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Things I wish I learned far sooner

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  1. Pay yourself first: before you pay any bills or buy anything put money into your savings account. If possible have an automatic draft on pay day into your savings you won’t even notice it until one day you have a surprise $200 extra dollars or you suddenly need new tires and have no idea where the money is going to come from.
  2. Learn how to sew. Learn how to save. You can spend $50 on a top that fits excellent (you can also spend it on a top that fits so-so but has a designer label) or you can spend $5 at good will for a top that fits ok. Knowing how to take in a seam, take up straps, mend a zipper and darn a sweater could save you a lot of money in the long run. Along the same lines, “a rose by any other name”, if something fits you like it was made for you it doesn’t matter who it was made by. Don’t get hung up on labels, get hung up on fit, price and quality and find a good ratio of the three. Buy cheap accessories, buy expensive shoes. Your sunglasses are liable to get lost or broken, glass pearls look just as good as real ones but 8 hours in cheap shoes with no support is not worth the $40 you saved.
  3. Not buying name brands goes for other things as well. Kroger brand pasta is just as good as barilla. Wheat is Wheat it all makes me feel terrible. Costco and their Kirkland’s brand is your friend, assuming you have a large pantry. So is Aldi. Toilet paper is toilet paper it all goes to shit in the end with the exception of the one ply coffee filter like industrial stuff which starts out as shit.
  4. Your first stop when looking for any kind of craft supplies, organizational tools, gift wrapping or a lot of other things should be the dollar store. I’m lucky in that I have a dollar tree close by that has a little bit of everything. Dinner wear, dry goods and condiments, even milk and eggs, all for $1. Many of which are name brand. Its $1 don’t argue.
  5. Hold hands and hug more often. Not just with your significant other, but with friends, family members, anyone close to you. Don’t forget that friendship works both ways. You may feel angry or hurt that someone hasn’t contacted you in X amount of time, but you haven’t contacted them either. When you need a shoulder call your mother or sister or brother or father. Mend fences don’t burn bridges.love

  6.  Don’t skimp when buying foundation. Drug store foundations have their perks but not their testers. Go to a department store counter and get matched for a high end foundation and shell out the extra $15 to $30 for a properly matched foundation. You can always return it and try again and most counters will give you a sample to let you try it before you buy it. Despite what marketing tries to tell you there is no such thing as “for all skin types”. Your skin is unique so take your time and get some help to find the foundation that is right for you. You can always save by buying drug store lipsticks, blushes and eye shadows.
  7. USE the calendar on your phone. This day and age there is absolutely no reason to be late for anything. My phone not only tells me where I need to be and when, it also tells me how long it will take to get there with traffic and weather reports. You can set extra alerts and sync calendars across multiple devices. Learn how to use the technology at your disposal so the next time you have an important meeting (or even a date) you don’t make a bad first impression by being late.
  8. On the subject of dates: Have dates or outings with friends that don’t involve the typical bar, restaurant, movie etc. Go on a lunch picnic to the countryside. It will give you a chance to talk on the drive out and back. Compare tastes in music while listening to the radio. You can each pack your own lunch or pack each other’s lunch and see how you do. Go to a painting class together. A cooking class. Some friends of mine recently cleaned old roman coins together for their date night. Think outside the box.
  9. Never try dieting pills or fad diets. In all likelihood you’ll do your body more harm than good. Instead keep active. Find something you enjoy and do it at least 3 times a week. It could be the conventional running, it could be yoga or it could be hula-hooping. My personal favorite is blasting upbeat music and (literally) dancing around the house with a Swiffer. Secondarily, stand up… seriously, right now if you are reading this stand up. Stand more often than you sit. Don’t lead a sedentary lifestyle. This along with eating healthy does a body good. Healthy is a relative term… I mean chocolate is still a thing.cover
  10. Take the time to customize your space. Decorate! Even if you live in an apartment where you are limited in paint color or not sure about putting holes in the wall (3M strips are a lifesaver) surround yourself with objects, images and colors you love. It will inspire and drive you to be more creative and productive, and you will take pride in the environment you’ve created. By making a space your own you can promote a happy environment for yourself and let your personality shine through. No it doesn’t need to be nearly as girly as mine.

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