacks around Christmas, so that everyone can enjoy themselves and have a nibble every now and then. Here are a few great snacks that won’t cost much to prepare:

      1. Healthy and delicious cereal

      You can combine some corn flakes, oats, dehydrated fruit, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and mix it all up in mason jars to get a very healthy instant breakfast cereal. Add a little bow and a card with the name of each family member and friend and give them out as a surprise when people come over. You can even make this a part of a nice holiday gift basket.

      2. Gingerbread house with all sorts of sweets

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      Gingerbread house

        Making a gingerbread house can be a very fun family activity, as well as a beautiful decoration and, of course, a tasty treat. You can choose from plenty of great templates and create your ultimate gingerbread house. Go wild with the decorations, adding candy canes, M&M’s and all kinds of different sweets.

        3. Personalized homemade chocolate bars

        Get some tasty chocolate, I would recommend dark chocolate, melt it in a pot, and add some additional ingredients like chopped nuts, cherries or raisins. Pour the mix into a mold that you can get for cheap online, and use aluminum foil and decorative paper to wrap up the chocolate. Use a strip of craft paper to write the name of your special chocolate and list the ingredients.

        4. Great DIY gifts

        So, we’ve covered some fun holiday activities, cool decorations and great snacks, some of which can make excellent gifts, but let’s look at a few more unique DIY gift ideas that your friends and family will appreciate:

        5. Knitted or felt smartphone/tablet case

        If you have some knitting skills you can sit down and make several fun and practical cases for smartphones or tablets, which will make excellent gifts for virtually anyone you know. Here are some patterns you can use. You can also make adorable felt covers which you can customize with some felt flowers and similar decorations.

        6. Recipe binder and book of memories combo

        Every family has that mom or granny who know hundreds of delicious recipes and gives the food her own personal touch. Sit them down and have them tell you these coveted family recipes, so you can write them down. You can have one page of your recipe binder feature the recipe, while the page next to it can have a comment or picture that brings everyone back to a special moment—like a picture of a young grandma presenting her first Christmas dinner or your little brother with his face smeared in chocolate from mom’s cake. Make sure to make a lovely cover for the book as well.

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        7. Fun Christmas-themed pillows

        Christmas pillow

          Another one that requires some skill, a set of unique pillows can be made with a very small investment – mostly time and effort. There are plenty of things you can sew in—like snowmen, Christmas trees, reindeer, write out names or messages and so on. Even if you can’t really sew, you can still make some nice decorative pillows using Sharpies and a steady hand.

          8. Stuffed toys

          When you have smaller kids, a stuffed toy is always a safe bet—they also make lovely gifts for your significant other, and the fact that they were made by hand only adds emotional value. You can find a few good ideas online to spark your imagination, but don’t be afraid to experiment—even if it takes a few tries to get right, you’ll work will pay off when you see someone’s face light up as they hold the toy in their hands.

          9. DIY pet toys

          doggy toy

            An excellent choice for people with pets are some creative pet toys and treats for dog owners or a nice scratch post for cat owners. You won’t have to spend much money, but you will still be able to make some durable and clever items that pet owners will really appreciate.

            10. Special Moment Wall Clock

            A simple board and a picture of a very special moment, with a meaningful inscription, and a basic clockwork mechanism is all that you will need for this heartfelt gift. Here is a useful guide on how to print out images on tissue paper that you will use on your decoupage clock.

            With Christmas just around the corner, it’s never too late to start preparing, decorating and crafting gifts for your friends and family. I wish I had known some of these great low-cost tricks much earlier—I could have saved quite a bit of money, while at the same time making much more personal and meaningful gifts and decorations.

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            Ivan Dimitrijevic

            SEO Consultant

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            Last Updated on August 7, 2018

            How to Make Money with a Blog (According to 23 Successful Bloggers)

            How to Make Money with a Blog (According to 23 Successful Bloggers)

            Not too long ago, you believed that making money with a blog was impossible. But after seeing dozens of income reports from other bloggers, you became hooked. Now you’re left wondering if you could achieve similar results.

            In this article, I’ll consolidate the lessons learned from some successful bloggers and get you the advice on how to make money with a blog.

            How to monetize your blog the right way

            A blog is more than a website with words, it’s a brand that solves a problem. When you’re first starting off it’s difficult to make any money. Why? Because no one trusts your brand.

            The solution is simple, provide engaging content to build a large audience. Once your blog’s traffic and subscribers have grown, here are the most effective ways you can monetize your blog.

            1. Affiliate Marketing[1]
            2. Selling Courses[2]
            3. Coaching[3]

            “Get rich quick” schemes rarely work

            Some believe that bloggers had their success handed to them, but this is far from the truth. Their success required sacrifice, discipline and courage to work. And this is where most people run into trouble because they’re unwilling to put in the work.

            Your first step to building income through your blog is to stop believing it will be easy to achieve. The trick is to only listen to a few bloggers who are at the position you’d like to be and take massive action.

            It can take months or even years before you start earning income.

            And when the going gets tough, keep going. Don’t stop. Learn to love the journey more than the outcome and you’ll build a profitable blog.

            Executing the right advice leads to success

            You need to learn from bloggers with diverse backgrounds.

            What motivates someone to build an online business may not inspire you. But there’re strategies some bloggers will share that you’ll resonate with.

            So what’s the next step? To start taking action.

            How to make money with a blog: Lessons learned from 23 successful bloggers

            Browse the list of some of the most influential and down to earth bloggers in today’s time. Chances are that you’ll resonate with a few of them. Take their practical lessons and apply them to your blog.

            These bloggers may spark light bulb moments for you and change your life forever.

            1. Gary Vaynerchuck – Down to earth entrepreneur who’ll transform your life

              Gary is a proud “D” student who helped his dad grow his wine liquor store into a 60 million business. He left the wine business to start his own digital agency, which now generates over $100 million.

              Today, he inspires entrepreneurs of all ages through his blog, vlog, and Podcast to take full control of their lives doing what they love.

              Lesson: Have the patience to build a successful business.

              2. Pat Flynn – Online Jedi who’s fearless to try new ideas

                Pat built several sites, is an author of many books and has launched many podcasts. His blog is one of the most popular sites on the web for beginner and experienced entrepreneurs. Despite Pat’s success, he’s still humble and willing to help others.

                Lesson: Don’t let fear stop you from stepping out of your comfort zone.

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                3. John Lee Dumas – Entrepreneur on fire, inspiring others through his voice

                  John is the host of EOFire, an award-winning business podcast, interviewing top entrepreneurs. He’s interviewed successful entrepreneurs such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Robbins and many more. John is also the author of the #1 ranked book for Podcasting in Amazon. He’s an excellent example of what happens when you chase your dreams and remain committed.

                  Lesson: Follow one course until success (FOCUS).

                  4. J Money – Rockstar money expert who injects “cool” into finance

                    J Money is an award-winning personal finance blogger, company advisor and money rockstar. He injects a “fun” personality in his blog, adding a sense of “coolness” to personal finance. He’s the founder of RockstarFinance, a personal finance directory filled with useful resources.

                    The fresh perspectives J shares about money will leave you pondering for days.

                    Lesson: Have fun with your blog to stand out and create engaging content.

                    5. Mr. Money Mustache – Badass blogger who’ll transform your financial lifestyle

                      Mr.MM’s goal is to help you live a “badass” life. He has unique money saving ideas up his sleeve, such as cutting your grocery bill in half, and DIY solar panels. There are no “generic” articles in his blog, only thorough and well-thought ideas.

                      Mr.MM is financially independent and willing to share his secrets if you dare to listen.

                      Lesson: Focus on your needs and wants to live your dream lifestyle.

                      6. Sam – Thoughtful blogger sharing smart insights

                        Sam is a blogger and a real estate investor. His blog has received millions of views and featured in Forbes, Lifehacker, CNBC, and many more. Sam dives deep into topics like real estate, retirement planning, and career strategies. Read his blog and discover why it’s “bookmark-worthy”.

                        Lesson: Keep investing in yourself to be better prepared for the future.

                        7. Joshua Dorkin – The persistent entrepreneur who never lost hope

                          Joshua is a well-known entrepreneur and speaker who’s featured in major publications. He’s built the nation’s largest real estate investing blog and co-host of the BiggerPockets podcast.

                          He’s the ultimate example of what’s attainable when you pursue your dreams. His blog is one of the only few you’ll need to reach financial independence with real estate.

                          Lesson: Keep working towards your goal despite who tries to stop you.

                          8. Ramit Sethi – That “cool” teacher who’ll help you reach your next level

                            Ramit is a New York Times Bestselling author. He prides himself on being different, which is why he loves giving away 98% of his material for free. His content is binge-worthy and will bring out the awesome out of you.

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                            If you’re ready to master your inner psychology or finance, then stop by Ramit’s blog.

                            Lesson: There’s always a way to get what you want as long as you’re willing to put in the work.

                            9. Paula Pant – The entrepreneur who took an enormous risk chasing freedom

                              Paula is a writer, speaker and freedom enthusiast. It didn’t take long after landing her “dream” job to know it wouldn’t offer the freedom she’d craved.

                              Today, Paula has reached financial independence by building many income streams. Her writing style is engaging will leave you questioning your limiting beliefs.

                              Lesson: It’s worth risking the odds to live your desired lifestyle.

                              10. Steve – Early retiree, fearless to take a stance

                                Steve reached financial independence 30 years earlier than the typical American. You can find his work in major sites such as Forbes, Business Insider, and many more.

                                Currently, Steve writes detailed content on his blog helping readers achieve financial independence. If you’re looking to save money, or retire early, you’ll love Steve’s blog.

                                Lesson: Plan ahead to reach your desired goals.

                                11. Robert Farrington – Millennial Sensei for college students

                                  Robert is a consultant, and a writer dubbed as America’s Millennial money expert. His passion for managing money at a young age led him to create The College Investor. In his blog, you’ll find great resources to crush student loan debt and invest your money.

                                  Lesson: Be open-minded with how you can express your passion.

                                  12. Joe Udo – The writer who took the road less taken

                                    Taking risks ain’t easy, but there are always a few people who take it anyways. Joe is a blogger, investor and a great example of what risk takers do. He retired before turning 40, after leaving a job he’d been working for over a decade.

                                    Joe’s blog shares proven ways to building passive income, and managing your money.

                                    Lesson: Taking risks becomes easier when you prepare daily.

                                    13. Elle Martinez – The financial superwoman for struggling couples

                                      Elle has a passion for money, so much that she’s been writing about personal finance for over a decade. She enjoys helping couples build their finances together, and live on one income.

                                      Elle’s blog helps you avoid money fights, boosts your savings, and much more.

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                                      Lesson: Find ways to solve the problems you’re obsessed about.

                                      14. Len Penzo – Creative blogger who makes personal finance entertaining

                                        Len’s blog has received over 9 million visitors. He’s featured in major publications such as the NY Times, Forbes, and many more.

                                        Len transforms boring money subjects into engaging content that hook readers for more. If you want to make smarter financial decisions, his blog is a must-read.

                                        Lesson: Create engaging content to build a large audience.

                                        15. Farnoosh Torabi – Finance expert, inspiring women to unleash their full potential

                                          Farnoosh used to borrow clothes and eat $5 Footlongs until she climbed out of debt. Today she’s a journalist, author, TV personality, and financial expert. Farnoosh is the host of SO Money, one of iTunes’s top financial Podcasts. She’s a leader and inspiration to other women.

                                          Lesson: View your shortcomings as gifts and use them to stand out.

                                          16. Michelle Schroeder-Gardner – Young entrepreneur achieving success on the road

                                            Michelle started blogging in 2011 with hopes of improving her finances. Today, her blog is one of the most popular personal finance blogs you’ll find. There’s a slim chance you might catch her on the road, as she’s touring around the US with her husband. Her blog contains advice for growing your income and living a better lifestyle.

                                            Lesson: Be transparent about your struggles to build a supportive audience.

                                            17. Phillip Talyor – Money expert who knows how to throw a finance party

                                              Phillip Taylor or “PT” is a blogger, CPA, and a finance enthusiast. At one point, he’d accumulated a ton of debt and was in need of financial wisdom. He created his blog to document his financial wins, and collaborate with others.

                                              Because of Phillip’s passion for finance, he created FinCon. Today, Fincon is the go-to conference where influencers and financial brands meet.

                                              Lesson: Hard work is more important than experience to achieve your goals.

                                              18. Stefanie O’Connell – The financial role model every woman needs

                                                Stefanie started blogging around 2008, at a time when most of America was in a financial crisis. Despite this, she went from living on less than $500 a week to dubbed as a Millennial money expert.

                                                Stefanie spends her time helping ambitious women adopt “rich” habits. Join Stefanie’s tribe and start feeling empowered with your finances.

                                                Lesson: You can be a role model for others if you’re brave enough to face your fears

                                                19. J.D. Roth – Finance enthusiast who’ll leave you thinking smarter

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                                                  J.D. was a contributor of the “Your Money” column for Entrepreneur magazine. His blog is one of the best personal finance blogs on the web and has received millions of visitors. You’ll find in-depth articles that will leave you making smarter money decisions.

                                                  Lesson: No matter how big your problems are, there’s always a solution.

                                                  20. Catherine Alford – Entrepreneur mom, inspiring women to chase their dreams

                                                    Catherine is a speaker, writer, and a proud mom of 2 twins. She’s an inspiration for women looking to spend more time with their families. Catherine became best Contributor/Freelancer for personal finance in 2014.

                                                    Discover why you don’t need to choose between your career and family at Catherine’s blog.

                                                    Lesson: Your story can become the inspiration many are searching for.

                                                    21. Natalie Bacon – Life coach and entrepreneur inspiring women to design their dream lives

                                                      Natalie is an inspiration for those looking to pursue their passion. She’s featured in major sites like The Huffington Post, Forbes, and many others. Natalie follows her dreams and isn’t afraid of hard work. Her blog contains quality content that will inspire you to take action.

                                                      Lesson: Don’t be afraid to change course because you’ll be one step closer to finding your dream life.

                                                      22. Crystal Paine – Inspirational entrepreneur who loves to give back

                                                        Crystal is a personal finance blogger who’s been writing since 2006. Her site has creative ways to save money on groceries, clothes, toys, and much more. Crystal donates a percentage of her blog’s income towards life-impacting ministries.

                                                        Her blog will not only teach you how to save money but also how to live an abundant lifestyle.

                                                        Lesson: Focus on helping others first and you’ll build massive wealth.

                                                        23. Liz – Frugal expert who’ll transform your bad spending habits

                                                          Liz is an author, writer and a frugal expert who enjoys helping others save money. She’s featured in NPR, Forbes, Liz’s blog contains creative ways to save money and reach financial independence.

                                                          Lesson: Be bold enough to prioritize your opinion above others’.

                                                          Start your blog and achieve jaw-dropping results

                                                          Imagine waking in your pajamas and opening your laptop. You notice a few hundred dollars were deposited to your Paypal account. This money didn’t fall from the sky, it came from your blog.

                                                          Not too long ago you believed making money from a blog was impossible, but now you’ve finally achieved it. Amazing isn’t it?

                                                          This can be your reality if you learn from these successful bloggers. Go through this list and pick your top three bloggers. Take a look at their content (Blog, Podcast, Video), and break your bad habits.

                                                          The time has come to transform yourself into the blogger you’d like to become. You’re not someone who only wants to accumulate a ton of cash. You want to live your dream life and impact others doing what you love.

                                                          What’s stopping you now?

                                                          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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