If you find yourself or others in need, there are several resources to turn to for assistance. One I learned of recently in the Fargo area is the Caring Closet at First United Methodist Church. Below is more information on the program which provides clothing and other items for children.
Hours: First, Third and Fifth Tuesdays from 11-1:30
First United Methodist
906 1st Ave S
Fargo, ND 58103
Walk in; Telephone church if needed to set up an emergency appointment.
First United Methodist Church has a new loving and giving ministry. It provides clothes at no cost for children. We will touch lives of children in the FM area by providing clothing, shoes, toiletries, and necessities to those in need. We are nondenominational. No explanation is required as to “why” there is a need. Privacy will be respected.
We work closely with other helping agencies in town to better serve all of our clients’ needs .
We will serve anyone and everyone in need…for those experiencing financial crisis, marital crisis, emergencies, health crises, etc.
How can you become involved?
Help sort and hang clothing. Work at the Caring Closet an hour a week. Can you spread the word to others, help collect items, pick up donations?? If you can, then there is an opportunity for you to help in this ministry.
Church office (701) 232-4416
Are your closets jam packed and impossible to find anything? I came upon this post about trying to have a Capsule Wardrobe. Essentially it is a mini wardrobe made up of really versatile pieces that you totally love to wear.
I saw a recent post on Facebook that at the end of August, someone found a tote of summer clothes that didn’t get unpacked. A professional organizer friend suggested to donate the entire box since she had not missed the items.
There are many suggestions online on how to clean out items you may not need anymore. One is to hang all of the hangers backwards on the rod. After you wear an item, hang it on the right way. After a certain amount of time, such as six months or a year, consider getting rid of the items you have not worn. There may be special occasion items that you will not wear in that year that you can keep, but also check those items to make sure they fit or are still in style.
Another is the 40 hanger rule, which means you try to have only 40 hangers of clothing in your closet.
Some people use the one in, one out rule. When you purchase a new item or are considering purchasing something, then you need to get rid of an item you already have.
I swap out my closet twice a year, spring/summer and fall/winter. I have 40 or fewer hangers of clothing in my closet for each of these seasons.
I purchase a majority of my clothing second hand. This way, I figure I can afford to add different items more frequently and for less money. Recently, I purchased a jacket for $6 at a thrift store that still had the original $130 price tag on it.
If you find a few favorite, classic pieces you can make different outfits by mixing the pieces and adding colorful accessories.
There are various resources online with ideas of mixing and matching pieces. I saw one on Pinterest that showed how to make 100 outfits out of 10 pieces of clothing.
An important part of succeeding financially is being aware of how much money you have coming in and going out each month. To determine this you should develop a budget. As Dave Ramsey says “with a budget you tell your money what to do instead of your money telling you what to do”.
There are various software, apps and printable budget forms available. It is important to find one that works for you. If it doesn’t work for you and feels like a chore you are likely not to continue with it.
I came upon free printables for pages to make a budget binder from ThirtyHandmadedays.com. It includes a weekly ledger to record all of your expenses and deposits, a monthly ledger, savings information, outstanding debt information, a Month at a glance page, a Year at a glance page and more.
It appears to be a good resource to keep track of your income and expenses.
Keeping track of your spending and working on your budget may seem like a hassle but it is important to make time to determine how you are going to spend your money.
The Easter Seals Goodwill thrift store opened in Fargo a few weeks ago and had the Grand Opening this weekend. It is located at 4325 13th Ave S, Fargo (the strip mall in front of Burlington Coat Factory).
It is has a nice and open atmosphere. Instead of each item being marked, there are signs for the prices of each type of item. There are also sales with a certain color tag being 1/2 price and another color $1. One of the shirts I purchased today had a $25 Dress Barn price tag and I paid a dollar for it. I ended up getting 2 blouses, a sweatshirt, a pair of dress pants and two witches hats for $17.
When shopping at thrift stores, you may not always be able to find items you are looking for. But at other times you may be able to and save quite a bit of money. Part of the fun of shopping at thrift stores is finding unexpected items for lower prices.
Frozen foods may be convenient and inexpensive but it may be less expensive and healthier to make your own. It doesn’t take much longer to make a batch and freeze them for future use than to cook frozen ones.
Here is a recipe for cheesy chicken taquitos. I recently made a batch using this recipe. They were easy to prepare and I had all of the ingredients on hand. I used black beans, corn, salsa and shredded cheese.
I baked as recommended in the recipe then stored in freezer bags and froze. They can then be warmed up in the microwave when you want to eat them.
Below is nutritional information for a brand of frozen taquitos.
Chicken and Cheese Taquitos
Serving Size 2 tacos (85 g)
Per Serving % Daily Value*
Calories from Fat 108
Total Fat 12g 18%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 300mg 12%
Carbohydrates 24g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Vitamin A 4% · Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 4% · Iron 15%
*Based on a 2000 calorie diet
They may be easy to prepare and inexpensive but you also need to consider what processed foods such as this as a regular part of your diet is doing to your family’s health.
Following is information on how Fargo residents can get free compost and woodchips. If you don’t reside in Fargo, check with your local offices to see if they are also available in your area.
“Get free compost and woodchips on Saturday, Sept. 6 from 7:15 a.m. to noon and every Wednesday and Thursday from Sept. 10 to Oct. 2 from 3:30 – 5 p.m. Each household qualifies for one free yard of compost and one free yard of wood chips. The compost and wood chips are located west of the Household Hazardous Waste facility, 606 43 1/2 St. N. For more information, call the scale house at 701-282-2489 or the Solid Waste office at 701-241-1449.”
One way some people use to budget their money is the Envelope System. Once you decide a monthly amount for various areas of your budget, you put that amount of cash in labeled envelopes. When the envelope is empty, you are done spending in that area for the month or need to borrow from other envelopes. But, if borrowing from other envelopes you are reducing the amount you can spend in that area.
Dave Ramsey has his Envelope systems on sale for half price thru August 20. The starter system is on sale for $9.
This may be an idea to try if you are having a difficult time sticking to your budgeted amounts. Some areas that people use the envelope system for are groceries, dining out, clothing and entertainment.
Above is a photo I saw on Facebook recently. It may seem like “healthy” food is more expensive but in many cases it is not. It may take more time to prepare it but if you do some of the preparation ahead of time or use the crockpot it may be easier than you think to prepare meals at home instead of going out or stopping for fast food.
You may not see any difference now but in the long run you may face the consequences of how you treat your body now.
With increase in cancer diagnosis and other health issues it is becoming more important than ever to watch what you eat and how active you are.
One tip I have heard is to shop the perimeter of the grocery stores. In most cases this is the meat, produce and dairy departments.
Also, as I have mentioned numerous times, I feel it is important to teach kids how to cook. If they do not learn how to, they will be dependent on eating out a majority of their lives.
Along with being good for your health, cooking at home more will likely also be better on your wallet.
FICO recently announced upcoming changes in credit scoring.
In the past, if you paid debts that went into collection, it stayed on your FICO record for seven years which is the same period as bankruptcy. With the changes, paid collections debt will not show up on your credit history.
Medical debt is a major reason many people have debt in collections. Another change will give less weight on medical debt than other debt when determining the credit score.
With a higher credit score, most borrowers are more likely to be offered lower interest rates. Along with lower interest rates, the FICO score has also become a factor in insurance rates, renting an apartment and something being offered a job.
Whether its making lunch for your kids at school or you at work, taking your own lunch may be a way to save money and have a healthier diet.
I have put together a Pinterest board with lunch ideas.
Recently, a friend commented on Facebook that she was going to try to take her own lunch all week instead of going to the company cafeteria. This seemed odd to me, since I have taken my lunch to work most days for 25 years. Once you get in a habit of it, it may not seem like such an inconvenience.
If you are taking leftovers of the meal the night before, pack them up while you are dishing up your meal. If you are taking something else for lunch get it ready while you are cooking dinner or in the evening before you go to bed. This way you are not rushed in the morning and more tempted to purchase lunch somewhere else.
Some people pack a week’s worth of salads, veggies, sandwiches and other items at one time so they only need to do the prep work once and just grab the container each day when they leave home.
One blogger posted about her husband recently starting to keep a box of cereal and bottle of milk at work for lunch to save money for unexpected bills they had coming in. Even some of his co workers have joined him for cereal for lunch.
Above is a photo of a wrap I made one day with dressing, greens, and veggies. Another couple of days, I took a BLT wrap, a tortilla with mayo, lettuce, tomatoes and bacon.
I usually cook up a package of bacon and freeze it to use later. This is what I used for the wraps.
Even one or two days of brown bagging can help you save money to spend on something else. Besides saving money, you may be able to lose some weight by controlling the ingredients and the portion sizes.