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Val's posts tagged: budget

8 Homemade Gifts to Try This Holiday Season

Posted On: December 7th, 2018
Sometimes I think shopping for gifts is the most stressful part of the holidays. Fighting the crowds, worrying about prices, trying to determine the perfect gift for someone—it can all be overwhelming. Granted, online shopping has helped with the crowds, but if you really want to avoid some of the usual pain points of holiday shopping, why not make someone a gift instead of just clicking “buy now”? I love handmade gifts. Not only can you can save some money by making gifts, you can tailor the gifts I have in mind to individual preferences. ...read more

7 Easy Christmas DIY Projects

Posted On: December 4th, 2018
Christmas is already the most wonderful time of the year, and having a little one around to share it with makes the holiday season even better. I get to see everything through her eyes. She sees all the decorations and gets so excited for the upcoming festivities. Each night when we get home, she gets to turn on her tree and exclaims, “Mommy! My Christmas!” ...read more

How to Make a Faux Fireplace

Posted On: November 30th, 2018
All through the month of December, River Valley is having pictures with Santa. That means there will be a lot of festivities and fun at all of our branches. The Beavercreek office got really creative and made a whole background for the pictures, and it is so cute! The crown jewel of their background is an amazing fireplace they made. It looks so real! I love it so much I want to make one for my house. ...read more

5 Yummy Recipes to Try This Thanksgiving

Posted On: November 16th, 2018
When you think of Thanksgiving what comes to mind? For me its food, family and football! Like most, it turkey is the traditional main dish of our Thanksgiving meal. But, we don’t always have the same sides or even the same desserts each year. Every year, I like to include a few new things to mix it up. While searching for new recipes for my family (can you believe Thanksgiving is next week?) ...read more

5 Simple Thanksgiving Projects

Posted On: November 14th, 2018
The holiday season is almost here! That means we spent the weekend taking down our Halloween decorations and putting up our Thanksgiving stuff. While getting our decorations out I realized I don’t have much for Thanksgiving. In recent years it seems to me that Thanksgiving has just been skipped over a bit, with most retailers going right from Halloween to Christmas. ...read more

10 Fun Things Happening This Month

Posted On: November 9th, 2018
It is starting to get a little chilly outside, but that doesn’t put a damper on fun! In fact, November is when all the Christmas festivities begin in various cities around Dayton. Personally, I know our calendar is filling up quickly! ...read more

Exciting News About Shoes 4 the Shoeless

Posted On: November 2nd, 2018
I love the holidays! All the family get-togethers. The feasts. The spirit of giving. It is around this time of year especially that I think it’s important to remember all I have and support where I can those who are less fortunate. That is why I am excited to tell you about a special giving opportunity going on now at River Valley Credit Union – especially for our current credit card holders! ...read more

8 Spooky Recipes for You Halloween Party

Posted On: October 26th, 2018
Halloween parties are a whole lot of spooktacular fun, and it seems everyone I know is hosting one. They are a great way to get adults involved in the holiday. One aspect that I really like is the decorations and themed food that go into throwing a great party. ...read more

5 Easy DIY Ideas for Halloween

Posted On: October 23rd, 2018
Halloween is almost here which means I have been feeling extra crafty lately! Each season and holiday I try to include a few new décor items so our set-up is always changing. I can never find exactly what I want in the stores, so I find it easier (and most of the time cheaper) to make it myself ...read more

How to Start Increasing Your Credit Score

Posted On: October 12th, 2018
A few weeks ago we talked about credit scores and how they are important. You can read the blog post here. Today I want to talk about how to increase your credit score. This is probably the question our loan representatives are most often asked. As I mentioned in the previous post, having a good credit score is very important. It increases lenders’ willingness to lend you money with lower interest rates. ...read more

7 Delicious Soups to Try This Fall

Posted On: October 9th, 2018
Soup season is here! Who I am kidding. If you love soup as much as I do, it’s soup season all year long. It’s hard to beat the comfort of a warm bowl of soup on a cold night, though. Soup is also great when you aren’t feeling well. And if those aren’t enough reasons to love soup, remember that it is also usually easy to make and pretty affordable. Sometimes we have enough soup leftovers to last us a whole week. ...read more

6 DIY Projects Perfect for Fall

Posted On: October 3rd, 2018
Fall is officially here! It is my favorite time of year—for a lot of reason. I love watching the colors change on the trees and feeling the crisp, cool air, all the outdoor Octoberfests and other fall events …. ...read more

Understanding Credit Scores

Posted On: September 25th, 2018
Everyone knows credit scores play an important role in our financial lives, but not many people understand why or how it all works. Further, it is really important to have a good credit score. Your credit score is based on how well you manage (or don’t) your credit usage and debt. Having a good credit score increases lenders’ willingness, like banks and credit unions, to lend you money with lower interest rates. Most of us will need a loan at one time or another in our life, which is why understanding and having a decent score is so important. ...read more

How to Pull the Plug on Cable

Posted On: September 21st, 2018
Have you ever thought about cutting cable? Not only can it be a great way to save money each month, but you might also be surprised to find you won’t miss it! We live in a world of ever-improving technology, which means there are plenty of options for viewing TV shows besides cable and satellite. In 2016, the average American household spent $1,236 a year on cable. That is a lot of money! ...read more

How to Start Working From Home

Posted On: September 14th, 2018
Working from home sounds amazing doesn’t it? You don’t have to worry about being late or what to wear. You have more flexibility than in a traditional office setting and it is a great way to supplement your income. It seems most people would love to work from home, but don’t know how to start. ...read more

8 Honey Recipes for National Honey Month

Posted On: September 12th, 2018
Get ready for some really sweet news. September is National Honey Month! The National Honey Board originated the idea in 1989 to promote beekeeping and using honey as a natural sweetener. Honey can be used in many more ways than just as a topping on toast or oatmeal (my favorite way to eat honey!). It is thought there are some health benefits to honey; some people claim it has helped with burns and infections. The World Health Organization as ...read more

Fall Gardening Tips

Posted On: September 7th, 2018
Most people don’t think of the fall season as a time for gardening, but it is! Before you get started planting, though, you need to know the hardiness zone for your area. In 2012, the USDA created the plant hardiness zone (see the map here ) to help gardeners determine which plants are most likely to thrive in a specific location. Ohio has three different hardiness zones. ...read more

Pros and Cons of Subscription Boxes

Posted On: August 31st, 2018
Subscription boxes are fun! They’re like getting a gift in the mail each month, although unfortunately you have to pay for this gift. Here is how they work: Each month you receive in the mail a box of items curated for you personally based on the preferences you indicated on a questionnaire. Typically you are charged a monthly fee for the box and receive anywhere from three to five items of different value each month. ...read more

5 Easy DIY Summer Decorations

Posted On: August 14th, 2018
I love having décor for every season; it really brightens up my home. The stores are starting to fill up with fall and Halloween decorations but I am not ready to leave the summer yet! I like to do my seasonal crafts a little late in the season to get more of a discount on items. It makes it feel like I get to stay in the season just a little bit longer. ...read more

8 Dorm Room Friendly Recipes

Posted On: August 10th, 2018
Going off to college is an exciting but nerve-wrecking time, especially if you are living in a dorm. This means you have to take care of everything yourself—even your meals. Now, most colleges offer meal plans to help make sure students get three squares a day, but that can get expensive quickly and kind of boring. ...read more

8 Peach Recipes for National Peach Month

Posted On: August 7th, 2018
Did you know August is National Peach Month? It makes sense, because I’ve always associated peaches with summer. I love a good and juicy peach on a warm summer day. Did you know that peaches are actually a member of the rose family and originated in China (which happens to be the largest producer of peaches in the world!)? Italy is the second largest. We call Georgia the Peach state, but 50% of all our peaches are grown in California! ...read more

4 Tips to Make Applying for Scholarships Easier

Posted On: July 27th, 2018
Applying for scholarships and grants is a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Most students are overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin. I know I didn’t. While it’s great that there are so many resources available now to potential students, at the same time, having so many resources can be a bit overwhelming. Adding to the challenge of “too many choices” is the fact that you will be giving out your personally identifying information to many different places. ...read more

10 Tip to Make Your First Year in College a Little Easier

Posted On: July 19th, 2018
It’s hard to believe, but school will be back in session soon. Move-in day for your college freshman will be here even sooner! Starting college can be a daunting task, especially if your child is going to an out-of-town or out-of-state institution. He or she may start out not knowing anyone or even what to expect, but eventually everything usually falls into place. I know my first few months in college were a big eye opener for me. ...read more

8 Fun Summertime Kids Activities

Posted On: July 17th, 2018
I love summer! The days are warmer and longer, so there is more time for outside fun. Summer is also the time of year when the kiddos are out of school and home full time. When I was young, I used to spend my summers at the local pool and library, but pool passes can get expensive, and not every kid enjoys reading. That said, there are many free and low-cost summer activities ...read more

Credit vs. Debit: When to Choose the Right Card

Posted On: July 13th, 2018
Most of us have debit and/or credit cards and use them frequently. They are easy to use and extremely convenient. They give you instant access to the money in your account without having to set foot in a credit union. Because debit cards are linked directly to your checking account, each time you swipe the card, money comes directly out of your account. Actually, a credit card is essentially a loan: ...read more

5 Ways to Start Saving

Posted On: July 10th, 2018
Ideas on how to save money have been the most requested topic from readers. Having a savings account is so important, but many people simply can’t or don’t know how to build up their nest egg. The general rule of thumb is that you should have six months’ worth of expenses saved up for unexpected situations. ...read more

5 Finance Apps You Should Add to Your Phone

Posted On: July 6th, 2018
When it comes to personal finance apps, there is a wealth of them to choose from. So many, in fact, that even though I talked about them before (you can read my prior post here). I wanted to do a follow-up on the subject and cover a few more. With these apps, your smartphone becomes a great tool in improving your financial health and knowledge, helping build your savings account, and even paying off debt. ...read more

7 Easy Independence Day DIY Projects

Posted On: June 29th, 2018
Can you believe June is almost over? The year is sure flying by. That means that Independence Day, one of my favorite holidays, is just around the corner! I love the history of the holiday as well as the festivities that come with it. Each year, we have a big cookout for all of our family and friends and then walk to the neighborhood park to see fireworks. As I am sure you know by now I enjoy DIYing a lot of things and Independence Day decorations are no exception! ...read more

5 Delicious Camping Recipes to Try

Posted On: June 22nd, 2018
One of the best things about camping is the food! While writing the previous post on camping, I got to thinking about camping recipes. When I was looking for recipes from the family’s last camp outing I was surprised at the wide variety of items we could make over the fire. We only used our stove once. The nice thing about all of these recipes is you can choose to make them while you are at camp, or you can prep them beforehand. This way you can have more than just hotdogs and s’mores all weekend. Let’s dig in! ...read more

A Beginners Guide to Camping

Posted On: June 19th, 2018
We love camping; it is a great escape from the stresses of everyday life and a fun and inexpensive way to enjoy the great outdoors with your family. I must confess, though, I am still fairly new to camping. My husband is a pro; he grew up camping and spent most of his youth in the Boy Scouts for America. Last fall, after 10 years of coaxing, he finally wore me down to go camping – with our toddler no less. ...read more

4 Ways to Make Your Staycation Awesome

Posted On: June 15th, 2018
Going on vacation is a wonderful experience for the entire family. It is a great way to explore new places and spend quality time with those important to you. Vacation can be expensive, though, and if you are looking for a lower-cost alternative to vacationing away, consider a staycation! ...read more

4 Ways to Save on Vacation

Posted On: May 22nd, 2018
Like most people, I have an extensive list of places I want to visit. Apart from time, the biggest obstacle to all my travel plans is ... you guessed it … money. But actually, traveling doesn’t have to be expensive. When it comes to booking a vacation, at home or abroad, there are many different ways to save money. For example, I have a friend who recently flew out from Dayton to Las Vegas for the weekend for $120 round trip! ...read more

4 Tips to Help You Save Money on Home Renovations

Posted On: May 15th, 2018
Owning a home is a lot of work! You have regular up-keep, repairs and renovations to worry about. If you are like me, the renovations never stop, and they can get expensive. There are, however, ways to save money without sacrificing quality or style. I promise it can be done! ...read more

Money Saving Apps

Posted On: May 1st, 2018
Have you ever thought about using your smartphone to save you money? If you are like me, you use your phone for just about everything anyway. Why not use it to save money as well? There are tons of legitimate apps out there that will do just that! A while ago my friend introduced me to an app that would save me money by me simply going grocery shopping. ...read more

Teach Your Kids How to Save

Posted On: April 20th, 2018
While saving money is an important life skills topic, it is seldom taught in school. It is up to the parents to teach their kids about not just the importance of saving money and building a nest egg, but also how to go about it. As adults, most of us know how to save and what the benefits of saving money are. It is important we pass this knowledge along to our children. ...read more

Delicious & Inexpensive Slow Cooker Meal Ideas

Posted On: April 10th, 2018
Being a mom means you are busy all the time! If you are like me, that means you are always looking for ways to minimize time spent on chores so you can maximize snuggle time with the kids. One way I save time is by using my slow cooker or pressure cooker. I usually use my slower cooker and pressure cooker ...read more

Are You Ready For a Pet?

Posted On: March 27th, 2018
For those of you who have been asking yourself this question, I have some good tips and some things to keep in mind before making this BIG decision. The question really does require your careful consideration. Before committing to a new puppy or kitten ...read more

What to do Before Buying a Car

Posted On: March 23rd, 2018
Last week I decided to buy a new car. The one I picked out gets great gas mileage and has a lot of cool features, but the most important thing is I got an amazing deal on it. For some, buying a new car is a stressful, drawn-out process, but it doesn’t have to be. One of the biggest challenges is sim ...read more

How to Spend Less at the Grocery

Posted On: March 6th, 2018
think it is safe to say we have all seen those crazy couponing shows, the ones where someone gets $800 worth of groceries for $20 by using manufacturer coupons. This got me thinking about ways to save money at the grocery store ...read more

Budgeting Tips and Tricks

Posted On: February 1st, 2018
The word “budget” has a negative connotation associated, similar to the word “diet.” Just thinking about starting a budget is enough to make some people anxious. ...read more